It’s been a while since Braxton and I had a day to ourselves. Aileen is with her dad this weekend and Joseph is gone for business, so it was just Brax and me. We had a pretty laid back day, but I noticed so many new things today and in the past week or so.
Braxton is really starting to recognize us and show emotion when does. In the past few weeks, every time I go to pick him up from his crib I stand over him and when he looks up and notices me, he flashes a huge smile. When I put my hands out and motion “come here” he gets noticeably excited and immediately rolls over, pushes himself up to his knees, looks right up at me and puts his hands out as if to say “pick me up, mommy!” Sometimes he will pull himself to a stand and kind of bounce in excitement. If I have to be up early, that is certainly what I want to wake up to. This is a picture my sister took when she saw him, but this is pretty much exactly what he does when I stand over his crib in the morning.
We came downstairs so I could feed him and I also tried to give him some applesauce by mouth. Surprisingly, he actually ate a good amount for me! Braxton ate about an ounce at breakfast and just over an ounce at lunch and dinner…yayyy!! It may not seem like much, but this is HUGE for him! He hasn’t been eating much of anything for us. It’s so funny because he puts everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING (that isn’t food) directly into his mouth and tries to chew on it. But if he even sees anything at all food related, he purses his lips, turns his head, and even puts his hand out to push me away – and sometimes screams and cries if I continue trying. I’ve tried everything from baby food, cookies, crackers, cheetos, french fries, pudding, yogurt…and every one of them as soon as they get anywhere near his face he refuses. So, getting even a few bites in is a big deal, an entire ounce is a HUGE deal, indeed! Our Speech Therapist is still very diligently working with Braxton, too. I got this photo the other day…apparently eating is also pretty hard work! He fell asleep today, too, after I fed him.
Braxton and I played a whole lot today! He is so much more interactive now and playing with purpose!! He actually mouthed his toys a lot less today than he normally does. He stood up at his little piano and played using his hands instead of his mouth. He even leaned over to find the buttons on the back and played with those. We made silly sounds back and forth to each other and when he made me laugh, hearing me laugh made him also laugh..it was so cute. We read a few books and it’s evident that Braxton actually likes being read to. He will sit still in my lap as I read to him (ok, point out pictures and describe what we see, but still) and is turning the page all by himself! [Thanks to our great Occupational Therapist, he’s doing soooo great with that….little bit less cheating today by reaching over with his left hand haha smart kid.] He even made some great transfers from our couch to the coffee table and cruised around the table!! Pretty impressive, little man! Showing off all the things he’s been working so hard to accomplish with each of his therapists. He of course sat at his patio window and I sat with him and pointed out the trees and the birds as they came in to the yard. Nice to just sit and be still.
We also went to the grocery store today, and Brax was so funny. He was making all kinds of sounds as we walked around the store. Also, as I was waiting to check out, I had my hands on the grocery cart (like I always do) and Braxton kept reaching out to me. So I turned my hands over so he could pat them like he often does, but he started clasping his hands around them and trying to pull them toward him. Each time I moved my hands like I was moving toward him he smiled and got really excited. Then, he finally grabbed my hands and pulled them to his side, and I finally realized what he was doing…he wanted me to pick him up AND he was telling me!!! This is the 2nd time he’s done this to me at the store. I tickled him and gave him a big hug and kiss since it was my turn in line and I had to put the groceries on the belt and check out. It was so awesome to see this kind of communication though. This is SO much more than he’s ever done before. Around the house, he does crawl up to us and look up and raise his hands until we pick him up, and if we walk away he cries big ol’ crocodile tears! haha Seeing him do something similar while we were out and about though, was a whole new level.
Not too long ago, I arrived at Aileen’s school to pick her up and I got Braxton out of the car, as we walked in the school, he put his little face right up to me and I felt his lips on my cheek. He caught me by surprise and when I turned to look at him he flashed me his big smile. It was the sweetest and most heart melting non-verbal “I love you” ever. Seems like ever since I wrote the post about wanting Braxton to talk, he’s been doing more things to communicate with me. Kids can usually pick up on feelings and always seem to find a way to comfort you as if you told them exactly what was going on. Or perhaps, God is working through Braxton to remind me that everything is going to be ok. To just trust in Him and the plans He has for our life. Just because things aren’t exactly how I imagined they would be, doesn’t mean that things aren’t exactly as they should be. I know that everything happens for a reason, and although waiting for that reason to become apparent is often very difficult, I am reminded that the important thing is to cherish the moments now, to live in the present and let God take care of our future.
Today has been such a great day with Braxton. I see all of the great things Braxton is doing and my heart is just so overwhelmed with joy. The simplest things, like turning a page in a book, I now understand exactly how much work went in to that and how things like that we take for granted each and every day. Days like today make me hold Braxton as he falls asleep, and when he finally does I watch him and tears just stream down my face. Not tears of sadness, but tears of joy, so much joy, as I think about where he was and where he is today. To see him do all of the things so many led me to believe he would never do, is such a miracle. To realize that he IS in fact developing communication skills and learning to communicate with us is such an indescribable feeling. This little boy never ceases to amaze me, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.