Tuesday, February 27, 2007


What a way to start the week! Corynn's montessori class went on a field trip on Monday. We went to an orthodontist's office (a classmate's mom). The children were learning about how to care for their teeth and what happens at the first visit to the dentist. Before we left the school- the kids sang the toothbrushing song- which was completely adorable...it had actions and everything. Then the kids were divided up and put in cars... Corynn was super shy and didn't want to pick friends to ride with us - so this little boy named Ryan said he just had to ride with Corynn because she was his bestest friend! It was cute- she is constantly coming home from school with stories about her friend Ryan - now I know he likes her too and she's not a little stalker kid! =0)

We get to the office and I was completely floored. My dentist office never looked like that! It's in a new complex behind Campbell's Nursery on 56th street and it was BEAUTIFUL! It has hardwood floors through out most of it, a play room for the kids, comfy fabric covered chairs in the waiting room (not the typical-make-your-butt-fall-asleep kind) and flat screen tvs above every chair so you can watch tv/movies while they work! Now if my dentist office was like this... I would have gone more often. DANG!

They made molds of the kids' fingers so they could see the process that is followed when making molds of patient's teeth. It was really pretty cool! It dried super quick- which is good, I guess- especially if you have to bite down on it.

They made balloon hats for all the kids. It's hard to tell in these pix, but there are 18 kids in Corynn's class. And they made balloon hats for all of them- 18 3 and 4 year olds in one office with a bunch of balloon hats. Yeah- and they made the mistake of handing them out at the beginning of the tour. I would say 4 or 5 actually made it back to the school. The kids had fun though! They usually make balloon animals for the patients- how cool! The kids all got a new toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, a brushing chart and stickers, and a check list for the first visit.
It was fun - the best part was being able to see Corynn interact with her friends. She is pretty shy, despite that she socializes quite well. The other cool thing is that she has her very first dentist appt on Thursday. So talk about timing!!! Crazy how things work out!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Busy little bee...

Well, today was quite a busy day! I left home at 6:30 am and headed back to GI to see Stetson (my little brother's son). I got to GI a little early and decided to make a pit stop over to Hastings to see John's gma. We had a nice visit, but it was cut short because I didn't have much time. Trevor and I had fun with Stetson, we gave him some early bday gifts. One of which was a bubble machine. Trevor and I filled my mom's living room full of bubbles...obviously my mom wasn't home - but Stetson liked it! He also had fun with his huge green ball.
He was really good- we even got him to take a nap! I made it back to Lincoln before the snow hit... just lots of heavy rain along the interstate. It made passing semi trailers horrible- but better than if there had been snow. Especially since our snow came with lightning and thunder- it was the craziest thing! Here are a few pix of the snow.
That white patch of snow on my sleeve is from one snow flake! I had to take the trash out and it was like being in paint ball war. I came inside with white splotches all over me. Not to mention the few that went down the collar of my shirt- burrrrr!

Emma Sue loves the snow and had a blast trying to catch the snow clumps that were falling- she wasn't sure what to think of the thunder, though!

Then to end the day- I was cleaning up the kitchen while John snow blowed the drive. I didn't notice that Corynn had went outside to help her dad until she came in and threw several snow balls at me. I was too tired to retaliate but tomorrow is a new day and that little girl had better watch out! that's all I'm saying... watch out, Puka!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I was reading a friend's blog and she listed some things she would never skimp on in the grocery store... and that got me to thinking of what things I value soooo much- as to not buy the cheap stuff. So here is my list:

  1. Dr.Pepper, A&W Rootbeer and Diet Pepsi- any old diet soda just won't do and that mr.pibb is not even close. If you have tasted A&W Rootbeer- then you know there is no other type of rootbeer!
  2. Meat- my husband is a 'master' griller and the cut and type of meat play a big role in the final outcome -so skimp on the sides and salads - but not on the meat. We love the HyVee meat counter- John knows them on a first name basis! =)
  3. I agree with the toilet paper... nothing less than Charmin or Quilted Northern. I value my tooshey way too much to buy the cheap stuff!
  4. Paper towels- now this one took awhile because I am a 'value' shopper and hate spending extra money on name brand stuff when the generic is just as good. But I recently bought the Viola! papertowels and I am in love! I can clean off all three of my kids' messy faces and wipe down the counter before having to throw it away- which makes cleaning up after dinner really quick and nice! Try them- they are awesome!
  5. ice cream- we rarely buy ice cream at our house- so when we do - I buy the Blue Bunny brand- even though I can buy a 1 gallon tub for the same price. It really just doesn't compare and what's the point of having I gallon of ice cream if it doesn't taste good?
  6. and finally dish detergent - Cascade all the way! I grew up in a house with out a dishwasher... actually let me rephrase that - we had a dishwasher and we called her mom! So when I moved out for the first time, I was the most excited about having a dishwashing machine! And I have come to realize that you just can't skimp on the dishwashing detergent unless you want to completely pre-wash the dishes before putting them in the machine. Which pretty much negates the whole purpose of even using the darn thing. We are a quick-rinse-and-straight-in-the-dishwasher family. And trust me - I can cram alot of dishes into that little sucker!!!
SO even when money is tight- I will still buy these things- they are must haves in my book!

