Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 in Review

Thoroughly Mormon Millie used this idea on her blog and I decided to copy it. Take the first two sentences of the first post for each month and you'll have a fun review of the year 2006. I didn't start blogging until May so that's where I'll start:

Crew's therapist brought us some new equipment- a creepster crawler made by the Assistive Technology lab at USU. After Crew's gym class we came home and tried it out.

We've had swim day, field day, awards assembly, water parties, and to top it off..... a pizza party. Yes, this is what my kids have been going to school for this past week.

As a child, my school district asked the young people to write something (essay, poem, etc) about "What America Means To Me". Being only 8 years old, I sat down and wrote my feelings of living in a free country.

We celebrated H's Birthday this past week. He is the big 7 now! It was a fun weekend.

When life gets you down.... It's a good idea to reflect on those things that I'm thankful for. Here's a few:
Good health. (So I can take care of my fam)
3 fantastic boys (I couldn't be more proud)
great therapists & doctors
Sonic mozzarella sticks & cherry lime slushy

I think it's been two weeks since I've had a chance to sit down at the computer. Last week we took the kids on a long needed vacation.

Tis the season to break out of the "fog". Even though I truly treasure staying home with my kids, I feel like my brain is falling out.

DECEMBER - Neurology Again
I took Crew to Primary's for his Neurology appointment. Everything was fast fast.

So there you have it! A quick review of the Gizmo family.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Family Ski Day

Yesterday we took the boys skiing. Actually, it was a first time for my DH and our boys. My 3 wonderful SIL's took care of Crew while I kidnapped my brothers to help teach the first-timers the basics of skiing.

My brothers were great... very patient and helpful. Carl and S caught on okay. H didn't have fun! Apparently, H wasn't feeling well yesterday because today he has the flu. S caught on quickly. In fact, by his 6th run down the mountain he was flying so fast I thought he was going to smash into something or someone but he was actually in control.

We would really like to be a "skiing family" but realize that it's not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Shriners- December 27

Crew had his first appointment with Shriners Hospital on Wednesday. We are so blessed to have this awesome Orthopedic Hospital so close to us. The entire staff was pleasant and treated our family great. Upon arriving, Crew received an X-ray of his hips. This is something that we are suppose to have done every year but I've been putting it off and its almost been two years. His hips looked great.

Then they sent us to a room to have his molds made for new AFO's. He has already grown out of his second pair. The AFO's give him the support that he needs for weight bearing and keep him from "toe walking". I've been stressing about how to pay for another pair of braces and am so thankful for our acceptance to Shriners as it is a FREE hospital.

Also, Shriners is accepting Crew for weekly therapy. I was not expecting them to offer such great services. However, with him moving out of the Early Intervention program I am thrilled at the opportunity to continue getting great services. This is just an example, again, of how things work out when you least expect them too. I am so thankful!

Media crazed!

H asked for two things from Santa; an MP3 Player and a new video game. Okay, I don't even own an MP3, but H does! This picture was taken moments before H decided to take it upon himself to "DOWNLOAD" music from my computer.

As I was putting the Ham in the oven, Independent H crashed my computer! Yes, I found him sitting at the computer, MP3 plugged in, screen frozen and completely locked up. I was a bit stressed out for a portion of the day until I was able to get it going again. Posted by Picasa

Christmas Eve

Sunday was a nice relaxing day. After church we had plenty of time for naps, wrapping last minute gifts, and Carl and S even took a walk. The boys made cookies for Santa.

Christmas Eve traditions also include: Reading "I Believe in Santa Clause", an eye opening comparison of Santa to Jesus. We talked about the life of Jesus and also his birth. The book also includes the meaning of the Christmas symbols, such as: the star, bows, wreaths, etc. It was fun and I was amazed at how much the boys already know and understand.

We had our traditional opening of one gift from Carl and I. S & H received robes and Crew some new jammies.

 Posted by Picasa

New floor- Dec 23rd,

Two days before Christmas we decided to rip out our carpet and install this pergo flooring. We bought the flooring months ago but haven't had time to put it in.

We decided at 8:00 pm on Friday to tackle the projects. We removed the carpet that night and started working again the next morning.

Our neighbor, Ben, came and showed us how to do it. He stayed and helped for 4 hours. What a nice guy! Carl and Ben worked hard and finished the room that afternoon.

We still need to do the hall but will wait until the holidays are over. We left the carpet down until then.

The floors feel so much cleaner. I love it that the kids can be kids without me stressin and worrying about stains.

The new floor will make it easier for Crew to use his walker. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This years card

This is the picture that ended up on our Christmas card. Aren't they handsome! Posted by Picasa

A friend for Life!

Throughout my life I've been blessed with one very dear friend. P and I have been friends since we were about 3. We grew up together. I, the tomboy, and P a girly girl. As a child I was shy and insecure. P was outgoing, graceful.. popular. Memories with P include playing with dolls, building treehouses, riding horses, snowball fights, Lake Powell, bike rides. P and I were naive... a bit sheltered by our small town farm life. Together, we pieced together the story of the birds and the bees. Together, our testimonies were built. Together we survived a car accident where the car P was driving rolled end over end. P is like a sister to me.. or more. She understands me. She knows where I am coming from. She knows my heart. I love her.

P was my roommate during our first year of college. P quit and married her High School sweetheart. I continued to date and go to school. About a year after I graduated, I got married. One year later... had a baby. We went our separate ways. I moved south. P moved north. The distance and our crazy family lives made it difficult to get together. Over the past 10 years we've managed to get together 5 or 6 times. It's not enough. However, when you have a friend like P, it doesn't matter how long its been. We always pick up right where we left off. There is no awkwardness.

Today, was one of those precious lunches. My schedule felt packed but when P called and suggested we get together... I really wanted to. We had less than one hour. We ate lunch and chatted. P brought her two youngest. She is the cutest mom ever! All five of her kids are adorable, talented and WELL BEHAVED! After lunch she surprised me with a homemade gift. Sorry, P but I opened it! She made me a gorgeous wooden sign with this saying, "Courage does not always ROAR, Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow". She also had a handmade card stating that when she saw the saying it reminded her of me. I almost cried!

I love you, P!

Preschool Assesment

Crew had an appointment today with the speech therapist and OT at the school district. In just over a month he turns 3. When these little guys turn three they transition from the Early Intervention program to the School District. The EI team has been awesome. They are like family. They care about my son and will bend over backwards or jump through hoops to get him what he needs. The services with EI are incredible. Rumor has it that the School District isn't very impressive and I've been trying to ignore the fact that we eventually have to face this transition.

When I first entered the room I noticed right off that my child was the only one with obvious disabilities. The moms looked at me with that, "Oh, and I thought my child had problems" look. I sat down to fill out the mountains of paperwork and one of the workers could see me juggling with an active thrashing kid and an oversized clipboard. She came over and took Crew from me. She sat on the floor and played with him. I was happy to see that she was so willing to get to know him.

The OT called us back to the room. She put Crew in his walker and helped him down the hall. Once we were situated in the room and she started working with Crew, I mentioned that we needed to convince the school that PT was needed. Immediately, I sensed her distaste for me. See, in our school district they don't have a PT. If there is a need they are required, by law, to get one. At our previous meeting I was told that if the OT felt there was a need for PT then the district would contract it out.

