Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Birthday Boy!

That's what Kyle tells us when he does something he thinks is proper behavior for a big boy.  Did my precious son turn two last month with so little recognition by my posts in cyber-space?  Yes, he did, and we celebrated although with difficulty being so far from those we love.  He is growing and changing every day and sometimes Jonathan and I have a hard time keeping up with his newest thing.

Before we left the US, probably my biggest concern when facing the months of transition was not knowing how Kyle would take it all.  Last fall he was really giving us a run for our money when we tried to put him to sleep in his pack & play and he hasn’t ever been real keen on sleeping in unfamiliar places.  And up until the days before we flew out, he was waking up nearly every night screaming, sometimes for hours.  I think he was really sensing all the change going on and it was affecting his sleep terribly.  Combined with leaving our family, shifting 8 time zones, changing our eating habits, having to go off with child care workers while Jonathan and I attended training sessions, I figured trying to get this boy to bed down in a new place every few weeks…. Or days…. Was going to be a huge nightmare.  Boy was I wrong.  Since we left the US, I can count on one hand the times he has woken up in the night crying, and certainly nothing like the terror he was experiencing back in November/December.  He has gone to sleep without so much as a protest just about every night we have been in Africa. 

It makes my eyes sweat when I think of how strong he has been these three months and all the changes he has taken in stride at such a young age.  I am especially amazed at how he has adapted to each new “home” we have been in.  As we would walk to our room at Mayfield Guest House or while at ABO, he would point to our door and say, “room.”  In our home stay, when he would get sick of the kids we were living with, he would get up and start walking away.  When I asked him where he was going, he simply replied, “room.”  He knew where his room was and that was safe enough for him.  While we stayed in Maphutseng, he would point to the guest house we were living in and say, “Ty-doe house.”  That means Kyle’s house.  Then at the AIM retreat, he knew which little hut was ours and would start walking “home” saying, “Ty-doe room.”  When we got here to Maseru, I can’t explain how good it felt to tell that sweet boy that this would be “Ty-doe’s” house for quite some time.  Now when we go out into town and start getting near home again, he proudly announces that we are going to “Ty-doe’s house.”   I know he doesn’t understand that we will move again to Bloem for a month for Ellee’s birth and then again to our permanent home but at least for now, I am so thankful that my sweet little guy can sleep in the same room every night for a couple months.

Speaking of sleeping, he made the switch to a big boy bed this weekend.  When he wakes up and we say, “Kyle! Did you sleep in the big boy bed?”, he holds up his two middle fingers and assures us he is “two.”  As a reward, I have a little jar of sugar coated dried fruit in his closet and he is allowed one little piece after he sleeps in his big bed.  He reminds us of his deal before he goes to sleep…. Every time.  We put some pillows along the edge of the single bed under the fitted sheet to keep him hemmed in.  So far he hasn’t rolled out and he has done really well for every nap and bed time.  Needless to say, I am proud of him.  And I am relieved that it was so easy because I will need the pack & play for Ellee in about 9 weeks.

For his birthday, a couple friends gave him his first jigsaw puzzle.  He has enjoyed making it just about every day.  We found a couple more at a store here in Lesotho and bought him those to add a little variation.  He requires some help but some of the obvious matches (like Mater’s eyes and Buzz’s wings) he can put together on his own.  When he completes a puzzle, he claps for himself and says, “yay, Ty-doe!”  And then he fixes his two middle fingers and tells us just how old he is.  Two.  Big boy.

He eats everything I put in front of him and when I asked him what he wanted for lunch today, he told me “green beans.”  Unfortunately, I was out of green beans but I gave him some chicken salad instead.  Close enough, right?  He is a boccy (broccoli) conesuere and he would eat grapes at every meal if I’d let him.  He loves oatmeal and granola and we both enjoy a delightful breakfast in the morning loaded with peaches, strawberries and bananas.  Daddy eats bacon, eggs and cinnamon toast.  He isn’t much into the fruit stuff.  I’m glad Kyle’s on my side.  Ellee will be, too.

Amidst all the changes and all the unknowns, Jonathan and I have done our best to keep Kyle’s little life as routine as possible.  He loves bath time and has figured out how to remove all his clothes except his shirt sometimes gives him a hassle.  He and Jonathan read a Bible story every night, and each night Kyle relays what the story was from last night.  He is learning to say prayers and blessings and he gets irritated with us if we try to pray quickly before a meal and don’t let him do it.  When that happens, he just starts praying along with us and we are forced to either ignore it or stop and let him finish.  What do you think we do?  Precious boy.  We don’t take nap time lightly and he really seems to enjoy his afternoon snooze.  Jonathan is great about playing with him outside or racing Matchbox cars along the coffee table and it warms my heart to watch them play together. With no Uncle Caleb and Aunt Maggie, Kyle was left with Jono and me as playmates.  Poor guy, we aren’t nearly as cute or as much fun.  He likes to play hide and seek and he’s pretty convinced we can’t see him as long as he can’t see us.  He’ll stand in the middle of the room covering him eyes and call out “Ty-doe?”  to which we are supposed to reply, “have you seen Kyle?”  As soon as he uncovers his eyes, we are allowed to notice he is there. 

He is a big helper and he really likes taking things to the trash.  That is a good and a bad thing.  I found something important in the trash the other day and I know exactly who put it there.  When I hand him something to take to the trash, he smiles and toddles into the kitchen.  After I hear him open and close the lid, he often claps for himself and says, “good boy.”  Then he walks back to me with a giant grin on his face.  I can’t help but chuckle at him.  He is learning to pick up his toys before starting to play with other ones and when he is pleased with himself, he says “good boy.”  He is a good boy and we love him.

I am without words when I try to express what joy this little boy brings to our lives.  It is sure hard to have him all the way over here and be watching him grow and change and not be able to share it all with his grandparents and aunts and uncles.  But, having him here with us each day is such a sweet comfort and has made it bearable to have left so many loved ones.  Motherhood has changed me forever and I thank God for allowing me the privilege of raising such a sweet spirited son.  He is an answer to our prayers and a dream come true and I cherish each day we spend together.  I am constantly amazed that I grow to love him more every day.  

Easter family photo.  Keep in mind it was about 7 AM..... sunrise service which Jonathan led.  Kyle's new cheesy smile!


1 comment:

  1. Love it all sweetheart! Loved crying ALL THE WAY THROUGH it as well :) Oh well, the price of being a grandfather! It's so wonderful! Love to all! PaPa St.Clair