Monday, October 25, 2010

Say Cheese!

I have found it nearly impossible to take a good photo of Sophie lately. I think it must be a 3 year old thing, because it seems I recall Ben going through a phase like this too. She forces her smile and she absolutely refuses to look at the camera! During one particular stubborn moment this summer, I took this series of photos. What can I say! We love our silly Sophie!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Summer Fun

I can't even begin to catch up on my non-blogging of late, so I decided that I would just upload some photos from our fun summer. Then hopefully, I can dedicate a little bit more time to birthdays, the start of school and the fun trip we just took! So here is a brief overview of the Cook Family's summer of fun (in no particular order)!

Adeline in a fountain in Charlevoix, Michigan. She was hesitant at first, but quickly discovered that is was great fun to run through the jets of water!

The Cook Family on the beach of Lake Michigan
(I do believe that Addie is pulling my hair. She wasn't thrilled to be trapped in the backpack)

Sophie proudly displaying a shell she found on the beach

Addie running from me on the beach. She is in her jammies because we camped ON the beach in Grand Haven Michigan. It was so fun and so beautiful!

Another of Sophie and Lake Michigan

Our little ham-I should probably post the series of these photos because they were hilarious.
Sophie has sand and sunscreen infused hair with a bit of humidity too.

Ben on the beach in Grand Haven, Michigan

Our friends Anna and Joshua before they moved to NY this summer

Ben and Sophie by our pool. We spent every morning at swimming lessons, then did a little extra swimming, had lunch and then headed home for naps. Both kids could jump off the diving board by the end of the summer and swim to the edge. Sophie was a force to be reckoned with at the pool-swimming seamed to come naturally to her. (I should probably note that she was the first to jump off the board, only then did Ben try it. There are no life vests or floatation devices allowed at our pool, and the kids have to be able to swim freely to the edge before they are allowed in the deep end.) We can't wait for next summer!

One of many picnics we enjoyed at a park on the Potomac River in Old Towne Alexandria

And I swear there is more to come! I have to admit that I miss blogging and will have to find time to fit it back into the schedule!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Our littlest patient

Sweet Addie has been as very good patient as of late. She's had lots of practice. We've been to doctors appointment after doctors appointment over the last three weeks. She isn't gaining wait very well. She has always been small, but has only put on 5 pounds in the last year. The good news is that she is staying on a growth curve, the bad news is that her curve isn't on the charts. The technical term is Failure to Thrive (FTT), and I would have to disagree. Although she may be tiny, she IS thriving! Her developmental skills are right on track, she eats well, and is a happy, social baby. Nevertheless, her pediatrician decided we better look into her growth issues to be on the safe side. There was also that pesky problem in which our little bugger pulled most of her hair out and had a fascination with putting it in her mouth. The technical name for that condition is Trichotillomania. That's more than a mouthful if you ask me! Unfortunately for Addie, we shaved her head back in the winter, and that seamed to put an end to her hair pulling for now.

Our pediatrician referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist at Walter Reid Army Medical Center which is on the north end of DC. We were very happy with the facility and the staff. We got to know them quite well. The pediatric department is sizable and great with the little ones. They even have a pediatric lab, which came in handy for all the blood work and tests she had to endure. The only drawback is the commute. We live in Northern Virginia on the south side of DC. The drive was taking me anywhere from 45 minutes to nearly 2 hours one day. DC traffic is just the worst! We are thankful for all of our friends who helped with Ben and Sophie over the last three weeks. We couldn't have done it without them! I think we made the commute 6 times, and it would have been really hard to take all three kids!

Anyhow, back to Addie. The doctor tested her for everything under the sun. She had blood work to test for any abnormalities and/or nutritional deficiencies . That came back normal! She was tested for a bladder infection which can cause stunted growth. That came back normal. There was the lovely stool test which tested for lots of things which I didn't really understand. That came back normal. We went in for a cystic fibrosis test one morning. that was a very interesting procedure and thankfully that came back normal as well!

We met with a dietitian and provided food logs for her. Addie was consuming nearly enough calories and had a good balanced diet. We've switched to Pediasure for 2/3 of her milk calories. She also now gets to eat canola butter on her vegetables and gets canola oil mixed into some of her food. The highlight is that she is permitted/advised to have a small scoop of full fat ice cream for a treat! Trust me, she is loving that part. I'm not loving the greasy/buttery food. It means she needs a bath more frequently. But anything for my sweet, little girl!

