Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Who I Run 4

Announcement Time!

The newest addition to our little family of 3 is...

Nikki!! Evan's new running buddy!!

On Monday I signed Evan up for a program called "Who I Run 4". It's a program designed to pair up runners with people who physically can't run who can act as inspiration for the runners. Evan was assigned a running buddy that night! Nikki lives in Jacksonville, Florida and now runs in honor of Evan. She posts updates from her runs on Facebook so yesterday we were notified when she did her first 6 miles for Evan in a beautiful Florida sunset. 6 MILES!! That's more than I've run in the past month. Way to go Nikki!

First I will explain why I did not initially want to sign up for this program, and then I will explain why I did choose to sign up. At first when I heard about getting a running buddy I felt like I was giving up on Evan being able to walk and run. I like to think, "He's not that disabled. He doesn't need somebody to pity him by doing something for him that they think he can't do for himself." But then the idea came to me that maybe Evan could benefit from this relationship too. I love the idea of having someone who we (Evan, eventually) can look up to as motivation to learn to walk and then run someday. I'm really looking forward to strengthening this mutually-motivating relationship as we get to know Nikki better.

Evan must have been harnessing some Nikki running power as he walked all the way around the block with his walker for the first time ever on Monday night. He is getting SO strong and SO confident.

This program has about 3400 runners waiting to be paired up with buddies. (Nikki had waited since April to be paired up.) If you or anyone you know have a child who physically can't run (yet :) ) then sign up!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Garrett Family Reunion 2014

Evan and I flew to Utah on our own for a family reunion and a little farewell to Austin for 2 years. Evan was an angel both ways on the plane. The biggest travel challenge was getting the luggage checked in and then picked up from the baggage claim. I had two suitcases, a car seat, a walker, a stroller with Evan inside, and a diaper bag. Thank goodness Southwest allows for all of that to be checked in free with my one ticket. We did curbside check-in and then security and the rest of the airport was a breeze.

In Utah I loved being in nature, feeling the family love, and showing off my adorable son. Isaiah also kept reminding me to get my fill of games while I was there which I made sure to do. In between family time Evan managed to squeeze in some lounge time in our room, watching TV. The lodge was so fancy.

Evan met a lot of second cousins (sometimes by running into them with his walker). He learned to sign "baby" and loved the babies he saw there. A lot of kids were curious about his walker and took their own turns with it. I love spreading awareness by allowing them to experience a piece of Evan's life.

Grandma (Evan's great-grandma) planned a Bear Hunt for the kiddos. They got superhero capes for their adventure and each got to collect trinkets, treats, and pieces of nature--not to mention the BEARS they found at the end! The jogging stroller did great through the rocky trails. Evan is very observant and seems to love being outside where there is a lot to look at.

After the Bear Hunt
Still wearing their superhero capes
Evan's favorite person at reunion (his reflection)

Evan finally mustered the courage to pet this dog but she didn't seem so fond of him and kept walking away. Somewhere there is also a picture of Evan with the domesticated fawn (Thunder) that lived at the lodge.

Janelle and I planned a craft with the kids where they made salt dough jewelry and shapes. They were so creative with making heart-shaped pendants for necklaces, worms, and in one case a ring for a "girlfriend."

One of my favorite parts of reunion was the adult "ninja warrior" obstacle course. Most of the challenges had an easy way and a "right" way. Even though I mostly opted for the easy way it still challenged me enough that I felt proud of my accomplishments in the the end. Thankfully a few others took pictures of the events.

Tomorrow (hopefully) or sometime soon I'm going to share some exciting news from this week! I can't wait!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10, 2014

Some of the names I call Evan are honey, love bug, pal, lovey, and sweetheart.
Evan still loves to push around cars and throw balls but he's recently gained a few more mature interests including sweeping the floor and playing the piano. He can also nearly completely navigate the ipad to his liking, his favorite apps being Video Touch (transportation and instruments) and story books with the Fisher Price puppy. And the camera. Click click click. All. Day. Long.
He knows SO many words, though it's hard to tell sometimes since he still doesn't say any of them. He signs about 10-15 words on demand and a few spontaneously as well. He loves to pray.
For the past two weeks he's decided to wake up screaming every night in the middle of the night. I'm hoping to quell this habit before our family reunion next week.