Jeffrey turned 4 this week. He had scones with maple frosting for his birthday breakfast, we went to the park for lunch, and he had "chinchiladas" (Jeffrey's name for chicken enchiladas) for dinner. His birthday cake was, by very specific request, a yellow cake with blue frosting with a purple lightsaber on it (which is Mace Windu's lightsaber color, in case you don't know Star Wars as well as a four year old.) He got ninja turtles and legos for presents. Oh, and I should point out that he had to wear Adam's old basketball jersey that he had just gotten as a hand-me-down. It was a fun day!
Jeffrey is a good example that children are pretty flexible and can overcome some tough things over time. The valves in his lower ureters were too thick when he was born, so he wasn't able to urinate properly, damaging his bladder, ureters and kidneys. At 5 weeks old, he had a surgery to reroute his bladder to empty out of a hole in his abdomen. He had another surgery at 7 months, along with many painful and invasive tests and procedures. After that surgery and round of testing, he really wasn't sure who we were going to pass him off to next or what terrible thing they were going to do. He began to cling to Mom and Dad, terrified of strangers and refusing to go to anyone who wasn't a member of our immediate family. Now, though, just a few years later, he is totally independent and out-going. He doesn't ever want much help from Mom or Dad (which really caused a mess when he was potty training.) He says his "best buddies" are Jacob, Daniel and Josh. He and Adam go back and forth between "hating" each other and being best buddies, depending on how well they are sharing lego pieces. He really thinks he is one of the big boys. Even he and Beth get along great most of the time. He is a fiesty little guy, and we sure love having him in our family! (And, other than some minimal, residual kidney and bladder damage, he is healthy as can be!)
Here he is at birth and, below, Beth holding Jeffrey at 4 months old.