31 December 2010

MMXIsaiah!

Well its soon to be a new year and while we've been busy as a family we've been thankful that its been relatively uneventful compared to the last two years. There have been the normal ups and downs that everyone experiences, but all in all its been a pretty decent year. I've wished I would've posted more and always said I would, but never seemed to find the time. I've also realized there's been no major picture update in over 6 months and part of my New Years resolutions this year is to get back to updating the blog more.
Right now I'm sitting in a Courtyard Marriott in Lima, OH after we surprised Rachel's Grandparents with a visit on our way back from visiting my family for Christmas. Its been a nice trip, but after a quick stop off in Cincinnati tomorrow to see some more of my family we'll be happy to be sleeping in our own beds again.
Anyways until I get to keeping my resolution you can always catch updates from Rachel and me on facebook. Happy New Year!

09 November 2010

Dallas Annual Check-up

Sorry about the lack of posts until this morning about this, but I don't like writing about our travels on our blog until we're close to being home again so we're not advertising to the world wide web our home is empty and waiting to be robbed. Am I paranoid? Probably, but I feel better anyways.

Anyways, if you didn't know, we're on the return leg of a whirlwind trip to Dallas, TX for Isaiah's annual check up with Dr. Fearon, the guy that gave him his fingers, toes, and his latest cranial vault. We did all we could in Atlanta first (sleep study, MRI) and really only had a half hr appointment with the good doctor for him to look everything over and physically see Isaiah and feel his head, but the news we got in that half hour was great! Isaiah's MRI looked good for lack of Intra Cranial Pressure (ICP) and his sleep study which is looking for sleep apnea, while slightly elevated for a normal child, was not too bad for a kiddo with Apert. We need another sleep study in June of next year, and the eye doctors to keep watch on his Optic nerves and us to look for any other signs of ICP, but if all goes well, we don't have to go back to Dallas for 18 months!!!

There are some other fun updates to come about the rest of our trip which I'll get to later this week.

Furnace Update

Furnacegate 2010 has been resolved, sort of. We ended up replacing just the furnace / air handler for now, which was the part of the system that could have killed us with its lovely spewing CO2. We'll deal with the AC later, and apparently it looks more repairable than originally thought. Still furnaces aren't cheap and ended up being around $3500. Luckily they had a financing deal available so we have a little more time to pay it off than trying to scramble for $3500 we don't have. It was actually installed last week, and man the difference between the old and new is amazing! I guess furnace technology has changed a bunch in 18 years!

25 October 2010

Happiness Writes White

Well, things had been going good. Too good you might say. One of my favorite songs is the title of this post, and pretty much the reason for the lack of posts lately. I don't know why, but it feels weird to write "everything is hunky-dory." Don't get me wrong, we're not living in the lap of luxury and Isaiah has not been miraculously cured of all his ailments and developmental delays.
Isaiah's progression and development has been coming along slowly but surely, but we've been living paycheck to paycheck for quite sometime now, and really more money has been going out than coming in, but there really hasn't been that huge of a dilemma or hardship to write about, until now that is. You see today we had the winter tune up for our furnace and lo and behold there's a one inch crack in the burner area of the furnace that when on, leaks some lovely CO2 into the house. Put that on top of a blower whose ball bearings are all but shot, a rusting flue pipe with degrading asbestos, and you have our 18 year old furnace on its last legs. Due to the fact that there are issues with our AC condenser and coils too, we're looking at something in the neighborhood of $7,000 to replace the system.
Over time I'm sure the upgrade will pay for itself in better efficiency and saved utilities, but the real question is how we're going to pay for it. It's patched together for now, but when running it will be letting loose CO2 into the house. The crack is relatively small right now, but every time the burner goes on and off, it'll stress that crack more and more, making it get larger and larger which is just plain unsafe.
Needless to say we're in panick mode right now, and hopefully we'll find there are some financing options open to us, but right now, its all the shock of it all and the lack of money to pay for it at the ready. Its not like our broken dishwasher where we can manually wash dishes in the sink. We can't exactly heat the house by leaving our oven open and since we don't have a fireplace, that's out as well. We're just lucky the cold cold weather is about a month or two off yet, but the nights are starting to get chilly!

