Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gone for the week

The kids and I are going to visit the grandparents for the rest of the week. There is less than 3 weeks of summer vacation left and I figured we might as well go hang out while we can. Tuesday morning 2 cousins are going to visit us (the ones from Chicago) so the kids will have a blast seeing them. Tuesday is also school registration day. So I will go up there and fill out the paper work for BOTH kids and pay our money for our "free education!" When all 4 kiddos are in school, it will cost a fortune just for fees plus school supplies. Anyway- after that we are leaving to visit the grandparents.

Everyone have a good week.

Monday, July 28, 2008

updates and stuff

I haven't updated about what Ike is up to for a while now. He just turned 11 months old. He finally figured out how to go DOWN the steps about a month ago. Good thing because he is a climber! His big thing now is to climb anything and everything. He thinks it's pretty funny to scale up the chairs and then stand on top of the table. He also has to throw stuff off of the table- you know for fun! I put him back on the floor about 50 times a day. So now I am moving all the chairs away from the table. That made him pretty darn mad today! He lets you know if he's not happy by squealing loudly.

Ike has such a pretty smile which he likes to show off! He is also still very attached to me and doesn't venture too far away yet. He also has started walking about 2-3 weeks ago. He walks more and more every day. He loves putting things in & out of stuff. Empty a bowl, fill a bowl, empty the bowl then leave it for mom to clean up later.

On to Sam. She can drive me crazy! She is by far my messiest child (and most like daddy- haha)! I have mentioned the clothes before- she changes all day long and just throws the clothes wherever. She also must go through all her shorts and throw them in the floor until she finds the pair she wants. Today she had a mountain of clothes in her room to clean up. This is the same pile that she was going to clean up "first thing when I wake up" - 2 days ago! Today I caught her stuffing them under the bed. She of course denied it and said she put them all away. OK, whatever Sam! I tell her she needs to get them out and put away. Do you know where that pile is right now? Still in her floor. I pulled them all out right before she went to bed. Also, today was such a battle with her. She drags the Tinkertoys out and builds "a friend" but never cleans them up. So I told her she had to do that today as well. She also had to untie a string from the lacing cards that she tried up this afternoon. She picked up most the Tinkertoys- last minute thing so she could watch a movie with Daddy tonight. The string- I had to listen to her cry and carry on that she missed Daddy and that he would do it for her. So she was going to just wait for him to come home. She was in her room by the way since she would not stay focused on the string. Her room did not work. She was out of there every 2 seconds. After daddy got home she asked him to untie the string (he did) and then she came to me saying she didn't have to do it anymore! Her new thing is calling everyone stupid ("stupid mommy") for which she gets in trouble for every time. She also likes to say everything is "S'gusting!" (disgusting) with an occasional "hideous" which she doesn't even use correctly! Seeing as Joe copies most things Sam does he also says "S'gusting." The other day he wanted chocolate milk instead of white (which was already in his cup). He threw a fit and said "S'gusting! That makes me throw up!"

Speaking of Joe- He is talking more and more and I can see a difference just within the last few weeks. He is much more in depth with his conversations now. He is such a little engineer. He tries to figure out how everything works and once he interested in something he is stuck on it for a while. Right now it is a toy tow truck that has movable strings and he can really tow things. Today his thing was Sam's knock-off American Girl horse. We'll see if he sticks with that for a while. His finger is doing better. I never called the specialist for it this time like I had planned. I knew it would be weeks before he got in and he had a well child check coming up. So I asked his normal doctor about it. She said to do what I was doing- splint it for a while. So we'll see how that goes for a while. It seems better though.

Only one left is Max. He is my tidiest child (most like me -haha- kidding!!). He does pick up after himself most the time. He likes to put his things away. He LOVES to help vacuum. He also loves TV and pizza! He knows how to find the movie Ghost Rider (which he loves for some reason) in the Video on Demand menu. It's not just like you go straight to it either. There are several different options you go throw before you can get to it. He can figure out anything electronic. Last Friday's meeting between him, his principal and his new Para went well they said. Or at least up until the last minute- which is when he ran off of them. The para is an older lady. One of my first thoughts is that she would not be strong enough to battle with him. When he drops to the floor and refuses to move- would she be strong enough to physically pick him up? She proved she was by helping drag him to the car for me. When I picked him up he didn't want to leave so he dropped down and refused to walk. So I had one hand and she had the other while we drug him to the car. Since the principal said she had experience with Ds I asked her about that. She has a nephew she worked with from "around Max's age" (6 or 7 ?) up till he was 10 years old. Last year he died unexpectedly. I asked if they found out why. She said it was from his heart medication. The manufacture had doubled the dose by mistake. Could you even imagine that?!!? She also works with another child that has Ds. Not sure if it's respite care or what but she sounded like she still works with him. Max seemed to really like her and vise versa. Hopefully he feels the same after school starts up!

