Saturday, March 31, 2012

Good Things Are Happening Around Here Lately . . .

This boy does not want to take life lying down anymore!
Look at what Micah is learning to do:

Standing up and balancing his head is hard work for such
a tiny little boy, and Micah likes to have someplace to rest
his head when he needs to take a break

And even when he is so tired that his legs are trembling
and he is grunting and grimacing with the effort,
he still wants to keep trying!  He is working so hard on this!
Micah is one tough, determined little guy!
I try to lay him back down and he yells at me, as though to say,
"Wait, Mama, let me try again.  Really, I can DO this!"
And in other exciting Micah breakthroughs, Micah is beginning to consider perhaps, maybe, someday, eating real food off of a real spoon!  After refusing, with a great display of disgust and horror, applesauce, soup, yogurt, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, and mashed banana, Micah finally found something he likes:
Chocolate pudding, of course!
Who doesn't love chocolate pudding?

I was starting to worry that his booster seat would stay clean
forever!  Booster seats are not supposed to be quite so clean,
you know?  

Happy boy!

Micah ate real food, and he is not screaming at me!
This is huge!
I have never met a child as orally defensive as Micah.
He usually clamps his mouth shut and REFUSES to let
ANYTHING AT ALL get past his clamped lips.
I don't even want to TALK about teeth brushing.
Suffice it to say, it is traumatic for all of us.
His teeth are HORRIFIC, and I am sure they are hurting him,
but until we can get him in to the dentist next month,
we are trying to convince him to eat, even with a mouthful
of sore, rotten teeth.
But today gives us all hope!  The boy ate!  Voluntarily!
If he keeps this up, he just might grow out of those
size 12-18 month clothes before his 6th birthday!
Go, Micah, go!

He is still worrying us with his extreme pickiness.
Some days he will take a few sips of his Pediasure and
toss the sippy cup across the room.  And that is all
that I can convince him to take in.  For hours.
(Tossing the cup across the room, I believe, was one way he learned to get attention in the orphanage.  But I wonder how much his little "trick" has contributed to his malnutrition, as well?  What happened when the nannies didn't keep retrieving the bottle and giving it back to him?)

But the last couple of days he really seems to be hungry
constantly, so I am starting to experiment.  
For instance, did you know that spinach can be blended into
Pediasure, quite a lot of it, in fact, and become
virtually undetectable?  Same goes for squash!  
Especially if Micah is laying his head on his Mama's lap
while he is drinking it, and she is holding the sippy cup
and smiling at him and touching his hair and 
telling him how fabulous he is and generally distracting him from thinking about tossing the cup across the room.  
If we continue to have success with this line of experimentation, I am going to try increasing the amounts of whole foods gradually, and see if I can get him to drink a homemade smoothie, minus the funky chemicals, additives, sugar, and impossible-to-pronounce ingredients.
How awesome would that be?  

Meanwhile, Gideon continues to eat anything and everything, second and third helpings at every meal, and then help polish off any and all food that anybody else leaves behind:

"Hey, Josiah turned away from his bowl for a second.
Surely that means he doesn't want it, right?"

I love to feed this boy!  He is such an enthusiastic diner!  While the other kids are flopping around, moaning and complaining about "Soup agaaaaaaain?" Gideon is flapping his arms with excitement, giddy at the thought of another meal.  

The only thing is, he is not so good at chewing.  We are honestly not sure if this is because of the bad shape his teeth are in or just because he has never learned to chew (and yes, we are taking him to see specialists to check on both of these possibilities.)  Soup, he is good at.  Anything that is soft spoon-food, he is good at, actually.  But sandwiches, crackers, pieces of cheese or meat or anything that requires chewing, is another matter.  While he loves to put every bite of food into his mouth, there is no guarantee that it will . . . ahem . . . stay there.  He tends to suck on a bite of food, roll it around in his mouth, and then spit it back out onto his plate.  And then he will try to eat the same bite again.  And again.  Yeah.  We are back to the old baby-food grinder again for the trickier foods, like meat and vegetables, and when we serve them that way, he loves them.  But anyway, at least he loves to eat!  That is the most important thing.  I am sure Gideon is about to bust out of his 2T and 3T clothes any day now!

And, as if all of that is not enough exciting news, I also decided to try something else wild and brave:  I took the boys to the grocery store!  And I would have to say that our expedition was wildly successful!  No screaming, no meltdowns, not too much rocking and stimming . . . and I even bought a couple of things, too!  Grocery stores can be pretty overwhelming places, with the bright, artificial lighting, the towering aisles of SO MUCH FOOD, the strange voices on the loudspeakers, the stream of people pushing past all around . . . I was totally prepared to scoop up the boys and bolt if/when things fell apart, so this was way above and beyond my expectations, to be walking OUT of the store and have them still ready to smile for pictures!

I am sort of pondering switching from a stroller to a shopping cart for our outings in the future.  Dear Micah HATES the stroller and fights and twists and screams like it is a medieval torture device, but look at this mellow face as he chills out in the shopping cart.  How cool is that?  Not scared at all!  Maybe I could get him one of those old-fashioned baby buggies?  Hmmm . . . 


Christy E. said...

So excited for you all that your big shopping trip went so well and that the eating is improving. Continuing to pray for your dear family! :)

Dee Etheridge said...

Micah is one impressive boy!! Congrats, Micah and Gideon on all your successes!!

Have you thought about a wagon?

Christine said...

Wow-- you are one brave lady! It took me a month before I would take Dennis (if I remember correctly). So glad the boys did well for you! I am amazed to read about their progress. They are blossoming more and more each day!

gps said...

Wow! Micah's progress is amazing! This is so inspiring!!!! Go Micah!!!! (And yay for Gideon, too!!)

What awesome boys they will grow into!

Ellen said...

Hi Rachelle,

Given his rapid rate of progress MIcah may soon like the stroller but just in case, you might try one one of those double jogging type strollers. They tend to be quite flat and I would imagine he could lie down in it. Thought, as his neck strength increases he may complain less about the more upright position of a traditional stroller.


Katie said...

I'm so happy to see both boys doing so well!

Nealy said...

PRAISE THE LORD!! Our Zeb ( is not chewing either and we DO believe it's totally b/c he was never given anything to chew before. We used a stick blender for the first 5 months and now gradually introducing small bits of food. But it doesn't seem to matter what it is or how big it is, he swallows it whole. Ugh. He wallows it around in his mouth and then swallows it. But no chewing. He loves to brush his teeth though! Your goal for Micah to outgrow 12-18 mo sizes before his 8th birthday certainly sounds reasonable to me! I would say "LOL" but it's not the least bit funny. You're doing a great job!!

Carla said...

Woo Hoo!!! Go Micah!

Jolene said...

I am so completely, thoroughly impressed! You make my heart sing every time you post. :-)