Saturday, November 10, 2007

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite

So we spent last weekend in the hospital with Jackson. What started as simple pink eye turned into an ugly cellulitis infection in the skin around his eye. This family has been through the wringer lately, health-wise, and I for one am hoping that we are now golden till spring. Here's what happened.

First, Mike got sick about a month ago. He had sort of flu-like symptoms. Then Jack got sick, and his was diagnosed as RSV (also pink eye and an ear infection). The next week, just as he was poised to go back to daycare, Maggie got sick with the exact same symptoms, but tested negative for RSV. She was down for 3 days and then we went back to daycare and work for 2 days and Jack got sick again with the same mess as before. Well, things were humming along and he seemed to be improving when I got sick. Whatever it was really knocked me on my rear. Just as I was convalescing in bed (somewhere around hour 15 of sleeping and sweating), Jack's pink eye had cleared up, but his eye was still swollen and red around the outside. Mike took him to the pediatrician and they were concerned about cellulitis. They sent us over to Scottish Rite (the children's hospital) for a CT scan to investigate.

Mike dragged me out of bed and we headed to the ER with Jack. After tons of waiting around (and me lying on the ER stretcher in misery), we got the CT scan. It showed that there was a cellulitis infection in the skin around the eye, but it had not gone back into the orbit of the eye. They decided to admit him for IV antibiotics all weekend. Did I mention that by the end of the day, Mike and I had both developed pink eye as well?

Anyway, Jack was in the hospital from Friday through late Monday afternoon. All went well and he was discharged without incident. He went back to daycare on Thursday and everyone is on the mend (well, by everyone I mean myself).

So there is our latest health adventure. If you are pretty much anybody except for Mike's parents and Ashley (whom we called to pick up Maggie from daycare Friday), you are probably wondering why we didn't call you. There are two reasons: 1) We didn't want to worry you unnecessarily, and 2) I was sooo sick, I was completely out of it. But we are all fine now and looking forward to Thanksgiving and the holiday season. I just have to get through these parent conferences next week first. (Ugh!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

This is fun for all moms. Enjoy! :o)

Frog + Toilet = {Scream}

My recent personal experience has led me to these conclusions:
  1. Unexpectedly finding a frog in your toilet once makes for an interesting, and perhaps amusing, story.

  2. Unexpectedly finding a frog in your toilet again, indeed in a different toilet altogether, creates a rather disturbing and odd phobia in which you stare with great trepidation into the bowl each time you approach, carefully examining every nook and cranny. You then sit in fear, obsessively thinking that a frog is sneaking up on your rear end.

Sometimes people will ask you what you have learned lately. That's what I have learned this week.

Maggie's Artwork

1. 2. 3.

Here are three recent, representative pieces of Maggie's artwork. I think these give a good representation of where she is developmentally with her academic learning. All three warm my heart for their own reasons. The first two are from pre-k during the past week. The third one I found lying around her playroom and I assume was made at home sometime recently.

1. This is a little stapled booklet. What mom wouldn't be moved by a book a child has made which is titled "Mom" as this one is? She explained to me that it's not about me, that's just the title. Also, the pictures inside are of some "bad guys," but no matter. Did I mention the title is "Mom"??

2. This fire truck is really cool. It was a result of a weeklong study of safety at pre-k, focusing on fire safety in particular. She was so proud to tell me, "I made it all by myself." Though I know from past experience that this does not necessarily mean that she actually had no help, I was still tickled by how proud she was, and I think it looks great. Too bad so much of the school artwork is done with construction paper, which has such a high acidity and tends to fade and deteriorate quicky over time. Thank God for modern technology which allows us to preserve this kind of thing.

