At 26 gestational weeks, after an amniocentesis and genetic testing, he was diagnosed with Diastrophic Dysplasia, a rare type of dwarfism.

Now 8 years old, our son Kai is happy, healthy, and enjoying life.

The purpose of this blog is to lend support and encouragement to others in similar situations and to share the tremendous experiences we've had and will continue to have as we raise our little, little boy.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

This year my greatest accomplishment was creating a human being.  Here I am, still in the creation stage.  36.5 weeks with baby #4.  

Then, at 11 PM on Saturday, November 10, my water broke.  
NINE LONG HOURS LATER, this little man was placed in my arms:
Grey Carlos Rivas
November 11, 2011
9:38 AM
6 lbs 11 oz
20 inches
blue eyes, dark hair

He was a sweet, tiny little thing.

First my sister came.  I didn't take any pictures because I don't like her very much.
Just kidding.
Carrie, why didn't we take more pictures???  People, I love my sister Carrie.  She and I have so much fun together.  I'm sad that we only got to keep her for a week.  

She left and John's mom, Elizabeth came.  I am a truly blessed lady because I have a fabulous mother-in-law.  She is funny and sweet and a joy to be around.  Both my boys just love their 'Mama Ani'!!

After Mama Ani left, my mom came. It was sooo nice to have her come visit.  A girl needs her mom.  I wish she would move next door.  Truly, I do.

 Just in case you missed the look my little Hailey Kate is giving the camera, here it is close up:
She was so over having her picture taken.  I love that girl!

My mom and me

Baby Grey, one month old

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Wish...

...I would've taken a picture of Kai's face yesterday when, in a store, a lady came up to us and started talking to him in baby talk--EVEN AFTER I told her he was three years old.  His face was a perfect mix of disgust and incredulity.  It was priceless.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Daily Dose of Kai

Sometimes I blog more for myself than for anyone else.  I've forgotten a lot of the cute things my girls did because I didn't write it down or take a picture.  Thanks to advancements in technology (oh, how I love my smartphone!), most of Kai's cuteness is photographed and recorded.  

This, for example (did I already post this one?  I think I did.  But it's just so dang cute!):
The cutest little pouter on the planet.

And of course, Target's "ABC trashcan".  He can't read, but The Boy recognizes letters when he sees them!

 New t-shirt.  He's graduating from little brother to big brother and he's so proud!

 Kai also loves my phone.  He loves to take pictures and videos and then watch them.  He wanted to take a picture of the baby.  So here you are, people of the internet.  My 17-week GUT.

 Forget the carts with the steering wheels.  Kai nearly always insists on getting the "baby" carts.  I know, I know--he's not buckled.  But he's happy and adorable and I'm standing righttherenexttohimalways.

This was in Kai's fortune cookie at dinner the other night.  Strange?  Ironic?  Coincidental?  Truly fortuitous? Kai has lots of medical opportunities in his near and distant future.  I wonder which one will be "interesting."

P.S.  Potty training is going great!  He reminds me now when he need to use the bathroom.  Our biggest impediment now is (oddly enough) ME!  Lifting Kai onto and off of his little Lightning McQueen toilet is taking a toll on my back and tailbone, which are always weak and achy starting at about 20 gestational weeks (this is thanks to a 20-year old tailbone injury).  

Ryan's Room in Kai's Room

These tiny wooden people and their household have been packed in a box for the past five years while we moved around the countryside. They now live in Kai's room, on his bottom two closet shelves (until I find them a new house).  I love these dolls because they are durable and unisex*.  

It's interesting to watch how Kai plays with these dolls and furniture as opposed to me or the girls.  My girls and I would be all about setting up the rooms and posing the dolls.  Kai couldn't care less that the bed is in the kitchen and the toilet is in the living room.  And to him, the home is not complete without a few matchbox cars scattered here and there.  

*Even if they were girly, I'd love for Kai to play "house" with them.  Some of you may not agree with boys playing with "girl" toys.  That's OK.  There's a fabulous children's book by Charlotte Zolotow entitled, "William's Doll".   For every parent with a son, it's worth a read--and then a good, long think. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It's Working! My Blog is Working Again!!

Blogger did some "updating" a few months ago which rendered my blog completely useless to me.  I couldn't post ANYTHING.  I was thisclose to giving up on this blog and starting over somewhere else...I'm so glad I don't have to now!

FIRST thing's first: Baby is doing great. This week is 16 weeks for me.  I'm mostly over being sick.  I'm just in that awkward is-she-getting-fat-or-is-she-pregnant stage.  We've already had an ultrasound and Baby's long bones are measuring on track with his gestational age with no indication of dwarfism (more later on how I feel about that).  We'll have another ultrasound on July 5th to re-measure.

NEXT, all kinds of Kai cuteness from the past few months:
Art.  This boy loves working on "projects".  This is probably because his sisters and I also love working on "projects."  

Mis-match day.  One of those days when nothing is clean except stuff that doesn't even remotely match.  But here in Oregon that's cool.  

What started out as "helping" me with the dishes turned into an impromptu Kai-only hot tub party.  

Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones but a few weeks ago I became obsessed with emergency preparedness.  I made 72-hour kits, bought a 55-gallon drum to store water, started hoarding small bills and change, and created a folder with all our important documents, including ID pages for all of us.  Kai wanted to make sure I got a shot of him with his precious bike.

What a ham.

I included a full body shot in his ID kit (the girls' pages only have headshots) and all his medical information.  Look how big he's getting!  By the way, this is his favorite outfit he's wearing: "truck shirt and bball shorts".  And yes, he says "bball", not "basketball".  They're his favorite because his dad wears bball shorts, too.

