This is a long one, sorry. :)
It seems as though so much has happened since my last post! Some good, some not. I posted last on Christmas Eve, asking for prayers for my stepdad and mom. Well, as most of you know, Allen passed away the very next morning. Christmas morning. I hate that it happened then, but then again, when is it ever a good time to die? I hate that now we will all have that negative association with Christmas. (As if I needed any more. I am a total grinch.) I am, however, thankful that he is no longer suffering. My mom is doing as well as can be expected, I guess. The first few days were not as bad as I thought, but honestly, I think she was kind of in shock. She is struggling right now. She says she feels like the shock and numbness has worn off. So please, continue to keep her in your prayers. I stayed with her from Christmas day until the day after the funeral. I came home then because I couldn't stand being away from Colt any longer. We've been back since and Colt got to come. As soon as he walked in the house, his whole demeanor changed. He got really quiet and sat in my lap really still. Finally, he reached behind me and touched a blanket and so very reverently said "Pappy's blanket." It was. Bless him. I think he understood. :( Kids really do know more than we think they do.
Other than that, we had a pretty good Christmas. We all got more than we needed and ate much more. ;) Colt seemed to understand more this year, so it did make it a bit more fun for me. I wanted to give him his gifts so badly! I got to take a few pictures on Christmas morning but I never went back and looked at them. I finally looked at them on Tuesday (almost two weeks later!) and realized that almost every single picture is of nothing but Colt's smiling face. Seeing his smile was worth all the stress and irritation that the Christmas season brings me. I will post a couple of pictures below.
But first, I wanted to give another update on Colt. His speech is unbelievable. I have said it before and I will say it again - it's like a switch got turned on and he's just full of words! Sentences (sort of) even! He can repeat just about anything you can say, so beware. He will repeat it. He is even forming words on his own, pretty much all the time, and attempting sentences a lot! Sometimes it takes the patience of Job to not "rush him along" while he's fumbling through the words, but boy does my heart explode when he FINALLY comes out with something on his own! Listening to him work through the words is VERY similar to listening to a foreigner attempt to learn how to speak english. It's really adorable.
I mentioned on Facebook the other day that Ryan and I sometimes think that Colt can read. I know you are probably thinking that is ridiculous, but I assure you, he's got something crazy going on in that head. As soon as he started to talk, when it was still just basic sounds and people's names, he got this sudden interest in the logos on vehicles. It did not matter what style of car it was (car, SUV, truck, whatever), he could tell you who drove that "brand" of car. Any time he would see a Cadillac it was "Nana!" or Lexus was "Pawpaw!" or Mercury "Mimi!" or Jeep "Mommy!" You get the picture. He saw Leah and Daniel's new car ONE TIME and every single time after that, when he saw a Toyota, it was "EEEah!!!!" Even when he saw commercials on TV for those vehicles. It then turned into restaurant logos and would tell you with whom he had eaten at that restaurant. Soon, it was in the grocery store where he would point out who ate certain foods or drank certain drinks. Diet Pepsi was Gaga (granddad) or Diet Mountain Dew was Leah. Starbucks was Mommy! (smart boy.)
There are so many examples, I could write a book. Okay, now. The last time we went to visit my stepdad before he passed away, there was a binder on the coffee table with a logo on the front. Colt pointed to the logo and said "that says?" (We can't get him to say what, where, who, etc.) Anyway, my mom said "It says 'Tanner'" (That's the name of the hospital in their area) and Colt pointed at it and said "Tanner Hospice." IT SAID TANNER HOSPICE. No one had said it that day or any other day, not around him anyway. It was what got us wondering about his ability to "read" or recognize the way words look. Maybe he saw it on a commercial? In my car, Colt has been absolutely obsessed with listening to Garth Brooks. He's a huge fan. My car has a computer screen where the radio/navigation/etc is and it says the names of the songs from the Garth cd. It only shows three songs at a time, so you have to page down to see more songs. Colt's new thing is to tell me what it says on the screen, even if that song is not playing yet. For example, if "Calling Baton Rouge" is playing, it lists "Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House" and "Shameless" as the next two songs. Colt will tell me which song he wants to listen to depending on what "page" you are on at the time. If the song he wants is not shown, he will say "Go down" until he sees the song, then he'll point and say "Rodeo" or whatever song he wants! It's CRAZY.
It's almost like he's just now figured out that he can do this because CONSTANTLY he is saying "that says?" or "that place?" wanting to know what something is or what a certain word says. Yesterday, when I picked him up from Siskin, every single building we passed was "That place?" On Gunbarrel Road, there are a lot of buildings. I had never realized quite how many there really are. Also, his memory is unbelievable. If you tell him something one time, it's there for good. HE DOES NOT FORGET. It is scary, really. I guarantee you, when I pick him up today, he will tell me what all of those places were that we went over on Tuesday. We passed a new billboard on 75 the other day and Colt told me what it used to say - Tennessee Aquarium Downtown Chattanooga - with a question mark at the end like he was asking where that sign went. Ha. On Sunday at the Cracker Barrel, he asked his granddad what a birdhouse said "See Rock City." On our way to school, there is a Rock City billboard. This morning he noticed it and yelled "See Rock City at Cracker Barrel!" It is very exciting to know that he has these crazy abilities and terrifying too! What if I am not smart enough to challenge him?? Ahhh!
Anyway, I realize I wrote a book but I just find myself in awe of him and his abilities these days. He is amazing. I want to share his wins because so many of my early blogs were about all of his challenges. I truly feel like they have turned him into such a brilliant little light. :)