Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Getting Over It
As Elijah’s first birthday quickly approaches, I have so many mixed emotions. I’m so glad that he’s here with us, that he’s our son, and that he’s made so many improvements. I seriously cannot remember my life without him...and I don’t really want to.

However, as that first birthday approaches, I have to say I hoped that I’d be more “over” his birth than I am. The night he was born still holds a lot of pain and sadness for me – and I think it does for a lot of our family members. I’d like to remember just the good part...that Elijah was born, but his birth is also intermingled with a lot of pain.

When I’m unforgiving of myself, when I think I should have worked through it by now, I look at it kind of like this...

Picture a young couple taking a stroll on a quiet summer evening. They’re really excited (and perhaps scared) because they’re about to do something they’ve never done before. Their newborn baby is with them and they’re euphoric about life and what the future holds.

Then, out of the shadows steps a mugger. They stop, freeze and think, “This isn’t how this night was supposed to happen. This was supposed to be the happiest night of our lives.”

The mugger hits the wife in the stomach and she reels over in pain. She’s strong and she fights back, but she can’t do anything but lie on the ground, holding her stomach. Then the most unimaginable thing happens...the mugger goes for the child. With fury in its eyes, the mugger hits the child on the head repeatedly. The baby almost dies. And the husband? He’s held back and has to watch as the two most important people in his life suffer. It’s the hardest thing he’s ever had to endure.

Thankfully, they’re all okay. The wife recovers, left with a scar on her abdomen as a reminder of what happened. The child takes longer to recover, but he does...with a cost. He’ll never be the same and has to struggle to do the things others take for granted.

And what did the mugger want? Not money or jewelry, the mugger wanted joy. And while the mugger caused pain, it didn’t get what it wanted. Because you can’t steal our joy.

The point is, something really traumatic happened and it’s going to take awhile to get over it. I’m sure someone who had experienced something violent, like a mugging, would still think about it a year later. They’d have flashbacks to that night, they’d question their actions, and they’d wish it had never happened.

Busy times
On a happier note, things have been really busy lately. We’ve been enjoying the summer, loving life and spending time with family and friends. Life is good. We try to remind ourselves to take life each day at a time, to enjoy our boy each moment, and to not get caught up on the things Elijah is unable to do. He’ll get there.

The Amazing Sitter
I’ve now timed Elijah sitting for 26 minutes. We think that’s pretty great. :)

New Photographs
I’ve uploaded new photos to Elijah’s Photobucket site. You’ll find new pictures in the 8, 9, and 10 month folders. It’s about time, right? I still have more I need to add and I’ll let you all know when I’ve added more photos. Now, it’s off to bed. The last two nights have been horrendous. Elijah’s been a night owl lately and we’re not really sure why. Teething pain perhaps? Either way, it’s time to jump in bed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Great (Eleven-Month-Old) Outdoorsman

Yay for Camping!
We took Elijah camping with us this past week. We camped near a lake in Wisconsin with the Wagner side of the family. I’ll admit, we were a bit nervous to take our little eleven month old camping with us (yep- he’s now eleven months!!! Can you believe it?), but Elijah did just great. He hardly fussed and really seemed to enjoy himself. He “swam” in the lake for the first time and went in a paddleboat. He loved the daily bonfires and got lots of attention from his grandparents and aunties. It was a really relaxing, fun time.

It was great for Andy and me, too. We got to do some things we typically don’t have the opportunity to do while at home. We went kayaking and did lots of reading (Andy was able to read an entire book!). It is nice to be back at home and sleeping in our own beds, but we had a wonderful, fantastic time and I’m once again really proud of my little guy. He’s so easygoing and happy – and he loves camping! What an awesome kid we have. :)

In the new skills department, Elijah seems to understand the concept of chewing a bit more. We think he’s using his tongue to push his food around in his mouth, which is really awesome. The ability to eat goes hand in hand with the ability to talk, so that’s probably why he’s also been making more of those noises I mentioned in an earlier post. I can’t wait until he looks at me and says, “Mama!” It makes my heart melt just thinking about it.

