Is anyone still checking our blog? We're assuming most of our readers have given up on us. Our silence has been a combination of exhaustion, stress, and frustration over the fact that it takes 10-20 minutes of kneeling on our laptop (literally) to get it to start up properly. Then if we are distracted by anything (like a child, for example) for more than 2 minutes, the computer shuts down, leaving us to start the entire process again. On the positive side, we're making some progress on the computer repair front, so we're greatly encouraged. We don't realize how much we rely on our computer until it's no longer available. In our 2 weeks of silence about our family, a lot has been happening. I'll try to sum up quickly before anyone needs my attention and close with some fun pictures from yesterday.
The day after our fun dentist visit, the kids and I (Becky) headed to CHOP to see the nephrologist. At this point, they're still make assumptions about what disease Garty has. There are some signs that his disease may be progressing. They particularly need to monitor his blood pressure because hypertension is common in these situations. Garty's is currently on the high end of normal.
The doctor checked out Joshua and Patience. He was able to feel their kidneys, but they weren't huge. Both of them will have ultrasounds this Friday to see if they have cysts as well. We'd appreciate your prayers for all 3 of our kids. The idea of having 3 kids who may eventually experience kidney failure is quite disturbing.
After standing around for a while trying to keep Garty out of trouble while all our upcoming appointments were being scheduled, it was all I could do to get our fussy baby through his bloodwork. I had no idea how utterly exhausting medical appointments could be. The lifesaver for me was that our friend Daria was on rotation at CHOP for a few weeks, so she took us to lunch in the cafeteria. After an hour or so with her and her husband, Gabes, I was ready to face the rest of the day.
The weekend of October 12th was designated "house project weekend" at our place. We had several major things that needed to be taken care of before winter. Over the course of several days, Peter installed a new front door and then (with plenty of help from Gabes) stuccoed around the outside of our mudroom to stop the leaking and subsequent rotting of our walls.
Monday the 15th, Joshua went to the ENT to see about the hole in his eardrum. The hole is small, and he is experiencing only the smallest amount of hearing loss because of it. The doctor feels that if we can keep it from becoming reinfected, it may heal by itself. We go back in January. If it isn't healing, they will have to run some tests to make sure there isn't a cyst behind his eardrum. Removing a cyst is a major procedure, but repairing the eardrum in the absence of a cyst wouldn't be a big deal.
Last weekend, I went away by myself for the entire weekend thanks to my dear sweet hubby. He secretly signed my up for a scrapbooking retreat with his own birthday money. I drove to the Poconos and had 48 hours when I didn't have to do anything except eat, sleep, and put our treasured photos in albums. As a bonus, autumn is in full swing up there, so the colors were gorgeous. It was absolutely wonderful. Peter took the kids to his Mom's house overnight on Friday and then spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday with them at home. He even made it to church and had dinner hot and ready for me when I arrived home Sunday. I am truly a blessed woman.
Joshua went on his first field trip Monday to Highland Orchards. They picked apples and tiny pumpkins, learned about apple cider, and made scarecrows. I can't imagine being in charge of a field trip for the entire kindergarten, but everyone seemed to have a great time.
Yesterday was a special day at our house. It marked exactly 6 months since the kids arrived in the US. As an added bonus, it was early dismissal day. We headed to the zoo after school and then carved our big pumpkin last night after Daddy came home. We've had the pumpkin for several weeks, and the kids have been anxious to "put a happy face on it." Daddy did the carving while Mommy, Joshua, and Patience prepared the pumpkin seeds for roasting. Garty enjoyed sticking his head in the pumpkin but wasn't too interested in the rest of the process. Plenty of fun was had by all, and today we'll all be eating yummy pumpkin seeds with our lunch.