Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summer Fun

One of our favorite past times during the summer is just exploring parks. We have favorites and we have new parks to explore. Here are some of my favorite park shots!

We went back to the petting farm and rode ponies and fed the animals. This time Katie hated the horses and refused to ride or even get close. So much so that she went into another mom's arms (a stranger to her, not me) so that I could force Molly to ride. Once the ride started, Molly was totally content. The boys, of course, loved it.

Greenbluff is always good in theory, and never as good in execution. We just went peach picking. The boys will tell you they had a blast. The girls probably loved it as well. But chasing two babies through the rows of trees, while managing two toddlers picking peaches is not an easy task! We managed to walk away with 15 pounds of peaches (which lasted less than a week) and everyone was happy.

We recently discovered a park where butterflies are everywhere. Like tons and tons of them. Thomas is an expert at catching them. And the good news is, it totally wears him out!

Tonight we went to cousin Kierra's birthday party. Here are some fun moments.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

15 Months

Did 15 months just pass by? I took a picture. We had a doctor's appointment. I have the where are they???! Ok, found them. Oops! Life got a little crazy there! Figured I'd better get up the 15-month picture before next weeks 16-month picture!!!! ;)

15 Months:

Weight- 22 pounds (45%)
Height- 32 1/4" (90%)
Head Circumference- 18 1/4 (70%)

Weight- 20#4 (10%)
Height- 32" (90%
Head Circumference- 18 1/2 (80%)

4 shots each. Awful. Molly went first while Katie took a stroll around the office with grandma. Molly cried a little, and was soothed by her first ever sucker. Gotta love the sugary treat! Katie went next. I knowingly saved her for last. That girl cried the silent scream and then let it out! It was heart-wrenching. Luckily she is soothed easy by mama and quickly settled and took her sucker. Both ran mild mild fevers and are now on the up and up aside from a couple injection site issues.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Enjoying Summer Moments

It was a weekend of highs and lows for the Domrese family.
On a whim, I called Dan and asked if he'd like to spend the night at the river on Friday. He agreed and I started packing up. By the time he got home from work, dinner was consumed, and everything was packed, it was already past the girls' bedtime and Katie was sporting a 102 degree fever. Dan took the boys out and I agreed to meet him in the morning. The boys had a BLAST! They played with Dan's cousin Garrett, looked through the telescope and enjoyed playing games.

The next morning, I loaded the girls and met everyone out there. The plan was to go home around dinner. After a full day at the river, the boys were begging to stay the night again. We just couldn't say no! ;) So, after church, I took the girls back home (both now sporting fevers, but generally acting fine) and Dan and the boys stayed another night at the river.

The highlight, for me, was watching Thomas learn how to paddle a kayak. The kid is a pro. Took him 5 minutes and he was everywhere and spent his entire weekend playing in the kayak. Joshua also enjoyed it, but spent more time figuring out how to maneuver it than anything else!
We again met them in the morning and spent another full day on the beach. Oh the splendid moments of summer!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Name is Joshua and I Have a Nevus

Joshua had his yearly appointment with the dermatologist last week. The appointment left me uneasy. Let's start with the basics.

What is a nevus? Nevus (also spelled naevus; plural nevi) in the broad sense, means birthmark. There are several types of nevi: epidermal, melanocytic and connective tissue nevi. Melanocytic means that it is pigment-based. Congenital means it is present at birth.

Nevi are the most common abnormality of the skin. They apparently serve no function. Normally, skin gets its color from melanin, which is produced by cells called melanocytes. Melanin is human pigment. Normally, melanin is distributed fairly evenly throughout the skin. Congenital melanocytic nevi, on the other hand, are made up of pigment-producing cells called nevomelanocytes. These cells are not evenly distributed. When many nevomelanocytes are clumped together, they can result in moles on the skin because of the higher concentration of melanin (pigment).

Joshua's nevus looks like this:

It has grown proportionally with his head growth through the years. When he was born we took him to a pediatric plastic surgeon. She told us that it would require several surgeries within the first two years of life to remove it and that that area would never grow hair and likely he would lose the muscle that connected to his eye.

We got a second opinion and then a third. The final opinion was from a pediatric dermatologist (who we saw again this week). On our first appointment she gave us literature to read and we felt comfortable with the 'wait and see' approach.

