Apr 30, 2012

Happiness Week 17

Today when I opened up blogger to write this week's post I saw that the counter is now up over 100,000 page views. That's quite a milestone so I'd like to thank all my readers out there. Ultimately I blog for myself and would continue if no one read it but it's still nice to have readers. Many of our friends and family are too shy to comment but last week my dear friend Kelly (we've been friends for 27 years, crazy huh?!) surprised me by e-mailing me after seeing the video of Ainsley picking up cherries. She's busy and sometimes I don't hear from her for months so I was surprised to find that she reads it regularly. Steve and I had dinner at her house Saturday and we chatted about Ainsley and the blog for a bit. She (and some others) have told me that they are enjoying the Happiness Photo Posts, which was nice to hear since I was having my doubts.   I started this blog in 2008 to update friends and family during Ainsley's medical trip to Cincinnati. I really didn't have a long term plan. Sometimes I feel a little weird about having all this personal information out there for the world to see but at this point there is no turning back and I have been contacted from time to time from parents of medically complex and special needs parents who tell me that it's helped them in one way or another and that is so rewarding.

I can't say this enough. I really couldn't have made it this far without the support the Tracheostomy.com forum. When I need understanding they are there. When I need information they are there. But as my mental state has become more stable I also spend time there to "pay it forward". Last week there was a post from a new family about how overwhelmed they are, they were asking for reassurance that it will get better. In the beginning there is so much pressure it can feel like your life will never be good again. That is the great thing about this group. We KNOW how hard it is in a way others just can't. We all testified that YES it does get easier even though it is not easy! Members told me that then and they were right! Someday this family will look back and be amazed at how far they've come and how well they've adjusted.

As May approaches and we prepare to fly to Cincinnati again 4 years later it is natural to reflect a bit. Foolishly, since Ainsley had no serious airway diagnosis, just stridor which is a symptom, we thought it would just "go away". The local doctors told us she would likely "outgrow" it, so we watched her for signs of "outgrowing". And here we are 6 years later still watching. Now I know that that lack of a serious problem is actually worse than if she had a serious airway problem. If that were the case she'd have had airway surgery years ago. So having a better airway is actually worse than if she had a clearly bad airway. It is very difficult for the doctors to treat a patient when it's not clear what the exact problem is. Surgery might help, but it might not, so it's a big risk with an unclear benefit. Since the doctor we are going to see, sees more complex airways than any other pediatric otolaryngologist in the world, we hope that he will have a firm opinion one way or another. He was candid in the past and had the courage to tell us what other doctors wouldn't "You know that she's not going to get her trach out any time soon, don't you? They told you that didn't they?" He was right then and I hope he'll be right again whatever he has to tell us. We are excited to finally lay this issue of surgery to rest.

The great thing is that with time I have learned that we will be okay no matter what. Especially if we stop to appreciate the good in life.  It can be difficult when you are "on the countdown" as we've been so many times for surgeries, procedures and important appointments. The Happiness Project is helping me stay more conscious even as we check the days off on the calendar. I hope you are also enjoying the photos and a little glimpse into our days. I'm just amazed I've been able to keep it up this long and I'm looking forward to seeing the year as a whole.

Daily Happiness Photos - Week 17

04/23 Leg Hugs
Next to holding the hand of my child(ren), leg hugs have to be my favorite thing. When your children are small and they grab onto your legs and won't let go you can't help but feel the love. I've been the lucky recipient of a lot of love lately.  

04/24 Daring Feats of Bravery
A week later I am still so impressed that Ainsley cruised the kitchen picking up cherries. She has low tone pronation and hyper-mobile joints. What the heck does that mean? That her ankles are unstable. That makes it hard to stand because her feet roll in. And that makes the feat of transferring from one surface of support to another a huge act of bravery. And it makes it hard to walk but she tries anyway. I'm so proud.

