Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quirky Thoughts

Just some things I think about. I think I'll list them. Why not?
  1. People often comment that Xavier resembles J.J. or myself in outward appearance and they always act so pleasantly surprised. I suppose that the way he looks is a good thing, but it just never mattered to me. I really didn't care if he looked one bit like us. I suppose maybe very early on, but you really have to examine the way to think about your family and your legacy when you commit to adoption and so I went through all that long ago. What amazes me are the traits he possesses that help him "fit" if you will into our family. He loves cottage cheese. He loves music and is always ready to dance. He smiles when you hand him a book. He hates to brush his teeth. He would be content to spend the majority of his day in water. These things and many others are traits that J.J. and/or I possess. These are the things that pleasantly surprise me.
  2. What is with the publishers of books for babies? I'm totally serious, we have one "shapes" book and it took me awhile to figure out how they got a triangle out of the photograph for triangle. It just must not take much to produce a book for babies these days. I have quickly and happily moved on to mostly children's pictures book. Whew!
  3. Okay, I know I asked for this, but we went from one hard to pronounce name to another. Picking our child's name was this huge dilemma. We had Xavier all picked out, but then we liked Aleksey. At the same time I knew that he would end up being called Alex, so we decided to keep it as his middle name and use Xavier for his first name. I also knew people would pronounce his name X-Zavier, but it has been surprising just how frequently that happens. I usually don't correct them. It just doesn't seem worth it, but so you can all confidently say his name we are pronouncing it Zavier (pretend the x sounds like the beginning of xylophone).
I'm all out of thoughts for tonight. I'm sure more will come to me. Just on a really happy note, Xavier is currently sound asleep in his pack-n-play in a hotel room. I successfully got him completely asleep by 8:40pm even though we are in a brand new place and his dad was gone to a class for coaches. Thank You Jesus! Keep those prayers coming. We are going to get this falling asleep thing figured out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Showers of Blessings

Things are going well around our house. Xavier's sleeping has improved tremendously since we moved him back into our room. He now sleeps in there at nap time and at bed time. He still takes a long time to fall asleep some nights, but he stays asleep until it is time to get up in the mornings. Praise the Lord! Thanks so much for the prayers. I am feeling much more calm about the situation. We have tried going for a walk while pushing Xavier in the stroller in the evenings, but that did not lessen the time it took him to fall sleep. It was nice for us as a family though. The best approach still seems to be rocking while singing, then rocking while praying and thanks to my great grandma, via my parents, we now have a beautiful old rocking chair that saves my back and keeps me from walking around in circles. We had a nice shower that our friends and local churches hosted last weekend. We got some nice very nice things. In fact J.J. is driving right now to pick up the swing set that was our hostess gift. We have been told it is part of the experience to have the dad put the whole thing together alone. Hmm? We might have to forgo that one. We also got some awesome hand-me-downs from J.J.'s cousin and his wife, including 3 car seats! WhooHoo! Then we picked up a cute storage unit for all the random toys with a gift card from our first baby shower. We are getting this place to feel more like a home for three people all the time. Thanks so much everyone!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not Mr. Photogenic...Except

Our son is really cute, but it is awful trying to capture that on camera.

Oh, that one was almost so cute!

Then we have the "I'm too fast for you Momma" shots.

The "finger in my mouth" shots

The "Really? You're taking my picture again?" shots

And, of course, the "I want to be up there with you!"shots

These pictures make the next few photos just as amazing as they should be. The next few pictures were taken by our friend Lindsey Danner. She is a professional photographer and she agreed before we even left to take our first family pictures after we came home. I've know Lindsey my whole life, literally, and she is a beautiful woman, inside and out. She does some wonderful things with a camera. If you are looking for a photographer and you live anywhere near us you really should contact her.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The 411 on Sleeping

