Friday, September 30, 2011

Cold Treats!

A few weeks ago we had Michael's family over for family night...Michael's Dad brought some Coca Cola. We like Diet Coke more than regular Coke since it's so sugary. I do however, LOVE Coca Cola Slurpees! So I tried to make them at home using my Magic Bullet.



Yep...I don't mind giving my kids caffeinated stuff at all!

The very next day the kids decided they wanted another cold treat....frozen blueberries.

Love the blue lips...

and the blue hands!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yar...There Be Treasure!

Yesterday Owen was going through the game cabinet and he came across a "treasure chest"...aka a Whitman Sampler metal tin.

He decided it would be fun to fill it with treasure and hide it for Daddy.

Here it is filled up with "treasure" aka coins from our cash register, a smiling face ring and a dollar bill from Ella's play purse. The boys and I went and buried it and then I wrote up a treasure map with instructions on how to find it.

When we got home from The Y we gave Daddy the map...the boys had been going on and on about how they hid treasure for him and how I told them to not tell Daddy! Silly boys!

Here's the treasure map I made up.

Reading the instructions.

18 steps ye must descend;

turn to the right and go 'round the bend.

Stop at the post ye on the right track; turn so the post is touchin’ ye back.
Look out for the "snake" Daddy!

Now step to the side, but watch ye step; there’s a green “snake” that might make ye fret.

Now stop when ye toes touch the stone, beware there’s treasure right under ye nose.

There be the treasure!!!

Very cool buddy!

The back story to this is we have been on a TV/Computer strike this week. It wasn't something I had planned to do ahead of time, but on Monday I just thought it would be a good idea. Monday was hard! I can't even count how many times I was asked, "Mommy can I watch cartoons?" or "Mommy can I play on the computer?" Tuesday was easier and the boys didn't ask nearly as often. By Wednesday the boys barely asked! They've been using their imagination more and more each day and this is part of that.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Feel Like The Coolest Mom!

Two Saturdays ago my mom and I had a whole day was WONDERFUL! So wonderful I didn't take one picture...we were too busy having fun. Costco was one of our stops and that's where I saw a Halloween costume I wanted for Owen. I didn't end up buying...then. This last Saturday I couldn't take it anymore so I stopped in and bought. You know if you see it at Costco you better buy it right then because the next time you go it will be gone! Anyways this is a really long explanation just so you know where I got the main piece for this craft project.

This is the cardboard hanger that Owen's costume hung on. This piece made the whole project SO much easier!!!

Next I dug in the recycle container and found a popcorn box and cut out two pieces to go on either side.

Then came the paper to cover up the boxes.

Adding some colorful touches. Does it look familiar yet?

Stripes to go on the edges.

Adhering the stripes.

Ta Da!!!! Buzz Lightyear wings!!!

Since Owen got a new costume...he was Buzz last year...I wanted Jack to feel like he got something new since he's going to be Buzz this year. If you don't remember he was Woody last year.

We are still not certain how exactly we are going to attach the wings to his costume. I'm thinking some sort of elastic straps and then he'll wear it like a backpack or we'll do Velcro stripes. Thankfully Halloween is still over a month I'm ahead of the game!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Before Ella's surgery there were really only two things that I was seriously concerned about with her development - stability with walking and vocabulary. Ella would fall over all the time....she was quite a clumsy kid and she really would only say about 4 or 5 words.

Since Ella's surgery we have noticed SO many new things she's doing that she NEVER did before. I'm talking about almost immediately. In fact in the hospital Ella started to eat with a fork...she would never do this before. She would hold the fork in one hand and then eat with her other hand. She still does choose to eat with her hands some times when she's really hungry and just wants to shovel the food in, but to see her do that willingly on her own is nice. Also in the hospital when we were watching The Today Show a dog came on the TV and Ella got really excited. I told her it was a doggie and then did the ruff ruff sounds. She immediately imitated the sound....another thing she had never done before. Now she knows the sounds for a dog and a pig.

We've also seen a significant improvement in her stability...she's a solid rock now! Amazing to say the least. In regards to her vocabulary she is really trying to say more and more words each day and it's so fun to hear her sweet voice. Oh and I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the surgery, but it started after...she now does this little Ha HA laugh that she never did's super cute because the last HA is really high pitched.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Unwrapping....Step By Step

Time to take your bandage off!

Show me your muscles first!

Forehead tape removed.

Sock helmet removed....not happy because she had to sit down!

Tape all over the gauze removed.


Daddy unwrapped the gauze.

That little blood spot freaked me out on Wednesday. It wasn't there when we left the hospital, but right after we got home I noticed it. After making a call to the doctor's office they told us not to worry about it unless it kept on bleeding.

