Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Milestones and clean teeth!

How funny is it that as soon as you think nothing is happening developmentally, something shows up out of the blue?!?

Austin has always been very fearful due to balance issues so he's hesistant to try anything new unless he's good and ready. He's always climbed the stairs by crawling and has only been going down the stairs by crawling for less than a year. Well I turned the corner a couple of day ago and Austin was climbing the stairs using the handrail (which he's starting to grow tall enough to reach)!!! I was floored! I watched him without him knowing it and he successfully made it up 4-5 steps before I HAD to start praising him so of course he quit! Little Stinker!



Gift idea for parents of RTS kids!
I bought Austin a singing toothbrush from walmart and it's a hit! It was a stocking stuffer and as soon he realized that it played Veggie Tale music, he was thrilled! The music plays for 2 minutes to signal how long you are supposed to brush your teeth, cool huh? Well Andrew got a 'plain, non singing' Veggie Tale toothbrush in his stocking but when he saw Austin (who is now ASKING to brush his teeth) brushing his teeth to music, he HAD to join in. Here's a pic of the boys brushing their teeth in time to random Veggie Tale tunes!

Catching up!

It's been a while since I've posted so I have lots of pictures from Christmas!
This Christmas, Ben and I bought Austin a big wheel (he outgrew his tricycle) and Andrew a drum set (crazy people aren't we?).



One of Austin's stocking stuffers

Christmas pj's at my parents house

Monday, December 22, 2008

First 'Official' Day of Christmas Break

Playing with his hamper...








Guess I wore him out today...he fell asleep at 5:45pm (and had no problem going to bed at 7:30pm!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

my little mermaid-er, merman, I guess


Andrew woke up this morning with both legs in one pant leg and with one arm out the top of his pj's. I tried to take a picture of him but he kept yelling that he was hungry so I settled for this picture right as we gave him breakfast.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Frustrated

I just received today's mail and noticed a large manilla envelope addressed to myself and Austin. I never enjoy those big envelopes because you never know what they'll say or announce you don't qualify for such and such. I yanked out all the papers and realized the stack was from the Department of Social Services. Oh joy. I read over the letter on top and to my disbelief DSS wants me to fill out the entire stack of papers I received, gather all the forms and documents they need, visit Austin's dr. and teacher and have THEM fill out more papers, and then sign everything and return it to their office...get this...by December 30th!!! Are you kidding me?!?! Going to pull my hair out with this one...typical kids are much easier to raise. I'm going to be quoting "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" an awful lot these next few days.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Little boys...

How in the world do I start this post? At the beginning I guess!

Austin and Andrew attend A.W.A.N.A. Sunday afternoons at our church for an hour and a half. Austin is a Spark (K-2nd grade? Not sure) and Andrew is a Puggle (2 year old class). While the kids are in their classes, I usually sit in the church office, crochet, and enjoy the time without my children. I was quietly crocheting when one of the Spark leaders (and thankfully a mom with a son) bursts into the office with Austin. She quickly blurted out something along the lines of "I'm not sure what he's trying to do" and then quickly left and went back to the class. Of course, this got my attention and I jumped up to figure out what in the world she was talking about. I peer down at Austin and all I see is...

his naked bottom with his pull up and pants around his ankles.

Ok, so part of me wanted to die laughing but the other part of me was embarrassed for him! He was wearing wind pants that were the tiniest bit too big (he has NO butt to hold his pants up) so when the pants start to slip down-they take the pull up with them. Of course, this bothers Austin. Since he can't grab onto both the pants and the pull up, he naturally pulls them down. This time I'm sure everyone got a good glimpse of his rear end.

I 'think' his class was in game time at the moment so hopefully the other kids were too busy playing to notice. At least no one came up to me at church last night to tell me they saw Austin's behind!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My beautiful bathroom!

I tried really hard to find a picture of what the "before" version of my bathroom looked like but no luck. This is the only picture I took while painting with my sister back in 2004. I'll just describe it to you...