26 September 2010

Something's Fishy

Today was FOCUS Day at the GA Aquarium. We were lucky enough to be one of the 700 people let in early and got to roam around the aquarium from 9am until the doors opened to the public at 10. It was SOOOOO nice. Isaiah got to sit in front of the big window there for a good 15 minutes and we didn't feel like we were hogging the glass since there were so few people there. He didn't seem too enthused by the penguins, but he did enjoy the otters this time around. As always we had to spend a good 10 minutes in front of the waterfall. One of these days when we actually have money to spare (I can dream right?) I'll build a pond with a waterfall and stream for the guy to play in. He just loves water that much. The plus about that is bathtime has gotten much easier.

Back to the Aquarium... Isaiah's getting to the stage where he wants to walk everywhere by himself rather than sit in the stroller, which is good because it tuckers him out and we usually can get a good nap out of him, but it's also bad because he usually doesn't like holding our hands and wants to run off like any other typical kid wants to do. Today was so cute because he actually put his hand out for me to hold as we were walking toward the big underwater tunnel. He's finally getting it!!! The FOCUS Day also had a catered brunch in the Oceans ballroom which was pretty cool too. Lots of yummy french toast, biscuits and gravy, and Isaiah's favorite, grits!

25 September 2010

The Good Life

So lately things have been relatively good with Isaiah. I say relatively because I don't want to jinx myself. Its funny how little we post when all is well and how there are flurries of posts around the bad and stress filled events in our lives. He's been making good progress with speech therapy and approximating more and more words. He's got this cute little sound he makes when counting things. He just points to each item in succession going 'Dee' ... 'Dee' ... 'Dee' He's starting to recognize more things in his color and shapes book like stars and hearts. He can pretty much approximate all of the Mickey Mouse clubhouse regulars and point them out. While 'Mih-E' is still his favorite 'Dah-O' and 'Ooh-E' aren't far behind. He says 'A-E' for Daisy and 'Ni-Ni' for Minnie and can point out each and every one of them including Pluto. It's just so exciting to see the wheels a' turning as this kid learns more and more. He's really gotten into his Duplos he got for his birthday lately too. Last week he really started stacking and clicking the blocks together by himself and they've been great counting and color tools as well.

All this good stuff comes with a little frustration too. He really does well catching on to watching Daddy do something and trying to do it himself, but when he can't get things to work he gets frustrated and throws a mini temper tantrum which usually ends up with him throwing every single block or car or whatever he was trying to do on the floor and then pushing it further away from him on the floor until he calms himself down. Usually these tantrums are fairly short lived and the good thing is most times he goes back and picks up the block or what not and tries again a short while later so it's not completely discouraging to him. Most times the tantrums are because something isn't exactly as he wants it. We're hoping it doesn't develop into more OCD-like tendencies, but being somewhat of a perfectionist about certain things is okay. It makes me realize he knows what he wants and even though he blows up, he comes back and tries to tackle it again. Here's to hoping he keeps up that mentality.

14 August 2010

Big Boy Bed


So today was mostly a lazy Saturday avoiding the oppressive humidity outside resulting from last nights crazy crazy lightning storms. It also meant doing a little tidying around the house and converting Isaiah's crib into a toddler bed. In the last month or so Isaiah has been leading us to his bed at night, grabbing his Woody doll and his milk, standing near the gate to the hallway waving to us while saying, "nigh nigh." After about the third or fourth time of him doing that we figured he's probably ready for the big boy bed and doesn't need to be 'trapped' in his crib so today I finally got around to converting it. Basically the drop side comes off and the top portion that used to swing down to allow Rachel to reach in now acts as the side rail. Isaiah is just barely big enough to climb up into it and slide on his belly back out, though he's still a little wary of it right now. He's had one nap in it so far and while we're a bit worried he may roll out the open side, we're going to wait it out a bit to see if he'll need the bed rail. We just figure he's big enough to not be in a crib anymore, but not quite ready for the big bed. We're gearing ourselves up for him getting himself out of bed in the middle of the night and banging on his bedroom door for us to let him out, but the day has to come sometime right?

