5 Year and 3 Year Check Up and Stats

We took the kids to the doctor for annual checkups. The girls did FANTASTIC and for the first time were talking, laughing, being silly and answering all of the doctor’s questions themselves, without encouragement from us. They also got their first eye exam done. Even though the nurse only asked about one line, they got every one right. It was cute to watch!

I only got these two pictures from the appointment, because… well, three kids… I was kinda busy.

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Sorry the lighting is terrible.

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Alyssa went first. Here are her stats:

Height: 44.5 inches (113.0 cm- I’m including this for a reason) 80th percentile

Weight: 42 lbs 4 oz- 61st percentile


Height: 44.8 inches (113.7 cm- ya, not even a full cm difference!) 83rd percentile

Weight: 43 lbs 2 oz- 66th percentile


Height: 39 inches -79th percentile (My brother, who is 6’3″ was 38 inches at 3 years)

Weight: 37 lbs 4 ounces – 90th percentile

Wyatt was not cooperative and Russell took him, sans clothes, out to the car kicking and screaming as soon as the doctor was done attempting to look at him. The girls had to stay a bit longer to get 3 shots each, plus blood drawn. The doctor also wanted a urine sample, but ya. That wasn’t going to happen. Alyssa got her blood drawn first and cried. Kylie hopped up next and they told her to look away before they inserted the needle. She wouldn’t turn her head because she wanted to watch. She was very curious about the whole process and told me later she wanted to see if her blood would be light or dark. Here they are afterwards.

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Kylie got referred to a dermatologist to look at a mole on the back of her neck (brought up by me, not the doctor) but otherwise we have normal, healthy kiddos. See you next year, doc!

Published in: on April 7, 2015 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Caridologist

First, let me give you the good news. Despite being woken up early from their nap, everyone was very well behaved at the doctor. Even Wyatt who thought sleeping for only 1/2 hour was a good idea. We went into the first room and they did the EKG. Quick and painless.

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Alyssa went first.

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Kylie and Wyatt watched.

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Kylie went next and managed an almost smile.

Then we went into another room and waited for the doctor. It was actually the same doctor who checked the girls out when I was pregnant, in the NICU and saw Kylie for her two month follow up. She had a PDA that wasn’t closed all the way at birth. Just another thing that wasn’t fully developed a month and a half early… go figure. Anyways, he didn’t remember us but I have liked him every time I have met him, and he was great with the girls.

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Alyssa was a little nervous in this room so Kylie went first.

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When it didn’t hurt Kylie, Alyssa was ready to go.

On  the other wall there actually was a kids movie playing, but I love that my kids were more interested in watching what the doctor was doing.

Now for the great news. Their hearts are perfectly fine. Just an innocent murmur that may come and go as they grow up. Nothing to give a second thought to again. Whew. That feels great.

And look what Alyssa asked how to write when we got home.


Needless to say I am feeling very thankful today.

Published in: on March 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Trip To The Doctor Times Three

The kids birthdays are only 20 days apart, so this year I opted to schedule their annual checkups all together. The girls usually insist on going with Wyatt in case he is scared and needs his big sisters anyways, so this basically saved me a whole trip. In the past he hasn’t really “needed” them, but when I took him to get his pictures taken he would not even go into the room until his sisters got there, so for now I appreciate their help. Russell took the morning off to help so it was a whole family affair. I scheduled the appointment for as early as possible to help minimize the wait time. My policy is when flying or going to the doctor the earlier the better! Less chance for things to get thrown off.


The girls got weighed, measured and had their blood pressure taken. I missed all of that because I was with Wyatt trying to get his height and weight. He was not having any part of it and I actually had to step out of the room because he kept jumping off the scale towards me. Even if I was not near him! As soon as he was done he stopped crying and we all went back to the room. The girls each made a trip to go pee and then the doctor was there. Pretty short wait this morning. Wyatt went first since he was the trouble maker and I had to hold him down, while Russell held his head, while the doctor checked him out. He was not interested in helping at all. The doctor said afterwards “any kid that can put up a fight like that must be pretty healthy.”

