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Diorama

Kate had to do a diorama for her book report. I used to love doing those! Originally it was going to be populated with LEGO people but I told her it was way more fun to create it all on her own.
Here are Judy and her friends on the playground. The swing set is made with straws and the artwork is all by Kate. She was very proud of her 100% as she should be.

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I am so thankful for our choice to send the kids to Saint Christopher’s school this year. They have gotten so much out of their program. I love the closeness and I love the education they are getting. I think they have both made amazing strides this year. Strides that I don’t think public schools have the choice to take anymore. At School last year the kids were taught… To test. They had to be because of all the required testing and pressure on the school. This year I find they are taught to learn. A d they are learning which was recently proven to me because the 5th grade had their first (and it was practice- no pressure) national test. Reilly was top 3 in his grade for math.
Here is Reilly at his Christmas concert. It’s so awesome to hear kids sing, no matter what the age.

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I remember playing the recorder in 4th grade. I was a master at Hot Cross Buns and even played in a trio at our recital. Man I thought my playing Hot Cross Buns was going to change the face of elementary school music. As I look back though I realize it was the peak of my musical career. Who knew?

Now, fortunately, I get to relive it through the eyes of Reilly. Not only has he “seen” my Hot Cross Buns – he has raised me an Ode to Joy! Ouch, I can not compete with that.

It’s not a recital at the peak of their recorder path though, it’s belts like in martial arts. Reilly is a black belt in recorder and he’s worked hard to earn that.

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Being Pretty

I am amazed at 5 that being pretty crosses your mind. Apparently it does. Reilly and Kate shared with me something Shea said to them over the weekend. “At school everyone has prettier clothes than I do and they look prettier.” God love Kate and Reilly on how they responded “You are the prettiest girl we know and the prettiest in your school.” Being quick witted Shea’s response was “you haven’t been to my school in a long time.”

My poor little buddy isn’t sure she is pretty. I inquired, passively, as to her thoughts on the matter… when I didn’t get much of a response I just said “clothes aren’t what make you pretty – what’s inside makes you pretty.”

Not sure I got through to her, as a matter of fact, I’m sure it was too much. But, it hurt my heart that she even thinks such things and I think she’s so beautiful I hope it’s just a passing thought.

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Tonsillectomy at Ten

Tonsillectomy at Ten

Reilly had tonsils the size of small golf balls. He always has. After having strep 7x one year, 9x the next and 7x the year after that I started to get worried that we were never going to have an easy winter with him. He was always fighting or getting something. His throat and glands were always swollen. The pediatrician was just keeping an eye on them with us but nothing had been too remarkable until about two months ago when I went to say good night to Reilly before I crawled into bed. I went in his room and he was laying there perfectly still – on his back. I got curious because I saw nothing… no chest rising, no mouth opening… nothing. I poked him and he did a choking apnea type thing much like my Dad would do. I did NOT like that one bit and called the ENT the next day.
During our appointment we spoke of the strep and then of the apnea. Once I mentioned the apnea it was no question, they were coming out. Tonsils and Adnoids. I wondered if I was worrying too much but also knew better than to mess with something like that. I was happy to hear an unwavering response from the doctor.

On Dec 26 we had both removed. The surgery itself seemed to go fine although I did not like one bit that he was under general anesthesia. Monica recommended I ask to go in as he fell asleep. They let me do so. It sounds silly but I was so glad I did. Awful to see your kiddo lying there in a forced sleep – especially after the month I have had. I fought back the tears and left the room to sit with Shad. It felt like only about 30 minutes when they called us in to see him in recovery.  I could see how groggy he was but otherwise he seemed good. I could see his reaction to having the drugs: confused, stunned, trying to focus and then he would lie back down and fall asleep.

They prescribed tylenol with codeine but the doctor said that we could go to tylenol alternating with ibuprofen. I found that a little curious because everyone I talked to ahead of time said to stay away from ibuprofen because of bleeding. Post op he mentioned it again, I’m pretty sure it was an effort to stay away from the narcotic which I appreciate that as well. But… if he did bleed as a result of the ibuprofen, that would be really bad as we would be in the ER for that.

Reilly responded to 1/2 the dose of the tylenol with codeine so we stuck with that for the first 48 hours. Along with everything I read and heard the key is to stay ahead of the pain. If we were even 20 minutes late, Reilly was miserable. We found that the jello go old quickly, the ice cream made him want to clear his throat or cough too much so we were on the italian ice kick in our house. It was a day later that he was eating tiny soft pieces of microwave (to keep it soft) chicken.

I had been told ahead of time that days 2 and 5-9 were the worst. I would say (we are on day 8) that she was absolutely right. Reilly wakes up every four hours but the past few days the ear pain he has felt has seemed so severe that I thought something else might be wrong. The nurse told us he may feel like he wants his ears to pop but she didn’t describe the holding his head and sobbing to do so. Totally not what I thought. He is a tough cookie but I feel for him with this ear thing. I don’t think the sore throat has been too bad because he is so used to having strep that he recalls the sharp intense pain in his throat. But the ear thing… ugh. I did read that sometime gum can alleviate that pain a little so I bought him a pack of gum. It seems to help but I don’t feel like he feels as thirsty when he’s chewing gum. So, if you try gum, remember to make sure they have a bottle of water too.

We are headed into the home stretch. I learned a few things. Get them off the codeine because they are so lethargic and miserable on it, they don’t even know it. The ibuprofen and tylenol as an alternating option made him feel much better. Drinking was key. We got straws, had talked about a camelbak, but the sucking motion was too much at first it just hurt more. I keep telling Reilly to brush his teeth because his breath is awful. It turns out that is totally normal because the white “scabs” that develop in his throat (before they fall off) is what causes that rancid smell and there isn’t really anything he can do about that. He and I joke that it smells like Nandi… the 13 year old dog. ICK. Sleep is huge but too much sleep and lying around makes everything else achy. And last, they don’t flex on the 14 day mark. He is literally not allowed at school according to our doc for 14 days. The fear is that he will pick up something. He even told us to stay out of those petri dish type places. I had no idea. It used to be that everyone got their tonsils out and I didn’t remember it being so long of a recovery. But, based on how much pain the nights have been with his ears, I have a new perspective.

Let’s hope the next few days are even less pain and we’ll be in good shape for some better rest for Reilly and some healthier seasons.

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First Day of School 2012

The kids are ready to go to school and Shea is in her “bus stop attire”. I passed a woman at her mailbox the other day while I was driving. I’m pretty sure she had the same robe on and curlers instead of a headband.

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The last two weeks of school is loaded with fun and field trips for the first graders. I have enjoyed talking to Kate after school to hear all about her days. Today was about the tour of the jail and a few things stuck with her:
– did you know they take movies of you all the time in jail even when you go poop?
– did you know you don’t get to wear your own clothes except your socks?
– did you know they don’t give you toilet paper? Now that’s really gross.
– did you know when you are the robber they spray you in the face when they arrest you and you shower when you get to jail to wash it off.
– did you know when you are a kid and you go to jail it’s like an orphanage when you get out? You dont go back to your family.
– I think that would be sad to be in jail and not see my family. I like my family.

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