I cannot believe we are 3 months home with our Eli!!! I also can't believe that I've neglected this blog for the last month! Shame on me! I will do better this month, and I will get caught up on several previous posts that I've begun, but not yet published.
So much has happened in the last month...it's CRAZY busy around here : ). There is sooo much to catch up on.
First, we've had our second check in with our social worker. Only one more visit in January, and we should be ready for finalization! The second check in went well, except that Eli was as hyper as I've ever seen him. He was a very active toddler that morning, and he definitely showed off a bit.
We have done a lot of bonding as a family this month, and Eli has definitely developed attachments to both of us (and we to him!!). We love this sweet baby more than we imagined possible : ).
Okay....so what's new this month?
The biggest change is that Eli has had to start daycare/pre-school. Patrick and I are officially back at work, and our family leave time has ended, except for doctor's appointments, and the like. We are very happy with the child care we have selected, and the Jacksons, who run the daycare/pre-school are excellent at what they do. Eli is in a very small group, receives a lot of one-on-one attention, and is learning a TON!! Eli does cry when we drop him off, but it's more just to let us know that he wants us to stay. As soon as he goes back to his classroom, he gets distracted and quits crying! He actually likes both of his teachers a great deal, and voluntarily gave them hugs at a recent field trip outing to Southern Belle Farm (we had so much fun at the farm that I will dedicate an entire post to it later). He also really likes the other kids, and is good at following their lead. He seems to really enjoy the food that the Jacksons prepare, and they have told me each day that he is eating very well. Taking naps away from home is still an elusive skill for him, but hopefully he will relax more about napping as we get into a good routine. He has returned to some of his disrupted sleep patterns because of the transition, but Patrick and I have both noticed that these sleep interruptions are not nearly as bad as when Eli first came home, and they already seem to be disappearing again.
Oh, wow....I still can't believe that Eli is 20 months old. Where have the last 3 months gone? He has gotten so much bigger, too! Just two weeks ago, I started retiring his 9-month sized clothing, but now, quite of few of his 12-month clothes are now on the small side, too! He is still somewhat underweight, but he is eating like a horse and should catch up. I will have to update his sidebar picture very soon!
Eli's physical abilities have always seemed rather advanced to me, but he is not slowing down in that area. Our son is very strong for his age and size. He can support his weight for small amounts of time, unassisted, hanging from the rings, parallel bars, and the "high bar" in gymnastics class (it's actually low enough for Eli to stretch and reach it). His balance is fantastic for his age, and he is learning to jump up and down (as well as jumping off of certain objects) quite stably. He also is turning somersaults (forward) quite well - and he thinks it is hilarious to do so. This means we have our work absolutely cut out for us keeping up with him!
We have been taking potty training at Eli's pace. Since school presents another transition for Eli, I haven't been pushing anything else new right now. But, he is showing signs of readiness. He will tell us "dirty diaper" when he feels like he needs a change, he loves to wear underwear for a couple hours every evening, and yesterday he said "pee pee" to tell me he needed to go (though we ended up with wet feet because it was a little short notice).
Eli also likes doing his "chores" which include "helping" feed the animals (we put the food in the dishes and he is very good about taking each dish to the correct dog or cat), putting his own dirty clothes in his hamper, and "helping" wash clothes on Sunday afternoon. He enjoys helping his grandpa water the plants at their house...and the firewood, and the grill, and the grass, and his shoes, ... you get the picture : ). He also loves to "help" cook - stirring cold ingredients, using child safe scissors (with our help) to cut small items like green onions, parsley, etc.
What's next....:LANGUAGE! We have had a sudden spurt in this department. Eli had been gaining a few words a week, and doing a little bit of parroting. Now that he is in school, his desire to communicate with the other kids has him learning new words every day! It's been really funny to hear him correctly use new words when he comes home, like "monkey" (he was pointing to monkeys on his PJs). This month, the kids are learning about furry animals, the colors pink and yellow (it's hysterical to hear Eli try to say "yellow"), circles, and the number 4. Although Eli does know the difference between having one of something and two of something, I think the number 4 will definitely take a while. He still tries to count to 3 the way he Uncle Lee taught him, though it comes out as Ga, GA, GGAAAAA! He is still struggling to say words that don't necessarily have 2 syllables, which is really cute. We took him to an Alpaca show last weekend, where he fell in LOVE with the alpacas...but he can't really say "alpaca." My mom ended up buying him a stuffed alpaca toy, which Eli has fallen head over heels in love with...it's now his favorite toy! He calls it "Alpie" or "Paca" as the mood strikes him. The other day, Toby (the dog) grabbed "Alpie" on his way outside. Eli freaked out (for good reason), shrieking "DOGGIE PACA, DOGGIE ALPIE PACA, DOGGIE DOGGIE PACA," until we were able to retrieve (and clean) poor Alpie - who, I might add, is none the worse for wear!
Eli is also starting to put together more than one word to create meaning, and his favorite word this week is "Hi." He loves to call his grandparents on the phone (he calls them all grandpa) just to say "Hi." He also will stop in the middle of doing something naughty, and when he is caught, he stops and says "Hi." He loves to shriek in his bed to wake us up, but when we look to see what's wrong, he smiles and says "Hi." You get the picture. We've said "Hi" to one another for 40 minutes straight on more than one occasion!
At any rate, Eli is growing and learning and getting into mischief just as any other toddler would. I have quite a few new pictures and videos coming up in future posts!! But for now, I couldn't resist leaving off without another little picture!