Monday, June 26, 2006

H2O Fun!

The local pool offers free swimming for kids with special needs, and as a bonus, friends and family are invited as well. This is a great opportunity for Crew and our family. We've got this old walker that Tressa loaned us - so old that she said we could use it in the water. We wouldn't want to use his other walker in the water because they tend to rust. So we practiced walking in the water, again! Crew was beaming!

Little Crew doesn't mind water on his face. In fact, he bravely let me dunk him completely under. Let me tell ya, this kid is the smiliest boy! He was even smiling under water for the 1/2 second that he was under. Aunt K was kind enough to pose with Crew while I snapped this pic.

After the pool, we had a nice picnic lunch at the park. I love it that my boys get to spend this time with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

Day Camp

For the first time in my life I can say I've experienced Cub Scout Day Camp. I was actually looking forward to this day. The boys in my den are a lot of fun. I was able to get my mom to come watch Crew & H for the day which is so sweet of her.

Around 7:00 am we loaded up my van with a bunch of 8 & 9 year old scouts. We actually had to take 3 vehicles. Two vans and a suburban. It was about a 45 minute drive to the camp, which isn't bad. We started off with an opening flag ceremony. Then throughout the day we rotated between different stations. We made our own pocket knives, carved soap, shot BB Guns and bow & arrows. The theme was centered around indians. We learned indian games, songs & stories. We also had the privilege of swinging down the zip line and climbing the wall.

The boys brought their own lunch. Found treasures at the trading post and most importantly - passed off a bunch of scouting requirements. We ended the day with another flag ceremony. The weather was beautiful and the scouts well behaved. What more could one ask for? We had a fun time!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cruisin' Crewser & the Reverse Walker

Last week I explained to Tressa (Crew’s PT) that he is getting lazy about using his walker. He prefers to just walk holding onto my hands above his head, which happens quite often since we are usually out in public without the walker. Tressa thought that Crew might be more interested in using the walker if he could see purpose in it. So, she encouraged us to take it with us to gymnastics and Aqua Therapy. Okay now, this is hard for me because it’s like shouting to the whole world, “Look at us, my child has a disability”. Once again, I have to buck it up and just do it. So I did!

The first time we went to gymnastics, I carried the walker into the building. Then I set it down and got him all situated. He just kind of stood there for a while. Then he started to walk, oh so slowly. We meandered into the class all the while receiving encouragement from other classmates moms and the gymnastics staff. He was so proud of himself. He even wore the ole DAFO’s and was beaming the whole time.

We put the walker away for class and practiced all the moves, forward roll, balance beam, the bar etc. After class, I put him back in the walker and we proceeded to walk back to the front doors.

Second Experience. Aqua Therapy. Not so fun. Just as we arrived a bunch of kids were getting out of the Kamp Kid class. We tried to plow our way through the crowd, meanwhile, dodging 100 questions “What happened to him?, What’s that for?, What’s wrong with his legs?, Is he learning to walk? Did he break his leg?”. I answered one little girl, “No, he just has a disability. The muscles in his legs don’t work as good as ours do”. *smile* To which she replied, “HIS LEGS DON’T WORK GOOD AT ALL!”

We made our way to the pool. Aqua therapy was fun. Crew is smiling the entire time. Tressa brought an old walker that we can use in the water. Crew practiced walking in the water and standing with his back against the side.

Since then, we’ve used the walker in public two more times. All four times at the same facility. Crew is learning that this is what we do when we are out and I think it is helping. The last time we went he had the boogie in the bum and was Crewsin’ all over the place. I just have to keep telling myself that when people stare (which is all the time) they are probably just thinking what an adorable little kid he is!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Hershey Bar Dessert

I wanted to share this yummy recipe. DH requested it for Fathers Day as it is his favorite. It is very light and fluffy and oh so creamy! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

1 C flour
1 cube butter
1 C nuts (chopped)
Mix together, press into 9x13 pan. Bake 5 min at 350. COOL.

1st layer:
1 pkg. 8oz. Cream cheese
1 C powdered sugar
1 C cool whip from 9oz. Pkg.
Spread on cooled crust

2nd layer:
3 C milk
1 small pkg. Instant vanilla pudding
1 small pkg. Instant choc. Pudding
Mix 3 min. Add to 1st layer.

