Friday, July 30, 2010

Morning With Chelley & Madelyn

This morning I put Zak in big boy underwear and planned to keep him in them all day except for during our trip to WalMart. He did well and peed on the potty twice and not in his underwear. Then I got a message from Chelley seeing if the boys and I wanted to hang out with her and Madelyn today. So we got dressed and headed into Annapolis to meet them at the mall. I decided to put a Pull Up on Zak and try to keep going with him using the potty while we were out. Soon after getting to the mall Zak announced he needed to go potty so we quickly found the closest one. He had started to go a little in his Pull Up, but finished going on the potty. Then we walked around a bit and let the kids run around in the play area. All 3 of them had a great time there. Madelyn liked to call "Zak" while there and follow him around some. She also liked to try and escape, but I turned it into a game so she pretty much stopped until right at the end when she made a run for it. Zak had fun climbing on everything and Ryder enjoyed himself as well.

After they played for a while we went to Payless and then to the food court for lunch. After that we made a stop at the bathroom and headed to the car. The boys were really good the whole time we were out so it was a nice trip. They both fell asleep in the car on the way home, but once we got home they were wide awake. The neighbors were outside playing so we sat out there and played for a while. The weather today is so nice!

I think tomorrow we are going to make a trip to see Rich & Laura for a little bit. Ben and I are doing a fantasy football league (we each have our own team against each other) and the draft for it is tomorrow evening. Not sure what our plans for Sunday are yet, but looks like it might rain. I am looking forward to next week because my mom and Piper will be here on Tuesday. Ben took off Thursday (the boys' birthday) and Friday so we are going to stay in a hotel with my mom & Piper Wednesday night until Sunday. That should be fun!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hair Cuts

This morning I took the boys for their much needed hair cuts. I knew a few weeks ago that they badly needed it, but decided to wait until now since we are getting their 3 year pictures done next week so I wanted to get them done closer to that date. Here are the before pictures...

They both did very good for their hair cuts this time. Zak usually does pretty good every time, but Ryder usually has some issues. He doesn't like other people touching him a lot, but today he did really good. Here are the after pictures...

And yes, the boys do still sit rear facing in car seats even though they will be 3 years old in a little over a week. I have learned a lot about extended rear facing and how much safer it is for them so they will remain that way until they reach the limits of the car seats.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day Outside

This morning the boys woke up around 7:15am or so. They had some breakfast and then we all got dressed and headed to the car. I was looking forward to this morning because we went to the farmers market. I love going to get fresh fruit and veggies, but we usually don't have the money to do so. But the WIC program gives us about $12-$24 each year to use at the market so we definitely take advantage of that. This morning we got peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a watermelon. As soon as we got home Zak started begging for some "watermellow" (aka watermelon) so Ben cut it. The boys really pigged out on it and enjoyed it!

We then packed up our bag with swimming stuff and headed over to Rich & Laura's house to go swimming. Today the boys surprised us with some new skills and greater independence while in the pool. They were doing good with the tubes so I pulled out the swimmies to put on their arms. Last time we tried them they both freaked out and didn't like them, but this time they just took off kicking around the pool. They both did so good keeping themselves above the water and kicking around. Then they even started to jump off the ladder, go underwater, and come back up all on their with! Once we got out of the pool to dry off we realized just how tan they have gotten...and they wear 50 SPF every time we go outside! These pictures were taken on my cell phone and really don't show even half of how tan they really are...

Zak swimming
Ryder enjoying his freedom
Once they started liking to go underwater Ben started to get inventive with things for them to do. This was the result which both boys ended up liking...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Birthday Week Plans

My mom and Piper will be riding the Auto Train from MD to FL for the boys' birthday. They will get in on Tuesday August 3 and stay until Tuesday August 10. We have had a few different sets of plans for their visit, but I think we finally have pretty concrete plans at the moment. They are going to stay with a family member, Love, in Waugh Chapel. She also said that the four of us could stay there as well if we wanted to.

