Christmas 2012

We had a wonderful Christmas but it felt a little strange this year not having Nanny Karen in town. We hope that she will be back with us next year.

Liam just managed to keep himself off the naughty list and got both of the Santa gifts he wanted: an Imaginext Batcave and a Lego Batman airplane & Joker helicopter set. The only thing missing was a white Christmas, tho we did have a cold one.

I’ve enjoyed my time off from work and Liam & I’ve both quickly become very accustomed to sleeping in late each morning, so it’s gonna be tough going back to real life again!

I’ll leave you with a few pics from Christmas:

Liam tub Santa

A Russian “Onion Dome” Christmas ornament

Sprinkling out reindeer food on Christmas Eve

(And making quite a fashion statement with the Agent P hoodie and Lightning McQueen slippers!)

Playing with the awesome Imaginext Batcave

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and I’m looking for 2013 to be a great year for all of us!

Thanksgiving 2012

Wow, I am so behind, two holidays have already come and gone since my last post! I’ll start catching up with Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving week our original plans were to meet up with some friends in Orlando for a week of Disney fun. On the morning we were to leave, I woke up feeling dizzy and could barely walk because the room was spinning so badly. I worked my way into the shower only to make things worse. As soon as the water hit me, I started throwing up and couldn’t stop. Rob took me to the doctor’s office and I’m still thinking the doctor can fix me and we can make our flight in 3 hours. Boy was I wrong!

His diagnosis was an inner ear infection and he gave me a shot for the nausea, antibiotics and steroids. He told me there was no way I could fly with my ear infection. Rob broke the news to Liam and he was so sweet about it and was just worried about me and not missing the trip. Best kid ever, more worried about his Momma than missing Disney!

I was out of it for the next few days. My ear was not feeling any better by the weekend so I went to an urgent care center. The doctor there confirmed that I had an inner ear infection and just needed to give the meds time to work.

On Monday, I returned to my regular doctor and told him it had been a week and my ear wasn’t any better and I had finished all my meds. He gave me different steroids to take and told me it would take time. I just knew something wasn’t right because I have had ear infections before and this one wasn’t the same.

I scheduled an appointment with an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) doctor and couldn’t get an appointment for 2 weeks. Luckily, a week later, the ENT office called and said they had a cancellation. The doctor examined me and told me that I did not have an inner ear infection. His diagnosis was sudden sensorineural hearing loss. What? He said that it was unfortunate that I hadn’t been diagnosed sooner because the best chance of recovering my hearing was within the first 72 hours after it occurred. I was now 14 days out and he said he wouldn’t even treat me if I was 21 days out. He also said that it is common for general doctors to misdiagnose this as an inner ear infection because it is not that common and has all the same symptoms.

Over the next week, I did 3 treatments of cortisone injections thru my eardrum into the middle ear. Yeah, it was as pleasant as it sounds. None of the treatments had any effect on my hearing and I had to persuade the doctor to even do the 3rd treatment. I figured I had nothing to lose doing all 3 treatments. In the end, the treatments didn’t help but I would’ve always wondered had I not done the 3rd one.

He is not certain what caused it, my blood tests and MRI did not show anything, but his best guess is that it was some sort of viral infection that I had that attacked my ear. I now have only about 10-20% of hearing in my left ear and constantly hear a high-pitched hissing in that ear that is called tinnitus.

A few days before Christmas they made a mold of my ear for a hearing aid fitting. He is hoping that the TransEar type hearing aid will allow me to regain my ability to distinguish sound direction again. It should be ready for me to test sometime after the new year.

I still can’t believe this happened and I hold out hope that my hearing will return on its own one day. In the meantime, I hope that reading this post will help someone else if it happens to them. If you ever wake up dizzy, throwing up and have problems with your ear, RUSH to the emergency room and request an ENT. The faster they start the treatments, the better chance you have of regaining your hearing. If anyone reading this has had sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSD), I would love to hear about year experience and outcome.

Up next…Christmas post!

Halloween 2012

I’m a little late getting our Halloween post out here and I know all of you that are still reading our blog have been eagerly awaiting this. 😉

In keeping with the superhero theme that Liam began last year as Spiderman, this year we moved from red to green as in The Hulk. I must say he made a pretty scary-looking Hulk and he was a bit obsessed with his muscles.

The costume was enough to frighten a few of the smaller kids that he encountered until he took his mask off so I guess you would call that a successful Halloween costume!

I did a little Halloweening myself at work. I dressed up with a couple of my co-workers and put together a quick costume as Dr. Seuss’ Thing 2 from “Cat in the Hat.”

We didn’t win any awards for our costume but it made for a fun day at work. I think we might have even motivated a few others to dress up next year.

