Saturday, April 27, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

I read this just now and had to share it:

This one just might inspire you to act.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dynamic Stander

The physical therapist at school started using the Dynamic Stander with Ben and he seems to enjoy being in it. If he chooses to, he can use his hands to roll the big wheels and move around the classroom. The operative word is "choose".

The staff will have Ben use the stander one hour in the morning, and eventually add another hour in the afternoon. 

I am hoping we can borrow it for the summer.

Cool gizmo!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hope Floats

Kindermourn is a local organization that helps families through the grieving process by offering support groups and counseling. Hope Floats is their fundraiser, a duck race at the US National Whitewater Center. We attended the event last weekend.

15,000 ducks in a cage were lowered down from a crane and released into the water. The winning duck brings in $3500. The little yellow dots you see in the photos are the rubber duckies, think Ernie and Bert in rub-a-dub in a tub.

Not at all enthused by the ducks, Ben got a little love from the same dog we saw a few weeks ago at the whitewater center.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Acting Your Age

Ben will be 10 years old this summer. He is getting taller, stronger and more independent. When I see him do something almost quite age appropriate, I am stopped in my tracks.

This day was one of them.

I never dreamed that Ben would sit at the table and eat his snack and drink without supervision and without swiping the drink and plate off the table.

If he looks a little proud in the photos, you are correct. He knew he was doing something so cool.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


We were fortunate to be given tickets to UNC Charlotte's first football scrimmage ever. This fall will mark the first official season of football at my Alma mater. The sport that has been cause for decades of controversy and elaborate, yet false legendary stories about why a team was not possible at the University.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pay It Forward Day

Thursday, April 25 is Pay It Forward Day

Pay it Forward Day is in its seventh year, and on Thursday, April 25th  you and your family will have the opportunity to participate. Inspired by the book and movie, ‘Pay it Forward’ involves people doing random acts of kindness for others without expecting anything in return. Instead, recipients are instructed to ‘pay the kindness forward’ to others in need, essentially creating a positive ripple effect of giving.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dental Plan

Ben's visit to the dentist to show off his new 1/4 length front tooth proved informative and anticlimactic. After a quick look and an X-ray, it was determined that the root was fine. The dentist explained in a round-about story that included the Baseball Hall of Fame that kids have been cracking their teeth for as long as kids and teeth (and baseballs) have existed. Many do not ever get them fixed.

A bit confused about our options after that story, I still asked what the process would be for replacing the tooth. The bottom line was that with a bond or composite "glued" to Ben's tooth, it will most likely come off again in any number of scenarios. We agreed to try it in the near future, possibly this summer.

The procedure is done in the office, but Ben will have to stay still and that's why I will call in the big guns, a.k.a. Ryan. Eventually, a cap will be put on the tooth, but I believe Ben will have to be put out and based on the dentist's recommendations and comfort level, this will be done in the hospital at a much later date when we combine any other dental procedures.

I will file this in "Things to Look Forward to."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Chip in the Armour

I had a leisurely after school time with Ben because Ryan was home and stress free having finished a couple of exams and feeling caught up on school work. He picked up Logan and Sean from school while I took Ben to physical therapy.

As I was getting Ben out of the car and chatting with the PT, I noticed that I could not see one of Ben's front teeth, the cute adult one that had grown in over the last year. I lifted his lip and 3/4 of it was missing. (I originally reported 1/2, but after Ryan's official inspection he reports the higher number).

Yikes! (I used a different choice word at the time, but "yikes" suffices for now.)

We have a dentist appointment for this coming week to discuss a plan. It seems that this happens often with kids. How come it is the first time I have heard of it? I am sure everyone will come out of the woodwork now with stories of broken teeth.

After speaking with Ben's teacher, she did say he fell on the playground while trying to go upstairs. She had not noticed anything and he gave no indication that he was hurt. Bored in a wheelchair or exploring the great outdoors with a broken tooth - we will take the broken tooth any day.

When we arrived home, I asked Ben if he knew when he hurt his tooth, he said "No" on the NOVA Chat. Then I asked if it hurt, again the same response. Skeptical if he was just answering to get me off his back, I asked if he wanted to watch a video. That answer was a resounding "Yes."

