Saturday, November 28, 2009

NyQuil Ramblings

I have a cold.

A bad one.

The same one that Micah had last weekend which I described to people as a "faucet of snot"

The one that lead to yet ANOTHER round of antibiotics for him and his ears.

Thankfully, our ears are something we don't have a like so hopefully this will remain just a cold.

Still, I'm miserable and it's a long holiday weekend.

Yuck.

Anyway, Thanksgiving was fun.  We spent the day with my folks and my brother.  It was a lot of good food and fun.  I remembered to put batteries in my camera, but then forgot to take pictures.  Colds are great things.

Micah is continuing his potty-training quest.  He's really doing a great job.  Granted at this point it's mostly me and not as much him, but I did notice him starting to try and hold it if he had to go today.  It gave me time to get him to the potty and we managed to stay dry all day.  Our number 2 training hit a bit of a snag Thanksgiving morning because of the antibiotics he's on.  (GROSS)  Thankfully, our pediatrician is now my Facebook friend and she reminded me to get him started on Florastor.  No more accidents like that.

Jason is still struggling.  Things are hard for him right now and with all the added attention Micah is getting, it's making it worse.  Hopefully, when he helps Andy split the wood tomorrow, he'll either work off some of his anger or at least talk to his dad about it.

Hannah is just Hannah.  She's been a great help to me the past few days while I haven't felt well and is being really encouraging to Micah in his potty training.  She's also playing around with lots of math stuff now.  Believe it or not, but she's been working on addition facts with Jason.  Everyday she surprises me even more.

I did NOT go out for Black Friday.  I made the decision this year that my sanity was more important and have done nearly all my Christmas shopping on line.  In fact, I'm 90% done.  Just a few more click on the mouse and the rest should be on it's way soon.  It helps that we have a fairly low key holiday as it is. The kids get one Santa gift, two from us and then a small assortment of art supplies, books and board games.  We overwhelmed Jason and then Hannah those first couple of years that we have really learned our lesson in that regard.  And this year, the kids are helping me clean out some stuff they don't play with anymore for kids who aren't as fortunate as they are.

So, as I'm sure you've noticed, this cold isn't just affecting my ability to breathe, but also my ability to think.  Thus the delay in posting.

And now the NyQuil has kicked in, so good night all.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Those Stellar Parenting Moments

Today is grocery day and Hannah was my loyal helper.  To start, let's say that I am very picky about what foods I buy and what they are made with.   I have strong opinions on processed foods in general and work hard to make sure that what goes in my children's bellies is good for them. That said, here comes the story.

I'm standing in the snack aisle, reading the ingredients on a box of organic animal crackers while my daughter peruses the surrounding items.  Hannah was holding a box of Chocolate Teddy Grahams which I had already told her we were not buying.

Hannah:  Mommy, can we get these?  

Me: No, those things are full of crap!

Hannah, picking up another box, deadpanned: Are these full of crap too?

Ugh.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Potty Time

Guess who is using the potty?

Yep. It's my little man, Micah.

Can you tell he's SO proud of himself?

Can you see that he is such a BIG BOY?

Needless to say, I'm pumped.

No diapers were used today and we had only one accident.

And that is because he afraid of the water splashing him.

I think we hae a solution, but right now I all I can say is WOOOHOOO!

He's using the POTTY!
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Fainting



Hannah decided to give me a real scare this afternoon.  She couldn't get her 5yo shots at her physical because of being sick.  Since then we have rescheduled it 2 times and I was making it today gosh-darn-it!

To Hannah, this was a very important day.  She calls these her "kindergarten shots" because she knows she has to have them before she can go.  I think she gets now that she isn't going until next year, but I also think she is holding out hope that we are wrong, will recognize what she believes is a grievous mistake and enroll her on Monday.  Needless to day, these shots are a big deal.

To start, she was very, very brave.  She did little more than squeak for the first one and then laughed that the second did not hurt.  The third however did hurt and she fought to not cry.  I told her she could cry, she didn't and I hugged her saying what an awesome kid I have.  Then Hannah, Micah and I bundled up again and made our way out to the elevator.

Our pediatrician is on the 2nd floor or a 2 story building, yet we ALWAYS take an elevator.  Why?  Because my kids LOVE TO PUSH THE BUTTONS.  They are physically fit kids who run up and down everywhere so I don't feel guilty about them riding the elavator. (I, however, should be walking.)

So, we get on the elevator and I am asking Hannah is she feels up to going to preschool.  I was giving her an out since sometimes she is a bit tired after her shots.  The elevator started down and she didn't answer, but instead just tipped her head back.

The she slumped a bit.

Then she banged her head on the side of the elevator and collapsed.

I freaked.

She was non-responsive and a bit stiff so I scooped her up and ran up those stairs we have just avoided.  A very nice lady in the elevator help corral Micah to follow as he yelled.  "I comin' Mama!  Hannah okay!  I comin'!" He grabbed her stuffed Hippo and she my purse as I just ran.

Someone, I don't know who, opened the door to the office for me as I continued to try and get my baby to come to.

She still wasn't moving.  Or blinking.  Or anything.

I was screaming and crying by now as I barreled to the back of the office through the sick room and yelled for help.

A nurse scooped her from my arms and another doctor from our practice immediately took her into an exam room.

By the time she reached the table, she was coming to.  (My guess is she was out for maybe 5 seconds tops even though it felt like 5 minutes.)

They started oxygen and the doctor asked for her chart and started listening to her heart.  Micah was there by now and telling everyone "Hannah, you okay!  Hannah okay!"  I was crying and Hannah was just calmly answering everyone's questions.

It turns out that she fainted.  Granted, it was dramatic, but she was okay.  Her heart and oxygen levels were just fine and although she was a bit shaky afterwards, she was going to be just "okay".  We hung out for a few minutes while she felt better before leaving.  Obviously, she wasn't going to school now, so we went home, had lunch and the three of us took naps.

It took me a bit longer to stop shaking myself.  Adrenaline does that to you.  I just pray I never, ever see one of my kids like that again.  Ever.

Friday's Random Bits of Nothing

It's been a long week.  A very long week.  Lots happening and lots to do.  Gotta love the holidays.
__________

We finally heard from the neurologist and Micah has an appointment...in April.  Yep.  You read that right.  April.  The day before he turns 4 in fact.  Meanwhile, he's still doing whatever it is that he is doing although, seemingly, not as often.  (or I could be having a kind of week where I'm too busy to notice.)

