Not sure if I'll get to this soon or not, but this all happened yesterday. I got some pics on facebook real quick to share with Eli's friends (or Eli's friends' moms). And I'll try do a over-the-top detail post to go with the over-the-top-ness that it was... soon?!
Eli's turning four in a week. Just like that. It hasn't gone by in a blink like they say sometimes. Something like the days are long but the years are fast. Guess that rings true for us.
This kid is still such a joy. He is an encourager, usually ready with a high five or way to go. Oh that his words always speak life to others!
He's affectionate towards Annalee. Often too much so, smooshing her and getting in her way. She takes it in stride. They like to be together, play together. Currently an Eli favorite is to play doggie. He's Sparky, an affectionate, crazy dog. And he named his sister Lucy, a smaller not-as-into-this-game, dog. May they always be close.
Eli is great with directions, surprisingly he has some innate directional ability. If he's been somewhere before, he will somewhat remember how we got there or what we passed. Which means he's really has a fantastic memory. It's superb. We ate at Cracker Barrel a few weeks ago. He asked us why we didn't sit on the other side, where we ate ten months prior. These stories happen often. "Hey! 'member when..."
This kid... oh how he enjoys making up gobbily-goofy words and songs and jams. He will be fun and goofy and wacky more often than not. He also enjoys potty words (poop, poopy diaper, butt, etc). Oi.
In some things, he likes to do it himself rather than wait for you to show him. So he's not very patient. But he is independent. Not sure if those are traits of him or his age!
But overall, I'd say he doesn't want to try very hard. We will fight laziness in him. If he doesn't want to do something (put on his shirt), he'd rather we just do it for him. If he doesn't want to practice writing, he will just draw a circle and move to something else. Perhaps he errors on being lazy, not supremely motivated or perhaps he's the kind of guy that wants to observe and do something once he's mastered it.
Eli is inquisitive, curious about the world around him, but still sheltered and unattached to any pain and suffering. I love his innocence and am so glad for it.
He is social but still a bit shy in big groups or unknown surroundings. If I'm there and he is uncomfortable, he'll cling. But once he's feeling it, he's off doing his own thing.
He still likes the color red. And still loves having books read to him. Favorite books currently are superhero books. I anticipate the day when he reads himself - oh that his love of books would continue and he'd be like Daddy!
He favorite foods are spaghetti and tacos. He would eat only those two things if he could. Also carbs and fruit. He loves sweets but doesn't get them too often so when he does, he gets wacky!
Eli, oh son. Why must he scream so? If he doesn't get his way and if he is hungry (or over tired), he will scream so very loud. Or growl. His anger is definitely there. Uff-da. It's ugly. I have learned this and we are trying to prevent the hangry from happening too often.
He can dress himself mostly but has issues with his shirt or sweatshirts. He's a fan of character socks and undies. And wearing the color red.
I was sick of hearing the ABC prayer before meals so I taught him the Johnny Appleseed prayer and now that's all he wants to pray before meals. Before bed, when I put him to bed, I try get him to think of something to thank God for. It's usually Annawee.
He likes playing anything with Greg. Bat and ball are always a standby favorite. He also likes play dough, helping us cook, legos, making up stories, and musical instruments (especially an annoying flute).
His first preschool friend is Deker. He also enjoys time with Riley at daycare, and Elsa. He is quite loyal. We haven't gotten as close to friends here yet, it takes time. And I feel that for him, knowing he is social and needs community, too. We'll get there. For now, we are glad for the interaction at daycare, preschool and Sunday school.
Eli can say big words. He talks great for his age. He mostly has trouble with the "l" sound coming out more like a "y"... so now we call it "Yowes" instead of Lowes. He also talks crazy loud. His normal talking voice is definitely able to be heard.
He happened to come in just now, as I'm typing this up. I'm forcing him to have rest time, even though he doesn't want to. But thankfully he will play by himself at least for a time. He was telling me about his clock. Then I told him I was writing about him and I asked him what I should say about him. His reply:
"Well, um, I'm a nice boy. And and I'm a nice brother. And I, and I, like friends. I like friends to sleep over at my house. And I like friends."
There you have it. Good thing his cousin is coming for a sleepover this weekend.
What a great kid.
PS - I went (or shall I say am going) way overboard for another birthday party. Superheros. I love planning parties for these kiddos and I hope they love having them as it doesn't look like I'll ever stop.
Again, recording this all so I can remember how terrible sickness is and how great it is when we are healthy and really, praise God for the miracle of making it through! Annalee was better later Friday and back to normal Saturday, whew!
However, our little boy got this sickness worse than sister. I didn't think that was possible. I didn't think it was possible one could throw up for two days. He started at 1pm on Friday, every hour or 30 minutes even, through the night and to the next day. It was a looong night for Mom and Dad. Saturday he slowed down to every few hours. And thankfully he threw up late that night but not again until Sunday morning. He was up through the night drinking sips of Gatorade every now and again, but at least we slept more! He started the fever sometime Saturday but we didn't give him Advil until Sunday because he wouldn't have kept it down. Sunday he started very slight diarrhea and that has continued on today.
