Sunday, August 31, 2008


All of Sophie's cousins, aunts and uncles were in town visiting over the past few weeks. I didn't quite get my camera out enough (Erica and Erin...please upload your photos soon...I want those pictures from the park). I wish we all lived closer. We miss you all so very much and we had a great time. Come visit again soon.

Flower power...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gwendolyn Strong

Through a link on a blog that I visit often, I came across this blog...Gwendolyn Strong. This baby girl and her family has forever touched my heart. There are no words to explain the journey they are going through but if you could take just a few minutes to sign this petition, you could possibly help a family in the future from having to travel through this journey. You can also go here to nominate their cause to receive funding.

Friday, August 22, 2008


My goodness...Elsa never ceases to amaze me. Her imitation skills are incredible. She is constantly watching what Sophie is doing and trying to get her hands on whatever that is. If she sees Sophie drinking out of a sippy cup, then she wants to drink out of that sippy cup. She will lunge out of your arms to get whatever is in her line of sight. Last Tuesday night, while Grandma Debbie was watching the girls, Elsa started clapping her hands while Grandma Debbie was singing the Pat-a-Cake song. She has been clapping her hands ever since. Even if you start to sing that song without clapping your hands, she will start clapping her hands. All this from a 6 month old baby. Well, technically, she turned 7 months old today. I cannot believe how much she has done in the first 6 months of her life...I am so looking forward to the next 6 months.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Go girls...

Elsa is doing incredible. She is now pulling herself to a stand and her crawling has become much better. I found her standing in her crib when I went to get her from her nap yesterday. Today, she repeatedly pulled herself to a stand using the ottoman to try to get Sophie's sippy cup that was sitting on top of it. It was so adorable. As soon as she would stand up, she would fall over. But she kept trying and trying until she fell pretty hard and started crying. All that practice paid off because by the end of the night, she was standing pretty steadily.

Sophie is talking more and more each day. She is using sign language all the time now without being prompted and her word approximations are becoming more clear. Her newest words are dog, star and open (all are approximations but are close). She is also much more stable and climbing up anything and everything. Her mood is so much better and she has lost a couple of the pounds she gained during ACTH.

Haley tried out for dance competition and made it onto 5 different competition lines (though she only accepted 4 so she could have an extra night off during the school week). She did so well in her competition lines last year with winning a double platinum in one of them. She also started school last week and will again be in the Quest program (a gifted program in which she was accepted into for scoring so high on a special test she took). It amazes me how incredibly smart she is.

I am so proud of all my girls!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

When you least except it...

I had a blast in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I have to admit...I was not looking forward to this trip. I had knots in my stomach, not able to sleep, small panic attack kind of feelings towards this trip. Sophie was just coming off ACTH (her last shot was the night before we left) so my emotions were already running high from the whole drama of what we were going through at the moment. I was worried about her weakened immune system. There was no being able to stop off at some restaurant along the way and stretch our legs or burn some energy. Sophie couldn't be in public places. I knew Sophie would be fine in the car but Elsa was a whole different story. Elsa is on the go and does not like to be strapped down. I can barely even hold her at times without her wiggling around like crazy. Then once we got there, what was I suppose to do with an immune suppressed 2 year old and a 6 month old. Little did I know...

Not all of us did all of these since we took turns staying back with Sophie and Elsa at times but if we could take them we did...white water rafting, hiking to Laurel Falls, swimming (lots and lots of swimming), Ripley's Aquarium, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, Ripley's Mirror Maze, go-karts, putt-putt golf, regular golf, Cirque de Chine (simply amazing), Pancake Pantry* (best pancakes ever), Ober-Gatlinburg (mini outdoor amusement park), and that is all my mind can remember at the moment.

The faster the ride, the steeper the slide, the more fun Sophie had...she has no fear!

After the ride was over, Sophie would point to the slide and say "moh". She had so much fun.

Those gorgeous eyes...yet I can't help but notice the 2 above each eye.

Notice the mountains in the background...our view was absolutely gorgeous.

We saw several bears. This one came right through our backyard.

Laurel Falls
Sophie fell asleep on the walk up.

The water was really cold but Elsa loved putting her feet in it.

Haley and Brandon climb a little higher which made me nervous...that's why there are dads in the world.

*If you ever been to Gatlinburg, you would know why I mentioned which pancake house we ate at...I have never been to a place that had a pancake house on every corner...literally.

Go Elsa!!!

Elsa is just amazing. Though I don't know if I would truly appreciate all she is doing if it wasn't for Sophie. So I feel I have the right to brag. That I get to be exempt from being classified as one of those moms that constantly brags about their exceptional child that can be so annoying especially if you never had kids. So here goes... Elsa is now 6 months and 3 weeks old...exact age is very important ;) In the past week, Elsa has taught herself to transition from laying to sitting, crawl*, blow raspberries and pull herself up to a high kneel. She is so alert and aware of her surroundings. She is very determined. If you move something out of the way that she shouldn't be playing with, she will follow it with her eyes and watch where you put it and then try to get it. If she drops something while sitting in her highchair, she will search for it. No "out of sight...out of mind" for her. It is so much fun watching her grow.

July 4, 2008 - 5.5 months old

*okay she is barely crawling...just a few forward movements but she can definitely go backwards

Thursday, August 07, 2008

We are done!!!

No more ACTH. Actually, Sophie's last shot was last Friday. It has been crazy busy around here between figuring out what to do next with Sophie's treatment options and getting ready for vacation. We are currently in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We left last Saturday and we are all having a blast. The ride down went rather smooth. We made our first stop about 3 hours outside of St. Louis at Paducah, Kentucky to visit some friends (Dana, Scott and Brock). Since Sophie's immune system is currently almost nonexistent...going into public places is a gamble. So we relied on friends and family on our trip down with a overnight stop in Nashville, Tennessee at Brandon's cousin Mike's house. So about 34 hours later (only about 9 or 10 hours in the car), we arrived at our rental house in the Smoky Mountains. More to come...