Friday, October 29, 2010

We're Ready...

Costumes....check.
Candy....check.
Pumpkins....check.

Let the Halloween festivities begin!



***Candy Corn hat made by my friend, Kristen.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tropical Chic

Ever since our girls 'graduated' from Sesame Street/Arthur/Clifford-aged television programs we have noticed that there just isn't anything good on. And by good I mean appropriate. What happened to quality TV? Hard to find, I say. Which is why Donald and I ended up blocking a few channels (channels that are supposed to be aimed towards kids but seem a little too teenager-ish for my liking).

So instead, we are treating them to the classics: I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver, The Munster's, and Gilligan's Island (to name a few). Good, clean entertainment.

Speaking of Gilligan's Island, I can only assume it was the inspiration behind the makeover that Alexandra and Lorelai gave to Elisabeth's pump/food stand this week. It went from boring medical to tropical chic:



Much better, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Finishing Touches



Can you believe that Halloween is this Weekend?!

I
think it's safe to say that Halloween is my favorite Holiday. It's just so whimsical. I love seeing all the neighborhood children parading up and down the street, and I love how all the homes are lit up by glowing jack-o-lanterns.

Today I am going out to buy a few finishing touches for Halloween costumes; Alexandra needs some fake sparkly eye-lashes and Lorelai needs a long-sleeved black t-shirt. Oh, and me, my costume is just about complete. There is just one item that I need to pick up from Costco to pull it all together (but I'm afraid if I say what it is it will give away my whole costume and I want it to be a surprise.)

Oh yes! And one more bit of exciting news! My sister Jennifer is coming up for all the festivities! She's arriving tomorrow, just in time for a weekend packed with Halloween parties. It is going to be magical.


[Orange twinkle lights are strung throughout our house.]

***For those who were wondering, I spoke with the principal yesterday - who in turn spoke with all the playground supervisors. All charges were lifted against Lorelai and she was free to play to her hearts content (minus flips on the bar, of course).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Wall

Lorelai was in tears yesterday afternoon...and she couldn't fall asleep last night...because she was scared. Scared because she got in trouble at school for doing a flip on the jungle gym bar. That's right...in trouble for doing a flip. And what's even more sad is that she said she didn't know she wasn't allowed to do flips, and I believe her. I mean, she's only been a Kindergartner for 8 weeks....I'm sure she doesn't know every single rule that's been written.

So her punishment is that she has to stand on the wall during recess today.

She is horrified by this.

I told her that I will go talk to the principal today. Because really, I don't think a child should be punished for a rule that they didn't know existed.

"But what if they still make me stand on the wall?" she asked.

"Then I will stand there with you," I replied.

And I will. Oh yes, I will.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Very Fall Day

I just woke up to discover that it is a very stereotypical Fall day - blustery and overcast. The trees are going crazy outside, blowing this way and that; the red and gold leaves holding on for dear life, although I'm afraid it's going to be a losing battle.

Today I am in the mood to stay indoors and clean. Clean up, clean out, clean, clean, clean. The house is starting to feel a little too full of 'stuff'. I don't like 'stuff'. I like clean and simple. So whenever I start feeling sort of overwhelmed by 'stuff' I start cleaning out.

I also think today is the perfect day to bake. That way - when I am busy with all my sorting and organizing - I can smell delicious smells drifting through the house and even stop and have a warm and tasty treat.

Okay, I'm off to wake the children up. Because before I can set my plans into motion I need to get them dressed, fed, and off to school!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Top Secret



I've been busy...

...playing on balance beams...

...planning out my Halloween costume...

...and sorting through details of a new top secret project that Donald and I are working on.