The OT kept saying things like... "this isn't Early Intervention", and "we don't call it therapy", and "we work as a team". What is that! She said that PT wasn't guaranteed unless there was a need. I said, "Well isn't that obvious". She commented that school isn't the place for "therapy" and that their focus is academics and asked why he wouldn't be able to get his PT through outpatient therapy. I explained that it can be a financial burden to take a child to outpatient therapy 2X a week. She said, "Well, we can't provide therapy for him just because you can't afford it". HELLO!

I explained that it's proven that if a childs motor development is improved then his cognitive abilities tend to improve as well. She agreed. However, I felt she had an abrasive personality or a chip on her shoulder. I was in no way prepared to deal with this woman. As I watched her interact with Crew I realized how helpless he is and how disabled he is. At home I get use to our routine and I focus on what he CAN do but in that environment today I saw an oversized baby. It makes me sad.

The final IEP will be in January. During the IEP, we (I mean they) will decide what services Crew will recieve, what days he will go to preschool, and what class he will attend. Until then I'm going to keep on loving our EI team.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Christmas Memory

Coming from a large family is something I've always been proud of. There were ten of us. Mom, Dad, seven children, and Lorin. My father is the hardest working man I know. We farmed 200 acres of wheat, alfalfa, mint, and sod. Spring, summer, and fall required long hours of physically exhausting work. The financial payoff was slim. Our family struggled and mom & dad often went without. They are great examples of sacrifice.

By the time winter rolled around, things on the farm were slowing down. Dad often worked building machinery or constructing houses (as a general contractor). I know that as Christmas time approached the family funds were scarce. However, this did not stop Santa from coming.

As a child, I never worried that Santa "might not come". I knew that he would. The days proceeding Christmas were so exciting. Presents were wrapped and placed under the tree. Mom made lots and lots of treats... which we delivered to neighbors. For many years we made gifts for each other. I remember one year I made a head band for my brother. I cut out the fabric and sewed it together. It was about 3 inches wide and I printed his name, "Seth", on it in bold letters using permanent marker. I guess I was quite young. Its really funny now to think that the headband was all I could come up with. Seth wore the headband... to bed. ;)

On Christmas Eve, we all chose a spot on the couch or chairs to place our stockings. Then comes the funny part. We all searched the house high and low to find the biggest socks (we didn't have the real Christmas Stockings). I didn't even know that there was such a thing... ya know, beautifully sewn giant stockings to hang from the mantle. My father is 6 1/2 feet tall and wears a size 13 shoe. Dad's socks were the best thing we could find, and on Christmas morn each sock had a big fat orange in the toe, nuts and candy. The girls got lip gloss or nail polish.

Now I reflect on the stocking scene and wonder if dad's socks ever fit him the same after they were emptied. I doubt it!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Click, Click, Click

I'm in blogging heaven! We have high speed internet. Goodbye dial-up! I've only been getting a maximum speed of 28.8 which is S..L..O..W.. Now I can finally read and comment without having serious anxiety. YEAH.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Never a dull moment....

Here is this years attempt at getting a decent picture for Christmas cards. However, it seemed to be painfully difficult. I was contemplating running to Kiddee Kandids. I love that place! The photographers are awesome and I always come home happy. Maybe I will still do it.

But this is who we are, RIGHT?

If anyone wants a Christmas card email me at:

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 08, 2006

A date with H.

H was feeling sad because S was invited to go play raquetball with a friend and H wasn't invited. In H's eyes, this friend is equally his. I suggested that H and I go out for Hot Chocolate. He thought that would be great, especially since he is basically banned from chocolate. I suggested 7-11. He was game.

We drove downtown together. H and I, out for a treat. It was fun. I wish I could do things like this with my boys more often. We ended up buying a box of donuts to go with the Hot Chocolate. H picked out a Chocolate Chocolate donut... big surprise. He requested two straws for his drink but I don't think he realized how hot it would be. Not exactly a guzzling opportunity. However, we added a couple ice cubes at home. H is happy.

Okay, I know it sounds like we go out every night for treats but rest assured, its been an unusual week. Oh, and last night I googled McDonalds Hot Fudge Sundae and found out it has more than 350 calories. I don't think its worth it! Do you?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Use Your Words

Crew has been really lazy lately with his communication. I think that he has been working so hard on crawling that we've slipped up a little on the verbal/sign. However, recently when he starts whining, I will stop and say, "Crew use your words". A lot of the time he will stop whining and start jabbering. The jabber isn't clear-- at all, but I usually know what he wants so I give in because he made an effort to communicate properly.

Tonight we went to Redbox to get a movie. Since we were at McDonalds I decided to get 4 Hot Fudge Sundaes to go. DH and kids got in the van while I waited for the sundaes. When I came out to the van and got in Crew started screeching and whining. I thought he was just doing his usual "I don't like my carseat" protest. Holding a tray full of Hot Fudge Sundaes, I turn to him and said, "Crew, use your words!". He immediately stops whining and quickly signs "Please".

Now, how cute is that! I handed S a spoon and asked him to give that boy some icecream. After all, he deserves it, doesn't he?

Differently Abled

I've never heard it put that way but ToysRUs has a catalog out this year for DifferentlyAbled children. I remember looking at it last year and getting ideas for Crew but I didn't remember they called it that and I think its cute!

I'm wishing I could just go pick one up from the store so I could pour through the pages because I'm trying to look at it online and this stupid dial-up is driving me bonkers.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Neurology Again

I took Crew to Primary's for his Neurology appointment. Everything was fast fast. I didn't even have a chance to sit down in the waiting room when they called us back. We saw the P.A. because our fav Neuro Dr. is booked until April. What a joke! The P.A. was nice and seemed to know her stuff but I just always worry about these things. His seizures are still not under control so we are switching meds. We're starting him on Depakoate and then we will wean him off of the Topamax.

When I first started driving down to Primarys, I hated it. I know it sounds really stupid but I've always been terrified to drive in Salt Lake. I'm a country girl, I guess. On a good note, I realized today that I'm finally feeling somewhat comfortable as long as I know where I'm going. I was able to relax and enjoy the holiday spirit of downtown SLC. I thought about stopping to do some shopping but noticed that Crew zonked out and decided it just wasn't worth it.

At home, I was able to do all the "dirty" work that I've been avoiding and was long overdue... floors and bathrooms. I also emptied all the laundry baskets. Yeah!

I took Crew with me to my haircut. The hair lady has a toy poodle that Crew loves! He was so happy and excited and gave him hugs and kisses. Crew would so be in heaven if we ever got a dog. The haircut is cute. I love my hair when she styles it but it will look lame again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I wish I was a JELLYBEAN!

I chose not to take the boys with me to SEP's tonight. This is the first time that I have gone alone. I wanted to talk to H's teacher privately. I've had some concerns. First off, the teacher shared with me an experience that they had in the classroom.

Somebody has been stealing stuff. One of the little girls earned a Starburst and within minutes it came up missing. The teacher, Mrs. B, gets up in front of the class to talk about how stealing is wrong. She said she was trying really hard to be serious because of the situation. She talked to the kids and it was kind of tense. H, who sits front and center, raises his hand and says "I wish I was a Jellybean!"

She was laughing and I was laughing too! Where does he come up with this stuff? She said that she was happy that H is letting his personality show and that she thinks it was his attempt to lighten up a very tense situation. It's a good thing we all have our individual personalities!

