Friday, November 09, 2007

Home at last!

Noah made it home and things are going remarkably well. I asked Phil to keep a record while he was gone so that we would be able to tell Noah everything that we possibly can about how he came to be a part of our family. When I get some time (and a new computer - still not ready to commit to one - I have such issues!) I'm going to transcribe the notes he took about the trip.

As for the arrival home, Noah did great. When Phil and Kelly came down the escalator with him at the Salt Lake City airport, there was a whole bunch of people there to welcome them. Kelly had called as soon as the plane landed to let us know that he had slept for five hours straight (since midway through the flight from Florida, and through the plan change in Phoenix, and for the entire flight to SLC) and that he was still sound asleep. Phil carried him straight to me, and we all had huge hugs for each other. I took the baby from Phil and tried half-heartedly to wake him up and but he was out. Everybody was so excited to finally meet him, so I finally just knelt down and stood him up on the floor. It took him a second, but after blinking his eyes a few times, everybody came into focus. He was very, very calm, and very receptive to all of the strangers. He was more interested in being held by the men than the women which was kind of funny to all of us, but he let everybody have a turn and at about 11:30 we headed to the car. Noah was very wide-eyed at that point, but still very quiet. I had been worried about the car seat all along, but he didn't fuss at all as I strapped him in. We were still talking with our family and saying good-bye to everybody and Phil finally said that we better go before Noah runs out of patience. Almost on command, he started crying so I jumped into the driver's seat and as soon as the car started moving he went silent. He stared at the lights and the cars as we headed down the freeway and after about ten minutes he was back asleep.

When we got home, he needed a diaper change (nobody lied when they told me that these Haitian kids have the stinkiest poo every!) which we quickly took care of so that we could get him into bed. Even though Sue and I had worked so hard to get the beds ready, we decided that it would probably be a better move to not put him in the big bed right off. So we carried a sleeping Adam to our bed and set up the travel bed in the boys' room for Noah. He didn't want to lay down, but after about 20 minutes of me laying on the floor next to him and humming softly, he relaxed, stopped fussing and was out. I then climbed into Adam's bed (haven't been on a top bunk bed for years) so that I could be close in case he woke up in the night. At around 4:00 a.m. he started fussing, but I just got down and rubbed his back for a only about a minute and he was out again. I foolishly went to sleep thinking, "This is going to be a piece of cake!"

We tried to keep his first day home pretty low-key. A few people stopped by for short visits, but for the most part it was just us. Adam was absolutely great and Noah seemed to be pretty comfortable, although he would be nervous when Phil would leave the room. He calls Phil "mama" and each time he would lose sight of him, he would wander the house calling "Mama? Mama?" We are trying to help him understand that I am mama and Phil is daddy, but the closest he gets is to call Phil "mama-daddy".

Like Phil mentioned, he has a big appetite but we are giving him plenty to eat and he seems to be doing okay. We can't let him see food and not have it though. Yesterday I took him to Wal-Mart, and he did great until he saw me put some apples and bananas in the cart. Fortunately, I had some teddy grahams in my purse that I was able to give him, but he was not at all happy that he didn't get the banana. Another funny food thing - he has to eat everything with a spoon or a fork, and I mean everything - toast and fish crackers included. It was a little tenuous until we figured that out because when he would just let the food sit in front of him without touching it I assumed that he didn't want it and I would try to take it away. He got a little cranky when I picked up the toast and tried to get him to take a bite so I put it back on his plate and he just stared at it. I finally decided to break it into pieces for him, and once I did that, he picked up the spoon and ate it. That was the first morning. Yesterday I gave him a bowl with some fish crackers in it for a snack and was surprised when he didn't eat them. After more than ten minutes of him just staring at the fish, I finally wondered out loud if he wanted a spoon, so Phil gave him one and he ate the entire bowl that way. He does great with the utensils so I'm hoping that he doesn't pick up on our bad habits. The only thing that we have found that he won't eat is shredded cheese. I was making quesadillas yesterday and handed him a single piece of the shredded cheese. The next thing I know he had a look of disgust on his face. There was a tiny piece of cheese on his lip that he was trying to spit out and he quickly gave the cheese back to Phil. When he saw all of us eat some, he took some more, but then immediately gave it back to Phil without a taste. He did eat the quesadilla with the melted cheese without hesitating though. It appears that finding things for him to eat isn't going to be a problem. If anything, we are a little concerned that he might not be able to regulate his eating all that well. Time will tell on that one I guess.

