Friday, November 20, 2009

Thufferin' Thuccotash

Well, I'd be lying if I said there were no new pictures to post. The truth is, I have some of the day that Dexter wore underwear and I have pictures of the absolute turmoil that was haircutting day for Dexter. But, I'm not going to do that kind of a post right now. Today, Dexter had his 18 months shots (4 months late instead of on his 18 month birthday like his big brother). After that were BOTH of the boys speech appointments/assessments. So, that's what I'm blogging about today.

AJ's Speech Appointment

So, end of May was AJ's last speech appointment. For those who are new to hearing that I took AJ to see a speech and language pathologist a very long time ago, my initial main reasons were:
*a lisp (saying th instead of s)
*skipping consonants, especially for blends
*having to translate him for people who didn't see him often
*some odd anunciation like - rolled=world door=your top=stop and way more.
(I'd better start tagging my entries for topics, as I'd love to be able to reference the last appointments for my own sake)

All along, I've been told that he's still well within normal, but yes, did have a slight lisp 'but the good kind', the other issues were all still developmentally appropriate, and that in all other respects (vocabulary/communication) he's way beyond where he needs to be for his age.

AJ has not to this date received speech therapy. He's merely being assessed periodically to be sure he's progressing and to 'keep his foot in the door' so to speak.

Normally they don't 'work on' lisps at this young age. However, the lady did give me a 'game' I could play with AJ to work on it, as she trusted I would not be badgering him about his lisp.

Well, that following weekend was when Richard was diagnosed. Of course, I've still had the game all along, but it fell by the wayside. However, what has been going on since the last appointment, was AJ's facination with letters/words and the desire to read. Therefore, I have inadvertantly been working on anunciation with him by helping him learn to sound out words.

Also, I made sure to mention to her that in working on reading with AJ, I was quite happy to see that his odd anunciation at times, doesn't seem to hinder his ability to sound out words properly. This is a really good thing.

So... today:
She was absolutely delighted to see how much AJ has progressed. Albeit some of it is that AJ was not as shy this time, so she was able to hear more. He was willing to have a conversation with her, let her look in his mouth, and let her hear certain words she wanted to hear.

I mentioned to her, something that I don't think I've ever mentioned on the blog and that is AJ's constant gagging/choking on things. She mentioned, what she had said last time, that his throat area is 'bulky'. And, she mentioned a possible space in his palate. She kept almost saying a possibility of a 'cleft palate', but seemed to be stopping herself from saying that. I can't tell if it's that she didn't want to scare me or that she couldn't think of another way to explain it. She also mentioned that she heard a bit of nasality at the beginning of her conversation with him.

Anyhow... I'm to take AJ to the doctor to ask for an appointment with the ENT or at BC Children's for AJ. All of AJ's blends were awesome. She said that he was pronouncing R's and L's extremely well, considering his age. She offered the choice of closing AJ's file, but that if anything worsened to just call and he'd be back on the list, or to have one more follow up appointment in 6 months. I went with the follow up for two reasons:
1. It will kick my butt in gear to make sure that I make the appointment with the doctor and the ENT.
2. If Dexter isn't 'in the system yet', at least I'll be able to have him with me for a sneak

Dexter's First Speech Appointment

I'm so glad I asked to get him put on 'the list' and to have her take a listen to him. The first thing she mentioned was his drooling. She said, "Is this normal?" I said, "Well, I like to think that he goes through spells of not drooling, but seriously, yah, he always has a drool spot on his shirt."

She said that could be a sign of some weak muscle tone in his mouth and blah blah, I forget the details.

Also, that he still likes to put things in his mouth. It's not crazy, but it's more often that I would think is normal for this age.

Then of course, the reason I wanted to have him looked at. I was pretty sure that he was going from being 'still within normal' for his vocabulary to 'falling behind', and I was right. He's ehind for his age. I mentioned there being certain words that he will link together or say like, "Hi Daddy, Hi Mommy, Bye Daddy, Hi Gannie (for Grannie)" but that for the most part, he really just uses sounds.
Almost all words fall under these categories:
ba and sometimes pa
could be ball
could be up
could be help
could be back
could be paul
could be cat
could be cow
could be come
could be kim
could be go
could be gram

He will attempt to copy things that I say, but usually they barely resemble the word.

Yet, orders come out almost clearly
stay (more like day)

She gave me lots of tips.
Like when he's trying to ask for something and I'm clarifying...
Instead of me saying,
"Do you want me to get you a cracker?"
I should instead focus on keeping it very simple to help model some basics like,
"Want cracker? Want cracker?"

