Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Christmas Season

I was just telling someone the other day that it seems like all year we never have anything going on on the weekends until the holidays, specifically Christmas, rolls around. This year is no different. We have had some type of Christmas related activity every weekend in the month of December. This post is dedicated to those fun filled, sugar driven weekends!!
My mom decided earlier in the year to take myself, Caleb, my sister Michelle, and her daughter Dixie to A Very Veggie Christmas Live. We had a great time and Caleb got to really cement in his mind just exactly who Bob and Larry are. The genius that he is, :), he differentiates beautifully between the all obsessive Bob the Builder that he loves so dearly and Bob the Tomato. We're so proud...

Caleb was so excited to get the show started! The only issue he had was there was a back story written in where Pa was working on some secret project. This project kept going awry and there were lots of bangs, booms, and flashing lights. Everytime this happened during the show, Caleb had a meltdown. Maybe we should skip the 4th of July this year too... :)

I just wanted to include a few shots of the actors as well as the veggies. It was so very cute and Caleb and his cousin Dixie had a great time!

Thanks for the show MawMaw!
The very next weekend was my parent's annual Christmas get together for my dad's kids and their kids. This includes 2 of my brothers, one of which is married with 2 girls, Tristen and Madisen, the other brought his girlfriend Lisa and her twin nieces, and my sister and her daughter Dixie and son Matt. Needless to say it was a full house!

We had a great time and Caleb got this dump truck from his MawMaw and PawPaw. As you can tell, he didn't quite understand at the time what it was meant to do.

I tried to get a happy picture of Caleb under my parent's tree, as we didn't put one up this year. This was the best he could do. After a hard, long day he still looks pretty happy. He's our precious little gift!

The next weekend, my parent's church was putting on their nativity scene production. Mama and Daddy took to calling it the "drive-by" nativity scene as their church is not in the best neighborhood anymore. A great ministry opportunity, but it can make for some interesting outdoor evening activities. My mom was the angel and my dad was a shepherd. Caleb got the biggest kick out of his Mawmaw and her wings and halo!
Since we are going to Jes's parents house this Christmas, we opted out of all the decorations and didn't buy Caleb many gifts (as if he really needed anymore toys!). The one thing we did purchase for him was a broom and dust pan. Caleb's good friend KJ had a broom and dust pan at his house and Caleb spotted it durng their last play session. After that, he was constantly trying to get the broom from me when I swept the floors. Now he has his own!

He hasn't quite gotten the hang of it, but he tries really hard. Maybe we'll work on getting that coordination down so he can sweep instead of me sometime!

As I mentioned before, we are spending Christmas at Jes's parent's house with his two younger sisters and their 4 kids (2 apiece). We are so excited about going and leave tomorrow (Friday) morning. Please keep us in your prayers as travel with a toddler can be a harrowing experience. We are most concerned about the 4 hour plane trip and then another 1 hour plane ride after that. Even though Caleb is our little angel, he can try our patience. Just keep us in your prayers going and coming and we'll update you on all the fun we had in Oregon at Nana and Papa's house after the first of the year! We love you all and hope you have a great Christmas!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Doctors, Turkeys, French Fries, and a Jolly Bearded Man

Ok, so I know that it's been almost a month since I posted and now I have so much to say because so much has happened! I guess I'll start with the new doctor that we have. Our old pulmonologist, Dr. Mondujano, doesn't take our insurance anymore, so we had to switch. After much shopping around we decided to go see Dr. Peter Schochet (sounds like shock-it). He is a great doctor and is very friendly and Caleb loved him. While we were there, Dr. Schochet did full evaluation (he used to be just a pediatrician before he specialized) and he realized that his frenulum (the membrane that ties his tongue to the floor of his mouth) is really tight. He thinks that that could be what is causing him to aspirate fluids, as he is a little old to still have that problem. To make a long story short, we see a surgeon next week to talk about having it clipped. I have to say I was quite frustrated with the situation as I asked his ENT to do it when he 3 days old and he said they didn't do it anymore. By the time we left the doctor's office, I was ready to wring someone's neck!

Caleb and his dad love to play Xbox together. Sometimes Jes even plugs in the controller for Caleb and they crash motorcycles together!
During my hiatus from our blog we had Thanksgiving. We all had a great time at my parents house with the whole family coming out. In all it was my mom and dad, my brother, his girlfriend, my sister, her 2 kids, my aunt Jan, cousin Keri, cousin Tara, all my grandparents, the car and the dog. Needless to say, my parent's house became quite the busy place!

