Saturday, December 29, 2007

new cuddly jammies

I thought I'd take some pics of the girls in their new cuddly jammies tonight. Well the first pic ended up being the best:
and about thirty pics later I realized that I should never tell them to say "cheese" cause this is what you get:

and then this is them really not cooperating:

then I finally got some good smiles out of them but Alyssa found the ceiling more interesting:
and one of the last pics turned out cute except you can see that Alyssa had had enough by this point so she's pretty teary:

winter fun night

We had our annual "night-out" with friends last night and decided to include the kids this year. We first went to Minter Gardens for the train ride which was very exciting for the kids, then we all came back to our place and the kids did mini gingerbread houses. Then the "big" kids went downstairs to settle in for a Christmas movie while the little ones went to bed. Then when they all expired, we put all the big kids to bed too - we had 12 kids aged four and under ASLEEP in our house! It was great and I love it that all our friends put them down and didn't try to keep any up.

The adults got to have such a fun night with our gift stealing game - which was hilarious - Brad's abs are still hurting from all the laughing. And even with all our hollering and socializing (we are not a quiet group of eleven), the kids managed to stay sleeping. Then we played some games until we realized how late it was. And I loved hosting it (I didn't have to move my kids at the end of the night for once), and it was an easy clean-up.

Hopefully we can do something like this again next year as the kids had such a blast, they're still talking about it and had GREAT naps today!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

some cute pics

Alyssa sitting on her own! Maybe we'll finally switch her to a big carseat (since she's supposed to have moved over 2 pounds ago already!).

The girls showing off their new Christmas jammies (E & C also got the robes and slippers to match).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

very first snowman

The girls had fun with Daddy playing in the snow this morning making their first snowman!
Warming up with hot chocolate after!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

gingerbread men

This morning we went to our regular bible study/story hour but since it's the last one before Christmas, we had a bit of a party instead. The kids made candy cane's with eyes and antlers, colored some pictures, ate a LOT, and decorated gingerbread men. The ladies had a choice of stamping a candle or making a decorative orange (preserved with spices and cloves, it's making my house smell really nice right now!), and we also ate a LOT! It was a fun morning out and the girls did really well and were very proud of their creations.
So what do you think? Do they look as different from each other as my two girls do? It's funny how I often get comments that Elayna and Chantel don't look like sisters - but yet they still have lots of characteristics from Brad and I. But when it comes to their baby pics, I'm always looking at the clothing to figure out who is who (good thing they were born at opposite times of the year to make that easier on me).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

family Christmas celebration

We had an early Christmas celebration with my family yesterday. This date worked better for Ellen to join us and it was nice to celebrate pre-surgery for Brant - just in case he's not up to the craziness of having our family all together after his surgery.

Nathan and Alyssa playing together.

The girls playing with Polly Pockets.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas cookies!

Yesterday we made sugar cookies. My little helpers were great and enjoyed making them as much as eating them!

And I got to try out my new stacking cooling racks from Home & Gift Collection -they came in very handy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Alyssa feeding herself - ha ha

Alyssa's new favorite thing - baby mum mums. She's getting pretty good at them too - not many pieces left in the high chair afterwards.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

too many doctor visits . . .

Seems that our family has been pretty healthy for a long time now. But when one of us needs the doctor for something, it seems like someone else just has to follow, and then someone else . . .

Alyssa has been congested for a long time now and the doctor had referred her to see a pediatrician about it. The appointment was this week and it seems they may have found the reason. When she was about two weeks old she got a really bad cold, and her runny/stuffy nose has continued since then. The doctor seems to think that she has a bacteria or super-bug that won't kill off entirely. So she's trying a round of antibiotics to help kill off the bacteria and hopefully this will fix the problem. She's also going back on milk-based formula so we can see for sure if it's allergies or not. Her follow-up is in two weeks with the pediatrician.

