July 24, 2012

:: Camping Fun ::

Caden and I headed east Saturday morning to meet up with the Spokane LPA chapter.  On the agenda was 24 hours of camping fun!
Caden was very excited to go camping .... in the days leading up to our adventure he watched the Peppa Pig camping episode and the Bernstein Bears camping episode .... then had a mind full of questions and thoughts.
When we arrived, First on the agenda was setting up the tent! He brought his license plate to put in front of the tent so everyone would know it was his tent :o)  Seriously, he asked at least 20 times when it was time to go to bed ~ he was that excited to sleep in the tent.
What has happened to camping? .... now the kiddo's play on the iPad rather then in the river ...
You all know how I am about dirt ... and messes .... soaking our feet was a must ... I'm still trying to figure out how a five year olds feet can get so stinky :o(
The Spokane chapter organized lots of fun activities for the kiddos ... including this water relay ... that ended up with the older guys helping the kiddo's out :o)
 The State Park we stayed in was perfect!  The scenery was wonderful and the bathrooms were clean!
Caden was looking forward to having "camping soup" (cup o'noodles) for dinner! ... and insisted his bike was parked next to the tent.
Mr. C was very shy and timid (this is a new trend ~ I'm not liking) the first few hours but by the end of the day he was going in full force! He was getting a little too sure of himself during the Bocce Ball game :o)
Mr. Chatty was very excited when it was finally time to light the fire!
 He was diggin the remote control lantern ...
 Special treat cereal (little "million dollar" boxes) ... and a morning "hike" ... yes, with his rolling backpack ~
 I could wake up to this every morning ~
 Before we knew it, it was time to pack up, play for a few, and say our goodbyes ....
 It was a fun adventure and we cant wait to do it again next year ... and maybe we'll try two nights next time  ... cause even though I'm a Westin girl ... there's a piece of me that loves camping as well!

July 20, 2012

Where Do They Come Up With It?!

One Ornery Cute Boy ~

and One Brown Noser ~

I'm at my desk ... attempting to get bills done.  Caden is "horsing around" behind me .... he's dancing in the mirror, making funny faces, saying "hee hee haw haw".
I'm becoming annoyed because seriously ~ how distracting can the five year old be?! A whole room of his full of toys and instead he has to be right under foot!
I ask him, "are you imitating Phineas & Ferb again" ... he replies, "No, Mom, I'm being you".
I finally turn around to look at him ... to give him the attention he's been wanting.  I say, "show me, how do I look" .... He replies, "Gorgeous".
Seriously .... are they just born this way?!  Such a little kiss ass :o)

Have a Great Weekend!

.... and ya, if anyone has any tips on how to keep this kid "chill" for another week ~ send em my way. Week one = Impossible!

July 13, 2012

Summer Adventures

It's a full time job keeping a five year old entertained .... All day I hear, "Mom, what do you want to do?" or "Mom, what should we do now?"  

After returning from Dallas Caden and I spent the Fourth of July at my parents house.  Caden had his first adventure with a sparkler - Yes, it was daylight - he didn't want to understand the concept of "it would be better at night".
One of Dan's employee's brought us over a whole box full of freshly picked cherries! There are pro's to living in an orchard town ~
We've been edging the grass ... running through the sprinklers ... and taking breaks! 
We went fishing up at the Icicle last weekend. So pretty ... and so nice to get away from our 100+ degree heat we've had all week.  80 degree's seemed cool.
Our yard is in full bloom and our veggies are growing! Love it! But not all of the weeds that appear (do those things really grow over night?!)
 Helping me mow the grass ... on his tractor. How come he has a ride on? and I have a push mower? Mhh?!
.... and finally, we spent yesterday morning in the ER.  Caden hit his head while driving his McQueen car late Tuesday afternoon. He was hanging his head out, looking behind him ... and smack! ran right into a cement pole. Instant bump on his head about the size of a cherry.  We iced it. He ate dinner. He was fine.
Three hours later the neighbors call to see if Caden wants to come over and play in the pool. We head over. He's messing around (imagine that?!) Slips on the wet cement. Falls back and slams his head on the concrete. Game over. He falls asleep about 8:30 and sleeps through the night.
Wakes up yesterday morning. Wants to watch TV in bed with me (usually he wakes up ready to run a marathon). Tells me to make him better. Asks for juice. Ten minutes later starts vomiting.
To the ER we go ... 
So four hours later, after ~ an ER Doctor who is clueless about LP's, a Call to Seattle Children's, a CT Scan, a Blue Popsicle, a little Monitoring, and at least Eight Hundred dollars down ~ we were on our way home!
Verdict - mild to moderate concussion. Keep him "quiet" for two weeks - No wheels, running etc .... Sigh. Clearly they don't know Caden - he weebles when he walks!

