3|52

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3|52 This boy. He’ll be five tomorrow, and all those cliches about how it feels like he was born just yesterday but how, at the same time, It feels like he has always been part of our lives? Yeah, that. Five feels so different, so big. It’s a tough one, folks. This picture was snapped during our almost-a-week of huddling by the fireplace in our master bedroom while our furnace was out. Lots of reading, board games, knitting, movies… Which was just fine with Miles! He’s a pretty laid back fella, this one. (Zeke,however, had cabin fever bad!)

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3|52 little mess-maker. I have been making a point to involve Zeke in more of our messy art-making adventures lately. Our homemade playdough was an instant hit! He loved squishing, rolling, and stamping the dough, and spent a good hour playing the first day we had it out. I love the way this kid radiates excitement and joy in nearly everything he does. He wakes up with a smile on his face each day, and greets me with giggles and hugs when I go to get him out of his crib.

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This Moment: welcome home, chickens!

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words (or just a few if I can’t help myself!) – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

(inspired by SouleMama)

Summertastic

What a whirlwind summer! Family picnics (love a good picnic, don’t you?), swim lessons, cross-country road trips, evening bike rides, growing/harvesting/eating from the garden, watching these boys of mine grow and learn and transform before my eyes into little-bit-bigger boys, last minute rennovations, selling, packing, moving (yes, MOVING! In four more days! More on that later…), soaking it up and taking it all in when I can catch my breath for a moment… This summer has been a doozy! And it’s not over yet!

Lets start with June, shall we? cause I’m seriously that far behind…

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug rare semi-still moment of Zeke

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug pre-haircut family picnic at a little park we just recently discovered

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug love this!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug …and this

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug splish-splashin

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug July at my grandparents’ South Dakota ranch

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug the old climbing tree (Papa Wayne, my mom, and I all climbed this same tree as kids:)

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug nature hike and lesson on native medicinal plants with Uncle Curt

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug just our little old garden…

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug yay for naps!

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These lazy days of Summer have been anything but. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but to say that this whole moving thing has me stressed out would be an understatement. Right now I am so ready to curl up under a quilt on a chilly fall evening with some hot tea and some knitting perhaps. Kitty purring on my lap. In our new house. By the fireplace(!!!) With everything unpacked and in it’s place. Ah, yes.

Lately


(A few instagram moments because I have been slacking in the “real” photo department lately… 1. My quilt is coming along! 2. Wildflowers bloomin’ 3. My sweeties 4. New art supplies 5. always lots of books 6. Digging out and dusting off an old treasure 7. Climbing boy 8. First ice cream cone 9. Papa’s truck)

So you may have noticed this thing where the amount of blogging that I do, (or honestly, the amount of anything productive that I do) is inversely proportional to Zeke’s increasing level of mobility. Tell me I’m not the only mother that this happens to…

He is ALL OVER THE PLACE. And some days I feel like it is all I can do just to keep up with him! Poor guy is always covered with bruises, scrapes, bumps, grass/mud stains and has even sported a couple of busted lips (and that explains that scarcity of pictures of both of my boys at this age;). I worry about him constantly, but every time he falls, he just pops right back up and continues on his way undaunted. His curiousity and wonder at the world around him are inspiring. To him, every mundane detail, every bug, rock, puddle, stick, or handful of mud are magic. He belly laughs and squeals with delight at the feel of the playground sand between his toes. He lights up at the sight of a squirrel through the living room window. He jabbers to his shadow like it’s an old friend when he spies it on the bedroom wall. These days- they may be exhausting, but they are so, so good.

And Miles β€”my quirky, bookish, curious, not-so-little Milesβ€” is learning so much right now. He devours books, and his interests shift daily from volcanos to crickets to outer space… and everything in between. He told me yesterday that he wants to be an “all-ologist” when he grows up so he can study everything because it is just too hard to decide on one thing. (this was after the “birthday-partyologist phase he recently went through) I have found myself having to work much harder to come up with a steady supply of projects, expiraments, and activities to keep him occupied (and to ward off his screen addiction). It’s sort of a fun challenge for me as I more and more seriously consider homeschooling him. He is also starting swim lessons this summer and violin in the fall (eek! I am so excited about the violin! Maybe he’ll be the fiddle to my banjo someday:)

And here’s the part where, if I didn’t have a gazillion things to do before my rambunctious 19 month old wakes up from his nap, I would craft a witty, seamless transition to our Memorial Day weekend adventures at Lake Wedington. Or an elegant bit of prose about the restorative powers of nature (you know, those relaxing moments when we weren’t fishing a kid out of the lake or untangling the fishing line again). But alas, there is a pile of laundry calling my name and a four year old who has just about used up his tv alottment for the day… An abrubt jump to a bunch of pictures will have to suffice for now. Enjoy!


my bucket hat obsession continues: new Oliver+S hats for the boys


He was a frog for the rest of the hike. And let me tell you, it takes FOREVER for a little boy pretending to be a frog to hop all the way back to the car…


love this.


