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HENRI LATELY

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i volunteer at the school on fridays. as i was leaving henri’s class his teacher said check the wall outside. his class has a baby come in once a month. they touch the baby’s toes. ask the mom questions. they are then asked a question and draw a picture to go along with their answer. this month was why do babies cry? henri related back to when jack was in the hospital. most kids said   “i cried when my sister took something from me” or “when i fell.” all of my kids always relate back to jack in the hospital. it always makes me tear up. that time affected them so deeply. its sometimes hard to hear them talk about it. it shaped who we are and we are closer as a family. for that i’m grateful. but to know it still hurts them hurts me.

 

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henri was baptized this saturday 1-16-16. such a special day. unfortunately we didn’t have any family come up but we do have an amazing ward family that came to support us. i love these kids and the love they have for the gospel. i’m a proud mama.

 

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ivan made sunday dinner. carbs + meat. the meat was really good too!

 

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allergy testing. this is alway the pits. they only tested a few things. since we already know he’s allergic to every plant/grass/animal we tested for things like mold and of course peanuts again. we also tested for the dtap. henri had a really bad reaction when he got his 3rd dtap vaccination. his entire leg swelled several sizes larger than normal. it was hot and red. i told the dr. back in az and she said we should not give him anymore and reported it to the cdc. that was probably 6 yrs ago. he hasn’t had once since. a few weeks back the kids had well checks. i talked to the new dr. about what happened and he decided that since henri had no reaction with the first 2 rounds of the dtap he should be fine to get the shot. we saved the shots for another day and when we went back to get them i just had a bad feeling. i couldn’t do it. i talked with the injectionist and she told me to ask his allergist to test and see if he was allergic. well we did and he is. this is one of those times i am so grateful i trusted my gut. i was so close to just giving it to him. he’s still allergic to peanuts. bummer!

 

we also talked a little about ivans sinus problems. he’s had chronic sinus infections for months and has really been feeling pretty awful. the doctor said its because of the rain and humidity. when the rains kicks in some people get inflammation in their sinuses and have reoccurring infections. he said he’d probably get them every year. seeing how it rains for 9 months straight we aren’t sure what to do. he has an appointment with the allergist in february. we’ll see what happens.

 

henri also became a member of the boy scouts of america. he’s super excited and we are so proud of him!

 

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trying on suits. this handsome boy was in need of new church clothes. now that he’s baptized ivan told him he’s got to step up his sunday game. no more vans to church.

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LIFE LATELY DECEMBER

wow this year flew by! i can’t believe how much catching up i’ve done on the blog over the last two days. feels like a weight lifted! seattle is treating us so good. the summer was amazing, the fall was beautiful and its been a treat to have an actual winter. i am cold a lot. i’m not used to that. in my mind december should be a nice 70 degrees. i’m really craving a warm day. for christmas we decided on a family trip to hawaii. we surprised the kids with a swimsuit and few hawaiian trinkets. they guessed it right away. we leave in 2 1/2 weeks. i’m so glad its not a secret anymore. i almost slipped up so many times! henri is doing so well. ivan on the other hand has terrible allergies. i’m not even sure how since nothing is blooming. i told him he needs to get allergy tested maybe his constant congestion is a food allergy??

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henri got his tonsils out. we talked to his doctors back in arizona and they said he needed them out. they are constantly infected and he gets strep far too often. they said it would help with post nasal drip irritation and snoring. his doctor here agreed. he recovered like a champ and is doing great.

 

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henri also got a haircut. doesn’t he look so handsome and 10 years older! he loves it.

 

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meat and bread is in seattle! we’ve only been to the vancouver location. so nice having one down the street. i got the meatball and loved it. ivan got the traditional porchetta.

 

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i’ve had trouble finding great donuts in seattle. i like the traditional pink box donut shops from back home or a gourmet donut. seattle can’t seem to get it right. mighty-o are good cake donuts but they don’t have those light fluffy fresh donuts like other places. another big chain up here makes the donuts at a separate location and ships them up, thats not fresh! general porpoise was pretty darn good. the vanilla is my favorite. its not the kind of donut shop that you order a dozen. i want to say they’re almost $4 a donut but for a sweet treat they hit the spot.

