Thursday, November 19, 2009

Progress/No progress

Some days things really seem to be going well with Max.

He is not waking up at night anymore and is consistently sleeping until 6:30-7am. It was 5:30 for a while which is just too early.
He may still wake up crying for mama, but he lets the nanny comfort him and it doesn't last for an hour. A plate of pancakes and sausage helps as well.
He lets the nanny put him on the toilet. He may scream or say no, but at least he can be coerced with candy corn instead of screaming in misery because he has to potty, but doesn't want her to help him go.
When we're the ones home we're seeing fewer tantrums.

We have had some new issues develop though. Well really just one. When he gets upset he's started getting shoes and clothes out of his closet and drawers and uses these items to comfort him. I would have expected this for an institutionalized child, but Max seemed to have plenty of clothes/shoes at his foster home so I'm not sure where this came from. I do remember that when we first got him he had to have shoes on him/in his hands at all times. I thought then that he wanted to go to try and find his foster mom. His attachment to his shoes persisted, but this seems different. He's also taken to burying his face in his bed or up against a wall and not looking at us when he's upset. It makes me so sad. I feel like we're not doing something wrong and now he's looking to other means of comfort besides us. At least he'll let us redirect him from these activities to us and then lets us comfort him, but it's a bit disheartening. I still think all of this stems from me going back to work so soon after cleft surgery. Unfortunately that wasn't optional.

Ellie has had some rough spots this week as well. I think she's just really tired, but she's not wanted to go to school the last couple of days which is very unusual for her. I've emailed her teacher to make sure that there's not an issue there, but I suspect it's fatigues since she's been fairly grumpy at home too.

The good news there is even when she's grumpy, and even when she tantrums, it's not the frequency or the extent that it was 3-4 months ago. And, if we can recognize and intervene earlier in the pattern (which we're getting better at) she's even been able to calm herself down several times. This is big progress and I'm trying to focus on that instead of the problems.

We're also doing better with the bathroom with her. We are trying to keep her on an every 2 hour bathroom schedule. When we can do this she's not having accidents. If we exceed that time we've had a couple of small issues, but no big accidents. She's also been dry at night about 1/2 of the nights this week which was previously unheard of. Most importantly no infections this month!

Okay, that's the gory details of this week. I still need to post pictures. Not of tantrums or potties though.


  1. Sorry to hear that things are not going smoothly right now. We'll be praying for Max ... and Ellie ... and Mama to make it through!

  2. My dear Lexi. You are doing fine. I do wonder however, if Max's life was exactly how it was portrayed when you were there. Perhaps he didn't have as much access to "things" as it seemed at the time. However, that is just my suspicious nature. My faith in humanity is... well, maybe I have no faith in humanity. Dr. Brazelton -- I am so sorry he is dead, he was so wonderful -- always said that a child is lucky that has a "lovey" and even a pacifier is okay if that is what they need. Does Max have a lovey? It would be nice to get a soft doll like an Arthur doll and you can read him stories about Arthur and his little sister D.W. and tell him that Arthur loves him (Max), too. I don't know. I wish I could be of help. I love you. You are doing fine. It's only been a few months. He has adjusted very well for the time he has been here. You know it takes 2 - 4 months to adjust to a new job. Think about Max -- he has to adjust to a new family, a new location, a complete absence of all he has ever known. Give it time. Love D.

  3. oh you're such a killjoy. i really want to see pictures of tantrums and potties. :)

    max will come through it - and it may not all be related to adoption/foster care - i think bio kids have these types of issues too. but i also know how easy it is to second-guess yourself and feel like you're not doing enough. and to feel guilty because of their history...sigh...wish i had a magic wand to wave and make it all better, but we're here to listen to you when you need to vent, alexis!

  4. He's making leaps and bounds. I think it's easier to see from the outside. We're all just too hard on ourselves. We second guess every parenting move we make and over-analyze everything our children do. I do it every day, and I'm sure we'll all continue to do it for years. Luckily we have each other to talk us off the ledge at times.

    Max and Ellie are such great kids, and you and Jason are wonderful parents. Um, hello, Max and Libby are already making waves at Macy's:)

    Back to analyzing Libby's every move now...when's our next play date? Libby needs to work on sharing, remember?:)