See Christian and Lola's ISR video!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

She speaks Christian.

We had Christian's IEP meeting yesterday. First it was a meeting to discuss Christian's readiness for preschool, then it turned into an IEP meeting (and, yes, we just had one in June), but then it morphed into an IEP addendum.

Without getting into the fascinating details, the IEP basically puts in writing what the school will do to provide an educational environment for Christian and meet all of his needs.

I hear stories about these meetings, by the way. Bad stories. Headache inducing stories. So there is always a degree of nervousness and dread like someone is going to jump out from behind the wall and scream, "Boo! No school for you!"

That didn't happen. It was actually a really good and productive meeting. I made a point of continuing to encourage myself to be open minded. I didn't want to seem defensive or jaded because Christian's in preschool for God's sake. I'm not sure I've earned the right to be defensive or jaded yet and, no, my friends' and friends of friends' stories don't count.

Anyway, Tuesday morning we had the opportunity to tour the other preschool class. It had a lot more students, but it was in the morning and not in the afternoon. It was loud and boisterous and circle time was all the rage. Christian got to sit in and be included in circle time and there was a moment where I moved across the room so I could see his body and his face - since that's how he speaks - and I was taken a back because he blended in with the rest of the little busy bodies that were his age. For a second he looked like a normal little boy just going to preschool. I'm pretty sure my earth moved a little.

Enough about Mama's proud moment, Christian did great! He was attentive, I caught him looking toward the singing and music, and the loud, crazy chaos of a preschool classroom didn't shake him in the least!

After he completed circle time he went back to his other classroom. I left to run some errands and came back to find him being snuggled by his favorite aide. She said after circle time and more therapy, including paying attention with the vision therapist for forty-five minutes straight, he looked like he needed to be held. She now knows him well.

And after visiting all of the classrooms...again...and thinking about everything and every choice it was apparent he needs both - preschool and downtime.

His therapists, teacher, principal, and vice principal of the school all attended his meeting. Everyone had amazingly wonderful things to say about my boy, including that he was a different child then what was written on paper in the initial assessment reports. The PT and OT both concurred that he's made really great progress, specifically after the VNS was implanted (very interesting!).

My main focus was to keep him in the school he's in now. It was not important that he be going to school with his neighborhood peers. What is important to me is that he continues at his current school with his current therapists and his current amount of therapy. And that is what will happen. We also added that he needs a full time aide at all times no matter what classroom he is in. Seems like that would be a no brainer but I guess we had to prove he needed it? I don't know. But he has one now. I'd love it if he could have the aide that he usually has because she's gotten to know him and care for him so well. But I'm not sure that will happen. :-(

The biggest change will be that he will be doing both programs. This means that he will spend some time in the preschool with the preschool kids and some time in his current class all with the goal that he will eventually make the transition to the preschool full time. He kind of has a custom program of sorts, which is appropriate because Christian is a custom kind of boy.

At this point I'm content in knowing that this group of teachers, therapists, and staff are very dedicated to Christian and his education. I truly believe that all of them care about him and they've done a great job at finding a way to provide Christian with what he needs. We are very blessed to have this team.

Favorite part of the meeting was when the OT was talking about Christian in circle time. She said he was attentive and really listened with his body. Then she said, "Well he wasn't whooping and hollering but...wait a second, he WAS whooping and hollering in the way that he knows how!"

Ahhh, she speaks Christian.
Monday, September 26, 2011

VNS Scars and Diagram

This VNS business works kind of like medication. It has to be increased to "therapeutic levels" just like medication. We went for our second visit to increase, but I had done some research on the device and found out you can increase the frequency and the strength independently or together.  Right now Christian's VNS has been increased once and it goes off every five minutes.

Because of the nature of Christian's seizures - they're about 1-3 seconds long and happen frequently (as in myocolonic seizures) throughout the day, if you blink you might miss it) - I suggested to the doctor that maybe we could try increasing the frequency instead of the strength this visit.

The doctor, who's an epileptologist here in our city, was in total agreement. So we went for frequency instead of strength this time and now it goes off every three minutes. We'll go back in two months to do another increase, if needed.

