Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Annual 21 Facts about Sean List

Today is the last day of the Get it Down: 31 for 21 Challenge. I'm happy to say that this year I actually managed to post once a day! Participating in the challenge was a great way for me to revive my blogging spirit. Thanks for encouraging me to write and thanks for giving me all the great new blogs to read! I added several new bloggers to my roll call this month and have enjoyed meeting them.

Each year, I have also made a list of facts about Sean. I love looking back on these to see what is new and what is the same. Here is the one from 2008 and here is 2007.

1. This year, Sean has started to transition from "baby movies" to "kid movies." As silly as it sounds, it was an embarrassing concern of ours that he'd be an eight year watching Barney one day. He's moved away from his love of Wiggles and Baby Einstein and towards movies like Monster House and Ice Age (all 3!) Aidan is relieved to be able to watch shows he likes with his brother. They love to watch Teen Titans and Dexter's Lab before bed together.

2. Sean has gained a great deal of independence in the self-help area. He can completely undress and dress himself. He puts his Crocs on correctly about 50% of the time, but has trouble getting his sneakers with inserts on by himself. He can also get his own milk cup out of the fridge and his food out of the top cupboard.

3. He loves to ride his Big Wheels bike and is starting to pedal some. He gets a few rotations then slips his feet off the pedals.

4. His favorite thing to do at the playground is slides. He climbs up by himself but only slides down when he wants to, so this tends to hold up the line. :)

5. He really loves playing with his baby sister. After lunch, he says, "Come on, Ella! Up!" and leads her up to the playroom for some destruction play time.

6. He has pretty good aim when throwing balls, considering he almost always closes his eyes when he pitches! LOL

7. He likes to play with Aidan's Playstation games, though he doesn't play the game as intended. He has his own agenda for each game and plays it his way.

8. He polishes off a whole banana, self-fed, now.

9. He has been trying a few tiny bites of new things at home, but still eats baby food as his main food source.

10. He loves to hold his breath under water while swimming or playing in the tub, but hates it when you dump water on him to wash his hair.

11. He doesn't mind haircuts, but hates getting his hair combed. Thus he tends to go to school with goofy bed head.

12. It's been almost a month since he last wore a pull up. We took some on our trip because we were worried about him having an accident on the plane, but he didn't want to use them. He told me on the plane when he had to go potty and used the tiny airplane potty.

13. He really dislikes loud noises. That includes his sister's crying. He folds his ears shut and covers them with his hands when something is too loud.

14. Doug and Aidan now imitate #13 when someone is being too loud at home.

15. His handwriting is pretty delayed. He can usually make a circle if asked and sometimes an X. He can't write his name, but does make individual marks on paper and spells it along with you when you try to get him to write his name. He really loves drawing/coloring/writing. We do a lot of writing on his Doodlepad.

16. He likes to help me around the house. He likes to unload the dishwasher, put clothes in the dryer and take out the trash. If we work together (or his brother helps) he will pick up toys. He's not so much willing to do it alone.

17. He loves anything to do with water: swimming in a pool, taking a shower or bath, playing with water in the sink, getting in grandpa's hot tub, turning on the water hose.

18. He loves to jump, either in place or off of a short step. He like trampolines as long as no one else jumps on them with him.

19. He is very timid with stairs. He prefers to hold a rail while going down them, but doesn't need it going up. He doesn't alternate feet yet, so he takes one step at a time. We have lots of stairs in our house, so it isn't like he doesn't get enough practice. He just is very careful.

20. He likes to be read to and can sit through longer children's books now. Before, he would rush us through by turning the pages too fast or he'd wander off.

21. Sean is VERY excited about trick-or-treating tonight! He can't wait to get his costume on and has been practicing with his treat bucket all day. :)

Happy Halloween everyone! I will post our Halloween photos in the morning and also announce the winner of my giveaway!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Thoughts from Family

Dear Sean,

These are some of the things I remember about you that we have done or are doing.

The day you were born your mother called me and asked me where I was at. I told her I was in Arkansas, visiting with Great Pa. She said "GREAT! I am in labor." I said, "You are not due for 21 more days!"

Two hours later, your dad called me and told me that you were here. We got in the truck and drove home after only being at Great Pa's house for one hour.

The first time I saw you was when you were about 18 hours old. You looked beautiful to me and you still do. Your little round face looked just like your Daddy. I stayed just a few days with you and your mother, then had to go home.

When you were 21 days old, I was in my car headed back to Goodland to spend a week with you and your mother. I called from my car to let your parents know that I was on my way. No one answered the phone, so I called your dad's office and was told that they had taken you to the hospital. By the time I got there they were getting ready to fly you to Denver's children's hospital. Your dad and I drove there and it took us 3 hours to get to Denver. In the car, your dad and I talked about you and what we thought was just going to be a check up on your heart. We were wrong!! I sat in the waiting room while your dad went in to see you and talk to the doctor. The doctor and your dad came back out in about 10 minutes and wanted me to come in with them.

The doctor said "your grandson has Down syndrome." I looked at you and said "we can handle this." I hugged your dad and your mom and told them it would be alright. They were worried that you wouldn't be able to play with your brother. I told them both that you would it would just take you a little longer to get strong and that everything will work out.

You and I have a very special bond. I play with you and make up songs with you. The song you like the most is: "My Nana, My Nana" and it should go "My Nana" again but you look at me and say "My Papa!" Then we pretend to fight and I point my finger at you and say "NO NO NO! It's Nana." You laugh and we do it again many more times.