This week we had our yearly appointment. I left feeling uneasy. Joshua is at a heightened risk of melanoma cancer because of the nevus. She said 5%-8%. That's like 1 in every 20. Feels like a high risk. I asked what happens if it did show signs of cancer and she replied, "It's hard to catch early and if not caught early..." That was enough for me! Why are we not checking this like once a week? Every day? I'll do whatever it takes! 

 She basically said the decision is always left to us. No guiding, no help, just, 'make your decision.' I then looked into it a little deeper and have since had some questions.

I will be calling our dermatologist tomorrow and asking some specific questions. I will then likely try to find a specialist and get another opinion. Looks like the closest specialists are Chicago (the #1 choice), San Fransisco and Utah. All of these will be looked into and researched. I'm hoping that a specialist will say the same thing but am uneasy with the lack of knowledge and investment being put forth by our doctor so far.

You've probably never even noticed Joshua's nevus. We've been really good about the kids wearing hats when outdoors. And his hair covers it so well, it's never been something that peole have noticed. To us (and everyone) he is just Joshua. And we love our Joshua.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Each Kid Gets One Broken Bone...2 Down, 2 To Go...

Just like stitches, they can each have their broken bone. Neither Dan nor myself have ever broken a bone, so I feel like I'm being pretty generous.

Joshua did his first. The day he was born. Welcome to being breech son, you have a broken clavicle.

Molly has now done hers.

That's 5 years between broken bones. Guess I'll be revising this post in 2015.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Day That Never Ends....

Where to begin? This day has been so long, it seems it might not ever end!

We started with our bi-weekly breakfast with grandpa. It was different. A different IHOP a different feeling, everything was a little off already. Then it happened. Joshua, walking nicely in front of grandpa (who was carrying Molly) suddenly stopped. Joshua does this all the time (sometimes for no reason, today because he was looking for cars in a parking lot). Grandpa, not seeing Joshua stop in front of him, continues in motion. This causes grandpa to trip on Joshua and sends both Molly and grandpa flying. I can't tell you the gut wrenching feeling of watching your dad fall to the ground between two parked cars and your child fly in his arms also to the ground. Her head hit the cement and then her body skidded on the ground. Grandpa lay in a heap on the ground as well. I  immediately reach for Molly and offer a hand to dad. He needs time to regather. Molly cries and cries. We have a father/daughter moment in the middle of the parking lot and decide to continue on to breakfast. During breakfast Molly continues her crying. I text Dan telling him to check with doctor on protocol.

After breakfast we head to the doctor for a checkup. He does a very thorough job and is amazed that she has no bumps on her head. Only a skinned elbow. Truly amazing. Grandpa must've shielded her more than it appeared. Or there help from above. Or both.

We run home for a quick nap before heading to Grandpa Lyle's funeral. Yes, this day has just begun. The kids are amazing during the funeral. Molly cries midway through and is taken by Uncle Steve for some playtime outside. During the reception Dan notices that Molly is not only protecting her shoulder, but in pain if she uses it. Another call to the doctor's office and we leave the reception for x-rays nearby.

After xrays and while waiting for results we head to the family dinner at grandma's. Molly is fussy but handling herself alright. The call comes and it turns out she broke her elbow. The bone is difficult to splint so no cast for now. But we re-xray in 10 days and everything will be reassessed.

We finish dinner to the best of our ability and head home. The kids are exhausted. The parents are exhausted. Time to start over new. Is it tomorrow yet?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Annual Camping Trip

One week of preparation, more lists than I can count, 12-13 hours in the car each way, and one of my favorite camping trips EVER!

The car was packed to the brim. Everything was ready. We got up at 4 AM and left at 5 AM on Sunday. SO EARLY! We made it to Tri-Cities with awake, but happy, children. There we stopped at a park, played, stretched, ate breakfast, and got dressed. Another few hours in the car and we made it to Hood River (one of my favorite stops) by 10 AM. The water was sooooo warm! The kids had a blast playing and thought they were in heaven.

Another stop in Corvallis for an ice cream and stretch and we were back on the road. We made it to South Beach in 12 hours (pretty good for us!). The kids were beyond done in the car and ready to eat dinner.

Day 1- We went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. So much fun! The girls loved it and ran all over. The boys enjoyed all the animals too! A quick trip to the campsite for lunch and the girls and mama stayed home for naps while the boys and daddy went back to the aquarium for some big kid time.

