Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday to my Boy

Dear Caleb,
Let me start this letter by telling you that your dad and I cannot believe that you are already four. It brings tears to our eyes, from pride and a little sadness, to see our little boy growing up so fast. You have had some hard times this year, but oh so many successes in all that you have tried. This year has been, by far, your most healthy. We opted to have a couple of surgeries to help improve your health even more. In May, you had your tonsils and adenoids out which provided the ability for you to sleep, something that you rarely did from birth. Then, in December, we had tubes put in your ears to clear up a persistent fluid issue that, in turn, drastically improved your behavior and speech. While we know that these surgeries produced a certain amount of pain for you, little one, we know that in the long run they will be so very beneficial. This year, you have also managed not to succumb to every virus and bacteria you came in contact with, even though your contact with the outside world increased, never decreasing. My best guess is that little immune system you are toting around finally got the word and developed enough memory that you stopped getting every.single.thing. Your Mama and Daddy thank you.

The age of 3 was the year that you started reading, in earnest. As I type this you are sitting next to me reading some of the words on the page. While you can't read some of the big ones yet, you get the jist of it. You also still have a deep and abiding love for computers, cell phones, and really anything mechanical. I recently heard a speech from a woman who has some expertise in deciphering what children may choose for a vocation later in life. If I had to guess, based on my observations, you will follow your Daddy's educational path and be an engineer. You love helping Daddy in the garage and now that you're older he let's you help him with the many projects that he deems safe. Just last night, Daddy let you put a bolt in place on his motorcycle while he held another portion in order to get it all back together. It was very sweet to see both of my guys covered in black grease helping each other on their pet project. I can only imagine what the future holds and what things will be happening in my garage.

In June of this past year, your little only child/only grandchild world was rocked to its core by a screaming, squalling, little bundle who's main intent, in your mind, was to monopolize everyone's time and wake you up at night, named Piper. In all of that frustration, you never once wished her gone or any harm. The one time that you tried to retaliate you felt so bad that you cried for 20 minutes straight and told her you were sorry over and over for days. Your soft heart never has shown more than it has in regards to your sister. You are her favorite person, and I suspect that she is yours. This is more than I could have ever hoped for when your dad and I decided to give you a sibling. I have no doubt that you will always be there for her and she for you. You are the best big brother I have ever seen, always considering Piper's feelings and needs above your own. Always entertaining her, always loving on her, always asking about her. As I sit here now, typing this to you, you are dancing around the living room making her smile, all the while ensuring that she is always safe (you obviously don't sit still for long!). I cannot wait to watch you for the next years teaching your sister all the things you know.

This past year has held some extreme difficulties for you as well. There were a few people in your life who while very well meaning, but even less correct, tried to convice your dad and I that there was some type of significant developmental disease within you. Unfortunately, I took that to heart much more than I ever should have, but it was ultimately decided, by the experts, that you were just acting like a normal 3 year old boy does who is going through a very difficult life change. We had everything evaluated and our fears addressed. We were told that not only were you fine and most certainly normal, but that you were ahead in many areas.

We made the difficult decision to remove you from your beloved Mother's Day Out program to stay home with myself. Honestly, little love of mine, I was terrified and was dreading this change, as I had become very used to having a little time to myself. Since your rather uneventful exit from school you have proven every fear I had wrong and have been such a bright spot in my day each and every morning, even if you do insist on telling me that the sun is up, therefore so should I be.

Caleb, you are one of the sweetest little boys that I have ever encountered. You are so very patient with your very human Mama and try to help me in all ways that you can. In some ways each birthday is hard, but I and your Daddy, are so very proud of the boy you are becoming. You are and will always be my favorite boy and I love you so very much. Happy birthday baby!


Your very blessed Mama

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Break 2009

This past week was spring break here, which meant virtually nothing to us except that we had friends who were out school that we could go play with.
We started the week by going to the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.

Caleb was SO excited to go and see all the fun things at the museum.

I could not get a decent picture of the two of the kids together because Caleb was more than anxious to get into the exhibit halls.

While we were there, we play archeologist and searched for dinosaur bones,

made huge bubbles,

watched balls float on air,

drove a fire engine,

rode a horse (can you tell he's saying "yee haw" here?),

playing with the water features,

tried to roll a ball into holes on the floor,

learned to milk a cow,

all while Piper watched.

Last, we learned a little about gravity and losing money...

We played with this cute little girl,

and went bowling.

Then we got all dressed up and

went to Jumpin Land

where we all (except Piper) went down the big slide.

We ended the week at a friend's birthday party where we dug in the dirt

and had lots of fun!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Message from the Pster

Pssst. Hey peeps! This is Piper and I've hijacked my Mama's blog. Don't tell her. She probably won't notice anyway, what with the sleep strike I've been on lately.

