Saturday, December 6, 2008

How to take a Christmas photo....101

It's that time of year again where I hang my picture taking abilities on a hook in the closet and attempt to put together a Christmas photo card. As you know from previous posts, it's really difficult to get a decent picture of the boys. One is looking away, the other picking his nose, or staring off into space. To throw us through a loop, Quinn has become more "huggy." This bothers Chase which in turn causes Quinn to hug Chase more. This session didn't last very long. The boys enjoyed the photo session much more than Daddy who was hired using bribes of sexual favors to stand behind me and make the boys look at the camera. (oops, TMI, I forget family reads this blog.)

Daddy: "Quinn be nice to your brother!"

Mommy: "Look at me and sit up straight!"
Lets try a few back to back! Nice work boys.
Daddy: "Quinn stop hugging Chase. He doesn't like it."

Chase: "Do you see what I have to put up with???"

Mommy: "Wait, we're not done! Come back! CHASE!!!!!

Chase: "Hold your horses, I'm back.."

Chase: "Quinn if you don't stop hugging me, I'll.........."

Chase: "That all! I'm out."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Apple Hill, Halloween, and other Happenings.

Well it looks like I figured things out and I'm able to post my pictures again. After 2 months of not being able to upload my pictures and having no working computer, I'm finally back in business and ready to update you on us. We've had lots of fun over the past 2 months. I'll start with Halloween. Quinn had a day off of school and I had the day off of work so we decided to do a craft project together. The finished result is below.

This should be labeled as the "before" picture because the kids sampled it a few times. Quinn really wanted to be a robot for Halloween. I had no clue how to make a robot costume and Had no idea what he had in mind. So with lots of help from Google, Home Depot, and some left over spray paint, we created this...

Chase being our 2nd born child had to settle for Quinn's "hand me down" costume from last year. We thought it worked out well since his nickname is "Nuggett." So here's our robot and our chicken nuggett. "Let's Go Mom, we're ready!!!!"

This is the trick-or-treat crew from left to right..Chase, Quinn, and Madeline.

This picture is proof that the boys actually can interact without fighting. Yes, there are rare moments when the stars align, and there is a blue moon when the boys are sweet to each other.

And who is this cute little monkey?

So a friend of mine laughed me off when I told her that I never get good pictures of my kids, but I get fabulous pictures of other people's kids. This picture is proof of this phenomenon. Is nose picking a stage of development for children?

With a little help from Daddy and the bribe of carmel apples, we were finally able to get one decent picture of the Apple Hill gang.

Thanks to the help of our friend Marty, we were able to get a rare family photo with "yours truly" included. :)

I found this cute little guy hanging out with a bunch of apples. I brought him home.

How could I resist?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm having some problems with Blogger. I'll have to update more as the site is fixed. My pictures wont fit on this site. I posted an updated video of Chase below.

Chase Can Read?

And just for your viewing pleasure, I have Chase reading "The Going to Bed Book" by Sandra Boynton.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Long time no post...with videos too.

Woops, I have been neglecting my blog buddies and never posted our updates etc.

The MRI results are back.....drum roll please.......Abnormal! What ever that means. I speak lightly about this result because the neurologist feels the lab technicians were being too "sensitive" about the report and were looking for a reason for seizures. He looked at the results and feels good about them. He must be getting to know Quinn and understands how unique Quinn's brain is and how it functions differently from us average people. The plan is to continue on the Depakote and follow up with more blood work.

If you're more of a technical person, I'll attempt to describe the results in this paragraph. If you're non-technical (like me) skip down to the next paragraph. This post is becoming a "choose your own adventure." How fun. Ahem, back to the technical stuff. The MRI shows that Quinn's Hypothalamus (on the left side) is slightly smaller than the right. Now most people have one foot that slightly smaller than the other, but my kid has a piece of his brain that's smaller than the other. I think he's trying to start a trend here. The hypothalamus secretes hormones that regulate body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, anger (watch out!), and circadian rhythms. I'm guessing that this is why Quinn is so musically inclined. (See the paragraph below) If you're still interested in learning more about the hypothalamus here's a link from Wikipedia. There's even a picture of a brain with the hypothalamus on there. (If you're one of "those" types of people.)

