Not much happening around here...

...and I'm not complaining! Summer vacation officially started last week and we've been enjoying it so far. I will say though, the first full day of us all being home together, I thought I was ready for school to restart. The girls weren't getting along and it was just havoc around here. It's going to start picking up next week. Katie and Maddie are both in tennis camp all week, we're off the week after that, then another week of camp (volleyball)...then VACATION! We're meeting my sister in Alabama, then driving to Panama City, FL for 5 days. Then, we're driving back to Oklahoma for another week. I haven't taken more than one week off at a time since I either had a really sick child or was on maternity leave! Wow...2 weeks...I'm so excited! And to be able to spend it with my sister!!!! We'll have a blast! The girls have no idea about the Florida part....this is going to be a surprise so hopefully when I tell them, I can capture some pics and post them.

On another happy note...I am so excited that Ellie's xray's have been sent to Dr. Mackenzie for his review. Colleen Ditro is so awesome!!! She literally answered a email I sent to her on the same day. To boot, it was Mother's Day on the first day I wrote to her! Isn't that great!?!


My Playschool Graduate

This past Tuesday, Ellie graduated from PLAYSCHOOL. Yes, you heard right...Playschool. I had mixed feelings about attending a graduation from Playschool, but of course I went and cheered on my littlest gal! This is my beef with playschool graduation. Aren't there enough graduations the way it is nowadays? I mean, when I went to school, we had a Nursery School graduation and HS graduation...and for those that continued their education, a college graduation. I can literally count with 2 hands how many graduations Ellie will go thru from now until the end of her college career....6! Isn't that crazy? I just think that by the time she's all done, will a graduation actually mean anything to her? Ok...I'm off my soapbox. Back to her fun-filled day.

It was so cute seeing her and all of her classmates singing their songs, all full of cuteness and giggles and laughter! It was basically just an adorable program without mortar boards and gowns. Ellie will now move on to the 3 day class next school year which will be Preschool. Here are some pictures from Ellie's big day. She did remind me of Cindy Brady a few times with the deer in the headlights look. None the less, my baby girl did a fabulous job and I'm so darn proud of her!!

Everyone getting in their places...this took some time with 17 4 yr olds!

Ellie stating her name in the microphone, "Ellie Grace Sims" Great Job, Sweetie!

Singing a Christmas song with snowman props..."5 Little Snowmen"

Getting her Certificate of Completion from her favorite teacher, Miss Megan

My 3 favorite girls in the whole, wide world!!! Katie, Ellie and Maddie!

I'm so proud of all of the hardwork my 3 girls put in during this school year. They are so ready for Summer Break which will officially kick off on Wednesday after school. Great school year, Girls!!! Now, lets all sing together, "Schools...out...for...SUMMER!"


Pneumonia, Parent's Appreciation and Fires

This wk started off with a bang. I dropped off Ellie at the sitters house on Monday morning and she was fine, other than her having a typical Monday morning grumpy attitude (yes, it even affects our kids). 2 hrs later, I receive a call than Ellie was running a fever so my Mom gratuitously went and picked her up until I could cut out of work early. By the time I picked her up, this poor little girl was SICK. Temperature was up to almost 104 and she was breathing at 60 breaths/min. That is FAST. (Yes, I realize that when you have a fever, it affects your heart rate and breathing rate). But, she was listless, pale and at times, was turning cyanotic (blue) around her lips. It was VERY scary and I'm not sure how I remained calm now that I look back. Needless to say, to make a long story short, it was determined that she had RML/RLL bacterial pneumonia. I know this is all related to the MRI intubation she had nearly 2 wks ago. Ever since, she had developed this weird sounding cough and in the back of my mind, I KNEW this was going to turn into something. At least she is better now...she still has the cough which will more than likely take a while to rid itself. She's on antibiotics and is almost back to her normal, funny self.

Friday, Maddie's 2nd grade class had a Parent's Appreciation Program. It was so cute. They sang several songs, gave each parent various projects they had worked on this Spring, then presented a slide show of each kid's answer to this question: "Why do you love your mom and dad?" The answers were adorable!!! Maddie's response was that she loved her dad and myself "because we take her shopping at the mall"---yep, typical girl response. But it was heartfelt and genuine. I am so proud of her. She has struggled at times this year but she has tried her hardest, which is the only thing I ask of her. Here are a few pictures I took at the program.

