Monday, April 6, 2015

Braggin' on Kavi

It's been a month full of movement and change since last I wrote.On the home front, we moved to our new place in Fairfax, visited the land we were living on to collect our things and love up our northern friends (so bittersweet!), and about a week ago, moved into our "permanent" bedroom from the guest space we were staying in. Oh, and yesterday we welcomed in our final housemate and his sweet little dog. It feels good to be settling in and for the household to be coming together. Integration is beginning to happen and a sense of this being a community seeping in around the edges. I feel excited about this...for myself and for what this means for our little family. I'm curious to see how we grow and thrive in this community.

In the time since we've been here, Kavi has changed so much! His new skills include clapping, passing objects back and forth, reaching out to be held (and asking to be passed back and forth between people), and what I've called action/reverse action: taking something out/off, then putting it back in/on. He continues to get quicker and more adept and his crawling and maneuvering about...including on the stairs! He now holds onto the rail, puts his foot on the stair and takes a full step up, rather than crawling up on hands and knees. Lately, he wants us to hold his hands and assist him up, rather than using the rail. It's amazing how strong his legs are and how many stairs he can climb! And just today he successfully made his way down the whole flight of stairs without help. He seems to be close to taking his first steps as he is often "asking" to be walked around, as well as pushing objects around the room to assist him in walking and on occasion, he lets go of whatever he is holding onto and stands unassisted for a few moments.

Andres & Kavi returning home from a trip to town
While we haven't been to the beach much lately, we have been spending lots of time outdoors...tending our own land, checking out nearby trails, enjoying the beautiful walk to town (330 stairs included!) and discovering the local playground, where Kavi has now become a regular. It's been so fun to see him having more regular interactions with other kids and to see his solo explorations in a new environment. Initially, he stuck to crawling around in the sand and checking out the various wheeled toys of all sizes that are kept in the play area. After a few visits, he began noticing the play structures and climbing whatever he's able--he tries to climb up the slide nearly every visit.

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On the communication front, he is as chatty as ever, with new sounds continuing to emerge with some frequency. And he appears to enjoy screaming! A few weeks ago, he & I were grocery shopping and I grabbed some raspberries so I could offer him a snack. He gobbled up the first one and when I opened the box to get him another, he let loose with an ear-splitting squeal. Apparently, he liked this snack and I wasn't moving quickly enough with the follow up. Oy! And I admit, while I was surprised by the intensity of his reaction, I was also tickled by it. The boy has some healthy lungs and he knows what he likes! I'm not quite as fond of the screaming communication when it's coming from a place of displeasure/disappointment/disdain. Like when he's shouting "mom-mom-mom" in the middle of the night, insisting to be fed even though he ate only an hour prior. Double oy!! Still, I do appreciate his growing ability to express what he wants and needs. A couple of fun new communications from this past week: his first wave! He waved hello to our housemate, Sarah and since then has waved to a few random folks. And just today was a moment that brought me much pride and many smiles between the two of us. As Kavi & I were getting out of bed this morning, he was doing a little grunting, meaning a poop was likely on it's way. Yep, I'm writing about my kid pooping. This is where we are now. :-) Anyhoo, I asked him if he was pooping, while making the sign for it. He just looked at me. I told him I was taking him to the toilet. I took him in, held him over the toilet and did our cue for poop. He began grabbing at his fingers and pulling them apart. He was attempting to make the sign for "pooping"!! I said "pooping?" and he continued to make the sign and smile, then began to poop! He appeared to be so proud of this, making the sign over and over and smiling so big! This now has me jazzed to get more proactive on the sign language, especially seeing how happy it made him!!

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Another thing that has been bringing Kavi happiness is food! He has gotten more into feeding himself and seems to prefer eating what we are eating, when we will share it. New foods he's tried this past month include lemon (he devoured a wedge!), miner's lettuce, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cheese, chicken (he went nutso for it!), lamb, rice cracker, a teething cookie, blueberries, strawberries and little nibbles of papa's foot. His solid food diet is mainly made up of veggies and lately when Andres makes meals, he adds nut butter and avocado to everything to be sure Kavi is getting lots of good fat. This was in response to my concern that he might be hungry at night as I'm pulling back on night nursings. Since bulking up his diet (while decreasing nursing), he seems to have put on a couple pounds, so I'm no longer concerned that he isn't getting enough! Boy that little guy has gotten heavy! Of course, he still proclaims he is SO hungry whenever he wakes. We're still working (slowly and somewhat painfully) at getting him to fall asleep of his own accord when he wakes at night--as he is still waking about 8 times a night. I am dreaming of the night that I will sleep more than a 3 hour stretch!! Oh mamas (and papas) of the world, I bow down to you for the role you play in being ever-present to the needs and desires of another. Now that I am among you, I feel what an all-encompassing experience this is, with many challenges at every turn. And for me, like many, those are felt so much more when sleep is less.

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Speaking of sleep, it's about time for some now. I will leave this blog with one of the many lessons I've learned from my time with Kavi (I've got to start writing them down sooner, as I forget them all by the time I get around to writing here!). It's on the topic of communication, which has come up much in this post. It's so much of what we're figuring out together. I've been noticing how agitated I get when Kavi is communicating in a whiny manner--especially if I'm feeling sleep deprived. In the past few days I've been thinking more about this because the level of irritation that comes up for me feels bad. It sometimes feels so big, I want to run away. I often wonder, where did he pick up this whinyness? How is it that he's so loud? Where is he learning some of these communication behaviors that I don't think Andres or I exhibit? Hhmmmmm. And perhaps we are. Even if in more subtle ways. He's got me noticing ways I communicate that I hadn't picked up on before. Spaces of not being clear, or clean or fully honest with my communication. Carrying an energy of martyr, passive aggresiveness, manipulation, or anything other than identifying the truth of what I'm feeling and expressing authentically from that place. I'm hoping that in this discovery, I will begin to gently unwind whatever patterning I recognize in myself and find more compassion in whatever is coming through Kavi, releasing judgment of us both. And may I be able to do this even when I've only slept a handful of interrupted hours. Being a mama is going to make me a master some day, yes? Seems possible. But only if I go to bed now. Good night.

Check out more video here. And more photos here

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