Sunday, November 29

Experience Music Project

We enjoyed a day of goofing off in Seattle. Celebrating my nephew's 12th birthday I decided to take him and my son Nate to the "Experience Music Project" and do what they love so much... play guitars and drums!
Colin took Tommy, Liam and Hannah to their events here in Bellingham and I soooo enjoyed some young adult time.
Do you know how sometimes when you are out on your own as a mom, no kids for a few hours, just by yourself.... you miss your kids? Well, I didn't for most of the day :) I really had a blast being a goof with these two great teenagers.
I marvel that they are both smart and fun, relaxed and at the same time high acheivers and a tad bit competitive.

There were 'jam session' booths were Nate an Mac got to learn about different amplifiers, distortion and mixers. You can use the different booths for 10 minutes at a time. On the top floor of the museum we had the treat of being in a rock band! Seriously. We each got on an instrument, named ourselves "Soft Serve", and got to perform in front of a virtual reality audience (large screen of prerecorded audience). Of course EMP makes you sound great on your instrument and the experience was fun.

Don't get too excited, I don't play. But I had a blast goofing around with guitars, keyboards, drums and all things music.

Over six hundred guitars made these eye catching entrance to the EMP.

I love interpretive pieces in museums and the EMP had many. These were Jimi Hendrix' hand written notes for lyrics. I also listened to many different recordings and how the artisits were inspired to write their lyrics and music. The museum has educational pieces where I learned to play the C scale on the piano and got the opportunity to play along with an Alanis Morrisette song. Amazing, fun, relaxing, sheer enjoyment.

Nate and Mac outside of the very unusual looking Experience Music Project underneath the Space Needle. A fun day :) We ended at the Spaghetti Factory and the rolled back onto I-5 north in time for homework and bed!

Friday, November 27


Happy Thanksgiving 2009!
We had the opportunity to see most of our family and friends (missed seeing Gma Dorothy and all).
Some of us had difficulties from time to time.
Not sure if Tommy was tired, or fighting off a virus, or perhaps it was just "too much" of everything for him. I am grateful that some in my family know exactly how to distract Tommy. Taking him into a quiet room was helpful at times too.
We got to see Heather and her friend Shelly.

And Michael & Robert.

And when Tommy was back in his carseat going to aunt Tami's he was happy.

Tami and Jason's home was beautiful!

My sister Tami is always the entertainer! We had lots of fun together.

Counsin Andrew with his lizard "Captain Jerry" on his head! We LOVED playing in Andrew's room, he has TONS of toys.

And Liam found Uncle Jason's drum set and music room. I think he is a natural :)

Dinner was delicious. My mom & dad!!

I'm thankful to have such a sweet and dear daddy! Grandpa to nine kiddos now and still sane.
Hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving. We have so much to be grateful for.

Sunday, November 22

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

Our friends the Moore family passed along some outfits their boys couldn't wear any longer. I wanted to try them on the twins to make sure they would fit for Thanksgiving at my sister Tami's family home. I think they look good.

Ready to get taters and gravy on them :)

Cleaning the closet!

Amazingly I cleaned a closet out today! And found some things that I need to move to new homes with younger kids. If you have a need for any of these, please send me an email. We have been blessed with the ability to get all of these, so if you could help with the postage to get it to you, it's yours!
A bunch of orthotics from our favorite place that we have outgrown. 500, 525 and 550 sizes

Spio vest (size v54)

Hip helpers sized for 9-18 mos old

Chuck e. Cheese for Daphne's party

We had fun at our friend Daphne's birthday party.
Mommy is so tired she can barely talk about it. We stayed for three and a half hours! It was partly because the place was so fun and mostly because Daphne's family and friends were all so nice to us and helpful too.

In the picture below I'm telling mommy to go that way. "MAM, oooo"
Because I needed to get my legs just right and hoist myself up.... up.... up....

And INTO the game. I just didn't understand why none of the other people weren't INSIDE the games. It's such a better view.

Daphne's dad Dino was teaching her all kinds of helpful tricks.

She is a real natural at basketball!
Liam stuck with all things car related. He LOVED driving anything that had a steering wheel. Nate went with us to be mommy's extra hand because daddy was working all weekend. I don't know how she thought she could do it without Nate!
She was kept *very* busy running after me. I ran into their kitchen, the men's bathroom, in and out of different games, thru lines packed with people waiting for things like food (which makes strangers to me a tad grouchy), I couldn't run outside though because they have a system that children must leave with a matched adult (they stamp your family's hands with a unique number for your family). Unfortunately at the end of the party, mom physically had to carry two melted down boys to the car.... she told the door attendant her 14 year old strawberry blond son was cashing in tickets for a toy and to let him out when he came in another minute.... but the message was lost.... and Nate was trapped in Chuck E Cheese (very upset). All ended well though!