Work in Progress

DH finished placing the rock for our backyard water feature the day before it snowed. I am really excited about this. He built it so that there will be two waterfalls. One on the left side and one on the right. It is hard to see on the photo. We will plant flowers and greenery around and behind it to hide the ugly white vinyl fence. We also have a little rock bench off to the right. sorry, I didn't get it in the picture. Posted by Picasa

Help! White Elephant Gifts

We needed to come up with 6 different White Elephant gifts for different parties that we are invited to this year. I never really know what to take. Do you buy something our just give away something you already have? We have done it both ways but I am just wondering if any of you have any great ideas. Is there a white elephant gift than you have given or received that you have loved! I need all the ideas I can get. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Whirlwind and Snow

I spent the day in a whirlwind... calling doctors, preparing for scouts, substituting in the preschool, finishing my Usborne book order, and preparing two Photography entries for Reflections contest.

The boys dug out their snowboards for a first of season day at the park. Its always amazing to me when I realize that they've grown out of their boots, snow bibs, and gloves. I don't think I'm ready for this winter stuff.

I want to spend the winter with Chel or TXmommy. Can I?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A new week

I'm really sad that the long holiday weekend is over. I've enjoyed having a few days "off". No job to run off to and no homework for the boys. Saturday night I had a babysitter set up. Just as she arrived, my good friend showed up at the door asking for help. Her family is going through some serious trials. We spent all last night with her and most of today. I am so worried about her and her family. She has lost a young daughter recently and things have gotten worse from there. It isn't good:(

Over the weekend I was able to get the Christmas decorations up and DH mostly finished our ongoing water feature project in the backyard. I will post a picture later. I was so happy because this is one of those projects that we started clear back in May or June.

S & H spent several hours playing nicely together today. They were so cute sharing a chair as they navigated their way through some new computer games. I honestly didn't hear any fighting. What a blessing!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Give Thanks!

DH made his famous Sweet Potato casserole and we teamed up to make the Raspberry Pretzel Salad. This is the first year in forever that we haven't made the turkey which is actually a big relief (for me anyway). In years past, DH always volunteers to do the turkey. He likes to smoke it or deep fry. Unfortunately, we burned a hole in my dads redwood deck one year and I always stress when the turkeys not done on time.

First thing in the morning we are heading off to Happy Valley. I love Happy Valley. We moved away about 2 years ago. I miss my friends but we won't have time to go see anybody. Besides, they are probably all off visiting their own families. Still, it will be nice to visit the in-laws.

Tis' the season to be thankful. I'm thankful for family, health, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, good neighbors, friends, therapists, doctors, medicine, hugs, smiles, a kind word, The Book of Mormon, the temple, a warm home, food.....

Have a good one!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


After 2 days of phone tag I found out that the Neurologist is booked until APRIL! I couldn't believe it. Crew is still having seizures. We scheduled an appt. with our Dr's PA. We go December 5th. Hopefully we will be able to switch meds or gets some more tests done. Crew slept until 5 am the last two mornings. This is good! A nice change from waking at 12:30 or 1:00 am for the last little while.

H is playing some basketball this season. He was in a really good mood today after practice. I saw him make several baskets which is a huge accomplishment for such a shorty.

S went to a B-day party. He had a good time. The twerpy kid who stole his lunch was there. S said that this boy refused to play any games and holed up in the B-day boys room where he played Game Cube for the duration of the party. S came home and said "J messes with me". I talked to him about how to handle it. I've concluded that this J kid is probably jealous of S or just likes to get a rise out of him.

My computer is way SLOW... and I'm having major problems. I am still reading most blogs but not commenting.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Novembers half over!

Wow! I can't believe this month is nearly half over. I have been so busy. I started that new job and it keeps me running. However, I am enjoying it more and more. I found a great in-home child care provider meaning she comes to MY house. So far she seems to be great.

Crew is crawling more. He is getting faster and is making messes here and there. I love it! Preschool is good for him. His meds are still not working 100% and side effects are that he is irritable and not sleeping. Aargh! Maybe tomorrow I can actually find time to call the neurologist. His seizures have decreased but are not eliminated. He has been waking around 1:30 or 2:00 am and staying mostly awake the rest of the day.

S has been having issues on the bus. The buses are overcrowded. I drive the boys to school but they have to ride it home because I'm either working in the afternoon or Crew is napping. They have "assigned" seats but 3 or 4 kids in a seat is a bit much. One of the boys has been punching and shoving. S came home with marks on his neck. I talked to the principal and the boys parents. The boy denied everything. The principal threatened to give him a white slip. Also, on the same day, a classmate stole part of S's lunch. This was very upsetting to S and he came home in tears. I think the two incidents happening on the same day was a bit much and S is very tenderhearted anyway.

H is having a hard time in school. I've asked his teacher to have him tested for dyslexia and ADD. The district has a policy where they have to track his work and progress for 12 weeks before they can even test him. 12 WEEKS! The school year will be half over by then. It is very frustrating.

Last night our trampoline blew away. Life doesn't get any better than this :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Name Game

I've been tagged! Chel from Happiness is Everything blogged about where her kids names come from and why she chose those names. I got thinking that it really is a neat thing to record, or blog about. So even if your not interested, here goes:

My DH was named after his grandfather Carl Alexander (first and middle name... same grandpa) and an uncle. He wished that he had his "own" original name. So, when we were expecting our first we decided that when naming our children we would give them a first name (with no ties to family) and a middle name linking them to a family member.

With our first child we found out we were expecting a boy. We wanted a name that was manly. A name that couldn't be used for a girl. We actually found the name in a baby name book. I was kind of joking around when I first read it aloud. Over the next few months as we bounced names around we finally came back to the name Stockton. It's very boyish and besides the Utah Jazz was playing well that year. So, our little 5 lb 15 oz. boy, born during the 1997 NBA playoffs was named STOCKTON CARL! Okay, Carl comes from his dad's name but I think a lot of people really thought that it was Karl Malone. That is stupid because we don't really even like Karl Malone. To set the record straight.... We didn't really name him after the Jazz player, John Stockton, it was a coincidence that they were playing well that year. In fact, I told myself that by the time our little boy was old enought to know anything, John Stockton would be retired anyway. When people ask if he was named after John Stockton we look at them dumb and say "No, then we would have named him John!"

I've wondered how much a name shapes a person. Or, as someone mentioned earlier, maybe names really are inspired. Our Stockton is quite tall, outgoing, and he loves sports. Who knew that my smallest baby would be my biggest kid?

Our second little boy came along two years later. We had talked about names and narrowed it down to two, Logan & Hunter. However, right there at the end, I thought we had decided on Logan. Logan is where Carl & I met. Logan is easy to spell. Logan is manly. A week or two before baby was born I went scrapbooking with a friend. We were both expecting babies and she suggested that I make some scrapbook pages with his name, announcing the birth and stuff and then I could just insert his picture later. So I made several scrapbook pages announcing the arrival of "Logan". Wrong. While I was in the hospital, a couple hours after the birth, DH filled out the Social Security name sheet and turned it in. HE chose HUNTER! What I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to fight about it so I just let it go. Then when I got home from the hospital it really started to bother me. So we decided to compromise and change his name to something else (I'm not going to even get into it). We called him this other name for two weeks but I didn't love it and neither did DH. Finally, when baby was two weeks old the Social Security card came in the mail and it said HUNTER MARTIN! I threw my hands up in the air and decided at least one of us should love the name so we went back to calling him Hunter. Besides it is manly and easy to spell. Martin is the name of my youngest brother, he is full of life and lots of fun. Interestingly enough, so is my Hunter.