Monday, February 19, 2007


I am thinking it is time I update my blog...but I am unsure what to talk about! So this will be one of those rare rambling blog posts that allows me to clear out my random thoughts. I recently got onto myspace and looked up people that I graduated with. Its kind of fun to reconnect and see how people are doing, where they are and what's going on with them. BUT the other night I found myself feeling slightly jealous of the lives some of them were leading. One finished fashion design school and is now living in London. A few others have careers and are engaged, planning the big wedding and hanging out with friends and going out, being single and not having many responsibilities. I think how different my life would have been had I not become pregnant when I did. (the girls didn't have school today so these thoughts paired with the girls driving me crazy- really had me wondering!) But then tonight... at swim lessons as I was sitting there watching the girls diving and practicing their strokes... I thought- WHAT THE HECK, AUDRA! Yes- my life would have been different... probably way different and you can spend your whole life wondering 'what if'! But why? I am completely happy with my life. It has been hard- very hard at times - BUT so worth it! John and I have come along way and been through more than we care to share or admit to! All of that has helped us grow and become who we are now! John and I are bestfriends and never been happier. We have awesome children and I can't imagine not having them. So eventhough I was slightly jealous of the lives of my friends - I wouldn't trade mine - EVER!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

This is Corynn's story...

Corynn was born with a brachial plexus injury resulting in Erb's Palsy on the right shoulder and arm. This was the result of the combination of a quick labor and her size. She was 9lbs 10 oz and 22 inches long. A BIG BABY! Her right shoulder was caught on my pubic bone and the doctor pulled her out forcefully which ripped her arm nerves out of her spinal cord. John and I were in complete shock and the doctor and nurses wouldn't tell us anything and down played the whole situation. When our pediatrician came in the next day to see her, he immediately called a neurosurgeon to look at her. The neurosurgeon told us she would need to go to a Brachial Plexus clinic in TX and have some surgeries to correct the damage.
My father-in-law was very adamant about taking Corynn to Mayo Clinic instead. It was a great choice- they did an awesome job. During our initial visit we were told that Corynn will NEVER have full use of her shoulder or elbow and the most we could expect would be 30-40 % range of motion and use. She wouldn't be able to touch her head, comb her hair, raise her arm above her head or extend out to the side. John and I were in shock... its not like it was life threatening - but it was a disability that would affect her forever... and people/kids can be so mean. She underwent the surgery and we hoped for the best. They took a nerve out of her right leg from the back of her knee to her heel and cut it into tiny slices. They then bundled the slices together to form a bridge between the severed nerve and the spinal cord. So she had an incision down the back of her lower leg and on her neck. They then took the nerves that allowed her to flip her wrist and transferred them to her elbow so that she could have limited use of her elbow. She was only 3 months old when this all happened. SCARY!

So after all this we are hoping and praying for the best results: 30-40% movement and range. Well- she far exceeded all the surgeons expectations. She recovered ahead of schedule and better than expected. Here is a picture of Corynn playing on the swing set.

And to think they said she would never do that! We were also told she wouldn't be able to do this...
It is amazing what medical science and faith can do! Thank you Jeff and Nancy, Brother Smith, Dr. Spinner, Dr.Bishop, Dr. Shin and the nurses at St. Mary's Hospital!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Well, actually Valentine's is tomorrow but I thought I had better get with my blog before the craziness of the girls' vday parties tomorrow. Corynn has hers in the morning and McKynna and Kwynn's are in the afternoon. BUSY day! I have a subscription to this awesome magazine (thanks, Nancy!) and it had a ton of super cute vday ideas! The first one was dipped-strawberry roses. They looked really cute - but I wasn't sure I wanted to do all that work. Turns out it wasn't that much work and they were a hit at church on Sunday!

