Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And Here We Are

Some things that have been going on around here:

-I finally FINALLY got the cabinet doors up in my kitchen. FINALLY. It looks so much cleaner now. Just makes us want to tackle other projects!


-Michaela is still asking to go to the potty. It doesn't happen every day, but every so often, she'll say something like, "We have to go." Which, translated, means, "I have to the bathroom." It took me a while to figure it out. I'd just keep answering her, "No, we're not going anywhere." But she would persist, and it would sink into my ever-tired brain what she was trying to say.

We're not talking potty-training or anything, but it's a nice development. When it happens.

-Michaela will be put on another drug starting next week. This one is a form of valium, called Ativan. For those of you out there who also have a child with LGS, this therapy, using high-dose valium, has helped a lot of other LGS kids in the past. Dr. Gregory Holmes, arguably one of the best pediatric neurologists in the world (and who has seen Michaela), instructed Chief on how to use it safely to help his kids' brains get some relief from the onslaught of seizures. It's taken before bedtime, and appears to help the brain relax. It's only used for a short amount of time. Unfortunately, it can have some pretty serious side effects. Valium is a benzodiazepine that is often used in smaller doses as a relaxant for those suffering with stress or anxiety. It is also used in higher doses to short-circuit a seizure or cluster of seizures. This particular therapy uses the Ativan in a high enough dose to effectively relax you to death. Literally. Like, you stop breathing, you're so relaxed. It's a fine line, but if used correctly, it can be very helpful. Because of this potentially dangerous situation, Michaela will be monitored overnight at the hospital for her first dose. That way, if her respirations are getting too low, they can provide rescue drugs to effectively stop the ativan from hurting her or killing her. That's harsh, but that's what happens. We've done this therapy before, 2 years ago, and it had the desired effect. It helped and didn't hurt. Chief's good. It'll go well, and I'm excited to see her get this boost before school starts.

-We got a sign posted on the road. In a previous post, I mentioned how Boo has snuck out of the house and beelined for the street. Well, when I went to register our cars the other day, I asked the person in charge of roads if there was a way to get a sign up to help protect her in case she got out again. I was told that there is only ONE kind of sign available to alert drivers to children: "DEAF CHILD." They wanted to know if she was deaf. I said she wasn't, but that she was as good as deaf when she was in that frame of mind. They didn't even remotely quibble with me and radioed the sign guy to put up some signs. When I got home later that day, they were already up on both sides of the street. Now THAT's service for ya!

-Caleb turned 6 on Monday! My poor second son doesn't get hardly ANY print on this blog, I realized; much to my shame. I'm not sure why, but he doesn't make headlines for some reason. And that really has to change. Caleb is a very sweet child---always willing to help---and nothing like his brother Noah. For starters, he's dirty blond (as opposed to Noah's dark chocolate brown), and his personality is somewhat clown-ish. Caleb loves to steal the limelight. He's perfectly happy being the center of attention. Unfortunately, this also makes it easier for his Mama to figure out "who-dunnit"'s usually Caleb.

After a rough couple of weeks last year, we decided to scrap his efforts at school and hold out for this year. So, he'll be in Kindergarten starting next month. Libby is going to attempt to learn by his side, and I hope that his age will give him a bit of an upper hand, and effectually boost his confidence in this area. Thankfully, he's not stupid, but Caleb seems a bit more easy to teach hands-on than with books. I believe this is his year to shine. I changed curriculum, and he should do great.

Happy Birthday to you, Pudge. This is going to be an incredible year for you!

-We just got back from WV, where we were visiting Chris' family. This is a yearly reunion for us at his grandparent's lake home. It is a beautiful spot, and I'm so thankful that my kids get to know and spend time with their great-grandparents. They are truly wonderful people, and I have enjoyed them immensely over the years. I never really knew my great-grandparents. If they were alive when I was, they were unfortunately too aged to spend any quality time with me. Chris' grandparents are in their mid 80's but you'd never know it. His Grandpa played kickball, bocce, washers, and fished with our kids. His Grandma moved furniture (even though I tried to stop her!). They just keep going and going and doing and doing, and are truly examples of older people enjoying life and family. I always miss them when we're not together.

While we were there, Chris' Mom played a trick on Noah. She read about how he has a hard time reading anything other than what he's used to. So, she decided that she would read to the kids every night before bed to try to get him and the others interested in something different. She picked "The Chronicles of Narnia." Well, it worked! Not only were they hooked from the get-go, they simply couldn't get enough of the story and badgered her to read to them practically every time she sat down! We even caught Noah finding a quiet place to read ahead in the book while the others did something else. Her plan was a success, and now the children are listening to the stories from a CD collection of the books we have. I dare say that they're not as good as Grandma though!

