I took Andrew to the Great Pumpkin Patch today and took a few nice pictures. This inspired me to catch up on the old blog here!! First of all--my little boy was 16-months old yesterday. He continues to be absolutely the most beautiful, wonderful, smart, funny, loving kid in the world, and I'm so lucky that he is my son!
In the past couple of months, we've been through some wonderful challenges. First--daycare. Both mom and Andrew have shed a lot of tears during the transition into full time daycare. Andrew cried everyday at drop-off (and so did I!), and the first few weeks, he was so tired at the end of the day that he would basically fall asleep in my arms before we got out to the car! He got sick after a week in daycare, with a 102 degree fever; he got a terrible diaper rash the next week (which he had never had before), and I thought seriously about pulling him out and finding a nanny. However, since that time, Andrew has really grown and thrives at daycare. While drop off is still a little tough, his teachers say he stops crying a minute or two after I leave....and now when I pick him up at the end of the day, he is happy. He's learning so much, he continues to be so social and friendly/outgoing, and I really like his teachers and the care they give him. I feel like we are a team now, helping Andrew to learn and grow.
Sleep continues to be a challenge for us. A normal night is Andrew falling asleep between 8:15 and 8:45, up once for milk between 2 and 3, and then up at 5. I don't mind the up for milk between 2 and 3 so much...but the up for good at 5 is killing me. (I used to be an up-no-earlier-than-7 person). I think he'll grow out of this, but I'm really looking forward to that growth! An ATYPICAL night...but generally about once a week--includes Andrew waking up sometime in the wee hours...and being UP--wide awake and happy. I have taken him for drives trying to get him back down...and even did a Wal-Mart run one night around 2 am just to stop myself from going crazy! On nights like this, if I leave him in the crib to "cry himself back to sleep," he just screams and cries and ends up throwing up. Sleep doesn't seem to come....again--I think he'll grow out of this--can't wait!
Other than that, life is great! Andrew can speak several words, and he communicates with sign language well too. We know: eat, more, all done, bath, ball, sleep, mommy, daddy, baby, kiss, friend...we say bye, can high five and fist bump, kiss, and a whole slew more. He can identify his head, hair, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, feet/shoes, and more. He recognizes songs, sings certain words in a few, and does hand motions to several songs--favorites include The Ants Go Marching, If You're Happy and You Know It, Twinkle Twinkle, Row Row Row, Itsy-Bitsy Spider, 1-2 I love You, and John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (although I sing it as Andrew Brighton Samuels). He can identify and do sounds of several animals, but the latest favorite is the pig, where he smashes in his (or my) nose and grunts. He's a pretty good eater with fruit at the top of his favorites--although bananas not as much as he used to--grapes, apples, peaches, oranges are up there. He also likes peas and carrots, and he goes crazy for corn. He seems to tolerate meats like chicken, beef, turkey, but he doesn't like them as much as other things. He does love chocolate. He has hundreds of dollars of toys which he enjoys, but his favorite pastime is to empty any drawer or cabinet he can get into--this includes my bathroom, where I'll often find bandaids, bottles of lotion, deodorant, eye drops, and other MORE PERSONAL items all over the house. It's usually funny to me, except after I've already picked those things up several times that day or if I'm trying to get out of the house--which of course, happens a lot! Andrew turns everything he can into a drum...and he's got great rhythm. He can even drum and make sound effects with his mouth and it's pretty entertaining.
At the Pumpkin Patch, we went on a hayride to the patch, and then Andrew got out and ran all over the place, falling in the dirt a million times. He loved every second of it. He would drum on the pumpkins, try to pick them up, and then run/fall/run to the next one. There was also a petting zoo there, and he pet a black pig after oinking at it, and he got bitten by a chicken (no big deal, but he didn't like it)! We also met another adopted Ethiopian there! I recognized the facial features in a beautiful little girl and approached her parents. She's 2 and has been home since she was 8 months old. They live in Birmingham, so we exchanged numbers and hope to include this new family in some of our Ethiopian get-togethers!
We will carve pumpkins together this afternoon! Sure to be a fun mess. Here are a few pictures from today!