Apr 30, 2011

We Moved + Easter 2011 Pictures

Are you like yes, yes we KNOW you moved already?!
Good that means you've been reading the blog and paying attention.

Actually we weren't quite done. Remember those 3 "little" (not really) PortaBoxes that we packed up in January when we "staged" our house to be sold? Oh yeahhhhhh, thoooooooose.

Well they're baa-aack.

And full of just a little stuff.

We got a welcome to Redmond gift: germs and viruses of many varieties. Joy oh joy! Ainsley caught something and was home from school for a couple days. Evie got a stomach thing and was home sick for another 3 days. I've had kidney pain on and off, could be a result of that kidney infection I had last summer? Or maybe it's the stomach thing Evie had. Ugh. Then I caught a bit of "the" cold and that's left me with a sinus headache that's lasted 3 days. Steve caught a man cold and was home from work for 3 days. Somewhere in there Adrian had a cold almost lost his voice had plenty of eye boogers but somehow managed not to miss any school, or God-forbid, baseball. Oh yeahhhhh but it's Easter and despite feeling crummy for weeks, everyone knows sick days aren't for moms, I've been pushing myself to get stuff done anyway.

Since we are a family that recycles/reuses we had to find our Easter decorations, which of course were packed somewhere in the PortaBoxes, especially the kids' Easter baskets since the Easter bunny obviously needs somewhere to put his goodies. In between vomiting that perked Evie up. Unpacking the storage units was like Christmas....or should I say Easter?

Of course sick or not "little Miss Curious #2" had to check out the action. And yes, she can open doors now. We still haven't figured out whether she should be allowed to crawl on the concrete. I see lots of knee pads in our future, perhaps.

It's still cold out in this part of the country, but I got Ainsley bundled up and she had a blast pushing around the shopping cart and that's tricky when your hands are holding onto a walker. She was much happier out with us and that gave us time to unload more.

What I really couldn't wait for was my couch. I almost killed myself hauling this thing into the house. After 3 months I just couldn't wait 3 more days until we had a (male) helper.

It nearly slid out of my hands several times (like here) but it did make it into the family room in and without any damage I'm happy to say. 

Because things have been busy (what's new right?) I was, as usual, giving haircuts the day before Easter. Evie "worked it" and convinced me to cut her hair. Take one last look because it's going, going, gone! 

....You'll have to keep looking to see the cut.

The kids are still doing well with the transition. The highlight of Adrian's week was getting his turn to bring home "Abby", the class (stuffed) pet, for the night. They are taking turns and writing about Abby's adventures in a journal. This boy wants a dog SO badly!

Steve's dad helped us unload the last of the stuff from the Portaboxes last Saturday and the Monday after Easter they picked them up and took them away. Yay!

So NOW we are officially moved in. It feels GOOD. I LOVE having my couch back!!!! Perhaps next week we'll all be feeling better (And hopefully that means all kids in school.) and can get the unpacking finished so we can get on with the business of living life.

And with all those boxes comes some fun!

Now what you really want to see.....


Easter 2011

Every Easter the kids wake up and bring their Easter baskets into our bedroom and rifle through them on our floor.  Then they wait patiently (for kids, but eagerly) for approval to start the hunt for the eggs the Easter bunny hid around the house. After that we go for dinner + another egg hunt at the cousins' house. The kids LOVE Easter. When I say the kids I really mean Evie and Adrian. Ainsley is happy all the time so all this "extra" is not so important to her. Don't get me wrong, she had fun. But as Evie and Adrian tore through the house to find the most eggs the fastest Ainsley was content to find the one single egg I left in plain sight for her on a chair (with explicit warnings to the other kids not to take it) and slowly slip it into her bag and later peek into her bag at the solitary egg. For her that is enough. For me, it's a little heartbreaking. Holidays can be tough times to have a special child for all the reminders of what "should/could be". I must admit I'm very saddened by the poor effect of her eyelid surgery. It's been over 4 months but that isn't long enough for me to get over it. This Easter I got one picture where you can see most of her eyes.  Perhaps to some it seems a silly thing to get upset by. Nothing will restore her eyes to how they looked when she was born, before the surgeries, but I'm having a hard time accepting or being be happy about that fact. As her mom I want better for her than what she's been given. I guess it's harder for us mums to let go. The pangs are fleeting though and Ainsley had plenty of smiles and that's what I try to remain focused on. That and the other kids, who always have a blast at Easter! This year's big thrill...Zhu Zhu Pets. They are pretty cute! And then there is the excess of chocolate, the kids like that too!


Apr 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I wish you all a very Happy Easter!
Enjoy the eggs, bunnies and most of all the beautiful smiles on all the children's faces.

Apr 17, 2011

A 2 Week Review

It's been 2 weeks we've been in the new house. We LOVE it. Life feels easier. At least so far.

Evie and Adrian started at their new school on 4/7. They've adjusted really well. They are most impressed that the cafeteria food is much better. They have REAL pizza, not that square stuff. LOL! That white stuff on the ground their first day?..... Yes indeed snow in April.

We drove the kids for their first day and then I headed to Ainsley's school. I stayed for the first 2 days just to make sure we'd worked out all the fine details of her days.

She had a great first day. Her teacher is very nice and clearly loves the kids. The school is setup differently but I think her needs will be met. In the past she was in a classroom with some typical kids and kids with physical issues. Ainsley has a great attention span and loves to participate. This class doesn't have peer models and she's a little distracted by some of the behavioural issues of a few kids. The other style of classroom that has peer models has too many students (22+) and the kids function at a higher physical level.  She's only 4 and will have one more year of preschool because of her October birthdate.  Things may change. Time will tell.