Our adventures continue ... "Hey Mom, What do you want to do?" ... Happy Summer Break!

July 6, 2012

LPA Nationals - Dallas 2012

We left my parents house at 4:45 Sunday morning for the airport. Caden was excited to get to the airport.  I truly think he enjoys the flying and airport piece just as much as the destination. He told me a few times over the week he was going to fly airplanes when he gets older (I love how his career choices change weekly).
We arrived in Dallas and hopped in a "slide car" taxi ... Perfect for Caden he loves Mini Vans ans loves Taxis.
When we arrived at the convention, Caden was acting very shy.  I'm thinking to myself, great, his behavior from the party is continuing on. He found the computers at the hotel and he wanted to play games. I kept telling myself it's okay if he isn't social. At least he is here seeing other LP's.
We checked out the Expo (the Expo has several vendors who specialize in adaptation for LP's).  Caden had fun playing in the slide car they had.
Next, we went to check out the city and headed to Target on the tram to get a few things for our stay.  I was told it didn't rain in Texas ... but guess what, it did!  Walking across the skybridge checking out the rain.
Caden loved the DART. The Dart is the public transportation system - tram.  It was the best entertainment. $20.00 for four days of "fun" in Caden's big brown eyes!
Monday morning we woke up bright and early for his medical appointments.  I forgot about the time difference when I scheduled the appointments. His 8:00 appt was really 6:00 our time. Sorry Buddy!
We saw Dr. Ain and Dr. Pauli.  Dr. Ain felt we should get a full MRI of Caden's neck and complete spine. Due to some of the symptoms Caden is expressing.  Dr. Ain was not concerned about the bowing of Caden's legs.
Dr. Pauli is not a fan of radiation/scans unless symptoms are very present.  So, at this time we will hold off on an MRI.  Since our visit with Dr. Pauli last year in Anaheim, Caden's leg bowing has not increased. However his pain level has increased (Caden complains more of leg pain and I see the pain in his face while playing with the neighbor kids). I asked Dr. Pauli at what point we would need to do surgery to correct the bowing. One or all of three factors need to be present: 1-The bowing is rapidly increasing (not Caden). 2-The tissue around the leg bones is degenerating from the constant rubbing of the bowed bone (not Caden). 3 -The pain is so severe he is less active or not wanting to participate in as much activity as before (not Caden).
As far as the hand pain Caden complains of ... Dr. Pauli feels that is a result of the laxity in Caden's wrist (same as his knees).  He suggested using a pen in school rather then a pencil because a pen requires less pressure. Caden wrote his name for Dr and Dr. Pauli noted that Caden has a modified pen grip.
In regards to Caden's sensitive ears and hearing loss. Dr. Pauli would like us to have Caden's hearing evaluated every 6 months.  He doesn't feel hearing aides are needed right now but wants to make sure preferential seating is given to Caden in Kindergarten (already on his 504).  He also explained why Caden's ears are so sensitive. There are little hearing like fibers/hairs that move inside the ear to hear.  Since Caden has hearing loss those fibers/hairs have to move that much faster.  When a loud noise hits those fibers/hairs, they really go nuts because they are already "turned up".  Explains alot and why I always have those headphones or ear plugs handy.
Dr. Pauli also picked up on Caden's "personality" and said he doesn't fear that Caden will be the quiet kid in the corner of Kindergarten ... Neat :o)
After the doctors we took the tram for a little adventure. No destination - Caden just wanted to ride.
After our ride we went into the kids room where the zoo was just finishing up.  We saw a turtle and penguin ~ earlier they had a snake, alligator, and a few other animals.  We were happy to see Miss Madelyn again! 
It took Caden a while to warm up to Madelyn but they soon became best buds again.  We got to meet sweet Lilah in person.  I have followed her through social media for a while. Love these girls. So cute!
One of my good friends from high school picked us up for lunch. We met Chad's wife, had a yummy lunch and fun conversation. We headed back to our room to take a little break and Caden needed to get some "work" done. Then it was on to meet our friends for dinner. Caden was thrilled because he was going to get to go on the tram with his little friends.
Caden and Madelyn are hilarious together! The way they communicate with one another is too much.  Their personalities are so similar! Here they are "discussing" the available routes on the tram.  They are checking out the map posted above the windows on the tram.
We had a yummy dinner with the Camenga's, Roxburgh's and Boykin's.  Notice my child is not in the traditional after dinner picture. Yes, he is in another "dont take my picture phase". Rgh!