Baby #3 was a long time coming. During that time, I was working in the Playroom at Gold's Gym. I helped "supervise" children while their parents were working out. It was a good job for me because I could take my boys with me. There weren't very many kids that I became attached to but one little baby boy, Crew, was so sweet and happy. I loved it when Crew came. I loved the name from the get go. I decided then and there that if I ever had another boy I would name him Crew. Finally, a year or two later I was expecting. We decided not to find out the gender. However, after the last baby naming fiasco, I was determined to have the name set in stone before arriving at the hospital. DH didn't try to sway me this time. I got to choose! If it was a girl we would name here CARA and if it was a boy.... CREW!

The gender of our baby was announced as an afterthought, as the medical "crew" had other things on their minds. .... like resusitating my child. About 5 minutes after the emergency c-section, one of the surgeons said, "Did anyone tell you that its a boy?" "You have a beautiful baby boy... he is very sick" he said. It was not the way I expected. It was hard but that is a story for another post.
So, CREW XANDER joined our family. Xander comes from his dad's middle name ALEXANDER! We call him CrewXander a lot of the time... and we call him "Crewser" and the "Crewman" and sometimes we just call him Xander. But CREW it is! Crew is the sweetest little one ... he is cuddly... he is happy... he is perfect!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Funny Faces

I haven't posted any pictures in awhile so I thought I would share some of our latest goofing around.

My little Crew man! Extremely Affectionate. Hard worker:)

Big S, my running partner and walking or running encyclopedia! Highly motivated. Where did it come from?

Middle stud, H. Family comedian. Big hearted. Fun, fun, fun and oh so independent. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 03, 2006

Run before dinner

My favorite time to run is in the morning, but since DH leaves in the wee morning hours that isn't working for me. I was explaining my dilemma to my sil... how I need to get back at it but I don't know when because DH goes to bed before the children and he's gone in the morning and she said that her favorite time to run is about 5 pm just before dinner. Hmfph! I'd never thought about running right before dinner before.

Tonight, S man and I went running. We left at dusk and we had a nice run. I'm totally out of shape though but I wasn't about to quit. S is only 9 and he keeps a good pace. I have to keep up with him or he'll remind me how old I'm getting. It was a fairly short run but a good start. As we were running, S kept saying "I wish we did this more, it feels good"! I have to admit that it does feel good.... after the fact anyway.

Running with my son is so much fun. It's our thing that we do together and I am thankful that we have something in common. Oh, and running before dinner not only feels great but helps suppress the appetite. At least it does with me!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

SAHM fog

Tis the season to break out of the "fog". Even though I truly treasure staying home with my kids, I feel like my brain is falling out. LOL. "Your brain will fall out" is what I tell my boys when they are playing gamecube. Well... I think it happens to moms too. Too many stinky diapers, too many late nights, and not enough expanding myself. Not enough keeping up with the ever changing techno world, not enough formal learning opportunities, and not enough thinking outside the box will turn your brain to mush.

I've started helping my brother with some bankruptcy cases at work. I'm also working as the bookkeeper at the golf course. I've started thinking again and it feels great. I'm trying to get my computer set up to work from home and I realized that I don't know anything about computers. Aaargh! I'm figuring things out a little at a time though and it is kind of exciting.

I've ordered high speed internet which should be going by tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because I have my doubts about it. The company (Qwest) told me that DSL is available at my home but the neighbors don't think so. I even called Qwest back a second time and they confirmed that "yes" we really do have it here. I'm so hoping that they are right. The dial-up here only gets me a 28K speed and it is driving me nutso.

I'm not excited about the cold weather here. This is the time of year when me feet are cold from morning to night. I get lazy because I'm cold. My walking partner is expecting twins and unfortunately the doc recommended that she stop walking among other things. We haven't walked in two months. I'm starting to feel like a slug. I've got to start running again. My oldest, S, is a great running partner and we plan to run the "Snowman Shuffle" in December. Last year when we ran it was 17 degrees and I had the flu. The run was up hill and I wasn't prepared for that. This year I know what I am getting in to. I need to register. That will be the motivating factor, so the sooner I register the better. Toodles!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Changing the clocks

I had a bad nights sleep. I awoke about midnight feeling very sick to my stomach. I tossed and turned feeling nauseaus (no, I'm not pregnant) got up and walked around, layed down, got back up again.... Finally, after awhile I fell asleep only to be awakened by Crew at the normal 4 am. He was awake for awhile then I finally went back to sleep for a few more hours.

The family got up and scrambled around to get to church by 9:30. In our church building there is another ward that meets at nine. We arrive 9:15.... very few cars in the parking lot. "This is strange", we said. "Maybe, the powers out!" Our family piles out of the car, files into the church and as we are walking in my DH declares "We forgot to change our clocks!"

Duh! It hadn't even crossed my mind. So back home we went with an hour to kill.

Here is some interesting info about the spelling and grammar associated with "the" time change.

The official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time.

Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle). It modifies time and tells us more about its nature; namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight. It is a saving daylight kind of time. Similar examples would be a mind expanding book or a man eating tiger. Saving is used in the same way as saving a ball game, rather than as a savings account.
Nevertheless, many people feel the word savings (with an 's') flows more mellifluously off the tongue. Daylight Savings Time is also in common usage, and can be found in dictionaries.
Adding to the confusion is that the phrase Daylight Saving Time is inaccurate, since no daylight is actually saved. Daylight Shifting Time would be better, but it is not as politically desirable.

So there you have it! I've been saying it wrong for yonks!

All I can say, is I wish I had remembered that we were to turn back the time an hour... I could've used the sleep!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Transition Preschool

Crew started his first week of transition preschool. This preschool is basically a little class for the kids that are getting ready to transition out of the Early Intervention program into the school district. The purpose is to help the kids get ready for the special ed. preschool... to get use to being away from mommy, and to learn to listen (ha ha), and for structure.

On tuesday we went for the first time. The class is 2 hours long and Crew seemed to do fine. He fussed for about 30 seconds when I walked out the door and then he calmed down. Luckily, there are only two other boys in the class and they are adorable. The small class size is perfect! I love it! Crew came home with an adorable pumpkin craft that he made "all by himself". He painted and sprinkled nutmeg on top. Mmmm. Unfortunately, I don't have my scanner hooked up but you can see what his friend E's looked like here.

Today at school we took his walker. They said he had a good day and he even got to take his walker down a long long hall to the drinking fountain. Yeah Crew! When I picked him up he was "making music" with shakers. Preschool life is good!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

2-yr Molars

I think I figured out the reason for Crew's monstorish attitude. He's teething! Duh! I thought it was the medication. Yesterday at gymnastics the teacher was helping Crew swing with the rings and she noticed he was getting a new molar. She pointed it out to me and I was like... Duh! Okay, some moms are slower than others! Crew has always had a really hard time teething. He screams and attacks. I have scratch marks all over my face because he keeps attacking me. It looks like I've been in a fight with a cat. I'm hoping that the teething is the reason for his bad attitude because I've been worried that it was the medication causing such behavior. I guess the only way to know for sure is to wait and see.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Good Ending to a Hard Hard Day

I can't really go into the details but its been a really hard day. Crew had a PT appointment today with Shaun. When we first got there, I pointed out that Crew is acting different since we started him on the Topamax. He acts sedated! Big surprise. I hate it. It makes me feel bad and worry. Shaun noticed a big difference right away. Last time we went Crew was running around in his walker, chasing a soccer ball, laughing, smiling, squealing. Today, Crew was only with us part of the time. He would chase after the ball, then stop and slump down in his seat and stare off into space. After 10 seconds or so, he would kinda stand up and go after the ball again. Its hard to explain but he is definately showing signs of those horrible no good side effects.

