Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Itty Bitty is ONE!!

I can't believe Itty Bitty is ONE!! In a few days, we will also celebrate the one year anniversary of his arrival in our home from the NICU. It's been a very rocky year; we love Itty Bitty so much, but his permanent home is, unfortunately up in the air. It's been a very emotional roller coaster  as his case has been playing out in court.

Patrick and I want very much to be able to adopt Itty Bitty...but his case is complicated, and I'm not allowed to share details online. Hopefully, permanency will be decided soon...and we are still prayerful that we will be blessed to call him our second son. We thought recently that we would get a final ruling - one way or another - at the end of June. But, while the court date is still in place, it is looking less likely that this will be decision day for his case.

In the meantime, I thought I'd do a 1 - year snapshot.

Itty Bitty has benefitted greatly from occupational therapy. He will be visiting some specialist doctors soon to begin to get a better picture of what his short and long term needs will be.  We are definitely hoping for an increase in therapy. He likely has some form of cerebral palsy, though it is mild. He still also has problems with reflux, and there are now concerns that he may be having difficulty swallowing and using the muscles of his mouth.

He is learning how to sit up from a lying down position and is consistently rolling back-to-front. He can sit and play really well, and can now play with toys easily while lying on his tummy. He can clap his hands freely, and can bang toys together. He reaches for things he wants and squeals for attention when he needs help. He can stand with help, and is trying to take a few stiff-legged steps while holding onto our hands, though he still cannot crawl at all (or even maintain a crawling position for very long). He is just beginning to babble a little, and has made up his own sign for when he wants us to turn on the ceiling fan (he gets our attention and then waves at the ceiling in a circular motion). He's beginning to figure out how some toys work, and it's a lot of fun to see him learn new things. He got a Daniel Tiger trolley for his birthday, and while he mostly prefers to bang all of his toys together, he has definitely figured out how to drop Daniel in the trolley...and how to dump/shake him out again.

He loves to eat, and will frequently refuse baby food in favor of whatever the rest of the family is eating...especially if he can smell my cooking! What can I say...he'll eat anything from Thai food (including curries), to Korean food (yes, including kim chi), to Mexican food  (not too spicy), to Italian food, to virtually any sea food (crab is a particular fav).

He adores being read to, and will sit for very long periods of time for a story. His favorite bedtime stories right now are "One Fish, Two Fish" and "Llama, Llama, Nighty-Night."

He absolutely adores Eli. He loves any/all attention from Eli, and seemingly craves his companionship.  Returning from a doctor's visit one day, when he'd been cranky and unsettled all day, we picked Eli up from school...and from the moment Eli smiled at him, Itty Bitty was beside himself with joy.

Finally, he HATES it when I put him down. He really wants me to carry/hold him everywhere at every moment...and will sometimes even decline to be held by Patrick.  We're actually having him attend daycare twice a week or so over the summer for this reason...otherwise, when summer break is over, returning to daycare would be that much more difficult. At least if he goes occasionally, he'll remember who his "teacher" and "classmates" are. We're also having him attend daycare because his occupational therapist prefers to see him there.  We tried having her work with him at home...but he spent his entire therapy session crying for me to hold him, so not much got done. Oops. Oh well - at least we tried. Here's hoping to more great gains in the next few months...the specialists that we are going to may well order more intense therapy for him (I hope so!); I think, in his case anyway, this will be necessary for him to reach his potential for stable movement.

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