Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years Eve

I've decided since I was so bad at blogging during the Christmas holiday, I'd spend a few minutes getting everyone caught pictures (yes, I took the easy way out).

Christmas morning - we were, yet again, the first family in the neighborhood awake, as best we could tell. 5:45 am- at least we were 15 minutes later this year.
One of the many snow days we had- Delaney and her best friend, after sledding.

Snow, Day 9. Being stuck was not fun, but it sure was pretty.

Christmas afternoon with the cousins

Trey enjoying the snow- his hat was soaked so it had to come off along w/ his implant and hearing aid. Made for some fun trying to get him to pay attention.

Rob and Trey trying to build a snow man (or at least a snow head). The snow was too icy to really make one, but they tried.

Jake on Christmas afternoon

Jake and his cousin Connor

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I'm looking forward to getting back to 'normal' (meaning not having to fight my kids for computer time-LOL). School sure is sounding good right about now.

Have a FUN and safe New Year's Eve everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back Now....

Between putting together all the various toys the kids got for Christmas, and then 3 days of soccer tournaments (27 games in total), I finally have time to get back on the computer. I'm feeling so disorganized, and the house is a sty. But, we had a great Christmas.....

It never fails that there is one toy/game/electronic item that causes problems however. This year it is a little device made by Leapfrog called a Crammer. It's supposed to help your child study for tests, etc., but it refuses to connect for me. I have now invested hours on it, and I'm ready to chuck it out the window. So, here I am, saying 'hello' instead :)

Also for some strange reason NONE of our iTunes gift cards are working....very frustrating. Any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blogging Canceled Due to Snow....

along with everything else in the Portland area-LOL. You'd think I'd have plenty of free time for blogging, since we're still stuck here at home (yes, day 8.....) But trying to keep 4 kids in snow clothes is time consuming, as all of you who live in snow covered areas already know. I'm sure there is a system I should be using, but no.

I have lots more pictures but frankly they look just like those I've already posted :)

Merry Christmas Eve/Happy Holiday

EDIT: We do have a snowplow on our hill- YAY. Of course, it just got stuck in the snow....bummer

Monday, December 22, 2008

Nothing new here....Still snowing

The road to our house is still not drivable (except for the crazy people who have slid down the hill only to get stuck). Thanks to our friends down the hill, Delaney and I got to escape yesterday and make a Target run. It was so nice to get out for a bit. I managed to get the remainder of my Christmas shopping finished, except for one last grocery trip. But, I'm hoping that we thaw by Wednesday...... Even if our hill doesn't completely thaw, I bought Rob some chains yesterday so we *do* have a way to get out now (after a hike down a steep hill to the car :) Snow is not so fun when you live someplace without enough snowplows-LOL

Friday, December 19, 2008

Emily hit the White Elephant gift exchange jackpot....

Off she went to a mid-day Christmas party (thanks to another snow day), and came home w/ a yard of bubblegum. A 3 foot long tube full of sticky, sugary bubble gum. She is thrilled- I'm maybe a little less thrilled.

Our days have been full of lots of sledding, hot chocolate, and loads of wet laundry. I feel like a Minnesotan.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sunday's snow and Trey's Gingerbread house

He's just so darn proud of it I had to share. I took the pictures so we could make an experience book for school. Of course, that would require school to occur-LOL.

The group picture was from the first round of snow- it didn't last long, but the kids had fun!

Snow day (this time WITH snow)

If we're going to be stuck at home, there may as well be snow

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No School For You.....

to quote the soup nazi. They cancelled school again, and yet, I see no snow. I did have a large garbage truck stuck in my driveway thanks to a lone ice patch. It was all very exciting to the boys, little did they know it would have made sledding difficult, if we do actually get some snow. I've also been informed that some additional kids will be coming over to hang out. One can never have too many kids in ones house, right???

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

School is back on

Which is great! However, as I was getting Emily ready for school, I misplaced her new implant. I have NO idea where I set it down. I hate, hate, hate this feeling, and this time it was all me. I'm still thinking a GPS add on has to happen at some point.

Anyway- hopefully I'll have a better report later, once it has been found.....

EDIT: Rob found it. It was lying under a sock, on the end table by my bed. I think I placed it there while I threw on clothes, and somehow the sock ended up on top of it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

No School Update

I have a HUGE headache (already). It's so loud (shocking, I know) in our house, that even the inflatable snowman has made a run for it, down our slope*. That may actually be the winds fault....maybe.

