We Are So Blessed!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We Spent a "Day Out With Thomas"!!


This is from last November (11/2010):

Oh man was this a treat for Maletch!! As everyone knows, Maletch is a HUGE 'Thomas the Train' fan, and so when I found out they had a "Day Out with Thomas" event- I was ALL over it! It turns out that they only have ONE Thomas (it is a real train that drives on real railroad tracks) and is an exact replica of Thomas. Since there is only one, they travel the country and stay about 10 days in each city. So when I looked into it originally (thinking it would be a cool birthday idea) they happened to be back east someplace, and wouldn't be here until November (the closest location to us was Perris, CA) so I bought tickets about 6 months in advance and we couldn't wait to go. Even though it wasn't going to be a birthday deal, we decided to still make it a surprise to make it more fun! I also surprised my dad and Denise with tickets, since I knew it would mean so much to them to experience it with him. Thankfully they live close enough and were able to make it!
It was held at the Orange Empire Railway Museum, which is a cool place all by itself- having many antique trains that still work, and offering rides with reasonable ticket prices- something we will most likely be doing in the future.

Anyway, back to our 'Day Out with Thomas':
They had so many areas at this huge place set up for kids, they had:
* A store that was filled with EXCLUSIVE Thomas merchandise (exclusive to event-goers only, not available in any store)- which I took well advantage of buying scrapbooking supplies, clothing, picture frames, toys, and more!
* Movie watching room, where kids could watch movies (Thomas films of course) being played on a huge screen TV
* A ginormous play area with every type of Thomas track and so many train tables and trains that you can imagine
* A couple of huge Bouncy House Castles
* Petting zoo
* Meet Sir Topham Hatt area with photo op
* Tattoo Station
* Story Telling & Live Music areas for entertainment
* Arts & Crafts station
* Photo ops with Thomas (in between passenger trips)
* Additionally, there were all of the museum things to see and there were plenty of trains that the kids were allowed to climb on: some antique trains/cabooses and they also had several neat wooden trains (not real) that were meant for kids to climb on.

All of these activities made this an all-day event. When we purchased tickets, we had to choose a Departure time out of the many trips Thomas would make throughout the day. I chose one of the later times, and we had plenty to do while we waited to board Thomas for our 25 minute train ride.

Maletch loves to tell the "Train Station Story" and he tells it everyday, or he asks me "Mommy, can you tell me the train station story again?" Often times he wants to tell it over and over (many times in a row).

This is how the story goes when Maletch tells it (these are ALL his words verbatim):
"Mommy and Daddy took Maletch in the car but they didn't tell him where we were going. I said, mommy where are we going, and she said, I can't tell you it's a surprise. Then Maletch fell asleep in the car and mommy said, wake up Maletch, we are here. I said, where are we mommy? She said, it's a surprise. Right then, a train whistled, I said, I hear a train mommy. Mommy said, yes you do, take a look out the window and see who it is. It's Thomas, it's Thomas! Mommy said, yes it's Thomas, it's REAL Thomas, and guess what? We get to ride on real Thomas! I said, No way really? Mommy said, Yes we do. I said, Can we go? Let's go! Then we got to ride on the coaches Annie and Clarabel and Thomas pulled us forwards and backwards. Grandma and Grandpa came too. We also got to meet Sir Topham Hatt and Sir Topham Hatt said, what's your name, and I said Maletch. He said, nice to meet you, and I shook his hand. We took a picture with Sir Topham Hatt. I got a Thomas tattoo too and mommy gave me a Thomas whistle surprise. Let's see, what else did we do? Oh yeah, I also got Shake n' Go Thomas and Day out with Thomas toys at the train station store."
Maletch is quite the story teller, and he is 100% correct in his version, and it is almost the same way I tell it to him. The only thing that he doesn't know is that John and I teared up seeing his initial excitement and reaction. It was awesome, and the look on his face and the excitement he had is something I will never forget!

Needless to say, he has been asking when we can go see Thomas again. I wish we could do this more than once a year, but that is the only time they are in our area. If you ask Maletch about this, in addition to the story, he will tell you that, "Thomas is coming from the Island of Sodor to California in November."
He also adds, "First it will be Halloween, THEN Thomas." And yes that is all true, that is where Thomas lives, and he will be here in November, so Yay- that is only next month now!! I hope my dad and Denise can come again, Maletch has been asking about that! I really hope we can make this an annual tradition (until Maletch looses interest in Thomas). I suspect he will 'be into' Thomas longer than most, since we have such an elaborate train set-up.

I have SO many pics and videos from that day- scroll down to see the slide show and videos. In the last video, you will see Maletch 'watch' one kid high-five another kid, and he wanted a high-five too, but he was too late.
... oh and of course be watching for our new adventures with Thomas next month! Hard to believe that last time I was 3 months pregnant with Sariah (so technically she went too, LOL) but this time she will get to see it for herself!

**Don't forget to pause the music player (at the bottom of the blog) before you play the video clips (or the sounds will be battling). The pause button is towards the top left corner of the music player, the same button can start the music again if you wish.

"Our Day Out with Thomas" Slideshow!!

Day Out with Thomas Nov 2010 VIDEO!

