Monday, February 29, 2016


I've been meaning to make interview videos with my kids for years. Finally did it. Here they is.

Liar, you never eat dinner unless it's pizza. 

That's quite a fake laugh, eh? 

Twinners or what?! 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Little Love

Happy Love Day from my newest and littlest Valentine!
(I could not love this photo more)




Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Little People Words

On the way to hospital to birth Wren
Liam: Bye! Have a good sister!

Grey: Mommy, this is Wren.

Liam: Pat my bottom!

Dash: I'm going to walk. Because I need my exercise.

Liam and Dash: 5 4 3 2 Wren, blastoff!

Liam: Here you go Wren, I made this for you.
Dash: What is it?
Liam: It's a bomb.

To a golden graham
Grey: Hey, who are you? Are you a golden graham? I'm Chase. Can you fly? hey come back here!

Grey: Oh my gosh.

I'm pulsing the food processor, grey runs to the kitchen entry.

Grey: What's that, Mommy?
Katie: It's called a food processor.
Grey: What?
Katie: It's a food processor.
Grey: A rocket?!

Katie: Did you like visiting dad's work today?
Dash: Not visiti--- we visited dad AT work, not visiting dad's work.

Dash: Today someone was mean to me and it broke my heart.

Grey: Mommy can I have a snack?
Katie: Okay, it's a good time for Snack. Do you have a snack in mind?
Grey: Can I have candy for snack?
Katie: No, not candy, something a little more healthy. Maybe a granola bar, or peanuts, or a banana.
Grey: Or maybe chocolate chips.

Grey: The pig is not superman.

Liam: Get my bare feet to some sandals!

Dash: Mommy, I know who I want to marry. I want to marry wren!
Katie: Aw, you do?
Dash: Because she is the cutest! Liam, who are you going to marry?
Liam: Can I marry wren too?
Dash: No you can't, I already picked Wren. Maybe you could pick Mommy?
Liam: No I can't! Daddy already picked her!

Grey: I am looking good!

Liam: Mommy, when I open my right eye, it closes because my eyeball is hurting.

Dash: Mommy, girls are my favorite guys. I like them the most. They are so cute.... Boys... are fancy.

Dash: Is Moroni the last chapter in the Book of Mormon?
Katie: Yep
Dash: No, it's Index! Haha!

Liam: Good job! You didn't even mess that up.

Grey: Mommy, don't break Daddy's foot.

Grey: Mommy, I'm going to spell reverent. Uuuuuuuuuuuh, g r e y. Grey!

Liam: Wren really likes those 3D animals.
Dash: They're called phone animals.
Katie: Yep, those are called FOAM animals.
Dash: Oh, haha, i thought it was phone.
Liam: Another name is 3D.
Grey: Also, pickle!

Katie: That Clayton is making some bad choices.
Liam: Why?
Katie: He's being mean, putting people in cages, hurting Tarzan-
Liam: And Tarzan is good!
Dash: He needs to go in gorilla mode!

Grey: Daddy, last night while you sleeped... I kissed yaaaaaa.

Sean and Katie enjoy a hug and kiss.
Dash: Why do you guys do that eeeeverydaaaaay?

Dash: Liam when you're sick at school try not to throw up.
Liam: But I'm not sick.
Dash: I think you're a little bit sick.
Liam: No I'm not!
Dash: I think you're... 1% sick.

Liam: We're in Tennessee. We're in Tennessee!
Dash: No we're not, we're in Florida.
Liam: We're in Tennessee, we're in Tennessee-ee-ee, we're in Tennesseeeeeeee!
Dash: Are you kidding me? We're in Florida!

Dash: Mommy, go quick! ... But follow the road rules, remember.

Dash: Don't make the snowball too heavy.
Katie: Okay.
Dash: Oh this is a little heavy. Maybe 18% heavy. So not too heavy.

Grey: What do the glasses do? The mouth? Nooo. The glasses? Let's do it! [sings] the glasses on the bus went glass glass glass all through the town.

Grey to every mannequin in the store: Hello! I love you! [hug]

Dash: What does hilarious mean?
Sean: It means really funny.

Dash: Mommy, that billboard said there's something special at the Mall of America and I want to go there so we should go.
Katie: What kind of special thing?
Dash: A thing. That's special.

Dash: Hi wren! Wren wren Wrenny pie!
Liam whispers: Wren, kick dash in the head.
Katie, chuckling: Liam, that's not very nice.
Liam whispers: Wren, kick Katie in the head.

Grey: Don't make it too loud, it will hurt my eyes.
Katie: Don't make what too loud?
Grey: It will hurt my eyes. The laundry.
Katie: The laundry will be too loud and hurt your eyes?
Grey sadly: Uh huh.

