Sunday, November 30, 2014

Jeffs Birthday Party- Disney on Ice

November 22 was Jeff's birthday.  And to celebrate we sent the kids off with their new suitcases for their first parent-less slumber party to aunt Molly's.  They were so excited!
 But first... we took him on a trip to our first Disney on Ice.
 It was the Worlds of Fantasy, so there were so many characters.  Mickey & Minnie & the crew,  CARS characters, Ariel the Little Mermaid, Tinkerbell & all her fairy friends & the Toy Story Crew.
 We didn't tell them where we were going, or what it was.  Livi said "I just wish I knew why there was ice down there?"
 Of all the overpriced, would be broken in 24 hours toys & trinkets & cost $12 because they come with a dumb hat bags of cotton candy... we 'splurged' & kept them somewhat satisfied with a $3 bag of popcorn each.  
 {Dumb hats from cotton candy seen below}  And it starts!!!
CARS
The Little Mermaid
 The fairies even flew through the air!
 Toy Story was my favorite one.
 Some clapping :)
The finale!

Happy Thanksgiving

 We spent Thanksgiving this year with Jeff's parents & family.  Then headed home to start preparations to host our 1st Thanksgiving.  With my grandma battling cancer this year, a big family get-together at her house as usual wasn't do-able.  So we invited them & my immediate family over instead.  Unfortunately, grandma got sick & wasn't able to make it.  Some special prayers for her would be much appreciated.

Jeff working on our 1st turkey.  
 Kids table :)
 My mom, brothers & sister.  We clean up alright.
 Our turkey tasted like turkey & our potatoes like potatoes.  My grandparents were missed, but it was a good get together despite.  And a reminder to be thankful for each moment you get.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Appointment Wednesday

We had dentist appointments & an eye appointment for Olivia all packed into one day this week.  They did SOOO well at all this that it wasn't even hard :)

First eyes.  Grandma GG met us there so the boys had someone to hang out with & I could focus on Olivia.  Long story short, I am making her 2 follow-up appointments.  Her eyes turn pretty frequently.  Outward & sometimes they aren't balanced vertically.  I've done some research on vision therapy & changed our insurance plan starting in January... because I saw an expensive year coming for her (donations accepted!).  While you can scour google & find so much great info on the benefit of vision therapy on strabismus, our eye doctor feels like her situation is severe enough that she needs a surgical consult.  She said, "I wouldn't peg her as a slam-dunk vision therapy case."  But, I'm going to take her anyways.   It takes long enough to get into Dr. Troia (surgical consult) that I think we can see someone with vision therapy & get their opinion prior to getting in for the surgical consult.  Plus... I also want to ask them IF she needs surgery, if there is or how strong of a benefit there is to doing therapy post-op.  I've literally spent weeks worth of hours researching all of this therapy, insurance coverage, etc. lately!

Good news is, it's still both eyes that turn, so she still maintains strong/equal vision in both eyes.  I can't ever emphasize enough how awesome that is.  She also scored well on a depth perception part of the exam, which at her exam 6 months ago she wasn't mentally old enough to answer what we were asking of her.  Which is also awesome & something we were told doing surgery early (back when we did it 3 years ago) would help to preserve.

All stuff we need to get a hold on before Kindergarten, because the worry is that she will be unable to look up at the board, try to look back at her paper, and keep a focus... and struggle in school.  The boys will go for eye exams in spring/summer before Kindergarten.

Its incredible how well she does there.  I wouldn't have to even go along.  Honestly.  She crawls up in the chair.  Puts her chin on the thing, pushes her little forehead up tight, answers questions, lets them do whatever, answers, knows all her letters, etc.  She just seems so much older than she is in those moments.

So think of her in the months ahead... I fear a repeat eye surgery is in her not too distant future.  Last time once we decided to do the surgery, it was scheduled pretty quick!  I know the big push will be to have it done & have time for her to adjust before school starts.

{Updated to add a random picture of Livi's eyes that I got this past week . Look at where the light reflects in each eye, that's how off they are.}



Next, we had a quick brunch.... {yummy!!}


Then headed to check out our smiles at the dentist.

It went so beautifully.  Hayden willingly crawled up on the chair, willingly laid down, willingly opened his mouth, willingly let them brush, floss, check & even scrape a little bit of missed tarter off.  He is usually the only battle at the dentist... historically we have had to bribe him, hold him down, do all but sit on him & pry his jaw open.  His actions pretty much define how this appointment goes, so you can see it went well!

No cavities.  Still watching Logan's underbite issue.  (Again accepting donations!)  Still going with the thought that he'll be seeing an orthodontist & probably wearing head gear at night by age 7.  That pretty much sums it up.

Except for... he says he wouldn't be surprised if the boys were loosing teeth within the next 6 months!!  Several weeks back, Logan in a fit about who only knows what, bit down on his toothbrush resulting in blood & a loose tooth.  Hayden has twice previously bumped his upper teeth & they also bled & wiggled for a while, but eventually tightened back up.  Logan's hasn't tightened back up.  And they said its because his mouth is changing in preparation to loose teeth (so he didn't have enough of some enzyme or had too much of some enzyme or something like that) so that tooth just stayed loose.  Just part of a natural progression, the toothbrush biting episode just slightly sped it up.  His other bottom one as well as Hayden's front bottom teeth I guess are "getting loose" per the dentist.  He said it about Hayden's before he ever examined Logan or had any idea about Logan's wiggly tooth.  Olivia's, however, he says though might be a few years, hers are snug.  I'm not sure I'm ready for toothless smiles?  Maybe I ought to start crafting some fancy tooth pillows?