Day Out with Thomas Nov 2010 VIDEO! (2)

Day Out with Thomas Nov 2010 VIDEO (3)

Friday, November 5, 2010

13 Weeks Checkup!

Well, I have made it through the 1st trimester which is a terrific milestone! I have met with my High-Risk OB twice now and I am on the 2nd trimester schedule which means I visit him every 2 weeks. My due date has been altered by just one day to May 11, and my appts will fall every other Wed (unless changed due to scheduling conflicts).
This past Wed, I was 13 weeks exactly and that meant that I was due for another ultrasound (YAY, my favorite) among some other routine tests. We got lucky and had a trainee (being trained by a qualified tech) doing the US-- which meant it took much longer than usual and it was a treat to watch the baby for SUCH a long period of time. We even got to see the baby in 4D. It is the most awesome sight to see inside the womb: every little kick and turn and hand movement- just amazing!! The baby is much more substantial in size now than the first US, so it was much easier to see things. The baby is also way more developed and looks totally human now (not like a turtle at all). The leading technician was a very sweet guy and gave us MANY photos to take home! Everything on the US looked good so far, and they gave a very thorough exam. I will scan the photos as soon as John fixes the scanner- weird- we had a black-out and it won't power on now, he plans to look at it later today. I will upload a few US pics to this post the minute he gets it working...

The Not-So-Good News: (Scary Situation)
Prior to becoming pregnant:
My chronic sinus infection that was pretty serious prior to becoming pregnant (was classified as acute and chronic and had spread to all of my sinus cavities)... for those of you that don't know: it didn't respond to medication and I was told I needed immediate surgery, got a second opinion with the same results. I went to the surgery consultation and I completely FREAKED out when I was explained the surgery risks (it was a scary consult) so I decided to wait on the surgery and see if I could ever find another solution or if it might heal in time.... The ENT explicitly expressed he thought I was nuts to want to wait, he acted like he had never seen someone let it get as bad as mine, and he didn't understand how I was walking about in that much pain (little did he understand the chronic spinal nerve pain I deal with daily). So I figured if this is as bad as it gets, and it was bad, I could tough it out as long as it took to either feel better about the surgery or better yet find a way around it...
Well 1 1/2 years later, it didn't heal, but it didn't get worse... UNTIL I became pregnant!! Now, apparently due to my suppressed immune system, it decided to go rampant! The pain has become so severe that I have been driven to tears (and I NEVER cry) and I have been wanting to drill a hole in my own head just to release some pressure, I am also feverish and achy. It is so severe that not only am I completely miserable- but I grew concerned for the health of me and the baby. I discussed this with my OB, and he confirmed my worst fear- that if left to go rampant, it has the potential to spread- and could get into my blood and could be fatal. He is referring me to another ENT and my OB has already pre-approved the surgery, and a host of medications and CAT scans to be done-- none of which are EVER done during pregnancy otherwise! It is never a good idea to go under general anesthesia or get CT's when pregnant BUT he is weighing the risks vs. benefits and feels it might be a good idea. Uggh! So, we are awaiting the consult with the ENT, and we will be facing some VERY difficult decisions in the near future! Whether to allow them to test, treat, and perform surgery- which could pose possible threats to the baby -OR- suffer through excruciating pain and hope that it hasn't/doesn't spread into my bloodstream and kill me. There is one major stipulation: my OB wants anything that will be done by the ENT to be done during this (my second trimester) and NOT my third. In the third trimester the risks go from low to extremely high, so we have to decide and act... NOW. I still can't believe that I might have to have surgery while I am pregnant! Oh what a headache- literally and figuratively! Due to the stress and physical pain, I do not want to talk about this too much, but I did want to share so that all of our friends and family can PRAY! We need lots of prayers for the health of me and the baby and for God's guidance (for the doctors and for us) during this pregnancy! I have to constantly reassure myself that ALL is in God's hands!
When we meet with the ENT, I will obviously know more, and I will post the outcome here as soon as that is. My OB's office is scheduling that for me and they will contact me when it is set up. John and I will be seeking a second opinion (on our own) as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010!


I love Halloween- I love seeing all the kids in costumes, I love dressing up, I love carving pumpkins and I love all kinds of Halloween decorations! It is just so fun!!
This year we were Hansel, Gretel, and umm... lil Hansel?? hehe! And in our story Gretel is 3 months pregnant... hehe (Yay, 1st trimester down- 2 to go!) I was so happy I could squish my belly into my tiny dress that I bought before I knew I was preggo. John and Maletch looked so CUTE in their German Lederhosen! We got LOTS of attention and comments on our costumes, which made the night even more fun! One lady asked Maletch if he could say "Yodle-ay-eee-ooh" and someone else asked him if he had any Ricola, hehe, some people are just witty! We were told it was too bad we missed the costume contest, cuz everyone said we would have won- oh well, we didn't know they even had a contest there!
We started off taking him trick-or-treating for about an hour. He thought everyone that opened the door and gave him candy were his new friends- so he wanted to talk to everyone at each house. Although he didn't want to stop- he kept saying "Let's find another house, let's go this way, let's knock on that door"... we really wanted to take him to the Halloween Festival in Yucaipa, but since it got a little late, we went to the Festival in San Bernardino.
He had fun driving the John Deere Gators. The cars are powered by a gas (foot) pedal. His driving started off a bit crazy style since he was so easily distracted and took his eyes off the road often- but his driving improved a lot after a few minutes and a few collisions.
I posted 2 videos of him driving, the first one is funny cuz he was driving crazy, in the second one, he had the hang of it.
I also posted a video of him talking to the animals, if you listen closely (be sure to pause the music player at the bottom) you can hear him ask the pig, "Do you want some water?" When the pig got nervous, he tried offering reassurance, "It's OK pig, it's OK" Then he told the pig, "If you go poo-poo, you can get surprises." hehe, I guess he wanted to teach the pig about potty-training.
After the Festival, we went out to a late dinner at the Elephant Bar- yummmy! Maletch made friends with our waiter, so Maletch "performed" for him with some dancing and somersaults in the restaurant. I will go through those videos and post one soon!
I am still working on the slideshow of our photos, but I threw together a few for tonight! Be sure to keep scrolling...