We never catch anything. Not even sure he realizes that fishing usually involves catching a fish on that line…


barefootin’ of course


peek-a-boo!

Baby Steps

He pauses, carefully considering the uneven earth beneath his feet. He steadies himself then slowly, carefully, deliberately lifts one foot and takes that first step. A grin spreads across his face and he glances up at me, clearly relishing his accomplishment and my (unabashedly giddy) claps and cheers. Another step, this one faster and less cautious, then another, and another… until he is half-running, half-falling towards me. He reaches my arms just as his balance gives way completely, and he falls into my embrace. “Good job, Zeke! You did it!” I tell him, but he is already off with some new adventure in mind. It was only a few feet really, a handful of steps, but he and I are on top of the world.

He falls a lot, gets back up, tries again. And again. And again. Sometimes he makes it several steps in a row, sometimes just one. Sometimes he lands hard and it hurts (balance and protective response-aka catching himself- do not come easily for this guy), but he is undaunted.

All the while I watch him exploring the ever-widening world around him and I am amazed at his perseverence and resiliance. Every worry I have ever had for him, every tear I have cried wondering what his future will hold fades for the moment as I am reminded again how strong he is. Some would say stubborn. I think I have said it too. This kid is going places, and he’s not letting anyone or anything stop him. Maybe he will take a different path to get there. Maybe it will take him longer, maybe it will be harder, maybe he will have to get back up more often than most. Maybe “there” won’t exactly fit our culture’s skewed definition of success. But he’ll get where he’s going, of that I am sure. One step at a time.

I wonder sometimes how much I shoud write about Zeke’s development. I waiver back and forth between wanting to keep much of his story private, and wanting to shout from the rooftops how amazingly awesome my kid is. I compromise by choosing to write mostly about our ordinary, every day lives together (because really, we are quite ordinary). I don’t want him to be defined as “that kid with Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum,” with all of the stereotypes that may entail, but I also don’t want him to ever feel that who is is anything to be ashamed of or keep hidden. In many ways I am quite facinated by the way his brain works and it’s ability to overcome tremendous challenges. Each accomplishment seems all the more amazing when I pause to consider everything it took to get there. My hope is always that people read my words, and see my pictures, and are insipred and encouraged (as I am likewise inspired and encouraged by the emails and comments I receive every week from individuals who either have ACC themselves or know someone who does), but I am also well aware that ACC can look very different for others than it does for my son. We are blessed. And I don’t ever take that for granted or lightly. Ever.

With that being said, I do want to include a bit of an update. I know how valuable it has been to me as a mother to read about other families on this journey with us, and I think it is important to include some of our struggles in this story along with the overwhelming good. At 17 months, Zeke is doing quite well. He is eligible for Arkansas’s early intervention program, which provides him with two physical therapy sessions per week. At PT he is continuing to work on skills like transitioning from sitting to standing, balance, increasing muscle tone, increasing his protective response, and beginning to walk. (He wears small foot braces that are basically inserts that fit into he shoes to help stabilize his ankles) He is making slow, but very steady progress in all of these areas. He seems to have a somewhat decreased awareness of his left side, probably related to his ACC, but it is more noticeable some times than others. For example, he has more difficulty catching himself if he falls to the left, and he occaisionally seems to forget about objects in his left hand. He also seems to have a somewhat increased tolerance to pain, but that may just be his stubborness! Although he picked up his first couple of words pretty early on (mama, baba, bye-bye), his speech has plateaued at this point an he really only uses a couple of words, and even those not consistently. He has been referred by his physical therapist to be evaluated for speech and occupational therapy in addition to PT.

For every thing that he struggles with though, there are so many other things that he can do. He stacks blocks, puts them in and takes them out of a bucket, gives (very slobbery) kisses, loves to share his snacks and toys, makes some pretty awesome truck noises, “dances” to music, taps out a pretty decent rhythm on his bongos or the piano, looks at picture books, chases the kitties, lights up the room with his whole-face smile, climbs, climbs some more, oh, and did I mention he climbs? πŸ˜‰

But today, oh those early wobbly baby steps! They eclipse everything else. Never lose that determination, my son!

