Friday, August 27, 2010


This picture was me yesterday!!!!! I haven't been that frustrated since Seth was a little baby and couldn't stop pooping. I would just get one diaper changed and put outside, and he'd fill another one. I felt like all I did all day was change his diapers. Yesterday I felt like all I did was drive back and forth across town. Seth and I went to City Diner for breakfast because the manager invited us to be there while they shot their commercial (more info on that when I find out anything about it). The diner is right across the street from where I work. But I couldn't go to work after breakfast because I had to drive back to our side of town for Seth to go to school. Then I got 3/4 of the way to work and realized that I'd forgotten my little machine to clock in and out (to get PAID). So I decided to do my Fred Meyer run first, drop off the milk and ice cream, grab my machine, and then go back to work. I got all the way back to work and realized that I'D FORGOTTEN THAT BLANKETY-BLANK MACHINE AGAIN!!!! I must admit there were some tears, yelling, and rated "R" language going on at this point. I had wasted all but one hour driving! I had used all the money I was going to make that day on gas! I did get to work for a little bit, just long enough to get one box of cards put away and the whole display straightened up. And I did learn a valuable lesson: keep that machine in my PURSE! And we did make it to Seth's audiologist appointment pretty much on time. That didn't go very well, though, so we have to go back again next week. If the test was correct, Seth probably will need hearing aids. Not really a big deal since the two other kids with Down syndrome that I know the best also have hearing aids. He can hear at a certain volume, not too loud, but definitely not too soft unless there are no other sounds or distractions.

Anyway, I'm glad yesterday is OVER and today is a brand new day that so far has gone very well :-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seth's first day of kindergarten

We took Seth to his first day of KINDERGARTEN today! He had a great first day!!

He had one more drink . . .

. . . before carrying his kleenex box into the school. Dad had to carry the backpack because it was much too heavy for a little five-year-old.

Each child had a huge frog nametag. Seth thought it was fun and put it right over his head.

Seth has his own teacher's aide to help him through each part of the school day. Apparently, everyone enjoyed Seth's first day of kindergarten :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

first day of school

Joel, Makenzie, and Luke started school again today. We were all thrilled that today finally arrived. I don't mean that in a negative way as in we don't want to be around each other. I mean it in a positive way as in we're all happy that we get to see each other AND other people and activities every day. All three kids have EXCELLENT teachers, and I'm sure this is going to be a GREAT school year for all of us!

Seth really didn't seem to notice that he was home alone with me until we picked the others up after school. Then he turned WILD! yelling, hitting, throwing things -- all to get attention from three of his favorite people who were a little bit tired out from getting up early and starting a new routine.

I have ultra-organized our morning and evening time so that everything gets done with minimal stress. Because I want to work while the kids are at school and because there are several things that I like to do before anyone else gets up in the mornings, I'm starting my days at 4:30 a.m. I know this is pretty much insane, but I really want the days to go more smoothly than we've experienced the past few years. Surely this is a temporary setup since the older the kids get, the more independent they'll become and be able to do more to get themselves ready for school. But for now, this schedule is really working -- well, at least this first day :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Seth is 5

WARNING: There are a lot of pictures today! Today was Seth's 5th birthday!!! I don't know if I've ever typed out Seth's story on here before, and I of course don't feel like going back through old posts to find out. So WARNING #2: There's a lot of reading today, too.

Before Seth was born, ultrasounds showed three signals that he might have Down syndrome. So we went to a perinatologist to have a second look. The specialist told us that Seth had one or possibly both club feet, but not Down syndrome. A later ultrasound showed that Seth was breech. We scheduled a C-section and looked forward to meeting our perfect little baby #4. A week or two before the scheduled C-section, Seth decided he was tired of being cramped up in my belly. At about 3 a.m., we called Jason to come home from church camp (which was 2 1/2 hours away) and then went to the hospital. My doctor ordered a medicine that stopped contractions, and we waited until he had woke up, performed another emergency C-section, and then got to us. Jason did make it in plenty of time to see Seth be born. The nurses could tell immediately that Seth did, in fact, have Down syndrome. We were glad that Seth seemed healthy, and we concentrated on the fact that we had a beautiful little boy, regardless of any surprises. For the most part, Seth was just like our other three babies . . .

. . . except that he had a pretty large hole in his heart that was using most of the calories that he took in. We had to feed him super-high-calorie formula and give him some medicines to prevent reflux and to keep his heart regular until he was seven months old and ready for heart surgery. We flew down to Portland, Oregon to have the hole in his heart repaired -- a completely horrible but necessary experience. The repair fixed his heart completely.

Throughout Seth's first five years, we have met so many doctors and therapists, I can't even remember them all. But I'm forever grateful for all they've done to help my baby Seth.

I took pictures of almost every step of today, starting with, "Good morning, Seth. Cover your eyes. The light's coming on -- one, two, three -- ON!"

Next was a birthday bath:

Later in the day, we put up the polar bear growth chart to see how many inches Seth has grown this year:

And then stepped on the scale to see how his weight has changed:

Before we went to the movie theater, we tried to take birthday pictures. With Seth, this is always a comic event:

After dinner, we sang "Happy Birthday" so that Seth could blow out the candle on his birthday brownies:

Seth had a great birthday, I believe!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Seth's 5th B-day Party

We celebrated Seth's 5th birthday today at one of our favorite parks. It has rained here for 31 days straight (I think that's the count anyway -- we broke a record). But TODAY God held back the rain so that we could have Seth's party at the park (I'm sure that's not the only reason, but we did pray for this, so I'm thinking Seth was part of the reason). Almost all of the Hofacker/Nelson clan was there (except for an uncle and a cousin who desperately needed naps). This year the Cobaughs joined in as family, and we were all wondering why we hadn't remembered all these years that we're like family :-)

We had balloons, burgers on the grill, and chocolate chip cookies (because Seth can't quite feed himself cake and a big 5-year-old should have food that he can feed himself at his own party). HERE is a video of Seth telling Joel that he's PIVE (Seth's version of "five"). And HERE is a video of Seth blowing out his birthday candle.

