Freezing Cold Weather + Crying Kids = Memorable Photos!

A few weeks ago the kids and I headed up to Indiana to spend the week with my family. While we were up there my mom wanted to get some pictures of all her grandkids together since this was the first time in a loooong time they had all been together at once! My brother and sister-in-law live in Wyoming with their kids, my sister and brother-in-law live in Michigan with their son and Drew and I live in Florida so we’re not all in one place very often (my other siblings do not have kids yet)! We coordinated the kids outfits and arranged a date with our favorite photographer in Michigan – Kim (seriously you should check her out!).

There was one little detail that we didn’t plan for though…. the weather! The day of the pictures turned out to be a bitter cold spring day. Seriously, the weeks before (when we were planning their outfits) had been perfectly warm but this day turned out to be freezing. And of course we were taking the photos outside. We scrambled to try and add layers to the kids’ outfits to make them warmer but they were cold no matter what. This made for some lovely pictures….of crying children. Lol. In their defense it seriously was miserably cold – there was a bitter wind that day! Kim was so flexible and we ended up moving our session indoors to a nearby coffee shop after several failed attempts at pictures outdoors. We ended up getting hot cocoa and taking candid photos and having so much fun!

I learned a while ago that you can’t stress about family pictures. Some years they turn out and some years they don’t…. but that’s ok because it’s a reflection of real life! You just gotta roll with the punches… and when it was all said and done we ended up gaining a few good pictures and a whole lot of great memories. ❤

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L-R: Novalee – 4, Weldon – 6 months, Eloise – 5, Olive – 3, Isaiah – 6, Lincoln – 1.5

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Babies trying to escape!
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Olive’s face! Lol. She was so cold!

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My parents and two of my little sisters.

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Weldon is the sweetest, happiest little guy!

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My favorite!!

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My sweet parents.

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The kids had a great time (once we got indoors!) =)

Birthdays, Disney World, Graduations, Oh My!

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged and for a while now I have been wanting to post a follow up blog post with my thoughts on surrogacy now that I’m 10 weeks post-partum and have had more time to process everything. But March and April have been busy months for us and I haven’t had the time to sit down and write. I’m finally making the time, but before I do that I’ll fill you in a little on what we’ve been up to the last few months.

We made two trips to Disney World! It was the kids’ first time to Disney World and everyone had a blast. Since we live so close we’ve just been making weekend trips and visiting one park at a time. We’ve been to Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom so far and are going to Hollywood Studios in June. We’re skipping Epcot this go around but maybe next year! We went with Drew’s parents and the kids’ cousin, Gavin. It was SO much fun and we can’t wait to go back!

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Olive turned 3 and Eloise turned 5 in April. Olive didn’t have a big party this year since she’s too little to have many friends to invite yet (but as a family we did have the Barbie cake that she wanted!). But Eloise, now that she’s in VPK, had a big party with lots of friends invited. She wanted a mermaid party so we did our best and everyone had a blast!

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Isaiah got his Kindergarten graduation pictures taken in preparation for his graduation later this month. I can’t believe that my baby boy is already almost done with Kindergarten. The years fly by so fast. He had a Mother’s Day Tea at his school last week and made some sweet things for me to cherish. ❤ This boy has a sweet and tender heart!

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The card says: “Happy Mother’s Day! You look prettier than a rose. I love you. You are as pretty as sun. Love, Isaiah” ❤

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Both the girls got their first hair cuts last month! Yes, I waited until they were 3 and 5 to get their hair cut for the first time….that’s ok, right!? Eloise also got her first blow out and is in love with how long her hair became once it was straightened. It will stay straight as long as we don’t get it wet….which is hard to do when you have a fish for a daughter but we’ll see how it goes!

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The kids and I took a trip to Indiana to visit my family. I was nervous about flying with all three kids by myself but they honestly did GREAT and I was so proud of them! It was so easy I’m actually crazy enough to be thinking about when we can do it again! This visit was extra special because my sister-in-law and her kids were also visiting from Wyoming so we got to spend time with them as well. The kids haven’t been able to spend much time with their cousins on my side of the family since we live so far away so it was a great time for them to catch up. We were able to get some cousin photos taken as well and even though the weather was freezing and the kids were crying – we managed to get a few good ones. 😉

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We finally got a new roof put on our house! There is no official record of how old our roof is but our best guess is that this house still had the original roof from when the house was build – over 30 years ago! It has served us well and actually wasn’t leaking or having any issues but it was becoming a bit of an eye sore so we decided to replace it. =) I asked the kids what color roof we should pick and Olive picked pink. She was quite upset to come home and find out we had chosen charcoal…She’s disappointed but Drew and I are pretty happy with our choice. 😉

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Drew took a trip to Omaha, Nebraska to go to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting. He has been wanting to go to a meeting for years and it was an amazing trip for him. He wants me to go with him next year but I’m not sure how interesting it would be to me. 😉

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So that’s what we’ve been up to these days. This turned into a much longer post than I anticipated so I’ll write my post on my thoughts on surrogacy later this week. Stay tuned! 🙂

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Two and Four?! How Can It Be?

