Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Job, New House, New School...

This summer was full of changes; some good, some bad.

Good Changes:
*Josh got a new job with the City of Schertz, TX which is closer to San Antonio as their new HR Director. Actually, they contacted him and asked if he would be interested in applying. He wasn't really looking for a new job, even though the City of Round Rock also had been recruiting him for interviews. When he came home from the Schertz interview, he couldn't stop talking about it. I knew then that we would be moving within the foreseeable future.

*So because the new job was about an hour and 45 min away, we needed to sell the house. I cleaned and packed up as much of our junk as possible to make the house look presentable, then we invited about 5-6 realtors in to give us a price point. The pricing was varied quite a bit, but in the end, we listed somewhere in the middle. I tried keeping the house as clean as possible while Josh started commuting and staying with his mom during the week.
One day, a good friend of mine asked if we would like to go into Cedar Park to a trampoline jumpy place, so I set out the clean towels and straightened up the house, just in case someone called to see it. Good thing I cleaned, because our agent called to varify a showing for that afternoon. The person who came to see it ended up being our buyer. We had a contract within 12 days of listing it. The Lord apparently needed us to be together as a family again. A few bumps during the appraisal and closing kept me from totally accepting that the whole thing wouldn't fall apart, so I procrastinated packing until our agent called and told me we had a week to close and the buyer needed to move in immediately.
We then went from having approx. 10 days to pack widdled down to about 36 hrs. Even in the midst of all the frantic packing, they still were unsure if we were ACTUALLY going to close on the Friday they were shooting for. Finally, at 2:00pm on Friday, they called to say closing would be at 4:00 pm. Not much notice. We compromised and said we'd be out Friday if we didn't have to clean the house, the way I would normally leave it. The buyer agreed and we were done on time, thanks to the help of several friends, lots of sweat, and lots of water bottles!

*In the middle of the closing process, we realized we needed to find a new house and quick! We looked at several in our new area and found that there are three Wards here in the Schertz/Cibolo/Universal City area. There is also an Air Force Base nearby so we were afraid to be in a transient ward where the revolving door spins people in and out very quickly. We also had to find a home in the right school district for Lincoln. He was set to attend Pre-K but through the PPCD program he has been involved with in Marble Falls. Of the 7 elementary schools in Schertz/Cibolo, we found one we loved; Green Valley Elementary.
Luckily, we were able to find a rental home in the school district of our choice that also put us in the same Ward as a Co-worker of Josh's. We are about 2 blocks from the school and apparently several church members live in our neighborhood. Yes, we are in a neighborhood with sidewalks and kids playing in the street. It's a little strange since we came from a place where we were the only house on the street. So Lincoln is a Grizzly Bear now; perfect since he's now prone to growling at everyone he meets. (Thanks Puss N Boots! You are now banned from this house!)

*We are now in the Randolph Ward that has apparently received several move in's in the past month or so. We've only been there a couple times, but I can tell I will probably be called to be Lincoln's teacher in the CTR 4 class. They don't have a regular teacher that is there all the time and I volunteered to sit with the class during Sharing Time last week until their substitute arrived. Josh however is thrilled that a new Elders Quorum President was just called and it's NOT HIM! I've never seen him smile so big at church... ha ha. Just kidding.

Now for the Bad Changes:
*Our friend and buddy Cody Brasich passed away Aug. 5th from a rare form of childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma. He was only 4 1/2 yrs old and fought it like a champ. He was actually in remission from December 2011 until mid July when the cancer returned with a vengence. It was a heart-breaking situation and it was extremely difficult to watch his parents have to deal with the treatment then death of their only son. We miss Cody every day and pray for his mum and dad every night. They all mean so much to us. Cody and Lincoln basically grew up playing together, fighting, biting, hugging, and laughing with each other. Cody will always be in our hearts.