Our upstairs bathroom was a minty green color when I moved in (Ben was deployed to Iraq at the time) and just very boring looking. So I took it upon myself to make it look fun and cheerful. So I painted it orange. Bright orange. Yep, I did. Pick your chin up off the floor now, let me explain. =) I did a tropical theme with bright orange, blue, yellow, and pink towels. The tropical fish shower curtain with matching bath rug and switch plate. It looked cute and woke me up in the morning!

Well, four and half years later, the towels were starting to fall apart, the shower curtain was torn in a couple places, etc. and I didn't want to replace them with the same old thing. My husband, being the jack-of-all-trades, volunteered to repaint the bathroom and get new towels!

Some explanations...

1)my house was built in 1890. Our bathroom was probably a closet at one time cause it's really long and narrow. And no we don't have any problems getting in the shower, bathing the kids is another story...

2)the sink is an ugly shade of blue which I'm hoping will be replaced eventually!

3)it's hard to tell in the picture but the wall behind the toilet is a darker shade of brown...it's beautiful!

4)one last thing. I'm well aware I have a lightbulb out and the switch plate still isn't on. Oops!

Sorry the pictures are slightly blurry. Camera battery died!





Monday, December 8, 2008

Newly discovered talent

Been a bit frustrated lately with Austin. Not so much directed AT him but at RTS in general. He seemed to be in a rut. I haven't seen any gains developmentally in a long time. Every little step is something to be praised right? Maybe my eyes aren't quite focused on the "little steps" due to this busy time of year but I haven't even seen the slightest gain.

Until yesterday.

I was chatting with my mom at church in our Sunday School room (we teach the 4 year old class together) and Austin was doing his usual roaming around the room. Next thing I know my mom exclaims "Michelle, look at Austin!". I turn to my left and Austin is standing at the table with a number puzzle (#'s 0-9) and he's doing it all by himself. Now, Austin is NOT a puzzle person. It frustrates him and he ends up throwing the pieces across the room so this was exciting! I watched him as he successfully placed 5 of the numbers without my help at all. Never been done. No coaching. The last 3 numbers I had to help him with and Andrew had escaped with the rest so he did half the puzzle on his own! Yeah Austin!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Been a while...

Ok so it's been a while since I've posted. I've set up the Christmas decorations and tree, nearly finished my Christmas cards (just waiting to print the letter!), and have started wrapping the presents. Just not feeling the blogging itch, I guess!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank you Jen!

Once again my friend, Jen, has helped me out! She is so creative so I've enlisted her to help me decorate my house on a budget. I gave her my favorite infant picture of Austin and The Special Child poem and told her to run with it and here's what she created! Feel free to click on the pictures to view them up close. Aren't they beautiful?!?!







Here's another glance since this one has the flash right in it-


We got the big frame at the thrift store for only $2 and Jen took the picture out and spray painted it! Incredible difference...next time I'll have to take before and after pictures!

Here is the Special Child poem for those who haven't read it before:

The Special Child

The child, yet unknown, spoke with the Father
"Lord, how will I survive in the world?
I will not be like other children, my walk
may be slower, my speech hard to understand, I
may look different. What is to become of me?"
The Lord replied to the child, "My precious one,
have no fear, I will give you exceptional parents.
They will love you because you are special, not in spite
of it. Though your path throughout life will be
difficult, your reward will be greater. You have
been blessed with a special ability to love,
and those whose lives you touch will be
blessed because you are special."

Author/Source Unknown

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What has gotten into my son?

I don't know what is going on with Austin but someone has flipped the silly switch. For the last 2 weeks Austin has been unusually silly. He laughs at the slightest request for no apparent reason! Of course, I welcome it with open arms! Usually he's very moody and easily cries so this attitude is much nicer.

I've attached a picture of Austin doing "Austin therapy". He did this all on his own. He'll lay in the goofiest positions known to man. We've been told by several doctors and friends that he has exceptionally strong ab muscles!