M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A

Our road trip last week was a blast, other than the 2 day, 19 hour drive each way, but such is life when flying is just cost prohibitive. We're just lucky Isaiah does so well in the car for long trips, that is as long as he has his movies. The main reason we were going was since I was in an old co-worker and friends' wedding, John Yau. We worked together both at TEA 2 Architects and Drive 105 fm and I was honored to do the reading at his wedding. The reception was nice as well and it allowed me to catch up with a bunch of my old co-workers at TEA2. The rest of the time we were in Minnesota was to celebrate Rachel's 31st birthday, catch up with old friends, visit the old haunts, and spend some time with my sister who still lives up there and was gracious enough to host us while up there.

On the way up we went a bit out of our way to hit my hometown of Racine, WI where we met up with my Mom and Dad for lunch where they loaded us up with goodies for Isaiah, Kringle and 7 sisters from O&H and plenty of wares from the Johnson Wax Company store. We wish we could've stayed longer, but we had to get back on the road.

We packed a ton of things into the four days we were in Minnesota. The first full day we were there was Rachel's Birthday and we visited Minnehaha park and the falls there which Isaiah loved. We walked the trails down to the Mississippi so he could see it toward its northern end now. We then went to Coffman Union at the U to load up on Gophers gear for our cars, us and even bought Isaiah a gophers winter hat which he'll probably only wear once or twice down here but may come in handy for any visits up North this winter. We then headed to Punch Pizza and Surdyk's to pick up some Surly and then ran back to Eagan to get ready for the big dinner with friends at Granite City we had planned for Rachel.

Friday had us waking up to some Dunn Brothers coffee, a trip to Noodles and Co for lunch and a quick stop at Mall of America where we bought Isaiah his very first hockey jersey, a Minnesota Wild third jersey that he'll hopefully get to wear when they come to town to play the Thrashers. We bought the obligatory cheese curds from Rybicki cheese (can't get good fresh ones down here) and then headed off to Como Zoo to see Rose and her newborn Allison. Rachel's friend Dayna was supposed to meet us there, but got held up so we ended up meeting her and her husband Brent for dinner at Pizza Luce. Later that night we split up and Rachel, Becca and Isaiah had a girls night in and I went up to Ramsey to see my good buddy Steve and his wife Erin.

Saturday was the wedding taking up most of the day but we did manage to sneak in another of our favorite local eateries in El Loro for a nice big Mexican dinner. Sunday we went to church at our old home up in Maple Grove, Open Door and then spent the afternoon and evening running around to visit more friends. As you can see we had a list of places we wanted to eat while in Minny and barely got halfway through it.

It was great to see everybody and show off Isaiah and he enjoyed meeting everybody too. He especially loved playing with his new buddies Sunday night at the Surine's. He just really likes being around other kids and since he's not in day care, he doesn't get the chance for group play much, other than when we hang out with our neighbors here in GA.

Since Isaiah was so good on this trip it bodes well for future travels and we're hoping to head up to Racine for Christmas this year and maybe get all the way back up to Minnesota for a day or two. It all depends on my work schedule since things are starting to pick up some and limiting how much I can take off, but in a way, that's a really good thing, knowing that I've got work to do which hasn't always been the case the last few years in architecture.

05 August 2010

Birth Daze

So I think its kind of fitting that here on Rachel's Birthday I finally write about Isaiah's. I'm sitting in my sisters basement in Minnesota awaiting the big gathering we're having up here to jointly celebrate Rachel inching closer to 'retirement' age and to show off Isaiah to our Minny friends. It should be a good time!

Isaiah's birthday was pretty good in itself. Its still hard to believe that the little guy is two years old. Though we feel somewhat old hat at all of the Apert stuff now two years ago we were still in that panic phase. What a difference to today. His party was pretty cool. The kid worships at the Mouse's altar, helped along by the annual passes to Disney we bought last year, and his party was Mickey Mouse themed to the hilt. Rachel even went crazy making a Mickey Mouse cake that took her two hours to decorate, but it looked absolutely great. I think all but a couple of his presents were Disney in some way. Tons of Toy Story, Cars, and Mickey Mouse stuff, the kid made out like a bandit. The things that weren't Disney were still great too. He got a bunch of Duplo blocks and his cozy coupe, both of which he adores.

