Friday, October 24, 2008


It all started last Sunday morning, when Ben slowed way down from his normal boundless energy level and wanted to do nothing but watch movies on the couch. Uhhhh, UNUSUAL!!

Soon after that, we knew why - he started with a fever of 103 and couldn't keep anything down. As the days went on this week, both boys followed the same pattern of fever, stomach upset, and a head cold with high fevers. Ben was the hardest hit, and literally did not get off the couch all day for a couple of days (which was scary to me - because its soooo atypical of Bennett to sit still for very long).

Yesterday, after a trip to the doctor, we were assured that it was neither strep throat or ear infections, just a wicked virus with a lingering fever.

Today, FINALLY, they are both feeling better. Neither of them went to school all week!
Here they are looking quite pitiful, poor babies.

But fear not! As I write this, both boys are playing contentedly in the playroom. They're so happy to be feeling better! (and of course, I'm very relieved, any mom HATES when her kids are sick!)

Standing tall

Xavier loves playing in his "stander", which helps him bear weight through is lower extremities/joints. This lets him maintain bone and muscle strength, and best of all allows him to enjoy the world from a different vantage point. Plus it frees up his arms for lots of playing! So fun to hear him giggling while running cars back and forth (although in these photos, he's playing with different toys.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin picking

Last Sunday, we visited Walsh Farms to get the boys their pumpkins. It was an unseasonably warm day, sunny and 80 degrees!

Xavier and Ben rode in the wagon between all the fun activities. We had to cross over a covered bridge to get to all the excitement :-)

First stop, was what was claimed to be the "world's largest inflatable slide". Ben requested to "just sit here on this bench and look at if for a little bit."

Xavier loved watching all the kids come down the slide. We wished we could have taken him for a ride, but the steps were narrow and not very stable at all. It would have been much too dangerous to carry him up :-(

However, Ben and I had fun! And let me tell you, this thing was huge! Ben had no problem climbing up (although I felt somewhat uneasy supporting him and being careful myself, heading up the steps...remember, I'm klutzy and it's a long way up!) When we got to the top, and looked down, we were really high up! And Bennett said, "OH Mommy! I'm not going down!" I saw a glimpse of an upcoming freakout, so I grabbed him and said, "Yes we are! Here we go!!" ... and off we went! :-)

Xavier did get to ride in the pumpkin train though! He was very happy and giggled the entire time.

Sidenote: the pumpkin train is not made to hold adults. I had wedged myself in there, so Xavier could ride (he couldn't sit in there by himself). Ben was in front of us, in the first pumpkin car, and there were 2 toddlers in the car behind us. The train was being pulled by a 4-wheeler. Well, the last little leg of our journey was up a gravel hill. The 4-wheeler stopped, started spinning out, and the train wouldn't budge. Nick was watching all this from about 50 ft way, while I was making eyecontact, hand motions, and saying, "Come get Xavier, so I can get out!" I knew it was my extra weight causing the issue. Well, Nick didn't either hear me, or chose to ignore me, so he could watch the humorous scene ensue. It took 2 guys to push the 4-wheeler up the hill so the train could park and let us off. Seriously.

Taking a break.

Ben wanted his arm painted! He sat so nicely for about 5 min while the lady painted...

Spongebob Squarepants! OF COURSE!

Another sidenote: Ben likes to play a funny game where he replaces the words "bob" and "square" in Spongebob Squarepants. Ex: Spongeben Hiccuppants (this one originated one night after bath when he had, you guessed it! Hiccups!)

Corn Kernel Playland!! Ben took great care and time to fill up bucket after bucket, in order to fill a wagon to be pulled by a tractor.

Xavier loved this. He sat well, smiled, sifted the corn kernels through his hands, and watched the other kids play. What a ball!

Then we were onto the petting zoo - with donkeys, sheep, and goats.

Remember - goats LOVE Xavier. This one hovered by him on and off for about 10 minutes.

At last - the picking of the perfect pumpkins commenced!

And a little hay maze action on the way out.

Adoption Anniversary!

Today marks the two year anniversary of Bennett's adoption finalization! Below is the photo that I used for his adoption announcement. He was 2 years 4 months old.

