Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween from Fireboy Evan!


Since those first couple of lucky pees in his potty chair, Evan has not show the least bit of interest in potty-training. I saw these tiny Mickey Mouse briefs at Target a few months ago, and couldn't resist buying them for him to wear "someday". They were washed and put away in Evan's dresser until I saw them this afternoon.

Doesn't he look so grown-up? Evan really seemed to notice that something was different...or at least less bulky. He didn't stay dry for long, maybe 10 minutes before there was an accident and we put him back in a diaper. But this is a definite goal for all of us now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pictures from the past week...

The first group of pictures were taken in our friends the Kocher Family's orchard. They have a cider-pressing party every year--this was the second time Evan and I have gone. Jeremy will probably be mad I posted the picture of him contemplating the apples, by my camera ran out of batteries early on in the day so that was as good as it got.

Today, Evan's preschool class went Trick-or-Treating around the Psychology Building. Evan was a Fireman (we were not the only parents with this idea...). Jess was a pirate--I love the parrot that is sewn to his shouler. Jeremy was guilted into dressing up by Evan's preschool teachers--he put together his "grease-monkey" costume in under an hour. Priceless!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A "Jer" of All Trades

So this has nothing to do with Evan, but I have to brag that my husband is the best! Adding to the list of things he can do: slit-lamp repair man (for those not up on the opto lingo, a slit-lamp is essentially a microscope mounted on its side--I use it during every single exam).

There is some back-story here. I've been wanting to buy another slit-lamp for my second office, but new ones are outside my buget. So I had been shopping for a good used one. I found one that was the exact same model as one I already own (vintage 1982). The seller was a retiring optometrist in the midwest. She partially disassembled and packed the slit-lamp. I scheduled a pickup with FedEx (not an easy task). When we unpacked the slit-lamp, I was very dismayed to find it was damaged--there was a 1/4 inch metal piece that was sheared in two, and there were some dents in the housing for the optics. It still worked, but I was upset that it wasn't "perfect" (with the way my life is, you might be tempted to think I would be over that by now...). I contacted the seller, and she agreed to refund my money right away.

Then we began the process of turning in a damage claim to FedEx. The situation was complicated by the fact that I, the buyer, had ordered the pick-up and payed for the shipping (normally the seller pays--this turn of events had all the customer service agents in a tizzy). FedEx wouldn't let me file the claim--they made the seller do it. But after she filed the claim, they made me write a letter releasing "my" reimbursement back to the seller. Then they had to inspect the damage to decide if they would pay. I thought that meant they would come by my office to look at the slit-lamp. Wrong--I had to repack it and send it back to FedEx "head-quarters." The inspector ruled that the equiment was not packed properly, but it doesn't really matter because if you read the fine print on the shipping order they do not honor any "Fragile" or "This Side Up" marks on the box. It also states that the item has to be packed well enough to not be damaged if it's dropped three feet (the distance between conveyer belts). I don't know why they even have a claim process--it's pretty obvious they have no intention of ever paying for any damage. My interpretation: don't send anything by FedEx you actually care about that is not replacable.

Evidently, the inspector assumed that no one gave a crap about the slit-lamp anymore, because they just threw all the pieces back in the box. FedEx attempted to deliver the box back to the selling optometrist, who during this time had closed her office. They called me and asked if I wanted it back--they would have just thrown it away--I said I'd take it. The box appeared again at my office 3 days later, looking every bit like it had been transported half-way across the country twice. It sat there for two weeks--it made my stomach hurt just thinking about what a waste it was.

Finally, I brought the slit lamp home. Jeremy opened up the box and it was really a mess--broken bits of plastic and glass, paint all scuffed up, housings dented... He didn't make any promises, but he said he'd "see" if he could fix it. The first thing he did was weld together the metal part that was broken--he sanded and painted it and you can't even tell it was ever broken. Then he reassembled and glued all the broken plastic parts. He realigned the optics. There are two parts that could not be repaired, and I'll have to see if I can order replacements. I still don't know if the lamp part works yet (the lightbulb was broken during one of the shippings), but it looks really good. Had I know he would be able to do such a good job, I would have cut my losses and just kept the slit-lamp in the first place.