The other big thing. Adrian finally got to sign up for baseball this year. Ainsley's situation (and Steve's work schedule) have improved enough that we felt able to make the commitment. He's been LOVING it!

I LOVE this kid! He wasn't nervous one bit for his first baseball game ever. He was EXCITED and when it was over said he couldn't wait until next week's game.

Here is is up to bat, hitting the ball. Since he was a baby he loved balls. The day after his 2nd birthday we were at a 5 year old's birthday party at the park. The kid got a bat and ball. Adrian picked it up and wanted to play. The first ball I threw to him he hit. I said to myself, "This kid is going to be a baseball player." Adrian loves hearing that story. 

Here he is scoring his first run. He scored 2 that game and never got struck out. Not bad for his first game EVER, after only 3 practices (several were rained out).

I was super nervous, since we are new to the sport, that it would be all super competitive. It turned out they don't even keep score. Adrian doesn't like to lose, so I was relieved that wouldn't be an issue. At the end of the game the teams tell each other "good job". Very cool.

We look him out for apple pie afterward (and so mom and dad could get some breakfast and coffee.)

Part of why life feels easier is the bus situation. Ainsley's bus can drive right up to our door. Though Steve remarked he thinks it's actually further away than at the old house. At least we don't have to carry her down two flights of stairs and the driver doesn't have to block the street.  Evie and Adrian's bus stop is right on the corner. It's great that they have to be ready on time. And it's really nice not to drive with Ainsley (because of her inability to get in and out of the car and the trach) through the city. I hadn't realized how much stress that caused until it was gone. The driveway was a  huge factor in our decision to buy this house.

Evie's been having a blast being able to ride her bike in the driveway. What a luxury. There was no place to ride at the old house. The street wasn't safe and it was bumpy. Even the park was up two very steep hills so you'd have to drive the bikes to the park. And with a disabled child with tracheostomy "supplies". You can imagine.....they didn't ride their bikes much. 

We were particularly excited to get Ainsley out in her walker. For her to be able to walk (and almost run even) without running into stuff is unbelievably freeing. It is so GOOD for HER!

It's been good on many levels. She's always liked to help. But now the washer and dryer require standing which is really good PT for her. And I had mountains of laundry to do. And I can pretty well count on that not changing so there will be lots of opportunities for her.

In fact I have HUGE news.....

On Thursday she stood up for the first time at a wall. Normally she needs the support of a horizontal surface. She is motivated by those light switches and thinks it's HILARIOUS to turn the lights on and off. They are all over the house so she is now standing up at the wall a lot. In addition there are a lot of horizontal surfaces that are great for "cruising" so she's made big progress in just 2 weeks time. She is very motivated by exploring the new environment.

She's getting better balancing at a high-kneel. She's taken to opening and closing doors all over the house. Slamming them in fact when she's mad, which is kind of cute. Not that we like door slamming.

She's also really doing well with imaginative play. She sets up little Calico Critter scenes all over the place. And she wants to take her dolls with her everywhere. They have to do everything she does. Sleep. Eat. Ride the pony........

.....and use the potty. She learned the sign last week! That makes 30 signs she can sign. 

Dolly even had to spy on the fireplace repairman from behind the column, I guess just like Ainsley she likes to watch.

We had our first accidental decannulation in the house. We'd had guests. They'd just left and she crawled in from the other room and I saw what looked like "trach snot" hanging out the trach but her voice sounded louder than normal. At a closer glance I noticed it was the cannula, not where it should be. Luckily she does well breathing without it (other than sleeping) and since we saw it right away we were able to get it right back in without any trouble.

Everything was fine and we went right on to playing. It's been awhile since we had the space for "airplane rides" now that Evie's so BIG. Then Ainsley had to have her turn.

She loves the roughhousing and can't get enough.

We've had some other huge breakthroughs on the feeding front. Well huge for a kid like Ainsley, that's been tube fed her whole life.

She's always liked to play with some table food but now she's putting stuff in her mouth to taste and stuff with texture like this lettuce.

She's able to drink out of a straw (if you help keep it in the liquid) and recently has had more than a couple feedings where she'll swallow 5oz of her blenderized formula (using a spoon mostly).

She had another HUGE milestone, she was able to swallow 3 bites of yogurt with chunks of strawberries in them. Normally chunks = gagging & retching. So perhaps she is finally ready to have some success trying textures.

All this eating is good for the tongue, which is a muscle after all and needs to strengthen. She is trying to say more stuff. And sometimes it sounds like real words. Mama. All done. Up. Down. No. Da (I think an intentional Da Da for Daddy is going to be any day.)

Over the weekend Adrian had another baseball game but Ainsley had been sick so we stayed home and unpacked more boxes. The rooms look good but we've got LOTS of boxes in the garage.  Luckily there is a storage loft above the garage so we're moving things up and now could park one car in the garage. Wednesday the 3 Portaboxes arrive and we get the rest of our things that have been in storage since January. I can't wait to get my couch!!!!!

It's been raining....A LOT! It finally dried up enough that Steve was able to get out and mow. I pulled weeds while Ainsley napped and I had the kids picking up bags of pine cones (for a fee).  

They thought it was like an Easter egg hunt until after an hour or so and they realized it was work.  The bigger yard comes at a price. But we still love it!

Speaking of Easter we have our own bunny.

It's hard to believe only 2 weeks ago we were moving the final boxes out of our Seattle house. It feels like a lifetime ago.