We had Dirk and Laura (and the kids, and Mel) over for dinner last night. I made pasta which was tasty! We had a lot of fun hanging out.

In other news, Ollie’s speech therapist is impressed with the sounds he’s making and confident that he’ll be caught up to his peers by kindergarten. She brought me this nifty report of all the sounds he made (She recorded a session and transcribed his sounds). He adds new words each week and has been continuing to surprise people with his language. Even his teacher at daycare commented on it. “He’ll just out of the blue say something and I’ll be like, Was that Ollie? and it was!” So says his teacher.

Landon is becoming more responsible. He and I had a “Mom and Landon Day” on Tuesday, where in Ollie went to school and we went over to Tempe Marketplace. We saw Tintin, which was cute, although a little more violent and a lot more alcohol than I expected. It was very much an action adventure movie. After that we had lunch together at Red Robin, where we played a lot of Tic Tac Toe. After that we hit Dave & Buster’s and played some video games. We ended up hitting Game Depot and looking at dice too. After all of that, we got snow cones and then went to pick up Oliver.

Bobby has been feeling under the weather recently. He stayed home from work on Tuesday, called out sick, which never happens. Today he’s finally going to the doctor, so hopefully he’ll feel better soon. I started pushing him to go when he came home from work early for the second day in a row, and told me he didn’t feel up to going Hench Dinner. On the bright side, he got this neat new toy, called The Nest. He installed it right away, because he was so excited. But, partly because he was sick, there were issues.

I’m on vacation from work this week, which is wonderful, so Tuesday night I stayed up WAY LATE reading, at around midnight I finished my book and put it down, only to discover I was freezing. I got up and put my heated blanket on, noted that the heat was still on, and tried to sleep. But I just got colder. My heated blanket is small, and any part of me sticking out was cold. Around 2AM I realize the heat has been on for two hours and I’m freezing. I check the The Nest App on my phone, which tells me that it’s trying to heat my house to 73, as requested, but that it’s only 65 in the house. So now I know there is a problem. I get out of bed and check, and yes, it’s only blowing COLD AIR. So in the middle of the night, I fiddle with it and get it turned off, then cover the boys with extra blankets, and try to sleep. (Our room is the coldest one in the house.) I didn’t want to wake Bobby up because he’s been so sick.
I am too cold to sleep. At 3AM, Bobby gets up to go Potty, and I tell him what’s going on. He goes and messes with it, and ends up rewiring it and fixing the issue. Now the nest works great! Love it.

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2011 in pictures

My year in pictures (with notes)
Zoo Lights kicked off the year
DSC_0018

Ollie started walking
IMAG0906

Bobby and I went to a car auction
IMAG0919

I took a photography course
Photo By Laura Peterson (1)

Landon brought home lice and had his annual Allergy blood draw
Landon shaved

Ollie had a well visit
Ollie

My boys and I all go to the park, and Ollie is big enough to walk there on his own
MayerBoys (99)

Bobby gets access to the benefits at his work, and we take our first weekend trip, down to Tuscon.
tuscon (14)

Paid photo shoot!
Zach (34)

Easter!
easter (48)

easter (56)

Attended a great friend’s wedding
JTandSaraWed (19)

Saw my work turned into art
Darion Bday 7 (131)

Watched Landon grow and graduate
Landon Preschool Grad (32)

My first maternity shoot!
201106_Levi_Mat (4)

Spent time at DISNEYLAND and SEAWORLD
goofy kitchen

Spent a lot of time in the pool
Pool in June (13)

Added a nephew
Levi July 2nd 2011

Took the boys to the museum
AZ science center July11 (16)

And to Sunsplash
Susplash Jul 2011 (3)

Took Landon to a play!
IMAG1171

One Cabin trip this year. We need more.
cabin july2011 (107)

And I lost a bunch of weight
IMAG1193

Trip to Sedona
Sedona July 2011 (169)

I had a birthday!
August 2011 (1)

Ollie started at a new school
first day of school (52)

And Landon started Kindergarten
first day of school (16)

Landon turned 5
LandonParty5 (140)

And had a Mario Swims Party with an Awesome Cake
LandonParty5 (31)

Bobby and I celebrated 11 years of marriage and 16 years of being together by taking a child-free weekend in Sedona
Sedona (162)

We took the boys to Flagstaff
201109_Flagstaff_hikes (9)

We went to the Zoo
zoo (322)

And the AZ Herpetological society
20111016_park&Lizards (18)

Laura’s kids stayed the weekend with us, and we went to a pumpkin patch
pumpkins2011 (92)