On a positive note, we aren't seeing near the effects of his horrible food issues.  He doesn't eat enough protein throughout the day and therefore has many highs and lows from his body processing the veggies, fruit and carbs he does eat.  So, we started giving him some Boost Kid Essentials over the course of a day to keep him more level.  He calls it his "chocolate milk."  Dinner is no longer a battle and he is actually picking up some of the foods he dropped earlier this fall.
__________

Hannah's teacher started her in a reading group.  She's now bringing home high frequency readers and learning sight words along with the phonics I as teaching her at home.  It was a big boost for her to hear from her little kindergarten friend, Margo, that she is bring home the same books each week as well.
__________

Jason is continuing on his downward spiral.  We believe it is simply a culmination of life in general, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with.  It's hard to parent him effectively when he's being so darn oppositional and dishonest.

Intellectually, I know that these are left over and learned behaviors from those attached-challenged days and the only way to turn this around is for him to have enough, purge all those emotions he is building up inside of him and start making better choices.  And it doesn't help that he's feeling BAD about himself for doing all of this and bottling all that up as well.  I can consequence and talk and limit until I'm blue in the face, but he has to make the change here.  This can take as long as a week (which we're well past now) of over a month (looking that way).
__________

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary and if I can get my scanner hooked up, I'll post some pictures of the blessed event.

Although we celebrated last weekend, it's still a special day.  When I was at Target buying Micah's "chocolate milk," I picked up a bottle of wine and a card.  We'll have about a glass a piece while I fold laundry and he fiddles around with his guitar before becoming so tired we can't do anything but fall asleep.  Romance is overrated for parents.  Sleep is the in thing.
__________

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Can Lead a Horse to Water

My son.  I love him.  I would die for him.  But right now, he is infuriating me to the point of madness.

All week, he has "forgotten" his homework, despite it being written down in his planner and sitting a top the planner on his desk.

Since conferences, he has been surly and out to prove he is not the boy the school claims he is.

On Friday, he carved a 12 inch long gash in his wall.

He's been sneaking and lying and just a downright pain-in-the-butt since before we left for our trip.

And today...

I got a note from the teacher saying he is playing tag extremely roughly (which translates to knocking kids down) and is also SPITTING ON HIS HANDS while he plays and tags people ALL WEEK LONG.

Seriously?

We have gone to such extreme lengths for him to keep him where he is in school.  He has more interventions than I have every seen a kid get and the staff is bending over backwards to help him succeed in school.

So he decides its a good idea to pull this stuff?

I know in my heart that there is a reason behind all of this.  The problem is it may take us a while to figure it out since his standard response these days is to lie or throw a fit.  Add to that the alphabet soup of diagnoses and who knows what is going on.

I seriously thought we were past all of this and doing better.

Guess I was wrong.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Update on Micah

Today was our much anticipated appointment with our pediatrician.  The official word on the EEG is that it came back normal.  However, they had noted something that I can't pronounce (and therefore spell)  that occurred between his changes in sleep patterns, which our doctor couldn't explain either.  She also noted that there was no other medical reason for these spells.

I did ask if it could be that he is just a scattered or spacey kid, which she felt might be the issue, although unlikely.  On the plus side, she said that if we find out these are absence seizures that it is one of the easiest forms of epilepsy to have and the one most grown out of.  Still, I'm hoping for nothing.

So, it's off to a neurologist now.  I don't know yet when, but I will update as we learn more.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Love, Lola and Laughs

This past weekend, Andy and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary a bit early.  The Fabulous Food Show was coming to Cleveland this weekend and we have been trying to go for the past 3 years.  This year everything worked out so we could go.  No one was sick or tanking things and my mom was more than willing to babysit for the weekend.  So, Andy made reservations at Lola, Chef Michael Symon's restaurant in downtown Cleveland, for late Saturday night with reservations at a hotel not too far from the convention center.  

We left midday Saturday. Wanting to not only get on the road, but to also get away from 3 overly excited children who knew they were about to be spoiled to death at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  The drive from Columbus to Cleveland is fairly boring, but we didn't care.  Because for the first time in a LONG time, we got to talk, really talk about things that mattered without little ears listening or voices chiming in.  It's something that many parents find rare, but we find near impossible given our kids and their needs.

We took our time and even stopped about an outlet mall to do a little shopping.  We got to the hotel at around 4 and decided to just relax.  We ordered a romantic comedy, laid down and just watched a movie together.  It was fun.  It made me remember our times back before kids when life was a whole lot simpler. 

Dinner that night at Lola was exceptional.  The food was amazing and the service incredible.  I can totally see why Michael Symon is such a celebrated chef.  Every dish, every course was so well done.  Our Beef Cheek Perogies were litterally melting in our mouths and the pork chop I had was divine.  (Andy said his scallops were amazing as well. )  By the time we finished dessert and coffee (also amazing), it was already pretty late so we heading back to the hotel.

The next day was the Food Show.  Andy scored us some 3rd row center seats for Bobby Flay that morning when we realized our tickets didn't have a reserved chef demo attache to them.  We say him first and really enjoyed getting to see him live. He is just as fun and knowledgeable as he is on Food Network.  We took a TON of pictures and some video because Bobby os one of our kids 2 favorite Iron Chefs.  



After Bobby, we walked the show a bit, sampling some stuff here, getting brochures and ideas there.  We tried a WII game called Cook or Be Cooked and I destroyed Andy in the head to head battle over bacon and eggs.  The game was cool but not something we'd get as it's too hard for the kids to enjoy.  Still, the guy running the booth gave us some chef's hats for the kids that we know will be treasured.

Wandering back towards the Main Kitchen Theater, we realized that Michael Symon was about to start and we were able to sit in the back bleachers and see him.  It was super amazing to see him and we were just so impressed with his cooking.  His food isn't full of techniques and such that you need fancy equipment or a culinary degree for.  It's simple, food done well.  (Very, very well)  The kind of stuff Andy and I could easily do at home.



After leaving the show, we managed to get a place in line to have him sign a copy of his cookbook.  He's the other favorite chef of our kids.  We met the little boy that he pulled on stage during the show and found him incredibly fun.  He reminded us a LOT of Jason and spent the time in line shooting the breeze with his family.  We had our book signed to the kids instead of us, since we knew how cool it would be for them.  We also told Michael that our boys argue over who gets to be him when they play Iron Chef.  He got a good belly laugh out of that.



