5.28.2009

life with MICAH

We've been home two-plus months with Micah...how am I doing??? Hmmm...not sure...

We love our son -- we love being parents!!! I was very nervous that I might (selfishly) grieve the loss of my life without a child, but that has not been the case at all. Micah's weaving into the DNA of our family has been a much more natural transition than I anticipated. I've really not even thought much of our life before him. I am thankful for that!

One thing I was not prepared for was how tired I would be...all the time. I consider myself to be fit and healthy, so I really never expected to miss a beat physically -- but what I didn't consider was the mental exhaustion. I think most of my exhaustion comes from my introvert-personality. I'm a pretty quite person (too quite for my hubby)...more of a thinker. Now I feel like I've returned to teaching school...talking, singing non-stop...being verbal around the clock. Whew!!

Some of my other deficiencies (for lack of better word) I think stem from being a first-time mommy. I often find myself wondering if Micah's various behaviors are adoption-related, or just baby stuff...when to cuddle, or, when to cry it out?? For the most part, I've leaned to the side of cuddling, but I sense we're all ready to move beyond that in some areas. But it's still hard to tell...

Micah will be 10-months old on 6/4. He's sitting/balancing very well, but shows NO interest in pulling up or crawling. He loves his jumper, so his legs are getting stronger -- he can stand briefly while holding on to something. However, when I put him in a crawl position he screams -- he has no idea what do to. Sometimes that worries me. I know many children skip crawling all together, but I'd really like to see him develop that skill to promote his mental development.

I also find myself wondering what to do with him. I guess he's at an in-between age where he's not really interested in books or educational videos...or even playing with toys (blocks, cars, etc). Well, I guess he does have an interest in toys - just not able to preform some of their functions. He does like to interact-- he's a social, happy little guy. I still feel like I need to play with him around the clock to stimulate his brain -- I know I've got precious little time to get all his synapses firing?? But, is he at the just hold him age?? Help??

Maybe my expectations are too high?? Maybe more repetition is the key??
All you mommies out there...I would LOVE your advice/suggestions!!

10 comments:

Jennifer and Michael said...

hey alisa ... i've actually met your husband and micah. you live in my neighborhood! :) if you have some concerns about development, i work for an early intervention agency. we'd be happy to come and evaluate him for you. you can email me for some more info -- jennifercrawley@arcofjeff.com.

its a free service and we come to your house. just something to think about! i'm also a first time mom - sarah is 6 months. i have those same thoughts about what to do with her sometimes too. micah looks great and happy -- you're doing good!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Alisa. I TOTALLY relate!! I think it's first-time-mom-ness. Poor Lane had about 85 books read to him , watched Baby Einstein videos, played with magnetic fridge letters. I think it's the first child, but you know, Carter had none of that and he's just as ready for school as Lane was. I enjoyed Carter's and Sam's baby time so much more!! I remember going to mom's house and just mentally resting because somebody else's eyes were on Lane and I didn't have to watch so close. This is why I think everybody needs a sibling ... hang in there. It gets easier. Oh ... and Carter didn't walk until he was 14 months. : ) Love y'all, Alison

DeDeandMatt said...

Alisa,

I can totally relate too. I still feel like I am supposed to entertain Sarah Avery even at 15 mos. What I started doing at an early age was giving her my time with playing with her for 10 mins and then give her her own time for 10 mins. I also would intervene in her play time as a visitor for a few seconds to show her something about her toy..
As far as the cuddling, our theory was that she couldn't really be spoiled with love enough. I say, love on him and cuddle him as much as you can because once he starts moving on his own, you will miss it greatly because the activity will keep them from much snuggle time. My pediatrician told me that it was fine to start letting her cry it out around 6 mos (as far as sleep training goes) and that they wouldn't remember it the next morning. We took her advice and SA was sleep trained in about 2 weeks. It is a very hard thing to hear them cry like that but I think you can see the benefits as the days go on! And every morning she woke up happy as if she had never shed a tear. It's ok to start this training NOW and if you have questions about it, just let me know..
As far as yourself, yeah, that is also very normal. I didn't realize how much time she would take during my day, and well I hardly ever get time to myself.. I still nap when she naps though :) I do the cleaning and stuff at night when she goes down at 7pm. And Matt helps substantially with that. It may seem crazy but we kinda have fun doing our chores at night as we spend time together. And I just keep in mind, this stage and maybe tough time, is ONLY for a season. DeDe Lange

Julie said...

With Samuel I felt I had to play with him all the time too. Another mom told me was ok to leave him alone for a few minutes. I would put him on a blanket with a few toys and give him some down time while I did things around the house. I think both of use enjoyed a little time to ourselves. They can get over stimulated if you play all day. Start with 10 minutes and see how it goes.

Roscoe and Julia Richardson said...

