Monday, January 31, 2011

All About Me

Again, this is for accountability...this month has has good weeks and bad weeks, but the important thing is that I have stuck with it and kept going even through the not so good weeks! I consider this to be a huge accomplishment!

January weight loss: 15.4 lbs. My goal for Jan. was 15 lbs, so I made it!
Weight loss since Nov. 20th, 2010: 40.4 lbs
Total weight loss since my biggest point (Mid 2009): 62.4 lbs

Today marks 2 other note worthy milestones. First, it is 1 year to date since we got the Wii and Wii Fit Plus (where I track my weight). In the last year to date, I have lost 28.4 lbs, and I had a baby! I consider that to be a good thing! I would have liked this number to be more, but I will take it - at least it is going in the right direction! And 2nd, I am no longer 'morbidly obese' as my weight category! Ok...I know that is probably more than anyone wanted to know about me, but it is a step in the right direction! I was actually not going to include that 2nd milestone, but because I am being brutally honest in these posts, I think it is important to include this today...maybe next month I will even be brave enough to include a current picture...on purpose!

Other observations: I have definitely noticed clothes fitting differently. My rings are also to the point that they can fall off! I will be getting them re-sized in February and am greatly looking forward to that!

Rejoicing over a good month, and looking forward to next month!

My goal for February is to lose 12 lbs.

Now I am off to give a spelling pre-test from my elliptical! (I love homeschooling and the freedom it allows all of us!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Current state of the cookies...


After Justice caught someone with a cookie, and realized where they were, he got a stool, brought it to the counter and here is what is left after I found him!

19 months already!



Justice is 19 months old as of last week...he is becoming quite the character! One word to best describe him would be: BUSY. He is always going back and forth between activities, checking out all kinds of things!

He loves dogs and sound effects. He also enjoys helping out by putting things in the garbage and dirty clothes hamper - though it isn't always what SHOULD be put in them, lol!

He loves for people to chase him and to be tickled. He enjoys reading books, and playing with his cars and trucks.

His favorite person is probably Callie. He absolutely loves being involved in anything she is doing. He also tries to help her with therapy - by getting therapy bucket things and trying to do what he sees us do with her! It is very sweet!

Serenity is 3 months old now!




What a joy this little one is! She is such a blessing to our family. Everyone is having such a great time making her smile and watching her grow and change each day. It is hard to believe that it has been more than 3 months since she joined our family, and yet, at the same time, we couldn't imagine her not being here!

We have made some serious progress with sleep lately, and it has resulted in me feeling so much better! Serenity is now sleeping 4-6 hours at a stretch at night.

She is starting to bat at toys, she coos and smiles when people talk to her, and she is such a content baby! She entertains herself in her baby gym very well for up to 1/2 hour at a time!

Watching her interact, she is definitely getting ready to laugh...it will be any day now!

Progression of cookies left out overnight...






I left these cookies, which were still warm when I went to bed, on the cooling rack last night. When I got up today, there were about 50% more than you see in the first photo. I decided that I would take a picture each time I walk by it and just 'see what happens'...here is the progression of photos from this morning!

Brianna




Brianna really loves to help out...she always has - she doesn't always know what would be a good choice in helping out, but she always tries!

Lately, she has been playing with her dolly a lot. Her name is Sally Molly Pence. She is using Serenity's toys to play with her, and it is so cute!

She has also been in the kitchen as much as she can! If I am in the kitchen, she is asking to help me...here she is doing one of her favorite helping out activities, licking the spoon, lol!

A boy and his dog




Justice absolutely LOVES dogs! He loves to interact with them and play with them. He always has, and it seems he always will!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I've been a bad blogger this week!

It has been a busy week...nothing overly special, just the usual stuff (therapy, school, household chores, laundry, appointment for Callie, piano, choir, my workouts, etc)...but enough that I have not been online much - and my online time has been busy with all kinds of research projects! (I tend to have SOMEthing that I am researching, so this is not unusual, either!)

I am working on some big changes in our schedule. We have roughly had the same schedule for the last several years. I modify it, add things in, maybe switch a couple things here and there as we have a new baby or something else changes, like nap schedules for someone, but overall, it has been the same schedule. It has worked very well for us, but right now, we need something different - to help us get more done, to work on some character issues we see coming up and to get people motivated to do what they need to do.