*For those who are worried about the snowman- he didn't make it far. He's now safely deflated, staked into the ground, but safe from the "Arctic Blast".

No School Today......NEW, pictures of the pioneer children(drawing by candlelight)

It's hard to believe- it's bright and sunny, a thin layer of crusty (icy) snow on the ground, and they decide to cancel school. I guess maybe the 20 degree temperature, and wild, wacky winds came into play. We lost power last night for a short while- my children would have made horrible pioneers. They did not like my fun ideas (hangman by candlelight, drawing pictures, writing stories). Jake kept telling me to go fix the 'lectricity. I wish!

Fortunately, it was only out for a couple of hours. My biggest issue was trying to figure out how I was going to get cochlear implant batteries charged with no power. Rob mentioned the car charger, we probably could have given them a quick charge, but still not sure that is the best solution. Hopefully we won't have that happen again.

We have a chance for some more snow this week, and as fun as the idea of snow seems, I really don't want to kids to miss this last week of school. I know, such a bad mom- it's not for the kids' sake, it's for mine :) I need to finish up some Christmas shopping, and can't do it w/ no school.

I better go tame the wild animals. I'm bribing them w/ a movie trip later....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Soccer Tryouts: Cancelled due to inclement (maybe) weather

which is actually good news to me. Delaney was going to have to be at ODP tryouts, an hour away, by 8:00 am. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be 'o.k.', but Sunday could be bad (if you consider ice on the freeways bad, and 34 degrees on the soccer field during the warmest part of the day). We'll see- they are so bad at predicting, it could go either way. But, for now at least- no tryouts until January.

I've been prepping for my job interview this afternoon. Sort of prepping. I did read through the state's brochure that they give to all parents of newly diagnosed deaf/HOH children. All 100 pages. It is amazing to me how much you learn about hearing loss, through the course of raising your deaf/HOH kids. I remember vividly being so overwhelmed, and so unsure of what to do- what we *should* do, did we make the right choice, etc. I don't feel that way anymore. Never overwhelmed, sometimes concerned, but the big unknown is no longer there. It's no longer scary. Still definitely frustrating at times, but I think there are frustrations with ALL kids at times. I'm still feeling that the timing of this job opportunity is off, but I'm going to go to the interview, and see if they are even interested before I get too worried about all of the logistics.

I need to go try to squeeze into interview clothes now. Two kids later, and the clothes just don't fit the same way :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Update from yesterday

Regarding Em's cardiology appointment. All in all I think it went well. She has none of the thickening that is typical of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at this point. So, the recommendation is that we do not need to have her seen again until she is 12ish. However, he did see some other small things (I say small, because the cardiologist did not really seem concerned about them): she has a small spot that has not closed on her Atrial septum, an ASD, which again he didn't seem to see as an issue, unless at some point she develops a clotting disorder, and then he mentioned an enlarged aortic root, again not really as a problem, per se, but he asked about dislocations, etcs (double jointedness). I think he was trying to determine if she could have Marfan Syndrome, which I looked up, and I really see no indications of. She is flexible, but certainly not double jointed, and no one else in the family has any indications of this syndrome.

So, I think she got a clean bill of health, in his opinion, but I guess I want a better explanation for her remaining heart issues. Maybe they are just very common, and nothing to worry about.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pat me on the back please...

I have 6 WHOLE holiday cards done, addressed, and stamped. Yay me! Now I just have to finish the remaining 50 or so. Today is Emily's heart appointment. I'm thinking I'm going to take her out of school a bit early, and treat her to lunch. Not fried, fast food (because that just seems wrong, considering we're going to a Cardiology appt), but maybe Subway, although during soccer season (which is pretty much year round at this point) we eat there a lot. Sorry for the rambling. I tend to talk, and think that way when I'm facing a busy day.

You know....busier than normal.

I'm also debating whether to jump on the tread mill for a quick run, but considering I actually showered, and put make-up on this morning, I'm leaning towards not running. I'd hate to have to cram in a second shower.

We were all getting a bit excited- we had been told by our all-knowing weather people that we might get snow this weekend. But, alas, it is now looking bleak. The cold snap, and the rain are going to miss each other, which is what we need here to actually get snow....or ice. Which I didn't want. It's probably for the best- Delaney and many of her teammates have tryouts for a regional team this weekend. Tryouts in the ice and snow ALL DAY do not sound like much fun.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Our tree is SO crooked-LOL

but that's o.k. It's the little imperfections that give character, right? At least that's what I've always believed, and what I've tried to teach the kids.