After naps we all went to the beach. The boys loved running from the waves and building sand castles. The girls were exhausted and a little less than impressed after about 10 minutes. :)

The campfire was a nightly hit with daddy and the boys. The girls and mommy enjoyed the quiet and heat from inside!

Day 2- We started off each  morning with breakfast at the campsite and then the kids and mama would walk to the park while daddy did dishes and general clean up. Then we all met up to play and plan for the day. Day 2 consisted of an adventure at Seal Rock. The tide was high so there wasn't much to see, but we did enjoy climbing on rocks and playing. The path to the water was a long LONG walk down a steep and narrow hill. Halfway up, we saw an elderly gentleman who had fallen. This meant Dan went back to help him get back up the hill while I carried both girls and pulled both boys. PHEW!!!!!

Another afternoon nap followed by the beach. Man we love the ocean! This trip was shorter as Katie decided to put her head into the sand repeatedly making the sand fill her eyes, nose, and mouth. While she didn't like the effect afterwards, she continued to do it, meaning we had to leave.

Day 3- We had heard of a tour of the tidepools at Seal Rock early in the morning at low tide and decided to check it out. Unfortunately, the weather was FREEZING! The girls cried most of the excursion, but the boys had a blast. We saw tons of sea life and could've spent hours looking in the tide pools had it been warmer.

After a warm up and rest time, we went to the jetty to look for crabs. What a great way to end our trip. It was a long walk, but well worth it. The boys ran and played freely. The girls ran and played with much supervision as they have no fear of the water...none (even though it's soooooooo cold). We found several crabs, found some agate rock, and enjoyed some family time to end our trip.

Day 4- A quick breakfast and freezing weather made for a fast get-away. We got in the car and loaded as quickly as possible. Goodbye yurt! Goodbye camping!

Unfortunately, the kids were not as thrilled about getting into the car this time. Crying commenced as soon as we hit the first road construction sign (the downside of driving home on a weekday). The first stop was in Corvallis at a park where we stretched, played in trees, and looked at a rose garden.

The next stop was Salem for lunch and another stretch. We stopped again in Hood River so the kiddos could play. The crying became very hectic for the next 3 hours as the children (babies) screamed and cried. There was much stress and little rest. We finally FINALLY pulled into Tri-Cities for dinner and a good playtime. The car was nearly silent the rest of the way home.

What a great trip. The traveling is by far the hardest art, but we manage. The family time is invaluable. We couldn't have asked for a better trip (ok, maybe better warmer weather, but that's it!).

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Over the Freeway and Through the Traffic to Greatma's House We Go

Greatma's. A favorite place. We used to go every Monday. Through the summer we seem to go a little less frequently but the kids always have fun. We went this week to visit greatma and play at her house. It was almost new to the girls since we haven't been there for a while. They loved exploring and playing with her toys (who knew a jar of spools could be so exciting?!). They ran around and danced and played. We made the trip to see the fish and run the halls, visit with greatma's friends, and get her mail. Every once in a while we try to get a group shot. Again, I should know better than to do this at the END of an adventure. Katie threw her fit on the floor while we did pictures. Still got some cute ones though! Love you greatma!


What happens when you try to take some time to snuggle one little girl? The other girl takes advantage of that time and THIS happens!

Summer Days at the River

When the weather gets warm, we head to the in-laws river place at Post Falls. It's absolutely beautiful and a break from the "real world." The kids love the water and I love that they get worn out!

Molly now loves when we sing the "ABC's." She likes to do the hand signs to go with it. It's ADORABLE!

She also talks...A LOT!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Goodbye For Now

Dear Family,

I just wanted to let you know that I made it home.
The journey wasn't an easy one, but it didn't take too long.
Everything is so pretty here, so white, so fresh and new.
I wish you could close your eyes and that you could see it too.

Please try not to be sad for me. Try to understand.
God is taking care of me...I'm in the shelter of His hands.
Here there is no sadness, no sorrow, no pain.
Here there is no crying and I'll never hurt again.
Here it is so peaceful when all the angels sing.
I really have to go for now...I've just got to try my wings.

Grandpa Lyle Domrese- 1928?- August 2, 2010
**Today our hearts ache in the loss of a man that made this world a better place. May he be comforted and welcomed into the arms of our Heavenly Father.


Thomas teaching Joshua checkers. Joshua, "My turn?" Thomas, "Yes, but don't jump me here, because we are brothers." Good work Thomas. Good work.