Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How She Rolls....

Name: Elisabeth
Age: 18 months
Favorite Object: Binky
Favorite Word: Mama {okay...only word}
Favorite Food: Vanilla Yogurt
Favorite Ride: Stroller

Donald bought a new shirt for Elisabeth.
It has a picture of a stroller and proudly states:

"That's how I roll."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Roadtrip

On Friday afternoon we hopped in the car and drove to Seattle. My girls have a new cousin, Danee, who was going to be blessed at church....and we wanted to be there for her big day.

A photographic review of our weekend:

We spent Saturday afternoon at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. We found this lovely peacock wandering around.

An aquatic petting zoo.

Examining some shark teeth.

A shark swam behind them at just the right time. {I think he wanted his picture taken.}

Viewing the fish.

Watching an animal show. Brr....it was cold out there.

My favorite part of the show, a gorgeous eagle.

Elisabeth, on the merry-go-round.

An action shot {she loved it!}.

The older girls, with their cousin, Kaylee.

Aunt Cindy and Danee, on her big day.

Coming home we were behind a state patrol car.....which had stuffed animals decorating the back window.....which I found to be funny.

As we drove through the mountain pass snow was falling. A few minutes later I shut my eyes to take a quick nap {Donald was driving}. When I woke up it looked like this:

It always amazes me how the landscape changes in a matter of miles.

Home Sweet Home.

Mike and Cindy,
Thanks for having us over this weekend. We love your family, your hospitality, and your cozy home. Mike....I'll be practicing my Dr. Mario skills....so watch out. :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Trouble With Spasms....

....Is That You Don't See Them Coming

When Elisabeth has a spasm her head goes flying forward at full speed; not a good thing when she is sitting at her piano {ouch!}. Over the past few days she has whacked her head many times and is gathering a collection of bruises on her forehead.

But what worries me more than the bruises is that she will become fearful of sitting up. I don't want her to associate being upright with getting hurt.

The solution? Elisabeth is going to be fitted for a custom helmet. Apparently this is not uncommon for epileptic children.

And until then....I am going to keep her away from the piano!

Live Action Week ~ Day 5


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coloring on a Wednesday Afternoon

Live Action Week ~ Day 4

Nothing much, just some good old-fashioned fun with paper and crayons.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Morning Drop-off

Live Action Week ~ Day 3
Each morning as Alexandra runs across the field to line up with her classmates my heart swells with emotion. "That's my little girl", I think to myself. Part of me finds joy in seeing her venture off into the real world; to learn and discover and reach her fullest potential. But part of me aches with the knowledge that these moments won't last forever. Moments where she resists leaving; moments where she turns back to give me an extra hug and kiss goodbye.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One and a Half Years

Live Action Week ~ Day 2

Elisabeth is 18 months old today! And to celebrate the ocassion I am going to treat you with a little video.

A few things to notice as you watch:
  • Elisabeth has almost mastered sitting up! It tires her out....but she can usually go for quite a while without tipping over.
  • The one skill that she didn't lose due to the infantile spasms was the ability to put her binky in her mouth. She's a pro!
  • She can now vocalize {as you will soon hear}.
  • About 26 seconds into the video her head moves to her right, her face contorts, and her eyes close. This has been happening lately and I don't know exactly what it is. Some sort of seizure activity I suppose. We are going in for her 18 month wellness checkup today and I will be sure to ask about it.
  • At the beginning of the video she is using her left hand. That is a HUGE accomplishment for her. She usually acts like it's paralyzed and wants nothing to do with it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Live Action Week ~ Day 1

That's right....a week of us Sorenson's....live action.


{400th Post}

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Few Thoughts

  • Remember the Nova? It's being entered into it's first car show this weekend!

  • Alexandra started her own blog and I have given her the title of Blogging Queen. In the 6 days since her blog was created she has written 29 posts!

  • The Sorenson household finally joined the 21st century and got a DVR player. And after having it for 2 days I am already wondering how I ever lived without it?