I haven't seen any visible differences with the jerks that have wowed me yet, however, I have seen some notable cognitive improvements and he seems way less irritable. I don't know if the two are related but I'm thankful for positive changes in any package they come in! Can I get an amen?!

So I promised to post a picture of what an "increase" looks like...

A lot of beep-o-bop-o-beep and blinking lights and it's done. Space-agey, huh.
(And, please notice the fabulous sitting position I have him in. Second thought, don't notice it. Look away and just know it only lasted for a minute.)

For those who like scars, Christian's got his own collection of them.

The main scar four weeks post surgery. His VNS lies right underneath and you can feel it. It's like a little police badge under his skin.

This is a picture of all of his upper hemisphere scars.

And here is the same picture with a diagram of Christian's VNS scars. Please excuse the 1st grade level handwriting by yours truly, courtesy of the Paint program. Keepin' it real.

You'll see where I labeled a "wire" that connects from the VNS device up to the vagal nerve. You can slightly see it as it resembles a strong vein in his neck.

I have to say, though, that I am loving this time right now with Christian. He hasn't been as upset as he used to be with the nonstop evening-time crying. He's been really alert and aware and I'm loving it. He's also been vocally communicating more without crying, which is awesome. I was holding him on my lap the other day and I looked down and noticed there was a little boy sitting on my lap instead of a baby or even a toddler.

Know what else I love? When I go up to him and say his name and he looks over to me. Or when I come to pick him up at school and he hears my voice and he looks for me.

I caught this listening to mom's voice phenomenon here.

Loving this.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Preschool shopping again?

It seems we've found ourselves on the preschool merry-go-round again.

But it will be a short ride, I'm thinking. Not preschool, that's sticking around for sure. But the merry-go-round, which is my metaphor for the decision making process.

I love what Christian is doing at his new school. He's responding really well and everyone has gotten to know him and his therapists have a vision for him and goals they want him to (and believe he will) achieve.

Two weeks ago he was able to visit the other preschool classroom. The OT said he did really well and was very attentive. One of the reasons he's in the class he is in right now is because it is a little quieter, and we weren't sure he'd tolerate all the yelling and carrying on of little preschoolers. The traditional preschool program is still a special needs program, but the needs of the children range from Downs Syndrome to speech delays.

Regardless of the various environments we can consider, the goal is to get Christian into the traditional special needs preschool. And he did great with his visits to the regular preschool class last week, which tells us that it might be something he's ready for. His OT at school feels he's ready and as long as he's comfortable and safe, I'm game.

Well, apparently, he wasn't supposed to double dip unless he has certain paperwork or some kind of clearance to be in those specific classrooms. So we're considering reworking the EIP and changing classrooms.

This decision bought me another trip to see the preschool we checked out at the end of last year that we decided not to send Christian to. We visited yesterday.

It was different this time. There were only four children (although the number of students will increase throughout the year as children turn three and qualify for preschool). A little girl, upon walking in, walked right up to Christian in his chair and planted a big kiss on his cheek. Christian got to finger paint and participate in music class. Lola came, too, and was adament about pushing her baby around in a toy shopping cart.

The teacher was very sweet and wanted to learn all about Christian. She wanted to hold him and find out how he was comfortable. She tried to help him paint but he really wasn't positioned correctly so it was difficult for him to enjoy. She really did try hard, bless her heart, but she didn't know Christian and I'm definitely not faulting her for that. If we should decide to send Christian there, she would have to find out how he likes to be positioned. So I had to let go and let her try and figure it out. I walked her through it and gave her pointers and showed her, but I had to be hands off when I what I really wanted to do was scoop him right up and never let him go!

There are so many pro's and con's to each program and each school. I'm still sitting with this and I have yet to sit in on the preschool program at the school he is already attending. (Remember he's in a different classroom.)

One of the pro's to attending the school next to us is that it's a block away. It only has four children, but has four aides and a teacher. Plenty of attention. Although, as I mentioned, that will change as the year goes by.

