Friday, May 30, 2008

A Dare Devil...

or a monkey, I am not sure!!! After I had fed Will his lunch, I put him down so that I could clean up. I turned around and this is what I found him doing...

Standing on the chair at the little table eating crayons!!! I can't get the child to eat food but he will eat a crayon!!! Geesh!!

I can't believe that he was able to crawl up on that chair!! His shirt is up in the pictures because I had just finished tubing him 4 ounces of pediasure (so he shouldn't have been hungry) but on the bright side, he chose a green crayon. Maybe he was thinking it was a green bean or something!

My Monkey...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Boys and their Cars

Here are pictures from today. We played in the backyard and Will just loves his "cozy coupe". He has become a little monkey the last few days. So it was no surprise that he was climbing all over the car! Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the seat of the car was full of rain water, he was soaked!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Stitch Strikes again!!

Will has been working on climbing stairs since he was able to crawl. For a while now.
Today it got quite, not good. I went looking for The Stitch! Where did I find him??
Here, four steps up on the larger "landing" of our staircase. When he saw me, he giggled and turned to go up the other steps.
This picture is really bad, but I was having a heart attack and my heart had stopped and I was not worried about taking the perfect picture. He giggled the entire way up the steps and then crawled into Lilo's room and started clapping! He was proud of himself.
So I took him back downstairs and put him on the floor with his toys. Two seconds later, he was back on the steps and all the way to the top again! I now have the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Went to a Party

Josh's brother, Ryan and his family are planning on moving next month. They are moving about 2 hours away from us. They had a party, a going away/Memorial Day Bar-B-Que. The guys went golfing in the afternoon so the kids and I just hung out with Andrea and the kids and helped her to get ready for the party.

Andrea took these pictures of the kids.

This is Will trying to "love" on Ruthie. He wanted to be right in her face. Ruthie thought it was funny!

This is a picture of all of the cousins, James, William, Caroline and Ruthie.

And Caroline holding Ruthie. Caroline was so excited to see Ruthie. She says that she wants to play with her. Caroline gets in Ruthie's face and makes silly faces at her to make her smile.

After the guys got done golfing they came home and did some grilling. The food was great. It was nice to talk with friends that we haven't seen in awhile.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Grant's Farm

Today the kids and I went to Grant's Farm with some of our new Moms Club friends. It was a great day to go, it wasn't too hot. The kids had a blast and the Moms had a blast chatting!

The kids had fun riding the tram. Here are some animals that we saw along the way.
(This is a Scottish Highland Cow)

The kids got bottles of milk to feed the goats. Good thing we did because I think that the goats would have held them hostage or something (they were very aggressive goats!)
I didn't get any pictures of Will with the goats for obvious reasons, they would have ATE him!
(in the middle picture the goat has Caroline's shirt in his mouth and she is trying to get it away from him!) After Caroline's milk bottle was gone, she opted for a brush and brushed the goats that were full or something (they didn't attack you for the milk!)

Poor little Charlie didn't so much like the attack goats! These two went head to head I think!

We enjoyed walking around and looking at all of the other animals. But the excitement of the day came when they got their frozen lemonade! Here is Caroline with friends, Charlie and Gracie enjoying their frozen treats.

And what would be a trip to Grant's Farm without seeing the Clydesdales!! Grant's Farm is where the Anheuser-Busch company keeps there Clydesdales. You've seen them before...

(photo taken opening day, 2005 at the New Busch Stadium)

But today we got to see them up close!!

They are massive creatures, there is a woman standing behind the horse brushing it.

Here is a shot of just how cute they are!!

Oh, and Will was there!! He just didn't make it into many pictures. So here is one of him and I.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Last Day of School

Today was Caroline's last day of school. She has had so much fun this year at school. She has grown so much since September. Here is a picture of Caroline on the first day of school.
(my goodness, she was brown as a biscuit!!)
Here is one of Caroline this morning.

(a pose and everything!!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Luxury...

My dear friend, Jessica over at New Kind of Normal posted this on her blog the other day. It speaks volumes to those of us who have special children. Jessica is amazing with words and opening her heart. Thank you Jessica for writing this post.


It is a luxury to only visit your child's doctor for ear infections and well baby checks.
It is a luxury to leave your child with someone at the drop of a hat for an entire evening so you can have time off.
It is a luxury to say you have never sat at your child's bedside, and watched them fight to live.
It is a luxury to come and go as you please.
It is a luxury to not feel like a foreigner in a strange land when you walk into Apple bees.
It is a luxury to not see every waking minute as an opportunity for therapy.
It is a luxury not to have an appointment for one little person 5 days a week.
It is a luxury to blend in.
It is a luxury when your child gets into everything.
It is a luxury not to feel isolated.
It is a luxury when your child talks your ears off.
It is a luxury when you give your child a bottle and walk away.
It is a luxury to only complain about what "things" you wished you had.
It is a luxury to complain about how your kids take up so much of your time, while you are out with friends.
It is a luxury not to constantly worry about what is coming next.
It is a luxury to be able to read this post and complain about something in an hour.

