Make This Place His Home

Summer is Winding Down…Fall is Cranking Up…

Greetings to all of our followers and readers,

Please don’t confuse the lack of postings here on Ryan’s site for any lack of activity around our house.  This Summer has been a wonderful mix of day trips and weekend adventures for our family, sprinkled with exciting changes in Ryan’s world.  Some of our stories have made it to our FB page so please bear with us if we’re recovering some ground – hopefully we’ll be adding colorful details to what you may have already heard.

Let’s get to it…

When last we were here, Ryan has just had his first cataract surgery.  Since then, he’s also had his second cataract operation.  According to his Doctor, the results were excellent and both his eyes are now much clearer with his new lenses.  The images passing to his brain are clearer than at any other time in his life – the doctor told us that Ryan was likely born with both cataracts.

In addition, he’s just had his most recent eye muscle surgery to “straighten” his eyes.  Again, his doctor was very please with the results so far – we’re due back shortly for a follow up.

As time goes on, with all of these changes, his brain will likely show improvement in image processing, and we will continue to monitor his progress.

Not long after his cataract surgery follow-up, Ryan was fitted with new eyeglasses.  His frames are allegedly indestructible…  We’ll see about that!

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Ryan is very meticulous about his glasses and takes very good care to know where they are and to make sure that they are cleaned and put safely away every night before bedtime.  He wears them almost all of the time and he tells us that he CAN see better.  The whole family challenges him constantly from across the room and across the table:  “Ryan, how many fingers am I holding up?” (!).  He’s gaining more confidence every day in how he moves around the house and yard, and around our neighborhood.

Speaking of bedtime, his comfort level and feelings of security have allowed him to settle into a very predictable and consistent bedtime routine, and he typically falls asleep soon after he goes to bed.  This is good news – for him and for us!

Next up for Ryan is Oral Surgery to do some housekeeping in the area of his front teeth.  He apparently has a couple of EXTRA baby teeth in front (top) that will be removed to allow his permanent teeth (which are beginning to poke through) to more easily move into place.  All of this will be done before Thanksgiving, if schedules can be held.  Hopefully we see good results for these, too.

Otherwise, Ryan continues to thrive on nearly all fronts.  It took a little while, but he’s pretty much mastered his scooter.  It’s remarkable to see the before/after of him on his scooter…

Here is a little video nugget (posted previously to FB with link reposted here).

Ryan’s Scooter Video

In our last post, we talked about some of the summer day trips we’d made during the early part of the summer.  Since then, we visited the US Mint in downtown Philadelphia…

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We made our own flavors of Ice Cream at the Turkey Hill Experience…

 

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Of course, wee needed to sample the Ice Cream, too!

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We took a tour of the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory – AND squeezed in a visit with Dad’s Cousin Jim (who lives a few minutes from Herr’s).

We got soaked at the kid-friendly sprinklers/fountains at the Promenade in Saucon Valley…

In case you were not certain, Ryan LOVES the Water!

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We hiked around in the woods at the Schuylkill Valley Nature Center…

 

Ryan and Ashley getting up close & personal with some tadpoles

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The Gang in a quiet moment.

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With Big Brother Kyle

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Can’t hike without a Walkin’ Stick!

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We made lots of trips to the local skate/scooter park in Collegeville – and a bit of a road trip to a big-kid skate park in Bethlehem (near the Sands Casino).

 

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We wore out our bikes a bit this summer as well.  We rode the Ironton Rail Trail up in Lehigh County..

 

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This will be the LAST summer in the Trailer!

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And we also rode a few times at the Rodale Cycling and Fitness park near Macungie/Emmaus…

 

 

Uncle Mark, Aunt Avery, Luke (and Logan) came to visit for Logan’s LAX Tournament, so we took a side trip to Crystal Cave!

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Where we panned for priceless gems!

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K/D/A went to their second week-long summer day camp – CLAY / SCULPTURE ART CAMP.  There they made five different projects each.  (If a representative from MOMA in NYC happens to see this blog post, we would be happy to discuss options where you might be able to display these magnificient pieces at your museum – on LOAN, of course.)

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The last few weekends found us trekking to Cape May again…

 

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Did we happen to mention that he enjoys the Water (pool or beach)?

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As the summer wound down, we made a trip to visit Grandma and Poppa in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  We are very fortunate that all of the kids are great travelers.  Whether imprisoned in a car for 12 hours on the PA / OH Turnpikes, or trudging through Chinese airports, the kids are usually well pretty behaved and helpful (especially if the luggage rolls on 4 wheels!)  Between DVDs, DS’s, Books and sleep, they are able to occupy themselves – and NO ONE GETS CAR SICK!

In Michigan, we spent a day at Uncle Mark’s lake cottage (though that was a bit of a wash-out day), and spent an afternoon swimming in his cool pool…

 

At the Lake…

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Back at the Pool…

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We visited the John Ball Park Zoo, where the older kids (with Luke) challenged their skills on an elevated ropes / confidence course – VERY FUN!!  And Ryan and Kyle enjoyed a Camel Ride.

 

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We visited the Grand Rapids Public Museum and their Carousel.

(They also had an interesting exhibit on the finding of King Tut’s Tomb)…

 

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As an added bonus, Gradma and Poppa’s new home is very near a lake – several of the larger home have small “beaches” (i.e. areas of sand that trail off into the water) – that we visited nearly every day.  Just down the street from their house, there is a (very) small public “beach” where the kids could build sand castles, jump off rocks and skim small stones.  This was a nice diversion, especially since the weather was not so great for most of the week.

We had a great visit, and got to spend time with Uncle Mark, Aunt Avery and our cousins (Paityn, Logan and Luke).  And we even shoehorned in some pool time at the hotel pool where we stayed.

 

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We even took a wild ride on some of Michigan’s largest dunes – LOTS of FUN!!

 

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And we also made a trip to to Dorney Park…

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All-in-all it was a fun summer.  We tried to make it a busy one and we put a lot of miles on the new car!  Everyone seemed ready to start back to school after all that we’d accomplished.

 

Ryan started Kindergarten this fall and he enjoys riding the school bus with his brothers and sister in the morning.  He adores his Teacher (Mrs. D) and has started making friends in the classroom.  He frequently brings home surprises for Mom & Dad (and occasionally for K/D/A) – we’re going to need a bigger refrigerator and a bunch more magnets to display all of his projects.  He enjoys practicing his letters (upper AND lowercase) and he works on these nearly every day.  It will not be long before he’s reading.  Since his Kindergarten is the morning session, Dad picks him up at mid-day.  And every day, the first thing he asks after he gets settled in the car for the short ride home, is “Dad, did you have a good day by yourself while I was at school?”

 

The First Day of School – Aug-2015

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Since the weather’s been nice here, Dad had been able to do parent pick-up via bicycle!  Ryan rides in a little trailer behind the bike and we have a lot of fun riding home – luckily (for Dad) the ride HOME from school is mostly downhill!

 

Thanks to Mrs. D. for taking this shot of us at the Parent Pick-Up line:

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That’s it for our late summer update…Look for a Fall posting soon, maybe with some Halloween news, too!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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