Sunday, July 3, 2016

Disneyland 2016

We started our first day at Disney with a character breakfast at the Plaza Inn.  It was a splurge, but turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the trip.

All of the character come by your table and interact with the kids.  Ella gave everyone of them a hug.  She was giggling and smiling the entire time.  As a side note, this was a buffet and they were so allergy friendly.  The chef came to our table and told us the options and then they brought out an entire plate of food just for Ella, complete with Mickey waffles!

 Levi thought they were so funny!  He kept trying to kiss them.  He wasn't one bit scared, I think because of the environment.  We tried meeting Pluto in the park but he didn't want anything to do with him.  The character breakfast is a must do!

Jack was playing it cool, but he liked it too.  Especially when Captain Hook came to our table (I didn't get a picture).  Steve even danced with Chip (or possibly Dale?)  I did get a picture of that but won't post it.  Lets just say the kids loved it!

This was the only Princess we waited in line to see.  Ella was completely satisfied with seeing them from a distance, so we hit more rides this trip rather than waiting in Princess lines.

Later our first day, Ella had an appointment at the bippidy-boppidy boutique.  She loved it soo much.  She felt so pretty and special.

She got to keep the make-up and she put it on everyday the rest of our trip.  It was a highlight for her, and it was so fun watching her princess makeover.  She was darling.

This guy was stroller bound or harnessed most of the trip.  He was so good though.  He loved watching all of the action and would take little naps when he needed them.  He loved going on the rides.  His favorite was the goofy coaster in Toone Town.  He was barely tall enough and it goes fast but this thrill seeker loved it.

Jacks favorite ride in Disneyland was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  He loved that we had a baby so we could get rider switch passes.  That way he got to ride the big rides twice in a row without the wait.  He was tall enough for Indiana Jones this trip and he loved it.

 Levi waiting in line to ride Winnie the Pooh.  He was a champ when it came to waiting in lines.

Steve and I walked about a billion miles this trip.  At times we had to convert our double stroller into a triple.  We stayed at a hotel right behind the parking garage at Disney and loved that we could walk through Downtown Disney and didn't have to wait for the tram.  Steve is the best guy to travel/vacation with.  He's always fun and mellow even when the days are long and the kids are grumpy.  He's the best!

We spend day 2 in California Adventure.  This is Steve and Jack's favorite DCA ride Toy Story Mania.  We were in line and looking good ;)

Mickey's Fun Wheel was my favorite ride this trip.  We were in a swinging car and we were really swinging.  Levi was a little nervous, but the rest of us loved it.  I love the rides we can all do together.  Later in the day Steve filled Ella's shoes with 2 huge stacks of napkins so that she could go on Radiator Springs Racers.  She was not a fan of the fast part, but we were proud of her for trying.  When we got back her Primary teachers asked her how the trip was.  She told them all about the napkins in the shoes.

Hanging out taking a break on Buena Vista Street.  This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. 

And no trip to DCA is complete without a spin on the bumpy tractors.  Jack was really in to giving thumbs up on this trip.  I ended up deleting a TON of pictures with his thumbs in front of his face. Ha!

The two big kids earned Disney dollars before our trip.  Everyday they had the chance to earn one dollar.  They had to show initiative and come ask me what they could do to earn it.  They both ended up with about $30 to spend in Disneyland as they pleased.  Ella spend hers right away the first day on this Pooh Bear.  She loves it so much.  I snapped this picture of her early one morning before I woke them up to get ready for another big day.  Jack shopped around very carefully with his money.  He didn't want to spend it all on one big thing.  He saved most of it for the last day when he knew what he wanted.  He got some lollipops, a Ninjago set from the Lego Store, and a light up spinny toy.  He was very responsible with his money.

Day 3 was back at Disneyland.  I think this is my actual favorite picture from our trip.  I just love them!

I took Jack and Ella on a couple of rides while Steve and Levi waited in line to sign Jack up for Jedi training.  Ella loved the tea cups.

And we just had to go on It's A Small World.  It's just so classic, and then you get to have the song stuck in your head the rest of the day ;)

We hit the King Arthur's Carousel for Levi.  He spotted it and wanted to go on it so badly. 

Levi showing off his muscles in Toone Town. 

Jack loved doing the Jedi Training.  He was super serious about it which made it fun to watch.  He got to light saber fight Darth Vader which was a pretty sweet moment in his life.

He earned this Jedi Training button and was pretty proud of it.

And then he met a storm trooper.  This guy was pretty funny and had us all laughing.

