Monday, June 27, 2011

Playing in the water

On Saturday I took the girls while Matthew took a nap. We got all ready and went down to the stream that runs behind our neighborhood. Kathryn loves playing in the water. and Now I find out Charlotte loves it too. She was all over the place. my only consequence is that she crawls over everything and she got a few scraps on her toes. She's in socks and shoes today because of that. but they had so much fun. Next time I might have to sit down in the water with them. The water was nice and cool/warm enough to play in and not freeze. Enjoy the pictures I got of the girls.

One Step at a Time

For Physical Therapy last week we worked on a few things on the floor like crawling over my legs and getting up to her knee's but she's a pro at those things so Miss Jean decided to see if she could do stairs. for only the few times that we tried with Charlotte she really got the hang of it. Now I'm not surprised if I see her on the bottom landing banging on the first step. And take a look at those legs all straight like she's going to start standing soon. She is getting into everything. I love it! Can't believe I say that but I do I love it! She's doing normal things like getting in to cupboards and crawling around the circle of our kitchen to family room. Getting in to the bathroom at any chance she gets. pulling out all the toys from the toy box. She's just so normal right now. You can't even tell anything is wrong with her legs sometimes. She's just more flexible then most.

Anyway I hope you enjoy this little video. And well there will be more to come soon, I'm sure of it.

Play Group

Our Ward has a playgroup that meets every Thursday at a different park in the area. I've missed most but made it a few weeks ago and got some fun pictures of the kids playing. Oh I might add that it was like 90 degree's with like 90% humidity. It was an awful day. I was sitting in the shade not exerting any energy and I was dripping like mad. The kids had fun though.

Kathryn loves dinosaurs these days. Triceratops is her favorite! Thank you Dino Dan for making her aware of Dinosaurs.

Isn't she a cutie. She got so sweaty under that hat but it was better then getting sunburned.

Mormon Choir of Washington

(pictures are from only the summer concerts as I never did get my camera out at the others. I will be better at getting pictures next time)

One of the fun things that I get to do for myself is sing with the Mormon Choir of Washington. No, no we're by no means the Tabernacle Choir, but we're good. We moved here 1 year ago today. I can't believe it's been a year in VA. I SO MISS my MOM but I get to see her in a few weeks!!
Ok back to my post. We've been here a year and our first Sunday here was a concert at the Visitor Center at the DC Temple. The Mormon Choir of Washington was doing there last summer concert with Sandra Turley as a guest Soloist. I had found out that the ward we moved into had 3 singers that were in the choir. I new our ward was good!
It was a great concert. I as so impressed and then the Ladies in the ward mentioned they would be doing auditions for the choir in September so I waited until then and tried out! I was so nervous and I'm pretty sure they put in on faith cause my audition didn't do me justice. I'm not a soloist by any means. Anyway I made it and started singing with them. We practice every Thursday night for 2 hours. and the drive there is about 45 min each way! So it is quite the time commitment. But I love it.
Our year was pretty impressive with all the concerts and things we did. WE did a few Why I believe Firesides in September and then October and then we started on Christmas.
We did a big concert for Christmas with the Mormon Orchestra at the Strathmore Music Center in Maryland. It was a very nice concert hall. My favorite of the Christmas music was A Christmas Festival and O Holy Night. Besides that concert we did the two lighting ceremonies at the Temple Visitor Center. The first night is invited guests only of Senators, Representatives and Selected Ambassadors. We had his Excellency Le Cong Phung from Vietnam there for the first night then the next night is also invited guests only of more ambassadors and city officials. There Elder Marriott spoke. I think they said he's been in charge of the lighting for close to 30 + years.
We had a little break for Christmas but were Right back in there starting on our Black History Month music. It took me awhile to get into the mood for this music but it sure got into me. We had two concerts for this music and probably my favorite concert of all the year was combined with the Alfred Street Baptist Church Senior Choir. They're choir was so full of SOUL It was kind of hard to combine but after a few lines of the songs we sang together it was so much fun! We sang songs like Witness, The Battle of Jericho, and I want Jesus to Walk with Me. My favorite was a song that the Baptist Choir sent us. Done Made My Vow to the Lord. It was so fun and amazing. I hope that next year we do something more with that choir.
The second night we sang with Tab Choir soloist Alex Boye' for a why I believe Fireside. He has an amazing story and has one of the I am a Mormon Videos.
Then we worked on Easter. It was such a nice change from the fun, exciting music of the south, to start singing music to our Lord. This was such a beautiful time of year and we sang beautiful music. One of my favorites was Hear us, O Lord and Beauty for Ashes. We sang a Bach that was really hard but I believe it turned out beautifully. Christ Gave Himself a Sacrifice. And then that we sang for the rest of the summer that is such a beautiful piece was The King of Love my Shepherd Is. I loved the Easter Concerts. The spirit was so strong and I definitely felt the Love of my Savior as we sang of his Death and Resurrection.
After the Easter Concerts we started with some fun and Patriotic music like the Battle Hymn and Away to America. We did Four different Genres for our summer concerts. patriotic, music for the Stage, Religious and Popular. We had Sandra Turley come again for this summer concert. She as been Cosette is Les Miserables for years and has toured with that company across the world. for the Stage music we sang You'll Never Walk Alone and a Medley from Les Miserables. Sandra sang Popular and One Short Day from Wicked. Matthew joined the choir for the Summer concerts and was in the back up singers for One Short Day. He had a solo saying at the end. "THE WIZARD WILL SEE YOU NOW" He was perfect. Then for religious we sang For the Beauty of the Earth and God So Loved the World. Then the Popular section the men did a medley from HMS Pinafore, then we did Edelweiss and the girls did Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and we ended with Brothers and Sisters. Such a fun concert with lots of songs and soloists.
I'm excited for the next coming year! Our first concert of the season is on September 11 at the Temple Visitor Center to help honor the 10 years it's been since that dreadful day in New York. It should be an amazing concert! If your in the area for sure make that a priority!
I do have to mention that it was nice to have Matthew with me for the summer but being in the Choir is MY TIME. I'm not sharing it with him for the next year!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Charlotte Progess and a Hooray for Kathryn

