Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My new favorite pic

I asked him to pose so I could take a picture of his new cute jammies and he turned into a total ham, saying "cheeeeeeeese!" and everything.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday bits

Elijah and I got tired of being cooped up inside, so we ventured out for a bit yesterday afternoon. We headed to a nearby mall that has a play area that kids adore, and Elijah is no exception. He loves the play structures, yes, but mostly he loves watching the other children. He has always gotten a kick out of watching children play and run around. He hasn't really figured out how to be a part of group play yet, but that doesn't seem to bother him. And he definitely seems to be drawn to the less aggressive personalities.

One little boy was literally in Elijah's face, constantly asking what his name was and how old he was, only to get a smile and arm flaps in response. After getting a few finger pokes in the face (it's amazing what some parents will sit and watch their children do without saying anything), Elijah would start crawling in the opposite direction every time he saw this little boy.

There was a sweet little girl who was probably around 18 months old who intrigued Elijah. She had a sweet little spirit and seemed to like to keep to herself. Apparently this is just his type because he kept crawling up to her and saying "Hi!" and flashing his beautiful smile at her. After a few minutes of him (gently) following her around, I decided to try to redirect him so she didn't feel stalked.

He is so gentle and sweet with other kids. I saw him approach a handful of kids and say, "Hi!" and then he would lay down on the ground and smile up at them. Some kids gave him a confused look and some kids got down on his level and started talking to him. It was so fun to watch!


We have two bottles of Johnson's baby lotion sitting on the little table in our living room. One of them is big and one is a tiny little sample-sized bottle. Yesterday Elijah grabbed both of them and said, "Baby 'shun!" I assumed that he had heard me call it "baby lotion" before, so I nodded at him and smiled. He pointed to the little bottle and said, "baby 'shun!" and then he pointed to the big bottle and said, "Daddy 'shun!" :)


Elijah still has a congested nose and a little cough, but his energy is back and he seems to be feeling better. The big issue right now is having his sleep interrupted by the congestion. He hasn't had a good night of sleep in a few nights now. We're praying hard that this week brings total healing so we can enjoy our vacation in California as healthy, rested people!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lazy day

Aside from making a quick trip to Ikea this morning, Elijah and I have been hanging out at home. He is pretty congested and he just isn't his usual spunky self, so I decided to play it safe. We were planning on making it out to the dropzone tonight, but Elijah's health comes first, obviously.

This is how Elijah feels about getting his picture taken today. (Look at our new Ikea couch pillows! Fun!)

For some reason Elijah was in love with the Peach from Veggie Tales all day. He pointed to Peach's picture on the dvd cover about 500 times. Then he had me draw Peach 500 times on the magna-doodle. Maybe it's because it rhymes with "beach"? Hmmmmm.

Friday, September 25, 2009

End-of-week stuff

Another oldie taken by our friend Ronda (sorry I altered it in Photoshop a bit, Ronda, don't sue me!) when Elijah was about 16 months old.

Elijah woke up early in the night last night with a very mild croup episode. This is Round 2 for the winter already, but both Rounds 1 and 2 have been much milder than his episodes early last winter (I use the word "winter" very loosely). We are counting on the typical post-croup snotty nose and cough for at least the next week or so.

Hopefully he will be feeling better by next Friday because the two of us are flying to California to visit my mom! I can't wait! We are very sadly leaving Dan behind so he can work. We will miss having him with us (especially when on that 4-hour plane ride, gulp), but we want for him to get as much work as he can while people are still jumping out of airplanes here in Minnesota.

Some quick funnies from our week..

This morning Elijah was watching Handy Manny while I got ready for work. Manny was working on fixing a coo-coo clock, so Elijah said (and repeated about a hundred times), "Poo-poo clock!" He had the most serious look on his face, so I tried to take him very seriously as I repeated back to him, "Yes, coo-coo clock!"

I can't remember if I have mentioned this yet, but Elijah has been very into kissing lately. He often kisses a lot of different toys and random objects, and any other pair of lips that is willing to smooch him back. The best thing about his kisses is that he makes the most perfect smacking sound every time he does it. I have to get this on video. That will be one of my goals for the weekend.

I must have mentioned the beach when I was telling Elijah about our upcoming California trip the other night because apparently he knows exactly what it is. He took one of our photo books off the shelf and he has been opening it to the page with photos from our one and only family trip to the beach when he was 11 mos old. He gazes longingly at the pictures while proclaiming, "BEACH!" If Dan or I attempt to close the book, or turn the page, he gets upset. So, dearest beaches of San Diego, I hope you are ready for Elijah! He is very excited to see you! He might even try to kiss you.

