Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oops! I forgot the pictures :)

First day of school!

Yesterday was the first day of school. Alyssa is now in 4th grade, Makaela is in 3rd, and Sydney is in 1st. They are all three very happy with the teachers they got this year. Sydney was a little upset that none of her friends from her kindergarten class are in her class this year, but she was so excited to tell me about the new friends she made yesterday! She loves her teachers and her classroom. She told me she thinks 1st grade will be just as awesome as Kindergarten :) Makaela loves her teacher as well. I think she's going to have a really good year. She was really excited when she was telling me all about her day yesterday. Alyssa already knew her teacher. She was one of her girls on the run coaches last year. She was super excited that she got her for a teacher. I think she's going to have an awesome year as well! She's already read an AR book and took a test on it this morning (made a 100 and earned 5 points...I love getting emails when they take an AR test!) :) She's determined to get the most points in her class :)

Lilly and Ella decided that we need to have preschool at home while the other girls are at school. We started that yesterday too :) Lilly asked me to help her write out a schedule. According to her we need 4 snack times, arts and crafts, math time, reading time, lunch time, and a really short rest time :) We had a really good time yesterday. They are so cute with their book bags and school supplies. They kept all the things they made in a folder and couldn't wait to show Doug when he got home yesterday.

Hopefully the year will continue to go as well as it went yesterday :) I have a feeling that might be wishful thinking though... :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Three Happy Girls!

We just got home from going to the school to find out which teachers the girls have this year. The secretary had told me that the list would be posted today after 1:00, so the girls started counting down the hours until 1:00 at 7:00 this morning! At exactly 1:00 they were ready to go! So, we finished up making birthday cards for Grandma so we could run by the post office and mail those while we were out and we left. Alyssa and Makaela both had 2 teachers that they wanted to have this year and they each got one of the two that they wanted. And Sydney doesn't really know anything about any of the 1st grade teachers, so she was happy with anyone :) Makaela was hoping Sydney would have the same teacher she had in 1st grade and she was a little disappointed that Sydney is in another class, but she told Sydney that the teacher she did get is awesome, so Syd's happy :)

They have orientation on Sunday afternoon and they are very excited about meeting their teachers and seeing if any of their friends are in their classes (I don't know why they didn't think to look at the list. But then again, I didn't think about having them do that either...) :) Then school starts on Wednesday! Yay! :)

Since Lilly didn't get into pre-k, I told her that we would do preschool stuff at home. She's super excited. She's even named our preschool... "Lilly, Ella, and mama's preschool" :) She's made all kinds of plans. Most importantly we MUST have play time, snack time, lunch time, and arts and crafts time EVERY day! Oh and field trips! According to Lilly, we must have LOTS of field trips (luckily she says trips to the grocery store, etc count...). It should be lots of fun! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things I never thought I'd have to say...

The other night I was sitting on the couch and I hear Doug say "Do not swing a bag of potatoes at your sister!". I couldn't help but giggle. It was one of those things I never ever imagined hearing. I'm still not sure why Alyssa saw the bag of potatoes sitting there and thought it would be a good idea to pick it up and swing it at Makaela. I don't think I even want to know what goes through their heads sometimes.

Then this afternoon I find myself googling for ways to remove fingernail polish from hair. I never in a million years imagined myself preforming that search... The girls were painting each others fingernails and toe nails and Ella decided to brush her hair out of her face with the hand that had just been freshly painted. So she ended up with bright pink nail polish in her hair.

I think I should start a list of all the things I never imagined having to say. It happens at least once a day around here :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Its not just growing pains!!!!!

