Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Best First Christmas Ever

This post is dedicated to all the families who are waiting for their kids to come home from Kyrgyzstan. May the new year bring your precious babies home to you.

We spent a few days around Christmas in Los Angeles with my family. Dylan had a blast exploring Grandma and Grandpa's house. You would have thought this kid was in Disneyland.

He got to open and close a ton of cabinets and doors (yes, his favorite activities right now)

He got to toddle up and down the best hallway ever

He got to eat a bunch of Christmas treats

He go to play the piano

He was held and loved by everyone.

He got to open so many cool presents

The only thing we couldn't seem to get Dylan to do was sit still with mom and dad for a family photo next to the Christmas tree.

Overall, it was the best first Christmas ever!!! It was so much fun, it blew him away...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Can't Wait 'Til Christmas

Several of my family members visited us the week after Thanksgiving. They missed Dylan so much as they haven't seen him since the birthday party in early October. My sister Joanne missed the party so she was extra motivated to get her Dylan time. My 2 sisters, my brother and my mom made the drive up from Los Angeles and San Diego to hang out with us. OK, who am I kidding? They came to hang out with Dylan.

Fortunately, Dylan did not disappoint. He was still up when they got here on Friday night and was Mr. Adorable Extraordinaire.

The next day, we decided to go to the Oakland Zoo to see Santa and some animals. We found out that at 14 months, Dylan is a little too young to be interested in looking at animals. We thought that may be the case but he may have liked the petting zoo. Not so... After a sheep that is twice his size grazed him on his way in, it scared Dylan just a little bit. After that, he was more interested in the hay on the ground than any of the animals around. Oh well, maybe next year.

He did have lots of fun in the play structures though, so it wasn't a wasted trip altogether. We even got photos with Santa.

They drove 5 and a half hours to the San Francisco Bay Area. You would think they would at least want to go into the city for a little bit. It seems that they are perfectly content just to hang out in a cold east bay condo with the most awesome, funniest, and cutest little guy in town. He is so worth the drive.

And did I mention that we are going down to see them at Christmas? I guess when you get bit by the Dylan bug, there is only one remedy, to get your dose of Dylan cuteness.

Having fun with Uncle Paul

Playtime with Auntie Joanne

Auntie Marie is making sure I don't topple over.

With Grandma Virgie

Going through tunnels is hard work!

I just like this photo...

A little apprehensive about petting animals

"This is more my speed mom!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Thanksgiving and a Black Eyed Early Christmas

We decided that it was a good idea to take a 14 month old on a plane ride from California to Connecticut. OK, maybe not necessarily a good idea, but an OK one. We wanted to be with Bill's family on Thanksgiving so we decided to make the trip to the east coast. We also decided a red eye flight would be a good idea. Well, in one aspect, it was because we were able to get Dylan to sleep for a majority of the 6 hour flight. On our flight back, let's just say I felt sorry for him, but also for the lady sitting next to us.

Here we are before we left our house for the airport. It was really past his bedtime and he was so cranky, only an apple would do. As you can see, he was falling asleep as he was eating it. It's not the first time he has fallen asleep yet continues to take bites. HILARIOUS.

When we landed in Connecticut at 6 am EST on Thanksgiving Day, he was awake, not in the best of moods, but certainly curious about the cold air, the busy airport and everything else around him. Auntie Kelly and Grandma Pat picked us up from JFK and we drove for a while to get to Darien, to stay with Uncle Bob and Auntie Debi. When we got there, Dylan seems to have found new energy. After all, there a million new things to explore and he got loads and loads of attention from everyone. Katherine and Christopher were home for Thanksgiving so aside from and aunts and uncle, he had cousins to keep him entertained, or should I say he entertained them. Oh yeah, there were also 2 dogs to torture. Hooch and Emma had to tolerate Dylan pulling on them for a few days and they were both really good sports about that.

With Katie Beth and Bibish

Learning that Hoochie doesn't bite, only licks...

He also immediately took it upon himself to learn to climb up some stairs. We spent a good part of the weekend going up and down, but mostly up. Dylan would climb up and I would pick him up and we'd start over. Either that or he thinks he should climb down head first. He picked up the going backwards later on but it wasn't his favorite. He would get a look on his face as if thinking, "I know it worked when I went backwards, but that doesn't make any sense" and he would hesitate, not because he didn't know how to do it, but because he somehow thinks it makes no sense why he would have to go backwards.

He had his first Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn souffle, bread, cranberry relish, raspberry jello, gravy, green beans, and who knows what else. He seemed to really enjoy himself. Uncle Bob made a spot for his high chair at the table and Dylan enjoyed his first thanksgiving meal with his new family. We didn't make a huge deal out of it but it was pretty special. He is pretty special.

One of the most fun activities for Dylan while we were there was to splash his hands in Hooch and Emma's water bowls. He seemed to really love it so Auntie Debi grabbed some towels for the floor and we just let him splash away. Oh the delight in this boy's face as he flooded the floor with water. We cleaned up right after because it would just ruined their beautiful wood floors, but it was so much fun to watch him while it lasted.

A couple of days before we left California, Dylan started to really show an interest in walking. The day we left (Wednesday, he had a small accident at daycare. He pulled up on some shelves, lost balance and hit his forehead, landing him 2 bumps on each side, sort of like where horns would be if he was Pan). Despite the bumps, he continued the same zeal when we got to Connecticut. It was fine for the most part but on Friday night, we were sitting in the family room and he started to walk towards the wooden coffee table. He has a habit of reaching his hands and grabbing for support when he gets to his destination and then squealing with satisfaction. This time, he didn't quite make it. He reached his arms out too soon and missed the table. Instead he fell forward and hit his eye on the edge with a loud thud. This happened while both Bill and I were sitting there watching him. We were horrified. Fortunately, there was no blood, but we knew it would bruise for sure. Debi tried to put some ice on it but the cold only made for louder blood curdling screams. We decided to immediately give him some Tylenol in hopes it would help with the pain. I took him upstairs and held him as he cried himself to sleep. We monitored him all night to make sure he didn't have a concussion. Poor little man.

The next day, his eye was certainly blue and swollen. He had a bump on the bridge of this nose as well, but all in all, the swelling wasn't too bad and neither was the bruising. It was certainly a black eye but we were so thankful it wasn't worse. Dylan didn't act like it bothered him whatsoever. However, I noticed he wasn't attempting to walk so valiantly all day. He would take about 2 steps and sit down and continue to travel on all fours. I don't think he has forgotten the night before just yet. I was happy to see that he isn't as big a knucklehead as we originally thought.

That night (Saturday), we did our early Christmas gift exchange since we were all going to be in different parts of the world during the actual Christmas time. The adults usually get stocking stuffers and one main gift. This rule doesn't apply to kids. So despite the fact that we would be travelling back with anything we received, no one could help but want to buy things for Dylan. He received so many wonderful gifts ranging from stuffed animals that read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to an iPod shuffle and an iHome so he can listen to lullabies, to a multitude of cool toys and clothes. I know that it sounds like a lot of material stuff, but it is also such an act of love and acceptance of Dylan by the whole family. It is so intensely touching to see everyone fall in love with him. It isn't hard because he is super a super adorable and awesome little boy, but I just remember all our hesitation when we first started this adoption journey. I feel foolish now, having spent all that energy worrying because everyone in Bill's and my family have welcomed Dylan with wide open arms and he has taken them by storm in a way we could never have imagined.

With Auntie Debi

With Uncle Bob

With Grandma Pat

With Auntie Kelly

With mommy