The other picture is the reaction I got from Austin when I asked him to say "mama". Hysterical giggles. Glad he thinks I'm just too funny for words ( no pun intended!). I started signing "mom" to him instead since he was in no mood to be verbal ( mama is his only word) but that just brought more laughter. I give up. LOL

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Surprise!



Over the summer, Ben and I tried to sell our home to move onto something more spacious and accomodating for Austin. In preparation for moving, I sold a lot of my wall hangings in a moving sale. Hey, if you don't have to move it, right? I didn't care for the way I had decorated anyway. Nothing flowed or felt like "home" to me. Well, God had others plans for us and our house didn't sell. When God says to stay put, we'll listen! So where does that leave me? Blank walls. Umm, yeah. I didn't sell everything but I did get rid of quite a bit. After hearing me comment (or better yet,complain), my friends, Jen and Kristen, decided to create wall hangings for me for my birthday.

Well, surprise!!! While I was at my birthday dinner with Ben, Jen and Kristen, sneaked into my house (with help from my husband) and decorated my walls and made a centerpiece for my table!!! I just love it! I can't help but smile when I walk through my dining room. Thank you sooo much you guys!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today I'm 27 years old....AHHHHHHHHHH!

So today is my birthday. I'm no fan of getting older! Can't I just stay 23 forever?!? Anyway, here's a funny picture I took of Austin last Saturday at our church's Thanksgiving dinner. Eating is a full contact sport for him and if the fork isn't working fast enough for him, he uses his hands!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My baby loves me!

video

I know the video is really shaky. My digital camera is one of the older ones so the videos aren't that great. Not to mention, they don't record sound. =( This video is of Andrew around 17 months old. He was just learning to walk!

Anyhow, Tuesday I was feeling really sick. I had a hard time getting off the couch to do anything. Nothing major, just a really bad head cold. As I was laying there, Andrew walked over to me, layed his head on my shoulder and said "I love you mommy". Awwwwww! Melted my heart, for many reasons. Andrew is a motor mouth. He talks all day long and has a huge vocabulary for his age yet would never repeat us when we asked him to say "I love you". So this occasion, these words were all on his own without any prompting. And he said it 6 more times. =) I've been a mom for 6 1/2 years and I have finally heard my child say he loves me. Bliss.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ben, the Woopie Cushion

Here it is for all who asked...LOL! If you look closely, you can see Austin in the background spinning a rock paperweight.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pictures!

Here are some pictures I've finally uploaded from our church's Harvest festival. Austin was a doctor, Andrew was a wolf, and Ben was a whoopie cushion. I've also added Austin's school picture to the side bar! It came out so good! I had to take a picture of it so sorry about the bright spot from the flash.



Thursday, November 6, 2008

State motto or just Northern NY motto?

Well, last week we got a good amount of snow as you see in the pictures. Today, it's 70 degrees and sunny. Go figure. The famous saying here is "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes, it'll change."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Snow Day! (well yesterday is was)



Yesterday was a snow day for us. Austin got to stay home with his brother and mommy. We had a good day although Andrew refused to take a nap cause his brother was home and for goodness sakes he may have missed something exciting if he slept!

The previous winters haven't been all that "exciting" for outdoor play. Austin isn't a fan of being outdoors to begin with but every year I'd bundle him up and take him outside to make a snowman. Austin can't walk in the snow because he doesn't have good balance and he won't touch the snow because, well of course, it's cold. So, I'll do hand over hand for about 5 minutes and then I'll let him sit on our front steps while I make the snowman. We'll see what this year has in store for us.

