Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fun, the cheap way!

So, I have come to the conclusion that I am certain most parents will agree with.... someday's the "cheap" toys are the best! This has occurred with great frequency at the McCarty household this last week. I bought Ayiana 2 small science kits for her birthday, the cheaper of the two costing under $10 has 7 toys to make using "recycled" material. So Thomas and Ayiana made 2 of them, one used an old CD to make a spinner, it was cool but didn't catch on all that much.... then the second they made was a HUGE hit. This was taking 2 2-liter bottles with a plastic adapter in middle to make it so the water if turned directly over would not flow into the bottle below it; however, if swirled would make a great whirl-pool and go down. Here is a picture from that, both kids thoroughly enjoyed this and played with it for an hour, today Liam tried to take my moms water bottle and ask for "whur" today too! haha...

Then, to add to the magic of fun toys that are cheap, Thomas made paper planes, glider ones... I am not good at making paper anythings, I have one plane I can make for them and that's all. Thomas's planes provide to be much more exciting to play with and the kids played on-and-off with them for 2 DAYS!

Lastly, Liam picked up something that every kid known to man must do with their parents shoes. I consider it sort of a "milestone" in development but one that doctors don't add to the lists. Liam was actually able to walk in his dads big ole' boat shoes this week, and without falling!

I should add, Liam got the shoes all by himself, on and stood up walking around in them! Doesn't it look like its "no big deal" to him! HA

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday Ayiana

Yesterday was a very special day, Ayiana turned 6! Some birthdays have gone by and we celebrate and move on the next day, I don't know why 6 has been hard for me, but it has. Perhaps I feel that at 6 she is no longer "little"...which in my experience over the last few months says that she does not need moms help much, she wants to be the helper still (which is nice) but she can find her own snacks, take baths, eat, change, and play without any help from mom. This is quite the opposite of Liam so maybe that's why its harder. She helps with his needs now, I am trying to be diligent that she doesn't over do that. I don't want her to resent her brother in later life, we implemented a "mommy-Ayiana" time after dinner for that sake. She wasn't wanting to eat, after some conversations, we determined mom time was in order. So after I clean up from dinner I spend at least 20 minutes playing with her, and only her no interruptions! The other night, she wanted to play a game of tag.... here we are!

yep, getting a run in was part of the deal!

Ayiana lying in wait for me to come around the corner!

Yesterday morning I was moving around too... if anything Ayiana keeps us very active, not to many sedentary activities with her (less the occasionally movie night!). We went to Pump-It-Up yesterday morning to start off her birthday, it was pop in playtime, so we told her we would do that just the 4 of us.  Needless to say Ayiana had a GREAT time, Liam did to, and Thomas walked out the door saying "that was a lot of fun!"  When we got home Thomas and I cleaned feverishly during the afternoon for her small family party in the evening. I made her cake, this is the one she choose from the cupcake cake pictures I found online, I think it turned out cute

This was her cake this year, it really was fun to make!

Then the main event at birthday parties for the child of the hour... PRESENTS

Bambi figurines

The much requested Harmonic, her dad can thank me later (shh he's a day sleeper)

Sparkling shirts, and beautiful wings, she felt like a princess indeed!

Last night as I tucked her in, I asked if she had a good day. She said yes, adding in that tomorrow....she will have a WHOLE lot of time to wait until her next birthday. HAHA, I told her she was lucky because Christmas is in between :) 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Liam's Medical updates, more camping pictures

