Monday, September 12, 2011

First Day of School! First Day of School!

School started!
Jack's first day was the day after we flew home from New Jersey. Yup, we're really good planners (at least we took the morning flight, not the arriving-at-midnight flight, right?). He was so excited to go...but pretty nervous, too. Here he is in his uniformed glory. Notice the cool Star Wars lunchbox. He was very excited to be bringing lunch for the first time! He still won't put the lunchbox in his backpack, but has to carry it in his hot little hands. What do you think, future briefcase holder?
Sheridan's first day of (pre)school was a week later. She was SO EXCITED!!! She'd had "orientation" the day after we got back from NJ, so she totally knew what to expect (coloring, cupcakes, macaroni necklace-making, and outdoor play. Plus, she'd met one of her classmates) so she wasn't afraid to jump right in. It's funny, but this girl is far less anxious about new experiences than her big brother.

I could barely get her to stand still long enough for these pictures. The other 12 are blurry and blinky.

Sheridan started Preschool the day before Amelia's surgery. It added a little je ne sais quoi to the experience!

Henry keeps asking "Where-a my school at?" I've told him time and again that he'll go to school "after he's 4" and "in 2 years, buddy," but this has not satisfied him. Every day we go to drop

Sheridan off at her home-based school, he asks when he gets to go. Finally, on the drive home last week, he pointed to a random house and announced "Der's my school. I go-a school der!" I had to (sadly) inform him that there probably wasn't a preschool in that house and that he would be going to school after he turned 4, and in 2 years.

Can't fault the kid for trying!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Babies and Body Casts

At 4 months, we found out our cute little Amelia had a severely dislocated left hip. It's a fairly common condition and happens more to girls and breech babies. There's a genetic factor in many cases (that's all from my side, I'm afraid!). We weren't able to get Mia into the Orthopedist until she was almost 5 months. They tried a brace for a week, but Amelia was MISERABLE and it didn't have any effect. So, we moved on to the Spica Cast.

A spica cast is a body cast, used for either hip dysplasia or broken femurs. She'll have hers on for about 3 months, with a cast change in the middle. Diaper blowouts are my current biggest fear (especially since she has a lot of those when she's in disposable diapers--not cloth--and there's not really good way to cloth diaper in the cast. It's just too bulky). Wed, August 25th. One day before casting!

We woke up at 5:30 am to get to Shriner's Hospital by her 6:30 appointment time. She got dressed up in a cute little gown and was really pretty happy (although she started getting very tired by the time they took us to the acutal waiting area for the procedure).
One last shot of those cute little legs and back--the last for 3 months! The most we'll see of these cute limbs will be on x-rays during her re-casting in 6 weeks. Going into the procedure, we weren't sure if they'd need to just cast of do surgery (they inject dye into the socket to see if there's any tissue in the way of the joint seating properly). After 45 minutes the doctor let us know she'd need surgery to clean up the joint and tighten up her hip casing. Thus began a 2 hour wait (which I know is not long, but to a parent who's kid is under anesthesia, it's LOOOOONG).
We passed the time meeting some Shriners... and by enjoying the gorgeous weather outside of Shriner's. Amelia came back from the surgery the saddest I've ever seen her. She would rouse a little and cry and cry, then finally settle down and sleep restlessly. Then she'd repeat. This went on from about 12:30-4pm. It made for a sad mama--I couldn't fix her problem at all!

After 4 she started to perk up, but she was still (understandably!) out of sorts. Her cast was cute and all but it made her a little hard to cuddle. She had an IV and monitors attached to her (including a big old splint and bandage on her left hand that was driving her crazy, but had to be there to keep her from pulling the IV out).After a less-than-restful night with nurses in and out of the room, checking her blood pressure and other vitals, changing her position, giving her oxygen since her levels kept setting off the oxygen monitor, and giving her medicine, Amelia was a usual happy self. Seriously, this kid is the happiest kid I've ever met. We got to take a ride up to Primary Children's Hospital for a CT scan to make sure everything was properly in place. It was, phew! That gave us the chance to get her fit into a car seat, which is an adventure in a of itself!

They found the cutest oxygen mask for her--and the purple dino even matched her cast! Seriously, the girl knows how to accessorize!

My sweet little girl in a Spica Chair. A guy who's daughter was in a cast donated this one to Shriner's Hospital and we were able to let Amelia try it out before we went home. She really enjoyed it--it lets her sit up and play with her favorite toys (in this case, her oxygen mask and tubing). Tyler is building one for her at home as we speak! Look forward to pictures of Amelia at home (with her zebra {duct tape} cast trim) and in her Spica chair!