All the wrapping gauze removed.

Big incision! Bigger than I thought it would be. Poor baby girl! Thankfully hair grows back!

That is some bad hat hair little lady! Time for a bath!

All clean!

In 4 - 6 weeks those stitches will dissolve on their will be interesting to see how long it takes for her hair to grow back in that area. We did notice that once her hair dried unless you knew what to look for you probably wouldn't even notice it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall, Fall...Where Art Thou Oh Fall!

I know I'm probably going to get a tongue lashing for this, but I'm kind of done with summer! I know we didn't have the greatest summer and it started pretty late, but I'm over it! It is September 23rd and I'm ready for colder weather. I'm not a native Washingtonian....we moved here from Wyoming when I was 5 years old, but really since I've lived here most of my life I feel like I am. I am one of those people that enjoys every season and the changing of the seasons. Once winter is over I'm ready for spring and once spring is over I'm ready for summer and so on. Right now my body is CRAVING fall! The crisp morning air, the chill in the air and the blue skies that for some reason always seem more blue to me in the fall than any other time of year. I'm ready for the leaves to change, I'm ready to wear long sleeve shirts, I'm ready for drinking nice warm tea, I'm ready for pumpkin patch visits and tractor rides, I'm ready for fall decorations and Halloween candy. I LOVE fall...summer you can hit the road!! Now don't get me wrong I do love the sun even in the fall just not the heat I want a chill in the air. One thing I do not like at all though is rain, but you have to take the good with the bad sometimes.


I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on the blog before, but we joined The Y back in August. It was something that my therapist mentioned could be fun for us as a family. I went online and got a 3 free day pass and we went to check it out. While we were there we found out that they have financial assistance so everyone can come and money won't be an issues. We ended up saving 50% off the regular monthly rate!!!

My new workout outfit courtesy of my Mom!

One of the things I've really wanted to do for a long time now is Zumba. I'm not a super coordinated person, but I do love to dance...not that I really know how to dance per se, but I love to get up and shake it I guess. Dancing it always my favorite part of weddings! Anyways I've been going twice a week and I love it! It's a lot of fun and there are tons of people there. Some people are really good and you can tell they've been doing it for awhile and then there are newcomers too. It doesn't really matter though because no one is watching you they are too busy watching the instructor and trying to get the moves right. I have been loving getting my heart rate up and I'm glad it gives me some stress relief. I can't say I feel like I've lost weight...I don't really feel like I need to anyways, but my goal is to get myself a little more toned.

As for Michael he's been enjoying working out on the machines. The Y we go to is pretty new and the kids area is really nice. Owen loves it, but Jack and Ella cry every time I drop them off. I'm hoping that soon they will get used to it. We have taken the kids swimming once during open swim time and they had a blast. We are hoping to put them in swim lessons this winter.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

She's A Mess!!!

Here's the little princess this morning! She went to bed last night around 7:45 and slept all the way until 8am. I was really kicking myself for not waking her up and giving her her meds in the middle of the night though. She was in SO much pain this morning that she was shaking and inconsolable when I was just changing her diaper. After I gave her her meds we snuggled and she fell asleep on my chest for about an hour and then was her happy self.

This picture is from the hospital, but I liked how it showed the incision on her belly. If you're wondering why they cut into her stomach it was so they could thread the catheter from her skull to her abdominal cavity. In this picture you can see the steri stripes that are holding it together from the outside....there are stitches on the inside though.

I mention the steri stripes because later on in the day she was laying in my bed when I noticed her messing with her belly. Then I said, "Ella don't itch your belly!" then she hurried up and picked something up and put it on her belly....yep the steri stripes....she had just ripped them off! Seriously girl!

So off to the doctor we went! We were the last appt of the day and of course they were running late. Her appt was at 5:20 and we didn't leave until 6:20! All for a couple steri stripes to be reapplied! Ugh! She's so worth it though! I must say she was not having it! She hated every moment that we were there. In fact the only way I could keep her calm was to snuggle her, pace and sing! I think I probably did that for at least 15 minutes straight.

Here's a closer picture of her incision. It's bigger than I thought would be, but hopefully with some Maderma scar cream it won't be that bad. She's now down for the night, but I will definitely be getting her up once in the night to give her some meds. Hopefully tomorrow she'll start eating better!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ella's Ordeal!

Morning of the surgery and she's all smiles!

Since she couldn't eat we didn't even take her downstairs until it was time to go in the car. She even helped me pick out her clothes. She also had to take care of a few more things before it was time to go.

Blow your nose!

Brush your teeth!