3. Although her people look disturbingly like aliens, I am so proud as I see these funny little people littering the floor and tables all over our house. Her artwork during the past year has gone from complete "scribble scrabble" (as her 3-year-old class teachers taught her to disdainfully call it) to this recognizable work which includes actual key features of a human being, namely head, arms, legs, eyes, hair, and sometimes a mouth or ears. Around the time of her birthday I had her draw pictures on her thank you notes and she decided to draw a picture of each person. Those also included the people's "bottom" on the drawing. I think she meant their girl and boy parts. Ew on the anatomically correct drawings. But at least she is thinking about true-to-life detail. :o)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Harlem High c/o 1992 - 15 Year Reunion

We went to my 15 year reunion for Harlem High yesterday. I thought this group photo of the graduates in attendance turned out great. Remember to click the thumbnail image to see the full-size version.

A few late Sept/early Oct pics

Here are 3 photos from Stone Mountain Park on 9/29/07, one showing Maggie's awesome writing skills (a million letter A's on the tub wall with bathtub crayons; also she has traced over the places where I wrote her name and Mike's), and one I love of Jack and me from 10/1/07. As I look at these pictures I think about this: Life is not perfect. Maggie needs a haircut, Jack has drool on his chin, my hair is all over my face, Jack looks sort of sad, and it doesn't matter at all. This is our real life, and it is beautiful.

Just a reminder that you can click to get the full size version of each. Some of the previews are a bit fuzzy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My favorite podcasts

Here are some of my favorite podcasts, in no particular order.

If you are interested in checking them out, you can click on the link for the feed and download individual episodes or subscribe. Alternatively, just go to I-Tunes and search for the title. There will be a podcast tab in your results window if you don't see it right away. Again, you can download them one-by-one to try, or subscribe. If you don't have an I-Pod, you can listen on your PC or burn them to CD (though many won't fit on one audio CD). I did this before I had my I-Pod.

What's a podcast?

I love podcasts. I think lots more people would love them too, if only people knew what they are. I have talked to many friends about my love of this medium, only to have them stare at me blankly. "What's a podcast?"

In simple terms, a podcast (notice the word is derived from the word broadcast) is like radio for your computer or handheld device (I-Pod, cell phone). Now you might ask yourself, "Why do I need radio for my computer when I have radio in my radio??" Ha ha. The cool thing about podcasting is that anyone can make a podcast, and so they are available on every imaginable topic. There are some podcasts that play music like your traditional FM radio stations, but most podcasts are more closely related to talk radio, and the beauty of podcasts is that they are available on topics that would never fly on advertising-driven radio where ratings are king.

There are podcasts for scrapbookers, teachers, Christians, readers, techies, knitters, fans of popular TV shows (and probably some unpopular ones, too), those that love humor or the news or politics. There are podcasts that offer advice, podcasts that teach (learning a language is a popular podcast topic), and podcasts that simply entertain. There are even video podcasts that show topics like yoga instruction or directions for crafting.

Many actual radio programs are also now available as podcasts, so if there is a favorite radio program you'd love to keep up with but either isn't available in your area, or isn't on at a convenient time for you, you can download the episodes and listen at your leisure.

The best thing about podcasts is that they are FREE! You can find them on the Web, on I-Tunes, or oftentimes, on the home page of the particular podcast (or radio show) that interests you.

Next up: A list of some of my favorite podcasts.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Aug & Sept Photos

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3. 4.
5. 6.
7. 8.

(Click any photo to see the full-size version.)
1. Maggie's first day of pre-k. Notice the class pet, a dove.
2. Jack's first time with solids. He wasn't too enthused at first, but LOVES to eat now. He eats like a champ.
3. Self-explanatory!
4. Every time Jack takes a bite, he follows with hands in the mouth. Very messy, but very cute.
5. Maggie is cute when she eats also. :o)
6. Maggie at the Yellow Daisy Festival. It was not a good day, but she sure looks cute! :o)
7. Maggie with Ms. Kelly, her speech therapist (since she was 1 year old). I hope she does not kill me for posting this photo. :o)
8. Sleeping prince. What a cutie.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September Updates

Where did the month of August go? I missed it somehow! Well we are really in the swing of things now with our new school year routines. It takes some serious concerted effort between all of us, but we manage to make it to school pretty much on time each day. Yeah, I said "pretty much." I'm still me, after all. :)

Maggie is loving pre-k and feeling very grown up. Her teachers are Ms. Ashley and Ms. Djulsema (pronounced like Jessima). She is learning to write her name! I will have to scan the current version to share.