And if I hear one more person tell me "My sister's boyfriend's cousin's best friend's ex-boyfriend's daughter had the same problem and it was just growing pains" or "It sounds like its just growing pains...rub her legs and give her some Motrin and she'll be fine" or anything like that, I just might loose it. I've had a kid with growing pains. I've sat up at night rubbing legs and giving Motrin. And yes, I know that growing pains hurt. I don't doubt that at all. But, I know that there is a big difference between growing pains and the pain Ella is in when she's having an episode or a bad day/night or whatever you want to call it. Anyone who has seen her when she's hurting will tell you that it is not growing pains. I've had EIGHT different doctors say its not growing pains. I know I shouldn't let it bother me. I know that people are just trying to be helpful and reassure me. But, its frustrating and annoying. I WISH it was just growing pains. I wish it was something that simple. But its not. Unless you've actually seen her in pain, you can't really get it. I understand that. I can sit here and say that she's in a lot of pain, or even that she's in excruciating pain. I can say that she can't put any weight on that leg or bend her leg without obviously being in a lot of pain. I can tell you that even once she's able to go back to sleep, she doesn't sleep well and every time she moves in her sleep, she cries out and wakes up from the pain. But, unless you actually see it, you can't really fully grasp it I guess. Its absolutely heartbreaking. And it really, really sucks! And no, as much as I wish it was, its not just growing pains. The doctors have given me several reasons why it cannot be growing pains. The main ones are that growing pains don't effect the joints (and her pain is always in one of her knees or her right ankle (its mainly been her knees, but she's had it happen to her right ankle a couple times) and growing pains only happen at night. They don't cause problems during the day. And Ella has had problems during the day. It usually starts after she's been sleeping a while (either at night or naps), which is one of the reasons they are thinking its probably arthritis. A couple of times she's started limping in the afternoon and then it gradually got worse and worse. Growing pains also don't cause swelling or cause the area to be warm to the touch. And while she doesn't always have noticeable swelling, the effected knee/ankle is almost always warm to the touch. I wish it was growing pains. I guess that might be why it is bothering me when people keep saying that's all it is...because I wish that is all it is. Its like a reminder that something else is wrong. I really don't know why its bothering me so much.

So, if you haven't guessed by the vent above, Ella is having a rough time again. Thursday and Friday she woke up in the morning and after her nap and was limping. She said her knee and ankle "felt funny" and hurt a little. She could still walk (with a limp) and it didn't slow her down. The limp gradually went away and I didn't think much of it. Up until then, it had been about 2 weeks since she had any problems. I'd convinced myself that it was just a virus or some fluke thing and whatever it was was over and done with and a thing of the past. Then when she started having problems I knew deep down that her problems weren't wasn't just some fluke thing that had come and gone and was over with. I just didn't really want to admit it. Then yesterday after her nap she woke up with a pretty bad limp. Within 30 minutes or so, she was in pain and couldn't walk on it. I gave her Motrin and she hung out on the couch for a couple hours. Then she was able to start putting a little weight on it and walk around some. It gradually got better. By the time she went to bed she had a little limp, but she was playing normally. Then around 4:00 this morning, I heard her crying. I went to get her and Lilly met me in the hallway. She said that the cat woke her up and then woke Ella up (the cat has been beyond obnoxious early in the morning lately!) and Ella got up to come get in bed with us and her leg is hurting and she fell. Sure enough, Ella was laying in her floor about 2 steps from her bed. She said her knee and her ankle hurt. They were both a little swollen and warm to the touch. We snuggled on the couch for a while and she said "Why does my leg keep hurting? I don't like it when it hurts". I kissed her head and told her I didn't know why it was hurting and I didn't like it either. I don't know why she's hurting and it stinks. I wish we at least had answers and knew what was going on. But we don't. And it stinks. After a little while I took her to bed with me and she fell asleep pretty quickly. She would cry out and woke up several times and I didn't get much sleep at all after that. She hasn't had a really bad night like that in a while. It was like a big slap in the face. Whatever is going on isn't a thing of the past...its still going on. So now we keep searching for answers. Her pediatrician had told me that she would be happy to refer her to a pediatric rheumatologist (since the rheumatologist she went to is a jerk...and admitted that he isn't very familiar with pediatric issues and there is a big difference between rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (although we don't know that's what's going on...all signs are pointing that way, but it could be something else...we just don't know)), so I'm going to call the office tomorrow and ask them to do that. The closest pediatric rheumatologist is in Durham or Chapel Hill..but that's okay. Everyone agrees that it needs to be our next step in figuring all this out, so that's what we'll do. And hopefully we will be able to get some answers and hopefully some ways to help her and prevent it from happening. Its absolutely heartbreaking to see your child in so much pain so often and not be able to do much at all to help (warm baths seem to help more than anything else. When she's hurting she spends a ton of time in the bathtub).

