Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday spunk

Elijah's post-croup cough got a little bit worse as the weekend went on. It is still NOTHING compared to what his little body endured after each episode last year, so we have no complaints.

Here is our crazy boy (this was our name for him all weekend) reading books on the LoveSac.

This photo was taken pre-hair cut, which is worth mentioning because it was the first hair cut he cooperated for. No crying or freaking out or thrashing about. Our boy is growing up!

We decided to go to a tree farm on Friday and cut down our own Christmas tree. I have to say that it was a little more difficult than I thought it would be only because it was hard to lug our non-walking little boy around an enormous field of trees, sans stroller. It was fun, though. We will definitely do it again next year. And I think we found the perfect tree!

Elijah's level of spunk and craziness was turned up a few notches this weekend. Sometimes I wish he could walk just so he could run off some of his energy. Something else that got turned up was his desire to test his boundaries and Mommy and Daddy's patience and also his ability to scream, kick and hit. Our house has most definitely been filled with plenty of spunk.

He's still the sweetest little boy, though, kissing everyone and everything, including Baby Snowman..

..and Mama Snow(wo)man..

A new favorite thing for him to do is to shut himself in a closet or in the bathroom and say, "Night night, Mama (or Daddy)!" as he fake snores and then yells, "WAKE UP!!" Repeat about 1,497 times.

We put our Christmas, sorry, KICKUS, decorations up this weekend and Elijah loves them. Turning on the "Kickus wights" is the first thing he has us do every morning.

Our home is pretty festive and cozy right now. I love this time of year and I love my spunky little family.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pics from Elijah's cath a few weeks ago

Doesn't he look huge on my lap? My little boy needs to stop growing up!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Croup: Season 2, Round 3

I can usually predict when Elijah will get a croup episode. I can tell by his breathing and cold symptoms, which are usually a cough, sneezing and/or a runny nose. I suppose I did notice one tiny little cough come out of Elijah's mouth Wednesday night before bed, but other than that he showed no signs that croup was about to happen.

At his standard time to start stridor, 9:00, we heard that he was crying and having a hard time breathing over the baby monitor. Dan took him outside for a bit and then we did oral steroids and an epi neb and put him back to bed.

He has had just a teeny tiny cough since then, but nothing significant. No sleep has been lost and his lungs don't seem to be affected at all. Our experiences with croup this year are on a whole different level than they were last year. Last year, every sickness was a major deal. This year, every sickness has been extremely minor. I don't know if we can thank his pneumococcal booster (that he got last summer) for this reprieve or maybe Elijah is just getting the break he deserves, but we will take it! What a nice change of pace.

So, Elijah is doing great. We are enjoying our holiday weekend as a family. We have some fun things to share in the next couple days. Thanks for checking in on our monkey!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Lots and lots and lots of thanks!

We had a couple foam mattresses lying on the floor in Elijah's bedroom for a few days a couple weeks ago. Every night when I would go in to check on him before I went to sleep, I would have to step around and over the mattresses, tripping and making extra noise and just being annoyed in general. I would walk into his half-dark bedroom and think, Oh yeah, gotta do my obstacle course over and around the mattress mountains again, ugh. We only had them in there for about a week before we gave them back to the very nice friends who loaned them to Dan for his hunting weekend.

The first couple nights after we had given them back, I couldn't believe how easy it was to check on Elijah before going to bed. There was nothing in the way! I could just walk straight to his bed...four little steps...and it was so easy and simple and quiet and...EASY!

If I hadn't experienced the mattress obstacle course that made my journey to Elijah's bed a little bit challenging for a week, I never would have appreciated the simple act of being able to walk straight to his bed to give him one last pat good night. My perspective had changed. Even now, a few weeks later, I still think about how wonderful it is not to have to climb over an obstacle course when I walk into his room.

I know that is such a simple example of how challenges can change perspectives, but I think of the bigger picture every time I check on Elijah at night now. I think constantly about how much our perspectives (big and small) have changed over the past few years.

