Game Day Photos

game day photos

JD bonded with another dirt-loving two-and-a-half-year old at one of Daniel’s games. Don’t you love those moments when you come across another bird with your same feathers?

The vast majority of these photos were taken by our family photographer, Aunt Janet.  Thank you, yet again, Janet!!

Baseball season has been time-consuming but joyous this year. Joshua joined a team late in the season that was short on players because after seeing his brothers enjoy playing so much, he wanted in on this action too! That puts Joshua in the “Mustang” league, which is an exciting game to watch. At this level, the players get to pitch, get out in three strikes, and even steal bases.

Caleb and his buddy, Aiden, are having a ball in their league as well. Alan is their coach, and Caleb and Aiden have some mad serious baseball skills. In fact, we were so confident in these two that we let them also play for Joshua’s team last week, as their team needed a couple of back-ups, and Caleb and Aiden held their own. They may be the youngest players on the team, but you’d never know it. Both boys scored one point for Joshua’s team, and the funny part was that Caleb even struck out and still scored a run. How? Well, when the catcher dropped the ball, Caleb stole first base! I didn’t know you can do that either, but I saw it with my own eyes.

 

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Daniel is in a tee-ball league. I may not fully understand all the baseball rules, but by golly I’ve got tee-ball down pat, and so does Dan. I love to watch him catch the ball and throw it to first base. (See those cleats? Those were Joshua’s when he played tee-ball!)

 

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Nonna and Aunt Janet got to see Caleb and Daniel’s games.

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It was super cold!

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By the way, my nails have been quite the hit.

I may not play ball, but I do support it. 🙂

 

Okay. I just realized I had promised 17 Mile Drive and Seal Pups in this post. Next time! Really really!

 

EEG Results: I finally have answers to my questions about Caleb’s epilepsy.

 

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I held my breath (okay not really, but it felt like it) as I asked the question, “So did it show any seizures???”

{An EEG is a test designed to measure brain waves. Caleb wore electrodes all over his head for 24 hours to get a better idea of what is going on in his brain. Caleb has a history of seizures.}

She (the neurologist) said, “It was an abnormal EEG. Are his seizures on his right side, because the activity is happening on the left side of his brain, which controls the right side of the body.”

Sigh. Suspicions confirmed. Drat. Keppra treatment lives on.

I’ve never noticed if seizures were happening more on one side than the other. We had this EEG because he continues to jerk around in his sleep, and we weren’t sure if what we’re seeing is seizure-related or not.

She started to explain it, but the she said it would be easier to explain if she could show it to us, so she took us back to the testing room and pulled up several different photos of brain waves. She pointed to each place where the left, posterior portion of his brain is having spikes.

Dr. La Garda also asked if Caleb is still seizure free, so I was confused.

“We saw him jerking during this EEG, so were those seizures?” I asked her.

“No. Those weren’t seizures, just abnormal activity,” she answered.

“Are they related to seizures? How many people have this? Would this happen in a normal brain?” I asked. I can’t believe I was actually able to think of the right questions to ask. It seems like doctors never explain enough, and yet, I never seem to think of the right questions.

She said that about 6% of the population would show this sort of activity. She said she almost called it a normal EEG result, “but then he did this,” and she showed me another page and pointed to more spikes. She explained it, but I didn’t understand or memorize it well enough to regurgitate that information.

She also said that some jerking in your sleep is perfectly normal. That’s good to know!

http://www.biomedresearches.com/root/pages/researches/epilepsy/eeg.html

I asked her about the portion of his brain where this is happening. She said it’s the visual area. On the map above, she showed me that his activity was between T3 and P3. She asked if Caleb is doing okay in school.

photo from https://www.headway.org.uk/executive-dysfunction-after-brain-injury.aspx Caleb’s abnormal activity is between the parietal and temporal lobes, the area associated with reading.

“Yes, except he has had a struggle with reading, from the very beginning.”
“Oh, yes,” the doc said, “That comes from this area. Dyslexia is also associated with this area not functioning properly. It looks like the brain could be healing here. The brain heals in sleep. Perhaps he is getting better. He has been seizure free for two years. I think he has a 50-70% chance of growing out of it. We’ll need to re-test and re-visit all of this when he hits puberty.”

