Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Long Overdue Update

So we've been battling illness in our family.  Mia's cold turned into a sinus infection and she is now on antibiotics...hopefully that will get her completely better.

Last week I went up to Madera with Calvin, Asher and my mom.  We stayed for a couple days while Calvin was getting some allergy testing done...food allergy testing.  It all came back normal, so at this point, there is nothing we are aware of that he is allergic too.  I decided that I should keep a food journal to see if we can isolate the symptoms with the food and hopefully that will give us more answers.  He was a trooper though and did really well. 

On Saturday we got an early Christmas gift.  Asher had another echo done of his heart and it came back perfect.  The tiny ASD that he had is now closed!  Praise God! 

The kids have been enjoying the holiday season.  They are enjoying all the festivities that are leading up to Christmas...we have a few outings to look at lights planned and just really trying to spend quality time as a family. 

My brother and his wife and kids are coming from North Carolina for Christmas this year, so we are looking forward to spending time with them.  It's been over a year since we've seen them, so we are excited that they will be here. 

Asher is super close to walking...he can now stand still for a few moments.  He did actually try to take a few steps the other day, but nothing too serious yet.  One of these days.  :)

Monday, December 02, 2013

Happy 10 Months Asher!

10 months already?!  Now time is just flying.  We've settled into a nice routine with the little man.  He still naps 3 times a day, but that's probably because his afternoon nap gets cut short to go pick up his sister from school.  Regardless, it works for our family and I am thankful.

We did some sleep training and he falls asleep on his own so easily now...but he still needs me when he wakes up and can't get back to sleep.  Probably partly out of habit, and partly out of comfort...I am his pacifier.  One of these days I will cut him off, but I'm not quite ready yet.

Sadly, our days of growling like a bear have been replaced with sharp, high pitched screeching.  I want my baby bear back.  It upsets Mia more than anyone else and as much as I tell her that he is a baby and he is just learning to talk and will make unpleasant noises, she still doesn't understand why.

We put up the Christmas tree on Friday and Asher got so excited.  And then when we turned the lights on, he was awestruck.  At first, we thought we might not need to barricade the tree and that he wouldn't really play with it, but after we were putting ornaments on for awhile, we realized that he would pick a tiny needle off the tree and then attempt to eat it.  Sigh.  I will not miss the days where everything goes in the mouth.  So, our tree is now blocked off by a baby gate, a couch, and a rocking horse.  So, far it is working to keep the munchkin out.

Here is our handsome little man.









Sunday, December 01, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a really nice Thanksgiving with family.  It was a relaxing day with lots of great food (of course) and fun times.  Asher really enjoyed his first Thanksgiving meal...he downed a piece of pumpkin pie (a tiny piece) and was sad when we wouldn't let him have anymore.  Here are a couple of pictures :)






Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Glasses!

Mia got new glasses on Thursday.  She loves them.  She looks so grown up in them. 


The Vehicle Parade

A week or so ago, Mia's school had a vehicle parade...it's almost a rite of passage for the Kindergarteners.  They make a vehicle they can wear and then walk around school so all the older kids can see what they've done.  Mia made a Rainbow Bus, she picked it out from Richard Scarry's book.  She had so much fun doing this and was so proud of her work. 



This last one is the kids in Mia's class.  She really enjoys all her friends. 

A Long Overdue Update

It's been fairly crazy at our house these past few weeks.  When I lay my head on my pillow at night I exhale and thank God that we made it through the day.  It just seems like our calendar has filled up with doctor appointments and life. 

Mia had an appointment with her orthopedic doctor a week or so ago and that went really well.  There is no significant change in her hips or her back (mild scoliosis), so the plan is to recheck in a year and go from there.  Because her muscle tone is on the limper side, her hip bones aren't completely in the socket...down the road that could lead to some hip problems, but it could not also...so we are just watching it at this point.  She also has some mild scoliosis, which could be related to the tethered cord or her lack of muscle tone also...in any event, it is stable, so we will just watch it at this point. 

