Well, I didn't think I'd go past the first year of Levi being home, but 12 months felt like such an arbitrary milestone when it arrived. Levi still has so many firsts, and he hadn't even turned two when his first year home was completed! Month 13 included most of his last month as a one year-old. He becomes more little boyish every single day. He is still the most loving, sweet, smiling boy - constantly giving hugs, thoughtful or sloppy kisses, dancing, twirling, snuggling - but glimmers of the two's to come are more and more evident. However, the flip side of that is the wonderful assurance that he is right on track developmentally. I will try to remind myself of that during the more taxing moments in the year to come. I still have a very real sense that every moment - happy/taxing/tiring/etc. - is part of his childhood that is slipping away so very quickly. I don't know if it is because we missed the beginning of his life, we've seen the challenges that face children in Ethiopia, or just my excitement to be a parent, but I am trying to make a conscious effort to enjoy it all. I'm not always successful, but I am often finding joy in moments which I may have otherwise just tried to survived or may even have overlooked.
Anyway! Maybe that is why I can't yet relinquish documenting Levi's milestones, quirks, and moments. This "season" (as my dear friend, Elizabeth Mott, calls it) will eventually be nothing but the memories I've documented here, I suppose. I find it so strange to think that even Levi won't remember them. But they are captured here in our humble little virtual scrapbook.
One of my favorite quirks of the month was his "Cheesy Smile" (see the picture in front of the Super Bowl letters or with his lion below), which Brad swears I taught him. (Okay, it's possible I sometimes have a cheesy smile.) He just started doing it all of the sudden one day. It is sometimes hard to tell if he is about to laugh or cry, he scrunches his little face up so hard.
I also have been adoring watching him open up in music class. He LOVES our new teacher, Miss Jennie, and is even going up to sit in her lap to get his rhythm and tonal patterns or a hug/hand stamp at the end of class. He has always been completely addicted to the music CDs, which we play multiple times a day, but now he runs to my laptop and asks for "Levi Music," as we call it. We frequently have our own music class sessions in the living room.
More Firsts: Ate a whole meal at a restaurant with his own plate and utensils; Pointed to "M", "J" and "L"; Slept in his big boy bed all night (with a little coaxing); Words: Buh-buh for Bubbles, Uh-Oh, Bath, Plop, Said "Amen" at the end of his bedtime prayer, "I'm stuck!"; Sits for quite long, wordy books - loves Cooper the Bear, also loves Snuggle Puppy and Wheels on the Go, and he also sat through his first bedtime story (rather than a book with pictures).
Oh, and sleep...same old, same old: starting out in his toddler bed and then squished with me half the night in the twin bed. But keep an eye out for Month 14 and 15. Big changes coming (though that still doesn't include sleeping through the night...but still, big changes!)
Still loving his present from Aunt Jenny, watching the twirling pirates dance, taking them on, off, and over and over.
As my friend, Neddy, says, you just can't say "No" to everything. I figure, it is pretty much impossible for him to hurt himself while jumping on his little toddler bed. Go ahead and jump.
The fun of the Super Bowl in Indianapolis really overtook the entire town. It was fantastic to head downtown and take in the sites. I went once with Levi and again with Brad, Miriam and Brian. We were beyond proud of central Indiana and Indianapolis!
Race cares for all the teams decorated the city
The giant Super Bowl numbers were the top photo opp.
Miriam and Brian
A turf area for the kids to run around. Fantastic fun in the middle of a urban, pedestrian area and right under people zooming by on the zip line. (See the video below!)
Still can't get over seeing Tom Brady pasted on the side of Lucas Oil, but happy to see Eli up there.
"Hoosier Hospitality" was the buzz of the week. Miriam and I wandered by a guy handing out roses just for the heck of it.
When Super Bowl village was open there was live music always onstage. We stopped by for a great young blues singer just as the village opened.
Even though the village had just opened up the crowd was already there to enjoy.
Even the dinosaurs outside the Children's Museum sported the now famous HAND KNITTED (here done with broomsticks!!!) Super Bowl scarves.
Brad snagged a Giants poster and showed his support outside the Giants' hotel and JW Marriot (perhaps the 2nd biggest photo opp - that Lombardi Trophy that covered it was truly amazing).
Note the crazy eyes.
We had a bit of a spontaneous Super Bowl party with some old high school friends. Great, as always, to see everyone and especially see the kids playing. Levi was enthralled with the older kids and just about anything they did.
The Hoskins, Smiths, Stevens, and Metzings were able to join. Of course, I never remember to take pictures whenever I am hosting, but I snapped a few.
This made me laugh - Brady and Lucy fighting over the bathroom.
And this was way too cute - Kinsley dressed in Tracy's coat. Levi had quite the crush on Kinsley and at one point, with a defiant look back at the adults, shut the two of them in his room alone. Hilarious.
I'm pretty positive Levi had never seen anything like Madonna's half-time show.
Baby Truman's first Super Bowl!
So, who knew that Indy hosts the final dog show before Westminster? Had to take our dog-loving boy.
Meeting the sweet greyhound rescues
Our friend, Kari Sowinski, showing her German Shorthair Pointer.
Found this in Menards of all places - a sleeping bag with a lion head. Talk about an impulse buy!
First time (and only so far, but still....) sleeping with a stuffed animal
First snow suit play day! Not much snow this year, but we had a great time in the snow suit that the Bells gave us. (See the video below for a comical moment.)
We often stop by Petsmart to see the animals. Levi decided to give one of the day care dogs a kiss through the glass.
Cute picture from our Valentine's Day lunch at our favorite Korean spot. (We worked so hard to keep his adorable Ralph Lauren outfit - Thanks Bonnie! - clean, and when we got home he peed all over it. Sigh.)
Warmer days starting to come!
Checking out the truck with Dad.
Food! Saw this "card" on Facebook and it made me laugh out loud.
At least once a week we go to a little soul food spot, Geo, and get the BEST FRIED CATFISH EVER from sweet Mr. Tony. Levi eats so much of it that I actually start to feel selfish about sharing. I love this catfish that much. May have to start getting him his own.
A new favorite - ginger poached pears with carmel. Mmmmm.
Chair picture, Month 13!
A few video highlights....
The now famous zip line over one end of Super Bowl village in downtown. And no, I didn't do it.
Levi found that once he was down in his snow suit he was also out.
One of Levi's favorite pastimes - twirling around anything and everything. But the best part is the silly song Brad made up, as he often does.
And in some non-Levi news, had to include a few pictures from another great girls' weekend with Nina (a new Chicago resident!), Katherine (who flew in from London - miss you, Kat!), and Miriam (who was, as always, an excellent driving partner. How do we never run out of things to talk about?). A couple times a year we try to head up, have some yummy meals, and have an excuse to get all dressed up together. (Yes, the fashion show before we go out is half the fun.)
The ridiculously adorable zip up that Katherine brought Levi from London!
Toasting the news that our dear friend, Meghan Boots, is pregnant. We all called her together to hear the news.
Ready to hit the town.
And out the next night - I know it is a bit grainy thanks to the dark room, but I love this picture!