 4/25 Cherry Blossom Snow
I had a terrible headache all day, worse than usual (I am plagued by headaches). Maybe it was the oven cleaner I used to remove stubborn burnt on food from my range top after seeing how bad it looked on video. Even with the toxic acid it required 3 treatments and a serious scrubbing with steel wool. After making dinner I retreated to my bedroom for a bit of quiet and my mood was instantly lifted seeing cherry blossom "snow" covering the ground. (A bit of quiet helped too.)

  04/26 Hammock Fun 
I can't help it posting about the hammock again. The kids are still SO HAPPY in the hammock and it rubs off on me. It's been hanging since January and it's still the most popular seat in the house(get yours here). I admit it gets a little tiring refereeing who gets to sit in it but just look at the benfits. Who would think Ainsley could get into this position by herself?! Yes it scares me, but it's so GOOD for her!!! I love the wicked pleasure she gets from being able to do something dangerous that "mommy doesn't approve of".  The smile...the giggles....even the fact that I have to worry about her getting hurt....it's fantastic!

 04/27 Hostas
I grew up a reluctant gardener. Forced child labor actually.  For years I hated gardening but I guess it must have rubbed off on me some. I love beautiful surroundings for the way they make you feel, both inside and outside the home. And so I garden because I like the result. My gardening philosophy is if it doesn't kill it it will make it stronger. Most of the time that works for me, but not with hostas. I would buy them and no matter how careful I placed them in what I thought would be an ideal location they'd just be gone by the next year. So I am thrilled that this yard comes with some of the biggest most beautiful hostas I've ever seen. And so far, I haven't killed them. I love how they look as they emerge in spring, so full of promise.
04/28 My Personal Shopper
My sister Sheryl is an extreme couponer. She is addicted to the hunt of finding items for free and I am a lucky recipient. She did training so she can provide respite for us and came over tonight to watch the kids, laden with free or nearly free items: photo paper, batteries, razors, Clorox wipes, body wash, almonds, salad dressing and shampoo. She scouts out the best prices on other staples like tuna, chilli, and refried beans and brings them with her. It's as close as I'll ever get to having a personal shopper. I feel a little guilty at the time she spends but I think it's fun for her and I do appreciate it.
04/29 Borracchini's Cake
My brother James is a simple guy. He has a progressive form of muscular dystrophy and over the years it has become physically difficult for him to do many things that the rest of us take for granted like sitting down and standing up, getting in and out of a car, walking etc. We invited him and the rest of the family over to celebrate his birthday. It is a big deal for him to come over. His only request for his birthday was a cake from Remo Borracchini's, an Italian bakery that has been in Seattle for 90 years. We've got many delicious cakes there over the years. The only problem is we now live 20 miles away in Redmond. The drive into Seattle Saturday night on I90 was stop and go nearly the whole way because the 520 bridge was closed and a car was broken down which made a long drive even longer. The bakery supervisor agreed, against policy, to charge my credit card over the phone and met us at the back door after closing. She's got some good karma coming her way.  My brother got his cake and all were happy.


To view a slideshow of the entire Happiness Photo Project click here. Confused about what this is or why I'm doing it? Click here for an explanation of what it's all about.

Apr 25, 2012

A Bucket of Cherries

I have a very exciting video to share with you....Ainsley doing something new.

What has prompted this spurt in activity?  I really don't know. Perhaps it is just "time".  She has been doing a bit more "cruising" lately but nothing like this. 

We've been trying to "step it up a notch". We're trying AFO's (orthotic braces), but she wasn't wearing them here. In fact she was doing all this wearing socks. (She was with her nurse and I was taking a short break from yard work.) I've been doing leg stretches (to try to get her legs to fully straighten, a side effect from being in casts and braces for too much of her life) but I don't know that anything changed dramatically though she does look nice and straight here. We had her thick deep (keloid) leg scars injected and one is reduced but I doubt it's that. She's been wearing her cap, but that should make it harder, not easier. We did go back to blenderized food. I'd given myself a break during soccer and switched back to formula and was having a hard time switching back to a BD. I don't want to believe that "real food" could play this much a role, but it's been about a week, and we have seen an increase in her activity level since then. We did start some new therapies, but that is a slow process and so far we've just had evaluations nothing regular. Her school PT has been working on getting her to ride a tricycle for the past year, and has seen an increase in her abilities over the past week or two. So perhaps after all the analysis, it's just "time".  Or maybe each of these things played a small part. Whatever the reason(s) I'll take it! I just hope it continues.

