Friday, October 30, 2009

Noah's big Adventure

Noah had an adventure yesterday at the Allergist. We had been trying to get him in to the Allergist and were relieved when they called Wednesday to see if we could come in for a cancellation the next day. Our concern was that he seemed to be allergic to something. He was constantly rubbing his eyes, coughing at night and in the morning, sniffing his nose, and itching his throat. They asked if he had any history of asthma. We said no, and we were not really concerned with any tests for asthma since our main concern was his apparent allergies. I was very interested to see what he was so allergic to.

Here is the best 'before' picture of him. He was all jazzed when we got there. He jumped up on the table and took a good look around.

The Medical Assistant took us into another room for all the preliminary tests and vitals. He was interested in the blood pressure machine, but didn't really like the squeezing, which he said made his arm hurt.

This was one of his favorite parts. He got to choose his own mouthpiece, and take it home!

Here he is blowing out 'computer candles.' I was a little surprised that on the 3 tries, he was not able to blow out all the candles on any of them.

Then began the waiting. When we came in, we got lots of funny looks for all of the things we brought. I was told it could take 2 to 2 1/2 hours for the appointment, so I came prepared. We brought Noah's DS (handheld game player) and all of our games, my Ipod, on which I had downloaded some of his favorite PBS shows, his home reading book from school, our reading lesson book, my knitting, and a myriad of snack foods.

Then, it was time to see the doctor. We were very pleased with Dr. Jacobs, who was a new doctor to us. I had read about him online, and was happy to see that his demeanor was icing on the cake of his qualifications. Noah happily shed his shirt, and hopped up on the table for Dr. Jacobs to listen to his chest.

Next came the allergy testing. He was already nervous about this part because we had tried to explain it to him in the most innocuous yet honest way possible. We had told him that he would get little scratches with each of the allergens on his back. What we didn't tell him is that there would be 40 of them. Or that it would hurt like the dickens by the end. Or that he wouldn't be able to touch them, and whatever he was allergic to would make him itch like there's no tomorrow.

Then, the tears began. This was so hard for me and for him.

So sad. Then, he had to lay still for 10 minutes before she could read the results. He calmed down quickly when we read a book that required him to find things on the pages. He loves to read, but it took some convincing at that moment.

A close-up of the results: The far left is the control histamine, which everyone should be allergic to. The next red spot is one kind of dust mites--bigger than the control histamine! Next to that is another kind of dust mites. The far right red spot is cats. That was new news to us, but should not be surprising considering my allergy to cats could hospitalize me if the exposure was long enough.

This is after we wiped off the ink and histamines from his back. Still red and itchy.

Even though I predicted that he would have some allergies, he had nowhere near as many as I had thought. We had already known that he was allergic to dust mites since his pediatrician had done a blood test for that not too long ago. But, I figured he would have more allergies to other things.
Then, came the surprise. Finally, after 3 hours of testing, Dr. Jacobs' diagnosis for Noah? Asthma. I had always thought of asthma as wheezing unpredictably, uncontrollably, and often with exercise. I had no idea that many of the symptoms Noah has been experiencing have been because of asthma. So, he got a baseline chest x-ray (which he thought was very cool), and 5 different medications. We are going to try them for now to see what works well, then have another appointment in 2 months to re-evaulate. So, 2 different inhalers, anti-histamine, nasal spray, and anti-histamine eye drops. $100 in co-pays later, he is already doing a lot better. Very little coughing today. We gutted his bedroom today, got an encasing cover for his mattress (we already had one for his pillow), got rid of all the stuffed animals, and practically boiled all his bedding. We are so thankful to know what has been going on with him for the past 6-8 months. We know this will improve now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I lost my first tooth!!!

Noah has been watching this loose tooth the past two weeks and couldn't wait until he lost it. We kept telling him that he wasn't allowed to lose his tooth because his little teeth are so cute. We were in the car today on the way home from church and a friend's party and it came out. It was so cute because he was so excited. We wished we had a video camera because he couldn't stop smiling. It is so fun to watch because he just didn't hold back all of his excitement. He gets to tell his class tomorrow and his name goes on the "tooth board".

Congratulations Noah on a great smile!
Mom and Dad

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin carving and re-painting a dresser

We went out and gathered pumpkins today in between picking up a dresser for $10, having lunch, and taking Jacob's friend home from spending the night. I have to admit that I did get to sleep in until 9:20 this morning, which I was forever grateful. I felt normal again today.

There was an extra pumpkin, so I got very creative and carved out our last name in the pumpkin. I never said I was very creative. Rebecca knows this. She would have done a better job, but while we were doing the pumpkins, she was over in the driveway painting her $10 find, a dresser. She always knows how to find the great deals and can see a diamond in the ruff.

I did the cutting, while Noah told me exactly what to do. He was quite pleased with the final outcome.