Caleb had a great time playing with an old mailbox with his cousin Dixie (my sister's daughter). They kept playing mailman. Maybe it is a look into the future as my grandfather is a retired mail carrier.

Caleb and Dixie sitting on the bench. I love this picture of the two of them. They look so happy!

The Xbox obssession continues at my parent's house too. They have a wireless controller, so we don't have to contend with the long cord following him throughout the house!

Caleb found these glasses at my mom and dad's house. I had to have a picture because he never would wear glasses in the past for even a moment! He was walking around with these on looking so cute!

Caleb loves sitting in this chair watching Dora. He's dancing to the Dora music in the picture. This chair is special, as it was mine when I was little. It's amazing that it actually held up because I can remember sitting in it for hours at a time when I was small!

Ok, ok so I said I would never be one of those parents, but yes my son is eating a french fry. Caleb had bronchitis since we last posted and he would not eat anything else. This was the first thing that he had reached for and tried to eat for a few days at least, so I let him. Believe me, I wasn't happy, but at least he was eating! I think he liked it because he wouldn't eat anything else after this one! :)

Lastly, we had Caleb's annual picture with Santa. Last year Caleb and I stood in line for 2 hours at the mall to have a picture of his scared face on the lap of a man who didn't really even resemble Santa. This picture was taken at Home Depot (a plus) and for FREE!!! Jes got to sit in the picture and we even had a jolly Mrs. Claus. We just happened to be in Home Depot the day they were doing these. We were actually heading to the mall after this to stand in line and pay an enormous amount for a terrible picture, but were pleasantly surprised! We were so happy and Caleb was too, he got candy when it was over! Happy baby + happy parents = good time by all!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Little Fun and Then Not

The past couple of weeks have been quite busy. Caleb is continuing in his vocabulary growth spurt. He is very adept at saying hi now and even waves at the same time. He also has mastered any word that ends in a y or a sound in that area. He loves to say baby, daddy, kitty, puppy, etc. He also loves to point out babies and say baby over and over. Maybe he's trying to tell us something!!! Caleb has also become quite the copy cat as he will repeat everything that his dad or I say. For example, if we are talking on the phone and tell the person bye, he will walk around saying bye for a good half hour. I guess now is when we need to start watching what we say and what he hears even more!

We took Caleb to a playground that is near our house. He loves to go down the slides, but refuses to do it facing front and on his bottom. He likes to go down this way or head first!

We had to pose him for this picture. Be assured that he promptly turned around and flew down this slide head first! The playground is not only a workout for Caleb, but also for mama and daddy!

We try to take turns climbing on the equipment with Caleb. This time was daddy's turn!

As you can tell, we had a great time!

On Sunday, Jes decided that it was time to pass another kidney stone. We ended up in the ER while he was pumped full of narcotics! Take a look at his face and you'll be able to see that he is feeling good in this picture. Good thing because it was almost impossible to keep Caleb off his bed!
Right now Jes is in Canada, so I am getting a taste of what being a single parent is like. I have a new appreciation for those people! Caleb walks around saying "nada", his version of Canada and both of us can't wait for him to get home!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Some New Tricks and Treats

We have had quite the eventful past couple of weeks. Jes is working very hard and in addition to putting in obligatory overtime at his regular job, he has also obtained some long-term extra work too. He is currently saving his money up to purchase a motorcycle and all the extras that come along with it. He is almost there an is actually bidding on helmets on ebay.
I have been working lots as well. I have been teaching 4 classes at the college, which means that I am in class every night. The good news is that I won't have this many classes in the spring as part time instructors cannot teach an overload two semesters in a row. I have, however, been strongly encouraged by my mentor to apply for an internal full time position with the school. We'll just have to see how that one pans out as it would have to meet my demands of schedule so that I would still be with Caleb most of the time.