Seth sat and stood on a picnic table to open his presents :-)

I bought these cool blower toys, not realizing that they make HORRIBLY loud noise. They went to the garbage can quickly.

Seth tried his best to push Makenzie and Luke on the merry-go-round.

Seth carried this little "happy birthday" balloon all over the park.

"helping" Dad put together the new tricycle:

riding his new trike:

Seth didn't like for me to steer the trike, so he got off and pushed it instead. . .

. . . and then threw a little fit when I made him put it away so that we could go inside to eat dinner.

As I've said a million times before, Seth is an angel! I can't imagine life without this beautiful blessing from God.

NEW CD!!!!

I'm SOOOOOO excited!!!!! The new Third Day cd comes out in just a few months!!! This link has one minute clips of all the songs. I know some people couldn't possibly care less, but I can hardly WAIT to get this cd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

kids at a race they're not in

I need an appropriate "smiley" for the idea of that title! Like the one with huge wide eyes. We went to the Alaska 10K Classic on Saturday because Jason was in charge of it, it was a nice day, and the proceeds went to Special Olympics which Seth will be able to participate in someday. I was able to remember that my kids + a big open field - much supervision = CRAZINESS!

Luke is a little wild under the best of circumstances. Give him a little freedom and he's just plain out of control!

Joel went early with Pop Pop to help Jason, so he got this orange volunteer shirt.

Seth is the most difficult one in this type of situation because he has no concept of boundaries. We were in between two roads downtown, but Seth doesn't understand that moving vehicles can be dangerous to small children running around not looking where they're going. I have to either keep up with him myself or make one of the other kids try to corral him.

Makenzie, of course, wasn't a problem at all. She's almost always my helper. I don't know what in the world I'd do without her!

After the race, we went to a dinner at the home of one of Jason's runners on the high school cross country team. We took the truck because Jason had too much stuff to carry in the van. Seth kept misbehaving in the back seat. Hard to imagine that this angel could do anything wrong, I know!

But he did! Every time I'd turn around to tell him to stop hitting Luke, he'd give me this face:

We had to pull the truck over and reorganize the seating arrangement :-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

me & my boat

I most definitely do NOT have a picture to accompany this blog post! Last Sunday afternoon, I had several hours of completely FREE time. All the kids were occupied, and I only had one necessary errand to run. Actually that one errand turned into two, though. I was in Fred Meyer and saw a lady that I know having trouble in the checkout line. She missed the bus that goes by her house, so I took her home. It's always a good feeling to be in the right place at the right time to help someone out. I even made her smile even though she'd been very angry at the store. :-) After my errand, I wanted to do SOMETHING. I had a book I wanted to read, but I didn't want to just sit at home reading. So I changed into "i-don't-care" clothes, aired up the boat, and went to the lake to read. All of that sounds all nice and easy, but there were a few little incidents that livened things up a bit. First of all, we've had a very cool, rainy summer, so the lake water never had a chance to warm up. My boat is very small, barely big enough for a slightly overweight mother of four. As I was squeezing myself into it, I leaned too heavily on the back end and let quite a bit of water into the boat. Cold water. Which I had to sit in the whole time I was out on the lake. :-( The second incident could have been a little more serious (to me -- not to the people watching, I'm sure). My boat is a Walmart cheapy, so it's not exactly top quality. My oars are plastic and they screw together -- AND APART. One of my oars came unscrewed out in the middle of the lake. I'm a good swimmer, so I wasn't AFRAID to have to swim back to land. But that water is GROSS and really cold. I did NOT want to have to swim in it!!!! I tried to reach the oar, but couldn't maneuver myself around to get it. Then I thought it had sunk because I lost sight of it. I didn't panic or even say any bad words :-) So maybe that's why when I turned my head, I saw my oar floating just a few feet away. God gave a little blessing for my self-control :-) I grabbed it and screwed it back together. I enjoyed my book for about an hour, then started to row back to land. I'm a terrible oarsman, so I'm pretty sure people were watching and laughing from their front-row seats on the bank. One girl in particular sat on her slightly larger-than-mine rear end chuckling at me trying to get myself out of the boat without getting completely soaked. She even commented: "It's kinda like getting out of a really comfy couch, isn't it?" yeah -- thanks for the HELP!

Even with the little problems, I enjoyed being on the lake and will probably do it again sometime :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Joel went fishing

Joel and his Pop Pop go camping now and then at Pop Pop's cabin a couple hours away from Anchorage. The last time they went, Joel went fishing and caught these three little fish. He called me from the cabin SO excited that he had really caught fish! He then proceeded to tell me his plan of bringing them home for me to cook. HA!!! We quickly changed that plan. I told him he could bring them home to take a picture and then hand them right back to Pop Pop! If they came into the house, they'd be going directly to the garbage can. Joel's a pretty logical kid and immediately saw the benefits of compromise.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

my funny girl

My kids call Jason's boss "Uncle Tom" because he's a family friend and because he LOVES kids. We saw Uncle Tom and his family at the airshow last Friday. He told Makenzie that she was welcome to come stay at their house anytime her dad treated her mean (he was playing, of course -- just in case some reader thinks that my kids are abused. they're NOT -- they're pretty spoiled and very loved and well cared for). When I asked her what about me because I would miss her so much, she immediately said, "I'll send you a postcard!" gee, thanks, Mak!

The Hofacker Family 2008