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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

June 2017

Summer began!  The kids hung out at the neighborhood pool.

And also our pool.  Basically my kids had pruny skin the whole month of June.

We got crafty and decorated birdhouses one day.

And took lots of naps.
We hit a local splashpad.  Like I said, pruny..
But we hung out indoors. too.

She's got him on a leash!
I got my first ever wasp sting.  That hurt like a mother.  And my arm stayed swollen for two weeks!
And last but not least, we celebrated Brian for Father's Day!

Swim Team 2017

This was our third year being a part of the Londonderry Lightning Bolts and the second year with all three kiddos swimming.  Brian and I were again on the board.  Soooo, we spent a lot of time at the pool.

Swim season always starts in April, and sometimes it's cooooolddd!  One of the coldest days I made hot chocolate for all the swimmers when they got out of the pool.
Halle helped a four-year-old Avery all season. Halle was excellent with Avery and very patient.
After much much much coaxing, Jack got the hang of back stroke.

I became an official.
Don't I look official?  Oh look, Papa Mike and Gigi are in the background!
Swim meets provide lots of time to hang out with your teammates

Halle with some of the Littles, giving them tips and advice.
And sometimes you can even hang with the DJ
It's also a time to get ink.

And a time for lots of parties and fundraisers

The parents will even embarrass themselves in relay races for the sake of good old fashioned team spirit.

Not pictured are the Movie Day, Splashtown, and the adults and kids playing Cops and Robbers in the neighborhood!  Good times!

And if you swim fast enough you might just get a ribbon or two.....
Jack's first ribbon, which was sixth place, which he insisted was better than Arden's first place ribbon, since 6>1.

Arden racking them up.

Arden got the High Point award 7/8 girls.

Halle got Londonderry's most prestigious award, The Bob Wiebe award, given one swimmer that goes above and beyond what is asked. 

Yay for Swim Team!

Monday, November 6, 2017

May 2017

May was a hard month for our family.  Like, really hard.  Back up a few months to December when Jack graduated from speech (yay!)  In  order to exit speech Jack had to take a hearing and vision screening.  He (barely) passed the vision screening, but completely bombed the hearing test.  No biggie, right?  It was probably just because he had fluid in his ears or something fluky.  I mean, just like the nurse said, kids fail the tests all the time.  Sometimes it's just because they are too young to understand how to do the hearing test.  I didn't think much of it at the time, because Jack SEEMED to have normal hearing.  All I had to do was supply the school with his most recent hearing screening from the pediatrician.  The hearing screening was back from August, so it was pretty recent.  He'd passed then.  (I asked the nurse if she would test me and she did.  I completely bombed the test, too, which led ME to getting hearing aids.  That's MY personal long hearing story short, anyway.)

Fast forward to May when I took him to the pediatrician for his five-year checkup.  He failed the hearing screening again.  I began to worry.  I took him to an ENT/audiologist and that is when they told me he had hearing loss.  I lost it.  I completely fell apart.  I mean, it's one thing for me to have hearing loss as an adult and suffer through it, because let me tell you, it's not fun.  But, it's another thing to know that your five year old child already has hearing loss and his life has barely begun.  I had so many unanswered questions.   I still do.  Like, "How fast is he losing his hearing" because just a year ago his hearing test was normal.  Or, "Was the first test inaccurate and this is why he had speech problems?"  We will never know.  I have so many fears.  How will this affect his future speech and language development?  Will he get made fun of for wearing hearing aids?  How will this affect him socially?  How will this limit him as an adult?  The worries go on and on.  Just financially, hearing aids are EXPENSIVE and have to be replaced every few years.   
Here are the good things that have come from this:  1) I have a better understanding of how big my God is.  He has comforted me through this and has shown His glory in it all.  2) I am so thankful we live in the present age where technology for hearing loss is so much more advanced than what it used to be.  3) This hasn't slowed down Jack one bit.  The silver lining in his early childhood diagnosis of hearing loss is that he is still too young to understand the social drawbacks.  He WANTS hearing aids, because, duh, it will help him hear better. 

One thing everyone was encouraging me with is that Jack is smart as a whip, and funny, and has a great personality.  His hearing loss won't hold him back in life. 
His Mother's Day questionnaire he filled out in his preschool class.

The door was bothering him because it wouldn't latch right, so what does he do?  He finds a screwdriver and takes it off the hinges!  He fixed that problem.  LOL

The same week as Jack's diagnosis, we were at the neighborhood clubhouse for a swim team board meeting.  After practice Arden said her stomach was bothering her.  I didn't think much of it because she tells me that a lot.  Normally she'll say her stomach hurts, but then is up and running around two minutes later.  This time, an hour goes by and she says she wants to go home.  That is not like her because she loves being up at the clubhouse playing with the other swimmers on the playground.  We aren't done with our board meeting so I pull a lounge chair out for her to lie on until we are done.  We get home and she seems okay.  She goes to the restroom and says she feels better, but the pain starts up again before bed.  I tell her that if the pain is still there tomorrow then I will take her to the doctor.  She has no other symptoms so I'm not worried.  2:00 AM she wakes me up crying and telling me she can't sleep because of the pain.  She keeps pointing to her lower right side and the pain seems pretty persistent in that one area.  That is when I start to think that maybe it's appendicitis.  As an ultrasound tech I do A LOT of tests for lower right abdominal pain.  Maybe 5% of the cases I do actually turn out to be something serious, so I'm concerned, but not worried, at this point.  I decide to take her to my work to look with ultrasound to see if I find anything suspicious in that area.  I mean really, I'm not going to waste a night in the ER for gas!  It doesn't take me long to find her appendix, and it looks inflamed.  Thankfully the new Texas Children's hospital opened up a month before right next door to my work.  Since it's brand new there's hardly anyone in the ER so we get right in.  They almost sent us home because she wasn't exhibiting many symptoms, but I insisted she stay because I knew her appendix looked bad.  Long story short, she was sent to surgery, and the surgeon said we "dodged a bullet" by detecting it so quickly.  So my eight year old had emergency surgery and three tiny scars to show for it.  This was Arden pre-surgery.  She was SOOO brave.  She was scared so we prayed through it together.  She did a great job with getting her blood drawn and talking to the surgeon.  I was so proud of her. 

She was excited that her hospital socks were like Urban Air socks, with grips on the bottom.

These are pictures post-surgery when Aunt Sarah sent her some get-well goodies.

Arden recovered in no time!  She was back to school a few days later, and was swimming again after a week!  I'm so thankful the surgery and recovering went smoothly!

Well folks, that is why our May was hard.  Here are a few highlights from May, though, which is typically my FAVORITE month (hello, my birthday and Mother's Day)

Birthday/Mother's Day dinner with my mom and Godmother

A wonderful Mother's Day morning

a beautiful backdrop at church to take a Mother's day picture with my three ducklings.

Arden also got straight As for the entire second grade year.  Great accomplishment!

We had a fun family day at The Woodlands Memorial Day festival.