Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Let's Go Fly a Kite! Or not.

What happens when horrible weather traps you inside for months at a time? Well, you make you own fun.

One of these things is not like the other! Did you find it? It took me a while.

Or you find a hole to crawl in,

or you sleep (or hibernate depending).

The weather lately has been slightly unpredictable, but today it was was warmer and really windy. I decided it was a good opportunity to try to fly a kite. Avi and Itai had other ideas. Avi decided to run down to the neighbor's backyard while Itai thought the street would be an interesting adventure. So I grabbed Itai gave him the kite while I chased Avi down.
Ok, kite take two! On take two Avi decided to stand in our yard, but wasn't interested in the kite while Itai was fascinated with it and got the tail wrapped around him several times. Guess when I decided the kite wasn't a very good idea. You know what is a good, calm idea? Side walk chalk! So I grabbed the chalk and suddenly I had two boys who were very interested.

Ok, so Itai became more interested in bringing chalk to the neighbor's dog than in coloring, but he was still interested.

And in between coloring sessions Avi was feeling what chalk on his mouth tasted like, but he was still interested! (Can you see the chalk on his lips?)

So, what else do you do when the weather is foul? Take pictures of your cute children all dressed up for church! I think they liked their new clothes almost as much as Debbie did! Personally I like Avi's do-I-have-to-smile-grimace.

Here's Itai sporting my attempts at taming his wild cow licks.

One more pictures of the brothers for luck.

Finally, here's Avi saying, "Yay! Another blog post is over!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yeah, We're Cool Like That.

Our family is pretty cool. I don't mind bragging since most of you are members of my family. Let's start with my grandma. Check this out!

That's right, she made all of this. Even though clowns are by nature creepy, these clowns are pretty cute. Avi and Itai think so. Avi especially loves the alligator. He sleeps with it and we often find him cuddled up to it at night. Itai would probably like it too if Avi ever let him play with it.

Now I know you're looking at the picture and wondering, what is that in the back. Can it possibly be? It is! That's right, my grandma made these sweet slipper-shoes!

Here I am trying my hand (or foot) at foot modeling! They look pretty sweet on me, right? :)

Like I said, she's pretty cool.

Avi is pretty cool too. He didn't make anything, but even though he hates getting his hair cut he sat patiently while the stylist asked him over and over how old he was.

She asked him what he thought. Here's how he responded. I think it's a cute haircut.

Then there is little brother. He's a pretty cool guy too. Other than being generally handsome and easy going; Itai loves Elmo.
He loves Elmo enough to try to share a cracker with him.

Elmo could only have one complaint, that Itai only loves him almost as much as he loves Avi. Still, that is a lot.

Wait, what? We're so cool you want to see some more? Ok, don't ask me why they've been wrapped up like this, they just were. Maybe this is their way of asking for the Snuggie Jr.

Have they even invented that yet? If not, I claim intellectual rights and patent properties!

One last shot of Avi's haircut to prove how much he loves it. Itai's pictures are coming next week. Goodbye Alfalfa look!

That's it for now, but don't worry; we'll be back. That is, if I ever find that memory card for the camera.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Little Things Make Me Happy

This week has been a really good week. It is so nice to have weeks like the last few. For those of you who did not hear yet, Avi is back in his therapy program, for good. That's not a little thing; that's a HUGE thing. Another big thing is the amazing difference between last week and this week with him. He is so talkative, so aware of his surroundings and the people in them and so happy. So what are these little things?

Avi's little things:

Avi kept his diaper/underwear dry all night, all day and all night.
I picked Avi up from his preschool and was met with a big hug and a kiss, not his usual here's-my-head-kiss-it-kiss, but an honest to goodness puckered up kiss on my cheek.
Hearing Avi say things like, Bonk toes, kiss better! Want Sesame Street on! Bye!
Spying Avi give Itai a sponteneous hug.
Hearing that he walked up to his two new school friends and hugged them.

Itai's little things:

Everytime he hears a truck drive by he points at the window and says, Truck!
Everytime he hears anything remotely similar to an airplane he points up and looks for it.
I just love it when he says baba! (that's his way of saying Abba, which is what he calls me.)
Watching Itai find himself right at home with new children in a new place, but still coming back to me to show me what he was up to.
Spending fifteen minutes, just the two of us, at the park.

