Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Arrival:

We have decided to add to the Bennett Family.


Andee (Andalicious) Bennett

Born: March 27, 2011
Weight: She's probably around 3 pounds now.
Breed: Shih Tzu Maltese Mix

Andee has been a great addition to our family. After a strict family contract, Mitch finally conceded to us (meaning Ness, Peyton and me) getting a dog. She's the cutest thing ever. She looks like a little, fat Ewok. She likes to grab onto our pants and be dragged around (she is just barely getting her teeth). She likes to wrestle, and has the cutest little growl. She likes to snuggle up to her people. Anessa has fallen in love. To be honest, I think Mitch loves her too. It's been fun watching my kids take care of her and participate in everything that involves taking care of a puppy. On Friday and Saturday nights, Peyton and Ness both get up and take care of Andee's needs at night. She's almost sleeping through the night. Not quite. She's doing EXCELLENT on house training. Seriously. I'm very impressed. It's like having a newborn again, but it's been fun. She's a hybrid dog meaning she won't have the same health issues that a fullbred Shih Tzu or Maltese would have. Also, she doesn't shed AND she's considered hypoallergenic. ;)
Can't ask for anymore than that!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Handsome Man!!

Cohen is 5 today! I can't believe it. He's such a special guy in so many ways. He's overcome so much and has so much to offer. The world is lucky to have a boy like Cohen in it. I remember holding him in my arms right after he was born and just feeling his sweet spirit. He didn't scream. He just kind of squeaked and then calmed right down and stared at me. Not much has changed. He's definitely an observer. Content to explore in the little worlds that his imagination takes him to. Things about Cohen.

* He looks EXACTLY like his dad. I love how everybody always says "Here comes the mini-Mitch".

* He loves to cuddle me and kiss my face no matter where we are at. I could come home from the gym a sweaty mess and he will run up and kiss me all over.

* I love how he calls spiders "si-bows" and how he's changed up a bunch of different words. He's definitely got his own way of saying things and it's so cute.

* His favorite night of the week is Friday because that is the night he gets to sleep in bed with me.

* He still cuddles with the lovie (blanket) that I bought before he was born. Can't go to bed without it.

* He is so inquisitive and is always asking questions and trying to figure out how things work. Such a smart kid!

We were in Seattle for Easter and Cohen was upstairs with our friend Loren and they were looking out the windows at the mountains and this is the conversation that transpired. It makes me cry every time I think about it.

Loren: There is so much that is beautiful in this world. Mountains are things that are very beautiful to me and flowers are things that are very beautiful to my wife. What's beautiful to you, Cohen?

Cohen: My mom.

We are so thankful for Cohen. He has taught us so much in the short time he has been here. He has taught us patience, unconditional love, forgiveness and enjoying the small things that life has to offer. He is truly a blessing. Love you so much Cohen!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Lately (okay so like the last three days) I've been feeling very frustrated. Not only with myself but with my children. I hate saying that, but I can safely say that all of us as mother's have have been there at one time or another. If you're saying that you haven't, then you're a big fat liar. Anyway, back to what I was saying. I wanted to just type out what I've been feeling lately and maybe I will get some feedback that will be helpful.

1. To go to school or to not go to school. This has been a question going through my head for about a month now. I'll be honest with you. I'm scared as hell to go back to school. I still have a semi-young child who needs me, I don't want to be gone all day long right now stuck in a class room, and with me suffering from depression/anxiety is it the "smart" thing to do right now or will it just make things worse? Then again, I need something to fall back on to in the event that Mitch got sick or died (ugh..the thought). So what do you do? Do you grin and bear it and do the best you can and possibly fail or do you wait until you're ready? The problem with "waiting until your ready" is that you could NEVER be ready.

I found this quote and I've read it a lot and I believe in it. I just need to have faith. But do I have faith that I will find a job that I can do without going to school or do I go to school? I don't know.

"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety."

2. Anessa. Peyton. Cohen. Aja. I wish I could list them from greatest problems to least, but to be honest...they are all equal. I don't want to get to greatly into each of their problems; it's enough for me to say that all of them are giving me ulcers and I don't know what to do. It's not behavioral either..well except for Aja. Hers is behavioral. Cohen's is a mixture of behavioral and his disability.