We rounded out day with a botched trip to Walmart (hey the day can't go all perfectly) & some playing & curtain sewing.

Just a nice little Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

School Pictures

We haven't historically done pictures when school offers.  Partly because we are there part-time & days always work out oddly.  And partly because I figured they'd not cooperate & pictures would be nerdy.  But I decided I wanted an actual Preschool picture... so we did them this year.  As it worked out, the kids were there on Logan & Livi's picture days, but not Hayden's.  But they worked with us & just did all our kids on the same day.  Which was great because they offer sibling pictures too.  I let them within reason pick their own clothes, so they aren't coordinated, or matchy... its just them in their own true form (except for the fact that I made the boys wear jeans which they would never do by choice.)
 I wasn't going to do the sibling pictures, because I figured I'd get one nerdy shot of the 3 of them half torn up from school sitting aimlessly in a row.  But decided, heck, its free... why not just do it.  So glad I did!  
 First school picture day.... check!

Monday, November 17, 2014

World Prematurity Day

October 17 is World Prematurity Day.  I have been blessed through my career to work with so many amazing preemies & preemie families.  But I also have 3 pretty amazing preemies of my own.  

Giving thanks today for my preemies.  For their awesome doctors & nurses.  For their strength.  For their health.  For everything.

Looking back to their earliest days...

My how they have grown!!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

At 5...

Hayden:

-Spends most of his waking hours playing Transformers Rescue Bots or Ninja Turtles.
-Prefers to draw his own art than color in the lines, both literally & metaphorically. 
-Is a good eater.  And he now usually eats frosting & chocolate, but sometimes chocolate still makes him pause.
-His favorite comfort item is his blanket, or 2 blankets we can thankfully use interchangeably.
-He says his favorite food is BBQ weenies.
-He says his favorite color is blue.
-His smile lights up the world.
-I still foresee him growing up to be the class clown.  
-He wears his emotions on his sleeve.  Which some days is so hard to handle, and other days is melt your heart sweetness.  He is sugar & spice.
-He wants to work at Dairy Chef, drive the tractor at the pumpkin patch, work at the fire station, be a daddy & live with me forever when he grows up.  

Olivia:

-Loves to play teacher & mommy.
-Has a very, very perfectionist personality.
-Is still our most adventurous eater.  She likes steak, egg rolls, BBQ wings & all sorts of football foods.  Maybe because she loves Husker football.
-Her favorite comfort item is her monkey lovie & its "cold power."  She may infact still sleep with it into adulthood.  
-She says her favorite food is BBQ weenies.
-She says her favorite colors are pink & purple.
-I just love to listen to her laugh, its so infectious!
-She is finally realizing that just because she has 2 brothers, its still pretty cool to be a girl.
-She prays every day for a baby sister.
-She wants to be a nurse & a teacher when she grows up.  She was distraught as to how she would pick & was shocked when I told her she could in fact do both!
{I don't have this one in color yet... but I'm supposed to be getting it!}

Logan:

-Can be found playing Transformers Rescue Bots or Ninja Turtles on most days.
-Remains a TERRIBLE eater.  He continues to eat no meat (outside of chicken nuggets).  He has learned to eat jelly, almonds, green beans & carrots this year... big accomplishments.
-He has a crew of comfort items he rotates.  His blanket, lovie, puppy, "Stuftie" the elephant, the list goes on. 
-He doesn't like kisses.
-His favorite food is pancakes.
-He says his favorite colors are green & yellow.
-He continues to have an undying need to be FIRST at everything.  Getting dressed, undressed, teeth brushed, plate handed, anything & everything.  
-I still foresee him growing up to do all Hayden's homework. 
-He is very particular about his clothes & socks & shoes & how they fit.  He changes them several times a day.
-He wants to work at dad's work when he grows up.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Halloween

This year for Halloween, the kids had minds of their own.  I didn't get to choose a cute group theme costume.  They each picked their own.  We had some initial debate.  Hayden originally wanted to be a fairy.  And had he insisted long term, I would have made him some boy-ish fairy costume.  His other choice was a hot dog.  I didn't want to pay $30 for a hot dog costume to wear once & couldn't get my hands on a used one.  But one day during a trip to Walmart, we got to looking at some Ninja Turtle weapons.... and the boys decided if we got them, they would wear the shirts & hats they already had & be Ninja Turtles for Halloween.  Score!  I don't think a day has gone by since then that they haven't played Turtles... and I find myself referring to them as Leo & Raf.

 Livi liked the fairy idea, so we picked up a $6 pair of wings & wand along with the Ninja Turtle sets & we were a go for Halloween.
 Bat Girl (AKA Analeigh) came with us in our search for loot!
 Ready to go!!
 They really got it down this year.
 Enjoying their goods :)
 Molly had just had her tonsils out, so she held down the fort.  She's the only person I know who doesn't need a wig for Halloween.  Ha!  Love you sister!
 Halloween 2014 was great!!