a beautiful afternoon outside

We could not pass up the opportunity to go outside this afternoon.  It has been a beautiful day!  It is usually SO hot here by this time of the year.  It was in the 90s a couple of days ago.  Today’s high is in the 70s.

At first, it was just me, Levi and Kai outside watering my tiny little garden.  I have squash and tomatoes.  I planned for more, but just didn’t get everything in the ground on time.

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When we were done watering, it was time to play.

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We were having so much fun that I sent for the others to come join us.


In age order: Chang (19), Allison (11), Quinn (9), Zane (6), Levi (5) and Kai (4)


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Happy New Year 2014

We had our third annual New Year’s Eve Bag Party last night.  I will say, each bag is becoming very predictable and I will need to mix things up next year.  To keep this short, I’ll just post the photos without captions.  They are self-explanatory.  :-)

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The 7:00 p.m. bag was the movie Turbo.  I have to say, I was impressed! It was very cute and very family friendly.  I was prepared for at least some potty humor but there was nothing like that.

I am looking forward to a great 2014.  Two thousand thirteen was not bad at all, but for some reason, I’m glad to put it behind me and move forward and see what God has planned for our family this year.

Happy New Year to you!

hearing loss

Zane at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker

Zane at Houston Ballet, The Nutcracker

Zane had his hearing thoroughly tested yesterday and just as we suspected, he has hearing loss.  The audiologist says it is from fluid behind the eardrums and it can be corrected. We knew about the fluid already, as he has had his hearing tested a number of times in the past two and a half plus years. Each time, he’s had fluid behind his eardrums and our concerns have been disregarded and we’ve been sent on our way for his ears to clear up on their own.  Well, obviously they are not going to clear up on their own!

We finally decided to move him to Texas*Children’s for ENT.  His only doctor not at TCH was the ENT he was seeing.  All of his other doctors, as well as his medical records, are at TCH. He’ll see the department chief in February and hopefully she’ll listen to our concerns.

What the audiologist cannot see is that Zane’s mastoid bones are poorly pneumatized.  This can be seen in his head CT from a while back but she didn’t have that report pulled up to review yesterday.  His first ENT said this is from recurring ear infections and he didn’t know what to do about it. I really wonder if there is a connection between his hearing loss and his poorly pneumatized mastoid bones.  We should find out soon.

PS – I noticed that there might be some ads on my blog. I haven’t seen them, but please know that I did not put them there.  In wordpress, I have to pay for them to disappear.  If I am ever able to see them and do not agree with the content, I’ll decide if I want to move back to blogger or pay to have the ads disappear.

second casting

Zane received his second set of casts a few days ago.  This time he chose lime green and black.  He is OVER this leg casting and his behavior is showing it.  He has at least four more castings to go.  I have a sneaky feeling he’ll go longer.  We are exercising great patience with him these days, bless his heart.  I was in a post-surgery boot for several weeks and it almost drove me crazy, and I didn’t even wear it 24/7.  I can’t even imagine…





pizza and games

Allison is away at pre-teen camp this week.  Chang was supposed to go to youth camp a few weeks ago, but we decided that it just was not safe for her because of all of the extreme sports involved.  There were going to be a lot of river activities and climbing and night walks.  She was crushed beyond belief when we told her she could not go.  We stressed it was for her safety and as her parents, one of our top jobs is to keep her safe.  Quinn is not old enough for camp yet.

To make it up to Chang, we told her while Allison was at camp, we would do some fun things.  I realized last night I better get busy with the fun before the week was over.  Today I took Chang, Quinn, Zane and Kai to a local pizza/game establishment.  It really wasn’t as crazy as I expected.  There was only one school bus there.  :-)  I was excited to go before hand, just because I was surprising them.  We love to surprise our kids like that and I had the kids thinking we were just running errands.    :-)

The food was so-so to a little yucky, but the kids loved it anyway.  After we ate, we played some games.  The one we liked the most was mini bowling and we plan to go back one day and do only that.   We didn’t need shoes so Zane got to play in his casts.

Once we were done playing, we got our money’s worth and had a little snack of pizza and coke before we left for home.

The girls talked all the way home about how much fun it was.  That made me smile.













serial casting

Zane started serial casting today to correct his extreme toe walking.  He’s been a toe walker since we adopted him and I assume it dates before that.  It is worse now than it was a little over two years ago.  The first time he saw a neurologist, she suspected he had CP from the waist down and prescribed AFOs for him to wear 24/7.  What a nightmare that was!  They were horrible for him and we were not strict at all with making him wear them.  He went without them for many months until one day I realized just how bad his toe walking had become.  I put the AFOs back on him and posted a picture on FB.  Ha!

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Several of my friends made some comments and it made me start thinking and researching treatments for toe walking.  I am so thankful because I learned that AFOs like this do not necessarily correct toe walking.  In these, his feet did not have the range of motion they needed to “learn” how to walk correctly.  These AFOs just held his feet down in a fixed position.  As soon as they came off, he was right back up on his toes.

I made an appointment with a pediatric orthopedic doctor at TCH where he goes for all of his other medical issues.   That doctor prescribed serial casting for six weeks.  I learned that day that the cast will allow his muscles and tendons to weaken and lengthen.  Once the casting is done, he will have PT to learn to walk correctly.

Today, the PT who put the casts on said his calf muscles were very underdeveloped (short) and that his left foot was worse than his right.  Poor little guy!

You can see the natural position of his foot in the first photo below — pointed, with his toes bent up.  This is what his feet look like when he is standing bare-footed.  If he tries to stand flat with his bare feet together, he falls forward.  He can stand flat as long as his feet are apart with toes pointed out, like second position.  Even then, he has a hard time not falling forward.  In shoes, he usually rocks back and forth on his feet.  He is always in constant motion on his feet.  He can put his feet down when we say “feet down” but only for a few seconds before he is up on his toes again.  His legs and buttocks are so tight that he just cannot keep his feet down.

While the PT was casting his legs, he wiggled so much he cracked the first one.  That’s my Zane-boy!  They gave him a snack and changed to a room where he could watch a DVD and they were able to finish.  When he stood up to walk out, he was so wobbly that he almost fell forward.  You can see in the photo where he is standing against the wall that when his feet are flat, he must have them apart and pointing outward.  By the time we got to the parking lot, he could walk.  I’m so glad he figured it out.  :-)

I let him choose his lunch and he chose pizza.  Little brother was happy with the pizza too!  Once he was home, we gave him a “prize” for being so still (eventually) at PT.  We have some little prizes for the remainder of his visits.  Our kids hardly ever get tangible prizes or rewards, so when they do, it’s a BIG deal.


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