He's getting big too. I don't have the exact stats but he's something like 34 inches tall and 27 pounds. He's tall and lanky and running around like crazy. Speech therapy has been helping his talking lately too. He's slowly but surely get more consonants in. Our favorite new word is 'night night' which he also says to me when I go off to work in the morning because I think he thinks he goes bye bye when he goes to sleep. We've got to teach him the difference yet, but him vocalizing is the important thing right now. He understands much of what we say, we just need to get him to vocalize things so we can understand him more. Anyways, I've got to help get things ready for the party now so I hope to write more when I get a chance.

31 July 2010

Corrigan Care




Brian's been super busy at work lately so I thought I would briefly take over the blog to update everyone on some wonderful news in the Kolis family. Earlier this month I was asked to serve on the board of Corrigan Care, Inc. as Special Events Director. It's a new non-profit in Cobb County, GA that will provide one on one special needs childcare to child up to age six. Their goal will be to ensure that all special needs children will learn in a safe, caring environment, enabling them to maximize their potential, while providing individualized developmental intervention and therapy.

We have been very lucky as a family over the last two years. The generous support of our family and friends has helped us with Isaiah's medical expenses so I could be home with him. Brian and I cannot thank each and everyone enough for what you have done for us. However, many special needs families in Cobb County are not as lucky as we are, and they do not have many options for childcare for their children. Corrigan Care is hoping to fill that void. As a parent, it's a great comfort to me that there will be a place Isaiah could receive amazing care specialized for him, if I had to go back to work.

On August 28th, Corrigan Care will be holding their inaugural fundraiser Emmy's Bash at 7:00pm. Please consider attending this event or making a donation. You can go to www.corrigancare.com for more information. Many special needs families will greatly benefit your donation and from the work Corrigan Care is doing.

Short update

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. We've been worn down by the summer fun and trying to keep up with our now two year old. Isaiah is a bundle of energy and just looking at him seems to drain all the energy from my body after some days of work. I don't know how Rachel does it! Hopefully in the next couple weeks I'll get a couple good long posts up recapping the birthday party and our trip to Minnesota but for now this will have to do.

Rachel has started volunteering on the board of a local non-profit start up that will eventually be set up to help provide special needs daycare in East Cobb (our immediate area) at as close to a 1 to 1 ratio kids to caregivers as possible and be a central place where PT, OT, and speech therapy can all come and help multiple kids in a day without having to drive all over the county. It has been sapping up some of her time as well, but its a good cause that's near and dear to our hearts. Soon we'll probably have a post up about a fundraiser she's helping to plan for the end of August if any of the GA locals may be able to come.

13 June 2010

Isaiah's Covert Mission: Animal Crackers

I'll let the video speak for itself...

06 June 2010

Spinning Wheel

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: that's pretty much the best way to sum up the last 24 hrs. The sweat was no big deal, just a ton of yard work in the heat and humidity yesterday. The blood and tears are another thing.
To start it off, last night we had Isaiah's long overdue sleep study to see if he will need additional surgeries to clear his airways, check for apnea, and see if he may need a CPAP or other breathing assist at night. We were not looking forward to it. We know how crazy Isaiah is in his sleep and that's partially why he's still sleeping in a crib since he thrashes about so much. He had something like a dozen different wires mainly attached to his head, a pulse ox on his toe, bands around his belly, and a breath sensor taped under his nostrils. Needless to say he wasn't too happy and was up seemingly half of the night crying in frustration and annoyance. He really hated the breath sensor to the point when we were holding his hands he would try to get it off his face with his tongue. At least he's creative and determined enough to figure something out, but it sure made for some fun.

We were out of the hospital a bit after 5:30am and made it back home by 6. We then tried to get some more much needed sleep by sleeping together in the big bed in our bedroom which worked for a couple more hours until Isaiah decided to thrash about and head butt Rachel square in the nose causing one hell of a bloody nose. We're talking faucet of blood folks, enough to make me super squirmy and panicky. We initially thought her nose might be broken, but so far the swelling has stayed down with ice and there's very little bruising at this point, but we'll keep watching it. After all, it is Rachel's "only part of her face that she actually likes." I'll probably get a little tongue lashing for adding that in, but I thought it was too funny (not the whole injury thing, just what she said about her nose)

So Blood, Sweat, and Tears. You say that's enough for anyone in a short amount of time right? Oh it gets better.

