Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 2011 Tidbits

Tess invented her own home remedy to treat mosquito bites:  "You take a rolling pin and roll it, roll it, roll it flat so it gets all better that way."

I'm not quite sure what sharing time was about today, but apparently it hit home. On the way home from church, Tess told me that she wanted to say a "prayer in her bonk bed" when we got home. At home she asked Ryan if he wanted to say a prayer with her, so they went upstairs and lay down on her bed. She was just lying there for a while, when Ryan asked her why she was staring at the ceiling. She said, "Dad, I thinking about Jesus and my prayer." After a few more minutes of contemplation, she was ready to say her prayer.  When I asked about her prayer, she said:  " It was about Jesus and church.  I was thinking about that."

On a related note, when Tess prays she always addresses her prayer:  "Heavenly Father and Jesus:"  Ryan made an attempt to correct her, explaining that we pray only to Heavenly Father and not Jesus.  She rejected his instruction:  "I like to pray to Jesus too."

Today in the car Tess told me: "But Mom, I really want to be both!" Having no idea what she was talking about, I asked her to clarify. "I really want to be a doctor and a mommy." I told her she could be a doctor and a mommy, but that she would very busy. "I want to be both. And a tractor worker."

Tess has been working to master her new hula hoop. One night I (Ryan) heard Drew whining.
Ryan: "What's wrong with Drew, Tess?"
Tess: "He crying because he wants my hula hoop. He wants to grab it and play with it."

Tess is very "getcited" to visit the Air and Space Museum. Her dinner prayer tonight: "Please bless us be safe when we go to the rocket ship museum."

We had shrimp for dinner tonight. Tess evidently enjoyed it. She said, "The shrimp taste so good in this olive oil" and "Mom, you tried the shrimp yet?"

As I (Ryan) was getting some groceries out of the car, Tess came outside and said, "I'm gonna get you." I replied, "No, Tess, I'm going to get YOU." Tess responded, "I'm gonna get you BETTER."

A few nights ago Tess told me (Ryan) the latest on the local Borders bookstore. "Dad, you know the bookstore is kind of closing. That's why they having a sale."

Tess loves the concept of "privacy." She'll say, "I need privacy" when she goes into the bathroom. When she gets hurt and wants to be left alone, she'll say, "I need privacy." The other day she picked up her shoes to put them on, saying, "My feet need privacy."

Tess often picks out the tie I wear to work. Her description of a yellow tie: "It looks like a cheetah. It's a cheetah tie."

As Tess and I (Ryan) were going down the stairs, she stopped suddenly and said, "Daddy, mmmm. I smell a yummy dinner."

"Mom, you know you eat food that's not good for you, it make you go slow? You eat good food and you go fast!"

Tess can be very distracting when I'm on the phone. She wants my constant attention and will scream and yell until I listen to her. I've explained that she needs to wait until I'm off the phone and then I can talk to her. Lately, she's been good about remembering this. She'll come to me when I'm on the phone and say, "Mom, I talk to you when you off the phone, OK?" So, I was on the phone in the car today, when Tess yelled up to me, "Mom, I talk to you when you off the phone, OK?" I nodded yes and finished my call as we drove home and unloaded everyone into the house. When I got off the phone I said to Tess, "OK, Tess, is there something you wanted to tell now that I'm off the phone?" Her reply: "Yes, Mom. I wanted to tell you: "Could you please turn up the AC in the car? I was too hot in there!'"

Tess likes to play a Dora computer game, in which Dora repeatedly uses the word, Vamanos! I said to Tess, "Vamanosvamanos! Tess, what does vamanos mean?" Clearly irritated at having her game interrupted, she replied dryly, "Mom, it means 'Come on, let's go.'"

Tess told Ry she was drawing a "masterpiece." He pushed her on it a bit and asked her what a "masterpiece" is. Her matter-of-fact response: "A masterpiece is a very, very good picture that is good enough to go in a museum. My picture no go in a museum yet, 'cuz I still learning."

