Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our week in pictures

Stephen has been working diligently with his new bike. I think he'll be able to pedal soon... He really LOVES his bike, though!!

We've talked about the Christmas Story... we had temporarily lost Joseph, so we had to bring in his understudy.

Stephen likes to wear Granddaddy's clothes.

And his teacher's poured some sugar down his throat at their holiday party on Wednesday. The picture doesn't really do it justice... he was COVERED in frosting. And yes, we did switch him over to a booster seat this past weekend, and he's doing very well with it!

As for me? Well, I've been painting. This has been my project while Stephen has been at school. "Classic Taupe" is the new color for our walls!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fifth Birthday, and a party

Yep, Stephen turned 5 this week! And at age 5, he is 43-44 lbs (depending on what time of day it is, and how much he is squirming on the scale!), and 41" tall in his bare feet. And this lucky boy got a BIG BOY BIKE for his birthday!!! He was so excited - he still struggles a little bit with pedaling his trike, but he's really too big for it now, which made it even more difficult for him. He's been trying REALLY hard already to pedal his bike, and managed to go a short distance on it under his own power already. dToday, we had his birthday party at an indoor playground at a gymnasium. There were three levels of tunnels, and slides, and places to climb, and Stephen and his 3 friends had a GREAT time!!!

After this slide, the small one in our yard just won't be quite as much fun, I think...

The zip line was broken, but Stephen had a great time running up and down the ramp anyways.

Stephen and I raced down the slide (he won!), and he wanted to slide again, and again, and again.

These are the friends that joined us to celebrate today - I don't know why Stephen was acting so silly in this picture, but all of the kids were totally zonked.

Luckily, we did get a good shot

Another milestone that we reached today occurred in the car. Stephen had been complaining about the crotch strap in his carseat for a couple of weeks, and today, I converted it to a booster seat. So far, he's behaved himself pretty well without the restraints of the 5-point harness system. While he had not yet reached the weight or height limit for the harness portion of his seat, we made the decision to switch him because he was obviously uncomfortable, and he was very vocal about it, which created a lot of distraction while driving.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We went to the dentist

Stephen had a perfect check-up, of course! He is not a big fan of going to the dentist, but he was much more cooperative this time than he has been in the past. He let the assistant brush his teeth for him, and even let her do the fluoride gel! Stephen put forth a commendable effort when it came to spitting, but still didn't manage it. He tried, though!

The dentist was impressed with his 4 permanent teeth, and could see where the other 2 are thinking about poking through soon. She also said that there were no signs of his 6-year molars yet, which pretty much means they'll start coming through before his next check-up - at our last visit, she said there were no signs of the first 2 permanent teeth, and they popped through 2-3 weeks later.

Not too much else to report here - Stephen had his annual progress/goal assessment meeting on Tuesday. It went better than the last one - Stephen actually has been making tangible progress towards most of his goals this year, and we discussed how we can challenge him better for the next year as well. Stephen's physical therapist is recommending that he participate in "regular" P.E. classes next school year, with either modified activities, or a student helper, depending on his progress before Kindergarten. The team agrees that it would be good if that helper was a little girl. Stephen apparently has a little fan club of 3 or 4 girls in his class who always want to play with him, and cheer him on when he has PT during recess. What a bunch of sweethearts!! But really, look at that picture - who WOULDN'T cheer for him?!?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Catching up

This is just going to be a quick catch-up post with some pictures - we've been very busy entertaining visitors, enjoying a turkey feast, and being sick (nothing serious - just colds).

A few weeks ago, we noticed that Stephen all of a sudden seemed to have gotten a much better grasp of spatial reasoning when it comes to his body. Where he would previously get someone else to retrieve a toy from under the coffee table (or his picnic table, or the bed...), he was now crawling under there himself to get it! Except for a few necessary reminders not to stand up under the dining room table, this has worked out well for all of us!

We also had a short visit from Pa Rick and Kim. I have very few pictures of Pa, as he was most frequently behind his OWN camera, earning the nickname of PAparrazzi! Stephen did get to enjoy a quick trip down the driveway in Pa's black car...

And he spent some quality time showing Kim how to use the iPad.

Pa snapped this picture of Stephen and his daddy building Santa's Sleigh at the Home Improvment store.

I don't have the obligatory picture of Stephen wearing his turkey hat for Thanksgiving - the little turkey wouldn't wear it.

Stephen had his last swim lessons for the year this past week. He will remain in the same level, since he won't voluntary put his head under water, but he continues to make strides. On Tuesday, and again on Thursday, Stephen and the girls in his class swam the entire length of the pool and back again. He was very proud of himself, but also completely exhausted.

This last picture is Stephen demonstrating a newfound skill. He can now pull himself up and climb out of the pool on his own. He can't quite manage to get himself back to a seated position after he is out, but I'm sure he'll figure that out soon.

We are getting ready for Christmas around here, and Stephen is working hard for the last 2 weeks of school. And of course, we have the big FIFTH birthday coming up next week, and subsequent birthday party! Stephen is very excited about his birthday and party with his friends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Stephen has been feeling a little bit under the weather for the past few days, so we don't have much to report, although he continues to try to talk to us all day long (YAY!!!).