I feel somewhat better now that I've vented like this :) There are a lot of people who are concerned and worried about Ella. I know there are a lot of people who are praying for her and praying that we will get some answers and some ways to help her and it means so much! I really do appreciate all the concern. And deep down I know that even the people who keep insisting that its just growing pains are just trying to be helpful and make me feel better and calm me down. I know I shouldn't let it bother me and I just need to let it go. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lilly's New Shoes!

Last week I heard about a shoe deal that was having. They had shoes on sale and clearance, there was a coupon code for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more, and they were offering free shipping on shoes! Lilly was in desperate need for new tennis shoes, so I ordered her the ones in the picture. They ended up costing $8.61! As soon as Lilly found out that I had ordered her some shoes, she was SOO excited! She would watch out the window for the UPS truck. They finally got here yesterday and you would have thought it was Christmas when she saw the box. She tried them on right away and has been wearing them most of the time since then. She woke up bright and early this morning and within 10 minutes she had gotten dressed and put her shoes on :) She clearly loves them and its so cute! :)


We just got home from Harris Teeter! They are having Super Doubles this week. I missed the last triples because I was out of town, and honestly, I've slacked off on the couponing thing lately. I don't have as many coupons as I'd like. I'm getting back into it though...slowly but surely. I had planned on getting up and going bright and early, but that didn't happen. The girls were all up by 7:30 and by 8:00 they'd lost the TV because they could not stop fighting. Every little thing started an argument. So, we didn't make it out of the house until after 9:00. By the time we got there, they were already out of some stuff, so I ended up spending more than I'd planned. They are having a deal where if you buy 10 kelloggs/keebler/sunshine/eggo products you get a coupon for $10 off your next order. They were out of some things I'd planned to buy for that, so I had to substitute other (more expensive) things. I still did pretty good though! The original total was $80.49 and I spent $21.02. I got 27 items, so that's about $0.77 each...not too bad! :) Here's a picture of what we got.

I can't imagine paying $80 for this! I think $21 is too The $10 coupon makes it worth it though. My next trip should be much better. And the girls are thrilled...fruit snacks, poptarts, eggo waffles, cheez-its, cookies, and hot dogs... :) And the best part is, the girls actually behaved really, really well! Maybe they just needed to get out of the house for a little bit. They've been playing nicely together with their new play-doh ice cream maker thing since we got home. I've "eaten" about 20 bowls/cones of play-doh ice cream since I started typing this :)

This weekend we had a No More Diapers celebration! I had been saying that after Ella was potty trained I was having a party to celebrate the end of my diaper changing days. After almost 9.5 years of daily diaper changes (most of that time with more than one in diapers) I'm finally done. So we had a little celebration this weekend. Saturday morning we went to the Panthers Fan Fest. It was a lot of fun. The girls really enjoyed it and we're definitely planning on going back next year. Saturday evening we had a special supper/snack/party food then played Pin the Tail on Swipper (from Dora) and musical chairs. Sunday we bobbed for apples (which was hilarious!) and then attempted to bust the pinata the girls and I made. Apparently we made an indestructible pinata... After knocking it down off the string a couple times Doug finally just ripped it open. The girls had beaten it to the point that there were dents in it, but it still wasn't busting open. They still thoroughly enjoyed it though. We had candy, crayons, pencils, pens, little things of bubbles, and some $1 coins in there. It was a really nice weekend!

