Last night the power went out Island wide. As if that was not interesting enough, I had dropped Jeremy off at a gig in Honolulu and took the kids back to church for a baptism. The power went out right before the baptism started. They ended up sending someone home for some lanterns and flashlights and the baptism went on. I have never been to a baptism in the dark and it was one I will remember as I am sure my kids will too. After it was all finished we had to brave the roads to go pick up Jeremy. The phone lines were all jammed and Jeremy could not get a hold of us to let us know the gig got canceledbecause of the black out and he had been waiting outside for us for about 2 hrs. We were listing to the radio on the way home and found out that during the storm (I forgot to mention that it was thundering and Llghtninging, is that a word? haha) 4 major lines in hard to access places had gone down. They were telling us to expect 10-12 hrs of darkness but I think they went on around 4:oo. I am just glad all our Christmas leftovers did not go bad lol.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Posted by Briana Ward at 9:42 AM
Monday, December 22, 2008
Today we went to the NEX to finish our last minute Christmas shopping and to have a little breakfast. I was in line waiting for Riley's hot chocolate just a few feet away from where I left Riley at the food court table eating his breakfast. When I turned around our table, breakfast and mess was still there but Riley was no were to be seen. I immediately started to panic. Jeremy was not there and was meeting us. He would not have taken RIley without letting me know and I just froze thinking what am I going to do, where can he be who could have taken him. I have never been so sick in my life! And then Riley popped his head out from the little nook behind the table and smiled. Just then Jeremy came around the corner and I broke down crying. Never have I been so terrified. I took this picture to stop my self from ringing Riley's neck after we had had a little talk about not doing that ever EVER again.
Posted by Briana Ward at 5:08 PM
Sunday, December 21, 2008
There are a lot of things that I love about the Navy but it is funny that some of the things that I love are the very things I hate. For example I love that we get to move and experience different places and cultures and meet new friends, but I hate that we have to move and say goodbye at some point too. I have loved every place we have lived and everywhere has felt like home, so much so that it hurts to start thinking that at some point we will have to pack up and start our next adventure. We have always tried to be really positive and make it like an "adventure" and that helps but there is a part of me that sometimes wishes we could just take everyone we meet and grow to love with us.
We were able to spend the evening with a group of great friends and I was having such a wonderful time when I thought to myself "at some point I will have to say goodbye to all of these amazing people" and I felt myself star to tear up. It is times like this that I am so thankful for technology!!! Because as I sat blinking back a tear I thought about how amazing it is that anytime I am missing someone they are only a phone call or an email away. And how I have found friends (of they have found me) that I forgot I even had on facebook and thru other various ways on the internet. I am so thankful for all the wonderful friends we have and although we are not moving anytime soon I just thought I would thank you all for the many ways you have touched our lives!
Posted by Briana Ward at 1:50 AM
Monday, December 15, 2008
While Lorenzo was watching this he asked me when I made the elf costumes? I said "what" and he asked if we did that last Christmas. I started to laugh, the poor boy actually thought that at one point i had dressed everyone up like an elf and made them dance. I don't think I am that persuasive lol!
Posted by Briana Ward at 11:57 AM
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
A friend of mine just sent me this link "click here"For every answer you get right they will donate 20 grains of rice to struggling countries. Check it out!
Posted by Briana Ward at 12:31 AM
Friday, December 5, 2008
Do you ever have dreams that stick with you all day, dreams that you just can't help but analyze to death because you just can not stop thinking about it? last night I had one of these dreams and when Jeremy tried to wake me this morning I was a little upset and tried to hit the magic play button in my head to no avail. But then as I laid in bed for a few min. I started to become a little distressed as to were my mind was in the wee hours of the morning.
I was dreaming that I was on a date with Jeremy only Jeremy was the Jeremy from 12 years ago. The 70 lb lighter version with hair. Even his voice was different in my dream (ok, this is what I think the root of the whole dream is about, because we had been watching home videos my sister made for us a few nights ago and one of them was from the Christmas Jeremy and I got engaged. We were all is shock because Jeremy's voice was so different back then) . As I was on my date with Jeremy from the past , Jeremy from the future, my now filled out with a little less hair and a deeper voice Jeremy, came in and I was caught! In my dream I was having a very real crisis. I really was enjoying my date with the past Jeremy and then when back to the future Jeremy walked in I was a little peeved at him for spoiling it. My dreaming mind was struggling with the question of who do I choose? Jeremy woke me before I ever made my decision but now I am stuck with my thoughts today and I just can't shake it. My decision while awake is a no brainer, I take my current Jeremy extra lb's and less hair and all, but why was this such a dilemma while in dream land????? I guess I will never know.
