Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Year of Good Health

A year ago this weekend was a scary time for our family. At first I didn't even realize how serious it was and then it hit me in one of my million trips back and forth from home to the hospital in the truck and then my emotions really went haywire.

Tony woke me up very early Saturday morning and says he is having chest pain. I'm not a deep sleeper but that one morning I was sleeping good. I honestly didn't believe him. I had bought a container of tums the night before after picking our friend's daughter A to stay the weekend with us. We were going to get a date on Saturday since we had a sitter staying overnight with us. Tony had said he took tums all night and thought it was indigestion but it wasn't getting better and his left arm hurt. He has had pain with reflux and indigestion for a long time so I just thought it was a bad case of this again. I didn't want to leave A home alone to get the kids up and do the morning routine which is sometimes difficult with three who were one year old at the time plus Logan was home asleep too. Instead Tony drove himself to the hospital. I don't even think we discussed an ambulance but that would have been a good idea after knowing it was definitely a heart attack.

I fell back to sleep. I did put the phone beside me in the bed. I was concerned but really I thought it was another one of his bad cases of indigestion. He calls me around 6 am and says they think he did have a heart attack and the EKG wasn't normal. It still didn't click for me. All I could think of was that he's 32, we have four children, he's our sole provider, there can't be nothing wrong. He'll be home afterwhile.

I make phone calls letting family know and I call a friend to drive me to the hospital since Tony's truck was there and he definitely wasn't bringing it home. It wasn't until Sunday evening I think it was that they fully diagnosed him with a heart attack. One person thought he was told by someone else, blah, blah, blah - lots of yelling going on with the staff, but eventually while the cardiologist was in there I had to come out and ask b/c we were all so confused "Did he really have a heart attack?" and the answer was "Yes." Since it was a labor day weekend and nobody works those day in hospitals obviously, we had to wait until Tuesday for a heart catherization and not only that, he had to wait in line Tuesday and didn't have his heart cath until late in the afternoon.

I'll spare the details of the cath but he did have a moderate size heart attack and has a few stints in place and takes a ton of pills everyday. That weekend changed not just his life but ours forever and in some ways it changed it for the better.

We have a friend watching our kids for us tonight so we can have a kid-free dinner to celebrate one-year of good health and many more years to come. We never got that date last year we were going to have and I don't count the time together spent in the hospital. Hospital food and lack of privacy is definitely not how I want to spend a evening together.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Orange Kids

Tonight the Hooker trio met their preschool teacher for the first time during open house. I feared Madelyn would freak out going into the classroom since she has some stranger anxiety but it was the opposite. She walked right in and started pulling out toys and playing with no problems at all. All three loved their classroom. We had to drag Andrew and Madelyn out of their screaming. Wednesday will be their first day.
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Quiet Time

It's never quiet in our house unless all of the kids are asleep, but I did get about 20 minutes worth this morning. This is what I found when I went investigating assuming they could only be getting into trouble. The boys were watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while Madelyn was using a play kitchen spoon feeding the boys her cheerios. She has no interested in watching TV at all but give her a spoon and some food, she'll stay quiet usually. This time she even chose to share.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Soaked is an understatement

These little stinkers locked me out of the house again while I was barefoot and it was pouring down rain. Yeah for hidden keys, but it's no fun when you have to trample through mud, rain, and no shoes to get to it.

Monday, August 25, 2008



Andrew is the winner for the first to get pee in the potty.

It actually scared him. I had left him on the potty and turned to walk to Madelyn's room when he jumped up saying "oh no, oh no". He thought he made a boo-boo and was upset about it. I was hopping for joy. Tony heard me from upstairs down to our room through closed doors and he came up to congratulate Andrew.

Andrew is enjoying wearing big boy underwear but couldn't figure out how to stop peeing in underwear. He had been holding it for a long time today and finally he got it. I hope it continues. Of course they are napping now and back in diapers, but after nap, Andrew is going back in underwear. I'm so excited! I can't wait to go diaper-free in this house.

First Grade - YIPPEE!!!!

The whole gang walked Logan to school today. Logan seemed to have mixed feelings. He was not overly excited but did say he was ready. He didn't whine getting out of bed so that was good. The younger three loved going to school and telling him "Bye" over and over. He was too shy to talk to any classmates. I hope all goes well and he enjoys his new teacher and makes new friends. Only one boy and three girls are in his new class from his Kindergarten class.
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Want to know how M did on her first day of Ballet????

