Monday, November 29, 2010

Me: What does a cow say?
Hannah: Meow

Finding the humor in life is a great thing. Counting even the smallest blessing enlarges our lives exponentially. Realizing the steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases changes our lives.
Remaining thankful....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's after 8, and the 1st child has risen. We'll see how long that lasts... Normally, we're all up before this, but that's fine. We're finishing up delivering pop corn today, doing a little bit of school, and meeting my mom to let C spend the day and night with her and a cousin. Grandma needed some helping getting things ready for Thanksgiving, and 2 sweet granddaughters perfectly fit the bill. I know she's excited about it. Samuel is stuck with me, but he did get to spend the day with Buddy on Saturday, supposedly working, but the rumors I heard sounded pretty fun.
I got to spend time with H at therapy yesterday. Mom came to watch the other 3 while we were there. I thought I'd get some errands done, but it was great to watch what they do with her. I was pleased to see some progress, and got to talk with the therapists about how she seems to be gaining in some areas, but losing a bit in others. She remembers more of her routine, but is forgeting words to songs and prayers. I know it'll come back, but it's sad to see her losing anything she has to work so hard to gain. Great news is that if we can distract her, I can work with her feet without her realising I am. This is so great, because it was not fun for her. However, both PT and the Dr. say to keep doing it, so we will. This is just an added bonus.
It's going to be fun watching H tomorrow with all the excitement of the day. We're planning on being at my parents' for most of the day, which will lots of time to be with cousins and get to know them better.
I started working on a hat for H. Now that the sweaters are done, the afghan can be done in squares, and I'm finishing up on another project I'm challenged on, this is perfect. I'm using the smallest needles I've used, with very delicate yarn, so it feels like a big project! If I'm diligent, I'll finish by this weekend. I should work hard and finish it before the very chilly Thanksgiving Day we'll be having!
How exciting to spend our first holiday together, and what a perfect one to share. We're so thankful to see our family together, how far H has come, and to think in advance of the things this next year will bring.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Our former middle child has been on and off indifferent about the younger ones. Sometimes she has a great time with them (mostly if she's bossing them around) and other times is really bothered by them. The past week has shown a big jump in caring and kindness. She's been taking them into a bedroom to play school or music. (Is that an effort to get out of doing school work?) For today's activities, she got them to race stringing beads (great for H's hands) and to race across the living room floor to get a certain color of beads. Then it was races across the room just for the fun of it. H is even trying to jump during Simon Says. Parachute play and bean bag toss, too. Of course, every effort was rewarded by prizes/junk that I've been trying to get her to get rid of. She is! Only now I have to figure out how to get it from 3 people instead of just 1. They is pleased with the results.
What a fun way to pass the day!
While they're playing, it's laundry and knitting while listening to Christmas music. Yup, I gave into the wonders of celebrating our Savior's birth a bit early this year. Not ready for decorations yet, but this is a good way to get my mind in the right direction of the season.
Hope your Saturday is going well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well, it turned into more of a deal than originally anticipated. 8 silver teeth, and 2 white caps for the front 2 teeth. It actually made it a qucker process. She did well through the procedure, tolerating the mask for the laughing gas, but did NOT like the shot. Thankfully, it was only one. The teeth were just too bad to do individual fillings. She woke up really easily, even tempered, and didn't get sick. We got home and everyone was impressed by all the metal in her mouth. She looked pretty pitiful with her little dry lips and her dazed expression. An hour later, she's doing better.

Our social worker came for our 3 month visit, which was just a bit late, about 20 minutes after we got home. Where did the time go? It'll 4 months tomorrow, date-wise, and it was so busy last month, we got a bit behind. H had her smile ready, as always.

The Dentist was really sweet and had some ideas for adapting her toothbrush. He said they really have no pain after something so major, and it's so much better than what they were feeling, that it's not a big deal. She may have the feeling of a "pizza burn" around her gums, but that's it. She was ready for bed very quickly, after drinking some clear liquids, and slept through the night. It's a new day, and she's back to herself! 1.5 hours of therapy this morning, plenty to eat and drink. Wow! If only I had had that great of an experience!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Big change of plans for today- I got a call yesterday that H can go to the Dentist today! Her procedure is at 3:30, so nothing to eat after breakfast. Thankfully, she's still an out-of-sight, out-of-mind girl, and if I can keep her out of the kitchen and distracted during lunch, we'll be just fine. So thankful they can get her in early.

