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Saturday, January 10, 2009

The New Normal

I wanted to hop on and update you on how we're all settling into life as a family of six.

We've been quite busy with various doctors appointments. First for Jonas and then for me. Next week we have more of the same with trips to the dentist for Rienne, the audiologist for Jonas and the following week I've got a followup with the cardiologist for some tests. That will keep our afternoons quite busy.

Jonas has been adjusting amazingly. I was concerned about his eating habits when we first arrived home. He seemed to be comfort eating often but since that time he's mellowed out. He's been eating 3 meals of solid foods daily which has helped normalize his formula intake. He was waking up every 2 1/2 - 3 hrs throughout the night (this is due to his schedule in the orphanage) to take a bottle but lately he's even been stretching out his sleep patterns to 5 hours at night and when he wakes he doesn't eat more than four ounces. Before he had been polishing off 4 ounces and crying for more. He'd eat 8 ounces and then spit much of it up proving ot us that he wasn't truly that hungry but either used to eating that much or eating until he could fall back asleep no matter how full he became. Needless to say, we are so happy that behaviour has ended!!

Dustin and I aren't as concerned about getting him transitioned off taking a bottle to fall asleep as we are getting him accustomed to our home and feeling safe and secure in it. Once we feel he's adjusted then we'll work and breaking those habits of his. We figure we gotta chose our battles wisely. At this stage it's all about attachment and bonding for us. We are working to transition him from formula to water in his naptime bottle since he relys on it solely to help him fall asleep. Hopefully after that we can just take the bottle away. For now, as soon as the bottle leaves his lips- if he's not fully asleep yet- he screams.

When we first got Jonas he wasn't able to grasp tiny foods between his pointer and thumb. Now he's doing a wonderful job of feeding himself his Yogurt Melts (his favorite snack) which he loves to mash between his two lower teeth and his recently split through top front teeth. This is generally a very drooly affair filled with proud smiles and head nods which seem to ask "are you seeing this!?"

Overall, Jonas is a giggly and happy child. His personality is such that he's always chattering or playing. One of his favorite games is to grunt and have us grunt back at him in a sort of "copy cat fashion. He really gets a kick out of it! Jonas enjoys sucking all over my face especially my chin. He particularly likes to make silly noises akin to elephant calls on my face. Apparently it's hilarious in his little baby world. He makes quite a mess but mommy obliges because well, she can't get enough of those baby kisses, and it's great for attachment. It doesn't end there, though. Jonas LOVES to BE kissed. I think he wouldn't mind at all if I just glued my face to his cheek. My boy certainly doesn't mind close contact! All of these things are such a testament to the loving care he received at the intake orphanage and the TH. It's a true answer to our prayers!!

Recently Jonas has taken to army crawling around the family room floor. If it's tummy time he's on the go. We can tell already that as soon as this kid is truly mobile he's going to keep us VERY busy.


Julie said...

I'm glad to hear that Jonas is doing well. We have the kids ped appts on Monday afternoon. They are not looking forward to shots but the fact they have to get them before school is pushing them past the pain! They are desperate to go to school :-)

Kari:) said...

WOW...he's growing so strong & healthy!! I think its wild that most of the ET angels home wake up every 3 hrs a night! Those wonderful nannies got them on a good, solid eating schedule. :))) I promise he will drop that soon...Zoie just needed to catch up too. She did that for about 2- 21/2 mo & then dropped waking up at night.
You're doing a great job!!!
What a special family!!

Demer & Dana said...

Thank you for the update and for the very encouraging comments you have left on my blog. I really appreciate it! You would laugh I'm sure but your blog is read by 2 of my close friends and you are like a celebrity for us over here in GA! We are always saying, "Well, Be Bold Jen said...." :) I was wondering if you have some advice for someone who is early on in the adoption process of books to read that helped you or the best things we can be doing now to help prepare ourselves and our kids for adoption and the big changes that are ahead for us?

Thank you SO much!
Blessings to you,
Dana in GA

E said...

What a sweet update! So glad you're all doing so well and pray all the doctor visits go well in the coming week!


Stacey said...

So glad to hear he's bonding and adjusting so well. What an answer to prayer! He is such a doll baby and I can't wait to see him grow. You have truly been blessed as a family!!

Karen said...

Jen, this is such an encouraging report! I'm so glad that Jonas is finding security in his new family and is a loving little boy. :) So happy for you guys!

*karen b

Aimee said...

Glad things are going well! For what it's worth, we decided to keep the bottle (eventually just water at night) for 1 year after we arrived home. Since some of the attachment resources recommend bottle-feeding older toddlers as well, we figured weaning at 18 months wouldn't be too big a deal (and it wasn't). She did use a cup as well, but if we ever saw any evidence or questioned her behaviors as possible attachment-related we whipped that bottle right back out! It's been so interesting to watch Setota journey through MEGA self-soothing initially, to allowing us to soothe her, to needing us to soothe her, and back to starting to soothe herself again. Such a facsinating process and one that seems to repeatedly come full circle as each next phase begins. Hmmm... Oh well, so glad things are going well. I can't wait to hear your perceptions 6 months from now as you all get to know eachother even better!!!

Aimee :)