“Oh. Puberty. What happens then?”

“Well, the seizures will either disappear altogether, there will be no change, or it will get worse.”

Great. Basically, no one knows.

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Caleb enjoyed kayaking with Alan today. He looked forward to that all week. They saw a jellyfish and lots of seals and sea otters.

She filled out his sports physical, and we left. She said he’s fine for soccer, basketball, and baseball. She said he can even ride rides at amusement parks. (I asked because I’ve always wondered. Caleb loves the rides.) She said no to scuba diving (pressure) and fighting sports like wrestling and boxing. He doesn’t need to deal with head injuries.

He will continue to have follow-ups every 6 months, and his Keppra dose will stay the same.

I’m thankful there were no full-on seizures, and I’m thankful we don’t have to increase the Keppra. I don’t like that he has to continue to take a brain medication, but it is what it is.

Now I’m just hoping to read more on the visual portion of the brain, and I’m going to focus on patience with Caleb when doing reading and writing activities. The difference between he and Joshua is a massive gulf, but when it comes to math, Caleb is soaring high. This explains a lot.

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Caleb, Xavier, and Joshua, all reading together

Caleb is just a smidgen behind in reading. He seems to be gradually catching up. He passed his reading exams this year, so on paper it looks like he’s fine, but if you listen to him read, you see that he reads slowly and monotone. If he’s reading to someone who makes him nervous, it gets much worse. If Caleb reads to you, please be very quiet and patient. Pleasing others is important to him. He thrives under encouragement.

I also hope to pray more for Caleb. I talk about prayer, and I pray off and on all day long, but there are so many things that I just plum FORGET to pray about. Because Caleb always seems fine, and we haven’t seen a seizure in two years, I forget to pray about it very often. This is why it’s important to keep a prayer list out and updated. It’s so rewarding, too, as you see those prayers get answered.

Thanks for taking the time to read and learn about Caleb and his epilepsy. For more of Caleb’s story, you can read my past articles on epilepsy here: Caleb and Epilepsy, Keppra Caleb and Epilepsy, Changing My Expectations.

 

 

 

 

My Victory of the Week

Some days it’s best to wear your pants a different way.

I stepped outside to take out the recycling. Joshua, Caleb, Daniel, and a neighborhood friend were all playing in and around the trees on the hill behind our house.

I heard Caleb ask, “Master Joshua, how much longer do we have to train?”

Gracious.

Two new seven-year-old boys have moved onto our street in the past few weeks. Joshua and Caleb’s world keeps getting happier and happier.

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Right now it’s recess time at “Yawn City Elementary School.”

Daniel keeps running in my room, holding the Batmobile, giggling, “Save me, Mom! Save me!” with Caleb, half-heartedly chasing him, holding a Skylander statue. These two make such adorable playmates.

Joshua is still downstairs finishing up his seat work. He had a day dreaming problem this morning. He has three new books arriving in the mail in the next few days, and that is all he can think about. Joshua is an obsessor, another fine quality inherited from his mother. (Sorry, kids.)

I warned him this morning, “Joshua, you will not go to recess until you finish that seat work. It’s not my fault that you’re sitting there daydreaming about books.”

“What did you say I’m daydreaming about?”

I figured that meant that he thought I was wrong, so I back-tracked, “Well, whatever you are daydreaming about. You need to do your math paper.”

“But what did you say before?”

“Your books..”

“Oh, yeah, you were right. I’m daydreaming about my books.”

We love books around here. At least I handed down ONE good quality!!  You’re welcome, dear world.

That has been one thing I have loved about our A Beka language arts curriculum. They include such quality novels and stories. Granted, Joshua hated Swiss Family Robinson and Pilgrim Boy,  but all of the reading material has been chock full of great stories, almost all of them with morals that are hard to find just anywhere. Many of the stories in the third grade curriculum are from centuries ago. They have points I had never even thought of.

