210/365: Scavengers

Although it gets a little old reminding the dogs not to jump up while Isaac is eating, I know I would definitely miss their vacuuming services if they weren't around after mealtime!
The puppy with the brown face had another large vet bill for his epilepsy today. We've been struggling with what to do with him. Having a dog with epilepsy dictates a lot of how we live our lives, due to his need for meds on an every 12 hour schedule. It's been an ongoing dialogue about how he really, really takes a lot of effort and due to his condition oftentimes the benefits traditionally associated with having a dog aren't realized in day to day life with him. It is incredibly easy to focus on the annoyances of his behaviors and the hindrance he puts on activities. However, I spent a good couple hours today researching what options we have. Apart from some magical perfect family with older children showing up on our doorstep and wanting to take him home, I couldn't come up with an option that didn't leave me feeling guilty. Most always, though there are exceptions, I feel that when you take on a pet you are accepting them into your family, and I just can't reconcile myself to any options that could result in a less than happy life for him.
So, I'm determined to spend more time petting him and enjoying him. Isaac absolutely adores the dog, and Owen loves him right back. He is one of the sweetest dogs you'll ever find, there isn't a mean bone in his body. If I focus on the positives I'm hoping that my attitude about him will change. Here's hoping :)

209/365: Healing

A month and a half out and the healing is going well. Unless you get up really close his face looks like it was never burnt. The burn docs say that he should heal with only slight discoloration to the darkest areas. I have scarring on one arm from a horse bite that happened way back in high school... so, we'll match :)

On another note, B commented while we were taking pictures that I should pull the blind down all the way. I didn't want to bother with it. But yes... you were right B! :)

208/365: New Blinds!

After 3 weeks of waiting we finally have blinds on all of the windows.
(Well, except one. And that one will be covered once my Mom comes down next month and we sew up a shade with the extra blackout fabric we managed to end up with from the first window-covering-sewing go-round. Oops.)
We ordered some awesome blinds that have sheers attached to the tops, so that when the normal blind is all the way pushed down the sheer covers the window. If we want the window uncovered the whole blind and sheer combo pushes up to the top. I'm really liking the way that the sheer filters the midday light.
I wouldn't call Isaac a cooperative model today... but he did consent to give me some expression :)

207/365: Gladiola

I used to have an extreme dislike for gladiolas. Now that I've seen this one growing in my yard, I don't think they're all so bad. Maybe just because this one is such a rich color and a single stem. I still wouldn't choose to make a whole bouquet of them!

206/365: Cards on Display

Some of these cards are years old, but when they're super cute I just don't want to take them down. I have several family members who lovingly create hand-made cards for all birthdays and other special occasions. It is always so fun to anticipate their creativity and then get to display it on the wall.

205/365: Backyard Nightlight

204/365: Balance Bike

Isaac is a verbal child. His language and comprehension skills are constantly surprising me. However, he is more than timid when exploring his physical abilities. So-when I saw that my friend Courtney had purchased her daughter a balance bike that was supposed to help kids with their balancing abilities, I had to investigate. It turned out to be something that I think will help Isaac tremendously and so I snapped one up from Kids Balance Bikes (free shipping, from my hometown of Portland OR and personal correspondence upon shipping- couldn't ask for much more!) and eagerly awaited its arrival. When the big brown truck delivered it Isaac was super excited to help me assemble it and immediately hopped on. He did crash once, but so far he is loving it and had the basic motion of riding it down within minutes. We'll graduate to outdoor riding soon. Thankfully there is a nice flat cul-de-sac just across the street.

203/365: New Neighbors

We're getting some new neighbors. Most of the time it's no big deal that the construction is going on, (and sometimes even beneficial to my lack of desire to clean the exterior windows. Why wash them when the machines are just going to kick up more dust?!) but there are those times when I'd rather live in a fully established neighborhood. Like when heavy equipment is delivered at midnight. Hmm... Our neighbor says that they "can't do that." Something about a 7pm curfew. I think we'll give them another chance or two before we call to complain.

202/365: Happy Fuzzies

My super-crafty Sister-in-law (Marisa at Make Happy) posted this idea on her blog awhile back. Basically, Isaac can earn a "Happy Fuzzy" for unprompted acts of kindness. Sometimes he'll put his plate on the counter by the sink without being asked, or comfort Grayden/ bring him a toy, or just say something really sweet to someone. We're not stingy with the fuzzies :) Once he has filled up the jar we will have a fun reward as a family, like a trip to fro-yo or the splash park.
I love the focus on the positive that it brings to the entire family! Amongst the whining it is nice to be reminded to acknowledge the kindness Isaac shows :)

201/365: On your Shoulders

We were out enjoying the vegetable garden after dinner. Grayden was quite happy up on B's shoulders. For some reason Isaac thinks it is a bit scary up there, so Dada is hopeful that Grayden will continue to appreciate it.

200: First Skinned Knee

We were walking through a parking lot. I was carrying Grayden in the carrier (which he is quite speedily getting too heavy for), a bag full of purchases, my large mom purse and holding Isaac's hand. Just as we got across the "street" in front of the stores and into the parking lot a car turned in and started following us down the aisle. They could have gone past us quite easily but instead decided to creep along and tail us. It was over 100 degrees out so I was walking briskly in a quest to reach the AC in the car anyway, but encouraged Isaac to speed up a little more to be courteous to the car following us. He happily complied but then sadly tripped and caught himself on his knees and free hand.
This presented a dilemma. I was wearing a somewhat short jean skirt and my hands were completely full. I didn't want to just bend over in front of the car, but I didn't want to drop everything in the middle of the parking lot in order to kneel either. So, the solution was to encourage Isaac back to the car so that I could set Grayden, and my bags, down in the shade (of a pathetic little tree... why plant trees with too few leaves to provide shade? Everyone tries to park under the trees anyway. You'd think the landscape planners would have anticipated this and chosen trees with dense leaves!) and tend to my poor little boy who had never seen blood on his leg before. It was just a deep scratch... but he was traumatized. Traumatized enough to cry the entire 10 minutes home and have me wishing that I could get home to a bandaid and a hug more quickly.
Funnily enough, once we got home I remembered that I had purchased a first aid spray with pain reliever for my purse about a month ago. Maybe next time I will remember it's in there!

199/365: Fleur De Lis

I bought this planter for our front entry. I haven't decided yet if it is quite large enough for the space I have it in, but it was a Ross purchase... and at $14.99 I'll find a place for it! The light in the late afternoon is amazing on it. I guess the window to the left makes a great reflector!

198/365: Big Boy Room Party!

We had a party for Isaac in his big boy room today. It is finally set up enough for him to sleep in there. We had balloons, cupcakes (shaped like frogs- his choice from the bakery) and a candle. The silly boy had to have a candle. But then he refused to blow it out. Absolutely refused. Oh well :) He did take a nap and then slept through the night the first night. Woohoo!

197/365: 4 Months

Another month gone by. Another month closer to sleeping through the night. Well, it will happen someday!

196/365: Grabby

Cute concept... but can you find the focus? Neither can I. :)
(well maybe on his hand, but definitely not where I thought I put it!)

195/365: Warm Summer Evening

194/365: Big Boy Bed

His big boy bed was delivered today. What a thrill! We have promised him a party with balloons (and he has requested candles... a little confused that parties can be about things other than birthdays) when his room is all put together.

193/365: Mmm...

I adore cupcakes. I love to eat them, I love to look at them, I love to smell them... I just don't love to bake them. Frosting individual cupcakes takes way too much time compared to just slapping some icing on a cake. Thankfully, other people do a wonderful job of creating cupcakes that I can enjoy. This little shop has a cute patio outside and I can envision some happy afternoon in the future, sitting in the shade and enjoying a cupcake with the boys.

