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Life with the Leonard’s





Updated: 2018-03-05T19:59:40.998-08:00

 



Here I am

2015-05-09T06:39:32.287-07:00

Here I am, AGAIN, needing to play catch up on the blog.  What has change? Why was it so easy to blog so much when LeAInne was little but I barely make it here to blog anymore?  LeAnne grew up on the blog while it seems Christian is growing up on Facebook.  Some of it may have to do with the fact I am not on my laptop much, well until lately that is, after I broke my iPad. So sad! Anyway here I am and lets jump into an update before the kids wake up.Since I last blogged Christian has definitely make progress with his speech and we have continued to peruse more therapy.  Staring next Tuesday he will start going to see a Speech Pathologist at Walla Walla General hospital twice a week.  She said she doesn't normally see kids so young but thinks with him its warranted.  She said there is little chance he will just start talking if his receptive language isn't developed.  He is now saying bye bye (buh buh) while waving, he says oh oh for uh oh, he is signing more when he wants something independently which tells me he understands the sign, he is signing his version of all done and saying ah da, says sh for shoe and making various animal sounds from time to time (owl, cat, dog, donkey and pig) and making some pretty awesome car sounds.  He has started to point a lot more, and even got me his shoes one day to put on him so we could go outside.  He is imitating a lot more and has started to let us read more books to him.  I am so pleased we are getting him the therapies he needs.  I had mixed feelings when the Speech Pathologist told us she wanted to see him twice a week and saw definite delays.  Part of me was thrilled to get confirmation from an expert that he does need help and the other part of me felt like I was being punched in the gut. I would have loved for her to say he was fine and just to be patient. I quickly let that feeling slip away and focus on the fact that we are doing what needs to be done to help our boy be the best he can be.  We have yet to hear from Seattle Children's to schedule his full Autism screening.  I will try to call them again next week.  We are feeling less and less that he is Autistic but again we don't want that for him so were biased and we want unbiased expert opinions. Oh yes I almost forgot we had his hearing tested and he is hearing great. That was not such a fun experience!He is 100% all boy for sure! Loves playing outside, getting dirty, and has little to no fear.  He gives the best hugs and is very attached to me!  He has most definitely entered the terrible 2's and boy can he scream!  He hates being taken away from his toys!  He absolutely loves playing with his big sister. LeAnne does great with him until she is done!  One day he was screaming on the way to school and she told me we would duct tape his mouth. Oh boy... I don't think so! LeAnne is doing very well!  It floors me that she is reading at a 4th grade level while in first grade!  She has been a ravenous reader lately!  It's so much fun seeing her excited about books and reading with her at night.  She is also a very creative writer.  Her stories are  lots of fun to read!  She has been doing gymnastics twice a week in walla walla since April.  She has mixed feelings about gymnastics. There are parts of it she loves but other things are hard for her.  A lot of things come easy to her so I think its good for her to see its not always that way and she needs to work to improve.  She also likes to be perfect and we are trying to teach her that is necessary.  We want her to be driven to be good and always try her best but perfection isn't necessary nor realistic.  She recently has her first 3 fillings at a Pediatric dentist in WW.  It was an amazing experience and I so love the dentist.  LeAnne was on gas that smelled like skittles, and playing Mine Craft so she has no clue what was really going on. She has been talking a lot lately about wanting to go to the woods[...]



Happy Birthday Christian

2015-04-17T05:59:37.815-07:00

Happy Birthday Christian Happy 2nd birthday to my sweet boy Christian!  It's so hard to believe you are already 2! It seems like just yesterday I was on my way to the hospital to have you! You are definitely 100% ALL boy! You're into and on top of everything, love playing outside getting dirty and playing with your cars.  You are a very determined little man! You said your first word "bye bye" a few weeks ago. You know bye bye means its time to go outside.  You love playing with your big sister LeAnne and she is so good with you!  I love watching you spend time with your Daddy. He loves you so much! You give the best hugs EVER!  I am so incredibly blessed that I get to spend everyday with you little man!  I thank God for blessing my life with you!  Happy Birthday!!



Cautiously Optimistic

2015-02-24T12:29:03.238-08:00

I am so overweight and out of shape it's scary!  I think daily about how I need to do something. My weight affects my health and how I live my life.  I am scared it's going to lead to an early death and I think daily how I don't want to be a burden to my husband or children later in life because I am so unhealthy.  I think daily about how traumatic it would be to my children if something happen to me. I hate being overweight! I already have high blood pressure, I am pre-diabetic and I struggle with depression/anxiety.  I want to be a healthy weight.  I want to be able to wear cute clothes.  I want to have more energy.  I want to be able to live easier.  I want to chase my kids and go hiking.  I want to be sexy!  I want to take self defense classes.  I want to compete in shoot competitions.  None of those things can happen if I don't lose weight and get in shape.  I've struggled with my weight most of my life.  After I hit puberty the only time I didn't struggle with my weight was when I was working in Kentucky on a Thoroughbred breeding farm.  The only reason I didn't struggle then was I physically worked hard 8-12 hours a day 6 days of the week.  I began to struggle even more with my weight after I had my gallbladder removed in 2000.   Being overweight runs in my family.  I have PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) which makes it really hard to lose weight.  I've tried so many different diets, but none of them stick.  I always seem to go back to my old ways, what is easiest and my biggest obstacle is my own stinking thinking. I always get discouraged when I don't see results.  I don't know why I think the weight should come off quickly because it didn't go on overnight. I know what needs to be done.  I must eat healthier and exercise!I am going to try new things.  First I am telling myself this will not happen overnight, next I am going to move my body, then I am going to buy & prepare healthy foods (vegetables, fruits, nuts, proteins), and I have started taking some new supplements called Thrive.  This supplement will give me vitamins and nutrients my body desperately needs, act as a appetite suppressant, give me energy, help me to burn fat, speed up my metabolism, help with my moods, and help relieve aches and pains. I have started walking in the morning after I drop LeAnne off at school and am drinking more water as well.  I am working on making better choices with what I eat and working on portion control.  I say I am cautiously optimistic because I am afraid to be overly excited for fear of working myself into a high and then my stinking thinking gets the best of me again and I fail again.  I want to make these changes stick.  I want to develop new habits. I know it will not be easy at all and I will have to stick to my convictions. I know I have been thinking and eating like crap for a long time and it will be so easy to fall back into old ways.  I am going to have to fake it until I make it.  I am going to have to P.U.S.H (Persist Until Something Happens).  I am going to have to pray because I can't do this on my own but with God all things are possible.  I am going to have to change my thinking.  It's so easy to say all of this now but I must keep it up when it gets tough. I think for me its going to be important to keep walking, to take the time to cut up fruits and veggies for easy meal preparation, to cook meat ahead of time to be able to grab for healthy lunches, to cut way down on sugar, limit starches and keep drinking the water.  I am excited that I have walked a mile each day this week, drank more water, made better eating choices and I am feeling really good.  I can feel the Thrive working.  I am feeling a little sick once in a while (stomach ache and headache) but realize this is my body detoxing.  I have filled it with junk for a long time.  I am so thankful[...]



