Feb 5, 2013

6 Months - The Start of a Lifetime

Six months has come and gone and the most amazing transformation in our lives is still this tiny tot who is ingrained in every fiber of our family.

February 24th = Late - But who's counting? This post is a week late due to unforeseen circumstances, which is explained by the hospital pictures.

Our home has been invaded by germs, the nasty viral and bacterial type. The past few weeks have felt like a battleground and we are barely scratching through to stay healthy. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone is being hit also, they've called the flu virus a pandemic already. The worse part, is that being sick is one thing, being sick with a compromised immune system is another. One we are just learning about and learning to treat in times of ill health. A runny nose and sneezes can lead to an ER visit within 2 days with an asthma attack and full-blown illness, such as he had Influenza B, Strep Throat and breathing difficulty where they couldn't get his oxygen stats up past 87! We are hoping for a much healthier month of March as we learn how to care for our little boy and his uniqueness.

One thing I know for certain, he is one tough little cookie. He went through so many different pokes, prods, examinations and vitals in just 3 days in the hospital that it whirred my mind. If someone would come in his isolated room, he'd greet them with a happy "hi", "hi" then win them over with his dimpled smile. Of course everyone who came in (about every 30 minutes it seemed), had to listen to his heart, breathing, pulse, etc. He finally got tired of it and has learned a VERY demanding "NO" when he doesn't want you to do anything now.

Spending all that one-on-one time with him was amazing, exhausting, and bonding. We spent a lot of times in books, sorting shapes, playing cars, and cuddling. He still doesn't watch tv, which is a good thing most the time except in hospital isolation. Elmo has even fizzled and holds no appeal for him to watch. He got to take a bath in the triangle-shaped tub and had a blast, he spent at least 1 1/2 hours altogether pushing his iv cart and learning how far his iv could stretch.

He was not crazy about having to sleep in the metal crib, but there was no way we could share a bed. We were very blessed to be the only occupants of our room. One unfortunate thing was he'd get angry and throw his pacifiers at me because he didn't want in his crib. He spent at least 4 hours on my chest at one time. The only time I left was for 10 minutes, an aide came in a played while I was gone, but you'd have thought I'd gone for good the way he carried on! I could here him while IN the elevator!

One thing I just adore is feeling like I'm on Little House On The Prairie. He calls me "Ma", not mama, not mommy, just "Ma".
Earlier in February:

As I start this post, it's not at the six month mark, but it's just as important. We celebrated Zander's 2nd birthday this weekend. His birthday was on Saturday, the 2nd, but we actually celebrated on the 3rd when others could come. We had a really fun day and evening on the 2nd preparing for his party though. Waking up, I sang him "Happy Birthday" several times while I kept asking him, "How old are you?" He would answer with all fingers held high and say "do".  We spent the day in our jammies playing games, reading books and just having fun. Toward the evening it was time to make our cake icing. To my knowledge, Zander had never had the opportunity to lick the beaters of homemade icing. He was in for a treat. Tim and Richie were gone for the evening. They were at the annual "Monster Jam" in St. Louis, sitting up high, earplugs in, smelling exhaust! Boy do I envy them NOT!

Zander's cake was Elmo, of course. As he stood on a chair next to me, he watched me measure, cream, and beat all the ingredients to make the icing. He was fascinated by the hand-held mixer (I had to purchase a new one, that's how long it's been since I had made any). Next came the piste resistance, the handing over of the beater. Zander just kind of gave me a looks saying, "okay, now what do I do with it?" Good thing Carmen was there because she took the other and started devouring hers. Zander took a tentative bite, went mmmmmm, then started devouring his. Watching the look in his eyes, the smiles, the clinking of Carmen and his beaters, was priceless. Carmen had finished hers and was going to put it in the sink, but he wanted hers also so he double ate beaters for a while. He carried the beaters around the house for an hour (even though they were licked clean).

