November started out with the little girls getting over colds. Thankfully, they took them in stride and kept right on going. Unfortunately they shared with their mother, who happens to have a completely dysfunctional immune system. That stinking bug knocked me flat! I was still nursing and couldn't take much of anything, so thankfully Steve let me rest as much as possible. Really, we were just grateful it passed over Kassidy so easily and Mckayla didn't get croup, which we thought she would at one point. After last winter, we knew how miserable a little one with croup can be and were very thankful we didn't have to experience it two winters in a row.
As we were getting healthy, we ended up with an awfully fun surprise. Grandma and Papa Bennett decided to come up for a weekend in November. Steve had a couple of days off the following week, so November 8th Grandma and Papa came to visit. They stayed until the morning of the 12th when Steve had to go back to work, and the girls soaked up as much time with grandparents as they could. It's always fun when our girls get to be around family, and we only wish we could make that happen more often. I admittedly wasn't great at getting pictures, but here is one cute one of our big girls in their aprons Grandma Bennett has made them. Any time with Grandma calls for baking a sweet treat, and they love being her helpers!
Our next event was Steve and I giving in to the fact that it was now cheaper to get a deal on smart phones than to try and find basic phones we liked, so on the 20th we went and got new phones. Steve had been using one from two upgrades ago as his died before we could upgrade, and we finally gave up on finding a basic phone we liked. We now have androids, and they're nice to have I admit.
November 20th was also Kassidy's 6 month check-up. She was 19 lbs 3 oz and 27.5 inches tall. Yup, she is definitely trying to keep up with her big, big sisters. We also had some scary conversations at that appointment with our amazing pediatrician. Kassidy had been doing these little head shakes for a few weeks, and seemed to be doing them more and more. They looked like a cold chill, but she wasn't cold and did them far too often to be a cold chill. Then the day before her appointment Kassidy was very sleepy and nursing and had a full body tremor for about 5-10 seconds or so. It looked like it may have been a small seizure. Kassidy's pediatrician suggested that we have an EEG done to make sure that our seemingly healthy baby girl really was developing normally. She didn't seem too terribly concerned where Kassidy's development was on track with her sisters', but said we should be sure, and we agreed to have her seen.
You just never know until you're in the position how gut-wrenching it is to look at your baby who appears completely normal and healthy while listening to the doctor say things like "A specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital will interpret the results and we will decide from there if she needs to see a neurologist." Specialists? Neurologists? My baby?! Yeah, I kept calm in the office and then quickly walked out and cried on the phone to Steve.
We let grandparents know what was going on, and not many others. We really wanted to be able to digest the news on our own timeline if Kassidy's test results came back positive for seizures or other abnormalities. We got a call from the doctor's office that Kassidy's appointment would be Tuesday the 25th in afternoon and that we needed to keep Kassidy up till 11 PM or so and then wake her up at 6 AM and keep her up till her appointment at 12 PM. Yeah, because nobody loves being sleep deprived more than a 6 month old...
The next few days were ROUGH. I did ok until we hit the weekend, and then I lost my mind. We had too much time. During the week I am so busy with the girls, but having Steve home we tend to play more, relax more, I am not on constant alert, I clean less, and am just less busy. That's great! Unless you can't even shower without coming up with analogies about how thinking about your child's upcoming test is like Simba walking into the elephant graveyard in the Lion King. Yes, that really happened, and yes, I am totally the mom of 3 young children. Needless to say, I wasn't taking the stress well, so we reached out to family. I texted Steve's sisters and my own and asked for prayers. I needed the extra support that I couldn't find in myself. And I prayed. A LOT. The funny thing is, sometimes all we need to do is go to our Father in Heaven and cry and let Him help us with our burdens. As soon as I prayed and asked family to do the same, it was like night and day. I was still nervous for the test as much as the results (sleep deprived baby hooked up to monitors and all) but was calm and able to keep it together.
We were trying to stay calm and not say anything in front of the big girls to worry them, so they went to bed like normal on Monday night and then Steve and I kept Kassidy up. I'm telling you all, this is the biggest testimony builder of prayer and our Father's tender mercies and involvement in the daily events of our lives that I have experienced. Kassidy was happy and playing for all but about 20 minutes of the night. Our baby who normally would turn into a pumpkin around 7:30 or 8 was totally content. She went to bed and slept well till we woke her up at 6:00, happy as a clam. Steve took the day off so he could drive while I kept Kassidy up. Ellie went to preschool like normal and then to a friend's house after where we would miss her pick-up time. Steve and Mckayla paled around in Richland near where the test was done. MG was none the wiser to why she got to have a day out with Daddy.
