Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cookies and "Camping"

For Stephen's last week of school this semester, we decided to make some cookies using Grandma Deb's "special" cookie recipe, and Stephen shook the sprinkles onto them. With his Grandaddy's help, he sprinkled the cookies, and half of the kitchen floor. His teachers LOVED the cookies.


We also took Stephen's Plasma Car over to OCU for a spin last week He really loves that toy!!
And Stephen has spent some time "camping" in his gift from his grandparents. He loves to sit in his tent and look at books, but he especially loves to read his birthday cards in there. Silly boy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Four!

On Tuesday, we celebrated Stephen's FOURTH birthday! On Wednesday, he started running a fever from what we THOUGHT was a mild reaction to the 3 shots he'd had the day before. On Thursday, he woke up from a very short nap with a fever again, and a stuffy nose. On Friday, I had to reschedule the Tumble Bus for his party, which was being rescheduled for January, since Stephen was now sick with a full-blown cold. Disappointing, to be sure, but Stephen was a VERY happy four year old earlier in the week!

He is already on the mend (and today is taking his first REAL nap in almost a WEEK!), so he should be feeling better to try to visit with a jolly, rotund man in a red suit later this week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fist Bump!

Stephen has decided that the "fist bump" is far cooler than giving high fives. All you have to do is ask him to give a fist bump, and he'll do it! Sometimes he'll just keep doing it and doing it, though... obviously, he likes this "big boy" greeting quite a bit!

It only took a few times demonstrating this for him to get it. Erik and I have both noticed that it doesn't take Stephen QUITE as long to figure out how to imitate motor skills as it used to. Hopefully this means that he is getting better at his motor planning!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's almost December?!?!?! Already?

Grandpa Rick was here for about a week right before Turkey Day... actually, he flew back home on Thanksgiving so he could get all of the Christmas lights put up before heading back to work. Unfortunately, we were so busy that I didn't get too many pictures. BUT, Grandpa DID give Stephen an early birthday gift - a remote control train! Stephen LOVES it!!

Many hours have been spent with the train already. Stephen came down with a nasty cold on the day of our feast, but managed to enjoy some delicious food anyways. Since then, however, its all been downhill. Hopefully he'll get to go back to school this week...

I'm also including a picture of most of our feast (the green beans were still cooking). Erik is a fantastic cook, and I am very fortunate that he ENJOYS it so much. He looks forward to cooking for Thanksgiving for months...


See you in December!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving from our little turkey!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Public Service Announcement

I'm taking some time away from Stephen updates to post a link to an extraordinarily informative blog post regarding winter carseat safety. If you are a parent or grandparent, please, PLEASE read and watch the video. Carseats are ONLY safe if they are being used properly.

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/109699/6_tips_for_winter_car

In other news, Stephen still loves his new bed, and is sleeping much better. Hopefully this is the solution, and we'll all be better rested.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Big Boy Bed update!

Well, Stephen has been sleeping in his new bed all week, and so far, it's been going well! We thought that moving him to a larger bed would help reduce his night wakings, and it seems to be working. We suspected that Stephen was moving around at night, and waking himself up when he hit the sides of his small bed. Hopefully this new change will mean better sleep for ALL of us!

In other news, we have been busy planning Stephen's birthday party. We are hoping that his friends from school will be joining us to celebrate, and play. I think he'll have a really good time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Big Doings at the Heine House!

Let's start with the events of Friday... Stephen went to the dentist! I don't have any pictures from that visit, as I was very busy wrangling a nervous boy. Stephen, unfortunately, has had to see enough "new" doctors in his life that he now gets very nervous at most doctors' offices. In spite of all of that, his teeth got a clean bill of health, and we'll head back in 6 months!

After the dentist, we headed over to the park to meet up with some friends. We played with a little boy from Stephen's class, and that boy's twin brother and older sister. It was FANTASTIC!! Stephen used to be very clingy when we went to the park, but this trip was completely different. He was running around with other kids, and trying to play with them - and not just the 3 kids he knew, but a large group of kids that were playing together! He went on the play structures by himself, and down all of the big slides on his own. He played pretend with his friend's brother and sister - the boy was pretending to be a giant, and once I explained it to Stephen, he decided to be the "brave boy" (that is what the sister dubbed him) who was chasing the giant. After about an hour and a half, we were pooped, and went home for a nap.
After naptime, Erik came home, and we went to the furniture store. We had decided last week that it was time to get Stephen in to a full-sized bed. His sleep was getting worse and worse, and we were guessing that he was waking himself up by rolling into the sides of his toddler bed. The bed was set to be delivered on Sunday, and Stephen was SO excited about his "big boy bed." Unfortunately, they brought the wrong frame, so they had to redeliver today.

