Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Must Read

My mom sent me this and I can't help but listen to it over and over. To my dear girlfriends, this is so true!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Little Snow?

With the recent snow fall, it was nice to get the kiddos outside to play a little. An added bonus? Janie has the official all clear on her broken leg! After her Orthopedic appt. on Friday, she is officially castless. Walking a bit like a duck still, she is able to play, do gymnastics and shovel! Of course immediately after playing outside, breathing treatments are a must :(

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Cookies

We decided to make cut out cookies this year with the kids. Actually, we decided to buy the premade, bake only cut-outs from GFS and frost them. It was a good time however I would not allow anyone non-family to eat them because the kids were doing a lot of finger liking throughout the process. The kicker is that the kids don't really like cookies so I have been the one eating them. Great, just great!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


We did our traditional Thanksgiving at my Aunt's house in Canton, Ohio. My mom's side of the family always gets together for this holiday. My 90 year old grandmother is still alive and lives in a home near my aunt. We have been fortunate enough to get her over to the house for every Thanksgiving despite her severe dementia.

So we enjoyed our family time. I soon realized that we now have 8 kids 3 years and under. Pretty busy! With the exception of the few things flying off of the wall (compliments of Owen and Kyle) and the puke on the couch and carpet(compliments of Kyle), the kids were excellent! Nights were rougher for some than others but days were fabulous!

Yes, Kyle has had the stomach virus. He threw up for over 24 hours, still thinking that he could eat in between! Just waiting to hear of the next victim.

I continue to be so thankful for everything in my life!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Until a year ago I would have told you that the last book that I read was Charlotte's Web. This includes college days. Somehow I got through college on Cliff's Notes. In recent years I have enjoyed magazines, especially People. I would read them cover to cover. While reading People, I would read some of the non-fiction book reviews and finally, I saw something that interested me. So, Mike bought me my first book on Polygamy last Christmas. I could not put it down. Since then I have read several books. Several Polygamy books to start and now anything non-fiction. I guess I really like to read about others' life stories. Now I would rather read than watch TV. Actually, I would rather read than do most things.

Listed below are some of the great reads that I have enjoyed this past year. Since I don't link well, you will have to look them up yourself. I have not included the "bad reads".

~Shattered Dream by Irene Spencer (Polygamy)
~His Favorite Wife by Susan Ray Schmidt (Polygamy)
~Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall (Polygamy)
~Escape by Caolyn Jessop (Polygamy)
~Miracles Happen by Brooke and Jean Ellison (A young girl becomes paralyzed from the neck down and goes on to attend Harvard)
~The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (Amazing life lessons)
~Standing Tall by Vivian Stringer (Rutgers B-ball coach, amazing life lessons)
~Meant to Be by Walter Anderson (A boy who groups up in a horrible home and goes on to lead a high profile career while he finds out many secrets about his past)
~Schuyler's Monster by Robert Rummel-Hudson (A father's story of his wordless daughter)
~Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston (the mountain climber who cut his own hand off)
~Living at the Edge of the World by Tina S. and Jamie Pastor ( a story about a teenager living in the underground tunnels of Grand Central Station)

That's all! Pretty good huh? When did I find time for that?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Life has been very busy (I know, like everyone) with work, volunteering and sick kids. It has been a while since I have put out an update so here goes:

Janie ~

She had her long leg cast taken off two weeks ago and a short leg cast put on. She has clearly mastered the crutches and can even run a bit on them. Of course, this is not without the occasional face plant! We go back next week to see the Dr. and hope that the x-ray looks a bit better this round than it did last time (still looked the same as the day she broke it). She will then hopefully move to a walking cast for 4-5 more weeks. Wow, 3 months total this time around.

Janie is having a great year in school and loves her teacher. We had conferences this past week and it appears that the only concerns are boys and a lot of socialization. Janie's teacher and I are completely on the same page and will continue to work on keeping her humble and a nice girl.

She started back at gymnastics this week and will go twice a week for two hours each time to just work on stretching and strength building. Maybe I should go too!


Well we just completed five days of Hand-foot-mouth disease. This highly contagious virus is easily managed with the exception of no eating when you have a mouth full of soars. Thank you to my girlfriend Theresa for taking my sick kid for two days!

The separation thing at school with Owen and Kyle has proven to be a very positive thing for Owen. He has really come out of his shell and is less dependent on Kyle. He is now officially potty trained! It took a few more months than Kyle but we are so proud of him.

Owen is really hilarious to listen to as he has all kinds of great comments or saying. Ex: Manit! (I think that is in place of darnit) Mom, I am so frustrated!
He also calls me out on being incorrect often!