At school, the kids have been talking about Family. We were asked to send in some labeled family photos to show off, so Stephen and I made this collage on the computer. Stephen helped me to pick out which pictures to use, and then he pointed everyone out for me to label them.
I think it turned out well, and he was really happy with it!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Say that again?

"Ih, IH!"

"Say what, Stephen?"


"Ooooohhhh, no, bud, we can't go IN right now, we're waiting for the bus."


"You'll go inside when you get to school."

"*giggle, giggle* Ah."

Well done, son, well done. This is not the first time that Stephen and I have had this conversation while waiting for the bus, by the way.

These attempts at meaningful speech have been coming more frequently these past few days, and we are very proud of Stephen for trying so hard. He has also been telling his daddy when he wants to go "uh" (up) so they can "boo" me before bed. Best. Game. Ever. I hate to jump the gun, because I've though we were getting somewhere in the speech department before, only to be disappointed... but this FEELS different. I hope I'm not wrong this time.

(This picture was taken this morning. Stephen was admiring the beginning stages of a new Christmas wreath I was making this morning. He thought it made a lovely necklace.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Saying good bye...

This weekend, we had to say good-bye to a beloved family member, our dear, sweet, kitty, Chanson. She was Erik's cat before we even started dating, so she's been family longer than I have!

Strangely enough, as much as she loved us, she REALLY LOVED Stephen. Particularly in the last year, she loved to sit with him and let him pet her. He was surprisingly gentle, almost all of the time. Of course, they did, on occasion, have disagreements, usually over who was going to sit where on the couch, but it never diminished their love for one another.

This picture was taken last Thursday, and we took her for her last vet visit on Friday afternoon.
This picture was taken a couple of months ago...

Even the day after we came home from the hospital, Chanson wanted to be near her "brother." Yes, that is Stephen in that bundle of blankets there. It was winter, and he was tiny!

Thank you for thirteen years of friendship and love, sweet Chanson. You will be missed.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trick or Treat!

We had such a FUN Halloween Weekend! Daddy had to go out of town, but the Grandparents were still here, so we went with our friends, the Linleys, to Haunt the Zoo. Stephen was Jake from the Never Land Pirates (it's a show on the Disney Channel, if you aren't familiar with it), and Jarrett was Venom (or Black Spiderman as he called it). Stephen liked his costume so much that he didn't want to wear his jacket and cover up his costume, even though it was a little chilly that evening. The two boys waited very patiently in line before we were able to go in. I don't have a lot of pictures because it was very dark and crowded once we got inside the zoo.

Stephen discovered that night that our zoo has a carousel, and I was not able to convince him that we didn't need to ride it then. So, we did, and he naturally enjoyed every minute of it! Stephen was a superstar, and walked probably 2/3 of a mile on the route before he wanted to be picked up. Of course, he only wanted Mommy to carry him, and most of the rest of the route was uphill. I had a VERY sore back that next morning - 41 lbs is NOT a light load!

On Monday, we went to a few houses on the street, of course. The skeleton hand with a bag was from the grandparents. It said "Trick or Treat!" and then, "Thank You," and then "Happy Halloween!" It was a great alternative to taking the iPad with us so he could use his talker. Stephen VERY quickly got the hang of pressing the button all 3 times at each stop.

Like our pumpkin? Stephen helped with it. He picked out the picture, and re-scooped pumpkin guts for me - I'd scraped out the pumpkin, and put some of the innards back in for him to work on. I was surprised at how much he enjoyed scooping! I wish I'd put more back in for him to work on.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall fun!

Whew! We had a whirlwind Fall Break weekend. On Friday, we met some friends at a local farm for some good play. At the farm, there was a nice little playground, and Stephen shocked me by going on the play structure on his own. Usually he gets a little timid in unfamiliar settings, so this was a BIG DEAL! And he went up and down multiple times, only coming to get me when he wanted to try to climb a ladder.

These are the friends we went with - Baby Korbin, Abby, and Audrey (and of course, their mommy!!)

Stephen has a little crush on Audrey - and really enjoyed watching her jump. Stephen didn't want to try the jumping pillows, but he had fun watching. We enjoyed a nice carousel ride too...

And picked out a pumpkin!

I love this picture, because none of the kids are looking at the camera - there was a tractor rolling by that had caught the attention of the two boys.

My little sweetie let me take a few pictures of him in a nice little photo area...

And of course, Stephen and Audrey had to hug and kiss goodbye. *my heart* I love these kids!

On Saturday, we took Stephen over to a home improvement store to build a monster truck.

And then on Sunday, we headed over to Frontier City with Grandma and Granddaddy, who are here for a visit! Stephen really LOVES "little houses" and there were several in the kid area at the park, and he had to go in all of them to look around.

Another carousel, but this time with Grandma!

The park wasn't very crowded on Sunday afternoon, so Stephen enjoyed "free ranging" and not holding hands. He was very good about staying with us, for the most part, and did a LOT of running and walking, with very little carrying. We took Stephen on a LOT of rides, and a great time was had by all.