What we did and when we did it. Sometimes.

What we did and when we did it. Sometimes. People, places and events to remember.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just One of Those Days

If you are my facebook friend, you saw that I had a rough day yesterday.  Ben is teething so he hasn't been sleeping well.  Therefore, I have also not been sleeping well.

Today was much better!  Ben still woke up overnight, but briefly, and he went right back to sleep after a new diaper, Tylenol and some water.  

Ben and I took Evan, Emmett and Corrie to their respective schools, then came home for a little while before his first private speech therapy appointment!  It was GREAT.  This particular therapist sees several of our little friends with Down syndrome, and she's got a lot of energy and good ideas.  Ben was engaged and interested in everything she did - lots of bubbles, the Nuk brush, some facial massage, and a little syringe feeding to exercise the back of his tongue.  I came home with a list of things to try at home.

Then ... the day took a turn ... for the worse.  (Ha!)

Ben fell asleep in the car on the way to pick up Corrie.  NOOOOO!  Sure enough, he napped about 30 minutes in the car and then refused to sleep at all once we got home.

Once Evan got home from school, our house descended into chaos.  At 4:30 or so, this is what was happening in my house:

The trashcan had been moved on top of the kitchen table because a certain almost-18 month old was opening cabinets, taking items out, then throwing things away.

A 4 year old was hosting a Barbie pool party ... loudly singing "His Banner Over Me is Love" while the Barbies splashed away.

Having relocated to the living room, Ben systematically took out every toy in the cabinet.  And enjoyed it all.  He's undressed because he also poured half a gallon of bottled water on the kitchen floor.  

Balls and plasticware in Ben's wake.  I neglected to take a picture of the enormous puddle.

 Evan played some kind of loud warrior game on the Ipad.

 Some more of Ben's destruction:

 And then something (perhaps the lack of napping!!!) made Ben sad. 


 For a brief period of time, all I could hear was 
  • toddler wailing 
  • Corrie singing worship songs and 
  • the sounds of war from the Ipad.  

I just stood in the middle of it all and shook my head.

Fortunately, some juice and a snuggle soothed Ben's spirits, and Evan and Corrie went outside to play basketball and ride bikes.

Later, I overfilled a pot, causing a minor waterfall from my sink.  Then, an hour later, I dumped a bowl of chicken noodle soup in my lap.

It was just one of those days.  

I love being a mom.  :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I'm Back

I have been meaning to write for a while, but it has been difficult.  Why?  Well, I am out of the habit of writing regularly and we got a new camera.  The camera is awesome but I'm not quite used to it yet.

Here's what we've been up to:

Hanging out at home.  (Picture taken by Corrie with the old camera, now known as the kids' camera).

Practicing crawling.  Note the sofa pillows on the floor behind Ben.  We've been setting up miniature obstacle courses for him to navigate.

Evan and Dad had some special father/son time at the Harlem Globetrotters game.  

Corrie's been enjoying playdates with friends. 

And Evan turned EIGHT!  I can hardly believe it.   

Life has been busy but so good.  I'll be back with an "I love my 8 year old" post soon.  :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sick Kids

Ben has had a cold or stomach bug or ear infection or sinusitis or teething or something since October.  They have not been the same sickness ... and they come and go with breaks as long as a week or as short as a day.

In October, Corrie had strep.  I had Ben checked out when she received the diagnosis and antibiotics.  Nope, just a cold.  When Corrie went back 10 days later for her follow-up, I had him checked out again.  Still a cold.  By the next week, he woke up gasping for breath one night and I took him to the E.R.  Verdict: he gagged on some mucous.  (Ew.)  When I followed up with our pediatrician, Ben received a nebulizer, antibiotics and eventually a steroid.

Then there was the week of diarrhea and vomiting.

Later, more sniffles.  Coughing.  Nebulizer!

Eventually, diagnosed with sinusitis and something I can't remember, plus a probable ear infection.

Did I mention the teething?  Two teeth arrived in the middle of all the runny noses and general whiny-ness.

On the first of January, he had a cough that he couldn't quite shake.  Plus a snotty nose.

And now, I think he's feeling better.  He has a bad diaper rash, which is unfortunate, but otherwise, he's A-OK.  I'm just hoping that some Triple Paste, warm baths, and nakedness will solve that particular problem.

He did have a night of vomiting on Wednesday, but I think that was because he found an old bottle under the couch and took a swig before I got to him.  


I've fallen off the blogging wagon lately, and I think part of it was just me feeling tired of having sick kids.  