By the way, in case you were wondering, playing on balance beams and pretending you are an Olympic gymnast does not help heal a hurt back. (But it was fun anyways!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lorelai's 6th Birthday

Let me start by saying that the birthday wrap/party/decor selection this year is pretty sad. I had struggled to find anything cute and whimsical for Elisabeth and Alexandra's parties, so you can imagine that by the time birthday number 3 rolled around, I was tapped for ideas. Everything I came across was either too juvenile, too mature, or just too plain generic. And I don't like generic...at least not for birthdays. Birthdays are supposed to be magical. (I learned that from my mom. She made our birthday's so special!).

So for the past few weeks I kept my eyes open, hoping to be inspired by something...anything.

That's when I saw them:
Jacks.

Blue jacks with cherry red bouncy balls.

They were perfect and portrayed just the childhood whimsy that I was searching for. Plus, light blue and red have always been among my favorite color combinations. In fact, these days it seems to be my very favorite color combination (I let it show in this here blog of mine).

With the jacks in hand I set out to plan her party around them. And from there it just all came together.

The inspiration:




Keeping with the 'Jacks' theme, the paper goods mimicked the round balls (bowls) and the square jacks (plates). Perfect for morning breakfast and later on....cake!




Red balloons decorated the windows and floated freely around the house.




After discovering the jacks I revisited the gift wrap aisle. Suddenly, papers that hadn't inspired me much before took on a new life. Mixing and matching a few wraps and ribbons created a festive display of gifts:





We asked our local baker to decorate a cake with red polka dots (keeping with our theme). He had the idea of using sliced strawberries to compliment the strawberry filling inside. Mmmmm....




Lorelai's big gift:
A teeter totter



I think teeter totters (like Jack's) are just so classic.

And see that smile on Lorelai's face? That's what birthdays (and childhood) are all about.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Lorelai's Birthday!

It's October 19th, do you know what that means?
Today we will celebrate another one of my queens!

Her highness, Miss Lorelai, turns 6 today.
So everyone join in - Hip Hip and Hooray!

Happy 6th Birthday
Lorelai Leigh!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ouch.


[Elisabeth is on track to be our largest (longest) child.]

Elisabeth is growing. Growing, growing, growing. And she is getting oh so heavy.

So logically, things are starting to get harder....physically speaking.

You see, when you lift Elisabeth she offers no support. Basically it's like lifting a 35 pound sack of potatoes (but so much cuter...and snugglier). So - not surprisingly - I hurt my back. Actually, it's been well over a week now and I am still in horrible pain. Probably because my back hasn't had a chance to heal since I keep lifting and moving her. Luckily, Donald took over for most of the weekend to give my back a break. (Thank you Donald).

So let's hope, eventually, that my back returns to good working order. And then let's hope that I can figure out proper lifting techniques so that I never have to go through this again.

Any tips?


["Elisabeth, what are we going to do about this?"]

Friday, October 15, 2010

Up, Up, and Away...

"Hi, My name is Russell. And I am a wilderness explorer."



Have you seen Up? What? You haven't? Well what are you waiting for!? Go watch it today.

I loved Up. I teared up at Up. And I do not give out tears easily, that's for sure.

Anyways, enough about me and my tears, can you believe that picture? Donald (who is king of forwarding emails) sent this to me the other day and I laughed so hard I almost teared up. Again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Reward for Bravery

At the end of August, when Lorelai broke her arm, she displayed courage like we had never before seen. Our little girl - who has been known to huddle in a corner at the sight of blood - did not even cry when they put her IV in. The nurses were coming and going saying things like, 'with an x-ray like that, how is she not screaming?'

Donald and I were proud.

"Lorelai," we said, "You are so brave! When you get that cast off we are going to buy you that new scooter you have been wanting. A reward for bravery."

These are the things that 5 year olds do not forget.

So when that cast came off last week it was time to go pick out a shiny new scooter to match her shiny new arm:







(Just don't fall and break the other arm....)



***Happy 16th Birthday to my nephew, Matthew!! And happy driving, too!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Green

Donald's green thumb:


[Orange trees growing in our kitchen windows. They are all direct decendents of my grandmothers orange trees in CA. We have 13 in all.]



