Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Patch, Take 2

We took a family trip to a pumpkin patch that’s the pick-your-own style.  There are several square miles of patch to drive through and then games and animals at the end. 

I thought the girls would have fun.  I think I was wrong…
















They were thrilled, obviously.  Addy didn’t really mind (so long as she was allowed the pacifier- so sue me…), and was even somewhat interested in the pumpkins.


And once Piper had a job to do (pumpkin hunting), she did better, too.



Not particularly loving it, but at least they were tolerating our super fun outing that we were looking forward to because we knew that they’d love it.

Once we fought through the horrendously-slow-going “traffic” and go to the fun part, things got exciting.  We let the girls jump in one of the jumping castles; they loved it!  The lady watching kept them back one cycle so that there were only about four little kids in at once, and no big kids that would knock them over.  They both had a blast!October

So at least it wasn’t a complete flop. 

And it only took me three weeks to get all of the hay off of their socks and out of their clothes…22

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A trip to the farm

Our Mom’s Night Out group had a field trip to a pumpkin patch in October.  There were animals to pet, pumpkins to pick, and running around to be had. 

With everything there was to do, Piper spent the morning breaking one of the only rules at the pumpkin patch:  NO CLIMBING ON THE PINS.




I, obviously, did a keen job of helping her follow the rules, but we won’t go there.

Piper loved the goats.  So much so that her signature goat face came out again.  Her speech therapist will be thrilled.




We, of course, had to try and get a decent picture of the girls together. 



That worked, too. Yup. 

Well, there’s always next year…

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Good Grief.

Important points to note:  1)  Luke’s been hunting since Sunday morning.  I’ve had zero minutes of “chill time” since then (thanks to cramming in all the work I had to do for the month that I missed while Piper was in the hospital), so my mental status may be…  questionable.  2)  If you’ve heard about the Jessica Ridgeway case, that’s scary close to us.  She lived only a few miles from where I grew up.  And although we don’t live quite that close now, we’re still within about 10 miles.  And I’m a little creeped out by the whole bit.  3)  Our laundry room (which is really like a laundry hallway) was packed full of chaos because I was doing a few loads. 


Remember me saying that, hopefully, the freeze would be the cure-all for our string of bad luck?

Apparently I was wrong.

Monday morning, Piper was all ready to go to school for the whole day for the first time since before she was sick.  I was attempting to get the three of us out of the house, in the car, and to school on time.  Addy, obviously, chooses this day to sleep in.  So I was sneaking around the house trying to be as quiet as possible so as to not wake her up (because, let’s face it- if the kid-who-never-sleeps is still sleeping, she seriously needs it.) 

The night before, because I was husbandless, it was dark out, and there’s a murderer in our midst, I decided, for the first time ever, to lock the door between our house and the garage. 

I realized that I had left Piper’s backpack in the car, so I went out to get it.  Piper was at the kitchen table eating breakfast and Addy was in her bed asleep.  I snuck outside, carefully closed the door, got the backpack from the garage, and went back inside.

Except I couldn’t.

Because I was such a careful, caring, paranoid and creeped out mother to have locked the door.

And every other door in our house.

Sooo, my kids were locked inside.  And I was outside.  In my pajamas.  At 7:30am.


I ran next door to the neighbors; she answered the door, embarrassed in her pajamas (sorry, dear neighbor) and asked to use a phone while I tried to come up with a plan.  We tried the credit card trick to no avail.  I ran around the house making sure there was no way to get inside.  Piper’s not tall enough to reach the doorknobs, so even if I could convince her to get down off the table, she wouldn’t have been any help.  We called a locksmith, but it’d take about 45 minutes for them to get there (plus paying for an emergency locksmith, afterhours, would have been pricey.)  We have a keypad to our garage, so no one in our family has a spare key.  I thought about just breaking a window, but I wasn’t sure about climbing into the house through a broken window or getting the broken window replaced on short notice (and it’s been COLD at night time!)  We finally called the police department.

And about 10 minutes later, a big ol’ fire truck came down our street.

Yeah.  They axed their way into my house.  Through my packed-full-of-chaos laundry room.  *Embarrassing.*

It was great.

The pounding scared the crap out of both kids (Addy either was up at this point or was awoken by the pound of an axe and hammer at her door…) and they were both petrified by the time we got inside. 

So I swooped both kids up and tried to tell them that everything was okay.  One of the firefighters said that he needed my information for paperwork, and I thought that, maybe, seeing the big fire truck would pacify/distract/make the kids less mad at me for abandoning them by themselves.