They are just strawberries on kabob skewers then I wrapped the stems with floral tape and attached fake leaves. They are better though if you let them refrigerate over night... the sugar from the white chocolate makes the strawberries sweeter. The other idea was a valentine for the teachers. You make a trapezoid/rectangle of white construction paper and use red and yellow markers to draw stripes going up and down the box so it looks like a theater bag of popcorn. Then put a tag on it that says...it may sound corny, but I think your the best-est! and then attach a bag of microwave popcorn to the back slightly sticking out of the popcorn bag. I didn't take a picture of it before the girls took their valentines to school this morning. But it was cute and different! And the girls were happy to have made their valentines.

Anyway... I had a lot of fun this year making the girls valentines with them for school and decorating Corynn's valentine box! This mom thing is getting to be fun. Everyone is sleeping through the nights. Everyone is potty-trained. Everyone is able to dress themselves. And everyone is able to help out with chores. No strollers! ITS GREAT!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

If you can't laugh at yourself...

This week has been unusually stressful. I am not sure why... nothing major has happened...but just one of those weeks. I am sitting here tonight working on the computer and what do I happen upon- but these crazy pix! One night I was feeling crazy and took these pictures with the camera on the computer and it has led me to this conclusion-

Life is and will be crazy and overwhelming at times and it is at these times we find out who we truly are as people. If we can laugh at our circumstances and/or at ourselves then all will fine...but it is when we quit laughing that things get scary! If you aren't in a position to laugh at yourself- feel free to laugh at me... so enjoy these pictures and remember them if you ever need a good laugh! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 04, 2007


A few weeks ago Kwynn was bummed out because McKynna was invited on a playdate and she wasn't. Well, the girls are in different classes at school and therefor they have different friends. I tried to explain this to Kwynn but waterworks and tons of drama ensued. Suddenly, I had a great idea... let's have a slumber party! That way she would make a list of friends to invite and thus proving she did have friends. Well- obviously that was as far as I thought it out...the slumber party was Friday night and I was completely overwhelmed! For those of you who know me well- you know I am not girl-y! Not because I don't want to be- but because I was raised with two brothers and they didn't let me be girl-y. Add to that seven 8 year-old girls who are pre-hormonal and full of attitude... uh ya... really not sure what I was thinking! So as Friday drew near... I tried to get ready. I went and bought cute little felt zippered bags and put finger nail polish and little manicure sets in them ( I got the idea from my mother-in-law... she bought the girls these really cute manicure/pedicure sets for Christmas and they love them... the ones I bought we cheap little ones from Target but did the job). Then we made up goody bags with pins and friendship bracelets. I called and had pizza lined up and even planned a swimming trip to the YMCA with the girls. So I was feeling pretty good! Then Friday came...the girls started arriving at 5:30 on the dot some even came early! They played for a bit and then ate pizza. Then we loaded up the van and all went swimming at the YMCA (the cooper branch here in Lincoln has a really nice pool with a slide and depths of 18 inches to 6 feet. So a nice variety for the girls including Corynn!) John thought I was crazy for wanting to take them swimming, but I had a secret motive! I figured I would let them swim for two hours...burning off a bunch of energy before coming home...maybe then they wouldn't be up all night! They were pretty good at the pool and even played with Corynn- which it was very nice of them to include her. Here are a few photos at the Y.

On the way home from the Y- I was craving some icecream so we headed to Sonic for sundaes. Not sure what I was thinking because they had just wasted all that energy swimming and now I was filling them with sugar. I need to start thinking things all the way through. Well, we finally get home around 10pm and the girls head into Kwynn and McKynna's room. Some of girls fell asleep relatively early including mine. But the ones that were still awake made sure they didn't sleep for long. They painted nails and told ghost stories and it was really cute! I just hung out upstairs incase I was needed... I ended up falling asleep on the couch around 2am. I woke up at 3am and everyone was asleep- finally! Too bad it was short lived... everyone was up at 6:45am wanting to know when I was going to start making cinnamon rolls...UGHHH- I wanted to say GO BACK TO BED! But that wouldn't be the 'cool mom' thing to do... so slowly I got up and made breakfast. Parents were due to arrive at 10:30am and it seemed like it would never get here. In the end ... the girls had fun and for the most part everyone was good and my house was still standing. Its a darn good thing that these only happen once or twice a year! Just in case you are wondering where John was during all this- well he had locked himself away for the night... too much estrogen for him...it was probably for the best! He tries...and we love him for it!