Which is just like 'toddlerease' from Happiest Toddler on the Block with which I am very familiar, so I think I can do it.

She also wants me to make him a sound scrapbook. Instead of a letter per page with things that start with that letter. I would instead fill a page with items that start with the same sound.

Also, make a appointment for him at the doctor to mention the drooling thing and to check his throat too.

Ahhhhhh. Felt good. I mean, it's never nice to know that something's 'wrong', but at the same time it's so relieving to hear someone validate your concerns and to maybe know that there's a reason behind the issues.

So, Dexter has a referral now and we just wait 4 months or so for him to make his way through the wait list to get his first proper true assessement and such to find out if there's a speech delay or muscle issues or what.

***I can't stress how important it is to get things checked out if you have any concerns. Sometimes there are wait lists and if there is something seriously wrong, you get help sooner rather than later!
People thought I was weird taking AJ in to get looked at originally. Especially since he had such a huge vocabulary for his age and used sentences and such. But if I can prevent him from having a lisp when he's 12 years old by having him looked at and monitored now, I'm going to do it!

The boys were both very well behaved for the appointment that was about 1.25 hours. On top of having already been at the Health Unit for 30 minutes because Dexter had his shots.

Dexter' s Shots

What can I say? He was a trooper. He screamed his head off. But that lollipop that I gave him kept him really happy. By the time we were in the speech appointments, he had long since forgotten about the shots. Nice.

It was really just a wonderful morning. I'm going to make the doctor's appointments for when Richard is back home so he can come too. Dexter's a bit of a pill in a doctor's office and extra hands are nice.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Can't Figure Out Why I'm Out of Foil

So, I just can't figure out why I haven't any aluminium foil left.

Decided to finally finish what I started with AJ a while ago. Helmets for 'soldiers' and 'fighters' and 'space guys'. It was his idea to make the backwards ones with the hole for his eyes.

If you do not already own an aquadoodle for your kids, it is a must have. We couldn't find one of the pens for it, so I hauled out the paint brushes and water.

Voila! Happy children.

AJ has been asking me over and over to bring the scooter back in the house. So I had Unlce Paul bring it in. Here's Dexy taking off.

Another masterpiece by Master Alton C.

If you'd like a good laugh, and you are not the 'faint of heart', please visit this site (there is some profanity) to see what this illustration reminded me of....

AJ's Phrase of Day

What he said, "This is making me have a pleasant motion."
What he meant, "This is making me have an unpleasant emotion."

He's was 'angry' at his hot cocoa this morning. 'Anger' in the movie "Enchanted", is defined as 'an unpleasant emotion'.

Took me a minute to clue into what he was talking about.

Some Pics From Last Week

Here's the football I forgot to post before.

This is the puck I forgot to post before.

This is Dexter. See how much he likes the new paintings?

Here are Dexter and Rya in my room while I'm folding laundry. They're pretending my dresser is some sort of water cooler and they're making pouring noises as the imaginary water is flowing into their cups and jugs.

Dexter's Growing Up:

So, normally, in any store, I've learned that Dexter must be in a stroller because he 'darts'. He just takes off, and surely does not stop when I ask him to, nor does he return to me, when asked.

He has learned to start going crazy in the stroller doing the ever so popular 'stiff as a board' move or the 'alligator spinning and breaking it's own arm' move to show me his dislike.

We went into a hobby store today too look around and I decided to allow Dexter the freedom of 'staying close to mommy' while not in the confines of a stroller. He did it! He stayed close, and when he started to wander, and I quietly asked him to stop, he actually did.

Don't even get me started on how excited the boys were in the hobby store. Dexter was going crazy for the big trucks and AJ was going buggy-eyed over all the wooden Thomas accessories like bridges and trains that he doesn't have. It was a really fun time. They were both VERY well behaved. Nice. And it was close to lunch time too.

To Train or Not to Train
So, with AJ, we did 'early start potty training' which I would describe more as 'parent training'. There's no forcing your kid on the potty or pressure involved, it's just making the potty an every day part of life from a very young age (9 months) and taking your baby to the potty at key times when you know they'll pee.

One of our first days of pottytime with AJ at 9 months was amazing with 8 pees on the potty! It was so fun. AJ loved it. We'd read stories. I couldn't understand why some people found it so surprising that he would stay on the potty for the full 5 or so minutes or until he peed. I just read him potty stories or sang songs. It was great.

