Friday, May 30, 2008


The garage door had gone out on us- cannot remember if I've posted that yet or not, but instead of paying for a place to install it, we bought one on our own for 1/3rd the price and went to install it. Mike soon found that the new track was longer than the old one, putting the opener itself right over the light in the garage. Hmmmm..... So that meant re-wiring the garage lights, moving that light, and while at it we went ahead and bought more lights to put up in the garage so that i'd be able to see much better out there. So we now have 2 large florescent lights, a shop light, and the light bulb fixture. Why so much light? Read on...

Thats one thing that has really changed in our house, our lighting. The biggest thing with RP/Usher's Syndrome is that as the cells die off in the eye, the first thing to go is night vision, as well as the ability for the eyes to adjust to major changes in lighting. It's quite a struggle when going from bright outside to inside. Most people, thier eyes adjust quickly and the continue on. For those who have RP, it takes a good 5 minutes easily to adjust and be able to travel safely during these changes. Which is where Honey is such a blessing. I can make that trasition safely, letting her guide me during that transition phase.

So with the lighting, we have two HUGE florescent lights in our kitchen, which most people would be like GOSH thats a lot of light. For me it's perfect. Mike has been awesome too in putting under cabinet lights in each of our closets and he's even wired up another under cabinet light under my clothes and over my shoes so I can find my shoes. Thank goodness he's quite a handyman!

So for the majority of our Memorial Day weekend, Mike spend his time out in the garage working on the lights and such. I spent most of the weekend outside with the kids too, but I edged ALL of the sidewalks. Golly, I'm glad Mike does the shovelling in the winter! LOL! That's the one disadvantage to having a corner house, being twice as many sidewalks. However, it's great for the kids though in riding thier bikes, so the trade off is worth it. So I worked through the weekend with a little shovel and edged the 4+ inches of overgrowth on each side of the sidewalk. It was something that's been on our to do list for years, but just hadn't gotten to it. Hopefully we can keep it up on a regular basis now that the hard part is done. I just need to finish up the sidewalks that are in the back yard now, not much but needs done. :)

We also had soccer on Saturday morning of this weekend. Katie's team- not sure where they were this morning, as none of them were really into it. Katie seemed to get a little better as the game went on. It was a blah day in general for the u10 Red Bulls as they played a team with a lot of big kids. The U4 Red Bulls were interesting too, as two of the kids weren't there so that left Mike with 5 kids. So he put Alex in to play! :) He did well, better than I thought he would, though by the 3rd quarter, he was getting tired and was pretty much done. He'd had it with not being able to catch up and get the ball. Yet he kept trying and kept moving on the field, unlike Meaghan, who kept balking at even going out and playing at this point. But she had ran around like a crazy kid during Katie's game, playing with other kids and eaten popcorn and a hotdog, so guessing she was feeling it.

Here's some pics of them all:

Has it really been 10 days?

Golly the time flies when you are having fun. ;)

We are doing pretty good here. Just crazy on the highway of life. :) Honey is doing great, though she's been a pretty lazy dog lately since I've been so busy around here and not been out much away from home outside the norm.

We went to see the new Prince Caspian movie at the exlusive showing for our church members, which unfortunately, I was unable to hear as the fm system didnt work. :( I'm a little upset too as I emailed the theater requesting help/resolution of this for the future and I've not heard any sort of response from anyone. So that's not set too well with me about the theater. I guess too it's a major pet peeve of mine now of theaters/places that advertise that they have fm capabilities and I'm now 2 for 2 in the last year in the places having the stuff, but it doesnt work right or the employees cannot figure out how to make it work. Honey however had a great time and snoozed through the whole thing at my feet, but said Hello! to the lady in front of us that we see each week as we get the church bulletin from her. :) She was such a good girl. :)

