Monday, October 24, 2011


Aside from saying "Ball... ball... ball..." constantly until Elijah looks at me like "Yeah, I get it, it's a ball, do we have to talk about it all day?" we have also been working on learning to use a spoon.  It is both fun and tear-inducing.

Usually around 3:00 after nap we have an afternoon snack, normally a yogurt.  So lately I've been letting him use his own spoon to feed himself the yogurt.  Sometimes I am foolish and forget to put a bib on him, like here.  Anyway, he likes to do it.  He gets that you stick the spoon in the yogurt and then put it in your mouth, but hasn't quite gotten which direction you're supposed to put the spoon in the yogurt.

As you can see, though he did put the correct end in the yogurt, he has it upside down.  I guess when you're not that great at scooping, it doesn't make much difference whether you put the spoon in upside down or not.

This is from another time when I was smarter and remembered to put his bib on.  The worst part is the end because once the yogurt gets low enough, I have to take over because he simply can't scrape the stuff off the bottom.  He doesn't like that, he wants to do it himself.  And when I take the spoons and empty yogurt container away, the waterworks begin.

But I guess that's how it goes when we're learning to use a spoon.  Also, I'm not sure if you were aware, but part of the process is painting Mommy's hand with yogurt.  It's a very integral part.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Horrendous 15 month checkup

So Elijah isn't technically 15 months old until Sunday but his checkup was today.  And like each checkup before I knew they were going to ask questions assuming that my answer would be "yes", naturally, because all normal children with decent mothers answer "yes"... to which I have to answer "no".

"Is he walking?"
"Well, he takes one or two unassisted steps and walks around a lot with the assistance of his walker toy..."
"Does he have at least five words?"
"Um... no, he only really says 'mama' like he knows what it means..."
"He doesn't use a pacifier anymore, right?"
"Well... he uses one to sleep..."  (And that's not entirely true because we let him use it other times when he's having a really rough time like when he goes to the nursery at church.)
"You read to him daily?"
"Errrr.... for the most part...."
"Can he point to his body parts?"
"Um... sort of... sometimes..."

My concerns about his lack of language development are apparently not totally unfounded.  The doctor said he should have at least five words by now, and he doesn't.  It made me feel both vindicated--because I kept saying it wasn't normal for him not to say any words yet and people kept telling me I was worrying for nothing--and ashamed--because if he isn't talking and there's nothing wrong with him developmentally then I am apparently not doing what I need to do in order to teach him how to talk.  It makes me wonder if he has a hearing issue, but he seems to hear just fine.  Of course, I don't really know how to test for that so how would I know?  Or maybe he has a speech impediment.  But when he babbles he makes all sorts of vowel and consonant sounds including double consonants (i.e. "sh", "th", "sr").  It's more likely that I simply let him watch too much TV and am being a bad parent.

His doctor told me to call this developmental testing place called First Steps ( and have them come out and do an assessment.  She said it was really just a precautionary measure so that if there is a problem we can catch it early and she thinks he's probably just going to have an explosion of words over the next three months.  I know she was trying to reassure me and make me feel better, but it's my job to take care of him.  That is my sole and only purpose in life right now and apparently I'm failing at it.

After that he got four lovely shots.  And this time he cried before she even gave him the shots because we were holding him down (he doesn't like to stay in a lying down position), so it got way worse once he got the shots.  Two in each leg.  I started to cry too but kept it enough under control that I don't think the nurse noticed.  And then no matter how long I held him, he wouldn't get comforted.  He just kept crying.  So I had to wheel him out to the checkout window crying and then out to the car crying.  I sat with him in the car for a few minutes trying to play and cuddle and distract him so he'd stop crying.  But then of course when I put him in the carseat, the tears returned.  And so, desperate to calm him so that I could drive us home, I pulled out the pacifier--which of course he's no longer supposed to have according to his doctor.

Most of the drive back I cried.  I don't feel well right now and I'm exhausted and we aren't exactly doing well financially and now my baby isn't developing right.  I feel guilty already about our financial problems because I don't work outside the home.  And now the job I am supposed to be doing--caring for our son--I am doing poorly because he's miserable today and not developing correctly.  I was just crying and praying  "Lord, please help me to trust you in this.  I know I have no control and that your hand is upon all of this.  Please help me trust you to care for Elijah.  It doesn't matter if he never speaks.  It only matters if he loves Jesus.  Please help me to believe that and give this all to you.  Really, really give it to you and not take it back."

I was planning to go to walmart after the appointment but obviously that wasn't going to happen so we went home and as soon as we were out of the car and the pacifier was gone, Elijah started crying again.  I wanted to turn on the TV to distract him but decided I had been a terrible enough parent for one lifetime and instead picked him up and took him outside.  That calmed him down but every time I tried to come back inside, he'd start crying again.  But it was getting to be lunch time and not only did I need to make his lunch but I was starving as well.  So I had to leave him sitting on the floor crying while I made lunch since nothing I was doing was getting him to stop crying anyway and I was about to lose it and go upstairs and scream into a pillow.

