Sunday, August 30, 2009

Full: Our Freezer and Our Hearts

We have made some very wonderful friends during our year here in SC. Today, they threw a baby shower for our family. Everyone brought us diapers, wipes, and homemade meals for the freezer. Yeah, I know - these folks are practical, smart and creative. We are lucky to know them. Elle J, here's your preggo belly picture - a pretty humbling thing to post, lemme tell ya. :O)
Andrew helped open the gifts, of course.


The boys skyped their good buddy Ben, who was visiting Grandpa in Charleston.Great afternoon!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lovin' Us Some Saturday

scored gently used Hot Wheels tracks and a Fred Flintstone car at a church rummage sale...


played lots of "ball ball" with Dora dog...
ended the day with a great time at the waterpark.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Culture and Cake








The past few days have landed us at a birthday party and the state museum. Andrew, Grandma Diana and I had a lot of fun at both. (Click on the images if you want to see more detail.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Kids Lining Up for Diaper Changes from Grandma

This photo got a laugh or two from some of my Facebook buddies this morning, so I figured I'd just double-post. Mom was changing Andrew's diaper and Dora got a little jealous. [IF YOU ARE READING THIS POST AFTER NOVEMBER 11, 2009, I REMOVED THE PHOTO DUE TO THE INTERNET SICKOS WHO GOOGLED "DIAPER CHANGES" AND THEN WERE LED TO A PHOTO OF MY KID. HE HAD A MODESTY STAR IN PLACE, BUT THERE WERE STILL MANY RIDICULOUS COMMENTS MADE. I HAVE LEARNED MY LESSON HERE... BLOGGERS, DO NOT LABEL YOUR PHOTOS WITH SEARCHABLE KEYWORDS.]




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I don't know why...

...I put Andrew's pjs on Dora this morning.
Hormones. Must. Be. Getting. The. Best. Of. Me.
She didn't love it; just check out the daggers from her eyes in the second photo.
So, she wore the pjs for 5 minutes - long enough for the photo op.
Yeah, CRAZY here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Big Boy Bed!

Even though Andrew's been sleeping like a champ in his crib, next month's impending arrival of Burbank2B necessitated moving him to his new big boy bed with enough allowed adjustment time to hopefully make things smooth. Last night was his first in it, and of course we were nervous about possible sleeplessness, escape attempts, and him just being weirded out by it in general. Thankfully, the whole deal went off without a hitch! We are so proud of our big boy.

Assembly (or so we want you to think)
First reaction upon seeing his new bedProtest after we forced him to lie down in it for an afternoon photo
This morning, after pleasantly awaking with a curious "Mama? Dada?"
(The flash was a little harsh for this guy.)
OK, Mom, I can deal with the flash a little better now.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Hubby and Puppy

Today marks Jon's 36th and Dora's 4th. I love that I can say Jon and I are exactly the same age for 3 months every year (then, since I robbed the cradle, I turn the big 3-7 in November). Of course, since both Maddie and Dora were pound puppies and we do not know their history, the vet guessed at their ages/birth months. When we got them, we had Maddie's birthday set at July 14 and Dora shared Jon's big day August 14.

Above, we have Jon and Dora blowing out their birthday candles in 2006 at our Texas house. These are the types of activities you engage in BEFORE kids.

And just so we're giving credit where it's due, since Maddie was not honored via blog post when her big day rolled around last month, here she is below, unhappily wearing a hat at Andrew's first birthday party (Texas, 2008). She's also 4 years old (so we think).

Finally, since a husband posting wouldn't seem to be complete without just a tiny bit of torture, here is Jon when he was 2.5 years old. Just for fun.
Happy birthday Jon! We love you.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Some Quick Updates

  • Had a doctor's appointment this morning. I'm now on the every-two-week plan, which means this pregnancy is in its home stretch, which is a GOOOODD thing (getting a little uncomfortable here.... the 100 degree heat doesn't help matters).
  • This boy is a giant. He has a giant head - not in a worrisome way though (unless you're the one giving birth to him) and weighs around 5.5 pounds. Due date is September 21. You do the math. Lord.
  • Have I mentioned it's 100 degrees here? It's also only 11 am. Andrew and I will be heading to the pool this afternoon - DUH.
  • We do have a name picked out for the giant new kiddo, but we aren't telling anyone what it is. Yes, I know it's annoying. We're just weird like that. We want some glimpse of surprise with this pregnancy, since this time we already know the gender (something we didn't know in Andrew's case until he was born).
  • Andrew's making some strides with his speech. He's also having a hearing test next month just to rule out any possible issues there, although no one really thinks there are problems - just a precaution.
  • It's 100 degrees here. I'm going to splurge today and turn down the AC from 78 to 76. Yeah, you heard me. Spare no expense. My enormous girth gives me the go-ahead.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I Like...

...spiders, as long as they are not on me. This Green Lynx (so named for the way he pounces on prey instead of catching things in his web) was nicely camouflaged on one of our tomato plants this morning. I'm sure I'll get another scolding from Jennifer, like I did here, for taking and posting more pictures of insects. :O) Did you know that you are always three feet away from a spider? True.
...cicada shells, fondly reminding me of playing with the giant bugs in my WV yard as a little girl (remember Donna? Lori?). Again, Jennifer, my apologies.
...sweet little boys playing in their sandboxes.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Fans of Early Intervention

Andrew working with his speech therapist
and his early interventionistAs I’ve mentioned in an earlier post or two, we have been a little concerned about Andrew’s vocabulary for a few months. Despite our best efforts to talk to, read to, and teach this child everything we possibly could, he just wasn’t close to saying 200 words like a 2-year-old is supposed to be able to do, and two-word phrases were non-existent. So, a few weeks ago, we referred him for special speech services through the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.

This whole process has been a learning experience for us, as well as Andrew. In 1986, Congress passed legislation mandating that children ages 0-3 with special concerns get the help they need, free of charge, before they reach the school systems. This early intervention is available to any family in our country and the program names vary from state to state (in SC, it’s called BabyNet). In my opinion, the program is one of the few positive uses of working Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.

First, an intake person came out to do a 3-hour assessment of Andrew to see if he qualified for services. Once he did, we were set up with an early interventionist (EI) who further assessed him and created, together with us, the general goal of increasing Andrew’s vocabulary. The EI then put us in contact with a speech therapist (ST) who did yet another evaluation and assessment. The ST determined, as we agreed, Andrew is perfectly normal with receptive language – he gets it. He understands everything that is said. For whatever reason, though, his expressive language is moderately delayed.

Hence, our objective: increasing Andrew’s expressive vocabulary to 200 words over the next few months in order to decrease his frustration and improve his communication skills. To accomplish this, the EI comes once a week for 60 minutes, and the ST comes on a different day once a week for 60 minutes. They both direct him through speech-related play activities that he LOVES. He screams with delight when he sees each one of them at the door with their special box of toys. They work with me during the sessions, as well, and I am given “homework” to focus on with Andrew for the remainder of the week.

So far, we’ve been focusing on consciously narrating Andrew’s play in detail (i.e. “Push the truck. Put the car on top of the truck. Point to the truck’s windshield. Open the door.”), practicing repetitions of certain tricky vowel-consonant combinations (i.e. the “OW’ as in “cow”), and using sign language in conjunction with the spoken words for reinforcement of understanding. We’ve already started seeing glimpses of improvement and are really impressed with the whole program. It’s tough to admit that your child isn’t just perfect in every possible way, but we are so glad we did and have gotten him (and ourselves) some great help.