Archive for September, 2010

Daddy wasn’t home for this one. So for entertainment tonight, the kids worked on a concert.  They even had costume changes. Ainsley was Santa and Ben was the reindeer (he even had antlers). She made him fly her all around the room. It is a good thing that Ben loves his little sister because, boy, was she bossy!

Madie pretended to be the paparazzi for one of the songs (and no . . . we only listen to Disney music, some country, and whatever Daddy plays for them (Beatles)). Then Madie put on her own show as Miley Cyrus.

It was a fun evening.  I enjoyed watching the entire concert but I think I am ready to retire that one Hannah Montana cd for something different.  10 x’s with the same cd can get old.  They wanted to sing the whole cd for me but the trick is to limit them to 3 songs, so everyone gets a chance and I don’t fall asleep before the end of the act.

It is fun to watch them make up their routines and practice together.  They even plan out props and costumes.  So it is worth the show!

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A night with Daddy

Nights with Daddy don’t come often (this one was from last week). But Dad was home and Ben got legos for his birthday.  So the evening was spent building the lego boat that Ben got.  We have learned something very valuable this week.  One . . . Ben is not Madie when it comes to school. Ben is his own person. Two . . . Ben can think in 3 dimensional in ways that many could only dream of.  He worked on the boat by himself without following instructions and just building by looking at the big picture.  Chris said he did it beautifully.  Like a master. Madie was mad at Ben for finishing the boat the next day with the rest of them.  (Don’t worry. Ainsley managed to break the top off completely the next day causing major damage and needing a lot of repair. Thank goodness. Now they have something to work on again.)

The kids love it when Daddy is home and they get to hang with him.  They were even willing to give up books before bed in order to build more with Daddy.  Now that is saying something.

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My older troop made a field trip to the Montgomery County Food Bank.  What did they learn?  Madie said she learned that they had a really BIG freezer.  Yikes.  I hope she learned something else.  She did.  She went and checked some of the dates on my cans in the pantry and she told me that some were still ok, because there is a best buy date and expired date and they are different.

The good news is that she also learned that the food bank still needs food and that money donations serve the food bank better because they can get 7 lbs of food with $1 (I think Madie remembers correctly). Wow. Madie and the rest of the troop were overwhelmed by the numbers that the food bank serves.  My moms were inspired.  They are hoping to make the food bank our ongoing service project this year.

It was a really good experience.  My girls learned bunches and so did the adults.  That makes the trip even better.

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I went and helped in Ben’s class last week for Science Eyes Day.  The kids made glasses to celebrate their science experiments and that you use all of your senses to figure things out.  All of the kids enjoyed themselves.  A big baskets of items to glue to their glasses and time to do whatever they wanted.  It was awesome.  They all had a good time, but I especially enjoyed watching Ben strut around the classroom with his on.  Look at that smile.

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My sister asked me the other day when I finished telling her about our week last week, “When haven’t you had a busy week?”

To be honest, I think the last time we didn’t have to be somewhere every day of the week for one activity or another was when the kids were little.  Like before Ainsley was born. When it was just Madie, Ben, and I (pregnant with Ainsley), it wasn’t so bad.  That was about a one year period.  Since Ben had an early start, the first year was busy with adjustments.  Finally after Ben turned one, life started settling down (then we got pregnant again). Madie was in preschool. But she got picked up twice a week from our house and brought home every day.  I lived in shorts and sweats.  There was no where to go!  Of course, that was a time when I considered a good day to be that I actually got a shower before three o’clock in the afternoon.  A really good day was when I got to shower without children present. I remember thinking then that I couldn’t wait to get out of the stage where you love being with the children but crave adult conversation (none of the kids could really talk then so I spent a lot of hours by myself talking to . . . myself).  I thought those days would never end.

Now I wish some of those days were back.  I don’t mind that I have to go somewhere every single day, but some times wish for the few days of just being at home.  But now we are going to be gone at least four nights of week (Monday through Thursday) where dinner will have to planned out prior to the evening or we will be eating a lot of sandwiches or chicken nuggets with whatever vegetable I can find in the fridge to cut up and serve raw.  Not very creative.  The sad part is that it is only going to get busier.

Ben told me that he has been praying for boy scouts for years.  He gets to see Girl Scouts all the time for the girls, when will it be his turn?  This is what he tells me yesterday.  Boy, that makes a mom feel guilty.  I just need to make that phone call.  I am just dreading which night of the week that I am adding yet another item to my “to do” list.  But Ben has been waiting years to do it.  And he really wants to be a boy scout.  He is tired of wearing his “Brother of a Girl Scout” tshirt.  It is time for him to be his own.

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Quote of the Day

“Is there anything that I can get you?”

“Yes. Some sanity and at least two more hours in the day.”


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Ben turns 7!

“Boy” is now 7. (It is convenient that he is the only boy.  Dad tends to refer to him as just “Boy”.) Where did it all of those seven years go?!

Ben is one of seven family members whose birthdays are in September.  It makes it tough to plan a birthday so the family can come.  Unfortunately, the only weekends that we had available in September were reserved for other family members’ birthdays, so Ben is having to wait until the middle of October.  Poor boy.  Fortunately,  he doesn’t mind.  And we asked him what kind of birthday party he wanted and he said that he wants a family party.  In order for family to come, you must plan it when it doesn’t conflict with anyone else’s plans.  So he waits.