I am a pro at handling change, having moved so much as a kid, but this move was a little more difficult for me. As I was finishing packing what left over stuff we couldn't fit in the truck and relocating all the trash to the garage, I got a little teary leaving our first home. We put so much love and hard work into that house to make it our home. And we watched our son grow from a little toddler to a big, tall, strong boy. I know home is where you make it, but it was still hard to leave our "home".

So, onto another house, another ward, another school, another area...another adventure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

All our DIY projects

We've been busy at the house making improvements, some out of necessity, but mostly just to improve the function of things around the house.

This is our project out of necessity. We had a towel bar, but Lincoln tried to hang from it. So it was pulled from the wall not once...not twice....but three separate times, even though I just about BOLTED it to the wall stud. So we had to switch out to hooks. Hopefully it will keep him from pulling this off the wall.
I used an old shelf we white washed, added vinyl letters, painted over the lettering, removed the letters, then sanded. I also taped off the center rectangle before painting it brown.
**Here's my DIY hint: Hide the stud screws behind the hooks. That way the board is secured to the wall but there's no ugly screw heads showing.**

(Hidden Screws)

Here's Lincoln's DIY. While eating his "icy pop", his fingers got too cold. So he ran into the kitchen and came back with my oven mit. Now THAT'S my brilliant boy!!! Who needs cold fingers!!

In the back of the house, we have a giant mound where our septic tank is buried. I am tired of walking up and down the mound to the back porch, so we used some left over slate and concrete to build a stairway to the back porch. We built frames, secured them with rebar, poured and smoothed the concrete in the frames, and adhered the slate to top and rise of the concrete slabs. The only thing we have left to do is grout in between the stones.

Here's the unfinished steps. All the steps are now covered with slate.

Handyman Josh mixing the quickcrete for the last step.

Last but not least, I had to organize under my kitchen sink. It was out of control and I couldn't find anything I needed. We just had a box of mess under the sink so I wanted a pull out drawer, but the pull out drawers at lowe's were $60. I just happened to be at IKEA and found a closet pull out drawer in the AS IS section for $9.99. It was meant to fit a wall closet section.

It was meant to attach to the side walls of the closet section, so I had to drill holes in the bottom of the brackets to fit to the bottom of my cabinet. Then I just attached it.



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter!

Happy Easter! Our local library brings in little bunnies for the kids to hold and pet before Easter. We went and Lincoln loved seeing the bunnies. He had to be reminded to "Be soft" about 100 times, and he grabbed a couple of them a little too hard, but once I put a towel on his lap, he let them sit on his legs with no problems. Sensory kid. You never know what he will like or not like, but he did great.

We just came back from a friend's house for dinner and an egg hunt. He's got so much candy! I'm going to have to send it to Josh's work or something. Ha ha.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sleep Depreviation

For the past several months we have been having problems with Lincoln waking up in the middle of the night WIDE awake and ready to play, eat, read, and do just about anything other than sleep. Waking up at 1 am, falling asleep again at 4 am, then trying to wake up at 7 am for school is REALLY tough.

So this week I was able to schedule an appointment with a Sleep Institute in Temple, TX (about 2 hrs away) for a sleep study. We went in on Wednesday and met with the Neurologist for a consult then reported to the Institute at 7 pm. He was exhausted to begin with but then having all the wires and monitors attached to his head and body just set him off. He ended up screaming and crying himself to sleep then the Nurse finished attaching the wires. The night was tough for me because I woke up every time the nurse came in to fix one of his wires, but Lincoln basically slept through the night.

(Lincoln just after the last wire and head wrap)

I thought it may have been a waste of time since he slept all night, but the doctor actually had some red flags to discuss the next morning.

The first was the fact that he paused breathing 29 times during the night which is way more than normal, but the most troubling issue was the decrease in his oxygen levels while he paused. It dropped more than 4%, which is more than they prefer.

