Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Take me out to the ball game

...or at least t-ball practice! Kieran and Finn (and their Coach Daddies) had their first t-ball practice ever today! All I can say is...it's going to be an entertaining season ;) The boys were so cute, learning the basics of the game. I'll try to give you a run-down of the first practice, but as you read it, you have to imagine Connery and Eli roaming around, too, one kid crying in the sidelines, Kieran dropping his glove and kicking it around, and Finn dancing near home plate. That was just the background music ;)

The first thing Sandy taught was "take a knee" so he could introduce himself and see how many had played "baseball" before. Then all the boys got a turn running to first base...no first base right here...over here...there ya go....good job! Now second base...no that one...other way...yeah second...no, not that way.........you get the idea ;) After several boys struggled with the concept, Sandy realized that it would help if they all ran together in a pack...with just a few free thinkers heading to whatever base they wanted, of course. Finn prefers to run straight to second base, for example. Rafael likes third.

Next came catching. The boys (and one girl!) grabbed their gloves and partnered up, one across from the other to practice just rolling the ball and catching it. A few stray balls, but overall, they did this one well.

Batting might have been the most hysterical, though. A few kids line up with helmets on at home plate. The rest of the kids position themselves throughout the field (with parent helpers). Then the first kid hits the ball...and chases it! Then the second kid does the same thing! Almost every one of them! In fact, one kid was on his way to second and passed it right up to help a kid in the outfield! And by this time, Kieran and Finn are stepping on ants in the dugout, climbing the bleachers, and telling us they're hungry. Thank goodness for the after-practice snack.

The only thing they didn't do? Well, the little girl pointed out to her mom that they "didn't put our hands in the middle and say something." So I'll be sure to tell the Coach about that request.

They played a little, they learned a little, they got high-fives from lots of parents...and they're eager to come back Saturday. What more can we ask for?

For more pictures and details, check out Finn and Eli's site, http://hotwheelhacienda.blogspot.com/ and our April 08 Picasa page

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Hi -
Today was the Trike-athon at K&C's preschool. Kieran had a great time riding his bike around the parking lot at their school. Connery rode in style in a wagon during the ~1.2 hour ride. Kieran really loves to ride his bike. Just before he went to bed tonight, he informed me that tomorrow there is a "Trike-a-con" where he rides his scooter (as opposed to his bike). So I guess we will be out cruising the streets tomorrow - watch for scooters.
Cheers. S.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thih thih and Donny, or is it Dottie.

or is it "Dottie"? That's how Connery says "Kieran and Connery." Lately, as they've both been trying to talk, I am constantly fascinated by the boys' learning of language. The way they mispronounce words or string words together is good fodder for the blog, yes, but it's also testimony of their ages. In just a few short years, they will speak like adults, and I will miss the days when they were just discovering words.

The pacifier used to be called bye, but now it's bye-uh.

He's putting two word phrases together. Kieran was fussing upstairs before his nap, and Connery said "seepy." Sandy said, "Are you sleepy, Connery?" And Connery quickly answered, "No, Thih-thih" (Kieran). As they walked upstairs to tend to big brother, he turned to me and said, "Bye, Mommy."

He's said his own name a few times, and I can't tell if he's saying Donny or Dottie. Either way, I love to hear him say it. Kieran says his name so fast, he usually just says "Conn."

The other night, Kieran asked to eat at "the hot dog place" and Connery repeated "ot doh payee."

I visit a local coffee shop called Kenny Mango's (yum!) and love that a Large is not a Venti or Grande but a Monkey Size ;) So I order a Monkey Chai every time. And I get a little plastic monkey each time I order. When I collect 10 monkeys, I bring them back and get a drink of my choice for free. Another Monkey Chai, of course. (It's a common marketing trick, but it's so much cuter with plastic monkeys than a punch card, huh?) Anyway. Not the point of the story. Well, Kieran likes to play with the monkeys and one day showed me one hanging from his finger. I said, "Silly monkey" and he started singing "No more monkeys hanging from my finger!"

Kieran was cranky one day and rubbing his eyes, so RitaBa told him, "You're a little sleepy, Kieran." He said, "I'm a big sleepy too."

He adds "just" to a lot of his sentences. Not to make a point really. He's not adamant when he says "I just like my shoes on the wrong feet." He just does.

