Sunday, March 27, 2011

Doing the desert, Bodie style

We took a MUCH needed breather this weekend, a little trip out to Palm Springs. My parents have a wonderful place out there, and it's one of our favorite places to just get away. I swear my whole body relaxes the second I walk inside. It ended up being a bit of a landmark trip for us. In addition to the fact that Bodie had more fun than he's ever had there (thanks to being SO mobile), it was the first trip we've taken out there where he didn't throw up once(!) AND we never put him on pulse ox (yes, heart moms who know me well, you know we had it with us, we just never actually pulled it out to use!)! All in all, it was a really fun weekend.

Now, on to the pictures...

So, as it turns out, it IS possible to OD on guac (who knew?)...
Luckily, a guac hangover can apparently be fixed with a bath and a toothbrush... Sierra goofing off at dinner (she, fortunately, managed to keep her guac in her mouth)... guessing this is just a precursor to the years where her eyes are always in this position... Lunch in the beautiful 80 degree weather (which, coincidentally, showed up about 2 hours before we were ready to leave - it was fairly cold and windy the rest of the time)... So we figured, what the heck, let's let the kids get in one last dip in the pool before we leave. Sierra went first and had SO MUCH fun with daddy... Bodie was stuck in his high chair watching the action (he looks miserable, right?)
So daddy took pity on him and he got to go in the pool as well...
(note to self: do NOT take a pic of cardiac kid dressed in blue with a blue swimming pool as background when he's already a little chilly...otherwise, you end up with blueberry lipped boy and a freaked out mom!)

And in other Bodie news, this kid is ON THE MOVE. constantly. Within the first hour of being at the house, he had pulled all of the magazines off the coffee table and knocked over enough picture frames that all of the lower levels of frames had been moved to higher elevations. Oh, and he ate, yes, literally bit a chunk out of, a coaster container. WHO does that? I mean c'mon. He's a bit of a brute. Just tonight, in the bathtub with Sierra, he was trying to get past her to the little plastic mirror hanging on the bathtub wall and she was in his way. First he tried literally stepping on her (he spends most of his bathtub time standing up and cruising around the bathtub walls, so it's no surprise that eventually he's going to run into her - as much as he'd like to believe otherwise, he doesn't exactly own the bathtub), but wasn't having much success. So then, he sat down and PINCHED her. And then pulled her hair. What? Yeah, this kid let's you know what he wants, that's for sure. Oh, and has he ever got A LOT to say. In addition to a whole lot of babbling that we can't understand, he now says mama (although he seems to say it only when he wants a bottle - I'm not sure whether I should be flattered or mildly offended that my name conjures up images of food for him), dada, all done (when he wants to), bye bye (almost all the time now) and night-night (this is a fun one that he just started saying his week)! Honestly, we were really worried about his lack of communication, but I think he might even have more words than Sierra had at this point. He's definitely at a FUN stage! Praise God!


Meet Miss Aly Jean, Take 2 - and meet cutie-pie Chase while you're at it!

2 weeks ago, you may remember here, where I asked for prayers for Aly Jean's fontan surgery, which was slated for the next day. Well, because getting all geared up for your child to have open heart surgery isn't nervewracking enough, Aly Jean's parents got the added bonus of having her surgery canceled at the last minute! I mean, really, at the last minute - they were waiting in pre-op for the anesthesiologist to come and get Aly, and instead a nurse practitioner walked in to tell them that her surgery had to be canceled and that they would have to reschedule. It absolutely was God's timing (they found out later that her surgery was canceled for not one, but two newborn heart transplants that day - WOW, and sweet Aly and mom and dad all had the stomach flu later that week), but talk about an emotional roller coaster. Anyway, she is now re-scheduled for tomorrow morning and is the only surgery on the schedule, so surgery should be a go. PLEASE join me in praying for a successful surgery for this sweet girl, no post-op complications, that she is home soon and peace and comfort for her parents!

Now, on to Chase. Meet Chase... Talk about a cutie, right? He's 17 months old and in between his Glenn and his Fontan, just like Bodie. He's having a cardiac catheterization this week. In the heart world, we kind of sniff at caths, like "meh, what's the big deal? Just a cath..." But folks, they're serious. Sure, they're not open-heart surgery, but they're not exactly non-invasive. They involve cardiac anesthesia (Chase will be put on a ventilator), drugs, and injecting dye into the veins leading to the heart. Sometimes, they're done just to get a good picture of blood flow in the heart and pressures around it (both of Bodie's have been this type), and sometimes, like in Chase's case, they're also done for intervention purposes (they have noticed a narrowing in Chase's pulmonary artery, so are intending to balloon it open during the cath). It's rare to have complications during caths, but it's not unheard of. So, please join me in praying for Chase this week, that his cath is super successful and that he's home QUICKLY!!!

