Today Rylin hung out with one of the few girl friends he has (definitely not because he's lacking in looks or personality or has halitosis...just that all my friends have boys). Adelay is quite the princess and they had a good time playing (mostly Rylin chasing) and took a long afternoon nap before Adelay's mom picked her up. Perhaps a budding romance? I think Adelay's keeping her options open.
Typical guy...trying to impress Adelay by putting his entire fist in his mouth
Rylin was eight months old Friday! Times flies when your having fun...and are we ever! This month Rylin has added crawling and pulling up to his list of tricks. He's even started making his way around things on his feet and likes to let go with his arms straight out before falling back on his bottom. He eats three "real" meals a day, loves to repeat sounds and head shakes, and has two shiny white teeth. It seems like his personality grows daily and he can be a real sweety. He loves to charm the old ladies at the grocery store with his squinty grin and dimples, and has started giving out wet open mouth kisses to me and Jordan. He loves trying to put his paci in Jordan's mouth and this week attempted to use Duke as a step ladder to the sofa. Duke usually just moves out of the way when he seesRylin coming (especially if he's cruising in his walker), but occasionally he sticks around to give a lick or two (to which Rylin opens his mouth...yuck!). He likes to play on the floor in his room or on the rug in the living room and his favorite toy is whatever kitchen utensil Jordan has given him on any given day. Plastic cups and the potato masher seem to be the most popular. He also loves paper. The quicker you try to get it away from him, the more feverishly he tears! He puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. This week I discovered him chewing on the following items at one time or another; books, a calculator, my flip flop, the leg of a chair, Duke, a tissue, his monitor (which he knocked into his crib), a magnet from the fridge, the sofa, his piggy bank, a CD, and I could go on. Seems like all I do is pull things out of his mouth and shudder at what germs he's picked up. I have learned to let a lot of things go, and I know that having a boy will teach me to continue that trend!
Rylin had his first swim lesson yesterday. He definitely liked the water and was not afraid, though he wasn't exactly doing the butterfly across the pool by the end of it or anything! Maybe after the next lesson.
floating (sort of)
some of our other swim buddies
Bethany & Atticus, Ginger & Taylor, and Cathalina & Samuel
I read about these special edition Huggie's diapers printed with a denim pattern a few weeks ago on another blog I frequent. The video on their website is quite comical and I thought they were pretty cute, so I picked up a package for Rylin. Thanks to the typical Texas summer we're having, he spends most days around the house in diaper only. I snapped a few pictures today of our now on-the-move baby modeling his new favorite blue jeans.
So this past Friday Jordan and I got a chance to sit on the opposite side of where we were one year ago. Our agency asked us to come and speak to a group of prospective adoptive parents at the seminar that we attended last July. You may remember me blogging about it here and here. We were pretty excited because we LOVE to tell our story and share how adoption has shaped our family. Rylin sat pretty well, and we had a good time talking to the couples that attended.
Shortly after the seminar, we headed to my parents house and the Casey family reunion (my Mom's Mom) on Saturday. We enjoyed getting to see some of our relatives that we don't often spend time with and my Mom and I even entered the homemade ice cream contest. Though our fancy "Fat Bottom Crunch" only won 3rd place, it was an adventure to make(understatement of the year) and a clear winner in our minds! We left for Greenville Saturday night and to the Woodall reunion (Jordan's Dad's Mom) on Sunday. Everyone enjoyed meeting Rylin and we ate some more good southern food!
Part of letting go of our dream of biological children forced us to think about the loss of a genetic link in our family. This is a hang up for so many people considering adoption, and something we definitely wrestled with. I have to admit that going to these reunions made me wonder if Rylin would ever care about these people in the same way I hold an interest. I don't even know most of them. I haven't kept a close relationship with many. Yet somehow, their existence in my family tree still makes me feel a connection.
A birth family answers questions of history (physical traits, personalities, and geographic local), just as an adopted family adds to it (childhood experiences and values). Both are important in understanding the past, but neigther solely determine who one will become. I think a lot about the family Rylin will grow up surrounded with because of open adoption; his birth family and his adopted family. I now can imagine that each will be special in their own way but both play a significant role in understanding his heritage. I also know that he has twice the number of family reunions in his future!
Looks as if the mattress will be moving down today! (he's on his knees in the picture) Some other new found activities he's been practicing this week...crawling, crawling to sitting, shaking his head, and my personal favorite...spitting(with spit or food-whatever is applicable).
Summer has arrived in Texas and thus my whining for a pool has commenced. Since the giant maple in our backyard is dashing my chances for a below ground oasis, I guess we're just stuck with (as my friend Rebecca would say) the giant turtle. Or in our case, the plastic blue thing from Target. A couple years back, when we learned our fat bulldog liked the water but couldn't quite get his short legs moving fast enough to swim, we bought him his own kiddie pool.
Much to his delight and ours, we have enjoyed it more than we ever thought. Jordan and I even got desperate enough to lay in it once! However, in the spirit of Duke moving down the family priority totem pole, it seems it will now become someone else's. We ceremoniously broke it out of the garage attic and cleaned it up on Saturday. I managed to stuff myself in a swimsuit (don't worry, no pics of that) and dressed Rylin too, while Jordan snapped some pictures of another great first. I had to laugh at my child's natural "base tan" next to the blinding nature of my own brilliant white legs! (so jealous) The water was cool, but Rylin definitely enjoyed it. We practiced for his upcoming swim lessons...