Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just a few knee slappers

It's been one of those weeks where I swear, EVERYTHING makes me laugh. I'm blaming it on my water consumption (a personal challenge to get out the coke and get in the H20), or the high doses of vitamins I've been taking to ward off H1N1. But seriously, I have a few funnies to share.

The first, has already been published on facebook, but still it has me laughing. Last week, while Sean was in DC for work I was plowing my way solo through the bedtime routine. Baths, teeth brushing, getting Ian to have an interest in the toilet, hair brushing, STORY TIME. As Ian stood naked at the sink brushing his teeth (a new favorite), I helped him along brushing the back ones when I found low and behold his 2 year molars poking through. I got a bit excited. I said 'Wow Ian, look at that! They are coming in!'

Alex's response? 'What Mom, his wiener hairs?'

I truly have no idea. And I choose not to question it, as it's just one of the many funny things she says on a daily basis.

Like yesterday, when she asked me what that thing in her room is. 'You know Mom, that thing on my dresser you turn on when I have the chokes?' 'The chokes?' I said, 'It's a humidifier, and it's for when you have a cough'.

Her and I also had an argument this week as I was clipping her nails. I said, 'Wow, you have a hangnail'. She replied, 'No Mom, it's a skin ripper'. OK.

Sean, (my first baby) also had a funny this week. We were cruising around town, having one of those 'bed bath & beyond/home depot/Costco' sorta Saturdays when he asked me what kind of car was in front of us. I have this strange knack in remembering all cars, make and model. It's a random obsession of mine, don't ask. Anyway, he said 'It's not quite an SUV and not really a mini-van?' I said, 'Yes, it's a Buick Enclave and they call them crossovers.' His reply? 'Crossing over into UGLY'. Of course the whole car had a laugh out of that. The funniest part? We pretty much have a 'crossover' ourselves. Niiiiiccce.

Ian should not be left out, he is quite proud (as he should be) when he uses the toilet. He looks forward to his skittle reweard and very exuberantly ALWAYS exclaims, 'I'm so proud of you MOM!' when he's done and always has to call SOMEONE, whether it be Sean or PopPop to tell them 'I PEE!'

Little people, little brains. It's so freaking adorable.

For anyone interested, we have some Chip news. Yes, we still sorta love him although the love is deeper some days than others. Most recently, we have learned that he has been sneaking up on to the couch at night after we go to bed. As if the over-priced, Sherpa covered, and down filled dog bed is NOT SOFT ENOUGH! With some super sluething, we have found that about 20 minutes after we go upstairs he stands, stretches and climbs right on up there. The next morning, when Sean's alarm clock goes off we can hear him jump down and go back to his bed. Super sneaky eh? Well, we are on to him and have begun piling baby gates, brooms and benches on the couch at night. The first night we did that, he woke up VERY salty the next day obviously perturbed.

Further more, we invested some money in some aesthetically pleasing backyard gates and fences to keep him in his 'own area' to avoid the trampling of our grass and shrubs. Well, the last two days the dirty rat has dug himself out leaving him food and water-less the rest of the day. How can such a calculated and coniving nighttime dog be such a dumbass during the day? Who's idea was it to get a dog again? Oh, yes. Mine.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ian Bian and his bum ear...

Ian's first week was tumultuous at best. He came into the world, upside down, with an intestinal blockage, and one bum ear. When he was whisked from my arms and transported to OHSU in an infant ambulance I (of course) thought the worst. His week long stay at Doernbecher hospital was agonizing. His full term 8lb body lay next to teeny tiny preemies weight in at 2lbs. Doctors would come in groups for rounds and speak about him as if we weren't sitting there wondering when and if he would eat, or poop, or pee or something.

After several days, his blockage cleared without the need for surgery and we were finally released to go home. Over the course of the week, with bigger fish to fry so to speak. We never paid attention to three consecutive hearing test failures in his left ear. So now, 2 + years later we see specialists at Doernbecher to monitor his hearing loss. Friday was his most recent appointment.

All tests were conclusive to prior, his right ear is great. His left ear is not. He can only hear sounds at 80-90 decibels which translated may be the loud hum of a vacuum...Eureka not Dyson. Even still if your yelling, singing or talking right up next to him he will not be able to decipher what your saying, from that ear.

Fortunately, and as most of you know that spend time with him. An outsider would never guess he has hearing loss. In fact, I go days and days forgetting he has this impairment because frankly, he's not impaired. His speech, behavioral and developmental skills are right on par (if not advanced according to me). For months we had an intervention woman come to the house to check in on his progress, track his development and recently she decided her visits were not needed and probably a waste of our time. As Ian was doing just great.

