Monday, December 7, 2015

Boy have we had a busy few weeks!

*This week we saw this:
Nash's comment was, "How stupid do you think I am?!  I DID NOT do this!"  Pretty sure it was Caleb's attempt to get Nash in trouble because Nash was trying to do what mom told him to and that involved telling Caleb what to do and Caleb didn't like it.  Nice try kid.  Better luck next time.  And yes, that is dry erase marker on my wall.  Thank heavens for Norwex cleaning paste is all I can say!

*I took Samantha and her friend Lizbeth to the Nutcracker over Thanksgiving.  It was our first time ever to go see it.  I've wanted to take Sam for years and this year she pestered me until I remembered to buy tickets.  It was lots of fun to watch and I think she thought it was even more fun because she recognized several of the teachers from the Cache Valley School of Ballet dancing in it.

*Samantha is down and out with Patella Bursitis for the next two weeks.  No dancing, lifting, twisting, kneeling, or heavy lifting.  Today I caught her at the computer with her head phones on watching her dance videos from her choreography class and she was writing out beats and steps.  Poor child is going to think she's died without dance for two weeks.  She still thinks I'm putting her under some sort of cruel and unusual punishment for making her go to each class and sit on the sidelines to watch.  Sorry kid, you'll thank me later.  Maybe.  Another unfortunate consequence of this injury is that since she is suppose to be off her leg as much as possible, I will be driving her to school every day until Christmas break.  I will also have the pleasure of picking her up the two days a week I'm done teaching by noon.  Hopefully she will follow the dr.'s orders to a T and she'll be back dancing in January.  Otherwise I'm afraid we'll have one very sad and angry pre teen at our place.

*Nash's basketball team is still getting creamed at every game.  This weekend they lost 30-4.  On the upside, Nash finally got a little aggressive.  For example; he clothes lined a kid!  And, he grabbed at the ball and held on like it was his and he wanted it!  Yes, proud mom moment!  I've been telling him for awhile that he needs to play church ball for a bit in order to see what I mean about you don't have to be nice when you play basketball.  It's ok to try and take the ball from the other kids!  With him finally showing a little aggression I'll say I "MOMENTARILY" considered signing him up for the Jr. Jazz season.  And then I remembered that they play that out in NORTH LOGAN and I'm in HYRUM and I really, really, really, don't want to drive to North Logan more than the three days a week I'm already doing it.  Guess we'll wait it out and see.  Only 2 games left for the season.

*Nash had another robotics competition while Travis was home.  We went all the way down to Ogden for this one.  Nash's team had their STEM project done and they were in the top 5 the whole day.  Going into finals they were in 2nd place.  They had an overall win in the bag.  Nash drove the first 30 seconds and his partner drove the final 30 seconds.  As the final buzzer rang their robot slid off the ramp.  This cost them 1st place.  They ended up tying for 7th as a result.  It was a heart breaker.  However, they did win the overall design award for the competition and were pretty excited about that.  They are ready to crush the competition on Feb. 6th at their next competition.

*We've been back to the Wellness Clinic for retesting.  ALL of the bars are now GREEN!  His overall number that was 601 before, is now up to 937.  This means that his body is balanced and we can proceed with the NAET testing (Nambudripad's Allergen Elimination Technique).  I've received a thick book and a workbook on this testing.  I am suppose to read the book and the workbook is to help while we do the allergen testing.  This testing is much more in depth than the testing that he's had done at the Allergy Clinic twice already.  My understanding so far about how this testing works is: when we go in he will get a treatment (not sure what that treatment is) and then there will be specific foods that he won't be allowed to eat OR touch for the next 24 hours.  Based on his response then we can proceed to the next set of allergens to test for.  I was told that he can pretty much always eat white rice (except when testing grains) and he can pretty much always eat french fries.  Should be interesting to say the least.  I think there may be a few times he eats nothing but french fries for 24 hours.  I think the sugars test will be the most difficult of all for the poor kid.  However, I have faith in this.  Why?  Because after just 3 weeks of the various drops he had been prescribed he was already up a pound and a half.  It took 3 yrs for him to gain the last 5 lbs he's gained.  This is not a cheap route to go, but I know it's going to be worth it in the end!

*Thanksgiving was fun.  We ate dinner at Travis's parents house.  We haven't had dinner out there in about six years so it was a nice change of pace.  Travis got to be home for Thanksgiving (he left the Tuesday after).    He will be home for Christmas as well.  However, once he leaves on Dec. 29th he will be gone for 3 weeks.  The only upside is that when he comes home at the end of January he will get to be home for 3 weeks.  Why the change?  It's to offset the schedule he has been on.  His alternate wants to get holidays home this next yr and in order to do that they have to essentially switch places.

*The kids had their Christmas piano recital this past Friday.  They did a really good job.  I was worried about the boys and their duet but all the work they did with Travis while he was home paid off.  It's nice having a husband who plays guitar and can sit by the piano and play along with them until they get it figured out.  The duet went off without a hitch.  Sam was mad at herself because she messed up her duet with her teacher and they stopped and started again so she wouldn't mess the whole thing up - her hands were in the wrong spot.  

*Brookelyn has finished up dance class until January.  I got to sit and watch her final class.  I finally figured out why she tells me class is boring and she hates it.  They didn't learn a single dance - all they did was ballet basics practice.  Brooke loves tap and loves to actually dance.  This class was very challenging for her because of that.  I asked her if she wanted to quit dance until next fall when I can sign her up at a regular studio or if she wants to keep going with ballet.  When she realized how long she'd have to go without dance she decided to stick it out with her ballet class.  Good girl. :)

*Caleb has his Christmas choir concert coming up on Dec. 16th.  They did an amazing job at the Veteran's Day concert they did so I can't wait to hear the Christmas concert!

*We managed to put our Christmas tree up while Travis was home!

*Our friend, Scott, has been on vacation in Europe for about three months.  I talked to him when he first went over and told him how much Sam loves collecting snow globes.  This week we got a package in the mail.  Sam got three new snow globes and the music for a music box, Brookelyn got a new Matroshka, the boys got a pirate German lego set and some dinosaurs to excavate.  They were all pretty darn excited and I can't say as I blame them.

*I've been working with the boys and their reading to make sure they've been writing down what they are suppose to for school.  Nash is participating in Read Across America this year.  His goal is to read 35 books by the end of the school year.  So far he's read 20.  Books have to be a minimum of 80 pages.  If they are over 300 pages they count as two books.  Many of his books have been over the 300 page mark and have counted as two books.  I found out though that he hasn't been turning in the book reports he's suppose to write if there isn't an RC test for the book.  The kid needed to write 10 book reports!  He was not a happy camper.  I think he's about caught up now though.  Caleb set a goal for himself at the beginning of the school year that he wanted to read 100 books this year.  So far he's filled up his entire book in a bag chart and has had to ask for a new folder.  I've literally only written down about 1/3 - 1/4 of the books he's actually read.  We got to school 30 minutes early on Friday and he started doing his tests.  He had 13 Geronimo Stilton books that he had finished and hadn't tested on yet.  When I left him he had 129 RC points (they earn so many points for each reading test they take - depends on kind of book and how many pages it has).  I'm pretty sure he's at least 1/2 way to his 100 books goal and that he's going to have more RC points than any other 2nd grader.  Any suggestions on chapter books for a 2nd grader that reads on a 4th grade level would be great.  He blows through an A to Z Mystery and a Magic Tree House book in about 1 - 1.5 hrs.

