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Sunday, February 26, 2017

We are starting to think poor Duck will never make it back home!

Duck started was working his way north today so he could meet up with yet another Big Truck so he could turn right back around and head for Texas again.  When the kids woke up, Duck still hadn't sent a picture so they sent him one:

Introducing Adventure Duck!  He has a little compass so we figure he's an outdoor enthusiast, hiking through the woods and bird watching or something :)  He decided to help made a Duck Adventures post ;)

Duck sent us a picture back that he had reached the Missouri state line.  My Busy Little B was so excited about this picture--he certainly does not take after me.  He loves bridges, I, however, do not!

Our next picture came from Army Duck.  Baby W fell asleep on my lap and I think Army Duck got confused--he thinks he was storming the mountain but it was just W's head ;)

Duck finally met up with the Big Truck in Percival, Iowa and then it was time to head back to Texas!  They made it into Missouri and are hoping to hit Texas tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Miss Iz had a dinner date with Adventure Duck :)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kid Adventures got a snowy day!

After those gorgeous couple of days we had where we didn't even need a coat, the cold and snow came back :p

The next day we had a delay in school start times so everyone got to come along to Miss Iz's appointment.  It sure was cold when we went out to the truck!

And of course when Duck saw the ice and frost and snow Army Duck was dealing with, he sent us a picture of his weather:

Oklahoma was warm with blue skies and sunshine.

After Miss Iz's appointment we came outside to some sunshine of our own but we couldn't compete with the warmth of Oklahoma :P

At least we didn't get as much snow as they initially predicted!  The 7-14 inches ended up only being a couple of inches

Duck, though, couldn't help himself and rubbed it in he had the better weather ;)

Who knew Sam's Club hot dogs were so exciting?

My kids all love going to Sam's Club.  Why?  SAMPLES!!!!  They were quite disappointed the other day that not one single sample was in sight.  Because they were on holiday at school, we went during the day in the middle of the week instead of the usual weekend trip (technically my trips are usually in the middle of the week when I only have one kid underfoot but when they go with me, its typically on a weekend when there are samples everywhere).  The disappointment of not getting to try food they will love in the store but refuse to eat at home was short lived, however, since I let them visit the deli for a hot dog before we left :D  Pretty sure I will never be as excited about a Sam's Club hot dog as Baby W, though!

My kids had another big disappointment when we left, though :(  They love to hand our receipt to the door checker and usually the checker puts a big smiley face on the receipt (one guy even put glasses on the smiley face the day Miss Iz was wearing her glasses!  I could have kissed him because its a fight to get her to wear them and she thought it was so cool he liked her glasses enough to draw them).  THEY LOVE IT! But they've been told they can't do anything but mark off the receipt so no more smiley faces :(  I'm sure there is a reason that makes a lot of sense to the powers that be but my kids sure will miss one of their favorite rituals :\

Friday, February 24, 2017

More Duck and Kid Adventures!

Compared to the last few days of Duck and Kid Adventures, today was boring!  Duck did what he does everyday--be on the road.  The Kid Adventures Army Duck helped with groceries ;)

Duck traveled from Nebraska to Missouri today.  Only one picture, though, from a rest stop about 35 miles from Kansas City.

Here at home, we had back to back to back appointments, a trip to the medical supply store for more thickener and then loading up on supplies for the upcoming weekend before the storm hits (boo! snow!).

Who wants another specialist?

We thought Baby W's ears and sinuses were finally clear back before his MRI--then the MRI itself showed he still had fluid in the ears and mucous in his sinuses but he didn't appear to be ill so it was a wait and see game.  He developed a really minor sniffly nose.  We were waiting it out, seeing if it would develop into something more, hoping it would clear up so we could finally go and get the vaccines we've been putting off due to illness since December.  I thought that this was our week!  We'd pop in, get shots, be done with it!  And, then Baby W started going off food and drink, being extra fussy and clingy, not sleeping well, and then telling me his ears were an "owie".  *sigh*

Sure enough, an early morning run to the pediatrician shows that we have yet another infection.  Antibiotic four.  At least another two week delay in vaccinations (if he's even well by the recheck!).  We now have a referral to ENT and an appointment set up with them for a week away.  My Busy Little B could not keep the fluid out of his ears either and had to get tubes when he was three (the Year of Surgery--2012 saw all the kids having surgery of one kind or another!).  I don't know if this is the route W will  have to go down as well but I sure do hope the ENT can at least help us finally beat all these infections! 

