Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fun at the Pet Expo

Godmother Kellie joined us earlier this month for a trip to our local Pet Expo. Pets are not really our thing, but a co-worker saw that there would be alpacas on site and knew of my girl's love affair for all things alpaca, so she encouraged us to venture on over. What a fun night! 
The alpacas did not disappoint. Penny quickly decided she was going to be brave and pet her new friends. Sister picked out a few alpaca finger puppets and a warm pair of alpaca gloves. We've made a note of the farm and are looking forward to paying a visit to their entire herd once the weather warms up.  
Pony rides were the kids favorite part of the event! I really noticed Porter's core strength while he rode...much more stable than any prior ride...he may be ready for therapeutic riding come springtime. 
We saw some unique pets at the show- lizzards, snakes, fish, pigs and lots of dogs. 
My big girl surprised me by voluntarily petting a puppy. Penny and dogs have historically not gone well together. But the therapy dogs from Therapy Pets Unlimited were so calm and loving...she was smitten. Brother pet the dogs too, but because I was holding him, I didn't get to snap a pic. 
We got to see some dogs "race" and we also saw a dog show with some pretty amazing performers. We were amazed at the variety of pet products on display....clothes, gadgets, treats. There were a number of bakeries who specialized in pet treats on site. Porter got mad and upset when I wouldn't buy him a cookie (aka- a dog biscuit disguised as a cookie). 
We also got to visit with the team from Metropolitan Veterinary Associates, the amazing vets who support Porter's Peeps each year. We're always happy to see them out and about in the community!
Despite all the live animals, this dog was Penny's favorite of the show! 
I was so impressed with how brave she was. And with her interest level in the dogs available for rescue. While I don't think I see a dog in our family's future, I do see her building confidence and interest. We all had fun at the Pet was a perfect Friday night activity!

Snow Much Fun

We were supposed to get a blizzard. Instead, we got two or three inches. Inches of pure fun in their eyes. 
RC took Penny to get a shovel of her own and she's taken it very seriously. Her snow pants are on before breakfast and she's out helping daddy clear the driveway and sidewalks :) 
Neighborhood fun randomly comes together again when the snow arrives, like it does in summer. 
I love watching them make memories together. I love watching their creativity! 
I love building snow men. 
And pretending we are at the beach. Porter loves eating snow. 
And tearing off his mittens :) Snow much fun! 

The Hard Stuff

Sometimes I'm guilty of wearing my rose colored glasses when it comes to Porter. He's cute, he's happy and he's pretty darn smart too! But as he grows, we start to hit bumps in the road. Bumps that make the differences more apparent. Right now he's going through a phase. Whining. Big opinions. Frustrations. He doesn't like to hear "no." He throws. He tries to "escape" from activities he doesn't like. He tests the limits. I remember this phase with Penny. I remember the pediatrician telling me that you can't reason with a two year old. But when you're not sure what your two year old understands, that is even more difficult.
He finally moved to the next classroom at school. He's still not walking consistently, but he sometimes chooses to walk short distances. He's getting into the routines and he's thriving. But, we understand it's hard! We are asking him to focus on activities for longer periods of time. It's hard and when he succeeds, we praise, praise, praise. But, sometimes he's got other plans. Sometimes the throws and gets mad. Sometimes he thinks it's apporpriate to eat like Cookie Monster. Sometimes I say "no" and it's like he never heard me at all.
He is always on his A game. He's taller and faster and can get into everything. He has favorites. He's obsessed with Elmo and tries to turn on the tv and computer. He uses his words to ask for things and expects that because he used those words we've been working so hard towards using, that he should get what he's asked for. That's the hardest part for me right now. Because I'm not sure how his understanding is developing. Because I just praised him for using his words and still said no, inciting major frustration. Navigating this fine line of encouraging language, exploration and free choice while still maintaining rules and discipline is the start of the hard part...something we will spend years working on together. It's requiring RC and I to work together and stay consistent. It's making me look like the bad guy all the time. Some days I'm not great at it...some days I get frustrated too. Some days I yell, which never solves anything. But, it's making us all grow stronger. And on the days I get it right, we all learn. Together. 
At the end of the day, he's still my baby. And when he wakes up at 5am and says snuggle, I snuggle. He falls back asleep, safe in my arms. Melts into me the same way he did as a baby, just many inches longer. And in a few years, we will have new "hard stuff." We will look back and think, that was easy. 
We are about to make some big transitions. Moving from EarlyIntervention   (And our amazing therapy team that's been with us since birth) to the Intermediate Unit. Moving to a big boy bed. Turning 3. Attempting to potty train. Possibly taking a gym class. Exciting times! Most parts will be fun, but some will be hard. And we'll do it together. Because together is a pretty amazing place to be.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


This girl is growing up so fast. She's growing more confident too! This is finally happening and it's making daddy & I so proud! At two, she could swim. Then she developed fear. And as much as we tried, we made it worse. So we sat back, let her swim in the baby pool and do lessons with her friends, where she was comfortable. As swimmers, it was hard for us. I mean, swimming is in her blood. Shouldn't we have been signing her up for the team at age three? 
When daddy started coaching swimming this past summer, she started paying attention. She likes to watch meets and an occasional practice. She thinks the older swimmers are amazing. And we think they're positive role models. Right now, when daddy swims on Saturday mornings, I try to swim with the kids. Sure, she's doing her laps with her Lottie, but she's doing it! On her own terms, in her own way. And we're so proud! Swim fishy! Swim!