I am back...Again (post surgery update)

2015-02-23T13:21:52.290-08:00

I am back again! I took a brief break because I had Carpal Tunnel Release surgery on my right hand and tying was just not an option.  The first two week after surgery I found myself wondering daily why I had the surgery!  Am I insane?  I have a wild 22 month old son who is into and on top of everything 24/7.  Life without my dominate hand was rough!  I found alternate ways to do things so that I could get things done but by the end of the day I was in pain and exhausted.  I had my stitches out last Thursday and was very encouraged by the next day how much more I could do.  The surgery site is still sensitive, I still have numbness in the tip of two fingers, my wrist aches a bit and it will take time to regain strength.  My doctor said I should see a big difference in two months.  So the verdict is still out weather this was a good idea and I am certainly not in any hurry to have it done to my left hand.

All Early Intervention evaluations were completed with Christian, we met with all coordinators, developed a plan and he had his first session last week.  An early intervention para professional will be coming to our house once a week to work with him, the early intervention coordinator/Special Ed. Teacher will come with her once a month and the Speech Pathologist will come with her once a month as well.  Most of the goals have to do with his development of speech.  Hearing your child has developmental delays is hard to swallow. I immediately start to wonder why and blame myself.  I have heard from so many people that boys talk later than girls, people have told me about boys they know who have not talked until they were 4 but it still stings that my son isn't talking.  He will be 2 in two months and says no real words.  He is starting to make new noises and more open mouthed sounds like ma, ba, and la.  I have made a check list of  activities to do with him that will help him meet his goals and hopefully get him talking.  Now I need to develop a daily routine of working with him.  It makes me so upset with myself how impatient I can be in regards to seeing results.  I've been praying lately that God will help me to work with him consistently and trust in His plan for my boy.  The day I hear him say his first word is going to be like Christmas, my birthday and Easter all rolled into one!

Then there is our high spirited, hot headed, emotional drama queen, LeAnne.   She has always been fairly advanced intellectually for her age.  Always busy, always thinking and asking questions. The other day on our way to a birthday party she asked questions about so many different topics it was comical.  She has been into making cards for people she loves and there precious.  Almost all of them say "I love you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much"!  Daddy and I are going to sit her down and have a little chat tonight about how she treats me.  She gets frustrated easily and lashes out at me.  This is not something new.  She has had melt downs like this since she was 2 or 3 but for a little bit now she has focused them towards me.  We have been talking about how she needs to respect me and its not okay to yell at me.  We have been talking about her breathing, and walking away for a bit.  She puts a lot of pressure on herself to be perfect and we have to constantly remind her that is not our expectation.  Oh the joys of parenting! :-)

Little man is up about an hour early from his name today, so much for some quiet time to write. I have started a new journey so stay tune to hear about that.



This, that and the other...

2015-01-28T21:19:08.898-08:00

Hello from our little corner of the world!  Life with the Leonard family is going well. I am thankful and down right overjoyed that our guy will switching to day shift starting Monday Feb 2nd!!! Night shift is terribly rough on him and the whole family.  There will be a bit of an adjustment period since we aren't use to having him home in the evenings. The kids and I have our normal routine from homework to play time, to dinner time, bath time and quiet time before they go to bed.  The most insane time is the time in-between homework and dinner (around 4-6pm) because that is when I am trying to do dinner prep, cook dinner, feed kids, get kids bathed and into PJ's and clean up the kitchen.  Things usually start to calm down around 6-6:30 pm when I usually let them play quietly and/or watch some TV they enjoy.  It will require patience from us adults to readjust.   I am looking forward to having him more alert, not having him sleeping on his days off, having help with the kids during the crazy evening hours a few times a week, being free to volunteer in LeAnne's class once in a while since he can watch after Christian on his days off, and once of the things I am looking forward to most of all is being able to sleep peacefully at night knowing he is home safe.  I sleep so much better when he is home!!  LeAnne will miss sleeping with me at night.  I will miss not having to share the television at night. Ha ha! At the same time it will be nice to have some real adult conversation with my husband in the evenings. Christian's evaluations for Early Intervention have gone well.  We meet with the Early Intervention Specialist on Friday to discuss the results of evaluations, and talk about where we go from here.  The early intervention coordinator from our school district was saying she would recommend her paraprofessional coming out once a week to work with him and thought at least once a month for Speech therapy.  I am looking forward to learning from the Speech Pathologist how I can help him on a daily basis.  He continues to do more things on the right track developmentally.  Just today he and I were playing in his room when he put his construction workers hat on my head, the first time I put it on his head he knocked it off since he doesn't care for hats much but then a few minutes later he put it on his own head. He has also started to try to comb his own hair with a brush and he is babbling not just humming.  He is adding consonants!  Whenever he does any of this I am quick to celebrate which makes him do it more and he gets so proud of himself.  He is getting over a little cold. Thank goodness his fever is gone and I hope his cough will be gone soon too.  I am feeling more and more like once we get his speech on track the rest of it will fall into place. LeAnne is doing super!  She got her report card today and is doing excellent in school.  I am floored by how awesome she reads and her hand writing is beautiful. She wasn't feeling well on Monday.  I let her stay home and rest just in case she was coming down with what Christian has had.  I am not so sure she was really sick or just tierd and wanted to see what was happening at home while she was at school.  I think with the extra attention being paid for Christian for his evaluations and such she might be feeling a little left out.  Though I do try to make sure she has her time too.  Another good thing about John going back to days is that LeAnne and I can have a girls night every once in a while and Daddy can hang out with Christian.  LeAnne is talking about not wanting chickens now and a rabbit instead.  Daddy is hesitant to get a rabbit for fear she will change her mind and then we are stuck with a rabbit to take care of. Plus it is another expense.  I see where he is coming from but I would like her to have the experience o[...]