Waiting rooms are no longer fun

For the longest time, William slept away our time in various waiting rooms.  Then, he was more alert and people watched.  Then, he was active and walked and explored--everything was new and exciting and he loved being in waiting rooms.  Now, though?  The bloom has worn off and he finds all the waiting rooms we are stuck in just plain boring and he is always on the lookout for something new and fun.  A few days ago, he discovered one of the waiting rooms installed a plant!  Its a fake bamboo with fake dirt and some rocks scattered on top of the fake dirt.  The rest of us barely gave a thought to it but Baby W turned it into twenty minutes of entertainment!  He examined the rocks, felt them, showed them to me, dropped them back into the pot to hear them click against each other, banged them together, and shouted "ROCK" whenever one of the ladies behind the front desk looked over at him (and I then heard smothered laughter from their area, every time).

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Adventures of Duck, Trip Three Day Three

Duck was up early again and on his way!

They crossed into Texas today which means Duck drops off the building and heads north again.

Time to head back north!

Miss Iz found some more of our ducks (Princess Duck and a second Army Duck) and had grand plans to bring them along on our own Kid Adventures today but then she forget them at home :P

But that's okay because original Army Duck was already hanging out in the truck

We went to a kid's STEM exhibit at the museum today and much fun was had by all :)  Army Duck ended up staying in S's pocket because all of them were too busy having fun to get him out and take pictures with him ;)

Duck made it to Nebraska to spend the night.  Unfortunately, he doesn't get any time at home this trip--he won't even come close to us!  He met another big truck driver in Nebraska and in the morning they head south to Texas again with another building.  If their travel permits keep them on the interstate, the big truck doesn't need the escort so the building came down the first two days of the trip alone to meet up with Mr. Piper and Duck to get the building down south faster.  Tomorrow they will have parts of the trip off the interstate, though, so the timing is right for the big truck to meet up with the pilot truck ;)

What happens when you finally get some decent weather?

You run for it and find something outdoorsy to do!  We've had a patch of warmer weather but with all the snow and ice melting, it has been far too muddy to do much of anything outside.  We decided to drop by the zoo and take advantage of their non-muddy and non-flooded paths ;)  It was warm enough to be out but not warm enough to be out for long but the kids didn't care--we told them we'd come back when it was warmer to see more and would just do a small loop that day.  They were so excited just to be there that they didn't even put up a fight about leaving after half an hour :)

First stop was the Dwarf Mongoose.  The kids thought they were so small and adorable.  Mr. Piper and I couldn't stop asking each other "Are them mongooses?"  (Have you seen the Snoop Dogg video narrating the Mongoose/crocodile encounter?  It is my favorite and no matter how many times I see it, I laugh and laugh and laugh.....).

Baby W's favorite was the tiger.  It was very active and vocalizing and W insisted we go back to look at him again before we left.

There is a buffalo farm (ranch?) a few miles from us but its hard to see them clearly driving past so the kids were pretty excited that we were able to get up close to a small herd:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Adventures of Duck, Trip Three Day Two

Duck started his day much earlier than we did!  Because school is on holiday, we slept in (sort of.  These kids don't actually sleep in but they did watch cartoons so mom didn't have to get out of bed so early so.....).  Duck, however, was up before the sun and on his way!

Baby W had physical therapy at home so Duck had time to send us a few pictures on the road before we got going ourselves.

The kids decided today was a perfect day to send Dad their own Duck photos so Army Duck came along.

It was a beautiful day so we took Army Duck to the zoo! Because the tiger was Baby W's favorite last time, we went to see him first and Iz held Army Duck so he could get his picture taken with the tiger (basking in the sun in the background):

Our next big stop was the farm where Baby W discovered another favorite--the red pandas.  They were really active so he really enjoyed watching them :)

Miss Iz was fascinated by the porcupine:

All the Big Kids decided to show Army Duck they are family so they hatched from an egg with him ;)

The goats were fun to watch--one kept putting his head through the "window".  The kids fed him some treats and we petted him and even after we ran out of treats, he kept pushing his face to the window and enjoying some ear scratches.