The vomiting night was particularly discouraging because I had just done some thinking and planning for the new year, and when he started throwing up again, I thought - it doesn't matter what I plan, someone is always going to be sick and I'm never going to get to do what I want to do.

Sometimes I'm a selfish jerk.  And whiny.  (Maybe that's where the kids get it from).

I am learning ... and if I knew how to write what I'm learning, I would do it.  You'll just have to trust that God is working on me and I am doing my best to listen to Him.  

To end with a little bit of happy, here's a couple quick pictures of a boy who has an older sister (I'm sure I'll have pictures of him in a tutu one of these days - I think it's unavoidable, since Corrie thinks he's her own live dress up doll) ...

... and his sister on her way to ballet class.  How grown up does she look?  She can't possibly be going to kindergarten next year.  I'm not ready.

There.  That feels better.  Sweet kids.  Mostly healthy.  And more blogging to come.  :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ben at Seventeen Months

This boy is seventeen months old!  He still has the most beautiful smile in the world.

At seventeen months, 
  • Ben signs: more, eat, milk, dad, please, tree, apple, all done and thank you. 
  • He clearly communicates "pick me up!" and "go that way" and "get that away from me!" (oh, the wonders of the toddler years).
  • He makes sounds like "da da da" and "ba" but no spoken words yet.
  • He knows the motions to "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Pat-a-Cake," "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "The Wheels on the Bus."
  • He can identify some parts of the body.  Namely, the head, shoulders, knees and toes.  :)   And the ears and mouth.  He's still not reliable with nose or eyes.

Did anyone note that he doesn't yet sign mom?!?  What's up with that?  He'll make kissy faces at me, but will he say my name?  Nooooo.

  • He loves to play with his brother and sister.  He especially likes it when Evan carts him around or plays ball with him.
  • He gives sweet hugs.
  •  He likes to read books.  Quickly. 
  • He army crawls and can move from lying down to sitting and vice versa.
  • Ben does not like to bear weight on his knees or feet.  He will occasionally kneel on his own while playing with toys on a cushion, but otherwise, we coax him to do it when we are playing together.  At physical therapy, he has been able to stand (with support) for 8-10 seconds while distracted.  :)

Anytime the front door is open, Ben makes a beeline for freedom.  Please excuse the huge mess in our living room - I think this picture is after the present-opening spree on Christmas.

  • Ben has four teeth: two in the bottom middle and one each on the top sides of his mouth.  You only ever really see the bottom two.
  • He loves to eat!  Pizza, avocado, banana chocolate chip muffins - all favorites.
  • He weighs around 19 pounds.  The boy needs to gain weight!  The doctor told us to just keep a container of butter or oil on the table and smear it on whatever he's eating.

He still loves to eat paper.

  • Favorite video: Baby Signing Times
  • Favorite toy: The Fisher Price Poppity Pop Musical Dinosaur
  • Favorite game: Removing socks!  If you really want the socks to stay on, you should put on one sock, then a shoe and then do the other foot ... or he will have both socks off before you can blink.  He likes to throw the removed sock in the air or stick it in his mouth.

 We are so thankful for this little guy!  I love you, sweet Ben.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

We Love Daddy

One of the best parts of Christmas break is having Dad home every day.  The kids love Emmett and crave his attention, and he has been doing his best to give them each special time and care.  

Naps on the couch with Ben:

Drawing a fairy kingdom with Corrie:

Watching football with Evan:

Emmett also took Evan lunch at school before the elementary school break started, and brought Corrie to his office one day for work.  He took Ben to a physical therapy session and has been working with him at home.  Emmett's been playing lots of basketball outside with Evan, and the three of us (with some involvement from Corrie) have had some rousing games of Settlers of Catan and Cities and Knights.

And ... Emmett fixed the sink and is trying to clean out the garage.  He also hung out with all three of the kids so I could spend a morning writing at a coffee shop.

Another great thing about Emmett is that he cooks.

For New Year's Eve, we wanted to make dumplings - also known as potstickers or gyoza in our house.  Emmett decided that lumpia (sort of a Filipino egg roll) and siumai (shrimp dim sum) would hit the spot, too.

Emmett and Corrie worked hard to mix up all the fillings, then we invited friends over to hang out and help make their dinner.  Our friend M and I were in charge of dumpling and lumpia construction.  Ben was our direct supervisor, and Emmett was the head chef.  

 Emmett wrapped and steamed the siumai.

The big kids played basketball, football and chess.

I don't have any pictures of Emmett (because he took them all), but check out the dinner he prepared: