Monday, October 26, 2009

Snuggle buddies

Quinn really loves human contact, and we love to oblige. One of his favorite activities is to lie on the floor and play "snuggle buddies" with BaBa.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Language explosion

Quinn's speech therapist long ago told us that multi-tone, multi-syllabic babble immediately proceeds a language explosion. Well, here we go. For the last three weeks or so Quinn has been picking up roughly a new word a day. He'll repeat anything we ask him to, but we only count words he says unprompted and then only if he gets the context right. He's up to 31, but he only says them individually rather than stringing them together.

For the past few days he has added only one word total. But he is babbling up a storm. All sorts of sounds, all sounds of pitches, all of it chatty and motor-mouthy.

So before the language explosion begins, I'd like to pause to memorialize my favorite Quinny words so far:

Moo-azoo (music - his very favorite thing)
Buh-weh (bread, said with a vocal upturn on the highly emphasized second syllable)
Teee (a very high-pitched 'please')
Chi-chi (cookie, usually said hopefully at the end of every meal, including breakfast)
Uhnnnnnn (run, BaBa, run!)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Paging Doctor Quinn Jianrong, stat!

Quinn shows a strong preference for toys that involve putting stuff together. This Dora the Explorer playset from Obaachan (Grandma Tokie) is the perfect blend of scientific and imaginative for him. He uses the stethescope to check baby cougar's pulse, he puts the cast on and off of baby cougar and when he's done playing he puts all the pieces inside the backpack. We love this toy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Imitation nation

Quinn is suddenly all about imitating MaMa and BaBa. He loves to hold the phone to his ear, use the keys to open the door, and on and on. Tonight at dinner he was pushing a lime half into his straw and we finally figured out he was making like Uncle Bruce squeezing a lime into his Corona. After rubbing the lime all over the straw opening he tipped his bottle back, took a sip and made the most hilarious grimace!

Quinn created the little scene above while "helping" me cook dinner the other night. He watches me make a salad just about every night. So this night he very carefully took all the big bowls out of his cupboard and lined them up, then took the salad servers out of the utensil drawer and tossed his imaginary salads, all in a row. He'd toss one, move on to the next, then the next, then the next, and then back again.

It's so cool to see their little minds at work!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My grandma, my servant

Quinn and Grandma Marj have quite the bond. They each think the other is pretty perfect and they can't seem to get enough of each other's company.

But if there were a competition for who gets the most out of the relationship, I give the edge to Quinn. He may be only 2, but he can get his grandma to do pretty much anything he wants her to do on Mondays, Grandma Day. During meals, he'll shove a bare foot at her for some "This Little Piggy" action, which is what's happening in the upper photo. In the photo just above, he convinced her to pull him around the house in his wagon for a full 30 minutes. That's nothing compared to the hour-plus of Peekaboo, with Grandma expected to repeatedly hide wherever Quinn directs her to hide and jump out - again and again and again - to "scare" him.

All this and unconditional love, too.

It's good to be the first grandchild!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Group classes and orphanage kids

I could use some advice on something odd I'm seeing with Quinn, adopted 11 months ago and now almost 28 months old.

At home and even out and about, he engages with us, plays interactive games, laughs, listens and is a joy to be around. Same goes for when family or friends visit the house. He loves his Gymboree exercise class and interacts well with the kids there, although there isn't a ton of interaction built into the class.

However, he seems to hate group classes. Tom takes him to music class one a week (Quinn LOVES music and wants it on all the time). But in class he is not a bit interested in anything except shaking maracas when it's time and staring at the CD player.

I've taken him to library story time about five times and that seems to be even worse. Today the only things he wanted to do were grab the necklace of the little girl next to him and, like in music class, check out the CD player (he is quite taken with ours at home, too). He didn't want to sit in my lap to listen to the story (although he'll happily let me read to him for 30 minutes or more at home). He wants no part of the craft projects except to throw the crayons. They always sing a beanbag song during story time, so I taught it to him at home and he has it down cold. We haven't gone to story time in about a month and today I was excited to see if he'd do the beanbag song with the other kids. Nothing. He showed no recognition of the song and did none of the movements he knows so well. If I hold him in my lap during the stories, he squirms and is miserable. If I let him go, he either runs to the CD player or tries to kiss a kid, which typically gets a bad reaction from either the kid or the parent. He was doing so many odd things today that a little girl asked her mom, "What's wrong with that boy?" and other parents were encouraging their kids not to stare at him.

Quinn spent his first 16 months in a BIG orphanage (500 kids) and I wonder if he just had enough of big groups of kids or, worse, if he fears he's back in the orphanage. I'm stumped about how to help: Should I just accept that he isn't ready for group classes and stop going or should I make him keep going in order to get him used to being around other kids?

He doesn't go to pre-school or daycare, so these classes are his only interaction with kids his age.

Thanks for any help or observations you may have!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why it's cool having a kid (according to the dog)

Baxter, our insecure and needy pickapoo, was the family member we thought would have the hardest time with Quinn's arrival. Wrong. He thinks the kid is the coolest thing ever. And this seals it: On hot mornings, when Baxter gets tired on our walks, he gets to ride on the foot rest of Quinn's stroller. Now that's a dog's life!

Monday, October 5, 2009


How do you teach a 2-year-old not to throw toys at the window, at the dog, at you?

Advice, now, please!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Decision made

After much Internet research, many phone calls to doctor's offices and many conversations with parents, we have decided that Quinn's surgery will be done by Dr. Peter Waters at Boston Children's Hospital. When I initially e-mailed asking if he did the kind of surgery Quinn needs, he personally e-mailed me back the same day. That impressed me. I've also talked with many families whose children were treated by him and heard many positive stories.

Quinn has an MRI and initial visit with Dr. Waters in early November, with surgery in early December.

So Boston, here we come!