Thursday, December 26, 2013

Trident Cases

Be wary of TridentCase.com.  Their products can be very faulty and they do NOT stand behind them.  I have one on my phone and thought it worked, so why not order one for the Vizio tablet.  Well, it burned up the tablet and now it won't stay on.  Trident finally, though I had to insist, refunded the money for the case after I sent it back.  But, they will do nothing for ruining a $200 tablet!  All they can say is that they are trying to replicate the issue.  Right.  I bet.  They don't really care is the truth.  They don't even return emails.  They're automated email says 1-3 days, but the truth is they have NEVER emailed me unless I call them.  Their customer service truly lacks!

Buyer beware.

Christmas 2013
















The kids didn't get anything extravagant, but they got pretty much everything on their lists and I think they enjoyed it.  We decided to not rush Christmas this year by trying to run too many places and stayed home on Christmas Eve.  We went to mass, which lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes.  I think it almost killed Jaemin.  He was really struggling to control himself for so long.  He just kept asking how many songs were left, but they sang everything at this church, so he counted everything.

We came home and made their favorite snack food Christmas.  We had smokies, shrimp, wings, donuts, cinnamon rolls and whatever else.  Each one got to pick a food for us to buy.  Then we watched Elf for a bit.  They opened all their presents and just played the rest of the night.  Jaemin was pretty excited Santa would bring him a Pororo table from Korea.  And he really liked the Monster Truck Great Grandma W got him.  Cole was pretty practical this year and got lots of things for hunting, his car, etc.  Chase has a drawer full of hoodies now, so he should be in good shape.  Kaelin is full up on clothes and accessories.  Chelsi got tons of shoes and finally got a boy doll for her Barbies.  She now has Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.  I actually got a present this year.  Brian saw my mirror that had broken a few years ago and got me a brand new mirror.  Just a simple little hand mirror, but I finally got a new one.  All in all I averaged out to my budget of $100 per kid.  I tried to work as many ebates, Kohls cash or whatever reward I could find into everything.  So after Christmas, I should have a decent little check coming.

I think they're all worn out now....just fairly quietly playing Wii.  We did do what a coworker told me to try.  We put no labels on the gifts from mom and dad and they each just opened a gift and had to decide who's gift it really went to.  Fairly easy until we got to hair accessories.  We got it though.  You can tell from some of their faces, these were not their gifts.  :)


Here are their own gifts.




And each other's gifts.





Then they played.

We got to go to both of their grandma's houses on Christmas Day and cousin E and uncle B came in from NY.






The pictures of E and grandma kissing cracked me up.  He started out smiling in the one and then looked at her out of the corner of his eyes.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Last Daycare Program
















for Jaemin

So cute.  He had to read a Christmas story to the other kids with the other 5 year old, then they sang songs and even bowed.  Jaemin played a lumberjack cutting down the little trees in one song and it was silly cute!






Oh, and last weekends snow.  Well, it wasn't much, but Jaemin had a blast while his brothers and sister and dad shoveled.  He's happily eat it or make a snow ball and nail Cole with it.  He thought he was cool stuff!



Heart Update




















Cole had his annual today.  We're starting to prepare, but there's still no for sure of when he'll get repaired or what they'll do.  He hasn't had an MRI since 2011, so Dr. R said he wants it in 2014.  After asking a little more about what happens after that, he decided it would be best to do it earlier, rather than later.  He's going to call tomorrow after talking to the cath specialist and then we need to have a list of Wednesdays we're available to drive to the hospital (2+ hours away).  It's obviously an all day thing.  No stress test this time though.  He said there's still a chance he could qualify for the Melody Valve.  It's only been out for about 4-5 years and they've been using it for 1+.  There's no lifetime on the valve yet since it's not been out long enough to know yet.  That's what he's discussing with the team tomorrow.  He's going to compare today's echo/ekg with last years, but he didn't think there was a great difference.  There's still a chance Cole can go another year without his pulmonary valve since he's not seeing any changes yet and not feeling any signs or symptoms of heart failure yet.  However, MRIs are the better gauge for failure of his right ventricle.  Obviously his right is still enlarged.  That will not go away until the valve is put in.  It's still that fine balance between waiting long enough so you don't have to put the heart through unnecessary surgeries and not waiting so long that the muscle's not repairable, which is when you could run the risk of critical failure needing a transplant.  It's rare, thankfully.

He said they team may not be able to tell from the tests today if he qualifies for the Melody and may need the MRI to decide for sure.  Then, we'll kind of go from there.  If he gets the Melody, he'll only need a cath for repair and need a weekend for recovery and can even resume wrestling a couple of months later.  He just needs scar tissue to build up and strengthen the repair.  Then, they're expecting, like other valves it will buy him a few to several years before he needs another valve.  That's the going rate on valves.  For whatever reason, not having a valve at all, he's survived longer than most patients with only a patch for a valve.  It's typically just a few years and we're going on 17.  Just over 16 to be fair, but Doc says it's amazing.

He said once he has the MRI if they decide he needs the valve it will not be a wait and see or lets schedule it next year like they originally thought.  It will be fairly quick at this point.  That's probably better for Cole so he doesn't get any more anxious than he will anyways.  If that even makes sense.  If he needs open-heart this time around and we do it before May, he knows he can recover in time to wrestle his Senior year.  He may not land on Varsity, but I am so proud of him no matter what.  He's very strong.

Other than that it's the same old same old.  He will never get away from open-hearts.  He has a lifetime of caths where they will insert a valve with stents or open-hearts to repair and replace valves.  The only thing I know is that it will be a bovine valve.  He said for right side they do bovine, you don't do mechanical and he only has to be on aspirin afterwards, so that's great!