Since we were so overtired from being up half the night and jolted awake by Isaiah's tactical maneuver we needed coffee and lots of it. I was going to make a full pot of coffee, 12 cups worth. I filled the machine with coffee and water and like Ron Popeil says 'set it and forget it.' We're watching tv in the living room and five minutes later Rachel hears something and we go to look into the kitchen and see the lovely coffee pot spewing scalding hot coffee AND grounds all over the kitchen. On the counter, in the silverware drawer, down the face of the base cabinets and streaking down our lovely not so level floor. Apparently since we have a thermal carafe instead of the usual glass one we only have a 10 cup coffee maker, despite the fact there's a 12 cup fill line.

To top it all off while were cleaning up the remnants of the Exxon Valdez spill in the kitchen we hear a thud and Isaiah starts crying. Turns out he slid off the couch awkwardly and bit his lip, not the worst thing in the world, but it just added to the stress.

It feels like we're living in some sort of tragic sitcom right now and you are the live studio audience laughing away, but it feels more like a season ending cliffhanger at the moment than a nicely wrapped up 30 minute show. We're literally afraid to leave the house right now for fear of what else will go wrong be it a car accident or our house exploding or catching fire. I think we'll just ball up in a corner for the rest of the day rocking ourselves back to calmness...



04 June 2010

Whoopsies!

Sorry about the lack of writing posts lately. I was pretty busy at work and we had another family trip over the holiday weekend. My goal is to get some video up this weekend, but then again when do I ever meet my goals.

In other news Isaiah is getting big! Yes he is almost 2 years old now! Its really hard to believe for us. Today I spend much of the evening working on adding items to his amazon wish list for birthday presents. We've added a bunch of things, some of which are truly wishes (like who's going to buy him a $650 outdoor playhouse/slide setup), but its fun to think up some of the things that will hopefully bring that beautiful smile to his face on a daily basis! We'll be updating it more in the coming weeks, but if you want to check it out click here!

15 May 2010

09 May 2010

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Here are a couple of Pix of Isaiah with his various mothers!

Rachel of course



Grandma Hanthorn


Grandma MA Kolis

02 May 2010

May Day!

Isaiah is a walking machine now! To think little more than a month ago he just started walking and now he's starting to run all over the place! Its getting hard for us to keep up with him. Its so funny now to come home from work and have him stand up and run over to me, but its still so odd to turn the corner and just see him standing there after 21 months of crawling. We're learning fast this walking thing has meant he gets into things more and more now. His reach has now doubled in height and he's grabbing things all over the place. His latest interest is reorganizing the DVD's, but only the R-S ones that are just above his eye level. He repeatedly pulls them off the shelf, gives them a good look, like he's pondering which one to watch, and usually either brings them over to us on the couch or tries to put them back in the shelf. He's also intrigued by the refrigerator door. We've got a freezer on the bottom setup so every time we open the fridge when he's in the kitchen he comes over to check it out. He's gotten smart enough to know when to duck when we go to close the door, its kind of funny to see. I don't even have to tell him to duck anymore! He's also climbing on the couch now, so the cat is no longer safe anywhere.

He's learned more signs as well, the latest being 'open'. Think of pretending to hold a book in your hands and twisting them like you're opening the book. Isaiah has his own version where his arms are about shoulder width apart sticking straight out doing a sort of 'jazz hands' like repeating twisting motion. He does it at the front door and the gates we have up in the house. Its all part off the open and closed thing we're trying to teach him right now. He loves closing drawers and doors right now, and is almost a little OCD about it in the kitchen amking sure everything is close or that the drawers are pushed in all the way. He loves closing doors on people when they are standing in the doorway and thinks its hilarious when we yell ow!

10 April 2010

Phew! Glad that's over!

Its officially officially, we received a letter from Medical City Dallas yesterday stating we no longer owe anything on Isaiah's last surgery. I honestly have to say this is mainly due to Rachel's tenacity. It's been a four month ordeal that finally seems to have some closure.