So this is the dresser before it was touched by spray paint. It looked very 70's to me and I couldn't see how it could possibly work, but she did a great job.

The kids did end up having a pumpkin seed fight on the front lawn when I went in to wash my hands. It only takes a second and the kids will take advantage of the absent adult.

We did get to roast a lot of the pumpkin seeds which is the best part, I think. They smelled pretty awesome in the house.

While we carved away and picked up pumpkin seeds off the lawn, Rebecca was over trying to get things painted before it possibly rained. She always loves these pictures when I sneak up and take them from around the corner.

Striking similarities!

The finished product.

After some time of breathing in the fumes from the spray paint, I found Rebecca wandering aimlessly around the neighbors yard. We led her back to our house like a lost elderly person and she was able to finish the task at hand.

So here is the finished product. From noon when we picked it up to 7:30, when we both lugged the thing in the house. Another great find honey. She still seems to be a little dingy from spray painting, but I'm sure that will clear with time. If you see her wandering along the road, stop and bring her home for us. Happy Saturday.

Noah's Field trip to the pumpkin patch

Noah was so excited to go on his first official field trip for Kindergarten. They went to a pumpkin patch on Bainbridge Island and then went to the children's museum. Noah's has a really good friend, Tommy. Rebecca had the privilege of going with all the chitlins. It rained off and on, but it is October in the Northwest.

Noah looks so intense. He is either bored or really interested in the lady talking about all the different kinds of gourds.

Noah has a loose tooth on the bottom and we have told him that he isn't allowed to lose it because then it means he is growing up. We can't handle that. It will be any day now.

Class picture at the pumpkin farm. They had a good time then went on to the children's museum. They ended up going back to school to have a "picnic" in the their classroom since eating at the park would have been miserable. He had a fun day because he got to stay the whole day and ride the bus home with his brothers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Waiting in line for their turn at the shower

Strange things happen in a house filled with boys some times. Tonight we were at the dinner table and the boys were laughing a being a little crude. I have to admit that I may have added to the crude meter. iI looked across the table and Rebecca had her head down in her hands. I think she was thinking of a far off time where there are no stinky little boys. After awhile and when things had calmed down, she got a whiff of Jonah who smelled like a dirt clod and grass all mixed together. She said, "You know what, I think your dad needs to give all of you a shower 101 course again. Do you all know that when you shower, you have to wash every part of you?" They looked at her blankly, so I knew we needed another class on cleanliness. I had to agree since I had also gotten a whiff of Jonah. Just when you think that your job is somewhat done, you are standing there teaching all over again. I can't tell you how many times we say, "Did you flush the toilet, wash your hands, wash your hair, etc, etc, etc." It never stops.

So, at 7:00 p.m., after all homework was done, all the kids lined up in the hallway with their towels on and the challenge began. I came up with 7 areas to wash in the shower and briefly went over these with them. Jacob was the first one to go and he scored a 35/40, technique was good, but he was a little distracted. Jonah went and it was like a train wreck at first. Part of his hair was still dry when he put the shampoo in, he skipped major steps, so we had to do a little re-teaching. Noah was a pro because he had his brothers to watch a gain some much needed tips. Jonah scored a 35/40 and so did Noah. The funny thing was that I wasn't just giving them all the same score. After the shower, we all met on the couch for the unveiling and they all found out that they all lost one point since the towels were all left on the floor and not on the rack. They were clean though. Have to count your blessings though. Who says it's easy to parent. These are things I have been teaching them since they were 2 years old, but it just goes to show you that my job will never be done with these boys. Over and out.

The Hockey Man!

Jonah has been playing hockey now for a full 4 weeks and you would think he has played for 4 years. He pretty much thinks he is a force to be reckoned with out on the ice. Last week, he forgot his pants and pads in the garage and he had to wait while mom ran home to pick them up. This was a bummer, but this week, he checked three times before he left.

Once he gets all dressed up and puts on his helmet, he has the walk that says, "everyone back off, Jonah is coming"

We still have a hard time finding Jonah out on the ice, but he is the tallest kid out there. He looks like a football player.

We caught a good picture of Jonah wiping out on the ice. He came home last night and said that his knee really hurt and he bit his upper lip. I said, "it's all part of the experience".. like I would know since I have never played ice hockey before.

He is pretty good, as far as I am concerned. Jacob and Noah come along too and love to watch

Yeah, I think that's Jonah!

the played with a tennis ball the other day and then Jonah was coming towards the goal, tripped, and took out the whole goal and the cones went flying. He said it was awesome.

After all of his gear is off and sitting in a pile steaming in the corner, all he wants to do is drink and eat. He loves it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy 60th Sue Snelling!!!

