Friday, December 12, 2008

Kindergarten holidy concert

Today was the Kindergarten Holiday Open House. Ethan did a great job. The kids sang several songs then the parents joined in for a couple of carols before we got some cookies and punch.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Ethan wished to loose his front tooth and Brandon wished for more strength in order to wrestle Uncle Barry. Brandon got the bigger half, but Ethan was the one who ended up getting his wish.

Basement update

Wetbar before

Wet bar during. I have the sink installed and plumbing done, as well as a new outlet under the cabinet for the mini fridge, and under cabinet lights. Next stage, finish polyurethane on the doors and do a back splash.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Tooth Time


It was held on by one tiny little part and he could wiggle it diagonally. A few screams and "It hurts," finally a sit on moms lap and Daddy got it out. Once he saw it he realized it hurt and cried some more.


Later that day he told us it wasn't so bad. ;o) I wish I had that on tape to play back for him next time. And it won't be long. The other top front tooth is going to be ready to come out very soon.

Check out the paint!

It looks even better in person. I'm very glad to have all the wall color on. It took 2, and in some places 3 coats of cutting in, and 2 coats with the roller. I have blisters from so much painting. Tomorrow I'll start work on the trim and doors. Daddy and the boys primed the doors for me today, so I'm ready to go.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Operation basement remodel began. After waterproofing anything and everything in everyway we could think of we framed in the wall. Notice the shadow of the studs, you can tell how not straight the cement wall was.

We had to get creative on this wall. It was partially finished with drywall but what was already there hadn't been framed out enough for us to use traditional studs to frame it. So we got a 1/2 inch piece of plywood and made our own studs. The biggest problem was that the cement wall was so hard to drill into that we decided to just liquid nail the 'studs' on. Did you know that when you cut 1/2 inch ply it tends to warp a bit? After sitting there holding the wood against the wall so the liquid nails would dry for a while we finally rigged up a way to hold it until it was set.

Ta Da!!! Check out the new wall! I had fun learning how to hang drywall and mud it. Now I'm working on priming everything and getting it ready for paint!

Raingutter Regatta

Brandon had his Raingutter Regatta this past Sunday. He did well, especially considering him and Daddy didn't get their boat made until the day before. Brandon won 3rd place in design and 2nd place in speed and qualifies to go to districts for both.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Riding bikes

Ethan was up on his bike for the first time since his surgery!!!! It was great to see him back on the bike.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

New Braces

Ethan got his new braces this week and we're working on breaking them in. He wore them for 3 hours yesterday and we can keep adding about an hour a day until he can wear them all day. We're still working on endurance and stairs are still very hard but he has improved greatly! It will be nice to be able to run again and get exercise.

As you can see, he was very proud that he could run again.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Playing in the dirt

We had a fun weekend playing in the dirt.

All the way down to the foundation.

A new layer of tar sprayed on to help with the waterproofing.

Thats a lot of dirt.
Skid loader driving lessons.
Add gravel.
Lots of gravel.

Ethan's turn to climb in the cat. He was very confused when we called it a caterpillar. He kept thinking it was a furry little bug that turns into a butterfly.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Guess what??? No more cast!

This is what you do when you have to wait an hour for your appointment.

First stop, the cast room to take the cast off. The cast guru did a great job explaining things to Ethan and he was fascinated with the tool used to cut off the cast as well as the pliers type things that he used to pry the cast apart.

This is the button on the bottom of his foot. I had no idea what to expect.
You can tell the button was pulled fairly tight to hold the tendon in place. We can't wait for our first bath in 6 1/2 weeks!!!!

Instead of another cast, the surgeon got him a walking cast instead. Ethan is pretty sore and so far today he has stood on that foot for about 5 seconds then he was done, saying that it hurt. It might be a day or two before he's ready to get back up on there. Hopefully we'll be able to get better practice and get back into the swing of walking again very soon.

We then went across town to have molds made for his new braces. We got to pick this time and Ethan chose camo straps with green foam. We should have them in about two weeks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Learning to walk

It has taken quite a bit longer than we expected for Ethan to be able to get up and walk on his cast. When we first started getting him up with the cast boot on, it seemed like he couldn't even remember how to walk. He would hold on with both hands and try to lean back against me if I was right behind him and really concentrate on making his feet move. At first it was one a step at a time, then two or three steps, then finally yesterday he was able to start taking several steps, even a few by himself. He is still very wobbly as you can tell, and we need to make sure someone is near to help catch him if he falls, but a lot of improvement. If you notice, he will make his hands into fists to help him keep his balance when walking. He would do this quite a bit before, but a lot more right now.

