Archive for November, 2016

Opening Lea Clark

Posted in Celebrations, Leah on November 11th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

When I initially posted about Leah’s birthday, I forgot to include the video of her opening Lea Clark, her new American Girl Doll. There’s so much joy and excitement in it, so I couldn’t leave it off the site. So, here it is.

Leah gets her ears pierced

Posted in Leah on November 10th, 2016 by c-had – 1 Comment

Leah’s 7 now, which means she can get her ears pierced. And she wanted to do it as soon as she could. Due to activities, we couldn’t get it done right after her birthday. But we made a plan to go on Friday, September 30. And then Jen had her accident that day, delaying things.

We played it by ear, hoping Jen would feel up to it shortly. The following Monday, the girls had a day off school and Jen thought she was ready to try leaving the house (not driving herself, of course). So, we all headed to Piercing Pagoda at the mall (which was empty).

Leah wanted to get some birthstone earrings for her initial set, but they were sold out. However, she found some lovely butterfly ones. There was also only one person working at the time since it was slow, so she wouldn’t be able to have both ears done simultaneously as Molly had. Despite this, she was eager to get them pierced right then.

So, she sat in the chair and eagerly expected it. Here she is with the ink dots already drawn ready to get them.

Ear piercing

And here is the piercing itself. She has a big flinch when it happens, but she never cries. And good job to her piercer for piercing the second quickly before there was any chance of a second thought.

And here she is with her freshly pierced ears, smiling and loving them. Now she’s anxiously counting down the days to when she is allowed to change them to a different pair.

Pierced ears

The big fall

Posted in News on November 9th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Friday, September 30, was supposed to be an exciting day in our house. Leah had been planning to get her ears pierced after school for weeks. That didn’t happen. Fair warning, the description below will be detailed and a bit graphic.

That morning, I was in the shower and the girls were upstairs getting ready for school. Jen picked up the bag of recycling from the kitchen to take it into the garage. From our kitchen, there are two steps down to our concrete garage floor.

Jen slipped on the stairs and fell hard on her backside. She tried to stand up quickly. In doing so, she got lightheaded and passed out. Some time later, she woke up lying face down on the concrete floor with lots of blood around her and excruciating head pain. Apparently she fell face first onto the concrete, and did not catch herself since she was unconscious.

We’re not sure how long she was out cold for, as everyone else was upstairs getting ready. If I had to guess based on timeline, I’d say it was around 5 minutes. After she woke up, she staggered in to the kitchen sink to wash blood off, leaving a significant blood trail all the way. She managed to call for Molly, who came and got me out of the shower. Her nose was bleeding badly, busted lip, terrible head pain, repeated vomiting, bad tailbone pain, arm pain, and more. I came down and didn’t know what to do with her or the kids. I obviously couldn’t leave Jen, so we decided the girls would get the chance to walk to school unsupervised for the first time that morning.

Jen and I debated what to do. She was in serious pain and kept throwing up. Every time she threw up, blood would start streaming out of her nose again. We thought about calling for an ambulance, but decided instead that I’d drive her to the Emergency Room at Howard County General Hospital. Jen brought a William Sonoma mixing bowl to use as a barf bag. She threw up on the drive there, and again in the waiting area at the ER as we waited to go back.

Once we got back to a room, they said it sounded like all the normal symptoms of a concussion. They needed to do a head CT to check for anything more serious, as well as a coccyx X-ray to see if she broke her tailbone. They gave her some painkillers to help with the head pain, and treated an abrasion on her arm. To prevent her busted lip and nose from bruising/swelling, they gave her an ice pack for her face. She thought it was hilarious to have this giant thing on her face, which was good since she needed her spirits lifted at the time.

Ice pack

Thankfully, both the head CT and the coccyx X-ray came back clear - no broken bones, no internal bleeding. A concussion is no fun, but we were grateful it wasn’t worse. She had bruises in several places (all on her left side, so she evidently landed there), but no broken bones. As Jen rested, recovered, and let the medications take effect, she started to feel a good bit better. The head pain dulled and she stopped throwing up. We put away the William Sonoma mixing bowl (which received compliments from nurses and doctors).

They released her around 3:00, which meant we got home in time for me to pick up the girls. We were worried that they spent the day entirely freaked out after the morning’s events and not knowing how their mom was. They were, of course, perfectly fine. Their first question was how their mom was doing, but with no fear that something really bad might have happened. Leah’s second question was whether she’s still be able to get her ears pierced that day. She was disappointed when the answer was no, but understanding that it was just a short delay.

Jen then spent the next few weeks taking care of her brain so she could heal. No TV, no reading, no driving for a while. She then slowly introduced those things back into her life. For several days, she kept finding bruises she had not noticed before. And after a month, she’s now finally pretty much back to normal (though she still can’t quite do everything at the gym she used to thanks to the rear end injury).

Leah’s 7th birthday party

Posted in Celebrations, Leah on November 8th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

For her party, Leah chose to have a duplicate party of Molly’s 8th birthday - a Bricks 4 Girlz party. She (and Molly) continue to be huge Lego fans. Fortunately for Jen, she could reuse some of the decorations and ideas from the last party.

Leah's party

Jen decorated these goody bags for each of the girls.