By the time we headed home, we were tired and really missing our kids.  I think they would have loved this show and is we can pull it off, hope to bring them next year.


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Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Boog (a.k.a Hannah)



Hannah has informed me that she doesn't like her nicknames. She has several., but the one most used is Boog. It started when she was an infant and Andy called her Sugar Booger. That became Sug Boog and then just Boog. We called her that so much that her friend Toby was calling her that when they were 2 and it's pretty much all Jason calls her.

Most of the time we don't even realize we are saying it.
But Mommy made the mistake of yelling that at a soccer game and all was lost. She has strict restrictions that she will only be called Hannah outside of the house. I do slip sometimes and she always makes sure I know about it, however, I have found the unhappy response I get from her to be a not so good thing.
She's also vetoing the use of Hannah Banana, Banana Baby and Naner. She's informs me that her name is Hannah. H-A-N-N-A-H. Just in case I had forgotten.
So, for those of you who may be tempted to call her anything other than Hannah, consider yourself warned.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Something



We just got back from Micah's EEG. He really did great considering he hates having people touch his head. He didn't nap long yesterday and then was up a bit late last night. Then we woke him up early (6am) and sent him to school with instructions to the teachers to "wear him out." What we got back was a very tired boy who, desite the strange circumstances, fell asleep during the test. It was just what we needed so they could look for whatever may be happening.
They saw something.
The technician couldn't tell us what and I don't even know that she was allowed to tel us that she saw anything. But she did say she saw numerous periods of abnormal activity that didn't coincide with his sleep pattern.
So, it looks like our prayers for clarity have been answered. We wanted something found if there was something to be found. Next step is a meeting with our peditrician on Tuesday afternoon who will likely refer us to a neurologist.  I'll keep everyone posted.

I will say that I seem to have found that peace that surpasses all understanding and I am seriously relying on God to keep me sane right now.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Unknown

It's been a rough day.  School conferences for Micah revealed he is "spacing out" during school.  It's happening often enough that the 2 teachers and OT felt it was an issue and even spoke to the school nurse about it.  It could be related to his Sensory Processing Disorder, but it doesn't seem to fit.  Also, when 2 special education preschool teachers and an occupational therapist bring up an issue like that and can't offer an explanation or solution, it's something to be concerned about.  Thinking back over the past couple months, Andy and I can both think of times he has done it here as well.

I spoke with a few people today and it's possible Micah is experiencing Absence Seizures.  Our doctor is concerned enough that she has ordered an EEG to tomorrow afternoon and we will meet with her next week to consult about the findings and look at other possible causes.  Still, it's the not knowing that is weighing on us.

Tonight and tomorrow will be hard.  I have to sleep deprive him and then pretty much exhaust him before the test tomorrow at 1pm.  Then I have to convince the boy who hates to have stuff on his head, let them put electrodes on.  And then the boy who doesn't even sleep in the car, has to fall asleep in a strange while connected to machines and listening to weird noises.  I'm not sure how it will go, but I am seriously praying that we get clear results on way of the other.





Psalm 46

 1 God is our refuge and strength,
       an ever-present help in trouble.
 

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
       and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

 3 though its waters roar and foam
       and the mountains quake with their surging.

 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
       the holy place where the Most High dwells.

 5 God is within her, she will not fall;
       God will help her at break of day.

 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
       he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
       the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
       the desolations he has brought on the earth.

 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
       he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
       he burns the shields 
[b] with fire.
 10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
       I will be exalted among the nations,
       I will be exalted in the earth."

 11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
       the God of Jacob is our fortress.
  


Monday, November 9, 2009

Progress

We learned last years during Jason's neuropsych evaluation that he has an underdeveloped left hemisphere in his brain.  Logic, mathematics and language are amongst the many functions of the left brain.  The doctor said this is why he struggles so hard with math concepts and other things.  

To be blunt, Jason has a very poor understanding of time, money and is still working on learning his basic addition facts.  We've been doing these since he was 6 and while he is fast at finger counting, he still can't pull 3+4=7 from his memory.

Why am I telling you this?

Tonight in the van, Hannah was doing basic addition on her fingers. It's a new skill for her and she's learning it fast.  She'd call out "4+4=8" and "3+6=9" with ease.  This was KILLING Jason.  He started competing with her and we had to quickly put a stop to that.  Then, out of nowhere, Jason says this.

"8 times 8 is 64"

HUH?!?!

We asked him to repeat it and he did.  Then he started calling out more and more multiplication problems.  All from memory in the dark back seat of the van.  We were floored.  I started smiling, then just burst into tears of joy.  What an amazing blessing God has given him!

It turns out his Intervention Specialist is using a new curriculum to teach Jason math and it's working.  All night he has been spouting out multiplication facts at me.  You can only imagine how very proud and excited we are.

My son is doing math we didn't know if he'd be able to do for years.

Amazing.




Answered Prayer

A while back I posted about a family in need.  This weekend I got word that their needs have been met and a family has been found. God is AWESOME!

The decision they were forced to make was possibly one of the hardest someone could ever make.  It was not something they did lightly or without cause.  What's awesome is that now their little boy can eventually leave the RTC to be with a family where, he has a chance to heal.  The hard part is next.  Living in the aftermath of a disruption.  It can be an extremely difficult thing to live through.  I didn't say much at the time, but their story struck a huge chord with me.  There, but by the grace of God go I.

Although this has been a huge answer to prayer and we praise God in His faithfulness, continue to pray for both families and the little boy.  It's going to be rough on everyone.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Autumn Nights



Tonight we ended the weekend with a bang. We got the fire pit going, invited over the neighbors and hung out talking, making s'mores and listen to our kids play.

We also made a new discovery because we didn't have enough Hershey bars.  Our neighbors cut some Fun Size Snickers in half and we used those instead. OH MY GOODNESS!!!  Those were the best s'mores EVER!

I can't think of a better way to spend an Autumn evening.
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Thoughts on a Common Problem

Throughout the past few days, I have learned quite a bit about bullying I want to share.
   
Bullying is about power.  There is always some sort of power difference between the children involve.  It may be physical, verbal, mental, racial or what not.  It's all about perception.  One or more children will use that supposed power to intimidate or exclude other children.  


