Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Brenda Maple and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Okay... Maybe it wasn't THAT bad, but it was pretty darn bad. The kids and I were in a car accident on the freeway today. Basically, traffic (just MY lane) stopped and I wasn't able to stop in time, and I rear ended the car in front of me, and then I was rear ended at 35+ miles per hour. FUN! Of course I've got two children that need to be in car seats, and my car was out of commission, so Andrew had to leave work to come and pick us up. We all seem to be okay. I don't even think Joshua knew what happened. He was more concerned about his shoe laces at the time. My back seems to be tightening up a bit from the rear impact, so I'm hoping I'll be okay in the morning. So now we have the fun task of dealing with the insurance companies and all that nonsense. The car has some pretty extensive damage, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be fixable. I should have a rental car tomorrow, so at least I should be able to function as normal, barring any injuries.

Here's the good stuff (anyone who reads my blog knows I always try to shed positive light on whatever I can!)... I have already seen that this situation has been completely covered in blessings. Despite this bad thing, I know that God's hand is in it all, and that provides me with tremendous comfort. Of course we are totally blessed that the accident wasn't any worse than it was and that none of us are hurt, especially the kids. We have better insurance coverage than we expected that we did. We didn't think we had rental coverage, but we do, and we thought we had a $500 deductible, but it's only $250. Also, we are needing to upgrade Ben's car seat to a convertable, as he's almost grown out of his carrier. The insurance might pay for new ones since they should be replaced after any accident, but even if they don't, I'm glad this happened right before, instead of right after, we replaced it. We are blessed enough to have a cushion in our savings account so that we don't have to worry about where the money is coming from to pay the deductible (and traffic school for my ticket) =( I have been surprisingly calm about the whole thing, and I'm sure everything will be okay.

When we were on our way home from the accident, the new Casting Crowns song came on the radio, that talks about how far the east is from the west, and that it's from one scarred hand to the other. Although the song is actually talking about God's forgiving grace, it also reminded me of the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, and that this trial that I am going through is NOTHING compared to what he endured for me. Kind of puts the whole thing in perspective. I am reminded of Jesus' words in John 16:33 - "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." It doesn't really matter what happens here on earth. This world is temporal and not our home. What matters is where our hearts lie. My heart is with my savior and I know that he will not give me anything I can't handle, as long as I remember to turn to him.

Any prayers through this whole thing would be greatly appreciated. I'll keep you posted on any updates.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Time Is Here!

This has probably been the best Christmas season I have ever had. Sure, Christmas is fun when you’re a kid. The anticipation of Santa and the gifts you get, and all the fun stuff leading up to Christmas. But to me, it is even more fun to watch my kids experience the same things that I got excited about when I was little. This year, Joshua has begun to understand Christmas, and has really been having a great time with all of the festivities. We have made all sorts of cookies together. Josh is a great helper in the kitchen and loves to help mommy cook, so those have been some really special times for us this season. This past weekend we made and decorated sugar cookies, which was a blast! Josh did such a great job. He decorated his own cookie sheet full of cookies with m&m’s, colored sugar and sprinkles. He helped decorate the tree, and of course helped Daddy put the angel on top (a job he is still very proud of).

We are also really enjoying passing down our traditions to our kids. When we decorated our tree, we got to explain some of our ornaments to Joshua. Everyday he points to the “Parents to Be” ornament from 2004 and tells me that was when he was in mommy’s tummy. One day we hope that both Josh and Ben will enjoy reminiscing while decorating their Christmas trees with their families. We’ve also been sure to catch all of the traditional Christmas shows on TV this year. Charlie Brown Christmas (which is by far Joshua’s fav... every time he hears the music from the show on the radio, he yells “Snoopy!!!”), the old claymation Rudolph, and Frosty the Snowman (Happy Birthday!).

We are enjoying everything so much this year, I can’t wait for Christmas 2 years from now when Ben is Josh’s age and they both are excited about Christmas. What a wonderful time of year!!!

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

I recently took the boys for our annual visit with Santa Claus at the Chandler Mall. If anyone remembers my experience from last year, I am happy to say that this time went MUCH better! For those of you that don’t recall, last year Joshua wanted nothing to do with Santa. When it was our turn Josh wouldn’t go near him. Our picture was mommy sitting next to Santa with Josh on my lap. So this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I asked Josh one afternoon if he wanted to go sit on Santa’s lap, and he said “YEAH!!!” and was super excited about it, so we jumped in the car before he could change his mind!

The whole way to the mall he was talking about sitting on Santa’s lap. I’m thinking, this might actually work! We got there at the perfect time... Santa was just coming back from his break as we got off the elevator. We were about the 5th family in line, so we only had to wait 5-10 minutes for Santa. I did not bring the double stroller, so I was able to keep Joshua entertained by helping Ben keep his binky in his mouth.

