Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Last post for a bit

It has been a very busy day! The moving truck was dropped off (it's a small semi trailer that we fill ourselves,) and we had some visitors. First of all Mrs. Deena came (she is Ella's Early Childhood Intervention, specialist) for her last official visit.

I cannot express how much we love Mrs. Deena!!! I was thinking back to the first time I met her, Ella was 2 weeks old and honestly I did not want any part of this therapy stuff. This was not the life I intended to have. Boy have things changed. Deena was there for our whole journey from devastation to acceptance to joy. Not only was Deena wonderful with Ella but she was also great with Hunter. She included him in the sessions and that was so very important for Hunter. I consider her to be a good friend of mine, she has heard all my worries and fears and doubts, and yet she keeps coming back : ) We will miss her so much!!! We do get to see her again tomorrow though!!! Ella got shoe inserts/orthodic things called Jumpstarts yesterday for her severe pronation. They fit great and her ankle looks beautiful when she stands in it. There is only one problem. Houdini can somehow get out of 4 straps (done quite tightly) shoes laced up quite tightly and her socks. She is so flexible she just completely flexes her foot so that it is straight with her legs and pulls it out, leaving the orthodic in the shoe. Anyhow, Deena and Barbara (her OT) are coming tomorrow to try and find a solution!
After Deena left Hunter was helping Daddy load up the truck. The kid was in paradise!! I think this would be his dream job second only to being a garbage truck. That's right not the driver of a garbage truck but the actual truck himself, just ask him he'll tell ya!!!

Up the ramp he goes!!!

Almost there.......

He made it!

This pic makes me smile. I asked Hunter "are you excited about moving to Spokane???" and he said "M O V I N G!!!!" It kind of reminds me of the movie Titanic "I'm on top of the world!!!"

Bode and Son Moving Crew
(showing their muscles!)

After that excitement my bestest friend Jen stopped by with her kiddos. Hunter was so very happy to see his girlfriend Lemalee (Emily.) They ran around like little crazy people : ) And of course Ella was happy to see Savannah and finally got to show her her new toys from Christmas. (one or the other of them have been sick since!)
After they left my friend stopped by with her little girl Kenna to say goodbye. Kenna is 4ish months older than Ella, and let me tell you she is quite the little comedian!!! She loves to show off, and makes sure everyone is clapping for her. And get this, ready...... she is 20/21 months and she is going potty in the actual potty. That's right, she makes the sign for potty, mom takes her in there and she goes. I about fell over when mom told me this, but I witnessed it with my own eyes!!! Pretty amazing!
Here is the best we could get of the two of them actually looking at the camera.

This is Kenna trying to love on Ella, who is being a beast and not very nice!

And here they are playing near but not with each other. Ahhhh, so age appropriate.

It was so nice to see them!!! Sad to be leaving when they are about to be at the age where they would play together.

Oh yeah, Kenna's mom told me that she had seen a picture of my kids on the Times Square Video for the Buddy Walk. Hmmm, had no idea. I guess I most have submitted the photo, but I never heard anything back. So, of course I had to check it out, it's a long video - 14 min I think - and sure enough at just over 1 minute into it there are my babies!!! Pretty cool!! Here's the link http://www.ndss.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2029&Itemid=233

Well I guess that just about sums it up for now. Chris said he is packing up the computer in the morning so this is it till we unpack in Washington. They have had some pretty good snow storms up there so I am really hoping that the drive goes well!!! My next post will be from Spokane : )

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Monster Baby!!!

Read the shirt.

Helping me with the laundry.


Notice the bottom of the entertainment center is blocked off by giant pillow. She likes to climb in there and sit on top of the DVD player. Problem is she pulls the pillow over now and does it anyway. She just turned around to see if I am watching.

Trouble Maker Since Birth. That pretty much sums up Ella!!! She has been a real stinker these past few days. She is still really tired from being sick, (hence the dark circles under her eyes,) but when she is up oh boy watch out!!! Poor Hunter today was almost in tears when Ella woke up from her nap. I asked him what was wrong and he said that she needed to go back to sleep cause " she just always bothers me." Poor kid. Ella will not leave him alone. He tries to pacify her by giving her some of his cars to play with. She just throws them down and goes back after him. "I just want her to leave me alone so I can play by myself." What do you do? I try to distract her but she is drawn to him like a magnet.
Of course we are still packing and trying to clean the house as we go, and of course she is of NO help. My Grandmom is here, thank goodness she is young, cause Ella runs her ragged. Anyhow, I will try to post once more before we go on Friday!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Then and Now ~ and other stuff

I got tagged by Amy over at http://theflegefarm.blogspot.com/ for this Then and Now, so here it is!