Halloween 2010 Maletch 2 1/2 yrs.avi

Halloween Festival 2010 Maletch 2 1/2 yrs.avi

Haloween Festival 2010 Maletch 2 1/2 yrs 027.avi

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our First Look at Our New Baby!!


Our Little Peanut!

Yay, I almost couldn't wait for today! We got to look inside my belly- and the new baby is tiny (right now) but already has a strong and fast heartbeat (150 beats per minute)- that was a BEAUTIFUL thing to see!
Our radiology technician was a sweetheart and told us everything "as we went" which was a wonderful surprise! So we were happy to leave with not only a feeling that everything looks good so far, but also with a DUE DATE!! The ultrasound said- I am 7 weeks and 1 day along, and it also provided a due date of May 12, 2011.
I am so excited to officially begin our countdown to "when 3 become 4"... and I am so excited we are going to have TWO kids running around here soon!!
It is possible to find out the gender as early as 12 - 13 weeks of pregnancy with the new high tech ultrasound machines, so we could possibly know what we are having within 5-6 weeks from now! Standard machines can take up to 4 weeks more, the place we go has both kinds of machines.
We were so happy that they allowed Maletch to be in the room, because he already knows about the baby coming (well as much as he can understand). If you ask him what is in mommy's belly- he will tell you "A baby!" He is already such a sweet big brother too, he talks to the baby sometimes, "Look at this, baby!" while holding (showing the baby in my belly) his toys or whatever, and sometimes he kisses the baby (my belly)- he just melts my heart!
It was hilarious, while he was watching the monitor (which does look weird- it looks like a storm tracking video to me, LOL)-- well Maletch pointed to the monitor and said, "Look a turtle! A turtle is swimming in the water!" Then he went on to talk about "Dude Crush" and "Squirt" which are 2 turtles in the movie "Finding Nemo." So I may be having a turtle or a baby, definitely one or the other! The girl doing the ultrasound was giggling the whole time at "Maletch's commentary" and she just fell in love with him! I don't know how many times I heard, "He is so CUTE" or "He talks so well" etc. He has a way with the ladies, hehe!
Above are 2 of the ultrasound photos that they gave us- although the 'still photos' are extremely hard to see any detail- it is much easier to tell what you are looking at when you can see it "real time" as we did (which is almost like a constant video). I am still playing with adding 'pregnancy widgets' to my blog, they are fun and also provide a realistic view- more like what we saw today live on the monitor. The widgets will be changing and growing daily, as our baby develops daily- it should be fun to watch!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What Happened to Jack and Bulgy??

In case you don't know who Jack and Bulgy are: They are 2 of Maletch's favorite characters from his wooden "Thomas the Train & Friends" collection. Now what happened to them is a lovely story.... (yes that is sarcasm)


"Jack"


"Bulgy"

Why is there a toilet in our front yard???

What happened here??
And who the heck is this guy??

All good questions...



The pictures truly tell the story, but in case something isn't quite clear...

One day (about a month ago) I briefly ran upstairs leaving Maletch downstairs and I heard the bathroom door open and then I heard the toilet flush... I immediately thought "Uh-Oh!" I went tearing downstairs to find out what he was up to. He told me, "I put Jack and Bulgy in the potty chair!" Uh-Oh was right!!! I was hoping so badly that it wasn't true- but 2 yr old's never lie- at least not this one! Sure enough after a quick search Jack and Bulgy were missing-- and then after a test flush came a HUGE mess! Jack and Bulgy were lodged deep down and clogging the toilet!!
We called a plumber. He tried to "snake" them out (among other things) but they were STUCK! He had to pull the toilet out and even then- he had a lot of trouble trying to get them out! At one point, he was pretty sure we were going to need to replace the toilet completely- but they finally came out- first a sock- then Bulgy- then a LONG time later out came Jack. They were so covered in sludge (Oh-- so gross) that there was NO WAY we were going to clean them and let Maletch have them back!

I had a talk with Maletch and now he knows that he can't put any trains, cars, or any other toys in the toilet. He thought it was a fun game to name everything that was NOT allowed in the toilet, hehe! For example he said, "No putting Thomas in the toilet." "No putting ___ in the toilet." Among listing MANY of his toys, he also added, "No putting pizza in the toilet." He got very creative and this was a pretty long game!

He has been pretty sad and talks about his missing "friends" very often and says, "Jack and Bulgy are gone." (he says it with such a sad face) and then he'll say, "Don't put trains in the toilet" Although we feel really sorry for Maletch, since they were two of his favorites- we thought that if we replaced them too soon that he might think that toys can "come back" from the toilet somehow. We know that he didn't know better when he did it- so he shouldn't be punished for it- but we thought that missing them a little while might help teach a good lesson. He has shown us that he can be completely trusted and that he has learned about not putting things in the toilet. In case you are wondering, several weeks later we did replace Jack, and we will replace Bulgy soon.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time he put a bunch of stuff in the toilet- and it is too bad the first time- that I didn't find it until he was in bed for the night. I had received a package that day and he took all the air pillows and bubble wrap and stuffed it down the toilet- and took a bunch of "Thomas" books we had just bought at Barnes & Noble and put them on top of the air pillows/ bubble wrap! That night I went into the bathroom and found the toilet was full all the way to the lid with stuff, hehe! Luckily that time I was able to pull everything out and we didn't need a plumber! BUT, since he was sleeping, I missed my opportunity to talk to him about it, and then forgot to bring it up after that. Had I "caught him" the first time, the Jack and Bulgy incident probably wouldn't have happened.

This probably deserves it's own post, but...
One good thing that came out of this was that not only was he eager to learn what was NOT allowed in the toilet, he was super excited to learn that he COULD put pee pee and poo poo in the toilet. Shortly after this incident- he began using his potty chair regularly and we let him pour it- from his potty into the toilet- and flush it all by himself cuz he loves doing it so much!
BTW, he is pretty much potty trained now. He wears "big boy underwear" ALL day (not training pants) and the only time we put training pants on him is at bedtime or when we go out in public, because he is too small to use a real toilet- (or at least he will need some practice with it first). Even for naps he holds it till he wakes up.

Although normally you teach boys to do everything sitting down (at first) and teach them standing and "aim" later- Maletch made it very clear that he wants to stand to pee (like daddy) and he has not had a single pee accident in over 2 weeks. He does need help with taking his clothes off- well he pulls them down- but he thinks they need to come 'all-the-way-off' for him to use the potty, hehe. I am sure these little quirks will get worked out as he gets more experience.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Almost 2 Years of Wishing and Hoping......

Well, after almost 2 years of trying, wishing, and hoping and getting a little help from the doctor..... I am pregnant! (insert doing a cartwheel here) YAY!!
It is funny that it seems when people focus on trying to get pregnant- that it doesn't happen- and when you stop thinking about it, give up, or in my case- "Give it to God"... then He takes care of the rest!!
It wasn't long ago, that I realized that I was worrying too much about it, and every month I was disappointed when I found out I wasn't pregnant. We wanted Maletch to have sibling(s) and we wanted them to be close in age and then taking into consideration my age and medical problems-- as the time went by in the past almost 2 yrs, we knew that the window for opportunity was closing..... One day it finally "clicked" that children are gifts from God, and that I needed to stop worrying about it and completely "Give it to God." I 'wrapped my heart' around believing that He has His own timing and plans and that it will happen if it is supposed to, and that I need to 'be OK' with whatever happens... John and I even 'revisited' the idea (and were getting on-board) of adoption... and soon after I got my head and heart in the right place.... I found out YESTERDAY that I am pregnant!! God always takes care of us so I wonder why I forget that sometimes?
I am so excited for Maletch because I know he will love having someone to play with, and this baby is very lucky because I know Maletch is going to be the BEST big brother anyone could ever have!!
We can't wait to share the news with everyone, and I wanted to post this for anyone that stops by my blog!
Tomorrow (Tues) we will be calling my OB, and hopefully we will be able to get an appointment soon. I am anxious to find out how far along I am. We figure that I will be due in May, if not sooner.
I am in the "over 35 yr old category" now (YIKES, I can't believe I am that old) so that does put me in a higher risk category. I mention it because all prayers for the health of our new baby are important and very much appreciated!
I will post updates here on my blog as we find out the "guesstimate" due date, the sex of the baby, get ultrasound photos, and all those good things!
And just for fun, I posted a "Baby Gender Poll" in the upper right hand corner of my blog- I thought it would be fun for everyone to try to guess if it will be a boy or a girl? So be sure to vote, LOL!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another Fantastic Disney Adventure!!

WOW, this trip was awesome! We went back to California Adventure last Sunday (Aug 1st). We plan to go at least every other Sunday and we plan to alternate going to Disneyland one visit and California Adventure the other, since there is so much to do at each park!

Highlights:

Water Fountains:
Maletch played in the water fountains for over an hour. Water shot up from the ground like springs, but also from overhead too- and that was kind of a surprise for John and I, haha! What made it more fun was that the water was completely unpredictable and would go off and on from all different directions! So fun! He had a blast, and by the time we left, he was completely drenched. It was too bad we didn't have a change of clothes with us- it took all day and night for him to dry off- at least it was a nice day!

The Best Show EVER:
We saw the Brand New show "World of Color" and HOLY MOLY did that blow our minds! We were told (many times) that tickets to the show were near impossible to get- so we were thrilled when we got ours! That show is a MUST see and it left me amazed at how they can even do it?? The show is done by shooting up tons of water fountains and is like a laser light show with projection onto the WATER (in the air)! The water shoots up over 250 feet in the air! They show clips from everybody's favorite Disney movies, and so much more-- AND they even had pyrotechnics going off at times! Absolutely spectacular! John and I have never seen anything like that before and if you get a chance to go to Disney this Summer- that show will knock your socks off!
John and I heard that if you want the BEST seats in the house, you can request to watch from "The Boardwalk"! We were also told that from this front row viewing area- you will get very wet and we thought that sounded like fun- so we went for it! They have some people walking around "The Boardwalk" selling 'rain ponchos'. After watching the poncho salesperson make a few trips up and back, funny thing we started getting concerned- just how wet are we gonna get?? So we got me a poncho just in case- and holy moly- yes we got soaked- and we froze our behinds off all the way to the car!! But it sure was fun!!

I have a TON of videos to post, but I will have to do that another day!

------Lots more to add------ although this post is unfinished, I posted a slideshow with some pics below!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Manners, Directions, and Impressions, Oh My!

Maletch continues to surprise me with the things he says and does:

Maletch has very good manners, always "please", "thank you", and "excuse me", and now he even says Grace at the dinner table!!

Saying Grace:
Since he was born, he has always watched us say grace for each and every meal (even snacks) We have never asked him to wait to begin eating until we say grace, since he is so young, but he has been doing this all on his own. He always waits to eat until we say grace. He always says "Amen". Since he has shown interest in saying grace, I started giving him simple things he can say, like "Thank you God for Tacos" and other little things.
Tonight while I was making dinner, he said with such excitement, "I get to say grace!"
After he sat down at the table, I put his plate down in front of him and I went to get his juice... I heard, "Thank you God, Amen" and he had hands together and his head bowed. I was so proud that he said grace all on his own! So when I sat down, I said, "Mommy is going to say grace too." As I was saying it out loud, he repeated every line word for word, and he had the biggest smile on his face!