Posted by Briana Ward at 11:15 AM
Sunday, November 30, 2008
So most of you got my email about Scentsy and I am sure you are thinking it came from the wrong person but no, it was not a mistake, it did come from me. I know, I know, I said I hated these kind of consultant type buisnesses and that I would never, NEVER, do it so now is your chance to laugh at me and make me eat my hat.
In my defence I really do love the Scentsy products and I have been unconsciously selling them since I got home from Utah so I though I may as well become a consultant and help fund my new Sentsy obsession. I guess if I have learned one thing it is never say never lol.
Posted by Briana Ward at 8:50 PM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Yesterday the conversation in the car was the favorite, when I grow up..... Well, I am sorry to say I missed the first part of the conversation but did catch the tail end as liam was saying he wants to be a Han Solo hat guy, aka star wars storm trooper, with a gun and black hands. Should I be worried?
I though I was a responsible mom. I do not let my kids run with scissors, they eat their veggies most the time (ok some time), I only let them pee in the bushes when we are all locked out of the house, and I have purell in my purse at all times. So when we first started having all of these boys I did not let them play with toy guns. Riley had no problem with this but when we had more then one little man around this started to get harder. Spoons and crayons started to magically transform into weapons and with 3 boys running around here I decided as I can't win it was better to join them. Well, poor Liam's life revolves around hat guys with guns and black hands (Thank you lego). Last week the poor boy cried for 20 min. because his hands are yellow (aka peach) and not black, Jeremy, the ever willing jokester, thought it would be funny to tease Liam and asked him if he wanted him to paint his hands black. Liam cheered right up only to start the water works again when I felt it was time for a grown up to step in and explain spray paint was not for body parts. I feel like I have been very tolerant, I did not make him dress up in the cute police officer costume that cost a small fortune (he refused to go trick-or-treating if he was not a hat guy) and went up and dug out his christmas present storm trooper dress up set and let him wear it for halloween. I call him hat guy and always am there to help him find his lego guys black hands and little guns but somedays I wish all the lego hat guys at our home would disappear into the balck hole that all of Jeremys stuff seams to vanish, i.e his watch, belts, hats, shirt (don't ask), and other various things that have gone missing, only I wonder if the black hole would do an exchange as I want Jeremy's missing stuff back.
Posted by Briana Ward at 10:58 AM
Monday, November 24, 2008
Ok, So last week Jeremy had a meeting at work to discus who would be going on the Mercy Tour this following spring and Jeremy was told he was not going. Well today he had an early morning meeting and was told that, No, he IS indeed going. Oh well, I am not looking forward to this but we'll survive! The only thing is I have forbid Jeremy to say anything about it to the boys until after Christmas. Riley was already getting emotional about just the possibility of Jeremy going. I do not think they need to know quite yet.
Posted by Briana Ward at 11:41 AM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Riley had his third Archery Tournament yesterday and he did very well. It was so windy I was having trouble imagining anyone shooting well but they all amazed me. Riley came in 3rd in his age division. He did a super job.
I am also posting a few pictures from the last month or so. I know I have been a bit of a slacker but hey, better late then never right?
Posted by Briana Ward at 10:06 AM
Friday, November 14, 2008
I just got off the phone with the Pacific Autism Center located here in Hawaii and they are in the process of starting to accept tricare (the military’s insurance that we have) to help cover the cost of tuition. This is huge!!!! As tuition is anywhere from 2,500 a month to over 10,000 a month there is no way we could afford this without help. We recently enrolled Lorenzo in ECHO, which I believe stands for Extended Health Care Option, under tricare and they sent us the info for applied behavioral analysis and the Pacific Autism Center was listed so I called and found out about them working with our insurance. I am going to try and get him in for an intake evaluation if it pans out that we can get the insurance to help pay for the tuition. This would be an answer to prayer!!!!!! They offer so many services and therapy that Lorenzo desperately needs, I am just hoping that this is not to good to be true. We will keep you posted!
Posted by Briana Ward at 7:18 PM
Friday, October 31, 2008
Ok, I know it has been awhile since I last posted but I kept telling myself if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.
