Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Gifts from Grandma & Grandpa-- and, she is her mother's daughter

Grandma and Grandpa sent a whole box of gifts for Mairead's birthday, and some treats for the boys as well. The kids had a great time ransacking the box and then playing with it and the toys in it. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa!

And finally, I told you we had a Target problem...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

She is THREE!!!!

It's hard to believe that just three years ago, we welcomed this amazing little girl into our lives. I really can't imagine life without her, and life before her seems to all blur together. I think that my life has been divided into life before I was a mom, and life as a mom. I always knew I wanted children, but the impact they have had on my life has been overwhelmingly powerful, and makes it seem like my whole life before 2:15 on July 29, 2007 was just leading up to something more amazing than I ever expected.

We had a great day with our girl. We are saving the bigger festivities for after our vacation, but we made sure to have a lot of special moments today.

When I went to get her up this morning, I said, "Happy birthday, Mairead! It's your birthday!" She said, "mmm, cake, yummy." Then she added, "Balloons. Hats. Blow." Pretty good, I thought! I was so glad that she 'got' the whole birthday thing! The day was off to a good start!

First, a rare picture of Mom with Mairead.

Dave's mom had a really cute birthday tradition when Dave and Ry were growing up. She always did a breakfast present, a lunch present, and a dinner present. I love this idea, so Dave and I do this with our family as well. The breakfast present actually came courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa. They sent a huge box of goodies and we let Mairead and the boys dig into it this morning. I do have video of it that I will upload later, but the highlight of all the gifts was... of course... the box they came in.

Mairead decided the box was a train, so she put on her new hat, said, "Chug-a-chug-a, Choo choo!" and took off. The new baby doll was in the box, and Jack, ever Mairead's shadow, toddled along behind her."

They kids did love the actual gifts, too. Mairead seemed to like the hat best. Jack liked the red ball, and while Mairead and Jack were playing train, Ben was stealing all three of the new blankets.

My mother gave her a very exciting gift this morning, too. A bag of loose change. Since Mairead has recently discovered money and that money leads to shopping at Target, she was pretty excited.

This evening, Dave and I took Mairead out to dinner. I can't remember the last time it was just the three of us, so that was pretty nice. She LOVED it. She knew that something special was going on and she was so happy to have Mom and Daddy to herself. We then went to Hannfords and picked out a small cake. It had a ladybug on it. Mairead was beyond excited and was so proud to go to the checkout and give the lady some money.
The boys got to stay up late and sing Happy Birthday. We had to do it twice, actually, because she loved it so much the first time!

Mairead then spent some time with the very cool new playset that her Aunt Ry, Uncle Dave, and cousin, Rachael, sent. It is this little wooden doll set that includes magnetic clothing. Mairead LOVED it. She was rearranging all of the clothes and having a a great time.

Even though turning three is a scary thought for her parents, Mairead is taking it all in stride. Today, she was overflowing with novel phrases and was making connections like crazy. We are anxious about all of the changes and challenges that will come her way this year, but we are so happy to see her growing up as such an exuberant, loving, smart, sweet, and talented kid. It's hard, sometimes, not to focus on the things she can't do, or the areas in which she is 'behind,' but every single day... every hour, it seems, she is doing something new and amazing. I am sure that this year holds great things for our girl. We can't wait to see her new accomplishments!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pictures on the Pony

Today is Mairead's last day as a two year old. This day is full of mixed emotions as we are amazed to see our little girl growing up so quickly, and we are so grateful for how far she has come. We are saddened by the fact that she has to end her fantastic experiences with Early Intervention, and we are anxious about what the future holds for her. I am also sappy because my baby girl is growing up all too quickly.

We had a good way to end life as a 2 year old, though, with a beautiful sunny day at Ironstone Farm. Mairead truly loves this therapy and we are working with the great people at the farm to try to arrange for therapy through our insurance since EI cannot cover her any more. I am hopeful that we can work something out because it has done a world of good for her.

Just a few pictures of my baby girl having fun on the horse!

