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Dad Moments

June 28, 2014

I am often in awe when I see little snippets of how sweet Bill is with his daughter. Yes, I had a Father, and yes, he was always far more tender with me than my Mother was (since she was the one mainly home and the main disciplinarian) and I should expect that Bill would be just as amazing as my Father was. However, I am still in awe when I see it happening. He talks to them so calmly, he listens to them with earnest, and he treats them like they make his life worthwhile.


I had to snap this picture one afternoon when Bill was tenderly brushing Madeline’s hair. It just exemplifies my feelings on how he is an amazing daughter to his children.

> Madeline | Comments (0)

PV Panthers Swim Team

June 12, 2014

Annie, Kimberly, and Mimi joined the swim team this year. They are all pretty good swimmers and I figured it was time to get them out swimming.


They really enjoyed the meets and being able to compete with other kids. They received a second place in the freestyle relay on their first event.


By their last meet they were the first place division champions for the medley relay!


Swimming is something they love doing. I hope they continue to do it each summer and hone their skills more.

On a side note, dressing them all in the exact same outfits was a thrill of mine. I always loved to match Annie and Kimberly and now to add Mimi into the mix was adorable. Mimi is getting so tall that people often think I have triplets. Adorable.


> Annie, Kimberly, Madeline, Swim | Comments (0)

Cellulitis Kicks Off Summer

May 27, 2014

Annie is such a free spirit. I’ve tried for 10 years to get her to be a bit less of one, but it really doesn’t have any impact. She is who she is. Over the weekend we went to the park to listen to the concert and hang out with friends. Annie was playing in the trees, doing cartwheels in the grass and always on the lookout for bugs and lizards. When Annie comes home from the park with some sort of welt it is just considered another day in paradise.

On this visit Annie had a welt on the palm of her hand. I gave her some benedryl when we got home and put a cool washcloth on it and sent her to bed. The next day it was still bothering her so we continued with the same treatment. Monday was Memorial Day so the Dr. offices were not open and I am not a fan of urgent cares so I kept on doing my own care. We have a neighbor who is a firefighter and he took a look at it and agreed with me that it was a allergic reaction.

The following morning we woke up and Annie came to me and showed me her arm. She had a red streak coming up from the welt area going up her arm. It was warmer than usual to the touch. At this point I called the Dr. and got her in for an appointment. He diagnosed Annie with the condition cellulitis. He said that since I was an ever vigil parent I could have a choice between hospitalizing her and doing home care with bringing her into his office each day.

Because home care is always preferred if it is safe we went that route. Annie had to have a shot of antibiotics in her rear before we left and a prescription for antibiotics to take that night. She also had to go get her blood drawn to make sure the bacterial infection wasn’t too far.


As we were sitting in the waiting rooom Annie was playing on her DS and I was reading something on my phone. All of a sudden Annie started crying. It was in that exact moment that I realized that SHE had never had a blood draw. Mimi had tons for her seizures, Kimberly had tons for her iron deficiency, and Paul had tons for his titers and failure to thrive, Annie however, had never had any.

We started fooling around and taking selfies to take Annie’s mind off it.



Finally they called us back and it was super easy. Annie was nervous but once it was done said, “that wasn’t that bad.” So often we get ourselves worked up over something that when it actually happens it isn’t that bad.


It ended up being a very long week. Annie was in the Dr. office more in that week than she was the whole year previously. Annie is healthy and happy now and is a little more careful with her cuts and scrapes to make sure to clean them out.

Sadly, we had a vacation planned that we were unable to go to due to Annie condition. No worries, we have rescheduled our trip for next summer.

> Annie | Comments (0)

Principal List Awards

May 21, 2014

For the final quarter of the year Annie and Kimberly both earned the Principal List award for having all A’s. We are so proud of them!


Keep up the good work in 5th grade next year!

> Family News | Comments (0)

Rocky Point

May 17, 2014

Our neighbors invited us to go along with them to Rocky Point, Mexico. It would be the first time the kids would travel outside the US, they were beside themselves with joy. We stayed at the lovely Tessoro Resort.

Out far, see the black line that is where the tide will come back to

The one great thing about Rocky Point is the tide pools that occur when the tide goes out. The kids LOVED finding creatures and searching around for all sorts of animals.

Bigger than Annie's face

Sea cucumbers

Madeline and the sea star

Kimberly's clams

Annie, Bill and Mimi

There were tons of stingrays in the water and tide pools. Our neighbor renamed Annie, Bindy Irwin. She was so bold in her searching for animals and picks them up without really wondering if they are safe or not.

