Thursday, January 27, 2011

December Photos

These took awhile but look on the bright side:
*You get 2 for 1 (2 photo albums at one viewing, if you visit November as well)  (Although for many of you this doesn't count because there are so many you wont view either)
*You get a view in this album from our sweet new what photo do you think we started using it?  (hint: none of the Wonderland Party shots are ours...)

November Photos

Yep, you heard right...we're just a little backed up.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Here are a few of my favorite things #5

#5:   MINT.COM

Money management has always been something that excites me.  Yes, you heard that right.  I LOVE everything about it.   I love the control involved, I love the planning, and I love the "game" (trying to make more of it/save it).  I was really on cloud 9 when I used to teach personal finance to 12 year olds, starting the foundation of THINKING about $$ and some of the basics in managing it.  

At home, Todd finally gave over the books at some point in the first year of marriage.   Yes, I know he's a "finance guy" but he does a lot better with making the big decisions and is happy to hand the details over to me (with some reigning in at times).   We have always gone with QUICKEN, but it was always so much work!   A few people recently have told me about MINT.COM and we were finally willing to give it a try.   This is a FREE money management website that keeps all your records in one place and keeps it simple.   I am only a few weeks into using this site, but already am very impressed and wanted to pass on the the information in case you were interested.   Hope this helps some of you with your resolutions for this year...happy managing!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Let's Get Physical

Name: Anna Davis Warren
Age: 12 months (well 13 months now, but at the time of diagnosis...)
Diagnosis: Gross Motor Delay

At about 11 months our Parents as Teachers representative checked in on Anna and decided that we needed to look into why she was not yet crawling.   She suggested I call First Steps and my Pediatrician to start working to find out why there was a delay, and to start closing the gap between her and her peers.  
A First Steps representative came out and she was FABULOUS.   I loved working with them so much and was really bummed/relieved  to find out that we did not qualify for this free service.   Based
upon her observation, Anna was not experiencing a developmental delay but rather a "lack of experience".   Pause.   Let me go into why there was such a lack of experience just so you don't make this same mistake (& you don't think I am a horrible mother). 
Anna and Eli are EXTREMELY different in temperment.   Where Eli always required constant stimulation, Anna is content just sitting by and letting the world pass her by.  Where Eli squirmed when we snuggled, Anna always hates when we stop.   Where Eli loved being swaddled, Anna was fine without it.  Where Eli loved the bottle so much I had to stop nursing, Anna never took one.   So at 3 years (Eli) and 6 months (Anna) they were worlds apart, yet adore each other.  From the first week that I brought Anna home Eli couldn't resist laying on her, pulling on her, or hitting her with an object.   (We STILL struggle with this).  While some of that is aggressive, I am beginning to see that perhaps it is his way of showing her that he loves her.  Regardless we were all happier (and safer) when she was in my arms (and NOT doing tummy time).  When she learned to roll over (developmentally on time at 4 1/2 months) she then learned to sit up (at 6 months).   Once she sat up I just never laid her down...(this is where my ignorance comes in)...I just thought tummy time wasn't necessary any more so we'd just skip it : )   Anyway 6 months turned into 11 months and there was still no sign of creeping, crawling, etc. (although she was beginning to scoot on her bottom).    
Resume. The First Steps therapist gave me some tips for Anna (and Eli, but that's another blog) and that was that.   We worked on the exercises and Anna was doing a great job army crawling, backwards.  At 12 months we had a wellness visit with our Pediatrician.   She was concerned as well that Anna was not crawling and referred us to a Physical therapist. 
At the initial evaluation we found out that her ability to do the splits, and to manuver in and out of frog like position is not "normal".   They said she, "has full range of motion throughout all joints" which also means she has low muscle tone.   We walked out of the appointment with more excercises, biker shorts to keep her hips from jetting out, and were asked to come back for weekly visits.  
Anna has proven to be more driven than I thought...she started crawling one week later : )   Now she did need the right motivation at first...oranges and shoes were the best bets.   Now she does not motivation.  She loved it so much at first that she squealed with delight as she practiced her new skill.  At her follow up appointment she was congratulated given some more tips (she was still getting into crawling position from the splits) and she showed so much improvement we are down to only once a month. 
So next time you see her give her a pat on the back (or bottom) for all of her hard work!   You GO girl!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Christmas time for us always seems to go on forever.  Not that I'm complaining, but for the past few years we celebrate for at least a month!   So, when people ask "how was your Christmas?" my response is always, "It was good, and it's still going...".   That statement is true today as well; Christmas was good but it's still going.  

We start every year celebrating with Todd's mom in Republic, MO.   We always have so much fun playing with our cousin, Jameson, and now we have 2 new cousins!   Kohen (above on Jameson's lap) was born in October to Todd's sister, Cassi.   While we were in Republic our second nephew on this side of the family was born, Caden!   Anna is still the lonely girl for now, but Eli sure has a lot of cousins that would love to wrestle in the mud with him (well, at least in the near future).   I wish I had more pictures but we did not have a working camera (unless you count the one my mom let us borrow from the digital stone age).  As always the weekend would not be complete with out "The Night Before Christmas" being read, and games being played.   Anna helped make it extra special by learning to crawl!!  

Our next Christmas was here at home with just the 4 us on Christmas Day.   This was such a fun year to spend Christmas morning in our own living room, starting our own memories and traditions.   Eli had made cookies for Santa the day before and was so excited that Santa had enjoyed them!   
Anna enjoyed destroying wrapping paper, taking presents out of boxes and stealing her brothers toys.  

It was such a great morning celebrating Jesus' birthday with 2 such joyful kids.   After a slow morning we took "naps" at Grandma and Grandpa's house and then headed over to Memaw and Papaw the Great's (Todd's grandparents) house for some Christmas dinner.   

The next day my sisters came in with their families to celebrate the Morgan Christmas. The kids are all at such fun ages and play so well together.   Sleep is always an issue when we hang out with our cousins but who has time for it when there is so much fun to be had?   
Brett in his new pilot's jacket that I don't think will ever be removed

Grandma being silly with the grandkids.

Our only view of Anna now that she's crawling

Libby opening presents

Eli showing off his new hat

Roman showing off his new Pirate costume

Davis playing with new toys
Grandpa reading to the girls.

That week Todd's family was also in town so we had them over for dinner and a game night.   

Anna and Grandaddy

Whooping the family in cards

Todd with his MeMaw and Dad

Christmas will have to come to an end in mid January when we celebrate for the last time with Todd's dad (and his sisters) in Kansas City.  It will end just end time for another important birthday...