Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grateful Hearts

Top 10 Things the Bennetts are Grateful for this Thanksgiving

1. NO one throwing up! (If you need to know why we're specifically grateful for this, look here). 

2. A ridiculously inquisitive little boy, who just wants to know how everything works.

3. Living somewhere warm enough the snowmen shirts almost always go with shorts.

4.Multitasking mamas (toddler in arm, backpack on back, older child holding hand, marching down the hiking trail . In the pic, daddy is holding our "other child," our Canon SLR camera - but rest assured, we quickly did some switching around!)

5. NOT being in the hospital! (We spent Sierra's first Christmas (and the 4 days before and 5 days after) as well as all but one holiday between Valentine's Day and Labor Day of Bodie's first year in the hospital!)

6. An independent little boy who just wants "WALKING"

7. Enough said. ADORABLE face.

8. Brand spanking new Christmas jammies (Bennett family tradition: new Christmas jammies and watching A Christmas Story on Thanksgiving night - hello holidays!).

9. 2 HAPPY AND HEALTHY kiddos!

10. A loving God who made this beautiful creation for us to enjoy!
(all these hiking pics were taken in palm Springs - who knew there was this much beauty here???)

Happy Thankgiving from our family to yours!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November already???

Ok world, here I am...
I have been meaning to update the blog for a couple of weeks now, but oh my, our lives have been SO busy! Good busy - I suppose it's that time of year, right? But definitely busy! Here's a little of what we've been up to...

Bodie had his regular appointment with his cardiologist yesterday and got a great report! YAY! HUGE sigh of relief for me! He has been having frequent episodes of tachycardia ever since the crazy fever/full body rash virus that landed him in the hospital in August. He used to have episodes of EAT as an infant, and had been on Propranalol (a beta blocker designed to bring his heartrate down) for it, but had been off the Propranalol for almost 9 months without any real issue before August. Since then, he's had 8 episodes that we know of (I know because he gets blue and really panty - and then I can confirm by putting my ear against his chest and listening, or just putting him on pulse ox). He was put back on Propranalol in August, but a very low dose. It was upped a tiny bit in September when we realized he was having another episode. It definitely helped with the duration of the episodes (now, instead of lasting a day and a half, they're just a few hours at most), but didn't seem to help with the frequency. You can imagine a heart that's used to beating at 90-100 beats a minute is not going to like being repeatedly thrown into 160-180 beats a minute. I was really concerned his heart function took a hit because of it. But thank God, that wasn't the case!!! His function looked better than it did in August and he has no concerning regurgitation in any of his valves. His cardiologist is upping his Propranalol by a fair amount to hopefully get the EAT under control, but other than that had no concerns! We're still on track for a Summer 2013 (!!!) Fontan, unless Bodie has other plans. The only other interesting note was that Bodie was so squirmy during the echo, the echo tech literally had to do part of the echo with Bodie standing up trying to reach the animals hanging off the ceiling! We were totally cracking up at him...

Other than that, we've been up to...

Talking a mile a minute can this kid TALK. He's stringing together 2 word sentences more and more, which is really fun. The other day, he pointed at this picture (hanging on our wall)
and said "Baby Cry" (like that's not the understatement of the century, right?) And...he can now say his own name! Click on this video to see him in action:

He also figured out how to unlock all of our babylocks in the kitchen cabinets. We're not talking he pulled with brute force and got the cabinets open (which is what Sierra finally did at 3). We're talking the stinking kid watched me do it, reached his little arm up and over the top of the cabinet, depressed the child safety latch and opened the cabinet. I was dumbfounded. I SO have my work cut out for me with this kid!

We've been doing more homeschooling with Sierra on the days she's not at school and she's really getting into it. We've been working really hard on her letters, which, let's just say, needed some serious work a few weeks ago. This is after only a couple of weeks of working hard on them:
Can you say I am one PROUD mama???

