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Another quick update!

4 Jul

I have a lot to do today, but I wanted to write another quick update for everyone since Asher met with a speech pathologist today and since we will be busy for the next week.

Phil wasn’t able to come with us this morning, so Asher and I went alone. we were almost 20 minutes early, which was a problem, since there is no waiting room. haha We went across the street and enjoyed some Spinatw√§he (spinach quiche type thing, only very Swiss) and some freshly squeezed juice. It was actually quite nice to sit for a minute before the appointment.

I digress. So the lady we met with was really really nice. She’s not at all old, but definitely older than me. Maybe the same age as my parents or older. I’m not a good age-judge of Brits. She’s from the UK, which is nice, since going to a German-speaking SLP could get difficult. I’m already digressing, I think. I really need to just write what I need to write. *ahem*

She said yes. Asher has a problem. :/ She said not to worry about it for a few days and she will send me information on things to do with him at home. She said if after a few weeks we don’t see much/any improvement, then we will start going in to see her regularly for ‘therapy.’

I still have not replied to Erin’s comment that she left on my last post, but I really appreciated the thought(s) and I did mention the second language thing to the lady today. We plan on putting Asher in to a Spielgruppe (play group? The closest thing we have in the US to a Spielgruppe is a preschool, but there are no academics in Spielgruppen) to give him a chance to play with other kids and to help him strengthen his German. She said that since he has such strong language/verbal skills (other than articulating sounds, obviously), she said that, though that is a problem for some kids, the second language shouldn’t be a hinderance to him at this point.

So basically she confirmed what Phil and I already knew. I was both relieved and saddened to hear her say that he does need some help. I thought he did, but then that news that something is “wrong” with my baby just hits my heart hard, you know? BUT I am very glad to know that we have found a very kind, knowledgable lady who can help him. He is really struggling and the help is going to be a blessing. Here’s hoping we can apply the techniques she will teach us easily and that they will help him!

Oh, one more thing before I end this — she said that, as we move forward, if we are for some reason not making progress, she knows tons of great people who are able to take an even broader approach in order to target the root of Asher’s problem. Specifically, this came up when we were talking about his vision issues and the ways in which Phil and I have been uncomfortable with the Atropine drops that he received for over a year. Hopefully it won’t come to needing more help, but it’s good to know that there’s help out there.

I’m starving, so if this sounds a bit melancholy, that’s a large part of it. I’m super hangry over here. I am sad about how much Asher has been struggling lately, but I left the lady’s office today feeling encouraged and very hopeful. Right now I just need to eat. ūüôā

AND — Asher was SO good and SO precious while we were with the lady. She offered him cookies, and he very politely said “Dhanks!” …and then asked for another “p-p-p-p-p-pwease?” …and another … and another. hahaha He doesn’t normally like cookies, but he liked whatever she was giving him. She complimented his behavior and manners and hilarious sense of humor and said over and over again that he is adorable. All things I already knew, but of course I like hearing that from strangers. He’s a good boy. ūüôā

Quick update on Asher

25 Jun

Hi, all! This is an informal and quick update to let everyone know about Asher and the random things he’s had come up lately. I really don’t feel like writing right now, but I want to let you all know that we’re in the process of getting him sorted out.

First of all, he’s started stuttering really badly. We don’t know what exactly is “bad” for his age, since stuttering in general is fairly common among children ages 2-5ish. We first noticed that he started doing it a few months ago, maybe in February, but since he’s so young we really didn’t think much of it and decided to completely ignore it. He started to notice he was doing it and shortly after that he kind of slowed down and wasn’t doing it as much. But then about a month ago it came back full force! It was so bad that he could hardly say a word for a solid week and then just chose not to talk for about 3 days. He was miserable. Needless to say, it was both heartbreaking and worrisome. So we started looking in to what we need to do to help him through this. We got some pointers from some widely-known stuttering support organizations and set up an appointment with his pediatrician. His pediatrician said that, because of Asher’s age, they don’t typically suggest any type of therapy or anything unless the child really seems to be suffering. But after a short conversation with Asher he said it would be best at least to get him evaluated. Though Ash still struggles to get words out a majority of the time, it has definitely been¬†better since that one terrible week. He still does it more often than not and, though he tries to ignore it sometimes he just has to scream or cry or something and say “I DON’T HAVE ANY WORDS!” He wasn’t composing sonnets or anything, but he was articulating himself extremely well for his age not too long ago. He was speaking in full sentences, using quite a broad vocabulary, and enunciating fairly well. We’re wondering if his brain is perhaps more advanced than his motor skills, thus causing him to stumble? I really don’t know. We do have an appointment for him to be evaluated by a speech and language pathologist, though. So that will be good. I spoke with her briefly over the phone and she said that she thinks it will most likely clear up on its own, but that it’s best to evaluate him just in case she thinks he will need some sort of intervention. This sounds perfect.¬†I know that, because of his age, chances are that he’ll grow out of this stutter, but Phil and I both feel best knowing that he will be evaluated by someone who knows what to look for in a child who needs help.

So that’s the first thing. The second thing that I want to do a quick update about is his vision. First, the good news: He has binocular vision now!!! This is so so so so so wonderful since this is something that is often never achieved by a person who has amblyopia. I’m positive that he has developed this so quickly because he was so young when we found out that he wasn’t using his eyes correctly. I have said it before and I’ll say it again — we are so thankful that our pediatrician knew to check his eyes! Some more good news is that his visual acuity seems to be improving. Visual acuity is the way that a person sees, regardless of their eyeball’s ability to see. Visual acuity has more to do with how the brain processes the visual information that an eye sends to it. So a person with a weak glasses prescription may actually have a much worse visual acuity than a person with a stronger prescription (with glasses on, I mean), because the visual acuity depends on how well a person’s brain can use the eyes. I hope that makes sense. It’s a hard thing to understand and thus a hard thing for me to explain. So anyway, Asher’s prescription is still pretty strong, but he is learning to use his eyes much better and thus seems to have clearer vision. He first “read” the eye chart (they have easier eye charts for small children) in February and really couldn’t see much of anything. But last week and this week he read the eye chart down quite a ways! Still not to 20/20 vision, but to I think 20/80 or 20/60 maybe, which is great! That being said, he still must continue to improve his vision. While we have heard great things about our pediatric ophthalmologist (PO), I’ve heard that she is the only one in Switzerland who uses Atropine (eye drops) therapy rather than patching to treat amblyopia. I’ve never been happy about the eye drops, since they are a very harsh chemical and I just hate putting a dangerous chemical into my baby’s eye every day. Plus, the more I have learned the more I realize that they really aren’t a terribly common practice. It can be deadly if swallowed and can cause some terrible side effects ¬†even when used appropriately, which is quite scary considering we were using it on a child who really can’t verbalize any negative effects he’s experiencing. We had noticed, though, that he seemed very stressed for the past several months. We kept thinking it was transitions, or him being tired, or growth spurts, or whatever else, but he just kept seeming stressed and agitated. Knowing what we know about the drops, we decided it was time to ask to try something different. So at our appointment with our ophthalmologist last week, when she told us to continue 5 days/week of Atropine and that she’d see Asher again in 6 months, Phil and I looked at each other and then I said “well, we’d really like to stop the drops.” The PO kind of seemed annoyed, and without really responding took out a piece of film and stuck it to the inside of Asher’s glasses. She said, “okay. You can try this film on his lens instead. Leave it in until December. I HOPE it will work.” It’s hard to tell if she was actually upset or not, since her default facial expression seems to be “furious,” but whatever. Of course I want to treat Asher’s amblyopia, but Phil and I are both glad that we will no longer be putting those stupid drops in his eyes. Okay, now I’m rambling. So we stopped the drops. Another thing, though, is that we wanted to get a second opinion. So after doing some research, I learned that we should try out a developmental optometrist (DO) and was able to find one semi-close to where we live. So Asher and I went to meet this woman today! It was great! She agreed that Asher’s current glasses prescription is appropriate. She said he actually needs an even higher prescription, but it is best not to give a small child a full prescription because you want them to work hard to use their focusing power so that they don’t develop their vision in a way that is dependent on glasses if they don’t actually need them. I was surprised to hear that he actually “needs” a stronger prescription, since I had asked our PO about that several months ago, but was really only given her “who the heck do you think you are?” face. The DO said that his binocular vision is excellent, which was wonderful to hear. She had Ash in 3D glasses and looking at all kinds of different things — it literally brought tears to my eyes to see him so blatantly grabbing for the 3D images! The DO said not to keep the film in his glasses, but instead to do light therapy every day with him. She gave me red and green glasses (like, the lenses are colored, I mean) and a little light and told me to shine a light in his eyes through the different colors a few times each day. I don’t completely know why I should do this, but I’m going to look in to it. She also said that there is very new research that suggests doctors have been treating amblyopia all wrong for decades by blocking the vision in the good eye. She said that the real cause of amblyopia is that the amblyopic eye actually has TOO Much light, rather than not enough, and so if one eye should be blocked, it should be the amblyopic eye and that it can actually hurt a person’s vision to block the good eye. I don’t know how I feel about that yet, but I’m going to look in to it.

Okay, I’m definitely rambling now. I hear Asher back there mumbling to himself, which means there will be no nap today. I’m going to go so I can sit for a moment or 2 in complete silence until he starts demanding to get out of bed.

Oh, no… I have to say that the DO will not accept Asher as a patient unless we stop seeing the PO. This is just because the practices are a bit different, so it would be dangerous to do 2 different types of therapies on the same person. So we have some decisions to make! Our pediatrician wasn’t completely on board with us seeing the DO as opposed to the PO, since more verifiable research is typically associated with POs and DOs often rely more on “unproven” theories. I get that argument, but I also am sure that Atropine is not what my son needs right now. The pediatrician said it was fine if we wanted to check out a DO, but also recommended a new PO for us to try since he understood that we weren’t completely happy with our current one. We’ll see! Hopefully that all makes sense. Phil wasn’t able to come with us to the DO appointment this morning, and there are several friends/family members that I’ve been trying to keep updated about Asher’s stuff the past few weeks, so I really wanted to write all of this out while I have a moment to do so.

Asher is back there shouting “Oh, MOM AND DAD!” “MOMANDDAD!” “MOOOOOM AND DAAAAAAD.” hahaha Before I go get him I’ll tell you something adorable that he did this morning.

At the optometrist’s office we were moving back and forth from room to room for various kinds of exercises and ways for her to examine him. The office was quite small, and for most of the time we were there, it was just me, Asher and the DO who were there. Near the end, though, a young man walked in because he was her next appointment. Asher was really interested in this guy and when the optometrist greeted him Asher went “ohhhh, dat’s her daddy.” The guy was probably less than half her age, so I’m guessing that’s not the case. hahaha then As I finished up talking to the optometrist, Asher walked up to the guy and asked “Whats yo’ name?” The guy said “My name is Lars, what’s your name?” And Asher went “Oh, my name ith Ashuh.” Lars said, it’s nice to meet you, and Asher, having walked past Lars by that point, turned around and stuck his hand out to shake Lars’ hand. hahahahahaha He didn’t smile and didn’t act silly, he was just introducing himself and shaking hands like a grown up man. hahahahaha It was really cute.

While I’m on the topic of Asher being cute, I’ll tell you one more funny thing. Though he seems to understand a good bit of German, Asher mostly refuses to speak it right now. But yesterday morning I woke up to him shouting from the other room “Peepee machen! PEEPEE MACHEN!” So I went in and asked him (in German) if he needed to pee. He went “Ja.” Then he said “Ich am speaking German!” hahahaha Hopefully that translates into written words as cute and funny as it was to me. hehe

He’s really freaking out now. I guess I should go tend to him.

 

31

13 May

Hey, hey, hey, it was just my birthday! I assume all of my readers celebrated my birthday in their own special ways this year, and I’d like to say thank you for that. I hope you all enjoyed my day and remembered to keep the focus where it belonged — on me and how grateful you are for my birth just a few short years…er, decades ago.

I’ll be honest, turning 31 felt like a little bit more of a bummer than turning 30. Last year I felt awesome thinking “30 is the new 20!” and about how all of the greatest TV shows show people right around their 30th birthdays. But this year I realized that 20 year olds are way younger than me and that 20 will always be the only “20.” And I remembered that I used to think the greatest TV shows were about talking animals, and then I moved on to shows that highlighted spunky young teens before moving on to high school and/or college dramas… oh, right. I’m not entering the age of the greatest TV shows, I’m just drawn to shows that depict¬†people in my phase of life. How drab I must seem to those younger than me. You know, I really feel quite young. In so many ways, and on so many days, I still feel like a teenager. Or I feel like I JUST left college… until I (attempt to) converse with a late teen or young 20-something and feel like I need to down an entire bottle of wine to keep myself from either dying of boredom or laughing uncontrollably at their insanely¬†misplaced¬†priorities and asinine ambitions. I guess the good thing about hanging out with “kids” is that it reminds me that I’m thankful I’m no longer one of them. Bunch of tools.

