Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dance Lessons for Molly

For at least a year and half, Molly has been requesting dance lessons. I wanted to wait until I felt I knew it was something she really wanted to do, and not just because she saw her little friends taking classes. So finally, I felt that we should go look into it. The first class at the studio near us is free, so we checked it out on Tuesday. Needless to say... Molly was hooked. She worked so hard at every little move and wanted to be perfect. So of course I HAD to sign her up. Today I picked up her dance clothes and she has been pirouetting and leaping all over the house ever since. It simply melts my heart to see her finding so much joy in dancing. I love these pictures of her because she came up with the poses all by herself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A busy Saturday...

We had a very busy day on Saturday. The day started with housework and yardwork. Then after lunch, Molly and I joined friends at a performance of Snow White at the 24th Street Theater. It was Molly's first trip to the theater (live or film) and she really enjoyed herself. The production was geared to kids and was the perfect length for her to sit through. And afterward the kids could meet the characters and get their autographs, which she LOVED. We will definitely be partaking in their children's productions again.

After the play, we picked up Steve and the twins and headed over to Aunt Nancy's house to enjoy the pool on a HOT day. It was also Brandon's senior homecoming dance, and they asked me to take a few pictures of him with his date. "Little" Brandon is all grown up!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Geneticist...

I just wanted to give a quick update on Molly and today's trip to the geneticist. We were there for at least an hour, and they took a complete genetic history of our family tree. Then we chit chatted... and basically the doctor confirmed what we already knew:
- her spots are typical for people with McCune-Albright Syndrome (MAS)
- right now she doesn't have any other diagnostic features of the disease (bone or endocrine issues)
- until she shows other signs or symptoms of MAS, it doesn't make sense to put her through a battery of other exams and tests
- basically we'll just assume everything is just fine unless things change as she grows and develops

I have done a LOT of research and read a LOT of journal articles. A high proportion of kids with these spots develop other MAS related issues when they're older (6-12 years old). But the fact that she doesn't have any obvious bone deformities by 4-years old is a good sign. So, until something develops that we should worry about, we are going back to life as normal and placing it into God's hands. We know what to be looking for, but can't spend our days worrying about it.

It has been a test of faith for me. I have realized that it is easy for me to trust God with my own life, but harder to entrust my children's lives to Him. But when something like this comes along that is completely out of my control, all I can do is pray and trust Him. So... that's what I'm going to do. And I'm just very thankful that as things stand right now... everything is just fine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Be Refreshed...

On Sunday, we spent the afternoon at our annual church picnic... also dubbed as "Be Refreshed". It's always my favorite event because it's such a blast seeing all the kids enjoying the beach and water. Out kiddos were no exception, as all three of them enjoyed playing in the sand and rocks.

The highlight for Molly was going out in a kayak with Daddy. We contemplated taking the whole family out in a canoe but figured handling oars and keeping the twins from leaping out of the boat seemed like an improbable feat.

I enjoyed watching Garrett and Paige playing together. Here they are walking along holding hands, which they will only do under coercion.

Although chasing the twins around was a little chaotic, it was definitely nice to relax with friends. And we all left the evening feeling a little more... refreshed...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweet Miss Molly...

A couple of weeks ago we had Molly's 4-year doctor's appointment. She is getting so big, and we were blown away to find out that she's grown 5 inches since last year's appointment. She's now 3' 7.5" (97th percentile) and 46 pounds (95th percentile). She's definitely going to be tall!

Her pediatrician did voice a concern about her large birthmarks and asked that we see a dermatologist again. Some of you may remember that we have already gone through this, and I wrote a blog post about it several years ago (click here to read). I was actually looking forward to a second opinion because last time we went the dermatologist seemed a little "unsure". Cafe au lait birthmarks are not a concern in themselves, but they can be an indicator of a variety of diseases. The initial concern was a disease called neurofibromatosis. And the new dermotologist agreed that her spots are not consistent with this disease. However, they ARE consistent with a rare genetic disease called McCune-Albright Syndrome (MAS). The spots with this disease are typically large, covering a shoulder and arm, and stop abruptly at the midline (at the sternum on the front and on the spine in the back). They also tend to have jagged (not smooth) borders and they can have additional spots on the base of the back. This is EXACTLY like Molly's spots, and it was crazy to see pictures of other kids with spots exactly like hers. Sooo... we have been referred to a geneticist for further evaluation.

