Monday, January 28, 2008

My Sweet Boy

I realize that when I'm usually talking about Steven to others, it's about how much energy he has or how he's a "hand-full." I usually mean it in a good natured way-- hopefully that comes across-- although, it might sometimes be because I feel a little overwhelmed. For some reason, I don't usually tell people the stories that reveal how sweet he can be. I am a blessed, blessed mom! Here's one I couldn't keep to myself:

Last week, all three of us got a virus. It was just a 24 hour headache and sore throat for me, but a little more persistent with the guys. We think Steven had it first, Charlton got it from him, and then I got it from C. Anyway, by Saturday night I was feeling pretty good. Steven was also feeling fine and was finally wanting to eat, so we gave him some cheese with his dinner. Bad decision! He woke up at 1 am Sunday morning and had vomited in his crib. I rushed in because I could tell his cry wasn't normal and then asked for Charlton to come help. After we had cleaned up and changed Steven and his sheets, we started to put him back to bed. He reached out to get another hug from us and then did the baby sign for "Thank You" before peacefully going back to sleep. I almost cried-- what a sweet, sweet boy I have!
Steven and I are back to 100% today and spent most of the morning outside playing in the backyard and going for a wagon ride around the neighborhood. We avoided other kids just to be safe, but now I feel pretty confident that he is back to his normal energetic, sweet self!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Celebrity Look-A-Like

Apparently Steven has discovered the 1990s (Aunt Jenn, are you responsible for this?):

The resemblance is startling. If Marky Mark had a milk mustache in that picture, you might not be able to tell the two of them apart.
Looking on the bright side, I'm glad that Steven is getting his "lame" phase over with early. At this rate, he should be moving into his more serious "Italian Job"/"Shooter" acting phase by the time he hits 3.
(Commentary provided by Charlton)

Going Green

I would like to start by expressing that we do care about our environment...but that's not the kind of "green" this post is about. Also, these pics are random ones I have from doing stuff around the house over the last month. Ones where Steven's eating would be more appropriate but oh well.

I've mentioned that Steven is a little picky; although, if I'm honest he is actually a pretty good eater-- he's probably picky like most kids. I've started to accept the fact that toddlers just don't eat like adults do. One meal or entire day, he'll eat like crazy and then the next I can hardly get him to eat anything. He has never met a fruit he didn't like and he could probably live on that and dairy alone if we let him. He does pretty well with his whole grains, but vegetables are not high on his "like list." He likes peas, carrots, and corn (I know that corn is not a veggie but I cut him some slack) but that's pretty much it.

So, in an effort to get him the nutrients he needs and to teach him to eat his veggies, I am launching "Operation Eat Your Veggies" or as Charlton calls it "Operation Trojan Horse." Aunt Jenn gave me a cookbook for Christmas called Deceptively Delicious. It's basic idea is to puree the nutritious food that your child won't eat and hide them into yummy things they love. While you are tricking your kids into eating well, you also introduce the different disliked fruits or veggies (in our case) at lunch and dinner so that eventually they learn to eat the real thing. Steven would be missing out on so many nutrients if I waited for that day to come. So, in the mean time I'm being far I've made Applesauce muffins (with Squash puree) and Banana bread (with Cauliflower puree), and Blueberry Oatmeal bars (with spinach puree). Steven let out a "hmmmm" when he tasted each one and that gave me so much satisfaction. Charlton and I have been eating them as well, and my mom couldn't believe there was spinach in the oatmeal bars when she had one today. Now, I have to be honest that Steven is very out-of-sorts this week so he's not eating a lot of it. But, that makes feel even better that every bite he's getting is at least valuable to him in a nutritional sense. I've never been a health nut but when he realized at 11 months that he could refuse food that he didn't want to eat, I've been on a quest to teach him to eat right and well with every bite or at least most. That was Stage we've moved on to Stage 2. Sometimes Steven will refuse whatever we put on his tray but if I purposefully eat whatever I want him to eat in front of him--that's how I got him to taste the three above breads-- he always wants it. That is really aggravating so I'm using it to my advantage now. This has also made Charlton and I more careful about what we eat because Steven usually wants it too. See, everyone wins when I'm being deceptive!