So this video is about 2 months old already, but it's taken me a while to get it off my camera. This my friends, is what I've passed along to my children. They may look a lot like their Dad, but they get the moves from the Mama. Quinn gets a little carried away at the end, but his moves crack me up. Watch him off to the right before they press the button again for more music.

Here's another video that shows my kids being weird. I'm not sure why they were so high yesterday... Maybe I should stop giving them uppers....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wine Train Photos and Update

So this is the Napa Valley Wine Train. It ended up being a lot of fun even though it was a bit long (3.5 hours with little children.) The kids were very excited to ride on a train. We got to go in the neato observation deck that you see in the picture below.
This is all of us getting on the train. Hold your breath....cross your fingers....hopefully the kids will behave.
Here's a quick peek at Yours Truly and big daddy. Don't we look nice and relaxed? That's because we were already plowing into the wine.

Here's a view from behind the train. It took us all through Napa Valley into Callistoga. It's quite a beautiful location. I can see why so many couples get married in wine country. It could be very romantic if you have a good baby sitter or a few grandparents on hand.

This is one of the cars down below. Isn't it cute? I feel like we stepped into the '40's.

Here's my attempt at an artsy photo. Not too bad eh? The view could have been a little better but what can I say I was jogging after a 2-year-old.

And if you look closely, you can see the antique power line. That thing has been there for at least 20 years.

I have to say that the food was exquisite. I didn't eat this particular dish, but it looked good. I took a picture of my meal but it came out blurry. Shortly after I took the photo, I immediately dug in so I could digest a few bites before running after the little nuggets.

Speaking of the nuggets. Quinn really enjoyed the noodles. This is probably the only picture I managed to snag of him. He was off running up and down the train and laying on the floor playing with his toys.

Here is the Nugget himself on his best behavior. Doesn't he look distinguished?

And then you get to view him from the other side and realize he's sitting like this.

So which fork do you start with??? There's too much silverware on the table. I think I'll start with the knives.

Oh yes, the filled up a Champagne glass for my 2-year-old! Fortunately it was sparkling cider. Seriously many 2-year-olds do you know that can drink out of a champagne glass without spilling?

It's best to chase a glass of sparkling cider with some coffee.

Well. That's about how the trip went. I admit it went much better than I thought it would. The kids were on their best behavior and enjoyed the ride.
We finally got Quinn's MRI results back too. I'll post about it in the next update.
That's all for now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Wine Train or "Whine" Train.....

So we're going out of town this weekend to celebrate Grant's Grandma's 88th birthday. This is a special birthday because she's turning 88 on 8/8/08. So I'm packing up our entire house so we can go away for 2 days. I often wonder why we ever leave the house. I have diapers, wipes, tissues, tooth brushes, shirts, underwear, backup outfits, blankets, special stuffed animals, cribs, Binky's, tear free conditioner, sippy cups, pull-ups, (are you worn out yet? I am.) And then I get to pack my stuff.

As part of this excursion, we are going to ride on the wine train in Napa for lunch. This sounds awesome under normal circumstances meaning... two adults dressed nicely, and enough time to enjoy fine wine, scenic views, and a fancy lunch consisting of several courses of small portions of food.

Here's how I envision our trip........

Chase runs up and down the train cars irritating the passengers... Meanwhile, Quinn is screaming and pointing out every tractor the train passes. Chase pulls his pants down and takes his diaper off and says he has to "go potty." I wait in line for the bathroom with his little naked butt hanging out then Chase refuses to use the potty. Quinn runs away from me and doesn't listen.... my food gets cold and soggy... the little, teeny, portion they serve me is removed from the table by the waiter before I get a chance to wolf down a few bites. Quinn cries because he doesn't like the food, Chase spills milk all over, and Grant is worthless because he's drunk."

