Friday, October 28, 2011

Apple orchard 2011

Please forgive me for the zillions of photos. If I keep posting them in installments, I'll be posting Halloween pictures on Christmas!

Last week we did our yearly apple orchard outing. Last year it was unseasonably hot during our orchard outing. This year wasn't hot, but it was crisply beautiful! We have had two years in a row now of beautiful fall weather. I hope the trend continues! I do NOT hope the freezing cold winter trend continues.

Sammy seemed to enjoy his time at the orchard. Although, I have to say, he definitely assesses every situation before enjoying himself. If he is unfamiliar with a place (this applies to people, too), he will stand/sit in one spot and give his deadpan Sammy look around. Once he understands that we aren't going to leave him and that no one is going to abduct him, he lets his guard down a little.

Elijah is and has always been so different in this way. And look! He climbed up a huge pile of hay with no prompting or need for encouragement. His gross motor skills and confidence have improved so hugely. I get so proud of "little" things like this all the time. Me: LOOK! HE'S CLIMBING A PILE OF HAY! People in earshot: SO WHAT?!

I have been jotting down a few cute things that happen or are said in our family, so I'll write out some of those now. Sorry, they have absolutely nothing to do with apple orchards or giant piles of hay.

The other night we carved pumpkins (pics to come...hopefully before December), and I noticed that Elijah kept saying that we were "carmeling" pumpkins. I thought it was adorable, so I didn't correct him. I tend to not correct him when it comes to anything he says that is incorrect, by the way. He will get it eventually, and I want to enjoy the cuteness of learning a language for as long as I can! Anyway, after we had carmeled the pumpkins, we were chillin' in the living room. I asked Elijah if he liked the pumpkins we had carved. He said, "MOM. It's CARMEL, not CARVE." Got it.

The same night we carmeled pumpkins, we had a friend over for dinner. If you have ever been over to our house you know that Elijah immediately becomes your best friend and wants ALL of your love and attention (and most people give it to him because it's pretty hard to resist). Well, we had dinner and had been hanging out with our friend Casey. I brought Elijah into the bathroom to go potty before bed and he said, "Mom, do you think Casey loves me?" I said, "I'm sure he does! Why don't you ask him?" We went out to the living room and started getting pajamas on and Casey walked in the room. Elijah said, "Casey, DO YOU LOVE ME?" We all busted up with laughter. Thankfully, Casey replied with, "Heck yeah I do! I love you!"

Sam has been doing an extremely cute thing lately. He goes to Elijah and pats him on the top of the head and says, "YA-YA." Then he goes to Dan and pats him on the top of the head and says, "DADA." He won't come to me and do it for some reason. In fact, even though he understand that I'm Mama and can say MAMA, he doesn't ever call me Mama.

A funny little thing about Sammy.. First of all, the kid LOVES his sleep, and he loves comfort. When he is upset, he hides behind our footstool and sucks his thumb while lying on the ground. If his blankie happens to be downstairs, it will be included in that scene. So I noticed the other day that not only does he love to snuggle with his blanket when he sleeps (or wants comfort), but he likes to be holding one of the corners in one hand while using the other hand for thumb-sucking. Not just an edge, but a corner.

And while I'm on the Sam topic, he has found himself a little attitude! If we take something away from him that he shouldn't have (but that he wants), he will scream his little head off. Not only that, but he walks away from us and sits across the room. If we try to comfort him, he will run away from us. Looks like we have another strong-willed Porta boy!

My mom made two adorable little knitted dolls for the boys (pics to January), and Elijah particularly has been loving them. They came with cute little names: Harry Hairy-Head and Vanessa Vinegar. The first few times Elijah attempted to say Vanessa Vinegar, it came out Buster Bigger. :) Again, no correction!

Here is Sammy assessing the situation at the orchard with apple in hand. He would not move from this spot on his own. He had to take it all in first! We eventually had to put him in the stroller.

I am running out of things to write, so you'll have to enjoy the rest of the photos sans words. We have a few fun things planned for this weekend while Dan wraps up skydiving for the season. We'll report back in a few days with corn maze pics! Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Installment 4: The Dirty Face Brothers

This is my last Dirty Face Bros post! I'm still very far behind with posting pics, which I guess is a good thing. It means I've been taking a lot of photos!

We attended Elijah's IEP meeting this morning, and it went very well. Elijah has made HUGE strides in every area of development: social, gross motor, speech, fine motor. His teachers had many positive things to say about his progress and about him as a student and person. He still has catching up to do in most areas, but not as noticeably as a year ago. They are going to spend this year preparing him for Kindergarten in hopes that he will be much more self-sufficient by this time next year. KINDERGARTEN?! How the heck did that happen?!

