Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Today was haircut day :). Owen hates haircut day. He usually ends up w/ an "air trim", and I don't choose to fight that battle too often. We have lots of other battles to fight. Besides, his hair is thick and wavy and pretty. But, we're leaving for Florida in 7 days (we are soooo excited!!!) and I wanted them perfectly trimmed (lots of photo ops there, you know).
So, I did it. I stooped to a new low. Owen is kind of a non-fiction junkie and it wasn't that long ago that he was obsessed w/ sharks. (I think it coincided w/ shark week on TLC - or was it Animal Planet?). Anyway, I spent last week searching for a new swimsuit for Owen, because he refuses to wear his current swimsuits to the beach in Florida. The reason: they're bright colored and sharks are attracted to bright colors. His camoflauge one won't work either, because a shark might mistake him for a sea turtle.
So, on the way to getting hair cuts I mentioned to Owen that I read some research recently that said that sharks were attracted to long, blonde hair (because it's light colored and all). At first, he didn't believe me. "Mom - I know a whole lot about sharks and I've never heard that." But, I persisted. "I think it's new research.". Hmmm...he says and thought about it. I didn't think it worked. But, when he climbed into the chair, he said, "ummm....you can take a lot off."
Now, I feel guilty. But, he feels safe. A win-win situation?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
In the past weeks, since I've posted, Emmett has spent 3 straight weeks at swim lessons AND he FINALLY passed to level 2!!!!
He can swim the whole length of the people (without stopping!) front crawl and back stroke style. This is a HUGE accomplishment for my nervous nelly...I'm so proud of him. :)
This photo is the fence in the backyard. The boys have a buddy that lives directly behind them and they worked for weeks to dig a hole big enough to crawl through to get to each other's houses.
Emmett did a week of lacrosse camp and did AWESOME! The coach even hollered at him (lax coaches are all business NOT warm and fuzzy like soccer coaches) and I thought for sure he was in trouble. So, imagine my suprise when they used him for an example of how to properly field a ground ball. The coaches kept saying, "and this is the first time he's ever played...." More importantly, he loved it.
He's also been battling his asthma. His numbers are down lower then they have ever been (even since when he was diagnosed at age 3) and he's on a oral and inhaled steroids multiple times a day. This has been interferring w/ his sleep a little bit and my quiet, sweet, angelic boy has not been his self lately.
Oh, and his second tooth fell out :).
Since my last post (2 and a half weeks ago), Owen has completed 2 straight weeks of swim lesson boot camp. He's getting to be a stronger swimmer every year. This year, he worked on the butterfly stroke and thinks that it is his fave.
He did his first ALL DAY soccer camp at Lemoyne college in Syracuse for a week. And, while I missed him (and worried about him) he had an absolute blast. After lunchtime, they were allowed to swim in Lemoyne's indoor pool for a break and one of my biggest fears was that he would forget to reapply sunscreen after swimming. See how fair he is??? He would have burned to a crisp. But, I didn't have to worry about that. Turns out, instead of swimming they could play soccer w/ the coaches. He, of course, did that. In fact, his exact words were, "MOM! Why would I swim when I could be playing soccer???" Good point.
He also played in a local Syracuse Soccer Tournament and did awesome. His team played in a U10 league and won 3/4 games despite only having 2 "true" U10 players (Owen is a U8). Owen had a goal in every game.
He's still playing lacrosse, too. And, even though he's a good player (he's scored at least one goal in every single game), he doesn't love it. He just wants to play soccer, he says. Sigh....
His CNY team is officially on it's one month break, so no more practices or games for one whole month. He's still playing w/ a different team on Sunday and Mondays, though. And, this is the last week for lacrosse. Should make things a little less CRAZY!
He also visited the cardiologist about his low heart rate during his sleep study. And, I was expecting him to disregard it and say he was fine. Unfortunately, that wasn't 100% of the case. He said that active/athletic children can have low heart rates the same as active/athletic adults (and certainly if any child qualifies for that, it's Owen), and he did a EKG that was normal. But, when he listened to his heart he heard a "click" that he said wasn't normal. He said it could be a mitral valve prolapse, but that's extremely unusual in young boys. So...he's not sure if it's from a valve or from something else, but we have to follow up w/ him in a year. He doesn't think Owen is in any imminent danger because he had cardiac monitoring during the 12 hours of his sleep study and (other then the bradycardia) was normal. But, in one year he wants to listen to it again and have him wear a halter monitor that monitors his heart for 24 hours. OMG!
