Friday, June 28, 2013

Frustration

Elijah and Sammy need summer hair cuts badly, but in the meantime we are having fun with new styles. :)


This week was a bit of a bummer, hence the lack of posts. Elijah, along with the rest of us, have missed out on going to the pool THREE times this week due to major potty accidents. I have felt more frustrated than I've felt in a very long time and there has been more turmoil in our home than ever before. :( We have been actively potty training this boy for 2+ years. There are most definitely special circumstances surrounding him and keeping this in mind Dan and I DO have mucho grace, but....it sometimes (this week) gets really really frustrating. Especially since it is summer (finally!) and we want to be able to get out and enjoy the weather!

With that said, we had a fairly low-key week and there's not much to report! I will share a few Sammy/Elijah funnies and then sign out.

(copy/pasting this one directly from my food blog)
My camera broke (boo), so I brought it to the repair shop with my boys in tow. The nice gentleman at the counter was writing down my information, and Elijah and Sammy were sitting together in a chair being silly and laughing. Sammy stopped laughing and spoke into the silence, "Mommy, are you going to take your pants off?" ..crickets chirping.... I have to give the man credit because he did not flinch. I shot Sammy a mortified and confused look. Then again, but louder this time, "MOMMY! Are you going to take your pants off?!" Oh my goodness! Where did this come from? What must this man think of me? That removing my pants in public is a common event? "Thank you, ma'am, I will give you a call when your camera is ready."

The very next day, the following occurred!
While waiting for our oil to be changed, Sammy asks, in the presence of two older gentlemen, "Mommy? Does grandma have lots of ear wax??" 
Two more satisfied Sammy customers!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Heart Walk 2013

We had a long and super fun day. The boys and I got up early and headed to Minneapolis so we could participate in some fun activities before the Heart Walk started. Elijah remembered the bouncy houses from last year (and what colors they were, etc, ha!), so he was VERY excited to spend some time in them. But first, I wanted a photo with my boys! The fact that Sammy is in the below photo is a minor miracle. As always, he did not like being told what to do and ran away. So E and I ran to him!


Here's Elijah, peering over his old man spectacles. :) He is always willing to pose for pictures!


Another miracle was that I got this shirt and number onto Sammy. I actually let it become his idea, but once it was on he started screaming, "GET THIS OFF OF ME!" Goodness, Sammy.


I was super proud of my oldest boy as he scaled a bouncy house wall all by himself! This is a huge deal for him, and he knew it. He was proud, too. What mother CRIES as her son makes his way through a bouncy house?! Yes, that was me today. It was comforting being in Understanding Zone, as I call it. Instead of getting why-are-you-crying looks, I got I-understand-why-you-are-crying looks. Spending time around other heart families is....awesome. 


Elijah and Sammy talked so much today about all of the "funny guys" they were able to see at the walk. They saw a walking star, a walking bottle of medicine, the Twins mascot and the Vikings mascot. We are not huge sports people, so the last two guys were referred to as the walking bear and the viking guy. Elijah was beyond excited to get his photo taken with the walking bear. 


The walk was really fun. It was amazing, actually. Not only did we walk to raise money for Children's incredible cardiovascular unit, we also walked to honor Elijah and so many other kids like him who have endured more than their share of heart-related surgeries and issues and hospitalizations. It feels sooo good walking for a cause that is very close to our hearts. 

We do not have a jog-friendly stroller, so jogging wasn't an option minus the few hills we ran down. I did walk my butt off, though, pushing 80 pounds of boy through the streets of Minneapolis. Elijah loved looking around and taking everything in. He asked a million questions about buildings and people and a hundred other things. I couldn't believe the things he remembered from a year ago. Sammy didn't seem to enjoy much of the day, unfortunately. He cried/screamed periodically throughout the walk, saying that he was cold (um, it was definitely not cold) or that he wanted out of the stroller. He refused to participate in any of the fun parts of the morning, and that made me sad. His fierce independence definitely gets in the way of opportunities that I know he would enjoy.

