Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Eli conversation

Eli: "daddy, daddy, daddy"
Melissa: "Hi Eli."
Eli: "Where's Daddy?"
Melissa: "He's outside watering the plants."
Eli: "Let's find him."
Melissa carries Eli to the front door window.
Melissa: "Do you see him."
Eli: "No."
Melissa carries Eli to the window in the next room.
Melissa: "Do you see him."
Eli: "There he is."
Melissa takes Eli out the front door. He sits on the front porch. David is half way down the front yard, pulling the water hose. Melissa's in the house watching Eli through the front door window.
Eli: yelling "Daddy, I want to help you. I want to help you, daddy. Daddy, I want to help you. I want to help you, daddy."
Melissa yells through a cracked door, "David, Eli wants to help you."
Eli: "Close the door. I will tell him."
Eli: yelling "Daddy, I want to help you." Sly look back to make sure the door is still shut. "Daddy, I want to help you."
And, he helps!

Great day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


My circle feet boy has a diagnosis of bronchitis. He had a 103 temperature on Thursday evening after spending the day at the cleft clinic. Dad reports he was miserable all day, but they made it through with Grandma Bobbie's help. He's on meds and was already feeling better yesterday evening. It's rest and relaxation in the forecast for Eli although I'm sure he'll ask to go outside, upstairs and play in the water...we'll likely oblige.

Continue to pray for Eli's complete health to come quickly so he is prepared for surgery in July. It's tough on us when we've had a surgery scheduled for 6 months to have to reschedule...these docs are extremely busy.

I love you all,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Circle Feet

Elijah loved the river. We'll post pictures soon.

Another 3-year-old little boy asked me about Eli's "circle feet." He commented that he didn't have circle feet himself and before I could help myself I had said "too bad for you." Perhaps horrible of me, I know. But the 3-year-old is family and I figure I'm forgiven for the transgression. Later, I tried to convince myself that calling what is at the end of Eli's leg "circle feet" just might work.

Eli made it onto the growth chart. He is in the .01 percentile. It probably means he is among the lightest of 3 year old children, but he's never been on the chart before. Honestly, I'd convinced myself I didn't really care about that, but being on the chart seems like a step forward. I remember when he was born and the months ticked by and they showed me the chart and said "uh...Eli's down here some where." Geez, thanks for the boost of hope there.

Five weeks to Elijah's next surgery. Another big one. Really big.

I see visions of Elijah running, eating and asking for more...lots more... and speaking clearly for all to hear and understand. Elijah's first steps will inspire me... and the world.

Pray for Elijah's health in these weeks leading up to his leg straightening surgery. Pray that when Eli visits the cleft palate team in OKC later this week that if there is additional intervention they can do for his speech that it be identified and a plan developed. Pray for safe travels as Eli and David go to OKC and Sophia and family travel home from the river later this week. Pray that Elijah continues to improve his finger/thumb pinch on his left hand to perfection.

Thank you for praying.

I love you all!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Elijah Swims!

No words. Just... magnificent.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

16 Steps To Victory

Dad reporting in, late at night (11:27 p.m.):

Not a creature was stirring, until from the baby monitor there arose such a clatter, Elijah sitting up in his crib talking to himself at the top of his lungs. Seriously, a conversation complete with questions, answers, exclamations and thoughtful responses (i.e. "Hmm! Yeah!") I just had to get him out of bed and play with him, and also give him some more to eat.

On the way upstairs, he asked me to put him on the floor of the foyer. Before I knew what was happening, he had climbed the first three steps of the flight leading to our second floor. These first steps curve and each have about twice the surface area of the other steps, so when he got to the first proper stair, I thought he might slow down or ask me to pick him up. Instead, he bore down on the step and said, "I'm climbing, Daddy!"

And climb he did. One step, then the next, and although I had a hand hovering behind him the whole way, I never once had to use it to catch or steady him. The process went like this: 1) He would swing his left leg onto the step, 2) reach up TWO steps ahead with his right hand, 3) pull forward with the hand while he lifted with the foot, and 4) lift his entire body with the remaining right foot and left hand. Then, 5) once his whole body was on the step, resting forward on his elbows, he would carefully scoot his bottom underneath his torso, because HE KNOWS he can't sit up until he has cleared the entire step. And my friends, he did that 16 times, one after the other, never slowing down. The whole climb only took about five or six minutes.

About halfway through his quest, he needed to take a little breather. Instinctively, I said, "Don't give up, Eli!" And he responded with, "Don't give up, Daddy!" He kept repeating this until, inevitably, he reached the balcony and demanded to know where his stuffed Clifford doll was. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, cheer or just stand there speechless. I'm still swimming in a little hazy cloud of Impressed.

Now we're going to watch "Clifford's Big Movie," which Elijah has MEMORIZED from beginning to end. He finishes every sentence, he sings the songs, and whenever the characters act startled by the Big Red Dog, Elijah always participates. "OH WOW!" he shouts then throws up his hands, as though it's the first time he's ever seen Clifford hop out of the trees.

It's nights like this I remember: For all our efforts to make life easier for Eli, for all our work and planning to provide him with joy and happiness and a loving home, it is he who has brought joy to our home; it is Eli who has improved our quality of life. And as for you, Eli's prayer for you tonight is this... "Don't give up!"