Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day at the Beach

 When I envisioned a family photo shoot at the beach, I think I was thinking of a different beach.  One without a steady blast of wind, a constant roar of waves, and a blindingly bright sun.  Our three newest additions were quite overwhelmed with it all, as I'm sure you can see just by looking at them in these photos.  Pretty sure it is the first time seeing the ocean for the three of them.  So much for the perfect family photo, huh?  (What?  Is that the sound of laughing I hear, that I would even imagine capturing the perfect family photo?)  Oh well.  I think these kids are all just about perfect, in every photo!

 This is the only way Micah wanted to experience the beach:  from the safety of his playpen, thank you very much, with his fluttering fingers to keep him company. 

Micah did finally relax a little bit.  I think we were about packed up to leave by the time he finally decided that he was okay.  And then I took him out of his haven and threw him into a panic again.  Aw, sweet boy.  The world is so, so big, isn't it?  And being on a beach really reminds a boy of just how big and wild the world is.

 We live very close to the ocean here in western Washington, so our three big kids have grown up with lots of visits to the beach.  I really did not realize how very big and open and noisy and scary a beach could seem to a child until today.

 Gideon was very subdued the entire time we were at the beach.  I had been imagining him running headlong into the Pacific without a backward glance, giggling with glee, but he did not react at all how I expected.  He barely looked up the entire time we were there, and he never walked.  Just sat in the sand, apparently too intimidated and overwhelmed to even move.  But he did relax enough to play in the sand a little bit.  This boy loves dirt, and once he finally decided that the sand was okay, I think he decided it was sort of fun, too.

 At this point, we had already figured out we were not going to get that frame-it-and-hang-it-on-the-wall family portrait, so we just gathered everyone together, snapped a few shots to remember the occasion by, and gave up.  Look at that wind!  It was intense!

 Blessing did not seem to love the beach, but she did not panic as much as the little boys.  She just wasn't quite sure what to make of it all, I think.  Don't think my girl has felt sand between her toes many times in her life. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Matter of the Heart

According to Gideon's profile last year:

Open oval window and extra ventricular chord in his heart.

According to the cardiologist today:

Perfect heart.

Praise the Lord!  Gideon's heart is strong and healthy!
Absolutely no problems or concerns!

And this means that we can go ahead with his botox injections on his legs next week.  We were waiting for the okay from the cardiologist before we sedated him.  Now that we have a green light for sedation, we can work on getting Gideon's feet and legs in shape!

So excited for my boy!
Pretty soon he is going to become even harder 
for me to keep up with!
And I could not be more thrilled!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Three Months Later

 What a difference three months can make . . .
It is hard to believe this even the same little boy!

Micah was scared, and reserved, and in his own little world. 
He hated to be touched.
He would spend hours rocking himself 
and fluttering his fingers in front of his eyes.  
He wanted me to just leave him alone.
He refused to eat.

Now, just three months later, Micah is silly, and busy, and curious, and noisy, and stubborn, and opinionated, and so, so sweet!  He gets into stuff.  He eats big bowls of oatmeal, and yogurt, and soup, grinning and grabbing and yelling for more if I am not fast enough to shovel it in.  He is HAPPY!  He loves to be held.  He hates to be ignored.  He just cannot get enough cuddles and tickles and rocking. 
There is a sparkle in Micah's eyes, a delight. 

 When I met him, he had trouble holding his head up.  
His body was thin and weak. 
 Now just look at him!  So strong!

Three months ago, Micah weighed twenty pounds.
He was skeletal.  Skin and bones.

Now Micah weighs 31 pounds.
Look at this happy tummy!

Micah still has a lot of hard work to do.  Physical work, like figuring out how to chew food, and feed himself, and crawl, and walk.

Cognitive work, like how to communicate.  Until recently, he has been completely disinterested in sign language.  (He tends to be disinterested in anything that we want him to do.  He is a bit of a Lone Ranger kind of guy, who wants to do what he wants to do, on his own terms, thank you very much.)  When I have used sign language with him, he turned his head away, pushed my hands away, and yelled at me when I signed.  But recently we are seeing a spark of interest.  He watches my hands.  He has an amused half-smile on his face when I sign to him.  He sometimes lets me move his hands in order to sign.  And somehow Derek even convinced him to sign one word by himself, when we prompt him: "please" when he wants more yogurt (you have to watch closely though, his little hand is lightning fast!  Pat, pat, on his chest.  Blink and you will miss it.)  He is thinking it over.  Trying to decide if he is going to do this signing thing.  Did I mention he is stubborn?  He also is not sure about using picture cards to communicate.  So far he just wants to throw them across the room.  But we know that he can understand the picture cards, to some extent, anyway, because he can play matching games with them.  For example, if I show him a card with a cat on it, and then I hold up two other cards for him to see, a cat and a dog, he will immediately grab the cat card.  And toss it across the room.  But he totally gets the idea that the picture on the card represents something, and he can match the pictures.  (Gideon, incidentally, cannot do this yet.)  But to convince Micah to use the cards to communicate wants and needs?  That is a breakthrough that we are still waiting on. 

Emotional work.  When we are at home, he is almost always happy.  But he generally does not like to go places.  He sometimes can go to a new place calmly, but other times we are still walking into appointments and stores with Micah thrashing, screaming, and struggling in terror.  He prefers his stroller over me holding him, but sometimes he hates his stroller, too.  He can make it very difficult to go places, because we never know if he will be happy and smiling, or silent and stoic, or screaming and scared.  But he loves coming home.  Whenever we turn into our driveway, we can hear Micah giggling and kicking the car seat in glee.  Even in his rear-facing car seat, he always knows when we are home, and he is always so relieved and delighted when I finally carry him back into the house.  

Yeah, he has a lot of work to do.  But look at how far he has come in just three short months.  He is like a different child.

This miraculous transformation is all to the glory of God.
The Lord is working an amazing miracle in Micah's life,
and I am humbled and awed to be a part of it.
                            I love this happy, joyful little boy!