Friday, March 28, 2014

a very special dinner

Jenn is a great friend of mine. She is a mentor to me. At the beginning of our journey with Hanna, there was so much unknown. She gave me hope, and the emails we sent back and forth kept me sane during my countless hours of researching and googling horrible disorders that Hanna was being tested for. 
I was absolutely honoured to meet her and her amazing family back in 2011 on our way to Florida. You can read about that here. You can see pictures from that visit right here. 

Last night we had that opportunity again to visit with them.
This time, they would be in our neck of the woods! There was no way I was going to let this opportunity pass me by! 
We met at a nearby restaurant, and I wish we could've just froze time for a while. It was much too short a visit.
I'm so so thankful we made it happen though. 
By the time it was time to leave, I realized I was the only one still eating! I guess I was too busy talking. 

Of course, I didn't get enough pictures. Between mine, and Jenn's I think we managed to get enough to show that the girls had a great time. 
I loved how Addie was just tickled by Ben. 

 They were having quite the conversation in the above picture. I'm glad I caught that one.

  We tried to get some pictures of all of the girls together. Jenn managed to get the only ones that turned out! I love Addie in these. She's just so sweet.
 Hanna was being a stinker, and Gracie was way too serious!
 Hailey's wearing quite the stylish hat...but these are just too cute!
 They even got into size order for these ones.

 As if having dinner with the Henderson's wasn't enough, we also got to meet Jenn's mother, sister, brother, sister in law, and two nieces!
It was such an honour!! 
They are such an amazing family and I'm so thankful to have them in my life. 
 Thank you for a wonderful evening, Jenn. It was great to see all of you. 
Next time won't come soon enough.

Jenn's family blog is here. 
It's one of my favourite places to visit. 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ben and Dani

Jamie and Dani Lynn have been coming over every Tuesday when they can manage, and it makes my day every time they do.
Dani likes getting reactions out of Ben so she bops, and pushes, and pokes whenever she can. It is hilarious. But Benny, he doesn't think so. 
I have to say though, that he has become much more tolerant and less, how should I say this...sissy baby. 
This week they actually played nice. There was no chasing around, or crying being done by anyone.
They're both walking now, so maybe that makes a difference. Who knows. What I do know is that they're pretty stinking cute when they're together. 


Friday, March 14, 2014


The kids had a blast colouring the castle. It kept them busy for a long time, and they all did such a great job. 

 I can't believe that I didn't get a picture of the big dragon heads that Gracie and my mom made. My mom had a couple big boxes put aside, and assembled into dragon shaped heads with snouts by the time we got there. They were painted and ready to be accessorized. They made teeth, and scales, and cut holes for eyes, and they were absolutely perfect. They even had "fire" that slid in and out of the mouth for a scary effect!

After everyone was there, and fed, they put on their rehearsal of the play. My mom was the narrator, and lead the kids, and I just laughed. It was a mess. 
Later on, they put it on again for Michelle and I, and we recorded it for my dad (who was later than normal) and everyone else who missed it. We couldn't wait any longer to put it on, it was getting late, and the kids were getting antsy!
It was hilarious. They had such a blast. It was definitely the highlight of the sleepover. They all had their parts and they all did a great job. Even after Payton got her pants scared off by one of the dragons, and screamed bloody murder through a good part of it.
Hanna was one of the princesses who got kidnapped, and she was so funny! She got so into the part. You can hear her in the background yelling in her little high pitched voice "Help! Save me! I'm a beautiful princess! Help! Ahhh!"
It was so funny! I wish I could post the video.
Austin and Santi were the dragons. Gracie was a fairy with Hailey, who didn't really do her part. Bryanna was a princess, and Cameron and Sawyer were the brave knights.  Payton was the queen who sat in the castle.
Oh my. It was something else. 
Michelle's kids didn't end up sleeping over. Sawyer is her oldest, and only 4, so they went home after watching a movie. 
I was going to bring home Benjamin and Hailey, but later on decided I would just stay as well. Matt was working anyhow. 

Hanna was the first one that asked to go to bed. She wanted to sleep in the castle. My mom went up, gave her her sleeping bag, and she said "Okay, goodnight! Shut the door. Shut off the light!"
So my mom did. 
And Hanna slept. All night. In the castle.
Crazy little thing. 