Sean and Logan came to see the broken tooth. Sean's reaction, "Now it is really sharp!" Hadn't thought of that, but he was right.

We will have to post warnings to all - Beware of the Tooth!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Family Portrait

On Easter Sunday, I asked Mr. Terry, the boys' Sunday School teacher and the church's photographer extraordinaire, to take a family portrait. To no fault of his own, these are the results of that session:

Finally one without funny faces, hair pulling, kicking or hiding, but not nearly as fun.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I Won by Losing!

I lost 4% of my body weight in 28 days through DietBet and won $43. 

I started another one on April 3.

Now that I have played I can share what I have learned:

1. A blogger named Beth started the March DietBet game. She set the bet at $25 - meaning if you wanted to join, you had to pay $25 into the pot. Everyone put in the same amount. It was open access, meaning anyone could join.

2. Everyone had the opportunity to win. If you lost 4% of your body weight in the 28 days, you received an equal share of the pot, minus DietBet's fee (5-15% depending on size of bet). For this DietBet, 199 people met their goal, that is almost 50% success rate. Over 2500 pounds were shed between 405 people over 28 days.

3. Dietbet has a simple way to keep participants honest. Send in 2 photos in the beginning of the contest and 2 photos at the end. Both photos are on the scale, one a closeup of the actual reading on the scale, the other a full body of you on the scale. You wear clothes, but no coat, shoes, jewelry, etc.

4. Everything is private - photos are never seen. Your weight can remain private unless you want it seen. Most people's weights are listed as XXX.

5. For March, our pot grew to over $10,000 with just over 400 players.

6. People shared recipes and asked for advice on the DietBet page. For this group, the talk back and forth was encouraging and helpful. It seemed like everyone wanted others to succeed. There was only one guy who tried to "call some people out" but no one responded to his jabs.

7. You can be anywhere to join - it is international!

8. I think it works for me because I am competitive with myself and others. It kept me motivated and I didn't want to lose my $25. It was fun - not a drag. There is no prescribed method to lose the weight - it is up to the individual.

9. Anyone can start their own DietBet and limit access to only friends and family or co-workers, or you can make it an open access game. The bet can be $25 - $500.

One night I researched the social dieting industry and read about the founder of DietBet  just because that is the kind of geek I am. If you want to read more about DietBet from a business standpoint, here are some links:

Diet Bet Media Kit
Jamie Rosen

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Getting Just What I Asked For...

You know that age old saying about be careful what you ask for...because you just might get it. I have been talking about building an accessible bathroom for Ben for a few years. Finally, it looks like it will happen. And now I am saying, ugh! It is a lot of work to make decisions that will have an impact now and for the future.

Currently, we have a 6'x8' bathroom with little to no room to maneuver. As Ben has grown taller and heavier, it has become increasingly hard for me to lift him onto his special toilet seat and get him in and out of the bathtub safely. We knew something would have to change, but we were unsure how it would. Then, our state implemented a program that provides services and support for individuals like Ben. I heard that we would be eligible for financial assistance to modify a bathroom, but I truly did not believe it would ever happen. Alas, it has!

In the past two weeks, I have met with two state-approved contractors. I gave them the big picture - my vision for a bathroom and then they asked the detailed questions that I was sorely unprepared to answer. In addition to the bathroom, we are adding an outside entrance with a ramp that will go out to the street.  Tub or walk-in shower? Sink for wheelchairs? Low or high camode? Aluminum ramp or wooden one? What should the slope specification be? Wooden, metal or fiberglass door?

Unfortunately, Ryan is up to his eyeballs in junior year electrical engineering courses and his help in this is minimal. Since he is the one with over 20 years construction experience, I am feeling overwhelmed and under educated. I know I will be an expert on accessible bathrooms after this is over, and it will be valuable knowledge I can share with others. Right now, it just makes my brain hurt.

If you have gone through an accessible bathroom modification and willing to share your information, websites, photos, please send them my way. I will certainly share what I learn along the way.

Here are some sites I found:

Accessible Bathroom Sinks

Wood Ramp Design

Walk-In Tubs

There are also numerous YouTube Videos about accessible bathrooms.

ADA Regulations - This is a super document created by a company that sells bathroom equipment. Most everything is outlined for sinks, toilets and tubs or showers.