When it was our turn, I told Josh to go see Santa, and he walked right up to him and sat right down on his lap. The look on his face was so cute. It kind of said “okay... I know I was excited about this. I’m just not sure why.” So he just sat there without saying a word. So I took the best picture I could get (I’m sorry, but I refuse to pay $25 for a picture with Santa when I have a perfectly functioning digital camera of my own!). Then I gave Ben (who was tired of his stroller and therefore screaming) to Santa and got the rest of my pictures. So I got what I went for. Afterward, Joshua was super excited that he sat on Santa’s lap, and is STILL telling us about it. We celebrated our successful Santa adventure with some cookies at Mrs. Fields!

Ben's 4 Month Checkup

I took Ben for his 4 month check up last week, and his doctor was amazed at how healthy and strong he is. She told me that most 4 month olds still are a little bobbly headed, but not our little Benny. He has a super strong neck, and He-Man legs. He even keeps his head straight as an arrow when he is being pulled from his back to a sitting position, which I guess is somewhat uncommon at this age. He also met or exceeded every other milestone on the checklist, so he’s doing great! He weighed in at 13 lbs. 15 oz. (25%) and measured 25 1/4 inches (about 70%). So apparently we just make them long and lean! We’re holding off on the solid foods for now, as he doesn’t really seem to need them yet. Mommy’s milk seems to be doing a pretty good job, so if it ain’t broke....

Over the last few days, Ben has been working really hard at trying to roll over from his back to his tummy. He can get himself about 3/4 of the way there, but can’t quite figure out how to finish the job. We’re sure he’ll get there soon, which (sadly) will put us on the road to mobility! I keep telling him he doesn’t need to be in any hurry for that, but he doesn’t seem to agree. I can’t even keep him in one place while changing his diaper! He loves to plant his feet and scoot around the table. I think we’re in trouble!

Ben has also started laughing over the last few weeks. He’s got such a cute little muted piggy type laugh. We just love it. He’s also quite the talker lately. He is just the happiest baby we have ever seen. It has been so fun to watch him grow over the last few months.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

The long holiday weekend has come and gone, and all in all, I would say that we had a great Thanksgiving. We spent Thursday with Grandma and Grandpa B and had a great time. Joshua got to play with his cousin Stevin and "Mazzy Puppy", and he always loves seeing his grandparents. We minimally participated in Black Friday, hitting Ritz Camera to buy a new digital camera, which came with a free Canon photo printer and a surprisingly well made fleece jacket. Friday also began the unleashing of Brenda's inner Betty Crocker. The menu included an herb-roasted turkey, apple & sausage stuffing (made with homemade croutons), fruited sweet potatoes (with pineapple, coconut, golden raisins and a streusel topping), and home made mashed potatoes (Joshua helped!). She also made jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins and a pecan pie. All of this was made from scratch and was super-delicious! Brenda's parents and Lori, Jacob and Grace came over to share the day and the meal with us, and we all had a great time. Granddad, Jacob, Joshua and Daddy all played at the park for a bit, came back for the food, then celebrated Granddad's 60th birthday that evening. In a nutshell (which was probably leftover from all the cooking), this weekend was about family, for which we are very thankful. Our entire family has so much to be thankful for this year, and we thank God for all he has blessed us with this year, and in the years to come. Enjoy the slideshow from Friday's festivities!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thanks For The Grub

Josh shows us how he prays for his breakfast each morning

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Endangered Gukky

As any 2 year old learning to speak will do, Joshua has had his share of mispronounced words, most of them cute or downright funny. However, over the last week or two, he has been clarifying more and more words. Words are still cute in his little 2 year old voice, but they actually sound like the actual words now. I thought it would be a good time to list a few of our favorites:

"Gukky" - This is the catch-all word, the "I don't know how to say it and I don't want to try, so I'll just say gukky" word. Gukky has been used as a verb, noun, adjective, and probably a few other terms I'm too dumb to think of =) Some examples: "I gukky mommy" means "I help Mommy"; "Gukky-sin" = "Medicine"; "Gukky Street" = "Sesame Street"; "Gukky-nahny" = "Macaroni"; "Gukky-rie" = "Butterfly". In any case, "gukky" has been slowly disappearing from his vocabulary, and we'll surely miss it when it is gone.

"My Did It" - In addition to perfecting his language skills, Josh is like any other 2 year old and wants to do EVERYTHING himself. Instead of saying "I'll do it", he would say "MY Did It". This has changed in the last few days to "My Do It".

"Mommy/Daddy Help You" - Josh will say this when he needs help with something. We would always ask "Do you want mommy to help you?", so we're guessing that is why he asks for help by saying "Mommy help you...". Even funnier was when I tried to teach him to say "Mommy help me", and he came back with "Mommy help you me..."

"Baby Bo / Gisamin" - This is how Josh says Baby Ben / Benjamin. Heck, sometimes I find myself calling him Bo!

"Da-de-da-da's" - Josh's current favorite TV show is the Backyardigans, and somehow, this is how he has decided they are pronounced.

"Mee-nah-mo" - Josh's daycare teacher last year was named Kim, or as the kids called her, Miss Kim; Or as Josh called her, "Mee-nah-mo". Took us a few weeks to figure out what the heck he was talking about with this one!

