Monday, May 28, 2007

Happy Memorial Day!

We had a very enjoyable weekend, most of it spent at home, working on the kitchen and playing outside with the boys. Here are a few shots from today:

The first is of Xavier sitting in his lawn chair watching Nick mow the front yard (notice Ben in the background in Xavier's exersaucer which we still squeeze X into because he loves it so much...Ben spent about 10 minutes in it, so apparently he likes it too!)

Here's a picture of "the cousins" at Nick's parents' house where we ate lunch today. Nathan, Owen, baby Kathryn, and Xavier and Ben. Xavier thoroughly enjoyed lunch because it included one of his favorites - baked beans! Ben had a blast playing with the older boys and discovering new corners of Grandma and Grandpa's backyard - the bird bath was a real hit :)

AND, the boys got their summer haircuts today. Thought I'd copy off my friend Melissa :) and post some haircut pictures! Nick has always cut the boys' hair and they do a good job sitting still - they like the buzzing noise and sensation of the clippers! The first is of Ben watching Nick cut Xavier's hair and pretending to cut his own with one of the clipper attachments. Unfortunately I didn't get to snap a picture of Ben getting his hair cut, because I was giving hairy Xavier a bath. The second picture is of the new "do's" while Nick was reading the boys their bedtime story. Notice Ben was way too enthralled in the story to even think about looking at the camera, but Xavier aka hambone looked right at the camera and smiled as soon as I said, "Mommy's going to take a picture!"

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sitting pretty!

Xavier has been sitting so well lately! Although I wasn't able to snap a picture of him with his hands completely up in the air tonight (which he does routinely now!) here are 2 pictures of how straight he can sit and how stable he is. He could sit like this forever without falling. What causes him to tip over is when he tries to lift his hands up and sit up straighter. And even then, he only falls over less than half the time, usually he just puts his hands back down and catches himself before falling. Even when he does have his hands down, he's usually playing with the grass or a toy, or only lightly touching his legs for a little balance.

And for all you therapists out there (some of Xavier's favorite people, no doubt! :) here is a side view of his amazingly straight back - we're so proud!!!


The picture speaks for itself - Benny loves his new slide!

Here's Ben after saying, "Too hot, Mommy. Ben take coat off."

Let the kitchen remodel begin!

Our big summer project this year is a huge undertaking that has been in the planning stages for a LONG time, and now is actually happening! We decided to do this remodel for two reasons - to update an almost 40 year old kitchen that lacks storage, organization, and work space, and to be able to add an eating area to our kitchen so that Xavier can eventually take over our dining room downstairs as his room/therapy area.

Nick is hoping to do a lot of the work himself, and has already started demolition of some areas, but the biggest noticable step forward so far is the replacement of our kitchen window. Unfortunately, the new window is smaller than what we had before, but this is necessary to gain wall space for cabinets. We will be changing out our regular back door for a french patio door, which will hopefully bring in more light.

Here are some pictures of Nick's work on the window today:
The old window, minus the window frame (already removed before the picture was taken).

A hole in our house!!

The new window from outside, of course, the brick will eventually be replaced (anyone know a mason??), but this is as far as we got today. Not bad for a few hours work!

Here's Xavier watching from our patio, he loved all the banging and the nail gun! I was in the middle of changing his shirt and he was cracking me up, being such a ham because he loves to be without clothes!

Benny was also very interested in what was going on and helped by picking up debris and "measuring", double checking that Daddy had done everything right :) Here he is with Nick's dad doing some measurements.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Xavier loves his new swing!

Xavier is getting to be such a big boy, we wanted to get him a new swing. Swinging (either very high and fast, or from side to side) is favorite outdoor activity right now!

They grow up so fast...

Is that Benny's driving already?? Well, kind of...he was able to cruise around on a very slow power ranger at a friends house last weekend. He couldn't get enough of it, he even ran the battery out!

Ben and his favorite friends Gabe and Clara

A wheelie! Gabe wanted to drive Ben around faster - although Ben was holding on for dear life, he was thrilled to no end!

