Saturday, June 12, 2010
Day 10 Part 1: A Day at Home, Together
Today was our first day that we spent together, from morning until night, as a family of 5. What an amazing feeling that just felt so right... like we were all always meant to be together. It all felt so normal and so wonderful. We love him SO much. We have just the same love for Sasha that we do for Heath and Brooks. He is our son in every way that they are... it is like you feel right after you have a baby, it's as if he has always been here. He just fits right into the family.
So, let's see, where to start. Oh, let's start with the lovely evening we had last night once it was time for bed. We had a feeling that he might start struggling at this time. Most kids have trouble winding down and I cannot imagine how hard that was for him in a completely new place and crib with people around him he still doesn't know that well and that don't speak the language we are used to. So needless to say, it did not go well. In fact, it did not go well from 5:30 pm last night until 5:30 am this morning! Wow, were we all tired. Heath and Brooks are great sleepers and pretty much have been since around 6 weeks of age, so we are just not used to having a child cry all throughout the night (I know my friend Stephanie is so excited right now... she always wanted me to have a bad sleeper, LOL). And you feel so bad because you want to comfort him but when he is that tired, we are just not the ones he wants right now. This is hard as his parents. It makes you feel so bad because all you want to do is comfort your child.
He would sleep for about 10 minutes or so and then wake up crying again... this went on for hours! I finally brought him out to the living room with me when Brooks had finally had enough and he started crying too (Brooks was so patient though, he put up with it for about 5 hours or so and Heath just slept right through it all, LOL). I then got him to calm down enough to sleep for about 3 hours straight! Oh, how wonderful that was. His dad came out around 5 and put him on the ground where we have a sheet set up with all of his play things. He slept quietly for a few more hours like that.
So what to do? The type of "sleep training" techniques we used with the other boys is just not appropriate for a newly adopted child. We need to be there right when he cries so he knows we are there for him. We can't let him cry it out for even short periods of time so the sleep dilemma is hard. We are tired, LOL, so I thought all day as to what to do differently tonight. So here is what I came up with and so far, 20 minutes into it, it is working much better than last night. I moved his crib out into the living room right by the couch. I closed all the shades (the exact same shades they have at the orphanage by the way, and they close these during all their sleep times), turned most of the lights off (just left on some very dim back lighting), got his pj's on, cuddled him on the couch and read him three books and sang the night-night song, and then put him in his crib right out here in the middle of the action with his favorite music toys. We are all (except Brooks who is sleeping) right here on the couch, watching Tom and Jerry with Heath. Sasha did not cry at all when I put him in his crib. He laid right down, played his music a bit, rubbed his head back and forth in the sheets (he does this as a comfort), and went to sleep within 5 minutes! Wow, completely different from the sleeping last night! I guess you all will find out how it worked in tomorrow's blog, LOL... let's hope and pray for a good night's sleep because he needs the rest just as much as we do.
We asked Jasmina if he has always struggled with sleeping and she let us know that he is very unpredictable when it comes to sleep. Some nights he will sleep the entire night, other nights he will stay awake all night... ack, let's hope we can figure out a good sleep routine for him. It is also much cooler in the living room and since his body temperature runs so high, I am hoping he will be a lot more comfortable out here. He also takes a few bottles at night. I would love to find one that he can hold on his own so he can eventually just have water in his crib with him like Heath and Brooks do. We'll work on it.
Other than the sleep though, Sasha is doing GREAT! We are SO proud of him. Yesterday, he didn't get upset at all until bed time and today, the only time he really got upset was when he had to take a nap and when he was hungry. Other than that, he is just so peaceful and happy. He loves his big brothers and they are just so sweet with him. Heath gives him kisses all the time and is always talking with him and telling him that he loves him. Brooks scoots up to him and rubs his head and try's to give him kisses. When we ask Brooks where his baby is, he scoots right up to Sasha and rubs his head very gently. It is VERY cute.
Sasha played a lot on his play sheet we set up. We let him do a lot of exploring and he just loved having all the time in the world to just relax and play with toys at his own speed. And, Ami taught him how to play Hungry, Hungry Hippo! She showed him one time and he figured it out... he is seriously smart. He loves to push the hippo and get all the balls, in fact... he is actually better than me at getting those balls.
He is also doing great with eating. We were a bit worried that he might reject the jarred baby food that we bought. I tried to buy the closest to what he had at the orphanage and I guess it worked because he is eating like a champ! We are very proud of him.
It was 97 degrees today so we were unable to get out of the house, even to go for a walk to the park for awhile. 97 with humidity is hot for any child let alone one who cannot regulate his own body temperature properly. Hopefully, it will start cooling off just a bit but it doesn't look like it. We shall see. Heath and his dad went to the public pool across the street for a swim today. It is a huge outdoor pool that everyone goes to... really, it is packed! Jeremy said that Heath was the hit of the pool. Anyone that knows Heath knows that he is an amazing swimmer for a 4 year old and most people are pretty shocked at what he can do. Jeremy said that everyone was pointing and watching him jump and swim around the deep end. Heath must have loved this because he LOVES being the center of attention.
So that was our first full day together... and it was wonderful!