Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chitter, Chatter, SHREAK, Giggle, SCREAM!!

These are the sounds I hear all day from the boys.

Evan has been babbling up a storm and imitating everything anyone says to him. He's harder to follow since he's the quiet kind and doesn't like to show off or speak loudly (not to say he doesn't love to let out piercing shrieks all the time, he may be small but his lungs are big) but we had an OT and Speech session where he was the only kid for a change and he was really hamming it up. When he says actual words he's almost timid about it, like he's treating the formation of the word like he's handling fragile glass. It's the sweetest, softest, most adorable sound and matches his stature, which is why it's difficult to pay attention to him when boisterous Cameron is screaming words left and right and demanding you acknowledge him. Evan's now added the following words to his repertoire:

Shoe - (pronounced seh-oo)
Iguana - (pronounced eh-ga-na or just ga-na)
Hug - (pronounced huh or Ah-huh as in "a hug" courtesy of the Cornelius P. Mud book we love)
Ahchoo - as in to sneeze
Meow - the sound a cat makes
Quack - the sound a duck makes
Neigh - the sound a horse makes
Wee wee - the sound a pig makes
Woof - the sound a dog makes
Squeak - the sound a mouse makes (pronounced eeeh)
Whoo whoo - the sound an owl makes
Oh no!
No no no no... - this is his favorite, with vigorous shaking of the head from side to side
Mouth - (pronounced Mmmm-ouh)
Cheek - (pronounced chee)
Hair - (pronounced Haih)
Jump - (pronounced jum)
Hop - (pronounced hah)
Slide - (pronounced sly)
Knock knock - (pronounced nah-nah)

Cameron is learning words so fast that I can not keep track at all and will probably stop trying since he's right on target with his language for now. Words Cameron says now:

Lion - with roar
Iguana - (says this perfectly too)
Upside down - (pronounced upsdown)
French fry
Orange - this took the longest time for him to say and he still gets it confused with yellow
Five - (poor number four is forgotten most times)
Lay Down
Sit Down
Open Up
Please - (pronounced pees)
Heiny - (thanks to Dad he thinks his bottom is his heiny)
Button - (confused with bottom, pronounced buh-ton with pause between syllables)
Fork - (pronounced forh)
Clean - (pronounced keen)
Safari hat - (pronounced sorry hah)
Cheese - (pronounced cheeh)
Boing - as in the sound something with springs makes when it bounces
Big Bird - (pronounced Big Birrr)
Grape - (pronounced gape)

Their favorite thing to do is to climb underneath the smaller slide and in and out the tiny crawl holes, especially the hidden portal under the slide. I will hear them shrieking and laughing and then suddenly screams like someone is being stabbed to death. I come running into the room and at first glance can not find either toddler. Then I realize they are both wedged in and under the slide in the 2 foot by 2 foot by 1 foot crawl space. By the time I find them they are laughing and giggling again. We're learning the new sounds of "I'm hurt or need help." vs the "I've got myself in a position that is troublesome and I'm just letting everyone know that I'm angry about it." and both sound remarkably alike.

Can you spot my children in this chaotic mess??

There they are!

The majority of the 50+" of snow we had is gone on the right side of our street while the left side still has some left to melt.

Up high!!

The boys love to squeeze into tiny tight spaces whenever possible, so this old Little Tikes slide is perfect. Pardon my husband's singing.

How to give your toddler a workout; put socks on him and let him try to go up the slide.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to Squeaker the Dragon!

You turn SIX today! We can't wait to celebrate with you!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Visceral Reaction

Visceral Reaction: characterized by or proceeding from instinct rather than intellect: a visceral reaction, characterized by or dealing with coarse or base emotions; earthy; crude: a visceral literary style.

Last night for dinner I made Gordon Fisherman brand popcorn popcorn shrimp for myself, and Tyson's brand popcorn chicken tenders for my hubby (who does not like shrimp though he's never eaten shrimp before). The boys were seated in their highchairs next to us and within two minutes of my placing my plate in front of me Cameron vomited. I am certain it was a visceral uncontrolled reaction to the smell of the shrimp which was a little bit fishy. This is the first time he's ever done something like this, but it falls in line with the symptoms of the condition of food neophobia, which my husband also has to a somewhat lesser extent. Cameron's was definitely not behavioral based, he clearly smelled and looked at the food, but did not need to work himself up to vomit, it just came out. So now we know, Cameron can not tolerate the smell of seafood, which is a shame, but maybe he will outgrow it in time. Evan had no issues with the sight or smell, but refused to eat.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Catastrophic Blizzard Damage

We had so much ice buildup in our gutters that last Thursday the gutters on the back of the house all fell down, fascia board, ice and all. The insurance company says this is falling under the category of Catastrophic Damage because there's a large number of people in the area experiencing this from the back to back monster blizzards we had at the beginning of this month. Hopefully we can find someone to come fix the damage soon. We are not the DIY kind of people for big projects like this. We learned our lesson when redoing one of our bathrooms that this is not an area that we excel in enough to take this task on. We also now have two toddlers who make us exhausted non-stop so the energy, drive, wherewithal and skill are just not available.

