We made a trip to the pumpkin patch in early October this year. We went on a Sunday morning close to opening. I figured this would be the perfect time because Vancouver has so many churches, the patch would be quiet. I was wrong and it was crazy. We ran into a friend of Sloane’s from ballet class and running around with a friend really made it a fun day.
Darby came for a visit and ran the Portland marathon! We were so proud of her and amazed she still had energy to play with the kids like the amazing aunt she always is for them.
We have been having some great scooter rides, enjoying the leaves and the nice weather!
Halloween was super fun this year. Soren wore a wolf costume that was Ellie’s back in the day. He loved to howl and was pretty adorable. Sloane wanted to be Ash from Sing just like she was last year. Again she was super cute. We went around the block with our neighbors and it reminded me of trick or treating with Hannah when I was little. It was sweet to see how excited the kids get when they are all together. Soren totally got the hang of trick or treating but seemed to be prejudice against any candy that wasn’t in an orange wrapper. He would walk away from the door and hand any other colors to Adam.
When we got home, we took over for Bill handing out candy. This was a big hit with Soren and Sloane. Soren kept saying ‘They coming, they coming” when he saw groups walking on the sidewalk. Overall, a successful Halloween!
I realize the top picture and the start of the post is going to seem scary, so I want to start off by saying Soren is doing great. We just had a little health issue that I wanted to document.
At Soren’s two year appointment on 9/27, they did a toe prick blood draw to check lead levels and for anemia. Soren’s levels for anemia were low twice, so they ordered a blood draw. We found out the following Monday that it was not the typical anemia- iron deficiency anemia. He had a low red blood cell count with perfect iron levels. Our pediatrician corresponded with pediatric hematology and ordered another set of labs for one week after the first. This confirmed his red blood cells were low and not increasing.
On 10/7, we were seen by pediatric hematology at Randell Children’s Hospital. They confirmed that the diagnosis is transient erythrocytopenia of childhood. The best word in this diagnosis is transient! Once it is caught, it takes 2-8 weeks to resolve. The doctor assured us this was a typical presentation- after a virus (can be mild- like his runny nose from starting day care) and is caught from a screening or from noticing the child is pale. The virus stops his bone marrow from making just red blood cells. The treatment is primarily watch and wait. We were scheduled for twice a week blood draws to check is hemoglobin levels along with his immature red blood cell count to see when he starts making his own red blood cells. The staff was amazing- caring for how to make the blood draws comfortable for him and answering all our questions.
On 10/15, we went in for a draw and his levels had dropped again. The doctor could hear a gallop in his heart and recommended a blood transfusion. Luckily, Paula was available and she came to get Sloane. Adam and I spent the day with Soren in the day treatment area of the hospital. They couldn’t get an IV started so we waited about 2 hours for the IV team. Once the IV was in, it took 3 hours to transfuse the blood. Soren was such a champ! We let him watch as much TV as he wanted- which was Secret Life of Pets and Zootopia, both animated animal movies that he loved. After the transfusion, his lips looked more pink and he had more energy.
One week later at a follow-up, he’s labs were better and we were cleared for two weeks for the next visit. On 11/5, his labs were awesome- hemaglobin higher than right after the transfusion and he was producing new blood cells at 2.5 times the average rate, meaning his body was making up the difference. And we are released- no more appointments needed! The doctor told me he was going to miss seeing Soren because he has such a sweet personality. It was nice to hear but I am glad we don’t have to go back!
This little guy is so sweet. He has started giving these great hugs where he really squeezes your neck. He likes to follow it up with a wet kiss on the cheek as well. Soren adores his sister and they mostly play very well together. She tries to carry him often and will sometimes read him books when he asks. He has started a bit of the ‘mine’ phase so sharing is challenging these days.
We celebrated his birthday four times! First we had a shared birthday with Nini before she left with Papa 2 for Europe. Then we celebrated with G and Pa on their visit. The next weekend we had friends over the celebrate, finishing with a cupcake on his actual birthday. He has his own scooter now! Thanks Nini and Papa 2. And his own tool kit- Thanks G and Pa. We’ve gotten good use out of both already. Scooter rides in the sun and hammering nails into boards in the garage on rainy days.
Other big steps is that Soren started daycare 2 days a week at Clark College where Sloane goes. The first day, he was fine with Adam saying goodbye until he figured it out. Since then, drop offs have been very sad but his days have been good. He is in the same room that Sloane was in when she started with the same teacher. It is very helpful to be familiar with it all.
