Awesome article on emotional anniversaries

http://unexpectedblessing.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/the-power-of-the-anniversary/

Because 32 weeks is never easy

At 32 weeks with Joseph, I was very swollen but still working two jobs.

At 32 weeks with Camille, I had pictures taken and then Adam and Joseph got sick and I got totally run down caring for those two. I also dropped Pyrex on my toe, thought my water had broken and got ready for the holiday season.

At 32 weeks with Georgie, both Joe and Cami had the pukies on and off for over a week. I began waking up in pre-term labor and then contracted BV which we think led to my water breaking.

I was 32 weeks on Saturday. Sunday, Camille started vomiting. Adam was sick too (but not puking) and we managed to take turns taking care of her. She ran out of sheets that night and I ended up changing out laundry at 3 am.

Monday, I began feeling sick and spent Monday-Tuesday night awake, unable to breathe and miserable. I got out of bed to get some cold medicine and discovered it was all expired! Adam still didn't feel well and stayed home to help with school drop off. Camille was still sick, so she stayed home from preschool. We managed to sound patetic enough to a friend, so she took Joe for the afternoon. Even Georgie had a cold, so Joseph and Fancy were the only healthy beings in the house!

I had an OB appointment and I kept it, wanting him to look at my throat and ears too. I kid you not, I had every opening in my body examied, swabbed or both! He looked in my ears (fine), my throat (fine, but ordered a strep test) and it was a "pants off" appointment. The nurse asked if I wanted to do my Group B Strep test that week or wait. I chose that week since I was kid less and I had another pap since they didn't get enough cells from my other pap to do the test properly.

The good news is my cervix is closed and thick. YAY! BUT this means NOTHING since I don't dilate before labor.

The bad news is that we think the baby is butt down. When he went to palpate me, I said, "I'm not sure what position he is in. I know he was transverse and I feel alot of movement at top but also down low too." The HB was low but he had a hard time finding the position. The lump at top doesn't feel like a butt to me. All the other kids stuck their butt up to be rubbed; he doesn't. I have NEVER EVER questioned the position of one of my kids before and I've been wondering about this turkey for several weeks.

Sooooo... I have an u/s on Tuesday. I have a chiro appointment Wends and possibly Thursday to do the Webster Technique on me to help him mosey south. People tell me I have plently of time but I don't. I had a baby at 35 weeks, and I go early and fast. I want him head down before then.

But you know what? I cannot have a breech vaginal with my dr. I can go to the NICU hospital and have one there. My dr and I both agree that I am the perfect canidate for a breech vaginal. I have had three babies pass through easily. I didn't even tear with the last two! If he was in a "good" breech position, we know I could do it.

I cannot, emotionally, deliver at OPRMC knowing that the NICU is only a floor above me.

I cannot, emotionally, "loose" another dr. I need to see MY dr either for the birth or thereafter.

I cannot leave the hospital WIHTOUT my baby.

Breech vaginals are generally safe. They do carry risks to the baby, like any birth plan.

C/s are generally safe but they do carry risks, to both the mother and baby.

I am going to do everything I can to help him turn. But I want, I need, a healthy baby more than I need a vaginal birth.

And you know what? I so FRICKIN ROCK. I have had THREE unmedicated vaginal deliveries. I gave birth in THREE HOURS. I've only had one IV in THREE births. Never had an epsiotomy; I only tore ONCE and that includes the baby born with his hand under his chin! Twice I've literally walked out of the hospital. I. AM. AWESOME.

If I have a c/s this time, I reserve the right to worry. I reserve the right to be pissed. But I don't know if I will try for a breech vaginal unless I can get the hospital my dr is at to allow a trial of labor. I need my baby healthy and home WITH me, more than anything. And if I need surgery to do so, so be it.

So much for being tough, buff and sex-ay!

I've been swimming two mornings a week with a master's program. I have to drag my oversized butt out of bed super early but I get a shower alone AND Adam makes me a yummy protien filled b'fast in the morning. Rock on.

The coach was teaching a couple lanes how to do flip turns. Normally, I don't do them when preg because it feels like the baby was coming out of my nose! However, I felt all peppy and onery and tried one. And I could do it! Woohoo!

My times are improving too, which is odd because I have NO rotation in my hips. My chiro notices this too. While I can turn my head fine, she can't. Apparently, there is something going on with my head/spine/pelvis; I have a protective mechinaism going to keep my hips from getting too loose. Since I am 32 week today and considering what I've been through, this makes perfect sense. I just hope they loosen up sometimes after 35 weeks!

