Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What a day....

This morning was Jacob's appointment at the behavioral specialist.  This doctor came very highly recommended, and we were eager to hear what he had to say.  Of course, first we had to get there, which proved to be a very challenging prospect this morning.  In fact, I'm thankful the hospital had valet parking (same price as the ramp!), because it enabled us to get to the appointment only a few minutes late and not risk missing it completely at the 15 minute late mark.  Once we got past that obstacle, we ended up having a very good morning.

The doctor was wonderful.  He asked a lot of questions, listened to our answers, took a ton of notes, and seemed to genuinely process all that we were telling him.  Jacob played contentedly nearby, and periodically the doctor would ask Jacob something related to what we were telling him.  After an hour of Q&A, he turned his attention to Jacob.  They went through a bunch of tests--worksheet-type activities where he had to duplicate simple drawings or choose exact matches to a certain picture or series of letters.  They did some simple listening comprehension, too.  Jacob did really well.  He was attentive and well-behaved. 

We knew that we weren't going to get answers today (our follow-up is already scheduled in three weeks), but his initial feedback was promising.  Even though we've been hearing a lot of talk about ADHD and Asperger's over the past 6+ months, he doesn't think either of those things capture what is going on with Jacob.  At the very least he's got a quirky personality that manifests itself in being very particular about a few things, like what he's wearing or what he wants to be doing.  But hearing that the two scariest things don't seem to be an issue felt freeing, to some degree.  There's hope he might outgrow this, or that there might be some reasonable things to do to help him through it.  And hopefully when we go back he'll have some techniques to manage the challenges.  We worry most about his performance in school, since he's so scattered and unfocused there.  Home is challenging and a bit more physical, but I think we can manage those issues if we know school is going okay. 

Anyway, we'll see how it all turns out.  There are definite issues that need help, but it's nice to know that someone who specializes in these types of challenges is the one who will be helping us.  To know that this guy has probably seen almost everything, from severe autism to a simple case of ADHD, felt good, and he has such a strong ability to talk to patients and make them feel comfortable.  All of the people that we've talked to thus far don't have the same type of experience as him, so it felt great knowing that he was listening to our concerns and might actually have some real life experience to compare. 

After the appointment, we took Jacob back to school and took off on our own lunch date.  We ate a lunch full of gluten and headed in for a few hours or work.  Unfortunately, at the end of that lunch I found out that my friend, the one with the son who just beat leukemia, had been let go from her job at my office.  I was crushed, and then almost instantly angry.  It just seemed so awful that they held her job for 10 months and then fire her three weeks after she finally got back.  Much of the rest of the day was all of us expressing our annoyance.

At one point my friend sent me a message through Facebook mentioning that she forgot some of her breast pump parts in the refrigerator.  She asked me to grab them to keep them safe, and said she'd pick them up.  I did her one better, because her house is five minutes from mine and right down the road from where my car was for an oil change today.  So, once I had my car back, I stopped at her house.  I ended up staying for over an hour, hanging out with her, holding her baby boy, and marveling at how healthy little Roman is now, with his full head of blond hair and long eyelashes!  Such a miracle!  I got my baby fix and we were both able to vent about today's events, which I think was good for both of us.  I'm still not happy about it, but I have a feeling that considering what they've been through in the past year, this obstacle won't slow them down one bit.  Still, I will miss seeing her each day and I know that this friendship will take some work to maintain, but that will be worth it!

So, anyway, today was quite the eventful day.  This morning felt so good in contrast to this afternoon's bad news, but a little time with a friend made it all feel a little better.   I'm exhausted, though, so off to bed I go! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Time Keeps on Slippin'

Today my brother turns 40 years old.  That doesn't really seem possible, quite frankly.  And yet, here we are.  He's 40, I'm 35, and we both have spouses, mortgages, and two kids.  Time just sort of keeps moving, doesn't it? 

Today also marks the 15th anniversary of my grandfather's death.  He'd had an aortic aneurysm ready to burst for a while, but was not healthy enough for surgery, so it was just a waiting game.  And one late April day in 1999, it went.  It was the end of an era, for sure, because he was such a huge part of the family.  He hadn't been well in his later years, but he was still up for a good card game and great conversations.  We all miss him.  I wish Craig would have had a chance to meet him (and no doubt debate him), and I would have loved for him to see my kids.  He'd have gotten a kick out of them.  On the bright side, some of his best traits have showed up in my dad, so there's still a little piece of him sticking around!

