Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Join in at Soule Mama


   Leave your link below if you'd like to share your moment.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Paige was a little peanut and with hardly any hair, so she looked like a baby for a long time. Being my first baby, I encouraged her to do everything. She was always strong. Picked her head up and looked around when she was a day old -- I did not know babies could even do that! So when she was seven months old you found me putting her hands on one of those baby walking toys so she could "walk" back and forth between two people. She loved doing it, but it looked so funny -- she was all of maybe 12 lbs and no hair and looked way too little to be walking!
She ended up taking her first steps on a vacation to Hawaii when she was 9 months old. I was so thrilled!

DJ tripled his birth weight by 6 months old and weighed 20 lbs. He was a Big Boy! But DJ was 'floppy' (for lack of a better word) and never tried to stand or anything. In fact, he never really held on when you carried him.
* I herniated a disc in my back with this guy, but that is a story in itself --
I really believed that there was no possibility that he would walk as early as his sister did. I never coaxed him like I did with his sister. I had learned my lesson. He was already a fast crawler -- I did not want to chase him any sooner than I had to. Well, I was wrong.
DJ also walked at 9 months.

You know, Kelly was really strong too -- maybe it's a girl thing.
By the time she came along and was getting to the 'let me just pull myself up to stand' stage, I was discouraging her from doing it. Her Father and her Grandfather would ignore my warnings and clap their hands for her and try to get her to take steps to them when she was only 7 and 8 months old.
(HA! I warned them)
Even with all the confusion in her life, Miss Independent walked at 9 months too.

I am pretty convinced at this point that it has to be genetic right?
I walked at 10 months
and so did Mike.

Lately I get people either asking me if I am holding him or exclaiming over the fact that Mikey can walk.
I'm thinking:
Uh, Yeah. He has only been walking half his life.
Because with this last one I was just resigned to the fact that he would start walking when he was
9 months old

and he did

Only this one RUNS!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

baby board books

Kelly is now a reader for sure!

We were just watching Shark Men (our favorite new show -- they tag and release Great Whites!) and they were showing a map of where the sharks were traveling.

Kelly yells out, "They went all the way to Hawaii!"
I'm all, "Yes, they did" -- then I realized she read that!

We have not really even worked with her on reading skills, other than giving her books and answering the never ending question of "How do you spell that?" (which goes along with the constant telling of addition facts up to 10....)
Oh, and all the kids love to read to each other, which I am sure helped her.

They were just picking a story to read to Mikey and it occurred to me that he doesn't have a
favorite yet --

Paige's favorite book as a toddler was Moo, Baa, La La La
by Sandra Boynton
Moo, Baa, La La La (Boynton)
She had it memorized when she was around two years old. It was the funniest thing, she'd hold it and say all the words very clearly and it looked like she was reading it. Too cute!
There is an app for the iPhone/Touch that reads it to you and you can touch it to make all the animal sounds. Mikey can't really do it all by himself, he hasn't mastered 'turning' the page, so Paige does it with him.

DJ's favorite was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
by Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
I cannot even come close to guessing how many times Paige and I both read this to him...
He LOVED that book!
When we turned the page to the picture of the Green Frog, DJ would yell, "Watch Out!" every single time we read this story!
I don't know why, but he did it every time.

Makes me think about him back then...
DJ was such a cute little guy ~
He looked just like a little man!

Kelly has always had a strong personality.
(yes, that is what we call it)
I had all these wonderful books for her that I saved from Paige and DJ. All in pretty good condition too. They were never chewed on or colored on, and then Miss K came along and she loved destroying all the baby board books. {sigh} She'd peel the corners and rip them to shred.  Drove me nuts.
Her favorite book was Snuggle Puppy!
by Sandra Boynton
Snuggle Puppy! (Boynton on Board)
(I like Sandra Boynton)
I still sing her the song from it. I'd like to read this one and even Moo, Baa, La La La to Mikey, but
Destructo Baby got to them.

Mikey does like his Trucks book. He gets it out of the basket and sits and 'reads' it himself. Maybe it's the size or the colors, or because he can slide the tabs. It just doesn't have a story.
Slide and Find - Trucks I guess maybe I can count it as his favorite for now.

*all the book covers are linked to good reads

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

versatile blogger award

Being fairly new to the blogging world, I feel very grateful to be one of the winners of the
Versatile Blogger Award!

