Thursday, July 30, 2015

15 Months

Our little Cal turned 15 months this week.  I can't believe how much he has changed just in the past three months.  He is full-on toddler.  Busy, wild, funny and sweet.  I can't even grasp how blessed I am to be able to watch him grow, change and turn into the little guy that he is.

Over the past few months, Cal grew quite a bit (as we had suspected).  He has definitely thinned out a bit thanks to his constant running through the house.  I can't believe how quickly he went from his adorable wobbly walk to a full out run EVERYWHERE.  I remember seeing my nephew, Sam, start running everywhere and thinking how funny it was, and now I'm laughing at Cal who has so much to explore and so little time to do it.  All this running makes it difficult to find pants for him!  Seriously, three months ago he was wearing 12-18 months shorts, and now I can barely get 12 month shorts to fit him.  They fall right off his waist.  Gee, I wish I had this problem...would it be weird if I just started running everywhere?! Ha!

Lately, Cal has really been practicing his animal sounds (a favorite in our house!).  We name the animal and he laughs and makes the noise.  So far he does cow, pig, horse, rooster, chicken, sheep and monkey.  His rooster is really the best :)  He has really been able to pick up quite a few words too.  Right now it's all about "sissy", "Pete" and "daddy".  Yep, Mom always gets the short end of the stick.  He has probably 10 other words too, but those are the ones I hear him scream all. day. long.  Especially Pete right now.  Yesterday, he found Pete's invisible fence collar, grabbed it and ran around the house for a solid 30 minutes yelling "PEEEEEEEETEEEEEE"!

Just this week he has started working on some fine motor skills.  He works on putting his coins in this little pig toy we have for hours.  That, and building with his blocks.  He loves pulling all my plastic cutting boards out of my cabinets, "shoot"-ing his basketballs, dancing and giving kisses.  Our little guy may be a wild one, but you can see his tender little heart come through.  He LOVES giving kisses right now.  He walks over to Elena saying "sissy, sissy", sticks his hands on her chest and gives her kisses.  She always starts laughing.  He does this with Pete all day too.  Pete usually groans and gets up and leaves the room.  He's pretty generous with his kisses, happily giving them to everyone.  He even gives a drawn out "mwwwwwaaaaahhhh".

I love watching him grow and change, but I really love seeing his personality emerge.  Cal is always on the go with Elena and me and happily goes along.  He is busy, and into everything but loves to explore and try new things.  He likes running around with the big kids and is pretty social...we'll definitely need to work on our stranger danger!  He keeps us laughing with his dance moves, his "Cal language" and his giggle.  He loves his sister and brings her toys to play with, often playing ball with her which translates to him throwing the ball at her, making her laugh.

Calvin, watching you grow is our delight. I pray every day that your heart stays soft, your laugh loud and your love for your sister strong.  We love you Calvy!!

Cal's very own language!

Cal's victory dance.  He's bring back raising the roof.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer is Wrapping Up!

What a wild couple weeks it's been.  Summer is flying by and we're trying to keep up.  Though it's been busy, we've had so much fun the past few weeks.  With only two weeks left before Elena's fall schedule begins, we're going to enjoy a little bit of free time after this wild summer!

We celebrated Elena's birthday last weekend.  She had a "splash bash", where we invited her family and buddies to the park close to our house that has a splash park.  One of Elena's wheelchairs is perfect for pushing her through the fountains and she loves it.  We all had so much fun watching the kids run wild!  The party was a success and we all came home exhausted!

Elena's last week of camp at the Jackson Center was Thursday.  She had SO much fun this summer.  I'm so glad she was able to manage the full day schedule without being to exhausted.  Every day when I would pick her up, her aide would tell me how much fun she had and how chatty she was.  Elena totally loves being social.  They had three different field trips over the last few weeks.  The last one was to Bradford Woods, a great camp in southern Indiana.  The kids went hiking, canoeing and fishing.  Some got to go down an adapted zip line, shoot slingshots and a few did archery.  We were so glad for the this experience for Elena.  It gives her a little more independence and freedom to do all these fun activities on her own with her friends without Mom hanging around.  She's had such a fun summer!

The next two weeks we hope to enjoy some pool time, if the weather cooperates at all, maybe a trip to the Children's Museum and the zoo if we're lucky.  Our days get long if we don't keep busy.  Once school starts and Elena is back at the Jackson Center, we'll be lucky ever to have a "free" day so we'd better pack it in now!

Elena on the bus headed to her field trip

1st fish!

Elena at the Splash Park

Cal liked his sister's cupcakes!


Thursday, July 9, 2015


There's no denying it anymore.  Elena has grown so much in the last year in so many ways.  She has thinned out, no more baby chub.  She has grown was seems like 5 inches and looks like a little girl.  Elena is a baby no more.

Gosh, I can't believe she came into our lives four years ago.  A perfect, beautiful baby girl 8lbs 2oz.  We used to tell people we hit the "baby jackpot" because she had the absolute best disposition.  She never cried, was a good eater, a good sleeper and was so adorably sweet.  It seems so cruel that we only got to live that life for such a brief time.

With every birthday of Elena's it is pretty difficult to not let my mind wonder what kind of four year old she would be like.  I like to think she would be exactly how she is today - unbelievably sweet, easy going, funny and loving.  I know she can't get away from me, but she never ever protests snuggling with me and enduring my endless kisses.  She thinks everything is hilarious and would no doubt keep us rolling if she could talk.  She hardly ever gets frustrated with the hundreds of hours of grueling therapy she has endured and loves being social with all her friends.  It is just so painful for me to watch how much she struggles with her body.  No doubt she is the same Elena that we met four years ago today, just with a different body.

In the last year, not only have we seen huge growth physically, but mentally and cognitively as well.  This has been both exciting and encouraging for us.  To know our little Elena is in there is such a big deal.  We have suspected this for quite some time, but it feels like in the last year her precious personality has shown through.  We are so looking forward to watching her emerge and hopefully learn to communicate with us.

Over the past four years, we have experienced some really difficult times but have been able to share lots of good too.  We have been blessed by many wonderful people who have dedicated themselves to helping Elena achieve.  Elena is loved by a ridiculous amount of people and is constantly bringing joy to those who work with her.  We have learned so much during this time and are grateful for the new perspectives and blessings we have been given.  

Today we wish the happiest of birthdays to our precious little miracle who has endured so much but goes through every day with the sweetest smile.  We love you Elena Catherine, for you and all the joy you bring into our lives.