Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

First Pedicure

I was painting my toenails on Sunday morning when Katie asked me what I was doing. I told her and she asked me, "Can you paint mine too?" I decided that there was no harm in doing it so she got pink toenails just like me. She asked about getting her fingernails painted too but I didn't do them because she likes to put her fingers in her mouth all the time. I look forward to doing more mother-daughter things in the future.

Here is her pretty pink pedicure:

Katie sitting in her chair:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Movie Time

Yesterday I took Katie and Michael to the summer dollar movies. Each Tuesday and Wednesday, a local theater has a slightly older movie for a dollar. This week's selections were How to Train a Dragon and Shrek 3. I let Michael pick the movie and he decided on How to Train a Dragon. We got into the theater and it was very loud. He told me that he changed his mind and wanted to go see Shrek 3 instead.

We went over to the theater that was showing Shrek 3 and then Katie didn't want to go in. She told me that it was scary and she wanted to leave. I took her to the movies last summer but all she was interested in then was running up and down the stairs. I told her that I had some popcorn in my bag and that got her to come inside.

Michael sat through the entire movie with minimal talking and Katie sat in my lap for 75% of the movie. Towards the end, I think her eyes had adjusted some and she was getting antsy. She would climb up and down 2 stairs but not go any further because the movie was loud and she would get startled.

I was prepared to have to get up in the middle of the movie and leave because Katie wouldn't want to sit still. Both kids did surprisingly well and I feel confident enough to attempt taking them again, along with the little boy that I babysit. We'll see how that goes....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

3rd Time Is A Charm

Michael started swimming lessons for the summer yesterday. This year we signed him up at a local rec center and the lessons will be four days a week for 2 weeks in the afternoon. We went down to the pool, showered and Michael went to the steps. He wouldn't get in until the lifeguard came near the stairs so he could jump to them. I had signed him up for Level 2 but he was placed in Level 1 yesterday.

I watched the Level 2 class and thought that Michael would be able to do what they were doing. But I had also been watching him in his class and he was doing fine. Today was another story. He got right in the pool and started swimming to the instructor when it was his turn. He also went under the water by himself.

At the end of the lesson, I went up to the instructor and asked him how Michael did today. He told me that Michael should be in Level 2 since he did so well today. It just takes him a little time to get warmed up in a new environment. Tomorrow he will join the Level 2 class and I can't wait to see how he does.

This is the first year that Michael is really enjoying the swimming lessons from the beginning. It's a relief to not have to worry about him being scared of the water. I hope that he continues to have fun at the pool as the summer goes on.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

It was a great and busy day here. It started with Todd and Katie sleeping in late while Michael and I hung out and ate breakfast. Michael was so excited for Todd to get up so he could give him his present. He had waited patiently for the past few days, not spoiling the surprise at all. The present was a framed picture of Katie and Michael that we had taken one day last week. Michael was so happy to give it to Todd and Todd really liked it.

A friend and I took our kids to the pool in the afternoon while the dads stayed behind to relax for a bit. They also grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for our dinner and set up the bounce house for the kids. Everyone had a really nice day!

Thank you Todd for everything that you do for our family. I couldn't think of a better father for our children and I know that they feel the same way. The excitement and joy that I see on all of your faces when you are together is priceless. I will treasure these years forever and look forward to many more happy Father's Days! We love you.

Friday, June 17, 2011

27 Months Old

It's been a while since I have done one of these posts but Katie turned 27 months old yesterday. The time has been flying by and I keep telling people she just turned 2 but I guess I better change that. Of course, it doesn't help that she looks and talks like she is closer to 3 than 2.

Katie can carry on a full conversation with you now. She is able to repeat what you told her several hours before, almost word for word. I am amazed at how she is always listening to what is being said and commits it to memory. Several of her favorite things to say include "stop it Michael", "Can I go to the store too, Mommy?" and "Good night Daddy.". If you tell her you love her, she will say it back to you. That has to be my favorite thing that she says.

She now calls books by names that she has made up based on the story inside. Katie loves to be read to and we take full advantage of that by reading several books at nap and bedtime every day. She also recognizes people that we see on a regular basis and calls them by name. I love this age because they are learning so much and get so excited about it.

Katie's eating isn't as good as it used to be but she is 2 years old. I don't think that she is nearly as picky as Michael was. She likes to eat whatever he is having and if he finishes his dinner first, I have to ask him to wait to have his snack. If Katie sees him eating a popsicle or lollipop, she wants one immediately. Two of her favorite foods right now are cereal and any kind of fruit.

There has been a little progress on the potty training front. Katie actually peed in the potty one day last week. Some days she wants to wear "big girl panties" and others she doesn't. Even when she wears panties, she mostly just pees on the floor. She is definitely aware of it because she will come to me immediately and tell me "I went pee-pee on the floor." Ummm, not sure why she couldn't just use the potty. If I could devote several days to following her around like we did for Michael, then I think she would learn to use the potty and that would be it.