Paul loved to spend time in the “chacuzi”. He loved the warm water and playing with friends.

Enjoying the evening

We are so glad they invited us to come along. It was such a fun time.

MImi, Sandi and Sarah

> Family News, Vacation | Comments (0)

Mother’s Day 2014

May 11, 2014

In my life these children are my greatest blessings. There 4 souls intertwined with mine long ago and I cannot imagine being a mother to any others.


> Mom's Soap Box | Comments (0)

Toothless Wonder

May 9, 2014

Paul is the Toothless Wonder. If he has a tooth that is barely loose you can expect him to pull it out within a couple of days. He just works at them the whole time until they give up. His current smile is pretty adorable!


> Paul | Comments (0)

Madeline’s Glasses & Therapy

May 8, 2014

We have decided to take Madeline back to a therapist to deal with some of her issues.

As long time readers know, Madeline had apraxia as a child. She went to tons of therapy and made a lot of progress. So much, in fact, that she was released from therapy with the knowledge that at some point in the future we may need to go back.

She also took occupational therapy for her impairment due to her grand mal seizure and brain damage.

It has become clear that we need to reopen this book. We need to help Madeline to be able to live happily in her skin once again. This is an uphill battle. One we have traveled on before.

I was devastated when we first decided and got her diagnosis once again. It felt like we had already done this. Wouldn’t we get a pass for all the hard work we did the first time? The answer was no. We have to travel this road again and she actually will never get away from it. When I heard those words my heart broke a little. This is one of the things I will never be able to fix for Mimi. Something that no matter how hard she works on it, it will still be there in the background. It reminded me of the helplessness I felt dealing with my own infertility. I want so much for us to have battled and won this.

Madeline has now been diagnosed with limb discoordination and apraxia. The apraxia rarely presents itself in language, however we see it often in her motor planning and sensory loss. She will be seeking therapy one day per week and have homework to work on throughout the week. I am nervous how she will respond to all of it over time. She is so old that if she isn’t really dedicated to it she won’t do well. She can make her own choices at this point.

One of the first things we did was get her eyes evaluated. She had some issues with her testing that led us to take her to an eye doctor who specialized in occipital lobe damage. He said that the strain is hard on her eyes and that while she doesn’t need glasses to read she needs them so that her eyes don’t tire so quickly. When her eyes/brain tire she gets more irritated and we see the undesirable behaviors.

She looks adorable in the glasses and we will work this summer to get her to wear them more often. Because of her sensory issues she really doesn’t want to wear them often.

She has already begun therapy and has a long way to go.

> Madeline, Therapy | Comments (0)


May 5, 2014

I absolutely adore this picture Bill and I took when we were in Carlsbad. You can see each one of our kids in the background enjoying the ocean and we are there enjoying it all. There is something so simplistic about it that makes me smile each time I see it.

> Family News | Comments (0)

Madeline’s 9th Birthday Party

May 3, 2014

Madeline has never been a big crowd kind of person. When her birthday fell on Easter that made it easy to suggest that she just take a couple of people out to dinner, a movie and a treat. She thought about it some but finally came to the decision that she would do that.

She really enjoyed the party. She had three friends go with us and we had a lot of fun.

She wanted Chipotle for dinner.

Madeline's birthday party at Chipotle

Rio 2 for the movie. We got to the movie pretty early and we were the only ones in the theater. Madeline asked if they could run around and dance. Since it was a party I said yes. She had a great time running around with her friends.

She wanted treats at Rita’s Ice.

I can’t believe that she is 9 years old. The picture of her with her Rita’s shows just how old and mature she is becoming. My little baby is growing up. I am so proud of who she is becoming.

> Madeline | Comments (0)

Girl Scout Cookies

April 23, 2014

Our Girl Scout cookie season has come and gone. Our Girls love collecting cookies for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Once again they had a huge number of donations for the hospital. We were able to deliver them and take a tour of the hospital. Way to go Girls!

> Girl Scouts | Comments (0)

Easter 2014

April 21, 2014

This year Easter fell on Madeline’s birthday. It was kind of a weird day but we still had fun and got through everything. After many tears and fussy people we finally got a good picture of my 4 pack.

Easter 2014 cuties

We celebrated with Grammy on Good Friday. I had to snap a picture of her with the kids before they went out hunting for eggs at her house.