Posted by Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS at 2:15 PM

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


William and I are both frustrated with not being able to communicate effectively with one another. He knows what he wants; he points, he grunts, he cries and he throws things. But I can not always figure out what it is that he wants because he is unable to tell me. He gets really frustrated because I am not giving him what it is that he wants and in turn starts crying, which in turn makes me start crying. It is a horrible feeling to not know what is wrong with your child.

With all new babies this is a problem but within a short amount of time Mommies and Daddies begin to figure out the different cries that a child has. We are way beyond that point. We did figure out the basic stuff like; I am wet, I want cow, I want my bottle or I want to be held. But now we are at a point of endless possibilities; I want this toy, no that one, I want puffs not Cheerios, I don't want to do therapy today, leave me alone, please hold me, etc, etc.

It is heart braking. It is exhausting. It is frustrating.

I have such an overwhelming feeling of helplessness right now.

I spend most of my day trying to figure out what Will wants. He cries and I carry him around and give him things that I think he might want, to which he just throws it on the floor. Sometimes I just have to sit him on the floor and walk away from him because I don't know what else to do.

I am dealing with both ends of the spectrum. I have one child whose mouth does not stop from the time she opens her eyes in the morning to the time she closes them at night. Then I have one that can't say a single word but really, really wants to.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Performance

Caroline's performance was the cutest thing in the whole wide world! She was on the stage just smiling and having a good ol' time. When we were leaving, a lady came up behind me and asked if that was my clown. I told her that she was and she said, "I think that she was born to be on the stage. She stole the entire show! She was so cute!"

Josh and I are so proud of her. She got up there and was not nervous one bit. She remembered her routine and performed it with a smile the whole time.

After the performance Josh and I gave her some flowers and she thought that was pretty cool. Ms. Katy, her teacher, also gave each of the girls a little flower in tissue paper with two little hair bows around them. Caroline was so exicted to get flowers. She was just so cute.

Here are some pictures of her before the performance. Notice her hair, it was REALLY hard to get her hair to all go back, but I finally got it!

This was taken after the performance with her flowers.

The dance studio is selling DVDs of the performance so I am going to get one of those.

Oh, and Will sat through the entire show with no problems. He had a fantastic time clapping after each of the performances. He laughed the whole time!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Caroline had dress rehearsal for her ballet recital today. She had to get all dressed in her Clown costume and go to the theater where the recital was going to be held tomorrow and practice on the stage. She did so good. She was smiling the whole time and was really having fun. The recital was "At the Circus".

This was during their performance. Caroline is on the end. This position is "hands on hips, smiles on feet". Too cute!

This is Caroline doing the "elevator up". They press their noses and then go up on their tip toes. I have a lot of pictures of the side of Caroline's face because Ms. Katy (Caroline's teacher) was just to the side of the stage doing the dance with the girls so that they wouldn't forget the routine.

This is Caroline doing "ples and stretch".

This was when she did her "little touch, little touch, BIG touch", aka leg lifts.

And her she is doing another part of the dance, but I can't remember what they call it. Sorry, I am no ballerina!

This was when they were practicing the "finale". They all went on the stage and curtsy. The little girl behind Caroline was a poodle! Oh my gosh, they were cute too!

Tomorrow is the big performance. We are so excited!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The New Mr. and Mrs.

My Best Friend, Mandy got married!

Here is the new Mr. and Mrs.

Mandy and I have known each other since Kindergarten. We have been great friends since then. She made a beautiful bride!

Her Mom, aka Momma Lisa, was also celebrating her birthday. The DJ called her up and we all sang happy birthday to her. She was so embarrassed.

The kids had a fabulous time. Will flirted with every woman there. He would smile all over himself when they would talk to him. He was super cute.

Caroline made friends with two other little girls there and didn't want to leave. Here is Josh and Caroline dancing. This was when Josh broke it to her that we would be leaving, notice she is not smiling!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


That is where Josh will be staying tonight. There was a delay in his flight in London which in turn caused him to miss his connecting flight from Chicago to St. Louis.

So Josh is in Chicago and I am here. Sigh.

Riding Rody

Today Will mastered getting on and off of his Rody all by himself. I usually have to help him get on and then sit with him as he bounces so that he doesn't fall over. His legs are just long enough to reach the floor (on his tip toes!) now so I let him go at it without my help today.

He got on and started going to town with his bouncing. Here is a series of pictures of him on his Rody. He really loves this thing. Try to imagine him giving a little snort during this huge smile!