Friday night, a local family completely lost their home to a fire caused by a lightening strike. It's so sad to think that within literally minutes, you can lose every possession you have. Luckily, all of them escaped without injury and they saved their pets as well. Their home was near my Mom's house so we were able to see it and it was completely devastating. Well, this was the perfect opportunity to bring up Fire Safety with Ellie. After going over what to do in a fire countess times, I thought I had it drilled into her head what to do--go outside to our "meeting spot" until Mommy or Daddy say otherwise. May I also add that we told her over and over again to not worry about anything except getting herself out safely. Upon quizzing her about her recent Fire Safety 101 course, I asked her what she should do if we found a fire in the house. Her response, "Stop, drop and rollover, then go get my favorite toy and go to the meeting spot." Guess we have some more teaching to do, huh....


Boy am I behind.....

I wish I knew the trick for time management. I can't believe it's been 2 wks since my last post. I guess I have a few good excuses....Ellie's MRI, my sister's visit, my birthday.... So, what am I so upset about?

I'm sure many of you read this on FB but I know I have a few friends who follow me that haven't heard Ellie's MRI results. So....we got some good news, I guess. Dr. Lubicky read Ellie's MRI and said her neck looks "good." However, knowing me (and should this really be a surprise to anybody???), this isn't good enough. After shouting out to my POLP moms, I got an email address to Dr. Mackenzie's nurse, Colleen, and just sent her an email. I am hoping Dr. Mackenzie (the Delaware ortho go-to doc) will look at all of Ellie's xray's and give me HIS clinical opinion. Once he gives me the nod that everything looks "good," then I will sigh some relief. But until then, I remain uncertain on the recent findings. Call me utterly pessimistic. I will say....public kudos to Dr. Lubicky who ordered the MRI in the first place. Before the actual MRI took place, I had the staff so freaked out about Ellie's unstable neck that they called Dr. Lubicky and he came down and positioned Ellie's neck himself for the film (because they were too afraid, I believe). I am still a little shocked but glad he did. So...what's next for Ellie....I have no idea, except for the constant love that's given to her by me and her daddy, her sisters, her Grandma's and Grandpa's, her Aunts and Uncles and Cousins....and everyone who knows her. Here are a few pics from the MRI day. I didn't get any afterwards because she was in NO mood for pictures. I can respect that.

Ellie after getting her hospital attire on. Suprise...way too long!!!!!!

Ellie getting wheeled down to for the MRI. No fear--Rudolph is in hand!

My sister's visit was great!!! We had a fabulous time with each other like we always do. We chilled on my birthday---we had lunch with my Dad, went boutique shopping with my Mom where I found myself a cute pair of Brighton sunglasses (another birthday present to me, from me), came home, watched the Derby and had a few Tecates with lime, then went out for Mexican. When we came home, we had birthday cake with 1 candle. HA! So much for my South Beach Diet this wkend.... Who cares! I had an awesome birthday and am so glad I got to spend it with Traci and the rest of my family. I can't wait for my vacay to her place in July....definately more Tecates will be consumed.

Ok...now I'm signing off to enjoy my Mother's Day. I hope everyone has a fantastic day!!!


Busy week ahead of us

I've dreaded this coming week for awhile now, but there is a silver lining at the end. This is the week of Ellie's neck MRI. It was determined by the Riley Children's Hospital MRI staff that Ellie needs to be put under general anesthesia due to her being a heavy/loud breather. It's scheduled for Wednesday, but we won't know the time of the actual test until Tuesday afternoon. This sucks since Riley is 2 hrs away from us. I'm a planner and like to know times, dates, etc. This will be the first time she's been put all the way under so that does scare me a bit. Hopefully, we will get her results promptly so we can know what's next in her future.

The next day, Ellie has to make yet another trip to the Dentist. She has another 'spot' on one of her back teeth (forgive me for not knowing which tooth. Frankly, the Dentist and the mouth/teeth creep me out). This will be her third sealant put on. According to Dr. Weir, Ellie has very thin enamel on her teeth and on some of her teeth, the enamel isn't even touching. These two things alone has hopefully caused her 'spots.' It'll be interested to see how her permanent teeth will fair. Hopefully, their enamel will be thicker.