I almost brought him to the doctor a few times, so worried about dehydration. If he would have puked through two nights, there would have been an ER visit. He did pee around the eight-hour mark usually so I knew he was still ok. But there were times...
He woke up this morning (slept mostly through the night - yippee!) and whispered "I'm so... so wobly. I can't walk" so the poor kid is weak. He's also a tad dramatic. No idea where he gets that from.
I'm home with him again today and he's sluggishly watching TV. Still barely eating, afraid of pooping or puking, and a slight fever. BUT he is getting better. Soon he will be off the couch, talking normal, playing legos, eating tacos, spaghetti, fruit, yogurt, and carbs... yes, he will be back to full-strength Eli soon. Last week Greg and I couldn't believe how loud he talks and now, I'm looking forward to when I have to tell him to bring it down a notch.
A little over an hour ago, I was at my desk. Then a "Eli threw up" phone call happened. Another one bit the dust. So much for keeping it to Annalee (who is better and on her way to normal) UPDATE: NEVERMIND. Annalee started fevering again late this afternoon, a whiny, sad mess she is again (but no puking).
Hopefully Eli doesn't get it as bad as her! He did have sugary birthday treats at preschool today so perhaps that's all?!
Not likely. UPDATE: No, he's definitely got the bug. He has puked his little guts out and it's so terrible.
The kid is different though. He has asked for crackers and cheese about one minute after puking. Weird. UPDATE: Yep, he puked those up. Lesson learned.
At least the weather is nice! UPDATE: I sure wish we could have been out enjoying it!
Is that going to show up on this post? Who knows. But I find it sad and tad funny I had use for the poop emoticon today.
Poor little 1% (for height, still) is sick with a gastero whatever (stomach bug). For some TMI: She threw up hard yesterday, got a fever that hasn't left, had a few freaky spasms, stopped puking, then diaherra arrived. This morning she was crazy lethargic. Wouldn't talk or move. We went to the walk-in and besides her sodium electrolytes, her levels were still normal. Gatorade, thank you. She's running around a 103 fever so she's messed up still. Our daycare lady was out for four or so days with this. Yikes.
She's so tiny, it makes it harder than when Eli was ever sick (though he never puked like she did). Thank God she's 18 months old and not a newborn. Uffda.
I'm writing to remember this. I hate sickness and how it overtakes all, it's worrisome and bothersome and other-somes. Always a chance to remind us we were not made to live forever. Our bodies are not perfect this side of heaven. Clearly. And it makes me loosen my grip on these two, hard as that is for this mama. Eli has been asking harder questions with Maelee's birthday here and I do recall saying the words "I never want to see your tombstone". Lord let it be so for both these two.
Both kiddos had we'll check-ups on Monday. Ironic. Percentage wise, Eli's smack in the middle for normal height, 70-something % weight. Annalee was in the 1% again for height but 30-something for weight and 70-something for head! Normal growth from before. Both checked up fine!
Here's to hoping she gets better, sleeps tonight and that he (or us, or you) don't get it!!!
I remember the feeling of not wanting to wake up. I have never been a morning person. I will always choose to keep sleeping in my comfortable bed, sweet slumber. But this time it was much more severe. It trumps all the other times I wanted to keep sleeping but had to wake up. Even those times in my basement room in high school in the middle of winter, you never want to leave your warm bed for the bitter cold morning to go to school. But the feeling of not wanting to wake up to reality has never been more shocking than after Maelee died.
Family was there, I know they did that for me. Pretty sure they lifted me out of bed. Much of the first days are a blur. I remember how my sister processed grief by becoming super nurse. She was the one that remembered when I needed to take pills. I remember her with my mom and mother-in-law all standing around with bandages trying to wrap my boobs. I was a limp being, barely able to do basic tasks (mostly because I had absolutely no desire to). That feeling of shock, disappointment, and lack of desire for living, oh how could anyone live that for too long? It was terrible. And by God's grace, using our family and friends, I was able to put one foot in front of another and eventually go to sleep without Ambien and wake up without the feeling of dread overtaking all else.
Crazy how those basic instincts go away during tragedy. I had no desire to eat. I couldn't have made a meal if I tried. But my mothers would make me sandwiches with chips and a cold Pepsi and sit me out on our patio furniture in the sunshine and somehow I ate. I was so fragile and I'm so grateful for everyone being so gentle with me. I have met baby loss moms that didn't want people to treat them differently but heavens to betsy, I would haven't made it if that were the case! My family thinks I'm high maintenance anyway (whatevs), but those days after Maelee died I must have been code crazy. Ready to crack at the slightest! Let's be honest, I was already cracked. We were just preventing an all out crumble.
But praise be, I survived the first weeks of giving birth to six pounds, eight ounces but not getting to try to nurse or change diapers or learn all that you do actually bringing that baby home. Instead of learning all about newborn smells and snuggles and pure exhaustion, I was learning about grief and a new normal and what to do when God's will is clearly not my will.
And every year we will celebrate her birthday, the short time we held her. Two days after she died one Easter Sunday, we celebrate April 6 and everything we went through. Because I never want to forget all that God chose us to learn instead of drinking in newborn snuggles.