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.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Dude, Where's My Car?!?

Yard sale time.  
With our group, we tend to purge every spring AND fall.  
With the new house in a fairly busy location, the powers that be decided that MY house would be the best location for the fall yard sale-- see how things go at this location.  

Side note: I always park my car INSIDE the garage at night and typically leave the keyless start fob inside. 

Anyway... as with any yard sale the person's garage becomes FILLED with treasures from at least 7 different families, therefore rendering the garage useless for parking cars for a few days.  My house became a revolving door of people coming/going/dropping/organizing/ along with my mom visiting for the weekend.  

So on Friday morning, when I set my alarm to go running at 5AM before everyone came over, I was utterly confused when I walked to the back door and couldn't find my Prius.
Maybe Julie drove my car back to her house last night, after picking up Evelyn...
Maybe Ben moved it after he came home...
Maybe I DID park it in the garage after we organized (insane thought but yes, I checked)...
Maybe it's down the street...

Before waking Ben, I called Julie (yes, at 5:10AM) and our conversation went a little something like this: 

"Hey... sorry to wake you, but did you borrow my car last night?"
"Ummmm... did you take my car home with you after getting Evelyn?"
"What?!? Did someone STEAL your CAR?!?"
"No.... I think someone borrowed it and I was too busy to notice."
(I literally thought one of my friends had it; it was clearly insane for someone to steal an old Prius.)
"KRISTIN!  Call the police.  Someone STOLE your car!"
So I finally woke Ben... he called the police... we filed a report...
and then our yard sale began... 
So the story was told about 1000x over the course of the afternoon. 

And while telling it OVER and OVER and OVER... and OVER like 1,000x that day was somewhat therapeutic, it suddenly hit me that my car was STOLEN. In one day I went from confusion, to scared, to upset, to hostile, and then just plain feeling like a failure for leaving my car unlocked with the key inside. (Idiot!)

It was great to be surrounded by my friends & family that day. 

 and we resumed our normal yard sale shenanigans 
with my mom and I competing in a little game we like to call "who wore it best"? 

And after 6 days of no Prius and me shedding my final tears, I hopped onto the computer and started researching used mini-vans.  And THAT was the moment the Amarillo Police Department called to inform me that my car had been found, abandoned on the Boulevard... 

Complete with purple fingerprint dust and everything gone... except that Lumineers CD.  


Friday, October 7, 2016

Dow Family Photos

I had admired Chriselda's photos for years so it shouldn't have been a shock when I called her in September and she was almost entirely booked up for the fall season.  
She had an opening in late November and one for October 7th... which happened to coincide with mom's visit to Amarillo.  

 SO GLAD that mom was able to be a part of our family pictures this year!

 grandma and the kids

about right: wrestling during our photo shoot

 this about sums it up...
Kaden likes to entertain and take care of Grace
while Owen tends to be more exasperated with her antics.

 The Dow Family, October 2016

 3 generations

Gracie and Grandma

 the Dow men

Mr. Kaden at 7

 Mr. Owen at *almost* 5
love, love, LOVE this picture of Owen

Thank you, Chriselda!