Happy Easter!

We have been continuing to enjoy unseasonably warm temperatures in central Pennsylvania.  I’m not complaining.  We had the most gorgeous Easter weather in recent history, with temperatures that were over 80 degrees!  I seem to remember snow on one miserable Easter weekend not too long ago, so I am thrilled about the heat.

We went to church and arrived just a little late.  Usually it’s not a good thing to arrive late on Easter Sunday.  We ended up parking miles away from the front door, but we did find somewhere to sit in the sanctuary.  Church was good, Nate and Ben behaved themselves in the nursery, and the big boys had candy in Sunday school.  Then we went home.

I decided to do a small Easter egg hunt in our yard this year, mainly for Nate.  Since he’s not yet two, I just scattered the eggs around and really didn’t hide them.  But we found that the big boys had trouble finding brightly-colored eggs that were in plain view.  Go figure.

I wondered if the big boys would be interested in gathering eggs, and guess what!  They still were!

Ben doesn’t eat candy, so we got him an Easter pinwheel instead.

Later that evening, we all went to the park.  We took Isaac’s bike (which he has outgrown) and tried to get the big boys used to the idea of riding without training wheels.  I hope this is the year we finally get them to learn how!

Ben loves being outside.  We’d like to bring his gait trainer to the park the next time we visit.

Nate was fascinated with these railroad ties for a few minutes…and then he became more interested in the small stream that runs through the park.  Why is he always interested in the one or two areas that are unsafe for babies??

I’m not sure why Jonny’s face looks like that.

Because we spent so long at the park (and because I had a great Easter afternoon nap!) I ended up starting dinner late.  The boys had noodles and chicken nuggets for dinner, and Mark and I didn’t eat our Easter ham for dinner until nearly 10 pm!  Oh well.  Maybe I’ll be more organized next year.

Welcome, Spring!

This weekend was chilly, and today was rainy, but what gorgeous weather we had last weekend!  The temperatures got up into the 70’s and we were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine.  I had the day off last Friday, so while the big boys were at school, Mark and I took the little ones to the park.

Ben and Nate both went on swings and slides for the first time!  They had an awesome time.  We really should go to the park more often.  They both took good naps that day.

Nate’s an old pro with slides now.  His Sunday School class at church has a little slide in the room and he’s so thrilled that he doesn’t mind me leaving him there during services.

On Saturday morning, Isaac had a piano recital.  After the recital the boys were able to run and play outside for a bit.  Saturday evening we were invited to some friends’ house for dinner.  The beautiful weather continued, and the boys were able to play with their friends in their large fenced backyard until after dark.

Nate was given this balloon by someone during Isaac’s recital.  We hoped it would keep him quiet.  It didn’t.

Jonny thought he’d try his friend’s skateboard and found it was harder than it looked.  In any case, his friend told him that he shouldn’t be skateboarding in his “handsome clothes”.

Nate found the chip bowl:

I am SO glad that winter is over!

February 2010 Update

For a while I wondered if Iwas done with this blog altogether, but since it’s something I enjoy doing (and it helps keep my family in Trinidad up to date with what the kids are up to) I decided to start blogging again.  It has been so long since I last posted that I decided that I’d do another update.

Isaac is 9 and in 3rd grade.  He does GREAT academically, but if you ask him, he always says he hates school.  He loves video games, reading (especially manga and other graphic novels a.k.a. comic books), and playing the piano.  He doesn’t always enjoy the songs his piano teacher assigns, but often plays songs from the Legend of Zelda video game series just for fun.  Since I don’t play any instruments, I’m always impressed to hear him play the piano.  Isaac also plays soccer in the spring and fall because we make him.  He is a wonderful big brother to Ben and Nate (but just manages to fight and disagree with Jonathan on a daily basis!)

Jonathan is 6 and in the first grade.  He does fairly well in school, but is one of those kids who has trouble sitting quietly at a desk all day.  He does well with his schoolwork, however, and is an excellent reader.  He is an active kid who enjoys running around the house, playing video games, helping me cook desserts, and building with Legos and K’nex.  He is definitely a snuggler, and even now loves to sit on laps for hugs and kisses.  He talks non-stop at home (just like at school), and says such funny things sometimes.  I took the photo below after he asked me to give him a faux-hawk just like Ben’s.