Well- that is it for now!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wisconsin Dells Vacation

After we got back from vacation number 1 in Cape May, NJ - I wrote about it. I haven't wrote about our second vacation yet. So here it goes...

We left from KC and headed to the Chicago area. Pete's brother and family live there. We stayed with them Saturday night. Sunday the grandparents took Sam and her 2 cousins (roughly the same age as her and Max), along with the mommies (plus Ike) to the American Girl Cafe in Chicago. The girls liked it and got to go shopping as well. It was a pretty neat place. They have anything you could ever want for a doll. Sam picked out a matching outfit for her and her doll. It is a cute little outfit.

Monday we left for the Dells. They are about 3 hours from Chicago. With our stop we made it in much more time then 3 hours! We got there and got checked in and learned about the place. We stayed at The Wilderness Hotel and Golf Resort. It has 6 water parks located within it. 3 indoor and 3 outdoor. By the way, The Wisconsin Dells is known as "water park capitol of the world."

Each day we spent pretty much the entire day at the water parks. Everyone had a blast. Max, who I thought would be freaking out, had such a fun time. He thinks he will melt or something if he gets rained on, but 1000's of gallons of water is OK I guess. He loved it. Sam is a fish anyway, so she also loved it. They went down lots of slides. Joe, on the other hand was not as impressed. He didn't want the water spraying all over him or his face. He would rather hang out in the 'baby' areas. Each park had a baby type area for little kids to play in. All the parks were fun. We (adults) rode the Hurricane and the Black Hole. I was afraid to ride the Black Hole at first because I hate going through dark tunnels, spinning around not knowing when my face would be sprayed with water. Well, turns out it wasn't dark, it didn't spin and if you looked a certain direction, your face didn't get sprayed either. It was a lot of fun! We (all of us -but Ike) rode tube rides. Max even liked the dark tunnels where you can't see a thing. I was not a big fan of those.

None of us got sun-burned!! Yay! We saw people who had to have been in so much pain because they were RED! However, when I went to go pick up my dogs in Springfield after vacation we spent the afternoon at the pool and I got burnt!

Anyway, I did get pictures but not as many as I would of liked. I wasn't going to be toting my camera around a bunch of water! I haven't even looked at all the pictures to be honest. They are off my camera and on my computer but I haven't gotten to them yet.

We came home one week after we left, Saturday. The drive went fine and the kids did great. It was a great vacation.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

baby bunnies

When I got back from picking up my dogs after Vacation a couple of weeks ago they found a surprise in our back yard. Baby bunnies! The dogs pulled a couple out but didn't hurt them at all. I stuffed them back in the hole and covered them up. They looked like this...

They barely looked like rabbits. Pretty much no fur, eyes closed tight and ears stuck back. They were loud little boogers and called for their mommy. I of course goggled baby bunnies and found out the mommy usually only comes once a day and that is at night to feed them. She is there for about 5 minutes and then she is gone. She does this to try and not draw attention to her babies. Well, tell that to a 4 year old girl who is very excited about baby bunnies living in her back yard. I put up this gate to keep the dogs away from them.

Here are the bunnies at 3 days old
Here they are at 4 days old

Here at 6 days old --eyes still closed. Eyes open around 5 or 6 days old.

8 days here --look how much they have grown!

10 days old here. They were way too jumpy at this point.

what I read says bunnies are on their own from 3 weeks on. Our bunnies left the night of the last picture taken, 10 days old. My husband thinks they were a snack for something. I would like to believe they were ready to leave the nest. We now have an empty rabbit nest in our back yard for people to brake their ankle in. I need to go fill it in.