We officially have a 2 year old and a 4 year old in our house! A what and a what? It doesn’t seem possible that Eloise and Olive are already that old! How can it be?

Their birthdays are just 12 days apart so this year we had a combined party for them on the weekend right in between their birthdays. We celebrated them individually on their actual birthdays and that’s the day they got their presents from us but we decided to do their party together this year. They didn’t mind and it made it alot easier on everyone. =)

The most favorite gift of all was a family gift that we bought for Eloise because she has been begging us for weeks on end…. We booked a local hotel for the weekend and had a little “staycation”! The kids love staying in hotels and Drew and I decided we could use a break too so we disconnected from reality for a bit and spent the weekend by the pool and in the room watching TV. It was so nice to have no agenda and nothing planned to do. The kids are already asking us when we are going to do it again. It might have to become a regular tradition in our house!

Eloise (4 years old):

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Toy: Her new Boov (“Oh”)

Favorite Outfit: Her “I’ve Got Nothing to Wear” shirt and a jean skirt

What She is Best At: Hula Hooping!

Favorite Place to Go: McDonalds and Chuck E Cheese

Olive (2 years old):

Favorite Color: Pink

Favorite Toy: Her baby doll

Favorite Outfit: Her Elsa and Anna shirt with a tutu

What She is Best At: Fully abusing the power she has as the baby of the family to charm her way out of every situation and make everything think she is cute!

Favorite Place to Go: Anywhere….as long as it is with mommy

Happy Birthday Sweet Eloise and Sweet Livy. We LOVE you!!

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Olive’s Birthday!

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Flowers and a chocolate milkshake caused this girl to pretty much have the best birthday ever!

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The girls’ birthday party. They made out like bandits.
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The girls got matching dresses and new clothes for their baby dolls as gifts. =)

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Eloise’s Birthday! She had ballet that day so she was in her leotard. =)
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She wanted “Oh” from the movie “Home”. She has literally taken him everywhere since this day. It’s safe to say she loves him. =)

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Oh my heart. I am so in love with this Super Awesome Birthday Girl! ❤

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We had so much fun at the hotel. It was a little cold but the kids still had a blast swimming in the pool.
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Love these three so much. ❤

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Superman ice cream!

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Movies in bed!

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Snacks in bed! Breaking all the rules… but who cares? It’s vacation!

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And this, folks, is how a good vacation always ends. With exhausted kids fast asleep, dreaming about the memories we made as a family this weekend. ❤

"If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no"

So I just realized that I didn’t post any blog posts in December. Nadda. Zero. Zilch. Oh well!

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December was a great month for us. Just busy! The kids are at such fun ages and it made Christmas such a magical time this year! But since they’re getting older now we’ve also added more activities to our plate during the holiday season. Isaiah had parties at school and a basketball performance at the half time show of a local basketball game. Eloise had her first ballet recital. We saw Santa at several events. We took one last trip to SeaWorld before our season passes expired (WOW!! SeaWorld at Christmas time was AMAZING! Even though we’re not buying season passes again for 2016 we’re still planning to try and make it there at Christmas time again. Truly magical!). We stayed up late looking at Christmas lights in different neighborhoods. We spent one evening at Adventure Landing for WinterFest. We crammed in as many Christmas movies as we could. We moved our Elf on the Shelf (“Elfis”) around the house every night while the kids were asleep and tried to come up with something creative for him to be doing the next day (man that’s stressful!!).