This past year has been WONDERFUL, AMAZING, AWESOME. It has been one of the best years of my life, even despite a spinal cord surgery for my little boy and many bouts of croup and sickness (and even despite last night's croup episode). Had we not had the opportunity to experience the challenges we experienced in the previous three years, I don't know that I would have considered 2009 one of the best of my life. It's hard to know that for sure, but I think that is a pretty fair guess. What I do know for sure is that 2009 HAS been wonderful and that I am one very thankful person.

I am thankful that we have been given the opportunity to grow in this way and to see life through a different perspective. I am thankful for the "obstacle courses" we have had to get through because it makes our current path seem so nice and easy. I am thankful that Elijah went A WHOLE YEAR without intervention on his heart! I am thankful that his next open heart surgery is not on the horizon like we (and the doctors) thought it would be at this point. I am thankful that we have a happy little boy filled with tons of spunk and energy. I am thankful that Elijah's speech has blown us away in the past few months. I am thankful that I still have a good job and that Dan was able to work a lot last summer. I am thankful that Elijah has grandparents who love him dearly. I am thankful that we have a warm, cozy house to live in and two (old, yet) reliable cars to drive. I am thankful that we have chosen to become closer to God over the past few years instead of push Him away. I am thankful for my patient, loyal and wonderful husband. I am thankful for Elijah's wonderful daycare provider and for the great things daycare in general has done for him. I am thankful for the outstanding medical benefits I receive for our family through my job. I am thankful for all of Elijah's amazing therapists and doctors. I am thankful for this blog and for the friendships I have found through it. I am thankful for my heart moms/dads who walk the crazy heart journey along with us. I am thankful for Elijah's steadfastness (is that a word?) and his amazing strength and, yes, even his strong will.

I am thankful for such an outstanding year! I could not possibly feel more blessed right now.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, everyone! I hope you all have a safe, thankful, wonderful holiday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Exciting news from the bathroom!

We try not to ever push anything on Elijah unless it is a matter of life or death, or unless it is necessary for disciplinary purposes. Crawling, talking, eating, almost anything, really...we have mostly allowed him to take the lead (while sneakily helping out when he's not noticing). We learned quickly that pushing him, or even strongly encouraging him, to do something rarely motivates him to make progress. We have learned to sit back and be patient and let him tell us when he is ready to go forward with something. This same principle applies to potty training. We have not pushed the issue because up until recently Elijah has shown ZERO interest in it, which we know typically means that we will get nowhere.

Before putting Elijah in the bath I always ask him first if he would like to sit on the potty. He always adamantly says, "NO!" I try to consistently ask, though, in hopes that one time he will say yes. Well, last night before his bath I asked the standard potty question and he said no. Again. A second after I put him in the bath, he said, "Potty in potty chair!" So I scooped him out of the tub and set him on his cute little potty chair (he could not possibly look any cuter sitting on that thing..would it be wrong to take a picture?). He sat there for a good five minutes, reading books and singing and talking. After I put him back in the tub, I noticed a little bit of PEE-PEE IN THE POTTY!!!!!

I freaked out, screaming and hollering like a crazy woman, making sure that Elijah knew I was overjoyed about this huge step. I called Dan upstairs and we both did the potty cheer/dance and I'm pretty sure Elijah felt like king of the world. I'm so proud of him! I realize we have a long way to go, but the first step is deciding that he is ready for it, and that step is done! This morning he was excited to sit on the potty chair again while reading his Moses book. No pee this time, but it's good to make a routine out of something that he is willing to do.

It is always so exciting when he decides that he is ready to do something!


I'm posting this photo again because I love it.


Here are some more of my favorite Elijah words/sayings:

"Boggle boggle!" is his version of "Gobble gobble!"

"Pee-pop" is his word for "lollipop."

He has started saying, "Hiya, Mom!" and "See ya!" [pause] "Later!"

This morning he said, "Dah-shaur book. Upshairs. Mama. Ok!" Translated: "Mother, go get me my dinosaur book. It's upstairs."

Last night I was wiping up a huge glop of yogurt from his lap after dinner. He watched me wipe it up and said, "Sorry, Mama."

He loves to look at one particular photo of himself that was taken just after he was born. He studies it long and hard every time, and then says in his cute little sad voice, "Baby cwying. Baby saaad."


