Tuesday, July 27, 2010


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


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


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!