Bye, bye bottles
For those with typically developing children the bottle is usually left in the dust around their first birthday. Brett, who has cerebral palsy, has had trouble with his suck, swallow and breath coordination since the day he was born. It used to take him an hour to finish a few ounces of a bottle at which point we would have to stop because he was burning more calories than he was taking in. But he is a really hard worker and while his brothers have been drinking from straw/sippy cups since they were one, Brett made the complete transition from bottle to sippy cup last Friday night!
He has been drinking fairly well from a sippy cup for the last few months, but he needed to be able to take at least 4 ounces per meal/snack and get his medications so we gradually replaced bottles with cups until Friday night. I fed him his last bottle Thursday night. While it is a major victory for Brett because he is drinking in an age appropriate way it is cause for celebration for me and Tate because, frankly, we will not miss the Dr. Browns bottles and all the pieces that go with them (although we are forever grateful to whoever Dr. Brown is for designing this amazing bottle that helped calm Brett's reflux).
When the boys were infants Tate and I made about 36 bottles a day and 2 years and just shy of 3 months later we are free of bottles!
Brett and I had some one-on-one time Tuesday and had a special celebration we ate chocolate pudding and he helped me clear the last of the bottles from the cabinets and throw them in a storage bin.
Earlier this month Brett also celebrated another milestone. He was turned to facing forward in his car seat. The law is that you have to be one year of age and 20 lbs. To be honest, I don't know if Brett has yet made it to the 20 lb. mark (although he was 19 and change at his 2-year appointment and I swear he feels heavier every day!) But Brett hates being in the car. He always has. When he was an infant and extremely colicky people would say to take him for a ride in the car and I would cringe thinking of how loud he would scream and cry in the car. He has improved as he has gotten older, but Tate and I prayed and consulted with his therapists and finally decided it was worth a shot to see if turning him around would, well, turn things around.
I would love to say it has, but it was not the miraculous change I prayed for. But he mostly just fusses and rarely cries, which is a huge improvement. We moved his seat so we can turn around and see him and he can see us and just that seems to calm him down when he is unhappy. He also has the world's most annoying mirror that lights up and sings. I dream some days of throwing it out the window, except I would rather listen to the annoying sing songy lady recite ":In the yellow house puppy's ready to go" (to the tune of "Up on the rooftop reindeer pause") than hear my little boy cry.
Brett's next big move will be to his own room. He used to sleep in the same crib with both his brothers, but that didn't last long as he began to stretch out and we later realized his kicking arms and legs were part of his spasticity. When he had infantile spasms at age 7 months he was moved into our room so we could monitor him more closely in case he had more seizures. Thankfully he has never had another. We tried putting him in the same room with his brothers, but he would wake up many times during the night and we were never very successful at sneaking him out without waking the other boys. After much effort we have gotten to the point where Brett will sleep through the night but wakes up for the day at 4:10 or 5:10 a.m. He has to stay in his crib until at least 6:15 a.m. which requires some musical toys to keep him amused. So, please pray for Brett to make a good transition to his own room and for me and Tate who will struggle with the separation and trusting that God will keep him safe through each night.