Monday, March 31, 2008
Anyway, we had our 2nd meeting (Calvin's screening) with the school the day after we arrived home from Iowa - the first meeting was in December. I came away from this appointment feeling VERY discouraged. It's not that they weren't nice...I'm not even exactly sure what it was. I just got the impression that they were trying to find more problems and already "knew" he must have them if he was adopted and had a cleft. While we don't want to ignore any issues, we really don't have other concerns (other than the speech) at this time. I also almost felt guilty for not having him in a Mom's Day Out or class or something even though we make a point of having play dates and doing other things.
It's all been weighing heavily on my mind. We talked with the speech pathologist at Shriner's and got her perspective on some of it - she gave us an article to give the school so they would use the proper speech techniques for a cleft kid which are different. We discussed preschool, speech, development etc. Andrew and I have also been talking almost daily about what to do. We just really want to feel peaceful about the decision we make for Calvin and we want to make sure he is getting the best help possible.
Friday, I grumbled a little as I headed to work - I was tired after our big trip on Thursday and just didn't feel like being bubbly for my patients. 7:30 a.m. was my very first appointment and I noticed that the patient happened to work as a speech pathologist. I made small talk for a few minutes and then asked her about her work. It just so happens, that craniofacial anomalies are her specialty and especially clefts - she works with a local team of doctors and other professionals.
We discussed Calvin's past, treatment, speech, and school evaluation as well as our experience with a local hospital. She was so kind and so compassionate and listened to my concerns, offered advice and gave me the best news: our insurance should cover private therapy since it is related to a medical condition! I had not even considered this as a possibility. She does private sessions as does the other pathologist she works with. She also explained how correctable speech errors are with children who have had clefts and that they usually have a very good prognosis in a short amount of time. She gave me her number and e-mail but most of all, she gave me hope and encouragement!
As I called Andrew to let him know of my Divine Appointment, I couldn't help the tears that filled my eyes. She was exactly who I needed to meet on Friday (it was interesting to both of us that we had never met - through dental or cleft stuff). She told me to contact her at any time for advice, 2nd opinion, or whatever else. What a blessing. I am so encouraged. We see our pediatrician next week and I plan to ask for a speech therapy referral to the hospital and to discuss the other concerns I've had since talking to the school.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Checking out the Easter baskets. They were delighted with all the surprises especially the chocolate!
Grandma J. brought goodies and surprises for everyone as well as delicious lemon bars and strawberries!
My parents looking as young as ever. :) They are also known as Nana & Papa. The boys noted that we had 2 grandmas for Easter.
My sister, Liz, and brother-in-law, Luke. They are staying with us for a couple of weeks which is such a treat for all of us! The boys are exceptionally happy that Liz & Luke are here and talk about it constantly.
Noah, my 2nd youngest brother. He is one of our favorite babysitters. He is also a fabulous cook and came over on Saturday to help make food. He made his first lemon meringue pie which was delicious!
Did I happen to mention that we had a lot of dessert?! This is my sister, Margaret, enjoying a little of everything. I don't think she cleaned her plate. :)
My sister and brother-in-law are living with us for the next couple of weeks while waiting to sign the lease on their new apartment so we will enjoy having them here and we will be making more food. :) Here's the plan for this week:
MONDAY - Chicken Noodle Soup, Applesauce, Fresh Bread
TUESDAY - Chicken & Broccoli Stir fry, Brown Rice, & Baked Wontons w/this filling
WEDNESDAY - Tacos, Corn, Coleslaw
THURSDAY - Meatloaf, Garlic Red-Skin Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Apple Cinnamon Muffins
FRIDAY - Pizza, Chips, Grapes, Veggies & Dip (for the kids & sitter the rest of us will be out!)
SATURDAY - Leftover or whatever meal doesn't happen :)
SUNDAY - Breakfast Bowls (this topped w/ this minus the ham & sausage gravy)
Check out orgjunkie.com for more menu plans! Have a wonderful week!
Friday, March 28, 2008
His verbal skills have been making us all laugh lately! It's so fun to see him develop and learn different words, phrases, and sentences. I love it!
The appointment went very well. They are pleased with his speech progress and thought his scar looked very good. The speech pathologist (and cleft team leader) wanted to know what our secret for minimizing the scar was. :) The truth, we don't have one, he just looks really, really good. So, everything is healing properly. The ENT does want to replace his tubes - the right one is out and there if fluid in his hear and the left is getting close to coming out. We will schedule surgery in the next couple of months - it will be outpatient. I was very encouraged that he did pass his hearing test this time!
We have to give an updated immunization report and cardiology report before they will schedule surgery so doctors appointments are the next thing on my to-do list. He is due for both appointments in April, anyway. I think we have to do another EKG just to verify that his heart is fine.
So, that's the report. Other than the tubes, we probably won't have another surgery until he is 8 or 9. We are thankful. I will write more on speech decisions later. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!