Kyle, Kyle, Kyle...my little entertainer! He found it necessary this past week to pull down his pants at school and shake it for the entire class. Yah, not sure what to even say about that!

Kyle is super sweet and caring and Mr. social however he gets into trouble ALL THE TIME! He is up to at least 8 time outs a day. He has however started saying "I'm gonna have a good day" every day he wakes up. At least his intentions are good;

Not much else to report. We had our annual fashion show for the NICU this past Thursday and it was a huge success again this year! I will post some pics as soon as I have them because I forgot to take any. We are going to the circus tomorrow with the kiddos and looking forward to that!

Our nanny Krissy had her baby last week. This is her second girl ans she named her Kenzie. All are doing well. I am however a bit sad that she is not here anymore so I will have to make a lot more effort to see this baby!

That's all for now!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween 2008

The injured gymnast (Kerri Strug), the cowboy and the monkey seemed to have a good time at Halloween. Janie made it the entire way using her crutches! Kyle wasn't so sure he was going out until the last minutes before trick-o-treating. He is a bit scared of monsters:) They consumed plenty of candy and only one managed to throw up!

We did our traditional night of trick-o-treating with our friends, the Fishes. The men take the kids out and the ladies stay back and pass out candy and maybe consume a cocktail!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Okay, I am going to hop onto my soapbox for a few minutes. I proudly gave blood today. I gave blood for a few reasons: I have had several people close to me need blood transfusions, we had a blood drive at work, and most importantly, I am O negative. What this means is that anyone in the world can receive my blood no matter what their blood type is. It is also the most common type of blood used on premature babies, which of course is huge to me!

I received an e-mail the other day telling me how hospitals are at an all time low in blood supply. In fact, there is not any O negative on hospital shelves. You know what that means, I am screwed if I need blood! Fortunately, all of my children are O negative but none of them are old enough to give.

So I ask you today, make an appointment to go and give blood! Do it for your friend or your parent that has needed a transfusion at some time. Do it for that little bitty baby who did not choose to be born too soon.

I am making a commitment to myself to give 5 times a year starting now. You can give 6 times a year if you have your days exactly right. I will make it happen! Can you? Call 1800GIVELIFE

Okay, done for now...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fall Stuff

After working the last 3 weekends, it was so nice today hanging out with the kiddos and doing "fall stuff". First we did caramel apples followed by carving pumpkins. The kids did well and really enjoyed eating the caramel apples. We didn't however get through to Owen that you eat the apple part too, not just the caramel and chocolate on the outside.

Thanks to my cousin Kate, we also enjoyed pumpkin seeds.For the first time in my life, I actually liked them! Here is the receipt that she had shared:

2 cups of seeds
1 cup of sugar
1 egg white with a tbsp of water
3/4 tsp of cinnamon (i think you should use more, maybe a tbsp)
3/4 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of salt

Mix seeds with egg white. Mix in other ingredients and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 275 for 1 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

They are excellent! Thanks Kate!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I was so priveleged to be able to go and meet my amazing niece this past Sunday. She is just what I need in my life~cute, well behaved and ready to be spoiled! After spending a little over a day with her, I think she looks a lot like the other female babies in our family. See for yourself...

Allison - my sisters' baby


Abby - my brothers' baby

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is it that time again?

For some reason I had myself convinced that we were done with the whole asthma thing. We haven't had to do a breathing treatment in at least 6mths. In fact half of our medicine was expired. And then it started last night...Owen coughed the entire night. We were up several times but I never thought that he was wheezy. Maybe it just wasn't on my mind. This evening he has been wheezing and coughing a ton. I did one treatment and a steroid about 5:30p. We put the kids down to be at 8pm and listened to Owen cough until he threw up. Then we did another treatment. Looks like tonight will be a long one...and I'm bummed that we are not done with the asthma stuff!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Allison Rose Schmitt

I am the proud aunt of a new niece, Allison Rose Schmitt. Doesn't that just have a ring to it? And a namesake? I am still just blown away. No clue that they were even considering my name. Secretly, I was kind of hoping to be the middle name but I would have never admitted it. Truly, there isn't a better honor. Unbelievable! Anyway, enough about me!

My sister had this precious little girl on October 6th, just two days after my sister and my birthday. Yes, we have the same birthday! Actually, we have the same anniversary too! She weighed 7lbs, 13oz. Isn't she just simply precious?

The fam is all doing well. Big brother Joey isn't quite sure he is too fond of her yet but I am sure she will grow on him. I will head down to Columbus next Sunday for the night so that I can meet this new and fabulous addition to the family. I can't wait to eat her! Congrats Sissy and JT!

PS - How does my sister look so incredible after just giving birth?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Weak Legs?