Driving Directions:
I always tell him which places we will be going while out running around. He always remembers all of the places we will go and also the ORDER of places we will go (example, I will tell him we will go to one place first, another place second, and so on) and he always remembers which is supposed to be next, and he can quote exactly what I said (most times there are 4-5 places).

Somehow he is very good with directions already! Here are a few examples (all from today):
When we were leaving K-Mart to go to Toys R Us, he said, "We need to cross the street and go this way" (pointing left) and he was right.
After that, we were at a light getting ready to turn into the store parking lot, he said, "We need to turn left!" (the store was on the left).
Another time today, I changed my mind about one of the stores, I was going to do it a little 'out of order' and he said, "We need to turn around, the store is that way!" (he was twisting around in his seat trying to look behind us). He was right, that was where we were supposed to be going. He does this constantly in the car! He is my little navigation system, haha!

He also completely understands about time (today, tomorrow, first, after, etc). Last weekend, he wanted to go to the store, but we didn't have time to go. So I promised him "We can't today, but we can go tomorrow." Well the next morning, he woke up and did his routine with daddy, and he waited for me to wake up. As soon as I woke up, he said, "Hi Mommy, we go to the store now, OK?" I had completely forgotten about it (until he reminded me). John was cracking up that he remembered AND that he waited to mention it until I got up (since I was the one who said it)! So I asked, "OK, where do you want to go?" Maletch said, "How about Walmart and Jamba Juice?" I said, "OK, that sounds fun." He said, "Mommy, go get ready, OK?"

Impressions:
I love listening to Maletch play, and what is so hilarious is that he actually does "voice impersonations" now!! I'm not kidding. Ok, so he is really into Thomas the train, as probably all of you know... we watch videos, read books, and have loads of train characters for him to enjoy! Well just like in any movie, of course each character has their own different voice, and several are very distinctive. Maletch first started imitating "Diesel 10" (a train who has a deep and raspy voice). Maletch will say his lines in his best deep and raspy voice, "Hi, stinky steamies, I am Diesel 10!" He started doing "Sir Topham Hatt" (the person in charge of the railway) too- who has a different deep voice. Now he does impressions of them all, and he also "does" Mickey Mouse too! He will say, "Hi Pal!" (a famous Mickey line) in his best high-pitched squeaky voice. We have NO IDEA how he came up with 'doing voices', but it is hilarious, and he is actually quite good at it! Now when he is playing with his trains, they have conversations, and he has a whole boatload of different voices he can do.
Another tidbit: he also knows the story lines of Thomas and he can tell you which trains do which jobs (ex: pull freight or coaches, etc), where they are supposed to go (ex: the wharf or docks, etc) and all sorts of information. If you put the trains together wrong, he will gently correct you. He is quite the little Thomas expert!

More for Your Entertainment:
Maletch has loved music since he was an infant. He loves to dance and play in his band... and since we have purchased several 'kids music videos', he has learned and memorized MANY songs. The songs he knows, he knows quite well and he can really put on a show! I will be video-taping him singing this week, and I will post it here, for those of you that can't make the "live show." I will also type in the lyrical mistakes that he makes, he doesn't skip words, but there are a few words that he hears/pronounces wrong, which make it so cute! Just for one example: In "Row, Row, Row your boat" he sings, "Gently down the street." I think a boat rowing down the street is way more cool than rowing down the stream, hehe!

Maletch just LOVES to talk to people everywhere we go, and nobody can believe that he is only 2. It is a little harder to get Maletch to sit down for a long phone conversation, but he loves to talk on the phone, so if any of you would like to call him...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Day At Disneyland BABY!!

So we went back to Disneyland Sunday (July 18)-- YIPEE! It's such a good thing we have Season Tickets, cuz there is so MUCH to do there, it will probably take us all year to do it all!
This visit was so much different than the last, and as much or more fun!

This time:
We explored "Toon Town"- we went to 'Mickey's crazy house', where we met Mickey and had photos taken with him.

Meeting Mickey:
It's too bad that there was a line of people waiting to meet Mickey, so we couldn't spend more time with him. Most kids this age are afraid of the large characters and usually cry when they meet them, but Maletch was super excited! He wanted to check him out, like really stare at him, and I could tell that he didn't want to leave when our turn was up. Mickey first asked him for a hug, then a "high-five" and then a "fist bump" and Maletch thought he was so cool!

We also visited Goofy's house and a few other places, then off to 'It's a Small World' which was closed last time, so we were happy to get to go on that. As soon as we got off the ride, we ran into the "Celebrate You Parade" going by! We saw Woody and Jessie (from Toy Story), Chip n' Dale, Tigger, Pooh, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto, and many others go by, so that was fun!
We of course went back on Nemo Submarine and Autopia (two of his favorites) and he was over the moon excited about those! We also watched the spectacular fireworks show again!

Funny Highlights:
At night we purchased a TON of "light-up" goodies to walk around with, and Maletch got a Light-Up Bubble Blowing Gun- that thing is so cool and it shoots TONS of bubbles per second- like a bubble gun Uzi, LOL! The funny part was he started shooting himself in the face with it- and he kept on shooting himself in the face! He thought it was HILARIOUS! Everybody walking by stopped to watch him have fun, and we were all giggling. I knew the soapy bubbles would sting his eyes, so I felt bad that instead of instantly stopping him (figuring it would sting)- I was snapping photos of him, and Daddy was video-taping! When I stopped to clean off his face, I couldn't believe the THICK layer of soap on his face! His face was covered in goo- including his eyes- but he didn't even complain about it. and he couldn't stop laughing!