So on Wednesday August 4 Ryder will have his therapy session and then Rich is going to pick up the boys and take them to Laura's company party in Columbia. That will allow me to pack us up without any extra help from the boys. Once Ben gets home from work we will pack up the dogs and head to Rich & Laura's house. We will drop the dogs and crates off to them and pick up the boys to head to Waugh Chapel. The plan is for us to stay there with my mom & Piper until Sunday. This is all possible because Ben is taking off Thursday and Friday that week. We had discussed the possibility of him taking off on the boys' birthday (Thursday August 5) because he has had bad luck the last year and been out of town on just about all of our birthdays. On Sunday evening we will pick up the dogs and head home so Ben can get back to work on Monday.

While staying with my mom we have some plans that we hope to accomplish. We are going to get the boys' 3 year pictures done at Sears because my mom is also going to get Piper's pictures done as well. We are also looking into taking the kids to Port Discovery on the boys' birthday. My mom is going to go through Mum Mum's attic to see if there is anything she wants to take back with her. The women of the family are going to Ladies' Night at Clay Bakers which should be fun. My mom has a few people she wants to get in touch with and try to visit with while in FL so we might go with her to see some of them as well. Then of course we have the boys' birthday party on Saturday.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Change In Plans

My plans for this weekend changed meaning I did not end up going to the cat show in NJ. I was dying to go and it still makes me sad thinking about not being there, but it was the right decision for us at the moment. We are extremely tight on money so I couldn't spend the weekend eating out and spending money knowing we have bills to pay.

I still took the boys for a sleepover with Nanny & Poppy on Thursday night so I could go to the monthly HOA meeting. The meeting went well, much better than they normally end up. On Friday I decided to take advantage of being kid-free and got somethings done that I have needed to do. The first thing on my list was to get my hair cut since it has been over a year. I like having long hair and always hate when people try to get me to cut it short, but I know it needed to be cut. So I told the person not to use numbers, but to show me different options which she did. Finally I agreed to a length and she started to cut. After it was all done I was shocked to see the amount of hair on the ground so I asked how much had been cut off and she said 8 inches!! This is a bad picture because I took it myself, but it will give you an idea as to how short my hair is now (or how long it used to be if you picture 8 more inches)....

After that I went to a few stores to buy some more supplies for the boys' birthday party. We now have everything except for the food which we have to wait to get until it is closer. Then I made my way over to Crofton to Once Upon A Child because I needed to look for button up shirts for the boys to wear in their 3 year pictures. I was lucky and found 2 of the same shirts in different colors so it will work well for pictures. I also looked at some pants since the boys have mostly outgrown everything from last winter by length. I ended up getting them 2 pairs of jeans and 2 pairs of khaki pants. I got 3T with adjustable waistbands and much to my surprise they actually fit the boys pretty well. I have to tighten the waistband all the way and they are still a little loose fitting, but the length was right. I can't believe any kids out of Ben & I would need a larger size of pants because of needing the length! I made it to Rich & Laura's house in the early afternoon to pick up the boys. They were in the pool so it took some convincing to get them out, dressed and in the car. We sat in a good amount of traffic, but finally did make it home. Ben had called to say he would be home around 9pm so I decided to try and let the boys stay up to see him since the last time they saw him was Sunday night. We had dinner, took a bath and watched a movie. When Ben opened the door Zak went crazy! He is always excited when Ben gets home, but this was an extreme reaction of excitement. I wish I could go away for a few days just so that I could have that type of reaction upon my arrival, but I know being away from them is no fun. I was anxious to see them after only being away for less than 24 hours!

This morning the boys were up and ready to start the day at 7am even though they didn't go to bed until about 10pm last night. We had breakfast and then decided to go to the playground. The boys had a blast, but we only stayed for about an hour because it started to get pretty hot out even at 10am.

While at the playground we took a break to get some water at the water fountain. The boys decided drinking from the doggy water fountain was more fun so that is what they did...

