Monday, May 26, 2008

Kick Ball

Evan learned how to kick a ball today. He even tried "dribbling" with his walker--hard work in the grass!

Our Memorial Day Trip

To get out of the house yesterday, we went on a little road trip to some of the nearby tourist attractions that we've never been to. All of these places are less than 30 minutes from our house!

The Windfarm visitor center just opened a couple of months ago. Knowing how much Evan loves fans (or anything that spins), we thought this would be right up his alley. As we kept driving and the windmills kept getting bigger, he was definitely interested.

There were 11 trees on display at the Gingko petrified forest. We saw about 8 of them, and sadly missed the gingko. The path was too steep and rocky in places to push Evan's stroller, so we didn't get to all of the trees. The later pictures are from the gift shop--we joked that we should have only stopped there, because we saw 10x as much petrified wood and the ground was flat!

We finished off the afternoon relaxing at the picnic area at Wanapum State Park, near Vantage. The Columbia River is in the background. Evan was able to overcome his sensory aversion, and walked with bare feet on wet sand and the grass. He wouldn't step in the water, but it was too chilly for mom anyway. I took advantage of the soft, partly-overcast light and snapped some great pictures of Evan and daddy together.

Friday, May 23, 2008

You know you live in the sticks when... get a message like this one on your answering machine:

"Hi. This is Leonardo from Leonardo's Taxedermy. I'm just calling to let you know your woodchucks are ready."

Jeremy was nice enough to call Leonardo back and let him know he had the wrong number. I'm sure the rightful owner is wanting to bring his woodchucks home ASAP. It's not really my style, but I can understand wanting to mount that special elk or a deer head. But a woodchuck....really??? They aren't exactly big game.

This is a woodchuck (aka a groundhog)...he is kind of cute.

These are some woodchucks that are post taxidermy. Not nearly as appealing.

Friday, May 16, 2008

We Have a Pair of Hooters

Owls. Two of them. In our neighbor's pine trees behind our house.

We've heard them for several months now, but tonight was the first time we actually saw them. They seem really big, but then I haven't see a whole lot of owls.

Here's a picture--kind of blurry, but you get the idea.


Grandpa Key

Grandpa came to visit me on Tuesday. We had fun playing. Mommy photo-documented the visit (of course).

I love you Gampa!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Today was another first for Evan...first time using his walker in the grocery store (he's always had a ride in the cart or stroller before). I think he is quickly getting used to his new-found independence--he has discovered he can go right up and touch things on the lower shelves, and he doesn't necessarily have to go the same direction that mom or dad want him too...

Evan--or more correctly, his walker--attracted a lot of attention. It's ironic too, because when he is just sitting in the shopping cart or stroller nobody notices his differences. But now that he's trying to behave more like a typical 2 1/2 year old, now it's more obvious.

Most people just watched him, or did a not-so-subtle double-take. One man came right up to us and said "I know you probably get asked this all the time, but what's wrong with him?" Jeremy tried to briefly explain CHARGE syndrome and why Evan needed a walker. I realize this man was just curious, and didn't ask in a mean-spirited way. But my first thought was that it doesn't matter how many times you've been asked the "What's wrong?" question, it doesn't lessen the sting and it doesn't change the fact that it's still rude. It's sad, but those kinds of comments make me almost glad Evan is Deaf, so that we can prolong the phase he's in right now--walking along proudly, oblivous to anything anyone might say.

Oh, and Evan is challenging Max and Burke to a walker race next time we all get together...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Evan Will When Evan is Ready...

And using his walker is no exeption to this rule! Evan has had access to a walker for over a year now. Usually, he will stand in it--maybe take a step or two--and then crawl out of it. Absolutely no interest otherwise. Until today, that is.

Jeremy decided to challenge him again with the walker this afternoon. Maybe it was because he was wearing shorts, and the thought of crawling on concrete was enough to encourage him to walk instead. Maybe it was because Jeremy used Evan's Cat and Dog puzzle pieces like a carrot on a string, motivating him to keep going. Or maybe things are finally starting to click, and Evan is realizing that he'll be able to cover ground a lot faster on two legs vs all fours.