Quick rundown on the past few weeks…the ups and downs
The surprise went off without a hitch. My mom was so surprised and was about in tears. It was a lot of fun to pull something off like that. My little sisters were really surprised as well, the only one who figured it out and had no reservations running up to whom the rest of them thought to be strangers was Molly. The kids had a blast playing with all their cousins, aunts and uncles and it was fun to see snow again.
My moms wedding ended up getting called off the night before due to the groom getting cold feet. I won’t say any more!
It was a lot of fun to stay with my sister Mindy. I have never spent that much time with her and I feel closer to her now. It was so much fun to see her two little girls. They are soooo cute and I miss them a ton. Adeline let me put her to bed one night and when I started her bedtime story of “fancy girls” and princesses she immediately stopped me and told me to tell her a story about wolves that scratch. I could not stop laughing.
My cousin Brandon’s baby McKenzie passed away while I was out there. She was only 15 months old and had been battling leukemia for the last 6 months. It was so sad, my heart just breaks when I think about it but I was glad that I was able to go the funeral.
All in all it was a good tip but we were glad to come back home. We missed Jeremy and the kids were anxious to get back to school. I guess one this is for sure; you can always count on my family to keep things interesting!
Posted by Briana Ward at 12:36 PM
Sunday, October 5, 2008
My mom is getting married this coming weekend and the plan was for me to fly out just for the weekend. The navy had other plans and had a gig that Jeremy could not get out of. With Jeremy not able to get anytime off that meant we had no sitter for the kids and I was not going to spend 3000.00+ dollars for the kids to come with me for a 3 day trip. My sister Mindy called on Monday and said she and her husband would let me and the kids use their frequent flyer miles and fly us all out. I was blown away at how generous they are. She said they were saving it up to come and see us again next spring but that they thought it was more important for us to be there at the wedding. The best part is that my mom still thinks that I am unable to come. I have been having a hard time keeping such a big secret and to make it worse the kids have to keep it a secret too. We have had numerous calls from younger siblings and my mom and I am almost as excited to surprise them as I am about not having to keep my mouth shut so I don’t spill the beans.
This is not the only secret I am currently keeping. My other (also very generous) sister is coming out in December. She wanted to go to Kauai and got Riley and I tickets to go with her. This is Riley’s Christmas present and he has no clue about it. I have almost blown this secret a number if times. I just hope I can make it to December.
I should mention that the biggest surprise (or miracle if you ask me) is that Lorenzo is doing great. He went 5 days last week without a single incident. There is no way I would be taking on surprise number one right now if this were not the case. Jeremy's mom flew out a few weeks ago to help us out with him and we ended up doing a med change at that time and it did not work at all so as a last ditch effort the doctor took him off of everything and put him back on his old medication but on a higher dose. The next day we got our Lorenzo back.
Posted by Briana Ward at 8:51 PM
Monday, September 22, 2008
I happen to really like Michael Buble' and I like his version of this but even more entertaining is the comments left on youtube about who is better George Michael or Michael Buble'. My opinion you ask.... I like them both ;)
Posted by Briana Ward at 12:48 PM
While I was never one of the George Michael groupies, that was my little sister Camie, I have always liked his music and this one is no exception!
Posted by Briana Ward at 12:44 PM
Thursday, September 18, 2008
(Warning, for any of you that are squeamish you may want to skip this post)
While I am so happy that Liam is independent and out of diapers it can sometimes be a little frustrating. He will no longer let me go into the bathroom with him. I'm not just talking the bathroom at home; this includes any type of restroom, which has proven to be fun. He is getting pretty good at wiping and washing but there are those moments. Jeremy’s Mom came out to lend us a hand this last week and I left Liam with her one afternoon when I had to take Riley to archery. I had just made some cookie dough and asked her if she would mind rolling them into balls and baking them while I was gone. Sometime during my outing Liam had to use the potty and I did not give Alice any warning as to what his little routine entails but she said he locked her out and did his thing and then she made sure he washed his hands. Sounds great right, well when I got home Liam and Grandma had just finished baking the cookies and Liam had dough all over his face. I thought he also had it all over the back of his shirt but on closer inspection this was something else that was brown but only smelled a lot worse. I am just thankful that the brown on his face was really cookie dough. Anyone want a cookie?
