I am having a bit of a writer’s block as I sit here, ready to type away. Our weeks have morphed into very predictable and mundane ones with not a lot of new and exciting information to share! We still spend our days hopping through appointments (6 this week). Malachi has had a great week, so I will share with you some of our tiny successes over the past few days.
Malachi has several different therapies, and one of those is “feeding” therapy. We work on trying to introduce new textures and foods with the goal being to get Malachi to eat table foods one day. In the last month Malachi has started to understand the concept of daddy and mommy sitting down and eating- and he wants some of whatever we have. Well, at least his mind is telling him he wants some. In reality, his system panics when we put anything that isn’t pureed in his mouth. Sometimes doing so will spark a seizure while other times it induces vomiting, so we aren’t always eager to share.
Previously when we have introduced new tastes it has not gone well, but with his increased interest we have been trying to step out of our comfort zone. So this week at feeding therapy I decided to pull out the “big guns” and give him some peanut butter. As you can imagine, it was a workout for his little mouth. We put a dab in and watched in anticipation to see what would happen. He moved that tongue like a champ and when it was gone he opened his mouth wide for more! I couldn’t believe it!
After several small spoon fulls I put the lid back on and switched gears to working on his bottle feeds with the therapist. I asked Malachi “Do you want some ba-ba (bottle)?” and Malachi moved his little lips into a frown! Thinking it was a fluke, I asked him again and his little lips again turned downward. So I asked him “Would you rather have more bite bites?” and his mouth grew wide with a grin as he opened his mouth wide for some more peanut butter. Of course I immediately rewarded his communication with peanut butter, but still was wondering if I was reading into things. I repeated my questions and when I got the same responses from Malachi time and time again I realized two things: 1) He most definitely was communicating his likes and dislikes (for the first time EVER) and 2) that boy loves his Peter Pan peanut butter.
After his success with the complicated gooey stuff we have started throwing caution to the wind and introducing a variety of tastes. He is absolutely loving trying new things and we are one step closer to spoon feeds! He tends to go for the sweet stuff- cupcake icing, cream cheese, yogurt. We even tried a sucker for the first time, and I took a video to share with you:
Maybe it is due to all the sugar we have been feeding him, but Malachi has been one wild man this week. In fact, he was so fired up with excitement this week that when I picked him up onto my shoulder he whipped around and bit my ear lobe! I wish you could have seen the look on his face when he realized what he did…it was a mix of pride and horror as his eyes read “I have never done THAT before!” I was very stern with him and made sure he knew not to do it again, but that made him giggle so I don’t know that my lecture was successful.
When Malachi gets very excited he is incredibly difficult to hold onto. He can engage his “high tone” and actually hold himself up independently but only for a few seconds before he collapses into a heap. The larger he gets the more difficult he is to hold onto, but it truly is fun to see him so happy. Here is a video of his reaction to one of his favorite cartoon theme songs:
This week our church took pictures for the new directory and I had so much fun dressing Malachi up in his church clothes! I snapped a picture for you, but the one the photographer took was much more successful. It only took about 25 minutes to snap a good one haha. Jake and I were both sweating through our clothes by the time we were through.
Malachi has not been sleeping well lately so I have been extra tired and doing extra silly things. For example, when I go to the grocery I push Malachi in his wheelchair while pulling a cart behind me with my other hand. It sounds complicated, but you really get used to the process and learn to navigate corners. It is extremely rare for me to go into a store without Malachi and the “cart caboose” process, so I was overjoyed when Jake sat in the car with Malachi and let me run in alone one evening! As I pushed the cart down an aisle, I moved to the left to avoid oncoming cart traffic and caught myself telling the woman “excuse us”…only to realize there was no “us”. Just me. A single lady with a grocery cart. I laughed to myself as I wonder what was swirling around her mind.
If this were the only occurrence of this that would be one thing…but unfortunately this tends to happen every time I am somewhere without Malachi. It is such a habit for me to talk him through the process of whatever task we are doing. In fact, during our trip to Ohio I was shopping solo and pushed my cart over a door frame to leave. Without thinking, I leaned down toward the cart and said “bump bump” to warn it of our upcoming speed bumps. When I realized that I had just conversed with an empty grocery cart and NOT my son I grew hot with embarrassment. And then I laughed until I cried. They are probably still talking about that crazy lady who talks to carts, warning them of bumps in the path and then laughs until she cries.
Sleep deprivation over extended times can do some crazy things to your psyche haha.
God has been so good to our family. I have watched as time and time again pieces of a puzzle start to meld into their places and I get glimpses of the big picture. It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to deny that God is working in our lives. It is simply not possible. When I look at the blessings we have been given- both monetarily and in things that money can’t buy- I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
As we continue to wander through this “building” we call life, it is so fun to see which doors God will open next for our family. It is that hope of something greater that keeps me going. This week I am finding it easy to live the life of contentment that we are called to live.
It is always so shocking and encouraging to me to hear that people still actively pray for Malachi. I think about Moses during battle when he realized that when he raised his arms, the Israelites succeeded, but when he lowered his arms they began to lose the battle. At one point, weary with exhaustion, his arms began to lower. It was then that his brother and another trusted friend came and held up Moses’ arms for him, when he could no longer bear the pain.
There have been so many times over the last 3.5 years that my arms have grown so heavy with burdens that we have had to hold up to God. And in those weak moments, your prayers helped lift my arms back heavenward. You have stepped in when I couldn’t bear the burden alone, and I am so blessed to know that you are ready and willing to come to our aide. Thank you for continuing to not only PRAY but also BELIEVE in miracles for Malachi’s life.
We love you dearly.
Jake, Leah, and Malachi