Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

We went to the carousel to see the easter bunny yesterday. The carousel actually started malfunctioning while we were there so we didn't get to ride today, but we did still see the easter bunny. Josie loved the easter bunny. He was actually hugging us all before the picture which she thought was great, but Ella thought was petrifying. So then we all had to be in the picture. She only got this close because there was a basket of lollipops on the ground and she was told she had to stand there for a picture if she wanted one. She'll do just about anything for a lollipop apparently. We are heading back tomorrow for the Easter Egg hunt after church, so hopefully that'll go a little better.

So we successfully contained Josie's pink eye to her right eye only. Unfortunately, we didn't contain to just Josie. I got it and also Beba and Papa have pink eye.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Nothing like a springtime dirt pile

Ella can't possibly be any more girlie. She had to stop to dump the sand out of her boots and clean her feet every 2 minutes.

3 going on 19

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A 4 eyepatch kind of day.

Josie is getting a little more opinionated about the eyepatches. She takes them off especially in the car.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dying Easter Eggs

Ella was very excited to dye eggs this year, and did it all pretty much by herself.

Josie was excited to get her picture taken. 

Ella was very particular about how long each egg needed to sit in the dye. She would check them and then decided, yes they were ready, or no they were not. There was no way to predict which eggs were "ready".

Josie thought the whole thing was a little BORING.

They were glitter eggs, though hard to see in the pictures.

That one bright egg sat in the dye for the entire time. We did dry and polish the eggs also, as only the real Neilan's do.

After the egg dying, we hung out on the sunporch (aka toy pit) for a bit.

Josie is having a bad week. She had a bad cold, a little fever for a couple days, and then to top it all off, she has pink eye (on the right). So now her right eye, usually the bigger of the 2, has been almost swollen shut for most of the day. Hopefully we can contain the infection before it gets to the contact lens...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sitting up!

 Yesterday morning, Josie was getting up to sit like this.


 By the afternoon, it was looking a little more streamlined.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Matfield Maple Farm

We took a trip to Matfield Maple Farm this past weekend. We decided to take the tour which involved walking through the woods and seeing a bunch of trees all tapped and running with sap being collected to make syrup. We got to sample sap right out of the tree, which was clear and tasted like sweet water. Josie loved it, Ella wouldn't try it as she was "too scared of being muddy."

Then we proceeded up to the sugar house. (I was referring to this building as the sugarshack initially, which Nate said he thought was a place where candy is made, so I looked it up, and officially, it is called a sugar house.) Inside is the evaporator which is seen below and powered by wood, and also there is a finisher where the sugar goes at the very end because it is powered by propane so they can turn it off immediately at the right point in boiling to prevent overcooking.

And of course there were samples of syrup too.

Ella was over her fear of the mud.

And Josie wanted to know where is her sample?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

These Irish Eyes are Smilin'

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Love the girls.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Remembering Grandma

My grandma passed away this past weekend, and while we will all miss her very much, we have all been enjoying talking about her and remembering quirky things that are uniquely her. Grandma wasn't the typical apron wearing, cookie baking type, but she always had a basket of andes candies in her fridge, and she would be quick to tell you when you needed a good "hop in the ass"(she was always right).  I never got to witness her in action at the bowling alley, though I did have the pleasure of watching her hustle Ryan at pool. I have a feeling that the senior center will be a much quieter and boring place now that she is gone. We will miss you grandma. for her real obituary, click here

Above is Grandma with Josie this summer. We had a new computer since Ella was a baby so I don't have a picture of her holding Ella available to post. And below is Grandma celebrating Christmas with us from 2011.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Weather Wimp

Ella loves her outdoor gear, but she's not so much a fan of the outdoors.... She is afraid she will blow away.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ocean in the street

We didn't have to evacuate during the last bad storm, but it was still a little crazy. Here are some pictures Nate took from the living room of the ocean at high tide.

Friday, March 8, 2013

"Not right now"

Ella chose this outfit and completely dressed herself. It pairs nicely with the sass.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Eye check-ups

Josie had a 3 month follow-up with her eye doctors this week. I was excited to go because she seems like she is seeing everything! She picks up tiny things when she is wearing her patch, she picks up food that blends into her tray when she is wearing the patch, and most indicative of her eye function- she doesn't mind wearing the patch. So we were all ready for another stellar report. Well thats not exactly what we got. While the doctors were impressed with our functional reports, her actual visual acuity according to the standardized test anyway was pretty much the same. Slight improvement (normal development) in the right eye, but no change in the left. However, they did remind us that the test is an interest based test and really you can't look at the results in isolation of function. Josie was not interested whatsoever in looking at the patterned cards this day and was more happy trying turn around to poke our faces, or trying to eat the various medical instruments that were within reach. I did inquire more about normal eye development and so they plotted her results of the acuity test on the normalized growth chart for her age this time. Both doctors were very pleased with that because although there was little change, her right eye was smack in the middle of the curve and the left eye was actually on the curve- it was on the low end, but the development of that eye, at this point is within the normal range.

What was very disappointing to us though, was that because her left eye is crossing in more, she is going to need to have another surgery. We should have been prepared for this more. The doctor had made it clear in the beginning that this was a long road and that the eye crossing was a likely result of having one eye significantly weaker. However, I knew from the very beginning that we would be super 100% diligent with the patching protocol, and we have been. So I just assumed that Josie would automatically fall into the "best case scenario" category. I thought that we had way more control than we do. There really aren't any guarantees as the optometrist told us, some of the eyes post cataract develop good vision, others don't at all. All you can do is the patching and see what happens. So that sucks, as does the fact that after this next surgery, it is possible, likely even, that down the line she will need another, perhaps several surgeries to continue to correct the alignment of the eye in order to allow the best potential for her to develop better vision on the left. So for now we are still waiting. Her next appointment is actually on her birthday, and we will talk about it more then, and surgery will most likely be scheduled for the summer. Until then we will be trying like heck to get her to track her eye to the side.

Josie thinks things are just great though, and really when you are scooting backwards, who needs to see anyways? (this picture is from my phone, so its pretty blurry)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Shane comes to visit

Kate, Colin, and Shane came up for a visit this weekend and we decided to check out the local Hull Gut Snow Row on Saturday because it was such a nice day outside.

Here are the racers coming in. It wasn't super exciting, though we didn't see the beginning of the race or anything, and we didn't know anyone in it. But it was nice to be outside anyways.

We tried to get an obligatory group shot during dinner....

Not impressive. Ella and Shane thought maybe that they could do a better job.

 The tubbie shot was the real winner!