Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Big plans for 2009

As 2008 comes to a close and I sigh a huge sigh of relief I thought it would be a good time to put down on paper my plans for the upcoming year. I won't go so far as calling them new year resolutions so we'll stick with calling them plans. I don't think any of them will magically happen on Jan 1 but I will slowly pick a way at them and see where I am when 2010 rolls around.

I thought it would be fun to go for one thought or plan for each inch of snow that has fallen here in Spokane during the month of December. Well since we have passed the 63 inch mark and there is a predicted 2-5 more tonight I think we better go with one per foot of snow.

1. Keep my house clean/get organized

2. Save money

3. Finish the basement

4. Be healthy - mental and physical

5. Write a book

6. Learn to crochet - I threw that one just in case we get more snow than predicted tonight :-(

2008 started at 5am cleaning vomit off of Rex, his bed and the wall. I knew instantly that it was a bad omen to start the year. I guess nothing really really terrible has gone on but it hasn't exactly been all peaches. So as I start this new year I am determined to make some changes that will hopefully make life run a bit more smoothly and keep my sanity at the same time. I wonder if that is possible.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Over the hills and through the woods.......

Well we went through snow not the woods but we did arrive safely at Gramma and Grampa's house for Christmas. We all had a wonderful Christmas even though the snow kept us from Christmas Eve Mass. Since we didn't make it to church I forced my boys into dress clothes to eat dinner Christmas day. Aren't they handsome.

The rest of these pictures are from the day we left to drive out to mom and dads before the next storm came. We had our family Christmas before we left.

Aunt Christine wins the cool gift award for the vacuum. Riley is already busy cleaning the house.

Rex was able to go shopping at Santa's workshop at his school. For the first time ever he went shopping for his own gifts with out mom and dad. He choose a train for Riley, golden pine cones for dad and for me he choose this beautiful lady. He thought I would really like the flowers around her neck. He was so proud of his choices and was great to watch him as we opened each one. The golden pine cones came in a free basket (the free part was impressive to Rex) so we are going to add some rocks or something to the bottom so Justin can take it to work and use it for a pencil holder.
I picked up a microphone like the one they use during his speech therapy and he loves it. He picked it up and instantly starting singing for us. The last few days he has added a lot of new babbling and words. He has said down a few times but it comes out OOOWN. Rex got the new Sorry Sliders game so we taught Riley to say sorry sorry sorry. It is a wonderful word approximation that I can't even begin to type how it sounds. My mom swears she heard him say ball but I missed it.

I have too many pictures and it is so stinkin slow to upload straight to blogger that the rest are goining into a slide show. It may be long but you should feel like you were there opening gifts with us Christmas morning. ENJOY!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Letter

Here in Spokane we have accumulated almost another foot of snow. Well, after my last adventure out in the snow I thought it best if the boys and I stay home yet another day. As a working mom I'm not used to this quite schedule with no rushing from thing to thing. My body has slipped into neutral and thinks that if I'm not off to work that I should be napping. While this was a great plan the first few days I think possibly I've caught up with my sleep and now my house is a total disaster and there isn't anything good to blame it on. Notice I can still find things like blogging to keep me from the dishes :-)

The big bummer about not being able to be out and about is that Justin's Christmas gift is stuck at my office. It is snuggled in all warm and safe with the rest of my Christmas cards that need to be mailed. So those last few that I was digging for address for may be getting Valentines cards again this year. I thought I'd put my Christmas letter up here so all of you poor souls that read this blog can enjoy my Christmas letter even though the card isn't in the mail.

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope this letter finds you all well and enjoying the holiday season. We have had another busy year here at the Kibbe house. Since this years holiday card is actually being sent out in December as a Christmas card instead of February to celebrate Valentines Day, I think we may have acquired a little bit of sanity this last year. Well, maybe not sanity but at least we are proceeding at a slower pace.

Rex has started kindergarten at All Saints Catholic School. He LOVES it! Rex has grown up so much this last year. Not only has he grown about 2 inches since turning 6 in August, but he has matured a lot as well. He is becoming much more independent and brave. Kindergarten only brought one day of tears and by day two he says “ya I got it mom, Bye” In the spring he played T-ball and Justin volunteered to coach. That was an experience for the entire family. Rex loved that his dad was his coach and really enjoyed playing on a real team with a uniform and hat. He started playing soccer this fall and has loved every minute of it. He jumped right in and made new friends and really enjoys playing on his cousin Krystal’s team. Krystal has taken on coaching to complete her senior project and I think has learned almost as much as she has taught Rex. Rex reminds me on a regular basis that he “is born to born to play soccer!”