The bully and the victim are not friends.  And despite how it may appear, the intent is not fun, at least not for both parties.


Kids with special needs are usually targets, especially those who look normal.  Think of it as the old analogy of picking on the weakest.  Many people will clam that kids may not be aware of a child's disability, but trust me, kids know.  

It starts at home.  We've all read this, but what does it mean.  I've found that if you look at the social patterns of the parents that you can tell a lot about how the child will handle differences.  If the parents are elitist, typically, so are the kids.  If the parents just go along with the crowd, so will the kids.  


Sadly, talking to most parents won't make a difference.  Sometimes it works, but after 6+ years of dealing with it, we've learned that most of the time there is no lasting change.


The long term impacts of bullying on a kids like Jason is huge.  He has a whole laundry list of things he deals with as it is.  All of those things make it difficult for him to maintain a healthy level of self-esteem.  He knows he is a valuable son and brother, but he doesn't get that kind of feedback from the real world.  Bullying just adds fuel to the flames that eat away at his self-image.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Outcome

I spent much of yesterday morning pacing our upstairs and waiting for the phone to ring.  I made my initial call to the school as soon as I return home from my school drop off rounds around 8:20.  I spent much of my morning researching the districts policy on "threatening acts" and "bullying" and ignoring the other things I needed to do like clean the kitchen and set stuff out for dinner.  I was an nervous ball of energy.  Even though I have a great repore with our principal, I was still nervous about talking to her.  I wanted to be sure I sounded like a reasonable mom and not a screaming banshee.

At 10:30 I realized I had to run out and get Micah, meaning I ran the risk missing her call.  Missing her initial call could mean another 2 hours of waiting or me having to show up at her office.  Neither of which would have worked for me, so I called again to give them my cell number.  Low and behold, she was getting ready to call me and we finally connected.

I've said before that I love our school's principal, and I really mean that.  She is one of the few adults outside of our close circle of family to really try and understand Jason and what makes him tick.  She stood by us when his brother was removed and people believed that we picked the cute, younger one over the older troubled one.  She has advocated for us at the district level to enact changes in Jason's IEP that we had previously been told weren't possible.  She loves her kids and her school and really wants to partner with parents.  She's awesome.

She was also very upset when she heard what had happened.  We had discussed this as a possibility and a fear of Jason's the previous morning and at the time she felt horrible that he should even have to have that fear.  The reality of it happening even worse.  

We talked for about a half an hour about that situation and the child in question.  We also discussed Jason's social woes and how I was pretty much fed up with how kids treat him.  She was open to my ideas about handling bullying (which I must say have calmed down from the night before to things less severe than public stonings).  We also discussed some information I found that another local school was doing to counter-act bullying and that it was a program she could implement in our school.  I also forwarded her information my friend, Amie, sent me about a bully prevention in-service program a local psychologist runs.  Amie's school did it and she said it made a huge impact on her school community. She ended the call with a plan for dealing with today's incident and a better understanding of what life at the school is like for my son.  

After school, Jason's first words to me were that the girl was punished and had to apologize.  He said he felt better and now knows that he can ALWAYS talk to the teacher and principal about situations like this.  I don't think this will stop it, but I feel that at least Jason feels a little safer and a plan is in place to deal with future incidents.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And This is Funny?

Apparently, today a girl in Jason's class decided to try and step on his foot, teasing him while she did.  Making Jason freak out while she laughed.  WHAT?!?!

He did tell the teacher, who advised the girl to stop or there will be further consequences, but this is just another in a long line of situations Jason deals with.  It's bad enough that he has to focus on not hitting the unprotected toe on something, but to have to be worried that some kid will get their jollies doing it intentionally is ridiculous.

I emailed the principal and am calling the morning.

Big, bad mama is steamed!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Post Traumatic Ramblings

This morning started like so many.  Well, not so many really.  Jason was staying home from school again  since he'd thrown up less than 24 hours before and Andy stayed home from work because I felt like I was coming down with whatever Jason had.  Andy ran Micah to school and set the older two in front of the TV while he was gone.

Here is where it gets interesting.  As I lay in my bed bemoaning the pain in my stomach, I heard Hannah yell, not one, but twice "JASON! You are NOT allowed to do that!"  Obviously, something was afoot, so I went downstairs to investigate. What I found was a very guilty looking son, a triumphant daughter and a stack of toys in front of the wall unit DIRECTLY BELOW THE HALLOWEEN CANDY.

Not jury necessary, my son's face was proof enough.

Sent to his room until Daddy could get home, I reminded him that being mad Hannah or ratting him out was not the solution and returned to bed.  Andy comes home, gets a retelling from both Hannah and me and heads into Jason's room.  He aid the conversation was short and to the point, but it definitely covered the fact that he could have been seriously injured had the wall unit fallen.

It wasn't 5 minutes later that we heard a large THUMP! and the Jason start to cry.  He hobbled out of him room, blood dripping from his toe.  He'd taken the end off his big toe and from the looks of it, it wasn't something I could handle at home.

You see, when Jason is angry, he is either angry at the world or angry at himself.  He's getting better and better at realizing that it's his choices that cause him troubles, but it's concerning to us how he handles it.  Investigation of the incident showed that Jason had thrown away his trophies (a common action for him because he doesn't believe he's a good kid) and there was a spot in the middle of his floor dabbed with blood and a tiny stuffed basketball across the room.  He'd tried to take his considerable anger out the toy, but missed.  OUCH!

A quick call to the our pediatrician sends up to Urgent Care.  This time the one at Children's since it opened at 8am.  There we are told that they can't do stitches (WHAT?!?) and are sent on our merry way to the ER.  The one place I ad been trying to avoid since I saw what he did.
Jason does not like ERs.  Heck, I don't think anyone does, but he has some serious trauma associated with them.  When he was 5, he severely injured his finger and nearly lost it.  He was in shock and fine until he saw us walking up to the ER doors.  Then he started screaming, grabbed my leg and begged saying. "I'll be good! Please! I'll be good! Don't send me away! PLEASE!"

