Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Free Gift!

Well sort of...it was free to make! 

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be fun for Michael. Plus we weren't spending that much on each other so I had to get creative! 

I use my My Memories Scrapbook program that I have to make the whole thing. Then I transferred it to a junk drive and took it to the library and printed it out for free. I love the library!

I like things to rhyme so I made up rhymes for each month and incorporated the date we are going to go on. I don't know about you, but I can always think of a ton of things to do with my hubby and then when we actually get to have a date it's like my brain goes blank. It's going to be nice to have them planned out! 

I used this font that I downloaded a while back, it's called Love Ya Like A Sister. It's my new favorite font! 

It was actually easier than I thought it would be to figure out what to do for 12 dates. What I did was write out a bunch of ideas and then I just matched them up with the month I thought would work the best for that date.

Can't wait to go away for our anniversary...now I just have to make sure that my Mom can watch the kids! :)

What are some of your places to go on dates? It's always fun to get new ideas! 

I have already paid for our date in January to Scotch & Vine....gotta love Groupon! 

So there you have it a free gift...sort of! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Like Daddy!

When Michael was sick last week he spent a bunch of time up in bed. Zeke man wanted to snuggle with him. When I came in the room this is what I saw. Cute baby had his leg up and was lounging just like Daddy. I told Michael that all he needed to do was stick his finger in his mouth!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow Day!

I knew that it might snow on Friday morning, but when I went to bed on Thursday and it wasn't even snowing I didn't think to much about it. Then when my alarm went off at 6am I noticed that it seemed brighter in our room than normal. I thought that was kind of odd since we were one day away from the shortest day of the year. So I got out of bed to check it out.....snow!!! Saweeet! 

After getting all ready I got the kids up like normal and told them to put jammie pants on and then swishy pants. The boys asked why and I told them to trust me! We all came downstairs at the same time and then I opened the door. Owen was looking at me like.....what, are you kicking us out? Look harder......IT SNOWED!!!!   

I got coats on and the kids jumped right in throwing snowballs and making snow angels. And if you want to know how I've made a couple of my pictures on my blog moved....beats me! I have no idea! It's cool though! 

Jack's beautiful snow angel! 

Love Owen's smile, but take a look at Zeke. He was thinking I had gone crazy. Why in the heck would my mom put me down in this stuff! 

We tried seeing if he would be okay out of the grass just walking on the path, but he didn't like that either! 

Owen's snow angel! 

Cute princess right before we left for the hospital! 

                       In Owen's words....IT'S THE BEST DAY EVER!!!

After I left my mom said the boys played outside for over an hour! I'm so glad they got to enjoy it and that school was canceled for the whole day. Why not start Christmas vacation early! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ella's MRI!

On Friday morning we got up at our normal time ready to enjoy the snow for a little bit...the school was 2 hours late....I'll post about that later! Anyways Ga-Ga & Pa were coming up to make sure the boys got on the bus and to watch Zeke while Ella and I were at the hospital. However with the snow and the fact that Tacoma has a couple nice hills I asked Pa if he would mind driving Ella and I to her appointment. Of course he was more than willing. Thankfully the roads were great! 

They got us right back into the sedation prep area where they put 4 bandages on Ella's arms to numb her skin. 

Then I got Ella into her hospital gown and the nurse checked her vitals.  

While they waited for the numbing medicine to do its thing Ella got to play with the kitchen. 

Right before they did her IV they had to sit in my lap and get wrapped up with warm packs on each of the 4 spots they put the numbing meds. Then she was wrapped in a nice warm blanket while she got to watch Tinkerbell. 

When it was time for her to get her IV I sat on the bed with her between my legs. They checked her arms and decided that the top of her left hand was the best spot for the IV. She did wonderfully....never cried, never tried to pull away, never got scared. She even wanted to look at it! I think part of that is I don't lie to my kids! Whenever they are going to the doctor I'm very upfront with them about what's going to happen. On Thursday night we told Ella exactly what the nurse was going to do so she wasn't surprised at all. She's a trooper! 

A little while after that Dr. Harry came in and gave her the sedation meds and she literally fell asleep in his arms. Then he carried her into the MRI room. 15 -20 minutes later they brought her out. 

