Monday, January 30, 2012

Chores for Chocolate

Last week Caleb came home from school telling me (very excitedly) that his school was having a chocolate-selling fundraiser and that I MUST sign the permission slip so that he could sell chocolate bars.  So I signed the slip and the next day Caleb brought home a box with 25 chocolate bars.  I think Caleb was a bit confused about the purpose of a fundraiser because he immediately began asking if he could eat the chocolate.  I had to explain to him (several times) that the box of chocolate bars was for him to SELL not to EAT...unless he had $2 to purchase a bar.  Of course, he wanted me to buy the chocolate so he could eat it.  I said no, and decided this would be a good motivator for him to do some simple chores and earn money to buy his own chocolate bar.  The boy was begging me for chores he could do:  "Mom, please!  I want to do some chores!"

One chore I had him do was get his own bed ready for the night.  This is something that I always do and every night I ask myself: "Why are you doing this?  Caleb should be doing this.  It's not my bed...why am I getting it ready for Caleb!?"  The truth is that I do A LOT of things for Caleb (and Benjamin too) that he could do on his own.  I just do it because I can do it faster.

The best part was Caleb saying: "Wow, this is harder than it looks!"

Caleb is very particular about how things are placed in his bed.  He likes his toys in a certain spot, his pillow in a certain spot with Woody and Buzz facing out, and he likes his little blankets in a certain spot.  I used to think this was weird but it turns out that Benjamin is the same way so I've decided that all kids are weird and really all of us have a little bit of OCD to some extent.

 I also had Caleb make his bed in the morning (again, something he should be doing anyway).

It was tough for him but he did it and he actually did a pretty good job. :)

 We also had Caleb set the table, put up his clothes, and he even helped me pooper scoop the back yard!!  By yesterday afternoon, he had earned enough money to buy a chocolate bar.
(holding up his hard earned cash)
He doesn't look happy at all does he?

The coveted chocolate bar in hand.

Enjoying the fruits (or chocolate) of his labor.

So if any of you local peeps want to buy some chocolate (i.e-grandparents), let Caleb know.  They are $2 a bar and Caleb would tell you that they are delicious!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valentine Crafts

Benjamin has been very sick this past week so we have been cooped up in the house.  Caleb is my little "crafter" so I found a couple of cute Valentine craft ideas for he and I to do together over the weekend.  

I bought this wood frame at Michaels for only a dollar. Caleb painted the frame with red craft paint.

He painted this small wooden heart red too.

 After the paint was completely dry, we coated the frame and heart with Modge Podge, and then we went crazy with some red glitter.  Gotta love glitter!

 Then I attached some pretty cardstock to the back and we put the heart in the center.
I thought it came out really cute and it was super easy and cheap to make.

Then I found this heart template and we got busy cutting out hearts from different colored paper.

Added some ribbon and now we have decorative Valentine garland!

So simple and Caleb had so much fun.  I love that he enjoys doing craft projects.  So cute.

(in the next few days all of those photos on the mantel will be replaced with photos from our recent photo session!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tooth Extraction

Within hours of my last post, Caleb's loose tooth was literally spinning around in his mouth!  Glenn couldn't take it anymore and decided to address the issue.

I know this looks very barbaric, but the tooth was ready.  It came out on the very first tug.  Caleb barely felt it come out.  After Glenn was done, Caleb said:  "Did you get it?!"

Proudly holding his third lost tooth.

I love how cute he is with missing teeth!  For some reason it makes him look even more grown up.  He could barely wait to get to school this morning so he could tell his friends.  :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

PT, Frisbee, Tripod canes, and a "Tow Mater" look-a-like

Caleb had physical therapy with Ms. Vicki yesterday.  The weather was beautiful so she worked with Caleb outside.  I don't always see Caleb making progress, and maybe that is just because I see him every single day so I often miss the big picture.  Ms. Vicki helped Caleb walk with his tripod canes.  I have definitely seen a bit of progress with those, he is able to stand up using the canes for several minutes which is something that he was never able to do with the forearm crutches.  I am so glad I bought these canes because they offer him such a wide base of support.  He only has AFO's to help brace his ankles so when using the canes or forearm crutches he really has to utilize a lot of strength in the hips and trunk, not an easy task for him.
Ms. Vicki had Caleb stand against the house and throw the frisbee.  Sounds easy enough, but that requires a lot from him.  I love that she tries to make PT as fun as possible so that Caleb is working....but he doesn't quite realize he's working.  :)

He is leaning against the wall a bit for support but he is still working very hard. 

Sometimes I just look at him and think: "This kid blows me away."

And just because this is too funny not to share...
Notice the arrows pointing at a giant white tooth
 Caleb has a VERY loose tooth up top and it is so loose that is will stick out really far past his lips when he smiles.  It was totally cracking me up, I kept telling him that he looked like "Tow Mater"!  I imagine that tooth will fall out before this weekend is over...maybe before this day is over.  How cute is this kid going to be with a missing top tooth!  Stay tuned for pictures of a big toothless grin!

Oh, and Caleb was featured on the Kidz blog again.  Check it out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

At the farm

We took advantage of the long weekend and took the boys to see MeMe.  We had planned to go over Christmas but Caleb's UTI kept us home over the holidays.  The boys were so excited to be going to to MeMe's (great-grandma).