The school he is at now is about twenty minutes away so it's kind of a con but we're used to it. It's way more handicap accessible (pro). And I feel we have a momentum going with his therapists and their plans for him. That's definitely a pro. Starting over at another school is kind of a con.

But the deal breaker is that they only offer afternoons for the three year old class at the school close to us. Christian is at his very best in the morning. You could even see it when we visited the other preschool in the afternoon. He was just over it by then. He is a morning person and he really needs a morning program.

I'm still processing the information and processing it, even the decision to move classrooms whether we stay at the school or not.

So the IEP meeting is Wednesday. I'm trying to be as open as I can to all possibilities.

Off to keep tabs on my pro/con list!
Monday, September 19, 2011

MyTeam TRIUMPH: Part 2

tri·umph [trahy-uhmf, -uhmf]
1. the act, fact, or condition of being victorious or triumphant; victory; conquest.

2. a significant success or noteworthy achievement; instance or occasion of victory.

3. exultation resulting from victory; joy over success.

...that about sums it up.

A few months ago when I learned about Rick and Dick Hoyt and MyTeam Triumph, all I had to do was watch the video and I was immediately inspired. When I decided to participate with our family and with Christian as a "Captain," I didn't quite know what I was getting us into. And my family, poor things, didn't really have a choice in the matter, but they were great sports about it!

As the race drew near, I still didn't quite understand it. In theory, yeah, that sounds really great and totally ambitious, but I had never done a 5K before, ever. I was a little intimidated.

Despite my intimidation, something kept pulling at me. I was drawn to the symbolism of what this race meant for my family running together. And not only together, but pushing along Christian, as well. He was going to participate in a race on his terms. And we were going to make that happen for him.

It all became real when we got our red MyTeam Triumph shirts and paper squares with numbers on them to pin to our shirts, you know, like real runners do. Even Christian got one!

We got up at 4:30 in the morning, tattooed with MyTeam Triumph emblems, wearing red, and somewhat ready to go. The race would start at 6:30AM.

We arrived on time and fitted Christian in his jogging stroller. Lola was going to ride along, too, in our other stroller. We also met two other "angels" that would be running with us, in case we needed a break from pushing Christian. When the time came, we headed toward the start line and gathered there - our sea of red - for the start of the race. The National Anthem was belted out over a beautiful, early fall, Tucson morning - the reason why we live here.

And we were off.

You know my plan was to just have fun. My plan was to run as much as I could, but to feel comfortable in the decision to walk if need be. But, surprisingly, we ran most of the way! I attribute that, in part, to our angels. One of them a particularly excellent motivator. I called her the Aerobics Instructor - you know, the kind that keeps saying, "Ten more! Ten more!" and it's really like 40 more? That was her. But she kept us going and it worked and she was way too jolly for 6:30 in the morning. Fun Fact: She actually turned out to be the daughter of Dr. Peters, the cranial sacral doctor we used to visit.

My one worry was that Christian would get upset mid-race and we'd have to stop. But he was a trooper and he motivated us to keep going. He tends to do that.

There were parts when Gabe needed to walk to rest his ankle and we walked with him and helped him catch up again. I needed to rest and Gabe saw me slow down so he slowed to wait for me. Manny kept pushing Christian. The "angels" were there to take over, but Manny wouldn't let him go. He wanted to push him all the way through. We got there as a team. As a family.

Toward the end of the race we had to run through a bumpy, grassy field. That was tough and we had to slow down because it shook Christian so much he voiced his complaints. But the finish line was only yards away at that point.

Then we heard the cheers.

We reached the pavement again and were met with people cheering and holding up signs in support of Christian and his friends. Typing this makes my eyes water because I can't describe what it felt like to run toward the finish line. I don't remember being tired or winded or needing to rest, as I'm sure I was all of those things. I just remember cheering.

Then I remember Manny saying, "Ready?"

I got goosebumps.

And we all crossed the finish line together.