"Chevy Chase" - We have ABSOLUTELY no idea what this is. He has said it a few times around the same time that we showed him Mickey Mouse, but he knows how to say Mickey Mouse and he has said Chevy Chase at other times as well. Maybe he's sneaking out and watching Fletch while we're sleeping.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Update on Brenda

Most of you probably know, but Brenda's surgery on Friday went well. The procedure took a little more than an hour, recovery took another hour, and back home we went. Brenda's mom was wonderful and watched Joshua and Ben that afternoon, and stayed the night to help out as well. At this point, from what we know and see, the procedure appears to have been successful. The incision is healing normally, Brenda has not had any fluid drainage, and after visiting the doctor on Wednesday, he told her she was done! We are both still cautiously optimistic about everything... I think having to endure this for the past 10 weeks has made us a little bit skeptical, but with each passing day we both grow more confident that this chapter is finally behind us. Brenda is still experiencing some pain in the incision (all normal) and does not have much energy (also normal), but all of that should hopefully pass soon. At some point in the near future, one or both of us will probably reflect on the whole thing and post our thoughts. Thanks to everyone that has helped out through all of this.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Maple Family Update

Well, we have been a family of 4 for 2 months, and everything is going well. We haven't really updated in a while, so here's the goings on of the Maple family over the last few weeks.

Ben is now 2 months old, and is thriving in every area. He's such a healthy, sweet and happy baby. We are truly blessed to have this little guy in our lives. At around 8 weeks, Ben really started smiling. His favorite things are to be told "Hi, Big Guy!" and to watch his blinky star on his baby gym thing, and the mobile in his crib. Whenever he sees them, he flashes the cutest smile that seems to say "My friends are here!". He had his 2 month check up on October 11. He tipped the scales at 11 pounds 7 ounces (50%), and measured 24 inches long (85%). Apparently, we do not have short children. Not sure what's up with that, but I guess we're just supposed to have giants running around our house! He passed every other milestone on the doctor's checklist with flying colors, so he is the picture of health. Joshua is still completely in love with his brother, and loves to try to play with him. He will shake toys and noise makers over Ben's head and say "See, Baby Bo!" Josh has a never ending supply of hugs and kisses to dole out to his little brother. Ben seems to think Josh is pretty cool too. Now that he is able to focus on things, I often catch Ben intently watching Joshua. I think we're going to have some great playmates in a year or two!

I went back to work on October 10. It was nice to be back in the normal swing of things. I wasn't as excited to go back as I was when I had Josh, but I was also not upset about it. I like my job, and to have that grown up time. I have kept my part time schedule for now. I'm not sure how long we'll be able to continue that, but we will for as long as possible.

Mr. Joshua is officially daytime potty trained. He does not wear diapers during the day (except for naptime, which we probably could stop doing too since he usually wakes up dry). He tells me when he has to go potty, or sometimes he just goes in and goes without even saying anything. We are so proud of him! He is the only one in his class that is not in diapers. We thought we may have some trouble with this teacher being cooperative with our potty training efforts after a little mishap the first day, but the other teacher in the room, who is awesome, has really taken the reigns of Joshua and is very attentive to his needs. In a week and a half, Joshua has only had one accident at school, which was on his first day.

A while ago, Andrew had posted about a complication that I had with my c-section incision. Well, the healing completely stalled, and so I am going in for surgery today. Apparently, the seroma that developed when I had Josh created a lot of scar tissue. My OB attempted to remove a lot of that when he delivered Ben, but I guess a lot of it was still hanging around and is now keeping my current seroma from healing. I now have a plastic surgeon who I met through the Chandler Regional Hospital Wound Clinic, and he is going to go in and take out all of that scar tissue and surgically close the seroma. So our prayer is that this whole thing will be over this afternoon. Please keep me in your prayers. I guess there is about a 10% chance that another seroma could develop under the new incision. But if it does, it should heal a lot quicker because the scar tissue will be gone. So whatever happens, the surgery is a forward step toward healing.

That's about it for now. We'll update as things progress.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Making Cookies

Well, my maternity leave is drawing to a close, so yesterday, Joshua and I decided to do something special together. We made cookies! It was so much fun!!! Joshua helped stir the dough...

He poured in the ingredients...

He also scooped the cookies onto the cookie sheet like a pro...

He was so proud of his work...

And of course, the best part... tasting our yummy creation!

He did such a good job and we had so much fun together. I am really looking forward to lots more cooking and baking with my little helper. Can't wait to make Christmas Cookies!!!

Monday, October 08, 2007

How To Poop

In honor of Joshua's success at potty training, we present a wonderful instructional video on "How To Poop".

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mmmmmm.... Yummy!

