Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An apple a day...

I've turned on the heat three times already, and it isn't even October. Every day though, I open the window in the house because I know that soon enough, we'll hunker down for cold and snow, and I'll wish for the days of open windows. 

Isaac wasn't too pleased with apple picking.

Isabella, once again, avoiding having her picture taken and instead, thrusting an apple in her place...

Isaac has three words: "this" (most popular word), "da da" (totally not fair considering I'm the one who does everything for him--no, I'm not jealous at all), and "duh" (which means, dog, duck, and pretty much any other animal that walks the earth). He was very happy to see the "duh's"...

I love this boy. He started giving hugs last week and I treasure each one.

This girl, keeps me on my toes. When I asked her why she doesn't paint when she's at school, her response was that she didn't want to wear the smock, because it makes her look ugly. I'm afraid they don't have very fashionable paint smocks at school. And I have no idea where she heard the word, ugly. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Get well...

You never know what life is going to throw at you, and life just happened to throw a two inch curb in my sister's way, which led to a broken foot. Obviously this is quite unfortunate and she in a fair amount of pain. She's still managing to go to work and my mom is the newly hired, but not paid, chauffeur. And Josh, well, he's pretty stoked (I like that word, I should use it more) about the whole thing because now he has a car to drive to school.

When I called Jesse after receiving a text message about a broken foot, I was in shock and unfortunately, I tend to laugh when I hear news like this (that's a really bad thing, by the way). She told me the whole story and in disbelief I kept repeating everything she said until she said, "do you have to repeat everything I say?" Um, yes, that way it sinks in.

A few days later we were at the FedEx store and Isabella wanted to get a card for Jesse. At first she picked out one that told her it's okay that she was so old or something along those lines. I said that wasn't very fitting and suggested a few of "Get Well" options. She decided we should get the one that said "Rest and Relax" because "Jesse really needs rest." That day we ran about five errands...I agree, I am insane, who does that with two children? Anyway, Isabella managed to share with everyone she saw, including random strangers sitting on a bench, all about Jesse's broken foot and all about how we got a card for her and she wrote her name, and Jesse needed lots of rest, and we were going to get a smoothie for her because smoothie's make people feel better.

Yesterday I figured Jesse needed an escape from lying in bed watching crappy Lifetime movies, so I took her to get coffee and then she wanted to go to Ann Taylor. Now, I was curious as to how she would manage all of this while on crutches, she actually did quite well, aside from being completely exhausted by the end of it all. During the whole trip I kept forgetting that she had crutches and couldn't hold other things on her own (coffee, purse, clothes, etc.) and several times I walked away assuming she was following behind only to look back and see her stranded.

Then, a couple brilliant ideas came to me. Reality TV could use a few new options right? Crutches on Ice...awesome idea right? This one is better: Crutchzilla: The Angry Person on Crutches.  Well, despite the unfortunate situation she's in with the crutches and work and the fact that she'll end up with one butt cheek looking like Kim Kardashian and one looking like mine...basically nonexistent...we've managed to get a few laughs out of the whole thing.

Me: "Oh man, I'm bummed, I forgot to bring my camera so that I could get a picture of your crutches in action."
Jesse: "I'm glad you forgot it."

(Don't worry, I'll get one)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

baby steps...literally!

Wow, I've been a major blogging slacker lately. Trust me, I've wanted to write, but every time I sit down all I can think about is the fact that life with Isaac is so incredibly different from what I expected it would be, and for the past few weeks, that's been a little hard to handle. Hence, no blog posts. They would have been too depressing anyway, and the last thing I want to do is scare away all of my (many, many) readers with my depressing thoughts.

But I know that all of my fans (Grandma H. and Grandma C.) are eagerly waiting for an update and pictures, so here's a funny story for you:

On Tuesday Walter joined some our friends for a newly formed "Man Night". I know, I'm a pretty amazing wife. No, actually, I've been making fun of Sarah for quite some time since she allows Michael to have a "Man Night", so she's the amazing wife, not me. Well anyway, Walter came home late and I was putting Isabella to bed when he walked into her room and said,

"Do you know what the pile of green and yellow stuff is that Stella is eating off of our bed?"


"No, she probably threw up, so you should make her get off of our bed and put her outside."
(For the record, I wasn't actually that calm)

"Well, do you think I should just let her finish eating it?"


Obviously at this point I reiterated that she needed to be removed from our room and put outside immediately. I mean really, sometimes I wonder if men are literally missing a part of their brain.

Well, Stella did throw up. Walter then asked me if I knew why she threw up. Yes, I asked her and she explained that she ate one too many diapers, add to that a stick of butter, and her stomach just couldn't handle the excess of diaper gel beads. 


You wouldn't believe the progress Isaac is making in physical therapy. I can official say that he can "side-step" in both directions (as of a few days ago he could only go to the right), take forward steps when he pushes his music table, and occasionally pull himself to stand. When we began physical therapy, I thought we were months from seeing Isaac take steps. And now, I strongly believe that by Christmas Isaac will be walking with a little help from hand-holding. 

Isaac's physical therapist opened my eyes to things that I was missing. Even the first time we met with her, she seemed to understand Isaac in a way that I didn't, and I was amazed at how much he'd been telling me that I was missing out on. I realized that he was communicating things to Kate and she was affirming what he was "saying" and she also taught me to cheer him on and make him feel supported in a way that I had no idea was possible. After our first few appointments, I learned that he just needed to know that he could do it. And he also needed to know that I understood some of what he was telling me with very few words. It's sounds confusing, but trust me, it's been an eye opener and Isaac and I have made so much progress with Kate's help. 

I thought that getting to see Isabella and Isaac standing and playing together, was a long way off...