We love you, Bennett, and can't say with words how much we are thankful that you are part of us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Field Trip to Bauman Orchard

Today, the boys and I went to a local apple orchard with the two morning classes at their preschool. Ben got to ride a school bus for the first time ever. Unfortunately, Xavier and I had to drive there ourselves because there was no seating "up to code" for him on the bus. I just wanted to hold him on my lap, and let him bounce down the road along with the other kids. Call me a risk taker, I guess! HA! Anyway, once there, our collective entourage of 24 kids and about 15 adults thoroughly enjoyed the grey soggyness that defined our morning. :-) (Because OF COURSE, the ONLY day this week that called for rain is today, of all days...the rest of week 70* and sunny!)

First up was a hay ride. It was pouring down rain, and we were wedged onto that wagon with not an inch to spare, but Xavier laughed at the bumps, and Ben was just happy to see all the apple trees, ladders, and machinery here and there. Please excuse the blurriness of this photo, bouncing up and down in the rain does not lend itself to clarity :-)

Believe it or not, all 40 of us got down and picked apples, again, in the rain. Xavier is getting heavy! I had carried him, there was no room on the wagon for his stroller. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that as he gains weight and gets taller, his movements are less controllable, so as he lounges this way or that, it gets tiresome and unruly. I suspect I've got another year or two of carrying him around with me, but after that, picking him up will probably be limited to transferring him from one chair or position to another. (Sad.)

Here's Ben, complaining that, "this apple is dirty." Doesn't he look fabulously disgusted?

We also got to tour the building where storage, sorting, packing, and cider pressing were done. I've never seen so many apples at once. And the smell was delicious - took me back to picking apples when I was a little girl with my family.

Each child got a little goodie bag from the orchard.

Then onto the very small petting zoo. Goats like Xavier. This has always been a fact - I'm not sure why. Anyway, this one was particularly interested in him, and was intent on taking a piece of X with him. :-) Can you see Xavier's right arm on the goats neck? He was gently whacking on him, as the goat was pulling on his name tag. Just look at the expression on Xavier's face. "Whatchu doin', Goat?" hehe

Hay maze!

Xavier's watching the kids come down a slide at the end of the hay maze.

Ben's turn!

Xavier sacked out after a long, wet, chilly morning. Its so nice to be warm and dry again :-) I thought it was so cute that he kept touching the apple hand stamp he got there.

Bennett warming up with his buddy Stewy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Enter new season - fall 2008

Oh, how I love fall. Clear blue skys, puffy white clouds with rims of grey, abundant sunshine, crisp air, comfy temperatures, the smell and crunch of leaves at your feet...and, dare I say it, even rain is tolerable in the fall (gasp!) ;-)

We've started this fall with various activities - Nick's putting the finishing touches on our new shed, laying bricks along its foundation. Ben was 'helping':

Fall comes with more than it's fair share of yard work. Here's Xavier 'helping', with the clippings I'd snipped off our hostas.

Xavier's sitting ability just keeps getting better. Its awesome - he can sit quite confidently for about 30 min. And can play with at least one hand, also with confidence. In this photo, he's multitasking - sitting, playing, and blowing a kiss to our neighbors grand-daughter. (He's always been a ladies man! hehe)

Bennett has acquired quite an interest in taking photos (I'm continually making a mental Christmas list - indestructable camera for preschooler is right up there at #1...) I can't post all of Ben's photos, he takes a ton everyday, but here are two of his self-proclaimed favorites:

1.) This was a complicated shoot (done all by Ben on his own) - it required much preparation and configuring to get it just right. The result, which he has entitled "Bridge of Cars and Tape", is quite a masterpiece, don't you think?

2.) A self-portrait, of sorts.

I'm experimenting more with 'color accent' (as in a previous post). You can't have fall without acorns. (Or at least you can't if you live in a yard full of oak trees.)

And, lastly, to keep you all current, Nick has just returned home after a week in Montana for work. Ben was terribly distraught when Nick left...saying goodbye was hard (can you see Ben's tears? "OH DADDY! don't leave! I'm gonna miss you SOOOO much. OOOHHHH!!!"):

All the sobbing wore him out:

But, rest assured, Xavier, Ben and I muddled through the days, and made it through unscathed. Nick is back, with stories of a early morning hike in the mountains and some pretty amazing photos.