I’ve never really thought about aging before. I mean, “when I am old…” thoughts have always run through my¬†mind, but “old” was always something very far away from me, off in the distance somewhere… when the world gets old… when all the animals I love are extinct and the wind whips off of the melting ice caps and softly flaps my saggin’ boobs in its gentle breeze. Of course I know that 31 is not actually “old,” but only as of late have I ever considered the idea of aging. I have read various “what I wish I knew…” type Blogs that that tell me to¬†exercise, eat well,¬†and start saving for retirement. It’s a weird thing, to feel (and look!) so young, but to bear¬†the burden of preparing a future for an old person.

So that is a brief description of my short bout of depression. After that came and went (and it’s mostly gone, I think), I started to feel excited about turning 31. I feel excited because I love what I have done the last 31 years. I love my childhood memories. I love my parents and my siblings. I love my memories of college life and reminiscing on¬†my and Phillip’s¬†story of falling in love and choosing to be together. I honestly love my life. My¬†husband is everything good. I have the most beautiful little boy who, though he is painfully grouchy, shows me the beauty in everyday life by letting me love him and want a better world for him. I live on a hill that overlooks Lake Z√ľrich in one of them most beautiful countries in the world. I have a lovely home, wonderful friends (though most of them are far away), and doggonit, my boobs are still right where they should be. Life ain’t a bad gig, amiright?

I am 31 now. I am that. That is the age I am. 31 is how old I am. I.am.31.years.old. I just turned 31. No, I am no longer a child. I’m just that: 31. And I’m cool with it.

So how did we celebrate? Phil took the day off of work and got up early with Asher to let me sleep in a bit. He made breakfast for me to eat when I woke up and then we all got ready for our day and headed out. It was a beautiful sunny-but-cool-breezy sort of day that was just perfect for turning 31. I had told Phil that I wanted to enjoy a good American-style hamburger for my birthday, because hamburgers are one thing that I do not believe the Swiss do well. So Phil did some research and found “the best” American burger in Z√ľrich and made a reservation for us. Here we are just before heading to lunch:

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We enjoyed an afternoon meal that counted as lunch and dinner, since it was Americanlynormous. It was GOOD. I was too embarrassed to be so obviously American eating at an American diner to take pictures of the food, but now I really wish I had just taken a pic or two so I could relive the deliciousness of that burger and the fries. Man it was good. It was pretty standard. I got cheddar on mine (which is not a super common cheese around here) and chef-prepared garlic mayonnaise that was delicious. Phil got the same burger that I did but with an insanely good bleu cheese and the same garlic mayo. It was gooooooood. We also got onion rings, because they offered them and who in their right mind¬†says “no” to onion rings? Asher absolutely wouldn’t have anything to do with the burgers. We weren’t surprised, so¬†he had freshly cooked pasta with olive oil and garlic (from home) and some freshly chopped melons from the store. I think he ate a few fries, but he was thrilled beyond belief to have¬†his tupperware lunch, so that is what the boy got. He also had me take him to the bathroom twice…. TWICE… before I was able to finish my burger. Phil offered to take him, but Asher really only poops for me, so I took¬†him. I really didn’t mind, but it was kind of funny that it took two tries to get him to let loose in there. Now I would never wish these precious baby/toddler years to speed by any more quickly than they already do, but I definitely look forward to eating a meal all the way through without having to be elbow-deep in someone else’s dump¬†before finishing, but that’s a post for another day. After lunch we walked through the city and just enjoyed the beautiful day before hopping on to a cruise ship and taking a ride on the lake. We thought we were taking the boat all the way to Rapperswil, but ended up on the short cruise somehow. It was still great fun and, given that Asher hadn’t napped, it ended up being the perfect amount of time on the boat.

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After the boat we walked by Sechsel√§utenplatz to see what all the hullaballoo was about that weekend. There were big tents up everywhere and lots of people partying hard in preparation to blow up the annual snowman that would predict how the summer weather would be (it should be nice, apparently). The platz was newly redone and we were all excited to see that they had installed a little fountain area where kids could play in water that shoots up from the ground. Since the sun was starting to set it was actually fairly cool, but there were still plenty of kids wanting to play. Asher was so excited when he first saw the water, but for the first little while he wouldn’t go anywhere near it. He paced back and forth for a good 10 minutes or so as he watched the kids and watched the water. We later realized that he seemed to have been learning the pattern of the water, because as soon as he dared to go near it, he knew EXACTLY when to run away in order not to get caught in the huge sprays. Smart boy! Phil and I both took a lot of pictures of him playing. He was one of the smallest ones out there (if not the smallest who actually was playing) and he was having a BLAST. Several people came up to us to comment on how cute and hilarious he was, but we’re certainly used to that. ūüėČ

Note the various stages of his clothes’ wetness. The gutsier he got, the more wet he allowed himself to become. By the time he was done, he was SOAKING and COLD. hehehehehe Also please notice his hilarious faces as he runs back to us and away from the water.

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Then we went home where we quickly made birthday hats (Asher thought we needed them), then enjoyed some birthday cake and I opened some presents.

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And that was my great birthday! ūüôā

Eggs — colored and scattered (Easter 2014)

9 May

Easter! Woohoo!

This was Asher’s third Easter alive, and our first¬†Easter to put much thought into making it a special particularly as parents. Asher’s first Easter was spent snowed in in our little rental house in Immensee. As ridiculous as this sounds, I was so confused with life (culture shock!)¬†that I just bought a few random things for Asher and put them into a punch bowl lined with towels and presented our uninterested infant with it on the wrong Sunday, but that’s another story entirely. The second Easter here/with Asher, we had several people from church over for a nice potluck lunch/afternoon hangout that was a lot of fun, but we didn’t do anything particularly “Eastery” for Asher. This year, though, we did what we could to make it more of a family event. ¬†I bought Asher some nice new “Easter” clothes, Phil & I put together an Easter basket for him, we talked a lot about Jesus and His resurrection, we colored eggs, and we gave our boy his first dose of actual candy. Our good friends the Galiks came over a few days before Easter, which is when we colored eggs.¬†They also have a 2-year-old (and an 8-month-old, but she didn’t participate in egg-coloring), and I was anxious to see how the toddlers did with egg coloring. I kind of wondered if they would be bored with it, since you have to let the eggs sit, but they both did great! They were patient and interested and really seemed to enjoy it. I had ordered 40 eggs with our recent grocery order and was really bummed when they all arrived as BROWN eggs! We already had 20 brown eggs in our fridge, by the way, so that meant we had 60 eggs in there. I was nervous about trying to color brown eggs, thinking they’d be a dud, so I did what anyone would do and I went and bought 20 white eggs from the store (80 eggs in the house¬†— as far as I’m concerned, that officially made me a farmer). I boiled 20 white and 20 brown and figured we’d all enjoy coloring the white ones more. As it turns out, the brown eggs dyed quite nicely! Orange and green didn’t really work on them, but the red and blue dyes created some really pretty jewel-toned Easter eggs. I’m really working up to just showing you pictures, so without further ado, I give you our egg-coloring eggstravaganza:

 

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Phil and I planned to get up early before Asher on Easter morning, which I sort of did. I got up later than I had expected, and hopped in to the shower thinking I would wake Phil when I got out and then we’d wake Asher. Except that when I got out Asher was hollering for someone to come get him and Phil was still completely asleep in bed. I quickly woke up Phil and we both did a mad dash to scatter¬†eggs and gather the things we had collected for Asher’s Easter basket (why we had not done this the night before is beyond me… next year!). By the time we were ready, Asher was really upset and crying “MOOOOMMMYYYY!!! DAAAAADDDDDDDYYYY!!! WHERE ARE YOU?!” But what is a good ol’ fashioned¬†family holiday without some well-warranted tears first thing in the morning, amiright? We hadn’t really prepped Asher for the whole idea of an egg hunt, so we just kind of put all the eggs out in fairly plain sight. He seemed to notice all of them, as any sane person would do if they awoke to eggs in the living room, but either because he was grouchy from being left in his room for too long or just apathetic, it took a lot of persuasion to get him to actually walk around and collect the stupid things. Nice. Since he has no concept of the value of money, we felt safe letting his new bike be an Easter present without setting him up for a lifetime of expecting expensive Easter gifts, so we brought out his bike and his little basket of fun stuff.¬†Let me say really quickly that Asher¬†was standing there as we talked to the store staff about which bike we wanted, and then basically right there when it was actually purchased… and he never noticed it. The clerks put the bike in a giant bag that had the logo for the toy store (which Asher definitely recognizes) ALL over it in bright colors, and the bike was poking out of the top of the bag… and Asher never noticed it. Phil carried the bag (picking it up, putting it down… good grief, it was in the seat of the stroller for a while) for nearly an hour before we got home and it was put into our room… in the middle of the floor… still with the bike poking out the top of the bag… and Asher NEVER noticed it. On Easter morning¬†we put it kind of behind the table that he, at his short little stature, can easily see under… and he NEVER noticed¬†it. We literally had to lead him to it when we finally got too excited to keep waiting. I’m glad we finally just showed him, but I do kind of wonder how long it would have taken for him to notice the bright green bike in his house. hehehe Okay, so back to our morning — he got a little basket with some¬†other fun things that had been sitting around the house for several days. He was really excited about all of it and indulged in the candy far more than we expected. Other than a¬†little bit of¬†chocolate here and there, he had never really eaten candy before. Some one gave him a lollipop a few months ago and he was so weirded out by it that it took him nearly 20 minutes just to taste it, and then wanted nothing to do with it after only a few pathetic licks. But on Easter morning, he was popping Pez and Kindereggs like he needed them to live — and for the next few hours HE.WAS.INSANE. He was laughing like a maniac nonstop and talking like a drunken frat boy (loud & nonsensical) and it was (difficult) HILARIOUS! After church we were walking with some friends, one of whom is named John (Asher loves¬†that guy, by the way), and Asher was very loudly singing over and over and over again “The wheels on the bus go JOHN! JOHN! JOHN!…” Then laughing hysterically. Of course it got obnoxious, but it was hilarious for a solid¬†couple of minutes. haha Okay, enough about all of that. Here are some pics from our Easter morning:

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And that was our lovely Easter! Thank you God for Jesus! Thank you God for our little family!

(I realize that there is something wrong with the captions on my photo slide shows. I’m still figuring those things out and I don’t yet know how to edit them once I’ve published them. Editing captions! What a drag!)

Guy night

26 Apr

Phil has done a few “guys nights” with Asher where they go into the city to get a bratwurst (which may change since Asher suddenly won’t eat brats anymore), and have a little guy time together. I get time with Phil when Asher is sleeping or playing sometimes, and I get plenty of one on one time with Asher, since he and I are together all day every work day, but the two of them don’t really have much one-on-one time because I’m always there with them. Of course we all enjoy¬†family time, but it’s nice for them to take some time to be together just the two of them and it’s certainly nice for me to have a little bit of time to myself too. So anyway, they now go out together on regular “guy nights.” The first time was just before Asher and I left for California when Phil wouldn’t see us for a few weeks. Phil took Asher out for a brat and then to the toy store to pick a special car to bring on the plane with him. The second time they just went out for fun and walked along the lake after eating, and the last time was the other day when they went to eat together and then to shop for my birthday together. So guy nights are¬†a relatively new thing, but they are already very special. The other day when Phil told Asher that they would have guy night “tomorrow,” Asher got SO excited! He laughed and said “YEAH! GUY NIGHT! I¬†SO HAPPY WE HAVIN’ GUY NIGHT!!!” And then he danced around in between sporadic hugs for Phil. It was really cute and sweet. Then the next day Asher said a few times to me “I’m ‘cited about guy night!” hehehe It’s a sweet thing that I’m happy they can do together. I have taken a few pictures of them before their guy nights. I¬†missed their 2nd guy night, but I have their first and most recent.¬†I think¬†I’ll try to start snapping a pic before each guy night from here on! I hope special time together is something for which they will both always make time. My handsome and precious¬†Loves:

 

First guy night in February 2014

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Guy night April 2014

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Asher’s bike!