Nate is 19 months old.  Wow.  I’d forgotten what it was like to have a “typical” toddler in the house.  Nate started walking at around 14 months, and since then we haven’t had a spare moment to ourselves it seems!   He is very sweet but manages to get into all sorts of mischief.  His favorite pastime lately is scattering things everywhere.

He enjoys emptying the contents of the dishwasher onto the floor.  He puts silverware into the trash.  He puts chalk into the bathtub.  He hurls toy cars and hard wooden blocks at our heads.  He sets the oven to self-clean.  He loves playing with DVD and video game cases, so we decided to get a cabinet that mounts on the wall.  Did that help?  Nope.

Thank goodness he has stopped splashing in the toilet for fun!

Nate says quite a few words as well, but still resorts to screaming when he’s frustrated or bored or tired or hungry.

Benji will be 4 at the end of April.  How time flies!  He still has a sweet, quiet, easygoing disposition and is such a joy to have around.  He loves playing with toys that spin, or anything long and skinny that he can hold in his “big” hand.  He weighs around 28 lbs and is in 2T clothing.  He has gained nicely in the last 6 months and is starting to look rather chubby!

Ben gets around by rolling or “army crawling”.  He can get from a lying to a sitting position by jamming his little feet under a heavy piece of furniture and sitting straight up with his strong abdominal muscles.   He can stand and use his arms for support on furniture, but he will throw himself backwards without warning, so he can’t be left in that position by himself yet.  He has been doing much better in his gait trainer, and finally seems to get the idea that he’s supposed to propel himself forward.  Nate also loves the gait trainer.

Ben still wears hearing aids and glasses, but is getting more opinionated about whether he wants to wear these or not.  I suspect that his glasses are a little uncomfortable these days because he’s grown so much in the past year and also because a certain little brother chewed the pieces that fit behind his ears.  In any case I think he’s due for a new pair even though his prescription hasn’t changed.

Ben is still g-tube fed, and is still very resistant to oral feeds.  Every so often, he changes his mind and willingly eats and tastes food that I’m feeding Nate, but that only happens once in blue moon.  We keep working with him, but it’s discouraging at times.

The biggest change that has happened with Ben over the past few months is that he has been attending preschool 3 afternoons a week!  We were so anxious about him going to school, but it has turned out to be wonderful for him.  He attends a local preschool for children with special needs.  The class is very small, and he has lots of one-on-one attention.  He loves going, and is full of giggles when Mark takes him in.  He has PT, OT, and ST at school, and they also work with oral feeds.  He also has circle time and playtime just as “typical” kids would in preschool.  He’s one of the smallest kids at school (if not the smallest), and everyone loves him!  I think I’ll have to do a post just about Ben’s preschool.

Ben continues to be wonderfully healthy, and we’re thankful for that.

Mark and I are doing very well, but we are tired all the time it seems.  I still work full time and Mark is home with the boys full time.  We still enjoy cooking together, and trying out new recipes.  “Santa” brought us a new TV and a PS3 this Christmas, and we’ve both been enjoying playing “Dragon Age Origins” after the kids go to bed.  We’d like to go to the CdLS conference in Dallas this year and are still working out the logistics of that.  We’re also planning a trip to Trinidad this summer…if we can get everyone’s passports organized!  We already struck out once; we got caught in a traffic jam on Friday afternoon and ended up not being able to get the boys’ done.  Maybe this week.

Hopefully I can keep this blog updated on a semi-regular basis.  We’ll see.

Nate Update 11/08

nate-bumbo

Nate will be four months old in a few days.  He is growing fast!  He weighs around 17-18 lbs (we think; we haven’t weighed him since his 2 month checkup), and he’s starting to look really chubby.  It won’t be long before he outgrows his carseat/baby carrier.  We used the same carrier for Ben for almost 2 years.

Nate is smiling and cooing a lot.  He has begun to laugh out loud.  If left in a room by himself, he will “call” for someone, and then listens quietly to see if anyone is coming to his aid!  He is a very social baby, and loves to be held all day (or at least entertained by someone!)

