Feeling grateful

Even though I didn’t really do the whole “thanksgiving” thing, being by myself here in Chile, I’ve been feeling quite thanful lately. While I’m typing this post, Nathan is happily asleep and Lucky is going wild playing with his favorite toy, an elmo doll. I think this puppy was really meant to come to us – he LOVES elmo, just like Nathan. And talking about this puppy…he’s truly an amazing little dog. He’s now potty trained – in 2 days. Yes, I mean that. Day 1 with Lucky was a nightmare, he pooped and peed everywhere. Day 2 he only peed everywhere, no poop. Day 3 (today), he holds his pee and poo until I take him outside. I’m blown away by how smart he is! He’s already learned to walk on a leash and if I take the leash off, he follows me as if he did have the leash on. He’s just amazing! I guess it’s about survival of the fittest – for him to have survived out on the streets as a tiny baby, he must be one smart little dog. I’m feeling quite grateful that I was led to find him, he’s been a lot of fun to have around.

Talking about grateful…Mr. Nathan has been really blowing me away the last couple of days. His head control is SO MUCH BETTER! Today we went on a date, and he took me to watch Planet 51. I held him on my lap and was amazed that he spent most of the movie holding up his trunk and head quite well! His trunk sorta flops over a bit, he still can’t really hold his back straight, but it’s such an improvement! And his head was mostly straight through the whole movie. Then he took me to dinner at Tony Roma’s and after he drank a whole glass of juice and ate some chicken soup, I gave him some spoons and he started playing with them!

Talk about playing…Nathan’s never had much of an interest in playing. Over the years I’ve tried a million toys and a million different ways of getting him interest in playing, with no success. He gets bored in seconds. Not so with books – he can “read” books for hours – but using his body to play has always been distasteful to him. Until now!

Today we spent almost an hour on his playmat just playing. First I had hi in a baby gym and he was reaching and grabbing for the toys. He was even kicking the toy at his feet, which he’s never done before! Then we played peek-a-boo with cloths – I would cover him with them, and he would bat his hands and wiggle and kick until he uncovered his face. Then he prop-sat and read several books with me – he must’ve lasted about 10 minutes prop sitting!!! Then we played a “turning” game – I would help him turn to one side, then I would move over and make him roll to his back. I know this is just a tiny milinchstone – rolling from his side to his back – but it’s something he couldn’t do before! He can roll from his tummy to his back, but he can’t roll from his back to his tummy. So the fact that he’s rolling from the sides to his back is a step in the right direction. Now if I can get him to learn to roll from his back to his tummy, he may be able to start moving by rolling places! So I’m excited by this milinchstone. Then he played a matching game with me – matching the head of farm animals with the rest of their bodies – which he did almost 100% correct every time! Then we just hung out some more and talked and read and he touched his toys and played with the cloths and it was a lot of fun for both of us. I know this may seem minor but for me, it’s incredibly massively huge. It shows that his brain is maturing! He is showing an interest in toys, in using his body, in exploring with his body and mind. Amazing!

So I am grateful. I am grateful to have found CME (I should clarify – I am grateful that Lourdes’ family made it impossible for us not to try CME – so in reality I’m grateful for the Ives/Lourenko’s). I am grateful that Nathan has the chance to work with Ramon. I am grateful that he had stem cells a month before we came (I think stem cells are contributing to his maturation, combined with CME). I am grateful for the things I learned regarding nutrition and that he is so great about eating everything we give him. I am grateful that we found Lucky. I am grateful to be sitting here watching Lucky romp around the house with Elmo while Nathan sleeps peacefully after a fun, fulfilling day.

P.S – sorry I didn’t add photos or videos with this post – I forgot to charge my camera battery – I’ll charge it tonight and get him on camera tomorrow, promise!


  1. You know, Marcella, I think rolling on your side is an actual, honest-to-goodness milestone. Sounds like Nathan is doing great and he sure looks good in all the pictures I’m seeing these days.

  2. I am so happy to hear things are going well. Those are some amazing acheivements for Nathan, it is nice to hear his head control is getting better.
    I give you so much credit for being away so long, I think I would be pretty homesick by now.
    I love the dates. Elizabeth wants to see the Princess movie as well.

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