Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween... at George and Olivia's School!

Three schools, three celebrations :)  Loved each of them!

This one was at George and Olivia's school... they have 1-year olds through 4-year olds, one class of each age... and we all went on a little Halloween parade around the neighborhood where the school is located.  It's such a cute little area!  The kids had a great time riding and taking in the sights.  It didn't hurt that my two and friends Lily and Collins piled into the most comfy wagon, ever.  Olivia didn't want to get out! Plus, they loved that mommy and Omi got to come, too :)  Just like at Samuel's school, I also enjoyed chatting with other moms.  Sharing stories about 2-year olds always makes for a good time!

In taking photos, I realized the only thing harder than getting three kids to look at the camera and smile, is to ask four!  Ha ha!  They had a blast... I need to improve my photo timing to catch some smiles...

 But wait, look!  They're all looking at me at the same time!?
Um, no... they're looking at something entirely more interesting...


 Stops included the fire station, which every kid loved, and a retirement home...
in which I was super impressed with George and Olivia!  They actually spoke to people!  They said Happy Halloween and Have a Nice Day and even answered a few yes/no questions.  I'm so amazed they're starting to come out of their shells around new people!  I guess I should start to worry too... I'm okay with the tantrums and no's just happening at home :)

Even getting two children to actually smile at the camera was a chore :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween... at Daddy's School!

Yes, mommy and daddy work at the same school... but for some reason George and Olivia refer to it as Daddy's school :)  Who knows!

Anyway, the Halloween fun continued on Friday!  In the afternoon, our school had their annual Fall Festival and it was great!  Lots of fun things for the kids to do... last year they just kind of walked around looking a bit in shock, this year they actually participated in some of the booths! 

Crazy, check out photos here from last year's Fall Festival.  I feel like that was a million year ago and yesterday all at the same time :)

 Not a very Halloween-y photo... but the first place we visited was Mr. Dalton's classroom and as usual, when George sees a desk, he has to sit in it!  He actually sat in all the desks, but that's a lot of photos :)

 The first game we tried was Go Fish... George and Olivia were very hesitant about this giant fishing pole, but once they put their lines over the sheet and "reeled in" some treats they were good to go :)  The teeth were one of the first treats :)

 Classic duck pond... once again, a bit leery at first,
but within minutes wanted to catch every duck!

 Samuel didn't play many games, but that didn't stop him from having fun :)

 Scary noise... Roar!

 Pumpkin bowling! 
George - chuck it down the lane!  (Not sure he got the "bowling" concept!)

 Olivia - take aim and release, just like a pro :)

 Enjoying a treat... for some a lollipop, and for others some pine straw :)

Just Because They're Cute...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween... at Samuel's School!

Part One of our Halloween adventure started on Friday... the kiddos at Samuel's school went trick-or-treating!  It was such an incredible morning.  The school is located in a business park, and a bunch of the businesses participated by putting together treats for all the kids.  I'm telling you, incredible! 

I can't stress enough how amazing the employees of these businesses were.  They gave treats individually to every kid, they smiled, they tried to interact (even though many of the children aren't great at reciprocating), and they were just so kind.  Not only were all of the people wonderful to the children, but the treats they put together were so thoughtful.  They were literally little packages prepared for each kiddo... in just one business park the kids got all the treats and attention that any kid needs on Halloween!  As a mom of a non-eater, I immediately noticed there were quite a few non-food items that Samuel would really enjoy!  He won't eat candy, but he has been playing with Halloween toys!

Plus, I got to meet a few moms and dads!  One family in particular, a friend-of-a-friend I've heard about since the child was born... the child is currently one-year post heart transplant and is the cutest, sweetest child you will ever meet.  When I finally met him at the school (after hearing about him for two years) I got teary - he just amazes me.  I love that he and Samuel are in the same class!

Photo time!  I took way too many... here is the edited version :)

 Cabell and Samuel :)

Sweet boys :)


Hmmm.... yep, I love the glasses!

 Samuel was a walkin' fool! 
He was practically running, it was so much fun to watch... he had the best time!

 I'm not kidding, practically running!  At one point, the bag got too heavy... wish I had a photo of Samuel leaning over while walking to compensate :)

 The nurses were awesome about dressing up (I was lame - didn't even occur to me). 
It was cute to watch Samuel figure out who people were :)

 One of the places had this dog that sang and danced to Halloween music - the kids loved it!  THIS kid loved it a lot...

 ... next thing we knew... ha ha!  Kisses!

 Samuel and Cabel had a similar thought process... "I wonder what's in here?" 
At every single door these two wanted to explore... curious boys :)

At one of the businesses, most of the employees even dressed up!
And check out their patience... not only with this crazy momma wanting to take photos,
but even with Samuel wanting to check out the costumes!

 Group photo with my boy :)

 I don't think Samuel minded all of the attention :)

Class photo!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What to Say?

