Sunday, December 30, 2007

On the Road Again...

Coming to you live from Safety Harbor FL...

We made the drive from NC to FL with minimal issues. Ian stayed awake for 12 out of the 14 hours it took. How does he do it??? My eyeballs would be dried up from watching a portable DVD player for that amount of time.

We spent Saturday night in Jacksonville with Mandi and Barry, and stayed up way too late looking at Mandi's extensive collection of old and embarrassing photographs from 10 years ago.

We made it to Grandpa Doug and Grandma Mary's house today at about 4, and Ian and Chase immediately warmed up to all their Florida relatives. It was a loud happy evening.

Now it's much too late for me to be up, again, when both my children will be ready to play at 6 tomorrow morning.

By the way, Mom and Dad, we made it here safely. Sorry I forgot to call...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Eyeballs

The saga continues...

My apologies to everyone who received a Christmas card with 4 blind reindeer on the front. Apparently Tacky Glue doesn't keep googly eyes on in the mail.

Damn.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Rules

Ian wanted to play soccer with his new soccer goal. I suggested that he get all the balls he can find and line them up, then kick them all in.

Pause. Confused look.

"But, Mooo-ooom...the rules say you only play with ONE soccer ball."

Duh.

Christmas Morning

Merry Christmas!

Ian woke up at the late hour of 7am...hey, I'll take anything after 6:30!! We had a lovely morning with Gaga, Papa, and Uncle Scott, who all slept over at our house to share Christmas Eve/Morning with us. It's nice to be able to share the holidays with family :)

Ian is never, ever allowed to say that he has nothing to do anymore, since Santa, family, and friends were MORE than generous with his gifts! Thanks, everybody!!

Chase was an expert paper ripper. He likes the big bows.

Here are some highlights of the morning. I'll try to post the rest on www.maddex.cc when and if people take naps this afternoon...




Saturday, December 22, 2007

Food Wars


Still trying to get Chase to eat more than fruit, cereal and Cheerios. Sometimes I can get him to eat veggies if I slip them in between bites of fruit. He's not fooled all the time, though.

He seems to like everything that I eat, though. So today I gave him a mushed up green pea. He loved it! Then he ate a handful of them (one at a time, of course!)

So, I guess I'll ditch the jarred baby food attempts and just move straight to table food. That's ok, right?

Update

Since my last post I have:

1. Had a cup of coffee, and I feel much better.

2. Found out that I can take the FELE remotely in Raleigh, which is a mite bit closer than anywhere in Florida. I still have to study, though...

3. Successfully made it to all our appointments on Friday, and had time to prepare for the party. Our first annual Maddex Family Holiday Open House was a big success :) There was lots of food and a hopping game of Dirty Santa. Next year we'll have to expand the game so that everyone brings a gift, not just one per couple. Good times- thanks to our Lexington Commons Neighbors :)

4. Eaten way too many of D's cookies. I'm going to weigh 400 pounds by January.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Oh, and one more thing...

I got an email from my advisor this morning. I'm getting ready to take that last class this January for my masters. Everything for that is fine and I'm set to go.

However.

Did he forget to mention that I have to pass the FELE exam in order to graduate? Oops! Yup. I have to travel to Florida to take a test to get a license to work in school administration in a state that I won't be living in, much less working in, if I ever want to see this degree completed. Fabulous.

I need a break and it's only 10am.

Blech.

I think I got up no less than 6 different times last night with the boys. It seems like every time I got one child happy and asleep again, the other one woke with some issue. As soon as I would let myself drift off to sleep again, another call from a monitor would sound off.

So tired.

I so wish that Starbucks (or anywhere- I'm not picky) would deliver coffee. You know, for those days that you're too tired to fill the pot yourself.

Of course, waking up periodically all night long didn't make the boys want to sleep in at all. No, ma'am. We were all ready to go at 6:45.

PT at 9.
Chiropractor at 11.
RSV shot at 2.
Christmas party (our house) at 6.
Craziness? All day long.

Seriously. Does anyone want to bring me a latte?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Adventures in Potty Training.