His teacher mentioned that he has started initiating interactions with other children, which is AWESOME. He still has his favorite little friend at school, Laura (Woe-yuh). She also said that he is a well-liked little guy, and that academically they have zero concerns. Apparently when they were asking him to count, he started counting backwards. :) I asked his teachers if they knew he was starting to read and they seemed surprised. His speech therapist mentioned that he seems to catch onto concepts a lot more quickly than the other students. So, yay for a great IEP meeting! We absolutely love his teachers and therapists to pieces.

Elijah earned enough potty quarters to get his Ken doll. Ken dolls aren't what they used to be! They are so fashionable these days, with the Justin Bieber hair and all. Elijah loves it, though. I hear him occasionally explaining things to Ken. "This is how you go potty, Ken. Pull down your pants and then you sit on the potty chair!" Ken is learning a lot! And he "sleeps" in a casket on our kitchen table every night. It's actually the plastic casing from the package he came in, but it looks like a casket. It's a little bit creepy to see that early in the morning.

My sweet Sammy and I have been having some special bed-time moments lately. He allows me to sing to him again. For a long stretch (the entire summer/fall), he just wanted to be put in bed. The boy loves his sleep. So it has been nice being able to hold him for a bit again and sing and snuggle before bed. When I put him into his crib, we play a form of peek-a-boo involving pig noises. He laughs so stinkin' hard. It's difficult to stop because he gets so sad when the game is over, but luckily he forgets quickly and goes to sleep.

Dan has TWO more weekends away from home and then we get him back! I cannot wait for an entire weekend with all of us together again.

That's about all for now. I have apple orchard and corn maze photos to share I'll try to catch up over the weekend.

Thanks for checking in on us! (This is Sammy's new favorite place to sit in our house.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Installment 3: The Dirty Face Brothers

I didn't even make him do this! Elijah has been spontaneously being nice to Sammy on occasion, which is AWESOME!

A conversation that has occurred a handful of times in the past few days:

E: Mommy, are there four of us at home right now?
Me: Yes! Isn't it nice to have us all home at the same time?
E: Yes! Can there be five of us?
Me: You want five people in our family?
E: Yeah, I want a wittle sister!
Me: Oh. Hmmm.
E: Can I have a wittle sister, Mommy? We'll name her SUBMARINE.
Me: Oh, that's lovely. Um, why don't you ask Jesus what he thinks.
E: Ok. "Hi, Jesus? Can we have a wittle sister?" "Sure, ok, Elijah!"
Me: What did he say?
E: He said yes.
Me: Elijah, did Daddy just pass out? Check his pulse.

We took the boys to an apple orchard last night. It was a beautiful fall evening! Elijah had fun picking and testing apples and walking up and down the rows of trees. He also climbed a huge stack of hay, which was impressive! Sam just took it all in. Pics to come on that adventure..

I don't have much more to share at the moment, so I will let you enjoy photos of the cuties. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My new favorite photo


Installment 2: The Dirty Face Brothers

Here is part 2 of my Dirty Face (and arms and legs) photo session with our boys the other night.

Our oldest beautiful-eyed boy has his first cavity! :( I was hoping we could dodge this bullet, but alas. He's following in him mama's footsteps. Actually, the cavity is super teeny, and we are going to take care of it right away so hopefully it won't be too traumatic. The dentist won't even need to use novocaine or needles, thanks to laser dentistry. Crazy!

Elijah's quarter jar has ONE quarter in it currently. Yep, that's it. Apparently Ken is not enough motivation to keep poop out of his pants. We'll keep trying.

So here are our upcoming big dates in the next few weeks:
Oct 25th: IEP meeting
Nov 3rd: Dentist
Nov 7th: Cardiology appt

I haven't mentioned this in a while, but Elijah is still in weekly physical therapy. He loves to go "pway" at Vicki's "house." We are glad he finally sees it as "playing," as that has not always been the case. I remember the months and months of TEARS that occurred before he realized that we weren't trying to torture him. He also gets some PT and speech attention through his school that we believe hugely benefits him. His teachers and therapists are truly awesome! I just saw a note on Elijah's daily report the other day that said they were teaching him to get up from sitting on the ground using a kneeling transition (as opposed to using just feet and hands with butt up in the air). I love knowing that the people caring for him are keeping THAT close of an eye on the details. I know I always say this, but he is in the best hands!

Let's see, what else. Elijah still begs us to be tickled constantly. He loves saying goofy nonsense words and giggling his head off. He is still into knock-knock jokes (please tell us some new ones!). He and I have a new thing where we go lay in the grass after Sam is in bed and find pictures in the clouds. As much as this little boy pushes my buttons and tests his boundaries, I love him (and his cute, snuggly little brother) to pieces!