Such a beautiful sleeping girl! 

They wanted her to sleep for a bit since it's nicer than waking them right up from sedation. I think she got to sleep longer than the procedure was!

Before the procedure they gave Ella this penguin to hold onto...I wasn't sure if it was hers to keep, but then I saw the nurse giving another one exactly like it to another child. That's when I asked if she got to keep it. I told Ella and she was so excited!!! She also got to enjoy some juice and some teddy grahams! 

According to Dr. Harry she has no signs of Hydrocephalus!!! Her shunt is working perfectly then. Dr. Harry wasn't sure how the neurologist was going to be able to tell the cause of Ella's Hydrocephalus, but to know that it's working and not have to wonder is a Christmas gift you can't put a price on!!! 

Once Ella was all finished with her yummies I got her dressed and then we headed out. Pa used the complimentary (I love Mary Bridge) valet parking and Ella is just like her Daddy so she never wants to wear a coat....needless to say we waited inside until the car showed up! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Big Things For A Big Girl!

I realized recently that there have been a lot of things going on with Ella and I haven't blogged about them at all...so here goes! 

About 2 months ago I took Ella to her pediatrician since I was concerned about her speech. She's going to be 4 in February and I just didn't feel like her language skills were up to par with other kids her age or for that matter kids that are younger than she is. I had tried to get her in speech therapy right before Zeke was born in May 2012. I took her to Birth to 3 and they did an evaluation of her speech and her cognitive skills. At this time Ella was 27 months old and she wasn't even putting 2 words together. For example she would say, "Milk" and "Please", but she wouldn't say, "Milk Please". Even though her speech wasn't up to par her cognitive skills were so high that it ended up bringing her score up so she didn't qualify for speech therapy. I figured that I was just being paranoid and that she would just catch on eventually. In fact after therapy she did start putting more and more words together. Her pronunciation still wasn't very good, but I figured that would get better with time. 

Fast forward to October of this year and Ella's pediatrician recommended that we get the ball rolling. First she wanted Ella to go in for a follow-up with her Neurosurgeon. Let's start off by saying I don't like surgeons, they are impersonal and ridiculous in regards to how much time they actually spend with you. So Ella saw Dr. Morris for all of 5 minutes. Mainly the appointment was so Ella could get referred to a Neurologist. Since the whole circumstances surrounding Ella's Hydrocephalus diagnosis wasn't normal she had never seen a Neurologist. 

Second Ella went to see her new Neurologist at Mary Bridge. Let me tell you the difference between Neurologists and Neurosurgeons is night and day! Everyone was wonderful!!! They spent so much time with us and they even asked Ella if she had any questions. It's was so awesome. I can't tell you how relieved I felt to actually get some questions answered and have someone truly care about Ella's situation. He even checked for swelling behind her eyes....a sure sign that her value isn't working...there was absolutely no swelling! Hydrocephalus is such an odd condition because there really isn't an easy way to tell if it's under control. It's not like I can check her blood to see if her levels are okay. The signs for issues actually mimic the flu so as you can imagine every time Ella gets sick I'm always wondering...is it her value?? Anyway while there the Neurologist decided that it would be a good idea for Ella to have an MRI. She's only ever had CT Scans so he wants to try to get to the bottom of why Ella has Hydrocephalus. She is scheduled to have her MRI this Friday at Mary Bridge. 

Third Ella's pediatrician wanted her to have her hearing checked. If there are issues with a kids speech that can be one of the reason why. Off to Mary Bridge Audiology we went. Ella did great and we now know that her hearing is perfect. 

Fourth I contacted Children's Therapy Center...the same place Jack went for his Occupational Therapy...and I set up an appointment with a speech therapist. So far Ella has had two evaluations and Ms. Kate thinks that Ella will really benefit from speech therapy. She said that Ella has some typical issues that kids have, but usually grow out of by her age and she has some atypical issues that need to be dealt with. Ella will have her first official speech therapy session on January 2nd. 