For the longest time, Joshua has had a VERY small menu of things that he would eat. The boy would have lived in chicken nuggets and goldfish crackers if he could. We couldn't even get him to taste anything that looked even remotely different from his normal cuisine. Then on Sunday, it was like a switch had been flicked and he decided he was going to eat anything and everything. On most Sundays, we go to Sam's Club after church for samples (kind of the poor man's Sunday Brunch). We usually offer Josh anything they have out to sample, and he just about always turns his nose up, unless it's cookies or any other tasty treat. But this past Sunday, whatever we offered him, was devoured! He had grilled chicken, clam chowder, pizza and many other things. Ever since then, he has decided to broaden is food horizons. We have actually been able to serve him whatever it is we are eating for dinner, and usually it is eaten, or at least tasted. Just another leap into Big-Boydom. It has been amazing to see the changes in him even since his birthday a few months ago. He's such a great kid!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pee Pee in the Big Potty!!!

Today will be counted as our first official day of potty training. Joshua has been using the potty, usually about once a day, for almost 6 months now, but we haven't felt that he was really ready to begin full blown potty training. But now that we are having to buy two sizes of diapers, we feel it is time to really test the waters and see just how ready he is. It's a great time to start since I am home with him over the next 3 weeks. We have decided not to use Pull Ups, because those are too similar to diapers and don't make him uncomfortable enough if he has an accident. So we have gotten him some big boy Spiderman underpants. He is really excited about wearing them, which helps in the process. So today, I decided to give it a shot. At about 11:30 a.m., we decided to change into our underpants. He wore them until 1:00 without an accident. Right before his nap, I told him to go in and go potty... no big deal, as if we had done it every day forever. He went right in, sat down and peed. After his nap, he couldn't wait to get his big boy underpants on again. We put them on at about 4:00. At around 6:00 he told me he had to go pee pee, so we went in and he went. We had an "accident" at about 7:00, but it was interesting to see how upset he was about it. I think that remembering that he didn't like the way that felt will help him remember to go on the potty when he feels the urge. When we were getting out of the bath tonight, I asked him if pee pee is supposed to go in his underpants, and he answered "Nooooooo!". When I asked where the pee pee goes, he said "in the big potty!". It's good to know that he has the mental understanding of what we're doing. He just needs to remember it when he has to go! We'll do it all over again tomorrow and see how we do. Hopefully there will soon be a post called "No More Diapers!!!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's Been... One Week

... plus a few days. We finally got out of the broom closet disguised as a hospital room last Monday, and so far, things have been going well. Ben continues to be a wonderful baby. He really doesn't cry all that much, just when he needs something. We haven't experienced many inconsolable crying jags so far. His weight dipped down to 7-4, but was back up to 7-12 on Monday, so he is doing great in that department. We did discover that he has a clogged tear duct in his left eye, so he's getting some ointment in his eyes until that clears up, nothing major. He is sleeping very well at night, much to our delight.

Joshua is doing better than we ever imagined he would. He LOVES his baby brother, constantly wanting to give him hugs and kisses, especially when he is crying. He hasn't shown a hint of jealousy yet, and hasn't intentionally done anything to hurt the little guy (although he did go Three Stooges in an attempt to point out that Ben has eyeballs). Josh loves to help us out, wiping away the bubbles during Ben's bath, throwing away diapers... now if we can just teach him to change them too!

With one small exception, Brenda is doing well. Her incision did end up developing that seroma, as we had feared in the hospital, but it appears to be healing quickly, about 1/2 cm in each direction each day. Please keep this in your prayers that it will continue to heal rapidly (the last one took about 8 weeks). They are treating it differently this time around. Last time the doctor opened a large portion of the incision to allow drainage, and packed it with gauze every other day. This time the doctor (a different one) opened a much smaller area, less than an inch, and we are packing gauze 2X per day. That task is actually falling to me, and while it may sound gross that I am using a long Q-tip to stuff gauze ribbon into a hole in my wife's abdomen, it really isn't that bad. Still, if you had told me a few weeks ago that I would be doing what I am doing, I would have laughed at you. So anyways, apart from this minor setback, Brenda is doing well. She is choosing to keep an upbeat attitude about everything, focusing on the many blessings that God has given us in this situation. She is also happy that she is already only 10 pounds away from her pre-pregnancy weight, just 11 days after giving birth (and she's lookin' darn good if I must say so myself).

Not much to report about me or Copper. I feel like I am bonding a lot more with Josh the past couple weeks, as I have pretty much been his primary caregiver. We have been able to play a lot more together, and it has just been really cool to spend this much time with him. He is growing into such a cool little dude in so many ways... but more on that later.

Don't forget to check out the photo site, we'll try to keep it updated as often as possible...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Thank You

Not to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech, but Brenda and I would like to thank a few people. Things would have been MUCH more difficult if we did not have someone to watch Josh, and my mom did an awesome job of keeping Joshua safe and happy for the 4 days we were gone. Joshua seemed to have a great time with Grandma and I don't think he wanted her to leave! Big thanks also to Brenda's sister for being with Brenda on Friday morning/afternoon while she went through the initial recovery process. This allowed me to spend more initial time with the baby, and Brenda had someone to help her as well. Lori waited something like 3-4 hours in a small waiting room before being called into action... she's a trooper! And we definitely want to thank all of the wonderful people that will be bringing us meals over the next couple weeks, and Valerie for putting that all together. Not having to make dinner (and probably lunch) for the next couple weeks will be a huge help to us. I'm sure I am missing other people, but anyone else that has helped us out along the way, we appreciate you as well. Thanks everyone!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Welcome Baby Ben!