Even though I helped her transfer the bucket across in the video she was able to do it herself many times. In fact after the video she asked to do it again, and did! Normally she is not stable enough to hold herself up in between two surfaces and reach across like she does here, let alone to transfer an object too. The great thing about this activity is that she has to practice both. Having the confidence to trust herself that she can take a risk and not fall is what she needs to be able to take more risks and hopefully eventually lead to independent walking.  Wouldn't that be something?!

Apr 23, 2012

Happiness Week 16

Another observation through this project: I'm realizing how often my happiness photos involve Ainsley. That's okay though since this is her blog and the project is being posted here. The thing about having a special needs child is that it doesn't allow you to take all the normal things for granted. All the little things she does really do make me happy and that's not just blogging material, that's real.  I'm proud of every accomplishment no matter how small. I am proud of all she's overcome. I'm proud of her.

Daily Happiness Photos - Week 16

04/16 Bargaining
Ainsley loves to watch DVD's. So much that it's a problem. Even though she can't speak she is relentless in her sign language requests for DVD's that start the second she gets off the bus from school. Oddly it's nearly as annoying as if she was whining. Today I said no to her many requests. After awhile she motioned for me to follow her to the formal living room and then she pointed to the TV(in the cabinet) and held up her finger for 1(meaning just one). I was really amazed at the higher logic this bargaining took. Sometimes in the past we've put a DVD on for her in this room when we don't want her in the regular TV room. So I guess she remembered that and figured that even though I said no to a DVD in the TV room maybe I'd agree to just one DVD in the other room. I figured I had to reward her for her efforts and let her watch just one. What a smarty.

04/17 Spring Paper Mural
We had a long awaited Physical Therapy consultation today at Children's. In the waiting room was the cutest paper mural of green grass with daffodil flowers tucked in and birds. It was so cute and cheery it really made me happy. It's a little silly, but true.  It's so nice that the hospital and the people who work there try to make it a happy place to be. ~ I was also happy with the PT. She did a thorough assessment. She's going to refer us to a therapist in the community (though I'm still waiting on the speech and OT referrals from weeks ago) so I won't hold my breath.  She thinks it will really help Ainsley stand if we can get her legs straight (likely a side effect of them being bent in casts/braces/wedges etc. for far too long). She gave us some new stretches since the ones I have been doing aren't getting the job done. She also said something that made me very happy. I often refer to Ainsley as non-ambulatory(walking) but she pointed out that in fact she can walk, she just needs a walker. WOW! I never looked at it that way! Somehow that sounds so much better! I went from having a child who can't walk to one who can, with just a mental adjustment, and that makes me beyond happy.

4/18 Tunnel Fun
Do you remember crawling through a play tunnel as a child? I do. The funny smell, the little holes in the pink vinyl (or whatever they were made of 40 years ago) that would get tacky when left out in the sun. I loved it. Toys have come a long way. My kids' tunnel is an adorable green caterpillar and lucky for them it doesn't stink. We pulled this toy out recently and Ainsley is now easily able to crawl through it. She LOVES it and that makes me so happy! She was having a total ball today kicking around inside it. I know she's making the kind of memories that will last a lifetime.

  04/19 Found Money
Who doesn't love found money? Even better than finding a $20 bill in your pocket is when your husband adds up the items your kids bought that month with their own money and it adds up to $140!!! Before you freak out and assume they get an astronomical allowance I'll tell you that I encourage my kids to save their money and spend it wisely. They also often get birthday money from family (and just got some $ from Grandpa at Easter). Their allowance is only $1 a week. Shhhh. Don't tell them that's a bit under the average going rate. Still it adds up. Adrian bought a DS game, a case for his DS and a Pokemon collector tin of cards. Evie bought a watch, hat, headbands and a Harry Potter Lego book. I love that Steve did the collection.

