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**Nathan was born January 2008 with Achondroplasia dwarfism. Achondroplasia is the most common form of dwarfism. This blog welcomes a look into our family as we raise our son as a Little Person.**

Somedays just get better

Just a quickie posts to update on my last comments. I previously mentioned how irritated I was with medical bills and how after a years worth of time, the hospital decided to add charges from Nate's birth. I said I was not going to pay and guess what? After pleading my case to the billing dept. they reviewed the statements and determined that they would write off the $568.00 bill that they delayed in charging me. After all, I feel it was their error even though I should have submitted my son's medicaid insurance info. Hey, if I knew HE had a bill, I would have submitted it. My MIL said that they get in more trouble for not following procedure then if they write it off. So, in the end Score 1 for ME.
To add to my day, Audrey final got into the drawing class that we have been on the waiting list for weeks for. Score 2
And, after months of being lost and thinking Nate possible threw it away. Mysterious "binky" number 3 was found. Just waiting on one more. He has hiding spots! Score 3
Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket or is that pressing my luck?

Good Food and Yummy Too!

While I was up north over the 4th of July weekend. We traveled into Traverse City which holds their annual Cherry Festival. There was lots going on but my favorite stops are the goodies. I thought I would share them with you and I think they are great gift ideas also.

Naturally Nutty Peanut Butter was where I got to try some flavored natural peanut butter. I tried two: Mocha and Butter Toffee. My favorite was the butter toffee but they offer lots of flavors and almond butter. Very good for you.

Popkies Gourmet Popcorn was a store that we stopped off at to get the kids a healthier snack then all the carnival food. There specialize in flavored popcorn. Very tasty! I tried cheese, dill pickle, Cajun, and buffalo wings. Surprisingly, I really liked the buffalo wing flavor. But they have chocolate favors of popcorn which is something I’ll have to try.

Food For Thought I didn’t get to try. So many people and I was trying to keep an eye on 4 kids and 3 other adults. But you can check out the website. They have jams, syrups, coffee, mixes and other little goodies.

Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate is one place I would have been all over. I love chocolate and this is a chocolate lovers paradise. Sadly, I never saw a booth offering free samples of chocolate. Somehow, I’ll have to sneak that in so I won’t have to share. LOL!!

Stone House Bread I did try. I got some ciabatta bread and it was good. I like making crispy toast with it.

These other sites I’m going to add. We only got their cherry lemonade. It was really good. Too hot to buy a cup of coffee, even though I wanted some.                                       Light of Day Organic Teas                                                                        Higher Ground Trading Co.~roastery & coffee bar

 

My Boys Growing!!

Well, of course we know that. Nate had his 18 month well check today. We had some good news and bad news. Actually, I already knew the bad news. Since Nate didn’t receive his shots at 15 months, he had to get them now. All 4 of them. Poor baby! But the good news is that he is all set till 4 years of age. Whoo-hoo!! We had to wait a little longer than usually and I wasn’t sure how Nate would hold out. Last time he was ready to get out of there way before the doctor came to see us. This time he had fun entertaining himself and me. He had to check out all the new trinkets and of course “do a little dance” while we waited. I know I’m completely bias but he is so cute and such a ham.

We got gold stars from the doctor for him being a healthy, busy, growing little boy. I talked to her about seeing and orthopedist and eye doctor. Just to check to see if everything is okay. I managed to remember to write my list and ask my questions except for one. The one about doing blood work for Nate’s dwarfism. I guess that answers how much it really worries me. I feel like I should have the word “Duh” stamped on my forehead. Anyway, I will try to plot Nate’s stats in the growth chart. For now here they are.