So I haven't updated about all of Liam's medical stuff in a while.... so here goes! We met with a plastic surgeon yesterday to talk about possible repair of Liam's sub-mucous cleft palate, she said the same as his ENT (ear, nose throat) doctor...we will have to wait until he can produce enough sounds to even possibly come up with a surgical plan, best bet for now is continued speech therapy, she will see us in a year. I spoke last week with the nurse in the GI department, she said his doctor said his Gallbladder is functioning enough to continue just on the medication he has been on. I told her I thought the pharmacy had messed up for several months on dosage (under amount) and she immediately confirmed adding "I was SO mad at them!" lol, so that is another reason to continue on the medication...perhaps it really will work at the correct dosage. It certainly has helped his digestion/poop issues, so we will be continuing to monitor and in another few months perhaps retiring that medication. I received a letter from our insurance stating that the testing the genetics doctor wanted does not need a pre-auth and yesterday received a packet in the mail from that office with the lab script. So next week, we are back to Children's for Liam to be poked again for blood. He is requesting, 5 different things. The labs include a lipid panel as well as dehydrocholestrol  (which Liam must fast for) this is because I brought up the fact that Thomas and I have very low combined cholesterol levels and so if Liam's is also low we may need to add it as a supplement (ironically I learned that we produce 60% of our own cholesterol from our Liver (bile producer which with interrupted can cause Gallstones) and there are several genetic conditions involving low amounts which we have not tested for, so we'll see if anything comes up with this lab. The next test is the SNP microarray (this is the genetic test, we had a different microarray previously done to find the duplication on the 18th chromosome, this one will drill down even farther and may or may not give us new info). Then he ordered a Comprehensive Metabolic panel including Uric Acid (this will check for functions of major organs, including kidney's, heart, and liver), and the last lab for Transferrin (I haven't read a ton on this one, but from my understand it will also show a different kind of anemia where the iron counts appear normal on some tests but the "free" iron for use is low, not sure if I understand it all quite yet but I'm reading up on that one now). As far as Liam's overall health, he is grinding his teeth frequently, which in the past has always been a sigh of pain somewhere... yesterday at the plastic surgeons office he also had a low-grade fever (I was completely unaware until they took his temp). We go back to the doctor to check his asthma issues next week with our new pediatrician, our first and the one I LOVED retired last month.  Okay, I think that covers it, I Know WAY boring for most of you but for any family members who wonder what medical things we do to try and help Liam....well you can see it can be extensive at times, and sounds quite foreign half the time too lol

With all this, I'm putting some more photos from our camping trip in, for me these pictures put life back into perspective! When I look at these photo's I remember to....

play with family and friends often, they won't be around forever

Be content in life, its to short to be anything else

Value the intricate lacing of relationships

Not be afraid of breaking tension by offering a helping hand

reflect and learn from life lessons, not dwell on the them, but grow from them

have fun even if no one is watching

Be still, stay calm and let life flow

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


This year Thomas and I decided to go "traditional" camping. We went to a campground I also went to when I was little, the actual last time I went family camping at 12 years old... ironically we ended up with the same exact site. It is at the end of the row, right where the creek wraps around, everyone goes there during the day to fish and swim, so people do pass through the site but its beautiful! We had a good time, did everything and saw the things I consider "true" camping: Smores at night, stars so bright, birds in flight (yes, bats!), and wood peckers sounding out a song all morning long!  Well without further ado here are the pictures!

Liam and I, he actual picked up the camera said "cam" and wanted to have pictures taken , that's a first... LOVE!

I love this little boy! He has a very dirty shirt on from "swimming in the dirt"....and yes I mean full body laying in it, throwing up on his head the works! 

Every night Thomas and Ayiana would walk down to the creek and read "The Hobbit" 

Thomas and Ayiana went on a few hikes together,  She absolutely loved camping. She even met a little girl just a year younger. They played for several hours yesterday in the creek with the older sister (10). Today when we left we swapped addresses so hopefully Ayiana can be pin pals with her!
I can tell by both of there faces they are "content"... Thomas is such a wonderful father, I told him though that my mind took this picture and flashed it 12 years ahead and it would be some "other" guy might be in that same spot with her..... I don't think he liked that idea to much!

Creek water is.....COLD, if you can't tell by Thomas's expression here! Of course he was MUCH braver then I, the biggest body part of mine to go in was my feet, and no not any higher then the ankle!

All of us, Bella did not prefer camping... she did actually get in the creek some which is surprising as she hates water, but she was cold at night and wouldn't stay under the blanket. She was ready to be home today for sure!