What an exciting last few days it has been for the Maple Family. On Friday morning, we welcomed the one who will complete our family... Benjamin Richard Maple.

In my last post (written just hours before leaving for the hospital), I mentioned that I was having some stomach pains, and that it was probably just nervous tension. Well, I was wrong. I was having contractions, and they were actually coming on pretty quickly, about 3 to 7 minutes apart. But we went to the hospital as scheduled, and the fact that I was going into labor didn't hurt or hold up anything. After 2 hours of pre-op stuff (blood tests, fetal monitoring and lots of paperwork), I was wheeled into the OR and we were underway.

Our beautiful little boy was born at 11:47 a.m. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 oz, and was 21 1/4 inches long. Andrew's first comment as soon as he saw the doctors lift Ben from my stomach was "Whoa, he has A LOT of hair!" And that he does! I was able to see him, hold him and nurse him in that first hour after he was born, which was something I missed out on with Joshua, so that was very special to me. Right from the get-go he was a professional at nursing. It only took a few minutes to get him latched on the first time, and we never looked back. My milk had already come in by the time Ben was 2 days old because he was such a champ.

We ended up staying in the hospital the full 4 days, because my c-section incision had started to drain. It looked for a while that I was going to be going through all of the same nonsense I did with my last incision. But, thankfully, after everything was drained, my incision closed itself back up and everything appears to be just fine. I have been told to take it even easier than a normal C-Section recovery, so I basically have to sit on the couch and do nothing for the next 2 weeks. For anyone who knows me, you know how UNrelaxing that will be! But I also have to take care of myself, so I'm going to have to force myself to let others help me as much as possible.

I have been feeling great, and my pain really hasn't been too horrible. I am so happy to be home and to have my whole family back together again. Please keep us in your prayers over the next few weeks as we adjust to life as a family of 4.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

First Real Haircut

Well, Joshua was starting to look a little mangy, and it had gone far beyond what Mommy was willing to try to tackle, so I finally broke down and took him to get his first professional haircut today. I took him to Snip-Its, a kids haircutting place over by the Chandler Mall. He can be pretty difficult in these kinds of situations, so I was a little nervous about whether or not he would cooperate. I came armed with a bag of M&M's. Bribery is a wonderful thing! Josh was such a good boy for his haircut. He didn't want to wear the apron, and neither the haircutter or myself were going to fight with him over that. As soon as he started getting squirmy (which was pretty much right away) I broke out the treats and we practiced our colors while the hair stylist went to work. I can't say enough nice things about this place. They really know how to handle kids, and have plenty of their own tricks of distraction up their sleeves. Each haircutting station is stocked with animal crackers, lollypops, bubbles and a TV that can play videos. The stylists also are great at dealing with kiddos, and make it a point to do a good job, and get it done speedily (with 2 year olds you're working on a very short clock!). I tried to get some pictures, but none of them are really any good. It's hard to distract and take pictures at the same time. So you'll have to take my word for it that Joshua looks so handsome with his new haircut!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Inconvenience, But Not A Complication

Another update from Brenda's Myspace page...

I had to go for another ultrasound today to check my amniotic fluid since at my last one two weeks ago they told me that my levels were high. My levels had remained the same (on the high side of the normal range) so my doctor decided to err on the side of caution and make me undergo stress tests and ultrasounds twice a week for the remainder of my pregnancy. So really, that is just two extra appointments since I'm delivering in two weeks. He said the only thing that can be a concern in this situation (and it is an EXTREMELY minor concern) is that the extra fluid could compress the placenta, restricting blood and oxygen flow to the baby. So the stress tests are just going to make sure that he's just hanging out in there, and that there is no distress.

Again, the Lord is using this situation to mold me and grow me spiritually. I am the kind of person who hates to go to the doctor, so I pretty much have to be dying to go. So it is upsetting to me to have to now go twice per week (once was bad enough!). So when we were discussing this at the doctor today, my first reaction was to be upset. But then I was reminded by the holy spirit living in my heart that everything is perfect with the baby. He is thriving, he is totally healthy and growing right on target to where he needs to be, and these tests are just a precaution to make sure he stays that way. So that is where I decided to put my focus. I decided chalk this up to a minor inconvenience, and nothing more.... and there's no reason to be upset about it. I think God is telling me not to be such a reacter, which is where I tend to lean. Because when I'm so busy reacting, I forget that he's even there and really allow the enemy into my life, making me doubt God's provision for me.