It made for full days in underwear, and 'potty trained' for AJ by 19/20 months. 19 months (Thanksgiving) was when he learned to 'make himself pee' on command so to speak.

However, all that was fine and dandy, but he still wears pull ups for bed now, at age 3.5 . He has about 5 -7 dry nights a week. I know there's nothing wrong with that. But I wonder, had I been able to be more consistent (ie. no daycare days) or had I just 'waited', he probably would have 'done it all... nights and days' all at once.

So then.....

When Dexter was 9 months. My plan was not to do it the same as AJ, but I did really like the idea of making the potty a positive thing and an every day part of life. So, at the very least, I wanted to start doing 'potty time' with Dexter at the 'for sure' times, like right after afternoon nap, and right before bath.

The first time I put Dexter on the potty, he leapt right off. I soon understood why so many people were so amazed that AJ would just sit there patiently on the potty.

But... no big deal. Diapers are way easier than potty training and WAY less effort on my part, so I wasn't too upset. lol.

But Dexter just loves to be like his brother. He loves to stand at the potty, sit on the potty, and he loves to sit on the little potty, but only with clothes and a diaper on. I noticed a couple months ago, that often when he'd stand at the potty, he'd actually pee. I could feel the diaper get warm. Also, when he sits on the potty, he pushes and 'toots'.

So, a few times in the last week or two, I've tried to convince him to let me take off his diaper and he can 'pretend' to be like AJ.

But he won't stay at the potty.

At my mom's on the weekend. When his diaper was off, he peed at the potty. I say 'at' because some went in and some went on the floor and all over the potty.

At home, he wanted to try more. He even came running to me to ask to go pee in the potty right after we had already tried. But I just missed it. He had just gone in his diaper.

So, what do you think? Should I jump on this opportunity and see where it takes us?
Should I, instead, just let him lead, offering every so often that he try it without pants?

Advice? Two bits?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Richard, My Daddy, My Mommy, My Cheeky Monkey, and My Potty Boy

Firstly, My Richard

Once, again, as I just blabber on and on. If you ever just want to skip all my crap and just want to know exactly how Richard is doing, just check out Richard's Blog. He has been great at keeping up since he has all that spare time without me and the boys to look after!

My mom, very graciously accepted (as I actually asked this time, instead of waiting for an offer) to take the boys overnight so Richard and I could umm, err, visit with each other and talk.

She picked up the boys around 4:30pm or so, I had to mail off a letter, return some videos, and head off to see Richard. I felt like I spent the whole day packing.

Richard has pretty much summed up our visit. There was lots of time to talk and I was totally wired from coffee and a late diet pepsi. It was so great to see him. He seriously looked about 10 years younger. He looked good. And all this hair! But it was just now all starting to fall out. He asked me to bring his razor and shaving cream, and for some reason I got all confused and brought his electric razor and shaving cream. We had a good laugh about that!

We just hung out and talked. And, ummm, cuddled. I thought the room had two queen beds, but alas, no. I was mistaken. It was two singles. It was horrible sleep. But I can't complain. I got to see Richard.

Breakfast was awesome. I don't what he's whining about! lol.

We started to hang out at the hospital for a bit, but when we realized he'd be there for a VERY long day and probably sleeping for most of it, (not to mention, I just wasn't feeling motivated to do my school work), we thought that I may as well go make the most of my day without the boys.

I left him. I was a little emotional all day after that.

It was such a nice visit. It was nice to meet the people he's been telling me about and who have been keeping up his spirits while he's been away from home. I'm so glad he's staying at the lodge. There's so much socializing available when you want it/need it.

As I said, Richard looked great. He was feeling pretty good, considering, but when I talked to him last, his bum was starting to bother him a bit more.

My Daddy

After leaving Richard, I went to Lougheed Mall to buy the boys' argyle Christmas vests and socks for their Santa pictures this weekend. I knew they were finally on sale. Of course, now that they were, they didn't have Dexter's size in the green vests I wanted.

So, I had to go traditional, and get the red. Boo hoo me.

Then, I met my dad down the road at Joey Tomato's for a late lunch, his treat (thanks Daddy!). We visited for a couple hours. Some good chatting.

After a couple hours, I headed on my way to Abbotsford to get to Costco without the boys so I could pick up our big bag of baby carrots and Dexter's 'S' gift, if you know what I mean.

My Mommy

I got to my Mom and Ken's around 5:15pm. Had some dinner, put Dexter to sleep there, AJ got to stay up WAY late while I visited with Mom and Ken. Big thanks to Kim and Paul who let AJ hang out with them and their friends that night.