We finished the walk in 50 minutes! Not bad! We heard our names announced as we crossed the finish line, so Elijah thought that we had won. "MOM! We won the race! We WON! Did you hear that?!" :)

Elijah jumped in the bouncy house for a bit more and then Sammy had a meltdown, so we headed home for a quick nap. After nap-time we headed to my nephew's high school graduation party, where there was another bouncy house! CLOUD NINE for my oldest boy. Here are the boys, posing in front of it with their fruit punch slushies. So cute.


I was able to trick Sammy into getting in, can you believe it? So many people had asked him if he wanted to get in, and he would say, "NOOOO! I want MOMMMMY!" So I took off my shoes and got in with E and we were bouncing around having a great ol' time. I peeked out and saw Sammy taking his shoes off. Success! He crawled in, but would only stand by the door and suck his thumb. That's ok! I was proud he made it that far!

We had a great, tiring, awesome day. Good night, friends! We hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Thanks for checking in on our crazy family!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sun, warmth and adventures!

It is finally warm enough to do Elijah's most favorite thing in the world. GO SWIMMING! Oh my goodness, this boy loves water. He was in the pool for two straight hours today and he could have stayed for five more. I HAVE to get him swimming on his own! He's such a little fishy.


Sammy, on the other hand. Oh Sammy. As his mama I know not to push anything on him. If I do, he will put up a huge fight, even if that something happens to be the most fun thing in the world. Dan and I always joke with him and say things like, "Sammy! Let's go to Disney World!" And he screams, "NOOO! I don't WANT to!" "Sammy, eat an entire bowl full of candy!" "NOOOO!" "Sammy, let's skip nap today!" "NOOOO!"


So today at the pool, our first time there this year, I knew not to push it. I asked him once if he wanted me to put his swim trunks on. "NOOOO!" Ok, fine. Once he saw that Elijah and all the other kids were having super tons of fun he came to me and said, "Mama, please put my swim trunks on." :) So I did. But then he wouldn't allow me to remove his shirt. Or his shoes. Or socks. Seriously!


About 20 minutes later, he sat down and took off his own shoes and socks and got his toes wet. I asked him if he wanted help with his shirt. "NOOOO!" Then I saw him struggling to take his shirt off. He still wouldn't ask for help and it never came off. And he didn't get very far in the water. As with everything, he needs major warming up and a few rounds of it and it HAS to be his idea. He'll get there and I know he will enjoy the pool eventually! Sammy does NOT like being told what to do. He is one very independent little guy! He sat on the sidelines for most of the time we were at the pool while Elijah wandered off a little bit too eagerly. It is a challenge keeping an eye on my water-boy AND my chair-boy. Eventually I just put a life jacket on E today so I could relax a little bit.


One of the funny things E likes to do is hike his pants up to his chest and make us all giggle. :)


I obsessively sprayed our boys with sunscreen all day and in the process didn't think about myself! My shoulders are feeling slightly tingly tonight, but I have to admit that it feels good. After a very very very long winter, I am not complaining. I want more! We turned our air on tonight for one of the first times this year. Yay! Summer is here!

One Sammy funny that I gathered from today:
sunscreen = sun-scream

We have a super busy but fun weekend ahead of us! Can't wait to share about it. Have a great weekend and thanks for reading, you guys! xo

Monday, June 17, 2013

And the sun shines!

We spent a nice (mostly sunny and warm, yay!) weekend at the dropzone. It rained for a bit on Saturday, so we spent a bit of time in our trailer. Coloring..


And playing on Mama's phone..


The rest of our time was spent outside running around in the fresh air, hugging friends and playing at the park and in the hangar. The boys and I even took a mini trip to Stillwater on Sunday morning while Dan jumped out of airplanes. We had a picnic by the river and ran around, soaking in the SUNSHINE! Elijah kept saying to me, "Mom, it doesn't make sense that this city is called 'Stillwater.' The water is not completely STILL! LOOK! It splashed! See? It's not still." :)


We were happy to spend some time with our awesome daddy on Father's Day. I did not get a single photo of the boys with Dan, but this is actually a good thing since it means he was working! Work has been scarce this season due to the weather, so all of the instructors were elated to finally be jumping.

I have some more Sammy funnies to share, but first I thought I'd share the "professional" photos taken at my recent mud race! This fire that we jumped over SCARED ME! Can you tell?! I thought my shoes were going to catch on fire!