Caleb is doing really well too. He has learned some new tricks which includes whistling. If someone told me that their 19 month old could whistle, I would never believe it because it just seems so improbable, but he can. The first time he did it, I though it was just a fluke, but he walks around the house whistling now. It's a little strange, but not beyond our little genius to learn! His other new trick is putting small things in his nose. One day he was eating peas and I turned my back. When I turned around, he has a pea hanging out of each nostril. It was so funny I had to laugh, but of course I couldn't get to the camera in time and promptly removed the food. Now we have to keep a close eye on him at meal time
We had our evaluation by ECI yesterday and they came to the conclusion that he was too far advanced to need therapy. He scored way above his age bracket in all skills except gross motor. The only reason he scored low on that is because we don't know if he can climb up and down stairs by himself or throw a ball overhand. We don't have stairs and I don't let him throw things in the house. We just have to expose him to that stuff.

For Halloween, Caleb was Bob the Builder. We went to our church's Fall Festival and we all had a blast!

Of course, we think he was the cutest one there!

We played lots of games and posed for silly pictures like this one!

As you can see, as good time was had by all!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fun in the Flowers

This past week has been quite busy for us. We finally researched and decided on a group to come in and do Caleb's therapy in our home, Early Childhood Intervention or ECI for short. As best I can tell, they seem to have it all together and come highly recommended. Thanks Dixons!!!
We also (finally...) decided on tickets for Christmas. We are going westward, Oregon specifically, and found a great deal on tickets into Medford, which cuts our drive from 4 hours down to 30 minutes! So worth the plane trip on the prop plane. I can't say that I'm looking forward to getting on that little plane, though!
Caleb has really progressed in the past few weeks, verbally. At his 18 month visit, our suspicions were confirmed as they told us that he has the vocabulary of a 2 year old! He is starting to form short sentences like "all gone", "all done", "let's go", etc. He has also added a few more words to his arsenal. The newest one is oww, so I am constantly looking at him as he walks through the house saying "oww". Reminds me of times gone by!!

We went to the Dallas Arboretum this past Sunday with my mom, dad, and grandmother. We had a great time and got lots of cute pictures. We found this great patch of pink flowers and I drug Jes into this picture.

At the Arboretum, they have a few water features. Caleb is illegally sitting on the frog feature. That's my dad behind him. They had the best time playing in the water!

One of the main reasons we went to the Arboretum was to get our annual picture of Caleb with a pumpkin. Now we have one of Caleb ON a pumpkin. Too cute!

We were all pooped when we left and as you can see, Caleb didn't make it far before he passed out!

For those of you who read our blog and don't live nearby, we had our first "cold snap". To the Mathis household (at least to me) that is 50 and below. This meant we got to pull out all the great new clothes that MawMaw bought for Caleb. Thanks MawMaw.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The First Half...

I've been a little nostalgic lately. We officially reached 1.5 years of age and I have been wondering where the time has gone. When, exactly, did my skinny, chicken-legged little baby turn into this bright, happy, very energetic toddler that turns heads and brings smiles to faces everywhere we go? I guess this is something that all moms (and dads) go through with their kiddos. It just seems like it was just the other day that I was a teenager (sorry mom and dad... I know mine is coming to me!) and I was rolling my eyes when someone said, "You have gotten so big...". Anyway, so if you hadn't met Caleb when he was small, I included a couple of pictures, some of my favorites, of him in his tiny stage. The one above is of him during his last night in the NICU. It is my favorite of all the little baby pictures, and just happens to be the first one we took.

This one is him humoring me as I drug him through yet another outing at the mall or WalMart or some place other than my house and couch!

In my last posting, I said that Caleb was supposed to have yet another trip to his pulmonologist and another swallow study. Well, his doctor's appointment went better than expected. If you have never taken a child to a pulmonologist's (lung doctor) office, then you need to know that every single time you go in they do some lung function tests. Just imagine trying to get a small child to hold still so that someone can press a smelly contraption over their face, making an air-tight seal, and getting them to breath normally so as to get good results. Not an easy task, but Caleb is a good sport and usually does a good job. This time, his tests came out to be what looked like normal patterns. In short, they think his asthma may have resolved! He is still taking his litany of medications to get him through RSV and flu season, but it's looking good on that front! His swallow study was not a good result as all. He failed, yet again and we are currently setting up to have him in therapy so that we can move this process along quicker. Hopefully this will work, as nothing else has...