*So, you can see why I'm so terrible at keeping my blog up to date recently.  My dang kids just keep me too dang busy!  We have fun though, even when it gets crazy busy.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Check Up with Peterson Wellness Clinic

Tonight we back back to the Peterson Wellness Clinic to visit with Janalee & see how Caleb was responding to the peroxide drops.  Let me just say this: If ever there was magic in medicine, this is it!

Caleb had both his right and left hands retested using the Meridian Stress Assessment.  Originally, his results looked like this (red means his body is stressed and out of balance on that meridian, yellow means his body is stressed but working to correct the problem & green means that he is balanced & has no problem in that area):

Both hands

Both feet

Overall (we were told on our first visit that it's fine to have something show up in boxes 1, 2 or 3.  You dont' want anything in 4, 5, or 6.  Apparently, Caleb's body has missed that memo.)

Janalee did NOT retest his feet tonight.  That will be done in 3 weeks when we go back for a full recheck.  However, she told me that based on the results she got tonight, EVERYTHING on that first picture is now GREEN.  This is EXCELLENT news!  She said that if he continues to improve like that that when he comes back in 3 weeks we will be able to go ahead with the other form of testing (NTSE?? I think) and get down to the nitty gritty of things & see what allergies he has that are real, legit allergies.

The other thing I talked with Janalee about tonight is that last week I noticed several small scabs on the crown of his head.  They were almost in a perfect circle.  I didn't know if it was a result of the testing, a reaction to the peroxide drops or, if it was something else altogether.  She asked if he has eczema & I told her yes.  She said that it's possible it's an outbreak of eczema and he's releasing toxins, etc., through it.  After she retested his hands and checked to see if his dose of the peroxide drops needed to be changed (yep, down from 2 drops 2x day to 2 drops 1 x a day) she tried some histamine drops with him.  She said that those should help with the itching on his head.  She also said that it should help any time he has an eczema outbreak or anything similar to that.

All in all, I'm very happy with his results so far.  He seems to have more energy.  I don't know if it's a result of his body coming more into balance or if it's something else.  I think he finally realizes that the eating problem is now a serious issue and he seems to take it a little more seriously.  I do worry that soon he will quit eating the go gurt & the string cheese (4//6 of his last home lunches the go gurt & string cheese have come home untouched).  I do feel like we are making some headway though.

I did spend about an hour on the phone with the dietician the other night.  I don't feel like he addressed any of my questions.  His only real change to any of the suggestions he had made to Travis was that if he can't tolerate the milk to give him Carnation Good Start instead.  He didn't ever really say why he feels like giving my under weight child empty calories is a good idea.  I guess he feels like any calories are better than no calories at this point.  And, to some degree I agree.  However, my concern is that Brookelyn is watching Caleb very close these days and she's beginning to pick up on some of his characteristics and mannerisims.  I'm not ok with teaching her at this age -at any age really- that if she doesn't like what's in front of her all she has to do is drink chocolate milk instead.  Chocolate milk is not a cure all or an answer to everything, especially when the child in question is actually allergic to milk!  I understand the dietician has Caleb's best interst in mind, but if I don't advocate for him and what I know to be bset for him, no one will.  I spend the most time with him and I know him better than anyone else, so I have a pretty good idea of what he is and isn't willing to do/try.  I know we need to be open to new things/ideas, but sometimes, you have to choose your battles.

And, on another positive note, LeGrand Johnson (or maybe Hyrum City) FINALLY (after a mere 6 weeks of no action and 4 weeks of me calling and making a pain of myself) came out and "fixed" the mess they created when they "fixed" our road.  There is no longer (for now anyway) a 4-6" drop off into my driveway - hallelujah!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Caleb goes to the Peterson Wellness Clinic

This past Thursday (29th) we went to the Peterson Wellness Clinic.  I wasn't too sure what to expect when we got there.  We saw a nice lady named Janalee.  We were taken back to Janalee's office.  I explained what has been going on.  I told her I had brought copies of Caleb's allergy testing (both times).  She said something I thought was interesting.  She said that often times when allergy testing that if you haven't eaten certain foods for a specific amount of time prior to the allergy test that they won't show up at all.  Considering that the first time Caleb was allergy tested he showed a positive allergy test to cow's milk we had eliminated a vast majoirty of dairy from his diet - not all dairy, but lots.  The second time he was allergy tested cow's milk didn't show up.  We thought he had perhaps outgrown it.  However, I have since discovered that if he does over do it with the cow's milk products, he goes right back to the same symptoms he had before (lots of congestion which eventually turns to sinus infection and leads to antibiotics, etc).

She had Caleb take of his shoes & socks and sit up on a stool.  She took one of his hands and sprayed it with water and then placed a copper tube of sorts in his hand.  She used another copper "thing" to test his Meridians.  This meant that she got her end of the copper wet and then placed it on a specific point on one of Caleb's hands (the one not holding the copper tube) or one of his feet).  There were 60 different points to test between his two feet and both his hands.  Out of the 60 areas, he is off balance in 46 areas.  I can't say I'm surprised.  The 2 worst areas were digestion & cellular metabolism.

After she finished testing his Meridans, she went back and did some testing to see what his body would respond best to for treatment.  She found that, for now, his body responds best to a 100% peroxide drop.  Janalee explained that he needs to take 2 of the peroxide drops 2 times a day until we go back.  We go back one week after the first appointment to make sure the drops are doing their thing.  Then we go back another week after that to test the drops again.  Then we will wait 2 weeks & go back for a retest on his Meridians to see if they have improved.

This is not going to be an inexpensive path to treatment.  However, I am feeling good about this and I think we have a good shot at remedying some of the underlying issues he is having.  Janalee explained that one of his numbers needs to be over 900 in order to be considered balanced.  Caleb is currently at 601.  We obviously have a ways to go.  She said that once his numbers are over 900 then we should consider re allergy testing him and seeing if he still has any true allergies giving him fits.  She was glad to hear that we are already having him see a chiropractor regularly.

Travis told the boys I had taken Caleb to a witch doctor.  Turd.   Witch dr. or not, if she can help my son to become healthy, I don't care!  We've been doing the drops twice a day and he's been really good about it.  Hopefully he will keep being good about all the dr. visits & he will keep doing what they say!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Samantha's trip to the chiropractor

Well, we got Sam's xrays back today.  I looked at this first one and went, "Hmm..  She's as crooked as her mom!"  The chirpractor said that her bones haven't fused so she's going to get more heighth to her.  He said that it's typical for kids who are growing to be lopsided so he isn't super worried about that right now.  She is, however, 28 mm to the left.  I was 16 mm to the left the first time I went about 6 yrs ago.

Here's the side view of her neck.  This one doesn't have the purple marks on it to show where she should be.  Suffice it to say that although this doesn't look super bad, it's not great.  The GOOD thing I did notice is that the spacing between her discs is even and there is no brain stem smashing!

This is a side view of her torso.  The pencil line there should actually go through the pelvic bone.  It's marked as being 7 mm off.

 This is the best view of her neck.  The purple line that's a little more straight shows the curvature now.  The purple one that arcs back shows where the arc of her neck should be!  He's rather concerned about this.  He wants her coming once a week (her brothers are 3 times a week) and he wants her doing neck stretches each night.

