Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sir Brenden

Brenden attended a Princess Birthday Party today and was the only Knight in Shining Armor.  He even chose to skip ice fishing to go to the princess party - knowing he would be the only boy.  Doug asked him what his favorite part of today was and he said, "Playing with all of the princesses."  The only time he seemed a little embarrassed was as they sat down to have cake and he had to sit at a table decorated with princess crowns and pink paper plates.  He said, "It seems a little princess-y."
Brenden demonstrating how to dance with a princess
Brenden dancing with a princess
See the girl at the back looking longingly at Brenden?  She came over a few minutes later and told one of the moms that she wanted to dance with Brenden.  She asked to cut in and the little girl already dancing with him didn't want to let go.  All of the girls wanted to dance with him, but they stopped dancing before all of the girls had a chance.  It was so cute!
Brenden at the coronation - being knighted and made an official prince.

Nothing too exciting is happening around here.  I have been cleaning out the storage room - box by box. I was hoping to have it done before my mom arrives on Wednesday, but now I am kicking myself for starting it before she comes because I have made a huge mess.  It's about half done, but everything's going back in to be re-started another day.  Sigh...

Ethan was sick this week.  He spent an entire night throwing up and most of the next morning.  He is fine now.  I was so sad for him.  He got really good a running toward the bowl when he needed to throw up though.

I'll have to go through my camera and see if anything else noteworthy has happened lately.  It's the only way I can keep track of anything.  I've been taking lots of pictures of food - I'll tell you why later.  Nolan's birthday is Wednesday and he's getting very excited!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I have been avoiding my blog lately.  For some reason, I just can't seem to want to upload photos.  I think it's because I don't want to go through all of them and decide which ones I actually want to put on - and then export them from iPhoto -  and then upload them to blogger - and then put them into the blog.  It's just a lot of steps.  I guess I've been lazy.  Forgive me.  I will try to redeem myself right now.

Leaca, a "camera dump," as I call it, is when I go through the pictures on all of our cards and dump them here, in mass quantities, for all to see.  Here we go...

January 1 - New Year's with the Leys
We spent the night at the Ley's on New Year's Eve.  The kids had a party in the basement and we adults were up until 5:00 upstairs.  Then we spent the day sledding.
Ethan and Nolan on the snow machine

Me and Tiffany

Nolan attempting to keep warm

Ethan and me - getting a push-start from Jeremy

Brenden catching some air

Jeremy, Gavin, and Izzy

Tiff hauling Izzy back uphill

The easy way back up the sledding hill

January 2 the Leys should have just spent the night at our house.  They left at 11:00 on the 1st and were back the next afternoon for some ice fishing and games.

Ethan enjoyed Scrabble

Doug handed him some random letters...

and all on his own he spelled...

We were all very impressed.
January 9 - Noon in Alaska

January 11 - It's so hard to be two.

January 23 - Tustumena 200 dog sled race.  You wouldn't know it from 3/4 of the pictures, but our whole family was there.  Ethan certainly had the most fun - the party pooper named Brenden spent quite a bit of his time in the car.  In his defense, he did step onto the trail and almost got run over by a team of dogs, so I might have sent myself to the car too.  Nolan and I were off checking out the dogs on our own for a while, so even though he didn't make it to many of the pictures, he had a good time.

The teams were tied to their cars in the parking lot waiting to be escorted to the starting line.

The dogs look so excited to race!

Ethan loved being at the starting line

and being so close to the dogs

and yelling, "Go, dog, GO!"

Nolan, Ethan, and Brenden found a good out of the way spot.

Ethan thought the whole day was a blast!

On our way home, we found this ice sculpture.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Me: Nolan, what are you watching?
Nolan: Out-of-gas-car.

Brenden went back to school last Monday.  He is happy to be back, I think.  Sometimes I am really glad he's back too - his friends have seen me in only a towel twice now when he lets them in while I am in the shower.  It is nice to know he's in school when I shower these days.  Hey, at least I was wearing a towel.

Ethan was back to physical therapy last week too.  Today I spoke with another speech therapist about doubling up on his speech services.  A new cochlear implant authorization is processing - including the speech eval showing he hears, understands, and produces almost nothing.

Nolan went back to gymnastics last week.  He and I sat down and made our January and February calendars and now he knows exactly which days are gymnastics and exactly how far until his birthday.  I am trying really hard to get him caught up on all of the educational things he has missed out on by being the second and only hearing child.  I love him to death and never intentionally neglect him, I promise.

I have another camera dump coming up.  Stay tuned.  I've discovered I missed a lot.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Check us out!