Riley has also had an action packed year. He had his fingers separated in May. It was a successful surgery at the Shiners’ Hospital. After just 10 days or so in a cast he was able to use his fingers. When they first took the cast off, he wiggled his fingers and stared at them like he couldn't’t quite believe he could wiggle them all separately. Riley wasn’t slowed down much at all by the entire procedure and I recovered fairly quickly from the queasy tummy after we first saw how many stitches it really took for the skin grafts. He continues to attend the Spokane Guilds School and in September started in a toddler group twice a week. Circle time is the highlight of his time at group because they sing songs with actions. Riley is a very social kiddo and really enjoys the time with other kids his size. Throw in snack time and he almost forgets that he spends the majority of the two hours in his individual therapies. He has physical and speech therapies during Wednesday’s class and occupational and speech therapies during Friday’s class. Riley works so hard during his therapy and really loves all of his therapists and teacher. I don’t know what we would do without the Guild School. He has accomplished so much during this last year. Riley started walking at the end of October and really keeps us busy chasing him these days. It seems as if he adds more and more words to his vocabulary each day. He has about 15 signs and almost that many verbal words. He generally has no problems telling us what he needs. His big brother remains his favorite person in the entire world and Rex can always get a giggle out of Riley when the rest of us can’t.

Justin continues to work at EZ Loader Boat trailers. This March marks his 4 year anniversary. We continue to pray that with the turn in the economy people still find a way to buy boats and need those trailers.

I continue to work for the American Cancer Society. It is hard to believe I have been there over 7 years now. Travel has slowed down and I have only minimal trips these days. It is wonderful to have the consistency in our schedules and it is much easier on the boys.

As we take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas it is so obvious to me all the ways God has been present in our lives this last year. One look at our beautiful children and you can see HIS hand at work. They both have so many gifts and we have only seen just a small glimpse of what they will share with the world.

Love to all,

Mary, Justin, Rex and Riley Kibbe

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Driving me nuts! No its not Justin :-)

I'm not exactly sure what brought on this little funk today but I am totally iterated tonight. As you can see I have a link to the author of Paint the Octopus Red on the sidebar of my blog and figured out yesterday how to link it to her website/blog. This has been one of my favs that I discovered when looking for books for Rex to help explain Ds. I love books and since discovering that Riley would have Ds have been on a mission to find any good books not only on the subject of Ds but also books that have pictures of kids with Ds. Maybe it is because children with Ds have such distinctive physical characteristics that I have been so insistent on finding books for Riley with pictures of children that look like him. Yes, I know that he doesn't care and I know that Rex doesn't think twice about it but wouldn't it be nice if all kids had access to books that features of all different abilities. I have found a couple books but for the most part books I find have pictures of children from 1970 or before. Seriously no wonder people can't get past the stereotype of the bowl haircut and goofy glasses. My friend Kacey jokes that she was sure her daughter didn't have Ds when she was born, she just didn't look like she did. Kacey laughs that she probably was looking for the bowl haircut and thick glasses and since Ella wasn't born with those things she must not have IT. My friend Rebecca gave me a catalog from Woodbines that is all books about and for kids with special needs. I joked that it wasn't trendy to have a child with Ds and if we wanted the cool books we needed to have autism. I mean no offense by that because I know that autism is scary and confusing and there are so many variables that parents need resources, but seriously when you go into the local Barnes and Nobel and in the HUGE bookstore there is one tiny four foot section of books on special needs and 5 of the 6 shelves in the section are about autism it is a bit frustrating. That leaves 1 shelf for all other Syndromes and usually 1 or 2 books on Down syndrome. The only books I have I found online or had to special order. Nothing like making you feel even more SPECICIAL by having to wait for your books when you really just want to go in, browse and pick up something fun.

There really is a point to all of this grumbling. I have come to the realization that we are just going to have to create our own. When I say we I mean me and who ever else I can rope into helping me. How hard could it be to write a children's book right. OK so I know it isn't just magic and ta da you have a book but I do think I could find something to write about and then illustrate with pictures of children that are from this decade. I'm sure Kacey will help. Heck we could create a Christmas book just with pictures from Riley and Ella as Santa and Mrs Claus. Plan B is to start a letter writing campaign and start telling the publishers that we want books. So if anyone knows anything about writing a book and getting it published let me know. OK enough rambling and ranting I'll leave you with some pictures of my beautiful kids. I've updated our snow video with pictures of Riley and additional pictures of the neighborhood. We are supposed to get another 6-9 inches tonight of the fluffy white stuff.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The wonders of the internet...

