Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Another Date and More Marriage Talk

A few weeks ago Nick's mom emailed me to ask if Beth could hang out with their family. They were taking the ferry over to Kingston and wanted Beth to go with them. I didn't have to ask her twice. :) They walked on to the ferry, rode it the half hour to Kingston, walked off and had something to eat. Parking your car and walking on is a lot less expensive and is a fun day trip on the water. When they got back, Loren and I talked for a while about what it would be like if the two of them got married.

She told me that Nick has some interesting quirks and she was a little concerned about how Beth would deal with them. I've actually thought the same thing about Beth! How would Nick handle the way Beth brushes her teeth? (She actually spits everywhere, the sink, faucet, shower doors, the walls. I try to get her to wipe everything down as soon as she's done, but she rarely does it. Is that going to gross him out? And her toenails, I trim them now but will he be willing to do it?

She asked me if Beth ever talks and said she was SO quiet all day! Yep, that's Beth. I told her that once she gets to know you she loosens up. But then she said that Nick talks enough for the both of them!

She said that Beth seems to be a better fit than his last girlfriend. And Nick mentioned that "even if she wants to get back together, no way, because Beth is the one he loves."

Some days I just think that they'll work it out the way all married couples do, but then I remember that people with Ds have deep routines that can really affect them if it's changed. I'm trying to let Beth know now, what kind of changes there might be, like Nick might not like the TV shows she likes. Not that they're bad, he just might have different tastes.

When I'm in the bathroom putting her hair in a ponytail, I'll ask her what she'll do if her and Nick get married. Will she ask him to brush her hair or will she just do something different with it. "Different."

Loren and I talked about their housing situation. Where would they live? HOW would they live? Neither of them can pay bills, use an oven. I know Beth wouldn't know what to do if a pipe burst or the toilet overflowed or the electricity went out. There's so much to discuss and even though we know that no one ever has life all figured out, there just seems to be so much more involved here than with a typical couple.

Should we just let them go for it and deal with things as they come or should we take the time to really plan for any possible scenario? It's so hard to know what to do.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

You Are Cordially Invited...

Beth got an invitation the other day from the elementary school where she volunteers. It was for an event they were having to say thank you to all their volunteers

She goes there every Thursday and the first thing she does is go out to their mailbox and get the mail. Then she brings it into the front office, sorts it and puts it in all the teachers mail slots. Then she does what ever is needed in the office.

She files papers, sharpens pencils, makes copies on the copy machine and even helped out this year with their art show! She's been volunteering there now for 3-4 years and she loves it!

So today Chuck and I picked her up from All Aboard and as I walked in, guess who called my name and came running from across the room?! Nick is so personable and friendly! He talked to me the whole time we waited for Beth to get her things together. Told everyone that I was going to be his mother-in-law. :)



We got to the school and found some seats in the gym. They look fairly normal in this picture but the seats were no wider than my cell phone! The teeniest little seats I've ever seen! 



There was cake and cookies and punch. They had a raffle for all the balloons, plus the flower arrangements. And guess who won some flowers?



Some of the teachers told us how much they enjoy having Beth there and that she's such a huge help to them. The Principal came over and sat down with us for a while. She told us how much they love Beth and how she wants to find more work for her to do next year. Beth was beaming the whole time and said she really likes it there.




Outside the students had drawn hearts and written thank yous to the volunteers.


I'm so thankful the Principal is pushing for inclusion with Beth. She'll talk things over with her and then let Beth's job coach know what they decided rather than always going through the job coach; she engages Beth in activities around the school; she treats her like a person and not a diagnosis. I absolutely love this Principal! The students at this school are blessed to have her!

Monday, June 13, 2016

You're Not Going To Believe This!

The oral surgeon at Harborview Medical Center suggested we go back to Beth's dentist to see if they could save a couple of her teeth.

I just called her dentist. The one about 2 miles from our house. The one we were just at in April.

"I'm sorry, we no longer carry her insurance."

"What?!? We were JUST there!!"

"We haven't carried that insurance in a while but we chose to see Beth that day because it wasn't a recurring visit. You're welcome to call our offices in Kirkland or Redmond." (They're a 20-45 minute drive depending on traffic.)

"Why didn't anyone tell me you no longer carry her insurance? I never got a phone call telling me that had changed. You didn't even tell me when I was there!"

"I'm very sorry ma'am."

Aaarrrggg!! I'm not upset that they made this insurance change, what bothers me is that they never informed their patients. Even when their patients were standing right in front of them, they never said a word!

So now we begin the incredibly fun task of trying to find a dentist that takes Medicaid.

I knew this might be a possibility but I had decided to just go back to Beth's old dentist because she really liked it there. I made the decision and that was that. 

