Saturday, November 29, 2008

Anchorage and Thanksgiving

Wednesday we left for Anchorage at 6:30 A.M. to make sure we had plenty of time to drive in the "treacherous" snow conditions (according to the radio).  We got to Anchorage at 10:30 and our first appointment was at 11:00.  We grabbed some brunch and headed to the audiologist.  Brenden went off to his appointment by himself, I went with Ethan, and Doug stayed with Nolan.  I guess Brenden did a really great job (he is always better for anyone but me) and Ethan was more cooperative than most 16 month olds, so we were able to get great results for him.

Brenden had his cochlear implant remapped, his hearing aid re-preprogrammed, and we discusses getting him a second implant (for his left ear).  He is not fond of the idea because he doesn't want to hurt.  Ethan had his hearing aid re-programmed as well.  His hearing has significantly dropped in his left ear, but the right ear actually tested better than it did in June.  (FYI: Brenden and Ethan have a progressive fluctuating hearing loss - some days are better than others.)  Also at the appointment we found out that Ethan has an ear infection in his right ear, so we were referred to an ENT.  The audiologist suggested an ENT so we could establish a relationship for when Ethan needs a cochlear implant and if we decide to do Brenden's other one.

We left to find our hotel and I dropped off Doug, Nolan, and Brenden to swim while I took Ethan to the ENT.  What a waste!  We waited for a long time only to talk to an ENT who could not make himself understand any part of the kids' hearing loss, cochlear implants, or the fact that Ethan had an ear infection.  I told him that the audiologist had looked in Ethan's ear, it was bright red, and the tympanogram was flat.  He said that there was no way Ethan had an ear infection while still being able to eat fine, sleep fine, and no runny nose.  At my suggestions, he looked in Ethan's ear and to his surprise, Ethan had a red swollen ear drum!  Basically, the appointment consisted of him asking me repeated questions and in the end he said we should not come back to see him because he is old and doesn't understand a lot of the new technology.  Don't worry - we won't (and I think he should pay me for my information).  He also made sure I knew that he thought we were nuts for moving to Alaska and specifically Nikiski, with deaf children.

We had a good evening in Anchorage and a good night's sleep.  Thanksgiving morning, we had breakfast and wasted time at the hotel while Ethan took a morning nap.  We went for a drive after we had to check out and then we picked up Emily. Jared, and Halle at the airport.  It was a long drive home in the dark and snow, but we made it.  We had planned to eat dinner somewhere along the way home, but we forgot to take into account the fact that it was Thanksgiving.  We got home at 7:30 and threw together some dinner and got the kids to bed.

The next morning, we headed to Kenai to see Santa.  It was FREEZING, so I was glad we were early enough to wait inside the building.  Brenden told Santa he would just write him a letter with his list of things he wanted.  He also told me that last year he was shy of Santa, but then he asked Santa for a green truck and Santa brought him one, so this year he isn't shy of Santa anymore.  Nolan told Santa he wanted toys and candy - wow, that was easy.
Jared and Halle waiting in line.
Ethan waiting...
Nolan waiting...
Brenden waiting...
And finally Santa arrived (via fire truck).
The whole gang with Santa.
We came home and left poor Jared with the kids (to feed and put down for naps) while Emily and I went to a Pampered Chef open house.  We arrived only about a half hour before it ended and were surprised to find out we were the only ones who ever came.  I am still anxiously awaiting the results on who won the door prize.

After the kids' naps, we packed up dinner and headed back to Kenai to see the famous "Christmas in Kenai" parade and fireworks.  I guess it is a pretty big deal around here.  It is an electrical lights parade.  So, we arrived at 5:30 and the parade was scheduled to begin at 6:30.  We ate in the car and watched Shrek 2 while we waited.  And then, the parade began and we all decided it was warmer in the car and we could see just fine from there.  The parade was, well, I'm not sure I would quite call it a parade (some cars and trucks with lights on them), but the kids liked it and Santa was riding on a fire truck, so that was all that mattered.  Nolan stuck his head out the window and started screaming "Santa! Santa! HI SANTA!"  Then we waited for another 45 minutes for the fireworks.  Nothing will ever compare to Fireworks in Idaho Falls on the 4th of July, but they were fun for the kids to see.  (They don't do fireworks here on the 4th of July because the sky is too light to see them - Thanksgiving is the substitute.)  During all of this, there was a huge bonfire going on, but we chose to stay far away from that with 4 kids 5 and under.

Today we had Thanksgiving dinner.  Here is a picture of my perfect turkey (no, really it is called that on my oven setting).  Just give me a big ol' stick with a hand on it so I can pat myself on the back - I am just so proud. 
 Still cooking (while everyone around me is saying: It smells done!) - wait for it, wait for it...
It had great flavor and was so moist and delicious.  I made most everything else a few days ago, but there was quite the rush toward the end of lunch preparation because I didn't know the convection oven would cook the turkey quite so fast.  Afterward, we went sledding at the neighbor's house - they have a HUGE hill and no kids to sled on it.  We went snowmobiling for a little while and were finally frozen solid and exhausted.


Kenai Alaska Or Bust! said...

Hey there! I got your comment tonight, and although I briefly went to your blog site, have yet to sit down and read it! Obviously it's been a long week and I am just looking forward to being horizontal at this point. Thanks for tuning in though! Did you make it to the high school today? Now I am intrigued if you bought anything from me and I would have had no idea!! lol Did you make it to the parade and fireworks last night?? I mistakenly thought it was Saturday and discovered it Friday night on the way home from the high school. Would be interesting to hear back from you, so please feel free to comment back if you would and we will check out your blog a little more in depth tomorrow! Take care...and thank God the weather forecasters were wrong about the snow....only an inch and a half here the last I peeked out the window!

Anonymous said...

the best thing for ear infections is the EARDOC.
check it out as it is not invasive and acts on the symptom and not the problem

Kenai Alaska Or Bust! said...

Hi Erin. So I have begun from day 1 on your blog and I am really enjoying it! Kind of brings back a little warm fuzzies at times of when we arrived and made discovery after discovery from the simplest things to the obviously immense You are a very good writer! Love your detail and sense of humor!! I am about through September and will look forward to reading more later today, since it doesn't look like I will be doing much plowing today...the "big snow" they called for kinda petered out, eah?! Our email is, and if you have time and/or are inclined would love to hear from you! I am dieing to ask.....have you been able to handle the 'Northroader' label, that like us you probably unwittingly inherited when you moved to Nikiski?? Just cracks me up the way we are all looked upon out here! I bet we could exchange some stories!! Probably start a blog on 'Northroad' calamities and comments all in itself! Have a great day and hope to hear from you via email. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a crummy doctor. Hope you're able to find a better one!

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine how very cold it is up there. How long are you planning to stay, it sounds as if you are really putting your degrees to work for you in enlightening the medical profession up there. I hope there are more ENT's around! Your turkey looks great! Jamie

Anonymous said...

Erin-Jamie here
Can you email me the homemade fudge saying? I need to trck down your phone number :)