Monday, August 22, 2016

Back to School | First Day of Kindergarten


Nandini started her first day of Kindergarten today. The kids were so worried that I wouldn't be there for their first day.  Avi remembered how we had a 'party' for his first day last year.  They wanted more of the same.

I had to make that happen in some way at least, so I took the bus home to Austin with them late on Sunday.  When we got home it was a whirlwind of Target shopping to get backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles and food for lunch.  I also bought them a treat for after school (fruit pops), which I'm just now realizing I forgot to give them.  Oops.

The also got new toys since they have been so good while Lakshman is in the hospital.   Avinash finally got a new pack of Pokemon cards and Nandini got a set of new shopkins.  They opened and played with them as soon as we got home.

After bath time, their hair was carefully combed and first day outfits picked out. Unprompted Nandini told me she wouldn't be shy at Kindergarten while I brushed her hair.

I wanted to make a special breakfast but both swore they only wanted cereal.  Wish granted.  They did however want to know why I didn't have the big chalkboard out.  Ha.

I don't know if they were nervous about going to a new class, but they didn't show it.







Avinash was so helpful to his sister, finding her classroom and cheering her on for her first day.  I sat her down and when I turned around she was coloring quietly waiting for the day to begin.

Look at all those fresh supplies.  Yes.

New yellow pencils are the best.

When I picked her up, the first thing she told me was that she made a friend.  A boy.  Whose name she didn't remember yet.  

"Well, it started when he sat next to me at circle time.  
He made me laugh, he's silly.  
We played tag at recess."  

Could not ask for a better first day report than that. 



Confident and ready.  He sat down quickly and tried to smile at the kids he recognized.  He told me that his class had lots of people he knew in it. He already got invited to a birthday party and a playdate.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lakshman Update // Our Children's House Feeding Program Therapy


Three weeks done!  Lakshman and I have been in Dallas for three weeks now, I can hardly believe it.  

If you have been checking in on him for a while you may remember he was hospitalized over a year ago for his feeding issues and came home with an NG tube for a while.  Since then we have found out that he has EOE, which basically means he has trouble swallowing and sensitivities to different foods.  He has been on different formulas with varying degrees of success and has had endless rounds of speech and physical therapy.  

His weight gain and growth has remained an issue, along with his oral-motor strength.  So a few months ago when the idea of a permanent feeding tube was brought up to us again we started seriously considering this intensive feeding therapy program instead.  

Because he has both issues, we felt it was really critical for him to get this kind of therapy.   If he knew how to eat, but just wasn't gaining weight then we could have pursued different, more medical treatment. Since he doesn't we thought this might be his only chance to really learn.  

Not that we didn't try to do what we could to avoid coming here and get him to learn at home.  Including taking him off of the bottle and formula entirely in an attempt to stimulate his appetite.  The good part was that he was able to maintain his weight that way, but he still wasn't gaining.  Nor did his skills improve at all. 

So, at the end of July Lakshman and I packed up and headed out to Dallas.  My Dad drove us up here and has stayed here for most of the month.  Because we left early in the morning Lakshman thought we were heading out to get donuts.  He still asks Nana about when they are going to get donuts once in a while.  Or he tries telling him that he needs a haircut.  All trips he is used to taking with Nana, and his idea of a way out of the hospital!  

Yes, Lakshman can't leave the hospital.  This part has been especially hard on him. 

I am so glad that during the duration of our stay he has made friends here at least because not seeing any of his old buddies this month definitely effected him.  

Ryan brought the older kids here for a week and he just loved that.  His whole body and face just lit up with joy when they got here.  Initially he was acting very shy here but he really came out of his shell after that. 

Ryan's mother came to stay with us for a while too.  She spent nights with the baby so I could get some rest and take a break from the hospital.  All I'm saying is there is no private bathroom and wow, that gets awkward fast. 

When Ryan got here, he stayed with the baby so we could take the kids out and explore Dallas together.  It's their summer vacation too! 

We visited the Science Museum, the Art Museum and the Zoo together. 







Ryan, his mom and the kids are all back home now.  Lakshman and I have one week left.  He needs to start gaining weight a little bit faster and he needs to start eating his meals with me without refusing.

We would be so grateful for any calls/messages/visits that you guys could make.

We have met some awesome friends here but we need all the encouragement that we can get.

Thank you!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Week in the Life | Tuesday Pages 2016

Two posts in less than a month?  I know, I'm like a machine! 

This is my second installment of my Week in the Life album this year.  This days cover photo turned out to be one of the favorite photos of the entire project.  