Tomorrow is Emily's cardiology appointment. I'll update afterwards. I'm hoping for a clean appointment as a Christmas present :) I was supposed to rush from the appt to a job interview (one that I"m not that sure will really work at this point in my life), but they called and be nice. And make it harder to turn down, IF I actually get a shot at it. It would be working for the state in their early childhood screening office (for hearing loss). I know, sounds great, but Jake is only in half day Kindergarten, and my gut says there is a lot of personal fulfillment, but not a lot of financial compensation, and daycare is expensive, and something we have avoided (after child 2).

Anyway- the biggest hurdle is trying to fit into one of my suits-LOL.

Tree Picture extravaganza continued

Notice the Santa duck....for some reason Trey developed a fascination with it. It is featured in many of the pictures

Can't you just feel the fun oozing out of the computer?
Happy Holidays!

Oh Christmas Tree....

Oh, poor poor Christmas tree....Sorry to torture you like that. But it was sure fun. I promise to re-distribute the ornaments that are all hung on one branch, about to break it off. Trey called it his branch, and hung all his many, many, ornaments there.

I'll have to write a separate apology for the broken ornaments.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wow- It's definitly a Monday!

I just received an email message from our bank saying they 'cancelled the bill pay service, as requested'. Great- except I DID NOT cancel my bill pay. I've been using it since 2004, and would never cancel it. I just called them, and they are going to try to reinstate it (not sure who cancelled it and why. They think it was supposed to be someone else's that got cancelled- scary). All my history may be gone....forever. Sigh. I so do not want to reimput all my bill pay information.

And, the window people came out to replace the window Trey broke, and as they were installing it, they broke the new window. Just a small crack (but the window they were replacing just had a 'small' crack).

Hope everyone is having a better Monday! Especially poor Gage w/ his ear infection......

We had Jake's birthday party last night....

at JJ Jump, and I think a fun time was had by all. As we were driving home however, I had to listen to Emily complain the entire way because I refused to decorate the SOAKING WET tree. It was just too much. We had all gotten up somewhat early, headed out for breakfast (which we NEVER do), drove out to the 'country' to pick out our tree. Took our family picture for the Christmas card (thanks to the wonderful woman at the tree farm), came home, busted out party favors for Jake's party, and headed out to JJ Jump. After 2+ hours at JJ Jump, there was just no way I was going to go down into our very dark crawlspace, and bring out all the tree decorations.

Other than a very whiny Emily, a good time was had by all. I'm always a little bit stressed there, because of the potential for lost hearing aids and cochlear implants. At one point I looked over at Trey, and he had on his hearing aid, but no implant. AAAAHHHHH! Rob saw my look of panic, and held up the missing cochlear implant. He had taken it off *before* Trey started going on the various bouncy slides, etc. Emily is really good at keeping her two implants on- she jumps with her hands over her ears, and Jake just has hearing aids. Anyway, we made it home with all hearing aids and implants accounted for.

Now Jake and I are heading downstairs to find the tree lights, and the ornaments, so we can have more family fun tonight. At least it always starts out fun :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Here's what we did today....

Took our Family Picture

And, assorted other goofy pictures, while....

picking out the (semi-perfect).....

Christmas Tree

Friday, December 5, 2008

All About Hearts.....

O.K. to change direction drastically (and move to the center of the body), we did screening EKGs on the three youngest kids last week. Two came back 'normal', and one came back w/ an abnormality. What does that mean? I don't know, but I'd sure like to. All my pediatrician said was that there was some indication of an enlarged right atria, but it could be nothing. But- based on the family history he recomends following up w/ the pediatric cardiologist. So, I did, but they initially said we couldn't be seen until late January. Which means being in limbo on my child's heart until then, because it's 'probably nothing'. If I had a dollar for everytime I've been told my kids issues are 'probably nothing', I'd be very wealthy. Of course those were all ear issues, this is something I know very little about.

Anyway- I called the ped. cariologists office back and told them that in light of my husband's recent cardiac arrest, and the fact that my child is telling me her heart is bugging her when she runs, they needed to see her soon than January. So, we go next Wednesday. Hopefully, there is nothing going on at all (but a slightly paranoid mom), but better to be safe than sorry. I'm going to have to become an expert on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy at this point. I'm hoping we'll beat the genetic odds the *opposite* way this time (since we're alreay four for four on a recessive gene :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Taking a break from the worst Christmas special ever...