Jack is the shining star of the infant room at daycare. Every time I talk to one of his teachers they all say, "Oh, we love him so much! He is so good! He is so happy!" They say the same thing at the church nursery. They are always telling us how lucky we are. We know it! We enjoy him too. I just hope that his being so "good" doesn't mean he gets less attention. You know, squeaky wheel and all that. But hopefully his winning personality helps in that regard.

My (Anna's) 15 year high school reunion is coming up in October and I am excited. We both had such a good time at the 10 year. Yes, even Mike--Mr. Antisocial--enjoyed himself amongst a roomful of strangers. This year we are going to take the kids with us to the family event as well, so that will be fun too. More people to tell us how good and happy Jack is and how lucky we are. :)

Maggie had her check-up with the orthopedist yesterday. He checked on her knock-knees (genu valgum) and her toe-walking. He said the toe-walking is okay for now. She has very good flexibility, but we should keep working on her flexibility in her achilles tendon to make sure it's not getting tight. If they decide to do anything about either that or the knock-knees, it will be several years away, maybe age 7 or 8. As of right now he is not sure whether they will need to do anything with it at all.

So I think that is all of the latest from us. We love to hear from all of you also, so don't hesitate to drop us an email, letter, card, smoke signal, phone call, carrier pigeon, etc. I'll get on and post some pics "soon." You know, "when I have time." LOL.

Friday, July 27, 2007

New Pictures

1. 2.


1. Jack is a big boy now! He can sit in his Bumbo seat.
2. Karynne and Maggie at Stone Mountain.
3. Maggie enjoys a Dairy Queen ice cream sandwich. Maybe not such a good idea to let her eat it in the car.
4. Karynne at Stone Mountain (inside the Great Barn).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

End of summer

Maggie is finishing up swim lessons. I think she has come a long way! If only we could drag ourselves to the pool and let her practice her newly learned skills. I know, as if it's some sort of torturous task going to the neighborhood pool! That's supposed to be fun, right? :o)

I finished reading Harry Potter #7 last night. I loved it! If you have read it, let me know and we can talk about it! (That is, if there is anyone out there who is crazy enough to read that huge book in three days like I did!)

Our niece Karynne came to stay with us last weekend so we could go to the Snyder family reunion. We didn't actually get any pictures at the reunion, but got some new pics of Karynne, Maggie, and Jack the rest of the weekend. We went to Stone Mountain Park on Saturday (Karynne's first time) and had fun. We now have a Mountain Membership for the family, so if any of you Atlanta area friends want to go to Stone Mountain with us, we are surely going to be spending more time there in the next 12 months! I'll post some new pics in the next couple of days.


Back to school is coming!

Summer is winding week is the last week of my vacation. It has really dawned on me in the last few days that I am really going back to work and leaving Jack in daycare. That is going to be very hard. Maggie was home with me till she was 16 months old, and here is Jack, not even four months old, going to daycare. He and I had a big talk about it the other day. I did most of the talking. ;o) I told him that he is forbidden from doing major milestones such as first steps and first words at daycare. He seemed to understand. At least, he grinned at me a lot.

On the other hand, I am really excited about the new school year and starting at a new school, Alcova Elementary. Alcova is only about 15 minutes from home, so the commute will be much easier than the last three years'. I had dinner with my new grade level the other night (still on fourth grade) and we had a great time up talking and eating till almost midnight. We also got a lot of things hashed out for the coming year so that we don't have to meet for business during preplanning, which will be more time to work during that week. I feel like I really started to get to know everyone, so I won't be going in blind the first day of preplanning.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Medical Updates

It has been a rather long while since any medical updates were posted anywhere for us, so here is the lowdown.