Can you see the worry going on in Chewie's head?

A small section of the block of ice that filled the gutters, about 25" wide and 6" deep.

Note the amount of snow on the barbecue grill with the gutter perched on top? That's catastrophic snow.

And because they're too cute, here's more pics of the boys from this weekend.

DJ Jazzy Evan playing the beats ya'll.

The world according to Evan: When you really love something, you must sit on it.

Cameron looking brainy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Peer Pressure

Yesterday we were off to our local community gym for our weekly round robin Early Intervention service activities for the boys. It's really just a loud chaotic toddler scream, shake, rattle, roll and throw fest and they love it, provided they're not overtired and ready for nap time. Most of my time is spent herding the boys to their designated activity before the whistle blows and we have to move them to the next activity. It's always crowded, totally free to the community kids ages 3 and under, and staffed by OT's, PT's, and Speech therapists. There are usually about 40 kids in attendance, but I think there would be more if the word gets out enough, then they might get more funding for more fun free toddler friendly activities throughout the week. This week our friend preemie Brendan and his mom Katie were going to join us, but when we got there we all discovered that schools were delayed two hours and all community services through the school system were canceled. So we went to Panera for a breakfast snack and then over to the bookstore to trash the childrens section.

It was actually a great time. Evan was flirting with Miss Katie while Cameron was testing out Brendan's Teddy Grahams and pretending to drink from plastic cups. Cameron had been eying Brendan munching on the cookies and insisted on trying one and it turns out that he really loved them even made the "Mmmm..." sound with big eyes, and took two big bites and only gagged a little bit once. So yeah, Mommy is super excited, and now we'll be stocking Honey Baked Teddy Grahams on a regular basis and trying to keep Mommy and Daddy from eating them all. And my apologies to the patrons of Panera. We stirred up quite a ruckus with three highchairs all in a row, three toddlers screaming and throwing food and plastic cups as far as their little arms could fling them. Just like all the other patrons in Panera on a Thursday morning at 10am, all three boys even pulled out their cell phones and began texting each other. The bookstore was fun too, if not a little manic with three toddlers tearing all the books off the shelves and stomping all over their window displays and story time stage, moving the furniture around like they lived there. But there was no one there to disturb or complain and all Katie and I had to do was keep them in the same space general without damaging anything including themselves. It was pretty easy and the boys had a great time.

Pics from our great day out by Katie:

Then upon getting home from our play date I discovered two things. One was that the boys REFUSED to take a much needed nap and ended up going to bed at 4pm, waking at 3:15am for a diaper change, then sleeping until 5:30am. The second thing I discovered upon returning home from our play date was that the gutters along the entire length of the house had fallen off from the 25+" of ice and snow weighing them down. It was a shock to see a monstrous metal barrier filled with huge blocks of ice upon opening the back door. Hopefully we can get the insurance to cover all our gutters on the front and back to be replaced and that there's no additional damage beyond that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Can we just put them in these...

For the rest of their lives????

It would make me feel much better.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Breaking the Cabin Fever

Must escape and brave the cold snow and wind. Minds slowly turning to jelly, muscles atrophying, sense of humor completely lost... Fading fast. What to do? Go to the chaos that is Port Discovery, of course!

We met up with our favorite baby-cousin Dillan and Aunt Val and Uncle Mike for our first family outing to one of the top 5 best childrens museums in the country. And I must say this is an impressive, colossally huge place. This is not your typical museum, it's more of a giant three story jungle gym (this is NOT an exaggeration) with lots of activities for all ages, including our biggest toddlers - our husbands. The museum is filled with lots of rooms with different themes and activities and presentations including a story time oasis area, arts and crafts, with one enormous center that houses a three story jungle gym complete with a zip line, lots of random stuff to clime and swing on, a large water activity room where you WILL get wet,and extremely interactive displays are everywhere throughout. We pretty much stuck to three large areas all geared to infants and toddlers and barely played with all the different toys and things to climb, open, close, turn and crank, lift, lower, put in and out.... It's a toddlers dream.

