Friday, January 6, 2012

The end of 2011 and hello 2012!

Happy New Year!

So it has been quite a while since I updated our blog and there certainly is a lot to update. We have had a good but busy ending to 2011 with a few minor hurdles along the way.

Abby and Joshua are doing fantastic. I'm happy to say that Abby has FINALLY outgrown her terrible twos and is now just a "typical" curious and happy (and sometimes mischevious) three and a half yr old. She amazes me each day with the things she says and her observations to every day life. She catches everything and oh what an amazing memory she has. If I tell her I promise to lay with her that night for 10 minutes she definitely doesn't let me forget it. She is a really big help with her baby brother, is starting to understand the importance of sharing her toys, and is getting easier to put to bed at night. She loves having her stories read to her before bedtime and her favorite book to read is The Bible, yeah!

Joshua is a GIANT 18 month old baby boy AND he is all over the place. It is amazing to look back and see how much progress he has made since Summer. He is now crawling all over, both army crawling and on his hands, and he can pull himself up to stand. He is a very determined little boy and when he puts his mind to something he will find a way to do it.

In August, I thought it would be fun to start Abby in dance classes.

We enrolled her at the local dance studio, she made it thru two classes, and then decided that she wasn't ready and refused to go in the dance studio without Mommy. We were lucky enough to be able to snap a few photos adorable photos of her before she changed her mind. We will definitely try again in a few months.

In September Abby had another big month and began Preschool. Her first day went very well and since then she has asked to go to school almost every day. She loves her teacher and has made lots of new friends and even went to her first birthday party.

In October we participated in our second CHOC Walk in the Park to support CHOC Hospital. We walked in honor of Joshua and were able to raise a lot of money to support a hospital that has played such an important role in Joshua's health. It felt great to be able to give back to a place that has given us so much.

And our entire group...

Another big event that happened in October is we MOVED!!! We are now living a beautiful house in the North Hills of Brea. The kids have a playroom, Mommy and Daddy have their space, and we even have an extra bedroom for the grandparents. Yeah!

October turned out to be a bumpy month for us, but let's just say we got thru it and we are not looking back! We were really looking forward to taking the kids trick-or-treating for Halloween this year in our new neighborhood. There are a lot of kids in our cul-de-sac so we knew Abby and Joshua would have a great time. Mid October I started getting a really bad bug. I woke up with a fever on a Sunday and the fever continued through the entire week. I wasn't able to go to work and THANK GOODNESS for my wonderful manager who let me work from home because I was as sick as a dog (don't you love that saying?). By Friday, I was not only running a really high fever but I also had what I considered to be the world's worst headache. It ran from the back of my neck into my head and no matter what I did I just could not get it to go away. Finally, Friday night around midnight I had had enough and went to the ER. I spent the entire night in the ER with CT scans, xrays, blood tests, urine cultures and finally a spinal tap which led to the diagnosis of Meningitis (scary!) They admitted me to St. Jude Hospital and I spent the next 8 days there in agonizing pain, with the Infectious Disease consultant running lots and lots of tests to determine what kind of Meningitis I had. I was very fortunate that I only had Viral Meningitis which is a lot less serious than the alternative of Bacterial. I was discharged after 8 days, home for another week recovering, and then finally returned to work in November. Pheeew...that was long!

I was in the hospital for Halloween but thank you to Daddy for taking the kids trick or treating by himself and snapping some cute pictures of our bunny rabbit and kitty cat (Abby picked out both costumes this year).

Joshua also got his second set of braces in October - KAFOs (Knee Ankle Foot Orthotics). They lock at the knee to give him support when standing. We wear them mostly for therapy and for practicing standing.

In November, we were faced with another bump in the road with the loss of our two family pets Ginger and Bella. I wont get into the details surrounding what happened but it was a very hard time for us all, especially Abby.


We miss them both tremendously... and they will never be forgotten. Our pets are a huge part of our lives. And, call me crazy which I probably am but I just couldn't resist bringing more crazy back into the house. There is something about the constant pitter patter of feet on the stairs that makes me feel satisfied with life. So with that being said.....

We welcomed in two new additions to the family!

Meet Sophie (a cock-a-poo) and Bear (an Alaskan Malamute). The kids love them!

We had a really amazing December with getting the house decorated inside and out for Christmas, setting up our tree, wrapping presents and visiting with family. Rather than make the journey to the local JC Penny for our annual holiday family photos, we decided to brave a photo shoot at home. It was pretty successful and we were lucky the kids cooperated enough to snap a few good shots! =)

Christmas Eve was nice and quiet at home. Abby and I made cookies for Santa, opened our Christmas pajamas, left reindeer food in the front yard, and watched Christmas movies before going to bed.

And then Santa came....

On Christmas day we hosted the entire family at our place. The kids were spoiled!

We were lucky this year to have our family watch the kids so Doug and I could sneak off for an overnight trip in Big Bear with Doug's brother (Uncle Dan) and Auntie Sarah. It was a beautiful day and night and we kept it pretty low key. Played some games in the cabin, went out for a nice BBQ meal and enjoyed the company.

So, that was the end of our year and wow am I exhausted writing all that. It was a pretty amazing 2011 and we can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for us.

As for Joshie's health, he is doing great. Kidneys are healthy, still cathing and giving meds, physical, occupational and speech therapy each week. More updates to coming.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful and prosperous New Year!

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