Saturday, February 15, 2014

Talk to Me, Brother!

While I was making pizza for dinner, Ben crawled to the dining room and sat in his chair. This is his way of communicating, "I am hungry." I enlisted Sean's help in giving Ben a snack so I could finish cooking. Before I knew it, Sean had the NOVA Chat and was asking Ben, "YES" or "NO" to the question, "Do you want more crackers?"

Ben could not stop laughing as Sean took out the device and found the right pages. He was getting a kick out of his brother using the NOVA Chat. In the end, I helped a bit and Ben answered "YES". He finished the crackers and ate his dinner too.

Later that night, I complimented Sean on the help and attention he has been giving Ben lately. His response, "I want Ben to think."

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love Through Sean's Lens

Sean received a camera for Christmas and here are a few of the snapshots he has taken since then:


Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Days!

Snow at last! About 7 inches, which is a blizzard for us in the Carolinas. I was embarrassed to hear our area was in a state of emergency and the National Guard was deployed in our city. When I told my sister, she said it was fairly normal to call a state of emergency for something like this.

Kids have had one full day of school all week. Between watching the Olympics, playing with friends and sledding, they are living the dream. Logan even declared that losing spring break for this is, "way worth it."

One day, Ryan ventured out with Logan and Sean to a local park for sledding. Later, our long time friend, Brian, picked up Ben and me to check out the sledding. Although Ben was too heavy for us to get up the hill for sledding, he was very pleased to just watch the action from the warmth of the car.

Impromptu snowball fight on our leisurely walk. 

Today, we tried taking a walk with the kids. I pushed Ben's chair about 3 inches through the ice and snow and then gave up. Ryan took over and had a tough workout going around the block. Ben loved every minute of it. By this time, it was 46 degrees and hats and gloves were not needed and this was perfect because Ben refused to wear them.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Bonding Experience

Last May, Ben cracked his front adult tooth on the school playground. After a visit to the dentist, we knew about our options and decided to wait and see. We did not see a reason to rush into a decision.

Today, Ben had this front tooth bonded. The new one matches his other teeth in color, texture and shape. Unless you look very closely, you would never guess it had ever been broken.

We were informed that for the life of this tooth, Ben must avoid hard foods - like biting into an apple or carrot or eating a hard granola bar. We will just wait and see how long this one lasts.

When we were leaving in the morning, Sean asked why I was taking Ben to the dentist since we had our regular checkup a few weeks ago. I told him that Ben was getting his front tooth fixed. Sean's eyes lit up, "Will they pull this one out and put in a silver tooth?" He was disappointed in my answer. And when I picked everyone up for early dismissal because of the snow, the brothers were unimpressed. The broken one was much cooler.

Oh well, can't please everyone. Hoping grandparents think the new one is way cooler.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Sometimes I am my own worst enemy or I don't know something until I know it. Take for instance, I spend a lot of brain power and time remembering to reorder Ben's four medications and picking them up throughout the month. I tried a year ago to get them all on the same schedule, but our current chain pharmacy could not get it done due to insurance regulations. Also due to insurance rules, automatic renewals were not allowed.

Then for the past three months, Ben's pull-ups were not arriving on time unless I called. Sometimes I did not realize we were on the last package until it was too late. An emergency run to the grocery store to purchase expensive pull-ups was made. In addition, the product offered was not really doing what it should have been doing, but I was told it was the only one they offered.

Finally fed-up with Ben's wet bed and umpteen trips to the pharmacy, I contacted Ben's case managers to see about other options. They gave me names of other companies that can provide services for Ben. I called one of the local businesses on the list that provides pull-ups (incontinence services) and pharmaceutical services. After speaking with someone, we setup medication and pull-up delivery to our home. They will call before they come and work to arrange that everything is delivered once per month. Hallelujah!

Perhaps, I am the last to know about these types of services. When I get tunnel vision and a little bit of loyalty to a company or employee, I have a hard time switching. This will save me extra work, heartache and leave some room in my brain to learn something new.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Real Cold War

The US Paralympic Sled Hockey Team played against the Russians a few weeks ago at Extreme Ice Center. With Sochi just around the corner, there were more fans than usual which made the game even more fun.

If you have not had a chance to see a sled hockey team play, check out your local ice rink to see if they have any teams in your area. I promise you will be amazed at the athleticism and spirit of these players.

I interviewed Taylor Lipsett for the article I wrote for Charlotte Parent in September. He was there and had officially made the 2014 team that is heading to Sochi. Go Taylor!

Ben watched the game from the comfort and warmth of the snack bar, eating pizza.