Monday, July 26, 2010

James Update

{How could you not be happy when you see this face?!
You bring such joy to our lives, buddy boy!}

It seems that Summer has finally decided to arrive in Oregon. These warm days bring with them all the fun that summer has to at Nana & Papa's {or at least the s'mores part!}, playing in the wading pool, daily trips to the park, cooking on the grill, picking fresh berries, and lots of hanging out with family. Our routine for the last couple of days has been that Keith will take Maddie and James to the park after he gets home so that I can have a break and do stuff like vacuum, make dinner, check email {or blog!}, etc. James loves to be outside just like his big sister and just this week has discovered the joy of the swings! Maddie was always a bit cautious about the swings as a baby, but James is "all boy" about them--he flings himself forwards and back, tries to chew the seat, grabs on the chains and grunts.

{heading out to the park today}

{flashback: Maddie at 3 months}

James has become quite a mobile, active little guy over just the past few weeks. He's a pro at rolling and will roll multiple times when he's determined to get somewhere {which tangles him up in his tubes, so if he's on the floor we pretty much have to be there all the time}, he can get his knees under him and rock back and forth, and can crawl for a few paces. I'm guessing in a few more weeks he'll be full-on crawling!

Right now he does an improvised crawl: he claws with his hands while pushing off one leg and dragging the other, like a half-army-crawl / half-swimming motion. Pretty amazing, considering all the tummy trauma he's been through. But he's determined to not let anything get in his way! Go James! We're so proud of you, little buddy! :-)

{He loves this Johnny Jump-Up, which gives him great practice "walking", but we have to get creative with his tubes. He can get completely tangled in about 1 minute flat.}

{Maddie is a great big sister and loves to play with James, teach him how to use new toys, sing him songs and give him loves. James gets the biggest grin on his face whenever she's around.}

* * * * * * * * * *

We had an appointment with the GI doctor about two weeks ago and I was asking about next steps in terms of James' feeding plan: when could we start him on breastmilk, tasting different flavors, cutting back on his TPN time, etc. Unfortunately, it will continue to be a very long road. Right now he gets 8 ml/hour of formula in his G-tube into his stomach and he gets to go up 1 ml per week. So far he's been tolerating this without a problem. I was hoping he could start having breastmilk for one of his two daily bottles, but his doctor wants him to be getting at least half of his daily calories from formula {approx. 25-30 ml/hour} before she'd consider that--so that means, at best, we'd have to wait another 3.5 months before trying breastmilk. Sheesh, the boy will be 14 months old by then! That means he could easily be 2+ years old before he's allowed to try even pureed baby foods. Can you imagine that? Even now, at almost 11 months, he's very aware of what we do and what we put in our mouths. I'm going to feel like the Meanest Parent Ever withholding food from my child. James' physical/occupational therapist encouraged us to ask the GI doctor for permission for James to at least be introduced to flavors, even though he can't really have food yet. So now he's allowed to try out new tastes and is so excited about it! Most babies start out with really bland things like rice cereal and oatmeal...not James! So far he's had teriyaki pepperoni sticks, teething biscuits, banana, fruit leather sticks and mango! The other day I gave him a mango pit to try sucking on and I think he was in shock. :-)

{first try...whew, that doesn't taste like formula!}

{Hey, that wasn't half bad! Let's try that again!}

* * * * * * *
The other night I came downstairs to this sight: James and Maddie curled up together on the couch, watching Mickey Mouse, which Maddie had picked for her before-bed show. James hardly ever notices when the TV is on, but for some reason he is mesmerized by Mickey Mouse. It's been Maddie's long-time favorite too!

{The classic zoned-out TV look! Totally cracks me up.}

{Snugging with Sister on the couch is the best!}

* * * * * * * *

I also have to give a huge THANK YOU to my parents for keeping Maddie overnight on Saturday AND watching both kids Sunday night so that Keith and I could go see a movie. Earlier in the week I'd mentioned my dire need for a date with my husband and my parents came through with flying colors! I know it was fun for them to see James for a more extended period of time and to watch all the new things he's learning.

{When I told Keith I wanted to go on a date last week he got this blank look on his face and said, "A what?" I said, "You know, it's this thing where adults go out of the house without their children and they can go to grown-up places and have an actual conversation without being interrupted every 2 seconds." He said, "Really? I'm not familiar with that concept." HA! :-) }


Katy said...

YAY! This is THE BEST post EVER! These photos are wonderful. I'm happy about your date too.
Hugs Friend.
P.S. James' color is fabulus!!!! Your kiddo's are super cute!

Heather Elizabeth said...

I agree with Katy! Best post ever! So happy for you that you got a date. And James is a total cutie. I can't believe he is moving so well. Watch out girl. Two on the go is tiring!

Christine said...

So fun to see how much he is growing, that he's able to try some flavors (wow, I can't imagine how exciting that is to him!), get out with his sis and daddy, and enjoy Mickey (also Jonathan's favorite).

I have to say that I LOVE seeing him in the little beach hat! It was one of my favorites of JD's and I'm so happy to see it look even cuter on James! :)