After months of calling insurance, various departments in the hospital, writing appeals letters, letters to the CEO, CFO, CMO and various board members at Medical City and sending them an email blast its finally done. This was Rachel's full time job while juggling taking care of the little guy and I think she just ended up making more this year than I did. I know how much she hates making those calls and how frustrating it can get, but we look at it as her 'making' money for the family since its less money that actually goes out of our pockets. So far she's made nearly $70K for us this year between the Hospital and a bunch of other smaller bills she's gotten written off or reduced. Not too shabby for 4 months if you ask me.

What really made it happen was a combination of things. Firsties it was the appeals letter we wrote that ended up netting insurance paying quite a bit more but our concurrent letters to the bigwigs at MC Hospital, or actually the direct email with a pdf of the letter we sent them earlier got them moving. I managed to figure out the hospitals email protocol and figure out some of the higher ups emails and I feel that really helped us cut through some of the bureaucratic red tape to get them to put our account on hold and review things. Before we even heard about the results of our appeal letter Medical City had sent us a letter stating they would write off a good chunk of the bill and we would only owe about 25% of bill which was good, but not great. Literally a day later, or possibly even the same day Rachel was checking online and saw insurance was paying more of the hospital bill. Since what insurance was paying was more than what MC was going to accept from us we hoped that would be the end of it, and eventually that was the case.

Anyways its done with and that's a good thing. We actually knew about this back on April 1st when Rachel received a voicemail from someone at Medical City, but being that it was April Fools Day I just felt like we needed to wait for the letter to come in the mail before we wrote about it here. Wohoooo!

04 April 2010

30 March 2010

For those of you not on Facebook...



For those of you who are not Rachel's friend on Facebook, I thought I would post Isaiah's little accomplishment from this morning which is also now my desktop image at work. Click the pic to see a larger pic in all of its superheroey PJ goodness.

27 March 2010

Yes we are alive

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I guess without having a stressful surgery or quite as many bills hanging over our heads lately I haven't had much to write about. Wait a second, we have a 20 month old child who's doing something different and new almost everyday now, of course I have something to write about!

Today we took Isaiah to the ATL Opera's family day and he sat through a production of The Ugly Duckling and seemed to tolerate it, but we're not sure if he fully liked it. We toured the Opera's office with him and Grandpa H. We saw the Costume Shop, the musical instrument 'petting zoo' and much more. They had a little demonstration of stage combat and how they make it look real. Well Isaiah has this little thing, he rather enjoys when someone dies or gets hurt on stage and he laughed and clapped his hands when they had a swordfight and the one woman was 'killed.' He's done this before at Disney when The Beast from Beauty and the Beast was lynch mobbed by the town people at the show in Hollywood Studios. I just hope we aren't raising a little psychopath. I'm fairly sure we're not, but we need to teach him its not appropriate to laugh at that.

Other than that we've been starting to experience more and more of the normal parent stuff which has been great. The walking this last week has led to more falls and crying fits, but he's still soldiering on like a little trooper. He's eating more and different foods as his teeth slowly come in and he's starting to get the gist of feeding himself with a spoon, so long as he remembers to dip the correct end of the spoon in the food. He's starting to get more vocal and were starting to hear more sounds from him and a little more mimicry, but no more full words yet. The other day I thought I heard him say "I-eh-ahh" but of course he hasn't repeated it since. Its a trip I tell you, a real trip...

19 March 2010

Isaiah is walking!

Sorry for the random pictures but Isaiah just decided to walk today. Maybe it's because he met a new friend named Bay, maybe he just decided that he was sick of crawling. All we know is he started taking a few steps and now fifteen minutes later he's walking all over the place. He's even turning, once to run away from mommy. It's crazy. I don't have the video cam with me but I'll get some video up as soon as I can.

18 February 2010

Frustration

Sometimes I feel so isolated because of our situation, and I'm sure Rachel does too. Having a special needs kid has changed a ton of things in our lives, one of which is getting out on our own and even just doing some normal things like going to church. Being that we got pregnant so soon after moving down here we hadn't found a church to plug into and with all of Isaiah's surgeries, both trying to keep him healthy before them and recovering after. It has sort of prevented us from really finding that fit. We never used to have to worry about child care before, let alone finding a church that could handle Isaiah. We had such a great community back up in Minnesota and while we have Rachel's parent's down here and all of our friends on the Apert listserv we've really been missing the personal interaction with people around our own age.

