October 29, 2014

:: October Is Dwarfism Awareness Month ::

... and this year, I did nothing unique to raise Dwarfism Awareness, other then to let Caden go about his life, as he does every other day of the year.

Some days the educating becomes exhausting and I start to think - really? - how different is Caden? He's short, that's really it. ... then I wonder if I'm failing as a parent by not educating?!

I keep waiting for Caden to question WHY he is little.  He knows he is little because his bones grow slow.  ... but I keep waiting for him to "dig deeper" into the "Why".

The other day I saw him after recess and he says, "Mom, I'm tired of the girls chasing me at recess. It tires me out. They all know me. Why do they all chase me?" {I love that in his 2nd grade mind he thinks every single 2nd grade girl chases him}.  I said, "well Caden, why do you think they all chase you?" ... he replies with, "because I'm cute because I'm little" ... and I reply with, "well, would you rather be ugly?" .... and he says, "no" ... and off he went.

Just when I think he gets that's he's little or different then his peers
he throws a curve ball at me

There is a boy in the classroom next to him with long hair, it goes to about his shoulders.  A few weeks ago Caden says, "Mom, there is a boy in Mr. X's class that has long hair and looks like a girl but it's a boy". I casually acknowledged him and said, "Yep, there is.  Remember we all look different".
A few days later that boy walked by us and Caden says, "Mom, there's that boy that looks like a girl". Inside I'm thinking, is my kid for real?!  I get down to Caden's level and say, "Caden, remember, we are all different. You're different because your bones grow slow. Would you want somebody to say there is the short boy, every time you walk by?  How would that make you feel?" ... so maybe Caden doesn't get that he's different?  

I know he is continually "thinking" about his size.  He often says, "Mom, will I be this tall when I'm a grown up?" and hold his hand up to a certain height. Or, he will say am I going to be as tall as Curtis {one of our adult LP friends}.  
He was talking tonight, about crossing the street alone.  He says, "Mom, I can't cross the street alone till I'm in 4th grade. When I'm in 4th grade I will probably be as tall as Blake is now (one of his friends in class), and Blake will probably be two feet taller when he's in 4th grade". .... you have to love the curiosity and innocence.

I think the best thing we have done for Caden is kept him involved in Little People of America. We try to make it to as many "local" LP events as possible, I have pictures of him with his little friends in his room and I make sure we are able to attend the National Conferences each year.  
Dan and I disagree on attending the Nationals yearly.  I get that they cost tons of money to attend, I get that we are building a new house that will stretch us super thin ... but I will still make it a priority to take Caden to each National Conference.
Seeing him during that one week of summer makes EVERY penny spent worth it!  The feeling when walking into a National is priceless!  Caden knows he isn't alone and I truly believe our involvement in LPA has kept the WHY Me question out of Caden's life ... {Although, I will continue to anticipate the question}.

If you haven't read them in the past, please feel free to read my previous Dwarfism Awareness post here:  200920102011, 2012, 2013  . Which give many of the Why's of Dwarfism.

Thank You to each of you who are a Fan of Caden ... who have supported him, educated and loved him.  He's one awesome kid! {even though he makes me crazy daily ;-)} ... and we were the lucky ones who won the lottery!

October 22, 2014

Dr Visit & Parent Teacher Conference

This Kid! Seriously, on the days he isn't making me crazy - he makes me laugh out loud.  He acquired these cheap sunglasses from somewhere, they have been floating around the car for months. The other day we get home and he has them on. He says, "take a picture of me so I can see what they look like" ... and this was the facial expression I get ... silly kid!
Last week was parent teacher conferences. Overall Caden is doing good in class. His teacher adores him {surprise} and says he is a great student, and that his citizenship and effort are outstanding. We reminded her to hold him accountable, and not let his size or charm persuade her.

Academically, he is a little below average. If this was two years ago, I would gasp. However, in Kinder and 1st he started the year behind and finished at grade level.  He also despises doing work at home during the summer. All summer long it is a constant fight/struggle to get him to do math or reading.  I know starting behind is the natural consequence when he takes 3 months off!  I know he tries his best in class, does his homework {reluctantly} and truthfully, I feel the math standards for 2nd grade are ridiculous!

We headed to Seattle last week for his Audiology, ENT and Sleep Doc checkups.  I love that the majority of the drive he is content and occupies himself {there are good things about 7!}
His ENT appointment went well. His current set of ear tubes are still in place. They have been in for three years.  The doctor feels that with his still frequent ear infections, the tubes need to stay in {I agree}. However, the down side of that, is he may end up needing ear surgery in the future.  Since the tubes have been in so long. when they eventually fall out, they will quite possibly leave a hole in the ear drum {think similar to a piercing}.  That hole will need to be repaired.  They do that by removing tissue behind the ear and patching it ... YES, disgusting!

Next, was Audiology!  The good news is Caden's hearing has not worsened and has improved slightly.  However his left ear still shows  moderately-severe loss.  He is still in the borderline range of needing a hearing aid.  For now, we will continue to use his ear level FM system at school, and re-evaluate in a year or when his tubes fall out, whichever comes first.