The giant slide was SO MUCH FUN. 



Finishing felt very sweet. I couldn't repress a little happy holloring.


Ok, a few more Sammy funnies!

Any time Sammy sees a water tower, he says, "Look, Mom! There's my FACTORY!" The Waterpark of America is Elijah's "factory," and somehow every water tower is Sammy's. Then he will ask if it is open. Hmm, I'm not sure that water towers open and close, Sammy. Or that we'd want to go into one!

Almost every time I am driving with the boys in the car, Sammy will say something like, "MOM! Be careful not to drive on the grass!" Or, "MOM! Don't run into that truck!" Today when I pulled over to get the mail, he said, "MOM! Please be extra careful not to smash into that car!" :)

Flip-flops = flip-floppers
Don't copy me! = Don't coffee me!

I think he's catching up to his brother on the funnies!

And last but not least! If you want to join us on our Heart Walk this coming Saturday, please shoot me an email. We currently have nobody walking with us because I've been a slacker and haven't told anyone about it. We would LOVE company! mmporta@gmail.com

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tidbits as of late

I knew we'd get some good comments from readers on my previous-previous-previous post. Thanks, you guys!! They made our day! Elijah sat at my computer this morning and read every one of your words. If any of you are local and ever want a play date, let me know! We are always looking to get out with new friends. Email me at mmporta@gmail.com.

The boys and I had a fun day today while Dan was at the dropzone working. Even though Elijah woke up tired (again...that early bird!) and Sammy woke up with a very mild cold, their demeanors were better than usual today. Yay! We made a trip to the post office and to their favorite park, which they refer to as the Colorful Park. When Sammy was a baby, he pronounced it something like, "uh-[stick tongue out of mouth quickly while saying L sound]-er-full-park." So we still pronounce it that way. All of us. It's cute and it reminds us of Sammy's sweet baby days.

Then we took an early nap (Sam) and did quiet play time (Elijah) and dozed on the couch (Mama). After that was club, and then...PICNIC POPSICLE NIGHT! We had a picnic on our lawn, followed by popsicles. Then I heard the ice cream truck coming, so I ushered the boys inside and encouraged Sammy to turn up the music on his electric keyboard. :) It didn't work. After 10 seconds, Sam said, "Mom. That's the ice cream truck!" Ugh. So I let them each pick out another treat. Summer was in the air today, so I felt like they needed to experience it. Finally. After the longest winter ever.

Sammy is so stinkin' cute that I can hardly stand it. His smile melts my heart and his little lisp turns me into a puddle. The way he turns any word that begins with "sm" or "sp" into "f" is adorable. "Mom! We're driving through a fooky forest!" "Mom! Look at the filey face I drew!" He always has his own agenda and wants to do EVERYTHING himself. This gets frustrating in certain circumstances, such as when getting in and out of cars. He has to open the door himself, crawl in (sometimes taking his sweet time), get in his car seat, secure his own buckle and close and lock the door. I suppose if I were watching from afar I might chuckle, but it can get frustrating. His big bro, on the other hand, welcomes any and all help! :) "Mom, put me in my seat!" Elijah, you are TOO BIG.

I have said this so many times, but Elijah and Sammy are on the same "level" in so many ways. They enjoy the same tv shows, they play with the same toys and they enjoy similar humor. This tells me that either Elijah is a bit immature emotionally or that Sammy is mature emotionally, or perhaps a bit of both. It doesn't matter, though. It's great! They are a funny team, and most of the time they thoroughly enjoy one another. They enjoy wrestling with each other and playing kitchen and barns and airport and house and office. Our upstairs will transform into various states from the US and our downstairs will become various cities. They are creative! I love that they get along so well, even if they pit against me now and then. :)

We are planning to head to the dropzone tomorrow and spend two nights there. We are all excited! We love our time away from the city and the fresh air and good friends. Thank you so much for checking in! More adventures to come!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Scaling walls

THANK YOU for your sweet comments that you left for the boys! Elijah read through a few of them tonight and asked, "When can I meet [insert name], Mom?" about each of you (about 25 times each). We will finish reading through the rest tomorrow. The boys LOVE reading letters/notes from people. They get almost obsessive about it, asking super detailed questions about each of you that I usually don't have answers for.

