Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving has been a VERY long time since I updated this blog and I am not even going to attempt to catch it all up to date at this time.  Maybe sometime in the future when I have some extra time, I will go back and blog about all the details of what has happened this summer and fall.  It has been a crazy time.  For now, I will try to do a drive by update for my own records :)


I want a bike too!
In June, I decided that it would be a good idea to do an adventure a day.  I realized I was turning into a boring mommy and I needed to figure out how to have fun with my crew again.  Also, I needed to overcome my fear of taking all five of my kids places by myself.  So June saw us go hiking, to parks and playgrounds, out for bike rides, to play dates at friend's houses, lunch dates, and yes, even the grocery store counted :)  And just to make it more fun, I decided to potty train Simeon in the midst of all this.  He did great and I was really surprised how easily he potty trained once he realized that mommy wasn't going to give him back his diapers... All of that adventure made for some very tired kiddos!
Tree climbing at Grammy's

Father's Day 2013

Passed out



Sweet treats on a hot day

Sleepy baby

Sleepy boy

Cruising around the house (7 months)
Hair do time

Another sleepy kiddo


I just love her expression here
In July, we signed the older girls up for swim lessons in the hopes of building some independence in the water before we went to Sandy Cove and tried to wrangle five non-swimmers in the pool at once.  The girls had a blast and I counted that as our daily adventure.  I spent the lessons reading books to the youngest three as well as sweating to death!  That second week in particular was H.O.T.!!!  I finally figured out how to rig up the umbrella for some shade for the kiddos and myself.  During that time I was also getting us packed for our annual Sandy Cove camping trip.  Oh yeah, and the Friday before Sandy Cove we got to go to an         IEP meeting to start services for Liliana.
Happy 4th of July from our newest citizen!

Swim lessons

Swim lessons

Hanging out - who says you need a double stroller???
Cool dude

Tired girl
We went camping at Sandy Cove with my entire family plus my cousin, his wife, and daughter, and my other cousin and my aunt.  They added even more fun to what is always the highlight of our summer.  We have decided that our kids' lives revolve around Sandy Cove.  For the first few weeks/months after Sandy Cove we hear lots of "I miss Sandy Cove" and "I wish I was at Sandy Cove" and "Remember when we .... at Sandy Cove?" and other stories and pretend play based around their time at Sandy Cove.  I love it since I was the same way when I was a kiddo.  Once we move past the missing Sandy Cove we start getting "How many more days until we get to go to Sandy Cove?"  Like I said, their lives center around Sandy Cove :)

Meal time


Ice cream social night

Love her spirit!

Wheels for camping time

Rocket making with Daddy

the 'Originals'
Sleepy girl... again


Flying high

First pony ride

We LOVE our new, gigantic tent!!!
Family photo - it is hard to get all 5 kiddos looking at the camera!
Much better :)

We got home from our week of camping on Saturday and we had until Tuesday to get unpacked, wash everything, and repack us to head to CHOP for Liliana's open heart surgery.
Bath in the hotel

Dinner at the hotel
Heading in for surgery - I love her expression here!
Prepping for surgery - the socks were HUGE but the stickers
were a big hit!
Her surgery started with pre-op on July 30th where we were informed that the cardiac care unit was too full and there was a good possibility that our surgery might have to be postponed.  Again.  They wouldn't know until the morning of our surgery but we were told we would get a phone call the morning of surgery to let us know one way or another but to plan to be at the hospital by 7am.  So we went ahead and checked into the hotel nearby.  We had Myla with us since she was still nursing, but the 'originals' went to my mom's and then to my sister's for the time we were gone.  (My sister took them to Sandy Cove for her time, which was a bonus treat for them :)  Liliana ate dinner that night like it was her last meal for a very long time.  She ate about 3 plates FULL of food.  Her poor tummy was stuffed, but I think she was nervous.  July 31st, we got a phone call at 6am telling us to not come to the hospital and to wait.  They would call us by 8am.  I was praying like crazy that they would let us go ahead with the surgery and let us know soon.  I did not want to have to keep Liliana from eating or drinking any longer than necessary.  Sure enough, we got a call around 8am telling us to come in whenever we were ready.  She had her surgery and it was a success, though she fought the sedation meds like nothing else.  She has definitely been around doctors enough to not want them anywhere near her, but she loved the blanket, pillowcase, and doll that she got.
Starting to walk

Post op

Play room
She healed up very quickly and by Friday, we were released to go home.  Liliana was on only Tylenol for pain, since it was very well managed and by Saturday we were having to work to keep her from climbing and doing other activities that didn't coincide will with open heart surgery!

Did I mention that Myla decided to start taking her first steps while her sister was in surgery.  Yes, she is officially my youngest walker.

Adorable even in hospital gear :)

Heading home


Visiting a one room school house
August was busy with trying to keep Liliana from doing restricted activities and get things prepped to start homeschooling.  We played outside some and did some outings, but mostly we tried to keep Liliana on her restrictions.  August was also when we discovered that we were no where near as far along in attachment with Liliana as we had thought that we were.  It was devastating to me because it felt like all the months of work we had done since February was not any help at all.  We figured out at that point that we needed to put some heavy restrictions back in place in terms of other people's interactions with Liliana.  I hated doing it because I knew that people didn't understand our need to do that and I also knew that some people would feel really hurt because of it, but we didn't have any choice.  We also decided it was time to get some professional help.September we got started with our therapist who is trained in Theraplay - which is a specific therapy designed to help parents and children recreate the natural bonding process through playful interactions that are designed to have the parent in the lead and help the child learn that it is okay to not control everything.  Our therapist is a bit of a drive away, but worth every minute.  It really started to help me to feel bonded more and we started seeing some positive movement on Liliana's part too.  The therapist has been pleased with her progress, and, though we know that we have a long way to go, we have been encouraged with the changes.  Also in September, we took advantage of Family Fusion weekend at Sandy Cove.
Friendly's Sundaes 

Walking around (9 months)

Love her expression here

Family poster


Couldn't get all 5....

Not bad...

This one makes me laugh

Scrunchy face

Love this beautiful girl

Wavecutter riding with Daddy and Aunt Debbie and Uncle Dave

They loved it!

(You'll have to wait for pictures from Oct/Nov until I get them uploaded!)

October involved a family camping trip with some other homeschool families.  All told, there were 8 adults and 17 children.  Yup, fun times.  It was freezing cold, but it was so refreshing to get to spend time with such great families and really just relax.  We came back refreshed.

November flew by with a highlight being our trip to Plymouth, MA for homeschooling.  We visited Plimouth Plantation and Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II as well as visiting a children's museum in Cape Cod and enjoying being together as a family.  It was fun to get away and get to have the kids see first hand some of what we had been reading about.  They really loved it.  We found a nice beach house that proved to be such a blessing and way cheaper than a hotel.  Did you know we exceed the maximum per room and now have to get two hotel rooms?  The house not only was cheaper but we also didn't have to eat out at all - which not only saved money but it was a LOT easier too :)