She's also started taking pics with my camera. I know, I am nutso to let my 4-year old anywhere near my beloved Canon SLR. But she's having fun. She took this pic of Bodie and I in bed the other morning - I just love Bodie's expression. He knows this whole sissy-getting-her-hands-on-the-camera thing is not going to end well. Ha.

In Bodie milestone news, he is LOVING the TWISP program and absolutely flourishing. Most days he can't even be bothered to say "bye bye" to me and give me a hug or kiss because he's already into playing with the cars and trucks. SO grateful for the program.

Oh, and he tried his first juice box last weekend. Not because I'm a good mom and have been denying him juice, but because Sierra's really never been much of a juice drinker, so we just don't have it around the house. Not that you can tell from this pic, but he totally dug it. Honest!

Crafts, Crafts and More Crafts
In conjunction with her school's letter of the week, we've been working on letter crafts at home. I posted about this on Facebook, but for those of you who have preschoolers, DLTK Teach is THE BEST craft site I've found. The letter curriculum is fantastic! The projects are super easy and fun. Last week, for the letter H we made a Habitat - Bodie painted the sky and Sierra painted the forest walls and floor:
(Please ignore Bodie's pink shirt - it's Sierra's "paint shirt" and she didn't want to wear it - since I knew he'd be painting, I figured why ruin another shirt when he could just wear hers?).

This week, for the letter I, we made an Igloo out of a styrafoam cup and plate, marshmallows and white frosting.
(I'll let you guess whose is whose. ;-))

Wow, I cannot believe Christmas is already around the corner! This year, we're planning on doing a RACK Advent Calendar (25 days of Random Acts of Christmas Kindness). I'm super excited to do it and can't wait to show Sierra what Christmas is all about. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here's a sneak peak at our family Christmas pic (pretty good for a camera set on auto-timer since we couldn't find a neighbor home to help us out! Ha!)


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Happenings

Happy Halloween!

We had a great Halloween weekend! Dusk carved pumpkins with the kids on Saturday, we went to a fun Harvest Party with our new church on Sunday and then both kids trick or treated with Bodie's new TWISSP class on Monday morning - all 20 or so kids in the program went to the local businesses in the complex where the therapy center is located. It was one of the neatest experiences - the merchants were SO excited (apparently, this is the second or third year they've done it and everyone really looks forward to it). Have to say it was one of the cutest things I've seen in a long time.

(The funniest moment was probably when they got to a police supplier of some sort (lots of shirts, hats, equipment, etc. inside and police cars outside - Bodie ran in and started pointing and yelling "BAD GUY!" at everything in sight. It was fairly embarassing as I was trying to explain to him that no, police officers were the "Good guys" (not sure where he got the good guy/bad guy concept from, honestly) - but everyone got a kick out of it!)

Then, we stopped by Sierra's school to check out all of her little friends in their costumes - so adorable. And Dusk took the kids out trick or treating on Monday night. Dusk said Bodie did great - totally got the concept of walking up to the houses, putting the candy in his little basket and then saying "tank ooh". Apparently, he was quite the charmer. A far cry from last year, when we held him the whole time. :-)

Here's some pics of the festivities...
As you can see, Bodie was a HUGE fan of the whole pumpkin carving process...Ha...
Hey look - another picture of Bodie crying! Gotta love the lower lip pout - this kid, I tell ya (not sure exactly why he was losing his cookies here - I think probably because we weren't doing EXACTLY what he wanted to be doing at that moment in time - as an aside, I often find myself thinking that when Bodie was a newborn and I leaned over his isolette and told him he was going to have fight REALLY hard, perhaps I should have specified that I was referring to his heart defect and not everyone and everything!)...
 The kids posing with their pumpkins...
  Sierra was adorable as a Cal Poly cheerleader...
 Sierra with her bestie, Sofia (who's moving to South Carolina next month - but we're NOT talking about that!!!)
 Sierra with our favorite Teacher Juju, who has been an instrumental part of our lives since Sierra started at DRCCC at 4 months old - we love Juju!!!
  The kids, right before heading out to go Trick or Treating with Daddy!