Hunter Jacob

Ella Grace

I tag Laurie over at http://ianandchase.blogspot.com/
Shannon at http://theeidsoncrew.blogspot.com/
Melanie at http://baetenfamily.blogspot.com/

So, now let me tell you a little bit about the fun we have had this week!!! On Tuesday I called the nurse at Pediatrics because I needed a refill on the Albuterol for Ella's nebulizer, she asked how Ella was doing and I told her that she had still been running a low grade fever and coughing. She scheduled us an appt for the next morning and said she wanted them to check her ears since Ella had been on antibiotics for 7 days already for her ear infection and still had a fever. Fine. So, Wednesday morning rolls around and I'm trying to get Hunter out of bed cause he has to go with me since Chris was up in Spokane (by the way it is official Chris was hired by the Spokane Police Department, YAY Hubby!!!!) so I keep going by his roll and telling him to get up while I am getting Ella ready. Finally I decide I'm going to have to get him dressed and up myself so I go in there sit him up and start taking his PJ's off and he feels like he is on fire, 103.5 fever GREAT!!! Luckily Ella's PA is super nice so I knew she would look at him too. Anyhow long story short they decide to test both kids for RSV and Influenza since some other kids at our church, who the PA also sees, have it. In the meantime they also decide to do a chest X-ray on Ella because her O2 stats are in the 80's. Low and behold she has pneumonia. The PA says, she can't let Ella go home like this since she had already been on antibiotics and she will need IV antibiotics. GREAT!! Luckily my grandma was due in in 30 minutes so by the time the PA made all the calls to admit Ella to the hospital I was able to run home say "hey" to grandma drop off sick little boy and go to the hospital. I report up to the 6th floor Pediatrics with Ella as I was told to do and they tell me "oh, you have to go to the ER first." The ER happens to be at the other hospital 3 blocks away. So exhausted, frustrated and in tears I load Ella back in the car and drive to the ER. 2 hours in the waiting room, we finally get called back. Long story short again, they decide to give her a shot of an antibiotic and a steroid and send her home. We get home at 6pm, the nurse from Pediatrics calls and says that Ella's came back RSV positive, (Hunter came back negative Thank God!!!) and that we need to bring her back in the morning so they can check on her. So, next morning I take her in and her O2 stats are in the 70's so again they say that she cannot go home like that. Apparently the city hospital and the base are not on friendly terms so the PA calls a pediatrician down town and asks him to call in orders to get her admitted. They transport Ella by ambulance to the hospital since she had to stay on Oxygen. (2 ambulance rides in less than a month, this child will be the death of me!!!) We get admitted. What a mess. They had an ENT specialist come in to examine Ella because the doctor thought perhaps she was having an adenoid obstruction and would require surgery that night (you know because they assume all children with Down syndrome have huge adenoids) after a very traumatic exam, scope up her nose, the doctor says that Ella's adenoids and tonsils are NORMAL in size, I could have kissed that doctor!!!! Could her O2 be low because the poor kid has RSV and pneumonia??? I mean seriously, either one is dangerous and you combine them???? Last year she was immunized against RSV because it is so dangerous, don't ya think that could be why she was having breathing difficulty???

So, the final theory is that Ella has always had this problem her whole life. They think that when she is tired or laying down because of her muscle tone that she has a "floppy airway" and it causes the dip in her oxygen. They said there was no reason to worry, even though every time it would go down they would run in and put oxygen on her, but that I should get it checked out when we get to Spokane. Ugh. Anyhow I am happy to report that Ella is back to her rotten self, stealing her brother's toys, going where she's not supposed to, and putting everything she can find in her mouth. Oh yeah, did I mention the moving truck shows up on Tuesday and we are driving out on Friday??