Whatever it was, Evan met the challenge...and then some. He walked back and forth in front of our house a few laps, and then went all the way to the end of our cul-de-sac and back. By the end, he would actually scoot the walker to "steer" (the wheels on this walker are fixed, so you have to lift and scoot to steer). Amazing--the best Mother's Day present ever! Needless to say, Evan was pretty pooped this evening.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Dentist, Signing "Daddy"(?), and Pre-school--Oh My!

It's been a busy week around our house.

Jeremy took Evan to Children's yesterday for some out-patient appointments. Originally, Evan was supposed to be getting an FM system for his hearing aids (with FM, the person of interest--mom, dad, or a teacher--has a mic that pipes directly into the hearing aid, over all the background noise). Unfortunately, it didn't come in time for the appointment.

Evan had his teeth cleaned--this is the second time he's had it done without general anesthetic. Last time, the chart notes said Evan was "combative." I'm really curious to see what will be said this time, as it took a total of four people and a very sturdy toothbrush handle to hold Evan down, his head still, and pry his mouth open for a 5 minute cleaning. Evan gets a lot of tartar build-up (ironically enough, this is common in kids who are tube fed), but he doesn't have any decay. He also has all the teeth he should at this age. Because Evan is tube fed exclusively, the dentist said brushing/wiping his teeth 2 or 3 times a week is suffice. If he starts eating orally again, then he needs them brushed daily.

Evan also saw his dietician. She has increased the calories in his blended diet by a tablespoon of flax and/or olive oil per day. Evan has not gained any weight in the past 4 or 5 months--not necessarily a bad thing, because he was Mr. Chubs for quite awhile. He only grew a quarter of an inch in length (although this is up for interpretation, since he was measured laying on his back last time and standing up this time). Hopefully the extra calories will promote some good growth!

Jeremy and Evan went to visit the Head-Start preschool this morning. Evan was a little taken aback by all the kids! While the other children were in the class, Evan wanted to retreat to the familiar--he tipped his stroller over and spun the wheels, ignoring what was going on around him. Once the kids went home, he started crawling around, exploring. He colored a little bit and tried to get up on one of the chairs at the table.

This afternoon at signing class with Kat, Evan seemed to be signing "daddy" (this is also up for interpretation...). We will keep you posted on any developments.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Giving new meaning to the phrase "Spin 'til you drop."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Happy Mother's Day from Crystal & Eva

Crystal made this montage featuring the mom's of some of Eva's friends in CHARGE. Happy Mother's Day to you too, Crystal. You are a sweetheart, and this is beautifuly done.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Evan's New Skills


Evan now loves to scribble. He uses his magna-doodle all the time now (it's hard to say whether he likes the "drawing" or the "erasing" part better). He will also make marks on paper with crayons. He is definitely right-handed. Evan likes to eat crayons also, so we have to watch him. Thankfully, washable crayons melt in the mouth.

Visiting Friends

Evan likes to "finger walk" from the car to the house. Jeremy was getting him out of the car last Tuesday, and trying to walk him to the front door. Evan kept twisting around and didn't want to go that way, so Jeremy let him lead the way. He walked across the street and right up to our neighbor McKenzie's door (their house is not directly across, so he had a plan about where he wanted to go). He got to go inside and play for a little while. On the way home, he led Jeremy up to our neighbor's Scott & Renee's door. Jeremy and Evan knocked, but they weren't home. Evan cried when Jeremy took him home to our house without a visit. Neither of us had really paid attention to this before, but Evan definitely has a feel for the "lay of the land" around our house.


We are up to about 5 steps before falling now. So far, Evan can only start walking when he gets his balance on the TV. Then he turns and and very deliberately takes these teetering steps until he loses it and sprawls forwards