That night, after the movie, Aleatha, a good college friend of ours and one of our bridesmaids, came down to stay with us for a couple of days as she had a job thing here in our area. She brought her two boys, Cole, age 3 and Derrick, age 4 mos, down with her and I watched them while she was at work on Wednesday and Thursday. Alex was soooooo happy to have a buddy to play with here at home again and they played well together on Wednesday. Thursday wasn't so hot, since all were out of routine and not sleeping in their own beds- we had Alex sleeping on the girls room on an air mattress, with Aleatha and the boys in Alex's room. But naps soon resolved most issues with the two of them and the good weather allowed us all to go out Thursday evening to let off the pent up steam. :)

Some pics from Wednesday at soccer practice:

The kids playing on Wed/Thursday

However during thier stay, in order to keep the boys confined to a manageable area, I had to put up the gate. I put Honey outside the gate so she could continue to get her water and go out since it was nice out. She was NOT happy with me about his gate and whined and fussed at me quite a bit. See....

But she was happy when we all went outside. :)

Alex took a picture of me with Derrick in the Mei Tai

My Happy puppy:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What a crazy week and weekend....

I keep saying some day this is all going to slow down, but life has proven otherwise so far... ;) And as it has, we survived the craziness of this last week and weekend. :)

Let's see...

Wednesday- I'd stayed home and worked on stuff for getting ready for the weekend/looking up stuff on cameras and such, and just stayed home with Alex instead of going out to soccer practice in the damp and cool weather, since it'd been raining off and on all day.

Thursday- Busy day starting to get ready for the weekend and was Mike's late night of working, so had the kids on my own and putting them to bed.

Friday- I had that wonderful annual exam with the dr, so Mike took a half day and came home and worked on some things around the house and watched Alex while I was at the dr. After a ride home from Sue, we headed out very shortly after that to pick up Meaghan from pre-school and then head to the other side of town for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for our good friend Amy and her -now- hubby, Paul. Mike was dj'ing and doing all the music for her. :)

Honey did great, and everyone just kept saying man she's just such a good dog! She was out of the way and quiet. During dinner I put her down behind me against the wall and although there were kids running around and everyone was chatting, it was so nice, I didn't have to worry about her at all, she just snoozed with all the hub bub going on around her. :) Dinner was good and the kids had fun. Then we headed home and Mike and I was up really late preparing for the long day on Saturday.

I printed off papers for the disabilities support group meeting, put together all the snacks and such to go with for that, then got all the soccer stuff together, wrapped the wedding gift, laid out all the stuff to take off in the morning and so forth.

Saturday- The LONG day....

We were up early as we got the girls ready for their soccer games, loaded up the disabilities support group meeting stuff, Mike was still scrambling trying to get the music list finalized for that night, then we loaded up and went to the church and set up for the Disablities support group meeting.

Deb had warned me that the disabilities van was not working and in the shop, so my regulars that usually come via the van wouldn't be there. So we got there and set up, took the bag of toys in for the kids and they played for a bit. Mike was still working on his music list, and we waited from 10-10:30 and no one had showed. Which in all honesty, actually worked out better for me, allowing me to go with Mike to the soccer fields and to see the kids games. So we cleaned up from there, and headed over to the other mega church in town, where the soccer fields were for Meaghan's 11am game and Katie's 12pm game. I didn't have the camera since it's been acting so screwy on me, so no pics from those two games.

Mike tried something different with the 4's kids and it worked pretty well. He held thier hands and ran with them getting them to get in there and so forth. Many of the little ones are afraid of getting kicked and hurt, so it was cute to see him running all over the field with them. LOL! So the result was several of them were very responsive to that and actually got some decent playing in. :)

Then we immediately ran over to Katie's game and set up over there after getting Meaghan's snacks from the concession stand. Alex was being pretty whiny by this point and grumpy so he was mad at me most of the time, and he saw something that he wanted and went running and BAM, down in the mud he went. So we had an on field clothing change since his whole back side was brown with mud. LOL!

