Todd Family Blog

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pumpkins, Apples, and a Chill in the Air (Month 21)

As much fun as the summer was, I am always so happy to see (feel...taste...smell) the arrival of fall.  It is my absolute favorite time of year.  I always missed it whenever living in a warm weather climate.  We have a lot of trees in our yard and I love watching them turn.  This year gave us one of those great falls when all the leaves seem to turn at once.....

As for Levi, I feel like he is 2 1/2 going on 5.  Thanks to his lack of any kind of baby fat (I truly think he is almost solid muscle) he looks much older than his age.  However, he has no problem reminding us of the 2's, walking around singing "No, no, no" in his sing-song voice.  

School continues to be the highlight of his week.  Our goodbye at school is a total nonissue now.  We count down the bedtimes to the next school day, do our little goodbye routine at the door, and he usually has a smile on his face when I walk away.  Actually, I noted that on October 4th he even asked me to leave!  While I chatted with his teacher he pointed at the window and said, "Mama, bye bye!"  And so it begins.  Of course, my heart was warmed 2 1/2 hours later when I picked him up and he informed me of Noah, Noah's boat, and the animals.  That was the first time he told me about something that happened at school.  I'm always dying to know!

During our adoption training I learned that the toddler age is often a time when they are very excited to learn about their birth country.  Levi not only loves hearing about Ethiopia but has started to request information.  New things I noticed this month: he asked how to say a world in "Ehtiopia" (a.k.a. Amharic)!; he can say "Aydalem" for "No"; when I translate something into Amharic he will say "Ebba" (Ethiopia) after I say it; he frequently requests Ethiopian food ("Ebba food") for dinner.  It is wonderful and exciting to see the early effect of learning about his birth country.

Other Firsts and Quirks: Counting of bedtimes is used to count down to any event ('s dates); He talks just about every second of every day; Knows many shapes and almost all his colors; Asks to "Call Dada"; asked me for a towel to clean up after a spill; Needs very little spotting when climbing at the park; LOVES talking about Mrs. "Wilwums" (Williams), who is his teacher at school; Hardly ever says his default nonsense word "A dee" anymore - usually tries to say the correct word; Quite a few words are becoming very clear and easy to understand; "No no sing, Mama" - I'm only allowed to sing "Wheels on the Bus."  I can't even hum or whistle; Obsessed with mailing letters, so we mail a lot of letters/pictures to friends and family; Very big into talking about the emotions of characters in books or shows, especially if they get sad about something (and then he will touch his face to show crying); Very interested in the ritual of going to sleep: Make the room "all dark", get in bed and go to sleep.

Picture Day at school yielded quite the funny picture.  This was the only one they could snag of him and it is on the little tote he carries to school.  I'm not sure if he is smiling or grimacing.

A visit from Nanny while Brad was out of town!  Lots of fun at parks, of course.

Levi and his girls, Nana and Nanny (Love that they both have their wine in hand!)

Levi often requests "Up, Gray!", as in "I want to get up on the gray counter!"  From there he can throw treats to his appreciative doggies.

Kisses from his "GaGa" (a.k.a. Cal)

And cuddling with GaGa while watching his new favorite show, Daniel the Tiger.

Pumpkinfest 2012!!!  We love The Country Market's Pumpkinfest and it has become a tradition.  Trucks in corn, walking on hay bales, applesauce donuts, "train" rides, hay rides, pretend horses to ride, picking out your own pumpkin....what more could a 2 year old want?

Levi and Lincoln Hoskins had a fantastic time running all over Stuckeys' apple farm.

And a zoo visit with Jaden Shim.  Levi and Jaden have exactly the same idea of fun - Look at the animals (here it would be the rhinos) for about two seconds and then run and see what you can bounce/climb on.  The suspension bridge is always a hit.

A day at the park with Dada

Still loving his prayer box....

Excited to pull out Papa's picture

Praying for Aunt Miriam

A fun cat mask Halloween printable I found.  He loved it for exactly 30 seconds, as he usually does my crafts.  Then they are no longer cool.

One of his favorite things in his room, his pictures of "Baby Vi" (as he calls himself) and Dada.

A new favorite book and great Costo find (what would parents do without Costco?!  The toys!  The organic cotton pj's!  The wipes!  The diapers!  The organic and all natural kid food!  I could go on....)  This is a double book of The Little Engine that Could and Itsy Bitsy Spider.  He talks a lot about when the train is happy and when it is sad.

A play date with Miriam's nieces, Ava and Alaina.  This was probably each girls' 3rd outfit.  We saw multiple Halloween costumes.  Levi was busy eating carrots.

Fantastic girl fun with some friends: Lynn, Natalie, Taryn, Halle, Monique, Adrianne and Jen.  Halle is an exceptional Mary Kay consultant and puts on a great party.  (And who knew our pool table would have another use?)

I stopped by Levi's school for their fall party and the teachers got out his favorite - shaving cream!  Levi quickly taught everyone to roll cars through it.  His good bud, Jacobi's, hands were going so fast they are blurs!

Riding the train at the zoo with our good friends, Noah and Caleb.

The crafty fun continues!  Here is a road with an alphabet garage....

Levi is NOT the most crafty boy.  I think he doesn't see the challenge in it.  The art projects he brings home from school generally look like this:

The one place Levi enjoys a good, crafty mess is the bath tub!  We do this literally every single morning.

If I tell him he can mail a picture I can sometimes get a good, involved drawing out of him.  This went to Aunt Jenny and she texted us a picture of the final product when it arrived in Boston.  Mailing letters could be Levi's absolute favorite activity.  

This one was a moderate hit.  You can peel away the painter's tape after to reveal the letters.  Fun!

The final product:

And chair picture, Month 21.  

Favorite videos...

This is how we begin literally every day once we are all dressed and ready.

I adore this video.  I mean, the kid has MOVES.