I would like to say Thank You to Chauny from Chauny Writes! for kindly choosing me! Chauny Writes! is a blog that I just found and was immediately drawn to. Chauny describes herself as a "Writer, Encourager, and Motivator. Writes Self Help works that motivate and Inspire!" How could you not love that?!
Please stop by her blog Chauny Writes!

the rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:

Thank the person who gave you the award by linking back to them in your post.
Tell us seven things about yourself.
Award fifteen recently discovered new bloggers.

seven things about me:

1) I used to be obsessively organized, but I have let that go (for the most part)
I had to have every one's clothes categorized on colored hangers and all the kid's wooden puzzle pieces and their doll house and their books had to be in order if they weren't playing with them. I would still be like that if I had time to do it -- and if my husband didn't make fun of me for it. My stomach still hurts sometimes when I can't find the 'whole set' of something.
2) I was an Army Brat and I hated moving. Until we moved to San Francisco when I was 14, I went to a different school every 18 months or so. Some people thrive in that environment, I did not.
3) I was my Grandma's favorite.
4) I am head over heels, madly in love with my husband -- and it makes me mad that he knows it. If you know Mike, you know what I mean and can feel for me. It even makes me all girly and weepy to think about it.
5) I never understood what love was until I held Paige. I remember just staring at her and being overwhelmed by this feeling of having always known her. Before and after, forever.
6) At times I have the sense of humor of an eight year old boy, and I am never sarcastic.
7) I think my kids are The Best and The Most Adorable kids on the planet. I really do. I know there must be other cuter kids out there, and I know you are supposed to think all of them are cute in some way... but, I like mine The Best.
-- I also have some majorly freakin' cute nieces and a nephew, that really, in my head I also count as mine.

I don't just enjoy 'mommy blogs' so my blog list has a little of everything -- including my son's!
So check them out when you can, I'm sure you'll like them too ~

fifteen wonderful blogs:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

colored eggs

Who doesn't love coloring Easter eggs?

It seems like I always forget how much fun everyone has doing this.
We used to move the kitchen table outside to do the eggs, and when Kelly was three, we were moving it to the deck to pull up the rug and she asks all excited, "Is it Easter again?" It was about 10 months later, but it sure made an impression! How does a three year old remember something almost a year later unless it was super fun?

With Paige's help, we decided to try and make the eggs as vivid and colorful as possible. No pastel for us this year!

Now that they are older, they give up on trying to use the little wand about half-way though the eggs.

But still like to show me every creation ~
It was even more fun for Mike and I this year, since Mikey was in on it too -- it's not his first Easter, but it's the  first year for coloring his own egg!

Like this?       


An artist?

I remember waiting for the Easter Bunny with my cousin Kendra when were about 4 years old. We were in the living room of her house and peeking out the curtains wanting SO bad to get a glimpse of him.
We waited and waited.
We never saw him...

I also remember being in the back yard of my grandparents house for a big egg hunt with a bunch of the cousins. The older boys were getting all the eggs and taunting us with how many they had (Ken, Mike, and even John!) so uncle Mickey was pointing out ones for us that they had missed. :p

Our hunts are never that big of a deal.
For a long time it was just for the two kids -- and usually it's in the house because the weather is bad.

We never have it first thing in the morning.

More often than not, we reuse the baskets from the year before, or the ones that Papa Bruce and Aunt Nancy send (thank you again, they love them)

The big deal for our family is coloring the eggs.

After the hunt, we have egg salad sandwiches for lunch ~

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

someone's random thoughts

Found this on i am mommy who has a very adorable new baby. Some of the Random Thoughts are very cute, and some are just too true! Enjoy --

*I would like to add that I feel a need for a "roll your eyes" emoticon in addition to the sarcasm font.

Random Thoughts of the Day
  •   More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.

    •   Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

      •   I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

        •   The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.

          •   Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

            •   There is a great need for sarcasm font.

              •   Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

                •   I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

                  •   Was learning cursive really necessary?

                    •   Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

                      •   I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

                        •   Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

                          •   How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

                            •    I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent an aggressive driver from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

                              •   MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

                                •   Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

                                  •   I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

                                    •   I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

                                      •   Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

                                        •   Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

                                          •   Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from; this shouldn't be a problem....

