Play Track Meet

Isaiah really wanted to go to a track meet today, but it wasn’t really possible to make it work. He was heartbroken, so we decided to have our own track meet. Isaiah trotted over to the neighbors’ house to see if the kids wanted to join in. They thought it sounded fun, so the adventure began.

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Annie and Wyatt warming up

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Isaiah showing off his muscles

I grabbed some sidewalk chalk and drew a line on the sidewalk, then told the kids to run to the line and jump. When they landed, I marked it with their initial. In the end, Annie had jumped the farthest (it probably helped that she’s the tallest kid).

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Jumping

Next up was a sprint. I sent the kids to the end of the sidewalk and marked a finish line. Annie decided to hang back a little to give the little ones a shot at an event, so the boys shot ahead of her and managed a perfect tie. We couldn’t accept a tie as the final score, so the boys ran again. For this race, I held out my hands at the finish line for high-fives, to make it easier to tell who got there first. In the second race, Will just managed to take the lead at the very end.

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Race number 1, with Annie being such a nice big kid

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Race number 2

Next up was a game planned by Isaiah, who’s been battling a nasty cough (allergies?). He wanted a coughing contest. He happily coughed and made noise, with Annie laughing and joining in. Will had a little trouble at first, but even he joined in by the end. Thanks to Isaiah’s real cough, he managed a clear win on that one.

So, the score was tied at one win per kid. It was time for another event. I pulled out Isaiah’s foam balls from his t-ball set. They had a pitching contest, which even the grownups joined in for. Annie won that one, hands down, even against Michelle and me, much to her great pleasure.

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Throwing their balls

Since the balls were out, Isaiah really wanted to play t-ball. We pulled out the t-ball stand and the boys used it to see who could hit the ball the farthest. Since Annie is so much taller, we opted to pitch the ball for her. This gave us all a great laugh, since I had to throw it and, let’s just say there’s a reason I don’t play sports. It took several pitches before the ball came close enough for her to even attempt to hit it. Oops.

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Annie showing off her bridge while I set up t-ball

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Will hitting a ball as hard as he could

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Laughing at me...

Then it was time for the final event: mini golf. We put out the two “holes” that came with Isaiah’s golf set. For the first hole, all they needed to do was hit the ball across fairly flat ground. For the second, they had to keep it inside lines drawn on the sidewalk on a hill (not enough flat sidewalk by our house). The first hole was easy, but the second proved quite difficult for everyone. Again, grownups had to participate, this time to help the boys to finish the game.

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Golfing

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Being goofy

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My turn!

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Michelle giving it a try

In the end, everyone had won something and they were all quite happy. Annie and Isaiah drew some pictures on the sidewalk while they waited for me to make some awards to hand out. We ended the fun with a simple award ceremony, in which each competitor was given a badge before posing for a group picture.

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Award ceremony

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The happy competitors

Thankfully, we ended our fun just before it started to rain. Our friends headed for the shelter of their homes and Isaiah and I came in for some supper and cuddles.

**A huge thank you to Michelle, who saw my abandoned camera (couldn’t take pictures and run events at the same time) and took the majority of these pictures. Without her help, there wouldn’t be any.

A Trip to the Zoo and a Nature Center

There was no school today, so I had a day off work. Which meant it was the perfect time for an adventure. Isaiah, my mom, and I loaded up the car (we even remembered to pack a picnic!) and headed off.

First on the agenda was the zoo. We live within reach of a couple and Isaiah had asked to head to this one a few times recently, so it was definitely time for a visit. We saw lots of happy animals while we were there, much to Isaiah’s delight.

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The red panda, enjoying the morning sun

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Curious bushbaby

The zoo’s tree kangaroo has a new baby, but it’s still small enough that it stays hidden away in mom’s pouch. Mom wasn’t much in the mood for pictures, either. Bummer.

The naked mole rats were quite active, causing plenty of excitement. Isaiah loved watching them race between “rooms”, tripping over each other, doing flips, and generally causing complete chaos. They may be ugly little critters, but they’re certainly interesting to watch!