Put remaining Cool Whip on top of everything. Grate Hershey bar on top.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sidebar links

Check it out! I figured out how to add links to my sidebar. Cool!

Straight arms

Crew doesn't really like to be on the floor. Usually, when I set him down on all fours he kinda cries (because it hurts) and collapses down to his belly. Just this week, he started tolerating it more. He looks so good with his arms up tall and straight. His OT is just thrilled with his bearing weight through his arms (especially his right arm which is weaker). She explained that his pushing down on his hand and wrist will help him a great deal with fine motor skills. It is a great exercise for strengthening the muscles in his hand. However, we are still working with Crew to get him to move to this position on his own. He needs to be able to push up to this position from his belly. Who ever knew what a huge milestone that would be? I know it will happen one day... it all takes time, work, and more time! We'll get there!

Pizza Pie!

Carl & I had the privelege of spending a weekend alone ( no kids)! Yep, we did it! First time in over 9 years. We decided since it was our 10 year anniversary this month we would actually get away! Originally, we fantasized about Hawaii, Mexico, Florida..... but we quickly realized that wasn't a reality. Then the plan changed to somewhere closer and closer and closer. Well we ended up staying very close to home (about 1 hour away). We were gone one night (heaven).

However, this blog is not intended for the details of our getaway. This entry is another celebration for Crew. You see, Grandma was pumping him full of food for the duration of her stay. "He ate well", she said. Yogurt, cottage cheese, noodles. He was drinking from a cup... Wow! We arrived home just as Grans was putting a frozen cheese pizza in the oven. I cut it up and slapped an entire piece down on his tray. Amazingly enough he picked it up and started inhaling it (as you can see from the picture).

We are just so thrilled because with CP the muscles throughout his body are affected including his mouth. He continually makes progress one step at a time. We are amazed! Secondly, I've found something fattening that he loves. Maybe we can beef him up after all!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another Project

We now have another unfinished project! A couple weekends ago we started working on our backyard water feature. Carl wanted a pond and I wanted a waterfall. I don't want to worry about somebody's kid falling in. So we compromised - sort of! We bought a pond kit with the plan of creating a waterfall and filling in the pond part with rocks.

First we had to remove the rocks we have been collecting from our rock pile so we could start to dig. This first part took us 4 hours. It doesn't look like that big of a hole but it is! We moved around a lot of dirt with the wheelbarrow. The boys job was to rake out the dirt in our new flowerless beds. They thought this was torture. I don't think at that point they could see the big picture.

Once the dirt was cleared away we filled the hole with carpet scraps that we picked up from the local carpet store. This is to help protect the liner. After lining the hole with carpet we put in the pond liner. Now this liner is awesome! It was huge. We had enough pond liner to fill the hole and cover the waterfall part. This leaves us with an extra piece of liner (the waterfall piece) which we plan to use for a smaller water feature in the front yard (another project for the future). The next step was to strategically place the rocks around the outside of the pond. This part is fun because we get to use our artistic talents (which are underdeveloped). But still a lot of fun!

We were able to fill the bottom of the pond with rocks and go around the outside. By the time we got to the waterfall part we were ready for a break. Moving rocks around is a little hard on the 'ole back. We plan to bring in some smaller rocks (gravel size) to fill in between the gaps in the rocks. We also want to pick up a couple flagstone rocks for the waterfall. Who knows when this will happen! It is so exciting to get this project going. I just wish it was finished. We hooked up the pump and it works great. The kids were loving it. Once they figured out what we were doing they seemed to be motivated to work a little harder. Above is a picture of H resting after helping rake dirt. Crew's self-appointed job is to make everyone happy! Laughter is contagious! A picture of S with shovel in hand and Carl hard at work. It doesn't look like much in the picture. I will post another picture soon.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things.....

