Monday, September 29, 2008

My sweet boy is back!

This is what my happy boy was doing all night. Smiling his beautiful, cheesy smile at Mama.

By the time Elijah woke up from his nap this afternoon, he was back to his usual self. The reason for his crabbiness after he has been away from home for a night must come from a few different things. He probably doesn't sleep as well as he does in his own bed, and I think part of it is being a little bit upset with us for leaving him in the first place. It would be impossible to find anyone better to watch Elijah than my sister, so I guess we will just have to expect this for a day or so after we have been away.

I've been meaning to share some of the cute things he has been doing lately, but I haven't made the time to type them all out. Every day he does something new. His mind is a little sponge right now and I love watching him absorb every detail about the world around him. We have been going to the park every day that is nice, and usually there are a few kids running around playing. Just recently, Elijah has really taken notice of other kids. He laughs sooo hard when he sees them running around and having fun. It's good to see him interested in that because for a long time he didn't seem to care at all what people around him were doing.

When we sit down to eat dinner, that is Elijah's cue to have us recite EVERY SINGLE THING in his view. A typical dinner starts with him pointing to a million things and then we reply with, "Yes, sweetie, that's a light. Yep, a vent, the ceiling, the floor, the red wall, the white wall, the outlet, your chair, my chair, Daddy's chair, another chair, another chair, a flower, a plant, your bib, your shirt, the kitchen, outside, a tree, the tv, your nose, Mommy's nose, Daddy's ear..." and on and on. He points at everything he can see and then he starts over. It's hard to get frustrated because he is just taking in his surroundings and learning. Every day I try to teach him a couple new objects and usually he still remembers them the following day.

If I have been away from him for more than a few hours, I notice that when he very first sees me, he starts pointing at things around him. I think it's his way of saying, "Look at the book. And the ball. This is what I've been up to while you were gone." He's telling me about his day in his own little language.

When I leave for work in the morning, he has started saying, "BAH!" for bye. I think we could consider that a word, right?

Today when Dan went into his room after he woke up from his nap, he found that Elijah was sitting up in his crib! This is the first time he has gotten into a sitting position from lying down. This is a huge step in the right direction! His muscles are getting stronger every day.

There is a song that we like that Steve Songs sings on PBS right before Super Why begins. Steve sings about shapes and puts them into a fun song and then uses his hands to draw out the shapes in the air. We have seen/heard this song a handful of times and Elijah likes it. It's really catchy, so I am constantly singing it in my head (and so is Dan). The other day I was singing it out loud (again) and I noticed that while I was singing, Elijah was throwing his arms in the air in a jerky movement, trying to imitate drawing the shapes, like Steve does on tv. I will try to get it on video. It is super cute.

I am feeling so much more relaxed tonight after a good, drama-less evening with my baby. I have a book to finish for book club next week, so I better go do that. Dan is spending some time with a friend tonight, and I'm having a hard time resisting the smell of the chili cooking downstairs that we intended on saving for tomorrow night. Mmmmmmmm, it smells so good. Maybe I'll just have a tiny bowl?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Elijah is trying to kill his mama

One of my best friends in the world, Missy, had a sweet little baby girl in August. Saturday night, all of us girls who were roommates in college (minus one..we missed you, Kendis!) met up in a central location to see baby Addison and to have some quality friend time. We ate dinner and then shared a cocktail together and spent the night in a hotel by the lake. I love these girls so much. They have been such a huge support to me through many many things over the years and I don't know what I would do without them. I was so happy to be able to see them and I'm excited that I get to see most of them again this coming weekend! We are all spread out across Minnesota and Iowa, so it is always a treat when we get to see each other.

Dan was at the dropzone all weekend in hopes of working, but the weather prevented him from even getting a single jump. ARGGGHhh! Because he was gone, I drove Elijah down to my sister's house on Saturday before heading to Iowa to meet up with my girls. He spent the night getting totally loved on by my sister and her family. Lucky boy! I drove back up to her house this morning to get him and we made it back home by about 11:00. Once we got home, Elijah turned into Beastly Baby. He was sooo crabby. He was constantly screaming, fussing or throwing things, which is completely unlike him. He took a really good, long nap but still woke up super fussy and acting upset. He didn't have a fever or any other cold symptoms, so I guess it could be teeth coming in. The more likely answer is that he was "punishing" me for leaving him last night. When I left Lissa's house, I remember looking back as cousin Emma was pushing him in his stroller and he was giving me the saddest, most confused look. It was like he was thinking, How could you really be leaving me right now? I actually cried a little as I drove away because that look broke my heart.