I can't believe how fast she is growing up. There are times that I want to freeze and others that I am so excited to see what the next step is. Watching her learn and grow is an awesome gift!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

All Clear

We had a marathon day of doctor's appointments this past Monday.

The first appointment was the opthalmologist for Katie and Michael. Neither of them had to get a new prescription for their glasses since the last visit 6 months ago. Michael's lens dislocation has remained the same and Katie's glasses are fitting her properly, even though I had my doubts. We will go back again in 6 months for a re-check. This was the first time that we were out of the office in less than 2 hours. Between dilation and waiting to get in to see the doctor, we are usually there for a while.

The second appointment of the day was Michael's physical therapy. The therapist checked out his legs since he got the casts removed on Friday. She said that he looked great. The only two things that we need to do now are to keep up with his ankle exercises and get his shoe inserts adjusted. Michael is not a big fan of doing the exercises at home but I may use a chart to get a prize at the end of the month. We'll see how it goes.

Next we went to get his inserts adjusted. We did not have an appointment for this but I called the clinic that makes the inserts to see if they could fit us in. They could so we headed there. The inserts had more padding added in certain areas to help give Michael's foot a boost. He has done well with them since the adjustment.

The final appointment of the day was the cardiologist for Michael. This was a pre-op checkup for his hernia surgery. An echocardiogram was done, as well as a physical exam. Michael's echo looked good. His aorta was changed only 1 mm and they said that this could be due to the different machines used to do echos. His cardiologist gave him the all clear to proceed with the hernia surgery. I am still going to email the results to Johns Hopkins so that they can review but it looks like Friday, July 8th is going to be the surgery day.

Amazingly, I made it through the day with 3 kids going to appointment after appointment with very few breaks for them. However, it's not something I want to do again anytime soon!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Slip and Slide

This afternoon we went outside to play on Michael's new toy that he got for his birthday, a slip n slide. Our neighbor next door was outside with her son and the boy were going to play on their own slip n slides. Todd was pushing the boys down each slide on the small inflatable board that comes with it.

After watching this for a few minutes, the moms decided to show the boys how to slip n slide. We each went inside to put on our bathing suits and then took our turns on the slides. It was fun to go through the water and slide down to the end. It was also refreshing at the temperature was approaching 100 outside. However, one thing I realized is that it's a lot further down to the ground when you are a mom than when you are a 5 year old. I felt lucky to get a few slides in and not break anything or get any bruises.

What was pretty funny was that after I went on the slide, Michael still would not go on the slip n slide without being pushed. He would walk on it but that was it. Maybe next time.....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Different Kind of Footlong

Todd and I were outside last night after the kids went to bed. We started looking at our garden in the backyard. We are growing peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant. Most of the cucumber plant has been eaten by deer, as well as the tops of most of the pepper plants. So far this year we have gotten one zucchini that we ate earlier this week.

I decided to look at the zucchini plant to see if any of them were ready to be picked underneath all of the leaves. I was moving leaves and stalks and glimpsed one underneath. Upon closer inspection, I realized that this particular zucchini was enormous and bigger than any I had ever seen. I called Todd over and he couldn't get over how big it was either. I picked it off and brought it inside. I decided to measure it. It was 1 foot long and about 3 inches wide. I really would have liked to have been able to weigh it, just out of curiosity. I wonder if the rest of our zucchini this season will be this big!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hernia Update

Today we had Michael's consult for his hernia surgery. The doctor examined him and determined that he has a small hernia on one side and a larger one on the other side. The type of hernia that he has is a inguinal hernia. The surgeon will repair it with an outpatient procedure. The surgery is scheduled for Friday, July 8th.

Michael is on heart medication to slow the enlargement of his aorta from Marfan syndrome. He will have a cardiac consultation, as well as an echocardiogram, prior to the surgery. That is scheduled for this upcoming Monday and then we will go from there regarding the surgery. Hopefully that will be a good visit and the surgery will simply be a routine procedure.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Casting - Red, Green and Black

Michael got his first set of casts on his lower legs and feet last Friday. The procedure is serial casting and it helps to improve his range of motion and strengthen his ankles as a result of Marfan syndrome. The casts will stay on for one week and then be removed. After they are removed, it will be determined if the casting improved his ankles or not. If there was improvement, then the doctor will assess how long it will be before he gets casted for another week.

Todd took Michael to get the casts on Friday. He did a great job while they were putting them on and was extremely cooperative during the casting. One of Michael's favorite parts of the casting was getting to pick out the colors for his casts. He chose red & green on one leg and red & black on the other leg. It looks pretty neat.

Michael has been very good with the casts and hasn't complained about them at all. He is getting around pretty good too and has the walking shoes so he isn't that limited in what he can do. Todd and I are really impressed and proud with how he is handling the casting. The hardest part about the casts is that you cannot get them wet. It makes bathing a bit challenging and there won't be any pool time this week.

Todd will take Michael to get the casts off this Friday. We have a busy weekend planned with Todd's work picnic and 2 birthday parties so that will be his reward for being so cooperative.

Here is a picture of Michael wearing the casts:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

"Can I play with the Idapod?", asked Katie.