I had a work day today while the boys spent the day at their awesome daycare. They haven't been there in months, but I am currently overwhelmed with work and I desperately needed a productive day. As I left the house to pick them up this afternoon, I shut the door behind me and realized....my keys are inside. Dan was at work an hour away and we do not keep a spare anywhere. The only option was somehow climbing up to our second floor window and getting in through our bedroom since I could see that the window was open.

My neighbor and I tracked down a ladder from a sweet couple down the street. A very sweet man carried his ladder to my house. We perched it in the bed of my neighbor's pick-up and I climbed (barefoot) up the ladder and onto the roof. I scaled over to our bedroom window and was able to get in.  And off I went to pick up the boys! :) I will be making a copy of our house key tomorrow!

There's never a dull moment with us, and I think I prefer it that way. There is still time to comment on my previous-previous post! :) Thanks for checking in. xo

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Croup: Season 5, Episode 2 (Elijah)

I have been biting my tongue for a long time regarding a topic beginning with the letter C. Do you realize that Elijah has not had a single croup episode since last September? All winter I wondered and waited and prayed against the nasty croup that has caused so much drama in our lives. I think I can now successfully say that croup went DOWN this year!

This morning at 5:32 I heard a cough over the monitor and then, "MOMMMMYY!" Dan and I ran into the boys' room and grabbed Elijah from his bed. It didn't sound severe and we were right, thank goodness. Dan sat with him in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes and put him back to bed. He was fine and we didn't hear a single cough at all for the rest of the day, or anything that was even slightly amiss. We hope this means he is growing out of croup! Finally!

I was thinking today about how many years of my life have been shaved off due to croup stress. It is not a fun childhood illness to experience as a parent OR a child. We are praying that we are nearing the end of this! Now, can we also squeeze in a potty prayer? :)

THANK YOU to those of you who commented on my last post. If you haven't yet, go back and leave a message! Elijah read every one of your words today and he (and Sammy) would love to read more! It is so comforting to know that you are "there." Sometimes I feel like I'm sending my words into outer space. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mustaches and mud!

Click here for the recipe for Sammy's birthday cake!


And here are a few silly boy pics from the weekend..




We were so excited to get a visit from my bestest friend Heather and her awesome kiddos this past weekend. We had tons of fun together, as we always do, although the weather didn't exactly cooperate with our plans. Before they arrived, I did something I had never done before! I ran in a mud race with my sister-in-law Christine and two friends. We had a blast! Ok, so running straight up two entire ski hills wasn't exactly fun, but the the experience as a whole was fun and we proved to be a great team.

Here is a pic of us after finishing (we finished in one hour and three minutes!) and getting rinsed off a bit. At one point we were running with totally goopy muddy legs, torsos, arms and hands and our shoes weighed about 10 pounds each. Then we went down the giant slide that got us (mostly) clean and filled with suds!

(photo credit: Aubrey Mathews)

Here we are before the race, clean and fresh! :)

                                                       (photo credit: Aubrey Mathews)

The below pic was physically the toughest point of the entire race for me. My most difficult mental part was the balance beam, which I wouldn't have expected beforehand. I freaked out half-way across, but thankfully my awesome team talked me through it.

                                                         (photo credit: Aubrey Mathews)

I can't believe tomorrow is Wednesday already and that the little boys and I leave for our big road trip in LESS THAN A MONTH! Yikes! We have much to plan before then, but we are very much looking forward to it. It is going to be an adventure of a lifetime!

Just a few tidbits before I sign off for the night..

Elijah needs foot orthotics again. He had them when he was two for about a year because his ankles turned in when he was upright. His feet are super flat, so he typically walks with his feet turned out for stabilization. We will likely take care of this in the fall, after croc season. :)

E will be having a cavity filled in the morning. It's the exact same spot as the last two. The filling from the last round fell off and created the perfect cavity pool. Hopefully this filling will take care of it for good, and with little to no stress.