So the three fire fighters and my two kids walked back out the house through the packed-full-of-chaos laundry room. 

And the door closed.

And locked.

Yup.  They had to axe their way in to my house again.

Twice.  They had to break into my house twice.  When I realized what had happened, the fire fighter looked at me incredulously and said “You’re kidding.” 

I couldn’t help but laugh.  I mean, really.  Who does that???

Needless to say, Piper didn’t make it to school on time on Monday.

And also of note is the fact that, the night after, I left my keys in the front door all night.  So Night #1 I was so careful I locked myself out and night #2 I was so careful I left the keys in the door as if to say “Hey, Mr. Badguy- feel free to come in, just be quiet about it, would ya?” 

Not one of the brighter points of my parenthood journey.


Trail to a Childhood Psychologist

Piper won’t stand still.

Especially for the camera.  I have about eight zillion pictures of her blurry backside to prove it.

Pretty sure she’ll need counseling regarding the fact that there are more pictures of Adalynn during this period than there are of her.


DSC_0369The only half descent picture of Piper.  (And it’s still a little bit blurry…)

But whatever.  At least Addy is willing to let me document her cuteness.  For now.DSC_0381


DSC_0394(This is a quintessential picture of her.  Those furrowed eyebrows?  You can see her little wheels turning.  Usually this is my major indicator that things are about to get ornery.  Very, very ornery.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Wedding

Last weekend, we got to go to Estes Park (up in the hills) to see my college roommate get married.  How fun is that?

I was a little nervous about taking two active toddlers to a fancy-shmancy wedding.  I should have given them more credit- they did so good.  We let them play on a little grassy lawn before everything started; they chased bunnies, chased each other, climbed on the rocks, and played with the pinecones. 




















Oh- and did I mention that they were cute as all get out???

They conversed before the ceremony, sat through the ceremony, behaved for dinner (when you add in appetizers, salads, food, toasts, dessert- it was a long time for them to sit!), danced with the bride…  They even had a crowd surrounding them at the reception as they ballroom danced together.

Yup, I’m pretty sure we have some of the cutest kids alive.

Congratulations, Whitney and Neal- what a glorious day!

Friday, October 12, 2012

See ya, Sick!

Piper went back to her doctor on Monday to get an “all clear” to go back to school. 

I’m SO GLAD that she’s feeling better.  She’s got that “it’s so good to feel good” buzz going on, which as exhausting as it is to watch, makes me so glad (and thankful!) that she’s back.  She gets tired, easily, and doesn’t have much endurance.  She used to be able to endlessly walk (or run…) and she’s just not there yet.  She’s skinny, and weak, but she’s healthy and happy (really, I think “giddy” is probably more accurate.)  I didn’t realize how much I missed her ornery little grins!  She’s allowed to go to school for a couple hours a day for a while until she gets stronger.

The doctor said that she still has some junk in her lungs, which is to be expected and will likely take quite a while to fully clear.  And I learned something- the reason kids with Ds have trouble with lower respiratory infections, oxygenation, etc., is because they have fewer alveoli than their typical peers.  So, when she got sick, it likely affected the same number of alveoli as it would anyone else, but that same number was a higher percentage of what she actually had.  Interesting, huh?  Anyway, that bit of residual liquid in her lungs will make it extremely difficult for her to fight a secondary virus, so we’re hoping (and praying!) that she can fight anything that she’s exposed to at school.

The doctor said she really thinks Piper got so sick this time because it was “a perfect storm.”  She had never recovered from her tonsillectomy, adding in school, and the germs, and it all just hit.  The Monday we took her in, before she was admitted, she weighed between two and three pounds less than she did six weeks prior.  And a 23 pound almost 3 1/2 year old doesn’t have much reserve to fight with.

She’s back to her 24 1/2 pound self that she was before she got sick, so we’ll take that.  (School, I think, makes it tough on her- she burns calories like nobody’s business, and even though they snack, which, apparently, she loves, she’s working HARD!)

They did, though, want to be sure that this fluke incident wasn’t because of aspiration.  Two theories were presented- that, either she has always aspirated but she’s always been able to fight it (silent aspiration is a huge issue, particularly in kiddos with Ds), or, more likely, that the tonsillectomy changed her structures in such a way that she was having a hard time learning how to swallow again.  The antibiotic that ended up helping her isn’t typically used to treat aspiration pneumonia, and she’s never really choked, and she’s NEVER gotten a lower respiratory infection before, so, it seemed, the likelihood of aspiration was pretty low.  But, before she got sick like this again, we decided to rule it out.

