Saturday, July 23, 2016

Idaho Vacation Day 1 and 2

This poor neglected blog.  I need to get back to it - missing on documenting many things I don't want to forget.

A few weeks ago, we went on vacation.  I know you saw the title of this blog and said "Idaho?  Did she say Idaho?"

Finley has a vision bucket list that we are working through.  Paris, London, Hawaii, makes sense, doesn't it?  I thought you would agree.  We have been putting it off (Because Idaho was actually her #1) because we thought she was crazy and would forget about it.

We were wrong.  She didn't forget.  And after our trip I can tell you that we are glad that she didn't.  We had a wonderful time and Idaho is about the most beautiful place I have ever been in this country.  Just stunning.

We left on June 29th - Mat's Aunt Betty in tow with us - and headed to Idaho.  We had a really crazy flight.  IT was cheap, so we just went with it.  We left at 5am, had a 9 hour layover, and landed in Boise in the evening.  The layover went by quickly and wasn't as bad as I thought.

We were dead tired by the time we got in - we had eaten dinner in the airport during our layover, so we just grabbed some groceries and headed to our house in Boise.  When we travel, we try to stay in Airbnb accomodations because 5 of us is too big for one hotel room.  And I like to pack light and just wash clothes while we are away.  So it works out great.

Boise house was really pretty.  It was spacious and well cared for.  It was 100 degrees when we landed, so the air conditioning was welcome.  We unpacked and settled in.

Day 2 - we had a full day of touring Boise planned for this day.  Unfortunately, some of our plans were derailed because there was a wild fire near where we were, and it closed a few things.  But no problem - we adjusted.  We went to the Boise State Capitol which was really nice.  And totally empty.  We found this a theme of basically our whole trip - Idaho's idea of busy is much different that our description of busy here on the east coast.

In the state capitol we visited the different House and Senate chambers, and saw the govenors office, and enjoyed learning a little more about the history of Boise.  Even the kids enjoyed it.

 We thought this room was interesting.  We found out this is where they used to keep all the permanent records, so that is why the heavy door.
 Govenors office

 They have stars inside the dome of the capital.  The large stars stand for the 13 colonies and the 43 little stars are because Idaho was the 43rd state added to America.
 Making some laws

 The Govenor's last name is Otter - this was in his office

After the state capital we made a quick stop at Boise State University.  They are famous for their blue turf football field, and Mat wanted to see it up close.  I have to say, it was pretty cool.  The stadium was huge.  We had a really nice guy who showed us around and talked to us about the history of the school and the field.

The stadium is gigantic

 Blue turf field
 I took this one because those seats up there?  They are $50,000 a year.

After Boise state, we went to a little place called Lucky Peak State Park.  It is a beach along the river where you can swim.  IT was so very hot that this ended up being the perfect way to spend the afternoon.  The kids loved the chance to swim and play around and relax.  The day before we were up so early and it was such a long day, this was perfect.

 Mountains around the swimming hole

After swimming, we dressed and went to dinner in the Basque District part of Boise.  I had read about it online - there is a Spanish settlement area in Boise, and this area is still true to that heritage.  We had Paela dinner which was delicious.  (Arlington tried and loved clams and oysters).  It was the perfect ended to our first day in Idaho.

We passed the areas that had burned during the wild fire.

 Waiting for our Paela

 Finley is thinking this is not a great idea.  But she did end up liking it
 These are what they cook it in
 The oldest house in Idaho

We rounded off the night with some potato ice cream.  We were pleased to find out that it was just ice cream in the shape of a potato - it was fun.  

The scenery was just outstanding.  The mountains were gorgeous.  The water was crystal clear (yet freezing).  Boise was extremely clean.  The people were incredibly nice.  We were pleasantly surprised right from the beginning.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Catching up

I know this poor blog hasn't gotten a lot of love in a few months, and I really need to get back to it.  I don't use it much any more to report news because Facebook is the place to be right now.  But since this blog is part of my families story, and there are things I don't want to forget, I need to get back to it.

What is making me blog today is that we are having quite an incredible few weeks.  And not in a good way.  It started earlier this spring when Arlington had a concussion.  And then a few weeks ago, she got another one.  Both times were the result of a flying cell phone in a hard cover.  Because young kids - even young teenagers - have neck muscles that are underdeveloped, the force of the blow throws the head forward and back or side to side, and that is what causes the concussion.

She has been on concussion precautions for almost 4 weeks with this last one.  Daily headaches and dizziness are keeping her from returning to full functioning.  It has been a rough month.  During this time, she also decided to break her right knee.  She was dancing outside with her siblings, and her knee locked, dislocated, and she fell.  It chipped a bone in her knee and caused a big fluid build up.  Took her to the doctor, and they did x-rays, drained the fluid (Which ended up being bloody), and then she had an MRI and a CT scan to get to the bottom of her problems.  She is in a knee brace - going on 3 weeks now - that is holding the bone fragment in place until they decide what the best course of action is for healing.  We will know the results of the CT scan in a few days, and hopefully that will be the end of this.

In the midst of that - Arlington, Finley and Cainan got strept throat.  Yep - all three of them, all at the same time.  Ridiculous.  They had medications all lined up on the counter together.  They missed two days of school each, and had a fever, stomachache, headache.  But the worst part is - they had all the classic symptoms, and I took them in to the doctor and the rapid strep was negative.  48 hours later we get the call that they are positive.  Sigh.

But I am not done.  No sir.  Arlington decided she wasn't having enough fun, and get lyme disease.  It isn't uncommon in our area, and we caught it early.  She had the classic bullseye on her back, so she is on medication for three weeks for that.  She hasn't had any other symptoms, thankfully. least we don't think she did.  She has had headaches, fever, stomachaches, achyness.....could be any of the above things she had going on.