We've been trying to master the dry-overnight ability with Ian. He wears a pull-up to bed, and most mornings he wakes up dry. The standard conversation in the morning with Ian goes like this now:

Ian (as he pats into our room as soon as he sees that the sun is awake): Surprise!!

Us: Good morning, Ian! Are you dry?

Ian: Yup!

So, imagine my surprise when I went into his room this afternoon to put him down for nap, and his basket of pullups was on the floor next to a super-soggy used pull-up. It took me a moment to figure out what had happened, but from what I could piece together of Ian's story, he woke up wet and instead of coming to tell us, or just not caring, he unzipped his footie pajamas, changed his own pull-up, redressed himself, and came to wake us up.

So, in essence, he didn't lie to us when we asked if he was dry this morning. He was. It was during the night that he was wet!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brotherly Love...?




**Don't worry- Ian was just 'helping' Chase sit back up. Yikes! I was right there!

Biscuit Biter

Boat Ride


I think I'll have the fish tonight...

What're YOU lookin' at?!

The Performer

I think I've mentioned before that Ian is not a dancer, nor a singer. I tried, I tried ,to instill a love of music in him. The child has so many kids' CDs that it's not even funny. But he just does. not. perform. I see little kids all over who love to sing and dance in front of a crowd...I've accepted that he's never going to be one of those darlings.

However.

Someone grew the last 1/2 inch or so and is now able to turn on most of the lights at the switches in the house. Most importantly, Ian can turn on the overhead fan light in his bedroom.

Bryan went to check on him the other night after he laid him down for bed, peeking in the slit where the door was left cracked open. There was Ian. Standing on his bed, overhead light on like a spot on broadway, performing the theme song from Wonder Pets (singing and dancing, mind you), for his adoring audience in the dresser mirror.

YESssss.

He'll be belting out showtunes in no time!

Good Doctor News, Bad Doctor News

Actually, it's more like Good $ News, Bad $ News.

The Good:
Chase was approved for Synagis (RSV Vaccine) at 100%. We only have to pay the office visit copay. I don't really know how this happened. It's not even through the Patient Access Care Foundation which is supposed to bridge the insurance gap. When we first went through this, we were supposed to have to pay 10%, or upwards of $1,000 for the round of shots. Who knows? I'm not asking.

The Bad:
I went to the chiropractor for my messed up back because I thought I had met my deductable for the year and I had $1500 of chriropractic benefits to use. After two appointments, I find out that there is a seperate deductable of $300 for chiropractic care. Now I have met the deductable. And I have 4 more days to get as many visits in as I can for this calendar year before my deductable balance goes back to zero in January again. All I know is I could have gotten a damn good massage for $300, instead of "spinal manipulation" and "therapy" which, honestly, hasn't made anything feel any better yet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Common Threads

I finished Expecting Adam- and the second half of the book was as good as the first. I still highly, highly recommend it.

And as if she knew I was ready for my next read, my Aunt Konni sent me this book yesterday (along with a monster load of scrpbooking magazines and books...guess I have to buckle down and do some scrapping!!):
Common Threads, Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome
It is a beautiful, uplifting, inspiring book filled with stories from parents and families who have been touched by Down syndrome. The photographs are amazing. After I'm done reading, it will have a permanent place on my coffee table. Because I want others to page through it, and it also covers drink rings and sticky residue left from Ian's ocassional spilled snacks... :)

Thanks again, Konni!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Nutcracker


Makenna, from Little Larsens, is *starring* in the Union County Youth Ballet's production of the Nutcracker this year. Ian and I went on a date (with Angelle and Leah, too) to see it this afternoon. (There are no pictures of Makenna because Ian was not in a picture-posing mood by the time we saw her...)

It was a cute production, and you could tell the kids worked really hard on it.

Ian's favorite part was going pee-pee in the potty that doesn't flush automatically. He went twice before the show, once during intermission, and spent almost the entire time whispering, "But I weewy, weewy, need to go peepee wight nowwwwww!" He stopped to try and find Kenna during the party scene, and also to watch the Arabian doll and the soldier/rat battle.

