Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Long Overdue!!

Yes, this post is so, so long overdue!! Can't believe it's been 2 months since I've last written! Just a few short months ago, these blogs were my life line!!! They were the place I could go and feel like I was not alone in this crazy process of international adoption, where I felt like I "fit in" as a mother in a way that I couldn't with my other friends who had biological children. Yet now, I am just a mom. We have become a normal family of three, and we have the normal life of any family raising a 17 month old boy! Randy and I are parents of a wonderful, amazing, adorable little boy who we get to wake up with every morning, put to bed every night, and just enjoy. It feels like we are finally just living our lives, instead of waiting to. Believe it or not, most days I don't even think about the adoption process, or what we went through to bring Brayden home. It must be like "labor pains" for moms of biological children. You do forget. You forget the pain and the negative stuff, and you are just living in the moment. Loving and enjoying your child, and are just so happy and grateful to have him..

However, I realize that there are many friends I've made in this journey that aren't there yet. They are still in the place of limbo. Their reality is the waiting, the uncertainty, the roller coaster of emotions that come with adoption. For those moms/dads I will try and be better about updating!!! I know how much I needed to hear and see how things were going with other families ahead of us in the process. I needed to see that things were going well and to just believe that at the end of all this, we'd REALLY have our child home with us! So I'm going to really, truly try to be better at updating for anyone out there who needs it! 

So in the 3 1/2 months since we've brought Brayden home lots has happened. Overall, Brayden is doing amazing. He has gained 7 lbs since he's been home and grown 2.5 inches! (and is still growing before our eyes!!) He was so small when we brought him home. He weighed only 17 lbs now he's 24lbs and looks like a healthy toddler! He is very happy and well adjusted. He is becoming so independent and is just so curious. He loves 'figuring" things out! How things work how to put things together, etc. He will watch Randy/I do something and then he'll try to do it. I think it's a riot that he tends to try to close drawers and cabinets with his foot. (Like his mommy!) He loves to play and explore and absolutely loves being outside! He has gone from walking to running and loves to have us "chase" him around the house! He also loves to dance!!! He is very social and just loves to be out and about! He is amazingly well behaved in restaurants, and at the grocery store he just waves at everyone who walks by him! He's a riot!!! He loves being around other children too! Luckily a few of my close friends have young children a bit older or younger than Brayden. He loves, loves, being around them!!! He still sleeps great! At least 11-12 hours straight a night and he'll nap daily anywhere from 1.5 - 2.5 hours!

As I said he's a typical 17 month old boy, so yes, once and awhile he decides to have a little tantrum!  (these started a few weeks ago.) Brayden does not like it when he doesn't get his way!! : ) They are also typical of his age, and are actually kind of funny sometimes!! He actually stamps his feet!! (Just like his mama used too!) and if he's really mad he'll throw himself on the floor!! (Also, like his mama did!!) ha! Randy and I just ignore him or try to redirect him with something else. They usually last an average of 2 minutes and then he just sort of forgets what he's upset about and is back to his happy self!! Ha!

The only "delay" we've noticed, and it's not too much of a concern just yet is that he doesn't talk. At all. He babbles and gibber gabs all day long, but he won't say any words. He HAS said mama and dada, yeah, shut, more, and hi. However, he'll go DAYS without saying any real words. Instead he points and does a squeaky "EHH" to tell you what he wants. HE will shake his head "no" when he doesn't want something, and he'll nod on occasion for yes. HE blows kisses when you say "I love you" or leans in for a hug or kiss. He waves for hi, goodbye, and night night. Once in a while he'll say a word but literally it's once on any given day, and then he's silent for 3 more!! His main form of communication is to just makes his noises and  point. Or shake his head no if he doesn't want something. That's about it. We also know it's not a language thing because he understands everything we say!!! When we say "do you want to brush your teeth" he giggles and runs to the bathroom. When we say time for "night night" he blows kisses and heads to the stairs. When I say "Do you want to go for a walk?" He goes to my closet and takes out my running sneakers!! Literally it's like this about  everything!  I can ask him questions and he'll shake his head for no or giggle for yes! So, we are just wondering how long until he actually starts using words!!

We go for his 18 month appt. in July, so are thinking we might look into getting an early intervention screening for speech. Randy and I both feel like it's a control issue. Brayden doesn't talk because he doesn't want to. He also doesn't really need too. We are meeting his needs/wants without him speaking to us, which... might not be the best thing! : )

Overall, I feel Randy and I have settled into parenthood pretty well! We finally went out on our first dinner date without Brayden last week! My parents came and stayed with him and put him to bed. Of course, we were home by 9:30 as we were both wiped but it was fun to get out just the two of us!! I also went back to work the day after memorial day. This was not easy!! Luckily it was only for 3 weeks and now I'm off for summer break! However, I had a very hard time leaving him. Everyday the 1st week, I cried on my drive to work. I was fine once I was there, and knew he was in good hands with his daddy or if it was one of his 24 hour shifts at the firehouse, with nana or grandpa! Even still it was just so hard to leave him. Randy would call me and say they were doing tubby time and I'd just feel an ache that I was missing it. That was "our" time, and now I wasn't doing it anymore. Yes, I believe it was harder on me than it was on Brayden!!!
 He had a hard time with the transition for the first few days but by the 2nd week he was much better as he realized Mommy would always come home in the afternoon after nap! Now,  I'm back to being home 24/7 again and I'm loving it and it's like I never left! However, we'll have to do it all over again in September!! : ) For now, I'm just going to enjoy my summer and this time I have with him!! Well, sounds like nap time is over! Hope all is well with everyone! For all my friends waiting for referrals and news, my fingers are crossed for you and we're thinking of you always!!! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

15 months Old & Overdue Update!