Soren has had major developments with language skills. He repeats and remembers so many words. Rach brought watermelon to his party and the next two days he asked for it with a very close approximation to watermelon. We’ve started giving him gluten and dairy and it seems to be going well. Noodle is a new favorite food and word!
Soren is also quite a character. He loves his headphones! He wore them during our travels to NH, not connected most of the time. Soren likes to wear Sloane’s headband with the ends in his ears which looks so uncomfortable. His new favorite song is Hakuna Mata from the first Lion King. He calls it “tata” and it is actually the only song he asks for. It is getting a bit old but he loves it so much, we endure.
We had a gap in child care before Soren started daycare and Nini and Papa 2 were out of the country. My parents came for just over a week to help. It was the start of their big 4 week western US adventure. When my parents come, I make a list of projects to do. And what a list it was this year! We, I mean my dad, accomplished so much. Finished some of the exterior painting, replaced our terrible bathroom faucets, and painting our hall closet doors. It is so nice to have G’s help with watching the kids and Pa’s help with projects.
The kids really enjoyed spending time with G and Pa. They went on walks around the neighborhood. Walking was better for everyone as scooter and bike rides end up being closer to runs for the adults now.
Pa brought out two new paintings he did for the kids- elephants from our zoo for Sloane and sheep for Soren. They are beautiful and have amazing colors. Soren does insist his painting is of goats though. I asked Sloane if we could hang them in the living room and she said she wanted them in their rooms. Guess I have to commission my own set for the living room.
The last night they were here we ran errands before dinner. We dropped Pa off at Trader Joe’s and waited for him. When he left the store, we drove over and I started yelling “Pa, Pa!” while going to pick him up to make the kids laugh. It has become a a running joke and Soren will just start yelling ‘Pa!” to make us laugh.
We traveled to New England this August and had a the perfect time- nice visits, nice weather, and good food (aka lobster!). The first night we stayed in Wilton with my parents and our friends the Wades came to visit. They have recently moved from Portland OR to Portland ME. Our children are close in age and we all enjoyed catching up, picking blueberries, and playing around.
We headed up the our family camp in Vermont for three nights after that. It was very relaxing- playing in the water and going on kayak rides. Jesse made Sloane a whole school set up with paper and played for hours with her. Soren enjoyed kicking a ball around the yard and pretending to paddle the kayak. One night around the fire, I gave him too much chocolate as he kept asking for it as ‘cha-cha’ and I wasn’t paying attention. He was up until almost 10 that night- telling us our names, pointing and naming the ceiling, light, and wall.
Adam and my dad took the kids on a motor boat ride around the lake the first night. The second night, my dad was teaching Sloane to cast the kid rod on the dock. I went out to take some pictures and the dock started to tip, and then didn’t stop tipping. After some screaming and a scare that the fish hook was in Sloane’s eye, we all ended up unharmed in the water. Though the same cannot be said for my parents’ nice camera that was around my neck and subsequently in the water.
Back in Wilton, we had lobsters and steamers. Sloane had some lobster and declared it the yummiest thing she had ever eaten. Soren ate almost 5 steamers. We played in the kiddie pool and Sloane got to chasing Jesse with a glass of water. Jesse did good evasive moves while not spilling her drink.
How did this girl turn 4 1/2? She is a non-stop gab fest with a mix of imaginary character, made up songs, and drama. The other day Sloane made up characters for us based on Clifford the big red dog. She was Emily Elizabeth (actually from the book), I was the big sister Martha (Sloane’s imagination), Soren was the little brother Coco (imagination) , her doll was the baby sister Ginger (imagination), and we had two dogs Emma and Clifford. She does get exasperated with me especially. Another mom told me they talk about tone in their house and that is exactly what I need to start pointing out to Sloane, before we get a teenager rolling her eyes at us. Because I never did anything like rolling my eyes…….
In the past few weeks, her big accomplishment is riding a pedal bike. These days kids mostly ride strider bikes starting at a young age and then don’t need training wheels. Sloane was more enamored with her scooter and did not use her strider much until about 2 months ago. We were given a hand-me-down pedal bike and after a couple pretty hairy attempts at riding, we bought the training wheels. Pedaling, braking, steering, watching out for cars, and avoiding curbs is an amazing amount to coordinate. We are so proud of her determination. Today, she chanted ‘I think I can, I think I can’ as she road up a hill. She is riding like a champ now and we are close to being able to ride our bikes along with her.
Sloane is also turning into quite a good helper. The other day she asked me if we could mop. With the angle she holds the mop, it sprays about 15 feet away! But I’ll take the help. She is also excellent at tearing the spines of collard greens and peeling garlic.
