Video Blogs ?!?!

Recently someone asked me if I have or would do video blogs of things in our home. Baking Bread, Kids Crafts, Meal Planning Etc, the truth is, I NEVER thought of it. The fact of talking on a camera makes me a little uneasy, but would definitely help me get out of my comfort zone. I did browse around and it seems to be quit popular. I think Id be willing to give it a shot if others were interested, so let me know !

All my Love, Nicole

Getting Back In The Swing Of Things

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Things have been busy around here and not all bad! We have had a bit of a break from medical appointments. We are pushing some out further so we can have a break and settle down for a bit. The kids are all busy !!
Skye has made new friends in our neighborhood and is starting Girl Scouts! She just had her 11th Birthday as received a citizen of the month award at school. She is doing great and working very hard!
Dylan has also made friends in our neighborhood! The boy two doors down plays basketball almost daily and Dylan is out there when he can! He is in Boy Scouts and has got to do some extra activities, he LOVES it. He is doing good in school, working very hard and we couldn’t be prouder!
Laycee is busy — she is so energetic and happy. We are having more good days than bad right now, I pray it continues. She is still not in school but is doing school at home, daily. She loves it. We just registered her in Gymnastics – going against advice from drs, but we see it as she is sick whether she is enrolled or not. Our goal as parents is to make life as normal as possible for her.
Adalynn — Has basically potty trained herself!! It’s been nice, although she reminds me of the Clorox commercial running down the hall with her potty. She is officially 3 tomorrow!!! I can’t believe it – she loves strawberry shortcake, Playdough and running wild!! She is having a sleep study soon to look for answers – maybe there is hope I’ll have my side of the bed back soon ! She is so tall – just like her Mom and Dad. Happy Birthday Princess!

Evern and I are doing good ! We are content and couldn’t be happier in our new home with our family.
The last few years have been a true test of strength in our marriage. Not in a bad way, but being separated, an ill child etc. Even with all the challenges I feel this place is exactly where god intended us to end up.
School for me is going — I’m basically done with the exception of some 3 exams and a paper – I thought I was done till my professor emailed me, oops – guess I had lots on my mind. Evern is enjoying his new job, learning new things and making new friends. It’s been one heck of a ride but we didn’t fall off the roller coaster of ups and downs!
Thanks for all the continuous love and prayers for our family.
All my love, Nicole

How Bad News Equals Good News

As many of you know, Laycee went into the hospital today for a list of doctors appointments, tests and imaging.

We started with the Otolaryngologist (Ear Nose and Throat Doc), The head of Seattle Childrens OTO department– Her L ear, the ear she has had the infection in for three months looked significantly better! Her Right ear, which was infected last Friday now, has now had a culture sent off and was suctioned out. He was unable to “clear” it all out due to her being awake and in started causing her too much pain. He let us know that these are not “typical” ear infections, the way they present themselves is “different”. The amount of antibiotics she has consumed over the past three months is ridiculous. No would do not like giving them to her, but we don’t have a choice. After spending 45 minutes with this doctor, who has done so much advocating on behalf of our family, we moved on to the next.

Infectious Disease – We spent 45 minutes with the resident doctor, going over every bit of information about Laycee. He sat there with a shocked look on his face when I told him she has lost her finger nails and toe nails at times, and acts basically normal with a fever of 104 degrees. After 45 minutes of listing every symptom, infection, illness she has had he went to get the doctor who is the head of Infectious Disease at the Hospital. He came in, and asked about other appointments we had scheduled.

We were now 20 minutes late for a CT Scan. He called down, and we needed to go right away to not give up our slot, and asked us to come back after our Rheumatology appointment, which was scheduled right after the scan. Nothing came up with rheumatology, they are “fairly positive” this is an immune issue. I did learn two things though, Laycee is fairly flat footed, and she is disgustingly double jointed.

Now back to infectious disease. Luckily the resident doctor wrote down every last bit of information that was given to him, and it made the next bit a little easier to explain. We went over each issue with the Head Dr. He found more white and brown spots that have appeared on her body than we had ever noticed. He listed all the uncommon bacteria’s found in all her cultures over the past 2.5 years, and went over how rare these really were, especially multiple times. He has never seen anything like it, but did confirm it is an immune disorder of some type … what, he has no idea, but he has every intention of finding out. He said I know you have been patient for almost 3 years, but I’m going to need you to be patient for a little longer, he needs time to research and contact other doctors that may have been exposed to something like this before. We have been told these issues can sometimes take years and years to diagnose. Believe it or not Laycee has actually “held up” very well. When someone has and undiagnosed issue, they are harder to treat because they don’t know exactly what they are treating. Yes, her ears are infected …. but her ears are the symptom of another issue. It masks the main problem inside. With this being said, all her treatments have been fairly successful to what they could be. We have been told before to keep her away from sick people, and we will continue to do so, but we also feel she has to be a four year old. It is very uncommon for someone to outgrown something like this, but generally adults don’t get as sick. She will be starting genetic testing soon. If her ear swab comes back with any type of bacteria that needs antibiotics, she will be admitted into the hospital (Monday or Tuesday) for 24-48 hours maybe a day longer to have a port put in place, and make sure everything is working good. She will then come home and continue long term antibiotics at home. This port will be used for blood draws and medications. She will continue to take Tylenol and ibuprofen on a regular basis for fevers and pain, especially in her ears.  For now, this will be her and our “normal life”. The hard part is, she doesn’t bounce back like she used to. She recognizes when she is not feeling well more, she is sleeping a lot more, she doesn’t want to be sick.

