Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm Never Accepting a Free Pool Again

So the boys' grandma gave us a free pool last summer.  It was the 16' Intex above ground pool that she had at her house for a couple of years.  She hurt her back so she couldn't mess with it anymore.  After two failed tries, we finally got it set up right and enjoyed swimming and floating around in the pool for the summer.

Well, last Fall we just drained it and let it sit uncovered for the winter. 



In May, we started putting the salt and chemicals in to shock it and get rid of the algae.  45 days, $200 in chemicals and countless tears later, we finally gave up and drained the pool.  Now there's about an inch of water and algae left at the bottom. This morning I was in the backyard scooping buckets of water out of the pool. It was the hardest work.  My back is killing me now and I think I suffered some sort of heat illness.

And...there's still water and algae in the pool.  Now we're going to take the sides down and scrub the pool liner. 

Have I mentioned that I hate this pool by now?! 

But....we are trying to be good parents and get the pool up so the boys don't have to go to the city pool everyday.  And, actually I want the pool up so I can lay out in peace. 

Is it too much to ask for a pool with clean water that I can float on a raft in?  (That was horrible grammar but I don't care!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Puppy Love

Our new puppy Allie is now 4 whole months old.  She's so spunky that we find ourselves laughing at her everyday.

Having a four month old is like having a toddler again.  She has a definite routine.  In the morning, she gets up at about 6:30 and goes outside to potty.  She comes in and walks straight to my chair and stare at me which means she wants to take a nap in my lap.  She also takes a nap around 3pm.  When nighttime hits, she's ready to go to bed around 9:30 or 10:00.

The funniest thing about a white boxer is...their face gets red around their eyes and mouth when they get tired.  It's adorable.

Allie also likes to talk much more than our previous Boxer.   She likes to bark at the vacuum, my hair dryer and if you aren't looking at her, she barks.

Long legs

Also, the above picture shows what happens when you leave a puppy alone in the living room for 15 minutes while blow drying your hair.  She went into the boys bathrooom and got the roll of toilet paper, then ripping it apart all over the living room.  Little toot!

Her last vet checkup was at 15 weeks and she weighed 18.3 pounds.  It's going to be interesting to see how big she gets!

We've loved every second of her, even when she's being a crazy puppy!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer So Far

So far this summer, we've been super busy. 

Small Fry has been excited about learning how to cook.  He really likes to make scrambled eggs in the morning.  I thought I'd show him how to make an omelette.

He made his very first omelette last week.  It was perfect and delicious!

Blurry IPhone pic
I've been walking three miles every night with my friend Melissa.  We walk on the nature trail thats right behind our neighborhood.  I've noticed when I walk with someone, I walk further.  Guess since I love to talk so much, I don't notice the distance I'm covering!

I've been a bum this summer and just been hanging out in t-shirts and shorts with flip-flops like this. 

Guess I need to join the Pleated Poppy's link-up party - What I Wore Wednesday.  It's a great link-up party where stay-at-home moms post the cute outfit they wore instead of the bum clothes that moms tend to wear because it's easy.

I'm usually a dress up kind of person but I've had to get up at 6:15 in the mornings to take my son to his summer conditioning program at the football field.  It's pretty funny to look at the moms as they are dropping off their children, they all have their glasses on, no makeup and their hair in a bun on their heads.  I usually have a t-shirt, running shorts and Walmart flip-flops on.  I'm styling, that's for sure!

I have to go back and pick him up an hour and a half later, still wearing the cruddy clothes I had on.  I'm actually going to try to get showered and dressed while my sons at conditioning next week, hopefully I can get it together.

In the evenings that I haven't been walking, we've gone fishing at my brother-in-law's girlfriends house.  She has a pond right in front of her house with a little hill above the pond for sitting.

I love taking Small Fry there, he gets so excited and he now thinks he's going to be a pro-fisherman.  So far, he's had some great fishing luck.  He's caught about 8 or 9 fish everytime we've been over there.  We throw the fish back though so they can grow a little bigger.

We've been on a few drives, looking at the beautiful green grass and trees.  That's a tradition I started when the boys were little and I needed them to take a nap.  I would drive around looking at the pretty countryside while they slept.  Now that they're older, they love to look for ponds and cool scenery.

The sunsets have been beautiful lately!  Amazing sights!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy Update

Right arm Brachial Plexus injury
A couple of months ago our soccer coach, who is also our Physical Therapist, told me he noticed that Tater Tot's arm (the right one) was drawing in a little more lately.  Our coach, Jeff, always works with TT during soccer and he said it looked as if his elbow was getting stuck in the joint, not allowing him to straighten it as much as he could.  

See, my son can't straighten his arm.  It stays in the slightly bent position due to nerve damage to his shoulder (brachial plexus) caused by a birth injury.

This nerve damage caused my baby to be paralyzed at birth and begin a heartbreaking journey for us. 