Getting "mail" and hopping a ride on big sister Kalyn's back :o)
Here's Caden and Madelyn again in deep conversation about if it is okay to cross the street. I wish we lived closer to the Roxburgh's.  I think these two would constantly have us laughing!
Family Fun night was Monday night.  As many of you know Caden doesn't do well with loud noises, dark places or crowds.  With all three factors in place for the magic show, I figured we wouldn't be attending. But I gave him his earplugs and he followed Sweet Madelyn right on in.
Lilah, Caitlyn, Madelyn and Caden were SO cute sitting in the very front row.  I really wish I had this shot from the front.  During the 45 minutes Caden was up front I kept thinking, I know my kid too well ~ he is going to start wanting to do magic tricks. Sure enough. When he came back to sit with me he pops out his ear plugs .... puts two in one hand then puts one in each hand and tells me it's magic ... all with his grin. Silly Kid!
Caden was sad to end the night. He went to bed in tears and angry telling me I was the "meanest" .... if only he understood it was for his own good :o)
Tuesday morning we were up bright and early again to head to the aquarium with the Camenga's.  It was very hot ... so hot Caden had to share that his buns felt like a toaster - goofy kid! The humidity is awful! On this day I took three showers. Yuck!
The kiddo's got to feed the stingrays at the aquarium.  However you can tell that Caden was totally disgusted with the prawn they were supposed to feed the sting ray.
After our aquarium fun Caden and I ventured out to a mall via the tram.  Hello!  The bugs are huge in Texas but you know what is even bigger. The Malls!  This mall was triple the size of Bellevue Square. Caden was thrilled to find a lego store.
The only thing that kept me from spending oodles was that I didnt' have any extra room in my suitcase and I refuse to pay extra to check my bags.  Serious willpower was needed in this mall.  I had only planned to spend two hours away from the hotel ... but it turned into four hours.
We had dinner with the Roxburgh's again ... Madelyn lost her second tooth the night before.... here are the silly kiddo's showing us they both have lost two teeth.
... and running back to the hotel. With Caden's toy bag in tow.
Tuesday night we met up with the Johnson's.  Cole and Caden hit it off right away.  I feel so lucky to be able to attend these conferences.  The boys can "race" all day and they keep up with eachother.  Caden brought a handful of toys to Dallas (he wanted bring more - I limited him to one bag) that he brought down for everyone to play with.
There were a group of 9 to10 year old boys playing football on the other side of the room we were hanging out in. Cole and Caden wanted to play .... when I asked the older boys if they could play with them they looked at me like I was crazy :o)  So I ran down to the gift shop and got the boys their own ball. They had fun ~ but they are only five. I understand why the older boys thought I was nuts.  I dont think one pass was complete :o)
Playing Hide and Seek ...in which they hid in the same spot every time. Funny Stuff!
We were sad to see Cole leave.  Caden asked when we can go play at his house. Darn Geography!
Taking a little break before our next activity.
Tuesday night, I told Caden he could stay up as late as he wanted.  It was his special night since it was our last night.  His friends were going to the dance ... and Caden wasn't so sure about that. I told him we didn't have to go, but that's where our friends were going.  Then he decided he wanted to peek in the room ... so we did and his response, as looking around at the strobe lights was, "mhh, this doesn't look bad. maybe I want to try it" ... I handed him his ear plugs and away he went :o) I was proud of him for trying something new!
His "dancing" I adore. (the video is dark- Caden is in the center middle)
We headed to bed around 11:00 ... Caden's comments were, "Mom, I'm so tired I don't think I can ever move me legs again" and "Mom, that's sad its our last night and we have to leave tomorrow" ~ Makes every penny spent worth it!!!!
Wednesday morning we packed up the room, ate breakfast and then it was time to say goodbye to our friends!  Four days just wasn't long enough!
Heading to the airport in the town car ... looking for our plane ... thank heavens for technology!
While waiting for our flight he asked, "Mom, how many days's until next summer when I get to see my little friends in Washington DC". ... a while buddy!
Prior to Dallas I was thinking maybe we will take next year off and not head to Washington DC.  I'm sure the plane tickets for that one will be expensive.  But after seeing Caden decide to "come out of his shell" and have so much fun .... we can't skip it!  It's worth every penny!  He is building memories and friendships that will last him a lifetime! I am so thankful for LPA and our LP Family!