 04/20 Our Driveway
It's a funny thing to be happy about since it's just a big slab of concrete. I don't know if I've written about this, but at our old house we had a shared driveway and garage with the neighbor. It was one of those old Seattle neighborhoods that was built before everyone had cars so the garage was added in the 1930's as an easement. Having a disabled child I needed to pull up to the door and load Ainsley and her stuff into the car. Sometimes this was a problem with my neighbors if they needed to leave at the same time. Plus they decided to build a platform to place their garbage cans on right across from what was my front door, making it difficult for me to get in and out of my car. I don't miss those neighbors one bit!  What an amazing contrast to our new driveway, which I love.  Ainsley can walk in her walker, the kids can play basketball, they can ride bikes....And when we need to we have plenty of space to stack yard waste. Which is not in this picture, and that makes me happy. Today Steve's dad came over with his truck and they made 4 trips to the dump with our 42 bags of yard waste, and pile of branches that was as big as the truck. I wasn't kidding about the amount of yard work that needed to be done, and unfortunately there is still plenty to be done.

04/21 Chain Link Fence
I really don't care for chain link fences most of the time but they are the perfect thing to keep a young girl busy at a baseball game. I made me so happy seeing her cruise the fence. You should have seen her face! She was having so much fun! She is getting to be so rambunctious (and tall) this little girl of ours.

04/22 Unsupervised Play
Yes in this day and age of the "helicopter parent" dare I admit that I like to let my children play unsupervised? I think it's good for them to use their imagination. We decided to "unplug" the kids for the day and set them up on the patio with some large blankets and the box of Playmobil.  All three of them played happily outside while Steve and I worked in the yard. It was Earth Day  and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. All 3 kids had a blast. Evie setup a bunch of Playmobil scenes and asked me to take pictures of "her work". Cute things like a barnyard, a duck pond with bunnies, a girl with her dog etc. I had to laugh when I got a closer look at this one. The dog spilled the vase of flowers and there is a shotgun on the dining room table. Hmmm...They also rode bikes and ran through the sprinkler....in April....in "Seattle". That's a first! They rescued a couple frogs from the hot tub. And planted a sunflower. It was a great day for play, and for celebrating the gift of this Earth.


I can't believe it's the last full week of April! In May we make a trip to Cincinnati for an opinion about Ainsley's airway. It's officially less than a month away now! I'm starting to get that familiar excited but sickly nervous feeling in my stomach that I get with every "big" thing that comes up. You'd think I'd get used to it but I don't. With any luck the weather will continue to be nice and I'll spend it doing more yard clean up. I hope you have a great week whatever you are doing.
To view a slideshow of the entire Happiness Photo Project click here. Confused about what this is or why I'm doing it? Click here for an explanation of what it's all about.

Apr 16, 2012

Happiness Week 15

I've been wondering the last week or so what would these posts look like if I decided to photograph what makes me unhappy each day? It's an interesting thought. (Of course it wouldn't make good blogging material that's for sure.) Sometimes it would be easy....the day Ainsley drew on my computer monitor, the mess of kids toys scattered about right after I clean the house, the piles of laundry that need to be done, the thousands of weeds that need to be pulled. But more often the things that make us unhappiest can't be seen and are hidden inside our heads. Luckily though that's not the nature of my project. Still, even though it's easier to photograph the happy things in life, it not easy. My days are busy and this project is a challenge on many levels.

So on that note here it is.......

What Made Me Happy - Week 15

04/09 Shepherd's Pie
I'm learning things about myself doing this project. One is that quite often food makes me happy. I don't know about you but my whole family loves Shepherd's Pie. I love it every single night that we have dinner as a family and not.a.single.person groans and says "Awwhhhh!" when I announce "what's for dinner".