A few days ago we also went to LA again for her yearly echocardiogram.  Her heart looks the same, and it was so comforting to hear her cardiologist say that her heart is completely comparable to a normal person's heart.  She has some mild regurgitation, but even normal hearts get that, so as long as it remains the same...which it has for 5 years now, there isn't anything that needs to be done.

Great visits, Praise God!  We love positive reports and I realized that we are down to 4 specialty doctors...that is it, just 4 extras at the moment.  And 2 of those are yearly visits, so our trips to LA are so infrequent, it is so nice.  Thank you Lord!

Calvin is excelling at reading...I'm always slightly shocked when he will read things when we are out and about, but he loves learning, just like his sister.  He might just love inflatables a little bit more though...and at the moment, his favorite store is Walmart because they have Christmas inflatables in the store that he can see...every day he asks if we can go to Walmart.  Hehehehe. 

Asher is just growing up so quickly.  He now loves to climb on everything and if I don't watch him close enough, I will find him on end tables and small rocking chairs...very proud of himself for getting up there.  Of course, a day without falling and bumping would be abnormal, so he's got plenty of bruises and scrapes...but a tough kid because it doesn't stop him from trying and trying. 

One more...a cute Mia story, so when we were on our way to LA for her echo she was asking where we were going and for what.  I told her we were getting an echo done.  She said, "what's an echo?" and I said, "it's a picture of your heart."  And she said, "no mama, an echo is when sound bounces back to you."  What?!?!?!?!  I said, "where did you learn this?"  "From Guess with Jess, Mom."  An adorable British cartoon with animals in it...too cute.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Spooky Critters

Our friend has her own Etsy business and makes adorable stuffed toys for children.  She was running a contest on Facebook and we ended up getting the most likes on our picture and so we won these adorable critters!  Calvin immediately latched on to Boots the cat, Mia chose Squeaks the mouse, and Asher got Hoots the owl.  Here is a link to her Etsy store, A Petite Repose.  I have to say that the kids are having a blast with these dolls and Calvin even put on some boots and told me, "Look Mama, I'm Boots!"  So, if you are looking for a handmade gift for a little one you know, this would be a great choice.  They are the perfect size for little hands and just so cute!  Here are the critters...all six of them ;)




Saturday, November 02, 2013

Happy Halloween!

The kids had so much fun on Halloween this year.  They really enjoyed dressing up and trick or treating.  We ended up getting together with the families in our small group and some others.  It was a great time.  Here are our little people in costume.







Happy 9 Months Asher!

9 months today!  It has been quite a month for Asher.  This has been the month of removing objects that shouldn't be in the mouth...so far I've retrieved a leaf, some styrofoam, 2 band aids, a suction cup, a rock and who knows what else, I'm losing track.  Of all my babies, he is the one that puts EVERYTHING in his mouth...and he does it right away, it's his first reaction to seeing something.  Grab, put in mouth.  I'm just grateful I've caught all these things that have gone in without anything worse happening. 

These days Asher embraced growling...it is as if he is a bear...in fact, I wonder if we named him wrong...Daddy did want one kid to be named Bear.  He also says Mama quite clearly and will follow me around the house saying, "mamamamamamamama".  It's endearing. 

We are still furniture surfing and I'm ok with that.  No steps have been attempted yet. 

As for sleep, we did some sleep training on the little guy and for 3 weeks he was doing awesome, sleeping from 8pm-5am...it was like sleep heaven for me, but than abruptly he started waking up in the middle of the night again...so we are back to 4 hour stretches.  However, in the process he has learned how to fall asleep on his own and so my days of rocking are numbered.  He now happily lays down in his crib and falls asleep unassisted...I had heard stories of babies doing that, but didn't think it was really possible.  It is!  Hopefully that will make sleep a bit easier when he gets a little older.  :)

Here's the handsome fellow. 






Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch

Do you know how hard it is to get three kids to look at the camera at the same time?  Very hard.  We went to the pumpkin patch a few days ago and here is the best photo I could get of all three.  :)  Calvin was in pumpkin heaven. 


Mia's 6th Birthday Party

Ok, so these pictures are a little late coming, but here are some of the photos from Mia's 6th birthday party.  She loved every bit of it and had such a fun time!