Gracie and Bryanna slept on the futon in their sleeping bags, and Austin and Santi, Yuli's brother, who was here visiting for the week, slept on a little mattress. Austin joined the girls half way through the night because he was afraid. 
Hailey and Cameron slept with my mom and dad in their bed. Bless their hearts.   Hailey's horrible to sleep with. 
I slept with Ben downstairs, and that was it. A successful sleepover at Nanny and Pappy's. 
They all woke up the next morning and had some sugary cereal for a nice treat. I may have even had a nice big bowl of that myself. 
Thanks mom and dad. You never disappoint.   
Mom, you kinda showed me up with all your crafty creativeness, and play producing...but whatever. 

sleepover at nanny and pappy's

After getting back from Melissa's house, I gathered everything we would need for "The Big Play" that my mom was planning. She was going to have Kristyn's kids for the night, so she figured she would keep them all for something different to do. She bought this giant cardboard castle that stood over 6 feet tall after it was assembled. She got markers, and the kids were in charge of colouring it and making up a play that the castle be used as a prop. They decided on something with princesses, fairies, knights and dragons 
Gracie and Matt wrote up the play. 
Here is what they came up with (exactly how it was written by them):

Gracies Play
    2 dragons
    2 princesses
    3 fairies
    2 knights
(enter princesses) Once upon a time there were two beautiful princesses. The princesses liked to play hopscotch outside. (play hopscotch)
One day while they were playing hopscotch, two big scary dragons came down from the tallest mountain and kidnapped the princesses. (kidnap princesses, run away)
(enter knights) Two very brave knights decided to team up (high five) and ride their horses to tallest mountain to rescue the princesses. (ride horses)
On their way the knights became tired and fell asleep. (fall asleep) When they woke up they were surprised by three dancing fairies. (fairies dance)
The fairies asked the knights to do their best dance and they would cast a spell to make their biggest wish come true. (knights dance)
After an amazing dance off, the first knight wished for a tambourine!? (makes wish)
The second knight wished for a pepperoni pizza?! (makes wish)
What odd things to wish for thought the fairies, however together they waved their wands and knights wishes came true. (fairies wave wands)
Suddenly the knights heard a mighty roaring from the mountain. (dragons roar) It was the scary dragons!
The knights climbed onto their horses and continued their journey. (knights ride horses) The fairies used their wings to follow them. (faires fly around)
The knights arrived to tallest mountain and climbed to the entrance of the dragon cave but a magical door kept them from going inside.
The first knight tried to open the door. (turn handle) Locked! Then he tried ringing the doorbell. (ring doorbell) No answer!
Then he tried spinning in a circle, jump up and down three times and shout open sesame! (spin in circle, jump 3 times, shout open sesame)
Out of boredom the second knight began to shake his new tambourine. (shake tambourine) The door opened! A musical door! How lucky is that?
Inside the cave it was dark and scary. The fairies waved their wands to make a magic light for them to see where they were going. (fairies wave wands)
The knights found the princesses and began to untie them. (pretend to untie) All of a sudden the dragons came and roared! (dragons roar and stomp around)
The dragons were very hungry and wanted to eat the princesses.
The second knight rememberd his magic pizza and offered it to the dragons. (give pizza to dragons)
The dragons loved pizza so much they forgot all about the princesses and knights who were sneaking away. (sneak away) The dragons sat down to thier table to eat.(dragons sit down)
But wait! The pizza wasn't cooked! The dragons were furious that the knights had tricked them.
Then the dragons remembered what was best about being a dragon. They used their fire breath to cook the pizza! (pretend to breathe fire)
The knights, princesss and fairies returned to the castle.
Everyone lived happily ever after!

    The End be continued in the next post...

getogether with cousins

Melissa decided to try to get all the kiddos together before the March Break from school was over. We actually managed to make it happen, and I'm so glad we did.
Melissa had a really nice lunch made up for the kids, and the rest of us (Kristyn, Michelle, Jamie and myself and all of our kids) brought a little something to throw into the mix. Of course I was super unprepared and picked up a box of donuts on the way. The kids appreciated it, anyway. :)
 They had a blast, and us mama's got to hang out with coffees and conversation. It was really nice.