While all this driving fun was going on, our friends were having giant tree stumps removed and a portion of their yard excavated for a basketball court. Xavier was absolutely fascinated with the noise and movement of the big machines. Here he is watching from his wagon.

This picture is priceless, Ben imitating some older boys watching the excavation in process. He pulled up his own little chair beside their big chairs - too funny!

Xavier's 2nd round in the pool

Xavier is really loving his aquatic therapy! At his second session, he started splashing immediately after getting in the water. He moves his arms quite a bit, but needs a lot of encouragement to kick his legs. We hope that the extra resistance in the water will build strength. I love this picture of him - it really captures how happy he is when he's doing something active that he likes!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Fun outside

Ben and his bike (a favorite activity!)He always points to his teeth when I ask him to smile :)

Cute Benny!

Small dog, big stick. Ruby thinks she's much bigger than she actually is...

Here's Benny helping Nick mulch our flower beds. He doesn't quite have the concept of a wheel barrow down, does he?

Xavier and Ben swinging!

Just a couple of cute pictures of the boys enjoying their new swingset. Benny has the goofiest look on his face in this picture and it cracks me up everytime I look at it! Xavier's new swing arrived this past week, but this picture shows him in his old toddler swing. They both love to "go high" as Benny says!

Xavier's BIG week!

Last week for Xavier was quite eventful, here's a run down of the events:

Wednesday he had his first aquatic therapy session at Akron Children's Hospital. We are very excited about the possibility that this will help him with trunk stability and strength! The room is very warm (85 degrees) and the water is even warmer -94 degrees! Xavier loved it, he was very relaxed and did a lot of upper body movement while in the water. The PT used at special life jacket with a head rest to keep him afloat while she stretched his legs and arms. Next week she's going to put weights on his ankles so he can stand on a platform underwater!

Apparently, the water is so warm and relaxing Xavier decided he would take a nap right then and there. I snapped this picture because I thought, "no one will believe it when I tell them he actually fell asleep at the end of the session!"

Xavier also had his first appearance on stage at "Spring Family Night", a musical performance by his preschool program. The kids sang and did motions for six songs, Xavier's wonderful teacher's assistant Diane (we appreciate her and his teacher Mrs. Browning so much!) helped him do the motions. Xavier enjoyed himself immensely, he sang and loved listening to the clapping and cheering between songs.

As usual, Xavier had his hippotherapy (horseback riding)session on Friday. He's doing so well, they've even started walking the horse faster to give him more input from the motion. He is starting to sit by himself and we attribute it all to the hippotherapy...he is able to sit with his arms up in the air for about 10 seconds at a time now. One of his favorite activities as of late is to sit on the grass and try to pull it out of the ground while balancing himself. He's getting pretty good at it- he's able to grab a handful of grass and trys to throw it and keep his balance. Everytime I see him sit tall, with a straight back and no hands on the ground it brings tears to my eyes...he is so proud of himself and as always, so are we!

Friday was also Xavier's 4 year check up at the pediatricians. He weighs 30.5 lbs (20%) and is 39" tall (25%). He had to have his left ear irrigated because it was so waxy, but he actually seemed to enjoy it, laughing a couple of times when the water would make a squirting sound in his ear. He also got a couple of immunizations (MMR/chicken pox and Hepatitis A vaccines). Hooray - Mr. Xavier got a clean bill of health!

Also on Friday (what a big day for him!) we got his long awaited gait trainer. The electric lime color picked out by Xavier is great! Although Xavier protested quite a bit during the "fitting" when the technician delivered it to us, he is loving it now! It allows him to be upright in a standing position so that he can walk. He immediately knew what to do and moves his feet in a walking motion. At first we had to move it with him little by little so he could alternate picking up his feet. But now he is starting to move it on his own! And again,just like with the sitting we can tell how absolutely proud of himself he is! Plus he's having a good time, which is priceless!