23 Apr

You may or may not know that Asher has asked for only two things so far in his tiny little life: A beard and a bike. There’s absolutely no way we can speed up the hormones that are necessary for him to grow a beard (and we wouldn’t want to — that’d be sad and super creepy!), and we did our best to hold off on buying him a bike until we thought he was big enough to use one. He was saying on practically¬†a daily basis: “I want a bike!” “I need to have a bike!” and any time we talked about anything at all, exciting or not, he would respond with:¬†“And then I can have a bike?!” We fought the good fight, but between his precious little looks of longing as he’d watch people of all ages wheel past him and the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having, we did it – we bought our baby a bike! We decided it would be fun to have it in the living room when he woke up on Easter morning. He has no concept of an item’s value, so we figured it was safe and that he wouldn’t realize that a bike is setting the bar high for Easter morning gifts. It was just sitting behind the table, which you’d think would actually be really easy to see when you’re shorter than the table, but he didn’t ever notice it. Phil and I were excited and got antsy, so we finally coaxed him over there “to see what the Easter bunny left.” He saw it and he immediately said “MEIN BIKE! I CAN OOZ (use)¬†IT!!” and then he got right on and awkwardly rode¬†down the hall. He was SO excited! Phil and I both expected our little non-daredevil to be too afraid to try it at first, but Asher surprised us. He rode it up and down the hall as we got ready for church. Then we were gone all day Easter day and he would randomly look up at us with a surprised face and shout: “HEY! I HAVE A BIKE!” When we got home he practically hugged the thing as soon as he walked in the door. He wrapped his little arms around the handlebars and said “I’m pwoud I have a bike!” And he is proud. I dare say I have never seen him express pride quite like this before. We took the bike to a big park the other day with some friends. As soon as I got the bike out and set it down for him he hopped right on and then rode all around in the wide open space, stopping to wave to every person he saw so that they would all know he had his very own bike. Whenever he’d catch me looking at him, he’d get a HUGE smile and HUGE eyes and pat his bike to say to me “LOOK! I HAVE A BIKE!” from far away. I think I speak for both Phil and myself when I say that this whole “making your kid happy” thing feels pretty darn good. Shoot, it could even be addicting. This is yet another reminder that being Asher’s Mama means that I will intensely experience his emotions right along with him as¬†my¬†sweet boy’s elation over “finally” having a bike makes my heart feel like it’s going to burst out of my chest.

His Daddy and I are proud of this very proud little boy:

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Calhoun visit from early February

22 Apr

Hi! It’s me! So we all know that I get overwhelmed when I get behind on something, right? Well, that’s what has happened with this Blog. I have SO much that I want to write about that I feel like I can never catch up… hence my¬†unplanned 3 month Blogging hiatus. But no more excuses! I’m going to do it. All of our weekly activities and classes are¬†cancelled this week, so I plan to write a few posts about the big things that I want to share and then I’ll consider myself caught up and proceed normally. That is my plan and now that I’ve verbalized it to you I¬†will feel completely obligated to do what I said I would do, so watch for multiple posts in the next several days. Who knows? I may even try to do multiple posts in a single day here and there! We have had a busy couple of months!

Okay, so my last post was made in late January. So the big thing that I want to write about on this first “catching up” post is our time with James and Tiffany!

I assume that anyone who reads this Blog knows that James and Tiffany are very special people to us. To say that they are friends simply doesn’t do it justice — they are our family and we love them both dearly. Needless to say we were so excited when plans for their visit were finally becoming real. They officially bought their tickets something like 9 or 12 (I forgot exactly) weeks before coming, which was good because we got to be excited for a long time, but also really difficult to have to wait! Though there were ¬†few points when I wasn’t sure if we would die from anticipation, we lived through the waiting period and were so happy when February finally came and we could FINALLY be with our friends! All 3 of us were so excited! We made a countdown chart and crossed off the days for the week before they came and Asher told everyone he met “HEY! DJAMES AND TIFFEY ARE COMIN!!!!!” I mean everyone — adults, children, friends, strangers, German speakers, English speakers, Italian speakers — it didn’t matter, he was excited and we were excited and Asher assumed everyone else would/should be excited too. To be quite honest I was glad he was just as excited as Phil and I were because his bringing it up gave me a chance to tell people the sweet deets about our friends’ impending arrival. Asher would break the ice, then I’d come in maturely with an “oh, he’s telling you that our good friends are coming to visit… here’s a picture… here’s how we know them… let me tell you some great stories about them…” hehe We were so so so so so happy when they finally arrived. Within their first day here it felt absolutely normal to be around them again.¬†Our friendship with them is so completely natural that our lives just seem to go together, and it was so fabulous to get to spend time with them.

So here is a breakdown of what we did while they were here:

The first day:

They arrived super early, so Phil met them at the airport and brought them back to our place to get settled in and cleaned up after their flight. Asher and I had to be somewhere that morning, so we met them just before lunch time in Z√ľrich. Phil and I¬† immediately took them to the best place in the city to get a local bratwurst. After¬†picking up our freshly-grilled St. Galler brats and cervalats we headed to the little area of b√ľrkliplatz that looks out over Lake Z√ľrich and the alps. It was a beautiful day! After that, we hopped on a train and headed to Uetliberg, which is supposedly the best lookout place in canton Z√ľrich. It was a nice view and definitely worth seeing. As a side note, Asher drank a lot of juice that day, which he doesn’t normally do, and on the way up to Uetliberg it hit him pretty suddenly and hard and the child NEEDED.TO.PEE. I had NEVER seen him so uncomfortable! He literally started screaming “I NEED TO PEE! I NEED TO PEE!” in a high-pitched, incredibly loud screaming voice and everyone was looking at us. We made a quick decision to jump off the train as soon as it stopped, so we all jumped off and I pulled Asher’s pants down and he peed into the grass (with an impressive range, might I add) in front of anyone and everyone. It was pretty hilarious, actually. ūüôā We ended up having to wait in that spot (basically in the middle of nowhere) for half an hour before the next train arrived. Thankfully we were next to a big field for Asher to run in. Plus, it was a gorgeous sunny-but-cold¬†day, so we all just enjoyed the sunshine and pleasant company.

 

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The next day we headed to the French speaking part of Switzerland to visit the famous Ch√Ęteau de Chillon that is nestled on Lake Geneva. The train ride was about 3 hours and we got to see some truly beautiful parts of the country out the windows. The area¬†over there is absolutely gorgeous! No surprise there, I guess. I have yet to find an “ugly” part of Switzerland. But still, we passed some really beautiful views. We had never been over there before, so the trip was a treat for all of us in multiple ways. Asher was pretty difficult in the castle, but other than that it was a nice trip. The castle itself was incredible. The oldest parts date back to the 11th or 12th century, and it was occupied for a couple hundred years or something. I don’t remember all of the history now, but it was a great place to visit.

