Alexandra - school is over and summer ball began. Alexandra played softball for St. Mary's HS in prep for the fall. She really enjoyed it and made a few new friends going into a new school. She also took a HS prep class - which I question the usefulness of to be honest - but oh well, she is one step closer. Her schedule is set and she is itching to go shopping - this will be first time with no school uniform!!
Michael - also played ball! Baseball season followed Alexandra's. Michael had a good time, but is still certain he prefers basketball. He didn't have much luck his one painful attempt at pitcher, but did great up to bat and out in the field. He's not yet facing the new school in the fall..... i think hoping summer will last for ever! So far he has not dusted off his flippers for the pool (really not sure why) but has now got Jack into the mode of using snorkel type goggles to the pool.
Jack and Tommy - I lump them together because they are attached at the hip for all the ups and downs of summer days! Of course the matching cowboy boots are a must - but while Tommy will alternate into flip flops for the pool, or tennis shoes for playing, Jack insists on using his boots for everything. They are terribly worn out and can stink a room out. I am hoping fairies will show up in the middle of the night and take them to cowboy boot graveyard. Alas.... we still wait for fairies.
And Peter - well - there is so much to tell here! Good bad and everything in between. So let's start with the not so good and move on to better! The lowest low is Peter had his follow up echo and is still not "normal". His saturation rates were normal again - so that was good, but his pulmonary pressures while better were still elevated and out of the normal range. As luck would go there was another storm rolling into town while he was having his echo done, but two bad echos in a row didn't make the doctor comfortable writing it off as due to barometric pressures. August 10th Peter goes back for a third and final attempt. This time in the morning - hoping to avoid the chance of a storm. We hope he stays healthy between now and then for it! If it goes well, we are ok. If not then he will need to go into the hospital for a heart cath. The purpose being to get true pulmonary pressures within the heart as opposed to at skin level with the echo. It scares me to have him under sedation since we know mild sedation caused his oxygen saturation rates to drop drastically and he was not responding to increase in oxygen. Please please please - lots of prayer for Peter!! Also Peter is on another self induced diet.... hopefully just the heat - but he is not interested in eating again. Ugh!! Peter - come on little dude!! On the up side he continues to persist in his attempts to stand unassisted and walk - while admittedly bear crawling at 100 miles an hour proves to be more exciting for him! He is also starting to sign a bit more and took us completely by surprise when he looked out the car window on our trip to Montana and not only signed "cow" but also did "mmmmm" when I asked him what sound a cow makes. Totally awesome! While on our trip he took a dip in the big pool and found he liked it more than he thought he would - so that is exciting. And the up up for this week - he can now do the hand movements for his favorite song from beginning to end - The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Oh does he love that song! Replaced Ba ba black sheep as his favorite - and will cheer him up no matter what!!
Family news - first, we took our pilgrimage up to Montana. The trip rushed by and we didn't get to look up everyone we wanted, or do all we wanted - but thus are packed family trips. All in all we had a great time! John got in several rounds of golf which is always precious time for him. Alexandra made a few friends at the lake, took on a bit of rafting, got in a round of golf with John and a date night with him to the theater in Bigfork. Michael also got a round of golf in with John, ventured out in the lake on his own for a bit, but most enjoyed the family center with pool, shuffle board and a TV (let's face it - it was the TV!). Jack went on his first rafting trip which was exciting - it was Alexandra, Michael, Jack and myself - pretty mild rafting trip but he was excited we got up to class 2 rapids! Tom-Tom loved the time at the lake and playing in the pool. I think given a choice he would have spent the whole vacation in the water. Not sure Peter felt the same - but he did enjoy the pool time. He loved being at the parks and just crawling around - I think not being in the car was his favorite part!
Other family news - Peter is going to be a big brother! John and I have known for a while, but opted to not tell anyone until we could go through some of the initial screening. We know how stressful Peter's diagnosis was on us and the family, and we didn't want the uncertainty of this baby's health to put stress on our friends and family (YOU!). We are about 15 weeks along now and so far all is going well. We did the initial ultra-sound and blood test screening at the hospital and all came back very well - baby appears to be healthy and developing normally. These were the same tests that let us know Peter would have special needs. Baby seems to be following family tradition of being big as the hospital thinks I'm off by a week or so in my dates. Clearly they don't know how anal I am and that my dates are NEVER off when it comes to things ladies deal with monthly! Oh well. So baby ETA is first week of January - but likely to come a little sooner. And.... drum roll.... at first glance baby appears to be a girl!! John and the boys are dueling it out on baby names. The boys want "Annie" and John wants "Gretchen". So likely to be Anne Gretchen or Gretchen Anne. Watch it be a boy!! And, before you speedily reply to this post let me end with this. Yes, no, so far so good, looking healthy, yep we are serious, lots of prayers! That answers the a) are you serious? b) are you crazy? c) how are you feeling? d) really, how is the baby doing? e) ok... taking a breathe here.... are you really serious??!! and f) what do you need? ( hoping someone might be over the shock and asking that!). We really do ask that you keep us all in your prayers - but especially Peter and baby #6's health, and the grace and happiness we hope for all our kids.
And, I promise to do my best to update this sooner than 6 weeks! Hoping to get back to weekly or every other week. Peter is keeping John and I up tonight.... wants to party like its 1999..... so going to go relieve John and see if I can get some snuggle time in (well, after I do my laundry fairy duty!).
Love to all - catherine