Monday, March 23, 2009

Sweet Emberlyn

One of our very special experiences, since moving here near Kansas City, has been meeting the Bell family. We instantly became friends. I remember meeting Jaime outside the preschool on the first day. I knew she'd be a great friend. They have Zander, who has been a great friend for Cooper and Gunner. Then, we met Emberlyn. She was 17 months at the time. She is a very special girl, and instantly won our hearts. She has a rare brain disorder, where the brain didn't fully develop in the womb (probably within the first 17 days gestation). You can tell she is a special spirit of our Heavenly Father's, and He has a great plan for her! Her and Beckett were at very similar stages when we moved here. He was about 3 months old and learning to grab toys, and soon roll over. They just loved laying on the floor next each other, grabbing each other's clothes, and playing.

She was given until about the age of 2 to live. So, as you can imagine, her 2nd birthday, on March 23rd, was a BIG reason to celebrate! Her parents hosted a fun BBQ, covered their house in pink balloons, and she was the center of attention. She was decked out in her cute outfit, bib, socks, bows (she always looks this cute though!).
They rented a bouncy castle, and it was a BIG hit! Emberlyn and Beckett got to try it out before the rest of the party guests arrived. They loved it! I never want to forget Embers cute laugh! Below she is pictured with our friend Keva Cochran.
She also did a great job tasting her cake and making a fun mess! She is tube fed into her belly, so she loves the tastes of food she gets! She has a lot of seizures, so she is out of it a lot of the time, but it is so fun to get her in a happy, respondent mood. When she makes eye contact with you with her beautiful blue eyes, and smiles, it just melts your heart!
Emberlyn has had such a neat effect on our church ward too. Everyone has a little connection with her. They love having her in the nursery, and members of the chuch love to help the Bells in many ways. Jaime has done amazing at managing all of her therapy apts... along with her complicated pregnancy... and they are just the greatest parents. I think everyone who meets her just feels lucky... I know we do!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

More of March 2009

Here are a few more things we did in March... just filling in.

Whiteman Air Force Base (where we live), is the home of the B-2 stealth bomber. It is really fun to see the flying around. They are just amazing. One day they pulled one to the front of the flight line to let us get a little closer than normal. The boys were so excited to see it. It was a FREEZING day, but we braved the cold for a few pictures.

Cooper's preschool hosted a "Tea Party". They worked hard on their manners, and prepared a cute little presentation, place mats, decorations, a tea-cup bird bath, and name cards. Only adults were invited, and it was Sunday dress. It was so cute to be announced as "Mr. Cooper Larson's guest", and to have him escort me to our table. He also filled our plates, of all the things he knew I'd like, and served me. :) It was really a special day, and fun to spend some one-on-one time with Cooper... and to see he really CAN be a gentleman!
The last few above pictures are Bryce Cochran, Zander Bell, and Cooper at the Tea Party. they really are cute buddies... even if it is somewhat of a forced friendship because I love their moms so much! :)

We decided to take advantage of a sunny day during the kids' Spring Break, and head to the Zoo. Despite losing Gunner just minutes after entering the zoo (He was found by some gracious moms. I think he just followed a group thinking it was us.), it ended up being a really fun day! Keva Cochran and clan came along, including a few neighbor friends.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Yes, I braved the 8 1/2 hour (10 with kids), ALONE, without Dad (he was in Arizona for a conference), drive to Colorado to visit our best friends from dental school, the Bentleys, and my cousin Luke Lee's family.

AND... it was SO worth it!

Here we were at a Sonic playland for a pit-stop. It was COLD, but the boys saw it from the car and couldn't resist. On the way home there was an amazing playland at McDonald's too!
You know you have great friends, when within seconds of seeing each other, your kids are attached at the hip again. Dirk and Cooper are just a month apart, and Coby and Gunner are 2-months apart. They had way too much fun destroying the toy room each day. :)

Beckett met a new best friend too... Olivia. He is 10-months, she is 18 months, and I can already tell he likes older girls! :)
When we showed up, Dirk and Linds had already compiled our list of "funs things to do" while we were there.... little did they know, Cooper was determined to do EVERYTHING on the list! :) We had non-stop fun!
Poor Beckett got his first ever flu our last few days there. Hence the bath in the sink after breakfast didn't settle well. :(

Linds and I just talked and talked... stayed up late... and whined about how much we miss being neighbors. :) I feel so lucky to have a friend that I can go that long without seeing, and when we get together again, it's just like old times! So fun to see their AMAZING house again too, and all the cute decorating she's done! Last time we were there, Olivia was still in the belly, and they hadn't been in their house long.

