Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Learning to Play...

What child does not love to play?
What child does not know how to play
(other than soccer)?
Ours!
Kofi is a smart
loving
helpful
wonderful
son.
He is mature for his age in so many ways.
This has its pros and cons.
It also has made his parents have to re-think how they see their children.
One thing that shocked us about Kofi,
was his inability to really
"Play."
He spends most of his time working and thinks that is what FUN is.
What normal family deals with this problem!
Most fantasize that their children love to work and think that work IS play.
But Kofi, he doesn't really understand the concept of toys and playing.
He is most adept at pulling toys apart and reducing them to their minimal size.
He is most adept at fiddling with anything -
whether it is a peice of plastic wrapping or paper found on the floor.
Give him anything round and ball shaped and he will soon be kicking it like a soccer ball.
But playing - that is a whole new art
that we are trying to teach him.
This is best exemplified from Kofi's visit to his Grandma and Grandpa.
His grandparents live in Wyoming,
in the country,
in a cabin on the river.
It is good old fashioned hard work that keeps things moving where they live.
While Kofi was there, several tons of sand were delivered.
This was to be laid down to prevent huge pits in their driveway.
Grandpa and Grandma were going to take their time in laying it just right.
As they worked, Kofi jumped right in!


(working hard to lay the sand)

After some time of working, and when a break was due, the Grandparents took a break and told Kofi to just play in the sand.
Yet, he continued to work.
Grandpa gave him a matchbox car and told Kofi to play with it in the sand. Kofi seemed to be baffled as to what to do. So Grandpa and Grandma had to show him how to make roads and buildings, and to drive this little toy car and
just play.
After some time, Kofi started to catch on.
Yet, it still took
encouragement
over the period of a several days to get Kofi to "let go" and
just play.


And as Grandparents do,
they SPOILED him.
They bought him more matchbox cars, gave him some butcher paper to draw his own roads, gave him large buttons to use as buildings,
and now
Kofi and Sufi
FIGHT
over it all!!
We really are a NORMAL family!
Here are some more shots of Kofi's visit to his grandparents.
While he was there they really did spoil him with individual attention and taking him to see the wonders that the West has.
Cowboys and Indians.
Pioneers.
Wildlife.
such as deer, moose, mountain lions, eagles, and buffalo.
Dinosaurs.
Museums.
Sledding.
Snow.
Water aquariums.
Libraries.
Adventures in living off the land.
He LOVED it.
This is Kofi seeing Buffalo for the first time.
He had been told over and over that they were these huge animals.
He saw one lying down and scoffed,
"They aren't so big."
Then it stood up and his eyes grew and grew!
Can you guess what he is doing here?
Yup!
Riding a horse as he once was promised he would do.
Okay, so not a horse - but a mule counts...
Doesn't it?
He doesn't know the difference!
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for teaching Kofi so very much!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

These Feet Were Made For Walking...

The day before Pabbi arrived in Ghana, to pick us up and bring us home, the most amazing thing happened.

Sufi took his
First - without assistance - Steps!

He was about four steps from me and took them before he fell into my arms; the rest of us who witnessed these steps stared in shock and awe. It was so unexpected and so out of the blue. It was so sad that Pabbi missed his first steps
by a day.

But that seemed to be the end of the walking.

He insisted on crawling.

He would pull himself up and walk as long as he was holding onto something; he would even freestand, but walking by himself seemed to be the one time only.
Sufi just thought it was funny whenever we tried to practice walking with him, but he would just fall into a laughing heap on the floor. For a few weeks, he would take anywhere from 2-4 steps at random moments, but if anyone looked his way, he would get shy and throw himself into a giggling heap on the floor. We resigned ourselves to the fact that we would have to wait until HE was ready. I fugured it would be an overnight event!!!

Then this last weekend we went to the store to get a baby gate to help contain our enthusiastic crawler. We pulled a smaller gate down and were a little worried that Sufi could flip himself over it. So we stood him up next to the gate to measure him. After, our assesment, I left Sufi holding onto my pants, as Pabbi and I talked. At one point, I realized Sufi had let go. I looked down expecting to see him crawling off...instead we all stood dumbfounded as we saw this:

video
(This is a re-enactment of what we saw, we were too dumbfounded to grab the camera fast enough.)

Then he grabbed an item off the lowest shelf and did this...
(this is not a reenactment, we actually grabbed the camera by this point)

video

What was the item he grabbed:

A PAIR OF SHOES!

This boy knows what he wants and needs for his future!

Over the next several days he started doing laps around the house
(don't mind the boxes and bags - again we are in temporary living quarters - ergo "living out of boxes").

video

What did he grab there at the end...

yes, his booster seat.

This baby LOVES his food!!!

And HIS WALKING!!!

Looks like we are going to need more than the one baby gate!

He just will not be contained!

Way to Go SUFI!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Changing Things Up

We disappeared for awhile...

Can you guess why?

Does this give you a clue?

We just made a trek of 2,331 miles across the U.S. in FOUR days.

After Graduation, Pabbi was hired on in a small sleepy town on the east coast.


This move was a sudden change for us.
It happened right after returning from Ghana, final exams, and Graduation.

It was a difficult thing to leave behind our friends and family,

but

We are so blessed to have work especially in the current economic climate.

This move has impacted us for certain;
in fact,

we realized we have just undergone
several
MAJOR
life changes
in a short space of time.
  • We have adopted
  • We have become parents to not just a baby but an eight year old.
  • We have left behind schooling (Graduation)
  • and have now entered the professional world (Real Job)
  • We have made a major move, leaving behind family, friends, and familiarity.

To be honest, these life changes have been difficult, frustrating, tiring, and overwhelming.

Nevertheless,
we are here now,
settling down and we are finding some peace.

We are still in temporary housing and are looking forward to moving into something more long term very soon.
Until then we are waiting patiently and enjoying the small moments of life.