Friday, December 15, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tag I'm It!

I've been tagged by my friend Jaime. So here's my answers...

1. Three things that scare me: Heights (this includes flying), War, My children dying.

2. Three people that make me laugh: Aaron, Danielle, Kati

3. Three things I love: Alone time with my hubby, getting time to be creative, Getting out with friends

4. Three things I hate: My acne that won't go away even though I'm almost 30! Doing our finances, my van

5. Three things I don't understand: How to stay organized, Politics, HTML (it's like learning a second language)

6. Three things on my desk right now: My coffee mug, a spare battery to my digital camera, 2 printers

7. Three things I'm doing right now: Listening to Jack Johnson, Drinking coffee, Listening to Aaron count the coins he got from his piggy bank

8. Three things I want to do before I die: See my kids happy with their own families, Go back to school, Travel

9. Three things I can do: Change a diaper in about 5 seconds, Make jewelry, Bow making (hairbows)

10. Three things I can't do: Keep up on my housework, Sew well, read fast

11. Three things I think you should listen to: Ben Harper, Your children, Truth

12. Three things I think you should never listen to: Disrespectful people, Profanity, Tabloids

13. Three things I'd like to learn: Photoshop, More about photography, A second language

14. Three favorite foods: pizza, chocolate, salad

15. Three beverages I drink regularly: Coffee, Dr Pepper, Water

16. Three shows I watched as a kid: The Cosby show, Little house on the prairie, Smurfs (all the same as Jaime)

17. Three people I am tagging: Kristina Liz Shannon

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And just because I thought my house wasn't already a ZOO!!!

I decided to surprise Ian with a puppy for Christmas! The surprise was foiled when he found all the information from the breeder written on a peice of paper that I forgot to hide. So he found out the day before the puppy arrived. He's 10 weeks old, and he's a pure labradore retreiver. His mama was a black lab, and his daddy yellow lab, so he's got some very unique markings on his feet. He also has small patches of yellow on one ear, and his chest. He's is so cute, and proving to be a very good dog already! He's a quick learner and is already sitting on command (most times), learning to stay, and is getting used to being outside. We are letting him be inside/outside, but mostly he'll be an outdoor dog. Ian is very excited to get him trained, and teach him lots of tricks. He's great with all the kids, and very gentle with the babies. Ian named him Rocky and he's quickly learning his name.

So that makes 2 parents, 4 kids, 2 cats, and one puppy! Boy we really do live in a zoo!!! Anyone want to come over?!

The Hall Family Christmas Tree

The hunt for the perfect tree

Katelyn: "What in the heck are we doing out here in the cold anyway"?

Notice the wheels caked in mud! And Katelyn without a sock or shoe! One of her Robeez fell off, but I searched until I found it. I was not leaving without it, they are a brand new pair and not cheap either!!!
Madelyn: "Are you kidding me? We're stuck in the mud!? O.K. I'm going to start crying at any second!"
The boys enjoying the wagon ride to the tree fields.

This year we thought it'd be fun to go to a you cut tree farm to get our tree. This is the first year we've actually been tree hunting as a family. At our old house our landlord who was also our neighbor owned a huge Christmas tree farm. He'd deliver us a beautiful noble fir every year for FREE! But now that we aren't there anymore, we had to go it alone this year. It was so much fun, and quite an experience. We went to Vollstedt Family Farm to get our tree. It is so festive there. They take you on Wagon rides out to the fields of trees, give you a saw and let you loose. When you've chosen and cut your tree, you get to wait in a nice warming shed for the next wagon to pick you up. So Cool!

The boys had a blast! The babies not so much. They weren't up for the cold bumpy stroller ride or for getting stuck in the mud. Yes that's right we got our nice beautiful double Graco stroller stuck in the mud! We really should've known better we live in Oregon after all, the state of never ending rain! We eventually had to abandon the stroller in the mud and carry the babies. Once we found our tree, which took some time as I am a very picky tree hunter, Ian (and the boys) cut it down while I went back to get the babies back in the stroller. We heard many comments like "that stroller needs 4 wheel drive" and "wow are they all your's" of course too many "you guys sure have your hands full" to count! But it was fun, and we all just enjoyed it and laughed at ourselves. And it was all worth it as you can see, we did end up with the perfect tree! It's not a noble (those puppies are expensive) like we normally get, but it's BIG and full and beautiful!

Poor Ian had to haul it back to the warming shed all by himself (all 9 ft of it) since I was pushing the mud caked stroller! What an adventure!!! Surely one we'll never forget!

Friday, December 01, 2006

12 month check up and more!

The babies had their 12 month check up today. Normally it's just shots at 12 months, but their Pediatrician wanted to do a visit as well to discuss meds, and any concerns.