Maletch kept dancing to music EVERYWHERE we were, sometimes there wasn't music, so he made up his own- although there was usually music. He tries to impress girls that he likes by dancing in front of them- which is so cute and funny to watch. He met a few little girls that he really liked and got a little upset when we had to leave them. He is a huge flirt, and it is something most people have to see to believe! When there aren't any little girls around, he will dance with teenagers and ladies- and people were just cracking up at his personality. Of course he danced with mommy and daddy too! We did get a video of him dancing with one lady, which I will post soon!
We heard a live band playing off in the distance and he preferred to dance and flirt with girls than leave the area (to go on rides)... so we walked over to watch the band play- and he went RIGHT up to the stage and was dancing with the teenage girls and adults.
I posted a slideshow below with lots of pics!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Time with Grandma and Grandpa!

We are fortunate to live close enough to my parents, and that they are able to come and visit so often! They come down every other weekend and we look forward to each and every visit!
They only get to stay a few hours, and they usually arrive just in time for M's nap.
So M and Grandpa take a routine short nap on the couch together, and grandma and I get time to chat outside on the patio while they sleep! I forgot to mention that J usually sleeps on the other couch/recliner. It is so funny to look into the living room and see 2 men and a toddler all sleeping sitting up- and I can't believe I don't have more photos of that!
Grandma often spoils M by bringing over goodies. She brings what we call "Grandma's special bag" and he knows to look in that bag- there is always something fun in there!
I gave grandma a book a while back that I wanted to be a special thing between her and M. I wrote my wish to her: that she could read it to him every time they saw each other and that could be one of his childhood memories. Well she remembers to bring that book over on each visit and they read it together and it is so special! M goes straight for her "Grandma bag" and pulls out the book, and he sits on her lap and they read it together- so precious! He quite often finds other goodies in that bag that she brings just for him too!
It's funny, I don't think there is a visit that I don't have photos of M sleeping with Grandpa, and sitting on Grandma's lap reading!
I am overdue in posting pics from their visits, so below is a slideshow with some pics from our most recent visit.
Note: I will add some more pics to this slideshow of other recent visits soon (I need to sort through my gazillions of pics)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Visit with Grandma and Pops!

Grandma and Pops came out earlier this month and we had a nice visit. They stayed about a week, and split their time between our house and the (John's brother's family).
They brought over 2 of M's cousins, to visit on two of the days, which was nice because we hadn't seen them in a long time! The oldest one is involved in sports and wasn't able to make it. M just loves his cousins and he especially bonded with D- he really looked up to him! M really loves hanging out with older kids, he prefers them to kids his own age- so having his big cousins over was a very special treat!
I really enjoyed watching the kids hanging out and playing together! M was constantly talking and laughing! They were surprised at how well M talks, and they really enoyed it! He loved showing and telling them about all of his toys and videos!
We also took the kids to the playground and to the pool for a short time. By the time we went swimming it had cooled down outside and the water was pretty freezing, so we made that quick!

One day, we took the grandparents and M over to Jamba Juice- his favorite local hangout. He loves to run around and meet other kids, splash in the water fountain, and of course getting our Mango-A-Go-Go smoothies is always a treat!
Grandma gave M some coins from her purse to throw in the fountain, and he got a HUGE kick out of that! He wanted to throw coin after coin! He kept coming back for more! It was cute because he had no idea that it was 'money'- he didn't care if he threw rocks, trash, or coins, just as long as he was allowed to throw it in the water! After she ran out of coins, I caught M trying to get the coins back from the bottom of the fountain- which is pretty deep. As he stretched and stretched and tried to get closer- he almost fell in! I actually caught him on his way in! The grandparents really enjoyed watching him run around, have fun, and get soaking wet!
I always pack an extra shirt when we go there, because when he is finished playing you can literally wring out a puddle of water from the one he has on! Good times!

When they were leaving M was very sad, but he was quickly cheered up by a bouquet of lollipops that Grandma gave him as she said goodbye. He quickly handed it off to his cousin and asked "open it please?" That was his first lollipop believe it or not and he was a happy camper!

The slideshow below has a LOT of pics from the visit...

Three Toddler Cousins!

It was nice to see my brothers and nieces, even though it was a short visit! Last month, Jason and Addie were down from Colorado, and Brian and Myah were down from Arizona! I wish Brittani could have came out but she had to work, I miss my sister!
The kids had a lot of fun here because our house is a "Toddlers Dream-land", hehe! They got to go to the playground and play on the jungle gym, then back inside where they got to play with the train set, and they really enjoyed playing the piano and drums! They also played basketball, colored, and played with LOTS of other toys!
I noticed Addie was really interested in our toy microwave and play food! I think she wanted to take some home with her cuz when they came back from a run to the car, Jason came in and handed me a handful of toy silverware and food he confiscated from her outside, LOL! I should have bought THAT for one of her birthday presents- DUH! Oh well, I must tell Brittani where she can get it- cuz she loved it! Myah was enthralled with the drums, and she also played away at the piano quite a bit! It was really funny watching the girls play around the train set, because I am not sure they even played with actual 'trains', I saw Addie pushing a toy spoon across the tracks, and a few other objects, hehe! Too cute!
I wasn't able to get them all in a photo, as much as I tried, they were very uncooperative. I sure hope next time we see them, it can be a longer visit!
I threw a few pics from the visit in a slideshow below...

Do You Know Your Dinosaurs???

Before you read on...

Do you know what kind of dinosaur this is?

