Sunday, November 22, 2009


This will be my last post until after Thanksgiving. I probably won't return until the Tuesday after Thanksgiving because we have a busy week and family to visit, etc. So I won't have much time for blogging I am afraid.

Mat and I took the kids to a local state park today to take our annual Christmas photos of them. It went pretty well. We took 125 pictures and were able to pick our 4 to use for this year. It is hard to get three kids to cooperate for a pictures - especially outside. But it is done.

I am going to share some pictures on this blog today from our photo shoot, but I will not be sharing the final ones. Those I will reserve for family and those who receive our annual Christmas card.
Today in church, a young man sung a song. It talked about being thankful for what we have even with so much that is sad or hurtful in the world. At this time of year, we remember all that our family is thankful for.

This summer, we were given news about Finley that made us sad and angry. But in the midst of that, we were thankful for many things about the situation. We were thankful that she still has her sight now. We were thankful that is was not life threatening. We were thankful that research is making such amazing strides that we may see a cure in the very near future.

We are thankful that all of our children are healthy. There are so many blogs I read where the families are dealing with serious illnesses with their children.

We are thankful that we added two new members to our extended family this year. Well - almost two! Our nephew who was born in June, and I have a niece due to be born in just a few weeks. We love that our family is growing by leaps and bounds and that each Christmas will be filled with more joy and laughter of all of the kids.

We are thankful for our jobs. In an economy that has still not improved, we are lucky to both be working full time in areas we enjoy.

We are thankful for our home. We take it for granted how lucky we are that we have a warm, beautiful home to come to after work each day.

I could go on forever. We take everyday things for granted. We expect our home, our jobs, our health to be there. We get upset at the little things that happen. The stress of the holidays sometimes outweighs what is really important.

Our pastor talked this morning about how Christmas has become what we as a society has made it, and the real meaning is lost. She's right. We get caught up in finding the perfect present or making the perfect meal, and forget that all we really need is spending time with each other.

We have been really good at eating dinner together as a family. It gives us a chance to talk about our days. It shows our kids that family meal time and spending time together is a top priority for us.

As the kids get older, I hope to instill family game night as well. We love playing games together, and it will be another time we can all be together doing an activity.

Time passes quickly. The baby stage of my kids is over. We will never again have a little baby in our house. It is sad in a lot of ways. But I am thankful for each new stage that my kids are in. I am thankful I am watching them grow into wonderful little people and decent human beings.

This is the first year in 12 years that Mat and I will be having Thanksgiving with family. We have always lived too far away from family to make a trip to see them over such a short holiday.

But this year, we are anxious to spend this holiday with our family and show them how thankful we are for them.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I will be back to blogging after the holiday weekend! I can't believe by then it will be December!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I forgot!

I have been in the quilting zone all day and forgot about blogging!

I will blog tomorrow. We plan on taking the kids outside to take their Christmas pictures, so I will post some of those tomorrow night!

I will leave you with one funny thing Finley said.

Scene: The VTs and I are riding in the car.

Finley: mommy, I want girl cheese for dinner (she really thinks it is girl cheese)
Me: that sounds fine.
Cainan: I want that too!
Finley: you can't have that Cainan
Cainan: yes I can
Finley: no you can't Cainan. It is GIRL cheese. You are a boy. You would have to eat boy cheese.

Cainan: (laughs). boy cheese?
Finley: yes Cainan. Only girls can have girl cheese.
Me: Finley - it is GRILLED cheese.
Finley: I know. Girl cheese.
Me: forget it.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Evil Customer Service rears its ugly head

So, I thought leaving Florida meant leaving the rudest people on earth behind. Today I was proved I was wrong about that.

At 8:30 this morning, while I was just getting settled at work, The billing department at Boston Children's decided to start my day off all wrong. We had submitted a complaint that we felt we were overbilled for Finley's genetic blood draw (by A LOT - several thousand), and at first, the people I delt with a few weeks ago were wonderful. Very understanding and also feeling that a mistake was made. I sent in the required letter and paperwork to try and resolve the problem.

But today - a VERY rude man called me up to basically say I was a moron for second guessing their charges. I tried to explain to him that 1) we know what we should have been charged and 2) we didn't mind paying, but we felt it was in need of more explanation. I got no where with this man. He was awful. He wouldn't let me talk, he kept making really dumb remarks, and he had poor grammar. Why in the world he was in charge of calling people, I have no idea.

I was pretty rattled when the phone call ended, so I took his name, and called Mat. I am not easily rattled by stupid people, but this guy caught me off guard. So my saint of a husband took care of it for me. Not only did he talk to this guy and really challenge him, he talked to his supervisor and patient relations. So, in the end, I was feeling better.