Sometimes I have to just sit in awe of the Internet. This last week in my Christmas card from my cousin Debbie which included her blog address. From there I link to her sisters. Seriously these are my actual first cousins (not one of the 100's of others that live close) that are closest to my age (my parents both have huge families and are the youngest of 7 and the 4th of 5 so my cousins are closer to my parents age than mine) and we have been terrible at keeping in touch. We have never lived close but when I was young their dad, my uncle Nick, worked all over the place. When they lived in Hong Kong they always had these long summer trips home and usually stayed a few weeks at the lake with us. The last time I actually remember seeing them was at my wedding and that was over 10 years ago. How sad is that. Thanks to the Internet I can now keep track of the rest of my family and all their kids, and don't have to wait to have it filtered through both sets of our parents.

The other fun thing I learned via the Internet tonight is that my friend Leyna has her beautiful baby Danny home. I don't have a full update but all must be good since they are all home from the hospital.

Tomorrow I promise more pictures of the kids. The snow is fun for Rex but Riley didn't enjoy it. I'm going to try again tomorrow for some pictures of him actually smiling....or at least not crying.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I love living here in Spokane because we have all 4 seasons. Usually it is not very extreme weather but the current weather pattern we are experiencing is extreme. Extremely cold, extremely snowy, extremely cold oh and I mention extremely snowy. I do enjoy looking at snow when I can sit and read a book and watch it out the window. Ya driving and shoveling and shoveling and more shoveling are not my idea of how to spend a good snow day.

So to truly enjoy my snow experience I must start the story at the beginning. Yesterday I left the house at about 8:15am. It had started snowing a little before but it was a nice pretty light snow and I didn't figure it would be a big deal. So I ran out to the car in my dress clothes and shoes (note: left new boots by front door cause I wouldn't need them) Well it snowed and snowed and snowed. At about 3 they closed our office and encouraged us to go straight home. This was only after the news was reporting that to go up the South Hill (large hilly part of town that I live in) you must have traction tires and also 4wheel drive. Well I'll skip ahead to the part after I have tried three different routes up the hill and have decided that I'll settle for the steep part by my house and park in the Fred Meyer parking lot and walk home. I live on approximately 21st so how horrible could the walk be right. So, I proceed to go into Fred Meyers while Justin checks the news again to make sure there is absolutely I'm not getting up the hill and while walking through the lot I almost fall on my toushy as I slip on the ice and then almost get ran over by the idiot that didn't look before backing up. Seriously I think he only noticed me when I slapped the side of his SUV as he started to back into me. Well while inside I decided to buy boots for my trek and also a beanie and additional gloves. All wise purchases that have been used again today. Oh ya I bought a back back to put my shoes, laptop and purse in so I wouldn't have to try to carry stuff in my arms. So about 8-10 blocks into this trek and before the steep hill part I run into a man out shoveling his sidewalk. I joked with him asking if he would shovel my path up the hill and he offered to drive me home. After establishing that he drove large off road jeep with HUGE tires I proceed to climb in to the car with a strange man that lives in a slightly sketchy neighborhood at the bottom of the hill. Well good choice on my part as he proceeds to drive me up the side streets that are not all paved under the snow but no traffic and in less than 15 minutes he drop me off at my door step and refuses to take the 5 bucks I had in my purse. I left it in his car and possibly will deliver cookies at later date. Well the pictures tell the story of what I found when I opened the door this morning. Rex and I went out first thing about 7:30am and I captured how he disappeared in the snow bank. Also you can see that the snow is covering the wheels on Justin's tiny little Nissan. I'm still a little bitter that his car made it up the hill last night and mine did not. I'm sure I could have made it if there weren't so many idiots sliding and stopping in front of me and getting in my way. I didn't do so well at the starting on the incline part of the drive. This evening my friend Shannon who has that 4wheel drive that is needed to get around came and picked me up and we ventured down the hill to rescue my van. I was not the only car with 2feet of snow in the parking lot. I wonder if those others cars had to walk home or if someone nice stopped to drive them home too? Enjoy the photos and hopefully tomorrow Riley will make it out to play in the snow too. Friday is also a snow day. All Spokane schools are closed and so is my office. I'm pretty sure Justin will also be home because our cars don't have the clearance to make it through the side streets. Gotta love freak winter snowstorms.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Leyna Leyna

A few weeks ago my friend Leyna posted the following on her myspace blog. Note she was approximately 40 weeks pregnant with her first. I thought this was the funniest thing I'd ever...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Eviction Notice

I am issuing 5 day notice for EVICTION. Daniel will have 5 days in which he can either gather his belongings and promptly vacate the premises, or wait until the final day. After which, action will have to be taken to remove him from the property.