Kylie went next and demonstrated for the doctor how she could balance on one foot. Other questions he asked were “Can she identify at least four colors?” “Can she stack blocks at least five high?” “Can she draw a circle?” “Can she draw a stick figure with at least three body parts?” The answers were all yes, and actually the questions made me sad. Other than kids with physical or mental disabilities or delays, I really just ache thinking that there are four year olds who can’t name at least four colors.  Anyways, Kylie was not shy and did everything the doctor asked her to do, and talked to him as well. We were curious what the little light he used to look in their ears was called. An otoscope. We were right about what to call the tool they use to bump the knee. A reflex hammer. And we learned about the light he used to look at their eyes (different than the ears) called an ophthalmoscope. Russell and I love using the correct terms for things with the kids any chance we can, so this was great to learn. Alyssa went through the same routine and was really brave and helpful as well. No shots were needed and our doctor, who I really like, was supportive when we told him he were going to homeschool. I asked if we should be concerned about childhood illness that they wouldn’t be exposed to  by not going to school and he very casually said “They will still be around other kids. They will be exposed just fine.” I love not feeling like I ever have to defend our decisions to our doctor. He was also very supportive when we chose not to circumcise Wyatt.

The only other thing that happened was that he heard a heart murmur in both girls. He didn’t seem concerned at all and told us heart murmurs are extremely common in kids and they often there is nothing wrong. He is referring us to a pediatric cardiologist just to have it checked out to be sure. Kylie saw a cardiologist once when she was about two months old because she had a PDA that wasn’t closed when she was born. At that time everything looked great and we haven’t had to go back since. I am not especially concerned, but it will be nice to know everything is 100% with them soon.

Published in: on March 10, 2014 at 2:33 pm  Comments (1)  

A Year

It’s been a year since I had to take Kylie to the ER.

A year since my brave little girl got her first stitches.

A year since this picture was taken.

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That was right after her stitches. She amazed me.

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This was the next morning. Man, that thing was brutal.

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A couple of days later. I was really worried her beautiful face would never be the same.

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Here she is tonight, one year since she cut her face. Her scar is almost unnoticeable. And she is still SO beautiful! But her face isn’t the same as it was before. Look at her adorable dimple when she smiles!

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Or when she does this…

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We have put scar treatment on that thing almost every day, and plan to continue until the bottle is gone. And she wears sunscreen anytime she goes outside. But I love her little scar and I hope she always sees it and knows how brave and beautiful it makes her.

Published in: on September 16, 2013 at 10:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The One At The Doctor- 18 Month Stats

Wyatt had his 18 month check up on Monday and it was quite the experience. I had scheduled it for Monday so Russell would be off work to stay home with the girls. Then the day before Alyssa and Kylie decided they needed to go to the doctor with Wyatt because he might be scared and need his big sisters there with him. Although the thought of all of us going was not my ideal, I love the logic and don’t want to down play their helpful and protective feelings for each other. Then we found out our doctor had moved offices. In fact, it was their very first day in the new office. Computers weren’t working, insurances couldn’t be verified, and even though we were one of the first appointments in the morning (9 am) we waited for an hour to be seen. The signs were confusing and a couple of sick kids made their way into the well child waiting room. So we also had a vomiting baby and possible strep throat germs floating around in there with us too. Great. Russell took the girls out to run in the hallway and climb up and down the stairs while I waited with Wyatt for our name to be called. Finally we got called back and he was seen by a very tired looking doctor. Here are his 18 month stats:

Height: 33 1/2 inches, 75th percentile

Weight: 26 lbs 15 oz, 50-75th percentile

Head Circumference: 47 1/4 inches, 25-50th percentile

He did need one shot in the arm and did not even cry, or seem to notice it. I guess maybe he did like having his sisters there! They all got stickers and we got to head out. As we were waiting for the elevator someone, obviously from the staff, came by and apologized for the craziness of the morning. I also noticed she was carrying a more clear “sick child” sign to put up. We have another appointment in 3 months so hopefully more of the kinks will be worked out by then.