You think I'm kidding?

Just wait for Monday's update! You'll see.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Birthdays and Black Teeth.

Yup that's right... BLACK teeth. That's the latest side effect of Quinn being on Iron supplements. Nice eh? His two front teeth look as if they died at the root. I sorta noticed when I was brushing Quinn's teeth last week before I put him to bed. I think I mentally blocked out the image in my head thinking, "maybe he ate a piece of dark candy." The next day my Mom pointed it out. I immediately did what any parent would do... I googled "black teeth."

I guess this is a known side effect of being on iron supplements. Aparently I didn't read up enough on these liquid supplements before I began giving them to Quinn. Gaah! I called the pediatrician and tried to describe the situation to the receptionist. I got an immediate response from the advice nurse who tried to convince me that Quinn fell and had a tooth injury. When the actual pediatrician called back, she explained it was a side effect of the Iron supps.

The good news is the dentist could probably buff the stain out when Quinn goes for a cleaning. The bad news....Quinn has to go to the dentist for a cleaning. Lord help me get this kid in a chair at the dentist's office. I think I'd rather have my cavities filled. Literally. The other good news is that Dr. Ward was willing to let me try to get Quinn's Iron levels up by switching up his diet and ditching the supplements. Yeah!

Here are some pictures from Quin's birthday party. It was a lot of fun. We had the party at a play place called Funtastic. Here is what it looked like.

It was lots of fun for the kids and the adults. There were rope ladders, twisty slides, and floor puzzles. What more could you do for a 4th birthday? Below is Quinn's special tractor cake. His Aunt Doodle (Daphne) made it by Quinn's special request. We have no clue where he gets his interest in John Deere tractors.....???
Mmmmmmm cake time!

It looks like Quinn had some help with those birthday candles.

It would have been nice for me to get a picture of Chase too but for some reason I was running all over Funtastic making sure everyone was having a good time and I hardly got a chance to touch my camera. :( Maybe I'll get a chance at Quinn's 5th birthday.

Monday, July 7, 2008


Quinn had his MRI today and it went well. We made the mistake of dropping by Starbucks on the way there to the hospital to give yours truly a caffeine fix. It quickly turned into a plea by Quinn for milk and food. He was hungry and let us know. How do you deny your child food when he's hungry? That part was hard on me.

When we checked in the receptionist allowed Quinn to choose which movie to watch. He picked Thomas (of course). I filled out all the paperwork and gave them a list of my important information while the nurse put some numbing cream on Quinn's hands for the IV insertion. When we brought him to the back to start his IV, he began crying and screaming because he wanted to continue to watch Thomas. We compromised by letting him watch Thomas in the lobby while sitting in my lap and the nurse poked his arm for the IV. Even with a numb arm, he began screaming and crying. The nurse gave him the special syringe of "milk of amnesia" to put him to sleep. Almost immediately, he peed all over my lap and fell into a deep sleep.

It was a dramatic start to his procedure but the rest went without a hitch. Grant ran home and grabbed some extra clothes for us and a special gift for Quinn when he woke up. I went to the bathroom and cleaned up. Thank God I decided to wear flip flops today. ha ha.. After about an hour and 15 minutes, the nurse called me back to see him. I brought my little point and shoot camera and snapped this picture of him. He was so sweet all snuggled up on his bed.

Do you see why I love him so much?

I can't get enough of this kid.

But this is how I prefer to see my little man.

Daddy snapped this one this weekend when we were at the lake.
We had a few laughs after we got home with Quinn walking around in a daze. It didn't last long though. He's already skipping through the house playing with his new Bob the Builder dump truck and excavator. We wont get the results for another 3 days or so. Oh, and they didn't let me see his scan. :( Hopefully I'll get a sneak peak of his MRI when we have our follow up with the neurologist.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

But does it taste good?