3. I want a puppy. Badly. I've read that dogs can help a person with depression/anxiety. I don't think it would be a cure, but I do think it would ease a lot of the tension I feel on a daily basis. Mitch is against it. It bums me out. To the point of tears. The last time we had dogs I wasn't able to take care of them the way they needed. Reasoning behind it is because I was either pregnant or nursing all the time. Also, Mitch wouldn't let the dogs in the house and so I couldn't work with them like I wanted to. He says that it would just be adding another thing to my "stress list" and I can see where he is coming from, but I can see my point as well. Besides, how can you say no to this?

Anyway, those are the three biggest things that I'm dealing with right now. Any tips, advice, texts and emails are appreciated. Love to all!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trip to Seattle Part Deux:

I think Mitch and I are addicted. We LOVE Washington. Love it. Seriously there is no better state, and the fact that we live so close to Seattle is a serious bonus. Also, the fact that we are in the same STATE as some of our closest friends again is another bonus. AND said friends just moved to Yakima! Sweet! We have the best friends here in Kennewick, the best ward, the most beautiful sites so close to us and there is just so much to do. I feel so blessed.

This year for Easter we decided to head up to Seattle and spend one more weekend in our friend Loren and Tamara's house before they are out of it for good. It was completely empty, but we just took along a bunch of blankets and sleeping bags and camped out. It was awesome. No computers or TV for 48 hours. The best. We left Kennewick at around 5:30 on Friday and didn't get into Seattle until midnight. Freaking traffic. Totally worth it though because the next day we got up and went to Skagit Valley and went to the TULIP FESTIVAL! Oh my gosh. Beautiful. And it was the most perfect day. It was in the high 50's low 60's and the sun was shining. Amazing. Here are a couple of pics I took. I took a couple hundred billion, but I will just share a few.

I actually shared an Easter message using these tulips. They were so beautiful.

Thank heavens for Benadryl. Aja was a dripping mess, but thankfully cleared up and so she was able to do plenty of sniffing!

So beautiful!

Yeah, that would be a girl who is officially taller than me.

Only two dudes who are totally comfortable with each other could do this.


I loved all the pinks and reds. It was just breath taking!

EASTER!! All the kids waiting. Aja and her wonderful habit of picking her lips...Just like her mom. Sigh.

Nothing better than doing an Easter Egg Hunt in a completely empty house!

I love this little squat!

After a breakfast of candy and Subway (HAHA!) we got ready, cleaned up any evidence that we were at the house and headed to Pike Place Market (yes, again) but first. A picture of the fam showing the view that the Parker's got to enjoy every day.

Pike Place is cool. We saw this boat being dragged along by a teeny tiny tug boat. Crazy!

There were a couple of these silver men holding lights around the square. I'm not sure the story behind them, but they are way cool. Most of the shops were closed so we didn't spend too much time. Also, we were way tired and anxious to get home so we got some t-shirts and stuff to munch on and of course made plans to come back!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Dear Autism:

Tonight I really hate you.


A Mother who is at the end of her rope

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Trip To The Coast:

This last weekend we had the AWESOME opportunity to head up Washington State's amazing and beautiful coastline and visit a few places. It was a complete last minute decision and I'm so glad that we did this. The kids had so much fun and experienced so many new and beautiful things. They didn't complain ONCE about the drive (of course there were the potty break whines). I was so proud of them!

So, I've never used a map to get...anywhere. Honest. Mitch made me the map person. I insisted on being the driver, he said "No". So here is a picture from our 44 mile "out of the way scenic drive" of a cute little chalet up near the pass that was...closed. I'm happy to say that I'm a PRO map reader now!

There were SO MANY waterfalls to see and they were just on the side of the road! It was amazing!

The first place we stayed was called Ocean Shores. Since it was off season (meaning freezing cold and raining) we were able to get a room with a view of the ocean! It was beautiful. We got to eat at a really good restaurant. I'm still dreaming of the shrimp and crab melt (minus cheese so not technically a melt but it was GOOD!) that I had. YUM! We went to a couple of the beaches. The first one was blowing sand all over the place so I just snapped a few pictures and ran back to the car with Aja and Anessa (yes, we are chicken's). The next part of the beach was protected from the rain and wind a bit so we spent some time there. It was fun! And WINDY!