Also, it seems that there are a lot of sweet kids in the heart community in need of prayers right about now. If you wouldn't mind praying for some of our dear heart friends, I'd really appreciate it:

1. Milosh: This little guy has a really rare condition called Barth's syndrome and has had a rough first year, just like Bodie. (His mom and I met on a message board when we were both pregnant, although she didn't know about Mishi's condition until after he was born). Mishi had been doing quite well but recently took a turn for the worse and has been in the ICU on both ECMO and/or a Berlin Heart for 2 weeks now. He is awaiting a heart. He is taking baby steps forward, but really could use a lot of prayer that his body keeps fighting until a heart is available.

2. Annabelle: Annabelle is 8 months old and has spent all of that 8 months in the hospital. She has HLHS and had her Norwood, but was not a candidate for the Glenn, due at least in part, to a leaky valve. Please, please pray that a heart comes for her soon.

3. Olivia: Ah, sweet Olivia. She is an "interstage" kiddo (between the Norwood and the Glenn), and just like Bodie, has really given the doctors a run for their money. She has been in and out of the hospital and bounced back and forth between the ICU and the step-down floors. It's kind of eerie talking to her mom Katie, actually, because everything she is feeling is exactly what I was feeling when Bodie was going through everything he went through last year. The latest thing they've discovered with Olivia is that she has a severely leaky valve. They're going to try to fix it, but if they can't, she'll probably have to be a transplant candidate instead. PLEASE pray they can fix her valve and get that sweet girl HOME!

4. Dylan: Dylan is a cute little newborn HLHSer who had a Hybrid Norwood because he was just too little to try for a full Norwood. He's stable, but is having complications on and off. Please pray the doctors can best figure out what's going on with him and get him home soon as well.

5. So many sweet kids waiting for heart transplants: Harrison and Kennedy in particular.

6. All the new babies coming: With Sisters by Heart, I find a lot of newly diagnosed moms and feel like all of these women really need extra prayer. The time leading up to the birth of a special heart kid is such a tough time. So many emotions. Please help me pray for all of these parents as they get ready to meet their little miracles. Thanks as always for all of your prayers! Photobucket

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Workin' 9 to 5, What a way to make a livin'

Mama's going WHERE??? How was I not consulted in this decision?

Well, today it happened. Mommy went back to work. Well, "back to work" is probably not the right term. Perhaps we say instead that mommy "re-entered the working world" today. I am really blessed to have a wonderful relationship with a former boss who is bringing me on to do some contract accounting work for her a couple of days a week. It'll mostly be working on projects from home as needed, but I'll actually go into the office as well from time to time. Today, I went into the office for the morning.

We are beyond blessed to have had an amazing woman from church, Lizzie, agree to come to the house to watch Bodie while I'm working. (I could go on and on about Lizzie, how she's the Nursery Director at Sierra's preschool, how she used to watch Sierra, how amazing she is with kids, but the reality is that I don't want any of you moms of young kids who read my blog to get any ideas about stealing her). She rocks and we love her. Nuff said.

Anyway, this was a huge step for our family. I may have mentioned a time or two on the blog that Bodie, how do I put it delicately, is desperately dependent on mama and loses his mind anytime mama is more than arm's length away. The term "separation anxiety" just doesn't quite do it justice. We have never left him with a babysitter. We have never even left him in the nursery at church. We've done trial runs for 5 or 10 minutes, but each time we have to retrieve a coughing, sweaty mess of a child who has successfully scared every nice lady in the nursery with his gasping-feel-sorry-for-me-how-am-I-supposed-to-live-without-my-mommy-oh-and-don't-forget-I'm-a-cardiac-kid-so-you-really-should-get-my-mommy-QUICKLY cough. Honestly us not leaving him doesn't really have anything to do with his cardiac condition. Of course, his history I am sure explains why he's so clingy. But medically speaking, he's completely stable. He eats baby food, he drinks from a sippy cup, he takes naps - all the normal kid stuff. The only thing that really makes him different is that he takes meds 3x a day, but each time he gets 1 syringe, kind of the equivalent of giving a kid Infant Tylenol or Motrin. So yeah, he should be able to be left with a sitter by now. But alas, we haven't been able to try. Until now.

