Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Very Sick Little Girl

Hey everyone, Lisa here. I stopped by at home to get a few essentials {like a toothbrush} and then I'm heading back to the hospital to have a slumber party with Elisabeth.

Thank you Susan for keeping everyone updated. Unfortunately, we don't have any real concrete answers yet.

When Donald went to get her out of bed this morning she was near lifeless. He actually thought she was lifeless because she was completely limp and non-responsive. A very scary thing for a parent to see.

She is slightly more alert....but very uncomfortable. She is running a fever and has been poked more times today than in the last 17 months combined.

Anyways, I had better head out. Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.

Till tomorrow...

More on our little Elisabeth

Hi, it's Susan again. I have updates on Lizzy. First of all it has been determined that the problem is NOT her shunt. That has been a big relief to us all. She still is a pretty sick little girl though.
One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post was that Elisabeth had a fever last night. The doctors are theorizing that it's possible she could have had a Febrile Seizure. That is a seizure brought on by fevers.
I know something about them because my youngest son Shawn had them when he was very young.

They have also discovered that she has a urinary track infection, most likely that was the cause of the seizure. They have also determined that she has contacted some kind of viral infection as well.

The doctors will be keeping her in the hospital at least tonight. Depending on how she does tonight, will have a lot to do with when Donald and Lisa can take her home. Right now Donald is out with the girls. Their wonderful friend, Libbie, has offered to watch the girls for a while so that Donald will have more time to be up at the hospital with Lisa.

Thank you so much Libbie.

They love to be here at my house too, but at Libbie's house there are friends to play with. They get a bit bored after a while at my house.

So far we have all been able to make this, ONE big adventure, for the girls. They don't seem to be too concerned about their little sister. Which is good because Lorelai especially, has a hard time knowing her little sister is not doing well. Well that is all for now.

Except of course that you have maybe one more hour to enter my giveaway. Lisa has my blog on her sidebar. The Gothic looking one with the monk.

We will continue with updates as things change. Thanks for all your prayers and concern:)

And a Scary Time Was Had By All

Susan here, in case you don't know me I'm Lisa's mother-inlaw. I'm ghostwriting for Lisa today because she and Donald are currently at the hospital with Elisabeth.

This morning when Donald went to pick Elisabeth up from her crib, he noticed that she was limp and didn't seem to register that Daddy was there at all.

He called us (that would be my husband and me) (and yes that is proper grammar) anyway, he called us, I answered, he gave me a brief, briefing, on what was going on and asked if I could go and stay with the girls. I sent my husband Don, I had him get the girls and bring them to our house.

Okay, updates; I talked to Donald a few minutes ago and they are admitting Elisabeth to the hospital. After six agonizing tries, they were finally able to get a line into her. Elisabeth has very deep veins and this has always been an issue for her.
They have done a CT scan, they have given her a medicine to control the seizures she has been having. In fact one of the doctors thinks that she may have had a really big seizure while she was sleeping and these are the effects of it.
It's also being tossed around that her shunt could be malfunctioning. That has actually always been one of Lisa's biggest fears. If it's determined that it is indeed the shunt, then they will be transporting her to Spokane. That is where her regular pediatric neurologist is.

This is all the info we have so far. Either Lisa or Donald or I will keep updating on how things are going.

And one more thing, (Lisa has okayed this btw) If you haven't visited my blog, you should come check it out, I have a giveaway that ends today. You could be the lucky winner.

If this post sounds like I'm not taking this incident with the proper solemnity, don't worry. I just have a lot of faith where my sweet grandaughter is concerned. I know that in the end however life goes with our sweet baby, that it is what her Heavenly Father has planned for her.

That, and the fact that I am the perfect person to be there in an emergency because I am always able to stay calm. Just ask Donald about that sometime.

That's all there is for now. If there is any new information it will be updated as soon as possible. Please keep our sweet girl in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Thoughts on Influence

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what and who my greatest influences are. And in doing so I have realized that many people and ideas have molded me into who I am at 29 years of age. But one family in particular stands out in my mind.

They were wealthy....crazy wealthy. A mansion-sitting-on-a-cliff-over-looking-the-pacific-ocean wealthy. Both parents were surgeons {if I recall} and there were 3 daughters; Elisabeth, Alexandra, and Christina. I studied violin from the same teacher as their children and I spent several summers attending an arts academy with their oldest daughter, Elisabeth.

I remember going to their home and being amazed by Elisabeth's bedroom...which should probably be called a suite due to it's gorgeous attached bathroom and beautiful built-in bookcases. But the most fascinating thing of all {to my then-13-year old mind} was her laundry chute. Ahh....that was the life. Just send the clothes down the trap door for the hired help to take care of {yes, there was hired help}.