What does it take to get medicine that tastes good? Why should it matter that medicine tastes good? Why can't I keep my checking balance over $100? Is this a lot to ask?

So I finally made the right connections and got the prescription for the Iron supplement called in to the pharmacy. The pediatrician called in a chewable tablet in the hopes that Quinn would take a chewable tablet as opposed to a yucky tasting liquid. I hoped that I could crush up the tablet and spoon it into his morning and nightly doses of Depakote Frosting Delight. Mmmmm.... Sounds good eh? I wonder how many more pills or supplements I can squeeze into a tablespoon of frosting.

Anyhoo, the pharmacy said they don't have the chewable form of Iron supps and they called 3 other pharmacies for me that also don't carry the chewable tablets. GAAH! I explained to the pharmacist that it's nearly impossible to get something into my son's mouth unless it tastes good. The pharmacist was an earnest and diligent young man and seemed committed to helping me out. He brought back, 3 different brands of liquid iron supplements and went over the ingredients with me. The first one was lemon flavored. Could lemon flavor cover the taste or would it taste like cleaning solution? The second one didn't have a specific "flavor" but the first ingredient was "sugar" and it looked like a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. I'm about 99% positive that hydrogen peroxide doesn't taste good. The 3rd bottle didn't have a specific flavor either but the first ingredient was "sugar" and it had an orange label on it. I looked up at the pharmacist and thought, "surely if it has sugar in it and an orange must taste good." I'll take bottle number 3, thank you very much.

I'm not sure what drove me to do this...but on the way home I decided to open the bottle and sniff it out to see if it smelled good. It didn't really have a scent so I dipped my little finger in it and went in for a taste....
Oh my god, it was as if I were sucking on the bottom of an old and nasty iron skillet. I had to spit....the traffic light turned green and I had people behind me. I thought I was going to die and urgently needed to spit.

Speaking of spitting....Did you read my last post? I managed to get the window down and hawk a spit ball out the window of my car while turning left at the light. I'm sure that was a sight for the young man in the car behind me. He was probably thinking, "Who is this crazy lady in a minivan hawking a luggie out the window?"

When I got home, I filled up the dropper with the iron supplement and turned to Quinn. He looked at me, opened up his mouth, sucked down the liquid, and ran off without saying a word.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Spit..It happens

The boys have started a gnarly new habit. yes..... spitting! It started innocently in the bath tub when Quinn sucked in some water from a stacking cup and squirted it out of his mouth causing Chase to bust a gut laughing. This lead to Quinn becoming angry and hauking a luggie at Chase. Where does he get this stuff???

Grant and I immediately jumped into action as we would NEVER tolerate this type of behavior from our sweet and perfect children. All of a sudden, Chase busts another gut laughing and thinks it's hilarious and returns the favor as he spits back at Quinn. How are we going to stop this? Should I ask Dr. Sears? Alice? Dear Abbie? Dr. Laura? Dr. Spock? I must have missed the chapter in my parenting books that talks about redirecting your children's spit patterns.

I'm off on a tangent. I intended to come here and update you all on Quinn's progress. It's AMAZING! Quinn has been on Depakote for about a month now and his speech and language has progressed significantly. I'm doing the happy dance for Quinn and Dr. Chez, my new personal hero. I still have to do some Google research on Depakote and speech and language, but seeing is believing for me.

Here is our tentative schedule of events:

Today: Start iron rich diet to combat anemia

July 7th: MRI 7:45am

July 19th: Quinn's 4th birthday :)

July 22nd: Resume speech therapy at the school

August 20th: Followup appointment with the pediatric neurologist and more bloodwork

Some time after this we will most likely do another EEG to see if the Depakote is having an effect on Quinn's electrical impulses emitted by his brain. We want to make sure his noggin doesn't produce any more spikey patterns and that his left and right side of his brain are in sync. (No, not like the cheesy boy band. ha ha ha....)