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The next day was our big mountain day. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I think this was perhaps everyone’s¬†favorite day. We took a fairly early train to Luzern and walked around a little bit.¬†It’s a beautiful city with plenty to see. We stayed in the city for a few hours to feed some birds, visit an old Franciscan church and a Jesuit church (I think I read that this one is the oldest building in the city, which means it’s pretty freaking old), and walk along the famous Kapellbr√ľcke (Chapel Bridge). After seeing those things, we hopped on a boat to take a short cruise on Lake Luzern, which was freezing cold and stunningly beautiful.¬†I took SO many pictures and kept finding myself shocked that no matter how beautiful the mountains around us were, they just kept getting more and more beautiful the further we went. The scenery was intense! It was a great little ride. We got off the boat in a¬†random teeny town, then walked up a (super steep) hill and took a cable car up the Rigi, one of the famous mountains here in Switzerland. It’s not the highest mountain, but it’s one of the most visited because of its beautiful views and great location. So we went up to the top then walked around a bit and all just kind of did the best we could to absorb the scenery. It was breathtakingly beautiful up there. We had not visited a mountain like that before, and we were really happy to get to experience it for the first time with J&T. Then we took the oldest cogwheel train in Europe back down the hill, hopped on to another boat back to Luzern, then took the train back home. It was a really, really great day.

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As a side note — while we were up on the mountain, to entertain a moody Asher, James pretended to eat snow by jamming it all into his mouth and beard. It was hilarious on so many levels — what he was doing was just funny, and Asher busting up laughing was funny, and Phil also being entertained and laughing pretty hard was funny. It was just really funny. hahaha

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The next day we really didn’t take any pictures. We went to church in the morning, then came back and just kind of hung out at our home. We planned to walk them down into our village a little bit and to our view of the lake, which I remember doing for a little bit but I don’t think I took any pictures.

Then the next day we had planned to go to Rheinfalls, but after exploring Z√ľrich city a bit more none of us really felt like making the trip to northern Switzerland and we were afraid we’d only have half an hour or so of sunlight anyway, so we decided to just spend the entire day in Z√ľrich. It ended up being another great day, despite our last-minute decision to skip Rheinfalls. We went to Fraum√ľnster to see Marc Chagall’s beautiful and famous windows. Then we spent a good bit of time in Grossm√ľnster, both in the sanctuary and in one of the inner gardens, which was nice. And the next day we went to St. Gallen to visit an old¬†monastery and it’s beautiful cathedral. Phil, Asher and I¬†had been there once before and we were really happy to go back. The cathedral is GORGEOUS. I think it’s my favorite that I’ve seen in Switzerland, and that’s saying a lot because there are some really beautiful old churches here. There’s another really beautiful one in Einsiedeln, which we had hoped to visit in the same day, but again we just didn’t really have the time. Here are a few pictures from the last 2 days we got to spend with the Calhouns:

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I did it! I’ve been wanting to write about that and share those pictures for over 2 months now. In addition to these touristy things, we also did a lot of hanging out together in our apartment in the evenings. Asher was basically a wreck the entire time they were here, so we would put him to bed in the evenings and then enjoy a nice long dinner together with good drinks, lots of conversation and plenty of Mario Kart. It was just like old times, only even better because time has done nothing but deepen our relationship with our dear friends. Thanks so much for making the trip, guys! We will remember it forever and we are, of course, already looking forward to the next time we will get to spend time with you!

Christmas!!

27 Dec

Merry a couple days after Christmas!

While we were sad not to be spending the greatest day of the year with our family, we were happy to be together here in sunny (?) Switzerland! After passing around a fever/nausea virus that rendered the three of us near death and completely useless (on different days) and then sharing a pretty legit cold, our biggest wish was to be well for Christmas. Monday we were all great! We were fever free and feeling snappy so Phil went to his office for the day and Asher and I went out for some last-minute shopping before meeting up with Phil to see the singing Christmas tree in Z√ľrich. It was the last possible day to do it and we were happy to finally be well enough to all be vertical and go outside to enjoy the Christmassy world around us! The city is so beautiful at Christmas time and the tree was a lot of fun. They had a band playing Christmas songs in both English and German. We got sausages, at roasted chestnuts, sipped gluhwein — it was lovely! Christmas Eve-day was also great! We had a tea party brunch, hung out for a little bit, then headed to some friends’ house for an early dinner before going to a Christmas Eve service at church. It was a great day and we all had a really nice time.

‚ĶThen‚Ķ on the way back home after church, I started feeling really dizzy and sweaty and nauseous. It came on me quickly and I felt AWFUL. Thankfully, I made it through the 15 minute train ride, the 3 minute bus ride up the hill (I really didn’t think I was going to make it on the bus) and 1 minute walk to our door before crawling right into bed. I felt TERRIBLE. Every breath I took, every teeny glimpse of light that assaulted my eyes, and every little noise that pounded my ears made me feel like I was going to lose it. After a while I got up because I didn’t want Phil to spend Christmas Eve alone (he had put Asher to bed). We were a few minutes into watching The Santa Clause when I had to go to the bathroom to throw up everything I had ever eaten. It was the worst! I felt a little better after purging my belly of its sins, but still had a pounding headache, lady’s days cramps, and felt super nauseous. I felt okay on Christmas morning, and we all had a nice slow morning opening presents, but the smells of lunchtime sent me straight back into a whirlwind of nausea and I ended up going back to bed just before Asher went down for a nap, leaving poor Phil to spend Christmas afternoon alone in a very messy living room. Since I couldn’t even stomach smelling food, our Christmas dinner consisted of packaged soup instead of the delicious enchiladas we had planned on making.

So that’s the sad part of our Christmas 2013 story. Well, Asher was also SUPER grumpy here and there for some reason. He’s usually in his best mood when he wakes up, but he literally woke up crying and demanding things and then refusing the same things (i.e. yogurt). Thankfully he’s big enough now that a crapload of gifts was able to turn his tiny frown into holiday smiles and giggles in no time! After the first few presents, he seemed to “get” that we were opening them all and that most of his were filled with toys and he really got into it. He was so excited with each present! He would say “Oooooooo, what ith it?! What’th inthiiiiide?!” hahaha

Aside from the nausea and whining, we had a great day! We opened gifts, we watched “A Christmas Story,” and we got to talk to ¬†David, Susan, Jennie, Kacy, Daniel, Eden, my parents, Doug, Danielle, Corin, & Fiona! It was a bummer not to get our big fancy dinner, but I’m hoping to do that this weekend.

I am kicking myself for it now, but I hardly took any pictures on Christmas! Granted I felt awful, but still… I’m a mom now, I can’t not take pictures of my precious baby opening his presents! Here are the few pics I DID take:

Our tea party, brunch style!

