Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Another picture post!! It continued to be busy around here, so I'll just share more photos!

Stephen and I made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies for his teachers at school.
These are the ornaments that he made at school this month...

We went out to Breakfast one morning this week, and Stephen was being quite the goof.
In the interest of sanity, we had decided to spread out the present-opening over several days this year. Stephen got this from his Daddy.
And our Christmas Eve was spent inside the house... This is the largest one-day snowfall on record in Oklahoma City - 14.1"!!!
Stephen got rather bored with being inside all day (it was super windy, as well, which is why it was classified as a blizzard).
This was the view out our dining room window after Stephen went to bed.

But we enjoyed opening presents...

(yes, these were taken on different days, but you get the idea)
Sorry these are out of order, but before the weather got bad, we also spent some time outside playing on the slide, and just having a fun time!

So, good times were had by all. Mom and Dad DID make it to the airport today, although I haven't heard if their flight was going to really go or not. Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

We've been busy!

My parents got here a bit before Stephen's birthday, so we have been very busy!

We spent some time opening birthday presents a few days before his birthday...
And then we went to a tree farm to pick out a Christmas tree!!!
On his birthday, Stephen went to OU Children's Outpatient Surgery to have a small, dermoid cyst removed from in front of his right ear. A dermoid cyst is just matter that hasn't been sloughed off naturally. This type of cyst can often grow when someone sweats a lot, which explains why it kept growing whenever he was sick and ran a fever. It was a very simple procedure, and our surgeon was awesome (I actually knew her and her family from when I was working, and trusted her implicitly!). Stephen didn't shed a tear afterwards, and even RAN out of the Outpatient surgery center, and pounded on the elevator doors until we left. He managed with only Ibuprofen for that day, and nothing since then. Now, you can hardly see the wound at all!
Grandma and Stephen had some fun with a big box!

Last Friday, Stephen's Children's Day Out program had a Christmas Program. Stephen's class did really well - they sang "I'm a little pinecone" and danced to "Rock Around the Christmas Tree." While Stephen did not sing or dance, he also did not pick his nose, scream, cry, push anyone off the stage, or in any way misbehave. He stood up there very nicely, and even smiled a bit (but we could tell he was a bit nervous about it all). Only about 4 kids out of 20 in his class ended up singing or dancing, but I thought they all did well, especially considering that none of them napped!!!

The photo below is Stephen again at his program. They gave him a little bow-tie to dress up - some of the kids had bows, and some wore Christmas Trees around their necks. He also brought home 3 ornaments that he made at school, which are now hanging proudly on our tree!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sleep is elusive these days...

So, once again, we are having some sleep issues here at the Heine house! Stephen is going to bed pretty well now, so that's not the issue. We have taken to sitting with him in the dark a few times to help him settle down before bedtime, and that generally seems to work, and he isn't taking 60-90 minutes to fall asleep any more. We kind of have to FORCE him to just settle down, otherwise he would just keep running around in his room, looking out his blinds, trying to open the closet, dresser drawers, bedroom door, rocking himself in his glider... you can see the issue.

The problem lately has been occurring around 4 am. Yep. There is one of those in the morning, too. Stephen has been waking up to potty at this time for about a week now, and getting him to go back to sleep has just been a nightmare. If I thought I could stand to just let him stay awake then, I would, but then he would want to nap at 9 am, and our whole day would just be ruined. But once he is awake, we have to go through the routine of getting him settled back down again, which most times can take up to 2 hours. Yes, TWO HOURS! So he is just falling back asleep when it is time for our alarm to go off. I attribute this to either the fact that we are having so much fun during the day that he wants to spend more time with us, or he is getting excited about the holidays. We HAVE been talking a lot about Santa and how he brings presents to good boys, and his grandparents are coming today... Regardless of the cause, it's just miserable for the parents. Hopefully this phase will pass soon, but if anyone has any advice, we are more than happy to give it a go!

Speaking of Christmas, we have a Little People Nativity that Stephen likes to play with. He is particularly fond of Baby Jesus, and enjoys that the Manger plays music. He understands that the "baby" goes in the "barn" (we figured Barn is an easier concept than Manger), but he finds it a bit humorous. Oh well. He at least kind of understands a bit of it!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Whew, we've been busy!