We finished our trip by watching the Paint the Night parade for a second time, and going to the fireworks.  The parade was my favorite part.  Everyone in the family loved it.  They are so good at interacting with the kids.  Ella was getting kisses blown to her by the princesses and she would blow one right back.  We had an amazing trip and made some great memories with the kids.  I can't wait to go back!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Weekend in St George

We made a trip down to St George in early April to visit Grandpa and Grandma Crawford.  We love it down there that time of year.  The weather was beautiful, and the kids had such a great time with their grandparents. 

We spent an afternoon hiking in Snow Canyon.  It's the best place to hike with little kids since they can climb pretty high without ever having to go up anything to steep or treacherous. 

Steve and Jack and Ella made it clear up to the top of the petrified sand dune.  Ella was super nervous at the top and didn't want to stand up, and for good reason.  I had to take Levi back to the car to change his diaper so I missed this beautiful view.

Levi thought he was an 18 month old mountain goat.  He was running and jumping and refused to hold our hands.  He's such a wild boy, but also has extremely good agility and motor skill so he actually handles himself pretty well.

I think he liked hiking the very most.  And he loved spotting the lizards!

Later that day we cooled off with a dip in the pool.  Thanks again Steve for getting in the water with the kids so I didn't have to!  Ella and Jack are both pretty good swimmers, but Levi thinks he can swim, and loves jumping into the pool, which makes his tricky to watch.

Ella loves warming up in the hot sun.  Jack saw this picture on my phone and said, "I thought that was a picture of me after I got my tonsils out."

Jack is getting so good at swimming which we both love!

See what I mean, a HUGE handful at the pool :)


We had a great Easter this year.  Steve was gone camping with the boy scouts, so I did the Easter Egg hunt solo with the kids.  We went to a food-free egg hunt sponsored by the Utah Food Allergy Network and it was a lot of fun.

Ella was the only one who wanted her picture with the Easter Bunny.  She wanted me to ask it if it is a boy or a girl, but I didn't get a chance.  Levi was so interested in "bunny" but did NOT want to sit by it.  And Jack was too old and too cool (that happened too fast).

Levi had no idea what to do during the egg hunt.  He just walked around clueless.  Finally at the end I picked up a few things for him and put them in his basket.  I did pay $5 after all.

Jack and Ella however knew exactly what to do.  I had to go to the kiddie area with Levi so I left these two on their own. We picked a meeting spot for afterward, and somehow we all ended up together at the end.  They got lots of little toys, games, and coloring books.

That night we colored Easter Eggs.  My kids love doing this so much.  We also went to a glow in the dark egg hunt at the neighbors house that night.

The Easter Bunny brought Ella a dairy free chocolate bunny.  She loved it so much.

 Jack got up extra early to celebrate Easter.  He loves holidays and occasions so much.  He is a cute boy that loves excitement and makes sure the rest of us never miss it either. 

*Not pictured, Levi who slept it :)

 My cute kids in their Easter clothes before church.  We have 1:00 church or I'm pretty sure this picture wouldn't exist.

...And here's the out take which I honestly might like better.  Happy Easter!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ella's Scope

Ella had a follow-up EGD the beginning of February.  She hasn't had one since October 2014 so she was definitely due.  They were basically checking to see if her esophageal biopsies were free from eosinophils (allergic blood cells).  She has been off of all milk, egg, oats, and peanuts since November 2014 so we were really hoping for good results.  

She was really brave and did great.  Primary Children's does such a good job that it really makes things easy for the parents.  We had an anesthesiologist that I use to work with back when I worked there YEARS ago, which was really nice.  He let us take her back to the endoscopy suite and hold her while she breathed the gases and started to fall asleep.  Her GI doctor is a doctor that I use to work with when he was in Medical School, so it was fun to go there and still feel like I had some ties 10 years later.  
She woke up great this time around, super calm and relaxed once we got there to hold her.  The most traumatic part was the nurse tripped over her IV and pulled it out right after she woke up.  There was blood everywhere and Steve said he thought the nurse should have been more careful.  I cut her a lot of slack since I've done plenty of dumb things like that as a nurse. 
We got her biopsy results back, and they were great.  She had 3-5 eosinophils in her biopsies, compared to around 35 last time.  We are scheduled to go see her allergist at his next available appointment (7 whopping weeks later) to discuss the next step, but from what he told me last time I saw him, it will probably be reintroducing egg.  So it will be reintroduce, scope, if it looks good reintroduce another eliminated food, and repeat until we find the causative food or foods (hopefully just one!!!)

