I had this big plan to write up a celebratory post about Pacey's first month in America...but.I.am.so.tired. To be honest,the kid had a bit of a setback this weekend (cause unknown at this point),so I'm a little wearier than usual.
However,in the interest of keeping up with his progress (because there IS progress),I want to write about my guy.
Let's start with eating. Now,when we got him from the orphanage he was eating 5 bottles a day. Each bottle was about 10 ounces,and it was mostly boiled water mixed with porridge. Not exactly nutritious. As a result,he was very malnourished,although not starving. When he ate,the food would pour out of his nose because he learned to gulp it so fast. He was time trained to eat very quickly by the nannies. Once we brought him home,we made his bottles texture wise as close to what the orphanage was doing. We also bought a glass bottle there,and used that,since he was used to it. We did transition him to the playtex bottles with liners once home,and he has done well with them. We were having to put quite a bit of rice cereal in the bottles for thickness,but we've decreased the amount slowly. We've also been doing a step down program with the nipples. We had to cut large holes in them,because that's what he was used to,and the formula was pretty thick. Now,we buy new nipples every 2 weeks,and each time the hole gets smaller and smaller. It helps him to work a little harder to eat,and makes his jaw stronger. He is getting 4 bottles of formula a day. I've also introduced juice (mixed with water). I was giving it to him in a bottle,but then decided just to go to a sippy cup. He is doing well with that,too,and I do work with him on holding his cup. I do not let him hold his formula bottles as feeding is an important part of attachment,and we're still "attaching." He is eating baby food 2-3 times a day. I do the stage 3 foods,and he does better with the thicker textures. My only real goals with eating are to introduce more solid foods,and help him learn to put food in his own mouth.
Another area where we've seen tons of improvement is bathtime. Prior to coming home, he never had a real bath at the orphanage. His skin was so dry,and his poor feet had thick yellow build up on them from not being washed. He hated the bathtub so much! He would scream as soon as we sat him in it. However,he now loves the bathtub,and splashes around like a pro!
He is also becoming stronger physically. We are putting him on his legs to stand and play for short periods of time. We are also practicing putting him on his knees to play. It really helps to develop his core muscle when he is working to hold himself up. He is sitting up a lot more,and he does a mean army crawl. We have just started to work with Early Intervention on goals to help get him moving.
There are just lots of good things happening. He is thriving,he is learning,he is growing. We are so happy about that.
Are there struggles? Yes. A few. Is it hard? Yes. Am I still learning about how to help him? Yes. Does he understand that I'm his mommy and will take care of him forever? No. He's not there yet. If the next door neighbor came over and took him,he wouldn't cry or care..as long as he was fed lol! Attachment is going to take some time,along with some other things we're dealing with. We are working with him,though,and feel confident it's just going to keep getting better. And just for comparison,here is the day we met him at the orphanage,and one from last week where he was eating! :) He's gained a pound a week since coming home.