Josie is officially 10. We celebrated here, there, and everywhere!
We started with her very first slumber party. The girls had a blast and are such a great group. They did essential oil roller balls, painted a picture frame, ate lots of treats, hit a piñata, played outside, and watched a movie. Everyone was a sleep by 10:30pm – SCORE!
Josie’s actual birthday was celebrated in Alabama. She loved having her extended family with her! She rode go karts and ate cake by the ocean…which was one of her wishes. When we got back home and Grandshe returned from Spain, we celebrated at home with Grandshe.
Things about Josie:
- She is still the kind caring kid we all love
- She is still an old soul
- She still has a gift with music, she can call out a song a few chords in. Especially oldies.
- She’s really into reading the Sisters Grimm and Harry Potter
- She is playing piano really well
- She loves sports, but would pick watching a movie any day
- She makes us very proud
What an amazing trip to the Gulf Shore. We would definitely go back again. It was the kind of trip you don’t need a vacation from your vacation when you get home, so relaxing! The ocean was so peaceful and spending time with our extended family was just what we needed. Even Josie said her favorite thing was spending time with everyone outside of the holidays.
- Billy kayaked in the ocean a TON. He took out the kids (especially the boys) and the two of us got out there twice.
- Josie officially turned 10 in Alabama, how cool is that?
- Joanne and Ben put on a tap dance to Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear”. It may be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
- We had a fun parents night out while Grandma, Grandpa, and Josie watched the kids.
- Lots of fun on the beach! We took a sand castle class, we played soccer, raced, walked, and so much more.
- Uncle Johnny knocked his tooth out when a big wave hit his Stand Up Paddle Board. Luckily, the tooth stuck in the board!
- The boys had a peanut scare that involved me having to stab them in the thigh with EPI Pens as we drove down the highway to the ER. Will unbuckled his seat belt and later told us he was going to jump in the trunk. I stabbed him about 4 times before realizing I was using the one I already did on Ben. Ben’s entered above his knee cap versus on his thigh (he kept guarding his thigh) so his knee was sore for a day. The check in nurse said, “You’ll hurting anywhere besides where mama stabbed you?!” The doctor said I saved their lives and I cried.
Grandshe had her Omaha book club come to Des Moines for a slumber party. There were 10 friends that made the road trip. We swapped homes with Grandshe so she could accommodate all her gal pals. We had so much fun vacationing at Grandshe’s place! Josie said, “if anyone asks…tell them we are renting the place for the weekend.” So then we started calling it our VRBO or cottage rental.
It was fun to snuggle in closer corners and watch Saturday morning cartoons. We are in such a habit of watching Netflix or computer time, it was a nice change. And for us all to cozy up on one couch (or around the chair below) made this mama happy!
While we were in Hawaii, Josie’s allergies kicked in. She’s been on Allegra since the beginning of March. Last fall we switched her to Allegra and the allergist said if that doesn’t work add Singular. Well, of course it stops working while we are gone.
By the time we came home, she missed two days and was sent home by 10am on our first day back. Adding the Singular was too late at this point. We went to the doctor, knowing the allergist would be a week to get into. We added a steroid with the singular. It helped a little, but you could tell she was struggling. This last week, we went to the allergist to find out Josie is not only congested, but having trouble breathing. She did a lung test and failed it miserably. After getting two puffs from a nebulizer inhaler, her lung capacity increased by 24%. Anything higher than 10% is considered good. The allergist said, “Josie is one tough cookie! I don’t know how she has been running on a soccer field and not complaining or gasping for air.”
Two days later, the poor kid got a sinus infection!
Josie is now on Xyzal allergy medicine, two puffs of an inhaler in the morning and at night, eye drops, nose spray, singular, benedryl (hoping after tonight we can stop this!), a rescue inhaler (for the first week, she had to use it every 4 hours, now she uses as needed.), we’ve also added essential oils in a defuser and in roll-on bottles to apply on her skin.
Josie really is a trooper. You can tell she isn’t herself, but her outlook is good. She keeps saying I’m happy we have a plan. I can’t wait to feel better. In July, we will attempt to take her off her allergy medicines for one week to do blood tests. We need to see if this happened to be a bad season or if we need to go on shots. I feel so bad for Josie Girl. I hate seeing my kiddos struggle. I hope she starts to feel better soon!
While we were in Chicago for Hamilton, the kids had some fun with Grandshe. Here are a couple of stories:
- Grandshe took Will and Josie to their first thrift store while Ben was in dance class. As they entered the thrift store, Will asked very innocently, “Will Macklemore be in there?”
- Grandshe said a naughty word so Ben decided he should sneak on her phone and text me to tattle-tell on her. Instead of texting me, he texted the last person Grandshe had texted, which was her apartment complex manager. When Ben realized it, he felt so bad. Ben started crying. Will did too. They both thought Grandshe would be kicked out of her apartment complex.
- All three kids had a ton of fun being spoiled rotten.
The first month of the year is almost over, so I figured it was time to do a little recap:
- This is the first year the we all wrote out our resolutions and predictions for the year ahead. We put them in a jar and plan to open January 1st, 2018.
- We had a ping pong tournament with some friends, because we lost I am anxious for a rematch.
- We practiced using an Epi-Pen with the kids. Since they are going in different directions and are older, we figured it was time to go over what’s in the eli-pen bag.
- The boys got new “soccer” haircuts and look like little men.
- We played on the frozen pond for the first time since living here.
- We honored MLK by reading the whole “Who was Martin Luther King” book on our day off from school.
- We are still in love with Hamilton in this house. Bill and I got to go to the show in Chicago. It was a quick weekend, but we had a BLAST. Great to spend time with friends, my brothers, and watch Hamilton….which the kids and I listen to almost nightly while prepping dinner and doing homework.
- The kids got to be in a short clip about the Playhouse. They loved sharing their love for the theatre.
- And probably the BIGGEST news of the month… The boys passed their pecan challenge! We went to Bubba to celebrate and had pecan pie for dessert.
In November, for 10 days, my house was full of 10 people: 6 kids and 4 adults. While we had fun with our cousins while their parents were in Mexico, we all slept well each night (well all but Henry…thanks Grandma and Grandpa for taking the night shift!). It was a pretty tiring week. Throw in a emotionally charged election, Daylight savings time change, the boys annual blood draws for nut testing, during our month of give thanks project, and more….I felt like a warrior when we came out on the other side of those 10 days!
When I look back at the pictures and think of the memories that were made, it makes it all worth while. Also, I must note, Josie might be the best big cousin out there. She would read to James while he was on the potty, follow Henry around to make sure he was safe on the stairs, play Barbies with Jules, and keep all the adults entertained. Josie stepped up to the plate when I needed her each day. Ben and Will were patient with their little cousins too! When everyone left, we let the kids pick out a toy using their own money because they totally earned it!