Hitting the Pavement - - Literally

The first rays of sunshine, promising that spring can't be THAT far away, shone down on us this weekend, and the whole neighborhood hit the streets in excitment! After a winter indoors, the escape outside created quite the buzz for the kidlets in us all. For Collin, however, playing outside has a whole new meaning this year because he's a biker now! I know I say it a lot, but there is really nothing like watching the glee on a young child's face when he lights up with a sense of accomplishment and independence! Watching Collin take off on his bike was truly exhilerating for me! His little legs went around and around ~ so fast! He literally took off down the sidewalk, and Owen and I were left (walking) in his dust. His confidence soaring and his skills honed, he and Brennen went racing down Brennen's driveway, making a sharp turn to the right at the end to avoid doom down the hill. He did great! And had a great time!Owen totally got into it too ~ as you can see from his facial expression as he watched the big boys come full throttle down the driveway:
We were outside in the morning, after naps, and then again after dinner. Free time spelled "bike time" to Collin this weekend. So it should come as no surprise that it also spelled "first spill." He took it like a champ, while mommy dropped her camera and went running in a slight panic! : )

We were on our way home around our cul-de-sac so that he had to go downhill to get to our house. Collin knows to ride on the sidewalk, stop for us to catch up, and turn into the grass whenever he gets going too fast. THANK GOODNESS! Just as we had "caught up" to him at th "top of the hill," he decided to get going again ... down the hill without me ... and he got going pretty darn fast! I let out a "Collin!!!", started running (with Owen in my arms) and thought I was going to be picking Collin up, dusting off gravel and mending many scrapes and bruises. But, big boy that he is, when he knew he was starting to lose control, Collin turned into our grass. Unfortunately, he turned a bit too sharply and at a pretty good rate of speed, and he and the bike went tumbling over!! He hit the grass and slid; the bike landed on top of him. BUT when I picked the bike off of him, he stood up with a grin!! "I went FAST! And I, I, I go in the grass, and I tipped over, Mommy!!!" What a boy! The neighbors outside were clapping and cheering him on for a fall well done.

Owen thinks he's ready to hit the road too, and is looking for a bike in his size (shopping at the neighbor's):


Owen's First Haircut 1.27.07

Before Shots
First Snip - Owen had his hair cut by my hairstylist Clara, who also cuts Collin's hair.Exploring the Salon
Owen was ready for it to be over almost as soon as it began. He seemed very uncomfortable and confused BUT he did not cry and he sat very still until the very last few moments.
I held him for the last few snips: and when the cut was complete, he looked like a very big boy indeed:
Playtime in the Mall


Happy 3rd Birthday, Marley! 1.20.07

My niece ~ Miss Marley Lynn, Age 3 Owen brought his own balloon ... but not his own glasses!


Ok. Things went from bad to worse in the "Yuck" Department. This morning, I have changed no less than 7 overflowing diarhea diapers and spent too many minutes on my hands and knees scrubbing the floors. To top it off (poor Collin!), just after only two bites of pancakes (no butter or syrup even) the floor was drenched in vomit for a radius of at least three square feet. (Thank goodness Kevin was still home to help clean that one!) Plus, Collin threw up in his bed (and on Kevin!) in the middle of the night. The boys and I have spent as much time on the tile today as possible, avoiding the carpets and furniture. And the laundry machine is in overdrive. Let's just hope it doesn't break down ~ the laundry just keeps piling up no matter how fast I try to move it! I need a shower. This is too gross!!


Seizures Are Back

We had hoped that he was in the seizure-free zone, but we were greatly disappointed a week and a half ago when Collin experienced another seizure - 15 and a half months after the first seizure incident. Again, it was a febrile seizure triggered by a too-quickly rising fever. Fortunately, I was with him during the seizure and knew what it was and what to expect and do this time. I did call 9-1-1 to be on the safe side, and then I called Kevin, who quickly rushed home. We spent that afternoon in our pediatrician's office, where Collin had a full check-up, including chest x-rays to rule out pneumonia. He was cleared, and we were sent home with high hopes that the seizures would continue to be few and far between but with the added awareness that the seizures were most likely not over and would now very probably occur again.
We had no idea, however, how soon they would reoccur. Unfortuntely he's sick again - only a week and a half later - and he had another seizure in the early morning hours today. Kevin and I were both there to reassure him everything would be ok. It was a significantly different one because he stiffened rather than convulsed. His eyes stayed straight, and he seemed to still hear us (although he did not speak or really acknowledge us). It lasted slightly longer, and he came out of it much quicker. But it was no better on the parent psyche. These seizures are tough to watch - no matter how many times you are reassured that they are harmless and the (young) body's natural way of fighting off the illness and its effects.