  • I have been turning the first year of my blog into a book using Blurb.com. I am looking forward to having a tangible copy of this journal I keep.

  • Tomorrow night I will be performing with the symphony over at the Three Rivers Convention Center. It's shaping up to be a fabulous concert. Make it a date night and come. {8:00 pm}

  • It's Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Rain In Spain

Yesterday I awoke with a spring in my step. It was going to be a good day, I could just feel it. And any day that puts a spring in my step deserves music; sing-a-long music. So I went to the parlor and put on my 'My Fair Lady' record {given to me by my sister-in-law, Heidi}.

A few minutes later my children awoke to find their mommy dancing around the kitchen and singing 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly?' {while and pouring bowls of Mini-Wheat's}.

And a loverly day indeed. I even sent the girls outside to play without coats! That left me daydreaming of the months to come. Warmth, picnics, evening walks, swimming, vacations. I was giddy just thinking of it all.

Wondering about all this 'loverly' business?
Go watch My Fair Lady. You won't regret it.
{Unless you despise musicals.}

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Case In Hand

I am in the middle of a busy week {musically speaking}.

Here's the run down:

~Monday Night: rehearsal~
~Last Night: concert~
~Today: teach 5 students~
~Thursday Night: rehearsal~
~Friday Night: rehearsal~
~Saturday AM: rehearsal~
~Saturday PM: concert~
~Sunday: perform at church~

So if you run into me, I'll probably look like this:

{sorry, no time to chat}

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Little Green

Going green. It's all the talk. I am not very good about going green. And my home isn't very green either {don't hate me people}. But today I thought I would do something green and recycle last years St. Patrick's Day picture onto today's post. Isn't recycling what going green's all about??

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

{Don't get pinched, Okay?}

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sorenson Family Tradition #6:

Throw an annual birthday
party for our house.

Take a peek at last years party, click here and here.

Friday, March 13, 2009


~Cozy pajamas~

~Soft glowing light~

~Story time~


~Hugs and kisses~

~Peace and quiet (sometimes)~

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Show and Tell

My three favorite movies:

1. Mary Poppins

Things I love about it:

~Jane and Michael's bedroom~
~Julie Andrews voice~

2. The Sound of Music

Things I love about it:

~The Von Trapp's house~
~Julie Andrew's voice~

3. Pollyanna

Things I love about it:

~The Victorian homes~
~Haley Mills~
~The Glad Game~

Other interesting facts relating to these films:
  • I considered naming Elisabeth 'Liesl'.
  • My dad taught swimming lessons to David Tomlinson's children while he was here in the states filming Mary Poppins.
  • The Glad Game really works.
  • I went to a special screening of Mary Poppins years ago and watched it with Julie Andrews herself.
  • Whenever I drive to Spokane I sing along to The Sound of Music as loud as I can.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

History Repeats Itself

23 years ago:
I played violin for my kindergarten class.

Alexandra played the same violin for her kindergarten class.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Protect My Wife"

Emily, 2006

Last night I tucked the girls into bed and prepared to go on a three mile run. As usual, Donald put a leash on our yellow Labrador, Emily, so that she could accompany me.

"Protect my wife," he told her as I stepped out into the cold evening air.

Now, I will admit that I am not a 'dog person'. We have two that I could easily live without. However, when I head out on a night time run I am glad that we have them. They give me a certain sense of security. So Emily and I set off while Donald stayed home to enjoy a suspenseful episode of '24'.

Just as I was finishing up the first mile I spotted a man up ahead leaving a residence. He noticed me approaching with Emily and took a step back to allow us to go by. As we passed he politely nodded and said 'hello'.

Big mistake.

My 'guard dog' was ready to attack. She shot back with a growl, twisting the leash around my knees and landing me on my derriere.

"I'm so sorry. Are you okay?" the man asked.

"Yes," I lied, as my side began to throb.

"I didn't mean to scare your dog," he said.

