charlie performs....

Here is Charlie singing 2 of his favorite songs from the Lion King.


the lion king obsession continues..... blogging must be pretty bad when even Charlie is nagging me for not updating it! He keeps asking my why I haven't posted the Lion King pictures we took when we were in Vegas. He has seen them a million times (and they really aren't much anyway), but he still wants to be able to see them on the blog whenever he wants, since he does have this site saved to his favorites. I guess I should be flattered he is a regular reader, huh?

These were taken at the gift shop outside of the theater where Lion King is playing at Mandalay Bay. Uncle Jon bought a t-shirt and the music CD for us to bring home to Charlie. Charlie had died and gone to heaven when he got his gifts. He wore the shirt for several days straight. The CD is also in heavy rotation. It has all the songs from the show. He already knew most of them from watching clips on YouTube.

Here he is dressed as Rafiki, his favorite character from the show. (along with a picture of the real rafiki for comparison)
He usually wears his Lion King shirt and some necklaces, not sure why he wasn't this time. He came up with this costume all by himself. He had the black mask on his face and was telling me that he needed a crown. He thought for a minute and then tore off to his room and came back with his alphabet crown on (the one he earned last fall for knowing all his letters and sounds). Next he added the necklaces and t-shirt and was then quite happy with his look. All he talks about is how he is going to be Rafiki for Halloween and that this costume will not work. He would like one that looks much more like the original! (and I thought the KISS costume was difficult!) He is also going to have a Lion King birthday with a Lion King Cake and balloons and decorations. The funny thing about this is that he is not very interested in the original Lion King cartoon. We have gotten him the movie, and while he will watch it occasionally, he does not love it like his beloved Broadway version. Of course, it is fairly easy to find items from the cartoon version, but the Broadway version? Not so much! If he is still interested when Halloween and his birthday roll around, I think we are going to have to get pretty creative to pull it off!

While I admit that it can be tiring hearing about the Lion King all of the time, I love that he is so passionate about it. When he finds something that he loves, he loves it with all of his little heart. And for those of you that remember his KISS obsession last year, well it has pretty much run its course - but he was pretty impressed when they were on the American Idol finale and sang with Adam. He was singing along at the top of his lungs. Since then he hasn't talked about it too much, but I have seen him in the back yard pretending to smash his guitar on the ground like they did at the end of their performance.

We have another little Lion King related project in the works that I hope to have finished up tonight. Check back to see it, it is pretty cute :)

cannon at 7 months....

The little man is seven months! He has made a lot of progress this month. He is playing a lot more and loves to reach and grab at anything he can. Everything still goes straight into the mouth. He is self-soothing easier and seems to be a little more content overall. We have gotten into somewhat of a schedule which seems to be making the days a little easier.

Last week we went to the NICU follow-up clinic. He was seen by a speech therapist, an occupational therapist (not his regular one), a nutritionist and Dr. Merchant (one of his NICU doctors). He weighed 15 pounds 5 ounces and was 24.25 inches long, both at the 50th percentile for his adjusted age. He was right on track for his adjusted age in gross motor and receptive and expressive communication. He was about 3 weeks behind in fine motor skills. They were not concerned about that and said it is pretty common to be a little behind in fine motor. The doctor and the OT did have a concern with a small tremor he had in his arms when he was reaching for an object and what they noted as a possibility of asymmetrical muscle tone in the upper extremities with the right arm having increased muscle tone over the left. The doctor was on the fence about it since it was so slight, but she decided that she would like us to visit with a neurologist to have an MRI completed. What a bummer to hear this, especially since we weren't expecting them to have any concerns. I have since talked to his regular OT and PT and they both stated that they have noticed both of these issues, but that they are 99% sure that he will outgrow them. They believe the tremor is happening because his shoulders are a little weak due to the muscle tightness he has in that area. He really protects his shoulder area and does not like for them to be touched. If we can work on getting that muscle area stronger they believe the tremor will go away. They also agreed that he does have a little increased muscle tone in his right arm, but since his muscle tone has already increased so much over the last few months, they believe it will get better over time. We all agreed that there is no harm in going ahead with the neurologist appointment just to be sure. I totally trust his therapists so I believe that he will outgrow this, but the peace of mind can't hurt. There is only one pediatric neurologist in all of Idaho, so it will be a few months before we get in for a consult. Please be praying that he will continue to outgrow these problems and that his scan will come back perfectly healthy!

A few things about Cannon at 7 months.....
- we officially started "crying it out" about 3 weeks ago. He has a bath and a bottle before he goes to sleep around 7pm. He took the crying it out WAY harder than Charlie did. It took about 2 weeks, but now he is doing great. He goes to sleep with very little or no crying and will sleep until about 4:30am. Then he goes back to sleep until 7 or 8am. Now the naptime routine is a whole other story, let's just stay we are still working on it....
- He can roll over from his belly to his back. He loves to use this little trick when I am trying to get him to do some tummy time. Now I have to place my hand under his chest while he is on his tummy to prevent him from rolling over. He is still not in love with tummy time, but he is doing much better with lifting his head and propping himself up on his arms.
- His hair and eyebrows are starting to come in. It seems to be a light brown color. His eyes are still blue. He is wearing size 9 months and is just about ready to move up to size 3 diapers.
- He still loves to be held or carried around in the baby bjorn, but he is more tolerable of time on the floor in his play gym or with his mirror toys.
- He is still drooling like crazy but there doesn't seem to be any teeth in sight. It is so funny to see him try to cram everything in his mouth so he can chew on it.
-He is much better in the car. Most of the time he is happy driving around and more times than not he will fall asleep. He is also doing better when we run errands and get out. He does not seem to be as overwhelmed with the process.
- He loves to be outside.
- He is still in love with his big brother. He won't take his eyes off of him when he is in the room and he can always get a smile out of him.

Here is a cute video of him giggling. As you will notice, he still gets the hiccups every time he laughs! I hope he outgrows that soon....

whoa, the big 3-0.....

To celebrate Eric and I's birthdays this year, we took a little weekend trip to Vegas. We are so very lucky to have our parents close who volunteered to watch the boys to make our trip extra special. We spent a lot of time relaxing and just enjoying our freedom. My brother was a thoughtful host. He drove us all over town and even got us a bundt lake just like last year. (yum!) We didn't take many pictures but we did get these at the Hoover Dam.

This past year has been one big, rough year for us. If you would have told me on my 29th birthday what was to come, I would have never believed it. We have experienced some pretty big heartache. We have made some of the biggest decisions in our lives. We have questioned our purpose and our future. At times we felt defeated and were ready to give up. We have also gained tremendous wisdom. Our love for one another has grown more than I ever thought possible. We have learned we have many, many wonderful people in our lives that love and support us more than we ever imagined. We welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our hearts. We have a new perspective on what is important. I never thought I would say it, but I am grateful for this time. We come away from this past year feeling strong and ready to bring on the next one. So, welcome to the big 3-0, I am ready for ya!

Thank-you to all my friends and family for the many birthday wishes. And thanks especially to our family for making our celebration a memorable and special time. We love you so much!