I scooped John and the kids up and took them to Maine for the weekend. We had a great time although I had promised to tray and do some sledding or snow tubing. We met a family of chickens and a herd of alpacas, went swimming and hot tubbing and took the kiddos into a sauna for the first time. We even brought home 3 dozen farm fresh eggs which have already begun the transformation into baked goods.
Here are some of the pictures which I will directly share from facebook (you don’t need a facebook account to see ‘em).
We had THE BEST time! Here is my favorite picture of Rachel from the weekend. Just goes to show that you don’t have to see well to have a fun and full life. Experiences like this are more valuable to Rachel than to a sighted child because of her tactile senses.
I think I think I did a sufficient job at flipping Batten Disease off this weekend. Tomorrow morning we’re going ice skating for an hour. Can’t wait! Gotta get them into a swimming pool more often. They love the water (just like their Momma) and love the hottub (just like their Daddy).…
2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
1 tablespoon grated onion
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup peanut oil for frying
1. Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
2. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together.
3. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot,. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot!…
I’m an upbeat person.
But this week when I was setting up 529 Savings accounts (through Upromise) for 3 out of 4 of my children, I became really, really depressed.
Her new meds are working well so right now I am focusing on TODAY and enjoying TODAY. Tomorrow might suck but as long as today is good I can handle the distant future.
What are you doing this week (or weekend) to enjoy the TODAY? You might not have a tomorrow so make sure TODAY counts.…
Julie had a nasty migraine last night, her first one ever. I was looking up online and found that people who “get migraines” generally start getting them as early as age 5. I hope it was a one time thing because she was in a lot of pain through the night.
London has the sniffles and Boston is grouchy so I’ve kept all 3 of them home today. It was a half day for all of them today anyways (Rachel is the only one @ school today… weird change).
I went to look at a house for rent nearby, one that is all one level with no steps to get into it. I am going back tomorrow with some measurements to see if our stuff will fit (mainly our couches and king size bed). Its a small house but would be great for us as Rachel slows down and starts having more mobility issues. Not knowing when mobility issues are going to become a real problem is really hard because I’m a planner. She is already needing help to get up and down the stairs to get into our house (but she goes up to the second floor by herself).
Updated Entry at 5pm
Julie and I just made some cupcakes, London is playing Webkinz and Boston has been begging to look on amazon for toys all day. I made several donation runs of clothing (etc) today and did a good house clean out. I’ve started recycling but looking for free ways to recycle. So far I’ve found where to recycle clothes, paper, soda cans and plastic bags for free. And I’m trying to compost but haven’t bought an indoor composter (New England isn’t the best place to compost in the winter, I guess).
Do you compost? Share some info with me because I’d like to be better at it. …
Good week. Everyone was exhausted at bedtime tonight since it was the week after vacation. I took the kiddos ice skating on Tuesday and we’re going again this weekend. Next week I am taking Julie and London for their first day of skiing at a nearby mountain. I can’t say that we have the money to do all this fun stuff, but I can say that life is so stupidly short that I don’t see a choice.
Rachel is off the stimulant medication because I wasn’t seeing any difference. We’ve been waiting to see a NCL specialist neurologist in boston for quite a while but have just been informed that this neuro has gone on an immediate medical leave and Rachel’s appointment has been rescheduled for the end of april. I was telling our primary care all of this on Wednesday at Rachel’s follow up (which was also the same night that I had apparently scheduled Julie’s physical) and the primary care doctor agreed to let me give risperdal a shot. Quite a different medication than adderal but I am really hopeful that this medication will increase her quality of life and place Batten Disease on the back burner where it belongs!
Julie’s physical went well, she is absolutely perfect. She got her first shot (since she was about 4 months old) – the MMR, and had a lead test. The doctor heard a heart murmur that we had never heard before and has referred us out to a pediatric cardiologist so we can have it checked out. Its statistically going to be nothing but the doc and myself both agree that it needs to be checked out.
Last but not least, Rachel and Julie are selling girl scout cookies. If anyone wants to buy some, let me know!!!!!! Feel free to email me @ email@example.com and you can either buy some boxes or sponsor some boxes and I’ll donate them to the next school function for the kiddos / teachers. Its up to you. The girls are excited to sell a couple of boxes, I am NOT excited because I cannot control myself near the caramel delights. …
Took the kids sledding in the morning, stood next to the shore in Hull watching the waves crash against the wall. Spent the afternoon taking all 4 children ice skating (RACHEL, TOO!!!). First time on the ice for Julie, London and Boston and they did great! I plan to go back next week with Rachel (and then some) during their free skate because it is supposedly very quiet during the week.
I asked the kids which activity they preferred and London was the only one who liked ice skating the best, the other 3 felt sledding was more fun. Rachel was a little hesitant to go sledding (can’t say that I blame her) but I went down with her the first time and shoved her ass down the hill the second time. After that she couldn’t get enough!
John went sledding for the first time in his life today and is quoted to say “that was fun.” I know he liked it more than that but we’ll take it.
