Life After NICU / My Days With James

Jumping Back In; A Little James-Update

Where to begin…so much time has passed, and my little guy has made amazing changes these last few months. I think an old-fashioned update with a few cute photos is in order.

First of all, James is still eating! He’s growing and gaining weight – he even gained half a pound while fighting off a virus. I’m blown away by everything the therapists at Kennedy Krieger were able to accomplish during our stay. Here we are, more than two months later, and he’s chugging right along. We’ve increased his volume pretty substantially, and we’re changing his foods, finally, to fresh, made at home foods. He’s still eating purees, but we’re working on that too. Small steps.

I think he’s healthier than he’s been in a long time. He certainly looks healthy. Love that sweet smile.

We had so much fun decorating Christmas cookies with our munchkin.

We had so much fun decorating Christmas cookies with our munchkin.

And since we’re looking at Christmas photos, here’s the gingerbread house we made with James. I thought he would love to stick candies on the house. It was going to be a great fine motor, sensory, family fun activity, but not so much. He put a couple of candies on, but his favorite thing to do was take the candies off the house and put them back in the bowl. Maybe next year…

gingerbread house

He’s a little too good at cleaning up sometimes!

Christmas was wonderful this year. We enjoyed our time together and made it fun and pretty much stress free. James loved having both Grandmas in the house. He was a little overwhelmed Christmas morning, and it took a few hours before he would even go near the tree, but he had lots of fun once he figured things out.

His favorite place to be. Little guy just loves the lights.

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He loves the outside lights!

James has had one virus, but been healthy otherwise. He’s pretty much on ‘lockdown’ other than walks at the park. though. We planned to start music class again this semester, but with flu and RSV as bad as they are we decided to wait. I would love for him to be out and going places, but we’re not taking any chances with his health. He’s healthy, he’s eating, and he’s making strides in his development, we’ll take it and be thankful!

The biggest changes recently have been in his communication. James is talking so much more! He has about a dozen words he says on  his own, and he’s starting to repeat everything. Time for us to really watch what we say. 🙂  James sings even more than he talks.  Music Together songs, Toddler Tunes, Ramones, The Beatles, Big Block Sing Song, Happy Monster Band – he has quite the repertoire. He sings the words when he knows them, and sings sounds when he doesn’t. He definitely connects with all kinds of music.

James’ most recent accomplishment is using the potty! Guess his studying helped.

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Checking out what the big boys do.

He’s far from potty-trained, but he sits on the potty very willingly, even asked to one day, and goes most of the time. Grandma even bought him his first pack of Pull-Ups over the weekend. I am absolutely amazed that we’re this far along. Not that it’s been a fast process; we started introducing him to the potty last summer. Over the last week he’s made huge progress, though. I had no idea what to expect with potty training James. I heard boys can be difficult, and with communication challenges it can be that much harder. So, we’re incredibly proud of our little munchkin. (I think it’s the Mickey Mouse potty that’s made all the difference!)

And, lastly, bedtime. A while back I wrote about rocking James to sleep. We’ve always rocked him, for both nap time and bedtime. I knew from the beginning that we were starting a difficult habit to break, but that was completely ok with me. I loved it most of the time. But, he’s getting older, getting more difficult to rock to sleep (it takes more than an hour some nights), and he really needs the skill of falling asleep on his own. So we’ve got a little boy who has a new bedtime routine, and so far so good. Bedtime is much more enjoyable for all of us. Nap time is another story, however. Not ready for him to give it up, but that seems to be the direction we’re heading. Guess I should be thankful that he’s been a good napper up until now.

So you’re pretty much up to date. I feel like James is maturing right before our eyes. He stayed my ‘baby’ for so long, it makes me a little sad to see him becoming such a big boy. But, I’m incredibly proud of him and thankful for each new accomplishment. He makes each day more interesting, that’s for sure!

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James still loves his paints. Definitely one of his favorite and most requested activities.

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