June 13, 2020 marks ELEVEN MONTHS of Talon!

Gosh, this past month has been especially magical.  ELEVEN MONTHS.  Seriously!?  How is that even possible?  The craziest part of Talon hitting ELEVEN MONTHS is knowing that TWELVE MONTHS - meaning one whole year - is right around the corner.  I just don't know that my heart can take it.  

ELEVEN MONTHS.  Whew!  I need to gather myself over here knowing we're almost to the year mark.  One year.  My goodness!  This month has been so great.  Honestly, it has been filled with so much of what we have longed for since knowing we were expecting.  This month has been filled with the sweetest moments with our boy.  Each day we are reminded more and more what a blessing it is to be his parents.

We still work on gaining all the weight we can.  The process is slooooooow, but steady.  Plus, we keep getting taller which makes the wight gain a little tougher but we're not complaining.  We're starting to push the limit a little more on our 9 month clothing, but we'll probably be in size 3 diapers for the long haul.  Feeding/eating/drinking... all the fun stuff.  Wow!  We will never, ever take the fact that Talon no longer has an NG tube for granted.  Not only can we see his entire precious face now all of the time, but feeding has become so much more enjoyable for ALL of us.  We get to eat and eat whatever we want and explore with different tastes and textures.  For the first time, we are truly understanding Talon's hunger cues and it is beautiful.  It sounds silly, but seriously - our lives are so different without that stupid thing.  I'm quick to say stupid, because of the headaches and heartache that came along with it... but in reality, those little tubes are what fed Talon and kept him alive - and for that, we will always be thankful. 

We have been playing outside lately like it is our job.  Talon is loving his blow up pool in the backyard and I am especially loving how he looks in his matching trunks with Dad.  Gosh, it is the sweetest.  Talon LOVES the water which has been really exciting for us.  He is also not the least bit scared of it which is a great thing.  Between our pool in the backyard and taking baths in the tub, our little guy has turned into such a little water baby. 

We try to be outside as often as we can whether it's hanging out in out little blow up pool, walking around the block or even sitting on a blanket in the front yard.  It has been such a blessing to get outside the walls of our house and enjoy some fresh air together.  Speaking of how much we are enjoying being outside - we started a rather bigger project in the backyard to cover our patio and are really looking forward to having the extended living space outside.  Knowing we'll have an area that is fully shaded all of the time and mostly dry is getting us really excited.  We are hopeful for good weather to get it complete sometime in the next month or so.  Ready or not, let the games begin!

I would say that mornings are the sweetest time with Talon, but really he is pretty darn sweet all day long.  He is waking up pretty consistently between 6 - 6:30 which I am selfishly hopeful continues so that we are able to sneak in more time together once Dave and I head back to work.  We are thinking that we'll start getting back into the office a little more regularly soon so we are soaking in the time at home with Talon.  There have been so many things about this crazy time that have been hard, but we have truly felt so incredibly blessed by a lot of it and the time together at home with Talon is at the top of the list. 

One of the highlights of this month (if not the highlight itself) Talon got to meet his cousins in person for the very first time.  We had a Saturday morning appointment at Children's for what we were hopeful was our final swallow study... and it appears to be!  We planned to stop by on our way back home as they live right outside of Cincinnati.  We loaded Talon in his stroller and took him around to the back of their house since they live at the bottom of a cul de sac and have LOTS of friendly neighbors.  The girls ran down along the side of their house to see Talon face to face.  My sister ran in-between them, holding their hands and ensuring they stopped before getting too close.  There were masks covering their beautiful faces, but the joy in their eyes getting to meet Talon for the first time is a memory I will never forget.  The precious vision of them running to Talon will be ingrained in my mind forever.  It was the very best day and I was go thankful we thought in the moment to make sure we got a picture together.

After that trip, it is looking like we won't be back to Cincinnati until August which is just crazy and seriously such a gift.  For all of Talon's life, we've only ever made it close to a month without being back for appointments and to know we'll begin having longer breaks is such a blessing!  The main reason for that, along with Talon rocking it, is that he is now receiving weekly infusions as home versus monthly at the hospital.  The transition was not for the faint of heart, but it is SO worth it for all of us - especially Talon and we are just so thankful that we're able to have the opportunity to do them this way. 

I'd say that lately, even in midst of the craziness around us that we are pretty darn consumed with grateful hearts.  Talon is making progress every day and our time together as a family is so enjoyable.  He is exploring like crazy and always on the move.  Talon is curious, joyful and full of energy.  His smiles and little giggles are the sweetest.  He loves to clap and is perfecting his wave - both big and small.  Talon zooms around the house on in his walker and keeps us on our toes. 

ELEVEN MONTHS.  As much as we want each day ahead, there is also so much of this time that we wish would slow down.  We are over here soaking in the seconds of every day before we have a one year old on July 13.  Seriously.  How is that even possible?  It's coming quick - too quick!  Although we are excited to celebrate Talon and how far we've all come this year together, we're not quite ready to kiss this year of precious milestones goodbye.  Every single day with Talon is a gift. 

These past ELEVEN MONTHS have been crazy.  They have been filled with some of the most excruciating moments of our lives.  They have also been filled with some of the absolute greatest moments of our lives.  Talon is the greatest.  Period.  He continues to inspire both Dave and I.  He is truly the most special little guy and we wake up the luckiest people in the world every single day.  We get to be Talon Kirk's parents and I am purely convinced there is nothing better in this whole wide world than that.  

Happy ELEVEN MONTHS to our baby boy who is starting to look less and less like a baby these days.  You are the greatest joy we've ever know, Talon Kirk.  Thank you for continuing to give us all the reasons in the world.  We will never be able to express how proud you make us and there is no comparison for just how tough and brave you are.  We love you more than we ever knew was possible.  You are the best.

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