Friday, February 15, 2013


So I'm sure you've noticed that our pictures haven't been so hot lately. Our DSL camera, better known as the second wife, was dropped and damaged. As much as I initially resented the thing always being in my face -literally and figuratively speaking- it grew on me and over time I would lug it with me everywhere to capture the moments of life that pass by so quickly with little ones. Thankfully we have our phones and iPad which are handier but don't compare on quality. Until we get the second wife fixed or replaced bare with us. These next few shots are of Elias enjoying a fellow nursery friend's birthday.

"Whoa, whats this pretty thing?"

"Feels funny, smells yummy..."

"Definately tastes yummy!"

"Gotta get me more..."

"man have they been holding out!"

"Yikes, Mama looks like she might be changing her mind about this.."

"Gotta get it now while I can."

"Carpe cupcake!"

"Just wish my mouth was bigger!"

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Year of the Snake!

To welcome the year of the snake we did our annual trip to the Chinese cultural center. The day before I went to Isaac preschool class and we talked about Chinese New Year which included reading a book about a little boy who performs the lion dance. We watched a brief video of it and Isaac was captivated by the martial arts aspect of it. Of course when the drums started beating and the gongs began ringing, he knew just what to look for. Here's a shot of him next to the lion head.

Keila was facinated with all the dances and particularly their beautiful dresses. She had me chuckling for the first while since every older Chinese man she saw she'd exclaim, "look Ma, it's grandpa!" My only explanation is either she hasn't seen her grandpa enough or she hasn't seen enough Asians to differentiate between them!

Of course shared our traditions and culture with our preschool classes. Isaac had his classmates so hyped up for it they were chanting about it and wishing everyone a happy Chinese New Year the day before. It was a lot of fun teaching it to the older kids. They really worked hard at their Chinese characters and I was rather impressed. Mrs Crabb said that she was a little worried (of the class of fifteen, thirteen were active boys) how engaged they would be but apparently they were happily occupied for over a half hour!

This was Keila's first time having me in her class and she was thrilled. Her classmate Samuel is originally from Taiwan and Mrs chin made potstickers for them. The younger class was much more adventurous when it came to the traditional candies. The three girls in her class nearly polished it all off. Here's a shot of Keila and Sammy in their traditional outfits doing what kids traditionally love - digging!

Sunday night we had hot pot with the Ellis'. Their children are nearly the exact same ages as ours and the kids had so much fun. Given the chance I think Keila would gladly trade Isaac for a older sister in Noelle!

Good food, good friends, good fun!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Great Gains Especially with Pain

When any of my children have reached a growth milestone of some sort there is a distinctive sense of pride when in reality I didn't have too much to do with them rolling over or learning to sit up on their own, but with Elias it's different. The usual reflexes that come and go in the order for children to develop properly need to be encouraged in children with DS. We literally work on each 'reflex' otherwise their delayed development would leave him even further behind.

Elias is rather worn out when we have our physical therapy appointments and despite that he is usually rather good natured about it all. The one thing that has been rough is learning to eat Cherrios by itself.

Cheerios are as innate to American childhood as water is to a tadpoles development. Children rake them with their fingers learning to pick them up and eventually how to feel themselves with the ultimate, the pincher grasp. What I failed to see with my other children is how this occurs in babysteps along the way. Noah's dad has a great entry about it and Elias is at a just one step away from doing it. Unfortunately this skill involves food. Just like with the other two kiddos, he loves food and while its a great motivator for him it also frustrates him to the point he'll actually yell at that little oat-y O!

We had some extra time the other morning and I made the point of not feeding him the Cheerios. It was so hard to see him try and try again and again with no success. He'd begun grunting and banging his table in frustration and then he issued a loud scream. We took a break and after a moment of loving him he tried again. I thought to myself at that time if he didn't succeed I would simply put it in his mouth to save us the trouble.

Here he is enjoying his first homemade cookie!

He grasped it with his pinky and fourth finger agains the palm of his hand and managed to get it wedged between his two finders and his lips. Here we go again, I thought to myself and wanted to save him the pain but somehow with the cheerio stuck to his fingers he managed to strighten them into his mouth and pop the cereal onto his tongue! I was elated and cheered loudly, he sat in shock and then slowly a grin spread across his face as he ate it up. With little feet kicking happily and renewed determination he went for more and succeed a few more times. It was a day of triumph, small but measurable triumphs.

I spent some time thinking about it afterwards and realized how close I had come to taking away his victory all because I couldn't bear to see him struggle. And yet it was the struggle that made the success ever so much sweeter. The funny thing was he wasn't asking me to take away the struggle ( which he does do at times but refusing to take anything with his hands ). It really was me who didn't want to bear the pain of failure when I could so easily rescue him. It was food for thought, both in my relationships with my children and with God. I hope I will work through my struggles with the same tenacity that my littlest man showed me today.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Biggest Fan

Isaac loves Angry Birds and has taken them to a whole new level. There's a hierarchy and cities and wars of mass destruction of any pig who would dare steal an egg. This is all recorded pictorially in his own book. The little ones we gave him at Christmas are constant companions and he cares for them as if they were his own children. Kent and I lament only that he would be so diligent with himself!

It would only follow that when given the chance to celebrate his half birthday at the preschool that he would ask for Angry Bird cupcakes. Initially I looked into something simple, a paper topper... But as luck (or not luck depending on how you look at it) would have it Elias got sick with a cold and something flu-ish and all appointments were cancelled and I was stuck at home with little to occupy me. Well, let me amend that, little I wanted to be occupied with! This was my chance to play with fondant, better known to me as edible play dough! It was childhood again for me and I had a blast shaping and working with it. Best of all, Isaac was thrilled beyond measure and so were his classmates

Isaac personal favorite were the blue birds. He was quick to tell his friends the 'story', that the pigs were stealing eggs and surrounded by the birds. Hurray for the birds!