Friday, February 26, 2010

Involuntary leave of absence.

My laptop took a nose dive. Well ... really it was just the backlight. I took it to the Apple store three days ago and it was supposed to be ready today. But ... today they told me it will be another 5 - 10 days.

Not happy.

The day after my laptop took a nose dive, our piece-de-crap desktop PC became infected with the XP Guardian virus. The virus was preventing me from getting rid of it, so until I figured out how ... I just clicked out of all the pop ups. Now ... I can't even get it booted.

Not happy.

So for the next few days, I am on an involuntary leave of absence.

Most importantly ... Nika will be having surgery on Monday to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. Please pray that everything goes okay. She and I will be spending the night at the hospital.

Fun times.

I will update via twitter since that is my only real access to the outside world right now.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Scrumptiously perfect.

About a week ago, my sister had her first baby. My niece.


I may be biased, but she is scrumptiously perfect.


There is just something about a baby that is your sister's child.


I feel like she is a part of me. I love her as if she were my own.


And that isn't only because she has a ton of hair like my babies had as newborns.


It is because of the bond I have with my sister. 

And her scrumptiously perfect baby.


Baby itch, anyone?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

We had so much fun!

After previously being canceled due to 31 inches of snow, we finally were able to have Mason's 6th birthday party celebration. And wouldn't you know it ... it started snowing again shortly before his party was supposed to start.


Snow or no snow ... the party must go on. We rented a limo to take the kids to play laser tag ... to say the kids were excited is a huge understatement.


Prior to playing laser tag, everyone has to watch an instructional video. The kids were so cute ... they all were raising their hands asking questions after the video was over.

After watching the video, we moved into the vesting area. Depending on the number of people playing at one time, you are split up into teams by vest color. We were lucky to all be on the same team each time ... although our opponents were always older kids.

We're ready to go!


We had so much fun! I guess I didn't know what to expect ... but even us adults had a blast.



And the infamous Spongebob cake. Oh, the Spongebob cake. What is it with my kid's Spongebob obsession? I hate Spongebob and for a long time, Mason was not allowed to watch it.

I think I lost that battle.



Happy Birthday Bubs!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I am not getting glasses!

Mason: Mommy, can I go out and play in the snow?

Me: No, because we have to go get your eyes checked.

Mason: Why?

Me: Because you have never had your eyes checked.

Mason (in somewhat of a panic): No we do not! I am not getting glasses!

Me: Well, hopefully you will not need glasses, but we still need to have your eyes checked.

Mason (as if inferring he has something else to do): Well I am going to have a piece of cake.

Me: Okay, well we are still going to get your eyes checked.

Tonight Mason and I went to the eye doctor. I figured it was about time he have his eyes checked for routine purposes ... and I needed to have mine checked as an annual followup to laser surgery.

Mason is a tiny bit far sighted and he has a little bit of astigmatism ... nothing that requires glasses for now. Mason should be happy about that.

I asked the optometrist about the brown spot on Mason's right eye. It has always been there and I've always sort of wondered if there is anything I should be worrying about. And the answer is no. After looking at it through the microscope, the doctor told me that is it completely flat (versus being raised) and likened it to a freckle.

As far as I am concerned, I continue to see better than a fighter pilot ... thankyouverymuch. In 2007, I had Wavefront CustomVue LASIK with IntraLase and I'm told this new technology is the reason I am continuing to see better than 20/15 in both eyes.

Now where is my jet?


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Excitement. Love. Happiness.

Last night, I sat down to blog.

I wanted to share pictures I took yesterday of my baby sister's belly. I wanted to scream my excitement for a loved one who learned yesterday that she is expecting after several failed intrauterine insemination and in vetro fertilization procedures. I wanted to show the love I felt for my children ... and the happiness I felt knowing that two very important people in my life will soon have that love in their hearts.

And in the midst of me opening up my blog, I watched this video. And I felt sad. I felt defeated. I felt angry. I felt frustrated.

And I no longer cared to share my excitement, love and happiness. Because right then ... I needed to advocate.

But for now ... I would much rather be back in the place I was before I watched that video.


My baby sister is set to give birth to her first child in three days. I use the term baby sister loosely, as she really is only 10 months and 10 days younger than me.


She is having a girl. Olivia Grace.


Shortly after my sister and I gathered to showcase the life growing inside of her, I learned that a loved one had just received news that she is expecting. This comes after a very long journey of infertility, miscarriage and numerous failed procedures. If you have a prayer to spare, please pray that this new life remains safe and healthy in its mother's womb.

Last night, as my husband prepared to take our children upstairs to put them to bed, I was reminded of my intense love for these little people. As I am every night.

Payton is umm, shall I say ... a very strong willed person. I am not sure where she gets that from? As she is being called up the stairs to head to bed, she puckers up and kisses everyone in the house. One round, two rounds, three rounds, four rounds of kisses. She would go all night if we let her.

