Saturday, December 28, 2013

3 & 4

3 & 4 month milestones…and technically almost 5, since I am so behind in blogging. I always have plenty of good reasons for putting this blog on the back burner. Besides the holiday busyness, getting used to two kids, trying to potty train Willow, and whatever else is going on--there's also our internet restrictions which have been barring me from posting for over a month. Our internet is also extremely slow, which means loading pictures takes hours, if not days, to achieve. 

Anyway. Sorry again, Noah. 
The cabbage pictures were taken on his 3-month birthday, however. And the pictures that say '4 months' on them were taken on his 4 month birthday. So, that's something, I suppose. 

We took similar pictures of Willow at this time of year, two autumns ago. She even had a similar outfit on! Haha, aren't we clever.

I like this montage of Willow grabbing Noah's toy and giving it to him. She looks so grown up here. Noah is so entertained by his sister and their interaction is very sweet and usually funny.

These two babies are so funny together! I guess that they sensed they were near one another, and so they spent several minutes trying to hold one another's hands. It was hilarious and cute to watch them flailing their baby arms around and every once in awhile they would succeed.

The major milestone for the 4th month was that Noah's two bottom teeth finally popped through. He's still very restless at night and waking up a lot because, I think, he's in pain. I'll be so happy when he starts to sleep for longer than 1-3 hours again.

Noah also went to the children's hospital in Shenyang for an ultrasound on his kidneys. It was a very interesting experience. I brought him there by myself, never having been there before, I was at the mercy of the taxi driver. The international clinic had texted me the address, so I showed that to the driver. He dropped me off at a location I've never been around before (obviously), and thankfully the hospital had English wording on their sign otherwise I wouldn't have known which building to enter.

Once inside, I met a nurse of the international clinic who helped me through the process and did all the translation work. I counted 7 counters she had to go to before we were finally in the room where Noah received his ultra sound. The medical system is so different in China. You have to go to separate counters/rooms/floors within hospitals to register, pay, sign-up, etc. It would be impossible to do on my own without adequate language or knowledge of the system. The nurse lead to me several places where I mostly just sat and waited for her to do all the running around/paying/consulting. The one time I had to do anything was one we saw some doctor who looked at Noah's hand and asked some questions about his health (to determine if he did in fact need the type of test we were asking for). Her room was very small and very warm, while the rest of the hospital was cold. So many very sick babies were being carried around in faux mink blankets. There was vomit on the floor, and lots of loud talking on overhead speakers. Once we were in line to get the test, we had to wait for about a half hour.

There were several other little babies, and one preschooler who was very naughty. He went directly before Noah, and I couldn't help thinking that he was a little gross since he kept eating his boogers. When we were inside the ultra sound room, there was just a wooden table, very makeshift (not nice at all) without any sanitary paper on top. Fortunately, I had a receiving blanket for Noah to lay on. The test itself was very quick, and the technician said everything looked normal and good; no tumors on his kidneys. Noah was so good during the test, no crying at all! Even though the gel must have been cold all over his belly and back.

While I was re-dressing Noah, the technician (a young male) was talking about fat American babies. Apparently, because I had come alone (without spouse or grandparents or a house helper), Noah and I stood out as unusual. It was true, since all the other kids at the various waiting rooms had at least 2 or 3 adult family members with them. He said that Chinese kids were spoiled because they have too many adult caregivers in their lives and no siblings to share the attention with. He said that this was causing a generation-wide consequence and that these kids were not going to excel as adults. I feel like I shouldn't even be writing this down, but it was so fascinating to hear such candid opinions about child raising from a young, educated, medical professional of that same culture.

Anyway, I was beyond relieved to have such positive results immediately (something else that's different from one medical system to the other). I didn't have to wait for a phone call or a consultation days later. He will go again around 6 months to get another kidney check, and also to check the status of his heart hole. We are optimistic that it has closed up on its own at this point.

Willow is looking over my shoulder right now, and has titled this picture, "Noah is Barfing on the Carpet". 

Noah is teething fiercely. His favorite things to chew on are…everything…including my face. 

Stay tuned for Noah's 5 month update…you know, since he'll be 5 months in less than ten days and all. Maybe I'll have that post on time actually!