Monday, March 28, 2011

Doing it All

Today for the one millionth time someone said to me, "I don't know how you do it all".  I never really know what is meant by that phrase.  What exactly do they think I accomplish in a day?

The kids dress themselves in the morning.  They get their chores (mostly) done and beds (mostly) made.
So I have decided my definition of it all is really quite simple.
There are 2 things I must get done every day:

1. Pray
2. Feed the kids (preferably 3 times)

Everything else is a bonus.  A "yay me" moment. 
Dante made it to school-- yay me!
I got a load of laundry done-- yay me!
Most of the bills were paid this month-- yay me!
and so on...

That is how I get it all done.
God is in control; I feed the kids.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dante and Leif

Leif is not sure what to think of Dante.  Everyone else in the house adores Leif, but Dante is just indifferent.  And if you ask Leif, that is just plain wrong.  Everyone exists to smile at him, feed him, keep him content, and will be rewarded with his smiles and laughter.
Leif often reaches out to Dante in an attempt to get attention from him.  He does this at dinner when Dante's plate is just close enough to reach over and grab some pasta.  It is much more fun to irritate big brother by grabbing pasta then wait for Dad to spoon feed him the nightly mush.
Today Leif discovered how Dante can entertain him:
The Walker.
Dante was heading across the floor right when Leif was reaching out to snag his sleeve.  Leif ended up grabbing the walker and walking along behind Dante. 
It was fun!

When Dante abandoned the walker Leif started pushing it across the floor.

 He walked back and forth, getting frustrated and then rescued, whenever he ran into something...
which was often.

Here we have the Leif equivalent of wrapping his car around a tree.  Thankfully he was going only 55 steps per hour.
Leif was not a happy camper when we took his keys and put the walker away.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dante's Appointment

Yesterday Dante was supposed to have his 6 month check with the Pediatric Endocrinologist.  I even remembered to take him on Wednesday for the blood draw to check his hormone levels (hypothryroidism).  Thankfully, I decided to call and verify his appt, since I had not received the typical automated phone reminder.  The appointment had been cancelled, and I did not receive notification.

Since I had intended to pick up Dante at school, he had been sent without a lunch.  I quickly made one and took it in.  While in the classroom, he heard me talking and came scrambling over.  It was really sweet because he kept kissing me. It was also sad because he started crying when I told him good-bye.  I could hear him as I left and walked down the hallway.  In his book after school the teacher said he had screamed and thrown things for 30 minutes after I left.  I guess he loves me?  He really does like school, I am not sure why he was so determined to leave with me this morning.

In another frustrating turn of events for Dante-- we now have a gate separating the living room from the dining area/kitchen.  Dant can no longer climb onto the table and throw everything off it, or clear the counter too.  Leif does not appreciate the gate either! 

Leif did enjoy fingerpainting with his lunch yesterday, though.  I pureed a banana with blueberries and a touch of homemade goat's milk yogurt.  He really wanted to feel it, so I let him have some fun.

This post is suddenly done, Dante and Leif are fighting over the drum...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Old Sturbridge Village

Today was absolutely beautiful! After lunch six of the kids and I headed into Sturbridge to visit "The Village".  We are blessed to live near this 1830's living history museum and purchased membership so we can visit often.  Today was Leif's first trip!
 Amelia, Sunny, and Micah particularly like carrying the map that is given to all visitors.  They try to keep track of where we are on the grounds.

 At the Freeman farm we found a very friendly calf.  Micah did not want to leave it, although he was
eventually persuaded.

 Amelia and Sunny posed in the Freeman Barn, in front of the hen's corner.  Off to the right across the road is the Cooper Shop.  In there we were shown how buckets are made.  Amelia enjoys interacting with the "interpreters" that work in the various buildings.
 Alexander, Micah, Sunny, Amelia, and Zachary beside the Grist Mill. 
 Leif enjoyed the visit.  He loves to be outside and watch everything around him. 
This was so funny!  Inside the main entrance were the cut out photo boards.  This one looks so real!!

Of course we also stopped in at the Village's General Store for lemonade and chocolate chip cookies.
A perfect almost-Spring day!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dante's Heart

It is not unusual for a baby born with Down Syndrome to have a heart problem.  Micah had a large hole which was repaired with open heart surgery at 10 months.  Amelia had a small hole which closed on its own.  Sunny had no problems at all. 

Dante has a small hole in the upper chambers of his heart (ASD), and it has not closed by now and likely will not.  Jamie and I took him to a cardiologist appointment last Thursday where an echocardiogram was done, and then we discussed our options.  Dante was extemely uncooperative during the echo, but one glimpse did show the hole is still present.

We were told it will not bother him any time soon, but in 10+ years it could cause serious problems.  There is a 20% chance of heart failure or lung problems in his adulthood.  If we choose to repair the hole, it needs to be done before he turns 8 for maximum success, and there is a 1-3% risk of serious problems.  It would be a minimally invasive procedure, not surgery.

This seems like a pretty clear case to us...1-3% risk now or 20% risk later.  However, our first decision was to have a sedated echocardiogram done to be sure about the size of the hole.  After that we will likely schedule the procedure.  He is 5 now, and I would rather just get it done than wait a few years. 

One good bit of information did come out of his appointment.  When he was screaming and writhing about on Thursday while Jamie and I held him, an intern tried to entertain him, and the expert attempted the echocardiogram-- one of the receptionists heard him and brought in her iPhone for him to play with a musical pop up shapes and colors app.  It immediately distracted him and allowed the one glimpse we had of his heart.  I have been telling Jamie I think we should try to get Dante an iPad, and for me this confirmed that he would benefit from one.  Jamie did not disagree, but they are expensive. There are so many different "apps" that are benefiting children with autism, and I think the larger iPad would be easier for him than the iPhone.  It was so nice of the woman to leave it with him for the duration of the testing.

Now we are waiting for a call to schedule the sedated echocardiogram, and we will proceed from there.

God is good!