Friday, January 18, 2008

Perfect Timing

Not!! So, we are all sick, like I don't have a million other things to do!! I had to take both kids in this morning, Hunter has been sick since Monday night, coughing, fever, barfing..... and then Ella started coughing and fever in the middle of the night. Plus she was kind of whimpering in her sleep, it was pitiful. Hunter is on steroids for his cough, and Ella has an ear infection and back on the nebulizer for her cough. Have any of your kids had an ear infection with the tubes in??? Oh, and my ear was killing me all last night. I talked to my mom for an hour on the phone : ) and got off at midnight and my ear was hurting so I figured I must have just been holding the phone weird. Nope. All night it hurt so bad that I actually made an appointment for myself (which I never do) and yep I have an ear infection too. Poor babies, that really hurts!! No wonder Ella was whimpering in her sleep. I guess it must be a sympathy infection for Ella, what adult gets those??? So, needless to say it has not been a productive week at all. Luckily my grandma is coming back out from Georgia to, as she puts it "wrestle" with Ella while we pack. (Ella is into everything and you cannot take your eyes off of her for a second!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's Finally Happening!!!

The Air Force has finally approved our package, meaning my husband's last day in is Feb 3rd. Woo-Hoo. We are so excited. We plan on driving out of Texas Feb 1st and moving to our final destination Spokane, Washington. We both really feel like we are finally starting our lives, which sounds strange, but for me at least it has seemed the last 6 1/2 years that we have always been in limbo. Our family is complete and we are moving to the place where our kids will grow up.

I forgot that I never wrote about all the things we found out in Spokane as far as Ella is concerned. She is currently on the waiting list for The Guild School, which is where all of her therapy will take place until she is 3. They do group therapy in a class of kids her age and then are pulled out individually for specific therapies. I think this will be really good for Ella, she loves trying to do what other kids are doing!!! It is a couple of hours 2 days a week, and yes I can stay there with her! ( When we first toured there I was kind of freaked out. The thought of dropping my 1 year old off at school was not working for me. So, I repeatedly asked if I had to leave, they said that sometimes I may be asked to leave the room but can still watch from a one way window. Simply because kids will do things differently while their parents aren't with them.) Then we also visited a couple of different school districts and picked the one we liked best. They have a preschool, called The Early Learning Center, for when she is 3 to 5. There they have special needs classes as well as headstart type classes. They mainstream the "special" kids into the "typical" classes and again pull them out for therapies, which is what I am really wanting for her. The schools I really like as well. There is also a Down Syndrome Family Network (something this town does not have) they have a little playgroup once a week and then they do a big event (meals etc.) once a month. They also have a parent to parent group which is for parents of all special needs kids. There is 2 children's hospitals in Spokane which will be so nice, no more driving forever for any speciality appointments!!! And, best of all my parents will be moving down (from Alaska) this summer. It will be SO nice for me and the kids to have family around!!!

Anyhow, so we have been busy trying to pack up the house and decide what needs to go into storage and what will be going into our apartment. We are renting an apartment for 8ish months, it is bigger than the house we have been living in for the past 4 years, but no garage, and man do we have a lot of CRAP!!! So, there is the update, off to do more work. Oh I forgot to mention that Hunter is sick AGAIN, so much fun, and I can almost bet ya that Ella will have the same thing in 2 to 5 days.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pro pictures

I got a coupon from Sears Portriat Studios in my email. I don't usually get professional pics done of my kids because they are outrageously overpriced. But, I had seen a picture from there with the angel wings and have always wanted one. My coupon was for a free 10X13 and a $9.99 portrait package that has 35 pics in (although I think 30 of them are wallet sized or smaller.) So, we show up at our appointment time, Ella freshly napped and fed. It was so annoying, they had High School Musical 2 playing in the waiting area at an incredibly high volume and the little high school looking guy that was helping us was singing it at the top of his lungs. So, anyhow I was already a little frazzled by all the loudness, then I explain to him what I want. Apparently they are supposed to do 9 different poses (backgrounds) and he proceeded to do just that. I did not have Ella dressed or her hair done for pictures, I wanted naked baby with headband and angel wings on, it's not that hard. Anyhow he couldn't find all of the props for the angel setting so Chris and I started digging through them and found stuff to make do, the headband she has on actually has a big flower on it so we put that to the back, anyhow here are a few of his shots, and then the angel ones.

