Sunday, March 4, 2012

February Update

Looking back through the past year of this blog, I've really slowed the frequency of updates on the boys.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the boys!  We've also been attempting to get back into the swing of  a full school schedule.

About the boys:

Travis and Tian are inseparable best friends and brothers.  Almost daily, Ken and I comment on how happy we are to have brought them home together.  Seeing them love each other so much just confirms to us what God was impressing on our hearts over a year ago.  Adopting two certainly didn't seem completely logical at the time, but we just knew it was what we were supposed to do.  They were both our boys and we needed to bring them home!

Tian is 2 1/2.  He's adding new signs and words to his vocabulary every day.  His most recent favorite is "WATCH!"  He says, "VAtsss" while he signs it by putting his "3" handshape so close to his face that his two fingers almost touch his eyes.   He loves loves loves to be surrounded by all of his siblings, even though one or two of them drive him nuts sometimes.  True siblings!  Tian also likes to snuggle and cuddle.

Today, we went to a ZVRS event where the boys had fun playing.  Tian saw his friend, Alexis who is a month younger than he.  They were too cute!  They hugged and held hands and were ornery together.  At one point, her dad took her to the restroom.  Tian immediately was asking (by signing) "GIRL? WHERE?"  I explained that she was in the bathroom.  Instantly, Tian needed to go potty.  We walked into the women's restroom.  When Tian didn't see Alexis, he asked, "GIRL?"  I explained (using her sign name, signing and speaking) that she was in the other restroom with her daddy.  Tian signed, "ALEXIS, DADDY, POTTY."   When we walked back out away from the restrooms, Tian pointed at the men's room door and signed it again.  Once we got back out into the restaurant, there she was!  He made a bee-line to her and held out his arms for a hug.

From a language perspective, I couldn't help but notice how I had told Tian his friend was in the bathroom (using the sign "toilet" with a "t.").  He then commented that she went to "potty," signing "p" on the nose.  When they first got home, the "p" sign was used for everything related to going to the bathroom.  They quickly learned the sign for "poop," (what bilingual toddler doesn't learn that one?) but the ability to interchange words like "potty" and "toilet" tell me he understands the language on a deeper level.  I'm not sure I'm explaining it well, but it was interesting to see.  And totally adorable.

Travis continues to amaze us with his smarts and personality.  He doesn't like to be corrected, especially by his siblings.  The other day, Hannah was correcting Travis for some reason I forgot.  After explaining to him his mistake, Hannah ended with asking him, "Understand?"  He's expected to respond with, "I understand."  He signed "Understand," but with his pinky finger and an ornery look on his face.  We laughed and laughed!  That's a very clever use of ASL and we did not teach him that.  These little things are more fun to see than I can express.

Last night, Ken told Travis to leave his shoes at the bottom of the stairs.  Travis, smiling, kept walking up the wooden stairs.  Ken, more firmly this time, told him to take his shoes off.  Travis sat on the bottom step while Ken removed the shoes.  Travis barely touched his heels to the marble floor, quickly pulled his feet back up, and fussed, "It's cold!!"  I had to fight back laughter.

Travis had a Skype visit with his friend, Madelyn!  They were very best buddies in the orphanage. (If you missed it, you can read about their friendship here.)  Madelyn's parents recorded some of their chat. You can see the video here.

Chillaxing by the pool!
Both boys are able to communicate most any basic need or want, what they like and don't like, that they are looking for something or someone.  They are also able to communicate not-so-basic ideas such as, "Nana and Pappy will be here soon" or "Daddy is flying home tomorrow."

While they can tell us something that they have seen in the past, they can't really explain things that happened in the past.  Sometimes, one of the boys will start crying.  When I walk into their room, I can tell one of them is the cause of the other's crying.  I can't usually figure out what happened.  They don't yet tell me, "He hit me" or "He took my truck."  They will do something like point and sign, "truck" while fussing, but I can never get out of them the story.  I keep reminding myself that they are only 7 months old language-wise, and I know the story-telling will come.

Creative school break