Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 wrap up!

So today is the day to think about what the past year has been and how we are going to tackle the next year. It is really amazing how time seems to fly by but then the moments, every day seem to go VERY SLOW!

For us 2008 has been a very crazy year that honestly we did not expect most everything that happened. That is life though, right? Let me warn you now that this post is extremely long and a bit boring so please feel free to stop reading now if you don't want to. We understand!:)

This is a medium size summary of 2008 for the Phippen Family:

Jan: Claire had her MRI at McKay Dee Hospital...I thought I was the most paranoid mom and felt horrible to have my little baby girl undergo the whole sedation process.

: Claire got diagnosed with porencephaly and left sided hemiparesis. So started our journey of having a child with special needs.

March: Emma turned 3 with the craziest Princess party. She is still talking about it!:) Claire started physical, and occupation therapy once-twice a week. New schedules for us all!

April: Maria starts to investigate hippotherapy and looks into buying a pony. Kent decides to quite his current job at the time and start working on the opening of GO MOTORS!

May: Kent graduates from the U of U (yah!!!) and Pocket arrives to Crestwood Farms and becomes our first official pet. (We don't go half way in this fish or turtle for us!:)

: Maria turns 28, Hannah gets married to Toby (about time!) and Go Motors officially opens! Claire is diagnosed with speech apraxia and we are told she might not ever speak.

July: Kent turns 28 and we celebrate our 6th year of marriage! Maria is in charge of the Utah Suzuki Harp Institute and Emma attends her first Suzuki Harp Institute. She does tip over her harp but thankfully no other harps fell!!! The whole family runs in the Kaysville 4th of July 5K. Kent and Maria attend the DHS class of 98 10 year high school reunion. It was really fun!

August: Watkins Family trip to Portland, Maria's first time traveling alone with the kids as Kent got sick. Maria and Kent went to Maine to see Wheeler get married! What a fun weekend. Anyone looking for a great place to visit I strongly suggest Camden, Maine. BEAUTIFUL! Maria finishes her 1/2 marathon which was the main goal.

September: Claire starts hippotherapy at the National Ability Center and LOVES IT! Emma starts pre-school and wishes she could go all the time. Kent starts to take every other Saturday off. Yah!!! Maria plays "My Fair Lady" at PMT and starts teaching harp lessons in the morning and not after school.

: Claire starts to take a few steps and can say "GO"! Emma switches up costumes a million times so we don't really know until the day before what she wants to be for Halloween! Kent and Maria find out we are having twins!

November: Claire starts to walk a bit more and say a few more things. Thanksgiving at the Kreiger's and Maria trying to struggle through the first few months of pregnancy. Kent and Go Motors are still in tact and weathering the economy.

December: We find out we are having a BOY and GIRL! Claire turns 2! Claire really starts to walk almost all the time now and can say more than 5 words! (See June post where they told us she wouldn't speak!) Emma performs in her first harp recital and does great! Kent and Go Motors has the best month they have had since opening!!! HURRAY! Kent gets his Wii for Christmas and is thrilled. (Maria is also thrilled and enjoying MarioKart much more than anticipated!)

That is our year in a nutshell. If you have made it this far in reading sorry it reads more of a Christmas card but since I didn't get them out this year then consider this it.

We love all of our friends and family and are looking forward to 2009 and all the craziness it will bring. Happy New Year!
the phippens

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Symphony and Emma's First Harp Recital!!!

This past weekend we went to the Santa Symphony with the Utah Symphony. If you haven't heard of it or haven't gone it is a really fun tradition we have started last year with our girls and LOVE IT!
There are tons of kids and families and we decided to take both girls this year. The orchestra plays some really fun numbers such as Nutcracker Suite and Sleigh Ride. They also have a sing along at the end which Santa comes and sings/conducts the kids to sing carols. Emma was thrilled to see him and took his order of Chocolate chip cookies without nuts very seriously. You all know what we are going to be doing on Wednesday!