Encouraging signs

2015-01-21T13:17:09.018-08:00

My husband & I have been seeing some encouraging signs with our son.  One of the things we've been concerned about is how Christian doesn't seem to bring us into his world through pointing, bringing things to us or imitation. Until last week he had not done any of those activities.One evening I was in Christian's room playing with both kids.  We were building with blocks, throwing the ball, and reading books.  Christian started stacking his blocks as high as he could go without them falling over.  He would go like 6 high.  Then he looked at me in the eyes and started handing me blocks to play with him.  I nearly jumped out of my skin and cried at the same time.  I praised him big time.  Then a little later LeAnne and I were playing catch with one of his balls and I rolled it to him.  He picked up the ball and carried it over to me.  :-) Ahhhhh!! He did that many times! Then another time he brought my husband his favorite truck book, actually took my husband's hand and put it on the book. WOW!  Then he imitated my husband sticking his tough in and out. He thought it was really funny and actually copied him.  He now brings me his favorite truck book on a regular basis and yesterday brought me a different book.  He is also clapping a lot more again. Both my husband and I have hope that he is starting to develop int he right direction.  A part of me wants to stop all testing for Autism and just assume he is on the right track at his own pace but another part of me says no there are still other signs we are seeing and we need to follow this through.  Today I am meeting with the early intervention coordinator in our school district and the speech pathologist to do another evaluation.  It sounds like this will be more questions for me and observation of him.  Then on Friday the early intervention specialist will bring some toys and do another evaluation of him. I took some time to look back at videos of my daughter today when she was Christian's age.  I can't wait to hear him babbling.  His first word is going to be like Christmas, my birthday, Mother's day and Easter all rolled into one!   A few of the videos that really touched me:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bygxtqn7LQchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbYw19ts3qshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z92xBIcu2RMChristian gives the best hugs. It's awesome how he wraps his arms around you, squeezes and rubs his hand on your back.  His hugs melt me! Little man is waking up I am going to sign off for now.Lovng his new truckGetting some fresh air at the park[...]



Next Step & other happenings

2015-01-13T11:45:10.530-08:00

The Early Intervention Specialist came to our house today for the initial evaluation.  She explained the Birth to 3 program to us and went through a developmental survey with us.  It was one of the many surveys we had filled out online and then again at the pediatricians office. So we were familiar with the questions and based on the survey Christian does qualify for Birth to 3 early intervention services.  So the next step is to go through a more in-depth evaluation with the gal at the school district who coordinates the birth to 3 program.  She said we should be hearing from her this week to schedule.  On one hand I am thankful we are moving forward to get Christian the therapy he needs.  On the other hand I am sad, because I think I wanted to have someone along the way tell us he doesn't need services.  I know in my head were doing the right thing for Christian and that early intervention is the best thing for him.  Emotionally I am just not feeling very strong today.  I have people I should talk to about today but I am not feeling strong enough to put on the strong front I need to.  I am trying to stay in the moment, take everything one step at a time and not worry about the the future.  The most important thing is doing whatever is necessary for Christian. He was a champ during the visit today.  He was even smiling at the specialist and then when she left he was so excited to play with Gracie.  Gracie is so good with him just like she was with LeAnne.  I love watching him play.  

LeAnne bought hot lunch at school yesterday for the first time.  She was so excited and had a great lunch.  She was excited to buy lunch again today.  She has decided now that she wants to be a baker, not a scientist.  Looks like I had better find some recipes and get ready to do some baking with her. 

Time to sign off for now, fold some laundry and then do something to get out of my own head.  



Unexpected Journey

2015-01-12T11:47:02.534-08:00

I have been wanting to write about this unexpected journey we are going through for a while now but until today I didn't know quite how to. I am the proud mama to three beautiful children.  My 21 year old step-daughter Amanda, 7 year old daughter LeAnne and 20 month old son Christian.  I met Amanda when she was 6 and love her as my own for sure.  LeAnne has always been our very busy, vocal, free spirited, strong willed and oh so fast to pick up on things. I've never been a mama to a boy and the differences between girls and boys are huge.  Our son is busy just like our daughter was but he is much more rough, into everything, a bull in a glass store comes to mind, and he a lot less vocal.  I mean he makes noise but its very different than it was with LeAnne.  We've been a little concerned since he was about a year old but brushed it off by thinking he's a boy, boys talk later, why does he need to talk when we all jump for everything he needs and he'll talk when he needs to.  As time passed though we got more concerned, had nagging feelings that something just wasn't right and were eagerly looking forward to talking to his pediatrician at his 18 month well check.  Autism had crossed both of our minds but we brushed it off because he does things most on the spectrum don't. The first thing we did at his 18 month well check was fill out an Autism specific developmental screening.  We grew a little more concerned. Our Pediatrician was encouraged by some things and concerned about other things.  So we left his office with a referral for a Early Intervention specialist for his speech and said if we still had concerned when he was 2 we would go further with diagnostic testing. On that day it seemed like we had a good plan but again the nagging feelings he was on the Autism Spectrum were present with both my husband and I.  We separately, unknowingly to the other did research.  It was Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day when it really hit us and I will never forget my husband saying "I really thinking he may be on the Autism Spectrum and we need to move forward with testing now and not wait until he's 2." I remember agreeing with him but also overwhelmed by sadness and guilt.  I don't want this for our son, and what did I do wrong were thoughts going through my head.  I couldn't be more thankful for the way my husband is handling this whole journey.  He's my rock!  He is our son, we love him no less, and it is our responsibility as his parents act rapidly with and get him any early intervention he may need.  The wait and see attitude is not acceptable.  It's been shown that kids who get early intervention do better in life.  It's possible at this early of an age to rewire the brain while developing to minimize the affect on his life.  So my husband schedule an appointment with our pediatrician and a week later I received a call from the early intervention specialist and have an evaluation scheduled for tomorrow.  We went online and filled out numerous questionnaires.  There are many things he has going for him but other deficits that are concerning. We met with our pediatrician yesterday and couldn't be happier with how the appointment went.  Our pediatrician is very down to earth, informative, supportive and were on the same page.  The Autism Spectrum is such a huge range that someone could be so mildly affected that their behavior is just a little awkward to severely affected to the point that the person is non verbal and you are trying to find ways to connect with them.  At this point his pediatrician is encouraged that he has great eye contact, he seeks affection, he plays appropriately and purposefully with his toys.  He is concerned by his lack words ( zero words), and that he has no desire to bring us into [...]