While there we got to "have lunch" with Dillan who is just starting to learn to eat solids. It is rare that I watch other children eat. I purposely don't do it, I don't look because it's very stressful to know what you are missing out, especially something as basic and natural as your children eating food. But it was fun to watch Dillan scream at his mom for more applesauce, open wide, lean in swat at her hand and the spoon for more. My boys have NEVER shown that kind of behavior as to want to eat anything at all including a bottle when they should have been starving. So to see this healthy happy eating behavior up close was nice, but really hard to watch. But now I have an even bigger picture of how far we are from actually being able to call what the boys do "eating". *sigh*

And I guess Evan was really paying attention to Dillan and the praise we were giving too because he was very eager to eat several tastes of greenbeans puree that I offered without hope of interest. Evan was almost, dare I say it, excited (??) to grab my hand and pull the spoon to his mouth so he could suck the puree off with his lips. He refused to open his mouth, but I'm very please with sucking spoonfuls as the alternative. I would say he took maybe five spoonfuls total, which is rare. And Evan willingly bit off one piece of Baby MumMum, chewed it and sort of swallowed it once it was almost completely dissolved, all without gagging and throwing up. Cameron however was not having it. Period, nothing doing, end of story. So I didn't bother pushing him as he was really still overwhelmed by all the opportunities to play around him.

New Words -
Telephone - pronounced "helephone"
Granny - we've been practicing this for some time
Iguana - pronounce "eh-ghana"
Eyebrow - points to eyebrow
Mum-Mum (his paternal grandmother is also called Mom-Mom so this is still confusing)
Stick (particularly in reference to drum sticks and sticks that Chewie brings up on the deck to chew.)

Evan: (I think we are about to start having a language explosion from Evan soon)
Iguana - pronounced "ghana"
Bow Wow
Wee Wee
Mum-Mum (again this is confused with the name for their paternal grandmother)
Granny (pronounced Gahn)

Here's some pics from our outing and earlier in the week some videos of the boys' antics.

Thanks very much for coming out to play with us today Aunt Val & Uncle Mike and Cousin Dillan. We had a great time and can't wait to do this again soon.

Note to self: Next time we come to Port Discovery bring two changes of clothes, two raincoats, two sets of galoshes (they didn't have any Crocs that would fit my guys), and a big dry towel so we can really enjoy the huge water room to its fullest.

As you can see even the oversized toddlers had some fun too.

My little maestro banged out a melodious little ditty on this xylaphone piano for about 20 minutes straight, much to everyone's pained ears. As you can see my hubby was having a blast too.

Cam mowed the carpet for about 15min he loved this mower so much.

Dad, this ball pit kicks our ball pit's butt.

Ball pits are so much fun....

Until you sink too far down into them.

But Dad, I want to go in there too!

King of the jungle... Jungle gym that is.

The boys physical therapist would be so proud!

Aunt Laura! Did you see these? They're BUBBLES!!

Cameron is easily confused about who and what uses a telephone, but he's obsessed with the concept. We've been reading a great book by Eric Carl called "The Very Quiet Cricket" and at the end of the book the cricket actually chirps. In this you can hear Cameron clearly say "telephone", "no" (his favorite word), and "hello". This video was captured after we stared reading the book the first time because Cameron kept holding the book up to his ear and saying "Hello?". Evan knows better and went to get the phone to answer back, hence the "telephone" ringing along with the cricket "ringing/chirping" in this video clip.

Up & Down

Brushing Teeth - We've been slowly re-building up to putting a toothbrush in the boys mouths. I can not put it in there or they freak the hell out and puke buckets, but let them do it on their own and they go to town. Whatever it takes.

Eat - It is a difficult and beautiful thing to capture the boys in the rare moment when they are willing to take a bite of something solid, chew and swallow without vomiting. Both boys did it several times this day, but I was only able to capture Cameron doing it three times. Here's one of those times, right after Evan had had enough and puked. Usually this upsets Cameron too and he refuses to try, but here he's in a great mood and ate about three more bites with lots of positive reinforcement, imitation and excessive encouragement from me.

And lastly, an example of the boys favorite thing to do lately. Elmo's very own "Spin Around and Fall Down Dance". Cameron clearly says the word "spin" in this one, actually said it several times but mostly after the camera stopped filming.