ANYWAY, the no rotation thing makes it harder to swim but I must be doing very well since my interval times are dropping. I'm a little more toned in my arms. It's harder to swim (but not that bad) and impossible to kick.

I was totally feeling all sexy and buff and like hot stuff Thursday... then Friday I went to put on my fave pair of pants. They would not button. I put the elastic on the loosest setting. No dice. They FIT but wouldn't button. Adam tried to tell me to "suck it in" but this kid doesn't suck in! I am now down to two pairs of pants. I think I need a new pair. I suppose I can't complain since those were a maternity size 8 and I can wear them post partum without screaming, "I'm still in maternity clothes!!!!" But, yeah, so much for feeling tough, buff and sex-ay! ;)

The ABC's of ACC





Please keep in mind that not all kids who have

Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum are alike in

terms of how they are affected or how they learn.



Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum has a very broad

range of how it can affect a person.



With that being said, hopefully The ABC's of ACC

will help give teachers some insight and offer a

quick reference of key things seen in some kids who

have ACC.



ABCs of ACC - printable version







Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum

Definition: Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum is a congenital defect.

A child who has ACC (or a corpus callosum disorder) is born with it. Agenesis = missing or absent. Therefore, a child who has ACC is completely missing their corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is the largest commissural pathway in the brain consisting of over 200 million nerve fibers and allows for communication between the two hemispheres of the brain.




Abstract reasoning is often very difficult.

Abstract humor is often challenging.







Be Observant.

Breathe and begin teaching.

Be ready to take a detour as often as needed.

Behavior challenges may be present in some kids.

Broad range of how ACC can affect a person.

Believe in the child's abilities.

Break tasks down into small steps.

Build a child's confidence.









Confidence helps a child learn.

Celebrate the uniqueness of each child.

Confusion comes with too many directions at once.

Communication with parents is crucial.

Computers can help a child express knowledge.

Concrete thinking is common.

Communication can be a challenge.

Calculators used for math are common.

Counting money can be a challenge.









Don't put limitations on a child's ability to learn.

Diligently explore ways to help a child learn.

Depth perception issues may be present.

Detours are often helpful teaching avenues.

Decoding what a child says may be necessary.

Demonstrating what they know can be difficult.

Delayed response time is common.









Encourage a child often.

Expect they do their best.

Every child can be affected differently.

Eagerly find a doorway to the child's learning path.

Extra time to process info and answer a question.









Fix your mind on positive thoughts.

Find what works even if it takes all year.

Find methods that speak to their strengths.

Find creative ways to express what they know.

Focusing may be difficult.

Fine motor skills may be weak.







Graciously give respect to the child.

Give a child every opportunity to learn.

Give extra time to process info and answer questions.









Headaches or migraines happen in some kids.

Handwriting may be difficult.

High Pain Tolerance is common.

Homework log with teacher or aide's assistance helps.

Have Patience.

Have fun.











Instant responses may be difficult.

Irony and idioms are often very difficult.









Just try one more approach to help a child learn.

Just when you think it won't happen, it clicks & they learn.









Keep the door open to what a child can learn.

Keep trying new teaching methods until one works.









Listen to the child.

Let the child be the guide.

Literal thinking is common in kids who have ACC.

Loud noises may bother/scare some kids.

Language: finding the right words can be difficult.

Learning some new skills often happens slowly.









Motivation is a must!

Marvel at the miraculous ways a child is learning.

Music: singing words may teach more easily.

Math is often very challenging.









Never give up.

Neuropsychological Evaluations are very helpful.

Non-Verbal Learning Disorder may apply to some kids.

No progress for long periods before they learn it is common.







Observe a child's learning style carefully.

Organizing assignments and homework can be difficult.

One-on-one aides can help a child stay focused,

on task and organized.









Patience is a must.

Praise promotes confidence & learning.

Pre-teaching can be very helpful.

Present information as concretely as possible.

Processing information takes time.

Pragmatics-language used in social context-is often weak.

Parent/Teacher communication is essential.











Quiet work areas may help some kids.

Quick on the spot responses may be difficult.









Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!

Reading Comprehension is often difficult.

Recalling & Retrieving information may be easy one day;

the next day the child may struggle to recall or

completely forget it.

Remembering homework and assignments can be hard.

Reading social cues in others is often difficult.

Renewal for everyone is rewarding.









Self-Esteem is SO important.

Seek creative, fun ways to help a child learn.

Staying focused and on task may be difficult.

Stumble upon a new teaching method when least expected.

Slow response time is common.

Social Skills are often weak and behind.

Sensory issues may be present in some kids;

Sensory Processing Disorder.









Think outside the box.

Take a break when needed.

The child may easily recall info one day and struggle or

forget it the next day.