When Zander came home I took him to Chuck E. Cheese's, thinking he might enjoy the playing, I was completely wrong. Well, I believed that maybe he was ready to try it again for his birthday since he had been home several months and gotten quite acclimated to America. Well, I was 100% wrong, or maybe just hoping he'd enjoy it, or maybe he's just too little right now. Whatever the reason, he was not impressed and spent 3/4 of the time in daddy's arms or eating. Oh well, CEC has never been a love of mine and I can thank God that it doesn't seem to be his either.

We also got to spend the afternoon with our 2 youngest grandbabies, Kalya & Sophia. January 29th was also Kalya's 2nd birthday. It must be the age, because she wasn't crazy about playing either, she spent ALL her time wanting to be chased. At one point she ran into the kitchen and a worker brought her back to me. Poor Tim had Kalya & Zander at once and said the were both climbing up the  skee ball game!

My great nephew, Julian we there also, he turned 2 in October, he wasn't crazy about the place either. It seemed the only ones who truly enjoyed themselves were Richie & Brianna, who spent the time gathering tickets for the prizes.

Oh well, next year it won't be CEC! Enjoy the pictures!

Zander stacked the gel colors for the icing while I made it.

There is a mirror on the other side of the wall and he had fun sticking his tongue out at himself.

One way to kill time is playing on the harmonica.

Ahhhh! My first taste of beater icing.

Getting every last bit, as sissy Carmen showed him how.

Finger & thumb licking good!

Even sissy Carmen's fingers taste good, it helps that Carmen has her mouth open also.

Two is always better than one.

Never knew water tasted so good.

Sharing the water it more fun with two.

Carmen gave icing the cake a try, but gave up later stating it was "too hard".

Zander snuck a fingerful of icing while Carmen wasn't looking.

Zander's not too sure about cousin Trish.

Brianna holding bitty Sophia.

Zander and cousin Trish.

Little Kalya Sue scarfing down her pizza.

Big brother Seth Richie with bitty Sophia.

Zander's Elmo cake.

Cousin Julian enjoying an orange slice.

Zander blowing out the candle.

We're trying to talk Kalya into blowing out her candle, she wasn't having it.

She's just a little giggle box.

Zander and everyone are trying to coax her into blowing out her candle.

Ring around the papa while he's got his hands full.

That's one way to chase a Kalya Sue.

Aunt Evelyn and Cousin Julian.

Zander didn't want to ride the horse so Seth Richie took over.

Daddy has his hands full with 2 yr. olds.

Aunt Tina feeding Sophia while Zander wonders why he's still in the highchair.

Pretty baby Sophia.

Brianna helping Zander open one of his gifts.

Zander actually wanted Brianna to stop opening and read his card.

Elmo bath mat!

Brianna holding Zander while they dance with Chuck E.

The bottom tier of the climber is just Zander's speed.

It ended up the bottom tier were both their speed.

This game was fine until we put a coin in.

As long as it's stationary, they played.

Tuesday, February 5th....

Well today Zander had his 2 yr. check up. He has grown by leaps and bounds and the staff at his pediatrician's office knows him quite well. His doctor's office is quite large with a staff of 4 pediatricians, nurse practitioners, etc. But since Zander has been home he has had quite a few visits there and has charmed the staff and the doctor. Today's visit was a huge hour of fun. Zander knows how to press all the handicapped buttons to access the 2 walkways, he knows which door to go to for sick or well, today was thankfully well! He walks in waving both hands to the 2 receptionists saying Hi Hi! He then proceeds to the bookshelf to pick out his favorite book. When called he goes to the door waving to the new nurses, walks into the room and starts his stripping, hands me shoes, pants and then asks me for help of his shirt. He stands very proud in his diaper, patting his chest and laughing (he learned this from Richie). He swaggers, not walks, out to the scale, hops on and is a whopping 29 lbs! No wonder my arms ache as they do lately. Two weeks ago he was 27 lbs. That's about the time his daddy introduced chocolate milk, we know where that's going!

He goes through all the motions of weight, height, temperature, head measuring, say this, do that and then Dr. Rezabek comes in. He is such an amazing doctor. All the kids just love him. He picks Zander up and right away starts singing to him. Zander is mesmerized and just lays there and watches and listens the entire examination. He came out with flying colors in the 75% for height & 63% for weight, he is doing wonderful. We could've told you that though : )

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