We were also very blessed in that we didn't have to wait very long for the test results. We got the call the next day, on November 26th. It was a huge relief as we knew many places would probably be closing down the next day for Thanksgiving week and we didn't want to wait for a week or more for results we'd missed by just a few hours. We knew that day would linger in our memories either as the beginning of learning about some health issues Kassidy had, or as the day we got to move past those fears. Thankfully, we got a call that afternoon from our doctor's office that the test results were normal! That didn't mean Kassidy didn't have seizures, just that she didn't during the test, but with her normal development we could just watch her and see. We now believe her little shivers (which decreased greatly in frequency) were just a tick, similar to one Steve has now and then. Even her full body tremors, which she had once or twice later on, seem to not be serious as she kept nursing through one a few weeks later, so she obviously was still in control of her body. Once again, all we could do was cry in relief that our happy baby girl was healthy and we had been so loved and watched over by family and a loving Heavenly Father.
And even during that week or so, life kept going. Even Kassidy figured that impending major medical tests were no reason to get hung up and on the 21st we could see she was cutting her first tooth and then she rolled over onto her stomach for the first couple of times - while my back was turned of course. Kassidy had her first two teeth cut by Thanksgiving.
The 21st was also a very fun day for Mckayla. We took her to a fun kids salon and got her hair cut for the first time. I thought she looked so cute with her long, curly hair whenever it was braided or pulled back, but it looked so scroungy when it was down, so although I didn't want to cut her curls off, we weren't really getting to see them anyway. I went back and forth on it for weeks, but after I was so glad we did it!
Here are a few before pictures. (By the way, don't let your child have a free chocolate "lollie" from See's Candy at the mall - go butterscotch! And definitely don't let them color with markers after.)
Poor Ellie also decided to try and keep us busy during the time we were worried about Kassidy by getting some mystery illness. No fever, no symptoms, but she wouldn't eat, kept waking up in the night, would cry over the smallest things and fall apart, and all we could figure out was somehow Tylenol made a big difference. Our girl who usually fights naps and bedtime by talking, singing, and moving constantly just wanted to curl up on the couch with a jacket on, and then would just fall asleep anywhere - NOT the norm for her. This was the poor kiddo on the 24th.
But, she was better just a day or two later which we were grateful for as we needed her to go to preschool and her playdate on the 25th. Once again, we were so cared for and blessed during that time.
On the 26th, after we got the all clear on Kassidy's EEG, Steve got off work early for Thanksgiving break and we headed to Spokane. We were so relieved and ready for Thanksgiving happiness after such a stressful last week! We kicked off our festivities by taking a boat ride to the North Pole. Ceour d'Alene does holiday boat rides of a few varieties, and when we did this for the first time the year before and the girls enjoyed it, so we figured we would go again this year. The lights are fun, the girls love sipping hot chocolate on a boat, and Santa reads their name off the nice list. Here are a few pictures from our quick trip to the North Pole.
After we returned from seeing Santa and the lights we headed back to Grandma and Papa Rose's house for the next few days. We had fun relaxing and spending time basking in our many blessings, which felt much more tangible this Thanksgiving than any before it.
Aunt Julie, Grandma Sun, Papa Rose, and our family spent Thanksgiving dinner together and the food was fantastic!
Black Friday itself found us lounging and at my parent's house. Steve and I snuck out after the girls were in bed that night for our first date in over a year. We decided we'd go see a late night showing of The Hunger Games movie Mockingjay Part 1. The movie was great and it was so wonderful to do something just the two of us. However, we got home to weeping and wailing as the girls had woken up (thankfully only 5 or 10 minutes before we got back) and decided that we had left them forever when Papa went in to put them back down. When we showed up they were almost calmed down and we set them off all over again. Isn't it nice to be loved?
Anyway, November was filled with some stressful times, but also an abundance of blessings. We are so thankful for amazing and supportive family and for the tender care and succor from our Father in Heaven and Savior, Jesus Christ. And that was a great reminder for us heading into the Christmas season.