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Observing the naked mole rats

Video of the naked mole rats

Isaiah was pretty interested in the snakes today. A friend recently got a pet snake, so he’s started seeing them in a different light. He’s still not sure he’d want a pet snake, but he likes watching them.

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Checking out the rainbow python

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You can't see it in the picture, but he's looking at a very large iguana

We managed to be in the right part of the zoo to catch a creature encounter show. It was about one of the zoo’s macaws, so the keeper had him out with her and let him show off some tricks. The macaw’s name is Elliot and he’s quite the little attention seeker. Any time his keeper put him down to talk, he’d start going through all his tricks, trying to keep the spotlight on him, instead of his keeper.

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Elliot the macaw

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Demonstrating how he can use his beak for climbing

Elliot showing off

We made sure to get some food so Isaiah could feed the zoo’s goats. The bigger ones are a bit pushy, but, in general, they’re pretty friendly. He had a lot of fun feeding them and trying to make sure everyone got a fair amount of the food.

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Feeding the goat

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Making sure the smaller goats get some, too

Silly goat

When we went into the reptile building, they had a number of animals out so that kids could touch them. Isaiah bounced from one critter to the next, petting them and asking their names. He would have happily stayed there all day, playing with the animals.

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Petting a shy ball python

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Skittles the black and white tegu

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Petting an adorable leopard gecko named Casper

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Twiggy the bearded dragon

Before leaving the zoo, we had to stop and play on their natural playground. Isaiah adores all the things they have to climb on and wanted to do it all before we could go anywhere else. He’s been getting braver and was able to jump from one tree stump to the next, as well as climbing to the highest point on various structures.

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Balancing

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Jump!

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More jumping

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Happy spider

After the zoo, we headed over to a nature center. It was getting late in the day, so we didn’t have time to explore all the buildings and trails, but we got to see the buffalo herd and some geese. We walked down one of the shorter trails, along a lake. We could hear frogs chirping all around us, but any time we came near any, they’d get quiet, so we couldn’t find them. After a while of searching, Isaiah finally spotted one and showed us where to look.

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The buffalo were fairly close to the fence

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Talking about pioneer children and collecting buffalo chips to build fires. He was surprisingly enthusiastic about the concept.

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He really loved this feather

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The frog Isaiah spotted

Isaiah was a little sad when it was finally time to go home, but it was a fun day. He can’t wait until we can go on another adventure.

At the Zoo with DJ and Shiloh

We’ve been wanting to meet up with DJ and Shiloh for a zoo day for a while and it finally worked out that everyone’s schedules allowed for a zoo day at the same time. Yay! Isaiah could barely contain his excitement.

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Snow leopard

I wasn’t able to get very many pictures because Isaiah flew from one exhibit to the next, dragging DJ and Shiloh behind him. He wanted to make sure they saw all his favorite animals. Since he’d never been to the zoo with Shiloh before, he was sure she’d never seen the animals before, which made it extra important that she see everything.

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Riding on Uncle DJ's shoulders

I managed to stop everyone in the jungle for a few pictures, before everyone took off again. Isaiah wasn’t sure he wanted to waste time on it, but did manage to give me a few nice shots.

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Isaiah with his favorite aunt and uncle

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Silliness with Gram

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Pretending to eat me

We managed to see quite a bit of the zoo in the couple of hours we had together. We made a few new friends, too. Isaiah found a tiny lizard that followed his finger and my mom had a nice conversation with a cougar.

Talking to a cougar

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Isaiah's little friend (Isaiah took off before I could get a picture of him with the lizard)

Isaiah’s EEG

Isaiah had his EEG today. He was extremely nervous, after his not-so-pleasant experience with the MRI. We watched a video on YouTube of a girl his age getting an EEG, which helped calm some of his fears, but he was still pretty worried.