We hung Christmas lights on the outside of our house for the first time ever (and then (after hanging up 5 strands) realized we didn’t’ have enough to go all the way around the house so we tried to buy more… and then found out that they were out of stock at all the stores and were being discontinued (thanks Target!)… so, since we didn’t want to buy 10 completely new sets (because just 5 new ones wouldn’t match the 5 we already had) and since by this time it was just a week before Christmas, we just decided to get back up on the roof and take them all down. And…the story gets better. When we took them down we put them in a garbage bag and set them in the garage (why did we do that?!?)….and then a week later accidentally threw away the garbage bag full of 5 strands of perfectly good icicle lights (bangs head on table). Yea, that was one of our Christmas adventures I’d rather not remember!). We read the Christmas story several times and and sang to lots of Christmas music. Drew and his dad spent Christmas Eve (after our Christmas Eve service) setting up the new trampoline we bought the kids so they would be surprised on Christmas day. We made a gingerbread house, Christmas cookies, crafts, and decorated the house. Not to mention buying all the gifts for friends and family which rests pretty much solely on my shoulders. We had alot of late nights and early mornings. It was a busy month for sure!

And now I’m just focusing on rest. I usually don’t add too much to my plate but this holiday season I feel like I did. I’m usually good about putting up boundaries. About saying no when I need to. About declining a play date or forgoing an event if it’s just too much. But as 2016 is beginning I want to refocus on this. I want to make sure that I go all in on what GOD is calling me passionately to and weed out everything else that just creates busyness. If it’s not an emphatic YES, then I want to say no. Of course ministry and serving sometimes need to be done whether we feel like it or not and, if God is calling me to it, it needs to go under the emphatic YES category. I’m talking about saying no to things that I add to my plate that are simply things I want to do or even feel compelled to do. I want to say no to those things so that I can have room to say yes to more important things.

Have you ever heard of Jen Hatmaker? Oh my gosh. If you haven’t you totally need to look her up. Here is her blog. She is an amazing woman of God and an amazing speaker. I could really listen to her for hours. She is actually speaking at the IF Gathering (if you haven’t heard of that it’s so awesome too. Click the link!) in February and my mom and I are going to a broadcast of it at her church while we’re in Indiana visiting them later this month. I’m so excited!

Anyways, Jen posted this on her Facebook a few days ago and it exactly put into words what I want my year 2016 to be. I’ll just let you read this and I’ll slip out the door because, really, what more could I say?

 
“As you move into 2016 hoping for a saner schedule that prioritizes your actual life and keeps you focused on the things that matter the most, let me share the decision-making filter my agent Curtis always gives me:
“If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no.”
So that medium yes, that I-feel-like-should yes, that guilty yes, that coerced yes, that I-actually-hate-this-thing yes, that I-guess-so yes, that who-else-will-do-it yes, that careless yes, that default yes, that resentful yes, that I-probably-shouldn’t-but-struggle-with-boundaries yes?
NO. Nope.
No thank you. I am unable to commit to that this year. Thank you so much for asking, but any new yes I give right now means a no to my family and sanity. I am so flattered you asked and count on my prayers, but I am at my maximum bandwidth right now. I appreciate your work so much, but I’ve already committed my time and energy this year. I’ve loved being a part of this, but I am no longer able to continue. We are aggressively focused on x, y, and z this year, so as a family we’ve agreed on no new commitments. This is what I can give but won’t be able to do more right now.
Now, the things that make your heart race, your blood pump, the fire in your belly burn, your gifts to leap to life, and keep your family and home healthy and strong…the hell yeses? ALL IN, BABY.”

BOTOX!

Eloise received her first Botox injection last Thursday. She did awesome! We checked in to the hospital at 9 am and Drew’s dad (who works at the hospital) came around 9:30 to help me with Olive so I could focus on Eloise. I was so grateful he took time out of his day to help me as it would have been so hard to handle Olive while trying to give my full attention to Eloise. Grandpa showed her around the hospital and took her to a little play area and she had a great time. =)

Playing with Grandpa while big sister got her shot. 
Letting the Versed kick in and waiting for the injection. 

Eloise had been dreading the Botox shot for days. Although she has come a long way in her trust for doctors she still has an intense fear of needles. Thankfully, shortly after we arrived the nurses gave her some Versed which made her slightly loopy and drowsy. She was acting so funny and saying hilarious things. She kept trying to get out of the hospital bed but we were able to distract her with toys and games. Also, an amazing music therapist on staff at the hospital came in with her guitar and sang songs and played games with Eloise to distract her. Between the music lady and the Versed, Ellie didn’t even realize she had gotten the injection! The doctor was quick and, with the numbing cream she rubbed on before hand, the injection was pretty painless. Praise the Lord!

The songs and toys helped Eloise forget why she was in the the hospital. 