On a different note, the ultrasound today showed that Ben weighs about 6 lbs 6 oz at the moment. He also measured his long bones, and said "this baby is not short." So it looks like we've got another basketball player on our hands!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quick Update

A few quick notes... Joshua had what will hopefully be his final cardiologist appointment on Tuesday. He was born with a heart murmur, which got better, but then another murmur developed around that same time. Murmurs are fairly common in children and usually go away on their own. His checkup on Tuesday confirmed that his was gone, so we should be done with the cardiologist, hopefully for good! Looking back, while it may have been inconvenient to take him to those infrequent checkups (because he always seemed to hate those checkups), we were blessed enough that all they were checking on was a murmur. No pun intended, but your heart just breaks seeing little kids that have much worse problems, some needing heart surgery or worse.

As far as Mommy and Ben go, Brenda had her weekly checkup today and everything seemed to be fine. She is now measuring at 36 weeks, which is what the ultrasound showed last week (she measured at 38 last week, and she is now officially 35 weeks along... no more numbers). They did a, uh, more thorough checkup today, and she is not dilated at all, which is a good thing at this point in time. She asked about a few aches and pains she has been having, and was assured that they are normal. She will be heading in for one more ultrasound in the next week so they can ensure everything is looking okay in regards to the hydramnios.

Since everything is looking good, Brenda is having one last hurrah before being chained to 2 kids for 10 weeks, and will be heading up to Vegas with my mom to help my sister with some wedding planning. The doctor gave her the thumbs up to take the trip, so it will be a Boy's Weekend in the Maple household (sorry Copper, you don't count). I don't know about Josh, but I'll be living on Pringles and Mountain Dew all weekend =)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Juicy Mama

Brenda had a routine checkup last week, and apparently the little guy was measuring big, much bigger than he had in weeks past. He was consistently about 1 week larger than gestational age, but this week he was something like 5. The doctor told us that we needed to have an ultrasound to check everything out. Brenda thought the doctor was just measuring wrong, but hey, a free ultrasound at this late a stage? Not turning that one down! Turns out Ben is not measuring large, he is still about a week ahead. However, Brenda apparently has an overabundance of amniotic fluid, a condition called Hydramnios. In the ultrasound, they measure the largest pockets of fluid in 4 spots in the uterus, add those numbers together, and this gives you the Amniotic Fluid Index, or AFI. Average at this stage is 14 cm; Brenda was measuring at 24 cm. That is obviously on the high side, but it still just appears to be a mild case. There could be many causes of this, the majority of them harmless, but in the ultrasound they check out the kidneys, bladder, etc, to ensure that they are functioning properly. They also check the mouth area to see if there is anything going on that could affect swallowing. The ultrasound tech told us everything looked normal, so it is probably just one of those harmless, random things that seem to be a normal part of this pregnancy. The only thing they get concerned about with hydramnios is that it can sometimes trick the body into thinking things are further along and trigger early labor. We are at 34 weeks, so as long as the little guy hangs out for a couple more weeks, we should be fine. I am sure that we will still be delivering on 8/10, but you never know! What was cool was that we were able to have a 4-D ultrasound done, which means we got some really cool pictures, which are already posted in the photo album. The tech told us she just wanted to have a little fun and do the 4-D for free, but I think it may have actually been asked for by the doctor, after reading a couple articles. In any case, he appears to be happy, healthy and very active in there, and we couldn't be happier!

Mmmmmm... Umbilical

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Big Boy!

In preparation for the new arrival (in 5 weeks and 6 days... not that we're counting), we decided that we would transition Joshua into a big boy bed so that we can pass the crib down to his little brother. We then decided to take it one step bigger, and give him a whole new room. We had no idea what to expect, but more than anything expected some kind of fight or power struggle. So last week, Brenda put together his new toddler bed (with Joshua's help... and we all know how much help a 2 year old is with those kinds of things!), and got his new room all set up. He has been very interested in his bed all week, but mostly just wanted to jump off of it. But we really tried to get him excited about his new room and bed. So last night was the moment of truth. After a long night of hard play with his buddy Nathaniel, we came home to hit the hay. We couldn't believe it. After reading our stories and saying our prayers, Joshua cliimbed right in his bed all by himself. He was so ready for this! When Brenda left the room, we didn't hear another peep from him until about 7:30 this morning! And to top that off, he stayed in his bed until we came in to get him. At nap time today, it was the same thing. No fighting, no attempts at escape. Just a 2 hour snooze fest. We could not be prouder of our little big boy. He is such an amazing joy in our lives. The fact that he made this transition so well gives us hope for our next big endeavor... little brother!

Big Kid Now

A few tidbits from the last couple weeks. Joshua had his 2 year checkup and measured in at a whopping 38 inches, which is above 97% on the growth chart. That means he grew another 3 inches in the past 6 months. Unfortunately he only decided to add 1 pound in that 6 months and he weighed in at 26 pounds. Apparently he wants to be a stringbean like daddy =) The doctor wasn't concerned and we certainly aren't either, so no worries there. He also got his last shot until he is 4 (woohoo!). As far as his talking... he is still amazing us every day. He is now putting together the occasional 4 to 5 word sentence, and I think we have lost track of how many words he knows. Our concerns about that are definitely gone.

