Monday, October 30, 2006

Congratulations, Caleb!

A quick note of congratulations to Caleb (my youngest brother, for those of you who don't know) for a great soccer season (he plays for Davis College [formerly Practical Bible College] in southern New York). They broke all kinds of school records for men's soccer and even clinched a home-playoff spot for the first time in school history. They played their championship game this past Saturday, and lost, but with nothing to be ashamed of! Caleb had 17 saves in the game but may or may not remember some of them since he got kicked in the face and managed to bruise the bone in his collarbone, cheekbone, and nose. Let's hear it for the Minota stupid-gene...once he regained conciousness and his sight, he stayed in and finished the game! If he sends me a picture of his shiner, I will post it for all to enjoy. Congratulations to Caleb and the Davis Falcons men's soccer team on a great season. Wish we could have been there to see you play!

Weekend recap

Bruce and I left Thursday afternoon for a conference done by one of his clients, and we came home Saturday evening. Bruce's parents came down to take care of the kids, the pets, and the house in general (thank you, Dad and Mom!). It was an exhausting but profitable weekend. I forgot to ask them to take pictures of some of their adventures while we were gone, so I don't have any to post, but the kids had a great time and enjoyed fun stuff like a mystery ride (which just happened to end up at McDonald's), a trip to the playground, and making chocolate chip cookies. David was thrilled to see us but unimpressed to have Grandpa and Grandma leave yesterday morning...on the way home from church he suggested, "I have a great idea. How 'bout Grandpa and Grandma come back again?" To make things really interesting on Thursday, I realized that David had experienced another hearing loss. So we did a do-si-doh to get him down to the hospital for testing and pick Bruce up from the office, and then Bruce and I left from the hospital for the conference while Dad and Mom took the kids home. Anyway, David did have another significant loss -- he now slopes to a profound loss in his right ear -- and they gave us the paperwork to start the CI process. Assuming that David's hearing loss continues to follow the recent pattern, the audiologist expects the surgery to be early in the new year (a more rapid loss could make it happen sooner; a plateau with no further loss would push it off for a while). I have started checking things off the list and we will see the audiologist again this Thursday. It is never boring around here!
***Happy birthday, Elena!***

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happy birthday, Great-Grandma!

Happy birthday, Grandma...wish we could be there to give you birthday hugs!I won't tell everyone what number this is -- I don't think you would appreciate it -- but I will take the opportunity to say what an awesome grandma you are. I am so glad that my kids have gotten to know and love their great-grandma -- who just happens to be the same grandma who is so dear to my heart. We love you and are sending lots of love and hugs on your special day. Happy birthday, Grandma! Above: The kids wishing Grandma a happy birthday this morning. Actually, I had to have them say "balloons and birthday cake!" before Abigail would smile!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Our visit to the pumpkin patch

We visited the pumpkin patch today (Bruce took the afternoon off -- what a treat!). We had a wonderful time together. As you can see from the pictures, David was in John Deere heaven!

Our favorite part of visiting the pumpkin patch is the two-mile hayride in a hay wagon pulled by -- you guessed it -- a John Deere tractor. Well, all of us but Abigail liked soon as the engine started, she hid on my shoulder and only sat up when the engine turned off! But she was relaxed and content while she was 'hiding', and it's rare to get such nice snuggle-time with her, so I'm not complaining! After our hayride, we enjoyed fresh cider (delicious!) and a beautiful ride home through the foothills. It is truly a lovely autumn day -- the trees are in color (it is NOT true that we don't have a season change down here) and the air has that autumn snap to it, but it's still sunny. And to top it all off, when we got home, we ate fresh sugar snap peas and a carrot from our garden. It doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Yesterday's hearing updates

(Thanks to Aunt Connie for passing along these sweaters to the kids -- they were so excited to get them that they wore them all day long on Tuesday. It was too warm to be sweater weather, but that didn't deter them -- David just removed the rest of his clothing and spent most of the day in his undies and the sweater!!!)
David and Abigail had their hearing checks etc yesterday. (On a side note: I meant to take my camera so that I could post a picture of the kids with Miss RaDora (their beloved audiologist!), but I forgot the camera at home. Whoops.) Abigail had a slight loss in both ears – she is, as the doctor put it, in a “holding pattern” right now. That is, her hearing is slowly eroding but isn’t experiencing any huge changes at this point. David had another significant loss in both ears. The doctor said that another couple of losses like these last few have been – or one of an even more severe nature -- and it will be time to talk about a CI (cochlear implant). Please pray for us as this option suddenly becomes more of a reality than an idea. If you do any research about CIs, you find that there is a LOT involved…this is not a simple process. We are very grateful, though, that the Lord has allowed technology to advance to the point of allowing our children a future as hearing people even when they are deaf. We covet your prayers as we wait and watch at this critical stage – prayers for us and the medical staff as we make decisions, prayers for David – for both his health and hearing but also that he would continue to make huge progress in his speech etc while he still has natural hearing, prayers for Abigail as she moves along in this journey, etc. We are grateful for the Lord’s hand on our lives and are resting in the security of the knowledge that He will not let us go…

