We arrived this morning to see Buddy had his NG tube back. This is a good thing because it is used to check residual in his tummy and to feed him when he is too tired to coordinate his sucking/swallowing/breathing. He apparently started food last night. The night nurse said she almost called us last night at 11 when they got the news he could have food, but she didn't know if that was too late to call. Isn't that nice of her to have thought about calling us with such news? She is a great nurse, and she has Buddy again tonight.
This morning I was able to give him his bottle instead of the nurse. This is huge because the nurses had been told to take over, but apparently we are given another chance to see if Buddy is developmentally ready enough to handle it. I think he is taking about 13 mL now for food (he has to start off slow), so when his bottle is empty he looks at us as if to say, "Hey, I was just getting warmed up. Bring on the rest of the meal!" He has taken ALL of his feedings so far by bottle instead of needing the NG tube. Even though the amounts are smaller, we think this is a huge step towards his independence and getting one step closer to coming home.
My aunt is in town from Nevada. We have taken to calling her "Karin the Great" since she is Buddy's great aunt. Tonight Buddy, due to his need for caffeine, was given his first Starbucks mug. Thanks Aunt Karin!