Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hagen's Prognosis

We took Hagen to Primary Children's last weekend and came home feeling very blessed and humble. We actually didn't really learn anything that we didn't already know, they confirmed he has Ocular Albinism and that he doesn't and won't ever see perfectly. However they were so positive and upbeat with us. We did learn though that it is really not as bad as it seemed to us at first. One of the doctors we saw was a funny brilliant little man who gave us lots of comfort and hope. He has studied Albinism for over 30 years and has only seen about 200 cases of ocular albinism, so it is really quite rare. He actually developed the testing for the condition and has written many articles on it. He awnsered most every question we had and spent a lot of one on one time with us.

We also learned that the type of Ocular Albinism that Hagen has will continue to improve and get better as he grows. His vision now is about 20/95 which is actually still in the normal range for kids his age. He will probably be prescribed glasses by age 2-3 to help "sharpen things up" but they won't fix the problem. He did tell us that he will never see in 3D but no big deal there, hopefully his vision will just improve enough that he will be mainstream in school and be able to drive someday. They also told us his nystagmus (shaky eyes) will probably diminish to the point that it is unnoticeable by his teenage years!

He could possibly develop a head tilt or head turn where kids cock their head off to one side to help get the best angle for vision that they can. This can be fixed with a little surgery by age six or seven if it is bad enough. His skin and hair will always be a bit lighter than the rest of the family and he will always sunburn easily, but nothing that a little sunscreen and a hat can't fix.

We will see the doctors every three months for awhile just to make sure nothing else comes up with his eyes and to keep track of his progress. They were actually super impressed that our doctor, Dr. Fullmer right here in Rexburg was able to diagnose him so easily with it being so rare and all. We will actually just be following up with him and then if the need arises we can always head back to Salt Lake. We have been set up with the Idaho School for the Blind so if any developmental delays show up they can help with that. Right now he is doing great, maybe a little behind where my other kids were at his age but still in the normal category as far as charts go. He is rolling all over the place, and laughing and talking like crazy. He has two teeth and can sit up on his own for like 2 seconds but hey!! Hagen is eating lots of baby food now and is a little porker, he is still small for his age but I have a feeling with the way he eats solid food he will catch up in a hurry. He is growing out of his swing which is a sad day for me, but he does like the jumper and the walker so I can still trap him in those for a bit. He also sits in the high chair now!!

I have learned that we all want nothing more than for our children to be perfect and healthy, but we can't always have that. I am super grateful that his problems are as minor as they are at this point. In the four hours we spent at the Primary Childrens Opthamology Center we saw a lot of much worse things than we are dealing with. I think when life gets hard we can take comfort in the fact that there is always someone with much worse problems to deal with!

Cole turns 4!!

I remember when I was a kid birthdays were super exciting, we usually got to take a treat to school to share, mom would make us our favorite dinner followed by cake of choice (mine was always angel food cake with angel food cake frosting, super bad for you but if you would like the recipe I would be happy to oblige) and then one sometimes two gifts from mom and dad. The best part of the whole day though, was NO JOBS!!! I loved my birthday, I have tried to keep birthdays simple like that but it is a very hard thing to do.

Cole's ended up lasting 4 days this year! Ridiculous!

Day one: Grammy took Cole shopping to pick out a gift and go to lunch, he picked a stick cow from his favorite store in the whole world; CAL Ranch and then lunch at Dairy Queen where he got his very own blizzard! (Come on mom, what happend to one small blizzard with six extra spoons??) Cole was in heaven and loved every minute of it!

Day two: Cole's actual birthday landed on a Saturday so Weston got to have breakfast with us, Cole chose blue waffles and I surprised him by putting candles in it. (He later told me this was the best part of his birthday) We then gave Cole his gift from us which was a digger toy for their new sandpit. He could've cared less since he really just wanted to practice his bull riding on his new stick cow! Later the kids went to the fair with Weston and had lots of fun there, he however came home without them saying they wanted to go home with Gra Gra?? Whatever pleases them I guess. When we picked them up later we went to the neighbors house for pizza and when we got home Cole was too tired for his own cake.

Day three: After church we had cake and ice cream. Cole wanted a Cowboy Woody cake this year but my creativity wouldn't allow for it and he had to settle with a Woody's boot! And then the ONLY thing he wanted for his birthday was a pinata, but he wanted to whack it all by himself. Simple enough request, he and Kallie hit that thing 100 times and didn't put a dent into it, Weston finally had to give it a good whack with a golf club to bust it open!

Day four: Shopping with Grandma where he picked out basically the same gift he had with Grammy, but this time it was a stick horse (which he already had, but cowboys apparently need two horses) You can imagine the damage that kid is doing to my walls and trim, we may have to cut the ends of those off a bit. But now the birthday is over and we are all happy about it! Especially me, the spoiled little turd!

Kallie was gone to Girls Campout, I have no pictures of this because I wasn't invited. Grandma and Grandpa Crapo are troopers and take all the boys on a campout and then all the girls a different time. I would love to be a mouse in the corner for these, but they don't want me there, how rude! Anyway this is a tradition that they LOVE! Cole was finally old enough to go this year and was so excited. I am sure the older boys weren't too thrilled about having him along but Grandma says they took great care of him! Kallie is a seasoned pro and talked about it all summer. Well she was finally gone and I realized that I have a REAL problem on my hands without her and am not sure how we will manage once school starts. Cole was bored out of his mind without her there and I guess I didn't realize how much she takes care of Hagen too because I couldn't accomplish anything with just the boys at home. I finally gave up trying and called Chelsey to come swim in the little pool!