I can say that I'm happy I had all three xrayed when I did.  There were multiple issues going on that need to be fixed and since they've been spotted this early we should be able to get them fixed without too much trauma.  I was talking to Dr. Fullmer today because Sam jokingly told him we forgot to mention Nash is pregnant before he had his xrays (he had an ultrasound on his bladder & kidneys recently).  It was after this comment from Sam that I was telling him about how Nash still pees the bed nightly if he doesn't take his medication.  I told him which medication he's on and how much and how long he's been taking it.  He said that today he adjusted the L1, which is where he would need adjusted for that exact problem.  He said that it moved a lot.  I told him we should make a note to be sure and adjust that each time I'm bringing him in seeing how we are going to be there so often for awhile.  Dr. Fullmer said he would make a note of it in his chart.  He said that the adjustment should help to send the signal to his brain that his bladder is full so HOPEFULLY he'll recognize it and we can avert the bed wetting and PERHAPS cut out the medication.  I would be thrilled.  Not nearly as thrilled Nash, but thrilled none the less!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Nash's Chiropractor X Rays

Well, this kid has a gap too, but it isn't nearly as bad as his brother's.  There is however, something more ooncerning here.

The angle at which Nash's neck sits is way too steep.  His neck also curves opposite of the way it's suppose to.  If you look at the photo carefully you can see two lines that are drawn on the xray.  The first line (the steep one) indicates the angle at which his neck is now.  The second line is where the angle of his neck should be.  Even this isn't the most important thing we learned today though.

Nash's C1 is not being smooshed into his brain stem like Caleb's (good news).  However, because of the angle at which his neck sits, his C2 is pushed into the back of C3.  AND since his C2 is oversized it sits on top of C3 quite a bit.  If this is not treated it will cause degenerative bone issues in the C2 and C3 later on.  


Considering what we've learned by having xrays of the boys done I went ahead and took Sam back in this afternoon (Nash's appointment was this morning) in order to have new xrays done on her.  She has had xrays before (the boys haven't) and we've never been alerted to a problem like either of the boys have had show up.  (That's good news.)  But, just to be on the safe side, I wanted to have her looked at again knowing that her brothers have issues with their C1-C3 area.  We will get her xrays back on Tuesday.  Until further notice the boys will be visiting the chiropractor 2-3 times a week.  Here's to many visits with our friend, the chiropractor!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The chiropractor

We went to the chiropractor on Monday, Oct. 12th.  We have been seeing this particular chiropractor for years (like 6).  He has treated all six of us at one point or another.  When we got there I explained what was worrying me about Caleb and all the things we had already done/been through & the results.  I reminded him that Caleb has never had x rays at the office before and all of this was why I wanted him to have a full work up.

Dr. Fullmer proceeded to do a set of x rays and then do a brief physical exam.  Upon his physical exam he discovered that Caleb's C1 was turned.  I asked what could have caused this and he explained that it could be left over from birth, from a fall, from anything really.  He assured me he would go over the x rays with a fine toothed comb & look at all the systemic stuff,

We went back today to look at x rays and see what Dr. Fullmer had to say.
His biggest concern is this xray:
You can see a large gap between his skull and his spine.  That gap is not suppose to be there.  Essentially, his brain stem is being squished into the base of his brain.  This is your behavior center and could possibly be what's telling him he doesn't want to eat.  It could ALSO be what's affecting/causing his ADD.  Interesting....

 Here is his second xray.  This one shows that the spots in his spine that correlate to his stomach are off.  His intestines had a bunch of air in them as well.

This is his final xray and it's just a side view of his stomach/spine.

The recommended course of action?  Get him in there a lot more regularly to work on that spot in the first xray.  Dr. Fullmer said that fortunately it doesn't look like it has fused that way - yet.  I told him I wonder what Nash's looks like right there.  The difference between the boys is that Nash was diagnosed with ADHD and Caleb was diagnosed with ADD.  When Nash's meds wear off it isn't as drastically noticable.  When Caleb's meds wear off it's like Jekyl & Hyde.  I asked Dr. Fullmer that if that could be what's causing the ADD then how do the meds they give him help control his behavior?  He explained that the ADD meds are siimply treating the symptoms of the problem and not the problem.  The ADD meds are muting the neurosynapsis that are happening so it controls the behavior but it doesn't really fix the problem - which is obvious given his behavior when his meds wear off.  Dr. Fullmer took some xrays of Nash (like that first one of Caleb) so that we can see if the same thing is going on with Nash.  We go back tomorrow to take a look at those.  So, perhaps we can fix two things with one??  I'll hope but not get too excited yet (don't want to jinx it).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Baby steps for Caleb

Here's where we currently stand since our last post:

1-Parasite results came back....NEGATIVE
2-Turned in food/glucose monitoring journal.  Appointment with dietitican on Monday, Oct. 26 @ 3.
3-Visited the chiropractor yesterday & got a full work up (x rays, brief physical exam).  X ray results will be ready on Thursday.  Appointment at 9:30 am.  Upon physical exam it was found that his C1 is turned.  Dr. Fullmer said it could have been caused by anything - a fall, left over trauma from birth, etc.  He will be going over the xrays with a fine toothed comb looking specifically from C1 down at all systemic possibilities.
4-Called Peterson Wellness Clinic.  Appointment is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 29 @ 4 pm.

And if all that isn't enough, the poor kid has to have his top four front teeth pulled on Thursday, Oct. 22nd as well!  We are having the same problem he had with the other two teeth he had pulled.  He for sure got the weird teeth gene.  He's in 2nd grade and has only lost 2 teeth - both of which were pulled in January 2015 because the permanent ones were growing in way behind the baby ones.  When he went in for his check up in May they told us that he had a cavity between the two top front teeth but that he'd likely be losing those any day so they wouldn't worry about fixing them.  In July we visited the orthodontist.  I asked if he was going to have the same issue with all his teeth as he had had with the bottom ones.  Dr. Guymon decided to do an x ray to see what was going on.  He told me that all his permanent teeth are right there and that they are very crowded because the permanent ones are BIG (big surprise, everyone jokes about the "big Bown teeth").  He said that if he hadn't lost them in 3 months that he would put in an extraction order.  We went back to the orthodontist in September and I told him that not one of those top teeth were even a smidgen loose.  He took a look and sure enough, not even a wiggle.  So, he put the extraction order in.  That was about the third week of September and the 22nd of October was the soonest I could get him into the dentist.  They told me they'd put us on the list so that if anyone canceled we'd get a call so we could get in sooner.  So far no call.  So now the poor kid has to have four teeth that are no where near loose pulled in addition to everything else!  I told Travis the Tooth Fairy better pay really well this time around!

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Caleb Update

Well, things have been....interesting.

Putting Caleb on an appetite stimulant still doesn't sit well with me.  I did speak with my pediatrician about the appetite stimulant having depression as a side effect.  He assured me that the one he prescribed is a histimine (or anti histimine, I can't remember!).  He said that anti dpression meds are out of the scope of a pediatrician so they don't every use/prescribe medications in that area if they don't have to.  That takes some of the worry out of this possibility for me.  However, I really and truly do not believe that an appetite stimulant is the answer.  The kid is hungry.  He TELLS me he IS hungry.  He just WON'T eat!  It's mind boggling for me.