After leaving Ocean Shores we found this neat little town. WARNING: Adults Only! HAHA! Seriously. I'm sure there was another name on the ballot. What happened?!

Here we hit up another beach. It was beautiful. It was made up entirely of little rocks that were perfectly round. Loved it!

Yes, my husband and kids were freezing. We didn't plan very well with the packing, but we had fun! Just froze and wore the same thing..over and over. HAHA!

Mitch was in awe over the trees. I have to admit. It was beautiful and it smelled amazing! He was totally at home. I think one day he's going to buy a cabin around there!

A bad case of hemorrhoids or some knots that fell off a tree? You decide.

Yep. We went to Forks. Forks wasn't much to look at, but La Push was absolutely beautiful!

We then went to Port Angeles and spent the night. We didn't spend any time there but we did take this semi cute family picture. If only they would all look at the same time *sigh*

It's FERRY TIME! My kids were SO EXCITED about riding the ferry. I kid you not. They were bouncing in their seats. Our ferry's name was PullYaUp. Cute. It was a lot of fun for everyone..but me. I got seasick once it started moving. I didn't recover until we hit Seattle. Mitch and I are both afraid of heights and deep water. Not a good combo when you have kids that are daredevils. We quickly took our pics and then ran back into the boat.

SEATTLE! Oh my gosh! LOVE Seattle! It's AMAZING! Our friend Loren and his wife Tamara graciously housed our crazy family of 6 and Loren took us around to see the sites. We got to see a fountain that I of course forget the name of and...

We then went to the Seattle Aquarium and got to pet a whole buncha stuff! It was slimy. The kids loved it..all but Aja who is still afraid to touch anything. We got to feed sea urchins, pet starfish, see an octopus and pet a sea cucumber! Fun!

After the Aquarium we hit up Pike Place Market. Did we get any pictures there? NO!!! How lame is that!! I just have to say that Pike Place Market is so COOL!! I could seriously spend all day (and all my money) there. So many neat things to see..A man dressed completely in silver. All types of musicians. Beautiful flowers that you can buy for CHEAP! Amazing. Anyway, we obviously had a good time, can you tell? I gained 6 pounds but promptly dropped it 2 days after getting home *phew* but it was totally worth it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I *heart* our new neurologist!

Today we went to Spokane to establish care with Aja's new neurologist. Spokane is about two and a half hours away. The drive is beautiful. Washington is beautiful. Every day that I wake up I look out the window and think about how grateful I am to be here! Anyway, back to our little trip. Thanks to my awesome memory skillz, we were there a whole hour early! Mitch was so GRATEFUL for getting up 45 minutes earlier this morning for...nothing. So we decided to check out Gonzaga University, one of my favorite schools of all time! Not only do they have an awesome basketball team, beautiful grounds, they are home of two of some of the funniest guys ever. Barats and Bereta.

Chickity Check them Out!

After some initial confusion with the elevator (Boy were there a lot of buttons!), we found our way to the neurology floor. It was decorated so cute! We didn't have to wait long at all and the doc came in and here is what we found out!

1. Aja won't have to worry about her children having hydrocephalus. It's hereditary in boys the majority of the time. Hers came about because of my traumatic pregnancy and birth.

2. Her issues with being overly scared and stuff does not have something to do with anything going on inside her brain, it's just her :) (we were worried about her having equilibrium problems and depth perception issues).

3. This is the best part (even though it's a small chance, it's still something to hold on to). We love Aja for who she is and we will help her with her shunt for the rest of her life if need be, BUT she may just have a blockage that they can essentially "clean out"! YES!! So what they would need to do is have her go in and do an MRI under sedation so they can pinpoint the exact problem and then from there they can determine exactly what type of hydrocephalus she has. All we do know is that she does NOT have a tumor there. We chose to not have them "explore" when first placing her shunt as she was so young and everything happened so fast, it was hard to decide what to do. We just needed to get her taken care of first. But this means that maybe in the future Aja may be completely shunt-free! If not, that is fine, but it would definitely be a bonus.

4. Doctor who listens to me = a happy Monique!! He was so nice and so helpful!

After wandering around the hospital, and for all you Scrubs fans out there it's called The Sacred Heart, we went to lunch and headed home. All in all...A good day!