Thursday, July 31, 2008

Queen Kong

Queen Kong. That's how I felt when I was sitting at my computer, when I was suddenly ambushed by this!

Dozens of little styrofoam airplanes. The boys' aim - Son #2's especially - was remarkable accurate.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Keeping Busy and Trying to Keep Cool

July in Southeast Louisiana. Temps in the mid 90s, humidity darn close. Yuck.

I've been keeping busy creating some more jewelry items (even though I find it too hot to go outside and photograph them in natural lighting), playing with our puppy (Max), and finishing up our back-to-school shopping.

On an unrelated note, I'm bummed that Ebert and Roeper will no longer be doing their "At The Movies" reviews on TV. Roger Ebert hasn't been on the show since his cancer surgery - a year or two ago? He apparently owns the trade mark "thumbs up" (or "thumbs down") so the current version features Richard Roeper and a guest critic voting to "see it," "skip it" or "rent it." It lacks the panache of "thumbs up," don't you think? Roeper has hinted that he might have his own movie review show on another network in the future.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Son #1's Growth - an Update

A couple of weeks ago, my mood was low and my frustration level high. Son #1 has been seeing a pediatric endocrinologist since April 2007. (Follow up visits in June 07, Nov 07, May 08.) At our last visit, the doctor recommended the growth hormone stimulation test, a three hour in-hospital test at which they give Son #1 a simulating agent (glucagon) so his blood sugar will peak and drop. Blood samples are taken from an IV port every 30 minutes. A score below 10 is considered “growth hormone deficient” and therefore treatment is often covered – at least partially – by insurance.

Son #1's result: 10.4. Technically he “passed” the growth hormone stimulation test. We should be happy, right? Perhaps I would be, had the doctor not said that Son #1 is producing “about 60-70%” of the growth hormone that he needs. That’s like graduating high school with a D minus.

The doctor wants to see Son #1 again in August for more ‘data points’ (plotting on the growth chart). I’ve been unofficially plotting his growth chart (downloaded from Centers for Disease Control – these are the same ones the doctors offices use). In height and weight, he’s been below the bottom 10th percentile since age 8 and since age 10 has been below the bottom 3rd percentile. (In weight, he’s significantly below the bottom 3rd percentile line.)

Our last visit was the first time the doctor mentioned the words "growth hormone injections." (Just a possibility at this point, though.) Sigh. Never a dull moment with this child.

More to come later...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Meet Max

Subtitle: Call me 'stupid.'

I've been a bit stressed lately with all that's going on (or not going on) with Son #1's growth issues. The testing, the "maybes," the research (ad nauseum), etc. I could use a bit of a distraction, right?

Summer break with three boys...not exactly the picture of serenity anyway, so why not add a PUPPY to the mix? Truth is, I'd been thinking about it for a while. Our greyhound, Echo, died suddenly last September, and I've been getting the feeling that it's about time to consider another dog. Our beagle, Scout, misses having a canine friend. I miss having a "my" dog. Scout it great, but he's a family pet. Echo loved all of us, but he was "my" dog, know what I mean?

I thought about adopting a chocolate labrador retriever, but wondered whether I really wanted to spend hundreds of dollars for a puppy, when I could adopt a dog who really needs a home for a nominal fee. An ad in Sunday paper a week ago caught my eye. No photo, mind you. Just a two line listing amidst many pets for adoption. I called the all-volunteer rescue group the following day but didn't hear back so I figured it just wasn't meant to be.

I finally received a call on Friday, July 4th. We were told that the dog, and several others would be at the PetSmart Adoption Day on Saturday July 5th. For those of you unfamiliar with PetSmart stores, they do not sell puppies. Instead they work with local rescue groups by hosting adoption events at their stores, and providing discounted shots, spay/neutering through their in-house veterinary clinic called Banfield.

Dear Hubby, Sons #1 and #3, and Scout the beagle went to meet "Mr. White" as he was called by his foster family (because of a teensy white spot on his neck that's usually obscured by his collar).

We liked what we saw, filled out the adoption paperwork. They did the vet reference, and home visit on Monday and by Monday afternoon, Max was coming home with us.

More about Max: He's 4 months old. His mother is a yellow labrador retriever. His father, also up for adoption, is an English Mastiff. Probably not pure bred since the dad is small - "only" 100 lbs. His foster family was caring for the father (a rescue dog), when the woman's son adopted the yellow lab. The two became fast friends before they had the opportunity to have the lab spayed and the rest is history.

Max definitely looks more "labrador" than "mastiff." He has the softest coat (probably from the yellow lab side. Mastiffs and black labs tend to have courser coats). He's going through his awkward stage - long and lanky. He's very calm and very mellow. We're training him to stay off the furniture (he was allowed on it in his foster home). We're working on housebreaking him (he's most of the way there, but not quite) and crate-training him (he'll bark for 5-20 minutes but will settle down and sleep through the night). I'll enroll him in puppy obedience training since he's going to grow to be rather large - probably larger than a typical lab.

This is the second full day he's been with us and so far, so good. He's very well-behaved, but a little timid. He really seems to like the kids and me, but he's still getting used to Dear Hubby. There wasn't an adult male in the family so that may be why. He loves lying by our guinea pig cage quietly watching Kramer.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy Fourth of July (belated)!

I hope everyone had a safe, wonderful 4th of July weekend. My father-in-law barbecued at his house (just 4 blocks away) and later in the evening we set off a few fireworks on our street at a casual block party. Our street in only one block, so it was easy to coordinate.

With all the talk about the economy, the war, the election, I hope everyone took a moment to remember what is really wonderful about our nation.

Happy Independence Day.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What a Week!

Sorry I've been remiss in blogging. This past week was spent cleaning, cleaning, cleaning the house in preparation for Son #1's and Son #2's party on Saturday. It went well - mostly family, but they did invite three friends from school/scouts. Pizza, cake, ice cream...the usual. They received a lot of cool gifts.

We heard back about the results from Son #1's growth hormone stimulation test. His numbers are low, but not low enough for most insurance companies to cover treatment if his endrocrinologist feels it's warranted. We meet with him again in August or September to determine the next steps.