But on the day of his birthday, we had a great time.  I brought cupcakes to his class in the afternoon.  It was so sweet.  While he was in the bathroom washing his hands, the kids went under their desks.  They turned out the lights and then shouted surprise when he came in the room.  He just smiled from ear to ear. (He knew this was coming.  All of the students get this surprise, and he loved it even more.)  He then stood on a chair while they sang happy birthday to him.  He pumped his fists in the air and was so happy.

Then after school Ben had Bell Choir.  Of course, we made more cupcakes for this event.  Again, smiles from ear to ear.

Daddy had to work all day and evening on his birthday.  So we loaded up the presents and had Ben’s birthday celebration at Daddy’s office.  Ben picked his favorite meal.  He elected to have McDonald’s.  So we of course, bought McDonald’s at took it to Daddy’s office for our family birthday celebration. We ate dinner in Dad’s office and then opened presents.  Ben was so thrilled with everything.  He practically knew what was coming.  He shook all of the boxes and said that they all were legos (he was right). Then Daddy went to the truck to bring him the thing he didn’t ask for.  A new toy gun. Dad didn’t even have to wrap it.  Ben didn’t care.  It was everything he wanted.  More smiles from ear to ear.  (The next morning when I woke him up for school. I found that he had slept with the gun that night.  I didn’t have my camera, but it was adorable.)

We took the day and all of its events and made it the best day possible. When I asked Ben that night how his birthday was, he said . . . “Mom. It was better than awesome.”  I think that the day was a winner.  Happy Birthday Ben!

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I just noticed that Ben is in the background! Look at him fly!!

So much fun!!!  The kids had a blast.  You will notice that there are no pictures of Ben.  He was too fast down that slide for me to capture him!!  He really zoomed.  He was sliding so fast and then bouncing off the far wall.  Crazy kid.

Ainsley was a little timid to go up, but found a friend willing to take her and slide with her.  She wanted to partner with Madie, but Madie was too scared to go with two people. All in all a wild Sunday.  I was glad to get home.  I was tired. But it was a good tired.

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Quote of the Day

“You know what, Mom?  I LOOOOOVE THEM!” says Ainsley with a sing-song voice.

We had succotash tonight. (I just love saying that word. Succotash.) Ainsley was referring to the lima beans in the mix. I may not be allowed to give them rutabaga, but succotash was not on the “Do Not Serve” list.  Beets are my next item on the list to try out on the kids.  This is turning out to be fun!  There are dozens of weird, I mean, different vegetables at the grocery store.  I am going to have a good time trying them out with the kids!

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that Ben has nothing wrong with his aorta (besides the problem of  the narrowing in the sinotubular junction) or the aortic valve (which was labeled by the radiologist as mild-moderate leaking) or his kidneys or the arteries leading into the kidneys.  So there is nothing currently that the cardiologist can fix surgically.  She is at a loss as to what is causing Ben’s high blood pressure.  She has checked out all of the things that she knows to look for and so she is sending Ben to a new specialist.  A nephrologist.  I am just impressed by the title.  I hope that he/she can find the answers that we are so desperately looking forward too.   Our cardiologist is officially sending Ben to Texas Children’s Hospital Hypertensive Clinic that is run by nephrologist (she said that they are renal doctors).

So we know what is is not. Or as my mom said today, “At least we can check that one off the list.”  So true.  The positive outlook was helpful.  Our doctor told us that she didn’t need to see Ben for another six months.  That’s good.  The detailed MRI told her everything that she needed to know currently, and she could wait awhile to see him again.  Now that is positive thinking.  We are still watching and waiting on Ben’s aortic valve. High blood pressure can, over time, damage the kidneys (it’s like taking a power washer spray and shooting it into your kidneys) and cause the heart wall to thicken (from the heart working so much).  She sees no evidence of either.  That is also good.  She increased Ben’s meds again, so hopefully his blood pressure will come down some more. She said to call her if we had any questions and that we needed to contact our pediatrician for a referral for the Hypertensive Clinic (which is her way of signing off).

So I called the Hypertensive Clinic and they didn’t have an appointment for Ben until mid-December (Geez.  That is not good that there are that many children who have high blood pressure.).  The very nice lady in appointments said that if I wanted an appointment sooner that I would need to have my pediatrician or cardiologist call and request an earlier appointment.  The cardiologist made it clear who to call next, so I called Ben’s pediatrician and asked for her help.  She called the TCH clinic today and told them that I had concerns waiting until December (now that is a mark of a good pediatrician.  Our family doctor in Nebraska did the same when Ben was initially diagnosed.  It really gets the ball moving with these big hospitals). So I actually got a call back from the Renal clinic.  Of course, I was not home. This nice woman told me that would call my cardiologist in the morning and get info on Ben and see if she could move Ben’s appointment sooner.  My fingers are crossed.

I know that this is good. I know that right now Ben doesn’t have to have surgery.  But I am so tired of one more problem and one more specialist. Ben has been to a cardiologist, radiologist, neurologist, geneticist, dermatologist, and now a nephrologist. And he is six.

My prayers weren’t answered today.  I just wanted an answer.  Chris’ prayers were answered .  He just didn’t want Ben to have surgery.  Ying and yang.

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