Sunday, March 21, 2010

What a Week

I can't believe we've been home with Pudding for a week now. We are slowly starting to transition from survival mode into our "new normal". We always try to lay low for awhile after an adoption and let our new child settle into his/her new family. However, between school, soccer practice, field trips, HD's 2nd birthday and doctor's appointments, there has been little hibernation with Pudding. But he has been a trooper and jumped right into all of the action.
One of the biggest challenges I am having is trying to get all of the kiddos ready and out of the door every morning. How in the world do you parents of multiples do it?!? I have to start getting the little ones ready a good 1.5 hours before we are ready to leave. Of course it never fails that one, if not both, will have dirty diapers between the time it takes to get dressed and into the van. Friday morning I thought I was doing great. I had fixed breakfast, gotten Chipmunk out the door for school, given a bath to the "Littles" (as we've taken to calling HD and Pudding), ironed Monkey's clothes for his field trip, and partially dressed myself...all before 9:30!! I was feeling pretty cocky because I was actually ahead of schedule. I had just finished putting HD's shoes on when I went to find Pudding to get him dressed. Our little wild man had managed to go back to the bathroom, open a new bottle of shampoo and empty it on himself and our new hardwood floors. Arggh. So after another bath and a quick mop, I ended up being about twenty minutes behind. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon but man-oh-man is it a challenge. I won't even get started on my decision to make a "quick" stop at the grocery with the Littles in tow. I feel like we are a traveling 3-ring circus.
We are still struggling with sleep issues with Pudding too. I have no idea what to do. He is napping better now (thank goodness) but nighttime is a total disaster. He goes to sleep (still laying on our chest) without too much of a fight. But he wakes up about an hour later and then about every 1.5 hours after that, all night long. He just wakes up screaming and is inconsolable. I don't think they are night terrors but I have no idea what it could be. And when he does sleep, he moves constantly. He isn't still for more than 2 minutes at a time. It takes anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to get him back to sleep so you can see that he (nor Stu and I) are getting much sleep at this point. We've tried a crib, a toddler bed, a couch, our bed...nothing seems to help. We did find out that he has a double ear infection so we are hoping once the antibiotics kick in he'll start to sleep better. We've also removed dairy from his diet, knowing that Asians are typically lactose intolerant. Maybe the bottle before bed is upsetting his stomach?? We'll just keep plodding along, trying different things until we can find a solution that works for him. If anybody has any suggestions I'd love to hear it.
The kids are all still doing great together. Pudding and HD have really started to play together and are constantly by each other's sides. We've had a few jealousy issues when one is sitting with me and the other isn't. But the other is always willing to scoot over and share my lap and the problem is solved. We've been enjoying this beautiful weather and have gone for many long walks this week. The Littles love strolling in the double jogger and tend to hold hands for most of the walk. So sweet! Surprisingly Monkey has had the greatest difficulty adjusting to the new brother. I think it's more an issue of sharing my attention than of the new addition. I already have a "big boy" day planned for next weekend so hopefully having some one-on-one with me will help alleviate some of his attention-seeking behavior.
I took HD and Pudding to the pediatrician this week...what was I thinking when I scheduled an appointment for two 2-year-olds??!?! It was the two-year checkup for HD and she looks great. Holding steady at 34 pounds and 34 inches - my little square:) Most of you know that Pudding was a "special-needs" child, as he had a moderate-to-severe VSD/enlarged heart. We knew this when we accepted his referral and had already consulted with a cardiologist. We anticipated lots of medical treatment/possible surgery when we came home. What we didn't expect was him already having the surgery in China while we were waiting to pick him up. When we picked him up at the orphanage, we met briefly with the caregivers and they never mentioned this. It wasn't until a little while later that day that we saw the big scar on his chest, indicating that he had open-heart surgery at some point. We asked our translator to check with the orphanage to see when he had the surgery/what type of surgery he had. She was able to find out that he had surgery in July 2009. They wouldn't release what type of surgery he had but indicated that his problem was fixed and he was considered 100% healthy. That was good to hear but I wasn't going to feel completely comfortable with that until I heard it from our own doctors. So I was very anxious to hear what our pediatrician would say about Pudding. I am thrilled to report that the doctor said his heart sounded "perfect" and while he advised us to set up an appointment with our cardiologist, there was no need to rush and we could wait several months until things have settled down. What great news!!! Also good to hear is that Pudding is now up to 24 pounds...pretty good considering he was right at 20 pounds when we picked him up 3.5 weeks ago. And I think if he continues to eat like he has been, he'll catch up with HD in no time!
Of course, I can't forget to mention that our little Miss HD celebrated her 2nd birthday on Tuesday! I can't believe my baby is two-years-old. It really seems like just a few months ago I was in Kyrgyzstan picking up our little 6-month-old baby. Now she is such the queen bee of our household and has all of her brothers wrapped around her little (chubby) finger. We were still suffering from jet-lag and being out of the country for 18 days so we didn't do a big party; instead we just had a little celebration at home with a few family members. Thank goodness she's still too little to really care about not having a big bash. I don't think we will be able to get away with that for too many more years. But she had a great time and really enjoyed unwrapping her presents. Her favorite present? Probably the pair of squeaky shoes we brought back from China. She loves to run through the house making tons of noise. Pudding has a pair too. While the sound might drive me crazy, it is nice to know where they are at all times. We can hear their little squeaks a mile away.