Or so I thought. Oh happy day.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Root Canal Gone Bad

A couple years ago Beth had a root canal done on one of her bottom teeth in the front. And after a while it started to turn black so we went back to her dentist and they told us that was normal. I've never had a root canal so I believed them.

A few months ago she chipped the tooth so we went back to the dentist and while she was looking at the tooth, she saw a small growth in Beth's mouth, between the bottom lip and gum. It almost looks like a skin tag. The dentist quickly took off her gloves and insisted we get that 'tag' looked at... TODAY!

She actually seemed panicked and nervous about it. They wrote out a referral for an oral surgeon and she kept insisting that we call t-o-d-a-y. So I went home and called... and they don't take her insurance. Of course.

I called the dentist back and they didn't have any other referrals, it was up to us to find someone but it needed to be done right away! I asked the lady on the phone if the dentist thought it was cancer and she told me she didn't know what it was, but we needed to get it looked at as soon as possible. This was back in April.

After a few more phone calls, we found Harborview Medical Center in Seattle takes her insurance so I set up an appointment and the soonest they can see her is September. Seriously?! I explained the situation and what the dentist said and they put me on a waiting list. A couple weeks ago we got a call saying there had been a cancellation and could we come in on June 7? Absolutely!!

There was an oral surgeon, a tech and an aide all in the room while he looked at the 'tag'. He wasn't panicked at all and said he doesn't think it's cancer. He showed me the x-ray and said the tooth was black because the root canal was infected and the growth is from the infection. There's a cyst inside of it and he said they'll put her under local anesthesia, remove the cyst and send it off to be biopsied.  They couldn't do it that day, we'd have to make another appointment and come back another time.

He thinks the tooth needs to be pulled but they can't do that there, we have to go back to her dentist. But to be honest, I'm not sure I want to go back there and now I'm wondering if the dentist was panicked because she knew what a horrible job they did on the root canal. (She didn't do the root canal, it was a different dentist at that same clinic.)

So now it's a matter of finding a different dentist that takes Medicaid or going back to the original clinic. There's one dentist (that goes to our church) that I plan to call but if he doesn't take her insurance, I think I'm going to go back to the original clinic. Maybe the dentist who did it isn't there anymore, plus Beth likes it there and is comfortable with everyone. Then we go back to Harborview in a couple months to have the biopsy done.

On a good note, Beth did great during the x-rays and while the oral surgeon was checking her mouth. Plus, Chuck was willing to drive us so I didn't have to navigate the crazy streets of downtown Seattle!
After the appointment we went outside and took advantage of the beautiful views!


 This was the view from the room. 
You can barely see Mount Rainier behind the tall building on the left.


Chuck pointed out the window washers hanging half way down the gray building. No, thank you!!



 

Monday, June 6, 2016

"Wow Beth! Great Vibrato!"

The temps in Seattle the last few days have been in the 80's and 90's which aren't too bad, but most of us don't have air conditioners. It was 80 degrees in our house last night when I crawled into bed! Today I caught Beth cooling off. I wish I could have caught her voice, as she was singing at the top of her lungs into the fan! :)

 

My Rhododendrons were in full bloom this year! I love flowers. I'm not one to grow veggies, I don't know why. I've just never been a big fan of growing veggies. Probably because I love photographing flowers for my greeting cards . :)  Iris and azaleas and hydrangeas and sunflowers, especially sunflowers!! I dug out a different area of the garden this year and planted them about a week ago and they've already broken through the ground! I'm getting Allie excited about them too. Whenever she comes over we go outside to check on them! 

What's your favorite flower? 


 



Friday, June 3, 2016

Beth and I Were Both So Ready

Over a year ago now, Beth somehow broke the charging port in her phone. All 3 of us had the same phone so we'd switch batteries with her. Then we decided Chuck would get a new phone and Beth could have his old one. But two weeks later she broke that one! So for many months now, (too many!) her and I have been switching the batteries in our phones. Usually once in the evening and then in the morning before we head out for the day.

Course there were times that I'd forget and as I'm headed out the door to work, Beth would desperately call out, "My phone is dead!" Oh yea! Back inside to switch batteries. I ended up taking a charger to work cause so often I'd leave the house with no power!

We'd unlock them, take the back off, switch batteries, put the back on, lock them in place and then turn our phones back on.

Twice a day.

Every day.

For about a year.



But ya know, it's life. You deal with things. Then a couple weeks ago I dropped my phone. I was at a friends house and dropped it on the sidewalk. Of course.



Now some of the letters on the keypad don't work as well and the 'go back' button doesn't work. So we decided it was time for Beth and I to get new phones. YES!!! We are SO excited! Still Androids but with more memory, longer battery life, a better camera AND I finally get to get the Instagram app!! I have an account on my laptop, but haven't been able to post anything cause you have to have the app in order to post. (My old phone didn't have enough space.)