I went back into the pediatrician's office last week to disucss all the options with the pediatrician.  At this meeting we went over all Caleb's labs.  His liver & kidney function are normal.  His mono check was negative.  His iron is good.  His thyroid is good.  His white blood cell count is normal.  The only thing out of the ordinary was his glucose level (217).  Dr. Clarke said that he really just thinks/hopes that something went wrong with that lab since everything else was normal.  He did say that it is possible that it's super early diabetes.  I did tell him that there is diabetes in both of our families - but, it's always been onset in much later years, not childhood.  I also mentioned that my sister was hypo glycemic.  I asked if we needed to be checking his blood sugar regularly to rule out diabetes.  He ended up sending me home with a glucose monitoring kit.  It only has 10 strips to check with and to get more we need a presciption, but it gives us a start and an idea.  He explained that we need to check his blood 1-2 hours after a high carb meal.  I explained that I had started a food journal for him.  He seemed happy that I had done that and said that when I had at least a week's worth of entries that he wanted me to bring it in for the dietician to look at.  At this point I did already have a week's worth of entries, but since we are now checking blood sugar, I'd like an additional week's worth of entries with the blood sugar checks noted by meals to get a better view of things.  I asked if the appetitite stimulant would effect the blood sugar readings and he told me that he wanted me to wait to start the appetite stimulant (good).  So, for now, we are just continuing on as normal and checking his blood sugar 1-2 hours after a high carb meal.  So far his numbers have ranged from 81-129.  A "normal" range is 80-120.

I have been speaking with just about everyone about what's going on.  I'm all for any input.  I know I don't know everything out there and people on the outside of the situation may have some ideas that I don't and haven't thought about.  One of the guys at work asked if he had been tested for a parasite.  I hadn't even considered that.  I called the dr.'s office back today and asked about whether that was a possibility.  I have never had to deal with a nurse as rude and snotty as the one I did today.   I was not happy by the time I got off the phone.  I had originally explained what was going on with Caleb, labs, etc.  I asked if his white blood cell count had originally been checked.  She told me that it usually is in one of the main labs that's run.  I told her I realize that but it was never mentioned so I wasn't sure.  She told me, "Well, they won't tell you if it's normal, they just say everything's normal."  I proceeded to explain to her that I had sat with Dr. Clarke and went over all of his lab results and white blood cell count was never mentioned so I wasn't sure if it had been checked.  I then asked her if it was possible that he could have a tape worm or some other parasite.  She told me, "Well a tape worm will usually make you eat a lot more, not lose your appetite."  I had to be patient at this point.  My friend that I had spoken with at work said his mom was a nurse for 15 yrs of his life.  That sometimes if the parasite doesn't like what you're eating it can make you sick so you don't want to eat even though you are hungry.  My line of thought is this, "Let's rule out all the really easy obvious stuff before we send him off to PCMC Failure to Thrive Clinic, k?"  So, I explained again that I understand but I'd still like to know what Dr. Clarke thinks.  She told me that she'd leave him the msg and that when he responded to it they would get back to me.  A few hours later she called me back to tell me that yes, his white blood cell count had been checked and yes it was normal.  Then she tells me that in order to check for a parasite, a stool sample would need to be taken, etc.  I proceeded to ask her where I needed to pick up the stuff for the stool sample.  Apparently, this caught her off guard because she goes, "Oh.  Well I'll have to let Dr. Clarke know that you want to test for that so he can put the order in."  At this point I decided I didn't care too much if I was nice and polite any more or not.  I told her, "Yes.  I want to test for that.  I'd hate to get to the Failure to Thrive Clinic at Primary Children's and have them tell me that it's just a parasite."  That pretty much shut her up.  I got a call earlier tonight to tell me that I could pick up the stuff for the stool sample so I went and picked it up.

So, as of right now we are
1-Keeping a food journal
2-Checking glucose levels after high carb meals
3-Waiting to do a stool sample to rule out parasites

I still need to
1-Call the Petersen Wellness Clinic
2-Call a foot zoner
3-Set up a meeting with the chiropractor to discuss the issue with him & get his input

So, we are making slow progress, but progress none the less.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Caleb struggles

If you know Caleb very well, you know that saying he is a picky eater is putting it lightly.  Caleb is a horrid eater.  He wasn't always as bad of an eater as he is now.  Sure, there were a few things he wouldn't eat, and he was never as great of an eater as the two older kids, but he still ate.  The last year though, we've had a serious struggle.  What Caleb will and will not eat has gotten narrower and narrower.  For the last nine months Travis and I have talked to him about what happens to calves when they don't suck (figure relate it to something he's going to understand) - they get a tube up their nose and their milk goes up their nose to their stomache so they get the nutrition that they need.  I've talked to my pediatrician about these concerns multiple times over the last few years.  He's always assured me that Caleb will eat when he gets hungry and I have kept that as my mantra.

The first ADD medicine that we had Caleb on (Vyvanse) was a stimulant which means it could also act as an appetite suppresant.  Nash had this problem but after some discussuion he realized it was improtant for him to still eat something even if he wasn't hungry.  Nash also didn't want to be taken off his meds if he didn't gain weight which is what would have happened.  This summer we switched Caleb to a non stimulant ADD medication (Metadate).  This medication should not affect his appetite at all.

Knowing how picky Caleb is about his food, I hate having him eat school lunch because I can't keep tabs on how much he's eating.  So, since the beginning of the school year I've been sending him a home lunch.  This is not an easy task.  Caleb will not eat peanut butter sandwhiches.  He will not eat ham sandwhiches.  He will not eat spaghetti-o's or lunchables.  In fact, he will not eat meat...period.  He does not like sauce of any kind.  He will not eat the majority of fruits and generally won't eat any veggies.  He will eat: Pancakes, waffles, french toast, bacon, eggs, cheese quesadillas and go gurt.  Tell me how to pack that into a lunch.  He can't open the go gurts without help and won't ask anyone in the lunch room for help opening it.  If I put any kind of chips or cheetos in there he'll eat those but nothing else.  If I put a drink in he will drink a it and if there are fruit snacks, he'll eat those.  The first week of school I packed him a half of a ham sandwhich, cheetos, a fruit snack and a drink.  He would eat the fruit snacks and the drink and maybe one or two cheetos.

Mind you, the whole lunch thing doesn't sound too awful, right?  I mean, they do eat lunch early at school.  However, take into consideration the following:  Caleb will take 45 minutes after he gets out of bed to get his pants and shirt on.  This leaves him time to eat what he can in the car on the way to school.  That means he either eats a piece of toast or some dry cereal (he refuses to have milk on cereal anyway) or a go gurt.  Not exactly the most nurishing of what should be the best breakfast of the day.  Combine this breakfast with the lunch he just ate.

Now, dinner, well, that's a whole nother problem.  It use to be that I would dish a little bit of everything onto Caleb's plate and I would tell him "You have to eat all of something.  At the very least half of two somethings."  He would fight it for awhile but eventually (when he got tired of sitting there and watching everyone else get up and go) he would eat something.  If he complained I would tell him that I am not a restuarant.  He could either eat what was there or wait until breakfast.  This too, would convince him to eat something.  Now, remember how my pediatrician said he'd start eating when he was hungry.  Well, as of late when I give him his plate he will start complaining about everything on said plate.  When I tell him his options are to eat what's in front of him or wait until breakfast 9 times out of 10, he will choose to wait for breakfast!  Even though he has just said not 5 minutes prior that he was hungry.  Now don't get me wrong, if I make a big breakfast for dinner, he's all over that.  But really, how much nutrition is there in pancakes or waffles or french toast?  He can't eat eggs for every single meal!  If I feed him bacon all the time he's going to have a heart attack at 15!

And that brings us to today.