I love how taking photos repeatedly over a week really pushes me to look for new angles and try new things.  
I entirely used my iPhone this year for simplicity's sake.  

I just used a bubble wand to frame this photo and was lucky enough to have it turn out in focus! 

I ended up printing this photo out more than once by accident.  I cut one of the photos down to 3x8 and added a translucent overlay on top of it.  I love the lift the flap aspect it adds to the spread.  



On the back I added a little acrylic paint to some patterned paper and stapled on of the large plastic letters from Ali's kit to the back. 

Documenting a larger story on a shippping tag.  I could have typed it but adding in lines helps me keep my handwriting a little bit neater at least. 

So happy to get random little stories, like Avi's splinter removal, recorded too. 

I saved a seed packet that Lakshman planted for the album.  I don't think those broccoli ever did grow. 

 Repeating the week in the life stamps several times in a row here on this journaling card. Lots of yellow this day popping up again.



I added another 3x8 insert with back to back photos this time.  One side cozy (napping) and the other one wild (climbing the ladder).  That pretty much describes our life.


 Typed journaling on photos.  Takes a little bit longer to do up front, but I'm always so happy with the final result.  I love finding little bits of chipboard stickers to fit in on top of it.

I included another coin pocket page.  I alternated photos with transparency squares from an old SC kit.  I initially had them directly in the pockets, leaving them a little bit see through.  They ended up feeling too dark that way so I just back them with white paper stapled on.  This really lightened the look.  A scattering of white stars helped too. 



On the back I focused on photos from around the garden.  I could fill a whole album with these.

I just love it when my sticker fits my journaling perfectly.  Nothing better.


Stay tuned for the rest of my album.  You can see all my Week in the Life posts here

Currently // July 2016, Pokemon Go Edition

Like much of the world Pokemon Go has taken over our lives.  It was launched on July 6 and the kids had me download it by the 7th.  I normally do not go for video games, especially on my phone, but this hooked me right away.  Playing Pokemon Go together was basically our entire month.  I'm so glad I didn't sign them up for too many camps! 


Exploring tons of new parks around Austin.  The Vulpix have the right idea hanging out around the Fairy Tale House at Katherien Fleishcher park.  And I got enough to evolve a Ninetales. 

Reading together side by side in the little house when the wildflower center had a free day for Lady Bird Johnson Day.

Tackling some pretty amazing waterslides at Milburn park while out hunting for Dratinis.  Still looking for that Dragonite though.

Taking in all the magic of Deep Eddy Pool.  The cold spring water feels nothing short of miraculous in our 100-degree Texas heat.

Making new friends before Kindergarten starts.

Waving the flag and being very patriotic just generally.

Finding squirtle at the Capitol.  Hanging out by the water of course.

Painting Pikachu noses and cheeks on ourselves with red stamps found in party favor bags (thanks guys!).

Catching our favorite of all, Pikachu!!  Lakshman talks about him endlessly and so excited for this picture.  He carries his Pikachu doll from his birthday around with him everywhere now. 


Lakshman and I are currently in Dallas for a month long inpatient feeding therapy program.  We are super lucky to have one of these programs within driving distance.

We knew we were going to miss everyone while we are away so it was a good thing we kept very busy before going!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week in the Life 2016 | Monday Pages

This year's Week in the Life Album is finally complete.  The little ones had five weeks of summer camp, and I imagined I would get millions of things done during this time.  I have virtually no idea where all that time went.  I think I spent most of it at the gym, running errands, getting coffee or hanging out with a friend. 

I did finally finish up with my week in the life album.  I did a lot of journaling using the letterglow app on my phone and printing directly from there.  It took a lot of extra time.  I worked backwards from there and would go back and forth adding embellishments. 

I used the Ali Edwards kit and lots of other leftovers from my kit club stashes.  I punched holes in the star transparency and used vellum adhesive to adhere the wood veneer numbers.

The black chipboard alphas are from the AE kit and are the perfect size for a 6x8 album.


I alternated photos and acrylic white hearts in this mini pocket page.




 Nandini was at camp this week and Lakshman was home with me.

We had a very exciting Monday.  Nandini had a playdate and my friend Sky surprised us from out of town.

The kids had more friends over in the evening.  And then a nerf dart /clue game fight with Ryan when he got home from work.  Phew.

 I added an extra 4x6 photo pocket for this smiling face.



Late bedtimes and Harry Potter reading.  I used the new stamp set from Life.Love.Paper for this pocket.



A list of Lakshman's goodnights.  

I will be back with more pages tomorrow!  
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