 

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my cute little ramen date. i love this hat on him. he really is so much fun!

 

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ivans brother and his wife came to visit. we had the best time with them. i wish they’d move here! see what i mean i’ve got 20 layers on and i’m still cold.

 

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love for paris

 

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jacks figured out what rain boots are for. he loves jumping in puddles.

 

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via tribunali has easily become our favorite date night spot. its close, usually not too crowded and delicious.

 

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PARKS IN SEATTLE

the parks in seattle are amazing. probably because if you’re lucky enough to have a yard its tiny. we took the kids over to discovery park the other night while ava had a church activity to attend. if you park by the visitors center you can walk the trail over to the tennis + basketball courts and the playground. the zip line ended up being a total hit with henri + elle while jack loved the big yellow swing. we had the whole place to ourselves and the kids had a blast!

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jack was having terrible social anxiety. he would scream and cry every time a stranger walked by. he’d yell “mooooooomma, person..person.” crying the whole way to me. initially it broke my heart then i started wondering if i need to take him to a doctor or someone that can help us get through it. luckily he seems to be over it and doing much better. i think it was too many changes all at once. i was talking pictures of him when someone walked by and he freaked. i got a few shots of him before scooping him up. this is real life and i don’t want to forget these moments. the good and the bad.

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here he is, happy again. the person had walked by and he was back to his normal self. how quickly kids forget!

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MOVING ON

i’ve been debating on the timing of writing this for a while now. thinking of where to even begin. so i’ll start all the way back. we always talk about moving to another state. i mean always. i’m more of a fantasizer and ivan’s more of a realist. every vacation we take i’m weighing whether we could live there or not. doesn’t matter where it is. i start picking out my favorite neighborhood and how i could walk to the store and look how cute that school is. i just really enjoy day dreaming and ivan likes to bring me back down to earth. he always jokes that if i married someone like myself we’d be homeless. he’s my voice of reason.  right before we bought the farm i told him this is our chance to move if we want to take it. we could buy the farm or we could move out of state. he pushed for buying the farm and i resigned to living in az forever and truth be told i was happy with that.

 

a few months back after the longest hardest winter henri has had with his asthma, ivan said to me we have to move. now i’m thinking he’s joking. i’ve said lets move a million and one times and he always reigns me in and goes over all the reasons we can’t. so i said really??? he said yes, he went over how he couldn’t forgive himself if henri had life long asthma and he could have somehow prevented it. herni’s asthma has been no joke this year. he’s been on more antibiotic + steroids + nasal sprays + saline solutions + allergy pills + inhalers + essential oils + vapor rubs + cough drops (did i forget anything???) than you can imagine. none of them have worked. we try every preventative medicine we can to keep it from turning into an antibiotic + steroid situation but we still keep going there. within a week of getting off the antibiotics + steroids he starts coughing again which then turns into fevers and a rattling chest. the coughing is a enough to make you mad. its all day and allll night. no one sleeps. his allergy dr. said to me right now this is childhood asthma and he can grow out of it but if he keeps having this many episodes it will be life long.

 

a little bit about henri’s asthma- its triggered by allergies and sickness. he also has cough variant asthma so its a constant cough. its been so bad he couldn’t even talk, he would start coughing even trying to get words out. he gets fevers from it. he feels down and out. he can’t play grass sports. he can’t play on a slip and slide or in wet grass. he can’t be outside when the weather does its random spikes + drops or windy days or those health advisory days. he can’t be around a camp fire. he can’t go outside if anyone on the whole street is mowing. its exhausting and sometime i let my guard down and let him play in the irrigation and then boy do we pay for it. his asthma affects every aspect of his life and ours too. its difficult to watch your baby suffer constantly. i’ve gone back and forth with his allergy dr. and we’ve both come to the agreement this is a bad place for henri to live. az used to be the best place for asthma suffers. back when it was a dessert. then everyone decided to bring their nice pretty flowers and plants and this dry air just blows the pollen all around. that combined with the over population and topography of this valley. its a disaster for asthma + allergy suffers. we bloom year round. if magically we get a freeze and everything dies we are still dealing with sicknesses which triggers his asthma.