As far as big sisters go, Sloane has to reach a pretty high bar with Jesse and Darby as role models. So far, Sloane is amazing. She is very patient when Soren is not understanding taking turns. She will stop him from getting into something or somewhere he shouldn’t be. Sometimes this means holding him back by his hair, but I appreciate the sentiment. He loves it when she picks him up and most recently they have tried piggy back rides (requiring adult help!). Sloane continues to use the cutest terms of endearment with Soren, such as bubba and bugga-boo.
Here are some pics from this spring and I promise more will come soon of this summer.
The mister is 21 months old now! It was a year ago that we moved into our house on his 9 month-a-versary. It is crazy how much he has grown and changed in the past year- from a crawling little bundle into a walking and kinda talking little person.
Soren has some favorite moves and sounds. Currently, he likes to do ‘happy feet’ where he kicks out his feet and taps them down quickly. He is very close to jumping with two feet and practices whenever we talk about bunnies.
Soren has been speaking more clearly, at least for our ears. He started calling Sloane “Noane” which I love. Some of his best words are octopus and blueberry. He does this great thing where he repeats the word over and over until we guess the right one. Most recently, it is snack. Some of the words have been super helpful- like help! It is very sweet to be doing something in the kitchen and hear a little ‘help, help’ from the living room.
We had a very warm weekend in May where we pulled out the kiddie pool. Soren has never been into baths and has always showered with us. In the past few month, we attempted baths and he just wanted to stand to look in. But this warm weekend, it was the perfect combination and he got in the pool and LOVED it! Since then, he runs into the bathroom, says something like bath while laying on the floor to have you get his diaper off. It is nice to know as we go into summer and will be spending more time around water
Soren has always loved shoes. He likes to put on every ones shoes and shuffle around in them. This had taught him well and he can put on his own shoes now most of the time. He also likes to tidy up and puts things where they belong. When we get home, he’ll take off his sweat shirt and put it on the trunk. I’ve got a helper in the clean up department!
Hopefully, I stay on top of posts this summer. But here is a slide show of some cute pictures from this spring.
Jesse and Lida spent their April vacation with us again in 2019. We were so happy to show them our new house and get some good visits in.
Soren adored Lida! He wanted to draw with her and sit in her lap often.
We had adventures to many parks. Our new neighborhood is great for walking to our neighborhood park and short drives to others. It helps to get the energy out of those kiddos.
I suggested to Sloane that she go with Jesse and Lida for dinner one night. She wanted to go to her fav, Burgerville and insisted I come so they wouldn’t get lost. We had a nice dinner and then Lida went up to order ice cream for them. They didn’t know the cone was for a 4 year old and it was huge! Sloane just giggled and giggled when she saw it.
The last night we watched, or attempted to watch Lida’s favorite movie from when she was little, the Aristocats. Sloane got very nervous and we had to stop it. The next night when they had left, Sloane powered through and really enjoyed it.
Also, if Jesse, Lida, Sloane, and Soren start a band, this will be there album cover.
We had another wonderful March visit with G and P. The weather was gorgeous and it was a nice escape for them to an early Pacific NW spring. Especially since I heard from them this week that it snowed again.
Soren was a little mini me with Pa. Right away, the first morning Soren wanted to sit in his lap to read books. He wanted to be just like him standing at the park. One afternoon, I came in the door with my mom and dad and Soren looks right past G and me; saying Pa, Pa, Pa?
Sloane was given a fancy dress that was Bennett’s. Adam suggested she could wear it on a tea date with G. We made it happen on Monday afternoon. Sloane was so excited to wear the dress and have a special time with G. When we picked them up, Sloane made Pa guess what she had for a snack and then teased him by not actually saying yes to what she had. Tricky guessing game for sure.
G gave Sloane a sparkle glitter face paint kit. We all let her paint our faces on the beautiful Sunday. We did not get a group shot which is terrible because you all don’t get to see Pa’s fancy blue glitter mustache. Below you can get a glimpse of his blue glitter eyebrows though.
We went into Hood River and up to Domaine Pouillon winery one day. On the way out we stopped at a salmon and trout hatchery that is also home to a few sturgeon. One particular old large one, Herman, picture below. The winery is one that Adam and I have been to in the past and Papa 2 volunteers at during the year. We were able to sit outside on a big swing and enjoy the views of the gorge while we sipped our wine.
G and Pa helped us get some yard work done, cleaning up the garden beds and taking out some shrubs. The yard looks much better and we’ve been enjoying seeing the plants come up in our first spring in our house. We celebrated with bubbles on the deck and Soren was in heaven.