Saturday, January 30, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday, Jamie!

My baby is 7 years old today. My first baby, that is! Happy 7th Birthday, Jamie!

Everyone is still in some stage of a viral cold, so we had a low-key day. Jamie begged for a present first thing in the morning, so we gave him the magic kit we bought him. He was thrilled and spent a good majority of the morning practicing then performing tricks for us. Jamie chose to go to our favorite Mexican restaurant for his birthday celebration, so we did that, followed by ice cream cake, and more presents. Jamie is at a great age where he is so interested in how the world works. He is fascinated with outer space, so Shawn and I got him a telescope for his big present. Jamie loved it, and he and Shawn bundled up against the single digit cold to view the full moon. It was a cloudy night, so they are making plans for another star-hunting night in the (warmer) future.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Violet!

Our sweet baby girl is one year old today! Even though she is Baby #4, every milestone is such an excitement in our household. We never get tired of celebrating each one. Jamie, Clare, and Simon get even more excited than Mommy and Daddy, if that's possible!

We decided that Violet wanted pancakes, grapes, and bacon for her birthday dinner. (Pancakes being her favorite food and a dinner that everyone would eat - okay, I did make a cheddar and tomato frittata for the grown-ups.) Violet eagerly dug into her pink frosted cupcake. No hesitation there. She is our most advanced one year old when it comes to gross motor skills, deciding that her birthday was the perfect day to demonstrate that she can go up the stairs. Thankfully I caught her when she was only on the third stair because she does not know how to get back down other than just leaning back and hoping someone catches her! It was so much fun watching her go crazy with all the exuberance in the room as she opened her presents. She was everywhere! Violet LOVED the baby doll that Jamie, Clare, and Simon picked out for her. Baby dolls are one of Violet's favorite toys right now - she crawls around the house carrying one a good portion of the day. This birthday present is her very first baby doll (Clare has been generously loaning hers out). My sister Christina sent an adorable dress and hat - isn't that hat precious? I have a feeling it will be a part of her one year professional photos. Violet received a walker/ride-on toy from Shawn and I, which she also loved. She is so close to walking (stands alone and has taken two steps so far). She was zooming all over the living room with her new toy. I have a feeling it will be the push she needs to walk on her own. Then it converts to a riding toy, so she can keep up with her older siblings.

It's been a crazier-than-normal week in our house. We started off with a huge snowstorm on Monday. Simon has decided this week that napping is not for him anymore. And it really was not a good week for Simon to start this because Clare has come down with the flu - this was her official diagnosis today at the pediatrician's after three days of a fever and horrible, bronchial cough. She is now on antibiotics, Tamiflu, Tylenol, and nebulizer treatments. Jamie has had two migraines, and Shawn was in Philadelphia for two days. And, of course, while Shawn was in Philly, we were blanketed with more snow, so I had my once-a-year crash course in running the snowblower. After all that, to have my baby girl turn one and have a fun little birthday party this evening was such a bright spot in an otherwise not-so-good week!

Happy Birthday, Violet Grace! We love you so much! You are a ray of sunshine in our lives!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Taking the Plunge

S~ Close to five year ago I became the father to a Special needs child. At that time, I will be honest, many things went through my head. Was I ready for this? Is this something I am strong enough to handle? And I have to admit some disappointment. Disappointment in the fact that I would probably never get the chance to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day or see her off to her first prom. These are all selfish thoughts I admit, but nonetheless these were my true feelings. Looking back over the five years, a lot of those fears and concerns are still lingering, however they are minimized by all the pleasure that a special needs child can bring. On my worst days, it is usually Clare, climbing into my lap with her big starburst eyes and a smile on her face telling me I am her hero, or I am her best friend. Those moments are priceless and will elevate any sour mood. So my goal with Clare is to now give her the richest and fullest life I can. It is hard to watch other kids her age pass her by, some losing interest in playing with her because she can't keep up physically or mentally. And you worry that she will grow up with very little friends and confidants. That is why when we found the Youth Athletic Program with the Special Olympics, I knew that here is a place where Clare could be herself, and be surrounded by other kids dealing with the same problems. So that is why I have chosen, and will be accompanied by one of my greatest friends and supporters, my Dad, to support Clare by raising money for the Special Olympics. My dad and I have decided to take the plunge, the Penguin Plunge that is! That's right on February 7th my Dad and I will be plunging into the Atlantic Ocean no matter the weather or temperature. However, we can only do it if we collectively raise $600.00. That is why I am asking for your support, no matter how much you can contribute. Please help me and my Dad support a program that has meant so much to Clare! Thanks!

You can click on the link or the sidebar to the right to donate online with a credit card. If you want to make a cash/check donation, you know where we are!

Taking the Plunge for Clare

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Neglected Daybook

Outside my window … darkness. Which means the Christmas lights have been taken down and Christmas is officially over.

I am thinking
… I need to stop feeling guilty over every little thing.

I am thankful for
… our beautifully-finished office. To celebrate, I completed Simon's first year scrapbook today.

I am reading
An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon. Finally!

I am hoping
… I can keep this blog up. I think it's days are numbered.

On my mind
… I cannot believe Violet is turning one next week. :(

We’re learning
… that those meddling kids do always solve the mystery.

Noticing that
… all the kids are growing like weeds. Except for Simon. Hmmmm... is he just going to be short or is there something else going on?

Pondering these words
… "Ok - too many different words coming at me from too many different sentences." --Michael Scott

From the kitchen
… getting out of my recovering-from-surgery-and-then-baking-for-the-holidays fog. I have actually been making dinner - barbecue pulled pork, chicken pad thai, enchiladas. And the kids hate it all.

Around the house
… birthdays, birthdays, birthdays.

One of my favorite things
… coming home after a long day to dinner already cooking, the table set, and wine poured. (Okay, no wine poured, but it sounded nice.)

A picture I am sharing
The sweetness of stolen candy canes.