He has learned how to grasp objects, and already has started shoving them into his mouth.  Lately he has been looking at the food on the dinner table with real interest, but It will be another month or two before we try him with some baby cereal.  For now he nurses well, and also takes his bottles OK when I’m at work.

yummy-food

He seems to enjoy “tummy time”, at least for short periods.  He is healthy, but has a tendency to develop eczema like his daddy and oldest brother.  We will be keeping him well-moisturized in the winter months.

nate-tummy-time

He is thoroughly entertained by his three older brothers.  He and Ben had their first fight over a toy last week…but you’ll have to wait for Mark’s Twosday Tuesday post to see that.  🙂

After having Ben, I almost forgot how quickly most babies grow and develop.

carseat

It makes me appreciate and enjoy Baby Nate since I know he’ll grow up too fast.

Here is our new little guy…

Nathaniel was born on 7/22/08 at 11:52am by C-section.  After lying in a head-down oblique position for 2 weeks, he promptly flipped over to be in a head-up breech position on the morning of his birth, when I went into labor on my own.  He weighed 8 lb 8.7 oz and was 21 1/2 inches long.

He and I are both doing fine, but I feel very sore.  We came home today, and the brothers are all excited.

I always think of Ben as small, but he looks so HUGE next to Nate!  I am sure Nate will catch up to Ben soon.  I hope they’ll be good friends.

I’ll be off work for the next few weeks recuperating and reconnecting with Mark and the kids.  For the next several days, Mark has brought my computer downstairs and made me a bed on the couch.   I must say that the recovery period for a c-section seems a lot longer than for a regular birth…I hope I feel like my old self soon!

Family Shopping Expedition

We’ve been a little stir-crazy this winter with all the snow and ice and sleet. This weekend, despite the cold and windy weather, we decided that we’d had enough of sitting around the house waiting for spring, and decided to go on a little shopping trip. Actually, what really prompted the trip was the fact that I’d worn holes into the soles of my only pair of brown work shoes.  Ordinarily I would have replaced them weeks ago, but I HATE going shopping in winter.

Holey shoes

So we packed everyone into the van, and off we went.

At first everything was fine. We bought some shirts for Isaac. I headed into a department store to look at shoes with Ben in his stroller. Mark took Isaac and Jonny to get some pretzels and lemonade. Then things quickly turned sour. Mark waited in line a LONG TIME for pretzels. Almost immediately after they paid for their food and got settled, Jonny managed to dump an entire 32 oz cup of lemonade on the floor. Jonny started crying, “It was an accident!” and Isaac started whining that he was thirsty. Meanwhile, a shoebox (containing shoes) managed somehow to fall from the top of the stroller (where I had rested it precariously) onto the top of Ben’s head. That ruined Ben’s previously sunny mood completely (I wonder why), and he became cranky, and refused to sit in his stroller anymore.

By then Mark had begun to think that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. The two big boys were whiny and not on their best behavior, and Ben was irritable and demanded to be carried. We went to three more stores, and I did manage to find some shoes (and a couple pairs of winter boots on clearance), and then we left. Mark (who is normally a talkative soul) was strangely silent for most of our outing.

Then it was dinner time. We had originally planned on going to the Olive Garden, but unfortunately, their parking lot was a disaster.  So we drove around looking for other options. Mark was just about to suggest going through the Mc Donalds drive-thru when we spotted a Japanese restaurant we’d never been to before.

Ben browsing menu

That restaurant saved the day. The food was great, the boys didn’t complain, and even Ben’s mood brightened. And Mark started talking again.

Getting ready to eat

All in all, I’d say the outing was a success! Can’t wait for the next one.

New shoes

Happy Halloween!

Family photo Halloween

We had such a nice time! 

Isaac Jonny Ben Halloween

Isaac was a very scary skeleton (eventually he found the mask a little uncomfortable), Jonny was Link from the “Legend of Zelda” (but most people thought he was Robin Hood), and Ben was a penguin.  The weather was unseasonably warm, just like it was last year.

Isaac Jonny Trick or Treat

Mark took all three boys trick-or-treating this year.  Ben was in a cheery mood, laughing and “talking” up a storm!

Mark and Ben Halloween

The boys got way too much candy.  Mark mentioned something about a parental tax on their takings.  Sounds good to me!

We ran out of candy after an hour and fifteen minutes.  We had chicken noodle soup for dinner, and the boys went to bed exhausted, without a fuss. 

Can’t wait for next year!