Last year at this time we were preparing for Elijah's fifth heart cath. We spent the day before Thanksgiving and part of Thanksgiving Day in the hospital with him and we spent the rest of the weekend helping him recover at home. I am SO THANKFUL that we have a hospital-free long weekend ahead of us. We have had an AMAZING year. 2009 has treated us well and I feel so thankful and blessed. More to come on that thought.

I hope you all are having a great week. Thank you for checking in on our little boy (and for enduring so much potty talk)!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


We have been in partial Christmas mode this weekend. We got out our lights and have been playing some festive music and Elijah can't stop saying, "Kickus tweee!" which is his way of saying he wants a Christmas tree. :) Next weekend, little one! We also put our Operation Christmas Child boxes together, which is always so much fun. I can't wait until Elijah gets excited about doing these. Maybe next year.

An exciting thing happened today. Considering we have not been working on potty training at all with Elijah, it's very exciting, actually. He went poopy in his diaper and then said, "Poop, Mama! Potty chair!" So we went and sat on the potty chair. Granted, the poop had already happened, but at least we know the potty-toilet connection is being made. I guess it shouldn't be a huge surprise to me that Elijah has just decided to start this process on his own.

"Kickus" is one of my favorite Elijah words right now. I also love that he says "coco-gut" for "coconut" and "hack-ock" for "hammock."

We are going to enjoy what is left of our evening before the week begins. At least this week is a short week! It's also a week for being thankful for the many blessings in our lives. Have a great week, everybody.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I love you, Friday.

Because I'm a slacker (or maybe just because this week has been crazy), here is an old photo of Elijah, taken in May 2008, a few weeks after open heart surgery #2.

This first paragraph is for my dad..

A few weeks ago, Dan had a baseball game on tv and Elijah nonchalantly looked at the screen and said, "baseball." Uhh, how in the world..? Last week basketball was on and we heard Elijah say, "bashetball." Again, what?? Then last night, football was on and he said what sounded exactly like, "Super Bowl!" ???? I certainly haven't been schooling him in the different sports, and Dan claims he hasn't been either, so I have no idea how he acquired this knowledge. I think my dad and brother have been secretly chatting with him. I'm onto you guys.

We have always known that Elijah is a strong-willed (otherwise known as "stubborn") little man. I believe that his strong will has gotten him through his surgeries and recoveries and hospitalizations, so you won't find me complaining about it much. Except maybe a little bit recently. This kid has seriously STRONG WILL. The other day he was being naughty and swiped at me (he knows that this is very uncool), so Dan told him, "Please say 'sorry' to Mama." Elijah, knowing how to say "sorry," made the sign language sign for it and refused to speak it to me. Dan asked again and he continued to refuse. FIVE TIMEOUTS LATER, I got a "Sorry, Mama," and a hug.

A quick funny thing from our week.. I discovered two indicators that let me know one of our cars is very old and noisy: 1) The driver's door no longer latches when it's cold, so I have to hold it closed with one hand as I drive with the other. (Super safe, I know. At least it latches once it warms up.) 2) Elijah sits in the back seat and yells, "SQQQuuuuuueeeeeeeeeaaaaAAAKKKKkkkkk!" as he tries to copy the noise the car is making.

His cold got a tiny bit worse this week, but I think it's already turning around. Nothing to worry about, thankfully! This weekend involves NO PLANS for us, which is sweet sweet music to my ears. This week was the busiest week (work and otherwise) I have had in a very long time, so nothingness is extremely welcome. I don't mind fast-paced, but I'm too old for crazy-paced!

More later...and pics, too! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where's Elijah?

Can you spot Elijah in this calendar spread? This is something Saving Little Hearts puts together every year to honor people with Congenital Heart Disease. Elijah made the January spread!

Elijah caught a teeny tiny little cold this week that I wouldn't even classify as a sickness. He has a very mildly congested nose and we hear maybe 2-3 little coughs per day. Nothing that has disturbed any of his sleep, thank goodness.

He has had a particular fondness for books this week. The second I get him out of bed in the morning, he says, "Go see books!" So we head out to the loft and read/flip through his favorites: his Moses book, his Froggy books and his Jane in the Jungle book. Usually when I get home from work, this is also the first thing he wants to do with me, which I love!