Since Crew was feeling really calm we decided to work on raising up on his knees from a kneeling position. Shaun placed bowling pins up on a bench. Crew was required to push through his glutes and legs to raise himself up high to reach the pins and knock them down. After working on this for a while he was making amazing progress. Shaun feels like Crew could get this down within the next month as long as we work on it daily.

Also, Shaun measured Crews range of motion in his legs and noted that his left leg has more spasticity than his right. That is very puzzling considering that his right arm has more spasticity than his left. One would think that one side of his body or the other would be more involved, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Shaun said he has never seen anything like that before and "it doesn't make sense". Shaun also said that Crew isn't like any other patient he has had before. Trying to explain himself, he said that usually when he gets a new patient he can compare them to someone else he's worked with in the past. But Crew is different. His situation different... in a good way but unusual. Crew can "Cruise" in his walker but still has not learned how to roll over. (just an example). Shaun felt that Crew is a child that will continually make progress over the years of therapy and that often times he works with kids who make very little progress.

Tonight. ... a huge thing happened at our house. Did I mention HUGE!


It was amazing! We were all so happy. He actually moved himself.... and with no help from me... ZERO, NATTA, NOTHING. He did it all by himself! Those of you who have a child with special needs can understand this huge accomplishment. And for those of you who don't.... well... Crew is 32 months old! We've been waiting for this for a long long time.

We're proud of you Crew!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Neurology appointment plus some

Monday was a long day. We had to be to the NFC by 9:00 am. I thought we were just going to see the opthalmologist but when we got there I found out they had Crew scheduled to see the Pediatrician, Audiologist, Opthalmologist, Speech, Social Worker, and Psychiatrist (uggh). I wiggled out of seeing the Audiologist (already have one), & Speech. The opthalmologist said his eyes are still perfectly straight. Yeah! That is one less thing to worry about.

We busted out of there about 11:30 and went straight to PCMC which is another hour drive. We got there at 12:30 to see our new Neurologist. Dr. F was great! He spent time going over Crew's medical history, examing Crew, and discussing. Because Crew's last EEG was exactly one year ago, Dr. F decided it wouldn't really help much to get another one. Another MRI really wouldn't tell us anything we don't already know, so basically he prescribed a different seizure med for Crew, Topamax. We are weaning him off of the Dilantin for the next two weeks as we begin the Topamax. I'm concerned about the side effects it could be having on Crew... irritability, loss of appetite, dizziness, etc. Also, it seems that Crew just isn't his normal bubbly self. That makes me really sad. However, I'm feeling a bit under the weather tonight so I am wondering if maybe Crew is getting sick... Oh, I hope it's not the medication!

Works For Me Wednesday- STOP

We live in a very fun cul-de-sac with lots of kids. It isn't unusual to have children ringing the doorbell at all hours of the day saying, "Can you play?". I usually don't mind if the kids want to play but sometimes when Crew is asleep or the kids haven't finished their chores/homework or you simply just want some uninterupted "family" time the knocks at the door can be a little annoying. Also, sometimes my kids ask if they can go play with the neighbor kids and I'm reluctant to say yes because I don't want to "intrude" on their family time either. The moms in our cul-de-sac have used the Stop sign method.

Each family has made their own STOP sign to hang on the front door. Our little red stop sign says, "STOP, I'm sorry we can't play". We hang it on the door during those times when we really need some peace and quiet. It works great! Also, I love it that my boys know when it is not okay to knock at the neighbors. Because we are all using the STOP sign there are no hard feelings amongst friends. It works for me!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

PCMC tomorrow

Looking forward to seeing your childs neurologist seems very strange. Consequently, I must be a strange person. It's been 3 weeks since the big seizure. Tomorrow is the big day when we can finally sit down with his neurologist and discuss medications, order tests, etc. Yes, I have seen the pediatrician and we are giving Crew 2 doses of Dilantin daily. He hasn't had anymore grand mal seizures but is still having the smaller, more frequent ones which happen 100's of times a day. It is time to get this figured out. I want Crew seizure free! We are switching neuro's and I am feeling confident that this new one, Dr. F, will be able to help us.

Also, tomorrow we will be seeing Crew's opthalmologist. Hopefully, we will get a good report.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Honorary marathon "runner"

I love this story about Sam, a teen with CP who is allowed to participate in the St. George Marathon. Sam Eliason is the marathons first "honorary participant".


Thursday, October 12, 2006

My slump

Blogging is good for me. It helps me stay positive. It helps me sort through my thoughts. It causes me to reflect....

But journaling just wouldn't be right if it didn't include the bad with the good...

I feel sad.
Worn out.

I want to go to bed and dream again. Last nights' dream was good. And then I woke up.
The kids are asleep. It's my turn.
I'm going to crash now.
The End.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Works for Me - Topstick tape

This is my first Works for Me Wednesday attempt. Crew got his hearing aids at 8 months old and one month later the glasses. Okay, have you ever tried to keep a baby or toddler equipped with hearing aids and glasses. I know, I know, you are thinking .... um no! Well, I'll tell ya' , it isn't easy! The audiologist recommended this really cool double sided tape called TOPSTICK.

It is actually made to stick a hairpiece to the scalp. Designed for the balding man. It is skin friendly and works great for sticking the hearing aids to the side of his head. It comes in 1" X 3" strips and then I cut them into smaller pieces to fit on the side of the hearing aid (the part that goes behind his ear) where I stick the aids to his head. This keeps the aids right where I need them so that the glasses will sit on top of the aids. I've found that if I don't do it this way either the aids will fall out or the glasses will slip down to the bottom of his nose because the glasses are sized to sit on top of the aids.

Fortunately, I've found this tape quite handy for multiple projects. Crafts, pictures, etc. At Christmas time I use the tape to attach 3 long pieces of pretty ribbon to the wall in a row, vertically. Does that make sense? Then I stick Christmas cards on top of the ribbon so that the cards are displayed in an organized fashion. I love displaying the cards on the wall and it looks really nice with the ribbon as backdrop. Its hard to explain but I actually got the ribbon/Christmas card display idea off of the Today show a couple of years ago and I have loved it. The TOPSTICK has worked great at keeping the ribbon and the cards up on the wall.

I buy the TOPSTICK at the local beauty supply store.

Thanks to Rocks in my Dryer for hosting "Works for Me Wednesday".

The San Diego Temple

We decided to take some time and find the San Diego temple. I had heard people talk about it... how beautiful it is and how it stands out. It's located right next to the interstate. We were driving around trying to figure out which exit to take when we came around the bend and BAM there it was. It is such a beautiful temple and I'm glad we took the time to go. We just walked around and looked at all the plants and the structure itself. S & H were really excited and were asking when they will be able to go inside.... how old they need to be and all of that. It was a great opportunity to talk about why its important to remember to always choose the right and try to be good.
One of the temple workers came out and talked to us. She had a brochure with pictures of the inside. It was neat! Then she recommended that we go to Old Town San Diego and visit the Mormon Battalian center. We took the boys there and I expected them to grumble and complain but they loved it! We watched a short movie about the Mormon Battalian and then S & H got to dress up in some of the old clothes that the men wore. Crew was not impressed! *sigh* Posted by Picasa

Mission Beach, CA

I am so glad that we decided to rent a condo on the beach. It was so nice to be able to walk down there anytime to walk around and enjoy. I hadn't been to the beach in ten years and this was a first for the boys.