We were discharged from the hospital about 30 minutes later, after a quick snack of animal crackers and apple juice provided by the hospital. They had to keep Eloise for a while to check her vitals and make sure she reacted well to the Botox but then we were free to go. When we left she was still loopy and I had to carry her out to the parking garage. She couldn’t walk for a good 1-2 hours afterwards. She attempted to once when I had my back turned and she landed face down on the carpet in her bedroom. =( No injuries though! And after about 2 hours she was totally back to normal – laughing and running around. She loved the music lady so much that when we got home she asked me, “Mom, when can we do that again!?!?!” I guess that’s a good sign! =)

All done! And still out of it. =) 

Now we wait and see if the Botox does anything to help her foot. Her weekly physical therapy will continue and the hope is that the relaxed muscles in her leg will now allow for greater range during her sessions which could lead to more permanent change. If the Botox seems to help it could become a procedure that she gets done every 3-6 months. I was dreading the thought of that but now I don’t mind if that’s the case because it went much better than I could have ever expected! Thank you, Jesus!

2015 Family Pictures

Well it’s that time of year again. Time for our annual family pictures! This year the lighting was excellent, the photographer was great, our outfits came together perfectly, the setting was gorgeous…..everything was perfect. Except the kids!!

Each year I have to remind myself why I take family pictures. It’s to remember how my children look and act in the current year, which is usually wild and crazy. We’re not a perfect family so why should I expect my family pictures to be perfect, right!?

This year I got family pictures done to document how Olive still needs either two naps or one super long afternoon nap each day – neither of which she got that day. How this made her cranky and whiny. How her cautious personality means she doesn’t often smile for strangers. And how she’s at the age where she just. can’t. sit. still.

I got pictures taken this year to document Eloise’s cheesy smile. This girl has a beautiful smile with a mouth full of tiny, perfectly straight teeth and yet she smiled like she was an old woman trying to prevent her dentures from falling out. Are you kidding me?!?

I got these pictures taken to document that Isaiah is finally at the age where he understands how to sit still and smile a great smile for the camera. He can comprehend the reward at the end of the photo shoot (I promised mini marshmallows!) and is very motivated by the promise of rewards. He understands that when we tell him to smile he needs to smile AND look at the camera (something the other two have a hard time with). He is a sweet boy and loves to grab his sister’s hand even during a photo shoot.

So, guys, this is my family as it is now. A perfectly beautiful mess. As the years go by I’m hoping (praying) that family photo shoots get easier and the kids look better but for now I’m going to treasure these photos (and maybe even laugh someday).

 

 

 

 

Of my heart. If this was the only photo I got from the shoot I think I’d be happy! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think this one is probably the one that I’ll blow up and hang above the fireplace…… Haha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We may not have it all together. But together we have it all! 

No Child is an Accident

When we got pregnant with our first child after we’d only been married 5 months, we couldn’t wait to tell the exciting news to everyone! We were so happy!!! But I’ll never forget what someone said when we called to tell them. Some of the first words out of their mouth were, “Was it an ACCIDENT?”

Since then I’ve always had a distaste in my mouth for those words. First of all, I think it’s just a really rude question to ask. It’s none of your business whether someone’s child was planned or unplanned. If someone wants to tell you they will, if not, don’t ask.

Secondly, I don’t believe that there are any accidental children. Accidental parents? Yes. But no accidental children. Many moms and dads become parents unintentionally. They weren’t planning to become parents or to parent another child. It happened by accident. But that child, the child that they “accidentally” created was planned by God long long ago, before the Earth was formed. God does not make children accidentally. He knew the exact moment that child would come into existence – He was not caught off guard by an “accident”!

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place, 
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

Even if one of my children was not planned, I would not refer to them as an accident. Imagine how a child growing up with this label may feel. Unwanted, an accident? That’s a heavy burden to carry. You could tell your unplanned child, “God planned for you to be alive on this Earth exactly when you arrived. We were surprised but HE wasn’t surprised by you – He put you in our family at exactly the right time. And we are so glad that was his plan!” or something along those lines. Don’t give your child the burden of being “an accident”.

Which leads me to my train of thought today…… Eloise. Today is her Gotcha Day. The day we “got her” from her orphanage. The day we brought her home. The day she ceased to be an orphan and the day she gained a family. Three years ago today we brought her little 6 month old self home and showered her with love and watched her grow and thrive into the spunky 3 1/2 year old she is today.