I hope the bunnies made it and are now living a nice bunny life!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

School is approaching

Monday was the first day the school office was open. The very first day the office is open I got a message from the principal. Already!?! She says she wanted to talk about a few things. She even left me her home phone number in case I missed her at school! I called her back in the afternoon but just had to leave messages both places. So Tuesday I finally got a hold of her. She was excited to tell me that she hired a new para for Max and that she has had lots of experience at working with kids that have Down syndrome (Ok, she says Downs- but that drives me crazy). That is exciting and I hope so much that she works out and Max and her "click" perfectly. She also wanted to try and get a better relationship with Max. The principal always says that Max doesn't listen to her and just tells her "NO!" Really? Max tells you no? No way! He says that to every single person he mets I think. So anyway, she wants Max to come to school for an hour on Friday to meet with her and hopefully the Para just so they can hang out together. Not sure what they are going to do but she is really trying hard. The other thing she wanted to tell me was the teacher he was assigned to will be gone the entire 1st semester (she was diagnosed with breast cancer) so she doesn't believe that would be a good thing for Max. SO now she will have to switch his teacher. She is going to talk to 2 other teachers and decide which one will be best for Max. However, they had assigned certain students in Max's class that he boned with in Kindergarten. So now she is going to see what she can do about that. I also know she wanted Max to meet up with the teacher a few times before school started just so they could start that bonding process. I agree with that, I think that will help for Max.

I am happy so far with our school district and our school. Last school year almost every person who interacted with Max (teachers, PE, music, etc...) attended a seminar held by our local Ds guild on how to better interact with people who have Down syndrome.

School starts Aug 14 and then Aug 15 is the 1st day for Kindergarten. Max will be in first grade and Sam in Kindergarten.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hairy Chin Sam

One year ago today Sam had a “hairy” chin as she called it. We were in Colorado in the Rocky Mountains. We had gone to Estes Park and stopped at the Alpine Visitor Center. We decided we would climb some stairs (it felt like about 500!) to the very top. It was 2.3 miles above sea level. I was 8 months preggo at the time and being way up there after climbing all those stairs I’m surprised I didn’t die! We saw the top, got pictures and decided to head on back. Max and Sam were racing to be the leader. Just as I was saying, “Don’t run because someone will trip on the rocks”…. Sam trips on a big rock sticking out of the ground and hit her chin on another big rock sticking out of the ground. Max keeps running to be the leader. There was a somewhat older couple standing there that saw the whole thing. They probably thought ‘what a bad mother’ as I said as soon as Sam fell, “That is exactly why I said no running.” Well this couple had a first aid kit and immediately started helping out. Pete and Joe were a ways behind us and had not seen a thing. I was waving towards Pete to hurry up so one of us could go chase down Max before he made his way all the way down the mountain. Pete just yells over “Go get him” and seemed somewhat pissed that I was just watching him run on down. I told Sam (who was crying and bleeding) that Daddy will be right there and I went to stop Max. He stops but is not going to climb back up the steps so he just sits himself down on the stairs and make people walk around him. Sam has blood coming out of her chin. As Pete gets to Sam the couple asks, “Do you want a band-aid for that?” Pete says, “For that?!” as he looks at her barely scraped knee and says “no.” So the couple says, “No, for that!” and point to her chin. So she gets cleaned up and a bandage on her chin. We go down the mountain and ask a park ranger where the closet ER is. He tells us 2 options, both at least 1 hour away. They have a medical station there so he takes us there and we get an ice pack. Which they could not get activated because of the elevation. We drive an hour and a half to Estes Park Medical center which was the bigger of the 2 options. Glad it was the biggest because in my opinion, it was pretty small. Sam gets numbed up (took forever) and finally gets 7 stitches in her chin. Good to go!! The ER said keep them dry for 24 hours. After we left we went and finally ate. She had spaghetti then ice cream. Not exactly dry or even clean for that matter! The scar is barely noticeable now, 1 year later.

Sam in the ER July 20, 2007

Sam on the way to the ER and Sam with her stitches

Sam 1 year later July 20, 2008

These are the stairs down and up the mountain

The view from the top

Sam's chin 4 days after it happened- the day she got them removed.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ike locked us out!!

How does a 10 month old baby lock us out of the house, you ask? Well, he did!

We have 3 doors that lead outside. A front door, a garage door, and a back deck door which is a sliding glass door. We have “The Door Guardian” locks on the 2 doors that lead out front. They are locks that can only be locked and unlocked from the inside of the house. They are designed for home protection against burglars. We have them because we have a 7 year old who is an escape artist and runner. The locks are way at the top so the kids can not reach them. They don’t even know how to work them. However, I bet they could lock them if given the chance. In fact, I know they can because we used to have one leading to another room in the house and they liked to lock that one if it was open. They don’t know how to unlock them though!