He loves this little chainsaw toy. It's super loud and annoying, but it amuses him.

I put him to bed a little bit early tonight in hopes that he can sleep off this crabbiness and be a new man in the morning. In the back of my mind, I always wonder if there could be an underlying reason for him acting differently. Could it be his heart? Should I be worried? It gets tiring always having to worry about that, but we continue to always pray for the best for the chunky man.

Elijah, if you see that I have posted this picture someday and get embarrassed about it, I'm sorry! It's just so funny! He isn't actually picking his nose, this is just what he does when you ask him where his nose is. It's so funny.

Thanks for checking in on us! I'm going to go sit my butt in the LoveSac and do NOTHING for a couple hours.

Not full of a whole lot of smiles tonight, but still the cutest baby I've ever seen.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another angel sent to Heaven

My heart has been breaking all day today for Colin's parents. Colin was such a brave, cute, strong little 2-year-old boy who passed away at home on Sunday. We have been following Colin's journey with Congenital Heart Disease for quite a while. He had the same heart diagnosis that Elijah has. Please send up lots of prayers for his sweet parents and family. I'm sure they will appreciate any prayers they can get.

What a sad day. My heart aches so badly for Colin's family.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Spaghetti face

I love spaghetti, can't you tell?

Elijah has been a little bit more fussy than usual today. We think his molars are coming in, and we are hoping that is the cause of the fussiness. He had a very slight temp this morning (37.1 degrees C) but otherwise has felt pretty good and hasn't had any other cold symptoms.

Hmmmmm, what comes after spaghetti?

He has been doing a really cute thing with me the past couple days. As you all know, I love kissing his chubby, soft neck. He has always loved the anticipation of kisses and tickles more than the kisses and tickles themselves, I think. Often, I will say, "ba-ba-ba-ba" as I move in to the chubby neck to smooch on him. He anticipates it and giggles like crazy. Well, the past two days, he has shown me that he wants me to do that. He will lean his head way back and he will start saying, "ba-ba-ba-ba" all by himself, telling me he wants my smooches. He is asking me to do what I love to do the most: kiss on the juiciest, most wonderful neck in the world! I love it!

This is what we call the "yogurt face." We always give him yogurt at the END of the meal because if he eats it first, he won't eat anything else. HE LOVES YOGURT. The arm flapping is totally crazy once he spots the yogurt container.

We are still trying to figure out daycare for the week. Our friend Karla is SO GENEROUSLY driving down to our house tomorrow on her DAY OFF to watch Elijah so Dan can work (thank you, Karla, we appreciate your time so very much!). I think he's going to have to take the rest of the week off, unfortunately, but there's not much we can do about it. It stinks. I wish all you generous heart mamas lived closer. You are all so generous with your offers to help out with our sweet boy. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dead tired, and waiting for hubby to come home

Elijah got to ride his horse for a bit tonight.

I pulled out the horse because I figured we needed to work on some sort of strengthening, since he REFUSES to bear weight on his legs again. ARRGgh!

I have my feet up for the first time all weekend and it feels GOOD! We did a lot of fun things this weekend. Dan worked hard at the dropzone all weekend. I think he made somewhere around 20 jumps. Elijah and I went to his little buddy Jetson's 2nd birthday party yesterday in a really nice park in Minneapolis and then we went to the dropzone to spend the night. There was a wedding celebration that some fellow skydivers were having, so that turned out to be really fun. Dan and I danced our legs off in the hangar after sunset and after Elijah was asleep. All day today I kept wondering why my legs were so sore and then I would remember the boogying. Today Elijah and I went to my cousin's wedding shower. He skipped his nap, but stayed in a pretty good mood despite that. I'm super excited for Ann Marie and Paul's wedding in a few weeks. I am so honored that she asked me to be a bridesmaid!

On our way home from the shower today, I looked back at my tired boy in the back seat and he almost looked drunk. He was drifting in and out of sleep and every once in a while he would do something funny like feel his eyelashes or stick a finger in his ear. It was really funny. I'm still giggling about it.