Owen is ill too. They both have loose stools and achy tummies, but, unfortunately for Collin, illnesses tend affect Collin in a much harsher way. From what we can tell, they have the same bug. But so far, the differences in their body's reactions is astounding. Seizures aside, here's more differences:

Owen's fever hasn't gone over 100.6; we can hardly keep Collin's under 102. Owen's been filling his diaper (and spilling over!!!); Collin has vomitted twice and also has diarhea, but not nearly as much as O (probably because he has it coming out of both ends). Owen spent the day running and climbing around, laughing and playing ~ just extra clingy, and only really upset if I left the room (even for a second). Collin on the other hand, also extra clingy, did not really want to run and play. He wanted to sit, cuddle, and read books all day. He fussed each time I tried to get up from the couch or the chair or wherever he had squatted (he travelled throughout the house today ~ I can only assume he was seeking that perfect place and position where he would feel fantastic! Wishful thinking. I don't think he found it except when he was asleep). And although Collin was more than happy to bestow hugs and kisses on O and although he was content and didn't complain really, he was quick to cry and easily disturbed. He was not tolerant of O-initiated wrestling matches, like he usually is. And he wasn't chasing Owen around corners and squealing with delight when they'd collide.

One difficult part of the day was trying to assist Collin, who, as many know, normally knows exactly what he wants and when he wants it. Today, fever plagued and ill-confused, he had no idea what he wanted half of the day. For example, he'd ask for warm milk. I'd heat it. He'd take one sip and either set it down, ask for it to be warmed more, or ask me to put it in the fridge and "save it" for later. But then seconds "later", he'd want it. I'd warm it, and he'd ask for it warmed again. It was a crazy moment, and I found myself between grumbles of frustration and tears of sadness as I tried to help him feel better and balance the teeter-totter of "please" and "thank you" and recognition of favors vs. bossiness. But he was just as frustrated and just as sad. It was written in his eyes that he wanted the milk to fix his ails, but it just wasn't doing the trick no matter how he tried!!

BUT Collin wasn't sick ALL day. And he wasn't exactly "not himself." He was still the mischievious big brother. At one point, when they must have been feeling momentarily "better," I walked into another room (for a second!) and returned to "catch" Collin standing at the top of the stairs with Owen, passing O items and encouraging him to throw them over the gate and down the stairs!! Collin knows better! But he was smart enough to know that Owen does not! (or at least did not probably until today!) How could I really give Owen a time-out when he was only doing as Collin, the big brother, the role model, the one who Owen adores and believes can do no wrong, suggested?!! But when I caught them, Collin knew he was in the wrong! He dropped what he was holding, gave Owen a quick hug, and ran to his room and shut the door. HA! I reacted appropriately, but it was hard to play it cool and communicate the "wrongfullness" because it was actually soooooo cute! If they'd have broken something, I'd probably be singing a different tune, but it exactly what I'd expect from two brothers, so close in age. Next week, Collin will probably have Owen sliding down the stairs in the sled. (No one better suggest that to Collin!!!) Collin was sitting on his bed reading a book when I entered a moment later. Tricky little fella. Luckily, Mom's onto you!!

So, as you can tell, the boys and I stayed home sick today. Although the boys were definitely not feeling well, it was a good day in many respects. And - even though they are sick and even though it's tough of my business each time I take an unexpected/unplanned day off - I must confess that I LOVE sick days because they give me the opportunity to be home with my boys. They have become my favorite days of the month ~ and I feel so guilty because they can't possibly be the boys' favorite days. But maybe ...... The best is when Collin asks - after he's better - if he can still stay home with Mommy. I WISH!!

Today was different though. I realized that our sick days (until the seizures really do become a thing of the past) will have a different angle from here on out. It's no longer a traditional sick day, where the kids can't go to school because they're sick but they can take medicine and mostly feel better all day so you can practically consider it a "play hookie" day. No. Now it's 24-7 seizure-watch sick day. I can't just rest assured that Collin's fever will go down with the medicine (it didn't last week or yesterday), and I can't rest assured that the medicine will cause them to feel better - or at least somewhat better - so we can "enjoy" our sick day.

Oh well. I still love sick days. Because I love my boys so much.


