Saturday, May 29, 2010

The End of an Era

We have been so blessed to have found such a wonderful preschool/daycare for our boys. Josh has been at North Phoenix Baptist Church Preschool since he was 10 weeks old and has never known anything else. The teachers and administration have been so wonderful over the last 5 years (and very gracious when my kids have puked all over them!).

On Friday, Joshua had his official preschool graduation. It was a fun time to celebrate all the kids' accomplishments over the last 5 years. Some of the kids we have known since the baby room, and others have joined the party somewhere in between. They started out the celebration by calling each child to the the front and giving them a diploma and a gift.

Somehow they were even able to gather all the kids together for a class picture.

Joshua has made some great friends at NPBC. His main squeeze over the last 2 years has been a little cutie, Kerrigan. These two have been quite the couple. Maybe we should call them Joshigan?

His other best little friend is Trevor. These two love to get into trouble together!

After the ceremony, the kids got to stay for a "pajama party" where they ate pizza and played games. What fun!

Josh has had a great time in pre-school. I can't wait to see what Kidergarten brings next year!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Uncle Tony 1944-2010

From left to right - Catherine Sentif (Grandma), Robert Sentif (Grandpa), Uncle Tony, Aunt Ann, and Bobbie (Mom). Sending Tony off to Vietnam in early 1960.

Tony passed away last night. RIP Uncle Tony.

Breathing Easy

This last year has just been incredible, compared to the one before. Between January and April of 2009, Ben began having respiratory flareups where he couldn't take a deep breath, or really any kind of breath, without breaking into a horrible coughing fit. He was getting breathing treatments every 4 hours, had three shots of Predisone, a powerful steriod, in that short 4 month period, and nearly ended up in the hospital on at least one occassion. It was miserable for all involved. But then we got together with Kelvin Panasar, M.D., a wonderful pediatric pulmonologist. He prescribed Ben a preventative steriod that we hoped would keep his airways open so that, even if he came down with a cold or allergies (which is usually what did it for him) his airways would stay open. He also put him on Singulair to try to control the allergies to prevent flareups in the first place. I am so happy to say that in the last 12 months, Ben has only needed 3 doses of Albuterol to treat respiratory flareups, and the flareups he did have were super mild compared to those last year. I can't even remember the last time he's even had a cold! (And I'm really hoping I am not jinxing myself in saying that!)

Yesterday we went to see Dr. Panasar for his post-cold-and-flu-season checkup. What I love about Dr. Panasar is that he doesn't expect me to just shut up and listen and do what he says. He values "Dr. Mom" and wants to know what I think since I'm the one that sees it all. Since Benny's been doing so good, we together decided to take Ben all the way off of his medications and see how he does on his own. If the flareups return, we'll try putting him back on one of them, and will also allergy test him to see what he might be reacting to (not that you can really do to much about environmental allergies other than medicate).

I'm so happy that he is now set free from nightly breathing treatments, although he never seemed to mind them. He's always been so good about them, thankfully! Hopefully his little airways have grown enough to be able to handle any mild inflamation should any happen to come on. I'm just praying we can continue down this healthy road we've been traveling the last year. I like it here!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Curse of the Grover Underpants

I don't know what it is about these little underpants. They're cute enough. I mean, who doesn't love Grover? But I tell you, these underpants are cursed. Ben could go for days, weeks, or even months without having an accident. But as soon as he dons the Grovers, it all comes to an end. We refuse to put these particular undies on him anymore. But we don't want to get rid of them, lest they transfer their powers to a different pair. Who'd have thought that cute little Grover could cause so much trouble!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Healing Arts for Children's Hearts

This last weekend I participated in a fundraiser for the Child Advocacy Healing Arts for Children's Hearts Program which sponsor's programs for children who have suffered abuse, trauma or loss. The program is based out of William T. Machan Elementary School, which is one of the schools in the district I grew up in. My friend from Jr. High was organizing the event and asked me to participate. My good friend, Jen, was kind enough to lend her voice as well.

We sang 3 songs together: I've Got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter), The Dance (Garth Brooks), and They Can't Take That Away From Me (Gershwin). Jen and I kicked the night off and had a blast singing together. Here's the videos of our songs. We were happy with how it all went.

I've Got You Under My Skin

The Dance

They Can't Take That Away From Me

There were so many other talented acts that night, it was a great event, and ended up raising $1300 for a great cause.

Say Ah!

