Saturday, March 27, 2010

Almost a year


Almost a year has gone by since my last post. So for a few updates....

Ben is still furloughed 3 days a month (even though a judge has now ruled that the furloughs must end immediately and after the appeal is hear the state must pay him back pay for the days which he was furloughed....)

I did get an amazing job. I am working at an elementary school as an Instructional Assistant in a special ed preschool classroom. When I started work we had 5 kids and 3 adults (the teacher, another aide and I). Now we are up to 9 kids and still just the 3 adults. Amazing what a difference 4 kids can make. I love the job and I love the kids I work with. They are all such a fun bunch of kids that have a variety of issues that make them truly unique individuals. I have been working at this job since October and I hope to be working this position for a long time to come. It is a great schedule... 4 days a week from 11:15-3. I have the same holidays and breaks off as my kids do and I will have summer vacation off with them too. Looking back it was truly a job worth waiting for.

Peter is almost done with 5th grade. Next year he will move on to middle school. He is very excited about the change and I think in most ways it will be very good for him. It is a little scary for me to see him growing up so fast. He is becoming more and more independent every day. He continues to be involved in sports and scouts. He just received his arrow of light award in cub scouts and "bridged" to Boy Scouts. This year in football his team got second place in the Palomar Conference Championships for his age division. In wrestling he finished 2nd place in the county championships.

Liam is finishing up 1rst grade and I think he is going to miss having his brother around school next year. Liam played flag football again this past year and his team won the local flag championship...way to go WARHAWKS!!! Liam got to start in cub scouts this year and this summer he will move from being a Tiger Scout to being a Bear scout. He signed up for baseball this year and after recovering from a poorly timed broken thumb has been in three games so far. (He broke his thumb the day after the first practice when he was playing outside with some girls...he would kiss them and then run away and they would try to catch him and kiss him...anyway, he tripped and fell and landed just the wrong way and broke his thumb. He was in a cast for 3 weeks and then had to wait 3 more weeks until he could play to make sure everything was all healed up. Liam also acted in his first play put on by Missoula Children's Theater. The kids audition on Monday and then start practicing that night and every night during the week for 5 days and then they put on a performance on Saturday of the same week. This year the play was King Arthur's Quest. Liam was a "mini white knight". It was a really cute play and he had a blast doing it.

So, it has been quite an almost year....

All in all I am counting my blessings that I have such an amazing family and great friends (both those near and far).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another great website.

I was surfing the net the other day and came across another great medical website. Here's the link this is a health forum with tons of discussion boards on health topics. I figure we all need some advice once in awhile about medical concerns, and although my doctor is usually my final say on what's wrong with me it's nice to check out some other ideas first.

Right now knock on wood I'm healthy and so is the rest of the family. I'm certainly relieved about that at least. Ben's job has been less than great lately. They have now furloughed him 3 days a month with talk of another day. UGGHHH!! I told him that he needs to look for another job. He's not very interested in that idea unfortunately. Oh well. I got a call this morning about a job, I'm going for an interview next Tuesday at 10a.m. so hopefully that will go well. It's tough finding the right balance of work that I want to do and work that pays enough to make it worth the time. I sure wish the economy would improve.

Man, sorry about the downer post. Maybe I should take the approach my friend did on her blog...start over....
Things are great here in sunny California. My husband has a job, I have 2 healthy, happy kids and I have a job interview next week that I am very excited about.

Here's hoping you're all doing well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am going off on one of my little side blogs here. I found a new health blogthat I found really interesting. Generally I don't put a lot of stock in holistic medicine because I don't know much about it, but this site does a good job of explaining different holistic ideas. I will include a link to the page so you can check it out. After reading several of the small articles I think I am going to bookmark it to refer to later. You should check it out if you have any interest at all in Holistic medicine. Here's the link to the health blog:
Okay, anyway one of the articles on the blog was talking about artichoke leaves and IBS. Since I have IBS that really caught my eye. So far none of the medications that I have gotten from my doctor have helped, so I think I might just try out their suggestion. I figure it can't hurt, right?