*sigh*

Actually, he did a great job. I know the ballet is not really the ideal activity for two year olds, and Ian held his own pretty well.

We had to kill some time before the show started. So we played with the camera. Enjoy!




Oh- and Ian fell asleep in the car and I carried him into the house. This is where he stayed for the next hour. Poor tired dude.

More Tricks


Except for the occassional wing-across-the-family-room, Chase is holding his own bottle for the most part!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Just Like the Old Days...Kinda.

Ian slept in until AFTER NINE AM this morning. I have been waiting for this moment for 34 months.

I enjoyed the extra rest until Chase woke up at 5:30AM.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Meech Humor

Bryan brought home a flower arrangement for me:

My dad gave me a flour arrangement:


Wocka! Wocka! Wocka!

Birthday Horoscope

I like reading the "If Today is Your Birthday" horoscopes. Not that I believe in them, really, but it's fun.

So, today, as I turn 28 *yipes!* it says:
Study the world's great philosophers this year. Odds are you'll become one of them.

And then, my regular old Sagittarious one says:
Does becoming wealthy diminish your chances of enlightenment? It won't, by the way.

Sooooooo. Does that mean I will become a wealthy philosopher?? Sweet!

Does anyone know where to start with reading philosophy? Tom, that's really directed at you. I'm interested in becoming enlightened.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Baking Therapy

I had the urge tonight, after Bryan had taken over all Parenting Duties, to bake.

I guess it's cheaper than retail therapy. Though more fattening.

I began the starter for Amish Friendship Bread. Does anyone remember this? I remember my mom occasionally making this. I haven't seen it since then.

So, in 10 days, I should have a deliscious (and friendly!) loaf of bread. And 3 of my closest friends will have their own little yeasty starter to make their own. Anyone want dibs??

In the meantime, I will finish making the yeast rolls we were supposed to have for dinner tonight before All Hell Broke Loose and I went to Food Lion and picked up a bag of hamburger buns.

Another Ianism

Today was a LONG day.

Ian decided to forgo his nap, and instead spent well over an hour coming up with every excuse in the book to get out of bed and open up his door.

He needed lotion for his face.
He needed a drink of water.
He needed another drink of water.
He drank so much water that he had to go pee pee.
He needed to clip his hangnail.
He needed to throw a ball over the half-wall into the foyer.

AGH!!

So, after the 400th time I went in there to tell him to settle down, I told him that he lost the privilege of having a big boy doorknob (up until about a week ago we kept a guard on the knob so he was trapped- I know, we're horrible parents.)

He looks at me and says, "But I don't want to be a pickle."

?

Then I realized...privilege. I explained to him that a privilege is something you get that is special, like having a big boy door. But you lost that privilege because you played around too much.

Ian realizes that this means he will no longer be able to come and go freely. And he's super super overtired and very VERY touchy. He starts wailing so loudly that the neighbors can hear him from across the street:

"But I don't WANT to be a pickle-lege....!" Over and over. And over.



And no, he never took a nap.

Too Honest

Just now, I was hanging curtains in Ian's bedroom. He was helping me until he slipped away as I stood on a ladder with the drill.

As soon as I finished, I went looking for Ian. I called. No answer. I called again. No answer.

Me (third time): Iiiiiiaaaaaannnnnnn! Where arrrrrre you?
Ian: I'm under the kitchen table eating chocolate!

By the way, thank you Tiffany, for the giant box of Christmas goodies. Especially the peppermint bark, which Ian likes to eat under the table.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Heart Attack

Frodo the Cat is not so smart.

I just sat on him. Like, really really sat on him. I didn't notice he was sleeping in my office chair. And he didn't notice that I swung the chair around and put my butt on him. He didn't even meow.

I about had a heart attack. Because it's scary when you sit on something alive when you are not expecting it.

Motivation

Chase can sit! Unassisted! For short lengths of time! Longer if there is a certain big brother in front of him holding a bowl of popcorn!
Hey...What do you have over there?
Chase goes in for a handful.
Ian dutifully tells him that he is too yitto for popcorn.
But not too little for tackles!! And the horseplay begins...!