The church we seemed to visit the most before Isaiah came along has popped back up again and we met with their child care coordinator tonight over some coffee and just simply getting out and talking with her was like a breath of fresh air that put a little wind in our sails. Its been hard for both of us, especially in these last few months. Rachel is home with Isaiah and really only gets to interact with doctors and nurses and since I was laid off I really miss working with people around my own age. Don't get me wrong, the people at my new job are great, but I miss the social aspect at RPA. What I'm really trying to say is we don't get out much and its starting to get to me. Rachel and I have had maybe 2-3 date nights to ourselves in the last year and luckily we have one coming up this weekend, but we need more. It's partially our own faults for shuttering ourselves in with Isaiah for so long, but its also hard since we've only been down here a little more than 2and a half years and don't have that friend base and built in community to fall back on. Making friends is work sometimes and it

12 February 2010

Snow Worries!



Woohoo its snowing here today and actually sticking somewhat. I got out of work a couple hours early and we took Isaiah outside to experience the snow some. He enjoyed it a ton and below is a picture of me teaching him how to catch some flakes on his tongue. It's prefect snow for a snowman and a snowball fight. My neighbor Josh and I may have one later on tonight if his wife can make it home before sunset to watch the kids.

27 January 2010

New Pix!

Wohoo, the new compy makes downloading pictures a breeze! So enjoy some of our goings on from the last month. Just click here! Included in the album are pictures from Grandpa Kolis' visit and our trip to Disney World last week among the normal stuff. There are a few of Isaiah hanging out in his new playroom, just look for the wood paneling. Enjoy!

I'm still working on the video side of things and hope to be able to post some things by early next week.

26 January 2010

Coming soon to a blog near you...

(the one you're reading right now) ... more pictures and hopefully more video. Our computer came yesterday and slowly transferred most of the data from the old computer I affectionately call 'Genesis.' The new computer should actually allow me to edit videos to upload to the web much faster and easier. The old computer would take over an hour to compress things down from our camcorder. This one will also allow me to download our camera pictures much easier so the Disney pictures from our trip last week should be up in a couple days rather than a couple weeks since its hard to find a couple hours of continuous time when you've got the little one running around.

Isaiah has been doing good, and has been starting to test our patience a little more. We know he knows what 'No' is and has been giving us a little smile after we say it now. Rachel just started trying to do time outs for things like harassing the cat and hitting, etc. We'll see how that goes. We also finally got the okay to continue Physical Therapy again which will be good to get him back on track for some things. He's still got some squishy bumpies on his head, but they are slowly going down and hardening back up.

13 January 2010

The $67,000 Pyramid


Dick Clark here, okay not really. I'm just in a bit of a goofy mood lately. Stress tends to do that to me sometimes. Anyways, we got some fun mail today a bill for over $67K from the hospital in Dallas where Isaiah had his last surgery in November. Apparently our insurance and them are not seeing eye to eye, or should I say network to network since for some reason this time it's getting processed as out of network. We're not paying $67,000 as of yet though. We're going to go through the whole appeals process, and I know we've said we have that as an option in the past for big bills, but it never got to that point. This time, I think it will. Oh the joys! See where the stress is coming from?

I've been trying to keep it light lately because for once Rachel is more worried about something than I am (and I'm the one with anxiety issues!) She feels like she's taking on the insurance company all by her lonesome, and that's no easy task. I try to help where I can, but my help isn't that great all the time. At least we have a little jaunt to Disney World next week for a much needed 5 day vacation that should do us some good. I've got to figure out a way to smuggle in a party sub so we don't have to pay for food... just kidding, the oil and vinegar dressing would just get too messy, plus we always have to get a pretzel in Germany at EPCOT, and some ice cream from Mrs. Pott's in the MK.

We really are doing okay over here, and we're fine in the money department for now, please don't worry about that. Check back in a year from now when this whole appeals process has taken its course though! In the meantime thoughts and prayers, and magical powers over insurance claim processors are greatly appreciated.