Here we are, at Sunday night already again. That means tomorrow is Monday, yuck. BUT! I have help now at work so it isn't as grim as it normally is. YYAAAAAAYYyyy for good help! We don't have a whole lot going on this week, so hopefully our world stays drama-free. Oh wait, we do have a little drama. We are having trouble finding daycare for Elijah this week so Dan is having to give up almost an entire week of work, which really stinks and is super inconvenient. If anyone knows of someone in the southwest metro area who would be willing to watch a sweet boy for a few days, please let us know! We will pay well! Have a great week, everyone. I'll end with an annoying conversation between me and the lady checking me out at the grocery store last week.

Grocery Lady: [looking at Elijah] No shoes?
Me: No. He isn't walking, so there's really no need yet.
GL: He isn't WALKING? How old is he?
Me: 19 months.
[long pause]
GL: Why isn't he walking?
Me: He's had a few obstacles to overcome. [Biting my tongue, trying to refrain from exploding on this poor woman because I'm so tired of people asking me WHY MY SON DOESN'T WALK.]

Friday, September 19, 2008

Good good week

I can't remember a week that I've felt more peaceful and happy. I think it was a combination of a bunch of things that made it such a nice week. My improved work situation has a lot to do with it. We also had a lot of Daddy-Mommy-Elijah time in the evenings, which I love. The weather was great, too, and I try to soak that in as much as possible because we never know what we're going to get in Minnesota.

Clapping hands!

Thursday we took Elijah to his speech evaluation. It was nice because "evaluating" him was really just interacting and playing with him. He did ok. He is behind, as we knew he was, but he is doing fine. He actually passed a lot of the tests that were presented to him. He knows most object names (tree, pants, foot, kitty, ears, etc..) but had a hard time with verbs. He couldn't point out what "running" was or "eating," etc. The thing the speech therapist was most concerned about (and she kept using that word, CONCERNED) was the limited consonant sounds that Elijah makes and the fact that he doesn't have any "real" words yet. These are things we will work on with him. We will get all caught up! I'm not super worried about it (surprisingly).

I love this picture because it shows his JUICY NECK. I could honestly kiss on that soft, chubby neck all day long if he let me.

Today Dan had to work at the dropzone and I of course had to be at work all day. We have been having problems finding daycare for Elijah on Fridays, so we were in a serious bind today. I asked my friend Cara, who happened to have the day free, if she could watch Elijah for a few hours and, thank goodness, she said yes! THANK YOU, CARA! You totally saved us today. We appreciate you giving up your day for us. It was so cute because when I got home from work Elijah and Cara were all snuggled up in the LoveSac together. Sooo sweet.

Still no crawling! I believe this means that Mitch wins the Crawling Contest! Mitch, look in the mail for a little treat from the Portas! :) I think Elijah just likes to tease me with it. It will happen when it happens. But when it happens, it will be a big day! All you people in other parts of the country, you will hear my squeals! We are continuing to work on standing. Some days he is willing to stand, some days he isn't at all. We are making progress, though, so that is all I care about right now.

Mama! I'm in the middle of checking out my hands.

The strange bumps he had on his body are all gone. The balloon suggestion I got from a few of you was a good one. I hadn't thought of that. His balloon "died" quite a while before the bumps came, though, so I don't think that was the cause. I really have no idea what was going on.

I love that beautiful face

We have quite the busy weekend ahead of us. We have a lot of fun things going on, and minus a few hours when I will be at my cute cousin Ann Marie's wedding shower on Sunday, I will have my little man by my side the entire time. My little weekend sidekick. I love that kid. Thanks for checking in with us, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xooxox

This is the happy look he gives me when his favorite show, Super Why, comes on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Could every week please be like this one?

Standing all by himself! He's getting better and better every day. Tomorrow he has a PT appointment and a speech evaluation. (Look at the fluffy Elvis hair! Another haircut needed soon.)

I haven't written anything in a few days, but that is because we have been having a drama-free, low-key week. Every night this week we have had dinner together as a family, which is something we hardly ever do in the summer with Dan working so much in the evenings. I love it. It is so important to me that we all sit down together at the end of the day to eat a healthy meal. The weather has been gorgeous, so we have been taking walks to the park every day after I get home from work. Elijah giggles his way through all of the swinging and wagon riding. I finally have some help at work with a few projects so that has helped my mood tremendously. I was beginning to feel like I was swimming through quicksand every time I walked into my office. It has been a really positive week.