BIG THANKS to Mom and Ken for taking the boys, having me for dinner, and all that jazz.

I left around 11:00pm. YIKES. Mom had fed me two of her delicious mochas. I definitely made it home safely, but at a horrible expense. Had a horrible sleep. It did not help that Dexter and AJ also had horrible sleeps. I didn't get to sleep until 4am. AJ didn't get solidly asleep until 3:30am. However, AJ slept in surprisingly until 9:30am or 10am. I had to wake up with Dex at 6:20am. But Dexter was VERY nice and let me lay lazily in bed as he played in his room, crawled all over me, rested on me, and cuddled with me. I'm a lucky girl. I was bagged.

My Cheeky Monkey

I had to pick up some groceries today (just some basics like milk). This meant I had to take the boys to the grocery store which I don't enjoy. Props to all single moms, especially those with more than one child, and especially those with two boys or spunky kids who have no choice but to take their kids with them to the grocery store.

Seeing as we had a late start to our day, we left the house at 11am which I would normally never dream of doing (too close to lunch and naptime). Dexter held it together, and AJ, my cheeky monkey was a dream. He was helpful, obedient, sweet, funny, and a chatterbox. He was just great and made what I feared would be a horrible morning, quite wonderful.

I even allowed him a no nap day, but under the compromise that he would have 'quiet room time', but I let him play downstairs instead. In other words, "it's mommy's time right now". I needed to wash some dishes and update the blog.

Dexter is now awake, but he won't let me get him out of bed yet.

Oh yes, and I wanted to mention that AJ had a playdate with a friend from preschool on Friday at our house. I already know the boy's mom through another friend. The boys played wonderfully together. I hoping this will help stop AJ from following Jack around everywhere at preschool, allowing Jack and AJ to make new friends.

My Potty Boy

You heard right. Dexter peed on the potty! I have a big story to go along with this, along with asking all of your advice too. But right now, I need to post what I have so far and hopefully go get Dexter out of bed if he'll let me. Geesh!

He's been peeing and pooping on the potty for a while, but all with clothes and diapers on. This was his first real pee that was in and around the potty while naked.

YAY Dexter!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Monster T-Shirt

Okay, so this post has nothing to do with how much I love Richard. Nor does it have anything to do with how much I love AJ and Dexter.

But it does attest to my love of clothes for the boys.

There are these "Monster T-Shirts" on Etsy that I've just been in love with the past year or so. I finally got off my butt and made them. Consider these to be crazy prototypes. As I'm not a love of sewing and I had to work out the kinks. But I will let the boys wear them out of the house.

Here's what I was attempting (in my non-seamstress way) to replicate:

Here's what I made for the boys today:

Monday, November 09, 2009

We Got to See Daddy!

Awwwww. Seriously? This is so cute. A few days ago, AJ asked me how to draw a t-shirt. On Friday, he drew this. He said, "Mom, you have to come here right now. You have to come and see what I made." That character looks like he's made for tv.

My mom, Kim, and Paul came on Saturday, as I think I already mentioned. While I was out picking up Richard some pretzels at Zellers, I saw the Smartfood popcorn for a pretty great price. I love the stuff, so I picked it up.

The next morning, Sunday morning, AJ spots the bag on the counter while I was on the phone. He asked for some. I said sure. He pulled it off the counter to take some. I say, "Hey, just take a handful."

Next thing I know....
I get off the phone, a mere two minutes later, and I see this! They've turned on a movie, and they're snuggled up chopping down on popcorn.

Then is was Sunday!!!! Time to see Daddy! And Grand-Dan!!!! (I, of course, forgot my camera)

Spent the morning packing up all I would need for the day, plus all the stuff on Richard's list of stuff he wanted me to bring to him. After lunch, the boys and I headed out (during nap) to pick up Richard.

After a couple stops, we headed to my dad's. Thanks again Dad for letting us 'use' your place to have Richard get to visit with the boys. And of course, we all got to visit Grand-Dan too. Richard can't really hang out in public places due to his lack of an immune system, and it was too yucky out to hang out outdoors, which he shouldn't really be doing either.

The boys played. Dexter screamed about not getting to play with the keyboard and mouse. The boys ate dinner. Then we all enjoyed some Chinese Food. Yum! Thanks again, Dad!

It was so nice to Richard. It was especially nice to see him with the boys. And especially nice to see him with eyebrows.

Oh snap! Did I just say that?