A horse made out of cupcakes.  


A very cute cowgirl and pumpkin boy. 


A bounce house for jumping...that was a big hit with the kids.  


 And what would a party be without...balloons!



Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday Mia!


Dearest SweetPea!

Oh my how time flies!  Just six short years ago we were blessed with the most adorable bundle of pink joy.  At 5 pounds 4 ounces, you let us know that you were here with a robust cry.  I can still hear that cry today and the smile it brought to my face when the doctor said, "it's a girl!"  Your daddy and I were so happy and so excited to have you in our family!

Since then, you've grown like a weed...you are now 43 inches tall and a mere 31 pounds.  Thankfully you keep growing taller, but no matter how many cookies we feed you, your weight just doesn't want to budge.  But, you are a healthy 31 pounds and we are grateful for that.

This year you started Kindergarten!  You  love school.  In fact, most days when you come home, you play teacher.  It is one of your favorite activities.  My favorite part is watching you read stories to Calvin, you hold the book in front of you facing outward (like a teacher would) and read the story to him...or make up a story that you feel it should be.

This year you gained all of your speech sounds and you graduated out of private speech therapy!  That is a miracle and we thank God for it.  You still get other therapies, but they are slowly lessening as you continue to make improvements in all areas.

This year you gained another brother and decided that you wanted to be the Mama.  Sometimes you tell us that Calvin is your baby and you are the Mama as you try to get him to do things that he doesn't want to do.  Calvin is your best friend.  From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, the two of you can be found playing silly games together.

We love you so much and are so blessed!  Praising God for you!

Love,
Always and Forever,
Mama, Daddy, Calvin & Asher

Friday, October 11, 2013

Remembering



Our children have three grandparents that are alive.  We are so blessed to have Nana & Grampapa and Grandma Cheri live so close to us.  Sadly, our children never had the chance to meet their Grandpa Dan because he past away from brain cancer in 2001...six years to the day before our daughter Mia was born.  In a strange way, I treasure that Mia was born on the same day that my dad passed away.  I can't truly explain it, but it makes her birthday more special to me and hopefully, someday, to her.

What was my dad like?  He was well liked by everyone.  He had a very gentle way about him and was very easy going.  He loved to laugh and be silly, sometimes to the point of embarrassment for his children.  Our friends thought it was funny.  He had a great sense of humor.

He was also very smart.  He was a mechanical engineer and meticulous.  Oh my goodness, his handwriting was so neat and everything had a place...all of his tools were super organized.  I see a lot of my father in Calvin.  The way that Calvin really looks and analyzes things, he tries to figure out how they work.

Oh how my dad loved music.  There was always some type of music playing at home and I love how he loved all types of music, it wasn't just one genre.  He is the person who introduced me to Simon & Garfunkel, my very first CD.

My dad started having these really bad headaches that wouldn't go away in the fall of 1999.  I was finishing up my first semester of grad school when my mom called and said that my dad had an MRI and they found a brain tumor.  He was sent to UCSF and all of us kids went up there for his surgery.  When it was done, the doctor came down and told us it was really bad news, the type of tumor my dad had was a stage 4 glioblastoma, the worst of the worst.  They gave us 6 months.

He ended up living a year and a half, almost 2, and was considered a long term survivor.  I got the call on Thursday at school that it was time to come home.  So, I drove up to Sonora, where my parents were living at the time.  I had already been up there a few weeks before and had already said everything I needed to say.  At this point, my dad had been on hospice for awhile and wasn't coherent.  The following day, Friday, we were taking turns sitting by my dad and just talking to him, holding his hand.  My mom and two of my brothers went down to the funeral home to discuss arrangements and my other brother and I were at home with my dad.  And then it happened, we watched him take his last breath and he was gone.

One of his favorite songs was Shout To The Lord, so we turned on the cd player and played that song while crying.  We called my mom and she said they had just finished picking out his coffin, it was like he knew that all the details were finished and it was time.  To this day, I cry when that song is played because it brings back a flood of emotions.

