Friday, November 29, 2019

What's Up Wednesday

Linking up to What's Up Wednesday. A couple days late but whatever.. 

1. What We’re Eating This Month…
Same old stuff except we ate out a ton on our trip last week
and had yummy Thanksgiving food yesterday! 

2. What I’m Reminiscing About…
Thanksgivings growing up! Thanksgivings with family back in Texas

3. What I’m Loving…
Loving the colder weather! And holiday season! 

4. What We’ve Been Up To…
Just got back from Florida late Saturday evening and I've had about a million migraines since then. :/ Thankfully I felt better yesterday and today! I'm still getting trying to get caught up posting pics from our trip and sharing about our trip on the blog! Still trying to get caught up on laundry too! Hosted Thanksgiving yesterday! Plan to start decorating for Christmas today! 

5. What I’m Dreading…
Moving back to Texas :/ Love the state and love my 
family but not wanting to move back any time soon. 

6. What I’m Working On…
Posting all my vacation pics, blog posts and about to start setting 
up holiday d├ęcor! And today is a huge laundry day! 

7. What I’m Excited About…
Christmas! Meeting my new niece when we travel back to Texas over Spring Break 

8. What I’m Watching / Reading…
I'm reading a Nora Roberts book. Not really watching anything new lately.. 
just except old episodes of Friends, Sienfeld and some true crime 

9. What I’m Listening To…
Nothing really. I'm sure I'll be listening to Christmas music all next 
week once we get back on a schedule and I'm driving all over the place every day. :) 

10. What I’m Wearing…
I've been wearing leggings and tunic tops for weeks now 

11. What I’m Doing This Weekend…
Catching up on stuff. I'd love to do a little Black Friday shopping.
Volunteering in the kindergarten class (S's class) at church Sunday. 

12. What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…
Christmas! Holiday fun! Shopping for everyone!  

13. What Else Is New…
Nothing much!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Disney Planning

Just 5 days until Disney!! So exciting!! None of us have ever been so this is a first for everyone! 

So funny that I've never been a Disney fan but I'm getting more and more excited the closer we get! Of course the kids are bursting with excitement and getting Disney + this week was a fun bonus! 

We're going on a budget so each family member got just one specially made shirt. I would totally go overboard on fun shirts and outfits if I could but just these 6 shirts themselves weren't cheap. My friend made all of them except for J's, above, which I orderd off Etsy. We opted for no names on the shirts. 

Chewbacca for C.

The little girls both wanted Stitch shirts. 
Hard to tell but the shirts are actually a light aqua color. 

 Love this one for my husband lol! 
Pretty sure his face will look like that quite a bit while we're there ha! 

Of course I had to get something with Starbucks! 

I bought the Mickey and Minnie ears and lanyards in bulk off Amazon. 
Pins were bought in bulk of eBay.
I'm still looking for some kind of cute Disney insert to stick inside the plastic on the lanyards. I would like to put our names and contact info on the back of the little girls inserts for sure.

So funny that belt bags are in again ha! I bought C's (bottom left) off Amazon. Perfect size and style for a 9 yr old boy! The other three are from Wal-Mart. The pink one came from the little girl section. It's still a little big for S but I think we can make it work for her! Not sure if I'll actually wear one. I may end up returning mine. 

A few things for the kids to do in the car. Most of of this came from Dollar Tree but
a couple things we already had on hand.

I have more stuff for the trip that I'll get pics of tomorrow! I want to keep up with our Disney posts as much as possible and I plan to post a ton on Instagram too so be sure to follow along!! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The day the whole town thought our 4 year old was missing

Last Monday was the most terrifying day of my life! It started out normal enough. I took the two older girls to school, came back home while C finished getting ready for school and made hot chocolate for himself and L. We took C to school then headed on to Target where L was super excited to shop around and spend a $25 gift card she'd received the day before! We shopped around a while and spent $20 from the gift card. 

I took this picture for the friend who gave her the gift card so she could see which toys L had picked out. Little did I know this photo would be shared all over the news and social media just a few hours later. (Remind me to always brush her hair!) 

