almost 8

she'll be 8 on the 8th.
she started 3rd grade.
will be baptized at the end of the month.
is in girl scouts and will be attending her first activity day on her birthday.
plays soccer and volleyball (yeah!),
and has loved watching baseball, soccer, and the Olympics with dad.

and her big birthday present this year,
her own room.
to say she's excited is an understatement;). 


first rapids game

marryn's first colorado rapids game with dad.
she got a beanie. which she has to share.
and a scarf.  which is all hers.

oh, and they won.  2-0


a look back

yes, i've been bad.

and i wish i could say i'll be better.
but i'm not sure i will;).  life is busy.

so here's what's been going on around here these past months.

turned 7 back in september.
got her ears pierced.
loves loves loves 2nd grade.  and is doing great.  already whippin' out multiplication facts on us.  (7x6=... anyone?)
was her class's first student of the month for responsibility.  then forgot her homework folder at home the next day.
played soccer again.  and shocked us with her competitiveness...
had her first dance recital in both ballet and tap.
has lost all 8 front teeth.

turned 5 just before halloween.
is learning all the letter sounds in preschool.
loves playdates.
received a *target* american girl doll from santa.
also had her first dance recital.
blew us away in soccer.  although she's not as competitive as the one above.

just as lovable as ever.  and naughty.
still working on night-time potty training...(any advice?)
after much prep about what to ask santa for-he went his own direction and asked for a squirt gun.
santa brought him a nerf gun (and he was plenty pleased).
finally got a haircut.
and no longer in nursery.  now a sunbeam.

oh, my not-so-much-of-a-baby-anymore kellen.
loves cars.  loves them.
says very little real words.  (cars is one, as is movie-as in "i want to watch the cars movie.")
got his first haircut.  glared the entire time.
will eat cereal consistently.  everything else...anyone's guess.
has to buckle his booster seat every time he gets down from the table.
loves to wear shoes.  anyone's shoes.


photos to canvas *giveaway*

i was contacted awhile ago to do a review on Easy Canvas Prints,
and turn my photos to canvas.
i've always wanted to get a canvas done, so i was super excited.
and of course i dreamed of the perfect picture i'd take of all the kids smiling/laughing/etc...

yeah, that was just not happening for me.

so i changed my thinking and decided i'd just pick a favorite of ONE of the kids and use it in their room.

i went with this one of reganne in an apple orchard at the pumpkin patch this fall.
and then i went with a 11x14 (i think).
i wanted to go bigger,
but i was worried about the picture quality. 
my camera really is NOT the best.

well, it turned out WAY BETTER than i even imagined.
i could have gone bigger.  much bigger.
(this picture just doesn't do it justice.)

i have plans to hang it in the girls' room.
(if i ever manage to finish painting-it's currently 3 different colors.  and has been since june...)
but for now it's sitting on their bookshelf, lovingly adored by me.  and reganne;).

i just love it.
i love the quality.
i love the coloring.
i love it.

and will be doing more photos to canvas.

with my canvas came $30 in gift cards.
i was totally going to be selfish and use them myself,
but seeing how behind i am on everything these days,
i know i won't use them by the end of the year when they expire.
so i'm offering them to one of my readers.
just leave a comment with your email or blog
and i'll pick a winner by monday night (12/12).
(i'll email the codes to the winner.)
and since i have very few readers, your chances are pretty good;).

***those reading this on facebook- please visit my blog (joeandkelsey.blogspot.com)
for the giveaway and leave a comment there with your email-only names on the blog post will be considered-thanks!***

but either way, you need to check out Easy Canvas Prints.
they offer great specials all the time.
currently, if you "like" them on facebook
you will get 50% off your next order, 
and free shipping as well.
so visit their site, upload your favorite photos, and have fun playing with all the options!

i was not paid to do this post, but did receive my canvas for free.  so worth it;).


meet the spider family

big spidergirl

 little spidergirl



found all the costumes at party city back in july for $5 each.
kellen's was a 12-18 month size and a bit snug.
christian's was a big boy's medium and well, he'll be able to wear it years to come;).
and the girls were swimming in the leggings, so we replaced them with tights.
but overall, not a bad deal.


