Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas,
From our Family to yours!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Catching Up

So, here it is again, another catching up post. I've been woefully bad at keeping this blog up to date, but I'm going to try to do a better job. A few things in my life have necessitated that I drop some things that were taking up precious moments that I needed freed up.
However, some big changes are on the horizon. The biggest, is that my work schedule is about to be changed significantly. For the last 6.5 years, I've been work 4 nights a week, Monday through Thursday, many semesters from 5 until 9. During the summer, my classes run from 6 to 11 pm, 4 days a week. However, starting at the beginning of spring 2012, I'll be working on Mondays and Wednesdays only. My class load is the same, it's just all crammed onto those two days which means that I'll be teaching from 4 until 9. Most of the time when I mention this to folks, they comment that it will make for a long day, but what they aren't considering is that I'll be off the other 5 days of the week.
A lot of the reasoning for this was so that I would be home with the kids at night more nights per week. Since Jes started his new job back in October, we've been employing babysitters 4 nights per week so that I could get to work on time. Aside from the financial implications of this, the kids were having a really hard time not having one of us with them at night.
Secondly, Caleb's school is taking up a lot of our time during the day. We have MOPS on 3 out of 4 Mondays of the month and Piper takes dance on Wednesday mornings. Caleb really needs to do school work in the morning to be able to even attempt a level of attentiveness, so unless we get up and do school, we are struggling through the afternoon before I have to frantically pick up around the house, make dinner, go get our babysitter (half the time), and get to work. (Sorry about the run on sentence. My life is like a constant run on...)
The last reasoning behind this is somewhat selfish, I'm just tired. Six and a half years of working all day with the kids and then having to go to work after that makes a girl tired, so hopefully this change will remedy these situations.
I've thought about updating here and have been pretty quiet on facebook but I've been keeping a secret and am not good at not saying anything, so I just didn't post at all.

Here's our secret. We got a kitten, but not for us, he is for my parents.

We took him to their house on Sunday and they named him Maverick, which is fitting considering my dad's love for all things related to the basketball team. He is just the sweetest, snuggly kitty and I was afraid that we would have trouble leaving him. Piper has had the hardest time with him not being at our house. Every time we talk about Christmas (we are going to my parents'), she asks about Maverick. I think she may be just a smidge more excited about seeing him than she is all the presents!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Conversations with Caleb - Syllable Edition

Today, during school, I was teaching Caleb about syllables. Part of this process was practicing counting the syllables in words appointed by our curriculum.
We had made it through lists with 1 and 2 syllables and I presented a list of words that were mixed up (1 would have 1 syllable and the next would have 2, etc).
Me: Caleb, what is this word?
Caleb: baby (clapping two syllables)
Me: How many syllables does baby have?
Caleb: 2
Me: Good. What is this next word?
Caleb: buh-y
Me: What?
Caleb: buh-y
Me: by?
Caleb: Yes, buh-y. It has 2, Mama.
Me: *sigh*
He's a Texan, for sure...

Friday, November 04, 2011

It Finally Happened

The kids have been fascinated for quite some time about my pregnancies and births with each of them. Both of them have just wanted to know how they got out of me, but never the other way around. They know that I had a c-section with both of them because they've seen photos of their births and we've briefly talked about the other way of having babies (without too much detail, of course). But no questions about the other.
Until today.
Caleb just randomly asked me today how he got into my tummy.
Now, I have been thinking about this conversation for a long time and how I would appropriately answer this question without going into specifics. I do not believe that a 6 year old boy needs to know all the particulars, so I've carefully considered what I should say, but still really had no idea what would actually come out of my mouth.
So, when the question came out of nowhere today, all I said was, "God put you there."
He seemed fine with that answer and went about his business, so we're going to leave it at that for now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hearing Test - Take 2

