Monday, February 23, 2015

Kayla's 3 year old pictures and update

This post is so very late.  I had been wanting to get this done for a while now, but as always I have been busy and it kept getting pushed back on my list of to-do's.  Anyway, Kayla turned 3 on December 9th!  She has hit so many developmental milestones since turning 3 over two months ago.  To start her update, here are her stats from December 11th, 2014 (the day she had her 3 yr old check up):

Weight: 26 lbs, 2 oz. (8% ile)
Height:  34 inches (3% ile)
BMI:  55%

At her check up the doctor did a eye screen (vision check) and Kayla passed with flying colors!  Her stats show that Kayla is a petite little girl.  She will one day be the same size as Haley!  They are getting closer to sharing clothes.  I anticipate by this Summer they will be sharing some clothes.

Kayla is a very loving little girl!  She gives us lots of hugs and kisses everyday.  She also tells us frequently that she loves us as well as her sisters and her grandparents.  She is a sweetheart.  As loving as she is, she is also a 3 year old.  I didn't really understand when people said that three year olds were worse than two year olds until Kayla turned 3.  Oh my, she can be very stubborn, bossy and a smart mouth at times.  She was not like this as much back in December.  It has gotten worse the past month.  I understand she is testing us and learning her independence, but it is exhausting!  I am looking forward to the fabulous fours even though I really don't want to see my baby girl grow up so fast.  I love that girl and she is such a blessing to our family.  She is a great little sister to her big sisters.

Boy can Kayla talk!  She talks a lot!  That girl has a phenomenal vocabulary.  She says things that I would not think a 3 year could say.  She is saying new words everyday.  She also says the funniest things.  She makes everyone she meets smile and laugh.  It's fun to listen to her talk as she is pretend playing.  So cute!

Kayla loves playing with other kids.  Whenever we go to the park, to church or on play dates she usually finds someone to play with.  She is a friendly girl.  She is so much like her daddy in regards to this.  When he was a kid, he made lots of friends and he still easily makes friends to this day.

We are still fighting the potty training battle!  I feel like I have been trying to potty train her for over a year now.  She is just being very stubborn about it.  I feel like I'm failing this battle sometimes.  I probably have not been the most consistent due to staying busy with Rachel and Haley's therapies, appointments, etc, but she will go number 1 on the potty sometimes.  Not number 2.  She fights me about sitting on the potty in the morning (the only time I can be  100% consistent).  I know she can do it and I'm sure she won't be a 4 year old in diapers, but I sure am ready for her to get this 100%.  I really want at least one kid out of diapers in our house.

February 2015

Kayla has been attending preschool for almost 4 months now and she is doing okay.  She tends to get clingy and doesn't want to participate at first, but then she warms up to it after a little while.  At this preschool I have to stay with her the whole hour and a half and because of that Kayla tends to have a hard time sometimes.  I wish I could leave the room because Kayla does so much better at participating when I'm not there.  I'm thankful for this preschool though and she is learning.  Her teachers are nice and make it fun.

The things she loves right now:
- watching cartoons, especially Sofia the first
- anything princess
- dressing up in her play clothes or dresses
- playing, playing and more playing
- flowers
- apples and applesauce (her favorite fruit)
- Her mommy and daddy    

(Pictures in polka dot dress where taken December 6, 2014)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's 2015

Posting late as usual, but wanted to share the Valentine's pictures I took of my girls.  I really enjoy getting creative and finding places to take pictures of my girls.  I love taking Valentine pictures of my girls!  I had mentioned before that I love Valentine's day.  I love everything about it, the colors, the hearts, the balloons, everything.  Also enjoyed going to Rachel and Haley's Valentine party at school on Friday the 13th and Kayla's on the 12th at her preschool.  Fun times!

Haley, Rachel, Kayla






My wonderful husband gave the girls and I these beautiful roses and balloons.  Plus chocolate and a card.

Thomas and I were able to go out on Valentine's.  We went on a group date with 7 other couples we are friends with to Top Golf.  I really had a great time hitting golf balls and visiting with friends.  It was a great Valentine's this year! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rachel and Haley's 5 1/2 year old update

Finally I have some time to sit and write about Rachel and Haley and how they are doing overall.  They are already 5 1/2 years old.  Before I know it they will be 6 and going into the 1st grade!  These girls still amaze me despite their extremely early arrival.  Yes they do have disabilities and yes they are behind developmentally, but it could be worse.  We are so blessed with these miracle girls!