Thanks everyone for your comments. It's really fun to read your feedback. For those of you that don't know... you can leave me comments here on my blog by clicking on the "comment" prompt at the bottom of this post. Your love and support means the world to me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

More Pills?

Quinn's blood draw went ok. He charged right back into the lab and jumped into the chair and held out his arm to the technician. They asked me, "Has he done this before?"

I said, "Yes, but I don't think he remembers this because of the way he jumped in the chair."

The tech asks Quinn, "Do you want to sit in Mommy's lap?"

Quinn: "No mommy's lap."

Mommy: "Are you sure?"

Quinn "Yes!"

Once the technician pulled out the needle and attempted to stick his arm, the crying and tears began. He was pleading with the technician... "No wait! Please, stop!! STOP!!! PLEASE!!! Owie!!! STOP!"

And just like that it was over. As we left the lab, the other patients looked sickly and pale after hearing Quinn's pleas for help. I looked over at a lady and nodded and said, "It really wasn't that bad."

The latest news is....... Quinn is anemic. The neuro's office faxed the results over to the pediatrician and now we wait for a prescription to be called in. I argued with the receptionist at the neuro's office if I could just change Quinn's diet or do other things to change his iron levels though his diet. She said, "I'm sure you could try that and then bring him in for follow up bood test to make sure it's working." No thanks, I'll opt for more pills. I guess his level was 15 and they want to see it above 22 at a minimum.

You don't get it lady... My kid is already taking 4 pills a day, I don't want him to be eating a gallon of frosting with all his meds. Gaah! I'm frustrated. I wish Quinn would eat more than frosting and chicken nuggets.

Quinn's MRI is scheduled for July 7th at 7:45 am. They will put him under general anesthesia and look at his noggin through a machine for about an hour. They are going to look for any structural defects in his brain or anything else that might explain why Quinn is such an awesome kid. I'm sure the pictures will come out great. I'll ask if I can get a copy of them in photoshop. (I'm kidding again.) I hope I do get to see some of the pictures though. I'm sure they will seem more like dopplar radar to me, but it's still neat to think of what they can do with technology. After all... how often do you get to see what your kid's brain looks like on the inside?

Mom, if you're reading this, I may need you to babysit Chase that day. ;)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

School Performance and Ice Cream

There's my boy all dressed up for his school performance. His pre-school class sang a few songs at the graduation for the kids moving into Kindergarten. Aparently a lot of kids don't make it to their middle school graduation so they make a big deal out of preschool graduation now. Naw, just kidding.

Look at all the kids with their hands neatly behind their backs. But we all know it's the girls that run the show in pre-school. Check out the 2nd girl from the right in this next picture.

Then you have the paparazzi (a.k.a. the parents.) Of course, I'm included in this madness with my spiffy DSLR camera.

Quinn has this new special look when we ask him to smile for the camera.

After the performance, we stepped out for some frozen yogurt. But first, I had to attempt to capture a decent picture of my boys together.

This moment only lasted for about 1/8th of a second. Thank God for fast cameras.

Nugget likes Chocolate ice cream. Errr wait... Frozen yogurt... YOGURT!!! Because frozen yogurt is that much healthier than ice cream right?

Spoons are as good as the yogurt..

"Pica is a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for largely non-nutritive substances"

Kidding again.. ha ha ha.. Can you say influenza??? Nice Quinn.

As for the medical updates.... Quinn goes for a blood draw tomorrow to see if he has a therapeutic dose of Depakote in his system. What makes it "therapeutic?" I don't know.... I think I've been working too much. Anyay, the neuro wants to make sure he's got enough in his system to make a difference and be sure it's not raking havoc on his insides. I got a message on the machine about setting up his MRI. I'll call and schedule that tomorrow.
That's all for now.