                                            •   You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

                                              •   Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

                                                •   There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

                                                  •   I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

                                                    •   When I meet a new person, I'm terrified of mentioning something they haven’t already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

                                                      •   I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

                                                        •   Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

                                                          •  I wonder if cops ever get annoyed at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

                                                          •   Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

                                                          {this moment}

                                                          A Friday ritual.

                                                          A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

                                                          A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

                                                          A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

                                                          Join in at Soule Mama

                                                          Wednesday, April 20, 2011

                                                          pedro aisa

                                                          Pedro Aisa was born September 17, 1876 and came over to San Francisco from Spain in 1906.

                                                          He left Le Havre, France on August 18th and arrived in New York on August 28th. He was listed as being around 28 years old and not married yet. He was also listed as being a barber, but the family was told that he had been a physician in Spain. He had $30 and had never been to the United States before. He is meeting his friend, Michael Franco who lives on 1545 Post Street in San Francisco.

                                                          *Michael, I believe is Miguel Franco, step father to Theresa Pelegrin. Theresa marries Pedro early in  1907. She immigrated here in 1904.

                                                          In 1910, he was still going by Pedro, but was spelling Aisa, with a double ss.
                                                          He and Theresa had two children by then and three of Pedro's brothers in law lived with them.

                                                          In 1917 he lived at 377, 11th Avenue and he was working as a gardener. He is listed as being "short" at 5'4" with a "medium" build, brown eyes and black hair.

                                                          In October of 1919, I found Pedro returning home from Hawaii. He is not traveling with family, but I have not found a military enlistment... yet.

                                                          In 1920 he was going by Peter and the spelling had switched back to Aisa. He was working as a waiter on a boat. (I know that I'd like to know more about that) He and Theresa have three children, Marcel, Emile and Grace. They lived on 20th Avenue.
                                                          Interestingly, both Pedro and Theresa and both sets of their parents, are listed as being from Spain, but French is their "mother tongue". Could be why the family thought Theresa was from France -- she spoke French!

                                                          By 1930, he was Peter Aissa.
                                                          Peter was working as a barber, had about $4,000 and owned a home. He lived with his wife Theresa and all his children lived at home, including Marie who was 9 years old.
                                                          His brother in law, Antonio 'Frank' Franco who lived with the family before -- in 1910 was living with them again.
                                                          Both Frank and Marcel were working as chauffeurs. Emile was a quartermaster on a steamship.

                                                          Peter Aissa committed suicide on March 13, 1936 by ingesting rat poison. He was 56 years old.
                                                          There is paperwork that Theresa filed requesting a name correction attached his death certificate, so it does read Peter Aissa.
                                                          His mother's maiden name is listed on it, but is illegible. His mother's first name was Carmen.

                                                          Pedro had four brothers and two sisters that I have been able to find. Two of the brothers, Francisco and Enrique never changed the spelling from Aisa to Aissa.

                                                          Tuesday, April 19, 2011

                                                          interview, Mikey

                                                          1. What are Mothers for?  nhu-nhu
                                                          2. What are Fathers for? playing
                                                          3. What do you want to be when you grow up and why? mini football player, because dad thinks I am going to be too small to play regular football
                                                          4. What is one thing you hate? bottles and pacifiers
                                                          5. What is your favorite toy? puzzle
                                                          6. What is your favorite food? nhu-nhu
                                                          7. What is your favorite TV show? football (says dad...)
                                                          8. What is your favorite book? Trucks
                                                          9. What is your favorite treat? ice cream
                                                          10. How do you help out with your brothers and sisters? I build their self esteem by letting them help me
                                                          11. Where do you want to go for your summer vacation? Legoland, baby!
                                                          12. If you had $20 to spend what would you buy? a gift for my mother, who has nhu-nhu for me

                                                          interview, Kelly

                                                          1. What are Mothers for?  taking care of their children
                                                          2. What are Fathers for? protecting their children
                                                          3. What do you want to be when you grow up and why? a princess, because they are beautiful.
                                                          4. What is one thing you hate? slime
                                                          5. What is your favorite toy? My Size Barbie
                                                          6. What is your favorite food? cheesie roll-ups, aka quesadilla
                                                          7. What is your favorite TV show or movie? Homeward Bound
                                                          8. What is your favorite book? Pajama Time
                                                          9. What is your favorite treat? ice cream
                                                          10. How do you help out with your brothers and sisters? pick up toys and things from the floor
                                                          11. Where do you want to go for your summer vacation? Legoland
                                                          12. If you had $20 to spend what would you buy? a rocket to fly into space on