Well, our phones arrived today!! While Chuck and I were out walking I got a text from Beth, "The package arrive already right now Mothera!" Hers is the white phone with the pink shell. They're charging tonight and tomorrow we get to use them! We are both SO excited!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

It's Just Who We Are

I sometimes wonder if I should change my blog title. When I think of 'Adventure' I think of white water rafting, sky diving, climbing Mount Everest, rock climbing... extreme sports. One of you mentioned once that this is the daily adventures of living with someone who has Down Syndrome.

I like that. Daily adventures. I can live with that. :)

This last weekend I saw on Facebook so many people out camping, boating, fishing, hiking. So active and always going somewhere or doing something. We... don't. I think we're just getting to an age where life is slowing down. So lets see, what were some of Beth's adventures this last weekend:

She changed her bed



We cleaned out her refrigerator.
It's small so it didn't take too long.


She emptied the dishwasher and did some laundry.

Then she watched High School Musical and counted her change. 
She loves her change!!
One time when the girls were small, my mom and I took them to the mall. My mom gave them each a quarter to throw in the fountain and Sharaya and Diana threw theirs in immediately. Beth looked at hers and then put it in her pocket! Why would anyone throw away perfectly good money?! :)  


So that was our adventure for the weekend.
What did you do?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Overreacting?

Chuck and I went on a short hike yesterday. It was recommended by the health insurance company with Chuck's work. We're in the middle of this forest and I noticed there wasn't one single sound. There were no birds chirping, not a single person around anywhere, we couldn't even hear cars on the nearby roads! It was really spooky!

We're walking on this trail and we come to a post where there should have been a directional sign telling us that we we're on the right path but the sign was gone! But they said it was a moderate to light hike so we kept walking and I made a mental note of what we were wearing and realized we didn't come prepared to spend the night in the forest. I tend to panic easily. :)

I texted Sharaya and told her where we were and the name of the program. That way if something happened to us, they'd be able to look it up on-line and at least go to the right area to search for us. I even made a mental note of what we were wearing. My next plan was to begin to look for someplace we could make a shelter. :)

But that wasn't necessary because after just a few minutes we came to the end of the trail, and the sign that told us we'd finished this challenge. It really was a beautiful walk but I didn't enjoy it very much because I was preparing to spend the night outside listening for search dogs!

Sorry they're so blurry.
I was probably shaking with fear! Haha!



Sunday, May 22, 2016

We're All Glad This Weekend Is Over

On Monday Chuck tripped and fell while at work and has been home all week with a sore foot. (X-rays showed no broken bones, thank goodness!) Thursday I was up early to take Allie to school.

Friday I visited a friends farm and wedding venue. They've just recently moved there and it was fun to get the grand tour! T is such a gracious hostess. One week before the wedding season begins, she had us all up to her house for lunch! Thank you C for letting me ride with you!




Spent Saturday afternoon making hors d'oeuvres for a Volunteer Appreciation event. Then spent 30 minutes at home before going back that evening for the actual event. This is just some of the food we had and all of it was delicious!

(Not my photo)


 Our church couldn't do all the things it does, Food and Clothing Bank, neighborhood outreaches, Children's church, VBA, homeless ministry... without the help of hundreds of volunteers. So once a year we hold a huge party for them! We treat them like royalty and just love on them for the evening. It's a great way to give back to those who give so much to others.
(Not my photos)



A, me, Beth and Kathy




 The last couple of weeks have been busy at work as I planned for our Business Meeting (which was today.) I'm the event planner and there is so much work to be done to pull off this event. I ran out of cloth napkins so I couldn't put any under the centerpieces. Oh well, nobody noticed. :)  It's fun to do but I'm always glad when it's over. Especially when it falls on a weekend like this one!



Beth 's boyfriend has been on vacation with his family all week and she hasn't seen him in over 11 days! He got home today. :) He sent her a postcard and you should have seen the smile on her face when she read it! He really lights up her world! Then today she said he texted her and told her he was going to kiss her when he sees her on Tuesday. Ooooh! :)



 We're all so thankful for the start of a new week!
I hope you all have a great one!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Please Indulge Me

Earlier this year, Sharaya and Allie spent some time with Diana in downtown Seattle before Diana moved to Pennsylvania. Sharaya brought her camera to capture scenes of this great city and Allie asked if she could take some pictures too. Sure, why not?! Could be fun!

Then they watched as Allie positioned herself, snapped a picture, reset the aperture, and took another picture. Over and over she did this. All over Seattle. When they stopped for something to drink, they took the opportunity to check out the pictures...







Throughout the day Sharaya would grab her phone and take a picture of Allie taking a picture. She said it was amazing to watch her re-position herself to try to get a better angle.









 Did I mention she's only 6?