Dance with Mickey!

We had to check in at the hospital at 10am since surgery was at noon.

They took us right back to her Pre-Op room where I got her changed into her cute hospital outfit.

They had these cool games all over the place so she kept herself busy with that. Doesn't she look like Yoda in her gown?

Happy Girl!

Getting nervous! Once we got into the room and our nurse was going over what was going to happen another nurse came in and said that they were ready for us early! It really sped things up. My worse fear came true in that I found out I wasn't going to get to be with her when she went to sleep, but the nurse did give her happy juice so she was very relaxed!

After happy juice!

This was the nurse that came and took her back to the OR. She would have NEVER gone to a perfect stranger without screaming, but the happy juice did it's job and she didn't fight one bit! I almost started crying when we walked away from her, but I stopped myself and just trust that she was in good hands.

She went into surgery right around 11 - 11:15. Since we didn't really eat breakfast because we didn't want to be rude around Ella we went down to the cafeteria to have an early lunch. After that it was up to the waiting room. The surgery was supposed to take 2 hours, but after an hour and a half they were calling us down to recovery.

Poor baby girl was not happy coming out of the anesthesia. She really wanted to ripe her IV out so I had to wrap her arm in her blanket. Finally the head nurse came over and wrapped her hand in a newborn diaper so it looked like she was wearing a boxing glove.

That is not blood on the back of her head wrap it's just the antiseptic they washed her head in.   

Once we got into our overnight room she spent a long time on my chest.

She wasn't really resting well though...she kept waking up every 15 minutes or so and freaking out and then she'd go back to sleep. After a while I tried laying her in the bed to see if she would actually relax and go to sleep for a longer period of time.

Here was her crib set up. Those rails go almost all the way up and then if your kid is a climber they have rails they have clear window things that come down.

This was Ella's nemesis during her hospital stay. She pointed to it and said, "Ahhh" aka "Off" more times than I can count. Every time I would say, "Not time" and she would get so mad she would scowl at me and try to hit me.

Finally falling asleep in her crib. See the sippy cup? That became her other best friend...if I tried to take it away she freaked out. She slept with it clutched in her hand almost the whole stay.

My parents kept the boys overnight for us on Monday night so Ella didn't have to be around other kids eating in the morning prior to surgery. My Dad took Tuesday off so he could watch the boys and Michael could be with me at the hospital. After my Mom got off work they came up with the boys. Owen loves being in hospitals...seriously! He loves everything...drinking juice out of those little cups, sitting on the window ledge, going in the elevator, sitting in the bed...etc!

When Owen got in the bed with Ella he immediately decided to give her a raspberry on her tummy and she gave us the biggest was her first smile after the surgery!

Jack felt asleep in the car on the way to the hospital so he wasn't really in a good mood during the visit.

Pa checking out his Princess!

Eventually it was time for the boys to go home with Daddy. As you can see Jack was none too happy about that!

Ella all settled in for the night! She had a good night considering. Of course she was getting pain meds and they had to come in and check her vitals, but over the course of the night we both got a least 6 hours of sleep total....Ella probably got a little more than that.

The second day is always the worst! Ella decided that after 4am she wasn't going to eat or drink anything. They had unhooked her IV, but had to hook it back up since she wasn't getting anything by mouth. Then she pulled her bandage off her belly and it had to be redressed. She did NOT like it when the nurse came in and did anything with her. I almost thought they were going to keep us another night, but then she finally started eating and drinking again. In order for us to go home she also had to get off the IV meds and onto oral instead. She really dislikes oral meds so we have to pretty much hog tie her.

After she started eating it was like her old self came back. She started acting really silly and playing with me.

"Mama I'll feed you!"

Then she really started moving. I had to put the crib rails all the way up!

She decided it was time to get out of that silly crib and play around for a bit. Since she really made a 180 turn they felt comfortable sending her home. We ended up getting discharged around 3:30pm.

Of course she fell asleep right around 3pm and was in such a good deep sleep. I hated to wake her, but it was time to go.

Walking out of the hospital! Her bandage on her head has to stay on until Friday. Then we have to rub Neosporin on her stitches for 2 weeks and they will dissolve on there own in about 4 - 6 weeks. Thankfully they didn't cut much of her hair and what they did cut they gave to us to keep.

Following Daddy and the Bubbas!

So happy to be bringing my baby girl home! During the surgery I was really at peace and just knew that everything would go well. I'm so thankfully for all the prayers that were said for our baby. In a way I really do feel like she's every one's baby. Ella Grace brings such joy to every one's life. You can't help, but fall in love with her and her personality. We are truly blessed to be her parents!