When we arrived, the tech, Emily, introduced herself and explained the process to Isaiah. She already had everything set up and ready, so there wasn’t really any waiting, once she’d made sure Isaiah understood. She let him examine the pen, cleaning gel, wax, and wires and got him settled on the bed.

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Marking where each wire would go

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Emily's pretty funny

Emily talked cheerfully with Isaiah while she got him ready for the test. She asked him questions about things he liked and joked with him, pausing occasionally to explain something she was doing. Isaiah answered her questions and laughed. He did his best to stay still for her, though he got a little wiggly when he started to giggle.

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Look at all those wires!

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Twenty-six wires!

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There was even one on his face (to record eye movement

Once all the wires were in place, I climbed onto the bed with Isaiah so he could cuddle with me while he fell asleep. Emily turned off the lights and told him to keep his eyes closed until she told him to open them. He fell asleep pretty quickly and had a little trouble waking back up when it was time. He followed directions beautifully through the whole process. When she declared him done, Isaiah rolled onto his tummy to admire the wires that were attached to him. He loved all the different colors.

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Look at all the pretty colors

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Snuggling with Mama

When everything was finished, Isaiah announced that he liked this test, so it would be okay with him if he ever had to do it again.

Info about why he had an EEG can be found here.

Isaiah’s 6th Birthday

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My six year old

Isaiah’s Birthday Interview

Name: Isaiah
Age: Six. I’m six!
What are you going to be when you grow up? I’m going to be working at the Bob the Builder and be a magic guy.
What is something that is hard for you? School. When we’re talking about letters.
What is something you’re good at? Legos and puzzles. Helping Gram.
What are you afraid of? The dark. You already knew I was ‘fraid of the dark!
What do you like to do with family? Everything. I like to play.
What do you like to learn? New songs.
Where would you go on vacation? To see Winter [the dolphin] and Big Cat Rescue.
Who is your hero? Everybody who lives in this house.
How old is Mama? Grown up.
How old is Gram? 18.
How old is Grandfather? 59. [He may have had a little help on this one…]
What makes you happy? Going to the park.
What makes you sad? Not getting to go to the park.
What’s the best thing about your birthday? Build this [marble] tower.
Favorite food: Donuts
Favorite subject at school: P.E.
Favorite thing to do: Puzzles
Favorite book: They’re all my favorites!
Favorite animal: Lemur, cheetah, lion, and dino
Favorite color: Yellow, green, red, and blue
Favorite teacher: All of them.
Favorite sport: The ball kind
Favorite birthday gift this year: Star Wars ships
Favorite show: HobbyKidsTV
Favorite movie: Toothless [How to Train Your Dragon]
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite restaurant: Pizza Ranch

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Happy boy

Gifts and Silliness

Isaiah was pretty excited about opening his gifts. He got a few shipped her by a friend and his gifts from family. He got some dinosaur toys, some awesome Star Wars ships, and a marble track.

Isaiah has been asking for a watch off and on for a while. Since all the grown ups in the house have one, he figures they must be super important. Much to his delight, the smallest package he opened today had an awesome Jurassic World watch in it.

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His response to discovering his new watch

Then, for fun, he got an iTunes gift card that was creatively wrapped. He opened a box of spaghetti, that still had noodles in it. He was so excited about the noodles and trying to eat them all as fast as he can (raw noodles are a special treat, in his world) that he almost missed the actual gift. After he’d devoured a noodle and declared it the best gift ever, we managed to convince him to look inside the box to see what else was there. He’s almost as happy about the card as he was about the noodles.

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Eating his noodle with great enthusiasm

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There's more?? Not just yummy noodles?

Family Photos, 2015

We try to get family pictures taken every year or two. This year, pictures were a high priority because our family has grown. DJ got married this summer, bringing Shiloh into our family. Obviously, it’s important to have a family picture that includes her.

So, we got everyone together when DJ and Shiloh came for a belated Thanksgiving celebration and set up a bunch of pictures.