Knowing I would have to go to the office this morning, Lizzie and I did a little trial run on Monday. Sigh. Bodie made it unequivocally clear that he was NOT happy with the proposed change in our life. He cried most of the morning (I was home doing stuff in our office/spare bedroom, so I would come out and comfort him as needed), only warming up to Lizzie for moments here and there. (As an aside, this kid totally wears his little heart on his sleeve.) Lizzie, the sweet glutton for punishment that she is, was undeterred and came back for more today. When I left for work this morning, I. WAS. WORRIED. Despite the fact that I left him happily playing with Lizzie, Monday had freaked me out a little bit. But I figured he couldn't cry for 3 hours straight, right? Eventually, he'd have to warm up to her - or fall asleep crying, right?

Oh mommy, please come back soon!
Well, I needn't have worried, because Bodie did AWESOME! He played with Lizzie happily all morning. And he even let her feed him lunch! (Seriously, this kid will only take a bottle or babyfood from me!) This was BIG for him...and us. Our general consensus? Bodie likes to mess with mama when she's around. Silly, silly boy.

I had a great time catching up and getting back into "work" mode. It was refreshing to have conversations about accounting and financial statements and reporting structure, instead of cardiology appointments and transitioning from bottles to sippy cups. Hey, we all have our gifts and talents - mine happen to be in the accounting and financial realm. ;-) I love working with this woman and am really excited for the projects she needs help with. She asked me at one point whether I had a hard time leaving Bodie, if I had cried when I left him (I absolutely cried when I went back to work when Sierra was 3 months old). I honestly laughed when she asked. You read what I wrote earlier, right? Dusk and I have not been on a date.IN.A.YEAR. I can count on one hand the number of times I have left Bodie with someone else for more than 5 minutes. I love Bodie, but c'mon - mama needed a break. Today was a wonderful break, and the start of a new chapter in our lives. It's a welcome chapter. I loved working part-time after Sierra came along and I'm really looking forward to doing it again now. It's good for Bodie to get interaction with others, and it's good for my sanity. :-) I love getting the chance to work, while still knowing that my kids spend more time with me than anyone else.

And, in totally unrelated news (but since I already have a captive audience), here's a few pics of the fun we've been up to lately...

Getting his smolder on... Showing off his beautiful blues
Playing piano with Dylan. We LOVE Dylan's parents. His mom, Gina has been one of my best friends for years, and was my maid-of-honor. His dad, Colin, is a cardiologist, so of course, he's one of our peeps now. :-)
Came into the kitchen to find Daddy with some adoring fans, just WAITING for ice cream.
So excited
Is there any doubt this is Dusk's kid? (and no, just to clarify (in the event this picture ends up in the wrong hands), he did NOT drink any of this, and we took it away immediately after the pic)
Put the kids down for their nap yesterday, only to hear "tee hee hee...tee hee hee" over the monitor. I went in to find this - silly Sierra had climbed into Bodie's crib and they were both just cracking sweet!
Thanks as always for all of your prayers for our sweet little warrior!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heart Hugs and Prayers for Miss Aly Jean

Meet Aly Jean.
She is one of Bodie's heart buddies, and her awesome mama Jenny is one of my Sisters by Heart. (Jenny is one of the women I blogged about who came out for Travis's Celebration of Life a couple of weeks ago.) Miss Aly is having her FONTAN tomorrow, Wednesday (or today, for my East Coast readers!). This is the last in the planned surgeries that all hypoplast parents are told about from the moment of diagnosis. It marks the culmination of a long and uncertain path...and the beginning of another. Although some hypoplasts end up needing additional procedures and surgeries after the Fontan, for many, the Fontan is their final surgery.