A few more of my most favorite mispronounced Sammy words:
birthmark=buckmark
suitcase=soup-case
band-aid=bamma-dage
naked=make-id

I will end with the funniest quote of the week and perhaps the month!
Dan had Sunday night free due to bad weather, so we took the opportunity to enjoy a meal out as a family. Totally out of the blue in a moment of silence, Sammy said, "Daddy! What's the name of the restaurant where you took your pants off?!" Uhhh.... Dan? Is there something you should share? :) Never a dull moment with these silly boys.

That's all for now! Thanks for checking in! OH! I was going to ask you all to leave a comment on this post. We would love for you to say hello, or more or whatever. We want to know you're there! It would be so fun to see 25 comments in the morning. :) Elijah would be thrilled to read through them all. Thank you and good night!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sammy's 3-year well visit

It feels almost silly reporting on Sammy's well visits, but I will continue to do it! He checked out great. His weight was at 31.6 lbs (49th percentile) and his height was at 38 inches (65th percentile). He is a lean boy! He doesn't eat consistently, but we hear this is normal for his age.

We are hoping Dan can get some good skydives in tomorrow! I have a fun race that I'm looking forward to on Saturday, and the boys will spend that morning with their cousins and auntie. We are looking forward to another fun weekend. Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

So long, kindergarten

Elijah is finished with kindergarten, and that has made me really sad! I didn't expect to feel this way at all. Just like that we are done with his sweet and incredibly awesome kindergarten teachers. And with his awesome bus drivers who we grew to love so much. And with the stories Elijah would bring home from school. He seems like such a big boy. As you can see in the photo, he (and Sammy, too) changed a ton from the beginning of the school year. At least Sammy has learned how to put his shoes on since then. :)


This morning as we were walking out of the club, I noticed that Elijah was holding my hand extra tight. If I had to let go to open a door, he would quickly grab for it again. I'm happy he's still "little" in the sense that he enjoys being associated with me in public! I hope that lasts for a while longer.

I have been observing Elijah a lot lately and making careful mental notes about his behaviors, actions and reactions to certain things. I have formed some thoughts that have given me a feeling of peace during times that are very frustrating. I'm not done collecting my data, but I'll report back. :) Let's just say that I have much more grace for certain frustrating, repetitive and obsessive behaviors.

And speaking of that, if you have been reading this blog for a while you will know how big my sigh must have been after the following conversation that took place this morning:

Me: Sammy, you are 3 now so that means you need to start going potty in the toilet!
Sammy: No, I don't need to do that until I'm 9.
Me: Uhm, no, how about now. And with a good attitude.
Sammy: Nooo, when I'm 9. And with a bad attitude.

This is the same boy who refused to willingly get into the bath tub for TWO YEARS because....well, because it was our idea. He has had the same attitude with the good ol' toilet. Kicking, screaming, flailing, the whole works. In the past year we have done our best to set it up so that it appears to be his idea. With no luck. After the above conversation, I said, "Sammy. This is GOING to happen." And so we endured the kicking, screaming and flailing. By the fifth try, he was only kicking so I saw that as a promising sign. To be continued!

That's all for now. Have a good day! It's raining, cloudy and cold! Again! [insert crazy laughter]

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And my baby turns three.

Three years ago today was one of the most memorable days of my life. Our sweet, growly-voiced little Samson was born very early in the morning on a Friday. I will never forget his deep little cry or his sweet demeanor or the desire to have him next to me every minute of every day. I still feel that. I always want to be close to my boy, and thankfully he wants that still, too. We all love this little monkey to pieces. He is one very special little boy.


I think he had a good day. I LOVE making our boys' birthdays as special as possible. Birthdays are important and they should be filled with fun and good things.


In standard Sammy fashion, he refused to do anything I asked him to do today. "Smile, Sam!" and out comes the tongue. "Sammy, will you take the pink jewels off your face?" "NO." Ohhh-kaayyy!


Elijah got home from his last day of kindergarten (pics tomorrow!) and the boys had lunch together. As I snapped the below pic, Elijah calmly and slowly said, "Mom. Please stop taking pictures." :)


Sammy opened a few more fun gifts. Lucky boy. :)





I love this action shot. :) 




Can you tell Elijah is just as (if not more) excited to see the Monsters, Inc toy?



