Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A visit with Uncle Jeff and Aunt Brooke

I am so behind on posts I'd like to do, but I'll just try to plug away at them..My brother Jeff and his wife came to visit us a couple of weeks ago. It was so awesome! I've been so excited for Jeff and Brooke to meet the boys and couldn't keep the tears from my eyes when the time came. As we anticipated, Wedly loved them. He continues to ask about them and pray for them (on his own). He was pretty shy when he first met them, but warmed up quickly when they came to visit us at our home. The visit was short, but oh-so-sweet. We can't wait to see them again!!

Wedly had lots of fun with his cousins!

Our family is an ice cream family. And when you run out of spoons, you make do with what you have, even if the only spoon available is half the size of your head! :)

Grandma cuddles are the BEST!

Great company, great food.
Scoping out the ice cream options.

Always a game of cribbage.

Grandpa showing Wedly his mad skills at drawing/coloring logging trucks.

 Reading with Grandma


Monday, October 22, 2012

Gabriel 5 months

Gabriel has grown by leaps and bounds this month, developementally. I've absolutely loved this past month with him. 4 months is such a great age! He's a much happier baby these days and is such a joy to be around. I love snuggling with him and I am trying to get in all the snuggles I can, cause I have this feeling that as soon as he learns how to crawl or walk, he'll rarely want to be snuggled. Here's what's going on with our boy.

-He is 17 pounds even and 27 inches long.
-A few days after he turned 4 months, he started rolling from his tummy to back (he occassionally will roll from back to tummy, but not very often). I had been doing tummy time with him in a little miniature boppy pillow (without it, he'd start crying immediately - seriously hated tummy time!). At 4 months I decided to try tummy time without it. I set him on his tummy and probably 2 seconds later, he was on his back.
-He LOVES peek-a-boo. Lots of giggles with this boy.
-He is very observant and loves to look around at whatever is going on.
-He's getting more selective and wanting to mostly be held by me. We had a board meeting at the church that Dan and I went to. Dan's parents were going to watch the boys at the church, so Dan dropped Gabe off and a couple minutes later I came by with Wedly and Gabe, who had been doing fine, lost it when he saw and heard me briefly, then walked away. This was the first time he'd ever done that and since then, he's pretty much done the same thing when anyone other than Dan and I are holding him.
-When I'm feeding him, he loves to reach his hand up and touch my face. He has really gotten good at using his hands. You can tell he really concentrates hard to get his hands to do what he wants them to do.
-We've started using his Johnny Jump-Up and he really seems to enjoy it. He goes in circles and there is always a ring of drool around him.
-Speaking of drool, it seems the drool never lets up and he loves to chew on things, so I've been watching for teeth, but none have surfaced, which makes me happy.
-As I sit here and type, he is being super cute with his talking. He squeals really loudly, then mumbles really quietly, over and over again.
-His favorite thing to say these days is: "da da da da da da." The other day Dan asked him, "Are you saying Dada?" Gabe's reply: "Ya." It's was too funny, even though it was a complete coincidence!
-He still wakes frequently at night, but again, we are managing. I try to get him to sleep early in the evening, but he's just too wide awake and usually doesn't fall asleep till between 9 and 10 pm. He wakes for the day around 7am (sometimes closer to 8) and then has his first nap at around 9 to 10am. He typically has 3 naps a day (that are usually 45 min to an hour long), though sometimes I can get him to take a 4th. He always wakes up happy. I love to look over at him and see his big grin as he looks at me. Melts my heart every single time.
-He likes to suck on his thumb, but will only do so when he's happy. I wish he would find his thumb when he starts getting worked up at night!
-He has the most beautiful smile around. I'm absolutely biased, but I think we just might have the cutest little baby in the world.

Did you ever watch TV upside down as a kid? He kept pushing off Dan so that his head was hanging down, so he could see the TV. Silly boy!

More and more people are telling me that he looks like me. I think he looks like his Uncle Jeff.

Playing with brother! Wedly is so good with him.

Gabriel, you bring such joy into our lives. We love watching you grow and develop and are enjoying seeing who God has made you to be. Your daddy and I are continually amazed that you are in our lives. We thank God for you every single day!

Monday, October 8, 2012

3 months with Wedly

Today marks 3 months with our Wedly. This past month has been a good one and it's getting harder and harder to imagine life without him! 

I think we are continuing to see more and more of what his true personality is. He is a sweet little guy and is usually pretty easy going and compliant, but as time progresses, we are seeing some independence and a willingness to defy us at times. Though it can be frustrating (aren't all toddlers frustrating at times?), I think it's a good sign that he's getting more comfortable with us. While he is pretty flexible, he does do better when we're sticking to our routine. Even on the weekends, when Dan is home and available and we run our errands and head to church, etc, I can sense that he is stressed. He gets very excitable and is more prone to breakdowns.