As you can imagine, I've been doing a lot of cooking lately. =) Steven has been busy as well. He's added "hi," "good-bye," and "no" to his vocabulary since the last post. He is doing the baby signs for "hot" and hungry" now too, and he's is getting pretty good with his spoon and fork. He's so grown-up now! My mom came and stayed with him today so I could go run some errands alone- so nice! They mostly consisted of going to the DPS to re-take my eye test for a new license-- they make you after Lasik to remove the restriction on your licence. It wasn't too bad (about 1 1/2 hours) but I really didn't mind too much since it's slowly sinking in that I don't have to wear glasses anymore.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Braving the Cold at 16 Months

It's been colder here this week (in the 40's), so we haven't been outside much except to get in the car. Yesterday, Steven and I braved the elements (at this point our Northern friends are laughing) to walk over to get the mail. I bundled him up and put him in the wagon, and he absolutely refused to wear his gloves. He's looks really cute in his camo coat that Mammaw bought him though.

Steven turned 16 months two days before my Lasik surgery and I didn't have a chance to update everyone on the new things he's been doing. Like I said in the 15 mo. post, we have been really focusing on developing Steven's language skills-- we're not worried just anxious to communicate. While we've been repeating words we think he might be interested in, we have also doubled our baby signing efforts, and boy, has it paid off! He now signs more, please, thank you, milk, shoes, socks, music, hot, candle (he sniffs when he sees one so that we'll pick him up to smell or look at it). He also can point to his (and our) belly button, nose, mouth, and head when we ask him where they are. He knows what a duck is and was very clearly "quacking" all this morning. He has only officially added "up" to his vocabulary, but understands just about anything we say. For example...Can you bring Daddy his Bible? (he runs to C's study and brings back his Bible), Let's brush your teeth (runs to the bathroom door), Do you need a snack? (he runs to the kitchen and goes to "his" cabinet where they are stored).
He runs just about everywhere these days and still loves to dance. In fact, we listen to music a lot during the day and when music isn't actually playing, we sing through a lot of his activities-- especially mealtime because it keeps things fun and light so that neither one of us gets frustrated when he's picky. He also loves to be outside and around other children. He has suddenly become very aware of babies in the last month and has to "love on them" whenever they are at his level. Poor Meadow has already endured many kisses from Steven, and while his motives are very sweet, I doubt that she feels anything but fear in her little heart when she sees his huge (to her) head bow under her carrier hood to lean in for a big one. Steven has gotten very good at kisses and Charlton and I ask him for one all the time. He actually puckers and delivers one now instead of just leaning in. I can't get enough of them.

In unexciting, non-Steven eyes are continuing to heal well. Today marks two weeks since my surgery and almost all of the blurriness is gone. I forget that I had it because I feel and am seeing normally. Although, I forget that I don't wear glasses anymore, and yesterday I reached up to take them off when I brushed my hair. When I didn't feel anything to grab, I looked at the mirror in surprise and thought, "oh yeah." That was a great feeling. =)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wishing a wonderful new year...

from our family to yours!(the whole gang on Charlton's side) One where the grandparents are still loving it even when the kids aren't so cute!

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Once Was Blind, But Now I See

Well, I wasn't really that blind, but I was completely dependent on my glasses...until last Friday. One week ago today, I had LASIK surgery. As far as surgeries go, it was painless and pretty easy, but it has and will make such a profound impact on my daily life! I'll be able to see as soon as I open my eyes in the morning, when I have to be up in the middle of the night with Steven (and future babies), when I work-out, and (the biggest one) Steven no longer has anything to grab and throw off my face. He's been pretty unfazed by this change. He did look at my eyes very intently the first several days with a bemused look (I guess he thinks I finally wised up and quit wearing them). I have noticed an increase in the numbers of tries he makes to grab Charlton's. =)

I realize that it's kind of weird for my friends to think about me not wearing glasses. My friends in Louisiana (where I grew up) and most of my college friends never knew me to wear glasses much because I could still wear my contacts then. I had to have a minor procedure the summer between my Soph and Jr year of college after which my doctor told me I couldn't wear contacts anymore or we would most likely have to do the procedure again. Ironically, this "minor procedure" in the doctor's office was much more traumatic than LASIK. Granted it was 7.5 years ago, but he used a scalpel and my eye actually bled afterwards. Not to be gross but I did end up fainting in the parking lot after looking in a mirror on my way out the door. Thankfully, my then soon-to-be husband caught me and helped my mom get me back to the dorm to rest. That's true love (even though now he'll tell me that it was pretty gross)! My eye was completely healed by our wedding that was about 3 months later...but I regress as I usually do when I tell a story...after all that I did not want to do it again so I have worn glasses everyday for the last 7.5 years.