Another thing that has developed from all this is that Ella might be eligible for early education through the ECEAP program at school. We are still in the process of getting the paperwork done and then she has to meet with someone from the school district to start an IEP. We have already visited the preschool room at the boys school and Ella just jumped right in. She loved it! Even if she doesn't qualify for the ECEAP program Michael and I have already decided that next September we will enroll her in some form of preschool to give her a head start. 

So there it....as you can see Ella's been a busy girl! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

He's Always In The Middle!

These aren't very good pictures since they are action shots with my phone, but they are too cute to not share! 

Owen and Jack are seriously into wrestling right now. Owen will strip down to his undies and then do this hilarious pose and say, "Wanna wrestle!" It's priceless! I did not however get a picture of that pose....I don't want him to hate me when he's older! 

The funny thing about the big boys wrestling is that Zeke's isn't afraid at all. He just jumps right now! 

I swear he's like one of those little rat dogs that think they are the size of a German Shepherd and can take you down. He's like I'm mean...I'm tough! Oh yeah! 

I have no idea if that's a leg or his back, but he's in there somewhere! 

Right in the middle of all the fun! After all even though he's the baby of the family doesn't mean he should be left out of all the action! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Tradition!

Almost every year we decorate our tree 
differently. This year I got this cute silver garland at MOPS for free. That got us thinking a silver and red tree would look nice. I got the red and silver balls at the dollar tree. The best part is they are plastic...yay for no broken ornaments! I found the snowflakes at Fred Meyer's. Went I picked up the package glitter went every where. 
In order to minimize the glitter around the house I sprayed 
them with a clear coat of polyurethane. 

As for our Christmas tradition Jack is always the one who gets to put the star on the tree. Since he's the second born and Ella is the only girl he really is our middle child. I love that he has this special privilege every year. I even told Michael that he's going to have to come over after he moves out to put it on too! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Forward Facing!

The day I took Zeke in for his 18 month checkup I turned him forward facing.  I was planning on turning him earlier but then he broke his collar bone and I didn't want him to have to support the weight.  He's collar bone is fine now. At his checkup we found out he's a whopping 22lbs! 

Just for my records here are the words Zeke is saying right now...

Mama, dada, Ella, wawa (water), uh-huh, mah (more), yum-yum, bapple (apple), babee (baby), ah oh & dadon (all done).

He knows the signs for... more, please, milk, all done, help & thank you. 

He can also make the noises for a dog, cat, car, bear & horse.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

When Did He Get So Big!

On Friday we were pretty lazy since Ella had a tummy bug. It was definitely a pajamas kind of day.

I was just sitting there while Zeke was eating his lunch and it occurred to me how nog he's gotten.

My cute big 18 month old! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thankful Leaves!

This year I wanted to do something fun with the kids in regards to being thankful. I found this fun template for leaves and printed it out on fall colored paper. On the first of November I asked each of the kids what they were thankful for, wrote it on the leaf and then they got to stick it on the front window. We didn't do it every morning so then on the mornings we did I'd have the kids tell me multiply things they were thankful for. I never let them duplicate their responses so it really got them thinking. 

I loved the way our front window looked! 

It was fun hearing some of their responses....Owen was thankful for "the fair", "Disneyland" and "Ms. McConnell". 

I was sick (still am) most of November so I was thankful for "Health", "Doctors" and "Medicine". 

When we started decorating for Christmas I took the leaves off the window and let the kids stick them to the Christmas tree box. 

Jack was thankful for "Up & Ninjago Movies", "Star Wars Movies" and his "No-No"!

I love Jack's heart he was also thankful for his friends, "Andrew & Josiah", "Ms. Angie & John" and "Brayden & Kyan"! 

Ella kept sticking hers and mine all in one place. Ella was thankful for "Ga-Ga & Pa", "Mommy & Daddy" and the "Sandbox"! 

The kids really enjoyed the thankful leaves...in fact they reminded me to do them more often then me reminding them! I think we might have started a new tradition! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013


When I was taking pictures of the boys with their glasses I was bending over so I'd be at their level. Then Zeke thought he needed his picture taken and he of course was sure that he should bend over too!  


Snarly Face! 

Maybe I need to get lower! 

Maybe I need to really snarl! 

Then Sissy decided she needed to join in on the cheesing action! They crack me up!