Tying their shoes tends to be terribly difficult.

Taking tests often requires additional time.

Taking notes can be easier when typing.

Teacher/Parent communication is essential.









Understand that every child who has ACC is unique.









Victory on the mountaintop is worth all the effort!

Verbal expression may be challenging.

Verbal words may come slowly and get mixed up.









Welcome a child's input and feelings.

Writing can be difficult for some kids.

Words may not come easily for a child who has ACC.

Word play is often very difficult.









X-ray a child's mind and learn how they think.











Yes they can and they will learn.











Zestfully believe in the child and all their potential.

Zestfulness for teaching a child makes learning fun.





ABCs of ACC - printable version





Did you think of something else to add to this list

that applies to your child who has ACC?



Please take a minute to add your own ABC thru XYZ comment

or you can send me an E-mail if you prefer.



I can't wait to see what else you come up with.



If you prefer to have a copy of this document in

Word version please send an E-Mail request.

The saga contuines....

My friend suggested we call a preist. I don't think she's joking.

After being told that no, it's not the control panel on the oven but the electricity TO the applience, we called an electrican who is covered under our home warrenty.

He came out today and said that there is enough wattage to the oven. We turned it on, both the top and the oven, and the top heated up fine. When he asked why I didn't call the company sooner, I said that people had been telling me it was my fault! He gave me a strange look. Then he said that the self cleaning feature should not have screwed it up because, um, it's a self cleaning oven. (I think that's just what put it over the edge.) We both think the top coils/broiler aren't working and need to be replaced. That part isn't heating up at all- not turning red, nada. At this point, I don't think it's safe to use the oven!

Now I don't feel bad about taking the kids out to lunch yesterday and tomorrow and dinner tomorrow night. We had some shopping to do with the other Room Mom and tomorrow I am treating them to Chuck E Cheese and then helping at the Fish Fry. We're trying to save money by eating in but that doesn't work when there's only so much you can cook without either the stove top or oven!

Giant Ash Wends FAIL

Since 2004 there has only been one Lent where I have had to fast/abstain from meat. (2008) I do give up meat, because it's not a hardship for me or the baby (and I like trying new healthy veggie recipes beyond mac and cheese and cheese pizza which, um, defeats the penace purpose, I think! :)) On fasting days, I try and be more mindful of what I eat, when I eat and try to make healthy choices.

Today on the way to dance class, I drove through Starbucks. I already had my drink in hand when I realized that we didn't need to spend the money AND it would have been a small sacrfice to not get the drink.

At Target for lunch, I thought, "I don't want a sprite- I think I will treat myself to a Coke!" and poured the drink and sat down. Of course, this was AFTER I had just picked all the chicken out of my salad to give to the toddler!

I'm reminded of the Lent where I sat at a coach's meeting, chatting about how glad I was it was Friday, what our Easter plans were, how yummy the catering was... and realized *the next day* that I had been chowing down on a turkey sandwhich!

I think for Lent I've given up my BRAIN. :)

Happy Valentine's Day!




Love, Snot-Nosed Bugger Brains Cheese Face. ;)

Georgie cracks me up. This is living proof that doing weird things with your string cheese is an in-born "weird boy trick." Joseph had been eating lunch with us but had left the table; The Toddler of Mass Dectruction came up with this on his own!

I can't believe how much he eats! Snack was an entire Oatmeal Blueberry Muffin (awesome- sooooo good!), half a cheese stick and then 2 or so ounces of whole milk. After that, he hoovered an entire 6 ounce bottle for his nap! I think he eats more than me!

His new love is household cleaning. He "helps" with the dishwasher by opening and shutting it. The other day, he was in the laundry room with me and got upset when I didn't start a new load. He was pointing to the basket on the top of the washer, where I toss kitchen napkins and towels, and then the front of the washer, saying, "Nawnawnaw!" Sorry, buddy, Mommy was done with laundry for the day!

I had forgotten how funn toddlers are...

Encouragement



I do my best
I try so hard
see what I can do
a smiling face
so big
so proud
showing something new

Each and every child
unique in their own way
has bright and shining moments
each and every day

Take the time
to nourish them
their spirit and their soul
speak blessings
and encourage them
for love is the true goal.




© 2010 written by Sandie L. Davis

Big Kids

It dawned on me the other day that Joseph is getting too old for our usual haunts- Wonderscope, mall, DeAnna Rose all that. He likes them well enough but gets bored if a friend isn't there. I understand- when you've been going some of these places every month since you were 18 months old (or younger) it gets old. Fast.

The problem is I have three younger children who LOVE these areas.