This past Tuesday, I took Caleb and Piper back to our beloved ENT for Piper's post-op check up and Caleb's 6 month follow up for another hearing test.
Piper came back completely fine and looking good. Her tubes were still in place and in good position, just in time for ear infection season to start. We are all hoping and confident that she will be spared this year. We all feel like she should be, seeing as she has had countless ear and sinus infections in her short 3 years of life!
Caleb was scheduled to take another hearing test. You'll remember that 6 months ago, he failed a basic one at his pediatrician's office and then was found to have a documented hearing loss in his left ear. The theory was that if it stayed the same, then it was likely a variety of events that caused the loss. However, if it worsened over that time period, it would be attributed to a genetic, degenerative condition that would result in a hearing aide for Caleb.
Basically, the test results came back that his hearing loss is static, has not changed significantly. Our doctor just recommended that he sit in the front of the classroom at school (not a problem) and that we retest in 1 year.
I've asked a variety of times what could have caused this and no one really knows. What they do know is that Caleb was exposed to some treatments in the NICU that causes hearing loss, that he did have some middle ear fluid at various times his first few years of life, and that it could be totally spontaneous.
Caleb has always had trouble with hearing tests, failing the first time in the NICU, but they had always been able to retest and get a satisfactory reading. So, we don't really know where this is going or if it will ever get worse, so we will just watch and see. I have to say, that we are really in the best hands, if it were to get worse and he needed further treatment!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Surgery Results

Friday was Piper's adenoid removal and tube insertion.
Both went well, but she did not handle the anesthesia as easily as hoped. Her brother never had any issues from being sedated, so we were hoping that she would follow in his footsteps. It just wasn't meant to be.
Piper was very difficult to wake up, had some GI issues, acquired some "junk" in her lungs, and has been cranky, irritable, emotional and clingy since. She is better during the day, but spent last night crying out in her sleep, tossing and turning and not sleeping well in general.
I know all this will pass, so that makes this all easier, but boy is this mama tired!
Our doctor did tell me that her adenoids were a mess and likely the cause of all her issues these past years. One of the first things he said to me was that it was the right decision to take those right out since they were so "soupy" (his word, not mine).
Anyway, I'm glad it's all over. She didn't freak out too much but she did melt down a bit in the OR. I'm just glad they didn't have to rip her from my arms, screaming and crying. She was very brave, but certainly not in a rush to go back and do it all again! Neither am I.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Surgery for Piper

Since birth, Piper has been struggling with, first sinus infections and, now, ear infections. In fact, we have reached the point that if she were to have another ear infection, we would have to go the route of giving her a series of antibiotic shots (Rocephin), that are super painful and, frankly, don't really work.
Our nurse practitioner is also a bit concerned about her ending up with a bacterial infection that is resistant to all antibiotics. I also do not like the idea of my 3 year old being on antibiotics so much and have tried just about every homeopathic treatment, etc that is out there and she still keeps having ear infections.
So, I went ahead and made an appointment with our fabulous ENT, the same ENT who did my surgery last year. This also the same doctor, if you don't remember, who treated Caleb in the NICU 6 years ago and was the only doctor who was able to figure out what was going on with him. Needless to say, I trust him implicitly!
Our doctor agreed that something needed to be done to help Piper get through this developmental speed bump, but was adamant that she was ahead of where most 3 years olds are with regard to intellect and speech. This means that whatever issues she may have with her ears, it hasn't affected her speech or ability to recall information, so it's just getting rid of the fluid.
So, tomorrow, at 5:00 in the morning, I'll be pulling both kids out of bed and putting them into the car. We will drive down to the very same surgical center where I had my surgery (super nice facility!) and Piper will have her adenoids taken out and tubes put in her ears. I'm nervous, but so glad that this will be taken care of and she'll have no more ear issues. I'm a little nervous, but so ready for my baby girl to be healthy!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Job Changes

For nearly 4 years, Jes has been employed at the same company. We've become comfortable there, but Jes hasn't been happy. He's had some negative experiences with someone that he works with, so he's been looking for a new position for months.
Early on in our marriage and his career (they both began simutaneously), he moved around between companies quite a lot. Most of this happened because of one event, September 11th. Since he makes his living in the aircraft industry, we were a casualty of war, so to speak.
Because of all this moving around, Jes was able to gain a huge amount of experience on a huge number of aircraft. So, when his resume ends up on a website, he will literally have many offers from companies without them even meeting him.
The past few months, in his looking for a new job, he's been offered quite a few positions but none of them were what he was looking for, didn't have insurance (a must for us), or would be a huge pay cut.
Last year, nearly exactly a year ago, Jes began the process of interviewing for a job that was government driven and would take him to Afghanistan for a year. The money would have been good, but the living without him for 365 days would have been very difficult.
Then, he found what we thought would be a marvelous opportunity with a man who owns a company about an hour north of us, but part of his year would have been spent in New Zealand. Due to the nature of business he works in, we thought that it would be inevitable that he spend part of his time in another country.
With this last job, he was offered a position and then the stock market crashed. All the investors backed out and we were again playing the waiting game.
The owner of this company new that Jes was just dying to get out of the company he was in and it seems knew that his opportunities were taking a significant amount of time, time we really didn't have or want to wait out, so he heard of another opportunity. He called Jes two Fridays ago and let him know about it and gave him a phone number to call.
Jes called the owner of this new company and the owner was very interested in seeing his resume. Jes got all that together and sent it to him 11pm Saturday night, got a call at 11am Sunday, had an interview on Monday and was offered a position on the spot.
This job is local, pays very well (it will give us a raise!), will have insurance shortly and is management.
This whole job change makes me super nervous, but looking back at all the events that have led us to this point have been clear pointers that those other jobs are not the ones for us. All the events of this job have fallen into place and seem to be a good fit for our family.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

