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Friday, January 24, 2014

Elise: 3

I can't believe she is already 3! Wasn't she a tiny baby just yesterday?

 And somehow she has turned into this big girl!

1. What is your favorite color? Pink
2. What is your favorite toy? A princess toy
3. What is your favorite fruit? Blueberries
4. What is your favorite tv show? A princess one
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Sandwiches
6. What is your favorite outfit? Pink dresses
7. What is your favorite game? It's like a batman game
8. What is your favorite snack? Fruit
9. What is your favorite animal? Pooh Bear
10. What is your favorite song? singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to Maddie
11. What is your favorite book? A princess one
12. Who is your best friend? Sawyer and Gabe
13. What is your favorite cereal? Granola
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with the parachute
15. What is your favorite drink? Juice
16. What is your favorite holiday? The costume one
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Babies
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Fruit snacks (I promise, I have never given her fruit snacks for breakfast!)
19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? Puffs for Maddie, and water for dinner, that's it.
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Go potty, and drink some water. That's it.

I think she was done with the questions near the end.

She insisted on posing on this crate with her legs crossed, she's never had professional pictures done, I don't know where she gets these ideas!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year

Maddie is learning consonants sounds this week and has been yelling "blog blog blog" all morning, think she is trying to tell me something?

Happy New Year!

I guess I'll start off the year with my goals/resolutions.

1. I am going to run a half marathon. I signed up. It's real. I'm kind of scared. But it's going to be awesome. Yesterday was supposed to be my first run and wouldn't you know it was -40 with the windchill. Yeah, that didn't happen. I'll try again next week when we have warmer weather. I never thought I'd use "warm" to describe 30's and 40's, but gosh is it cold right now!

2. I am going to organize my house. I know what you are thinking, this has been my resolution for the last 2 years. Still chipping away, it's going to be my resolution until it's done. So far I'm making some progress, the girls room and closet is all cleaned out and organized, hall closet and shoes are done, all of the kids clothes are organized and sorted. THAT was a project. Who knew Elise had enough 18 month-2T clothes to clothe 6 children comfortably for a year? But I also learned she owns about 6 3T items, which explains why she often is walking around the house in shorts or pajama pants when she decides to dress herself.

We're only a week in, but I'm feeling good about them.

I'm also doing a few things just to make my life easier, not exactly a resolution, but just a good time of year to add things to my routine.

The first is to be a little bit more deliberate with menu planning, we always plan out our week, but I usually end up forgetting what we planned on halfway through the week, or losing the piece of scrap paper I wrote it on and then trying to guess what I was going to make with the ingredients that I bought.

I figure if I post here, or at least on google drive with links to the recipes I looked up and then closed, I might actually remember.

Here was last week
Thursday: Lasagna
Friday: Mashed potatoes and parsnips, london broil, broccoli
Saturday: Bean soup with kale and leeks
Sunday: Quinoa/couscous salad, kabobs
Monday: Sweet Potatoes, green beans, rice
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup

helping daddy do dishes while he was home over Christmas break

tasting some kale

came out from putting Maddie down for a nap to the kids helping Anthony make dinner

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


This is a whining post, I'm not even going to pretend it's not.

We're sick.

I hate it.

I've reached the point where I forget what it feels like not to be sick, and am sure that I will never feel healthy again.

The baby is sick and just wants to be held upright

I want nothing more to do than sleep with my head propped up

But then there are these other kids too, and they seem to be feeling a little bit better. It makes me both happy and jealous all at the same time.

Plus they are far more demanding when they are feeling well, and I'm not really in a meeting demands sort of mood.

They're also just stuffy enough that they can't hear anything, that is lots of fun.

This is where I whine that I wish moms had sick days, and I could just take a day off from taking care of 4 sick kids.

I could be thankful that it's still 2 weeks before Christmas, so at least we'll be healthy by then. Except for we don't have a tree, nothing is decorated, there is still shopping and gift making to do. At this rate I might be ready for Christmas by New Years Day...maybe.

Tomorrow I'll pull myself together, maybe clear a spot in the middle of the toys to put a tree when we get around to it, but today I'm just going to whine and go eat some soup

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Days 3, 4, and 5

I meant to update this everyday, but when has that ever worked well for me?

