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29 July 2011

Project 52 | Communication | Week 30

Motherhood is


One of the best decisions we made with Jarvis was to teach sign language. 
Now he's talking even more, but those basic signs are still used daily!
My favorite is 'help,' 
so much nicer to see that and not hear a screaming child!

(SOOC- straight out of camera, no editing)

Here he is signing help. And I think 'please' is my second favorite!

He still fusses and scream and shrieks when he wants attention. But he *usually* attempts to communicate with signs before he gets too upset. That was my goal. Because and inability to communicate frustrates toddlers and mamas alike. We were able to teach him that he could ask for what he wanted before he could even talk. I'm not sure how much more sign language we will teach him. I love it, but I don't know very much. But I am grateful we did the signs we taught him, they helped bridge the time between knowing what he wants and being able to use language to ask for it. 

What signs did you teach? We taught: more, help, please, milk, and all done. We've also been working on signing the alphabet, and he can now sign o, and m.

22 July 2011

Project 52 | Milestones | Week 29

Motherhood is


I still remember the first smile, the first giggle.
The first time he rolled over.
That first night of 12 hours of sleep.
The very first sweet 'mama.'

This week, he slept in a toddler bed.
(And it feels like he just left for college.)

(SOOC- straight out of camera- I am FINALLY getting my settings better!)

I can't believe it. He seems too little. But every single day he is fighting for his independence, and this battle was much needed. He's done amazingly well in the toddler bed! He stays in there all night and pretty much ignores the toys. And he's finally given up his nap strike that lasted 3 weeks. I think he was ready for it, but mama wasn't!

It's so cliche, but it does go so very fast!!

15 July 2011

Project 52 | Neat | Week 28

Motherhood is


Not always. It's messy and dirty quite often.
But sometimes, he's just like me.

Trucks neatly arranged on the play gym.
Laundry placed carefully into the basket.
A loud 'uh-oh' when the milk leaks on the table and a quick grab for a cloth to wipe it up.
Happily gathering and stacking the books on the bookshelf.
18 months isn't too soon for chores, right??

(Now how to teach him to be neat and clean, but not OCD like his mother... I'm not sure on that one!)

It's been a crazy week here at my house. I am happily fighting some major pregnancy symptoms and a nasty cold and this sweet boy has been a big help! I have been focusing on having him help clean up more this week. I sit on the floor next to a basket, and tell him to get all the trucks. He walks around and I give him direction clues and he brings all the trucks and puts them in the basket. Repeat for blocks, books, kitchen stuff, and most of the playroom gets cleaned without me having to stand or bend over, yippee!!

He also helps me clean the table after he eats, vacuums with his play vacuum while I clean, moves the laundry for me and even pushes the baskets into the living room to be folded. He's really rather handy! I am working on trying to instill these habits in him, so maybe someday his future wife will thank me!! haha...

14 July 2011

A surprise or a plan?

In the past, Hubby and I have made the decision to NOT find out the gender of our babies. We had planned to stick with that with the rest of the babies and have all neutral newborn stuff (although really, neutral ends up being more boyish).

BUT.... the twins are throwing a bit of a cramp in that... we will need more clothes either way, boy or girl, and we have to buy seconds of basically everything else. 

So we are in a toss up as whether we will find out the gender of the twins. So for fun, here's your chance to vote! Vote in the pole on the right and tell us what you think we should do!

We probably won't listen, haha, but it's fun to see what you think!

12 July 2011

The Fishies | TWINS

We broke the news on facebook that we are expecting TWINS! I can not even begin to tell you the emotions and thoughts running through my head.

We are BEYOND THRILLED. We want a big family, and I have always said I would love multiples. We are well aware of just how hard it will be, but we will be gladly taking on the challenge.

As you know, we always nickname our babies, we had already decided on Fishy, so now they are the Fishies! Fishy A had a heartbeat of 162 and Fishy B had a heartbeat of 171.

Now, we are well aware that confirmed heartbeats  are just the first step in this LONG journey. There are quite a few more concerns with twins, not to mention the ones from our history. 

So why did I decide to share so early? Well, it's complicated. My basic opinion is to only share with people you would tell if things did not work out. And then to share publicly when you are prepared to share publicly if something happens. 

I have been very public with my losses, and through that I have been helped and have been able to help so many people. I want to continue that. So yes, it's early, we are on an uphill battle, but we are excited. 

In my mind, I would not trade a single day with Job or Monkey, even if I had known that I would lose them. I strive to value EVERY single day with my babies, to treasure and enjoy each day. Even if it's the last day. It will never be enough until I am in heaven with all my babies. But I will take every day the Lord gives me. 

So here we go... we are a bit overwhelmed and my mind is racing, but I am so very excited about what is to come...