Since Austin could care less about playing outside in the snow, I decided to take Andrew out. Last year, he had just begun walking (didn't walk till he was 18 months old!) so he wasn't able to enjoy the snow quite yet. I was hopeful for some fun this year and I got it! Oh my goodness, I had so much fun with him! He was so excited to play in the snow. He walked through the knee deep piles, he kicked the bankings (and laughed every time snow fell), and he even grabbed the snow with his bare hands (couldn't find mittens in the house). We only played outside for 10 minutes since I couldn't find the mittens and Andrew wasn't happy about it. He kicked and screamed the whole way in the house! I can't wait to play out in the snow this year! Typical kids are so drastically different to raise! What excites Andrew (snow), bores Austin. What excites Austin (the fish tank), bores Andrew. In a sad kinda way, it always shows me just what I'm missing out on with Austin. It just reinforces our resolve to have days with him (without his brother) to do fun stuff that interests him. He did love the Baltimore Aquarium! Oh wait. I guess that is just one big fish tank! LOL


Note: I took pictures of Andrew looking at himself in the mirror cause he thought the snowsuit was hilarious.





Tuesday, October 28, 2008

dentist update

Well, let's just say the dentist appointment didn't go well. Austin climbed up into the seat without a problem but it went straight downhill from there. He was completely terrified to let the hygenist in his mouth. It was heart wrenching. The only time the hygenist was able to get anything into his mouth was when he took a breath to scream. Yeah, that bad. She cleaned 6 teeth this time so 2 more than last visit. A step forward I guess. Maybe we'll shoot for 8 teeth next time. At least we don't have to do this again for another 6 months. It was a workout in itself. I had to hold his hands done with my elbows and keep his face still with my hands. He did stop crying (slightly) when they offered him a Cars movie sticker after the torture was over.

Monday, October 27, 2008

dentist appt.

Today, Austin has a dentist appointment. This is his 2nd visit and I'm not looking forward to it. I hate having to watch him be scared out of his mind that he trembles! He's not the kind of kid that you can just sit him down and explain it to him and then he'll be ok with it. He's the kind that sees something coming toward his mouth that isn't a toothbrush like at home and it's all over. Not only do I hate having to coax him to let the hygenist brush 3-4 teeth but I hate paying for the visit as well. Our dentist doesn't accept Medicaid and our family's insurance plan doesn't offer dental coverage. Yeah. It's the pits. I footed the hefty bill at the last visit but this time I'm going to beg and plead with Medicaid and see if they'll reimburse me. I'll update after the visit is over and done with. *sigh*

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christmas shopping

I still have my nasty head cold but I decided to blog anyway...

Every year for the past 5(? Amy, just how many has it been?) years, my mom, sister, and I travel to Syracuse (an hour away) to go Christmas shopping all day long. The men hold the fort down with the kids and the women have a full day of shopping, eating out, and browsing without kids. It's heavenly.

People always laugh when we tell them just how long we go shopping for. It's usually 14-16 hours. This year I was gone 16 hours. Left the house at 8am and came home around 12:30am. =) How do we do it you ask? Well, this year we started off at the Christmas Tree shop ( love it!) which opened at 9am. Then we headed to Chicago UNO to eat lunch (yes, we were in the CTS that long). After lunch we shopped at one of the 3 malls near Syracuse then scooted over to Toys R Us by 3pm to get their door buster deals for the weekend. By the way, we save our money all year long to afford this trip so we pay cash for everything! Now that you know that, I can safely say I spent $201.00 at Toys R Us. =) I don't shop for just Christmas, but for birthdays around Christmas as well (there are 5 of them!). Dinner time rolls around so we park ourselves in a booth at Outback Steakhouse. YUM! Dinner finished. Time to go shopping! We stop at mall #2 and stay there till we were unfortunately told that it was closing (Boo!) We hadn't even made it to Sears yet! Well, it's late and all the stores are closing. So what are 3 ladies with a mission to do? Go to the 24 hour Walmart! I think we were in Walmart until 11pm but by then we're getting hungry again. McDonald's is right across the street so we get in line at the drivethrough and my sister (who's driving) turns around to ask my mom what she wants-and the laughing begins. When we're tired-watch out. We can laugh like nobody's business. Why were we laughing? You couldn't even see my mom in the backseat. We had so many packages in that car that the trunk was full, the backseats were full, and I couldn't see anything below my chest. Full to the brim. We laughed so hard my sis couldn't even order our ice cream and had to request some extra time to compose herself! So, yes, we do this every year. The last weekend in October. All day. And no, I'm not finished. =)


I forgot to add I win the "most money saved" prize this year (ficticious of course). I spent $83.00 in JCPenney and saved $187.00. Whoo baby!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ugh!

