Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Possible blessings in disguise.

(Old picture right after surgery)

Well we spent about 3 hours at Dr. Bernstein's office today. First they checked Tori's vision with her glasses on. With her lenses she is about 20/70. Then they checked the pressure in her eye, which she hates. They have an instrument that they poke your eye with and then I guess it gives you a reading of resistance. We then proceeded back to check the refraction in her eye. Her right eye was fine but they were unable to get a reading of any kind in her left. We waited quite a while for Dr. Bernstein and then he came and looked at her eye. He also had them take a scan of her eye to make sure there are no possible tears in her retina.

Her retina is attached!! Success!!!

She still has the cataract, which is why she has been having problems with light sensitivity. She also has been seeing "squigglies" which is some left over vitreous and some blood clots. Tori will probably need cataract surgery. He won't recommend it until 3 months after surgery so we have a little time yet.

Here's where the possible blessing comes in. =)

During the cataract surgery, Dr. Bernstein will also take out the clots and remaining vitreous. This will help with the obstruction of her vision. With the surgery they can also take away her near sightedness in that eye!!!!!

I need to not get to excited though because we have to discuss it with Dr. Dries, the kids ophthalmologist. Dr. Bernstein isn't sure how well Tori will do with a contact in the eye that is still near-sighted, so we have to do some pondering and praying.

It was nice to come away from the doctor's office with a little optimism!!


Monday, December 29, 2008

What does this girl think.

Look at this sweet innocent face!!! No I don't mean Brett's. This picture was taken in February 2007. She was so sweet!!!! Would you even guess what goes on behind those eyes.

Today Samantha decided to play a little baseball with the Christmas Ornaments.

We had purchased new ones this year because of the baby. They were the shatter-proof ones, that are plastic. The glass bulbs were downstairs, and Samantha broke 2 ornaments playing baseball. I'm really not sure what I'm going to do with her.


Saturday, December 27, 2008


Samantha made me laugh histerically today. Had to share!!

Mom: "Duncan is there anything that you won't eat?"

Duncan: "Only stuff that has turned raw."

Mom: "I think you mean rotten, Duncan."

Samantha: "No, Duncan you mean Engaged."

Family: "HUH?"

Samantha: "Engaged is when things get all yucky and gross. Like on Sid the Science Kid."

Mom, (trying not to laugh): "You mean decayed, Sam."

Samantha: "Oh ya, decayed!!"

Of course when people get engaged they do get pretty yucky and gross!!!! LOL!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We had an awesome Christmas! The kids got way too much stuff!! Brett started the shopping early on line and then I went to the Black Friday sales. We, and Santa, got a little carried away. Here is Duncan's nice Christmas dance celebrating their haul. As you can see a tornado struck our house!! So please ignore the background mess. =)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We love you all!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!
We went to Santa's house on Christmas Eve. This is the panoramic view! The people who live here are really sweet and they do this every year and have done for years, I guess. I'll post some more pictures tomorrow!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The kids had a ball sledding today. We didn't go out for very long, but they had a lot of fun!!

Crazy Duncan!!!

Safe and Sane Tori and Sam

Karate Christmas

Duncan and Brett have been taking Karate. Duncan started taking 3 years ago, and Brett started taking within the last year. They had there Christmas party and show off time. Here is the boys doing their made up forms. =)

Friday, December 19, 2008

The kids are out of school until the new year. I hope I can survive.

Tori and Duncan sang in the School Assembly today. They just did a sing along really where everyone took turns singing songs they had learned with the music teacher. Tori sang "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in Spanish". Duncan sang I want a "Hippopotamus for Christmas" and another one I don't know the name of.

Jason is funny because he just wants to run. He was out in the middle of the 5th graders before I could blink. I had to have some strange girl pick him up and bring him to me.

Samantha just wanted to play on the things that you store the chairs on! She was uninterested in it all. Except for a couple songs she knew.

I helped in Duncan's class Christmas party. I actually heard him say the phrase "That's the cool thing about my Mom." I'm not sure what I'm so "cool" about, but hey, I'm happy to hear that. We did the broom game, and it took the kids forever to figure out to clear their throat. It was fun. I haven't been able to get any work done that's for sure. It's snowing like crazy now so Brett has been allowed to leave work early. Hopefully he will get home with out insident and quickly. That way I can actually work today!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Well, I'm unsurprised at today's visit to the medical world. I'm still disappointed but not surprised. Today we went to the audiologist at the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind. We had a booth test done with Jason. It was a little crazy, since he's only 14 months old but we got a lot of feed back, which is good.

The audiologist said that the testing shows he still has a hearing loss of 40-50 DB's. This is a moderate hearing loss in his right ear. She wants to see him again after Christmas because we could only keep his attention through 1 ear. She wants to check his left ear to make sure there are no further complications. I (as a mother in denial) think his left ear is just fine.