12 January 2010

Newsies!

So here's the news I sort of teased about a couple posts ago. We've got a new car! Yes, not that truly exciting, but hopefully as soon as we sell it you won't have to hear the worries and woes of the Toyota. It's a hard car to part with since it's been Rachel's car since she graduated college and was the first car that was really her's, but we needed a bigger car for our trips to Dallas and Orlando and it doesn't hurt to be ready should a little brother or sister come along someday down the road. We still have the Corolla, so if you know of anyone in the Atlanta metro looking for relatively cheap transport let us know!

The new car is actually a ' new to us' car. We got a great deal on a 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe with under 15,000 miles and three years / 45,000 miles left on the warranty which give us a little peace of mind on car repairs. We were pretty amazed at what we were able to get for the money considering we've been looking on and off for 6 months now. For the same price as some of the used 2007's we were looking at 6 months ago that were reasonably equipped, we were able to get one with a Sunroof, heated seats, roof rack, bigger engine, and fold away third row of seats. The sunroof and heated seats are nice bonuses, but the roof rack can come in hand for our road trips and the third row of seats makes it easier to take just one car when people visit from out of town and future additions to the family! (Rachel and I have had baby fever for about the last month)

We got a good amount of financial help from my parents, but we've been scrimping and saving for a good while ourselves. I'm just happy that we have a really safe car that we can grow into, rather than grow out of. I had hoped to get a couple better pictures, but its nearly dark by the time I get home from work still, so enjoy the grainy cell phone picture below!

National De-Lurking Days



I heard about this from Marie, mother to another child with Apert Syndrome, Jack who's blog you can find here or in our sidebar to the right. I also apologize to her because I pretty much grabbed the text below from her.

Apparently, January 10-12 are National De-Lurking Days. For those of you that don't know a Lurker is a person who reads a blog or listserve or forum or whatever but does not actually comment. If you don't actually comment on the web, no one ever knows you are there except us savvy bloggers. We know you are there because you appear in our stats but that's just a set of numbers, not names!

We know you're out there! Maybe you've thought of commenting but did not want to leave your personal information out there on the internet for everybody to see. No problem! We allow anonymous commenting.

Maybe you have thought of leaving a comment but don't know how. All you do is move your mouse so that your pointer is over the picture of a speech bubble or the words "post a comment" or "remarks" at the bottom of each post. There might just be a number and the word "remarks" like "2 remarks". Then you click the left button on your mouse once.

If you decide to post anonymously please just leave your name in the comment box so I might have an idea of who you are. If I know you already, nice to see you here. If I don't know you yet, it's nice to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you better.

We're supposed to give you some encouragement to comment so here's a suggested topic. Tell us your biggest blessing / good thing going at the moment, or feel free to write whatever you like in the comments.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!

11 January 2010

New Pictures

I did do it New years Weekend like I said I would, but somehow forgot to post it on the blog that I've upload a batch of new photos of Isaiah spanning from September to December of last year, including a few pictures post surgery. You can visit the full web gallery of the photos all the time from the link in the upper right corner of the page under the slideshow, but if you just want to see the new ones I just uploaded click here.



Isaiah has been doing pretty good lately. We're over the bug that dogged us over Christmas, but the living room carpeting has yet to recover fully. He's starting to bear crawl more and more and he's been starting to take Frankenstein-esk steps while Rachel or I am holding him upright. We're thinking he might be going through another growth spurt again because he's eating like crazy most of the time and usually wakes up at least once in the middle of the night to chug down a bottle of milk. The playroom is working out nicely and I'll try to get a couple photos of it up tonight. Isaiah seems to love it and the Living Room looks so much more grown up again with only a few toys and his keyboard sitting out there now. We've learned quickly that containing messes is the key to keeping things looking cleaner! Its nice to be able to close the doors to the den and shutter off the mess and relax a little in the living room. Just all the clutter everywhere was really starting to stress us out. Both Rachel and I feel like we are constantly cleaning and I have a feeling this will last for a good 16+ more years.

We've got more exciting news to come soon! Well the news is exciting to us, and sorry to burst the bubble grandparents, it is not another grandchild as of yet. I hope to post more soon!