Tonight Tess put on a "ballet concert show" for Mom and Dad "so they can have a date."

Last night when Tess said the prayer she mumbled some indiscernible phrase before she said, "Amen." Afterwards, she asked me if I knew what that meant. "It means: I hope we can get a dog soon."

I get comments all the time about what a smiley baby Drew is. He has a way of making anyone who sees him think they are his favorite person.

Tess has been crying all morning because: "I scared to get baptized. I no put my nose in the water." I have failed in my attempts to put her fears in proper perspective.

Tess showed me a new trick today: "Look, Mom! When I pat Drewie's head, he blinks his eyes." What do you know? She's right.

If Ry has a late night at work, Tess thinks it's hilarious to ask Dad to say the dinner prayer. She'll look over at his empty seat and say, "Dad, you say the prayer tonight?"

Ryan and Tess finished "Charlotte's Web." Tess told me that "Charlotte had lots of babies and they made little balloons out of their webs."

While I (Ryan) was reading a book to Tess tonight, Tess said, "You know I love Mommy 'cause she reads me books." She then nuzzled her face on her pillow and added, "And gives me snuggles."

Tess, Drew, and I (Ryan) went on a walk on Sunday afternoon. Tess walked while I pushed Drew in the stroller. As I cautiously steered the double stroller down a winding path into the forest, I said, "It's hard to go downhill with a baby in a stroller." Tess replied, "It's hard for a sister, too."

Tess has been practicing cutting paper with a new pair of craft scissors. Today Ryan found some fairly large chunks of Tess' hair on the floor. She knows the rule about cutting only paper, but I was pretty much expecting this to happen sooner or later.

M: "Tess, look what Dad found. Do you know what this is?"
T: "Hmmm....maybe it's feathers!"
M: "No, I don't think it's feathers. I think it is something else. Do you know what it is?"
T: "Yes. But I can't say. I just can't say it."

I was giving Tess her goodnight kiss when she looked at me intently and asked, "Mom, you know what my favorite thing in the whole world is?" I prepared myself for one of those sweet moments that are supposed to be the priceless rewards of motherhood. "No, Tess, what is your favorite thing in the whole world?" "Crabs. I love crabs because they tickle my arm when they pinch me." Thanks, Tess. Love you too.

Tess does not like for Drew to be happy when she's upset. "No, Drewie--stop laughing at me! It not funny, Drewie! Mom, why Drewie laughing at me? No look at me, Drewie! I need privacy!"

New Tess phrase: "Because I said so."

New favorite use for my iTouch: drowning out Tess' Yo Gabba Gabba with headphones and a podcast of the Diane Rehm show. Almost makes doing the dishes fun.

Tess had a morning of inexplicable crying because she didn't want to go to her kids' exercise class at the gym. She was excited about it yesterday. Her explanation: "The Alligator game (during which they pretend to chomp each other with foam noodles) is too pinchy and Freeze Dance is toorunny."

"When we go to Idaho, Maureen can get a skirt for all the cousins: Kenzie, Lauren and me! But not Isaac--that would be too funny!"

"Lauren is my best, best, best, best, bestest friend. Know why I say lots of that? So you know."

"Mom, you driving me crazy."

We took a walk outside after a big thunderstorm had cleared out an oppressive heat wave. Tess' observation: "It is belightful out here! Know what belightful is Mom? Belightful means pretty or beautiful or someping like that. I wanna walk and not go in the stroller. Know why? Cuz walking is belightful!"

Tess was excited to get a root beer lollipop today. She saw the picture of the root beer barrel on the wrapper and said, "Yum! My lollipop taste like a drum!"

I dressed Tess in a polo shirt this morning. Impressed with the embroidered logo, she said, "I get to wear a trophy shirt!"

Tess' description of a peach: "The skin tastes kind of interesting. It kind of soft like a fuzzy little bear."