Pete was going to mow the yard so he opens the garage door then comes back in, locks the door so kids can’t get out and strangers don’t invite themselves in. He goes through the house to the deck door and goes outside that way. Sam followed him out. I was with the 3 boys and decided I would run out really fast to tell/show Pete something in the back yard. I was hoping the boys would stay put. About 10 seconds later, Joe is behind me followed by Max. Ike is by the deck door and is banging on it while crying because he wants out too. The door was open only a few inches. I tell Max to not let Ike out. He would crawl to the steps and fall down landing on the concrete slap on the bottom, right!? Surprisingly, Max listens and doesn’t let Ike out. I was done outside and told Joe if he wanted to stay out he needed to go back in and put shorts and shoes on. I then went up the deck and told Max the same thing. He looks at me and points to the door. I say something about Yeah, Ike is crying. I go to open the door and it would not open!! I look at Max right off the bat and think, “How did he do this?” Well, then I realize there is no way he could have. Ike did it. We have a lock on the bottom of the door that has 2 positions. One is closed and one is open only about 3 inches to let a breeze through, I guess. It was locked in the open position. Meaning the door was open only those few inches. I go to the front, hoping Pete has not locked the garage door up. He had. So everybody but Ike was locked outside. I find a board in the garage and figured I could reach the lock to hit the button and unlock it. It took a couple of tries but I finally got it! Thank God it was not closed the whole way when he locked it. I have no idea how he even got it locked like that. It is a pain to lock in that position because it has to be in the perfect spot for it to work.

Max's Buddy Walk Page

Max's Buddy Walk page is now up. It is a hosted through our local Down Syndrome Guild. You can donate, sign up or just check it out.

Max's Buddy Walk Page


Friday, July 11, 2008

Random pictures

In no certain order.....


Max lounging

Sam enjoying a S'more

Ike going through a tunnel

Max going down a water slide

Max loved the water slides

Pete and myself in Lake Delton --the lake that got flooded then drained in Wisconsin

Joe "Watch out- I will squirt you!"

Sam and her 2 cousins in front of American Girl in Chicago

Sam, me and her doll eating at American Girl
Me and Ike. this is his 10 months pictures. He is very attached to me right now...

Pete and Ike. Does he look so happy that i handed him over to Daddy?

Pete and Ike

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Joe's finger again...

As posted long ago, Joe got his finger stuck in the treadmill Dec 26. He rubbed the skin off 2 of his fingers. He ended up having scar contractures (would not straighten out) so he had to see a specialist. He had to wear hydro-gel and a splint during the night to try and get it straight again. If that didn't work then surgery it would be. 2 weeks ago we went for another follow up and the doc said he is good to go. It still didn't look that straight to me but she could make it go straight and i guess that is what she was aiming for. She told me to watch it again when he hits puberty because sometimes the scar tissue will not keep up and the problem will be there again. Yay- splint free!!

Last week I was going to Springfield for a few days with the kids to pick up our dogs and visit the grandparents. My mom watched our dogs for us while we were on vacay. First we had gymnastics that day and I was hoping to leave right after that. I didn't get everything packed in time so we had to come back home. Anyway, one reason I didn't get it all done is because of Joe's finger! I didn't see it happen but Max slammed Joe's finger in the door going out to the garage. Somehow just the same finger that we were working to get straight got the skin scrapped off of it again. It looked just as bad as it originally did when he stuck it in the treadmill. However, this time blood was involved. Why it didn't bleed with the treadmill, I don't know. Too deep? I'm sure some of you know the answer to this.

So, I washed his hands off and wrapped a washcloth around it. We were starting to run late for gymnastics so I just grabbed a band-aid and some neo+pain med to put on once there. He didn't want it. All he wanted was the washcloth. He wanted to whole thing covered. The whole day he had it over his hand. The drive to Springfield and even while visiting with everyone and playing with all the toys there. He was not interested in a band-aid. So as he was about to go to sleep I slathered on meds and a band-aid. That was about 1 am, by the way! I didn't splint it basically because I think I may have fallen asleep before he did.

I have been splinting it again at night without the hydro-gel though. That can't be used on open wounds. I plan on calling the specialist again Monday. That office is SO busy though and the doctor is only there on Thursday of every week. I have no idea how long it will take to get an appointment. I will just keep splinting it and in a few days use the hydro gel again. Surgery may again be an option.

Poor Joe's finger!!