Saturday, May 24, 2008

Proud Preschool Grad

Jamie graduated from preschool yesterday. It is endearing how seriously he took it and how nervous he was! For the last week or so, there has been a lot of drama in our house revolving around graduation and the fact that preschool is over. Since this is Jamie's first year at school, I don't think he fully grasps the concept that he will return to the same school in the fall for kindergarten. All he can see is that he loves school and it is over.

The graduation consisted of a program of songs and a "bridging up" ceremony - the children crossed a bridge symbolizing their progression from preschool to kindergarten. The whole ceremony was very sweet. As I read the paper listing the names of the the Class of 2008, I couldn't keep the tears at bay. Crying over preschool! Oh well, that's the mushy mom I have become!

This is a video of some of the songs. The final song is the first song Jamie ever learned at preschool, so it was a great closer to a wonderful school year. We are so proud of you, Jamie! You have your first year of school under your belt and did fabulously (only 17+ more to go!). Your teachers gave us glowing reports of your performance - both academically and socially. They told us how you are everyone's friend and how all the children love to play with you. We look forward to seeing what kindergarten brings.

video

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hmmmm....

Whose shoes are those?

Baby Got Buzzed
















(And also learned how to pull up today by using the open dishwasher.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rats... Foiled Again

I am not a stupid person. I learned how to read at the age of four. I was the valedictorian of my high school class. I graduated from college Summa Cum Laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. I have honed my razor sharp wits by running around after three small children (or maybe that has translated into Mommy Mush Brain). All I know is that I am completely stumped today. I have totally disappointed my five-year old son. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to transform Optimus Prime back into a truck.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Super Mom ~ Happy Mother's Day

S~ So this is a one day late Mother's Day post, but I am hoping that late is better than not at all. So Teresa hates being called a Super Mom because she feels like it makes her have to be perfect, and let's face it, no one is perfect. But me, being a kid who loved comic books and super heroes, I never liked them because they were perfect. Without getting too close to the geek train, Superman turned into a wimp next to Kryptonite, the Hulk was an idiot, and Ironman has a bad ticker...far from perfect. But what made them Super was the fact that they sacrificed their lives for the sake of others. They overcame their weaknesses and persevered to do what is right. That is what makes my wife a Super Mom!

I am amazed on a daily business of what Teresa does, how she keeps everything together. She juggles so many schedules, between school, doctor's appointments, playdates, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the same time she will add swim classes for the kids and still find time to scrapbook and update the blog. The amount of work she does in one day is unbelievable. I look at her and I am awed by her strength to bring all this together. She has sacrificed so much for our kids and our home and that is what makes her a Super Mom! She has strength beyond Superman, brains beyond Hulk, and a heart that is big enough for a family of five.

I love my wife. I find her more beautiful each and every day, and I thank God for her and for all that she does for us. Teresa, thanks for everything you do. I know you don't think you are super, but to me and the kids, you are our hero! Happy Mother's Day (one day late!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Juno

Shawn and I watched the movie Juno last night. What a great flick! I don't usually post movie reviews on my blog, but this was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. Laugh out loud funny (and not in an Adam Sandler slapstick way), poignant scenes that brought tears to my eyes, and an incredible message. Without ruining the movie, Juno is about a high school student who gets pregnant. It is the story about her journey through this pregnancy - a journey she embarks on with her parents, best friend, the father of the baby, and the prospective adoptive parents. It might sound like a corny chick flick, but the dialogue is very witty and the actor who plays Juno herself is so cute and quirky - I just loved her!

As we drove to the beach today on our Mother's Day outing, Shawn and I were discussing the movie. He stated that he hoped if any of our children came home in a similar situation that we would react like the parents in the movie did (quite clearly disapproving of their daughter's actions while simultaneously supporting her - all portrayed in a very honest, human way - it was great, can I say that enough?). I told him truthfully that I think we would. I personally witnessed how such a situation could change a family when my sister became pregnant as a teenager. My parents were so incredible throughout it all. My sister gave her baby up for adoption. It was no walk in the park, but she weathered both the pregnancy and adoption process with such courage, fortitude, and dignity. I was in awe of her strength at 17 years old and continue to be in awe of her strength more than ten years later. My sister and my parents transformed a situation that certainly was not ideal into an amazing example of what being open to life is all about. This pregnancy did not ruin my sister's life - in many ways, I think it enhanced her life. And it definitely enhanced the lives of the adoptive family, receiving such an amazing gift from my sister - her own child. So Happy Mother's Day to you, too, my wonderful little sister!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Mama Ramblings