Ella is still doing really well! She hasn't had any more problems with her knees hurting her (its been about 2 weeks). She woke up yesterday morning complaining of her ankle hurting. She didn't want to walk on it for a while and she wouldn't let me move her foot, but she wasn't in a whole lot of pain like she typically is when her knees are hurting her. And after an hour or so, she was walking around normally. She woke up crying last night and said her ankle was hurting and she cried out when I moved her foot, but she went right back to sleep and she was fine when she woke up this morning.

I got a call from the nurse from Makaela's neurologist's office. The EEG she had done a couple weeks ago was abnormal. The nurse said all she could tell me was the it showed partial seizures originating from the frontal lobe and that the doctor would go over the results with me at her follow up appointment (8/19). I'm very anxious to see what she has to say. I was really, really hoping that the results were going to be normal (especially after the shorter EEG she had done a couple months ago was normal...) and we were going to be able to wean her off her meds and put this behind us. Now we find out she's having a different type of seizure originating from a different part of her brain that when she was first diagnosed. I'm not really sure what any of that means. It may explain some of her odd/troubling/annoying/frustrating behaviors she's been having lately though. At least we only have to wait 8 more days until her appointment instead of the 6 weeks we had to wait to get the results of her last EEG (the short one that was normal...). I find it really weird that they wouldn't tell me anything about the results of the short EEG, which was normal, over the phone....just that I needed to come in for a follow up appointment to get the results and the next appointment was 6 weeks later, but they will tell me that the results of her last EEG were abnormal over the phone. Kinda seems backwards. But at least we know and hopefully we'll get some answers/explanations at her appointment next week.

Sorry for the rambly, all over the place post.... I've got to go fix some lunch for these "starving" kids of mine :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Its the little things...

It doesn't take much to make me super happy. :) I can be in the worst mood and Ella will come up and give me one of her "cheek hugs and kisses" (its absolutely adorable. She'll kiss one cheek, then put her cheek up to it and "hug", then she'll kiss and "hug" the other cheek) and tell me she loves me out of the blue, or Sydney or Lilly will do something goofy, or Makaela will randomly come up and tell me I'm the best mom ever, or Alyssa will offer to help out with something without being asked, etc and suddenly I feel much better :) Great sales on car seats is another thing that will make my day much better as well! :) Today was one of those days. The girls were fighting, and picking, and driving me absolutely crazy. The TV was turned off by 8:30 because they could not stop fighting over what to watch. Then they just started fighting because they couldn't agree on what to play! AHH! And its too darn hot to send them outside! The heat index is over 100 and its miserable out there! Well, I was sitting here on looking around the forums at and saw that some k-marts had car seats on sale really cheap! I had to take Sydney to get a shot and there is a k-mart close by, so I figured it was worth a shot. I told the girls to get dressed quickly cause we were leaving in 5 minutes! They didn't have any car seats on clearance at that store, so we went to get Sydney's shot (she did great, as usual) and then headed home...feeling defeated. Well, I just couldn't let it go, so I got online, found the number for the next 3 closest K-marts and called to ask if they had any. The next closet one had 2 of each type I wanted! YAY! Once again I told the girls they had 10 minutes to finish lunch cause we were leaving (thankfully they get excited about new car seats and we headed that way. They were still there when we got there, so I got one of each! The one I really wanted is an Evenflo Triumph LX. The regular price was $139.99 and it was on clearance for $27.99!!! It looked REALLY wide though, so I didn't know if it would work for us. So they had a Safety 1st Avenue (regular price $89.99 marked down to $17.99) so I grabbed it too. Once we got home and I played with both seats, I decided to keep the Triumph and sell the Avenue. The Triumph is AWESOME! I know...I'm slightly addicted/obsessed/whatever, but hey...there are worse things to be "obsessed" with :) So super cheap car seats made my day today! :) The best part is I had a gift card with just about $9 left on it, so I ended up only spending $40 on two car seats! And I think I can easily sell the extra one for $30 (hey, that's still a great deal) and in the end I'll only be out $10 for a brand new car seat!