Today... Stephen fell down some stairs and got his first goose egg. This was the best picture I could get of his injury. As you can see, he wasn't too upset about it at this point. He fell before school, but after watching him for 30 minutes, I decided to send him to class, but not after giving his teacher a head's up. She said that he did just fine all morning, and was fine by the time he came home. The swelling went down as the day wore on, but I suspect it will be more colorful when he wakes up in the morning!
This afternoon, however, the correct bed frame was delivered! They attached the headboard and footboard that used to be the front and back of his crib, and I got the rest set up for him! Stephen is quite pleased with his new bed.
After his stories, Stephen fell asleep with no problem. Here's hoping he'll sleep well all night, although I won't be shocked if he wakes up a little bit because it's hard for him to sleep the way he wants because of his head.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trick or Treat!

We took our little robot out to the zoo to do some Trick or Treating on Saturday night. We had to wait in line for 45 minutes just to get in, putting it close to bedtime by that point. Stephen managed to keep up for the first half of the walk, but then he was just toast. It had been a long walk, and it was late. He really had a good time watching the other kids, and looking at all of their costumes. This picture was taken at one of the stops at the zoo.


On Sunday, we got a bit of an earlier start.
Stephen thought it was a lot of fun to show off his robot costume to all of his friends on the street. This was at one of our neighbors' houses, and he wasn't at all intimidated by the decorations!
In fact, here he is, dancing at that same house!
Halloween was a big success this year! We all had a lot of fun, and now we have more candy than we know what to do with!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy (Early) Halloween!

I thought I'd show off our Halloween banner, created by Grandma Deb! I just love it, but I'll hang it somewhere else next year. Maybe in front of our... NEW WINDOW!! Do you like it? I know, it's hard to tell what you are looking at, but it's a double pane, double hung window, replacing the one damaged in the hail storm. You also may be blinded by our freshly painted, white porch!

This year, Stephen is a robot for Halloween. I've been working for a week or so on his costume, and he tried it on this morning before the finishing touches were added. He wanted to be a dancing robot.
And a silly robot...

But mostly, just very happy with his costume. When I ask him, "Who's a robot?" he points to his chest.
We are going Trick or Treating at the Zoo tomorrow night, and going to our neighbors' homes on Sunday. Should be fun!






Saturday, October 9, 2010

video

Our little Stephen has had many new accomplishments this week! In addition to pedaling his tricycle (downhill, but he keeps his feet on the pedals, which is an improvement!), he has also begun walking up the stairs outside our house without assistance. He will only do that with his dad thus far, but it's a major accomplishment nonetheless.

Stephen was invited to his first birthday party today. The party was for his friend's sister, who was turning 5. They had a Moon Bounce at the party, and after overcoming his initial fear, Stephen LOVED bouncing in it! He wasn't jumping on his own (we're still working on that), but got some good air time with the help of his dad. I forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures. Stephen really enjoyed the party, and loved seeing his friend (this is another little boy in his preschool class).

This week will bring another first - the first FIELD TRIP!! I am, of course, going as a chaperone to the farm, where the pre-k kids will be learning about animals and pumpkins. I'm going to drive Stephen myself since they are not taking the buses with the carseats in them. When he's bigger he can take the bus, but for now, it makes me feel better to know he's safely strapped in to a carseat. I WILL remember to take the camera for this one!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Preschool Progress!

School has been back in session for a few weeks now, and Stephen is doing great! His teacher said that he is so cooperative and helpful, and is very good about doing whatever he is supposed to be doing. He is also doing so well with using the bathroom there, that she has asked that he start wearing underwear to school next week. Eek!! We hadn't been sending him in underwear, even though that's what he wears at home, because he sometimes has trouble with using the bathroom when he is in a new situation. HOWEVER, he's been doing great with it since school started, so it's time to move on to the next step. He continues to do well at church school, too, especially since they moved into their new classroom!

This afternoon, Stephen was doing his very best E.T. impression in his room... Note the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. We brought those home from Pennsylvania at the request of Grandma Deb, who said that they used to belong to Erik. Stephen really enjoys playing with them.
Slightly cooler weather has also meant some quality time at the park. We went over the weekend, and we were the only people there!!
Stephen was thrilled to not have to wait for his favorite swings!
One of our neighbors was doing a project over the long weekend, and had to rent a Bobcat, which fascinated Stephen to no end. He loved going to watch "the boys" dig up dirt, and watch them drive around the "digger." So we went one evening to inspect it, and he got to sit in it! We didn't want him to drive it, though...
Stephen continues to do more "big boy" things every day. It's hard to describe them exactly, as they would seem to most to be such small changes, but it's definitely a sign that we no longer have a toddler in our home, but a little boy. A wonderful, challenging, funny little boy.