One day at a time and hopefully we can get him in in February, so we can see what's going to happen.  So much for hoping I wouldn't meet my high deductible next year.  Those MRIs are EXPENSIVE!  I would just like to NOT meet it one year, but my money's well spent keeping him healthy.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dear God,















please help my two oldest as they go through middle school and high school finals this week.  Especially, help them in Algebra.  Please help their Algebra teachers to recognize how to make a better impact on kids. 

Chase has put so much work into Algebra I and I'm really having to jog my memory.  Tonight we got out the home teaching book my brother sent us and it helped with linear equations.  Yep, I can again do those.  Just don't give me fractions....ugh!

Cole had a great night at wrestling, so hopefully, that builds up some self-esteem and he'll push through 4 finals tomorrow.

I let Kaelin know how great she's doing.  She's keeping her grades up with straight As and really listening at home and being more unselfish.  I told her she's really turning into a nice young lady and it makes me proud of her.

Chelsi is still vivacious Chelsi.  Enough said.

Jaemin is so Jaemin.  Really the two of them are so much alike except Jaemin has his sensory issues.  He's got quick wit like Chelsi and is very bright.  Being behind socially and emotionally masks his wit so much, but I see it and know it's there.  We're working on his flapping before kindergarten.  Kinda kicking it into overdrive.  The teachers say they have a plan for him, but we still need to try to reroute the reaction.  I know he can't quit flapping.  It's how he deals with anxiety and sensory ups and downs.  But, we're going to try to reroute it to a less noticeable hand action.  At least try.  He cognizantly knows to squeeze or massage his hands instead, but old habits can be hard to break, so hopefully over several months we can break into a new way to deal with it all.  He's so funny and happy.  I wouldn't want Jaemin to change too much.  I love his fascination with time and announcing the time constantly....'clock says eight zero eight, time for bed'.  Even if it's 8:08 am!  He's so structured.  Sometimes you would seriously think he was aspergers, but the doctor says no, it's all sensory related.

Anyways, knock on wood, after Cole got over the stomach bug last week no one in the house has gotten in yet, but it's running rampant at work and school, so I'll feel better if we escape Christmas without it.  Only time we'll tell.  For now, the kids are looking forward to our newer tradition of junk food, movies and games Christmas....just the 7 of us.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's that time of year




















Nothing to report. Nothing special.  Just trying to keep up with everything.  I'm almost done Christmas shopping.  Just a couple of odds and ends.  All of the things I have already are wrapped and under the tree.....driving the littler one nuts.  I took the advice of a coworker and labeled the kids' gifts from their great-grandma and their grandpa, but the ones from us are numbered with a random number so they don't know which ones are theirs and won't be able to figure out what they're getting by shaking or size. 

I can't wait for Christmas.  I can't wait for Jaemin to see the scooter he's been dying for.  I just hope it's tall enough for him. I hope Chelsi isn't disappointed.  She wanted a $150 Barbie dreamhouse.  That's just not in the budget.  She also wanted a Flutterbye Fairy, but when I saw how bad the ratings were I didn't want mom to spend $30 just to throw it away.  So, I found her a Disney Flynn dolls since she's never had a Ken and go her a Rapunzel, Tiana and Merida dolls from her grandmas.  I think she'll love them.

I spend my time running kids to school, going to work and then trying to pick up ordered items or bring them back after work.  The latter seems to occur fairly often.  I've been trying to find a pair of khaki's for the big boys for months now.  Neither has dress clothes and they're both so tall and thin they can ONLY be ordered and I have yet to get a true size that will fit.  I've now splurged and ordered from Gap hoping they'll be accurate.  They are the only ones I've found to actually make the dress pants in a 29x30 and 31x34, which are still slightly big in the waist for them, but at least they can grow then.

Things are picking back up now that wrestling is officially starting this weekend.  Cole's been kinda bummed because he wrestled off for 142, but lost by 2 points.  I thought that was pretty good.  The kid is 2 years younger, but has been wrestling kids club for years, his dad is the coach and they sent him to an expensive camp over the summer.  Cole's only wrestled for 2 years, is long and thin (which is not optimal in wrestling unless you really find a way to use it to an advantage) and has a heart condition.  But, then he found out the 145 can't wrestle this weekend for Varsity, so for the week he's Varsity.  He was pretty darn happy, but is afraid he'll lose.  I told him it doesn't matter, just hope....always have hope.  Then, next week he can wrestle off for the Varsity 142 again.  Yes. he's 6'1" and about 139 pounds.  SKINNY! 

It's been getting quieter and quieter.  With Cole wrestling and working he's rarely home.  He gets home anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 from practice and then some nights has to leave for work around 6:30.  Some nights he has to wrestle and then a couple he's home.  Then, every Saturday he has a tournament out of town and works on Sundays.  I hope he can fit his homework in.  He needs really good grades.  Chase decided he wanted to go watch his friends play basketball, so he went to school for a bit and it was just us and the 3 little ones.  Chelsi and I started the "Sound of Music", but it's too long to finish before her bedtime.  I'm realizing how quiet it is now and how much I hate them growing up and moving on, but like it all at the same time.  I won't be an empty nester that needs kids around all the time.  I think it's just that I'm still adjusting to this change.  And it's not that I need kids around as much as I just need these kids around. 

If they only knew all the things we go through as parents for them.  How much we love them.  How much we try to protect them while letting them live and learn.  It's so hard to balance that, but so delicately needs to be balanced in order for them to grow.  If only there were manuals for each very individual child.