Happy 2nd Birthday Patrick

Not many people get sentimental around Halloween. In our house, we just can’t help it.

2 years ago at 3:07 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Patrick made his way into this world with much excitement. Doctors swept him out of the delivery room and into the operating room. The prognosis for him was grim. At first hours or days, then no more than 1 or 2 years.

That’s what we were told a few days later when we first heard about Patrick. Infections or liver failure would take his life within the first couple of years ago.

We were scared to hear that news and not sure what the future would hold. But there was something special about that beautiful little boy with the angel eyes and we loved him more each time we told his story and looked at his picture.

Last year, when we celebrated Patrick’s first birthday it was a big event. We almost lost him that year and his mere presence at home with us that day was a cause for celebration.

This year, not only is Patrick still healthy and still home, but he is amazing us as he grows bigger and stronger with each passing day. I didn’t imagine when we met Patrick that he’d be the vibrant little boy that his is now at age 2. On his first birthday, we had even more reason to wonder whether we’d ever see that day.

Patrick is walking. Not all of the time, but often and with more confidence in every step. He is learns more words all the time and loves having you teach him words for the toys he finds of the books you’re looking at. He loves the people he loves with an enthusiasm that’s hard to describe. He loves cars and Elmo and pushing his brand new birthday gift wagon. He kisses us goodnight every night and gives me hugs and kisses every morning. He adores his Daddy. He gets into trouble with his friends in music group. He likes chips and french fries and drinking from a straw.

He’s an amazing little boy whose love of life is contagious.

Happy Birthday Patrick. May this be one of many, many more!

State Fair

After dinner tonight, we were trying to decide what to do with our evening. Then, Brian remembered that it was the opening day of the state fair.

If we’ve learned nothing from life with Patrick, it’s that you’ve got to take opportunities when you have them. So, even though it was already 7 pm on a weeknight, we decided that since we could go to the fair, we would.

Patrick loved it! First, we came across a pony ride. And, since we were seizing every opportunity, decided that Patrick should get to ride a horse. He was pretty nervous about it. It was halfway through the ride before he was willing to even put his hands down.

Then, we went on to see the other animals.  Right away, we came across a very friendly goat. He was standing up on the edge of his pen begging for attention. Once I realized how friendly he was, I let Patrick pet him, too. Patrick loved it! Not only did he pet the goat, but he actually gave him several “loves”.

Next, were the cows. Patrick’s eyes lit up when he heard them “moo.” Soon, he was saying “moo” too, delighted that he actually knew what sound they made.

The sheep were also friendly enough for Patrick to pet. Patrick was a lot braver right from the start. He’d touch the sheep’s nose and then turn with a big cheesy grin for Daddy to take a picture.

The pigs were exciting. We were in just the right place to watch them move one from its pen to be washed. Patrick was transfixed watching the farmers try to chase down and lather the pig.

By then, the sun had set so we left the animals to be greeted by a fully lit carnival. Again, Patrick could barely take his eyes off of the sight. He’s never seen anything like it and was just soaking it in.

Finally, we stopped and bought some freshly cooked doughnuts. Patrick couldn’t get enough of these. They were so soft and warm! The perfect treat on a cool evening.

Usually, Patrick would crash in the car after that much excitement, especially being up past bedtime. But tonight, he just couldn’t quit talking about it. Our ride home was filled with happy moo’s, neighs, baa’s and oinks from the back seat, mixed with giggles and excited gestures.

I think this may be one of the best family outings we’ve ever taken.