Archive for September, 2009

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Through The Looking Glass

September 29, 2009

My Mom came back from seeing her new grandchild in Connecticut bursting with excitement about something she’d seen there—a video baby monitor.  My brother and sister-in-law had one and my mom said it was the best.  She couldn’t stop smiling as she told us about watching little Sienna, her newest granddaughter, on the monitor.

So, when she came to the house Monday to get some Cole time (she says she is there to see us all, but we know the score) she had one for us.  It was a Summer brand “Best View Handheld Color Video Baby Monitor.

When we put together our registry before Coleman was born, we saw the video monitors but opted against them.  Every time we looked at them we’d always ask ourselves the same question, “How long can someone watch a sleeping baby?”

That night we realized the answer was, “A whole lot!”

It was like “Must See TV.” Ko laid Cole down and then rushed into our bedroom where the two of us hovered over the monitor for nearly an hour. We watched as his crying whilst trying to fight to stay awake turned to him soothing himself by rubbing the satin edges of his blankets (one in each hand) against his face turned to him finding his comfortable spot, propped up on his left side, finally turned to sleep.

One might think it stopped there, but no, we continued to watch him as he slept.  His little chest moved up and down with each breath while Kolette and I reminded each other that, in our opinion, he truly was the most precious thing in the world.

With the battery nearly dead, we plugged it in to charge and talked about how this was the best TV programming either of us had ever seen. We laughed at his little mannerisms.  Chuckled especially at ones that were similar to our own, like the way he couldn’t sleep unless his blankets covered the bottom half of his face with just his eyes peering over the covers—just like his dear old dad. This continued until we finally went to sleep ourselves.

The next morning began the way the previous night ended.  Kolette grabbed the monitor and we watched the morning edition of Cole TV.  (When you say that in your head you can almost hear the bong, bong, bong of N-B-C…….you know like Cole-T-V) He was brilliant.  His morning show was as riveting as the one he’d given us in prime time.

As his father, I can tell you he’s brilliant.  The thing that’s really exciting, is that if he’s this good asleep, imagine the things he has to show us when he’s awake.  He’s the best entertainment I’ve ever known.  Two thumbs waaayyy up and five stars all the way—a blockbuster to be sure!

Jh-

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A Cole Fix

September 11, 2009

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Yesterday was just one of those days.  Being a quadriplegic with all of the other surgeries piled on top from the car accident, there are just some days when you don’t feel well.  There’s not really anything you can do, it’s just part of living with a body that’s been battered and broken.

In many ways it’s kind of an odd feeling. I’m not sick, I just feel off.  There’s pain, but it isn’t specific to any area—it’s just low grade, and everywhere. There’s nothing that can be done, I just do what I can to get through the day. There isn’t any pill you can take it is just part of the package deal.

On top of all this everything just seemed to be going wrong, which made me really unproductive and only added to the frustration.

Kolette was gone for most of the morning, and had some projects to work on, so Coleman was at Nikki’s for the day (Nikki is the best babysitter in the world.  She lives just next-door, cares for Cole like he was her own, and is really flexible).

Ko got home from her boot camp and some errands at about 1:00pm.  She came in the door and I asked her if she thought Cole was up from his nap.  She said she had just talked to Nikki on her way home and he was.  I queried further asking if Kolette knew if he had eaten yet.  She said he was just about to—and that was when I told her I needed a “Cole Fix”.

It’s common terminology around our house for those times when you need to feel a little part of his gigantic spirit.

Kolette went to Nikki’s and came back with my boy.  As soon as his eyes met mine he had a big smile for me and his arms and legs started moving up, down and all around in excitement.  It was as if he knew why he’s come home.

I fed him his lunch, held him awhile and we sang some songs (although he needs to work on his singing abilities a little, usually he just leaves me hanging and I end up doing it all solo).

On his way back to Nikki’s, I felt better. This having kids thing is amazing.  I’m supposedly supposed to be the one providing all the care—and in the end it really seems as though he’s taking as much care of me as I am of him.

I love my beautiful boy.

Jh-

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Sittin’ Up & Flyin’ High

September 2, 2009

Floor Time

A little over a week ago, Coleman started sitting up.  It started with Kolette putting him in the right position and him more “leaning with help” than actually sitting.  It wasn’t long though until that “leaning with help” turned into “sitting with help.”

Then, just like so many other things, one day he woke up and had it. We still had to be close by to make sure he didn’t fall, or place the Boppy around him so if he did fall, it’d be on something soft that could break his fall. That Boppy, is there anything it can’t do?

Anyhow, watching him sit there I got an idea.

One of the most difficult things about being the father of a baby while confined to a wheelchair, is watching all the people who love Cole so much playing with him down on the carpet on his level. Sometimes it really makes my heart ache not to be able to be right down there wrestling, playing, or just laying with my boy on his turf.

When he was younger, and a lot less mobile, he would lay over my shoulder, or on my chest and it could fulfil my need to be close to him.  Now, he’s moving around like a whirling dervish, and when I hold him over my shoulder he’s looking back and forth so much it is often difficult to get any “face to face” time.

With my heart yearning to get the carpet feel with Cole, I watched him sit up.  The more stable he became the more courage I gained and finally got the stregnth–the intestinal fortitude if you will–to try this idea I’d been cooking up.  It wasn’t a groundbreaking idea by any stretch of the imagination, but it was an idea that had a profound effect on our lives

I had Kolette sit him up on our countertop and I wrapped my arms around his little bottom to keep him from falling backwards on the granite.  Coleman was a little pensive at first, not quite sure about sitting on the cold rock instead of the warm carpet, and a little nervous about the height.

Those concerns quickly passed, he looked at me, and then there we were.  Face to face just as if we were laying on the carpet together.  It was magical. We laughed together, played together, and sang together–never forgetting to grunt, growl and shout to profess our manhood; all separated by inches instead of feet.

I loved every minute of it. I kept him up there until he was so tired that he looked like he was going to fall asleep sitting up.

Cole on Counter

When we decided to have Cole, I knew that there were going to be lots of things I wasn’t going to be able to do. I knew I was going to have to count on his Grandpa Hall to teach him to golf, his Grandpa Coleman to teach him how to throw a baseball.  I knew his uncles would have to be involved. Uncle Nate would have to show him how to stif-arm his opponent, Uncle Clint would be in charge of teaching him how to catch a football, and Uncle Brandon would oversee lacrosse instruction.

What I’ve found however, is that the best times are those where we figure out a way around, beat the system, and do it on our own.  I love my boy so much. I know it’ll be a long time before I forget that first day on the countertop where he was sittin’ up and I was flyin’ high.

Jh-