Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Dear Blog: April 2017

Hi Blog!

Four days in a row. I know, I'm stunned too. Never say I'm not determined! Our family is really busy, and April didn't disappoint in that department. Here are some highlights:

I did another self-update. 


Always willing to give her insight, Kat made herself available. 


Angela enjoying a good book. She wasn't feeling well this day.
You can tell by the dark circles around her eyes. 
We have learned over the last couple of years
these dark circles are a big red flag. 

Sure enough! Later that day we were in the ER. 
Her ammonia level had skyrocketed. 
Do you remember Gladys the giraffe? 


 We repainted the entire interior of the house. 
That's when I got the idea to white wash the brick. 
I'll never do that again!
I love the look, but what a pain in the neck. That and the 
ceiling is really high and I hate ladders! 
Unfortunately I didn't listen to the painter we hired 
for the walls. I had a specific color in mind. 
Once it was all done, it doesn't look right in certain rooms.
I hate it, actually, and want to re-do the main living areas.
It looks great in our bedroom though! 


We took a family trip to Amos' sending state
and visited the local zoo. We had the entire place
to ourselves! The weather was great and the 
kids really enjoyed it! 

The next day we had court to finalize Amos' adoption.

He is SO handsome! 
We were all ready for court, just waiting to be called in.
Then our attorney came out, "I have bad news..."
The way things were handled on the other side caused 
a lot of confusion for the attorneys and judges involved.
The judge didn't feel comfortable signing the order
so sent us packing. Back to Minnesota we would go,
where the had to start the ENTIRE process over again! 
Yes, that's right. We paid for this adoption TWICE!!! 
We still owe the attorney in the sending state $2000 
that must be paid by January 1st. 
But that smiling face? Totally worth it! 

Got Angela checked into Masonic Children's Hospital
at the University of Minnesota
where the miracle workers attempted to fix her liver once and for all! 
It seems it was a success, and within hours 
we had our spunky, energetic young lady back! 

 Finally got Audrey's bedroom done. 

Before we could blink, it was Easter! 

Big brothers Noah & Tyler 
were in charge of hiding the eggs. 


This guy turned 14! 
So handsome.

Abel requested a chocolate cake.
Hyvee, which is going to take over the world
along with Amazon, makes an amazing truffle cake.


In case you were wondering, your eyes  have not been
playing tricks on you

We welcomed new great niece
Norah into the family.

Dean went back for his second knee replacement. 
Six weeks. Two knees. New pain-free life.

Two little people had been having some problems getting along in school. 
They are both in the same class. Actually, they WERE the class last year. LOL
Anyway, one day I told them 
"If you have a good day, you can have candy when you come home."
This picture is self-explanatory.

Sigh...little girl growing up.

Angela and her good friend Laura love to shoot hoops.

And Asher just likes to hang out in the trees.

Angela's friend Laura turned 21. We loaded all the young adults 
and the moms in our giant white van
and headed to The Metropolis in Eau Claire, WI
for an overnight water park party. It was GREAT fun!

I started a city skyline project in Axel & Abel's room.
(FYI, it's still not done. )

Audrey started  having some suspicious episodes 
that looked very much like seizures. 
She had and EEG done which did not show 
seizure activity, but did show some abnormalities 
in the brain waves. Not really anything we can do about it.

Abel was having a lot of problems in school, 
so I ended up pulling him out and homeschooling him 
the rest of the year. He did really well. I had hoped this would
break the behavior cycle he was on. 

We attempted Miracle League baseball with these four.
Unfortunately we discovered it was  not a good match for us, 
but they sure looked cute in their uniforms! 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Dear Blog: March 2017

Dear Blog,
March was a really busy month for us. Sooo many things! Here are just a few of the highlights:


The first big event was for this guy. He received his first new knee! 

Just as Dean was being wheeled into surgery, I got a call from Angela's school. She told them "My ammonia is too high. I need to go to the hospital."
Umm what? We fixed her liver already! But there was that aspiration pneumonia back in Feb. 
So much to the annoyance of Dean's surgeon, I left that hospital, drove to Angela's school, picked her up to bring to the UofM Children's hospital, where we discovered she was right! Her ammonia was elevated. WHY???? Why when we had already fixed her liver? I brought her home where
a friend met me to stay with her, and I was back to Dean's hospital just as he was being moved from recovery to a room. WHEW! Still...we were going to need to investigate this ammonia business. 

Last month I got my Sous Vide. I started eating steak 
almost daily. LOL Let me tell you, these are THE MOST AMAZING steaks! 


My dear friend, and author, Barb Althoff published a sign language book last year.
She was getting ready to publish the second and had several of
her former students help with the photo dictionary at
the back of the book. In this pic, Axel is signing "calendar". 

Working on our scrabble wall. 
Since I am queen of unfinished projects, I'm hoping
to have it completed by February 2018. ;-) 

Angela, back in the hospital to discover the reason for her high ammonia. 
It was discovered the patch put in 11 months before had opened a bit, 
allowing too much blood to escape from her liver. That means it couldn't get
filtered correctly, causing her ammonia to go up again. From here we 
scheduled another repair that would happen a few weeks out.

Dean and his twin brother Dave 
celebrated 60 years on this earth! 

Some days the hallway time-out spot was 
a  high traffic area. 

That medication distribution system
that I put together last month? Done! 
It is the most organized cabinet in the house. 

Kat is always nearby to keep my company.

See! Always close. 

Angel and Axel attended a performance
by Highland Friendship Club members. Just above
Angela's head is our good friend Katie, who was 
in the performance. 

I joined the rest to world waiting
for April the Giraffe to have her baby. 

March was a busy month. 
Thankfully Audrey was well rested!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dear Blog, February

Hi Blog!

Can you believe it? Three posts in a row. I'm on a roll! In my attempt to catch you up on our life, here are February 2017's highlights:

Me, February 1, 2017


He wasn't sick. He had a pre-op exam in preparation
for his first knee replacement.

Axel celebrated his friend Daniel's birthday.

Amos had a pre-op exam too.

He had been with us 18 months at this point. We thought
his front tooth was just missing. Then one day, it came through! 
At 12 years old!

We picked up Axel's tux. He was very pleased with how
he looked. 

Male bonding moment: Helping Axel dress for the prom.

So handsome! 

These two, ready to go!

For the first time in all his parenting years,
Dean was in charge of doing valentines.

Amos had an MRI, ABR (hearing test)
and got his teeth cleaned. 

We had a few warm days, thrilling Asher
who likes to spend his spare time high
up in the trees. 

Cat continued to nap.

Angela had a dental emergency. 
Note her horrible color? Something is brewing...

I discovered cooking with the Sous Vide method.
BEST.STEAKS.EVER!

Remember that bad coloring? 
She had aspiration pneumonia again. I had my suspicions about her swallow
and this confirmed it. But why? Why now?


I decided to white-wash the brick
in the living room! I loved the look once it was done,
but I will never take on that type of project again. LOL

Rain in February. Amos LOVES rain!