Spring Update

This originally started out as a review of March…it is now mid-May so lets just call it a “Spring Update”. Here is what we’ve been up to. (If I remember correctly.)

Andy and I have been dreaming (well mostly me actually) about remodeling our house and making some necessary changes to make it more livable for our family since we moved in seven and a half years ago. We finally took the plunge this year by hiring an architect to help draw up plans to address some of the issues in our home. We aren’t sure of the timeline for construction just yet but we are *hoping* we can kick off the work this summer.

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Property Corner
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Doors, Cabinets, Countertops

Our friend Catherine came to visit us at the beginning of the March. Catherine used to attend church with us at NCCTK, but now lives in Hawaii working for the organization Chosen and Dearly Loved. Chosen and Dearly Loved came along side us financially during Callie’s adoption by providing us with a matching grant; this allowed us to finish funding Callie’s adoption with the help of  many of you! Chosen and Dearly Loved continues to provide post adoption support for the families they work with and so Catherine came to visit and see how we were all doing. While she was here she gave Callie a hair cut, which was much needed. And it looks pretty cute, don’t you think?

A huge milestone in March was that my 6 month seizure “anniversary” (?) arrived. Meaning…I can drive again!!! My anti-seziure medication is working very well to prevent seizures and thankfully it is doing so without causing side effects; both are huge blessings! It has been so, so, so nice to be able to drive when I need to. Although sometimes I forget that I can and I start planning out in my mind how I might get to x, y or z and when Andy can stop and pick something up for me…then I remember that I can do it myself!

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Callie started preschool locally where she gets to interact with other kiddos her age, practice her speech, increase her language acquisition and focus on a few other things that will help her grow and develop. She is at preschool two times a week, about 5 hours total. She loves going and wakes up asking, “School Day?”. You can see we note all the school days with a yellow school bus on the monthly calendar so she knows what to expect.

Callie and I ventured to Seattle Children’s for a day of clinic visits this March. Most of the appointments were post-surgery follow up appointments. We’d had many appointments added to our schedule that day and so we had to arrive around 8:30 am; which made for an early morning and a long day. But Callie is such a trooper and she handled it all very well. We met with the entire Craniofacial team and everyone was impressed with how well Callie is doing. She has healed well and is thriving. Her hearing has drastically improved, her speech is developing well and she is growing how they’d expect her to. Things went so well that, unless we have concerns, Callie does not have to go return to see the Craniofacial team until one year from now! That is a breath of fresh air!

In March Callie also had her last private speech therapy appointment. Her speech is coming along so well that both her private speech therapist and her speech therapist at Seattle Children’s do not think private speech therapy is necessary(she gets some help from the speech therapist at preschool). They told us that she has no cleft related speech concerns; she can make all sounds, doesn’t have air escaping through her nose, she doesn’t sound too nasal-y, etc! We were told that at this point Callie only needs time to catch up and they expect her speech to develop normally. How amazing is that?!? I never imagined that I would hear that! I truly anticipated that Callie would be receiving private speech services for years and years to come.

Her speech is in fact becoming more and more clear, she is learning more words all the time and understanding what we are saying! She has also learned how to say “no!” which was not an easy word for her to speak before and boy-oh-boy is she putting it into practice. ;o)

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School Day!

The kids have been asking to go to the Burlington Children’s Museum for a long time and we haven’t made it work because of illness, weather, my driving limitations, etc. But we were finally able to go mid-March and they had a blast.

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Captain Luke aboard the boat
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Callie and Luke operating the crane at the museum

After the museum we took the kids out for lunch. Callie made it clear that she was pretty worn out.

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She didn’t actually fall asleep, but apparently the children’s museum was exhausting.

Another super exciting thing that happened in March….. Eli lost his very first tooth!!

He pulled it out himself one night while laying in bed getting ready to sleep. He had been working on it for a while and was so thrilled. He even called Grandma and Grandpa to share the good news and they chatted on FaceTime with him while they were in the middle of the grocery store.

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First tooth – gone!                                                                                      (That hair! It grows & naturally works it’s way into that shape!)

We’ve had quite a bit of rain and the kiddos love to jump in the puddles so here they are splashing away. The alley behind our house has a lot of puddles so it makes for a perfect place to run and splash and play. Then we can zip back into the house and clean up. They had a great time!

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Puddle Jumping
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Puddle Jumper Luke
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Splash!
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Hand me down coats make for cute matching kids!

In April Eli had Spring Break (which wasn’t very spring-like). At the end of that week Callie and I joined my sister Kristin and her team for the MS Walk in Bellingham while Andy took Eli and Luke to the Easter Fun Festival at our church.

We celebrated Easter with my family this year. All of my siblings were there as well as my Mom’s side of the family. My kids LOVE playing with their cousins (and my cousins); these family gatherings are a huge highlight for them.

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Poor Eli came down with a fever at school. He told his teacher he was too tired to play at the very end of the day and he lay his head down and fell asleep.

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Andy took a trip for a week to join a group of guys on a camping and hiking trip in southern Utah. My uncle plans a trip each Spring and has done so for many years. He always invites Andy along but it hasn’t been feasible in the past (work, finances, babies, adopting, small children, etc.) but this year it all fell into place. He had a great time! And boy did he deserve it! Andy hadn’t had a true vacation in nearly 5 years.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s had time off from work here and there but never a time when he could be free of his work responsibilities both at his job and at home. It helps when you don’t have cell signal either.

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And you know what? We did okay here too! Actually the week went really smoothly. The kids were great. I made dinner (I don’t usually do that), I mowed the lawn (I don’t ever do that), and I handled everything else too..and it wasn’t so bad. But by the time the week was over I was running out of steam. My applause goes out to single parents everywhere, and families with spouses away for long periods of time (military families and the like); parenting alone is exhausting work.

Just last week we celebrated Andy’s birthday! He is still older than me. :o)

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Callie and I also ventured to Seattle Children’s again. This time to see the Ophthalmology department. We were there for a 3.5 hour long appointment. (That’s after the 2 hour drive there and before the 2 hour drive home.) Even though it is a trek we are thankful that we can receive care there. Ophthalmology is an area that really confuses me. I would like to say that I am more educated in that area now, but I don’t think that I am. I am hoping to improve upon my knowledge and understand exactly what Callie’s diagnosis and lens prescription mean for her in a follow up phone call next week. Anyone well versed in everything vision? You should fill me in.

Eli invited me to his Mother’s Day tea in his Kindergarten class. It doesn’t get much cuter than this folks. I had a great time! Just look at the sweet things he had for me.

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We had a Mother’s Day BBQ at my parents house; which was really enjoyable. We had good weather and it was really nice to have all my siblings present with their families. My brother Adam and his wife Megan have a new little baby girl. Here is a picture of Callie holding her new little cousin.

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That gets us up-to-date I think.

Oh and this…just because it is so adorable. Callie doesn’t usually nap, but she zonked out while reading during her quiet time a few days ago.

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Everyone is doing really well. Happy, healthy(all things considered) and looking forward to some sunshine…I think it may finally be here. 

Thanks for following along.

 

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