08 July 2011

this much [18 mos]

The main thought running through my head lately is "SLOW DOWN!!" This child is growing so very fast!! We hang out with alot of older kids (the youngest is just 2 months younger than Jarvis) and it seems like every single day he is learning something from one of them. He climbs on playgrounds like he's been doing it for years, not 2 months. He slides down the big slides all by himself, and adores the water slides into the pool. 

He is most definitely NOT a baby. We are full-on into the toddler years, tantrums, challenges, and ENERGY. The best way to burn that energy while Daddy is TDY? A couple hours at the pool!

(both taken by my good friend Stacy)

And us coming out of the water slide, if you looks closely, you can see the colors of our swimsuits!

Project 52 | Letting Go | Week 27

Motherhood is

letting go.

Play scapes, baby pools, sand boxes, water slides.
This is our summer.
And he thinks he can do all of it by himself.
It's bittersweet to know that he actually can.

I'm not sure where my baby went, but this toddler is alot of fun!

He wants to be outside every minute of the day, and we are soaking up all the North Dakotan sunshine that we can. We topped out in the 90s this week, thank goodness- which meant lots of pool time! We are still under a boil water order and in water conservation, but luckily the pool found a way to open. This baby is an expert at the baby pool and has no fear! He seems to think he can swim like the big kids in the big pool (much to my concern!) and adores the water slides. Every time he goes down the slide (in our arms of course) he signs, more, more, more... no fear at all!

He's a little brown bear now and his hair has faded to a lighter brown. My favorite part of these sunny days are that he reminds me of my little brother. Anytime my little brother went out in the heat, he flushed in the heat. Jarvis does the same thing (which neither Jace nor I do) and I love seeing that bit of my family in him!

01 July 2011

A new splint

Time for a follow up on Jarvis' condition, Triphalangeal Thumbs. 

First off, some background. When he was 8 months old, Jarvis was diagnosed with triphalangeal thumbs. He underwent some testing to make sure the condition was isolated and was cleared of any other issues. We started seeing an occupational therapist to make sure he was using it appropriately and to learn activities to improve his use. In January, she noticed a deviation (curve) in the last joint of the right thumb and had us start night splinting. However, it was very difficult to get his finger in the small splint and the pediatrician on base went ahead and got us a referral to a bone and joint specialist.

We headed to Bismarck again on Thursday to see the specialist. We were thrilled to finally see someone who knew what the condition was and what should be done. He made sure we had completed genetic testing and heart testing, took a look at the x-rays and determined that Jarvis was using his thumbs well. Often, children with this condition have weakened tendons and muscles that make it difficult to extend their thumb away from their hand but Jarvis is able to do that fairly well. 

In the past 6 months, we have noticed a deviation starting on his left thumb as well as the right. He told us that the growth plates between the bones were growing unevenly to one side. This is apparently common in bone/joint abnormalities because the body isn't sure how to handle them. He recommended splinting, but a slightly more extensive one. He will be wearing night splints on both thumbs to encourage the growth plates to even out for 6 months. We will have a follow-up then and determine to stop or continue splinting, or if surgery is necessary. 

The splint is the length of his forearm and holds his thumb out from his hand (to strengthen those tendons) and holds his thumb in the channel using velcro to hold the last joint of his thumb straight. 

It was a long, long day for the bit. We had to be up at 6am to make the trip there (normally 2 hours, but took 3 because of flooding road closures in town). The appointment it'self was rather quick, but the wait for the therapist to fit us in to fit the splints was over an hour, and it took him an hour and a half to fit both splints correctly. We really appreciated them fitting us in though, so we didn't have to make another trip! Jarvis did rather well considering it was a 3 hour drive (that he didn't sleep) and 3 hours being in a doctor's office, then another 3 hours home. Actually fitting the splints was difficult because they had to be hot to be mold-able, and he kept saying 'hot, hot, hot, hot" and trying to pull his arms away. 

He has no use of his thumbs while he is wearing them, so we made sure to have a paci-picking-up practice session before bedtime to make sure he could actually still pick up the pacifiers while he is in bed. He doesn't mind them too much, but we are thankful he only has to wear them at night. It will be an adjustment period for him, but hopefully something he gets used to. 

They have little socks underneath the splints to protect his skin and absorb some of the sweat, and to protect him from the edges of the velcro. We will be carefully watching for any rubbing points or raw edges and hope we do not have to take another trip to Bismarck for a re-fit. 

Here are a few pictures of our practice session!

Gig 'Em Ags! :P

 The channel for his thumbs.

And yes, they are camo...

Jace keeps saying it's too bad he's not a little older and watches TV, because they would be the perfect 'iron hands' or Batman's web shooters. Haha, I can only imagine how much fun a 5 year old might think these are!

Project 52 | Fun | Week 26

Motherhood is


Because those sweet belly giggles 
as he runs across the paper with paint covered feet,
are worth every minute of mopping the floor.