Last night I went to bed at 11 pm and he was in bed asleep by then as well.  This was early for him - he generally stays awake reading until midnight.  I woke him up at 8 am so he had had 9 hours of sleep.  Should have been plenty, right?  He told me his stomach hurt so I told him to use the bathroom and then get dressed so he would have time to eat some food (he literally only ate 1/2 of a serving spoon of rice for dinner last night).  Caleb proceeded to sit on the bathroom floor for the next 35 minutes.  I walked back into the bathroom for about the 15th time and repeated what I'd already been saying "If you don't get dressed you aren't going to have time to eat before school so your stomach is going to keep hurting.  Hurry and get dressed so you can have plenty of time to eat!"  He just sort of started at me.  At this point I knew we weren't going to get anywhere.  We have to leave home by 8:40 to get to school on time so Nash doesn't end up with all his morning work as homework.  I just looked at him and said, "Caleb.  I don't know how to help you any more.  You won't get dressed so you can eat.  You don't eat and you don't feel well.  You don't feel well and you won't eat.  Just go lay on my bed.  I'm taking you to the dr. today to talk to him about how you eat."  Normally this would elicit a blood curdling scream and a quick response to action.  He sort of looked at me and shrugged like whatever.  I felt defeated at this point.  I got Nash to school and came home so I could teach preschool.  I had moved all my pm kids to the am class so I could haul him into the dr. this afternoon and still make it to work at the grocery store on time.  By the time I was done teaching and could go check on Caleb it was 1:00 pm.  The kid was STILL sound asleep.  He had fallen back to sleep after I went to take Nash to school and apparently didn't move.  I woke him up because by this point he had been asleep for 14 hours which is unheard of - even for him & he's my late sleeper.  We got him dressed and he said he was hungry.  I asked what he wanted to eat and he said toast with cinnamon and sugar.  I went and made said toast.  I did not cut the crust off.  I don't always cut the crust off - they've gotten use to that and will just pull it off if they don't want to eat it.  He finally came in and sat up to the counter.  He pulled half the crust off of one side of the toast and then laid his head n the counter in an attempt to go back to sleep!  He never ate his toast.  He did tell me he had thrown up earlier.  It wasn't true throw up - he's got his croup back and I think he was mostly choking on drainage that was stuck in the back of his throat.

We made it to the pediatrican's office at 4:20 and went in.  When the nurse came and got us they weighed him and checked his height (he's actually up to 40 lbs now and he's 3' 9").  The nurse asked what we were there for and I sort of gave her the run down.  She went out and eventually Dr. Clarke came in.  Dr. Clakre checked him over good and then pulled up his chart.  He showed me his growth chart and miracle of miracles the kid is actually gaining weight.  He's in the very lowest percentile on the growth chart but his numbers are slowly going up on the line.  That was a bonus I hadn't expected.  Dr. Clarke said he wanted to run some labs to check his mono status, his thyroid, his iron levels and his liver.  He said that if all the labs come back normal he wants to try an appetite stimulant.  It was at this point that I pointed out that Caleb is not eating when he's hungry.  That really threw the dr. for a loop - I could see the confusion written all over his face.  He sort of debated what to do at that point and then said, "I don't want to be hasty in getting a feeding tube in him.  Let's check to be sure that there's nothing else physical going on and try the appetite stimulant first.  If that will push him forward and get him out of that I'd rather do that than a feeding tube."  I told him that was fine with me.  He said that if the appetite stimulant doesn't work after a few weeks I will need to call him and there's a pediatric GI down at Primary Children's Hospital that runs a failure to thrive clinic.  I explained to Dr. Clarke that the failure to thrive is my biggest concern.  The number of foods Caleb's willing to eat is shrinking by the day.  Not only that, but the condition in which he's willing to eat those few foods is also changing.  There isn't a single food I can say that without a doubt he'll eat every time.  There are numerous other foods I can promise you that my other children will eat every time you put it in front of them.  I cna't say the same thing for Caleb.  My concern is that eventually he's going to start showing symptoms of someone with anorexia and those are things that are not easily fixed.  I am thinking this because he's starting to show some of the coping mechanisims that people with anorexia use - pushing food around their plate and flattening it out to make it look like they ate more - he does this all the time lately.

I love my pediatrician because he really does listen to me when I tell him what I'm concerned about with my kids.  He doesn't just brush me off.  And, I could tell by the look on his face that when I said he's choosing to wait until the next meal even though he said he's hungry concerns him.  But, we are eliminating the simple things first.  We did the blood draw this afternoon and lab results should be back by Monday or Tuesday.  If they come back normal (I'm assuming they will) I would think that he'll be able to start the appetite stimulant by Wednesday next week.  If we try it for two week sand there's no improvement, then I guess we'll head down to Primary Children's to meet the pediatric GI and get his input.  So for now, we wait....and hope Caleb disliked the blood draw enough today that he'll actually start to eat something!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fall is upon us...

Well, the last few weeks of summer zoomed right by - as is to be expected!  Once the kids were in school I had my preschool open house and got a few loose ends wrapped up.  I've got 3 classes this year: a 4 yo am class with 8 kids, a 4 yo pm class with 7 kids and a 3 yo class with 6 kids.  Brookelyn goes to both 4 yo classes (she likes her friends just a little).  I originally hadn't intended to teach a PM class but ended up with 14 kids on the roster and was like, yeah, not teaching 14 4 yo's at one time!  We started preschool after Labor Day.  It's been a bit insane to say the least.  I canceled one day this week because the storm was so horrendous that I was worried we would lose power during the day and I didn't want 8 4 yo kids there with the thunder shaking the house and the power off.  I knew if they were anything like Brooke that it could be completely traumatic for them.  Fortunatley the power never went out so now I know that even when it seems super ugly outside we should still be fine to carry on in the lights inside!

Brookelyn started back to speech the first full week of school for the school district.  She goes on Tuesdays from 12:30-1 and on Fridays from 9-10:30.  She is loving it - just like last year.  Teacher Angie is great with her and she is progressing so quickly!  Hopefully she won't need services through her entire elementary school career!

Nash & Caleb are both in robotics at school this year.  Caleb also BEGGED to sign up for choir.  Choir is BEFORE school once a week.  This means he has to be at the school no later than 8:05 am on Tuesdays.  He is LOVING it.  Both boys are working with the school counselor this year.  Last year I just had Caleb working with her on some anger issues but after a few bullying incidents with Nash last year I wanted him to work with her as well.  I worry that somone is eventually going to push Nash too far and he's going to knock their lights out (which they will have coming and fully deserve), however, I know it will also land him in a heap of trouble - so, we are trying to prevent it.  Normally Robotics Club is just for the 4th and 5th graders.  However, seeing how completely anti social Caleb is (another skill he is working on with the school counselor) I wanted to see if it would help him integrate into the school setting a little better.  Mr. Hawkes (Nash's teacher & the Robotics Club advisor) was more than willing to let us give it a chance.  And, so far, so good.

Samantha hasn't been involved in much at school - just keeping in touch with friends.  But, that's ok.  She's dancing about 7 hours a week.  She has a ballet class for an hour and a half on Mondays.  She dances for 4 hours straight on Wednesdays (her competitive class, a leaps and turns class & a tap class), and an hour and a half on Thursdays for her pre pointe ballet class & her hip hop class.  She's staying busy enough with all of that!  She has a dance convention on the 25-26 of September down in Provo that she's looking forward to as well.  Should be interesting as I get to take all three of the other kids and we tag along.  I believe that Friday afternoon the kids will get to swim at the hotel pool until they are completely water logged!

