Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A day of firsts

Connor went to the dentist for the first time today. I know, kids are supposed to go sometime around their first birthday, but we kept putting it off and forgetting about it and saying we'd add Connor to the dental insurance soon. Well, he's finally on the dental insurance and today was his first experience in the dentist's chair! We went to a pediatric dentist, Dr. Abrams at Little Britches Dentistry, because he came highly recommended by quite a few moms in the moms group I'm in.

When we scheduled the appointment the woman told me that they would try to clean his teeth, do two upper and two lower x-rays as well as an exam if Connor would let them but not to expect too much out of the first visit. I actually thought Connor wouldn't have too much of a problem with it because he likes when we brush his teeth and he's really outgoing...doesn't really care who is talking to him or even holding him. We talked during the last several days about how the dentist and his helper would probably put their fingers in his mouth and how they would help him brush his teeth, take pictures of his teeth and talk about how important it is to brush them. He seemed excited. As we pulled up to the office I told him that he'd probably even get a new toothbrush from the dentist. His reply? "But I already have a toothbrush! Let's go home and get it!" I should have known based on those two sentences that the visit was not going to be as great as I'd imagined!

There was the obligatory fish tank in the waiting room (don't all dentists have them? It must be an ADA requirement!) and lots of books about teeth and lots of age appropriate toys. The women in the office were sugary sweet and the hygienist that came to get Connor asked him all sorts of questions about his shoes (they light up when he walks) and baby Logan and had him wave to more fish as we walked down the hall. He loved meeting Mr. Squirty (the water sprayer thing) and Mr. Thirsty (the water sucker thing) and picking out special Spiderman sunglasses to wear. He picked out a PINK toothbrush (much to the hygienist's surprise, of course) and got a chart to mark every time he brushes his teeth. He got a ride on the dental chair - up and down and laying back and sitting up. Logan even got a coupon for a free exam after his first birthday! But...then it was time to get down to business.

Apryl (yep, that's how her name was spelled), the hygienist, then showed Connor the "Tooth Tickler" - the thing that helps clean your teeth. She had Connor smell the toothpaste - it was cherry flavored - and asked if the Tooth Tickler could tickle Connor's teeth. He said no. She convinced him to try just one and let him do it standing up, since by this point he was pretty determined to get out of this place. I mean, come on lady, the water spraying and free stuff was cool and all but do you really think you're getting that gloved hand in MY mouth?? :) She was able to do the two top front teeth and then Connor was done. No more of this! Get me out of here! There were no tears but he was definitely uncomfortable and not about to open his mouth for that crazy Tooth Tickler again!

Apryl gave up and said she'd go get Dr. Abrams. She moved us to an exam room with a door, at which point I thought they were going to close it, strap him down and clean his teeth whether he liked it or not, but it turns out there was just more room in there for all of us (oh yeah, it was a big ol family outing - all 4 of us!). Dr. Abrams came in and was very nice and Connor liked him right away. They had Connor sit straddled on Jeremy's legs and lay back so his head was in Dr. Abrams' lap. Connor let him poke around a bit, counting his teeth and joking about how there might be teeth in his nose or his ears which made Connor laugh. The good news? He doesn't have any cavities, teeth and gums look good and he has the proper amount of teeth for his age - 20! He has a narrow jaw so he'll likely have some crowding problems (read: need braces!) when he's older but that's really no surprise given our family history! So, the visit started out well, had a frustrating middle, and then ended up ok. They reassured us that almost all kids do this and that his next appointment would likely be better. So...he goes back in August for try #2. :)

We also took the boys swimming tonight and it was Logan's first time in a pool! He was only in for about 10 minutes but seemed to have a great time. He was surprised at first but then relaxed in Jeremy's arms and floated around - even kicked a bit! Connor loves the water and spent a lot of time going down the toddler slide and copying the kids in the swim classes around him - jumping off the side into Jeremy's arms, floating on his back (which he's remarkably good at) and hanging onto the side and kicking as hard as he could. Logan starts swim class in a couple weeks which should be fun for him. It's a parent/baby class which Jeremy loves to do so it'll be Logan and Jeremy in the water singing songs and blowing bubbles and maybe even going under water! Connor's class starts a few days later and his class is (gasp!) the first one where we aren't in the water with him! Ack! We have to let him go in the water by himself? Well, ok, he'll be in the very capable hands of a teacher and we'll be right there watching (and of course taking pictures) but still! By himself! In the water! He's so growing up...