You know you live in a small place when you can make the paper twice in one year - while generally making little to no effort.  Doug was sitting at work today waiting for someone to pick up their prescription so he could close up shop.  He picked up the paper and started skimming and all of the sudden he saw the words "Adventures on E."  What a surprise!

I was at the pool with the kids and Doug showed up insisting I get out of the pool and read the article on the front page of the paper.  I was wet and had three kids to supervise, so I told him I would read it later.  He was insistent, so I sat down to read the paper.  I was also very surprised to see our blog name appear in the paper.  Can they just do that!?  I mean, I don't care - and I know it's a public blog, but wow.  My blog was in the paper!

The article is called "Blogs offer a way to speak out online."  My short appearance comes in this form:
Some are meant for a specific audience, like a family posting photos and updates of their activities, holidays and milestones as a way to stay in touch with friends and relatives. That’s a popular format among central peninsula bloggers. “Adventures on E” is written by a Nikiski family chronicling family adventures, school activities, health updates and the like. “Basecamp Nikiski” blogs about family ice-fishing expeditions, snowshoeing trips, skiing and watching the Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race.
The other funny thing is that there aren't that many blogs mentioned, but Basecamp Nikiski is written by Brenden's speech therapist.  Another one I read is Kenai Alaska or Bust:
In Alaska, blogs often have an outdoors or adventure bent, with writers journaling about fishing trips, hunting excursions, camping expeditions and so on. “Kenai Alaska or Bust” tracks a family moving up from the Lower 48 and their attempts to settle into their new home, complete with an erupting volcano and the struggle to put in a decent well.
I happened upon this blog right after we moved here while searching for information about the Thanksgiving events here on the peninsula and have been reading it ever since.  I even email back and forth with the author and met him once - briefly - in an odd encounter.

I still haven't figured out how they found me, but that's ok with me.  I'll enjoy my moment of fame.

*(I feel like now I need to get back to the funny posts I used to share...  and entertain the masses.  Is my life less funny now or do I find it less humorous?)

Oh, and by the way, Ethan's implants were denied again after a level 1 appeal.  That pleasant news came in the mail yesterday.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Four year ago today...

... I was at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City like this:  (VERY pregnant)

and trying so hard to be brave for my little boy.

He spent most of the rest of the day throwing up, fighting with us,

or watching cartoons - which made him throw up.

But it only lasted a day...
(Can you see how swollen his head is?  Not really in this picture, but trust me, it was!)

... and then he was back to himself.

4 days after surgery:
(He's still supposed to have compression and bandages, but he wouldn't leave them on - which is why he has a gigantic scar today that his hair doesn't grow over.  The marker on his cheek is so they made sure to do the right ear.

2 days later:

And less than a month later, Nolan joined our family.

Isn't it incredible how much Ethan and Brenden look alike?  Also, I told you back when I blogged about Brenden's new implant in March that I would show you how different the incisions are.
A few hours after surgery:

I'm glad he's done, I don't look forward to Ethan's, but it will be so much better for him.  Ethan's incisions will be like Brenden's second implant, so hopefully this time we don't end up calling or making as many, if any, trips to the ER.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Leaca's Pictures

12/21  Doug wasn't off work when I went to the airport in December.  Nolan went to stay with Leaca while Brenden, Ethan, and I flew to Anchorage.

12/30  The Young family came for sledding and dinner.
First we tried the HUGE icy hill

Raquel had a rough first run

As did Rusty

Ethan and I watched and laughed

Nolan usually ends up backward somehow

Ethan sat on the hood of the Young's car and watched

And then it was his turn

The problem with sledding is the walk back up

This is Rusty - Nolan thinks it is SO funny that his name is Rusty.  He always has to point out that Rusty is his Grandma's dog's name.  Rusty helped Ethan up the hill.

We went back to the hill by our house and Doug and Gordon got out the snow machines/mobiles, whatever your locality refers to them as.
All Ethan wanted to do was ride.

This is how Doug braves the winters here in Alaska - shorts and boots.

Leaca parked at the top to give us light.  Doug parked the snow machine at the bottom.

Gordon dragged Raquel back up the hill with her snowboard still attached.

I just think this picture is cool.

We went home and ate dinner and then played.

The boys were patient during the setting up.

All boys - even the big ones - like the Big Loader.

Nolan found a bag of Jelly Bellies in the Young's car

and tossed them for Raquel to catch.

Rusty might need his own Big Loader.

We had a very fun night with the Youngs and look forward to doing it again.  I was glad Leaca documented it so well.

The Christmas post is below.  It's long.