Then tonight was my annual harp students recital. It was especially fun since Hannah's studio joined mine. Emma also performed and it was the first public performance for her. I have to tell you that for all the hard work we have done this past year on Taka Taka Jump Jump, the thing I was most worried about was her knocking her harp off the stage! She did AWESOME!!! She was totally careful and just got up and did her thing. She played beautifully and even smiled when she bowed. What more could I ask of my 3 yr old? I was totally proud and very happy to have an intact harp at the end!

The rest of the students did a great job as well and we had 32 total students perform. I am relieved it is over though until next year...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Claire Update

Claire one year ago...before we knew

Claire 2 weeks ago

Today we had an appointment with a Pediatric Neurologist at Primary Children's Hospital and I am happy to report that all was well. I have been trying for about 10 months to get into this Dr. that I had so many people tell me was great and I just want to tell you that he was as good as people told me. If any of you have a need for a pediatric neurosurgeon/neurologist Dr. Filloux is the one to go to!

He spent 45 min with Kent and I looking over all of Claire's MRI's from last year and explained exactly what he thought she would be capable of doing and why certain things were happening. Can I just tell you how great it was to have someone who really knows the field explain to us about our daughter! AMAZING! He told us a couple of things that just brought a smile to both our faces. One is that he thinks she will be able to speak all in good time. He is not 100% sure as nothing is certain with the brain but he thinks that because of the size of the hole the other side of her brain (the side with the language) is probably overworking to compensate so the things that should be coming naturally such as language is just going to take longer. I am happy to wait with the idea that it will come in it's own time. He also said that the part of her brain that controls cognitive thinking such as learning disabilities, reading, etc. is totally fine and that as long as her speech develops then she should be good to go to "regular" school. (I put it in "" because come on, is there ever anything regular?)

Another good thing he told us is that she is at low risk to have seizures as the hole is inside the brain and not on the outside. What a RELIEF!!!! In all it was such a great appointment and I can't say that for every appointment that we have had on this journey but the good ones make it worth all the bad ones.

In all to sum it up this season has been a season of tiny miracles in our life and this appointment and the info we were given would be one I would chalk up on that board of miracles! Merry Christmas everyone! Hope your season has tiny miracles scattered throughout as well.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We are having.....

So I was told this week by a few people that you don't blog about having twins and then just never respond after that! I apologize that I haven't posted sooner about the pregnancy but seriously I have been so tired and just void of telling you all anything that those of you who have been pregnant before don't know! Morning sickness sucks! Being tired sucks! Having your kids being babysat by Dora and Max and Ruby sucks!

However today we found out information worthy of blogging as well as making all the above complaints about pregnancy worth it. We found out this morning that we are 100% sure that we are having a BOY and 90-95% that we will have another GIRL!!!!

I am thrilled to experience motherhood of a son and more than happy to have another little girl. They are also healthy and measuring totally on schedule. They are about the same size and are measuring about 16 weeks. (I will be 17 weeks on Saturday~) The Dr. told us that they are two totally different people and that they both decided to come down at the same time rather than take turns. I laughed because they both probably knew that if only one would have come then the other might never had made it here. We might have stopped at 3!!!

So, now we need some help. Does anyone have any name suggestions at all? We are totally stumped especially on the boy front. We are open and would appreciate any ideas! Emma has offered Clementine and Hal and those two are both out of the running so sorry for those who were going to suggest them!

Thanks everyone. I have included a picture of me pregnant at 13 weeks and one at 16 weeks. (As a apology to those who have actually wanted to know how it is all going!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Today Claire turns 2. It has been a bit of an emotional time with me (hormones I think:) but to look back on the year we have had with Claire and our family I can't help but be amazed at how courageous and unbelievable my 2nd daughter is.

It has been fun to watch her grow and learn and discover new ways to do things that most of us take for granted that our kids just know. Such as walking and talking. I am happy to report that our goal was to have her walking by her second birthday and while it is not the mode of transportation she chooses on a day to day basis, she can walk down the hall when she needs to. She has also started to say a couple of words such as "go", "whoa" and most recently "bye".

I know all of you who have kids will understand my next statement...My daughter has taught me more in this past year than I feel like I have learned the past 5 years. I am so grateful to have her in our family and to have her smile brighten my day!


mom, dad and emma