Grey: Mommy and daddy are going to go in the car. And we're going to go in the vehicle.

Liam: Mommy, I want to try on my tie.
Grey: Liam why are you wearing that? You look like Bill Nye!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Helmet

I noticed Wren maybe had a liiiiiittle tiny flat spot on her head when she was about one month old, maybe one-and-a-half. I didn't think too much of it since I'd had similar thoughts about all the other kids and nothing came of it. Still, I brought it up at her two month check-up. Our doc agreed there was a small something but just to watch it and keep her off of the area as much as possible. I was really good about it, putting her on her belly all the time if I'd set her down. But the problem is sleep- I could adjust her head all I wanted to keep it off the flat spot but she moves a little and rolls right back on it. At her four month check up, it was pretty obvious the spot was getting worse and we were referred to a craniofacial surgeon. So at 5.5 months she was examined, measured, and confirmed in need of correction.

Wren has plagiocephaly, which is a flattening off to the side of the head, which also makes the other side bulge out.

Wren also has brachycephaly, which is a flattening at the back of the head, kind of like squashing it forward.

I'll be honest, when I first considered the possibility of her needing a cranial helmet (or cranial cap, or orthotic), it was really upsetting. I didn't even like to think about it. But the months went by and her flatness became more pronounced- I became more reluctantly accepting of the idea. I had myself one good cry when we found out she'd need one for sure. Then I decided just move on positively. One positive, she didn't need any physical therapy. And when they measured her head for helmet specifications, she looked really cute in her little cap with reflective dots.

That day, I also started looking for ways to cuten up the helmet. The best idea, to me, was to paint it. There were some fantastic designs from a lady in North Carolina. But, yeah, that's far away, and I couldn't find anyone who professionally painted these helmets around here. So after a pep talk from some friends, I determined to do it myself. Just like painting a wall, right? (Ha!) I definitely wanted a floral pattern, as a counterpoint to the hard lines of the helmet. I determined to copy a pattern on one of her shirts that looked do-able.

I roughed up the helmet with some super-fine sand paper (800 grit) so the paint could grip the surface. Then, with acrylic paints, I applied a base coat that the boys all helped with, then lots of detailed painting after the kids' bedtimes. It sure hurt my back but man, I'm happy with how it looks. It took me a while to figure out how to seal the paint but mod podge works great (I contacted the North Carolina lady who shared her knowledge of helmet sealants).


Now, when I look at the helmet, I'm proud of myself for doing a good job (I'm honestly surprised that it looks as good as it does) and putting in the time for her. And when people see Wren in her helmet, rather than be jarringly surprised at this big plastic thing on her head, they're delighted by the little flowers dancing around her face. It changes the conversation.


She got her helmet on January 25th. There's an ease-in period where she wore the helmet increasing amounts each day and by day five, she was on the recommended 23-hours-a-day. During her hour break, we clean the helmet with ethanol and hot water and give her hair a good scrub- the helmet creates a nice "gym bag" odor. She's expected to wear the helmet for three to four months.


Why did Wren's head flatten? Well, there's no obvious answer. The specialist mentioned it could have started with the way her head was resting in the womb. But the problem was certainly exacerbated by her sleep. Way more babies have been diagnosed with plagiocephaly since the start of the Back To Sleep campaign. It's clearly safest to have babies sleep on their back. But a little flat spot turns into a bigger flat spot as it's repeatedly slept on. Apparently, "good sleepers" more often have this issue, and I'd definitely label Wren as one. So, it just happened. I don't know what I should have done differently. It is what it is.


Two positives about the situation. One, this is happening in the winter time, so way less sweat and the accompanying discomfort. Two, I think this experience will probably make Sean a better pediatrician. What a way to learn.


Wren is tolerating the helmet so well, she rarely complains about it. It doesn't seem to be effecting her sleep much, only that her increasing ability to roll over may make her head rest in a way she didn't intend. But that only effects her when she's falling asleep, really. I feel really lucky that she's doing so well with it. The boys all think it's kind of cool, excepting that it makes it hard to kiss her (I don't like that aspect either!). We'll be happy when the era of the helmet is through but it's going well so far!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

a half year

Hi! I'm Wren!

On Sunday, I turned six months old. A whole half year!

Everyone loves me. Seriously, everyone. And I pretty much love everyone, too. I'm told that I'm a good sleeper and that I'm the cutest. I sure like to smile and laugh whenever I get a chance! I just started wearing a helmet last week but Mommy's going to talk about that on the next blog post.

Happy half birthday to me!