Really though, there hasn't been much to update on. She's still doing surprisingly well.

We had her post op appointment on Thursday and her Dr said everything looks great. It takes about 6 weeks post op to see what her final alignment will look like, but so far so good. I think her eye looks a lot straighter, but it's hard to tell.

We're still patching just for the next 3 weeks and then we're done! At least until our next visit in February/March. We'll see what she says then. It will be nice to have a little patching break though during the busy holiday stuff.

It's still red, that could last 6-8 weeks, but it hasn't spread to the rest of her eye at all, and already seems to be not *quite* so bright. We'll see how long it sticks around.

Crazy how it's only been a few months, but I already think she looks weird without her glasses on.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 2

Definitely more emotional today, I think yesterday she had so much going on she was too excited to sit still, today just about everything made her just a little bit more sad (or sassy) than usual.

Her eye is a lot more red today, but it's still just the corner of her eye, so it's not *that* noticeable. She is still acting like nothing happened, no complaining, no rubbing, I'm not sure she could even tell me which eye it was if I asked her.

Doing great with the drops too, she acts like she doesn't want me to do it for a second, then laughs and tilts her head up so I can put them in.

Tomorrow is our post op appointment with her Dr (she keeps yelling "I love Dr Hanna!"when I tell her we are going there tomorrow), so hopefully she is pleased with how it looks and maybe we won't even have to patch anymore!

hard to get her to stand still for a picture these days, but you can see how it's just the corner
 And Noah and Maddie were buddies today, so I couldn't leave them out! She loved sitting on his lap and talking to him and Nathan this afternoon

Surgery Day

Today was Elise's eye surgery, she remembers so little about the day already, that I wanted to make sure to document it since it's probable that she'll have another one down the road. This will help us remember what it was like the first time around, plus I know some people are just curious.

I'll be posting pictures of her eye so I can remember just how long it takes to go from scary looking to normal again. If this bothers you, close the page now, and maybe avoid reading the blog for the next couple of weeks. *I* don't think it's that gross or graphic, and the pictures posted in this post don't show more than a little pink in the corner, but it's definitely more red than the picture shows and future pictures may show that. It's definitely a little unnerving to look at in person.

Monday we had her pre op appointment, her Dr decided that patching was going pretty well, and for now instead of operating on both eyes, she was just going to do the left (the one we see turn in) and see how much that helped. She may need to go back and adjust the right eye eventually too. We also talked about the left vertical muscle being a little tight as well and how that could be another possibility for a future surgery, but she's leaving it be for now.

The day before surgery

Terrible picture, but trying to catch the eye turn for comparison later
 We talked a bit about the surgery beforehand, just to sort of prepare her for what was coming. When I got to the part about anesthesia, and told her they would give her some medicine to help her fall asleep, her response was "Yes! I get to have medicine like daddy! (Anthony had Advil for a headache earlier in the week) I'm so excited!"

She's not your average almost 3 year old.

So today was the day, she was just as excited this morning getting ready to go, she was allowed to bring 1 stuffed animal back with her, so she chose a stuffed Tigger that she's been playing with all week. She was pleasantly surprised when we got there and her scrubs had tigers all over them, just like Tigger! (she keeps correcting us and calling him Tiger. I think she thinks we are just not saying it right)

We arrived at about 9:10, and were pretty quickly taken back to an exam room to start getting ready. The next hour and a half we were kept pretty busy between weight, height and head measurements, blood pressure and pulse ox, eye and ear checks, listening to her breathing, talking with various nurses, anesthesiology (several times since the first papers we looked through all said "bilateral" and hadn't been changed to just the left eye yet), family life came back and talked to Elise about what would happen and she got to pick out her own scrub caps, practice breathing through the mask and pick out what scent she wanted inside of her mask (she chose "pink"). Anthony brought some studying to do during all of the wait time, since we were sitting around FOREVER doing nothing before his ankle surgery, but there really was never more than 5 minutes before the next person came in to see us.

Tiger pajamas!

At about 10:50, her Dr came in and talked to her (and us) for a little bit, then Elise gave us hugged and kisses and walked down the hall with the nurse. Even though we knew there were almost no complications with the surgery, and it wasn't really something we were "worried" about, there is still something pretty heart wrenching about watching your 2 year old walk away in scrubs for surgery.