We are upping Mady's dose of reglan since she's started coughing and wheezing a lot again. She coughs really bad at night. Hopefully a stronger dose will help. Other than that we are keeping everything else the same. He was so pleased to see the huge amounts of progress Mady has made in the past 6 weeks. The therapies she's receiving is helping her tremendously!!! I know I've mentioned before that she sees 4 therapists who work with her on a variety of things. These people have been wonderful! Without their services, and the techniques they've taught me...well I'd still be a basket case worried sick about her lack of progress. I am not exaggerating when I say that people are AMAZED at how far she's come. All the hard work she's done is starting to show, and you can see it in her eyes how delighted she is to be able to DO some of the things that Katy's been doing for months! She's such a happy girl, when she smiles her whole face lights up. You can see the smile in her eyes. And I am so happy to report that Mady giggled 2 nights ago for the first time! I've never heard her laugh, but could tell that she'd laugh on the inside. She could just never get the sound out. Jacob was making funny faces at her, and out came a laugh that sounds very similar to her cry. But it was the sweetest sound! I teared up and picked her up and just hugged her. Of course I told Jacob to repeat the sillyness that got her laughing, but she hasn't done it since. Another fun thing Mady has figured out to do as of last night, CLAPPING! She's been doing it all day today. So cute!

O.K so ready for the BIG Mady news?! She weighs 15 lbs!!! I was so shocked and in disbelief I made the nurse weigh her again to be sure. The girl gained 1.5 lbs since her last weigh in about 6 or 7 weeks ago! That's her biggest gain ever. We actually saw a spike UP on her growth chart! I'm telling you, her therapists along with our determination and her hard work equal VERY GOOD THINGS!!! Her new nickname is beef cake. I'm praying that she continues in this upward direction. She is awesome!

I talked to Dr. F about Katelyn's episodes. I've seen more of the starring to the left, and some brief blank outs, her muscle spasams aren't very noticable but I can see them every once in a while. His recommendation was to see the pediatric nuerologist again to see if we should be concerned. It could be that she needs a higher dose of topimax. He also checked out Katelyn's eyes since we've noticed her crossing her left eye, and not tracking well with it. He said he didn't notice it, but it'd be a good idea to see her pedi opthamologist. And we will have to go to Portland for that. Katelyn's weight wasn't a very big gain. She weighed in at 15lbs 3oz. We expected it to be around 16lbs. Dr. F said it's not a big deal, but we'll watch it closely to make sure it's not a trend. I can't believe my girls are within 3oz of eachother. They haven't been this close in weight since they were first born...2oz apart. I think Katelyn subconsiously decided to slow down a bit to allow Mady to catch up! She really loves her sissy!

Katelyn has added lalala to her babbling, and has sad mama once! I try to get her to say it but it's always dada! NO FAIR!!! Of course she doesn't know what the heck she's saying, but I just want to hear it. Katy has also demonstrated that she has the unique talent of rolling her tongue like her big brother Jacob. She does it a lot too, that and lalala, and clapping! As for the standing up I reported 2 posts ago, she hasn't done it since! She did it a few times for like 2 days and now nothing. But both girls can get into a sitting position all on their own now! Considering Madelyn just learned to sit unassisted a couple weeks ago, I'd say she's becoming a bit of an over-achiever!

I have become addicted to Robeez shoes. I can't help myself, they are just so stinkin cute! And they stay on! I put them on and try as they might the girls can't get them off. Finally shoes that stay on babies feet! So if anyone is looking for a Christmas gift idea for the girls, they'd love some in the 6-12 month size. They are also recommended by our Occupational and Physical therpaists!

The taggies blankets and plush toys we got them for their B-day have been a big hit. The girls love to snuggle them, and they are the perfect size.

This weekend we're gearing up for Christmas. I'm so excited to go get our tree. Ian will hang the lights on the house hopefully on Saturday. It's our first Christmas in this house, and I'm really excited to get it decorated. We have no Christmas shopping done, but that's no big surpise! We always procrastinate. Hopefully we can get some done this weekend. Should be fun!

Hopefully I won't go so long till my next post! Peace!

a few photos from the girls' party

Katy was happy to taste the cake. Neither of the girls really liked the cake. But they played in it, and got really messy!
Mady didn't really like the whole birthday cake experience. She started freaking out as soon as she got it all over her hands and arms. This is her defensive pose. She holds her arms up and fists her hands...It's part of the whole "I don't like things touching my hands" thing. "Especially if it sticks to me"

Singing the happy birthday song was a huge hit with Mady! She knew we were singing to her, and she loved it!

Everyone gathered in the living room to watch the dvd of the girls' first year. It was beautiful to see their journey and watch how far they've come!