The big news for Joshua is that he moved out of his crib this weekend! We were anticipating a bit of a struggle, but so far he hasn't had a problem with it. No crying, no trying to get out of his room, no wandering out of his bed... we are amazed! We've been playing up the "big boy now" theme, and it seems to be working. He has been very excited about the whole thing.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Two Years Old!

(Note: This came from Brenda's Myspace blog)

Wednesday was a very special day in the Maple household. Our little Joshua is 2 years old today. It has been so amazing to watch him grow and develop over the last year. This time last year, he couldn't talk and couldn't walk. He was probably about a foot shorter (okay, maybe not that much, but he's grown a lot), and was still so dependant upon us for everything.

My, what a difference a year makes! He is such a little man now. He decided to give walking a try right around the 4th of July last year, and has become increasingly agile since that time. He's running everywhere, and he loves to do somersaults and "jump" off of things. He is talking constantly, and about 99% are actual words that can be easily understood. He's even puttting together sentences.

There have been some struggles over the last year. I remember that 18 months was probably the hardest time we've had so far. We were dealing with an increased ability to understand, but not being able to communicate it, which brought a lot of frustration for everyone. Our Christmas tree stood naked this year, as he was unable to control the impulses of playing with the ornaments. He also began asserting his own decisions, and when he didn't want to do something, he certainly would let you know. But that's all part of growing up.

We just couldn't be prouder of our little man, and look forward to what this next year will bring. A new baby brother, a new bedroom, a big boy bed, and potty training (Lord willing!). We especiallly look forward to those "Kids Say the Darndest Things" moments as his verbal skills continue to develop.

To celebrate the big day, we had his name read on the radio in the morning, and brought cookies to share with his friends at school. We had dinner at McDonalds, and play with our special birthday presents from Mommy and Daddy... a sandbox, sandbox toys, a dump truck and a rocket launcher. It is turning out to be a great day! Then this weekend is the big and much anticipated puppy party!

Happy birthday, J-Man. We love you!!!!

From Silent Bob to Verbal Diarrhea

(Note: This was originally posted on Brenda's Myspace blog)

Just about 6 weeks ago, I was at my wits end, very concerned that Joshua was not talking. I was convinced we were going to need to get him evaluated, and all that. Then, he just exploded. He's got probably about 50-60 words now, most of which can be understood pretty clearly. I am the happiest mommy in the world, now that I can verbally communicate with my kiddo. What is funny is that he was so quiet for so long, now he's making up for lost time. We really can't shut the kid up! He narrates everything that he does.. "I sit!" "Go to da store" "Up-ey Steps", and is mimicking everything. It is hilarious, but also a little unnerving. We are now to the point where we REALLY need to watch what comes out of our mouths. It really makes you stop and think what appropriate language really is. Obviously we shouldn't be saying the major offenses (little one in the house or not)... but what about calling someone an idiot on the road? Do I want to hear my son calling someone an idiot? Absoultely not. Or even just saying that something "sucks". We're really trying to G-rate our language and behavior. Then, what about shows that are on the TV? He is always paying attention to everything, so it stands to reason that the old boob tube can be an influence on him, even at this young age. I know he is going to be exposed to this stuff, especially as he begins to gain more and more independence over the next few years (can we say, elementary school???), but there is a big difference between being exposed to it, and condoning it. I feel that if these things commonly happen in our home, we are saying that they are okay, which I am not okay with. Just another sacrifice of parenting! But it is SO worth it!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Joshua-to-English Dictionary

Now that Joshua is spitting out new words everyday, we thought it would useful to have a Joshua-English dictionary to help decipher some of the verbage. Some of the words he can say perfectly: Mommy, Daddy, puppy, bubble, cookie, juice, shoes, socks, "I Sit in Seat", cheese, fishies, "Lets Go", "I Can See It". Here's the ones that need some translation:

Up The Steps = "Uh-Pee-Seps!"
Ball = "Bah-oe"
Milk = "Guk"
Strawberry = "Buh-buh-bee"
Please = "Peace"
Amen = "Muh-Men"
Night-Night = "Nah-nee"
Nathaniel = "Nah-nee"
Potty = "Poo-pee"
Airplane = "Ah-poe"

Thursday, April 12, 2007


So it has only been a couple weeks since the last post, but it seems like Josh has changed a bunch since then. Honestly, the Tuesday after that post, Josh woke up and was a very different kid. For one thing, he that look in his eye, like he was going to be up to something, like he was going to explore and there was nothing we could do about it (you parents know the look I'm talking about). Ever since then, he has been more adventurous, more talkative, more everything. He seems to have double the energy he used to have, but not in an "oh-crap-terrible-twos" way. He has actually been very well behaved lately, for the most part. Anyways, the changes. First and foremost, he has finally decided that he wanted to talk a little bit. We always knew that he understood everything we said and we would catch him occasionally spitting out a word. But he has definitely expanded his vocab in the last two weeks: bump-bump (wanting to go over speed bumps), puppy, cookie, grass, key, amen (pronounced meh-men), beep (pronounced buh-p). He also is making up his own little sign language... he will point to his eyes if he wants his sunglasses, his ear if he wants the phone, his head if he wants his hat, his mouth if he wants to eat or drink and his hand if he wants to draw with his markers (don't ask).