Daniel is being evicted due to breech of contract and destruction of property. Expansions only to the FRONT of the property, within reasonable limits, were discussed. Not only have these limits been exceeded, but additions to the back of the property were also made! Remodeling and gutting of the residence was never approved, nor was changing the initial layout and base structure. And due to property damage, there are now leaks in both the upper levels of the home. On top of which, late night parties have been discovered and these are not allowed.

If Daniel doesn't comply with the notice within 5 days, the result will be an immediate and forceful removal at my discretion.

Well he finally was evicted yesterday, well I should say he conceded and came out without much of a fuss. I got to stop by the hospital and hold the little cutie. Tonight as I'm checking to see if there are new pictures up I find the following blog entry from Leyna.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Welcome to Parenthood

The last 48 hours have just been...well, crazy. At 11pm Sunday night I started having contractions, by midnight Derek and I were headed out the door to the hospital. We went through triage, and they said that I was dilated to a 3, was having contractions, and was indeed in labor - but was still in the early stages of labor and that we should go home. After a little pleading (we really wanted to just stay and start with the induction since we had it scheduled for later that day), they told us to walk around the hospital for an hour (which would be 3am) and come back and get checked again. So we did that and before getting checked again, I had to use the bathroom. I used the bathroom and as I was getting re-dressed, my water broke! Yeah! We were staying : ) We were both very, very excited that Danny had decided to make his arrival WITHOUT having to be induced and that Derek's parents who were in from Hawaii would be able to see their grandson for sure. There was meconium (baby poo for those of you who aren't familiar with that one) in the amniotic fluid, so they told us that during delivery the NICU would be there to check him out and that it wasn't anything to worry about. So we started laboring - which I didn't think was as bad as I thought it could have been. I was having back labor so it was kinda painful, but nothing too bad. At 9am, the doctor started me on pitocin after not really progressing. By about Noon, the pain started to get crazy intense. I was still only dilated to a 6, so I got a shot of phentonyl, but it didn't seem to do anything for me. A half hour of the shot of phentonyl, I asked for an epidural. So the epidural lady came and starting setting up. By this point my contractions were lasting about 90 seconds and had less than a minute between them. The epidural got placed and as she was finishing up, I told my nurse that I thought Danny was crowing. She said, no, it's just really bad contractions and that the epidural would kick in in about 10-15 minutes and I could sleep for a few hours before we started pushing (I hadn't slept since 7:30 am Sunday morning), but she said she would check after the epidural was started. I was given a half dose and the nurse checked me and immediately started calling the doctor. Guess what? I was right! We started doing the panting breath while Derek and the nurse convinced me that I really did want to keep Danny in until the doctor could get there. They rounded up a hospitalist (basically they were looking for anyone with the letters "MD" after their name) just in case I couldn't wait. I managed to pant it out through 4 - 90 second contractions (go me!) before my doctor showed up and delivered Danny at 1:46pm. So, I got an epidural...but didn't really use it : ) Derek cut the cord and Danny was handed off to the NICU folks for a check-up, which he passed with flying colors. He got a 7 on his first APGAR and a 10 on his 5 minute. Then Derek got to bring him over to me and Danny settled into a 30 minute breastfeeding. It was just a surreal experience. He is absolutely beautiful and I felt like I was watching the whole scene play out from the clouds; it just didn't seem real! Danny and I got moved into the recovery room and were met by Derek's parents who ooo'd and awww'd over him for a good couple of hours. Danny got his first bath and he ate two more times (both 30 minute feedings!) and things were going swimmingly. We had some friends come check him out too - he just kind of slept through it all. He was such a well-behaved little man : ) At about 9pm, everyone left and it was just Derek and me taking care of him - which was really cool! At 3am, the nurse came in to check his vitals. I was just getting to sleep after feeding Danny at 2:30am so the nurse told me to just leave the light off. She took his temp and then asked me to turn the light on and then our parenting fun really began. Danny was having a hard time breathing so she asked me if it was okay if she went and checked his oxygen levels in the nursery. I told her it was and within ten minutes she was back in the room with a NICU nurse telling us that they were admitting him to the NICU. AHHHH! So we rushed upstairs and they put him in an oxygen tent and hooked him up to machines to monitor his oxygen levels, heartbeat, and blood pressure. They also started an IV and gave him sugar water and drew blood to check his white blood cells for infection. They did a chest x-ray and determined that it could possibly be three things: his heart, a pnemothorax (which is a small hole in the lung and air gets trapped in between the lung and chest cavity), or he aspirated on something (could be milk, meconium, or some unknown thing). In order to figure out what it was exactly, they would need to run more tests. So, at about 4:30am, they sent Derek and I back down to our room and told us that by 8am they would be able to give us more info. Nothing like being a new parent and having a baby in the NICU! So at 7:30 this morning I was back up at the NICU where they did a second chest x-ray. His oxygen tent was giving him 94% oxygen (room air is about 21% oxygen) and his breathing was still pretty labored (he was taking 90 breaths per minute where it shouldn't be over 60 per minute). At around Noon the neo-natologist stopped by and said that they were going to start feeding him again through a feeding tube and that they were going to start taking him off of the oxygen and see how he did (he had been only having sugar water since he was admitted to the NICU). So far he has been doing pretty well with this. He is currently at 72% oxygen in his little tent, and they are weaning him off of it. They are going to do an echo-cardiogram tonight to further rule out any type of cardiac problems, but the neo-natologist is pretty sure that what caused all of this is a very small pnemothorax and aspiration of some type of fluid. He is hopefully going to be off of the oxygen tent by tonight or early tomorrow morning and they said that maybe tomorrow afternoon they would let me try to breastfeed again, depending on how he did with breathing on room-air. They said that if all goes well, he could be home by Thursday or Friday. He's a little tough guy and I know that everything is going to be fine - it's just a little scary. We can't hold him because he has to stay under his oxygen tent at all times. They have actually told us to only come visit him minimally because every time we do, he wakes up when he hears us and his breathing becomes more labored. So, we've been going up to check on him occasionally but just kind of hanging out in our room. It's been an exhausting last couple of days and I just can't wait until I can hold him again (they said once his breathing is better stabilized and he is out of the oxygen tent, we can). They have been letting me take his temperature and change his diapers when I'm up there, so that is nice of them. I'm also pumping milk and they will be feeding that to him through his feeding tube. It's awfully hard to see your baby have so many tubes, IV's and monitors on him - even if you know that he's going to be okay. I just want to make him all better and it's really hard not even being able to hold or really touch him. Anyway, I'm headed back up to the NICU and then I'm going to take a nap. I've gotten about 2 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours and am just exhausted. I'll keep everyone posted as to what happens. Say a prayer for him!

