Friday, January 30, 2009

Chasey...New and Improved!

Chase has been getting things on lately! He is working on:

1. Making more sounds. It feels like he is learning that there is a connection between auditory noises and meaning. He still relies mostly on signs, but it seems like there is more babbling, and sometimes he'll hand me stuff and say the same one syllable sound over and over. For example, he handed me a sock and said, "Gah!" several times, rather forcefully. Of course, that's also the sound I make when things are not going the way I want them to. Gah!

2. Independent steps! We've had 3 or 4 sightings of 2+ steps on his own! Someone has to be his cheerleader, but I think (maybe?) we'll see actual walking by his 2nd birthday. At least that is my goal.

I struggle with this a lot. When am I imposing my goals/time frames on him, and when am I motivating him towards high expectations? Fine line, I guess.

3. Scooping with a spoon. He's pretty good with hand over hand use of a fork, but before, every time I let him have a utensil independently, it was launched across the table, at the cat, etc. Chase LOVES to clear a table. Not to mention the food that is in front of him that he doesn't really feel like eating, or the food that he does feel like eating, but also enjoys throwing. It's all very frustrating.

But yesterday he showed interest in actually using the spoon to dip into the bowl of yogurt that I had. So he dipped and scooped and put it in his mouth! I held the bowl (I'm not that trusting of his new ways yet) and he happily ate 2 servings of it by himself! Sometimes I helped direct the spoon, but for the most part Chasey-did-it! Woot!

4. Napping once a day. I think with the introduction of the morning preschool, he's finally finding a rhythm in once-a-day-napping. Which is perfect timing, since all of Tiff's kids go down at 11 for nap, and the only one left standing is Ian. It also makes it easier to do more things on the weekend, and we don't have to worry about him sleeping in the shopping cart when we're out anymore.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I just want to say, after hands-and-knees cleaning my bathrooms, that it is really gross living with a bunch of boys.

Monday, January 26, 2009

6 Kids

So, with Tiffany having her baby yesterday, I am in charge of her 3 daycare kids for the next two weeks. So, if you aren't keeping track, that's 6 mos, 16 mos, 21mos, 2 years, 3 years, and almost 4. I'm wrapping up the first day, and despite it being a bit busier here than usual, it's not been too bad.

I know for sure I will appreciate my quiet time with my 3 dudes after this is all over, though!

Some points for today:
*By the time I've fed all the kids their morning snacks, cleaned up, and done a round of diaper changes, it is time to start getting lunch ready.

*With more kids running around, things like Ian bumping into another kid's head and getting a bloody nose are bound to happen.

*Do you think they plan it when everyone has a poopy diaper at the same time?

*A crazy morning is not too bad when all of them sleep at the same time (except my napless wonder, Ian, who will play by himself if I beg him).

*I haven't really done any housecleaning, but I did manage to run a load of dishes and do an art project with the kids, so I feel like I've accomplished a little bit of something.

*If it wasn't for the problem of being permanently stranded at home, I wouldn't mind watching more kids at my house (especially ones like these, who are really very excellent, non-whiny, pretty independent children).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Congrats, Tiff!!

Congratulations to the Little Larsens on their littlest Larsen, Weston!

He was born today weighing 8lb, 2oz...and both he and Mommy are doing well :)

Love you, Tiffany!

On Being Peculiar.

This morning's sermon kicked off a series on leadership (aptly named "Purple People Leader"-- I love our church! Oh, and you can watch the sermons online at that link, too. Today's will be on later this week.) And, like always, it couldn't have come at a better time. Bryan has been frustrated at work with leadership issues, and, well, let's face it; I'm always frustrated with a variety of issues, so everything kind of fits the bill for me.

It must be Divine Intervention, that each sermon seems tailored to our needs :)

So, today Pastor Steven talked about God's people being a "peculiar" people...drawing the line between peculiar and just plain weird. And our needing to embrace our uniqueness because that is what our Father intended for us. There were already all of them out there before we were created...why do we feel the need to fit in rather than be exceptionally peculiar?