Anyway, when he died, I was a junior in college.  I came home for a long weekend, and it ended up being a really special weekend with my entire family.  We did a lot of great reminiscing and made the time at the funeral home as good as it could have been.  In addition, it happened to be Kentucky Derby weekend, which was appropriate given all of the time my grandpa spent at OTB.  He loved horse racing, and it felt just right to be watching the Derby in between funeral home sessions.

I was 20 years old at the time, and my brother had just turned 25.  And now here we are 15 years later, all grown up.  The weird thing is that I still remember my dad's 40th birthday pretty vividly.  I was 10 years old at the time.  He had a pretty big party at our house, complete with over the hill gifts and an inappropriate cake.  Of course, he seemed older at the time than my brother seems now, but everything is relative, I guess.  Then again, my dad had a 14 year old and a 10 year old, whereas my brother's kids are 5 and 2, so I guess that could have an impact, too.  But it just seems crazy that I remember my dad turning 40, and now it's my brother's turn 25 years later.  Yes, a lot of time has passed, but how is it possible we're that old?!

And you know, I know all too well that one day I'm going to wake up and it'll be another 15 years down the road.  My boys will be all grown up and I won't be that many years behind where my parents are now.  It's crazy to think about it.  That's why I try to savor every day, though it's hard amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.  But I try.  And right now, that's about all I can do.

Monday, April 28, 2014

News & Notes, Slacker Mom Edition

I feel like such a slacker here lately.  Part of the issue is that my work computer no longer likes the USB cable I use with my camera, so it's a bit of a pain to pull recent pictures onto that computer like I used to do during my lunch break, which would set the stage for a post to be written.  But part of it is that I'm just preoccupied with other things in the evenings--work, bill paying/mail reading, cleaning up, general randomness online, or, like last night, trying to get Carter to fall asleep for over an hour.  This week in particular I knew I had a couple pictures to share but I just haven't gotten around to getting my camera out to pull those pictures on to my laptop.  Maybe by the time I finish this post!

We had a pretty low key weekend, I guess.  Craig had to go to Buffalo for a lacrosse game Saturday afternoon, and Carter took a marathon nap, during which I laid down to rest, and at some point Jacob joined me.  When I woke up for real at 5:30, Carter was still quiet but it turned out he was awake, and it took me a while to wake Jacob up.  We had some dinner and headed out to the mall to buy Jacob some summer clothes.  He mostly needed some dress stuff for church.  We got that done, listened to a little of Craig's game, and then both boys went to bed.

Sunday we had church and a trip to Wegmans, then had some lunch and waited for Craig to come home.  Carter took another long nap and woke up just in time for all of us to go with Craig to an appearance he had set up for a fundraiser for CURE Childhood Cancer Association, which has greatly benefitted two of my friends whose kids have gone through cancer.  We stayed at the fundraiser for a bit before making a quick stop at the mall and moving along to dinner at our favorite go-to restaurant these days, Pizzeria Uno.  They do a great job with gluten-free pizza, so it's always a favorite!  Jacob ate his entire full-sized (but thin crust) pizza!  Carter had a pizza himself and ate 2-1/2 small pieces...not bad!

Anyway, back to the grind for our first full week in a while.  However, we do have a half day on Wednesday because we have Jacob's appointment at the Behavioral Specialist.  We've been working on this for a while so it will be good to finally get the opinion of someone who specializes in things like Jacob has been dealing with.  I'm hoping to have another post about that visit--ideally a pre-visit pondering--but we'll see if I can carve out time for that.  We'll definitely have a lot of questions for them.  We want some tips for managing his inattention at school, and for managing his defiance at home.  Sometimes we swear he's just overexcited at the thought of playing with Craig and that's what prompts a lot of his outbursts.  We'll have two hours of evaluation and a follow-up for just Craig and me in a few weeks.

Last week Jacob and I finally got around to coloring Easter eggs!  I know, a little late, but if they're not going to get hidden anyway, does it matter when we do them?  We still had fun and we've been enjoying the hardboiled eggs nonetheless.  I made egg salad, which I've been enjoying, and even Jacob likes the eggs.  Using the dye made me a little nervous, but we ended up pretty much unscathed.
Ready to go!