Too Young to be This Old

2015-01-10T20:25:19.512-08:00

This is the oldest I have been yet!  At least I am not as old as I will be next year. I am not old. I woke up. I lifted my arms. I moved my knees, I turned my neck.... Everything made the same noise: CRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaAAAAACCCCCCCK!! (Crack) ... I came to the conclusion:  I am not old, I am crispy!  My brother always tells me getting older is better than the alternative which is not getting older. Kinda like the quote do not regret growing older, it's a privilege denied to many.It's really hard to believe that I am 39 today.  This is my last year in my 30's! Holy Crap how is that possible!?  Where as the time gone?  Turning 30 was rough for me because I wasn't where I wanted to be.  I had hoped to be done having my children by the time I was 30 and due to infertility I had not been able to conceive a child when I turned 30.  God had other plans.  I got pregnant with my daughter when I was 31 and she was born when I was 32.  I gave birth to my son when 37.  So yeah God had other plans.  Today as I turn 39 I am not upset about turning 40 as I was turning 30. I am at a great place in my life.  I have an amazing husband who loves me very much, beautiful children, a nice home in the country, my dream of being a stay at home mom has come true, my mental health has been fairly stable for a long while, (shhhh no comments from the peanut gallery), and I am more comfortable in my own skin.  Now on the flip side I am still battling my weight which leads to health concerns.  I KNOW what has to be done. I just can't seem to do it consistently.  Inside of me is this really hot mama who wants out but this dam stinking thinking keeps her locked up in this unhealthy body.  I wish I knew how to brain wash myself into doing what I need to do to let that hot mama out!In 356 days I will celebrate my 40th birthday and I want to do something to push myself to live more so I am challenging myself to do 40 things I by the time I am 40. 1.        40 random acts of kindness 2.       Improve my shot grouping (better aim)3.       Memorize 40 bible verses4.       Make gifts & take them to Columbia County Police and VA Police to show appreciation5.       Get the tattoo I have been designing6.       Lose at least 40 pounds (it’s a start)7.       Can Fruit cocktail for the kids8.       Make out at the drive in movie9.       Read 12 books10.   Plan our 15th wedding anniversary trip11.   Go to the ocean12.   Read the bible in a year 13.   Try Lay’s Wavy Potato Chips Dipped in Chocolate14.   Go to Leavenworth, WA for Christmas celebration15.   Find a home church for our family16.   Conquer my fear of birds by owning chickens17.   Sing Karaoke 18.   Surprise my husband 19.   Send 40 paper cards or letters to people in my life20.   Go to a concert with my awesome husband21.   Go 24 hours without touching my any technology (cell phone, laptop, I-pad)22.   Complete 40 scrapbook pages 23.   Learn something new24.   Go out with the girls25.   Make a scrapbook of Grandma Alice’s clippings I was given26.   Try a new food27.   Make pottery with LeAnne28.   Have pictures taken with my kids29.   Have dessert for dinner and dinner for dessert30.   Go on an overnight trip with my brother & sister31.   Play pool32.   Host a backyar[...]



I am back... I think

2015-01-07T11:57:52.184-08:00

It's been over a year since I have blogged about life with the Leonard's.  My husband says he has no idea what is going on with our family. LOL!! I have had so many intentions of blogging, getting on a schedule of blogging, and making sure to write down Christian's milestones. Epic fail there! What can I say but life happens! I blogged a ton when LeAnne was born because I wanted to keep our family and friends on the other side of our state involved in our life. We moved across the state when LeAnne was 4 months old and the blog was a great way to share pictures and happenings.  I wrote less often as time when by and then our little boy was born, I lost a little interest in writing, and got really busy keeping up with our two kids.  I am going to attempt to write something at least once a week.  Blogging has helped me while writing journaling for the kids scrapbooks and days away from entering my the last year of my 30's my memory isn't getting any better. :-)I have been a stay at home mom now for almost two years now.  I love being home with my kids! Christian and I are very close. He is definitely a mama's boy. I enjoy all of our cuddle time and being apart of all his milestones.  I love being here for LeAnne and enjoy all our special mom and daughter time while brother is napping.  Now that being said, being a stay at home mom can be very challenging, exhausting and wear on me at times.  It's a 24/7, 365 days a year gig. I feel guilty complaining at all.  This is something I have dreamed about doing since I can remember and I don't want to change a thing.  The best way to some it up is that it's the hardest yet most rewarding job EVER!  LeAnne is doing amazing!  She is growing up way too quickly.  She's 7 years old and in the first grade.  She's a very smart young lady.  She is reading between a 2nd and 3rd grade level.  She loves math, science and is curious about EVERYTHING.  She played soccer Sept/Oct 2014 and enjoyed it.  She is taking after me in that she likes to write notes. I love her notes.  She loves playing with her brother and for some reason thinks it is really funny when he doesn't have any pants on. This Christmas I was so impressed with how thankful she was for everything.  She kept saying it was the best day ever!  Christian is all boy!  He is very active, running and climbing on everything. He keeps up busy that is for sure.  He loves getting up on to the table, sitting in John's chair, and climbing into the stove below our stove.  He loves playing with cars of all types.  I am looking forward to Spring so he can play outside more.  He loves playing in the dirt and I know he will be all about climbing and going down the slide this year.  He give the absolute best hugs!  John is doing well.  He is in the 3rd month of a 4 month night rotation at work.  Night rotations are have been tougher on all of us the last year.  His sleep schedule is just all our of whack, which wears on him and it can be rough on family life for sure.  We all look forward to February when he switched to days for 4 months.  That does mean he will be on nights this summer but that's his job and our crazy life.  I am very proud of my husband and support his career 100%!  Our world has become so insane. I worry about him every time he leaves for work and breathe a little easier when he walks through the door after his shift.  He is my hero!  I am so looking forward to spending some time just with my husband next weekend.  We are going to Tri-cities for my birthday.  First stop is the range where I can try out the new laser sights John got me for Christmas, then a movie and dinner.  We are going t[...]