I am thrilled and excited for Jenny to be at this point - to be hours away from saying Aly is "post-Fontan." To be hours away from beginning Aly's new journey, a future with no "planned" surgeries anywhere on the horizon. I am also terrified for her - to be hours away from handing her sweet 21 month old baby girl to a surgeon, to have her chest cut open and be placed on bypass again, to have her heart mended again, to not know how long her recovery will take or what bumps in the road she may hit. Dr. Bove, Aly's surgeon, is incredible (he's at Mott's Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan - one of the top hypoplast centers in the country), so we know she's in good hands. And by all accounts, she is an excellent candidate for the Fontan. She should do very well. But still. This is open heart surgery and as all heart parents know, anything goes. So please join me tonight (and tomorrow - and all week, for that matter) in praying for Aly Jean, Dr. Bove and his medical team and Jenny and her husband Jeremy. Pray for a successful Fontan, with NO bumps in the road and that Miss Aly Jean is home safe and sound before we know it. We love you Aly Jean (and Jenny and Jeremy!).

Oh, and if you'd like to follow Aly's progress (and leave some prayers and well wishes), you can do so here.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

For the love of milestones

As a mom, you're repeatedly told not to compare your child to others. Everyone tells you this - your child's pediatrician, your husband, your best friend (whose child has hit EVERY milestone months early, as it happens), the stranger behind you in line at the grocery store. They tell you "every child develops at his or her own pace." The thing is, no one ever gives you that speech unless your child in fact appears to be behind. It's only after looking at your child and discovering that he or she should have been doing (insert milestone here) for months already and yet your child is obviously nowhere near (insert milestone here) yet, that the question of whether said milestone has been met is very hastily followed with an "oh, but every child develops at his or her own pace." Ask any mom and they'll confirm this very fact. It's our dirty little secret. We only give/get that peptalk if it looks like the child in question is not meeting milestones. I suppose it's the motherhood equivalent to the ridiculously patronizing "well as long as you think it looks nice, that's what's important, honey."

In any case, the directive not to compare your child to others is generally completely ignored by most parents. But I tell you, if you have a special needs child, you strictly follow that guideline. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because your child has struggled with so many MAJOR issues that when he will meet milestones is the least of your concerns. Perhaps it's because you're tired of focusing on how your child is different than his peers and a milestone discussion reminds you of all the ways your child is different and for once you'd like to focus on what makes your child the same as everyone else. Perhaps it's simply because, as a special needs parent, you have enough bad news that permeates your world, you don't want to throw on any more.

So you throw the milestone chart out the window. And you watch your child. He develops at HIS pace. He meets his milestones on HIS time. And you rejoice when he meets Doesn't matter if it's early, right on time, or ridiculously late. In fact, the ridiculously late ones are perhaps the most celebrated of them all.

So I haven't really bothered to compare Bodie to his peers. I mean, how many of them have spent 4 1/2 of their first 5 months lying in a hospital bed, fighting for their life? How many of them have had their chest cut open and their heart stopped 3 times? How many of them were not allowed to eat for days at a time due to surgeries and procedures? So you see, trying to compare my son to other normal babies doesn't even make sense. Sometimes, if I really feel like I need to have a milestone discussion, I look at his time in the hospital like many look at the time between when a preemie was born and when he or she should have been born and adjust accordingly. I take the time spent in the hospital off of his life, to get an adjusted age approximately 4 1/2 months younger than he actually is. So right now, at almost 13 months old, he should be developmentally where a 9 1/2 month old is. Anything further along than that and he's a total rockstar and ahead of schedule! How do you like them milestones? (Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to do that - that's my other dirty little secret - but shhh, don't tell Bodie's therapists that - I'm pretty sure they're not working off my special "Bodie" milestone chart.)

Anyway, this is all to say I don't really pay much attention to milestones. I ask Bodie's therapists when I feel an undying urge to know where he's at developmentally, but other than that, I just watch Bodie and rejoice in the incredible progress we've seen in the last few months! (In fact, his progress in the past month or so has been really awesome to watch - his therapist told me last week that, were it not for his history and the fact that he was already getting services, if they were doing an initial assessment today based on what he's doing now, he is so caught up that he wouldn't even qualify for services!) With that said, this kid has had a BIG week. In addition to crawling everywhere these days...
(yes, that is out our front door - I did say everywhere, right?)
and pulling up on everything...
(the slide at the park)
This week, he started saying bye!!! (it's usually accompanied by a cute little wave, but he was a little preoccupied with Daddy's shoes, and his shoe obsession (Bodie's, not Daddy's) is for another post...) - oh, and this is a video, so click it to play :-)

AND he started blowing kisses!!! (SO excited about this one - we've been working on this for a while!) AND, our great friend Erika gave us some blocks for the kids to play with earlier this week. Bodie was whining before dinner, so I put him in the highchair, dumped a couple blocks on his tray and turned around to start on dinner. I turned back around a couple seconds later to find the blocks STACKED! I was a bit dumbfounded, since I was pretty sure I had not stacked them on the tray when I put them there. Sure enough, little man is now stacking blocks!!! WOW... (this is also a video, so click to play)

Oh, and for the record, stacking 3-4 blocks (which is what he's doing now) is a 15-18 month milestone, but who's counting? :-)


Monday, March 7, 2011

Two sides of the same coin

I read once that happiness and sorrow are two sides of the same coin. I have never found those words to resonante more within my heart than they did this past weekend.