Christmas Party


Chase did not like the Sing-Along at the DSAC party.

Just Need Some Time...

...to catch my breath.

We had a busy weekend- with FOUR parties. I know, I know. We are animals.

They were all fun, but I think I'm almost out of Christmas cheer. Well, not really. But I would like a nap.

In other news, Chase is sitting pretty well! He's still in the Weeble People stage, and frequently tips over without any move whatsoever to catch himself, but he'll sit for 10-30 seconds at a time. Yay :)

I know I shouldn't compare, but this is only about a month later than Ian...which makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gingerbread Decorating

A little help, please?


Chase started drinking a little juice with breakfast, and while I was getting cereal for Ian, he started getting a little anxious because he can't hold his bottle yet, but he really REALLY wanted some juice. So Ian, in one of his I'm A Great Big Brother moments, pulled up a chair and assisted.

Cute.

...and for his next trick...

Rolling for Distance!!

Check out what happened yesterday morning:

All that in the time it took to make a pot of coffee.

Who's the Strongest Baby?

Chaser is!

Look what I caught him doing ALL BY HIMSELF last week! (Sorry for the delay in posting it. It's the holiday season. I'm busy. Stop hounding me!)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Ugh.

So, today I ran into Food Lion to get a couple things, and we passed by this woman shopping with her son (?). He was probably 30s, big- tall and big boned. He obviously had some sort of issue- not Ds, but the slack-jawed, slow moving, blank expression on his face thing.

We turned down an aisle, and Ian goes, "Look at that man with the funny face, Mommy." I could have died.

First- I'm scared to death that they heard him (I'm thinking that we were far enough away that they didn't hear, but who knows?)
Second- I feel really really terrible that Ian even said it out loud in the first place
Third- When is Ian going to start noticing Chase is different, and how is he going to react to it?

Ugh.

I stopped him right there in the store and as soon as I knelt down next to him, he looked at me and said this really pitiful "I'm sorry, Mommy." I talked to him about how people are all different, blah blah blah, and it's never ever nice to talk about anyone like that, and that it doesn't make a difference what a person looks like... Oh, it was hard.

This is the first time that Ian has ever commented on anyone looking different. And I know that it was innocent- he wasn't making fun of this man, but now I'm on pins and needles wondering what he will say next. I'm hoping that I got through to him enough today in the store so that he at least won't blabber on and on about different-looking people in public, but what if he does? What is going to happen at the DSAC holiday party on Saturday?? Oh, Lord.

I wanted to run up to those people and hold Chase out to them and go- "Don't worry! We're one of you! It's ok!"

Ugh.

Recipes?

I have to bring a side dish to one of our Christmas parties this weekend (Yes- we have 3 to attend! It will be a party marathon.) I need some suggestions. I usually bring dessert.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cheerio Chin


Ian saw Chase with this Cheerio stuck to his chin and said, "Mommy, Chase needs help getting his Cheerio in his hole."

I assume he means his mouth...

Gaga Over Gingerbread

Gaga and Ian went to town with cookie making last week.
I love this photo. Ian has so much fun with her :)

Expecting Adam



I just started this book, Expecting Adam. And I'm loving it.

I've been on sort of a Down syndrome novel frenzy, and this is the first book that I know that I haven't been able to put down. Martha Beck writes the story of how she discovered prenatally that her son had T21, and she describes her surreal, almost supernatural journey with intimate detail.

Everyone should read this. I think that Chase gives me a special connection to her story, but it is so well written that any mother would enjoy it. *or father- maybe. there is an awful lot of pregnancy talk in there, so beware.*

And I really hope that the ending is as good as the beginning since I'm so highly recommending it.

Lights...Camera...

Action!
I had big dreams of putting the lights on all the peaks...but couldn't get up the courage to step off my enormous ladder and onto the 45 degree roof pitch. Maybe next year.

Pants on Fire

Ian has accomplished a new skill: lying.

This morning Bryan had the boys downstairs while I took a snooze. When I came down, he left for the store (to buy a Wii- but that's another story). Ian immediately asked me for a cookie (one of Angelle's Butter Balls from the cookie exchange yesterday- YUM!)

