- Eriks is doing awesome in the 1st grade. He really loves it and his reading is getting better. He did a computerized test recently to see what his reading level is and for a 1st grader he's average. Doesn't surprise me since we never pushed any summer reading. I kind of regret it. But he's getting better and better every day since his homework requires him to read 20 minutes a day and we're sticking to it. We're also getting closer to a diagnosis for Eriks and his issues. We've got it about 90% nailed down but there is yet some further testing the psychologist wants to do. We're doing gymnastics again once a week and Eriks is really kicking butt in it. His natural talent and ability to throw himself into multiple cartwheels, round offs, handstands continues to amaze me every day. His movement is so beautiful and precise. Like he was born for this sport. Friday night and Saturdays are taken up with soccer. Another sport he really enjoys and he always wants to be in the game. He doesn't want to take a break for anything. His athletic ability period makes me envious. Eriks was under the weather for 4 days and thus instead of having a long Labor Day weekend had a Labor Day week and was home for 6 days! His private school had an in-service day on Tuesday and he just went back yesterday.
- Emi is definitely a 2 yr old. She's into everything and is definitely testing the boundaries. We do the 3 strikes and you're out with Emi as we did with Eriks at this age. We ask you the 1st time to stop doing it, the 2nd time we tell you to stop and if we have to say it a 3rd time it's punishment. Emi's learned the game so well that when we get to the 3rd time, she giggles and runs away as you go to get her for timeout. So frustrating and funny at the same time. Emi is still doing speech therapy once a week and is becoming less and less of a compliant student. She wants to do it all on her time and has started pouting when she doesn't want to do therapy. Talk about frustration! She just doesn't understand the benefit this has for her. Our signing is moving rapidly. I learn a new word and she picks it up quickly. I'm afraid that soon I'm going to have a hard time keeping up with her. Her spoken speech is also coming along but slowly. We're guessing she has the vocabulary skills of a 10-12 month old. There are only a few words she says but she is progressing and that's the direction we want to move in. The words that she can say with us understanding her are "dog, no, up, more, Eriks, mama, cow, moo, amen, hi". That's all I can think of right now. She can sign way more than she can verbally say. She got used to having her throat open to her nasal passages and thus isn't closing off the back of her throat when she talks. We're going to see the Speech Pathologist next month to figure out how to get her to do what she needs to be doing. At times it is frustrating for her to not be able to say what she wants and it's frustrating for us to not understand her. Emi was recently featured in our adoption agencies newsletter. You can go here to see her photo. She's in the Fall 2010 newsletter. We were honored to be asked to have her photo featured. The only bummer is that I wish the would've used a more recent photo. The one in the newsletter is about a year old and was taken a few weeks after she came home.
- I'm hanging in there. The kids are keeping me super busy because Lane is working a lot. I'm definitely hoping for a bit of time away soon to unwind. Hoping for a weekend getaway soon by myself. I'm looking forward to just getting a pedicure right now. I also turned my hobby into a part-time job. I became a demonstrator for a company called Stampin' Up! whom I adore. I've been a user of their products for 12 yrs now. My motivations were to get some time away from the house. Lane gets 8-14 hours a day away because of his job so why can't I get 2-3 hours away for something I love? The other motivation is the extra money. Lane will be starting Law School next Fall (God willing) and to have a little bit of extra income besides what we'll get from retirement and living expenses from the GI Bill would be a nice bonus. I have a website set up at Stampin' Up! where you can shop with me. Here's the link if you're interested in taking a look at what the company has to offer.
- Lane is crazy busy with work. He's getting to the point where work is a huge PITA. Lane doesn't like waiting around for things to get done and unfortunately, this goes on a lot at work for him. Production has been ramped up this Fall and there's a lot coming off the line so he is going to be super busy. I think it was a blessing in disguise that he turned down starting Law School at Georgia State this Fall. He has a new boss and I don't think Lane would've liked saying, "I have to be done by 4 so I can leave by 5 to be in class 3 days a week." That so would've not floated. Lane's working on his application for Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis. He's doing the early application so that if he for some bizarre reason doesn't get in, we can go to plan B. Whatever that is! We're hoping to hear by December if he got in or not. So keep your fingers crossed that it all works out for him.
- Syd our 13 yr old lab isn't doing so hot. On Tuesday he was diagnosed with Laryngeal Paralysis. This is the definition of what it is:
Laryngeal paralysis is a disorder in which the nerves that control the muscles and cartilage that open and close the larynx (voicebox) do not function properly, causing voice changes and difficulty with eating or breathing. The larynx is located in the back of the throat. Air moves from the mouth or nose through the larynx, and into the trachea (windpipe). Normally, the laryngeal cartilages (also known as the arytenoid cartilages) are pulled open during breathing. In laryngeal paralysis, these cartilages do not open and close properly, making it difficult for the animal to take in air normally.
He's had what we call breathing episodes for months now. Unfortunately, they've gotten worse. He's had more than 1/2 a dozen in just the past few weeks alone and 2 on Tuesday. It seems like he's having an asthma attack because he's wheezing and just can't get air into his lungs. The problem is those flaps are not opening to allow the air into his lungs. It is so painful to watch him have an episode. Surgery isn't an option at his age because there could be complications. The biggest one being if they tie back the flap(s) then he has the possibility of getting serious pneumonia and dying. So we're in the process of getting him on steroids to help. The problem with the steroids is that he has to be taken off of the arthritis medicine because it doesn't mix well with the steroids and can cause deadly stomach ulcers. So instead of the arthritis meds he's on pain meds which pretty much knock him out most of the day. The goal right now is making Syd as comfortable as possible for however long he has left. As of right now, our plans to travel over the holidays are non-existent. With these issues, it's just not safe to kennel him anymore because the paralysis could cause asphyxiation. I know someone out there is going to think I'm selfish for putting my dog ahead of visiting our families for the holidays but it is what it is. If I kenneled Syd just so I could go visit my family and he died, I'd never forgive myself. He is a part of my family and I have to take care of him.
That's it for now. Sorry I've been MIA for so long. Hopefully things will settle a little and I can get back to some blogging.