Many of you don't know, but this past summer my parents went to Mexico on a mission trip. They brough back this duck (see above picture) for Caleb to push around while he walked. I was a little afraid that they had wasted their hard earned money because Caleb wasn't showing any interest in it. We set it upright in a very conspicious place in Caleb's playroom and hoped that he would someday notice it. Well, that day came last week. We had just returned home from school (his, not mine!) and he was playing in his playroom. I was in the kitchen washing dishes and I kept hearing this strange clicking noise. I called to Caleb to come to me (for now this still works) and the noise got closer and closer until I saw him round the corner at full speed pushing his duck in front of him. He's been obsessed with it ever since. Thanks MawMaw and PawPaw!

Another new trick Caleb has perfected in the past week or so is eating with a spoon. He used to stick the wrong end in the bowl and eat whatever it was that way. Needless to say, it would take him an hour to get through what he was eating. He had fun, but it sometimes tested my patience! Yet another thing that motherhood is teaching me, that not everything has to be done the way that I do it or in the time frame I think it should be done in!

I titled this posting The First Half because we will be taking a trip to the Dallas Arboretum tomorrow and will probably fill up another posting with pictures just from that. I just wanted to update you on the goings on in our home and with Caleb!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sales, Shoes and the Like

We've had quite a week! This past Saturday we had a very successful garage sale at our house with our friends from church, Luke and Melissa Dickey and Randy and Rae Koonce! The weather held out and we made lots of contacts and Jes and I met a few new people from the neighborhood, not to mention cleaning out the garage!

Caleb had a great time at the garage sale hanging out in his pack and play and throwing things out at inopportune times! A great time was had by all!

For those of you who haven't heard, our precious Caleb has started walking within the past few weeks. He took his first steps one day and by the end of the week, he was all over the place, upright! Hopefully this means a cut back on some medications. We have another swallow study scheduled for Monday and we have been told that his aspiration issues should resolve around the time he starts walking. We'll see what they say Monday.
He still is very clumsy when he walks, but that is mostly because he is focused on his destination and fails to notice things in his path. Other than that, he's getting around like the big boy he really is! Caleb has also discovered a love for carrying things around like balls and other toys and especially loves chasing after the cat. Poor Gus doesn't know what to think anymore. Most of the time he just lays down and waits it out! We think it's a great teaching experience for Caleb so that he will learn to be nice to animals just like he is with people!

One of Caleb's most favorite toys is his dad's calculator from college. One of Jes's degrees is in engineering so he has this calculator that can do everything. Caleb discovered it one day and gets great pleasure out of pushing the buttons and watching what happens. Every once in a while we have to swoop in and rescue the calculator when it starts flashing and genuinely looks like it's in pain! We thought this obsession with the calculator was confined to this one, but he seems to be fascinated by all of them!

Many of you know that Caleb has started going to the Mother's Day Out program at our church, First Baptist McKinney. He absolutely loves his teachers Miss Carmen and Miss Tina and he is learning colors and shapes already. He is able to identify blue and circle when asked, so we think he's quite the genius, but it's probably right on par with other 18 month olds.
Caleb also got his very first pair of Stride Rites this past week (see above picture). We innocently took him to the mall for a simple fitting and ended up falling in love with these shoes and had to have them. Caleb actually seems to like them too, an accomplishment for a child who refused to wear shoes peacefully until now. When he is wearing them, Caleb refuses to sit, always preferring to walk and sometimes even stands on his toes without support. Needless to say, it was a good purchase!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Caleb and his friend Lexi

Caleb in his swing at home! One of his favorite activities!

Caleb and his basketball, another favorite!

Our Busy Family

The school year has started and we have really kicked our activities into high gear. I am working again at the gym with the girls. There are 5 of them this year and one includes a senior. That will be a stretch for my brain! I am also teaching at CCCCD (Collin County Community College) again this semester. This fall, I am actually teaching 4 classes, which works out to be 5 nights a week. It will be busy, but I enjoy it.
Jesse is working in Denison, about a 45 minute commute from our home in McKinney. He loves the company he works for now and is even talking about us moving northward in the next few years!
Caleb started going to the Mother's Day Out program at our church. He just recently started walking (yea!!!) and being around all the other kiddos that have mastered the movement has really jumpstarted his efforts. He gets around the house really well now. I call him the Kamakaze Kid because sometimes it looks like he is trying to get somewhere fast and just hurls himself in that direction. It is really quite cute! He is getting into everything and keeps his dad and I very entertained!