I am just so thankful for this little guy. I've been thinking a lot about it lately. Crew brings such a sweet spirit into our home. His brothers are so cute with him. They are good at making him laugh. He loves to watch everything they do. He would follow them around all day if he could. Lately, Crew hasn't been as content to sit around. He wants to be mobile. I spend as much time as I can walking him around but it is so hard. I have to bend over and walk with him in his walker or with him holding my hands. It doesn't sound like that big of deal but after awhile my back starts to ache. However, I shouldn't complain. I am so thrilled that he is motivated to move around because every little step he takes is a step forward.

When he's not on the go, Crew loves to sit and play with his stuffed animals. I have never had a kid that loved stuffed animals so much. He holds them close to his face and changes his voice to this high pitched jibber jabber. He talks to the stuffed animals and kisses each one of them on the nose. He just loves it. It melts my heart to see him play so cute. The little cow in the picture has been with him since the NICU. Aunt P bought it for him and placed it in his isolette. He hasn't really played with it much until this week. I wish I had a picture of him in the NICU with his cow. Bummer! I wasn't digital back then:( Also, he loves the cars. I've blogged about this before. This isn't something new in our family. These cars have been around along time. S & H have been collecting them since they were wee little. They play with them for hours and hours. Crew usually watches them but has recently been getting his fair share.

Crew had therapy today! We messed around with the walker, adjusting and stuff. We had to raise it up a couple of notches because he was starting to hunch over. I didn't realize he had grown so much. I guess I should listen when people keep telling me that his is getting so much bigger. Also, we were able to get new lenses for his glasses today. I am hoping to take better care of them this time. It seems like they get scratched so easily.

S has been so cute with little C lately. Sometimes he gets him out of bed and plays with him before calling for me. Today he got Crew up from his nap and put him in his chair. He got out a tray and filled it with toys - then proceeded to play with him for quite sometime. He is great! Having a little brother with special needs has been a blessing for S & H. They are learning so much and so am I!


Carl and S were invited to the lake with cousins Nick and William. The day started early, 5 AM. We woke S up and he was so excited! The temps were very cool so we had him dress in layers. They headed out for a much needed fishing trip. First, they stopped at Wally World (Walmart) to buy more fishing supplies and trail mix, beef jerky, candy, drinks.......... ya know, the good stuff. It's been years since Carl has been. The cousins have a nice boat and were kind enough to share. YEAH!

The fishing was mostly slow but the boys were able to bring home several fish. However, they lost a few due to a hole in the net. William was so funny when we were taking this picture. His dad was trying to get him to hold the fish but it was grossing him out. Finally we were able to get all three of them holding their fish. So fun!

Once the boys & men came home we got together for a BBQ. Memorial Day just isn't complete without a good ole BBQ. We also got to play PIT. We just love the M family. They are such great people - the salt of the earth. We are so blessed to have found these long lost relatives of ours!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

One More Day

We've had swim day, field day, awards assembly, water parties, and to top it off..... a pizza party. Yes, this is what my kids have been going to school for this past week. It sounds like a lot of fun but I wonder why they are even holding school this week. Well really, I know the answer to that. The school district requires so many days a year........

I've got to get organized. Job charts & homework lists. Right now my June calendar is full and I'm wondering how I can possibly fit in anything else. We've got t-ball, coach-pitch ball, softball, swimming, golf, gymnastics, aqua therapy, physical therapy, OT, speech & hearing therapy and more.

My house is a mess. The laundry pile is growing and in our lawn we are growing MUSHROOMS - HELP! Too much water, I think. Tile is dirty... My mop is broken :(

Oh, and the teacher gifts..... I do this every year. PROCRASTINATE. Fortunately, I do have a plan... A loaf of bread from OLD GRISTMILL. Yum! I think I'll have to buy a loaf for me too. After all, I deserve it. Don't I?