My heart just sank for her when I read that they were having to be in the NICU at all. Just the thought of the NICU makes me a little sick to my stomach and icky all over. Riley only spent two weeks there but it was so hard to leave him at the hospital and go home. While we were there we met so many families that had been there for weeks on end and going home was no where in site. I don't know how they do it with out going crazy. It is amazing how the lil things bring it all back in a flash. All the buzzers, wires and beeping I can hear it all like it was yesterday and not almost exactly two years ago that Riley was in his little bun warmer learning to eat and breath at the same time.

Well little Danny you get better quick cause I think mom is going to evict you from the NICU too. It is time to be home!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The star shines bright!

We finally got the tree up this weekend. Our tree has personality that is for sure. I used to think it would be so beautiful with white lights and golden ornaments. I'm pretty sure that type of tree would just make me sad. Where would all the boys ornaments go. I have noticed that our tree has taken on a large sports theme. Each year we try to get the boys a onrament that keeps track of their interests and it appears that Rex's moves from his baseball to soccer and has just a touch of football.

Riley is still not interested in the tree. How lucky are we? He occasionally wants to poke at it with other things but really doesn't want to be near it and won't touch it with his own hand. I believe he is still wondering why the tree is inside and not outside.

Justin always wants Rex to put the star on and it is a hysterical adventure each year. Rex is now getting big enough I thought he might actually accomplish it this year. Well..... I think these pictures tell the story better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Party at the ARK

Let me go Rex. I'm busting out of here.
Oh no you don't Riley. Mom wants a picture! Don't make me use the choke hold that Hunter taught me :-)

