Well, the boy is 7 years old today, I can hardly believe it! The time really flies. Here are a few baby pictures.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
On Thursday night we went north 190 miles to Williams, AZ to ride the Polar Express! The town is 6,000 feet up, so unlike Mesa, it actually feels like winter. The Grand Canyon Railroad has restored, antique train cars that are decorated like the Polar Express. The tickets were a gift from Rick's parents. We got to Williams at about 6:15 on Thursday, then checked into a hotel. After much anticipation, the train left a little after 8:00. On the way to the North Pole (about 45 minutes) they read The Polar Express and served hot chocolate and cookies. Once we arrived at the North Pole, a very authentic-looking Santa boarded the train and walked through each of the cars wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and giving each of the kids a silver jingle bell. Shayne and Maya were both very happy to see Santa. On the way back everyone sang Christmas songs.
The next morning we got to swim in the hotel's indoor pool which was another highlight. We got back home Friday afternoon. It was a great trip!
Mine has needed to be pulled for awhile now, but I have been putting it off for a long time because about 12 years ago, I got my bottom wisdom teeth pulled and it was awful. It remains tied with 2 other things for the most painful thing that has ever happened to me (having kids are #s 4 and 5 by the way...) The teeth were impacted and still fully in the jawbone. I didn't have anything but local anaesthetic and the experience came complete with the sound and smell of sawing the teeth in parts, the cracking and prying the teeth out of my skull and my poor reaction to the pain medication afterward. That was the good part. Once the anaesthetic wore off, it literally felt like my mouth was on fire for about 6 hours. Not something I was eager to repeat. Anyway, long story short, it really needed to be done, so I made the appointment.
This time, I arrived at the dentist's office and was immediately called to the back where the dentist and hygienist were very reassuring. They numbed it up really well, then after 2 hard pulls, I was finished. From the time I walked in the door to the time I walked out the door 15minutes had passed. I took Advil the first day and never felt anything that I would describe as more than discomfort. Definitely ten times better than I thought it would be.
Maya knocked one of her front teeth on the tile in our living room about a year and a half ago. It got slightly grey. We took her to the dentist, who didn't get a very good look, but said it looked OK, but to continue to monitor it. He recommended that we go to a dentist that specialized in younger children. We know that to be code for "We don't treat patients like her."
Fast forward to a month ago... She was being really moody (even more so than normal, if you can imagine). One night when I was brushing her teeth, I noticed that above her injured tooth, on the gum line, she had an awful looking abscess. It looked very painful. The next morning at work, I asked around for a good pediatric dentist and got a name of someone a friend of mine had been very happy with. Now, those of you who know Maya can imagine that she is a rather "difficult" patient, to put it mildly. I imagine if the office were to rate all of its patients on a 1-10 scale, 1 being a delight to treat and 10 being very close to impossible to treat, she would score a 10 easily.
First we had to make an appointment for an exam. I was honest, "She may scream if we try to take her back in the room." "That's OK,we let them get comfortable first." "She probably won't sit in the chair". "A lot of them don't want to at first." It went on like that for a few minutes, and they seemed to think it would all be fine, so I made the appointment.
The exam was tough, but they let her and Rick hang out in the exam room until she calmed down a little (I was at work and knew I would have to take the day off for the actual procedure, so Rick braved this part alone). In spite of some resistance, they saw enough to know that the best course of action would be just to pull it, since it is a baby tooth and she is four and a half. We thought they would want to put her under, but the dentist said that it would only take seconds to pull, so they would just give her laughing gas to help her relax, then do it. So he gave us a prescription for antibiotics and we made the appointment for the tooth to be pulled a week later.
On the day of the appointment, she really didn't want to go in, even though we had talked about it a lot and played "dentist" at home. We didn't have to wait at all, and Maya really wasn't too upset until the hygienist showed her the thing that they were going to put on her nose to give her the laughing gas. She was crying and wouldn't get in the chair or even sit on my lap. The hygienist was looking at us as if to say, "I don't know what you expect me to do," which is perfectly understandable. I thought they were not going to be able to do it. A minute later, the dentist came in with two hygienists. He was like a coach during a huddle in a playoff game, "Here's the plan. We're going to lay her back and hold her down and give her a quick shot to numb the area, then we'll let her up again for a few minutes. Once the area is numb, we'll hold her down and take it out. That'll take less than a minute. Then, one of you can take her right to the car and one of you can check out." Before we started all that, he explained all of the post-op care to us. Then it happened just like he explained. It was tough holding her down like that when she was so scared, but it was either that or go through the risk and expense of general anesthesia or have an ongoing dental infection. We had her calmed down and in the car 5 minutes from the time he gave her the first shot.
Later that night, her dentist left a message on my cell phone to check in on us and make sure everything was alright. He gave me his cell phone number and said to call him if we had any questions or concerns. He couldn't have been nicer. I imagine most dentists wouldn't have touched that situation with a ten-foot pole, but it needed to be done desperately. She was in a lot of pain from it. After a few days, when her mouth felt much better, I think Maya understood that the dentist helped her. Now she still likes to play "dentist" and show her missing tooth.
It has been a few weeks and we both feel great. So, I am grateful to have had two potentially horrible dental situations turn out about as well as they could have because of two wonderful dentists.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The "ABC" section is great for helping early learners with letter names and sounds. Maya loves it. She just points to where she wants me to click. All of the letters have fun little sounds and animations that the kids really like. By the time they are 4 or 5, they can "follow the sparkles" in the letter section which give them a clue as to where to click next. Kindergarteners love this section. There are various interactive letter name and letter sound activities at the end if you keep clicking the sparkles.
