Settling into a routine.

Well, its been three weeks since Lawson joined our happy little clan.   As long as his basic needs are met, he is absolutely a joy.  He has gained more than a pound, and is lifting his head regularly.  Michelle has been taking all the night duty stuff, and I have picked up other aspects of daily life to help even the load.  My cooking skills are improving.

The thoughtfulness of friends has been amazing.  The words of encouragement, cards, and emails have been much appreciated.  A neighbor from the early 80’s, Mr. Bolton, knitted a sweater for Lawson (she did one for Logan when he was born as well)  (bye the way, Hi Polly! I’m told you read the blog)

This weekend Michelle’s aunt, niece, and her two kids came to visit, as well as Michelle’s great aunt.  We had a house full, as did Michelle’s sister Deb.   Michelle allowed me to have time to pursue stuff around the house while she and her family did fun things around the area.  I busted my behind to clean out and organize the storage shed, and then work toward getting my workshop organized.  Installing hanging cabinets by yourself is not at all fun,  but it is finally starting to come together.Logan calls Lawson either, “my baby” or “baby Lawson”, and is always wanting to hold him, hug him and kiss him.  Some day when they are 15 and 13 and screaming at each other, maybe I will have them both read this and show them the photographic proof.

Logan holds his little brother Lawson.

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Changes galore are in the works.  We have a new crib for family member yet to be named.  Logan’s new room has been painted with cool new mural like things on the walls.  We are slowly moving stuff to the new house.  We found a reliable contractor to get some work done at the present house and the new house.  That lifts some psychological burdens about how to get everything done before the new guy arrives.   Michelle has arranged movers and she found the contractor.  I was out-of-town much of last week, so she has been the rock of the family.   All this is the “stuff” that occupies our time and thoughts while we get prepared for our new arrival.

I’ve purchased two wireless IP cameras that have full pan and tilt functionality.  Yes, I am a geek. We can watch both cameras from our laptops, and our phones.

Lastly, I need to share another Logan story.  The little man and I went for a drive this morning to pick up my mower from the repair shop.   It was about 20 miles away, so there was plenty of time for us to chat.  On the way home, I had on Sirius/XM’s Classic Vinyl station.  Edgar Winter’s “Free Ride” came on and Logan said, “Loud Daddy”.   We continued driving and listening to 70s era classic rock, and Logan was chair dancing the whole time.  He has got to be the coolest 2-year-old on the planet.

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Sponge Logan

I find it amazing, enlightening and sometimes frightening just how much he absorbs from family, friends, other kids, strangers,  and of course his parents.

I have to say I am proud of him learning and being able to say “umbrella”  Of course, when it is open it instantly becomes a hat.  Just as long as he doesn’t do that same thing at 15 we’ll be fine.

He picked up some sort of bug and is running a slight fever and has a runny nose.  I knew he was able to say “nose” when he wanted his nose wiped, but he pulled a new one out of the hat today.  He walked over to me and said, “Boogers.”  Delightful.  I did not teach him that word.  I have no idea where he learned it.  I’m sure this is only the first of many words he will learn that I wish he hadn’t.

On a different note, I am amazed at his acceptance of technology.  He can work my IPhone.  can retrieve messages from the answering machine using the phone, and knows how to mute and unmute the TV.   I have no idea if these are normal behaviors in a 2 yr old, but they seem advanced to me.  He also thinks all phones should be able to entertain him with a talking cat, a shapes game, or to give him Elmo videos on demand.   His concept of what a phone looks like is completely and totally different from what a kid growing up in my generation would assume was a phone.  He picked up Michelle’s nano ipod yesterday and “answered” it.   Things like that never occurred to me prior to having a child.  Although I still have some, he has probably never seen an album or a cassette tape.  A wired phone, that is just silly.   If he wants to see Elmo right now, he doesn’t have to wait for Sesame Street to come on tv, just fire up You Tube.  When someone holds up a phone in front of their face, he says “CHEESE!”  He recognizes that they are probably taking a picture even though he knows it is a phone.   He knows that music can and does come from the TV.  He’ll point at the TV and say “Moosik”.    He will point at the screen that is the radio/climate control etc in the car and say “Elmo”.  Fully expecting that since it is a thing that looks like a computer or TV that he should be able to watch Elmo on demand there.

My how times and expectations have changed.

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Like father like son.

