Tuesday, October 25, 2011

K...S....U.....Wild Metro Family Reunion

This post is LONG overdue, but in mid-September my sister Rachel planned another annual Metro Family Reunion at the K-State vs. Kent State football game at Bill Snyder Family Memorial Stadium. Owen has only attended one other K-State football game, and he loved it. He was....one, I think. A lot has happened since that game, so Gavin and I were a little apprehensive to attend. Owen didn't have his wheelchair at his last K-State game, so we sat in the handicapped section this time. I was a little bummed, thinking we wouldn't be able to sit with the rest of the family, but we were right above them, and we didn't feel isolated at all. Owen took a few cat naps throughout the day, but all in all, he had a great time. This was also Dex's first K-State football game. Let me sum up his experience for you: he didn't take a nap all day long, but he was sooooo into the entire experience that he didn't care one bit. He clapped, he yelled, he loved it. He loved it until the next morning when we had to remove his Powercat tattoo off of his face. SCAB. One huge SCAB on his cheek. The red mark--over a month later--is still plastered on his face. I guess we can just think of it as a souvenir from his very first Wildcat game.
Purple pride

Owen catching some Z's before the big game

Our little Wildcat who's not so wild

Family pic during Dex's first KSU football game...it's a miracle they are even looking in the same direction as the camera
It's very important to Gavin and I that Owen gets to experience everything a walking and talking 4-year-old gets to experience. And even though he can't express his excitement most of the time, I know it's just waiting to burst out of him one of these days!

Owen the Trend-Setter

Who knew Owen's stuff would be such a hit with the kiddos? First things first....the van--with the electronic ramp and hollowed out inside--is a playground for every kid in the neighborhood. These kids just can't get enough of running around in that thing. Why? Who knows what is so fun about running up and down a 3-foot incline.

Gavin just recently finished the ramp in the front of our house. Hallelujah, no more carrying his wheelchair up the stairs, which is nearly impossible for my woosy self; it is almost always a two-person job. Wow, did the kids go nuts about this one. Not so much because it is fun to run up and down on, but because they know Brutus (who is tied up in the front yard right in front of the steps) has NO WAY of reaching them if they go up the ramp. Kyla, you're welcome....no more freaking out trying to get from the bus to my front door because you are terrified of my 12-lb. shihtzu...you are safe now.

Notice the man-eating dog by the steps? Ferocious.

And who can forget the wheelchair. Kids WAIT for some adult to come and hold Owen so they can sink their butts into that green lump of comfort. It has to be the COOLEST seat in the house....

Kendall saying to heck with standing up the entire K-State game...Owen has the best seat in the stadium

Alden thought he needed buckled in...maybe if he would open his eyes when he shows off that cheesy smile he wouldn't be so scared to fall out
And last but not least....the walker. Owen has been borrowing a walker (not so much a baby walker, but more of a big kid walker for disabled children) from his preschool for a few months now. We use it every day. And no, not just Owen uses it every day, Alden is hanging on that thing every second Owen is out of it. He's obsessed. Dex is also catching on and climbing all over that thing like it's a jungle gym. Do they fight over it? Yes.

So in conclusion, I really can't understand why Owen's things are so awesome, but they certainly are to the under 6 population. And if they keep kids entertained and friendly to Owen, they can line up and play anytime.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Not-So-New Job

Last April or May, I agreed to start watching my nieces and nephews, Kyla, Ryann, and Alden starting in August. Soon after, I agreed to start watching my niece Carly sometimes as well. Yep, it's official. I'm a daycare lady. I have waited to blog about it, just for the simple fact that I was waiting to see how it all panned out the first couple months. I'm not going to lie, I agreed to do this for selfish reasons....for the extra spending moolah (not looking to get rich obviously), for the interaction my kids would get with their cousins--especially to give the kids some additional time getting used to interacting with Owen, and for some added QT with the nieces and nephews. Overall, it has gone amazingly well. In case you don't know, Ryann and Alden can be VERY shy. I was extremely nervous about how well they would adjust to my house. Yeah, we've had a few meltdowns. A few clinging-to-the-screen-door-screaming-for-an-hour-and-a-half days, but dang it, that's expected. And I can proudly say, two months later, the kids seem happy here and we have a great time. Here are some pictures of Kiley's Fun-For-All-At-Home Daycare :).....

Summer fun...one of the kids' first days at my house. Owen was napping.

Posing for a picture to put on their mom and dad's cards they were making them...top secret mission.

One of the few times Dex and Alden have happily shared this train. It's a blurry picture, but I don't care...I knew I had to capture the moment before someone lost an arm or was face first in the carpet. 

Enjoying an afternoon popsicle

Playing with Owen's belly button...Dex can find the important body parts...belly button, boobies, pee-pee. Really, I'm not kidding, those are the body parts he has learned so far. That's my boy. 

Owen and Ryann taking a load off

Alden and Carly freezing...they thought they needed to share a blanket

What's with these serious faces anyways? And the Donald hairdo, Dex?

Chillin in Owen's ride before story hour

Alden pretty much never stops cuddling with Owen...loves him:)

This is probably the thousandth attempt at this picture...Alden kept watching the Fresh Beat Band behind me

Switching clothes:)...they were pretty proud of themselves

Ryann and I love to bake while the boys are asleep...here she is showing off her finished product...Owen's birthday treats for school. Look at that face.

I love my not-so-new job!!!!!