She graciously accepted the invite and we had a real good time getting some sun and watching Cole try to teach Tagg how to be big like him. So much fun!! This $20 swimming pool has been well used this summer. I bought it hoping it would keep my kids from wanting to go to the canal with the big neighbor kids all the time, since it is hard for me to help them and hold the baby. Well little did I know that the kiddie pool would be SUCH a big hit. I look out there and we had 7-8 big neighbor kids in the kiddie pool. They had made up a fun game and were honestly entertained in that thing for like 2 hours. (Including two 12 year olds and a 14 year old) I was one very happy mama!!

July 24, 2011

The tradition continued as usual on the 24th for us this year; rodeo, 5k, parade, bbq/redneck fest, rodeo, ended with pure exhaustion but lots of fun for all! I have been terrible about taking pictures this summer, I think it could be blamed one the fact that I have had only one hand this summer instead of two. With Mr. Hagen always in my arm and one of the other kids always needed something, photos have taken a back seat a bit. I am going to try and be better though!


Yes the goats continue to reproduce, this time we got a set of triplets. They are really cute and the best part is they were born at Grandma's house:) However they are now back at our joint. Here is a funny for you though, so we have a couple older baby goats; one male and one female that really need to be separated from the other goats. Weston keeps telling me that we need to get the male out before one of the females gets "bred" so that we don't have babies in the middle of the winter. Well the other day we had just pulled in the driveway from the grocery store and Cole said, "Oh shoot mom we forget to buy some "bread" for the goats so they can have babies" so cute and funny. These kids don't miss a beat and are sure learning a lot about life on our little "farm"!

Playing Catch Up

We took a fun little Sunday drive and a picnic up to Mesa Falls with some friends. It was a beautiful day and we had a great little lunch. The kids found a squirrel that followed them all around as long as they had food, they named it a funny name but now I can't remember what it was, I will have to ask them later. The falls were amazing, our kids were in awe. We drive up there all the time to go to the ranch, but we never stop at the falls. Anyway it was so nice to get away for a couple hours and just relax. Yay for Sunday!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Unconventional Parenting

I came to a realization today..... I am so one of those mothers who would get kicked out of parenting classes, mothering support groups, any place where people seriously study the "art" of parenting. Ha Ha Ha this stuff makes me laugh myself silly when I imagine myself in one of the above mentioned situations. Many of you may be thinking to yourselves, "Yes you really would not fit in there, it is about time you realized" however let me humor you by telling you how this light of knowledge was shed on me today.

My dear sweet Cole whom I love very much can get irritating to say the least. He teases and torments his OLDER sister to the point of tears many many times a day. (She just came running into the office screaming and I hear him following saying "smell it, smell it, I am going to make you" apparently he is pretending or maybe not so much that he has toilet water on his hands) anyway you get the picture, he is 100% boy!! His younger brother also finds him very irritating and starts screaming the second he sees or hears him coming. This morning I was at the gym in the middle of my workout, the baby was laying on the floor playing (yes I realize he can get "germs" there, he can also develop a healthy immune system there!!) and having a great time. In comes Cole, he adores this baby! Seriously loves him more than anything except Cool Whip! He lays down by him and gets right in his face to start talking to him. Baby instantly starts screaming. I am instantly irritated because now my workout has been interrupted. Instead of "nicely having a chat" with the boy like conventional parents would and explaining to him that he can't get right in the baby's face, I choose to show him. I pinned that kid to the floor and got right in his face, I kissed and slobbered all over him and talked baby talk to him until I felt my point was made. Then I released him and got back on my treadmill.

(seriously doesn't that poor baby look scared and miserable?)

This was the moment when I realized that I am a crazy freak of a parent. Seriously if I could have captured the look on my friends' faces, I felt a little foolish and ashamed of myself, however a certain four year old boy left a certain baby alone for the rest of the hour. Mission accomplished!! I guess I won't judge you if you don't judge me:)!! I really doubt this method of parenting is taught anywhere! Maybe I should write a book titled "Unconventional Parenting For Unconventional Folks"

And now for documenting purposes while we are on this unconventional parenting topic; my kids usually play really well together. In fact just today I heard Cole say he wanted to marry Kallie because she was his best friend. (So cute!!) Then right after I heard him say that he was going to be a really good missionary so that he didn't get an ugly wife??? Whatever motivates him I guess! Anyway I am getting off on a tangent but this is my blog and I can do that! So this summer has been a bit different, we have been home a lot and the kids have started fighting a lot more. I really can't stand the fighting it just makes me crazy.

One particular day they had been warned and warned to quit fighting, no doin'. I finally pulled out the big guns, I tied those two little stinkers together with a rope by their belt loops!. Now don't go turning me into CPS just yet, they had a least a foot of rope in between them and it was not physically hurting them. I was pretty proud of myself, thinking they are going to be so miserable they will never fight again! Within 10 minutes they were giggling hysterically and thought this was the funnest game ever. I was feeling defeated a bit but realized that at least they weren't fighting and isn't that what I wanted?? After an hour or so they decided to go out and ride bikes, that was humorous to watch them attempt that. Then Kallie wanted to eat lunch outside and Cole inside, good thing I gave them a foot of leeway, as long as they sat real close to the door one could be in while the other was out. Genius kids really, they were not real thrilled about going to the grocery store this way though but realized that if they walked really close to each other and stuffed the excess rope in their pockets no one would notice. They did have plenty of fights and what not while being tied up, but they did learn to give to the other a bit and ended up getting along quite well. I untied them after about four hours when it was time for swimming lessons, they probably would have drown tied together in the water! I don't think they will ever forget this experience and all I have to do now when they start bickering is threaten to pull out the rope!