Grammy with the kids

Grammy and Paul

Grammy’s old trampoline broke and the kids were super surprised to see a new one in her backyard when they came over. They bounced on it for hours.

Jumping fun

At home on Easter the kids enjoyed their baskets.

Checking out the baskets

Paul couldn’t wait to get a bite out of this huge bunny.


The kids searched for eggs inside and outside.

Hunting for eggs

It was a great day to spend with family and to relax and be together. The kids are quickly growing up so enjoying this precious time is so important to me.

> Family News | Comments (0)

Madeline at 9 years old

April 20, 2014

This year Madeline turned 9 years old. It was such a weird birthday because it fell on Easter.

Dressed and ready to go

We woke up and gave Madeline her presents, then had Easter, and at the end of the day we had Madeline’s cake.

Madeline Christine 9 years old

Color: yellow
Sport: ballet
Animal: Monkey
Food: broccoli
Book: Harry Potter
Season: Summer
Restaurant: Carlos O’Briens
Holiday: 4th of July
Weather: Sunny
Cereal: Fruit Loops
TV Shows: Full House
Movie: Harry Potter 1
Candy: Skittles
Subject: Math
Toy: American Girl
Thing to do: swimming
Place have been: Arizona, California, Washington
Place to be: at the beach
Place want to go: Rome
Person: Mom
Hero: Grammy
Time of Day: morning
Song: Don’t Go Breakin My Heart
Drink: water
Treat: ice cream
Vacation: Seattle

Happy Birthday to my sweet Madeline.

> Madeline | Comments (0)

Spring Encampment

April 8, 2014

The Girls enjoyed Fall Encampment so much that we had to go again in the Spring.

Mommy and her girls

This camp had bunk beds and Mimi and her friend spent each night together in the top bunk.

Mimi and Audrey on the top bunk

The girls had a great time playing in the lodge,

Playing in the lodge

Eating together,

getting ready for breakfast

Doing trust exercises (that is Annie being held up by her troop),

Annie up high

Enjoying the beautiful outdoors,

The beautiful sky

Annie finding critters,

Annie and her lizard

Madeline doing ceramics,

Mimi painting

Kimberly and Annie doing archery,

Kimberly loading her bow


Taught the kids how to make plastic lanyards, played by the creek, cooked outdoors and just hung out together. It was a great weekend. We all were so tired when we came home.

> Annie, Girl Scouts, Kimberly, Madeline | Comments (0)

3rd Quarter Smarties

April 2, 2014

Annie and Kimberly earned Honor Roll and Principal List once again! Way to go Girls.

> Annie, Kimberly, School | Comments (0)

Be Afraid, Very Afraid . . .

March 29, 2014

Check out the description on these cupcakes.


Kimberly was reading the ads and was shocked and appalled when she read this type of cupcake. Kind of creepy. Not even sure what the typo could be instead.

> Kimberly | Comments (0)

Dolphin and Whale Watching

March 28, 2014

While in California we took the kids out whale and dolphin watching. I had never been on a specific dolphin watching cruise and I really didn’t know what to expect. We found a huge pod of dolphins. They were all around the boat and very interactive for the children.


Madeline looking

Riding out into the ocean


We also saw a grey whale mother and calf. It was a great trip.

> Vacation | Comments (0)

Strawberry Picking

Right near our hotel was a pick-your-own strawberry field. On our way out of town we had to stop and pick a basketful.

Family picture at the farm

Mimi found a good one

Annie and her strawberry

Kimberly found one

> Vacation | Comments (0)


March 27, 2014

Over spring break we took the kids over to Carlsbad, California.

Playing in the waves

We had to head out to the beach once we got all checked in. The kids loved playing in the ocean even though it was freezing. We tried to get a selfie of us all at the beach. After many attempts we were able to get one.


While in Carlsbad we went to LegoLand.

Colorful rainbow lego

The kids really enjoyed it. I was less interested. For me, if you see something made of Legos you’ve seen them all. Honestly!

Paul enjoyed seeing the Lego Movie set.

LEGO movie set

Mimi and Kimberly loved all the statues.

Mimi and Kimmie

Annie liked the Lego creation areas.

Annie's lego creation

We spent the whole day at the park. One day is plenty of time to see everything.

> Vacation | Comments (0)

Spring Band Concert

March 19, 2014

During the Spring Band Concert Annie and Kimberly were chosen to do duets with some other students. They did a great job. I am proud of how good they have gotten in just one year!


> Annie, band, Kimberly | Comments (0)

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