Saturday, November 29, 2008

My amazing family.

I have always felt like I was raised by an extremely generous family. Especially my grandma and my mom. They have always been the first to help out people in need in any way that they can, whether it be through volunteering, fundraising, donating, whatever. I've always admired this about them and pray that I can set as good of an example to my kids and if/when I have more time and resources, I can do the same.

Then I married Zac. The entire Chatterton clan goes way out of their way to bless people. I notice it especially with the Chatterton men. They never, ever judge people. They would give you the shirt off their back if you didn't have one. Very, very generous people.

Last night when we packing up and getting ready to leave Zac's parents house, Brooklyn handed me an envelope with a Christmas wish on the outside. During the hustle and bustle of packing up, I tossed it in Olivia's medicine bin and carried it on out to the car. After we were home for a while, Zac asked if I got an envelope from Brooklyn. That's right - what was that?

A Christmas card from Zac's uncle and family. This year, instead of gifts, they had all decided they wanted to help someone else. They took the money they would have spent on each other and gave it to our family. The card read "we hope this money will be as much of a blessing to you as it is to us." Precious family - you have no idea. Not even the money, but the pure act is such an unbelievable blessing to us and to our family. And the fact that we are able to tell the kids about this act of generosity, fills my heart with so much joy. You are all amazing people. Quite simply, thank you and we love you all!

Our blessed Thanksgiving weekend

We are so blessed.

Blessed to have family that is close. Blessed to have all sides of the family that get along with each other. Blessed to have so many kids running around and at ages that they all get along with each other! We've had a great Thanksgiving's a run-down of the weekend events:
The two big kids went to Grandpa and Grandma Chatterton's for Tuesday and Wednesday night so we could get the house ready for Thanksgiving. We ended up having 24 for Thanksgiving this year, wonderful food, great conversations, a even the usual friendly game of poker downstairs for some. (not me. I despise cards of any sort) The 5 big kids told what they were thankful for...everything from family, to eye doctors, to cereal, of course. Anyway, we had a great time. Such a good time, I completely forgot to take any pictures. I'll have to get some from one of the grandma's and post them later.
Then off to Dunlap. The kids and I always head on over to Dunlap on Thanksgiving night to stay at my parent's house. I get up early, early and hit the Black Friday sales. Zac stays back and cleans up the house - sounds like a pretty good deal for me. The big kids went to the Santa Claus parade while Olivia and I napped.
Friday night - to Zac's parents to meet up with family for dinner. Zac's cousin Ryan and family made their annual trip from Pennsylvania. This is the one time a year we get to spend time with them and we look forward to it every year. Olivia had a great time playing with McKenna - it was so cute to watch them together.

The kids all had a great time playing. I came up with the wonderful idea of getting a picture of the 6 cousins together which I know everyone appreciated. I thought of this right as everyone was getting ready to leave - the perfect time. Here are a few of the great pictures!

So today - Zac went back to Peoria to run a race. Jack insisted on going, so he'll cheer them on from the sidelines with Great Grandma. The girls and I are planning on getting some Christmas decorations out and maybe head to Uncle Bob's for a pony ride with the cousins.
We are so unbelievably thankful for all the family and wonderful people in our lives and are treasuring every moment of the beginning of this great holiday season.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Olivia has had an extremely productive couple of weeks. It's so amazing to see how quickly she can do things if she actually puts her mind to it... Gee, that sounds like any other kid!

Here's what she has accomplished. All of a sudden she has decided to pull up to her knees on absolutely everything. She has decided to start crawling - real crawling on all fours, instead of the army crawl. She has started making "kissy faces" and smacking her lips together. I've heard a few "b" and "f" sounds (of course, no "m" sounds, though).
Anyway, she has just been on a roll lately. She's working really hard on learning to pull herself up into a standing position from sitting, but she has a long way to go. We need to strengthen the muscles in her honey buns before she's going to get that one down!
We start her RSV shots tomorrow, had a pneumonia shot, and the flu shot - covering all our bases to have a holiday season at home this year!
We saw the pediatric dietitian yesterday to discuss hydration. With all of her feeds being so thick, hydration is/was a concern. She seems to be doing great - no signs of dehydration, so we are going to keep an eye on things for now. The dietitian did mention a G-tube to guarantee fluid intake, but in this particular case, I'd rather be reactive instead of proactive. She just needs a chance to show she can be okay all on her own! If she can't, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
So, all is well on the home front - just preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday (our favorite holiday!!!) Brooklyn keeps talking about the huge feast we are going to have and Jack keeps talking about all the turkeys we are going to make! We love to talk about all the things we are thankful for and it's so fun to hear what the kids have to say...I'll save those for next week!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beauty Parlor

Just a little Saturday night fun...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So true...

I got this in an email from Zac's cousin today. It put a smile on my face.

You know you have a child with special needs when...

