Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Ethan seemed to really love all the lights - there were more than I remember from the last time we went (a couple years ago). The twins even really seemed to enjoy the lights - or "ights" as Collin calls them. My personal favorite were the lights around the pond set to motion while the Carol of the Bells by Trans Siberian Orchestra played. Very cool.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Steve and I took the boys to a local park Sunday evening, which I know in the past has had a beautiful sleigh all decorated with plants and bows and all. I had this dream of getting the boys standing next to it looking all cute and having some really nice Christmas photo of them. Well, the sleigh was not there... and the boys did not stay still for more than a nanosecond the entire time. Without Steve, in fact, I would have lost one of them as there was always one running off somewhere (fortunately this is a park that has one parking lot, so cars were not a concern) down one of the many garden paths.
See the speed?
Steve, I think, actually thought we could get a good photo too. I even decked them out in cute sweaters thinking I could slip their coats off for a few minutes (it was very cold) while they posed all cute for me... but that was just not even in the cards (if we could catch them to get it off, we would never catch them to put it back on). I even thought that if I said "smile" that they would smile a real smile, even given the fact that they never do any other time, especially Ethan. Case in point, "Smile pretty Ethan"...... uh... no comment.
In the end, these two are the best of what I got (yes, nothing basically)... Other than my huge photo disappointment, the boys had a fabulous time running and running and running, oh and running some more. Lots of giggles, exploring and smiles. And that, is really what it's all about. Wish I could make photos from the images I captured in my memory today - to share with all of you.
Monday, December 28, 2009
On Christmas he seemed to be feeling better, well... if only he didn't have that head trauma in the morning. While I was upstairs and Steve was un-boxing items for the boys (after all the presents were unwrapped), Oliver walked right by him, up to the stockings and yanked one off. That would be the metal, extremely heavy (I am not kidding, it has to be close to 10lbs it seems) stocking holder as well as the stocking itself - definitely more than he bargained for. Steve only heard the thud of it hit the tile and Oliver's cry, he looked up too late to see what exactly happened. Oliver had a scratch and a quickly rising bump over his right eye as well as a gauge right above his hairline, that, as you can guess as with any head would, was very... well... ewww. Fortunately, it did not require stitches (though I think I asked Steve about fifty times, one right after the other if he was sure we didn't need to go the hospital) and he recovered quicker than Steve and I. All of this happened, of course, moments before Grandma Dee (another set of eyes) arrived. You know, we waited until Christmas Eve after everyone was in bed to even put the stockings up so as to prevent this exact incident... so how do you suppose we forgot to take them down immediately after they were emptied? The guilt... I will say though, the swelling went down by the next day and the cut looked a lot better too. But still, the guilt...
Presents and kids galore!
Oliver stealing Chex Mix (he and Collin were quiet, nimble and quick with their stealing missions).
'Couzind' Isaac stayed afterwards to play with Ethan, something that greatly excited Ethan, as all the younger kids took naps.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Ethan: "Seriously, my head hurts from the flashing and smiling mom... surely one of those 1000 photos you took are okay, now stop!"
Collin: "Yea mom, I can hardly see now."
Oliver: "What are you two talking about, I'm always 'on' and cute as can be, just look at me."
Let the present opening commence. Look at Oliver hugging the gift. Yes, Steve has Grinch pjs - does that really surprise anyone?
"Luke, I am your father..."
Ethan was in full Santa mode this year, waiting for Santa to arrive. He even placed a toy plane standing up in front of the door when we weren't looking. When I tucked him in, he said "mom, will Santa come through the door?" I said no honey, he's coming down the chimney. He said "Darn, then that plane will never fall!" Every sound was Santa and every light was Rudolph. Which was cute, but though we say every year we aren't going to wait until Christmas eve to wrap... we do. Every year. So, we wanted him to GO. TO. SLEEP. I mean, once you pull everything from all their hiding places throughout the house and cars, drag all the wrapping paper down, determine which wrapping paper for what (if you know what I mean) and organize... well... that puts us a little past 1:30 am. Again, Ethan was awake forever!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Ethan has decided that they needed to be gifts for his friends and family (now I wish I had bought many more). In such, he is taking great pride and time in coloring in each one perfectly (during the hours that his brothers are napping, otherwise we have markers all over the wall, floor and ourselves... those little buggers are fast). He talks to himself and me while doing this and I have to tell you I enjoy that just as much as how hard he is working on them. Like yesterday, when he colored a couple more, he decided he was coloring one for his cousin Isaac and his friends Nick and Andy. While coloring the one for Isaac he said he could not use pink because Isaac would not like any pink on his ornament. Really? However, pink was okay for Nick. And the way he sits and decides who he will give each design (tree, santa, snowman, reindeer, etc) to...ooo, funny. Sigh... this is a fun, fun age.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
So, here's the run down:
Ethan five year appointment: he is now 42 lbs (50 percentile) and 44 inches (75 percentile). His blood pressure and eyes checked out. His right ear didn't do so well in the hearing test but it was low tones so the doctor isn't worried about it (this is the ear he always had ear infections in even well after tubes). Otherwise, he checked out fine and put on quite a performance for the doctor.