A lot of the animals were off exhibit because even though it was a nice day, it wasn't nice enough for them yet.  But some had their winter quarters open so we could still go in and see them.  This tortoise was on the move while we were there and he moved a lot faster than I thought he would!

The giraffes were outside in their winter pens enjoying the sunshine.  I'll bet they'll be glad to move back to the big Savannah area when the warmth comes back, though :)

Another exhibit we spent a long time at because Baby W loved it was the meerkats :)  They were all over the place and made him laugh with their running and jumping and wrestling.

And of course my Busy Little B couldn't resist a silly pose :)

Baby W spent most of the trip in his stroller--he can walk a good distance but we covered over three miles and that is too much for him :p  He spent a good portion of the ride like this:

It look so uncomfortable to me!  But he used to sit in his high chair with at least one leg up on the tray.  His OT thinks it might be because his hip flexors are tight and so holding his legs down and together to sit properly might not feel the best.  We have been working on stretching and aligning his hips and he rarely puts his foot up on the high chair tray anymore but I guess he needed those feet up for his long ride.

Our second set of NMES is over!

Last week we finished our second round of NMES therapies!  Three times a week, forty-five minutes a session, for a total of 24 sessions.  That's a lot of driving and a big chunk of time out of every week that we now get back :)

Baby W was much more cooperative this time--he still dislikes having the electrodes on his neck but he didn't fight them as much and almost all his sessions went the full amount of time.  I think it helped that they got better food this time :p  He had more things that were like he gets at home (fresh fruit, cheese, meat, etc) instead of all the snack-type processed foods he likes in small quantities while he waits for the "real" food to get done ;)

Iz did better this time, too--she really struggled to make it through his therapies the first time around and some pretty severe behavior problems cropped up.  This set, though, she still struggled a little but she was calmer about it and never reached the point where they had to kick her out.  And our last few sessions have been really really good--she has been calm and focused and occupied herself fairly well.  I think that is in large part due to her officially starting to see the boys' psychiatrist.  She had a sudden and severe escalation in anxiety that was manifesting as extreme aggression.  When the Developmental Pediatrician fought to get her in preschool, he hoped it would help temper her anxiety but also said it was possible it would not get better and we would need to look at medications to help her function.  The psychiatrist (who knows her pretty well as he spends a good chunk of time with her every few months when she goes to her brothers' appointments with them) has been keeping track of her as well and he said its very clear to him that she has ADHD like her brothers (my, did we ever hit the genetic lottery in this family.....) as well as the anxiety.  She started a low dose of Focalin and wow, what a difference.  She sat down with a book and spent a good half an hour going over the words with me and memorizing them and identifying the words and letters she could remember.  Before, she couldn't even sit still to listen to a story.  I remember when S started ADHD meds--it actually helped lower his anxiety levels because he wasn't so nervous about doing well in school.  Be nice if that was true for Iz, too!  Right now, she spends half  her day at school (and she's only there for half a day) trapped in her own  head, unable to get past the anxiousness.  She LOVES school but its so so hard for her right now--I'd be so happy if she could actually enjoy it and get something out of it.  She's a smart kid (above average when tested for intelligence) but her abilities are low because she's not able to fully participate. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Adventures of Duck, Trip Three Day One

Duck left early this morning and by early afternoon, we still hadn't received any pictures from him so the kids decided to take some Kid Adventures pictures with Army Duck.  He hid in one of the cubby holes in our truck as we set off to take the Busy Little B to speech therapy:

Once Duck saw that, he sent us our first (and only!) picture of Day One of his third trip on the road--he also hid in a cubby hole in Mr. Piper's work truck :)

The kids thought this was hilarious, especially B--he could not stop laughing over it :)

After a good speech therapy session, B got to pick a prize and brought home a little blue fish.  He wanted Army Duck to take a picture with Fish and he talked S into snapping a phone at a red light:

And, of course, Army Duck had to send his pal Duck a picture to show we arrived home:

Hopefully Duck isn't so busy tomorrow and sends some more photos for the kids :)

Life of the youngest child

What happens when you are the youngest and still too small to defend yourself?  You become your older siblings' life size doll!  Iz decided Baby W needed help getting dressed.....