I miss my dad.  I miss that my kids won't grow up with their Grandpa.  He was just such a wonderful, loving, kind person.  The best of the best, I was blessed to have him as my dad.

Yet, I know that my dad is in heaven.  And I rejoice because I know I will see him again.  After my dad passed away, my perspective on things changed, I realized how short and temporary our life here is and that the important things aren't what we have at all.  All this stuff is going to disappear someday anyway.  What is important are your relationships...first and foremost, with God and secondly with the people He surrounds you with.  

Just so grateful for the time I got with my dad.  

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Eight Months!

I say it every time, but I can't believe we've reached another month milestone.  In some ways it seems like it is going so quickly and yet in other ways so slow. 

Asher has embraced all types of foods.  He now happily eats table foods as long as they are soft, like sweet potatoe fries and bananas.  He loves crackers of all types...we are slowly moving away from pureed baby foods to whatever foods we are eating.  It feels like this is happening so much faster than the other babies. 

Asher is also furniture surfing these days.  He even attempted to step towards me the other day...I'm sure that walking will be in his near future.

He has a huge case of separation anxiety these days...it seems like I can not even put the kid down for a moment before he starts fussing again.  It is rather exhausting.  We continue to battle with sleep...he got three teeth a few weeks ago and I sense another one coming in, the joys of teething. 

It was so hard to get a picture from a quick moving object, but this is what we got for eight months.  :)












Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Happenings

Calvin is so excited for the pumpkin patch.  He keeps seeing jackolanterns and keeps asking when we can go to the pumpkin patch.  We told him it doesn't happen until October. 

A few days ago we went to our local fair.  The kids had so much fun.  The highlight was riding one of the kiddie rides, a helicopter that went up, circled around, and came down.  The highlight for me was the funnel cake.  

Yesterday we learned that Calvin is not allergic to any foods.  His blood work came back negative for allergies, which is great.  The allergist said that doesn't mean he isn't intolerant to some foods, just not allergic.  So, now we are going to try adding some fiber to his diet to see if that sorts out his bowel issues. 

Today we made a trip out to CALM, a local mini zoo with animals native to California.  The kids had a blast, the weather was beautiful.  They saw snakes, frogs, turtles, a big black bear real close up, coyotes and many other fun things.  They got to pet a snake, some goats, a donkey and some deer.  To finish the trip, we took a ride on their little train.  It was lots of fun. 

We are loving this cooler weather!  It's so nice to be able to open the windows and let the fresh, um...I guess that is debatable...air in.  Just really enjoying this beautiful season of life. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

This Face!



I can't get enough of this cute little face.  He is getting so big.  He is so much fun, except for when he's teething...did I tell you that we got 3 teeth last week, yup 3.  I say we because I had to endure all the fussiness that went along with it.  All on top...the 4th is almost here...it's been a few long nights. 

Mia absolutely loves school.  That makes this mama very happy.

Calvin is starting to read!  It brings me back to when Mia first learned to read, close to this time also.  I love watching him get excited when he can recognize words, it's like a whole new world that opens up to them.  The other day he told me, "mama, that's a double o, it makes the oo sound".  I love this kid.

One other cute story, we were driving in the car...probably to pick up Mia, and he had the board book, "Wocket In My Pocket" by Dr. Seuss.  Well, he was reading it in the car to me...or at least attempting to read it since he didn't know all the words.  But he knew that they rhymed and went with the pictures, so he would say, "there's a zair on the chair" (it's really bofa on the sofa)...the cutest one was "a rabinet in the cabinet".  Too funny.  :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Things They Say

So on Friday, Calvin had an appointment with a local allergist to discuss possible food intolerances.  He has some chronic symptoms that could potentially indicate an intolerance or not.  So, the allergist agreed that Calvin should get a blood test done just to rule out or show us what he is intolerant to.  This morning we went to one of our local blood draw stations.  I was explaining to Calvin that we needed to get some of his blood to test for any food allergies.  I told him that the blood is inside of us...the only thing I could think of was how when you get cut, you bleed because there is blood inside of you.  That was making sense to him, so I told him that they would take his blood and the he would get a lollipop and then we would go get ice cream.  He thought about it for a bit and then told me, "so, bleed, lollipop, ice cream." 