The twins have been busy working on crafts (needle point, scratch art, crocheting, and drawing). Ashley has been working hard at reading. Brianna is starting some of Callie's therapy things (unofficially now, and officially starting in May when Callie goes back). Callie is busy with therapy and extending how far she can walk at a time, along with potty training. Justice is just plain busy, lol! He loves to go from thing to thing, checking out what everyone is doing, and finding new things to explore for himself! Serenity loves watching the chaos of the house! She enjoys smiling and talking to everyone.

I hope to have time later to add pics from this week, too!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lego creation!



My twins are so creative when it comes to Legos! I am always so impressed with what they come up with! Here is one of the ideas they are working on for the 2011 Evergreen State Fair.

Thursday





Thursdays are pretty busy for us. This was our first week back to piano and choir. During adverse weather, we hang out at the library. Justice has really taken a big interest in Serenity lately...if she is on the floor, he is usually right there with her!

After a full day of piano, choir, and to come home to this in my new electric skillet, that I got for Christmas, was such a blessing!

Busy days for Callie









This has been a great first week for Callie's therapy. We have done 100% of Callie's therapy Mon-Thurs, and only missed a handful of things on Friday. The twins are really doing a lot to help with her therapy this week!

One of the things I have seen a great deal of improvement on lately is Callie's ability to walk holding her rope. It used to be that I would hold both ends stretched out to make the middle where Callie was holding tight and as 'solid' as we could make it. Now she can walk holding one end of the rope with just one hand!

Today is a 1/2 day of therapy, and tomorrow Callie has off. Going with a full therapy schedule again is really wearing Miss Callie out!

Sweet moments



Serenity really wanted to be picked up. I was finishing something in the kitchen. Justice was trying so hard to help her that I had to grab my camera and take advantage of the photo op!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

That fantastic day, has turned into a great week!





This has been an exemplary week! It seems to be helping that Callie's therapy is shorter now...and I feel better about completing it than I think I would if I were only getting about 1/2 of it done.

School is back in session full force! We started a poem unit this week, and the older girls wrote acrostic poems (Brianna needed lots of help and Ashley needed a bit of help). The twins got to learn to use a thesaurus to help them find words with the meaning they wanted that started with a letter they needed.

Annabelle
Astute
Nice
Note Worthy
A Good big sister
Excited
Loves
Loves God
Extravagant

Bailey
Busy
Awesome
In God we trust
Lovely
Evil always fails
Yo-yos are fun

Ashley
Awesome
Skinny
Happy
Long, straight, angel hair
Excited
Young

Brianna
Beautiful
Really sweet
Independent
Awesome
Nice
Neat
Awesome

Callie's therapy is going very well! She likes most of the new program activities they gave her, such as the basket pull shown in the pictures. It is to help her gain hand/eye coordination. We are supposed to start out fairly light, like clothes and her doll, but she was able to pull Justice in it as long as we braced her legs to keep her from sliding herself closer to the basket, lol!

Anna is really enjoying the how to draw books she got for Christmas!

Now we are getting ready for our big day out - the first Thursday back to our activities (because I just wasn't up to it last week!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yesterday was a great day!


Praising God that yesterday we got so much done!

- I got in a short workout.
- I took Callie to her physical therapy appointment with Miss Jenna (who was her first pt, and we are now seeing again).
- We got school done.
- We completed all of Callie's therapy that we are able.
- I started Brianna on some of Callie's therapy activities.
- I got 2 activities set up for Callie (3 more to get set up with the new things we are doing!)
- We kept up on housework.
- I had time to bake cookies with Ashley.
- I taught the twins how to make friendship bracelets.

Here's hoping and praying that today goes much like yesterday did - with the addition of getting laundry done today! (So far, I am off to a good start in that department...load #2 is in the washer, only 3 left!)

What a difference it makes to get 5 consecutive hours of sleep all while Miss Serenity is in her bassinet!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It's been SO COLD!



We have had a prolonged cold spell for our area...it snowed, and stayed on the ground for almost a week!

This is a fountain we found outside a store, that the girls wanted me to take a picture of for the blog...so here it is!

We talked about this fountain for several minutes while waiting and decided it looked like something we would see in a movie! Not something we would normally see around here.

