Sunday, January 8, 2012

Frog Prince plays the piano

At the start of the school year, FP began taking piano lessons for a fantastic teacher here in town. He is doing quite well, and only a few months in has already started playing simple chords. Here is a video of him playing his Christmas songs for us on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012 to all of you out there! Hope you had a wonderful day filled with things that make you happy.

The blog is all caught up and ready to begin a new! So I leave you with some darling pictures of the Beany man!

Six weeks, and sitting in the bumbo seat for the first time.

Sleeping with the Daddio!

And celebrating New Years Day in style, with my favourite 'ugly' suit.

Christmas 2011

Christmas was a bit of an adventure for our family this year. It was our year to spend the holiday with my family, and when talking to my mom about how we wanted to do things this year, I invited everyone over to my house, because I figured with a new baby, and four other little boys, it would be easier than having to cart them around.  It was a small little celebration this year, with my little brother living over in Germany, and my older brother having to work, but my mom was able to come spend the time with us and so we still enjoyed ourselves.

Christmas even traditions that we do around the Carleski house include: eating Chili, opening a present (always new jammies) and telling the Christmas story, as well as reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas and T'was the Night Before Christmas before setting out goodies for Santa.

Things got interesting though when that evening I started having trouble with my Asthma. I ended up using my nebulizer while we were getting all the goodies set out for the kids, and I was okay for the rest of the night, able to sleep fairly well.  When I woke up the next morning though, I was having trouble again. Basically, the whole day boiled down to me using my nebulizer and my rescue inhaler like they were candy. And even in so doing I'd get terribly winded by just the slightest things. I had also invited my grandpa Charles down, and he came to spend a few hours with us before heading back home. The real problem came though when it rolled around to being time to make dinner b/c I was having so much trouble breathing that I just couldn't do it. To add to the worries, my inlaws ended up coming over b/c they were going to go to my sister in laws house, but she called and said she was sick.  Thankfully, my mom stepped in and saved the day by cooking all of dinner by herself. I felt terribly about it since she was our guest, but had it not been for her, we likely would have ended up eating cereal for supper. My mother in law had to work that day and said that she'd seen pretty much nothing but patients in for breathing troubles that day to the ER, and that something must have been moving through the valley.  I managed to make it until after supper and then decided that I too needed to head into the ER to get stronger meds, since it was getting to be unsafe with the amount I was taking at home. So, after finishing supper  (so that I didn't miss any of 'Christmas Day') Benjamin put the kids to bed, and my mom, instead of heading home drove me to the ER.... I'd had so much meds at home, by that point that, when the hooked me up to the stuff, my BP was 141/92 and my resting pulse was 92. Holy WOW!  Thankfully they gave me a stronger asthma drug there, and the doc prescribed my some drugs to take at home over the next few days. And then home we went, where thankfully I was able to sleep through the night. And although I was pretty tried the next few days, after coming off of my drug high (no joke!) I rebounded pretty quickly and we have been able to enjoy the rest of the kids break. But it sure did make for a lame ending to Christmas Day.

 Christmas Jammies!!!
 This years goodies included: A new camera for FP, a kitchen for Sheepie, Darth Tater and a Stormtater Mr. Potatohead for Boy, and a Very Hungry Caterpillar  Zoobies doll for Goob.

 Look at the excitement in his eyes

 "Lets take pictures of each other, taking pictures of each other!"

 Grandma got Sheepie some great pots and pans to go with his new kitchen.

 Goob LOVES books!
 Boy loves his Toy Story action figures from Grandma

 and his 'big boy' hoodie

 I bet you can't tell these two are related at all!

 we made Boy an Angry Birds toy set for Christmas this year!

 Sheepie got his first cookbook!
 and we gave FP a tub full of little Pokemon toys (eye roll)

FP crashed in a post Christmas nap

And yes, for those who noticed, there was no mention of Beany in this post. Call me heartless, but I saw no point in giving toys to a kid who was not even two months old. He enjoyed a day of being held almost non stop by his Grandma. I think that's a great Christmas gift for all involved!


For several years now the boys have wanted to celebrate Hanukkah. I've often wondered why we as Christians do not celebrate it was well. It was something that began before the birth of Christ, and as descendants of the tribes of Israel, it seems to me that we would celebrate those things as well, even as modern day Christians. So this year, when Sheepie asked me if we could celebrate, I said sure!

I wanted to make sure that we were not just being flippant about it though, so I spent about a week leading up to the first night teaching the kids about the history of Hanukkah, why it's celebrated, and getting things ready to do it correctly. We checked out many books from the library, made our own Menorah, and I crocheted each of the boys their own Yarmulkes to wear.  We had a lot of fun saying the prayers each night, singing the songs and telling the stories, and of course lighting the candles. There was also some very serious dreidel playing going on at our house.

I wish I had managed to get more pictures this year! Especially since I didn't get any of the cute Menorah the boys made, and Goober broke it before I had a chance to put it away for next year.