Posted by Briana Ward at 12:52 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Posted by Briana Ward at 10:43 AM
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Today we had our annual Ward Family Temple Day and primary was in charge of helping out the boy’s and girl’s achievement kids entertain the little ones for the first hour. I would have gone to a session but we were short handed and I was needed to help supervise. I have to confess that I have been dreading this day for the past month. Jeremy has been in Australia and knowing that he was not going to be there to help I have had a bit of a “hidden negative/ panic” attitude about it. I have tried to only let my kids think that there was no other place I would rather be then at the temple grounds trying to maintain some kind of reverence while keeping them entertained, fed and happy for 5 1/2 hrs. We got up at 5:00 to make it there in time and we picked up another sister and her daughter from our ward. I was prepared for the kids to be grumpy and tired, and it never happened. I was waiting for a huge Lorenzo meltdown and it never came. I felt I could take on the few “kids with attitudes” in our ward and somehow the attitude’s disappeared. Once again I am truly humbled at how the Lord blesses us. The time went by quickly and the kids had a great time. I got to better know another sister in the ward that I would not have known otherwise and it was a wonderful day. My only goof, my kids were the only one not in Sunday best, my lame excuse... I was tired and decided to pick my battles, but next year I’ll be better.
Posted by Briana Ward at 8:29 PM
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Well first off let me start by thanking everyone for all of their kind words and support! You are all the best and we really feel blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. It has been a crazy week and for those of you whom I talked with at the beginning of it I am doing better and actually feel good about things right now. For those of you whom I have not talked with let me bring you up to speed.
Lorenzo’s Developmental pediatrician called Monday to schedule an appointment to discuss some lab results that had come back. We were able to meet with him and the geneticists and it turns out that Lorenzo has a deletion or loss of copy number in the short arm of chromosome 16. In simpler terms he is missing a small section of his number 16 chromosome. This is found in people with mental retardation as well as autism. So after over 2 years of guess work and different assumptions and guilt as to why Lorenzo is, for lack of a better word “different.” We now have some conclusive evidence as to what is causing all the mayhem. I was a bit freaked out after meeting with the doctors on Tuesday. They had told us they would not give us any info over the phone that they really needed to see both Jeremy and I in person so I was sick all Monday night. Then when we get in there it was not much better as they were really there to pass on some info and to console us. I felt like all we kept hearing was how sorry they were instead of what we need to do now. We already knew he had a problem we just need direction an how best to help him. So while it was nice that they wanted to offer their sympathies I really needed to hear were to go next.
We met with his psychiatrist later that day and passed on the lab results and he said this does make things a bit different but he was much more positive and we both walked out of there feeling better. He has a game plan and gave us some direction as to what we do next. I am so thankful to this doctor. Things have really started to happen with him and he is really concerned about Lorenzo on the whole and not just the psychiatric side of things. He has really helped us and is a great advocate for Lorenzo.
Jeremy and I had been fasting this last weekend and although I failed to see it at the time of these findings I can now see that this was a direct answer to our prayers. We now have what we need to really put pressure on the school, and we hope that things will get better on that front now.
I feel so blessed for so much right now. The testing that they were able to do is called microarray analysis and it is really new and super expensive and most insurance companies will not pay for it. I am so thankful for the navy and the 2 excellent doctors that we have been working with that have not given up trying to find out what is going on with Lorenzo. Most of all I am grateful to a Heavenly Father that always answers our prayers.
Posted by Briana Ward at 6:42 PM
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I should have waited until after the first week to post about school. I thought things had gone pretty well but it ended up being a not so good start. Lorenzo had an OK first day but the week went down hill fast after that. The teacher is not so nice or understanding and I seem to be on her bad side already. The school is refusing any services right now as they want to wait on the test results (test they refused to do so we had to go to another district for). I went in Friday to request another IEP meeting while we wait for the testing to be complete and they told me there is no need, that he is doing well. Apparently crying everyday, having to be removed from class and having major anxiety attacks at home and school is what they call well.
