In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Monday, January 28, 2013

3 month recap!

I can't believe it has been so long since I've updated.  It's amazing how busy I am.  I never have enough time in my day.  Between doctor/specialist appointments, homeschooling, having a new baby, etc.  I honestly never have a moment to spare.  

Finally, I am getting back on track.  We are back on schedule and have found our way in our new routine, so hopefully I will be back blogging on a more regular basis.  I am going to make more of an effort this year to post more about our school happenings & projects.We are back in our groove and ready to share what we are learning each day.  

You may be wondering what has been happening for the past 3 months.  Well, our little Dove just turned 5 months old.  I can't believe it!!  Time has gone so fast.  He is a much happier baby nowadays.  He has taught me that I only thought I knew what patience was before he was born!  I have also learned that he really did not need half of the things we bought for him.  He rarely used his bouncy seat, he got too big for his bumbo seat before he could even use it and he hated his swing.  I have gotten lots of use out of my Ring Sling, Moby and my Babyhawk carriers.  He has taken babywearing to a whole new level and having a variety of carriers to choose from has been a true blessing.  He is just now starting to enjoy any sort of playtime. He does enjoy his playmat, exersaucer and his walker but the past few days I have found myself wearing him much more than I've had to the past few months.  I don't mind...I know these days are limited and I honestly do try and savor each moment with him.  He has recently discovered his feet and he LOVES his toes!  He is sitting unassisted and can even sit up on his own.  He's such a BIG boy!!! This is all so new to kids don't grow and the last two have been developmentally delayed so having a baby who does things on time or ahead of schedule and having one that grows is so different for me.  By the time he was 4 months old, he was wearing 12 month clothes.  Now, at just 5 months I am buying 18 month clothes for him.  He is weighing in at 17 lbs and is 26 1/2 in long.  He recognizes his name and the sign for "milk".  I could not be more in love with him! 

Cardinal and Hawk are doing amazing in their private schools this year.  This comes as no surprise ;) I prepared them well.  It's funny to hear people's reactions to how they are doing in school. It's almost like people expected them to do poorly because they were home schooled or there are those that think they are doing so well because they are not home schooled this year, like they suddenly became geniuses who were not educated before attending a brick and mortar school...I mean at least a little credit that I taught them for the past 8 & 9 years would be nice, after all...I did prepare them well.

The biggest happening over the last few months has been the discovery of multiple blood disorders in 5 of our 7 children.  Upon a further understanding of our family history our pediatrician decided to do some genetic testing on all of my and my sister's children.  They underwent extensive blood work and EKG's.  It's all so confusing because some of them have multiple blood disorders one of them being so rare that only 1.6 in a million people have the disorder, only 1200 (yes, 1200) people in the world have been diagnosed with the disorder and 5 of my children have it!  CRAZY!!!  It's a very scary thing, but we have found a wonderful network of people who are teaching us so very much along the way.  We are so blessed because as of yet, none of them are showing symptoms of this particular disorder (Plasminogen Deficiency).  Dove tested positive for having this and another disorder, but he is not being given an official diagnosis as of yet because of his age.  This is very concerning because he is the ONLY one of them who is showing any signs of this disorder.  It's very frustrating!  Eagle and Emu are both being very closely monitored because their levels were dangerously low and it is likely that they will have other problems caused by their deficiency.  Hawk & Eagle both only have this one disorder, PD.  Emu & Duckling have PD and another blood disorder (the hematologist is a bit confused because their disorders may somehow contradict each other and their will be a bigger concern for Duckling when she hits childbearing age).  Dove tested positive for having PD and a completely different disorder than all his siblings.  He will be retested after he turns a year old and then will be given his official diagnosis if he still is found to have the disorders.  The only signs that any of them show of having any disorder is that they bruise easy and it takes them a while to heal.  They are all due to have further testing and we are in the very early stages of trying to figure this all out.

We've just gotten over bouts of sickness around here.  It started a few days after Thanksgiving.  Coughs, colds, sore throats.  Duckling was first and had a diagnosis of Bronchitis.  Next was Hawk with strep throat.  The following week Duckling, Macaw and Eagle were tested for both the flu and strep throat but all tests were negative.  All this time from Thanksgiving till Christmas Dove had what seemed like a little cold.  He was just a bit congested off and on and he had a bit of a cough.  Nothing that warranted a Dr. visit.  As we were getting ready to head to my parents the day before Christmas Eve, Dove started wheezing.  The ER diagnosed him with RSV based on symptoms (they didn't test him).  They gave him an inhaler and sent him home.  He got better, then worse and even later that week we were in the Pediatrician's office.  He was tested and diagnosed with both RSV and Rhinovirus and he was diagnosed with Bronciolitis, Pink Eye and a Double Ear Infection.  All in all...he was a complete MESS...a miserable mess!  No one can imagine the grief of having a baby with RSV unless you've lived it.  You do NOT know a sick baby unless you've had one like this!  We were very fortunate to be able to keep him out of the hospital but it was not easy.  Constant suctioning, nebulizer treatments every 4 hours, steam rooms, elevation....let me tell you it was exhausting!!  8 weeks, he was sick for 8 long miserable weeks.  7 kids and I've never had one so sick in my life.  I hope that we never go through anything like that again.  They tell us that he is likely to have asthma and follow in Eagle's footsteps, that makes me sad to think I will have another kid who has to live with a lung condition like that, but at least I have all of the experience and can better care for Dove and Eagle is such a great big brother and can easily recognize when Dove is having trouble breathing. 

We were so very blessed to have yet another unexpected Christmas with my mother.  It's quite so bittersweet as she truly nears the end of her earthside journey.  Nothing can prepare my children or me for what we have in store for us when we lose my mother.  Nothing has been more difficult for me than this journey with her. 

So, yes...It's been a very long 3 months and we have stayed very busy!  It's nice to have things calming down a bit!

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