What! Has it seriously been almost a year with this guy?? (Ya'll, that tux. I just can't get over it!)
I went back and reread my post from a year ago and how difficult it was stepping out on faith, traveling across the world and having no idea what we were getting ourselves into! Oh, if we had only known then what an incredible little boy was waiting for us on the other side of that ocean.
October with a Panda
Blindly following in his sister's excitement, Panda was enthusiastically ready for his first pumpkin patch. It was beyond hilarious watching him discover pumpkins for the first time. Most of them were bigger than he was!
And then of course you have to paint them...
We also got the joy of Panda's first Halloween! He took right to trick-or-treating. He confidently walked up to doors and knocked. As soon as someone opened the door, he cocked his little head to the side and sang in his little panda voice, "Hellooooo!" He of course followed it up with a "trick-or-treat," but then after receiving candy, he wouldn't leave. He didn't understand why we weren't invited in to hang out. It kind of makes sense, really. He wasn't there for the candy...just the company! :)
He had two costumes this year - one for our trunk-or-treat on the 30th and one for trick-or-treating on the actual 31st.
It's crazy that even after 11 months we are still having so many firsts with this little guy! Thanksgiving will be a blast. He is very into having lots of family around, although when everyone leaves he gets a little depressed. He has instantly understood the concept of family and the difference between family and friends, which is impressive to me. I've mentioned before how he loves so intensely, and he really does love our extended family with an all-out fierceness.
Panda wants to discuss family constantly. Everything can be made into a family. If we are shopping, the 5 rolls of wrapping paper in the cart are a family. There's a Mommy wrapping paper, a Daddy wrapping paper, a Panda, a Ladybug, and then, usually, a Grandma. All stuffed animals must have a mommy stuffed animal. If we see a baby anywhere when out and about, he needs to know where his mommy is. He prefers for our family to always be in the same room and if possible, somehow wearing matching colors. Because. That's what families do.
Eating and Drinking - He loves to eat and now drink! So exciting. He has begun to try some new foods and be a little less suspicious. He also tasted his first piece of pie this month. Needless to say, he was a fan!
Activity - He is always on the go! He is learning to climb, run, squat, dance, and jump. Hips or no hips, he loves his freedom!
Sister - Gosh, the longer he is home, the closer they grow. The first thing he asks for in the morning now is Ladybug, and when in a funk, she's usually the only one who can help him climb back out. They adore each other! In fact, they are so much on the same wave length that when one is being mischievous, the other is right there at their side. There isn't a lot of sibling tattling going on...more just partners in crime!
The Great Outdoors - Panda has not only adjusted to the concept of being outside, he now embraces it! He still is hesitant for the first couple of minutes near grass, but it doesn't take long until he lets loose and joyfully runs (or rolls) through it!
He is a mosquito magnet like nothing I've ever seen. The whole family will be sitting outside having a relaxing Saturday lunch with not a mosquito in sight. Except for the 5 swarming Panda's face. Seriously, not a single one on any of the rest of us. If anyone has any recommendations for a better mosquito repellent cocktail for cute little people, please let me know! We've tried so many...
I'm going to skim over this section this month as I feel like it would just be repetitive. Our challenges are still all in the same general arena as the past months: sleeping, fears of abandonment, medical challenges, and some signs of trauma in different areas of life. All in all though, things are constantly heading in the right direction. Our Panda is learning and adjusting like a BOSS.
What's that you say? You need more pictures of a Panda in a tux? Happy to oblige...
I just want to eat him up!
A little over a month from now is Panda's Gotcha Day!!! We are excited to celebrate! From what I understand, Gotcha Day is maybe even a bigger deal than a birthday, especially since the birthday we have is a guess anyway. We will have cake, presents, and some good ol' fashioned family time, a Panda favorite. =)