Thursday, August 30, 2007

Growth Stats on the Girls

Emmaline had her 6-month check-up and Ellie had her three-year check-up today. Our previous pediatrician is no longer coming to the office we visit, so we changed to a new one. We decided to switch to Dr. Heritage because she was the one who first told us that Emmaline had Down syndrome and we were so thankful for how supportive and encouraging she was during those first difficult days. She even had her husband (who is a neonatologist) check in on us when Emmaline was moved to the NICU. I am pleased to say that our visit today has only strengthened my opinion of her.
Ellie was her independent self today and didn't want to get weighed or open her mouth so Dr. Rita could look down her throat. Thankfully, she didn't put up a fuss when she got her Hepatitis A vaccine. She was such a big girl and didn't even cry. Ellie grew 3 1/4" in the past year and is now 37 3/4 inches tall (75%). She also gained 3 1/2 lbs. and now weighs 27 3/4 lbs. (50%). She seems to be taking after me by being tall and slender. Unfortunately, she'll probably still be in a booster seat in Jr. High though!
Emmaline was her usual cheery self. Dr. Heritage was pleased with Emmy's motor skills and speech to this point. Finally Emmy is old enough to go get her tear ducts cleaned out, so we have our first appt. with a pediatric opthamalogist in October. Emmaline is growing quite nicely too. She is 26" long (50-75%) and weighs 15 lbs. 6 ozs. (25-50%). She is still being measured on a typical growth chart, but I'll keep comparing online with the DS one just to be safe. According to those charts, she is in the 75% for length and weight. Poor thing had to get 3 shots and drink the last dose of her rotateq vaccine. What a trooper! We also have to get her thyroid level checked (just routine for being 6-months old and having DS). I'm hoping to get that done before we leave for vacation next weekend. Here are her weekly pics.:

Happy Girl!

What a cutie!
I'm hoping her eyes won't look so swollen once her tear ducts are probed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Darke County Fair

Following a yearly tradition from my childhood, we went to the Darke County Fair today. It was ridiculously hot, so we took lots of water and sunscreen and enjoyed a really nice day. There was lots to see, several places to cool off, yummy food to eat, and rides to ride. I think I gave birth to 2 daredevils because Jacob and Ellie loved the "big people" rides (as long as Daddy or Aunt Katie rode with them). Here are some of the highlights:

Keeping cool in front of some fans
Top: Aunt Katie, Ellie, and Nathan
Bottom: Jacob and Papaw

Ellie rides on Princess
Jacob rides on Buck

Enjoying Spiderman and SpongeBob popsicles.
This was taken moments before Spiderman fell to the ground. Luckily, Nathan had bought an extra one!

Nathan and Jacob on the "Pharoah" ship (a.k.a. Viking ship)

Family Carousel Ride:
This was Emmaline's first ride on the merry-go-round.

Ellie stays hydrated

See you at the fair next year!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dayton Dragons Game

Our Home Group went to a Dayton Dragons game tonight. I tried to be frugal and had everyone eat dinner before we left home. Now that Ellie is 3, she no longer gets in free, so I knew we would be paying $28 for tickets. We were blessed when we got to the field because Nathan works with the guys who do the security there and he knew that they always have extra tickets. We were able to get tickets for 4 real seats (not the lawn section) right behind home plate for free! Because everyone else in our group already had lawn seats, we went ahead and sat with them (although several from our group did sit in the seats for a little bit). Lawn seats are so much better when you have little kids because they don't have to sit still during the game and you don't have to crawl over people for the various trips to the restroom or concession stand. I don't recall watching much of the game, but do know that the Dragons were winning when we left (around the 7th inning). All of the kids in our group had a blast together!
Ellie enjoys her cotton candy

Jacob's was gone within minutes

Emmaline's Weekly Pic:
She enjoyed rolling around on the blanket during the game

Playtime with Mimi

Some of the kids in our group (believe it or not, 3 kids aren't pictured!).
It is impossible to get 8 kids (ages 6 months to 4 1/2 years) to look at the camera at the same time! At least Ellie (far right) had a nice smile on her face!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