He sort of calmed down while eating lunch but of course he whines for my food because for some reason my food is more interesting than his.  And I really don't mind sharing I just don't want to reward the whining.  But since he has no words, what the hell am I supposed to do?  I can't demand that he ask for a "bite" because he can't say "bite".

So now he's supposed to be napping but I've already heard fussing/crying start up twice so we'll see how well this nap goes.  And of course, if he won't nap and I can't get him to calm down any other way I'm going to have to resort to sitting on the couch with a Veggie Tales movie on so I don't totally lose it and so he doesn't end up hyperventilating.

Guess who will NOT be nominated for mother of the year?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we visited the Johnson Farms Pumpkin Patch with the grandparents in tow.  And I'm a dork mom so I made my kid wear his pumpkin Halloween costume.  Yes, he will hate me when he's 16-19 but there's really no way to avoid that, right?  So I'm taking advantage of being able to embarrass him while I can.

The first thing we did was go see the piggies.  Here they are...

And here's Mike holding Elijah up so he can see them...

There was a pig race but it got so loud when it started that Elijah started crying, so we didn't get to see who won.  Next we went to the baby animal barn.  There were baby pigs and chicks.  I couldn't get a good picture of the baby piggies because it was too dark but here are the chicks.

And here's Mike and Elijah checking out the newborn baby piggies.

There was also this huge boar pig hanging around outside.  Hi giant pig!

He was interested in the chickens in the coop, too.

Next we ate lunch.

And then we got to ride the train.  Actually it was just a regular golf-cart-like car with a bunch of cars attached to it.  Mike tried to ride with Elijah but...

Apparently it's made for smaller bottoms and legs.  So I rode with him instead.

My mom and stepdad were there so they got to hang out with the Little Man, too, which was loads of fun.

We were going to take the hayride out to get a pumpkin but Elijah was totally worn out.  If you need proof, here is what he looked like on the ride home.

Happy Fall Everyone!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cardio Appointment

So we had Elijah's most recent appointment with the cardiologist to check out his heart.  For those who don't know, he was born with a few minor heart defects.  He had three tiny Ventricular Septal Defects (VSDs - and one Atrial Septal Defect (ASD -  They were first detected when one of the pediatricians checking on him in the hospital when he was first born heard a murmur.  Evidently, this murmur was caused by the VSDs, but it's the ASD that's more concerning, according to the cardiologist at Children's Mercy.  The three VSDs were tiny and apparently two of them have closed up.  But he's still saying that Elijah may have to have some kind of procedure done for the ASD when he's older.  It would be a catheter procedure most likely (so not surgery) and it would happen somewhere around the age of 5 if he has to have it done.  However, the defects are not growing as he grows.  In other words, though he's gotten bigger, the defects have remained the same size that they were when he was born so, relative to his current size, they are proportionally smaller.

We are supposed to go back in two years and, I believe, at that time he is going to determine whether it is necessary to do the catheter procedure to close up the ASD, even though the procedure wouldn't actually be done for another two years at least.

So blessings abound:
1. The doctor heard the VSD murmur.  Even though the VSDs aren't important, if he hadn't heard the murmur, we would never have discovered the ASD.
2. Two of the VSDs have disappeared and the third one, the doctor isn't concerned about at all.
3. The ASD is not getting bigger and we may not have to do anything to correct it.
4. Even if we do have to do something to correct it, he shouldn't have to have surgery.

Continued prayers are appreciated!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We're All Weaned & Purged

So Elijah and I have ended nursing.  It was a mutual decision for us both.  We were both ready to be done.  I admire women who continue to breastfeed on into their child's first and even second year.  If it works for your family, then by all means, keep it up.  I also don't think there's anything wrong with those who choose to end nursing early for whatever reason.  Whatever is in the best interests of your family is what should be done and not everything works best for every family.

In our family, we had reached the point where Elijah was only nursing before he went to sleep and then when he would wake up in the middle of the night.  It got to the point where it felt like I was forcing him to nurse before nap or bedtime when all he really wanted to do was lie down and go to sleep.  So he was ready to be done with that.  And I was more than ready to be done with waking up 2-3 times a night and sitting up for ten minutes at a time with my eyelids barely propped open while Elijah unnecessarily nursed before I put him back down.  It was disrupting all of our sleep, which isn't good for any of us.

So after a few times putting him down for nap and bed without nursing and having success, we also put an end to the night waking/feedings and simply went into give him cuddles and kisses if he woke up.  It was a bit of a struggle for a couple nights but we're all sleeping much more soundly now and I no longer have to be the one to put him to sleep every time he goes down.

Our last feeding was a bit anticlimactic because I didn't realize it was going to be the last one.  It was a night feeding and then the next night he slept through the night without waking up.  By that time I was starting to feel full and decided it was time to just endure the fullness and pain until the milk dried up so the next night when he woke up once we started the "no nursing--go back to sleep" plan.  (We're really good at coming up with clever names for our plans.)