Anyway, if you've made it through all that text, here are a couple of pictures from today for your reward!

Logan eating his maraca while being kissed by Daddy and watching Connor drive his Jeep :)

Logan and Jeremy enjoying the pool

I almost forgot! Logan crawled 3 or 4 feet today with his tummy off the ground the whole time! He has been doing the same jumping thing in the last video where his tummy touches each time he lunges forward but yesterday and today he's really been concentrating on staying up on his hands and knees. All four limbs worked in unison today to create REAL crawling! See? You had to read all that to get to the good stuff :) Sorry...guess I'm rambling a lot today!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Not exactly twins :)

When people who know Connor first meet Logan, they generally react in one of two ways, either "Wow he looks JUST like Connor did as a baby! They could be twins!" or "Logan looks so much like Jeremy and Connor looks so much like you [Nikki]!" Here are some pictures of them in the same outfit at about the same age...what do you think?

The eye color is so different - Logan's eye color is much closer to ours than Connor's. Who did Connor get those eyes from? :) Logan's head is much larger - it's not just in the picture - some of Connor's 3-6 month clothes don't fit on Logan not just because he's bigger but because his head won't fit through the hole! :)

Here are some more...

I tried to get them at the same angle but it didn't really work out. :) Anyway, here are some more of Logan from today:

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Really cool...advertising?

I have to admit that since we got our DVR, I haven't watched many commercials. I'm so glad Jeremy found a way to "reprogram" our remote to make one of the buttons work as a 30 second skip - can you believe they don't automatically provide that feature? So between watching Connor's shows (which are commercial free PBS/Disney shows) and using that great 30 second skip feature for the shows I like, I now rarely see any commercials unless I'm just too lazy to skip them! :) I know this irks advertisers to no end and I've read that they're trying more product placement within shows and that there are more pop-up/pop-under ads on the internet but I don't consciously notice the product placement on tv (I know, that's the point) and I have a nifty ad blocker for the 'net. :) I think the main place Connor is bombarded with it is at the store - cereal boxes, clothing, shoes, toothbrushes, towels, sheets, backpacks, etc, etc, etc all with his favorite characters plastered all over them. We resist as much as possible (especially the cereal and fruit snacks!) but have recently started giving in to certain characters on certain things - he has Spiderman sheets (but a plain blue blanket and blue/green quilt), Winnie the Pooh toothbrush (I couldn't find a non-character one!), and a few items of clothing with Spiderman, Curious George or Bob the Builder on them.

My point is that I know advertising is everywhere these days and I do try to minimize our exposure to it when possible so you'll be shocked to hear that I found a piece of advertising that I think is so cool I had to blog about it! We were walking through the mall the other day and there was a "game" display on the floor. There were kids "kicking" soccer balls the first time we went past - there was an image projected from the ceiling onto some sort of special flooring that sensed the kids' movement and moved the soccer balls when they moved. We did our shopping and on the way past again, Connor walked onto the special flooring and discovered that he could kick presents out of the picture by moving his feet in a kicking motion. After a few seconds the game changed to a puddle and he learned that he could "splash" the water by stomping on the floor. Next came colored blocks that followed him around wherever he walked. A few seconds later it was fireworks that went off when he stepped on them (hmm, not sure about the message there!). Somewhere in the middle of this I wondered why this was here in the middle of the mall - it was pretty cool entertainment! I noticed a web address would appear near the corners occasionally and came home to look it up - http://reactrix.com. You should go there and view the demo. It's meant to be advertising and they say things on the website about how people are so engaged by how interactive it is that 60% go home and tell someone about it. Well, that's me, so it worked for them again! I honestly don't remember any advertising during the five minutes we were there - at least not as blatant as the ones in their demo video. But now I want to go back and see if I just absorbed it subconsciously! It was really a neat idea and it obviously worked with me in some way because I'm telling you about it. If you live close to Twin Peaks Mall go check it out - it's in front of the movie theater. :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