First Day of School 2011

We decided to wait and start school at our house this past Thursday. Last year, I started on the day that all the schools around here start, which is always around the 2nd or 3rd Monday in August. That has always seemed so early to me, but it was my first year, so we were kind of flying by the seat of our pants. Since we started so early last year, and even with 1 full week of during Sweet Repeats (a kids consignment sale that I coordinate), most of Thanksgiving week off and 2 weeks off at Christmas, we were done with Caleb's curriculum by late February.
I ended up spending the last couple of months trying to piece together work for Caleb to do so that he wouldn't get out of the habit of working on school, which was a stressor for me.
This time around, I felt more confident and our curriculum dictated that it would best to start on a Thursday. So, I picked this past Thursday, the 1st, to start school, even though both kids were begging me for weeks beforehand.

This isn't the best quality photo, but it's the cutest. These two look so big this year. It's hard to believe...
When I was a kid, my mom always made it a point to take me to breakfast on my first day of school. Last year, we just went for donuts at the place down the street, but Caleb and Piper have developed a fascination for the International House of Pancakes (IHOP), so that's where we went. Both kids wanted those super bad for you, sugary Funny Face pancakes, so that's what they both ate. The pancakes are around twice the size of my kids' heads, and you better believe that they both ate every single bit of them. It's such a treat for them and me!

This year, like last, we are using My Father's World for Caleb's curriculum. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily Caleb took to working on school work again, as the beginning of last year's school year was a huge battle. He just sat down, started his work and went about his business, all with a smile on his face. Love that boy!

Piper's been begging to work on school with us as well. I tried to get some curriculum for her together, but she's not too keen on all of it yet. So basically, what she's been working on is coloring and gluing shapes to paper. I figure, she's having fun and learning a little, so it's totally fine. Caleb and I are sure to include Piper when we are reading or doing some sort of art project, but she's doing great working for a bit on her own.
All in all, I'm super excited about this school year and it seems that the kids are too!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting Back In the Swing Of Things

I've been remiss in updating this site as much as I should, and really it's not for lack of things to post, but just that I haven't had a moment to breathe, much less type.
I worked all summer from 6-11pm, add in VBS, swim lessons, many playdates and just everyday life things that have to be done and there was barely enough time in the day to sleep.
Tomorrow, we start school here so I'll be back with a first day of school post.
Get ready for all the cuteness!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Story Time With Caleb - The Three Little Pigs

As told by the boy wonder:

Once upon a time there was a little pig and his 2 brothers.
They all lived in a cardboard house together.
Then, the big,, bad wolf came to their house and knocked on the door.
The 3 little pigs said, "Whose there?"
The big bad wolf said, "Me! I'm here to blow down your house!"
The 3 little pigs said, "But we aren't done with our house! Go away!"
And so the big, bad wolf gave up and went home.
The end.