I guess the Mitchell Family needs to work on our leg bone strength or maybe just our luck! I received the dreaded phone call last Thursday at work that Janie had "maybe" broken her leg on the playground. My first question~ which part of her leg? Knowing fully well that there is no way that I can live through another femur and body cast.

Since I am 40 minutes from her school, I called my girlfriend to run over there (she lives across the street). The big debate was whether to call an ambulance. It doesn't sound like the need for an ambulance however they could not move her at all. She was screaming in pain and unable to move her leg. Over the phone, we decided that an ambulance was necessary. I arrived just as they we inserting an IV for some pain meds and then we were off to U of M Hospital. Mind you, it had been exactly 6mths since we headed there with Owen.

So the outcome...two broken bones in her Tibia. She is in a long leg cast (picture to follow) for 1 month. She will then move to a short leg cast for two more months. Yes folks, 3 months total. Owen was only 5 1/2 weeks!

The crazy thing is that we ended up with the same Pediatric Ortho as we did with Owen. She is fantastic and about dropped a load when she walked in. As I told the principal, I am just glad that it was on her time and not mine! I don't need CPS after me.

She is doing fine. The first few days were rough as she had a lot of pain. We ended up back at the ER on Friday night after she fell on her crutches. She spent the next two days on bed rest and is now supposed to use the wheelchair for the first week or two.

I cannot say enough about the support that we have received from Janie's school. They were with her and supportive to me through all of this including evening calls from the principal and old teachers. They have made appropriate accommodations without me having to even ask at the school. We feel so fortunate.

My friends have been generous, caring and super supportive as always. My boss is amazing and fine with the fact that I must leave work early every day to pick her up from school and sometimes come in late.

I am not sure what the reasoning is but luck does not seem to be on our side. I do realize however that once again this is just a minor set back and we will get through it!

This is how we wash the hair!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Although I thought it would be cool to have identical twins, I was happily surprised that mine were fraternal. Their genes are no more alike than any siblings. I thought maybe it may make the future easier. They don't look alike, they would have different interests and both excel at different things. With that being said, they have spent almost every hour of every day together since birth. A few Dr.'s appointment now and then and Owen's short hospital stay have been the only exceptions.

They started preschool 3 weeks ago and it is going great. They seem well adjusted and to be having a great time. There is some sense of security, for me, knowing that they have each other. When I picked them up today, I feel like a little part of me lost that. There was a notice in my box that said "Kyle Mitchell is scheduled to move up to the 4-year-old preschool classroom on 10/6." "Note: Kyle is ready for the 4 year old curriculum. Owen should be ready by January" Really? My immediate thoughts~

~You are going to separate them?
~You know this 3 weeks into school?
~Are you saying that Kyle is smarter than Owen?
~Do you know that Owen has been able to spell his name for 3 months and Kyle finally learned his last week?
~Do you know that Owen remembers every word to every song and can color in the lines? And Kyle doesn't?

I have never and will never compare my children. My parents always taught me that you love each of your children in different ways. However, in the back of my mind, I have always thought of Owen as the brains and Kyle as the brawn. Kyle is super athletic and outgoing. Owen is smart and quiet. Great, I love that! So, when I asked about this move, I was told that they may do better separated (I can see that as they almost kill each at home). One person told me that Kyle is just really ready to "move up". The teacher told me that Kyle loves being in the 4-year old room and that Owen is still working on potty issues, Kyle dives into things and engages more and Owen is more dependent on his brother.

So this is all fine and dandy but really, I guess an answer like "we just think they will thrive better being separated" would have been the answer that I would have liked to hear. I do however understand that I am not the teacher and do not see how they are in class the entire day. And, when I mentioned to them that they would be going to different classrooms, they seemed fine with it.

It is just sad to me because I feel for the first time that my children are being compared to one another and I don't like it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A visit from Grandma Mitchell

We had a nice last 11 days with a visit from Mike's mom from California. The boys met her for the first time and Janie for the third. We spent a lot of time listening to fun music and eating great meals. We also ventured out a bit to meet my mom and my aunt. We miss you Grandma Mitchell!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The First Week of School

I am scared to say, so far, so good. All three kids started school last Tuesday. Janie did great and is still doing great! She loves her teacher and says she is really nice. Of course little things I hear from Janie make me think that maybe she is too nice, but we will see. Janie needs structure and challenge so hopefully it will all be good.

The first day of drop off with the boys went well. They were very excited and the teacher said the had a good day. The remainder of the week has been fine. Owen is happy going each day. Kyle, not so much. He has tears most of the morning prior to Mike taking him. When I pick him up, he tells me that his day was great, as does the teacher. It has been fun to see them start to bring home their projects. Kyle has already learned how to spell his name (Owen already knew).