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rainy day fun

It is gloomy and rainy out today, but we're always in need of some rain down here, so it's not a bad thing. David and Abigail made a "fort" by pulling out the recliner, and they were lying under it coloring and watching a Little Bear video. It's always nice when that "Uh-oh, why is it so quiet in there?" search finds a scene like this one! They are now upstairs playing in their rooms -- they always make a huge mess, but they love to play together up there and I love to listen to their banter over the monitor. David got his first watch yesterday and he is very excited about it. He keeps telling me "twenty minutes" about everything -- we will have snack in "twenty minutes", etc. A little while ago he asked for a doughnut, and when I told him to wait a minute, he answered quite seriously, "But Mommy, my watch says it's time for a doughnut!"

Monday, October 16, 2006

The tradition continues to the next generation...

When I went upstairs to check on Abigail during her nap yesterday, she had fallen asleep while reading her book -- the first time for her, but surely not the last! She comes from a long line of before-bed readers, and I am a champion at falling asleep while reading...just ask Bruce, who has to put my book away and turn my light out almost every time I read in bed!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A relaxing Saturday

Yesterday was a very relaxing day, which was a nice treat. Things have been so crazy lately and it looks like they will continue to be that way for a while...
so yesterday was a nice oasis!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The magic of the first frost...

I woke up to 34 degrees and a light frost this morning -- it looks so lovely in the moonlight...I still love mornings and I love to be the first and only one awake to discover these magical moments. On a less poetic note, I took Abigail in for a quick hearing check yesterday, suspecting some more hearing loss -- gratefully, there was not as much loss as we expected, but there was some mild "erosion" in both ears. We are going to wait until Wednesday (both kids' 'big' appt) and re-test with her regular audiologist before making any changes to her HAs. I will try to post some pictures of the kids sometime later today...the last couple of days have been hectic, with no picture-worthy moments to share!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Abigail moves to a big girl bed

She did it! Our little baby girl slept all night in her big girl bed. She tucked right in at bedtime and stayed there until I got her this morning...I am feeling very mixed emotions over this milestone! Our babies don't stay babies very long...
Above: Abigail sleeping last night -- Daddy and Mommy crept into her room to share a moment, blow her kisses, and take a picture!
Abigail was full
of smiles
this morning --
she knew
she'd accomplished
something big!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Lovely autumn days

Today was a lovely day of staying at home -- what a nice thing for a change! -- there's nothing special to report, just a pleasant day of housework mixed with moments with the kids. The highlight of our day today...I love to go outside just before sunset at this time of year -- it is still warm enough to go out without bundling up (78 degrees tonight!), but the evening air is just cool and crisp enough to smell like autumn. The kids and dog get their last bursts of energy out and then we come in ready to wind down for bed. Yes, my chrysanthemum plant is really that big. David is in the 75-90th percentile for height for his age, and you can see how small he looks next to this thing! I hesitate to include this picture of me and Abigail because I am in my Monday-chores mode (i.e. no makeup, no hairstyle, etc!) but it was such a fun moment of tickles and giggles, and it is so rare to have a picture of me with either of the kids. David took this for us right before we came in for the night. Well, I need to get these precious babies to bed. Good night!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Hey everyone -- Bruce pointed out that my settings were such that people had to be registered to comment -- I have amended that and now anyone can comment. If you would like to comment without being registered, just click the "anonymous" button on the comment page -- but make sure you include your name in your comment so that I know who you are!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ah, Saturday...

This is what Saturdays are all about!

Friday, October 06, 2006


David and Baker are getting more comfortable with each other and we are starting to see glimpses of the 'boy and his dog' bond that is to come. I look back on my childhood dog-buddy with such fondness -- there's something really neat about seeing my son and his own Brittany being buddies. ...I'm also pleased to see them bond because, the more they start to play together, the less Baker will follow me around with his nose in the back of my knee!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The firemen come for a visit...