18 Month Growth Data Height: 28 inches (up 1 1/4) Weight: 20 lbs 6 oz (up 2 lbs 5 oz) Head: 20 1/4 (no new growth~good!)

A Little Venting~Good for the Soul

So I’ve been paying on a hospital bill since I had Nate back in 1/2008. All fine and dandy until 1/2009 when the hospital adds a charge in Nathan’s name. I contacted billing and was told~I’m sorry that was to go to the insurance company don’t worry about it. So I didn’t, but got worried because it took them two months to rebill me. Now it’s 4/2009 and Nate’s charge was removed from my bill and I figured insurance has paid it. Now comes my 7/2009 bill and there is the charge for Nate. I call again and am told that it is my responsibility. Okay then, let me give you Nate’s secondary insurance information (Medicaid).

And you know what she says, “ I’m sorry but it has been over a year and we can’t take it now.” Okay, whose fault is that. She says, “you never supplied that information to us.” I say, “why would I give my son’s insurance info for a bill in my name. Give me your manager. So that’s where it’s at, waiting for a call back from the manager. I’m in one hell of a fight to get this paid otherwise I’m coughing up the money. All because of the accounts department. Oh boy, just wait till they hear from me. I’m not paying out of pocket. Thanks for listening, I feel better.

Garden Week 11

Okay, first things first. I’ve decided to switch over to Windows Live and see how I like it. Maybe I can express myself better. I’ve been neglecting my garden. In my posts I mean. Last I mentioned I had pulled a beet. It was very yummy and decided it was time to pull the rest of them. I got 10-12 beets and just need to get them canned. I really should be more prepared. Everything else is coming along. I picked a cucumber and Audrey and I snacked on it while playing Go Fish. It was so crisp! You can’t get that in the store. Next we are waiting for our corn and tomatoes. They will be ready in the next week or two. I’ve picked some peppers (hot ones) and those I use in salsa. I usually make raw salsa but thought this year I would cook and can it. New adventure! Also, Audrey planted sunflowers and they have finally started to bloom. Sadly, I only got a few peas and beans. While I was on vacation my husband was left to water them. Of course we got no rain and hot weather and since they weren’t “in” the garden, my husband didn’t water them for 4 days. That was enough to kill them. Even if I watered them they wouldn’t have recovered. Oh well, you really need lots of those plants anyway to get a good yield and I just don’t have that space. So here are a few pictures.

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What's going on in Detroit Michigan

Wow, some stories really have you thinking what can be going on with people. This poor man lives in such horrendous condition and sadly suffers from a mental illness. That said, I still can't believe that there were over 100 live dogs in this house and his neighbors never knew.

HOARDING: Man with Dogs Had Mental Issues WXYZ.com WXYZ-TV / Detroit Detroit News, Weather, Sports and More
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A New Playmate!

Sunday, Nate, Audrey and I went to have a play date with our new friend Olivia. We first met in December 2008 at a LP chapter Christmas Party. I was surprised to find out a few facts. Olivia is just 2 days older than Nathan and her family lives 10 minutes from us. How great and odd that an event as unique as "hitting the lottery" (as they term being born with dwarfism from AH parents) but it happened twice at the same time with only a few miles of separation.
It was nice to talk with Deanna (Olivia's mom) to see what has been going on in Olivia's first 18 months of life. It's amazing how different they can be in their development even though they are the same age. Olivia is scheduled to have decompression surgery on Aug. 5th, knock on wood, Nate's foramen magnum has not been an issue. With that said, Olivia hasn't walked yet, she has been starting to pull herself up to stand. Nate has been walking for a few months now. So, since Nate is mostly upright, the other difference we see is in height. Deanna mentioned how tall Nate looked already. I thought that Nate was doing pretty good keeping up in that department and figured he would start to trail off in height now compared to an average sized toddler. But something she said has really got me thinking.
Since Nate was born, we had him looked at and x-rayed to confirm the diagnosis of achondroplasia. I wanted to hold off on blood testing since he was so little. As time went on, I thought I really don't need a blood test to tell me he has achrondroplasia. I guess just knowing he was a dwarf was good enough and that the other test were a good indication of that. But Deanna asked if he was hypochondroplasia because she felt he was taller. So know I think what if he is? I don't know much about hypochondroplasia. Maybe I should find out so we know where we stand medically. Something I will have to talk to our pediatrician about at our 18 month check-up.
Besides all that we had a great time and it was nice to see the kids play together or not. They're not use to sharing and Nathan was playing with all of Olivia's toys. Olivia was so cute wanting to give kisses which I couldn't get a good picture. The delay on these digital cameras can make you so mad. But I'm sure that we will have plenty of tries since we are such close neighbors. Here are some pictures of our play date.











