Todd Family Blog

Welcome! Read below for our latest news and pictures.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Month 6 with Levi

Six months in! It was a big month of traveling firsts, 4th of July, and meeting lots of friends. Some of Levi's firsts included climbing out of his crib (Yikes! Thankfully, we could lower it one more level), swam in a pool, became obsessed with fans and lights, started waving (which looks more like a salute), threw his first (and thankfully only - so far) big tantrum. Books and dogs are still tops, sleep is still a challenge (though there is a good night here and there, which gives us a ray of hope), and 6-7 meals a day are still a requirement. He's definitely growing like a weed and seems somewhere between a baby and a boy, as you'll see. Of course, I choose to ere on the side of him being a baby so he doesn't grow up too fast on us!

Way back when, Ashley, Megan, Miriam and I were roommates in Alpha Phi at Butler. It's just like old times when we all get together, and we took the opportunity to celebrate Ashley and Pat's soon to be arriving baby boy!

The same day as our gathering above we flew out to Vermont for Levi's first visit to Nanny and Papa's. (That would be my parents!) We had a FANTASTIC week with gorgeous weather, hiking, cheese tasting, ice cream, rivers, animals, and general fun. We always love our time in Vermont.

Fun at the park. Levi became obsessed immediately with basketball! Every park we went to walked right up to the goal and tried to throw grass or mulch at it. And swinging is always a hit too!

First time in a river

Ice cream with Nanny

Meeting Oscar the Calf at one of our favorite cheese makers'.

Levi's first hike! He also went up the mountain with Nanny a couple times.

Not sure about this look....

We always stop at Dan and Whits General Store, where their motto is, "If We Don't Have It You Don't Need It."

My Boys!

This was so sweet and sad. Mom and I randomly started singing a goodbye song from one of Levi's shows coincidentally while Brad was going upstairs at mom and dad's. Levi apparently understands what the song means and his little face just crumpled as he watched Brad go. Brad had to come down and convince him he wasn't going anywhere. Attachment is definitely not an issue with Levi!

On the porch with Nanny and Molly. And I just realized that I don't have a picture with Papa! He was working hard on the Children's Choir Festival he arranged in Canterbury, England for this summer (which was a huge success!), but still found time to have lots of fun with us.

This was about 4:30 a.m. in a hotel room before our very early flight. Brad and Levi were so cute I just had to snap a picture.

Levi's first 4th of July! We started a tradition when we moved back to Indy of going to Symphony on the Prairie for the 4th. We always enjoy the Indianapolis Symphony's performance and the atmosphere at Connor Prairie. I think it may be thanks to our weekly music class, but Levi thought the music was fantastic and we did a lot of dancing. This year we were joined by the Yancey family and had a wonderful time in a shady spot right by the kids' park. It was especially sweet celebrating with Levi, one of the most recent US citizens!

Here, everyone is standing as the flag passes through the crowd.

Isaac enjoying his ice cream

All our boys stayed awake for fireworks. Levi loved them!

The weekend after we returned from Vermont and celebrating the 4th we took off for Chicago. Our wonderful agency, Children's Hope International (, was having their annual reunion. We also have quite a few friends in Chicago and were able to get all the kids together for the first time. It was a wonderful weekend.

Walking along the river downtown where we stayed. I will say, it was challenging having a one year-old downtown. I felt like he had to stay strapped in all the time to keep him safe. But he enjoyed the pigeons, traffic, river and buildings!

While at the reunion we were able to finally introduce Levi to the woman who heads the Ethiopia program and who worked so hard to help us bring him home, Sharon Turner. She will always have a special place in our hearts!

The Chicago police brought a couple police horses for the kids to meet. They kindly stayed for a long time in the heat and the kids just loved it.

We had one tired boy after such an afternoon (dressed in his traditional Ethiopian wear)!

We tried to think of a dinner option out, perhaps with Levi sleeping in his stroller, but didn't want to risk a tired, grumpy baby. So, we had an elegant evening of Gino's East pizza and a movie at the hotel. (Don't worry - we put a serious amount of towels under that big deep dish on the white bedding, haha!)

Levi has had a very funny habit since we brought him home. We call it Baby Fish Mouth. (Call that movie, anyone?) He goes, as we like to say, dead behind the eyes, grabs our heads/hair and attempts to put our noses in his mouth. Very, very, very strange. He is a quirky one. It always makes me die laughing and I can't seem to fight him off.

The following day we had a wonderful impromptu brunch with the Schupperts and Mays at the May home. Thank you for hosting, Jeff and Ali!

Levi having fun with his new friends, Lucy, Haley, and baby Sydney (pictured below), and also baby Connor! Our group has grown!

A surprise visit from our friend Chad Brummett!

"I see you!" Peekaboo has evolved as the opening and closing of doors has become big.

Uh-oh. "Look what I can do now." And then his reaction below when I informed him that we would not be going outside at that moment. Ah, the drama. Thankfully, it doesn't last very long.

Preparing to climb over the arm of the couch, which he will do for long periods of time, over and over. At least it gets some energy out.

Dressed for his first time in a pool! Thank you, Browns, for inviting us and giving us the cool swimwear.

It was so kind when Brad's coworkers at Roche offered to throw us a shower. We were overwhelmed by everyone who attended and their generousity in time and gifts. Roche has given Brad so much support through this long, crazy process.

It had been a while since we'd been to the Metzings'. Levi loved playing with their Boxer, Dexter, and daughter, Lucy (who is going to be quite the babysitter in a few years). And I had to laugh when I walked in. I swear that Monique and I did not arrange our outfits before we arrived.

Chair Picture, Month 6. He was in a lounging mood that day and refused to sit up straight for me. But he still looks so grown up!

Looking back....So, that husband of mine, God bless him, had these pictures on his phone for six months and I didn't know it! These were taken moments after we arrived home with Levi 6 months ago (and right before we both fell asleep on the couch as if we were in a coma - Oy, that 29 hour trip!). Seemed appropriate to share them for Levi's 6 month anniversary home.

One night at Mom and Dad's Levi figured out how to sit on a riding toy all by himself. This got lots of applause, so the trip off and on the toy got shorter and shorter, so as to get to the applause faster.

A normal morning with Levi. His favorite activity other than jumping on the dogs or reading books.