Sleeping isn't too bad so far. We have kept him in his travel bed for the past few nights and will probably continue that for the near future until he acts like he isn't going to mind going to bed. I did the same thing on the second night that I did on the first night - put him in the bed, and then laid down next to him and whispered quietly and let him touch my hand until he quit crying and fell asleep. It only took about 20 minutes that night. Adam slept in his own bed that night and I slept in mine, but I was back in their room at about 4:00 a.m. again with Noah fussing. He wasn't too upset, so we just settled him down and he went back to sleep. Just after 5:00 a.m. we all woke up in a hurry because Noah was screaming and clearly very upset. I ran into his room and grabbed him out of his bed. He clung to me very tightly but calmed rather quickly so I tried to put him back in bed. Not a chance. He started screaming and wouldn't let go so I picked him back up and Phil came in. I told him that I didn't want Adam to wake up but I also didn't want to keep Noah out of his bed so we decided that Phil would move Adam back to our room again. At about that point I heard Adam mumble "Mom? He definitely is going to wake me up." So Phil took Adam back to our bed and I tried to get Noah back in his bed but it wasn't going to happen so we ended up downstairs. After another stinky, stinky diaper change, Noah was wide awake and ready to start his day about two hours earlier than I would have liked. He was very happy though so we just rolled with it. Last night I decided to read to him for about 15 minutes before putting him down, and even though he didn't like having to sit on my lap to read, the transition to his bed was much easier. He stopped crying after about 5 minutes and was asleep just a few minutes after that. He still woke up early today, but I'm hopeful that we are going to get a good sleeping habit established for him.

He took his took his first bath yesterday with warm water. After seeing the way they bathed them at the orphanage, I decided to just stand him in the tub and wash him with the shower massager. He liked it until I realized that I had forgotten to grab a clean washcloth. When I stepped into the hallway to get one, he freaked. He calmed just as quickly as soon as I came back though and we continued with the shower. He liked the sprayer as long as it wasn't aimed directly at him, so I grabbed a cup off of the counter and dumped water over his head like they did in Haiti. It worked and he was happy.

He had his first all out tantrum yesterday too, and his second all within a couple of hours of one another and both for the same reason. After Adam got home from school they played for a bit (Adam is doing great, by the way) and then we decided to go for a walk to get the mail. Adam rode his bike while Noah and I walked behind. At one point we stopped to chat with some neighbors and Adam got off his bike. Noah loved it so Adam thought I should give him a ride. I put Noah on the seat and pushed him down the block for several minutes. After what I thought was a pretty good ride, I thought I should give the bike back to Adam and Noah and I would resume walking. The kid has a temper and he showed it full force as soon as I took him off of the bike. He screamed and kicked so I set him on the ground and he kept going. Before I knew it, he was flat on his back and he was maaaaddddddddd. Fortunately, he's tiny so I scooped him up and decided that the mail could wait. We headed back home and after about a minute, a cat crossed our path which caught his attention and the bike was forgotten. When we got home, some neighbor kids came over to meet Noah and I went under the house to retrieve everything that I could find that had wheels on it. Of course, he's not all that interested in the ones that he can ride on. He wants the two-wheeler even though he's way to small to make it work.

Cut to the next scene: Adam and I are in the middle of a rousing game of Monkey in the Middle on our front lawn with about15 neighborhood kids. Noah is trying to get one of the trike things to move faster than his legs can make it move. Phil comes pulling into the driveway after work and hops out of the car and picks Noah up. I continue the game with the other kids and before I know it Noah has somehow managed to convince Phil to put him on the two-wheeler and take him for a spin around the driveway. That's going great until some friends show up with some presents and it's time to head inside. Phil removes Noah from the bike to go inside and the scene that I had witnessed an hour earlier is repeated. It was at that point that I told Phil that the bike might not be the best idea. Thanks for the tip, right? Anyway, about 15 minutes and one time-out for Noah later, Phil and Noah join the rest of us in the family room to open his present. The kid definitely has a temper. Fortunately for all of us, he's very happy 95% of the time. It's that other 5% that we're going to have to figure out.

I'll update more in a few days and post some pictures when I get some more computer time. I really am going to have to break down and figure out what I want to do about that before Phil and I both go crazy. It's kind of silly that we have to go to our offices just to check our email.