Elayna's first round of antibiotics for the fluid behind her eardrums did absolutely nothing. So they put her on a second round of stronger antibiotics and I've also been taking her to the chiropractor to see if that would help. Let me just say that I love our chiropractor. When Chantel used to get ear infections all the time, I finally took her to the chiropractor to see if it would help. Well, after a couple weeks of treatments, she hasn't had an ear infection since (that's a year and a half ago). I also took Alyssa over the past couple months when she's especially stuffed up - and the change over the next few days (everything draining at once) is very noticeable and she's usually sleeping better within a day. So now I've been taking Elayna - he's found a couple spots in her back and neck for adjusting and he puts a cold ease cream on her neck to help him rub the tubes for her ears to help them drain. Elayna is usually giggling throughout the adjustments and neck massaging - she's a very ticklish little girl. Our family doctor was expecting no change in her ears with the latest round of antibiotics and had warned me that she was on her way to an ear surgeon for tubes. But he was suprised to see a drastic improvement at the last appointment - her right ear is almost back to normal and her left is a lot better. So now he wants us to continue with antibiotics and the chiropractor for two more weeks before he decides if it worked or not (thankfully we have extended benefits that cover all these visits and prescriptions).

I also went to see a doctor this morning at the walk-in. It seems I have one very swollen tonsil. No sore throat, just a little achy and a headache - and a really ugly tonsil. They swabbed for strep and confirmed that it's just the tonsil and there's no absess or anything. I don't have any history of tonsilitis or swollen tonsils in the past so it's probably just a virus causing it. Hopefully it will be better within the next week.
Update: the next day I went to a walk-in clinic again. I was getting chills and feeling achy and was pretty sure this meant I was fighting an infection. The doctor took one look and said my throat was all infected. I was prescribed antibiotics, a numbing liquid to gargle (cause the swollen tonsil is so painful), lots of rest, and advil.

And not to be outdone by all us girls, Brad has had his share of medical worries this week - and probably the worst out of all of us. He cut his hand at work on Thursday and had to go to the hospital to get three stitches. It's healing very nicely, he's just having a hard time keeping it dry. And he also has had some abdominal pain off and on and is thinking that it's a hernia again. He had his appendix taken out as a teenager, and a hernia on the opposite side repaired in 2000 - so he's thinking that there might be another surgery in his future. He sees the doctor on Monday to see what's going on.
Update: the doctor on Monday confirmed the hernia and is referring Brad to a surgeon to discuss if he should be operated on or not.

So our only healthy kid seems to be Chantel. I guess she's making up for all her ear infections and doctors appointments when she was younger. But she is very jelous of her sisters' medicines and very badly wants some too. Hopefully her wish won't come true.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Our sleepy gals . . .

The girls also went away to different places this weekend and I guess they're still adjusting to being back home again. These are pics of Alyssa and Elayna falling asleep around the house in the past couple days.

Marriage Conference

Brad and I went to a marriage conference this past weekend in Whistler. Beautiful hotel (Fairmont Chateau Whistler) and of course beautiful scenery.

The conference was amazing. Seminars ran from Friday 7-9:30, Saturday 8:30-5:30, and Sunday 9-3:30. The speakers were great, the topics were so applicable, and many times we saw our weaknesses and how to work on them. Topics included Threats to Oneness, God's Purpose for Oneness, Communication, Intimacy, Wife/Husband Responsibility, Mom/Dad, etc, etc. There were a couple practical projects that you work on with your spouse, and Saturday night was strictly date night. Other than that, it was a lot of listening to the speakers, following along with your book, and a lot of suggestions on resources that will help you continue with what you've learned when you leave.

The conference was through FamilyLife Canada and I would recommend it to any couple. We came away having learned so much and feel so blessed to have been given this opportunity. It is amazing how many times that something we struggle with was laid out so clearly and the steps we can use to improve. I liked that the weekend was so planned out and so many topics were covered. It exceeded my expectations and the breakthroughs and changes that we took away from it were worth any cost.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Alyssa's Quilt is finished!

I set up my craft room and with the help of our quilter's group getting together again, I am finally back to my quilting. This is a project I had hoped to get done before Alyssa was born (I have enough fabric for a boy version too) but when we ended up moving before she was born, my quilting got boxed up for awhile.

