Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Me Too

On a happier note Alyce did something new and fun today.  I was talking to Mom via the telephone today when Alyce wanted to say hi.  Mom put the phone on speaker and I got to have a conversation with Alyce.  Typically these conversations center around me asking Alyce questions and her responding with yes, yeahpuh, or uh-huh.  Occasionally I will get a one or two word response.  Today was different because Alyce expressed agreement.  I was talking to Alyce about her breakfast and what she ate.  Her response of Fruit Loops was common enough.  I responded to her that I liked Fruit Loops and she replied "me too".  I was kind of awestruck / dumbfounded.  Here was my little girl agreeing with me. 

More and more it seems like the lights are turning on up there and she is turning into a little person and no longer is a toddler.  I look forward to those times where she asks questions about how or why something is or works and I can explain to her.  I know that it will eventually get kind of tiresome but it will be cool to hand down my knowledge to the next generation.

Tomorrow is the Surgery

Tomorrow we are bringing Alyce to the hospital for her eye surgery.  This surgery won't be as traumatic as the last two however there is one big difference this time around, Alyce is 2 1/2.  With her last surgery it was really harder on Mom and I than Alyce as she couldn't really comprehend what was going on.  Now that Alyce is 2 1/2 instead of 1 she has emotions and she will definitely choose to express them.  We tried to get her used to the idea of being a patient in a hospital by reading a kids book to her about going to the hospital.  She followed along but I'm not really sure how much she got it.
Because Alyce is being sedated for this surgery we have to follow some rules about what she can / can't eat.  The last solid food she can eat is at 5:30 a.m.  That isn't going to happen so instead we jammed Alyce full of food tonight and then topped it off via ice cream.  On a side note chocolate chip cookie dough is her favorite.  We can feed Alyce apple juice up until 9:00 and will be sure to do so.  After that nothing to eat or drink.  I am hoping that they don't put in Alyce's I.V. in front of us.  Seeing them do it when she was younger just about killed me.  I'm not sure if I could handle seeing my girl experiencing both pain and fear at the same time and being powerless to stop it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another Surgery in our Future

Today Mom an I took Alyce for another eye doctor appointment. Luckily this time it wasn't something related to her Strabismus problems of her past. This time we were bringing her in for a bump on her eyelid. She has had this for some time and we were hoping it would take care of itself. Sadly that wasn't the case. Alyce has a Chalazion which is a cyst in the eyelid that forms because of a blocked gland. Apparently it needs to come out because it can put pressure on the eye affecting her vision. The surgery is pretty straight forward (I won't go into details) but it should take longer getting her to fall asleep and waking back up than the surgery.

The doctors visit wasn't too bad. Alyce is at the age where she has an opinion and not afraid to voice it. In our case her opinion was to not cooperate with the doctor. I think she was scared of all the equipment and she is shy so a stranger getting close to her face and eyes isn't a good way to make a first impression. Eventually we did get her to cooperate enough that they could check out everything they needed too.

Playing in the Water

Yesterday after getting back from our vacation we hung out at Mom's parents house for fathers day.  While we were there Alyce was outside on the deck playing with her own little pool.  Alyce's pool consists of a snow sled filled up with water.  It is a great way to hold water since it only gets about a few inches deep and provide lots of surface area for laying down in the water or floating lots of toys.

Alyce also had a second green bucket of water that she would transfer water to from the sled.  She used two milk jugs to do the transfers.  The cutest thing about Alyce pouring out the water was that she would tap the jug a few times to make sure the last drop made it into the bucket.

With all the toys she has she gets the most enjoyment from two milk jugs and some tap water.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Weekend at Gram's and PaPa's

This weekend Mom and I took a mini vacation without the kids. While gone we left Alyce and Luke in the care of Grams and PaPa. I think Alyce had a good time if you don't count bed time. Apparently she was missing Mom and I at those times the most and thus couldn't settle down to go to bed.

