Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Owen Day #2 - Some Surprises & Improvements

When I left off yesterday, I had high hopes of Owen going to sleep in the near future. The near future turned out to be 12:08am! So, he was awake from around 9am with only a 45 minute nap. The good news was that I was able to move him to the crib once he fell asleep without any trouble, and he never awoke during the night. Unfortunately, we all had to get up by 7:00 to meet the driver by 8:00 and go to Owen's medical exam. As we were getting up, Owen blinked awake and greeted us with a smile. He rolled around for a few minutes and was ready for breakfast!

The medical exam went as well as possible.
The doctor spoke very good English and was really good with both kids. He said it was obvious Owen was an orphanage favorite - a fact mentioned by our coordinator, something that seems to happen frequently at each orphanage and was most likely true for Alexa. Owen had no trouble with the fact the doctor was a man (Alexa still has issues with tall males other than Daddy!) and never showed any discomfort during the exam. Oh, the vitals are in: 20 lbs, 29 inches at just under 14 months, which is about 5th percentile on each (for comparison, Alexa was not even on the charts and it is rare for a Russian baby from an orphanage to be on the US charts). He wished he had something to complain about but he couldn't find anything!

Tracy asked me what I found most surprising about Owen now that we have seen him for 24 hours. I immediately said how vocal he is and she quickly agreed. I'm sure that is part of him becoming more comfortable with us, but he just seemed like a baby that loved to observe and then try to imitate. Well, you know what they say about assumptions! Owen really seems to be trying to talk to Alexa. I'd say he makes at least 5-6 consonant sounds (e.g. guh, da, ba) and all kinds of tongue and raspberry noises. He's really a funny kid! The next biggest surprise is how strong-willed Owen can be. When he doesn't like something he will express his displeasure! Again, he never did anything during our visits to show he was unhappy. Could he be smart enough to know he should be easy during the visits until the adoption was final;) This has been a good lesson because we got the crazy notion Owen would be the lowest maintenance baby ever. To his credit, now that the shock of his acting like...oh, I don't know...a baby(!) is over+, we're realizing he usually complains for a good reason. Yesterday, we just kept assuming he was tired, which he probably was, and writing it off. Now when he mysteriously becomes cranky, it is probably due to a wet diaper or something like his bottle leaking all over him. About the wet diaper issue, Owen has EXTREMELY sensitive skin! During our visits, his face would end up with red areas mostly where we held him against us. Now that he has been around us and gotten to fall a lot, we've seen that he always gets red spots that will go away in a couple hours. He also has some angry looking diaper rash - Desitin to the rescue! - that the doctor mentioned but had no concerns. My point - that you probably lost during this rambling - is that he tends be cranky due to experiencing skin discomfort versus some "character flaw" like being a spoiled baby. The other surprise is his activity level. He was trying to run with Alexa in the halls of the hotel and would crawl fast when gravity one a brief battle. He did this long enough to make me and Alexa tired! I'm sure this is no surprise to those of you who have little ones, but Alexa wasn't really close to walking when we took her home at 13 months. And I'm guessing the "boy" factor is playing a part too...

There have been some majors improvements in a couple key areas today. Things have been better today in terms of sleep - Owen took a 3 hour nap
(we all slept a much needed 2 hours) at 1:00 and finally fell asleep at 10:15 - but he was in his crib for an hour without really complaining. The other "big" news was a successful bath. He was really freaking out yesterday when Tracy tried one- like full-on panic! Today, I suggested starting a bath with Alexa and letting him watch. After a few minutes we put him in and after some minor complaints he was hooked! The only problem was that he wanted to constantly stand-up and then sit down and the bath was super slippery. He also wanted to taste everything - like the shampoo bottles and even the soap. The soap was funny to watch - he took a big bite with his 5 teeth and had had enough of that! Although he did leave a nice imprint for his dental records:)

With that, I'm going to go to sleep. Tomorrow is a free day and we plan to go to the park, a grocery store and possible shopping at Arbot Street downtown. I'm sure Owen will add to his list of surprises and hopefully improvements too - not that he needs many!

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