Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Month of Milestones

I have the best problem in the world right now: I can't keep up with all of the milestones my littlest guy is rolling through this month! It was a week filled with:

The continuation of Elijah's ability and willingness to pick up and eat any and all foods- even the slimy, sticky or wet ones! (He ate oranges, bananas, baby quiches, pasta with marinara sauce on it and so much more, with his hands!)

He has started crawling on hands and knees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Was that enough exclamation marks? No.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
It started Wednesday when I encouraged him up onto his hands and knees and then kept calling him to come over to me. He did- and did it all on hands and knees!

He started shaking his head no.
I laugh a little about this one, because as much as I don't really want the "no", I'm thrilled that he gets it. He has probably known it for a long time, because he used it perfectly, and within context: Friday morning as I was coaxing him to practice his hands and knees crawling, he would do 1 or 2 rotations and then sit down and shake his head "No". (He also has the "Yeah" down. But, he actually SAYS "Yeah." and it's the cutest thing ever. He says it for everything that requires some type of affirmation- I pick him up (Yeah. Yeah.), I put him in his high chair to eat (yeah. Yeah.) The speech therapist asks if he's ready to play (Yeah.) He never says "Yeah" for "No" and while I don't think I'd mark it as his first word yet, it certainly is a sound he's using appropriately.

He got another new tooth!
I literally just noticed tonight when I was giving him dinner. He's been chomping his gums a lot the last few days and now I think I know why- he's checking out his new chomper (it's a molar).

Lastly, he is getting the hang of drinking from a straw!
This is beyond exciting for me, because he has been resistant to drinking liquids other than his morning bottle every day. I have to give him little sips throughout the day and add water to his food whenever possible to make sure he's getting enough. He showed a few glimpses of interest in drinking water last week, when he pointed to the sippy cup during dinner. I gave him a sip and then he went on with the meal, pointed to the sippy cup again and again welcomed the drink of water. Tonight, however, when I put the straw cup up to his mouth (we have one that you can squeeze a little to help out those kids who aren't yet sucking on the straw) he began to suck on it. I feel like all week I've been texting our therapists with each new exciting milestone, but decided to restrain myself and let our Occupational therapist have a weekend without my updates. Ha ha! (But, I seriously can't wait to tell her next week!!)


I caught some of the crawling on video and want to share: (Don't forget to pause the music player at the bottom of the page if you want to hear the audio on the video.)


So cute, right?!

My business has been taking a lot of my time lately and though I try to balance it all, I often find myself missing relaxed down time with my boys, so I've been really trying to make the most of our time together- even if it's just some time out in the backyard, swinging on swings and painting Christian's "Painting House". I brought my camera out with me a couple of times this week, because I'm really enjoying it and trying to figure out what I'm doing and trying to get better at taking pictures.  Here are some I enjoyed this week:

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Sweet Elijah, smiling for the camera. Even though just an hour before this photo he was diagnosed with a perforated ear drum and an ear infection, he was my happy guy anyway.

 
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At the park today, doing his favorite park activity...


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My beautiful big boy,Christian, who has of late started lifting his shirt up to show everyone his muscles and let us know how big and strong he's getting.  And he is. At an alarming pace.


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Gotcha! (He's fast. If I take enough photos I might, just might, be able to catch him in action.  Thank goodness for manual shutter speeds!)


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Christian's love affair with Leo continues. 

Christian is such a sweet boy and I love that he has his "pet" (Leo) to learn to be nurturing with.  He said to me this week:
C: "Mom, if you were sick, I could take care of you."
Me: "Oh really, sweetie?  How would you take care of me?"
C: "Well, You'd get lots of sleep, and I'd give you medicine and bring you snacks.  Plus you'd get to watch TV."
Me: "Wow, sweetie! That sounds great.  I'm so glad you'd take such good care of me!" (Kinda makes me want to be sick...)

It's been a month of amazing milestones, with new things coming up for each of my boys each week.  With Elijah, every milestone is so hard earned that we celebrate and notice even the smallest things you might never have noticed before. With Christian, he is speeding through milestones so fast that I can't even wrap my head around how he learned some things.  He's like a sponge.  I had a great talk with a girlfriend today about how we are trying to learn how to parent each of our children to meet their unique needs.  The extra chromosome Elijah has really doesn't have much to do with it- my boys are different, and most everyone I know who has more than one child will say how different each of their kids are.  They can come from the same "mold", but they'll never be the same.  I don't have the answers about how I will handle each of my children and in what ways I should do things that suit their individual needs.  I hope that I will figure it out as I go.  But, I do know that they need love, and I will love them.  I do love them.  I'm pretty sure that is the first step.

"A baby is born with a need to be loved-and never outgrows it." -Frank Howard Clark

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Boys will be Boys

I started a post detailing some of our week this week, and then word by word, deleted it.  I don't know, maybe I don't feel like writing, but probably more likely I don't feel like writing about the daily stuff that gives you a scare, but ultimately turns out just fine.  We had a week like that.  Here's the summary:

Christian tried standing on a tall basket of stuffed animals in his room, after bedtime, in the dark, fell and injured his nose. I thought it was broken. It wasn't. He is just fine and I was more bothered by the injury than he was.  He bounced back fast.

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These pictures were two days post fall and you can still see the bruising and swelling.  And you can see the smile. See? Him: fine. Me: traumatized.

Elijah crawled into a toy box, got stuck upside down while some plastic train bridges stabbed him in the eyes and face.  Short of a couple small scrapes, he's fine.  I start imagining how this exact scenario is how a small child drowns in 2 inches of water in a bucket.  Yeah. My mind goes there. But, again, He is just fine. 

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Later in the week, while putting Elijah's shoes on him, one of his toes probably got folded over and stuck awkwardly within his shoe.  Elijah's muscle tone is low, which makes his flexibility high. I mean, REALLY high.  This kid can slide in and out of every kind of split without a moments hesitation.  We spend our time trying not to let him do half of the moves he wants to do.  So, when a toe gets folded over in a shoe, it's not such a big deal to him.  Only, I have no idea what's going on and two hours later when the shoe came off, his toe was red and angled funny and he was crying like a banshie. I was convinced I had broken it somehow.  Again, no broken bone, and Elijah was back to normal, happy mode by the next morning, while I was still a little doe eyed about the whole thing.  

Boys will be boys. And, really, it's not just boys because I'd be generalizing in saying that...but Kids. Kids will be kids. They will break bones and bounce back. I'm the one who doesn't bounce back quite as fast when these things happen to them. I will not always be able to protect them- from falls, or broken hearts, from bad judgement calls, or hurt feelings. That is probably the part that gets me most as a parent: That I have been put "in charge" of these little lives for awhile, and that even though they are in my care, they are their own people who will make their own choices, their own mistakes, but also their own successes. I can love them and be there for them. I can help set some boundaries and consequences for when they aren't acting like kind, respectable people. I can only prepare them for this world...I cannot cushion them from it.  I find that both intoxicating and terrifying at the exact same time.

My boys, despite my best efforts, got a little bruised up physically this week. I got a little bruised up mentally this week. So, I took an opportunity to spend a little quality one on one time with each of my boys today. I took Christian with me for a hike to one of my favorite places.  We needed some fresh air and a little adventure.  I had a feeling Christian would love it and I was so, so right. He couldn't stop smiling the whole time, and frankly, neither could I.

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My boys bounced back fast from their injuries this week, so I took a cue and had some time to bounce back with each of my boys- playing and snuggling with Elijah, hiking with Christian and then a dinner and a play with Charles.  My emotional reserves are filled up and I'm ready to go!!.......Almost...
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