Summer Wrap-Up

This was a busy summer. Yard work (including sprinker installation), family visiting, visiting family, swimming, swim lessons, zoo, preparing for Amelia's body was very, very full.
Some quick picts and highlights:

Outdoor FunPrepping the yard for sprinklers included ripping out a ton of RR ties. Those things were all over our yard and were HEAVY! We also ripped out the grass on that side of the yard to put in a large planter bed. Tada! The planter bed is in...and so are the sprinklers! Apparently, I didn't take any before or during pictures. So just enjoy the after with me, won't you? This is the first summer that we've lived here and had green grass all season! The backyard is particularly wonderful that way. It's nice for the kids to have green grass to play in. Our driveway. We didn't do anything to it...

Indoor FunDressing up is always part of our indoor fun! Sheridan as an Indian Maiden. Henry as the side kick.Spiderman, spiderman...Henry loves to be Spiderman! Sheridan loves to feel his muscles...Spiderman takes some time out for sister-love. Awwww.

Outdoor FunSummer isn't complete without pool-time with cousins!

Henry was getting back in for some fun swimming time with friends.

Prehistoric Fun

The Hogel Zoo had a "Zoorasic" even this summer. A bunch of dynobots, slightly smaller than the originals, but SO COOL! Henry has been begging to go back and see dinosaurs. T Rex was cool (but they also had one that squirted water, that was very nice because it was HOT).

Cutiesaurus AmeliasJack, Henry, Sheridan and Daddy (with some random kid) on the sunken dino. Now we know why they became extinct...they were not smart enough to stay away from wet cement and got stuck there forever, unable to hunt for food. This dino is clearly unhappy with his lot in life, as you can see from the expression on his face. The rest of us were cool with his fate, it made for a good photo op.Sheridan was terrified of the T Rex. She was convinced it was going to get her. Other parents might have thought it was kinda funny and giggled at her hysterics when she wasn't looking, but not us. We took made her stand in front of it so we could get a picture. She liked the giraffes much better.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Away for August

My last post was mid-July. That's because the rest of July was filled with fun little things and then we left for half of August. And then life got crazy when we got back. I think it has finally settled down...for now.
The first half of August, we went to the Happiest Place on Earth.
No, silly, not Disneyland. I'm sure it's nice and all, but it's no New Jersey.
That's right, baby. Bring on the sand, surf, sun and sugar. Bring on Maximum Spoiling. Bring on Grammy and Pop,Beach, Boardwalk, Tastee Kakes, Baseball, The Middle, Backyard, Pool, and Klondike Bars.
Ahhhh, New Jersey....

Children's Museum!Ready, set, delivered! Sheridan loved weighing this "newborn". She also liked shopping...Fighting fires (instead of each other) Not only does he fight fires, he fights gum disease! Take that, Plaque!


Amelia was a little wide-eyed about the whole Boardwalk experience. The lights, the noises, the smells...

Out for a sedate ride. Something all 3 could enjoy together.

These fire engines have been around since Pop was a kid. Always a hit!

Jack loves the kiddie bumper cars. He got pretty good at them this year.

Henry loved the "fast cars". I might have thought they were fun, too. Maybe.

Last ride is always the Carousel. A nice way to round out your Boardwalk experience.

Boardwalk frozen custards. If you're at the Boardwalk, you must either have a Water Ice, a Frozen Custard, a Soft Pretzel, or a Funnel Cake. MUST. It's the rule.


This year, Jack learned to Boogeyboard. He got pretty good at it and went between that and rolling in the warm sand.

Henry found his favorite thing. The ocean. Join the club, kid, join the club! We could not keep him out of it!

Pop found this Horseshoe Crab shell. So Cool!

First dip in the ocean. Her response?


"I may not love the water yet, but I LOVE MY GRAMMY!!"

While Dad's away...

Singin' in the Rain--There were a lot of HUGE rainstorms while we were in Jersey.

We played in them. It was fun.

Down with Delaware

aka "For the Birds"
We got to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and their baby, Allouette. Little "Lulu" is just 10 days younger than Amelia and we were pretty excited to meet her. We love that they live so close to Tyler's parents so we can see them whenever we get back east. As usual, we had a great time visiting and spending time with the Birds.

"Gotcher nose! I gotcher nose!"

"Love you, Lulu!"

Backyard fun!

Sheridan and Jack put their swim lessons into practice. Grammy and Pop's pool was the perfect size for them.

Henry loved the pool in Grammy's backyard. He added all his own safety gear.

Beach Time!

Harry and Lucy came all the way from Utah! They had a blast building in the sand (and in the water...Harry and Henry were best buddies in the ocean and stayed out in the waves most of the time!)

Jellyfish. We tried not to let them ruin our last day at the beach...the clear ones don't sting...

Sheridan loved leading Lucy around the beach!This is the closest we got to a family photo on the beach this year. Oops!More friends at the beach--they came all the way from Virginia because they love Tyler so much!

Thanks for a fantastic vacation, Grammy and Pop! Can't wait 'til next year!!