Too soon...

I've been avoiding writing this particular post for several weeks, and you can probably imagine why. On August 22, we lost the best mother-in-law a woman could have ever asked for. I hear and read about women complaining about their mothers-in-law, and for the last 8 years that Erik and I have been married, I've never understood how such a terrible relationship could exist. I never had that. What I was blessed with, was a second mother - someone who loved me unconditionally from the very beginning of my relationship with her son, and never once treated me like an outsider in the family. She was a beautiful, amazing woman, and I was so blessed to have been loved by her.

Deb was also an amazing grandmother, who loved Stephen and Zachary unconditionally. She embraced Stephen's challenges, and always wanted to know how she could help him to conquer those. Stephen loved his grandma Deb very much, and he will miss her a great deal. We were very fortunate to have been able to see her one last time before the end, and Stephen loved nothing better about that trip than being able to snuggle, and share kisses with his grandmother.


We were so fortunate to have had Deb in our lives, but it was too soon. We weren't ready. We love you, Deb.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Big Day!

Guess where Stephen went yesterday?

Did you guess? If you guessed PRESCHOOL, then you win! Stephen went back to his preschool class at the Elementary school, and the report from his teacher was that he was obviously THRILLED to be back in school. He was also very excited to see that his teacher had purple toenails, as Stephen has developed an interest in toes this summer...

He did really well, and even used the bathroom like a big boy, with no accidents. He was the only one of the kids not acting up when they came outside to meet the parents, even! It is clear to us that Stephen really NEEDED to be back in school, as he has been more relaxed and happy ever since coming home yesterday. Stephen refused to take a nap at the regular time, but this is how he ended up at 4:30. He had been looking through a book on the couch, handed it to me, and tipped over to go to sleep for a quick nap. After coming home from Church School today, Stephen has been more vocal than ever, and has even been using his big boy words to go along with his big boy voice! We know he can do it - maybe being back in school was just the little push he needed!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sunny Days, Sweeping the Clouds A-Way....

On my way... to where the air. is. CLEAR! Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?
Well, we got there eventually, anyways! After a long plane ride, including a nice nap on the plane, we arrived in PA, to visit with Grandma Deb, and Grandpa Rick!






Of course, since they live so close, we just COULDN'T resist taking Stephen here:

At 3.5, he was at the perfect age, we felt, and we all had a ton of fun! We met a lot of characters...

And saw some shows. We saw Elmo's World Live, which was basically just the live action version of the segment shown on Sesame Street. We were pretty proud of Stephen and how well he did watching the show.

We also saw Abby's Treasure Hunt, which he enjoyed much more than the Elmo show. The treasure, of course, was books. He loved all of the music and dancing, and enjoyed seeing Cookie Monster, Elmo, Abby, Grover, and Rosita live on stage!
We met more characters... as you can see, Stephen was not one bit afraid of any of them. He especially LOVED meeting Ernie!
Oh, and we went on some rides too. This picture was taken on Grover's World Twirl. It was a teacup ride, and I think we went on it 4 or 5 times! We also went on a flying balloon type ride, a water slide, a river raft floating ride, a roller coaster, and pretty much every other ride they had there!
I think this face pretty much sums up how much fun we had. Having never taken Stephen to an amusement park, we feel confident that he could handle another one should the opportunity arise. He had a really good time, and was so patient waiting in the lines (well as patient as one can expect a 3 year old to be!).







Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Playing

The other day, we did some dress-up play with Stephen. He really enjoyed it, and liked looking at himself in the mirror, and the bonus was that the extra-huge clothes that he was wearing (but not in the first picture) were MUCH easier for him to put on himself!

Stephen was pretending to be a soccer player... (and playing for Daddy's most favorite team!)
Now, he's a hockey player! In case you can't see it, he plays for Purdue - Boiler up!

Stephen was dressing up in one of Daddy's running shirts, and tried on his shoes as well!!

We've also been playing outside, even though it's super hot out! Stephen really likes to chase his Dad around the yard...
And here they are after he caught him! I just love this expression...
We are headed out to PA soon, and we are going to take Stephen to meet Elmo and Big Bird at Sesame Place. We haven't told him yet, but we KNOW he's going to have a fantastic time. So I'll post pictures when we get back!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Updates!

I said I'd update on all of the things we were working with Stephen on this summer, so I'm staying true to my word.