I've been so proud of Charlotte lately! She's gotten so big in the last month. Our visit to CHOP was May 15 and she wasn't even crawling well. Just started army crawling and now she's up on her hands and knee's pulling to her knee's at every thing and playing with everything and getting into all my cupboards. Seems like her favorite place is the bathroom. And then onto the kitchen to play with all the cookie pans under the oven. I'm so enjoying her mobility how it is and not working as hard as I could be on helping her learn to walk and stand. But I know she can stand, well, for a few seconds anyway.

At PT on Wednesday we worked on going up the first step on the stairs landing and she did it almost all by herself by the 4-5 time. She did it again today with just a little encouragement. I may need to invest in a baby gate or two.

I just love watching her get into things and be a little mess maker every where she goes. playing with one set of toys and then onto another area.

One of the goals that we made for her 8 months ago was to have her move independently across the floor to play with her sister or the play kitchen and be able to play at it for 5 or more minutes. She is definitely doing that. and that was her 18 month goal. She's 14 months now.

I just read some posts from a friend Jamie, who had people send her emails and such about what doctors told them their little ones with SB won't or will not be able to do and are now doing that and much more. It was an awesome reminder of all of our abilities. I also looked back and I don' t think any of the doctors have said anything real negative about Charlotte's abilities. It was all mostly things like, 'you'll just have to wait and see' and ' every one's different' . From the time she was born they've all said she'd for sure walk.

She's so on track. Oh I almost forgot. She's also saying a few words. Mom, Hello, and Uh-Oh. Love it!

And Kathryn


We don't know if she'll be morning or afternoon but she's in! I'm so happy for her. She's going to love it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

1 Year MOM's Evaluation

I love this quote. We should all strive to be angels!

I can't believe I forgot to post about this one. We all went up to Philadelphia May 15-18th to go to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for Charlotte's one year evaluation for the MOM's Study. We drove up Sunday after Stake Conference and made it to the hotel about 5:30ish. It was a nice little drive. Only 3 hours. With a movie going the whole time it felt like nothing. The girls did great. Kathryn was really excited to sleep in a hotel room in a bed in the same room as mom and dad. When we came home she said we had to move our bed over so her bed would fit in our room.

We went to dinner that night and went to sleep early for a early arrival to CHOP. The first day was the Physical and Developmental Evaluation. And XRay of her head and spine. We met Jamie Koh the Nurse Coordinator for the study at CHOP and then had the two evals. We had to tape up Charlotte's spine so they wouldn't know what surgery she had. I think she did great. She had just started Crawling forward the week before that So I was glad to be able to show that off. Man she's come a long ways since then. now she's up on all fours crawling on hands and knee's and pulling herself up on her knee's. Today I've seen her try to move her leg up to stand. Anyway. I think she did great. She had to do some little tests thing like putting blocks in a cup or finding an item under a cup or putting her finger in holes and coloring. I haven't worked on coloring so that was not a strong point for her. We'll have to work on that soon.

anyway after that we got lunch at the hospital and went downtown to see the liberty bell and Independence Hall. We didn't get tickets in time for a tour of Independence hall but we got to see the side house where the Senate and House met. It was really neat for me. Matthew probably would have rather gone back to the hotel but I'm glad he walked around with me. I really wanted to go in the Mint but it was closed for tours. Just a bit to late for doing it all. I did get to try a Philly Cheese steak and I have to say I'm not impressed. The ones at Steak Escape at the mall back in AZ are way better!

