Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aunt Evie's Birthday

My youngest sister, Evie, turned 22 on November 13. We celebrated at a Hibachi-style Japanese restaurant called Ooka. It was a great night. Happy Birthday, Seester!!

From left: Matt, me, my youngest sis Evie, my middle sis, Kristy, and her boyfriend, Mark

Aquarium of the Pacific

On Veteran's Day, we went the Aquarium of the Pacific. Gavin knows how to sign "fish," so I anticipated his little arm getting tired from signing "fish" so much throughout the day. We had so much fun! I had to take most of the pictures from behind, so there are a lot of back-of-head shots, but I still got some cute ones!

Gavin was ready with the keys and his bag!

An appropriate snack of Goldfish Crackers

Signing "fish"

Signing "water"

He looks so stocky in this picture - my little football player!

He liked the otters

Getting a little sleepy

We ended our day with delicious meals from Bubba Gump Shrimp. It was such a fun day and we look forward to going back again!

Tell Mama, Please

Gavin has learned how to say “please” using both sign language and orally. Right around Halloween, he was asking for a snack and I wanted him to say "please." I was trying to encourage two-word phrases like his speech pathologist had requested, but Gavin just kept saying “please,” and rubbing his little hand on his chest and belly to sign it as well. So I said, “tell Mama please” hoping to prompt him into using the two-word phrase. Then, he came up to me and rubbed his little hand on my belly and said, “pease!” I guess that's how he tells Mama. Ha ha!

First Visit to the Dentist

This one comes a little out of order, because I almost forgot about it! Gavin had his first visit to the dentist, Dr. Lee, on October 7. Of course, he screamed the entire time Dr. Lee was trying to look in his mouth, but overall, it was a good first visit. Gavin's gums and teeth are healthy and he said we should continue brushing like we are doing, but we can begin using kid's toothpaste instead of just water. We have been using toothpaste since then and Gavin continues to do pretty well with teeth brushing. Dr. Lee was very nice and made me feel very comfortable. He said Gavin is a little late with his teeth because they generally like to see eight teeth by the time they are his age and he still only had four. He said that if Gavin didn't have more by the time he is 2 1/2, they would have to do surgery to extract the teeth! I was doing some major praying that his teeth would pop through before then, because the last thing a cleft child needs is another mouth surgery! (Fast forward: Another tooth popped through shortly thereafter and just this week at 21 months, he got two more! Phew!)

At the end of the visit, Dr. Lee gave Gavin a little blue teddy bear with an "I Heart My Dentist" shirt on along with some other goodies. We were then told that he was set for a year and the Dr. Lee would see him again at when he is 2 1/2. Let's hope some more teeth pop through before then!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Halloween 2010

I had bought Gavin the most adorable lion costume for Halloween this year. It was complete with a little mane to go around his face and "paws" to wear on his hands. It was SO CUTE!! This is what it looked like:

I couldn't wait until Halloween for him to sport it. Well, the day before Halloween a friend of mine invited us over to her apartment complex where they were having a costume contest for kids. I attempted to put Gavin in his costume and he completely freaked out. He was screaming in terror when I even got it near him. At first, I started to panic and felt like Halloween would be ruined for us this year, but then, I could almost hear my mom's voice saying, "Don't force him to wear something he's uncomfortable in, even if he just wears pajamas as a costume, it will be okay. You want him to be comfortable." Thanks, Mom, I think her words of wisdom will continue to be with me forever.

So we skipped the party and went shopping for a new costume instead. We headed over to Old Navy with Aunt Evie and found an adorable dragon costume. The tail even wagged when Gavin walked! He actually liked the costume because it was just a jacket and pants and I loved it because it was comfy and warm for him on our cold Halloween night. He liked it so much that he didn't want to take it off, so I just carried him up to the register and set him on the counter to be rung-up. Even better--because it was the day before Halloween, the costume was marked down from about $30 to $5! I love an adorable bargain!!!

We spent Halloween in Canyon Lake since many of our friends live there and the community really goes all out for the holidays. We had a blast and Gavin had a great time visiting with the other kids. I even had one person ask to take Gavin's picture because he looked so cute. I guess everything worked out for the best in the end.

Craniofacial Team Visit

We went for another craniofacial team visit on October 25. This time we only met with the speech pathologist, Heather. She had requested to see him six months from his last visit to ensure that his speech was continuing to develop appropriately. Of course, we waited for what seemed like the usual several hours before we got to see her. So, Matt and Gavin passed the time by making paper airplanes and running around the room.