Stephen is doing really, REALLY well! We are working on learning to jump, climb steps without holding on (or at least go up and down ONE on his own), and riding the tricycle. All of these depend on Stephen's leg strength, which we have been working on diligently. We have been taking 1/2 mile walks in the mornings (before it gets too hot), to work on his endurance, as well as practicing with the trike. With the trike, he is keeping his feet on the pedals, and pushing a little bit, but not enough to actually make anything happen, so Mommy and Daddy put up with the sore backs to push him while he "works" the pedals. We go up and down the stairs all day long due to Stephen's continued refusal to use the bathroom downstairs, and while he CAN do one or two completely on his own (without holding on to a person, wall, or banister), he is terribly nervous about it, so we are working on his confidence in this area. The funny thing about this particular skill is that he had it down really well about 2 months ago, and then it was like he realized what he was doing, and got scared. We got Stephen a small trampoline with a handle, and we have been trying to get him to jump on that. So far, all he has done is bounce a little bit, but its more that he was doing at the beginning of the summer, so we'll take it!

Speech has been picking up a little bit. We hear more words from him spontaneously throughout the day, but he still isn't communicating very well. I know they are in there, and will come out when he's ready. He HAS, however, been using the few signs that he knows to communicate with us much more this summer, which has made everyone a lot happier. Now we just have to get him to start using the sign for potty...

Speaking of the potty, I think we can say that Stephen is potty trained at home. He has very few accidents, and will usually just head in the direction of the bathroom when he has to go. Most of the time when we are out, he will just hold it, instead of trying to let us know he has to go. If we are going to be somewhere for a longer period of time, I usually pack up his little potty insert thing that goes on top of the toilet seat, and he'll go wherever we are. We are still having a bit of an issue at Church school, but we are confident that it will work itself out when he is going there and to preschool again regularly. Stephen is able to step up on his step stool, and sit down and stand up from the toilet all on his own. He can also pull his pants and undies down on his own, and back up with minimal assistance. He can also get undressed and dressed with just a little bit of help now too, with the exception of his socks and shoes (which are especially difficult when you are a child with exceptionally sweaty feet...).

Stephen has just made a ton of progress this summer! He hasn't been very excited about sitting still to do things lately, though, due in part to his highly increased energy level that appears to be a result of his heart procedure. By the way, the device is still perfectly in place, and Stephen is having no complications as of his follow-up appointment last Monday. We will go back in November, and then we're done for a couple of years.

That's all for now, though! Stephen hasn't been sitting still long enough for me to get many pictures lately, but I'll try to put some up later this week!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vacation!

We drove out to Tucson again for a long vacation this summer. Two days before we were to leave, this truck arrived at our house, carrying roofing materials. Stephen slept through the whole thing, even the forklift taking materials from the truck to our driveway.



This is how our roof looked 2 days before we left. Scary, huh? But, they worked hard, and managed to finish up cleaning the yard at 9pm the night before we got in the car to head towards Arizona. And now we have a non-dented, non-leaking, properly ventilated roof!

In addition to watching DVDs and listening to music in the car for the 2 day drive, Stephen entertained himself (and us too!), with an impromptu game of Peek-A-Boo!

The highlight of our vacation was the opportunity to spend 9 days in the pool. It's been a hectic couple of months, and we were all looking forward to unwinding.

Unlike last year, Stephen was not at all afraid to go in the pool, and once he realized that he could float pretty well with his PuddleJumpers, he didn't want to hold on to us much at all. He did so well with his kicking and paddling by the time we left that we are going to be looking at a place this week that offers year 'round swimming lessons at an indoor pool. Stephen really took to swimming!



He also enjoyed "jumping" off of the steps. Stephen quickly figured out to turn his head to the side so he didn't splash himself when he jumped (read: just stepped off the step when we counted to 3 for him).

Stephen also had this super-cool pirate boat to float in, courtesy of Grandma Janet and Grandaddy John. This was a hit, to be sure!

Stephen did quite a lot of chattering (both babble and comprehensible speech) while we were in Tucson, too! He has a habit of making strides with his speech when we get him out of his normal environment for a while, I think because he is so busy having fun that he doesn't think about what he's doing. Grandma managed to finally catch a picture of him using his sign language too!

Almost every day, Stephen and his Daddy played rowdy games of hide and seek, where Erik would hide, and Stephen would run up and down the hall looking for him until Erik jumped out at him. It was a lot of fun for both of them!

And of course, we went to feed the giraffes!

Instead of sleeping in his small inflatable toddler bed this year, Stephen slept on a twin-sized air bed at his grandparents' house. Since he did so well with that, he got to sleep in a "BIG" bed at the hotel on our way back home - he loved it, and didn't fall out once!
It was a great vacation in AZ, once again, but we were glad to get home, especially since we'd been travelling while Stephen was nursing a cold. I'll try to update soon about potty training, speech and a bunch of other things! This no-napping thing doesn't leave a lot of time for updating the ole' bloggy-blog!