His speech is improving by unbelievable leaps. He can pretty much verbalize anything he wants, and this is WONDERFUL. He has even started saying some funny things, like, "EEewww!" when he doesn't want to eat something, or "'Ank oo, Mom" whenever I hand him something. MOM?! That sounds so grown-up! At least he is being consistently polite.

I noticed an unsettling popping noise that Elijah's right knee makes when he is sitting with crossed legs and pushes down on his knee. It doesn't seem to bother him, so I am going to put it on the back burner until the next time we talk to his ped. Please God, BE NOTHING!

That's all for now! I wanted to get a quick midweek update out before the week got too busy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Low-key weekend before a super busy week!

We had a pretty uneventful weekend. We kept things low-key, which was really nice. We all are still healthy, knock on wood, and I feel like we are cheating fate somehow. Last year was filled with constant sickness, so this is quite the change of pace for us. I love it and I am soooo grateful for it!

We noticed toward the end of last week that Elijah's pupils seemed a tiny bit dilated. We talked to Dr. G about it and he thought it was probably a lasting effect from the drugs/anesthesia given to him during his heart cath earlier in the week. He said not to worry unless Elijah had a lot less energy (umm, definitely not the case). His pupils seemed to be back to normal by the weekend, so we were able to cross that worry off the list.

Elijah discovered his love for Swiss Cake Rolls this weekend. Dan handed him one not knowing what he would think of it (he has always had issues with brown or red food, especially if it has a hard or unique texture), and he devoured it in about sixty seconds and then promptly started in on the second one, just STUFFING it into his mouth. Like mother, like son!

This morning between the hours of 5:25 and 6:05, we could hear Elijah repeatedly and excitedly exclaiming, "PLOPPPP! PLOP! PLOOOOOPPPPP!" from his bed. This comes from a part in one of his current favorite books where Froggy falls off his chair at school and goes PLOP! on the floor. Elijah finds this hilarious (obviously). When I went into his room he had a huge grin on his face and he said his sweet, "Hi Mama!" and then continued on with the PLOPPPP!-ing.

We have a really busy week ahead of us, so I'm sure it will fly by just as all the others do. I have to get some more pics posted soon or Elijah's grandparents are going to start having withdrawals (sorry!!). We will try to get a few up this week!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Quick week!

Elijah got his H1N1 vaccination on Tuesday! YAY!

He is almost completely back to his usual spunky self after having a heart cath on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday were sluggish, still-puffy and fluid-eliminating days for him. He woke up both of those mornings with saturated pajamas and bedding. I felt like a horrible mom, but he did not complain once through the night and this has never happened before. We checked him a few times throughout the night last night and he was dry this morning, thankfully. I guess his body had some extra fluid to eliminate for a couple days!

We are heading to our "It takes two to talk" class tonight. Elijah gets to hang out in a room full of toys and kids while Dan and I will be next door learning about ways to effectively communicate with him. Every time we leave at the end of the night, Elijah yells, "BYE FENZ!" about 97 times. He's saying goodbye to his friends! :)

Remember my story about Bobby the Bird from Jungle Junction/physical therapy? Well Elijah's awesome therapists ran across a miniature Bobby the Bird beanie bag and they gave it to him yesterday to take home with him. He was SO EXCITED. He looked at it and said, "BABY BOBBY!?" and then looked down at the big version of Bobby (who still comes with him wherever he goes when he's at therapy) and said, "DADDY BOBBY!" Baby Bobby slept with him last night and this morning when I got Elijah out of bed he gave me a concerned look and said, "Daddy Bobby." I wonder if Baby Bobby is missing his daddy?

I almost don't even believe what I'm about to say because it seems like it just cannot be true, but we get Dan ALL WEEKEND! It has been a long summer/fall of him working most weekends, so I plan to cherish my weekend time with him for these next few months.

That's all for now! Thank you a ton, all of you who sent up prayers for our little boy earlier this week.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A post-cath letter to my Elijah

Dear Elijah,

AAaaaaaaaaahhhh. That's me breathing a huge sigh of relief about being done with your sixth heart cath. Once again, I am so glad to have another thing behind us and once again, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, ELIJAH.