I have a cold. I want it gone. Feel like a truck ran me over. End of story.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My 100th post!

Happy Anniversary Ben!

Tomorrow is our 8th wedding anniversary. Has it seriously been that long? Where has the time gone? Of course the Army took a good 3-4 years of that but still! Ben and I sat down one time I figured out how many years we've spent apart due to the Army sending him places (he got out in '05) and it was about 3.75 years. Crazy huh? How do people make a career out of it?!? We're weren't built for it I guess.

Anyway, Ben and I got married on a beautiful 70 degree sunny day, 8 years ago, tomorrow. Whoo hoo! My sister, brother-in-law, and parents bought us a digital picture frame for our gift and I love it! We still need to transfer more pictures onto the memory card but it's so cool! Go figure, Austin appreciates it just as much as we do. He loves watching the pictures scroll by. I'll have to take a picture of it soon. =)

By the way, Andrew declared to us this morning from the back seat of the car "mom, I'm amazing"! LOL Where does he come up with this stuff?!?

Friday, October 17, 2008

My trip to Niagara Falls























Well as I mentioned in my previous post, my husband, Andrew, and I made another (somewhat) local trip! Ben's parents (from Arizona) came to visit us for 4 days so we decided to take them to see Niagara Falls. It's a 3 1/2 hour drive but always worth it. We couldn't have had a better day! The sun was shining, it was 72 degrees, and the bright leaves we saw on the way were goregous! Ben and I have been to Niagara Falls before (and came home pregnant with Andrew!) but it was raining and cold. Way too cold to ride the Maid of the Mist so this time we did it!
Andrew didn't like the plastic hood over his head on the boat ride so he got soaked. =) I was surprised just how wet you get on the tour! It would be a great thing to do on a hot summer day!
NOTE: Where's Austin? We went on a Friday while Austin was in school. Less kids to chase after and Austin would NOT have liked all the walking and the slippery boat!

Never Mind!

I clicked on the host of my background to see if it would work if I changed it and there's a bulletin saying they're experiencing problems and to be patient with them. Now it all makes sense! LOL

Wierd...

Don't know what's going on but my background is all of a sudden gone...hmm. Any clues anyone? I haven't changed anything and the html code is still there!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tooth update 2:


Austin has finally lost his first tooth! I checked his mouth this morning to see if he had swallowed it overnight (nope) and then I sent him to school. When he came home from school, I checked his mouth again. No tooth. He swallowed it. =(


I'm a bit sad, I will admit. I really wanted to save his first tooth like my mom did for me. I still have mine in a little baggy in my baby items box. Some may think it's gross...I'm just sentimental.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

5 Facts

My fellow MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) buddy Sandy has started a new thread and I'm following so those of you who want to join in, please do!



5 facts about my family:



Ben:

-is the youth pastor and music minister at our church, owns his own construction company, and is a part time college student-how does he do it?!?

-was in the Army for 8 years (tours in Bosnia, South Korea, and Iraq)

-had WHITE blonde hair as a child

-loves to talk and does it quite well, just don't give him coffee if you want him to be quiet!

-has a few recontructed teeth (rambunctious childhood!)



Michelle:

-I love computers-games, blogging, IM'ing, typing, you name it! I've had one in my house since I was in early grade school.

-I like doing the laundry but hate doing dishes. I once told my mom that I would rather pick up the dog poop with my hands then do the dishes. LOL

-Music is a big part of my life. I am constantly listening to it or singing along with it.