After Target we headed over the chiro for my appointment. L knew she still had $5 on her gift cards and wanted to go back to Target for one more item. So we went in and bought the wrong surprise egg (totally different brand/item) than she thought she was getting. She opened it in the parking lot and was super disappointed so we went back in to Target (for the third time that morning), exchanged the open surprise egg for the brand she wanted (which I was surprised they let her exchange it after it had been opened. I thought that was really sweet of them!) and left the store. On the way home we called my mom and chatted with her the entire 20 plus minutes back to our house. 

Once home I brought the dog out front and put him on his chain, checked the mail and straightened up a few things in the front yard. All this time the front door was wide open and L was sitting on the bottom of the stairs, just inside the front door, playing with her new toys. 

I brought the dog in. Locked the front door. Fed the dog. Washed my hands. Made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for L but she wanted to play with her new toys and wasn't interested in eating. She wanted me to pull down a bin of toys from the top of her closest so I did that. I told her I was going to the bathroom and then wanted to lay down and relax for a while before we had to leave to pick up the older kids from school. She insisted she wasn't tired, didn't want to take a nap and was just going to play in her room. I went to the bathroom in the next room over and when I came out I called her name and asked if she wanted [had decided] to eat her sandwich now. No answer. 

I looked in her room, she wasn't there. Ran back to my bedroom and looked in my bed because sometimes she does get tired and lays down in my bed. She wasn't there. Called out her name several times. Told her to come out if she was hiding. Looked in all the upstairs bedrooms and bathrooms. Ran downstairs calling her name and was met with dead silence. I looked in every room downstairs. Ran back upstairs and looked in every room again and again. Tore covers completely off most the beds, looked under beds, in closets. Ran back downstairs just screaming her name. Silence. I was totally panicked now and called my husband, hysterical! Then I called 911! Searched the whole house again and again. The back door and front door were both locked so I had no idea how she would have gotten outside but I ran outside anyway screaming her name. Knocked on the next door neighbors' door in a total panic. Police cars started showing up then. Several police officers and I searched the house again and again. They were looking in the garage, the attic, the woods behind our house, storm drains on the street and who knows where else. I was completely hysterical and kept saying I had searched the whole house and she just wasn't there. One of my sweet neighbors kept trying reassure me that L had to be somewhere inside the house because I had said the doors were all locked when I went downstairs. I was certain they had been locked but after searching the entire house thoroughly it was in my mind that someone must have come in somehow and taken her while I was in the bathroom. Maybe I had been wrong about the locked doors or maybe the doors had somehow been locked after she was taken? My mind had totally gone into hysterical panic mode. I kept telling the police officers that I just knew she wasn't in the house and they kept asking why I was trying to direct them that way but I was totally convinced I had searched every possible place in the house so she had to have been taken. (I watch a ton of true crime and have seen/read too many true stories of kidnapped children who were long gone while officers focused on the looking in/around the house.. I'm sure that's where that thought came from. I kept screaming at officers to stop every car on the street, on the highway, etc) I ran house to house just screaming, pounding on doors while the policemen were out front, stopping cars, on their radios, sharing her photo and info, searching the house. I hysterically stopped cars in the street and told neighbors to get out and look for L! The officers had L's most recent photo by then and it was all over the news and social media. My husband came home, church friends started showing up, so many neighbors were out searching. My mom, sister and brother back in Texas were hysterical and had called around to extended family and friends in Texas. People were praying frantically. Meanwhile I kept searching the house in between running around outside like a crazy person. Officers were all over the house. In my closet, in the garage. Someone was always searching around inside. I finally calmed down enough to sit down and started going through my morning with a detective. It was an awful feeling having to give an alibi and show all my receipts from that morning. I never thought I would be questioned like that in a million years. How I was able to sit somewhat calmly for a few minutes is beyond me. I just wanted to keep looking for L. After sitting down talking to the detective for a few minutes (she had been missing well over an hour by this time) I heard the sweetest little sound I ever heard in my life!! L was starting to cry and it sounded like it was coming from upstairs! I had no idea where she could have been because I swear I had searched the entire upstairs thoroughly! But a fire captain had found her with a body heat camera (lol!) sleeping towards the middle/end of our bed! Apparently she had hidden all the way under the down comforter which had laundry on top of it. She snuggled way down towards the center/bottom of the bed to hide and fell into a deep sleep. It's crazy that she never heard all of the chaos going on all around her. I had searched that bed several times by flipping the comforter back (just not back far enough) and patting the laundry but somehow we had all missed her for over an hour! So bizarre! I even saw one officer searching under the same bed. Why I never took the comforter or laundry completely off that bed is beyond me!  I guess I assumed if she wasn't sleeping in her normal position (head on or near pillows) she wasn't in my bed. In hindsight it seems absolutely crazy that I didn't tear my bed apart like I tore the kids' beds apart but for some reason I just didn't. I thought patting the comforter and laundry on the lower end of the bed was enough I suppose. L was just waking up when the fire captain found her and brought her downstairs. I had truly thought I may never see her again so you can't even begin to imagine the relief I felt! The relief my husband and everyone else felt! I found out later police officers from a 50 mile radius had been called in. The police dogs, police helicopter and drone were all on their way when she was found. 