My Philly friends, since they met me 2 years later, have never known me without my glasses which seems weird to me because in my head I don't think of myself with them on. I always get ready--fix hair and make-up--without them on so that's what I think of. I'm always bummed when I have to then put my glasses on, especially when I'm getting dressed-up. But no more! Woo-Hoo!!!!!!!!!!

We were at the eye center for 2-3 hours but the actual surgery took less than 5 minutes per eye. Charlton can tell you exactly what it looked like because he watched the whole thing on a flat screen TV. I don't want to think about how my surgery (which Charlton said was "amazingly cool") was entertainment, but I didn't care as long as I didn't have to watch it. It was painless; although, I could feel pressure on my eye when the laser cut the flap. The doctor and staff were really wonderful where I went; I am happy to recommend them to any one interested. I was surprised how much I could see immediately after the surgery. My eyesight was pretty blurry but I didn't think I'd be able to hold my eyes open at all. You have to use a lot of eye drops in the next week, but you really don't mind because it's really uncomfortable when your eyes get dry. The worst part about it was having to sleep in these goggles (very similar to swimming goggles) for a week, and I'll admit that I made it exactly five days and then threw them out with much pleasure.

I was a little nervous and grumpy the next day because even though they told me that my eyesight would be blurry for a few weeks, it still made me nervous that it might never get better. I really wanted to put my glasses back on to be able to focus a little better. However, I did an excellent report at my one-day check-up on Saturday: 20/20 in one eye and 20/25 in the other. I could read one or two letters on the 20/15 line so they expect me to be able to see better than 20/20 when my eyes have fully healed. I've felt fine all week but do get tired more quickly and more often than usual so I've been taking a nap when Steven does and trying to take it a little easier. Thus, no blogging and not much emailing because it was very hard to look at the bright computer screen for long. Today--exactly one week later--I feel good and just a have a little bit of blurriness (mostly later in the day when my eyes are more tired).

Thanks to my dear husband, my mom, and my mother-in-law without whom I could not have taken the time to have and recover from the surgery. I'll continue to update as my eyesight improves and I promise the next post will have pictures of Steven.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Friendly Beasts

I know that Christmas (and Dec Blog Challenge) is over but I had to use one more carol title because I had never heard of it and it was too perfect. New Year's Eve morning we went to the zoo because the weather was so beautiful (high of 72) and we wanted Steven to give Charlton's parents a personalized tour of the zoo. I'm taking of advantage of the fact that they generously took lots of pictures of the three of us and I'm posting all of them.

We had to take lots of pictures in front of the elephants. Steven's very special friend is Frank (a stuffed elephant animal). Frank has become a very important member of our family; Charlton and I also have great affection for him. He is a great comfort to Steven anytime he needs a little extra care when we can't be there. We now take Frank with us to grandparents' houses and sometimes in the car when we are just getting out because Steven is very content when Frank is around. Steven is sleeping very well now in pack-in-plays away from home, and while I can't totally attribute that to Frank, I think that he does have a lot to do with it. Elephants in general have become a favorite for us. More on Frank in a later post.... Another elephantSteven always finds a playground no matter where we are.That is one patient goat!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Missy carded me, and I thought it was a great way to start thinking about goals for the coming year.


1. Each player starts with 5 gifts that they would want for Christmas (I'll say the New Year, since Christmas is almost over!)

2. People who are “CARDED” need to write their own Blog about their 5 things & post these rules.

3. At the end of your Blog, you need to choose 5 people to get “CARDED” and list their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a COMMENT telling them they’re “CARDED”, and to read your Blog.

My Materialistic Gift/Wish List:

1. LASIK Surgery (scheduled for THIS Friday)
2. Paint and decorate Master Bedroom
3. Landscape (ourselves) the front and back yards this Spring
4. Curtains for all living area windows
5. A new purse

My Spiritual Gift/Wish List:

1. Desire to pray and read the Word daily
2. Wisdom for disciplining Steven in a consistent and God-honoring way
3. Contentment on the “bad days”
4. That I would better honor and show respect to my husband
5. Form relationships with the other families in our new church

The People I have carded:
Lindsay of In my Own Mind
Jenn of The Canadys
Jamie of Grace Upon Grace
Kristi of The Seven of Us (Plus One More)
Liz of van Bastelaar, etc.
Cheryl (but only if she wants to and actually has time with two babies) of Bowl of Cherries