You compare ER's instead of grocery stores.
You compare your child's oxygen saturation's.
You view toys as "therapy".
You don't take a new day for granted.
You teach your child HOW to pull things out of the cupboard, off the bookcases, and that feeding the dog from the table is fun.
The clothes your infant wore last fall still fit her this fall.
Everything is an educational opportunity instead of just having plain old fun.
You cheer instead of scold when they blow bubbles in their juice while sitting at the dinner table (that's speech therapy), smear ketchup all over their high chair (that's OT), or throw their toys (that's PT).
You also don't mind if your child goes through the house tooting a tin whistle.
You fired at least 3 pediatricians and can teach your family doctor a thing or two.
You can name at least 3 genes on chromosome 21. (You really know your toast if you can spell the full names correctly)
You have been told you are "in denial" by at least 3 medical or therapy professionals. This makes you laugh!
You have that incredible sinking feeling that you've forgotten SOMETHING on those few days that you don't have some sort of appointment somewhere!
You get irritated when friends with healthy kids complain about ONE sleepless night when they're child is ill!
Your vocabulary consists of all the letters OT, PT, SP, ADS, BSD, IFSP, etc.
You keep your appointment with the specialist even though a tropical storm is raging because you just want to get this one over waited 8 months to get it.....and besides, no one else will be there!
Fighting and wrestling with siblings is considered PT.
Speech therapy occurs in the tub with a sibling.
When potty training is complete, you take out a full page public notice in the Washington Post.
When the Doctors/Specialist/ Hospitals etc. all know you by your name without referring to your chart.
You keep a daily growth chart.
You calculate monthly statistics for the number of times your child vomits, and did this for more than one year.
You phone all your friends when your child sits up for the first time, at age two.
With a big smile on your face you tell a stranger that your four year old just started walking last week.
His/Her medical file is several inches thick and growing.
You have a new belief...... that angels live with us on earth.
I can so relate to some of these. I could probably even come up with a list of my own, but I'll save that for another post. Love you, Olivia!

Run, Livvy, Run! (Updated)

Check out Olivia's new kicks...

Aren't they cute? She was fitted for some ankle braces to give her some more ankle support (she rolls her ankles). We are hoping this will get her in the mood to start standing!

Anyway, the braces are meant to be worn with shoes and we only have one pair that barely fit over them, so it looks like we'll be going shoe shopping soon! It will be fun to see if these make a difference with her PT session tomorrow!


Check out what the new duds help her do!

She was sitting on my knees, and with just a little bit of assistance, she was able to stand up without anyone holding on to her! She actually stood there for about 5 minutes and then sat right back down! Go Olivia!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Being a sports mom...

I can already tell that if our kids decide to participate in sports, I'm going to be a horrible "sports mom." Jack is playing Biddy Basketball at the high school for the 3rd year. I've made very few of the games since it's in colder weather and Olivia keeps me in the house, but I went today for the first game of the season. It consists of 4 or 5 games on Sunday afternoons for a half an hour. It is absolutely hilarious to watch. Jack's age group consists of kids from age 3-7. Obviously with Jack being 7, it puts him as one of the bigger kids on the team. The problem? There was a guy there that kept saying things. Now, in his defense, he wasn't obnoxious about it or anything. He just happened to be two people away from me so I could hear everything he was angry about. He was accusing some of the kids of fouling the other team (on which his granddaughter was playing) and saying that Jack and another teammate should let someone else shoot the ball. I do agree that we should encourage teamwork. We even talked to Jack about this after the game. The point is the kids are anywhere from 3 to 7. It's not important who shoots, scores, wins, etc... It's only a game. Can't it just be for fun? So, now that I'm done with my little rampage, I fully admit that this doesn't bode well for my future. I'm going to make a horrible "sports mom."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The past two weeks..

In photographs...Zac and the kids did a great job carving the pumpkin. Jack though it was awesome that he actually helped with the knife. I wasn't so thrilled, but it turned out okay in the end.Brooklyn was excited, too. Only problem? Mommy didn't get a picture of the end result! Maybe next year?

Mr. Albert Pujols... Pocahontas...And Miss Brooklyn was a beautiful hot pink witch. However, slacker mommy didn't get a picture. At her Halloween party, I was holding a sleeping Olivia the entire time and couldn't get a picture. Lucky for me, another mom sent a picture of all the girls from her class. (She's the third one over)
With all the excitement of Halloween, Brooklyn has been all about dressing up lately. This is the ensemble from yesterday. Then she calls me downstairs to check out Princess Olivia. Apparently she needed to dress up too...

Speaking of Olivia...

She's feeling 85% better. She's been extremely ornery lately. These are just a couple of the places I have found her lately...

In the clothes hamper....

Trying to enjoy the weather outside....

And my personal favorite...

cleaning out my purse!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 3, 2008

What a slacker.

I feel like such a slacker. No posts for a full week. What's wrong with me.
Here's a quick run down until I have a chance to post pictures and more info...
Wednesday - Halloween parties for Jack and Brooklyn - freezing weather.
Thursday - no school, Trick or Treating in Macomb.
Friday - no school, Happy Halloween, kids to Grandpa and Grandma's for the weekend. Zac and I to the Quad Cities.
Saturday - Zac and I to Galena.
Sunday - Zac and I to New Glarus, WI and then home
Monday - Olivia's sick, but toughing it out. Labs, chest x-ray - all good.
Yes, you did read that right. Zac and I actually went away for the weekend. Our punishment...coming home to a sick little girl.
More to come...