We took Sammy out for dinner at Applebee's, which has become a tradition for the boys' birthdays. He deals with being sung to a bit differently than his brother, but it was fun to see smiles on his beautiful face. He wanted to order FRENCH FRIES, so french fries he got. And chicken. And a sundae.


Have you noticed a nose-picking theme when Sam is put on the spot? Silly boy. If you want the recipe for this super fun, calorie-laden and DELICIOUS cake, stay tuned here! I will post it within the next week.







Cake was devoured and then bed. Both boys went to bed without a peep, which is highly unusual. It was a good day of celebrating our youngest boy who we love so much. Happy 3rd birthday, Sammy!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sammy's 3rd birthday party

Sammy remembered celebrating his past two birthdays at the dropzone, so he requested another birthday party there this year. With Dan working, it is convenient to be there and not to have him miss out on work and also have him be a part of Sammy's party. It is a special time for Sam, and it works out well. This year was colder than the past two, but the rain held off till after we wrapped up.

This photo was taken by my friend, Monica, and I love it! Thanks, Monica!


The next few pics are a series of funny Elijah poses. :)









And there you go. Our family ham! The series ends with a brotherly hug.


We had a turtle piƱata this year, which Sammy lovingly named Ivor. The kids had fun whacking the cute little Ivor to pieces. I even got a sucker-shrapnel wound on the forehead by standing too close to the whacking.



A little help from Daddy was needed in between jumps.



The boys were grateful for the friends and family who came to the party. The beautiful Veda is always fun to have around!


This is the exact cake we got for Sammy last year. He remembered it and asked for it again. 


This a photo of pained faces, attempting to obey their mama and NOT touch the birthday cake. I want frosting. Mama said no. I really want frosting. Mama's right there.


I always tell you about what a funny little person Sammy is. When we started singing "Happy Birthday" to him, he immediately put his finger up his nose. Nice. But it made everyone laugh. :)






It is rare that I am able to capture a genuine Sammy smile on camera. He keeps himself pretty guarded when cameras are out and when "other" people are around. Here is genuine happiness captured! Success!



Dan's mom got this house for Sam and it was the "hit" of the party. ALL of the kids surrounded it and stared at/played with it for 30+ minutes.


This is one of Elijah's tired positions, and a sign that he needed a nap.


Grandma and Sammy. :)


Sammy's birthday is on Tuesday, so we will do a small celebration with just the four of us at home. Today I asked him if he wanted any special meals on his big day and he said, "BLUEBERRY PANCAKES!" So we will make blueberry pancakes for our boy. We typically take the boys to Applebee's for birthday dinners, so we are planning to do that, as well. Thankfully, Dan has Tuesdays off work, so we will all be able to spend the day together.

I have been thinking about Elijah A LOT lately. This happens every few months or so. I'll continue collecting my thoughts and report on this after Sammy's big day. We have two super special and awesome little boys. I love them both to PIECES!

I'll end with a few things I've posted on Facebook recently that are funny/cute/awesome. Have a GREAT week, and thank you so much for checking in on our family.

The boys were talking about what color their eyes were when Elijah said, "What color are Mama's eyes, Sam?"
Sammy: Mommy has one brown eye and one green eye.
Me: Well you and Elijah BOTH have the prettiest eyes of all!
Sammy: You have pretty eyes, too, Mom.
Elijah: And you're so cute and the prettiest mom ever. AND you're so shiny and clean like a bath shower! 

That 30 seconds made the 2 glasses of spilled milk I had just cleaned up totally worth it.


A few of my favorite words that Sammy mispronounces:
DVD=dee-buh-dee
UPS truck=new PS truck
magazine=megan-zine
napkin=makkin


While Elijah was sitting in a time-out tonight, Sammy peeked his head out of the door right next to him and said in a deep monotone voice, "I am not a giant hot dog," and closed the door. The mood was suddenly lightened.


Note to self: Do not tell Sammy not to eat something that shouldn't be eaten. This 100% guarantees that he will do it. The "bean" from our Don't Spill the Beans game certainly was not super delicious.