THIS is the rocket I point to all the time

Finger in belly button

Reading my big book

I woke up at 5:00 this morning crying my eyes out because of a dream I was having. It was a good dream. In it, Dan and I were sitting in the church in my hometown, Manning, Iowa. It is a pretty big church with a big congregation, and we were sitting toward the middle and it was packed. It was about halfway through worship when my dad got up in front to announce something. He grabbed the microphone and said, "Megan and Dan, I just want you to see something. I want you to see how loved Elijah is, and how loved you both are. Now, could everyone in here who has ever prayed for our little Elijah please raise your hand?" I looked around and EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the church had their hand raised. I put my face in my hands and cried. It was so moving. I couldn't stop the tears. I woke up crying into my pillow. I didn't stop crying for at least ten minutes. I knew it was true. Many many people have prayed for our baby. It feels so good knowing this. So, THANK YOU, everyone who has lifted our little boy up in prayer. You have made such a difference in our lives. We have felt your prayer surround us, and we are so grateful.

He has been really interested in exploring his body. It cracks me up. Yesterday he found his nostrils and was wedging his fingers up them as far as he could. Then he started folding his ears in half. Here, he's checking out his belly and hair at the same time.

His eyes are also very intriguing because he pokes his fingers in them constantly. Last night at dinner he was poking so hard at them that I actually started to get worried. He's just checking everything out!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Chewing on a cheese stick and crossing his legs. That's our boy!

Today was a rainy day, so Dan was able to come home from the dropzone early and spend the afternoon with us. We always love having Daddy at home! We have had a really good day, and a good week overall. Elijah has done a lot of fun new things this week that we have clapped and cheered about endlessly.

He was fascinated with the rain. He stared out the window for a long time, just checking it all out.

I asked him where the rain was and he pointed at the window. He points at everything these days.

For some reason, he has never been interested in clapping. He has been banging blocks and toys together for many many months, and that is basically the same motion as clapping, but he has never clapped his actual hands together. The other night at dinner, he just decided he wanted to start clapping. I squealed so loud I'm pretty sure the neighbors covered their ears. Elijah is clapping!

Then, at the same meal, I know, I have been trying to get this kid to feed himself with a spoon for so long, I'm going to see if it will happen right now, as long as we're on a roll. Maybe it was the clapping that motivated me. I put some food on a spoon and handed it to him, and he fed himself! More annoying squealing came out of my mouth.

Then later that day, Dan and I were sitting with Elijah in the living room as he played with his trucks. We have been practising animal sounds repeatedly for months. Elijah was on his hands and knees, looking at us, and I said, "Elijah, what does an elephant say?" He thought for a second and then did an ARRRRRrrrr noise and at the same time lifted his arm up, like the trunk. Again, we cheered like crazy people.

Today I noticed that he is saying the word "up." It sounds more like "uf," but it's great!

He has a little toy Noah's ark boat that has animals that go inside. He knows every single animal and every sound that each animal makes. He retains things so well. I'm so proud of him.

Along these lines, we have managed to work things out so he can be in PT and OT twice a week, at two separate places. I really want to give him every chance possible to improve his skills. The lady who evaluated him this week thought that it would be a good idea to get him on the waiting list for speech therapy, too. She said it is a pretty long wait, though, and not to expect anything. Well, we got a call on Thursday and there is an opening on Thursdays for us. How exciting! I am so happy about this.

I figured out a sneaky trick today. If I turn on one of his favorite shows, he will stand up in front of me for at least 10 minutes. It is enough distraction to keep him from caring. GO ELIJAH! You are using your legs!

The chunky little man is in bed and Dan and I are going to watch a scary movie. I get to watch my husband scream like a scared little girl, yay! :) (Really, he does.) Thanks, everyone, for the comments about the mystery bumps. Based on all of your info, I have made a mommy diagnosis of allergies. There is something he is allergic to, I just don't know what it is yet. I guess we'll start eliminating things from his diet to figure it out.

Do you like the blue socks? He looks like an old man.

