Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

just for fun

(P.S. - I don't take any credit for this boy's knowledge of letter sounds ... Leap Frog laptop, all the way!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

what a weekend!

"Father's Day Weekend - 2011" will be going down in the books.  Not in the baby book, necessarily, but definitely in the record book for the state of Virginia and possibly even in the Guinness Book.  You know, the one that's full of world records and such.

Every year, for as long as I've known Jeramie, he, his brother, and his dad have gone fishing in Kerr Lake over Father's Day weekend.  They would always come back from their trip bragging about who caught "the big one" and playfully arguing over who was the best fisherman that particular year.  A few years back, they decided to make it a little more "official" and bought the most hideous looking trophy I've ever seen.

Jeramie "won" the trophy in 2009, his first Father's day.  He wasn't able to actually go to the lake, due to Ethan's health, but the guys put out a line for him and it just so happened to be the one that the most fish nibbled on!
Jeramie's trophies for 2009 - fishing and poker

(Okay, okay.  So, it's not that bad, but it has sat on my mantle for a little longer than my decorating tastes prefer.)

Once the trophy came to be, it would go home with whoever caught the most pounds of fish during their weekend trip.  It has been shared between the three of them over the years but this year, without a doubt, it went to my brother-in-law, Nick.

At 57 inches long, 43.5 inches around, and weighing in at ONE HUNDRED and FORTY-THREE pounds, I introduce to you "Big Willy" ...

It took Nick about 45 minutes to reel it in, and then it took the three of them to actually get it in the boat.  It beats the current state of Virgina record by 34 pounds and, from what the guys have been able to find, it is 13 pounds heavier than the current world record.

Is that crazy, or what?!

Just about a month ago, my father-in-law caught a 95 pounder in the very same lake.  I'll tell you what ... it sure does make me think twice about dipping my toes in that Virginia water!

Although not nearly as exciting, Ethan had a big weekend, too! We went down to my parents' house while Jeramie was away at Swamp Loggers the lake, and he slept in a twin-sized bed for the very first time!

He is quickly outgrowing the pack and play that they have set-up for him there, so we tried our luck at getting him to sleep in his new twin bed.  I was shocked by how well he did! He successfully took one nap and slept through the night both nights we were there.  I was a little worried about him coming back to Raleigh and having to go back into his crib (his twin bed here isn't quite ready yet), but he's done great in it, too!

Just one more reason to admit that he is, most certainly, growing up.

That, and this ridiculously cute haircut he received from his Aunt Bubbie! It was waaaaaaaaaay past time for one ... thank you, Bubbie!


I hope all you Daddies out there felt, and continue to feel, loved and celebrated.

Y'all have a great week!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

for the baby book

I've been so bad about putting true "Ethan updates" here on the blog. I can't tell you how many times I've wondered when he did this or that, and looked back at old posts to figure it out.

Lately? Not so much. I recently read a Facebook post from a friend of mine, stating she was updating the baby book for her four-year old son. That motivated me to find the perfect book, and start using it! Has it happened yet? Nope.

So, in an effort to do better and not allow three months worth of progress to slip out of my memory, here I go...


Growth: At two years and three months, Ethan stands 35.5 inches tall and weighs a little over 27 pounds. This puts him around the 30th percentile for weight, and a little over the 50th for height. This is just about perfection for a cardiac kid with weight gain issues. And, can we say, "proportionate"?!

Development: Ethan is excelling in all of this therapies right now! His OT (occupational therapist) has brought up the idea of going to once monthly sessions, and his DT (developmental therapist) is wondering if she'll be allowed to stick around for much longer!

(For the record, RM, I sure do hope so!!)

He started SLT (speech & language therapy) in mid-March and has already come such a long way. He has eliminated nearly all of the nasal, air-trapping sounds he had acquired and is currently working on "sn-" and "sm-" blends (snake, smile, snail, etc.) His speech therapist is also doing some language development activities with him. Ethan has gotten away with being a "lazy talker" because we've always been so impressed with his massive vocabulary. This created somewhat of a gap, though, as he just throws around a variety of big words, but doesn't really do anything structurally sound with them. We're working on that, though, and in just a week's time he has started putting together 4 and 5 word sentences!

We met with Ethan's urologist a few weeks ago, and everything checked out nicely. I'll take him back in six months for another check-up, and for a final ultrasound of his kidneys.

(He had a mild-to-moderate case of hydronephrosis when he was born, which has been monitored and has gone away on its own. As long as this next ultrasound is clear, we'll have one less diagnosis to think about.)

We are free to start potty training, but Dr. W warned us about starting too early. According to urologists (and whoever else may share this opinion) the average age for boys is two and 3/4 years, so I don't even plan to go there until our next appointment.

