Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry and Bright

So happy to meet Santa!

We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of friends and family!  Jack was a very good boy this year, and so Santa rewarded him accordingly.  Our little buddy racked up on lots of good therapeutic toys, like crawling tunnels and a mini shopping cart to push around, but probably the most useful was our new iPad.  Our speech therapist Jill uses her iPad during her sessions with Jack since they have such great cause and effect and first words games for toddlers, so we thought it would be put to good use in our home.  (Mommy likes to play on it too!!!)

Christmas morning with cousins

Yay!!!  Santa came!

Jack with mommy, two of his aunts and his two newest cousins

The Hickling clan

Family Christmas dinner

Perhaps the greatest gift of all this Christmas was not something you could wrap in a box or hold in your hands, and it wasn't anything Jack received, but rather it was something he gave to us ...

Just four days before Christmas our little man TOOK TWO STEPS!!!  It was during his session with our CBRS therapist Annette last Wednesday.  We had her meet us at my mom's house, since I was there helping her finish wrapping gifts, baking and decorating, so Ci Ci was able to bear witness to our Christmas miracle as well.  And, let me tell you ... there wasn't a dry eye in the house!

Jack has been standing independently without holding onto anything for several weeks now and for longer periods of time with each attempt.  He can stand for about 5 minutes without any help, and he has also stood up from the floor without pulling up on anything several times.  I have had no doubt in my mind that our little guy could walk for several weeks now, thinking that it was just his confidence holding him back from actually doing it.  So, you can imagine how big my heart felt (it nearly burst) when he took two steps all by himself. 

Since this noteworthy day, Jack hasn't taken more than one or two steps here and there, but we know that full-on, independent walking is just right around the corner.  We couldn't be prouder of our little man, as he continues to amaze us day in and day out.  In addition to his increased mobility, Jack also signs several things consistently now, including (but not limited to) "sleep," "Mommy," "Daddy," "more," "all done," "elephant," and "dog."  He definitely understands many other signs without actually signing himself; signs like "music," "dance," "eat," "sheep," "cat," "horse," "cow," and "pig" are among those that he consistently comprehends and responds to.  I can now sign "dance" without saying a word (although I most often do pair the word with the sign to help with his speech), and our little monkey will start moving and grooving.  It's the cutest thing!

We hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season, and we wish you nothing but the best in the new year!  Here's a little holiday cheer from our family to yours ...

This year's Christmas card!

Always on the move ... always

Friday, December 16, 2011

Long time coming ...

It's been a while folks, and for that, I'm sorry.  I wish I had a better excuse other than October "31 for 21" bloggy exhaustion, holiday shopping, party-going and decorating, and plain old toddler antics, but I just don't.

The truth is ... I probably have had more time to blog lately, especially since I've been working a lot less at my nursing job lately but when there's time to fill, I seem to find something to fill it with!

But, enough about me ... onto the main attraction!  Our little Jack man is a typical, crazy toddler these days.  He fell down the stairs the other day.  We're not sure how many, because he was too darn fast for either of us to witness it.  (Yes, BOTH Robert and I were home, and we still managed to lose track of our little rascal!)  He cried a bit and definitely has a bruise on one of his knees (this breaks Momma's heart), but he's okay.  He has certainly mastered the stairs these days, which makes life a lot more interesting, to say the least.  And that's not all ...

When he's not climbing the stairs, he's splashing in the toilet bowl (necessitating a day time bath, much to Mommy's chagrin).  And, if he's not splashing in the toilet, he's digging in the dirt of the indoor plant.  Then, when he's done digging in the dirt, he splashes in the dog's bowl, which then progresses his filth from dirty to straight-up muddy, thus necessitating yet another otherwise unnecessary day time bath. 

I'm pretty sure our poor dog Forest is probably suffering from dehydration given that his water bowl now mainly resides on the very out-of-reach (for both toddler and canine) kitchen counter.  Sorry, buddy ... we do still love you.  We promise.  Maybe one day we'll take you on a walk again.

All this said, life is grand at the old Hickling home.  Despite all his sneaky mischief, Jack still manages to win me over day in and day out with his perfect smile, his infectious giggles and his most genuine snuggles.  There's just something about that extra chromosome, folks.

It doesn't get much better than waking up to this ...

Did I mention that this crazy little rambunctious toddler (I mean, angel) picked up baby Jesus from his Little People Nativity set the other day, and signed "sleep"?!?!?   (Insert tear drop here.)

Life is good, my friends ... busy, but oh, so good.