Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beautiful Brenna!

Brenna helping herself to peanut butter
I know I post a lot about what a handful Brenna is, and that is definitely true. She is also the cutest, sweetest little girl in the whole world ( and no that doesn't preclude your little girl being the cutest, sweetest little girl in the world. I'm not entirely sure how, but it is possible for all little girls to simultaneously be the cutest, and sweetest.).
I took just Brenna with me this week while I was running errands. We walked in the door at the library and she immediately started waving and saying hi to everyone we saw. Then as we walked away, she she would wave again and say bye-bye. She helped me put the books in the book drop and carefully picked out her own books. Then she ran all the books through the self-checkout and helped me carry them to the car.
I try to remind myself that some of the most annoying toddler traits are actually some of the best traits for a teenager to have. Brenna is (or tries really hard to be) self sufficient, helpful, and friendly. These are traits I want her to have as she grows up. Right now it might mean that I have a huge mess to clean up when she's done being self-sufficient, or that it takes me twice as long to do a task because she's "helping", but it will serve her well when she's older.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Baby Carlitos!

On Sunday, Rod, Connor, and I headed to Seattle to see baby Carlitos, and his Mommy and Daddy, of course.  Carlitos is over 4 lbs now and is starting to breastfeed! We got to hold him for the first time, but, although I remembered to pack the camera, I forgot to check if it was charged. I only got a few pictures before it died completely. Luckily, Kristi had remembered to charge her camera so she got pictures of us holding him.
He was being so cute, that I told him I was going to take his picture and his response was to cover his face with his arm.
His Mommy moved his arm out of the way so I could get the picture anyway. We don't use a flash on him since his little eyes are still so sensitive.
He has the tiniest little hands!
This is how he holds his pacifier.
While Kristi was holding him, I noticed that he has exactly the same cowlicks on the back of his head as Owen has. I've always thought that Owen's had a very unique pattern so seeing that Carlitos has the exact same ones was pretty surprising. Genetics is a very interesting field. I'm always surprised how things pass down. Owen is only Carlitos's half uncle from a purely genetic standpoint. He also has the same long, skinny fingers Connor has. I've always assumed that came from my side of the family, but Carlitos doesn't share any genetic material with me.
After playing with baby for a while, we took Kristi and Simon out to dinner. Then we headed home to give Owen his medication and put the other kids to bed.
We're going down again on Saturday with the whole family. The younger kids won't be allowed to see baby, but Kristi and Simon have an apartment nearby they can stay at while the older ones visit. I can't wait to see the little guy again! I can't believe how well he's doing.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Today marks six months since Owen's last seizure! Six whole months! A year ago, I couldn't even imagine getting to say that. We had become so used to the constant seizures, that they were almost commonplace. We were on first name terms with most of the local paramedics, and had rescue medication stashed all over the house and car, so that we would never be more than 4 minutes away for administering it. Okay, I still have rescue meds stashed all over the house, but we've actually had some of them expire without ever being opened! Seriously, I had to refill rescue medication because it expired, not because we used it all up! Thank You, Ketogenic Diet!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Today I took Duncan and Morgan to Pace Atelier art studio for a Sibshop with Parent to Parent. Parent to parent is a support group for parents of children with special needs. They hold monthly support group meeting as well as several special events throughout the year. This organization has been of great benefit to our family in many ways, but one of the best parts is the Sibshops. These are special activities especially for siblings of special needs kids.
Having a sibling with special needs can be extremely difficult. In our case, the kids have had to deal with Mom and/or Dad being gone for extended periods of time during Owen's hospital stays, ambulances showing up at the house at all hours of the night, and having the entire household run around Owen's feeding and medication schedule.
One of the biggest effects Owen's health has had on our family is that the younger kids have not had the opportunity to do many of the activities that the older kids were able to do. We simply don't have as much time available for outside activities as we used to have. Plus it takes so much effort to  be gone from the house with Owen that we just haven't done as much.

