Monday, August 30, 2010

Date Night

Wickedly fun!
Last week, Andy and I saw Wicked. It was so fun.  We don't get out very often, so it's such a treat when we do leave the house. Together! Without a small child! Thanks Uncle Andy and Aunt Karen for taking such good care of our little dude so that we could have a night out worry-free.
You guys rock!
By the way, I loved Wicked. It was awesome.

I'm a firm believer in making time for your marriage.  And while I don't think we'll ever be a couple who goes out a lot (we've always been a movie at home kind of people), having a night out here and there is sometimes just what we need to recharge our marriage batteries.

I know it isn't always easy to find the time to go out, someone you trust to watch your child(ren), or the money to do something fun (and yes, I realize that is most likely an understatement). What do you all do for fun with your significant other?  Do you still go on dates now that you're a parent?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Time Marches On

**The pictures in this post are from Elijah's third birthday party**
When parenting a child with special needs it's easy to think that you have more time in a sense for your child to be young.  The days still fly by, but the milestones come slower.
I've felt stuck at times, like someone's pressed pause on our life as we watch the world whiz past us.  Here we are with a three-year-old, who essentially acts in many ways like a one-year-old.  It can feel like we're stuck in time, like things are never going to change.
But things DO change.
As we get caught up in our day to day life it can be hard to see the changes.  Some things are the same, but our lives have definitely changed.
In these early years of Elijah's life, it has felt like some milestones would never come. And sometimes it still feels that way. But, before we know it, something we've been working on for ages clicks. And that something becomes the norm until eventually I almost forget we had to work so hard to get there.  Elijah's proceeding at his own pace and on his own schedule - and that's okay.  
I think I've forgotten that this little boy is going to grow up.  I've known it all along, of course, but haven't let myself really sit with it. We've been too focused on helping him heal, that I've almost forgotten that time goes by so fast.  We really have done so much in these three years.  Sometimes it seems like a millisecond and sometimes is seems like a million years.
He's three. I can't believe it. My baby isn't a baby anymore.  I'm cherishing him even more as I remember that he's only going to be getting bigger. And remembering, always, just how far our little miracle has come.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Great Expectations

I've always had great expectations when it comes to Elijah and what he can and will be able to accomplish.  I used to tell people that I thought Elijah would be completely fine...that God had healed and was healing our son.  I distinctly remember telling this to his nurses when he was still in the hospital.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  But, then they saw miracles too. Elijah awoke from his coma and he started to respond to us - and I was more convinced than ever that everything was going to be fine.

Elijah just turned three. And while our expectations are still high, I find myself coming to a place of acceptance.  Elijah isn't fine... at least not what I would have defined as fine during those early days.

A big part of me thought that Elijah would catch up by the time he was three.  It was a coping mechanism for sure - telling myself that things would get better so that I could get through each day, so that I'd work extra hard for our son.  I told myself that if I put in extra work now that we'd get there, eventually we'd be able to relax.  And well, that just isn't the case; relaxing in terms of working for Elijah's betterment just isn't going to be happening anytime soon. (Then again, is the word relax ever a part of your vocabulary when you're a parent?)

The problem with acceptance is that it can feel a lot like giving up.  It's such a balance, hoping and working towards a brighter future and accepting our son exactly as he is.

Recently, Elijah underwent testing through the school district to be able to start preschool.  It was interesting for me to watch.  Elijah did some things that I would've said he couldn't.  I hate that I've underestimated him in any way, but I certainly overestimate him more often.  Neither is good for him.

I need to keep rejoicing over each and every accomplishment, accepting whatever it is that Elijah will be able to accomplish, but at the same time keeping my great expectations.  He deserves that, especially from me...his number one fan (tied with his daddy of course!).

PS - Our lives are definitely busy here in Elijahland and a lot of changes are taking place in terms of Elijah's therapy. I'll be writing about it soon (oh, I hope). I'm excited. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life Lessons at Walmart

Last week Andy, Elijah and I went to Walmart to get supplies for Elijah's birthday.  In one trip to the store, I learned that I'm not a very good Christian - and that I'm getting less sensitive about the things strangers say about Elijah.

Non-Christian-y Moment ... Ever Have Those?
I was looking at some frosting in the baking aisle when two women came walking down towards us, each with their own carts and subsequently taking up a lot of room.  Turns out I decided I didn't want a particular thing of frosting and needed to wait for these two women to slowly pass by so that I could put it back on the shelf. Andy and Elijah were parked not too far away, but was blocking these women's path - at least in their opinion.