Oh, he was so handsome. I mean, he's been handsome the whole time, but man oh man, you throw some eyebrows on this guy and suddenly he looks like his "Richard". You know what I mean?

Prrrrrrrrr. Oh yeah!

We headed back in the car at about 7/7:30. We dropped Richard back off at the Cancer Lodge, and after some BIG hugs and kisses, I headed home with the boys.

Shockingly, AJ didn't fall asleep until 5 minutes before we got home.

Once again, to get the totally up to date scoop on Richard's progress aside from "he's so handsome", please go to Richard's blog.

All About AJ

Favourite movies right now are "Enchanted" and the old "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".
Not much to update in the reading department. He's still a whiz at sounding out words. He's really liking that he can read some books all by himself. He's taking more guesses at words that he doesn't know to see if they make sense in the sentence. He knows about 40 sight words now, I would guess. It's not something we get to 'work on' a lot, but we do read lots of stories, so I guess that keeps things fresh in his mind.

He will not go up into his loft bed without bringing a book or two now. It's really nice to just watch him up there with his LED light, reading. Or pretending too, depending on the book. Or, just flipping through the pictures. A couple times, he's climbed all the way out of bed and down the hall to see me to say, "What does this word say, Mom?" That's funny. But I hope it doesn't become a habit.

AJ has been filled with some cute statements lately....

1. While AJ was watching a Baby Einstein dvd with Dexy, and a picture of a truck with the word 'truck' was shown, he said,
"Where's the 'c-h' ?"
I said, "There isn't a 'c-h', it's a 't' t-ruck."
He says, "You know, like chruck, Mommy. It's 'ch'ruck. Where's the 'c-h'?"

2. While waiting for Richard to get out of the Cancer Lodge and into the car, AJ was talking about the hospital. I can't totally remember what he talking about. I think he was asking when daddy is going to the hospital again. Anyhow, that part doesn't matter. It's how the pronunciation went...
AJ - "When is Daddy going to the hostable?"
Me - "hos-pi-tal" - "When is Daddy going to the hos-pi-tal."
AJ - "Yes. When is Daddy going to the hostable?"
Me - "It's hos-pi-tal."
AJ - "Okay. When is Daddy going to the hos-tab-le?"
Me - "Hos---- pi-----tal"
AJ - "When is Daddy going there?"
Me - (our conversation continues with an explanation of Daddy going everyday to the hospital but not staying there like before)

3. AJ for many months now, has had quite a geneaology (sp?) facination). He is always wanting to clarify his knowledge on who my mom is, who here mom is, who Richard's mom is, who her mom is, and what about her mom's mom, and on and on and on. Actually, it's quite amazing how much he knows. He knows that my mom is my mom, Kim's mom, and Paul's mom, but he knows that my dad is Grand-Dan and that Kim and Paul's dad is Papa. He knows that my mom's mom was 'Gigi', and that Daddy's mom is Grannie. And his knowledge about our family tree doesn't stop there. But here's what was neat. He had a bit of an epiphany about the whole thing while in the car with Richard and I. He said,
"Grams are also people's moms. Like, your mom, Mommy, is MY Gram. And Daddy's mom, is MY Grannie. So Grams are moms. Whose Gram are you, Mommy?"
Then I had to explain that I wouldn't be a Gram until he and Dexter had kids.
To which Richard of course, said, "But not together."
Oh man... Richard.

4. When AJ went and got something for me. I can't remember what it was, he returned with it, and I said, "You rock." And he said, "No, I roll."

5. A few days ago, while making Dexter's bed when AJ was in the room, I said to him, "So, how are you doing today?" He said, "Well, I got a cold. So.... not so great."

All About Dexter

1. Dexter was having a few night wakings last week. It could be Richard being gone. It could be two year molars coming in. It could be a growth spurt. But I think it was because he's working on a 'milestone' which I know can cause nightwakings. He had about a week there of waking and crying. Not going right back to sleep like usual. And lo and behold, this week, he's finally trying to copy more words, and more words are starting to sound like what they should. Yesterday he said, "Here you go." And it was almost as clear as day. He's full of sentences now. He even came up to me to whisper a whole rambling of something to me. But darned if I could figure out what he was saying.

2. Full of hugs and kisses. Kisses on my face, my arm, my head, my leg, anything. So sweet.

3. Some hitting too. At least he gives lots of hugging and looks sorry afterwards.

4. Not so much eating right now. Very light eating. Hope he goes back to his old eating habits soon. I try not to let the no-eating not bother me, but it's hard.

