Sunday, May 30

Cleaned the closets

I have cleaned closets and am preparing for the first time ever to consign in:

Lynden Kids Market a HUGE one day consignment sale. Cheap stuff! North County Christ the King, "Family Room" located in the Fairway Shopping Center in Lynden, on the same side as Little Caesars Pizza. There will be over 5,000 items and cute clothing most under $3. 9-3pm on Saturday June 5th. Kids stuff from infant thru high school. All seasons.  Books, videos, play n packs, highchairs, excersaucers, toys.  You can actually buy a halloween costume or a snowsuit.   Or how about a new set of swimshorts for your cute ankle biter?  Come.  Join the fun and stock up :)

I have stacks of clothing thru out the house organized by size/age.  My wonderful sister came over yesterday with her homemade soup and more age appropriate toys for the twins.  I think she is filling out an application for me to go on that tv show Hoarder.  My house has been taken over by the consignment opportunity.  :)  However, I might make a tv show appearance soon.   The soup is terrific Deb!

Huge thanks to my adorable hubby for even when he is grumpy with a sore back he still took over the twins so I can get this stuff outta here!  Thanks Colin.

Friday, May 28

Surgeries scheduled for June

Hannah's surgery for endometriosis diagnosis 8th
Dorothy's (my wonderful mother in law) open heart surgery 9th

Prayers please :)  Please prepare both of them and entire families today as we look forward to both of these life changing events that are now scheduled and so many of the details that will be begin to unfold for their recoveries.  May these be the answers they are looking for.   Please guide each doctor, nurse, and administrative person that will come in contact with them. We pray for them both to have peace and comfort until these surgeries. We pray that the doctors will be able to find ways to make them healthier. Keep us each wrapped in the Comfort of Your Arms, Amen!!!

Thursday, May 27

Mary Poppins

That's how our day is ending.  Watching Mary Poppins.  Half of us are having baked potato bar and the other half is having a yummy smelling soft taco bar.  Both dinners are sharing lots in common, shredded cheese and sour cream!  But the importance of the day was much earlier today....

Hannah's surgery for diagnosis of endmetriosis is scheduled for June 8.  This took a multitude of coordination.  Dad's house and their schedule there and ours here.  But more importantly the growing need with her pain level to get it done sooner rather than later.  Pacific Rim is the location here in Bham but was going to bill as out of network due to our primary insurance.  Which would have meant our responsibility of 40% of all bills.  Urgh.  Scheduled anyway and prayed and honestly told the OBGYN we are working with that finances are just not happening right now but we will still schedule.  Hannah is at the "in between" age where Children's doesn't work for GYN issues and here in Bham the surgeon doesn't really work with someone her age.  In the end we welcomed an amazing call, the surgery center will write off the difference because they felt there really wasn't another choice then them.  Whew!  We hope for Hannah's pain to minimal until the 8th and for a definate diagnosis and for a quick mend. 

Eye glasses were ready today for Hannah and Colin at two separate optomotrists
Diapers (special non irritating) were ordered for Tommy
Hannah was taken to the dr for what I thought was bronchitis (thankfully not though)
Cheerleading coaches were called and cancelled Hannah's practice tonight so she can rest
Counselors and teachers were called for both Nate and Hannah because they have been sick from school most of the week
Groceries bought
Bank visited
Nate was taken to the dentist for his scheduled cleaning but in the end felt too sick to stay so we rescheduled (ggrrr)
Tommy's enteral nutrition items reordered
CPAP mask request left for full face mask and I hope they will fill (that home healthcare is wonderful)

Now.... I collapse. :)

Wednesday, May 26

Tommy and cpap

We have made very slow progress on Tommy's cpap.  A few good strides have happened, nights with him allowing the mask without air to be on his face for about 30 mins and to even fall asleep in his crib with the mask on (no air). 

We all watched his favorite Finding Nemo movie tonight and wore cpap masks (the extras that the home healthcare place sent home).  Many things have hindered our progress.  I was in denial over using the machine.  Hoping that the T&A surgery would have resolved his severe apnea.  The masks are not fitting, they are all too big.  On the one that kinda, maybe fits... we need quick releases on the sides.  I also think he needs his chin strapped shut as every time he opens his mout (BIG mouth breather) air gushes out and he loses his breath.  Kinda like opening the car window and sticking your head out going fast.  Just a whole bunch of obstacles. 