Elijah and I had plans set for our weekend but those may change now that he is sick. We shall see where the road takes us! Everyone have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


2009 is not yet over, but with almost nine months of the year behind us I feel comfortable saying that it has been a really good year for our family. Elijah has gone through some exciting developmental growth spurts (we're in the midst of the biggest one right now), he has had a nice break from heart surgeries, Dan has been able to find more summer work than ever before, we have been able to spend time with family and we had a busy, active, fulfilling summer.

During this lovely reprieve from stress, I have had the chance to dedicate some extra energy to praying for others and while doing that, I have also been able to observe and reflect on the way people handle hardship. Since we have gotten to be pretty good friends with Adversity during the past few years, it is suddenly very interesting to me to watch how differently people respond to it.

Some people handle adversity with total grace that surpasses comprehension. Others respond with a deep anger at (fill in the blank, but mostly with) God, and then they lash out at the world while sinking into the depths of despair. Of course there are other ways people deal with it, but these seem to be the two extremes.

It saddens me to see the extreme negative reaction from people because this is the total opposite of what God wants! I believe that we are given challenges in our lives as an opportunity to get closer to HIM (which subsequently leads to other cool things like character-building and maturity). I really truly believe this, more than I ever have before.

This is one of my two favorite verses that sort of embodies what life has been about for us for the past few years (the other being Hebrews 11:1)..

James 1:2-4 -- Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Granted, while in the thick of things here and there over the past few years, this has been a hard thing for me to remember 100% of the time. There were most definitely times when I wanted to throw everything aside and start freaking out and yelling at God and anyone nearby. Luckily I have a God who will never leave me even when I'm in despair. His promises will always be there and I WILL ALWAYS KNOW THIS.

James 1:12 -- Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

It takes a huge leap of faith to embrace our trials, but when we do, we are blessed! This is a concept I would not have been able to understand ten years ago, or even five years ago. I am so happy to know this in my heart today. It makes me feel like maybe I understand a tiny fraction of what I'm meant to learn during my existence in this crazy world. It lets me know that there is purpose in the pain.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ninja moves

Our camera has been revived, but I haven't taken any new photos. Here is a fun oldie, taken exactly one year ago.

Do you ever have moments where you just know an angel was sitting next to you, waiting to give you a hand? I had one of those moments last night, and I can't stop thinking about it. I set Elijah on one of the chairs at our dining room table so he could watch the iTunes visualizer on the computer while he listened to his music (he loves doing this). I went to scootch (how in the world do you spell that? scooch?) him in toward the table when one of the chair legs caught the edge of one of the tiles on the floor and he started falling sideways, head first toward the floor. I was able to catch the tiniest bit of his shirt between two of my fingers, which slowed him down enough for me to reach my other arm out and grab his neck and pull him back up. It startled him and he gave me his grumpy face for a few seconds. After a big mama hug, all was well.

I am certain that Elijah's guardian angel(s ?) was there helping me. Thank you, Angel! That was shaping up to be an ugly fall and I was grateful to have my boy safely in my arms. I held him a little bit extra tight for the rest of the night.

Aside from that, we are having a nice tame week. Elijah continues to say all kinds of words. This is so much fun! We have waited so long for this explosion and it has been worth the wait. I'm eating up every minute of it!

Dan and I are really excited about a class we will be attending, along with Elijah, for 10 weeks this fall/winter. It is offered through the Early Intervention Program (through the school district) that we have been a part of pretty much since Elijah was born. He has gotten some of his OT, PT and ST through this program. The class they are offering is called It Takes Two, and it will focus on how we as parents can encourage Elijah to communication well with us. I am also excited to meet other parents who have children who are experiencing similar delays as Elijah. I imagine this will be very refreshing for me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another beautiful September weekend

I can't get my camera to work and if you know me, this is upsetting! So, sorry, I have no photos from our weekend to share. It must get boring hearing me basically say the same things every weekend (Dan is working, Elijah and I are chillin', blah blah), so I'll do this post in a different format.

Elijah thinks it's hilarious to act like he's my tiny little baby. He says "BABY!" and then crawls into my arms so I can rock him and talk baby talk to him. Silly boy.

I realized this weekend that most of the time when Elijah is reading a book, he reads it upside down in his lap as if he is reading it to an audience.

I decided we would go swimming this morning. Elijah was so excited about it that he yelled "POOL!!!!" repeatedly the entire way to the community center. We got there to find out that the pool didn't open for another two hours. The look on his face as we walked back out was absolutely heartbreaking. I sat down on a bench outside with him and cried sad tears into his little shoulder as he cried into mine. I adore seeing him excited and happy more than anything, and it was more heart-wrenching than I could have ever imagined to see him so sad and let down. I decided to go back in and find something else for us to do. We settled for playing in the toddler play area for an hour and a half. It didn't quite fill the spot of the pool, but it was better than heading straight back home.

