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Ten Weeks Home

Considering I didn't even write a report last week, it's even more evident that Nasko has made quite a bit of progress in two weeks. Cognitive: Nasko is getting quite bossy! He likes to tell us when to sit, where to stand, and when it's time to go. He frequently says, "Mama sit!" and "Taty night-night." This week though, he wanted me out of his bedroom (undoubtedly so he could climb the shelf or touch the night light) so he said, "Mama cook!" It wasn't a mealtime, but Nasko knows that when I am cooking, I am unable to watch him as closely!

We love for him to have control in some areas of his life, but it's (obviously) not possible in EVERY area.

For example, while riding in the car, Nasko will watch for intersections and then point in the direction that he wants to go. Some deciding factors in the directions he chooses are: is there a park? Is the area "uncharted territory?" or is there a bus?

Because of his seeming interest in directions, we have begun teaching Nasko "left" and "right". He is not 100% yet, but more often than not, he uses the proper word (or sign) when pointing in that direction.

Nasko now understands a very important WH- word: where? "Nasko, where is Mama's phone?" "Where are your shoes?" "Where did you put [any-item-of-value-that-was-supposed-to-be-off-limits]?" The time he took me to the trash can to find the space bar from our iPad keyboard was when I knew we had arrived at comprehending "where?"

Language Receptive: Nasko continues to be able to understand longer and more complicated phrases. We've started using pronouns again (rather than, "Mama says 'no!'" we can say "I said 'no!'") Nasko seems to be catching on quickly.

We've also started having to watch what we say in Nasko's earshot, because he now knows when we're planning undesirable events such as bathtime or bedtime, and he will try to avoid these events!

Language Expressive: Nasko is repeating EVERYthing! He is attempting to imitate all kinds of words and phrases. He still struggles with saying things that are longer than three syllables, but if phrases are broken down, he'll always at least make an attempt.

Taty has taught Nasko all kinds of useful phrases recently like "I'm cool," "Awesome," and "Oh snap!" Thankfully Nasko has Mama to balance out the craziness by encouraging phrases such as "Go outside," "Jump please," and "Go to school."

Gross Motor: Nasko loves the 15-foot trampoline we bought with the money from his open house. We typically jump on it 2-3 times everyday. (Mama's calves didn't love the trampoline at first, but they're getting better!) We practice following directions and imitating while jumping. I was a cheerleader in junior high, and I have taken it upon myself to teach Nasko the proper ways to perform a toe touch or hurkey jump.

Life skills, people. Gotta focus on those life skills.

Fine Motor: Nasko's hands seem to be getting stronger. He is much more comfortable with silverware. He'd still prefer to use a spoon over a fork however. He demonstrated this the other night when I only gave him a fork with dinner. When I wasn't looking, he grabbed a serving spoon from the salad bowl and traded it with his fork. Sneaky!

Social-Emotional: Nasko's social skills have really been blossoming lately. He tells familiar friends "hi!" and waves at them without promoting.

Nasko has also become more interested in other children. I think that the controlled socialization of school will only continue to help him grow in this area. He previously saw other children as threats and attention-stealers, so I think this will be a slow process.

We've been using our new trampoline as a visual tool for "Stay with Mama (or Taty)." Nasko has to stay on the trampoline while we are jumping, and if he impulsively runs off, we go inside immediately. The fruits of our labor are beginning to show as he stays closer to us (with some reminding) when we are in public places. He still has streaks of impulsiveness, but he's not AS likely to run off!

Self-Help: Nasko is finally starting to understand that food is sometimes served hot, and we must wait for it to cool before eating it. At the orphanage, because meals were served to large quantities at one time, most of the food was lukewarm. Nasko had not really experienced something being too warm to eat.

In the past few weeks, when Nasko is served hot food, he has begun asking me to help fan the food, or blow on it.

Sometimes when we have soup, we throw an ice cube into Nasko's bowl. Last week, when a hot dog was too hot for Nasko, he drug me to the freezer, and wanted me to use an ice cube to cool his dog!

We're so blessed by our little man, even during weeks like this one, where he tested every rule and reverted back to a few orphanage behaviors.

Some days it feels like two steps forward and two steps back, but honestly it's actually more like 1 step back! We're always progressing forward, it just doesn't always feel that way!

Mother's Day

Accomplishing more...