First Day of School

Jacob started kindergarten and Ellie started preschool today. This would have been a day of tears for me, but since we decided to homeschool them, I didn't have to cry when we said goodbye. Instead, it consisted of taking their pictures on the front porch with their backpacks (which were empty!), and then heading back in the house to start school. I chose to use the LifePacs curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications for Jacob. It is a great Bible-based program that will challenge, but not frustrate, him. Ellie is using the new Horizons preschool curriculum. It is also Bible-based and has so many extra activities that I will be able to stretch it over two years. Our first day went well and we were able to finish all of the work in about an hour. Apparently, Jacob wasn't ready to be done, so I had to pull out some Carson-Dellosa workbooks for him to work on. To celebrate this milestone, Mom and Dad took us all to Frisch's for lunch. I know everyday won't be this easy, but so far I am really enjoying homeschooling. Check back later to see if I feel the same way next week! =)

Ellie with her Dora backpack and pink elephant

Jacob with his Buzz Lightyear backpack

Showing off their backpacks from Auntie Angel and Uncle Gary

Sitting at their "new" school desk
(It is actually one that Nathan and I used when we were in first grade at Dayton Christian. They decided to replace them when I was teaching there, so we are now the proud owners of several of these double desks. Eventually, the rest will make their way out of my parents' garage!)

Emmaline hangs out in the exersaucer while we do school work.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gabrielle turns 3!

I'm not sure how it happened, but Gabrielle turned 3 today! It doesn't seem like three years have gone by yet, but the calendar doesn't lie. She loves Dora and wanted a Dora Princess cake, so Mom helped me make this neat castle. We were going to get the Dora castle figures to put on the cake, but since Fisher-Price recalled them due to lead paint, we opted to use the figures we already had at home. How do you think it turned out?

Not bad for my first cake!

Ellie invited her friend, Emma, to the party. Here they are, with Jacob, enjoying Ellie's favorites: turkey hotdogs, veggies. pasta salad, and cheeseballs.

This FP-3 player (a kid's MP-3) was by far her favorite gift. She used to always borrow Jacob's blue one, but now she has her own pink one to listen to. She kept hugging the case it came in and saying, "My own!"

Ellie went on a scavenger hunt to find this Princess scooter from Mimi & Papaw.

Family Photo Opp.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Sweet Girl!

Friday, August 17, 2007


Nathan was mowing the grass in the backyard today and look what he almost ran over:

Poor thing was probably scared to death. Luckily, Nathan noticed it before any harm was done. Nathan brought it to the house for everyone to see and then took it back outside with the hopes that its mommy would find it.

Looking for a safe place to put the baby bird

It's Spidey-bird (on the side of our garage)

The birdie decide to find his own hiding place in our flowerbed by the bird bath. He wasn't there when we checked later, so we're hoping that his mommy rescued him and he didn't become a snack for one of the neighborhood cats!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weekly Emmaline Update

Here are Emmaline's weekly pics. She is changing so much. She loves to play and hates to lay down. Apparently, sitting is much more fun than being on her back. We are getting ready for her 1st Buddy Walk for Down syndrome at the end of September. If you want to donate to the cause, please click here. If you would like to walk on our team, let me know and we'll get you signed up. The more support we can show Emmy and others like her, the better.

Picnic at Activity Center Park

Since the kids were sick at the home we normally meet at, the rest of our Home Group (Mom, us, and the Chilcotes: Ben, Nicole, Emma, and Elliot) decided to meet at Activity Center Park to picnic and then let the kids play. The weather was just right for them to enjoy the water area as well as the playground.
Mom helps Emmaline test out her swimsuit for the first time

Jen shields Emmy from the cold water

Quite a change from our visit last week:
Ellie and Emma get totally soaked

Jacob cools off

Emma and Nathan enjoy the swings

Ellie goes down the roller slide

Jacob on the wavy slide

Emmaline calls it a night

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today was gorgeous outside, so I decided to pull weeds. I know, not the most exciting thing I could have done with my day, but I'm trying to get the house and yard in order for Ellie's 3rd birthday party this weekend. Mom came over to keep the kids occupied and I was able to get a lot done. Then, Dad came bearing Joe's pizza for a late lunch. The kids had lots of fun and were really worn out from all the bike riding, chalk drawing, swinging, and running they did.

Jacob traces Papaw and then adds the finishing details

Is there anything better than watching a sleeping baby?

Ellie learned to pedal her tricycle today!