Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the rest of November, in a nutshell

So, it seems it's almost the end of the year, yet I have not updated my blog since early November. I blame my crappy computer, and life in general. So in interest of time, I'll be summing up the rest of November in this post. In general, we've been busy, as usual. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, library trips, church, boy scouts, play dates, karate, after school building club, school, the gym, lots of illnesses, holidays, puppy training classes, birthdays, homework, Christmas shopping, etc. Here are some highlights (based simply on my spotty memory and what I have photos of):

November 9: My brother Chris came to visit for his birthday and the family came over to celebrate as well.

November 12: Medford Lakes received a piece of steel from the World Trade Center from the 9/11 attacks. The boy scouts were asked to go to the ceremony, in uniform, to be part of the arrival of the steel.

Tyler's picture (along with his friend Connor) was on the front of The Central Record that next week.

You can read the article here:

There is also a short video, in which you can see Tyler, here:

The dog continued to make a little progress, but is still very much a puppy. Biting and jumping are her biggest problem. And some accidents here and there. She's a love though, but time consuming as well.

Some playground time when we got a brief break from illnesses.

And outdoor time as well at the house.

November 14: Went to church for the first time in a long time, with Al's mom and step dad, as well as his sister. Actually enjoyed it. Later the boy scouts helped deliver bags to the community for a food drive.

A little more exciting playtime (yea for trains)

Jason starts getting a little more opinionated about what he wears.

November 16: Jason decides he wants to be like his brother and use the potty. No success, but still cute. Since afraid of the potty, so i think it'll be a while yet before he's potty trained. LOL.

I got out of the house during the day ALONE, which is a rare treat for me (unless you count the 1 minute ride home from school drop-off when Jason stays at home with my mom). Well my mom watched a napping Jason while Ty was at school so I could go get my hair done. As luck would have it, they lost power during my hair cut. It was mostly done, but never got my hair blown out (which is the best part) and they weren't able to do the final tweaking. Kinda stinky. Oh well.

November 20: The cubscouts and boyscouts collected the food that had been donated out front of people's homes.

Right from there we went to Smithville to have our pictures taken. Tanya did a great job with the boys, and got some impressive shots, despite how uncooperative I thought they were being. I highly recommend her. Her website is the following:

Here are some preview shots.

November 21: Tyler had a pack meeting. Got some sort of award that I should be able to remember the name to, but I can't. He also got the honor of throwing a pie of his den leaders face, as he was one of the kids who sold a decent amount of popcorn (can't remember how it was decided).

My lawyer finally filed the divorce papers with the state/county or whatever that is. I had to deliver the news to Al (long story) and it wasn't taken well. Not going to go into details at all, but I can sum it up by saying I don't think I slept more than 15 hours in that entire week.

November 24: Our family did an early thanksgiving dinner that night at Jim & Cara's but at that point I was so run down and sick (with a cold) that I didn't make it. Instead my parents brought the boys for me, but he to deliver Jason back home after about an hour because he freaked out about something.

November 25: Al's birthday as well at Thanksgiving day. We had snow flurries that morning while we were watching the Thanksigivng day parade.

That night I was feeling a little better so we went to Atlantic City for a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Better than sitting home.

November 28: As if Thanksgiving break hadn't seemed long enough, I ended up at the ER with Tyler that sunday night. He had been complaining of a sore throat and had a fever that wasn't coming down with Tylenol. Tons of kids in his class had been out sick with strep throat the last couple weeks, including many of the kids who sit at his table, so it seemed a likely possibility that it was strep. After listening to Ty wimper and cry on the couch, I decided to bring him to Virtua Voorhees. They were great there and got him in quickly. Turns out it wasn't strep, but his throat was very red and swollen. They started him on antibiotics however for an ear infection, so it turned out to be a useful trip.

The next day I had to keep Tyler home (who miraculously seemed 95% better anyway...grrr). However Jason was so miserable that nothing made him happy, until I broke out the Vsmile Baby Aunt Dottie had given him last Christmas. Worked for 20 minutes. Totally worth it.

November 30: I finally got a chance to attend the music class at the library with Jason. The one that fills up within 10 minutes of the time where you can register. I was very excited. Unfortunately Jason was very overwhelmed. He couldn't really appreciate it, although I know he would like it under different circumstances. Poor guy is having a rough time.

On the last day of November I met Jen at the chick-fil-a near her. She provided me with a DVD of numerous episodes of Wonder Pets, which would later prove to be invaluable. And of course we got to meet the Santa Cow and do the first Christmas craft of the season.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Woodford Cedar Run

On Friday at the Garden State Discovery Museum I learned that we can get in free at Woodford Cedar Run with our museum membership. Cedar Run is a Wildlife Refuge founded in 1957. They have a rehab hospital that takes in various injured and sick local wildlife and rehabilitate these animals to release them back into the wild. Some animals obviously can't be returned to the wild so they become residents of the facility and are used for learning purposes and environmental education. They now have 184 wooded acres surrounding Cedar Run lake. Beautiful location.

Yesterday morning (Monday) I decided to check it out with Jason. I didn't know what to expect, as the last time I was there was probably 20-25 years ago with girl scouts. They have some learning-type activities inside the building, probably more suited to Tyler. However Jason did like the room with the snakes and turtle. After then we went outside, and being that it had gotten quite chilly, we opted to skip the hike and instead just cross the bridge to the area with the animals. We saw some fun animals such as hawks, bald eagles, various birds, deer, geese, and even a skunk that a volunteer had outside of the hospital for a little playtime. We also saw some actually wild animals roaming around freely like squirrels, various birds, turkeys, turkey vultures, guinea fowl, geese, ducks, and even a deer. It was a nice morning and I think we'll be back another time with Tyler as well to teach him about the wonderful work they do there and learn a little and have fun in the process.

