Monday, May 26, 2008

Summer Has Started!

I know that summer doesn't officially start until sometime in June, but as far as I am concerned, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. We had a great weekend! Although it is completely pouring the rain down this evening (so much so that the satellite it out and we are now watching a DVRed episode of the Backyardigans), it was beautiful all weekend long.

We started the weekend with a little road trip. John recently got a bigger, better tractor, which Trace has officially declared "MY TRACTOR!!!" So, he sold his older one. On Saturday, we delivered the tractor. When I signed up to take the kiddos and accompany John on this trip, I somehow glossed over the 3 1/2 to 4 hours it takes to get there - one way. So we got there and unloaded everyone out of the truck for about 1/2 an hour. Taylor immediately started playing with the little girl when we arrived and when I drug her (yes, kicking and screaming) to the truck she was not happy with me. We got about two miles down the road and she declared that "You have ruined my life!" while sobbing. No, Taylor is not a teenager, she is 4 1/2. So, she is now banned from Nick and Noggin non-animated television programs, because I'm pretty sure that's where that one came from.

Sunday evening was my belated birthday dinner - so my parents and sister and nephew came down and I cooked - bad planning on my part, since it was my birthday dinner, but oh, well. Nothing says summer like corn on the cob!


On the way home, we stopped at Target for diapers - and somehow ended up leaving with not only diapers but two kids' fishing poles, a John Deere tractor playset, and a Barbie Mariposa styling head. When we got home, John took Taylor down to the pool to practice casting with her new Disney Princess fishing rod - and she is like a pro! When I went to get them for dinner, she was casting from one end of the pool to the other - 32 feet! Trace just uses his as a weapon, but I didn't expect much else. Here are some pictures of the kids fishing in the creek on Sunday. They didn't catch any fish, but Taylor hooked herself, if that counts.

On Monday, it was over 80 degrees, so it was time to hit the pool - except the pool is still really cold, so we mostly hit the "not-so hot" tub. Check out Captain Trace in his motorized boat! Can you tell that Taylor loves to have her picture taken?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Weekly Happenings

It has been a busy week, so I thought I'd take a few minutes and share a few items of interest from the past week.

Item of Interest #1: What was I thinking?

Taylor is famous for her stall tactics - she is always "hungry and thirsty" and needs "something to eat and something to drink" when we are going out the door in the mornings and when it is time for bed. On Thursday morning, the typical request - which I normally fill with a sippy cup of juice for each child as well as a pack of poptarts, but, we were out of poptarts. So, as she whined incessantly, I gave in and said she could have pudding - in the car. Now, Taylor has been eating pudding in the car since she was about 18 mos old - no problems. As I am giving her the pudding, Trace notices and begins chanting "Momma eat! Eat!", so in a moment of total stupidity, I handed him a pudding and a spoon. The rest can be summed up by the following picture of the "Chocolate Monster", as his teachers at daycare appropriately named him:

Now, to be fair, this picture does not show the severity of the pudding disaster. Trace somehow managed to cover himself with pudding. It was behind his ears, up his nose, down his shirt, and even on the bottom of his feet. Life with two children has taught me to look for the silver lining that each cloud must have - this cloud had two - Although Trace tried to give himself a mudbath with pudding, he didn't get any in the car, and the girls at daycare happily whisked him away to get him a bath.

**Please don't chastize my car safety, I did have Trace buckled in to his carseat properly, but he has figured out how to force the chest piece down and get his arm out. He is a little Houdini, I don't think they make anything that will actually hold him for very long.

Item of Interest #2: Taylor, the aspiring photographer

Taylor loves cameras. She loves to take pictures. Good thing digital cameras were invented, or else we'd be going through film like crazy. You have to watch her or she will take dozens of pictures of whatever she wants - herself, others, the ground, the sky, etc. etc. We were visiting my sister and nephew on Thursday evening, and Aunt Dani let Taylor have her camera. Here are a couple of the pictures that she took - a good picture of Eaden, and a cute self-portrait.