The boys are doing really good. Peter went to sleep away summer camp. I missed him a lot, but he had a great time. Liam enjoyed being home with me and getting my whole attention. He got to be the "man of the house" when Ben was at camp with Peter.
I'll post some more pics soon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Updates and a few pics

I'm so bad at keeping this blog up lately. And I haven't even been as busy as usual, I guess I just took a blog holiday. Since the last blog, Peter's neck healed fine with no more trouble and he finished out the wrestling season. Then it was on to Rugby for Peter and tball for Liam. This was Peter's second year playing rugby and he of course loved it. Liam played tball for the 1rst time and he had a great time. Right now we are in a bit of a lull from sports, but it won't last too starts officially in August, but there will be camps during the month of July.

Ben has been really busy at work and has been working evenings and weekends, which is really not fun for the family or for him I'm sure! I've been looking for a part time job to help out with the finances a little, but haven't had any luck so far. In the meantime I've been keeping busy with Poway Pop Warner football, since I'm still on the board of directors there. And a month or so ago I joined the Poway Youth Rugby board of directors. So I won't be bored for a while! HA!

We took a week long "free" vacation (that we got from touring the Welk Resort vacation condos) to Monterey, CA. It was an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. There was a wide variety of things to do and most of it was FREE!!!! We walked along Cannery Row (made famous by John Steinbeck's book of the same name), went to the Moneterey Bay Aquarium, strolled along the rocky shoreline, hopped rocks, saw some amazing tidepools, visited the "Denace the Menace" park that was designed by the guy who wrote the comic strip, went to the artichoke festival in Castroville, CA, strolled along the oldest running free boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA, drove the 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach and saw the world famous golf courses, and went hiking at Point Lobos State Park. Overall, it was a really fun trip.

This past week Liam lost his first 3 teeth. (Yes, all in one week!!!) And now, I'm all caught up on my blogging. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I simply couldn't think of a better word to describe this post.
Peter had a wrestling tournament on Sunday in a town called Brawley, Ca. which is about 130 miles from Poway. We got up early and headed out for our 2.5 hour drive. It was a fun drive and we talked most of the way there. I was really enjoying spending time with just Peter and getting to chat with him. We got to the tournament and he weighed in and made the 100 pound novice group which he was very excited about. (Most weeks he has been wrestling at 105). (Weigh ins are at 10am and then they don't start wrestling until about 1p.) Then we went throught the drive thru at Carl's jr. to pick up some lunch. I asked the lady at the drive thru if there was a Target or Walmart around and she told me it was just down the street past 3 stoplights. So we headed over to Walmart and browsed there for a little while to waste some time before Peter had to wrestle.
We headed back to the high school where the tournament was located and I managed to get a great parking space right in front of the school. We went inside and found his coach and Peter went to warm up and I found a spot to sit in the bleachers. The meet started and Peter was the fourth person to wrestle in the first round. His first round was absolutely amazing, he wrestled better than I had ever seen him wrestle before. I was so proud of him and when the match was over he came up into the stands and I told him how proud of him I was.
We talked about his next round matchup against another kid who wrestles for Poway. Peter said he was pretty sure he could beat the guy, but I told him to just do his best. The second round match started and the other kid from Poway was a very tough competitor. During the first period of the match the kid was choking Peter and I yelled out from the stands and said "stop choking him". The kid glanced up at me and loosened his grip on Peter. Then the first period ended and Peter was down 0-5. Peter was doing a good job in the second period of fighting the kid off until the kid took him down and again got Peter in a choke hold. Peter screamed out in pain loud enough for me to hear him in the stands and the ref stopped the match. I ran down to the roped off area and was watching Peter. I noticed that he was having a lot of difficulty standing up and the coach was trying to help him off the mat, so I went out to the mat and helped get him to the wall and sat him down. The whole time he was holding his neck and crying hysterically. I told him to calm down and tell me where he hurt, but he couldn't get himself calmed down so I touched his neck lightly and he screamed again. We had him lay down and when he tried to straighten his legs he screamed again. One of the tournament officials came by and asked if I wanted someone to take a look at him to make sure he was okay and I said yes. A nurse came over and told Peter that she was going to check him over. As soon as she tried to lift his head a little he screamed really loud so she just stablized his neck with her hands and told me that someone needed to call an ambulance. I stood up and told the nearest person to me to call an ambulance and they went to call. In the meantime an off duty paramedic came over and asked if we could use some help and both the nurse and I said yes. He took Peter's vital signs and tried to assess him, but Peter was still too hysterical to answer any questions and so the guy said asked if an ambulance had been called, and I told him yes and he said good. He told me that when the paramedics came they would put Peter in a neck brace and strap him to a board and transport him to the ER. At this point Peter started screaming "I don't want to go, I don't want to go." The nurse and off duty paramedic were trying to calm him down and I was holding his hand trying to reassure him that he was okay. The paramedics got there and I backed away so that they could assess him and they put the C collar on him and strapped him on the board. Then they asked if I was riding with them or if I wanted to meet them at the hospital. I got directions from them and they told me that the hospital was up one block and across the street from Walmart. I got in my car and headed over there. i got there just as the ambulance did and I parked and ran in to the ER. By the time I got in the ER the paramedics had brought Peter in and he was calmed down considerably. They took us to a room and unstrapped him from the board. He immediately tried to start moving around and the doctor told him if he didn't lay still that he was going to stap him back to the board and he wasn't kidding. They took him to get a CT scan of his neck and thankfully it came back that nothing was fractured. He just has a bad strain and won't be able to do any sports for at least a week.