Today rocked! I have a few iphone pics to share tomorrow.…
Having to explain to my 9 year old daughter who can’t see very well that she can’t learn to ice skate really SUCKED! If only for one winter, I wish that Rachel can ice skate. Please let it be possible.
Earlier today Rachel told me the money she is saving is for a car. I gently reminded her that she can’t drive a car and she said her “person helper” would drive her in it. I told her she should have Julie drive her.
This sucks so hard. A nightmare. I have noticed she is having a harder time identifying her siblings. As of late she would confuse her brothers but now she can’t differentiate between her sister and brothers. She’ll walk into a room looking for me and if I don’t immediately answer her calls of “Mom, Mommy?” she immediately walks out because she can’t see me. Such a good kid that deserves a full life. I guess I better get moving because I don’t have as long as I expected. Its a very painful lesson. I’m currently looking into planning some mini trips for us when the weather warms up, doing things that can be DONE rather than just seen.
Lots of rage today from her. Her emotional filter is apparently on vacation (hopefully not a permanent one). I’m grateful, in some ways, that Julie, London and Boston are so young because they are doing great in the face of our daily life. But its hard because they cannot grasp the concept of her recent blindness and can’t remember to “keep the floor clear” (or she’ll trip and fall or break their stuff out of sheer frustration). Most adults I know can’t grasp the concept of her recent blindness, either. What does that tell you? My little 3 are awesome with her. I’m starting work with having them identify themselves to her but that will take time.
DO NOT TAKE YOUR LIFE FOR GRANTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…
is drawing to a close and I’m up by myself tonight (a special shout out to our cat, Krabs, who is sitting next to me while I type). Christmas was good, we went to my Mom’s for Christmas eve and raced home to put out the reindeer dust, milk, cookies and carrots. Santa brought Rachel the “babydoll” stuff she asked for, PIXOS for Julie, an army tank for London and the Buzz Lightyear “yard” that Boston has been talking about non stop. It was a really nice day and the kids have finally calmed down from all of the excitement.
Today I brought up our Geotrax stuff that has been sitting in the basemenrt for at least a year and the kids played with it for HOURS. For whatever reason we don’t have a complete remote control train for the set (either the RC or the train but not a matched pair) and I looked everywhere. The kids manually pushed the trains for hours and had such a good time. I was going to play with the wii fit tonight but I didn’t have the heart to put away their train stuff. They are such good kids
I am absolutely broken over Rachel and what her disease will mean for her future. It is so unfair and I try not to think about it because I just cry hysterically and it doesn’t do me any good. I’m very good about keeping my emotion hidden, especially when I have to. She made me a box for Christmas at school with her paraprofessional with a little note that she had me read out loud. And here I am sobbing but doing everything I can to not let her hear my voice crack. Her hearing has become quite acute as her vision has been failing and she picks up on things she didn’t used to.
I hate this disease and how powerless she is. There is no fighting what is to come. No treatment. No hope. My child is slowly fading away and is generally unhappy, anxious, unsure and not living a life filled with quality and happiness.
And all I want to do is crawl under a rock and die for every moment that I fuss at her for things out of her control. The natural guilt of motherhood has always been difficult for me but it is borderline suffocating now. Balancing 3 presumably normal children who make a lot of noise and hopefully have very long lives ahead of them while taking good care of Rachel and making sure she has good moments and opportunities in her short life. That balance is absolutely impossible to strike and fills me with incredible guilt.
And while I have this inner symphony of juggling and guilt and batten disease and giving them good childhoods, I put a smile on my face and take them places and cook them dinner and show them how to “whack and unwrap” a chocolate orange and making sure they use the correct “Terry’s” terminology. How do you have a normal life in the face of the disease? I’m not sure of the answer but I do know that I am working my ass off to try and make things normal and wonderful and happy.
The kiddos and I already planning to make edible valentines for all of their classmates instead of the lame box o’ cards.
We’re also planning to learn how to make the PERFECT homemade Carrot cake to celebrate the birthdays of my mom, brother and his girlfriend (in March). Anyone have a good recipe?…
Gosh this has been a busy couple of UNEVENTFUL weeks! Just the way I want it! We had THE REAL Santa and his Elves pay a visit to our house on Friday night, complete with presents for the kids, the cats and Holly (our dog). The kids were SO excited!
This week is a short week at school and on Wednesday they are having “Polar Express” day and I’ll be going in to help out with that. Today at 12:30 a blind man is coming into Rachel’s special ed class to talk about being blind but Rachel gets out of school everyday at 11:15 so I’ll be bringing her home for lunch then taking her back in. I hope I get to stay and listen to him speak.
I hope everyone is enjoying this Holiday Season. I have plenty of pictures to post and will get around to doing that this week before Christmas.
Now tell me, what are your family plans this week? My children and I LOVE this time of year! If you quickly type out your traditions I’ll read them to my kiddos and maybe we’ll adopt some of your traditions. Thank you!!…
Our kiddos had their picture taken with Santa near the Paragon Park Carousel.
Rachel, Julie, London and Boston with Santa
Rachel on the Christmas Carousel Horse
No Batten Disease in these pictures! …