Now, for the silver lining to the wk. My sister, Traci, is coming in on Friday for the weekend! My girls absolutely ADORE Aunt Traci. What a great birthday present to me...a visit from my awesome big sis!!! What more can a girl want...a new iPhone(a gift from me to me), a visit from her best friend...life is good!


Regional Wrap-Up

This past weekend, we headed up to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the District 5 LPA Spring Regional. We left immediately after school on Thursday and drove to Auburn, IN for the night. Ellie scoped out a Super 8 that she wanted to stay in rather than the brand new Hampton Chris had reserved. For some reason, Ellie thinks that Super 8 is THE hotel of all hotels...like it's the Taj Mahal or something. Silly girl! We got up early the next morning and headed to Grand Rapids. Chris went on a fishing expedition when we arrived so it was just the girls and I for Friday. We hung by the pool and was able to meet up with Mandy and Andrea.

Later on that evening, we went to the Mingle and was able to meet up with Cat and Owen. Let me tell you...Owen is one busy dude. He is cute as a button!! Andrea soon joined in and she was dancing the night away. I tried to get a pic with all the blogging mama's kids, but that is nearly an impossible task!

The next morning, the kids were off to the Children's Room so we could attend the Parents Meeting. It was very informative and I learned some things from other parents. The bad thing was that this was the beginning of my deteriorating voice. For some strange reason, laryngitis hit me hard on Saturday, deeming it nearly impossible for me to speak. Now, my kids loved it! But for me...I was wanting to talk, talk, talk to all these other parents but I just couldn't. It was really, really upsetting, not to mention frustrating. I guess this just means that I'll have to go to the next Regional, huh. Sounds good to me!

Saturday afternoon, we went to the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. What an amazing place! It is beautiful!!! We walked thru this huge exhibit that featured more than 6,000 tropical butterflies all fluttering about. It was spectacular!

That evening, we went to dinner with the Ehle's and had a great time at Longhorn Steakhouse. The food was yummy but the camaraderie what was made it so much fun. You know your kids are getting older when they turn their noses up to the Kiddie Menu, which is exactly what Katie did. Instead, she opted for a 1/2 rack of Baby Backs...and she ate all except 1! Thank goodness (for my pocketbook) that Maddie still opts to be a kid. Ellie could probably eat off the kid's menu for years.

After dinner, we headed to the Dance. We had a great time, but I, at this point, had NO VOICE AT ALL. What a bummer. We did get a photo opp with the other Bloggers in District 5 that were there. That was a lot of fun, too. There was a lot of dancing, a lot of drinking, and most of all...a lot of laughs.

From Left: Sarah, me, Cat, Mandy, Reenea', and Amy. Kneeling down is Tonya.

We left early the next morning just because of the long drive we had ahead of us. It took us only 7 hrs to get home and we were all completely exhausted by the time we hit the driveway. But, it was so worth it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat...these are important events for me to get Ellie involved in. I'm so glad to have finally met some of the ladies I've been 'talking' to for quite some time now. I felt like I already knew many of them, even though we had never met fact to face. I can't wait to meet more friends in October!


No MRI tomorrow....

For all of you on FB--hang tight please, but for those others out there, here's the recap. Ellie was originally scheduled for her neck MRI tomorrow (4.13). BUT, thanks to the stupid *bleep* *bleep* pre-op nurse (forgive me fellow pre-op nurses at BH) at Riley, they cannot proceed with Ellie's MRI tomorrow. They now think the MRI needs to be done under general anesthesia so they couldn't accommodate us tomorrow...damn!! Apparently, now we can't get in until mid-May unless a cancellation pops up. For a test that was to be done as soon as we could get it done, mid-May seems quite far off to me. Not a very good patient satisfier in my not-so-humble opinion. Maybe I'm being pissy, IDK. It just makes me a nervous wreck that I was told how life-changing our lives could be if, God forbid, something happens to Ellie's neck (i.e paralysis from the neck down). She is just more fragile than most of us, including other LP's. Should I just put her on a leash or tie her to a chair? Seriously...think about how it would make you feel if you were told that your child is at an increased risk for major paralysis (like Christopher Reeves)? It scares the hell out of me. I just pray we can get her in sooner than mid-May. Sorry for the sober post. I know the next one will be better....it'll have the recap from the District 5 LPA Spring Regionals!!!