Katie's team did really well, considering they had no subs since two of the kids weren't there and they were just rotating kids through the positions. ALL of the kids were ready to drop by the end of the game and were exhuasted, but they played very well and hard. It was good too, that most of Katie's team isn't afraid of getting dirty while playing, so the mud pits didn't slow them down any. LOL! Quite a few kids on this team were stripping down before they got in the vehicles after the game, that's for sure! LOL! Katie played goalie for the last quarter and she'd stayed relatively clean up to then, and sure enough she pretty much made a slide diving for a ball so she was covered from her waist down and came home to go straight to the shower as we fixed lunch. :)

After getting home, we got lunch fixed and put Meaghan and Alex down for naps after they ate, this being about 1pm. Miked finalized all of his music stuff and Katie and I got ourselves ready to go to the wedding. We loaded stuff up and called Sue to come over with Meaghan and Alex, who were still asleep and were going to be spending the night with Grandma and Grandpa that night. We zoomed back to the other side of town and to the hotel where the wedding was.

We got there about 4:30 and got inside to set up the ceremony room with the laptops and test to make sure we had music for the ceremony. We got there to find that the ceremony room had NOT been set up as needed for this so Mike was scrambling a bit to find the AV guy and get the equipment we needed. It all worked out in the end, though a little bit of set up was happening as guest were coming in, but it was ok. The ceremony was beautiful and very pretty but simple, and started on time at 6pm.

Following the ceremony, everyone went over to the reception room, right next door and Mike quickly set up the laptops in there and got things going to dj for the evening. The bridal party got thier group pictures in and then the bride and groom made thier grand entrance to their table. Dinner was then opened up and was very good and the music was good too, as Amy and Paul had chosen a lot of big band music stuff for thier play list. All stuff we liked too. :)

So we had the usual reception stuff- dinner, dances, bouquet toss, and all in all good fun. :) Marland- the bride's brother in law and a good friend of ours too had brought a camera that they'd had and no longer using for us and while Katie and I took pictures, I wasn't able to figure it out well so a lot of them were super dark and blurry. However, here are a few of them that did come out ok...

Ceremony room:

Honey patiently waiting as she needed to go potty! LOL!

Katie in her lace dress:

The Bride and Groom during the First Dance:

The Hardware! LOL!

Honey made herself at home! LOL!

The cake was good! LOL!

Mike and I at the end of the night:

So we cleaned up from there and pulled out and got home about 12:30. Katie was out cold before we left the parking lot. LOL! So when we got home, we all crawled into bed after getting jammies on and crashed HARD. :)


The three of us woke up about 1oam and it wasn't too long after that Grandma and Grandpa called to bring Meaghan and Alex home. We missed church for the weekend as it was a pretty lazy day of just cleaning up from all that was going on for the week and putting stuff away. We ordered pizza for lunch, buying extra to have enough for dinner too before going to our bible study group in the evening too.

So we put all three kids down for naps and mike went and picked up the new garage door opener from lowes, coming home and starting on that, only to find that it's going to mean an electrical project along with it. The track for the new opener is longer than the old one, putting the opener right over where the ceiling light fixture is. So that light has to move first before we can get the opener installed, and a meaning another trip to lowes.

We did run to walmart though to look at bikes for Meaghan and Alex though. Katie's small bike is still too big for meaghan though she can ride it decently, but perched precariously up in the air. the 12 inch Dora bike she hopped on and doing circles around us on, so the 12 inch would be perfect for her. It is however still too big for Alex. And I've done a lot of looking online for a 10 inch one, but most have reviews of being very tipsy, other than the $70 radio flyer one, which is a LOT more than we are wanting to spend on a bike he'll only be able to use for maybe one summer. So we are still looking around for other options. I just know I need to get him something to do outdoors as Alex has hit this Holy TERROR stage and is seriously giving me a run for the money on patience.

Thursday morning I think he spent more time IN time out than he did out that morning. He broke the headphones we had and Mike needed for the wedding (he was able to use them still with one ear piece though), cut himself with a knife, climbing on things, just flat out being defiant, and is climbing all over things to get up to high things he wants. So lots of time to burn energy is really needed right now! LOL!

Monday- We spent the day re-cooperating yesterday. Catching up on laundry and going Ahhhhhh, the stressful week is OVER! I talked with several people online and was doing some research on cameras out there and worked on trying to learn this camera that Marland had given us. Also did some research on smartphones that we are looking to get with the economic stimulus check that we finally received. :) We are both needing something now that I'm out and about a lot more, with having Honey now and might as well go for something that will simplify life in not having to maintain 4 paper calendars. ;)

So today- Tuesday- I am updating the blog after a week, working on cleaning house since Aleatha and her two kiddos are coming down for a visit for the next couple of days and will be staying with us.