Catherine pulled out another tooth today. She's decided this is fun, and is very excited about the next ones to depart.

We started brushing (deep pressure) H yesterday after our OT session. Supposed to help her with her sensory issues. Boy, does that 2 hours go by quickly! Off to do more brushing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Picking up sticks for the bonfire we, sadly, never got to enjoy.

Dora and Boots at the Mall of America! Intently working on opening the blocks. Having fun with Grandpa.
Caleb's sweater is all done. He will be able to wear it for another year, thankfully.

Caleb enjoying the great outdoors of MN.

A treasure found in the woods. Hannah wasn't able to take walks with us out there this year. Next time. The wonders of birch bark!

Samuel's sweater, finished, but not blocked, and one loose strand on the pocket, which is now fixed.Hannah at the dentist's.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hannah update

Sadly, my camera remains with my mom. Happily, news doesn't need a camera.
Getting up early was a bear, but H did great. No complaints as I wisked her out of bed into a dark, damp morning. We ended up waiting for over an hour to be seen, but met some nice people while we waited. The staff was really friendly, and I liked Dr. Davey. Of course, seeing a patient who hasn't had their feet corrected until this age is unusual, and he did think they were pretty bad. The rest of her is fine, he didn't seem to think her wrists are very bad, but he did prescribe the wrist splints to help her keep them not so twisted.

We talked about the Ponseti method, which he thought worked well- for babies. Normally, if the feet have been neglected this long, this method won't have the follow up care necessary to maintain the correction. He didn't think that was the case with us. He said no one in our area does castings, and since he's in the OKC area only visiting here once a month, he doesn't have the capability here, either. Of course, I'm of the mindset of doing the least invasive and, in my mind, better in the long run procedure. I'm thinking if we can get her feet moved enough, the final surgery will be minimal, with less scarring and less for her feet to recover from. I want to be open to the possibilities and what will be best for H, so I asked him if he'd rather do the traditional surgery instead of casting. After a pause, he said if it was his daughter, he'd want to try the casting, too. That made me feel better, because that's what I really wanted to do. I've been so encouraged watching another little girl in Florida going through the process, with huge improvement. It gives me great hope for H.

When I got home, I made the call and set up 8 trips to OKC for castings, starting mid January. We could start in December, but we'll miss time for holidays, plus we have a developmental specialist to see, her teeth to take care of, and some therapy to fit in somewhere. He doesn't think it needs to be done right now, since it's gone on so long already. I'm going to have to figure out how to do school on that day, since it's going to be at least 5-6 hours away from home each trip.

When I went to the OT eval, the OT was thinking she probably has some issues with auditory processing and visual processing simply because of her sitting and not being very stimulated for her first years. When I go back, she will get a "sensory diet" for each day that should help her out. I can tell sometimes when she's not able to take any more when I'm explaining something to her, or when she misses out on all but the first and last words of something I'm telling her to say, and the last sounds of single words. She's still working on understanding the need to look at what she's doing to be able to do it right. (Put something where it goes, pull on her pants, etc.) It's getting better all the time. She's also getting better at letting me stretch her feet (which the Dr. wanted me to continue) without getting as upset. We work on counting and naming things, singing, and learning new sounds. Much better this week.

She's getting better at retaining information, too. It took a long time to remember any colors, or to be able to repeat the name for the 2nd item with that color, but she's getting that now. She doen't have to be told "pee pee and poo poo" every morning, either. Now when I tell her to go potty, she tells me what to do. The rest of the process needs a lot of reminders, but she'll get it. She's really fun to listen to when there's a lot of activity/excitement going on around her. She doesn't understand what we're talking about a lot of times, but she repeats words here and there to be part of it. Her noun vocabulary is growing, and she's adding some adjectives with them. Very few verbs at all, but is adding "da da da" between her nouns, which shows me she knows there should be something there.

She's still very content to sit for hours on end, doing nothing unless directed, but will go play when you tell her to. I know that's years of training, too, so we work on that.

