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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ella's Birthday Party (and lots of other goodies)

Oh what a fun, whirlwind weekend we had!! Ella's party was all I hoped it would be. It was so amazing to have all of these wonderful families together in one place. And what fun it was to stand back and see people meet for the first time who have only known each other online. There is an instant connection that can't be explained between us all. I mean, how often do you see people flying hundreds of miles to visit someone they have never met....and even stay in their house!! Stephanie and Faith and Jennifer and Abby (no blog) took a gamble on us and came for a visit. And what fun it was!! That was the original impetus for planning Ella's party and then it just grew from there. Next Cammie and Addy made plans to come out for Spring break and to stay with Heather and Zoey. Then Lacey and her family decided to make the trip from Utah. As chance would have it, Bethany and her friend Linda were out here at the same time for a conference and then so many of our Southern California friends who are friends with all of these out-of-staters were able to join us. It was awesome!!! But I do have a few regrets. I feel like I hardly got to spend any quality time talking with anyone. Just a few chats here and there, but I guess that is to be expected when you are the host. I hope no one takes it personally. My other regret is that I didn't get any pictures of all of us Moms or of the Moms holding their cuties. Oh well....can't change that now. In lieu of gifts (although some of you didn't listen :) we raised some money for Lera instead. I am happy to report that we got over $250 in cash the day of the party and I know that in addition, a few people donated directly to Lera's website so hopefully we made a little difference. Although, rumor has it that Lera is going to be getting a large donation and therefore may be fully funded. Once that is confirmed, we will choose another family to donate our money to if Lera's family no longer needs it. How awesome would that be.

The day after Ella's party, Stephanie, Jen and I took our 3 girls on an adventure to Los Angeles. I say adventure because it was literally raining cats and dogs the whole way there and back. But it was worth it because we met up with Heather, Cammie, Addy and Zoey at the Hard Rock Cafe in Universal Studios. It was wonderful to sit at a table with our 5 special girls and be so proud of each of them. After lunch, we did some typical tourist stuff like driving around the big homes of Beverly Hills and driving down Hollywood Blvd looking at the stars in the sidewalk. It was raining so hard and the little ones were either sleeping or crying so I just drove along and every once in a while Stephanie and Jen would jump out to take some photos. It was an exhausting day but definitely worth it. We had hoped to meet up with some other Ds moms for dinner that night but the kids weren't on board with that at all.

Ella wasn't really herself at her party, just not as social as usual. And then the next day when we drove to LA, she was a grumpy mess!! I think she cried almost the whole way home while we inched along in the pouring down rain. This is so unlike her and by Monday, we realized that it was because she was in the midst of getting a yucky cold. Bummer but thank goodness she wasn't a snotty mess at her party. (hope everyone wasn't exposed).

All of our guests are gone now :( and I guess we must get back to life. Tomorrow is Ella's IEP meeting for preschool. Hopefully it will go well. I am not going in looking for a fight. My view is that it is only preschool and my main goals are for her to get some regular socializing with her peers and to start learning how to follow rules in the classroom. I know they will be working with her on some of her therapies and that is all I really ask for. Our Spring break is the following 2 weeks and Ella will turn 3 during that break so will most likely start school on April 11th....I can't believe it!!! She seems so small!!

Anyway, now for a ton of pictures from the party and various events afterward. Thanks again to all of you who were able to make it and to those of you who weren't, you were definitely missed!!

The first spot everyone plopped down to get to know each other

Pure Sweetness.....Jax and Addy

My daughter Emma and her friend, Megan

Ella and her new friend, River (he is a couple
months younger than her..I think she is small)

Ella and Sweet Pea

Ella and her favorite person (herself)

Our resident Ds model, Arina

One of many attempts at getting a picture of the kids....ha ha!!

Ella's cake

Ella and me with her cake

Trying to get her to put her fingers in the cake

She finally touched it but didn't know what to do with the
frosting....silly girl, she has so much to learn!!

Jax and Arina and their family came back to our house for a
bit after the party so we had the opportunity for more Arina pics!!

Sweet Tanner loving on Ella like he always does :)

At the Hard Rock....this pic kind of sums up Ella's day in LA!!
I am not sure if Zoey was annoyed by Ella's crying or showing signs
of her own oncoming cold.