Tess often likes to tell me about the time when she woke up sick in her bed and came downstairs on the couch and it was SNOWING outside! This event left quite an impression on her. I think she has some association in her mind that whenever she gets sick, it will start snowing outside.

Tess is VERY excited for our Idaho trip! She is so "get-cited" to ride on the airplane and look out the window. She "can't wait for all my cousins see Drewie!" She pulled out her backpack ("this can be my suitcase") and her packing list is growing increasingly long and comprehensive. She can't wait for "Papa be the kitty under bridge and give me my Curious George bucket. Remember I put it on my head in that picture?That so funny! Ryan a silly boy and I do crafts with Miranda. I have two glues I can bring in my suitcase. I can bring all my crafts to do if you want. And Dipsy have a little pusher thing for me and Lauren. For two friends to sit. And I do hide and seek with Lauren. I can hide under a chair or in my room or in Lauren's room or someping like that. And Lauren says she has treasures to find. And Kenzie and Isaac can hide too. And I watch a movie with Isaac in the trailer. It have a little kitchen and a table and it a little fun. Isaac so funny. He so funny in that movie and he not good at baseball. And Xander Pants not a baby anymore cuz he's a little bigger." And we still have a month before our trip.

Tess recently picked up on the concept of a "best friend." She likes to tell us that she has a best friend named Lauren.

Ryan: "Tess, did you know that when Daddy was a boy, he had blond hair like you and Drew? What color is my hair now?"
Tess: "Brown. Chocolate."
Ryan: "That's right."
Tess: "Dad, you're like a macheleon." [chameleon]

Tess' favorite silly insults: "You a stinky iPod!" and "You smell like peanut butter and jelly!"

New Tess phrase: "You'll see." As in, "Tess, what are you doing with the glue, stapler and scissors?" "You'll see."

Tess was showing me how her hair got wet in the rain today and how it stuck to her face. "I looked like a rocker star, Mom!"

Tess was telling about the huge storm she heard last night with lots of thunder and lightning. We were headed out to the car, when she stopped on the porch and looked around. "Mom, you know why I looking at all the houses? To make sure they not all knocked down or something!"

Tonight Tess was pretending to dance with Drew when she gave him a kiss on the cheek. "That what you do on a date."

Ryan mentioned how Drew has seemed a little irritable since his teeth have started coming in. Tess reported to me: "Mom, Drew is a little air bubble!"

"Mom, you know I not too good at fireworks. I still learning that."

Drew's new daily routine: Roll over on tummy, cry, then scream until Mom flips him back over, repeat 600 times.

T: "Mom, you know Drew is like Xander Pants?"
M: "No, I didn't. How is he like Xander?"
T: "Cuz he's so cute!"

I was in the middle of a big craft project with Tess when she told me she needed my ear for a secret. She whispered to me: "Mom, next we can make a LEMON STAND!"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Going Dutch

This weekend we took Drew to a conference on his skin condition, CMTC.  I found a group online, CMTC-OVM that is pretty much the only organization in the world that knows anything about or is doing any research on CMTC.  It is based in the Netherlands and is associated with two doctors who specialize in vascular malformations, specifically CMTC.  They have one annual conference in the Netherlands and one in the U.S.  The U.S. conference just happens to be in D.C.--Tyson's Corner, more specifically, which is just around the corner from Wendy & Keith.  They were kind enough to take Tess for the day while we went to the conference.

We weren't really sure what to expect, and Ry had us ready to high-tail it out of there if they turned out to be some kind of Dutch scam artists, but it was actually really nice.  They catered to the kids and all the other parents and doctors were very nice.  Patients there had CMTC to varying degrees.  With some kids it was hard to tell they had the condition.  With the more severe forms, they seemed to have other conditions as well as CMTC.