Now that Isabella is in preschool, Isaac and I have some time to ourselves. Usually our time with each other is spent appointment hopping, so it was a nice change of pace to go to the baby story time at the library. Isaac loves reading books, and will even sign book. We stayed to play with some of the other babies and after watching another little boy, I asked the mom how old he was. After she said he was seventeen months, I tried to hold back the tears, but couldn't do it, so we had to leave. I know that Isaac is behind in certain areas and this was a very hard reminder that my seventeen month old doesn't look like a seventeen month old and in many ways does not act like a seventeen month old. We try really hard to see Isaac, for Isaac and not see a syndrome in his place. I must admit though, at times, that is challenging. And as the months go by it only gets harder because people start to wonder what's up with our little man.

Do you know, he has the best sense of humor? Really, he does. He creates these little games that are all his own and tries his best to engage whomever is around him. He thinks everything is funny, and has the cutest little laugh. When I took him to his speech language evaluation, the speech therapist was trying to get Isaac to make different sounds and perform different tasks, and every single time, Isaac just laughed at her. That meant that he didn't do very well at his evaluation, but that's okay.

Tired of standing...

Isabella and Maya started ballet a couple weeks ago. Here's Maya showing off her signature move...

Charlotte and Isaac wanted to join in. Maybe in a few years.

Ew, grass!

This is a very typical side-ways glance...

My mom and dad got this shirt for him...it's quite fitting...

Dr. Gosain, Isaac's plastic surgeon, had a get together so that all of the families in his care could mingle and get to know each other and hopefully form a support group. It was a very nice evening and we had a chance to see some of the other amazing work he has done to help children with abnormalities go on to be accepted by their peers.

It was a very good opportunity for Isabella to see other children who are in need of surgery and medical care. There was one girl in particular, who after horrible burns to her face, was having new skin grown on her neck  (this results in a balloon of skin). We were able to share with Isabella that in the same way that Dr. Gosain fixed Isaac's head, he would also fix this little girl's face so that in his words, "she would be more beautiful that she already was." Isn't that wonderful?

And here is the ever protective Stella, by her little boy's side. Her protection has been a little extreme lately. We've come to the conclusion that because Isaac has stayed small for so long, she thinks he is her puppy. And tries to treat him like her puppy. We usually have to tell her to back off and stop pacing around him. This week she also scared off the FedEx man, which meant that he ran for his life back to his truck. And she's made friends with the deer who have been living off of our garden and doesn't even bark at them when they stand next to the fence. Way to go, Stella.

She takes her job seriously, no smiles this time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And...we're off!

Last week Isabella started preschool! She was extremely excited and woke up at 6:30 a.m. the morning of her first day. The anticipation had been brewing for quite some time. After her fourth birthday she was adamant that she would not "officially" turn four until she started school. Maya started preschool last year and Isabella always asked why she couldn't go, but finally, the much awaited and anticipated day arrived. She assured me that she would tell me all about everything they did at school, but it turns out that there is some sort of secret preschool code and what happens at preschool, stays at preschool. I've heard little tidbits here and there and thankfully, her teacher is very aware of this secret code and does a good job of keeping parents informed.

Mommy, stop taking my picture!

She's insisted on taking this puppy with her. It takes a very nice "nap" in her book bag while she's there.

At the parent meeting I found out that the parents can line up their cars and the teachers come out and take the kids up to their class. Do you know how amazing this is? After we left the meeting I exclaimed to Walter, "can you believe it, they come out to the car?!" He wasn't nearly as impressed, but I'm pretty sure that after a week of getting kids in and out of car seats he would admit to the amazing-ness of this.

Obviously I was super excited to walk Isabella up to her classroom on the first day of school. And then the second day I planned to walk her up again, but out of nowhere she said, "mommy, I don't want you to come in my school, I just want my teacher to come out and get me." "Really, are you sure? (I said in a very pathetic voice because I couldn't believe she was already shunning me from taking her into the building) Don't you want me to walk up with you?" "No, I just want my teacher to come out to the car." And sure enough, she was so excited she could barely contain herself, and marched off into the building with her little ladybug back pack, all on her own. When I picked her up later that morning, she announced that she wanted to stay for lunch bunch...seriously, is she a teenager or something? We talked about and she was quite sure of her decision to stay for lunch and now she happily stays an extra hour for playing and lunch. Her teacher says that Isabella is, "a hoot and a half". I agree...most of the time.

At her orientation, the teacher asked if there's anything she should know about Isabella. They'd been stressing that the kids should come in "play clothes" and I told her that play clothes to Isabella, are skirts and dresses because she refuses to wear pants and usually refuses to wear shorts. They also want the kids to wear paint smocks. I told her that Isabella would probably refuse the paint smock, would probably scoff at even the mention of such a thing, but that she is extremely neat...absurdly neat, so it wouldn't be a problem if she didn't wear it.

Whatever happens at preschool, must be exhausting. Isabella's been grumpy and worn out since last week. She's loving it, but I can tell that there is still an element of adjustment.

Ballet started this week as well. Maya and Isabella are determined to "out-ballet" each other and turn every part of everything into a competition. They actually did really well in class together.

Mixing dirt, leaves and water...yum! 

Stella posing... 

My dad had better luck with his sunflowers...

In my last post I forgot to share that Isabella thought the dress I wore to the wedding looked "horrible" but she was super excited to sleep at my parent's house, where she said that she would have "the sleepover that would make her dreams come true". 

72. spending time with Isaac while Isabella is at school 
73. praying in the car with Isabella before she heads into school
74. Isaac humming in his car seat when I turn music on
75. watching Isaac take steps along the couch (that's right! more to come about that next time!)