Long time, no write! The past year or so has been so incredibly full and I have so many things to say and process and yet, the time and energy to devote to such things has been impossibly hard to come by. However, some days Josie takes a decent nap so I hope that I can take advantage of that once a week or so and get some writing done! I have some specific things I would very much like to write about, but I would also just like to get back into the habit of writing about life. So, here’s hoping. But first, I have some catching up to do since my last post…in 2015! Gasp!

 

Josie:

Oh, our sweet Josie girl. She has healed up so nicely from her open heart surgery and is growing well! Unfortunately in March she was diagnosed with several life-threatening allergies; dairy, eggs, and dogs, and nuts were borderline and will be retested in August. Her allergies are such that we cannot have any of those items OR any items CONTAINING those items in the house. Our dogs are now garage/outside dogs. Our meals are now dairy/egg/nut-free and gluten-free friendly (for me). If we eat contraband food outside of the house, we have to scrub our hands and face before touching her. Josie can’t go to our friends’ or families’ homes anymore because of their pets and their kitchens. Several of handful of foods that K will eat can no longer be in the house. It has been a major, major change in our lives. However, no one has starved to death yet AND Josie has had no reactions since we figured out her allergens and made life safe for her. Additionally, as Josie has been eating more solid foods, we’ve noticed she seems to have trouble swallowing. She frequently coughs during and after meals and can’t seem to clear things. In addition to a limited diet because of allergies, we also have to be very careful about what we let her try due to swallowing problems. It is concerning and she’ll be having a swallow study done soon. Since I stopped pumping (HALLELUJAH! We made it a YEAR which I am so proud of, and I am SO SUPER GLAD to be done. Pumping, y’all. It sucks.), Josie has transitioned to soy formula and seems to be doing well on it. Her sleep patterns improved after the switch, but she still is not a super sleeper. She is such a little joy, in spite of it all. She knows and uses upwards of 30 signs. She loves to read books, especially Goodnight Moon, Peekaboo, Big Fish Little Fish, and Where is Baby’s Belly Button (over and over and over and over). She’s crazy about Signing Time and the Wiggles. She isn’t walking yet, which Josh is DYING for, but I’m enjoying the extra baby time. It goes so quickly! She’s a cuddler. She loves FISH and DOGS (everything that is furry and has 4 legs is a dog, it leads to many arguments in our house) and FLOWERS and BABIES. Her favorite food is soy yogurt. Her favorite thing to do at the park is swing. She loves riding in her tricycle. She’s obsessed with brushing her teeth. She’s getting her pre-molars (oh Lord, be merciful!). She has changed our lives in unimaginable ways, but I can’t imagine not knowing this awesome little person we were blessed with.

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K: 

K is doing really, really well. We have lucked out that her health has been so stable as we deal with Josie’s craziness. I have about a million neglected, overdue appointments that need to be scheduled for this girl, most urgently ophthalmology and dentist, but she is doing so well that we aren’t in TOO big of a hurry to hop back on that hamster wheel. She has grown up so much this year, too. She’s much more responsible about managing her energy  levels and health when on her own and because of that, she is currently going to day camp with her theater group all on her own…no nurse, no nothing! She is even in the teen group because a friend asked if she could move up for the summer. It makes her feel REALLY cool. They are doing the songs from Grease for their summer show and she is stoked. She made it through her Spring show week without getting sick, which has never happened. She ALWAYS gets sick and exhausted during show week. She had a solo in “Don’t Stop Believin'” and nailed it. We stumbled through her 5th grade year of homeschool pretty successfully, especially considering what our life was like all year, and she is doing summer math to bolster some of her weak areas, much to her disdain. A lot of her struggles lately have been in the REMEMBERING things and PAYING ATTENTION categories, so we are working to help with with that. This week, we are testing out alarms on her iPad when things need to be done (like start tube feed, brush teeth, do math, get dressed, ect.). It’s a work in progress. In her free time, she loves to FaceTime/Skype with friends and play online games with them, as well as watch endless YouTube videos about Minecraft and other games. She is the best big sister and Josie loves her to pieces. I’m so very thankful that our girl is doing so fantastically as of late!

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N: 

N is finished with junior high and is already going to the high school daily for summer band! I cannot believe he is so big. I feel like I was just that age! Really! He really cleaned up at the end of the year awards at school: Outstanding Band Student (given only to 2), Outstanding Language Arts Student (given only to 2), PSAT Scholar (over 1000 score), Perfect Attendance, Academic Excellence, Reading STAAR Excellence, Lone Star Reading Award, and Algebra 1 EOC Excellence. It was so fun to sit and watch him and his group of friends get called up for academic and fine arts awards, again and again. They came pretty close to sweeping it! But once we got to the sports section, I didn’t recognize any names. Haha! We are not a sporty crew. He also was inducted into NJHS and received a summer camp scholarship for scouts and a very special recognition award for being such a good example and leader and teacher for the younger boys. He also got a first division in his saxophone ensemble for UIL! So proud of this young man! I was always a little freaked out of the teen years (babies are more my jam), but it has been a joy to watch Nathan grow into a young man and get to enjoy him as a human person. I also enjoy being able to share things I love with him, like The Office and How I Met Your Mother. He spends vast amounts of time playing video games and texting on the phone he finally got for his (14th) birthday this year. Seriously, how did he get so old?!

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