captain america

this boy kills me with his cuteness.
yet all the same drives. me. crazy.
gets so excited over anything with superheros.
is picky about what he wears.
in desperate need of a haircut.  again.
thinks boy ballerinas are so silly.
and is almost completely potty-trained.
(days, since before he turned 3, nights...so close.  i hope.)


the glare

he's been practicing many looks these days.
this one's fun because even if he really *means* it, 
it's usually followed by his fun little laugh.


while the girls are away

the boys play.
in their jammies.

  the boys and i have been having some fun while both girls are at school.
we still miss them,
we're just making the most of out time together.
although our little tramp will be out of commission for awhile.
our first big snow came today.



preschool is in full swing now.
and if you're counting, this is year 3 for her.
we had thought about trying to get her into kindergarten this year,
but in the end, felt much better about keeping her where she should be.
she'll be one of the oldest (and tallest) as she goes through school,
but that will be a good thing.
just means she'll be smarter, more mature, and more athletic.  right?
regardless, she's where she will do best.
she thrives when she is confident.


summer fun

anyone else going to be sad to say goodbye to summer? 


sticks and ...shorts

while visiting my family over july 4th,
we made a little day trip up to grand mesa.
these pics of christian were just too funny not to scrap.

made with studio calico kits.


our little bobblehead

he's dancing to christian's happy *4th* birthday card from grandpa dave.
yes, christian turned 3, not 4;).
we all, including grandpa (who did realize his mistake after he sent it off) had a good laugh over it.


first day

the first day.
the first day of second grade.

she's been waiting 2 months for this day.
 new backpack?  check.
new shoes?  check.
new clothes? check.  kind of.

hope this year is more than you could of dreamed sweetie.


our garden

i was going through the girls' photos and videos from their cameras.
came across this.
warning: it is taken by a six year old...  

our garden: by marryn

{to stop the blog music, scroll to the very very bottom...}


little brothers



today is his last day being 2.
although he thinks he's been three for awhile now.
i'm going to miss this two year old.
he was so much fun.
i hope his threes prove to be just as much fun.
history tells me it will be a challenge.

{photo by marryn}


parade fun

we spent the 4th over on the western slope with my family.
{also know as cherry days in paonia.}

love this shot of the kids at the parade.
my dad had gotten all the kids ice cream cones.
my kids were in heaven.
my little niece dehcaley however did not want hers.
so i ate it.  no asking me twice.
wonder if she was regretting that...;)

small town parades are fun.
lots of horses.
lots of trackers.
lots of truck pulling trailers.
and lots of candy.
it was a good, good day for my kids.

this was my favorite.
joe and i couldn't decide if the tracker was 83 years old.
or the farmer driving it.


at my feet

he makes it very hard to get much done.
but i know one day i'll miss it like crazy.


so.  just got back from my much anticipated hair appointment.
i usually head into the aveda salon about 2 times a year.
yes.  i make my haircuts last.
but this time i was literally fighting back tears as i drove home.
i walk in and marryn, first thing, says, "i don't like it.  why didn't they just trim it?"
and she's the one who told me earlier she likes my hair shorter.
but then all the commotion of me being gone for an hour took over...you know, anxious poopy baby, kid covered in hives...
later, reganne comes up and asks if i like my hair.
i say, "not really."
she says, "i don't really either, but i still love you though" and gives me a hug.

thanks sweetheart.
i needed that.


sisters & friends

picture taken last May.
right before Marryn's eyes swelled up from rolling around in the grass.
i love these girls.
i hope they are always the best of friends.


8 candles

happy birthday landen.
we miss you.



the perfect food for a one year old.
a one year old with only 2 little teeth.


my fours

My friend Danelle over at OUTNUMBERED challenged me to this.  I thought it was very creative.  So here you have it, my fours.