On the first night that we got there we took the kids down to the beach. It was almost dark. They were running around jumping the waves and gathering seaweed. They would drag the seaweed over to create a giant pile and then run back and get more. I'm sure we got some strange looks from the "others" at the beach. It didn't take
long until cousin C and G were soaked. Then H got wet too! I took off Crews shoes and let him walk around. He loved getting them wet even though the water was really really cold.

We were quite close to the beach but not close enough to see the water from our condo. However, it surprised me how quickly Crew figured out where we were. He loved it there and it seemed he could feel and smell the ocean. When I stepped outside of the condo onto the patio, Crew would lunge and lean towards the ocean. Body language is pretty clear and he wanted to go to the beach.

As a family, we were able to go for walks along the beach in the morning and also at sunset. It was a lot of fun. I am so thankful for the time that we had together as a family.

H was a lot of fun. He has a fun, carefree personality and it is just what our family needed. While walking along the boardwalk, H would be dancing, skipping, or spinning around in circles. He was a lot of fun.
I really appreciated S on this trip too! He is a great kid and is always trying to help out with Crew. I was talking to my brother Kenny last night and we discussed how S is a great oldest child. He is a great example to all of us and I am proud of him for always trying to do the right thing.

Crew loved taking walks too! He is getting really hard to carry because he leans over which makes it feel like he weighs twice his weight.

On the day we set aside for the beach, Carl took S & H down to the water. They had boogie boards and plenty of supplies necessary for building sandcastles. The spent hours playing in the water and along the beach. I so wanted to go and take pictures. However, I stayed behind with Crew so he could take a much needed nap. Finally, after 3+ hours he woke up. We got ready to go and just as I was walking out the door, Carl and the boys returned. Thus, I have no pictures of wet kids and no pictures of the worlds greatest sandcastle!

All in all, the beach was great! I wish we had one more day to just lounge around and be lazy. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sea World: San Diego

Sea World was my favorite! I thought they did a great job of making it fun for kids and entertaining for adults as well! This was a first time for all of us. I've heard about all the fun shows and stuff at Sea World but to experience it was really neat. I didn't realize how emotional it could be. I loved the dolphin show and Shamu of course!

S & H had a great time checking out all the sea creatures and riding the rides. They loved it all! We tried to hit all of the shows and I think we only missed one. They rode all the rides that were open and visited all of the creatures and stuff. We even took a ride over the bay. It was short but really neat to see the view of the bay and the beach. The temps were a little cool but not bad. It was about 70 that day which was great until the boys and I decided to ride the rapids. Somebody had the time of their life soaking the living daylights out of me with the water gun. I came out of there soaked to the core. However, the boys thought it was hilarious and we all laughed and laughed.

The pictures are all really cheesy but at least we took some. This is the first vacation we have really invested a lot of mileage and cash for. I'm glad we did it. S & H are old enough to remember and they learned a lot and we really had a nice time.

Taking Crew with us was quite a challenge and also such a blessing. He is the light of the family and we would have missed him if he was left behind. He loved watching the dolphins, touching the stingrays, and splashing in the starfish pool. Because Crew is two... water was definately a motivator and he spent a lot of time with his hands in it.

DH was great with the boys! He took them on the rides while I tried to get Crew to take a nap. We met later at the 4-D show. Crew wouldn't wear the glasses and wasn't at all interested in watching the show so DH stood at the back of the theater with him while I got to sit and relax. I actually had never seen a 4-D show before and was totally caught off guard when the catfish spit water in my face. LOL. Definately an experience you wouldn't want to miss.

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It's been too long...

I think it's been two weeks since I've had a chance to sit down at the computer. Last week we took the kids on a long needed vacation. We left on monday for San Diego and arrived home saturday night. The kids did quite well in the car. We had rented a condo on the beach which we shared with my sister, her dh and their 3 kids. It was great because we could walk down to the beach anytime we wanted. The boys loved the sand and experiencing the ocean which was a first for them. We spent one day at Sea World and one day at Legoland. More details to come...

The week before vacation was filled with doctors visits, therapy, a visit from Grandpa and Grandma G for two days, a visit from The girly girls, General Conference, and Pack Meeting. Thus the blog has been on the back burner. The girly girls were as cute as ever and growing up way too fast. Grandparents never change. Conference was neat. I felt that the talks were given with much feeling and again left me with the desire to do better and be a little bit nicer, more compassionate and understanding of others.

I've missed the blogging world and will attempt to post some pictures of our trip here in the near future.

Monday, September 25, 2006

My Biggest Fear

Everyday for over the last year and a half I have watched Crew experience multiple seizures. The seizures are what experts call Myoclonic and Absence seizures. Myoclonic seizures are when the person may have short, sudden, powerful movements of the arms or hands. Crew has been having seizures where his eyes roll around and his body jerks really quickly for only one or two seconds. Then it is over and he is right back with you laughing and playing as if nothing ever happened. They have been very short but really frequent averaging over 100 times a day. When this happens I usually go on as normal and attempt to ignore it. However, deep inside it hurts... a too frequent reminder of Crews brain injury.

Absence seizures may also be called petit mal seizures and are common in children. During this kind of seizure Crew usually has a blank stare that comes and goes quickly lasting, again, only a few seconds. I haven't noticed these until recently. I wondered if his "daydreaming" or "lack of attention" was, in fact, another seizure. My friend, who is also a nurse, babysat Crew only a week ago and asked me if it was a seizure. I said "I think so..." and she did too.

After consulting with the neurologist, we had decided that because these seizures last only a second that we wouldn't medicate him. Crew is so full of life. Anybody that knows Crew knows how sparkly his personality is. Because of all the wild side effects associated with medication we felt we were doing the right thing.

However, deep inside I've worried that these seizures would turn into something bigger. And on Sunday night... my biggest fear became my reality.

Crew had been down for a nap for two hours. I peeked in to check on him and what I found crushed my world. His eyes were open, glazed over, no response, body limp, shallow breathing, and evidence of vomit. Shaking him didn't change a thing. I scooped him up, and ran to the front door calling for DH to help me. He saw me holding the baby and came running in followed by my nurse friend. Another neighbor rushed down with her pulseoximeter (spelling?) and hooked him up. His oxygen saturation levels were low indicating trouble breathing. We all looked at each other and the decision was mutual... get him to the ER fast! I ran out the door carrying Crew followed by DH and off to the hospital we went leaving my two boys plus two extra boys that I was tending for the weekend in the care of my good friends.

As soon as we entered the ER they rushed us into the trauma room and hooked him up to the oxygen. We waited two more hours for Crew to "come around". It was a very scary and emotional time for us. Something that I've feared for a very long time. The really unusual thing is that he regained control of his left side before his right side indicating more involvement in the left side of his brain. Seizure medication was started immediately and over the course of the next few months we will follow up with the neurologist and get an MRI and an EEG.

Because of the trauma that Crew experienced at birth (due to placental abruptio) and his history of seizures, the doctors are assuming that he had a Tonic-Clonic Seizure more commonly known as a grand mal seizure. My heart is broken. Last night I slept (or didn't) with him right next to me in bed. Tonight I am trading beds with son #1 so I can be right there in the room with Crew.

On a good note: Crew was happy today! He was 100% his normal bubbly self. For a few hours there, in the ER, I feared that he would be changed forever. Never before have I been so thrilled to be wrong!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mr. Crocodile

Over 365 days and 5 walkers later, I think we've found the golden one. I've had my eye on the Crocodile walker for quite awhile now.