So, I guess we are off to a good start. Schedule, schedule, schedule seems to be the mode that we have jumped into!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Fun Day but no Mother of the Year

We headed into Detroit today for our first trip to Eastern Market, my new favorite place. If only it was closer! It was like the biggest farmer's market you have ever seen! $1 quarts of strawberries, 50 cent red peppers! We bought tons produce and had a fantastic time. Following the Market, we headed down to Mexican town for some good grub. So yummy!

Since it was a beautiful day, we continued to the Detroit River front which now has an absolutely beautiful river walk that goes for over 4 miles. We walked and walked and then discovered the Smooth Jazz Fest which was just an added bonus. We listen to a bit of music, watched boats and Janie did handstand on any empty surface that she could find.

After a couple of hours, we headed back to the car. The two young guys that were having their own BBQ on our way in were now clearly finished. When they finished, they apparently left a few things behind. Since my boys love to pick up anything that resembles a rock, Owen picked up the white, extremely hot, piece of charcoal that was sitting in the middle of the side walk! Needless to say, he cried for several hours and now has huge blisters on 3 fingers and the thumb. I guess I could beat myself up with the fact that I did not see what he was picking up but honestly, who leaves hot charcoal in the middle of the sidewalk. Idiots!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Saying Goodbye

When we found out that we were having twins, we decided that it would probably be best to try to bring someone into our home to watch the kids instead of taking them to daycare. I really didn't do much work on this prior to their birth probably because they arrived early. Shortly after they were born, I ran an ad in our local newspaper for a nanny. The phone rang often and I set up many interviews. Fortunately, my aunt was in town helping me with the boys and was able to give her judgement during the interview process. We interviewed about 4 candidates (none of which made the cut) and then in walked Krissy. Krissy was different. She was cheerful, energetic, educated, young and delightful to talk with. We just knew that she was the right one to care for our most precious gifts. We hired her!

Today was Krissy's last day with us. She has now been part of our lives since I went back to work at the beginning of June 2005. She cared for the boys as infants~ feeding them often, giving medications and caring for them like we would ourselves. She loved them through the tough toddler times, kept them safe and helped us teach them right from wrong. Most recently, she has helped them to potty train. She has cared for them when they we ill and lifeless. She has cleaned up poop and vomit. She has tended to boo-boos and wiped tears. She hung on and cared for Owen while he was in a body cast. She has held them when they were sad and cheered with them when they learned something new. She has taken them to the doctor, the park, and McDonalds several times. She has walked hundreds of miles and thrown thousands of rocks in the water with my children. She has helped raise them and been a mother to them when I was not around.

Krissy had a baby, Alivia, in August of 2006. She took a few weeks off and then returned with Alivia in tow. Since then, Alivia has also been a part of all of our lives. She has been like a sister to my three children and we all love her dearly.

So now we move on...the boys start pre-school on Tuesday and Janie 3rd grade. I suppose the time has come. Krissy will have her second child in early November. Lives changes and children grow. This doesn't however make it any easier to say goodbye to someone that you could only dream of being the caregiver to your children.

We love you Krissy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Family Vacation

What a fantastic time! I have been looking forward to this vacation for many, many weeks and it was everything I had hoped for. We left here last Tuesday night and stayed the night with my mom in Mt. Pleasant. We got up the next morning and headed to Mackinac for two nights. We completed our vaca with a stop at the family cottage in Bay City on Friday night. We all just had a blast! The kids were fantastic (at least until about 5pm each day) and loved everything we did.

Bike riding was my fav. We rented bikes with baby seats on the back that the boys almost did not fit in. It was fantastic because they could see everything. We biked the 8 miles around the island with no problem and included several stops to throw rocks.

We visited the Fort and enjoyed the dancing, music and history. In my 10+ times to Mackinac, I had never been to the Fort.

It was Mackinac Island's music festival so we were able to spend a few hours one afternoon at the park listening to some good tunes. The kids did some dancing, had some snacks and enjoyed it as much as we did.

Our place was fantastic and a huge reason why the trip was such a success. We stayed at this same place 4 years ago when we took Janie. It is way out on the west end of the island. It looks like and apt. complex and kind of is. You can rent whatever size place you want. We had a place with a family room, bedroom and full kitchen. It was wonderful because we could take food to cook or grill out for dinner and also for breakfast. Huge cost savings and convenient! Also, the kids were done by 5pm each so we would take our 30min. carriage ride back (also super fun) and hang out. They had a swimming pool and DVD players. What else can you ask for? Actually, the deck overlooking the water was nice to sit out on after the kiddies were long asleep!

Now back to the start of school reality....Boo hoo! Great memories!