Friday, June 17, 2011

A Xavier Update

I am coming to terms with some of the new realities in our lives. Don't get me wrong, I am so happy to finally have our son home, but any change, good or bad, takes some adjustment. I have developed some new strategies but I will save those for another post. For now I will focus on Xavier because I learned long before I had a child of my own that once you become a parent you also become chopped liver. People only ask about your child. They want to see pictures of the child. You lose your name and become the child's mom/dad. This is normal, so this post is for all you Xavier crazy people out there. We started our journey home on a Thursday morning. Dimitri is so thorough that he wants you to leave for your flight ridiculously early so even though our flight didn't leave until 1:00pm we left the hotel around 9:00am. His paranoia turned out to be a good thing for once. We got stuck in traffic. They shut down the road to the airport because Putin was using the airport that day as well. Xavier threw up for the first time in poor Natalia's van. I really think it was a combination of the heat and the stop/start motion of the car. He perked right up when we got to the airport. We have put a ton of thought into the long flight from Moscow to New York and carefully picked the seats behind the bulk head to give us maximum room. Xavier had a "infant in arms" ticket which did not reserve him a seat, but we ended up with a patient seat mate who was going to Las Vegas. He didn't actually say that but I was nosy and read his customs entry paperwork while he filled it out. He did introduce himself and made a few short attempts at conversation. Xavier was not a true lap child because he was up and down most of the flight. He played well on the floor between our feet. He slept the first 45 minutes and the last 2 plus hours of that flight. He colored in the books I carefully saved just for this flight so they would be special. I gave in on my TV hiatus and let him watch Charlie Brown and Elmo on the little screen in front of my seat. He really seemed to like Elmo. I am keeping that information in the back of my brain for just such another emergency situation. He did not want to walk in the aisle. In the airport in New York he was silly tired and he refused to be still in case he just might fall asleep. The next flight found us all sitting on the plane waiting out a thunderstorm for around 2 hours. Xavier slept the whole time!! He slept until we arrived in Detroit where a thrilled brand new mother got to sleep in a real bed in America for the first time. I learned from our first trip and I carefully researched and reserved a room at the hotel in the airport. It was totally worth it. I only wish I had been more awake so I could have enjoy the whole experience. Xavier slept again through the night in the hotel room. He slept again for a little while on the final flight to OKC. He got fussy toward the end, but he was ready for his big arrival as his grandparents came to the airport to meet us. It was a wonderful low key welcome home and I was grateful to see everyone and yet not be too fussed over. Xavier had his first Happy Meal and his first ride in a car seat. He fought sleep the whole trip home, but he wasn't overly cranky. He fell asleep within minutes of getting his pajamas on that first night. We've been home a full week now. We've learned some things about him, but I still feel confused so much of the time. He still loves water, even showers. He likes spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, cantelope, anything strawberry, and anything peach. Sometimes he eats well and sometimes he doesn't. Oh, he also enjoys mashed potatoes with chicken strips. Hooray!! He is giving us kisses now. Sometimes he'll give J.J. one without a request. We were worried that J.J.'s new busier schedule might hurt things, and it did stress me out at least, but Xavier still seems to favor his dad when it comes to talking and play time. He can find his nose on request and he can find J.J.'s nose on request. He likes anything with wheels or things that spin. He got a ton of gifts from his Aunt Sady (and Uncle Daniel). I think his favorite was the pinwheel.

He had already been blowing on random toys. We have no idea where that behavior was learned. Maybe dandelions?? They have plenty in Russia. He will bob his head to music sometimes. He does a happy dance in his high chair. He still doesn't like cold drinks or cold things in general. He doesn't love being told that it is bedtime. He doesn't like having his teeth brushed. He doesn't really know what to think of our dogs, but he already loves the cat. Sometimes he will wave and say "BaBa". That is the closest thing to English words, other than "Dada", that we have got out of him. Oh he babbles and squeaks all the time and I'm really not concerned about his progress right now. In fact right now I just want to have some quiet days at home and hopefully this next week will bring a few. Whew! I hope that was enough Xavier-ims for now. =) More to come later.

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