Thursday, March 29, 2012

Silver Dollar City

We took Alex to Silver Dollar City for the first time and Max for the first time in over a year! Boy was it a lot of fun and everything went so much smoother than we thought. I think everyone did great, Alex even took two good naps. We were all sure exhausted when we got back. Here are a few videos from the day - pictures to come later!

Alex gets a new trike

Alex got a new trike last week from Grandma and Grandpa. Unfortunately the week we got it put together we had rain 4 days in a row! so we had Max take him for strolls around the house. Here's our first stroll.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

1st shopping cart ride

Today was the first day Alex rode in the cart and not his carrier. He sure is turning into a big boy! Below us a picture of Alex at Sams. Thank you again Aunt Phyllis for the cart cover (that we got for Max!)

- Ashley

2 weeks til Easter!

Cant believe Easter is right around the corner. I've got to get around to finishing up their baskets! Today we took some pictures of Alex at James at the Mill. Hope they turn out, I can't wait to post some of them!

- Ashley

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Arkansas Hands and Voices

I wanted to write this blog to educate some of my family and friends and even their friends about a great organization, Arkansas Hands and Voices. I have become familiar with this organization through my brother and sister in law, Todd and Jennie Van Es, and because of my neice, Laney Van Es who was born with profound hearing loss. I hope by reading this blog you learn a little something about the organization and maybe share it with someone or a family you know who has children with hearing loss. You could also attend the Northwest Arkansas Tasting at Twilight event in April, or maybe even help with gathering a donation for the silent auction held that night. Below I have gathered a little bit about the organization, the event, and a little story about my niece, Laney.

Arkansas Hands and Voices is a Nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to supporting families and their children who are deaf/hard of hearing. It is a United network of resourses existing to help deaf/hard of hearing children reach their highest potential.

Each year Arkansas Hands and Voices has an event called Tasting at Twilight. This year the event is Thursday April 19, 2012. It will be from 7:00 to 9:00pm at The Garden Room on Dickson Street. Guests will be tempted by an assortment of wines and enticing hors d'oeuvres while enjoying the beautiful setting of the The Garden Room nestled in downtown Fayetteville. Additionally there will be silent auction with a variety of wonderful items on which guests can bid. Reservations are $50 per person for this event. I hope you will contact either me or Jennie if you would like to attend, make a donation, or donate an item for the silent auction. Several of our family friends are already planning to attend, and some amazing businesses like Shelby Lynn's or JR's salon are donating to the silent action.

A little background on Laney

Laney, my niece, was born on Thursday February 12, 2009.

She was born the Thursday before I went into labor with max on that Saturday, so max and Laney ended up being only 4 days apart.

Shortly after Laney's birth we discovered Laney was born with profound hearing loss in both
ears. This was a complete shock that our little Laney could not hear our voices, that we thought she was hearing all of this time. Jennie and Todd shared with us about these implants that could be implanted into her brain at the age of 1 year and 18 months. We all prayed this would continue to be an option, and thankfully we learned Laney was excepted as a candidate for the implants.

Laney had her surgery at Arkansas Childrens hospital on Wednesday February 17, 2010 just after she turned 1 year old to get her 1st of 2 cochlear implants. The 2nd implant could not come until 6 months later when she would be 18 months old in August 2010. Todd and/or Jennie
made weekly trips to adjust her hearing down to Arkansas Children's Hospital. Below is the video Todd and Jennie took while in Little Rock of the first time they turned on her implant on. Approximately 14 months after her birth, we see her hear for the first time. (Note she cries because she is not sure what to think of the noise, but crying is a good sign this time).

Below is a video of the first time me and Mike actually saw her hear.

Her implants soon got the nickname her "ears". She has one on each side of her head. It's actually a "magnet" that can come off pretty easy, so when you are around her, putting her "ears" back on, or checking for both "ears", making sure they are both green (full battery), or making sure you don't lose one of the "ears"...... become normal things to do or say

She can't wear them around water or places with static like at Boingo bounce, etc but she can read lips great, and is just the sweetest little thing. Somehow Max and her have their own little language they understand and love playing together (with the occasional spat )

Laney is now 3 years old. She is turning into such a big girl. We just celebrated her Birthday in February.

Laney's favorite song is Happy Birthday. It has been for a while. Me and Mike even got her a Happy Birthday sing a ma gig for Christmas. Below is a video of us singing to Laney on her Birthday. I love the expression on her face. She even starts to sing a long, but she knows the song is for her.

