It blows my mind, but one year ago today, Lara and I drove to Karachev to meet Alex for the first time. What a blur! As you can see from the pictures, he’s changed quite a bit in that year. Not only has his fashion sense changed, but he’s much bigger, and a lot more active.
That first day was crazy. We got to spend all of about 2 minutes with Alex, and then we were whisked away to meet other children. As we were leaving the home that day, we weren’t even entirely sure which child we were being matched with. Yet here we are, a world away, back in Colorado.
The boys continue to develop by leaps and bounds. Both boys have been advanced one class in their day care. That pretty much catches them up with the other children their age. Sure, they’re still a little bit behind where a typical kid might be, but they’re gaining fast.
Alex is pushing the boundaries of speaking. He now has several “words”. They’re still fairly muddled, but we can understand him well enough. Earlier this week he spoke his first sentence – “Mama coo-coo” (cooking). Up until now, everything has basically been one word statements, so this seems like a good step. He’s also pretty much regularly using the potty now. Of course, he’s still regularly using his diaper too, but we’re making progress.
Evan has really become a chatter bug. We’re pretty much fully conversant with him now. He still has a few standby Russian words that he’s clinging too, but there’s a ton of English in there too. He now recognizes the difference between Russian and English, and sometimes points out the Russian word for something. For example, tonight he saw a picture of Alex drinking juice from back at the orphanage, and he said “Mama, in Russian – cok (sohk)”, which means juice. We haven’t used that word with him in a couple of months, so we were both thoroughly impressed with his recollection.
I think we’ve finally found our sense of balance as a family after the holidays. As if by magic, we suddenly just feel normal. Clearly, it isn’t the pre-kids normal. Lara got to practice her “Super Nanny Timeout Technique” tonight with Evan. She had to keep putting him back on his chair for about half and hour before he finally sat still for his 3 minutes. That’s fairly typical around here, but at the same time it just feel like this is how it’s supposed to be.
All in all, things are going pretty well. We’re keeping the boys as busy as we can. Alex is in swimming lessons, and Evan is in basketball. We hope to get Evan in a swim lesson session in February, and Alex into some tumbling. They are both really enjoying the activities, and we’re enjoying letting them burn some energy. Now if we could just get them to go to bed!