04/10 Goodwill Finds
I LOVE the hunt for treasures. If I had the time to shop estate sales I would do it all the time. Next best is the Goodwill on Dearborn. It's more like a giant garage sale than estate sale but I did pick up some treasures when I went there today while I was in Seattle for a dental appointment. I've been wanting some soup mugs and "whattadayaknow" there they were! The sweet Asian teacups with miniature inlaid hearts I didn't need but had to have.  I also found an adorable antique shabby chic end table for $20 that I think I'm going to use in my dining room.  "Retail therapy" can be fun on occasion I just wish the effects were longer lasting, even when it is cheap.

4/11 Orchid Bloom
Some people like to treat themselves to fresh flowers in their home. I like to buy orchids instead because it's a better value since the blooms last for months but it's always so sad when they finally wither and fall off. I always hope my orchid will re-flower but I've never been able to get that to happen. Let's face it, an orchid plant without the flower just isn't as nice. I was so super excited when my last orchid re-bloomed! I wish I could take credit for this mini-miracle but I think it's just in a better location at the new house. By a window in the kitchen, and it happens to be above the instant hot water tap, which I think makes it ideally warm. Just maybe this will be the last orchid I have to buy.

  04/12 Measuring for SMOs
Ainsley has been faithfully wearing her rigid AFOs to school every day but when she gets home she cries until we take them off. I fought to get a prescription for SMOs to use when she's relaxing at home. After much consideration we decided to try SureSteps because we have friends whose kids love them.  I LOVE that they are custom but no casting is required. They are made to treat instability due to low tone pronation which is exactly what we need. With any luck we will have them in a few weeks and I'll do a whole post about them.

 04/13 Playing on the Grass
Our old house had a very small patch of grass in the back yard. It was a 9ft circle and was more decorative than useful. I was so happy today when my kids were able to have neighborhood friends over after school and play outside. On the grass. And it was even better because Ainsley wanted to play too and she wheeled right out there in her walker. That is one of the many reasons why we bought this house, I'd hoped she would some day be able to play in the yard and it's looking like she will.

04/14 Playing Dolls with the Girls
I need to take the time to play with the kids more often. It was a beautiful day and it was so nice to spend a short while in our pajamas on the patio dressing Evie's dolls before we headed to Adrian's baseball game.

04/15 Children Helpers
I try to instill a work ethic whenever I can. After all it's a fact of life is that we must work to earn a living and to get what we want in life. (I don't want my kids to go into shock when they venture out into the world as young adults and reality hits.)  My area of focus for April is the yard. I could say it's to connect with nature but that is really glorifying the situation. We have massive amounts of weeding and pruning to do and not enough time to do it. I want my yard to look good so I've got to get to work. So we've been paying Evie and Adrian $1 an hour to keep Ainsley happy so we can work. Today after Adrian was done watching Ainsley he decided he wanted to help us. For free, he didn't even try to negotiate payment. It was so sweet, but what was even cuter was that Ainsley decided she wanted to help too. In years past she wouldn't even go on the grass because of sensory issues. Today she crawled across the grass out into the pine needles to help rake up pine cones. We were amazed and thrilled.


I hope you have a funner week than I will. I have spent so many hours on my hands and knees that I can barely stand up straight or walk. I wish I could pace myself but if I do it won't get done and the weeds will just spread. In fact that is the problem, I am now paying the price for last year's neglect. Later this week we have a consultation at Children's Hospital for Physical Therapy. I'm hoping to hear back about the AAC device, SMO's, and make all the final arrangements for our medical trip to Cincinnati next month.

To view a slideshow of the entire Happiness Photo Project click here. Confused about what this is or why I'm doing it? Click here for an explanation of what it's all about.