Tonight, Mike, Katie, and I will be going to see the new Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian movie and I cannot wait. :) I had wanted to see the first one in the theater, but wasn't able to with the two little ones. But for this, we arranged for Grandma and Grandpa to watch them and put them to bed for us and doing a night out with Katie. :)

This week is the last week of school for Katie- gosh I cannot believe how the time has flown. We did get a summer reading plan for her though from her teacher and we'll be trying to hit the library this summer for sure. Several series that were recommended was:

The Boxcar Children
Little House on the Prairie
Ramona Cleary

Update on Grandmother- Thank you for all of your prayers, she is doing pretty good and is in the rehab unit now. Please continue to pray as she goes through rehab, and that she doesn't get too ornery and will do what they ask of her. LOL!

Well I'd better get moving with stuff around here, so laters to all!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Trainer came!

Good Morning all!

Greg was on his way up from KY up to MI, so he stopped here to work with us for a few hours. Boy that made a WORLD of difference! :)

We started out by going to Linens N Things first. He had bought a bag of doggie treats and explained that he doesn't normally like using treats, but to give positive reinforcement besides his voice, he would use them to help get her over the fear in this situation. So Greg explained that he would work her into the store and I was to follow behind watching and listening to what he did. So I harnessed her up and he took the handle.

We walked up to the store and she started to balk on him and he had her sit and gave her a treat. Then when he asked her to go forward, she kind of balked at going and he reached down and grabbed the leash and gently tugged forward and in a real positive voice called her and excitedly said to her Honey! Come on girl! She hopped forward and was bouncing by his side. So he walks on in and the blower is going, and he has her sit and gives her another treat, praising her highly with his voice. He calls her forward again and she moves forward for him, though kind of tugging a bit. Greg then stops and gives another treat, and explains to me that he wants to keep her moving nice and slow, let her get back into that relaxed state and hey, it's ok to be here. I'm being good, I get treats, it's ok here.

So Greg walks on around the store with me following behind watching what he's doing. We get on around the store to the back left corner (a WHOLE lot further than I had been able to get with her and making me feel quite like an idiot! LOL!) and another really loud blower there. Greg has here sit and another treat and lots of praise for being good. So then we start to move forward towards the Kiosk where we'd been standing when all of this mess started and I look up and realize now that we had been standing RIGHT underneath a blower when she freaked out on me that time. Seriously, the pole that the kiosk was attached to ran right up to the ceiling and the blower unit was attached to the pole. So that explains why she freaked out so bad. So another treat and standing here a few minutes and lots of praise.

Then we move on around to across the front of the store, keeping her nice and slow and round the corner to head to the back of the store again. We get back to the back left corner again and Greg sets a treat up on a shelf and hands the harness over to me and tells me to have her sit and treat her. Then to walk off to the front of the store. So I do so and we walk off. Gosh it was nice to have my dog back again! What a releif! So we walk up to the front, head out the front doors and she's tugging a bit there, but not like she had before. We stand there and I praise her good and give her another treat.

Greg then has me go back in the store to walk all around the store again and gives me 3-4 treats to put in my pocket and use when needed. So she kind of balks at going in but moreso because she was trying to follow Greg, since we'd been following him before. when walking out of the store. So we start on in and Greg stops me and shows me a different way to hold the leash.
He explains instead of holding the leash around my wrist and through the thumb and fore finger, he shows me to pul the leash up and just through my first and second fingers, where when she balks I can easily reach down and take the leash with my right hand without having to drop the harness and encourage her forward or gently turn her right if she's balking at going right. What a tool to use with Honey, works soooooo well! :)

So we go on around the store again and it wasn't until we got to the back left corner again that there was a blower going. I have her sit and give her a treat and she does great. Another HUGE sigh of relief, we can do this! :D So then we go on forward and I stop at the kiosk and have her sit and treat again, to reinforce that it was ok to be there. Then we move on to the front of the store and on out the doors. HUGE GRINS!