The kids had a great time at the art studio today though. They got to draw for a while, then they spent most of their time experimenting with clay. They got to use a potter's wheel, which Duncan especially enjoyed. Morgan also made a cat out of clay using an internal armature, which she has never done before. Then they got to glaze their creations. I can't wait to see the finished results once they come out of the kiln.
Thanks to Parent to Parent they had a nice, relaxing day to just do something fun. No stress, no worries, and they got to be the center of attention!
I think Morgan's face is a great example of just how much fun they had. You can't possibly get that messy without having a great time can you?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Brenna, the Honey Badger!

Brenna ate two helpings of dinner. Halfway through her 3rd helping, she fell asleep. When I washed her face off, she woke up and immediately started shoving food into her mouth again.
Today she had 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, some Easter candy, an afternoon snack, then the 2.5 helpings of dinner. She's now working on dessert. Yet, somehow, she only weighs 21 pounds at nearly 2 years old.
We've decided she must be a Honey badger.

The Honey Badger is the only thing I've seen that comes close to Brenna mayhem! We can't keep her out of anything (and we parented Devon). She's in constant search of food and no one dares to cross her or she growls at them. Just like a Honey Badger!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Eggs!

My husband is so wonderful that he decided to dye Easter eggs with the kids while Devon and I were in Seattle visiting Kristi, Simon, and little Carlitos.
Dying Easter eggs is especially fun when you have an assortment of eggs to start with. We have white, beige, pinkish, green, and blue eggs along with the tiny spotted quail eggs. We also have all sizes from the quail eggs up to jumbo. It's always fun to see how the different dye colors look on the different colored eggs.

Rod even remembered to put gloves on Owen. We don't know if Easter egg dye would cause him to have seizures, but after the markers and the pumpkin did, we aren't taking any chances.
Brenna threw a little fit because Rod wouldn't let her hold a cup of egg dye. All the other 23 month olds get to hold their own Easter egg dye, don't they?
She finally calmed down enough to enjoy the finished product though.
Didn't the quail eggs turn out great?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014! {and Ketogenic Diet}

We started Easter morning with Easter baskets and strawberry whipped cream waffles. Then we headed over to Brian and Kristina's for a barbeque and an egg hunt with the cousins.
The older kids have been wanting to hide eggs instead of just finding them and we parents thought that sounded a lot easier for us. So, we divided the kids up into two teams and had half the kids hide eggs out back and the other half hide out front. Then,we had the teams switch positions for the hunt. Brenna decided to hide all her eggs on her person as she didn't want to give them up.
Morgan managed to wedge this egg into the fence!
Can you see the eggs hiding in the tree?

This was Owen's first Easter on the ketogenic diet. We marked some eggs with an O and stuffed them with little toys instead of candy. We told him he had to only look for eggs with his initial on them. He was the only little one hunting in the back yard, so most of his eggs were pretty obvious and the others were hidden pretty well. He would pick up each egg and search for an O before he put it in his bag. One time he picked up an egg and said, " Darn! This one is a D!" and threw it across the lawn. I guess the Easter bunny needs better handwriting. He absolutely refused to take any egg that didn't have an O even when he found an unmarked one that just had money in it, he insisted on putting it back.

Later in the day, we had the great idea of lining up all the cousins by age and getting a picture. Do you have any idea what it's like getting 9 kids, hopped up on sugar ( except Owen who can't have any) to stand nicely for a picture? If not, check these out and you might have a better understanding.
Take one. Thanks Buddy!
Take two.
Take three.
And take four.
Okay we're done! That's the best we're getting. See what nice stairsteps the little kids make? The big kids mess the order up a bit though. Cameron is the tallest now, followed by Connor, then Devon, then Tyler when he's not on tip toes. We were only able to get Brenna to stand still for one photo, so , of course, that's the picture Buddy decided to get in. Not that that would have been a problem if he'd been posing nicely instead of just walking in front of everyone. Everyone had a great time though even if the group photo was a flop.
It was so nice of Brian and Kristina to host again this year! The kids just love getting to be with the cousins!