Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aaliyah's PT Appointment

Last week Aaliyah had her first physical therapy appointment with my friend Elaine. Elaine is a Physical Therapist that works at Children's Hospital on the St. Paul campus. It was interesting being the client rather than employee. I coordinate about 30 volunteers that are involved in the developmental and rehabilitation department so I have had the opportunity to get to know the staff well. So I know that Elaine is the best around town! Elaine even had her volunteer with her on the day we had our appointment.
Update on torticollis...Elaine did her assessment and we realized that Aaliyah is now preferring her left side. Before it was her right side. She has started to develop a flat spot on the left side as well. So we overshot the side preference. Elaine felt the muscle that was shorter/tighter was more in the back of the neck rather than on the side. She referred to her as a "combination torti." Elaine was impressed with her head stability and she is able to look both ways. When Brett and I found out that she had torticollis we started doing neck stretches immediately. I think that they have helped with her neck movement and why Elaine was so impressed when I brought her in. We try to hold Aaliyah up in our lap as much as possible and make her support her head. And of course as much tummy time as she can tolerate or that we can remember to do.
It was also reccommended to get her a "Noggin Nest" by boppy. I just ordered them from amazon. It has the cut out in the back to help take pressure off the back of her head. We want to minimize the flat spots from continuing to misshape. We also plan on looking into the CranioCap to help with the plagiocephaly. For more information on the CranioCap click on this link. It is the brochure at Gillette: http://www.gillettechildrens.org/fileUpload/CranioCap.pdf.
Elaine refreshed me on the stretches and taught us this football hold stretch. Believe me Aaliyah is getting a good stretch while Elaine is holding her. Good thing she has a nuk in her mouth. I am so fortunate to work for Children's who in turn can care for my children. Elaine you are an amazing person! I am lucky that you can help Aaliyah with her physical therapy. Thanks a ton!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bumper Stools

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E and B discovered the ease of moving chairs around in the kitchen/dining room.

Zhu Zhu Pets

For Christmas last year we got our niece the very desired toy of the year, Zhu Zhu pets. Ethan and Bennett enjoyed watching them run around on the floor. I always had intentions of picking some up for the boys and just got a round to it recently, however, they must have changed their opinion on liking these little hamsters that go on their own. The boys didn't mind them in the box, but weren't so excited when they started to hear their squeaks and noises. Just watch the video and yes we may be a it cruel. It was very difficult to laugh. Even today if we put those toys on the ground E and B will screech and run into your arms.
My great idea for a toy went really bad! I don't know if others experience this, but sometimes I think I buy toys for the boys because I really think they look cool. There are a lot of new things out there that we never had. The Zhu Zhu pets caught my attention because recently they came out with a new line. It is called Kung Zhu pets. Basically a boy version of the hamster. I was able to pick up a green one, Rivet, for Ethan, and blue one, Stonewall, for Bennett. They are hilarious. I am sure that soon they will warm up to these critters.

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Block

One of my new favorite videos! Ethan is really excited about this block.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

2 Month Check-Up

Here are the stats for the girls from their 2 month appointment earlier this month.

Aaliyah
Weight: 10lb 12 oz - 50%
Length: 22 inches - 45%
Head: 15 inches - 40%

Jocelyn
Weight: 10lb 3 oz - 40%
Length: 21.5 inches - 25%
Head: 15 inches - 40%

The girls got their first round of shots and they barely cried. Our nurse even commented on how they barely made any noise. Jocelyn is great, however, Aaliyah has Torticollis.

What is torticollis?
Torticollis is a neck deformity. The sternocleidomastoid muscle is shorter than normal. This causes the head to tilt toward the side of the short muscle, and rotate toward the other side. The head and face may be asymmetrical.

We are taking Aaliyah to physical therapy at Children's St. Paul this week. She is going to see my PT friend Elaine. We have been doing stretches with Aaliyah since the doctor diagnosed her with Torticollis. Because she prefers to turn her head one direction she is always laying on the one side (right side). This is what has caused her cheek to droop and push the right ear forward.

Commonly kids develop plagiocephaly when they have tortcollis. Plagiocephaly is basically their head flattening on one side because they are always laying their head in the same position. PT does not fix this. Most the time it usually corrects itself. If not, infants can wear CranioCap Orthosis. CranioCap orthosis is a custom-made brace for the skull. It can help fix the placiocephaly and make an infants head round again.

I will know more after the appointment this week. At least I have one out of the four kids that didn't require additional appointments with specialists after their well visit.