**The pictures are progressive - before surgery (8/07), after surgery (9/07), and last week (3/08).**
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
I think they must have been looking at Andrew in a couple of the above!
Stay tuned for Easter Part 2...
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Well, I took a week off since we were away last weekend and early last week for Andrew's grandmother's funeral. Andrew worked late when we did arrive home so the boys and I just ate what was around the house. :) Today, I hosted Easter brunch/dinner for 16! We had such a nice time. I served baked ham, hashbrown casserole, fruit salad, asparagus & tomato salad, peach tart, french silk pie, angel food cake, and lemon meringue pie - my sister brought blueberry streusel muffins, my mom brought spinach casserole and sweet bread, and my grandma brought lemon bars and strawberries. Needless to say, we had plenty of food and everyone was stuffed!
This week will be very full and Andrew will be working late a couple of nights so our menu will reflect that. I'm using the leftover ham a couple of times and I also have a lot of eggs this week. So here's the plan:
MONDAY - Scrambled Eggs w/Ham & Cheese, Rolls, Applesauce
TUESDAY - Bean Burritos, Chips & Salsa, Yogurt
WEDNESDAY - Sloppy Joes, Oven Fries, Steamed Broccoli
THURSDAY - Leftovers or takeout - we will be in Chicago all day for Calvin's appt.
FRIDAY - Pizza w/Ham & Pineapple, Yogurt
SATURDAY - Tomato Gorgonzola Soup, Grilled Cheese
SUNDAY - French Toast, Fruit
This is the 3rd time I've put the tomato soup on the schedule and I really hope we can have it this week! I'm also really hoping the weather will warm up soon! :) As always, feel free to share your menu ideas, ask questions, or whatever else. And check out orgjunkie for more menu plans!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Are you a "brand snob"? I've been contemplating this question and trying to determine if I am. The answer is not clear cut. I think I am definitely particular about brands on some things but not on others.
Cereal (Any name brand - Kelloggs, General Mills etc.)
Deoderant (Lady's Speedstick)
Cosmetics (Maybelline, Mary Kay, L'Oreal - I will sometimes try other brands)
Toilet Paper (Charmin all the way!)
Dish & Dishwasher Detergent (Dawn & Electrasol)
Laundry Detergent (Tide but sometimes I will buy the Costco brand because it's similar and cheaper)
Diapers (Huggies - the other brands leaked for my boys)
Q-Tips (has to be the real thing)
Toothpaste (Crest Whitening Expressions Herbal Mint - nothing to do with the whitening just the flavor! I am trying to not care about this one and use Colgate since we have several tubes.)
Coke (No Pepsi.)
Things I don't care so much about:
Canned Vegetables (although I don't normally buy the "ugly" cans that are the very cheapest :))
Paper Towels (although I prefer Bounty or Vive)
Shampoo & Conditioner
Anyway, you get the idea. I'm not really sure why I care so much about some of them - others are tried and true. And I should clarify that I could make do without the brand names if I needed to, I try not to be too die hard. :) So how about you, dear readers...are you "brand snobs" on anything? Please share!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I'm posting farm pictures on the boys' blog today. They terrorized the cats which made their dad and uncle proud - not me, I love cats! :)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
We left for SW Iowa Thursday night and drove halfway. We finished the trip out on Friday and made it 1 1/2 hours before a family dinner and then the visitation. Saturday was the funeral and then most of the relatives headed out to the family farm for the evening. The boys LOVED that - they fed baby lambs, rode in a tractor, played with the cats, and saw the pigs and cows (I'll post picture on their blog when I get a chance). Sunday we all went to church and had dinner at the church. Monday was the committal and then we stopped to visit Grandpa before heading home. We stopped halfway again - more on that later. We arrived home around 5p.m. last night.
It was a whirlwind trip but we really enjoyed seeing everyone. Grandma would have loved having everyone there. We had been planning a trip out to see her and grandpa in the next few weeks so it made it especially hard that we didn't make it in time. She passed away in her sleep - very peaceful and unexpected. What a beautiful way to depart this world and enter into Heaven.
Grandpa and Grandma F. were almost the first to know when we became engaged - it was the first time I met them and I instantly loved them. Grandma was a gracious, kind, loving, and caring lady. And she was so funny! She welcomed me with open arms and I enjoyed every single time they visited IN or we went to IA. She loved us and our children and all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It was a blessing to hear the many wonderful memories and anecdotes of Grandma shared throughout the weekend. I will never forget her hospitality and incredible game playing skills. We will miss her so much.
The adjustment for Grandpa has been and will be difficult. He has lost his best friend, his wife and he loved her so much. She took such good care of him these past years. We visited with him for awhile before we headed home and it was so hard to leave. He held our hands and kissed us and with tears in his eyes, he thanked us for coming. He didn't want us to go and we didn't want to go. I know there will be lonely days ahead for him but we are so thankful for the family in the area that will make it easier.