Now I can add to his list of doctors that we have to follow up w/ on a semi-regular basis:
Orthodontist (yes...he will grow into those teeth before long, they promise me ...about $3000 later).
In the past year he's also visited the:
I took this photo of Owen because I was trying to capture the freckles exploding all over his face. I love them. And, they seem to multiply every season. The summer also turns him into quite a blondie. My mutant - blond haired, blue eyed boy.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
My big boys always had a very healthy dose of fear. They never bolted. Never climbed to the top of swing sets (until they were MUCH older), and didn't love the water until they were a reasonable, safe age (4-5ish....). Henry is, well...different, which made this week particularly painful.
This week (and next) is swim lesson boot camp. Since arriving in Bville the boys have spent two weeks at swim lessons w/ two high school teachers in their home pool. The teachers are nice...but definitely NOT like your typical high school YMCA swim teacher (I know what they are like...I was ONE!) They are no nonsense. Kind of like...you WILL swim. You WILL put your face in the water. You WILL NOT say no. They boys hate it. It's work. But, it's 100% effective. And, I firmly believe that once kids get to a certain age (by 5-6 for sure), it's TIME to learn. It's a necessary skill. Owen went for hardly putting his face in the water two years ago, to focusing on the butterfly stroke this year. And, Emmett..finally, this year, can swim across the deep end by himself. It's not pretty. But, he can do it.
So, because of swim lesson boot camp this week (and next) our week was really difficulty. Emmett had swim lessons at 11 and Owen had swim lessons at 2. So, we left the house at 1045 every AM this week (Monday through Friday) and did Emmett's swim lessons. We flew home after and I laid Henry down for a quick nap at 1230. Then, I woke him up at 145 and flew out the door to Owen's swim lessons. The next day, repeat. Poor Henry got completely shorted on his naps this week, because he will normally take a good 3 hour nap. AND, I had to entertain him for 2 hours every day at this outdoor pool. Not easy because Henry is a water baby! Remember how I said that he wasn't completely fearless??? Well, regarding the water he is. COMPLETELY FEARLESS! And, he couldn't for the life of him figure out how come the boys got to swim and he couldn't get in. After Owen's class every day the instructor let him get in during free time. And, the child is a fish. I think it may be because ever since his cord feel off, we've been giving him showers. He gets a bath every once in a while, but it's just easier to wash him if Eddie and I are in the shower. So, his poor head has been dunked under water since he was itsy bitsy.
This video is from swimming at Sheila's house Friday afternoon. He just jumps in (well....usually he says "one...TWO!"). No fear. Under water and back up. He loves the water in his face. This means that I have to be prepared to jump in at all times. He's fast and FEARLESS!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I just come across this "before" shot of my front yard before my mom worked her magic. Check out the final result below. AND, the best part (I don't know how she manages this) is that the boys helped the whole time, planted flowers, and thought that the whole process was a blast!
If you have kids that are into trains, you really should take a trip to train heaven, Strausburg, PA. We went there during our visit to Hershey (it was an hour from there). Henry LOVES trains, and Owen and Emmett did back in the day. While we were there, a Day out w/ Thomas was going on. We did this in Colorado when Owen was 2, but since going to Strausburg, I've had tons of people tell me that a day out w/ Thomas is not the same unless you do it in Strausburg. That's where Thomas the train is from, you know? (yeah..I didn't either). Anyway, Strausburg is home to the National Train Museum, International Train Museum, and original Thomas store (that sold ANYTHING you could ever want w/ Thomas the Train on it). They also had this really cool store w/ a HUGE elaborate train set in it that you could walk through (for a fee). It was soooo cool. And, the lights even dimmed every 20 minutes or so to mimic night (so you could see what the trains did at night). A video from that store is below. All in all, it was an AWESOME day, and I'm glad we ventured past Hershey park to do something else.
Our ride into Strausburg, PA took us through the "real" Amish country. The stores had posts for the horses and most of the houses had buggies in their garages. It was really, really bizarre because the houses looked very modern. Like your or my house. Except the garage had a buggy in it AND they all had huge clothes lines w/ clothes drying on them. AND, they don't have electricity. They use propane. Can you imagine? We took a carriage ride down the road and to an Amish house where some Amish boys sold us root beer and cookies. Our "tour guide" ( in this photo to the left of my mom) was raised Amish and left the order when he fell in love at 18. He still speaks Pennsylvania Dutch (the Amish language). The boys were in shock and could not imagine the lives that these children live.