He struggles with spacial location and may have trouble with Marco Polo, or hide and seek as Alex giggles from behind the desk chair. I have to remember to put the phone up to his right ear when he chats, and every day for all his life he will speak on the phone on his right side. We will have to be careful to teach him about crossing the street and REALLY looking both ways as he would not hear a car coming from his left. He'll probably have to sit closer to the front and school. He tends to turn the volume up on the radio and tv louder than necessary, and I'm learning to come to terms with that. The boy LOVES music, and is happiest with a loud bass THUMP in the car. He loves to dance and has remarkable rhythm.

His hearing loss is rare. It's a combination of cochlear and nerve damage. Probably a genetic defect of sorts, and we are not sure if a hearing aid or cochlear implant will help. For now, we monitor his progress and continue to test primarily to ensure that right ear stays 100%. As he gets older his tests become more involved and Friday he had is first successful testing session where he was able to pick up and answer the questions. The doctors were so impressed with his cooperation, his lovely nature and happy personality and spent the entire session giggling at his funniness and were in awe of his speech.

I felt compelled to write about his hearing loss as for the first time in two years, I left his appointment feeling such an overwhelming sense of thanks. I felt blessed that with all the things our kids could be born or afflicted with, THIS is all he had to endure. Sure it will be hard, and we wonder if his little athletic self who was born to play football will be able to hear calls through his football helmet or if he'll hear his carefully picked name 'Ian Patrick Kolmer on the tackle' over the loud speaker. Of course, if he chooses to play Chess, or pick up an instrument we'll be fine with that too. But, as I walked into OHSU, his little self walking next to me, chattering away about his shoes that were 'too tight mom', I felt so thankful.

I saw him looking at the other children. Most of them in wheelchairs. Many of them probably oblivious to our presence, some that couldn't speak or hear at all. We are so lucky. He is so lucky and I hope that he always feels that way. What an amazing reality check I had that day. Two beautiful and healthy children. I think I often take this gift for granted as I complain about tantrums, or 4 year old sassy talk. The 24 hour intense care that some children need and parents of those children tirelessly and relentlessy provide to them is remarkable. The money spent, the sleepless nights, the endless worry they endure...my mind was so full as I roamed those halls. My heart so heavy. The next time I feel overwhelmed, I will remember that moment.

Welp, the kids are playing hide and seek now and Ian is wandering around looking for his sister. I'm going to go and point him in the right direction...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I feel a list coming on!

So-as part of my effort to become more 'optimistic' if you will, and to focus on the positive stuff. I'm in true Carrie fashion, making a list. But this time it's not a list of 'to-do's', but a list of 'to-did's'... or something. Basically, instead of lamenting all the things I have yet to do, I'm going to celebrate all I accomplished over this past weekend.

1. I went to dinner with my husband, alone. We shared words without the background sound of a 2 & 4 year old, amongst a very uninhabited restaurant in the Pearl which used to be cool 'back in the day' but is now evidently 'played'. Regardless, it was lovely. Even though we talked about the 'loud kids' that prevent us from talking most of the time.

2. I grocery shopped.

3. I shipped a package I'd been meaning to ship.

4. I finally bought photo mailers for some pics being sent out East.

5. I laundered many loads of laundry, many.

6. I found a receipt I had been hunting for the last 3 weeks so I could return an impulse buy I later regretted.

7. I applied for a new job.

8. I unloaded all the sand from the the kids sandbox. I moved the sandbox, and re-loaded it. Oh, also I re-upholstered the cover and re-stained it for winter.

9. I had brunch with two of my best gals.

10. I spent a gift card at Anthro and only had to pay an extra $2 for my purchases. (a big win)

11. I PLANTED 15 SHRUBS. (a back ache to prove it)

12. I spent some good quality time with the kids and realized that my favorite thing about Ian right now is how he says, 'what are you doing there?' like...'whaaaa doin daaarrrre?'.

12. I swept and vacuumed the entire downstairs twice. Thanks Chip Chip..love you long time.

13. I (along with Sean) took the kids and my nephew to see 'Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs'. Despite the woman in front of us with the obnoxious guffaw, and the multiple people with Obvious H1N1 surrounding us (sniff sniff, cough cough SNEEZE), it was a good flick and the kids enjoyed it.

14. I cleaned out my purse. And that's a big deal.

15. I went through the kids clothing and pulled out the 'too smalls' and the 'too tattered's'.

16. One day I even took my vitamins, a task I put on my daily 'to do's' and never complete.

So, that's it in a nutshell. Look what I did! And I'm not even thinking about all the stuff I didn't get done. Okay, I am. But I think this was therapy enough for a week.