Being silly!

I gave Carter some plastic eggs to play with, and they all ended up on the floor...multiple times!
We experimented with many different combinations, and we liked the end results!
Finished product!
We had a great time...and maybe next year we'll do it on time!

In case you were unaware, cancer sucks.  I've watched the roller coaster over the past 24 hours or so with friends of mine.  Last night was the St. Baldrick's fundraiser here in Rochester, and numerous people shaved their heads in honor of my friends' daughter, Amanda.  She's currently undergoing a new treatment--possibly the first incidence of it in the US for her cancer--and she's showing signs of progress, even if it is destroying her immune system in the meantime.  But she had a miraculous recovery of her immunity on Friday, which allowed her to come home from the hospital way ahead of schedule and be able to attend the event for a bit.  Her crew raised over $10,000!  My friend Darcy also spoke at the event about her son Roman, who's doing fantastically in full remission!  She was so pumped up this morning when I talked to her about the event--about being able to speak at it, about being able to catch up with my friends, about her emotions seeing the other people there--and it warmed my heart to see her happy ending in full force.  Then as I was eating my lunch this afternoon, I noticed something pop up in my Facebook feed that felt like a punch to the gut.  My parents' good friend passed away after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.  She had been doing well up until the last couple months, and went downhill fairly quickly.  She was also the grandmother of Nora, who's made a couple appearances here over the years.  She's a few months older than Jacob and lives down the street from my parents.  Jacob has been quite taken with her at times.  When I held her brother Kurt, Jacob was not happy...which gave us our first official insight into how he'd be as a brother.  Sigh.  My heart breaks for the family, because losing their mom and grandma will leave a huge hole, but it's nice to know she's at peace and rejoicing in Heaven.  She will be dearly missed by a lot of people on earth, including my parents. 

Jacob's lacrosse practices started last week, and baseball is coming up this week.  We're going to be pretty stinkin' busy from now until at least mid-June.  Both sports are multiple times per week, though some overlap, so things are going to get a little hairy for a bit.  Jacob seems to be coming back around to baseball, though, which is good.  He hadn't been wanting to do it, but perhaps he has finally remembered he's pretty good at it. 

Carter is pretty entertaining these days.  He says "ball" a lot, often quite randomly and very seriously.  He's been making some cute noises that sound like talking but aren't, and my favorite recent trick of his is to flap his lips with his finger to make noise.  If you do it in front of him, he will respond by doing it himself.  He's only partly successful, but I can't decide what is cuter--when he does it and it works, or when he sort of misses the mark but looks so cute trying!  He's taking a lot of steps these days, but he's still not getting into a standing position on his own, so his practice is still only when we help him.  But his standing is getting much stronger and while he does still throw himself at you a lot, he can walk straight up for a handful of steps.  Hopefully he'll be walking soon so I can give my arms a break!  That will also push me to get Jacob new booster seats so Carter can have his car seats!

These days we're mostly just waiting for spring to get things going.  We're in the midst of a couple weeks of cool weather in the 50s.  When the sun is out it is pleasant but still a bit cool, but when it's not, it feels cold and miserable.  We're in for rain for the next few days, and I'm really starting to wonder if all of this cold weather is going to stunt all of the plants that were just on the verge of blooming when we had a couple lovely days in the 60s around Easter.  The forsythias seem to be trying so hard to come out, but I haven't seen a bushy one yet because it's been so chilly.  Hopefully soon, because we could all use some outside time!

I think those are the big highlights for now.  Hopefully more on Jacob's appointment soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Weekend, Part Two

As I mentioned in my last post, normally we just stick around Buffalo from Friday through Sunday on Easter weekend, but this year we had to come home early because of the lacrosse game on Saturday.  So, instead of doing church with my parents and going to their Easter breakfast and Easter egg hunt (which, admittedly, would all have been a little challenging with the gluten-free issue--although I had a plan if we did go), we opted to stick around Rochester for the morning and go to our own church.  We haven't gone to our church on Easter in years, possibly since 2008 if I recall correctly.  We had to rush a bit to get ready because it was 45 minutes earlier than our usual Sunday service, but even with some Easter basket/egg hunting, we were only a few minutes late.  