 

we had been going back and forth with the idea of moving when one night we ran into some friends at our favorite sushi joint.  they said they wanted to bring their brother over to see our house. they were looking for something just like our house. we looked at each other and i said do they want our house? they didn’t end up buying our house but that set the whole thing in motion. we listed it and got a buyer right away. we love the family buying the house which makes it so much easier. they love everything about the house and are even buying our furniture!! i have to admit i did cry my eyes out when they sent in the offer. this was supposed to be the house i raised my kids in. but having an awesome family who can appreciate all the love and handwork we put into this place makes it easier. that and all the coughing. i know this is whats right for our family. i know i can’t continue to keep medicating henri with no relief from his symptoms. he is allergic to every tree on our property + the animals around us + the grass. we’ve made great memories here. i loved remodeling this house. i’d do it again in a heartbeat. i’m also excited for this next chapter.

 

so whats next?? i get asked this daily. well we don’t really know. how fun is that? i’ve let myself get wrapped up in the nonsense i get for moving the kids. after talking with a friend who travels/moves a lot with kids it made me realize we are all just doing the best we can and what works for one family doesn’t work for another. this works for us. my kids are happy + well adjusted. they love traveling. they love adventure. they have an amazing relationship with each other and with us. henri’s health is what is most important to all of us. we are trying to decide our next step. we want a vacation or fun adventure before we settle into our new life. do we travel up the coast, go to our favorite cities along the way and end up seattle? do we go the opposite direction and head towards the east coast then up to boston and back west? (thats a lot of car time) do we just go to hawaii? for a week or a month?? maybe for good. (my hang up with hawaii is the lack of good healthcare and schooling. i need a good pediatric cardiologist) we need to be on the water. humidity is so good for henri. north carolina? boston? oregon or seattle?? we are lucky enough to be able to pick any city and go. so for now we wait for this house to close and then we are off. any ideas, thoughts or advice is welcome. where would you go? we want an adventure but need to be near a city (doctors for both jack and henri) the ocean or water for the humidity and a great community for families.

i figure this is a once in a lifetime chance. we won’t have much for belongings. we are sort of free of any baggage. i live for this kind of freedom. i can’t wait for henri to be able to breathe without inhalers + medicine. i love a good adventure and can’t wait to start this one. stay tuned!

 

lots of good memories made in this house

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LIFE ACCORDING TO MY IPHONE

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got these new illesteva sunglasses.  i absolutely love them.

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initially the chickens made her really nervous.  now i see her out there holding them, petting them.  its really sweet.

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our neighbor gave us goose eggs to paint for easter.  if you haven’t seen one in person they’re huge and heavy.  the kids had a lot of fun drawing on them.  they ate them too and said they were good.  i’ll take their word for it.

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jack loves watching kinder egg videos on youtube.  its becoming and obsession.

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cheering ava on at tennis.  he just yells hi ava the whole time.  its really cute.

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it was all fun and games letting jack crash into them with the baby doll stroller until henri got it good.  that’ll teach ya!

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ironically we didn’t have church on easter we watched it on tv.  so this was our week before easter church picture.  minus new easter outfits.

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he’s finally starting to pretend play.  i love watching his imagination grow.

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i love this swing in the yard.  so does jack.

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elle’s date night at zin burger.

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catching up on missed homework from being in mexico.  neither one of us was very thrilled.

 

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we had cousins in town for easter.  jack and amelie on the piano.

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elle doing ami’s makeup.

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ava, always the animal lover.

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date night with ava, i love that she still loves little girl things.  i know these days are numbered so ill take as many as i can get.

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would you believe me if i told you we are finally celebrating henri’s birthday.  only 4 months later.  christmas day is just a hard day to have a birthday.  anyone else with a christmas birthday out there have any advice for me?  im struggling.

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Henri,  You are turning into a boy.  Your baby chub is gone.  You’re getting so tall.   You started kindergarten and boy does your teacher love you.   I’m glad she thinks you’re as amazing as I do. You are gentle and soft. You are smart and witty.  You are really starting to show your funny side.  You love to joke and make us laugh. You are also very serious and determined.  You are tough.  So tough, you’ve never cried for a shot or getting your blood drawn, ever.  You can finish a 500 piece puzzle in a matter of days. You are brilliant and I am lucky you are mine.  Love you so bad.

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