All three kids are still taking piano lessons.  We had to find a new teacher since Austin left for college.  The kids started with Rowena on Sept. 1.  I asked Nash how he liked it after his first lesson and his comment was, "It was good.  Except...she's really, REALLY particular about timing."  Ha!  The kid has always struggled with keeping a steady beat so I'm not surprised that this is what stood out to him.  I conpared it to being the lead drummer in marching band (or any band) and how if he's off the whole rest of the band is off.  I told him that when you are in marching band the judges know you're music and they are listening to all aspects of it so if the lead drummer is off and gets the whole band off then the judges will dock points.  I asked how he would feel if he was responsible for getting the entire band docked points.  It was at this point that the purpose of timing sunk into his head!  He's getting there!  He's got a metronone app on my phone and he's started counting his beats out loud while he plays so I am starting to see steady improvement.  They will be having a Halloween recital on Oct. 30th.  Sam's learning Addams Family theme song for this.  I told her if she nails it I'll record it to use with the preschoolers for our Days of the Week song!

Travis said they are expecting snow in Alaska now.  Could be a long cold season for the guy seeing how much he loves the cold weather!  He's headed off shore next week to do a job.  I think that makes him happy - he likes the helicopter rides and he hasn't been off shore in quite awhile.  He's getting ready to go hunting when he comes home as well.  The boys are hoping to be able to go with him on this trip but I don't know if that's going to happen this year or not.  We'll see when it's a bit closer!

The weather has gotten quite a bit colder here so Fall is for sure right around the corner.  I've been working on Halloween costumes and have Brooke's all done.  I've got mine started and have the costume for Travis cut out.  Sam's will be last this year as it's going to be my most challenging one to complete.  Nash & Caleb don't need me to make anything but we've got to gather lots of pieces!  Hope we can find them all before it's too late!

Hope you are all having a great day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

End of summer

Well, we are down to about a week before school starts.  I took a week of vacation from the grocery store last week in order to get all my stuff ready for preschool.  It was a much needed vacation but I'm still not 100% ready for preschool to start!  I'm close, but not quite ready!  I have turned in my work availability to the grocery store for September.  I'm going to try to work a closing shift on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  I figure we can give it a shot for a month and see how it goes.  If it's too hard I can chop a day out of that and just do two days a week.  Travis got a notice from work saying that last month was slow but it's about to get slower so I'm pretty sure having a job that gets me a discount on groceries won't be a bad thing!  He also applied to be a substitute bus driver while he was home this time.  This could be interesting!

While Travis was home this last time we made a trip to Manti.  We got to go to the Bown family reunion up Manti Canyon.  The kids had a great time playing with and seeing their cousins.  Made me sad we didn't get up there more this summer!  Maybe next year??

The girls and I went with my mom to Park City on Friday to do some school shopping.  We had a little success at the outlets but we did the best at Gordman's in Ogden.  After we came out of Gordman's it was pouring rain so we went next door to Applebee's to have dinner and hopefully wait out the storm.  Luckily by the time we finished eating the rain had stopped.  It was still a super dark night though because there was still a ton of cloud cover.  We got back on the road and missed the freeway entrance.  We went up the road a little further and my mom was going to just turn around.  If you've driven on Riverdale Road in Ogden you know this road.  When heading west you have a right turn lane, three straight lanes, a no travel lane and then a left turn lane.  If you don't know about the no travel lane two blocks back you can't turn left.  Well, we didn't know about the no travel lane.  My mom was in the farthest straight lane and was preparing to turn left.  She had her signal on and had stopped in the intersection.  About the time she stops I notice that the left turn light is about two lanes over.  I look next to us and see the lane there has lines painted in it.  I tell mom, "You can't turn here."  So, mom checks mirrors for traffic, turns off her left turn signal and starts to go.  Meanwhile the kid headed east waiting to turn left decides to turn as well.  Let's just say that the dodge neon he was driving didn't fare as well as mom's Toyota Sequoia.  The cop was really decent, no one got hurt and it was an adventure for the books.  It scared the girls but they were fine since we were barely moving when it happened and they had seat belts on.  But, now they can both cross off "Get in a car accident" off their bucket lists!

Sam's back to another dance boot camp this week (this is #5 and #6 this summer).  She recently decided to join in on another dance as well.  This one is being choreographed by a guy named Rick who really knows his stuff.  He's the one that choreographed the dance that was the reason she chose this studio - as soon as I heard he was coming to choreograph for the studio again I knew she'd find a way to be involved!  Joining this dance means that on Friday this week she's dancing from 8 am until 7 pm.  It also means she's picked up an extra day during the week just to practice this routine.  Right now she's sitting at an hour and a half practice on Mondays, 3 hours on Wednesdays and an hour on Thursdays.  Oy!  Talk about dedication!  I just hope one day she has a daughter that dances like she does so she can see how much effort goes into it on everyone else's part as well!  One of the dances her studio has placed her in has a required dance convention coming up in September.  It's a 2 day event and it's down in Provo.  Just to register for the convention is $200 plus we have to pay for a hotel!  I feel like I've already paid for a semester at Julliard! (Which, for the record, is where she keeps begging us to send her!)

Speaking of dance, I finally made a decision about Brookelyn and dance class.  The only preschool class they offer at the same studio as Sam is either 10-10:45 am or 3:00-3:45 pm on Mondays.  Considering I teach until 3 and the studio is a good 30 minutes away, this is not going to work.  So, I decided to enroll her at the Cache Valley School of Ballet for at least the fall.  Tuition is less for her than it was for Sam.  Classes are at 3:45 so it's going to be a bit hairy to get her there, but thanks to Laura I think I've got it figured out.  If someone from this end of the valley registers for the preschool class I can talk to them about carpooling and maybe switch Sam over come January.  If not, she can stay at the Cache Valley School of Ballet for the school year and then next year she would be in the kindergarten class so it should be later in the day!  Oh the drama of having to schedule so many dance lessons!  I actually wouldn't even worry about it except for the fact that she's asked me every day for the last six weeks when she starts dance again!

I think Nash is excited to go back to school.  He got the teacher he wanted - Mr. Hawkes - who does a lot of science based activities and science is his favorite subject.  I think he's pretty excited to see his friends again and get back into the swing of things in Robotics Club.  Just don't even ask how we're going to manage scheduling another activity!  This child has read 19 books this summer for a total of 4.664 pages.  INSANITY!  I suppose it's making up for all the years I couldn't get him to read if his life depended on it!

We found a new piano teacher for the kids since Austin is going away to school.  They will start with her on the first of September.  That gives them about a two week break of no piano lessons before they start back up.  Sam's been learning to play Mama Mia this summer.  It's sounding really good.  She's really getting to be quite good at the piano.  Nash hasn't written any more music that he's shown me (he wrote some Batman song with lyrics and music all by himself).  I think my kids are more like their father than they even know!

We haven't had much excitement this summer, but the kids are happy and healthy so I guess that's really all that matters!  We are looking forward to having new adventures as soon as school starts!  Back to school night for Sam is tomorrow and the boys are next Tuesday!  Look out 7th, 5th & 2nd grade!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

More summer!

We are not too exciting over here this year.  Taking that "part time" job at Ridley's has slowed down our summer fun.  We still have a few adventures here and there though.

