Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Fall catch-up

Well I think this is a first for me - the entire month of September with not one blog post! But that is pretty much how I feel right now...behind, barely keeping up, running to this and that and all around. We are finally, about 8 weeks into the school year, feeling like we are catching our breath. Busy, but manageable. Used to the new routine. Adjusted.

Brian is happy in his new job. David is making it through a week of full-day school without exhausted meltdowns, and he's doing well in school (I wish for maybe a little less homework - he has the most we've ever had in 4 years of elementary school, about 45-60 minutes a night between math, spelling words, writing, and book-in-a-bag). Katy also loves her new school, adores her teacher, and her new friends. She is making progress in adjusting to the new year...it's two steps forward, one (and a half?) steps back. Luke, after a rocky start, is also liking preschool. He's learning to control his impulses and be a good friend, and he's finally interested in letters and writing, which he has never been before. And Anna is quickly approaching two years old. She says new words everyday (latest: apple, sorry, airplane), and has NO problem standing up for herself in this chaos. She screams A LOT. She has figured out that that is a very effective way to get everyone's attention when she is not getting what she wants. Eeeek.

We've been up to lots of things...photo dump!

Our annual Labor Day trip to Young's Dairy with Grandpa and Grandma Sue. It's such a good deal and the kids look forward to it like it's Disney.

Maybe not the best two in the family to swing metal clubs around.

She LOVED feeding the animals.

There are four of them, you just gotta. 
Luke's first morning of preschool. I just cherish this smile. He was SO excited, after all those years of taking his siblings to school. It was finally his turn! And he insisted on holding his "crocodile."

Really awesome local event called Cops & Kids Day. They have so much hands on stuff for the kids to do and lots of free things to give to them. We donated to the ALS foundation so Katy and David could throw balls to dunk our local chief of police into ice water.

This pretty much sums it up.

We all do our part to prepare for football season.

This year David is old enough to join Cub Scouts. Brian was very involved in Boy Scouts, and our older neighbor boys are in Boy Scouts, so David was really excited to try it. We found a pack that has lots of boys from his school, and meets at the same time as Girl Scouts (so it's nice that it's just Scout night for the family). Brian ended up being Assistant Den Leader (of course he did). Here they are headed to their first camp-out (they didn't stay over night this time).

Katy and her friend Emily have gotten really into dolls (American Girl and the like). They've been doing chores around the house for a quarter each to save up and buy a new doll at Michael's with a coupon ($14). They finally got it and were so happy.

Apple picking fieldtrip with his preschool. I am loving the tiny, very close by, loving preschool that he is attending this year. There are 27 kids in the school TOTAL. Our old preschool had 300.

Love.

David with his new insignia.

Uncle Joey comes for a visit. When we tell the kids that Joey is coming, they all yell, "Jooooeeeeeyyyyy!!!!!" (except now Luke calls him "Josie" and we all laugh hysterically.)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Change


    

Our family has seen lots and lots and LOTS of change in the past few weeks. I am not gonna lie - change is hard. It has been hard. We're in a bit of a period of transition, and I am trying to take deep breaths and remember that in a few months (I would say weeks but that feels optimistic at this point), this will all feel like the new normal. 

Backing up a bit...Luke is completely better. I mentioned a set-back, but I didn't notice as much of a set-back as just more of the same misery. It really was just a solid ten days of a pretty sick boy, not doing much playing, not doing much eating, very slow progress, getting up a lot at night (he slept in our room), etc. Brian was off for week #4 of my recovery and the 2nd half of Luke's recovery. And it just wasn't a fun week, but we got through it. AND. I might be crazy, but I feel like we could tell a difference right away. He can DEFINITELY hear better (he was crying about the fly buzzing in the house because it was SO LOUD), his language seems to have developed overnight, he isn't waking up at night any more, and he just seems happier, better behaved, more loving. Who knew? Or am I giving the surgery too much credit? Either way, I love this crazy kid, and in a weird way, we grew closer over those ten days of recovery.



Week #5 of my recovery was a carefully calculated schedule of friends who brought their kids over and helped lift Anna as needed (after my mom covered the early morning hours). It was a really nice week, actually, as Luke and I were feeling well, and we had this revolving door of people coming to hang out with us, and we got to catch up with some friends that we don't always make the time to see. 

Week #6, Aunt Mel worked from home at my house, bless her heart! Trying to work in this chaos is not easy, but she made it happen. It was really nice to still have her help this week because it was also the first week of school for Katy and David (starting Wednesday). It has been quite a transition for both of them, and I needed the support as I was trying to figure out how to transport the two kids to two schools. So Katy is in a new building and David is going all day for the first time. The good news is that they both have great teachers and friends in their class and I know they are both in a good place. But it's an adjustment, and there are challenges, and we're working on getting those smoothed out. Baby steps!

Also in week #6, it was a huge week for Brian. After holding his last work position for 14 years, he moved into a new position in a different department at the same university. Once you have been very comfortable somewhere for 14 years, it's easy to forget what it's like to start over. So that first week was also a big transition for him. But now at the end of week 2, he is already feeling more settled and happy and looking forward to the new adventures ahead. More change! 



