Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well, it's been an exciting few weeks....but not necessarily the good kind of exciting. My Grandma Joan (who has been on Maui for an extended stay to help out with my Dad's care for the past 6 months) hadn't been feeling well for several weeks, mostly due to a flare-up of her on-again, off-again low back problems. I had taken her to the ER here on Maui once and they treated her with the standard cocktail of pain meds and anti-inflammatories (to which she had some weird side effects) and she seemed to get better for awhile. But a few weeks ago, the pain was back again with a vengeance and nothing was helping. She was also having a lot of nausea and stomach complaints (which is really not too unusual for her as she has a pretty sensitive stomach), but she was also just not seeming like herself cognitively. Instead of getting better, she just seemed to be getting worse. Mom and I decided it was best for her to go ahead and head home a month early so she could see her own doctor and figure out what was going on (we were still thinking most of the problem was with her back). So we changed her plane ticket home and bought me a ticket to accompany her. Grandma and I left Wednesday night and arrived in OKC Thursday morning. She went straight to her doctor who asked a lot of questions (mostly pertaining to her back symptoms) and examined her. He ordered some tests (both on her back and some scans of her brain) for the following week and sent her home. The next day her dear friend Bobbie stopped by to check on her and called me to tell me she just didn't seem right. I spoke to Grandma briefly and it was obvious something was very wrong (she was talking pretty crazy) so I told Bobbie to call my cousin Hillary and see if they could go ahead and get her to the ER and have those tests run right away (some brain imaging specifically). Anyway, long story short is that she had a mild heart attack and possibly a stroke and ended up needing a stent put in on Saturday morning. (something to note is that her ONLY symptoms of these events were severe nausea, loss of appetite and some mild cognitive changes - absolutely no chest pain or shortness of breath or the other standard cardiac or stroke symptoms we often hear about). She's doing well now, but probably going to have some long-term deficits. Our fingers are all crossed that this isn't going to be the beginning of a decline into dementia for her. She's always been so sharp and fit and healthy - it's very hard to see her like this. Fortunately my cousin Hillary and her fiance David are amazing - they will be moving in with Grandma and caring for her either temporarily until she's able to live on her own again or permanently if it turns out she does not fully recover all of her former cognitive and physical abilities. It was all very scary for awhile and stressful to imagine Grandma being on her own like this. I'm so thankful Hillary is willing and able to step up and take over right now. It's hard being so far away and knowing that Grandma lives alone - now knowing Hillary and David will be there really puts our minds at ease knowing she will be well cared for and looked after for as long as she needs it. We're not sure what is in store for the future, but we're doing lots of positive thinking right now and hoping that she is able to make a full recovery. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, before I left, Dean had a fun Sunday afternoon with the little girl across the street, Riley. They played in a little kiddie pool for about an hour and had a blast splashing around and dumping water on each other! They're so cute!! Here are a few pics we took...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Big Boy School

It's Official....Dean is no longer a baby! He started preschool on Monday at the Children's Garden in Kihei. And he LOVED it!! He'll be attending 2 days/week (Monday & Wednesday) for now. I'd like him to go 3 days/week, but it's expensive so 2 days will work!

We got up early and got Dean dressed in some "Play Clothes" (because they spend A LOT of time outside at this school - even aside from the standard playtime, some of the curriculum stuff like art, etc is done outside), loaded up his new Backpack - which Dean keeps calling a "Rescue Pack" - thanks to Diego - his current favorite cartoon character (thank goodness it's no longer whiny Caillou!!) and matching lunch box and headed to Big Boy School. Dean was excited because this is the school where his BFF Charlie attends (even though Charlie will be a "Turtle" this year and Dean is only a "Roly Poly" AND they'll be going on different days) and Dean seems to think that if Charlie goes there, that means Charlie's big brother Sam (Dean's idol) will be there. Anyway, we got to school and Dean met his teacher, Miss Lauren. He turned his head away for about 2 seconds, then decided the place looked like fun and jumped right in!! We went into his classroom and I showed him where his cubby was - he was pretty excited about having his own basket with his name on it (He's REALLY into having his name on EVERYTHING these days and every time he sees his name, he has to spell it and say it - "D-E-A-N, Dean"). We put his stuff & his lunchbox in his cubby, put the morning and afternoon snacks (we have to provide all food for the day) in their proper place, and showed him where his water bottle would be. He took his slippers off, stuffed them in the cubby, said "bye Mom" and ran outside to play. He never even looked back at me!!!

I picked him up at the end of the day and the teacher said he did great - he cried a little at naptime (we were worried about that because Dean still uses a binky at night and at naptime at home), but not for very long and did fall asleep and slept for almost 2 hours. He peed in the potty twice and the little message board at the end of the day said "Dean enjoyed riding the tricycle around the track". When I went to pick him up, he wouldn't even look at me. As soon as he saw me, he ran and hid and said "No Mommy, Dean playing. Dean school. Go back over there" (he says "go back over there" when he wants me to go away). I literally had to carry him out of there kicking and screaming.

But then we went and got an ice cream to celebrate his first day of school and all was good! He's looking forward to going back tomorrow!! Here are a few pics (he really wasn't very cooperative with picture taking)...

All ready to go...

Giving me his new Fake Smile:
Heading off to school like a Big Boy:
Playing almost IMMEDIATELY after we arrived at school:
Wouldn't even look at me when I got there to pick him up - just kept turning his back to me and hiding (sooo did NOT want to go home!!):
A little celebratory ice cream (and another fake smile) after school:

Monday, June 1, 2009

Toddler PDA

Dean has a mad crush on the little girl across the street, Riley. Riley is about 8 months younger than Dean and with their blonde curls, they could be siblings! They LOVE to hug each other and several evenings a week are spent with them chasing each other around one of our yards squealing and laughing and hugging. Riley is SUPER affectionate - she even gives Joel lots of hugs. And although kids typically love Joel, I don't think they always consider him the most "huggable" of people in the world!! ha!! Riley is Rocky's (the 3-legged black lab) sister and every time we pull into our driveway, Dean says "There's Riley's house! There's Rocky's house! Take Rocky a cookie?" It's funny because for the longest time I think Dean thought all big black dogs were SUPPOSED to only have 3 legs and if we saw a 4-legged black dog somewhere, Dean would just look at it like "what the heck is wrong with that dog?" Anyway, I caught some super cute toddler Public Displays of Affection tonight....