Lately…

*

thrifted blanket thriftscore!

peekabo baby

So much potential. Nevermind that most of them won’t survive my black thumb… it’s all about hope πŸ˜‰

Naturally dyed eggs. Awesomeness. Tutorial coming- hold me to it!

this kid smiles with his whole face. Love it!!!

Lately, I’ve been:

:: marvelling at their curiosity and passion to learn. It’s inpiring.

:: contemplating, more seriously than ever, the idea of homeschooling my boys

:: wondering where Spring went? March seems colder and wetter than January and February this year.

:: plugging along with the Spring traditions nevertheless.

:: spending lots of these chilly days indoors making and doing. Oh, and at the library (of course)

:: Itching to get out in the dirt of our tiny, pitiful, financially not worth it but oh-so-worth-it garden plot (and hoping a few of the seedlings we have started survive those darn cats that keep jumping on the table and munching on them…)

:: working to finish up some projects around the house so we can LIST IT! (Again, maybe with better luck this time!)

:: dreaming about our home in the country that is starting to feel like it just may be out there after all…

:: wondering how I am ever going to manage to keep the house show-ready tidy with two kiddos and three cats…

:: trying, really trying to break out of this blogging rut so I have more to present than half-coherent, random ramblings and massive photo dumps.

:: living and loving, sometimes gracefully, mostly clumsily, always passionately. And enjoying (almost) every moment πŸ™‚

*check it out! I am using my 35mm prime lens and not cursing it! Photo nerds- if you have a lens that is consistantly soft or blurry, dig out your SLR manuals or google “how to calibrate a lens to your camera.” Oh, and back button focusing. Your welcome πŸ˜‰ This lens used to severely back focus. To the point I never used it except in bright outdoor light where I could set a tiny aperature (no fun!) but it works like a charm now! My new fav.

Better late than never

I am actually awke past 8pm, and I actually uploaded the bazillion or so photos that have been sitting neglected on my camera the past couple of months. This is big, folks! And so, without further ado, here is Miles’s birthday in pictures:

mmmm… chocolate with cream cheese icing

we kept things simple : a little wooden airplane for a cupcake topper, a paper airplane garland, fruit kabobs, pretzels, and nuts for snacks, and a paper airplane contest for an activity.

I love the look on his face as he is soaking up the “Happy Birthday” love πŸ™‚

make a wish!

test flight

time for take-off!

Four is going to be a good one, I can tell!

Birthdays and such

30. Yes, I have arrived. And what a welcome my thirties had in store for me. The last couple of weeks have been exhausting, I’m not gonna lie. And scary. I spent my 30th birthday in the hospital with heart arrythmias that the cardiologist deemed troubling enough to admit me for two days. I did finally get some good news though, that the troubling spells were not v-tach like I was originally told, but AIVR. A relatively benign arrythmia, though it is still scary and uncomfortable and exhausting. All tests (echo, stress echo, ekgs) have shown that my heart itself is healthy, and my cardiologist strongly suspects that the arrythmias are related to my thyroid disorder. (And I am on a 14 dy heart monitor just to be extra certain tht all is okay)

So I am behind on everything, I haven’t stayed up past 8ish in… I can’t even remember, I am lightheaded from the medication I am on to treat the arrythmias, but I am alive, and I am grateful. And I am learning to be more patient with myself as I recover.

Enough about me, I am not the only one who had a birthday around here:

These birthdays of his are coming faster and faster, I swear!

We started off the day with a trip to the library (one of Miles’s very favorite activities!) for story time, then drove up to meet Papa for a lunch of pupusas (another of Miles’s favorites) in Rogers. On the way home, we stopped by Toys-R-Us so he could spend a liitle birthday money from Grandma, then the pet store to pick out a new fish. We finished the day with a little outside time (oh, the beautiful weather we have had lately!), some ice cream, and a game of candyland. We will have a few friends over for cupcakes this weekend.

(I apologize for he lack of “real camera” pictures lately. Hopefully they will return now that I seem to be on the mend. For now a few instagrams will have to do!)

What an honor it is watching this boy grow and learn. He is becoming such a smart, creative, funny, and caring kid. He loves reading, writing, drawing, puzzles, and despite my best efforts, TV (don’t judge, these past few weeks have been rough! πŸ˜‰ He loves being outside -something we try to make at least a little time for every day- although you’ll more likely find him lying in the grass watching a bug with a magnifying glass than running around playing. His current obsessions are planets and volcanos, and if you happen to stop by, he will talk your ear off about either subject. Unless he is a cat the day that you stop by. Then he will just meow.

Love this fish drawing!

Miles, I hope you carry your passion, love of learning, and curiousity with you all your life. Happy fourth birthday, Son!