Our favorite was this one:

This story of Hilda is relatable, funny, and many of the values in this book are things that we often forget about in our modern age. I’m talking about things like removing distractions from our lives because they prevent us from remembering to pray, not because the distractions are harmful in themselves, but simply because they keep us from what’s best. We never want to accept something that’s kind of good, at the cost of experiencing what is best.

Joshua would probably not admit that he enjoyed this book, but he did, and I did too. He also learned a lot about smallpox and obedience!

Now some of you may wonder why Joshua did not enjoy The Swiss Family Robinson. Oh my goodness. I didn’t blame him. That book really was “boring.com.” If you only saw the movie, you can’t understand. The movie was solid family fun! The book……talks about survival. The book tells you that the treehouse was actually not sustainable all year long. They had to build a house out of a cave for monsoon season.  Okay, that still sounds interesting, but see, the book tells you, in agonizing detail, how they MADE things, how they survived.

Yes, some of you will love it. If you are like Joshua and me, and don’t care how they made the things….it’s a boring book. I really just wanted to read about the animal adventures, meeting the girl, and the shipwreck incident.

Our book love doesn’t stop with Joshua. Caleb was my VOW.

Victory Of the Week!!!

I downloaded a lengthy 2nd grade formal reading assessment from the Ohio State Department of Education, and ……Caleb passed it with flying colors!

I was so excited. That was reason #1 I wanted to home school Caleb: to give him a boost in reading skills. The other formal reading assessments I’d used on Caleb were only lists of words to read, but this Ohio one had the whole nine yards: word recognition and multiple stories, of all different types, to read with comprehension questions.

Here’s a link for anyone else that is interested:

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Testing/Diagnostic-Assessments/New-Diagnostic-Assessments-List#FAQ1413

Caleb is enjoying reading too. He has always loved being read to, but now he finally has the confidence to read on his own.

Henry and Mudge is my absolute favorite series for encouraging youngsters to read. All four boys enjoy those books. They are sweet, relatable stories about a boy and his dog.

But yes, my boys are still terrified of dogs. Someday, when they are much older, we will get them a dog of their own, and I figure that will take care of that. For now, there is no way on earth that I am taking care of a dog.

Every morning, Caleb and Joshua do a math paper and work in their “seat work notebook”, during the first hour of school. The seat work notebook has varying tasks, but it always includes spelling work and a writing assignment. The other assignments vary, which keeps it interesting. Caleb asked me today, “Mom, when are you going to put ‘Read a book,’ in my seat work again?”  That made me smile. I’m so glad he’s finally enjoying reading.

Here’s what I did to help Caleb enjoy reading more:

1. I ordered A Beka 1st grade readers. Last semester, Caleb read the 2nd grade readers, but A Beka is an advanced curriculum, and those readers were too much work for Caleb. I learned a valuable lesson from Joshua’s teacher, Mrs. DeSatnick, last year. She told us, at Open House, “With young readers, you want them to read material that is just right for their level, or easy for their level. Reading books that are above their level actually hinder their learning.”

Best reading advice ever, and Joshua flourished in reading in her class. He still reads several years above grade level, but he didn’t get there by reading books that were too hard for him.

2. I kept taking Caleb to the library and letting him pick out whatever he wants to read. Yes, he reads Garfield and Ninjago more than Frog and Toad. I am no book snob. There is only one kind of book that does not enter our house:

Captain Underpants:  ew, ew , ew.  Parents, do yourself a favor, and everyone that has to talk to your children a favor, and avoid those books. “Poopy” and ‘stupid’ are about the only adjectives you will find in those books.

Don’t confuse Capt. Underpants with Capt. Awesome. They are two very different series.

We LOVE Captain Awesome.

3. I started letting Caleb do more ‘silent reading.’ I think reading to me makes him nervous because I correct him a lot.

4. I gave incentives. Read 30 books, get a Lego set. Obviously, that was a hit.

I could talk books all day long, but the natives are getting restless, so I’d better run. This will be a big weekend for us. Friday night I’m hosting the moms from my home school group, so I really should be getting ready for that!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

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