Talk about heartbreak.  He's obviously been there a few times with foster siblings during the 4 years he was in care.  Children's is a primary hospital in the area for kids in the system as all of their services are covered by medicaid.  He'd apparently seen a kid(s) go in and never come out.  That's not uncommon, especially if there are psychiatric incidents and the foster parents feel it's too much.  His home was licensed for 6 foster kids and from my understanding, lots of kids came and went there.  Foster parents are, in general, awesome.  But Jason's situation wasn't the best and a lot went on there that he still can't talk about since he so little.  But the trauma of it all was lasting.  Just this morning at the mention of a possible ER trip, he started to cry.  Post traumatic stress is a powerful thing.



Jason, a week after he smashed his finger


Anyway, to the ER we went, although by the grace of God I just walked through the hospital to get there.  He was calmer and entering a different way with me talking to him and reassuring him made a big difference.

The visit took nearly 4 hours.  His foot was x-rayed, cleaned and stitched.  I used our Nintendo DS to keep him still and occupied for the long waits.  In the end he as a nasty laceration with 4 stitches in it.  The process was long, painful and traumatic for us both.  He cried like a infant when they numbed it and I had to force eye-contact to calm him down.  He gets to wear a special shoe for a while until it heals enough to put in a shoe.  There is, apparently, a coolness factor to that for 10 year old boy.

Sadly, starting tomorrow I have to clean it twice a day which will cause more pain to my son.  Hopefully it won't cause a downward spiral because I am sure that it will remind him of us doing it to his hand years ago, when he wanted to be here, but fought with all his might against it because he was sure we wouldn't want him.



The injured foot as bandaged by the ER.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Bits of Nothing

Just another collection of the randomness of our lives...

_______________

During a conversation yesterday about using kind words with her friends, I asked Hannah what kind of heart she had.  She'd been a bit snarky with her friends, and wouldn't clean up the toys when we all headed in for the night.

Her reply was to burst tears and say, "I have a Jesus heart!"

I didn't feel the need to say anything else as she seemed to have it covered at that point.  So I just hugged here tight and tried not to cry myself.
________________

Micah's sensory seeking self has taken a recent swing.  He's been avoiding stuff and has even thrown up when asked to touch certain foods to his tongue.  Mealtimes have become the stuff of nightmares and I have been at a complete loss.

Last night, we gave him "safe" foods on a divided plate.  He did have the same veggies as us, although he were raw.  No tears.  No screaming.  I actually enjoyed dinner for the first time in weeks.  YEAH!

________________

Jason came home sick today.  When I took him to school this morning, he said his stomach hurt, but he had no fever or any other symptom and a big test.  I felt the test may have been reason for the stomach so I opted to send him.

At 9:30 they called because he was lethargic and had thrown up.

Looks like I was wrong.  I don't think this is the same bug from the weekend, which is worrying since I AM TIRED OF SICK PEOPLE!!!

After a long nap this afternoon he is cuddled on the couch holding the infamous bucket and watching Spy Kids with Micah.
________________

We finally finished moving the old computer desk to the garage and listed it on Craigslist.  This also involved a cleaning out of the back room.

My once organized garage is once again filled with stuff to be donated or sold and large piles of cardboard for recycling.   I'm hoping I can get it all out of here this weekend.

________________

I do NOT like daylight savings time.  Yes, the kids may get up earlier, but I love my evenings outside with them.  When it is DARK at 6pm, it's hard to foster that neighborly feeling we've been working on.

Looks like we need to move some wood out front to the fire pit if we're going to be out after dinner anymore.

________________

If you live in Ohio, it's a voting day.  In addition to several statewide constitutional issues, our school district has a major levy on the ballot that will change the shape of our district if it fails.

Hannah and I hit the polls early (before Jason came home), and she really enjoyed pushing the buttons.

If you haven't already, head to the polls!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another Perspective

We have also always talked about Jason's adoption story.  At 5, Hannah has only a vague idea of what adoption is.  Her basic understanding is that Jason was born to another mommy before he came here.   She knows that he has a "mamawl" that he lived with for a while as well as brothers she doesn't know except in pictures.  Only recently, she began to ask more questions, seeking, I assume, to fill in the blanks in her head.

It's been interesting to watch Hannah gather information and piece together just how and where and why babies come into the world.  She'll ask one question then seemingly drop the subject only to pick it up again 2 weeks later.  She'll continue to ask questions until she feels she has enough information.  Then she stops, thinks on it for a while and asks some more later.  It's kind of fun to watch. 

One morning after dropping her brothers off at school, she asked me why Jason didn't live with W.  That is a hard question to give to a 5yo who's knowledge of the world does not include abuse, neglect and foster care.  I told her in the most basic of terms that his birth mommy wasn't able to take care of him when he was born because she didn't know how to be a good mommy to him.  I explained that sometimes when that happens, kids live with other mommies for a while called foster mommies.  Jason lived for a long time with his foster mommy, M, while W tried to become a better mommy for him.  Then when Jason was 4, he left M to come and live forever with us because W couldn't be the mommy Jason needed and M wanted Jason to have a forever mommy.  This was Jason didn't have to worry about moving anymore and Daddy and I would be his mommy and daddy forever.  

I did not extrapolate on Jason's feelings about all of this, but simply delivered it as facts knowing that more questions would come.  All of this was told in very 5 year old terms and nearly all the information was because of Hannah's continued "Whys?"

By the time I had answered all the questions we had arrived home and were taking off coats.  Hannah looked fairly troubled and then burst into tears.  I expected her cries to be about her or Micah being taken away or something of that sort.  What came out of her mouth floored me.

"I'm just so sad that all that happened to Jason!!!"

She threw herself in my arms and sobbed.  She clung to me and asked me why anyone would hurt her big brother and why couldn't he have just come out of my tummy and never been hurt.  She cried for what seemed like hours, and I being the emotional woman I am, cried too.  I couldn't answer her question any more that I could answer it when Jason asks it.

When I picked up Jason from school that afternoon, I pulled him aside and told him about the conversation I had with Hannah and her reaction.  I made sure he understood that I didn't share any of his details, but just the basic timeline and that it had been rather upsetting to Hannah.  I wanted him to be aware in case she asked him any questions and told him he could always just direct her to me or Daddy if he didn't feel like talking.  Jason, without my prompting, went immediately to Hannah, hugged her and told her that she shouldn't be sad because he wasn't.  He didn't like the idea of her feeling any of his pain.

There are times I can't believe how blessed I am to have the children I do.  They care so much about each other and love each other so very much.