-I did not like jr./sr. high school. I did quite well (had a 93 average) but didn't enjoy it one bit. I never want to be a student again, unless I'm teaching myself. =)

-I have brown wavy hair but was a curly Q'd blonde until Kindergarten



Austin:

-hates to have his routine changed. Major meltdown.

-loves to lay on his back and bounce up and down on our beds

-loves to go to bed. I've never had to fight with him about it. Ever. If he gets tired and it's not bedtime, he'll march up to his room and climb in bed with all his clothes on and go to sleep!

-loves animals, he especially loves watching dogs wag their tails

-would spend his whole day watching Veggies Tales if I let him. Seriously he would.

Andrew:
-loves numbers and letters and trying to write them
-is terrified of bath time and wall mounted changing tables (he just started this 2 weeks ago!)
-takes his right shoe and sometimes his sock off every. single. time. we. are. in. the. car.
-is very independant, won't ride in a shopping cart-he has to walk at his own pace without holding anyone's hand and if you try to, you better run and catch him, cause he'll take off if you try!
-was such a people person as infant. You didn't have to hold him but if you left him alone in a room, he'd scream!

Tooth update

Update: tooth is STILL attached and Austin won't budge. Jaws of iron people.

Monday, October 13, 2008

No tooth yet!

Well Austin's tooth is still attached. Just barely but still there. I keep trying to get it out for him and now he's clamping his mouth shut! I'll have to warn his teacher that it's hanging on by a thread just in case he decides to hand it to her tomorrow at school. =) That is, if he doesn't swallow it overnight! LOL

It's incredibly hectic here right now and I have a lot of blogging to do! This past Friday I went on another trip (somewhat locally) and I have pictures to share!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

He's growing up...

Austin has had a loose tooth for a couple months now and today it's barely hanging on. I can't believe my little boy is starting to loose his teeth! AHHH! It's exciting at the same time though cause in all other ways he's still my little toddler. This new chapter is just a reminder that he is indeed my 6 year old.

Now, I'm hoping he doesn't swallow it overnight. =(

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I made a pie!



As I've mentioned before, I'm not a good cook. I do like to bake though! I have never made a pie before and I found a great recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine so I thought, why not try it? Well, it came out perfectly!!! I'm so excited! I didn't burn the crust or anything!
Believe it or not, it tastes sooooooooooo yummy! Reminds me of pecan pie! Here's the recipe:
Maple Nut Pie
1 rolled refridgerated unbaked piecrust
1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
3 eggs
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1. Cook pie crust according to directions on box. Reduce heat to 350 degrees
2. In saucepan bring maple syrup to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.
3. In medium bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on medium to high speed till thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes.
4. In large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated and brown sugars, beat to combine. Beat in reduced syrup and eggs. Fold in walnuts, vanilla, and nutmeg. Pour into prebaked crust.
5. Bake pie on baking sheet in lower third of oven 35 minutes or until set around edges. Cool and serve with ice cream!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Texas pictures!

Ok so I didn't take very many pictures...but here are a few!


The Gaylord Texan where the conference was held...HUGE!


Filing into the ballroom for a "general session". 5,000 moms came!

Ok, I know. What's the big deal with the Sonic? We don't have them in NY!!! I love Sonic! Cherry Limeade Baby! LOL

Me, our Council Coordinator Vickie, and my bud Jennifer

Me and my sister-in-law, Katie (lives in AZ) who also attended the conference!

Ben surprised me with flowers delivered to my hotel room!

Texas people are WAY too proud of their state! LOL Texas waffles?!?

Jen and I made a pitstop at the Rainforest Cafe and chowed down on the Volcano dessert...yep, we don't have the Cafe where we live! LOL

Seeing these pictures made me realize just how much I hate my glasses. I need to either go buy more contacts (I wear the daily disposables) or get new frames...ugh.