Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pot of Gold

This was the view from our house last Monday evening. These rainbows were visible for several minutes, becomeing increasingly brilliant as the background clouds became darker.

Two for the price of one.

Soccer Season

Owen's first experience with organized team sports began this spring with soccer. Our expectations are pretty basic - run around and have fun while beginning to learn how to work as part of a team to accomplish a common goal. The added bonus is that he learning to be social with other boys that he has never met before.

At this age (3 and 4 years old), soccer generally consists of a pack of boys chasing the ball with a couple of stragglers trying to keep up. Since Owen is the youngest on his team, he is generally slower than the other boys and is often the straggler. While he wants to kick the ball, he also wants to pretend to be a train, or pay attention to all the people on the sidelines, or watch the cars in the parking lot, or...you get the idea. Owen is also a talker and likes to try to tell the other boys his view on how things should be done as they are running by him. While we try to keep him focused on the task at hand, all that really matters is that he is having fun while getting some exercise.

Kick Off!!

I'm Thirsty!

Is this game over yet?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ear Tubes - Part II

About a month ago, Clara had ear tubes inserted based on the observation of fluid in both ears combined with hearing evaluation results which indicated moderately impaired hearing. You can read Part I of this story here.

This morning Clara had a follow-up hearing evaluation and a follow-up appointment with the ENT. I am happy to say that we received good news on both fronts. The ENT indicated that the tubes looked great and the results of the hearing evaluation indicated that her hearing was within normal limits. So, we won't need to see the ENT again for six months unless we notice problems (knock on wood).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yee Haw Partner!

Since Nana only gets to see her grandbabies a couple times a year, she likes to do a little spoiling when she has a chance. During our recent vacation to visit Nana and Papa in Phoenix, we made a quick trip to this store so that Nana could buy a cowboy hat and boots for Owen. See the pictures below.

When we arrived back in Columbus, we were the last people getting off the plane (we have learned that it is easier to wait for everyone else to deplane when travelling with the kids). Owen was walking in front of Ellen and me, pulling his backpack, wearing pj's, sneakers, and his cowboy hat. As he approached the pilots and flight attendants near the cockpit, he took off his hat and gave an enthusiastic, "yee haw partner"! You can imagine their delighted reaction, especially at the end of a long day (11 PM local time due to an hour delay in Chicago). Given their reaction, Owen proceeded to repeat his performance several times in the baggage claim area while I was retrieving the car.

Owen modelling his new cowboy hat and cowboy boots while taking a picture of me taking a picture of him.

Looking cute in his hat during a visit to Tortilla Flat, AZ.

Nana couldn't resist the opportunity for Clara to try on big brothers new boots.
Clara trying on big brothers new cowboy hat.

Don't worry, Nana spoiled Clara too! Here is a picture of Clara's boots.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Many Looks of Clara - Spring 2009

An Easter outfit and a silly face.

Wearing Mommy's sun visor.

Checking out the manatees at the Columbus Zoo

Happy to be outside in the swing!

Taking a break from a conversation with herself in the play gym mirror (her favorite pastime).

Happy Easter!

Do you think these two like each other?

Owen started this adventure using the copper dipping-handle and a single color per egg.

By the end he decided that using his hands was more efficient and that each egg should have a turn in each color.

It took several washes to get all of the dye off those hands.

Some of the single color finished product.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is this the same kid??

After Owen has a haircut, we are always amazed how different (and older) he looks. In the interest of full disclosure, Owen made the decision to have all of his curls cut off. When Ellen asked if he was sure, he told her not to be sad because his curls would grow back.

February 2009 - With Curls

March 2009 - Without Curls

Owen the Mighty Golfer

After being trapped inside during the long Ohio winter, Owen took full advantage of the perfect weather in Phoenix during our recent vacation at Nana and Papa's house. Playing golf in the back yard was one of his favorite activities. Looks like I have a golfing buddy.

He has pretty good form for a three year old. The fact that he is left-handed and the clubs were right-handed did not bother him at all.

No Dad!! I want to do it by my own self!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ear Tubes

Clara's six month hearing screening indicated that she was experiencing moderate hearing impairment. She could hear sounds at higher volumes but not at lower volumes. The audiologist suspected that she might have fluid or wax accumulated in her ear limiting the vibration of the ear drum.

A visit to the ENT a week later confirmed that fluid was present in both of Clara's ears. Since the hearing screening indicated moderate hearing impairment, the ENT recommended insertion of ear tubes followed by another hearing screening. Given the effects of hearing impairment on speech and language development, the ENT felt it was important to determine if the fluid was the cause of the documented impairment.

We awoke early in the morning (4 AM) on March 23, 2009 for our trip to Children's Hospital for Clara's first surgery. Even though the surgery is quick and common, it is impossible to quiet the parent portion of our brains that ensures that we are always concerned about the well being of our children.

At 5:30 AM we were greeted in the surgical waiting room with the typical clipboard of paperwork and requisite hospital wristbands. Pre-operation exams and question/answer sessions were our reward for returning the clipboard and required paperwork. At 7:30 AM we entrusted Clara to the surgical team outside of the OR doors and took our place in the family waiting area. By 7:45 AM, the ENT met us in the waiting room with news that the surgery was successful, that he removed a substantial amount of fluid from both ears, and that it appeared that the fluid was infected. He was surprised that Clara had not been showing indications that her ears were bothering her. Shortly after 8:00 AM, we were reunited with Clara in a recovery room. She was mad, mostly because her morning feeding was now more than two hour late. After a quick confirmation from the nursing staff that breast milk was okay, Clara's thirst (and anger) were remedied. We left the hospital shortly before 9:00 AM and Clara napped during the 45 minute drive. By the time we arrived home, Clara was ready to play.

While Clara's hearing appears to have improved after the surgery, it is difficult to tell for certain with a 10-month old. She will have a hearing screening and a follow up with the ENT on April 21, 2009.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Breakfast with the Butterflies

During our recent vacation to Phoenix, Nana and Pap were able to secure a reservation for a breakfast with the butterflies event at the Desert Botanical Garden. The breakfast was coincided with the opening of the spring butterfly exhibit. The kids had the opportunity to create several butterfly-themed crafts, including decoration of butterfly cookies.

This piece of chocolate never made it to the cookie.

Each of the kids was given a pair of wings.

The one-man band entertained his eager audience following breakfast.

No pictures this early in the morning, Dad!!

As the one-man band was wrapping up his show we found a place in line for the butterfly pavilion. Owen had fun matching butterfly pictures in the brochure to the butterflies he saw in the exhibit.

Our visit to the Desert Botanical Garden also coincided with the Chihuly: The Nature of Glass exhibit. The colors and shapes of the art glass work so well with the desert setting. In one nervous moment Owen reached out and grabbed one of the pieces of glass - three year old boys can be lightning fast.