Big guy turned 18 months a week ago! ‘Bout time I get the update rolling, eh? I’ll blame it on the craziness of having a garage sale this past weekend with four kids 4 and under. That clears me for being late, right?!
He is weighing 23 lb 6 oz, which is a few ounces down since last time…. I’m pretty worried about his weight gain. The doctors noticed he wasn’t gaining well last time but in spite of my concern, they assured me he was doing fine. This is actually a weight loss though. He has an appointment soon, so we’ll hopefully get some answers! He still gets alllllllll the comments on his red hair and a few have started noticing his big brown eyes. ❤
We made it all the way to 1 1/2 years old with this fella. Always so many ups and downs. Good thing God is constant and also in complete control of the outcome of all of this! I have had so much peace with that in mind these past few months – praise the Lord! Praying His will is done (as I know it will be) in this situation.
This past Wednesday, there was court to set a court (oooooh, government! Only you could be this efficient!) for a termination hearing. Bud’s DHS worker came to visit the following Thursday and informed me that date is September 28th. After talking with her, I think it makes sense for me to go in case of questions from the judge, so we will see how that ends up! Should be interesting as always….
I have had a name picked out in my head for our little fella pretty much since the day I brought him home. However, Caleb doesn’t think we should discuss a name for him unless the rights are actually terminated, so I’m not sure if he will like the name too or want to think through other options. It’s definitely a name off of our mutual favorite boys names list, but we’ll see. I’ve tried asking for an earlier discussion of names (just last night to be honest…. haha), but he is sure we need to wait until we hear that termination goes through. It’s a good lesson in patience for me I suppose.
I think I mentioned in the last update that I was trying to get physical therapy set up. Well, it finally all came together! It is so complicated and time consuming trying to get things going when a child is still in foster care. Phew! After a lot of passing papers back and forth and sending things to get signed by birth parents and calls here and there and everywhere…. it is actually happening now. Of course, his physical therapist is now on vacation for 2 weeks, but at least it is all in place now!! He had his first couple visits last week.
His therapist told me he has hypotonia, commonly known as floppy baby syndrome. It is basically really low muscle tone or under developed muscles. He has it globally, meaning all of his muscles are affected. She said there can be a reason for it, but in his case it seems likely to be genetic. This explains pretty much all of his issues we have been bringing up at doctor appointments, etc. for the last 10 months. This is why he was so incredibly slow to crawl, pull up, etc. This is why he doesn’t generally have a lot of facial expression. This is why he often chokes on food, even when it’s diced. This is why he struggles to feed himself, why his lips don’t shape well for speech, why everything he does is extremely gross motor, why he goes limp when picked up, why he plunks down ungracefully hard from a standing position to his bum, why his limbs are all too flexible for this age, etc. Finally, some answers!!
She told me that while he will have this and deal with this his entire life, with therapy and muscle use/training, he will hopefully get to the point that it’s not noticeable to people other than therapists. She said not to expect him to walk for another six months, so close to 2 years old. She also mentioned it will probably look a little awkward when he learns to run and stuff, but he will get there. I now have different little exercises and such to practice with him, which is great! He is supposed to wear shoes all the time during day hours now to help him move without using his toe curl thing he does. He pretty much comes up with new ways to power up and do things rather than using the appropriate muscles and we’re going to work on retraining him to do things correctly.
So, let’s see….. since Bud learned how to crawl in early May, he has been working on fine tuning that skill. His crawl still looks fairly awkward compared to a baby with normal muscle development, but he can really move when he wants to (generally when I bribe him with food).
He learned how to pull himself up to his knees sometime in June. He was really into that for a while!
About a month later, in July, he finally figured out how to pull himself to his feet! It’s really more of a power up, almost completely relying on his upper body strength. His therapist wishes he wouldn’t have figured that out, because she wants him to use his leg muscles and such, which he now does not want to do, but it is what it is. He pulls up all over the house, although he generally doesn’t stay on his feet long at all and will PLUNK down hard on his bum after a few seconds. Once in a while I will find something interesting to keep him standing up longer.
This guy’s most recent “trick” has been to lift his hiney up in the air as pictured below. Not sure this is a crowd pleaser, but in his case any movement progression is a good thing. haha The talent is real, folks.
Because our big guy isn’t anywhere near walking yet, he is pretty used to the stroller. We have a LOT of stroller pictures of him from when we’re out and about. haha He definitely is getting to live it up sitting on his bum a lot longer than the other kids ever got to. haha
This kid loooooooooooves being a photo bomber creeper. This is what he was doing when I was trying to get a picture of Elly the other day. Maybe it’s just me, but I can not stop laughing when I look at these. Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!
While our girls tend to be a bit shy at first (at least for the most part), he is usually pretty quick to ham it up with any and every one. It’s always a hit with the great grandparents. 🙂
Although it’s tricky for Bud to make all the correct mouth shapes to speak, he sure tries his best! He will try to copy almost everything we say and does pretty well with it! Because he is so physically behind, it’s easy for us to underestimate him or think of him as younger than he really is. He is small for his age too, which doesn’t help. People are often surprised by how old he is. The other day I was practicing some letters and sounds with Evie and he got so excited and chimed right in, saying his sounds and letters. It reminded me that I should work more with him on stuff like that. Mentally, he seems ready to go! The therapist was quite impressed with how many words he knows and says already. She said they want 50 by two years old (our girls have always been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond that by 2 unfortunately hahahahaha) and he is well on track to be beyond that himself.