After we crossed the finish line, we were all "belled" by Ben's Bells. Each one of us got a special bell and Christian and his friends got an extra special bell for inspiring us all to finish. Friends hugged us even though we were all drenched in sweat. Then we watched more friends crossing the finish line in their own triumphant moment.

We finished in forty minutes - five less than I originally predicted.

While I was running, I thought about what this all meant. It wasn't just keeping pace, the sound of my shoes hitting the ground, pushing Lola in front of me, Gabe right next to me and Manny ahead of me pushing Christian.

I started to think about our journey with Christian up to this point and how it eerily resembled this race. The beginning of the race started out fast paced and bumpy. It was a little messy and we had to figure out where exactly the path led us. There were parts of the race that were smooth and effortless just as there were areas that were inclined. Those were the tough parts. Those were the parts we had to dig deep inside and push through.

Toward the end we ran over bumpy terrain that was so tough to jog over, we had to slow down and walk to get through it. But just around the bend we heard cheering. And much like our journey with Christian, and anyone's journey in all walks of life, for that matter, we had to keep going, keep forging ahead. Sometimes it will be hard and difficult and you'll want to stop. But if you keep going the rewards will give you goosebumps. You'll cross the finish line and even get on the other side of it.
I promise you. It will feel amazing. And you will be triumphant.


All of our bells.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

MyTeam TRIUMPH: Part 1

There was a sea of red early Saturday morning and we were part of it. It was pretty amazing, actually, and I have a lot to say about it. So much so that it deserves two posts.

Tonight I'm posting in pictures. But, first, I have some thank you's I need to give.


Jeff Singleton
Jennifer Ochs
Barbara and Robert Bolton (Gramma and Robert!)
Barry Meekin (Dad!)
Christine Jeschor
Cynthia Cooper
Jen Hodder
Jenny Fischer
Robin Chlad (Mom!)
Peter and Peg Jorgensen

Thank you so much for helping us reach our goal! It was an AMAZING experience. And your donations helped Christian and our family, and other families in the future experience that awesome feeling of crossing the finish line.


Steve and Denise King.

Thank you for all of your hard work in bringing MyTeam Triumph to Tucson and making it available to us. Your efforts were evident and appreciated beyond words. Thank you for your diligence and the passion you've shown toward this race and to our kids. And, most of all, thank you for including us.

And now for a few pictures...

It's early, Mom!

Lola's not afraid of 5:45AM!

The beginnings of our Sea of Red at the start line of the race.

After the race. The whole fam.

You can't tell by this picture, but despite his best effort not to enjoy a 6:30AM 5K run, Gabe really did enjoy himself. But more on that later. He just has a policy about not smiling in pictures. Maybe that's where Christian learned it from. 

Everyone got a Ben's Bell after crossing the finish line.


A classroom of kids made these signs for Christian and his buddies to help cheer everyone on as we crossed the finish line!

Christian's fantastic OT was even in the race running with one of Christian's friends, Mason.

As you can see, by this time he was done!

Photo courtesy of Ellen Duperret

I have so much more to say about this whole experience and I can't wait to write about it in the next post. I just really hope I do it justice.

More to come...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Preschool, VNS Update, and Speech Therapy Newbie

I was all set to tell you all about the VNS and where we are with that three weeks from surgery. I wanted to include pictures of his scars (which have healed beautifully, by the way) and I also wanted to include pictures of what would have been his appointment tomorrow. This is the appointment we have with a neurologist so they can increase the power of the VNS. We're supposed to do this every two weeks until we are comfortable with the level. It's a really cool appointment and makes me feel like Christian is all space-agey with all the beep-beep-bop-boop-beep's as they reprogram the device.

But, alas, the doctor is sick. So we have to wait until next Friday to increase. Other than that, as far as the VNS is concerned, there isn't really anything to report. I haven't yet seen a reduction in jerks or seizure activity. In fact, I think I've seen more, which could be because this seems to be how Christian reacts to anything new. I'm willing to give it some time, though.