Eloise’s biological mother got pregnant with her by accident. She became an accidental mother. But Eloise is NOT an accident. God destined her to be alive on this Earth at the very time Drew and Isaiah and Olive and I are…..so that she could be a beautiful part of our family. We cannot imagine life without her. She was not planned by her mother, but she was planned by us. It’s hard to forget all the hoops we had to jump through and the steps we had to complete for her adoption. All the money and the paperwork and the tears and the frustration as we went through the process! All the waiting and the praying and the hoping. It was all for her. We didn’t know it at the time but God had set aside a beautiful daughter for us, planned into existence by HIM.

Sometimes people become accidental parents and chose to end the life of their child and sometimes people become accidental parents and chose to GIVE LIFE to their child whether in their own home or the home of another. We are so so grateful God decided long ago that Eloise’s first mom would accidentally became pregnant with her and would give her life so that we could have a desired, planned for, and wanted daughter.

Happy Gotcha Day, Sweet Eloise. You are not an accident and we are glad you were born.

Update on Eloise – Botox and E-Stim

Yesterday Eloise had an appointment with her pediatric physiatrist. (In case you need to catch up, Eloise has dystonia in her right leg/foot which causes it to turn inward and gives her trouble walking. You can read more about our journey so far here, here, and here.)

Olive has been in a funk this past week and was climbing all over the furniture and exercising her new favorite word: NO! Thankfully Isaiah was in school so I only had the two girls to worry about. And thankfully Eloise has come a LONG way with doctors this past year. She used to be absolutely terrified to even step foot in the doctors office but this last year has brought about many doctors appointments for her and she has grown more comfortable.

The doctor is pleased that Eloise’s foot doesn’t look any worse from the last time she saw her. We don’t know what has caused her condition (possibly a brain injury during or shortly after birth) and, since we don’t know the cause, it’s hard to know what the outcome will be. Could it get worse? Could it spread to other parts of her body? Possibly. But things are looking good so far! She is already 3 1/2 and her condition doesn’t seem to be worsening or spreading. Thank you, Jesus!

However, the doctor thinks it may be time to try a few more aggressive measures. Eloise attends weekly physical therapy sessions and wears a brace but it just doesn’t seem to be correcting her foot in the way her doctor was hoping it would.

Thus, Eloise has her first Botox treatment scheduled next month. The Botox will loosen the tight muscles in her leg. This will allow those tight muscles to relax a little and give us the ability to strengthen the weak muscles in physical therapy and teach them to take over where needed. The goal is to help things “even out” by hopefully strengthening the weak muscles and weakening the tight ones.  If the Botox works, it may become a regular part of our journey (maybe once every 3 or 6 months). If it doesn’t seem to do anything we will look into other options.

We are also going to be doing something called electrical muscle stimulation (E-stim). We have been doing this at physical therapy but the doctor wants us to get a machine for home use and use it 3 times a week. Little sticky pads are connected to Eloise’s leg and then the machine sends an electrical impulse to stimulate a muscle contraction in that muscle. This happens over and over until you disconnect the machine. When the muscle is stimulated it causes Eloise’s foot to involuntarily contract and turn the correct way. Just like with exercising any muscle, this makes the muscles stronger and, over time, the hope is that it will be able to gain enough strength to turn correctly without the machine.

So, some changes coming up…. As always, we’re so thankful for all the wonderful doctors and therapists that work together to help Eloise as much as possible. And, when I go to her appointments I often see children who have much more serious problems and I’m so thankful for the health that Eloise has. We have much to be grateful for!

What a gorgeous view from the 19th floor!

This girl has come a long way in learning not to fear doctors!

Braces, X-Rays, and Kinesio Tape – An Update on Eloise

I realized today I haven’t written an update about Eloise in a while! So, here’s some quick info on where we’re at with her foot. (If you want to catch up on what’s going on with her you can do so here and here).

Yesterday we had an appointment with pediatric orthopedics to get some x-rays done and just confirm that nothing is wrong with Eloise’s hips, knees, or feet that could be causing her right foot to turn in. The x-rays came back all normal, which means that the cause of her in-turned foot is neurological. That means that it’s stemming from the brain, not from any deformity in her bone structure. This is what we were expecting as we are pretty sure her condition stems from a brain injury or disease as an infant.

The orthopedist is pretty sure she does not have cerebral palsy but a possible mild form of dystonia is still on the table. He mentioned Botox as a possible option in the future and also mentioned that in a year we can reassess if she needs to continue wearing her brace or not. He was positive and encouraging, saying that her condition is very mild and he expects it to stay that way! We have appointments to see all of her doctors (pediatric physiatrist, neurologist, orthopedist, etc) again in 6-12 months, at which time they’ll reassess her condition and treatment.