So happy in the morning!

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed

Our little birthday girl

Getting the hang of opening presents

Loving her new chair


Lori said...

I just love all the stuff going on there (except the no sleeping thing....sorry for that!) and I love the pictures.
I can just picture that little Pudding with shampoo all over the place and a big, proud grin!!

Happy belated to little Miss. She's just as cute as she can be, as always!!

Christen and Frank said...

Okay it must be really hard to be upset with his cute little face. I don't know why (maybe it's the longer hair), but HD is looking so much more "little girl" now.

I'll be interested to hear your response to my email... but like I said, no rush.

Maybe Pudding is still adjusting to the time change???

Jeanne said...

Such beautiful pictures! Sounds like it is all going great, except for the sleep. Although it's not a bad idea to try him off dairy, I don't think that's it. Sounds like he is unable to go into deep sleep. Does he snore? Might be adenoids.

Christina said...

All sounds great except for the sleep part. Loved the pictures. You'll be an expert at the 4 kid thing in no time. Great news about Puddings "special" need.

Karen said...

I hear you about the morning routine - here's what we did1) move baths to at night, 2) lay out everything (clothes, breakfast dishes, etc) the night before 3) pack up all the we need the night before. I do as much as I can at night before I go to bed - at east I have a fighting chance in the morning!

Mary from TN said...

Great to see your beautiful family! As for sleep, have you tried giving him rice cereal right before bed? It solved our one year old's waking up all during the night. His formula just wasn't keeping his tummy full.

Mary from TN
Still waiting to bring our little man home from Kyrgyzstan

Joel and Lee-Anne said...

You are obviously a pro at being a mommy, so take these suggestions lightly :):) When naomi came home from China, it took a LONG MONTHS before I slept again - so I feel for you and know it is not easy. Naomi had a lot of night issues, crying and inconsolable and it was so tough. A few things we did:
Put a twin bed in her room (she slept in the crib, I slept in the twin), that way she could hear my voice when she would wake up crying. For a while I would get her up and rock her, but after a good 6-8 weeks (I dont remember exactly, you'll know when the time is right, as he continues to settle in), I would only talk to her allowing her to hear my voice, consoling her and she would eventually fall back to sleep. Also, we did stop the bottle (at night) because she had really never worn diapers before we got her and the wetness was really irritating to her. I think, too, it was a lactose thing. That also helped.
Please ask away cause I'd love to help anyway I can.
Welcome home and to your "New normal". Your kids are precious.

Rachel said...

I cannot tell you how happy I am that Pudding is all healed up! Keep that scar covered this summer! Rash guards when swimming, etc. And a VERY happy birthday to HD!!!

Have you tried Almond Milk? That's what my kids drink at home. Scarlett also likes rice milk.

mblatham said...

AWWW .... so good to read an update. Of course, I think we'd already talked about most of it, but this way I get pictures!! You wear me out just reading it. :-) You are my hero!!! Can't believe how much HD has grown! Ellie is trying to catch up -- seriously. I'm guessing she's close to 24 pounds now herself. She's feeling heavier. And you know I can talk ALL DAY about sleep issues. Talk to you this week.

Jackie said...

I think you're doing great and a little more time will get you were you want to be :) I can't offer any more advice than you've already recieved. (btw, I have problems getting out the door with just one ;)

Happy Happy Bday to HD. Our girls are growing so fast, aren't they??

Margaret and Tom said...

Love it! They look so cute together! I love the part about holding hands in the stroller, that is too cute. We have some cute moments too, a lot of trying ones as well, but lots of cute to make up for most of it :)
I hope he starts sleeping better...maybe teeth? Nicholas has done that screaming thing...his didn't seem like night terrors either, but he is teething and oragel seemed to help him a bit on one or two occasions...Hang in there...I am right there with you girl (oh yeah, minus your two older boys :) ok you have me on that one).

Aunt Sally said...

I had to laugh at your "quick trips to the grocery" experience. Your mom used to call me all the time to come down to your house and watch you kids so she could do all of her "quick trip" errands. Sometimes she'd say she be "just a half hour" and she would be gone forever! She's lucky she had me next door at her beck and call for all of those years!

She didn't pay me for those hours but she worked out a deal with me where she would buy me a gift when she went shopping in Louisville in trade for accumulated hours of 'errand' sitting. Maybe you'll luck out and find a teen in the neighborhood that you can use too!

La Dolce Vita said...

Thanks for your comment on our blog. Your family is adorable. :)