Thursday, April 30, 2009

"You might be a redneck if . . . " And Party with the Merritts (the two are not related, we swear!)

What rednecks do on a lazy Saturday afternoon: put lawnchairs in the front yard and watch the "traffic" go by (whilst sweet-but-slow golden retriever lays nearby)

The Penguins Are Here! Here're Grace and our friend Jackson at the brand-new penguin exhibit at the Aquarium (in March).

The Merritt Extravaganza
We visited the Merritts in North Augusta Apr. 9-11. Had a BLAST. Daddy went to the Masters Golf Tournament on Friday with Russ while Lizzie and Mommy played with the kiddos. Chance had his first jump on a trampoline with the boys--and, of course, LOVED it.

Jack and Charles "hid" Easter eggs for the younger kids . . . and . . . well, Jack and Charles also dug a hole in the yard--trying to create their own tunnel system, they said. BOYS! :-)

Lizzie prepped the egg dye and the twins dyed Easter eggs for the first time (um, this was BEFORE the Easter Egg Hunt, but you probably guessed that).
Charles shows Chance how to do it.
Grace: "Oh, Jack. You're my hero." Seriously, folks. She was smitten.

VIDEO of fun with the Merritts outside toys. Real men drive pink Barbie cars. Right, Charles?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Xtras of Xtra-Cuties

Gracie in "new" sunglasses (we found 'em at the beach--finders keepers)
Trying on an Easter dress that looks "soooo pretty" but is too big for her, despite being a size 24-mos (she's 23 1/2 mos. in this pic). Maybe next Easter? ha! :-)

In an unsuccessful attempt to edit with the twins around, Mommy purchased laptops for them. Grace enjoys hers, saying "I'm working" and sitting at it for a good 10 or more minutes. Chance, however, only lasts about 2-3 minutes; he's mostly interested in taking Grace's away from her (he's holding Gracie's in this pic; his is a Lightning McQueen laptop). More mohawks from Daddy at bathtime.
First taste of KRISPY KREME doughnuts--Daddy's favorite and, apparently, Chance's too.

Chance not happy with his 1-doughnut limit.

Eating Easter sugar cookies with Daddy.

At the twins' first Xmas, Uncle Matt said Chance is a "double fister" with his food. Not sure why he/Chance wanted ALL of the crackers at once in this pic; when I asked him, he just grinned and giggled. He'd be a "quad fister" if he had the extra limbs.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Outfits from Aunt Anne!

These pale-blue, smocked outfits were made by Aunt Anne (Baumgartner) before our twins were even born. She purposefully made them to fit at about age 2, and they do fit perfectly--and beautifully. They make Mommy's eyes tear up--thank you, Anne!

A local photographer offered a 30-min Easter shoot at Azalea Park two weeks before our holiday/birthday weekend. Here are a few mostly-untouched photos. Grace cooperated well and seemed to enjoy her flowing dress, but Chance . . . well, he acted annoyed that we were in a park but we wouldn't let him run around, splash in puddles . . . wonder why? :)

Edisto with the Grands

Edisto was chilly the last week of February. But Daddy, Mommy, the twins, and Grandpa and Grandma Boespflug saw a group of dolphins playing/swimming only about 40 feet from the shore. As the sun set, their bodies looked almost black against the water, which scared Chance so much that he didn't want to go to the beach for days afterward ("No dolphin, no dolphin"). Grandma has some pics of the dolphins and water--hope to get some from her soon.

Of course, only minutes before we saw the dolphins, Grace was scared by the numerous seagulls flocking around Grandma who was throwing bread to them. As Grandpa walked away from the birds, Grace clung to his shoulder like we'd never seen before. Poor Baby Grace!

But we had a fantastic time--pics below.

Grandpa teaches Chance how to Putt-Putt.We drove to the Charleston Children's Museum one day.
Grandma rings up Gracie's groceries at the register. Grandma taught Grace (and Chance, when he was interested) how to make brownies at our condo. Mommy worked a bit (editing) while the Grands played with the kiddos too. THANK YOU, Grandma and Grandpa!

Beachin' It with Aunt Manda

Aunt Manda visited during the last weekend of Feb. when the temps warmed up: BEACH, baby!!!

She and Chance fed the seagulls when we arrived. (He'd overcome his fear of the beach and dolphins apparently--see above post from Edisto.) For some reason--because he's a boy?!--he gave a "rebel grunt" each time he threw a piece of bread. So funny. Play video below to hear it.

The twins learned about muddy sand, to their great delight! Chance is stomping in the water/mud in the video below too.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Eyes of Grace: spasmus nutans

First, a few pics of our Amazing Grace . . .

We eat Dove dark chocolate squares 'round here (if ya couldn't tell).
Making brownies with Grandpa and Grandma Boespflug while in Edisto (nice hat, Grandpa).

At the beach with Aunt Manda.

Finally a diagnosis for Gracie's eyes: spasmus nutans.

Our pediatric opthamologist, Dr. Saunders at the MUSC Storm Eye Inst., evaluated her today (Thurs. 4/2) and diagnosed her with this disorder, a self-limiting type of nystagmus. No treatment. It typically goes away within during the first few years of life. But Mommy and Daddy are still researching it and trying to understand it . . .

At least it's not neurological. We were relieved when Grace was discharged from the pediatric neurologist on Jan. 12 this year (she had an EEG last fall--horrible experience). Dr. Greisemer, at MUSC, never said he saw her eyes shimmer, but he did say that Gracie's "oscillating" (his word) eyes were not neurologically related. He surmised that her optic nerve wasn't fully developed at birth and has been continuing to develop since. He gave her the diagnosis of nystagmus and referred us to a vision therapist. So, we saw Dr. Draisin ( and told him the neurologist's diagnosis of nystagmus. He gave us some exercises to do at home, but they were unrealistic for a 1.5 yr old (involved wearing a patch over one eye).

Today, though, Dr. Saunders (who prescribed her glasses in Sept. of last yr), solved the puzzle that Mommy has been worrying over since Grace's birth. It's good to have a diagnosis. A name. Mommy made this appt because Gracie had been removing her glasses and Daddy said she seemed to see better without them. So, it's no surprise that the doc also decreased her prescription, and the gal at the frame place says she needs larger frames . . . Mommy's translation: her eyesight is improving and she's growing. God is so generous with His grace (pun intended)!

CHANCE: Today, at naptime, Chance declined Mommy's offer to rock him to sleep. A first! Since birth, Chancey has wanted Mommy--during those "comfort times" when he's hurt or when he's sleepy (fervently protesting, with loud wails and tears, when Daddy offers to put him to bed), or just cuddly. But today, he wanted to play instead of nap. Allllllll boy. His humor shows more and more, and it seems that he finds a way to turn even the commonest daily activities into a game. He's a blast. Carpe diem, my Chance T-storm!
See the mischief, people? Do ya see it?