This past weekend you turned 8 months old. I waited to do your post today for a very special reason. It has been exactly one year since we had confirmation of your diagnosis. My how you have changed our lives over the past year. In some ways, I want to apologize to you. I am sorry for the disappointment we felt, the heartache we experienced, and the uncertainty we had in your place in our lives. We never doubted our academic love for you, the love that parents have for their children in principle, but we definitely doubted whether we could feel that burning, passionate, super proud love that we so wanted to have for all of our children. Our worries have been unfounded. You have sparked such fierce protectiveness and such amazement and wonder in our hearts that we barely resemble the tearful messes we were a year ago. We understand so much more about ourselves, our children, and the world, all through that teeny, tiny extra chromosome that you brought into our lives. So in other ways, thank you. You can never be replaced in our lives and in our hearts and few people can say they have changed us the way you have. What an amazing little guy. I also wanted to post this today to write about who you are, very different from the uncertain future we thought we had in store for us.
Quite frankly, you are trying to grow up very quickly. You have accomplished some pretty amazing things over the past month. At the beginning of the month you had just learned to roll over both ways, not you use rolling and wiggling as pretty intense forms of locomotion. You will rarely stay and play wherever I lay you down, you will roll until you find something or someone more interesting to be around. I love the way you roll from your tummy to your back, you definitely found the most efficient way. You will put your arms at your side, pull your knees and feet under you (sort of crawling/wanting to stand), and kick yourself over by pushing your feet. It's pretty funny to watch and I think it will help you learn how to crawl soonish. We have been working a lot on sitting up and this past week you have spent more and more time (seconds and minutes) sitting without toppling over. I think you will soon be able to sit alone and play with toys soon.
Your language skills are coming along quite nicely and surprisingly. You have started signing milk on occasion and will definitely respond in a positive manner by smiling and waving your arms around if I ask you if you want milk when you are hungry. Last week we noticed you starting the distressed "mamamamama" when crying and you are getting better and better at saying "Mama". For anyone counting (like I am) that would be two out of three kids who said "Mama" first! We are working on more signing with you and I need to read baby books to you more often to help develop that love for books. You definitely like the touch and feel books and will scratch away at them when we give them to you or sit you in our lap with one of them. You have started reaching and lurching for people to hold you more.
You are eating well. You usually take 5 bottles of pumped milk amounting to 22-25 ounces a day. You are also eating solids twice a day (lunch and an early dinner) and like squash, garden vegetables, and pears the best. We have to add solids to your food to give you extra texture in your food. That being said, you do not like the food with little bits of vegetable in it, you like a consistent texture. You sleep for a short nap in the morning and a longer (usually 3 hours) nap in the afternoon and prefer to be asleep by 7:30 at night (waking around 7am). You like your bath time with Daddy and will grab for Daddy when he jiggles your tummy during splashing. MacKenzie and Keegan like to help sometimes too.
You are a happy little guy. You love to smile at people who give you attention and your smile is still the big, gummy, "I'm going to eat your face" smile. Sometimes you will lean all the way in for a "kiss" of sorts. You love to be tickled by Mommy or Daddy gobbling your neck which tickles your neck, chin, and chest all at the same time. You will sometimes laugh when we tickle your ribs, but not as much.
Johnny, thank you again. Thank you for being our son and opening our eyes to such an amazing world. We love you and feel so lucky and privileged to be raising you.
Mommy and Daddy