Monday, May 26, 2008

It’s Working. Believe it.

It’s been awhile hasn’t it? A lot has happened since I’ve last written and I’m happy to say I only have good news to report. Here’s what’s been going on in the land of Elijah...

Nine Months Old
Elijah turned nine months on Tuesday, May 14th. That means Elijah has now been out of my belly for as long as he was in it. It makes me reminisce a little about being pregnant...the overwhelming joy when we saw two lines on the pregnancy test, the love of lemonade (still love it!), and the speculation about having a boy or a girl. It has been wonderful getting to know Elijah on the “other side” and it’s amazing how fast time is flying. Soon pregnancy will seem like a distant memory. The good news is that I’m starting to forget how horrible the delivery was and I can only hope that I’ll continue to forget. It’ll never go away, but the emotional scars are getting less noticeable.

Longest Road Trip Yet
Elijah made his way to Chicago last weekend with his parents (that’s us!J) and his grandparents for the wedding of our friends Bill and Karen. He did a great job for the long car ride, but decided sleep was overrated. He literally took a half hour nap on the car ride down - no more, no less. At least he was a happy boy the whole weekend and had fun with his grandpa and grandma while his parents stood up for their friends. (Congratulations Bill and Karen! We love you guys and hope you’re having fun in Hawaii!)

Full House isn’t just an Eighties Sitcom
We had a lot of people at our house this past Wednesday for an Early Intervention meeting. These meetings will occur once every six months to track Elijah’s development and to make goals for his future. Elijah’s OT was there, his PT, Teacher, and Vision Consultant, a social worker, and the public heath nurse who met Elijah shortly after he was born. It’s quite a lot of attention for a little guy who’s only nine months old.

When the ladies were starting to trickle in, I sat Elijah on the floor in front of me to show off how well he is sitting. We didn’t time him, but we think he sat close to ten minutes, which was more than the three and half minutes I was able to get him to do the week before. (I’ve been able to time him at six minutes since then). The ladies were impressed and Elijah liked the attention. The meeting mostly consisted of discussions on how well Elijah is progressing. We’ll get a report in the coming weeks with goals for the next six months.

The Little Professor
Some of you may have noticed (either in photos or in person) that Elijah’s left eye seems to be crossing more often than in the past. Because of that, we decided to take him to the eye doctor earlier than his twelve month appointment to determine if we needed to do something about it. The eye doc said he wasn’t concerned about the crossing at this point. Elijah’s sight has improved drastically and the reason he is crossing more is because he is trying to concentrate. The big news is that Elijah will be getting glasses! The thought is that if glasses can help his development in any way, it makes sense to get them. We take this as a good thing because it means that Elijah’s sight and development have improved enough for glasses to make a difference. Hopefully we’ll see a jump in his development. I’m pretty sure he’s going to look like a cute little professor either way.

It really is amazing the changes that have been occurring in Elijah’s sight. We went to the eye doctor a little over a month ago. At that time, his sight tested at 20/1400, which means at eight months he was seeing at the level of a two or three month old. A few weeks after we went to the eye doctor, the Vision Consultant came to our house and performed an evaluation on his sight and she tested him at 20/300. That’s obviously a huge difference and the Vision Consultant told us his sight isn’t that far off from what it should be at this age. That’s amazing progress! We could tell the eye doc was surprised and pleased with how much he had improved. The doc said something like, “We went from wondering if you could see to you seeing pretty well!” It’s awesome to have such palpable evidence of Elijah’s progress and we can’t thank you all enough for the continued prayers! :)

Night at the Park
The three of us went to a picnic this past Thursday for families involved in Early Intervention. We had a good time. Elijah had his first experience in an infant swing and rode down the slide with his mommy. He loved it. We were able to meet some other parents in the community and it was nice to spend some time with the people who work with Elijah in a more relaxed atmosphere. The coolest thing for me was when Elijah’s PT came over and talked to us about the meeting we had had the day before (see aboveJ). She told us how impressed she was with his sitting and then added, “I know you guys pray. It’s working. I believe it” (Or something to that effect). We both thought it was a really nice thing to say and really appreciated it.

Time for Bed
I know it’s a long entry. It has been awhile after all. We got back home this evening after spending Memorial Day weekend with Elijah’s grandparents and aunts and uncles. Elijah got to meet some more relatives too and it was a really great weekend. We’re glad to be back at home again and are heading off to bed (that’s where Elijah has been for awhile). Keep praying. It’s working. Believe it! Love, The Wagners :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

This isn’t really an update on Elijah, but rather a note to say thank you to all the great moms out there - so, great moms, “Thanks!”

I wanted to say a special thanks to two very important moms in my life: my mom, Kathy and my mom-in-law, Teri (aka “the grandmas!”). You two women have made me who I am, inspire me, and have shown me what it means to be a mom. I certainly didn’t appreciate all that you’ve done for your families until I gained the title myself. Thanks for the example you’ve both been. And thanks for all the support you both gave us during our most difficult days. I love you both and feel so blessed to not only have a fantastic mom who raised me and a fantastic mom who raised my wonderful husband, but to have two women who I truly enjoy being around and call my friends. Thanks!

Thanks also to the “greats” Norma and Joyce. You are amazing women and I am overwhelmed with happiness to have the privilege to be part of such great families. And, for all those moms out there who do what is best for their children, thanks for all that you do.