Just as I shimmed my way behind the second woman to put the frosting back on the shelf, she said loudly for Andy to hear, "Are we shopping here or are we just standing around?"

Um, wow.  That was rude.  Now, if you know me, you'd know that I'm not the type to be rude.  I'm usually a really nice gal. But, without missing a beat, I replied, "Actually, I've been trying to get around you and he's waiting for me." And then I hightailed it out of the aisle like the coward I am.

And I have to admit I was pretty proud of myself.  Andy wanted me to repeat what I had said because it was so uncharacteristic of me.  I think he was kind of proud of me too.  I mean, it's good to be nice, but sometimes I'm nice to the point of my own detriment.  I think there is a balance when it comes to niceness.

But, anyway, I decided that although that lady was rude, it was a totally unchristian thing for me to do.  Would I have been proud if Christ had been standing next to me? Nope.  I got the last word, but it was ultimately not a turning the other cheek kind of a response. Unless, of course, you count my hightailing it as turning the other cheek.

Yeah, I didn't think so.  I'm a work in progress, for sure.

Talking to Strangers
Soon, it was time to check out with all of our items.

"Would you like a gift receipt for this?" the woman asked.

"No, I don't think our son will be returning it," I said with a laugh.

Noticing all of the items she was ringing in, the cashier noticed that we must be planning a birthday party.

"Oh, it's somebody's birthday. Let me see, he must be turning one."

She paused and then said "No, he must be two."

"Actually, he's going to be three," I said.

And that was that. I didn't feel the need to further explain Elijah or his age.  I wasn't even bothered by the fact that she thought that our 3-year-old was one. Eh, whatever.  No need to grieve over others perceptions.  It is what it is.

So there you have it, life lessons learned at Walmart. Do you ever have enlightening shopping trips or is that just me?

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Three years ago, an awesome little boy entered this world...
Elijah's Birthday (8-14-2007)
And then he got older and older until he turned one...
One Year Old (8-14-2008)
And older and older until he turned two...
Two Years Old (8-14-2009)
Until finally, he was THREE!
Three Years Old (8-14-2010)
Happy Birthday to our sweet, wonderful, handsome, fantastic little boy.  You bless our lives each and every day. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


In his short life, Elijah hasn't gotten into a lot of trouble. Not necessarily because he doesn't want to, but because for most of his life he's barely used his hands. Just think about how much trouble you could get into without using your hands. It wouldn't be easy.

That's why whenever Elijah gets into "trouble" our thoughts are usually filled with rejoicing. Jumping and walking on the couch? Woohoo! That's awesome PT. Pulling out all his toys and scattering them all over the floor? Yay! Schreeching like a fire-engine? Um, my ears hurt, but great vocal range little dude! Whining about the toy he can't reach that he can see sitting next to his car seat? Here you go, buddy, you can have it! Pulling knick-knacks and cds off of our shelf? What great dexterity! Tearing down the curtains? Aweso- wait, that one's getting old.

I can tell you one thing....Life around here is never dull. We rejoice over trouble.  And then, we try our best to correct the behavior if necessary.  But first, we take a picture.  You would too, just admit it. 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Camping and the Continuing Adventures of Aqua Man - Part Two

A few more memories from our camping adventures...

One day, Aunt Jamie and I rented kayaks. So fun!

Isn't Reggie a cute Aqua Dog?  I think Elijah is his sidekick...or maybe vice versa.
Elijah was a champ about sleeping in a tent.  Well, except for the fact that he got up every morning at 5:30 - sometimes earlier.
When Elijah wakes up, he's not exactly quiet. So, in order to not wake up the entire campground, we'd pick up some convenience store coffee and go for a little road trip.

After a few days, we got wiser and went out for breakfast at this awesome Norwegian restaurant instead of driving around.  
Mmm, I had French toast, pancakes, and an omelet...No, not all on the same day!  
Oh, and lucky for us, if we needed to use the restroom on the way back to our temporary home, there was one conveniently placed in-between the restaurant and campground.
One day, we had a nice gentle rain which Elijah enjoyed immensely.  It was like the whole sky was a giant sprinkler!  
It didn't take him long to figure out that the corner of the camper produced the highest quantity of water and he planted himself in the exact spot that would get him the most wet.
He was pretty proud of himself. 

And then?  Well, we walked off into the sunset (Or away from get the idea) and went back home. 

We had a good time, but I have to admit it's nice to be home.
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