The next step is, to go to the next hearing appointment. If nothing has changed then we will get him fitted for a hearing aid. I'm still uncertain as to which ear will be aided. I know that sounds really weird, but it's true. Paula Pittman who is the representative that helps us from USDB, says that research is showing it more beneficial to aid only the good ear. That way we are not getting interference from the problems with the bad ear. We'll see what happens. I'll keep you all posted.

I might add some to this tonight. Paula is visiting us this evening.

Alright I'm adding.

Here is an audiogram of what we think Jason can hear. The line is where he started hearing the sounds. He should be able to hear from the line DOWN. Paula also said that if he does end up with a hearing aid he can hear enough with the right ear that the distortion won't be to bad so we will be aiding the bad ear.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

So, we just spent 2 hours at the church at the "Breakfast with Santa". Santa didn't show up! The snow was too bad.

I don't know if I can go to church tomorrow. I think that my faith is wavering based on the fact the snow was to bad for Santa to show up. I think it's a valid excuse to go apostate and get some sleep tomorrow.

Of course you all know that won't happen. =)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yesterday I got up before the dawn and went to bed at midnight. I'm not sure what happened yesterday!

We went up to Dick and Janice's last night, because Duncan wanted to check on Grandpa before he went into surgery. Dick is having a tumor removed from his colon today, it doesn't sound like it's going to be much fun for a while. Janice might be spending a lot of time with us in the next couple of weeks.

Duncan did come down stairs at 9:30 pm frantic and freaking out. All three of the older kids have been scared of their own shadows since before Halloween. I told them they no longer get to participate in Halloween because I can't stand the aftermath.

I had written on the back of one of Samantha's drawings. Duncan found it and no one owned up to writing on it. (I was sitting here at the computer at the time). He thought that a ghost or zombie had broken into the house and written it. He's almost 10 years old and he sat on my lap just trembling, before he got out what was upsetting him. I explained that I was the one that wrote on it, and I was thinking of Sponge Bob Square Pants at the time. Does anyone have any advice? I don't know how to handle the constant fright in my home.

Oh well! One step at a time, right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not much occured yesterday. (I'm loving the normalcy of this week!!)
I think my husband has found a program that will help me with my job!! I love that he can fix my problems. I guess that what men do, they are problem solvers. =)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We had a few fun things happen yesterday.

Tori and Samantha got there first set of books from the State Library for the Blind and Disabled. They come in these canvas bags that we send back to the library as soon as they are finished with the books. I still haven't figured out why but blind people get free postage.

I was showing them to Tori and she was unimpressed at first because they were books she had seen before. But when I opened them up to show her the large print she was thrilled.

"Mom, I can read that!! I won't need to use my magnifier anymore!" I explained that she will need to still use it for the books that we can't get from the Library but that these will help.

Paula from the school for the deaf came over yesterday. We figured out that Jason is understanding at a 10-12 month level and he is expressing at an 8-10 month level. So we have started using some sign language with him to promote some communication. A friend of ours from the ward brought us over the first "Baby Signing Time" so we have been working on those signs. Paula also taught us a few more signs that we felt would be important. Like "come here" and "Go Away" (the last one was for the older kids when Jason is napping). We'll see if anything makes a difference. We have a hearing test next week so we'll be able to hopefully confirm what his hearing loss is. Jason hasn't had an ear infection since he had his palate repaired so hopefully we will have some good news.

Also, I went for a walk with my boss. We've been getting crazy busy with work so I have been doing nothing but sitting at this computer. (Blogging probably doesn't help, but at least this is entertaining for me!!) Joe wants me to make some changes that will hopefully make a difference in my work time. Hopefully this will work and I will be able to start moving my fat agaim!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yesterday was pretty uneventful, Brett did come home a little early. I still didn't get as much work done as I needed to, but I did pretty good.

Duncan got everything done to receive his Bear in Cub Scouts. We needed to go to the Library so we headed over there for Family Night. The kids got a million books and the girls checked out a few books on tape so they could learn to use there cool new tape player. As we were about ready to check out the librarian came out and advised us that the puppet show would be starting in 10 minutes. So, we decided to stay and watch the free entertainment. Duncan ended up front helping do some puppeteering which was quite entertaining. Then right before the show started Leslie and Jon showed up with their girls. I sent Maren up to sit with my kids and the show started. I thought I was going to be up and down with Jason but he was total enthralled with the puppets. I guess it shouldn't surprise me, since he loves the Muppet Show.

Well that's all I can think that happened yesterday that was of note. It was as I said "pretty uneventful". It's so lovely to have days like that every once in a while.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Well, I'm sick. I have a cold, my sinus's are stuffy and I feel achy. Hopefully today will be uneventful and Brett might be coming home early since he was out of town all week. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tori and Samantha had swimming lessons today. I thought I'd put some pics of Tori swimming. Since she had the gas bubble in her eye the doctor said she couldn't go swimming. So this made her very happy!!
Tori doing the front crawl.

