Monday, September 11, 2006

It's about the process

Mike had the day off today, so we decided to spend the morning at the National Zoo, which is only a few miles from our home. The crowds have thinned because of cool weather and school starting, and Sam and I have been talking all summer about going to see the "aminals".

Although we suggested to Sam that we start the morning by finding some monkeys, he was much more interested in the pizza playground. We stayed here for about 45 minutes, and he had a ball sliding down the cheese and jumping off the tomato. No problem, we thought; plenty of time to see the rest of the zoo.

From the playground we spent a brief time at the children's petting farm. Because of the lack of people, there wasn't much going on: a couple of resting cows and blank stares from a few donkeys and goats. The highlight for Sam, though, was the little sink for kids to wash their hands after petting the animals (which he didn't do!). This sink was so exciting we had a hard time getting him to leave.

Narrowly avoiding a meltdown, we finessed the situation and convinced him to walk into the main part of the zoo. We approached the lemur exhibit, complete with a huge waterfall. The lemurs were resting together on the far side of the exhibit, but that didn't matter because -- there was a waterfall!!

After spending several minutes watching the water fall, we proceeded to several other exhibits: the anteaters, maras, alligators, prairie dogs... Some of them mildly amusing to Sam, some of them boring him. But there were several things that did catch his attention: the drinking fountain, a row of benches, a pallet, a curb, a soda machine. It became obvious that the "aminals" were not the point of the zoo!

We did eventually make friends with an ape and a gibbon monkey, which Sam enjoyed. But the point is that he had fun in the process.

The men in my life

Aren't they handsome?

Laughing and crying

Levi has had an emotional couple of days...

When he was about 7 weeks old, he was hospitalized because he was vomiting bile. His vomiting stopped within several hours of starting and nothing ever came of it except an abnormal blood test that showed elevated liver function. Although he looks healthy and happy as ever, his pediatrition still wants to keep tabs on it and make sure it is nothing serious (which we are certainly thankful for!). This means more blood tests.

Unlike his big brother, Levi does cry when approached with a needle! He's had blood taken twice in the past two weeks, as well as 3 immunization shots. He probably feels like a pin cushion, and now recognizes lab techs for who they are and greets them with loud protest.

On the other hand, this kid is really starting to have a sense of humor! Yesterday we were driving to some friends' house, and he was shrieking and giggling away in his car seat. We're still not sure what was so funny.

But the most precious moment of my past week was a couple of days ago: I was putting him down for a nap and he was in a very light state of sleep, during which he usually has those wonderful "sleep smiles". Well, this time it was sleep giggles.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My big, big boy

This week is a week at the dr.'s office. Trying to get ready for our parent-coop preschool which starts next Monday, Sam and I both have to have certain medical requirements met. We only found out a couple of weeks ago that our name had come up on the waiting list and that Sam would be able to start preschool this fall, so we had to hustle to make our dr's appointments. Not only do we both need physical exams, but also both need TB tests and lead-exposure testing.

Which brings me to this morning. Last week Sam had his check-up, but because of a cold he was getting over they postponed his bloodwork until today. This morning I explained to him what would happen: that there are "strings" in his arms called veins, and blood is inside them. That the "doctor" would put a rubberband around his arm, then he would feel a little pinch and they would take the blood out. He witnessed this wonderful process on Levi last week, who screamed bloody murder (no pun intended), so I wasn't sure how things would go down.

We arrived at the lab and Sam eagerly climbed up on the chair. The technician was friendly and tried to engage him in conversation, but Sam was interested in finding out what all the things on the counter were. I reminded him again what was going to happen. He said decidedly, "I don't cry anymore", and placed his arm on the armrest. The technician checked both arms for an appropriate vein, cleaned him off, stuck him, and drew his blood, all without a peep from Sam! It was over in less than a minute.

Funny thing is, I think the band-aid was the worst part of it for him! Unlike most 3 year olds, he does not like band-aids, because they hurt to take off. A band-aid with a cotton ball under it attached to the inside of your elbow is hard to ignore, so he was trying to take it off immediately. We removed it once we got to the car and he grimaced a bit. And that was the end of it. What a brave boy!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

August came and went in a whirlwind! We had a lot going on. Here are a few highlights:

A few weeks ago we took a trip to Erie. We had the chance to see Mike's mom, as well as his brother & family, Dave, Kelly & the kids. They were in Erie for only a week as they were making their transition from language school in Costa Rica to their missions position in Merida, Mexico. (I think we need to go and visit them there, no?) We also spent some time with Mike's dad. We had a great time.

Sam & Levi took their first bath together! I'd been waiting for this day since Levi's birth -- I just can't seem to keep them both clean if I have to bath them separately!

And here are my adorable boys. Just add a couple of halos, right? Actually, parenting these two has been quite a challenge in the past couple of weeks. Sam seems to be on a quest for independence. I regularly remind myself that having a child with a strong will is a good thing, that he will be a leader some day! But I'm weathering the storm well, and I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.