I really have enjoyed most of the series, but "Shrek the Halls" is just too much for me. It comes off as a schizophrenic add-on to the three movies, that is hard to follow, and IMO impossible to watch. It could also be due to the 10,000,000 commercials. So, my three kids are downstairs enjoying it, and I am up here...enjoying it. FYI- for those who keep track, yes I have four kids, but one is at soccer right now.

It is Jake's birthday today (bday post coming tomorrow), but let's just say it was a bit like "Shrek the Halls"- schizophrenic and hard to follow (or at least keep up with). However, he had a great day and loved each and every one of his gifts :) So- I'll put that in the 'good job' column for now. He requested lasagna for his special birthday dinner, which is only funny if you were at our house between 9/26 and 10/15. People were so amazing with their outpouring of help after Rob's cardiac issue and I am truly grateful. But (please re-read the last sentence before reading our family humor), we had lasagna coming our of our ears. We ate it for breakfast, we ate it for lunch and of course for dinner, for about 3 weeks. And, I was always grateful not to have to scramble to cook, but it became a running 'funny'. So for Jake to request lasagna, was just FUNNY! And, I made it willingly, with love.

Certain items are essential in our house- tubing for earmolds/hearing aids being one of them

Yesterday, the tip from Delanley's hearing aid ear hook broke off, into her tubing (which is ANCIENT at this point), which meant she was not able to wear her hearing aid. This was catastrophic to my middle school daughter, judging by her reaction. She was forced to wear her CI only- suffice it to say, we did not feel *too* sorry for her. The great audiologist from Trey's school replaced the now shortened ear hook for me, and we were on our way. At that point, I realized her tubing was so old, it was molded permanently into one position and would no longer work with her hearing aid. You'd think I'd have a stockpile of certain things, like hearing aids batteries, and replacement tubing, but I haven't had to use it in so long, I didn't realize I was out.

And then this morning, Jake's tubing split in two- Cracked right across the middle (obviously caused by me, and the fact that I haven't changed it in a long long long time, and their ears just don't grow as much, so we're not going through huge quantities of ear molds).

Anyway- tubing, for all you hearing aid parents- stock it, and avoid my hearing aid drama!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Trey's evaluations.....

is he making progress? Yes- is it enough? At this point I'll take what I can get, but it is a little disheartening to see that he is still testing at around a 24 month level (he's 4 1/2 years old). And, this is the child the school district wants to put into their non-specialized program because they think they will succeed where highly trained people are struggling. Nope- not on my watch.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Major head cold warning....

I woke up on Sunday with the start of a hugely annoying sinus cold. So, that's my excuse for the horribleness (is that a word???) of my updates lately. It's difficult to think, much less translate those thoughts into any sort of semi-entertaining babble put down on 'paper'. But, I'm going to try :) And, now to blow my nose, Bye!

I'm not sure you can see the house from outer space....

but we're working on it. Trey motivated me to hang our Christmas lights yesterday (basically by chasing me through the house with the lights in his hands, yelling "LIGHT"....I just couldn't take it anyore). It's the first time I've done it. Typically Rob braves the elements, climbs up the ladder, and gets them up, but because he takes blood thinners, I decided he's now retired. It wasn't so bad, although when the rain kicked in and it started getting windy I became a lot less picky about how they looked. Not to mention there is one portion of the house that can only be reached by having someone else stabilize the ladder (picture one leg of the ladder off the ground), and I wasn't totally confident Delaney had it totally under control.

We're meeting at some point this week to review Trey's progress to date. I think he's definitely making progress, but he is still so, so delayed in speech/language. (Oops- Rob just called and the meeting was supposed to be this morning.) I had Thursday marked on my mental calendar. Rob left the paperwork for me at school to review, so I'll update later once I've glanced at it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st.....

It kind of snuck up on me this year. 25 days until Christmas, and only four until Jake's 6th birthday. I'm MUCH more prepared for one than the other, and unfortunately it's the one I have a lot more time for. Jake's birthday is sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and is smack in the middle of the holiday activity season. That said, we're having a party for him on Sunday afternoon, at our local Jump/Inflatable place, and we'll open family gifts on Thursday, in between two basketball practices. Happy Birthday Jake, hurry up and open your gifts, shove that cake in your mouth, we're off to Basketball!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and enjoyed some time-off. We managed to, broken dishwasher, window, and all-LOL.