We go back on Wednesday to take this cast off and the button on the bottom of his foot. After that they will make a mold of his foot in order to make a new brace, then another cast until the brace comes in. At this point he thinks he wants a red cast. We'll see what they have.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Last of the long cast

Ethan had several people sign his long cast so I got some pictures of the signatures before they cut it off to check things out and decide if he needed to have his heel cord lengthened or not.

And check it out!!!! A short cast. He still isn't supposed to put any weight on it yet, but can start with a little bit next week. We had to go to three places around town to finally find a cast boot that is small enough to fit without being so long it looks like a clown shoe. This was at stop number two. We have three weeks in this cast, then they'll do a mold of his foot in order to make a new brace, then a couple weeks in another short cast until the brace comes in.

First Day of School

We're a week into school already, hard to believe its that time again. Brandon is in 3rd grade and Ethan in Kindergarten.
It was a rainy day so we couldn't get the usual in front of the building picture but had to get one inside. It was a bit of a rough day for Ethan with new kids in the class a new para and a new principle but we made it through.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Ethan's surgery went well. He was in quite a bit of pain for the first few days but is doing much better now.
Ethan is wearing the Wall-E hat that the anesthesiologist gave him while Daddy feeds him jello and he gets fitted for his wheelchair that he'll be using until the cast is off.

The playroom was right across from Ethan's room so it was easy to get over there to play.

We go back after 3 weeks and the surgeon plans to take the cast off under sedation and see how it's healing. Ethan's heel cord is tight, the surgeon didn't want to do anything with that yet, he wanted to see if keeping the leg casted in the bent position will help stretch the heel cord enough, if not, if not, he might go in at that time and lengthen the heel cord. Either way, they will put another cast back on, most likely another full leg cast for three more weeks. When that one comes off, they can do a cast of the left foot in order to make a mold and make a new brace for that leg, then he'll get a short cast for a couple of weeks until the new brace is ready. Yes, that adds up to about 8 weeks in a cast, and Ethan is already tired of it. He wants to get up and walk so badly.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Ethan's surgery

Ethan is having surgery on his left ankle on Monday morning. This site does a good job of describing what will be done.

There might be a little more that the surgeon will have to do once he gets in there, but more likely he will do this, then do more at a later date after we see how he responds. One of the issues is that because of the nerve damage from his spina bifida and his tethered spinal cord, some of the muscles are weaker, and if he does too much, those weak areas might not be able to hold up under increased pressure and he could start having issues in the opposite way. We are also watching his right foot closely because it is just barely starting to do some of the same things that the left has done.

Depending on how he's doing and handling the pain, we might be able to go home later that day. I think the hardest part will be dealing with being in a cast for 6 weeks, especially in three weeks when school starts.

Ethan is 6 years old

We had a fun birthday dinner at Chevy's, including hats and ice cream

Ice cream is important, can't even let the spoon out of our mouth to wipe up a drop of ice cream.

Ethan had a Batman birthday. He picked a yellow cake with yellow icing because that is the color of Batman's utility belt.

Brandon's Birthday

Brandon wanted an Indiana Jone's Birthday, so his chocolate cake was topped with a scene from one of the movies.
It took a little bit to figure out how to make the stand that the idol was sitting on. Brandon didn't mind eating all the M&M's from the gumball machine until he got to a brown one that I could use to be the sack of sand he used for a weight.


The boys got a Wii for their birthdays. Can you get a little idea of the excitement that Brandon has with the Lego Indiana Jones game?

Big brother is reading the back of the case of his game, guess I'd better do that too.

The boys gave each other cap guns for their Birthdays. Brandon's had a handkerchief so Ethan had to borrow one from grandma but decided to wear it on his head instead of his neck.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Brave Brandon

Brandon was determined to pull his tooth himself instead of letting me use the dental floss or pliers. He worked for a long time last night but nothing yet. Ethan was ready to help by holding him still while I pulled, but I set a deadline that if he didn't get it out by after lunch I would pull it before he went to grandma and grandpas.
Guess what!!!!!

He pulled it all by himself!!!

Great job Brandon!

Monday, July 07, 2008


Ethan has been wanting to go fishing for weeks and we finally had a chance.
He was full of questions.
No one caught anything, but we had fun.

It took Ethan quite a few tries, but every once in a while he was able to cast it himself.

Brandon can cast his line better than Mommy can, that's for sure.