That kid cracks me up.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Today, Piper turned 3. This girl of mine is quite a character and, to me, quite amazing. She pretty much rolls with the punches and is just happy to reside in someones lap. Piper is still super into all things pink, princess, and girly. She loves wearing bows, flowers, and having her toes painted.
However, she sees a certain benefit to getting dirty at any point in the day. If there is a puddle of any kind, you can be certain that Piper will be streaking toward it if you blink.
Piper is super active, but she is also a kid who loves to do any kind of craft. She currently owns around 25 coloring books, every possible art and craft supply (and yet I'm surprised daily when I discover she doesn't have an item) and loves to "read". She, of course, cannot read the written word yet, but she loves to look at books and must have one in her hand each time she lays down to rest or sits still.
Another thing that Piper is really into is music, which is absolutely no surprise to me. Jes and I both have musical backgrounds and Caleb also has had a significant ear and love for music as well. You will often find Piper listening to and singing along with any song that she's heard more than once. She is very intent, often concentrating really hard, while we are in the car and constantly asking us to "turn it up".
If I had to pick a future profession, however, for my girl, I would say that it has to be something to do with animals. The girl just can't get enough of any type of animal. She even has an appreciation for bugs, something that most of her counterparts run from.
Piper is 33.2 pounds (73 %tile) and just over 3 ft (97cm, 68 %tile) tall. Piper has always fallen within the 50th to 75th percentiles for height and weight, which is SO different after her brother who consistently landed around the 99th.
I had a good discussion with our NP about Piper's diet, something that concerns me greatly. She is super picky, which seems to be the norm for 3 year olds, but it's just strange to me and hard to deal with. Her brother is not picky and will, literally, eat anything I put in front of him so to have her turn her nose up at mostly everything is a bit frustrating. I was told that if her nutrition was affecting her negatively, then she wouldn't have grown much and would be much, much smaller. Also, Caleb has entered that phase of life where he is ALWAYS hungry, so he often gets the lunch/dinner she won't eat.
Speaking of Caleb, I have to include in this post about Piper that they are still the best of friends. Piper has started attending an every other Friday Mother's Day Out program that my friend is running and the first person she hugs and tells she missed them is her brother. She then will proceed to tell Caleb every single event that happened in her day and just hang with him. She loves being with him and the feeling is totally mutual. They do still fight, but it does my heart good to see how close they are. Since I didn't grow up with a sibling in the house, I didn't have anyone my age to share much of my childhood with. I wanted to ensure that my child(ren) had someone with which to share the sad/difficult/happy/exciting moments.
Piper is super sweet, loving, happy, and fun and we are so blessed to have her in our family. She is the perfect 4th and makes our family complete!
We love you Piper and are so excited for all the fun that is in store!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

1 Year Ago

Exactly one year ago today, I was lying on a table in an operating room in a hospital in Plano, Texas while my fabulous surgeon excised all the cancer that had invaded my body.
Two weeks ago, the 9th of this month, was the 1 year anniversary of my diagnosis. I chose to not make a big deal out of that day for a few reasons. The main reason being that while the actual diagnosis changed my life, my outlook, and my reason for living, the surgery saved my life, my outlook and my reason for living.
This day is so vivid in my mind. I was a complete and total wreck and had a couple of major breakdowns before being wheeled into that room, the last one in the presence of my anesthesiologist who, mercifully, gave me some Versed to calm me down.
I remember begging my surgeon and my anesthesiologist to promise me that I would wake up, but my biggest fear was that they would open me up and have to close because it was too progressed.
That, of course, did not happen and I woke up 7 hours later, vomiting, without the use of my left arm, and without the ability to swallow anything more than a liquid, but I woke up.
My first thought was of my children, husband and parents, the people I most did not want to leave but was even more elated to know that I was returning to.
One year ago I feel as if my life was handed back to me, albeit with some restrictions and with some difficulties, but it's mine again. Cancer can't have me and won't have me.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I posted way back in April about the newest members of our family, Bebi and Sadie. I've been kind of in and out of here for some time since then and part of that is because of the issues that these puppies have been having.
There are many situations in which I post to facebook, deferring to a short 2 sentence update to get the statement out there to the world, and choosing to not put it on here. However, this is something that I've not posted anywhere.
So, the long and short of it is that the dogs were diagnosed with sarcoptic mange about a month ago. Just google that if you want to know alllllll about it. Basically, the long and short of it is that it is a treatable form of mange, but can be contagious to humans. Fantastic.
If you know me at all, you know that since college, I've been somewhat of a germaphobe. This issue started with me way back in college when I took a class called microbiology. This class basically taught me all about microbes, etc, and what they can do to the body and how they get into the body.
My germaphobia got worse when I started working in one of the only hospitals left in Texas that had a dedicated TB ward and it was impressed upon myself and my grad student that we were to be VERY careful.
Another escalation occurred when Caleb was in the NICU and yet another set of medical professionals ensured that not a moment passed by that I wasn't regaled on the detriment that I could be doing to my kid if I had not washed correctly.
I'm not one to wash constantly or not touch anything, my kids do get dirty, as do I, but I do have some non-negotiables when it comes to hand washing.
So, imagine my horror as I stood in that vet office, the vet refusing to even enter the room after the diagnosis, realizing that both of my kids had loved all over and carried these dogs all around for weeks. Not to mention the fact that they were both well beloved by the neighborhood kids and had come into contact with other pets on our street as well. I was sick to my stomach and wanted the floor to open up and swallow me.
From what we know now, the dogs came to us infected with the mites that cause this type of mange. Their mom was found wandering in the environment, who knows how long she had been there, so it stands to reason that she would have something that her puppies would likely get as well.
Anyway, after the diagnosis, we had to literally wash everything that we owned with bleach and clean everything that couldn't be washed, again with bleach. I spent the morning after the diagnosis washing down my walls, floors and hard surfaces, vacuuming (literally 9 times in one day) and bagging up all the stuffed animals and plush items that couldn't withstand a trip through the washing machine on hot. Those stuffed animals had to remain in a sealed trash bag for 2 weeks. For my girl, who is so totally attached to her "guys", as she calls them, this was heartbreaking for all of us.
I can still hear my washing machine and dryer groan as I approach them with a load, but I can say that we are in the clear now. Today, both Bebi and Sadie had an appointment with our vet and he feels that they are in the clear. However, we are continuing with their medication for another 2 weeks just to be sure. No one that is in or outside of our house that came into contact with them have had any symptoms and Sadie's hair has grown back (she had lost much of it from her hind legs and belly).
Both of our new furry babies are doing well, growing and are happy in their new home. We are thankful to have them and the kiddos are now able to love on them again without worry of getting something! Hooray!