We headed out to the waiting area, Anthony went to go get some lunch, and by the time he came back and had eaten about half of his food (he eats fast too!)  we were being paged to come talk to the Dr! She told me everything went exactly as planned, that Elise had done very well, talked a bit about the vertical muscle and how she's still hoping it will adjust on it's own, but she's keeping a close eye on it and there is a good chance we'll have another surgery later to adjust that one too. Explained what she might be feeling for the next couple of days (tired, irritable, trying to rub her eye etc) and about her antibiotic drops.

About 5 minutes later I got to go back to be with Elise, babies are not allowed in the level 1 recovery, so Anthony stayed in the waiting room with Maddie until we moved to level 2. She was awake already, or at least starting to wake up when I came back. A nurse was rocking her while she cried, so I took over. It took about 10 minutes before it seemed like she really knew what was going on, and she really wanted that IV out! As soon as the nurse brought up getting a cup of juice she stopped crying and said "yes". She snuggled with her sippy cup of Gatorade on my lap for maybe 10 more minutes and they got us ready to move to level 2.

As soon as Anthony and Maddie joined us in the level 2 recovery area, Elise requested that Daddy hold her. She loves us both, but she really has become a Daddies girl, even more since Maddie was born. Maddie had fallen asleep, so it was nice and quiet in the room and we just rocked with the lights off. We could hear one little boy who was not waking up well screaming "I want to go home!" over and over, I'm pretty confident if it had been Nathan or Noah there, we would have had a similar experience.
snuggling with Daddy

About 30 minutes later, we signed our discharge papers, got her dressed, and headed out! Anthony carried her while she held on to her sippy cup and the little baby doll I got her for being such a big girl through everything. Anthony grabbed a princess sticker from the front desk on our way out since he promised her she could have one when we first arrived. The rest of the day she told anyone who would listen that her daddy got her a princess sticker.

She had done so well so far, but it was the rest of the day that really surprised me. They told us that she would probably sleep for the rest of the day, and not want to open her eye, and to not expect her to until the next day. The said it is very common with kids with eye surgery to feel sick to their stomachs and throw up several times, that we should just get her to keep a bit of electrolyte drink down and that would be good for today. We assumed we would have a day with lots of naps, and her sippy cup...and that is not at all what we got!

I had to put her eye drops in and give her some pain medicine (her Dr said to give it to her for the rest of the day as a precaution while she was recovering), I asked her which she wanted first and she said "pink" of course. I was expecting a fight with the eye drops, remembering back to Noah's corneal abrasion when he was a few months older than her and what a pain it was to put the antibiotic ointment in his eyes 4 times a day. I told her to look up and close her eyes, I put the drop in the corner of her eye, then asked her to open them up. The drop went in and she said "thank you mom for putting those white things in my eye! (the bottle has a white lid)" Not your normal 2 year old. 

She napped on the way home, but then was ready to go once we got there, she sat down with her box of saltines and devoured the whole thing, along with several cups of Gatorade. She sat at the table for probably a good 2 hours playing with her babies, and arranging her crackers before eating them.

I tried to get a picture of her eye, but that proved to be a little harder than I expected

 And then she was done with taking pictures for the day

Finally I was exhausted from not sleeping well and being up early, and Maddie was fighting a nap, so we went to go lay down. Elise watched a few shows on Netflix, but quickly got bored and went back to playing like normal. She kept asking when Nathan and Noah would be home, she seemed really bored without them around to play with (thank goodness for Maddie or next year when they are both in school would be really hard for her I think!).

She ate a great dinner, and still ran around avoiding bedtime just like normal.

We asked her a few times about the surgery and all she seems to remember is that someone gave her an ouchie on her hand (her IV) and she didn't like that. I've read, and was told by the Dr that kids often don't feel pain from the surgery, but will feel the stitches in their eye, that it feels dry and itchy so they try to rub it a lot. I'm not even sure Elise could tell us which eye it was, she hasn't tried to touch it once.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The exclamation mark was added by my children, my version included crawling back into bed and crying. Well maybe not that dramatic, but that's what I wanted to do when I looked outside this morning.

Instead we (meaning Elise and Noah. Maddie and I stayed warm inside) bundled up and headed out to make some snow angels and tracks in the snow