So once back outside, we talked for a bit, reviewing what Greg had just taught me and how to use my voice and encouraging her and letting her know it was ok to be there and so forth. Greg told me to have some treats on hand the next time I came to Linens N Things, but not necessarily use them, just have them for if we needed them to reinforce she was ok. Then we talked about where else we'd had problems and we talked about the hair cut place, but since I so very rarely go there and it was a very similar thing to the Linens N Things, we decided not to hit that place.

So we decide to go back to the church where she had reacted to the hand dryer a few weeks ago. We get there and there wasn't anyone else in the bathroom, so Greg came on in with us and as I stood there holding her, he started up the dryer. She was a little antsy but with the praise and such, it wasnt really bothering her. So SUCCESS! Greg said just be sure to try to keep her back from any dryers so she can see it coming, maybe get her attention before starting it if possible so she's not startled at it and with time she should be fine on it. I mentioned too that we had been in that very bathroom for a whole weekend with 70 other women for a whole weekend at our church and it didn't bother her then, but that it was after we'd been to Linens N Things that she reacted to it. Greg said that sometimes one bad reaction to something can trigger other startled reactions to and since she's ok with the store now, that I should probably see some improvement with the hand dryers too and knowing now how to work with her.

So then we headed out of there and Honey kind of clipped me close to a door as we were going out. So Greg had us come back and showed me how to try to work with her on making her watch the doors. He also mentioned too that he saw that I did the roll in, going into the bathroom since the door was hinged on the left. He asked how I was taught to bring the dog back to my side. I told him doing the big circle to the left and "Come to Heel". He then said ok, I'm all about showing you different tricks and you can use what works for you. He then showed me to just bring her around me to the right and back to the heel position. Then as we left the the building, he showed me that with the new leash holding position, that iw would make it easy to do the switch and then when switching back, it was easy and quick to bring the dog around from my right, to the left, put the leash in my left hand, pick up the harness and keep right on walking w/o having to stop. I was like COOOL!!!! LOL! Ok got that one to try!

I then explained to him too that I actually tended to avoid left hinged doors, since it was such a pain to do them with the roll in, and the switch wasn't easy with the leash around the wrist. So can't wait to work on that some more. :)

So we headed on back to the house and Greg chatted with my hubby, Mike, and I for a few minutes about how Honey has worked for our family and such and then he took off to go on his way up to Michigan. I feel a lot more confident now in working with her and how to work her through these situations now when we encounter them too. :) Yay!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Trainer is coming today and Prayers please!

Greg called and will be here today to work with Honey. From what everyone has said, it looks like my puppy is just being a little headstrong and it looks promising that we can work through it and be on our happy merry way again. :D

I do have to ask for prayers though, as my Grandmother is having surgery this afternoon after a fall yesterday. Please pray for a speedy recovery!

Off to get us lunch before Greg gets here!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend- Post is picture heavy

Where to start....

It's been a hectic weekend and some frustrations along the way too. Let's start with Friday...

We had a busy day trying to get stuff together and ready to go up the the Mother Daughter banquet that was at Grandmother's church. Sue picked up both Meaghan and Katie from school so that we try to make the one hour drive on time. Ugh, TRY is the optimistic word here. We left my house at 4pm and what is normally a 35-40 minute drive took an hour and 45 minutes in Friday night traffic. The girls were crabby, hungry, and Katie was getting car sick from all the stop and go. We finally made it to our destination about 6:30, just as the last people were making thier way through the line for the meal. Then as all wrapped up, we took some pictures of all of us, gave each other hugs and headed home. Honey did really well, with the long drive in the car and amongst all the people. :)

So then for Saturday. Another long day at the soccer fields, as Katie had a 9am game and Meaghan had an 11am game. So we did Katie's game, which she played really well, as did the whole team against a team that was a lot bigger than them. :) I was proud of them!

Some pics of Katie's game:

Then after Katie's game, we went over and each got a hot dog to hold us over until after Meaghan's game was over. At 11, we then were at Meaghan's game.

