Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hey, Toys ARE Fun!

Ruthlande has just been figuring out (or perhaps rediscovering) that it's fun to play with toys. It's nice to see her playing and exploring things instead of just sitting in my lap all day. The big problem is that when she's in my lap, she doesn't really seem to want to do much but lay back and relax - she won't support herself (why do that when I'll do all the work for her?) and she doesn't seem interested in the toys that I try to dangle in front of her. Sitting on her own on the floor is hard for her and she pretty much just cries. I do sit her up that way at least once or twice a day because she needs to gain strength (as per doctor's orders), but it's not terribly conducive to playing. She also doesn't seem terribly interested in toys when she's laying down (she does play a little bit, but not for long) or when she's reclining in the bouncy seat - again, maybe she feels like when she's laying back she's supposed to be relaxing. Who knows?

But, I have now found a position that seems to work for playing! If I put her in the corner of the couch, she is supported enough that she can sit up without struggling to hold on, but she still has to do some of the work herself (she holds her head up well in this position). When sitting there, she seems content to play for at least a little while. Sure, she'd probably prefer to just have me hold her all day, but we're making progress. That's all we can ask for!

Some other things we've learned about Ruthlande:

  • She loves meat! She'd rather have a hamburger or hotdog than fruits or veggies. Of course, we have to cut them up small, but she eats a lot!

  • I can sneak veggies into her diet if I cut them up small and put them into her rice. Otherwise, she won't eat them at all!

  • It's better to let her "cry it out" at bedtimes than to stay with her. Okay, I know plenty of child-rearing experts would cry foul on this one and most adoption experts would say this is all wrong (not that we're adopting Ruthlande, but I figure the situation is similar). But, it turns out that when I stay with her and try to ease her into bedtime, she'll cry really hard for an hour or more. She thinks that if I'm in the room with her, there's no good reason that she shouldn't just be sleeping on me. But, if I leave the room, she cries weakly for a few minutes and then calms down. I figured this out when I had to leave the room to take care of Jaden and Danielle at one point. It made me feel guilty at first, but I've pretty much decided that the experts aren't living here, so I'm going to do what works for us. :-)

  • She'll only drink milk with a little bit of chocolate in it. Okay, before you all say, "But the experts...!" again - I first saw this in a parenting magazine and my pediatrician actually recommended it for Jaden (who also refused plain milk). It's amazing what just a little bit of chocolate will do! The doctors and nurses at the hospital all seemed really concerned that she wasn't drinking more and this seems to be the only way to get her to do it.

  • She loves kids and dogs! Both seem to make her smile more often than anything else!

So, that's it for today. I'm sure I'll be making more Ruthlande discoveries along the way!

1 comment:

ManyBlessings said...

Oh my heavens...look at that girl SMILE!!! That just brightens up my whole day! Nicole, you are doing an awesome job with her, crying, chocolate milk, and everything! She is positively glowing now!