We made a stop at CVS on the way home to pick up my insulin. While there I decided to look at the hair dye. I figured if I got it cut I should go ahead and dye it as well. Ben, the boys, and I decided on a color and Ben will dye my hair tomorrow. I chose something different from my normal light blonde so we will see what happens...I am nervous about it. I know you are curious on the color so it is called Reddish Blonde. If it works on my hair like the samples show on the box my hair should turn out to be pretty red!

The rest of the day we spent at the house not doing too much. Of course the boys chose not to nap, but they did lay down to watch a movie for a while. Around 4pm Ben had to leave to meet his mom for the Orioles baseball game tonight. It was not a pretty sight at our house when the boys realized Ben was leaving. Zak blocked the front door and Ryder whined. Once Ben got out of the house Zak went into a panic and started to bang on the door, cry and scream "Daddy forgot me!". It was really sad to watch because I know they missed him all week and didn't want to see him leave again. I finally got them calmed down and they laid on the couch with me to watch a movie.

After a while I realized Ryder had the blanket over his face so I looked under it and discovered he was sound asleep. He actually slept for about 2 hours!
After the movie was over Zak asked me where my keys were and then looked outside and asked where my car was. I told him that daddy had taken the car when he went out and that caused Zak to get upset again. We had dinner and played for a bit. I put them to bed at 8pm and they are now sleeping.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pictures and Updates

Yesterday morning the boys and I were up dressed and out of the house by 8am. I dropped Zak off to spend time with Poppy while I took Ryder to his appointment at Kennedy Krieger. Zak practically pushed me out the door! I was not looking forward to my drive to Kennedy Krieger since it required me to drive through downtown Baltimore, but it was not too bad getting there. We got checked in and taken into the back very quickly after getting there. The developmental specialist that we see did some testing and asked lots of questions about Ryder since our last appointment which was 6 months ago. We went over his ADOS testing results which do show him not to be on the autistic spectrum at the moment, but she agrees we should re-test at age 5 if he continues to show autistic tendencies. We are still waiting to get his Neuropsychology testing done at Kennedy Krieger, but generally they have a 6-9 month wait. We should hear from them soon since it has been about 5 months since his referral was put in. The doctor also wants Ryder to have a consult with the Behavioral therapist to work on controlling his increasingly aggressive tantrums, but I think we will wait for a while. I think it might just be a phase and his age and not a behavioral thing so we will wait and see how things go in the next few months.

After we finished with the appointment we met Zak, Poppy and Nanny at Arundel Mills. While there we took the boys to see the fish at Bass Pro Shops which they enjoyed. The boys and I then headed home. In the late afternoon we took a trip to the library so the boys could turn in their finished summer reading paper and get their award. They got to pick out a new book, got a certificate and got to put their name on a duck/frog to put on the pond mural on the library wall. They seemed more excited about putting their duck and frog on the wall than anything else!

After we had dinner the boys got in the bath tub for a long bubble bath. They love taking baths and get even more excited when it is a bubble bath!

This morning I woke up at 4am to the noise of Robin whining in her cage. I came downstairs and let her outside, but all she wanted was to drink the rain water and play so I put her back in the cage and laid back down. I really never fell back to sleep and then Ryder woke up at 6:45am. Zak didn't wake up until around 8am. After breakfast the boys helped me pick up and put away the toys in their playroom because Ryder's special educator was coming at 10:30am. After his therapy session the boys got to talk to Grammy and Piper on the phone. Ryder just likes to hold the phone and listen, but Zak has started to really enjoy actually having a conversation with people on the phone. While Ben is away (like now) Zak will sit and talk on the phone to him for hours if we let him!

Tomorrow we need to make a trip to the grocery store for some basic food items. Sometime in the afternoon I will take the boys over to Nanny & Poppy's house for a sleepover. I plan to go to the HOA meeting tomorrow night and then I am leaving for a cat show in NJ on Friday. Ben will be home sometime Friday evening and then will pick up the boys (might wait until Saturday morning depending on when he gets home). Ben is probably going to the Oriole's game with his mom on Saturday while the boys hang out with Poppy. I will be home sometime late on Sunday.