Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day Weekend at Tuttle Creek Reservoir

We made a quick trip up to Manhattan this weekend to visit friends and family Father's Day. Doug and I thought it would be fun to drive up there in Doug's dad's spacious RV. We've taken the kids on a trip every summer in the RV so it is a treat they look forward to. In a couple of weeks, we are going to Denver in the RV with Doug's parents, brother and our niece. This little trip up to Manhattan was our dry run to see how things would work with Ella along.

We found a great campsite at Tuttle Creek Reservoir next to one of the smaller fishing ponds. We had to drive in rain the whole way there, but the skies cleared up in the evening as we finally arrived at the lake. Later that evening we were told that the area was under a tornado watch and we had heavy rain again.

On Sunday, we made our way to Junction City to see my family and had lunch with them at a local Mexican place. Yum!

We made it home before 5, so we could get the RV emptied out and get settled in for the week ahead of us. Too bad gas is so expensive, RVing is a great way to travel!

Kansas Salt Mine Museum

Last week my nephews, Seth, 13, and Adam, 10 3/4, stayed with us for a few days while my sister was at a conference for work. We had a great time with them. Our kids were in Cousin Heaven because our niece, Mackenzie, was also around. Thursday, I took the 4 boys and Ella to Salt City Splash. The kids were great for me, had a blast, but I didn't carry along my expensive camera.

Friday, Doug took the afternoon off so he could take Seth, Adam, Aidan and Mackenzie to the Kansas Salt Mine Museum. I stayed home with Sean and Ella because the tour does not allow small children. It sounds like a really cool place! you travel down, 650 feet, into the museum in groups of 12 on an unlit elevator. Each person has to wear a hard hat and a Carbon Dioxide converter, in case of an emergency. Part of it is seen while riding on mine cars. The film industry stores a lot of movie artifacts and original film reels due to the perfect storage conditions. The kids found it all very interesting and had lots to tell me about when they came home. Here are Doug's snapshots of the tour.

Bathroom Renovation W.I.P.

So it's been almost a month since we started our "quick, little bathroom update" project. LOL! We made a lot of progress, but have more to do. I didn't get to take official before photos, but have posted pix of the kids in there before we started. Like this one, where you can see the old linoleum and the wallpaper:

We pulled the floor, baseboard, wallpaper and old sink & medicine cabinet/light out. Doug did extensive repairs to the drywall, moved a light switch and outlet, re-wired the ceiling light and hung a new mirror light. I painted the walls and inside the linen closet. Doug installed the new floor, plumbed in a new sink, installed beadboard and the sink cabinet.

This bathroom also has our only shower, but the only thing we did to it was paint above the stall and put up a new curtain.

We have left to do:
cut & install chair rail & baseboard
paint all the new wood work so that is is the same shade of white as the cabinet.
put one more shelf in the linen closet for the beach towels & old towels for cleaning
hang up towel bars and artwork

I predict it will be done before the end of next month. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Momma's Little Helpers

The Swallow Study was Today

Okay, okay, so I am slacking on the blog still. Sorry! I updated about Sean's swallow study on Facebook, but thought I should post it here for those that wanted an update.

They had 2 radiology drs in the room doing the study, as well as a speech therapist and 2 lab techs. Sean was very comfortable with them and did great. The team was super friendly and comfortable with kids, had lots of toys in the room to distract the kiddos. Sean was in love with the 2 talking Scooby Doo stuffed dogs and the Tickle Me Elmo. They even blew bubbles for him and he was just charmed! I got him to take 3 swallows of the liquid and 3 bites of the barium pudding. They added strawberry flavoring to it and I told him the pudding stuff was yogurt. :P He refused to try the barium coated graham cracker (yuck!) but they thought that was fine.

The drs said that they got good views and did not see any signs of aspiration, but would look thru the scans and write up reports for my dr. They said a Ped GI dr might ask for further testing, but they didn't see anything that looked concerning. It was just a modified barium swallow study so it didn't look for how things travel to his tummy, etc. In order to do that, they'd have to put an NG tube in him since he'd have to consume a lot more barium. So for now, this is the info we have. I have to get a referral to a GI dr and go from there.

The Speech Therapist said that we should see a ped GI and see if he improves after a month of Prevacid. They mentioned that there is one Ped GI doctor in Wichita, otherwise we could go to Children's in KC or see a group in OKC. She didn't have orders to do a feeding evaluation, but said we'd be welcome to come back again if our doctor wants that done. She said that it would be best to see a GI specialist first to see what he'd want to do. She also feels that Sean's feeding issue are based in physiological causes, probably reflux. We talked about how his therapy has been going at school and what options are available where we live.

After all that, we went to the hospital cafeteria and had soul food for lunch (fried catfish, cornbread, greens and cabbage.) Sean finally got to eat and was so happy to see his food. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where Have I Been?

In case you've been wondering and haven't followed my Facebook updates...

I took a bloggy break because 1. the spacebar on my keyboard was shot and it has been really annoying to try to comment on the blogs I follow or blog here. and 2. Friday, Sean brought home a lovely stomach virus from his summer school classroom and we all had the benefit of experiencing it. Today was his first day back to class so I stopped by the computer store and bought a new keyboard. :) I am sorry I haven't been keeping up with comments on your blogs, but I have read them!

We are hopefully back on our feet now. The kids had some fun playing outside yesterday and Doug is back to work on the bathroom remodel project. Most of the floor is done (hopefully he can finish it tonight) and he will move on to the woodwork next (beadboard, chair rail and baseboard.)

My sister is bringing her sons out for a visit (and leaving them with me for 2 days) next week, so my goal is to have the bathroom functioning by then. Aidan is beside himself with excitement about their visit. He says, "Adam is my most favorite person in the whole wide world!" I will have 5 kids in the house- better stock up the kitchen! I am sure we will make quite the sight when we go out- 4 boys and then baby girl. Bet people will think we kept trying to get a girl. :)

Aidan has his first wiggly tooth! Lower right front tooth.

Sean shows me that he is feeling "strong."

Ella gets a bath while she plays.