Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Time Is Right

The time is right to head back to St. Louis.

This is what happened to his brace yesterday.

Yes, I could take it in to his othotist here in town, but because we are off in 4 days, I fixed it myself. Thank goodness for my sewing machine.

And, yes, his brace straps are filthy. Yes, I have scrubbed them. This is as clean as they get. I think some new straps from Dave in STL are in order.

Another reason to be heading back... I am having a lot of doubts right now about his foot. Maybe it isn't doubts. Maybe it is me wanting his foot to be perfect. Maybe I have read too many posts these days on the clubfoot yahoo group of parents excited that their child's journey is done. Maybe I am just tired of battling with him to stretch his foot every day.

I want his foot to have 20 degrees of dorsiflexion. I want his foot to be straight. I want him to run without that foot turning in.

Maybe my hopes are too high.

Or maybe I am seeing a problem.

Either way, it is time to go back and see Dr. Dobbs for Matthew's check up.

Besides, they are calling for snow on Sunday. Seems everytime we go to St. Louis, it snows.

Countdown to St. Louis, 4 days.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I love Matthew's physiotherapist. I do. She is knowledgeable, loves Matthew, willing to get direction from doctor's, confer with other p/t's, and she has given me not only her office and cell number, but her home number and home email address as well.

Why would we change?

Because the commute to her office is horrid. The reason Why I Hate Tuesdays.

I have found someone who is 7 minutes from our house. He is not a pediatric p/t but he works with kids and is willing to take on Matthew. We have an appointment on Wednesday. And I am nervous. When I told him that his current p/t was willing to come in and show him what she has been doing with him, he seemed ok, but then called later and told me it wasn't necessary. She is still meeting us there.

He also told me to book a late appointment. After 7 pm. Ummm, my kids are in bed by 7:30 pm.

So, my red flags are cautiously raised, but still hoping it works out.

Countdown to St Louis, 5 days.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Tooth Fairy Cometh...Again!

Yet another fun side to having children so close in age, they loose teeth at the same time!

Ryan lost his first tooth today and gets his first official visit from the tooth fairy!

Matthew lost tooth #4 four days ago.

And, picture day is on Tuesday. Yay for toothless grins!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Physiotherapy - You're Doing It Wrong!

Have I ever mentioned that I do NOT have a degree?

Apparently I have been doing Matthew's p/t wrong. Placing too much pressure on the ball of his foot rather then lower down, causing some mid foot break.


Will adjust hand positioning while crossing fingers I haven't made things worse.

Have I ever mentioned that I do NOT have a degree?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

This morning was a chilly one. 3 C (37 F) and with the wind chill, 0 C (32 F). Brrrrr.

The boys asked if we could dig out mitts for them. Fortunately, the temperature is supposed to go back up for the rest of the week. I won't need to start looking for the winter gear quite yet.

Also, fortunately, my little garden has a few more days without a frost threat. Good thing, because all of a sudden


I had all but given up on these plants. They grew so tall and had all sorts of blooms, but no tomtatoes, until now. Three little ones.

We have been enjoying these ones already. This is from my 50 cent tomato plant. The tomatoes are smaller, but very nice. This plant has produced over 12 tomatoes! The leaves are starting to yellow, but the tomatoes are still turning.

My strawberries are still producing as well. In fact, they look really good and have sent out numerous runners. Next year should be a good year for strawberries.

There are still carrots growing. I assume if there is frost, I just dig the remainder up. I was hoping to let them grow a bit more.

My little garden has grown in two months.

And I'm not ready for it to be done yet. Still holding on to those last few warm days.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

They Say It's Your Birthday...

Today is my birthday! Happy Birthday Me! I'm not afraid of my age and am proud to say today I am 41 yrs old. I have yet to hit a milestone that has bothered me. In fact, I embrace each year as a wonder. Every year gets better, so I look forward to this one.

This is what my boys got me for my birthday.

My husband let them go crazy in the dollar store. Each item was carefully inspected and picked out for Mommy. Yes, that is a wonderful sequined belt that may have fit me when I was 12 right beside the hair rollers. What a scream! I have to admit I had been looking forward to this gift all week.

I think these were their particular favorite items for Mommy.

These items were secretly removed from the bag, hidden behind their backs and one at a time placed specially in my hands while my eyes were closed.

I'm not a person that wants for material items. That said, these are items I will never forget. Ever.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Physio...MY physio

Once upon a time I was a gymnast. Not a very good one. But a gymnast none the less. I liked it and worked hard. But still, not a very good gymnast. Then, one day, the head coach thought I had something. Not great gymnast potential but great coaching potential. My coaching career was born.

I have done or coached gymnastics for over 30 years. (I guess that hints a bit of my age...) In those 30 years, I have done some damage to my back. I remember some specific injuries. One in particular, after coaching for 5 hours trying out some Russian fronts. After all, if the boys could do them, why not the girls?

