Wow! Time has flown. It is so hard to believe that six months ago today they handed us our son, and our world changed forever!
To celebrate we decided to go up to the Ty Warner Aquarium in Santa Barbara. We all had a really great time. Alexei took a while to warm up to the place. I think he was a little overwhelmed by everything. But eventually he got to the point of grooving on all the exhibits and the lights and equipment. It was pretty funny to see how quickly his attitude changed when a couple of slightly older boys showed up and started running about the place. He decided it was obviously a great place if those kids were having fun. LOL!
He was still not really into touching anything in the water though – not sure if it was that the water was too cold or he didn’t like the feel of the shark and sea stars but he wasn’t inclined to put his hands in the touch tanks after the first few tries. He did enjoy the books and the puppets very much but the best things were pushing his stroller around and climbing the stairs.
Life has been interesting – we’ve settled into a new, new normal, with Alexei being the highly mobile and boisterous boy that he is. He is growing like a weed – he grew an inch in one month! He’s now only half a head shorter than the two nearly two-year old girls at daycare and doesn’t look quite as tiny next to the bigger kids as he used to. And although he still only just tops 22 pounds, he continues to gain weight steadily.
He’s getting more steady on his feet every day – likes to climb everything in sight. At daycare he tries like crazy to keep up with the bigger boys, following them around and getting into their games and such. His nickname at daycare is “baby godzilla” – I’m sure you can imagine why – we call him “Stitch” at home for much the same reason. He’s a still a big fan of anything with wheels. And he loves balls of course – so much so that my normal distraction technique is to say “where’s your ball, Alexei?” (Yes, I know he’s a child and not a dog, but seriously, if it works… And I haven’t gotten out the clicker, yet. LOL!) He loves to roll or throw it and he’s got a pretty good arm though we need to work on the aim.
We’ve hit a bit of a wall with expressive language – lately he has shown some resistance to signing or using the words we know he can say when requested, so we have been gently working on that. Not worth the tantrums to push things too much when we know the language will come eventually. His receptive language is very, very good. Scarily good really. He knows “hold” (yes, my SCA family, THAT connotation of “hold,”) “close the door” and “put that back/down” and “bring it to Mommy” and a lot of other phrases and commands. And he can identify a lot of objects even if he won’t say the words. A few days ago we got a bunch of little books of nursery rhymes and he LOVES those. He will have us read them over and over again. I usually sing the tunes to the ones I know, too. Today he made the little noises that I know means he wants to me to sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” so I told him to get the book and darned if he didn’t run and fetch the right one!
He’s also really, really into figuring out how things work, even when he doesn’t have the coordination or strength to manipulate the object he is trying to figure out. He imitates a lot of things we do to the point that I am now taking twice as long to do almost anything because he wants to “help.” He loves “sweeping” and even tried to use the Swiffer wet jet but discovered it is too heavy for him. Now if he could just really use the dust pan or load the dishwasher. 😉
On the subject of tantrums, they’ve largely stopped. For now. He’ll still start to do the arch the back/throw himself to the floor thing but he quickly realized neither Darren nor I give him what he wants when he does this. So he has gone back to being a little more readily distracted/redirected. And hitting has largely stopped as well. All good for now. We shall see what the next phase brings!
He’s still eating like a champ. Starting to show a little bit more of a preference for some items over others. This week he discovered black beans and, boy, those are even better than pork! Grapes from Bristol Farms are the Best Grapes Evah! But very little beats Dad’s beef and mushroom risotto or beef stir-fry for disappearing down a little boy gullet. LOL!
We had our six month post-placement visit with our SW a couple weeks back and our report should be going off to China very soon. Having that done means we can also start work on our re-adoption here in the States. Yes, we do have a full, legal adoption of our son recognized by China and our federal government but we will be doing a re-adoption here in California. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) The biggest thing is it gets him a California birth certificate, which will make things like registering for school a lot easier. 2) Some states do not automatically recognize an adoption finalized abroad and this can complicate things like inheritance and custody down the line. California recognizes adoptions done in other countries but on the off-chance we decide to leave this state for one that doesn’t, we need to make sure we protect our son’s rights.
The only other big thing to report is that we have found out Alexei is asthmatic. After 5 colds in 3 months went straight to his chest, 4 of which needed albuterol and prednisone to control – oh, and one bout of bronchitis – his doctor has concluded that, even though you’re not supposed to diagnose asthma at this age, the writing is pretty well on the wall. He’s been on a maintenance dose of inhaled steroids for a few weeks and thanks goodness for them because the most recent cold came and went without a trip to the pediatrician! Yay!
Alright, I think that is all there is. Eventually we are going to get serious about a big party to celebrate our family but the last six months have just been a process of finding our feet as parents/a family. We’re coming out of the shell and slowly getting to be a part of the communities we love again. Thanks everyone for all the support and well-wishes!
Now for some pics!
Bright blessings and love all!