So, we are back in body, not quite back in spirit. We are worn out emotionally and physically. And the trip was so sudden that I didn't leave things the way I like to at home so it's going to be a catch up game for the rest of the week. We are so thankful we were able to go and that all the details quickly fell into place.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I should have known better - it was bound to happen one of these days. He is constantly locking and unlocking the doors all over the house. He has been instructed not to play with the doors and locks many times but the attraction is strong and obviously we need to keep working on that area. :)
So yes, today I was locked out of the house by a 2 1/2 year old. Thankfully it wasn't long and both boys stayed at the door. It could have been much worse. I can't help but laugh a little at the absurdity of the situation - though it was absolutely not funny at the time.
Lesson learned: Never walk out of the house without a way to get back in.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
And what is something you've tried that you thought you never would?
For me, the answer to the 1st is parasailing. I think it would be awesome if I could get past the slight fear of heights and the greater fear of the ropes breaking. Maybe one of these days...it has to be gorgeous to fly like that.
I'm sure I have lots of answers to the 2nd question but two things come to mind so I'll share both. The first is raw oysters (which I discovered I'm allergic to) and various other raw fish. For the record, the only thing I've really liked in that category is ahi tuna.
The other thing is flying in a 5 seater airplane over the ocean to the Bahamas (we were going on a small mission trip). I would NEVER choose to do that again. I was terrified as we were being tossed like a toy by the wind - especially on the return trip. Really, it was scary! The plane was sooo tiny and we could see out all windows. I was horrifed to learn a few weeks later about a similar plane, similar route going down. [Just as a random side note, customs on the island we flew to was in a trailer at the "local airport" which was only one runway in the midst of vegetation.]
Anyway, I'm just wondering what your answers would be!
Monday, March 10, 2008
1 mama wakes up not feeling the best - pesky monthly visitor
1 hot shower, thank goodness!
1 big mess of toys
1 aunt comes to stay with
1 mama heads to work
1 sad boy cries
1 diet pepsi - too bad no diet coke
1 desperate phone call from the babysitting aunt due to
1 fall off a chair
1 forehead hitting table very hard
1 huge goose egg
1 mama waits to see if home instead of work will be the final destination
1 nana goes to check
1 boy okay
1 relieved mama
2 boys nap
1 friend's mom calls and brings friend over
3 boys 3 and under
1 mama comes home from work
6 hours of crazy chaos
3 boys having lots fun
1 mama still not feeling the best
1 wonderful aunt that fixed dinner and stayed for awhile
1 first floor vacuumed
1 daddy home late
1 upstairs cleaned up
1 Cars movie partially watched
1 friend picked up
2 boys not happy to go to bed
1 daddy taking care of them
1 tired mama thinks its Tuesday
1 mama in bed catching up on the day
2 parents watching a movie
Will they stay awake? Unlikely. :)
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Our Wedding Day - it was much warmer than the 22 degrees today!
Friday, March 07, 2008
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELLIOT!
Thursday, March 06, 2008
So as you can tell, I enjoy dishes. I've learned a lot about the presentation of food over the years and I think sometimes (maybe often) the right dish is instrumental in food appearance! Sometimes I serve plates before they go to the table but more often than not, we do family style. I use serving dishes all the time - my mom always did and I guess it rubbed off - in a good way. :) Hope you enjoyed the dish tour. I have many other single dishes that could merit a spot but I'll spare you. Have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Sometimes life is overwhelming.
Sometimes feelings of discontent creap in.
Sometimes life isn't fair.
Sometimes I struggle with feelings of entitlement.
Sometimes I want people to understand.
Sometimes I need time alone.
Sometimes I need friends.
Sometimes life doesn't go according to my plans.
Sometimes I just don't understand.
Sometimes I want things to be different.
Always God is faithful.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Andrew is working late tonight, so the boys and I decided to do a picnic on the floor upstairs. I made calzones instead of my regular menu plan (I'll probably just move the enchiladas to Friday) and we watched Toy Story. We had a great time! They are really at such a fun, interactive stage. You can check out what's new with them on their blog.
Animals - Dogs & tigers
Foods - Applesauce, cookies, chocolate (the latter two are not allowed very often but that doesn't stop him from asking!)
Movie - Cars, Ratatouille, and Monster's Inc.
TV Program - Curious George
Song - Head & Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
Books - Officer Buckle and Gloria
Color - Blue
Characters - Mack Truck, Lightening McQueen, Monster's Inc. characters (according to him)
Indoor Activities - Train Table, forts under the tables, coloring
Toys - Cars, Trucks, Planes, and Trains & puzzles
Animals - Dog, Elephant, Dinosaur, Giraffe, & Turtle
Foods - Fries with ketchup, chocolate
Movie - Cars
TV Program - Clifford
Song - Head & Shouldres, Knees & Toys
Book - Cars book
Color - Blue
Characters - Cars characters - he know them all
Indoor Activities - Reading Cars book, train table, forts
Toys - All transportation toys but especially the Cars ones