5. Otherwise, he's just a happy happy guy all day with smatterings of screaming and temper tantrums.

AJ and Dexter

1. They are loving to play Rescue Heroes and Fisher Price Little People together. Everytime I think that it's time to sell the Fisher Price Little People stuff, someone gets interested in it again. Geesh!

2. Today the health unit called to book AJ's next speech appointment to see how he's doing with his annunciation. Just so happens the lady can fit us in on the 20th. Just so happens that I'm already going to the health unit that day for Dexter's shots! Perfection! And, I asked if I can fit in Dexter into the speech appointment too, just to be sure that everything's okay. I know I probably over worry because he doesn't talk as much as AJ did at this point, but better safe than sorry. Those waiting lists for help are HUGE. As the speech and language pathologist said, agreeing with me.... better to get him the referral now, like I did with AJ because if he doesn't need the help later... great... but if he does, he's already in the system and on the wait list! AJ loves the visits. All he does is play with toys and the lady listens to him talk to me and then asks him a few questions.

A Day in a Life
(one of my favourite songs, btw)

Today was a special Monday because Jack and Rya were over.

Once again (and mostly for the sake of Daddy who thinks about the boys and what they're up to all day, or Grannie who's far away), here's a typical day with 'the kids'...

AJ and Jack look like they're having an interesting discussion over a book. Perhaps it's a bookclub meeting? I think Rya is saying, "Dexter. Where are your pants?"

Here Dexter is saying, "This is no different than you wearing that skirt, so give me a break!"

More intense book talk ensues.

This is what I was doing at that time in the morning, as I do most mornings once the kids have settled into some activity. Sipping my coffee (from home) whilst watching "Say Yes to the Dress" or any other TLC program before I shut off the tv. I like to allow myself one show in the morning, or at least most of one show. Mmmmmm.

Now, today was AJ's gymnastics day. I gave Jack the option of going with Auntie Jen to watch Makenna and AJ's gymnastics class or to stay with me and the babies. He chose to stay with me and the babies.

After I watch my TLC show and before I go wash dishes or vacuum the living room or kitchen, I usually collect the babies for some music and instrument time. Something special for them while the boys are at preschool. This is usually when they get their big horsey rides too. But, I had already given the horsey rides before AJ was picked up for gymnastics (and poor Jack and AJ were a little saddened to hear my rule that the big kids aren't allowed to jump on my back like the babies), and the babies were having quite a great time together. Why interrupt!?

So, I did my usual, and turned off the tv, and turned on the xbox to play some CDs.

Now, may I interject? We don't have a DVD player. We have an Xbox. We don't use a CD player. We use our Xbox. AJ is very capable of using the Xbox controller to play movies. He's a real 'background noise' kind of person like me. However, I like to play music. He likes to play movies. Whenever I go to turn on the music, no matter where he is in the house, probably if he was even outside, he can hear the click of the Xbox screens. And he'll come running from wherever it is he's playing to say, "Nooooo! I want to turn on a movie!" And he'll put on a movie and take off. I'm not saying that he never sits to watch a movie. He does. But in the mornings, it's just the noise I think. So, I need to be sneaky. I need to turn the volume all the way down.

Which is what I did at this point in the morning. I snuck in a Fisher Price Barn Yard Songs CD, and AJ was none-the-wiser. Phew.

Now, when the music is on, this is what is on the tv screen...
So the babies still get lured into thinking it's a tv program. And they all toddled in....

Dexter was 'fixing' his water with a drill.

Emerson was talking on the phone, while driving a train, and following Toboo (one of our cats) around saying, "Come on! Come on! Come on, cat!" while she tried to get him to follow her.

Rya is in deep thought while she ponders the next shape to sort.

Jaxon stopped playing with the fire truck to pose for this picture. Man, I wish AJ would pose for me. In fact, I wish both of my boys would pose without squinting their eyes, which I think I inadvertently taught them.

I checked my email and then headed to the kitchen to wash some dishes.
I thought that Jack would be loving AJ being gone so he could play with all the Rescue Heroes alone! Or, I offered to set up the train track, but he said he just wanted to talk to me.

So here he is. He started at the table, eating his morning snack and talking to me while I washed dishes. Then he moved to the fridge where he played and played and played with the fridge farm and the Fridge Phonics, asking me about letter sounds.
We had deep conversation such as....