I think these pictures tell the story. The big boys had a great time running around and playing the carnival games. Rex and Hunter usually have a fun time together. Rex always manage to teach Hunter some lovely bigger boy icky trick. I think he kept it to showing him how he carries Riley around for us. Well Riley is a couple pounds lighter than Ella and Rex is almost two years older than Hunter. I'm sure Kacey will have fun dealing with that. Riley was toddeling around like he owned the joint. I'm glad it was a fairly small area that I had to chase him around in. Some day he will listen to me right? I am glad that the kids had a good time. If I'm being honest I don't enjoy these things. I joke about not playing well with others and it sure shows at times like this. I see the families with older kids and I feel a bit like I must look like a deer in the headlights. I hate thinking about what life might have in store for Riley and then it makes me feel very judgmental and yucky about myself. I have made friends with very few of the families that we have met in real life and not through blogs. I'm thankful that I have made friends with Kacey (Ella Grace with the Pretty Face) and Rebbecca. I tend to run the other way from people that want to tell me how lucky they are because God gave them this gift and their child with special needs is the best thing that EVER happened to their family. Don't get me wrong, God did give me an amazing gift when Riley joined our family, but his big brother Rex is also a gift from God. I don't understand when people say one child is a bigger gift than another. There is also the EWW factor and any big gathering. This more where I feel judgemental. I don't feel all warm and fuzzy about the messy kids and or dirty smelly kids- I always feel bad that the parents don't take more care with them - but I don't gush over them. I know that Riley will always have physical features that will identify him as having Down syndrome but I really hope that he aways is clean (besides the drool that is always stuck to his shirt) I sure don't have a strong desire to make friends. Sometimes I feel like I'm expected to have this bond with all families that have kiddos with special needs, and I don't. I'm want friends that have things in common with me above and beyond a child with special needs. Well enough babbling about the Christmas party that Kacey talked me into going to that has reminded me socially inept I can be.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Being a baby is such hard work!

This was too good not to share. Yesterday Christina emailed me this picture that she captured of Riley. Evidently he really wanted up on her sofa and when she turned around this is what she found.

He played so hard he just gave in to the exhaustion.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Using it to our advantage!

Just a quick funny. Riley doesn't show many signs of sensory issues like so many kiddos with Down syndrome have, but does seem to have an aversion to green poky things. This summer he hated the grass. When you sat him down in it he would pick up one leg and just randomly hold it up and then stare at you like you were so ridiculous to have forgotten that he hates the grass.

As Christmas rapidly approaches we have been debating what to do about the tree. We have been afraid that he will play with it non stop and pull down the ornaments. While at a friends house this weekend we discovered that Riley will have nothing to do with the tree. He walked a wide swath around it. So yesterday Justin assembled our lovely fake tree. Riley stares at it and then points out the window as if to say why in the world is the large green thing inside.

Of all the things to have a little issue with this works out great for us!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

2year check up

Since Riley had the big 2nd birthday he also had to have the big two year well child check. He measures a woppen 33 inches tall according to the nurse. Kacey thinks I'm crazy because Ella is only 30 inches tall and they kids are the same height and Ella possibly has the advantage by a tiny bit. MY Dr.'s office still measured him laying down and evidently Kacey learned that kids over 1 need to be measured standing up or you can stretch them out. So Kacey has the homework assignment of getting Riley to stand still long enough to measure him standing up. I think we should go with the 33inch measurement since that puts him at the 5% marker on the regular kids growth chart. He weighs in at 24 pounds with also puts him at 5% on the regular kid growth chart. All in all a great visit. I love my pediatrians. Dr. Marla raved on and on about how cute Riley is and how impressed she is with his development. It is always good to have someone rave about how beautiful and impressive your kiddo is.

Riley has also recently had all of his therapy reevalations. I think it is so interesting to compare all of the results. His OT Eval that was completed in late September puts him at an age equivalent of 15months.

His PT evalulation was completed in October and puts him at 10-12 month age. ( He started walking about 2 weeks after this one)

Speach was also done in October and puts him at a 16 month age. 13 months for Receptive language and 19 months for expressive language.

The last one is the evaluation completed by the teach of his toddler group. This places Riley a with cognitive skills at 17 months and Social-emotional skills also at 17 months.

It always cracks me up that each time we have evaluations done the therapists have to give you a big pep talk about standarized tests and how they aren't a true representation of the your child. Well I realize this but it is still strange when you stop and think about Riley just having his 2nd birthday and truely being more like a 1 year old.

Just in case you forget this little piece Riley will remind you when he show you his top tooth that is just breaking through. That makes #7. He has four mollars and his two bottom teeth. I wonder if he will get the second front tooth soon. I can just picture 1 front tooth..... people won't wonder about then will they.

When I had Rex all the mom I knew would compare what percentage our kids were and what each kiddo was up too. Talking evals and adjusted ages is a whole new world.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It was awesome mom!