Anyways, I used the Yellow Brick Road pattern which even though it is super easy, I still managed to make a mistake on the cutting directions but thankfully in the world of quilting, you can just rearrange and make something a little different instead. I used Moda flannels for the top and quilted random hearts. For the backing, I used a minkee fabric (super soft) but since it's also tricky to quilt, I only quilted the top to the batting, not the backing. It made for less work when finishing off - no binding! And thankfully I didn't have to hand-stitch the minkee. It was a fun project and I'm happy with the results - and I think Alyssa is too.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

6 months old already!

Alyssa is six months old today. She now has two little teeth on the bottom - and loves to chomp on anything! She is sleeping much better through the night - just up once for a quick bottle and diaper change and back to sleep. I'm going to be working on that next to try get her sleeping through it but am just enjoying that it's only once right now and not three or four times anymore! Her stuffy/runny nose situation has definitely improved since she's been put on soy formula. The difference is amazing and it's only been a few weeks since she started. Swaddling for bed has turned into a must for her now - even for naps. She loves it and I like that she doesn't wake up with cold hands anymore. She's just starting on rice cereal and the older girls think it's hilarious. When Alyssa spits it out, they laugh at her, and then since she knows it's funny, she keeps spitting it out with sound effects and the works. So I have to keep reminding the older girls not to laugh when she's eating. Alyssa is still such a good-natured happy baby full of smiles, sound effects, and body movements, all in hopes of getting a funny reaction from someone.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

my little teenager

We have girls - I don't think we have any balls inside the house and a couple for outside. So when I gave a couple balls to Chantel this morning - what does she do with them? See for yourself.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Elayna's hearing

Since Elayna was sick last week I've noticed she's been having a hard time hearing. In order to make sure she hears you, you have to literally get in her face, talk to her and make her repeat it, otherwise chances are she didn't catch what was said or caught the wrong thing.

So this morning I took her to get checked out and the doctor found a double ear infection. She hasn't been complaining at all so I didn't think that would be it but now she's on antibiotics and hopefully there'll be less yelling here in a week.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

we have . . . a tooth!

Yes, the excessive drooling lately is now explained. Not a very clear picture but more cooperation than I thought I'd get. My baby has her first tooth, and just in time to start solids.


Last night we took part in a fundraiser at our church for our Gems and Cadets groups. They call it Harvestfest and it's an alternative to trick or treating. It's great for our kids since they're a little young for trick or treating, get less candy this way, see their friends, and it's more fun for Brad and I too. There was a soup and buns dinner, games with candy for prizes, a silent auction (which we got some really great deals on), and it was just lots of fun to see friends and have a night out as a family. Brad and I also took part in some of the organizing again this year since Brad is a Cadets leader this year (last year I was a Gems helper). We helped collect silent auction items, took a shift in the kitchen and at a game, and the clean-up after. We left Alyssa with my parents to make it easier (although there is babysitting there, just not for the clean-up) and since the whole thing was over by 8:30, we went back to my parents after and put the kids to bed so we could get in a hot tub dip still. We did still dress up the girls last night. They have lots of dress up clothes so it was nice to not have to go buy them special outfits. There were more kids dressed up there too and it's especially cute when it's the little ones. We also dressed them up because if you bring your kids in costume to our local Quizno's then you get a free kids meal. My kids are not the best eaters, especially when it comes to soup, so this way they got a ham and cheese sandwich in them before the candy and chocolate began.

The only downside last night, was that they did a birdfeeder again this year (a pinecone slathered in peanut butter and then rolled in birdseed). I'm allergic to nuts and remembered getting a bit of a reaction last year from being in the same room, but this year was a lot worse. On the way home, I was getting a little nervous about not having my epipen with me. My head and throat were feeling swollen and it just seemed to keep getting worse instead of better. Thankfully a couple benadryl did the trick and I was feeling better pretty quick. I still have a bit of a scratchy throat today from it but it usually takes a couple days for a reaction to wear off for me. Guess my allergies are getting worse.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

all about Alyssa . . .