The final test was an EGD-Esophagogastroduodenoscopy! The procedure itself is not that complicated, but they did have to put her under for it. The purpose was to look for any abnormalities in her esophagus, stomach and small intestine that may be preventing her from growing properly. They were also going to look to see if there was a mass of hair in her stomach that was preventing her from properly absorbing nutrients. And finally, they would take small biopsies from the three sites to test for Celiac disease (Gluten intolerance).

We were all nervous wrecks as the day of her procedure approached-last Tuesday. We had a 5 am arrival time. A wife of one of Nick's friends came and stayed with Ben and Sophie, so Nick and I could leave at 4am. Ouch!, but we discovered that there isn't much traffic at that time. There was a lot of waiting, but eventually she was prepped for surgery. She was the oldest of the three babies in the pediatric wing that morning. The pediatric anaesthesiologist was a bit concerned that she would have some separation anxiety once they took her back since she was too little to understand what was going on. He decided that she should have some oral drops that would make her sleepy before they carried her back. The result wasn't so much sleepy as it seemed she acted a little tipsy. After the drops and for the next 2o minutes, everything was hilarious to her. She laughed and laughed at Nick and I. She would wriggle free from our arms on her bed and then dramatically fall down, roll over and laugh. She lightened a very tense mood and allowed us all to laugh.

When it was her turn to go back, she gladly went into the anaesthesiologists arms. We each gave her a kiss and she waved goodbye to us like she was going on a grand adventure! The procedure took less than a hour. The hardest part was watching her wake from the anaesthesia. It took her a really long time to come to, but once she did, she was her old self again. She found the oxygen mask enormously entertaining, and tried to put it on both Nick and I and the nurse. She cuddled with me and her favorite blanket and new stuffed kitty. We were trying to have a sense of humor about this somehow (hairball). After awhile she was allowed to have to juice. It was her first time! She loved it and guzzled it down and wanted more. Soon we were moved to the floor where she was allowed to have more juice, eat and we were discharged.
The doctors said that everything looked good in her stomach and small intestine. There is no obstruction or hair ball that is preventing her from growing. We are still waiting for the results on the biopsies for Celiac disease. Frankly, that is something we can live with. It would be a lifestyle change for us all, but is very manageable. I promise to let you know when we get the results! We are so blessed so far that nothing has come back positive. It's likely she's just little and will grow more in due time.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Random Spring Photos

I haven't been very good about updating the blog lately. Sorry! Blame the beautiful weather-we usually play outside until dinnertime everyday. Blame the start of t-ball, gymnastics, or the 3 busy kids! Here are a few random photos from this spring, especially for the grandparents!

Here is Addie in Sophie's Easter bonnet!

A decent (?) family photo on Easter day.

The best shot of the three (Especially for Kristen-your not the only one who finds it impossible to take a good photo of three kids! Notice big brother choking Addie?)

Easter Egg hunt-we came out with a grand total of 8 eggs! (Sophie found 7, Ben 1)

Cherry Blossom Festival in DC

Sophie 'melling' the blossoms!

Ben on the National Mall
Sophie before the egg hunt-it was very humid that day. Notice the curls?

And finally Addie with her birthday quilt from Aunt Pam! (Promise to get a better photo for you Aunt Pam!) She's sleeping with it every night now.

More to come I promise!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sophie turns 3!

March 31 marked an important day in the Cook household. Sophie turned 3!

Benny was on spring break from school, so we decided to take a little trip. Shopping trip that is! We had been waiting for a good day to take Sophie to the mall to make a Build-a-bear, her reward for being fully potty trained. The malls here are CRAZY on the weekends, so we decided a mid-week trip suited us just fine. After all, who wants to go to an overly crowded mall with three small children and a husband who does not enjoy crowds. Not I!

Of course, the first thing we had to do at the mall was make her bear. She picked a coconut colored bear and named her 'Heart'. She also dressed her as a ballerina. She had a blast going through the process of stuffing her bear, washing it, brushing it, then deciding on clothes for it to wear.

Next stop was the day salon for little girls. Now, don't think I am crazy. I didn't really take Sophie to a day spa for her third birthday. That would be ridiculous. She did get her hair trimmed though for $5! I couldn't believe it-$5! Last time she had her hair trimmed at the salon I was going to they charged me $25! (Highway robbery I say, and I nearly had a heart attack!) Anyway, after her haircut, the stylist painted a little glittery heart on her cheek. Sophie was more than excited and decided she was a princess. After all, the salon was designed for little girls and was all pink and glittery. We will definitely go back next time we need a haircut.

