Friday, December 16, 2011

Hairs Cut


A very handsome little man got his first real haircut last night.






Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Weekend 2011

We started Halloween Weekend with some intricate pumpkin carvings with Eliza.



Then, continued with an outing with some of our small group to Jenny's Farm Market. Pumpkin donuts and warm cider for the adults--Straw mountain for the kids. Nana was able to join us for Sunday's fun which was a nice treat.
Nora and Ryan jumped and jumped and jumped.





The big kids...

..played lots of chase.
Out to dinner afterwards and story telling by Mr. Phil



Then Monday Caitlin had a parade at school.



Then the big event: Fall Festival at church (which we almost didn't make due to some poor vehicle/car seat planning on the parts of the parents).

Nora and Ryan hogged the ball pit corner of the jump house for at least an hour. I don't have any pictures of Caitlin at the actual event b/c I wasn't really sure where she was most of the time. I think Eliza was watching her.



Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ryan's itsy bitsy spider

video

Ryan LOVES the camera. Anytime I get it out, he begs me to take his picture and smiles a very goofy mile for me. Here he interrupts himself to pose this smile once he realizes the camera is out.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another one for Grandma Joan and Grandpa Bud

I wanted to post these for my grandparents. They sent the kids these beautiful sweaters over a year ago and Nora and Ryan are finally fitting in them really nicely. Caitlin loves hers and has been wearing it since she got it last year (the pic below is old). Thanks again!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

lest i have a high opinion of myself

As I'm getting ready to go out to Parent's Night for Caitlin's school, she is watching me apply some make-up and comments "I don't need makeup because my face is not like that.....but I still love you anyway."

wow. I guess the numerous discussions I've had with her about the importance of our heart over our looks is really making a difference.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First soccer game

Caitlin decided to try soccer this season instead of dance. She is loving it so far and meeting new friends. Somehow I managed to capture the one time she touched the ball below (she is #7). Nora and Ryan are enjoying rolling down the tiniest hill at the soccer field and are, of course, the cutest spectators.







First Day of kindergarten



Caitlin's first day of school was Thursday, Sept 8. She was very excited to go to elementary school. I thought it would emotionally difficult and sad to see her with the big kids in an elementary school, but it wasn't--I was just really excited for her. I couldn't wait to pick her up and ask her one hundred questions about her day.










We were invited in for the first 15 minutes or so and it was sort of fun to see the routine. Caitlin was very serious about listening when her teacher was talking. She was very independent about the whole thing--not only was she NOT clingy with me, but she wouldn't even make eye contact. I barely got a wave out of her when it was time to go. She is kind of a big deal now, i guess.

When I picked her up, she was all smiles though. She had a hard time recounting her day other than "it was great," but was happy to answer all one hundred of my questions and it turns out: she was able to get milk for lunch with the money I gave her, she met some new friends, she went potty exactly once with no problems, she played outside, they had apples, bananas and cheese sticks for snack, lunch was not enough time to eat, she likes her teacher, they traced leaves and birds, she felt good all day, she sat at a table of all boys except her, she didn't mind that she sat at the boys table, she likes "choice time," the gym is boring but the computer room is pretty cool.

On the way home, she started going through her school bag and doing her "homework," which intrigued me, but OK. She insisted she had some papers to work on. After dinner, I opened up her school bag and found emergency forms, lunch ordering forms, fundraiser forms, health forms, transportation forms, etc. that already had "CAITLIN" written in her typical 5 year old style under the "child's name" section and "710" written under "contact number." I left most of it that way and just filled in the extra blanks.

Since school has started, she has continued to be open with me about her days--I don't know, I guess I thought she would not be interested in talking about her day with me and that I'd be totally out of touch. So, I'm happy for that. She tells me who she played with at recess and what types of things she learned each day. I'm missing the regular chats I used to have with her daycare teachers each day so I'm looking forward to conferences to hear how things are going from the teacher's end. Caitlin has been great about getting to bed earlier, picking out her clothes for the next day, and getting up and moving in the morning but it's a long week. Last week, she got a terrible headache on Friday afternoon and I wonder if the transition to full day all week long isn't just a bit too much too fast compared with the 3 days she used to have school. She'll get into the groove, I'm sure, but I'm watching her carefully. The other issue is that she doesn't want to eat breakfast and she doesn't have time to eat a full lunch (she is a VERY slow eater) so I'm hoping that improves after the initial weeks we are in.

All in all, it's going great. We also started a pretty busy soccer schedule at the same time so we are trying to manage our new schedule. It's crazy, but good crazy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I can't get away with anything...

We were on vacation at Grandma Mary's last week and we had a blast. I hope to get on and type up some of the great memories from there--but for now, I will just share this Nora-ism from last week:

I had just eaten a few Oreo's--it was about 10 minutes after I'd tucked Nora and Ryan in to bed. One of them started screaming about something, so I went down to investigate. Ryan asked me to pick him up, so I picked him up and sang him a quiet song in his ear and laid him back down. Then, Nora asked me to do the same. While I was singing quietly to her, she pulled her head back, placed both her pointer fingers on my lips and said, "I FIND CHOCOLATE.....I LOVE CHOCOLATE, MAMA." I chuckled a little and continued singing, but she persistented "I LOVE CHOCOLATE."