Fun Times with G&G 1.14.07

The boys spent Sunday afternoon with my Dad and Lani, while Kevin and I joined Zac and Carolyn for a show at the Paramount and some time in the city. It was a fantastic day for everyone (except that as timing would have it, we missed the end of the big game, and the Seahawks bit the dust in the last minutes). BUT the show was very funny and quite enjoyable ~ even though Kevin was very nonplussed that it was a musical ~ and we had a great time hanging out with my brother and sister-in-law.

Above is a picture of the boys hanging out with Grandma while we were out on the town!


Happy Birthday, Owen! 1.17.07

What a day! Turning one meant many new changes for our Little O, including a new teacher, new classroom, new official nap schedule, new milk, new meal settings, etc. Although we've been transitioning him for the past month and he was mostly prepared, today was Owen's first day in Toddler 1, and he was truly tuckered and melting down when I arrived just after 3.

He'd had breakfast and lunch at the table, in a chair, with a plate and fork rather than in a high chair with the tray and his fingers. He'd had cold milk in a sippy cup rather than warmed. (luckily we got rid of bottle a month and a half ago so that wasn't a new change!) He'd been allowed to walk to the toddler sink at any time to wash his own hands (his favorite part of the transition!). He wore shoes all day long and got to go outside for "recess" twice!! (The infant room does not get to experience this adventure!) And he'd had one nap on a mat rather than in a crib -- needless to say he slept only an hour rather than his typical 2 and a half. (On top of all the change, no wonder he was tuckered!!)

The new room will be fantastic for Owen! He gets to do arts and crafts with shaving cream and finger paints and crayons! He gets to play dress up with gloves and hats and shoes and scarfs, read many more books, sing and dance with his friends. He gets to learn about personal space, more about gentle touch, and about asking our friends for things and sharing. We absolutely love his new teacher ~ she was Collin's first teacher, and already she noting their similarities and differences just like I do. It's so amazing to watch them grow!

Owen also had another first today! We went swimming in the local aquatic center with our friend Lisa and her two girls Rikki (3) and Lily (nearly 1) ! At first O's lips turned blue, he sat rimrod straight, and he didn't know what to think. He started to shake, and we thought it was all over. But after Daddy took him back to the showers, warmed him up, and sat on the sidelines for a bit, he was practically diving out of Dad's arms to get back in. And that time he had a blast!! By then Collin was jumping around and daring the depths with each step, and Owen had great fun splashing towards him, bobbing up and down, and body surfing the shallow pool.
We had so much fun that we've planned to go back next Wednesday and the boys will start swim lessons (again and for the first time) in February.

Owen's officially a toddler. Ahhh ... walking, talking/signing, babbling, running, crawling, CLIMBING, going up and down stairs, off the couches, around all corners. I found myself thinking tonight as we sat on the couch with the boys, our hair wet from our evening swim, what a great life we have and what a fabulous spring and summer lay ahead. I can hardly wait!



Happy 1st Birthday (Party), Owen!!! 1.15.07

What a memorable evening we just had!! Owen and several of our wonderful family and friends celebrated Owen's first birthday tonight! The big day is fast approaching(!) (the 17th), and I can hardly believe my baby is a big one-year-old already. What a remarkable first year! In high spirits, we rang in his second year in style:

A balloon forest grew in our playroom and streamers and birthday banners told all it was time to party!
Never party on an empty tummy! Pizza was just the ticket to jump-start the festivities!Collin DJd the night, and Marley drew the crowds to the floors with her dance moves.
Even Taylor was out on the dance floor!Once the party was in full-swing, the gifts begged to be opened!
SEVERAL kids joined in to help our little man! ; )
Rylan was one of many to enjoy the wonder and amazement of helium balloons!
Kicked back in the chair and refueling after their "rides" around the loop (tricycling around the downstairs), Naomi and Brennen wait for the cutting of the cake.
Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Elmo and Zoe adorned the cake, instruments in hand, and we sang Happy Birthday to our little O!
Are you serious?! For me?!Now that's a treat! Yummy!If you're not going to take it away, I think I'll have some more!!
And More!
And More?!
Finger painting!
Somebody loosen my belt!!
As you can see, Owen ended up LOVING the birthday cake. Although he ate much of it with his hands, he also frequently used the Big Bird figure as a "dip stick," dipping it in the frosting and filling, then licking it clean and dipping it again!!

He definitely did not skip bath before bed tonight! And oh, did he crash. Zzzzz ... goodnight all! Thank you so much to those of you who were able to make it! We had so much fun!