Saturday, March 8, 2014

It is great to be 8!

On February 28, 2014 Kaelyn and Kylie went off to school excited for a fabulous Friday. The school was having a pajama day combined with a free popcorn day. They were also excited about Grandma and Grandpa L. (my parents) and their aunt Heather. What they didn't know is that we were expecting another visitor!

 
Kaelyn had been disappointed because one of her friends from school had invited her for a sleepover. I told her she could not go, but I promised that she would be having a sleepover the same weekend and asked that she try not to be too disappointed. She responded rather matter of factually, "Mom, I love Grandma, Grandpa, and Heather, but I am disappointed." I am pretty sure she got over that, and went on to enjoy many nights of sleepovers with her cousin Ashlynn!

 It took no time at all for everyone to settle in and start enjoying our time together. Aliya, took time warming up to everyone. Well except for Ashlynn, who broke the ice with a game of peek a boo at Costco. They became fast friends.
Heather and Aliya reading a story together.

 Both Kaelyn and Kylie were quick to steal a turn with Grandpa's hat.

My kiddos were in tablet heaven. One per kid? Wahoo!

There was a fantastically fun (and timed) pillow fight one night before bed.
 We had such a good time just hanging out and playing together. On Monday I kept the kids out of school so that we could venture off to the Pacific Science Center. It wasn't crowded at all and the kids had such a great time!

Kaelyn and Ashlynn loved the fun house mirrors.

Kylie and Grandpa discover how a zipper works.

Alyssa loved making the ball fly. 

The butterfly house was a big hit.

Especially for Aliya. She was entranced by them.

Ashlynn loved the touching tide pool and spent a lot of time there.
Grandpa even discovered our new shadow friend, Frank.
While it is always nice to just be together we had a very special reason for this visit. A long anticipated event. 
Kaelyn's Baptism





  
The baptism service was nice. It was only Kaelyn and one other child in the stake being baptized that day so it felt very special and personal. Since each baptism was done separately I felt surrounded by loved ones and friends as I looked at a room full of people there to support Kaelyn on her special day.  Friends from church, friends from school, family from near and far. It was so nice.





 
Ann did a beautiful job with Kaelyn's hair.




Kaelyn kept sneaking in kisses. It was adorable.

There is a part of me that can't believe my little girl is old enough to have made this very important step. However, I am so proud of her. She has grown and learned so much over the last year. She has matured in ways that I just did not expect. Each day she is developing into quite the young lady. I am very blessed to call her my daughter.

Well this was a very special event and I felt we should celebrate with a party afterwards. So even though life has been all sorts of crazy I wanted to go all out, and in the words of Jon after the fact, "It was shockingly smooth." I am very thankful for my friend and family who helped me by cooking some of the food for our Cafe Rio knock off dinner. 

I had been wanting to try the tissue paper pom poms and this was a perfect excuse.




More evidence of being surrounded by friends and family.
In the end I believe there were 53 people in our house for dinner! I know that there were others who wished they could be there and were with us in thought. I love each of you, my family and friends. 

Milestones in life, such as Kaelyn's baptism, make me reflect on the many stepping stones our path through life. In that reflection I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude for the  people we have met and experiences we have had along the way. From Arizona to Ohio, Wisconsin to Washington, and all the stops in Utah in between, thank you for being a part of my life. I hope that we can all be together again at some point, I look forward to sharing in your life's milestones (even if it is just through the means of the internet). I know that I am pretty bad at keeping in touch, but I do think of so many of you often, because my life is blessed for having known you.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Aliya's First Birthday

Just in case you hadn't heard...
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The day before her birthday we celebrated with our family nearby.



She was not at all hesitant about digging into her cake.


I feel kind of bad that we never got our act together to get her any presents. However, being the 4th child she has no shortage of things to play with.The following is the only picture I took of her on her actual birthday. It was an awesome bedhead!
The very next day she received a package in the mail from my parents. It was pretty cute to see how excited the girls were to watch their sister open presents.