Yesterday morning as we sat with you in the pre-op area way before the sun was up, I was able to see a side of you that I have never seen before. For the first time ever, you did not cry when the nurse checked your oxygen saturations, your blood pressure and your temperature. Daddy and I shot looks of happy confusion across the room at each other because normally you cry through all of that. You are growing up!

You were very friendly with the nurses and doctors who came in to check on you and get you ready for surgery, but that is nothing new at all. You played hard in that little room of ours, driving your car around, blowing bubbles and even sitting on a blanket on the floor for a foodless "picnic."

When it was time to take you back to the cath lab, we decided that Daddy would be the one going into the room with you. I'm sorry I didn't go in with you, too, but I hope you understand that it is really difficult for me to see you being put under anesthesia. I did it once and it scared me to pieces!

I squeezed you extra tight in my arms all the way to the cath lab, and you knew something strange was going on because you kept saying, "Home!" into my ear. It broke my heart, Elijah, and that is what I cried about after I handed you to Daddy once we arrived at the OR door. You became very afraid when the doctors opened the doors and you could see into the big scary room, so I quickly gave you a big hug and handed you over so you wouldn't be scared for very long.

Daddy and I waited in our usual waiting room while Dr. G did his heart cath magic on you. We received a few update phone calls from one of your nurses and every time we talked to her she said you were doing great. You always do!

The procedure went a lot more quickly than we expected. It only lasted three hours and Dr. G didn't need to do much "work" on your heart like he thought he might need to. This was great news!

The pressures in the right side of your heart are about double that of a "normal" heart, but that is exactly where they were at during your cath one year ago! This is amazing and totally unexpected. The stent in your pulmonary artery (that Dr. Moga placed during your second open heart surgery) is definitely creating a narrowing of that artery, but not to a degree that we should be immediately concerned. It is something we will keep an eye on when you get your echocardiograms in the future. Your bovine valve (also placed by Dr. M during your last OHS) is a bit narrowed at the top, but is otherwise functioning perfectly and is also showing no immediate concerns.

These are the two main things that will need to be fixed eventually during another open heart surgery. We thought that after this cath, OHS #3 would be on the horizon, but it is not! Everything is growing fairly well inside of you, so we just continue to wait. The farther out the next surgery is, the better! We don't even go back to see Dr. G for another six months! We really didn't expect this level of good news at all, so we were all (Dr. G included) very very pleased with the cath results.

Once you woke up from your surgery, the nurses wheeled you in your bed over to us and we met you in the hallway. You were very grumpy (totally understandable) and scared and DID NOT want to be in a hospital bed. You didn't stop saying, "UPUPUPUP!" until we got you into a room and had you on Daddy's lap.

That is when we noticed that you were really struggling to breathe, way more than we have ever seen before after a heart cath. You had stridor (which you typically get with croup) and your belly was retracting pretty badly, showing that your lungs were working extra hard. After two hours of this, and crying non-stop on top of it, your anesthesiologist ordered a racemic epi neb and an IV dose of steroids. This helped you almost immediately.

A short while later you started to calm down. We spent those first few hours doing everything we could think of to soothe you but nothing worked. You wanted OUT OF THERE and anything less than that was not acceptable! Once you realized that we weren't going anywhere, and once you felt a little bit better, you laid in Daddy's (or my) lap and dozed and/or watched tv.

I thought it was funny that during your most stressful times (whenever a nurse was touching you, or even within ten feet of you), you called out for "Dushin," which is your word for "Junction," which is your current favorite tv show. You didn't want Mama or Daddy, but you did want DUSHIN!

Every time I asked you if you wanted anything, you would say "NO!" (said without the N) and shake your head.

"Do you want apple juice?"
"Do you want to lay in bed?"
"Do you want a thousand gifts from Santa?"

One time, though, one time, you said YES to something! Do you know what it was?

"Elijah, do you want to lay on Mama's lap?"

That made me feel sooo good. Even though you called for your favorite tv show during your very scared and stressful moments, at least you said YES to wanting to be close to me. I hope that never changes.

And speaking of that, you literally barely fit on my lap anymore, which makes me very sad. As much as you insisted that you be held yesterday, I just don't know what we'll do when you are no longer holdable. :( I don't like to think about that. I am just so happy that being close to us is comforting to you.

