Thursday, July 17, 2014


Last year not-smiling
Parenting rule #2:  Don't compare. Just don't. Unless you're comparing your own child to themselves.

Granted, no parent actually FOLLOWS this rule, but we know we should. And that is at least something.

JAM weighs a hefty 18 lbs 4 oz at two years old. We're not thrilled because that's a horrible gain in the last year. (See? I'm only comparing him to himself! What a good parent I am.) I'm not concerned any more, though, since the amazing nephrologist just recently figured out all that "failure to thrive" stuff.

This year not-smiling (see mom, I grew THIS much)

There are a few plus sides to being small. T-shirts last longer.The pictures below are from his first birthday AND his second birthday -- same shirt. And, at least he's behaving developmentally appropriately (he's advanced even) for his appearance.  He looks like about a 12 month old now, don't you think? That's what our neighbor guessed when we told her it was his birthday today.

Last year's smiles: part 1
He deserves an extra year. At birth he was 4 months behind his peers. Then he had six surgeries before discharge. I figure every surgery puts me around a month behind -- so there's another six months. Well, we'll say five, since one was "merely" eye surgery, and he's a kid, so he heals faster than us adults. Add two more major surgeries before he was one, each requiring about a month of healing, and you've got a total of eleven months of disadvantaged environments in his first twelve months of life. Ugh. Math only leaves him one good month in that first year. (I'm guessing that was the month of May.)

Okay, so that's rough. Then add to that that in his second year of life he spent most of the time undernourished and exhausted, with his body stealing from his muscles and bones to keep his pH closer to balanced -- and you'd expect to see a kid who is just barely hanging in there.

But that's not the kid we see. (Anymore.) Our child is doing so remarkably well considering it all. There were moments in the last few months where we were really really concerned, where I cried tears of frustration and hurt at the small tired baby that lay staring at the light because his energy reserves were gone. But then, even then,  he'd bounce back up again, moments later, and trot around the room on all fours, his head high like he was showing off for the world. His spirit was not crushed. Perhaps this babe has figured out the secret of how to live on love alone.

Next year, bud, next year we'll add good-old-fashion nutrition to all that love friends and family have poured on you. Next year is going to be amazing. You'll finally outgrow that shirt.

Last year's smiles: part 2
This year's fuzzy smiles

Last year: awkward pose

This year: awkward pose part 1
This year: awkward pose part 2

Bonus picture. (This year.) I love this kid.


  1. Just amazing! All your children look happy and healthy. You are doing a wonderful job Momma and Papa :) truly inspiring...Revelation 21:3, 4


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