  • Maggie had a sphincter pharyngoplasty last August to make the space at the back of her mouth/throat smaller. This was supposed to help with speech, because her soft palate in the back was not large enough and moving enough to close off her nose (which is necessary for most of the sounds we make). The surgery was a success in that the space was tightened up a huge amount, but she is still not getting closure back there. The soft palate just moves very little.
  • Our next step is to try an appliance. This will look like a retainer, but will have a long extension designed to cover the hole that goes up to the nose. The speech doctor and the surgeon hope that this will help her to strengthen the muscles back there, to unlearn some bad habits, and to start to hear herself using better speech immediately. The appliance is supposed to be fitted at the end of this month.
  • Maggie's tonsils are very large (so are mine--I think it runs in the family), and the speech doc is now recommending tonsilectomy (again). He believes that the large tonsils are causing muffled speech. I have calls in to the plastic surgeon and the ENT requesting that they confer and let us know if they both are on board for tonsilectomy. If so, we will go forward with it.
  • Maggie's brother Jackson Walker Colley was born April 18, 2007, with no medical problems whatsoever! Wooo-hooo! He has a beautiful palate. His chin did look small, so we wondered if maybe Maggie's micrognathia might just be a family trait. He does have reflux, though not as severe as Maggie's. It is controlled well by meds.

That's all of the medical news for now! Thank you to everyone who regularly keeps us in your prayers! :o)

More Hilton Head Pics

More pics from our HH trip. That is not me, that is my sister in law, Nikki. I'm behind the camera, not in front of it! :o)

Hilton Head Island

The last time we went to the beach was when my friend Annie got married in 2004. I have always felt a close connection to the ocean, and I was really missing it, so shortly before Jack was born, I started pestering Mike for a beach trip. He surprised me by planning a trip to Hilton Head Island (our first) June 30-July 4. We doubled our fun by inviting Karynne, Nikki, and Mike. Karynne is our six year old niece. We had an awesome time, even though the weather didn't totally cooperate.

We went on a dolphin cruise which resulted in an amusing story. We expected to be on a large, covered boat, but got there to find out that they were taking out the smaller boat that day instead. What's worse is that we ended up in the stern (rear) of the boat, in full sun (with a two month old!). Needless to say we weren't too happy about that. I was really worried about Jack. Then as we were leaving the dock we notice these huge storm clouds coming in. We went all over the place and the captain was pointing out all sorts of resorts and fancy homes, but no dolphins anywhere. It was hot and miserable, and then it became more overcast and even drizzled a bit. Finally after probably 45 minutes to an hour of nothing, we find the dolphins! It was thrilling! We saw them flirting with some boaters, begging for food and following in their wake. I was snapping pics like crazy. The boat trip was redeemed. Well as we've debarked and are on our way back to the parking lot, Maggie and I have the following conversation.

Me: Did you enjoy the boat ride, Maggie?
Maggie: Yeah.
Me: Did you enjoy seeing the dolphins?
Maggie: [noncommittally] Yeah.
Me: You did see the dolphins, right?
Maggie: No.
Me: All those times, you never saw the dolphins once??
Maggie: I don't even know what a dolphin looks like!

Oh well.

Swim Lessons

I found the princess on the bottom step!

Miss Sierra

Miss Jennifer

Maggie has begun swim lessons at the Winder YMCA and will continue daily during the week through the end of the summer. She is having a blast! I am hoping that she will develop enough skill in the water that she could swim at our neighborhood pool without my being in with her. That way I could take Jackson and her and not have to worry about leaving him on the deck while I get in with her. Here are some pictures of her with two of her swim teachers, Miss Sierra and Miss Jennifer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Yellow River Game Ranch

We visited Yellow River Game Ranch on June 16 and got to see all sorts of cool animals. The skunks didn't smell as stinky as the last time I visited when Maggie was just a baby. She really enjoyed seeing all of the animals and feeding them! Note to self: Wear closed shoes next time. It's too gross for flip-flops.


Welcome to our new family blog! I am hoping that this will be an easier way to keep everyone updated on our family adventures (and all of those pictures everyone loves) now that the family has grown and time seems harder to come by. Drop me an email if you'd like to receive an email whenever the blog is updated. I've lost the old list. (Sorry, folks!) Thanks to Tracy and Jeremiah Eye for the idea to create a family blog!