His right arm was completely dead with no movement from damage to the nerves running from his spinal cord during the birth process.  He was born cupping his face, which resulted in his being stuck in the birth canal.  It was an emergency situation and we both are lucky to be alive today.

At 5 months old, he was put on a prayer chain and in an absolute miracle, raised his arm the next morning.  You can read about it here.

Anyway, after the soccer coach mentioned this slight difference in Tator, we made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor that looked at him during the sports physicals at school.

We went to see the doctor yesterday and he told us that the radial bone in his forearm was not aligned with the ball of his elbow (I hope I explained that right).  He mentioned that there is a new pediatric orthopedist that's coming to Tulsa in the next couple of months and he would be a great doctor to see for TT.  He said there might be a tendon release surgery that could be performed on TT's arm and it might release those tight tendons, allowing him to straighten his arm more.   I looked at TT when he was saying this and he was trying not to look worried, but I knew he was.  He was having a hard time in the car when we left the appointment. 

Tater Tot turned to me and said, "My arm will never be better."

That broke my heart for him.  You a mother...all I've ever wanted is for him to never feel pain, suffering or any anguish from this injury.  At 12 though, Tater Tot is starting to really figure out what's going on with his arm and that makes me so sad.  Granted, I'm so thankful that he has as much movement as he currently does, but I still hurt for him. 

We'll start intensive physical therapy in the next week or so and then see the new pediatric orthopedist at the end of the summer to see what they can do for Tater's arm.  I honestly just hope and pray that the therapy helps and he doesn't have to have surgery.  That is my prayer for this summer.  I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner Blog in hopes that people will pray for my sweet son.  We could really use it right now.

Awards and Good Grades

The school year is out and the boys did great this last semester.  Small Fry worked so hard on his reading and language arts classes and ended up with B's in those classes and A's in the rest.  I'm so proud of him.  His tutor even told me in April that he didn't need to come twice a week, she just needed to be on an on-call basis because he really didn't need her that much.  That made me feel so much better about things. We had a rough first semester but I think he pulled it together and started really putting some effort into school.  I'm so proud of him!  I can't wait to see how great he does in the 5th grade!

Tater Tot did great in 6th grade.  We made it through the first year of middle school with all A's and one 89.4 B.  He came home with the President's Honor Roll and the Star Reading Award.  He worked hard and had a fun year with his buddies.

Tater Tot loved 6th grade because he had six different teachers this year.  He especially loved his Life Skills teacher and all of the coaches that taught him.  He constantly talked about Coach Paulk, who is a young coach that teaches Science.  TT thought he was so cool.  I think Coach Paulk was even the person that taught the kids about Twitter.  Thanks Coach Paulk.....I think.

I plan to keep the kids busy this summer with some sort of educational activities.  I don't want their brains to turn to mush...ha!  We are going to try to visit the Philbrook Museum of Art, Gilcrease Museum and any other fun places that might teach them something.  I tried to mention the library and they both laughed.  I guess the library is not the "cool" thing to do.  Maybe we'll go to the library in the next town!  I'm sneaky that way.

TT starts Summer Pride next week, a program to keep the kids in good condition for sports.  He'll go in the mornings all summer.  That means I have to get up at 6:30am to take him.  Ugh!  But, I'm so glad that they are having them run when it's cool and not hot.  TT is dreading it but I think he'll enjoy it.  He loves being active.

We've already started the crazy summer running around.  We've already had 2 kids spend the night.  I think someone has either spent the night with us or the boys have been at a kids house everyday since school got out.  It makes me feel a little crazy since I like to have a routine and order.  I think I'm going to have to get used to this tween summer crazy life!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Allie

Today would have been the 5th birthday of our beloved dog Allie.

She was the best dog in the world and gave us 4 years of absolute joy.  We miss her every second of every day.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer

Yesterday the boys went to the new city pool with their friends and both came back sunburned.  Tater Tot had told me that the lifeguards give you sunscreen (and one of our friends is the head lifeguard), but he kept forgetting to put it on.  Silly boy! He knows better and is feeling it today.

This morning we got up and took Allie to the veterinarian to get her 15 week shots.  She did terrific and everyone at the vet clinic was loving on her so much.  When the vet put her on the metal table, she got scared so he put her on the floor and then sat on the floor to examine her.  I about died.  It was the neatest thing to see that he didn't want my puppy to feel scared so he just went down on her level.
Where'd that sweet lady go that was hugging me?


After the vet, we went to get Small Fry's hair cut.  It was way too long and was bound to be hot.  We still kept it the shaggy surfer boy look but just trimmed it.
Small Fry thought he deserved a fun fishing trip since he sat through the torture of a haircut so we ventured down to the dam in town.  We live by a beautiful lake and the dam makes a great, calm place for fishing.  We were the only ones at the dam this morning and we loved it.
We didn't catch any fish but it was fun watching turtles bobbing their heads in and out of the water.  I love just being able to sit and talk with my boys while waiting on a fish to bite.