Christian's 8 month photos

2014-02-15T06:51:17.518-08:00

At 8 months old Christian is now sitting up very well, and crawling around and into everything. He is loving all the lights and Christmas decorations. He starting to pull himself up onto everything and loves looking out the front window and the window in his room.(something his sister loved too) Daddy had to lower his crib to all the way down because he was pulling up.  He continues to try more baby food combinations.  I am having a blast making most of his foods from scratch. A few of his favorite foods are pears, beans and apple sauce. Grammy Sally made Christian this stockingYummy Blueberry and spinach Ha Look at me![...]



First Snow of Winter 2013, COLD, and Getting our Christmas Tree...

2013-12-16T05:57:33.322-08:00

We got our first snow of the winter on December 2nd. It was about 2-3 inches and beautiful! Then the weather turned bitter cold with highs in the single digits a few days and lows below zero with wind chill.  It was beautiful but way too cold to play outside.  The day went to get our Christmas tree it was a whopping 11 degrees. I bundled everyone up, went to Klickers and picked out the 2nd tree we looked at.  Then to McDonald's for lunch to warm up and home to decorate. While we were decorating LeAnne kept tell me how much she loved me and how this was the best day EVER.  Christmas with kids in the house is so magical.  This year our tree is the bomb.  John got an actual working tree train. The track is mounted on the tree and the train actually goes around. LOVE it!! Christian is having a lot of fun pulling up on the cage we have around the tree and looking at the lights.  He gets the hugest grin on his face and bounces up and down. It's adorable!  LeAnne has been a SUPER big sister when it comes to helping with Christian and the tree.[...]



Christmas Kick off, Santa and Sugar Plum Elf

2013-12-16T05:47:14.630-08:00

The day after Thanksgiving Grandma Marcia, LeAnne, Christian and I went to check out Christmas kick off in our little town. We looked in some shops, enjoyed some music, popcorn and went to see Santa.  All was going well for both kids to have their picture taken with Santa but as we waiting in line Christian pulled LeAnne's hair and she had a major meltdown. There was no consoling for convincing her to have her picture taken with Santa so just Christian had his picture taken with Santa. He looked so adorable in his little Santa suit and he got his first taste of candy cane.

December 1st Santa sent LeAnne a scout elf to keep an eye on her during the Christmas season. LeAnne named her else Sugar Plum Elf.  She watches LeAnne all day long then flies back to the North Pole at night to report to Santa how she is behaving. Then every night she flies back and hides in a new location.

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Sugar plum Elf taking a Marshmallow bath


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First Santa picture & Candy Cane
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LeAnne and Sugar Plum in the light




Thanksgiving and Christian's 7 months pix

2013-12-16T05:38:01.774-08:00

We spent this Thanksgiving at my mom's neighbors house Glenda/Tom with mom. It was a lot of fun and so amazing to see how well Tom is doing.  He collapsed into his wife's arms on October 11th and died.  She did CPR, thought for sure he was gone, was flown to hospital in Spokane where it was discovered that he has Sudden Infant Death Syndrome but the adult type. The doctors were amazed at his recovery. They credit his wife doing CPR that he was still alive. Most people they see with this condition don't live or are vegetables. Many tests were done and doctors flew n from all over the country to talk with him. A pace maker was put in and he came home a month after he went into the hospital. A real miracle for sure! Praise God!! Earlier in November Grammy Sally and Grampy Ron came up for a visit. It's always great to see them. LeAnne had so much fun playing with Grammy and I was shocked that this visit Ron actually held Christian. Christian is now commando crawling very quickly and starting to put his knees up to crawl, He is the happiest kid, he is sitting up much better, has found his voice and is such a content baby.LeAnne got an award from school for running laps, and excellence in reading and math! I met with her teacher for her first conference the beginning of November. We are on her way to the conference and she asks me why we are going to see her teacher. I explain she wants to tell me how you are doing in school and your behavior. She gets really quiet and then says "I punched a kid the other day". OMG it was so funny but then I was like WHAT why did I not hear about this. She said Mrs. Wamble took care of it.  The conference went great. She is doing well in all her academics and doing better socially and emotionally. I told her teacher about our conversation on the way there and she said yes that did happen and we handled it. Her only low scores on her report card were socially, getting along with others,and  respecting others. Her teacher said she is doing better, less emotional breakdowns and they will continue to work on social skills. I am so happy we kept her in Kindergarten another year. She is doing first grade reading int he first grade classroom so I met with that teacher later that week.  She is doing well, told me she is a sight reader and gave me some worksheets to work with her on sounding out words skills.  I am very proud of our girl!Tasting his first cookieEating Blueberries for first timeHat dayLoves to hear sister read[...]



From Cloth diapers to Sibling memories and anything I else I can think of...

