Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The H2O Melon Club

The Larsen clan next door and Ian have been pretty much living at each others' houses and outside in the pool this summer.  Tiffany (matriarch of the Larsens) made these super cute t-shirts for the kids.

Ian and Andey have been inseparable.  He can't wait until they are in the same school this Fall!

They wore them out to Ray's Splash Planet (where we held Gavin's itty bitty birthday party) and out to pizza afterwards.  We had some TIRED children that evening.

Notice that one piece of birthday cake just isn't enough for this growing boy.

And Chase is getting better and better at using his utensils.  Stop poking Mommy with the fork, sir.

The Crew.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gavin Stats @ 1 yr

Weight: 21lb 8oz (25%)
Height: 30 1/2 inches (75%)
Head Circumference: 47cm (75%)

Little string bean!  So different than my other monsters!!

Nothing crazy to report- other than Ian and Chase were complete and total monsters while we were there.  It always happens.  I mean, I think I have relatively well behaved kids (besides Chase's habit of running away), but every flipping time we go to a doctor's office, they turn into absolute lunatics.  They climb over the exam table and chairs, take things away from each other, yell and holler, hang all over me, and interrupt me every 3 seconds while I am trying to have a conversation with the doctor or the nurse.

It is totally embarrassing.

I hate to put it all on Ian, but he KNOWS better, and when he gets wild, it feeds Chase's antics.  I told him next time we go, I am bringing books and his butt will be planted in the chair the entire time or there will be consequences.  I don't know what yet, but they will be there.  Oh, yes.  They will.

I'm off to do some therapeutic cleaning.  Or I will ignore the kitchen and try to read my book.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Guy!

Gavin is ONE!!
Little Guy Guy, we LOVE that you are part of our family!  Has it already been a year?!  It seems like you have always been a part of our lives.  You are still an easy going, almost totally content little dude.  You are, however, discovering the art of tantrum throwing, and will quickly let out a screech if you feel like a battle must be fought.  You love exploring and climbing, making both the couch and the stairs your favorite places to be.  You love to play in the water table and the pool, and still enjoy taking baths with your brothers, adding to the splash zone accordingly.  

Going outside with you is fun, well, at least amusing for us because you don't love the feel of the grass on your knees, so you Mowgli crawl to the sidewalk or blanket or into someone's waiting arms.  You do, however, like to dig in the dirt (and eat it), so you get over sitting in the grass pretty quickly as long as there is somewhere to dig nearby.

I thought FOR SURE you would be walking by now (or maybe 2 months ago) since you crawled so early and are such a get-up-and-go type of baby, but you are apparently also stubborn and stuck in your ways, because only in the last week or so have you been willing to walk while holding one of my hands.  I even saw you take one teeny tiny step today, but you will never admit it.  You like standing, and have been able for a few weeks now to stand up in the middle of the room and hold it for a few seconds.  Actually, I've seen you stand and take a big swig of milk from your sippy cup, then just hang out on your two feet and enjoy the view.  You will be walking around by the end of the summer.

Some other things that you have been up to:
  • You bang your cup on your tray so hard that it bounces the Cheerios right off
  • You are very sneaky while trying to drop food off the side of your high chair when you have had enough.  You also like to drop your cup off the side, and almost every time you do, Chase groans, says, "Guy Guy," in an exasperated tone, and walks from wherever he is at to pick it up and give it back to you.
  • You steal Chase's orange chair whenever he gets out of it (and you only cry for a little bit when he comes back to claim it)
  • You do most of the motions to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Your favorite books are the Gymboree counting book and the Noisy Farm book
  • You say Mama, Dada, Papa, more, and night night with reasonable accuracy...when you want to.
  • You sign milk and more.  You sign milk with both of your hands, most of the time high above your head.  I think if you said it out loud, you would be yelling it at us.
  • You drink from a straw and love Sonic slushes.
  • Daddy says that you like your long hair (I still clip it back most of the time :)
  • I think you've started to like Yo Gabba Gabba almost as much as Chase does.
  • You wear big 12 month and small 18 month clothing.
  • You love peek-a-boo and chasing games.
  • Your favorite toys are anything that you can hold and crawl around with.
  • You listen to NO.  Hallelujah!  I have a child who understands the word NO!!!

Happy birthday, Guy!  We love you so much!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let the Celebrations Begin!!

It is Gavin's birthday week here, and we kicked off the celebration yesterday with presents from Gramma DiPiero that arrived in the mail.  I'm not sure that Gavin quite understands WHY he is opening the gifts, but he likes tearing the paper!

