Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I don't know about you, but Fall is our busiest season for sure. We have lots of birthdays, I have lots of photo sessions and we have lots of holidays. On top of all of that, we're in the middle of remodeling our new house! SO much going on right now in our lives and I just don't have a lot of time to blog, unfortunately.

However, there have been so many fun and exciting things happen in the last week or 2 that I just have to share!

*First of all, I became an aunt again last Tuesday, November 17th!! My baby nephew is just the cutest. I was privileged to be in the delivery room for his birth and got to witness his entrance into the world. What an amazing experience and one I can't thank my sweet sister enough for. Here is a picture I took in the delivery room and one of the newborn pictures I took of sweet little Emerson Levi!

*Second, Jake turned 30 yesterday!! We had a party for him on the 15th of November and it was a great success. We had it at his brother and sister-in-laws house (since our house is out of commission right now). It was a 1985/Kansas City Royals theme (Since the last time the Royals won the World Series was in 1985, the same year Jake was born!) Here are a few pictures from his party.

*My dad has been working tirelessly on our new kitchen and it is coming along nicely! The back door is in and trimmed around, the walls have been painted, backer-board is down and ready for tile, a majority of the cabinets are in and some of the appliances have been placed! We plan to work there all this weekend, so even more will be getting done and I'll try and take my camera over to take some better pictures. In the mean-time, here are a couple of the kitchen that my dad sent me from this past weekend.

I've also painted all of the bedrooms and the hallway, Avery's chandelier has been installed in her room, we have new light fixtures outside on the back of the house and my dad has the whole basement pretty well tore out and ready to be put back together the way we want it. We've gotten a lot done and even though there is still so much to do, it's so great to be seeing so much progress lately! It's so exciting!!

*I was finally able to get Avery's hair in pigtails last week and it was just too cute. I took my camera outside to get a couple pictures of her in the leaves! She is at such a cute and fun age right now! I'm just loving it.

*We had Jake's family Thanksgiving this past weekend and it was so fun to spend time with family and eat yummy food! It was a really fun day!

So that's what we've been up to lately. We are gearing up now for Thanksgiving this week with my family and then we'll be working at the new house (or as Jackson calls it, "The Swimming Pool House") all weekend. I'm excited to see what all we get accomplished over 3 days!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Ear Tubes for Avery

Back in early August, I took Avery to the doctor for a cold. She's only had one other ear infection in her life, but I'm always concerned about their ears when it comes to colds. Jackson has had quite a few ear infections and I just don't like to risk it. Thankfully, I took her because sure enough, she had a double ear infection. 

After 3 antibiotics, we finally got the infection cleared up, however, there was lingering thick fluid in her ears that her pediatrician was concerned about. He referred us to a Children's ENT to have them take a look.

We had an appointment with the ENT in late September. He said there was definitely fluid there but since there was no infection, he wasn't in a hurry to jump right into surgery. He said considering this was only her second ear infection he'd rather hold off and re-check her ears in 6 weeks and see if the fluid would drain on it's own. So we scheduled a re-check for 6 weeks and we didn't have any flair ups in that time. She has had a runny nose off and on but no ear infections. 

So this past Wednesday afternoon, we went back for her re-check. I was very hopeful that the fluid would be gone and we'd skate by without having to get her ear tubes. Unfortunately that was not the case. The ENT said the fluid, now chronic, was still there and she was probably only hearing muffled sounds at this point instead of hearing clearly like she should be. He was concerned about her speech being delayed and though he said he wouldn't pressure us to do the ear tube surgery, it was likely that the fluid wouldn't end up draining on it's own, especially now that we're in cold and flu season. He said we could wait another 6 weeks and re-check or we could just go ahead and have the procedure done and get it over with, but he wouldn't pressure us either way since the fluid, at this point, wasn't necessarily causing any damage to her ear. 

In my mind, I definitely don't want to take the risk of the fluid causing damage or her getting another ear infection on top of the fluid that's already there. I also don't want to have it cause a speech delay, which I'm somewhat concerned has already happened. She's not really talking much at all at 18 months old and though I know every child goes at their own pace, she's not really saying anything other than a few occasional words here and there. Jackson was a late talker and didn't really start talking until he was 2 1/2, but I just don't want to risk any delay when it could certainly be avoided.  

So November 30th, she will go in to get ear tubes. I realize this is a very common and very quick procedure. I realize the risks are very minimal and the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I realize that so many kids have to have ear tubes and it's very routine... but this is my baby we're talking about. I hate the idea of her having to have anesthesia (even if it is for only around 10 minutes), but I know it needs to be done and I'm praying and confident that she (and I) will do just fine and we'll be very happy we had the procedure done. I hear a lot of great things about it, so I'm hopeful that all will go well.