1) School - Everyday.  Except Saturday and Sunday.  I pick up Marryn every afternoon (I'm so lucky as Joe takes her...while I'm still in bed, sleeping;) and twice a week I take Reganne to and from her little preschool.   
2) Sonic - I hate to admit it, but I usually head there about 2-3 times a week.  During Happy Hour.  I get a Route 44 Diet Dr Pepper with lime.  The kids, if they're lucky;), get a small slush.  But I'm trying ease up though, especially after Reganne drew me a Happy Mother's Day picture at church, of me and her driving to Sonic.
3) Church - And speaking of Church, I am usually there twice a week.  On Sundays (obviously) and Wednesday nights for our Youth's Mutual.  
4) Super Target/Costco - I had to put both of these in here.  I visit both stores once a week.  It helps that they are just minutes from our house (well, actually, so are all my places)

1) A baby - Nothing, NOTHING beats the smell of a baby.  Nothing.
2) Old Spice deodorant - Yes, this is Joe's deodorant.  I love it.  More than him I think.
3) Rain - Ah, rain...
4) Evergreen - As in pine trees, mistletoe, etc.  The smell of Christmas. 

These aren't really in any order.  It just depends on my mood and what I feel like watching.

1) Friends - Yep, still going strong on that one.
2) HGTV shows - Especially Sarah Richardson's ones.
3) White Collar - It's a good mystery/solve it show, without all the gross stuff.
4) Community, The Office and Parks and Recreation - I know, that's technically three shows, but they're all on together, so I'm bundling those ones;).

I have lots of favorites, these are just what comes to mind right now.

1) Knotting Hill - A long time favorite...ah, the memories...
2) The Holiday - Maybe I just have a thing for *English* movies;).
3) The Incredibles - Probably my favorite Disney/Pixar movie still.
4) Despicable Me - One of the funniest and most random movies ever.  At least I think so.

1) Pray more.
2) Play more.
3) Worry less.
4) Eat more fruits and vegetables.


how I shower

a movie.
a pack'n play.
and a 4 year old waiting to shower and get dressed herself.

and thank you for all the comments (both here and on facebook) from my last post.
kellen is doing great.
and we are doing better.


a febrile seizure

My kids have been sick.

Nothing too bad, but it's just been a constant round of snot and coughing and even a complete strip down of Reganne's bed when she threw up.

But like I said, nothing too bad.  Or too serious.

Until the other night.

Kellen was running a slight fever Sunday night.  We gave him some Tylenol and put him to bed.  Didn't think much of it, other than Marryn had a fever the night before.  The next day he woke up fine.  Wasn't warm, but we could tell he wasn't feeling his best.  Nothing too bad though.  I even set him up in the cart when I went grocery shopping.  He was good.  Enjoyed it.  Then later that afternoon he started to warm up again.  I gave him some Tylenol.  Joe came home awhile later and he was still pretty hot, about 102 degrees.  So he stripped him down.  I had him later and he was still roasting, so we put a cool rag on his head.  And then as I was holding him, his plug suddenly fell out of his mouth.  Then his eyes glazed over.

"Kellen?  Kellen!"  I jumped up.  "Joey, something's wrong with Kellen!  Something's wrong with Kellen!!"

He took him as he yelled, "Call 911."  Of course I grabbed his iPhone, which would have taken me 5 minutes to get through passwords and apps and whatnot to even figure out how to even make a call, but then I noticed my phone sitting on the counter.  I grabbed it and started to dial.  I looked over at Joey, who was holding Kellen on his shoulder, as if he was burping him.  He was very still.

"Is he breathing?"  He put his hand on back to check.

He wasn't.  He handed him back to me and we could see that he was completely, head to toe, purple.

It was an all too familiar sight.

I took him and rushed into the living room where I layed him on the ground and just kept thinking "I'm going to bury another baby.  I'm going to bury another baby."   Joe's on the phone now, telling the dispatcher what's going on and I'm trying to do mouth to mouth.  But I can't get his chin to lift up.  I can't get his head to move back.  I'm giving him breaths (all the while I'm completely freaking out) but can't tell if they're going in or not.  I just can't get his head to move.  I look back over him and his purple little legs are drawn into his chest and won't go down.  And his stomach is complete sucked in.  But I keep with it, doing the best I could.  Then slowly his little body relaxes.  His color starts to come back.

And he starts to breathe again.

Soon his eyes open back up and he starts to cry a little.  I pick him up, but the dispatcher says to keep him laying down with his chin up.  So I do.  And he just looks at us, slightly out of it, as his cries get more and more consistent and stronger.  I just want to hold him, but I don't know what just happened and I don't want to hurt him, so I leave him there and talk to him.  I try to comfort us both.