Thanks, Gramma, for the new clothes!  It's nice to have things that haven't been passed down 2 and 3 times every once in a while :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Annual Eye Check Up (or to the plank with ye, Matey!!)

Well, it took 3 hours and 45 minutes, but we made it.  The boys were generally well behaved, and by that I mean that while they were climbing over the chairs and benches and running throughout the 2 room waiting area, they weren't kicking and screaming or crying.  Just squeals of glee as I chased them around, entertained them by wearing Chase's green frog on my head, fed them every snack I had packed in the diaper bag, as well as shared snacks with all the other waiting children, watched 2 movies, and emptied my wallet several times.  Plus countless other activities.

The receptionist told us when we arrived that they were running an hour late.  Um, would have been nice to know before I woke Chase up from his teeny tiny nap to try and make it here on time for our appointment...

2 hours later, we were finally called back, where the nurse asked me some questions, then put the drops in Chase's eyes and shooed us back to the waiting room to cause more havoc "for about 30 minutes."

1 hour later, they called us back again, where we played in the back room for 25 minutes before the dr made her appearance.  Chase, for being exhausted not only from his 20 minute nap, but also from running laps around the waiting room all afternoon, did exceptionally well.  He let her look into his eyes, and sat mostly patiently for the whole exam.

The results:  his left eye is not growing, lengthwise, as much as his right eye.  It is officially Mild Amblyopia.  So, the choices for correcting it are 1) Wear glasses from sun up to sun down or 2) patch his right eye for an hour every day so that his left eye will strengthen its muscles.  She suggested trying the patch first, and if that doesn't work, moving on to glasses.  I have to agree.  I cannot even imagine keeping glasses on Chase all day long, not to mention spending money on them only to have them thrown around, bent up, snapped, and chewed on.  I will gladly attempt to wrestle with him for an hour every day to keep the patch on to avoid that.

Everyone work on your pirate jargon.  Cap'n Chasey Face will be here tomorrow morning!  Arrrgh!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I think that this little boy is supposed to be part of our family.  And since this blog is also my therapy, I am swearing you all to secrecy as I get this off of my chest and put it into actual words.

I know it is illogical and crazy, but I really believe it.  And I can't stop thinking about him.

Oh, and Bryan also thinks that I am nuts.  So, yeah, it really won't happen unless he finds a place for this little guy in his heart.  I'm working on it :)


He is 10 months away from being sent to an institution where his chances of being adopted are slim to none (he is 5 days older than Chase, and at 4 they have to leave the baby house.)

Although his bio says that he is LOVED and a favorite at the orphanage, he has very limited potential if he stays where he is.  And we have SO MUCH.  So, so, so much.  We could CHANGE his life.  Completely.  He would have a family.  Brothers and a mom and a dad.  A room that he only shares with one other child.  Clothes that fit, and someone to rock him and hold him and read to him.

Oy.  But the thoughts going through my head:
1- Where do we find the money to do this?
2- We have a kind of full plate...could we manage one more?
3- What if he doesn't love us back?
4- What if the boys resent him instead of welcoming him?
5- Am I taking away from my own kids while trying to give to him?  Is that fair?
6- How will I feel if no one else steps up to rescue him?  Can I sit back and watch that?
7- I see the effect Chase has had on Ian...the positives.  The gentleness, the patience, the understanding.  Would that be multiplied?
8- Would he and Chasey be friends and brothers in the truest sense?  Will they get along?
9- How, when I know that we could do this in my heart, could I turn away from a child in need like this?
10- We know Down syndrome.  We understand it, and we would welcome it.

Basically, I have all these thoughts rattling around in my head and my heart.  Everything is all jumbled up and I don't even know where to start, except that my heart is telling me that everything is entirely possible, and that the logistics would fall into place because this is what is supposed to happen.

I have Bible verses (Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs on our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12) to Tim Gunn (Make it work, people!) echoing in my ears.  I have been reading blogs (Hi Michelle!) about adoption journeys from Reece's Rainbow and I can totally see us doing that.  In fact, I cannot see us NOT doing it.

Agh.  I don't know.  Anyhoo.  That is the lowdown on my latest mental mess.  Just had to get it out there.  And please.  This is totally in the preliminary, what-if stage.  Nothing is in stone.  Or even sand at this point.

But how can you turn away from this face?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day 2010

We had a laid back Father's Day here yesterday.  Bryan slept in while the boys and I ran out to Dunkin Donuts to get breakfast.  He got a coupon book from us, and an IOU from me to fill his digital picture frame (we are having main computer issues, so all our photos are in cyberspace right now and a pain to download...anyway.)  We hung at the house and he had time to swim with Ian, and then my parents joined us for some pool time/cooking out time.

