Whew, Month 16 was a busy one! We began our first foray into home renovation (a few pics below), I had lots of rehearsals for a big concert with Hendricks Symphony, my students were preparing for our studio recital, and Brad has had some travel here and there for work. We were all wondering if we would make it through May! Obviously, we lived to tell about it and Levi is still growing and changing by the day.
With our home renovation came a new friendship - Scott, our tile guy! Scott (and, Scott, if you are reading this, forgive me for spreading the word) was one of THE Hickory players in Hoosiers!!! He played "Strap" and you can see one of his scenes here:
He looks just the same! Of course, Levi can't appreciate Scott's historic movie importance just yet, but that didn't keep him from being completely enamored with Scott day in and day out. Levi still pats the tile floor and says "Sca!!!" Everyday when Scott would arrive it was a big deal. Levi loved Scott's truck, his tools, the big noises, Scott's boots, how tall he was when Scott picked him up, and on and on. Levi could not even stand to nap decently the whole month incase he missed something. Most of all, he wanted to be part of all our conversations. If Scott and I were talking Levi would try to "talk" louder. Needless to say, Scott is much missed around here now that the work (in Month 17) was completed. (As I typed this Levi came over, saw the screen and said, "Sca!!!" Awwwww.)
Sleep continued to progress wonderfully. Quite often, when he woke up in the night/early morning I could just call down the stairs with our little line ("Get back in bed, we're here, we love you, time to go to sleep"), and he'd do it! Once he left his room in the middle of the night (thankfully, I was on the couch that night) so we found that he needs the baby gates up all night to keep him safe. It's still a great feeling that we don't have to close the door on him and we can see/hear each other so well. This all lead to him actually sleeping through the night for a multiple nights in a row! I've officially moved back to my own bed and am loving it. After 16 months this sleep adventure has taken on a whole new feeling.
It's exciting to see his language continue to progress. I still can't keep up with all his new words. "Back" is particularly helpful as I can say I am coming back whenever I leave the room. Now he asks if people will come back and is very comforted when I say they will. (I try to tell the truth, but admit to stretching it just now and then....)
More firsts and trends: Cried about leaving a play date; pushed a little boy down for the first time (and thankfully, still only time) in music class; wants to actually call people when he can't be with them; helped make the bed; asks for "meh" (a.k.a. "medicine") for his teeth; knows loud vs. soft; still getting better and better at using a real cup; pretended to drink like a dog; went to a fair with his buddy Lincoln Hoskins; loves pointing to what is his vs. what is someone else's (Levi's drink vs. my drink); knows the route to EVERYWHERE (Sometimes I have to plan my routes so that he won't see places he obsesses over.); put himself in time-in; starting to enjoy coloring!; officially a child of the 21st Century: I finally let him learn how to work some kid apps.
This is how I will think of Levi at this age - "Snuggling in Tight." That's a phrase from a favorite book, Time for Bed, and it's the name we've given how he loves for me to carry him around. I made Brad take a picture because you know someday all of the sudden he will just stop "snuggling in."
And the cheesy smile lives on....
Date night! We had a wonderful night out with our dear friends, Tim and Steve, at El Sol and then wine tasting at Taste.
Fun at the Zionsville Library. That's Levi in the middle and his friend, Jaden, to the right being mesmerized by the kitten puppet.
A big day: the arrival of Levi's passport. There is no more paperwork he will need to get through life now. He has a US birth certificate, his certificate of citizenship, and now a passport, all with his name changed and correct. I don't think I could even list the amount of paperwork and red tape that went into that over more than three years. When you think of how many people would die for that coveted blue passport and the fact that the doors to the world are now open to him, it is somewhat overwhelming.
Our first house renovation! Gone is the ugly, dirty, cracked 90's tile in the kitchen/laundry/mudroom/entrance, the carpet in the lower bath, and the stained linoleum in the master bath. Welcome beautiful, natural slate tile installed by our saint of a tile guy, Scott, and the best contractor ever, Joe. It was a bit crazy moving our living space around the work, but Scott and Joe tried so hard to make life easy on us. More finished pics to come next month!
PIE SEASON!!! One of my favorite things to do during the summer, make summer fruit pies!
Play date with Jacobi, a fellow Ethiopian adoptee. Aren't they like little twins? They have the best time together. We didn't plan the green shirts, I promise!
Levi's 2 year-old pictures! Oh my gosh, he was SUCH a pill that day. It kicked off a big testing boundaries week. But thanks to Kelly Applegate's (http://www.kellyapplegatephotography.com/) patience and artistry we still got some wonderful shots to show off Levi's fun, silly, loving personality.
The beginning of a new era....strange to watch, somewhat heartbreaking, but also (I must admit) a bit exciting. Still a Colts fan!
Much of this month was spent in rehearsals for a concert with Hendricks Symphony. Lots of big singing - Madama Butterfly, La bohème, Rigoletto, Mefistofele! But I had one of my very best friends, Elizabeth, singing next to me, which always helps. It was a lot of fun and if you'd like to hear a bit, I put one of the arias ("Un bel di") on my website, www.MeaganTodd.com.
More catching up with old friends! This time a baby shower for our Alpha Phi friend, Megan Boots (right). Amanda, Miriam, and myself had a great time seeing her during her visit from San Fran.
Levi loves Cooper the Bear (books from Hallmark) and was beside himself to find a larger than life version.
Praying is very, very big with Levi lately and has continued to be in the months to come. This has been completely of his own doing. He's taken meal and bedtime prayers to the next level. Quite inspiring really. We thank the Lord for just about everything all day long. He spontaneously stops whatever he's doing, looks at me seriously, and folds his hands. Maybe he knows something I don't.
Bumping with Nana! His favorite bump, the bump leading into their drive.
What a fun visit! One of Brad's Swiss coworkers, Melanie, and her best friend, Daniella, made the effort to come and see us while on vacation in Chicago. So thoughtful and sweet, as were the presents they brought for Levi and the massive amount of chocolate they gave us! We showed them a true American-style day: lunch at our home of pulled pork bbq and pie, an Indianapolis Indians baseball game, shopping downtown (they love Abercrombie), then dinner at a local steakhouse and wine tasting.
Levi loves the beautiful park where we shot our family photos. We can't drive by without him pointing and wanting to stop.
This is random, but I was pretty excited. Target had (via - strangely enough - Gwen Stefani's kids' line) shirts with a lion and Ethiopian colors. The Lion of Judah is a prominent Ethiopian symbol. I bought one in every size!
Chair picture, Month 16. Rockin' the retro Star Wars tee.
Fun with Music Class music, our CONSTANT (all six CDs!) companion
Levi being Levi. We were trying to catch this funny noise he makes when Brad blows on his glasses. As soon as he saw my camera come out he wanted to do anything but that, of course, including climbing on wet grouted tile.