We knew by the end of the weekend we would be missing the kids. In fact Mom started missing them the night before we came back. She called to check on the kids and could hear Alyce crying in the background. We thought we would try talking to Alyce over the phone to calm her down. Well that didn't work so well. Upon hearing Mom's voice Alyce burst into tears in earnest. I think it really broke Mom's heart hearing her daughter crying and being powerless to do anything about it.

The best part about going away is coming back and this time is no different. Upon walking into Gram's and PaPa's house and making eye contact with us Alyce said "Daddy! Mommy!" and came over to give us hugs. Later she walked up to me and asked "are mommy daddy home?" Stuff like that will just melt your heart.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Mom and I only have one lullaby we sing for Alyce and Luke. It is a song we heard long ago while in college. It is called the Cuppy Cake song. It is short and sweet and really works its magic at getting Alyce to settle down for bed. I sing it twice while tucking Alyce into bed after we've read our two books. When tucking in Alyce I pull the sheets up like a parachute and let them drift down back on her.

When we read to Alyce at night we have one random book and one standby. The standby book is what Alyce refers to as the Sister Book but is really I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole. Sister book is a book we read to her about a new baby coming and her being a big sister. I think it really eased the addition of Luke to the family. We've read this book to her so many times both Mom, Alyce, and I know the book by heart. The random book can be any of the books in her collection. The hardest read is Fox in Sox by Dr. Suess. If you haven't picked that up in a while give it a look it is torture on the tongue. The easiest read is when she wants to look at a book that has 10 pages and counts to 10. Mom and I really enjoy reading books to Alyce and I think she gets a lot out of it too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


We have a new word to add to the list of our favorite Alyce words. An Alyce word is a normal word that has its pronunciation modified (butchered) by Alyce. A few good examples are "doobit" for do it and "turbin" for turtle. Overtime she eventually gets the pronunciation right and we never hear her version again; turbin being a casualty.

The new word that we need to add to the list is "yeahpuh". Yeahpuh is a conglomeration of yeah and uh-huh. Alyce used to say uh-huh exclusively with yeah starting to creep in. I'm guessing that eventually yeah will take over and hopefully it will be replaced by yes.

Another word Alyce is starting to use is please. When she asks for something like more milk we correct her asking her to say "more milk please". Now about one time in ten she will use the word please without being asked.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Alyce's First Movie

On Saturday Alyce had her first trip to the movies. We took her to go see the new Pixar movie "UP". This wasn't Alyce's first movie just the first trip to the theater. Alyce is a big fan of Pixar movies with her favorite movie being "Cars".

We ended up watching the movie at the theater in my hometown. We did this because my mom, grandma, was willing to babysit Luke. We got to the theater a bit latter than we wanted and thus it was already dark by the time we got there. Alyce didn't have any trouble with the darkness and held my hand until we could find our seats. This theater was nice in that they provide booster seats for the kids. There wasn't anyone in front of us but Alyce did enjoy being up higher. Another point about this movie was that it was in 3-D requiring us to wear special glasses. At first Alyce didn't want to wear the glasses and she didn't even want me to wear the glasses but about halfway through the movie she started wearing them and kept them on the rest picture.

Alyce did pretty good during the movie. I would give the entire experience a B. The movie was rated PG for Action and Peril and they were right. There were a few scenes that were perilous and Alyce has some issues with them. The first scene she had a problem with was when the heroes were flying into a thunderstorm. The second scene was when one of the heroes friend's a big bird was being taken away by the bad guys. When that was happening she called out "Birdie... No..."! This one was especially rough on Mom and I as this was the first time she had ever reacted in such a way.

When it was all said and done Alyce seemed to enjoy the movie but not like the way she enjoys her other Pixar movies. I think this movie might have been too advanced for her, but that is chance you take going to the movies and not previewing it ahead of time. In the future we might have to take more care in the movie choices we make, but it is good to know she can handle sitting for two hours in a dark room. Next time we will introduce her to popcorn!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Last Monday, when it wasn't raining, we had some fun time outside in front of the house. Mom and I sat and relaxed while Alyce enjoyed some time with her bubbles. I'm sure Alyce has gotten the bubbles out before now but this is the first time in a long time I've been around to witness her joy with them.