 She had this same grumpy expression for the first hour after waking up.  Then all of a sudden she snapped out of it, guzzled her juice, and we were out of there.  She kept talking about what a fun day she was having with Steve and I.  Poor middle child has to have a medical procedure to get any quality one-on-one time.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Welcome 2016

 One of my goals for the new year is to be better at recording our life.  So this year I hope to be better at blogging as one aspect of that.  We are always glad for a new year and a fresh start. 

Jack and Ella started their first day of Primary with their new teachers.  This will be Jack's last year in junior primary, which is mind blowing to me.  He is loving Kindergarten and all that the school experience entails.  He is doing really well in school.  He is reading and writing so well, and I love how he comes home and shows me his math homework in French.  He's always been a social creature, and continues to be one.  When I go up to the school to volunteer, I'm amazed by how he not only knows the kids in his class, but also many of the kids in the other Kindergartens.  His favorite thing at recess is playing basketball.  He's growing up so much and is such a good boy.  He is still my  most difficult child to parent.  He is determined and stubborn and smart.  All things that will serve him well in life if we can somehow get it channeled in the right direction. 

Ella started CTR 4 last week.  She loves Primary so much and is so cute to watch in there.  She sings all of the songs by heart and with all of the actions.  She is definitely a middle child.  Always trying to keep the peace with everyone around her.  She is very independent and compliant and sweet.  She is a dream to parent.  It's fun to parent such different personalities.  Ella is always thinking down the road.  The other day she asked me if I would save all of Levi's baby clothes for her so that "when she has a baby she doesn't have to buy as much clothes".  Ella is taking a dance class this year and is doing incredibly well at it.  She is very detail oriented which makes her a great little dancer.  I didn't sign Ella up for preschool this year.  With all of her food issues I didn't want her to constantly be in negative food social situations.  There will be plenty of time for that when she's a little older and understands a little bit better.  She has been fun to have around this year. We try to make it to story time at the library each week and do some things around home to make up for it.  Ella is a true joy to be around.

 And then there's Levi.  He is seriously the happiest guy.  He is 16 months now and is so busy and so fun.  I love that anytime I start laughing he laughs with me.  He just goes around being happy and doing his thing (which is always getting into something).  So I have to stop him quite often from running with knives, playing in the toilet, eating dog food and he does not appreciate that.  He has a head banging problem and always has bruises on his head as a result.  I have tried ignoring this behavior, which isn't working at all, so now am moving on to physically picking him up every time I see it coming on.  It's going a little bit better.  But other than that he is absolutely no trouble.  He is a great eater, great sleeper.  He is talking so much.  Right now he can say mom, dad, Ella, owie, binky, blankie, baba (bottle), me, hi, bus, opey (open), up, and I'm sure there are more.  Owie is my favorite word he says, that and Ella.  He knows the animal sounds for horse, cow, dog, and duck.  He runs everywhere and is so fast.  He now walks down the stairs instead of crawls which makes me so nervous.  He really loves his mom, which is awesome because the other two quite obviously prefer their dad.  Levi is just the best kid and we sure love him.

And lastly a little picture from when we went sledding with the cousins after Christmas.  I got a new camera for Christmas and am very slowly figuring out how to use it.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Rest of December

In no particular order....

We had Christmas a few days early with Steve's parents since they were heading to Texas.
Jack was excited about his new book from Grandpa and Grandma
Steve and I got new satin pillowcases!  Photo credit to Jack haha :)  This was one of Ella's last days with her binkie!  Poor baby!
Christmas morning excitement!  Santa came!
Jack got his "Mike the Knight" castle he asked Santa for.  When he opened it he exclaimed, "I can't believe it really came true this year."
Ella got a new baby which was an instant favorite.
Grandpa winning Ella over by giving her some treats at cousin Larsen's homecoming.
She's not so sure about her new cousin, or his cow hoof cup.
The kids decorating cookies to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve.
Ella didn't want to sit on Santa's lap when we went to meet him at this Christmas tree lot, but she did like looking at the camels.
Snow day!  Ella loved all of our December snow storms this year!
Daddy and Ella at Zoo Lights on Christmas Eve.  We usually have done extended family stuff on Christmas Eve, but this year it was just the four of us.  It was cold, but we took hot cocoa in a thermos and had a blast.
Grandpa Boyd and Grandma Mary got our family a fish tank for Christmas.  We had 4 die in the first week (thanks to our rocking New Years Eve party) but have since kept 3 alive for over a month.  Go us :)  The kids looooove them!
Jack and Tyce shoveling our steps during a snowstorm.  Thanks boys!
Christmas morning snapshot before digging into the presents.  We sure love these two and recognize them as our biggest blessing in life!