Paper airplanes

Listening at the door

Digging through Mama's purse

When Heather came in, I was prepared with his flash cards in tow to show her just how brilliant my little Gavin is. Unfortunately, he wasn't really interested in showing her anything. It seems like any time someone remotely resembling a doctor gets near him, he freaks out (I definitely don't blame him, after all he's been through already). So, she asked us a few questions and determined that he should be saying two-word phrases, such as "hi doggie" or "dada work." Now, I thought she was going to rave about how incredibly intelligent and advanced he is, so it wasn't quite the response I had been anticipating. However, I felt better after talking to a few friends because they agreed that it seemed odd that Heather said that most 18-month-olds are using two-word phrases regularly. In any case, we took her advice and began working on two-word phrases shortly after the appointment.

Pumpkin Time!

On October 23, we took Gavin to Tom's Farms for the second time to have a fun-filled family day and to select our Halloween pumpkins. After enjoying some good food at the sandwich shop, we headed over to the carousel. I thought Gavin would want to ride on a horse this time by himself -- but I was wrong! Once again, he panicked when I tried to put him on one of the stationary horses and clung to me like a little monkey. So, we ended up on a bench again just like last time.

From there, we headed over to the train and went for a short ride through the farm, which Gavin loved. We tried to get a family shot, but Gavin wasn't really cooperating.

From there, Matt and Gavin ventured into the petting zoo, but Gav wasn't so sure about some of the aggressive little animals. He seemed to enjoy watching them, but most of the time stayed close to Daddy. I was especially fond of the afro-haired ducks, which you can see in the background, I just think they are the cutest things!

Next, Gavin went for a pony ride. He was a little apprehensive at first, but I knew he'd warm up because he had enjoyed it a few months ago when we were here. And I was right -- it just took a few steps and Gavin realized that he really likes pony rides. He looked so cute on top of the little horse -- with his shades on, waving at the crowd -- he's such a cool little guy.

Finally, it was time to choose our pumpkins. We headed over to the pumpkin patch and began our search. Unfortunately, the first one Gavin selected was a bit too large...

Then he decided that he needed to take off his sunglasses so he could really get a good look at all the pumpkins.

Ah, yes, that one is a much more practical size.

With our pumpkins selected, it was time to head home, but not before Gavin got to play with the gravel! He loved the way it felt in his hands.

After all that time spent looking for just the right pumpkins, we didn't even end up carving them! We just ran out of time. Oh, the shame....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

19 Months Old

My sweet Gav,

At 19 months, you are such a little man! It seems like overnight you began saying so many new words and running around like the rambunctious little toddler you are! You love spending your days with Daddy and your nights with Mommy just as much as we love our time with you. And my mom (your Grandma in Heaven) was absolutely right - as you begin each new stage, I miss the stage that has passed, but I completely love the new stage you begin. Here are some new things about you at 19 months:
  • You have been running for over a month and you now run all over the place!
  • One of your new words is "bay-ball" (baseball), and you make the cutest little Popeye mouth when you say it. Here is a video clip:

  • You continue to love bath time and sometimes are difficult to get out when it's over.

  • You continue to love your time outside and would probably stay outside all day if we let you.

  • You received another haircut from Aunt Evie and discovered the water bottle and had a blast spraying it all over the house and yourself.

  • You are fascinated by the camera and want to see the "baby" on the viewer every time I take it out. This makes it exceptionally difficult to take your picture - sometimes you will chase me around to see the pictures!

  • You love your sunglasses and wanted them on one day before a car show and left them on for several hours until you decided it was no longer bright enough to require them.

  • You love Grandpa C's cat, Brat, because she lets you pet her as long as you're gentle.

  • Unlike your mom, you are fascinated by lizards and you and Daddy caught a baby one and made a little home for it so you could study it for awhile. (You and I later released it back into the backyard because it wouldn't have survived long in captivity.)

  • You love your swing and often ask to go on the "weee."
  • You continue to be a picky eater and sometimes I have to go through crazy theatrics to get you to eat certain things.

  • I decided that you were ready for flashcards and bought you Picture Words and More Picture Words. When I called the school supply store, the clerk told me that they had them available and they were for ages 5 and 6 and up. I told him that was perfect because you were a very advanced 18 1/2 month old! Here is a video clip of you going through some of the cards about a week after having them:

I hope I haven't missed anything major! You continue to grow so quickly and make me smile everyday. I love you to pieces and adore being your mommy! Thank you for making being your parent the most wonderful job in the world!

I love you, Gav!!

18 Month Pics

Well, my last update wasn't quite as productive as planned. I only got midway through October, so I am now about two-and-a-half months behind! I am going to continue to try to get caught up this week.

Gavin had his 18-month pics taken at JCPenney's near the beginning of October. They all came out so cute! He is so incredibly adorable and continues to be the sunshine in our lives! Here are a few of my favorites!