Anyway, it took a little over a week for my milk to dry up and it was not pleasant.  But I think I'm finally back to normal chestal status so today Elijah went with me to buy new bras.  When I had him I got rid of all my regular bras because they were old and not really supportive anymore.  Then we bought be some good nursing bras and sports bras but now that's all I have--or at least that was all I had until this morning when I went and bought new ones.

I got two of the Body by Victoria bras and one of the biofit ones because it's strapless.  I had a coupon for $25 off a $100 purchase and also another coupon for a free pair of underwear that Mike should be pleased with.  It still cost $120 (ACK!!!) but they should last me a long time (I hope anyway).

Body by Victoria (got two of these)

BioFit (one of these for strapless purposes)

This was the free pair of underwear I got with the coupon.  Mike should like them.  Yes, it says "Bride", which I realize I am not, but hey, a free pair of underwear is a free pair of underwear.

In the spirit of embracing this new "Mom-body" I have, courtesy of my sweet Little Man, I also went through my closet and purged a lot of the stuff I can no longer wear.  It's mostly just because I don't like shirts that don't come down and cover my mom pooch belly.  Anyway, here's the pile of clothing I removed from my closet.

I also got rid of some of the shoes that I wore when I worked as an attorney but that I now have no occasion to wear.  It's too bad I have such microscopic feet or I could have given them to someone I know.  They're nice shoes, but no one else can wear my size.  Some tiny woman is going to have a very good day at goodwill sometime soon, that is, if I give it all to goodwill.  Right now it's just making a huge mess in my bedroom and since I hate clutter, it's kind of annoying me.  Part of me wants to just pile it in my car and drive it up to goodwill like right now but I also have a bunch of furniture that I'm planning to call Salvation Army or something like that to come pick up so I should probably just put the clothes out with that.  Maybe it will motivate me to get off my hump and get the stuff out for pick up.  It's just hard to do inventory of the furniture and make phonecalls and set furniture out when you have a one year old to take care of.

So, I know all of this is very interesting to everyone. NOT.  (That's right--just call me "Mom Early-90s Catch Phrase".)  No, seriously.  I know what you really want is to see a picture of Elijah, so here's a picture of him NOT nursing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Making Strides

So as most of you know, my 14 month old is still not walking on his own.  I'm trying not to get hung up on it but since I keep talking about it, clearly I am hung up on it.  Fortunately, it's not as if he's not moving forward at all (pun intended) or making any strides (pun also intended--I like puns in case you didn't know).  Right now he will walk holding someone's hands (usually Mommy's) or holding onto his push toy thing...

...or a piece of furniture (usually one of our little ottomans that have wheels on them).

Mike and I both have tried to get him to hold just one of our hands and walk.  He can do it but he gets scared and cries and reaches for your other hand.  Lately, though, he has been using his push toy a lot.  He seems to like it and can turn it and maneuver it easily.

The other day he actually did take two unassisted steps towards me.  However, that was all and there hasn't been a reoccurrence. I'm not really sure why since he clearly can do it, especially since he can slide and move his push toy so easily.  It's just like he's scared to try and do it without any assistance.  It makes me wonder how much I should help him and how much I'm simply holding him back by not forcing him to face his fears a little.  I thought he was going to be much older before I had to consider this question.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cider Mill & Red Bridge Festival

So we had lots of fun this Saturday.  We went to a Cider Mill that's far south on Holmes Road.  It's called Dunn's Cider Mill.  We went last year but Elijah was so little then that I don't really think he remembers it, plus, he was asleep most of the time we were there.  But they have apple cider and these delicious apple doughnuts with all this cinnamon and sugar on them.  I am not a big fan of doughnuts usually but these are freaking delish!  Also, they make this yummy chicken salad sandwich.

We went to the Cider Mill for lunch and Mike's mom came with us.  Elijah got a grilled cheese sandwich, but it was slow in coming so we let him have his doughnut first.

After lunch we went to take some fun pictures around the Cider Mill.

He played with the pumpkins but we didn't buy one because we're going to to go to an actual pumpkin patch in a few weeks and we'll get a pumpkin then.  Anyway, Mike's mom was with us so she took some pictures of us as a family (try to ignore the kid in the background).

Cider Mill is fun every year.

After that we went home so Little Man could take a nap.  We live in an area of Kansas City called Red Bridge and there's a shopping center within walking distance.  Elijah and I go up there during the week often to go to the library or to Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop (no relation to Dunn's Cider Mill, as far as I know).  And they were having a festival thing today.  When Elijah got up from his nap we walked up to it.  It was mostly just tables set up from the different businesses at the shopping center.  There were also a couple of moonwalks but Elijah was too young to get on those.  But he did get to check out the police helicopter and the fire truck.

That's all.  Pretty fun Saturday.