In other news... :) Doug took the day off yesterday and we had a great family day. We had some errands to run and he came with us. We ran by the bank then went to Target for a few coupon deals and school supplies that the girls still needed. They have the Play-Doh ice cream shop set on sale for $8 this week and there is a $5 coupon, which made it $3...AND you got a free 4 pack of play-doh! I got one set for the girls and one to keep for birthday gifts for parties the girls get invited to. And I finally found Bailey's coffee creamer! I've heard its wonderful but never been able to find it until yesterday! And I heard is heavenly! After Target we ran in the mall. We've decided that its time to start hiking and camping more. We've always wanted to, but up until now, its been challenging with so many young kids. Now, they are old enough that it is not as hard and is a lot of fun! The girls all love hiking as well! We're planning on going up to the mountains at least once every other month or so (more if we can) and hiking to different waterfalls! Anyway, I really needed some hiking boots (I twist my ankles all the time and it happens even more often when hiking...and its a pain (literally)). I thought finding some I liked would be a challenge, but it really wasn't. I found a pair that I absolutely love at the second store we went to! I can't wait to go hiking now and see how big of a difference they make. Then we went to the book store for a little while. After that we left and headed home for lunch and naps. Then we went to Party City (more about that later...) and Sam's Club. I spent more than usual at Sam's Club and blamed Doug (I always end up spending more when he goes with us) but it really wasn't his fault...we just needed more this month than usual. Then we came home, had supper, then went to Doug's brother's house to check on his cat (he's out of town). Since we were close by, we decided to take the girls to walk around uptown Charlotte. They've been wanting to go in the evening ever since we told them that Doug and I went while they were staying with my parents and we saw a big rat. I think they really just wanted to see a big We had a good time though (even though we didn't see any rats of any size this time...thank goodness!). It was a really good day :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Can't wait for school to start back!

I love my girls and I love spending time with them. But they are driving me crazy lately! The constant picking and fighting is beyond annoying. And I'm so very sick of iCarly, Phineas and Ferb, and Spongebob!!! I'd rather be watching Yo Gabba Gabba (and I despise that show!). I think tomorrow may be a no tv day. I've got errands to run anyway. Of course the thought of going to the bank, Target, Walmart, and the grocery store with 5 kids who can't seem to get along for more than 5 minutes is kinda scary. Good thing bribing them with a $1 piece of junk from the dollar bins at Target usually works wonders :) Then Thursday after Sydney's shot we have to run to Sam's Club then if the weather is nice, maybe we can go to the park for a picnic lunch and to play for a while. That bribe won't cost me anything :) I always said I'd NEVER EVER dream of bribing my kids. Yeah, I'm eating those words. You've got to go what you've got to do sometimes. And hey...I prefer to think of it as rewarding them for not misbehaving rather than bribing...even though I really don't see the difference :)

Ella's follow up appointment with the rheumatologist was frustrating to say the least. All her test results came back normal...which is great, but still doesn't explain anything. The doctor kept insisting that she was fine and nothing is wrong with her. He said since she was not in any pain and her knees weren't inflamed that he couldn't diagnose her with anything and nothing was wrong. When I asked why it kept happening if everything was perfectly fine, he just blew me off and looked at Ella and said "Ella, tell your mommy you are fine". It took everything I had in me not to say "Ella, tell the doctor he's a jerk" (Okay, I really thought something a little worse than jerk...). He wants me to bring her back in 3 months, which won't be happening. He said if it happens again to bring her in while she's in pain. I don't think I'll be doing that either. If it happens again, we'll go to her pediatrician who will refer her to someone else. I'm really hoping it doesn't happen again. That it was some unexplained, fluke thing that never happens again. She's had several good days in a row with no pain, no limping, etc. I hope it continues this way. And if it happens again and there is something still going on, I'll take her to another doctor...hopefully one who isn't such a huge jerk. So now I guess we just wait and see what happens and go from there.

Now I'm off to fix lunch and get some much needed cleaning and laundry done. :)