And the biggest challenge is Tommy.  He just doesn't understand.  What three year old would?  He is confused and frustrated and when I saw big and real tears rolling down his face tonight it was just time to stop trying.  So, back we will go to Behavioral Health at Children's, a new department associated with cpap training.. to learn how to reason with Tommy and get him to want to wear it.  Daddy think getting a full mask will help, properly sized and with quick releases.  I'm going to see if they have masks that cover nose and mouth. 

I didn't realize how much anxiety and saddness this latest obstacle was until I totally broke down at women's group at church last night.  Cried.  Sobbed.  Sad.  Heavy sigh. We can do this!  Big cheesy grin. 

Tuesday, May 25

Our nephew is coming home next month!

Our nephew Joe is coming home next month for a visit.  He has been in Iraq for awhile.  A long while.   And I need to remember to call my mother in law and ask how I can help cook and coordinate a welcome home party for him.

He is such a super kid.  Honestly.  And cute.  And quirky.  A straight shooter (in more ways than one).  Smart.  And a smart ass at times.  Hard worker.  And is giving his time right now for his country. 

I saw this on another website that just reminded me how much he is welcomed home.  And how glad I am to have a dad who served in WWII, Iwa Jima, and Korea.  My dad, hmpf.  He retired from the Navy as a Master Chief.  Toured with the Marines.  And is such a terrific dad and one of the best people I have ever met in my life.  He too gave most of his life for his country and I'm so glad he returned home also and this year turns 87.  But for now, Joe is coming home.

Sunday, May 23

Full weekend

What a full weekend.  Right up to the brim and a little overflowing at times. 

Nate and cousins Will and Mac and I all went to watch the Wizard of Oz live production and it was fantastic!  Beautiful and amazing.

The Down syndrome outreach picnic was really fun.  Lots of people, new friends and old, and I learned *a ton* of medical information from a couple of families.  Encoragement.  Inspiration from the adults with Ds.  Love.  And just a fun time! 

Tommy and Liam got to see their  cousins Owen and Gabe's baseball games, oh my were they fantastic at hitting the ball. 

Cousin Madison is too cute!

Lots of gardening this weekend...  this was the garden before planting.

And yes, Liam is driving the lawn mower with daddy.  I almost spit my coffee out of my mouth when I saw this.  Yikes.

The biggest news of all this weekend?  Hannah got her fist car.  It is beautiful.   2004 VW bug with a sunroof.  Oh my goodness it is cute.  Thanks to her dad for making a dream come true.  Soon, my life will become a tad easier with her driving (and my anxiety level will go thru the roof with worry).

Friday, May 21

Weekend plans

We are looking forward to Sunday 12-3pm  (5/23) Down syndrome outreach's SPRING FLING potluck and fun.  It's at Fairhaven park this year, which is just south of 107 Chuckanut Dr.  There will be activities for the young and older, super sitters to keep eagle eyes on ankle biters so parents can catch up with friends, and food..... Hempler's hot dogs, mmmm.  Potluck if you can, and if you don't have time to make a dish come anyway! 

Tonight Hannah and Nate have plans so it will be a quiet house.  We have talked about seeing the new Toy Story movie so maybe tonight is it :)

Saturday will be green thumb day and hitting the garden again.  My goal is to can 200 quarts this year.  Okay, stop laughing.  Seriously.  Last year we canned about 100 by the end of pickling beets and making zucchini relishes and the insane 55 quarts of green beans.  I also need to make some more goat cheese and Nora gave me lots of goat milk, mmm.

And of course do some laundry and baking for fun on Saturday.  I want to make this:
Both of my sisters have made it, peer pressure!  It looks wonderful.

We *might* get a chance to join the fun at the ARC's annual membership meeting from 12-3 on Saturday at the Dan Goodwin center but Hannah has cheerleading tumbling too so we will see.  Also have invites to attend my nephews baseball games and would love to see how terrific their teams are. 

Lots of fun activities this weekend.... what are you doing?

Sunday, May 16

Lots of pool parties!

We LOVED spending today at my niece's Madison's 5th birthday POOL party.  Lots of family and friends (cousin Andrew came too with his family) made the day even more special.  Tommy was *running* everywhere so I got a fairly good workout keeping him safely away from the water.  I would think at some point I would lose massive amounts of weight the way I run after him.  Not so.   Even funnier, when Tommy & I went for a swim he didn't get that excited today to be in the water.  Nope, in fact he moaned a sad song the whole time.   Hannah and Nate LOVED swimming with their cousins.  Liam was more excited to ride the small atv (thanks aunt debbie for charging it up for him). 