In the mean time we are still doing weekly physical therapy at Wolfson’s and she is supposed to be wearing a foot brace all of her waking hours. I say “supposed to” because it’s a constant struggle to get her to wear it. She loves to either be barefoot or wearing her ballet shoes – neither of which she can do with her brace on. =(

When she first got her brace a few months ago, she started out with a smaller brace that just reached the ankle but her physical therapist wasn’t happy with it as it didn’t seem to do much to straighten out her foot. Yesterday she got a new brace, one that reaches half way up her calf and controls her leg much more. I do think her foot is pretty straight with this one on and am hoping that I can get her to wear it enough to help retrain her leg/brain how her foot is supposed to turn when she walks!

Eloise also gets something called kinesio tape at each PT visit. It’s a blue tape that the therapist wraps up her leg that pulls on the muscles in her leg, teaching them to pull outward instead of inward when she walks. The tape stays on for about 5 days, then falls off, then she gets more at her next appointment.

In addition to what is going on with her foot, Eloise has been getting a rash on her face and sores on her legs and feet since she was a baby so we are trying to get to the bottom of that. We have been seeing allergists and dermatologists to try and figure out what it going on. I swear, this girl LOVES doctors! (Actually she hates them, poor thing!)

Overall we are hopeful! We don’t know if her condition will worsen over time. We don’t know if it will ever be corrected. We don’t know if we’ll ever know what is causing it. But one thing we know is that the Lord keeps giving us the strength to deal with each new development, each new doctors appointment (God knows how hard it is to take 3 kids to the doctor by myself!), and whatever each day brings. For now we are thankful for a sweet, happy girl who doesn’t let a little in-turned foot keep her from much of anything! Praise Him!!!

Eloise is Three!

Today is Eloise’s THIRD birthday!! In some ways it’s hard to believe she’s just turning three!!! Most people that don’t know her assumed she was turning 4 when she would tell them it was almost her birthday. She’s average height for her age so it’s not her tallness that makes people think that. She has a pretty solid build though which helps. =) But I think it’s mainly her mature mannerisms and the way she talks. Needless to say in other ways it’s pretty east to believe she’s just 3 years old as she has a typical three year old attitude. (If you have a 2 1/2 -3 year old you know what I mean.) Good thing she’s so cute!! =)

Eloise is such a smart little girl. She knows her ABC’s and can count to 10 (after 10 things go a little haywire!). She loves to sing and can keep a tune amazingly well! She is our little dancer and any time she hears music you can bet she’s going to bust a move! She is also a budding gymnast and loves to do flips, twists, tumbles, and twirls. She can do a handstand against the wall in a second flat!

 

We still have a long road ahead of us as we handle the Dystonia in her right foot. She doesn’t let it slow her down though and leads a very normal life!

Ellie Bean is our little sweetheart but she has a stubborn, strong will when she wants her way! =) She likes to play with baby dolls and swing on the playset outside. Probably her favorite thing in the whole world right now is Play-Doh. She could literally play with it for hours. She makes balls and dresses for her dolls and just squishes it around all over the table. For her birthday she got two Play-Doh sets, a My Little Pony one and a princess castle one. She’s been having a blast with both!

This girl loves her Play-Do!

Eloise is super sensitive and will start crying if you even raise your voice at her, let alone inflict a punishment upon her (seriously, it’s pretty much the end of the world if you do). She has a compassionate heart and always wants to make sure those around her are ok. She is obsessed with her baby sister and gives her multiple kisses and hugs a day. She fights like a typical sibling with Isaiah but looks up to him and copies {everything} he does. Her favorite color is purple (with pink as a close second). Her favorite food is cheese (which she can’t have because it gives her a rash- poor girl). And her favorite tv show is Bo On The Go.

Last Saturday we had a little party for the birthday girl at Chuck E. Cheese. She has been begging to go to Chuck E Cheese pretty much since her last birthday so it was a dream come true to finally go again (And I seriously hope we don’t have to go again until her next birthday. That place is a mad house!).

Happy Birthday Sweet Eloise Ann!!!!
The birthday girl!
Our best attempt at fitting all five of us in the Chuck E. Cheese camera. We tried…
They loved riding rides together!!
Love my girl!
Opening presents!!
Happy Third Birthday Eloise Ann!!!