When Jacob woke up he was excited to look for his Easter basket.  The Easter Bunny had also hidden 10 eggs for him to find.  Let me tell you, it was a bit of a challenge to find places where they could be somewhat obvious so as not to take hours to find, but not to be totally easy either.  I have determined it will be a little better when there's two of them looking!  Jacob isn't a very good looker sometimes!  Still, with a little prompting at times, the hunt was a success and he was the proud owner of 10 eggs filled with jelly beans.
He found his first egg and started snacking right away.  Also to note in this picture is the egg hidden under the candle holder below the TV and my lovely $2 Easter egg garland that I made on top of the entertainment center.

He stumbled upon his basket (hidden behind the car and tunnel in the back left of the picture below) and seemed to like its contents--Frozen DVD, Clifford book, one of those flapping solar flowers, and assorted candy.  Notably missing was a chocolate bunny, which tend to not be gluten-free.  Turns out that Dove chocolate bunnies are okay, so I picked a couple of those up on clearance the other day and will keep them as rewards.  At least I know for next year!
He's busting into the chocolate coins already!
We rushed to get ready for church, and I tried so hard to get a picture of the boys looking cute in their outfits.  I failed.  This was as close as I got:

Carter would not sit still, and it was a challenge getting any good pictures of either of them for the rest of the time they had their nice clothes on.  But seriously...Jacob in a tie?  So cute.  Carter is wearing the same outfit that Jacob wore for his first Easter, though Jacob was about nine months old vs. 14 months.  The shirt was a little big on Jacob but fit Carter just right.

Carter's Easter basket was pretty simple, because I wasn't willing to go the candy route just yet.  I got him two books and a light up bouncy ball.  The one book is based on the "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" series and has the mouse finding Easter eggs all over his house (good for counting and colors), and the other is a religiously themed Easter book that tells the entire story of Holy Week (and its importance) in a really kid friendly way, which I loved. 

Church was a little crazy.  As I mentioned, we got there a couple minutes late, but fortunately the mass chaos I was expecting wasn't an issue.  We had an easy time getting a parking spot and seats in our usual family room.  They had cute little packets for the kids with stickers to make an Easter scene, a coloring book, and a couple other activities.  Jacob started doing the word find without me even noticing, and the first couple words he found were backwards and diagonal!  I was shocked!  As the service went on he had a bit of a meltdown because he didn't like his sticker arrangement and made a mistake on the word find.  He wanted another packet but I didn't want him to take one because there were still two more services.  In the end I noticed there was a packet opened but barely touched on an empty chair, and I told Jacob he could have that one at the end if no one came back to claim it.  That helped.  Otherwise, the music and message were nice and Carter was a little antsy but manageable.

We went home and I worked on preparing some food for our trip to Buffalo, and once that was ready to go, we headed out.  We stopped at Craig's Aunt Marie's on the way.  It used to be the main gathering place for the whole family, but that has waned a bit over the years as everyone has gone off to do their own things.  Still, we make it a point to go because we don't see them that often and we love hanging out with that branch of the family.  It also happened to make for a convenient lunch stop.  Jacob filled up on Jello (I know), and Carter ate his weight in ham.  As we got ready to leave, we did get one good group family shot for the day...

We went off to Craig's brother's house and had a day full of food and fun with his side of the family.  Jacob couldn't wait to see his cousins, and spend most of the day trying to convince everyone to play sports--and they did for quite a while since the weather was beautiful.  The food is always amazing, and I couldn't resist any of it.  Even with his restrictions, Jacob had plenty to eat.  I made cheesy potatoes and gluten-free cupcakes to add to the mix, and with the kielbasa, ham, and fruit, Jacob was pretty much good to go.

Carter didn't really get to nap much beyond our drive to Buffalo, and no matter what I tried he would not be rocked to sleep.  Unlike Jacob, he really needs to get to a terribly cranky place before he will fall asleep.  He doesn't like to be rocked very much, and if there's anything going on he wants to be there.  Instead, he was just clingy and a little cranky.  But cute nonetheless...

Before dessert, there was an Easter egg hunt for the kids.  Jacob's finding abilities were definitely challenged once again, but hopefully as he gets more experience, he'll get better.  I think it just doesn't occur to him that someone would both hiding an egg in certain spots.  Even though he can overthink everything in normal life, when it comes to looking for eggs, I think it's almost like he can't imagine someone putting that much thought into hiding an egg into a sneaky spot.  Or he just sees the big picture and can't focus on the least not someone else's details.  Still, he didn't do too badly...

