Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring means.........

It has been unusually spring like this past week here in upstate NY, and we're LOVING it!!!!!

Warning: LOTS of pictures ahead.
Some are taken with my phone so not the best quality
but the cutest subjects nevertheless...

Spring means......

Getting out the hats.....

and not taking them off even when we're inside.......
because we're cool like that....

Spring means.....
wearing our shades...

and dusting off our car 
to take it for a spin.....
A full year later
this is STILL his favorite thing to play with outside.
(thank you Grandma and Papa)

In case you hadn't guessed:
Tongue hanging out = sheer happiness
Spring means.....

getting the bubbles out:

Alex is ALL about it this year



Spring means....

bird watching
     spring means.....
(I checked, its totally a word!)


and worm finding


Spring means.....

park going
Alex totally unconvinced about this swing business

this is his pleading "get me out of this thing" look

Nicholas liking it only a little more
Spring means

getting dirty:


Nicholas even sitting on the ground
  just outside of the dirt is progress
for him....ha,ha
Spring means......
LOTS of walk taking....
and wheel racing
Here's Alex getting into his racing position.
no seriously, he is FAST!!!!  
Well, except when its time to go inside...



Spring means....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A way that ALL mothers can help

I have a confession.....

I've seen this and another opportunity to be a part of a research study looking into causes of 

Spina Bifida and I've been reluctant to participate.


I don't know. Something about it made me feel like if I participated it would mean that I 

didn't love Alex just the way God made him. 

Crazy, right? I can't really explain it but thats just how I felt. 

I've done a lot of growing these last few years. Alex and his brother have taught me more

than I could ever teach them about life and I know there's a million more lessons in store.

Alex is AWESOME just the way he is, and he is HAPPY in a way that just makes my heart

smile!!!! But I'm sure if he could tell me, he'd say he'd love to be Alex without that little part

of him called Spina Bifida. 

So in hopes that future "Alex's" don't have to learn this life with Spina Bifida in it, I finally

completed my part. 

Please help do the same :

Please help us learn more about the causes of Spina Bifida. 

Click on the link below.

The study is open to ALL mothers---with AND without a child born with Spina Bifida.

There are just a few on line questions to answer and then a simple saliva test will be mailed 

to you if you meet the criteria.

Please just take a few minutes to hopefully be a part of some answers.

Thank you!!!

What Are 'Controls' and Why Are They Important?

The Spina Bifida Genetics Research Project needs both mothers who have a child affected by spina bifida and mothers who do not have a child affected a birth defect.  In research projects, individuals who have the disease or condition are designated "cases" and those individuals without the disease or condition are designated "controls".  For this study, mothers who have a child with spina bifida, and mothers who do not have a child affected by a birth defect will be the controls. Our research project will compare the genetic profiles of the cases to the genetic profiles of the controls. Statistical analysis is used to determine an association between specific genetic factors and the occurrence of spina bifida.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Rainy Day" fun

I think every one can relate that this has been a strange weather winter. We usually have very cold temperatures and a blanket of white for most of the winter in our part of the woods. This winter however has been unusual.

There's only been a handful of days we've gotten snow and even then with the wacky temperatures, its pretty much melted by the next day or two. I'm not complaining about the lack of snow mind you but I think the kids are.

This is one of the rare days Nicholas got outside (Alex was sick and napping at the time). Even so it was barely enough to go "sledding" and you couldn't go in the same spot twice because it was already starting to melt and honestly its just not the same "sledding" on grass/mud. 

At least Nicholas didn't seem to mind. 

So besides the weather or maybe it is influenced by, our winter has been unusual for another reason. We are sick ALL the time. I'm talking every two weeks and then it takes a week to get through it. Its madness. I know from talking to many of my family and friends that many people are suffering similarly. We have never battled so many respiratory issues as we have this year. 

Luckily we have gotten through with only one hospitalization needed (knock wood). Both boys have had Pneumonia several times, with one bout landing Alex in the hospital for four days. 

He needed  extra oxygen to get through this and after several days of struggling to come off of it, we feared he'd have to come home on it as well

But he's a super star and overcame that obstacle like he seems to do everything else. 
with "froggy" as his constant sidekick ofcourse :)

Nicholas was spared the hospitalization but needed nebulizers/steroids and antibiotics to get through his pneumonia too. The two of them are now "pros" at their "nebs" which they now use daily to try to prevent any further pesky episodes of pneumonia through the rest of the winter. 

Its actually strangely cute when either one of them even has so much as a tickle of a cough, 
Nicholas will say "neb" and run to find the mask. 
Don't let this pic fool you though, he's only interested in sitting quietly for about 30 seconds
and he seems to think that should be enough. (Its not). 
Alex is usually a little bit more patient with sitting with it.
Wow, if looks could kill.....
Alex: "Don't even think about trying to swipe this, its MY turn."

So with Wacky winter weather where its rained more than snowed
we'd have to occupy ourselves inside more than usual.

Here's how they have been spending some of their days:

Can never get messy enough.
and paint is a favorite!!!
I thought I was being the creative mom. I've gotten out all the different sizes of
 paint and foam brushes, sponges cut into different shapes
cookies cutters for something new.......

But no matter what it is, its usually dropped within two minutes
and they just prefer using their hands.....

and yes, this is STILL the boy who will show you that he has an itty bitty sized ketchup
stain on his hand and CAN NOT precede to eat his dinner until it is thoroughly cleaned up
but somehow, he is fine with paint. ha,ha

Alex enjoys it just as much. 
He takes it to the next level and enjoys painting on himself with the brush 

oops or his hands

this cracks his brother right up

I'm not naturally creative so since having the boys, I've looked to others for ideas.
There are it seems a million of things I would never come up with on my own. 

One of them I've borrowed from our occupational therapist here.
Its called a "sensory bin."

The kids just think its plain fun.
and with an old plastic tablecloth down, its a lot less messy
than the paint :)

 I just bought a couple of different bags of beans
(less mess than rice which can also be used)
Absolutely nothing fancy here. 
 We had the tupperware container already
as well as the things to scoop and toy trucks to haul with. 
 I was surprised how much they liked it
and how long it entertained them!

 And then there is our trusty borrowed slide.
 The first and I think the boys would say BEST present from our good friends/neighbors
(and we've received many great things from their awesome "loan closet"). 
Their boys had outgrown this slide awhile ago so they had let us borrow it shortly after we moved in.
 It is still one of the boys favorite things to do

Now all sorts of things take a slide: even our favorite "baby".

Ofcourse nothing is as magical as a box:
We put things in it, play hide and seek using it 

 Heck we even ride IN it....


Ofcourse there is nothing like getting lost in a good book.
We have our regular habit of reading books before AND after nap and before bedtime. There is usually some sprinkled throughout the day too. And when its clear that we are done, the boys hold up their finger and ask for "just one more".


getting snuggle time during story time = extra perk!!!

The boys tend to get some exercise by making
the "rounds" around the kitchen island.
 Lately they've been holding hands and going around together. 
I think even they know
We have it all as long as we have eachother!!!!!!