 Melissa's little guy, Mitchel is so good. He just let everyone pass him around.
 And around.
 He was actually falling asleep while both girls held him. They love the babies.

The other kids were too busy playing to stop for pictures...

It was a nice visit. Thanks for putting it together Meliss! We love ya!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

poor lucy

Yes, Lucy loves Ben. 
I had a recent post that showed some abuse she showed toward him. That post is here.
But Ben loves her even when she doesn't want the lovin'. 
I thought this one was kind of cute because he was doing the Mowgli walk, on all fours, like the kitty.
 Then this one just shows how little he still is with his chunky legs and arms, and doesn't yet know that tail holding is a big no-no. :)
 Oh, poor Lucy.

No animals were harmed in the production of this post.

Monday, March 10, 2014

random Hanna post

One of these days, Hanna will be writing her letters. I'm still working on just pre-writing skills, mainly pencil control, and hand strength. She still asks to use markers for everything, because they take no effort to make a mark.
I'm just thrilled when she wants to sit down and actually "work" for a while, so I don't push the pencils just yet, although I should, for her lack of strength's sake.
She will write her name with help, but it definitely needs work.  
It's so hard to even help guide her because her face is literally on the paper. If she's having a day where she's spent a good amount of time drawing and colouring, you'll know by looking at her - by her multi-coloured nose and cheek. 

I know I missed my end-of-the-year update this year. Trust me, I'm ashamed of my lack of blogging. Although there are many, MANY accomplishments to note, only some are ever mentioned. Every single one of them though, are definitely not taken for granted.

She is now getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. All by herself. She even shuts off the light and closes the door behind her when she's done. 
She's just getting so grown up.

She still needs help with zipping and buttoning, but she knows her letters and she counted to 30 the other day for me. 

She can pump a swing, and petal a bike. I think a tandem bike will be a part of the family sooner than later. 

She loved the snow this year. Hanna's a kid who would lay on a rock and soak up the sun like a lizard. She's always hated the cold. This year though, she was the one who asked to go outside, and loved every second of it. I think that's a milestone.

She's changing so much, and learning every day. 
This year I think we will gain some knowledge about her vision, and hopefully find new ways to help her learn with technology and tools that might be available for her. She's at an age now where she can tell us stuff. What she's thinking, and seeing, and I'm so excited to find out. She's one pretty spectacular kid. 

I'm not overly worried about her writing skills. They will come. She takes her time, but she conquers.

Monday, March 3, 2014

picture of the day

Hm...What should I have for lunch?
My little grocery putting away "helper".

Saturday, March 1, 2014

optometrist appointment

Gracie and Hanna were both due for their exam, so I ran them out while Matt stayed home with the other two. 
I administered the dilating drops before we went, so there would be no drama at the office.
The girls were good, and did what they had to do, and Gracie got an "A" and then Hanna had her turn.
Every visit he gets a better look into the back of her eyes. He got a really great look, and said that nothing looks "active", but he'd feel better if we had a specialist take a look and keep an eye on things.
For some reason, SickKids wont do an exam without putting her out. They want to do an invasive EUA which I'm opposed to at this time, so we're looking for a more local ophthalmologist. 
I wasn't a fan of this particular person. 
Do I like the idea of going to see her again? 
No, not in the least.
But do I want to just wait around for something to happen that can jeopardize the little amount of vision that Hanna has?   
Absolutely not. 
So, I'll suck it up, and bring her in. At least Hanna wont remember her. 
Hanna's vitreous humor (the clear gel that fills the space between the lens and retina) isn't clear, and it never has been. It's cloudy and there are "stalks" attached to her retina that could eventually pull, and cause retinal detachment. This is the reason our optometrist wants someone keeping a closer eye on her and another opinion. 
A vitrectomy may be an option which would remove some of the vitreous humor from the eye, and cut those "stalks" to take pressure off her retina. We haven't discussed it fully, so we are yet to learn the risks involved or possible side effects. 
I guess we'll have to, yet again, wait and see. 

At the end of our visit, I had him resize Hanna's glasses. He agreed that they were ridiculously too big, and took them way in. They are perfect now, and she's got no excuse to not wear them - only when necessary of course. 
Soon she'll be asking to wear them. (I hope!) 

Successful appointment - done!