By this point I think he was done with me and the doctors ... chilaxing while waiting for his next appointment.
His sleep doctor appointment went well. It is "fun" to see these doctors on a less frequent basis. The ENT and Sleep Doc have been with Caden since he was a year old, and was so sick ... they have watched him grow up, and I know his sleep doc truly enjoys seeing him {healthy & silly}! It is also fun talking with the sleep tech about our friends who also visit the clinic.  Again, I am reminded how lucky we are to have our "extended LP family".

They were happy that over two years later he is still consistently wearing his CPAP{every night!}. We are going to try a different mask and hopefully heated tubing. Although I'm having insurance issues getting a new CPAP approved since the other one is only 3 years old, and they will only cover one every 5 years. SERIOUSLY!  Sometimes I get tired of battling {rgh!}. The heated tubing will allow us to turn up the humidity without a rash developing on his face and hopefully help with his mouth breathing and dry mouth.

Overall, it was a good quick visit!

This past weekend we headed to Leavenworth for dinner. One of Dan's customers gave him a dinner gift certificate. Little did we realize what a draw "Oktoberfest" was.  I suddenly felt like I was in college again, and realized it wasn't the best idea to have our 7 year old out at 8:00 at night during Oktoberfest ;-)  We had a good dinner ... and listening to these two converse is hilarious!
Our house is still coming along ... *patience* ... apparently our neighborhood comes with horses and our house comes with a pet {I give up} :o)
Caden in his room
... and who says you cant wear your pajamas to the job site. It's Halloween season, right?!
Finally - Look who received "Self Control" for Student of the Month for the the second year in a row?!  Hilarious - because, outside of school we see very little "Self Control".  Nicely Done Buddy!
Have a great rest of the week!

October 14, 2014

{The Building of Our House}

**Patience** ... we knew building a house was going to be tough.  We knew we would disagree ... we knew it would take a while ... but boy! do we need Patience!  The "getting going" has been slow.  Our contractor who is doing the foundation and framing has two other jobs going at the same time {sigh!}.

Customers have always told Dan they appreciate his punctuality and his ability to finish jobs when he says they were going to be finished. He's always taken it as a compliment ... and now we truly get it!

It took some not nice words {Dan calls it contractor talk - I call it embarrassing} to get our contractor rolling.

Finally ... the 2nd week of September we had the footings laid out ...
... and a few days later the footings were poured ...
Making his entrance to the neighborhood .... oh the poor neighbors, they just don't know what they are in for  ... cause, I'm sure they wear night vision goggles with their bike helmets. ;-)
... then the molds were put in place for the foundation ...
.... the last week of September the foundation was poured {watch out for the kid on the hill}...
It's Officially Ours!
Caden LOVES it out here!  These last few weeks, he's been dirtier then he has ever been.  So much so it looks like his skin has changed colors. His imagination soars .... and he digs ... and builds ... and explores. ... he Loves it!
Last week we had wood delivered {wahoo}!
... and the floor joists were put down ...
... and then we had a floor ...
I think he approves!
... and finally, today, October 14th, we have walls {well kind of ;-)}
... *Patience* ... it's so fun to see the progress being made, but we know we have a long ways to go. Caden is convinced he is having his 8th {how can that be?!} Birthday Party at the new house. I'm not so sure Dan will be done by the middle of March, but Caden is setting the bar high :o)

October 12, 2014

::Catching Up::

We've made it through the first five weeks of school. The first week was rough.  The 2nd day the boys got to school right as the first bell was ringing {which set Caden off} and the 3rd day they forgot Caden's backpack.  Dan had to go back home to get it, and Caden ended up in the office with me, in tears, because he didn't have his red folder ... sigh ....
It's gotten "easier" as the weeks have gone by, but still isn't "easy".  The bottom line is Caden doesn't like school.  The math this year is super hard {even the teachers agree}.  The tears are gone {for now-hoping they don't return} and at least once a day I hear I don't want to go school ... I keep hoping it gets better as the weeks go by! 

Dan pulled out his RC car, bought new batteries {it has been put away for 10+ years} and let Caden have fun.  ... I marveled at the view, while the boys played.
... more RC car fun.
"Who you going to call?" .... 
We headed up to Lake Wenatchee a couple of weeks ago to visit Grandpa {Dan's Dad} and Uncle Scot. They were "glamping" for the weekend.  These boys cook some mean meals while camping - BBQ Pizza's.
Caden made a sign for the campground ...
... and he and Cousin Levi found lots of dirt!
Uncle Scot makes the best campfires.
We made a weekend trip to Bellevue ... staying at our home away from home {the Westin}.
Spy Goggles while doing homework.  I have to pick my battles :-) ... if it gets him to do his homework, fine.
Caden and I checked out our RC Airplane park. Super nice establishment ... and now Caden thinks he needs a remote control airplane {not anytime soon! - too much money}.
Silly Boy!
We made a trip to the pumpkin patch with Caden's friend ~ this Patch is so cute!
He couldn't wait to carve his pumpkin. It will probably be rotten by Halloween, but he doesn't care.
A quick wrap up of our last month and a half ... I'll have a new house update, hopefully tomorrow night.
Have a Great Week!