Finally, after 6 weeks, I am able to pick up this sweet baby girl! I am feeling really good and I'm so excited to be past my restrictions. I've been on my own this past week and it has been nice to be feeling like I'm (somewhat) in control of our days again. I'm trying to get back into exercise and healthy eating (really need it). And although Anna quickly figured out that I can hold her again, after all that time she has developed a close bond with her Daddy. If we're both in the room and she falls down and hurts herself, she'll run past me and go over to him. I'm glad that she has her Daddy, but I also hope we're able to get our bond back quickly. I miss my baby girl snuggles.


We've been working (and working and working) on teaching her not to dump her plate on the floor when she is done. On this morning, she ate a whole bowl of cereal without dumping it, and I tried to make a big deal about it by sending a picture to Daddy. She really seemed to get it and was proud of herself. :) Little victories.

Another thing that I want to remember...all this week, Luke asks me a zillion times a day when we can go pick up David from school (6.5 hours is a loooong time). When David comes home, Luke practically attacks him, he's so happy to see him. Then the two of them disappear into some game they made up. Eventually I need David to come to the table and do a little homework. Luke wants to sit right next to him and constantly asks, "are you done yet? how about now? why is it taking so long?" which makes the homework take twice as long as it should. Brothers! I hope they are always good friends. Luke starts preschool after Labor Day and he is SO excited. We pass his school every day (it's close to the house), and he shouts, "Bye, new school! See you in a couple of weeks!"

Three mornings a week with just me and Anna??? It's going to feel very strange. More change.




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Recovery #2

Pigtails are happening, and they are cute as ever.
Week #3 brought my Dad and Sue to help, and then Thursday of this week was Luke's scheduled tonsillectomy. I was feeling pretty decent at this point, just tired, so we tried to do a few fun things with kids and grandparents before Luke's Big Day. 

On Monday, we had well visits for Katy, Luke, and Anna, so here are some stats! 

Anna at 18 months: 23 lbs, 10 oz (40 %'ile) and 31.5" (50 %'ile)

Luke at 4 years: 32 lbs (15%'ile) and 38.5" (15 %'ile)

Katy at 8 years: 45 lbs (5 %'ile) and 46.5" (5 %'ile)

My dad and I took the boys to see Planes 2 in the theater. It was okay, they really liked it. My dad and I were cracking up at the reclining leather seats - we don't get out much. :) 

The next day Dad and Sue were up for a REAL adventure and we took all 4 kids to the pool (and I wasn't able to get in the water). It ended up being such a fun afternoon (except for the part when Anna had a total meltdown and I couldn't pick her up, so my dad was carrying her to the car screaming so we could take her home for a nap and I could come back). The weather was perfect and each kid made more progress in the water:  Anna was putting her face in and bouncing up and down in water up to her neck. Luke was able to paddle around the kiddie pool on his own in his floatie vest. David went off the DIVING BOARD!!! And swam to the side by himself! He was SO proud. And Katy went down the big slide (she's still an inch and a half shy of the height requirement but we got permission from the manager and she was beside herself with excitement.) I got video of Katy and David's Firsts, but I can't figure out how to get them on here, so...

The only picture I was able to take. Pre-meltdown.



Well, don't mind if I do!
Finally came the day of Luke's surgery. I took him out the night before and tried to explain in basic terms what was going to happen - but the great thing about Luke is that...he just doesn't seem to get it, or at least he doesn't get worked up about it. So the morning of the surgery, we were walking into the (very convenient, very nice) surgery center, and he was skipping and singing, "Everything is Awesome!" He was just blissfully unaware, all the way into the OR. The only time he got a little nervous was when we entered this room with his bed...

He's trying to smile. Poor buddy. I was much more nervous than he was.
The biggest surprise to me was how fast it went. From the time he left our sight until the surgeon was in the waiting room giving us a report was 25 minutes. What?!?!? The families who were there getting just ear tubes were in the waiting room less than 10 minutes. Crazy. But the surgeon said that his tonsils and adenoids were both huge, and that his ears were full of fluid, so she went ahead and put tubes in, too. She said we should expect to see an improvement in hearing, health, sleep, and possibly attention and growth. So that was really encouraging, making me feel like we made the right decision.

We had to be there at 7, the surgery was at 9, and we were home by 11:30. That first day he was out of it, but didn't seem to be in a lot of pain, just laid on the couch, ate some popscicles, even got down and played some. But at 10:00 that night, he woke up screaming and that started a very difficult couple of days. The day after the surgery was hard to watch and worrisome. He wouldn't move, refused to eat and drink, resisted his medicine, had a fever and chest congestion (apparently normal), just seemed awful. That night he threw up 3 times, but the next day he started to make some progress. He was sitting up playing the iPad, taking small bites of applesauce and sips of water, etc. Today is day 4 and he's eating a pancake and has been off the couch playing some. So he's much better. I'm bracing myself, for everyone has warned me of the setback that we can expect days 5-8, but I'm thankful that he's feeling better for now.

More to come....I will be happy to see August.