I FINALLY took Joshua to the dentist for his very first cleaning this morning. I've been meaning to do it for the longest time and never got around to it. Thankfully, Joshua can pretty much handle anything as long as he knows what to expect, so we spent some time in the days leading up to his appointment talking about what they were going to do, so there weren't really any surprises for him. They took some x-rays (couldn't get them all because the poor guy was gagging on some of them... but he tried so hard!) and we got to see his adult teeth in there. They said he'll probably start loosing the baby teeth around his 6th birthday - he can't wait for that. Every day he asks me to check his teeth to see if they're loose yet. They also mentioned that his bottom teeth are a little crowded and probably won't allow enough room for his adult teeth. Hopefully we'll be able to bypass braces for him! But he handled the cleaning like a champ, and became the proud (read: VERY proud) owner of a little dental floss thingamajig. So thankfully the first trip to the dentist was a positive experience for him.

Ben's Claim to Fame

That's right, boys and girls. That's his tongue going up INTO his nose. I'm so proud.

Corn, Zucchini and Peas, Oh My!

I know I just posted about our garden a week or so ago, but I was so excited to see what's developed in the last week. First off, we NOW actually have some corn starting (I was mistaken last time). About mid-week last week we saw the first of the silks.

Early last week we also got our first male AND female zucchini blossoms open, and so, not trusting the bees, decided to hand pollinate it. Here is the male flower:

and here is a female:

Notice the difference in the shape of the pollen. Apparently my hand pollinating was successful, because yesterday we were able to pick this!

We also sampled one of our snap peas this weekend.

Those are some tasty peas. The boys LOVE them!

Friday, May 14, 2010

R.I.P. Soosy

It's a sad day in the Maple house. Our little red beta fish, Soosy, passed away some time last night. Soosy was Joshua's "very own pet" that he got for his 4th birthday. Betas have a life span of only about a year, and seeing how Soosy was already fully grown when we got him, and Joshua's birthday is in a few weeks, I'd say Soosy lived a long life, and that fish was loved. Although Joshua didn't always remember to feed him, he was pretty responsible about it as 4 year olds go, and he thanked God for Soosy in his bedtime prayers every night.

We had known for a little while that Soosy was probably living on borrowed time and that the end was probably near, so every time I would pass his bowl I would check to make sure he was still alive. A lot of times he would be resting in the bottom of the bowl wrapped up in his little plant.

This morning Joshua looked in Soosy's bowl and said "I think Soosy is resting." Uh-oh. But when I looked over at the bowl, I thought I saw Soosy in his plant, so I said that he likes to rest in his plant. But then Joshua said "He's not in his plant. He's at the top." Double uh-oh. Sure enough, Soosy was gone. So here we go explaining death to a 4 year old. But Joshua wasn't too broken up about it. When I told his Soosy had gone to heaven, he said "that's okay, we can just go get another fish at Pest-Mart." How soon we move on! We spent much of the rest of the morning talking about Soosy, and what we'll miss about him. R.I.P Soosy. You were a great fish!

Spring Garden 2010

At the end of March we planted our spring garden. This year we decided to go with more seeds than pre-sprouted plants. We chose corn, snap peas and zucchini, and also got a tomato and strawberry plant. Here it was then:

and here it is now:

We've already been able to enjoy a couple of the tomatoes...

And today we got our first zucchini blossom.

This flower is a male (zucchini are like other squash and have male and female flowers) but unlike my failed pumpkins last year we have plenty of healthy female blossoms that are growing and will probably open soon, so I'm confident the zucchini will fare better than the poor pumpkins did.

The peas are getting going too.

The corn has been going crazy! They are starting to grow their pollen...

and yesterday we saw some silks starting, which will hopefully turn into an ear of corn.

Can't wait to see how these home grown goodies will taste!

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Every year the organization that Andrew works for reserves a couple sections at a Diamondbacks Game for Donate Life day. We took Joshua again this year. Ben was sad that he couldn't go, but we feel like he's still a little too young to try to sit through a baseball game... he can't even make it through a whole movie! Next year, buddy! But he still got to have fun with Grandma and Granddad while we were at the game. Just like last year, we rode the train to the ballpark, which is always a special treat. Joshua seemed to be a lot more into it this year than last year. It's amazing what a difference a year can make! He was clapping along with the music and sang every word to Take Me Out to the Ballgame at the top of his lungs, when last year he wouldn't participate at all. Here are some photos from our fun day.

Joshua "getting some energy" for the game.

Our free gift - an Augie Ojeda bobble head.