FP earns is Purple Belt in Karate

After a year of having to take two long breaks and basically start over in his orange belt twice, FP struggled through and earned his purple belt in Karate on the 16th of December. This means he has moved out of the 'beginner' belts as it were, and is on his first belt of the 'intermediate' belts.  He will have to work hard to keep up in class, as he is still so small and young, but I know he will do great, and he is SO proud to have that stiff new purple belt!

 Goodbye Orange Belt!

 Hello Purple Belt

 With his cousin Rachel, who also got her Purple Belt.

Out of the mouth of Goobs

My sweet Goober...where do I even begin when it comes to summing up what this kid is like. The term we have chosen lately to describe him is, 'feral'. There was never a boy in this world who could have been more likely to have been raised by a pack of wild animals, and yet I love him all the more for it.

Goob is such a sweet boy at heart, and wants to do everything, learn about everything, explore everything, and test his limits as much as he can. He is mischief incarnate. One minute he will be sweetly smiling at you, and the next he will be impishly looking over at you while doing exactly what you've just told him not to do.

Over the last few months he has really made some major progress in catching up to his developmental markers. Socially he is pretty spot on these days to being a mid two year old. His speech is getting much better too, when you consider where we were even just three or so months ago. He has been working steadily with his speech therapist for the last few months, and I've never seen a little boy who wants so badly to be able to do something (in this case speak). He tries so hard to emulate the sounds he hears, and his vocabulary is growing it seems each day. Although the words still lack many many of the connsonate sounds, it is becoming more clear to those who are around him that he is attempting to say actual words, as the vowels and inflections for the words are often spot on. I find it very funny though, that the one connsonate sound he is able to make time and time again, without any problem is the 'sh' sound. that is normally one of the hardest for young kids, and yet he has a steady array of sh words in his vocabulary.

He did a test run at the preschool in the week leading up to Christmas break, and although he is so young compared to the other kids, the teachers all said he did well. He was engaged and willing to do as he was told, and seemed to be enjoying himself. I really feel that having him around other kids his own age, who are not his brothers, will help him to hear what words are meant to sound like. And that it will be good to have other kids around him who are not going to try to talk over him, or for him, but  make him do it himself.

I plan on taking him soon to see a pediatric audiologist, b/c I am still not convinced though that he is hearing words correctly. I was talking with my mother in law yesterday about it, and we concluded he could very well hear well  enough to follow the directions given to him during the test, which consisted basically of, 'drop the toy in the bucket when you hear the beep,' kind of testing. However, I have to wonder if he is not hearing words clearly enough to reproduce the connsonate sounds.

I am so grateful though, to live in a time when my son is not just written off. That there are amazing programs like Early Childhood Intervention and preschools to work with him, and help him to reach his goals. I'm also grateful for the amazing technology we have, which will be able to help us know if he has hearing problems. And that there are things like my ipad which engage him with some wonderful therapy apps that I couldn't have even imaged using when I was in speech as a child. I know that with all of these resources for us to use, he will eventually get to his full potential, and I can not wait for that day!

Some of his new words:

And.... he has been trying really hard with potty training lately as well! Considering he can't tell us when he needs to go, I am even more proud of him when we manage to put two and two together and make it work!

Now... if I could only get those blasted fingers out of his mouth!

Blessing the Beany Boy

December has been quite a special month for our family. It could also be the month of alliteration: Birthdays, Baptisms, and Blessings.

On December 4th, Benjamin was able to give our son a name and a blessing at church, which is a tradition that I have always held dearly. It is always so special for me to see my baby dressed in white and held so lovingly in his fathers arms. All of my boys have worn the same outfit, and it hangs on the wall in the nursery. I hope that as Beany grows up and looks at it hanging there, it will be a reminder to him of how special he is not only to his mommy and daddy, but to his Heavenly Father as well.

Beany at one month old

It seems like time is just flying buy with this sweet little Bean. Thankfully, we get to spend so much time together snuggling, and laying together while I read books or look at things on the computer. I love his sweet smell and how he nuzzles his head under my chin. Everything about him is perfect, and I feel so blessed everyday to be his mother. When I look at him, and realise that, unless there is some major change in life plans, he is our last baby my heart just screams for it all to slow down. It seems like I blinked and his older brothers all just grew up over night, and I can't stand the idea of that happening this last time.

But, enough of my wishing for my baby to never grow! For Christmas this year, Benjamin got me a new camera b/c my nice DSLR, as you will recall met a sad end via some gatoraide and Sheepie. He gave it to me early so that I could take pictures at FP's baptism, and so it's been a treat to be able to hone in how to use it with such a cute model. Here are some pictures I snagged with Mr. Bean while playing with my external flash. 

Sheepies half birthday party

Sheepie's birthday falls in the summer time each year, and as such it means that he does not attend school on his birthday. Because of this, each year he has been lucky enough to have teachers who have let him have a half birthday celebration in class. This year was no exception, and to make things even more exiciting, his celebration landed on the school wide PJ day.