Because who doesn't? I mean, who doesn't try to do things simply because that is what you do? I'm not saying that we should all go against the grain and be strange for the sake of being strange...but why the compulsion to follow regardless if what your following falls in line with your beliefs?

Why do we wear masks when we face the world, pretending that everything is completely Stepford in our lives when it is very far from it? Why can't we take those masks off and learn from and support each other? Why the need to pretend that we fit into the mold?

I'm just as guilty as anyone else...I'm definitely not pointing fingers. I'm just wondering what it would be like if everyone was more honest with themselves and with each other, and everyone embraced their exceptionality as a tool to be used to better the world around them.

And I guess that brings me to (of course) the Down syndrome connection. It's not anything that I haven't been told already, but sitting in church today it hit me as truth. That God's plan for Chase is His own absolutely unique plan for Chase. And he doesn't fit into any mold, and he's not going to do things like other kids, but he's going to develop and grow and affect people in a way that is his own peculiar way, which is something that nobody, no one at all, can do like he will.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Chase deserves some face time here, too.

He's becoming so independent. Now he crawls away from me at hyperspeed to go do his thing, and I'll say, "Bye, Chasey!" And he'll stop and turn around and wave to me, then continue on his way. After he starts again, I'll say, "I love you, Chase!" and he'll stop again, turn around, and blow kisses.



Couple of conversations this morning between Ian and I...

I: At my birthday party we can play bug hunt and Taggerit.
M: What's Taggerit?
I: It's when everybody runs around and one person is It and tries to tag people.
M: Oh- do you mean Tag, You're It?
I: No, it's called Taggerit.

M: I hope you have a good day at school, Baby!
I: Does that mean you hope that I don't get hit and cry?
M: Um, yes. No one hits you at school, though, do they?
I: Well, Jorge used to, but now I'm a faster runner so he doesn't anymore.


I've started feeling this baby move...which is totally nerve wracking. Yes, I love the flutters. I love feeling like this is real. But then I didn't feel anything for a few days.

At first, I told myself it was because the baby is so little and I might be busy when it moves and not notice it. And maybe the placenta is in the front, so I can't feel as much. So I'd wait to feel something. I'd lay in bed and wait in the darkness and the silence. And feel nothing.

Then someone told me an awful, tragic miscarriage story Wednesday. I couldn't help fixating on this. My next appointment is in 2 weeks for my sono. What if we get there and the picture on the screen shows a baby without a heartbeat?

This anxiety continued to build. So I did stuff to keep myself busy (hence the giant cleaning spree). But it was always in the back of my mind...this baby isn't moving anymore.

I called the doctor's office yesterday, and the nurse told me to eat something sweet and lay down for 2 hours on my side and concentrate on the movements. If I didn't get 10 movements in 2 hours, then I should come in. Are you kidding me? I haven't had 1 movement in 3 DAYS! And when am I going to lay down for 2 hours with my monkeys all over the house?

So, I ate a Moonpie, a Hershey bar, 4 giant marshmallows, and downed a big glass of apple juice. I laid down. I concentrated. And I felt nothing. Now I'm totally freaking out.

Bryan comes home to stay with the kids and I drive to the doctors, willing myself to keep it together. The nurse calls me back and asks what I'm here for, so I have to tell the whole giant story to her without falling apart. She weighs me and then I pee in a cup, wondering if there are any pregnant hormones in there anymore.

And the doctor comes in with the doppler. And finds a strong heartbeat right away. !!!!!.

THEN I fall apart, boo-hoo crying in front of her, and I can't stop, and she's hugging me and telling me that it's ok, and I'm telling her that I feel so stupid and relieved and happy and overwhelmed. I have to leave the room and checkout looking like a complete mess, trying to hold back tears, because the floodgates of emotion have opened and there's no stopping them. I almost can't talk on the phone to Bryan...I must sound like a lunatic. I get out, "Everything is ok," and I'm pretty sure the rest was uncontrollable sobbing.

It hit me today, that even though this bean is the tiniest, tiniest part of our family now, I love her (?) just as much as my big guys. How could anyone endure losing a child? Of any age? The courage, the strength to stay upright after that must be unmeasurable.

