Well, today marks one week since we’ve been home with Henry!!  Wahoo!  In some ways, I can hardly believe it’s been a week already — and yet in other ways it feels like it has been much, much longer than seven short days.  Henry is adjusting SO well.  We are really enjoying this time getting to know him.  He is just about the easiest kiddo I have ever been around.  He is so happy and playful and loves to cuddle… He scoots around on his bottom really well and has such a good attention span.  He plays on his own contentedly and is very methodical about stacking blocks and putting things away (my kind of kid!! 🙂 )  He LOVES to be swung around and twirled — he laughs sooo hard!  It is very contagious and we all laugh with him!  He is sleeping so well at night — straight through most of the time — and he is taking a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon.  He is eating like crazy and seems to like trying new tastes.  He does gag sometimes unexpectedly while eating and we aren’t sure what the cause is… Hopefully our doctor will be able to give us an idea about it.  

Overall, Henry is just so amiable and doesn’t really fuss (unless he is tired or hungry)… And he travels like a champ!  He LOVES his carseat!  We were a little worried about how he would respond to being restrained in the car — but he really doesn’t seem to mind and he obviously likes driving around.  In fact, every time we put him in his carseat, he starts laughing!  We have a long drive to the nearest town (about an hour round-trip) and he just babbles and sings to himself the whole way. 

Henry seems to be very aware that we are his Mama and Daddy.  He is starting to warm up to our extended family and close friends, but he always keeps an eye on us.  He likes Joanna and we can tell he is watching what she does intently.  He would be copying her every move if he could!  He is definitely a talker like his report said.  He babbles all the time and is starting to say words.  He studies what we are saying and can repeat sounds.  He says “thank you” consistently when we hand him things.  He can say “Jo-Jo” and “Mama” and “Dada” and seems to knows who is who.  He also says the name “Martha” (she helped care for him at the Sheppards.)  It took us a few days to realize that was what he was saying — but now that we know, it is really very clear… It’s so cute to hear his tiny little voice saying, “Marrr-taaa!”  

So all in all, this first week has far-surpassed our hopes… We are adjusting well to being a family of four; we are learning to communicate; and we are all sleeping well!!  (Praise God!!)  And it’s only the beginning!   Henry really is a sweetheart — an absolute sweetheart.  He is super-affectionate.  He will take his little hand and pull my face to his and give me kiss after kiss.  Talk about melting my heart!!  🙂 

The hardest part of this week has actually been Joanna.  She has been having a harder time than I anticipated.  It’s not that she doesn’t love her new little brother — she is very sweet to him for the most part — but she doesn’t like being replaced as the “baby” of the family.  Three years is a long time to have held that position!  We didn’t realize how much we still her viewed and treated her as our “baby” until we got home with Henry and realized how big Jo actually is!  I should have been transitioning her to more “big girl” responsibilites and privileges for months!  It’s hard for her to adjust to being the big sister suddenly.  We are really playing up all the privileges that come with it — but she doesn’t seem to care.  She would much rather stay the baby.   Thankfully we haven’t seen any resentment in her toward Henry.  She does take his toys away from him and hides them… but I’ve been told that is a common three year-old trait.   Poor Henry.  I will set him down with all kinds of toys to entertain him, and when I turn my back for a second, they’re all gone — hidden under the couch or in a drawer! 

Here are a few pictures from Henry’s first week at home:

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Henry likes to feed himself — and he does a good job at it too!  He is a remarkably tidy eater.

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He LOVES the sit and spin — although he can’t quite do it himself and he gets pretty frustrated when I stop spinning him!   

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He is not quite sure what to think about the snow.  The sledding part is fun, though!  We are having an unusually warm winter, so our snow level is too low to really sled yet.  Hopefully we will get some more before Christmas! 

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Jo is wearing her hat from “Auntie Denise” (She was trying to give a “thumbs up” in the picture 🙂 )  Henry has a hat from Denise as well, but I accidently left it at my parent’s, so I will have to get a picture of him wearing it later.  Thanks, Denise! 

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Last Sunday we had our community’s annual “Winter Ball”  — Every year we get dressed up and dance for hours…  It was an unexpected surprise to be home for it, since we hadn’t planned on being back from Liberia yet.  I was so glad we were able to keep with tradition and take our family.  Henry seemed to really enjoy the dancing after he warmed up to everyone! 

This is a picture of all the kids at the ball.  If you look closely you can see my two in the lower left corner.  🙂

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Just look at this adorable profile!! 

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This is a proud Daddy!

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This picture is just too funny, I had to include it.  What is that look, anyway, Honey?

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I love this picture because of Henry’s expression — He is very inquisitive when it comes to the camera!  🙂

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And, finally… a parting pajama shot!  G’night!

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