2013-12-16T05:16:25.631-08:00

I got a bit behind on our family blog so I am going through photos and a downloaded copy of my Facebook status to try to capture some family memories. In May 2013 I ordered 3 custom made embroidered diapers for Christian from Sweet Southern Bums and after waiting what seemed like forever I finally got his diapers the beginning of October. They're adorable! See pix below.  In the meantime upon John's request I ordered a custom made WSU cougars diaper from Click-a-doo-dipes located in Spokane. She was excellent to work with and quick. I was so happy with how the diaper turned out I decided instead of waiting to get back on the wait list for Sweet Southern  Bums I would ask her to make me a custom Police Officer diaper using one of John's old shirts and badges. She was amazing to work with and the end result is AWESOME!!! John was so happy with it he was showing guys at work pictures of the diaper and I loved seeing the smile on his face. :-)Precious kiddosDaddy and his kids having funLove these overallsWSU Cougars diaper I had custom madeDaddy & Jr Officer LeonardFire safety I had these diapers custom madeLearning to sit up[...]



LeAnne's 6th birthday

2013-12-16T04:53:32.248-08:00

Here I am again to update what's happening with our family. LeAnne turned 6 on October 11th. I made her favorite dinner,  Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken.  Then we had cake and ice cream with JoAnna, Aunt Katie and Jakobi followed by gifts.  She got to open her gifts from Daddy & I, JoAnna and Grandpa Larry. She got a new doll house, a Barbie Car with a Barbie & Ken, a recorder which she loves, and some cute dolls.  She got spoiled once again, so many new toys she didn't know what to play with first.The next day we went to Jumping Jellybeanz for her party with family and friends! She had a blast playing with her cousin Jakobi, a few friends from Dixie and one new friend from Dayton. It was so cool that her teacher from Dixie, Mrs. Pickel came. She is the nicest person. It was another awesome birthday!  I can't believe our little girl is now 6 years old. She is growing up way too fast.  I love her so very much!!Birthday cake at home on her b-dayBirthday morning I put these on her doorawesome shoesJournaling in front of doll houseBlue tongue from cupcakesDaddy and ChristianGood friend MylieFave teacher - Mrs. PickelFirst PinataLoves Jeep from Grandpa Larry and Grandma ElaineGiving her dolls a performanceReading cards[...]



Halloween 2013

2013-12-16T04:41:51.326-08:00

This Halloween LeAnne dressed up as a Peacock, Christian was Superman and at the last minute John put on his new Army Jacket and helmet (too cute) then we headed down to Main street to trick or treat at the shops. It was a beautiful fall day and I couldn't have been happier walking the streets of our little town with my family.  We ran into my niece and trick or treated with LeAnne's boy cousins which was a lot of fun.  Christian was quite content to look around and then fell asleep.  Later than night John and LeAnne carved a pumpkin, trick or treated at some neighborhood houses and LeAnne enjoyed passing out candy. LeAnne's birthday weekend we went to Klickers while Jakobi was here and got pumpkins. The kids had a lot of fun. Christian slept in the car. :-)Earlier in the month I took the kids to the Dayton on tour festival in town.  LeAnne enjoyed doing crafts, throwing bean bags , finding pennies in the straw and trying to get an apple off a string.Carving PumpkinSchool CarnivalFlying at School CarnivalKlicker's getting pumpkin on birthday weekend With Jackobi[...]



Christian 6 month Pix

2013-12-16T04:40:00.946-08:00

I am getting so behind on blogging its just not funny! Having two kids is really twice the work and when I get time to be on my computer its usually brief and I certainly  have much time to think about writing. I need to get better though and at least blog a few of Christian's milestones each month so I have them written down to scrap book later. Christian's six month well check went awesome! He is a healthy boy, weighs 16 pounds 12 ounces, his front two teeth should be popping through anytime.  Poor boy had to get 4 shots today and has a diaper rash, yeast so he got medication and I will be stripping all my diapers to get the yeast off of them. Thinking I may need to get some fitted/hybrid diapers that breath easier and look into some new night time solutions because he is such a heavy wetter. The only thing about cloth diapering that drives me nuts is the learning curve and constantly trying to figure out what little man needs.  He is getting the hang of commando crawling, eating a lot more baby food,and he is starting to sit up with help.[...]



Operation Christian sleeping in his crib is a SUCCESS!!

2013-09-24T13:38:41.122-07:00

Christian has been taking 95% of his naps in his crib and sleeping all night in his crib for almost a week! Yahooooooooooooooo!!!!! Once this mama stayed diligent Christian made the transition with little problem. The first night I was sure he would be up on and off all night long so I prepared myself to be awake and watched two movies I have been wanting to see on Netflix (Safe Haven and OctoberBaby).  He woke up a few times during the first movie but then he slept while his silly mama watched yet another movie.  The movies were awesome, he slept amazing and I was one exhausted mama the next day getting 3 hours of solid sleep.  LOL!! He wakes up once in a while but goes right back to sleep once I give him his pacifier.  I am pretty sure the transition has been a bigger deal for me than him but isn't that true of so many of the transitions our kids make in life.  My heart skipped a beat when I went to check on him and he was sleeping on his stomach.  I turned him over to give him his pacifier.  I've since calmed myself down, he's a strong boy and if he wants to be a tummy sleeper he will be a tummy sleeper. Sleeping upstairs in our bed again after 5 months of sleeping in my recliner has been an adjustment.  Our King size bed is so cozy but my back has grown accustom to the recliner. Downstairs in the recliner  was placed strategically to  be able to protect both my kids. Upstairs I am closer to Christian but still not close. I am working on knowing they're always protected by God, our alarm system will warn me of any intruders and I am pretty confident if it came to it I would dig deep, open up a can of whoop ass and figure out how to protect both of my kids because that is what a mama bear does!  Tonight I will try to remember to use my quiet camera to get a picture of him sleeping in his crib. Thanks for joining me on our journey and celebrating one of many milestones in Christian's life! :-)