Item of Interest #3: Bath Time Fun

Splish, Splash, Taylor and Trace were taking a bath! And they decided to put buckets on their heads. Very cute and funny!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One Busy Week

So it has been a really busy week. Trace has his first visit with the "team" at Johns Hopkins, so we went to Baltimore on Monday afternoon. Tuesday was very busy and very informative. As I expected, all the doctors think Trace is doing great. I was concerned about his legs bowing, but Dr. Ain said that is to be expected with achon and unless he started complaining about leg pain frequently, he would just keep an eye on him. Dr. Hoover-Fong went a step further and drew the bones out to show us why his legs bowed - we saw a geneticist last year in Pittsburgh, and we were less than impressed, but I must say that Dr. Hoover-Fong was wonderful. Although Trace is 2 and we already know a lot about achondroplasia by now, she was very informative and thorough. We'll be going back sometime in the near future, because at all 4 appointments, they wanted a sleep study done and most likely a new MRI as well.

To reward the kids behavior from "doctor day", we went to the Baltimore Zoo Wednesday morning. The day started out bad - I didn't have any kid sunscreen, so my mom was putting her 30 on the kids. Trace is an eye-rubber (icky allergies), so, you guessed it, sunscreen in the eyes. That was a really bad hour that resulted in us having to have security bring eye wash. But, the zoo did have a baby elephant that was less than 2 months old, and a brand new baby camel. Both very cute. For a small zoo, it has some good exhibits, definitely worth a few hours if you are in Baltimore and sure to be a hit with the kiddos.

So we drove back from Baltimore Wednesday. Lucky me, I had to go to Washington DC on Thursday - so I got to drive to DC on Thursday morning and back on Friday afternoon. I totally felt like a truck driver this week - I drove over 1200 miles. That being said, I was still exhausted today. John left for Bike Week at Myrtle Beach, and the kids and I just hung around the house. We did get enough energy to go outside for a while in the afternoon. Trace is such a boy - he is obsessed with anything with wheels - especially the tractor. I'm pretty sure he would sit in the tractor all day long. We are actually going to bolt a carseat onto the fender to make him a little seat because I know that John will not be able to go near the tractor without Trace for years to come. Of course, we will be bolting Trace's seat in Bandit's favorite spot, so hopefully it will not result in any dog-child sibling rivalry :).

I also got some cute pics of the kids playing on their playset and around the pool. When we got the playset last year, Taylor loved it so much, but I was afraid that Trace would not be able to get up the ladder. Here we were trying to figure out how to put a ramp up to the playset, and boy did Trace show us. I have learned over the last few months that achon kids have the determination and courage to do anything they want - as shown in the pictures of Trace climbing up the ladder all by himself. Taylor is also very proud of herself - she has learned to swing all by herself (yeah - only one swing to push for me).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Party Time!!!!

After looking at Kim and Preston's blog, I was inspired to share a little of our lives as well. And what a better first post than a birthday party for two of my favorite kiddos - my little man, Trace, who recently turned 2, and my nephew, Eaden, who is turning 1!!!!

After spending the better part of a week cleaning up the homestead (and nearly working John to death in the process), party day arrived, and the weather was in our favor. So the fam and a few friends gathered to help the boys celebrate. They both made out like little bandits!

Here is Eaden playing with his new sand bulldozer.

After visiting and snacking a little while, it was time for some cake. Both boys were ready to dig in, but first the obligatory pictures and blowing out the candles. Here is Trace showing rare restraint while anxiously waiting to dig into the icing!

I'm not even sure why we buy kids cakes, they would be much happier with mounds of icing!

After the cake and opening all the presents, the kids were ready to take horse rides. We have 5 horses - technically, it is 3 horses, one mule, and one miniature horse - but Trace is crazy about the "nay-nays". Here is a shot of Trace and Mommy taking a ride on Munchkin.

Taylor is getting ready to start riding lessons, and she is definitely excited. The kids miniature horse, Booger, was forced to earn his keep and haul little kids around for the afternoon. My best friend Amanda, who Trace has dubbed "Ada", graciously helped out. Here is Taylor riding Booger, with Ada leading the way. On behalf of Ada, she wore dressy clothes over, so I made her put on my pj pants so she didn't ruin her clothes. Look at Booger's hairdo, he's such a cutie!

Everyone had a great time at the party. I'll leave you with this last shot of Trace. Apparently he confused one of our dogs, Fluke, for a horse. Luckily, Fluke is just happy to get some attention, although I'm pretty sure he's begging John to remove the little monkey from his back. Trace is such a little ham!