Haley is so petite for her age.  We have had her checked out for any growth hormone deficiency a while ago, but no deficiencies were found.  I think its just genetics (from her daddy's side) and some from the extreme prematurity.  We are ok with her petite size.   She is perfect the way she is.  It awes me though that she is still wearing some 3T size clothing.  Most people don't believe she is 5 years old.  She is growing though its slow.

Haley's vision is the same.  No changes.  She is still getting around ok in familiar places.  She needs to hold someone's hand in unfamiliar places.  She presses her right eye often which is a common thing in people with very low vision.  Its called a blind mannerism and we have not been successful at getting her to stop it.  That will be a challenge.  As for her hearing, she has not had any recent testing since there have not been any changes with her ear canals.  Her ear canals are still small and the doctor has not been able to get ear tubes in.  I think she is way past the age for ear tubes and not sure if it will help her hearing.  But its worth a try if her ear canals would just get bigger.  Haley is just small all around!  Haley is learning sign language, but its a challenge for her to learn since she can't see the signs well.  She does know how to sign eat, done and more.  I think she signs a couple more at school as well.  Haley is still not talking.  Not sure when she will.  She continues getting all the therapies she can get.  We hope that some day she will talk.  
Haley is a very picky eater.  Its a challenge to get her to eat new things.  Again this is most likely due to her blindness and some of it could just be her age.
Developmentally I'm not exactly sure where she is at.  She ranges developmentally.  She will be tested at school soon to see where she is at.  As soon as I get the test results I will post it.
Haley is a busy girl and doesn't sit still well.  She is always needing some kind of stimulation.  She likes to make noise that she can feel.  So she bangs toys on the floor or uses two toys to bang together.  She loves to go to the park and swing on the swings.  She loves her bathes as well as being tickled.  She also loves hugs and readily gives hugs to just about anyone!  She is a sweet girl!


Rachel is a feisty girl!  She is very strong willed and stubborn.  She knows what she wants and persists until she gets it.  Rachel is average size for a 5 year old and is growing well.  Rachel has my genetics (tall and skinny).

Rachel still has not learned to swallow foods.  We are going to have her get a swallow study in the near future to make sure we are not missing something.  She is still on g-button feeds 4 times a day.  We give her foods 4 times a day to chew with the hopes she will swallow it.  She likes to put food in her mouth and chew it, but she spits it out.  She will swallow small amounts of water.  That is progress and I will take it.  We don't know what it will take to get her to swallow her foods.  Just hoping and praying it will click one day or that she won't be scared.
She is doing well with her cochlear implant.  She wears it well and will go get it to have me help her put it on.  That tells me she likes to hear sounds.  Rachel is not talking either.  She is doing well with her speech therapy and is making more noises and sometimes sounds like she is trying to say the words that her speech therapist is working on with her.  Rachel continues with all the therapies as well.  She is making some progress and her developmental level will be tested at her school soon as well.
We took Rachel to the same eye clinic as Haley back in October.  This clinic is awesome and they did a very through testing of her vision.  We found out that Rachel's vision is worse than we thought.  Her vision is 20/130 with her glasses on.  She is visually impaired.  They prescribed her a new and improved glasses prescription and those new glasses have helped her. We had noticed Rachel would put things close to her eyes to see it so we figured she had worse vision than her previous eye doctor had said.
Rachel loves jumping on the trampoline and going to the park.  She also enjoys watching TV though her attention span still doesn't keep her at the TV for long.  Her attention span has gotten better though.  Rachel loves to go up to people and is friendly.  Rachel likes to play dress up along with Kayla.  Rachel is a friendly girl who loves attention and praise.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

January happenings

January is gone and here it is the beginning of February already.  So sorry for not writing.  I have not abandoned my blog.  I will continue to write.  I've just been busy as usual with the everyday stuff for the girls and I was also editing pictures from a photo shoot I had on January 1st.  Plus I was just not motivated to write.  January is not my favorite month even though its the month Thomas and I were married.  In fact that is one of the great things that happened in January.  Thomas and I celebrated 8 years of marriage on January 12th!  I can't believe its been 8 years already.

Here is a picture of us 8 years ago on our wedding day (January 12, 2007).  Look how young we were.  I so wish I was that young again.

And here we are in the present:

Also in January we went to Austin to visit our family.  My mom threw a 70th birthday party for my dad.  It was great to see my family and celebrate my dad.  Here is the quick family picture we got at the party.

My parents (at top), my brother, his wife, Thomas and I with all the kids

Thomas's dad also had a birthday.  He turned 70 as well.  We were able to spend some time with his parents when we visited Austin.

Another good happening in January is that Thomas got a new job!  He started on January 5th.  He is doing really well in this new job.  We are blessed!

