It was also fun to see Nick, my brother who has been in Iraq for a year. He is back in Texas now, so he drove in to meet Zane. "Untel Ick", as Zane calls him, is great with kids! Zane enjoyed walking with him and playing with sidewalk chalk.
Sunday was Saints v. Texans day, so obviously, Mark and I had to watch it with Poppi and Uncle Nick who love the Texans. We came ready to cheer for the Saints, and we were SO relieved when the Saints pulled through. After a disappointing Aggie game on Saturday, we needed the win.
Tuesday, Zane and I had a brunch date with our friend, Amanda, at Einstein bagels. After downing a pumpkin crunch bagel and latte, we walked around Town Center, and headed back home for nap time. That afternoon we went by Honey and G-G's house for a little while to play before they head out to Austin for a long weekend.
Today, Zane and I met Autumn and Zadie and Kara and Berhanesh for lunch at Pappasitos. One great thing about being back in Texas is wonderful Mexican food like Pappasitos. I just about ate my body weight in chips and salsa! I tried to get Zane to eat quesadillas, but he's still not ready for that apparently.
Zane is getting much better at eating, however! I've enjoyed making my own baby food from sweet potatoes, peas, mashed potatoes, peaches, etc. It's SO easy and much cheaper than buying it. It also allows me to combine things I know Zane will like, and control the amount of salt and sugar he gets in his diet. So far, he has tried anything I put in french vanilla yogurt, and he loves peas and mashed potatoes. His favorite snack is cheese ducks (the organic version of goldfish). I think he's really doing great! I can't imagine being in his shoes and have my entire world turned upside down. He's courageous to put anything green or orange in his mouth, and he does this daily. With all the change he has been through, he has really shown a lot of trust to eat the food we give him.
Tonight, Zane and I will experience our first night by ourselves in the U.S. Mark's job requires him to travel some, and I'm used to the day or two trips he has every other week or so. Hopefully, Zane will not be overly concerned about Daddy not being here tonight. We spent many nights in Africa, just the two of us, so I think he'll be okay. But you never know how a difference in routine might scare him or make him feel anxiety. Last night Zane was crying in his sleep again, much like he did the first week I had him in Ethiopia. It's hard to tell if he's in pain or if he's having a nightmare. I just pray for him and hold him when this happens, and usually he falls back asleep after a while. Who knows what he might be feeling, especially in his dreams when one can almost forget where he or she is! This happened to me almost every morning I woke up in Africa. I'd forget I was in Ethiopia, and think I was in my bed in New Orleans. I can't imagine where he thinks he is when he wakes up in the middle of the night! Pray for him to have peace and dream sweet dreams.
Friday, Zane will go to get an evaluation at Texas Children's Hospital's Adoption Clinic. This is a routine post-adoption check up where doctors look into all of the possible conditions he could have from his time in Ethiopia. We expect Zane to have a clean bill of health aside from minor issues like the chronic cough he has; however, we would appreciate your prayers as we take him to be poked and prodded. We hope he will feel comforted and assured that he is safe and taken care of while he is there.
This weekend we are really excited to see Aunt Laura and Uncle Ben and Uncle Jay, who is flying in from New York, over at Grandmom and G-Daddy's house. Zane will get to meet his aunt and uncles for the first time! I know he'll enjoy everyone playing with him and loving on him!
Zane is learning something new everyday. He's very interested in the alphabet with correlating animal cards I got him. He's trying SO hard to make the sounds of the letters, and it's so sweet to see him try. Some letters are super difficult for him to say. Apparently, some sounds he's not used to hearing, and he doesn't know how to position his throat and mouth to make the sound come out!! We keep repeating and he keeps trying every day. He's such a determined boy. There are three animals he will not try to say the names of because he immediately resorts to mimicking the sound the animal makes: the lion, rooster, and snake. In fact, when Zane sees any of these animals in pictures when we're out, he'll point and make the sounds they make. I was at Whole Foods the other day, and Zane started yelling, "DA-DA-DOOOOOO!" over and over. I didn't know what he was doing until I looked up, and just over the chicken section, the outline of a rooster hung. I was amazed that he saw the sign in the first place, then laughed that he thought about the cock-a-doodle-doo sound the rooster makes while shopping for groceries!
This and other sounds he makes often make me miss Addis. Every morning (and all through the night, actually) we were greeted by the sound of the rooster next door. The donkeys would come by, and Zane would say, "HEE-HAW". And the men selling mops would yell, "AWOYAY!" The neighborhood dogs barked (and sometimes wailed) all night, and Zane always puckered his lips and said, "HOO! HOO!" like the dogs did. The only sounds we hear in our room these days is the sound of cars on the beltway and an occasional siren. Our outdoor wildlife here is the squirrel, and it's really hard to mimic their sounds! Therefore, breakfast isn't complete without Mommy and Zane pretending we're in Addis and yelling the sounds of the animals and people in the streets!
I love to see him absorb the world around him. He's becoming a master at saying "HI!" and "Thank you!" and you can tell it makes him proud to get those words right. It's such a blessing to be the mom of such a sweet boy. I absolutely love him, and I'm so thankful to God for him.