Goody bags

Jen made a Lego cake similar to the one she had made for Molly, though Leah requested her favorite color - yellow.

Lego cake

Leah and Jen made a Lego door hanger for the front door.

Door hanger

The party began with free play, using the bins full of Legos brought by the Bricks 4 Kidz folks.

Free play

Looking for pieces

Find the right one

Collaborative building

The girls made their own minifigs (which they got to keep), then created a biography for them.

Minifig bio

Minifig bio

Then it was time for the big build. First, some guidance as to how the motorized car model build kits and instructions work.

Build instructions

They built in teams. Leah and Molly were partners.


When you build a motorized Lego car, you’ve got to get it to pop a wheelie.


Building cars is tiring. Time for a nap. (The other teams were all still building their cars).

Nap time

Once the cars can propel themselves, you’ve got to drive them around. And, of course, run them into one another bumper-cars-style.


Bumper cars

Traffic jam

After some time with the cars, it was time for singing, cake, and ice cream.

Once everyone had their fill, it was back to playing. Lego motors can be used for more than propelling cars. They can also drive gears that crinkle up paper.

Crinkle paper

Lego motors can also spin plates for spin art.

Spin art

Last, but not least, each girl got to take their picture in the Wyldestyle cutout.

Wyldestyle pics

Here’s all the girls and their minifigs. Thanks to all for coming to the party.

Party people

Given how silly these girls were, we had to take a silly one.

Silly one

Tigers, tigers, and more birthday

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Leah on November 7th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

A week later, we got together at Aunt EA and Uncle Scott’s house for the Auburn-LSU game. Since Aunt EA is an LSU graduate, we try to get together to watch the game every year. This also served as an opportunity to celebrate Leah’s birthday again - this time with the Sellers side of the family.

Before the food, fun, and football, the girls had fun playing with their youngest cousin.

Cousin time

For this birthday celebration, Uncle Scott and Aunt EA made beignets.

Birthday beignet

Here we all are. Grams wore LSU apparel since they were otherwise outnumbered.

The family

Leah also got some more presents.

More presents

Twenty dollars is a fortune to this kid!

Twenty dollars

Leah was so excited to get a tennis outfit for her doll (including dress, shoes, racquet, and ball), she had to put it on her doll immediately.

Tennis playing doll

We then headed home to get the girls in bed. The game wasn’t over yet, but it was getting late. We did manage to see the ending right after we got home, which was wild to say the least.


Posted in Family outings, Family visits, Molly on November 6th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The day after Leah’s birthday, we continued celebrating with a day trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for some fun. In looking for things to do, the girls were the most excited about visiting Aimee and Daria’s Doll Outlet. The place is impressive, in the number of doll accessories offered as well as the prices when compared to those of the American Girl brand.

Doll outlet

While the downstairs of the Doll Outlet is full of doll accessories to buy, the upstairs contains a “nursery” with lots of baby dolls and other stuff. The girls got to sit in the princess chairs up there for a picture.


The girls (and their dolls) and their loot.


We then wanted to learn a bit about the Amish. The folks at the Doll outlet recommended we head to The Amish Farm and House. We did, and took the house tour, then headed out to explore the farm. We even got to take a buggy ride around the farm.

Buggy ride

They had Amish scooters that we could ride around a track.

Amish scooters

Amish scooters

G'Mom too

For dinner, we went to the Strasburg Shoppes. They have a great deli for dinner, then followed up with some delicious ice cream from the creamery there.

Strasburg Creamery

Yummy rainbow sherbet. And the waffle cones were made there fresh daily (we saw the rows of waffle makers and had to get some).


We then drove home for a late bedtime. It was a fun day and we’d love to do it again.

Happy 7th birthday Leah

Posted in Celebrations, Leah on November 5th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Back in September, Leah turned 7. G’Mom and Grampa flew into town to celebrate with Leah. And celebrate we did.

Leah’s birthday celebrations began on her actual birthday (and continued for a bit over a week). As soon as she got home from school, she was ready to open some presents with our immediate family and G’Mom and Grampa.

Birthday presents

Our girls (and most of the others that we know) continue to be obsessed with Shopkins.


Shopkins Kinstructions combine the fun of Shopkins with the interlocking blocks of Lego (though they are made by the Shopkins folks, not the Lego folks). Leah was shocked to get them.

Shopkins Kinstructions

Leah’s big gift of the year was Lea Clark, this year’s American Girl Girl of the Year. She hasn’t stopped playing with her since getting her.

Here she is with Leah post-opening.

Lea Clark

And a Palace Pet too!

Palace Pet

After dinner, we had some delicious cupcakes.

Birthday cupcake

Birthday candles

That was it for her actual birthday, but the celebrations were far from over.

Back to School

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on November 4th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

I’m way behind posting things, but I’m going to do my best to catch up now. So, think back to the beginning of school, and I’ll walk you through to the present over the next week or so.

The girls have started school, and are doing great. They both love their teachers, and are busy with almost everything they possibly could be busy with at school.

We had a great time at the Back to School picnic again this year. I left early for a tennis match, so I don’t have many pictures. But before I left, I did get a picture of these birthday twins at the photo booth. It was a hit with all the kids just as it had been in previous years.

Back to school picnic