Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Pumpkins are carved!
Let the fun begin!
 043 044-3 058 056-1

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An Autumn Swim

Indoor swimming pools are a 
delightful thing come 
October 29th.

My three babies and me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Farewell, Yellow House


Nine years ago we bought our first home; a darling yellow house with a window seat and a large tree in the front yard. We purchased it when Alexandra was 11 months old and stayed only 18 months before moving into our current home. 

Since then we have been renting it out...oh what a headache that has been! We are just not cut out to be landlords - not in the least

Happily, we sold that little yellow house on Friday. It was a straight across sale to the renters that have been there since I was pregnant with Elisabeth. No realtor fees, no months waiting as it sat on the market, no repairs, nothing. We just showed up and signed a big ol' pile of papers. And with that, it is theirs. 

It was a great first home, but I am relieved to not have it be our responsibility anymore. 

Oh, happy day!

Standing in front of our first home, September 2003.

Farewell, yellow house!
 ***If you missed my update on Elisabeth, click here.

Friday, October 26, 2012



We made it safely home from Salt Lake City. I admit that the trip wasn't exactly what I expected - or rather hoped for, but regardless, I came away with some valuable information.

As we met with the neurosurgeon I gave him a history of what the past six months of Elisabeth's life have been like - the two shunt revisions, the intermittent fluid accumulation around the shunt, and the severe episodes of pain.

Primary Children's was the fifth hospital we have taken Elisabeth to. All the while I have suspected that what we have been witnessing is shunt just seemed so obvious...but I have had entire neurosurgery teams tell me I was crazy. This visit was different though. I had a surgeon who actually listened to me and agreed that it was probably a shunt issue. To be more specific, the surgeon is suspecting intermittent shunt failure due to chronic over drainage (exactly what I had asked the Seattle Children's about).

He is going to write a letter to Elisabeth's neurosurgeon in Spokane with the recommendation that we reprogram her shunt to allow a little more pressure in her brain, thus preventing (hopefully) over drainage. He is also recommending that we get an MRI of her spine and brain (another thing that Seattle Children's refused to do). After looking at her spine and it's severe scoliosis, he believes there is a slight chance that she has syringomyelia - a condition where the CSF from the brain pushes into the spinal cord - thus causing deformation. This is something that will be shown on the MRI.

So that's the update. We didn't get a quick fix, but at least I have a surgeon backing me up on my shunt suspicions. I am hopeful that a simple reprogramming of her shunt will bring her relief...time will tell!

Salt Lake City in the fall.

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The drive home. These pictures were taken only 10 minutes or so apart!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Salt Lake City

We made it!


Queen Elisabeth and I set out on our own to make the drive from our home in Washington to Salt Lake City, Utah. That's a long drive to make alone; especially with a severely handicapped child. 

I am extremely excited for today. Today, my QE will meet with a neurosurgeon that has a reputation for solving cases that seem to be unsolvable. I am so hopeful that he will hear her story and be anxious to get to work; to run tests and figure out what has been causing Elisabeth such pain since last Spring. 

This has been a hard road for Elisabeth to travel. She has endured so much and deserves some relief. 

Hoping for some answers. 

Hoping for a miracle.

[The ride to Salt Lake...she was so uncomfortable.]

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's Lorelai's Birthday!



words associated with Lorelai Leigh: 


Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

Thursday, October 18, 2012



 Elisabeth's scoliosis is getting so severe. 

And her back is getting so hunched. 

 Such is the life of this completely adored little girl.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Tricky


I got a call yesterday for the the neurosurgery center at Primary Children's in Salt Lake City. They wanted to move Elisabeth's appointment from November next Tuesday! So I am scrambling. I feel like I have a million and two things to do around here (Lorelai's birthday on Friday, rehearsals, a concert...). And now I am also trying to get everything in order for my absence (A lot of things have to be in order when a mother leaves the house for a while). 