Our morning started with probably the best church service in recent memory.  Children's church ran very organized today with the help of a mom that usually teaches in an older classroom.  I told her no one would believe twenty 1-3 year olds behaved so well!  We had circle time and sang (and signed) Jesus Loves Me.  We made a craft and had a great snack.  Tommy and Liam had fun!

But back to the pool parties.  Last week we went to the Parent 2 Parent pool party at the Lynden YMCA.  Oh my goodness.  A long drive.  But when we got there all these wonderful families were having fun and we got to meet some new friends (and see some old ones).  We even met a young boy that goes to our elementary school and has *so* much in common with Tommy.  Lots to share with this family in the future.

We also swam at Aunt Debbie's house last weekend and enjoyed lots of fun and a relaxing time in their very heated outside pool.  Fun in the water lately.

Wednesday, May 5

What works for us Wednesday

It's been too long for a What Works for us Wednesday! 

Today I needed to take my oldest to the doctor as her throat continues to be sore even after a round of antibiotics for what they had thought was strep.  Blood work was done as well as another strep test and we will wait until tomorrow for the results.  Poor Hannah doesn't feel well! 

The doctor's office today reminded me of a few helpful hints for scheduling appointments and how to make a doctor's visit successful:

1.  If you find that a sibling also needs to be seen at the last minute, as I did today for Nate while Hannah was being seen, don't be shy about asking if  there is room in the schedule for a sibling to be seen also.  It worked out great for us that the clinic was slow and both of our oldest got seen at the same time!  Two for one is a good thing!

2.  Schedule appointments first thing in the morning or ask the receptionist when the doctor's first appt after lunch is, I find that docs are more likely to be on time early in the morning and after lunch. 

3.  Ask if an 'office visit' is necessary.  Recently Children's Sleep center called to schedule a follow up which would have meant another 3 hour round trip for a 20-30 min conversation.  They were happy to say  we could just talk on the phone about the results and our next steps.  They understood the drive was just too long plus a hassle.

4.  Take along a grandparent, spouse or a friend to a doctor's visit that you know you are going to need to actually listen and take notes.  My husband, my mom, and my mother-in-law all hear the doctors instructions differently than I do.  Just having someone else in the room to understand and ask questions clears up a lot of the anxiousness that could come later.  Ask if you can bring a small microphone tape just to be able to replay later, this is helpful on a swallow study because the results are complicated. 

5.  Request a copy of the chart, or a copy of notes, or have the doctor write notes for you.  Having a paper document is helpful.  The worse they can say is no.  And if they do, well, it might be a good time to think about who you really need on your team.  A doc that isn't afraid to put things in handwriting on a paper you find in the diaper bag is a doc that is WELL worth keeping.  Keep your 'care notebook' organized. Having doctors instructions and information in one place is so helpful.

6.  Ask doctors how they best communicate.  Go ahead.  You can do this.  Sometimes they give me their email and encourage small "in between visit" questions.  Occasionally I have heard faxes work well for some docs.  They want you to succeed.  They share the interest in providing your child with special healthcare needs the best care.

7.  Don't be late for an appointment.  The rest of the lobby full of waiting people doesn't like this.  Your children don't like being rushed thru an appointment either.  And let's face it, if you are late you are for a reason and perhaps you need to phone in and reschedule so you can attend to the issue that was causing you to be late in the first place. 

8.  Snacks and your own play items are a must when going to the doctor.  For longer appointments we bring a small dvd player for Tommy to watch repeated Finding Nemo.  Know what works for your child and bring that personal comfort for him. 

9.  Have questions prepared to ask your doctor.  Know that one of your questions might be "What is my next step from here" and "What are the questions I haven't asked" or "If he was your son, what else might you be thinking about".

10.  If you don't have health insurance, find it.  Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access does an amazing job finding prescription cards, medicaid, other forms of private insurance. 

And that is what works for your next visit to the doctor!  See you next Wednesday!

Monday, May 3

Family dinner!

Aunt Debbie and her whole gang plus Grandma and Grandpa Sue and Bill came over for dinner yesterday!
We ate lots of yummy foods!
Read some fun books

And by all measure it was a fun time!

Sunday, May 2

Tommy Adventures