No Pot of Gold yet (can you see the rainbow?)
Saturday morning I was making pancakes when I thought my house was too quiet. That always makes me nervous. This is what I found, my kids sitting quietly watching cartoons.

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince


***WARNING: If you have not finished the book or seen the movie, I'm about to spoil it for you. Continue at your own risk.***


How many Harry Potter fans do we have? Now I started with I'm never going to get caught up in another craze(e.g NKOTB, Beanie Babies, ect.) but after all I heard I had to see what all the hype was about. So, in defense I only saw the first 5 movies. Too busy with work and Audrey to ever get to a book, let alone catch up to all the movies with the books. So, I shortcutted those but decided that the sixth book I could finish before the movie. I cut it pretty close. I started the book when I was pregnant with Nathan and just finished it before our 4th of July vacation(yeah, 2 years!) What can I say, slow reader. LOL!!

Today, I was all excited about going to see the movie. This book was so eventful and I knew the movie would be intense. Just like the ending in the 5th movie. Maybe reading the book spoiled the movie magic. They(Hollywood) cut so much out of the book and then reworked scenes as if Harry knew stuff all along when he didn't. They never had Malfoy's buds, Crabbe & Goyle turn into girls as lookouts for him. Actually, they're always are around Malfoy and I think we only saw them twice in the whole 2 1/2 hour movie.

The potions class was so crucial in this book as Harry learned a great deal of potions. Mainly from the class and the potions book he had that belonged to the half-blooded prince. Totally cut out. There was one scene in the beginning of school so they could introduce the Felix Felicis. Probably because J.K.Rowling actually had a chapter named after it in the book. And it was this class (and potions book) that gave Potter the knowledge of the bezoar, since he didn't remember from his 1st year. This saved Ron from being poisoned.

The memories that Harry was to learn with Dumbledore about Voldemort was minimized also. I think that all those memories where useful and should have been used in the movie.

They didn't use the elves to keep tabs on Malfoy when Harry was at Quidditch. This showed how Harry was suspuscious of Malfoy and Dumbledore didn't want to hear about it. Once again crucial because Malfoy is who got the Death Eaters into the protected Hogwarts to kill Dumbledore.

They didn't cover the 17 year old(which they all are) learning apparition.

They didn't have the funeral for Dumbledore.

Also, the whole romance between Ginny and Harry was protrayed differently and she had nothing to do with the Room of Requirement or Harry hiding his potions book there.

And the big killer of the movie for me was the fight between Hogwarts and the Death Eaters where Harry learns that Snape was always a Death Eater and hoodwinked Dumbledore for so many years and that he was also the Half-Blooded Prince. They just covered the murder & the get away.

I sure there were other things here or there and more things were just applied someplace in the movie as to edit out "extra" scenes but I really didn't feel I got my monies worth with this one. I don't know if it has anything to do with me reading the book or not. I am definitely going to read the last book(which is coming in 2 movies). Just wondering what some of you think. Anybody want to comment?

Greenfield Village

Friday, I took the kiddos to Greenfield Village. We met up with their cousins for one last rendezvous before they headed back to Arizona. We had a great time and wore ourselves out. Mainly due to the 85 degree weather and the humidity. The kids loved the carousel and Nate got his first ride. Afterwards, we waited for every ones second ride and Nate started dancing to the music. Adorable, even more so if I actually had my camera in hand instead it was in the stroller. So this morning while he watched Imagination Movers on Disney, I got the dancing on video. I also have been slacking in keeping up with the pictures of my garden. I'm pretty much waiting for harvest time as the veggies are growing and needing to ripen. But, I did pull one of my beets and boy are they big. My first beet measured about 4 inches in length. That's about the size of your fist. Can't wait to taste it. Also, I took a crack at making a pie from scratch. It came out really yummy! It was a blueberry & nectarine pie and I even made the pretty lattice work for the crust. Shhh! Don't tell but the little play-doh wheel from my daughter's play-doh set worked great for that.