I was absolutely amazed when I walked in through the door tonight. I know what love's a man who is willing to spend 10 hours putting together a piece of equipment that most would write off as a lost cause because he knows how much his wife hates wasting and throwing things away. And I also know what shipping company I will NEVER use again as long as I soon as I have some time, I am sending FedEx a complaint letter and am closing my newly opened office shipping account.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Evan's preschool class went to the pumpkin patch this morning. Daddy went along also.

Evan's first ride on the school bus (Jeremy takes him to school each morning, so this is all new to Evan)

Taking a break from pumpkin hunting (Evan was interested in the "orange balls" briefly)

Amazingly, Jeremy was able to take a class picture. Evan's interpreter, Jess, is sitting right behind Evan.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Birthday McKenzie

Our neighbor McKenzie just turned 4 (she is an ex-26-weeker--18 ounces at birth!). She had a really fun birthday party at Kid's Castle in Yakima on Sunday, and Evan was invited. Kid's Castle is basically a giant McDonald's Playland, and it's in the back of a gymnatics center. There was open gym and a inflatable jumper for the kids to play on also. Evan had a blast. Jeremy and I will probably take him this winter--the activities are very similar to PT (and admission is way cheaper than a PT visit!). I took lots of pictures of Evan (and a few of the Birthday Girl as well).

Make a wish, McKenzie!

Evan's first time in a jumper...he didn't understand how to climb over to the slide part, but had fun crawling around the first "room."

Walking on one of the many trampolines (difficult because Evan didn't want me holding his hands, but that was one of the facility "rules"--I had to hold his hands if we were on together. By this point, I had given up and just carried him).

Rescue time--the foam blocks were swallowing Evan up.

These plastic snaky-things occupied Evan for long time. They were at the castle entrance--he played with them for at least 15 minutes before even venturing inside.

"Gingerbread Man"-ing it down the slide--this is how Evan looks in every picture we take of him on the slide. It cracks me up every time.

Time to go home. Evan assisted daddy with his shoes. didn't happen

Not surprisingly, the urologist opted to cancel Evan's surgery. His scheduler had enough notice she thought she would be able to move some kiddos scheduled later on in October to the large slot Evan vacated, meaning Evan could have their surgery time. So (fingers crossed), the surgery/MRI/CT/BAER could still happen this month. Evan you have to stay well this time--we all have to say well! We're all a bunch of sickies right now--mommy thinks she has a sinus bug, daddy has a cough and felt plain crummy all day today, and Evan looks to have an ear infection (some crusties coming out of his right ear).

Friday, October 3, 2008


What a always, full of lessons learned.

1) How close before a surgical procedure Evan will get sick (and he will--I swear it's a law that we have to reschedule at least once...) is inversely proportional to the number of months out we had to schedule the surgery. Next Tuesday was supposed to be his urology surgery, brain MRI, and BAER hearing tests. We haven't officially cancelled yet, but it's not looking good.

2) Even though he hadn't used it for over nine months, that still was not long enough to say Evan would never need oxygen again and turn all the tanks and regulator back to the medical supply company. After a restless night of lots of desats, Jeremy decided Evan needed oxygen for the weekend. It took Jeremy most of today to secure two small oxygen tanks from the welding supply store in town and a regulator from the hospital. I'm glad we have it, but it feels like a step backward (it felt good to be done with all that).


Please keep our CHARGE friend Lucas' family in your throughts and prayers. He passed away yesterday. I did not know his mom, but she also kept a blog about her sweet little guy. I've been reading her old posts and looking at the pictures...Lucas' complications from CHARGE were a little bit different, but many things were so very similar.

This picture of Lucas sleeping in his exersaucer reminded me so much of Evan--not only do they have the same bendy ear, but Evan can fall asleep just about anywhere also.

CHARGE Get-Together

Last weekend, we hosted the semi-annual Washington state CHARGE Family get-together. It was fun to see how much Max, Burke, Maya and Evan have all grown since we've started doing this. I've posted a few of the pictures below--most of my pictures involve Evan's horse (this was the favorite toy, and one Evan doesn't mind sharing at all). Thanks for making the drive over to the East side this time--it was good to see everyone!

Burke knows all about spring horses--giddyup!

Max's turn.

As busy as these boys are, it's surprising I got them all in one shot.

Maya was very into Grandma Key's watch.

Are they gone yet?? I'm ready to have my house back now :)