Sunday, May 08, 2011


I juuuuuust realized that I never posted about my more recent medical drama.
Boy, this blog is all medical all the time. I really need to stop this.
Anywho, I recently turned tail and fled from my old endocrinologist due to his fact that he was just inept, uncaring, rude, lied to me on a regular basis, and had staff that couldn't read medical reports any better than I could. My new endo did a good overview of my health and decided that I needed to have my TH (thyroid hormone; would tell if I'm on the adequate dosage of synthetic hormone) and thyroglobulin (cancer marker) levels checked.
As a side note, I'm fairly certain that I have post traumatic stress disorder after this whole cancer thing went down last summer because I got the orders on a Wednesday and waited nearly a month before I got my blood drawn. Every tremor, increase in heart rate, hair lost and drop of sweat I developed over the past year had me "convinced" that the cancer had returned. Needless to say, I was a nervous wreck.
Well, Dr. L called me while I was at work on a Tuesday night. I was in the middle of class and assumed that I could call him back the next day and talk with someone, until I heard the message he left. Basically he said something along the lines of the following, "We have your blood work back and now we need to talk about our next step." In my mind that meant the following: YOUR CANCER IS BACK AND YOU'RE GOING TO DIE AND LEAVE YOUR FAMILY ALL ALONE AND YOUR CHILDREN MOTHERLESS!!!!!
PTSD anyone?
After phone tag for the next 3 days (and a little stress related hair loss) I finally called his nurse and told her to tell him to call me anytime and I would stop my life to answer his call.
He called me on a Thursday night, right smack in the middle of my class, so I stopped and answered. Basically, my TH levels are right on the dot where they are supposed to be and my thyroglobulin was undetectable.
The best part is that my blood has always had antibodies in it, an indication that my immune system was trying to fight off the cancer and, essentially, kill my thyroid, and this time they were undetectable! The bad thing about any antibodies is that any blood test with them present is null and void because those antibodies skew the results. There was a long shot procedure that could have been done on a blood sample that involved some subjective analysis and a lengthy process involving sending it off to a California lab. Since the antibodies came back, essentially, negative, that was one expense we didn't have to worry about.
So, all in all, everything looks good. As soon as I talked to Dr L, all of my so-called symptoms were gone, another indication that this was all psychosomatic. In other words, I'm crazy...