As far as everything else goes with Christian, he's doing pretty well! He returned to school and because of teacher conferences this week he went to school three days in a row. Today he didn't go to school but he was pretty whiney all day long and I couldn't figure it out. During therapy he settled down and paid some attention to what we were doing with him. It was then that I figured that he's so used to going to school and all the action that goes down there that he's probably bored with his ol' mom. After speech therapy he went right back to being whiney again.

Speaking of speech therapy, in addition to all of the therapy he gets at school, we have a new speech therapist! And she brings new ideas to the table! Yay for new ideas! In order to work him up to a possible communication device in the future, she worked with Christian on choices. She held up pictures of Lola, Gabe, and I (we couldn't find a big enough picture of Daddy) and then she would hold two pictures side by side and ask Christian to look at one of them. Christian did pretty well for his first time and actually participated in the activity. It's easier for him to process 2D images, it seems, so this activity wasn't too difficult for him. We also tried it with food choices. So we offered him choices between a lime, a pear, and water. He wasn't as definite with his visual choices, but he definitely physically responded the most with the lime. And who wouldn't? Limes are great.

In school Christian was able to join the other special preschool class, which is full of kids Christian's age. Currently, he is in a classroom with kids that are older than he is so this was just to get him exposed to his peers. And he did great! He tolerated it just fine and the OT said he was really tuning in and listening to the kids and their giggling. He went to the library and music with them and it's looking like it might not be a bad idea to look at the option of the other preschool class for Christian in the near future. We have a meeting with the powers that be about maybe transitioning him (because that is the ultimate goal) to the regular special needs preschool program. Apparently, he's not supposed to be double dipping without proper okay so we need to see what has to be done so that he can visit the other class with no problems. (Insert eye roll.) It requires paper work or a signature or something.

And we have the 5K race coming up with MyTeam Triumph this Saturday! We are all doing it as a family. Christian will be the "captain" and Manny, Gabe, and I will be his "angles." Lola will be tagging along, as well. I don't know if I'm physically ready to run the whole thing, but I'm sure going to try. We're just going to focus on having fun, though, and crossing that finish line!

To donate please visit this link!

Donations are used to fund equipment needed so that those who could not normally participate in a race, can now do so!

And just for good favorite pictures of the week that I already posted! I love these pictures so much I just may post them on everything!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Functional Outcomes

Functional Outcomes.

This is a term frequently used by the early intervention team. And I didn't really get it.

I was asked questions like:

"So why do you want him to learn to sit on his own?"

"Why do you want him to support his head?"

"Why do you want him to smile?"

I sat through these questions - these meetings that would last over an hour - and I would zone out. Because my first response was - What the hell kind of question is that? Why wouldn't I want him to sit up, support his head, and smile every single moment of every single day? Are you wasting my time with this crap? Can't you just make it up because you're obviously guiding me to word things the way you need them to read. And before you leave, make sure you remove that red tape from the back of your shoe.

Let's just say zoning out was the pleasant way to tolerate these types of questions. I just didn't get it, I admit. And I can admit that now because I finally got it. Just as early intervention came to a close at Christian's third birthday.

Why would I want him to sit by himself? Just to do it? Just so I can say that he can do it? And then what? If he can't do anything with that ability, it's really as useful as not having the ability at all.

Why do I want him to hold his head up? He can do that. But can he do anything with is? Is he using this ability to do anything purposeful or meaningful or communicative?

How do these abilities equate to function? My understanding of the concept of functional outcomes was finally born.

I want him to hold his head up so he can see things. So he can use his vision in a functional way. A way that works for him and helps him communicate his needs. In a way he can understand the world on his terms. I want him to hold his head up because it helps him breath easier and so it's easier to put a shirt on over his head without it flopping back and forth. All of these reasons are functional outcomes and all of these functional outcomes Christian has reached or has the ability to reach soon.

I want him to sit because it would be easier for him to see and reach for his toys.

I want him to smile because it is a method of communication that shows us he is happy.

Christian has scattered abilities - head control, swallowing, reaching and grabbing. We're trying to take these abilities and connect them to a function. So they're worth something for him and useful to him. Not so they're just things he does with no function or purpose.