The tricky thing is that I have no idea how long I will be gone for. Perhaps the surgeon will look at her on Tuesday and feel there is nothing he can do and we'll come straight home. Or maybe he will admit her and run tests and keep us there for weeks on end. I simply do not know...and that is what makes this tricky. 

 Anyhow, I will be busy around here for the rest of the week. Like I said, Lorelai has a birthday on Friday and there is a party to plan and gifts to wrap. And then there is my symphony concert on Saturday night and the many, many hours of rehearsals that precede it. 

So I better hop to it...I have work to do!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I was at the police station a few days ago to get my fingerprints done (no, I am not a criminal...just have a project in the works that requires fingerprints). Here's how my conversation with the police officer went: 

Officer: What do you do for work? 

Me: I take care of my children. 

Officer: Do you use a lot of cleaning products? 

Me: Uhh....yes.... (major OCD here)

Officer: Your fingers are chemically burned...we can't get a good set of prints. 

So that's it; my fingerprints look like actual 'prints' on them, at least not enough to qualify as prints. He suggested that I use gentle soap (non anti-bacterial) and wear gloves anytime I am using cleaning products. And then, in three weeks, I am to go back - and if I am lucky I might have prints again (if I'm lucky). 

On a happy note, I have a very clean house. 

My fingerblobs. Epic fail.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Concert on a Friday

Alexandra Louise 
on the guitar: 

This is the kind of music that soothes Elisabeth. 
And it soothes me, too.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Magical Combination

The past few days have been extremely difficult for Elisabeth. A lot of pain and discomfort. I am anxiously watching the days tick by on the calendar, hoping that November will be here soon so that we can take Elisabeth to Salk Lake and [hopefully] find relief for her.


In the mean time, one thing that has shown to bring her comfort, even in the midst of her suffering, is the sound of Alexandra's guitar music. Sisterly love + music therapy is a magical combination.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Giver Quartet

I just recieved news...huge news...from one of my readers, Marisol.

Last week, a new book was released in The Giver making it The Giver Quartet. The new book is titled, Son.

I am so excited that I can't hardly stand it!

The Giver is my all time favorite book. It spoke to me in a way that no other book ever has. I literally think of it daily and always find ways to apply themes from the book to aspects of my life. Crazy, I know - but I am just trying to impress upon you how much that book means to me.

So to get this news - that there is a fouth book - a fourth treasure out there waiting to be read - it is simpy thrilling!!
Buy it here!!!
Or if you haven't read The Giver yet, buy it here!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Let There Be Orange

It's beginning to look like  
around these parts:


Plan for today - String all of these paper cranes together and create a Halloween garland:

Monday, October 8, 2012

One Decade

This is how you turn 10:

[Yes, Lorelai always wears a swimsuit.]  

A decade of wishes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's Alexandra's Birthday!


Yesterday as we were driving a Green Day song came on the radio. 
Here is the conversation that followed: 

Me: Daddy and I saw them in concert once. 

Alexandra: When? 

Me: Oh, it was a long time ago. I was pregnant with you, actually. 

Alexandra: So it was about a decade ago. I love being able to say that! A decade!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Room at the End of the Hall

Tomorrow Alexandra will turn 10. 

A decade. 

She is at the stage of childhood where she is starting to seek after some independence

Take her bedroom door, for example:


She's growing up.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On to Salt Lake City

It's October 2nd and Elisabeth is still having issues.

Episodes of pain and discomfort; fluid accumulation around the shunt.

Something is simply not right.

I took her to Spokane yesterday and had a long and detailed conversation with our neurosurgeon. He not only agreed that we should take her to Salt Lake City, but was thrilled at the idea. He explained that they would be able to do testing there that we don't have the capability to do here in Washington.

So today I shall call and make our appointment. And hopefully one day very soon my little QE will be well once again.


Elisabeth and I have the same color eyes. I love that forever baby of mine.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Growing: Part IX

The time finally came to go back to blonde.


A Look Back:










***What's this all about? Click here.
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