Work and Play

Although our postings are slowing down, the list of “firsts” continues to grow. I started back to work part time this week. Separation on the first day was pretty rough. Evan kept shouting “papa, papa!” as far as I could hear, but by the second day, he seemed to accept it as part of the normal routine. I’ve honestly been thankful for the little breather that my 4 hours at work would provide. The boys are great and all, but 24/7 gets pretty stressful.

The transition is continuing for all of us, and it is really going well. Both boys test us at times, but thinking back on how far they’ve come, it is truly incredible. Evan is picking up English very quickly. He will still default to Russian, but we’re hearing a lot about Bacchus (Bacchus is sleeping, Bacchus is drinking, Bacchus is downstairs, Bacchus is outside…). Both boys’ comprehension is expanding at a phenomenal rate. I can tell Evan to get his truck out of the closet, and he will. I can ask Alex if I should tickle his feet, and he’ll hold his feet up. I could go on and on…

It has been a typically gorgeous Colorado fall. The weather has been fantastic, and we’ve been trying to get outside as much as possible. We have visited our little neighborhood park several times, and we’re spending some of our time in front of the house playing with various toys. Evan has decided he is bored with the tricycle and wants to move up to the dirt bike that a friend gave us (training wheels, of course). He’s getting better, but his strength and coordination won’t quite let him pedal up any sort of incline. We have some video of this. I may not get it added tonight, but check back. It’s fun to watch.

Thursday we had an appointment with a dietician to make sure we were feeding the boys reasonably well. Our main fear is overeating, since both boys’ appetites seem to be insatiable. She reassured us that although they are eating much more than typical children their age, as long as they weren’t vomiting, we were doing alright. She commented that their diets are very healthy, so we’re feeling pretty good about that.

We have a little concern about Alex’s tendency to “pocket” food. He will shove everything he can in his mouth as fast as possible. We’ve tried to pull his plate away temporarily to slow him down. We’ll check his mouth to see if he’s swallowed before we let him have another bite, but we’ve learned that he’s just storing the food somewhere. I’m reminded of a cow chewing his cud. That’s one of those little orphanage habits we’ll be working on for a while.

Friday morning we took the boys to day care (aka school) for the first time. We just went for an hour, and we stayed with them the whole time. Evan seemed to take it very well. He jumped in and played with the other kids, and during circle time, he repeated the words the teacher asked him to (including the color magenta, which surprised everyone in the room). Alex was a little more hesitant, but that’s his style. We’re going to do the same thing on Monday, and if it goes well, we’ll try to leave them there on their own for a couple of hours on Tuesday.

After school, we had a post-placement follow-up with our agency. This is a requirement from the state of Colorado for all adoptive parents. We’ll have several of these over the next 15 years (believe it or not). The next one is in about 5 months. The social worker was shocked at how calm the boys seemed to be – so were we, by the way. She commented several times that they and we were doing great. I guess it’s good to hear, but maybe just once, I’d like someone to suggest something we could do better. Any tips on getting hyperactive 3 year-olds to nap, anyone?

The boys are sleeping better at night. They still get up once or twice, and there are no naps during the day. Both of them have shown that they are obviously tired, but they only sleep at inopportune times. Evan actually fell asleep half-way through dinner Friday night. We had to clap out hands to wake him up! Hopefully they’ll settle down soon and start getting the sleep they need.

We took them in for their first hair cut (as Americans anyway) this afternoon. Both of them handled it very well. Evan especially thought he was pretty cool with some gel in his hair. Alex still needs to let some hair grow out, but he got a quick trim and gelled up into a mohawk, so he was stylin’ too.

It was such a nice night, we decided to have dinner out on the deck. Both boys were obviously curious about this, but they enjoyed it very much. Afterwards, we went down by the fire pit for some Teddy Grahams and a little outdoor nighttime fun. In one of those moments that you just had to be there for, we asked Evan (in English) if he had ever seen a fire before. His reply was a very casual “da” (yes). When we asked him “where”, he replied in a very nonchalant tone “tam!” (there), as he pointed across the open space. As if he regularly visited our neighbors and sat around their fire. It was just too cute to describe in words.

That’s all for now.

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3 thoughts on “Work and Play”

  1. Fantaatic pictures and video. I love the write up. They are changing all the time. Getting more and more outgoing and smiling alot. Can wait to see you. Talk to you soon. Love you all Love Mom and Grandma.

  2. The video is AWESOME!! Love to see their personalities hanging around home! Pics are so adorable too! Is it just me, or are their smiles getting bigger everyday???:)

  3. I first viewed the posting at somewhere around midnight Saturday (using my smart phone)… but if you read the email I sent earlier today, then you’ll realize, why this is several hours later in coming…

    The pictures are magnificent! Once again, I’ve saved them all… but am filled with the sense, if I could only choose “1 or 2”, how on Earth, could I possibly make a choice.

    The “first haircut” pictures are something any parent would prize forever. I modestly “cropped” the picture of Evan swinging… and what a GREAT picture! They all have such a level of fine, detailed resolution and “presence”… I’d think a “collage” of them, would make a veritable “historic” collection! Please, please… keep an “off site” backup collection, as they are “just that good”. What a proud “office” wall piece, that would make!!

    I can not help but reflect on this week’s posting, without considering, the changes in the lives of 2 little boys, in merely 3 or 4 weeks! Their level of apparent “stimulation” and “interest”… (and perhaps achievement of belief and trust), are something to behold!

    It’s as though I can’t express a sufficent amount of enthusiasm!

    Dad