But seriously ... it isn't easy to tell her to stop. Because watching her shake her little booty across the floor with lips puckered ... well it is the cutest thing.


As she did this last night, it made me so happy to know that this love would soon be felt by two very important people in my life.

And for me ... that is what life is all about.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Do me a favor ...

Watch this.

And know that it makes me want to throw up.

And no ... I am not overreacting.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Now what?

I think that is my new mantra.

Now what?

H. pylori.

That's what.

Yup. Nika's got it.

A couple days ago, I mentioned that the girls both had GI scopes done. The GI noted that they both had red stomachs, which could be indicative of some bacteria. That bacteria is H. pylori.

Nika's biopsy returned positive, but Payton's was negative. However ... since Payton has the red stomach, they are treating her as well. Treatment consists of two simultaneous antibiotics and Prevacid. Payton likely will also have to take Pepto Bismol, since she is already on Prevacid.


I wonder if Nika didn't come home from Russia with this. I have heard conflicting information as to how contagious H. pylori is ... but, I still want fecal samples done on the rest of us -- just to be sure.

Now what?

Throw it at me ... I'm ready.

PS ... both of their biopsies were negative for celiac -- phew.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Enough already.

We are stuck in the middle of our second winter storm warning in a week. I'm pretty sure most of us are satisfied with the 31 inches we got a couple days ago. The snow is so deep that the kids can't even play in it ... it literally is up to my thighs.

So in the road they must play.



Kyle and our neighbor decided build the kids a snow tunnel since there literally has been no other way for them to play in the snow. They loved it.






It snowed earlier today ... but right now, the strong winds gusts of up to 41 MPH are just blowing the snow. A lot. The white outs in our area have been so bad that even the plows and sand trucks have been pulled from the road.

The federal government has been closed for days. Schools are closed -- in fact, they have already been canceled for the rest of the week. Malls are closed. Grocery store shelves are bare.

Enough already.

The kids are sick of being cooped up. I'm sick of the kids being cooped up. Ha. As I type this they are playing the 147th game of tag ... yelling and screaming amidst the excitement of their game.

In between games of tag, they have practiced their alphabet and letter sounds ...


... baked cookies ...


... done crafts ...





... played board games, fought, played tag, yelled, played tag, screamed and uh, played tag some more.

Enough already.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I was a hot mess.

I think ... sometimes ... people's perceptions of other people get skewed by the internet. As I sat here thinking about all the things I need to blog about ... I felt, um, unmotivated.

Earlier today, I posted this on twitter and facebook ---> Took all 3 kids to the dentist ... no cavities!

And the comments I got -- haha ... they made me laugh.


"I can't say what impresses me more...that you took three kids to the dentist at the same time or that all three have no cavities. Woo hoo!"

"... you make it sound so effortless!"

I assured them that I obviously had them fooled, because I am pretty sure I looked a hot mess up in that dentist office. Let me see if I can recap our morning ...

At 7:45 a.m., I figured I best get my butt in the shower, since I knew I had to be at the dentist office with all three kids by 9:00 a.m. Mason, Payton and I got showers, while Nika continued to sleep -- clearly I thought I had more time than I really did.

I asked Mason to go get dressed and bring his toothbrush into my bathroom so I could brush his teeth. We were headed to the dentist, after all -- needed to make sure we got rid of all the plaque. He was almost done getting ready, until he brought in a pair of tennis shoes that had knots in the laces. He wanted me to get the knots out, as his continuous pulling on the laces was clearly only making things worse. I asked him to get his other shoes and he whined that he didn't know where they were.

I love whining. Especially when I am rushing around to get all of us out the door. Sigh.

I got Payton out of the shower and started to get her dressed. She proceeded to have her daily conversation with her Dora underwear -- apparently she didn't realized we were pressed for time.

Hiiii! Dorda? Dorda? Hiiii!

I finally got her to put her clothes on and I went to grab her toothbrush. It was gone. I quickly remembered that yesterday morning Mason told me she dropped it down behind his bed and he couldn't get to it. Fantastic. I asked him to go crawl under his bed and get her toothbrush ... we were going to the dentist and she needed her teeth brushed!

But mom, I can't reach it!

Did I mention -- I love whining.

Something about sharing toothbrushes completely grosses me out, so I decided Payton would just have to go to the dentist with plaque-covered teeth. Lovely. I planned my excuse all out in my head -- just knowing they would be looking at me like I'm a hot mess.

Clearly, I didn't care.

By then, it was about 8:50 a.m. and we should have already been on the road. Meanwhile, I was half naked, I had wet hair and Nika was still asleep. I'm awesome.

I quickly got dressed, tucked my wet hair behind my ears and ran to grab Nika. I knew if anything, I had to get her teeth brushed. Meanwhile, her hair was a mess and her cheeks needed a heavy dose of lotion.