The swallow disorder clinic called on Wednesday with an appointment on Friday for a study (this, surely, is a record somewhere, right???) 

So, today, we went back down to Children’s for the work-up.  Because of how traumatized she was while she was inpatient, Piper did surprisingly well talking with the ST and OT who were conducting it.  She was more than willing to go into their conference room for a chat before the procedure started.  But, man alive, as soon as we walked in to the radiology room, and she saw the lead gowns, she flipped.  She was ready to leave, thankyouverymuch, even if we did have chocolate pudding. 

It took some serious coaxing to get her into the chair, and finally got her to take a bite of angel food (dipped in barium.)  And then she took a bite of pudding.  And then a HUGE bite of pudding (they were remarking on her ability to clean half a cup of pudding in a single bite- yes, it was really that impressive…)  So we were all ready for her to take a quick gulp of juice, her favorite juice, and we’d be done.  She refused.  Downright, absolutely, positively refused.  Took about 15 minutes for her to take a single, little, sip.  And then she discovered what it was- and gulped.  And gulped.  And gulped.  Took about five ounces of stuff in a matter of seconds. 

And that was that.

Moral of the story is that she is NOT aspirating, at all, and that, because of her majorly large bite of pudding and major, consecutive, gulps of juice, they can all but guarantee that she does NOT aspirate in any form.

So, hopefully that’ll end our little journey on this road. 

I sure hope so; she’s already been threatened with grounded-until-your-30 if she needs another surgery.  I’m starting to think we should amend that to grounded-until-your-30 if you’re ever back in the hospital.  Surely that’ll work, right???


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Duncan, aka “The Jungle Gym”

It starts out innocently enough…


…but can soon get a little rowdy.

101D51002Yes- Piper’s head is blurry- because she’s bouncing on poor Duncan’s head.

Thankfully, he’s a pretty good sport about it all.101D51003

No wonder he’s getting a little gray in the face.  I’m starting to think that we should permanently change his name to Poor Duncan.  Patience of a saint, that one.DSC_0434

Piper’s First Day Back to School

Piper spent three weeks out of school when she had pneumonia.  She has spent more time OUT of class than in.

Yesterday was her first day back.  I took her in late (she’s only allowed to go for a couple of hours for a few weeks to see how she handles the activity while her lungs continue to heal.)  One little girl saw her, ran up to her, and squealed “IT’S PIPER!  PIPER’S BACK!”  All of a sudden there was a mad rush of every single one of her classmates swarming on her- everyone wanted to give her a hug and hold her hand.  Everyone.  Piper found a few of her little boyfriends (yeah- more on them later…) and wanted to give them hugs, too.  They were on their way out to the playground, so it gave Piper some time to investigate the classroom by herself for a few minutes.  But her teacher wouldn’t leave until she got a hug, too.  Several moms came up to me at the end of the day and said the first thing their kid told them was “Piper came back today!” 

Even though her classmates hadn’t seen her in three weeks (which, lets face it, is a long time to three year olds) and they’d only had her in class a few weeks before that, they knew that she was missing.  And they missed her.

It made my heart so, so happy.DSC_0438

Sunday, October 7, 2012


It’s so fun to have friends who have kids who are friends with our kids.  {That was fun to write, just for the record.}

Titus and Addy are about six weeks apart.  Cadence and Piper are a week apart.  We went up to Aspen with their family, so we had four kids and four adults under one roof for an extra long weekend.  We had a BLAST!

Addy solidified her crush…DSC_0134 (2)

…and showed her aggressive side.DSC_0136 (2)

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Titus didn’t seem to mind, though, and keep saying “Aa-eeeeee”.  Cute.  Unbelievably cute.DSC_0195 (2)

Addy even tried calling him on the phone when she couldn’t find him.  Unfortunately the phone was fake.  But we were all under one roof, so her loud wails worked well enough.DSC_0207 (2)

And then there was Cadence and Addy- she was so good with the little kids!DSC_0270 (2)

The morning before we left, the girls all danced together in the living room.  A lot.  Danced in circles, danced in jumping, danced in illegal-running.  How cute are they???DSC_0287 (2)

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Love you guys!!!DSC_0285 (2)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Suffering? Burden???

Oh yeah.  There’s a lot of suffering going on here.  And having Down syndrome is obviously a huge burden to our family.  Can’t ya tell???

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Yup, our life is so, so melancholy.