Sunday, September 21, 2014

Finally Back to School

 Kanyon's mystery virus bought him another week of summer, but after the Labor Day weekend he was all set to go to his first day of school.  We worked on his little sign the night before.  He's done really well with his name lately....even though this time he tried to make his "n" look like a "k".

It will forever bother me that his hair was all messed up in the front for these pictures.  It looks like I fluffed his bangs...which I did not.  His hair was long and out of control at the time, but he had not grown 80's bangs.  Oh well.

As usual it was a "journey" to get a picture where he was looking and smiling.

The sign was a little tricky.  "Hold it up!" "No, not that high" "Higher" "Not in front of your face".......

SUCCESS!!!!! (props to Daddy for acting the fool behind me to get him to smile and look)

Here is the school boy at his new 1st grade desk!  The teacher on the left is the aid that they hired for him last year when we moved here. She stays with him all day.  She's his sidekick...or is he her sidekick??? Either way, she gets him through his day and we love her.  She truly loves Kanyon and wants him to do well. She is diligent and works so hard to get the most out of his days.  He loves "Mrs. Shelley" and we count her as one of our greatest blessings right now.  The school experience would be a totally different story without her.  Kanyon's classroom teacher is Ms. Armstrong on the right.  She is great and once we knew who his teacher was and would tell people around town, we heard so many wonderful things about her.  She was prepared and excited to have Kanyon in her class and does a great job including him and also pushing him to learn more and more.  He also has a recourse teacher where he goes a couple of times a day. She is young, energetic, and focused so we think she's going to be really good too.  She's new to the school this year but some of his therapists at school had worked with her before and had lots of wonderful things to say about her.  We feel like his school takes great care of him with nothing but the best in mind for him. I know a lot of people have to fight for their kids in school and thankfully that has not been our experience in Longview or here in Lewistown. I am so grateful for the people we have working with him and for their willingness to make it work for everyone.  

And y'all, the boy is LEARNING! 
His first week (he only goes to school Tuesday Wednesday and Thursdays) was a little rough. He was super tired and spending a lot of time walking back and forth to all of the different places.  But by the end of those first 3 days, they had made his schedule more efficient and he was rocking and rolling! A lot of his struggle is how much he cries and gets upset.  He is not anywhere near the developmental level of his classmates, so he has a much harder time coping with things throughout the day that most of the other kids just move right on through without a thought.  Not to mention his physical disabilities that make lots of things more challenging.  Even something as simple as holding his paper in place while he writes can be challenging when you've only got one "good hand" and you're using it to write! Shelley is there to navigate through the ups and downs of his emotions as well as provide physical support and assistance when he needs it.  There is NO WAY he could make it through a day without her. And anyone around him would have a hard time making it through the day if Shelley wasn't there with Kanyon!  I hear very little from him about his days, but Mrs. Shelley write a recap of his days every day for me.  It gives me things to ask him about and gives me a glimpse into his day that I can't get from him.  I LOVE that she does that for me! They knew he loved to swing and the school didn't have any swings that worked for him so the school ordered a new swing for the playground just for him so he is loving his recess time.  He loves his new green swing! 

He continues to learn new things little by little. He can recognize almost the whole alphabet and is learning more and more letters that he can write on his own.  Letter sounds mean nothing to him, so at this point in the game, sounding things out and learning phonics isn't going to be his thing.  We think he will be able to learn sight words, so that is where we are going to start.  Numbers are a mystery and he has a hard time counting to 10.... usually he gets stuck at 6.  He's totally in to patterns now which is funny because EVERYTHING is a pattern to him! As with most things, the unfolding of his learning and how he can show us what he knows is a bit of a mystery so we are all learning and adjusting as we go.  But the bottom line is we know that he is learning and getting new things! He is taking it all in and we are just trying to figure out the most efficient way for him to be able to express what he knows.  A lot of times, just the act of having to say something out loud causes his wires to get crossed so that he isn't able to express what he knows even when its things we know he knows.  When everything is overwhelming and so hard for him, there has to be a way to streamline and simplify his assessment or "proof" that he knows something. It is and might always be a constant search for the best way to do that, but I am confident in his teachers and I look forward to seeing what this boy is gonna do.  And equally excited to see HOW he's gonna do it! He finds a way! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our Last Days of Summer

After our trip to Texas, we had a few days of summer that I'd better document....nothing special,  just things like.......

 sitting on the potty in the outhouse as happy as can be  

...and enjoying the serenity of the creek with your hands in your pockets/in your overalls. 

 Quinn got to spend the day with Chief checking the cows in the summer mountain pasture. 

