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Friday, October 14, 2011

Month 8 with Levi – Opinions, Opinions

Ah, month 8. It made me nostalgic for the days when it was my way all day every day after we brought him home. I know it’s good and normal development and all, but he has SO MANY opinions! Opinions about what he’d like to eat, do, where the dogs should be, where he should be, if his booster seat is acceptable or not, how his toys should be played with, which books we should read, where he’d like to sleep, who should hold him, and on and on.

On the harder days we’ve been know to have 10 “Time In’s” (we can’t do time out due to orphanage stuff, so we hold him in a boring place under the stairs for a minute and talk about what went wrong) before 9:30 in the morning. (It’s possible that after that morning I cried through his bath. Sigh. Otherwise, I have somewhat maintained my composure.) Throwing food and toys or pulling mom’s hair are usually the big offenses. Tantrums have become a bit more frequent, though certainly don’t rule the day. But there are definite glimmers of the 2’s to come. I will say, “Time In” seems to be working as I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the throwing of toys over the month. So, there is some small victory.

We end “Time In” by saying (well, me saying for him) “Say, 'Aznalo – I’m sorry, Mommy' ”, and then we give a kiss. Of course, now he tries to end “Time In” by giving me a kiss right away. I manage a straight face 90% of the time, I would say. Another small victory.

This all said, he is really one happy boy. He is a big snuggler and his happiest moments are when we do a group family hug. In his best world of worlds we would all three move in unison, joined at the hip, all day long. Though he still wants Mommy he has become almost equally a Daddy’s boy. When he isn’t feeling well he ping-pongs between the two of us, not sure where to settle.

As for sleep…Well, I must admit some regression. As he has become more and more attached to us he just can’t stand to stay in his crib all night after waking up scared, teething, wondering if we're still there, etc. The only way we both are going to get any sleep at all is for him to spend half the night with me in the twin bed in his room. The only other option would be to soothe him literally all night long or let him throw a tantrum for hours while I stand by the crib (and he tries to propel himself out of it). At some point, we both just have to lie down and sleep. Any chance I get, if I happen to wake up, I try to return him to his crib while he sleeps. But honestly, I just don’t wake up that often once he is finally back asleep.

So, there you have it! Here are the firsts he LOVES this month: lots more dancing, brushing his own teeth, almost jumping (got off the ground once!), understanding pretty much everything, finding our car, stomping, the sign for "Touchdown!", eating with a fork, getting in containers, throwing balls or treats to the dogs, putting things away, Sandra Boynton books, bringing us his favorite books to read and finding his favorite pages in them.

Fun at the beautiful Cox Hall Gardens down the street. They have a mini village, tunnels, a giant sand "stream" for the kids. I would have died for this place when I was little!
Greeting Dexter the Boxer on our way in to the Metzings for brunch with Monique.
First time taking Nana to the Children's Museum with us
Trying out some sunglasses
Fun at the zoo with Elizabeth Mott and her twins. Thanks for taking us, guys!
Levi went crazy chasing the tiger, who was DEFINITELY chasing us too.
One day I blocked off the kitchen in order to clean a bit and keep the dogs out of my way. It became very obvious on which side of that baracade Levi would prefer to be. I see where I rank.
This was cute. We had a great time at the Greek Festival with Levi. He thought the children dressed to do their traditional dances were very cool. They were so sweet and came over to play.
One of the more important things Levi learned this month - how to signal a touchdown. Now if only the Colts could score one or two more a game!
The adorable and delicious cake Bob and Bonnie brought to celebrate Levi's 18 months on Sept. 11. (Same day as Ethiopian New Year, the Sunday of football, obviously the 10th anniversary of 9/11 - whew! Crazy day.)
Throwing an impressive tantrum at the park simply because I asked him to walk to me. Sigh. I sat down nearby and waited it out (can't do the walk away and ignore with a child who has spent time in an orphanage, so I do the sit down and look bored technique), but the houses behind the park must have thought someone was killing him.
Finally deciding the tantrum was less fun than he thought and he would walk the 10 feet to me.
We always enjoy our almost weekly visits to Connor Prairie, especially as the weather has cooled off and the fall has been so beautiful.
Our month ended with our first trip to urgent care (naturally when Brad and I were all dressed up and ready to walk out of the house to go to Elizabeth and Keith's Oktoberfest party)! Poor little guy - he had a fever of 103 and was literally screaming and doubled over in pain (thankfully, just stomach cramps from the fever). Over the next week he broke out in a terrible scabby rash from the fever as well, but has since made a full recovery. Scary, but a right of passage, right?
Chair picture, Month 8! So close to being a little boy instead of a baby.
Levi is working hard on his vocab, seeing that English is his second language. (I mean, when he came home he didn't even know "Mommy" and "Daddy", so he has come far!) This is his first animal sound, right as we are leaving Connor Prairie and seeing the animals. So fun to see it all start to click!