Both boys:
Of course the holding hands thing melts my soft heart.
This week both boys ended up in our bed at the same time in the early morning (curse you day light savings!) but both fell asleep on my arm...and my arm fell asleep right after. As much as my sleeping arm bugged me I didn't want it to end. It's a curse having such cute boys really. :)
We went to the park together and Avi was racing back and forth as fast as he possibly could while Itai was still getting used to walking on the bridge. Itai stumbled and was on all fours. Avi raced by right when Itai tipped and stopped for just a split second to check on him.

One night I mentioned that I wanted something sweet, she went and got it! I protested, but she said she needed to grab some milk for the next day anyway.
I admit it, I like to cuddle. Who knew that some people don't? Well, it turns out that not everyone does...Debbie for example. :) I came home from work and hopped into bed where Debbie was soundly sleeping after a rough night. I cuddled up right next to her but she asked me to give her some room. I turned over to let her sleep. As I started drifting off she scooted over cuddled up next to me.
Debbie never stops working. She works whenever she can (I think she knows she's our only hope.) and when she's home she's cleaning, organizing or doing something to make our home a better place.

Yeah, life can be pretty amazing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Preview

The sun does not shine much around here in the winter. When it does shine it only means it's even colder. When it's cold you have to find something to do to entertain yourself. Itai loves crayons.
Avi has found that tipping the tent over is fun. It's pretty hard to get out, but it's also really exciting.

Then there's hanging out upside down. it doesn't look like it's much fun, but he loves it.

Itai has also found that Abba can be pretty funny.

But when the sun is shining and the temperature starts climbing you betgter take advantage of he opportunity. Today would be one of those days. We had to go to the park. No seriously we did; it's in the bylaws. The park only had a MILLION kids there, but we found a way to get around. Avi and Itai didn't even mind holding hands at the park.

Can you tell that after begging to swing he was freaked out about it?

I couldn't help but take a picture of our shadow train. Even their shadows are cute!

Of course Avi has to ponder his next playground move. Let's see...big side or climb down the ladder?

Itai on the other hand only slows down to get on the slides.

Avi would never let us take a trip to the park without a quick game of "pooh sticks." He and Itai love looking the stream.

Itai loves holding Avi's hand and Avi was kind enough to help him cross the bridge.

Back to the action, Avi comes sliding in as fast as he can!

Meanwhile Itai is busy working on getting to the next slide.

And here's the payoff!

This is the luckiest shot of the outting. I just barely caught him before he took off again.

Brothers -

no matter how far we have to go, I'm with you every step of the way.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Dad

I mentioned in an earlier post how much I looked up to my dad growing up. I described him as a superman. I knew he didn't wear a cape or fly around, but other than that he was pretty much him. I even noticed how his hair was always perfect. Not one hair out of place, just like Superman. Like Superman, I loved to watch him fix the car, fight the dragon (that would be barbecue in most homes) and mow the lawn. I could listen for hours, and did on our roads trips and moves, to his army stories and childhood experiences. Though he and Jon (my brother) really had the connection here, I loved listening to him point out the different airplanes we'd see flying overhead or at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. I was always jealous that Jon had such a mind for airplanes, guns, tanks and other military things.

One of my favorite childhood memories was from a road trip my family took to California. I woke up at what seemed the middle of the night to me and everyone was sleeping except for my dad who was driving. We were out in the middle of nowhere and I remember how brilliant the stars were. I slid up to the igloo the was placed in between the bucket seats of my family's van and the two of us talked for a very long time. With four sisters and a brother it wasn't always easy to find time like that with my dad and I loved it. I still remember how I relished the opportunity. We went to Disneyland that trip, but when I got back this is what I told my friends about.

I used to read the Life's Little Instruction Books and saw that he was looking for suggestions. I went to my dad and asked him for some advice, but I told him that I was just trying to remember some of the advice he had given me over the years. He said, "If you can't remember the advice I've been giving you, you're up a creek."