We have all type of different bubble making devices. We have little single bubble makers, bubble guns that stream out tons of bubbles, a wand that makes one really big bubble, and Alyce's favorite is a big wand with lots of bubble holes in it. Alyce likes this wand because it provides the most instant gratification. She can dip it in a big plate full of bubbles, swing her arm around, and bubbles go everywhere. At times her wand positioning can be a bit off which means little to no bubbles comes out. Also she can get a little over excited and swing the wand around like a baseball bat. My favorite thing about Alyce blowing her own bubbles is that every time she makes some she says "Big Bubbles!". It could be one teeny bubble or a hundred large bubbles and she would say "Big Bubbles" every time.

When Alyce played on Monday the wind was gently blowing in all directions which gave Alyce a lot of opportunities to chase down some bubbles. Her chasing them is a new development since last fall she hadn't mastered running. Now that running is old hat she zoomed into both neighbor's yard in pursuit of her soapy quarry. Alyce chased the bubbles we made for her for so long she got red cheeked and overheated.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Gideon's Baptism and Family Pictures

Last weekend was a busy weekend for our family. On Saturday we went to an open house and Gideon's 1st birthday. On Sunday we attended Gideon's baptism. It was a busy weekend for Gideon too. The baptism was a very nice affair however Mom almost missed it. Earlier before the service started we got to the church early to drop Alyce off at the nursery so she could get use to it and the caretakers before we had to leave her. We thought that after 20 minutes or so she seemed well enough to leave alone. We had Luke with us in the sanctuary and he was more than content sleeping throughout the entire service.

Right before the baptism was about t0 start the nursery attendant found us and told us that Alyce's wheels had fallen off. The wheels term is one we use when she just loses control starts crying and needs a Mom or Dad to get her back to normal and put the wheels back on. So Mom leaves the service with Luke to take care of Alyce because I needed to stay and video the ceremony. I thought Mom had missed the ceremony but thankfully they watched and heard it through a window in the cry room. Mom stayed with Alyce the rest of the service and appears to have had a good time doing it. Later on even Gideon decided to join in on the fun in the nursery.

After the service everyone was visiting outside the sanctuary and the weather was really nice. Since the family was well dressed and color coordinated we decided to get a family picture taken with the church's grounds being the backdrop. Of course our usually smiling cheerful 2 year old wouldn't smile for the camera but that is the way things are sometimes.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gideon's Birthday Party

On Saturday the family went to our friends Josh and Tammy's house for a 1st birthday party for their son Gideon. We had a lot of fun talking to old friends and eating lots of cake. Alyce enjoyed herself by playing with Gideon's new toys.

Two toys really stuck out as favorites to all of the kids in attendance. The first toy given to Gideon by Mom, Alyce, Luke, and myself was a toy lawnmower that makes bubbles. Tammy didn't get the bubbles out as she wanted clean floors but the kids didn't mind. They pushed this thing all around the house both inside and out. I think I need to get one with Alyce. With proper training I think I can get her to do a decent job mowing the back.

The second toy is an oldie but goodie a plastic swimming pool. The same classic blue swimming pool that we all had as kids. Josh setup a sprinkler and a toy slide to land into the pool and the kids were set. Well the kids that brought swimsuits or a change of clothes were set. Mom put Alyce into her swimsuit and she was off to play in the pool that had water straight from the hose *cold*. I can't really say that Alyce was enjoying herself in the pool as her lips were blue and her arms all goose bumpy but we asked her repeatedly if she wanted to dry off and every time "no" was the response. Alyce would get into and out of the pool, go down the slide, and toss balls into the pool.