Rare snow.  This was waaay back in, like, February.

Throwing snowballs at the girls.

His round little footprints are my favorite!


Monday, April 30, 2012

Rhubarb Crisp

From the Recipe Book Everyday Food

"Rhubarb is a vegetable, although it is typically used in jams and desserts; its tart flavor makes it the perfect companion for fresh strawberries, or in this case, strawberry ice cream."

Serves: 12 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 35 minutes

2 lbs fresh rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter; chilled, cut into pieces
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Strawberry ice cream, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Slice the rhubarb stalks on the diagonal into uniform 3/4 inch-thick pieces.  Place in a 9x13 inch baking dish; toss with 1 cup of the sugar and 1/4 cup of the flour.

2. In a food processor, pulse the remaining 1/2 cup flour with the butter until the clumps are pea-sized.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the rolled oats, and cinnamon; pulse just to combine.  Sprinkle over the rhubarb.

3. Bake until the rhubarb is tender and the topping is golden, 35 minutes.  Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bullying and Special Needs

A 10-year old autistic boy was bullied at his school--by his teacher and teacher aids!  Following is a link to the video the boy's dad made regarding the bullying and the "action" the school took.  It's long (nearly 20 minutes) but it's worth it.  

Watch Here

For the first half of the video I was in shock.  By the second half I was in tears.  What are your thoughts?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

March-April iUpdates

We moved (again)!  This time just around the corner, from an apartment to a house.  We're settling in great!  Kai loves  having all his toys out of storage, especially his Buzz Lightyear Four Wheeler.  My sister and her family came for Easter (come again soon, Carrie!), during which time I found out I am pregnant!  John and I are over-the-moon excited for this new little baby.  We're due December 7-ish.  

I'm still trying to talk Kai into potty training.  He knows he'll get a treat if he pees in his toilet and today he asked me if that treat could be bacon.  I am desperate so I said sure.

The other day I bought Kai a gumball.  He said, "Thanks, Mom!  I love gobble-bom!"  

He's also into using the word "English" as an adjective, as in, "That's sooo English." From what I've gleaned about the context, English seems to be the equivalent of "uncool" or "not good."  I have no idea where he comes up with this stuff but it's pretty hilarious to hear.  

Other phrases he uses often are "Well, actually..." and "The truth is...." and "You're the man, Mom."

Pictures coming soon, I promise!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The World Forestry Center

A few weeks ago we went to the World Forestry Center in Portland (it's the often-overlooked building across from the zoo).  We've passed by it at least a dozen times but have never gone in.  For one thing, it doesn't sound very exciting.  'Forestry Center'?  Really?  But then, thanks to Metro-Parent I found out that on the first Wednesday of every month, admission is only $3 and hey, for $3 you just can't go wrong.  So I told the girls we were going on a grand adventure and off we went.  

I was pleasantly surprised; not only was it a lot of fun (and very educational) but it was completely empty.  We had the place pretty much to ourselves and it was wonderful!  There was a bat exhibit where the girls did foil rubbings of different bats, an outside pond area that all three kids enjoyed even though it was cold outside), beautiful wood carvings and art pieces for ME to ooh-and-ah over and, best of all, a whitewater rafting simulation.   
First you put on a life jacket.  Then you get in the boat.  Then a video of rapids plays in front of you and on the screen behind you while the boat rocks a little.  Then it takes your picture.  Obviously we are an inexperienced rafting crew.  

The next cheap day is March 7th.  We already have some new good poses in mind.  Want to join us?

Friday, January 27, 2012

What the...

I came into the living room this morning and this is what I found:

I guess this is the best way to watch Pingu?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Portland Children's Museum

This picture is from a while ago.  Kai has a "thing" for hats and sunglasses.  It's cute to find him trying on his dad's hats.  He and I have "hat days" when we both wear our hats.  We're cool like that.

This morning the sun peaked out from behind the clouds for a few minutes and when it did, I dropped what I was doing and announced we were GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE.

The A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village is one of our favorite places to go in Salem, but since we're closer to Portland now we decided to visit the Portland Children's Museum instead.

First stop: Water

 The not-so-popular plastic smock-dress.

 All three of them could've played there for HOURS but eventually we moved on.

The Digging Pit was Kai's favorite.  What you're looking at are chunks of...something.  Knowing (and loving) Portland the way I do, it's probably recycled tires or shoe soles or plastic milk jugs or something.  It was soft and surprisingly springy to walk on.  

 What these pictures don't show are the 50 other kids all around us, stealing shovels, yelling, digging, flinging the whatever-it-is all over the place.  It was very loud and chaotic and there was Kai, in the middle of it all, digging and flinging with the rest of them.

The Pet Hospital
 Kai could not have been more disinterested in the pet hospital but his sisters loved it!  Above is Hailey (5 yrs old), caring for a sick kitty.

 Aaaand back to the water.  I tell ya, this kid loooves water.

Art is often overlooked at places like this.  It's so frenzied and loud and busy.  I passed this mosaic at least three times before I actually saw it.
 It's so beautiful and detailed up close.  

Kai's steering, Hailey's lowering the flag and Ashleigh's watching for enemies.

Can't. Leave. The. Water.

"Noooo! No home!"

We did way more cool stuff than I could photograph.  Overall it was fun but it was so busy and Kai was pretty intimidated by all the hustle and bustle.  And who can blame him?  Next time we go, we'll do it on a weekday when fewer people are there.  

And on the way home, all four of my loves fell asleep.

Adventure: Successful.