This past weekend, I had the overwhelming joy of meeting 3 of my Sisters by Heart moms in person. 3 women who I have become so familiar with as we've worked tirelessly to get Sisters by Heart up and running the past few months. 3 women whose children I've come to love like my own. But who I had never had the privilege of meeting in person. Jenny (Aly's mom - from Michigan), Stacey (Zoe's mom - from Arizona) and a third very special heart mom (who flew all the way from the East Coast) joined Sara (Townes's mom - from 10 minutes away) and I in Los Angeles this weekend. It was surreal to meet these women in person and to instantly feel like we had been friends forever. We have of course been friends for a long time. But I honestly was a bit nervous about meeting them in person. Would we mesh as well in person as we do online? Would there be awkward silences? Would one of them turn out to actually be a middle aged man who had somehow infilitrated our group posing as a heart mom? (yeah, ok, the last one wasn't a huge worry of mine, but I guess anything is possible!)

But I shouldn't have worried. It was the most amazing thing. From the moment I met each woman, it was like we had been friends since childhood. As Jenny wrote on her blog, it was like we picked up where we left off... but we've never "left off" before. It was kind of surreal. We talked, we laughed, we drank margaritas (turns out, my awesome husband makes a mean margarita), we packed Sisters by Heart boxes for mailing, we toured Venice Beach (my ridiculous idea of "something out of towners might like to see" that may or may not have entailed a ridiculously long walk down the boardwalk resulting in an equally ridiculously expensive parking ticket - it may or may not have, I'm just saying), we discussed the difficulties of being heart parents, we talked about our fears of upcoming surgeries (sweet Aly is having her Fontan, the last of the "planned" palliative HLHS surgeries, next week), we bonded...

On our little Venice jaunt

Enjoying margaritas, sans Stacey, who, I'm pretty sure, was pumping! :-)

Prepping packages and we talked of sweet, sweet Travis.
Which brings me to the sorrow part. As wonderful as it was to finally meet these amazing women, they didn't just come for a social visit. They came, from all corners of the United states, because they felt they needed to be there to celebrate Travis DiCarlo and love on our heart sister Nicole. We drove down to San Diego yesterday for Trav's celebration of life. It was one of the hardest things I've done. When we got there, I actually offered to sit in the car and watch the kids (Sara had brought her youngest Paige, who is nursing and therefore too "boob dependent" to lose mom for the afternoon and I brought Bodie, who is clingy and therefore too "mom dependent" to lose mom for the afternoon). The other ladies, sadly, would have none of it and we all headed in together. It was surreal to hug Nicole outside (and the look on her face as she realized who Jenny, Kathy and Stacey were was truly priceless - although she knew Sara and I were coming, we kept it a secret that the other girls were coming as well). It was hard to walk in there and see all those pictures of sweet Travis and to know that he's not with us anymore. I think we were all in tears within minutes, if not seconds, of entering the room. The service was absolutely beautiful. Nicole gave a beautiful eulogy (oh how it feels so wrong to even use the term "eulogy" in the same breath as sweet 16 month old Travis). No parent should ever have to do it, but she did, with such grace and raw beauty.

Bodie, wearing his Superman shirt in ode to Travis
The girls before the service
Bodie wasn't, shall we say, quite as well behaved as the rest of us? He was unbelievably squirrely, wanting to be held, then wanting down, then wanting crackers, then not wanting crackers, then wanting my Travis sticker, then getting his own and STILL wanting mine (one for each hand, right?), then pulling his shoes off, etc., get the picture! I'm still exhausted just thinking about it!
Nicole and Roger's pastor gave a wonderful sermon, and friends and family had an opportunity to speak. We nominated Sara (who we've now dubbed "the amazing Sara" because she truly is, well, amazing on so many levels) to speak on behalf of Sisters by Heart because the rest of us didn't trust ourselves to get through it. :-) Sara cried her way through it, but she did a beautiful job and spoke from the heart. And Travis's surgeon not only attended, but spoke at the service. I was absolutely blown away by this. What an incredible man. We all wanted to hug him for what he does everyday for heart kids.