I suppose it is the expected way to enter the new year to be pensive and reflective.  I have been that way today.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time around other young children over the last several days, and the whole “Nature vs Nurture” argument has been occupying my thoughts.   With an adopted son, you can never be sure how much of what you see developing in your child is the product of their environment or if the biological parents are responsible for what you see your child doing.  I could let that bother me, but I choose a different perspective.  It is like a fantastic surprise and I think maybe it causes an adoptive parent to possibly less of one of those parents who says, “My child is going to be a _____________(insert prestigious profession title here)”   I don’t care what Logan chooses to do, I just want to help him get to where he wants to be.

Back to the whole nature vs nurture thing, I think nurture has an awful lot to do with it.   We have family members who are also adoptive parents, and it is striking to see the interests of their son develop in a way that closely resembles the interests of the parents.  Logan is showing the same kinds of signs.

I am a tool fanatic.  My mantra is you must have the right tool for the job.  Logan has developed an eye for tools as well.  I’m a geek, with somewhat of a knack for figuring out how things work.  Logan LOVES to play with my IPhone, is learning to use a computer, and blows my mind with his knack for figuring out how things work.   The other day, he removed the vacuum cleaner’s canister (bagless kind)  and removed the HEPA filter…….and then reassembled it, correctly, WITHOUT HELP!

He does show an almost savant kind of understanding of some machines.  I had him sitting on my lap while the car was idling a few weeks ago.   He managed to turn on the headlights, wipers, turn signals, changed radio stations,  and changed the climate control, now that might not sound like much, but the car has a touch screen control for the radio and climate control, so he had to navigate the Sync system!   I have nightmares that he will hack the TV so it only displays Barney videos, and I end up wearing a coat with long sleeves that tie in back from hearing, “I love you, you love me.” a million times.


Like father like son.

Categories: Adoption, Happiness, Humor, Parenting | 2 Comments

The honey do list.

Since the weather has turned more favorable to human habitation here in the south, I’ve been able to complete several items on the honey do list.  In the last month or so Michelle and I have replaced every picket on our privacy fence, and finished updating our fireplace.   As you might imagine, having projects such as these going on means that Logan has been exposed to a number of different things an average almost 2 year old probably has not seen;  primarily, a number of tools the average homeowner doesn’t own.  Also, as you might expect, having several projects going on means multiple trips to the local Home Depot.  He has accompanied us there most times we’ve gone, and now seems to recognize the store from the outside and appears to enjoy it.  This suspicion was confirmed this past week when I took him in and Michelle and I went different directions to look for things.  I took Logan with me, and we went to the tool section.   As we walked, finger in hand, and turned the corner into the tool aisle, his eyes lit up, and he said, “OOOOH….TOOLS!”

That’s my boy.



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It boggles the mind….

For any new parents who may be reading this, just stop now…..your child will never measure up to the degree of mind boggling excellence that is my son.  You will never believe what he did today.  In fact, I can hardly believe it.  This morning, as I was toweling off from my shower, Logan came in the bathroom, marched straight to the toilet, looked at me and said, “Pee pee, Pee pee?”  I, still being soaking wet, didn’t want to get his clothes all wet so I called to Michelle who came in and he said it again.  We put his potty seat on the toilet, dropped his pants and diaper, and plopped him on the seat.  He went in the toilet.  Now bear in mind, we’ve only put him on the seat twice before this happened. Twice. (I’ll say it again in case you missed it) TWICE.   Naturally we praised him until we were blue in the face, and he seemed quite pleased with his accomplishment.

This evening, I was washing my hands after having used the restroom, and he marched right past me to the toilet again.  “Pee pee, Pee pee?”  I dropped his pants and diaper, plopped him on the seat, and low and behold he did it again.  My kid is a genius!

Now, I am suffering no illusions that potty training is now completed.  I know full well this is only the beginning, but still, you must admit that is pretty darn amazing!  It wasn’t a fluke.  He did it twice!

I must admit however, that I am not looking forward to the inevitable, “Dad, I’m done.” Translation: Come wipe my butt.  It can’t be any worse than dealing with a wriggling almost 2 year old who does not want to be on his back having his behind wiped.  But, I will not take away from his moment in the spotlight.  My son is amazing.

Fascinated with the camera.

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The best birthday gift

Sometimes the best thing you can receive for a birthday is nothing more than the laughter of your child.