So, do you notice anything different about me? Look closely...

Oh, come on. You don't see it? Well, let me just make it very obvious for you.

My Mama and my Mommaw gave me my very first pedicure!

You know what? I love it!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pulmonologist Appointment

Today was the normal 3 month check up for Caleb at the pulmonologist. While we were there, they worked Piper in, as well, to check her out due to the persistent cough she has had. Here's what we found out per kid.

Caleb: The flu he had was reported and since it was so very minor there was really no concern about it. Also, last time we visited with the pulmonologist, he sent us for a blood allergy test. Since there was no positive result on any of the allergens that he was tested for, the doctor was very optimistic that he would be one of those kids who would outgrow his asthma. That's one the best things we've heard lately! The other thing that we are going to be doing is slowly taking him off some of his medications. We will start by stopping a steroid inhaler that he takes twice a day and see where that puts us. By the time that summer begins, Caleb may only be on one or two medications on a daily basis. It's been a long time since we've been anywhere near that (nearly 3 years to be exact!).

Piper: As I said, they squeezed her into Caleb's appointment so that the doctor could take a look at her. Since I had my minor freak out and had her seen at 6 weeks, she was already an established patient and was easy to put on the schedule. My biggest concern with Piper is the chronic cough that she has had for roughly the last 3 or 4 months. Another concern stems from the sinus infection that she was diagnosed with about a week and a half ago. The doctor thinks that Piper may have had a sinus infection before she caught the flu and that it has been an ongoing issue. So, we have switched her to a different antibiotic and we will return to the doctor in 3 weeks. If this round of antibiotics doesn't fix the infection we will need to do some imaging on her sinuses as well as a chest x-ray to ensure that nothing is being missed. The doctor did tell me that he did not feel like Piper has asthma, which was extremely comforting to me as this was the exact point at which Caleb was diagnosed with all his issues.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

8 Months

It occurred to me the other day that I had not posted anything for Piper's 8 month "birthday". I guess I got thrown off because I watch for the 30th of each month, and February didn't have one. It really doesn't take much. Anyway, what you came here for:

Piper has been able to sit up with some assistance for the past couple of months, but this past month she perfected it and we feel comfortable letting go. She will still topple over if she tries to look up or get something that is too far in front of her, but I let her sit like this on the floor for a good 15 minutes and she never fell over.

Well, she never fell over until this happened. With every month that passes, Caleb and Piper are able to interact and play more and more. Caleb is really very good at being gentle with her and loves to play with her.

Many people tell us that Piper is a good baby and really we are blessed in this aspect. Piper rarely cries and if she does we know it's one of three things. As long as we feed her, change her or get her to sleep, she doesn't fuss over anything. She is super observant and loves to watch and explore things around her, so taking her places is really a pleasure. We love to go to the park and even though she can't do much, most often you will catch her giggling at her brother's antics or just quietly sitting in my lap enjoying the sunshine. We couldn't have asked for a better second child.

I think I mentioned before that I was falling down on the job in that I had introduced and had Caleb completely on a sippy cup between the ages of 5 to 6 months. I just didn't see any reason to get in such a hurry to do that this time but have been giving to her every once in awhile. This month, she seems to have realized that there is something yummy in it (water) and that she can get it out on her own. She still does more chewing on the cup than anything, but I do catch her sucking on it on occasion, so she's getting the message.

I don't believe that I have mentioned here our vacation plans. We are all hopping in the car mid-July and driving to California for a family reunion, and then driving on up to southern Oregon to spend a little time with my in-laws. While in California, we will be taking the kids to Disneyland and Caleb, at least, is super excited. While we were buying the invitations for Caleb's birthday party, I spied these Mickey and Minnie ears and HAD to have them. Piper looks less than excited here, but she was quite tired and ended up loving them. I had to have a picture!

The weather around here has been SO schizophrenic. The upside to that has been some beautiful 80 degree days. We have tried to take advantage of those days as much as we can and go up the street to a fairly airplane themed new park called Aviator Park. The reason we get in the car and go there, instead of walking up the block, is that park has swings, something that I've not seen at other parks in our area. Both the kids love the swings, especially Piper. She gets quite the kick out of swinging and feeling the wind in her hair.

Around the time that Piper turned 7 months old, she learned how to click her tongue. This video shows her doing it a couple of times at the beginning. For the longest time she seemed to think that my name was a click of her tongue. More recently though, she has learned a few words. She said her first word, Da-Da, on the day she turned 7 months. The day after she said, "Ma Ma" and now she also says, "Ba Ba" for her brother. I was trying to get her to demonstrate her speaking abilities in this video, but it obviously didn't work. At least you all get to see our sweet Piper in action.