                                                          interview, DJ

                                                          1. What are Mothers for?  to tell you what is right and what is wrong
                                                          2. What are Fathers for? to play with and hang out with and watch sports with, oh and play video games with
                                                          3. What do you want to be when you grow up and why? I would like to be a Pharmacist, because I went on a field trip and visited one and it's all about science and I like science
                                                          4. What is one thing you hate? I dislike music class
                                                          5. What is your favorite toy? Can books be toys? my stretch monkey then
                                                          6. What is your favorite food? chocolate cake
                                                          7. What is your favorite TV show or movie? The Sweet Life of Zack and Cody on Deck
                                                          8. What is your favorite book? Percy Jackson series, so far
                                                          9. What is your favorite treat? icebreakers
                                                          10. How do you help out with your brothers and sisters? fetching my baby brother off the stairs and reading to my sister so she learns how
                                                          11. Where do you want to go for your summer vacation? Rome or Legoland
                                                          12. If you had $20 to spend what would you buy? ice cream for myself

                                                          interview, Paige

                                                          1. What are Mothers for?  to raise and nurture you
                                                          2. What are Fathers for? to support and protect you
                                                          3. What do you want to be when you grow up and why? an editor, because I like to read
                                                          4. What is one thing you hate? math
                                                          5. What is your favorite toy? my Kindle!
                                                          6. What is your favorite food? penne pasta
                                                          7. What is your favorite TV show? Glee
                                                          8. What is your favorite book? Vampire Academy
                                                          9. What is your favorite treat? gooey brownies
                                                          10. How do you help out with your brothers and sisters? I'm Mama's helper and help with whatever she wants me to do
                                                          11. Where do you want to go for your summer vacation? Legoland!
                                                          12. If you had $20 to spend what would you buy? books for my Kindle


                                                          I read a cute interview on productjunkiemama today and it inspired me to interview my own kids.
                                                          I did them all separately and they were very thrilled about the whole thing. Well, DJ and Kelly were. DJ even wanted more questions. Paige seemed nervous and was a little edited and Eddie Haskell...
                                                          And then, Kelly! When did my independent Kelly turn into a pink loving girl? Last year she wanted to be a vulcanologist, six months ago an astronaut, three months ago -- a teacher who teaches about volcanoes in outer space!
                                                          Maybe I will ask them all the same questions in six months.

                                                          At least they all want to go to Legoland.


                                                          People cannot say our last name correctly.

                                                          Having a boring first name, I was always the one who tried to make sure I pronounced other's names correctly. I had a friend Leif, who would answer to LEAF, but I never called him that. I had to say it the right way. I am sure it never mattered to him, but it mattered to me.
                                                          I don't know why I had a thing about this. Maybe it it because I never liked my first name. I always thought it was a name for Old Ladies. Now that I am fast approaching Old Ladydom -- I am not so much liking Carol any better, but I have come to terms with it.
                                                          I even gave Paige a longer middle name in case she didn't want to be called Paige. She could be Beth or Liz...
                                                          but she likes Paige.

                                                          I do like Carol more than Kismet.
                                                          Yes, my mom wanted to name me Kismet. My grandmother didn't like the name Kismet, and since my grandmother worked at the hospital where I was born, she filled out my birth certificate and named me Carol.
                                                          Thank you Grandma!

                                                          Being an Aissa has brought on a new level of this name pronunciation for me.

                                                          "Thank you Mrs. Ey-Eye-See"

                                                          "Here you go, Mrs. Eye-See-Uh"

                                                          or Mike's favorite

                                                          "ASS- Ey-Uh" (which was how it was pronounced on a loudspeaker, during a football game)

                                                          Having had this weird name thing my whole life, it is now really funny that now that it is MY name that is being mispronounced,
                                                          I don't care at all.
                                                          It is really cute how people get so excited when you tell them they got it right.
                                                          And it is super amusing to see people struggle with it (maybe I am a little mean)
                                                          But it doesn't bug me at all.

                                                          I wasn't around for it, but I guess Robyn would tell people, "It's Aissa, not Asshole" which is very classic Robyn!
                                                          Maybe I should make it up on a t-shirt....

                                                          So it is EY-S-UH.
                                                          Originally, the name was Ay-Eye-Suh, but that is when the family was sheepherders in Spain.

                                                          While I am at it, it spelled AISSA, not ASSIA.
                                                          Just saying.