She cried and cried and cried!!!!

She was very excited to put on her leotard and new ballet shoes when we were getting ready to leave. She was excited to get out of the car to go in. BUT as soon as we stepped into the studio, the screaming began - bulging eyes and tears as big as they can get. She attached on to me and wasn't letting go. The teacher took her from me and walked her to the other girls and she still cried.

What did help for a short moment was a bean bag. I'm not sure why the teacher chose to give her that but Madelyn held onto that bag the entire time we were there. She did not participate at all. She did sit in the floor for a circle song but did not try to move her arms or feet or say anything and when she looked back at me, the tears began again.

At one point I even got on the floor and tried to skip around with the girls but Madelyn wasn't having anything to do with that. She wasn't letting go of me and she wasn't going to try to dance at all.

Seeing all those girls reminded me again of Madelyn's developmental delays. Madelyn can't skip nor hop or skoot around. She walks and runs - not that great but she can run somewhat. She still falls down a lot. These girls were talking sentences back to their parents. We're lucky to get two word sentences from our girl. I really think ballet would be good for her and maybe help her develop these skills she needs to catch up on, but she doesn't want to participate because either she is too scared too or knows she can't do as well as them. I think we'll give it a few more tries but if it continues to be a crying session, I'm not putting her through this while she's distruptive to the rest of the girls and also taking up a space another little girl could have in class that would enjoy it more.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What's New?

For those that don't know, Tony has decided to further his education and start working towards his Master's Degree. Soon he will be spending many hours towards classes and school work which means more on me with keeping up with our family.

Some have asked if I was ready to take on more with our family while he does this and yes, it will be hard, but it's already tough. This was actually my idea to push him again towards getting his degree now rather than waiting. He's mentioned many times before about working towards a MBA and I feel now is a good time. He will have employer assistance with some (not all but this does help) of the tuition which is a big reason why now is a good time.

So why not wait a few years? Yes, that does sound like a better idea at the age our kids are at but that prolongs staying at the same position possibly, little to no pay raises, and I know he is capable of advancement in his career and his family shouldn't hold him back. We also rely soly on him for income so higher up the ladder, more money in the pocket (we hope). I know he can do this with work and school because he's just that smart and dedicated.

Can we afford a MBA? With the employer assistance, that will be a big help. It averages to about 2 1/2 classes free per year if Tony makes an A, B or C. I also am applying for a scholarship through a club I'm in. Spouses qualify if my application is accepted. It might be a long shot but it's up to $2k. Every bit will help.

Fortunately he's chosen an online program that will allow him to take a break here and there and have a few weeks off to rest if needed, spend time with us more, and have somewhat of a life. I will need that from him even if he's fine about continuing. I have preschool and first grade to rely on for a short break from the kids. I'll also still have my late evening hours after the kids are in bed just like I do now to get away and have some time for myself. I do see us possibly trying to hire more sitters once in a while so Tony and I have a chance to see each other and carry out an adult conversation when he can take a break from work and school. We never hire any sitters now so one every quarter would be a big deal to us.

Warning to friends and family - me and the kids might be raiding your homes more on weekends to allow time for Tony to have some quiet time for school work. There is no quiet space in our house with three toddlers, not even hiding in the closets.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In the pitch dark last night I walked with my camera up to the school on the side where the pasture meets, ducked under the trees, scared to death a snake or spider would climb up my leg and snapped this photo of this barn. I didn't use a speedlight which would probably have helped a lot but this turned out really cool. I think it almost looks like a painting instead of a photo. No, it's not the greatest photos I've taken but it is very different than anything else I've taken.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Potty Training Update

Stat's from this morning until current time....

100 - Maybe not so accurate but feels like that many times I've put kids on the potty today
97 - About how many times I've said "No pee-pee in underwear"
26 - (give or take a few) Pairs of underwear/panties we've gone through today. Even broke into Logan's drawer twice for a few Spiderman undie's (yes, I know, gross sharing underwear)
6 - # of times Madelyn has had accidents
4 - # of times it did not bother Madelyn to walk around in pee (finally she caught on and realized pee is nasty and doesn't feel good when wet)
4 - # of towels used cleaning up pee on the floor
3 - #'s of times both Andrew and Nate have had accidents
2 - how many puddles I've cleaned up where pee didn't obsorb into underwear and made a little pond on the wood floor
1 - how many times Logan had someone elses pee on his leg
0 - how often pee went into toilet

Five more days until school starts back

Sad, but so glad.