Anytime he gets a sore and we ask him what happened, he ALWAYS says, "A 'pider just bit me." Sometimes he tells us that the spider climbed onto his arm, or his foot, and he's never disturbed by it. We're not sure where this "spider" lives or why it bites him, but it thinks he's tasty, apparently.

And he uses correct grammar! (Every English major's dream for her child...) He says, "I didn't close that cup very well" or "I'm not feeling very well."

And the other day, he told us that Monsters Inc. means Monsters "Incohpowated." Such a big word! But I guess he's a big boy these days.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Monkey Boy

That would be Connery. He is SO adventuresome!! Already, we have found him on TOP of Momma's kitchen counter (thanks to the bar stools nearby) and IN our bathroom sink downstairs (thanks to the toilet and the toilet paper bar which makes a handy step, I guess.)

I know that he has a more active personality than Kieran. Kieran will sit for hours watching a movie. Connery watches it out of the corner of his eye as he runs by the television. Even at Connery's age, Kieran would sit and watch Signing Time episodes over and over. Connery watches MAYBE 10 minutes of Curious George in the morning while we get breakfast ready and the car packed up.

But I also think that he learns more by watching the things Kieran does. Kieran never watched anyone climb on top of the bar, so it never occurred to him to try it when he was 20 months old.

And especially after my own adventure yesterday, I want to invest in bubble wrap to wrap around these boys! Especially Evil CONN-ievel.

Don't try this at home

I think that as the boys have reached their active ages, I've spent my time worrying about THEM getting hurt. But I learned yesterday, being a mother does not make you invincible.

I had a bit of an accident with a sledgehammer and my big toenail. It's a pretty gross story, so don't say I didn't warn you. We had a carnival at Butler--several large inflatables like slides and moon bounces, a batting cage type set up, a horse to ride, a dunking booth (filled with pickle juice!), and tables sponsored by school clubs with concessions, Make your Own Bracelets, and face painting and Henna tattoos (the last two sponsored by theatre). Well, off to one side (thankfully, just about 20 feet from the HEMSI unit), we had an old car that you could beat with a sledgehammer. It may be unfamiliar to some of you, but I've seen it at carnivals and heard of it enough to know that it's not entirely uncommon. Well, the students wanted me to do it, of course, and I did. Not a big deal. At one point I hit the side of the car, and the hammer hit the car and didn't stop. It swung through and hit my toe. It registered in my mind that the hammer hit my toe, but I kept right on hitting the car. It really didn't even hurt. I didn't even look down at it. About 10 seconds later, I started feeling weak--I thought because I was tired after swinging the sledgehammer--so I told everyone I was finished and walked away from the car. That's when I thought, "Hmmm...my toe does hurt" and looked down to see blood all over my foot...and my toenail sticking UP!

I am pretty proud to tell you that I didn't even cry. Don't get me wrong--it hurt like...well, fill in here with your own obscenities. It hurt BAD! But I used the breathing techniques I learned from birthing class ;) and was comforted by the paramedic who stopped the bleeding, Mr. Lopez who helped me sit up, and Ashley and Caila who took turns holding my hand. (MANY thanks to you guys!!) We put ice on it, which kept the throbbing at bay, and Sandy took me to the emergency room. We waited and waited, got an x-ray (which showed no broken bones), and...here's where I cried folks...two shots of Lidacaine. The shots hurt worse than anything! It felt like the doctor took a curved needle and pushed it around the entire base of my toe. Twice.

We waited about 10 minutes for the anesthetic to take effect but found out that it DIDN'T when...here's where I cried again...the doctor put my toenail back in place. So he gave me a THIRD shot of Lidacaine! It numbed my toe enough that the doctor was able to give me two stitches to hold the toenail down.

Eventually, my toenail will fall off, but it will grow back in a few months. And here's some toenail trivia for you. If my toenail had been pulled off completely and had NOT been put back in place, it would NOT grow back! I would have lived the rest of my life without a big toenail. (Not the worst prognosis in the world, I know, but not a pretty pedicure, either.) But since the doctor put the toenail back in place, he said the "matrix" is in place, so that it can, I guess, take root and grow back.

So I'm on Lortab and spending a lot of time sleeping or playing on the computer. The doctor said I could go back to work Monday. (Trust me, I asked him if he was SURE that I didn't need to lay around until Tuesday, pretty please.) The boys stayed at Momma's Saturday night, and Sandy picked them up just a couple of hours ago. They haven't paid much attention to my toe. Yesterday, at the carnival, we told Kieran that I hurt my toe really bad, and he wanted to see it. But I told him that he didn't need to see it; it was bleeding and I needed a band-aid. That satisfied him.

