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Thursday, January 28, 2010


Emma practically bounced her way into the car this afternoon. She was happier and more excited than I have seen her in a LONG time. She raved about her day and all of the highlights from it...this never happens with her...never!!! I even noticed behavior changes in her and a gentleness towards Madeline that I have not seen in a long time. She is happy with a capital H :) I spent so much time praying through the decision to switch her and I am so blessed to see the outcome after only the first two days. God is good and his ways are perfect and I am so thankful for that. It is so encouraging to see your child go from surviving to thriving and I can only pray that this would only be the starting point for that in her life.

And on another note....I just booked our cruise....girl's weekend three weeks from tomorrow....yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

funnies of the day

Took little miss Em to get her "modeling shots" done this week. With all of the stress over moving classes, she has been in rare form the past few weeks...lots of sleepless nights and nervousness has left her with even more attitude than usual. Maria (bless her heart for putting up with it!) was still able to get some good shots of her and I think despite the attitude, Emma enjoyed it maybe a little bit?? When they were finished, Emma told me that she still wanted to be a model, but only the picture kind and that she's never walking down a runway or "that aisle thing" as she put it. She started her new class at school yesterday and she sobbed the whole car ride home, begging to go back to her old class. In the midst of her tears, she asked if she could have some friends over to play because maybe being with some "framiliar" people would make her feel better. So, Colin and Ryan came over to ride bikes and play outside and that cheered her up. The rest of the night as Em talked about her new class, things seemed to look brighter. She made some new friends and everyone in her old class is like "in love with her" and misses her now that she's gone. She's got the best of both worlds :) I was anticipating a rough time dropping her off today, but she hopped right out of the car and seemed eager to get to class....huge answer to prayer! Emma is by far my most emotionally needy/complex child (so far) and she is the one that I worry about the most when she's not with me....I can't wait to pick her up today and hear how day two went for her. Underneath all that attitude is a tender hearted little girl who just doesn't always know how to handle herself and I pray continually that God would equip me to shephard her.
Yesterday morning I was making pancakes for breakfast and as I was struggling to get the griddle out of the cabinet, Claire crawled over, patted me on the back and said, "you ok mama?"....it was the sweetest thing ever!! Then after I managed to pull it out, she clapped her hands and yelled, "good girl!". Oh, how I love her!
Madeline is so refreshing in the fact that she is all about her manners. All day long, even if she is half asleep, it is please and thank you and i'm sorry and i love you's coming out of her mouth. Last time we were at my sister's house, Madeline borrowed a pair of underwear from Jane and she accidentally wore them home. This was four or five months ago and as Madeline went to put those same panties on the other day, she says to me "I'm sorry I took Jane's panties on accident, mommy." I told her it was ok and that next time we saw Jane we would give them back and she replied with, "No, I'm really sorry mommy and I need to call Jane and tell her I'm sorry." Oh goodness, I love her sweet and gentle heart. I am so thankful for her desire to do good and I hope that is a trait that she carries with her always.

Motherhood is such a high calling and I heard a friend today say that she hopes at the end of it all, her children would say that she loved and disciplined them with wisdom and with kindness....I pray those same things for myself.

Friday, January 22, 2010

monkey in the middle

Emma and Claire have been so time consuming lately because of school and medical issues and rather than getting lost in the shuffle, Mad has been like a little ray of sunshine thru it all. She is by far the biggest lover of them all....it's hugs and kisses and i "luf" you's all day long. She has been a great sport about being dragged around to doctor's appointments and teacher meetings...she just sings, dances and "lipsticks" her way through it. Lately when I look at her I can see that she is quickly turning from a toddler into a little girl. Her feet are almost as big as Emma's...they've just started sharing shoes and clothes. I've also started noticing that she's much taller than most kids her age....something tells me that she's not gonna be short like her mama. When she is with Emma and her friends, she does not want to be the little sister...she wants to be included right along with the big girls. Sometimes this works out really well and sometimes there are lots of tears and heartbreak :( She tells me all the time that she wants to be five and when I ask her what is so good about five her response is "emma". She loves her big sister and wants to be just like her. She also adores her baby sister and is so sweet and gentle with her. I love to overhear her talking about her sisters to someone and referring to them as "my sista named emma" or "my sista named claio". She loves big and she loves hard and she makes my days so easy :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

emma grace

Tomorrow is Emma's last day in Mr. DiNoto's class at school. As of next week, she will move to Mrs. Johnson's class. Since the beginning of the school year, we have been unhappy with her class placement for several different reasons and finally came to a point where we could not ignore the situation any longer. After much thinking, praying, private school touring and begging...the principal agreed to move her to the other class. I have met with her new teacher several times this week in preparation and geez, do we have our work cut out for us. This new class is much more advanced and much further ahead and I will have lots to do with her at home in the coming weeks to get her up to speed. She is fearful of the change and is not looking forward to being the center of attention on her first day as the "new girl", but I am confindent that this change will be for the best. I'm just hoping that there aren't too many tears when I drop her off the first day....it will break my heart. I've been trying to prep her as much as possible this past week, hoping that it will take her uneasiness away...most of it, at least.