I think that about covers everything. It is good to look back and see how far she's come in a short time and imagine what will come in the near future.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Early day for us tomorrow- Hannah and I will be on the road by 6:30 to get to the Ortho clinic by 7. It's an odd deal- 1st come, 1st served, and only once a month. It'll be great to hear from him what he sees as the plan for her. We also had our OT and PT evaluations this week, and our 1st actual ST session. No news on what OT and PT plan will be, but the OT did mention a brace for her wrists that will help her turn her hands in the opposite direction and relieve the strain on her joints. We keep reminding her, but a 5 year habit is a big one.
I'll get my camera back tomorrow! Catch up will be fun.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I forgot the momentous occassion that occured while we were gone--- Catherine pulled out her own tooth while we were driving, and didn't even cry! The first one ever! What a big girl.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'd like to post pictures, but my camera ended up in my mom's purse. I'll see her by the end of the week, so I'll do it then.

A short recap, because I need to get busy getting my kids fed and in bed for tomorrow. We left last Friday and went to Minneapolis. Honestly, I don't remember what we did Saturday morning, but Saturday night was my cousin's wedding. She looked so beautiful! It was great to see cousins I haven't seen for 6 years! Samuel got to hang out with my youngest cousins, boys 1/2 my age! Sweet guys who were kind to include him in their activities. He was thrilled to show them his LEGO's. Which helped me remember what we did that morning. The Mall of America was just down the road. What was there? The Lego store (under construction, so a much smaller version) and the American Girl Store. Such heaven for children! It was Samuel's birthday, and I'd finished his sweater on the way up. He really liked it a lot! Now, it needs to be washed and blocked.
Sunday, after spending some time chatting with family, we took off for our next stop. Next door to where my dad grew up. We stayed with his oldest brother and his wife, saw a cousin, got to explore the woods and find cool things like mosses and birch bark, observe decomposition in the trees, see some deer (perhaps in their last few days of life, if my family was successful), and visit with a friend I've known since Kindergarten!
Off on Wednesday to see the house I lived in growing up. It's fun to see the changes and tell stories the kids can now identify with the actually places. We went to see more cousins by Duluth, and stayed with my mom's next youngest sister. My cousin, Lindsey, stayed over a few extra days so she could see more of us. It was really nice for my kids, getting to play with her, and making memories. Caleb would talk to Buddy and tell him he was at Lindsey's house. Catherine kept asking about Carrie, who had just gotten married. Samuel didn't really have a preferrence- they had Lego's to play with! We managed to get some school in everyday, which they tolerated nicely. Not as much as if we were home, but we gave it a good effort.
One of the nicest things about our time there was our visits with my Grandma. She's almost 83 and is having some drastic changes in her mental state. I wanted my kids see her, and have some memories together. We weren't sure how she'd be when we got there, but it was actually a very nice time. Caleb found a beach ball at the care center, and wanted to play catch with G'ma. She perked up the best she'd been during our visits, and seemed so much more of her "old" self. We helped her go to bed before we left and sang songs, at Caleb's request. It was sweet to hear him talk about Grandma V after we left and ask what she was doing.
We left from for home, via the IKEA store in Minneapolis! My first time there was a thrill! I had looked at a catalog YEARS ago and dreamed of using all their great organizational devices. It was really hard knowing I could only bring a few things home, since we were stuffed like sardines in the Suburban. It did help me get in the mood, though, and I spent part of today organizing in the boys' room/closet, and planning new things to build and do with Buddy.
Glad to be home, and looking forward to a great week. The kids did awesome, Hannah was a hit with everyone, and was her charming self. Still working on boundaries and such, but she traveled great, as did Caleb, and handled each long day and different bed like champs.
Now, if I could just find my pillow....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

We're Home!

2 days of travel each way, 5 beds in 9 days, tons of fun, most everything put away within just 2.5 hours of being home, dinner made, kids in the tub, and I'm ready for bed!
Lots of fun pictures that I'll post when I'm ready.

Alice- I knit hats in the round, but I really should try sweaters that way.
Leslie- I'm sure you were awesome and all went well. Looking forward to being back. Thanks again!