This mothering thing is not for wimps.

I rented a hospital grade fetal doppler last night. I can't take this.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow Day, Part Deux

We played outside, we drank hot chocolate...(pics still to come- my cord to the camera is, um, somewhere...) and then Bryan did the responsible managerial-type thing and braved the slushy roads to Charlotte. (That's supposed to be funny. I lived in upstate NY. I know what real snow looks like!)

And then something incredible happened.

The boys played together. Without any injuries. And they were happy. And occupied. For a long time.

So I cleaned. I cleaned and organized and finished some projects and basically went a little haywire. This is what happened:

I've been wanting to tackle the playroom for a while, but wanted to move "big boy toys" up to Ian's room (tired of worrying about marbles being swallowed, and William will be mobile soon even if Chase learns not to put them in his mouth someday), also poor Ian keeps trying to build Hot Wheels tracks and train tracks, and Chase's favorite thing to do is follow him around and destroy whatever he is building. So, I couldn't move any of his toys to his room until I cleaned out his closet which is full of boxes of clothes, so I wanted to move those to Chase's closet for him to grow into, but his closet was full of clothes that he has outgrown, so I needed to move those boxes to the new baby's room closet, but that was full of gift wrapping stuff and other miscellaneous crap, so I had to reorganize everything in there and put away the boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations that were still stacked up against the wall in that room so that I could move other things in and out. So then I put all the Christmas boxes in the attic and cleaned and reorganized everyone's closets, moved Ian's tent and the cardboard house downstairs, moved some shelves and the big boy books and the beanbag upstairs outside Ian's room to make a reading corner, and then I cleaned up all the shelves in the playroom and put everything where it belongs. And maybe I'll finally get the whole alphabet on the wall and maybe even put my calendar pieces on the blank calendar that's been there for over a year...

*sigh* I'm a little bit tired, but I feel like I've finally accomplished something instead of just keeping my head above water in the great sea of housework.

And you know, once you clean one thing, everything else in the house that you haven't looks extra crappy. It's like if you get new carpet in one room or paint one wall, it amplifies everything else that isn't newly redone. It's like a mess highlighter. So I guess I will continue this maniacal OCD purging/reorganizing campaign this week.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day!

Since the city of Charlotte is a big weenie about snow and everything shuts down with simply the threat of it...


Bryan is home from work, and I have no daycare baby. We slept in (until 6 when both kids woke up anyway) but we are staying in our pajamas until we bundle up to play outside. Actually, Ian has already been outside because he desperately wanted to taste the snow on his swingset.

Photos to come of all 3 or 4 inches of the white stuff.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday School Update

Chase went to school again :)

He got up super early in the morning, though, and had OT before going to school. I warned the teachers that he may (will) be especially tired today. I left him with his green frog just in case (but no pacifier! I'm trying to get rid of that thing in a slow but semi-effective way).

When I picked him up, he was all happy, paging through books and crawling around. Apparently he had folded himself in half on top of green frog in the middle of the room for a 15 minute power nap and was all recharged by the time I got there.

Which is great...I'm glad he did that instead of cranking out and being a whiny mess, but it did not help me at all when I took him home, fed him lunch, and attempted to lay him down for a real nap.

We still have a few bugs to work out, but this school thing will work out eventually :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

She shoots, she SCORES!!

I was digging through my freezer trying to find some veggies to go in my chicken pot pie tonight, and I found some leftover chocolate ice cream cake!!!!

And then, I dug a little further and found one last frozen twizzler!!

Woot! Afternoon snacks? Check.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chase at School

I don't have a lot of time to go on and on about this right now, but:

Chase had a great day at school!! He loved it and did great!

And while he was gone, William took a nap and Ian and I made cookies together (and then ate them).

All good, all around :)

Monday, January 12, 2009


Well, I listened to you all, picked the brain of one of Chase's therapists, talked with the mommies in my group, inquired at the preschool, and trusted my gut...

...and Chase starts school tomorrow!!