He did great, the guy who drew his blood did it on the first try, he shed some tears, but then he was ok.  I was so proud of him.  Well, he immediately got his lollipop and we were off to get ice cream.  Well, when we arrived at the ice cream store, it was closed!  Talk about a parental fail!  He was so distraught, "but Mama, you said ice cream."  He didn't even believe me that the store was closed until I made him go and try to open the door.  He absolutely did not want ice cream anywhere else...sigh...so I said that we would go down to the grocery store and find a cookie instead.  That seemed to partially appease him.  And then when he picked out the largest cookie ever with m&m's, he was happy.  Thank goodness! 

Now we wait a few weeks and then we'll go back to the allergist and get our results. 

Monday, September 02, 2013

Happy 7 Months Asher!

This past month has been busy for Asher.  He learned how to pull to stand and has not slowed down a bit.  In fact, it was really hard to get a picture of the kid at 7 months, I guess you get what you can get at this age.  He has also taken to food like a fish takes to water...he can't get enough.  The boy loves to eat and pretty much eats everything.  He doesn't particularly like peas or beans unless I mix in a sweet fruit or alternate fruit/veggie bites.  He's doing really well feeding himself the "puffs" for babies.  We just keep waiting for those top teeth to arrive...maybe this coming month.  We still aren't completely on a schedule yet, but it does seem like we are finally down to three naps a day.  I remember it took a long time with Calvin, so I kind of figured it would take us awhile with Asher, what can I say...my babies like to sleep. 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Growing Up Quickly

So I caught Asher standing yesterday.  We have a drawing table for the kids in the kitchen and he had crawled out there to it.  He was awfully quiet, so I thought I would check on him and he was standing at the drawing table.  Somehow he had managed to pull himself up, of course I freaked out because our kitchen is really, really, really hard tile (as opposed to the really soft tile ;)) and all I could see was him falling and hitting his head on the floor.  I know he's advanced because I compare him to what Calvin was doing and he's a few months ahead, but it still throws me for a loop every time he tries something new.  Now, if only he would get back to sleeping well at night...I can always hope, right?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

And The Cake Was...

A whale.  After all the suggestions...a school bus, a digger, a ghost, a ladybug, a blue frog, a dinosaur, an alligator...he finally settled on a whale.  It turned out cute and he was very happy with it. 


Here's the birthday boy and his special birthday shirt, thanks Grandma Cheri!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday Calvin!

Dear Sonshine,

Has it been 3 years already?  I remember it like yesterday when we went to the hospital and you were born...our sonshine!  And now you are 3 today!

Last night when I (Mama) tucked you in, I told you that you were going to sleep a 2 year old, but that you would wake up a 3 year old.  You were very excited.  And this morning after you woke up, you told me, "I'm 3!"

This past year you've grown so much, you are now 29 pounds and 38 1/2 inches.  You gained a brother this year and sometime after he was born, you learned how to fall asleep on your own without your "binky".  Now you don't even remember you ever had one.

You are one smart cookie.  You can already read basic words...some of your favorites are bus, stop, and school.  You know all your ABC's and you can count to 30.  You have a sister who is your best friend and a brother who you can't wait to play with when he's a little bit older. 

Your favorite things to eat are peanut butter and honey sandwiches and Mama's "green" smoothies.  It is the only way I can get a green vegetable in your body willingly.

We love you so much!  We are excited to see the plans God has for you!

All our love,
Mommy & Daddy


Monday, August 19, 2013

Kindergarten!

Well, we survived the first day of Kindergarten.  Mia seems to have done very well and it sounds like she did a few different activities to keep her busy.  I asked her if there was anything she didn't like, and she said no, she liked everything.  Calvin missed his sister sorely, he was a grump for a good portion of the day because he wanted to go to school too.  It will be a bit of an adjustment.  Picking up and dropping off was a nightmare...I'm hoping that things will settle down and not be so chaotic over the next few weeks.  Here is the big Kindergartener!


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