But - if you use Boston Children's for anything, stay FAR, FAR away from their laboratory. They are going to screw it up. Get your blood drawn somewhere else.

Moving on........

Today was met with a large headache that stayed with me all day after that phone call. So, I didn't attend the monthly PTO meeting tonight. I was disappointed, but my headache won in the end.
This weekend flew by. Sunday we went to church, and then in the afternoon, Arlington and I went dress shopping for her annual Christmas dress. This year I took her along to choose. She narrowed down her choices based on color, and how far the dress went out when she spun in a circle. In the end she probably tried on 30 dresses. And she was very dizzy. But we had a great time. We spent several hours at the mall for her to pick the first dress she tried on.

This is only the beginning of that charade.

She also chose a dress that came with a matching doll dress for Bargain girl. She tried it on her tonight while she was modeling to see how they looked together.

We also got Finley's dress while we were shopping this weekend.

She wanted to model her cute self.

I had a hard time getting her to stand still long enough for a good picture. Christmas pictures this you should be interesting.

I didn't take any pictures of Cainan in his outfit. It is different with boys. His is a shirt, pants, and sweater are just cute, but nothing fancy. You can wait to see that.

Arlington and I wrapped up the book "The Magician's Elephant" and I highly recommend it. It was very good, and we both enjoyed it.

Now Mat is taking a turn reading to her at night, so she picked for them "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book one.

I think they are both enjoying it. The humor is right up her alley.

On her own, Arlington is plugging away at books to get her to her American Girl doll. She is still doing one chapter book a week, and sometimes she fullfills that requirment in a day, and sometimes it takes the whole week - depending on her mood! This week, she finished one book in a day and is working on a second so that maybe she can finish early. Good thought.

So she is working on "The Littles" series. She and my mother-in-law Sally picked up one at the book sale a few weeks ago, and she loved it. So we went to the library and got a few more.
They are cute books and a bit on the old side. She asked me at one point what "keen" meant. That says a lot about the age of the book.

The second book that caught her attention this week was "Happy Birthday Bad Kitty".

Again, humor right up her alley. She read this book last night before going to bed - she loved it.

Finley got a coloring book in the mail today from her new teacher from the school of the blind. She was pretty excited about it. Her teacher thought she might like it, and she was right. The pictures are raised, so she can feel them and that is helping her color. And it also contains the braille words for all of the pictures, so that was cool too.

She already colored in it a bit. Tomorrow her teacher will be visiting her preschool and talking to them about how Finley acts/interacts at school. Then the teacher will finish up her report and we will get a copy.

Which makes me think of that REALLY awful guy this morning. I felt like shouting at him - "our daughter is going blind. We are trying to do right by her. I don't need this." What a jerk. Maybe if he would have taken two seconds to look at the test and see what they were for, maybe he would have been a little more sympathetic.

But probably not.

Back to Sunday - after the shopping trip, we met Mat and the VT's (virtural twins- in case you forgot) at the church. Mat and I have decided to join our church, so we had to attend a new members class. We absolutely love this church and the people. They had found someone to watch our kids while we attended the class. It was fun and low key.

After the class we went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner. Thanks Aunt Betty for the gift card - we enjoyed our dinner out!

Monday morning - Finley was not in the mood to go to school.

I wanted to take a picture of her in her cute outfit, and she felt that this pose was good enough.

She also decided her stuffed M+M needed a bed and blanket before she left for school.

Monday I met Mat at the toy store to let the VTs walk around and see what they wanted for Christmas. They were on toy overload. The wanted everything they touched, of course. But Finley found two things she wanted consistently. 1) baby doll 2) stuffed elephant. She wants a "soft baby and a walking/talking baby". This walking/talking baby is WILD. She is not cheap, either. But she stands and walks on her own. Personally, it made me think of "CHUCKY", (although this doll was cute).
So I was researching the doll when I came home, and found this absolutely hilarious You Tube video I wanted to share with you.

Isn't that funny? My goodness people have too much time on their hands.

Finley also thought she wanted a "Terminator Skull" because it was a skeleton. What a weirdo.

Cainan really wants anything to do with super heroes and cars and trucks. All boy, all the time.

Although, today - when I asked Cainan again what he wanted - he said "green jello". Weirdo.

I took a picture of the "project" the students in the school have been doing for me. I have to do handwashing classes, which I have told you about before. I have each class write for me ways of keeping healthy, or have them draw pictures of being healthy. Tomorrow is my very last class (can I get a hallelujah) so I took a few pictures of my walls.

I have to tell you about Kindergarten - I have NO idea what some of the pictures are. There is also a very good chance I hung a few of them upside down. But they were so proud of themselves. I enjoy going in and teaching a few things.