6 months!

Yesterday Logan officially turned 6 months old! He's growing up so fast! :) I took a few (well, ok, maybe more than just a few) pictures of him today...

Check me out!

"If I had a hammer, I'd chew on it all day long..."

Uh oh - is Logan going to be a "monkey crawler" like Connor was?

A close up

Thought I'd throw in a random shot of Bailey

The boys playing together before Daddy got home. Connor pretends that Logan's tray is a piano and sings Logan a song. Logan laughs and laughs :)

Connor decided to turn out the lights in the kitchen and this was Logan's reaction - priceless! I can't stop laughing when I look at this picture! You just HAVE to click on it to view the larger version! It's hilarious! Look at his tongue! And his eyes! I'm crying I'm laughing so hard...poor kid probably wet his diaper right at this moment :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Look what I did!

I went to a Mom's Night Out party last night at the Bead Lounge. It was so much fun to hang out with other women and make something pretty too! This is what I made...
I showed it to Connor this morning and this is how our conversation went...

Me: Remember how I went out with other mommies last night? I made this bracelet.
Connor: Mommy, it's BEAUTIFUL!
Me: Thanks!
He thinks for a minute...
Connor: Mommy, you made that bracelet with other mommies. When I grow up I'm gonna go make pretty bracelets with other Connors!


We went to our friend Maddox's 3rd birthday party today at BounceTown. It was hard to get pictures of Connor since he moves soooo fast but I did manage to catch this one!

It was actually our first time at BounceTown but I'm sure it will not be our last! Connor loves to jump and he had so much fun today! :) Daddy and Logan stayed home so Logan could sleep off his crankiness from the shots yesterday and it seems to have worked! He slept most of the day but was much happier tonight and had a big dinner. Hopefully he'll sleep well tonight!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Logan's 6 month appointment

We had Logan's 6 month appointment today! He weighs 15 lbs 12 oz and is 27 inches long! For a bit of comparison, Connor was 13 lb 10 oz at his 6 month appointment. :) Dr. Moffatt was impressed with his "crawling" skills (still more jumping than crawling but he can move fast and far!). We should start increasing his solid foods to twice a day now which he will be so excited about - he loves to eat with us! His shots were not terrible but he did recognize the room and cried more before the actual shots than during or after :) Our littlest man is growing up!

Friday's Feast

Here's my 2nd Friday's Feast entry. I know, I missed last Friday :)

Which television shows do you just refuse to miss?

Ugh - I watch way too much tv! I love LOST, Heroes, The Office, Monk, American Idol, Survivor, Amazing Race, The Apprentice, etc, etc. :) Of course they're all recorded on the DVR and watched at a later time since they're all on during the boys' bedtime routines!

Who did you last speak to on the telephone?

My friend Elyse who just joined the two boy club with us! I was supposed to bring her a meal today but Logan is Mr. Cranky-pants after his 6 month immunizations today so she let me off the hook :)

How many pillows do you keep on your bed

Again, too many! We each sleep with 2 so there are 4 on the bed when we're sleeping but 8 on the bed during the day (used for propping up while nursing, etc - not really for decoration). :) When I was pregnant, though...Jeremy could barely get in bed next to all the pillows I had to use to get comfortable!

Main Course
Name one addition to your computer (software, hardware, etc.) that you'd love to have.