In the meantime we all exchanged some gifts.  Mostly we just get a little something and some candy for the kids (our niece, nephews, and Craig's cousin's two girls).  Our kids got spoiled with one big toy each, plus some clothes and a couple little things.  Carter's big toy was a drum full of instruments!  It came with drumsticks, jingle bells, a tambourine, a shaker egg, a rattle, and the drum itself.  He loved it!

Shortly before we left, Carter finally fell asleep on Craig.  Angelic, isn't he?

The good news is that we had sleeping kids on the way home and they went down pretty easy once we got home.  The even better news was that Jacob had off on Monday, as well, so there wasn't a rush to get up that morning.  He was still awake bright and early, but at least we didn't have to rush around.  In fact, we didn't get Carter to daycare until around 10am!  We had a lazy morning otherwise and were planning on heading out to Strong Museum for the day around lunchtime.  We went to McDonald's for lunch, and then headed out to the museum.

Strategically I waited to take him until Monday because I figured not all schools would be off on Monday and it should be less busy that during the prime time of spring break.  The added bonus was that Craig ended up being off, so he could go, too.  Our first priority was to head upstairs to the new exhibit we hadn't seen, which was dedicated to games.  They already had a video game arcade section, but this new part added in exhibits on board games and other tabletop games, as well as hands-on opportunities to play bubble hockey, air hockey, foosball, dominoes, puzzles, and lots of other things.  I personally enjoyed attempting this giant Perplexus ball, where you need to turn a giant ball to move a tiny silver ball through a path full of obstacles. 

The boys obviously gravitated toward the bubble hockey, and even I got in on the games.  Oh, and did I mention that Jacob wanted to dress like a pirate?

Standing with the suit of armor representative of role playing games
Jacob wanted to wear pirate gear because he wanted to play on the one ship.  He liked ringing the bell on the ship, but this was the funnier moment, where Craig tried to recreate the movie Titanic on the front of the ship!

Jacob had fun making this giant move and talk...

...and made himself a king with a crown, robe, and throne.

He attempted to put on a little show for us, too.

We moved on to the Berenstain Bear room, where he and I had fun last time we were there.  He served Craig and I a variety of foods in the restaurant, and played in a couple other stations before we moved on, since we were starting to get a little short on time.

Along the way to the mini-Wegmans, we stopped to attempt pictures here--Spidey Style!
He's almost got it :)
We also stopped in the special exhibit that highlighted animation.  We didn't spend a lot of time here (let's just say that every other traveling exhibit in that same room that we've ever seen has been way better), but we did try to be foley artists (the people that make sound effects in movies).  It was hard!

At the mini Wegmans, Jacob gravitated right to the newest space in the store, the prepared foods section.  He put on his apron and started serving us...

I ordered chicken parm, mac and cheese, and veggies.  Craig had a pork chop and corn.
After getting served we did some shopping (mostly for gluten-free foods!), checked out, and started making our way toward the exit.  Along the way I relived my childhood in the Sesame Street section (which we almost skipped entirely...sniff) because they were showing the first episode of Sesame Street and it featured some of my favorite shorts! 

I also got Jacob to take a picture with this giant chair.  He's getting so much better at posing...finally!

Oh, and we did sit on the Sesame Street steps and I took our picture on the monitor :)

We stopped in one last room and played around a bit, but Jacob's favorite part of the day came when he and Craig played Xbox Kinect football. 

They played twice, for quite a while each time, and Jacob was loving it!  One of these days we'll probably have to get a video game system like this, but I'm not sure I want Jacob wanting to play it all the time!  He said it was his favorite part of the day.

Overall we had a good time.  We had a few moments trying to transition to other activities, but for the most part he was good and we ended up having a good time...and without all the crowds I was expecting!  He was exhausted and fell asleep on the way home, which made for a challenging evening, but it was still nice to give Jacob a day to be the center of attention like the old days.

That brought our crazy long weekend to an end, and what a weekend it was.  We're back in the groove now, just in time for another weekend.  Thank goodness for four-day weeks!  Not too much planned for the weekend, but lacrosse did start this week so our quiet weekends are rapidly coming to an end.  Now if spring would just get here and stay here, that would be great...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Weekend, Part One

We had quite the crazy week surrounding Easter.  From the unexpected trip to Buffalo for the funeral on Wednesday, to two more trips back and forth and a lot of stuff in between, to a Monday off for Jacob, it was a whirlwind week.  I guess I figured we might as well make the most of our time, if nothing else!