While reading his monitors, they determined it took him 175.5 minutes to reach his first REM cycle, which is too long. Normal sleep cycles go from beginning to end within 2 hours and then continues. He woke up twice before getting to his REM cycle and then woke up several more times.

So the first step was to check his Iron levels, which when functioning properly produce dopamine to help you sleep. If not the iron levels, we would then have to check his heart and possibly his upper pallette.

We got the blood work results back found that his ferritin levels were almost off the charts too LOW. They suggest an iron supplement for anyone whose levels are below 50...Lincoln's levels were at 13!!! So we are hoping to get his iron levels up as soon as we can get into the pediatrican's office on Monday. Hopefully fixing this will fix the problem.

After all our appointments, we went to the park and played for a little bit and saw a really cool steam engine to play on. I'm glad to be home though.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Glad February is over!! Leap Day sucks!!

Man, February was a tough month for us. We were SUPER busy with theater productions, doctor's appointments, job interviews, school assessments, and church.

Lincoln is doing great in school, but for the past couple of months I've noticed that his speech progress has plateaued. After another informal evaluation by his speech therapist at school, we found that his receptive speech, which measures more academic questioning, is within normal limits. It's on the low side, but still within normal limits.

However, when it comes to his expressive speech, the why, where, how questions, he tests below normal levels, but higher than the required test score to qualify for the school program. It means that if he was formally tested now, he wouldn't qualify for the program he is in now. Thankfully, he will not need to be formally tested for another year.

Next, I was asked to participate in our church's Stake Relief Society play production. I would need to play a woman that has struggled with infertility for seven years. I think they type cast me...but they promised they didn't know about my personal struggles before asking me. At the same time, I was asked to audition for a role in our local community theater production, a musical comedy called "Funny, You Don't Look Like A Grandmother." Thankfully, that role was not a lead one, so the practice nights required were cut in half.

But that still meant that my weeks looked like this for the past month and a half:

Monday: Play practice

Tuesday: Play practice

Wednesday: Mutual at church

Thursday: RS Play practice

Friday-Sunday off

Poor Josh was mister-mom most of the week. And he was studying for a certification exam which is scheduled for tomorrow. While all this was happening, Josh got head-hunted by a search firm to apply for a position with the City of Round Rock as the Human Resources Director.

He had actually applied for the job before they called him. So, the search firm sent him a list of questions he had to answer and send back. Almost every question required a 1-3 page answer.

He finished the list, made it to a face to face interview, was put up in a hotel for two nights and made it to the TOP TWO! But we found out Wednesday they hired the other person. It was kind of devastating, only because he hadn't gotten his hopes up until he made it to the top two. When he didn't get it, we let ourselves realize how much we both WANTED him to get it.

Now that we've had a few days to think about it, we both know that there is a reason we are here. Maybe that reason is Lincoln staying in school. I mean, if we moved and he was formally tested elsewhere to qualify for his special services, he wouldn't make it. And he desperately needs the help. His teachers are amazing and I was sad to think we would have to leave if Josh got the job. So, we're okay where we are.

As part of his interview, the City held a meet and greet for the candidates and their spouses, so a friend watched Lincoln for us while I drove the 75 minutes to the hotel. Before I left for the reception, I was having a hard time with Lincoln not listening. He was repeating movie quotes over and over again. I tried to get him to tell me anything except a movie quote. He hugged me and said, "Mommy", and then out came another quote. I just broke down crying. I just couldn't understand why he fixates on movies but can't come up with his own sentences. Plus, he keeps waking up in the middle of the night, two or three times, and won't go back to sleep. Wednesday morning, he was up at 1:30 am, then 3:30 am. He stayed up until 7:00 PM!!!! I was exhausted!! I don't know how he wasn't!!!

I'm still struggling with it, but hopefully we can find a way to help him. We are trying to make an appointment with a Neurologist to have him assessed for Autism and possibly a sleep disorder. We probably can't get an appointment until May or June, which is seriously ridiculous. We'll see...