Well dad, I'm not up a creek. The lessons you've taught me have stuck. Here's a few of the things I've learned from you. The Talmud says, "When you teach your son, you teach your son's sons. Here are a few things you've taught Avi and Itai. Thanks for teaching me these and so many more things.

1. I never wondered if my dad loved me. No matter what trouble I got myself into, and I got myself into plenty, I never had to wonder whether he would stop loving me. One of the reasons I always wanted to name my son Absolam was because of the love David showed for his son, the same kind of love my father showed me.

2. My dad worked very hard for several years to raise funds for the Sub for Santa program. I remember one year he was focusing a lot of energy towards finding donors and I selfishly wondered who would be our donors. I never said anything to him about it, I didn't need to. I knew what his answer would be. His example of caring for others was something I took for granted when I was young, but something that I hope to emulate for my own children.

3. One of my dad's most frequently used quotes is, "It's ok to be confused." He has said this as long as I can remember. Maybe it's not the best thing to be, but it happens from time to time. One thing I didn't expect to have learned from him when I was younger is it's ok to cry. When I was young I never saw him cry. I don't want to embarrass him, but he has now shown his soft side. Luckily for me I can still follow in his shoes because I have been exposed as having only a soft side.

4. My dad's favorite play was (and may still be, I'm not up on this)Man of La Mancha. He never really told me why he liked it so much, but I really enjoyed watching it with him. If I had to guess why he liked it so much it would be that my dad is an idealist. I think my dad loves the idea of sallying forth into the world righting all wrongs. I know he loves the song "The Impossible Dream." I think it describes what he would really like to do. Whatever the reason he likes it, I will always remember the trip we took up to the University of Utah to watch the play. He was singing and humming the music for weeks.

5. I loved listening to my dad tell about how he came to be a member of the church. His testimony of the Gospel was always something that was uniquely his and very personal to him. When my sister and I decided church should have a summer vacation like school does he let us know how important church was, not to us, but to him.

I have forgotten many of the instructions those little plaid books gave, and those that I remember I don't follow. For example, "Never attend a church with padded pews and a basketball court." I break that one all the time! I remember my dad's advice and what's more, I'm still trying to be like him.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Best Part of My Day

Ok, so it was just for a minute, but it really made my day!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life's Little Secrets-For Free!

Our cute little boys are like little life gurus. They have so much to teach about life. Fortunately, I have decided to share their secrets with all of you.

Kisses better may not heal everything, but they work both ways.

One of anything is a fight for who gets it. Two of anything is a fight for who gets both.

Nothing is more attractive than when it is in your brother's hands.

Peeing in the tub is much more likely in the start of the bath than at the end of it.

All cereal left on the bottom shelf of the pantry is subject to confiscation, eating and spreading over the entire kitchen floor.

Homework makes for better pictures than coloring book pages or construction paper.

It's easy to be happy when you are busy with the people you love.

Everyone can be their own different kind of perfect.

The chance that a diaper will be dirty goes up exponentially the more you are running late.

It doesn't matter who you are, the blender is just plain terrifying.

The bigger the mess, the more likely someone will stop by unexpectedly.

No matter how cool you're parents are Elmo (or Leo depending) is cooler.

Nothing is healthier than Cap'n Crunch, nothing.

Blowing out candles and unwrapping presents is great, but hugs are the best!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Funny Boys

Avi and I have played a silly little game for a long time. I say, "Guess what?" and he laughs and says, "Spanky, spanky!" and then dives over my legs to get his spankies. The other day I said it and he did what we always do, but Itai saw an opportunity to get in on the game. He came running over and started giving Avi spankies. Avi and I were both surprised, but only one of us was laughing. I guess it's time to retire the old spanking game.

We were playing in the morning before the bus came to pick up Avi. While we were playing Avi suddenly looked up at me and said, "Want see fishies." Before I had a chance to tell him that we didn't have time Itai was off and running to the door, frantically pulling on it so we could go. I said, "Not today." But it didn't matter to Itai one bit. He pointed to the door and said, "ish! Ish!"