I didn't want to purchase it without trying it first. It has taken some work to get access to one. Crew's PT was able to make arrangements with the medical supply store to order one for us to try with no obligation to buy.

Well, we finally got it here and it is sweet! It has a sling seat that keeps Crew from falling over. We put him in and he was immediately "Crewsin" all over the place. It didn't take long (uh, a few seconds really) to decide that it is definately worth buying.

Last night I let him wander while I attempted to make pear bread. Later, we found Crew attacking daddy's plant. Notice the pile of dirt below. His big brothers tried to act like they were mad at him. "Crew Xander you should be grounded...." they said. But I could tell that actually they are just as thrilled as I am to see him mobile and making messes. Just like two year olds are suppose to!

Earlier this week, when it wasn't freezin cold outside, Crew was able to take Mr. Crocodile for a spin. Up and down the sidewalk he went. The neighbors are so good about giving him lots of positive attention and praise. He was grinning from ear to ear.

I'm thinking I will cover some of the edges with felt or something to keep my walls and furniture from getting all scraped up. But for now... I'm just happy he's movin!

He can get to the door.... but he can't get out. This has opened up a whole new level of frustration. The blasted walker is blocking the door from opening. He also wants to open all the drawers and cupboards in the kitchen. Oh, this will never end... But still, I am smiling!
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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Until next year

Tues night was our last session of hippotherapy. Crew was able to ride the big big white horse named Zane. When Crew is concentrating on something he gets really really quiet. During his half hour horse therapy each week Crew would get extremely quiet and turn on the smiles. It was clear, even to those who don't know Crew well, that he was having fun. After our "not so great" first experience, I decided Crew would do better if I was a side walker. With the therapeutic horseback riding there is one person leading the horse and two sidewalkers (one on each side). The sidewalkers are responsible for keeping the legs in position and keeping the rider upright. Crew tried really hard to sit up tall and keep his head up. We also had him ride the horse backwards. Then forward on all fours (like in a crawling position) and then backward on all fours. It was a lot of fun. Sadly, in our area there aren't anymore opportunities for Hippotherapy until next summer. We loved you Zane... goodbye... until next year!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mouse Slayer

I've considered changing the name of my blog. My sil, attack of the mouse, has been offering suggestions. I love her blog name but am not quite sure how she came up with it. Well do any of you have any suggestions on ridding ourselves of a mouse or two. Infreakingdeedio... we have mice. I saw the first one Monday night while trying to sail through disc 1 of Lost (Season 2). That scurrying little mouse kinda ruined it for me. I hate mice! I had to turn off the show and set the traps. Glue traps. Yep, that's what I use. I had that ole thing trapped by morning. DH calls me the Mouse Slayer. Tuesday night... same thing. I'm trying to plow through disc 2. Dang! Out of the corner of my eye, I see another rodent scurring past. Stop the show. Set more traps. Unfortunately, no luck. I haven't been able to catch him yet but I'm not giving up. I will get him. Well, anyway. What's your best mouse trapping tip?

Monday, September 11, 2006

I Remember...

I don't think any of us will forget the day. We won't forget where we were when we heard the news, we won't forget what we were doing, or how we felt. We had recently moved into a new house. DH and I had decided to wait until the cold weather hit before having the dish hooked up. No television is a good idea, right? Well, I was standing in front of the mirror, applying my makeup. The clock radio said 8:11 MT. I walked over, flipped on the radio and walked back to the mirror. The DJ was frantic. I remember hearing... a plane.... the towers.... a crash... I didn't get it. I didn't know what they were talking about but I knew, just by listening to his voice that it was BIG. I remember staring at the clock radio. What is this program anyway, I thought? I walked over and sat down on the bed. I listened. I felt sick. I sat there trying to piece it all together. I thought some pilot had made some horrible error.

Then... the second plane hit.
And the towers fell. And fell. And fell.
I remember thinking... Who did this? Why? How could this happen?

Sometime over the next hour my neighbor called. Mel, I know you don't have TV. Have you heard? Yes, yes I heard. She invited me over. I sat in her front room and we watched. We watched the planes hit the tower. We watched it over and over and over and it was horrible.

Later that evening as I was delivering the evening paper, it really hit me. As I drove up one street and down the next I noticed the flags. Flags in every yard. A symbol of our unity, love of our country, support. It hit me hard and a wave of emotion enveloped me. I turned on the radio... "I'm Proud to Be An American".... blared through speakers. Thanks Lee Greenwood and Ditto.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I found this fun little MeMe over at What On Earth Is that Smell?. I thought it would be fun to participate.

Here's how S(age 9) answered.
1. Something I do well - Play baseball.
2. Something I'd like to improve on - handwriting
3. My favorite food - roast beef
4. Three words that best describe me - tall, smart, happy
5. My happiest moment - 1st time kneeboarding
6. The most important thing in my life now - family (with help from dad)
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers? I was surprised that it took so much coaxing to get S to play. He is so embarassed about this. I was kinda the same way at his age. S is a good kid... not too many secrets.

Here's how H (age 7) answered.
1. Something I do well - I ride my bike well.... really fast!
2. Something I'd like to improve on - Gamecube
3. My favorite food - Ramen Noodles
4. Three words that best describe me - Ramen Noodle head, sleepyhead, funny
5. My happiest moment - Being outside in the hot hot sun.
6. The most important thing in my life now - resting
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers? Yes, since when does he like to sleep?

Here's one from Crew (age 2)
1. Something I do well - give hugs & kisses
2. Something I'd like to improve on - my pitching skills (I practice everyday... I throw my toys, I throw my food, I throw my books, etc.)
3. My favorite food - icecream
4. Three words that best describe me - cute, happy, loveable (with help from big brother, S)
5. My happiest moment - hugging my family
6. The most important thing in my life now - therapy, family
7. Then to the moms: Were you surprised by any of the answers? No, not really. (wink wink)

If your reading this... consider yourself tagged!

Friday, September 08, 2006

There's a first time for everything...

At 2 1/2 years Crew weighs in at just over 21 lbs. Now, on the "charts" and according to the doc this is considered "failure to thrive". Okay, I feed the kid... I really do. Because of his CP he has a hard time chewing and swallowing. I am always offering him something to eat but he usually just pushes it away. I have felt that he is getting really bored with the usual... yogurt, fruit, PB&J, Pediasure.

Yesterday morning I couldn't get him to eat much. We had to go into town for private therapy. Crew was extremely grumpy. He wouldn't use the walker and was obsessed with opening and closing the door. Finally, the therapist dug out a bag of Teddy Grahams and put them in front of Crew. We had Crew down on the floor on all fours and would have him reach up to get the cookies out of the bag. Supporting his weight with just one hand on the floor, balancing and reaching up with the other hand to catch a cookie is a great exercise, I learned. Crew snarfed the entire snack size bag of grahams. The therapist and I discussed that it is obvious that Crew is frustrated. He wants to be mobile. He wants to do what other two year olds do but he is so limited. Also, when kids are hungry or tired... the affects are huge. I wanted to go to Sam's after but he was so dang ornery! I decided to bag it! Instead, I stopped at Wendy's on my way home and ordered him some chicken nuggets. Yes, chicken nuggets! I've never given him any before and decided it was time to give it a try. While driving back home through the canyon, I kept handing him nuggets. He mutilated the first 3. I am assuming he ate them because I couldn't find them in the van ( he has a tendency to throw his food). LOL. After we arrived home, I put him in his chair and gave him some more. He looks happy doesn't he? It's time to introduce some new foods! Any ideas? Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mondays MeMe on Sunday