He will be going on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-12, which I think is perfect, aside from the fact that those are the opposite days that Ian goes, so I will not be gaining any alone time. That's ok, though. I wasn't really ready to send him away 3 days a week, and even though it makes a little more hassle on more days of the week (getting 3 children up and out the door before 9am) it makes for some time alone with Ian and Chase on their respective mornings at home with me, so that's cool.

The director of the school was really encouraging. She said she had another new one starting this week, too. She thought he'd fit in perfectly. She's going to make sure that the teachers in his room start to learn some sign since it's his main (ok, only) mode of communication right now.

Drawback to looking at the school:
It was impossible not to look at those other little kids in the one year old room and not think about what Chase isn't doing yet. The director made some comment about how the kids in the class I was watching were a little older than Chase (I was looking at the MWF class)-- that most of them were about to turn 2-- and that the other class had younger kids in it. And I couldn't help but think that um, Chase is almost 2. Well, closer to 2 than 1! I mean, we have 3 months left until the big 2. And the kids in there were walking all over. Not even that drunken sailor walk, the real one where they weren't so wobbly. I even saw running. And talking. One of the teachers said something like, "I love this age because they are saying new things every day." And I was like..."Yeah. Me too." Only Chase doesn't say new things every day. He isn't picking up words. He doesn't repeat everything I say. That hurts. A lot.

I know that Chase works at his own pace. And that he is learning new things. And he is starting to say things ('Hiiiiiiiii' and 'Dada' and the occassional 'Mamamamamama'). And he knows and can use over 30 signs. Some in 2 word sentences. He asks for help. He tells me what he wants to eat (as long as it's ice cream or banana or popcorn or cheese or apple). He stands up in the middle of the room and cheers for himself. He does awesome things.

But it's hard sometimes not to be slapped in the face by Down syndrome. I try really hard not to let it do that to me, but it's definitely there and I think acknowledging it is better than pretending it doesn't matter to me, even a little.

Ok. Pity party over. I'm off to fix my mascara.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Shoppappalooza

Another successful grocery-gaming day :)

Ian had a sleepover with Gaga and Papa last night, so Bryan and Chase and I went grocery coupon-mania shopping with a break in the middle for CiCi's Pizza.

Not only did Papa bring Ian home after 8pm dead asleep in the backseat of the car, but Chase also caught some zzzz's in the middle of the grocery store. You know, some people just can't handle all the excitement in our lives.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I'm mulling this over, and I could use some advice.

I stay at home, but Ian goes to preschool 3 mornings a week. Chase stays with me all day.

Chase has always been a really social little kid. He wants to be where the action is. He follows Ian around all over, he follows me all over. I watched Tiff's kids yesterday (4 of them) and Chasey was all about being part of the group. He sat and listened to stories as Kenna read, he went down the slide with everyone, he even tried to participate in a game of "chase Ian around the house screaming and running". He just likes to be around other little kids.

So, do I explore the possibility of putting him in pre-preschool 2 mornings a week at Ian's school? Is that weird, that I stay at home, but ship my kids off to school in the mornings? Doubly weird, I watch another little boy, so I would be staying at home with a kid that is not mine, so that I could pay for school for both of my kids...?

I just don't know if it's worth it at this point...would he get much out of being away from me 6 hours a week at this age? Or would it be more practical to wait until next school year when he is walking (like the rest of his class will be). Or would this be the motivation that he needs to practice more gross motor skills as he watches other little kids doing it or tries to keep up with everyone?

I just don't really know what to do.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One More Time

Well, I'm sick again. I'm blaming Monkey Joe's and their kid/germ infested play equipment.

This is getting old. Seriously.

In other news, the boys seem to be mostly healthy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Conversations with Ian

We've been having some really excellent conversations with Ian lately. And sometimes he just has conversations with himself.

Bryan makes fun of me and Ian comes to my rescue...

Daddy (to me): You're wimpy.
Mommy: I'm a girl!
Daddy: You're a wimpy girl!
Daddy: Ian, ask Mommy if she is a wimpy girl.
Ian: Mommy, you're not a wimpy girl.
Daddy: Ian, what does wimpy mean?
Ian: I don't know.
Daddy: If you don't know what wimpy means, how do you know Mommy is not wimp?
Ian: Because I'm so smart!

