Friday, February 24, 2012

It's In His Genes

Jackson has started soccer.
We asked him what interest he would like to pursue and it was narrowed down to swimming, dancing or soccer.
He mulled.
Soccer was the final decision.
He is so in love with everything about it. Especially the gear.
Men and their gear.
For Christmas, we got him a pair of shin guards. He was so thrilled he put them on immediately.
He even wore them to school, without me knowing, to show his friends. He wore them all day. That is commitment.
Once a week, we head to the soccer field and watch him learn the basics. But it isn't the soccer game basics I love to watch happen on the field.
I love watching him experience so many simple aspects of the game that will become foundational pieces to his overall character.
It may sound overly dramatic, but I really see him growing up during those 40 minutes of astroturf.
I love watching him learn how to be a teammate, how to listen to his coach, how to coordinate his feet with his brain, how to win and how to lose.
He is having the best time and so am I.


Eli's ECHO and EKG were this morning, and overall he did much better at this ECHO appointment compared to his last. His overall demeanor was so pleasant the nurses enjoyed "talking" with him and counting his grins. This time around I remembered to bring a bottle which meant that while the blood pressure taking was still not fun there weren't massive fits of hysteria and there was much less overall sweating.
The results of his ECHO are the same.
There has been no change in the hole in his heart and there has been no change to the clot (calcification) in his ventricle. The cardiologist says it may take up to 24 months before his ASD decides to close. And as for the clot, he may have it for the rest of his life. In the meantime, he will have to go back for a follow-up ECHO in six months.
Overall, the cardiologist was pleased with these results, commenting that it is a positive that the clot has not gotten bigger and so far is not causing any extra leakage near his ventricle.
Eli will continue to live life like a regular baby, while they periodically keep an eye on things.
At first, I was very disappointed to learn his body has not dissolved the clot. I really thought it would be gone by now.
But I need to shake this negative attitude and be thrilled our baby is otherwise a healthy boy.
In fact, the doctor remarked at how long Eli's attention span was, how much he chattered along and how alert he was to the volley of our conversation.
"He doesn't miss a thing," he said. "I haven't seen a baby like this in a long time. He is really going to be so fun to raise."
Now that is a medical prognosis I can throughly agree with.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three Months

Eli celebrated his three month birthday with a tiny cupcake and a hushed, late-night round of singing. Hushed because by the time the candle was lit he was fast asleep in his bassinet.

Something so ordinary to most babies - sleeping in a bassinet.
But for Eli, it was a big step. His painful reflux and moody temperament have kept him from sleeping on his back or for long periods of time. He has slept in his bouncy seat or swing for short naps since coming home from the hospital.
But in the last few days we have been successfully working on him sleeping in his bassinet. I say "we" because it has been hard for me to make the transition as well. It's harder for me to keep an eye on him from my own bed when he is asleep in the bassinet, but this process needs to be done. I headed ba ck to work, and I can't keep staring at him all night until he is 18.
Maybe just until he is 5.
Eli continues to gain weight. He is now up to 14 pounds and has become quite smiley. He has the best grin. It warms my heart to see it.
He loves his activity mat and coos and wiggles to the music.
But he is most entertained by his brother. Jackson is sometimes the only one who can get Eli out of a crying spell. He will sing and dance and chatter away while Eli stares at him endlessly.
Therapy continues, and Eli isn't always thrilled about it. Tummy time doesn't always end well but he has to keep it up. His neck muscles and arm strength are still behind but he is getting stronger every day.
Jackson is a big help in this area, too. His performances really make Eli want to lift his head and get a glimpse of the show.
After Jackson, Eli's second most favorite thing is his thumb. I'm hoping this will turn into a relationship with h is pacifier, but in the meantime I'm just happy he has found something to help soothe himself.
This month, Eli is back to the doctor for various appointments. He had his NICU follow up last week. They assessed his overall development, hearing, motor skills and general progress. He is still behind. While they were pleased with his ability to control his head, he still does not display a walking reflex or the ability to keep his head up for long periods of time when on his tummy. This puts him in the 20th percentile when it comes to his motor skills. But we continue to work on it. We put him on his tummy at every diaper change. Sometimes he does so well and lifts his head high to che ck out his surroundings. Other times he gets furious and kicks until he has shoved his tiny nose into the mat. His therapist says it will just take time.
Tomorrow, he will have yet another ECHO to see if the hole in his heart has changed/improved and to monitor the calcification they discovered during his last ECHO. Hopefully his body will have broken down the clot.
We pray that ev erything looks healthy on the inside. On the outside, Eli is the picture of health.

Just one look at his sweet face, and one would never know this baby had such a rough start.
It just makes his smiles even more precious.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hogwarts Prep

What did you do in school today?

Oh, lots of things. Like ... math and stuff.

Oh really? What kind of math?

Well, I learned things you usually learn in college.

Like what?

Like potions, and how to pour things into a cup without spilling.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Jackson, how did you get this cut on your ankle?

I don't know. I wasn't there when it happened.