Recently, we celebrated Caleb's 7th birthday!  Holy cow!  Where did that go?  When I asked him what kind of cake I was making he looks at me, very thoughtfully, and says, "Um....I want a pterodactyl."  I just looked at him like "Are you serious child?!"  Well, that morphed into "I want a Jurassic World cake."  Which I was happier to oblige to because that leaves me lots of room.  Then he added in, "Oh, I want a volcano on it too."  Of course he does!  So, here's what we ended up with.

He was pretty excited and really, that's all that matters.  I got to thinking while making this that the kid hasn't even seen Jurassic Park, let alone Jurassic World.  Looks like we'll be having a Netflix marathon while I have a few days off this week!  The boy loves his dinosaurs!  I think about 3-4 of his 7 cakes have been dinosaur related!  He got some fun birthday gifts and was super excited about the one from his great grandpa and great grandma Reeder.  I need to get a picture of him with it!  He woke up sick today so it's apparently going to have to wait a day or two.

The boys finished up their summer camps at the end of June.  They did 2 weeks of a space camp and 2 weeks of paleontology camp.  The fourth grade teachers at Canyon taught the camps and they did a great job.  The boys loved it and it was well worth the $80 I paid.  Nash will be sad when he is too old to go next summer!  This was their astronaut helmets they brought home.

Sam's been to two week long dance boot camps and 2 mini boot camps.  The week long boot camps are a Monday thru Friday 9 am - 1 pm with an hour and a half of ballet, an hour and a half of jazz and an hour of conditioning.  She does not love conditioning, but she does love her four pack!  She's hilarious to watch talk about it!  The two mini boot camps she did were only three days long and each one was only an hour.  She did a lyrical one and a jazz one.  This week she is at GIRLS CAMP!  So, she's missing two mini boot camps, but that's ok, she was ecstatic to go to Girls Camp.  I hope she has as much fun and loves it as much as I did.  I can't wait for her to come home and tell me all about it!  They went to Cinnamon Creek, which is where we went every year but once.  But, they get to go down to the dam and swim one day!  Lucky girl!  We only ever got to play in the river!  I never did go through all the stuff she had out to pack so I'm hoping she had everything on her list and didn't forget anything important!  I don't think I mentioned in my last post that she found a website where you can search for pen pals.  She now has a pen pal in TX, NZ, Turkey, London, one of the Dakota's and one of the Carolina's.  She's become very good friends with the one in Turkey.  They talk daily and have even been able to facetime on more than one occasion.  Sam sent her a package with a bunch of candy, some coins and her favorite book.  (Note to self, sending a box of stuff to the country Turkey will cost you at least $30.  Don't let the dad take her shopping to include candy - he buys the big bags, not the little boxes!)  She also has a cousin that moved to Saudi Arabia that she writes to as well.  She's becoming quite the world traveler through her writings!  Oh, and she finally lost her LAST baby tooth on Sunday night.  Yay!  Now they can put her braces wire all the way back where it belongs!

Brooke is still going to speech class (for a few more weeks).  We had her IEP meeting at the beginning of July and she has achieved all the goals they set for her in her original IEP meeting!  Yay!  That means she now only goes to speech once a week instead of twice a week.  It also means that once she achieves her new goal they will add her to the large group class.  That class is an hour and a half once a week.  She will love it I'm sure because she LOVES school and she LOVES speech.  I can only imagine her excitement when I tell her she gets to go see Teacher Angie for almost as long as she comes to preschool (she has only been going twice a week for 30 minutes each time).  The catch is figuring out how to pick her up from that class because it ends right in the middle of one of my preschool sessions!

Speaking of preschool, I had intended to only teach until noon every day.  I got to looking at my registration list and I realized I had 14 kids on my 4 yo class list.  I do not want 14 kids in one class.  So, it looks as though I'll be teaching 9:30-3 three days a week and only til noon two days a week.  Oh well, it means I'm loved, right? :)  This should be an interesting adventure to say the very least!  Most of the 4 yo kids I had this past year and we already know one another.  There are only about 3 or so new ones.  Right now I've only got 4 kids registered for my 3 yo class so unless I get some more kids registered that will be a little class.  I guess Brooke can always come to that session too! :)  After all, she was going to every single preschool session I had until January last year!  I know it will all work out so I'm not too worried about it right now.  I did ask for the entire first week of August off so that I can get ready for preschool though.  Since taking the job at Ridley's I haven't had much time to get things done like I wanted to.  I was hired for part time but I've been scheduled for anywhere from 24-34 hours a week since July started and it will stay the same through the rest of the month.  It isn't a bad job (could for sure be a lot worse), it just takes a lot of time out of the day when I'm scheduled for 9 hours at a time!  The kids have been mostly really good to watch themselves while I'm at work.  There's been a time or two that I've had to get upset with them, but for the most part they've done good.  I did tell them at Ridley's that once school starts I can only work the weekends and I would prefer to close.  Honestly, I'd rather not keep working, but we do what we have to do to reach our goals I suppose!

We did go to the pool once this summer

And we are going to go again on Friday to celebrate the end of the summer reading program with the city library.  It's also going to be our mini "On Caleb's birthday, birthday celebration".  Kids are pretty excited about that one!  I'm hoping at least one of them wins something from the grand prize drawings that they've got all their tickets in.

Samantha also played softball this year.  She hasn't played softball in a few years so I wondered how she would do.  She didn't do too bad.  When I was growing up and played ball our pitch was a slow pitch and the pitcher took a good step forward off the mound.  That wasn't the case with Sam's team.  They struggled to get the ball over home plate and fast pitch was a decent challenge for them.  When they were able to get the ball over the plate (without pelting the batter) Sam was able to get some good hits.  We only won once or twice, but they had fun.  They played in a single elimination tournament after the fourth of July that Travis was able to coach (her regular coach was out of town).  They lost, but I think they still had a good time.  I hope she will play again next year, as she seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.  Although, we've got to get her to quit running like a ballerina!  You can tell she's a dancer when she runs!  It's pretty funny to watch!

So, you can see that even though I've been working many hours and Travis is only here hit and miss, we've still had a few adventures this summer.  The beginning of the school year is quickly approaching so I'm hoping we can squeeze a few more adventures into our time off!  Hope your summer is going great too!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer 2015

Well, to be honest, it hasn't been too exciting around here.  I took a new job at our local grocery store, Ridley's, at the beginning of June.  I'm just cashiering and have been working between 24-30 hrs a week.  I work mostly nights which allows me to haul kids to all their various activities during the day time!  So far it's working out well.  It's been a good preschool income substitute and the main manager has been great to work with as far as my schedule goes.  The work isn't too tough and it's not far from home.  I'll be able to keep working there once preschool starts, I'll just have to cut back to weekends only.  Not super fun, but you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes.

The boys signed up for a few summer camps at their school.  The first two weeks of June they did a space camp and they had a ton of fun.  It's the 4th grade teachers that teach it and they really do a great job.  Last week they started paleontology and they will finish that up this week.  They didn't want to sign up for the Harry Potter camp so this is the last of their summer camps.  It's been lots of fun for them and I'm glad they've had the chance to participate in it!

Samantha has finished up the June Boot Camp and the Hip Hop and Lyrical mini camps.  She starts the July Boot Camp on July 6th.  I think she really likes her new studio and she seems to be making friends, so that's good.  Her very first YW Girl's Camp is coming up on July 14-16.  She's super excited to go.  I'm glad she likes her teachers so much.  She really seems to enjoy going to her activity nights, which makes me happy because she tells me the girls stare at her when she goes to church.  Granted, we don't go often and I'm sure they worry the church will catch fire when we walk in, but still.  Staring is rude.