I asked Ian if he already had a good breakfast. He told me that yes, he had. I didn't quite believe him, so I asked him what he ate. He told me he had yogurt.

I figured that was pretty specific, so I was pretty sure that he was telling me the truth. I gave him a cookie.

Then I went to the fridge to get some milk for my coffee, and I noticed the full pack of yogurt minus the one that he ate last night. LIAR!

I asked Ian if he really had a yogurt for breakfast, and he looks at me (with cookie crumbs all over his face) with these big eyes and said, "No, Mama. I didn't."

We had a talk about telling the truth. He was sorry. I made him eat yogurt and a banana and some Cheerios.

As soon as he finishes his real breakfast, he asks for another cookie. I tell him no. He asks again. No. Again. No. Rephrase. No. But I just want a little one...NO. No more. The end.

Silence. He walks away. He turns around:

"But Leah said I could borrow her cookie and eat it now...!"

Extra points for creativity, but still, No.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Tomorrow

Does December really start tomorrow? Isn't that crazy?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

GI Chase

I really really really wish we had named Chase "Joe". It would have made for a really great title.

Our week of GI appointments was entertaining, but led to very few conclusions:

The swallow study was cool. It was like seeing a moving xray. Chase drank/ate the barium concoction without any sort of hesitation. This, from the child who gags when I try to feed him sweet potatoes. Go figure. Maybe if I lace his veggies with barium, he'll eat them at home...? Think there would be any side effects?

Anyway. The swallow study showed that physiologically, everything is normal (whenever I say/type/think that word, I think twice now. Funny.). No aspiration or anything. The only thing is that he sucks 8-9 times before swallowing, but not every time, sometimes 3-4 times. She said it should be 2-3 times, then a swallow. I've been counting him while he nurses, though, and it's 2-3 times. So, since he rarely gets a bottle, I'm not going to worry about it.

We went to see the GI Guy today. He introduced himself as "Jim". Not Dr. So and So. Just Jim. I felt a little strange. He was really nice, but totally dumbed down everything that he told me. At what point do I chime in and tell him I took A&P in high school and college and could basically follow along if he just talked like a doctor instead of a preschool teacher, though? I didn't say anything. Just sat there and nodded, holding Chase on my lap and trying to prevent Ian from falling on his head as he monkey-climbed all over the chair and the exam table.

Jim told me that basically I had a laundry problem. Chase isn't losing weight or refusing to eat, so the reflux is just a normal-immature-GI-tract issue that should resolve itself as he eats more solids and grows.

So, for all of you who see me on a daily basis, I will be smelling like baby vomit for a while. Just a heads-up.

**Oh, and on a semi-related note, Chase ate a jar and a half of stage 2 food today, PLUS a handful of Cheerios! He can't quite get them in his own hands yet, but if I hold a Cheerio out for him, he'll almost immediately grab my hand and guide it to his mouth :) **

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Linville Caverns

We drove a couple hours to the mountains for the first time since we moved here from Florida. It was totally worth it.

It was cold up thar in them mountains...
Chase was the only cozy one. Love that Moby Wrap!

We took a tour of the Linville Caverns (where Ian did NOT freak out when the guide turned out the lights and we were plunged into complete and total utter darkness!)

We ate at Smokey Que's (where the Sweet and Spicey sauce was so good, we took home a pint of it in a styrofoam cup).

We hiked the moderate trail at Linville Falls to see the Plunge Overlook. On a side note- it was 40 degrees outside and we were prepared for the easy trail...but we took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on the Pleasant Hike But Not So Great For a Two Year Old Trail. It's all good, though. We made it out before dark, and no rescue parties were needed.

I like this photo :)

Awesome Uncle Scott


We get to see my brother at most of the major holidays :) He's always fun.

More Cousin Fun

If anyone is wondering, the boys are taking extra long naps today, and I am avoiding the housework. Enjoy!

Has anyone else tried to capture their kids on film while they jump in one of those giant bouncehouses? Impossible.


The fun Uncle.