At the end of the service, they had a slide show that so beautiful captured Travis's short life. That kid was amazing. The love in the room was overwhelming and it was just such a powerful reminder of how many lives sweet Travis touched. His smile and zest for life was absolutely contagious. We love you so much Travis and we will never forget you. And we love you Nicole and Roger; you have handled this unfathomable loss with beauty and grace. You are role models for how parents should walk such a treacherous path. All our love...

Over 1/2 of our Sisters by Heart in one place...
All of the heart families in attendance (I love how every kid except Trevor (cutie in the back - is having his Fontan very shortly!) is screaming!
Nicole and Roger, you will NEVER be alone. Your heart community will always be there to support you. And WE will NEVER forget Travis. Love you all.


Friday, March 4, 2011

The sweetness of answered prayer

(Click photo to enlarge.)

All the while our sweet babies were fighting for their lives in the CTICU of Children's Hospital Los Angeles last spring, Dana and I prayed for the day that we might have a playdate outside of the hospital, that our babies might live to see that day. They did. That day finally came...last week. (For the record, both of our babies have been out of the hospital for a while now, but we couldn't manage to get them both healthy at the same time until last week.) A long time coming for sure, but it was so worth it.

Praise God. Praise Him indeed for this answered prayer. And praise Him for the friendship between Dana and I, a friendship born of adversity, but one which has blossomed into so much more. And the friendship between Dana's mom and my mom, who can understand one another in only the way a mother who has stood by helplessly and watched her daughter hurt profoundly for her granchild can. Praise Him indeed. We are so very very blessed.

(You can read more about the incredible Addie in my posts last May - as she struggled to recover from surgery and fought for her life in the cticu and when she moved to the step down floor.)


Bowling for blessings

Man oh man, has life been BUSY BUSY BUSY!!! Lots of updates:
First, the title of this entry - BOWLING. For the first time ever, Sierra had a dental appointment this week that went wonderfully well. Not only did she not lose her cookies like she usually does, but she was extremely cooperative and did everything the really nice dental hygenist asked her to do. As a reward, we went out to dinner and went bowling- it was Sierra's first time! (FUN for her - and music to mama's ears, since it means she is FINALLY old enough to be bribed! YAY!)...

Proud Sierra at dinner
Mr. Dapper at dinner (do you see the pink fairy wand in his hand? It's his newest obsession. Thank goodness Sierra has decided she doesn't really want it anymore, because I'd hate to try to pry it out of Bodie's hot little hands - Daddy's not to thrilled about it! LOL)
This is Daddy's assessment of going out to dinner with 2 kids in tow...
She was SO excited about bowling!
Showing off her ball!
Bodie didn't do too shabby either...he was fascinated by the whole experience!

She also had her first SLEEPOVER tonight with her best friend Fia! As things often do with 3 and 4 year olds, it ended a bit earlier than anticipated (Fia went home a bit before 10pm), but that's ok - we sure had fun while she was here and each experience gets the girls a bit more comfortable with their own independence. :-)

Sierra and her bff Sofia

And finally, Bodie is BUSY BUSY BUSY. I mean, I think the kid might be certifiably crazy. He is on the move ALL.THE.TIME. He is constantly pulling up on anything and everything in sight, pulling things out of where they belong (can I tell you how long it takes to empty a dishwasher when I have to slam it closed after every 2 items just to keep his meaty little paws from pulling all the nice clean silverware out and throwing it all over the kitchen floor? ;-)), dumping things over, throwing things, climbing over and under things, crawling all over them. He is ON THE MOVE. I cannot keep up. Praise God for busyness - it means he's acting like a normal, healthy 1 year-old boy! Just a few examples...

Like I said, he's crazy. Always moving. These pics were all taken within about 15 minutes of each other (if that).
He dug through the trash in my office, found a cupcake wrapper and proceeded to eat it. And oh, did he ever give me the whatfor when I took it away! Man, this kid is an animal...
"Who me? Did I make a teeny mess in here? Not me!"
This is what happens when you have an older sister...
Like I said, he's busy, busy, busy. But no matter how exhausting it is for me to keep up with him, what a blessing to be chasing him around and worrying about "normal" things!!! :-)