How to Take a Bathroom Break with a 9 Month Old... and other important lessons

God has been laying this verse on my heart lately:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "Give thanks in all circumstances"

This has been increasingly difficult for me. I know that God isn't asking me to give thanks FOR all circumstances, but finding the blessings in Zachary's trial phase is proving to be a difficult task.

We were so close to having squash approved, then, out of the blue, he had a reaction. Talk about disappointment. I have read that some babies with protein intolerance can actually tolerate a certain amount of certain proteins. We made it to the 4-Tbsp mark before Zachary reacted, which means maybe that's all he can tolerate. In which case, we'll be able to give him 4 bites on a regular basis of squash, but no more. We won't know if this is what's going on until we let squash clear his system and start over with the trial in a few days.

So, we went back down to Children's Hospital last Thursday. The GI believes Zachary is showing many signs that he could outgrow this disease as quickly as by his 1st birthday!! (HAPPY DANCE) Those signs include: gaining weight, and the fact that none of his reactions have put us in the hospital. Other than this food thing, all of Zachary's Doctors think he's about perfect. We agree wholeheartedly!

The GI thinks, although we are 0 for 7 on food trials, that we should start seeing more and more foods that Zachary can tolerate. We pray this to be true, because it's taking a serious toll on this Momma to watch food after food fail in the trial phase. He says that 9 months is the earliest we would see an improvement and it should just continue to get better from here. I'm finding peace knowing that things won't get any worse.

The GI also wants us to continue down the list of foods from the Nutritionist until Zachary is 1 - at that point he wants us to start over with everything that failed... beginning with dairy. I'm extremely nervous about this but know that we have to press forward in order for Zachary to eventually live a normal life.

Then Monday led us to the Pediatrician. Zachary was weighed and measured, the Pediatrician is thrilled with how well Zachary is growing. He grew an inch and a half in a month!! He'd still like him to gain some weight but overall he's extremely impressed. He also thinks Zachary is developmentally advanced, which confirms his parents theory that he is, in fact, a genius.

I know that we have so many things to be thankful for, but watching Zachary go through reaction after reaction just isn't one of them. It's one circumstance in my life that I am having a hard time giving thanks in. So I continue to live knowing that God has a purpose for all of this and that good will come of it . "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him; who have been called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28 What I am learning is that, if nothing else, I am thankful for the opportunity to Trust Him more. We are still covered in prayer and support and still feel the love from so many people. Which means He is still at work in us and in Zachary.  

We continue to pray that this will all be behind us soon. That Zachary will outgrow MPI and that we will all be able to move on. Honestly, we can't fathom what "normal" feels like. I watch my niece once a week and always get to feed her dinner (she's just a couple months older than Zachary). I find myself constantly getting concerned when feeding her. It's foreign to us that people don't have to deal with what we go through when it comes to feeding their child. 

I'm sometimes thankful that it's us going through this. That sounds crazy, I know. But there are many people who do not have the love and support system that we do. I think about single parents, military wives who's husbands are gone, non-believers... I don't know how they do it. As Christian's we are always told that "God won't give you more than you can handle". It's true. Even if we can't handle this, we have so many people helping us! Thank you all for your continued support for us through this process. We are still humbled by your love.

Well, Zachary is 9 months old now. I, personally, have loved EVERY stage of his life. I am a HUGE newborn person, that stage was incredibly special and I look forward to having another newborn down the road. Somedays I would cry at night knowing that each day Zachary was less and less of a newborn. But every stage brings something new and something fun. After he passed the 6 month mark it all got a lot more exciting. It was like he came alive. He was all of the sudden interested in world around him and not just what we put in front of him. 

Now, Zachary is everywhere and into everything. I'm starting to develop my own parenting style and it's making me feel more confident as a Mother. I think it's important to let Zachary explore. I haven't put up child-locks because I'm with him every where he goes. I've moved the cleaning supplies out of reach but everything else is fair game. I don't mind if he pulls all the pots and pans out onto the kitchen floor or drags my cookie cutters one-by-one into the living room. 

Yesterday he found a drawer with a bunch of extra toothbrushes and floss in it, we spent an hour in the bathroom taking everything out of the drawer and putting everything back in. Sure I could lock everything and put a baby gate up to keep Zachary in the living room with only his toys to play with, but what would be the fun in that? He's developing personality and his mind is constantly being challenged. I'm enjoying Motherhood by interacting with my child instead of saying "no" all day long and constantly limiting him.      I find overwhelming joy in playing with my son. 

I'm not perfect though, Zachary still falls, he still gets bumps, and he still learns things the hard way. I'm sad to say that last week he got his first real goose-egg... he was taking books off the bookshelf and lost his balance. Forehead, meet bookshelf.

He's figured out how to push his piano over to the couch, climb up onto it, and attempt to get onto the couch. Which means I can't leave him alone with his piano anymore. 

Going to the bathroom, eating a meal, cooking dinner... they are all things that are extremely difficult with a busy 9 month old, so I've learned to complete as much as I can during his naps. He isn't a fan of his high chair but I'm usually able to put him in there for a few minutes at a time. His favorite thing to play with right now is actually our door stoppers, so I can lock him in the bathroom with me and he'll play with that long enough for me to do what I need to do. And trust me, you learn right away as a mom that you need to do it quickly! Isn't Motherhood glamorous? 

Zachary is now standing on his own. We're expecting a step any day. He pulls himself up and completely lets go instantly. He gets very excited and proud of himself and stands for extended periods of time before just squatting to the floor to crawl. We always knew he'd be an early walker, I just can't believe that time is here! He still seems way to small to be walking around. 

We continue to enjoy sporadic sunny days here with walks to the park. He's more in love with watching the other kids play than anything else. We have some play-dates planned and I'm looking forward to actually being able to leave our house with him this summer. I still can't believe how far we've come. Tonight Zachary, Packer, and I are meeting Nathaniel at the park for a picnic dinner. I sometimes wish we still lived in Bellingham, the park selection is so much greater. But we'll take what we can get. 

Time is going fast and life is changing quickly. Zachary is growing and learning and I am ready to say "Good-bye" to MPI. We aren't letting it hinder him greatly, but we hate that there are still days that he suffers. I pray for him to enjoy life - every day. I pray for us to enjoy his life - every moment. And I am giving thanks... in EVERY circumstance. 


  1. Oh Mandi, I just love reading your blog. Your story is so inspiring, and your faith despite a seemingly impossible situation. Thank you for sharing! I came across the most wonderful article about having joy despite trials, and I think it really would fit your situation, too. Here it is: Love you and your little family!

    1. You are sweet! Thank you for your kind words! My faith in God is growing and I'm becoming thankful for this situation. I am finding purpose in it and more importantly I am finding God in it. Thank you for sharing the article, I can't wait to read it!


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