He’s also using his hands to clap now, although I don’t think that he understands the concept of clapping. It’s just something that he does, but it shows us that he’s becoming more aware of his hands. Whenever he does clap, I try to say “patty-cake” or “clapping” so that’ll make the connection.

I seemingly recount every minute detail of Elijah’s life, don’t I? Sometimes when I write them down, the changes seem so tiny. But, I also know how huge each tiny “inchstone” is. I know that he can’t do the big things until he does the small things first. He can’t say mama if he can’t babble and he probably can’t babble without being able to chew. Who knew, right? I doubt most parents even notice such things. Perhaps they do. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been a parent in a “typical” situation, so I have no idea what kind of parent I would have been – or what I would have paid attention to.

The thing I’d love if you’d all pray for now is the use of Elijah’s arms. His fine motor skills seem to be the most behind and it seems to be difficult for him to control his arms. He does have some use, as he has played peek-a-boo with me and can turn on switch toys, but they are simply not as strong as his legs. I want some crawling! (Oh, and some babbling, walking, talking...yada yada yada) It’s not too much to ask is it?!

Thanks to all you faithful readers out there (I don’t know what we’d do without our Elijah “fans”) - I hope this finds you all well. :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Awesomeness...is that a word? It should be

Since I wrote yesterday, Elijah has been more vocal and rolling around on the floor more than ever. Last night, he rolled under a small table in our dining room. He’s becoming mobile. Sure, he doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing and is usually rolling away from something (instead of rolling to try to get something). Today, though, he rolled to me. I don’t think that was his objective, but it’s only a matter of time that he’ll figure out what he’s doing. It’s a precursor to crawling and it’s awesome.

And on the talking front, Elijah is definitely making more noises. Last night I was talking to my brother (aka Uncle Dan) on the phone. Elijah was getting kind of grumpy and he started to talk about it...”Wa-wa-wa-ba-ba-ba-wa-wa-wa.” (Almost like babbling) Then this morning, he was talking to Andy. Andy: “You’re a good boy.” Elijah: “Gah” Andy: “Good boy.” Elijah: “Gah” and back and forth they went. Then Andy said “Yeah” Elijah: “Aaah” and back and forth. He’s definitely copying. He did some “conversing” with me today too. Tonight Elijah had his “Auntie” Heidi here babysitting while his mom and dad went on a date (today is our fourth anniversary!) and Heidi said he was copying her too! It’s awesome.

My whole point is that since I wrote, Elijah has made some definite jumps in his development in regards to mobility and verbalization. If you recall, those are the exact things I asked you all for prayers. It’s pretty exciting stuff. God is awesome. Keep praying.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Progress Report

The Public Health Nurse came to visit us yesterday, as well as our OT and Vision Consultant. So, I thought it was time for a progress report.

New Stats
Elijah is a growing boy and seems to be gaining an adequate amount of weight. He now weighs 19 pounds, 3.5 ounces and is 30 inches long. He’s getting so big! I don’t remember the exact measurements, but his head size also increased and is up a quarter inch. While his head is growing slower than other children his age, it is definitely growing. We’re so thankful that he is progressing.

Developmental Age
His OT and Vision Consultant were also very pleased with Elijah’s progress. A few weeks back, I was talking to our OT about Elijah and she told me she thought he was at about a six month level developmentally. I can look at in it two ways: with positivity or negativity. To me, it’s a really positive thing. Yes, it means that he’s about four months behind, but it also means that he’s come a long way and is really doing great. It’s still hard at times. I want him to do things at the same time his peers would do them, (of course) but I try to see him as charting his own course. That’s what I’d want for him to do anyway. Isn’t it important to teach your child to be independent and not do what everyone else does? Well, he’s doing things his own way and that’s okay (I have to remind myself!).