Luckily we didn't have to spend the night at the hospital, so we all went home together in the evening. You were so happy to be home (us too)! You gobbled up a ton of food from not having eaten in almost 24 hours, and then went straight to sleep.

Unfortunately, some of your airway issues from earlier in the day came back once you had been sleeping for a while. Daddy and I got you out of bed and gave you another neb and put you back to sleep. My worried mama brain didn't want to be too far away from you, so I decided to sleep on the floor in your bedroom so I could hear your breathing and know if you needed help.

You had no more issues through the rest of the night and this morning you were doing great! You have a little cough and a bit of a hoarse voice, but that will go away quickly. We also expect you to have a slight fever for a while because of the five coils Dr. G put inside of you. I forgot to mention that! You had some (more) arteries (MAPCAs) supplying duplicate bloodflow to your lungs, so Dr. G coiled them off. You now have around 20 metal coils dancing around inside of you! Crazy!

So, our day at the hospital is done, but my emotions are out of control, as they always are The Day After. I really think that the older you get, the harder all of this gets. You understand a lot more now than you ever have before, so we can see genuine fear in your eyes and that is not fun at all.

There was one point yesterday when your nurse was in the room and you were on Daddy's lap and you just stopped crying and closed your eyes as tight as you possibly could. It was like you were wishing all the bad things away and pretending that you were at home in the safety of your bed. I will never forget that moment because it broke my heart. I wish you never had to experience the things you have had to and will have to experience and that you never had to wish yourself to another place.

You are such a brave, strong boy, and Daddy and I are so proud of you. I hope you always know that! We love you very much.

Love, Mama

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cath done!

We were able to come home today after Elijah's heart cath, thankfully. Elijah has a hoarse throat and a few battle wounds, but seems otherwise unfazed by today's experience. I am going to finish feeding him his dinner that he is DEVOURING and then relax a bit before going to bed myself. Tomorrow I will give a more detailed update on the day! Overall it went really well. Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cath tomorrow

One fun thing came from the weekend: the couple of trips we made outside because of the beautiful weather. I can't believe how nice it is in November!

Elijah's heart cath starts at 7:45 tomorrow morning. I don't think I'm going to bring our computer to the hospital, but I will make a few tweets throughout the day. If you would like to know how things are going before we get home (tomorrow night? Tuesday?), you can follow us there. We would truly appreciate any prayers you would be willing to send up for a smooth heart cath. Thank you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Elijah funnies

One of the reasons I keep up on this blog is so I can write down things Elijah is doing so I can always remember them. Here are a few things that have been making us laugh lately..

I have mentioned that Elijah has been really interested in walking lately. One of his favorite things to do when Dan and I are both home is to walk back and forth between the two of us. He is getting SO GOOD at taking steps on his own! I tried to get it on video, but he shuts down when the pressure of the video camera is on him. Anyway, I think it is so cute how he says, "Walk 'a Daddy!" when I have a hold of him and "Walk 'a Mama!" when Dan has him. Then he says, "Ready, set, GO!" and takes off. His little bobble is so stinkin' cute. I could just eat that kid up.

There is a new show on Disney called Jungle Junction and Elijah is IN LOVE WITH THIS SHOW. Seriously. In love! He asks to watch it all the time: "'Atch dunshin' pease, Mama?" How can I say no to that? Lately as I am putting him to bed we chat about all of the characters on the show. He loves talking about the Hippo Bus and ElleVan the elephant and Bobby the Bird.

Speaking of Bobby the Bird! Last week at PT, his therapists got out a bunch of beanie bag animals for Elijah to play with. One of them was a bird that looked exactly like Bobby from Jungle Junction. In his most excited voice, he exclaimed, "BOBBY!! Oh Bobby!" and started hugging and kissing him. Bobby then had to accompany him throughout the entire session. It was super cute. This week at PT as he did his standard walk in his walker down to the play room when we first got there, he started screaming out for Bobby: "Boooobbbbbbbbbyyyyyyyy!!??" So again, Bobby stayed with him through the rest of the session. When the session was over, he looked at Bobby and said in a very sad voice, "Bye Bobby."

Elijah has been such a polite little man lately. He says, "'Ank 'oo, Mama," and "'Ank 'oo, Daddy," all the time and it makes my heart melt.