We are starting to plan her birthday party (yay!). I can't believe that she will be six in a few weeks. I am absolutely baffled by how quickly time goes by when you have kids. IT'S HEARTBREAKING!!!!!!!!! She is having her party at The Butterfly Estates...should be cute and fun....I can't wait! I love being in party planning mode....my creative juices are flowing :)

She has decided that she wants to be a model and is very concerned that her school schedule is going to interrupt her career and she's not sure how she will juggle it all. LOL! I told her that first, she's got to actually SMILE in front of the camera and not just glare at it. She says she's willing to try :) I think I feel a photo shoot coming up..... ;)

claire update

I took Claire for her physical yesterday and so far, so good. Her first batch of bloodwork came back negative and the doctor seemed to think that she would only be in the orthodics for a year and by the time she got to school, no one would ever suspect that she had a problem. She also told me to hold off on the MRI for a few months, because she didn't think it was going to be necessary. All around, it was a very encouraging appointment with nothing but good news. :)

As the days go by, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Claire to be so big yet still crawling. When we are at the playground, she gets annoyed and uncomfortable crawling thru the mulch and reaches for me to take her hand and says, " I walk. I walk." Yup..breaks my heart just a little bit. She also gets frustrated when she is crawling along the equipment to get to the slide and the other kids run past her, getting there first. She screams "STOP" at the top of her lungs, trying to get them to come back and let her go ahead. If nothing else, it's a good lesson in patience. Yesterday, I was in my bathroom getting ready and I could hear Claire across the house saying, "mom...i want some" over and over again. When she finally got to me, I realized that she had crawled all the way across the house dragging a loaf of bread next to her to come and tell me that she wanted a peanut butter sandwich. There is something so cute, funny and sad about seeing a child who is big enough to go into the pantry, get a loaf of bread and ask for a sandwich, all while crawling on her hands and knees. :(

On a more positive note, she has made huge progress in the past week in her "super shoes". She's standing pretty steadily on her own and braves a few steps here and there. That alone is encouragement to me that with a little bit of physical therapy and these braces on her legs, she will be up and at it in no time. I'm still waiting for the results from the last batch of bloodwork and genetic testing, but I am prayerful and confident that the results will be good!

Monday, January 18, 2010

where to start?!

Wow, it's been so long since I've blogged and there is so much to catch up on that I don't even know where to start!! Christmas was WONDERFUL as usual :) My parents came to visit for a few days before Christmas and it was so fun to just spend some lazy time with them, enjoying their company. The kids absolutely love it when they get to be with Grammy and Pop Pop! By the time Christmas rolled around, Emma once again believed in Santa Claus and she was up all night Christmas Eve because she swore that she heard the footsteps from his big boots :) Madeline got a gold sparkly purse filled with lipstick and nailpolish and a month later it is still her prized possession...she carries it around from the time she wakes up until she goes to bed at night. Claire did not get as many presents as the other girls, simply because she is still little and I didn't think she would notice...WRONG!!! She was a freak about opening presents this year and opened everyone else's once she ran out of gifts. oops! Emma and Madeline both got Nintendo DS's and Claire was so jealous screaming "mine" and trying to snatch them. Looks like next year we may have to start buying three of everything ;) We had a quiet morning at home with just our family and then Ryan's parents and Rach came over for the rest of the day. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work...I am starting to realize that being a mom/hostess means that I pretty much don't do anything on Christmas now but hang out in the kitchen preparing one meal and then the next. As I was in the kitchen at midnight on christmas eve cooking, I was thinking how much I would rather be the kid in bed trying to sleep while anxiously awaiting christmas morning and not the mom slaving away. Darn!

Our trip to NJ was fabulous! Once again, the kids were way better in the car than I would expect a 1, 3 and 5 year old to be for that many hours. We had so much fun exploring the country and I loved the endless hours of enjoying Ryan's company in the front seat. Pretty much, I'm ready to do it again :) On the way up, we stayed in Asheville for a few days and enjoyed the cold weather and a beautiful city! We felt right at home in Medford....I think I had a play date almost every day we were there and I LOVE catching up with old friends. I finally got to meet Jodi (who I hope will be my new sister in law soon?!) and we hit it off right away. I'm looking forward to spending more time with her and Nate when they come to visit this week!

Claire, of course has had a lot going on lately. I finally decided that enough was enough and I wanted the doctor to look further into why she's not walking. Last week was crazy busy with doctors appointments and lots of bloodwork (12 vials!) and a physical therapy evaluation. The outcome so far is that Claire has "hypotonia" a low muscle tone condition. There is usually a long wait to get an appointment with a pediatric neurologist...the first doctor I called had a five month wait. The second doctor I called had just had a cancellation and asked if I could come in the next day...A HUGE BLESSING! I could not imagine waiting five more months to find out why she's not walking!! The minute the neurologist touched Claire, she told me flat out that she has low muscle tone and that's why she can't walk. Bascially, hypotonia is a symptom of another problem...anything from cerebral palsy to a thyroid problem to a genetic disorder and the list goes on. Claire has an MRI next monday to see if there are any abnormalities in her brain and then we wait on the bloodwork to see what the cause is. The neurologist was very hopeful that the problem would be something treatable because in all other areas of development, Claire is doing great. In her evaluation, she was off the charts for cognitive, speech and fine motor skills. I had to go buy her the UGLIEST! high top walking shoes that I have ever seen (this is payback for how neurotic I am about my kids' wardrobes, I'm sure) and she's shown so much improvement since then....even standing on her own for short periods of time. Within the next week or two, we should be hearing back from Early Steps and getting her PT started and get her fitted for her leg braces (!). I am anxious to get her in them and see how she progresses and to see what she looks like in them :) So far, I have so much peace about the whole situation. I do not think that it is a surprise to God that Claire has this condition. I also do not think that it is a coincidence that she was my only baby that was conceived naturally and was a surprise (shock!) to us. I know that God has a plan for Claire and that she will have an amazing story to tell one day because of it. I believe that she will develop great character from this and I pray that it would build a sweet, caring, compassionate spirit in her. I pray the same for her sisters....that growing up with a little sister that they love so much who is different from other kids will give them a heart that is softened towards other people and that they would know first hand that what's on the outside isn't all that counts. So, leg braces and ugly (hideously ugly!) shoes aside, although I would never desire this for my baby, I am in a way thankful for the good that I know will come from it. God has a plan and His plan is always perfect :)