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I'm tired...

It has been a very long time since I have posted anything out here. I know this... In fact, I am frequently reminded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, colleagues and a great-aunt that, once a week, reminds Misty that she really likes the way I write. So, here I am. Hopefully to stay longer than the last time I said that I was back.

Lets start with Noah. Fourteen months ago, he was just getting rolling in kindergarten. He sprinted through kindergarten and is almost done with the first grade. He really enjoys school and, for the most part, continues to stay out of trouble. He is seven, so "out of trouble" is a relative concept, but we haven't been pulled aside by the teacher or principle too many times. Despite the general insanity that occurs in our house, he has turned out to be a pretty typical seven year old. He loves Spongebob and Guitar Hero and tries to get out of his homework as much as possible. He has definitely taken on a lot of curiosity from me, which I dearly love to watch. He experiments with new things all the time. Last summer, he was convinced he wanted to be a biologist when he grew up, so we spent a good chunk of time wading through puddles and turning over rocks looking for anything creepy and crawly. He still maintains a healthy collection of toads in his room as well as a skink and a hermit crab. If it were up to him, he would have thousands of critters in his room and I would probably let him do it. Misty has set him to a maximum limit of cages in his room, so we are stuck for now. Recently, he has gotten interested in electronics. We have built a few projects and he is constantly on the lookout of bigger and better things to try out. The only minor mishap was when he decided to find out how hot a soldering iron really was after I told him it was too hot to touch... one small burn and blister later, he now knows that its not something to touch. Natural consequences.

Isabella... Now, she has turned out to be a handful. When we last left the saga, she had slightly elevated ocular pressure, but everything was on a pretty smooth course. By now, I should realize that any time I feel like things have smoothed out, its time to start looking for the next shoe to drop. Isabella's ocular pressure continued to creep up to the point that she was in the glaucoma range. We started drops for that and everything levelled off for a while. Then, her pressures started back up again. At that point, we were on for another trip to Iowa to have a shunt installed in her eye to help alleviate the pressure. It worked well and it seemed we were back on the smooth course. Then, the shunt started to work to well, which dropped the pressures way too low and allowed the internal structures of her eye to swell up and completely block off her sight. Another trip to Iowa, some change in her medication and after a few weeks, things mellowed out and her sight came back. That was back around Thanksgiving. Since then, things were improving... We were down to one drop a day and it seemed like we were charging forward. That was until about two weeks ago. During a routine eye appointment, Dr. Grin told me that there appeared to be a membrane that had grown across her visual axis and that it was restricting her vision. The impact on her vision would be similar to driving down the interstate a few days after a snowstorm without and washer fluid. You can see, but it isn't that great and it gets really annoying. Isabella has been very annoyed recently... She tells us by taking her glasses off and handing them to us as if to tell us that they aren't working the way she wants them to. So, tomorrow morning, we are going to be back on the road to Iowa for yet another surgery. We have been told that this should be a pretty simple surgery and we should expect her to recover pretty quickly.

Aside from all of the eye things, the changes in Isabella have been amazing. She is very close to walking right now and was put into orthotics last week to help straighten out her ankles. That has helped her take a few independent steps. She gets so excited that she is walking that she falls down, but its a start. She isn't really talking yet. Well, not English anyway. She speaks Isabella and Misty and I are her translators. She loves to sing and probably spends more time singing than she does talking.

Misty and I spend our time directing traffic, making sure everyone gets where they need to be when they need to be with the right clothing and full bellies and in general trying to organize chaos. Misty and I get a lot of comments about how strong we are in dealing with all of the stress that has been dumped upon us... I don't think either of us feel particularly strong, we are just doing what we need to do to make sure that both of our kids get what they need... They don't see what happens when we finally get a chance to slow down and consider what all is going on; there is usually at least one of us losing it at the time. Misty is amazing... She keeps everything held together while we deal with the insanity. All while working, going back to school and making sure that we all have clean underware. She hasn't changed much in the last 14 months; she is still the same amazingly strong woman.

As for me, I'm getting older and greyer. Eventually, we will reach a truly smooth path, but until then we'll keep running at full speed regardless of how we feel.

Me, I'm tired...

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