                                                          Saturday, April 16, 2011

                                                          front yard

                                                          The Japanese Maple just exploded leaves and the moss we planted is filling in!

                                                          We will probably need to get more, but I love the color contrast ~

                                                          My sweet girl,
                                                          helping me with the photos!

                                                          Showing off more of the front of the house ~

                                                          Friday, April 15, 2011

                                                          {this moment}

                                                          Posted by Picasa

                                                          A Friday ritual.

                                                          A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.

                                                          A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

                                                          A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

                                                          Join in at Soule Mama

                                                          Tuesday, April 12, 2011

                                                          lucky girl

                                                          I know I am spoiled.

                                                          I have the family I always dreamed of having and I sing praises about my kids all the time. I don't often brag about my husband.
                                                          ('cause I'm spoiled)

                                                          I know people claim that they married their best friend, but I really did.

                                                          We spend all our time together and we never argue. I mean ALL our time -- I might stay home, like right now, and he will pick up one of the kids from school, but that is pretty much the only time we are not together.

                                                          We have had exactly one fight. It was about 8 years ago and I was completely justified in being angry.

                                                          He gets up early with DJ and gets him to school. This seems fairly easy, but it is actually, huge. DJ is the only 'morning' person in our family and is really happy to start his day. He is even happier to spend this time with his Dad. You know, one on one guy time.
                                                          This allows me to sleep in with the baby.
                                                          Then he drives the girls to school.

                                                          He lets me organize everything, so he drives us to the market or soccer practice or just to the park to play -- wherever I have mapped out where we need to be that day.
                                                          And he cooks for us all. And does the menu, so all the shopping at the market too.

                                                          I am sure that I must annoy him at times, and it drives me nuts when he gets crumbs on the bed, but it's almost weird that we get along so well.
                                                          (could be 'cause I'm spoiled)

                                                          He doesn't have a typical male ego, so I never worry about stepping on it.
                                                          He is romantic without thinking he is.
                                                          He puts all of us before himself.
                                                          He makes me feel safe -- and that all the children are safe.

                                                          I am always myself  with him.

                                                          So, Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!

                                                          I am one lucky girl.

                                                          Monday, April 11, 2011


                                                          nI am taking Kelly out of Preschool next week. I put her in about a year ago to make sure she'd be socially ready for Kindergarten -- I figured Miss Bossy Boots could learn a few things hanging out with her peers.
                                                          She loved it.
                                                          They loved her.
                                                          (I've missed her)
                                                          But now I've realized that her Kindergarten is a full day and I am running out of time to just have her with me.
                                                          So she will have a longer 'Summer' than the other kids.

                                                          I am going to have to restock my art supplies....

                                                          Friday, April 8, 2011

                                                          {this moment}

                                                          A Friday ritual.
                                                          A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
                                                          A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
                                                          A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
                                                          Join in at Soule Mama

                                                          Thursday, April 7, 2011

                                                          the sounds of my son, again

                                                          I first posted this in March 2008 on my other blog. I think I wrote maybe 5 posts before giving it up and this one was the last one.
                                                          It explains up until that point what was going on with DJ's hearing. He did have a total of 3 surgeries and his hearing is perfectly fine now, but he does have a couple of prosthetic bones in there and so we made the decision that he will not play football even though it is something that he really wants to do.
                                                          I thought about it when I mentioned DJ not playing football in my post growth charts. Looking it over made me realize how stressed I was about what was happening to him.
                                                          Even though I know next to nothing about football, it still makes me sad that he can't play. He hardly ever talks about it anymore, but there was a time that he talked about it constantly -- couldn't wait until he was old enough to play...

                                                          the sounds of my son
                                                          At around age three, my mother-in-law questioned my son's hearing... his speech was a bit off -- and well, he didn't seem to hear us. He was well behaved -- but didn't listen.

                                                          Had his hearing tested, he was fine.

                                                          By age 4 it seemed to us that he had issues with speech development. Had him tested. He did have a bit of a delay, but he didn't "qualify" for help. We lived in a very small community at the time and options were limited.

                                                          Had him tested again in preschool for speech. Didn't qualify.

                                                          Kindergarten rolls around ~ he gets his sister's teacher from the year before, who already knows his situation ~ she has him tested immediately.


                                                          He now qualifies for speech!

