Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Levi!

Posted by Angie at 7:00 AM 6 comments
Can you believe it?!  That this little face...

...is now a year old?!

Wow.  Wow.  Wow.  I am so excited to share what we have been up to these past few months!  I get so many e-mails from y'all (and I love it), so here are the answers the most frequently asked questions.  And, of course, lots of pictures!

How are we?
Amazing.  We are tired, exhausted, busy.  But SO happy.  Unbelievably happy.  Levi fits in our family so well.  He is active, loud, and loves to play outside.  We love being parents.

How is Levi?
Growing strong.  Eating well.  Babbling.  Mimicking.  He just started walking last week!  He is a high energy child with a lot of spunk.  With lots of spunk comes some tantrums and tears, but also the biggest smiles and laughs you have ever seen.  This kid has PERSONALITY!

How's the bonding?
We have been so blessed.  We prayed and prepared months before Levi for his adjustment.  In Taiwan, we worked on eye contact, laughter, and lots of cuddles.  When we arrived home, no one but Nathan and I held Levi for a full month (not even our parents).  It was hard and we ruffled some feathers, but it was the right move for our family.  I took baths with him, we fed him anytime he wanted, and we did everything we could to build trust and comfort.  If he cried, we picked him up immediately.  We met his every need.  I wore him in a baby carrier and he didn't start school/daycare until I absolutely had to go back to work--and even now, it's part time.  All this, combined with a whole lot of God's love, has helped us attach strongly.  This kid = our heart...and he lights up when we are around too!

Does he sleep through the night?
I get this question a lot, surprisingly!  No, he doesn't ;-)  We've got him down to about one feeding a night, which is SO much better than it was.  For the first couple months, we woke up often.  Levi went through a stage where he only took bottles from me at night, which made things especially difficult.  Slowly, we worked him up to taking bottles from my husband at night too.  We never discouraged his nighttime waking...any time he woke, we fed him and cuddled, to build trust.  We did discourage nighttime playtime by keeping the lights off, our voices low, and refusing to leave the bedroom with him. 

You mentioned co-sleeping in an earlier post.  Was that a part of the plan?
Honestly--no.  Levi's room doubles as the guest room, so we anticipated the possibility of sleeping in that room for the first few weeks, but never in bed with us.  But in Taiwan, babies and toddlers share beds with their parents (no cribs), so we ended up co-sleeping in a hotel.  Levi loved it so much that it brought comfort to him once we were home!  After a couple months, we eased him into his crib, but continue to share a room.  Now that he is one, we plan to make the transition back into our room!  Moral of the story--be flexible--I am so happy we did what we did because it worked so well for our family (but every family is different)!

How did the transition to American food go?
When we brought Levi home, he was 7 months.  In Taiwan, he had formula and baby cereal.  Once home, we switched him to an American formula (with no issues, whew).  Food, however, was another story.  He was not a fan of flavor!  For weeks, we mixed baby purees with the Taiwanese baby cereal, to make it bland.  Eventually, his taste buds adjusted, and now, he is a relatively adventurous eater!  We are adding in solids now, with mixed success.  We have a carb-loving child!  Grits, bread, tortilla, pita, pasta = favorites.  Slowly, he is accepting some healthier options, like bananas, black beans, peas, green beans, fish, blueberries, strawberries, and hummus.  Luckily for us, we have a little chunker, so we try not to worry too much when he rejects a meal or two!

What are you doing for his first birthday?
A small family party...the theme: "Our little sprout is turning one!"  More to come on this.

Do you still have any contact with Taiwan?  What about Levi's birth mother?
We are blessed to say...YES!  We have mailed several batches of pictures.  A small dragon bracelet for our "Year of the Dragon" baby on her birthday.  A photo book and drawing by Levi.  Short notes.  We love hearing from Taiwan and miss it terribly.

And the #1 question we get...are you adopting again?  And if so, when?!
No Comment.  ;-)  But I hope to be answering this soon!  Like...this fall?  And it should be fun.  It might involve a new blog!  I miss y'all.  So...stay tuned!
Kinda lonely in here all by myself, don't you think?
Much love,
Blessed Mama
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