Listening to our Sounds Like Fun cd this morning, I realized that Elijah was singing along with the songs and saying a lot of the words correctly. Even the "uno, dos y tres!" song. :) Who knew?!

His language is absolutely exploding right now. He is saying words today that he literally wasn't saying on Friday. Some of his new words/phrases from the weekend: silly boy (see boy), candy bar (key bar), smoke alarm (soke ahm), dropzone (opzo), bye bye store (bye bye door), square (share), circle (cirshle), clean up (een up). THIS IS SO EXCITING!!

Clean-Up time is fun for Elijah. We'll see how long this lasts!

I got a good amount of cleaning done this weekend. Laundry is all caught up and Dan's and my room, which was previously a war zone, now looks semi-livable.

Another low-key week lies ahead of us. I plan to soak it all in because October is going to be a busy month. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I glossed over last weekend's happenings because we didn't do much. I spent a lot of the weekend not feeling well, so I was thankful that Dan had taken the weekend off work. We went to a wedding on Saturday and spent the rest of our time hanging out at home.

This week has been normal. Well, except for the fact that I'm still not feeling great. Dan has been home, I have been able to get a little friend time, Dan has been able to get a little friend time, Elijah has been healthy, we have been able to get to PT/speech on both of our scheduled days. This coming weekend will be filled with work for Dan and with Elijah-Mommy time for my sidekick and me.

We found out this week that Elijah no longer qualifies for speech therapy. This is good because it means he has made huge strides in his communication. It is bad because he still has a long way to go and now he isn't going to get all the help we believe he still needs. His speech therapist countered our insurance company with a long list of reasons why he still needs weekly therapy. They settled on approving speech therapy every other week for six more months. We'll take it. Dan and I have made a pact to sit down for an hour with Elijah on the "off" weeks and do a formal speech therapy session with him to make up for what he will be missing.

We have some good news! The pneumococcal booster shot that Elijah received in July has helped to create the antibodies that he was lacking. This is great great news, especially with cold/flu season upon us. YAY!

I've been a slacker with picture-taking lately. Sorry! I'll post some new ones soon. I hope you all are having a good, healthy week.

Here are some oldies, just for fun. Elijah was one year old here. Time flies!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I just found out that my 10-year-old niece, Emma, has been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. It sounds like she is on the road to recovery and doing fine. Get better quickly, Emma! We love you!

Now, I know that this whole swine flu thing has involved a lot of hype and freak-out tactics from the media, but I am worried. Thousands and thousands of people die from the "regular" flu every year, but do you know who that typically involves? Children (and elderly people) who do not get a flu shot and who have underlying medical conditions. As we wait for the H1N1 vaccination to be released, Elijah fits into that very description.

This stupid swine flu is a huge black cloud hanging over my life right now. Dan and I have always strongly believed that keeping Elijah in a bubble is not the way we want to live. We have always been careful with hand washing and hygiene, but we typically don't avoid public places out of a fear of germs.

I just don't know if I should be as scared as I am about all of this. I have no idea how Elijah's body, already working extra hard and already so susceptible to illness, would handle this virus if he were to catch it.

We heard yesterday that the H1N1 vaccinations won't be ready for distribution until the end of November. Now that the virus is much more widespread and now that flu season is basically here, should we keep Elijah out of daycare until then? Should we avoid church? Should I cancel our trip we plan to be taking on an airplane in a few weeks? Should we keep from bringing him to the grocery store? Or do we go on living our lives like we always have and pray that everything will be ok? These are questions I ask myself about every 30 seconds.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The winter hat

Winter Hat Modeling, Year 1 - Look at that deliciously round face!

Winter Hat Modeling, Year 2 - Neck still so delicious.

Winter Hat Modeling, Year 3 - Delicious neck still there, it's just hiding. Look how grown up our boy looks!

Prayer request!

Hey everyone! Could you do me a couple favors?

1. Pray for this little girl? She is in surgery today and has possibly a few more surgeries in the coming months to make repairs on her heart.

2. Shower this mama with love? It is so scary to go through something like this, especially when you don't have people who have been through it before standing by you. So, let's stand by her!

Thank you!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Visiting Mama at work

I wonder if PowerPoint is on his resume?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Ok, please don't judge me based on the state of my pantry, but it's very difficult to keep it organized when a certain 2-year-old is constantly removing everything from the shelves.

After he takes everything off the shelves, he either opens boxes of crackers/cookies/cereal and starts devouring them, or he builds towers.