I went to work in corset for Halloween
Work Spooktacular

I went to a bar with friends to see Christian Kane preform
IMAG1341

The boys continued to enjoy going to the park
Park (56)

And we had a wonderful Henchoween
Henchoween (78)

We visited one more pumpkin patch
PumpkinpatchMN (81)

And the night before Halloween, Landon decided to scare us by almost choking to death on a coin.
Landon's coin

Oliver to his Halloween surgery, tonsils and adenoids out, Tubes in his ears so he could hear, and he also started his therapy.
IMAG1409

Ollie wasn’t really up for it, but we did have his birthday party at the park, he turned TWO!
ollie bday-7

We had a nice Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving 2011 (9)

And a very fun Henchgiving
Henchgiving 2011-4

We saw Santa at my work
Santa-11

And made lots and lots of good food at Baking day
Baking Day-61

We made our annual trip to Holiday Hill
Holiday Hill 2011-3

And Henchmas!
Holiday-37

We celebrated Hanukah, Bobby made Latkes
Holiday-53

Christmas was fun
Holiday-63

And the Family Christmas Gathering was a blast
Holiday-148

We’re doing New Years with Laura’s family.
How was your 2011?

Ollie update :)

Last night, Ollie started blowing kisses. We went to Game Depot and when we went to leave, Patty blew a kiss at him, and he just did it right back!

I have no idea where he learned it, but it is the CUTEST THING EVER.

Both the DSI and the Speech therapist think he is making good progress. I Agree with them. Ollie spent some time in the one’s room yesterday and his one’s teacher was really impressed with him.

With the speech therapist on Weds or the DSI on Tues he said a bunch of things this week, including:
Five
Go Go Go
I Got it
All Done
Open
Lion (no L sound)
Hi

Last night at dinner he was happy and was playing his games. He sat in my lap and did not have a meltdown at 6:50-7 like he normally does. I took him home at 7:10pm without fuss.

Thanksgiving wrap up, ENT visit

Oliver had an appointment with the ENT yesterday. Everything looks great! The tubes are in the proper place and he is all healed from his surgery last month. We had another visit with the audiologist, who declared his hearing as “normal.” It was totally amazing to see him respond to the sounds this time verses last time. I could barely hear some of the stuff he responded to. They did want to test each ear on its own, but that involved letting them hold something to his head for 30 seconds. Ollie refused, so at this time they can’t tell me if he is hearing “normally” in both ears or just in one.

Oliver is meeting with a speech therapist and with a DSI once a week, and those appointments seem to be going well. Oliver’s speech seems to be improving some. He is clearer and has been adding new words.

Landon is doing well in school. He’s in an afterschool Karate class and he loves it, which is cool. He’s still doing his swim class, which is only 30 minutes a week, but he’s up to level six and still really enjoys it.

I had some paid photography shoots recently which made me rather happy. I enjoy doing the portraits and the weddings both!

Thanksgiving went well. My Uncle Jack and little brother Sam seemed to enjoy Bobby’s cooking. Bobby did ALL the cooking, with the exception of the French Silk Chocolate Cream Pie, which I had made the day before.

After we ate dinner we trucked over to Bobby’s parents’ house. We didn’t see most of the family this time, but Mickey thought Ollie was doing better, and was overall impressed with his behavior. She does think that Ollie is a lot like Bobby was as a child, personality wise. I’ve wondered if some of his issues might not be pure stubbornness and a predilection to take after his eclectic father.

Thursday night I went combat shopping. This was the first year we went out at night, rather than in the very early morning, and it worked out rather well. We hit Michael’s first, and I got some good deals. The nephews are getting science kits and books for Christmas from us. Science kits were well priced at Michael’s. After that we hit Wal-Mart, which was a bit crazy, but went well overall. I didn’t get some of the T-shirts I wanted to grab Landon, but I got almost everything else on my list. We swung through Walgreens and then went to Target. We got to Target at 11:30, and got in line to enter. The line was super long. They opened the doors at Midnight and began letting people in. We did not get into the store until 12:30AM. It took that long for the line to move that much. Still we were home by 2AM! Not too bad! I’m about 80% done Christmas shopping at this point.

Friday was Henchgiving, and here is a picture of everyone who attended, except for two people who wandered in late (and not including the children, as they were playing) (Also I noticed someone is ducking, and you can only see the top of his head!):
Henchgiving 2011-24

Dinner was much fun, and Oliver was SO GOOD! He was happy and babbling and sat in my lap with a smile despite staying up late. Everyone thought he was making more talking noises, saying random things, and being much more open and interactive! I was so happy and so proud of him.

Overall things are going well. I’m attempting to find my Christmas Spirit, because I am excited for the season, but having trouble catching the mood this year for some reason.