Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Owen Turns 5!

When asked, Owen said he wanted a "hulk cake" and to go out to dinner at The Big Texan. 
When prompted over the next several weeks, these requests didn't change.  
so if we were going to make a chocolate cake, it should at least taste amazing...
This cake was a proven winner!  Real chocolate, a stout beer, and coffee along with caramel-buttercream.  You really only needed a couple of bites to be satisfied with this one.  

my disastrous kitchen
(between holiday and birthday baking)

picking out green M&Ms to smash

meanwhile... cards came in the mail...
even this special one from our very special friend, Kaaren.

THE Hulk cake

Onward to the Big Texan...
with friends and family... open invitation to anyone who wanted to attend
Julie & Evelyn

Miss Grace and mommy

cowboy serenade

The birthday man with his GIANT burger 
(that actually sustained him for three separate meals).

When at the Big Texan...

My cousin, Andy, was even able to make it in time as he was driving back from California.

Daddy and Gracie shooting 

Owen, Andy, and Kaden

Dow brothers

pure happiness
Papa choose another winner.

new shoes. 

Owen also got several other birthday presents, including his Paddington Bear and book from Grandma. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Missing Teeth

1st grade. When all kids begin to look more like jack-o-lanterns then 6-7-year-olds.

Kaden lost his bottom teeth months ago but the top ones became loose this fall.  He was very hesitant about pulling the top one out so after weeks of it seeming to hang by a thread, I made a deal with him, "as soon as you pull it out we can put up the Christmas tree."  
(Kaden LOVES all things holiday.)  
Bam!  That's all it took. Within minutes, Kaden walked back into the bedroom, tooth in hand. 


a couple weeks later...

The 2nd top tooth was about the same but with a yank from Julie.  

Ice-cream reward for that one. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016

 Trick-or-Treating around Paramount on a Monday night:

 Luke (teen-wolf), Kaden (skeleton), Owen (mummy), Evelyn (butterfly), Grace (spring), Tressa (floating head), Ellie Jo (Ariel a.k.a. The Little Mermaid), Ellie & Ridge
Gorilla= Nathin, Immy (hippy), Tess (Miranda Sings)

There are no words to express how grateful I was to pull costumes from the closet and NOT have to scavenge/create/spend extra money this year!

Owen willingly wanted to wear Kaden's mummy costume I made last year and Kaden changed his mind from wizard to wearing Luke's skeleton costume.  We turned Grace loose with Evelyn's dresses and she came out with her favorite (hideous) one and was ecstatic to be able to wear it all night. 

our "group" overtaking the neighborhood!

 Owen & Evelyn at the end of the evening, 
watching Charlie Brown Halloween on the projection screen in the yard.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pumpkin Carving

Why have each family do their own pumpkin carvings at home when we can all get together, share ideas and tools and the giant mess together?
That seems to be the collective thought around various holidays during the year.
The kids love getting together as much as the adults.  ;)
It turned out to be a beautiful Sunday afternoon for us to carve pumpkins OUTSIDE.
messy hands
Joyce's (Julie's mom) new purple hair
Kaden going to town with his tiny saw.
Grace enjoyed the afternoon and especially liked her cat shirt.
Designed and carved by Kaden.
Tess had a innovative way to carve her intricate design.
She had a sketch on a piece of paper and saran-wrapped it to her pumpkin as to keep it in place.  From there, she used an electric drill.  
Tess & Immy (Laci's nieces)
Mama going to town.
Most of the group with their carvings.
Luke, Ridge, Elie, Michal, Evelyn, Owen, Ellie Jo, Kaden, and Grace. 
running around Seals' backyard, per usual
officially ready for Halloween

Friday, October 21, 2016

Kaden's Big Scare

I gave a lot of thought as to whether I should make a post about this and then came to the conclusion: why not?!?  This is a major thing that happened in our lives; it was scary and traumatic for everyone involved; apparently it's much more common than one would realize. 