In case you are interested, this is a regular punch front that we all did

This is the Russian that we were working on

Maybe it was the fact that I had just coached for 5 hours. Maybe it was the fact that I was an inferior gymnast, but after landing a few Russians on a crash pad rather nicely, we decided to land them on the regular spring floor.

I landed mine with perhaps a slight twist in my back. I will say, I did land it on my feet thank you very much... Doesn't mean much when you are in your 40's and you have some rather extreme back pain.

After that day, I had some terrible back pain. I saw a chiropractor, it went away... but never far. It seemed to crop up every now and then.

Having 2 kids at an older age, I had some terrible Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. I blamed it on being old and having 2 kids in less then 16 months. But after reading up on it, seems its cause can be possibly because of a misalignment of the pelvis.

I have been seeing a physio for myself. I am in a lot of lower back pain. The worst is in the morning. I can barely get up out of bed but a hot shower and some stretches in the shower make it bearable.

Not knowing a lot of my history, my p/t said my hips are out of alignment. So much so my legs are different lengths. He has been working to get my hips back to position and strengthening my now mushy core.

Since starting on this path, my back still hurts more then ever. But, now, my hips hurt and my foot has been in spasms daily.

I hope this is progress. If I was a race horse, I would fear the worst.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I Hate Tuesdays

Tuesday. Physio day. I hate Tuesdays.

Matthew has been doing well at school. He has settled down into routine. There are no fights to go, there are no tears.

Except Tuesdays. Physio day.

I picked him up after school. Told him he could only stay 10 minutes to play because it was physio day. He sobbed. Two moms I have never met came over and asked if everything was ok. Hard to explain to a stranger in 30 seconds what has been his lifetime.

We got in the van. He screamed. He cried. He refused to take his Motrin. He yelled. He cried some more. Unfortunately, this went on for the whole 55 min drive through downtown rush hour to his physio's office. And poor Ryan, along for the ride was shuttled to Daddy's car along the way, off to follow Daddy to his appointment.

Once there, he sobbed in the waiting room and begged me to stay. His p/t agreed I could stay only if he worked hard. And work hard he did for an hour. It hurt. It was hard. I could see. Normally, I don't. Now, I see why he hates Tuesdays.

50 minutes home through the last of rush hour, he didn't complain as much. I let him pick out a Bakugan toy at the dollar store. That kept him happy for most of the trip.

Once home, push dinner, a few minutes to play, then bed.

Now, for me, a glass or two of wine... and a few tears.

I hate Tuesdays.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Grotto Canyon

Sunday morning. Sunshine and blue sky as far as the eye can see. Glorious. To glorious to spend in the city. They boys felt it too and begged to go hiking to Grotto Canyon. Didn't take much convincing.

Approaching the mouth of the canyon.

In late summer/early fall, this canyon is easy enough to traverse. We avoid it in the spring and early summer. As you can imagine, the creek crossings become more difficult with spring runoff. Now, they are just so much fun for a 5 and 6 yr old. No wonder they beg to hike the canyons!

The rock is worn smooth where the water rushes by in the spring. It is slippery and so much fun! Imagine the power of that water.

Up to the falls.

Not much water, but more then I expected as it has been so dry here for weeks.

Onto the dry part of the canyon, the geocaches and the 'cave'. In past trips, the boys have begged to climb to the 'cave' but we have always said no. This time, we let them go.

It was rather steep and a few dangerous spots. Here is a rare photo of me waiting at the mouth of the cave (rather just a very very large opening) waiting to assist the boys back down through the steepest, slippery spot.

The safest way down.

Looking back.

After a long day. Ryan crashes, Matthew...never.

What a wonderful day. Nothing recharges my batteries like a day hike in the mountains. Ready to take on the week.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Backyard Visitor

This new visitor has been causing a stir in our yard for a few weeks now.

We think it is a female Merlin and we know when she is about by the number of bird strikes to the windows (despite the decals) as the sparrows and finches attempt a getaway.

We now know, if the yard is quiet, she must be lurking.

Beauty comes in many forms.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

For you Sue

My blogger friend Sue was asking about my clematis. Because I am rather proud of it, I will answer in a post. :)

I planted my clematis a few yrs back. Can't remember how many years. It was one stalk, maybe 2 feet tall. Looked happy, but up against the 12 feet of lattice, I am sure the poor thing felt it had rather big shoes to fill. And fill it has. It has grown from one tiny stalk a few years ago, adding each year to this year where I gave up trying to count the stalks. Every year it grows more.

Last year

This year - it hit the top

A few tips I have for growing clematis.

It loves hot and sunny spots. This is the hottest and sunniest spot in our yard.

It likes to have it's roots shaded. I used to plant flowers below it. Then I had a lovely plant come in from our neighbors yard. This year, the sunflowers did the job.

For winter... In warmer climates then mine, it will survive and grow from where it left off. In my climate, if I want it to continue to grow, I should lay it down in the fall and cover it. Then put it back up in the spring. Sorry, that is not going to happen. What I do is leave it all up for the winter. We put a bird feeder up and the birds move from dry vines and lattice to the feeder. It is right by the kitchen window and makes for a lovely winter show. We have already seen the sparrows start to take cover.