Monday, January 7, 2008

ENT Checkup

Ella and I drove up to Lawton, OK today for her followup hearing test and tube check on her ears. First we went in with the audiologist and for the first time in her 16 months of life Ella passed the tymphanogram (don't know the details but they put a probe in her ear press a button, before her results would come out as a flat line, today it was mountains and valleys) they attempted various hearing tests that Ella decided she was too busy for. She kept yanking the prob out of her ear and trying to throw herself on the floor so she could be on the move. Then they put us in the sound booth and again she was very uninterested in cooperating! Anyhow the audiologist said that she did 100% better on the test as far as hearing the voice part of it but that once we move we should have further testing done. Yipee.
Then we were sent back out to the lobby to wait for the ENT Doc. I sat down by an elderly lady and Ella started smiling and hamming it up for her. The lady said "oh, I bet she is a handful." Yep. She told Ella that she is beautiful and asked "can you say thank you?" Nope. "how old is she?" 16 months. "is she walking?" Nope. "can you say mama?" Nope. So after a deep breath I tell the lady, "she has Down syndrome." "oh yeah" she says "a little bit. You can see it in her eyes." Ugh. Whatever, at least I'm past the anger stage (sometimes.) Then she proceeds to tell me that her cousin's niece's daughter (follow that one?) has a baby that is autistic but she doesn't look like it not one bit. Oh. Luckily I was saved by the nurse.
So, the Doc looks in Ella's ears, everything looks great. He gave me the results of the allergy panel they took while she was under for the surgery. GREAT NEWS : Ella is NOT allergic to the American Cockroach!!! Well all that worry for nothing! Anyhow they did a 15 panel test and yes the cockroach was on it (gotta love Texas) no allergies to dust mites, mold, cats, dogs, milk, oranges, soy, malt, but she is allergic to egg whites and peanuts. Huh? On a scale of 0 to 5 she was a 3 on the eggs and just a 1 on peanuts. The doctor said that the egg thing could be from vaccines. Okay let me just make a side note here that I am reading Jenny McCarthy's book about her son is "cured" from Autism (I'm sure that I will comment more on that at a later date,) so as if I am not scared enough about immunizations then the doctor tells me this. He said that almost all vaccines are cultivated in eggs. Great. So, now what? I have no clue.
Anyhow, all and all it was good I guess. I KNOW that Ella is hearing so much better simply by her reactions to sound and her drastic increase in her being vocal.
On the home front Hunter started back to school today which he was so happy about!! Me too : ) And Ella's handle for her baby doll buggy that we got her for Christmas came in, because of course it was missing. It's pretty funny cause really it is probably to high for her, but she thinks she is big. Here are pics from that.....

She is just so big!

One handed, checking out what brother is up to.

And, here is what happens when you try to walk holding on with one hand. But, even when she falls she still beams with pride!!! God I love this baby!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fun at the Park

Hunter, Emily, and Katie (Katie's big sister respectfully declined to be in the pictures!)

Ian (11 months) Ella and Savannah (16 months)
My friends and I took our kids to one of the parks on base yesterday. Having been out of school for 2 weeks the kids really needed to run off some energy!! Today it was 80 degrees here in Wichita Falls. Warm enough to get a lot done around the house including fun things such as cleaning up the backyard, taking all of the blinds in the house down and washing them and painting Hunter's room back to white (we rent this house and painted it blue when we moved in almost 4 years ago.) We are planning on leaving here for Spokane Jan 26th, we still haven't heard back from the Air Force if they are letting us out early or not but we are hoping for the best! Nothing like not knowing : )

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hunter's Christmas Party

I switched photo memory cards just before Christmas so I totally forgot about the pictures I took at Hunter's school Christmas party. Hunter goes to 3 year old Pre-K in a public elementary school here in Texas and we love it. It doesn't have the daycare feel at all since it is in a real "big kid" school and Hunter has learned so much!! His class had a little party and at the beginning of it they performed two songs for the parents. They sang Jingle Bells, complete with them actually jingling bells, and their favorite song that they sing at circle time, Peanut Butter and Jelly or as Hunter calls it Peanut Butter a Shelly. It was so cute!! So here are a few pics from that.

Hunter and his teacher, we LOVE her. She is so sweet!!

Hunter wanted Ella to sit with him at the "big kid" table. Even surrounded by all of his friends he is still so loving. He is such a good boy and Ella is so lucky to have such a wonderful big brother!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!

Here are pictures of my children taken at 1:15AM. They took super long naps yesterday and stayed up the whole night.