 His special treat he requested was chocolate doughnuts for everyone in class.

Here is his with his favourite substitute teacher, Mrs. Cudo, being sung to. I believe the style was underwater singing.

FP's birthday and Baptism

December 4th rolled around this year faster than I could have possibly imagined and with it came my sweet FPs birthday. How my first born went from being a baby one day and being 8 the next I'm not sure! For his birthday we had a shake up this year, and instead of a party he invited one of his best friends, Julius, over for a sleep over, and then the next day the two of them, along with his other good friend Sara to go see the new Muppet Movie.  None of the three kids had ever been exposed to the classic Muppets before, so it was fun to watch them see the Muppets I grew up with.  What followed the next weekend, though, was even more special for FP.

In our faith, we believe that children reach an age of accountability when they turn 8 years old. It is at this age they are allowed to be baptized and become members if the church, if they wish to. FP wanted to get baptized, so on December 10th 2011, he was baptized by his father. It was a sweet, small gathering for him, and he was very excited to be taking such a big step in his life. It is one that he has been working toward since he was a young child, and I know he is proud of the choice he made.  As his mother, I can not help but be very proud of my not so little boy. I know that for him, there are some very real struggles in choosing to do what is right. He has such a strong desire to be a good boy though, and it makes me beam to think of his wish to be good and clean, and do the things that our Heavenly Father has set out for him.

After he was baptised, and he came out from getting dressed, he sat down next to me, and I leaned over to tell him I loved him and was proud of him. I sniffed him, and jokingly said he smelled clean. With such sincerity he looked over at me and said, "That's because I am, Mom. I am perfect right now, and it feels so good!"

That night when we got home, he wrote down his impressions of his special day, and I hope they are something he will always keep with him in life.

FP's impressions after being baptized and getting the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I got baptized today! I was happy in my whole baptism. Like when my Aunt Alicen spoke to me about keeping my spirit clean and when Bro. Elton spoke to me about baptism. I was most happy when I got baptized. I wish I had stayed under longer. I told my daddy he should have held me until I tapped him because I could have held my breath for a long time. The water was kind of cold and warm.  After my baptism I felt clean and fresh. I got the Holy Ghost. I  was really excited when I got there! I got baptized because I wanted to be like Jesus. I also wanted to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.    

Wrapping up Autumn

As I sit down to a new year, I realise there is really only one thing that I want to be better at this year.  At least one thing, that is, that I care to make a resolution about. That one thing is chronicling our lives. My blog has sorely lacked for months, and I realised as I sat down to put some stuff in FPs baby book, that many important things have been left out of each child's. All I can say is thankgoodness for FB b/c otherwise I'd not be able to go back and fill in Goober's book at all; it is that empty. Now I realise that it is easy to say something along the lines of, "We've been so busy living and enjoy life we've not had time to record about it." And that may well be true. But when my children are grown up, I want them to be able to look back at these things and see their history. The memories will fade and I want them, and their own children to have reminders of the things that made our lives happy. So this year, that is my only resolution. I want to blog at least weekly, and have all the kids baby books caught up by the end of the year. So, that being said, let the catch up begin!

This Autumn has passed quite quickly, but the one thing I forgot to post about was the new sporting adventures for the oldest two. this year Sheepie and FP played soccer for the first time and LOVED it. They were able to play on the same team (The Broncos) and their team overall was actually quite good. They won all but two of their games, and one of those two was a tie.

The other big excitement of the Autumn was that one of our little 'farm' goals came true. We got chickens. I have to say I have quite the love/hate relationship with these little birds. They are so fun to collect eggs from their coop, and the pick up and pet, but they poop everywhere! Each of the three older boys picked out their own and named them. Their names are Mace Windu, Bullseye, and Philadelphia Chicken. This next spring I would like to get more so that we can have more than three eggs a day, but for now I am quite enjoying them. I'm especially proud of our little coop/ chicken run we build, as it's made out of about 90% reclaimed materials. The coop itself is Abbey's old dog house, that she would never use, and then we raised it with some left over materials from the property fence. and then we used some left over chicken wire and metal fence stakes from our property fence to build their run area. We only had to buy their walk way up into the coop and some more chicken wire.

In November, aside from Beany joining our family, which was far and away the best part of our Autumn, I celebrated my birthday as well. Turning 29 was pretty uneventful, and I spent the day just relaxing with my sweet little family. Thanksgiving was also a nice low key day, as we went over to Benjamin's parents home
and were able to relax. This was especially nice since everyone was just getting over being sick with a nasty bug that the kids all brought home from school. Our Autumn wrapped up with my getting ready for the Corvallis Community Nativity Festival, with which I have been involved over the last several years. I worked this year to put all the costumes together for the volunteers to wear. With a new baby it was a bit more of an undertaking than I had really had in mind, but thanks to a really good stroller and lots of McDonald's for the Littles, it worked out in the end.