Hi Alisa,

I'm the same way - TIRED all the time but baffled because I used to work full time, workout etc and was not tired - how can playing wiht a baby be more tiring? I've decided it's the introvert thing too - I NEVER used to talk this much - I laughed at your post becuase I sing everything to Micah - especially when I'm frustrated - i resort to singing :)

Our early intervention specialist told us to expect that our Micah will get frustrated with the crawling position but to push through it - so far no frustration - but she said not to skip it becuase it's very important for motor skills of arms and hands. She told us to sit on our knees and try to square his knees up an put his arms more uinder his shoulders and then put a toy he likes just out of reach - our best luck at this is in the morning when he is most happy :) Good luck! Email me any time - it seems our guys may be at the same stage right now.

Zack, Rebecca and Caleb Caldwell said...

ALisa,
First of all, you are a great mommy! Caleb was much older when he can home, so I can't really offer any experiences that would relate to your sitation. I can totally relate to the tiredness- for some reason, being a full time mom takes a different energy than anything else in my opinion! It is hard work and I usually am always ready for bed after putting Caleb down. I can say that I have slowly adjusted to the tiredness now that we have been home almost 6 months- so I would just give that part time :)

Allison Lewis said...

Hi Alisa,
You don't know me, but I enjoy reading through your blog. We live in the same city and are also in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. My heart hurt for you as I read this post. We have three biological children (ages 4, 2, and 1), and I can vividly remember feeling the exact same way when our oldest was Micah's age. As we've had more children, I've come to be encouraged in knowing now that there are many, many "right" ways to do things. I spent so much time analyzing (and OVERanalyzing) every little thing Abigail did. And what I've come to learn is that different things work with different children (or even with the same child on different days)! There are times when you'll be able to spend most of the day cuddling and playing with Micah, but then there are days when he'll enjoy some independent play while you get housework done...or you sit beside him on the floor and read your Bible. All of those are fine!!

As an example of how the exact same environment can yield very different results, Abigail walked at 10 months. For Jack, it was 14 months. And Isabel just began walking this month at 16 months old! All the same Mommy, all the same "tricks" and activities...but drastically different results. If there was a magic formula for helping little ones hit those milestones, each of mine would have done it at the exact same time. Abigail began talking just after a year, but Jack and Izzy are both in speech w/ Early Intervention.

Love your baby, enjoy time together as a family, and rest in knowing the Micah WILL develop beautifully! And make sure you guard against comparing him to other babies. He'll probably be on a little different timeline, but a couple of months here or there are very insignificant.

I'm sorry for the novel from someone you've never even met...I just wanted to assure you that you're doing a wonderful job with your little blessing.

God bless!
allison

Kari said...

Alisa,
I'm late peeking at my bloggy friends... I love your post!!! We are all in this together:)
I forgot how exhausting it is singing the same songs 100 times a day....and dancing and playing and constantly watching a little one exploring. I LOVE nap time again, too!!! lol
BTW... Zoie just started walking- but still enjoys crawling. She's turning 17 months. I've so enjoyed her being my "baby" for so long.
You are a wonderful mommy...keep up the great work!!!
xoxo

Ruthie said...

Alisa-I know what you mean about the exhaustion! It's unbelievable at times!

We have been working with Parents as Teachers (a FREE program that I think is in every state) in monitoring Zeke's development. They give us great ideas on developmentally-appropriate activities/toys. It also helped identify what areas we needed to focus on. I highly recommend PAT as its been a big help for us.

I think the other comments are right on. Kids develop at their own pace. I still worry about Zeke's speech but he keeps making great strides and we just keep talking and singing to him (you're on the right track there!).

You are a WONDERFUL mother. Go with your instincts (you'll know when to hold him and when/if to begin the process of "crying it out"...). In the end, crying it out didn't work for us. We felt it was undermining the trust we had worked so hard to establish. And Zeke was crying at bedtime and through the night because of pain from ear infections, not because he didn't want to go to sleep. Don't doubt it--You're a great mom!

Missy

tschmitt2002 said...

Hey woman! You sound like a first time mom. I am trained in all of these developmental things and yet with Connor I was always wondering what I should be doing? Or what should he should be doing? Or comparing his development to other kids (mostly because of his brush with death the first week of life).
I say, let Micha be Micha... all kids are different. Connor loved developmental videos, Taylor hated them. Taylor loves puzzles and to color, the boys neither one ever colored or did puzzles, etc.... Micha will guide you into what he likes and wants. He is unique and will have his own taste. It sounds like music and playing with you are top on the list.
I remember having to sing the same song over and over again to each kid (they all had their favorite)... or dancing to wiggles or veggie tales.... all the time trying to play/stimulate... It is very tiring. Hang in there! Sounds like you are doing great to me.

Just like everyone here I thought Parents as Teachers was wonderful. We used it with all three kids. Loved our home visiting teacher! She still asks about Connor and Jacob all these years later. Love you guys!
Terri Schmitt

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