I don't even know where to start! Since Jack's "episode" right before Christmas there has been an explosion of development! This is a list of all the new things he's doing. Here we go!!
1) Jack now LOVES soccer! There was an episode of Blues Clues he became addicted to where they went to soccer practice. Since starting to watch the episode (12 times/day) he has been incredibly interested in everything soccer. I bought him a sweatshirt that has a soccer ball on it that he loves to wear! He looks down at it all day and points out the ball and gets excited. He also has a nerf-like soccer ball that he now kicks all around the house. He even follows the rules of soccer and doesn't use his hands! It is so cute!!!
2) Jacks sign language skills are really taking off! Earlier this week he learned 6 new signs in one day!! He is now learning the power of signs and communication. He can now sign: mom, dad, bath, green, yellow, purple, red, blue, black, white, orange, ball, carrot, apple, cracker, table, chair, circle, elephant, fish, more, all done, please, thank you, water, soap, car, dip, and more to come!
3) We are discovering paint! Jack has really enjoyed making some beautiful masterpieces. We also got him a paint set where the paintbrush lights up the color of the paint (thanks for the idea Crystal!!!!). He absolutley loves playing with it and signs the colors as it changes. He gets the biggest belly laugh when the color changes!
4) He loves his baby sister. He will snuggle with me and lay his head on my belly. He'll also point to my belly and make a "b" sound. When we ask him to, he'll kiss my baby with his lips. It is all very sweet. We're hoping these behaviors of affection will carry over when she's born. Jack is going to make a great big brother.
5) Jack now has his own room. He is such a big boy! We were expecting a transition period and for it to take time to accept his new room but he took right to it and loves being a big boy in his room. He has a fish tank that he looks forward to seeing when he wakes up in the morning. He also loves to close his door when we go to read stories for bed. It has really made a huge difference in everyone's sleep patterns.
And now for the biggest news of all!!!
6) For 2 weeks Jack has taken all of his daytime meals orally!!!! By trial and error we learned that Jack LOVES baby carrots dipped in ranch dip. When we started we went through so many bottles of ranch dressing! The problem was that Jack is severely lactose intolerant and was having trouble with the commercial dressings. I tried the seasoning packets but as it turns out, they have more lactose than a bottle of dip. While working through this we were able to use food coloring to make the dip orange. Then we slowly added orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash) to the dip to make it a little healthier. I finally found a recipe for seasoning and make it by the cup. I have tried so many different things for him to eat. Now, he eats every 2-3 hours. We are able to add this ranch seasoning to full meals blended together. Honestly, I think it is pretty gross. He'll eat a dip made of rice, ham, potatoes, carrots, pears, and banana all blended together with the ranch seasoning. For breakfast this morning he had oatmeal with applesauce and sweet potatoes (to make it orange) and yes, it had ranch seasoning. He digs right in and gobbles it up!! Hey, I'll do whatever it takes to get him to eat!!
Now we are starting to work on drinking from a sippy cup. It's not going well so far. I think I need to find the right cup. I truly believe that if it had Blues Clues on it he may go for it. The problem is that they don't make Blues Clues sippy cups anymore. I'm trying to find Playtex design your own sippy cups (not with straws) so I can design them with Blues Clues stickers. Today at the grocery store I saw a sippy cup with cute little cars on it. Jack has been really into cars recently and I thought he may like it. I let him hold it, he looked at it and then threw it into the basket. Unfortunately when I got it out of the package and he realized what it was he didn't want anything to do with it. :-( I even go to the extreme of drinking out of it myself while he's eating and offering it to him every few minutes. I thought that if he thought I was really liking it he may try it! We'll see what happens in the next few weeks! We need to get the liquids in him orally and then we can start weaning him off his feeding tube!!
Like I said, we have so many exciting things happening with Jack! There have been so many developments. Philip and I look at him and can't believe how big he is. He's not a little boy anymore. He's turning into a little man!
We also have big things happening with Jellybean. We found out what is causing the problems with her kidneys. She has what is called a double collecting system. This means that the inner part of her kidney has two sacs instead of just one. They will have to do some testing after she's born to see how the collection system is affecting her kidney function. We pray that this kidney issue is not associated with CHARGE. We will be nervous and worried until the day she gets here. What is frustrating is that I feel like I am going to have to choose between jellybean's care and my care during the delivery. There is a very real possibility that my doctor doesn't do c-sections on the same day as a pediatrician that I trust. I need a surgeon that will be able to take care of my high-risk delivery which becomes more and more complicated by the day as I creep over the line of having polyhydramnios. I also need Jellybean to be in the care of a pediatrician that knows about CHARGE and also about her kidney problem and can make rational decision if there is a problem. We pray we don't have to face any difficult situations but there is just no way to know. I go to my doctor next week and then back to the perinatologist the first week of March. We pray for some better news in the coming weeks.
It's getting late so I don't have time to post pictures tonight. I promise I will post some new pictures and videos in a day or two so keep checking back!!