Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Greenville Zoo

The boys and I went to the Greenville Zoo today with Alisha, Katelin, and Abigail. Graysen was allowed to walk around and thought that it was awesome that he got to participate. Caleb always brings his "zoo book" and compares the real animals to the ones in his book.

Monday, June 29, 2009

F-150 Pictures and Video

Checking out the ladies...
Caleb and Graysen Meet the F-150

Caleb Only Makes Left Hand Turns

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Test Drive

I was the test driver for the F-150 since I am under the maximum weight limit for the toy. Lee and I wanted to make sure that it worked, see how it would respond to hills, and make sure that it was safe for the boys.

The F-150 is pretty tough and we didn't even remove the safety screw restricting top speed. It is now parked in its parking spot in the garage (Lee's old spot). Lee has been relocated to the drive way.

We plan to give it to Caleb and Graysen in the morning.


Since random objects can no longer be used as ride-on toys, the boys, mainly Graysen, have found other uses for them.

Caleb and Katelin's Special Day

Caleb won $50 cash at the Shriner Circus in April. He would not have won the money if Alisha hadn't entered his name into the drawing. So, he and I decided to share the money with Katelin. The two had lunch at Chuck E. Cheese and afterward got to walk next store to Toys R Us and pick out any toy that they wanted. Unfortunately, my camera batteries died and I did not get any pictures of the kids at Toys R Us. Katelin picked out a market playset, Caleb picked out a firehouse set, and Graysen picked out a ball.

I am always amazed at Caleb's willingness to share and his understanding of fairness. He is always willing to share whatever he has (toys, candy, treats, etc.) with his friends and with Graysen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Water Playdate

We had a water playdate at Emily's house today. All three kids had a blast and my two really enjoyed getting to play in water. (It is a special treat for them.) I enjoyed being outside and love watching Graysen experience new things.

Happy Birthday Lee!

Last night we celebrated Lee's birthday with a traditional hot dog cookout. Happy Birthday Lee!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pool Party

We went over to the Taylors' house Saturday evening for dinner and a swim. Caleb absolutely loved swimming! It was a lot of fun and we always enjoy spending time with the Taylors.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Little Helper

Graysen's Echo

Graysen's echo went very well today. The technician was able to get great pictures and Graysen is doing well. He still needs to have a cath procedure, but it can wait until the fall. (The goal is to minimize the number of invasive procedures that Graysen has over his lifetime, so each one is pushed as long as possible until it is absolutely necessary to intervene.)

He still has narrowing in both of his pulmonary arteries. The diameter of each is around 5.5 mm when it should be around 7-8 mm at this age. Also, the pressure is high in the right pulmonary artery (60), but has not gotten worse since the last echo. The function of his right ventricle looks great and his heart is not having to work too hard to compensate for the high pressures.

His next echo is scheduled for October 8th, at which time the cardiologist will schedule the cath procedure at MUSC. He does not think that we will be able to postpone it any further than this fall.

Overall, it was a very good report and we are looking forward to a relaxing summer!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Ford F-150 Power Wheels Fiasco (Lee's Version of Events)

  1. Graysen is baptised. All is well.
  2. We come home and eat snacks. Chuck and Deb talk to the Taylors. All is well.
  3. The Taylors leave. All is well.
  4. Everyone is bored. No one can decide what to do. All is not well.
  5. Graysen and Caleb begin "riding" plastic buckets around the house. I remark that this is probably not good for our floors and ask Laura what happended to their ride-on toys.
  6. Laura replies that they were sold.
  7. I suggest that we buy a couple of cheap ride-on toys so they don't scratch the floors with make-shift items.
  8. Being able to entertain myself, I put on headphones and read a book. Chuck falls asleep sitting up.
  9. I take off the headphones. Chuck wakes up. We are informed by Laura and Debbie that we will immediately buy a $300 two-seat Dodge Viper Power Wheels knock-off for the boys to ride outside. The cost will be split. Caleb has already been trained to identify his new car on Wal-Mart's website. Caleb is excited about his new Viper. Chuck and I are afraid to say no.
  10. Chucks says, "This is what I get for falling asleep..."
  11. Chuck and Debbie decide that if they are spending money on this, the Viper must be running before they leave.
  12. Someone asks Laura if she looked at the reviews for the Viper on the Wal-mart website. She has not.
  13. Laura reads the reviews. The first ten say, "DO NOT BUY," and explain how the Viper breaks immediately after purchase.
  14. Caleb is still excited about his Viper. Laura and Debbie are not so excited about the Viper anymore.
  15. Laura and Debbie scramble to find another vehicle that is $300 and is available in the store. After much browsing and several phone calls, they determine that a Ford F-150 Power Wheel is available at a Wal-Mart in Greenville. Laura and Debbie are excited about the F-150. Caleb is still excited about his Viper.
  16. I inform Caleb that Geoffrey can ride in the back of the F-150. Caleb is now excited about the F-150.
  17. I look at the instructions for the Ford F-150 on the Internet and learn that the truck requires 18 hours to charge at first--more time than Chuck and Debbie will be in town. Chuck and Debbie decide that they can at least push the boys before they go.
  18. The mini-van caravan proceeds to the Wal-mart in Greenville.
  19. Everyone is astonished to see that the Ford F-150 Power Wheel truck is $350 dollars rather than $300.
  20. Laura freaks out. A store employee is located.
  21. The employee informs us that online pricing is different than in-store pricing. Laura fails to accept this and argues. The argument is unsuccessful.
  22. Chuck and Debbie say that it is "up to Laura" to decide whether to spend more. I recognize this as a dangerous situation and suggest that we buy it online.
  23. Laura agrees. Debbie agrees. Chuck wants to talk to the manager.
  24. Laura and Debbie do not give Chuck permission to go talk to the manager. (Whew!)
  25. Caleb still believes we are taking home a Ford F-150.
  26. Laura gives Caleb a little matchbox F-150 and says we'll buy the big truck later. Caleb is concerned.
  27. Laura gives Caleb her credit card as proof that the truck will be ordered on the Internet. Caleb is satisfied.
  28. Caleb has to go pee pee, so I take Caleb to the bathroom. He refuses to go because toliet paper is in the toilet.
  29. Laura and Debbie decide that we haven't checked enough Wal-Marts.
  30. The mini-van caravan proceeds to the Wal-Mart in Boiling Springs.
  31. The Ford F-150 at the Boiling Springs Wal-Mart has two prices on it, $350 and $330.
  32. Laura ponders whether to spend more than the original $300. I again recognize this as a dangerous situation and suggest that we buy it online.
  33. We go to dinner. It goes surprisingly well.
  34. We go home. Laura orders the F-150.
  35. Laura gets bored. All is not well again.
  36. Laura and Debbie go to Target to buy Thank you cards. Laura and Debbie call from Target to ask if they can buy the two $20 ride on toys for the boys that I orginally suggested. We will split the cost. Chuck and I are afraid to say no.
  37. Laura and Debbie return home. They boys love the $20 ride on toys.
  38. We play Wii. Good times.
  39. We go to sleep.
  40. I wake up.
  41. Chuck and Debbie wake up.
  42. Caleb wakes up and plays with this $20 ride-on toy. He may or may not remember that he's getting a Ford F-150 Power Wheel.