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Yesterday was Easter Sunday. We had Michelle’s folks in town for the weekend , and had a family gathering at our house. My father-in-law is a keen observer, and two weeks ago he relayed a story about Jillian, my niece when she was about 1 1/2. She had gotten something off a shelf and when she was finished with it, Marvin asked her to put it back where she had found it. She picked it up and put it back on a shelf. Marvin said “Jillian, that isn’t the shelf where you found it”, so she moved it to the proper place. All this from a child who at that time did not speak at all.

This weekend Marvin made a similar observation about Logan. Michelle asked him to get a book. He crawled over to the book and opened it. Then Michelle said, bring it over here so I can read it to you. He crawled back to his mom sliding the book under his hands as he went.

At less than 16 months old, Logan not only knew what a book was, but understood the sentences that were spoken to him as if he were much older. I am amazed, as were Michelle and Marvin. In case my friend Sarah is reading this, yes it was one you sent, thank you. And yes, obviously the time spent with Logan reading is paying off. He never ceases to amaze me.

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Today is Logan’s first birthday.  We had a party for him on Sunday, and he was introduced to birthday cake, and more importantly, icing.  Michelle made a castle cake with a fondant (think sheet of icing) made out of marshmallows.  When Logan got his piece of cake, he pulled the icing off with one hand and stuffed as much as humanly possible in his mouth.  His expression said it all, “What is this new and delicious thing you’ve hidden from me my whole life!?!” Friends and family were very generous with their gifts, and Logan has been having a ball with his new toys.  The thing that made me laugh the most was the fact that we evidently have not been teaching him “southern ways” adequately. He received a pair of camouflage overalls, a camo onesie, and a John Deere tractor to scoot around on.  Personally, I find the picture of him in his camo overalls astride his John Deere with no shirt on absolutely hysterical.

He continues to progress as you would expect.  He pulled up to standing for the first time on Sunday.  He’ll take awkward steps if you hold his hands or support him under the arms.  It won’t be long at all until he is running.

Everyone always says that once you have kids, your life changes forever.  That is such an all-encompassing statement that you really can’t grasp what it means until it happens to you.  As I think about how my life has changed in the past year I cannot think of a single aspect that is not different.  Just as a very mild “for instance” ; I have one picture of my wife on my desk…..I have two of Logan on my bulletin board, he is my computer background, and my cell phone background.  He is the first person I speak to every morning.  I think about his needs before my own always.  I look forward to seeing him every evening, and playing with him.  When I see him in the evenings for the first time and his bright smile lights up his face and he comes crawling toward me as fast as he can, my heart just swells with love.  All this and he can’t talk, or walk yet.

Adopting him has been the single best thing I’ve ever done with my life.  I am changed forever and for the better.  On this one year anniversary of that life changing event, just in case she is reading this let me say to you, Logan’s birth mom, I am forever grateful to you.  I know your motivation was to do what was best for him, and I will never forget that it is my obligation to always do my absolute best for him to honor your decision.  Thank you!

Categories: Adoption, Happiness, Humor, Parenting | 1 Comment

Spreading joy.

Sometimes you just never know how a day is going to turn out.  Michelle and I went to Tupelo today to do some reconnaissance.  Michelle is looking for a place to set up a booth so she can sell some of her art.  My official duty for the day was to be Mr. Mom.  While Michelle and her Mom scouted the location and analyzing traffic patterns, buying habits,  and competition.   Logan was in his stroller and had made it very clear to me that being stationary was not high on his list of things that were acceptable to him.   So, we cruised around in constant motion and kept tabs on the location of the scouting party.  We kept walking until I could tell by the faces of the moms passing us in the other direction that he was out cold.    I paused to check and I found him sound asleep in a position a champion contortionist would envy.  When he finally did wake up he was a little out of sorts.  Michelle’s Mom, Donna, informed me that there was a space with tables and chairs not far away, so I found it and plucked the little man from his rolling restraint chair.   Immediately his mood improved.   He had a stuffed animal in his portable complement of “lets hope one of these toys is the perfect thing to make him happy in case he gets fussy”  collection.    Never having done this before, I pulled out the animal and held it up in front of him and started talking in a different voice like the dog was talking to him.  He was mesmerized.    I moved the dog’s face in like he was kissing Logan on the cheek and he started to giggle hysterically.   I kept doing it on both cheeks and his forehead and nose and he just kept giggling.   Strangers had been walking past us for the several minutes that we had been sitting there with me acting stupid just to keep hearing him laugh.   Without exception, each and every person who walked past and noticed Logan laughing at the very least , smiled.  Some laughed with him.

Logan did his part to improve the day of several people.   Have you made someone’s day better today?

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