Over a week later my emotions are still a little all over the place! The terror I felt was so, so real. I've never felt that sheer terror or hysteria in my life. I hope I never feel that way again. Even after she was found and safe in my arms I had a hard time calming down. I still feel a little terrified over the whole ordeal. I also feel really embarrassed. My child was in my bed while I totally lost my mind and upset a whole lot of people and wasted their time, energy and resources. My relief and gratitude far outweigh any embarrassment but I can't help feeling pretty silly. I realize my husband and multiple trained officers weren't able to find her for over and hour either but I was the one who was home with her when she "went missing" and I'm the one who set the whole search in motion. I feel so much overwhelming gratitude that I can't even express it properly. The police officers, fire fighters, emergency personal were all absolutely amazing! Our neighbors were amazing! Our community was amazing! The story was on several local news site and all over social media. I never saw or heard one unkind words toward me. Just others expressing relief and gratitude that she had been found safely. Others sharing stories of similar experiences they had had with their child or stories they knew about that happened to someone else. People could have easily made fun, been annoyed and unkind but everyone has been extremely kind and gracious. 

L and I took donuts to local police department the next morning and to the fire station a few days later. There's no way I could possibly thank them enough but wanted to extend some kind of thank you.

Several of the officers who had searched for L came out to talk to us at the police station. A few of them are pictured here with her. They gave her some stickers, a notebook, little bracelet and a few other things. So sweet! 

A couple days later we took donuts to the fire station but weren't able to see the fire captain who actually found her. Here are a couple of the fireman who were looking for L. Again everyone at the police station and fire department were so kind and gracious when we visited them and assured us they were just really relieved and happy with the outcome!

Of course this story would have happened to L! Everything seems to happen to this child lol! She has more stories in 4 years than all the other older 3 combined. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Catching Up

We've had so much going on lately and I've been feeling completely overwhelmed! 

We've had a lot of not so fun stuff going on but a lot of fun stuff too!! 

We went on our first family camping trip a few weekends ago! 

The next weekend we went to a fall festival which is always fun! 
And L got to ride a horse for the first time!! 

Last weekend we went up to the mountains for a few hours on L's 4th birthday!! 
I plan to post about all that next week! 

She opened a few presents here at home before we headed up to the mountains.

We have a lot of fun stuff coming up too! Of course today is Halloween! With storms in the forecast for this evening it sounds like a lot of the community may postpone trick or treating until tomorrow though. We have friends coming over this evening and If it does storm we plan stay inside, eat candy, make a fun s'more dish, watch a Halloween movie and maybe play board games!! I can't wait to share the kids' costumes... especially J's! I'm making that one myself and can't wait to see the finished product! 

We have L's birthday party coming up on Saturday! This is the first birthday party she will remember having so that's really exciting for her!! 

And our first Disney trip is coming up in just over two weeks!! So exciting!!! 

I'm going to try hard to get back on track with blogging next week! Lots to blog about!  

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Busy, busy and lots of changes

So much has happened in the last several weeks! 