I've been tagged by Jewel! I've never been tagged before and I don't know if this MeMe would be considered late or early. Duh! I think it's 6 days late but that's okay. Here goes:

1. How often do you blog? I use bloglines to check my blogs like 3 or 4 times a day. But I only post a couple times a week.
2. Online Alias: Grimella.
3. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? I hope so. My brain is kinda in a fog right now.
4. What do you do most often when you are bored? Read blogs or push Crew around the block in his fancy little sports car.
5. When bathing, which do you wash first? I shower. My face.
6. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? no, Why would someone do that to themselves.
7. What color looks best on you? pink
8. What’s your favorite drink? Diet Coke
9. Do you believe in heaven and hell as a real place that each of us will go to after death? I agree with Jewel...I believe heaven and hell is something we create right here and now, and I believe that they are places we will go when we die.
10. Do you find that you have more online friends than offline friends? Probably. It's easier to keep in touch with the online friends.
11. What was your favorite subject in school? Math
12. Are you a perfectionist? Yes.
13. Do you spend more than you can afford? Yes, there's never enough money. $$$$
14. Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved before? YES
15. Do you consider yourself creative? Sometimes, and depending on what I'm doing.
16. Do you give yourself the credit you deserve? NO.
17. Do you donate time or money to charities? Occasionally.
18. Have you recently done something that you’ve criticized others for doing? Yes, sleeping in.
19. What’s on your mind? My Family.
20. Say one nice thing about the person who tagged you and the five people that you are going to tag. Jewel is a very compassionate person. Since it's 3 hours until the next MeMe I'm not going to tag 5 people but you can participate if you want to. No pressure here!

I'm thankful for...

When life gets you down.... It's a good idea to reflect on those things that I'm thankful for. Here's a few:
  • Good health. (So I can take care of my fam)
  • 3 fantastic boys (I couldn't be more proud)
  • great therapists & doctors
  • Sonic mozzarella sticks & cherry lime slushy. (hits the spot)
  • flowers (gardening is my other therapy... right up there with blogging)
  • family & friends (so supportive- thank you)
  • fresh peach pie (yum yum)
  • autumn

Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude. (A.A. Milne)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Communication: An ART

Have you ever noticed that babies are very skilled at communicating? Even without words... When hungry or tired they cry... when happy they may giggle or babble. There are so many little ways of communicating. We know what they want or need. We know they love us. This special form of communication is what I love about Crew. Developmentally, he has global delays. Verbally he is improving. Socially he is improving and I am thrilled with his special way of communicating with me. He verbally says "hugs" and will either hug you or kiss on the lips. He recently even started kissing his therapist on the lips too! When I ask him what he wants to eat I hold up the food item and say do you want this and he will either push it away or giggle. The answer is clear. When his brothers are too wild he grabs their faces. When people start yelling or rough housing... he screams or cries. I've noticed that Crew is very aware of contention and will immediately protest. Excitement produces wiggles. The spirit calms him and he chooses to be reverent. And recently.... after two years of coaching.... he learned to wave HI! I love it! He gets this big smile on his face and says, "MOM", lifts his arm into the air and awkwardly flaps his little hand back forth. PRECIOUS! I couldn't be more blessed.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Our followup visit with Dr. Rehab

We went to our semi-annual followup visit with Crew's rehab doc today. She is always so positive. Said he is making great progress.. he looks stronger and is definately moving more. The spasticity is there but not severe. I was thrilled when she suggested that he might benefit from some oral baclofen. While I am a little concerned about the possible side effects, I'm feeling okay about giving it a try. She prescribed a very low dosage. The baclofen helps reduce spasticity. We will try it and watch to see how Crew is affected. The question is "how much is he using his "high tone" or "spasticity" to his advantage. Sometimes its hard to distinguish between his strength and the spasticity. So we will see... If he is still able to function we will go through some intrathecal baclofen tests in about 4 months to see if he is a candidate for a rhizotomy in the future.

Rhizotomy is a type of surgery used to lessen spasticity. The surgeon operates on the nerve roots leading to sensory nerves in the legs. An opening in the lower back exposes the nerve roots in the spinal column. Next, the nerve roots are divided into their smaller rootlets. Each of these rootlets is stimulated with a small amount of electricity. When a muscle responds abnormally to the stimulation, this rootlet may be surgically cut. This, in turn, reduces spasticity.

This surgery is major and permanent. Its scary. But the outcome could mean the difference between walking or not. As I was sitting in the waiting room, I met an adorable 7-year old girl wearing her little purple DAFO's and walking quite swiftly with just one crutch. I commented to Dr. Rehab that I thought it was so neat how well she could move about. Dr. told me that she just had a rhizotomy one year ago. Since then she has gone from where Crew's at developmentally (which is walking 10 or so steps at a time with his walker) to cruising with just the one crutch. Her success story gives me hope......

Thursday, August 24, 2006

One last summer getaway...

Four days and four nights on a boat. Sunscreen, bottled water, junk food, 5lbs, skiing, kneeboarding, tubing, fishing, swimming. We loved it all... except for the additional 5lbs due to snacking. Grandpa was kind enough to host this summer getaway on his houseboat at the lake. It had been 4 years since we were able to to go. Captain Crew's first time to drive the boat! Doesn't he look great! DH showed H how to fish for the first time. They had much success. Nine fish within the first hour. Way to go H! S had fun skiing and kneeboarding and I even got to ski for the first time in I don't know how long... maybe 8 years. It was fun watching attack of the mouse learn to kneeboard. I'm so jealous. Crew loved the water and he loved sharing a sleeping bag with me. So lucky! We slept on top of the houseboat under the stars. The nights were calm and peaceful.... well at least for those of us on top. Attack of the mouse and her DH have a few stories to tell about creatures disturbing their sleep. Watch for details...
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Another form of therapy...

This is it! This is what I've been anticipating all summer long! It's finally here.... Therapeutic Horseback riding! Yeah! I really have been looking forward to this all year. The area in which we live is quite rural. There aren't very many opportunities for "extra extra curriculum activities". Don't get me wrong, we have soccer, baseball, football, dance, gymnastics, karate etc, etc. But for these advanced forms of therapy... it's kind of hit and miss. Crew has been fighting sleep for the past 4 days. He wouldn't take his nap. I tried twice and he cried for an hour both times. Then low and behold, an hour before we needed to leave he finally crashed. I had to wake him to go to therapy. He was still a bit groggy when we plopped him on the horse. The helmet they provided was slightly big. It kept flopping forward, shielding his eyes. He cooperatively held onto the horse and they walked, one volunteer leading the horse and one on each side to keep Crew upright. Around and around they went. Each time they passed me I would call out his name. He couldn't hear me. *frown* After the 4th or 5th round he finally hears my voice. He lifts his head, peering under the helmet...searching the faces.. then he spots me. I snap this picture. Crew lays his head down on the horse and sobs. On sob after another. Tears soak the horses mane. He can't stop crying. It was so sad.. yet kinda cute. I was tempted to whip out my camera again and take a picture of him laying down on the horse (for blogging purposes), but instead I pull him off the horse and try to calm him down. Maybe next week will be better. Posted by Picasa

My little Darth Vader.

H is my high spirited son. He loves to have fun and make people laugh. Last night he was setting out his clothes. Last I saw him he was laying out the shorts & shirt. "Good idea, H... that's a really good idea", I exclaimed! Later, after he had fallen asleep, I went in his room to check on him.... and this is what I found. LOL! Posted by Picasa