Her therapist, Rebecca, is terrific, and there are so many kind volunteers who work at the farm to help the kids with their therapy sessions. It's an amazing place.

She LOVES it when the horse trots, but she always uses one hand to hold on to her helmet when the speed picks up.

Thanks for checking in with us- more tomorrow on life with a THREE year old!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I may have created a monster...

Mairead was not feeling well on Friday night and woke up Saturday morning with fever of 101.4. She had also woken up crying in the middle of the night a few times, which she NEVER does. I called the pediatrician to have her seen since I suspected an ear infection. So, while I was getting her ready to go to the doctor, I asked, "do you want to go bye with Mom?" She signed 'car' and yelled, "Target! Target!"

Yikes. How bad is that?

In my defense, I did take her to Target last Saturday and she loved it. There are circles everywhere, pictures of a dog on all the signs, and we bought a dinosaur that she is in love with. Not bad.

So we are in the car and she is saying, "Target. Shopping. Dinosaur." I was actually pretty psyched because I knew she was remembering our trip last week, and using words to verbalize that she knew where we were going and she knew what we would do there. Pretty cool!

The not so cool thing is that she has a double ear infection. We are lucky in that this is only the third EI in her lifetime, but I wish she weren't feeling so lousy. We have been watching a lot of Sesame street and hanging out on the couch.

I just love everything about our new pediatrician's office- they are kind, easy to work with, organized, and my favorite- efficient and timely. We have never had to wait more than a few minutes to be called in, and then just a few more minutes to be seen. It's a whole new world.

Anyway, yesterday we saw a Nurse Practitioner that we had not met before. She was wonderful with Mairead. Mairead has serious anxiety about doctors. In fact, we literally pulled in to a parking space at the office and Mairead was saying, "No, no. No thank you." She knew where we were going and was not happy about it. Granted, she has only been there three times, and two of those times were for shots, so I guess I can't blame her.

When the NP came in, she started talking to Mairead as she would any 3 year old, so I explained that Mairead had delays, problems with receptive language, etc, and that she didn't understand.

The NP immediately switched her approach. Slowed down, talked more quietly and in simpler sentences. She showed Mairead the stethescope, let her touch it, and THEN listened to her heart. She took out the otoscope and showed M how it made circles of lights. On her book, on her hand, on her arm, and then up to her ears. She was awesome with her and Mairead visibly relaxed. She even counted along as the NP listened to her heartbeat. I was so impressed with her approach and her understanding. She is also the mom of triplets, so I am sure she has a lot of patience!

Despite her anxiety, Mairead really did well today. She made a lot of eye contact, said, "Hi doctor," counted for the NP while she listened to her heart, etc. It was pretty awesome, actually. It was almost like taking a typical kid to the doctor... I love moments when she is just a regular kid.

Oh, and she has been talking up a storm this weekend! I have actually teared up a couple of times because I was so proud of her! This morning, we were sitting in the family room and she smiled at me, signed car, and said, "Target! Shopping!" I said, "No, honey, no Target today." She thought for a moment and said, "I...want... Target... please!" We are always encouraging her to make sentences, so I think that she figured that if she asked in a sentence, I would have to take her to Target. I think we are in trouble here...

Other random thoughts--

Today, the boys were running around with their toy broom and mop, and I thought to myself. They are so stinkin' cute. And there are two of them. And they're MINE! Every once in a while I just have staggering, "Oh my God, there are TWO of them!" feelings, but in a good way! How cool to have two adorable little ones at one time? They are playing with each other more and more lately, and it's really fun to watch.

Jack has become the more affectionate kid lately. If an adult stoops or crouches down, Jack runs over and hugs the person. Adorable. Ben makes use of his excellent balance to climb on furniture, stand up, and dance. It is SO hard to keep a straight face and tell him to get down because it is just so cute when he does it. I think he knows he is cute, so he can get away with a little bit more.

I was able to go out last night with some girls from a mom group and we had a great time. Dave was awesome about taking on kid duty on such a hot day, and even let me get a little extra sleep this morning after the boys had a lousy night sleep-wise. He is SO good with the kids-- we are lucky to have him!