Hmm...not sure if this counts (not really an addition to my computer) but I'd like an iPod!

What is your favorite foreign food?

I'm really unadventurous when it comes to food so I'm going to go with pizza! Though most people think it's Italian, it supposedly originated in the Middle East according to aboutpizza.com. I like Mexican and Italian food too :) I thought about putting German chocolate cake or Swedish meatballs but that just seemed wrong! haha

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Big sigh of relief :)

Connor had his Childfind evaluation on Wednesday morning and it went well. He was excited to go to the "big kid school" (Monarch K-8) and had fun playing the games that allowed the evaluators to see his skills. When asked to draw a picture he told the evaluator that he was going to draw a happy face for baby Logan so that Logan wouldn't cry when he woke up and Connor wasn't there (we had to leave before Logan woke up). Too cute!

He passed everything - his vision is 20/40 (normal for a 3 year old - wish mine was that good still!), normal hearing, great gross motor skills, could use a little work on the fine motor skills though it's nothing to worry about, language is great (she said he has a huge vocabulary) and even the speech was ok! The speech/langauge person said that consonant blends are difficult and that lots of kids, particularly boys, don't master them until they are 4 or 5. She also speculated that because his vocabulary is so big and he's trying to get so many words out all at once that he's not really concentrating on saying each one correctly. She had him repeat words after her and he had some trouble with the usual suspects but on others that he always says wrong with us he said fine for her - truck for one. She said that wasn't surprising since he was copying her and he knows how to say it but generally doesn't take them time to think about it.

Anyway, they gave us a handout on improving his fine motor skills since he had trouble threading beads, got frustrated easily when asked to button, and tried to avoid the rest of the fine motor skills as much as possible by asking to go play with the kitchen, the slide and other gross motor skills that he knows he's good at. As for the speech they said he'll probably continue to improve and if we're still concerned in 6 months to bring him back for another evaluation. Overall, it was good! They all commented on how easy going and funny he is :)

Here are some pictures from the last few days...

Great smile!

Connor's teaching Logan how to play the guitar...

Howdy (yep, this one's for you Brent!)

Connor and Logan

Ever wondered what a 3 year old likes to take pictures of? Here are a few of Logan from Connor's unique perspective :) He actually set up each one of these shots saying things like "Hold still Logan!" or "Now I'm going to take a picture of his feet!"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Passed our 3 year/30,000 Smile warranty :)

