Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Next year I promise to spend more time blogging! I miss it, I keep thinking things will slow down and next week, next month, I will have more time, but that doesn't ever look likely. And I need to take more pictures, I am finding a month will go by without me picking up my camera, oops....

Madeline is doing so well this year. She is back to tearing up the slopes on her board this winter. She has jumped FOUR reading levels this school year already, she is at first grade, month one placement currently. She still has years of therapy ahead of her but she doesn't balk at doing it daily, it opens up a whole new world to her. We will start in 2011, the massive paper trail that is needed to get her always classified as dyslexic, this will allow her to receive alternative testing options, etc... for all of her school years. This will not be an issue for some time but come high school/college, it will be a must. This will be her last year with her beloved teacher who teaches a 1st/2nd combined class, next year Madeline will move on to the 3rd/4th class which will probably be more of a challenge for her, higher expectations, etc...

Gabrielle turned 4 in October. I can't remember what I went over in my last update, she only lasted at preschool for a short time. She just wasn't ready, wanted to be with Mama, I don't blame her. She is learning how to ski, loves tap dancing and gymnastics. She is much more interested in books then Madeline was at this age and will sit and "read" to herself for hours at a time. She loves just hanging out at home with me, she is certainly more of a homebody then Madeline is.

Julian is 20 months, and really the sweetest boy ever. He is no longer easy like he used to be. We discovered that he is rather delayed, especially in speech but he has issues in other areas as well. The evals he had this month put him at 12-13 months, so a good 6+ months behind. He doesn't talk at all, barely babbled, after he started speech therapy, he is rapidly trying to babble more. He will get 60 minutes of speech therapy for 6 months and get reevaluated. His gross motor skills are at 15 months, walking is difficult for him, he still will fall over if he is sitting with his legs out. He has seen 2 otho docs and multiple PTs this month about his legs, no one is in agreement about what to do with him. Both feet turn out, he walks on the side of one foot, nothing is abnormal in his bone structure, multiple x-rays of hips and feet turned up nothing. His gait is off, meaning he frequently has to stop and catch his balance, he just toddles around like a drunken sailer most of the time. Both ankles just collapse when he walks. We have been told everything from he will grow out of it to he has celebral palsy to he needs braces on his legs. What ever it is, I want to figure it exactly what we are going to do with his legs next month, focus on the communication, and then we see what happens.

As for Ryan and I, we are doing well. Busy. His work never ever slows down, he travels a lot more now, about a week a month in addition to his normal crazy schedule. My job is going, some months it is fine, others I feel it it is too much for what we have going on. I have been pleased with my decision to withdraw form grad school, I am sad, but now is not the right time.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Madeline writes

So I am lying in bed tonight attempting to go to sleep and instead I kept thinking about how far Madeline has come in the last year. A year ago after she started working with her wonderful language therapist, she started to recognize letters and very slowly started learning them. She has therapy 5 days a week year around, in the school year her therapist goes to her school, in the summer she comes to our house at 7:30am. Early yes, but at least it goes doesn't ruin our entire day, we have the option of the entire day ahead of us afterwards. Next summer I think lots of this will be in her future!

Progress has been slow but Madeline is getting there. In the last couple months, she has really taken off, it is thrilling to watch her world open up. She attempts to sound out words, can read some here and there, can write sentences with assistance.

Madeline isn't at grade level and won't be for a while, but she is close to a 1st grade level which for her, is huge. She still has years of therapy ahead of her, every single little thing has to be painstaking taught to her, she does not easily grasp any reading concept. Next year we will start working on the paperwork and paper trail that is required in order to always have her dyslexia accommodated. She will require things like verbal testing, extra time to write, etc... for the rest of her academic career.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