While all of this was going on, Scooby decided that he didn't want to be left out.  Our sweet dog started limping around the beginning of June.  We took him to the vet and he was positive for Lyme.  I guess the limping is one of the first signs.  So he is ALSO on medication for Lyme.  It is the 20th of June and the limping is no better, so today he went in for x-rays.  The vet felt that by now, he should be better.  The x-ray showed a torn ligament.  For the next two weeks he has to go out to the bathroom on the leash, and come back in the house. That is it.  No fun stuff.  He has to be a doggy blob.  HE is going to hate every minute.  We hope, though, that this will heal it and he won't need surgery.  He is on a pain medication and anti-inflammatory as well.  I am giving him ham to take his meds with, so he is loving that part.

Cainan also is having trouble with one of his eat tubes.  He had ET tubes placed when he was 15 months old, and one is still in his ear.  IT was a permanent tube, but was working its way out, so we thought it would just move on its own. did.  But not how it should.  Sunday we were swimming and he had a lot of pain in his ear.  We took him in and the tube is partially out and sitting sideways in his ear.  The ER, and the ENT tried to remove it and no luck.  It is stuck.  It isn't causing him any discomfort any more, and they gave him antibiotics to heal some irritation in the ear.  He has a hole in the ear drum from the tube moving.  So fun.  But antibiotics for 3 weeks, then back to the ENT to remove the ET tube.

What else can go down?  I hate to even ask it.  It is too much.  We are swamped.  School is still not out.  Activities are still not over.  Mat is still traveling a lot. And we leave for vacation soon.  My hope is that we are getting this all out of the way before we leave so that when we get back it is all good.

Monday, March 7, 2016


This girl!

So - she has broken a bone along her right thumb.  From falling at school.  CPS would probably be at our door if every broken bone she has ever had didn't occur at school.

So - she is in a soft cast (after much begging) for the next few weeks.  It is her writing hand, so that should make things interesting.  At least she will be out of the cast before softball season starts.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Out with the Old and In with the New

Today, we finally replaced our mini van.  It has been a long time coming.  We bought our minivan in 2004 - when Arlington was 1 1 /2 years old.  We were living in California, and decided we needed a bigger car.  We knew we were going to be expanding our family, and we were getting ready to drive across the country to move to Florida, so a nice big comfy van was going to come in handy.

Today - at 12 years old, 218,700 miles, and many (many) dents later - our time with that van came to an end.  This is the only van the kids remember - and they have spent quite a bit of time in there.  Finley came home from the hospital in this van.  I picked up Mat and Cainan up from the airport when he came home from China in this van.  We have taken countless trips in it - especially back and forth to Pennsylvania to visit family.

It is a Toyota and has been a great car.  It has never had a major problem - just minor quips along the way.  It is a beast and has taken a beating with three kids and two dogs.  It has hauled more wood from Home Depot than you can imagine.  It worked hard.

So this weekend - now that the winter seems to be behind us - Mat and I decided it was time to retire her.  I knew what I wanted - either another Toyota or a Honda.  The top two brands in minivans for many years running.  We need something big, and something safe - we still have many years of hauling kids around.

I did find a Toyota Sienna I really liked.  It was red, and had enough things that we needed.  It drove beautifully.  And then Mat and I test drove a Honda Odyssey and liked it just as well.  It made the decision very hard.  We left the Honda dealership, went to dinner with the kids, and made our final decision.

And the Honda won.  Mostly because we got a little more for our money, and it was a 2016 instead of a 2015.  Small minor things which in the end - don't make much of a difference.

Besides - it was blue.

So this morning, we cleaned out the old Toyota (that was gross), and went and picked up our new van.  Here is to another 12 years of minivan driving!

Our old van - she was well loved
 The new baby:
 It is an 8 passenger.  We didn't chose that - it comes that way now.  But that middle seat can be taken out:

 Lots of buttons for me to push......and screw up

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bad Blogger

Has it really been so long since I have blogged?  I am having a hard time blogging on here.  Don't know why that is.....  Just busy I guess.

I have started a blog for my book challenge reading, so you can check that one here:

Let's see - It has been a busy time:

We had our first real snow storm of the year.  And hopefully the last

Mat turned 42.  His parents came up to our house for a visit and celebrate his birthday.

Arlington turned 13.  Can that be true?  Did she really turn 13?  I have a full blown teenager?  Impossible.

We went to PA to visit our families.  Mat couldn't go because he had to work, but the kids and I went.  We had a really nice time.  We celebrated Arlington's birthday, Valentines Day, and Chinese New Years all in one day - it was pretty cool.  We saw my cousin Kirsten perform in Guys and Dolls.  We went to a WVU basketball game.  We did some shopping.  It was a pretty full week.

The set of Guys and Dolls
My mother in law made all these little cakes for Valentines day

 I got to meet my newest nephew, Wolfe
 Arlington entertained her cousins
At the WVU game.  Aunt Renee got seats close to the front so Finley could see

I took a month long job as a sub as a school nurse at a local school.  Because I have lost my ever loving mind.

Mat had a chance to go to Washington DC and go to a summit with President Obama.  It was by invitation only, and he went there representing Autism Speaks.  It was very cool.  I got to watch it on TV and saw him there.  He then had a meeting with the FDA Commissioner and NIH head, and had a chance to mention Finley and our foundation.  They were very interested in the work we were doing and took his contact information so keep in touch with him.  Fingers crossed.

I think that catches you up.  I will try better to get over here and blog more!