I think that's why I really love school for him right now. His vision teacher is working with him to use his vision in a functional way. A functional way to use his vision is for communication. And his vision and speech therapists have said that he's showing he is capable of doing this and we may be ready to consider looking into an eye gaze talker. This is a communication device that is control simply through eye gaze. In fact, the vision therapist at school was so excited about Christian's vision ability that she caught me in the parking lot to tell me she was really happy with how he was using his vision. She wants to go slowly but if Christian keeps progressing with his vision, an eye gaze talker will be an option for him.

So how I understand functional outcomes is: functional outcomes = connecting the dots. We have to find a way to connect the abilities he does have so they're useful for him.

(And sorry, early intervention/IEP interviewer. I get it. I'll tune in now.)

Speaking of functional...

Yeah, those are Crocs. With fur lining because I've always just gotta take it a step further. We live in Arizona, by the way.

But seriously, I read about this suggestion on one of the message boards I frequent for parent of kids with CP. Crocs for braces! They're wide enough, but they're light weight. So they aren't as heavy as what a friend of mine calls Frankenstein shoes, which are made to fit the braces.

I ordered them the other day the same size as his Frankenstein shoes. When they came they didn't fit with the whole brace. Christian has a two step brace so there is a little boot inside of a bigger brace that extends up to just below the knee. So when they didn't fit, I was a little pissed. But then I removed the larger brace and just went with the smaller part of the brace and it fit like a glove! It is much lighter than the Frankenstein shoes but still keeps the 90 degree angel we need and provides a flat surface for standing and positioning. So the Crocs provide a vehicle to those pesky functional outcomes in a round about way. Better yet, he can wear them without braces, too! When it does get cold in Arizona, fur-lined Crocs will keep Christian's toesies warm.

One last thing...I had to include a picture of Christian on the platform swing at school this morning. You just roll him up there, hook him up, and start swinging!

Take a look at those Frankenstein shoes!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Magical Sibling-hood

Colton's mommy so graciously asked me to guest blog, so tonight you'll find me over at

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What I want you to know.

Feeling a little introspective tonight so the following are a few thoughts that have been rolling around inside my head lately after reading other introspective blogs.

What I want you to know is that we're okay. Please don't tell me you're sorry. I don't know how to answer that. Thank you? It's okay? Well, I'm not thankful that this happened to our family. And it's not really okay. But we're okay. So maybe I should just change It's okay to We're okay. Or how about just not saying you're sorry for what happened to us. We'll start there.

What I want doctors to know is that I might seem like I think I have all the answers. I might seem like I think I know everything. I might seem like I know what I'm talking about and that I think I don't need you because I seem like I have it under control. But I really value your input. I really, really, really want the best for my son. And I'd like for you to want the best for my son, too. I'm sorry if it hurts your ego if I question or disagree with your suggestions but that doesn't mean I don't want your suggestions.

What I also want doctors to know is that parents of children with special needs aren't being unrealistic in their expectations of wanting more for their children. I think some doctors think we should throw in the towel because our hopes are too high. But they are mistaken. There is nobody that knows better than us what our kids cannot do. There is no need for doctors to remind us or reiterate our realities because we deal with them every single day. That is precisely why we want more.

What I want friends to know is that I love laughing and joking and acting like things never changed. Because a lot of me hasn't changed. I love getting together with friends over dinner and laughing until I have tears in my eyes and my cheeks hurt. And I love being treated like things never changed. Like nothing ever happened. I don't want to be defined by that. But something did happen and things are slightly different. So I may cancel plans on you because Christian was up all night or cranky in the morning and I just can't get it together enough to drag him out to somewhere I know he'll be miserable. Sometimes I just don't have the strength or sanity in me to listen to crying for a twenty minute car ride. So, yes, I probably will cancel on days like those. My life revolves around the moods of my children and that's just the way it is.

What I want you to know is that there is a level of insecurity that comes with our story. It didn't come from birth, it's a strange beast that not everyone gets. Hell, I don't get it a lot of the time, but I'm trying to. And it can be very lonely in this kind-of-like-that-but-not-really-like-that creature called brain injury. It's difficult. And sometimes I don't know where we fit in.