We also were able to spend a day at Luke's house. I had fun visiting with Janna while the boys played and played! Then we hit Chick-Fil-A for dinner, and had brownies for dessert. It was so fun to see them and their cute house they've been working so hard on.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Cooper is now without tonsils. And adnoids. Why did he get them out? They were HUGE! The ENT said he got the award for the biggest he'd seen that day, at his consultation. Why the consultation? He was such a loud snorer. I couldn't sleep in the same room as him, and why not get them out while he was young and it was free (thanks to the Air Force!). Then, the consultation confirmed that the benefits out-weighed the risks. He said they took up over 90% of his throat, and would be a major risk to his breathing if they ever got infected. He said since he snores, still takes a lot of naps, and wakes up in the night, they are affecting his sleep as well. He said he would have more energy, and be less fatigued when he starts all-day kindergarten next year and can't have his naps. 

So... our brave boy did it! I think we were more scared then he was. The hardest part was drawing his blood for the labs the week before. I get SO MAD at nurses you ask, "Are you nervous?", or say, "You should be nervous... you wouldn't be normal if you weren't a little nervous." Cooper was all geared up, actually strangely excited, for everything, and the nurses kept putting it in his head that he should be scared. It was making me angry. 

My mom had melignant hypothermia when she was under general anesthesia once (you body temperature raises super high, super fast...makes doctors freak out to know it's in my family), and the trait is genetic, so Cooper couldn't have the gas to make him loopy. So, they gave him some oral medicine, Versed (sp?). It was so funny to see him get all loopy and start laughing hysterically. He kept saying Beckett had 4 eyes, I had 2 heads, and just cracking up. It was cute. The anesthesiologist was great, and put us at ease. He just picked Coop up and carried him into the operating room. No matter what, it is not fun to picture your kiddos under general anesthesia. Andrew was a little nervous too, cause he saw a case with a little girl last year, in his residency, where things got hairy. She was fine, but it made him realize how quick something could happen. 

Cooper was NOT a fan of his IV being in after surgery. He wanted it OUT NOW! But, they have to keep it in for about an hour, until they know they won't have to use the port again for meds. So, we put ice on it to try and make him forget about it. Luckily Dad, his favorite person, took the day off to help him through the recovery. Beckett tagged along too, and Gunner was at Keva's (thanks again!). 

He really wanted to take his tonsils home to show his preschool class... but they wouldn't let him. We snapped a quick picture though. 
He did a great job recovering, except for some digestive issues caused by the codeine. He was at the park the next day! We are so proud of you Cooper! You are so brave!

It's always fun for everyone when Grandparents come!

January 21-28th, Grandpa and Grandma Larson came to visit!We just LOVE when they come to visit! Our boys countdown the days until they'll get here, and then countdown the days until they have to leave.

We didn't get too many pictures while they were here, and although this one is blurry, I just LOVE it! It shows Andrew's dad, who is ALWAYS playing with the boys. He will be so creative and play for an hour with something like a paper towel roll! Or painted pine-cones, or ANYTHING! His garage is full of the "wall of fame", and he is always looking for fun, new, nick-knacks to show his grandkids. One favorite, which Cooper will NEVER forget, is the gorilla mask! He once spent about a half hour video-chatting with my boys on the computer with a puppet parrot! 

Besides getting the Gargunda pizza (yes 34 inches of goodness) at Monetti's, and watching one of Coop's basketball games, we also got spend a few nights at GREAT WOLF LODGE! The indoor waterpark/hotel. I just think our boys are so lucky to have grandparents that will hit ALL the slides with them! Gunner even got more and more brave, doing all the slides this time! We had a fun room with a few separate bedrooms, got amazing take-out from Famous Daves BBQ, and even did some shopping, scoring some deals at the Gap Outlet. I love that my mother-in-law loves to shop, and will always help me find good deals! 
They do a fun story-time each night and the statues come alive in a fun song and show. 
Wiley the Wolf!
We decided a week is just not long enough for them to come! I am finally getting around to blogging about their visit in January, and they are about to come again! We are so excited for them to come May 6-16. This time we are planning on a Royals game, church history at Independence and Liberty (we live right here... so come and see it everyone! :)), and a tour of the B-2 stealth bomber. They'll also be here for Beckett's first birthday and Cooper's preschool graduation. 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Weighing In

Recently had all of their "well-baby" visits. Interesting to see how they compare. Our tall Gunner, average Cooper, and light-weight Beckett. I think he barely is in the 10% for weight. Yes, we do feed him, three meals a day, and he's still nursing. 

More updates on what we've been up to coming soon... visit from Grandpa and Grandma Larson, lots of basketball, Coop's tonsils coming out, Beckett doing more and more everyday, visit from the Broyles, Valentines Day festivities, Presidents Day at Paradise Park and more!