Thursday, March 26, 2015

Determination and a Positive Attitude

Parker is SO determined to walk with less support.  Yesterday evening, he walked all the way to the neighbors house and back (including the steps) just holding on to my fingers.  He was fast too!   Lately, he's been trying really hard to transition between two surfaces that are far enough apart that he has to take a step on his own.  Although he is very close, he hasn't quite mastered that yet.  Last night we got out a different walker that offers very little support and he was so proud of himself that I just had to share.  I really believe that Parker will walk on his own someday and this determination and great attitude is what is going to get him there!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Is Spring finally here?

It's been a rough winter health-wise in the Ladd household.  All of us have had various illnesses and it seems as though at least one of us has been sick with something or another rather consistently since the New Year.   We met our family insurance deductible in record time - hitting the $5,000 mark by January 7th.  Geesh!

Parker was especially sick in January and ended up spending several days inpatient at Children's Hospital.  He has had four GI illnesses since Christmas and respiratory illnesses that come and go all the time.  We are suspecting that he is having some seizures as well but they are brief and I'm having a hard time capturing them on video so I can show his Neurologist what we are seeing.

Alexa has had Influenza A and several yucky GI illnesses over the last 3 months.  The worst for me was a nasty virus I caught in January that landed me in the ER dehydrated and with a whole body rash.  That was sure fun.  Paul gets a minor version of about everything the rest of us get and he also cut his head open pretty good a couple weeks ago.  Luckily it is hidden underneath his hair and he didn't end up with stitches.

Needless to say, we are sick of winter and have been hoping and praying for Spring to come.  This last week was Spring break for the kids and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.   We wanted to have a couple of days to have a fun family adventure but had to wait for Paul to get home.  He was in California for a work conference at the beginning of the week.  Unfortunately by the time he got home, Alexa was throwing up with another bug.  We had to put our plans on hold but on Sunday everyone was feeling well so we took advantage and took the whole family to the Omaha zoo.  It was a beautiful day and we were so happy to get to spend some happy family time together. Of course, our springtime fun didn't last too long because by Monday evening Parker was throwing up but hey at least we got one good day!!

Here are some pics of our first zoo adventure of the year.

The Aquarium is Parker's favorite!

Alexa really likes the Jungle and the Desert Dome

What a cheese-ball!  And yes, I do realize Parker desperately needs a hair cut!

Alexa wants to take a picture with every animal statue we see.  Silly girl.

These monkeys were really interacting a lot with Alexa.  I told her they liked her curly hair!

We love the zoo!   We love Spring!  And we would sure love to all stay healthy for longer stretches so we can have more fun family adventures!!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Christmas Celebrations and Memories 2014

We were very busy this Holiday season and have celebrated with five Christmas get-togethers so far.  The Dorn cousin Christmas will be coming a bit later.

I LOVE this time of year and really enjoy spending so much time with our wonderful family.  I also love passing on family traditions and even creating new traditions with the kids.  I think traditions make way for wonderful memories.

An activity Alexa has wanted to do every year is make a Gingerbread house.  I'm pretty sure this is a new tradition for us.  Let me just say I am so glad they make kits for this sort of thing as making one from scratch is so much more difficult! 

When I was a child, one of our family traditions was that we would go look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve and while we were gone Santa would come.  I  wanted to keep that tradition alive so I asked Santa if he could still find us a bit early and he agreed!  Thanks, Santa!

We, of course, left Santa homemade Spritz cookies and milk as this is another tradition passed on by my Grandma Leona's side of the family.
Making (and eating) Spritz
One other tradition I grew up with is that we always read about the birth of Jesus in the bible before opening presents.  It's special and a good way to remember the real reason for the season.

So on Christmas Eve, Paul, Alexa, Parker and I read the bible story and then opened gifts from each other and from Santa.
Alexa got a Barbie who is also named Alexa!

Paul made Parker his very own therapy swing for the basement.  It is a hit!
Then on Christmas Day we celebrated with my parents and brother John (and the dog, Nara).  Nara is the most photogenic dog I've ever seen!!!

On Friday after Christmas, we celebrated with Paul's parents.

On the Sunday following Christmas, we got together with the Chamberlain clan which is my Mom's side of the family.

Then the weekend after New Years, we traveled to Kansas to celebrate with some of Paul's extended family.

It was really nice to see everyone and get so much family time this year.  However, it was also sad when the Season was over.  

When we got in the car to leave Grandma Lois' house Alexa was feeling really blue.  She said, "We wait SOOOO long for Christmas to get here.  Then it comes and goes so fast."   

Then she cried.  

I told her we'll just have to come up with more reasons to all get together more often.  Maybe that should be a New Years Resolution this year.  

To spend more time with family.  

Just because.     

Sounds like a good tradition to me!