                                                          At the same time, the school nurse notices a bit of a hearing loss in his left ear. The new speech therapist (who was the same one who tested him before...) recommended him to an ENT because she believed that his speech problems were caused by having never developed a proper tongue thrust. (he did have this problem) She thought he would benefit by having his tonsils removed. He sees the ENT. She agrees that he should have his tonsils removed, but says the hearing loss is from an ear infection.

                                                          He has his tonsils out right after his 6th birthday. (My youngest daughter was born a month later!)
                                                          We move home to SF.

                                                          On the way to his 7 year old well child visit he tells us in the car, "Maybe Dr. Lee can fix my ear while we are there."

                                                          No Joke.

                                                          Of course, we question him ~ and he hasn't been able to hear for at least a year! (since the ENT said it was an ear infection)

                                                          So! -- Hearing test, otolaryngologist. ~ then a CAT scan... he has a "growth" next to the bones in his ear.

                                                          They think they know what it is... but it’s in the wrong spot... they had to "consult" with other doctors. (my mother-in-law just passed away from cancer two months before all of this) They have to remove it, but it's not an area that you go into lightly. (nerve damage, balance, etc)

                                                          First surgery, all of it is removed. It's a congenital cholesteatoma. (not cancer) It was something he was born with, and when he grew, it grew. (it can also be caused by numerous ear infections, but not in his case) She also had to remove two of the bones in his ear. Recovery time is 6 weeks. No showers (ugh!) No "strenuous activities". He is a 7 year old boy -- its summer... !

                                                          I have him telling everyone his scar came from a sword fight with a pirate!

                                                          We let him get a mohawk between surgeries...

                                                          Second surgery, August 7th, they replace the bones that were removed with prosthetic ones. Bionic Ears! No idea if it'll even work... may have to have a hearing aide even after all of it. (that was one of the scary things -- they were not worried about fixing his hearing, they needed to get the growth out!) Another 6 weeks of DJ bouncing off the walls, but not being able to do much....

                                                          Post-op and hearing test. His ear is perfectly healthy AND his hearing is (almost) completely normal! The little bit that is not in the range they want may even improve over time.

                                                          Right before his 3 month check up, my husband thinks his hearing has worsened. We wait until his next hearing test, but they confirmed it. Again, moderate to severe hearing loss. Talk to the otolaryngologist, she has no idea why it stopped working. "Let's wait and see and check him in three months."


                                                          Just had his hearing test last week and nothing has changed.
                                                          The audiologist recommends a hearing aid. Go to see the otolaryngologist she says that a hearing aid would be fine, or she can try to "tweak" the prosthetic.
                                                          We are going for the surgery.
                                                          We have scheduled for the middle of June, as soon as school is out.

                                                          Today we received a FM System for his classroom. It transmits the sound of the teacher's voice directly to him. I have seen others where the teacher talks into a big handheld microphone, but his is brand new so it just clips on. His side just fits into his (good) ear and sort of looks like a Bluetooth.

                                                          I hate all of this.

                                                          I'll say though ~ nobody could ask for a better kid! He has such an easy going personality. He was never scared (except the morning of the first one) and was so pleasant to all the nurses... everyone was surprised how well he did.
                                                          But this time he seems a little nervous. He wants my husband to stay with him overnight instead of me!

                                                          growth charts

                                                          Mikey had his well baby check up, and now Mike is checking a million different growth charts. Mikey is 50th percentile in weight and 12th in height. He was the shortest one when he was born -- 19 inches, and now his Dad is convinced he is going to stay short!

                                                          From my understanding, growth charts are used to check that a child is developing proportionately and generally growing in the same pattern. Right?
                                                          But it is fun and hard not to compare them when you have four that are so different!

                                                          The growth charts we grew up with were based on data from 1977 and were updated in 2000. Apparently, there are even more charts for specific race/ethnic group categories, but I think that is confusing -- I have also come across discussions about the need for having two separate growth charts, one for breastfed babies and one for formula fed babies.
                                                          I have no idea which ones where used in our doctor's office 10 years ago or even yesterday, but here is what I remember about my own kids:

                                                          Paige was always in the 10th-15th percentile for height and weight.
                                                          DJ was always 90th-95th with his head off the charts.
                                                          Kelly was 95th in both when she was born, but moved to the 70th in height.
                                                          Mikey has been 25th for height and 75th for weight up until this last appointment.