Another exciting development is that he has shown a lot of interest in his potty. He has been wanting to sit on it a lot, and over the past few days he has peed in it quite a few times. Today he actually led Mommy into the bathroom, took off his shorts, had her take off his diaper and sat down. He got distracted when he didn't go, started playing with the door, noticed that he had peed on the floor, pinched it off (ouch!) and went back to the potty to finish! So he is definitely figuring out what it is for. Hopefully he will stay on this track!

As far as being adventurous, he has been testing his courage at the playground, conquering both the wobbly bridge AND the chain ladder in just this week alone. He seems to be developing a lot of confidence in himself lately, on the playground and everywhere else, and we are super proud of him, as always.

On a side note, his future sibling is developing just fine. We had another ultrasound last week and everything appears to be developing nicely. We are still on track for a mid-August arrival, which will be here before we know it. Please keep Brenda and the baby in your prayers.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Look Ma, No Pants!

Joshua continues to add new skills to his arsenal every single day. Last week, as the picture shows, he learned how to pull down his pants! It was funny at first, walking in to check on him and seeing him with his pants down. It was even funnier to watch him shuffle off with his pants around his ankles. Not quite so funny when he whipped 'em down repeatedly at our Bible study Friday night! Luckily it seems like he only does it when he is wearing his jammies, so we haven't had any problems in public just yet. Thanks heavens for buttons and zippers!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sick Boy

Well, we made it almost 21 months, but over the past weekend, Joshua finally came down with his first ear infection. At first it didn't seem like anything worse than a common cold: fever, cough, runny nose. But then the fever kept sticking around, and then the diapers got a little, uh, looser and more frequent. We finally took him to the doctor and she said that he had an ear infection in his left ear. He's now on a 10 day course of Amoxicillin, which amazingly is his first prescription ever. Unfortunately the antibiotic is also making his tummy a bit worse. Okay, a lot worse. Wednesday night between 5:30 - 8:30, we changed somewhere around 14 or 15 diapers. It slowed down a bit on Thursday, and it appears to be even better today (knock on wood), but he's still staying home from school, just in case. And even though Brenda and I are up to arms in dirty diapers (Brenda more so than me, she's a trooper), we still feel very blessed that this is the first time in Joshua's 21 months on Earth that we have had to go through something like this. He is a very healthy kid and we are so thankful for that. Now go buy stock in Huggies!!!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Kick It!

Thought I would throw a quick update on here while Joshua munches on his waffles and Cheerios. The J-Man has recently discovered that he can kick things: his big blue ball, his legos, the patio door, Copper, Mommy and Daddy's shins. When he hasn't been practicing for the World Cup, Joshua has also been cutting what we think are his final baby teeth. Yes, he is getting his 2 year molars at 19 months. He is our little alligator. These ones don't seem to be that much fun for him (or us)... he has definitely had his cranky moments. On a funnier note, Joshua has learned to close his eyes on demand. The funny part is that he does it using his index fingers. We're not quite sure where that one came from, but it sure does crack us up. Not much else to report on Joshua, at least not that I can think of. We have our first ultrasound appointment on Thursday, so please pray for that. We will be sure to post results and pictures as soon as we can. Hope ya'll like the new layout!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Joshua's Little Buddy!

The J-Man apparently has a friend at daycare... the teacher says they do this almost every day!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Monkey Hear, Monkey Say

Over the last couple of days, Joshua has taken great strides in his journey toward being verbal. We have noticed that he definitely has words that he uses a lot, but they are either made up words, or ones that he has switched all the consonants to ones he knows so that they don't sound like what he's trying to say. But we have noticed that he makes the same groups of sounds in similar situations, like when a light is out, or he finds something missing from somewhere. He still doesn't have that many real words that he actually says and uses regularly, but he is turning into our little parrot. He has started to mimic a lot of the sounds that we are making, his favorite being the "P" sound, which he always whispers. He also has learned how to say "silly", which is really cute. There are two copycat things that just really crack us up. He has been entertained by rapid eye blinking for a while (watching mommy or daddy do it), but now he is trying to do it himself. He doesn't quite have the rapid part down, and he keeps his eyes about halfway closed when he's doing it, but it is the cutest thing! The other is copying us when we put our fingers to our lips and say "Shhhh". Apparently it looks like we're pointing to our noses, because Josh will point to his nose and say "ssssss". He never ceases to amaze us in the new things he learns everyday. We think in the next few months he will decide that there is really something to this talking thing and will really start to turn it on. That seems to be his personality... kind of an all or nothing kind of guy. That's how he was when it came to walking, so it shouldn't be any surprise that he's doing it again in the verbal department. We'll keep you posted on our hopefully soon to be little chatterbox.