Twins 27 month appointment:
Collin was 31 lbs (65%) and 37 inches (90%).
Oliver was 26.5 lbs (30% - he had been sick and not eating so I think he is a little bigger really) and 35.25 inches (50%)
This appointment was scheduled due to their hearing test in August and the delays we saw at their two year appt. The doctor just wanted to check up on them. All things are as they were, waiting on developmental peds.
Lauren's JRA appointment:
Everything went well with Lauren. She had a couple small flares which Steve treated with Embrel and it worked like a charm. The doctor's were really pleased and she is to continue as needed. Otherwise, all the labs checked out fine.
Collin's Apraxia Clinic Appointment:
We finally got an appt for Collin last Friday, which was a cancellation that they let me know about late Wednesday. I grabbed it! As you might recall, we were meeting with a doctor that the Apraxia Support Group moms recommended we see. As with most specialists, she was a little dry and hard to read. She asked me a billion questions and referred to the HUGE questionnaire that I had filled out prior. She also checked Collin over and spoke to him some. He was his ornery self getting into everything... including opening the door of the exam room and darting out. As she and I chased after him, she kept saying how quick he was... while we were panting. He actually made it very far... for a big little guy he sure is quick. This prompted her to sit in directly front of the door for the rest of our hour and a half appointment. In the end, she said that he has all the signs of Apraxia and she feels he is indeed Apraxic (which we really knew already). She said she has two sets of Apraxia patients, one that Apraxia is their primary problem and others where it is one of many issues. She said the ones with Apraxia as the primary issue tend to progress much faster (obviously) and that Collin appears to fall in this category. She did say however, that three is when they do further testing. Sometimes they find that by three they are not progressing as much as they think they should, so at that point they do a more thorough evaluation and include MRI and CAT scans and the works, if needed. I guess they have found children that have had mini stokes that are undetected until these tests but obviously the reason for the Apraxia. Strokes?! Yes, I had one right there. She said that wasn't very common but it has happened. There are many other underlying issues that could present during these tests as well, but none of which she would share and at this point I was cool with that (didn't want anything worse or equal to mini stokes floating through my head every time Collin back slides on talking). She put him at about a 16-18 month age level with the speech he has now. He's 28 months old. That's a little hard to take, but like Steve said, it could have been way worse and he could not be talking at all right now.
All in all, Collin is getting much better. He is now repeating words. Not all words, but some and easy ones mostly. However a few months ago, heck even a month ago, he was not doing this. His spontaneous words are very, very few and these are, of course, the most important ones. And though we know he is saying some, we just don't understand much of it. But, he is improving and that's what matters. Lastly, the doctor did say that our therapies currently are all good and that we are doing what we need to do at this point. We will re-evaluate this in six months when she sees him again.
And that's that on the doctor end of it... for the kids at least!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
But for the boys, being so young, they just didn't need any chocolate (plus at this point I would have to get three as if one of them gets food, all three of them want it - whatever it is... hmmmm do they make veggie advent calendars? I might be on to something! So, really, I have only had maybe one in the last couple years but it just wasn't all that interesting or engaging. I did, I guess, miss out on some really cool ones from Hallmark. Three years ago I got there too late, last year apparently they didn't have one and then this year they had different once which was also neat and it "flew out the week of the open house." Sigh...
Imagine my excitement when I was paging through the Fisher Price catalog (when I was able to get it away from Ethan and Oliver) and came across the page with a "new" Little People Advent calendar. Not that I am a huge Fisher Price or Little People fan, but was pretty neat looking. You build a nativity scene day by day with little stuffed people and animals and it plays music. Now that is fun and engaging for a young child right? I searched for FP coupons on the Internet, found one, and ordered it (it was an on-line exclusive of course), hoping to bring the love of advent calendars to the boys as well.
So far, they really like it. Keeping the twins from making the entire scene or not using them to play with Ethan's super heroes is another story though. But they do like it. As a matter of fact, last weekend Ethan grabbed the stool and ran to the family room. When I asked him what he was doing he said "Remember... the countdown to Jesus?!" (I assure you that is not what we call it, but it was kind of cute really).
Thursday, December 10, 2009
When I got there Steve was in excruciating pain, I know not only from him saying it but from how he was acting (which was a way I have never ever seen him act). Pain that came back after some pretty hefty meds were given to him through his IV... we're talking five minutes after they gave them to him... same excruciating pain was back. Needless to say, the said hefty pain medication injections kept right on coming for quite some time until the pain was manageable. The wait, like any ER was long and much of it was on a bed in the hall in front of the nurse's station (fun, fun!).
Five and a half hours later, the results said that it looks like Steve will be giving birth to multiple (as in lots and lots of 'em) kidney stones in the next seven to ten days. Do you think it's the right time to joke about how he'll now get to experience childbirth like me? Hmmm... maybe I'll save that for later...