First Day Alone With Daddy

The first week that I went back to work, Brett had his first Friday home with all 4 kids. Luckily he documented it for us because it was quite eventful.

They found the plants on our deck...
proceeded to eat the dirt...cried a little...
and drew blood. Brett doesn't even know how he did this because he didn't cry. We do have some tough kids.

Blanket

One of E and B's favorite game is to play peek a boo with a blanket. It makes it difficult when I am trying to fold clean laundry and they catch me shaking out the blanket to make my straight fold. If they spot me they immediately run over to the clean blanket, get under the toss, and fall to the floor. Now my once clean blanket is full of kid drool. Oh well, they had a good time!

Couch Playtime

The boys discovered the couch and how much fun it is to play on it. For a while they didn't know how to get down on their own so we use to put them on it to contain them. That doesn't work anymore because they know how to get up and get down. They have only fallen a few times and sometimes onto pillows that I put right under them. No head injuries.

Ethan and Bennett are 16 months old!

We had an appointment last month for the boys. I am a little behind, big surprise! It was their 15 month appointment. We actually took all 4 kids in at the same time. Talk about a little chaos. We lined them up to get them weighed and measured. That part went pretty smoothly. It was the wait for the doctor that was tricky. The girls got hungry, the boys were restless, and Bennett figured out how to take his diaper off so when the doctor came in he was naked.


Boys Stats
Bennett
Weight: 22 lb 8 oz - 20%
Length: 30.5 inches - 25%
Head: 18 inches - 10%


Ethan
Weight: 23 lbs 25%
Length: 31.5 inches - 50%
Head: 18.5 inches - 40%


As you can see Ethan has bypassed Bennett and now is bigger. Makes sense considering he is older (by 3 minutes). After the appointment with Dr. Richards I had a few more to make for follow up. It was decided that the boys needed to go to an ENT considering their chronic ear infections. They also mentioned taking out their adenoids. Bennett also needs to go see an opthamologist. He has a lazy eye and it is time to get it checked out. Don't forget that we have to also go back to the pulmonol0gist. Argh!


We have reached a new milestone at the Lamon Scott house. The boys can now go DOWN the stairs on their own. Thank goodness!! Making 3 trips carrying kids down the stairs was a bit much. They really like the stairs and sometimes play on them. We even leave toys on the landing so they have a new place to hang.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Family Time Butchering Chickens WARNING! This is not for those with a weak stomache.

You have been warned by the title so don't read on or look at the pictures if you want to continue to believe that chicken comes from the grocery store.
Last month we had a family get together and what better to do then resurrect our family tradition of butchering chickens. I think many of us could say that we remembered it being much more enjoyable, but then again some of us were just kids and spent the day in the bulk tank swimming. I knew this time was going to be rough when I watched my Aunt Marcia turn her nose up and gag when she was plucking feathers because of the smell. We ended up butchering 25 chickens that were raised on my cousin Suzie's hobby farm. Suzie and I always had a dream that we would someday live together on a farm raising animals, especially kittys and baby chicks. Man, I use to love kittens and baby chicks. Marcia still talks about how we dressed them up in doll clothes and all caught ring worm from one particular cat who ironically was named Molly. I ended up with ring room all over my chest....don't ask! And how about the baby chick that I loved so much that I hugged it to death. This story was told at Brett and my wedding to forewarn Brett that I have a tendency to love things so much that they end up buried in the garden. In our plan, Suzie and I did decide that we would still get married, however, our husbands would have their own house down the road from us. Really, given our investment into our animals we just wouldn't have enough time for our men so they would have to have their own independent lives too. Suzie is kind of living our dream (except we both hate cats)...now all I need to do is move in and Brett and Josh need to find a real estate agent to purchase a house together. I got a friend who is a loan officer and am sure she could cut them a deal. Growing up on the farm was a lot of fun! How did Grandma's car survive all of us driving it (I only was driving once when it was in the ditch). We spent hours down at the crick flinging cow pies at each other and making bridges (don't forget the quick sand). We built forts in the hay mound and played tag on the round bails. Cousins were rounded up to pick rock from the fields and apples from Grandma and Grandpa's backyard. We go in trouble plenty...for example, we would play hide and seek in grandma's asparagus patch, throw each others shoes in the corn field and lose them, and let's not forget that torturous day that Suzie and I were looking for her mom in the cow pen and sank waist deep into cow poop. The water from the hose was never so cold and my butt never got to red from a spanking before. Wow, we had some great times!!
So if you are curious about the butchering day or a little on the process check out the pics below. I kept most graphic ones out and there is only a little red, however, beware!