Logan needs to go back to school. If there were not three two-year olds in the house, I'd probably have a different feeling about this but he really needs school. He ends up acting out and behaving more like a toddler than a six-year old.

Last night he did say something rather cute I need to blog about. We were reading his Highlights magazine and there were some questions for the "Brain" in the back. One of them was naming what you are good at. Of course he answered that he was good at playing with legos. I also mentioned video games and being a good big brother. Tony asks Logan "So, what is Mommy good at." Logan response was "Running away from the babies." Tony exploded with laughter. I laughed too but I'm not that good enough or they wouldn't be able to catch me.

Logan has been keeping busy at home with video games this summer. There's so much bad info on playing video games saying it causes obesity in children, attention problems, etc, but today I see this article. I wouldn't mind having a brain surgeon for a son but I wouldn't want him to live with that stress everyday, but another Bill Gates is an option.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Showing off during dress-up time

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Go Panthers!!!!

This little girl hates for me to put up her hair and honestly it's not my thing either and it aggravates me when she does not stand still, but the end results are so darn cute and she loves it.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Today's Photography Class

Just wanted to share what I thought were my best photos today from class.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Shots or No Shots

Madelyn saw the Allergist again yesterday. Since none of the medicines seems to work and we've tried about all of them, we need to start considering allergy shots. We have been given another medicine, the last on the list, to try and if this is not the miracle drug, she needs the shots.

Unfortunately shots are not cheap. With our insurance, each injection is $25. That is not including the medicine. I do not have a price on it yet. For six weeks, it's two injections a week. Then it's one injection a week for 6 months and it keeps going from there lowering how many times she comes in.

I know $25 isn't much but many times pocket'd out adds up. Not only will this $25 add up quickly, it's not going to be easy getting her to the appts without taking the entire gang. I not only would need to consider the waiting time for the injection, but she is required to stay in the doctor's office 20 minutes afterwards. That would mean I would have to entertain a toddler in a non-toddler zone, sometimes three of them and maybe a 6 year old too. Twenty minutes is a short time period to me but not when I'm outside my child-proof zone.

I could have the allergist send the allergy shots to the pediatrician. In that case, I would have a play area to wait. Unfortunately it's about a 20 minute drive without traffic one way so if you take 40 minutes driving (minimum), estimate a 10 minute wait in office, 20 minutes after shot, that's a long time just for one little tiny needle to go into her body. Time is everything to me these days.

I've had friends say I could do this during preschool hours so I don't have to take all the kids with me. Well, I'd have to pull Madelyn out of preschool. If you take into account how long it takes to get the shots and driving time back and forth, she would barely get an hour of preschool since it's only three hours a day two days a week. I'm not paying for her to go to preschool and not get full use of the time I'm paying for.

The allergy shots are no gaurantee either. Even the doctor said there's a chance these would not work to control her allergies.

I think for the next few months we'll try this last drug and see what results from it. If we make it through this year without opting for the shots, we have the chance to change insurance companies at the end of the year to begin in January and maybe there will be a plan we can opt for that might pay for the allergy shots, one that is better than a copay everytime we walk in the door and I still haven't check into what the actual medicine cost yet.

And I haven't even mentioned the fear Madelyn has of shots. I know last time she had a physical with shots, she screamed before the cap of the needle was taken off the syringe. I'm sure she'll fight me and scream everytime we drive up to the doctor's office once she's had a few and figured it out that I'm taking her there for a painful needle.

I don't want to take on allergy shots, but it might be our last resort. I hate snot!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Three Two year old Toddlers are Trouble

Yesterday I thought it was amazing that these toddlers figured out how to take off a door knob completely out of the door, but today they have managed to lose my driver's license.

They got my purse down from the kitchen counter and took out my wallet. By the time I found the three with my wallet and it's remains, my license was missing. I think I have recovered everything but my license and it's no where in sight. There is a possibility it was missing before now and I didn't know it. That also translates if I DID lose it outside our home, it was probably b/c they distracted me when I had to pull it out for someone. I do know I had it at the library last Friday.