Time is FLYING - Christian is 5 months today

2013-09-17T11:42:36.857-07:00

It's so hard to believe that Christian is already 5 months old today. Going from one child to two has been quite the adjustment. Definitely twice the work and a lot less down time. This summer was brutal because when Christian was sleeping I was spending time with LeAnne and getting cleaning done. Now that LeAnne has gone back to school the days are a little more mellow, I am able to get more done, and relax while he naps. I am blessed to have an awesome husband who is the best partner in parenting I could have ever asked for.  We compliment each other very well and take turns with the kids while looking out for each others needs.  I am blessed!The newness of having a little brother has definitely worn off with LeAnne. She is still awesome with him but the other day she said "Mom, he is fine, he is not crying, he doesn't need you, I NEED YOU!" Every other week (John's weekend's off) as long as she has had a great behavior/responsibility week once of us will take her to do something fun.  Last week her and I had a girls movie night. It was a lot of fun!  She is settling into her new school. It was fun to see a friend call to her as she walked into school and she ran over to him.  Her teachers are still working on making sure she is challenged academically and I work with her extra at home as well.  I felt terrible after taking LeAnne to the doctor.  She has been complaining that her backs hurts and I've doubted she has been telling the truth.  Figured she hears John say it all the time and it was a way to get attention.  The Dr. says she had a knot in some muscles in her back and we should apply heat and massage it.  It has since improved a lot.  We got her birthday presents in the mail yesterday and I so can't wait until her birthday. I can't believe my baby girl will be 6.  WOW! Yesterday I started Operation teach Christian how to sleep in his crib. Up until now he has taken all naps and slept at night in his swing. He is starting to out grown his swing and this mama wants to sleep in her own bed. I've been sleeping in my recliner most nights.  He took two naps yesterday and one nap today in his crib.  He wakes up some but its not bad.  I just give him his pacifier and he goes back to sleep.He is such a strong and active little boy.  He in loves playing on the floor.  He is rolling over from his back to his tummy in both directions and sometime he will roll from his tummy to his back.  He is starting to scoot all over the blanket.  He hold his head up very well.  He loves to play with toys.  We raised him up a little in the exersaucer and he has begun to bounce more and turn himself around to see different toys.  All in all he is a very content baby boy!  I love to hear him laugh out loud and cherish our little chats. This month we have been giving him cereal mixed with apple juice and various fruits and veggies. He has had squash, pears, peaches, and peas.  I would say he likes the cereal mixed with apple juice the best.  He sure is a lot bigger than his sister.  He is now starting to wear 6-9 month clothes.  We are still successfully cloth diapering and love it! I have some custom diapers on order that I can't wait to get. I am beginning to get more comfortable being a stay at home mom/house wife.  It's something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember and I am surprised at the adjustment it has been.  At first I was really uncomfortable, put a lot of press[...]



Christian's 4 month Well check

2013-08-27T20:08:31.473-07:00

Christian had his 4 month well check with Dr. Wren on August 22nd, 2013.  Our chunky monkey weighs 14 pounds 13 ounces, is 25 inches long and his head is 41.5 cm around.  Dr. Wren says he is one healthy baby boy. Christian was so happy during his whole appointment until he had to get 3 shots. He recovered quickly but was a bit sleepy the whole day so I spent some time cuddling with him.  Dr. Wren said we could start him on solids and suggested starting with yellow/orange veggies, then some fruits and then the green veggies. Yeah I get to start making him baby food!On August 23rd I made him some Yams.  I baked then pureed the yams.   Then I scooped the puree into an ice cube tray and put it in the freezer.  Once they were frozen solid into individual ice cubes I put them into a zip lock freezer bag with and labeled. That night I gave him rice cereal for the first time.  I am not sure how much he actually ate but he was loving the spoon.  Then the next morning I gave him some yams for the first time.  I quickly found out that I had not made the puree thin enough and their were chunks. Next time I need to cook the yam longer and add more water to the puree.  He wasn't sure what to think of yams.  He kept trying them but wasn't sure he liked them.  The next day I made Spaghetti squash and that pureed up a lot nicer.  I will give them to him next week. His 4 month photo shoot was interesting. LeAnne picked out his outfit. Started out with him not wanting to sit up straight in his boppy then he puked on his shoulder. I was able to clean that up but then he spit up ALL over the front of his shirt so off came the shirt and onto the floor we went to take photos.  It's all about improvising and capturing real life moments.Cuddle Butts Toy story diaperOn August 20th after working really hard for a few weeks Christian rolled over from his back to his stomach for the first time! Once he did it that one time there was no turning back, I lay him on the ground and he almost immediately turns himself over onto his stomach. He is getting so strong!! Christian went on his first vacation this month too. I was quite nervous about how it would go but he was a champ the whole time.  We were gone a whole week and once again packed way too much into one week. Next year Daddy plans vacation.  Our first stop was Salem, Oregon to Grammy and Grammpy's house.  He got to meet his sister Amanda for the first time.  Then we were off to Ocean Shores, WA. He slept like a trooper the whole trip in his travel swing .  Next week headed to Great Wolf Lodge (water park & more) and then onto my brother's house for a few days.  He adapted very well to being in different places,and having different people hold him. There were only a few times when he had enough of being in the car that he let us know. This month he has become a lot more interactive by smiling, tracking us and objects, reaching for and holding toys, putting toys into his mouth and laughing.  We go through a TON of bibs and burp clothes daily! I do a load of his laundry every other day just so we have enough bibs and burp cloths.  He spits up a ton after eating. It's nasty!  Dr. Wren had us keep him in the generic Zantac until he is 6 months and said as he eats more solids he will spit up less. Tonight we are going to LeAnne's school open house.  We are looking forward to meeting her teacher and exploring the school.  I am praying that[...]



Summer picture of LeAnne takes me back a few summers ago...