In spring, once it starts to grow, I cut back the dead vine. Last year, up to a foot survived. Other years, I have cut it back to the ground.

I love my clematis.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back to St. Louis

We are booked. Heading back to St. Louis on October 4 for an appointment on October 5 with Dr. Dobbs. Back on October 6. I hate to pull Matthew out of school for two days just as he is finally easing into it but I had no choice.

I am excited to go back and see what he has to say about Matthew's progress, but at the same time, I am nervous to go back and see what he has to say about Matthew's progress.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The End Of Summer

I love summer. I love the heat, the sun, the green grass, the flowers, the wind in the leaves. I love summer.

And, I especially love our backyard in the summer. This year, we had some surprises. The bird seed that the birds knocked out in winter started growing and we now have a small sunflower garden. It is located in a beautiful spot below our deep purple clematis flowers. It has become my favorite spot in our yard.




And, for night time, I wove 400 mini lights for added enjoyment. We love sitting out in the evening, enjoying a glass of wine, chatting with our neighbors here.

I am sad to say that my clematis flowers are falling and today is cool and cloudy. I fear that my summer heat will have to wait until next year. It is just out of reach, and yet, I miss it already.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

And That Is What It Is Supposed To Be Like

Today is Ryan's first day of kindergarten. I can't believe my baby is in kindergarten!

He woke up early, excited, couldn't sleep. Mommy, is it time to go yet? Mommy, I am a big boy today! Mommy, can we go now?!

I had to drop Matthew off at his door a few minutes early so Ryan and I could get around the school to his door in time. Matthew had a few tears but we have been practicing deep breathing (blowing out the candles) and that helped. I told him he could do this, that his friends were right there with him, turned and left.

Ryan got to his door and lined up like he had been prepped. The teacher came out a minute later and took them inside. Ryan turned to me, smiled, waved and said Bye Mommy!

And that is what it is supposed to be like.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Do you ever feel like your life is one big Whack-A-Mole game?

I dropped Matthew off yesterday afternoon and he did great! He was so happy he wasn't crying that while he was standing in line, he turned around, pointed to his eyes and smiled at me. I was so relieved!

Then, after school, he was to play with his buddy J for a few minutes. He came out of the door happy and turned to wait for his new friend. J came out, went to him mom and said "Can I play with D right now?" Matthew's smile faded and he was so confused. Awww. Poor kid.

Then, after 15 min I had to take him to physio. He lost it. He had a 20 min meltdown in the car on the way. And again on the way home. And again as I was setting the table. And again as food was placed on the table. And again as food was placed on his plate. And again as he attempted to eat.

And, as of last night, the nightmares are back.

Got rid of the stress in one place, only to have it pop up in another. I suppose that was inevitable.

Whack-A-Mole games do end sometime, right?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I love It When A Plan Comes Together

I am thrilled to say things are looking up. And by looking up, I mean good for us. I would think that for most parents, where we are now would still be considered difficult. But we are far from where we have been.

Matthew woke Monday morning sobbing at 7 am. Many tears and protests later, I was able to get through to his teacher before school started. I asked if she could introduce the outdoor supervisor to him at recess. She said no problem. I took him to school and he sobbed and told me he was scared of the bell, of all the kids, of all the kids rushing to the building when the bell went. He sobbed in line until he went through the door.

I fretted all morning. Wondering how it was going, wanting to be a fly on the wall... but only if the news were good.

I picked him up for lunch and he said his morning was good! Then he told me he only cried two times. But, really, it is his perception that counts. He felt it was good, so it was good. We added a sticker to our calender. He said he liked being with the teacher at recess, apparently stuck to her like glue. Again, better then sobbing at the door for 15 min.

I dropped him off for the afternoon and was confronted by the playground supervisor. Apparently adults are NOT allowed on school grounds during the lunch hour without a visitor badge. I apologized and said I was unaware as it was not stated in the handbook. To which she replied (rather curtly I might add) that she in fact had never read the handbook but this is the rule. She was so confrontational that it started Matthew crying, who by the way had at that point gone the longest without crying. So now, I have to stop in the office and get a visitor badge every lunch time.

Dropped him off again sobbing. Kids around looking at him wondering what was wrong. Had to detach him from me to get him to follow the line.

Picked him up after school to another it was good Mommy comment. Again, maybe not the best in some people's eyes, but better then where we were.

The mom of the little boy asked if Matthew wanted to play on the playground afterschool rather then go our house. They did play for a few minutes. That was good, but it was not the connection I was hoping for. I wanted the boys to be one on one. No other kids to distract their play. Better connection that way. But better then nothing.

This morning, there were tears again but his teacher said that he actually played on the playground at recess as she was the supervisor today. Her goal for him is tomorrow to play with a friend for the whole recess. She also mentioned that he seemed to be terrified of the toilet flushing. Yup, that's Matthew.

So, not tear free, not "I love school" but much much better. And better days are coming.