I'm at a bit of a loss for a subject for this post...
  • We haven't had any doctors appointments since my last post...
  • We don't have any major appointments coming...
  • I considered posting about our daily schedule, but then I realized that although it's a bit crazy, it's not really interesting to anyone but me :)
  • George and Olivia are still loving school and are more fun (and get funnier) every day, but not sure that's an entire post?
  • Samuel is still impressing everyone with his gains in mobility and more recent gains in speech... he's imitating everything!  Again, not sure this is an entire post?
The worst part is I've completely slacked on taking photos!  I thought I could just do a general look-what-we've-been-up-to-post, but realized I haven't been taking pictures.  Which is really a shame, because ever since our epiphany in Atlanta that we can get out and about relatively easy now, we've gone on lots of "bentures" (G and O's version of adventure).  I can tell by the vocabulary during play time that it's been noted... they often pretend to go to the Farmer's Market, or talk about the Sands, the pool, or Daddy's School (the bleachers, the gym, the playground, Daddy's classroom, they love it all).  They also talk about going to the doctor since getting their flu vaccines ;)

We even went to our very first birthday party yesterday, and I didn't take a single photo!  This was a monumental event in my mind... and DB enjoyed a few chuckles at my expense... I was so excited.  We've been so isolated from other kids due to health concerns for Samuel, that our kiddos have never had any friends their own age.  One of G and O's classmates had a birthday party, and all five Byrne's went, and loved it!  I will admit, I did have to ask a lot of questions of a good friend of mine... what to wear?  Was Samuel invited?  What would happen at the party?  What about presents?  Go ahead, you can laugh at my expense too :)  The party was exactly as I pictured... kids playing, fun food, a bounce house, and even a princess pinata.  Needless to say, I think my three will have a few more expectations come their 3rd birthday :)  Ha ha!  The kids had a blast... and all three (BB went with Samuel) ventured into their very first bounce house.  The squeals of laughter were awesome! 

In an effort to get the ball rolling, today I took photos with my phone... as you can see from the poor quality.  But at least it's a start!  We went walking with Omi downtown - who knew a few blocks could be so much fun!

 The crew :)
In case any passersby were wondering, my children wore ALL of their "I've Been Vaccinated" stickers.  Ha ha!

 BB - "George, can you give the flamingo a pat?"

George - "Mommy, check it out... this is way better than a pat!"

 Olivia - "Best idea ever, George!"

 Omi and Samuel taking a stroll :) 

Samuel... are you having fun?

No words necessary, it's not hard to interpret that cheesy grin :)

After the walk... I just love that nose crinkle :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"See" you in 6 months

Our appointment last Friday, a follow up from Samuel's eye surgery three weeks ago, was GREAT!  For right now, we don't need to have the second surgery!  We're not in the clear, there is still a chance he will need it... but for now, we're good :)

The simplest explanation is that for the first surgery, they loosened the muscles around the outside of the eye.  The goal is that the inner muscles will strengthen on their own after that surgery... but you never know because everyones muscles react differently.  Therefore, it is possible that the inner muscles will need to be surgically tightened.

Check it out - our next appointment is in SIX months!  The doctor said Samuel's eyes were exactly what he was hoping to see!  No more eye patch for now, and our fingers are crossed very tightly that his eyes continue to get better so there will not be a second surgery. 


On another note, Samuel and I had a really good visit to the hospital the day of his eye appointment (the eye doctor is on the first floor of the hospital).  Not only did we get to see some of our NICU and therapy friends, but Samuel got to show off his walking!  We did take the walker, we went quite a long way, but once we reached our destinations, the walker went into the corner and Samuel showed off his new skills.  It was so wonderful to see the smiles on people's faces!  To be able to share in this kind of joy with the folks who were there for all the scariness is just amazing.  It is such a neat feeling to go back and watch Samuel say, "look, you cared for me, you helped me, and I'm incredible!  Thank you" 

A random collection of photos... some favorites that haven't made it to the blog yet, some from July, some from a few weeks ago, and some in between :)

 Took the photo because it was cousin Madison's dress when she was little...
posted it to the blog because that pose is impressive!

 Many hours are spent wearing mommy and daddy's shoes :)

Love that smile!

 Enjoying a good chat with a good friend!

 On to enjoying a good book, all by myself :)

My George and his handsome smile... part 1...

... and part 2...

  ... and part 3 :)  I couldn't choose one!
It's always a good time for dress up!

Olivia and her accessories:)

Poor Samuel, he got an ear infection and spiked a 103 fever very quickly. 
As soon as we walked in the door, he curled up on the doormat and fell asleep.  Sweet boy!

Terrible camera-phone photo - but SO COOL!  This was the first time DB saw Samuel get onto the couch by himself!!!  I'm telling you, he is moving on up!  DB texted it to me and I almost fell out of my chair.
Realized there weren't any photos of Samuel smiling... which he is constantly doing.  So, a cute waiting room photo... who in the world can smile like this for an hour in a doctors office waiting room?!  That's our boy!

A classic group shot from early July... one having of an entirely different conversation, one cheesing it up, and one on his own mission :)