I'm so extremely blessed to have Laney as my niece. She has taught me so much about life and how much some people take for granted. I love her personality and how her smile just lights up the room. Her laugh will make you laugh too. She is such a little blessing to everyone she meets.

I'm also so thankful for Arkansas Hands and Voices who provides support to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. To learn more information please visit

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grandpa Lamb turns 94!!!!

We had so much fun going down to Delight last weekend to visit with Mike's family and to celebrate his Grandpa's 94th Birthday! Lots of fun, can't wait to go down again. Below are some videos I took on the flip while I was down and thought I'd share.

All three kids brought their riding toys to play with on Saturday. They had a ton of fun. They all rode and drove all of them!

The Grand kids take a photo with their Grandpa

The Great Grand kids take a photo with their great Grandpa Lamb

The "kids" take a picture with their Dad

His cake and guests

The kids help Grandpa open a gift

It wouldn't be Delight without some Fiddle playing!

Saying goodbye to the Helicopter and playing outside before dinner.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

MiMi visits

MiMi came to visit last Saturday March 3rd. She was on her way to work in Missouri. She met Matt and Bekah for shopping and lunch, than brought them to our house to meet Max and Alex. I was out Rhea Lana's shopping ( presale!) and got some great stuff. They played in the afternoon, than we all went to shogun to celebrate all of the Birthdays!! We celebrated Max's 3rd, Matt's 29th, Alex's 1/2, and Bekah's 5th! Thank you MiMi for a fun and delicious meal at Shogun, definately a treat for us. We came home after shogun and celebrated all of the Birthdays with cake and presents. Here are a few videos I took to share from the visit with MiMi.

Max helps decorate for Alex's half birthday celebration

Max loves to decorate and clean. Anytime he sees me doing either of the two, he eargly steps in. I was putting together a small celebration for Alex for turning 6 months old, and Max decided to add his little touch. Mike got it on camera. I thought it was quite humerous (maybe not at the time since I was actually trying to clean and decorate quickly, but now that it's done - I do think he's such a good big brother, loves to help, and loves to decorate)

Max has a sleepover with cousin Mabry

We had Mabry over for a sleepover a few Sundays ago and it was so much fun! Sunday was a good night because Mary Frannie is in school the next day and Jennie takes Laney to therapy on Monday mornings. We got Mabry that afternoon. They played outside in Max's new truck, we set up forts in the living room, they took a fun whirlpool bath, we fixed a big dinner with lots of stuff to choose from. I think Mabry's favorite was the corn, haha. We also fixed icecream Sundae's and than let the kids watch a movie in bed. I think they had a lot of fun. That Monday morning I even woke up and took the kids to McDonalds and let them play in the play area for a while and eat breakfast out at a "restaurant". The kids behaved great, we had a ball. Can't wait to do it again sometime soon!!

Max is 3 ( Videos from his Birthday)

This is the cutest video of Max but please turn your volume down so you do not hear my voice! I was the one holding the camera and somehow sang the worst version of Happy Birthday ever! oh it does sound pretty aweful, I promise I am not this bad EVER. Atleast it will give you a laugh or two.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Max gets a new Blue Truck for his Birthday!!!

Alex and Max

I took a picture of Alex today and found an old picture if Max wearing the same thing. See any similarities??

- Ashley

Alex is 6 months old!!

We took Alex to the Dr this morning for his 6 month stats so I thought I'd share them along with what he is doing now.

Weight: 15 pounds 14 ounces - 20th percentile
Height: 26 inches - 25th percentile
Head - 40th percentile
The Dr said we have a great proportional baby boy! Just a little one!