First Grade

I can’t believe my baby is already a 1st Grader!

first day of 1st grade

He’s off to a great start on the new school year. We made the decision over the summer to move him to a private school this year. Although we loved the elementary school he went to last year — especially the principal Mrs. Voss — we were not happy with the after school options (or lack of) and we were not happy with all the other problems associated with public school. With the population growth of our city in the past year, the public school class sizes continue to rise. Since school started 2 weeks ago, 2 of the elementary campuses are already at full capacity. So we felt that Liam would benefit from a smaller class setting and since we aren’t the best parents at getting him to church, we are very happy that he attends chapel and Bible studies are incorporated into his curriculum.

We tested the waters over the summer by enrolling him in the school’s Summer Camp to see if it was a good fit for him. It worked out well and it was nice to see some of the bad influence that he had picked up from the kids at Kindergarten and the after school daycare he was going to last year disappear. And especially after meeting his teacher and hearing all about what the Carden curriculum is going to cover, we’re looking forward to what we hope will be a very successful year of learning!

Kinder Class of 2012

kindeergarten graduation photoLiam has officially graduated from Kindergarten!

It’s been a long year of learning for all of us. We had no idea how difficult the transition from daycare Pre-K to public elementary school Kindergarten was going to be.

Apparently life in Pre-K, even though it seemed well-structured, was still mostly about playing and doing things on your own schedule. So going to a class setting where all activities are highly-structured took a bit of a toll on our guy. We thought all hope was lost for the first few months, but after the Christmas break things worked out and he adjusted to the routine and even won a citizenship award by the end of the year. We’re so proud of our little guy and still totally amazed that he can now read books on his own.

I’m glad Summer is finally here and we can all relax and enjoy the next few months before first grade starts!

Liam’s 6th Birthday

Our baby boy turned 6 years old Saturday. I can’t believe how fast he’s growing up!

The theme of this year’s party was Finn McMissile / Secret Agent. It was a pretty easy theme to work with: Cars 2 and spy stuff. We took a risk and booked a pavilion at Liam’s favorite park for the party. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and the plans went as scheduled.

The main activity we lined out was for each of the kids to build their own marshmallow blaster (a.k.a. the RoboBlaster® — thanks Dave!). Per Bob Schmidt’s instructional video, Rob cut the ½" PVC pipe into the various lengths needed and Liam helped sand the burrs off of the cut edges, then we made Ziplock bag kits that included a homemade assembly diagram. The kids & parents assembled them at the party, then we passed out bags of ammo (mini-marshmallows) to all the kids and turned them loose. The kids had a blast (rimshot!) playing with them and it made a nice party favor for each of them to take home.

Below is a video slideshow of some of the party highlights and I think you’ll agree from the kid’s faces that the party was a big success. I know we had one happy, exhausted boy when we got home!

Gotcha Day – 4 Year Anniversary

We celebrated Liam’s 4th Gotcha Day by going out to Rosa’s for dinner. I’m guessing he picked Rosa’s because he LOVES their chocolate cake. On the way home, we stopped by Donna’s house to take our annual stairway comparison photo (see below) that shows Liam in 2008 on his way out of the baby home compared to today. It’s a reminder to me every year of how much he has changed and how fast he is growing up.

We got off to a rough start this year with Kindergarten but since the Christmas break things have been going great at school and his after school child care. They informed me today that he has been picked to be the Star of the Month at the child care because he did so well in January and his Kindergarten teacher gave him a reward for his good behavior. I’m so happy that he is finally adjusting to all the changes he had this year.

Most of all, I think he has learned the most important thing in life…that chocolate will always put a smile on your face!

2011 Recap

Here we are on the last day of 2011. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is having a safe New Year’s Eve.

It’s been another eventful year for us here at 2Dolphins. Our blogging might have slowed down but we certainly have not. Below are some of the highlights of the year:

March – trip to Washington DC and Liam got to climb the steps and see Abraham Lincoln (something he had been asking to do for months)

June – my Mom passed away. This was bittersweet as you’re never ready to lose a loved one but you also never want to see them them suffer with a horrible disease like Alzheimer’s.

July – Corpus, time to heal at the beach.

August – another year older and wiser. Rob & I celebrated our 15 year anniversary.

September – San Diego, it had been too long. Also, Liam started Kindergarten and it just about broke my heart. It has definitely changed him and not all for the better. He went from being my sweet innocent baby to all boy picking up some bad attitude from the other kids at school.

November – after 15 years, we finally had to buy a new washer & dryer and got the front loaders that we had been eye-balling for years. Luckily they stopped working on Thanksgiving Day so we could cash in on some Black Friday deals.

December – we had a white Christmas for the first time since 1997 and the ghost of Steve Jobs visited and converted me to an iMac user. I’m looking forward to learning the new photo capabilities it has to offer.

So as we say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012, we want to say how thankful we are for our friends and family and all the blessings we have received this year!