J - "You have a key for your door, right?"
Me - "My front door?"
J - "Yes."
Me - "Yes I do. To lock it so that people can't just come in."


while holding a "J" from the fridge phonics...
J - "Is this the J for AJ's name or for my name?"
Me - "You have the same J for your names. But it's more your J because your name starts with a J."

or - when we moved into my room so I could sort some laundry...

J - "Do you have a basement?"
Me - "Yes, that's where the playroom is."
J - "But where's your basement?"
Me - "The playroom is in the basement."
J - "But where is your basement?"
Me - "The basement is the whole space downstairs. There are a whole bunch of rooms in the basement. There's the laundry room, the bathroom, the playroom, the sewing area, the door to the garage, and the computer room."
J - "Huh? Where is the computer room?"
Me -(I explain)
J - "My Grandpa's basement is a workshop."
Me - "Wow. The whole basement is a workshop? There are no other rooms?"
J - "Nope."
Me - "Whoa. Cool."

More playing....

At this point, Dexter is ticked off. He actually climbed up in bed to grab dino, laid his head down, and then changed his mind, crying to come back out of his room.

While Dexter cried on the couch, Jack helped the rest of the babies with the piggy bank toy.

AJ and Makenna returned shortly after this. Everyone played down in the playroom for a while. Jen had brought me a coffee, naughty girl (thanks!). We chit chatted. Then Jen took her three home while I got lunch ready for the other four.

As usual, we had movie-picnic-lunch. I let AJ and Jack sit at stools in the living room while the babies are in highchairs and we watch a movie. Today it was "Enchanted". If you've never seen it, you should.

A little bit more playtime while I turned some more music on.

Then naptime for Jack (who wanted to stay up late with his dad tonight), Rya, and Dexter. AJ and I hung out, and I ate my lunch (while AJ and I finished watching Enchanted).

After nap, is snack time, then more play, more music, and MORE dancing!!! YAY! Well, the babies and I danced. AJ and Jack went downstairs to play more.

When Auntie Erica arrived, she stayed for a little visit. Nice. Thanks!

This is one of the reasons that Dexter must sit in a high chair to eat a piece of Hallowe'en chocolate.

A Kit Kat. Should be easy, right? It was just one stick. Should be pretty tidy, right? I don't get it. This is only his face. You should've seen his hands.

When I was letting them each have a stick of Kit Kat after dinner, AJ said, "Dexter wants to eat his in the living room with me."
I said, "Yaaah, no."

Friday, November 06, 2009

Dexter's Balls

Got your attention with that one, didn't I?

Well, I finished Dexter's walls. Here are the two next steps:

After blocking out the shapes, as per my last post, I then started to do the first couple coats of colour and the balls began to take shape.

Soccer ball and hockey puck.

Basketball and football.


Turn your head 90 degrees counter clockwise and you'll see the start of the tennis ball and golf ball.

Now, the next step involved the details (and later some shading to the best of my non-artist abilities) that made the balls look more obvious.

This was my first attempt at the golf ball. This was before I had actually gone on the internet to look at some images of golf balls to assist me. I thought I could just put a bunch of circles on there. What was I thinking?

At this point, my sister saw and agreed that this must be redone. She also informed me that I was missing a volleyball in all of my images. I may feel the need to still do a volleyball.

And then, I redid the golf ball.

The golf ball... she's not bad, eh? It's like a quote from one of my favourite movies of all time... "Clueless" when Cher, reassuring her friend of another girl's not-so-great-looks, says, "She's like a full on Monet.... From far away it looks good, see? But up close, it's a big ol' mess."

That's my golf ball. I venture to say it looks almost real in this pic. I was really quite proud. But if you were to walk up close, you'd be thinking, "What the @#$%## is that?'

There's some highlighting on the tennis ball, but I'm thinking it's not really showing up in the photo.

The soccer ball. Again, some attempts at some highlighting. S'alright.

The basketball, and only a portion of the finished football. And it's too bad because the shading on the football was one of my faves.

The baseball.

So, it's out with the babyish room for Dexter and in with the 'boyish room'. This won't need to be repainted until Dexter says, "Mommy, I want to have _____ on my walls now".

Tuesday -

You know the routine. I have Erica's kids on Tuesdays.
I guess I didn't take any pics of AJ and Jack that day, but here's a funny snipit of convo from AJ and Jack that day.

Now, I need to give you the background information. Whilst at the dollar store the day before, I picked up AJ and Dexter these little helicopters whose propellery things spin when you ride the copter along a surface, and a guitar each. AJ and Dex had a ball with these toys. I had warned AJ to remember that these are dollar store toys and they break really easily and to not be upset if they don't even last until the end of the day.

