Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Physical Abilities

Evan and Seth are pretty much equals in the physical abilities department.

Evan is 4 1/2.
Seth is 17 months.

They step up and down curbs with a similar amount of teetering in their balance.
They both have scraped knees from constantly falling.
Each of them wins tug-of-wars over toys 50% of the time, as well as races for a coveted item.
Their feet even make the same slapping noise when they run, probably related to their matching pigeon-toed-ness.

Evan climbs ladders on the playground with anxiety and wants me to help him even though I know he has the ability to do it on his own. Seth, on the other hand, will eagerly climb up behind Evan even though his teeny legs can't even reach the next step, giving me regular heart attacks.

Comparisons to the little brother aside, Evan is incredible. He is defying a lot of spina bifida odds with his mobility level and bowel/bladder control and I am so grateful for everything he CAN do. He throws and kicks (left-handed and left-footed) things all day long. His new favorite trick is drop-kicking. When he's not playing with balls or paper airplanes, he jumps and does somersaults on the trampoline. And he is potty trained, people! No cathing, no enemas, no medication, no nothing. That pretty much doesn't happen with people at his level of spina bifida.

Evan sorta graduated therapy today. By "sorta" I mean, his therapists evaluated him as able to function independently or his age, but I'm too afraid of not having him seen regularly by a therapist to completely stop therapy, so he will still get check-ups every other month. He has progressed a ton in the last 6 months and year. Sometimes I don't notice his progress, but I've had multiple people comment to me lately about how well he is walking, or how straight his feet seem, or how awesome he is doing on the playground... I step back and realize, "Yeah, he is doing great!"

We recently signed him up for soccer, and he loves it. Last week at practice, the coach said, "Let's see who is the fastest." My heart sank and I was so nervous for Evan. The kids were told to run to the goal at the opposite end of the field and then run back. Check out my little guy--he made me so proud! No, I wasn't crying during the middle of soccer practice...



Super Evan watching Super Why
This is what happens when you lean too far over the edge of bathtub when Evan is bathing.

Evan earned a "train" (light rail) ride for staying "fresh" (potty trained) for 5 days!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter is my Favorite

I love Easter because it's the most important holiday. I love teaching Evan the Easter story and I made a special effort to do Easter/Christ-focused things leading up to Easter to make it extra special.

In the LDS church's Friend magazine, they had a two-page pullout with "Names of Jesus." Each day on the week before Easter, Evan and I would read a scripture and find the name of Jesus mentioned in it. Then we talked about how Jesus was the "Mediator," or "Creator," or "Messiah." I even integrated a little phonics and had him tell me the letters that went with the sounds as I wrote out the word on the paper. One day he chose to write the word himself. We hung up our poster and talked about it frequently.

For Family Home Evening, I made Easter scripture eggs. I remember having these eggs growing up so it was a nostalgic activity for me. I didn't have to buy anything to put these together--just used stuff I already had. Evan and I read through the scriptures a couple times during the week (when Seth was napping so he wouldn't destroy all the items inside). Having tangibles--particularly different textures and smells--bring the story more to life.

On Friday, Evan and I made "resurrection rolls." We talked about how Jesus went in the tomb, and I told him the marshmallow was like Jesus' body. We wrapped it up in the crescent roll and baked it. When we took them out of the oven, I broke open one of the rolls and Evan was shocked that "Jesus' body" wasn't there anymore! He was risen!

"He is risen" is the best phrase. Teaching kids about how Christ was nailed on the cross and how he died is tough. It makes them sad. But the whole point of Easter is that things didn't STAY sad. Jesus rose from the tomb. He is risen! We can be happy because of Jesus Christ, our Savior. He saved us from death! (And sin, but that one is still kinda hard to explain to a 4-year old.)

Last year I found this video that I adore that shares the Easter story in a way Evan can understand well. He and I watched the video several times during the week.

On Saturday we went to the Elk Grove Egg-stravaganza. They have vendors, food trucks, face painting, pony rides, corn pit, pictures with the Easter Bunny, crafts, and an Easter egg hunt. We did the egg hunt and then my boys spent an hour just playing in the corn pit. We're simple. And cheap.


Later in the day we dyed hard-boiled eggs. In case you were curious about the Volcano Explosion egg-dying kit, don't buy it. It requires shaving crayons with a teeny sharpener and putting the shavings onto hot, fresh-out-of-boiling-water eggs. It's a cool look, but not worth the effort for me.

As far as Evan was concerned, Easter could have been done after Saturday. But Saturday night we put out our Sunday shoes by the fireplace for the Easter Bunny to fill (not sure who started this tradition, but I grew up doing it, so we keep doing it). And Sunday morning there were candy-filled plastic eggs hidden around the house for the boys to find. If we hadn't told Evan, he probably wouldn't have noticed them. He's such a bad finder. After he found a couple eggs, we had him leave the rest for Seth (no way I'd wake him up early on a Sunday to hunt for candy) and we had french toast, made with homemade bread, and orange juice for breakfast. The boys put on their matching purple ties and we made it through our church meetings with only small amounts of crying, intentional banging heads on the door, splashing in the drinking fountain, and roaming the halls.

After church Evan helped Seth find the remaining eggs. Seth napped while I finished cooking dinner. We hosted a classic ham and funeral potato dinner with Isaiah's family--at least those who got the memo that there would be a family Easter dinner at our house. Carrot cake for dessert. A second egg hunt with cousin Maya. Apples to apples with the whole family. It doesn't get much better than that.

Easter is the best.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


First, our laptop died. 
Then, I got called as Young Women's president.
Consequently, I made the big girl decision to (finally) get a smartphone.
Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to blog with pictures on my phone.
Finally, I gave up on blogging.
Recently, Isaiah got called as Bishop!
Consequently, we bought a new laptop.
Now, I can blog my pictures!!
Don't worry, I've been released as Young Women's president.

Here comes our last 6ish months in reverse order with minimal words as I attempt to catch up on the blog.

Evan got his 3rd tooth pulled. The roots were exposed through the gums from his original accident and the irritation finally got the best of us. 
Our furnace died for a couple days and we were grateful to live in a California winter and to have a fireplace.

Evan decided to have a seizure the day before our Christmas trip to Utah. A quick little ambulance ride, a few hours in the ER, no diagnosis, no further seizures.

Isaiah planted seed last fall, and we now have a beautiful, grassy backyard!

I passed a kidney stone.

Seth and Isaiah are twins.

Evan started 3-year old preschool, year 2 at a new school