Miss Serenity is getting so alert!



What a blessing it is to watch Serenity become more and more alert, and to be developing in such a normal way! Regardless of how many children I have, I do not think I could ever take this for granted again (after Callie that is!)!

She is now starting to 'talk' to us and hold 'conversations.' It amazes me just how early on an infant realizes that we are to take turns talking in conversation!

Seren is very interested in checking out her surroundings. She enjoys looking at her toys in her baby gym, and will entertain herself there for as much as 30 minutes!

Her favorite thing is still to watch her sisters play though! She loves the excitement and energy that they have! She is tracking them so well as they move around. Our house has almost constant movement and activity, so she is never board!

Neurodevelopmental Therapy Re-evaluation



Callie went yesterday to see her neurodevelopmental therapist (NT), Cyndi Ringoen. I really wasn't sure what to expect. But it went really well! She said that Callie has made more than a full year of improvement with her processing ability! She sees great improvement in her balance and motor planning.

Miss Cyndi is so well with Callie! It is amazing to me to see how quickly she can get Callie to warm up to her! Unfortunately, the only appointment left on a Saturday when we scheduled was 1 pm, right at Callie's nap time...so Callie wasn't as willing to cooperate as she could have been...but we did get enough out of her that Cyndi was able to see where she would us to go from here.

I asked Miss Cyndi about her thoughts on when Callie might walk unassisted full time, and what her gait might be like. She thinks it will be sometime this year...just the thought of Callie being able to walk full time, and having a normal gait, is almost too good to be true! She thinks that because Callie is so motivated, and with the progress she sees in the last 4 months, that we are really getting close! What a miracle that will be to witness!

Callie has a new program now. Some of the activities are the same, some are different, some have been moved off...we are glad to say good-bye to the spatula tap, and are looking forward to the swing upside down (which Callie loves!)...other activities that have been added will be a challenge. We have 3 different activities to program movements into her. She is still doing several activities to strengthen her eyes, which will hopefully keep her from needing a 3rd eye surgery! This time, our program will only take us about 2 hours to complete, and once we add in the physical therapy things, it will still be at about 2 1/2 hours total. I think it will be a more manageable amount to get done each day! We are excited to see what the future holds for Miss Callie and to see how God uses this therapy to make miracles!

Teddy




So what do you do when you have a really, really busy week with no days at home?

That is what the last week was like for us...appointments or field trip each day, giving us ZERO days at home...so we got a new puppy to add to the chaos!!! He is a rescue puppy, whose owner could not keep him after having him just 2 months. We think it was likely an abusive situation, based on how he acts, but he is learning appropriate behaviors quickly. He is a 4 month old mini schnauzer, whose name is Teddy. The girls are so excited to have a dog in the house again!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Brianna is growing up!


Brianna is so excited to announce that she lost her first tooth! She is feeling very much like a big girl right about now, to be among the ranks of her older sisters of those who have lost teeth! And she has another loose tooth as well!

Grandma playing dress up with Serenity



Chris' mom has been making doll clothes...and here is the dress, hat and scarf that she just finished up! (It doesn't actually close in the back, otherwise, I might have commandeered it for Miss Serenity!)

I have such a talented MIL!

Pacific Science Center





















Fred Meyer has generously donated 1,000 free tickets into the Pacific Science Center in Seattle on the first Monday in Jan - April. We went in January, and had a BLAST! There is so much to see and do, all of my children enjoyed it!

Ashley was impressed that the dinosaur exhibit has 'pretend!' While Justice thought he was in heaven with all the buttons and levers to push and pull! Brianna really enjoyed the Gemini replica. Everyone loved the butterfly house! The twins like the music room...

Callie did such a great job walking! She actually refused to crawl. She would ask for someone to come take her hand (if she had used somethign to cruise away from her walker) so she could walk from place to place instead of crawl. It was a very drastic switch, and I am looking forward to where this takes her in her development! Callie really loved many things at the Science Center, but for her, being able to do so many things on her own, was really special!

I hope that we are able to make it back at least 1-2 more times, if not all 3 months that Fred Meyer is offering the free admission!

Special thanks is definately due to our friends who came along and helped out so much with the little ones! Thank you so much for helping!