Topper Birney (who is a HUGE supporter of Butler and was even the King in Cinderella a month ago!) is...I forget how old, but older, we'll say. He challenged me to a race yesterday and said it was his chance to win for a change. Well, I think he's got a couple of weeks to make me take that challenge. After that, I hope I'll be back up to speed, literally. Just don't look at my toe...and keep the sledgehammers away, please.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thankful for conjunctivitis

I didn't even know that was the medical term for "pink-eye" until the boys came along. Since then, Kieran's had it twice, and I got it once. Of all the illnesses to get, it might be the easiest. My eyes felt irritated and itchy, and the "goop" was pretty gross, but I felt fine. And wearing sunglasses to hide my bloodshot eyes just made me look cool.

The worst thing about Kieran's case this time is that the doctor prescribed DROPS! THAT, my friends is tricky. I've worked out a system whereby I can sit on him without crushing him but keep his arms pinned down. He cries and twists around, I reassure him that it will help his eyes feel better, and within a few minutes, he's back to playing.

I am thankful for conjunctivitis. When pink eye is the worst illness your child faces, you're lucky. Several of my friends have children who are facing far more serious illnesses.

Little Evan Thomason is the son of a friend of mine from high school. He was diagnosed almost two years ago with a rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma. He has undergone several different kinds of chemotherapy and has just regrown his beautiful blonde hair. He has an amazing voice, and talks like a child much older than he is. He uses phrases like "I would love to" and sang for the entire audience after a performance of Cinderella at Butler. My students have adopted him as our little "mascot" and ask me about him continually. We read updates in class and watch every video that Melissa posts. Tomorrow we'll have to watch this one. Just yesterday, Evan got the first part of his "Make A Wish" granted...and he became a celebrity for the day! www.caringbridge.org/visit/evanthomason

Little "Tater" just turned one and spent the first month of his life in NICU...and the doctors still aren't sure why. He's had multiple tests and biopsies, all with no diagnoses. He has had surgery to have a GI tube inserted, has been on oxygen and most recently had a tracheotomy so that he can breathe with a ventilator. He is somewhat delayed developmentally, but he has made so much progress in his first year. And he quickly developed CHARM! http://tosertater.blogspot.com/

Princeton is 4 (hmm...maybe 5?) and was diagnosed a few months ago with a rare kidney disease. His mother teaches with me at Butler and says that the doctor has told her it's a condition most patients grow out of...by the time they're in college. That's a long way off, folks. And in the meantime, he is on a variety of medications (one of which they're having to reevaluate because it hasn't been effective) and a stringent diet with almost NO sodium. He even asks, "Does this have sodium?" before he eats anything. Can you imagine a little boy asking about the amount of sodium in his food??

Bella Rose is not even a year old and has already had two heart surgeries. She was also born with an ear abnormality and is completely deaf in one ear. She had her second open heart surgery a month ago and will have surgery on her spine in June.

And two weeks after Bella's surgery, a friend of mine had a sweet baby girl named Abigail. A few days later, she was diagnosed with a VSD, or hole in her heart, that will require open heart surgery sometime in the next few months. http://mikeamyandizzy.typepad.com/izzy_and_abby

I can't imagine what these children and their parents are going through. That's an understatement. Sometimes I try to imagine watching Connery go under anesthesia for surgery, or Kieran have to drink 16 oz of disgusting "contrast" for a CT scan ...and I chicken out. To see them laugh and play, but know that internally they are fighting for their lives? I can't do it.

Kieran got his last eye drops tonight. We celebrated by letting him dramatically throw the bottle in the garbage. And I thought to myself, We are so lucky.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Time out!

Did Kieran have to go into time-out when he was Connery’s age? I don’t think so…but Connery certainly does. Not every day, mind you, but a few times a week. Mostly for hitting. He usually doesn’t hit with anger. He’s usually non-chalant about it. Just seems like the thing to do, I guess. At home, he even walks to the corner on his own…crying the entire time, of course.

