Dental surgery- check

One of the first things we noticed about Kai was that his teeth were terrible. He had several teeth that were turning black.

Obviously we knew this was going to have to be taken care of. Within a couple of weeks of being home I took him to the dentist. At that time Kai was so terrified of anyone that looked remotely medical, and it is only through his open mouthed screaming that the dentist was able to get a quick look and immediately told me that he was going to need a specialist who could sedate Kai in the office.

2016-10-06_0001It took me a little bit of time to find a dentist that I felt good about. We met her in her office, and I talked to her in depth about his need for sensitivity due to his trauma reaction with medical procedures. She seemed like a good fit, and we scheduled his dental repair.

That day is one that still could make me cry. Despite our conversation about Kai and my written paperwork reminding the staff that he needs special consideration and careful, sensitive treatment, that is not what occurred. Kai was strapped onto a table while I was forced out of the room and the anesthesiologist repeatedly poked him trying to get an IV, all the while he was SCREAMING for me. After what felt like an excruciatingly long time to me, they allowed me to come get him and shrugged saying they couldn’t get a vein. I was livid. I demanded my deposit back and let them know in no uncertain terms that I would not be back.

So at this point the dental work just had to go on the back burner for a while considering Kai has had so many other medical procedures that had to happen.

Finally I found a dentist in our city who specializes in “child trauma dentistry”. A winner! I didn’t know that there was such a thing, but I am forever thankful that there is and that I located her! From the first moment in her office she approached us both with kindness and gentleness, and I knew that we were in the right place.

2016-10-06_0002Kai’s dental work was so extensive that it had to be done at a surgical center under general anesthesia. He had to have a tooth extracted with a spacer placed, 4 crowns, and multiple fillings. It took almost 2 1/2 hours. The good news is that his teeth are restored, he is feeing great today, and no part of the experience was terribly traumatic. I was able to hold him until we got to the operating room, hold his hand and talk to him until he fell asleep, and hold him within a few minutes of waking up. This is what this child needed.


SO glad to have this one behind us, and to have Kai’s new, happy and silvery smile. πŸ™‚

And for him the best part was that the tooth fairy came to him that night and brought him the “Best Beprise Ever!”, a new toothbrush and four quarters. πŸ™‚

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A Puppy- that is what we needed

2016-09-15_0003That seems to be the most frequent response when people hear that we got a puppy. “A PUPPY? That’s what you needed!”

I understand this response. We have five busy kids and a dog already, and everyone knows that puppies are exhausting. What were we thinking?

Honestly, we were thinking that our boisterous but loving crew could handle the expansion. πŸ™‚

Years ago when we had 2 dogs we said that we never wanted to have just one dog again. It is good for a dog to have a companion. So with that, we began our search.

I took the kids to every rescue organization that I could find. I took them so many times that they didn’t think it was fun anymore, because they no longer believed that I was actually going to choose a dog. They kept asking me what exactly I was looking for, and I had to keep telling them that I wasn’t sure, I just knew that I would know the right dog when I saw it.

Finally we found a dog that fit most of what we were looking for. This mostly meant that he would remain small but still had the potential to be a dog that could run with our lab. He also touched my heart. He was a terrified little thing. When I picked him up his whole body shook and shook. He had a sign on his pen that said that he needed to go home with a particular stuffed fox. A staff member told us that he had been so scared when he arrived at the humane society that he just stayed in a corner curled up in a ball. One volunteer brought that toy in for him from home and he immediately seemed happier. He bonded to the fox and then started coming out of his shell to interact with the staff.

We decided he was the one for us!Β πŸ™‚


In the next couple of days we found out that he had a tough beginning to his life. He had a skin infection, worms, and a bacterial infection. He had been overridden with fleas so badly that his hair was thin in several places. The vet said that he almost certainly had been living on the street. He also ended up in Β a shelter over 4 hours from here and then was relocated. The poor little guy. That is a lot for a 4 month old puppy.

Amazingly, his fearfulness only lasted that first day home. It was like he immediately knew that he was safe now, and he was so happy.

I have to say, I am so happy we made this move. This little guy has fit right in like he belongs here. He has bonded well with Clover, and he is completely patient and tolerant with children handling him most of his waking hours. He is playful and sweet, and seems to be picking up the rules pretty fast. (We are still working on that sleeping all night thing. He really seems to like 3:30 in the morning).

Fletcher, I’m so glad you came to join our circus!

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Preschool Begins

This is once again an overdue post, but Kai finally started school! He had had enough of the days with all of his siblings in school. Every day he asked, “Can I PLEASE go to school TODAY?”

I was so thrilled for him when I could say “Yes!”

This day marked a big one for me. It was the last first day of preschool. For the last 10 years I have had a preschooler, and this will be the end of that era. I will save the rest of my angst about that for my end of the year post. For now, I will just celebrate that Kai is healthy enough to go to school, and he is eager to go every single day. And I remain forever thankful for this school where he is loved and nurtured, and for the teachers who have encouraged me and encouraged my children all along the way.2016-09-15_0001He even gets to be the big cousin going to school, which is a big deal when you are the littlest of five kids at home. πŸ™‚


Have a wonderful year sweet boy!

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Back to School 2016

Uggggggg, it is here again. School. I understand that it is necessary, I just wish that it wasn’t.

The lunches, the homework, the hours of missing my kids. I just really could do without all of these things.


Hannah actually broke us in starting first grade last week.


Hannah LOVES going to school, so this was an easy one. She was thrilled that morning and thrilled when I picked her up and she yelled, “Now its time for after school SNACKS again!!!” (as if she didn’t get snacks in the summer time??)

My oldest 3 started today. Z in 6th, D in 4th, and K in 2nd. They were all feeling pretty good this morning. I am counting down the hours until I can pick them up.

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179 days until next summer. It can’t come fast enough for me.

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Summer Wrap Up

How does it go so fast? I love summer SO much, and I try my best to savor the days, but no matter what I do they continue to fly by. Here are some of my favorites moments from this year.

Kai and I went back to Ohio for his post-surgery check. Another couple of days at the Ronald McDonald house and an all-clear. πŸ™‚


At our house, June is devoted to swim team. There aren’t many activities that have a place for every child in our family, but swim team works for us. We love the time with our friends, and we have a rock star coach that makes everyone excited to go the the pool every day.


Swimming has become especially important to Z. I told his coach this year that swimming filled a hole for him that I didn’t even realize was there. With her encouragement,Β he began swimming year round, and through that experience he has gained more confidence all around. He has seen the benefit of hard work, and he has found an activity that he truly loves. It makes my heart want to burst!


We even got to see this special guy again at a swim meet. πŸ™‚


Of course our house is a tennis house too, so there was plenty of tennis going on. Miss K particularly loves playing.


I peaked on my father’s day gift this year, giving my husband and my boys a night at a Weird Al concert. There is nowhere I can go but down from there. They reportedly had an “epic” time. πŸ˜‰


We celebrated the 4th with our annual bike parade in the mountains, and fireworks with family.


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Family time is the best part of the summer, and this year was full of fun times with our cousins.



We also had some fun times with friends, including a trip to the mountains and a rafting day.

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D has been learning to play the guitar.


We had a fantastic trip to the Florida panhandle with family in July. πŸ™‚2016-08-10_00032016-08-10_0001


Z and I got to watch the U.S. Olympic swim team practicing. So much fun!


We closed out our summer with a family day at the lake, tripsΒ to the zoo, the Childrens’ Museum, ice cream, and a movie. We like to close it down in style.


Good-bye Summer 2016. I will be eagerly waiting your return next year. Only 180 school days, right?


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