Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Latest

I think it's time for an update. In my last post I mentioned that we had decided to sell our house before building. The hard way is often the right way. So we spent about three months getting it ready to list and had a sign out front by early March. You can see the pictures on; it looked the best it has ever looked and I wanted everyone I know to attend the open house! But we never made it to the open house; it sold within two days!! We took the RV east to explore the Chiricahua mountains, get some much needed relaxation, and to allow the house to be available to show by realtors. During the week it was going to be by appointment only, which isn't very convenient for them. Had a lovely time completely out of phoning range. On the way back, I turned on the phone to call our realtor who said that a client of his made an offer Saturday afternoon for exactly what we wanted for it. Very exciting! The whole process has gone very smoothly. Home inspection went well with just a couple of minor things; appraiser has been through but we don't have a final number from him yet. I'm told not to worry. This couple put down about 50% so even if it appraises a little low (and it shouldn't), it won't scare the bank off. Closing date is April 15 and we have found a great house to rent. Happens to be owned by an old climbing friend of Nick's who is willing to fire his property mgmt agency and rent to us directly. The agency was over-charging tenant and owner for every little thing, not returning phone calls, and the other typical stuff they pull. That business is for real estate agents gone bad. Anyway, Tom will let us out of the lease whenever our house is built, which no one else would be willing to do I'm sure. That's the main thing among other benefits. So, we'll move in in the first week of April. It's a nice place, single-story and very spacious. We had looked for a smaller place to save money, but nothing good came up for rent, and this is still less than our mortgage. So, Gram, there will be plenty of room for you! And anyone else continues to be welcome. We won't be roughing it at all!
The next step, after settling in, is pulling out the house plans again! I think we will continue to love the basic framework that Mom designed. We're thinking that we might hire an interior designer to take over the millions of decisions that need to be made. She will be able to contribute to the plans from this point onward, so that will be our first task - to find her. I expect it will both broaden our options and save us the legwork of searching them out. If any readers of this blog have been down this road, please advise!
Ah, kids...Emma is now three. She asks everyone when their birthday is, presumably as a polite lead-in to talking about her recent birthday. She will be starting pre-school in July, I hope. Every night she asks about what we are doing tomorrow. It sounds like this:"What is it today?" Then we talk about it and she tells me that she is going to dream about it. Emma is generally cute as all get out, but occasionally whiny and obstinate. In other words, a typical three year old. She is really into books, which is wonderful. Begs me to read to her and sometimes tells the story to herself. I have a sneaking suspicion that she simply uses reading together as a way to have my undivided attention. Fair enough, I say. It's effective alright! Gram gave her The Color Book and it's her new fav- visually and conceptually brilliant. (Thanks Gram!) I'm very pleased that she has taken to my beading present. It's medium sized wooden beads to thread on dress-shoe strings. She can really do it and it holds her attention. I rarely give the favored present, so I'm excited about it. I can remember those hoppity balls in the gym at Good Shepherd, anyone else know what I'm talking about? They have a handle on top, which you straddle, then you bounce around. I got her one of those and she likes that too. Mom gave her a talking Dora doll that sings "Feliz Compleanos" Dora showed up tonight when, after going potty, Emma ran downstairs to get it and gave me a little performance before I could get her panties and jammy pants back on! Little stinker.
Jack is doing pretty well all around. An EEG on March 10 showed that the brain pattern background was "improved", in other words, better, but not great. The other seizures he's been having seem to be more frequent than we thought, however, they have become less and less severe, to the point that we haven't seen one at all since around that week. This means that even if the frequency is at a worse starting place than expected, the intensity has drastically improved, and presumably the frequency will also improve with time. All in all it showed that the ketogenic diet is working. Hurray! Jack is off all meds except for Prevacid to help the acid reflux brought on by a high fat diet. Incredibly, he gets therapy most days. PT, OT, and a child development specialist are seeing him at home weekly, all are provided through the state's program for developmental disabilities. In addition, volunteers from the neighborhood spend two hours working with him on the days he isn't visited by the pros. I am just blown away by how much support we get from our wonderful neighborhood. I'm sure you've all watched the video of Jack laughing. He sort of cracks himself up sometimes, but he is also very responsive, and ticklish, and focused at times. He's used to being on his tummy now and has a stronger neck and upper torso. He works himself around in a circle on the floor if left to his own. That's amazing to me. I feel like he's just about to turn a corner in the next month or so, due to all the work everyone is putting in and to the diet. I see so many encouraging signs. Being ticklish all over tells me that his "gnostic sensation" is at the next level, it means that he can distinguish between mild sensations, recognize whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, and respond appropriately. That's an amazing organization of sensory input and motor output! So, Jack is doing great and we are really proud of his efforts. I'd like to leave it at that, but you all know we saw the geneticist February 28. He ordered a couple of tests: one is a specific (and scary) RARE genetic mutation that he either has or doesn't have; the other is more casting around in the dark to see if we stumble on something. Both will be back in about 6 weeks. And so we wait. While we wait, Jack will continue to delight us with new achievements. :)
Is there news on us parents? The house sold. We'll build a new one. I'm slacking on my running (if I had just one hour per day that was mine alone...and not at 5am, Nick, thanks for the suggestion, though). Nick is very happy to be project-free on the weekends. We have a date Saturday night. Hola!

Monday, March 21, 2011