Dexter broke one of the guitars in about an hour. He went a little 'metal' on it if you know what I mean.

So, the next day, when Jack arrived and AJ was eager to show his pal his new toys, he said, "But Jack.... these are dollar store toys and they will probably break soon. So don't be sad."

Oh they had so much fun with those helicopters.

And then...

So funny.

Jack comes to me, looking a little worried, and he's holding one of my brother's old toys which is a "Venom" (the bad Spiderman) motorcycle, and the windshield is broken. He's holding the bike in one hand and the windshield in the other. He brings them to me and says, "Ummmm, Auntie Sonja. Is this a dollar store toy?"


I said, "No, but don't you worry about that. It was old. Really old. That was just an accident."

Here are a few pics of later that evening when the boys were 'riding' their hockey sticks and yelling, "Yee haw" down the hall.

I'm always amazed at how shiny my floors look in pictures. You'd think I was scrubbing them down every day or something. I'm not. Believe me, I'm not.

AJ reaching to turn on the bathroom light that he still cannot reach.

This next pic... I had asked AJ to grab me something from the diaper bag. I meant the little camo one that I take out daily when I'm with the boys on outings. But he heaved on the 'daycare or overnight' diaper bag which probably weighs more than he does!


This was my work day. I had a great day, as usual. Working one day a week will do that to you. :)

Kim had watched the kids all day after staying over the night before. She's so nice, she even stays for bath time to help out. Thanks Kim!!!!

This was the result of AJ calling me over to see the 'castle' he made. Those are my pink polka-dot boots, by the way, not his.


Erica had my boys today. I headed in to work in the morning to finish making my Science test for my microscope unit. In the afternoon, I went grocery shopping, kidless, which, in my opinion, is the only way to grocery shop.

Not much to say except that the boys and I played hard this night. There was some major wrestling going on (Gotta make up for Richard being away right now).


I went out to hit some sales to pick up a couple Christmas gifts, and once we were home, we were real homebodies the rest of the day. I was determined to finish the painting of the balls.

That night, I had somewhat of a " girls' night in ". I was talking that evening to my job-share partner, Andrea, who only lives a couple blocks away. We were talking about the painting of Dexter's room, I had mentioned she could pop by anytime to see (as she's thinking it might be fun to paint some polka-dots on her daughters' walls), and our conversation (which was now nearing an hour long) turned into Andrea heading over to my place at around 10:30pm.

At about 12:45am, Andrea and I finally finished our girls' night in, and she headed home. It was like I had just come home from a party! How exciting!

Saturday - Today

Mom, Kim, and Paul came over today. Just for a nice hang out. Well, of course, my mom washed down my counters while she was here too. Thanks mom!

The boys got some major playtime in with everyone.

After naps, Kim and Paul watched the boys while my mom and I headed to Costco to pick up some jeans for Richard and then to pick him up some pretzels. Thanks Kin and Paul!

Another thank you to my dad who 'braved' a Christmas-present-purchasing errand to Canadian Tire for me today to pick up the toys that shockingly weren't in stock at my local Canadian Tire the first day of the sale! Thanks Grand-Dan!

Sunday - Tomorrow

The plan tomorrow is to have the boys and I visit with Richard at my dad's house. I'll let the boys have their nap in the car, we'll pick up Richard from the Cancer Lodge, head to my dad's, visit, order in some dinner, and then I'll drop Richard back off at the Cancer Lodge as the boys fall asleep for bedtime in the car. I'll transfer them to bed once I get home, and all should be good. We can't wait to see Daddy!


Well, there's no sense in telling you about how Richard's doing because he's been writing all the details every day in his blog .

But I will you tell you this. I miss him. The boys miss him too. But, it's all good. Richard is hopefully going to benefit from being away from any illnesses we may be bringing into the house. I talk to Richard anywhere from twice to five times a day depending. Today we talked a few times to set up our plans for tomorrow and so he could give me his 'list' of things he wanted me to bring with me tomorrow.

He's sounding pretty good. The hemmorhoids are only just beginning. I so hope that they aren't as bad as last time. That was just horrible. He was in so much pain and so uncomfortable. Poor guy.

I'll give him lots of hugs and kisses tomorrow.

I had stuff to write about the boys today, but it's 11pm and I'm getting tired. So, I'll stop here, and hopefully update again tomorrow, maybe with pics of Richard and the boys if I remember to bring the camera.