April 15, 2014

Eva ~7.75 months~

Haha! Not quite 8 months but I had the opportunity to take some pics and I took it! Last weekend a friend of mine was having a mommy/daughter photo shoot event. I signed right up and of course when the time came I was all stressed out about trying to get all three girls to look at the camera and smile. I honestly don’t think she got a single good shot but we will see! Wow I’m negative;) Anyway, my whole point is, after the shoot Rich took the kids and went to run some errands leaving me and Eva at home on a perfectly overcast day which is ideal for pictures and a cutely dressed Eva. I took advantage.

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I love this baby girl to pieces! I can’t believe she is going to be 8 months old in 1 week!!!

One Jar Down!

Tonight, was a good night. Eva finished her very first jar of baby food!

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As I posted a couple weeks ago, she started eating. She was making great progress and then had a bad experience, I’m still not exactly sure what was wrong with the baby food or why it made her gag but that one little negative experience turned her off to food and she refused to try it again for almost a whole week. I was so stressed out and discouraged. I was just about to give up trying and call her therapist to ask him what I should do when I had an idea. Start from scratch! In the beginning I was just dipping my finger in the baby food and giving her tastes. Back then wasn’t really interested in the baby food but was interested in chewing on my finger so she gave it a go. So, I gave it a try! She grabbed my finger and shoved it in her mouth so fast and once she tasted the sweet potatoes she was practically jumping out of her seat for more! I dipped my finger in a couple more times and then switched back to the spoon. She did pretty well considering she had refused it for almost a week but again it was like starting from scratch and building her back up to where she was again.

 

All of that leads to tonight! She had worked up to eating 3 times a day and tonight she accomplished the task of finishing off 1 jar of baby food by the end of the day! Yes, she worked on the same jar all day and it was the small 2.5oz jar but for her that is a HUGE accomplishment and I am SO PROUD of her!

Licking the jar clean.

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Yet Another Random Post

Isn’t daily life so full of little happenings? It’s amazing how going nowhere and doing a whole lot of nothing still keeps things interesting and worth documenting.

I’m gonna start out with this…

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Yes, those are friendship necklaces and yes it is a burger, hotdog and fries. Oh and no, we are not 12. Our friend, Robynn, in the middle, moved away last week so we decided we needed these to make our friendships official and permanent…not really. Why the fast food theme? No idea, that was all Robynn.  It is amazing how close you become with your friends when you don’t have any family around. They become your family in a way. They are the ones you spend holidays with and they are the ones you turn to when you need help. I’m so blessed to have great ones.

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One of our nurses had just gotten over a cold but still had a raspy voice so this is how she worked that night. Eva was mesmerized.

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P.S. Love our nurses! This is Erica. Our other nurse is Chee. I will need to get a pic of her soon. They are both so special to us and in such a short time we already consider them great friends. Its so comforting to know that they love what they do and especially that they love Eva. This is what Chee wrote on Eva’s feeding bag.

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They are so sweet and loving with Eva.

Ok, on to other random news. I’ve been trying to put the kids to work a little more. Make them pull their weight a bit.

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Arabella loves tying knots. It’s been about a year now that she has been tangling up anything she can get her hands on. The other day I found my shoe like this.

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The very next day I found her doing this.

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She is my little chaos creator. I spend so much time undoing things that she does whether its knots or sorting junk bags, she just loves that kind of thing. Lucky me!

Poor Eva! This is how she lives half of her life.

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She manages to play with her toys just fine though, haha!

The other night Rich went from, “I’m going to cut up some oranges for the kids.” to “I’m gonna throw some oranges in a blender and make them an Orange Julius.” to spending 5 minutes finding a recipe and 20 minutes juicing oranges! This is so typical of Rich. He starts out with something simple in mind and then it snowballs into a long drawn out process and a really messy kitchen. Yet, that is one of the things I love about him! The kids were so excited and thoroughly enjoyed their Orange Julius. Maya had a special request. She wanted an orange slice on her cup and a little umbrella. She had to settle for the orange slice.

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General Conference and the Ice Queen

Last weekend was General Conference. I love and look forward to Conference so much. It helps me refocus my life and set/reset goals. I usually try to watch conference while it’s airing live but I also dvr it so I can re-listen to talks the kids didn’t let me hear which is about 90% of them! This time I decided that the kids are old enough to sit and listen if they had something to keep their focus. My friend told me about something she does for her kids and I thought I would add my own little twist to it. She puts candy in cups or buckets and labels them with a word for their kids to listen for. When they hear the word they get to eat a piece of candy from that bucket. Here are mine…

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I’m mean and don’t give my kids very much candy so I swapped out most of the candy for somewhat healthier treats.

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Even though their smiles don’t look genuine they were pretty excited about this new idea!

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Talk #1…a bit of a let down for the kids. There wasn’t a single word from our buckets said. I think that this is why they weren’t as attentive during talk #2. It wasn’t horrible but you know how you imagine in your mind everything being perfect and going so smoothly? Yeah, that didn’t happen. The words weren’t being said enough so we had to pull out coloring pages and separate Arabella who would run across the room for a treat yelling the word that was said, which was a complete disruption to the quiet atmosphere we were trying to create. Talk #3 was the beginning of complete chaos. There were moments during the first few talks where I felt like I was maybe an amazing parent with really well behaved kids but those didn’t last and reality set in. Finally, I caved and sent them outside. The first session was a bust. We had a 2 hour break during which I brushed off the feelings of complete failure and reassessed the situation.

