Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Update on the Boys


Wow, how time flies when you are having fun! I apologize for the length of time between blogs; we have two boys that are keeping us busy. Things have been great at our house. Nicholas is doing really well at "school" after crying each time we dropped him off this summer. It took 8 weeks, he went 2x/week, for him to stop crying when we dropped him off. It broke our hearts and we are super happy he has gotten over that. His school is on 8 acres and includes a nature bus, live animals and gardens. So, a lot of outdoor activities. Nicholas would live outdoors if we let him. He's talking more and more everyday. It's pretty fun to carry on a conversation with him. We had his speech evaluated recently and he's on par with other 3 year olds. So, almost caught up with where he should be. He got new glasses last month. We decided to forgo the "Harry Potter" glasses.

James is our happy boy. It's amazing how fast 7 months has gone. James is close to crawling and is a smiley baby. He loves when Nicholas gives him attention. Nicholas likes to crawl into James crib in the mornings and just lay with him, to which James seems to love. We've had such a different experience with James from Nicholas on many fronts. We're thankful for the experiences we have had with both boys, while different, just as meaningful.

We have our first big trip with the boys this December. We decided to take them to Cancun for a 4 night vacation at a Westin resort. The rooms are condo like, so, will make traveling with kids much easier. We're excited to spend time together and play in the sand and pools. They are great fliers overall, so, hoping a little further than Cleveland and Nashville will be just as successful.

May you be blessed with family, friends and happy memories during this holiday season.


Denise, Denise, Nicholas and James

Monday, June 4, 2012

Welcome James Donald

Nicholas is a big brother! We welcomed James Donald (named after his grandfathers) into the world on April 17th. He weighted 8 lbs 10 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. Quite the opposite of Nicholas. Nicholas has been great with him. He loves to give him kisses on the head (something we had to teach him versus on the lips) and makes us aware when he is crying  and promptly wants us to do something about it. Chelsea, our nanny, is here daily. She has basically kept Nicholas on his normal schedule, which has helped out a lot. Doesn't leave a lot of time for jealousy or acting out, which is appreciated all around.

Nicholas is winding down with his spring activities and getting ready for a pre-school/day care program he will start in July. We feel he is ready for more interaction with kids his own age. He will attend that twice a week this summer and three times a week in the fall. It will also give Chelsea a little time to adjust to taking care of two kids during the day. We'll keep you updated on how Nicholas does.

Speech wise, Nicholas continues to improve. We saw another speech therapist and she basically said the same thing as the others. He understand what you are saying and even comprehends at a 3.5 age level and the speech will come. We just want to make sure we are doing everything we can for him given his early start to life.

We've had a great summer so far. Traveled to visit cousins and aunts/uncles and even a long weekend up at the lake house where Nicholas loved being outside 24/7. One favorite, his first boat ride of the season where uncle Jay let him take the helm.

Enjoy your summer. Sorry for the delayed update, it's been pretty busy around here.


Denise, Denise, Nicholas and James

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nicholas is going to be a big brother

I realize we haven't updated the blog in a couple of months. Overall, things are going well. Nicholas continues to display his independence in almost everything he does. He has become a real climber and has bruises on his legs to show for it. The weather has been beautiful in WI, so, Nicholas has been outside every chance he gets. He's learning how much fun it is to release things at the top of our driveway and let them fly down (we have a steep driveway for those of you that are not aware). He is getting better about stopping and waiting for someone to help him retrieve the toys if they go beyond the drive and into the street. We have ordered a net to stop things from going too far.

Nicholas really hasn't progressed much on his speech and we have Birth to Three coming back to do another speech evaluation. We're not overly concerned but because we have these services available, we also want to take advantage of them. He loves to read and be read to as you can see in the pictures. So, just a matter of time until he will start talking back to us. We can't wait to see what he has to say! Nicholas is in a variety of activities these days including Little Gym, swimming lessons and KinderMusic. He really seems to enjoy the time away from the house and the interaction with the other kids. His best pick up is to go up to the little girls and tickle them :). What's a boy to do; he'll learn soon enough.

We also realized we haven't shared our baby news on Nicholas's blog. We're excited to welcome our second child into the world the middle of April. Nicholas isn't quite sure what make of my growing belly but he does like to "kiss the baby." We've moved him into another room just down the hall and he's adapting well. He is really into Curious George these days, so, we bought some decals for his walls which makes his room even more special. We think he'll have a little adjusting to do, but overall, will be great with the baby. He loves to help. We are also going to put him into a part time pre-school starting the second half of the summer. We really think he's ready for more structure and interaction with kids his age.

We enjoyed a visit from Aunt Darlene and Cousin Andrew last weekend. Nicholas loved playing with them and very much enjoyed their visit.

We'll keep you updated on the new baby. I'm sure we'll have some pictures to post.

Denise, Denise and Nicholas

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nicholas is 2

We got our first of two snow falls in November. Nicholas got all bundled up but isn't a fan of the snow. As soon as his hand got some snow on it, he was done and wanted to go back inside. 
 Thanksgiving was spent with his Rasmussen cousins. He loved playing with them and just being in the mix. His favorite past time is playing with light switches which he could easily reach on the stairs at Uncle Erik and Aunt Heather's house. Nicholas is saying some words but still relies on the sign language we taught him when he was smaller. He sat at the table with the kids and was signing all done. None of them knew what that meant, so, he sat there until one of us finally walked in and saw his hands waving like a mad man. Finally, someone to help him get down.
 Nicholas loved the Christmas tree. We quickly learned we had to place all our breakable ornaments up high. He seemed to get the hang of opening presents towards the end of the season, but is still into the paper and playing versus the gifts.
 We celebrated Nicholas's 2nd birthday a couple of times; with the Mancuso's during Christmas and with our friends in Madison on January 1st. Nicholas loved the frosting and eating the cake, especially Aunt Dianna's chocolate cake. He seems to have a bit of a sweet tooth!
 Nicholas and Papa Mancuso outside playing with his new 4 wheeler. We couldn't believe how nice of a day Christmas was. Nicholas also had his Steelers coat on, a gift from Uncle Tony. That tends to wear better in Cleveland than Madison.
 With his Mancuso cousins. By this time, Nicholas had had enough partying.
 Nicholas is getting better about wearing his glasses, but it is still a work in progress. We think he looks like a mini Harry Potter. Maybe we could capitalize on that.
 This is the most recent picture of Nicholas taken this past weekend after a new haircut. He sat completely still for his haircut. We weren't sure who he was. It was very cute and a moment we wish we had captured on video.

Overall, Nicholas has had a great couple of months. We were able to see some of the nurses and doctors that took such great care of him at Rainbow when we were in Cleveland over the holidays. He was also seen at their preemie follow-up clinic. Everything is on track for him. They still compare him to his corrected versus actual age until his due date, April 11th. Birth to Three, an agency that sees Nicholas to monitor his progress here in Madison, compares him to other 2 year olds. They too think he is on track and would expect him to start talking more in the next couple of months. That is the only concern we've had is that he isn't using a lot of words just yet. Some research shows that kids that start by signing are a little slower to actually speak because they can get their point across without needing to use the words. So, we're working on it and expect his language to flourish in the next few months.

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are thankful for each and everyone of you who have touched our lives in one way or another especially during the last two years. Nicholas is our little miracle and we wouldn't be where we are today with your prayers and support.

Denise, Denise and Nicholas