My mom made kabobs and I had corn on the cob and homemade buttermilk ice cream for dessert.  Food is how we celebrate :)

Here are some eating photos, the only ones from the day.  (Bad photographer!!)  

Guy enjoys his corn in an unconventional way.

Ian and Chase enjoy theirs normally and with great gusto.

Documentation that Bryan was at his own celebration :)  He really is an awesome daddy, and the boys will vouch for that.  He frequently receives the Favorite Parent Award from them.  Love you, man!

My awesome parents, who both parented me in ways that I didn't like at the time, but now I appreciate:)
(and advance apologies to my mom, who probably won't appreciate the bathing suit picture...but I think you are beautiful!!  ...and you wore it to dinner, so I didn't really have a choice!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chasie Pool-Lover

Chase has never been a big fan of swimming in the 'big' pool...I don't know if it was a temperature thing, or a control thing, or a sensory thing.  He loves the kiddie pool and the water table, though.

A few nights ago Bryan made it home in time to be able to jump in the pool with the boys and I, and Chase LOVED it.  I thought it may be a fluke, so I took him in while Guy was sleeping the other day- still loved it!

And today we went in again, and he discovered that jumping off the ladder into my arms is  Shhh.  It is against backyard pool rules to jump in, but I am making an exception because he is little, cute, and needs to learn how to jump :)

**Edited to add- I forgot to mention that he loves it so much that I had to physically uncurl all of his fingers from the ladder rungs and peel his legs off the side of the pool to get him out.  While he was screaming.  I'm sure the neighbors think I was torturing him.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Photo Dump

Here are a bunch of random summer photos:

Ian, Kenna, and Samantha chillin' in the pool.  They are LOVING it.  It is the BEST thing to have in the backyard.  

Chase still loves this chair that we gave him for Christmas 2 years ago.  He parks himself here for his "I'm just waking up" time or his "I'm really tired and don't care to socialize with anyone" time or his "I want to watch a 'show-show?' and it better be 'Gabba...?'" time.

At Ian's end of season soccer picnic.  No photos, please, Mom.  Really.  Stop.  Stop now.

Guy is so freaking cute all the time.

I bought a new pool toy- a boat with little leg holes for Gavin to float in.  After Ian blew it up, Chase stepped in, and ran frenetically around the house, laughing hysterically while Ian and Gavin tried to catch him.


I've been looking for something PT for Chase to be in this summer...not that he doesn't have mad physical strength already, but he could use some help still with running, jumping, and foot over foot stair climbing.  Not to mention the fact that the child has energy like a nuclear reactor.

So I took him this morning to a trial class at a local gymnastics place.  I talked to the front desk lady beforehand, told her about Chase and asked what class she thought he might fit into best.  She (kind of to my surprise) suggested we try out the 3-4 year old class.  Oh, and she had a sister with Down syndrome and she thought Chase would LOVE it.  Perfect.

So we go.  And although Chase had a good time, I was a little disappointed to admit that it is just a bit over his head.  I mean, he attempted everything that they were doing, and the instructor was very patient with him, and there were only 3 others in the class...but his attention span and general ability to follow directions are just.not.there.  Not yet.

Honestly, I know putting him in the 2-3 year old class would be fine.  He would probably fit in great there.  He'd probably fit in, do fantastic, and have a blast.  But secretly?  I hate that.  I hate admitting that he can't fly with his peers.  I feel like it is admitting defeat.

Bah.  Screw you, Down syndrome.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Little Fish

We have the ghetto pool up and running now, and my little Ian has been in it for the majority of the last 3 days.  Swimming is the first thing he wants to do in the morning and is the last thing he talks about at night (well, that and how he lost Blue Dog, who, BTW has been MIA for 2 days now and we are very close to losing it over here).

Summer break, even though it hasn't officially started yet (I have daycare kids until Friday) is well under way, in Ian's eyes.  Chase even enjoyed his first day of freedom- although his idea of water play is different.  Mainly he is into emptying the kiddie pool or the water table with different sized cups and buckets, often pouring it out over other people's heads or feet.  Keep alert, people.  He WILL get you if you are not paying attention.

Ice cream cones, popsicles on the back porch, sunscreen, funky goggles, warming in the sun, playing in the water until his lips turn blue and his teeth is here.  