It was an information overload today, and I had my meltdown, I laid in bed and talked to my Mom … or I cried she listened, as always like my parents do along with many other people on “Team Laycee” So yes, it was bad news ….. but in a way, its a step forward. We aren’t worse off. We now have a group of specialists on the same page, dedicated to getting our daughter better and that’s all that matters. As much as we want to wake up and this to be history or solved, we know it wont and we need to remember to accept the progress god gives us. I would do anything to not see our kids go thru this. I say kids because its not just one, its 4 and two parents, it takes a toll on all of us in different ways. We all have different ways of coping with it, and there is nothing wrong with that. Every parent wants to see their kid healthy and happy, and what we are facing is NOTHING compared to many more and for that we are grateful. We cant change it, its out of our hands, We can pray that one day if another child or person is in the same situation as she is right now, they will be that much further ahead and maybe not go through what she has for the last three years of her life. She can “pay it forward”.  

French Bread Pizza – $.67 Per Serving !!!

This has to be one of the family favorites! The best part about it, it’s CHEAP AND QUICK.

What you need:

1 loaf French bread
1 cup pizza sauce
Pepperoni (24 pieces)
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese (depends house cheesy you like it)
Parmesan to top if you like

Slice the bread lengthwise in half, spread pizza sauce, add pepperoni and top with cheese!
I bake mine for 5 min on 425 and Broil till cheese is melted!

The cost for me to make this today was.

French Bread – $.84
Pizza Sauce – $.50 (& I have extra)
Pepperoni – $1.00
Cheese -$1.00

That’s a total of $3.34

Serve with a Salad and bump it up to $4.00 !

This feeds 6 of us so the total cost is about $.67 a person !

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Sunday Breakfast ! The start of a positive day !

One of my favorite times with our kids is sitting down, around the table, being thankful for the food in front of us, and of course each other. I love giving the kids the opportunity to dish their own food up, the meal seems to go smoother, they don’t fool around as much, and they tell me thank you for letting them scoop their own food! Now that’s a good start to the day for everyone !

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Breakfast Quesadillas !

A fun, simple and fund friendly breakfast !

What ya need !

4 medium flour tortillas
2 eggs
4 cooked sausages sliced
3 mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP finely chopped onion
1 TBSP finely chopped green pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cheddar cheese grated
Top with salsa if you like !

Fry sliced sausages, mushrooms, onions, green peppers. Whisk eggs, add salt as pepper and pour into meat and veggie mixture. Fry until eggs are cooked.
Place tortilla in heated skillet sprinkle with half the cheese top with 1/2 the egg mixture and top with 2nd tortilla. Flip when golden brown!!

You can really change this recipe up as well!

Enjoy

From our loving home to yours.

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Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal !

Some people like their oatmeal thicker, some thinner, so this recipe may vary a little to accommodate those preferences.

What you need!

1/2 cup puréed pumpkin
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Dash of ginger
Dash of nutmeg
1-1.5 Cups Oats
1 TBSP Brown Sugar (or more to sweeten)

Place first 6 ingredients in a pot and mix well for 1 Min on high. Add oatmeal & Sugar and cook until desired consistency. The girls LOVED it !

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Pumpkin & Spice Waffles !

Pumpkin has ALWAYS creeped me out, I’m not sure why. I just tried it for the first time ….. Today. And I LOVED IT ! I whipped up some Pumpkin and Spice Waffles. The kids love them, and they are simple, quick, and a fund friendly treat!

What you need!

A heated Waffle Iron
2 cups pancake mix
1/2 Can Pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 all spice
1/3 cup white sugar
Water is about 1.5-2.5 cups …
Until you get a smooth, pancake consistency batter

Mix dry ingredients together and stir well. Add the wet ingredients and slowly mix. Don’t over Mix !

Cook on waffle iron as you would regular waffles. Top with whip cream and a dash of cinnamon !

Enjoy !

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Pen Pals !

I have been thinking of new ideas to work on Laycees writing with her for school. I thought a pen pal would be perfect ! I posted it on Facebook that we were looking for a pen pal, and so far we have 5! Laycee spent about 20 Minutes writing her special letters. Mommy wrote on the envelopes but she got to place the magic stamps on there! She is excited to get mail back! Thanks everyone who is making this happen !!

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