So, now, for those of you keeping track... in the last two years, three of us have had to be transported in a squad (and until two years ago no one had been in one). First, little tiny five week old Collin when Ethan accidentally tripped over my leg and fell/sat on Collin's head - I was instructed by the pediatrician to call the squad (he checked out fine... I could have used some sedation though). A year and a half ago when I broke my right elbow bone clear off my arm at the Relay for Life walk (BEFORE I even started the walk). And today. Only three more people in our family left to get this thrill. Okay, it's definitely not a thrill at all. And I am hoping it stops here. Do you hear me family?! NO MORE SQUAD RIDES! No more!
Monday, December 7, 2009
- While I was standing in the kitchen doing the dishes, I caught a glimpse of Collin running by... completely nude except for Ethan's knit batman hat on his head.
- Collin loves a centerpiece I have on the living room coffee table... loves to destroy it that is. I have been trying to hang onto it as I loved it once (when it was full and beautiful), so the other day when he was starting to mess and pick at it, I told him firmly "NO!" He looked at me, stuck his index finger out and then moved it toward the centerpiece stopping just shy of touching it... all while looking me right in the eye and wearing a huge ornery smile. He did it several times. I think he loves messing with me as much as that darn centerpiece. (again, he's barely two people!)
- At nap time a week ago, I heard Collin but it wasn't on the monitor like normal... it was more clear. He was standing at the top of the stairs. I walked over to the bottom of the stairs and saw him standing there. I told him to get back into his room and started up the stairs (since though he can obviously get out of his crib, getting back in is not as easy). The moment my foot hit the first step, he was off! Lighting speed, giggling the whole time. This happened another two times. Oddly enough, Oliver, who was left behind, did not cry like he normally would when he is left behind anywhere. No, instead he waited quietly. Our speculation is it was a scheme they devised together to get out of nap. Collin to Oliver: "You stay here, I'll make the break. You know how old they are and how much they hate going up and down the stairs. I'll wear them out and they'll give up and let us out of nap. Plan?" After they high fived and did whatever secret handshake or pinky swear thing they might have, Collin began execution of the plan. The result: after three separate chases, we gave up and they got out of nap.
- Saturday morning at 6:25 AM, in our half asleep state, we heard Collin say "Hey!" and then Ethan's voice. When I realized how early it was I jumped out of bed to see what was going on and to, more importantly, try to get everyone back asleep. I found Collin in Ethan's room. He hopped out of bed and went into Ethan's room to say "hey!" apparently. Now here's the thing, Collin is our sleeper! He is NEVER the first of the twins up and rarely the first of the three boys awake. But yet here he was at 6:25 AM bright eyed and cheery wanting to wake everyone up. I shuffled him back to bed... no luck. He was up to stay. And now that he can get out with absolutely no trouble, it's futile to even try more then once to get him back to bed. Sigh...
Have I mentioned that we are in so much trouble before? We are.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
A family room full of kids (and this is only some of the kids):
Door knob hanger decorating:
Saturday, December 5, 2009
His friend Andy, whose mom Kris was out putting up lights too, wandered over right before we put up the snow globe and asked to help. With my two little helpers, we got Charlie Brown and Snoopy up and sledding in the snow. They oooo'ed and awww'ed over it once it was blown up. For a while. Oliver is constantly running to the window and saying "look, Charlie Brown is out there!" Which to be honest, is why we have it. As far as decorating outside, or inside for that matter, I am simple and and traditional. However, since I met Steve and Lauren, that changed. Because those oooo's and awww's over things like inflatable holiday lawn decorations or colorful lights are what drive your decorating. Don't get me wrong, it's all still pretty simple and I am not looking to go all out with things everywhere and win contests, but I was just reflecting on how I used to decorate way back when and how it's completely changed. And probably more importantly, how much I like the reason for that change.
Friday, December 4, 2009
For Ethan, this has been a big birthday. For some reason he has been acutely aware that he is the last to turn five of his neighborhood friends and even behind his cousin. I am not exactly sure why, nor is he, but it really bothered him and he spoke about it often - to me, to the neighbor moms, to his teachers, to Ms. Erin, etc. So, Sunday, he was very happy to turn five. He also announced to me, and his friend Andy later in the day, that he could now have a sleep over because he was five. I am not sure where that magic milestone (five and sleepovers) came from, but he is convinced that these two things happen together. Fortunately he didn't insist on one that very day, because I am not sure Steve and I are ready for sleepovers (been there, done that, know what happens... for girls at least).
As big a day as this was to him, he just wanted simple. Go to Panera for lunch (and a pumpkin muffin of course) and play with his new toys. So that he did.
Happy birthday my little E! I love you whole, whole bunches!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The powdered sugar literally exploded out in a big puff that stretched a 10 foot radius, which included me. (if I was going for cupcakes sprinkled with powered sugar then they couldn't have been more perfect looking... unfortunately I wasn't)