Copy Cat
Also a few weeks back, Elijah did something pretty awesome...he played peek-a-boo with me. He really did it! He was lying on my lap and he had his arm up over his eyes. I copied him and said, “Peek-a-boo.” He then copied me and we went back and forth like that for awhile. Andy was there too so he also got to see it. I was so excited. To me, it means he’s in there. He was legitimately playing peek-a-boo with me and it was awesome. Now I just need to get him to do those things with me more often!

We’ve been working on Elijah’s transitions. In other words, we’re trying to teach him how to get into the sitting position by himself or the crawling position by himself, etc. Our OT taught me a long time ago how to move Elijah to teach him how to get himself into sitting. We’ve been doing it for months....yes, months. Elijah is starting to finally help me, which is really exciting. I try to give him the least amount of support, move him to the side and now he’s pushing up on his arms, trying to get himself into that coveted sitting position all on his own. The hard work is paying off and I think that he’ll be able to do it on his own soon. I know that he’ll be able to do it eventually and if I’ve learned anything...the waiting eventually pays off. He will do it...I just need to be patient. (Way easier to say than do!)

Sitting Superman
Elijah’s sitting is going great. His OT said that he’s a little rounded in his spine, so we’re working on getting him to sit up straighter, but he is now able to sit for...drum roll please...seventeen minutes unassisted. I timed him yesterday. He continues to get stronger and teaches me new things everyday. Man, I love my determined, cute, happy, lovely, wonderful little boy. He’s superman to me. Sure, things are harder for him, but just imagine all the things he has to overcome. He’s had everything working against him and has let nothing hold him back. I’m so proud of him!

Never Satisfied Am I?
There are a few things I’m aching for him to do...babbling and crawling. Remember when he didn’t cry? I want him to babble just as much as I wanted him to cry, which is a lot. I think he’s getting closer to babbling. Yesterday he was saying wa-wa-wa-wa-wa when he was complaining. It’s cute...not really babbling, but close. He also says “Ma” when he’s mad, which our OT said is usually how it starts. I don’t even care if he says “dada” first...I just want to hear him talk! J As for crawling, he tries to move those back legs, but falls forward because he doesn’t move his arms in the crawling stance. I know that he’s going to do both...it’s just a matter of waiting...again easier said than done. Apparently God is trying to teach me to be patient!

Awake is the New Sleep
Sleeping is still not going so well, which I think has a lot to do with his stupid eye teeth taking forever to come in. Just yesterday, one of them finally poked through, so I’ve done a little rejoicing over that. Waiting for the second one to come through and then we can relax, right? Ha! Then the molars start!

I’m Incapable of Writing Short Posts!
Anyway, overall things are going great. Elijah continues to progress thanks to many answered prayers. Please continue to pray for him. I want some babbling! Could you send a request for me? :)

Monday, July 7, 2008


Elijah saw his first fireworks on Saturday night...and he loved it! Our friends had a fireworks extravaganza at the field beside their house and it was really awesome (we’re talking serious fireworks, the kind you’d see a town display for their residents, lest you think we were watching sparklers:)). The original plan was that Elijah would go to sleep, but when he was still awake at sunset, we decided to bring him out to the firework display.

If you’ve met Elijah, you probably know he loves lights. Granted, light gazing is a symptom of CVI, but it’s still kind of cute how much he adores his lights. So, we thought he just might like to look at the fireworks...and he did. He was really looking at them and seemed to be fascinated by them. It was so cool to watch his reaction. It was a good thing we were given some earplugs because he didn’t like the noise. He did get overwhelmed near the end of it all and started to cry so I had to take him to the house, but he did really great. I can still remember how happy he was that night and it makes me smile. And I recall how he cried all the way home because he was overtired and probably over-stimulated (that’s a lot for a little baby to take in!), but the joy he seemed to experience made it all worth it. I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing, and happy Independence Day! We sure are blessed to live in this great nation, aren’t we? :)

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