The big Christmas party at the air force base was today. Christina came and picked up the boys for the big surprise. It sounds like everyone had a great time. I was very nervous for Rex to go. Not because I was worried about him actually being there or behaving, but I was paranoid that he wasn't going to act like has having fun and hurt Christina's feelings. She went to a lot of work to make sure this was a fun day and Rex needed to act like a nice kid and not only use his manners but show his excitement too. As you can see by the pictures he was a little nervous with Santa but I would say that the huge cheesey smile says it all. Rex is famous for his Santa pictures. We have a series of them progressing from nervous to beat red and screaming. We haven't gotten them taken the last couple of years and this is the first I have with both boys in it. Riley first Christmas I was still in ultra germafobia mode since we had just left the NICU and last year Rex wouldn't have anything to do with it. We have Riley's Santa picture because they take them at the Guild School but there was no way Rex was going to get that close to Santa.

I was so relieved when we arrived at home to find Christina and the kids and Rex babbling on about how much fun he had. Ah sigh of relief from mom!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Odds, Ends and Pictures

Tonight was Rex's first Christmas concert as a kindergartner. Over all it went really well. It was great if we don't talk about the really rude family that talked the entire way through the program, or the fact that the parents were louder than the kids. Rex's preschool has done programs so Rex has got this whole routine down and he even stood on the top of the risers with out being nervous - it was the kid next to him that fell off the back. I think Rex is a magnet for standing next to the kid that can't quite behave. Oh well all in all a great night. We were able to grab a few pictures of the boys since we had Riley dressed up in his birthday outfit that Christina gave him. We tried to catch the tired boy that Riley was tonight. He tried to sleep through most of the program but the best was having to close his eyes as he ate his dinner. It was hysterical to watch.

Seriously I have the most handsome boys ever!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

And the car saga continues.......

Well the Thanksgiving Day snow tire mounting fun just keeps on giving. So I'm still driving around on 3 studded tires and my spare.......maybe just maybe Justin will change it this weekend? Possibly? (I'm going to start calling you names again if you don't) Anyway the little car that Justin drives also got snow tires put on on Thanksgiving. My dad had tires with slightly large wheels that fit the bolt pattern of the little Nissan so they put them on. Who knows that in the world happened but the same day the car starts making the most hideous noise I've ever heard brakes make. Imagine pouring a glass full of bolts down the garbage disposal and then you might as well break the glass into and that is what it sounded like. Well off to the mechanics I went on Tuesday morning, I drew the short straw, and my office is closer to the mechanics. So first we fix the brakes. New pads, rotors and calipers all to the tune of $340 bucks so when they go to put the wheels back on they can't tighten the bolts enough and we actually are going to have wheels spinning off eventually. Can you just picture me driving down the freeway and having my wheels come off. So back on go the old tires. Since we are still in the need of snow tires we decide to purchase the used tires that the mechanic just happens to have in the back. Well I guess $150 is better than close to $300 for brand new ones. So that is how I spend Wednesday at the mechanics. Well today, Thursday, Christina appears at my door with a note that was stuck on the door. It was addressed: Dear owner of the white minivan. Well folks that happens to be me. Evidently a high school student was visiting the neighbor across the street and somehow managed to hit my PARKED car and break (there is actually a whole in it) the rear bumper and taillight and also dent the rear quarter panel a little. Seriously, how exactly do you do that to a parked car. Oh well at least he left a note. Well after calling his dad I took the car in for a quick quote. I had to call his man, yes a total stranger, and tell him that it is going to cost $1800 bucks to fix this little boo boo. Not to mention he has to fix his own car because his son left chunks of plastics in the road. I'd love to see the damage on that car. At least I don't have to pay for this one but still they estimate it will take 4 days to fix - how does one get to work for 4 days without a car to drive?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Today was a successful day. I'm glad you sitting down because this might be a long one. First my sister in law Libby called this evening for the "boobie report". Hers are fine. After a little scare with a lump all the test have come back good and there is nothing to worry about. Well that is other than the large bruise she has on her elbow and tushy when she fell on the one and only piece of ice in the parking lot on her way in for the the big squeeze. I'll leave out the details for Libby's sake. She may not want my mom to know all the words she muttered (yelled) at God at that very moment as she laid in the parking lot crying. Sorry Lib I had to share. It was too good not to.

Second, well actually first since it happened earlier in the day Kacey called and Ella's surgery went smoothly. You can read the entire report of the surgery adventure at The Amazing Ella Grace
Riley has become quite the little independent man since he starting walking. He has been changing daily. He has started really hugging. He has always been a cuddle bug but now he actually squeezes you back and wraps his arms around your neck. There is nothing better than big squeezes from your kiddos. He was walking around the house giving his baby hugs tonight. Note the baby is naked. For some reason Rex insists on taking all the clothes off any doll, army guy and so on. WEIRD!