The other problem is that there is one of me, four of them and they still have to go places with me.

I want and NEED to respect Joseph as an older kid. I always had to do things my younger siblings wanted and I didn't like it. They all love animal movies (think Milo and Otis) and I don't. I don't like them. I didn't enjoy going to toy stores once I was beyond ten.

Joseph's going to have to do some of these things because he does have younger siblings and we're a family and we do things together. However, it's not fair or right for him to always have to watch Playhouse Disney but never "crab fishing" (Deadlist Catch).

I'm trying to find a balance now. Adam suggested that I invite one of his friends to come with us when we go to the mall or Wonderscope. That's fine but in two months I won't have an extra seat in my car. We do have lots of friends over to play, though.

So, I'm on the hunt for things Joseph can do that the littler ones won't be able to destroy/main/get kicked out of/ be bored/have to sit in their stroller the whole time. I think he's going to go to a camp this summer. I know he's doing baseball and karate.

The juggling begins...

pictures from Dec 09... including the screaming Santa!



Are they trying to scare me? Or just insane?

So, now I look preg rather than just fat. And I waddle. It's pretty obvious someone is going to be exiting my body soon.

I was at Camille's dance class and had her, the 15 month old (almost!) and my giant moveable belly. It was a pretty zen day, which means my drugs were working. ;) (No, actually, it was fine!) I was chatting with another mother and she said, "Oh, these two are 16 months apart and it darn near killed me!"

I blinked. Is she trying to scare me? Make me nervous? What? I smiled and said, "Well, the first two are 21 months apart so I'm not worried."

Okay, seriously, I know Georgie's going to be jelous. I know we're going to have a rough couple of weeks. I figure we'd have a rough couple of weeks no matter how far apart my kids are. We all have to adjust to the demands of a new person in the house and I know Georgie will worry when I am gone for a day or two.

This is my FOURTH BABY in SIX YEARS. I think I have it covered. Some days are totally frazzled. I was ready to murder Joseph tonight. I mean, his name is THREE LETTERS LONG and he CAN WRITE. It WOULD NOT KILL HIM to write his name on Valentine's cards! But, honestly! Day to day the hardest part is the number of kids in 5 pt harnesses and from 5-5:30 pm. Other than that? Bring.it.on.

Overheard:counting money

Camille: When I grow up, I want to count money!

The Story of the Stupid Oven

When we bought the house, we knew everything in it was Old. Old as in orginal to the house that was built in the early 1990's. Because we sold the house for less than we should have (according to Adam) and had expenses from three sold months of eating out (well, what was I going to do?) and the move (not moving ourselves, thanks!) I didn't think a new oven was on the list.

Adam surprised me with a new oven for Mother's Day. (JUST THIS ONCE DOES THIS COUNT.) I was pretty greatful, especially when I got an up close and personal look at the old biege model that was in the kitchen... tipping to one side. I had a super nice oven in the old house and really enjoyed using all the features, like the convection bake to make cookies. (Adam and the kids liked this feature too!)

Our new oven has some features that I like, like the warming drawer, and some things I don't, like the fact that there is no touch pad for the timer and temp control. This means that I turn it on, it goes to 350 and I have to hit the up or down arrow keys to get to any other temp. Um, no.

Then there was the feature that I hated- like the fact that it cooked unevenly! Food towards the back would be done or overdone while food at the front would be underdone or raw. A pan of cookies would be half baked, chicken would be raw and so on. I was informed that this was "my fault" and I would probably have to rotate the cassroles or cookies halfway through.

My response was a crude version of "Who has time for THAT?" and my mother-in-law gave Adam a look that said, "I don't think so." I had picked her brain about this oven and she had given me some tips, so I should have known something was wrong when she did this.

Fastforward to Jan. I went to heat up the oven, using the normal setting and "rapid preheat." (Nice feature, btw.) I went to heat up the oven and the chicken and potatos took way too long to cook. Adam and I stuck our hands in and it was too cool to be 400 degrees, like the panel said. We had leftovers that night and realized that it would cook.... but only with the convection feature. A day or so later, it took over an hour to go from cold to 250... and the end time should have been 350!

The nice repairman came out and said there was a problem with the electrical panel and, when I told him about the uneven cooking and how it took so logn to heat up, said there always had been. After some confusion about when we bought it (in May of 09 not Oct of 08, thanks!) he declared that it was still under warrenty and he would order the part.

Less than a week later, he was back and fixed it.

A few days later, I noticed it was taking a long time ot preheat. MIL came over and said the same thing; that it never preheated when she was trying to make brownies with the kids.