 

I learned for the second session that 2 hours is simply too long for my kids to sit and listen. I prepared other activities and gave them options. I was optimistic but they just didn’t last, darn it! It wasn’t bad for our first try and I will know better how to prepare and what expectations to have. Like I said, there were good moments like when President Monson spoke about LOVE and KINDNESS, the two buckets that had candy in them…kids were super attentive during that jackpot of a talk!

 

So, we’ve been a busy little bunch. We haven’t left the house much but I have started going back to church since Eva hasn’t been throwing up and flu season has passed. We recently had a visit from Elsa! The kids were so excited that she came to sing a song with them before bedtime.

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I took a few pics for her business website. It was confirmed to me once again, how much there is to learn about editing. It’s looking like I will start to have a bit of time to work on things I enjoy since Eva is doing so well! Here’s a pic of Elsa. I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to fix the blown out spot on her arm.

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Grateful for feeling like life is sort of starting to stabilize.

Lots to update! Can’t wait until I have a chance!

April 1, 2014

The things they do

Last week, I was walking to the living room from my room and as I walked past the girls’ room I glanced in. This is what I saw.

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Maya and Arabella think it’s so cute to have their stuffed animals hanging by their feet….I do too:)

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Some mornings I’ll put the Today show on while I’m running around doing what I do. The Today show ended and Rachel Ray came on and I heard Maya say, “I like this show!” She dropped what she was doing and watched whatever Rachel was cooking. A commercial came on and she grabbed the remote and sat down to see if she could fast forward through the commercials. She likes the funniest shows, this girl!

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Arabella has discovered coloring in the lines and it has changed her life(and mine). She spends a lot of time each day coloring and actually does a really great and detailed job! A couple of weeks ago I bought Maya a big Melissa and Doug princess coloring book and Arabella has claimed it! I love watching her focus.

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This is her very first detailed coloring page. Almost completed it and then moved on to another page.

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It’s so fun to watch all of the silly and cute things they do and see them move into more grown up stages in their young little lives.

Pigtails ~7 months~

I forgot to post these pics of my 7 month old girl showing off her first pigtails! I love this her so much!

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Eva eats!

As part of Eva’s therapy to teach her how to eat, the therapist has asked me to give her tastes of baby food a couple of times a day. I’ve done that and she hasn’t ever really been interested in the actual baby food but tolerates it in order to chew on my finger. The day before yesterday, I was doing the very same thing I do every day and was making ridiculous “nom nom” noises with an over the top happy voice so that even if she gags she see’s that mommy is happy and that this is fun and yummy. I dipped my finger in a jar of sweet potatoes and she almost leaped out of the bumbo to grab my finger! She shoved it in her mouth and swallowed the baby food without even making a face! I was shocked! Again, I dipped my finger in the baby food and she was reaching out for my hand like I’d never seen her do before. Before I knew it I was scooping baby food onto my finger and she was spending less and less time chewing on my finger and more time anxiously awaiting more baby food. I know I’m making it sound like she devoured the whole jar of sweet potatoes but really she only swallowed a total of about half a tablespoon, haha! That is WAAAY more than she had ever done before though!

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Yesterday, she did the same thing as well as tried her very first banana! She loved it and was biting off little chunks and swallowing them. I was so HAPPY!

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Today, she graduated from eating from my finger since she is not as interested in chewing but more interested in the food itself. I fed her from a spoon and she did pretty good. I think she still needs something to chew on while she is trying to work the food down. Whenever I would pull the spoon out of her mouth right away she would gag. If I kept it in her mouth for a bit while she swallowed the greater part of it then she would be fine. The good news is that she was still really interested in the baby food, the bad news is that I tried the banana again today and she gagged on a chunk and threw up:( I think I’ll stick to pureed foods for now…got a little too excited.

 

Eva still hasn’t rolled over. She has no interest in being on her side or her tummy and fights me when I try to do her therapy. I’m not too worried about that though. I think that as she gets bigger and stronger she will naturally be more interested in the world beyond her immediate reach.

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She has not thrown up in several days and is getting better and better at sitting up. Eva is our sensitive one. She gets rashes easily, gags easily, wakes up if a pin is dropped but boy is she a happy little girl! She can be throwing up one minute and the second she is done she will give the biggest, happiest smile. She is so squirmy and wiggly and lately she knows that it makes me laugh and wiggles with a big grin on her face.

Right after eating

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I was thinking back today to how hard life has been. I’ve said it before and it is still true, she is the hardest of the 3 trach babies. I’m not quite sure how I survived the first 6 months but by some miracle I did. I’m sad that I didn’t get to just enjoy her babyhood but I’m so glad that it’s over. I’m grateful every single day for what life is today. I’m grateful that she is doing so much better, not perfect but much better. I’m grateful to be able to sleep through the night and for the two nurses that make that possible. I seriously love them for their service. I know that it’s their job but to me it is a huge service that has given me back my life and the ability to be a mother to my kids again. I’m so blessed!

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I’m so proud of Eva and how far she has come.

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