Busted.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Big kid undies times two.

So, we decided to do it. Potty training. The dreaded. This is a process--an ongoing process. If you continue to read on, beware--there is lots of talk of pee and toilets and stuff....

We started with reading some plans that have been published online. We stocked up on trivial prizes at the dollar store and the mega store nearby--stickers, stickers, stickers, bubbles, playdoh, puzzles, figurines of our most favorite characters, etc, etc, etc--sweet drinks, salty snacks. We quarantined off the carpeted areas and left access to only our kitchen tiled area and the deck and backyard. Got 2 identical potties ready to avoid any arguments over them. And we went for it--no pull-on style diapers--directly to big kid underwear. I had been talking it up to both little ones recently and whenever I would ask Nora if she was ready to use the potty, she would say "pwetty soon, Mama, pwetty soon."

With John home for the summer and the past 2+ years of diapers, diapers, diapers, we are definitely ready to teach these guys about the potty. We were prepared for the long haul (not sure if the nanny was, but she's going with it!).

Last Saturday became "Pwetty soon"--Day 1 was no diapers and trips to the potty every 10 minutes. Easy, right. When we started, we realized how far away we were--neither had any idea that they were peeing when they peed. When we did this with our oldest, we started much younger and followed a little different philosophy, but I was still surprised at how out of touch they were with this even though I realized they are still on the younger side for potty training by today's standards. We had lots of successes on Day1 and lots of accidents and we were all tired. We were able to see that they can space out voids by HOURS and between that and their great verbal communication abilities, we were definitely convinced by the end of day 1 that they were indeed "ready." One unanticipated issue was when one would have a success and get a prize, it would break the other's heart--it would also break the older sister's heart on occasion.

My first big YAHOO moment was the first time Ryan realized he was peeing--it was day 3 and he leaped off the potty midstream and screamed "I POOP!" and we all celebrated with him. No one told him that he didn't poop, we were just thrilled that he knew he was doing something.

My next YAHOO moment was realizing that Nora could start/force herself to pee on command. That happened on day 5. If I ask her to pee, she will tense up, pee and squeek "I MAKE A PEE," and clap for herself. She is so impressed.

Over the next few days, we extended the intervals, had more successes, less accidents. On Thursday Nora had 5 successes, zero accidents and Ryan only had one accident so we celebrated LOTS. Then Friday, not the same degree of success, but still lots of successes. So, we haven't had a sustained steady progress, but definitely are seeing overall improvement. We aren't to the point where anyone is actually asking to use the potty and then following that up with an actual pee, but we are hopeful.

My expectation was that this might take a couple weeks--I think now that months is probably more reasonable, so I'm hoping by the end of the summer. So, we continue. We might actually leave the house this weekend--probably with the pull-on style diapers though :) We have seen lots of progress but still have miles to go.

Summer Fun

Amy took some stunning pictures of these beautiful kiddos during a couple playdates we had this past week.












































Saturday, April 30, 2011

This will be the last time I post about one of my children being in the hospital








What to say? Nora is now better, but was VERY sick--needing a bunch of oxygen, antibiotics, lots of rest.

The word "superinfection" was in her discharge summary, so yeah, pretty sick. Can we please be done with all of the pneumonia? Once she started to feel better, her chatterbox opened up again and she kept John and me well entertained throughout the visit. She also kept our sweet roommates entertained as well. I knew she was missing her brother when she started smacking her own leg and shouting "DOH DO DAT, YA YA." (don't do that, Ryan).

Caitlin and Ryan loved the BigBirds all throughout UMHS which shows you the detour route, so going to and from Nora's room was the highlight of each visit. Caitlin made me take a picture of her by the biggest BigBird each time we left the hospital each day. She also measured herself on the yard stick the second biggest BigBird was holding and everyday asked "am I 4 feet tall, yet?" She fully expected to grow that last 1-2 inches overnight every night and was disappointed each time, whining things like, "but I slept for a really long time last night," or "but I ate tons of healthy food yesterday."

I would like to thank Dora the Explorer for making the accomodations bearable. Thankfully UMHS is getting a new pediatric hospital in the fall--they need it. We got great, great, great care--the nurses, respiratory therapists and physicians were very competent and wonderful communicators. I'm sure the pharmacists were great too :)

The biggest thing is that Nora is well. We have some questions remaining like why did Nora have 3 pneumonias this season? 2 of which landed her in the hospital for 7+ days each time. something wrong? bad luck? We're not sure how much to pursue it. Hopefully we'll get some clarity on that.
In the meantime, we are thrilled to be all home together and all healthy. Thanks to God.