The great thing about living in Houston, Texas is that we, even in January have some good weather days and we were able to go out and enjoy the park several times.  My girls love playing on the playground.

Haley sliding down a slide

I will be catching up on this blog.  More to come about the girls.  Rachel and Haley are about to turn 5 1/2 years old.  I will do an update about them as well as Kayla's 3 year old update and pictures.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Recap

Well here we are at the end of yet another year.  I remember writing a similar post at this very same time last year (20 minutes or so before midnight).  I really can't believe how fast the years are going.  As I get older and as the girls get older, time seems to go faster.  I wish there was a way to slow it down.  Well, 2014 was good.  We didn't have any major happenings.  I would say it was pretty quiet.  Below are the highlights for each of us the past year.

Thomas (daddy):  The beginning of the year, Thomas finally got to  embark on a journey he has always wanted to do.  With his brother and two good friends, they are business owners with the Jimmy John's franchise.  It has been a long tough year getting it going and they are still at the point of trying to get a lease for the location they want, but they have plans to open more than just one Jimmy John's.  Its exciting times and I really look forward to when they get their first store open.  Lots of pictures and blog posts coming in 2015 about this journey in our family.
Thomas continues to work in sales and has switched jobs a couple of times this year.  He ended up loosing his job at the beginning of this month (December), but fortunately he got another job and will start January 5th!!!  What a wonderful blessing!!!

Amanda (mommy):  I continue to practice and work on my photography.  I have had more photo shoots this year than last hence the reason I have not had time to blog as much as I have wanted.  Editing pictures takes some time, but I'm learning more as I do it more and more.  I love photography and I'm striving to learn more and improve as time goes on.  I just wish photography equipment wasn't so expensive.  I have my eye on some lenses, but they are so pricey!  I will have to just save and wait on those.  It figures that I would choose a hobby that was so expensive.  Oh well, its a hobby that I love and helps me get away from the everyday frustrations.
Well I had yet another miscarriage this year as well.  I found out I was pregnant in late July and then a week later I had a miscarriage.  It's very discouraging!  Infertility is frustrating and at times I feel hopeless about having another baby.  But I do try to remember that its the Lord's will and if its meant to be it will happen.  I am getting older (I'm 38 years old) and I know that my clock is ticking very loud so I just don't know if its still possible or not.  We will just have to wait and see for 2015!

Rachel:  She did have that illness that landed her in the hospital back in September, but thankfully she was ok and it was not anything major.  Other than that she is doing well health wise.  She is enjoying Kindergarten and is making progress with her sign language and communication.  I will expand more regarding the progress the girls are making later in a different post.  I just wanted to highlight some things for this post.  Plus I need to hurry and finish this post before midnight!

Haley:  Haley is our strong healthy girl.  She really doesn't get sick much and she didn't in 2014.  She has been getting more spunky and with more girl attitude lately.  She loves to be held and loves to cling to people.  She is a sensitive loving girl.

Kayla:  Kayla turned 3 this month and I really can't believe how fast time has flown since my baby was born.  I really miss those baby days, but I am loving (mostly) her at this age.  Kayla's vocabulary is amazing!  She is also so dramatic.  Future actress, maybe?  She is enjoying preschool and making new friends.  Also has been very healthy this year.  

So we say goodbye to 2014 and hello to 2015.  Again I hope for another great year and new blessings!  Happy new year to all of you and I hope for the best in the new year!!!  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

We had a good Christmas.  This year we stayed home and relaxed.  Christmas morning we enjoyed watching the girls open their gifts and watch them play with them afterwards.  The girls got a play kitchen and they have been playing with it ever since.  They got lots of fun new toys.  But Christmas is not just about the presents its about the celebration of the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.  I'm grateful for the gift of the savior.  I hope all our readers had a very Merry Christmas!

Our Christmas tree after it was first put up

The girls on Christmas Eve
Christmas morning

Kayla next to the play kitchen they got
Haley with one of her presents
Rachel opening a present
Opening presents

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Family Pictures 2014

I finally got our family pictures (that were taken back in late November) edited.  This seems to be an annual thing for us.  Last year was the same story.  We also didn't get Christmas cards out again this year, but I am thankful we have updated family pictures!!!  Our girls are growing up so fast and they have changed so much since last year at this time.  I'm grateful that I'm persistent in making sure we get updated pictures every year.  I love pictures and love picture taking.  Pictures capture memories that last forever.  I know that when I'm old I will be happy of all the pictures that I have taken to help me remember all the wonderful memories of my family.  So without further ado, here are our family pictures (memories) of 2014...

Haley, Kayla, Rachel

Rachel and Daddy
Haley and Mommy
Kayla and Mommy

We wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas!!!