We've had an action packed couple of weeks here! We really enjoyed having Erik home for 5 days over Thanksgiving, and celebrating his birthday as well. We had a couple of friends over for Thanksgiving dinner. Over that weekend, Stephen discovered the somersault. In the beginning, he needed a bit of assistance, but by the end of this past week, he just needed a little help steering so that he didn't run in to anything. As soon as we ask him if he wants to do a somersault, he runs over, puts his hands on the ground, tucks his head, and pushes off with his feet! These pictures were from last weekend, when he was just learning.

As you can see, he REALLY enjoys this particular activity! Now, he has added running to the mix, and does his somersault, runs around a bit, and then comes back to do another. It's really no wonder why he eats as much as he does, given his activity level!
This past Friday, Stephen was evaluated for preschool! As usual, he was stubborn and a bit uncooperative, but we are pleased that he WILL be getting to go to preschool starting in January. He really hit it off with the speech therapist who will be working with him as well, which was a relief, as he never really clicked with the one he used to see (those services stopped since he is almost 3). It wasn't really her fault, or his. I think she just happened to start working with him right when his sleep apnea started to get bad, and he was just cranky, and hard to get along with. They seemed to do better with each other these last couple of months though. Anyways, he will be going to preschool at the "Big Kid School" 4 mornings each week, and then will continue at Children's Day Out on Fridays, so that he doesn't have to leave his friends. We are all very excited about preschool! The school has been recently renovated, so the facilities are top-notch, and his teacher was very nice. There will only be a few other people in his class, too, so he will get a lot of one-on-one attention. We never wanted Stephen to NEED extra help with his speech, but we are so grateful that these services are out there so that we can take advantage of them!
The biggest thing coming up right now is our Big Boy's birthday!!! Even though it isn't until next Monday, we are going to celebrate it on Saturday. We aren't having a party this year, but Stephen's Grandma Janet and Grandaddy will be here, so we are going to open presents on Saturday and have cake after we got to the tree farm for our Christmas tree! Unfortunately, on his birthday, Stephen will be having a minor medical procedure done to remove a small, benign cyst from in front of his right ear. That was the best date we could get to have it done, unfortunately, but we don't figure that a 3 year old really cares about the actual DATE of his birthday - just the presents and the CAKE!!! I'm making him a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting this year - a favorite on my side of the family!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some things...

We have been awfully busy around here lately! Last Friday (11/13), I joined Stephen at school for a Thanksgiving Luncheon. The director cooked all of the food herself!! Parents volunteered to bring drinks and/or desserts, and it was a delicious meal. Stephen surprised me by not only sitting in a regular chair all by himself (no booster seat!!), but using his fork remarkably well for the situation. He was definitely lower to the table than he was used to, but he did well anyways. This bodes well for our trip to see Aunt Erin, Uncle Adam, and Cousin Zachary, so that we don't have to worry about a booster for meals!! He also drank about half of a juice box, and then wouldn't take a nap... I had left him at school after the meal so I could get some more housework done, and he could play with his best buddy.


Stephen has been waking up during the night wanting to use the potty, and often times, he has a dry diaper! So when it started getting colder at night, our poor boy was cold when he was on the potty, because he was wearing a blanket sleeper, and had to be completely stripped down to use the toilet. The other day at Target, I came upon this:

Yep, it's a two-piece, fleece PJ set! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find it in any other patterns yet... (If you notice that his nose appears bruised and a bit swollen, it is. He was running in the family room, and didn't pick up his feet when he got to the rug, and did a face-plant)


On Saturday, we went over to JCPenney to have this year's portraits of Stephen taken. He did remarkably well considering he has had a cold for several days. He also decided that he didn't like that the flooring in the studio was squishy - we think he felt off-balance due to the cold/congestion and the odd floor. He absolutely REFUSED to stand on that floor either in shoes or not, but he was fine once we got out the door. Strange. And that is why he wasn't wearing shoes in the photos! Here is a little sneak peak...