He loves attention from adults (most of the time, anyway...sometimes he's pretty shy). I think that a lot of people have assumed that since he previously lived in close quarters with a lot of kids, that he would be great at interacting with kids, but really that isn't the case. My assumption is that in an orphanage setting (even though he wasn't living in the "baby house"), visitors represent increased love and attention. Other kids are competition for that attention. It's hard for me to describe, and really, I'm just trying to figure this all out myself, but his interaction with other kids tends to be more strained. It's been a little hard for Dan and I to figure out what's okay as far as his interaction with other adults. Everyone has been so excited about his arrival and our family in particular have welcomed him so warmly, it's just hard to know what's okay and what's not. On the one hand, we want him to feel loved by our family (and friends too!), but we need to be careful that it doesn't interfere with his attachment to us. As I mentioned, we think everything is going well with our attachment, but we don't want to take any chances.

As far as eating goes, Wedly still eats very slowly (unless it's something he absolutely loves). It's been hard to know if we should break him in gently to our diet, or just jump in and have him eat what we eat. Pretty much we've done the latter, mostly because what he naturally wants to eat has little to no nutritional value and what he chooses not to eat are the more healthier options. He would eat tons of fruit snacks, crackers and the like, but that's not what I want to feed him. We've found ways to work around his preferences, though. For example, at first I tried getting vegetables in him by doing salads with dressing and things like baby carrots. The first time he ate a bite of carrots it took him close to 15 minutes to chew and swallow one bite. I've found that he does much better with cooked vegetables, so we do a lot of cooked broccoli, green beans, etc. It seems like most kids are the opposite, hating cooked veggies, and doing alright with raw. He loves bread, so I try to give him the whole-wheat variety and we usually do oatmeal in the morning. I think he's getting more comfortable with our food, though I do hope that someday he can eat a little more quickly. He could easily spend around 3 hours a day sitting at the table eating.

He still loves his afternoon nap, which is usually close to 3 hours. Some nights he falls asleep quickly and other nights it takes him awhile. He sleeps in our bedroom and night, but has started to nap in his bedroom upstairs during the day, which is great!

His favorite toy is the semi-truck his grandpa Roger gave him. He also loves to go outside and make soup or chocolate ("choclick"). He loves to watch movies and asks for one nearly every day, though I try to keep it down to about one a week. It makes me grateful that we don't get TV reception, because it would be a draw for me and I know that no matter what I'd watch, he would sit and watch it with me. The silly boy will watch anything. I was listening to a sermon (that was a video) the other day online and he sat and watched it for quite awhile...sure seems like it would be boring to a 3 year old. He loves to sing and play the piano, or sit on Dan's lap while he plays the piano, play with blocks and read books with me. He continues to want to help with everything we are doing. He loves to say "Wedly's turn, Wedly's turn," when we are doing something that he wants to join us on.

His vocabulary is increasing, I just wish we could understand each other better. There are so many times that I have to say "I'm sorry, buddy, I just don't know what you're saying." And other times I'll ask him a question and he'll just repeat what I said rather than answering the question, which makes me wonder if he's not understanding as much as I think he does. A simple example of this would be, "Wedly, do you like the salad." He would say, "like the salad," even though I know he really doesn't, since he just gagged on the last bite. I think he does this a lot, so it's hard to know what's true and what's not. I hope his language and understanding continue to grow rapidly!

Boy, there's so much more I could write about our little guy, but it's late and this adoption stuff is deep and somewhat complicated (and I don't mean that negatively). It's more than my brain can process right now! I'll leave you with a few cute stories and hopefully can post some pictures tomorrow-

-After Wedly went in to use the restroom this afternoon, he came out to pick out a sticker (as a reward for using the potty). It was taking him quite a while, so I went to check on him. As I peeked through the door into our mud room I saw him heading back into the bathroom. This seemed a little odd since he had just gone, so I asked him what he was doing. "Take garbage out, Mommy," he says. What? Seriously? He grabbed the garbage in the bathroom and proceeded to head out to the garage to dump it in the big garbage can. This little guy is as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside.
-Wedly is on the smaller side and most of the pants we have for him are way too long for him. So yesterday while we were in town getting a baby shower gift for a friend of ours, I grabbed a few pairs of pants to take home and try on. Once we got home, we pulled out the pants as well as the baby girl outfit out of the bag. I asked Wedly which pair of pants he wanted to try on first and he pointed to the pink baby outfit and said "That one!"
-Every night the last thing we do is sing "Amazing Grace" to Wedly after he shuts his eyes to go to sleep. Probably 90 percent of the time it is Dan singing it to Wedly, but for whatever reason, last night Wedly decided he wanted to sing along. Typically Wedly can do a decent job (for a 3 year old) of carrying a tune, but as he was very seriously singing the song, his little voice just kept getting higher and higher. Finally I could no longer hold my laughter in, I just started cracking up. It was just too cute. Poor Dan then had a hard time finishing the song because he was trying hard not to laugh, but Wedly did a great job wrapping it up. After 3 months of hearing that song every night, he's got the whole thing down. Thankfully he didn't have the slightest clue as to what I was laughing at. :o)