Brooke is going to speech during the summer.  Her classes will continue longer than the boys.  She goes until nearly the end of July!  She really likes Miss Angie and loves going to speech twice a week.  She nearly beats me over the head with her homework folder daily because she's dying to get her homework done!  Let's hope that enthusiasm lasts her entire school career!

Sam and the boys are still going to piano.  They got to pick a piece of music that's a just for fun piece for summer.  Sam's chosen Mama Mia and Nash wanted to do the Batman theme.  I was looking through his book the other day and it seems he ended up going with a different song from the book we chose - the Batman theme must have been a bit more difficult than he's ready for.  They really are doing quite well with their lessons these days.  Nash has even written some of his own music.  That means both Sam & Nash have written their own music now.  They get that from their dad, NOT me!

I've started getting a few things ready for when school starts back up!  I've got 11 registered 4 yr olds and 3 registered 3 yr olds right now.  I am not worried about the 3 yo class filling up as it usually doesn't until the mid to end of July.  Good thing I raised my prices for this year I suppose!

I'm also still trying to sell the ItWorks products.  It hasn't taken off as quickly as I'd like it to, but it's a work in progress.  I do have a booth lined up for the 4th of July on the square in Hyrum.  I'm hoping to do well at that.  Even if I don't make my first million from ItWorks, I've found products I love and that make a difference for myself and my family so that's really what matters!

Travis comes home again on Wednesday night.  The kids are excited he gets to be home for the 4th of July this year - that's a rarity at our house.  We're planning to go to the fireworks show at the stadium again this year.  I was "lucky" enough to get an early shift at work so I'll be able to go as well. :)

So, nothing too exciting here, just daily life happening.  Hope everyone has a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Dance Adventures

At the end of the dance season this year Samantha decided she was ready for a new adventure.  She had mentioned about February that she was wanting to switch studios.  For one thing, she was burned out on dancing four days a week, which, I can't really blame her.  Secondly, there was a girl in her class she had been friends with but it had not recently turned out so great.  And lastly, she was feeling like her team's dances were being watered down so that the mini's could compete in the same dances as her team.  I took her request seriously and started to research different studios in town.  I knew I needed somewhere that offered pointe as well as modern styles of dance.  I also knew that I needed a studio that would accept little ones (if I move Sam, I move B - we are a one studio family!).

Over the course of her exhibitions, performances and competitions, I was watching the other local dance companies.  I finally picked one that I knew offered all the styles of dances Sam wanted to participate in.  I got in touch with the studio to find out what we would need to do to get registered there.  I found out that this particular studio required auditions for the girls on their "company" (competitive team).

Here we are in June and 2 days into auditions.  The first two days of auditions are technique classes.  The third day is the actual audition.  She has learned a ballet combo and a jazz combo.  When I've asked her about what she thinks she told me, "LaShar's has NEVER done a dance that fast OR that slow! I love it!  They are really pushing me and aren't just putting it to something at a medium pace that just anyone can do.  This is going to be great and I'm going to learn a lot!"  She has said that it's hard but she's ok with it.  She's excited that they are pushing her and her abilities.  She was excited that when the ballet teacher used French terms she actually KNEW what she meant!

I do not regret our 9 years at LaShars.  Sam learned so much and made a lot of friends.  She's learned and grown in a pace that was just right for her.  I'm glad that she spent the last year at the Whittier Center learning classic ballet.  She grew 100 fold in the ballet class.  I actually think it was the ballet class that made her realize she was ready for something more than what she was getting at LaShars.  She feels bad about leaving LaShars, I get that.  But, she's excited to see what this new company has to offer!

We sat in a parent meeting last night at the end of her class.  They'll be going to DisneyLand in February or March (yay...).  They are required to do ONE CONVENTION a year.  This is something new for us.  It's going to be about $250 for the convention plus a costume, etc., so there is a new added cost I hadn't anticipated, but it's ok.  Tuition for just one studio is cheaper than tuition at two studios so it sorta evens out.  Her costume cost will be comparable to what we were paying as will her competition fees.  As a member of the company team she'll be dancing 3 days a week (2 days 1.5 hrs ballet and 1 day 1.5 hrs company class).  She also has the option of adding a hip hop and tap class if she wants it.  They are required to do at least ONE BOOT CAMP during the summer.  This boot camp is a week in June, a week in July and a week in August.  She only has to go to one but since it's costing me $220 and it isn't an extra cost for her to do all 3 since she's in the company class, she'll be participating in all three boot camps!  She can also pick up a hip hop class this summer if she's interested.  There's a pre pointe class she can pick up in the fall that she's debating about.  This would be separate from the 3 hrs of ballet a week she'll already be required to do.  I suppose if she still wants to do pointe we'll be picking up the pre pointe class as well!  She might still be dancing 4 days a week, but I'm fairly certain she's going to be happier at this new studio and that is what matters most.  For when dance is no longer fun, that's when dance ends.  She has said many, many times she wants to make dance a career.  Therefore I figure we ought to give her as many opportunities as we can...and in case you were wondering, yes, she and I have discussed Julliard :)  If only I had $30K per semester, I would give it to her.  Oh the things we do for our children.

And, on a sidebar, in order to pay for all these new adventures, I've picked up a new part time job.  I"ll be a part time (although I'm scheduled for 30 hrs next week) cashier at Ridleys (the grocery store here in Hyrum).  It doesn't pay a whole lot, but it should cover our new dance adventure costs while preschool is out!  So far I'm liking it and it's going well.  I hope it stays that way!

"It's Moldy!"

So the other day I'm sitting in the living room and Brooke comes up to me.  Here is our conversation:
"Yes Brooke"
"Do you see that big red spot on my leg?"
"Yes Brooke.  It's just a spider or mosquito bite."
"NO MOM!  It's MOLDY!"

I about died laughing!  I had to bite my tongue so I didn't make her feel bad!  She was so serious and SO sad that her leg was moldy.  Poor girl!  Fortunately, the moldy spot is on the mend and almost better!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

California 2015

9 days, 1800 miles, 5 theme parks, 18 people, 2 dance performances = a great vacation!

April 25, 2015 Day 1 Universal Studios
*This was Samantha's favorite place we visited.  She says there were just more things she liked there because it seemed more geared for people her age.

Because Travis is a Platinum Rewards Member for Holiday Inn they upgraded our room to a Disney Themed Suite - the girls were happier than the boys!

April 26, 2015 Day 2 Disney Land
*I didn't upload any photos from my Disney PassPhoto CD.  We met a ton of the princesses and many other characters as well.  I just think it's a bit more fun to just see our actual non posed photos!

April 27, 2015 Day 3 California Adventures
*This was Nash's favorite place.  He liked it because it was a cross between Universal Studios & Disney Land.

April 28, 2015 Day 4 Hunington Beach
*This was a much needed beach day.  The kids were in 7th heaven!  We even saw a pod of about 4-5 dolphins out playing with the surfers!

April 29, 2015 Day 5 Lego Land
*Note to self: If your child is NOT four or older than 12 the Lego Land rides are not for you.  Brooke graduated to 4 yrs old for the day (she's only 10 days away anyway!).  This was Caleb's favorite place.  He was just the right size for the rides and loved all the lego buildings too.

April 30 Day 6 Sea World

Our last night in California we ate dinner down on the pier.  This was our last California sunset!

Saturday May 2 - HOME