For kids that are a little older, starfall has a "Learn to Read"section that helps them chunk and sound out words. It has stories that help reinforce vowel sounds and common digraphs such as sh, ch and th.
For kids that are a little further along, there is an "It's Fun to Read" and "I'm Reading" sections. Here they can choose interactive stories to read. They have fiction and non-fiction.
Overall, this site is easy to navigate, even for pre-readers. You really need to have audio for this website to be effective. It is a good one to check out if your kids are this age.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Well, you both went out with the blue balloon, and you took your gun with you, just in case, as you always did, and Winnie-the-Pooh went to a very muddy place that he knew of, and rolled and rolled till he was black all over; and then, when the balloon was blown up as big as big, and you and Pooh were both holding on to the string, you let go suddenly, and Pooh Bear floated gracefully up into the sky, and stayed there-level with the top of the tree and about twenty feet away from it.
"Hooray!" you shouted.
"Isn't that fine?" shouted Winnie-the-Pooh down to you. "What do I look like?"
"You look like a Bear holding on to a balloon," you said.
"Not-"said Pooh anxiously,"-not like a small, black cloud in a blue sky?"
"Not very much."
"Ah, well, perhaps from up here it looks different. And, as I say, you never can tell with bees."
From Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne, Chapter One: In Which We Are Introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh, and Some Bees, and the Stories Begin.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
1. The family I grew up in- My parents and brothers and sister were a great family to be born into. We had so many interesting experiences and had and continue to have so many good times together.
2. My family I have now- I am thankful to have a husband who I still laugh with on a regular basis who loves me for who I am and kids who bring a smile to my face (and a lot of other expressions...) every day.
3. Free public education- I got a long way with not much money through free public education and very reasonably priced college and graduate school (Go Sundevils!) I am a huge believer in free public education and resonable college and university tuition.
4. My job- I always said that I wanted to have the kind of job where I wasn't watching the clock all day and I was there to accomplish something rather than watch the hours tick by. That is definitely true of teaching. Also, it is fairly secure, which is important in times like these.
5. My house and my 30 year fixed motgage- When so many people are at risk of loosing their homes, I am very grateful to know what my house payment will be for the next 23 years. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost or may loose their homes. Hopefully more regulation of the mortgage industry is on its way.
6. Good health-Mine and the people I care about.
Of course there are many, many other things. Those are just a few. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
As many of you know, Maya is a natural in the water, more at home there than anywhere else. Anyway, since it has gotten colder, she has really missed going swimming every day. Here in Arizona, we can swim from April to mid-October. Since we stopped going for the year, she "swims" in the bathtub any chance she can get. The other day, it was about 70 degrees outside and the grass had been over-watered, so she took the opportunity to put on her bathing suit and go "swimming". Once that first spring day at the pool rolls around, she'll be one happy girl!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Today is my sister's birthday. Well, yesterday was, but I wrote most of this yesterday. As many of you know, she is less than 2 years younger than me. Here is one of my favorite pictures of her, 2 summers ago, showing Maya how to fly a kite. The other is a cute baby picture of her (I was waiting to get that scanned...) Anyway, happy birthday Alison!
Friday, October 24, 2008
Shayne has been playing baseball for about a month now. It has been a lot of fun watching him and his teammates learn the basics of baseball...and I really mean "basics". Last Saturday it was a little hot out during their game and he walked out to the plate like a sloth. We talked to him a little about "hustle" and he seemed to have a little bit better sense of urgency at his practice Wednesday night. He does pretty well hitting the ball. It's coach pitch, so that helps. Anyway, here are a few pictures.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Yesterday we decided to go up to Payson to camp for the night. We like to go to a small, quiet campground about 10 miles past Payson, which takes about an hour and 20 minutes or so for us to get to. The drive up is beautiful with tons of saguaros and mesquite trees decorating the landscape. The scenery soon changes to mountains thickly forested with tall pine trees. It was a little chilly at night, but we had a great time!
They also had a really tall slide.
Friday, October 10, 2008
It has finally cooled off a bit (at least in the mornings), so we went to the zoo yesterday. We had a great time. We saw a bunch of the animals and many of them were active. Shayne rode a camel, which was his first experience riding an animal of any kind. Maya was going to get on also, but changed her mind right when she was supposed to get on. Shayne loved it.
No fits or meltdowns and everyone walked by themselves, almost the whole time. Maya took a short break on Rick's shoulders. She was a trooper though! We had a lot of fun.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Yes, in Arizona we have a "rainy season" that we refer to as "monsoon season". Seriously, that's what it's called. I'm not making it up. July, August and September are usually our "monsoon months". Although we don't get a lot of rain, we get more than usual during those months. We get about 7-9 inches per year, on average. So, our kids aren't really used to having puddles around...It is a lot of fun when we do!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
"We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America’s promise – the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort."
I look forward to hearing Palin's speech tonight.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
If you did watch it, before or now, I would love to hear what you think of it.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Roxy is our friends'/neighbors' two year old rottweiler who they brought home when she was about six weeks old. Roxy and Maya were puppies together. When Maya was two and Roxy was new to the world also, they both got a kick out of chasing each other around and playing together. It was a win-win situation because they would tire each other out before bedtime. Shayne and Maya still love to play with Roxy. Here are some pictures taken earlier this month when Roxy went swimming in the baby pool with the kids.