I said in the previous post that we had a crazy week and this is why - it seems Connor has passed his 3 year/30000 Smile warranty period and now is falling apart :) He has a hydrocele and we found out this week that he has to have surgery to repair it. It's fairly common and I guess the surgery is routine but he's still only three and still my baby! I feel much better about it today than I did a couple days ago, though, thanks to our great friends and family! I do have a bit of a rant about it, though...ready?
So we couldn't schedule the surgery right when we had our appointment with the Children's Hospital Urologist (Dr. Furness, his first name is fittingly Peter - haha - trying to find the light side of this situation anywhere I can!). We had to call the next day so I called in the morning, went through the whole automated system - press 1 for English, press 1 to make an appointment, press 2 to schedule surgery - and got Wendy the Surgery scheduler's voice mail and her mailbox was full - couldn't leave a message. I called later that day, got her voice mail again and was able to leave a message this time. The next day I tried again and got her voice mail and again the mailbox was full. I went back through the automated system but instead of choosing 2 to schedule surgery I chose 1 to schedule a clinic appointment, hoping to talk to some warm body. A woman answered and explained that she couldn't help me because Wendy is in another building so she couldn't take a "real" message for me and hand deliver it. Ugh. The next day I went through the whole process one more time but this time got a nice clinic appointment scheduler. She said "Sorry, Wendy works in another building but I can transfer you to Lorraine. She sits next to her so she can at least knock Wendy off her chair for ya!" Woo hoo! That's exactly what I wanted! See, by this point I was getting a bit testy about the whole thing...pun intended :) So I get to talk to Lorraine! I tell her I need to schedule surgery for my 3 year old and explain that I've left multiple messages for Wendy but that I don't think she really exists. She sort of apologizes by saying that with all the snow we've had they've been really busy. Whatever... :) Anyway, she takes all my info and asks which day I'd like to schedule it for. I explain that Dr. Furness recommended a Thursday or a Friday so that Connor could go back to preschool on Monday. She laughs a bit and says that he schedules out way in advance for those days (he must recommend that often!) and that we'd likely get a much earlier date by looking at other days of the week, but she goes ahead and looks at the schedule for one of those days. The first date she find is Friday, April 6th! April?!?! Um, ok. She offers to look for an earlier date on another day of the week and I agree - waiting until April seems crazy. So she's quiet for a minute as she searches through the dates and then finally says "Oh, here's a Wednesday. How's Wednesday, April 4th?" Hahahaha! TWO WHOLE DAYS earlier?? You've got to be kidding me...
So then I ask her if she has any recommendations of how to prepare Connor for this surgery, thinking that she probably gets this question frequently since she does schedule surgeries for Children's Hospital. Her first response is "well, you might try searching on the internet." Yeah, hadn't thought of that one before. Then she explains that we'll get a packet of information two or three weeks before the surgery giving us directions to the hospital, information on tours and she thinks there might be a list of books in there that we could read to him. Oh...but the tours fill up quickly so I should probably schedule it before I get the packet. Huh? If I hadn't asked how to prepare him and had waited for the packet there wouldn't be time for a tour? I did find this page on their website which was helpful and also bought this book at Borders to read when we get closer to April. I think he'll handle it just fine - and certainly better than me :)

On top of all that, Connor's preschool teacher recommended that he have a speech evaluation because he's having some problems with pronunciation of certain consonants, especially double consonants in the beginning of words like truck (he says kuck) or stop (he says top). So this Wednesday we're going in for a Childfind evaluation which will test his hearing, vision, gross and fine motor skills, socials skills as well as speech and language abilities. I'll let you know how it goes...

So after those two things I was thinking that he was falling apart but then Saturday morning arrived and brought with it what I like to refer to as Barf Fest 2007. After we had breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa, Connor said that his tummy hurt. He came over to me to give me a hug and then threw up all over me and himself. It was lovely. He vomited three or four more times yesterday (at one point getting upset and saying "Hey! My juice!" when he saw what had once been his red pedialyte being flushed away). He seems better today but then again he hasn't eaten much in the last 24 hours - a lot of pedialyte and a little applesauce is all he's tried today. Good thing school is closed tomorrow for Martin Luther King Jr Day! :) Sigh...the joys of being a parent...

Christmas presents from Grandpa Dean and Cheryl

Wow, no posts for five days...it has been a crazy week! I'll post more on that later, but wanted to get these pictures posted today. Jeremy and Connor took Grandpa Dean and Cheryl to the train station last Friday so they could go visit Jeremy's uncle and grandmother. While they were here they dropped off our Christmas presents. Thanks Larry and Cheryl! Here are pictures of the boys enjoying their presents...as well as the box they came in!

Wearing some new outfits...

Getting ready to be shipped off to China...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

You have to crawl before you can drive

Logan is still working on crawling. Ready for another video? Yeah, some people use their blogs to share their commentary on the world but we use ours to shamelessly proclaim how adorable we think our children are. Deal with it! :) Double click the big Play button to play the video...

Grandma and Grandpa delivered Connor's Jeep to him this past weekend and he asks to play with it constantly! Since it's been so windy we've let him pretend to drive it in the garage a bit but he knows where the battery is and opens the compartment to show us how to plug it in. He seems to think the reason we don't plug it in is because we don't know how! Too funny. Anyway, we let him drive it in the driveway today and he learned pretty quickly how to go forwards and backwards and how to steer. Here's a video and a couple pictures... :)

Here's one of Logan "watching" his big brother drive. He's all bundled up but looks happy!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Ever heard of a "meme"?