Friday morning I got the kids packed up and headed out to my parents' house.  We got to hang out and enjoy the weather for a bit before heading over to my aunt and uncle's house for our traditional Good Friday dinner, prunes and noodles.  I brought PB&J for Jacob, strawberries with yogurt dip to share, and made gluten-free rice krispie treats for dessert.  It was great to hang out with my family and eat my fill of delicious food!

We headed out to church after that.  The kids were pretty good for most of the service.  In fact, Jacob was great and spent much of the service asking my mom questions about what he was seeing and hearing.  The questions were generally really good ones, and they continued in the car on the way home.  Answering questions about Jesus' death is not easy, but hopefully he took in the important stuff.  Carter got very antsy right at the end of the service--during the most dramatic part, of course--and while it was sort of embarrassing, a lot of people commented that it was appropriate with him crying right when Jesus died (the service did a progression of the various moments of Jesus' death).  Oh, well.  I got to see my friend Heather for a few minutes, and then we got a couple very sleepy boys back to the house to go to bed.

Saturday morning Jacob and I went to the Aquarium of Niagara, where we have a membership, for their SEAster Egg Hunt.  We've never done it before but it sounded fun.  They give you a sheet of paper when you come in, and each exhibit is numbered.  You look for Easter eggs in each exhibit and write down how many there are.  There were 29 exhibits, I think.  We had fun looking and counting in each exhibit, and it was fun to see how they hid them.  Some were huge and some were small.  Some were floating, some were buried in the sand, some were nestled in the rock formations, and some exhibits didn't have any!  Since there will most likely be a lot of first place ties, they do a draw and each of three age groups would have three winners.  We haven't heard anything so I assume we didn't win, but it was really fun and Jacob was great.  Here are some photo highlights:

Outside the aquarium

This was a life-size recreation of a prehistoric fish's mouth.  Jacob was pretty obsessed with its size!

This fish was so big and I liked his coloring.  Notice the egg at the bottom of the picture!

Jacob was checking out some of the items they had out for kids to touch.  He was a little creeped out by the underside of that starfish!

The color of that starfish was so pretty!

I love saltwater tanks.  They're so bright and vivid!

Clownfish will never be the same after Finding Nemo.  Not sure what's cooler, the fish itself, or its obsession with the sea anemone!

This dude was a little creepy, but I sort of liked how he appeared to be smiling!

Jacob actually consented to getting his picture with the SEAster Bunny!  He got rewarded with a Tootsie Roll Pop!

We got to see the Sea Lion show before we left, and I caught a shot of the legs of the trainer when he was swimming with the one sea lion.  Their sea lions are trained really well and put the lazy ones in Rochester to shame!

We checked out the penguins multiple times, though they were pretty low key.  However, can you spot all three eggs in their enclosure?

Jacob has been big into penguins since he got his stuffed Emperor penguin on Valentine's Day, the one we secretly bought in Pittsburgh last Labor Day weekend but didn't give to him because he was so naughty.  I figured he might like his picture with the Emperor Penguin sign.

I took this picture outside on our way out to the car, after we stopped for another viewing of the seals.  Is it just me or does he look all five-going-on-fifteen here?
After the aquarium, a nap on the way home, and some lunch, we had a little time to play outside before heading home.  Normally we'd stay right through Easter, but we had a big night ahead.  Jacob's lacrosse team was playing during halftime of the Knighthawks game!  And in case you hadn't assumed it, Craig was back in Rochester this whole time working.  Thankfully Craig brought Jacob's equipment to the arena, which was super helpful since it's usually challenging enough just getting two kids and a backpack to the games!  The extra couple pounds Carter appears to have (finally) put on seem to have helped him hit a threshold where carting him around in the Bjorn is no longer comfortable.  It's still better than holding him in my arms all night, I suppose, but I am looking forward to the walking era.  We're up to three or four steps at a time right now, but we're still a long way from done!  Anyway, getting there is always a bit chaotic, but we were there in time for the pregame tunnel team, where Jacob and his teammates got to welcome the teams onto the floor.
Waiting to run out pregame!
We had to get his equipment right after, and headed down with 10 minutes left in the second quarter to get ready. 
Ready to go!
The coach changed his pinnie right before they went out because there were only a few kids his age, and while the bigger kids played some form of a game, Jacob and the other kids in white just sort of scooped up loose balls and took shots.
That's Jacob in the middle in the white jersey and orange socks and shorts.
He was so funny because he kept trying to wait until the goalie paid attention to him, so he could take a real shot and risk it being stopped, rather than just shooting at half an open net.  Only Jacob.  Here's video of one of his shots--and yes, he scored a ton!