I love that I am a mom this year on Mother’s Day. It’s kind of hard to believe that I’m a mommy, but I am savoring every moment. All right, I can’t write a journal without talking about Elijah... He’s looking forward to showering his mommy with love on her first Mother’s Day. That’s the best gift of all! What a blessing to be his mom! Have a good one ladies (and ‘gents!). :)

I’ve been feeling a bit like a cartoon character lately. You know, one of those wacky ones who can’t seem to stop moving. I can’t even put my finger on what is making me so busy. I always have a list of things I want to accomplish and I can never get everything checked off the list. Not to mention the housework that is piling up...literally. As I write this, there are three, possibly four loads of unfolded laundry lying on my couch. Yipes!

So what’s been going on in our lives? Here are some snippets from our life lately...

I can only get Elijah to take a good long nap if he’s laying on me (or anyone for that matter). Otherwise, his naps typically only last a half hour. Hmm, this might be why I can never seem to complete my “To do” list.

Infant Class
We had our last infant class this past Tuesday. I’m actually kind of bummed that it’s over. Yes, it was stressful at times and honestly, a bit difficult to see what other babies are doing...and what therefore Elijah is not. But, overall, we both really enjoyed it. I learned some new songs and met some really great moms.

Nine Month Check-up
I don’t have much to add about Elijah’s (pre) nine month check-up, but I wanted to share something the doc said that really scared us. We were talking about feeding Elijah and our doc was encouraging us to take things slow with the solids. He warned us that sometimes a child’s tone can increase so much that it affects the muscles in the esophagus and that can affect a child’s ability to eat. He was just warning us to be careful. We thought we were out of the woods in the eating department, so it was hard to hear. I mentioned what the doc said to our OT and while she can’t say for certain, she really didn’t seem to think that Elijah was going to have tone so tight that he wouldn’t be able to eat. That was good enough for me and we’ve filed it away in “Another Thing to Worry About” file and have mostly forgotten about it.

Elijah’s sitting continues to improve. Andy and I have actually taken Elijah shopping and were able to sit him in the shopping cart! I had received a shopping cart cover as a gift awhile back and it has become invaluable. The cover slips over the bucket part of the cart and the idea is that it keeps your child away from the germs on the cart. The great thing for Elijah is that it has shoulder straps and so it gives him a little more stability than a seat belt across the waist. He loves being in the cart this way. He can kick his legs freely and can see more of what is going on. He looks like such a big boy in the cart that it makes my heart swell with pride. He does get tired easily and starts to lean to a side (sitting is a lot of work!) and so I’ve found putting blankets to his sides helps keep him upright. I figure the more we do this, the stronger he will be. If you can’t tell, I’m incredibly proud of the little guy. He continues to amaze me on a daily basis and the fact that he is sitting unassisted at this age (with everything he’s been through) is nothing short of a miracle.

Elijah’s sight is also improving and all of the developmental progress he is making seems to go hand in hand with his vision. He is so much more engaging than he used to be. He looks at people when they enter the room (not always), reacts to things, turns to look at the person holding him, and overall seems to be enjoying his life more. Speaking of sitting in the shopping cart, Elijah has actually turned backwards to look at us while sitting in the cart. This was huge to us, because it takes a lot more coordination to do this.

Follow Along Program
The Follow Along Program is something that helps track a child’s development by sending out questionnaires to parents at certain developmental stages. The program is supposed to help identify developmental lags when they occur. We’ve participated in this program with Elijah and have filled out two questionnaires. The first was when Elijah was four months old and his scores were all within the “normal” range. I had hoped that this would continue, but between four months and eight months Elijah has fallen behind. We filled out the eight month questionnaire and I had to check a lot of “not yet” boxes. That was hard to do. The one area of development he scored in the “normal” range was gross motor (although probably at the back end of the “normal” range). Everything else he is lagging behind his peers. We’re no longer going to be filling out these questionnaires, because the whole point is to identify problems and we already know they exist.

I share this because while he is doing exceptionally well, we can’t deny anymore that he has developmental delays. (I’ve tried to deny it as much as I could!) It’s not easy for me to say that, but it’s simply the truth. Thankfully, Elijah is doing well and is making steady progress. We’ve become pretty good at focusing on those little (big!) things. He is an amazing guy and he can still use prayers for healing and growth. Thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008


We got a call on Friday with the results for Elijah’s allergy tests. He is allergic to milk, eggs, and that order. Milk would be what he had a reaction to...the whey protein in the dessert I gave to him.

It feels good to have this knowledge so that we can prevent any further outbreaks. I’m hoping that he will eventually outgrow the allergies, but we’ll definitely be avoiding those foods as if they’re poison for quite some time.

Otherwise, it’s been a pretty quiet weekend for the Wagners. We’re definitely enjoying the nicer weather and hoping that it’ll stick around for awhile this time.

***There are new photos and videos on Elijah’s Photobucket site.***

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Weight = 18 lbs. 1 oz.
Length = 28.5 in.
Head Circumference = 16 in.

Elijah continues to grow and develop. Yes, slower than we would like, but growth is growth and we can’t complain about that. I don’t think I really have any other news from Elijah’s nine month check-up. He did very well with getting his blood drawn and showed us what good lung capacity he has. :) Other than that, I’m tired, so that’ll have to do for an update. :)

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