Our nightly bat in flight, he went over our site both nights for about 30 minutes or so, first night he brought back 10 or so friends too and they flew pretty low by some outlining trees. Needless to say there where less mosquito's to eat us (Thomas got 2 bites, me 1, kiddos 0) thank you bat friends!

Mid day break, they went in the tent and laid next to each other and played with Ayiana's game, its a touch screen and she let Liam have turns too. It was very sweet to watch!

Liam LOVED every bit of camping!

Funny how we got a picture of Ayiana's dirty face when Liam was really dirty more then her!

Father-Daughter down fishing in the creek. Some people caught some fish but most went away empty handed.... that was us, no bites, but good quality time!
Thomas reading, kids splashing in the creek. There was much rock skipping too!

Star painted night sky!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A quick one

When Liam talks it is often more high pitched then I can register...sometimes being in another room I actually understand more. Some days it's easy to forget how much he understands because he does not always respond back....but this morning amongst oddly articulated high pitched and ran together words we had this conversation:

ME: Liam where did you sleep last night, in bed or on the floor? ( I found him on the rug and was changing his diaper)

LIAM: Eyelearndaoneday, translation: I learned that one day... (but remember this is high pitched and all ran together, anyhow you can also insert jaw drop and mommy shocked look here)

ME: But did you sleep in the bed or floor?

LIAM: Bea( translate: bed)

ME: Oh good, ready to eat breakfast

LIAM: ...signs eat

End conversation

I figure he is talking about learning how to get in and out of his bed, proudly telling me he learned how to do it "one day" lol... A full conversation first thing this morning was a treat, come on speech!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Clay and shapes

Liam in the play place
Today after church, we came home, Thomas got home after we did.... this meant he had a REALLY long night shift plus many hours of overtime. In effort to keep the house quiet so that he would get at least 7 hours sleep prior to his shift tonight I took the kiddos to McDonald's to play some. Ayiana met and played with several other kiddos, Liam climbed some, watched many kids, and clapped LOTS. This is a big improvement to his usual excited behavior of chest pounding, and I was so glad to see that all the redirection of clapping and saying YEY, is finally catching on. Its easier for other people to understand clapping hands = happy kid, then pounding of the chest.

We got home and watched a few Little Einsteins and the kids played in and out of the living room. Little Einsteins was always a favorite of Ayiana's and now brother has finally started watching them, he pats his lap with them and answers questions from time to time...both also new skills in the last month... which has also trickled over into real life for us. He will say "yah" for yes and shake his head "no" when we ask him questions, really that may seem like something so simple but for us it has been anything but so we are pretty happy. Ayiana started out at the kitchen table playing play dough, Liam pretty quickly figured that out but there was only one small play-dough container left so he grabbed the bag of clay. So we played, by that I really mean all 3 of us. (it is still a must to sit with him, he is fast to eat it if we aren't one of our worker friends at church found out today :)

Liam takes rolling snakes, and making it into a long one pretty seriously!

Ayiana busily making her butterfly

Ayiana has such an eye for details, I love the way she made the antennae!

My art roll of multi colored clay plus photo editing = some sort of odd art ?

After clay play was exhausted, (note also a quiet activity), the kids went outside and played in the water. Which in our house always means when the kids came in it was straight to the bath tub! On the way there, I found this on Liam's floor....

I asked Ayiana if she had been playing there, I mean I have seen Liam put the circle in its spot before but never any other shapes... we have played with shape sorters for 2 years now with little success, but guess what... HE did this! I was SOOOO excited. After bath I gave him the triangle and asked if he would do that one for me too, and he did it! High-5's and a lot of hoopla followed it too! Liam will not put the shapes in if it falls into a bucket (I think this is a vision thing) but on the floor with just the lid he can do it! It really is a special gift that I get every now and then when I find something like this he has done (with no prompting, no one else looking), I really think he knows and leaves it for me to find too! As his mom, I know that it took a lot of work for him to learn the skill...I just LOVE these little gifts he leaves! 