Pretty sure his back molars are coming in because he has been chewing on his entire hand all day. Oh, and look at that beautiful face.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Four-month reprieve

Belly button fetish. Gotta be pushing it like a button at all times!

Elijah's cardiology check-up today went very well. Well, it was good in terms of news we got. It wasn't so good in the traumatization aspect. He freaked out about every little thing...getting weighed, getting blood pressure taken, being looked at by anyone besides Dan or me. His sats were at 99%, which is just awesome, and Dr. Gremmels was pleased with how he has been doing. The only issue right now is a slight murmur Dr. G could hear, which is caused by the narrowing he has in his pulmonary artery. A stent was placed in it during his surgery in April, so it is likely he is outgrowing that stent. Dr. G didn't see this as being a super pressing issue, but that we should address it within the next 6 months.

The plan is to have another heart cath done in January to make that stent bigger and also to check on his collaterals and how/if they have grown since surgery. The same day, right before the cath, he will also have a flow scan done of his lungs. This will show how evenly the blood is flowing to each lung. The hope is that there will be equal, or at least very similar, bloodflow.

He hasn't gained much weight since the last visit in June, but Dr. G didn't seem too concerned. Since he is moving around more, he is most likely burning off the calories quicker. He certainly doesn't have a problem eating food.

That was it! Our little man is doing great heart-wise and otherwise. I can't believe we have FOUR MONTHS before we have to see cardiology again. This is the longest reprieve we have ever had from them. Yaayyy!

There is one little weird thing we have noticed lately that we cannot figure out. Elijah has been getting these little red bumps all over his body that come and go within a matter of minutes or hours. They look like really small mosquito bites. They don't seem to bother him and the nurse we talked to said not to worry unless he gets a fever or has other strange symptoms. At first I thought maybe he had little bugs in his bed, so we washed all of his bedding. Nope, that wasn't it, because they were back the next day. Could it be an allergy to something? Does anyone have insight? It's driving me crazy! It's not like there are a ton of them, but probably 4-5 on his body at any given moment, and they usually come in clusters.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More balloon love

Today Elijah added to his animal sounds. His sound for a chicken (cluck cluck) is "gung gung." He is retaining a lot of information right now and he is trying to express it all in his own way. When we're eating dinner, he points at everything around us. The wall, the ground, the table, the light, the ceiling, the plant on the table, me, the living room, outside, the kitchen. I am constantly reciting things. "Yes, that is a wall. And a plant. And a light. And a shoe...." I love it. He is interested and eagerly learning about the world around him. This is such a positive sign for his development.

I know I say this a lot, but he is such a sweet little person. His demeanor is so gentle and sweet, and it is such a pleasure to be around him. After I put him to bed every night, I feel such a warmth in my heart and I go downstairs and gush to Dan about how lucky we are. I am so happy that God gave us this special little person to care for. He is our little miracle and I love him very much.

Remember how I mentioned the balloon that he was in love with? Well, now he's even more in love! If he is sitting up and playing with toys, he still likes to hold the balloon close to his face with one hand as he plays with the other hand.

Check out the fluffy hair! He has such great hair. So much body. So many girls would kill for that.

Do you want to stir the soup, Mama?

I'm not letting go of my balloon. The soup is almost ready.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Balloon love

I can't believe the weekend is almost over! It went so fast. As always, I tried to absorb every second with my baby boy and enjoy him to the fullest. We drove out to the dropzone yesterday afternoon and spent the night out there with Dan. I didn't get a jump in, booooo, but we did have a nice night. I love getting out of the city one night a week. I will be sad when the season is over and we won't be able to do that anymore for a while.

Today's skydives ended up being called off because of weather, so Dan got to spend the afternoon at home with us. It was so nice to have him here. We had a nice day relaxing, napping and spending some quality time together.

He is laying on a balloon we got weeks ago, that has lost almost all of its air. He loves this. He will scoot across the entire living room to get to it and then he will just rest his head on it and snuggle. I'm hoping it doesn't pop.

He has started scooting over to his rocking horse and examining it thoroughly. We aren't supposed to put him on it for another week and a half (no straddling post-surgery) so for now he is just checking it out.

The end of the weekend treat tonight was watching an episode of Veggie Tales while he snuggled with Mama.

A couple other cute things from the weekend:

I noticed that any time he has access to his bare belly, he puts his finger on his belly button and holds it there. Like if he lets go, the world will explode.