So... Owen, Grace, and I usually go to Paramount Terrace Elementary to eat lunch with Kaden every Friday.  On this particular Friday in October, the health-aide stopped me in the office and gave me a heads-up that Kaden had visited her office late morning saying that he didn't feel well.  
(Weird... he usually doesn't complain much about feeling sick.) 
She felt his forehead and took his temperature and the reading was well within the "normal" range.  My thoughts were that if he didn't have a fever, surely he could make it a few more hours until the weekend.  

Around 3:10, as I was getting into the car to drive to school, I noticed that I had missed 3 calls from the school within the past 5 minutes.  As I pulled up to the school, Mrs. Johnson pointed to me and quickly jogged over to my car.  Confused, I rolled the window down only to hear her urgently say, "Kaden fell... you need to get inside right now."  
Mind you, I had Owen and Grace in the back seat and I slightly felt like I was in a dream state.  
Her next statement was, "I'll watch Owen and Grace if that's ok..."
So I ran into the building... 
... to find Kaden curled up on the classroom floor, surrounded by 4 different teachers/aides.

According to Mrs. Kepley they were watching a video the last 30 minutes of the day when Kaden slumped out of his seat onto the floor and proceeded to have a grand-mal seizure on the floor.  He started drooling and banging his head on the hard floor, to which she rushed over and held his head to prevent him from hurting himself.

Meanwhile the teachers were talking to him, asking questions, and trying to keep him awake because that what they were told to do when they called 911.
***As she was explaining the situation I was still completely calm, as if in a dream state; I was hearing her but was so confused.
I held everything together and was fine until I heard the health aide talk to Kaden about his siblings outside and then asked him to remind her of their names.  She asked him to tell her his sister's name twice and on the third time Kaden gave her a blank stare, which turned to confusion/exaperation when he finally stated, "I don't know..."
That was the moment when everything clicked and I started panicking.  

Soon after the paramedics came in the classroom and started evaluating Kaden.  
They had him touch is nose, asked him his name and birthday and several other things to which I can't remember.  After several minutes they asked whether I they should drive him to the hospital or I could do it myself.

I called Ben, trying to stay calm, not alarm him too much yet express the gravity of the situation to get him to drive home from Boys Ranch that minute... yet not have him panic too much on the 40-minute drive into town.

Ben quickly realized the severity of the situation as he went to get Kaden out of the car at the hospital and Kaden couldn't quite recall Ben's name...

LUCKY for us our friend, Nathin, was working at Northwest ER that day and had a room ready for us as soon as we arrived.
Kaden getting his CT scan

After spending several dazed hours in the hospital, the doctors didn't see anything from the scan or find anything unusual from his blood work or urine analysis.  They came to the conclusion that we should just go home and get a good nights' rest.

I slept in the bed next to Kaden that night and the next morning he seemed 100% normal.
He talked to his aunt Dorothy and it was interesting to hear him recount the previous day.  In his mind, he didn't feel all that well at school and by the end of the day he was just "so tired that he fell asleep and during that sleep he fell out of his chair and onto the floor..."
And that's about all he remembered.

After talking to our pediatrician we went ahead and scheduled a sleep-deprived EEG.
I was instructed to keep Kaden up as late as possible and then wake him by 4 AM. 
I really do you have the best friends. 
Joyce and Laura both set their alarms to meet us at the waffle house by 4:30 AM. 

Kaden was SO TIRED and he's really NOT a fun person to be around when he hasn't had enough sleep.  (Are any of us?)

meanwhile... Grace passed out in our bed when we returned home at 5:30 AM

Back at Northwest hospital, all of the electrodes in place with Kaden ready for his EEG. 

As it turned out, Kaden's EEG was sent to Cook's hospital in Fort Worth. From there, an expert read the scans and everything looked "normal".

Our pediatrician, Dr. Fletcher, assured us that seizures are much more common than one would think. Apparently one in eight people experience a seizure in their lifetime, with a big proportion coming from children under the age of two. 

So between his assurances and talking to Dorothy via FaceTime, we are crossing our fingers and hoping this was his one glitch and that we won't have to worry about it again.