After a while it was time to eat and Alyce had enough of the water. We had a great time at the party. Everyone wanted to hold and take care of Luke so Mom and I both had a good portion of the day to ourselves. It is nice that Alyce is getting old enough that as long as we can see her we know she is ok. No more do we have to be within arms reach because there is something she can't navigate. If we are at a place with other parents we can even take our eyes off her as they will inform us if she is getting beyond her boundaries or doing something inappropriate. I won't say that we can see the finish line with Alyce but the race is definitely getting easier.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where'd You Get That Shirt?

On Wednesday Mom went to visit her doctor with kids in tow. On the way something new and yucky happened; Alyce threw up in the car. We will skip over the whole getting sick part and focus on the cuteness that happened after. Mom and the rest of the family was going to meet me for lunch and Alyce was wearing a jacket instead of her now messy shirt because who packs a backup outfit for a 2 year old? Mom made a quick run to Target before meeting me. Mom bought a non descript white shirt that Alyce was very fond of.

Jumping ahead to later in the day to when I got home from work. Most days Alyce comes with me upstairs while I change out of my work clothes. We typically use the next twenty minutes to rough house on the bed and run around the house. Today Alyce and I started a conversation about her new shirt. I asked her if she liked her new shirt and she said "yes". I asked her what color it was and she responded with "white". I asked who bought that shirt "Mommy" was the response. Lastly I asked her where Mom bought the shirt. I was expecting either silence or something like shopping. Instead I was greeted with the response of "Target". Neither Mom nor I have any clue where she learned the word target or how she made the connection to Target the store.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


When I was in high school I played drums in both marching band and concert band. I particularly enjoyed playing them and still do today. Rather than having a full set of drums in the house I live out my rock fantasy by playing a fun game called Rock Band on my Xbox. Rock Band is a video game where you play plastic instruments in sync with notes on the screen with up to four players at the same time. Rock Band as you could probably guess comes with a set of electronic drums.

Last Friday night we met our neighbor's Jeff and Liz for dinner where we found out they are expecting a child in January! After dinner they came over to rock out. Mom and I went to bed leaving the drums out. The next day Alyce is looking kind of interested in the drums so I set her down and put some sticks in her hands. Rock Band has a neat feature called training mode where you can play the drums and they make noise but you don't have to play to any specific rhythm. I set up Alyce with the training mode and she proceeds to rock out on the drums. At one point she turns to me and says she is "jammin". Alyce continued to play for some time in training mode.  Later on I started up a band so I could play with her.  Alyce did pretty good there.  She hit 17% of the notes and had a 3 note streak.  Even random banging makes you 17% musician.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Perfect Friday At The Park

Last Friday Mom loaded the kids into the car and met me for lunch. I picked up some sandwiches and we ate at the park. The weather was perfect; warm in the sun with a constant cool breeze.

Alyce ate her lunch of pb&j rather quickly because she wanted to play on the slide, and the only way we would let her was if she finished lunch. She was in such a hurry when she finished we asked if she wanted to play on the slide or have a cookie and she responded with "Slide". Either the cookies aren't that good or the slide was that important.

Alyce's agility is increasing. Every time she has access to a playground she is more able to do things by herself. Her being more able doesn't mean that I am less vigilant. Whenever Alyce walks past an opening on a high piece of playground equipment my heart races a bit. This time at the playground Alyce did two things that impressed me. The first was that she found a football, picked it up, carried up to top of the slide, and let it roll back down. She enjoyed its irregular shape and odd bounces as it traveled down the slide.

The second item was Alyce's trip up the jungle gym bars. These bars transition from a climbing experience to a walking one where feet and arm placement is important. She climbed up the first vertical part without any problem and managed the second horizontal well little trouble. I held onto her the entire time with my hands supporting her around her chest. When Alyce was on the flat section I could feel her heart pumping in her chest and her breath quicken as she moved each foot from pole to pole. She must have been under a lot of stress but didn't complain or want to go back down. When it was all over and she was on top of the slide she beaming with pride with Mom and I beaming as well.

Other items of note during this trip to the park was that Luke got to go on his first trip down a slide. He had assistance from mom and didn't really have an opinion on the whole experience.

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