Liam driving yet another car. He really liked the Chuck E Cheese animated show with the computerized mouse talking and singing.... he even sang along! We are proud of you brother.

All the games were quickly figured out by me.....

Each was much better to play inside or on top of the game......

Mommy tried to take a picture of Nate and Liam playing some games, but I decided to climb into a booth with another family and start eating their pizza so she couldn't take pictures other than me....
It was a really fun time, TONS OF SANITIZER was used on hands and faces. Diaper changes were done standing up in the bathroom stall forbidden to touch anything, I have decided not to use bathroom changes tables anymore. I don't know if the precautions worked, but we had a blast. And we learned so many new signs from Daphne and her family.

Thursday, November 19

Thankful for IHOP ... CA-KES!

Thankful for.... pumpkin spice pancakes at IHOP. Hannah's good driving skills while she is learning. Nate's love for all things snow. Colin's thoughtfulness. Tommy self feeding himself. Liam's huge smile when he sees me. My good friend Robert healing quickly.

Family, friends, and a faith that encourage me to keep going :)

Liam was *very* into washing up before the CAKES came. His shortened word for pancakes.

Tommy snuck some kisses from daddy.

Tommy is *full* of pancakes for dinner!

A two year old with syrup? Liam did great and LOVED the treat out for dinner tonight.

Wednesday, November 18

Preschool evaluation day

Today was the twins preschool evaluation day. On their third birthday which is coming very soon... they will transition from our 0-3 yr old program to the school district early preschool intervention program.

Colin and I had the opportunity to bring the twins to meet their new therapists and teacher and others to be evaluated for service needs. We met with the school psychologist, the school nurse, the speech language therapist, the occupational therapist and their wonderful new teacher Miss Gayle.
The boys were..... ACTIVE. Moving balls of energy that didn't take guidance or 'testing' to heart. They simply took no time to stop and be evaluated. Like Colin said, it was like they were in Disneyland, the preschool is just so packed with fun stuff!
In fact, the team of evaluators couldn't get much data on Tommy. His attention span is mere seconds long (about 15 seconds I'm guessing). And Liam has such a significant expressive language delay that at the end of just an hour, the folks said we qualify for services for both boys and we will learn more about their ideas for goals and outcomes at the IEP.
December 9 will be our IEP date and we are so excited to see these very nice therapists and teachers again. They all feel ready for these two lil' guys.
We are going to miss our dear Promise so much, that I can't even begin to write about leaving them.
But here is a fun shirt we found at consignment and a book tonight at the library.... perfect ending to an informative (and exhausting) day.

Thursday, November 12


Every week we go to speech therapy and at their clinic they have a bead maze toy. Oh, Tommy concentrates SO much on those beads. I just had to post this cute picture. He is usually RUNNING somewhere, so to see him concentrating so much is a good picture.

Cheer and cycling

Hannah has been in cheerleading for two months now and of course Nate has been doing long distance bicycling for a while. Here they are before we headed out to cheer practice and Nate to his spin class with uncle Rob. I think they are SO adorable!



small wee ones crept....

into the picture.....

And the best for last,
Long, long ago I myself was a cheerleader... so Hannah and I did a little cheer together. To funny! Yep, that's a black eye on me. Compliments of Liam late last week. Head bonk. Ouch.

Hannah is hoping to compete in a national competition in March and with some faith and a few pennies I'm going too to help out!

Tuesday, November 10

Preschool observation

Today we had the opportunity to observe the preschool 'in action', where Tommy & Liam will attend. It was very well organized, the teachers are gifted with talent for our kids learning, clean, nicely paced and very comfortable. We stayed two hours and even got to look inside the bus at the seats with their baby seat harnesses. The sign language interpreter was good, the medical asst who does g-tube feeds was patient and talented in those and the teacher and other aide were great at each of the routines for the day (concepts, snack, speech, etc).

Colin and I felt like a weight had been lifted from our shoulders driving home from the preschool. Okay, I was much more anxious about 'where' the twins attend preschool. This is a wonderful opportunity for Tommy & Liam to learn from peers, teachers and receive individualized OT and Speech/sign is huge. The teachers were just lovely in every interaction with the kids.

Later this month is their evaluation by the school district and then beginning of December is their IEP meeting. And although their third birthday is 12/12, we decided to wait until after winter break and join the class on Jan 4.