When we ask Elijah something that his answer is "no" to, he says "Ohhh" as he gives us a squinty, furrow-browed look and shakes his head.

He has been very interested in his stuffed animals lately. I think his most recent additions, Mama and Baby Elephant and Mama and Baby Giraffe (from the SD Zoo) have sparked this, perhaps? He snuggles and loves on his animals all the time (and plays music for them), when he has never given them the time of day before.

Elijah has been exploring different emotions recently. He likes to say, "HAPPY!" as he gives us a huge happy face. Then it's, "sad," as he gives us a very pathetic and sad-looking face. Then, "MAD!" as he pounds a fist on the table.

I mentioned this on Facebook already, but Elijah has been really into counting. Every night when we go upstairs to read books before bed we count as he is climbing up the stairs. He can count pretty well (with only one or two mistakes) all the way to 30. Except the end of it goes, "twenty-eight, twenty-nine, TWENTY-TEN!!!" Dan and I (whoever is following him up the stairs) tickle him after every fifth number, so FIVE!, TEN!, FIFTEEN!, TWENTY!, TWENTY-FIVE!, and TWENTY-TEN! are very exciting numbers. Sometimes in the middle of dinner or at another random time throughout the day, he will shout out, "TEN!!" and start squealing like he is being tickled, of course so one of us (preferably Dan) will start tickling him.

p.s. H1N1 vaccinations are IN IN IN! They are saving Elijah a dose for next Tuesday since his cardiologist wants him to wait till after his heart cath to get it.

Kind of a side note here. Elijah has not been eating very well lately, which is very unusual for him. It has me a little bit worried, but we are hoping it is just a 2-year-old phase that will pass. If you feel inclined, please pray about this!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Do you like Elijah's unintentional Zac Efron hair 'do?

Around 3:00 this morning, Elijah woke up screaming bloody murder. It was one of those alarming screams that would send any parent flying out of bed in about a half a second. When I got to him, he was on his hands and knees in his crib and he was trembling. He stopped screaming once I picked him up, but continued to shake and whimper for a bit as I rocked him back to sleep. Obviously he was having some sort of nightmare or night terror. It makes me so sad to think that bad thoughts are already running through his little two-year-old brain. I keep wondering what he could have been dreaming about. Was Larry the Cucumber attacking him with a hairbrush? Was a doctor chasing him with an enormous needle?

At least I got to rock him back to sleep, which is something I haven't done in a while. He's getting so big that it's hard to get us both situated comfortably in the rocking chair. Elijah, stop growing up!!

I guess the bad dreams shouldn't surprise me since Dan and I are both crazy vivid dreamers. I can still remember some bad dreams I had as a very little girl in vivid detail. It looks like Elijah is following in my footsteps.

This has been happening in our house a lot lately. Elijah loves playing his "'tar" while singing to his animal friends (who are very good listeners).

Chattin' on the phone while checking some things out on the computer.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Still photoless

I have been so bad about taking pictures lately (there is a reason for that...I will explain at a later date), and I always feel bad publishing photoless posts. Our computer has also been out of commission, so that's another reason why we have been fairly absent.

Will you pray with us this week for another HEALTHY week for Elijah? His heart cath is a week from today, so his health is very important leading up to that. I really hate to wish time away, but I am eager to be beyond November 9th. Sometimes I wish they would spring hospitalizations/procedures on us so we wouldn't have time to worry.

We didn't really celebrate Halloween this year, aside from eating a ton of candy and treats (and continuing to do so). I think Elijah is still too young to enjoy it and I was getting tired of buying $20+ costumes that he wore for three minutes. Next year!

Elijah is doing great! We are SO THANKFUL for his good health lately. He never showed a single symptom from being exposed to the flu a few weeks ago (thank you, Tamiflu). He is talking more and more every day and he is showing a ton of interest in walking. We're at least a couple months away from full-fledged independent walking, but it is so nice to see this new confidence that he has.

I'll end for now with a funny story from last night. I was sitting in the chair in Elijah's room with him before bed and he had his head resting on my shoulder. In the middle of saying prayers he started fake snoring. I said, "What are you doing, silly?" and he laughed like a crazy man and kept doing it. I love this age. It's so much fun!