Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

Valentine's day this year was good.  Rachel and Haley's class at their school had a little Valentine's day party.  Daddy, Kayla and I attended.  Haley, Rachel and Kayla enjoyed eating the sweets (candy, cookies and ice cream).  They also got Valentine's from the other students.  Rachel and Haley's class is small.  Rachel and Haley are just about half the class since there are a total of 5 kids in the class.  I enjoyed making the Valentine's for the other kids and for the teachers.  Rachel, Haley and Kayla helped by coloring them.

Butterfly Valentines
Up close of the Valentine I made.  Idea was from Pinterest.
Haley and Rachel working on a Valentine crown
Rachel showing off her crown
Haley, Rachel and Kayla during a Valentine story
Haley getting her Valentine treats
The girls enjoying their Valentine sweets

When daddy got home from work, he surprised the girls with balloons and flowers.  Thomas had also gotten me some beautiful tulips and a 2 pound box of chocolates!  Thomas knows how much I love Valentine's day and really made me and the girls feel special.  We love you!

Daddy and Kayla
Rachel loving the balloons
The girls playing with the balloons.  They loved them!
Kayla with the 2 pound box of chocolates!
All the Valentine goodies!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Happy Valentine's day from the Stansel's!  I love Valentine's day.  It has always been one of my favorite holidays, a day to show extra love to our family and friends.  Yes, love should be shown year round, but Valentine's day is a special day to celebrate LOVE.  My husband and children are the LOVE of my life!

I have to admit, I love all the cute Valentine's outfits for kids and I love dressing up my girls in them.  My girls have at least a weeks worth of Valentine attire.  I'm loving their outfits for this years Valentine's photo shoot.

Kayla, Haley and Rachel

Monday, February 10, 2014

Special Kids Day - Humble Livestock show

The Humble livestock show and Rodeo held a special kids day on February 7.  All kids with special needs were invited to see and touch the animals.  This was Rachel and Haley's second year to attend.  They had a good time and enjoyed touching/petting some of the animals. Kayla didn't want to go near the animals, but I did get her to touch a rabbit.  Fun experience despite the freezing cold weather!

Haley ready for the animals
Haley petting a goat
Rachel checking out the cow
Haley touching the pig's nose
Haley petting another goat
Rachel petting a pig
Kayla's not wanting to be near the animals
Kayla did enjoy sharing a donut with daddy

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rachel and Haley are 4 1/2 years old!

Rachel and Haley are 4 1/2 years old!  I know I have said this a million times, but they are growing up way too fast and I can't believe they will be 5 years in just 6 short months.  August will be here before we know it.  These girls are amazing and true miracles.  They have accomplished a lot during the years since they have come home from the NICU.  They do have disabilities, they do have challenges and it will have an affect on their life here on earth, but they are daughters of a merciful God who loves them.  They have accomplished more than thought.  They were sent here to teach me and boy do I have a lot to learn!  They remind me daily that we do have a Heavenly Father who loves us and know us.  I was given these girls to raise and at times it is challenging, but its our life despite the challenges and what matters is how we travel the journey.

Rachel and Haley
Stats at 4 1/2 year check up:
27 lbs, 6 oz (less than 5%)
35.2 inches (less than 5%)
BMI: 63%

Haley really is a sweet little girl.  She loves to be held and tends to go to anyone to be held.  She is small and petite for a 4 1/2 year old therefore its easy to hold her often.  She can still wear some 24 month clothes though she mostly wears 2T and some 3T!  Seriously her and Kayla are almost at the same size clothing.  Haley is making some progress with eating.  She is very picky, but its due to her lack of vision.  She can't see her food well and therefore is afraid of most foods.  We are doing our best at getting her to try new foods and she has finally branched out to some new foods.  She loves McDonald's french fries so we tried a cheese burger with her and she likes it.  She will sometimes eat 3/4 of a McDonald's cheese burger.  Haley must be going through a growth spurt right now because all she wants to do is eat, but what she wants to eat is snack/junk foods.  These foods to her are safe and familiar.  We pretty much let her eat as much food (not all junk foods) as she wants to help her with her growth though I don't know where it's all going.  Haley is making some progress with other life skills and over time she will get the hang of them.  Like I said with her before she is slow to make progress, but I'm grateful she is still making progress.  She is still not saying any words, but we have heard her make sounds that almost sound like words.  We continually hope and pray she will talk someday.  She has her way of communicating and we know what it is she wants.  She does sign "more" and "done".  So thankful she has picked up on some sign language.  Potty training is still a work in progress.  It will take her some time to learn the potty.  I have heard it takes kids much longer to learn it who have cerebral palsy. Again with time, she will get it.  Haley is such a good sleeper.  She goes to bed well and stays asleep all night.  She is an early riser though.  She is the only one that likes to get up early.  The rest of us like to sleep in late.  Haley loves school and her teachers!  I am so grateful for the school and the teachers that Haley and Rachel have.  They are amazing!  As for Haley's vision.  There are no changes.  She is able to see some.  It always amazes me how she has learned to use the small vision she has.  Haley has such a sweet spirit about her.  She is a special little girl!  


Stats at 4 1/2 year check up:
36 lbs, 2 oz (43%)
40.7 inches (44%)
BMI: 54%

Rachel is so active!  This girl is stubborn and strong willed at times, but she is a sweetie!  She is a daddy's girl!  Her and daddy play on the iPad often.  She loves the iPad and is learning to use it better.  Rachel is very observant and looks at things in detail.  Since she couldn't hear for so long, she has developed a keen eye.  Rachel is getting tall and is growing so much.  She is average size for a 4 1/2 year old and wears 4T and some 5T clothes.  As for Rachel's progress with eating well we are still having to use the feeding tube 100%.  She wants and likes to put foods in her mouth, but she just has yet to learn how to swallow the food.  Sometimes she will swallow a very small amount of food and sometimes it gags her too.  She will learn how to swallow.  It will just take more time and therapy.  Rachel continues speech therapy and is making progress with her cochlear implant.  She is making new sounds which we are so happy to hear!  She is hearing.  The cochlear implant works.  Rachel is just learning how to understand and use what she is hearing.  Rachel will sometimes try to repeat a sound the best she can while she does therapy at the center for hearing and speech.  More therapy and she will talk.  Not sure when, but I know she will talk.  Her speech therapist is still helping her learn sign language and she is doing well at communicating with the sign language she knows.  Rachel is making progress with some fine motor tasks.  She sits with her occupational therapist and can match pictures to the correct matching picture for a good amount of time.  This is good seeing Rachel has a hard time sitting still and paying good attention.  She also loves school and enjoys the fun structured routine they have going.  Rachel does well at getting dressed.  She can't do it all by herself, but she can get a t-shirt on well by herself.  She likes to play with the dress up clothes and most of the time she gets them on correctly.  Rachel is not potty trained yet either.  Still working on it.  Rachel also likes attention from people and will lift her arms up to be picked up, but she is much heavier than Haley so its harder to hold her for very long.  Getting Rachel to bed has been a challenge lately.  She has learned how to get out of her bed so we moved her bedtime back about 30 minutes to an hour and she is now going to bed better.  She has to be real tired to stay in bed.  Rachel can wear us out since she likes to get into things constantly and she is tall enough to reach a lot of things.  We have to keep an eye on her a lot.  She is a fun loving girl and has a way of keeping us on our toes.  She has a lot of spunk!  That's Rachel!


The pictures below are of Rachel trying to hold Haley's hand.  They are too cute and these two sisters are forever friends.  Haley likes to be near Rachel.  They are inseparable.  Love these girls!