I hate the Terrible Two's and I am dreading the Terrible Three's.

Monday, August 11, 2008

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Funny shot but bad focus
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Do you know who these clowns are?

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Don't ya just wish you knew what they were saying here to each other?
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Ready to Go to School

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Not sure what to call this but she insisted on wearing this combination twice yesterday.
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Count down to preschool

Last night I went to Parent Only meeting at the church we're sending our toddlers to for preschool. There's a few things I don't like about it but overall it seems like it will be a good preschool.

One thing that does bother me is that most churches and other organizations are gearing away towards Halloween. I grew up trick-or-treating on 10/31 and never, ever believed it to be a devil's holiday. First, it's not a holiday at all. It's a fun night for kids to dress up and get candy - PERIOD. So, why are so many people doing away with trick-or-treating now and going to "Fall Festival"? Fall Festival is a cute, fun idea but it's not the same as trick-or-treating. In the handbook for preschool I received last night it said no Halloween celebrated but they would have a fall festival and have pumpkins, fall colors, scarecrows, etc. It seems my generation is the one changing Halloween. Kids can play dress-up anyday at their house but Halloween is a chance to do it and have fun and walk to neighbors homes and show-off. My kids will still participate in trick-or-treating until they don't want to do it anymore. I don't dress them in devil's costumes but I do allow them to dress-up in something else fun and exciting. Two of the preschools Logan went to allowed the kids to dress up. I guess the others will not have this chance to do that at school anymore.

There will be 12 kids in the preschool class with two teachers. Logan never had a class this big. One-fourth (1/4) of the class is our kids. I warned the teachers last night. They are going to have their hands full with just our three. I also don't like the fact the teacher's two-year olds is in the class too. That means she has to be a teacher along with being a parent.

I have to get a doctor's note for the teachers to keep an epi-pen in Madelyn's class. I can understand that they need notes to administer medicines, but at the same time, if she really needed it and I didn't have a note, would they not administer it? Epi-pen is a life saver. I hope she never, ever needs to have it, but I want to have one in her bag at school just in case.

Count down - 4 weeks = 28 days to preschool. Woohoo!!!!!!

Oh, side note, I found out last night Madelyn's ballet scholarship goes through June 2009. Wow!!!! I only thought it was a few months, maybe to end of this year. It's a whole school year of ballet lessons.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm playing with manual settings on my camera with this picture. This room was completely dark and I used no flash. I've still got lots to learn.
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Dress Up Time

We played dress up during Potty Training Time this morning. No success at potty training, but lots of fun playing with our dress-up box. I gave up after three accidents in the carpet and having to clean pee running down MY leg (and it wasn't mine). I just don't have a clue how to train three at a time. Maybe preschool will help out.
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Friday, August 01, 2008

A new one on me....

Today I took Logan to the pool, just the two of us, while the others slept during naptime. Don't panic! I didn't leave them alone. Tony was working from home. A neighbor I don't know but I know where she lives and how many kids she has asked me "so you had one more after the adoption and the twins?" I had to ask her again "what?" as in "huh?" I just didn't understand her. She kept on assuming I had five kids - Logan, twins plus our adopted daughter, plus another. I wasn't sure where she was getting this "other". She said "oh, I must be thinking of someone else - the blonde one that was crying last time."

Turns out she thought Andrew was younger than Nate and Madelyn. She assumed Nate had a twin that wasn't Andrew. I had to explain to her Andrew and Nate don't even look like brothers or relatives, let alone twins. She thought Andrew was younger than the other three.

I can't imagine having another child now along with three two-year olds and a six year old. She thought I had those four plus another baby/toddler. Oh my! I would surely be locked in the looney-bin if there was another one in diapers plus the three already in diapers.

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One of my items to shop for in my long five hour (yes FIVE) stay at Wal-Mart last night (taking advantage of tax free weekend before crowds) and early this morning was to buy Madelyn's ballet clothes. I looked all over for these things and when I finally find someone to ask "do you sell ballet clothes" she points to the rack behind me. I had walked around it several times and didn't notice. They were out of her size in most options but I got this bodysuit and tights. She is going to be the most adorable Ballerina on the floor. Logan said she needed a tu-tu. I've still got to find ballet shoes for her.
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We're back to breathing treatments everyday. At least now she sits still and I can do other things while she takes her treatments.
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