Monday, November 8, 2010

my little yellow belt

No idea what I did on Saturday, which is sad because I'm constantly blogging about things that happened weeks ago yet Saturday was only 2 days ago. I know we played with the pup, Alex and Tyler played, I took a short nap after that long night with the pup, and I did some laundry. Clearly I must have done SOMETHING else, right? I have no clue.

On Sunday we had Ty's first belt ceremony. It was at Lake Pine Community Center and it was for all of the kids at the studio. Me, being completely new to the karate scene, had really no idea what to expect. For one, it was way longer than I expected, but it was also pretty darn interesting. The kids did their "performances" (for lack of a better word) getting progressively more difficult as the higher belts showed their skills. The black belts were fascinating with their jumping, sparring, and board breaking. I also learned that Tyler's instructor (Master Robert Turley) and especially the other school's instructor (GrandMaster Ken MacKenzie) are quite well known in the world of karate. GrandMaster MacKenzie was trained by the same man who trained Bruce Lee. He is very high in rank in the Tae Kwon-Do world and the only westerner with the prestigious 9th Degree Blackbelt in the art of Sin Moo Hapkido. Pretty cool stuff. Anyway, eventually it was time for the belt ceremony. They had the new blackbelts help to tie the new yellow belts on the students. Unfortunately the kid that tied Ty's belt did a pretty poor job, which actually worked in our favor. I went to ask an older student for help in re-tying it and Master Turley immediately walked over and tied Ty's belt for him and then lifted him in the air by his new belt. Tyler was beaming the whole time. So cute!

My mom asked Ty if he wanted to go celebrate with lunch and he picked McDonald's. So much for my month of no fast food. Only made it 7 days. So sad. But myself, Jason, Ty and my mom had a nice lunch.

Back at home Jason napped and Alex came over and he and Ty played outside for a while and then inside. Eventually he went home and we had a nice dinner before getting to bed early (to try to recover from the whole daylight savings time thing).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November, already?

Tyler had school on Monday, followed by his building club after school. Jason and I and Bella walked up to get him afterwards and he looked miserable. Got him home and sure enough, Tyler had a fever. He was complaining of a sore throat and a tummy ache. So, again, instead of the gym for us we were home with sickie. Poor thing.

On Tuesday I would have kept Tyler home due to his fever the prior night but school was actually already closed due to an inservice. Instead we had a low-key morning eating dry cereal in front of the TV and doing some reading.

Jason should have had OT in the morning but I had called to tell his therapist about Tyler and she chose to cancel. In the afternoon Ty watched a movie in his room (a rare treat) while Jason had OT (his therapist had chosen not to cancel)

I felt bad cause a little boy a few houses away, Alex, who is in Tyler's grade, came by to see if Ty could play. He's never had a friend show up to play so I was disappointed that I had to tell him Ty was sick. However by that evening, when he was fever-free for 24+ hours we did hang out at Beth and Erich's for a bit and then Ty had karate. Poor Jason is bored out of his mind with Karate and I ended up driving around the parking lot with a crying Jason after having to drag him out of there literally kicking and screaming because he couldn't be quiet and wanted to participate.

Wednesday Tyler had school and was healthy enough to go back, thankfully. After school Alex came by again (yeah for Tyler) and they had a little playdate. I was thrilled to see Tyler play really nicely, especially with another boy. Again my plans to go to the gym and kids fit were cancelled because I didn't want to give up on Tyler's playdate opportunity. Instead Alex stayed for dinner and they made plans to have playdates each day of the upcoming long weekend. How cute.

Thursday was the start of our long 4-day weekend, thanks to NJ teacher's convention (where my mom was attending in Atlantic City). Alex was over by 10:00am and the boys played all morning, ate lunch, and played most of the afternoon (including waking Jason up from his nap). Eventually we had to send him home so we could pick up Hannah for their library program. I had hoped to take them to the playground afterwards but it was pouring rain (as it had been all day) so we just came home and they had a brief amount of time to play before eating pancakes, dropping Hannah back off at home, and getting to Karate.

On Friday we drove on out to Cherry Hill to hit the shoe warehouse. I will never, and I repeat NEVER, bring two boys to a shoe warehouse again. Not fun at all. Never even got to try on a pair of shoes, but did visit many aisles while chasing my 2-year-old. Luckily we had plans to meet up with Sherri and her 4 girls to go to the Garden State Discovery Museum, which is right next door. The kids had a great time and I don't think there was one meltdown or issue despite there being 6 kids between the 2 of us. We even got to see a cute production of Charlotte's Web followed by a picnic lunch. And we were happy to celebrate Hannah's 7th birthday that day!

Eventually I couldn't keep Jason any longer from his nap, so Sherri generously offered to keep Tyler with her while I brought Jason home. Jason of course fell asleep 10 minutes before I got home. I planned on letting him sleep in the car while I quick let the dog out, but he woke up and started cheering "yeah" while clapping the second the car turned off. LOL.

Sherri brought the kids to the Sand Stand after their trip, which Ty was thrilled about. That night was pretty low-key and Alex was back over to play with Tyler.

That night both of my parents were in AC so I had my first night alone with Bella. It did not go well. I'm not sure if she was upset she wasn't in the room with my parents or was bothered by Jason whining and tossing and turning over the monitor, but she was up crying during the night and had accidents in her crate. I was out walking her in the middle of the night and up way too early. Not fun.