The shirt was a custom order from I think she did a great job! I suspect, however, that Stephen will quickly outgrow this shirt (just based on how his growth has been these last several months!), and we will be asking Grandma Janet to put the "3" applique onto another, larger shirt.
Stephen is now tall enough to turn on and off all of the lights in our house. When he was first able to do it a few weeks ago in his shoes, I measured him, and he was just under 37" tall. He can now do it in his bare feet with minimal stretching, so he has probably grown a bit since then. It's just amazing how much more he is growing now the he SLEEPS!!!
Speech is coming along wonderfully! Stephen has been babbling more and more around the house (and OUT of the house more too!), and is having actual conversations with us on occasion. His vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, and he is USING his words more frequently. Erik asked him a question a few days ago, and instead of just shaking his head "no," he actually SAID, "no!" And when Erik then reminded him that using his words was fun, Stephen said, "VVVVVUUN!!" (fun) We are loving hearing his voice finally!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Luke, I am your Father...

This is Bear Vader. This afternoon, we took Stephen to walk at the mall because it was raining, and that's always a fun thing to do. While walking around, we noticed several people dressed as Storm Troopers outside the Build-A-Bear Workshop, and decided to go check it out. Stephen was not only NOT afraid of the men in "scary" costumes, but he found it all pretty amusing. He was shaking all of their hands, and blew kisses when we left. We needed to get him home for a nap, but when we found out that the characters would only be there this afternoon, we decided to go back afterwards with the camera.

Shortly after the picture below was taken, Stephen grabbed on to the trooper's hands and started to dance with him.
Stephen enjoyed the Build-A-Bear experience much more than I thought he would! He was excited to get his bear, and did the whole thing with the stuffer and his bear's heart (you have to rub the heart and do other things with it, like kiss it). And when the stuffer gave it to him to check the stuffing level, he didn't want to give it back to be sewn up! It was a lot of fun for all of us, and probably something we will do again at some point!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sorry, Mom!!!

Apparently I forgot to credit my mom with the creation of those clown costumes. As you can see, they were worn before Stephen and I got them... They held up well, didn't they? Thanks, Mom, for saving the costumes!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A is for ART!!

Last week, Stephen and I started working on a kind-of "Letter of the Day" curriculum at home. We will do this on weekdays when he is not at school. Thursday's letter was "A." I gave him some roll-on paint marker thingies to color this A (you can see the squiggles...). You may also be wondering about the Christmas Tree...
Last week, I rearranged the playroom (which Stephen has LOVED, by the way!), and I decided to take some toys out of rotation, and put some other ones out. I pulled out his Little People Nativity Set, and another Christmas set. The plan is to start teaching Stephen about the Nativity a little bit, but I got out the other set as well for fun. He remembered the Christmas Tree, obviously, and remembered that pressing down on the star will make it play either, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," or "Oh Christmas Tree." So, in order to get him to stay at his table and paint/color for longer than 5 seconds, I let him bring the tree over.

This is the first time we've let Stephen color with Markers. He seems to enjoy them over anything else we have had him use so far! Without prompting, he held the markers with a really good grasp (most of the time, anyways!). He put the marker down whenever he had to restart the music on his tree...
And for anyone wondering what this coloring project has to do with the letter "A," that little guy is Austin from the Backyardigans!
We also worked on another project that day, but I can't post anything about it because it is for a Christmas present for the grandparents!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just a few more...

He finished off the evening of Trick or Treating with a pumpking cookie (thanks Grandma Deb!!), a bath, and The Backyardigans!! It was a lot of fun, but we were definitely missing having other kids around. Maybe next year we'll take him somewhere with other kids!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Yesterday, I got to school early to see Stephen and his pals go "Trick or Treating" at the director's office for CDO. When I got there, the boy was in full-on, meltdown mode. He was very upset, and when I asked the teachers, they said that they were planning on getting the kids their snacks, but they were all running a bit behind, and hadn't gotten to it. No biggie, so I gave Stephen some cuddles as I helped him in to his costume. He finally told me twice that he was hungry. He actually used those words, twice. Excellent. Since he told me what the problem was, I let the teachers know I was going to give him a little snack. Then, they all headed down the hall to Ms. Stephanie's office for treats!(that little guy behind Stephen is Noah, his buddy. I think Noah was trying to figure out if he could get someone behind that door to give him some candy too...) Stephen and Noah play together whenever Noah is at school. I met his mom today, and hopefully in the future, we will be able to get the boys together to play outside of school!