The three older kids started school in early August, S and I flew to Texas for a few days to visit family. My mom flew back home with us and ended up staying almost 3 weeks. All the kids' fall activities have started up. C turned 9 in mid August and I had a birthday in late August. Then the day after my birthday.. the day my mom was supposed to fly home... my husband had a heart attack! He is okay for now (more on all this later) but our lives were turned upside down during the week he spent in the hospital and things are just starting to get back to normal (new normal) around here. My mom ended up staying an extra week.. I don't know how I would have managed without her. We also decided to move back to Texas to be closer to family... although we probably won't move back until May. 

So, things have been crazy!! Our weeks are busy, busy, busy with three kids in two different elementary schools across town from each other, Girls On The Run, baseball, choir, soccer, American Heritage Girls, working at church and much more!! We had to cut out dance this year with everything else we have going on and may cut out Trail Life. 

Our first Disney trip is coming up in about 6 weeks! The kids are super excited and I'm having fun planning everything! Any and all Disney tips are welcome! 

I've gotten so far behind... I'll try to catch up on everything in the next few posts.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Finding out our baby had hip dysplasia

(If you look closely at her feet in this picture you can see the left leg is shorter. 
She has folds on her right ankle that aren't on her left ankle*.)

I've been meaning to write about L's journey with hip dysplasia for awhile now. We got her diagnosis almost exactly three years ago today. 

By time L came along I figured I had all this baby stuff figured out (ha!) The older three kids met all their milestones on or ahead of schedule. Our first child walked at 11 months, our second walked at 10 months and our third walked at 9 months.. so we joked that our 4th would be walking at 8 months lol.. not so much.

We were a little surprised when L was delayed in several areas.. from rolling over, sitting, scooting, crawling, trying to stand, eating purees or solids.. she was delayed in all that and more.

Our pediatrician was concerned that she had torticollis. I had hardly heard of it and just pushed our pediatrician's concerns to the back of my mind. My husband is the one who thought we should pursue an evaluation with a specialist. It turned out L did have torticollis as well as plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. She went into a Doc Band later than recommended.. around 9 months... and wore it for about 4 months. 

She started physical therapy for torticollis but made very little progress. Her fine motor skills were delayed. She didn't have any interest in doing much of anything the therapist tried to get her to do. She cried a lot. Looking back later we realized she was probably in a lot of pain from her hip. :(

By this time she was around 8-9 months old and still wasn't scooting around or crawling much less trying to stand or walk. One evening I stood her up in the living room and realized she was putting all her weight on her right leg with her right foot flat on the floor. She was on tiptoe on her left foot. There was over an inch difference in her leg length*! I knew something was off at that point and started searching for answers. 

We went to a family chiropractor twice a month from the time L was born so at our next appointment I pointed out the difference in leg length to our chiro. The chiro agreed that she needed to see a specialist. I was also asking the physical therapist about it as well as the techs at Cranial Technology. I made an appointment with our sweet pediatrician who set us up in a large exam room and spent close to an hour with me looking L over from top to bottom while agreeing something was wrong.

We were referred to Scottish Rite in Dallas where we got the official diagnosis that she had hip dysplasia in her left hip. Her surgery was scheduled for about a month out. Here she is in the waiting room at TSRH just a few days after she had gotten her Doc Band. 

In the exam room waiting for results of her x-rays. 

L was already in a spica cast by her first birthday so I had some "one year" photos made before she had her surgery. The color is off here (screen shots of an old Instagram pic ha!) but I love these pictures so much!! I was just out of reach in the pic where she is standing up. She kept toppling over but we wanted this photo really bad and it turned out great! 

I'll be posting about her surgery soon and also the time she spent in a spica cast. It's hard to believe it's already been three years... it some ways it feels like yesterday and in other ways it seems hard to believe this is the same child she is today! 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Weekend Wrap-Up

Last week was busy!

The older kids were at Camp In The City every day from 9 to 4. Then the little girls had VBS from 6:30 to 8 every day except Friday. All the kids loved their camps and VBS! We went a little crazy going to so many Vacation Bible Schools this summer. It was fun but I'm glad it's over!