Ethan is so proficient at using his left arm and we don't see his orthopedic surgeon again until December! He should be wearing a brace during periods of sleep, but we've had no luck having one made that he'll actually keep on. Thankfully, my naked eye can't see signs of any loss of correction, so I hope the x-ray in 6 months says the same.

He does still have a really dark scar from his first arm surgery (January 2010), and I'd love for y'all to tell me if you've had luck with specific creams or ointments.

Cardiology: Since the cath back in May, Ethan has been doing FANtastic! His heart sounds great, to us, and there is still no sign of a thrill when we feel his chest. We haven't seen anyone from cardiology since the cath, so I am definitely looking forward to Dr. I laying eyes on him in a few weeks!

Miscellaneous: Ethan is obsessed with popcorn, dumped his Tommee Tippee straw cups for Gerber sippy ones, and continues his love for "tummus" (hummus). He cut the last of his teeth a few weeks after turning two and still despises having them brushed. He loves the water, but is very timid when it comes to jumping in or being taken out in the deep end. He runs and plays with the best of them, can jump with both feet off the ground, and just recently learned to jump off of a raised surface. His favorite thing to draw is a circle and he thinks that Mama can draw whatever he asks of her (so sorry, buddy). His letter and number recognition skills are impressive and he's learning to count to 10 in sign language.

(Side note: does God know what He's doing, or what? Thanks to only having 9 fingers total, 4 of which don't bend, how would Ethan learn the traditional finger/number system? Enter sign language, and a Mama who can teach it to him.)

His favorite park is the Observation Park at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and he yells out "Welcome (to) Raleigh!" when we see a plane land. Precious, I tell ya.

He is adventurous, curious, and fiercely independent. He is a source of joy, a test of patience, and fills me with more love than I ever thought possible.

How's that for a baby book entry?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

wordless wednesday - the superhero edition

(a huge thanks to these guys for providing Ethan with this awesome cape!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

my silly boys

Last Thursday night, I went out to dinner with some friends and left Ethan and Jeramie at home to do whatever it is they do when I'm not there.

Evidently, hilarity ensues...

I'm not sure what's more funny ... the videos themselves, or the fact that Jeramie is cracking up all by his lonesome. Although, when I was uploading the videos just now, Ethan was in TEARS from laughing so hard and kept asking to watch them again.

Laughter is the best medicine, right?!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

wordless wednesday - the garden hose edition

playing catch-up

My life is so incredibly busy right now. Ethan and I are back in Raleigh after a 48-hour trip to my parents' house near Wilmington. I've put 500 miles on a brand new set of tires in a matter of four days. In the past week, we've gone to five appointments, two birthday parties, and three play dates. Jeramie was out of town two of those days, so combine that with my trip to Wilmington, and I really haven't had much of a face-to-face conversation with him since Friday night.

It is a stark comparison to a few months ago when I was elated about Ethan's light appointment schedule, but a little sad about his lack of interaction with other children. Not anymore! Appointments and therapies and play dates abound! Don't get me wrong, though. Aside from putting him to bed at night and wondering where the day went, I enjoy it. I love seeing him play with his friends, and I find myself craving the mom-to-mom time I get in the process. His therapists are fantastic, and I especially like the sanity booster that is his Thursday morning therapist!

But. (Isn't there always a "but"?) It's exhausting.

Out of seven days in a week, there is only one day that doesn't typically involve some sort of commitment, and that's Saturday. We also get a break every other Friday afternoon, but that's it. Six out of seven days are reserved for everything from therapies to church activities to Zumba. (Oh, how I've come to love my Monday night booty-shaking sessions!)

I'm surprised I'm even putting together complete sentences at this point. For you parents out there who are juggling crazy busy schedules, I would LOVE to hear some advice! Tell me how you manage the day-to-day of being a parent, but still manage to be a spouse. Tell me how you decide to back down on certain activities. Tell me how you find the motivation to keep your house clean. Tell me anything!

It would also be nice to know that I'm not the only one who stays in my pajamas all day on those coveted, random days when we don't have anything to do.

In the midst of all of the above, and even through my lack of blogging, I managed to receive a bloggy award!

Jen sent it my way, and she's someone who is very near and dear to my heart. She also douses me with a dose of sanity on those Fridays that Ethan and I find ourselves free and ready to play! Her son, Jay, has quickly become one of Ethan's most talked about friends, and I think she's equally fantastic.

And, since it is a "Pay it Forward" award after all, I'm passing it along to a fellow Teaching Fellow, and college friend, Tori. Last fall, she was challenged to think of something to be thankful for for thirty days. She carried the challenge through the month of November, and has since started a blog entitled "A Year of Gratitude". I love reading about all the things she is thankful for, and it encourages me to find the positive in the day-to-day craziness ... thanks, Tori!

That's all I really have for now. I guess it is Wednesday, so I'll be sure to post a few cute pictures to make up for all of my mom-plaining.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

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