Sunday, November 1, 2009

It Came From the Golden Arches

[Warning: Do NOT read if you have a sensitive stomach.]

We are never going to a McDonald's Playplace again.  In desperation of our busy schedule, we went there for dinner Tuesday night.  Things were fine Wednesday.  Sometime in the middle of the night Thursday, Micah needed changed.  At this point, we thought it was simply from too much candy Trick-or-Treating.  Friday, he had another blow out at school and felt warm when I picked him up.

Another blow-out during lunch confirmed my worst fear...Rotavirus.

If you don't know what this is then consider yourself blessed.  Those who do know of the horrors that lay in store.

A quick temperature check confirmed that both Micah and Hannah had low grade fevers.  Throughout the afternoon and evening, Micah's poor body continues to fight the good fight while Mommy continued to change diapers, do laundry and apply diaper cream.  Nothing I have seen tears up a bottom quite like this virus.  Hannah was simply a bit lethargic, but no other symptoms appeared.

Friday night was the stuff nightmares are made of.  Around 11:30pm, Hannah came in saying her tummy hurt.  We put her on the potty, but as a precaution, I grabbed our puke-bowl from under the sink.  (Yes we have one.  After it's initial use years ago I couldn't ever see myself storing food in that Rubbermaid container again.)  I'm glad I did too.  It turned out the virus was going to manifest itself opposite of how it did in Micah and poor Hannah started vomiting.  I lost count of how many times we were up with her last night, but I know she missed the bowl and the toilet at least 3 rounds.  Sometime around 6am the last round happened and my baby girl was able to drift off to a fretful sleep.

Unfortunately, I was getting sick by now.  Andy let me sleep and I emerged late in the morning.  The kids were doing better, although still feeling yucky.  The went down for naps easily at Noon and slept till 4pm.  Jason was bored to death most of the afternoon, because mom and dad just aren't cool to hang with and his siblings are his primary playmates.

Evening was better and although I was in the throws of it, the two little kids were feeling better.  I also felt well enough to count back to when we got this.  Incubation time matches out trip to MickeyDs.  Drive-thru it will be then.  Everyone in bed by 9pm and a good nights sleep ahead of us, I figured we had beat this thing.

Until a few minutes ago.

Jason has it now.  (And I want to point out that a dramatic, anxious sick 10yo is no piece of cake.)

Looks like Andy is going solo to church this morning.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Seeds



One of the best things (for me anyway) about Halloween is roasting the pumpkin seeds from the Jack-o-Lanterns.
This year I went simple, coating them in a small amount of oil and a few dashes of salt.
My hope is to pass on my love of pumpkin seeds to my kids. That is if I don't eat them all first.
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Trick or Treat


Like always, my kids were super psyched about trick-or-treat this year.  Seriously, their love of dress-up coupled with candy and staying out past dark, what's not to like?

We bought our pumpkins from a family farm on the way home from the Praise Peddler Festival a couple weeks ago.  Jason's was simply massive and when we carved it, I thought heavy machinery would be involved.




In the end, we decided that he needed to limit his creation to something with straight lines.  So, Jason created a Evil Robotic pumpkin, Micah made his a Scary pumpkin and Hannah did a Cute and Pretty pumpkin.



Costumes this year were pretty easy.  Micah went as Jango Fett, Hannah is Princess Jasmine and Jason was Ben Kenobi.  (Apparently, he felt the need to differentiate which era Kenobi he was.)  They had a great time and made a great haul of lots of sugary goodness.





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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Survival Kit

In the fourth grade, they study weather.  Jason has been at this since the start of the year and is finding it immensely fascinating.  They have moved on from basic weather and cloud types to extreme weather.  Stuff like lightening, storms, hurricanes and tornados.  We spent a whole evening talking about lightening strikes and what to do if you are caught out in lightening.  My advice was to come inside.

What's the point of all this?

Tonight's homework is to write a 10 item list for a survival kit.  I helped him brainstorm a couple, but the majority of the ideas were his.  

Jason's List
1- food (anyone who knows Jason know this would be the first thing on his list)
2 - flashlight and batteries
3 - radio
4 - water
5 - clothes
6 - blankets
7 - dry matches
8 - poncho
9 - first aid kit (started out as a bandaid, but we reasoned we night need a little more)
10 - Bible

It was the last one that killed me.  He just yelled out "Oh! I know!  A bible!"  

I think that some of this is sinking in. 





An Uphill Climb

My Monday morning bible study has been doing Priscilla Shirer's One in a Million.  Yesterday, she spoke about running up hill.

Anyone who knows me, knows I am NOT a runner.  I used to though.  In high school and college when I lived at home I would run our neighborhood.  There is one street that is a long, slow uphill that lasts about half a mile.  I always saved that street for the end of the run because at the top I would walk and do my cool down for the short trip back home.  It was always at the end of my run.  I was tired, my legs burned and that hill seemed to kill me.  But at the top, I knew I could rest.  I'd put my hands on top of my head and take those deep breaths my body craved.  There was something immensely satisfying about accomplishing that run and the rest that came afterwards.

Priscilla went on to talk about a few other things, but my mind was stuck on the idea of that run in relation to my life.  No, I don't run anymore.  But there are many things in my life that feel like an uphill run.  The one I was stuck on yesterday was being a parent.

For the years when we struggled with Jason's attachment, I would think "Ah, once this is done, I can rest."  Jason's been attached for years now, but we're still heading uphill.

I though that once we got interventions set up at school that he'd sail along and we could rest, but we're still heading uphill.

Micah learned to talk a we're still heading uphill.

Hannah is learning things so fast, I feel like we have to run faster to keep up.  Still, it's uphill.

I realized that I needed to have a paradigm shift in my life and how I think of it.  There is no rest for me at the top of the hill.  This hill will keep going everyday and somedays I will run it better than others,  But no mater how hard or how fast I run, that top of the hill is not going to get any closer.  For every new trial I make it through, another waits for me.  Every stage a child moves out of, simply means they will enter another.  It just never ends.

So, how do I get a break?

I think this is where God is showing me that I really need to turn to him not just with my worries and wants, but for my rest as well.   HE is my rest, my strength, my shield.  I meed to stop grasping at anything and everything for the rest my soul desires and instead fall to my knees in prayer.  No amount of coffee or Diet Coke is going to give me what I need.