I have wondered for a long time what the world looks like to Avi. The other day we went to Avi's school to talk with his teachers. We arrived a bit early so I thought it would be a good chance to hit up the playground. As we started walking toward the playground he looked out and said very excitedly, "Circle!" I'm really not sure what he saw, but he was really excited about it. We walked a bit farther when he yelled out, "Square!" This time I could tell he was looking at the kickball square. A bit later he yelled out, "Triangle!" I still don't know what he sees, but I'm pretty sure shapes are part of it.

The fireworks at my parents house seemed to have left quite an impression on Avi. They have plenty of nieghbors who use what we refer to as, "Wyoming legal" fireworks. He loved watching them fly up into the air and expolde, whether or not it is illegal in Utah. Even though it's been almost a year since the last time we saw any he still asks about them. Today while we were playing together he looked at me and said, "Want see Uncle Jonny! Want see fireworks!" Sadly, he'll have to wait another couple of months and hope that the neighbors are on their way to Wyoming soon...at least for the fireworks; he'll probably see Uncle Jonny before then.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Many Misadvenures of the Brothers Andes

A lot has been going on in the lives of our little boys latley. A lot! Like what you ask? Well why don't I show you a million pictures of the last couple of weeks? I knew you'd like that.

Let's start with little Itai. He seems like a happy child right? Well not when he's sick (which is something he's been quite a lot lately. Thanks day care!) Thankfully most of what he did...other than cry is sleep. Look how cute he looks when he's sleeping for a third hour.
Grandma's blanket is still a favorite. How can I tell? Well, you don't just cover your head with any old blanket! Serious, only the best blanket can block out a snoring brother!
He also loves his stolen moments on Avi's tricycle. Looks at this proud face. He knows Avi will never know and he loves it!

We were both thrilled to have the sun shining and the temperatures in the 50's last week. *Sigh* Too bad it didn't last...I mean I love the Utah snow. There's nothing like hiding indoors and hoping your car doesn't slide of the freeway. At least we had a few days of sun and sand. Ok, so the sand was at our local playgoround, but still Itai LOVES it!

Can you tell he is surveying his land, looking for the best place to build a castle?

Then there is the pantry. Not only is it totally cool to close yourself in there and wait for a knock on the door, but it also makes a great place to change into your superhero outfit, if there is ever an emergency at least.

For those of you out there who are worried that Itai is getting to do a lot of fun, crazy things and Avi is stuck to plain, boring therapies don't worry. Avi has his secret fun too. After hyperbarics one day Avi and I found three police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck responding to a minor emergency. We walked over and looked at the vehicles and Avi was really excited! One of the fire fighters, seeing the huge smile and possibly hoping to make a future fire fighter out of Avi, asked if he would like to see inside. They let Avi climb in the back and look around.

Then they even lowered the big seat so he could sit and feel like a real fireman. What a nice fire fighter! Then the sherrif gave Avi some sherrif badge temporary tattoos. The only people who didn't participate in making Avi's day were the paramedics. They were busy trying to save some guys life. Can you believe the nerve of some people?! (Actually, the guy called 911 because he was feeling lethargic at a fast food restaurant, but either way, they were too busy for us.)

Speaking of HBOT, it's still going well. I'm supposed to write on their blog soon, but for the life of me I'm not sure what to write! Avi likes it. There's nothing like an hour of your favorite show on earth, your parents not being able to stop you from doing anything and diving in a rocket ship! The picture is really grainy because they lower the lights and my phone's camera doesn't like that.

That's not all Avi's up too. He's busy, even when he's sleeping. We went to an event for the Walk recently and Avi's picture was up along with an old blog entry. People got to see him and read a little bit about his story. They made the frame and let us keep it. What a nice little autism community. :)
One more little thing. Avi continues his little eating quriks. These are little stubs left over after he ate most of an orange. For some reason, he doesn't like eating the very last piece of each slice.

This is what used to be a chocolate covered donut. For some reason the chocolate covered top disappeared.

What have they been doing together? Well, they've started a tradition of group tattoing.

Once the tattoos are cleaned up they move on to the balloons. There is nothing more fun than doing core exercises and trying to pop them with your weight! (The blue one is gone already.)
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