OK, so I was playing with Maletch and his dinosaurs (5 minutes ago) and I decided that I would tell/teach him about the 4 kinds of dinosaurs that I know, or at least I thought I knew!!
First, I grabbed the T-Rex, and Maletch said "T- Rex" at the same time as me. John and I looked at each other and we figured he must have learned this from his dinosaur cartoon, 'Dinosaur Train', so that's great!...
I then showed him a Stegosaurus, and Maletch named it, and he also pointed out his 'spikes'.
Then I grabbed this one (in the pic above) ,
and I said, "This is a Pterodactyl."
Maletch said, "It's a Pteranodon."
I thought he couldn't pronounce what I said, so I thought, "good try"... BUT John was falling on the floor laughing- so I asked, "What is so funny?"
John said, "I wasn't going to correct you, I think that is fine that you told him that was a pterodactyl, BUT Maletch is right- it is a Pteranodon!"
Oh my goodness, I just got schooled! I will be buying some dinosaur books, and I will be studying!! I had better learn the different species BEFORE I teach him, and I had better know what I am talking about- because he obviously pays very close attention!

Maletch Cracks Me Up!

OK, so here are some quotes of the week...

We have Maletch's Power Wheels (a motorized quad for riding) 'parked' (wedged) between a few big toys in our Master bedroom (for storage when not in use).
He climbed on it and said, "I'm stuck, I'm too stuck, I can't ride it, I can't go!"
Me: "Yeah honey, we don't have enough space for you to ride it in here."
Maletch: "How about I go outside?"

When Maletch gets fussy or acts up we always ask, "Do you want to go nite-nite?" He only gets fussy when he is tired, so he usually agrees, "Yes, I'm tired, I go nite nite."
One day playing with Maletch, I injured my neck, I was in a lot of pain, but I was trying to hide it. I didn't realize that I was scrunching my face or that Maletch was looking, and I guess he interpreted that as a "fussy face" (like I was going to cry) because he asked, "Mommy do you wanna go nite-nite?"

When Grandma and Pops Pollard were visiting: we were getting ready to take Maletch over to the playground.
I said, "Wait Maletch, I'm gonna get your jacket!" When I went upstairs, Maletch turned to Pops
and asked, "Where's your jacket?"
Pops said, "It's in the car."
Maletch replied, "I'll go get it!"
Grandma and Pops were so shocked they laughed about this conversation for a while! It was funny hearing pops tell it, "He asked me where my jacket was," .... "then he offered to go get it when I told him it was in the car!"

Maletch: "Have some cookies please?"
Me: "No, we have to eat lunch first, maybe after lunch."
Maletch: "Have cookies first please?"
Me: "Well if we have cookies first, you won't want to eat your lunch."
Maletch: "Yeah, I do."

We pulled into a store parking lot,
Maletch asked, "Where are the people?"
Me: "What people?"
Maletch: "Oh, there is everybody!" (he said it with such excitement)
I had to turn around in the car to see who he was so excited about, 'who is everybody?' He was pointing to a large group of people walking out of the store.

This is probably more cute than funny (to read), although it is both in person...
We bought Maletch his own set of realistic toy keys to hang on our key rack (next to ours) since one of our sets went missing.... He frequently asks me to get them down so he can go bye-bye (his "going to work routine") Lately, he heads for the door, "Bye bye mommy." I always oblige by asking, "Where are you going?" He replies, "I'm going to work!" he heads off, but then, turns around to get his things to take with him. I watch as he wanders around "packing" his things. He says, "I take my juice, and I take Mcqueen." Then he asks, "Where is my milk?" and "Hmm... let's see, I need Thomas." It is so cute watching him pack for his pretend adventure, and it is interesting to see what he thinks he 'needs' for work, hehe.
When we are actually going someplace, he knows the 'real' packing list very well, and he always helps me with it. He will "remind" me to get his shoes, jacket, juice, crackers, and mommy's shoes, mommy's jacket, mommy's soda, mommy's purse, the diaper bag, and of course the keys. And he walks around and helps me grab everything while announcing "I get the ___." He also packs his own toys now too (I never have to do it or ask him to). He even reminds me that we need to change his diaper before we leave.

This had me and John rolling on the floor tonight..
Daddy: "Maletch, do you want some green beans and some yogurt?"
Maletch: "Yes please."
Daddy brought it over to him.
Maletch: "No, it's too late."
Daddy: "What?"
Maletch: "It's too late, it's nite-nite time!"
Daddy was trying not to laugh, but he was giggling with his hand in front of his face.
Maletch: "I'm not laughing, it's not funny."

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Update on Alphabet!!

Update:
Well it's totally official now....
In just a few days of actually going over the alphabet with Maletch- he knows ALL of them! Funny, I noticed him paying extra close attention to the 6 letters that he didn't already know (see previous post), and I also noticed him 'studying' the ones that look similar to other letters (like B & D)-- he placed them side by side and really studied them.... AND he sure DID- because he knows them all so well- he RARELY makes a mistake- not even confusing similar letters with each other- almost zero mistakes! He has them solid!
Good job Maletch!
Soon, I will introduce the lower case forms, and I expect that will even be easier since many of the letters look the same as capital, only smaller- so there will be less letters to learn!
I am in no 'rush' to teach him anything, but he is so interested in learning and especially reading- so I am just trying to go with his flow! Just tonight he picked up some store ads, and wanted to "read" the text, and he always wants to "read" signs and books!
I am so glad we have the learning programs that we have, but I am still amazed that he learned everything so fast!
I mentioned before that I know he picked up some of the phonics sounds too, (the same way I thought he picked up on SOME of the letters, LOL) by him walking around and casually mentioning it- so I have no idea how many he actually knows....
But he often points to a letter (example letter B) and says, "B, B says ba ba" (the sound it makes), I have heard him do that with many letters too! He will also tell you that, "A is for Apple", "P is for Pear", and "W is for Whale" (and more).
One day soon, I will ask him about those, but I will do it the same way I did the alphabet-- and I have some funny suspicions!

