Wednesday, January 28, 2015

9 Months

Our Calvin is nine months old!  It's so hard to believe we waited nine months for him to arrive, and we've had the joy of getting to know him and watch him grow for that same amount of time.  I can't even begin to describe the happiness, smiles and love he has added to our family.

At nine months, Cal is definitely on the go.  He getting super quick at crawling.  He can practically crawl the length of our house (which is a realllly ranch) in a flash.  I think he's really enjoying this new "freedom".  His favorite, though, is to stand and hold on to whatever he can find.  He pulls up on our counter stools, Elena's wheelchair, Elena's stander, the ottoman, our patio doors, my legs!  Everything!  Just in the last week he has started to move around these objects while standing too.  It's so fun to watch him figure out how to get around.

His new sound is "go-go" and "ga-ga".  He loves saying "go-go-go-go".  He'll clap his hands and practice all his new sounds.  So far he's saying "go", "ga", "ba", "na", "da-da" (Chad's favorite), "za-za" and "sssss".  He does the last two bearing his cute little teeth.  With his growing vocabulary, I'm still anxiously awaiting that beloved "ma-ma".  He's holding out on me!

Calvin's still growing like a weed.  He's totally in 12 month clothes now, though he is thinning out a bit now that he's on the move.  He is 21lbs, but getting so tall at 31.5".  Chad's holding out hope for continued height and can't wait to start him doing basketball drills. :)

He's still such a happy boy and really easy going.  He makes Elena laugh every day, which I can already see boosts his confidence, hah!  Cal's sweet and snuggly and is so fun for me to watch.  I love seeing him grow and change.  It's hard to believe that I'll be planning a first birthday in just a few months.  For now, I continue to savor all these sweet baby moments with him, because I know he'll be a toddler before I know it.  We love you Cal-boy!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

So Proud

Many of you saw the video I posted on Instagram and Facebook yesterday of Elena walking at the Jackson Center (for those that didn't, I posted it in it's entirety below!).  She's had such a great week that has given me renewed hope in our goals for her.

 Life with a special needs child can be so discouraging at times.  We enthusiastically celebrate every millimeter of progress.  Even the smallest of achievements can encourage us as parents.  This is because Elena has to work so incredibly hard for everything, things that most parents could never comprehend.  She works harder than any three year old ever should.  You see, we celebrate the fact that she had open hands during a task, not clenched fists.  It's a victory when she can hold her head up for 30 seconds while sitting or standing.  We whoop for joy when she can knock over a set of blocks in front of her.  We celebrate, because after three years of watching her, we understand the effort and coordination it takes for her little mind and body to cooperate.

For nearly two years, we've been watching her hip deteriorate, seeing her leg lengths become uneven, making it even MORE difficult to sit, stand, and especially try and take steps.  Surgery on a special needs child is scary for lots of reasons, but mostly because the fear of losing progress.  Seeing Elena fight for every inch makes it devastating to see her have to relearn something that's taken three years to achieve.

This past week at the Jackson Center, just eight weeks post-surgery, has renewed our hope.  Elena is doing so great.  She's finally returning to her normal self (and SLEEPING!!!!).  We're seeing great results from her hip surgery, legs are the same length again, easier balancing while sitting, gaining strength in her left leg.  All these things, while they seem small, can and will be HUGE for her going forward.

I'm so, so proud of my sweet little girl.  To see her take steps again brings my heart so much joy.  She's learning so much and loving every minute of it.  She's the best example of courage and determination and I'm just so darn lucky to be her Mommy.

Here is the whole video (I just posted a few seconds).  This gives you a better idea of how much effort it takes for her to take each step.  But, seriously, the squeals are the BEST!  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Wednesday Thought

I started a blogpost today complaining describing how increasingly difficult it is becoming for me to figure out logistics for getting Elena and Cal anywhere these days.  About three paragraphs in, I realized that I was indeed complaining.  I thought to myself...seriously, Emmalee?  Is this really THAT big of a deal?

Is it difficult to do anything or go anywhere with a three year old who can't walk and an increasingly active 8 month old?  Yes.   Are there bigger problems in the world?  Yes!  Did it make me stop and think, in all reality, how incredibly fortunate I really am?  There are so many things that we "want" in life, that would just make things soooo much easier or make us sooo much happier.  I could totally use another set of hands every day or a 30 minute nap when 3:30pm rolls around.  But, so what if that doesn't work out for me.  Chances are, I will survive.

I saw a quote the other morning and it has sort of stuck with me the last few days.

"If you don't feel grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?"

Isn't that so true?  Don't we always think that just that one thing will make all the difference in our life?  I would venture to bet that each of you reading this blog has a home, with heat, food in the pantry, a car that runs and about a million other things that a billion people in this world don't have.  My worst day is still probably better than the day of hundreds of millions of people.

So, maybe just for today, before you start to complain about something seemingly silly, erase those paragraphs and start over with something perhaps more productive!  Happy Wednesday!

Friday, January 9, 2015

On the Move

Ok.  So much for blogging more.  Resolution #1, down the drain.  Sorry!  Chad was gone for the whole first week of January and I spent that week losing it, then getting it back together, then losing it again SO I'm back together again now and all is well.

Side note:  Single Momming it is really, really, really hard.  Apparently, you cannot lose it.  EVER.

Side note again:  I'm really, really, really thankful for you, Chad.  I don't lose it nearly as much when you're around.  And that's good.

Anyway, notes aside, Cal is on the move!  The day Chad left Cal officially began crawling.  He had perfected his slither/army crawl across our hardwood floors, but now he is fully (and ridiculously fast) hands/knees on the go.  That was last Friday.  Then Saturday, I noticed he would crawl then pull up to our ottoman on his knees.  Skill mastered.  Then Sunday morning, I look over and he's standing at our ottoman.  I thought to myself that Pete must've pushed him up there until I saw him pull himself up to stand.  And by Monday, he was reading, writing and solving math problems.  Just kidding.  But seriously, in a matter of three days Cal had really upped his mobility game.

So, obviously not knowing what to do, I panicked and lowered his crib, locked up the cleaning product cabinet and cleared the ottoman of the remotes and lovely scented candles.  We are officially on the move around here.

His first shotgun ride at the grocery.

Pretty proud of himself