Alexandra's green toes:


[Yesterday Alexandra had to have some ingrown toenails taken care of. Ouch. Ouch. But better now.]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Alexandra's Baptism

This past weekend Alexandra was baptized and confirmed a member of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



Donald baptized her. She wore the same baptismal dress that I wore some 22 years ago.



Afterwards, we gathered at our home for a luncheon with family and friends.



Donald's mother, Susan, sewed this beautiful dress for her to wear after her baptism.



I set up a display with Alexandra's baby picture and blessing gown alongside a current photograph of her. 8 blessed years.



Alexandra decided to sign the guest book. My mom and I got a good chuckle out of the message she wrote to herself:


"Good job to me!!"


[Alexandra, catching air. I love this picture.]

Good job, indeed.



***Thanks for flying here to Washington for her special day Mom! We loved having you!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spokane, here we come! (again)

[On my previous trip to Spokane I got into the van to discover that Donald had not only filled the gas tank, but had stocked the car with goodies for me to snack on.]

One year ago...

We scheduled an appointment for today at Elisabeth's ophthalmologists office. You know....planning ahead.

A few months ago...

Elisabeth's neurosurgeon sent a letter stating that he wanted to see her for a check up. I called to schedule. I told them that we were already going to be there on October 11, and asked if they had an appointment that day. They did not, so we ended up taking an appointment on September 22nd.

Going over to Spokane in two separate trips didn't seem too bad.

A few weeks after that...

I called to schedule an appointment with Elisabeth's pediatric surgeon to swap out her g-tube button. I told them that I was already going to be there in town on October 11th and September 22nd, hoping that we could double up appointments on one of those days. No, he wasn't in the office on either the 11th or the 22nd. So I scheduled an appointment on September 13th. Then I called to see if either of the other appointments could be switched to the 13th.

No.

So that meant 3 separate trips to Spokane. Oh well.

Several weeks ago...
Elisabeth's neurologist called saying that he wanted to see Elisabeth. I listed off the 3 dates that I was already scheduled to be in Spokane and crossed my fingers...but...he didn't have appointments available on any of those days. So we scheduled for the 1st of October. And then...once again...I called all the other offices to see if any of them could switch my appointment to the 1st.

No such luck.

So...

That meant 4 appointments in Spokane with 4 different doctors in 4 weeks.

Today is the final appointment. We get to meet Elisabeth's new ophthalmologist and see what he thinks of Elisabeth's vision. It should be interesting.

And then...

I am hoping to stay away from Spokane for a while...hopefully.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Poem about a Lost Tooth

I think I might have forgotten to say
About the exciting event that happened Monday.

Lorelai Leigh lost her very first tooth!
You don't believe me? Well, take a look at the proof:


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Broken Bus



The lift on Elisabeth's bus broke just after they wheeled her in.

It would not close.

The repair man arrived in a timely matter.

But that lift was still being stubborn, even for him.

30 minutes later they got the lift to close...

...and they were finally on their way to school.

The end.

It's Off!

Precisely 5 1/2 weeks after snapping both the bones in her left arm, Lorelai's cast was removed...









Lorelai went into the appointment extremely excited...but once the cast was taken off, she fell into a state of sadness, as if she has lost a piece of herself:



She seemed unsure of how to use her arm, in fact, I think she was afraid. I likened the situation to a person who is released from jail after being there for years and years. They should be thrilled at their new found freedom, but instead they find themselves intimidated, scared, and not sure of how to proceed.

When we left the orthopedic surgeon's office I noticed that Lorelai was acting as if the cast were still on. She would not straighten her arm, she would not use her left hand. Basically, she carried on with the normalcy that she had created for herself within the confines of her cast:

[Buckling up....one handed.]

So it looks like Lorelai is going to need some time to get used to having a functional arm again. But hopefully it won't take too long because I am tired of wiping her bum. (Did I just say that?) (lol!)

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