end of the summer

I can't believe it is August, end of August actually. School starts next week, the summer flew by way too quick, we didn't get to do a fraction of what we wanted to do. I spent all of July studying for an exam. Madeline discovered a new sport that she loves, kayaking! She was going down the river on her second day, white water on her 3rd. Madeline has talked Ryan into learning how so they are heading out tomorrow for his first lesson. Gabrielle is *supposed* to start preschool two days a week next week, we shall see... Julian is growing up so fast. He is just shy of 16 months, still doesn't walk or talk, but is such a cheerful little boy.
Ryan's family has chosen not to be involved in our lives for the majority of our relationship. He had a neighbor as a child that was heavily involved in his life and has continued to be. Our children has known him as a grandparent, he eats dinner with us often, is included for all holidays, and worked for Ryan for the past 5+ years. We managed to get him to retire in May, he was unable to work any longer. He ended up having a double bypass the last week of June, we got a call early August 4th from the ICU. He had a major cardiac incident, spent two weeks in the ICU. It was very touch and go, he was on life support, we made the decision to remove it and see what happened. He is still in the hospital and is not doing well, along with the physical issues, dementia is rapidly settling in. He has no family, and only a couple friends so the vast majority of the work has fallen to us. He is getting transferred to a nursing home next week, long term prognosis is not good. All the arrangements, fielding the many confused phone calls from him daily, the social workers, doctors, the visits have been quite taxing on the family with no end in sight.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I meant to do this early this month and never got around to it until someone reminded me about my monthly posting, thanks Sarah! We spent two weeks in Florida, our first real vacation in a very long time. I had rented a condo on the beach for 11 days and then we went to Orlando before flying out. The beach was a blast, the kids had so much fun. They spent all day every day outside playing. Our last night in the condo, Gabrielle got very ill and ended up in the ER. Out of all times she has ended up in the hospital, this was the first time that she had to go quickly. Usually I decide that she needs to go in, we gather our stuff, and head that way. This time I handed her to Ryan and told him he had to take her now, there was no time to get the other kids together. We ended up doing Disney with her lying in the stroller with a 102 temp, and then flying home with 3 sick children, always a joy especially with hours and hours of flight delays. But on to the beach....

Gabrielle spent her time befriending small creatures, birds, and this crab who actually followed her around for the better part of an hour!

Julian loved the sand and waves. He would crawl as fast as he could out into the waves, giggling every time a wave crashed into him.

Madeline spent all of her time like this.

And this.

And like this.

Ryan has yet to learn the art of relaxing.

It was a good vacation until the very end, we actually plan on doing it again very soon. Ryan has to do some work on a house in Cabo later this year and the owners have offered us all the use of their house, which I certainly will take them up on!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

and one for May

Since May is almost over, I guess it is time for me to make an appearance. Just doing the usual and then some has kept me busy. My program at the health dept is up and running. I put in over 40 hours already this month training, creating forms, etc... 40 hours doesn't sound like much but for someone who doesn't have regular childcare, and a baby who is a night owl, it was tough. A little over half of those hours was in-office time without children, from now on my work time will be much less and much more child friendly.

I have to admit that I really enjoyed working professionally again. I have "worked" over the years with LLL but it is almost always with children in tow. I speak at meetings, present topics to various groups, with a baby or toddler attached to me, this was different and I loved it. Not enough to actually commit to doing it more, I do admit that 2 different positions become available at the health dept that I was qualified for and would of loved to have, I entertained the idea for 2 seconds knowing that I enjoy being around daily for my children more than I want to be working outside the house (mostly) right now.

Juggling the program I now supervise, studying for an exam this summer, and 3 children has made me realize that I can do more. I am seriously considering going for my masters in science/nursing. I already have spoken with a university that accepted all of my old college credits, I am short 3 classes to be admitted to the program. I had tested out of Biology and math 11 years ago when I was taking classes for nursing, now I need those credits and doubt I can pull off testing out at this point in my life. I am giving myself some more time to mull it over before I commit, this is something I do want to do, just is this the right time? I wouldn't start until the fall, I need to finish my current studying first!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I am posting because apparently it has been a month since I have had the time! Next week or later this week *might* be calmer so maybe I will be back later. Job is in full swing, I have hired NINE peer counselors! yes, you read that right. 4 are guaranteed a position, one is conditional, and the rest will be trained and then placed on inactive status waiting for a position to open up. It has been rough coordinating everything, baby, activities, all the calls, office time, etc... And I thought I was always on the phone previously, I truly have reached another level now with that, I feel like one of my 3 phones is always ringing.

One of the perks of working in lactation is that no one minds a nursing baby! I have Julian brought to me every few hours to eat and he has been doing well with it. I am in a lull at the moment, employees hired, I put them through a 25 hour training in May, and right now I am just slowly working on training material, and lining up job shadowing. I am looking forward to June, everyone will be trained and other then 3 meetings a month, my job will be mostly at home.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

my child is a ski bum

I just counted the days that I happened to have marked on my calendar, I have 35 days marked on there since the week of X-Mas that Madeline has gone snow boarding. I'm sure there was more, but 35 is not bad for a child, I think many adults would be envious of that!

Monday, March 8, 2010

and it is March

It has been busy around here lately, and the snow is still here, blech. February was a whirl wind month of lots of illness, studying, and our regular life. Gabrielle got pneumonia, we discovered later it was RSV, then Julian got it, went on a 5 day nursing strike, AND got a stomach bug all at once. Needless to say, he got IV fluids and lost a few lbs.

Madeline's school does this big annual trip to a lodge in the mountains every winter. It is a overnight trip, Ryan went with her since this was right during the RSV period.

She had so much fun!

Madeline still spends every second that she can up snowboarding. She is not pleased that this is the last month before the slopes close for the season.