Some fun facts about Aliya at one year old:
  • Aliya is a super snuggler.
  • She adores her Uncle Steven.
  • She wears a size 4 diaper.
  • She wears size 12 month clothes.
  • She eats pretty much everything I feed her.
  • As expected, she just wants to be big like her sisters.
I am so thankful that she is a part of our family. Hindsight is an amazing thing and now I am beginning to understand that she came to our family at exactly the right time. I'll admit that when I found out I was pregnant with her I panicked, because I was not planning to have two kids 18 months apart. However, we never could have known  what would happen with Jon and the whole cancer thing. So knowing what I do now, I am especially thankful that Aliya is  our little girl. I cannot imagine life without her and I often reflect on how blessed I am that life does not always go according to my plans. If we had waited to have another baby until I had planned to, we would not have Aliya and that would be a sad sad thing. I have felt an extra close connection to her since she was born. Perhaps that is  because I feel like she choose us, she knew she was needed in our family.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Trick or Treat


Happy Halloween!

We had a rather eventful Halloween, but first let me introduce you to my costumed cuties.

Kaelyn
Note to self: I must remember to get a picture of her with her hands down. 

 Kaelyn decided a long time ago what she wanted to be for Halloween. Way back in January just before Aliya was born we visited the Settle aquarium. One of the first exhibits we walked past was the two giant octopi. Kaelyn was terrified of them, come to think of it she never cared for them. She clung tightly to my arm and refused to look at them. So I was a little surprised that later when there were octopi costumes made of towels Kaelyn was game for dressing up as one of the dreaded creatures. That experience must have some how been therapeutic for her, because she decided within a week that she would like her own octopus costume to wear on Halloween. 

My many thanks go to my sister in law Crystal who helped me with the sewing one morning. We made a great team: me pinning and positioning, and doing a few things on my sewing machine and her flying through seam after seam on her surger. I feel like it turned out well. Despite the fact the hoodie patten I used was a children's size 7 our first attempt ended up way too big for my little girl (as in it fit me!) So Crystal re-sized it to fit Kaelyn a few days later. By the way I love my Kaelyn bug and her silly bone, the picture below is of her just being goofy.

Kylie


Kylie was "Kylie the Carnival Fairy", and why not? As she excitedly pointed out they have the SAME name. That was reason enough for her. Wait is that a bit to obscure of you? Here is the source of her inspiration. It is from a series of books that my girls rather enjoy.

When she asked if this is what she could be I pointed out that she would need to be more modest, but other than that sure. We worked hard to get it as close to the real deal as possible including rainbow wristlets and leg laces (those didn't survive the day at school). I had Kylie paint her necklace white, she loves being able to do things like that by herself. I loved the fact that I already had the rainbow fabric on hand from a failed project, whipping up that skirt was easy peasy.

Alyssa

When asked what she wanted to be for Halloween we got a blank stare. After all what on earth does that mean to a two year old? Nothing. So we explained it meant she would get to dress up and pretend to be someone else, no one was surprised to hear she would like to be "Fia the Burst" or for those of you that do not speak adorable two year old, Sofia the First. This little Disney Jr. show is her current great love. I am glad that her being two means she wasn't picky about how to accomplish becoming Princess Sophia. A purple dress and crown from the dress up closet was good enough for my little princess.
 
 Aliya
I get a kick out of this costume. A friend gave me this cute little trench coat when Alyssa was a baby and I love it. However, it has always made me think of a detective. So I found a patten and asked my talented mother in law to make that adorable hat! And the mustache on the binky was something Crystal just happened to have laying around her house. I think it is the perfect finishing touch.