Soon the firemen arrive.  They do some quick checks, but seeing that he's breathing fine on his own, they tell me I can hold him.  They ask tons of questions and shaking, I do my best to answer.  The ambulance arrives and offers to take him to the hospital.  They load his car seat in the ambulance and I go with him.  Joe follows later.  (Sometime after he started breathing again, I managed to get through Joey's phone and call Jean, his mom, to come over.  In addition we had a great neighbor who came over to offer help with the other kids and other neighbors who called as well.) 
In the ambulance, they don't find anything wrong other than a high temperature.  I relay the story again and the parametric thinks it was a seizure.  Again at the hospital I relay the story.

A Febrile Seizure.

Although extremely scary, they are completely benign.  The worry is not so much the seizure, but why do they have a temperature.

So at the hospital, they check him out.  His oxygen levels are excellent (98-99).  His heart rate is a little high, but nothing too worry about about (and it went down as the night went on).  His lungs are clear.  They did a quick test for the flu-negative.  Stiffness in the neck?  None.  (To rule out meningitis.)  Other than his high temp and a slightly stuffy nose, he was fine.  He mostly just wanted to snuggle with us, but occasionally would sit up and coo and play with his plug.  They gave him ibuprofen soon after we got there (around 8pm) and just kept monitoring his temp.  By 11 pm he was still running a temp around 102-103.  They gave him Tylenol and finally it started to go down a little.  We were on our way home now with instructions to keep him cool.  No clothes, no blankets, cool baths, cool room (open windows, turn on fans).  Just keep him cool.

Now, during all the commotion, Marryn was right there.  She was sitting on the couch when he seized up.  And although Joey sent her and the other kids upstairs, she knew something terrible was going on.  My freaking out didn't help either.  She was screaming, so much that the 911 dispatcher could hear her and Joey had to tell him that was another child crying.  She was complaining of an earache earlier, and while we were gone, kept complaining about it (despite having had medicine) and couldn't sleep.  I may not always know what's going on with my kids, but I knew that it wasn't as much her ear as it was Kellen that was keeping her up.  So when we got home, around 1 am, she was still awake, so I took Kellen into her room so she could see him.  That he was fine and home.  She went right to sleep after that.  And even the next day, she didn't have a trace of an earache and just wanted to be near Kellen and hold him.  It was really sweet.

So anyhow, we put Christian in our bed while I slept in his bed next to Kellen.  We closed off the vent to keep the room cool.  I froze.  He woke up twice.  The first I laid him down with me to nurse, and he was noticeably cooler.  He slept with me for awhile before waking up again, which we gave him more ibuprofen.  He then slept the rest the night.  Woke up happy and much cooler.  The day went on and as the afternoon hit, so did his fever.  We kept with the *treatments* of keeping him cool and didn't have anymore problems.   Woke up again without a fever, but was noticeably irritable.  And I myself wasn't feeling so great either.  I wasn't running a fever, but was constantly going from freezing to sweating, and my whole body just ached.  Even at night I couldn't sleep well.  But today I'm feeling a bit better.  And Kellen seems to be happier as well.   He even got into his favorite plant this morning.  Nothing like a little dirt to say I'm feeling better;).

Now back to his seizure.  

Is a Febrile Seizure dangerous?  No.  It is completely benign.  Yes, he stopped breathing, but only for about a minute or so.  There is no damage to him from this.  What caused this seizure?  An *overreaction* of his brain to his temperature rising too quickly.  Could he have one again?  Yes.  Now that he's had one, there is about a 30% chance he could have another, but only up until the age of 5 or so.  But he's not prone to seizures in general because of this.  Can we prevent them?  Possibly, by being proactive when he does start to warm up, but many times it may happen before we even realize he has started to develop a fever.  What should we do if it does happen?  Lay him down and wait for it to be over.  Am I comfortable with watching this happen again?  No.  Not at all.

This was a terrible experience.  But I am so very grateful that it was not something worse.  I have heard of these seizures before, but honestly knew very little about them.  Never thought it'd be something that I'd have to deal with.  So I hope our little story might help educate other parents.  But honestly when your child, for no apparent reason, stops breathing and turns purple, it's hard to stop and think, "Hmmm, maybe it's just a benign febrile seizure..."