MAS is due to a genetic mutation and tends to cause a triad of issues. The first thing noticed is the cafe au lait spots. Then kids develop hormonal issues, often including precocious (early) puberty in girls. Also, there's usually fibrous dysplasia of the bones which typically causes growth deformity and brittle bones. So if this is something she has, it's not great. But it's not life threatening and they can treat the issues as they come up. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, kids can get the signature cafe au lait spots and not develop any other issues. Steve and I have a lot of peace about it. We both feel that it's prudent to meet with the geneticist next week so that we can be as informed as possible. But until she starts showing other signs and symptoms of MAS, it's pointless to assume that she has it. So we just ask for prayer and continued peace. Thanks!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

35 years old...

Well, I am now 35 years old. For some reason this birthday has felt "big" to me. I'm now on the cusp of being in my "upper 30's", but in my head I'm still around 25 years old. Thankfully, my birthday was nothing less than completely relaxing and filled with all the things I love... my family, my friends, good food and a little shopping.

I slept in late thanks to my darling husband, and when I stumbled into the kitchen I was greeted with a fabulous breakfast and big bouquet of flowers. Steve made Danish aebelskivers, which is cross between a pancake and a donut hole. They were seriously fabulous, topped with berries and sided with turkey sausage! Yum!

Then we did a little shopping and while Steve entertained the kids I was able to buy a new pair of jeans (which was needed). Then we let the kids run out their energy in the mall play area, before heading home for naps. When the kids woke up we went out for an awesome sushi dinner and home for birthday cake (pie).

I only had a teeny slice of birthday pie, because after the kids were in bed I was off to meet some friends for ice cream. It was so fun to hang out with friends from different areas of my life: Family (cousin Debbie), church peeps and my SMOM ladies (twin & triplet moms).

And here's "second dessert"... my ice cream sundae. Apparently the server felt my sundae wasn't big enough so he brought me a supplementary dish of ice cream. Tomorrow it's back to reality and back to Weight Watchers! Haha!

Thanks to everyone for the sweet birthday wishes! When I turn 40 we'll REALLY have to celebrate!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to School...

Today was Molly's first day back to school at Christ Community Preschool. She will be there Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and has many of the same teachers as last year, which is nice. But even better is the fact that her two buddies from church, Keilani and Ava, are now going to school with her. The three amigos are destined to have a fabulous year, and to celebrate we all went out for lunch after school to Red Robin. A great start to an awesome year!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The perks...

One of the perks of being a photographer is having lots of photographer friends. All you gotta do is mention in passing that you could use a new head shot and BLAM... they're offering to do it for you. Gotta love networking. Thanks to Bethanie for my new snazzy pictures (the bottom of which will be going on my new work website if I ever get around to finishing it).

Friday, September 3, 2010

The last full week of summer break...

This is was the last full week of summer vacation, as Molly goes back to preschool next Wednesday. Let me tell you... this won't come soon enough. I tried to fill our days to keep the kids busy because otherwise they would spend the day at home fighting over toys. We made a trip to McKinley Park to feed the ducks, but that didn't go to well because I was alone and struggled keeping the both twins out of the pond and out of the duck poop. But they did enjoy feeding the squirrels while we had our picnic.

We also took a trip to Swanston Park to enjoy their spray area. I think this may be one of my new favorite parks. Unfortunately, although Garrett LOVED it, the girls were a little overwhelmed by all the water and kids. So they spent all their time on my lap. Oh well... at least Garrett had fun!

When we were at home, I tried to engage the kids in cooperative play as much as possible so they could learn how to play TOGETHER better. Molly enjoyed playing "hairdresser", although I don't know if Paige was overly thrilled with the outcome.

Molly also dressed up in her old poodle Halloween costume and the twins had fun feeding her and petting her and grooming her. Paige just wanted to cuddle with her all the time and was constantly throwing her arms around her "doggie".

There was also a lot of "princess dress-up" time. And I found it interesting that despite my efforts of trying to get Garrett in a gown or tutu, he had absolutely no interest in participating. He preferred wrestling with his favorite dog.

Here's to a long weekend with Daddy and back-to-school next week! Whoo whoo!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life with the animals...

Garrett is definitely my verbal boy. He is already quite a little parrot and we are often amazed at the words he repeats back to us. He loves "roaring" and will often announce his entrance into a room with a mighty "ROAR"! Anyway, here's a cute video of him showing off his animal sounds.