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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Four Month Update!

We made it to month four with our Jack! Since my last post, everyone keeps asking how we are doing.  To which I would reply, "it depends on which day you ask me." ;) A few days after my last post, Jack, all of the sudden, started acting happy again. Thank the Lord! I was hoping I would be lucky enough to only have a month of experiencing Jack's testing phase, but he didn't want to quite let it go completely. ;) Some days, Jack is here and happy to be a part of our family, and some days he still hurts and tests us.  So, some days are great for us and some days are hard, but at least we get some great days! ;)

After my last post, I also got some great tips from my adoptive friends and how they handle discipline. I received some much needed encouragement and was glad to hear that I wasn't alone again. After a while, we finally found a method that Bry and I were comfortable with and started putting it into practice with him.  As much as we hate having to discipline him, we have found that Jack responds very well to it. We were so worried we were hurting his grieving process further, but after practicing this consistently with him this past month, he really seems to know not just that he did something his mommy and daddy didn't approve of, but more importantly, that his mommy and daddy still love him in spite of it, and that we will always be there for him.  We are always quick to give him a hug and kiss afterwards and he seems to welcome it every time. Afterwards, he is a happy little guy. I'm sure we are still not doing everything right and this method may not always be the best for him in the future, but it works now, and Bryan and I really feel like we have actually gotten closer to Jack from it. Go figure!
We have had a busy month with Jack. I've still been a little scared to bring him out to places, but overall, he has done really well. My family came down for Labor Day and stayed with us. We had everyone packed like sardines in our home, but it was the best time! We spent the weekend hanging out and doing fun stuff like going to a local petting zoo, carriage ride in downtown Charleston, slip and slide in the backyard, and watching Pop's opening Alabama game of course! To our shock, Jack did great being out and about and playing with his cousin Cooper. He actually shared his toys a couple times. ;) Cooper is quickly becoming Jack's good buddy I think. ;) Here is a video of Jack on the slip and slide...

We also took Jack to the beach for the first time. I'm not the biggest fan of the beach (it takes too much planning and sand gets everywhere!), but we wanted to see how Jack liked it. Well, it was clear that Jack did not share his mother’s feelings of the beach once we got there!  We rolled him up in his wagon, and as soon as he saw the waves, he kept saying, "woah! woah!" Once he got loose, he immediately ran to the ocean and took a face plant right into sand and a wave crashed right on top of him! But that didn't stop him! He got right back up and wanted to go out further.  It took all we had to hold on to him as he tried to get out of our arms and swim away! He got water in his face from a few of the bigger waves, and would just wipe it away with a smile. He never cried once--well, except when we took him out of the ocean. ;) The bugs were BAD that day, so we decided to take our picnic to a park close by. Jack sat next to us on a big open field eating his dinner like a good little boy, even though there was a playground full of children 100 yards away. After dinner, we walked Jack out to the pier and watched the sunset under the Charleston bridge. That was a great day! Here’s is a video of Jack at the beach…

Jack got to meet more of his family this month. He met and got to spend a little time with Bry's cousin, Timmy and his wife, Ashton. And just this last weekend, we took him up to Irmo to meet his cousin, Emmy, his Uncle Griff, Aunt Lisa, and Aunt Morgan. He also got to meet his great-grandparents, Meme and Pop Pop. The family threw him a “Welcome to the Family” party and he was spoiled with cake, presents, and love! It was such a joy for us to have him meet his family, and to be able to spend time with these people that were such a big part in praying as we waited for him to finally be a part of our family. I can’t wait to see him grow closer to them and make many more memories.

So what else is new with Jack? 

He is growing fast!  He weighs 27.7 lbs. and has grown a ¼ of an inch in the last month (by our accounts).   

He has lots of funny facial expressions.  He often uses them to try to manipulate us with when he knows he did something he isn’t supposed to. ;)   

We got him a potty, but I can tell it's still too early for him to learn. He just likes to sit on it when mommy and daddy go. :)

He is still obsessed with books and loves his First Signs book. His favorite sign right now, is for baby. He does his own version of the sign, but the way he says, “Baby” is so cute. He is quiet and gentle and gets the sweetest smile on his face when he says it.  His other favorite book is Bee Bim Bop. He asks for “Bop” every night.  

He knows how to stall now, especially when it’s time for a nap or bedtime.  He pulls out all his tricks; on our way to bed, he will stop and look at a picture to point out everyone in it; sometimes he acts like he's forgotten how to go up the steps; he turns the pages backwards in the book we are reading when we get close to the end, etc. ;) Here is a video of our night time routine. You can see some of his stall tactics here:

He has been doing great talking.  He is basically repeating or trying to repeat everything we say now. He is like a little parrot, especially when mommy is on the phone. I never realized how much I said “um,” until I got Jack. ;) He likes to say, “oh, wow!” “ah wight! (alright!),” “Go! Go! Go!” and “ba dog (bad dog).”  “Oh man!” is now replaced with “sooz shee (excuse me), after he burps or passes gas. ;) He also says “sinky (stinky)” whenever I change his diaper or he smells his feet. ;)

He surprises me almost every day with something new he has learned.  He has started singing bits and pieces of the “ABC” song and “Jesus Loves Me.” I always thought I would just start bawling when I heard my child sing Jesus’s name for the first time, but he took me so off guard, I didn’t know how to react.  I hope to get it on video one day. 
He also likes to imitate things he sees on TV too.  He really likes seeing dancing and is a fan of PSY’s “Gangnam Style” song. PSY is from South Korea, so, of course, we encourage Jack’s interest in him. ;) This is Jack dancing to PSY on the Ellen show…

He is starting to get a little picky with his food. Some days I think I am feeding him something he will love and he will just pick at it.  I knew this day would come, I just hope it doesn’t get too bad. Hopefully it will be a short phase. ;) He still eats more than some toddlers I’ve seen, so I'm trying not to complain.

He is still sleeping well, but it isn’t as consistent as it used to be. Lately, he has been waking up during the night crying a few times a week. He also starts to fuss now a little when we put him down. He used to be so content when we put him in his crib, but I think he is starting to get sad now that we are leaving him. So, really it’s a good thing as he is starting to show his attachment to us. He was starting to show this when we handed him off in the nursery, but now he really cries once we enter the building. He is also coming up to Bryan and I and hugging us on his own. This has brought me great joy to see him doing it without us prompting him. He will just come up to us and hug our leg and say, “awe!” He is also showing signs that he wants to please us. He sometimes will try foods when we ask him, instead of fussing. Our biggest struggle with him now is that he will still scream “NO!” at us if we ask him not to do something, but it has gotten less adamant lately. Slowly but surely, Jack is starting to trust us, and I think we will find a very happy and well-adjusted little boy soon. Hopefully. ;) Here are some pictures from this last month...

Loves his backpack!

Tickle time with Da Da.

Pucker up!

Story time with Pop.


Cooper and Jack at Bee City.

Slip and Slide Fun!

Roll Tide!

Charleston carriage ride.

Doing good at Bubba Gumps. ;)

Eating fries with chop sticks. ;)

Da Da teaching Ping Pong.

"Man, I have some BIG shoes to fill!"

He even liked the sand!
Yum! PB&J sandwich.
Go! Go! Go!
Meeting Aunt Morgan on her birthday!
Cousins (and Morgan) at Ninna and Papa's house.

Meeting his great grandmother, Meme.

Meeting his great grandfather, Pop Pop.

Pushing Ya Ya on the swing.