And then...

He didn't get hurt (though Caroline was mad that he landed in a pile of her princess dolls). He got up and got right back on. This is good for him to learn balance and catching himself with his foot before he falls over.

Will's Belly

Alex's Mom Jessica, posted pictures of his new Mic-Key button on their blog. Will and Alex have the exact same belly (plus or minus a few chubby rolls!). Both of the boys have had malrotation surgery and both have a Mic-Key botton for feeding.

(you can click on the picture to make it bigger and better to see)

The Mic-Key button has a ballon on the end of it (the end that is in his stomach) that is filled with water, that is how it stays in his stomach. When he grows, we will have to change the button to a bigger size so that it doesnt' pull or get to tight on his stomach. I know that you are wondering if it hurts. It only hurts him when he slides on his belly and pulls really hard on it. Or if someone picks him up and pulls on it. But for the most part, he likes to turn it and pull on it himself. He doesn't even know it is there unless he is bored and looking for something to play with!

You can barely see Will's scare from the malrotation surgery. It healed very nicely. That yucky stuff around the button is always there. It is gooey stuff caused by the granulated tissue that we continuely have burned off. It never seems to go away, sigh.

Bet you never knew a kid could have 2 belly buttons!

This Week...

has been crazy! Josh has been in the UK since Sunday evening for work and I have been caring for the kids by myself. I am exhausted! Normally when Josh gets home from work he plays with the kids while I finish making dinner and then gives them a bath and gets them ready for bed. Whata guy, I tell ya! So since I have not been given that luxuary this week, I am feeling it! This morning it took everything that I had to get out of bed. I think that I could sleep all day!

I did get a break on Tuesday. I had my photography class so I had Christina come over and watch the kids, you remember Christina, right? Of course, before I left Will threw up all over the place. I was a nervous wreck leaving him but in true Angelic Christina fashion, she said "We are going to be fine, go!" And she was right. He didn't throw up again and all was well.

My house looks like a tornado hit it, I am not kidding. I have managed to get a few loads of laundry done, but they are still sitting on my chair. Oh well, I tried. By the time the kids go to bed, I am ready to fall into bed too. My hat is off to all of you single Moms out there. You are all amazing!

I am counting down the hours until my husband (my right hand man) gets home. He will be home sometime this evening, woohoo!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Our Mother's Day

We stayed at Josh's parents house on Saturday night. We did this to save on gas since we went to the graduation on Saturday and we planning to go to Sparta on Sunday so we just stayed.

We went to church with Josh's Mom and Dad, and Sister too! After church we met up with Ryan and Andrea and we all had breakfast. After breakfast we went to my Mom's house and visited for a bit before going to Grammy Abell's house. At Grammy Abell's house we had lunch and then got home in time for Josh to shower and prepare for his long flight ahead of him. He left for England for work and will be retuning on Thursday.

Caroline made me a beautiful bracelet. Josh gave me a new lens for my camera. I am very excited about it, it is a zoom lens so I don't have to get right up in people's faces when I take their pictures! I am still getting used to it, but I love it! I am going to take a picture of the bracelet that Caroline made for me and post it later.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


On Saturday, my sister Marcea, graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Health Care Management from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Here is Marcea getting her Diploma.

We are so very proud of her!!

After the ceramony, we all gathered outside to take some photos of the new grad!

She is going to be attending Graduate School at Xavier University in Cincinnatti in the fall. We are all very excited for her.

Marcea with my Mom, Linda and Dad, Chris.

My Mom, Grandma (Grammy Abell) and Marcea.

This picture of my Mom and Sister just cracks me up. My Mom was very emotional about her "baby" graduating from college. Seriously, she has been on the verge of tears all week!

My Sisters, Marcea and Leslie, and Me! I am the cute one! LOL!

(I hate having my picture taken!)

Then after all of the photos, we went to meet Josh's family to have lunch before we went to his brother, Ryan's graduation at 4pm. Ryan graduated with a Bachelor degree in Accounting. He got his degree (his second, first was a history degree) while working full time and taking care of his beautiful family. Oh, did I mention that he had straight A's every semaster!! Amazing!

So here are some pictures of Ryan's graduation...

Ryan with his wife, Andrea, son, James, and 4 month old daughter, Ruthie.

Ryan with his sister, Teresa and brother, Josh. Good Lord, Josh and Ryan look alike!!

Ryan with his Mom, Jane and Dad, Jim. Ok, so Jim, Josh, and Ryan all look alike!!

Ryan will be starting his new job in June and he is so excited about the new adventure!

It was a long day, but we were very proud of them both and wanted to witness this major accomplishment in their lives. We are so proud of the two of you! Way to Go!