Published in: on September 11, 2013 at 7:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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The One At The Dentist

The girls have been asking to go back to the dentist since about a week after our last visit. For some reason they thought it was very exciting. The last time we went was actually the first time we ever took the kids and I forgot to bring the camera along. Lame Mommy moment. This time I remembered and got some pretty good pictures.



Alyssa got her x-rays over quick and did super good. Kylie really struggled with having the thing in her mouth, it kept making her gag! We got one side and gave her a break while I sat with Wyatt and held him for his. We only did his front teeth. Then we got Kylie’s other side done and everyone (including Mommy) got a sticker.





I didn’t get any of Wyatt getting his teeth cleaned because he was laying on me to get it done, but here he is after it was over!

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In addition to the cleaning, the girls have to have their teeth scraped a bit. They get a dark line near their gums thanks to an iron deposit. It doesn’t harm their teeth, but it looks nicer not having it there.

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Kylie- look at how little she is in the chair!



After 3 sets of x-rays, cleanings, and check-ups by the doctor it was time to pick a prize and head home. The girls each picked a “wishing star wand” and Wyatt (shockingly!) chose a ball. They all got new toothbrushes as well. Kylie picked purple, Alyssa pink, and Wyatt green.

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three kiddos walking out

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back in the car with a new toothbrush and a prize each!

I am proud to say we have 54 teeth and no cavities! Everything looks great and I was very proud of their behavior. Total win.

Published in: on September 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Proposing A Partnership

In the past few weeks I have stumbled on two charities that really speak to my heart. One is called Giving Diapers, Giving Hope. Here is a little about them taken from their website:

“Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is a non-profit organization that provides education, support and cloth diapers to low income families in the continental United States. This enables families to conserve money that would have been spent on disposable diapers and use it towards other necessary expenses. It also reduces the environmental impact that disposable diapers have on landfills. We are devoted to a greener planet and empowering families and thus, primarily focus on cloth diapers.”

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The other non-profit organization is called It’s Our Mission – Period! This group of women sews economical, earth-friendly, washable & re-usable cloth menstrual shields and liners. These are then distributed to girls in countries like Kenya, Nigeria, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, and more. Girls in these places face many problems when it comes to enduring their periods. For us in America it is simply and inconvenience. For these girls the situation is so horrific that they will sometimes find used pads in garbage dumps and try to wash them out to reuse because they can not afford anything better. Others turn to prostitution to pay for supplies.

“What if there were no toilets, no toilet paper, no pads, no tampons, no water?  Can you imagine the emotional and mental discomfort counting the days until ‘that time’ came around again?  Consider this:   Globally, 100 million girls currently enrolled in school may drop out — because of their period.”


Both organizations need support. I have decided to sew donations for both, but I do need help. Please consider partnering with me to help pay for the supplies I will need to sew diapers, wet bags, shields and liners. If everyone gives a little we can make a big difference! Because I will be sewing everything myself nothing will get caught up in operating expenses and 100% of what you give will go to the cost of supplies. Just a few dollars can help. For around $8 I can make one complete diaper, and around $15 can provide about 24 menstrual shields. If you prefer your donation to go towards one charity vs. the other please let me know. This isn’t anything formal or fancy and I can’t provide any tax deductible offers for you, but if you feel drawn to help please consider it. I’ll do all the work! I will keep you updated on what we will accomplish together.

Click here to send money via Paypal. The email address is anina duren @ gmail . com (remove spaces)

Published in: on April 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm  Comments (2)  
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A Special Day

Today is a special day for a number of reasons. On this day back in 2005 Russell asked me to be his wife. One year ago my brother married a wonderful woman who I am proud to call my friend (let alone my sister!)

And this year something else special is happening, although a little less romantic 🙂 I am shipping off another cooler of breast milk. I had mentioned last year when I sent off the first cooler that I donated and gave some examples of babies who might receive the milk. You can read that post here. I haven’t talked a lot about it on the blog, but most of my friends know I have continued to pump and donate milk all year. I still have about 5 gallons saved in our deep freezer for Wyatt, and rotate it out to keep it fresh. What makes today’s donation special is that it fulfills a goal I had set for myself months ago. I wanted to donate 50 gallons of breast milk.