Monday, April 25, 2011


A couple of posts ago, I mentioned about the very basic, rudimentary, test that Caleb underwent during his 6 year well check that he failed. Today was our trip to the audiologist and our beloved ENT to have all this investigated.
The first step when we arrived was the actual hearing screen with the audiologist. Now, if you've been around this blog for a long time, then you will remember a very ill-fated 3-4 month span where we had at least 3 hearing tests with 3 different audiologists, with each one returning as inconclusive. We finally found a pediatric audiologist who could handle a crazy 3 year old boy and get a good test, which he passed with flying colors. So, I was a bit nervous about this go around but Caleb, as he is known to do, surprised me and cooperated and did great!
The long and short of the hearing test is that his right ear is just great, but his left has a measurable, but mild, hearing impairment.
The ENT did a very thorough exam of both his ears, looking for issues that he felt could be the cause, but found nothing. So, there are 2 options as to what is causing this. Either he has some calcification of the bones in his middle ear or he has a degenerative, genetic condition. With the first, Caleb could potentially have surgery at some point to have the calcification removed and restore his hearing. That issue is not progressive and he shouldn't have more hearing loss. The second, genetic, progressive condition will worsen with time and there is nothing to do about that short of fitting him with a hearing aid when it gets to the point at which he can't hear any longer from that ear.
We will go back in 6 months and will know pretty quickly which issue this is. Jes has always had issues with hearing, having trouble when we are in loud, busy places, which we've seen in Caleb. Jes's hearing hasn't worsened over the years, so I'm hoping that this is what this issue turns out to be like. The ENT and I discussed getting Jes in to be tested as well, which will give us another piece of the puzzle, so I'm working on him on that too.
So, that's the long and short of it all. Not great news, but not the absolute worst either.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Newest Mathis Family Members

Saturday was Caleb's birthday party and including the festivities that we had planned, we also had a huge surprise for him and Piper.
Basically, a friend of my cousin's took in a dog who was abandoned near her home on the coldest day of the year back in February. Little did she know, this dog was very pregnant and gave birth to a litter of 8 puppies. Seven of those puppies were black with white accents, like mom, but another was blonde.
Susan, my cousin, started linking to photos of these puppies on facebook and I did my dead level best to try to stay away from them, but the pull was just too strong. The kids had been asking for a dog for just over a year now, so I started thinking about these dogs, especially the blonde one.
After a couple of conversations with Jes, we decided that we would go out and get Bebi, the blonde puppy as a surprise for the kids. So, after the party, we packed everything up and hopped in the car and made the trek. When we got there we were welcomed by the family who had taken in the dogs and we set up shop in the back yard to meet he puppies. Caleb was super cute because he thought we were just there to pet them and visit.
This picture I took just as we told Caleb that we were going to take one home! He was SO thrilled!

As we observed the puppies, we quickly discovered that Bebi was quite timid, but super sweet so Jes was concerned that she would be very lonely. He decided that we would take one of Bebi's sisters as well. This came as a total surprise to me, so I guess we were all surprised all the way around.

Here are the kids with the puppies. Bebi is being held by Piper and Caleb is holding Sadie in the above photo. Needless to say, we are thrilled with our new family members. They are super sweet and surprisingly smart, now if I can just stop them from peeing on my carpet...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Caleb's 6 Year Appointment

Bright and early this morning, I packed up the kids and drove to our beloved pediatrician for Caleb's 6 year well appointment.
I came armed with a few questions and some expectations of what our appointment would be like and, true to form, it was a great experience, for the most part.
Basically, this is what we found out:
  • Caleb is growing and developing as he should. He is in the 73rd percentile for weight (a decrease from last year), but in the 99th percentile for height. This did not come as any sort of surprise to me as all his clothes are not getting tighter, just shorter. And really, his gene pool pretty much guaranteed his tall-ness.
  • This visit, they did the hearing test where they put the probe in his ears to measure the movement of his eardrum. If you've been around here at all then you will remember that we went through a series of these tests a few years ago where he failed each and every one. Our NP and I decided that instead of wasting more money for him to fail another of these tests, I am going to try to get him in right away to see the audiologist. I do not think that he has any hearing loss, but we need to be sure and get it checked out.
  • Caleb is right on where he needs to be developmentally, even ahead, for his age. As always, they were very impressed by how intelligent he is, which is always good for a Mama's heart!
  • The last thing that we got today was an unofficial diagnosis of ADHD. This does not come as a surprise to me at all as this is something that we have thought was in play for many years now. Since Caleb is not in the school setting, we are able to be much more flexible in treatments and working with him. He does not have any disruptions in his everyday life (eating, sleeping, etc) like many kids, so his is deemed mild and we are able to monitor everything for now. One thing that I really appreciate about our doctors is that they are not over-medicators and don't jump right to that, so we are going to wait, watch and work with him as we have been.
So, all in all it was a good visit, other than having to literally lay on top of him during his one vaccination that was missed at his 4 year appointment, it was an easy appointment. It really is a joy to visit our pediatrician who care so much, not only for our kids but also the rest of the family!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Seriously?!? What Is Wrong With me???