What I want you to know is that we are still trying to figure out our ever changing relationship with God. It's a journey and it's our journey. And just like any other relationship there are good times and bad. Pushing us one way or the other will not do anything for us because a journey cannot be forced by anyone but God. It's really the true test of faith and devotion - where we are right now - and we're trying to figure it out. It's not up for discussion, just so you know, unless you want to be uplifting and empowering. Faith shouldn't be about bullying or coercion. It doesn't mean we are bad Christians. It doesn't mean we don't have faith. It means that some days are harder than others. And we're learning how to find hope and faith in those days when we're feeling a little forsaken.

What I want you to know is that Christian is in there. He's listening. He can hear you. And he can see you. He responds in his own way and you have to know him to know this. So don't underestimate him.

What I want therapists to know is not to pigeon hole children into one category. Try everything! These kids will surprise you if you let them. Don't be afraid. Dive in.

What I want you to know is that as much as I'd like to do all of this by myself, I do need help. And not just for a little while. It's not temporary. And it is necessary for my own sanity. I'm not as strong as you think, but I'm definitely not weak. I'm somewhere in the space between. And you would be just as strong if you had to be. Yes, you would.
Thursday, September 1, 2011

I dare you.

I noticed lately that Christian has an easier time moving if his upper body is inclined a little. In fact, he moves A LOT more.

So the other day I put him on the floor with a large couch pillow under his upper body. I positioned him straight, not tilted or turned either way. And I put a scary dinosaur next to his left on Lola's "seat," otherwise known as the box of diapers that haven't been put away yet.

And this is how I found him.

"Well, hey there, Mr. Dinosaur!"

"Stop taunting me!"

I looked away and payed attention to Lola for something and when I looked back I saw this...

"I'll get you Mr. Dinosaur!"

He lifted his arm up over the box to reach for that dinosaur. He did it all on his own. Swear.

"I don't care if I have to eat this box, I'll get you as soon as I can get my arm to cooperate!"

He didn't get that dinosaur that time. But he certainly did try.

"Watch your back, Mr. Dinosaur. Next time, it's on!"

"We'll meet again, Mr. Dinosaur."

There was a time when Christian didn't move at all. He was just still.
I wondered when he would start moving. He hung out on the couch a lot with us, laying down on his side. I dared him to roll off.
Then he started to move his arms and reach for things. He even reached for his little sister. But then he took a very long break from that. And we didn't see that again for a while. Christian wasn't feeling all that great so all his energy went to other things, I believe.
But then he started moving again. Especially in his sleep. He stretches up above his head and yawns, he lifts his head and moves it from side to side, and now we finally really have to watch him when he's laying on the couch. In his sleep he's even rolled from side to back to side. Let's just say he called my bluff with that whole dare idea and he has rolled himself right off the side of the couch. While I was happy he was moving enough to roll off the couch, he was not happy about the idea at all. Good thing we have carpet and pillows.
You know who really gets him going? Lola. Mostly because I'm pretty sure he wants to punch her.

These are pictures a few days after surgery.

Lola and her patient.

"Let me take a look inside, Christian." - Lola
"Stooooop, Lola!" - Christian

Trying to get Lola. Christian is going to have to hurry up because Lola is just too quick. And I love how in each of these pictures my kids are too fast for the camera. With Lola it's a given. With Christian, the fact that an arm or a movement is so quick it becomes a blur makes my heart pitter patter.

But wait...this takes the cake.

Remember the incline? There's the couch cushion. And this is how I found Christian. He went from laying flat on the incline and twisted and turned and arched himself right over. He wasn't uncomfortable. In fact, he rather enjoyed this Gumby position. I couldn't let him stay like that, though. We are not Gumby, Christian.

Quite content with the position he's gotten himself in.

Okay, Christian, no more daring you to roll off the couch. I believe you, you can do it. But if you want to roll around on the floor, you have my permission. In fact, I dare you to do that.

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