Riley has also figured out that when Justin and Rex play the Wii it is really fun. He wants to play too. Tonight they were playing Mario Kart and Riley wanted to play too.

Meghan, his speech therapist, would be so proud to see him driving his car. They sing a great little song at circle time that involves driving a car. We are even getting some car noises.

The other success of the day was that Rex received a letter from Santa. When he arrived home from school today he discovered that there was a letter from Santa. It was one of the first things he told me about when I arrived home from work. Rex has been awful good this year and as Santa pointed out he is a great big brother.

Possibly Christina, our nanny, is the sweetest thing alive. She and her husband Ron asked if they could take the boys to the Christmas party at the airforce base where Ron works as an aircraft mechanic. The big party is this weekend and Christina has been working to make sure this is a really exciting experience for Rex. Well Ron is on away on TDY (evidently and airforce term that means he is gone for two weeks) and Christina still is taking the boys. I am excited to hear how the big party goes. Rex still doesn't know what is coming on Saturday since it is a big surprise for him and Riley. Keep your fingers crossed that he appreciates all the effort that Christina has gone to and has a ton of fun at the big Christmas party. I'm positive that he will have fun but I'm hoping that he actually expreses how much fun he has. This summer when Christine took him out to the base and Ron took him in the cockpit of an airplane he didn't exactly act like it was cool, but then when he got home it was all he could talk about. UGH I will be sure to post pictures - Christina promises to take a ton.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A note from Justin

So this morning I received the following email from my darling husband. He finally read my blog from a few days ago and here is what he had to say. Here is what he had in response to me mentioning that he had "given me permission" to go out for girls night.

WHAT THE HELL.......I'm not that bad.

I didn't have to GRANT you permission to go out. I actually enjoy hanging out with the kids and Chris and didn't have a problem with you going out once and a while. You just THINK I have a problem with it.

Just for the record!!

It made me giggle a little... I got a little more of a rant and rave on the phone and he swears he will post a comment but when I offered him free access to post his own message he turned me down. HMM I think I might pester him to share what goes on it that brain of his.

Justin case you don't remember what my handsome hubby looks like when he isn't giving me crap here is a picture of him helping Riley open gifts at his 2nd birthday.

Stay tuned for more in the poo poo episodes of Mary and Justin.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Shopping Adventures

Well I've been a bit too busy to post this last weekend so this is a recap of the crazy shopping adventure that was the day after Thanksgiving. This all begins last year when my good friend Angie and I decided that we needed to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving and see what all the fuss was about. Well we had so much fun people watching and making fun of the hard core Black Friday shoppers that we made a date for this year before we made it home. Well this year at 4am it seemed like less than the smartest idea we have ever had but I trudged on and showered and made it to Angies shortly before 5am. We had sworn to each other that we wouldn't speak until we hit Starbucks but for some reason we were both a little engergiezed and had rapid fire ADHD story telling time, I am pretty sure this was sleep deprived rambpling but we thought we were hysterical. So after a quick trip into Fred Meyers we came out to find that my van had the flatest tire ever. We limp the car to the gas station in the parking lot to discover that the air machine is broken - luckily there was another station very close. With a phone call to Justin to not only verify he had secured our new camera but to whine that I had a flat tire he says "well when I changed the tires yesterday one was flat but I didn't think it would be a big deal" Ya well it was a big deal. So with a nice air filled tire we make it down to the mall to brave Kohls. We wondered a bit and found all the wonderful bargins we could stand. When we ventured out to the parking lot we found in my wonderful front row parking spot (so everyone could see as they left the store) that my van tire was yet again flat as a pancake. This time we walk to the gas station to buy the fix a flat follow the directions and off we go. Needless to say this all got in the way of our shopping but didn't dampen our fun. To fast forward to the story tomorrow Justin is taking the studs off my van and putting back on my very nice all weather sipped tires. We won't ask why he let my dad talk him into putting on the studs that had been in the shed for 2 seasons.

My mom waited until today to do her marathon shopping and I have to share one of the best purchases of the day.

No it isn't corn on the cob he is chewing on, it is a yellow toy brillow piece.

You have to use your imagination a little to picture Ella Grace's cute little self in the Mrs Clause dress and hat. I will be sure to post picture when the happy couple sits for their photo shoot.