It seems like every photo that I take of Corrigan these days has him smiling his face off. Which, as you know, is a huge change from the blank stares and irritated faces of the past.
I would tell you my technique but it is top-secret. Okay fine, I pretend to sneeze. That’s it. A big dramatic intake of breath to precede the imminent sneeze, “Ahh, ahhh, ahhh…” followed by a brief pause and then forceful, “ACHOO!” does it every single time.
Fake sneeze= fits of giggles and smiles. Which is not so strange considering that when Connor was little I simply said, “Chicken Pot Pie!” and he would burst into hysterical laughter. And man, I can never look at a can of Poppycock and not snicker. That is just the funniest word in the world. Say it with a British accent and I am done for.
Anyway, so there are a lot of smiles these days and it is contagious for sure. Corrigan is growing up to be a little human being who is fun to hang out with for long periods of time. Of course there is the smacking, head butting and biting but we can’t all be perfect.
He had another scheduled checkup at Hopkins and due to some illness we were left without a second adult passenger so it was just Corrigan and I taking on Baltimore. He was a well-behaved little pumpkin the 3 hours down, though there was a puking incident in the middle of a torrential downpour on Interstate 70 that had me praying for an overpass to pull under to clean him up. It figures the one time, in the last 30 trips downstate, that I do not pack the hospital bag is the time that he gets carsick for the first time.
Oh well, it was a nice excuse to stop in Target (which we do not have locally) and grab him some cute new duds and maybe a Mocha Frappe for Mama.
The weather made for some white-knuckle driving and the last thing I needed was a screaming kid in the backseat so it was a huge relief that he was content to watch the raindrops on the window, sing along with the radio and play with his fingers. I might have also parked in the wrong garage in the city. It all worked out.
Little man put on twice the expected weight since his last appointment (and grew an inch!) so yeah, to the lady that said he certainly didn’t look like a kid that would need a feeding tube, my kid is a porker, I get it, but doesn’t he look edible? Those biceps are nibble-city, I tell you.
We are bumping back his calories but increasing his protein because his aminos came back low again. His hemoglobin has hardly increased after 5 months of iron supplements and his neutrophils were low too. We were advised to keep him home for a few days, away from large crowds or kids, since his ANC’s were lower than they should be which means his immune system can’t take a hit now. We are keeping busy around here watching sign language DVD’s, playing with toys and rearranging the pantry.
While his numbers (lab results) are not where we want them to be, we are now 22 months since he was last hyperammonemic and he is growing so well in spite of his restricted diet and limited eating. He is picking up skills every single day and we are finally seeing the fruits of months and months of repetitive teaching. He is now signing/speaking a few two-word commands (“Bubbles, please” “Coke, drink?” or “Bye-bye, car?”) consistently and has begun gathering up his foam letters and numbers in piles according to color. The other day I found a stack of green foam letters in Connor’s shower. Oh, and there was also a fully clothed 2-year-old in there with the shower running too. He is getting really good at being naughty.
His sleeping is still hit-or-miss. He will do an all-nighter or two once in a while, but for the most part he is still a night owl and is seemingly unaffected by it in the day. He has begun bringing me food from the pantry and signing the word “eat.” Often times he is not telling me that he is hungry, though I do try to give him food each time in case he is feeling hunger cues, but is pretending-placing things to my mouth and making chewing sounds.
You gotta watch when Corrigan tries to “feed” you with a fork. Whew.
Grandma taught him to blow kisses and he can get himself out of zipped up, footed-pajamas all by himself now (“yay!” for fine motor skills? “Boo!” for walking in on totally nekkid, non-potty trained toddlers in the morning). He whines and lets me know by gesture when his g-tube button is open and is trying to teach the cat to “sit.”
Also, “sit” is a really dangerous word to teach a toddler. Honest, he is saying “sit.” Quit looking at me like that.
It is never a dull moment around here and while I thought that I would be freaking out more that both my computer (using Mark’s work computer to blog now and then) and camera were broken, Corrigan is such a learning-sponge that it would be a crime to be wasting time online or missing it from behind the camera right now.
I waited 2 1/2 years for this eye contact, for this connection and I am not about to miss it.
So that is the update, how have you been?
(PS. Happy Anniversary Uncle Matt and Aunt Erica!)