They all made it down the hall, and were getting their treats...
I just love this picture (below). I don't remember what their teacher (in the striped shirt) was saying to them, but I love how they are all listening so intently!
So here he is, our happy clown!

We will be trick or treating on our street tonight, and depending on how Erik is feeling, we may or may not go to "Haunt the Zoo." Erik is sick, from all of the dust aggravating his throat and nose from construction right outside his office at school. Our sweet boy, knowing that Daddy was using a lot of kleenex, brought him the box while he was in the kitchen this morning. After he gave him the box, he went back to playing. What a sweetie!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cool Dude

Grandma Deb and Grandpa Big Rick sent these for Stephen...

Monday, October 26, 2009

More stuff...

I can't even believe I forgot to post about this... Stephen graduated from Physical/Occupational Therapy last week!! His therapist was going on medical leave for 4-6 weeks, and he is no longer behind enough to warrant them assigning us anyone else for that period of time before his birthday. He is at or above age level in most areas of gross and fine motor skills!!! It's not always obvious to us, though, because Stephen has some very definite ideas of what he will and won't do, no matter his ability. Oh well! He has a couple of things to work on still, but we are all very confident he will have them in a short period of time.

On the potty front, we are also seeing some improvement. He still won't tell us with words when he has to go, but he gets pretty whiney when he needs to, because he doesn't want to have an accident. That works pretty well for us at home, but not so much at school. I think he will just have to continue to wear the training pants at school until we can get him to verbalize his potty needs better - we just can't expect 2 teachers with 10 kids to know all of his non-verbal potty cues!!

In about a month, Stephen will be evaluated by some people in our school district to determine how much speech help he will need after he turns 3. Several months ago, this stressed me out to no end - I didn't want him to have to have a an Individual Education Plan and be in the "system" at all. BUT... the fact remains that he doesn't talk enough, and when he does, it's hard to understand him. He understands everything we say to him (and frequently things we say to others... he's a smarty pants little stinker sometimes!), so we certainly don't worry about that. He just needs help articulating his needs and wants, and we are grateful that we have this resource available to us, without having to pay for it or go through our insurance! Our school district actually has a preschool class specifically for kids with language delays, which is pretty exciting. This means that there will be less likelihood of him being place in a class with kids with other issues, and end up having behavioral problems as a result.

"School" is going well also! Stephen just loves it so much there, and it's obvious that they love him as well. He pushed me out the door last week after I got my kiss goodbye, and barely even noticed when I came to pick him up! We can totally tell a difference in him since he started - he is just blossoming! It's just so nice.

Ok, for the next post, I promise some pictures. I just don't feel like waiting for Blogger to upload right now!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

To the Farm!

On Saturday, we headed down to Moore, OK, to go to the Orr Farm. There are a TON of things to do there, including a petting zoo, playground equipment, a corn maze, a train, a carousel, pedal cars, a bouncy area, a hayride, and of course, a pumpkin patch.

We started the day at the petting zoo. The goat was interesting...

And the pig felt rough and scratchy. The pig was very distracted eating, so he wasn't too interested in the small person touching him...

The best animals, though, were the sheep! We reminded Stephen what sound the sheep makes, and he just lit up, understanding that THIS sheep is just like the sheep in his current favorite book ("Moo, Baa, La La La"). He even fed the sheep a little bit!

Then we had to make him sit with the big pumpkin for a good photo opportunity. This was the only one where he was smiling - the others, he was just relaxing on the hay!

We rode on the Carousel... Stephen was pretty aprehensive about it for the whole ride. He had been on one before, but that was last summer, so I suspect he just didn't remember, and was a little nervous about it!

Remember that episode of the Twilight Zone - "Eye of the Beholder?" Yeah...
But here was our happy boy on the train. I was surprised that this was his favorite activity of the day, but he really enjoyed the 15 minute ride!!

After the train, we hopped on the tractor for a hayride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out our three pumpkins. About halfway through the ride out, Stephen started to poop out. He had very little interest in picking out his pumpkin, and dozed off a bit on the way back. We ran him pretty ragged, but all in all, fun times were had by the family! We'll definitely do it again next year!!!