I yelled for all the kids to go get in the car. Two out of three had no shoes on and none of them had coats on. My car was in the garage, so it was okay -- right? As I opened the car door, I realized that Payton's car seat was not installed, as an adult had to ride in her seat a few days ago and I had to uninstall her car seat. Awesome.

I ran back in the house, got a pair of boots for each of the girls and grabbed three winter coats. Off we went.

We pulled into the dentist office only 5-7 minutes late ... pretty good, eh? I parked right in front of the door and had the kids run inside ... me carrying their coats. I signed us in and was asked for my insurance card and identification. Neither, nada -- I had none with me. I had been there several times before, but apparently their policy is that you must present both cards at every visit.

We'll make an exception for you this time, but blah blah blah. Whatever.

We go sit down and I got a brush out of my purse to comb Nika's bed head. She had snot coming out both nostrils and a red mark on her cheek from when she fell yesterday. She looked a hot mess.

Actually -- I'm pretty sure *I* looked a hot mess.

We were called back into the exam area and they took Mason to one chair and Nika to another. Payton stood in the corner, covering her mouth with both hands and shaking her head no. Mason did awesome gripping the arms of the chair and Nika cried. When she was done, her face was so puffy that she looked like Rocky.

Poor kid.
Actually, it sort of made me happy that she cried -- it shows that she has gotten a little more feisty than she used to be.

And then it was Payton's turn. She was mad -- she screamed, she kicked, she flailed. Awesome.

I love screaming, kicking and flailing.

Oh my gosh, what a day. If I don't laugh, I'll cry. It just makes me laugh to envision all the people there looking at me like I was nuts -- and me wishing that they knew I am somewhat normal.

I think? Ha.

I know I'm not the only person who has these type of mornings. Fess up.

In better news -- none of the kids had cavities.

Mason's 6-7 year molars are coming down, although the one side is getting caught up on a baby tooth ... so the dentist wants to keep an eye on that.

We feel fairly certain that Payton is missing her two lower lateral teeth -- those are the ones on either side of the lower front teeth. The dentist isn't concerned and hopeful that it will just help prevent crowding when she gets her adult teeth.

I received confirmation that Nika will end up in an ortho office at some point. Her teeth are pretty crowded and we also discussed a palate expander for her. This would help with crowding, as well as make more room for her tongue to fit comfortable in her mouth. Her sleep specialist also talked to me about getting a palate expander to help with oxygen flow -- we shall see.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A little bit of everything.


Payton saw the geneticist a couple weeks ago ... the same day Addison did. Everything was fine ... continue as normal.

4 year stats ---> 41 pounds, 39 inches
  • Typical chart - Weight 90th percentile, Height 50th percentile
  • DS chart - Weight and height: 95th percentile

A couple weeks ago, Payton and Addison had GI scopes done. Everything looked fine ... no damage seen. The GI did note that both girls have reddish stomachs, which could be indicative of some type of bacteria.

We are waiting for the results of the biopsies ... at which point we will know more.


Payton was swabbed for strep as a follow up to her last round of antibiotics. We are waiting for the results.

Please Dear God -- let it be negative.

**Update ---> it's negative!


We met with our ENT to review Addison's sleep study results. Apparently ... in the end ... she was having up to 10 episodes per hour. She also was desating to 89 at times, which is not a great thing.

So ... she will be having surgery to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. I am also hoping that this will help with her somewhat chronic congestion ... her little nose needs a break!


Payton and Addison both saw their eye doctor a couple weeks ago. Payton pretty much refuses to cooperate with him, which is frustrating. Nonetheless, we left with some answers.

In past years, Payton has always had a little bit of farsightedness. She still does. Although it seems to have gotten a little better, so we will continue to have her tested annually. No need for glasses right now.

Last year, Addison was a little bit nearsighted. This year, it is a little worse. The prescription in one eye is -1.25 and -2.5 in the other. The doctor isn't worried, since she is so young. He said that we technically could put her in glasses to help her see a little better ... yet, he also said that if she seems to be doing okay -- then just let her be. He also told me that he will not force her to wear glasses until there is a difference of 2 points between her two eyes, because that is what will start causing her to cross her eyes.

So ... not sure what do to for her. Perhaps get her some glasses to keep on around the house? Or forego glasses for now and wait to see what next year brings? Ahh ... not sure on this one!


Mason has continued to have good behavior at school ... such a relief! For the month of January, he was among 205 kids in the entire elementary school to earn a Mega Paw. That is Mason's second Mega Paw for the year. So proud of him!

We are continuing to work hard on getting him more advanced with his sight words. He is still struggling with some of the words they have been working on since September at school. He also is continuing to have a hard time grasping some letter sounds, so we are working on that too.