And because no post is complete without a picture, here are a couple pictures I took of Avery recently, wearing her jammies and my boots! She LOVES shoes and takes every opportunity to wear whoever's shoes are laying around! Ha!

I'll keep you all posted on her surgery and how it all goes.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Jackson's 4th Birthday Party

Several months back, when we were first talking about Jackson's 4th birthday, he said he wanted a Halloween birthday party at a park! So we tried very hard to make that happen for him.

We ended up having his party on Halloween and did in fact have a Halloween Themed birthday party... costumes and all. We called around to several parks to try and rent a pavilion, but were unable to reserve anything for that day, and quite frankly, I was a bit concerned with how the weather would cooperate for a party at the park in late October. So we then tried to reserve a room at a couple of different city community centers, but they were all booked up as well! Since we are renovating the house and the condo is way too small for a party, that just wasn't an option for us, so we finally decided to just have it outside on our church parking lot. My plan was to tell everyone to bring the kids bikes and we'd have soup and hot dogs and have a hay ride and then have washers games for the adults. Then as Saturday approached the chance for rain that day kept going up and up!! :-( I was so sad to have to move it inside, but just didn't want to risk it. I still told the parents to bring the kids bikes in case the rain cleared out in time for the party and we just had the party in the dining hall at our church. It worked out perfectly after all and the rain did hold off for the kids to have some time outside on their bikes!

All the kids and several adults dressed up in their Halloween costumes. I decorated for the party with Halloween decorations and we served soup for the adults and mummy-dogs for the kids! Jake and his mom made all the food and my sister made the cup-cakes! It was such a fun party, I almost hope he wants a Halloween Party every year from now on. It was so easy to find stuff this time of year! 

Jackson had a great party with lots of our friends and family. I'm always so thankful for all the people in our lives that love us and our kids and always make time to spend with us for a birthday celebration! It means so much to us!

Here are a few pictures from the party! 

I found a majority of the decorations at Target and Michaels. The centerpieces were an idea I found on Pinterest and put together at the last minute when we decided to move the party indoors. It's just a glass bowl filled with orange cheese balls and I found the jack-o-lantern stickers face at Target. :-) We used Jackson's "Blaze and the Monster Machines" pumpkin as decoration as well. :-) The banner over the food was from the $1 bin at Target. It was just a brown cardboard banner and the orange letters were sticky on the back. They were in the Target $1 bin as well. I spelled out Jackson on it and then we had an extra spot left where we turned one of the left-over letters into a 4! Ha.

After we ate, sang Happy Birthday, ate cupcakes, played a little game of pin the spider on the web and Jackson opened all of his gifts, we decided to let the kids go out and ride their bikes. Jake had gone to get Jackson's new power wheels car that we had gotten him for his birthday and he also brought his bike along too. He and Avery rode around in the car for as short time and then Jackson decided he wanted to ride his bike. So all the kids took turns riding/driving his car around the parking lot. Thankfully there was a break in the rain for Jackson's party and the kids had plenty of time outside before it started sprinkling again. I think all the kids really enjoyed the party and had a lot of fun!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Trick or Treating 2015

I had every intention of getting this post out much earlier in the week, but life happens and busy schedules get in the way. Oh well... better late than never right?

This year we went over to Jake's brother and sister-in-law's house for Trick or Treating. They purchased a home in St. Peters, MO (a suburb outside of St. Louis) earlier this year and since we're still in the condo, we decided to trick or treat in their new neighborhood with them. Jake's other brother and sister-in-law, his mom, his sister-in-law's parents, my parents and my sister and brother-in-law and all of the kids of course, went trick-or-treating together! It was a really fun time and the kids got a ton of candy!

When we first headed out, it was sprinkling a little but the temperature was nice and we didn't even need a jacket! The rain did finally stop and it ended up being a really nice evening for trick-or-treating. 

Jackson said "Trick-or-Treat" at just about every house and also said "Thank You" after getting his candy. I told him on more than one occasion before Halloween night that this was the nice and polite thing to say for Trick-or-Treating and I'm glad he used his manners. :-) He had a great time with all of his cousins!!

This was Avery's first year of Trick-or-Treating and she did GREAT! It only took her a couple of houses before she became an old pro! She loved it and was pushing her way through her cousins to be front and center at every door! She gladly took the candy from each house and quickly became very protective of her bucket. :-)

We had a great time Trick-or-Treating this year and are looking forward to it again next year!

There were a couple of homes that had a blow-up Mickey Mouse that Avery just LOVED! She wanted to go right up to them and touch them. She loves her some Mickey Mouse!!