Since Sue doesn't like surprise parties, her children decided to plan a party for her, waiting to tell her two days prior to the event. Sneaky, I know, but then it wasn't technically a surprise party. We all met on Wednesday, her birthday, at Puerta Vallarta and we gave her some of the gifts from the children. Rebecca had also given her a card with the invitation that we had sent out so that she could see what we had done. It was great. She couldn't believe it but was excited for the party. Mark wasn't involved in the planning, so he could plead the 5th and not get in trouble.

Think one of the kids took this picture at Puerta Vallarta.

Since Sue turned 60, we had to give her an old lady purse filled with all sorts of things that old ladies need with them at all times ie. candies, snacks, a cheap pair of shoes, a National Inquire for sophisticating reading, fiber one tablets, and Ben gay. It was great.

Josh couldn't come to the party that day because he had been in the ER the night before with a temp of 104, so he was home sleeping. But he did make the party of Friday.

There is the red purse that we gave her as the new "Grandma" purse. $3 at Walmart.

She also got 60 lottery tickets for her birthday in hopes of winning millions. It didn't happen, but it was exciting while it lasted.

This was the first reaction from Sue when she read the invitation sent out for her party. The look is a smile mixed with "I'm going to kill you if this is true". The next picture shows the true reaction once it sank in. She thought it was a joke at first since she had said no surprise party.

It all sank in during this time and then she realized that her daughters had deceived her.

We also had to add insult to injury by sticking the Mexican hat on her and screaming happy birthday throughout the restaurant. We were pretty brave to do all of this in one night.

Kids are always looking for a reason to try on a different hat. They thought it was great

Jonah bought Marna a Snuggie, which is a huge joke in out house. I think the kids really want to use it.

Friday, the day of the party, came and there was a lot of set up and food prep to make sure that all fell into place by 6:00 p.m. We had great help from a good friend of hers, Mrs. Stewart. We couldn't have done it without her. She did most of the food placement and prep.

Balloons were placed, lights were put up on the ceiling to add more to the white room. We dimmed the lights for dramatic effect, and we were on our way.

Everything turned out much better than we had thought. We just weren't sure how it was all going to play out.

Rebecca did the tables and she did a great job.

Sarah worked just as hard and she is working for two. she was tired by the end of the night, but we appreciated all her help. She only has about 6 weeks to go.

Mrs. Stewart doing her magic with all the food.

Mark's family arrived early and we even put them to work moving chairs. We appreciated all the help we could get.

Almost fell off the step stool a couple times as i tried to hurry putting lights up from the ceiling. Slow down is a good rule.

The cheesecake dessert table. There were pumpkin, chocolate, apple, and chocolate chip mint. Boy they were good. Mrs. Stewart and Reba did a great job.

Thomas even came and hung out with all of us for quite awhile. He had a great time sharing the lime light with Marna.

Last minute prep work with lighting the candles

Reba and her Aunt, Sue's sister, came with her husband, Owen. Their daughter, Amanda, was at our house helping out by babysitting. It really worked out well. Amanda did a great job and the kids had a blast.

Picture of Sue walking in with Mark behind her trying to hide. She handled the center of attention quite well........until

Everyone decided to sing her happy birthday right at that moment.

Mrs. Stewart

We ended up having about 40 people at the party which is what we were expecting. It was a great turn out.

We immediately started the food line since people were hungry and we could no longer walk by the food table without picking.

Friends from Sue's school who came in honor of her 60th

Someone even took a picture of us dressed up, which doesn't happen very often.

Mark's parents were able to come.

Hannah did a power point presentation on what was going on in the world in 1949. It was great to see. She even did a game, "what did things cost during that year." Great job Hannah

This was a picture from the stage of the crowd watching Hannah

Once the dessert table opened up, there was no stopping anyone. The cheesecakes were incredible.

Thomas and Aunt Reba

Then the fun part of the evening began. Sue almost didn't go up in front, but it was the cattle prod I used that changed her mind. Rebecca had put together 5 hats that Sue wears and has worn in her life. Rebecca worked on these at home and it was funny.

This was her librarian hat, and yes, we made her put all of them on so we could get pictures. Priceless

What a GREAT look for you Sue!

Then there was the home education major that she got in College where she learned to cook, clean etc and take care of a man.

Those of you who know Sue knows that she doesn't walk away from a remodeling challenge or do it yourself project, so she tried on this hat.

She is the tech person in her building but despite that, she is the technology queen anywhere she goes. This is what lights her fire. The hat was great. There was a computer mouse wrapped around the hat

Now Sue is part of the "Red hat club". Rebecca did a great job on the hats. It was funny to watch

Thomas was even laughing at Marna

Sue and her sister, Nancy

Nice hand on your hip honey

Sue and her good friend from work, Judy

The whole clan at the end of the night. We had a great time and I know that Sue did too. Thanks for all of you that helped make this happen.

Sue and her friend from school, Roxanne. Happy Birthday Sue. You will never forget your 60th.