Monday, October 13, 2014

Adjusting and Zoo (take-2)

(At the guest house in Addis)
(Daddy's Baby Girl,
4 months later)

The difference 4 months can make in the life of a child

(Jayce is a little miffed that we are
taking him away from Christmas lights to
go look at elephants)
(At the guest house in Addis)

The last few days I've been amazed (and oh so thankful) how well the kids are adjusting/have adjusted.  This Sunday morning at church, they were running around giggling and chasing each other just like "normal" toddlers.  They have become comfortable in that space and with those people, and are content to move around in it with the assurance that they are alright there.  They both occasionally check in to make sure we are were where they had left us, but are otherwise happy to romp around.  Everyone around us was smiling because they recognized the improvement over the last few weeks.  It did our hearts good to see the kids so happy and content.

In fact, they were doing so well that we tried the church nursery!  Even though the nursery workers were not people they knew super well, the kids stayed happy there the entire service!  This was the first sermon I got to truly listen to in 4 months.  (Happy mama!)  At one point, Philip leaned over to me and commented that it was hard to relax with the constant expectation of screams emanating from the adjacent room.  That aside, the morning felt like a definite success.

Today, two girlfriends and I took the kids to the zoo again.  As you may remember, their first zoo experience at 6-weeks home was overwhelming to them, and their favorite experience was looking at ducks.  Today, they were happy to watch otters, excited to see fish, interested in monkeys, curious about the climb-on jeep, and content to observe hippos.

Here are a few (ok, more than a few) of my favorite pictures from today:

The whole crew!  Anya, Miss Ti, Auntie Stasia, Jayce and me!

Baby Girl being VERY brave and riding the lion by herself

Teeth.  They are pointy.

Both kids weren't super happy to ride the lion with Mama

But, we got a great smile out of Jayce.  I love it when he smiles!

Lunch time!

"Driving" the jeep in the African Cat exhibit

Happy Baby Girl

Towards the end, Jayce was just happy to be worn in a wrap.

Both kids are doing great talking and even putting words together!  We have learned a lot about animals and the sounds they make.  All this exposure to animals has really helped.  Oh, I didn't share about the wildlife safari in Winston!  Yes, we took a trip to the drive-through safari in southern Oregon.  It was a success, and the kids had a blast.  Here are a few of my favorite pics from that:

Goofing off in the hotel room

Daddy time!

Princess transport

Kids looking at God's creatures

God's creatures looking back

Right, so about words: I think Jayce's first two words he put together were "Bamyah peesh!" (Banana, please).  Of course.  Both kids say please when they want something, often without prompting.  They will say "thank you", also, though it sounds like "gunn-noo".

It is nice to be able to ask them if they are all done after a meal, or if they want more.  Anya still eats more than Jayce, and she is beginning to "gum-drop" again, so I think another big growth spurt is coming up.  She was gum-drop shaped for a while, they grew about an inch and stretched out the chubbiness into more normal proportions.  Now I think she's getting ready to do it again.

Jayce is talking more and more, even more than Anya sometimes, if that is even possible.  He's all over things that go, things that move, and things to do.  He imitates so much, and was even doing push ups in the living room this morning after running around in a circle and falling into his "ground fighting position" as he sees us do in class.  I can't wait to see how he continues to develop his interests.

Anya has surpassed where Jayce was 4 months ago.  She is responding well to instruction and is developing more and more self control and awareness.  She is still a morning person, still the most cheerful person in the house, and still our little tornado.  Her walking ability has improved greatly, and she's able to keep up where she was previously unsteady on her feet for the longest time.  A friend commented recently how much she seems to trust us.  It's exciting to see!

Thanks for keeping tabs on our little family!

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