We have never had this much snow while we have lived in this house. This is my living room window, this window is high off the ground due to our sloped lot, it is basically as high as a 2nd story.

Somebody is into everything now.


And he seems to think that he is cute as well.

Gabrielle is ready for summer. I told her she couldn't go outside in sandals so she changed, sort of.

See, into everything.

I can't tell yet if Julian's eyes are going to be a darker hazel or turn brown. Right now they are the same as Madeline's, they look light brown but when you really look at them, you see green as well.

Ryan was working late yet again tonight, I had a tired Gabrielle who wanted me to lay with her while she went to sleep and a tired baby boy. I left the baby with Madeline and went in with Gabrielle for 10 minutes, and this is what I came out to.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

our january

Has been a busy one. You can expect a long, random post every now and then from me, there just is not enough time to do small frequent ones at the moment.

This is an old pic, but Julian is crawling. He is all over the place doing an army crawl. I was making dinner in the kitchen last night and here he comes crawling down the long hallway to join me. Cute little bugger. He will be 9 months old tomorrow which I can not believe.

I have been studying and studying and studying. Gabrielle has had more free time and less supervision as you can see. I am attempting to finish an intense 3 month class in less then 2, and I am getting close, I think I might be done in another 2 weeks. My reason for working my butt off is that then I can hit the books for my IBCLC exam. I am hoping to take it this year but may postpone it a year if I am not able to get enough study time in the next few months. I only have one chance a year, it is always only offered in July. My other reason for working so hard is that my grant for my new job has been sent in as of last week, I hope never to work on another grant ever again by the way! The money is expected to roll in March 1st and then I have to hit the ground running.

It has been snowing as you can see. We have officially run out of places to stash the white stuff.

The good news is that the snow mounds are so high that every one makes a great sledding hill! I caught Madeline and a friend on the roof of the house yesterday trying to sled down. The snow hill was up to the roof so I guess I don't blame them for thinking it would be fun.

Once we dug out the hot tub, we discovered that the last storm dropped so much snow at once, 40 inches, that the cover broke in half. We had to quickly drain it and cover it for the winter.

For the first time we hired a crew to come out and shovel the roof, we had 5 feet of snow on the roof and it had to come off. It would of taken Ryan the entire weekend and he refuses to climb up there after falling off last year!

My backyard. My living room is raised from the backyard, you have to go down an entire flight of stairs to get to the yard, and the snow is up to the window in the living room.

Madeline has been snowboarding and snowboarding and snowboarding. She went 4 times this week, not bad for a 7 year old whose dad works 60 hour weeks and two younger siblings. She is quite good. This hill is less then 10 minutes from our house, offers challenging runs and night skiing. Ryan took up her to Purg the other day, which is the big ski resort 40 minutes away. She spent the entire day doing all the black runs, which is what she does at Hesperus as well. She quickly learned how to board in all this recent powder but does have a problem once in a while like the other night where she sunk up to her chest in the fresh snow. She is going up again today, snowboarding is all she thinks and talks about, I didn't expect to have this problem with a child when she was 7 years old!

The pic didn't show it but her face is actually wind burned from all the time spent flying down the slopes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

what we have been up to

A Roomba is great fun in this house. It cleans the floor for me, the girls chase it around, and Julian tries to catch it crawling.

What Madeline decided she wanted for her birthday. A ladybug cake, much easier actually then the gumball machine cake I made for Gabrielle a while back.

When you are the third child, you are just so happy that you get to sleep that you don't care where. One of the girls never would of been sleeping like this.

Happy to be 7 years old.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy new year!

A day late but hey it counts!

Madeline just wrapped up two weeks of snowboarding lessons, she is doing quite well. I've been taking her to the little ski hill in town. I never used it as a child, my dad always took us up to the "real" mountain since he was/is an avid snowboarder. I'm loving this little hill. It is less then 15 minutes from my house, has two tow ropes for the kids, and is quite cheap. Perfect for learning on.

Right next door to the hill is the skating rink which we are just starting to use as well. Taking the kids ice skating is rather difficult when there are 3 of them, two unable to skate, a mother who does not skate and is accident prone enough that she doesn't want to learn at this point in her life, and a father who barely skates! Madeline attempted it last week, she fell and fell and fell. I could not believe that she kept trying but she did and is asking for lessons. Another thing to add to my list of things to do I guess.

Crap. I put the pics in the wrong order and I'm not interested in moving everything around right now so we'll just go backwards. This is Madeline at the top of the little rope tow they use to teach the kids how to use on. She is up towards the top middle in the pink jacket.

This rope goes very slow and is literally on the ground, they have to pick it up and then kneel down, hold on and keep their balance while it pulls them up. A rope tow is actually quite tricky to learn how to use it.

And here she is on the left snowboarding down! She can turn and stop without falling, sometimes, now she just needs lots of practice.