Cammie, Addy and I....a picture we missed the last time we
got together!!

My favorite picture!!! All of us moms and our beautiful daughters!!

Ella, Faith and Abby wearing their matching Old Navy sweatshirts
from Stephanie...love it!!

Girls in pink!!!

Stephanie had these shirts made for us with a wonderful
Ds quote and a picture of daughter on it.

She also had these Tshirts made for our girls since they
were turning 1, 2 and 3 respectively...all within a 2 week period.
This one had better smiles but you can't see the numbers
on the shirts as well!!

So thankful to get to spend so much time with these
beautiful little angels!!

Ella and Faith also had these matching jammies...of
course another failed attempt at a cute picture...but whatever!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lookin Good in Green!!!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Almost My Birthday Party!!!

Hmmmm...me thinks that it is almost my 3rd birthday!! And ALL I am asking for is that you would be kind enough to give a few dollars (literally $5 or $10) to the family that is trying to save my friend Lera from life in an institution. You can donate directly here http://reecesrainbow.org/sponsorhigbie It would make my day!!

We look forward to seeing soooo many of Ella's friends this weekend. The only thing that would make it better is if the rest of you could make it :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fun At Zoey's Party And Other Things!!

First off, for the few of you that I may not be friends with on facebook, here is my current most favorite picture of Ella. I won this tutu from a raffle on Olga's blog and it couldn't be cuter!! Of course I am a little partial to the model as well :) We had a fun little photo shoot in it!!

Here is a picture of Ella and Daddy...thought this was a sweet one!!

We had Abbey's end of season basketball party tonight. I always
like to get a picture of the girls with their coaches as a memento.
And I am proud to say that Abbey made the All Star team for the second
year in a row :)

Here is Emma with her coach after their championship game. Unfortunately,
they lost by 2 points but they played awesome and still got a trophy
out of it!!

Emma also made the All Star team for the second year in a row.
Do you think her height has anything to do with it????

Today we had the pleasure of attending Princess Fairy Zoey's 4th birthday party. It was so nice to get to spend some time with this wonderful family again. It was only the second time that we have been together without either Zoey or Ella being in the hospital which as you can imagine makes the visit so much more enjoyable. I had a heck of a time getting a good picture of Ella and Zoey together as you will see below. Zoey definitely had more love for the adults than she did with Ella today. She would give us all kisses goodbye but then flat out turn away when we brought Ella near.....gotta love her spirit :) Ella had the time of her life though. She spent the entire time we were there on the move exploring. It was new territory and she didn't want to miss a thing. She got to wear a pretty tutu that Zoey gave her and had fun interacting with the other little ones. Unfortunately she thought the fairy wand was a weapon and wasn't always behaving with it in her hand :) Thanks again to the Needham family for including us....we all really enjoyed ourselves!!
Isn't Princess Fairy Zoey just magical???

This is the best shot I could get of the fairies together......

But Zoey was right at home with Abbey and Abbey loved
every minute of her snuggle time.

First time I have ever seen Zoey up on her legs. She
actually moved them from one room to the next. I was in awe and
of course missed the best pictures!! She was so proud of herself.

Zoey and her big sister Caitlyn sharing their cake.

Zoey preparing for her big kiss

And there it is......a big Princess Fairy thank you!!

This is just a cute picture of Ella asleep on Daddy with
Elmo asleep on her :)

Do you think that maybe I am having just a little
too much fun dressing this child?????

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where's Ella???

This is what you do to entertain people in the waiting area at the lab. You can actually hear some other people saying "Where's Ella" if you listen closely. Don't you love the belly??

So here we are again, almost due for our monthly oncology visit. I can't believe that it has already been a month!! We go in on Monday but did the blood draw today since we have a busy day tomorrow. Ella looks and acts fine but I still find myself getting anxious to make sure that everything is fine. Prayers are welcomed for continued good health!!!

And thanks to anyone who was able to contribute to Olga from my previous post. "A Day for Olga" has raised about $5000 so far...amazing!!!

***edit** I was inpatient so I called the oncologists office and asked them to fax me the blood results and everything looks GREAT!!! So now I don't have to worry about it all weekend :)