To all of you who have kids in Cascadia preschool, your kids are so stinking adorable. We look forward to meeting more families thru this opportunity, just like we did in the 0-3 yrs program.

Sunday, November 8

National adoption month

November is national adoption month and today is 'orphan' sunday. A day that can be shared the faces and stories of children waiting. Waiting in foster-adopt care here locally. Waiting nationally. Waiting internationally. What better way to share the awarness of these orphans and faces that are so heavy on my heart, than a video that an amazing mom created. Perhaps you have room in your family and heart for one more? Or perhaps you have room to share sponsoring a child so they can be closer financially to adoption. Watching this video brought tears streaming down my face!

SUPPORT those who support them …and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds... -Hebrews 10:24 Reece's Rainbow adoptions of kids with Ds and other developmental disabilities has a wonderful Christmas fundraiser, to the right is their ornament with more information on sponsoring.

We continue to pray for Millie (a little orphan that we had sponsored), to keep good health and hope that her parents (maybe you?) will come forward for adoption. There are so many children locally, nationally, internationally that are orphans.

Join us in praying for the MILLIONS of orphans.


We enjoyed a fun weekend and feel reenergized as parents. Ready to tackle anything :)

Friday night Colin, Nate and Hannah went to enjoy movies (I say plural because Hannah met a friend and went to a different movie than Colin and Nate). Fun was had by all. Tommy, Liam and I made homemade playdough and just hung out at home.

Saturday I had the opportunity to attend a supportive parent training sponsored by our county Parent 2 Parent. It's called "Helping Parent" support and offers newly diagnosed parents the ability to be matched with a parent who has personal experience with that particular diagnosis. The offer of someone to listen, to care, to not try to fix everything but rather be supportive and listen is wonderful!

But the best part of the weekend was Grandma Sue drove up and gave us the chance to get out together! She gave Tommy his g-tube feeding and I did his last nebulizer for the day and G'ma and the twins did fantastic. Colin and I had a hot date night. We went to the Temple Bar in B'ham and listened to fantastic live jazz, then walked on down to the Upfront Theatre which has live comedy improv and laughed our butts off..... and even topped the evening off with *trying* to watch a late night movie. We fell asleep about a quarter of the way into the movie. Too funny! Guess we need more practice at taking care of ourselves and date nights.... Thank you G'ma Sue!

Hope each person reading this takes time to take care of themselves. Even twenty minutes to just sit and relax in silence re-energizes our internal batteries. During the Helping Parent training some of the other parents had *fantastic* ways they take care of themselves. My friend Allison was there and she is one fantastic mom and shared so many ideas with me (baths, camping w/kids w/special needs, preschool, etc). I feel like I'm energized again and not in the pit of last week! Go ahead, turn the computer off and go take time for yourself!

Monday, November 2

Retro post

I'm getting nostalgic tonight.....

Remembering bald headed babies....

Baldness times two... double baldy heads...

Shiny bald peach heads of babies...

Oh how they do grow so quickly....

These photos were between 3 mos and 10 mos old. Next month the twins will be 3 years old! Where does the time go? And where are those peach headed baldies? They are stuffing their faces with Halloween candy and driving their sister and brother crazy.
I think I'm nostalgic because Hannah gets her driver's permit this week. She will be 16 in February. And she is ready to drive :) Of course, I'm no where near ready for her to drive.

Sunday, November 1

Halloween 2009

Daddy was hard working this weekend helping our checkbook out, thank you daddy! So that meant we four had mommy running in a few directions. Tommy LOVED keeping track of the pumpkin seeds while we carved.

As usual, Nate has fun designs for his pumpkin.
After pumpkin carving and drinking some witches brew (crockpot apple juice/pineapple juice/lime jello package and allspice).... it was off to trick or treat with our cousins.
The twins were Buzz and Woody from Toy Story

I'm woody from Toy Story!

Here we are with most of my cousins (missing Andrew). They taught us how to trick or treat real quick! And were always helpful.

Of course my mommy just LOVES her niece Madison. It doesn't get any better than her in that costume.

HUGE thanks to Uncle Rob and Aunt Debbie who as usual are mommy's extra hands with a child who thought he was a cross between a bat and a gypsy (Tommy), many times on a dead run thru the night air in the wrong direction. Uncle Rob always had a great sense of humor! THANK U!

Our treat bags were sooo cool. They were made by G'ma Sue and G'aunt Elizabeth a couple of years ago. They are TINY pillow cases and have lil' pillows that mommy put back in them for the sleepy ride home. Perfect for the car seat and great for our hands to hold, thank you!

Tommy Adventures