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Santa came!

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Walking out to see all the presents, still a bit teary-eyed:

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Our almost-done phase just before we tried to clear some of the boxes and paper:

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Merry Christmas from us!

10 years together!

23 Dec

December 12, 2003 was my last first date ever. I met Phil some time in November of 2003. We typically saw each other in the cafeteria or the student center, and after a few random meetings and conversations, we started leaving together to go on walks and talk. It didn’t seem like anything too intense, but it was fun and we got along easily and quickly. The 12th of December that year was a Friday, and we had seen each other in the cafeteria each day that week and then went to hang out together after dinner each evening. That Friday, though, when I bumped in to him (I can’t remember if it was for lunch or dinner‚Ķ perhaps it was lunch?) I asked if he wanted to hang out again that night and he said yeah. I gave him my phone number, since all of our time spent together up to that point had happened only since we had randomly met up with each other. I honestly assumed we would just meet up and walk around together again, but he called me a little while later and said we were going to a movie and then to get coffee with his roommate and another girl (to this day he swears I asked him out on that date, which is fine with me for him to think that seeing as how everything worked out well from then on, but I wasn’t intending to ask him on a “date” date, I thought we would just hang out again). I got super excited, got myself all fixed up, then waited for him to pick me up. He came, smelling like a freshly-showered, freshly-shaved, freshly-cologned super handsome guy. He was waiting for me in the lobby of my dorm when I went down and I remember opening the door and seeing him look at me and smile. He opened my door for me when I got into the car where Beau and this weird girl named Erin were in the backseat. I said hello to everyone, then we headed to the theater. We saw the move “Stuck on You.” It was super random and we haven’t seen it since, but it was as good as any movie for a first date. When we sat down in our seats Phil grabbed my hand and held it through the whole movie, and he holds my hand all the way through movies today. ūüôā So to celebrate 10 beautiful years of dating my Love, I thought I’d share a list of 10 things (plus a few bonuses) that I love about my Phillip. I actually started writing this before the 12th of this month, but then I got busy and we were all so sick the past week or so that I haven’t had time to do anything constructive at all. So now for a super cheesy post that has the potential to make everyone say oh, brother!‚Ķand I don’t care! Elf had just come out around the time of our first date and when I got home from our first date I ran into the living room spinning in circles and shouted “I’m in love! I’m in love! and I don’t care who knows it!” And the same is true today, so here goes‚Ķ

1. I love that he loves God. The life of a believer is an incredible one, and I love that I get to share my spiritual/religious journey with Phil. He is so deeply committed to his belief in God that is astounds me. While some things about faith are so simple and clear, other things are confusing and vague, and I am so grateful that I have my patient, loving, Christian husband to navigate this huge part of life with me.

2. I love watching and/or listening to him play with Asher. While I do not in any way think that a father’s role is more or less important than a mother’s, there really is something magical about the whole “guy” thing that they have going on. Before Phil is even in the door after coming home from work, Asher shouts out “DADA PWAY!!!!” and Phil is always more than happy to oblige. He gives me a quick hug and a kiss and a hello, takes off his shoes and sets down his stuff, then chases after Asher with a growling voice before tossing him around in a way that makes (me nervous) Asher laugh hysterically. Then there are the sweeter, softer moments when I hear Phil reading Asher his Bible, or singing to him, or talking to Asher about “how beautiful Mommy is.”

3. I love that he is a hard worker. When he has extra work to do, he spends his weekends and evenings with me and Asher until we go to bed, then he’ll burn the midnight oil to get caught up on work. He gets up early and gets himself either to his office or to his desk (he works from home some times), which I respect a lot about him. I think I would have a much more difficult time being so disciplined if I set my own working hours. Another thing that I respect is just how much work he is juggling right now. I forget sometimes since he does spend a lot of time either home with me or out with me, but he is communicating with people all over the world on a daily basis for the journal, still practicing German and participating in German conversation groups, doing all kinds of odd jobs for his supervisor and his research agency, all while literally writing a freaking book. He’s pretty amazing, amiright?!

4. I love that he loves books. If I’m being honest I’ll go ahead and say that books have actually been a point of contention in our relationship. They are expensive and they‚Ķ are‚Ķ EVERYWHERE. I’m pretty sure Phil keeps Amazon in business. But regardless of how many books pile up in my bedroom, living room, closet, kitchen, etc., I know that Phil collects them because he values them, and that is good enough for me. They are important to him, so *gulp* they are important to me. And for however much I feel like we are drowning in books, it helps to know that reads every single one of them cover to cover.

5. Which brings me to my next point, I love that he is slightly elitist. While this is kiiiind of a negative thing, Phil makes it a good thing because the man has high standards. This makes me feel good about myself, seeing as how I honestly believe that I must be pretty great for him to have chosen to be with me. He has high standards for everything. Don’t confuse “having high standards” with being materialistic, because he is certainly in no way materialistic (except maybe with his Apple products). He has exceptionally high standards for people and for ideas. He is incredibly loving and interested in the well-being of others, but he is slightly impatient with people who do not respect themselves or other people enough to do what is right. His “elitism” also allows him to maintain an interesting balance between being exceptionally open-minded AND exceptionally staunch in his beliefs. He is interested in truth and absolutely cannot be bothered by anyone who is only interested in being popular or edgy.

6. I love that he is hilarious. He has a kooky, dry sense of humor that often catches me off guard as he finds humor in some of the most random places. I feel like his goofiness is one of the last things he typically opens up to people, and I love that he shares it with me‚Ķ all the time‚Ķ even at 1 in the morning when I’m trying to sleep and he randomly blurts out something completely out of the blue that he finds funny when I thought he was asleep.

7. I love that he will watch, and even allow himself to enjoy television shows that I KNOW he would otherwise never even know existed ¬†and most definitely would never watch if I did not want to watch them. We have had lengthy discussions about shows like Project Runway and Glee and ABC Family movies, not because he is the type of person to be interested in those shows and movies, but because I am and he loves me and thinks I’m cool.

8. I love his friends. Seriously. He doesn’t have a million billion friends, but the friends that he has are truly great people and I love watching him interact with them. When I see him with his friends I like that I can see him being laid back, funny, interesting, and compassionate. And the people with whom he chooses to pursue/maintain friendships are very honestly good people that I feel very blessed to know.