So, here is MY plan.  I am going to try every day to take even 5 minutes and rest in God and in His word.  I want to get my strength from Him.  I need a dose of God, not another cup of coffee.

  Psalm 62: 5-8


  5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
       my hope comes from him.
 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
       he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God [a] ;
       he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
 8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
       pour out your hearts to him,
       for God is our refuge.
    



Monday, October 26, 2009

Not What We Expected

I'm back from the meeting.  It was good, but turned out differently than we thought.

The meeting went fairly well.   I started by talking about what we started this process and the events that led our principal to arrange for me to visit the classroom.  I spoke about the classroom and how it appeared to be exactly what I would want in a class for Jason.  Then his teacher and intervention specialist each spoke about the progress he is making and concerns they have.  As it turns out, things are settling down for him a bit.  He's maintaining very well in Science and Social Studies and he has been making progress in reading.  Math, spelling and writing continue to be his weakest areas.

Finally, Mrs. Fox, our principal, asked the teacher of the learning center how she felt Jason would fit in her class academically.  She had concerns because transitions are difficult for Jason and her students still have them. Then she noted that Jason is very advanced compared to her students in language arts.  Basically, Jason is working at a second grade level and her students at a kindergarten level.  She was concerned that with the disparity in Jason's learning and her students that it would not be a good fit.

This would be where I cried.

Mrs. Fox asked me what I thought and it was so very apparent at this point that the option I thought was perfect, wasn't.  I didn't sob, but I did choke up and get teary while explaining that I agreed that the learning center wasn't likely the best place for him, but I knew he needed more and had maxed out on his intervention minutes.  Jason's a unique kid as far as special education.  I was concerned because while I understood the learning center was not a good fit, I didn't like that he spent time in the class lost, confused and not really doing anything.

Then Mrs. Fox noted that she spoke with the Director of Special Education about Jason.  She wanted to explore all options before the meeting today.  Apparently, the 90 minutes is more of a guideline instead of a rule to prevent schools from creating learning centers instead of using those already  in district.  Basically, we can give Jason more time with intervention and make things work where we are.

Basically, we looked through Jason's entire day and noted times when he was in the class and the class was doing something he wasn't  We added 15 minutes of time to his math goals and he'll be taking part in a reading program for intervention level kids called Project M.O.R.E. for about 30 minutes a day.  This may take a few weeks to get everyone trained and schedule, so in the meantime he will stay with his intervention specialist for an extra 15 minutes doing independent work before returning to the class to  work on his keyboarding until lunch.

The only other time he is lost in class is during the reading aloud time and that is because he has his speech and occupational therapy interventions then.  We came up with a plan that we would read the book his teacher is reading in class at night before bed.  This was he would still hear the story and know the characters so he could join in the discussion despite missing parts of the time for his therapies.

Socially, Jason still struggles, but he in involved in a couple of lunchtime social groups.  Also, I know the staff at the school are aware of his challenges in this area and keep a close eye on him during lunch and recess.  I'm trying to make things happen on my end with that and Mrs. Fox is looking into a buddy for him from the 6th grade.

In all it was a very positive meeting.  Not having the massive transition will be a good thing and if we can make things work, I think Jason will be happier.  Also, I love his team and that he has people there who KNOW him so well and want whats best for him.

Big Meeting

I am having a big IEP meeting at the school this afternoon, and I am freaking out.

I can sit here and KNOW that what I am asking for is reasonable and appropriate, but I have this lingering fear that I have a fight on my hands.

In truth, the only fight our school has ever given me was when Jason was 5 and leaving preschool for kindergarten.  They denied his IEP at the time because he had met his goals and showed no indication that he needed on.  However, two years later when they qualified him again at the end of first grade the school psychologist admitted it was a mistake based on history.  In those 2 years though I learned a LOT about my son, how he learns and my rights as a parent in public schools.  I wasn't as easily pushed aside, and honestly, by that time, it was obvious that something was wrong.

Still, I asking for a Change of Placement this time.  I eluded in an earlier post that had visited a special needs classroom in another elementary and was very encouraged.  After talking it over with Andy and exchanging e-mails with his intervention specialist and principal, we decided that this classroom would be very beneficial for Jason.  It is set up almost exactly like a classroom I would design for him if I could.  and I loved the teacher.  I also think the his intervention specialist and principal agree with me.  But they are only part of the team, thus the fear.

Should this happen (which we are very hopeful it will), Jason will likely start next Monday.  He'll go from being driven to school every day, to taking a bus. (It's not far, just a couple miles away.)  The building is an older design so the lay out is different.  Obviously, it will be all new kids and teachers.  But we'll have a nearly all new team with the exception of the school psychologist.  I LOVE our current school and the team we work with now.  We've had a few bumps along the way, but we all come to the table understand who, at the heart, Jason is and we work in his best interest.  Talking with other parents, this is not always the case.



This will likely be a rough meeting for me and a rough transition for Jason.  Andy usually goes to the big meetings with me, but instead is taking Jason to a therapist appointment.  We didn't want to miss it so they could talk about the coming changes and how to help Jason through them.

The positives certainly out weigh the negatives here and I have a good case for getting it.  I just worry.

I'll post again later and let everyone know how it went.

An Award?

A while ago I linked back to a blog of a family making a very tough decision and looking for help.  Since then, I have been reading and commenting because so many aspects of Corey's story resonate with our own.

She decided I needed an award for this.




I totally agree with her that it seems weird to get an award for something I do in my pjs.  Plus, I don't think I'm very good a it.  English was never my strong suit.  I really started blogging for family and to give me an outlet on my insane life.  Beside, I'm not sure what to do with said award.  Thank goodness it's virtual or it may simply be lost in one of the many piles of paper on my desk.

Anyway, now that I've been so awarded, I'm passing the buck, so to speak.