Courtesy of our 31 inches of snow ... school was canceled today. And it is canceled tomorrow. We are under another winter storm warning. Total accumulations expected are 10-20 inches.

Not happy. I mean ... I love snow. But seriously ... the kids can't even really go out and play in this because it is too deep. They sink. They can't move.

It sucks.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This is craziness.


It was 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. It had been snowing for more than 24 hours straight. According to the weather forecast, we had another 5 or 6 hours to go. I heard on the news we were supposed to get 2-4 inches in just 90 minutes.

It was coming down hard and fierce.

As of 9:00 p.m. Friday night, we had already shoveled about 8-10 inches from our driveway. By 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, we were easily at about 24 inches of snow by now. It is heavy, wet snow. Not exactly the easy shoveling kind.

And my kids were having a blast. Well, my two older kids at least. Nika stayed warm inside with me.






My deck furniture is buried up past the seat. This is craziness.

Final tally ---> 31 inches.



This blizzard has been devastating to many people in our area. Roofs have fallen in. Power has been lost. People are stranded.

Friends of ours lost power on Friday night and they haven't been able to get down their road to get out. The snow is thigh high and there isn't a plow in sight. They are freezing and they don't even have a fireplace to keep warm. After the snow ended last night, I drove over to their road to see how it looked coming from the outside in ... it wasn't pretty.

On my way home, I got to enjoy the sunset. Only here can you enjoy a sunset an hour after a blizzard clears.

It was beautiful. And peaceful.


Friday, February 5, 2010

I could just eat her up.

I have wanted to post a video of Payton's speech for awhile now ... I just never do.

I never do because as soon as I go back to watch it ... I realize just how delayed her speech is. I mean ... we communicate fine. But seeing on video how delayed her speech is ... it breaks my heart.

I just want baby girl to be able to talk. I want her to be able to converse with her friends. And although she does all of this in her own way ... I yearn for the day that she can just speak a full sentence.

At the same time ... this is her. And dangnabbit ... I could just eat her up.

So here she is ... age 4 years 1 month ...

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

*ring ring, ring ring*

Me: Hello?

Friend: Hey, are you watching ABC World News with Diane Sawyer? They just showed a picture of Payton!

Me: Huh? Are you sure?

Friend: Yes ... I am sure! It was that picture of her when she was a baby ... she had on a white tank top and she was sticking her tongue out.


Me: Are you serious?! What were they talking about?

Friend: They were talking about the R word.

We continued to talk ... all the while I remained a skeptic. I mean really ... wouldn't I know if my daughter's picture was going to be shown on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer?

Ha ... apparently not!

I turned to facebook and asked if anyone had seen the segment.

I saw it and was screaming "That's Payton!!" ... I remember that pic!

I was doing the treadmill and was watching and SCREAMED at the top of my lungs to everyone upstairs that Payton was on TV. You go girlie!!!

Aww ... my baby was on the world news and I missed it! Thank God for the internet!

The ABC World News segment is a direct result of Obama's Chief of Staff referring to something as being "F'ing R____" ... thus the backlash. The View also discussed the use of the R word earlier that day.

Payton's picture was a clip from the ARC RESPECT PSA that was made back when Tropic Thunder came out. I also sort of forgot that the PSA is on every Tropic Thunder DVD ... pretty awesome.

To say we are proud is an understatement!

Changing lives ... one day at a time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Is there anything better?

This morning we awoke to a beautiful blanket of snow. School was canceled ... making me the lucky winner of 12 hours of bonding with my three adorable children. Lucky me!


Our poor pup ... Zoe ... wasn't sure how to go potty this morning. When you live in an area that doesn't normally have much snow, a little dog like ours gets a little freaked out.


Not sure exactly how much snow we got ... but I've heard more is coming later this week.


Poor Zoe still hasn't moved. Little does she know that the snow balls on her fur will get bigger and bigger the longer she stands there and refuses to go potty.


Is there anything better than waking up to this?


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Could you be her family?

Meet Lera.


She is an orphan living in a baby home in St. Petersburg, Russia. The exact same city from which Nika came.

Lera needs a family ... like, yesterday. She had a family committed to adopt her, but that fell through and now she needs another family.

But time is not on her side. At age four, orphans are typically transferred out of baby homes. Lera is 4 1/2 years old ... and by the grace of God, she is still at the baby home.

She has an $8,605 grant in her name through Reece's Rainbow. This is a huge start for any adoptive family. She also has another $2,000 that was raised for her by the first family that planned to adopt her -- they want to give that money to her new family.

Could you be her family?

Lera has Down syndrome. She is reported to be very high functioning and by the looks of her dolly, she is engaged in pretend play. She is reported to have a heart murmur, but no other health concerns.

So ... what do you say? Could you be her family?

For more information, please email Andrea at Reece's Rainbow. Please?!