First, we needed to get some individual headshots and “family” shots (my parents, DJ and Shiloh, Isaiah and me). Those took some shuffling around and craziness, but we pulled it off somehow.

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DJ and Shiloh

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My parents

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Isaiah and me

Then, it was time to cram everyone into the small space in front of our Christmas tree for a whole group photo. Of course, the room isn’t quite big enough to back the camera up and get a wide shot. That would be too easy. But, with some serious effort, we managed to get it set up and set the timer. A few photos later, we had our shot.

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The whole crew

Before I could take the camera down, Isaiah had to get a few special shots and my mom and DJ wanted to pose with the cats. Once those were done, it was time to download everything and see what we had. We definitely got some winners!

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Isaiah getting a ride on DJ's shoulders

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Isaiah and his new favorite person

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Isaiah wanted to pose with Gram the way the guys were posing with their wives

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Kisses for Gram

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My mom and Jack

Autumn Tree Craft

Isaiah made a tree with real leaves last year and has been asking to do something fun again this year. Unfortunately, it rained before we got leaves collected to do anything using real leaves. Oops.

Since the leaves were a soggy mess, we had to get creative. I pulled out some paint and a roll of paper and informed Isaiah that we’d be painting our leaves this year. At first, he was pretty sure that was a bad idea, especially when I told him we could use his handprint as leaves. Apparently, sticking his hands in a bunch of paint was not appealing.

Of course, we couldn’t paint the leaves without a tree to put them on, so I started by painting a trunk and some branches. I even included a hole in the tree with eyes peeking out. While I was doing that, Isaiah managed to locate the green paint and pour a bunch of it onto a paper plate. He wanted to help and decided adding grass under the tree was the perfect job for him. As he painted, he sang “The Green Grass Grows All Around” at the top of his lungs.

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Trying out the paint...

When the trunk was finally finished, it was time to add leaves. With a little coaxing, Isaiah put some paint on his hands in bright colors. He made some handprints, making sure they hung neatly from the branches I’d painted. Then, he decided that it wouldn’t be a “fall” tree if there weren’t leaves, well, falling off of it. So, he set to work making handprint leaves in the space under the branches and even a couple on the grass.

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The very first leaf

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A falling leaf

Once he’d made a few handprint leaves, Isaiah decided that paint on his hands wasn’t such a horrible experience. He made lots more leaves and even got creative with the colors he was using. Instead of solid yellow or orange leaves, he started using combinations of colors to show the leaves in the process of changing color.

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Paint covered hands

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Carefully placing another leaf

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More leaves

After a while, Isaiah declared the tree complete. He worked on rinsing out the brushes he used while I cleaned up the paint and hung his masterpiece. Then, of course, he had to pose for a picture with it to share with the world.

Isaiah Got Mail Today

Isaiah discovered that there was a package in the mail meant for him. He brought it to me, bouncing and yelling. I helped him cut it open, then decided to pull out a camera because his excitement was so cute. Inside the package was a Starbright Baby giraffe that we’d ordered a while ago. Isaiah loves to chew on fabric, so I’d been looking for something appropriate for a while. This seemed the perfect solution. Isaiah agrees.

Opening his package

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Posing with his new giraffe

Conversations with Isaiah: Naughty Kitty

I was sitting on my bed with the computer, while Isaiah was happily sitting in a corner with his iPad. Thomas jumped up on my bed, walked up to me, sticking his nose up against mine, and proceeded to meow as loudly as he could.

Me: *laughing* Hi, Thomas.
Isaiah: *running to “save” me* Thomas! No. No putting your face in Mama’s face. It mean. Don’t put your face in Mama’s face.
Me: *laughing*
*Isaiah released his grip on the cat, who came right back to me and started chirping in my face again*
Isaiah: No! No, Thomas! I told you not to do that!
Me: Chirping and rubbing on me is how he says “I love you”. It’s ok.
Isaiah: Oh? Ok…

My boys

Isaiah and Thomas