In the car, Ian drops his hat on the floor, then has this conversation with himself...

Ian: Oohhh, my hat! Will you give me something really long to get it
with? Like a net? Or a fisherman? Or a real live alligator? So
then he could be down there and get it with his big mouth and then
throw it up to me?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

#3 Update

I went to the OB today, just for a checkup. I'm very very anxious about this baby. I have thoughts of miscarriage and whatnot and weirdness. I have trouble imagining getting through this whole pregnancy. I guess the ignorance is bliss theory really is true.

So it's extra special and extra worth celebrating when the doctor found a strong heartbeat today (really quickly!) at 152, and we also heard a big ol' kick with the doppler.

*Whew* Now I can rest easy for about 2 days and then be all filled with anxiety for another 3 1/2 weeks until the next appointment (which is the Big Sono).

In other news, I gained NINE POUNDS over the last four weeks. Holy ****! I tried to convince the nurse that I was wearing extra heavy jeans, and that I had accidentally left a 5 pound weight in my pocket. She didn't buy any of my BS.

I'm going to attribute it to holiday eating and not ever exercising. I think that's a pretty solid reason. I'm usually not crazy about watching my weight during pregnancy (can I get a witness on the 70+ pounds I gained with each boy?? Yes, that is 70lbs PER CHILD) and I know that I'm growing a baby and whatnot, but I'd rather not be excessive with this one again. From experience, I now know that having a 25 lb infant and 50 lbs of placenta and amniotic fluid doesn't happen...

So. Back to the treadmill it is.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Just thought I'd let you all know that I am too much of a softie to give my cat up. He really is a good cat. With a problem remembering that the cat box is not in our dining room corner.

So now we have a litter box in our dining room. Nice.

Coupon Link

I didn't realize so many of you would want the link to the stupid coupon site!


The only thing is, you have to promise to say you were referred by me ( so that I can get free weeks! And none of you internet stalkers try to spam my email address or steal my identity, either...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Coupon Clipping Madness

Bryan made me sign up for this stupid time consuming online coupon list thingy.

It's SO AWESOME!!!!!

He helped me clip everything and organize everything and print out lists and follow the website's directions. We even made it out to two stores this evening (with the kids!) and did crazy coupon shopping.

Ian and Chase actually had fun. Bryan took Ian on missions (while Chase rode on his shoulders) to find the targeted items, and I got to steer the cart and organize all my coupons and lists without any kids grabbing at things or whining at me because there were no free cookies left at 8 o'clock at night.

Anyhoo. Our grand totals of savings?? We got $124.98 worth of groceries for $62.71! Seriously.

And in a dorky kind of way, ok, a really REALLY dorky kind of way, it was fun. Bryan and I spent a bunch of time together working on a project, and the kids liked being out and about and had fun with Daddy on their missions.

So (this is for my dear hubby), even though I thought it was stupid and a waste of time at the beginning, I now officially and publicly admit that I was wrong, and he is actually the best husband ever who is also really good at saving money and finding fun (albeit nerdy) things to do.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Have I never had the carpets professionally cleaned before?!?!!

I finally had ChemDry come out and clean them this morning...and they look FAB-U-LOUS. I mean, seriously, they look good. Like, I wanna date them they look so fine.

Why have I always thought of carpet cleaning as a luxury? That sitting on and crawling on and eating off of dirty matted cat-walked-on, outside dirt-tracked-in, baby-refluxed carpets was OK?


It's not that much money. It doesn't take much time.

So, GO people! Call someone and have your carpets cleaned TODAY and share in my joy!

(it's the little things in life, you know?)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Droopy Drawers

We hit some after-holiday clearance sales today and got Ian some new jammies, as he was looking a little sausage-y in his size 3Ts.
The smallest size we found was XS 4/5 in boys, which apparently is way way bigger than 4T/5T. I'm thinking that they will most definitely last until next year.But it's kind of worth the floppiness, because when he walks he hikes them up and he looks so flipping cute!