- At 6 months old Alex loves to roll. He's not that fast yet, but will roll over both back to front than front to back.
- He also scoots. He doesn't crawl, but if he's on a blanket he can get off the blanket by scooching around and never actually rolling
- He still nurses. Thankfully we haven't ran into any problems with this since the first few weeks, and it's going along smoothly. He won't really take a bottle that easy, but he takes one if he's hungry! The only people he really will take a bottle from is Mike and my mom - occasionally my dad if we need his help like at Max's Birthday party.
- He's tried both rice cereal and green beans. We'll let him try something else new next week and just slowly introduce foods to him so he can be familiar with the spoon before the age of 1.
- He loves his bouncer ( horsey) in the living room and enjoys bouncing while me and Mike work out.
- He loves his jeep walker (we recycled from Max). He walks in it mostly in the kitchen or outside.
- He loves to pull his socks off or eat his shoes
- If you look at him and he reconizes you he will give you a big smile. He loves smiling at his daddy when he comes home from work. Alex always gives him the biggest smile!.
- I take care of Alex all day everyday except my mom helps me from 9-2 on Thursdays while Max iis at school. A - so I can get some things done and B - so she can spend time with just Alex. On Tuesday, Max is also at school, so I get from 9-2 with just my little guy.
- He is in size 3 diapers - that's new - just changed this week! We get them from Sam's - can't beat Sam's price per diaper!
- We bought diapers for the first time last week and have never bought wipes. We just got so many as gifts from showers and Christmas and have used everything sparingly.
- He wears mainly size 6 months, but for Spring/Summer we bought him 9 and 12 month. He wears size 2 or 3 shoe. We had to buy a few things at Rhea Lana's because Max didn't have hand me downs from that size. Max went straight from 6 to 18 months! (not kidding)
- We need to work on Alex's sleeping habbits. He had great nights around Christmas - but the last month or so.....he falls asleep nursing around 8:30. I normally continue rocking Alex while Mike is getting Max down. By 9pm normally Max is asleep in his bed and Alex is in the crib. Lately he's been crying around 10:30, so I go in there to check him, nurse him back to sleep. sometimes I have to go back again and rock him instantly if he doesn't like the crib. He will normally sleep until about 1 or 3 and than wake up again. I go into his nursery 50% of the time and nurse him in our bed the other 50% of the time, depending on how tired I am. Now that Max's surgery is done and out of the way and he is getting back to normal routine, me and Mike are goign to work hard on getting Alex into a better sleep routine too!
- Alex loves to play with toys and will reach and grab for anything especially the remote or a phone.
- Alex still has the rash on his cheek but it is looking better daily. His ear is completely healed. We go back to the kids dermatologist in 2.5 weeks to get it checked again. I definately think the high maintenance routine we are doing with the daily baths, vasoline, steriod creams, cerve, washing everything in the entire house in dreft etc is working, so hopefuly it heals up soon.
- Alex doesn't take the binky (pacifier) a lot anymore. Not for me at all, not really for Mike that often, but sometimes for my mom. Sometimes he'd just rather suck his hand or arm.
- Sometimes when Alex gets mad he will babble at you in "Chinese". It's pretty funny.

I think that's about all for now. Coming up in the next few months we'll have sitting up, more veggies, rolling faster, maybe even scooting or pulling up on things! oh the things we have to come. Everyday is exciting with a 6 month old and a 3 year old both boys in the house!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sleepy little guy

I love watching Alex sleep he just looks so peaceful. I could hold him all day. I always find myself taking a picture of my little guy while he sleeps. He just looks so peaceful

- Ashley


I grabbed some pictures on my phone from Valentines day through now of the boys. Max loves his "baby" as he calls Alex. And boy does Max make Alex smile. The older Alex gets the more fun they have playing together, and I know that will only get better the older Alex gets. Its so fun to sit back and watch them bond together. Enjoy the pictures of the boys below!

- Ashley

Cool monster backpack

Look at this cool monster backpack from MiMi!! We are always so impressed by MiMi's sewing skills. Sunday we took it filled with toys to aunt Kell's house for Gran's Birthday party, everyone was so impressed. Can't wait for Max to take it to school to show his friends!


Jewelry box

Mike got me a little jewelry box. I thought it was such a thoughtful gift. I always have a hard time finding my nice jewelry because it used to be in the same drawer as my all of my other jewelry. It would always get tangled together. Now i hace a special place for all my nice jewerly. Perfect!!

- Ashley

Rhea Lana's

Had lots of fun at Rhea Lana's with my mom on Saturday. We were consignors this spring so we got to get in early at the pre sale! Took some pictures of the great stuff we found not including some toys, two chairs, and a scooter too!!

Lots of great deals on summer stuff for Alex!!

4th of July outfit for Alex just $6.50

Cute swim stuff for Alex

3 brand new outfits with tags!

Brand new Nemo life jacket for Max just $3!!

7 pairs of summer shoes for the boys, just $23!!