Monday, March 31, 2008

The Many Faces of Emma

I posted these on a scrapbooking message board I read, and I thought they were cute, so I thought I'd share (one is pretty blurry but you can see her expression and its great, so I wanted to share it too)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A very important Easter tradition!

Egg Salad!

I enjoyed my first egg salad sandwich of the Easter season today. I completely forgot yesterday that we even HAD eggs to make egg salad.

But today I mixed it up and spread it on my sandwich.

It was quite yummy - and an important part of the Easter tradition!

Monday, March 24, 2008


I guess it was inevitable, considering the natural eyesight of Mike and me, that our kids will need glasses.

The time has come for Samantha. Her 11-year-old checkup with the doctor showed that she was having trouble reading the eye chart. So, she had an appointment with the eye doctor today and these are the glasses she chose.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Fineries

Just a few quick photos of the kids in their Easter Fineries. Not too bad considering we have a 7-year-old who doesn't know how to smile without teeth and a 3-year-old who was being, well, 3.

And here are some photos of each of them alone.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Green Belt

Michael had his belt graduation this past Friday. He is now a Green Belt. We are quite proud. In addition to his earning this new belt level, he is now considered an "advanced level". They group "low belts" and "high belts" together in classes. Which means, unfortunately, that his class schedule changes.

Michael has been going almost every day recently. The program we enrolled him in has "unlimited" classes, so we have been taking that to heart, and he has been going usually 4-5 days a week. I knew that would change come baseball and soccer season anyway.

I liked his old schedule, it integrated well into the rest of our activities. One of the changes is actually better, the class is earlier in the day (3:30 instead of 4:20). The other day, however, its later and starts running into baseball and soccer, so he often won't be going that day.

But, back to the point at hand. He did a great job at his belt test. His form (which is a sequence of steps, kicks, and punches) was done with precision and authority. The picture of his sparring is classic. It shows him blocking a kick by his opponent. He didn't enjoy the sparring though - I haven't figured out if it was because he was sparring with a girl, or with a grown-up girl. I think it was the "grown-up" part. But, he held his own and then the instructor switched out partners.

I like his instructor. He is great with the kids. I had to chuckle at him at the belt test. He asked Michael if he was allowed to "make contact" with his sparring partner, which he wasn't because his partner wasn't wearing pads. He then asked the boy beside Michael if he was allowed to make "hard contact" with his partner. The boy said "um, no?". The instructor said, "Do you know why?" and the boy didn't, at which point the instructor said "Because she's a girl and you always respect women" :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Drama Production

A couple of weeks ago, our homeschool group put on its most recent productions. Samantha was in two of the plays: "Much Ado about Ants" in which she was a vacuum cleaner saleswoman, and "Old Man River", in which she was one of the girls in the family.

We had a great time getting the costume and hair together for "Old Man River". It was set in the late 1940s. So, wearing an old poodle skirt of mine with the poodle removed, a white blouse, and flat shoes, Samantha was fixed for a costume. But then there was her hair. She has straight, long, fine hair - nothing like it was worn in the late 1940s. So, after a few experiments with rollers, we were able to get some curls in her hair. She slept in curlers and we pinned in the curls when we took out the curlers, and pulled the pins just before her play. Assisted with a lot of hair spray, I think her hair kept pretty well.

Unfortunately, the camera batteries died after about the 2nd picture that I took. So, I had to depend on the generosity of others who had photos that included Samantha. I don't have any from "Much Ado about Ants" yet, but I do have a few to share from "Old Man River".

Friday, March 14, 2008

One Year Ago

One year ago today, our lives changed. What had been a normal existence for the first 25 months of her life was shaken when Emma was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. We knew nothing about what this would mean to our family.

There were days and hours that we wondered if we would make it through. There are days that feel “almost normal” – at least our new normal, and there are days that are downright exhausting.

My husband and I are completely sleep deprived. That’s what happens when you have to get up 1, 2, 3, and sometimes even 4 times a night to make sure your child isn’t at risk of a seizure from low blood sugar, or suffering from high blood sugars. The delicate balance we try to achieve in our lives, and in her body, is often elusive. There is no end in sight to this aspect of the disease – as the finger stick is THE way to definitely know what is going on in her little body.

But Emma’s a trooper. In the past year, she has had her finger stuck approximately 4000 times. 4000 times we’ve had to stick her finger and test her blood to see whether her blood sugar levels are in range or not. In the first 6 months with this disease, she endured more than 1000 insulin injections before moving to an insulin pump – the most wonderful technological invention that has reduced her injections to once every other day and enabled us to achieve a much tighter level of control.

So we are now one year into this disease. One year ago, I never expected to be where I am now. But we made it through – sometimes day by day and often hour-by-hour, but we made it through.

I’d thought I’d share where I was one year ago this evening:

And here's Emma now!

For our second year, we will be walking as a family in the JDRF Walk for the Cure to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. I encourage you to check out our walk page and see how our fundraising is going. If you are local to the DC area and would like to join our team and help us raise funds for JDRF, feel free to email me.

2008 JDRF Walk Page - Emma's Strollers

Saturday, March 08, 2008

End of an era!

Today we moved our youngest and last child from a crib into a toddler bed.

We delayed it this long because she had not once tried to climb out of the crib. Emma, like Samantha, much preferred to yell at the top of her lungs for us to come get her out!!

But she also wouldn't / couldn't climb in. We tried and tried to teach her but no luck.

She is fully potty trained during the day and we leave her in diapers / pull ups overnight for now but figured that we needed her to be able to more easily get out of her bed if she needs to.

I have already started getting some individual pieces for her ultimate bedroom set but for now, she is using the same toddler bed that Samantha and Michael used, that we purchased used for a good price when Samantha was 2 1/2 - so we have definitely gotten our money's worth!

She loves her new Big Girl bed!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Roomba update

A friend asked in a previous comment for an update on the Roomba

I love it.

I now have a schedule built so that it can run in the master bedroom and family room two times a week, and each of the kids rooms, the living/dining room, and the upstairs hallway once a week. And all that time I can be doing something else (especially since the family room will run overnight while we are sleeping!)

Upward Basketball

Yesterday was Michael's last basketball game of the season. This is his second season playing Upward Basketball at a church not too far from Mike's office.

Michael has really improved this year. His coach was surprised that as a lefty, that he continously went to the right side of the court when he dribbled down the court. But by the end of the season, he was going to both sides a bit more. He still thinks that when he's done dribbling, its time to shoot and doesn't think about passing. But, he's getting better. And he is pretty great at defense. He can really guard his man and really prevents him from getting towards the basket or often even getting the ball in the first place.

And he had a great coach this season and we were really fortunate to have him as coach!