This may be my most favorite picture of this child to date. Which is saying a lot because I have so many favorites. :) David has come oh so far in the last 2 years and 2 months since he came to live with us. I was just thinking the other day about how much he has grown. He has grown in so so many ways, but his height/weight amaze me! This sweet boy wore a size 12-18 month short all to his 2nd birthday party in June of 2012. Now he is wearing size 5 clothes!! That is just crazy to me!
Here he is at his 2nd birthday party. I mean, just look at how much he has grown! He was still such a baby. :) For a kiddo who was born at 29 weeks and had a pretty lengthy stay in the NICU and did not receive early intervention until he was over a year old (that he never would have gotten if it was for his awesome foster mom) he is doing exceptionally well! He had about a 10 word vocabulary then, and well, now you never know what is going to come out of his mouth! He still receives Occupational and Physical Therapy twice a week, but has come so so far! His fine motor skills have improved so much. A lot of everyday tasks do not come easy for him. Like giving himself a bath, putting on his shoes, unbuttoning his shirt, putting on his socks (I thought we would NEVER get that one down), but even though they are challenging for him he does them. It might take a little (alright, A LOT) of encouragement. But he can do them by himself. He has most recently mastered washing himself in the bath tub, then drying himself off, going to his room, getting out his underwear and pajamas by himself, dressing himself, and putting his towel away. I am so proud of him! His gross motor skills have improved so very much, also. He has gone from wearing braces on his legs to small insert in his shoes (that you would never know are there unless you look for them). I wasn't sure he would ever learn to peddle a bike, but he can! He had only been walking for 2 months when he came to live with us, and now you can't slow him down! I could go on and on about all of the physical obstacles he has overcome. And, by the way, his physical therapist is a saint! I'm not sure what we would have done without her!
You can always count on this kid for some comic relief! Ha! Even though taking him places can be such a challenge, I love to because he has never met a stranger! He loves to carry on conversations with anyone who will talk to him. :) "Hi, my name is David. What's your name? How are you today? (before they get to answer) I'm doing fine today." Ha! He is most definitely not my shopper. Don't mention Target or Hobby Lobby in his presence. :) But, he usually finds someone to talk to or some way to entertain himself. He is a wonderful self entertainer. Give him a few small cars and he is set. He can play for over an hour in the playroom. By himself. And have the best time. Now, that didn't come easy, and took A LOT of encouragement, but he has got it down now. And really enjoys when he gets to just play. Just this morning on our way home from OT/PT he says "Mom mom, I just wanted to stay at home today and play!" He is such a homebody. He is going to preschool (where Daniel is this year) next year. All day for 5 days a week. He has been at home with me for almost 2 years. And has learned to love it. Getting him there everyday may be a bit of a challenge. I know he is ready! He will definitely benefit from it! And I just really hope he loves it! I am sure going to miss him being at home with us everyday.
David's health was a huge question when he first came to live with us. We took him to have multiple tests run. We spent quite a bit of time at specialists and doctors appointments. He still takes quite a few daily meds (just like his brother) but he is so so much healthier! It just took a little bit of time, a few minor surgeries, and an absolutely wonderful pediatrician (who adores him!) to get it all worked out. He and his pediatrician are tight. I mean, who else can get away with calling her by her first name?? :) And who else can get away with opening the exam room door and yelling down the hallway "Dr. Mitzi, are you coming??" And then I hear, "David Hooker, I will be there in a minute!" And his response, "Well, alright!" :) When I got the picture from the awesome photographer of him kissing the bunny I immediately texted it to her because I knew she would appreciate it. Now, don't get me wrong, we still spend our fair share of time at doctors offices, but not near as much as we did in the beginning. And for that I am very thankful!
I just love this kids personality! He is just a joy! He is so happy. Almost all the time. And man, does he ever keep us laughing. He spends his fair share of time in timeout. :) But, he is amazing at making us laugh. Even when he is in trouble. And is just so very sweet. Without prompting, I can always guarantee after he gets in trouble (even though it maybe 10 or 15 minutes later) I am going to hear, "Mom mom (not sure why he still calls me that! Ha! His brother and sister both call me mama!) I'm really sorry I hurt sissy. I won't ever do that again." And yes, he usually does it again. :) But he gives such genuine apologies. And he is such an animal lover! He is very attached to Percie. And she has decided he might be alright, too. :) He also adores our cat, Eleanore. And any animal he ever meets!! And he kisses all of them!! Cracks me up! Chickens, ducks, goats, horses. It doesn't matter. He loves them all. And boy oh boy is this kid a Daddy's boy! Man, he loves his Daddy! He is "sad about daddy" every Monday through Friday because "daddy has to go to work!" Poor guy is going to think work is a horrible thing. Memama has to go to work, Nanny and Poppy have to go to work, and Daddy has to go to work. He would prefer they just all stay with us all the time and play with him. :)
David has honestly been the least excited about his new baby brother. For the longest time anytime anyone asked him about his new baby brother his response was "My brother's name is Daniel and he is my big brother. The baby is sissy, and she is a girl!" Every time. Without fail. He was in total denial for so long. We even took him to an ultrasound. He was totally uninterested. But, now he will actually admit that there is going to be a new baby. And he is going to live at our house. :) And eventually Baby Derek and David will be sharing a room (we hope). So, slowly as we receive baby stuff it has been put in his room. He is not real excited about this. First it was "Why are their baby clothes in my closet?" Then, "AND why is there a baby bed in my room??" We have the cradle and changing table in our room right now because we can pretty much guarantee that Baby Derek will be our roommate for a while. Ha! But I really wonder how David is going to react when his baby brother actually gets here. Today he said "Mom mom, your belly is really getting big!" My response, "I know! That just means that Baby Derek is going to be here soon. He is growing growing!" David, "And when is he going to be here?" Me, "In about 4 weeks!" David, "Oh yay! That sounds great! And then he can play with me!" That's the first time he has sounded excited, so I just said "Sure." I'll break it to him gently that he is going to be a tiny baby and not really be able to play in the playroom with him at first. :)
I just love being this kid's mom! He pushes me to my limits. Almost daily. :) But, I had an instant connection with him that I will never forget. His Daddy likes to remind me daily about how much our personalities are alike. I guess he is right. Sometimes. :)