Wow, just realized that it has been a month since I last updated our blog! My last one was when Brayden turned 14 months and today he's 15 months!! I can't believe it's been that long!! Although, time seems to be flying by, and I must admit that it is hard to find time to write now! I am just loving being a mom and when my little guy goes down for a nap or the night, there is always so much to do! Laundry, dishes, cleaning, catching up on shows on the DVR!! : )  I can't believe at this point last year we were just finishing up getting all our paperwork together and the reality of bringing our child home seemed so far away. Yet, here we are! A year later and we have a wonderful, beautiful son and couldn't be more blessed!

 It is so strange to me that it was only SIX weeks ago that we brought Brayden home for good! Six weeks and I feel like he's been with us forever. He has changed so much in the short time he's been home & everyday  we are just amazed with the strides he's making! He's so smart and he learns something new every day. He's very curious and determined, but he's also so silly and funny too. He has the best giggle in the whole world. His laugh is the best sound I think I've ever heard in my whole life. I love to see and hear how happy he is. It has made everything we went through to get him, all worthwhile. To be honest, it all doesn't even seem that bad now. You forget. I promise. You forget how difficult it all was, when you look into the face of your child and you see all that love and happiness. It is the best.

So, updates on Brayden, well as you will see from the pictures I am going to post he has gained weight at a pretty good rate. His doctors are very pleased! When he was home 2 weeks we had his appointment at the international adoption clinic at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He met with two doctors and went through a battery of tests and screenings. It was a long day but he was a trooper. We were very excited to hear that he was on target for his fine motor skills, and advanced for his emotional and cognitive development! He was obviously delayed slightly for speech (10 months old) and gross motor (11 months) as he wasn't walking independently yet. However, there was no real concerns about these areas since he's starting to say some words and is cruising, so they feel he'll catch up in no time! The big concern, was his size. He was only 18 lbs and 28 inchs long. and was in the 3rd percentile for weight and 1st for height. (He had already gained one pound since Moscow.) The doctor recommended us starting him on Pediasure and told us to feed him lots of fats! (cheeses, oils, butter, ice cream..) They agreed to keep him on formula until we go back in 3 months to see how he's growing! The worst part of the day.. the blood work. : ( They needed to take 5 viles of blood from him to check his tiers for immunizations. (His record was completely wrong!) AND they did standardized testing to check for Hep, HIV, and parasites, etc. All came back normal!!

Since that appointment which was only a month ago, he has gained 3 lbs, grown almost an inch taller and is understanding and talking much more! He's still not completely walking on his own yet, but he's so close!! He takes at least 3-4 steps on his own everyday, but then realizes he did and either makes himself fall or grabs on to the closest piece of furniture or human! : ) He saw the pediatrician a couple weeks back and they though he was doing great! We were so excited that he was 21 lbs! He jumped from the 3rd to the 20th percentile!!! (still wearing 9 month clothes, so got a ways to go!) She told us to keep it up though because he needs the weight in order to get the height! He also started his 1st round of immunizations, and although he had to get 3 shots in a row, he did a great job! Cried only after the 2nd one and once the cookie came out when he was done, the tears were gone!

Other than that, everything has been amazing with him. He still sleeps amazing, 11-12 hours a night and takes about a 2 hour nap every afternoon! (We are so lucky!) He is eating great, although we have noticed that there are definitely a few things we've tried that hasn't gone over to well. He loves CHEESE, fruit, bread, potatoes, pasta, and most veggies! (except carrots, spits them right out or throws them on the floor!) One big change we've both noticed is that he will STOP eating now when he's full. Even if there is still food left, he stops and just plays with it, or shakes his head back and forth to say no. He will sometimes say "daa.." (which we know now means "done!") This was such a big step for him. The first few weeks he was home he'd eat anything and everything you put in front of him, and wouldn't stop. It was like he didn't know when or if he was full! Maybe he needed so much more food in the beginning, and now that his body is gaining weight and growing he feels full? We think it's great since he just has so much FUN at meal time. He loves to eat, and play and just babble! So different from when he 1st came home.

The other big change is the bath! HE LOVES THE WATER NOW!!!  It just sort of happened slowly, but his fear and the crying are all gone! He now giggles like crazy when he's bathing! He loves me running the water over his soapy feet from the faucet, and getting water poured over his head when we are rinsing, is his favorite. He just laughs and laughs. What a difference!! : )

I could go on and on but I will stop! Randy and I just feel like the luckiest parents in the world. It's amazing how much life changes and how different you look at things. Oh and I have to admit, I am LOVING being home! I am dreading going back to work already, but I keep thinking it's only for 3 weeks and then I'm off for the entire summer with him too! : )

I have posted some recent pictures too from Easter and from his Christening that we just had this past weekend! Will update again soon! Before he's 16 months old! Ha. Also, just wanted to say I'm thinking of all my blogging friends out there still waiting for a referral or court date. Ugh, the waiting. It's the worst. People told me when we were there, that it's all worth it in the end, and I tried to believe them, but I promise you. It. Is. All. Worth. It! Till next time!

Happy Easter! Having a few puffs before brunch! : ) 

                                         Having fun with Auntie Michelle! : )