When we got back from Texas we had a little Kory/Jaylie June birthday celebration.  Gram and Chief got Jaylie this vanity and they were all 3 primping. 

This little 2 year old was so very pleased and grown up eating her cookies and ice cream. 

She kinda looks like a thug, but I can't help but wanna squeeze her! 

The end of summer here meant the arrival of yummy peaches.  We REALLY missed our Pittsburg peaches this summer, but we got some that were pretty good! 

Evening walks home from Gram and Chief's house are way more fun when they walk with us! 

When Gram and Chief turned back to head to their house, Miss Priss pushed her brother in the stroller. 

We always love going to the park that's right by our house.  I was so glad for a few more trips before school started.  This is yet another example of the impossible-ness of my children taking a decent picture.  Quinn=SOOOOO over it. 
Jaylie June= annoying fake "CHEEEEEEEESE" smile. 
Kanyon=STILL hasn't figured out how to smile and open his eyes. 

Mommy Juney girl brought one of her babies along for this trip to the park.  

Baby enjoyed the merry go round, 

 and the slide. 

 We spent our last days of summer enjoying late bed times so we had plenty of time for dressing up like super heroes (but apparently not enough time to put on clothes). I might also mention that she insisted on going to get her stool to sit on when I took her picture.  She's learning to pose y'all.  Help. 

Super Modest Girl used her super powers to cover herself up for a picture. 

 I have loved having fresh wildflowers/weeds/alfalfa hay/anything else me and the kids pull out of the ground out in my house all summer.  Its hard not to be happy when there's fresh flowers all over the place. 

Nothing ends a great summer like an UNBELIEVABLE personal add in our newspaper.  Read it, then read it again because it REALLY does say what you think it says.  I can at least give the guy credit for knowing what he's looking for. 

Just when we thought our summer was coming to a close, it took an interesting turn.  Kanyon was set to start school on Wednesday and that Monday night after a fun birthday party, Kanyon had a seizure, then another one a few minutes later.  He didn't seem to snap out of them and calm down. I held him and he stopped having seizures, but he never could settle down.  His heart rate stayed SUPER high for a long time and much like we would feel if our heart was racing, he couldn't rest or even close his eyes.  We knew we needed to call someone.  It was 11:00 MT time so I had to call our neurologists office in Dallas and talk to the on-call nurse.  She told me she would let the Dr. on call know what was going on and give me a call.  THANKFULLY it was our Dr. that was on call that night and a few minutes later he personally called me back to talk which I thought was so above and beyond.  He could've just relayed info through the nurse, but he called me on his cell phone at midnight.  He was confident that this wasn't a prolonged seizure but he was concerned about the heart rate staying up so high for so long so he suggested going to the ER. Soooo around midnight, me and KanMan headed up to the ER.  By this time I could tell he was slowing down and it was coming to an end but we still wanted to get checked out.  So we walked right in and saw a Dr. immediately (small town perks). His heart rate had slowed down and he was finally able to fall asleep.  He also started running a fever.  So, the conclusion was that the high heart rate and the seizures may have all been the onset of a virus of some sort.  Several years ago, klp had a few episodes of this high heart rate thing and we were never able to come up with a reason (or a long term problem).  We came home and went to bed thankful that he was better, but still wondering exactly what sort of "bug" would start this way.  But if we've learned anything its that this boy's body reacts to things in totally unique and sometimes bazaar ways, so we think maybe this was one of those strange reactions. Our super nice neurologist in Dallas called personally to check on us the next day.We went and saw our pediatrician the next day (who we really like) and she still felt like it was a virus. She ran a strep test and a few others but nothing came back positive. Kan did end up running some fever for the next couple of days. He had a runny nose and he was pretty worn out for a couple of days.  As you see in the photo below, the virus made its rounds.  Q took a dive a day or two later.  He was croupy, congested, and totally sleepy and puney. Jaylie got it too and had a few rough nights and several days of being way croupy and coughing like a seal.  She never seemed to feel as bad as the other 2 did.  So, again we have another strange Kanyon medical episode, but thankfully it all turned out ok.  So we spent our last days of summer like this......

Everyone perked up (but still ran a little fever so we had to stay home) and what was supposed to be Kanyon's first day of school looked like this instead.......
playing in the rocks in the driveway

and going to the creek to throw rocks.  I'll take a few extra days of summer ANY time!!!  

So long Summer 2014, you were a GREAT ONE!!!!!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Texas Part 4: The End

I've said it before and I'll say it at least 100 more time: I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS IN THE WORLD!  Another example.....a few of them drove from Longview to Paris on a Sunday afternoon just to hang out! It was so good to get to visit some more before I headed back.