Caleb's first truck purchase...

did not go as planned. While my dad was napping and Lee was listening to music on headphones, my mom and I decided to buy the boys a battery-operated vehicle. We let Caleb pick out a model on the internet and he picked out a Dodge Viper, which he fell in love with. "A-Pub's car." "A-Pub share Graysen." "Red car! Red car! Red car!!!" (Caleb calls himself "A-Pub.")

When Lee joined the conversation, after which mom and I had promised Caleb a Dodge Viper, Lee recommended that we check reviews on it. It turned out that the Viper is not made by Fisher Price and was a piece of junk. We had to tell Caleb that the Viper was "broken" and I planned to turn his attention to the Ford Mustang.

Lee then recommended that I make sure that I could find a Ford Mustang in Spartanburg before I promise yet another car to the 3 year old. I could not find one. I looked online at all the stores (Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sears, Target...) and called around.

My mom and I then decided that the Ford F-150 was the way to go. It was in stock in Greenville and was at a decent price. We then pumped Caleb up about the truck, about which he got very excited. It had a real truck bed in which Geoffrey could ride! What is cooler than that!!!

So, we packed up two minivans and drove to Greenville. The Greenville Wal-Mart had it in stock, but the package was busted and it was $50 more than the online price. (I learned a very valuable lesson about Wal-Mart's pricing structure. The online price is not the store price.) So, I did not want to spend $50 more than I was planning to buy a busted F-150. (The store happened to have the Mustang at a good price, but by this time Mommy had fallen in love with the F-150 and did not want the Ford Mustang.)

My mom then recommended that we try the Boiling Springs Wal-Mart. We then drove to Boiling Springs. They had one on display but it had two different price stickers on it, both of which were higher than the online price. By this time, we were all exhausted and decided that it was not worth tracking down a manager to determine if they had one and to "discuss" the price. So, we promised Caleb that we would order one as soon as we got home on the computer with Mommy's credit card. (Caleb knows how to order items on the internet. He understands that they come a few days later and keeps a look out every day for the "big truck" that brings the items to the house.)

On the way home, Caleb kept saying, "A-Pub help mommy with computer." (Caleb does not forget things.) So, we ordered it when we got home and he is happy knowing that it will be coming in a few days. Lee even volunteered to give up his parking spot in the garage during the warm months so that we can house the F-150 in the garage. The F-150 will be stored in the basement in the winter.

My dad's response to the day was, "This is what I get when I fall asleep." Lee's response was next time my mom and I decide to buy something, go for it, but don't involve him in the shopping trip!

Graysen's Baptism

Graysen's baptism was yesterday. We enjoyed the special day by spending time with friends and family.

Don't worry, Graysen is not eating a communion wafer in the first picture (which is what I initially thought when I saw him eating). It is a Nilla wafer, although we aren't exactly sure where my dad found a stash of Nilla wafers at church!?!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer Playdate

We had a fun outside summer playdate today with kids from the neighborhood. We live on a great cul-de-sac and feel lucky to have such wonderful neighbors. All of the kids (except for Graysen who has been grumpy all day) had a lot of fun!