He says and signs a lot of words now, but some of my favorites are when he says, “Un-uh!” “Uh boy” (oh boy) “I know” (he slurs it all together like it’s one word and uses this to self soothe when he’s waiting for something…. generally food. haha Because I’ll say that to him. I know, Bud. Be patient, etc.) “All pull” (all full, accompanied by the sign), “I uv oo!” (I love you), and his new favorite, “Ut?” (what). His version of “what” is typically accompanied by his raised hands in the what expression. It cracks me up every time. Of course, when I tried to get a picture of him doing it he wasn’t having it. Together, you can get the idea though. The first picture is his normal “what” expression. The second picture is how he usually holds his hands while saying it. So hilarious.
This guy REALLY likes to eat. He is ALWAYS ready for meal times. He still can tend to be pretty screamy and ridiculous at meal times, especially when we are out or have company. If it’s a normal meal at home with just us, he is usually decently calm. In the first picture, he is angrily signing “more” because I’m not shoveling food in his mouth at the speed of light.
Picnic mealtimes on the deck are my favorite way to roll when it’s warm enough. All crumbs outside = AWESOME! Notice Bud’s meal is almost annihilated while every else is still in the midst. Typical.
All dressed up for Cow Day at Chick-fil-A. Ready to get our free food. Bud was feeling a little moooooooody about waiting so long to eat.
Evie has enjoyed loving on Bud for a long time now. I’ll often find her hugging and holding him. They have a special humor bond too. They’re often laughing at who knows what together. haha
Speaking of relationships, nothing is quite as cute and troublesome as the “twins” together. They have such an interesting thing going. haha
Sometimes they’ll be sitting together and share whatever they’re doing quite sweetly. The next minute, they’re screaming over the same toy. Other times they’ll be doing their own thing, but right next to each other.
They’re also the best at plotting mischief.
There’s always an abundance of hugs, lovings, and general goofiness amidst rolling around on the floor.
Also, I will probably never get over how completely polar opposite these two are in looks (annnnd, pretty much everything to be honest).
Those two alone, however, are no match for all four kids together! Here’s a few snapshots of life with four tiny humans with nonstop energy. Couch cleaning day turns into this:
In spite of the overall poor facial expressions, this turns into a GREAT PHOTO! They were all looking and no one was bawling!! WIN!
Trying to shower in the morning is never (never, never, never, never) a good idea.
This next picture should be titled “Impossible.” Because, I have yet to get one really good picture of the four kids together. And yes, it drives me crazy. haha The problem is, I can get SOME of them to laugh at the right moment, but not all of them will find the same things funny. Bud doesn’t smile nice too easily, because of his muscle deficiency thing, but there are specific things that will work on him (fake burping for one) that don’t get good smiles out of the others. So, these didn’t turn out well, but it’s my usual fare, so what can I do? I put two here, because in the first one Elly looks like an amazon baby compared to Bud, which isn’t actually true. They are both on the small side, but he is decidedly bigger than her. She was almost standing in this pic which threw it off visually. haha The second picture shows more accurate scales. 😉
The final picture I’ll share here is what you might call a bummer. On grocery/shopping days, it’s normally me manning all the children solo. Usually, it goes quite smoothly. The kids are used to it, and I am generally a very efficient shopper so we move through pretty quickly. It doesn’t turn crazy difficult unless I attempt to shop for clothes (DISASTROUS) or when someone needs to use the bathroom. Now, we usually are moving so quickly that no one thinks about the bathroom until we’re either in the van or home, but it has happened on rare occasion. The instance this picture depicts was an extremely frustrating time, because I was the unfortunate soul who had to use the can. In the middle of our shopping trip at Wal-mart nonetheless. ARGH! Why?! I tried to ignore it, but that wasn’t happening. Finally, I made a beeline for the restrooms, dragging my four kids, and our cart half full of stuff. *sigh* There was no way I was leaving our cart outside the bathroom. There would be no way to contain the babies from all the gross bathroom germs and I didn’t want to risk an employee putting all our items away. In we all crowded. Thank goodness the big stall was available! Sitting on the toilet, trying to keep the babies from bawling and the big girls from touching, licking and dropping our stuff all over the nasty bathroom, it was one of those laugh or cry moments. This time, I laughed and snapped this pic. Because, I obviously want to remember this moment for the rest of my life. Er….
Bugs used to moan or even cry most of the time we were outside in the yard playing, but he’s getting a little more chipper as he can do more. I think his bad mood was mostly due to his sensitivity to the sun. When it’s hot enough, he has been really enjoying “swimming” with the girls. When it’s cooler, he often enjoys hanging out on his stair spot.
Crazy driver on the loose! Take cover!
Starting to explore a little when we go to the parks!
Swinging is this guy’s FAV! He busts out laughing and would do it all day. haha
Little worker man. ❤