I promise pictures soon...I've just been out enjoying the moments without the camera (I even got into the pool today- and it was COLD)...because we all know salt water and my clumsiness would not go well together.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Now, I am all for being discreet and whatnot, but when my 5 year old, whom I just bathed last night, naked, in a tub of water, demands, "Mom!  Now, don't watch!" while he changes into his bathing suit in the living room, I have to laugh.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summertime List

Things I want to do this summer:

*Read a lot with all the boys, like all day long.
*Music classes with Mr Nigel on Fridays at the bookstore.
*Library classes
*Swim with the boys, whenever we can.
*Plant wildflowers in my side garden
*Dye Ian's hair with Kool-Aid
*Start gymnastics with Ian and Chase
*Stay on top of piano practicing with Ian
*Potty train Chase (or at least get a good start.  Or get him to pee on the potty successfully.  Once.)
*Eat many popsicles
*Keep up with new friends and old ones
*Run through the sprinkler
*Stay in our bathing suits as much as possible
*Eat lots of garden-fresh veggies
*Catch  up on everyone's doctor and dental visits!!
*Indulge in Sonic Happy Hours and Dollar Ice Cream Cones at least twice a week :)
*Make photo books for Chase (speech therapy!)

I probably have more to add...just trying to keep a record of everything that I think of!  Summer officially starts on Friday this week :)  Woot!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ian Reads!

My goal this summer is to get Ian up and fiendishly reading.  He is SO close.  He loves being read to, he knows all his letters and sounds, and he is interested in it.  He will point out signs and words that he knows, and he spells out words that he sees in print and asks what they are.  I've worked a little bit with him using flashcards with sight words, and we've read some pre-primer level books together, but today, TODAY was the first time he GOT it.

He read about 10 pages of Hop on Pop, with minimal assistance from me.  He has finally realized that the letters will tell him what the word is, and that when he takes the time to figure them out, it is FUN!  He was so proud of himself.  He kept saying, "I am just SO EXCITED Mom!!  I just can't believe I'm READING!"

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

We spent a very wet Memorial Day at the Lake with the Wanek family at their lake house, AKA the Redneck Riviera.  It is this awesome campground-turned-semi-permanent-vacation-home-neighborhood.  It is full of hard sided trailers with attached permanent porches, golf carts, and pontoon boats.

We went up Sunday late afternoon, just in time to make it for dinner and s'mores.  Then we attempted to put the littles to bed (Chase thought it was EXTREME fun to sleep on the futon, and Gavin thought it was torture and abandonment to sleep in the pack-n-play).  Eventually everyone slept, the adults enjoyed beverages and a crackling fire, and we slept peacefully all night long.

Chase and Michael share the love.

It's okay, Chase.  I will let you drive on the next beer run.

Ian wishes that he would lose his teeth so he could be just like Emily.


Gavin woke up screaming for whatever reason, and wouldn't stop unless I let him play Baby Wrestle Mania in the futon with us.  Thankfully, Bryan has magic powers and eventually got him back to sleep without waking the entire campground up.

The next morning, with coffee in hand, we watched the kids mess around in the yard and on the golf carts.  Pictured below are Chase and Michael backing out of the driveway.  Not pictured is when someone left the keys in the cart and Chase actually driving it into Michael's grandfather, up the steps, and almost through the front porch.  Really.  I didn't see it, but I'm sure I would have had a heart attack.

Hey- am I clear?
I just noticed the possible culprit for the cart/porch incident- I wonder what Chase was drinking in that open container...?  Fermented apple juice maybe?

By the time we got everyone fed, dressed, brushed, and packed, we were able to get on the boat for all of 8 minutes before a torrential downpour landed us inside watching movies for 4 hours.  Next time, we will feed everyone granola bars in their pajamas on the boat before we waste another beautiful morning!  Actually, nothing was wasted- it was good times relaxing with friends.  We just have another excuse to get out there again now :)

Preschool Graduation

Ian had his graduation ceremony last week...I would have posted sooner, but, you know.  3 kids, busy, blah, blah, blah.

He has been at First Presbyterian Preschool for 3 years now- and each year has been even better than the last.  He LOVES it there, and shed quite a few tears on the way home from the farewell picnic on Thursday.

But on to the best part...awfully cute photos:

The theme was "Who Let the Frogs Out?!" and the kids hopped down the aisle one at a time wearing these ridiculous frog visors.  Ian has been into accessories for a while now, and was wearing a washer on a chain around his neck, which flew all over the place, smacking him in the head each time he jumped.  Oh, and he was also chewing gum for the entire ceremony- the jumping, the pledge, the singing, the dancing, the diploma-getting.  Still cute, though.
Who let the frogs out?

All good rappers have star shaped sunglasses.
Lummi sticks make a come-back.

I love that he is young enough to proudly wear a piece of cardboard and an upside-down paper bowl :)

The two best preschool teachers EVER- Miss Beth and Miss Kitty.

The 5 Muskateers at the farewell picnic- Colin, Ian, Ava, Katherine, and Leah.