For the last 2+ years, I've been totally open about the fact that I don't ever want to be pregnant or have another baby ever again. Ever.
Then I got cancer.
That changes/changed everything. Last summer, as soon as I got my diagnosis, I immediately started wanting to have another baby. I totally thought I was out of my mind and just reacting to this major life issue and thought it would pass.
It never did.
It, in fact, has gotten much, much worse. To the point where I have had a gut wrenching, visceral reaction when friends recently announced that they were pregnant.
I have 2 kids who are pretty much in the age where they are fairly easy to go and do things with, so why in the world would I want to start over?
What in the world is wrong with me?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eye Update

For the last year, Caleb has been wearing glasses. Last February, we took him in for his 6 month visit, something we had been doing for a year previous to that. It was determined at that time that he needed some sort of corrective lens, but only for one eye that had an astigmatism.
The other treatment that we were working with was that he was wearing a patch for 3 hours a day.
Now I know that sounds like SO much fun, but believe me when I tell you that it was a battle every single day.
This morning we went back to visit our family eye doctor to see where he was. His last visit occurred while I was in the hospital in August during my radiation treatment. During that visit, he did not see his regular doctor and Jes took him, all of which threw him totally off and he was less than cooperative. So, to say that we didn't have the best picture of where he stood.
I'm thinking that he was starting to have difficulty seeing at this point, but just wasn't able to articulate that. He's been telling me the past few months that he can't see certain things, usually small print, so I had an idea that this time around would be different.
Caleb is a typical first born and would rather not do something or try to fix a situation if it isn't working out just the way he wants it to. This is also true when it comes to his vision. He often would refuse to complete a task when he was having trouble seeing it, so I knew that we were going to have to have a good screening this time to ensure that we got his prescription correct.
So, before we went to see the doctor this morning, I had a talk with Caleb and let him know that all he had to do was say that he couldn't see something if he couldn't see it. This seemed to be exactly what he needed to hear and probably was what he needed to hear last year too.
Being a mother makes me feel so dumb sometimes. It was just so simple and I made it so hard.
Anyway, his last glasses only had one corrective lens, the left one, because his right eye was just barely outside of normal, not enough for a corrective lens.
However, this time around, his left eye was worse and his astigmatism in the same eye was worse, as was his right eye that was barely out last time.
So, Caleb got new glasses today. They are blue and he loves them.
The best news is that he doesn't have to wear his patch anymore! That's the benefit, I supposed, of his eyes both getting worse.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feb 9-16, 2011

I take an inordinate amount of photos with my iphone. Mainly because it's usually in my hand when there is a cute moment or we are out somewhere. So, because of this, I've decided to do a weekly post with just the photos from my iphone from the week before.
iPhone Photos Feb 9-16 2011:

Last Wednesday, the 9th, we went to a playdate with some of our moms from our MOPS group to exchange Valentines and let the kids play.

Mostly, it was Piper's age and younger, but Caleb had a good time teaching those younger kiddos a thing or two...

On Wednesday, a friend of ours mentioned that she had a dollhouse that she was going to donate to our kid's consignment sale and asked if we would want it. I, of course, said yes because we had looked and looked for one for Piper at Christmas time. The one house I wanted was sold out before I got to go buy it, and it just so happened that this was the very one that our friend gave us! We were so excited and Piper loves it!!

After all of our snow and ice the last couple of weeks, my car was just filthy. I had taken the kids to Dairy Queen the night before and we got a free car wash, so we decided to just go through and knock the dirt off. Both of the kids are terrified of car washes, Piper in particular. Jes had to get her out of her car seat and she sat with me the whole time we went through.

Caleb is still a bit afraid of them too but not as much as his sister, so he decided to hide under a blanket that we keep in the backseat. It was a good thing that we were only in the car wash for a max of 3 minutes because they probably would have both had a nervous breakdown had we been in there for longer.

We love to go to Cabela's in Forth Worth to look around and the kids love their huge fish tanks! We happened to hit it at just the right time this go around to watch feeding time of all the fish.

The director of the aquarium actually donned a wetsuit and got into the tank with all these fish. The feed for the majority of the fish in the tank are other smaller fish, so I was a bit concerned that the kids would be bothered by this but they seemed to be unfazed and were just in awe!

This may seem like a strange photo, and is, really, quite bad, but I wanted to record this for the future. This, my friends, is my non-milk drinking girl drinking milk from a cup that she requested. Piper hasn't had any milk to drink since we gave up the bottles, so I've had to be extra diligent about ensuring that she gets plenty of calcium from other sources. So, when she requested milk in the middle of school yesterday, I jumped up and accommodated her request. She drank around half of what I put in the cup, something that I deem a huge success!