Inquiring minds want to know and who am I to withhold information from said inquiring minds. Let's see...Day 1 in the hotel in Ark Xavier went to sleep within 10 minutes of being put in the crib. I'm sure that was his routine in the baby home and he was still in shock that day. All the days in Russia we were very strict with his schedule, except days we flew. He had his nap at the scheduled time and he started the bedtime process at the scheduled time. We gave him a bath every night. We did slowly start to change things. We dropped the bed time snack while in Russia. J.J. insisted that letting him sleep with us was good for bonding (he is usually right by the way, which can be frustrating) so he starting laying with J.J. in the mornings after I got up. We also tried laying beside him to get him asleep at nap time. I starting rocking him to sleep. I could not be outdone at this bonding business. We spent 10 days in Russia with Xavier and then came home. He spent the first 2 weeks at home in a pack-n-play in our bedroom. We did not have a baby monitor and we did not want to risk not hearing him wake up. He slept fairly well those 2 weeks. He would usually spend the last few hours of each morning with us in bed or with J.J. in bed. He flops like a fish though and after one long/short night in a hotel on the way home from his check-up in which we had to share a tiny bed I had almost gave up on letting him sleep with us at all. Week 3 we got a baby monitor and moved him into the crib in his room. Oh, he had been taking naps in his room all along. The first night was super smooth and I thought "Yes! This is going to work". The rest of that week was rough! We did all the same things we always had but he was not falling asleep or staying asleep. In retrospect I don't think he was ready to be in that room all alone. Then he got a cough and a runny nose. He would wake himself up coughing. We have now moved him back to the pack-n-play in our room. The last two nights have been much better, even with a late drive home from a baseball game he fell right asleep in the car seat and stayed asleep expect for one coughing fit, but he went right back asleep. Thanks for all the prayers!! That is the best help you can give. We will keep working on his routine to make it the best possible for all of us.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Coloring in the coloring book. We also color on the table, on the couch and on the wall. =)

This pool was not very durable and it has already bit the dust, but it was super fun while it lasted!

I caught him reading the book from bedtime this morning. Too cute!

He got the baby powder open when I turned my back to grab a diaper. The room smelled really good after this adventure.

He loves anything with light including this flashlight. I so glad children enjoy simple things!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our New Normal

First I would like to say that I have tried to blog twice and I've had technical difficulties both times, but to my credit I have tried twice. Okay, things are different around our home. Different even from the first few days at home. We've had our warm fuzzy days of euphoria and now we are settling into the dailiness of parenting. It is good, don't get me wrong, but it is also tough. Xavier is still pretty easy going. He now says up, (pl)ease, bye bye, allo (hello, but only when he is pretending to talk on the phone), upa (open), ball, and oh yeah! He can sign more, please, thank you, finished, and he did chicken once. He is still eating fairly well, but I really think he eats less now that in the first few weeks. He will now tell us when he is finished eating. He will also tell us when he is finished in the car seat or when he is finished in the shopping cart which unfortunately usually doesn't correspond to when we are actually finished. He does throw some fits now, which is perfectly normal for his age and shows a level of comfort with us as his caregivers. Doesn't make them any more fun though. He can make the sound for cats, dogs, and I really think he did a sheep today. He laughs really hard when J.J. tosses him up, when you play games like "cover his head with a hat" or "make mock surprised faces". He also thinks sprinklers are hilarious. We had his first check-up and it went really well, except he is anemic. We now have iron supplements but I'm not entirely sure how we are suppose to get this medicine in his body because it is suppose to be mixed with 8 oz. of water and we are already stretching it to get him to drink one sippy full of Pediasure a day and one sippy full of pedialight a day. We had to drop juice because he was having diarrhea. I might have to call that doctor again on that one. The biggest challenge is sleep. He has fought sleep from the second day. It makes sense; we are still one step above strangers, he is still in a strange place, he doesn't really know that we will be here when he wakes up, we don't really know how sleeping was at his first home or in the baby home. I try really hard to keep those things in mind, but I just don't do well without sleep. I never knew how much I valued my sleep until this little person came along and pushed me beyond my limits. We try to keep a routine going, but our summer schedule is pretty lax. We now give him a snack, read a story, play this little song/video from a Russian children's program "Spakoina Nochie" (which I would highly recommend other adoptive parents watching on You Tube even if it is just for the experience because it is interesting at least and seems to be soothing to him), rock him while singing and then rock him while praying. Some nights it works, some nights is doesn't. That is the troublesome part. I wish I could make one whole week as uniform as possible so we could eliminate some of the variables and maybe have a better idea why things keep going downhill, but that seems to be impossible. For now, we just do our best. We have taken some pictures, but I better sleep while I can. Da Zaphtra!