Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Four Month Update

First of all, Happy (Early) Chinese New Year!

We've been home with L for a little over four months, which is hard to believe. It seems like yesterday we just staring at his picture, and at the same time it's hard to imagine our lives without him in it.  So, how are things going?

L recently transitioned to sleeping in his own room--yay!!! Until now, he slept in a crib next to my side of the bed.  For roughly the first 2 months home he woke 4-5 times a night to use the bathroom or just hold my hand.  Since Christmas we've been able to take him to the bathroom right before we head to bed and he's made it through the night just fine.  His transition went pretty well overall, so he was ready (and so were we).   He took to waking at around 3:45am for a few days, but we started hooking up his light to a timer and the new rule is that he can't get up until the light turns on.  So far it's worked, so we'll see. 

Due to past ear infections which were likely untreated, he has permanent holes in his eardrums.  He will need surgery to repair these at some point but specialists like to wait until children are in the 5-6 year-old range as the surgery is far more effective.  We just had his hearing tested, and this did show some definite hearing loss. The tests were completed about halfway, so I'm not sure yet what this means (hearing aids, surgery sooner than expected), but have decided not to completely freak out until everything is done and verified.  Hopefully it's fixable at some point.  He's learning English at a pretty fast clip, so I know he can hear something.  We'll see.

 I think L is showing excellent attachment behaviors.  He is outgoing and social but wants one of us nearby at all times.  We've started a few classes, including soccer, Little Gym, and preschool at the library (one day per week, 1 hour), and he checks in with me constantly.  He's definitely not ready to be on his own yet but I'm hoping this fall he can start preschool 1-2 mornings per week.  However, I think he enjoys being around other kids and learning new things, so it's been fun.  I'm dying to start swimming lessons but the perforated eardrum issue needs to be resolved first.

General Development:
L's strengths lie in gross motor and social skills.  He gets along with other kids generally well and is proving to be pretty good at whole-body skills (skipping, jumping, climbing).  He is absolutely right-handed, but without a right hand, so that can complicate things a tad.  He will always try things with his right side first and then switch to his left.  His brain creates workarounds--this kid will have some amazing critical thinking skills some day.  His fine motor skills need some work in large part due to lack of experience with things like crayons and scissors, as well as the right-left hand issue.  For example, we were using a crayon to do a maze and I noticed he was ham-fisting the crayon, so I showed him how to properly hold it.  He watched me, then attempted to switch the crayon to his right arm.  His brain was saying "yup, I can do that with my right hand" and he had a much harder time with his left. With practice, however, he was able to transfer that skill to the left hand.  Skills we are working on include using chopsticks, putting pennies in a bank, ripping paper, cutting paper, and gluing.  It'll come in time. 

Of course...pictures!

Pizza at the San Diego airport
Backward on the balance beam!

Proud of his big-boy room