192/365: Tomato Success...Maybe

One of the tomato plants has set fruit! Now the tomato just has to grow to maturity and ripen. (The last time I tried to grow tomatoes the ripening part was kind of tricky.) Interestingly, it is on the Beefsteak plant, which I recently learned prefers to set fruit when the high temperature is under 85 degrees. We definitely haven't had that cool of a day recently. Maybe the plant would just do better in a cooler climate, or maybe the special organic soil we put in the planting beds really is special :)

191/365: Lawn Mowin'

It will be a sad day when chores are no longer activities that he eagerly runs across the yard to participate in!

190/365: Purple Flowering Plant that Starts with an A

When we visited the nursery to pick up the vegetables plants I found these flowering plants (that we have in our yard) and tried my best to remember their name. I didn't. The side yard that they're planted in gets the best evening light. Too bad it's literally just a walkway over there!

189/365: Let Me Help You

Isaac made Grayden laugh for the first time this week. I love to watch them interact. Every time Isaac requests to "give Grayden a kiss" or "go see Grayden" it warms my heart. Never forget how much your little brother adores you and enjoys your attention, kiddo!

188/365: Toes

His nickname is "Chunks."
I don't think there is anything more squeezable than squishy baby thighs.
Or more kissable than chubby cheeks.
Now if he's just go back to liking naps and long stretches of night time sleep!

187/365: Lightning McQueen

Isaac loves Lightning McQueen. We have the Rascal Flatts CD with "Life is a Highway" on it in the car and that song is currently my most effective bribe. Isaac would like to listen to the song often.
Like never-endingly often.
So, we make bargains. If he keeps his hands in the cart at the grocery store we'll listen to "lightning mcqueen" once when we get back into the car. Or, if he listens and doesn't fuss while we're in the fabric store I'll put on Track 14 at least one time when we're done. It's a good thing I don't hate that song!
My little perfectionist has a bit of a hard time with puzzles. He likes to do them, but would prefer that he always picked the right piece the first time. Frustration over not being able to do it right the very first time he tries something is becoming a common occurrence. He's learning to ride a trike currently and any little slip up results in a bit of a melt-down. I imagine a lot of talks about "mistakes are ok" and "you can't do everything perfectly all the time" in our future!

186/365: Changing Table

I cloth diapered Isaac from the time he was 6 months until potty training and even ran a small business making diapers (that B says I need to start up again) for about a year. Grady has only worn cloth off and on as it is more work, and I've had enough on my plate. Now that we're starting to settle down I've been gearing up to start cloth diapering again.
I'm so excited about the fact that I have an actual changing pad with great storage for the diapers this go around. With Isaac I had a workable set up, but it is kind of fun to pull open the dresser drawers and see all the cute prints. Plus, the dresser we're using is on the tall side which is great as I don't have to bend over to change the little monkey.

185/365: Happy 4th!

We had a quiet 4th at home. A friend of ours came over for dinner, but he left shortly after as his sweet wife is 8 and 1/2 months pregnant and didn't have it in her to party after working a 12 hour day. B bought a couple fireworks and a bunch of sparklers. Isaac was absolutely thrilled with them all and continues to ask to do the "stars and lights" again :)

184/365: Strawberry Pancakes

This picture is a cheat, as I didn't take or edit it on the day I'm posting it for. Oh well :) B made us pancakes with stawberries in them and powdered sugar on top. Isaac had no trouble sitting still to finish this meal. Lately he has been interested in seeing the LCD after I take a picture of him and I've been able to use this to encourage him to make pleasant/ happy faces for pictures! What a nice phase this is :)

183/365: Bright Eyes

182/365: Playmat Time

Grayden has found his feet and this has helped play time on his activity mat be met with a much longer attention span. He is also grabbing things with much greater accuracy. It must be so frustrating to want something and think you're aiming your hand right for it, only to miss by 6 inches. Watching him helps me appreciate my own dexterity... however unskilled it may sometimes be (like when trying to hold a baby and help a toddler onto the potty. On second thought, can anyone gracefully manage that? Maybe someone with a third arm or who is wearing baby in a carrier at just the right moment!).

181/365: Dinner

B made a yummy dinner tonight. Teriyaki beef with stir fried noodles and vegetables. And he put pineapple in. I adore cooked pineapple; he doesn't. I think I'm winning him over.