                                                          Paige was 7.14 lbs when she was born and 20 inches.
                                                          DJ was 6.8 lbs and 20 inches.
                                                          Kelly was 9.14 1/2 lbs and 22 inches.
                                                          Mikey was 9 lbs and 19 inches.

                                                          Paige didn't hit 20 lbs until she was 17 months old (and yes I kept her in an infant seat until then)
                                                          DJ was 20 lbs at 6 months old -- he had tripled his birth weight! At 18 months he was 34 lbs and 35 inches tall. (and made me herniate a disc in my back)
                                                          Kelly was 23 lbs at a year.
                                                          Mikey was 24 lbs.

                                                          Paige was exclusively breastfeed. I tried forever to get her to take a bottle... she finally took one when she was 10 months old -- with cow's milk, she never had formula. The recommendations on when to start them on whole milk was 10 months then. I should  never have given her a bottle and just let her have a cup. She nursed until she was 20 months old, but I had a hard time getting the bottle away from her. She would take DJ's from him and hide under the dinning room table to drink them...
                                                          DJ seemed really hungry, so at maybe 3 months old I started giving him formula in addition to nursing him. By 10 months old he wasn't interested in nursing. It was around Thanksgiving, so I tell everyone he would say to me, "Thanks for the beverage. May I please have a turkey sandwich?"
                                                          Kelly. Kelly was a hungry baby! She would nurse on both sides and then finish off a 6oz bottle when she was 6 weeks old. She did this until she was about 9 - 10 months old and went to formula only for 2 months until she started on whole milk.
                                                          Mikey had a couple of bottles with formula when he was smaller -- in the car when we couldn't stop. One day, he just refused to do it anymore. He never liked the pacifier either. He doesn't seem interested in giving up breastfeeding any time soon, and I guess we will just see how it goes over the next few months.
                                                          All 4 of them started solids at four months old.

                                                          If you can find me a growth chart that will factor in all that, I'd be grateful! I could show it to my husband who is now worried that his other boy won't be playing football.
                                                          (DJ can't play because of his ear)

                                                          We were also playing around with the height predictors. They calculate the kids size and both parents to see how tall they will be at 18.
                                                          Paige's pediatrician told her at her last appointment not to expect to be as tall as me (5'1 3/4") The height predictor says she should be 5'.
                                                          All the rest -- 5' 6"!

                                                          Wednesday, April 6, 2011

                                                          well baby

                                                          I love well baby visits! I am not so thrilled with the shot part, but, oh -- how I love to tell the pediatric staff how awesome my kids are ~ No, really, I love to see how big they are and have people who know what they are talking about reassure me that they are fine.
                                                          (and tell me how awesome they are)

                                                          Well, Miss Kell had her 5 year old check up, which included all the paperwork for Kindergarten. Very exciting!
                                                          My little Sasquatch is 44 inches tall and 50 lbs.

                                                          I so love having both my girls be the extreme opposite of each other. Kelly is almost always the tallest of her peers, where Paige was/is always the smallest! At 5 years old, Paige was still wearing a size 4 -- I am now buying Kelly a size 7! (well, really pulling out Paige's old size 7's from the back garage)

                                                          Kelly's vision came back 20/50 and now we have to take her to the pediatric opthamologist. 
                                                          I didn't get glasses until 5th grade. Same with DJ. Kelly's uncle Bob got his when he was 6 years old.
                                                          If she needs glasses, she needs glasses... better to get them before she starts Kindergarten.
                                                          The funny thing is, Paige used to beg for glasses!

                                                          At the same visit, Mikey had his 18 month check up. Going to see the doctor is not his favorite thing to do, but he cries only if you try to lay him down on the table.
                                                          Mama's Boy is 31 inches and 26 lbs and his Dad thinks he is too short...

                                                          Mikey has always had a loud fluttering sound in his heart. Kelly had it too, but outgrew it. Yesterday the pediatrician said that now Mikey's is a little louder than she "likes to hear", so he is going to have a pediatric cardiologist check it out.
                                                          First available appointment is in three weeks.
                                                          (do they do this on purpose to see how much stress a mother can take?)

                                                          I did forget to ask if it was unusual that Mikey could do the wooden shape puzzles. I don't remember any of the other ones doing it at a year and a half, but I could be wrong --

                                                          Oh, and yes I do still like taking Paige and DJ to their well baby visits, but they make me call it a well child visit!
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