I thought I'd do an update all about Alyssa. She's almost six months old now and a whopping 19 pounds - my biggest baby yet. She's 95th percentile for weight but only 50th percentile for height so she carries the weight in her double chin, her cheeks, her thighs - you get the picture. My rolly poly baby. The baby carrier is getting awkward to carry but still so convenient that I'll wait a couple more pounds before switching her to a big carseat.

She was an excellent sleeper for the first four months of life but since then she's been waking up several times at night. Sometimes I feel like a yo-yo with the amount of times I'm in and out of bed for her. But it's not her fault, the poor kid has been suffering from either a runny or stuffy nose since less than two weeks old. Sometimes she'll clear up for a day or two but then it comes right back. I even took her to the chiropractor in hopes that it would help. It did change from four times a night down to two and she really drained a lot of fluids through her nose for a week but she still hasn't cleared up completely. I also elevate her mattress in hopes this will cause less pressure. I've also tried soy formula more recently thinking this might be an allergy but so far it hasn't improved but I'll give it another week before I decide if I want to continue it or not. She was breastfed the first three months so I don't think this should fix it, but I'm willing to give it a try before I rule it out. She went to the doctor yesterday after a particularly bad night and they ruled out ear or throat infection. He also said this has gone on too long and gave me a referral to a pediatrician. Hopefully they can find some answers to her constant runny or stuffy nose. Maybe allergies? I did get a good night's sleep last night though since I tried a type of swaddle with her blankets where both arms were pinned down - it was the first time she slept more than seven hours solid in a long time. I'm definitely trying that again. But all in all, even when I do get up several times, she is very easy to get back to sleep, it's not usually a long amount of time that I'm up every time. And if I really need to, I can always catch up with a nap the following day. Most days I have all three girls sleeping from 1-3 so I'm not complaining about me here, but I am hoping to resolve this issue since it's not good for her.

But that's just one small part of what she's like. She is such a happy, enjoyable baby. She is getting so interactive now and we all love her like crazy. She gets so excited when her big sister's pay attention to her, she loves to be tickled and laughs like crazy when she is, she is so quick to crack a big smile, is very easy to get to sleep, tries to grasp the bottle during feedings, doesn't like being held too long - she would much rather be put down with toys or in her exersaucer which she LOVES, spits a lot, farts a lot, loves her soother, loves to pull her big sisters' hair, can roll from tummy to back but doesn't know what to do once she gets there, "talks" a LOT, and loves face to face attention. She is very adored and loved in our little family.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

family pictures

We spent a chilly Saturday morning getting family pictures done. Next time I think we'll get them a few weeks earlier and warmer.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


well my camera has been stuck in the back of the van for the past couple days and I keep forgetting to grab it so no pics this time but I wanted to give a quick update anyways.

Elayna has been sick today - she woke up a few times last night and I thought it was an ear infection but then this morning she threw up - on my new carpet - and we had to cancel our morning plans. And her ear feels better today. She's the sweetest sick kid with huge grins right after she lost her lunch and keeps trying to convince me that "I'm all better now, I'm not sick anymore." But she's on her third nap today and hasn't done much besides watch tv. Hopefully the other two stay healthy.

Brad and I have been talking for awhile about getting away for a weekend with no kiddies and we finally went ahead and picked a weekend and booked something. So for two nights next month I'll be leaving my baby with an aunt and the older girls with sisters. I can't wait but I'm also wondering how I'll do without Alyssa - I haven't been away from her more than a couple hours since she was born. Oh well, there's a first for everything. I think this is the fourth time we're getting away without kids for a weekend since Elayna was born and every time I come back feeling thankful for the break and having more energy for the kids again.

Friday, October 19, 2007

still loves the sling and other random pics

Well I hadn't tried the sling in awhile but needed some hands free while making dinner ready and Alyssa did not want to be put down. So it worked and she has more head control now so she can sit up in it. She got a little fussy again after awhile so I flipped her to the front and she fell asleep.

Elayna hamming it up for the camera.

Alyssa enjoying one of her "sister-safety" spots (in the pack and play).