I have been trying to get into the habit of praying with Elijah before bed every night. I sit with him in his rocking chair in his bedroom before bed and we have some quiet time. I fold my hands and say a little prayer. Yesterday when I put him down for his nap, we sat in the chair like usual and I wasn't praying since it wasn't bedtime. He reached around and grabbed both of my hands and put them together. So we said a naptime prayer. He loves it when I do this. Through the whole prayer, he smiles.

Before we put him to bed tonight, Dan and I said to each other, "What a good baby we have!" We feel so lucky. What a special little boy. I feel so blessed to be his mommy.

Have a great week, everyone! We are praying for a good cardiology visit on Thursday and for lots of work for Dan! Take care, thanks for checking in.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Good stuff today

Brushing his teeth before bed

Elijah's urology appointment went really well today. Well, most of it went well. The waiting room in that clinic is always insanely crowded and the wait to get in to see the doctor is always horrendous. Once we got in, the nice nurse talked us through what she was going to do and asked us questions about his recovery in the past two weeks. When it came time for me to lay Elijah on the table to get the stitch and shunt removed, he knew right away that something was going on. He latched himself around my neck (ooohhhh, this breaks my heart!) and started to scream. I got him on the table but he still had my hair in his hands and he refused to let go. Poor kid, so traumatized by doctors and nurses and medical-hospital crap. The nurse got everything removed pretty quickly and then he was fine. He had some residual whimpering and crying, but it didn't take him too long to recover.

Your turn, Mama!

Dr. R stuck his head in to peek at things and said everything looked great! The surgery was a success and everything is healing up nicely. He still has swelling and a little bit of bruising and has acquired a yeast infection from the Bacitracin we've been covering him with. Other than that, it couldn't be any better! YAY! We haven't given him a proper bath since before his surgery since getting stuff into his shunt could be painful and dangerous. Dan gave him a bath this afternoon and he looked like a brand new baby afterwards. We have a follow-up with urology in 4 weeks (not rid of them yet) and then probably another follow-up in 6 months.

It feels so great to have this behind us. Another thing checked off the list. Thank you, GOD!

I wanted to share a cute new thing Elijah has been doing lately. He has a gigantic Baby Einstein book that he loves to look at and one of the pages in it has a bedroom scene with a little boy going to bed and all of his toys are lying on the floor and on his bed. There is a little toy rocket on his floor, amongst many other things. Elijah CONSTANTLY turns to that page and points repeatedly to that rocket and looks up at me with an excited grin. I say, "Yes, rocket!" and then he points to the telescope. Back and forth between the two things, as if there aren't 30 different things on the page to point at. Astronaut? Pilot? Hmmmmm.....

A friend of Dan's is over tonight, so Dan is grilling up some yummmmmy spicy chicken and potatoes. I think I'll go gobble some up and then come back upstairs and watch a movie so they can have some boy time. Plus, I'm not too interested in watching tennis. Right now they are having an argument about Roger Federer. Dan is saying how he isn't American and how he might beat the AMERICAN Pete Sampras' record, and how that is anti-American. Dan's friend replied with, "Well? Jesus wasn't American!" :) After much back and forth discussion about this, I just heard Dan say, "I divorce you!" and his friend said, "You know what? Relationships end!" I think I'll stay upstairs.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Random things

- Tomorrow is Elijah's 2-week post-surgery follow-up with urology. He will get his shunt removed and hopefully that will be the last time we'll need to see urology ever again! (Thankfully it is the doctors we like the least that we'll be able to ditch and the ones we like the most that we'll keep forever.)

- He seems to be getting another little cold. We're praying for a SMALL cold, and for this sickness crap to be over with soon. It's summer! What in the world is winter going to be like?

- For the past week or two, when I put him down in his crib to go to sleep he grabs his favorite blankie and scrunches it up into a ball and then lays himself on top of it. Then he smiles up at me like, This is the best, Mama! I'm sooo comfy! He is an absolute angel sleeper. He never fusses and he doesn't make a peep for 12 straight hours.

- He is such a sweet, lovey boy. When I get home from work, it is obvious that he wants to be physically close to me for a bit. He sits in my lap facing me and we "talk" for a good 10-15 minutes before he starts pointing at his trucks. He has even started putting his arms around my neck and pulling me close to him, like he wants me to hug him. Any time, sweet boy, any time.