Rebekah, Jill, Addie, Michelle, Mindi, Me, Kinsey

The Mule isn't just for grandkids! 
I took the gals for a spin around the place. Some were convinced they saw a snake swimming on the lake, but I'm thinking someone was just having a city slicker moment! ha! 

The kids had fun playing with "Miss Kinsey" as always! 

I was so happy my sis in laws got to meet some of my friends. Its always fun when your worlds can come together! 

We went to eat in town, then came back out to my parent's house for milkshakes and pie. After we were stuffed, I had to take them to the Eiffel Tower.  I meant to do it before dinner but I forgot.  Lucky for us, the Paris TEXAS Eiffel tower is at its finest at night!

These girls had a late night...thanks for coming and thanks for the parents/husbands/friends that kept your kids so you could come! It was such a treat.  I love y'all! 

Back at the pool and jjp is still having troubles with her swimsuit bottoms.  

Ellie girl woke up from her nap one day and needed a little snuggle time with her aunts.  She was such a sweet cuddle bug.  

Fair warning: "Be careful Indains near." 

When Jaylie and Ellie weren't yelling "MINE!" at each other they were really sweet.  

Just talking about their babies like all Moms do. 

Our last day in town we decided we'd better get the kids teeth looked at.  So Paw Paw and Becky checked the boys while Clint cleaned mine.  Everyone did great! 

While Kanyon was getting his teeth checked, Quinn was Uncle Clint's assistant while he cleaned my teeth.  

This was Q's first visit and he did great! I think it helped him to watch everyone else go first. He was a champ! 

The bright light is hiding it, but this was a HUGE smile!!! 

Our last slumber party we watched a movie before bed.  Check out Ro holding Jaylie June.  Haha 

The littlest girls (these 3 plus Marion) all had matching PJ's.  

Nolan and "Quinny B" (that's what Nolan and Ro call Q)

Paw Paw and Gay Gay with their grandkids. 
The world seems just about perfect when it looks like this! 

So Wednesday morning, the kid and I loaded up and headed to the airport.  It goes without saying that we hated to leave, but it was nice to have Daddy to look forward to.  He flew in to DFW around noon. We picked him up and hit up Chick Fil A one last time before we left CFA country.  

Q and J happy to be back with Daddy! 

We went in to road warrior mode after lunch and burned the road!  Jaylie was a much better traveler this time. Thank goodness! I only threatened to kick her out of the car once around Amarillo.  

Poor Kan Man doesn't see well. Our car has built in DVD player on headrests.  This is how he has to sit to watch the movie. Kinda cute.  

We love Magna Doodles.  I am happy to over look their large and awkward size when packing the car because I know they'll buy us lots of time! 

Road Warriors don't stop for indoor bathrooms. Grown up Road Warriors aren't afraid to risk a little pee on their shoes either.  All in the name of making good time! 

After 17 hours on the road, we made it to The Morgan's house in Greeley, Co. where we had made a pit stop on the way there.  It was 2am when we got there so we all just went straight to bed.  Except Jaylie.  She was bright eyed and bushy tailed after a great sleep in the car.  I gave up on her at 4:30am and moved to the couch by the boys.  And Quinn woke up around 6am.  I begged him to go to sleep or at least be quiet and not wake up those of us that wanted to sleep more.  It was unsuccessful.  Oh well! 
Kory had been up and at the airport since 5am that morning, so he had a LOOOOONG day! 

Rand and Maggie were all ready for the boys to help them make pancakes! 

Maggie even let them pick some of her pretty flowers. 

Thanks to Maggie for taking all these pictures. I was a little out of it to say the least!  Here we are starting our final stretch home. "Only" 9 hours of driving to go! Thanks again for the perfect pit stop Morgans! We LOVE YOU!!!!!! 

We traveled great that day and everyone got a little nap here and there.  The one time the kids were all 3 asleep we had no choice but to stop for lunch because it was 2:00 and there wasn't another town for a couple more hours (gotta love Wyoming).  

We ate lunch in Casper, Wyoming then drove several more hours to Billings where we made one last dinner stop.  We got home around 10 Thursday night.  We were thankful for the safe trip and the rain that was falling when we got there.  Thankful for the rain and what it would do for the grass, cows, etc. But this rancher's wife was particularly thankful that the rain kept coming and gave me the next day with my husband home to help me unpack and settle in!   

It was a GREAT TIME IN TEXAS! I feel so thankful to have a place to go that is full of people I love so much and to also be able to come back to our house and have people and a little life we love here too.