This place that we stopped at in Strausburg to watch the trains go by (the tracks were literally at our feet) and catch the Amish carriage ride - is also a hotel! You can spend the night in one of these converted train cars (behind the boys). The boys were begging to do that - maybe next year.
Anyway, wanted to tell you about the word explosion Henry is going through. All of a sudden, he says most everything. Today he said "mine" for the first time (not a great one to learn) and Emmett was the one who taught him. Emmett was teasing him by trying to pull a toy away from him and he kept saying, "mine...mine" until Henry repeated it. Now, it seems to be on continuous playbook mode. He also said cheerio today. He has the super sweetest voice, too. I'll have to try to record it soon.
But, my favorite word that he says is "boys". He does not say Owen. He does not say Emmett. He calls them "boys". Where do you think he that from???? Hmmm.... If Owen and Emmett are in the backyard, he stays at the back door and yells, "BOYS!!! BOYS!!!". When he wakes up from a nap and I go in to him the first thing he says now is "BOYS???" As in: where are they?
It's so, so cute.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Anyway, have I mentioned lately what a tough little guy Henry his? He rarely cries (although he does A LOT of high pitched screaming). He could honestly fall down a flight of stairs, stand up and brush himself off, and keep going. The kid is TOUGH. So, I wasn't completely suprised that he didn't make a peep as the nurse poked him over 25 times (one after another) in the back to test for allergies. He did say "owww.." a few times, but nary a tear. The staff was shocked. I, on the other hand, wasn't.
Good news! He tested negative to everything! YIPEE! Now, they didn't test for latex, because that requires a blood test (which were going to be doing next) and he also wanted to test for immune deficiencies because of his propensity for getting sick. But, I'm happy he has no allergies. Owen at this age was allergic to: eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and feathers. Now, he's allergic to grass, trees, cats, mold, and dust. It's been a while since he's been tested though, and he's scheduled for a re-test in November. Emmett has always tested negative to everything, too.
This makes me hopeful that he will eventually out grow his asthma. I'm a little less hopeful for Owen, because of his mass quantities of allergies that trigger his asthma.
We took the boys to see fireworks last night. Emmett and Henry were TIRED and so we went ahead and put them to bed for 2 hours, before dragging them up and into the car to see the fireworks. Waking sleeping children should be illegal. But, it isn't and we did it.
Anyway, then we went to Onondaga Lake Park and sat next to the most polluted lake in the nation wrapped in blankets and sweatshirts but wishing we had our hats and gloves and got eaten by the nastiest blood sucking mosquitoes who managed to find the only exposed part of our frigid bodies (our face) and watched a super LAME fireworks display that lasted all of 18 minutes. Seriously.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Our excuse for getting to Hershey was participating in the Hershey soccer tournament, so I probably owe at least one blog post to the games, eh? We played three games. The first in an absolute soaking, pouring, wet to the bones game. The boys lost all three games, which was expected but still disappointing. It was even more disappointing, because they lost two games by one goal, and lost the first game (in the rain) by one goal w/ 10 seconds left. And, that team went to the finals. They put our team in the top division even though we requested to be placed in the second division, so considering that we were very pleased. Owen got team MVP for the third game (see him holding his medal :)).
Owen (finally!) had his last day of school on June 23. Although he missed the last 10 out of 15 days w/ his fevers and the school district's policy of not returning to school. And, what a year it was. Thankfully, Owen is such a good student, because he missed around 50 days of school this year. He got glasses. He had a growth spurt and broke the 50 pound mark (a 7 pound weight gain). His feet finally grew, too. After hanging around size 12 for the past three years, he's now in a size 2. He learned multiplacation, division, and cursive. He got to be on student council again for the third year in a row. Now...if I could just get him to cut his hair! UGH!
My mom decided we should remodel the front porch by taking down the railing. And as any good daughter and son-in-law, we agreed immediately. It actually was a good idea. We had chairs on the front porch, but because there is not any space on the porch you couldn't actually SIT in the chairs. So, down it went. The day after my mom left, the boys sat on the front porch w/ a bowl of chocolate oatmeal in their chairs, enjoying an evening thunderstorm. Just like I used to do w/ my mom and dad :)
I wrote down the names of all these beautiful flowers. And, my mom taught Owen and Emmett the names of them and how to care for them. They're doing pretty well a week later....except they haven't seen much sun (it's been really rainy here all week!). On the other hand, I haven't had to worry about watering them.