So that's it. The rest of the week will be busy at home and at work, so I am looking forward to the weekend!
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See you Saturday!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

That's our Finley!

If someone would have told me what Finley would be like - I would have never believed it. She is sweet, and funny, and has a personality that would knock your socks off.

But sometimes.......she is just......Finley.

Yesterday she was getting down off a stool at our bar after eating dinner. She didn't have a napkin handy, so she wiped her face on the cabinets. Just walked right by them, wiped her mouth, and kept on going. Mat and I looked at each other in disbelief.

Today in the car, she used a magazine as a kleenex.

And when I asked her what she wanted from Santa Claus this year? She said - a cookie.

She keeps us in stitches, if nothing else.

I am sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. I got a cold on Wednesday, and have been feeling under the weather ever since. So not many pictures - I am very sorry!

Thursday was Finley's hearing appointment. Her appointment was at 9am, and I figured we would be done and out of there by 10am. I had taken a half day off from work, and planned on going in during the afternoon. At 12:00pm, we were STILL at the appointment! So, needless to say, I lost the whole day.

But - the appointment went well. Finley had a hearing test first. The audiologist found that she has a large amount of wax build up. This is always the case with her. We have had her ears cleaned out by doctor's on a regular basis, and nothing seems to keep it at bay. So, she did show mild hearing loss during the first test. The audiologist was confident it was due to her large wax build up. Since she has low vision, they did a test where every time she heard the sound, she dropped a toy in a bucket. This is different than what they do for Cainan. Cainan gets a visual cue after he hears the sound, but they were pretty sure Finley wouldn't be able to locate it outside of her tunnel vision.

The only draw back to doing the test this way - it took FOREVER. Finley had a great time, and had no problems understanding the directions, but what normally takes about 15 minutes for Cainan, took almost 1 hour with her. After that was done, we went over for her appointment with the ENT. She was running really behind. We were in a Children's Hospital, so Finley had enough to entertain her. The ENT looked in her ears and concurred with the audiologist that the wax was probably causing the hearing loss. She cleaned Finley's ears out, and what came out of her ears could have made a candle! I couldn't believe it!! Poor thing. The doctor said she probably needs to have her ears cleaned out on a regular basis by herself or the pediatrician. She gave me some things to try at home (which we have used in the past), and hopefully that will help. We will be repeating the hearing test in January, and if that turns out okay, the ENT feels like she won't need to see her again for at least 1 year. Unless we feel like anything with her hearing has changed.

So check another off our list! Cardiologist - good. ENT - good. Kidneys - good.
That wraps up everything the geneticist should need for our upcoming appointment in December.

Since I had a bad cold, I wasn't too sad that I missed work on Thursday. I got a chance to rest during the afternoon while Finley napped.

Friday - still feeling under the weather - but back to work. Friday night after putting the kids to bed, Mat and I did our online Christmas shopping for the kids and family. We have done this the last couple of years. We love Ama* LOVE it. I am not a big fan of tackling the mall or toy stores around this time of year, and so we try to avoid it as much as possible. So that was a great job done!

Today we went to the outlets near our house. We are taking a family picture over Thanksgiving with my brother and his family. We decided on black shirts and jeans. I thought it would be hard to find Black for the girls, but I did well with them. But Cainan? No luck! I couldn't believe it. But being at the outlets, in the rain and wind, was not fun for me. The kids had a blast - touching all of the clothes, riffling through the shoes. Cainan was a big fan of the boots in each store and would take a pair off and want to take them with him. They were pretty good, but it wasn't relaxing. We only were there about 1 hour, and that was plenty!

This afternoon Mat and I did a little more toy shopping but had to (gasp) go to the toy store. We had our wonderful new babysitter come and stay with the kids. We got to go shopping alone and actually have an adult conversation for almost 3 hours. It was great! The toy store was really crowded, and we weren't that successful. But it was nice to be out.

Tonight we brought home a catalog for the toy store, and Finley and Cainan went through it about 25,000 times. Arlington is confident in her wants, so she didn't need to look.

Cainan had a great time telling me what he doesn't have, and does have, and does want, etc.

Finley kept saying "this is small enough to fit in Santa's sleigh, right? This is too big for Santa's sleigh, right?"
Finley got a pair of skeleton pajamas while we were out shopping today.

I am pretty sure they are boys, but she didn't care. Since she is really into skeletons this year, she had to have them. She couldn't wait to put them on. Then she put on a mask that her Aunt Jess sent the kids for Halloween.

This should have been her costume this year!

Tomorrow is church, a new members class at our church, and that is about it! This is our last full week of school before Thanksgiving! Yay!

Have a great weekend and I will see you Tuesday.