Apr 9, 2012

Happiness Week 14

What Made Me Happy - Week 14

04/02 A Good Book
Do you follow Stephanie Nielson's blog, The Nie Nie Dialogues? I have since I first heard about it from the Trach Forum shortly after their plane crash that left her and her husband badly burned. One central message that Stephanie shares that I appreciate being reminded of, is that life is good no matter what. Most books I reserve from the library, but I wanted to support her by buying her book and had it on pre-order. It was fun to get it in the mail today. 

04/03 Rescued Stuffies
My kids developed attachments to stuffies later in life, when they were about 3. Before then when I saw other kids dragging a grubby stuffy around I was thankful that my kids weren't dependent on such things. But then it happened....they bonded. What I didn't realize is that kids find great comfort sleeping with their special "one" and that makes it easier to sleep alone. Which is great....Until they become misplaced. Like the years when Evie's Kitty went missing to be found in the bottom of a sleeping bag years later when nearly all hope was gone that she would ever be seen again....Or a week ago when Adrian left his Teddy (and a few less important stuffies-Teddy was a gift from Evie the day Adrian was born) at a friend's house when he slept over. He told his dad but forgot to tell me. So said friend left for Hawaii and the stuffies were locked in the house with a GIANT dog. Thankfully the dog sitter was kind enough to find them and put them outside so they could be rescued and all lived happily ever after. Adrian was SO relieved and kept Teddy near for the rest of Spring Break.  I was SO happy that they didn't get eaten by the dog, and that I was momentarily "the hero" when I brought them home safely

4/04 Evie's Scrapbook
Evie started using my scrapbook software ages ago to create her own pages. She's actually pretty good at it, especially for a kid. She's been begging me to print them for a year. Ages ago we bought a special album for them and it's been sitting empty. Today we finally got started. It's going to be very cute. I hope she will feel better about missing her friends that she left when we moved when she can look at pictures whenever she likes.  Let's hope it doesn't have the opposite affect. She designed the cover "page" herself and is very proud she was able to make her name look like frosting.

  04/05 The Trolley Table
We had a few medical appointments for Ainsley this week but we also squeezed in some fun. After the appointment and a day out we went to one of our favorite places to eat out with kids, the Old Spaghetti Factory. We were super excited when we got seated in the end booth of the full size Trolley car that is in the middle of the restaurant. In 20 years, this is only the 3nd time sitting in the trolley and the first time ever in the end (the best seats).  The kids loved turning around and looking out the windows.

 04/06 Brunch
It was my birthday so Steve made brunch and we ate in the dining room. I got to read in bed for a couple hours while he got things ready.  Afterward we did a slide show (digital) of old pictures. Later we had Chinese take out, watched a movie and had cake. I'm a homebody, and it was the perfect day for me.

04/07 Spring Bird's Nest
It's been a year since we moved and our large yard hasn't received it's share of attention. We spent 6 hours weeding and pruning and just scratched the surface of what needs to be done. While on my hands and knees pulling weeds I found a bird's nest in the ferns. It was a beautifully made of moss, grass with a little bed of hair (where the bird found hair I have no idea). I hope it's a sign of a good season to come. I'm hoping to spend a lot more time outside this year.

04/08 My Beautiful Children
My children are my everything. Just in case I don't say that enough. I am so grateful for them. Though sometimes I complain about how much work it is,  I love being a mom more than anything! After all the trouble getting them ready I love seeing them in their Easter best.  For once we had beautiful weather. No galoshes required. Though it was challenging to find the perfect place to shoot among the shadows of the trees and the bright sunlight I was very happy with the results. I got great individual shots too.


To view a slideshow of the entire Happiness Photo Project click here. For more about what this is all about click here.

Apr 2, 2012

Happiness Week 13

One thing is clear. I can't do it all.  When you set goals and measure your progress it is that much easier to see where the problems lie. I have a serious shortage of time and too many thing I want to do as well as a LOT of things I have to do that I don't want to do. Each month my area of focus for my Happiness Project needs about 4 times as much time as I actually have, except in the case of my photos, then multiply that times 10.  My photos are important to me but it is too easy to ignore them when they are just files on the computer and every week I just make more. I should clarify that I do work on them all the time, just not enough to bring me current.