I am so very thankful that he is okay. I was so scared on the way to the hospital. I could only imagine the worst and I couldn't stand the thought of my active, tough son with a broken neck. I hope that I never have to go through that again. But the experience really helped me bring into focus what matters in my life. Some things are important and other things are just background noise. Give your little ones hugs and kisses and praise every chance you get. They are just so precious.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year. Wow! I can't believe it is almost 2009. We had a good Christmas with just the boys and us. It was quiet, but the boys seemed to enjoy it as it gave them lots of time to play with their toys. Santa treated them pretty darn good this year. Peter got a Nintendo DS, and Liam got a guitar. Liam was very excited about also having a stocking filled with lots of things.

Here's a few pics. Liam is very excited in the first one because he found some M&M's in his Christmas stocking.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A harrowing tale about a fun day in the desert

Yesterday we took Ben's brother Michael (who came for a visit from New Mexico) to the Anza-Borrego Desert. It was a really great day. The temp was in the mid 70's and it was sunny all around. We started out by driving up to an overlook and got an amazing view of the desert floor below us. Then we drove on to a desert oasis called 17 Palms. We walked around there for awhile and ate a picnic lunch that I packed us. Then we headed to a place called the "Pumpkin Patch" which was a bunch of small boulders that were strewn across the desert floor and they looked very much like a bunch of pumpkins in a pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch was reached by going on a 4 Wheel drive only desert wash road. There were also hundreds of off road vehicles (dirt bikes, dune buggies, etc.) zooming in and around the area. After the pumpkin patch we went to see the gas domes which were domes filled with some sort of natural gas bubbling liquid out of the ground. Following that we continued down the 4 Wheel drive road hoping to get back to the highway.
We headed down the road bumping and turning along. At the bottom of the hill there was a Y intersection and after looking at the map Ben and his brother decided that we should go to the right to get back to the highway. So we started off down the road and it got progressively more bumpy and turny as we drove. Several of the off road vehicles went flying by us jumping over dirt hills and such. After driving for about 20 minutes and coming to an area where a bunch of the off road vehicles were stopped we decided to ask for directions to make sure we were headed the right way. Turns out it was good we asked because we weren't where we thought we were so we turned around and headed back to the Y intersection. This time after again consulting the map Ben decided that we should have in fact went to the left. So we headed off down the left side of the trail and were feeling pretty good that we were headed the right direction to the highway. luck would have it....about 10 minutess into our drive the road started getting narrower and twistier....and so, after just barely squeezing into one narrow turn Ben stopped and he and Michael got out to check out the road ahead. Michael climbed up the hill and Ben walked down farther on the path to see what was ahead. Meanwhile, a group of off road vehicles came up behind our Xterra and had to try to get around the Xterra by going part way up the dirt wall by our vehicle. Ben and Michael came back and decided it was going to be impossible to go forward so we would have to back our way out of this bumpy, turny desert wash. Michael stayed out of the car and directed Ben while he attempted to back out of the area. After backing a few feet Ben had to make a rather sharp turn and the Xterra tilted dangerously so he immediately stopped and after Michael assuring him it was okay to pull forward a little he got the Xterra back on 4 wheels and the boys and I decided that we were also getting out of the car. Then Ben backed around a few more tight curves and we found a place that he could turn around. He finally got the Xterra turned around and we all got back in and headed back to a road that we KNEW for certain would take us back to the highway.
I had certainly had MORE than enough excitement and adventure for one day.

Unfortunately, none of us had cameras so we didn't get any pictures of our adventures, but I'm sure that we will all remember yesterday for a long, long time.