Speaking of WV, do you remember what post I wrote from there last year?

-Gabriel is now 6 months old. Can you believe it? How time flies when you're having fun. And we truly are. He's a bundle of joy in every sense of the term. We are living him up to the fullest. I can now see why the youngest gets spoiled---you don't want to let go of them!

He is actively sprouting his first tooth. I am surprised at how well he is handling the whole thing. He's not terribly fussy about it, and when he does fuss, it doesn't seem as though it's anything other than being tired or hungry. Nothing like being in pain and miserable. Which he must be---if only you saw the awful bulge in his gums! It looks horribly painful! I'm really hoping the tooth will make it's grand entrance tomorrow. It's looked like it's going to bust through for days now.

So, that's what's going on for now. On another note, I can tell now why I'm not posting as much: This takes me too long! This post took me about 2 hours from start to finish. I guess if I didn't put any pics or anything in it, it wouldn't have taken nearly as long, but hey---pictures are the best part! I guess I'll just post every now and then, and try to load them up with a bunch of fun stuff.

We'll see how that goes, I guess.


baSfsoGp said...

I am sure I am NOT able to tell YOU anything about this that you don't already know, but you can do a search of your own blog and bring up every post you have ever written about West Virginia or great-grandparents or family reunion or whatever. I do it a lot and it goes all the way back to the beginning of my bloggin' days.

Denna said...

Cabinets looks great. I am glad you got the signs up. People drive way to fast on these roads. Maybe it will slow them down some. You could have done several days of post with this post. LOL

Kelly said...

I know, that's part of the problem! I have plenty of stuff to say, but not enough time to just sit down and say it....until I'm way behind.

Alabamabrands said...

This easily counts as four posts and allows me atleast four comments, right?
Sadie had the bulging blue gums with a few of her teeth- oooooo- never seen it before, but looks O so painful!
Great job Gramma on the reading trick! My kids have listened to Narnia TONS this year and Morghann's listening skills went up over two grade levels last year.
Matt and I noticed the "deaf child" sign and figured, hey, it works. We slowed down right away- course we had to turn into your driveway- but we did slow down ;)

Really enjoyed the pics! Yippeee for new cabinet doors!!

JSmith5780 said...

I agree- long post so I get multiple comments. First that is awesome about the signs. And so fast! I am actively trying to get a four way stop at my intersection (we live on a corner) where traffic routinely travels about 45 mph. Scares me to death every time I take the kids out to the car. Second I love the cabinets and all the space, my kitchen is tiny and in desperate need of an overhaul. Third I love Grandma's reading trick. My granparents are in their 80's like Chiris' and they are just as active. My grandparents watch Austin everyday and I swear it has made them younger! Fourth- Happy Birthday Caleb. he sounds just like my Ben! Fifth- I hope the Ativan works for Michaela. And I wish continued success with the potty. Sixth- give poor Gabe a chip. I love those Munchies, I can't blame him :) OK, think I am done!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I have family in WV! I think we've covered this before. How awesome you got that sign up so fast! Nice! And I hope only the best for the next drug add-on.


jes said...

love the update! wish i was at the 4th to make up for the LACK OF PICTURES TAKEN!! (at least that's what i heard) i'm glad that the county finally got some signs posted, it always scares me to think about michaela "free child" dancing in the streets ;op
anyway, love ya hon! it was great talking to you yesterday! hopefully i will be able to visit sometime this year!

Jes said...

The cabintes do look great. I see Gabe has a bumbo - best invention ever! The post was long and I can see why you don't have time to post much - you are one busy lady. It was great catching up with you the other morning. There is so much more i want to find out about so I will call you again soon :-)

pushypaws said...

Great blog - especially loved the pic of Great Grandma rocking Gabe. That's a keeper! And I'm soooo glad that my reading worked. Now the trick is to pick up a couple of the books at a local used book store so that he'll not only listen, but read them! I mean, better listening skills are awesome, but we want that boy to READ! Love you all and miss everyone terribly each year we come home. Grandma Morris (aka as Mom to you and Chris)

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a great post! I was so glad to see an update on Miss M, and also glad to see that you all had a wonderful trip to WV. :)

Drea said...

awe we both have calebs! kitchen looks great!