Thursday, January 26, 2006

Werd Up

In the past few weeks, Anthony's speech development has really taken off. Now when we say a word, he earnestly tries to repeat it. Just this morning our cat was sitting in our bathtub watching Anthony who was watching Mark and me brush our teeth. When we were all ready to leave the bathroom, I asked kitty to get out of the tub (where she was lapping up the water that collects at the drain; icky, I know). When she jumped out of the tub, I said, "Good girl, kitty!" Anthony responded with "Goo gull, zat!"

Each morning before day care, Anthony gets to watch a Baby Einstein video or a Dora the Explorer video. Along with the video comes this request: "Nimnih, poon, pop-pop?" So each morning I get the milk, spoon and Pop Tart ready so the watching of the video can commence. I'm not sure where nimnih for milk came from, but he uses it consistently, and when I ask him to say "milk", he says "nimnih".

The speech therapist is so pleased with how his speech is coming along. She has assured us that as long as he's using a word consistently (whether it be his interpretation of a word or the actual word), he's doing fine. Since the new year, I think his language has expanded from less than 15 words to about 30 words. That's an incredible leap to make in such a small time! The therapist feels that in the coming months she'll be able to cut down to seeing him every other week.

I'm so proud of Anthony. Every day he does something or learns something new. And each little experience reminds me just how precious it is to have him with us. In less than two months Anthony will celebrate his two-year transplant anniversary (thanks Daddy!). It's so hard to imagine that it's been two years, but at the same time the memories are so vivid in my brain that I wonder if they'll ever fade.

I remember so much about Anthony's three month stay in Omaha. But mostly I remember the smells. The smell of ammonia is still enough to make me cry. In the last week or so before Anthony's transplant, his little body was having such a hard time filtering anything and eliminating it. He reeked of ammonia, especially when he would sweat a little bit. In my Chemistry lab last week, we did an experiment with ammonia. While the scent of ammonia from a bottle and the scent of ammonia from Anthony aren't exactly the same, they're still similar enough to trigger a memory in my brain. I got a little teary (and it wasn't completely from the strong scent of the stuff!) and had to back away from the experiment for a second.

Another scent I remember is the smell of the hospital soap. I can't describe it, but all of my "liver moms" know what I'm talking about. Every hospital's soap smells the same to me. It just stinks. When we were in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, we passed by Children's Hospital and stopped to use the bathroom there (how many people do you know say, "Hey, head to the hospital so we can go pee?"). When I washed my hands, the smell of the soap just brought so memories back (of Omaha and Children's) and again I got a little teary. I'm putting that bit of drippiness down to the emotional day in New Orleans plus the hospital memories.

And now, since I'm in the mood of "how far my sweet boy has come", I'll share a picture from January of 2005 (when we were nearing the end of the suspected rejection episodes) and from December of 2005. The difference in these two pictures is astounding to me.

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Love, Laurie, Mark and Anthony

Coming up in Anthony-land:
Friday: a day at home with Mama; Speech Therapy; Mimi comes to visit; Daddy gets off of work early (whew!)
Saturday: spending the night with Nana and Grandpa while Mama and Daddy go out with NEEL!
Sunday: Mama's friend Danette will be in town to try on a WEDDING DRESS!!!
Monday and beyond: stay tuned!


Renee said...

What a great post, Laurie. He has come a long way and you should be proud. You are a great mom to him.

Sarah said...

Good for you Anthony! You have come a long way!

During Anna's most recent hospital stay there were so many smells that brought back memories. One of them was the smell of that medical hospital tape. It brought me back in time.

Amy said...

Anthony is certainly turning into a little man, Laurie...he is so cute! Glad the speech is going well. Carly had speech too. :)
I can relate to the smells triggering memories.

Marisa said...

Anthony, you are getting SO BIG! Hope you are doing well!

Lisa (Aidens mom) said...

Wow.. so much HAS happened since last year. I just think Anthony is one of the cutest little boys ever. I love to read about him. He is an inspiration!

As far as the smells go in hospital, Oh I TOTALLY get what you mean. The elevators open, I stand there in the hall at the hospital and WHOOSH it hits me. It is so amazing how it can trigger such specific memories. Moments in time. Usually not good moments.

Laurie, it is something I think we will all carry with us forever. I honestly beleive that. As long as the hospital smells are MEMORIES and not the present we will be in good shape. ((HUGS))