For those of you not up on toddler lingo, that's "To infinity and beyond!" It's one of the top phrases to come out of E's mouth these days. He's usually flying Buzz Lightyear around when he says it but there have also been several characters (not just Toy Story specific!) to take flight in this household. :-)
Yes, saving those Burger King toys from the early 90's has finally proved useful! He has carried Buzz and Woody, well, to infinity and beyond, it seems! They go to church, the store, the bathroom (following me, of course)...everywhere that little boy goes, they go. Poor Buzz is showing it. His space suit is a little grayer these days.
We found a book at Lowe's the other day (yeah- Lowe's. Who would have thunk it?) that had most of the Toy Story characters tucked away neatly in the back of it (small plastic ones). It even came with a "play mat" (laminated poster of Andy's room). Oh my goodness! He has carried those tiny things around with him (some are too tiny to trust him with and have been put away) almost as much as his two big guys. It's so cute to see him setting the toys up and talking to them (who knows what he's saying) until he jumps up with one (or two) in hand and yells, "FEE-BEYO!!" LOL. Love it!
We are full into the "terrific twos." Hehehe..yeah. He's such a strong-willed child! He tempers that by being the sweetest, huggiest, "I love Mommy/Daddy-ist" little boy, though! Because he and I spend most of our days together, I miss out on the greeting he gives to Dillon when he gets home ("HI Daddy!" and runs to Dillon to be swept up in his arms). The other night, we had his aunt Misti come over and watch him while we went to dinner and ran some errands. I was the first to walk thru the door and it was so cool! I heard this, "HI Mommy!" and then he ran to me and hugged my legs (b/c I had my hands full). Hugging my legs might have been sweeter than wanting me to pick him up...it was the perfect little welcome that I needed. I LOVE THAT BOY!
Bedtime. Oh, how I long for you and loathe you. Most kids, I've heard, get to bed by 8pm and sleep until 8am. Some, it's rumored, even have to be awakened by their parents to get going in the mornings. Our kid didn't get that memo, apparently. Yes, we did get a taste of the good life a few days after the time change. But it was short-lived. He was still going to bed at the same time, but he was waking up TWO hours later. It was so freaky at first that we would end up going into his room to make sure things were ok (despite having a video monitor). Most mornings, we found that he was already awake but just not calling out for us. It was bizarre yet lovely. Oh, and super-sweet, too. One of us would go up (around 9am) and open his door and get a sweet, sleepy-faced two year old who was so happy to see us, he would simply say, "HI Mommy/Daddy!" and give us big hugs. Happy. HAPPY! Where did this child disappear to in the past week? It started with him waking up at 8:45 one morning. The next, 8:30. Dillon kept saying it wasn't going to last- that the sleeping in was a fluke. I didn't want to believe it. The next morning? 8:00. NOOOOOOO. Sigh. Today? 7:10. We're back to the way it used to be. He gets so distraught with having to go to bed. He says, "Night night, couch, Mommy," indicating he wants to sleep there with me. I'd love nothing more to snuggle with my boy, but I want him to develop independent sleep habits.
We are going to be switching pediatricians soon, not because something happened, but because we live too far away from Dr. Myint's office. Our current pediatrician (as in, the one we are switching to) is 5 minutes from our house. Yeah. With this kid, 5 minutes is GOOD! He is already proving to be a boo-boo magnet (but is such a tough kid!) that I figure the next time a doctor is needed, it's going to be something like that and NOT heart-related or illness related. It's good to have someone close by and the entire staff at that office is amazing. We just need to convince E of that!! ;-)
Heart stuff. Well, that's going well, as far as we can tell :-). We see Dr. Thomas in June. It's been almost a year since we've had his heart checked on. I can't believe we made it that far!! WOW! Please pray that things will be hunky dory and that Ethan will do well for the EKG and echocardiogram. Neither are painful but both require him to be still (and not cry too much). Yeah. I just hope it's never bad enough where he has to be sedated. He already wigs out just when we want to weigh him.
We are trying to get him out and about as much as possible. I know that his mind is like a sponge and I want him to learn, learn, learn!!! We wanted to take him to see Thomas the Train when he was in Grapevine a couple of weekends ago but it happened to be the same weekend as our heart walk (to raise $$ for CHD research) and we were too pooped. I felt bad but then realized that he'll never know what he missed out on. Still, I wanted to "make it up" to him, so we (me, Dillon, and Dillon's dad) took him to the aquarium in Fair Park this past Sunday. We rode the "train (DART rail)" and he thought that was pretty cool (sans all the stops). He was ready to get off each time the train would stop (and you don't realize just how many stops it makes until you ride with a 2 year old!). Once at the aquarium, it was hard to keep him contained. Our way of looking at the fish was definitely not his way. At all. One would think you'd start at the first tank and methodically make your way around. Well, this kid was like a pinball and he wore his daddy out!!
There were two really cool experiences we had while at the aquarium: seeing an octopus and petting stingrays. Yes, we saw sharks and albino alligators and teeny, tiny seahorses but the two things that really stood out was the creepy, red octopus and the velvety-soft stingrays. They have this exhibit next to the octopus/starfish tank that has rubber octopus tentacles hanging out so the kids (or adults!) can feel of them and pose for pictures, etc. Well, Ethan wasn't too sure about them until Daddy and I got them and pretended that we were gonna get him (tickling). After that, he was grabbing and pulling and swinging them around, happy as a clam. We saw the tank nearby and a little flash of red, so we squatted down to investigate (actually, I think E had pointed out the starfish). Well, here swooped/swished the biggest, creepiest octopus EVER! It was so neat to watch it move across the glass and make itself pretty much invisible in the darkness of the rocks. Even though the glass was made where you could really lean into it, Ethan chose to keep his distance. The stingrays were VERY cool. I admit, I was a bit freaked at first. They'll swim right up to you as long as you keep your hand still. One of the workers told me make a fist and a hoard of them flocked to it (kind of freaking me out). She said it makes them think I have food. Thanks, lady! I don't want to be taunting the very species which was the death of one Steve Irwin, the craziest crocodile hunter to ever grace this earth! But, seriously, we were assured that these guys were harmless. Ethan was content to play in the water (he'd get them out quickly if he was paying attention to the stingrays swimming up to check him out) and we kept warning him not to splash. He delighted in the fact that I fed the stingrays a little fish and a piece of shrimp. I think he was more mesmerized by the dead minnow in my hand than the creatures swimming around him. He did end up touching one. He left his hand in the water and was listening to something his Grampy was telling him and one came up and brushed against his fingers. He jumped! It was cute! All-in-all, it was a great way to spend a Sunday.
Well, blogger friends, I have written a novel. I need to update more so I don't have so much to say. Yeah, right. I always have a lot to say!!!
UPDATE on Annabelle. She got her new heart this week!!! Please pray for her as her body adjusts to living with a WHOLE HEART instead of half of one (she had HLHS) and for the family whose baby gave her life by losing his/her own.
NATHAN is home and doing well! He needs prayers for gaining weight, fluid balance, and being able to wean from his vent settings (trach). I know there's something I'm forgetting..
Please pray for all the heart babies- not just at Medical City, but around the world.
Thanks for hanging in there. I promise to do better.