Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Interview with Joseph

I decided to do a little interview with Joseph. I hope to keep doing this every year or so, but we'll see how that goes :)

Betsy: What is your name?
Joseph: Joseph
Betsy: How old are you?
Joseph: free

Who wouldn't want to eat those cookies?
Betsy: What's your favorite sport?
Betsy: Do you have a favorite sport?
Joseph: Yea. It's called to play ball. It's called football for me. I wike football.

Shoveling like a boss.
Betsy: What is your favorite food?
Joseph: Sandwich.

Betsy: What is your favorite toy?
Joseph: Cuhcuter (computer). Wike yours. A big cuhcuter wike yours.

Betsy: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Joseph: No. I want to write on paper.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Let's Get Talking

John had his first speech therapy session this past week, and it went great. His therapist is so sweet and he warmed up to her really fast. She was able to get him to purposefully make the "b" and "m" sounds (we still have to work on exactly how he uses his mouth to produce these sounds, but still!).

He has made the "m" sound before. But I had only ever heard it when he said "mama," and that only ever happened when he was upset (except this past Wednesday when he said "mama" when I asked and without being upset - miracle). He also said the "b" sound when he was about a year old to say "bye bye." But that only lasted a few weeks before the "b" sound disappeared from his speech entirely. Until Thursday when his speech therapist helped him make the sound again!

I'm so excited that John is able to receive this help. And for the extra guidance for Will and me for how we can help John learn to talk. We now know a little bit more about exactly what's wrong (most significantly, he doesn't have any fine motor control with his mouth - he's only making wide, sweeping motions to produce sounds which is similar to what a 6-9 month old would do). And we're learning ways to help him develop these fine motor skills.
Watch out, world! This little guy is going to be talking up a storm before you know it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Talker and His Brothers

For the sake of preservation I give you a post of conversations with Joseph, one conversation with John and some pictures thrown in for good measure.

While in a stand-off with John waiting for him to eat his broccoli I see Joseph encouraging him to eat his broccoli. I look away for about 60 seconds, look back and see all his broccoli gone. I ask Joseph, "did he eat his broccoli or did you eat his broccoli?" to which he responds "I help him." 

While playing in the back yard:
Joseph: I got four a dem!
Me: Four of what?
I look over and see he is picking up rabbit poop pellets.

During lunch one day:
Joseph: (to himself while on the floor picking up a noodle) Please sit up.
Joseph: (to himself while getting back on the chair) I will not please sit up.

Shortly after having me put a band-aid on his finger because it hurt (no idea why):
Me: Joseph, would you like some stickers?
Joseph: Well, I have a band aid, so I'll jus take da stickers.
Me: Ok. (hand him some stickers)
*60 seconds later after walking into the living room and back into the kitchen*
Joseph: Well, I have a band aid, so I don't need deese stickers.
Me: Ok, just put them on the counter if you don't want them.
*20 seconds later sulking into the living room*

Joseph: Well, I have a band aid, so I'm jus gonna way down.

The morning after Halloween:
Joseph: I want to pway wiff my bag.
Me: Ok, just let me take the candy out first.
Joseph: (as I'm putting all the candy in a bowl) Akshawe, I jus want da bow.
Me: So, you just want the candy?
Joseph: Yea. I jus want da candy.

"Braking weaves" with daddy.
While Will is changing John's diaper:
Will: Can you say "da da da"?
John: Da da da! (giggles)
Will: Can you say "ma ma ma"?
John: Da da! (giggles)
Will: Can you say "la la la"?
John: (incoherent jibberish) (giggles)
Will: Ah well, we'll let the state take care of you.
Speech therapy starts tomorrow :)

Watch out Tiger, they're coming for you.
I will say that John has the "d" and the "s" sound down pat. Pretty much all of his words are made from those two sounds. Here's what he can say and any explanation trying to make clear what we hear, which is hard considering some of the sounds he makes. If only I knew how to write phonetically :)
"ish" = fish, trash
"dis"(said really quickly/slurred together) = this
"da" = that
"s" (it sounds more like "uhs" but the "uh" is hardly heard) = yes (usually with a head nod)
"a da" = all done (but he only says this in response to me asking if he's all done)
"da da" = da da (daddy)
"ma ma" = ma ma (mommy, but only on occasion and only when he's crying/upset)

He won cutest voter on the block :)
Driving to the polling station:
Me: We're going to go vote then go to Safeway then go home to have lunch with daddy.
Joseph: We're going to a boat?
Me: No, we're going to vvvvote.
Jospeh: Oh! We're going to boat!

As we're walking into the polling station:
Me: See? We're going to vvvote. We're going to pick who we want to be in our government.
Joseph: OOOOooohhhh, we're going to boooooaaaaat.
Me: No, vvvvvvote. Like vvvvvery and vvvvvvvvictory!
Joseph: Oh! Wike bery and bictory!

Inside our polling station (an elementary school):
Joseph: Wook, mom! A boat! (points to a picture of a boat on the wall)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Life with Three (Part 2)

I typed this beauty up a LONG time ago. Not sure why I never published it. Oh well. Hope you enjoy the pics of the boys anyway :)

Will's first day back to work I took all three boys to Toys R Us and bought a baby pool in the hopes that I'd be able to relax in the backyard while the older boys wore themselves out. They seemed to enjoy the pool well enough, but weren't quite as tired as I had hoped.
Joseph was a bit timid about getting in - he doesn't like getting messy.

