Monday, November 23, 2009

In Their PJs

One morning this weekend, Elijah sidestepped around his shoes very carefully to get to our back door.

He touched the door, looked down at his shoes, and walked a few feet over to me. He backed up into me like he was going to sit on my lap, but missed and sat on the floor next to me - his feet kicking, his face looking expectantly up at me.

It was clear what he wanted. "Mommy I'd like to go outside please. Could you help me get my shoes on?" he said without moving his lips. I looked down at our pajamas and the temperature gauge which read 30 degrees fehrenheit. What to do?...he'd asked so nicely.

So, Andy grabbed his coat and Elijah's coat and they got all bundled up. They went outside to play while still in their pajamas. I watched from inside making breakfast with a smile on my face thinking that life is good.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Get the Distinct Feeling ...

that this little boy will teach me more than I'll ever teach him

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mr. Independent

Tonight, we ate chicken stirfry with sticky rice. Oh yeah, and then Elijah fed himself for the first time ever!

Elijah's a little confused about the difference between a toothbrush and a spoon, but he's getting there. The z-vibe is what gave him that little push he needed to do it. Usually he tries his best to not hold onto a spoon. Why hold a spoon when mommy (or daddy) will feed you?

In the following video, the food Elijah feeds himself falls out of his mouth...but he did actually eat and swallow some of the food he got in there tonight. So we're definitely calling this his official first time self-feeding. This is a big deal folks! We might've done some happy dances around the house and we might be really excited about this. Did I mention that it's a big deal? Because it's a big deal.

Hmm, now we just need to figure out how to make his sippy cup vibrate...maybe that'd give him that extra push to give himself something to drink. Ideas, anyone? ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sometimes Negative Things are Positive Things in Disguise

A lot of changes have been occurring for Elijah lately. It's funny sometimes, the things that make us happy.

-When Elijah plays with our mini-blinds and we tell him "no" he moves on to the next window and starts to play with a different window's mini-blinds. He's problem solving and that's a good thing.

-We've always fed Elijah in his high chair next to our table. The temper tantrums that were accompanying every meal last week were solved by pulling his high chair up to our table. Seems the little guy was getting mad that he wasn't sitting at the big boy table and he had no way to tell us (well, other than arching, screaming and biting). He's definitely communicating, so that's good.

-Elijah wants to touch his food and is getting more interested in what we're eating, sometimes trying to stick his hands in our food. We're thinking this means that our diet will soon have to be completely milk, egg and nut free. I like milk, eggs and nuts, so boohoo. But, I think that'll mean we'd lose some serious weight, so yay! (We haven't committed to this change...yet)

-Since I'm home (and I use the term "home" loosely) with Elijah all day, Andy usually does Elijah's bedtime routine. Lately, Elijah hasn't wanted anything to do with reading books at bedtime, until we determined that he just wanted mommy to read them to him. (Daddy isn't too pleased about this, but really it's a fantastic developmental step).

-When we're out and about driving, Elijah "drives" with his steering wheel toy. His toy falls off of his lap often and when it does, he whines. It's kind of annoying, but I love it because he never used to care about such things.

-Often, when Elijah is supposed to be going to sleep, he does a lot of babbling. Elijah doesn't babble much, so even though it's bedtime it's nice to hear those "babababas" coming from his cute little mouth.

See? Sometimes things that seem negative are actually positive. Sometimes things that are difficult to handle are developmental steps in the right direction.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Do You Know?

As I carry Elijah over to the floor to change his diaper I ask: "Do you know I love you?"

He snuggles his head into my shoulder (which is his way of hugging) and he answers without uttering a word. He knows.

I love you too Boo-ba, I love you too.

Elijah kisses, kind of like bites :)

Isn't He the Cutest Monster You've Ever Seen?

I love these pajamas! :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

His Teeth are Clean

For much of his life, Elijah has been unable to bring things to his mouth. He can get his hands in his mouth (which is where they live), but getting an object in his mouth is another story. He would do it once in a great while, but the skill hasn't solidified...until now. Andy has been working with Elijah to try to teach him how to brush his teeth...and Elijah is getting it!

This is amazing because it's been hard for Elijah to hold onto anything for an extended period of time. The vibration from the toothbrush seems to remind his hand that he needs to hold onto it. It may not seem like much to some, but this is a HUGE breakthrough!

We ordered Elijah a z-vibe with attachments and are waiting for it to arrive on our doorstep. A z-vibe is a tool sometimes used by speech therapists to awaken, strengthen, and de-sensitize the mouth. I'm so excited to see if the vibration with the z-vibe will help motivate Elijah to feed himself. I see some amazing things on the horizon! I feel like perhaps we're at the cusp of something really fantastic.

---By the way, thanks for all of the nice comments on my last post! Sometimes it's hard to post things that are so raw and real, but I'm always glad when I don't sugarcoat over the difficult times. Knowing that others can relate and offer support means the world to me.

He Can't Tell Me

At times, a blind rage overtakes our boy. He screams and he cries and he bites his hand until it's red. Welts and scabs form from his continual abuse. I hold his hands and urge him to calm down. But his anger is in control now. He arches backwards to hit his head on his highchair because he can no longer bite his hands and mine are out of reach. He must get the anger out.

"What do you want?" I ask. But he doesn't answer. He can't tell me. And he doesn't know why I can't understand.

My insides grow cold and I want to cry, but I've used up all of my tears and have none to spare. I'm dead inside at this moment, my eyes drifting out the window so that I can pretend that I'm somewhere else. Anywhere, but here in this moment, watching my child hurt himself.

I try to understand, solve the puzzle of his anger. "This isn't what you wanted for lunch?" I ask. And yet, I know how he feels. I want to punch holes in the walls and slam my head against the table. The rage visits me too. Because he can't tell me. And I can't understand.


I wrote this this afternoon after a really difficult lunch with Elijah. Tonight, I went to a local event featuring a speech pathologist named Teri Kaminski-Peterson, author of The Big Book of Exclamations. She said some things I've heard before, gave me some new ideas, and most of all, reminded me that there's no such thing as false hope. There's just hope.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Adventures in Autumn

I was pregnant with Elijah when Andy and I started house hunting. I kept re-emphasizing the fact that I wanted trees. "I want TREES!," I'd say. And, well, I got my trees.
In the fall, that means we have a lot of raking to do. Unlike a lot of chores, I really like raking. There's something satisfying about being able to look behind you and see all of the work you've done. Besides, it only has to be done once a year, and most importantly - those leaf piles provide all sorts of opportunities for fun!
This past Sunday, we spent the day raking as a family. Andy and I raked and Elijah helped by walking through the leaves and doing his best to spread the leaves back out on the ground.
By the way, Elijah is in the above photo. His little head is peaking through the leaves. Can you find him?Now do you see him? He's in there... Needless to say, we had a lot of fun!
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