Friday, July 3, 2015

A Week of Randomness

Another week of summer that didn't feel quite like summer around here. We'll take it though. Three years ago the high temperatures for our area were over 100 degrees. I distinctly remember that too because it was the year Fred was in the hospital. I was taking care of the yard and running people to doctor appointments, etc. It was a miserable year all the way around.

This week our warm days were when it made it into the 80's. But we are paying for it with rain, rain and more rain. I know other parts of the country are dying, literally, for rain while we are turning into marshland here. I'm good with the rain though, because I know we will be wishing for it some day soon too. However, I'm not good with the storms. I did not take either of the following pictures (nor do I know who did, just to be clear). One picture was taken on Sunday just down the street from me, while the other is what my sister's family drove through on their way home from dinner Wednesday evening. 

(Top) I believe three verified tornadoes ended up spawning in our area from this storm.  This was taken down the street from me.
(Bottom) My sister's town, about 100 miles from my house. Her family drove through this storm.

In non-weather related news, please check out my post from Wednesday if you need a few history books or some other miscellaneous curriculum. I've posted the remainder of our books, and they are free except for the cost of shipping. I did find a few more items after I posted and Amber has curriculum currently in use that will be finished in August. So, if these books don't fit your needs come back in late August for another round.

This week Amber started her new exercise plan of only upright exercises along with her beta blocker. The exercising has been successful even though Amber wants to push to her absolute maximum ability every single day. Even after the doctors and therapists explain she needs to work up to the target length and difficulty, she still expects to be able to do what she could two years ago. We've started with walking on the indoor track at the gym, which takes away any of the problems that occur with humidity. Monday Amber wanted to race off and even try to run. I spent the whole walk holding her back, basically. By Wednesday she couldn't even get in a whole mile. Perhaps she now understands the concept.

The beta blocker is actually quite effective for Amber, actually too effective. Sunday Amber spent the day trying to stay awake because her pulse got too low for comfort. She takes additional medication to keep her blood pressure from bottoming out, so at least that wasn't a concern. Although the goal is to lower Amber's heart rate, the dose was a little much once Amber built up to the full prescribed amount. Monday we skipped the beta blocker while waiting on the doctor to call back who was actually excited about the results since Amber hasn't shown much of reaction to any medication yet. The dose has been lowered to 1/4 of a pill, twice a day. It's a ridiculously low amount, but it's working and Amber's heart rate rarely gets over 120 unless her medicine has worn off.

General silliness from Amber. Reading history and racing ahead of me during her walk.  She regretted it soon later.

Since Wednesday marked the official start of our new school year tracking period, we finalized the switch of all our homeschool documentation to Homeschool Tracker Online from Homeschool Tracker Plus on my desktop. I'm still working through a few kinks after years on the desktop version, but it is nice to access the information from any internet capable device. Amber loves being able to see her schedule for the day and read the lesson plans from her iPad. She wants to be more independent with her assignments this year.  I'm happy to not print out the lesson instructions or jot them down on scratch paper every day.

Thinking back I had the impression Amber did a lot more school work this week than what I see recorded, yet I can't remember what might be missing. Maybe it wasn't school work, but busy days that I'm remembering. At any rate, she has almost finished the Ancient Egypt study we have been working on as a TOS review item. We are also nearing the end of the Civil War audio drama, With Lee in Virginia. I almost wish we were ready for the Civil War era now, but that's not until the end of this school year or even next year.

I did have my yearly GI doctor checkup this week and it earned me two tests later this month. Ugh. Nothing horrible and the tests are all easy, but I'm really hoping my GI doctor is barking up the wrong tree on this one. My diet is restricted enough without gluten. Amber has an upper endoscopy later this month too. Apparently it's our GI month.

Exhausted Amber after her friend left. Even the beta blockers can't fix everything. 
Watching Jurassic World in 3D (the special Jurassic World glasses were weird and uncomfortable).  And yes, we finished the story mode of the LEGO Jurassic World game before seeing the movie just so we knew the plot ahead of time.
Playing a fun geometry game together. We're both a little too competitive.

Thankfully there are no medical visits yet this coming week, except for Biscotti who has his annual kitty checkup. Unfortunately, he's not fond of strangers and hates car rides even more. You can imagine how the 3 minute drive to the vet and subsequent exam normally go. Last year he had a UTI around this time and was gassed in order for them to examine him because nobody wants to check a 19 pound, strong, hissing Maine Coon (mix) for something that personal. Seriously, this cat looks almost chunky when he's curled up sleeping, and then he stands, walks, runs, or even gallops down the steps leaping 1/3 before the end. He's all rippling muscle, no matter the activity.

The sleepy gas for Biscotti went so well that once the UTI treatment was complete he was gassed again for the followup exam during which they completed his yearly exam with shots while he was under. They already plan to give him gas again this year. It's a good plan that keeps everyone safe and happy, including Biscotti.

Happy Independence Day to everyone in the U.S.  We're not huge barbeque eaters and prefer to simply relax at home together in the air conditioning. Our weather, as noted earlier, has been so wet that I'm not even sure there will be local fireworks to see this year.  It might be a very calm and uneventful celebration for us.

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

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  1. It is wonderful to see all of Amber's smiles. It is hard to struggle with a decline in energy and activity, especially at her age. Have a wonderful 4th!
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. I've missed reading your posts Christy. I've been so bad about my blog and all my friends blogs. It has rained here for days too. But we HAVE had hot weather. Too hot for this time of year. I just can't believe how grown up Amber looks. Our girls are just growing up too fast. I hope your doctor visits go well! <3

  3. Happy July 4th! I can't believe the top photos! Honestly, whilst I was reading the post I kept flicking back up just to take another look! We don't have storms like that over here - Oh my, I think I would be so scared!

    1. As much as I'd like to pretend they are no big deal to us, I'm terrified of tornadic storms. We have a storm supply kit in our basement. I couldn't live in this area without a basement for shelter. We have a weather radio and weather apps on our phones to notify us of severe weather watches and warnings. I even prepare ahead of time and put the harnesses and leashes on the cats so we can easily get them to the basement with us.

      I often times think of the European settlers who came to this continent and encountered their first tornado. You have to wonder what they thought of it.

  4. Whoa. Those are quite the cloud formation. I've never seen them here in Maine. We have gotten some F1 tornadoes before, some even within 30 minutes drive, but I've never seen clouds like that...I'll admit that I'd be one out taking photos though! LOL I do like Homeschool Tracker. I've only used the free version though.