We had a consultation with Dr. Maurice van Steensel, who is pretty much the world-expert on CMTC.  He looked at Drew's arm and reviewed the diagnosis we'd received from Dr. Lanpher at Children's National Medical Center.  He concurred that it appeared to be classic CMTC, which he said in most cases fades almost completely over time.  He said that any growth issues with affected limbs are present at birth and that Drew shouldn't have any problems since he is growing normally.  The doctor also said that Drew didn't really need to be seen by a dermatologist, as his skin is clearing up without problem.

We learned that their theory at this point is that CMTC is caused by genetic mosaicism.  This means that a DNA replicating error occurred sometime during cell division, and thus only those cells involved in the growth of the affected skin contain that error.  If that's the case, then there shouldn't be a concern that Drew might pass on the disease in a more severe form if he has children.  They are just starting genetic research to determine the cause of the condition.

So basically, it put Drew in the clear.  This condition is largely unknown by most physicians and often goes undetected or is misdiagnosed.  The doctor was very impressed with the quality of care Drew had received and that the doctors had done such an expert job in diagnosing him.

I'm not sure it's a conference we want to attend yearly or anything, but it was a good resource should I have questions in the future.  I know we have been very blessed and guided to know how best to help our little Drewsie.

And oh yeah--Drew sat up for the first time at the conference, so maybe he found it inspiring after all!  For your viewing pleasure, a few pics of life as we now know it:

Pretty darn blessed, aren't we?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Family that Surfs Together....

Friday, July 8, 2011

His Toothiness

Two new teeth and his first at-home haircut.  
Dapper Drewie!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Some of the Summertimes

Summer has been a busy time and it seems to be flying by.  Here are a few of the highlights:

My 35th Birthday!  

Happy birthday to me!  Other than the getting-that-much-closer-to-40 part, it was great!  Ry & Tess made me waffles for breakfast and Ry surprised me with a crabcake dinner with chocolate cake for dessert.  You can't go wrong with that combination!  Tess loved the balloon decorations and insisted that I make a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game for us to play.  (As she called it:  "Pin Around the Donkey.")  She actually won that game.  I was surprised many times over with a iPod Touch from Mom & Dad, a new CAMERA (woo hoo!) from Ry, sweet cards from Tessie, the cutest baby blanket from Maur, spending moolah from Keith & Wendy, and car tunes from Mer.

Puppet Show

I've been dying to take Tess to a Bob Brown Puppet Show.  He's been doing these old-school marionette shows around here since Ryan was a kid!  The low-tech show didn't impress the rest of the hardened day-care audience, but boy was Tess tickled by it!  (For some reason Tess insisted on wearing this pink scarf to the show.  Recognize it Mom?  It's from your blanket wrapping.)


Drewie's Teething

Drew now has two darling little teeth poking through his bottom gums.  He loves chewing on everything, so I think some more will soon appear.  


Not a highly successful outing, and not one that I'd recommend for young children, unless you enjoy explaining genocide, starvation, war, militant regimes and devastating natural disasters to your 3-year-old.

Home Time

I've been keeping Tessie occupied with lots of art projects and "craps" this summer.  We raided Michael's clearance section and even put together a trillion-piece castle model.  Tess still loves coloring, drawing and coming up with her own creative projects.

Fourth of July

Tess had been waiting a long time for this holiday!  We started the day with a parade and pancake breakfast at the church.  We decorated her bike for FHE, and it was fun to see all the kids in their patriotic colors.

Tess with her Sunbeam teacher, Sister Darlene Smith.  
Tess is acting shy, as if she didn't just see her in church the day before.

Danielle James with her sisters and Taryn Pomeroy.

Cade Austin (in the middle).

We headed over to Nana and Papa's that afternoon for dinner and fireworks.  Tess was SO excited for fireworks.  Unfortunately that enthusiasm didn't make it past the first sparkler, which gave her a nasty burn on her finger.  Very sad.  She cried hysterically for an hour while we set off the rest of the fireworks.  I have a feeling 4th of July is not going to be her favorite holiday.

Some more summertimes to come--summer's not over yet!