We've called the repairman again. Let's hope the third time is a charm. Honestly, this is stupid. I don't think I'd buy a Whirpool again.

Let's recap the broken appliences, shall we?

Since Christmas, 2009:

Main computer caught a virius- still broken
garage door broken- FIXED
dishwaher completely died- FIXED with 60 dollars left over to spend at Sears or Kmart. we were without that one for a month
washing machine- died in the middle of a cloth diaper load. Fixed to the tune of 130. We were without that for a week.
The car needed new breaks and two suspension pieces- FIXED to the tune of 300 dollars we weren't expecting to spend.
The vacuum cleaner- died tonight.
Oven- been on the fritz since we got the stupid thing... more on that later.

Is it just me or is this getting a little scary? And silly? I've spent most of 2010 waiting on repair men, parts to come in and workng around things I would like to have or NEED (anyone want to do without a washing machine?????). Frankly, I'm pretty pissed at the vacuum cleaner. Yes, it's over four years old and gets ALOT of use but I'm old fashioned. I expect to get more than a few years out of my vacuum! It's a good thing that I hate the stupid thing or I would be more upset.

(When our old one died, I was preg with Camille and Adam picked out this cleaner. I think it's too heavy and doesn't deep clean as well as I would like.)

See above for the story of the stupid oven....

Vote for me- all in fun!

http://www.colleeneidephotography.com/blog/kansas-city-maternity-contest/

My doula nominated me. :) It's all in fun- if you want to vote for someone else, whatever. But I'd like to win too. :)

Camille's ENT appointment

(I was going to call this "The One Where My Sister Keeps Screwing Us Over" but that's too bitter and cynical even for me!)

We all had dental appointments in Decemeber and the dentist noted that Camille had HUGE tonsils and told us to talk to her doctor. I did and he said that unless she was super sleepy during the day, snoring loudly, etc we wouldn't worry. I told him we noticed mild snoring and she's always been a poor sleeper so we would keep an eye on it.

Lo and Behold, a week later I go to a conference with her teacher and she meantions Camille has been sleepy at school since about, oh, Dec! I call the doctor who refers us to an ENT.

I was nervouse because this is Camille, right? And who knows how she is going to act! SHe's been known to go crazy at the dr. I have no idea who this guy is and have no references on him... we'r'e flying blind, people, and at a dr's appointment when you are crunched for time... oh.

The day started off... not well... with us getting to her dance class only to find NO tights and NO tap shoes and NO leotard in the bag! I was pretty MAD and we went right home. (I think the tights/leotard got put in the wash late and the tap shoes got left AGAIN at dance.) My dread o' meter was pretty high.

Thankfully, the office was fairly empty and we were taken right back. After waiting a grand total of TWO minutes, the dr walks in and says, "Did you have an appointment last week?"

"Yes, and I'm sorry I forgot to cancel. I completely forgot about the appointment!"

"Oh, its okay. I just remember seeing her name on the list and thinking how much I liked it. Camille is such a pretty name and you don't hear it very often. I lived through Hurricane Camille but it's still a fairly popular name in the south. Have you heard of the Camilla (sp?) flower?"

Okay, seriously, what a way to sucker your way into a mother's heart! He was so kind and gentle to her and she warmed up to him right away. He was pretty down to business but also calmed her and told her that looking in her ears wouldn't hurt and did alot of the exam with her sitting on my lap.

Her ears look fine but she does have HUGE tonsils and adnoids. We both think we're looking at surgery in the future but not now. I asked about the long term implecations of removing them; he said that they take out the tonsils, etc but there is tissue they leave behind so that part of the immune system still works.

How did my sister factor into this? When Lena was in kindy, they found a hearing loss. At the time, my parents were told that it was due to a fever she had as a baby. When Vincent was born, they were told it is highly likely she has always had a hearing loss and that is WASN'T due to the fever. With this in mind, plus some (minor) speech problems she has, Miss Cami has an audiologist appointment next Friday. We should know by then if she is ignoring us or not!

29 weeks: glacier, not a dam

Okay, so how does one gain 10 pounds in a week? I mean, we could go with "their scale is screwed up" or the constant MUST EAT NOW feeling. Or the birthday cookie cake. And Hershey's chocolate cake cupcakes. Yeah. That.

I had a "pants off" appointment since I have been having increase cervical fluid. I knew it wasn't an infection but we both wanted to make sure. It wasn't and everything is closed and "thick." The baby is laying diagional, which I think is good- he's keeping the pressure off the cervix. I think he spends most of his time transverse. You got a month, buddy, before we get on you to turn arse over head!

My doctor informed me that I should think of my mucus plug as a "glacier not a dam." Gross but funny and true!