Here is Samantha having a blast!!

Tori danced at the "Festival of Trees" yesterday. She did a really good job. She missed the last three weeks of practice due to her surgery so I was really proud of her. She was a little nervous but she did a good job.

My dad came with me to help with the kids. I'd like to say thanks!!

Here is her dances. She danced Ballet first and then her Jazz dance. I only got a small part of her Jazz dance because the memory ran out in my camera. Bummer!!!

I'm having a hard time uploading the video file to blogger. I'll try to upload it tomorrow.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I took Sam to drop her off at Kindergarten today. She got out of the car all happy as a clam to be at school. I was late enough getting there that I would usually drive off, but decided to hang out for a minute and make sure she got into class. Next thing I know Samantha is at the van frantic!! She had forgotten her hat and it was hat day at school. This is another thing that affirms my decision to work from home. If I worked she would just be out of luck and she would have been brokenhearted.

As an adult "hat day" is a trivial thing that is not important and can be lived without, but for a five year old these things are important, and vital to ones happiness.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4


This reminds me of a lovely movie called "Victory" from 1981 where Pele says, "You give me the ball and I will go like dis, like dis, like dis, like dis. EASY!"

Duncan might be able to play soccer, but I'm not going to rush to judgement on that until all the facts are in.

As you can see I'm a complete sucker!!!! I put the play yard around my desk so I might get something done. He has me wrapped around his little finger!! I let him in.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've been working on this cross stitch since before Duncan was born. It has now turned into the bag I grab as I walk out the door to a Dr's appointment or a kids activity. I might not even touch it but it goes everywhere with me. I like to take a picture every now and again to see how much progress I've made. It's pretty cool.
I took Tori to the retinal specialist today. She could actually read a letter about 1/8th of the size as the last time she went in. She couldn't read more than 1 letter though. Once they put in the 2nd letter she couldn't see. Dr. Bernstein was a little concerned about this until he took a closer look. She still has a cataract in the left eye, which he still thinks will go away. She still has blood pooling in her eye, but it's less then last time. He thinks that the combination of both is keeping her from her full vision. She will be on lock down at school until her next appointment. Which, is after christmas. Not very nice, but she'll have to cope. She can go to dance and swimming lessons though. That's something, right?
Tori went to school yesterday, and her Teacher tried to explain to the class about Tori's surgery. She said that she really didn't know exactly what the surgery was about, so Tori drew this explanation. It's hard to see the writing so I'll transcribe.

retna (retina)
It's what makes you see.

flowed (fluid)
Is what your body gives your eye if the jelly is gone.

gass bubel (gas bubble)
keeps your retna in place.

I was quite impressed with my little girl's observations. =)

Tori asked me to print up some "real" pictures with the gas bubble and retina and stuff on it. So I thought I would add this to her entry. She's very excited to take this to school tomorrow. I'm not sure her teacher can even grasp the concept of what Tori (or I) were talking about.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not only did Jason suck out of a straw the other day. He successfully drank a full bottle from a regular playtex nurser. AWESOME!!!!

I finally got proof!!!

Brett has to go out of town today. He'll be gone for a whole week! I'm really bummed. I hate it when he leaves. I'm not very good at being a single mother.

Duncan doesn't handle it at all!! I went to drop the kids off at school and Duncan got all choked up and said "Tell Dad I'll miss him, K?"

The girls take it all in stride. They just want to know when he'll be home and look forward to his return.

Jason doesn't care as long as I'm there.

So hopefully the week will just fly by and I won't even know he's gone.

Ya! That's it!!!

I went to the school this morning to discuss the girls 504 with the vice principal. We will be getting the district occupational therapist out to see the girls some time to do some vision therapy. This will help them to recognize things as far as safety hazards earlier than later. Samantha trips a lot. The poor thing has bruises up and down her legs. Tori doesn't really have depth perception right now so anything will be a big help. Miss Magalai will be calling to let me know how that is going sometime in the next couple of days.

I let her know that we are related to Jill Sharp, who Miss Magalai taught in 6th grade. She said she was going to call and speak to Jill about all this stuff because she is having a hard time finding out where to order the large print books. I guess the district hired a new OT this year so it's like starting all over again. As long as the girls are taken care of, I'm happy.

Also, I had Lisa sign the paperwork for the girls to receive Large Print books from the State Library for the Blind and Disabled. I figure if we get started with the large print now the girls will handle it better when they're teenagers. Also, Tori will be receiving a book on tape once a month. Lisa says it would probably be good for her to get used to the tape player now, before she needs to use it with her text books. I guess the player slows down the tapes so that you can actually take notes and follow along at the same time. Jill used them in school, and it helped to not wear out her eyes to bad. We'll see how it all goes.

I'm just thrilled the kids are back in school so we can have some kind of routine back!!!