The very first time you laughed out loud was when I was playing with you. You were about 6 or 7 months old. Your mom was talking to your dad on the phone and said "Mom that is the first time Sean laughed out loud." Then she asked me to have you do it again so your dad could hear you laugh, so I did. You made all of us happy.

You will always have a special place in my heart. I have nine grandchildren and love all of them each in their own way. You, my little stinker, really pull my heart strings.

I Love You,

Written by Sandra Leamons, Sean's maternal grandmother

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chitty Chat, Part II

Chitty Chat

Just RK asked to see video of little ones talking today, so I made one of Ella this morning. Been meaning to try to get her talking on video for awhile anyway, so thanks for the kick in the pants! I will try to add a new video of Sean talking to this post, too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: First Longies, Finished At Last!

They need to be washed, lanolized and blocked and then I can get some action shots of Ella wearing them. I learned so much making these, so experienced knitters please don't cringe at my flaws! Oh, and this is wool from Beemer Knits. So pretty!

*Edited to add action shots! I couldn't wait to see how they fit, so I put them on her before I washed them. ADORABLE!*

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So, what do you think?

Is it time to order a new pair of glasses for Sean or not?

Harumph!!!!! So *not happy* that he takes out his frustration on his glasses!!!!

*Edited* Holy cow, I took these to the optical shop and they got it all bent back into shape! Amazing! Well, I guess we will keep limping along with these.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Playing on Palm Beach

Fun in Florida!

We had a fabulous time visiting Doug's dad, Larry, in Florida! Wow, what a great place to visit! As Aidan said on the morning we left, "Can't we just stay for 5 more days?"

This was my first trip to Florida, as well as the kids', but Doug has been there a few times. We picked Aidan up from school a little early on Thursday and drove to the airport. Our first flight left a little after 5 pm, so the kids had a quick dinner before we boarded and I grabbed a sandwich for Doug and I to share on the plane. We tried to travel light so the three kids just had one small backpack of things to entertain them on the plane. Mostly, the boys enjoyed listening to their MP3 players.

We arrived in West Palm Beach around 10:30. Aidan exclaimed, "It feels like a hot tub here!" It took forrrrrever to get our car rental so the kids were exhausted by the time we got on the road to drive to Okeechobee. We had three sleeping kiddos to carry into the hotel around 1 am.

Friday morning, the kids slept in till 9:15, then we rushed to the breakfast room where Larry was waiting for us. They were so excited to see Grrrrandpa. First on their agenda- hit the pool! Their plan was to swim an hour before and after lunch every day and we managed to make to stick to that plan with a few other activities wedged in. Larry took them on lots of laps around his campground on his tandem recumbent bike. The guys all played a round of mini-golf while Ella and I took her afternoon nap.

We dined on local treats like Blue Clam Corn Chowder, Shrimp, Grits and Gator Tail for lunch from Skip Jack's Southern Seafood. We had a great time at Lightsey's Fish Co. for dinner. The kids loved the decor and the food was awesome, too. We started with Frog Legs and I had Cooter (turtle) and Scallops, while Doug had a huge steamed seafood plate full of food.

Saturday, we hit the hotel hot tub and pool in the morning, then drove out to an orange grove to show the boys citrus farming. I forgot my camera in Larry's RV, so I didn't get any photos there. We had lunch at a fabulous Italian deli, Chef Buddy's in Lake Placid, then headed back for more swimming with Grandpa.

We had an early morning departure flight, so we decided to drive back to Palm Beach for the night and hit the beach before the sun went down. We are so glad we decided to do that, the boys just LOVED the beach! The water was so warm and the weather was just perfect. I took a ton of photos on the beach, so I will post those in a separate entry. By the time we were ready to head to the hotel, the boys were drenched and caked in sand. I had to sit them on a trash bag in the car, then march them straight to the restroom when we got there to strip them down and try to clean them off enough to be seen in public. LOL

We ordered in a pizza, took showers and relaxed watching Goosebumps movies on TV until bedtime. We had to drag ourselves out of bed at 6 am to get packed, eat, the car returned and on our flight home. After a long day of traveling we were happy to get home and chill out the rest of the day.

It was a whirlwind trip, but so much fun! Thanks for the vacation, Larry!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rainy Day, So Let's Camp Inside

*Scheduled Post, today we are flying home from our visit to Grandpa in Florida!*

We got this little play tent several years ago, I think Aidan got it for Christmas when he was 2. Sometimes I have it set up in the playroom and sometimes I keep it folded up and stored away. One rainy afternoon this week, the kids wanted to set it up in the living room to play in. Aidan and Sean brought it downstairs and we assembled it, then Aidan put their two camping chairs in there and all three climbed inside.

Have you ever noticed that if your kids are bickering and not playing nicely, it seems like if you put them together in a smaller space they get along nicely together? It always works with the bathtub, the kiddie pool, the sensory table, and this little tent.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Love this Little Cutie!

*This is a scheduled post, we are visiting Grandpa in Florida today!*

Eleanor's hair is getting so long! I hangs in her eyes unless I put it up. I don't want to cut bangs (too much maintenance) and haven't had much luck training it to part on the side. Grandma Janice said the grows-straight-into-eyes pattern is her fault, her hair does the same. Hopefully we will get it to hang nicely as it grows! Meantime, I am loving the whale spouts!