MeMe has a nice big back yard and thanks to some beautiful weather, the boys were able to spend quite a bit of time outside.
Benjamin mowed the grass.
I want to take a quick side note here to chat about Mr. Benjamin.  When he turned 3 last month I really got to thinkin' that I better potty train this kid.  I kept thinking that he would just decide to train himself or something, like he would wake up one morning and just want to use the potty.  I realize now that was crazy thinking.  Benjamin was perfectly happy in diapers and showed no interest in the potty, at all.  So I did a bit of research and several people recommended this 3 day method, kinda like a crash course in potty training.  The lady that developed it insists that your child will be potty trained (even overnight) in only 3 days.  Sounds perfect, right?  Basically you have your child throw out all the diapers and put undies on them right away.  Then you pump them full of fluids, don't leave their side (not even to let the dog in because your child will pee on the floor-not that I know this from experience or anything).  So I stayed with my eyes glued to Benjamin for 3 days, I barely left his side and tried to catch him before he had to go and rush him to the potty.  We didn't leave the house for several days.  It was a very. long. frustrating. process which involved the washing of many undies and cleaning the carpet on more than one occasion.  I can't say he was completely potty trained in 3 days, but after day 5 he was no longer having any accidents and was letting us know every time he needed to pee.  He has even stayed dry the past 3 nights!  So, I think I can safely say that Benjamin is in big boy undies and is doing very well.  Potty training is ridiculously hard and I suspect it is harder the longer you wait, in hindsight I wish I had started a bit sooner.

Okay, let's move on.

The boys had fun blowing bubbles in the backyard.

Because of Izzy and her giant crate we didn't have room for Caleb's wheelchair which meant he had no choice but to use his walker the entire time.  He did really well all weekend.  It's hard work for him and I know he gets so tired but he did great.

And no trip to MeMe's is complete until you take the riding low mower out for a spin.  The boys had way too much fun.
Sitting by the water.

MeMe has a bit of land with some cattle so we took the boys to see the cows.

Caleb feeding one of the cows.  I was so proud of him, in the past he has been very nervous around the cows because they are quite noisy when they all get to "moooing".  He was still a bit anxious but he actually had fun this time.

Another side note:  While we were out on the land feeding the cows Benjamin had to pee, so my big boy peed outside for the first time.  I'm pretty sure that is a right of passage for boys. (I don't have a picture of that-which I am sure Benjamin will be thankful for)

I just thought this was so sweet.  A mama and her baby.  Ahhh.

Izzy Bell was totally in her element while we were there.  She loved having all the space to run and explore (although she was terrified of the cows).  And I mean terrified.  It was hysterical.  I guess if I was a 30 pound dog I would be pretty nervous around a bunch of huge cows!  After all, she is a bird dog, not a cattle dog. :)

It was a really great weekend and the boys had so much fun.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Absolutely Stunning Family Photos! (my kids are gorgeous)

We got some family photos done recently and I just had to share (a lot of you have already seen these on facebook-but you know you want to look at them again!).  Glenn's cousin, Leslie, is an incredibly talented photographer, she actually did our wedding and did some family shots for us when the boys were a bit younger (click here to see those).  I've been wanting to get some more photos done because the boys have changed so much in the last year and a half. I could not be more pleased with how they came out.

We met Leslie at an abandoned warehouse for our first location.  I am amazed at how an old, run-down building can make such a beautiful spot for pictures.  

My sweet baby.  It was quite chilly that day and Benjamin was less than cooperative (that is putting it mildly). He flat out refused to take any pictures unless I was holding him, touching him, or sitting very close to him.  I doubted that we would be able to get any decent photos of Benjamin but, WOW, Leslie managed to capture some truly wonderful shots.

Absolutely gorgeous.  Love it.  Love this boy.

I love Caleb standing so proudly in his walker.  He just looks so grown up.

I love this picture.  Benjamin's face just says it all and really captures his little stinker personality.  

Best. Picture. Ever.  
Caleb was an absolute pro.  He was so cooperative and gave the best genuine smiles, not forced ones. This kid could be a model.  Seriously.

So good-lookin'.  How are the ladies not falling all over him?  We are going to have to beat them off with a stick!

We went to a local park for our next location.

I can't believe Leslie managed to get this shot.  Benjamin was flat out refusing to sit down unless his momma was sitting with him.  This shot is a miracle and I love it.  Love my 2 boys.

Since my sweet Benjamin was literally attached to my hip, I got quite a few "mommy and son" shots.

(love the sun shining through on this one)

"eskimo kisses"

(my favorite)
I'm tickling his side like crazy in order to get him to smile.

I love this one of Caleb and Glenn.  I've used the word "love" a lot, haven't I?

I love my family.

That is a good-lookin' family right there! LOVE.

Glenn and I have our 10 year anniversary next week so I wanted to get some "just us" shots.  What is so great about these pictures is the fact that Benjamin is clamped on to my leg, screaming "PICK ME UP MOMMY!!"  I can't make this stuff up people!  So, Glenn and I are trying to be all romantic (like we were before we had kids) and our wonderful 3 year old is having a full on fit.
I'm smiling while a lunatic child is grabbing my leg.

He's still screaming and grabbing my leg.

Still screaming and he is hitting me now.

I think by this point Benjamin had stopped screaming and was just holding my leg while he sucked his thumb. :)

We are so happy with these photos. They truly exceeded my expectations. Leslie (Lane Portraits) is outstanding and I highly recommend her to any of you in the area.  Her photos are impeccable.  She is professional, thorough, and very talented. She works great with kids, even the young ones who don't want to cooperate. She has a true gift.

Now, I have to figure out how I can fit all these wonderful pictures on our walls.  I ran out of room a long time ago.  I can't bring myself to take older photos down in order to put up new ones.

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