This afternoon, while dropping David off at a friend's so that Abigail and I could go to a doctor's appointment, I had one of those [blonde/Polish/mother of young children and my short term memory and ability to focus is shot] moments. I managed to lock the keys and Abigail -- and the spare key I always carry -- in the van. The car was running, so the A/C was on, and Abigail was watching a video and eating a Happy Meal -- she was happy as a clam! I have roadside assistance/lockout service, but because there was a child in the car, they made me call the older kids were all impressed that three firemen came in a big fire truck. The look on Abigail's face when she saw some strange guy peering through the window at her was priceless! All's well that ends well, I guess...I just feel particularly dumb about it! Abigail has a cold and is off to bed already, so Daddy and David are having some together time...something which has been scarce lately since Bruce has had so much work to do. I am thoroughly enjoying listening to them taking turns being doctor & patient...and listening to David's take on what a doctor says and does. He makes a pretty good "sick" face when it's his turn to be the patient, too! Bruce is trying to claim narcolepsy so that he can doze, but David isn't buying it -- he has declared Daddy to be "helpy" (healthy)!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

When did they get so smart?!

The kids had therapy (speech for David and physical for Abigail) today and both got great reports. David's therapist was astounded at his recent progress! After therapy, we usually go to the Sam's Club nearby and get our milk, etc, for the week. When we walked by the bakery, David was asking for various treats and I was telling him no...but when we got to the cakes, his eyes lit up and he exclaimed, "Mommy! My new hearing aid needs a cake for its hearing-aid-birthday!" (For those who don't know our tradition, we celebrated when each of the kids originally got their hearing aids by having a hearing-aid-birthday-party, complete with a cake and the 'happy birthday' song). He is too smart for his own good! Needless to say, we walked out of Sam's Club with a (Sam's Club sized) box of Curious George cupcakes. We went over to Bruce's office for an impromptu hearing-aid-birthday-party, where everyone celebrated with us and gamely wished David a happy hearing-aid-birthday...after all, I had to think of some way to use up 24 cupcakes! (This picture was taken at home since I didn't have my camera with me when we celebrated earlier.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here is a picture of Abigail playing her computer game -- and using the mouse like a pro. She could give her great-grandparents a run for their money when it comes to driving this thing! :-) I realized last week that, by the time David was this age, I had already started teaching him to use the mouse instead of just the keyboard (my mother calls this phenomenon 'second-child syndrome'...I constantly forget that my littlest one isn't a baby anymore...), so I sat her down and it took her all of two minutes to have it figured out. Now she's very happy because she can play the Alphabet Train like a big girl. She loves anything having to do with "A-D-hEs" (i.e., ABCs) and rattles off all of her letters at least a hundred times a day! Going to the store with her is a riot right now because she calls out all of the letters and numbers she sees on the signs. The only drawback is that I HAVE to repeat every one back to her or she repeats it, louder and louder, until I acknowledge it. I don't know where she gets her rules and her attitude...I keep saying it must be from Bruce! :-)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

David got his new hearing aid

Here is David and his new hearing aid. It doesn't look any different, except for being slightly larger in size -- so slight that it is noticeable only to those of us who have seen them up close day in and day out. He is all tired out, as you can see in the picture. The steroid he is on (a last-ditch effort to try to reverse some of the recent hearing loss) has temporarily shortened the amount of sleep he gets at night, so any major activity during the day (like trips to the audiologist, new HAs, and time in the test booth) really wipes him out. The kids' next hearing check & consult with their ENT is on Oct. 18th...if everybody behaves until then!

One little extra -- the steroids give David a bit of a "buzz" that make it difficult for him to go to sleep, even when he's exhausted. Last night, he came down the stairs after lying in bed for a bit and hid between the back of the couch and the cushions (he thought we didn't see him). When I walked over and popped up with the camera, we caught this beautiful, albeit devilish, little grin!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Kids' medical status as of Oct. 2nd

As a baseline report on the kids, I will try to summarize where we are at medically.

David's hearing loss now slopes to a severe loss in both ears. We should be getting a new, higher-powered hearing aid (HA) in the next day or so for his one ear (his other ear already has a strong one). His speech is progressing marvelously, in spite of this further hearing loss. Abigail's hearing loss is stable at the moment. Her speech is still pretty much on average with her peers and she is making all of the vocabulary leaps that are typical at this stage. It is great to hear all of the consonant blends popping up regularly! Abigail also continues to make great progress with walking, etc. She runs now -- albeit not completely gracefully! -- and is working on jumping with both feet. Her left hand is used more and more frequently and she has figured out how to manipulate that thumb independently, though it takes a lot of concentration.

God is good. Our kids are thriving and loving life, and we can't wait to see how the Lord is going to use these challenges in a special way in their lives!

We have arrived...

Well, I am finally making the move to a blog instead of regular group emails. This will make it easy for you all to see an update whenever you feel like it, and I won't have to worry about whether or not I am sending people pictures etc that they don't really want. Please bear with me as I move up the learning curve on creating my own blog! I probably won't post something every single day, and I promise NOT to report on every gruesome detail of my day, but hopefully you will enjoy seeing regular pictures and sharing in little bits of our life. Thanks for visiting our new blog!