After a busy morning and early afternoon, it was one of those rare days when Simon and Clare napped at the same time (more often than not, Clare does not nap these days, but a morning at school then almost two hours with friends at the playground took care of that situation!). Jamie was having a bad allergy attack with swollen, red, and itchy eyes, so he was resting on the couch in the basement and watching a video. There was no one on the ground floor but me. Wow - what was I going to do with myself?? After taking one quick look at my spring cleaning list (the kind that includes vacuum the cobwebs from the corners of the ceiling and walls and reorganize the storage area), I saw that I was 85% done with my list. Without an ounce of guilt, I put the list aside, sat down in a chair, and started reading my book (if anyone is interested is "Mr. Darcy's Daughters" - a nice little book featuring the daughters of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice"). After a couple chapters, though, I put my book down and took Clare's first year scrapbook album off the shelf. It had be a long time since I had sat down with the book and really looked through it. I will pull it out for Clare sometimes, and we look at the pictures. This day, however, I read each and every page - every photo caption, every bit of journaling, and perused every picture.

It has been a while since all those emotions have come to the forefront. Weeks, maybe? I found myself tearing up as I looked back over her first year. As I read the pages documenting her four cardiac catheterizations and open heart surgery. It is still fresh in my mind how exhausting it was to be in the hospital when Clare was just in a couple weeks ago for dehydration. And I did not even stay the night with her, Shawn did. I can vaguely recall the emotions of Clare's most recent cath in September, but even that was already eight months ago. It struck me how much I now take our life for granted. Our current way of life. I had forgotten what it was like that first year. When Clare had five hospitalizations. When over the course of 11 months, we spent a total of 25 days in the hospital. Almost a whole month of Clare's first year was spent at Boston Children's Hospital. And the seemingly endless doctor's appointments. Compared to that year, our life now is a life of leisure.

When Clare went to the endocrinologist's last week, she had her thyroid levels tested (and a small victory where we are past the point where Clare needs her calcium tested anymore!). Instead of dragging the children over to our clinic to get the blood work (which I normally do), I opted to have it done at an outpatient clinic down the hall from where the endo's office is. Clare started crying the minute we walked in the room. The phlebotomist (who was extremely loud and slightly obnoxious) asked if Clare had ever been stuck before. Hmmmm... I toyed between making the sarcastic comment or the low-key comment. I settled on simply saying, "Yes, and she was just hospitalized last weekend and had a traumatic IV experience, so please use the other arm." I must say that despite the phlebotomist's grating personality, she was a master sticker and got that blood draw done in a flash. It's amazing when I think of my list of small things I am grateful for - a phlebotomist who can draw enough blood on one quick stick is definitely in my top five!

I enjoyed my trip down memory lane looking at Clare's baby book. But I am definitely glad those days are over. We still have our challenging "WS days" (as I call them) where I am once again overwhelmed by what Williams syndrome means in our life. But, as a whole, I am more in stride with everything now. I take it one day at a time!

Prayer Before Meals

Jamie loves to say the prayer before we eat dinner. He composes an original prayer every night for us, and they are usually along the same lines with slight variations ("thank you for a wonderful day, thank you for our delicious food, etc."). They are always sweet, earnest, and from the heart - as befits a 5-year old boy. Tonight's prayer, though, was the winner of all prayers:

Dear God,
Bless all of my shark friends especially the ones who have the diarrheas. Bless all the good guys and make the bad guys lose their powers.
Amen.

Gotta Love Cake

Simon is by far our best eater yet. Almost anything and everything. And the quantity! Oh my! So when it came to his first birthday cupcake, he dove right in. Literally face first. We have video of Simon face-planted onto his cupcake, and you can hear him making slurping noises as he sucked on the cupcake. It's actually kind of gross! If only we all tackled life as enthusiastically as this baby boy of mine!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Pinch Me

Someone please wake me from this nightmare. Either the USB port on our hard drive or my actual USB cable for my iPod is faulty. Whichever it is it means that I cannot sync my iPod with my iTunes right now. Which means that for the last five weeks I have been stuck listening to the Elmo Dance Party mix over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

All I have to say is Macarena and Cotton Eyed Joe...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

First Birthday Baby

Where has the year gone? I cannot believe that my baby is already one year old. In the blink of an eye...

* We went from calling you Mr. Serious to calling you Mr. Smiley.
* Your hair changed from jet black to a light reddish-blondish-brown.
* Your soft coos transformed into wild shrieks and big belly laughs.
* We went from snuggling our peaceful bundle of a newborn to trying to hold down a giggling, squirmy boy during diaper changes.
* You grew a whole year older.

Happy 1st Birthday, Simon! You fill our lives with much love and laughter. We cannot imagine our world without you. Your first year of life has truly been a joy. In many ways, you brought our family back to normal. We love you, sweet baby birthday boy!