I'm so, so late on the boys' 20 month post, but better late then never, right?
To begin, here is a recent photo that explains the relationship of my children. Aiden is a piggy and usually eats faster and more than Ryan. Obviously Aiden finished his granola bar first so he decided he would help Ryan out. Ryan does not mind. He does not mind at all.
A&R have really blossomed lately. Maybe it has something to do with their age. (At 20 months their doctors still adjust their age to 16.5 months.) Or maybe it has to do with their wonderful team of therapists. We worked hard and we worked long to get here, but we are finally at a place where we are happy with everyone who comes into our home to work with our boys. Yes, socially we get along, but more importantly we are happy with them professionally. The progress they have helped our boys achieve is phenomenal.
A few months ago Aiden was a very quiet boy. Once he had his palate repaired, he regressed a little bit in all areas. This was normal and it was expected. After all he did have major, major surgery. But now, 4 months later, he is talking so much and taking off with all of his milestones. He walks everywhere now and sometimes gains so much speed that he's almost running. A couple days ago he saw Ryan jumping with the help of his therapist, and he tried to jump too. He only got his heels off the floor, but the confidence he needed to attempt this is amazing.
He has around 10-15 words, including up, baby, milk, more, eat, bye-bye and hi. He also has some phrases: "Hey, you" and "More A-B" (which he uses when he wants us to sing the ABC song to him). He gives hugs and kisses. He is a champ at independent play. And he loves blocks. However, books can keep his attention longer than anything else. His favorite foods are meat, meat and more meat. Chicken, steak, sausage, bacon. If it's meat, he will eat it. And he is obsessed with milk. Give him water and he will sip it but then he quickly asks for milk and chugs it like he's never tasted the sweet nectar before. He is really such a joy. And so, so smart. I think it's safe to say that we are lucky to be the parents of such a sweet little boy.
Ryan's sleep issues have improved tremendously but only because we caved and have started allowing him to sleep with us at times. He starts his night in his crib, but if he wakes and isn't able to fall back asleep within a few minutes we bring him into bed with us. This was something we swore we would never do, but after almost 6 months of sleepless nights, something had to give. We recently discussed these sleep issues with his neurosurgeon who assured us that his behavior has nothing to do with CP or his development, but rather he needs to be sleep trained. We aren't ready for that at this point, so we will continue to give him comfort when he needs it. Let's face it, Ryan isn't going to be 15 and sleeping in bed with us, so if baby boy wants to be near mommy and daddy, it's ok. It allows us to get some sleep most of the time, so we are all happier this way.
Sleep is important for us, but also for Ryan so that he can continue to put in the work he needs to get mobile. He is gaining so much more control of his own body and you can tell he just wants to get moving. I think it's safe to say that he is an official "sitter'" now. He twists and turns his torso to get what he needs. And he is able to transition from laying to sitting with just a little assistance. His trunk muscles are much stronger than they've ever been, and we are now working on getting him to bear weight on his hands and knees. He hates this position, but it's something he's going to have to get used to in order to eventually crawl.
His right hand has significantly loosened up and we've even caught him using it a couple times. We are currently waiting on a hand splint that we have requested through EI. Mostly we will use the splint to rotate his wrist so that his palm faces the midline of his body. Right now his palm is always either out or down, and this makes it hard for him to use that hand for feeding and other activities.
Ryan has developed quite the personality...wise ass if you will. I think I've mentioned this before, but as he gets older it just gets more and more apparent that he is smarter than us all. He likes to pick on Aiden...pull his hair, bite him, pull on his shirt collar. I think it's probably payback for all the food Aiden steals from him. We try to intervene whenever we feel it's necessary, but mostly they have fun with each other and it's not an issue. I kind of like the idea that Ryan is turning into a strong little boy. I don't want him to be a bully, but I do want him to be able to defend himself. You know, when I can longer do it. ::tear::
Ryan's new word for daddy is "dadu". Not sure where that came from but it's so cute and funny. He also keeps repeating a word that sounds like "dagom", but I have no clue what this is. He recently learned to sign "more", "milk" and "eat". His favorite food is...hmm, I don't even know. Pretzels probably. He's been so picky lately, I've taken to feeding him animal crackers dipped in sunflower seed butter for breakfast. Hey, whatever it takes to get him to eat, right?! Especially since his pastime is throwing food at his brother. It's really hard not to laugh at that one. I know, I know, I'm encouraging it. Whatever, he knows I love him. Such a sweet boy.
I was looking at some old photos from last summer and I can't believe how much A&R have changed. They're certainly not babies anymore. I know I keep repeating that, but I can't get over it.
|Left photos are from June 2012; Right photos are from this week when we gave them their first kitchen sink baths. Such a fun time!|