His new way of eating yogurt is scooping it out while holding the container horizontally. And apparently having a finger up his nose.


Watching a little "Eet" while wearing his new winter hat and mittens.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Summer, please don't go!

I'm pretty sure the absolutely perfect weather from this past weekend was God's way of saying, "I'm sorry, my dear Minnesotans, for the really strange, often cool and sometimes cold weather I have bestowed upon you this summer." We could not have asked for a more beautiful weekend. Perfect perfect perfect.

In short, our holiday weekend involved: a zoo outing, swimming, dropzone visiting, mucho skydiving (working) for Dan, more Oink Booth crown wearing, Sesame Street watching, airplane loving, flirting (Elijah only) and sickness shedding (all of us, slowly).

Elijah is entering a stage where so much of what he does and says is really funny. He has been in love with Sesame Street ("Eet") lately. We had the time to watch a little bit of Eet before bed each night we were at home, and in one episode Elmo was having a fun time taking pictures and talking about cameras. The next day, in the car, I turned around to see Elijah holding a cassette tape up to his face while looking through the middle window and saying, "CHEESE!"

When we are at the dropzone, Elijah knows that when the airplane takes off Dan is probably in it. Yesterday the two of us laid down in our camper to take a quick nap before we headed back home. Elijah had been sleeping solidly for about 30 minutes when the plane took off (we can hear it very well from inside our camper). I heard him lift his head and say, "Bye bye Daddy!" and then fall back asleep.

I noticed some giant leaps in his speech development over the weekend. He is starting to say more complex words and some of the words that he typically doesn't say very clearly are becoming more clear. "Dada" is now "Daddy." "Eee" (his word for "three," and usually said with his mouth closed) is now "Fee." He is also starting to say more two-syllable words than he has ever attempted before. It's very exciting!

We have a pretty low-key week ahead of us, which sounds just lovely. Thanks for checking in on our little boy and I hope everyone has a great short week!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I had no idea how much mileage we would get out of this flimsy piece of paper

He loves his Oink Booth crown to pieces. He eats with it on..

..and rests with it on..

He couldn't understand why I would be so mean as to make him take it off for bath time last night.

And when his crown isn't around, he will settle for a swim diaper..

We have nothing planned for our holiday weekend, strangely. Or maybe not so strangely, since we are all either sick or recovering from sickness and because our lives kind of revolve around Dan's work in the summer. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about Dan getting work. Work = money = good!

If Dan starts feeling better (he is in rough shape today, my poor hubby) he will work all weekend while Elijah and I galavant about town. Maybe my sidekick and I will go to the zoo, maybe we will go swimming, maybe we will stop by the dropzone for a visit. Who knows?!

Have a fun, safe weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

State Fair 2009

Since my stomach bug has given me very ill thoughts toward any type of food, I am still having a hard time thinking and/or talking about our Fair experience earlier this week. I won't go into detail about what we ate because I enjoy not having to run to the bathroom with my hand cupped over my mouth. Just trust me when I say we had some yummy treats. I guess the pictures will give some of it away.

Elijah ate an enormous corn dog!

He definitely dug the Oink Booth crown much better this year. In fact, he wants to wear it at home all the time, even though I've had to do a couple surgeries on it already.

His love for the crown was a pleasant surprise for us, because remember how he felt about it last year? He was so distraught that he had to seek comfort from his belly button.

Cookies, milk and pigs (or "kigs," as Elijah calls them)! What could be better?

This is what's better. A cookie in each hand!

And a gooey, chocolatey face and hands.

Elijah totally fell in love with a band that we stopped to listen to for a bit (no idea who it was). He bravely crawled down the aisle to try to get to the stage and was not happy when we eventually pulled him away.

So many tractors! Have I mentioned that Elijah now says the word "tractor" perfectly? Some other more difficult words that I have heard come out of his mouth this week: "scissors," "turtle" and "cracker."

We stayed up way past his bedtime, hence the sleepiness on the ride home. Notice he still has a bit of a cookie stuck to his hand, hee hee.

We are still battling sickness in our house. Although better, I am not feeling normal yet. Dan appears to possibly be getting whatever I had (nooo!) and Elijah is still mildly coughy and snotty. Welcome to the Sickness Season of 2009-2010, I guess.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Midweek yuck

What a gross week we have had so far. We are all sick in one form or another. My tummy bug has made me unable to do much of anything for the past 48 hours. Dan has had some serious head congestion that he has made about 35 skydives with. And Elijah has a cough and a runny nose.

I will post a State Fair update soon! We got some good pics and ate yummy, greasy food and had a good time (again) this year.

I hope everyone is having a good week!