After being down in the school office or on the phone with someone from there everyday this week I started to get pretty discouraged by Friday. I had been calling around to some of the private schools on the Island and found one that is specifically for higher functioning kids on the autistic spectrum and we met with the director Friday morning. He was great and offered us a lot of advice. We loved the school and wish we could get Lorenzo in right now. The only problem is they do not have any openings this school year and even if they did tuition is over 25,000 a year. He told us that we needed to look into taking action against the school district and that if we won by law they would have to pay for our legal fees and his tuition. Now here is the problem, if we decide to fight the school on this and loose we are out all the money it costs to take legal action, it can be expensive and that could be money put towards helping Lorenzo. Next if we win we cannot get him in until next year and we are supposed to be leaving here next year. We have though about trying to extend here but as this is over seas we are not even supposed to be here with Lorenzo’s EFM status. I have thought about pulling him out and homeschooling him but he really needs the interaction with the other kids and he needs occupational therapy, something I cannot provide at home. Plus I think our Doctors would be very upset if we pulled him out and I need their help if we are going to fight to get the school to do more.
I wish I had a crystal ball and could know what the outcome would be and where we will be next year, but as for now we are a little lost. We have been totally relying on our Father in Heaven to somehow help us through this.
Posted by Briana Ward at 6:43 PM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I am happy to report that the Riley and Lorenzo had a great morning and seemed excited to get back to school. They had such a short summer break (only 6 weeks) but they seemed ready to be back. Lorenzo was happy and I hope it stays that way for a little while. As I was packing his backpack and getting all of his papers together last night I started to have what felt like an anxiety attack. I was reading what the expectation are for 1st grade and about homework policy and was thinking there is no way Lorenzo will be able to do this. We will be having another IEP meeting soon, and his requirements are different but it still makes me sad when I think he is not the same as all the other little boys.
He has not been very stable the last few months and they have almost tripled his meds. We are meeting today to do some med management and an EKG. I think they will be adding something else, as we cannot go up on his dose any more. His evaluations start on Thursday and I am hoping that will give us a better idea of his strengths and weaknesses so we can better know how to help him in school.
Riley is doing great, I think I sometimes take him for granted as a lot of our time and energy goes into Lorenzo. He got a hair cut yesterday and as he was sitting in the chair he looked so much like he did when he was a baby, I almost started crying at the barbers, I just cant believe he is growing up so fast.
Liam had his 3-year-old check up today and I am happy to report he is on the growth chart now!!! He is only in the 5th percentile but we will take what we can get. He is starting to talk a lot more and we are just working with the therapist now on diction and forming the words so that they are more understandable.
Jeremy and I celebrated our 10th anniversary yesterday and although we just went out for an early dinner we had a wonderful time. It was nice to have some time alone without the kids especially since when we got home it was a race to get everything ready for school and still fit in home evening.
Posted by Briana Ward at 12:12 PM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Centipedes just become part of life when you live in Hawaii, although I may not be as scared of them as I used to I still do not like them. At Church today while we were getting ready for sharing time Irene Draper our 1st counselor let out a little yell and said “centipede” We had one of our Valliant 10/11 teachers Franz Hoffman in there setting up and he came over to help take care of it. He had on closed shoes so I just though he would step on it a few times, so I was very surprised when he took out a pen and a thumb tac and started to remove its front pincers. Irene got him some scissors and he then cut the pincers off, picked it up and took it out side. He did not want to kill it. Brother Hoffman is a big man from Tahiti and is one of the kindest gentlest people I have ever met. He has really helped one of the boys in that class who was always in trouble and I would say it is nothing short of a miracle to watch the two of them and how much this boy has changed. I did not know exactly how kind and gentle he was until today, not many people would spare the centipede.
Posted by Briana Ward at 4:26 PM
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I do not know if it was because I had a couple of day’s off running or if it was just a good day but I hit a personal best running time today. I ran 7 miles in 63:45 and I even walked 1/8 of the mile at the end. Whatever it was, it felt good. I had to take a picture of it so Jeremy could see when he gets home from Kaua’i.. Today is technically Liam’s birthday but we celebrated it on Monday as Jeremy was going to be gone today. He had fun and has been calling himself “Jones” because my sister sent him an Indiana Jones hat and backpack. He is so silly, he just makes us laugh.
Posted by Briana Ward at 5:05 PM
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Jeremy took the scouts fishing on Friday and Lorenzo, Liam and I got to tag along. Lorenzo wants so much to be like all the big boys, he waited until all of the other boys had their lines cast and then it was his turn, he was so patient! He was the only one who caught a fish. It turned out to be a “nightmare weke” which we looked up and apparently really can give you nightmares, glad we threw it back!.
Posted by Briana Ward at 3:31 PM