2013-08-26T06:41:53.106-07:00

When LeAnne was having these pictures taken with the watermelon it made me think of the time Uncle Stan gave her a huge piece of watermelon when she was younger. It was August 2009, I had just given her a bath at grandma Marcia's during a family gathering and Uncle Stan thought for sure LeAnne needed a huge piece of watermelon.  So much for the bath. Watching her enjoy her watermelon was worth the sticky mess afterwards.





LeAnne Lost Her First Tooth and other happenings of the summer for our girl

2013-07-31T05:07:54.471-07:00

On the evening of July 26th LeAnne came to  me and said her mouth was hurting. I told her it could be a tooth getting ready to get loose and gave her an ice pack to suck on.  The next morning sure enough she had a loose tooth on the bottom in front.  She was so excited she had to call EVERYONE and tell EVERYONE she knew and complete strangers that she had her very first loose tooth.  Well the novelty wore off that afternoon because she was in pain.  Then she began to panic because it hurt and she didn't like having a loose tooth anymore.  I gave her some Children's Aspirin, had her keep eyes then heat on her face and relax in front of a movie.  That worked for a while then she started crying again and almost in a panic because she didn't think it would ever come out and she would always be in pain.  Oh my!  I called my mama and she brought over some medicine to numb the area.  That evening was quite comical because she was crying and Christian was crying at one point. John was getting ready for his night shift and I was pulling my hair out.  I had just finished giving her more Aspirin when she pulled out her tooth.  OMGosh she was so excited!  She didn't even freak out about the blood which surprised me.  Then she says "look at my new smile mom". Oh how cute it that!! Then we had to call everyone to tell them she had lost her first tooth.  We put her tooth in an envelope and put it next to her.  That night the tooth fairy came, left her a cute note and a $2 bill.  :-)  See how loose it isLeAnne's New smileOur girl is doing amazing with her swimming lessons this summer!  It's night and day compared to last year. She isn't afraid anymore, is so much stronger of a swimmer and is having a blast.  She dunking all the way under to do bobs, doing front/back floats almost on her own, her kicks are improving a lot and she can swim with a noodle by herself!  She looks forward to swimming lessons everyday!!LeAnne set a goal the beginning of the summer to read 100 books and she made her goal!  She was a reading machine when summer first started.  She was a ravenous reader. She read anywhere from 2-5 books a day and dove into her first chapter books.  Towards the end she lost a little momentum and didn't want to read.  I really wanted her to make her goal so I encouraged her daily to read at least two books and she met her goal! One of the ways I encouraged her to read was by having her read to her little brother. He loves listening to her read.  She is great to show him the pictures and tell him about the book. I told her she is helping brother to learn about things which is so important.  Daddy and I are so proud of her!  I hope she always loves to read!!  Reading to ChristianJust finished reading her 100th book of the summer[...]



Pictures of our family

2013-06-25T16:12:43.680-07:00

Title page to 10 pg story LeAnne write based on one of her fave booksAll Ready for summer with her new suitLetter she wrote Daddy about going to the beachReading the comics to us on our way to get Groceries one SundayBlue wig I bought her at garage sale. She asked me if she could color her hair blue when she was 20, I said go for it! :-) 2 months old today2 months old (check out my blue truck diaper)Chilling with Lightening McQueen and Mater Love you sisterGetting ready to go to 5th grade graduation for mama student tLoving my sisterSporting my first ever cloth diaper!!Handsome boyHe loved meeting Grandpa Larry! LeAnne loved seeing him too!Snuggling with mama on a rainy summer day![...]



No Time

2013-06-25T15:48:49.796-07:00

I keep meaning to blog, I really want to keep our blog updated but I am not finding the time.  Christian is a very content baby during the day. He alternates days where he is really active in the day and is very sleepy during the day.  He takes a few long naps most mornings is when I  get my cleaning done and spend time with LeAnne now that she is home for the summer.  If there is any spare time during the day I sit down to relax and even catch a few winks if daddy is home. I use to blog a lot at night or early in the morning when LeAnne was little but this time around I use that time to sleep.  I learned a lot from LeAnne. I was very sleep deprived which triggered depression and anxiety so I am trying really hard not to go there with Christian. Christian has been very colicky since around 8 weeks.  He has had many nights where he will cry for 2-3 hours at night.  I have been able to hear the gas bubbles in his tummy and he spits up a lot. The absolute worse feeling as a parent is knowing your child is in pain and there is nothing you can do to console them.  There have been a few times I have gotten very rattled to my core and been so thankful John was there to take him or offer encouragement.  I have been trying to watch what I am eating as to not upset his stomach more, Dr. put him on Ranitadine (an antacid) and we are now experimenting with give him Similac formula for gassy/fussy babies his last bottle at night only.  I am struggling daily with the decision of whether to continue breastfeed to switch to formula.  I've begun pumping so others can help feed to give me a break.  I don't want to give up breastfeeding because it's a huge cost savings, when I am not in pain I enjoy the closeness with my son, and breast is suppose to be best.  I am considering giving up breast feeding because I have been having a lot of pain (working through latch issues/still having other pain at times) I am thinking things I am eating are making him extra gassy, and at times I am really feeling like I need to go back on my depression/anxiety medication.  I do very well until I don't then its no fun at all! I waited a long time (almost 2 years) after I had LeAnne to get help for depression/anxiety and I feel I really could have enjoyed her first two years more if I had not been struggling.  I don't want to wait that long to get help this time around.  I have been off my medication since becoming pregnant with Christian and had very few incidents where I really felt terrible but I am noticing myself getting more and more overwhelmed and anxious.  I told John the other day I completely forgot how overwhelming taking care of an infant can be. The rely on you for their ever need 24/7 and that's exhausting.  I am not complaining, I wouldn't trade my son for anything and I know this will pass.  The only reason I have time today is because Christian is taking a good afternoon nap and LeAnne is at grandma's baking.  :-)LeAnne is very happy to have Grandma Marcia home and loves spending time with her.  LeAnne has set a goal to read 100 books this summer and as of this morning she has read 41 books. I love that she is a ravenous reading and pray it stays that way.  I have really enjoyed reading with her and hearing how well she is reading. I am amazed that she will be just 6 in October and is read[...]