A FUNNY Thing To Note:
Maletch thinks it's the coolest thing that mommy can write the alphabet (and that my 'drawings' actually resemble letters) because he tries to write his ABC's and they are total scribbles (it is very cute)! A new game we play, is that I "make a letter" and he names it, and finds the matching puzzle piece to put on top of it (on a magnetic drawing board we have). Then he says, "I'll make a ___" (name of letter) and then he tries, it is so cute cuz everything he "makes" looks the same, hehe! By the way, he made up this game all by himself-- I just "made a letter"-- he named it- and grabbed the puzzle pieces- and asked for the pen to try.... and he likes his new game!
The other day, he said, "I will draw a bumble bee!"... so I said, "That's great!" and he came over to show me his creation, and although it was very hard to see that it was a bumble bee, hehe, he confirmed, "Look mommy, I made a bumble bee!" He says the same thing about 'shapes' and 'letters' that he "makes"-- so next time you are over, make sure to pay attention to what he says if he is drawing, because he does expect you to know/see what it is too!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Maletch Can Read Sight Words!


Maletch started pointing out and naming stores quite often since he was about 18 months- he always knew Toys R Us, Target, Jamba Juice, and WalMart- and initially I believed he was memorizing the places we had been before. But he really surprised us when he started pointing out and naming places we had never been before such as Del Taco and McDonald's (two examples)- then I assumed he was memorizing store logos/signs from places we had been AND also somehow from T.V. commercials is all we could guess on those.



One day, a few months back he really surprised me when he handed me a Toys R Us receipt that was on my nightstand, and said, "Go to Toys R Us store?" He wanted to go, and all I was thinking was "How do you know that says Toys R Us?" because we were at home- not in front of a color sign- this was just the name of the store in black print on the sales receipt!

After the first day of teaching/reviewing the alphabet with Maletch, we ran errands, while we were driving around, stopped at a stoplight- I heard from the backseat, "I see the H", "I see O", "I see Y", "I see W", "I see another O, two O's"" I see D" I looked up and sure enough, he was naming the letters in a sign that said "HOLLYWOOD" and he continued to do this the entire day of running around. He stayed busy pointing out places he knew, and letters he saw! So of course, that gave me the opportunity to really have some fun with it, so even when we were inside stores, I grabbed pamphlets/packaging/whatever I thought looked interesting for him to "read."
Later, when I pulled into the Walmart parking lot Maletch says, "I see Walmart over there mommy" He was still pointing to the sign on the building and said, "I see the W" then he sang, "W,X,Y and Z"
A funny thing happened in Walmart:
I was doing a site-to-store pickup, so there was a lady in the back helping me. While we were waiting I grabbed a pamphlet for him to look at. First thing Maletch did was point to the word and say, "Walmart" (which was printed on the pamphlet)- she looked at me, "He can read?" Then he started naming and showing me (and her) all of the letters- that lady almost fell down.

Later that night after we got home, I brought out my sales receipts (from a few stores) and asked him, "What does this say?" and sure enough almost before I finished my question- he pointed to each receipt and correctly "read" the names of each store from all of them!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Maletch and His Alphabet!


Maletch Knows His Alphabet- From Watching One "Hooked On Phonics" Video For ONE Week:

First off, I cannot believe how well the "Hooked on Phonics" program works! Tonight was the first night I had planned to sit down and actually work with Maletch on his alphabet, meaning I would try to teach him, since his only introduction to it has been from the H.O.P. program (he has watched one video a few times) and the ONLY thing I have ever done was watch the video with him each time, narrating it further and trying to make it more fun (although it already was) and everyday this week, rather than using the program’s workbooks, I “made up” a game with a wooden alphabet puzzle that we have—that is IT! I haven’t actually made any efforts in ‘teaching’, and I certainly didn’t expect him to be retaining anything- it was just an introduction.

I couldn’t believe that as I started to work with him tonight, he began naming the letters, before I could tell him. I hadn’t realized that he knew almost all of them already! In fact we only thought he knew W, H, and T because he casually pointed those out around the house- but I never thought to “quiz” him because I had never taught him.

So what was supposed to be me working with him (teaching him) tonight, instantly became a “quiz” with flashcards, to find out what he knows. I’m still scratching my head on how he learned that quickly, but there were very few letters that he wasn’t sure of, and very few he mixed up (like O & Q).

His introduction has only been to capital letters, so after I actually work with him a little on these (maybe for a week). I will start introducing the lower case versions.

Here are the results from my quiz: 15 of the letters he knew completely solid (no mistakes), 5 letters he confused for similar letters (a few times, but sometimes he did have them right), and only 6 letters that he wasn’t too sure.

If you are curious to which ones he knows, here is the list (if the letter is named as “B & D”, those are the letters that he sometimes confused for each other), if it is named alone, it means he knew it every time. I think my teaching job is going to be easy, since he knows all this without my help!

A
B & D
C & O
F
H
I
J
K
M
N
P
Q & O
R
S
T
W
X
Y

These were the only ones that he wasn’t too sure

E, G, L, U, V, Z

Note (the ones he wasn't sure): For G, one time he said O, and Z one time he said N (he even tilted his head to the left to try to make the Z a N), but his hesitation and facial expressions were clear that he knew it wasn’t correct.

Another note about the program: It appears he has picked up some of the phonics sounds already too! He has demonstrated this with a few letters (again just came up casually around the house talking, pointing to a letter, etc) so I wonder how many of those he actually knows if I was to quiz that right now, "What sound does that make?" That will be for another day very soon!

I am so excited that we have this program, and I am so excited that teaching him his alphabet which I expected would be a lot of work and a difficult thing to learn is... gosh, not only going to be easy- but it's almost done... before Maletch or I even started trying- how about that??- learning by accident!!