It was a late enough night as it was, so we left at the end of the third quarter to get home and get some sleep before an early Easter morning.  I had a late night getting a lot of things ready, but I wanted to be ready for another busy day!

Part Two coming soon...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt!

Last weekend we went to an Easter Egg Hunt a couple towns over.  We'd never done a larger scale one like this.  We had the time and the weather was pleasant, so off we went.  I had no idea how it would be but figured it was worth a try. 

It took us a while to get out of the house but we got there just in time.  However, the hunt area was on a bit of a hill and a huge crowd was lined up at the bottom of the hill.  We saw some people lined up further up on the hill, so we headed there to get a bird's eye view.  It just seemed like everyone was waiting, so we stayed there, tried to listen to someone on a megaphone giving a few instructions, and waited for the signal. 

Ready to go!
I gave Jacob a few instructions to be nice to other kids and that was about it.  He was in a good mood and was very cooperative, so I was hopeful he wouldn't end up discouraged by something.  I remember plenty of Easter Egg hunts that didn't go the way I wanted when I was a kid, so I was nervous.

When the horn blew, it took a couple extra prods to get Jacob out on the hunt...but because of our place, he got a head start on a the mass of kids at the bottom of the hill.  I felt a little bad about that, but that's just how it worked out.  In the end the whole thing was over in less than two minutes, I think!
Right at the beginning...he's right in the middle

Now you can see the mass of kids heading up the hill from the left...
He ended up with maybe 10 eggs.  I felt a little bad for the little kids that only had a couple.  I asked Jacob if he would be okay with giving eggs to any kids that looked extra sad, and he said yes, but in the end we didn't see any kids that were miserable, so he kept his eggs. 

Before we headed out, we went to get a picture with the Easter Bunny.  Jacob, by the way, knows that these kinds of bunnies are just like mascots--costumes with people inside.  Feels a little sad that there isn't more mystery, but he still does believe in the "real" Easter Bunny, so that's cool.
He was surprisingly cooperative smiling for this picture!
On the way down to the bunny, we walked past signs that weren't visible among the throngs of people when we got there....signs with age groupings.  And no, Jacob was not in the right age grouping.  Darn it.  Maybe he could pass for a tall four year old?  Ugh.  I felt really bad about that, but I blame that on bad setup by the planners.  They should have had greeters or something, or shooed us out of our spot, or moved him over when they saw him.  Something!  I'm sure we weren't the only ones, but I felt bad anyway.

Of course, when we got to the car and Jacob opened his eggs, I didn't feel as bad.  He ended up with a few googly eye stickers, one jelly bracelet, a little top, one random piece of candy and three Now and Laters.  Those little kids could not have eaten those Now and Laters anyway, so they weren't missing much with those.  Jacob was a little disappointed with the haul, even though it was all gluten-free, which had been our initial worry. 

Still, he seemed to have fun and I'm glad we gave it a shot.  It was a nice excuse to enjoy some pleasant weather, anyway.  At least we know better in case we ever go back! 

Tomorrow we're going to try to go to the SEAster Egg Hunt at the Niagara Falls Aquarium, where we're members (for the next month or so, thanks to a Groupon from last year).  Apparently the eggs are in the exhibits and you have to mark them off.  They're doing prizes and stuff, so I'm not entirely sure how it's all going to work, but it sounds like it might be fun and it's a good excuse to use our membership (which was mostly purchased for the reciprocal with our zoo).  It's just one more activity in the midst of a busy week, but we might as well cram them in while we can!  Sports start up again this week and all the fun will be over, so to speak.

I probably won't get a chance to post before Sunday, so best wishes for a Happy Easter!  Hopefully I'll have a few cute pictures to share soon!