50 gallons is 6,400 ounces of milk. For the preemie babies that are most likely to receive this milk just one ounce averages 3 feedings. That is almost 20,000 meals for little babies.

Those are numbers I am pretty proud of. Currently, the woman who holds the Guinness World Record for most breast milk donated gave 87 gallons. When I told Russell that he said “Well, 50 is respectable.” Today’s donation will hopefully not be my last. Wyatt has not started to wean yet, and until he does I will continue pumping and sharing what I am so fortunate to have.

Published in: on February 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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Three Year Stats

Russell stayed home this morning with Wyatt so I could take the girls to the doctor by myself. Errands are getting so much easier now that they are getting older. No more loading them into the stroller, no more worrying about keeping them entertained while we wait. And just the two of them… that was almost a breeze. The only thing that added a slight amount of time was the fact that this was our first major outing (about 2 hours) wearing only underwear. I took a chance too since they have never actually peed on a public toilet before, and never even attempted to try in a bathroom with stalls. But they both did great and went two times each (once when we first got there and once before we left). The second time I asked them if they wanted to use the same bathroom (since it is a big medical building there are lots of bathrooms) or a different one. They both chose different. They liked choosing which stall they wanted to use, and during both times we only saw one other person so they had the privacy they like.

The doctor checked them all out and says they are doing perfect. We don’t have to go back for another year (unless someone breaks something or needs more stitches out) 🙂 Here are their three year stats:


Height: 38 1/2 inches, 75-90th percentile

Weight: 33 1/2 pounds, 75th percentile

Blood Pressure: 88/58


Height: 38 1/2 inches, 75-90th percentile

Weight: 34 1/2 pounds, 75-90th percentile

Blood Pressure: 98/60

In Honor of Ozzie

Many of us are lucky and aside from colds and stomach bugs and an occasional case of the chicken pox our kids are mostly healthy. We complain to our friends about how our kids are waking up too early, not eating well enough, or about how freaking long it takes to load and unload everyone into car seats for a simple errand.  Most of our kid’s owies can be healed with just a kiss.

The biggest problem most kids have is having to clean up their toys or being upset about having to leave the park before they are ready.

Not Ozzie.

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Oscar, or Oz, is a two year old little Superman who is having to fight against cancer. “Cancer” and “two year old” are words that should just never be in the same sentence if you ask me.

His family learned about his cancer shortly before Thanksgiving and have since had to endure an operation, chemo and radiation. And they aren’t done yet.

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He’s only two. Did I mention that?

His story is one that I’ve been thinking about often. It is a reminder that even though most of us have healthy kids, there is someone out there having a conversation with a doctor about what their baby’s chance of surviving is.

Ozzie’s is 85%.

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Ozzie has a Dad and a Mom and a Big Sister who all love him very much, and are behind him all the way. And look at this kid! Does he look like he is going to take cancer lying down? I’m betting cancer is going to be scared of him before this is over. He is even flirting with his nurses 🙂

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This isn’t meant to be a make-you-feel-guilty-if-your-kids-are-healthy-kind of post, but it is a real world out there and this little man isn’t the only kid having to deal with some real tough stuff. I decided to make another quilt for Quilts for Kids in honor of Ozzie.


I didn’t get to pick the fabric (I would have picked Superman for him, and let’s face it- what kid couldn’t use that kind of encouragement!) and it won’t actually go to him, but some little boy out there is going to feel some comfort because of him.  If you have the time, consider making a quilt. The family is staying at Brent’s Place during Ozzie’s treatments and have great things to say about it, so you could also consider donating to them if you feel so led. If you are the praying type please lift up this family. (Dan, Robin, Gracie and Oscar.) I am sure it is a difficult time for all of them and any prayers, support, or well wishes would be greatly appreciated. I’ll post again to let you know once Ozzie has kicked cancer’s butt.

Published in: on January 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm  Comments (1)  
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