"Well, that's why I bring her," I replied and continued on my way.

My first reaction was to be angry with Emily; she shouldn't start growling at innocent people. But as I thought it through I realized how grateful I was to her. She was ready to protect me and fight for me.

When we arrived back at home {2 miles later}, I relayed the events of my run to Donald. He proudly called Emily over, gave her a good scratch behind the ear, and thanked her for bringing his wife back safely.

And then I rewarded her with a piece of turkey from the refrigerator.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Playroom Storage

The theme of my Spring Cleaning this year is 'creating storage solutions'. We run a fairly organized home and don't keep much clutter, but we need to find better ways to tuck away the things that we do have.

One place that I have been wanting better storage is in the playroom. We have a large population of stuffed animals and dolls, but not a very good home for them.

I found this storage unit at Lakeside.com and fell in love. It has a sort of circus tent feel about it....which I think goes perfectly with our green striped walls.

***I'll make sure to post a picture once it arrives!

Friday, March 6, 2009


There's a lot on my mind. Read all about it:
  • I was discouraged at my inadequate knowledge of blood this past week. Over the past few years I have become somewhat comfortable talking with doctors about brains and neurological issues....but there was never any need to talk about blood. Now that there is concern with Elisabeth's blood {they are still monitoring her closely for changes} I need to educate myself so that when I'm talking to a hematologist I'll actually know what we are talking about.

  • Donald had some friends over to the house last night and one of them informed me that he went to high school with Ryan Seacrest. I can't wait to see that yearbook. Apparently Ryan was into flannel.

  • I made guacamole yesterday and enjoyed it with some corn chips. Yum.

  • Remember the 'secret project' that I was working on a month or so ago? I have had several people ask when the big reveal is going to be...but the truth is that I can't get any good pictures. We painted our master closet an amazing aqua blue and purchased some lime-green storage and laundry baskets. The lighting in there is less than desirable and all my photos make the blue look pale and washed out. So I have decided not to post pictures, but trust me....it's bold and beautiful and colorful.

  • Ever since the platelet transfusion Elisabeth has shown major developmental progress. She is using her hands again {even the left}! This is HUGE for her. She had regressed to the point that she would lay on the floor and do nothing. It's so good to see her playing with toys and interacting again. Something about those platelets really agreed with her.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Out Of 'Jail'

We left the hospital in the late afternoon. Outside, the sun was shining brightly and there was a crisp breeze blowing. Elisabeth immediately started kicking her legs. Excitement. Freedom.

As we drove home I felt the deepest gratitude that my baby was with me. I thought of all the mothers in centuries past who lost their children due to illness and disease. And I realize that many who live today are in regions of the world where modern medicine isn't accessible.

I reflected over the happenings of the last 5 days. On Friday night Elisabeth had a fever. I held her for three hours trying to convince myself that it was OK for her to be a little sick. Surely this was nothing more than a childhood bug. We gave her some Tylenol to reduce her temperature and tucked her into bed.

The next morning Donald found her limp and unconscious. I rushed her to the hospital and as we entered the ER she began to seize. She looked so sick, so helpless.

The next 5 days were filled with questions, tests, and lots of waiting. Elisabeth became so accustomed to being poked that it didn't even phase her towards the end. There is still a certain mystery as to why her platelet and white blood cells were so low in numbers. But because she responded well to the transfusion and is maintaining her platelet count, we were able to bring her home.

So now we carry on. Today Elisabeth will have therapy and I will enjoy more of my Spring Cleaning. Lorelai will play 'dog and owner' and Alexandra will attend her first soccer practice of the season. It's life just the way I like it. And I am so glad that even when we hit these bumps in the road....my life can still be simple and peaceful and happy.

I'm looking forward to today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

3:07 PM

Still waiting to be discharged....

She and I

We get through everything.....together.

We're going home.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Still Waiting

The last I heard Elisabeth's blood work had been sent to a pathologist for further examination. So I am settling in for another night. I plan to tuck Elisabeth in by 8:00 and enjoy American Idol {softly, of course, so that it doesn't disturb Lizzy} while wrapped up in my electric blanket.