The next day was a really early start so I just took Charlotte for her MRI and Matthew and Kathryn stayed at the hotel and chilled. I'm glad I had my Kindle with me so I could read at the hospital. Charlotte had to be sedated for the MRI. It was so sad seeing her get sleepy and then fall asleep completely. She did really good though. She was the best patient yet. One of the nurses said she wished that all her patients would be as good as Charlotte so her day would be easy. Even the IV was simple for them. Charlotte didn't even flinch. They must have used some good Numbing stuff on her little hand. They did have to put a brace over the IV because she kept pulling at it. That took most of the morning. I didn't get back until close to 3:00 and I made Matthew take Kathryn out so Charlotte and I could sleep some more. the Dr told us not to do much as Charlotte would still be a bit groggy. So we found a little place to eat the then went to bed.

The next day was Urology and renal/kidney ultrasound. The ultrasound was first and that was fast and easy. oh it was cold and rainy and we had to check out that day from the hotel. So anyway we did the ultrasound and then went to urology for urodynamics. We had to wait a bit for that and then Matthew went in with the dr for that one. I stayed with Kathryn in the waiting room until it was over and then they talked with both of us. Nothing really new there. He wants us to start giving her medicine 2 times a day spread out to 8 hours and then tape the catheter in at night so her bladder doesn't over work at night. He also mentioned a procedure that we could have done to 'reset' her sphincter and urethra so the work in sync and not opposite each other like they do now. I'll be asking about that at our next clinic day next week at DC children's.

The Neurosurgeon wanted to talk with us about something they found on her spine. Upper thoracic area. She as a cyst on her spine that he wanted us to know about but that we didn't need to worry. unless it starts causing her to deteriorate in her physical activity. But know we're wondering if it is stopping progression in walking, like would she have been standing more by now if it wasn't there and such like that. So we'll watch that and her shunt and hope for the best.

Over all it was a good visit for us. Every one was so nice and loved our girls. Kathryn wore her purple sparkly shoes and got comments every where she went. and at how blond the girls hair is. I don't think I go anywhere without a comment on that.

After all that we were done and were going to head home but decided to stop by the Zoo first. It was an awesome Zoo. Lots of fun animals, all close together, no big hills, and just fun. See for yourself in the pictures but the animals felt like they were right there to touch. The Lioness was HUGE. It poured on us while we were there so we got drenched but it was still fun!

I would love to go back and tour more of the down town history area but that will be far from now. We can go back to chop at 30 months but I think were ever we are I want to go to San Fran as that feels like 'home' for the Moms stuff.

Here's to another 18 months of growth to knock the socks off the doctors at UCSF !!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


We live in the forest. Yes a place where there are squirrels in abundance, deer that run along the roads, and a stream with fish not more then half a mile down the lane is the forest. We went fishing on the Free Fishing Day here in VA. It was a lot of fun. I caught the first fish. Only about 3 inches long. I think it's called a Sun Fish. I hate the removing the fish from the line part but casting and reeling them in is fun. Matthew caught a big trout next. Kathryn really likes to Pet the fish. We ended up eating the trout for dinner the next night. It got the hook way up in it's throat and Matthew couldn't get it out in time.

Then I must have not gotten all the french fries out of the happy meal box for a tasty meal for this squirrel. It was not 1 foot away from the door and he didn't mind us gawking at him eating our french fries. This is just a regular one but if you come on by you'll see black squirrels. Weird I know. We've asked about them and they are new to the area for a few years. It's like a camp out every time we go out side.

Memorial Day at Mount Vernon

So our Memorial day activities started on Saturday.
We went swimming at the Rec Center here. Yes we all went swimming. Kathryn LOVED it. They had an awesome 2 foot deep kid's area that she walked around for ever. I took her into the lap pool for a little bit to try teaching her some swimming but she just liked sitting on the paddle floaty.
After swimming we got ready and drove down to Mount Vernon for 'Mount Vernon at Sunset'. It was their normal activities but just after 6. They usually close at 5. So we got there about 7 and walked around. The grounds were amazing. They had fun stick games on the bowling green in front of the house and all sorts of buildings all over. We toured the inside of his home which for that time was amazing. The two main entertaining rooms were a bright Blue but it certainly looked good. I wish I could have taken pictures of the inside but no pictures were allowed. We had dessert on the lawn over looking the Potomac. then had to go home for game night for Matthew. I need to go back because there was a lot more to see and do then just a couple hours will allow. George Washington was a science guy and loved new inventions one in his house was so cool as I would have most likely died back then with no AC and all the heat and humidity out here. Well anyway it was a chair with a built-in fan on top of it that he could wave the fan with a peddle on the floor.

Our next Memorial Day Activity we did was on Sunday where we went down to the capital and went to the Memorial Day Concert on the Capitals lawn. It was a really nice night and the girls did really well. We took the train down there. Collin Powell spoke and some American Idol singers and BB King and others. They had some memorials for some soldiers from 9/11 and then WWII and Vietnam and others. It was a really nice event. I'm really glad we went and got to experience that with thousands of others.
So much History out here and I haven't done as much as I've liked in the last year that we've been here. Yes it's been a year at the end of this month so . I guess I need a new goal to go out and tour some new places at least once a month.
We're going to Rochester next month to visit Matthew's sister so next month will be covered but well if anyone wants to come join us on my adventures please do, call and come!