The chicken coop. ie: the scene of the crime

The chickens were then dipped into hot water. ie: the hot tub

How many men does it take to get a pot of water to boil?

First plucking station.
Justin bringing his chicken to the second plucking station.
Second plucking station.

Rinse them off before they went into the cold bath.

The cold chicken pool. They had to be in there for at least an hour before gutting.

So we took a break for lunch. Grandma and the kids ate together.
Carly, Simeon, and Mason swinging on break.

RAL pushing.

Underdog!

Gutting 101

The ladies learning from the pros on how to gut a chicken. Mom did about 5 to everyone else's one.

Final rinse and then back into the cold pool before bagging.
It was a memorable day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jane's One Year Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary for my Aunt Jane's death. I know that this day will be a challenge for many in my family. 365 days did not pass unforgotten, but we lived with constant reminders that Jane is no longer with us. I have a curtain rod still hanging in my living room naked from the missing valence that was a project in process by Jane. We thought about taking it down considering my lack of sewing accomplishments due to 4 kids. However, I think we keep it as a tribute and reminder. Jane didn't only make us curtains, but encouraged us to be strong and live a fulfilling life. As we look through the glass her beautiful work hugs many of our windows and makes the outside world more beautiful. It is a gentle reminder that life is what you make it. She would always say to us, "Who said life is fair?" I know right now my family is imagining her saying this followed up by her deep Jane cackle and gasping breath. It was a common saying from Jane, right along with "Let us pray with our hearts and our eyes open!" and "What's wrong with naked?" She left a huge impression on me and I always chime out "I miss you Jane" when I pass the Diamond Lake exit on 35W. Despite her many challenges, I feel that Jane loved life and even more loved her family. We were lucky to call her Aunt, Sister, Daughter, and Friend. I know she wishes that she could be here to hold our hands when we need it (or finish our curtains), but reality is such. Live everyday like it is your last. I miss you Jane.

Monday, August 9, 2010

subject line said "super mom"

When a girl is having a down day it helps to have a friend to send you an email with these reminders:

"Remember this...
You are an amazingly strong person
Everything is temporary
It will get easier
There is no shame asking for help
You can do it
Whatever you decide is the right decision
As long as you love them you are doing it right"
Thanks Iz!

Workin' Girl

I know it seems as though I disappeared. I have good reason. Last Monday I started back at work. So today is the start of my second week. In general life is pretty chaotic and then you add working on top of that, I just couldn't get ahead. So work is good. Actually, work is GREAT! With E and B I was not as excited to go back, but this round I was looking forward to getting back in the saddle. Unfortunately my maternity leave after the girls were born was cut short (only 8 weeks) again since I had bed rest on the front end. Luckily the girls and I are surviving the separation. The first week at work I spent a lot of time getting familiar with schedules, meeting lots of new volunteers, and letting staff know I was back. Many of my co-workers follow my blog so they are keeping up with the changes in my life. I was greeted with open arms starting with my office partner and friend, Lisa Munson. For a second time she ran the program without my assistance and did an outstanding job. She is amazing and I am very fortunate to be on her team. In addition to Lisa, there is my vibrant director, Sandy Bergeron, that is always there to remind me about the Children's mission and motivate me to bring joy to the patients and families at Children's through the generous service of volunteers. She always talks about how there is never a day that she leaves work thinking that volunteers didn't make a difference and never a day that she doesn't look forward to going to the hospital. Not many people can say this, so I feel fortunate that I have experienced and achieved this level of satisfaction. Sandy is an inspiration to our department and myself. I hope to some day to have as many incredible accomplishments as her.

Thank you to my friends in Volunteer Services (Sandy, Lisa, Jenna, & Ben) for welcoming me back to the team with a smile! I am forever grateful for this opportunity!
In the picture is MJ, Alice (volunteer service's mascot), Sandy, and Lisa.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Traveling Baseball

This summer my nephew Dade has been playing a traveling baseball team. This has really benefited me! They have been up a few times to stay with us because his tournaments are in the cities. CJ has been taking the kids to the games which has been great for Brett and me to try to get some stuff done. We always have big plans and get about a quarter of it done. We do love having Dade hang out with us. He is really good with the boys!

Grandpa Lamon

It is no surprise that little girls love him!