Mid-day Update:

As promised, they came and drew Elisabeth's blood at 8 AM this morning. About an hour later they returned to draw some more. The lab had called and said they wanted another sample 'to make sure that the results that they got were correct'. That makes me slightly nervous. Still waiting to hear the outcome.

On a happier note, Elisabeth got a bear and balloon delivered to her room this morning from her best friend Cayman. Cayman turns 1 year old in a few days and Elisabeth wants to go to her party but can't....maybe next year!

{Elisabeth has been holding onto the string of the balloon and knocking it all around while I have written this post! Thanks Kristen, Mike, and Cayman!}

Happiness Is A Choice

My 3rd favorite movie is Pollyanna. I love it for many reasons, one being the lesson that it teaches. And that lesson is this:

There is always good to be found.

I try to live by that philosophy and have been having long talks with my children lately about having a positive attitude. I frequently tell them that they can choose to find the good or they can choose to find the bad. It's that simple. Happiness is a choice.

So, I have decided to find the good in my situation. I know what you are thinking....'what's good about being in the hospital with your sick baby?' Well....let me share:

The bad: I've been cooped up inside for 3 days.
The good: It's been cold and rainy outside. I love being cooped up when it's cold and rainy outside.

The bad: I have to sleep in a hospital bed with nurses coming and going all night long.
The good: I am a talented sleeper. I can sleep anywhere and through anything.

The bad: Being away from home means I'm falling behind on household chores.
The good: I made a quick stop at home and discovered that my husband did all the chores {Even the stairs were vacuumed!}.

The bad: The hospital stocks thin, very thin, toilet paper.
The good: I brought my own from home. Charmin Ultra to be exact.

The bad: These stays are quite expensive.
The good: Insurance will cover most of it.

The bad: Elisabeth's antibiotic has given her diarrhea.
The good: An unlimited supply of diapers.

The bad: It's difficult to care for the older two girls when I'm with Elisabeth at the hospital.
The good: My husband can take time off from work to help meet their needs while I'm away.

The bad: I have been eating a lot of cafeteria food.
The good: My mother-in-law has been having my family over for dinner each night.

The bad: Elisabeth has medical problems.
The good: I live in a time and a place where her medical problems can be treated.

I would say that 'The Good' won out every time!
don't you agree?

*Haven't seen Pollyanna? Do yourself a favor and watch it today!

**They are coming to draw Elisabeth's blood at 8:00 am. That should provide us with a lot of answers. I'll post an update later.

***My brother is having a contest on his blog to win movie tickets. Go enter to win! Click here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Pokey Kind Of Day

Flowers from our friend Gretchen. Not so pokey....just pretty!

E.T. Phone Home

Or perhaps a more appropriate title would be 'E.E. Wants To Go Home'. {E.E.. being Elisabeth Elva, of course.}

But alas, it's not in the works for today.

The good news is that everything looked phenomenal in her blood this morning. All the stuff that they pumped into her yesterday adapted well. Now the questions are: What will her blood work look like tomorrow? Did yesterday's transfusion jump start her body to start producing platelets and white blood cells on her own? Or will her numbers start dropping again?

More waiting....


This is a picture that one of the nurses took of Elisabeth shortly after she was admitted. It hangs next to her crib in the hospital room.

Ummmm......that is quite possibly the worst picture that I have ever seen. But for what it's worth I think the photographer truly captured 'the moment'.

Her transfusion went well. They didn't end up starting it until close to 6:00 yesterday evening. Then at 8:30 pm she received her first injection of the Neupogen. I imagine that they will draw some blood pretty early this morning to see how everything is looking. Hopefully there will be some great improvements!

Updates to follow {as always}.

***Thanks for the words of encouragement and love that have been shared with us during the past 2 days. We feel blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful and supportive friends and family!
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