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you  (check)
  2. Copy the logo and put it on your blog (check)
  3. Link to the person who nominated you (check)
  4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know
  5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers
  6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate
  7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated (This part sounds a bit chain mailish to be, but hey, it's be fun)
Hmm, seven things you don't know about me...
  1. I studied architecture in college (I had like 4 quarters to go before I stopped).  This gives me a sense of space stuff that most people don't have.  Or, at least my husband doesn't have.  Our weekend trip to IKEA was a tad frustrating at times.
  2. I love games, but sadly my usual opponents are in the preschool set.
  3. I have a fascination with chefs because I can't cook.  Seriously.  I can talk a mean game but really have no idea what I am doing half the time.
  4. I am not a morning person who is sadly living with 4 people who are.
  5. Despite my adolescent desire to leave home, I ended up 3 doors down.
  6. I don't read much fiction.  My real life is dramatic enough.
  7. I am in complete denial that I have become my mother.
Okay, items 1-4 done.  Now it's time to spread the love!  (Sounding official and important) I hereby nominate Jen (who son is so much like mine), Cindy (who while I started reading because of adoption, but continue because I love her thoughts of food),  Rachel (who inspires me), Jenna (who taught me about the other side of the triad), MK (who makes me laugh in chat), Gina (my dear friend, foodie and prayer warrior) and Andy (my husband and best friend).  Some of these people I have met in real life, the others I wish I could.

(That covers 1-6, right?)

Okay, I'm off to spread the love.  Enjoy your day everyone!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Soccer Recap - Jason

Jason's soccer season ended yesterday.  In all it was a good year and he had a BLAST.

This was the first year since he was 7 that he has ben able to play. You see, soccer is a seriously competitive sport in our area and kids (and parents) don't take to kindly to kids who just want to have fun and are a little different.  The final straw in first grade was when he kicked the ball the wrong direction allowing the other team to score and a kid on his team (who we'd known for years) decided it was okay to shove Jason to the ground and yelled at him.  The coach and other parents did nothing.  In fact, parents on both teams were making comments. We left and he hadn't played since.

Until this year that is.  A friend of ours told us about a special needs soccer league in our area.  It's for ANY special need; be it physical, neurological or emotional.  TOPSoccer gave Jason a chance to play a game he really enjoyed, but just couldn't handle in the regular leagues.  They team the kids up with buddie who help them throughout the practice and game.  The buddies are kids from the local high school soccer teams and they are extremely good with the kids and the variety of disabilities that came.  Sports are HARD for kids with specials needs and there are very few out there for special kids to play.   it's encouraging to see leagues like these start up.

Jason had fun and learned to love a sport again.  He got to run, shoot and score!  Although his favorite position was goalie.  He's really good at stopping the ball.  (I think he just liked to dive on the ball.) We're really looking forward to doing it all again in the spring.



GO!




Jason spent a lot of time in goal.




Jason and his buddy Paul showing off their trophies.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Random Friday

I decided that since my life is insane and I'll start dedicating Friday's to those random bits of stuff that don't make a full post.  And really, my life and my Fridays are usually pretty random.

I think the biggest news of the week is my computer woes are soon to be solved.  I've been doing everything on Andy's laptop, which while functioning well, is not set up with my calendar, contacts and other bits of info necessary for me.  Well, TODAY, Andy is buying and bringing home the new family (MINE!) computer.  And get this....it's a MAC!!!!  My mac died last fall and I have been making do on a pieced together Winbox for about a year now.  It's going to be great to be home again.

Micah continues to just make me both smile and cry all at once.  My baby is growing up FAST.  And the list of things he is behind on continues to dwindle.  He's such a BOY and a big one at that.  OT continues to go well and he is making great strides socially in preschool.  My only gripe is the potty training thing.  I don't think it's happening anytime soon.  He just doesn't KNOW when he has to go and has very little sensation when he does.  It's getting better, but I am really tired of paying for diapers.  Especially since they decreased the number in the box.  Ugh.

Hannah is just growing up to be such a neat kid.  She's still working hard on learning to read and write.  I'm constantly being given note and cards she made and am asked to help her read things she sees around her. This morning she copied "The Cat in the Hat" for a title of her drawing.  The drawing was of a cat IN a hat. And she talks ALL the time.  I'm told this is a trait she inherited from me.  All I can say now is..I'm sorry.

Jason's had a pretty good week overall.  We've had some miscommunication concerning homework and I think we need to change how his assignments are sent home.  He's working so hard to keep up in class, but I don't always get the full story at home.  Ah, the joys of language processing disorders.  I think the greatest thing is that he isn't taking his anger and frustration out on me any more.  He's starting to use some of those strategies we've been teaching him for dealing with his feeling on his own.  Things aren't perfect, but we're making progress.  He's a really fun kid too.  Very creative, kind and a joy to be with.

Andy is working really hard.  His boss is offering him a lot of overtime to make up for the statewide pay-cut our governor gave us.  The money helps, but it makes for long days for the both of us.  At home he's been trying out this cool swirled paint technique for the latest guitar he's building,  After a successful sample, he painted one of the kids pumpkins and a light switch.  Who knows what he'll paint next.  I think he'd do the front door if he could.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Loss

There are many things in life that are hard.  One of those is taking your 10 year old son to visit the grave of his biological older brother.  Jason's brother, Jordan, passed away 3 years before Jason ever came into our lives.

Jordan was born with Jarcho-Levin Syndrome, a very rare genetic disorder that lead to his death.  His arrival put Jason's birth family on social services map.  Because of his complex care, social workers would start to regularly visit the house. Before Jordan was 2, an investigation was launched and it lead to the removal of all the children from the home.  Jason was born a couple months after this and came into foster care then.

Jason's file said very little about Jordan.  It simply noted his name, how his case tied to Jason's and how he had passed away.  Jason's foster mother remembers him fondly.  She told us he was a sweet joyful boy who loved life.  He is smiling in nearly every picture we have of him.  Jason knows him through pictures and stories we have relayed to him.

I don't know if I can properly explain what Jordan means to Jason.  We spoke a lot today over the brother he never knew and the one he did but doesn't see.  About the family he lives with and the one he can't.  I can only imagine how hard it is to be so young and to have lost so much.

And although today involved a visit to the grave of one of those losses, the tears that flowed were surely for so much more.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Prairie Peddler Festival

Last weekend, we joined Grandma and Grandpa Fenner, Aunt Paula and cousins Leonard and Allie at the Prairie Peddler Festival in Butler, Ohio.  Despite my initial fears of losing the kids in the crowds, it turned out to be a really nice day.  We took a real horse drawn hayride through the woods, the kids rode some ponies and we spend some time listening to some bluegrass music.  I was also able to score some homemade, natural jams, butters and soaps and Andy found some awesome honey from a local bee-keeper.

Due to technical difficulties I wasn't able to post the pictures, so I am doing them now.



















In all it was a fun day.