Now that you have been able to enjoy the cuteness, I'll fill you in as to what made yesterday so particularly eventful. The story begins back at the beginning of October when I got a little cold. I was sick over that first weekend, then fine by Monday morning, well except for the stupid cough, which would not go away. I've had a cough ALL MONTH LONG. It was annoying but a minor annoyance and nothing else. That is until Saturday afternoon when it started to get worse.It was a deeper yucky kind of cough. by Monday my chest was hurting  a little bit when I coughed, Tuesday it hurt a lot when I coughed, and Wednesday it hurt a lot all of the time. I decided it was time to go and see the doctor. An office visit and a couple x-rays later the Doctor informed me that I have mild pneumonia and a lovely little side effect called costochondritis. He advised me to take more ibuprofen to try and get the inflammation on the cartilage around my ribs to go down  and gave me an antibiotic for the pneumonia. To look on the bright side, 6 pills is a much more pleasant way to deal with pneumonia than the chalk I had to swig when I had pneumonia in the 7th grade.

So on Thursday I made sure to take the recommend meds, then went to help at Kylie's Halloween class party. Lest you consider me neglectfully I  triple checked with the doctor to make sure that I wasn't contagious,  and he assured me that by this point I definitely am not. It was a fun little party and Alyssa had a good time helping me work the behind the scenes magic of the fishing booth. Then after picking the girls up from the school bus we went straight over to a friends house to check and see if her back yard would be suitable for taking pictures of Jon's family over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I figured a good way to do so would be to go and take pictures and since I needed to capture all of the costumed cuteness I figured it would be perfect. We got home from that adventure at about 5:00 PM. It was later than I had planned, and I was trying hard to figure out what to throw together for dinner since we were planning to go trick or treating with a friend's family at 6:00. Jon arrived home before I had even finished getting the kids unloaded.

I was carrying Aliya up the stairs when I felt a pop, and all of a sudden my chest hurt A LOT MORE than it had been, which is saying something! I nearly dropped my baby, thankfully Jon was right behind me on the stairs and took her. I rather gingerly finished climbing the stairs and settled into a chair. For a couple of minutes I diluted myself into thinking that this meant he would have to take the girls trick-or-treating without me and I would stay home to hand out the candy. It didn't take long though for me to realize that was not going to work. I decided I needed to drive myself to urgent care, Again it didn't take much more time to realize that was foolishness and that I would not be driving myself anywhere! We then got a little bit panicked and moved fast to find someone to watch the girls while Jon drove me to the Urgent care. I tried to think of someone who did not already have kids to take trick or treating. I felt bad that our kids were going to miss out, but sometimes the plan HAS to change.

Well Michelle saved the day. Not only did she hurry over super fast, but she offered to take the kids trick or treating according to the original plan. I cannot thank her enough. Our trip to the urgent care went smoothly. As it turns out the  costochondritis is the culprit. You can think of my situation like a piece of cereal box cardboard. There are kind of 4 different states of being:
 
1. The cereal box as it stands- This is when you feel fine.
2. You can bend the cardboard and have it show no signs of wear and tear. It isn't exactly designed to bend, but it can and recovers fairly quickly. This is like costochondritis. The inflammation is present and hurts but not  a big deal.
3. The cardboard gets bent so far out of shape that it leaves a crease. This is like when I "popped" for lack of a better word. The damage is more substantial and will take longer to heal  (especially with pneumonia continually aggravating the issue), but I am not in anyway
4. Broken. My metaphorical cardboard box is not in two separate pieces.Which again looking on the bright side, things could be worse. I do not have a cracked rib, or a broken rib, or broken anything. I just have a very sore bunch of cartilage.

As it stands I have a stronger pain reliever/ cough suppressant and am trying to rest as much as possible. Silver lining Jon doesn't have to take any days off to stay at home and be the awesome husband he is.  He has already taken over all baby care duties, done laundry, herded the kids into cleaning up, done the weeks grocery shopping, made meals, and taken Aliya to her 9 month well check appointment. Jon truly is the best, I am feeling very blessed even if it has been a rather painful 24 hours.

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