I learned a new word today: meme. Do you know what it means? Well, as defined here, a meme is "an idea, project, statement or even a question that is posted by one blog and responded to by other blogs. Although the term encompasses much of the natural flow of communication in the Blogosphere, there are active bloggers and blog sites that are dedicated to the creation of memes on a regular basis." So I browsed some "meme" sites and it seems they're quite popular amongst bloggers. Memes (which, by the way, meme rhymes with dream), are supposed to be thought provoking questions for bloggers to post about so that their readers (hey! that's you!) can learn more about the blogger and, perhaps, about themselves. So here's my first response to a meme called "Friday's Feast" in which the questions are posed as parts of a meal. Enjoy!

Which celebrity (or celebrities) do you think will make headlines this year?

Well, I'm sure the usual suspects will be included - Britney, TomKat, Brangelina, Vaughniston (ugh, didn't I just say I thought these words should be banned from our language?). I'm sure there will be many political figures making headlines as well - Hillary, Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards, and all the others who are throwing their names into the 2008 presidential circus ring :)

They say that good things come in small packages. What is something little that you think is great?

Well the cheesy answer (during the soup course?) is "my two wonderful boys" but I'm going to go with the geeky answer and say my new usb flash drive. Who ever thought 1 GB of information could be stored on something so tiny it can fit on my keychain? Amazing...

Name a song that makes you want to dance.

I can't think of one specific song especially since Jeremy's watching some show where "Low Rider" is on in the background - haha. But I'm sure I'd choose something embarrassing from the 80s :)

Main Course
What is your favorite font?

I tend to stick with the boring ones like Times New Roman most of the time but if I'm feeling girly I choose something like Vivaldi.

If you were to write a do-it-yourself article, what would it be about?

Hmm...how to reduce every number in your life (ssn, phone, birthday, etc) to your favorite number. :) Some of you don't know about my number fetish...maybe I'll post about it sometime!

Well, that was fun! Don't worry, I won't do this every day but Friday Feast might have to become a regular feature!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Rocking Cabbage

Ok so I couldn't get the lunging on video today but I did get this sort of funny sequence of Connor encouraging Logan, then copying him and then Logan falling over :) Enjoy!

Hanging out with my bro :)

Logan wore his first pair of jeans yesterday. If you know Jeremy or me at all I think you'll be surprised we waited this long to put him in our favorite clothes :) And since you know I'm a number freak, I actually figured out that he was 164 days old yesterday...164 days! Or the equivalent 23 weeks, 3936 hours, 236,160 minutes or...get this...14,169,600 seconds! Well, ok, I didn't calculate it to the exact time that I put him in the jeans...that would just be crazy (haha). Anyway, here are some pictures of the boys in their jeans!
Look at my sock!

Logan is just fascinated by Connor

Logan was having some difficulty pulling his toes up to his mouth (to chew on, of course) so Connor tried to help


Logan has been very motivated the last week trying to figure out how to move himself forward. He can get up on all fours regularly now and began rocking back and forth, which pretty much just moved him backwards as his knees slid out from under him. Yesterday, though, he figured out a way to pull his knees up quickly which causes him to lunge forward a bit. I'm afraid true crawling isn't far behind! I'll try to get some video of this crazy movement later today :)

Monday, January 01, 2007

Banished Words

Lake Superior State University published its 2007 list of words to be banished from the English language (read it here). I definitely agree with the combo names (tomkat, brangelina) and i-anything. The others made me laugh - "Now playing in theaters", "we're pregnant" and "healthy food" in particular. The only one I've never heard is "pwn or pwned"...guess I don't play enough (read: any) games online. :)

By the way, Happy New Year!