This is the Roundhouse and then Audrey got to move, by hand, the turn-table
which weighed 42 tons.


Audrey wanted to do the horse ride but I had to much gear and a stroller. Next time we will. My nephew, Conner, who will be 7 next month got up at the Thomas Edison presentation and read a newspaper article about him. He did a wonderful job and reads at a 3rd/4th grade level.



Barber shop quartet and Audrey on the carousel.


Nate and I on the carousel. Audrey with the statue of Henry Ford.

The Entrance.

videoNate Dancing

Update

Nathan had his check-up at the ENT this week. His tubes look great. No infection of fluid and his hearing was normal. Yeah!! I hope that things go well in the winter too. Just need to make that 18 month check-up appointment. I'm slacking.

4TH of JULY VACATION


I've had my mom in town from Iowa since the end of May. I've enjoyed having her her and her filling in as a babysitter. I've also had several occassions to be kid free, YEAH!! So, we all had one last trip up North to Torch Lake for the 4th of July Family reunion. Everyone who came included my mom and dad, her sister and mother, my brother, his wife and 3 sons, myself and my 2 kids. Matt had to work all weekend and didn't get to come. We also had a visit from my great-aunt Bonnie but was disappointed that my cousins with their spouses and kids couldn't make it. My cousins son, Joshua is only 4 day older than Nate and I really wanted to get them together. Maybe next year.

We left Thursday morning for a 5 hour drive in hopes of making only one stop. However, my dad had to stop to see a car for sale and my mom stopped to pick up some fruit and veggies. I did get to see one of our friends that works across the road from the fruit market. That was nice. So, the kids were ready to run around and Audrey just wanted to see her cousins. It has been 3 years since our last get-together. My brother lives in Arizona. We had some dinner and then headed into Alden, the town where our house is at for their evening stroll. It was nice but nothing like it was 13 years ago when I was up there last. The economy has had a tremendous effect on the tourism. But we will always be there since it was where my grandmother was born and raised.

Friday, we had a slow start but got out around noon for some fishing. The weather was cold and windy and we didn't catch anything. After and hour we gave up, headed to the car to warm up and took a drive. We went to Brownwood. A small set of shops that have honey, jams, old-fashioned candy and a gift shop. They also have a toy store for the kids that was always over-flowing with toys and kids. Neither was happening this time and the small selection of toys made me cry for what the place use to be. We headed back to the house so we could get ready and go to Aunt Kathy's for dinner. She has a house 15 minutes from my parents on Grand Traverse Bay.

Saturday, the 4th of July, Audrey went with her cousins and grandpa to Charlevoix. She enjoyed the tall ships and eating whitefish (her choice). I stayed back with Nate for some peace and quiet. Later we had a BBQ and the kids went swimming in Torch Lake. The kids enjoyed snaps and sparklers and the big fireworks down at the lake.

Sunday, we traveled into Traverse City for their Cherry Festival. We watched the air show down at the bay and then wandered through the vendors. I found a lady who makes peanut-butter in different flavors and can't wait to go online to see all she offers. Too many people at the booth to see all they had. The rest of Sunday was relaxing and I started to pack everything up so we could leave Monday. Which happened to be the most excitement. The washer broke on the last load with water still in it. We had to ring everything out and then my dad and brother moved the washer outside. There they dumped the water that then flooded back into the house. Oops, maybe they forgot about the small grade that went into the house. Geez, I just want to get home!! But we finally made it on the road by noon. There's no place like home!! :)

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