The children all went to private school, took chess lessons, studied violin with a world-class teacher, travelled abroad and were trilingual. Yes, that's right, trilingual. Their father was from America, their mother from France, and they learned Spanish from their live-in nanny.

Everything about their high class life-style fascinated me. I can remember one occasion specifically when Elisabeth and I were at a music recital and she asked the hostess where the powder room was. 'The powder room'.....such sophistication!

As I became an adult I lost touch with Elisabeth's family, but I never forgot them. I remember them as I raise my own Alexandra and Elisabeth {sorry Lorelai, but your name came from a TV show}. And because of the influence of one family, I teach my children to say words like powder room and parlor, I have them studying the fine arts, and Alexandra is fast on her way to becoming bilingual {you should hear her speak Spanish!}. I don't have a mansion over-looking the pacific ocean....but that's not something I'm too concerned about {lol}. After all, influence should only go so far....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kids Will Be Kids

Yesterday I wrote how I want my children to be


But sometimes children should be


I mean, come on....they're kids.

{Lorelai, jumping off the furniture...
...over and over and over again.}

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Donald and I have been feeling a strong need to teach our children the principals of self-reliance, hard work, and responsibility. We want them to know the joy that comes from working hard for something and to grow up to be financially responsible adults.

We also know that there is no better time to start teaching these principals than now. So we decided to initiate chores into the Sorenson household. The children are still quite young, so the chores we chose are age appropriate. At the end of the week they will be paid 25 cents for each time a chore was completed. With 3 chores each they have the potential of earning $5.25/week. However, a lazy week might not bring in such high revenue.

Now here is the part where Donald and I must use self-control. We are in the habit of spoiling our children. You know, they see a coloring book at the store that they want and we buy it because it only costs $1.99. Well, those days are over. From now on, all Sorenson children {except sweet Lizzy} will buy their own treats. So yes, they still might come home from the store with a coloring book that cost $1.99....but only if they purchase it with their own hard earned money.

This new system will accomplish several things. First, it will teach the girls the value of money. Second, they will gain a greater appreciation for their belongings because they will have worked to buy them. Third, Donald and I will be saving a ton of money by not splurging on their every little desire.

To help us get started I created a chore board. I bought a canvas style bulletin board from Target and some coordinating ribbons:

I wove the ribbon across the board to form a grid and stapled the ends to the back:

Jumbo sized push pins will mark which chores were completed on which days:

We then stapled on their daily chores as well as capital letters to represent the days of the week.

I am quite pleased with how it turned out. Take a peek:

It all starts today!

***I understand that some people may find $5.25 to be a rather high allowance for such young children. However, they will only earn that much if they complete each task, each day. Also, a total pay out of $10.50 is a drop in the bucket compared to what we usually spend on these girls each week. Trust me when I say, we are coming out ahead!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Spring cleaning. It's time. Yes, I know it's not quite Spring yet, but by getting it done now we'll be able to enjoy outings to the park and strolls around the neighborhood once warmer weather arrives.

By the way....I love cleaning. And I love organizing. And I love finding little ways to make our home comfortable and practical. And all of these things together mean Spring Cleaning to me. So beware of the month ahead. I have a lot of new ideas for our humble abode....and I'll be sharing them all here.

For starters:



And....I've added a bit of blooming
to myself as I anxiously await Spring:



Do I dare share my little secret?
{That I purchased this lovely piece for $6.00 at Claire's}

It will adorn my finger from here on out.

I love it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Elisabeth's Big Night

Elisabeth enjoyed being the guest of honor at a benefit dinner for the Children's Developmental Center. We even bought her her first pair of shoes for the occasion. I realize that by 17 months of age most children have already reached that milestone, but Elisabeth has never had a need for shoes.

This, however, was a shoe sort of an occasion. So we took her to a local shoe store and got her sized. I think she was rather confused by the foreign objects being strapped to her feet. You see, she has never known anything but comfort. So I taught her a very important lesson: sometimes we must suffer in the name of fashion.

In the end, she was uncomfortable in her shoes, and I in mine. Like mother, like daughter.

My speech is a blur. I stood, I spoke, and I rambled on and on about the world's most miraculous baby {I can say that...she's my daughter}. I tried to touch on the important things; the initial diagnosis, struggles with epilepsy, and Elisabeth's restored vision.

I am deeply grateful for the Children's Developmental Center. They have been a constant support to our family over the last year and a half. When Elisabeth's therapists come to our home she lights up at the sound of their voices. And I have watched with amazement as they have helped her reach milestones that I thought were unreachable. What a wonderful program and a blessing to so many families. I am thankful for the opportunity that I had to share our story and I hope that by doing so others in the community were able to realize what a valuable resource the Childrens Developmental Center is.