9. I love that he loves his family. His whole family (including me and Asher and his Wood-side of the family), but in particular here I am talking about his first family: His parents, his sister and his brother. He is who he is because of his family and he values them all for the man they have helped him become, and for the people they are both as individuals and as “The Lasaters.”

10. I love that our relationship is¬†important¬†to him. He remembers the most random things about when we first met. He remembers what we wore on our first date. He remembers what I wore random times that he saw me before we knew each other. He remembers silly things that happened when we were just getting to know each other. He remembers things about our wedding and the vows we made. He remembers silly¬†little¬†places we’ve gone and¬†things¬†we’ve¬†done together. He remembers these things because they were/are important to him, and I’m thankful for that. They were/are important to me too!

*Bonus* I love being his friend. Since the very beginning, our relationship has largely been based on conversation. We have always enjoyed sitting and talking with one another about everything from food, to our beliefs, to our favorite Spongebob moments. While I am so incredibly grateful for our desire and ability to talk so openly and often together, I’m also intensely grateful for the time we spend doing “nothing important” like kicking the crap out of each other on wrestling video games and taking turns trying to beat each other’s hula hoop records on Wii Fit together. He can seem pretty smooth in everyday life, but he is NOT graceful on the Wii Fit board and it’s all I can to do keep from passing out from laughter whenever he steps on that thing.

*Bonus* I love that he is super hot. Before I knew him I nicknamed him “Hot Guy” and would tell my roommate about my “Hot Guy” sightings each day. Now, 10+ years later, I still think/know he is the most beautiful man in the universe.

*Bonus* I love that he is committed to me. I don’t care if Gwen Stefani herself propositioned him, I know without a doubt that both his mind and body are wholly committed to only me. (I say Gwen Stefani because shortly after we started dating he told me that he thought she was hot and I got all huffy and puffy about it. Now it’s kind of a joke between us. haha)¬†I also¬†love that he knows I am committed to him. There is not a man alive that could take my eyes, thoughts, or body from Phillip, and I am so grateful that he trusts me. We have a peaceful relationship and home in large part because we trust each other.

 

 

 

 

 

This is our first pic together EVER. It’s terrible of me, but I love this pic anyway. We were at a playground with Kristen and Misha (I think that’s who we were with) on Beebee Capps somewhere in Searcy.

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This was shortly after we started dating. Again we were with Kristen and Misha and I think someone else this day, because there were 3 of us crammed in the back seat. Anyway, we had been dating a very short time here and we were headed to Sugarloaf Mountain in Arkansas for a hike!

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After we had been dating for several months Phil went on a trip with me and my family to Gatlinburg Tennesee. This is how we looked there.
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This one is older than the last one, but I don’t know how to switch the order. This was after we had been dating a few short months. We went to Berryhill park and took a ton of pictures this day, and this has always been one of my favorites.

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Fast forward a break-up and reunion, after about 3 years of dating, on January 10, 2007, Phillip asked me to marry him and I said YES!

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Engagement pic:
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I hate that I couldn’t find a wedding photo on my computer. I have them all on discs, so I’ll have to upload some soon or something. Just know that our wedding was absolutely perfect.

 

Fast forward a little more and we are pregnant! This is the day we found out that our little Love was a baby boy.

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We added Asher Michael…

 

 

 

 

 

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Rough times for me. I may have looked terrible, but my heart was overflowing with love from these two precious ones with me in this picture:

 

 

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And this was us celebrating our anniversary this year!

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Thank you, God, for my Phillip!

Happy guy

23 Nov

If at any time over the past few months I spoke with you via video chat, the phone, or corresponded through email, you probably know that Phil and I were dealing with “the terrible two’s” at our house. While I am sure our precious little one will still be his dramatic and emotional little self here and there (though Phil and I would both deny that we are also these things in person, we’re both aware that Asher comes by this honestly), we have turned a huge corner!!

I feel like everything we do is an experiment with Asher. Because of this, there’s really no way to tell exactly what affects him and how various things will affect him. So, while I can’t be certain of exactly “why” he’s been back to his normal happy little self, I do have some theories:

1. We have been trying to be consistent with discipline. I have a lot to say about discipline, but since everyone has different ideas that are based on very personal decisions and beliefs, I’ll just stop with saying that we’re trying to be consistent with the decisions that we (Phil and I) have made regarding how best to raise Asher to be a happy, loving, self-confident, respectful person.

2. We cut back his TV/screen time. He was addicted to technology at 2 years old! Crazy boy. We had started letting him watch more TV when he was going through some weird things and seeming a bit sick or just out of it or whatever (more on that in #3), but it got to where that was ALL he wanted to do. If we wanted him to play with his toys one or both of us would have to sit and basically play with his toys FOR him. While we both love playing with him, this got really annoying for everyone really quickly.

3. This is the big one — His glasses!!! I talked about this before on this Blog, so I won’t go into a ton of detail, but looking back at the past few months we both see how Asher’s big behavioral issues began right around the time he went through a growth spurt shortly after turning two. We are pretty sure that his growth spurt changed his vision, which means his prescription was wrong and very quickly he was unable to see anything clearly. He was crying a lot, frustrated all the time, and needing help with EVERYTHING he did from walking to using a fork to finding toys. Looking back it makes perfect sense, but we just thought he was being stubborn (another thing he comes by honestly). The past few weeks of him having his new lenses have shown us that he is still our happy, hilarious little boy who loves to read and watch wheels on anything go ’round and ’round. Just today he sat on his own and “read” books for about half an hour before bringing me a couple books and asking me to read to him. AND, this is big, he ASKED to draw and he DID! He has never been interested in drawing, especially with pencils (I think because he doesn’t push hard enough to make the lead dark enough on paper for him to see) and he always would just get mad when I would try to draw with him. Today he sat and used all different colors of mostly markers (but a few colored pencils) while I did dishes. I sat down with him when I was done cleaning and he was SO proud of himself! He was deliberately trying to draw circles, and doing a pretty good job (all things considered), and then he’d make random marks and holler out what it must be “I MAKE A K!!” “I MAKE A 9!!!” (he also seemed to make a lot of sperm-shaped squiggles, but he apparently hasn’t learned that shape yet). I snapped a few pictures of him drawing. Enjoy the precious look of expectancy as he looked to me for a reaction, and then the excitement and pride on his beautiful tiny face:

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While I strongly believe that numbers 1 & 2 are important and have made a difference, I think that the biggest difference has been made from his new glasses prescription. I remember being so sad when I found out he needed glasses in April. Now I cannot thank God enough that my sweet baby has those glasses. What an enormous blessing!