Speaking of the corner, Amy said “stupid” one night in the kitchen, which we know is forbidden. “No saying stupid words” according to Kieran. So this night, he heard me, and Sandy said, “What should she do, Kieran?” (I’ll get him for that!) Kieran smiled and said, “Go stand in the corner, Mommy.” It’s been YEARS since I stood in the corner. DECADES, really. And it’s really an awful place. You can’t see anyone else, it’s boring and you’re completely vulnerable. Anyone could sneak up behind you and attack. I knew that I was setting an example for him, so I didn’t argue or complain or ask to get out—the very things he gets in trouble for doing—and I was SOOOOOO glad to get out. After he told me I could come out, he said, “Now you have to say sorry.” Which I did. Because I was. I don’t ever want to do that again!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Easter 08 (and pictures from March)

So it's a little late to be "reporting" on Easter, but I had to gather up the pictures...

We got to spend Easter in Tennessee, just like I always did growing up. RitaBa took a couple of days off, and I was on Spring Break, so we got to stay an extra couple of days, which kept us from feeling rushed.

My cousin Jessi made all the kids sweet Easter baskets. In fact, we ran into her in the Easter candy aisle at Wal-Mart! haha

We got to see Dylan and Hailey (who are growing WAY too fast) and "the twins" Dalton and Dawson. (My cousin Eric was killed in a car wreck almost 5 years ago. He wife Liza remarried and had these sweet little boys. Technically, they're not related, we know, but they still feel like they're ours.) Sweet story about Dylan--I'm always amazed at how genuinely kind he is. At dinner, the kids only wanted chicken nuggets, of course--even though we had a huge spread of turkey, green beans, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, all the good stuff--and the kids grabbed the nuggets and headed out to the porch to eat. I needed to get a couple for Kieran and expected a fight...but as soon as I said that I needed a couple, Dylan grabbed two off his own plate and said Kieran could have them. Simple but sweet, isn't it?

I often felt nostalgic while were there. I am just two weeks older than my uncle John, and two months older than my cousin Brian. There are LOTS of pictures floating around of the three of us, like little triplets, in one crib together, in the tub together, in front of the Christmas tree, playing outside...you get the idea. John and I were even in the same 1st grade class, so we have a class photo together, too. I would give anything to have a picture of Momma, Rhonda and Gran while they were pregnant! (Momma says she remembers telling Gran that she thought she was pregnant. Gran stopped cooking and said, "I think I am, too.")

Anyway, that's not the point of my story...the point is that as Kieran and Connery played and bathed and hunted Easter eggs with Brian's daughter Lily, we all said several times that it reminded us of me, John and Brian. Funny how that happens in families.

We were glad everyone was healthy enough to hunt Easter eggs at Rhonda's on Saturday. (Momma was recuperating from surgery on Kieran's first Easter, and Connery was battling ear infections on his first.) The little ones got a head start, which helped because we did a lot of explaining for the first few minutes--"The eggs. See the eggs. Get that one and put it in your basket. Very good! Oooh, there's another one. You can get it, too..." When the big kids came out, it was every man for himself. But the little ones didn't care by then. In fact, Connery was satisfied with his first egg. He held it up and started calling "Thih-Thih," looking for Kieran. Proud to show his brother...

My Granny Pugh had knee replacement surgery a week before, and we were glad she got to go home on Good Friday. The boys showed off all their new tricks...and worried us when they got too close to her leg. My Aunt Helen was there, and Kaitlynn and Joshua came over. It's always fun to watch the great-grandkids play together. And Connery was hysterical teasing Helen. He would act like he'd give her something, then jerk it away when she reached for it...and CRACK up!!

On Easter Sunday, the boys wore beautiful matching vests and ties. Amy told Kieran, “You’re going to look so handsome.” To which he replied, “I don’t want to look handsome. I just want to look cute.” Well, they certainly did look cute. We didn't get any good pictures of both of them together, but this one of Kieran turned out. For a kid who usually doesn't look at the camera, he doesn't seem to mind posing. He came up with this pose entirely on his own. Here are more pictures from Easter and the entire month of March. http://picasaweb.google.com/amysandy/March08

It feels good to back in TN for Easter, where I spent my very first Easter. I was born on Easter of 1974 in Cumberland Medical Center. Easter won't fall on my birthday again until 2047, but until then, Easter in the mountains feels right.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Smart Connery

This is my new favorite video of the boys. Connery, this time, saying his ABC's. Yes, that's his sock he sticks in his mouth around Q.
F is my favorite.