Here are some pictures of our night:

Elisabeth was intrigued by the ice sculpture.

Mother and daughter.

Our table.

And the tables of others {just because}.

A closeup of my dress because I love the ruffled collar.
Sophisticated....yet dainty.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

While The Camera Was Away

Libbie stopped by my house this afternoon to return my camera. And on my camera there were a few surprises. And they looked like this:

Thank you, dear Libbie, for watching after my children last night. But more importantly, thank you for caring for my most beloved camera and for sharing your artistic abilities with us all.

{See you tomorrow night. We'll be grillin' up some yummy meat. Come hungry.}

Separation Anxiety

Last night I left my camera at my friend Libbie's house after the benefit dinner. I realized it while we were driving home and almost turned back, except that it was fast approaching midnight and I had three children who desperately needed to be tucked into their soft, warm beds. After all, what were the chances that I would need it between 11:45 last night and today?

So I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought of was that I didn't have my camera. And then I thought through how soon I could go over today and retrieve my camera {me and that camera are inseparable....just like me and Elisabeth}. At which point I walk out into the family room to see sweet little Lorelai, curled up into a safe little ball, sound asleep in the recliner. The perfect photo op!

No camera.

I'll have it back in my possession today and you can be sure that I won't miss another shot.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Off To The Ball....

{benefit dinner actually, but ball sounds so much more whimsical}

details on Monday....

Friday, February 20, 2009


Tomorrow night I will be the guest speaker at a benefit dinner for the Children's Developmental Center. I'm excited to share Elisabeth's story with members of our community, but there is one small problem. They have only allotted me 5-7 minutes to speak. How in the world am I supposed to tell Elisabeth's story in 5-7 minutes? Hmmmm...

It's a tough assignment and I am frantically trying to decide what to say. What's most important? Where should I begin? So much has happened in the {almost} 2 years since we heard the word 'hydrocephalus' for the first time. There have been ups, there have been downs. We have seen her progress and we have seen her regress. There have been times when we have felt devastation. There have been times when we have witnessed miracles. We have worried. We have rejoiced. We have prayed. We have loved.

Today I'll brainstorm.

Tomorrow I'll speak.

Monday I'll tell you all about it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Watering Cans and Ice Cream Cones

After discovering our watering can under the kitchen sink, my children begged to go outside and water the plants.

Sure, why not?

Then they asked if they could eat
ice cream cones while watering the plants.

Sure, why not?

Let me recap that:

~Middle of winter~

~Watering plants~

~Eating ice cream cones~

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Childhood Rule #43

Never antagonize your sister while
she is holding a seat belt buckle.

{Notice that lovely bruise smack in the middle of her forehead?}

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine Review

Valentine's Day {Sorenson Style}:
I bought some monogrammed clipboards for the girls. It's just what they needed. My girls are obsessed with paper and are constantly drawing. Now they won't have to use a book for a hard surface as they create their pictures!

'L' for Lorelai.

'A' for Alexandra

We gave Elisabeth a giant squishy ball.

A valentine for me...from Lorelai.

Donald and I gave each other the same gift
{we are still laughing about it}.

Alexandra was overjoyed when she unwrapped her present to find.... sparkle shoes!
{we went with pink this time}

And a silver pair for Lorelai.

A perfect fit.
{don't you love the Valentine tattoos all over her legs?}

That night we had company stay over.
Aunt Cindy enjoyed some snuggle time with Elisabeth.

And Uncle mike got some giggles out of her.

But most importantly, Elisabeth got to meet her new cousin, Danee.
{Doesn't Elisabeth look like a giant!}

Friday, February 13, 2009

Musical Chairs

"Alexandra, you should stand up while you play," said the mother.

"I get too tired," said the daughter.

So she sits.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happiness is....

Going to the pharmacy to pick up my daughter's monthly prescription and being told that there is now a generic version!

That cuts my bill in half!

Photo Op

I take pictures of my girls in this chair
all the time....

....but somehow it never gets old.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Story About A Pair Of Shoes

Alexandra spent a few years {literally} pleading for a pair of red sparkle shoes. Last October her dream came true. We bought a pair to help transform her into Dorothy on Halloween night.

Not a day has gone by that she hasn't worn those shoes. She has loved the sparkle right off of them. So several days ago I told her that she could no longer wear them; they were too far gone. With a sad heart she agreed, but asked that they not be thrown out with the garbage. That sounded fair enough to me. So they kept their home in the shoe closet, and Alexandra resorted to wearing her Nike's.

Yesterday, as we were getting ready to leave the house she approached me, red sparkle shoes in hand.

"Can you please hide these?" she asked. "It's too hard to see them and not get to wear them."

I obliged.

Valentine's day is a right around the corner.
I think I know the perfect gift....
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