Sometimes you just have to make time even when it isn't there. My area of focus for March was photography and even though I didn't get as far as I'd like I made a lot of progress.  I got a new much faster editing software (AcdSee Pro 5) deleted thousands of second rate photos and retouched the ones that needed it. Rotated the landscape oriented pictures with my new auto-rotate tool. Labeled the folders. Ran a backup. Now I am officially working on 2010 which is at least the right decade. So I've had less time this week to take creative pictures for my Happiness Photo Project so I'm sorry if you find this week's pictures and post a little boring or mundane.

What Made Me Happy - Week 13

03/26 Chicken Paprika
This dish is inspired by a Chicken Paprika dish that Steve and I ate on the coast of Portugal on our honeymoon (which was there and mostly in Spain). The lady who cooked it made hers in a clay pot in the oven. Mine isn't as good as hers but it's good enough that the whole family likes to eat it. And that makes me happy because what mother doesn't love a complaint free meal?!

03/27 Bedtime Rituals
Evie has always hated to go to sleep. When she was about 3 she created a ritual, a little saying that we say every.single.night. When she got older we started to save a kiss on the palm of our hands for later (Alla: The Kissing Hand). I too hated bedtime as a girl. Frequently I feel sad that another day has ended. I'm so glad that bedtime is a special time for our kids and that they go to bed every night knowing how much they are loved. It also makes me very happy that Ainsley wants in on this action. She now climbs up on Evie's bed for hugs and kisses and even kisses hands. I am so grateful to have such loving kids.

03/28 Changing Taste Buds
Once upon a time my whole family LOVED spinich ravioli. It was my easy go-to meal.  Fast, healthy, convenient. Then one day it all changed because Adrian gagged on a too long strand of spinich and vomited on his plate. Then the next 3 or so times I served it he gagged so his favorite meal was then despised.  Evie also LOVED spinich ravioli and she's been more than a little miffed that we haven't had it for years. After a lot of begging by her I asked my sister Sheryl to pick some up for us at Costco. Evie was so excited we had to have it that day! I figure we may as well have Adrian try it, with a backup meal plan. When he sat down he declared, "Oh yay! I LOVE spinich ravioli!" And sure enough he ate it all and then had seconds. I guess it had just been long enough for him to forget. I had to roll my eyes and resist the temptation to remind him how for the past several years it used to "make him vomit".  Kids can be so funny!
03/29 Sibling Play 
You can read more about this day here. I was so happy to see Ainsley use her walker by herself to track down her brother and sister so they could play together.
 03/30 Drinks with a New Friend
My kids had a couple new friends from school over to kick off Spring Break.  They stayed for dinner and a movie and their mom stopped by to get them at 8:00 but didn't leave until midnight. We had that much fun drinking and chatting. It was so fun to make that kind of connection and I love that my kids have fun with her kids, a boy and girl E&A's ages.

03/31 Clean Cut Hair
Adrian looks like a totally different kid with short hair. He's a handsome boy and with short hair you can really see his blue eyes. Too bad he HATES haircuts.  He calls them the "H word". LOL! I've been meaning to give him a haircut for weeks, maybe months. With Easter just a few days away it simply had to be done. Seriously every time he looks like a totally different kid to me. If I didn't know better I would swear he's nicer and better behaved, like the bad attitude is cut off with all that excess hair.  Every time I think I need to make sure to never let his hair get that long again.

04/01 Catching Up On Photos
When I officially finished with my 2008 & 2009 pictures I did a little happy dance. My arm is sore from clicking the mouse that many thousands of times but it was worth it. I feel lighter. Have you ever had a job to do that feels too big to tackle? When you break it into chunks and start to see meaningful progress it is so exciting and motivating!
Have a great week and Happy Easter! To view a slideshow of the entire Happiness Photo Project click here. For more about what this is all about click here.