Next up, Ayiana finished swim lessons so its on to Vacation Bible School this week, she is so excited I am really hoping she has a good time!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Fun Fourth

Thomas took some pretty cool shots, this one is my favorite!

Yesterday we went down to my Grandparents house, it is always fun to have 4 generations under one roof, I feel blessed to still have a set of grandparents, Ayiana and Liam, have 3 sets of Great Grandparents! We ate, which of course included the one food I completely associate with the 4th of July!


The kids played and enjoyed the time too, although it is hard to get them to actually sit and eat! Liam calls my grandparents 5th wheel their "Bus" and gets between it and the snowmobiles and "drives it"... lol,

 He also chased down one uncle because he had a mustache, he LOVES hair, this was after "petting" one of my cousins arm hairs, silly boy! Of course if that wasn't funny enough for the family, Ayiana also tried to start a conversation with this question, "Who can Fart on Demand?" Oh my.... Thomas quickly tells her that that is inappropriate... I on the other hand, laughed so hard I cried. Where did she come up with that line from? I guess we better learn some better conversation starters for her, and I probably should start taking along Liam's sensory toys so he doesn't "pet" people, or walk around holding leafs and making my mom pluck all the pretty flowers off the Crape Myrtle tree so he can feel them!

After getting dark, we went out for just a few fireworks. Thomas, like last year, had wanted to see a bigger show in the air, but the Fair grounds there didn't have there's this year and we didn't realize that the festival close to Fresno was the 3rd this year so..... just like last year we just did a few in the street. Next year we will try to go up somewhere like Bass Lake to see a show, Thomas is dying for the kids to see "real" fireworks!

(left to right) Mom, Dad, Liam, Me, and Ayiana
(Thomas was taking picture across the street from us)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday morning madness

So Thomas got home Monday morning and all started out as a typical morning. I deceided to go to Walgreens to pick up his prescription and a few other odd items. As I head out the door I hit the button to open the garage and water flows out...sigh, once again the sink the washing machine drains into has over flowed, I reach in unplug it from the cloth that fell in and proceed to the store. Walgreens is very busy, well at least the pharmacy, I get home in 15 minutes or so. I am met by a very tickled Thomas at a response he created for Facebook, I'll let you read there if you know him...anyhow, he is now pretty sure that Batman is his name lol, meanwhile Liam thinks he could be an extra on the movie Magic Mike. I think Liam is saying, "Mom says that all the women are gaga about "Magic Mike," but since she has Batman at home she finds no need to watch other men strip," lol, anyhow....Liam has stripped his diaper off, he has on a longer shirt so Thomas did not even notice. I walk in and ask him where he left it...not really expecting that he would actually go get it for me, but he did twirling it around at me. Smile, yeah... that's not just pee, thankfully the poop stays in the diaper and I find the pee puddle on the floor (we also have wood floor so that was a quick clean up). I remind Liam to go to use the potty saying "no pee pee on the floor only in the potty." He leads me into the bathroom and sits on his potty chair, practicing getting on and off it, okay- GREAT maybe we are making more headway with the potty trainning thing then I original gave him credit for. I go and rotate laundry after that, my shadow (aka Liam) follows me into the garage. I am loading laundry, then turn around and Da-Dah! Where is Liam? Oh that's right he LOVES anywhere liquid is, so he is belly down with a nude butt, on the garage floor....ewwww.

 I can only laugh at this point, I mean this is all within 15 minutes of me walking back in the door, and it's just now 10 will certainly be one of those "just roll with it" kind of days. Liam was pretty silly after all that. That's usually when the rainbow comes out of the clouds. This time thst equalled Liam actually looking at the camera with smiles on, mischievous ones, but we rarely get eye contact at all so we'll take the messes for those smiles!

Other funnies, I figured out why O'Malley likes our house so well, or at least hasn't ran away from us yet lol. Its wood flooring, no its the kitchen, never mind just O'Malley in camouflage.

I threw the ball for Bella a few times while Liam was in the garage puddle....she's an easy shot for pictures :) I think that this one could be some sort of charcature talking head though!