Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meeting More Family

Next week, Markos will have been home with us for 6 months!  In some ways, it seems like we just got home with him.  In other ways, it seems like he's always been here.  Most times though, I think I've reached a point where I take for granted the fact that he really hasn't been here *that* long.  There are still lots of signs of the relative shortness of his time with us thus far -- little tantrums about bizarre  things, unnecessary worry about his food and rather or not he's getting what everyone else is getting, a lack of security and trust and the need to ask 4 billion times about something that we've already assured him he is getting or doing later.  Occasionally, he'll ask what something is or he'll obviously have no clue what we're talking about, and it just makes me laugh because it snaps me back to reality and the realization that 'oh yeah, I guess he wouldn't know what that is'.

For example, on the 4th of July, we go watch the fireworks from a local cemetery.  (I know - it's a little morbid.  But trust me, we are NOT the only ones there!  It's packed!  As most people from Bethel Park know, it's the best view of the fireworks without the traffic nightmare of going over near the mall area.)  Anyway, when we drove by the cemetery a few days before, Markos just happened to notice it out the car window and pointed and asked, "what's that?!!".  And it hit me, "hmmm, yeah, I guess he wouldn't really know what a cemetery with big headstones and such is."  Lots of little things that he hasn't been exposed to yet.

In addition to random things, activities, foods, holidays and other experiences, Markos is still meeting our family and friends.  We don't all live super close together so there are still quite a few people that he has yet to meet.

This past weekend, we were excited that my sister and her husband and kids were able to come up for a few days to meet Markos and visit.  The kids had a great time together (as always) and Markos warmed up really quickly to everyone.  I was a bit surprised, because Markos usually warms up to the kids first and is a little slower and more shy around adults at first.  However, when Leslie and Darren and the girls arrived, Markos and Daniel ran out the front door and Markos ran to Darren and gave him a huge hug, as Darren swung him around.  I suspect that it was partly Daniel's influence because Daniel loves all the guys in the family and Markos wants to have and do EVERYTHING that Daniel does.  Of course, it could also be that Darren is a little like one of the kids.  ;-)  Who got the football stuck up on the roof?  oh yeah, that was Darren.  Who spilled stuff in the kitchen?  oh yeah, Darren again.  We joked that it was "three strikes and you're out of here".  I think Darren was on his 6th strike before they left.  Regardless, it was nice that Markos warmed up quickly.

Markos going for a horsey ride on Uncle D
 We laughed because despite Leslie's best efforts to try to get Markos to respond, "my new best friend", when we'd ask him who she was, he just wouldn't say it.  Instead, he initially kept referring to her as, "that other mommy", and then eventually "Aunt Leslie".  Granted, if she'd have let him play on her cell phone, he might have called her whatever she wanted.  :-)  Yes, my son is a bit of an electronics nut and was found rooting through their belongings to swipe borrow their electronics several times!  (Who can blame him though?  After all, they did have an i-Pad, a Droid, a DS with different games than he has, and an i-Pod touch with some very funny apps.)

Abby showing Markos their i-Pad
Too Funny!!

It was a beautiful weekend.  Sunny and warm during the day, but nice and cool in the evenings.  We played outside in the yard a good bit, went to the pool for the day on Saturday, and had ice cream at home in the evenings before the kids settled in to watch a movie each night.

Darren, Gracie, Markos, and Daniel playing soccer
Gracie and Daniel in the pool
Ready for bed, snuggled up for a movie first

The kids got along really well (as did the adults).  Markos was happy to meet everyone and they were happy to meet him.  And, of course, Gracie and Daniel, and Abby and Mackenzie all had a great time together.
Mackenzie & Abby taking Lily for a walk
The best of buds - Daniel and Gracie
Daniel and Gracie in the hammock

Even Lily had a nice weekend and was pretty well behaved (actually much better behaved than I thought she'd be).  I'm so glad that we chose a breed of dog that is fairly calm - even as a puppy!  Eric finally got her down-lead for her doggy trolley to be an acceptable length so she ran outside and "played soccer" with the kids and Darren a good bit.  She also went on several walks with various people over the course of the 2 days so she was pretty tired by the end of the weekend.

Lily - showing off her ridge
such a cutie pie!
Tired puppy!!

All in all, it was a nice warm-up for our annual family beach trip coming up in a few weeks when we all, along with Leslie's and my parents, rent a house together and spend a week at Sandbridge Beach.  It will be yet another time of new firsts for Markos.  And, I'm happy that we all get to see each other again so soon -- all except Lily, she'll be enjoying her time at Camp Bow Wow, romping with all the other dogs.