September in Review

We started the month of September the way many of you did; heading to school. Eli began Kindergarten this year and so far the transition has been about how we’d expected it to be. Eli has been so excited to go to Kindergarten and is ready to be in a classroom environment; although I will admit that full-time kindergarten (all day, every day) does seem like overkill for this age. He is still very positive about school and loves it every day, but as we expected, he is also very worn out. We are thankful for a positive school environment, friendly teachers and staff, welcoming families and that his teachers are a great match for him.

We’ve been walking each day to and from school since we are just a few blocks away and I am very thankful that we have the opportunity to spend this time together. The littles (Luke and Callie) ride in the double stroller and Eli and I walk together; often with one of our neighbors along too!

Walking to school to meet the teachers on September 1st.


This girl loves to try on everyone’s shoes!
Sitting on Grandpa Irwin’s Tractor
Finger Painting

On Labor Day Andy and Eli spent the day together hiking on Sauk Mountain. They had an awesome time together and it was a perfect outing for Eli before he headed off to school for the year. They didn’t have spectacular weather, but were able to see some views when the fog lifted as they were hiking back to the trailhead.

Eli summiting Sauk Mountain on Labor Day

What it is like to try to take a picture of two toddlers

Excited for his first day!
Worn out but happy after a first half day!

We celebrated Luke’s 3rd Birthday at the beginning of September too! Luke was thrilled to see that he had been gifted a pedal tractor for his birthday(the one thing he desperately wanted); now he is busy pretending to farm the back yard. We had a busy week with school beginning, soccer beginning, Luke’s birthday, a wedding rehearsal and Kristin’s wedding all packed into 5 days! The kids were awesome through it all and did much better than we anticipated.


Wearing the cake boxes as boots. She’s pretty silly.
Luke is 3!

My sister was married on September 10th in a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony at Axton Events. It was such a lovely day and a lot of fun celebrating her and Brian. My favorite part was getting to spend time with family that we don’t see often because of distance; I wish we’d had more time together.

My sister Kristin is wed to Brian.
Fun to dress up a bit.
Entertainment to keep them clean.
The wedding party
My Dad and Kristin before walking down the aisle
To Kristin and Brian!

With Eli off at school, Luke and Callie and I headed to Hovander Park for the morning to visit the animals, play on the playground and explore. It was strange to be out and about without Eli, but we had a nice time together.

Hovander Park

Eli started playing soccer on a Kindergarten League through the YMCA. Andy has been coaching so the two of them have been heading to Bender Fields every Tuesday and Thursday. Luke, Callie and I have been tagging along on evenings when no one needs an early bedtime. I haven’t had a chance to watch too much soccer though since these two cuties can’t seem to stay away from the playground.

Bender Fields

Callie has been growing rapidly; which is wonderful for her and so important; this means that we got to purchase an entirely new Fall wardrobe! She was quite the shopper; I wish I had it video taped for you to see. She was delighted to run through the aisles squealing with joy and she made it very clear that she did not care for many of the items that I chose for her by the rapid fire shaking of her head, while repeatedly say “me-me-me-me”! (“me” is how she says “no” – translation “no-no-no-no-no!”)

New Clothes for Fall
So Big!
New Coat for Fall!
So thankful for this guy!

On September 19th, Callie had a very important day of appointments at Seattle Children’s Hospital. We’d been awaiting this series of clinic appointments for several months. We saw a variety of different providers that are on the Cranifacial Team at Children’s and in total spent 5-6 hours in a doctor’s office room at the hospital while the providers all came to us. Callie was awesome but we were all exhausted by the time it was over; and we still had to drive home. During these appointments we were most anxious to see the audiologist so that we could get some answers about Callie’s hearing.

Callie had a hearing test and it immediately became clear that she has a significant amount of fluid built up in her ears. This is very common for children with a cleft palate and we anticipated this may be the case for Callie since we’ve noticed that she doesn’t hear well at all. According to her audiology test, she has severe hearing loss due to the fluid build up. Interestingly, Andy and I both agreed before hand that she seemed to be having a “good” day; we assume that since she had severe hearing loss on a “good” day for her that on a “bad hearing day” she is hearing VERY little.

During her upcoming palate surgery she will have tubes placed in her ears to help the fluid drain properly; which will should allow her to have hearing in the “normal” range. We are so excited for this change for her and it will be life changing; specifically giving her the ability to learn language. This will be a huge change for her and we anticipate there will be a period of adjustment as she becomes accustomed to new noises and sounds and just how ridiculously loud her brothers actually are! Callie is one smart little cookie and she is doing so well considering the challenges she is facing. We are continually blown away with her positive attitude and her ability to learn new things.

During this appointment we also met with the Speech and Language Therapist, the  Craniofacial surgeon, the anesthesia nurse, the Ear Nose and Throat doctor, and a variety of other team members that were present to go over Pre-Operation information for Callie’s upcoming surgery. We were so thankful to get some answers regarding Callie’s hearing and it was great to know that what we were seeing at home matched up with her test results.  It is also awesome that this hearing loss has a fix; what a blessing for her and for us!

Luke also had a doctor’s appointment; this time Andy took him for his three year well visit. We learned that he is huge (we already knew that), and that all is well. He chose these lovely monster teeth as his prize.


On September 30th, Andy joined Eli’s kindergarten class on a field trip to the apple orchard at Bellewood Acres. They had beautiful weather and a great time!


Eli and Dad at Bellewood Acres

That’s a wrap for us this month. See ya next month – which is ending in no time. :o)