We ran a few more errands at the mall, and then headed home for naps. Benny and I had work to do, frosting Sophie's cake and getting her presents ready.

Meanwhile, a friend picked Benny up at our house and took him to a new playground. When the girls woke from their naps, we joined them . Everyone had a great time exploring the new playground equipment. Probably too soon, we had to head to the Metro to pick up Daddy, and then head home to celebrate.

We had an easy pizza dinner and then chocolate cupcakes! Sophie had been wanting a Mermaid cake. We had originally thought we would have a joint party for the girls, but with spring break and Easter, most of our friends were out of town. We decided a party might be better another time. It seemed silly to order a big cake, after all there are only 5 of us, and Benny won't eat frosting. So, I concocted a Mermaid cake of sorts out of two colors of aqua frosting, some sprinkles and cupcakes! I think it turned out alright, and Sophie was thrilled!

Later we did some present opening. She enjoyed opening some clothes, puzzles, and best of all a pink cozy coupe! She loves riding around outside in her new wheels. A few weeks prior, Benny and I had a chance to do some birthday shopping. He decided to buy his little sister a birthday crown, stick on earrings (a huge hit!), and a Fancy Nancy beauty set which included body glitter, lip gloss, and nail polish. Our girly girl really thought she was now a princess and is seen here wearing her new crown.

Here is Sophie with her new bear and lots of pink presents!

We had such a wonderful day celebrating our little girls 3rd Birthday. She continues to be such a blessing to us!

Happy Birthday Sophie!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sweet Adeline turns 1!

She is sweet, she is little, and now sweet, little Addie is 1!

Adeline turned 1 on Saturday, and we just had to have a little celebration! This is the first time Nick has been home for one of his children's 1st birthdays! We didn't do much, but we tried to make it special. And, we do plan on having a combined party of sorts in April for both girls. (Sophie turns 3 next week!)

I stumbled upon this cute birthday shirt last month, and I just had to get it for Addie. It reads 'Birthday Girl'.

Sophie helped me make cupcakes, pink of course. We love the book Pinkalicious at our house, so it just seemed natural that Addie's cupcakes would be pink. Sophie also found this headband at the party store last week. Addie wasn't so much a fan, but I did manage to get a quick picture before she pulled it off.

Addie was thrilled when we sang Happy Birthday to her. I'm sure all of the neighbors heard too, as we celebrated out on our deck. It was a beautiful 75 degrees!

Pinkalicious was too cute in her 'pinktails' enjoying her pink cupcake.

Addie poked and prodded her cupcake, but I'm not sure she ate more than just a little bit of strawberry frosting. This was as messy as it got, and she soon started hollering to be cleaned up!

I have to say that I'm not so sure I'm a fan of pink cupcakes, but Sophie loved them. We will try chocolate for our next little girls birthday.
We had a lovely day and we are so thankful to have sweet little Addie as part of our family!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One lost, two gained

Teeth that is! We seem to be in the business of teeth these days. Addie is working on numbers 7 & 8, but most importantly Ben lost his first!

The tooth in question had been loose for about 5 weeks. I had no idea it could take that long for the little bugger to fall out. Ben was super excited about it, especially since most kids in his class have already lost their first. He couldn't have been a bigger boy about it. We wiggled it daily, he let us pull on it, but to no avail.

At the end of last week, the tooth was listing from side to side. It would turn sideways. It was just gross! Finally after dinner on Friday night, I told Ben "that tooth just has to come out this weekend. Dry it off, and try to pull on it again." He did as instructed, and out it came with one pull!

He couldn't have been more excited! By some amazing timing, Nick called just at that moment to tell us he was on his way home. Ben told him the news, and then excitedly made phone calls to his grandparents.

Here is a peek at his new smile!

Ben was really intrigued by the idea of the tooth fairy. I had bought him a sweet little tooth fairy pillow at Harrod's in London when he was just a little guy. He immediately went upstairs to dig it out of his dresser.

I asked on Facebook what was customary for the tooth fairy to bring these days. A dollar seems to be the consensus. Daddy decided that since it was his first tooth, he would get $2, but $1 for all the next.

Ben was up early Saturday morning to check that pillow, and you better believe he was excited! I think he is still more excited about the tooth though!