Will indulged my request to go to Fuddrucker's a few many weekends age. The boys, of course, love the fact that they get to "play" with the arcade games after dinner.

John likes to wear Will's hat when Joseph and Will are wearing theirs. It's a little big, so I finally got him his own hat (picture will come eventually).

Joseph and John showing off.

We went to story time at the train station/museum a few weeks ago with some friends and a train went by right in the middle of story time. Naturally, all the kids had to go out to watch it go by.

While eating his ice cream from Chick-fil-a:
Me: Is it yummy?
Joseph: Mmhmm. And dewicious, too.

I look over at Joseph who is sitting in his Elmo chair on the couch (his usual perch for TV watching) - it's still only 10am. I ask what he's doing and he responds "I'm waiting for Mickey Mouse." Too bad for him I had already told him there would be no Mickey Mouse until the afternoon before his nap (when he typically gets his one show per day).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Life with Three (Part 1)

Will has been back to work for a week now. I knew I would need to keep us busy this week for my own sanity, and luckily the week has gone fairly smoothly.
I also recently got a new phone that a) takes reasonably good pictures and b) connects to the internet so I can upload them to Picasa. So, here are some recent pictures and a little rambling from me :)

I love this picture of John. A friend brought over chili for dinner one night and John loved it. This is him after dinner as happy as a clam.

Will took Joseph to a Frederick Keys baseball game for his birthday...without John. John was not pleased. I took this picture shortly after Will and Joseph left. Notice he's holding his shoes and a baseball hat indicating that he's ready to go to the game, too. Poor boy cried for a good 5 minutes before I gave him (diluted) apple juice to calm him down (worked like a charm).

Will's sister, Tiffany, came for a visit last week. We all really enjoyed visiting with her, and the boys loved having someone new to play with! Here's John with Aunt Tiffany at the National Air and Space Museum Annex (Joseph refused to be pictured for some reason).

Shortly after Joseph's birthday party John took a shorter than normal nap. So he was wandering around/playing downstairs trying to figure out what to do with himself while Joseph was sleeping. I had gotten the ice cream cake (from Joseph's birthday party) out to have a piece and left it on the counter. John found his way to the cake and drove the "noisy truck" right through it knocking it off the counter. Fun times in the Rayel household.

Joseph is absolutely in love with Michael. He frequently asks to hold Michael, and loves to tend to his needs or let me know what it is that (he perceives that) Michael needs. He's such a great big brother! :)

I was finally able to catch a picture of all three boys. Of course, none of them are looking at the camera, but I still love this picture.

I'll break here and end with a Joseph-ism (part 2 coming soon!).

I asked Joseph to go to the basement and clean up the mess he made earlier in the day. After returning from cleaning up the toys he declares "The job is done!"

Monday, June 23, 2014

Welcome Michael Benedict!

Michael Benedict made an early arrival on Sunday, June 22 at 2:23am. It's a good thing he came early because he managed to weigh in at a solid 8lbs 12oz and was 21.5inches long.

Will brought Joseph and John to meet their brother last night. They enjoyed meeting Michael, but were more impressed by the privacy curtain and all the buttons in the room.

Welcome baby Michael! We're so happy you're here!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My Life Lately

It's officially summer for us. Joseph finished preschool for the year, and now I'm feeling like it's go time for baby. I've been feverishly rearranging furniture, organizing and purging stuff, and generally getting ready for baby. It seems everywhere I turn there's something else that needs to be done. Cest la life.

We finally moved John into Joseph's room, so now the nursery is ready for a little sprucing up before the bebe arrives (Soon? One can hope.)....although he won't sleep in there for the first couple months. Buuut, nobody said nesting was a rational thing.

The boys have been keeping me quite busy. John's favorite activity lately is climbing up on the kitchen chairs and grabbing for stuff on the kitchen table and occasionally falling and hurting himself. So, "keep kitchen table clear of non-John-friendly things" has been high on my to-do list lately (drinks in glass cups in particular).

He also enjoys climbing on the coffee table, and can't wait to be able to climb on the couch (I'm sure that one is coming soon!).

Joseph keeps himself busy wearing his baseball hat and staying generally obsessed with all things baseball. Yesterday he had to put on a red shirt before heading to Will's softball game (which they ended up forfeiting, so Joseph and Will got to play a little baseball in the backyard).

And today this happened:

The glove was a new addition to his sleeping paraphernalia.

And while the two older boys are keeping me busy with their antics, the in-utero babe just keeps getting bigger (as in-utero babes are want to do). He's still a pretty calm little guy, but this is the first pregnancy where I've actually had to deal with swelling. I couldn't wear my rings by the end with Joseph, but this time I'm feeling the swelling - especially in my feet. Oh well, he should be here soon(ish).

(Sorry this is a little blurry. I guess that's just
what happens the 3rd time around.)

I again don't look nearly as enormous as I feel, but trust me - I'm quite large.