Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good times...

It sure has been a busy 2.5 weeks! Winter Break is flying by like it always does. Elijah and I have been having so much fun together. It's going to be very hard to go back to work next week.

We had a fantastic Hanukkah with this being the first year that Elijah got into it. He loved lighting candles, singing songs, and trying to spin the draidel.

He also loved opening presents, of course. One of the gifts he got was Candy Land, a personal favorite of mine when I was a kid. So far, it's going well, until he decides he wants to mess up all of the cards or scoot all of the pieces off the board. :) It's so great to have him in a place where we can play games together. We've also had fun having people over, as well as going to other holiday parties. Elijah has handled the change in his schedule very well, maybe for the first time ever.

When he goes back to school next week, his schedule will change again. We have decided to keep him in school until 3:00, instead of 1:00. The afternoons in his school have fewer children, so we think it would be good for him to have more opportunities to play with kids since he gets intimidated when there are lots of kids around. Plus, we are hoping that he won't nap as long at school (since the other kids there don't nap as long) and that will help him sleep longer at night. While he's doing MUCH, MUCH better than he used to, he's still up at 5:00 nearly every day. Wish us luck on that may be brutal for us all!

This has been quite an incredible year. Elijah's growth and development continues to amaze us. We are awed by him daily. Yesterday he told me that he was my "favorite boy in the whole wide world." He's so darn smart! We wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!

(Does it get any cuter than this? Elijah was just sure that these boots were for him!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our own little Tigger

Elijah's friend had a birthday party this morning. It was at a local gymnasium which is a fabulous place for 20 three and four year olds. It was truly a spectacular event. Elijah fell in love with the large trampoline.

He's not very coordinated, but that didn't seem to slow him down.

He still doesn't really have the hang of hopping on the ground, so the idea of repeatedly jumping on a trampoline was a bit too much. He'd bend down really low, and try to do one giant jump.

He didn't want any help and he didn't want anyone showing him another way it might be done. After he'd jump, he'd lose complete control of his body and fly all over the place. He had the time of his life.

I have also included pictures of Elijah playing in the foam pit. This is a true tribute to how far he's come with touching different textures. He loved being surrounded by foam! He wouldn't have thought about touching it with a 10 foot pole one year ago!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our little man...

Elijah actually slept until 8:40 this morning. For those of you who don't know his sleep history, this is worthy of an entire blog entry. He is known for some amazing things, such as lighting up an entire room of adults, having an incredible sense of humor, not listening to others tell him what he will and won't be able to do; however, a healthy sleeping pattern has not been a one of his great qualities.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just finished preparing my 2nd turkey ever (no comments, please!). Elijah was as uninterested in what I was doing as could be. I really thought he'd wonder about the turkey. I'm not sure that he's ever made the connection that a turkey that says, "gobble, gobble" is the same turkey as the turkey sausage that he eats. I was wondering how we'd handle this today, but it never came up! :)

The time between Elijah's birthday and Thanksgiving will forever be marked by the year that Elijah was born. In 2004, Thanksgiving was 3 days after he was born. That year, I was still admitted in one hospital (for nearly dying from loss of blood) and Elijah was in another hospital. We wouldn't have had a Thanksgiving meal except a woman I worked with named Renee cooked us an entire Thanksgiving spread. We sat in the ICU waiting room while I received a blood transfusion and ate an incredible Thanksgiving dinner. We are forever grateful that she gave us that gift. The amazing thing is that I haven't seen Renee in quite a while until yesterday. I ran into her at the doctor's office and was able to thank her, again, for the incredible gift.

I have always loved that we all stop our normal lives on one day a year to be grateful. A friend of mine takes this a step further...she says three things she is grateful for every night before she goes to sleep. This world would be a better place if we all did that...I am going to try it...want to join in?

Here are some pictures of things I'm thankful for...

Spending quality time together

Unconditional love

My dad taking a day off to go to the zoo with us

Elijah's infectious smile

Elijah's love of the outdoors (he's smelling a burning bush)

Cookouts with good food and great company

Elijah and Stella's friendship I'm thankful for so much more, but I have to get cooking! Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Blow out candles, again!

This was the best birthday yet! We spent the morning playing and just being together. We reminisced about what we were doing four years ago. The day of his birth brings such mixed emotions for us. Of course we cherish that day, but it wasn't necessarily a happy was quite terrifying, in fact. We feel incredibly lucky for him to be where he is.

Elijah couldn't have been cuter than he was last night at his birthday party. He was fantastic and we even avoided meltdowns from being overwhelmed. We did the typical birthday cake with candles, and after we sang "happy birthday" and he blew out his candles, he asked if we could do it again! Why not, right? So, Elijah blew out candles twice...

About half way through opening his b-day presents, he got tired of it and decided that he'd really rather play with his balloons. While the adults wanted to see him open his presents, I was secretly proud that he didn't really care about getting more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And so it begins...

As Elijah approaches his 4th birthday, we thought it would be appropriate to stop using his Caringbridge blog. Caringbridge is designed to update people on the medical condition of a family member. We feel so blessed to not need their services anymore.

This is the first year that Elijah really "gets" his birthday. He has been talking about it for weeks and he can't wait to "blow out candles" and "have a birthday party!" Today, we celebrated his birthday at school with his friends. I spent last night baking cupcakes (don't laugh) and Elijah and I went today to pick out plates, napkins, and party hats (tractor design, of course). It was so darn cute to see his friends sing happy birthday in English and Hebrew and then dig in to the cupcakes (and they were good, if I do say so myself!).

We also had our first real parent/teacher conference today. We love his school and teachers so much and it was a joy to sit and listen to how wonderful they think he is. :) They really do see his abilities instead of focusing on his disabilities, and I appreciate that so much. It's not that they ignore his struggles, but they use what he's good at to help him learn and grow. They told us that he is the happiest kid in his class...that absolutely warms my heart.

I have vowed to update this blog more than I have the other (it's been since February) part of keeping that promise is that my updates won't be long, but they'll be frequent. :)


(I had to add a picture of Elijah at Halloween...we had so much fun!)