Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

IT'S HALLOWEEN!!! (or at least I've been told about 100 times today!) After school I picked up the little girls at Rachel's house and her kindergartener Julie had on the same shirt as Jane and Jill today so we took a picture with the three of them.

We got home and got on our costumes. Here are the three girls ready to go trick or treating!

Jill was SUPER excited! She was yelling YEA YEA YEA, jumping up and down. Every house we went to she would go up with Jane say trick or treat and thank you and then come running down to the sidewalk where Jay and I were yelling/screaming, "I got CANDY!" The first ten or so houses she would say it like she was surprised. There were a lot of houses with smoke machines scary music or people dressed scary and she would walk right up to them and say, "hi! Trick or Treat" and get her candy and then walk away saying that was scary! It was greatness. Jane was so awesome taking care of her sister too holding her hand when she felt like it was a place Jill would be scared. We are already talking about next year when Jena will be able to walk up to the houses with them. This Halloween she just took a ride around the neighborhood in her bee outfit in the stroller staring at people. I think she had a good time too. At one point I actually asked her if she was having fun, not expecting a response and she looks directly at me and grunts a big, "uuugh", Jay and I then took turns translating what that could mean. Here's the girls examining their loot!

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

BOO at the Zoo!

Today my parents joined us for Boo at the Zoo. Everyone took a ton of pics so this sampling is just the tip of the iceberg. Highlights from the day included the lion roaring extra loud just for Jill (I say that because he was on the top of her must see list from the moment we got there and he started roaring right when we walked up to the lion enclosure) Jena being super happy just to be at the zoo and Jane getting to hold a python on stage at one of the shows we saw! (We only got video of it, no pictures and I am no good at uploading videos so... sorry!) Anyway, here is a brief look at our LONG day at the zoo...

October Fun!

So many fun things to do in the Fall! Here are a few events we were able to partake in this month...

Firstly, we were lucky enough to get FREE season passes to Six Flags! Long story involving my very generous and forever giving Aunt Genevia (my mom's sister) who we dearly love- and not just because of free Six Flags season passes either ;) So we went to Fright Fest, Jane's first trip to Six Flags! Here are a few pics...

Who needs Disney? We've got teacups right here!

The family version of the Superman ride...

 Okay, so Jay has been dropping subtle remarks about how he would look with a sleeve tattoo...

I thought buying him this one from the dollar store might put an end to all that. We'll see...

 The big girls and I went to the Fall Family Dance at Wilshire. Here's Jill with Janelle. She's giving me a break from holding Jill for a minute.

 Jane dancing.

 The under 4 crowd was allowed on stage. Here is Hill doing her trick...

These last pictures are from camp fire stories at a park in Hurst. The City of Hurst goes all out for this even. The decorations were great! Unfortunately I got very few good pics because it was at night and somehow I forgot that my iPhone has a flash! DUH! Anyway, here's a taste. 
 They had a camp fire going where you could roast marshmallows. We met my friend Rachel and her three girls there so the little girls just asked Chloe, the oldest to roast their marshmallows because they were too scared to get too near the fire. The above pic is Chloe roasting marshmallows and the below pic is Jena trying one for the first time. It was a hit!

While kids roasted marshmallows they had a lady on a microphone with speakers all around telling spooky stories. Too fun!
 Afterwards the girls posed for some pictures. Here is Kieren, Jane and Julie 3 kindergarten best friends who all go to different schools.
 Jane and Julie as we were leaving. That's Heidi jumping off the side...
 Last but not least... At Wilshire we have a costume parade every year. Here is a pic I got of Jane in her costume, Little Red Riding Hood. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jena, at 18 months

Jena Leighanne Sparks turned 18 months this month!! The last six months have been big for our miss Jena. Over the summer we switched pediatricians and our new doctor, after first examining Jena, referred her to both a geneticist and a neurologist for testing. He feels sure that her developmental delays and growth deficiency is attributed to a syndrome. She has, since her 12 month measures, been sloping downward on the growth chart, not that she is losing height or weight but she is not growing at the same rate as her peers. (right now measuring at the 1 percentile). Her nutritionist has seen the same trend. So off we went to the geneticist who pointed out to us the many birth defects that are markers for chromosomal disorders, some of which we already knew about like her heart defects and colobomas but some we were not aware of such as bent in pinkies and her "superman" hair swirl. The geneticist's report confirmed that she thought Jena had a chromosomal syndrome as well. Jena's blood was sent in for extensive genetic testing but came back normal... So off we went to the neurologist. The neurologist agreed almost immediately that Jena has a syndrome though he disagrees with which one the geneticist thinks it is. All doctors involved have referred Jena to two or more doctors so at this point Jena has: an opthamologist, a geneticist, a neurologist, a physical therapist, a nutritionist, and has upcoming appointments with a cardiologist, an audiologist and an immunologist (betcha didn't know that one existed did you!). With all of those doctors (and their very expensive appointments and tests) we actually haven't learned even one thing that really helps/matters, a little discouraging to say the least. But, Jena is as happy and loving as ever. Here are some super cute pics of our little darling and some things that she has been doing lately.... 

First and foremost Jena has started crawling, or scooting rather. And can basically now get from a to b whenever and wherever she wants! Which is HUGE!!! Though she still prefers to be held by mommy. :)

Jena pulls to stand and as you can tell from this pic on the trampoline she can hold herself pretty steady for a long while. She can also take steps if you are holding her hands and has started standing alone for 5-10 seconds at a time. Her physical therapist comes to her daycare now 30 min to an hour a week with the main goal getting Jena to walk.

Jena has started drinking from a straw!! I know that doesn't sound like a huge deal but IT IS!! I was near tears when she did it the first time. It has been really hard the last year just keeping Jena hydrated because she doesn't drink out of a cup (sippy or otherwise) and will only take a bottle right when she wakes up from sleep or nap (IF we are lucky) so transitioning to the straw now makes it possible to keep her hydrated. It's a good thing too because self feeding and drinking from a straw were the two main goals for her occupational therapist and she just recently reached these goals right when we lost the OT. (We lost the OT because we were adding physical therapy to Jena's services and it was kind of a trade off...)

So that is where Jena is at 18 months... consistently progressing, typically happy, and deeply loved.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Punkin patch 2011

Ahhh Fall! I love it! It was time once again to visit the ole' pumpkin patch! If this place looks familiar at all it's because we have gone to this same pumpkin patch since Jane was a toddler. This year the girls and I went with my mom. Funny story... Jay and I had planned on going to the pumpkin patch that evening but we were out and about and like most weekends we ended up over at my mom's house and it was getting later and we hadn't brought the girls "pumpkin patch clothes" with us so I asked my mom if she thought she might have something at her house that the girls could wear and lo and behold she came up with this... I am not kidding she had all of these dud (hair accessories included) just at her house. My mom, gotta love her!

 Here they are trying their hand at posing...

 Best one of the three of us...
 My mom with the girls...

 More posing... I think Jane was getting the hang of it ;)
 This was my first time in the maze. Jane went last year with her friend Jennifer. It was a little harder than I think with mom or I anticipated. Jill enjoyed throwing dirt. Which apparently must be her favorite pastime at school as well since she comes home every day with dirt in her hair.

 Jane found some corn so of course we took pics of the girls pretending to eat it.

 Okay, seriously this is how long it took us to get out of the maze. It was dark and the place was closing soon. We eventually just asked for help to get out. Where's a GPS when you need it?

 I had to get pics of the girls on the little tractors before we left because I have one of Jane on it from previous years.