Piper, like most girls, is fascinated by my hair products and makeup. She has one of my brushes just for herself to play with while I'm getting ready to go somewhere. Yesterday, while I was getting ready to go to work, she wanted to play with my eyelash curler so I got my phone ready and handed it to her. I've tried to catch her doing this in the past and she will say she doesn't want me to take her picture, but I was faster this time!

Caleb is coming along in his school work. This week, we crossed over into lesser than/greater than in his math lessons. This is a concept that was very difficult, for many reasons, for me to learn as a student, so I was sort of dreading it. All I had to do was explain it to him once and he got it. He really does have a knack for math, something he definitely got from his dad!

We have missed the last 2 dance classes because of the weather, so this morning when I informed Piper that we were going to dance, she promptly gathered up her "people" and off we went. In her left hand is Puppy, the little stuffed dog that Jes gave her for Valentine's Day. She hasn't let that dog out of her sight since she got it. In her right hand is Birdy. This stuffed bird was Jes's grandmother's and Piper just latched onto it at first sight. She has slept with, cried with, carried around, loved on Birdy for as long as we can remember! He's like another member of the family!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


So, there's been an inordinate amount of the above here in Texas.
Texas, people! This, we don't know how to deal with. Give us 45, 100+ days in a row and we can deal, but we haven't a clue how to do this!
That photo was taken at the beginning of a major weather event (imagine your most animated, panicked, weather man voice when you read that) that lasted most of last week and it's snowing now as I type this.
Needless to say, we're all super tired of all the white stuff and are ready for it to go back from whence it came!
We haven't really had any issues in the Mathis casa from all this cold weather, however I know quite a few people who have had to deal with frozen pipes, busted pipes, loss of heat and loss of electricity. So, the fun has worn off.
Schools were closed last week, 4 out of the 5 possible days. This meant that the college was closed as well. Couple that with the fact that I missed the Thursday the week before (terrible, horrible, nearly death causing GI bug that my family and I fell victim to) that and you can imagine the mess that our class schedules have become. Missing today is going to be a big problem as will tomorrow, if they decide to close school again.
So, I'm off to try to manipulate my syllabus, once again, to add some time in that doesn't exist. Anyone have any idea how I can increase the hours in the day, just for a little bit?

Sunday, February 06, 2011


I had no idea that it's been nearly a month since I posted here...
I've got some posts swirling around in my head, one in particular, that I'll have done and up in the next week or so.
In the meantime, we've been recovering from a particularly nasty GI bug, nearly a week long confinement due to major amounts of ice and snow and are looking toward, but not forward to, more to come this week.
I've been in a near panic, trying to figure out just how I'm going to catch up on all the days we've missed due to weather, but my coworkers and I are about to come to a consensus on those issues. After we're clear on those things, I think I'll be able to breathe easy.
More to come. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Sometime ago, I met a nice lady who owns a dance studio. After we talked for a bit, she mentioned to me that she had a 2 year old dance class that was a Mommy and Me class. This dance class sounded right up our alley and something that Piper would really enjoy, so I signed us up.
When I talked with Piper about it, she got super excited and acted like she would really love it. Piper and I took some time out, left the boys at home and we went to a darling little dance shop in downtown McKinney to purchase her leotard, tights and shoes. She was so excited and danced around and had so much fun!
Our class is on Wednesday mornings and this past Wednesday was our first class. I didn't get a whole bunch of photos since it is a Mommy and Me class.

Here's my little dancer before we left for class on our first day! She was SO excited just to put on her new dance outfit and got more and more excited as we went along.

We got to the studio a bit early, since it was our first day and I wasn't sure how long it would take to get there (it's in a neighboring town). This actually worked to our favor because by the time that class started, Piper was totally comfortable in her new surroundings.
Caleb even had his own area to hang out in that has a window that opens up into the studio that Piper and I were in.
I was a bit worried that Piper wouldn't do what was asked of her because she's never been in school or taken any kind of class and she tends to be super shy and distrusting of strangers. However, she surprised me and paid close attention to the teacher, trying and sometimes mastering what was requested of her. The dance teacher asked me a couple of times if Piper was in gymnastics and was surprised when I told her no.
At the end of the class, all the girls got a butterfly stamp and she hasn't stopped talking about that since last week! We can hardly wait to go back this week!