- I didn't think he could possibly eat any better, but I was wrong! He can fit SO MUCH food in that belly! Sometimes I wonder if I should stop feeding him, even though he keeps opening his mouth up like a starving little birdy. He has been eating practically everything we offer him. All kinds of veggies, fruit, meat, everything. Mealtimes are rarely stressful these days and it is so lovely. He is even drinking milk again (with a little strawberry syrup help)!

- His development is really blossoming in all areas. He points to EVERYTHING and wants you to tell him what each thing is. He listens very closely. If I go through a book and tell him what each thing in the pictures is called, he can usually go back and point everything out by himself when I ask him to. He is finally starting to use his legs a little bit more, and I know I've been saying this for a month now, but he is on the verge of crawling. He's attempting to mimic a few of the words we say, even though they are definitely a unique interpretation of what the word really sounds like. It's very cute, though, and it's a positive sign of language development.

- We are hoping to get him into physical therapy twice/week from two different places to get him as much help with his gross motor development as possible. We will have to get insurance approval (of course), and then we will have to see if Dan and I can find two consistent days/times every week to make this happen.

- Cardiology check-up is next Thursday. It will be almost FIVE months since heart surgery. Wow! We were told at his last visit to expect another heart cath in October (yuck!), but other than that, we're expecting a positive report next week. We really have no reason to believe it will be anything but that.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Bonding time

It has been a really long time since I have felt so close to my chunky little boy. We had such a nice weekend together and did many fun things. I wish every weekend lasted three full days.

On Saturday morning Elijah and I met the lovely Jess in Stillwater for a stroll along the river and lunch. It was BEAUTIFUL!

I didn't get any pics from the dropzone, but we headed there right after our Stillwater stroll and spent the rest of the day and night there. Dan was doing tandems, so Elijah and I just hung out. Once he went to bed I had a sweet friend of ours watch the baby monitor while Dan and I MADE A SKYDIVE TOGETHER!! It has been almost a year since we have been able to do that. It was awesome! We had a really nice, relaxing time at the dropzone. It is always so nice to get out of the city once in a while.

Elijah and I headed back to the Cities Sunday morning because one of my very best friends in the whole world, and her two beautiful children, decided to come up and visit from Iowa. I don't see Heather and her kids much, so it was really nice to see them.

We spent Sunday afternoon at the zoo and had a fun time seeing the animals.

We had a low-key evening at home last night and Heather and I got caught up. Today we all (even Dan!) went to the Mall of America and walked around for a bit. We had lunch together and then we headed home to put Elijah down for a nap. BYE, Heather, Molly and Ben! It was so wonderful having you here and we miss you!

When we got home, we found a present for Elijah in our mailbox. A new toy helicopter from Grammie Paula and Grampa Dick! He wasn't so sure of it at first, but ended up loving it and playing with it for a long long time.

The helicopter got me thinking about how many toys with wheels Elijah has. So I went through the entire house and garage and compiled them all. Here is the collection! Cars, trucks, trains, fire trucks, airplanes, helicopters....he loves them all!

He played by himself for quite a while tonight as Dan worked on the budget and I got dinner ready. I came into the living room and saw his train bag draped over his back and him playing the ukulele (an awesome Maui gift from Ronda and Andrew!). Maybe he likes music? He seemed pretty intrigued.

Then he went toward his heap of trucks and destroyed them all.

Resting his head on his soft car from Auntie Lissa. The floor is so hard!

I love it! He is finally moving around and really getting into things. This is the first time he has scooted under the chairs and table to play with toys and check things out.

Hi Mama! I'm playing with my trucks underneath the chair!

I noticed on our way back from the dropzone yesterday that Elijah's animal sounds (that we have been working hard on) each have a unique sound. He has his own interpretation of what each one sounds like. I got most of them on video tonight....

First time to check out his rocking horse. He LOVED it! And he was actually much more stable on it than I thought he would be.

Look! Standing all by himself! Can you believe it??? I love progress.

Have a good week, everyone. Thanks so much for checking in. We love you all. Please say a prayer about our surgery follow-up appointment on Thursday. He has been doing/feeling great, but let's hope for a great report (and little to no arrogant behavior from Surgeon).