Before the game:

So Meaghan actually got into the game a bit, moreso than she has in the past, not the dandalion picking, running around like she has done:

Alex now has a little friend that is the lil' sis of one of the kids on Meaghan's team and they play together at all the practices and games now. They are so cute together! :)

Alex making his own tunnel for the kids to run through:

We then came home and grabbed lunch and the kids all laid down for a nap. Mike went out to mow the yard since it was supposed to storm all day on Sunday. He went out to mow and the mower wouldnt start yet again, so he took it to be tuned up and have all the wheels replaced. So while it's less than buying a new mower, it's still a good chunk. So he then came home and borrowed Dad and Sue's mower to mow the front and side yards of the hayfield we already had going. Once he finished with that, it was already time for church. Mike got cleaned up and we went to church, which afterwards we grabbed a quick bite to eat and came home and the kids and I ate, Mike scarfed down his food and went back out to finish off the back yard before it got dark and the rains moved in.

Sunday, the kids got me up with breakfast in bed. They fixed me a nice bowl of oatmeal and a chocolate muffin from church that was handed out the night before to all the moms. They also made me chocolate milk and as Mike said, they did it all on thier own, as they woke him up bickering over who was going to do what. LOL!

Our plans for the day was to either go to the baseball game that we'd been given tickets too or if it rained we'd go to the Children's Museum. Since it was storming, we decided to just go to the museum and not mess with the in and out and probable rain out of the game, however with the yucky weather, was yucky moods with the kids. They were all whiny and hard to get moving all in the same direction to get out the door. We finally got going and ate lunch on the way there and was able to get in with relatively few upsets or crying.

We started out in the dinosphere, which Meaghan was a little afraid of at first, as well as Honey was rather suprised at the noises coming from the bones standing around her. Both settled down as we were there for a bit and as the "storm" rolled in, I moved Honey over to a side area where it was lit and not in the main show area to keep her calm as possible, which she did well, just jumping up once at one loud thing of thunder and then was over it.

We then went on to see the train and mummy exhibits. Alex was all over the trains, yelling at the top of his lungs, TRAINS!!!!! Here though, the camera decided to go on the fritz. It's been acting up on me the last couple of soccer games and it finally just wouldnt turn on correctly, kept giving me an error message to turn it off and back on again. So we are in the market for a new camera. *sigh* We then went on up to the Curious George exhibit. The kids loved that area too as there was a slide for them to go down that looked like a rocket ship, a house to play in, and miniture golf.

Then we went through the super heros exhibit, where we got to see the batmobile car #8 that was used to film the latest batman movies. We moved on from there heading down to the play area where they had all the plastic "bulbs" and the kids had fun moving those around and creating thier own sculptures with them. Then we headed up and walked through a couple more things and went to the indy car, as the kids asked to sit in it and got pics of them there.

By this point is was almost 3pm and all three were melting down on us and Mike was flustered with the kids too so it was time to head home. We came home put the kids down for naps and Mike and I laid down for naps too, as we were tired and cranky too by this point. The kids woke us up at 5pm so we fixed dinner in the microwave and after getting dinner started I tried calling my mom at the only number I have for her. To my dismay, I got her voicemail and after hanging up, while waiting for dinner to finish up, I went to check email and found one there from her. After eating, we drove over to see his mom since we hadn't seen her in a good while. She was doing well and having a good evening. We stayed for about an hour or so and then came on home and put the kids to bed and I started researching cameras, garage door openers, and wondering what else is going to take up this economic stimulus check that we are supposed to get next week.

Here's some pics from the museum:

As I said, the camera is on the fritz. :(

The indy car:

Today everyone was back to work and school, and Alex and I are here for the day. We have a busy week this week and I'm still stewing on some emails I got.

Off to put Alex down for a nap and try to accomplish something today other than updating my blog. ;) Also waiting for Greg from GDF to call and let me know whether or not he will be here tomorrow or Wednesday to work with Honey and I. Hoping I can scramble and have a sitter for Alex as we work on this too.

Later all!