Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Week 12

Week 12 - "Pouting" and Pets

This week at I ♥ Faces the subject was easy in a way because I know I have loads of pictures of my little AJ "pouting". Poor little guy - he gets the shaft. He sure was upset about not getting the breakfast that he wanted. I guess I find taking pictures of temper tantrums is much better than getting upset myself.

And that sweet face would be that of my parents dog, Sadie. So laid back yet loyal, she is a dog that anyone would dream of having. Get a look at those eyes. She gives that look when she is happy. I guess you can say I captured her smiling.

little performance.

As most of you know, when we need to get some energy out of the kiddo's before bedtime we crank up the music and have them go wild. Well after some crazy music and a lot of wild dancing, I put on something a little slower to get them to wind down and low and behold, Elizabeth presented us with a little recital of her version of ballet. She has not taken any classes yet but will be this summer. I think she is more than ready!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

rain, rain go away!

So, the kids are home on Spring Break and this is what it looks like outside (and has looked like for the past three days).

We have been singing Rain Rain Go Away all day long for the past three days but for some odd reason it isn't working.

So what do you do when you are stuck inside?
Stay in your PJ's all day and watch the rain. (AJ thinks he needs to be just like Daddy and not wear a shirt to bed anymore.)
Sit on the kitchen table and get out every last tub of Playdoh we own and play for hours.
Some naked Mario Kart Wii playing.

And of course some pillow case racing.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

CP awareness


March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.

I give to you these facts to ponder.

- The average prevalence of cerebral palsy is about 1 in 278 children. This first report of the prevalence and characteristics of CP, the most common cause of motor disability in childhood, are from Georgia, Alabama and Wisconsin. Can you even begin to imagine the numbers if there was a national surveillance?

- Cerebral palsy is one of the most common developmental disabilities in the US, affecting at least 800,000 children, adolescents and adults in America. Cerebral palsy is NOT a disease nor should it be considered one. It is not even a simple or single disorder but rather a broad range of disorders that disrupt a person’s ability to move, sit, stand, walk, talk and use their hands. The severity of the movement disorder and the type of movement difficulties can vary greatly. Some patients have only mild difficulties with balance, walking and fine motor skills while patients at the other extreme are completely trapped in their own bodies, fighting rigid limbs, and unable to speak or swallow.

- There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy and in most cases, it is not preventable. In over 50 years, treatments for CP have not progressed much at all. In fact, today, there remains little consensus among medical professionals regarding what causes CP or how best to treat it. Why do 800,000 or more Americans have CP, and yet we don’t know much more about what causes it or how to prevent it than we did a half century ago?

Resources: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Reaching for the Stars (RFTS)

Now I give to you my story.

And when I say my story, I mean the story of a sister. I am the proud sister to an amazing woman with cerebral palsy. Melissa is my inspiration and my guiding light on days that I do not think I have the sanity to go on with my mundane life of housework and child rearing. These challenges that most of us mothers face day to day would be a welcome task for Melissa. She is a cheerful, caring, and upbeat woman that happens to be wheelchair bound. What I see as her struggles in every day life she sees as her norm. She depends on others for daily care while still maintaining her Independence. She lives life to it's fullest. Despite her daily challenges of requiring help to get out of bed, use the restroom, shower, get dressed, make food, open doors and go places, she recently moved into an apartment away from home. Still requiring help from aide's, she still has proven that anything is possible. She is an inspiration and a blessing to know.

To understand the challenges that she faced as a child, I invite you to visit Life of Logan and read the story of this young boy. They are similar in many ways. And both of them have strong and amazing parents that have given them such a wonderful life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and most of learning a little bit about Cerebral Palsy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

9 years ago.

Nine years ago today I woke up with great anticipation for what was to come. I rushed out the door of our 600 sq. ft. apartment (with pink carpeting I might add) and was off to the florist and then the hair stylist. Butterflies filled my stomach and excitement overwhelmed me as I was about to be married to my best friend and the love of my life. We were young and in college and were facing bad odds but I knew it was right. It was meant to be.

In front of all of our friends and dear family (some on cell phones) we recited our vows and became united together for the rest of time.

From this day forward,
I will be here for you.

I will sing your joys, cry your sorrows,
And stand by your side through
whatever life may bring your way.

From this day forward,
through good times and bad...
I will live with you, grow and change
with you, I will do all I can to keep our marriage
strong and happy and alive with possibilities.
From this day forward,
I will cherish you...
I will look with joy down the path
of our tomorrows, and find peace and
happiness knowing we will walk together
side by side, heart to heart.

We faced many hurdles and challenges along the way and come out stronger than ever. Mike, you are without a doubt the love of my life. You shower with generosity, love and devotion and I only hope I can give back to you at least half of what you give to me. You are a wonderful man, husband and father. I love you so very much and can't wait to spend the rest of our years together.

Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

contest entry

I Faces - Week 11 (No Flash!)

This is my entry for this week. I figured with an upcoming birthday it would be a good time to honor my little AJ. I love this picture as it captures his sweetness and the blue in his eyes. it was taken while we were out on a photo shoot for Jacob at Turkey Creek. What a precious little boy he is to me! I love you little man!

Monday, March 23, 2009

in the trenches.

Surviving the terrible two's must be a right of passage for both parents and children alike. To make it out on the other side alive and unscathed is a huge milestone in parenting.

I have survived two of these stages and am now finding myself in the trenches of the third monumental battle. I thought all of my training and experience with the past would have prepared me for this but I was wrong - way wrong.

Jacob has certainly set his sights on testing my patience as a mother and a human being at that. And when I thought it couldn't get any worse, he is always right there to step it up a notch just for kicks.

Don't get me wrong. I am totally kidding, mostly. I know these stages happen and they are part of normal child development but man, this one is kicking my butt!

I give to you Exhibit A.

Friday, March 20, 2009

a good day for a snow cone.

So, it has been a while since I blogged last but to be honest with you I just haven't felt like it. Nothing wrong, just taking time to enjoy the good weather and catch up on some spring cleaning and just living life.
Anyway, in the spirit of the first day of Spring (and also just because I was at the store getting birthday gifts for all of the parties we have this weekend) I thought it would be a nice treat and something fun for the kids to have snow cones. Do you remember those from your childhood? I remember sitting on the steps of our neighborhood pool with my Snoopy Snow Cone maker trying my hardest to sell some. I think I was about 5. Good memories.

After Elizabeth got home from school we fired up the snow cone maker and headed out back for some delicious ice in a cup.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

learning to float.

Just this afternoon, Mike and I were talking about how we need to get the kids started in swimming lessons before it becomes pool weather and they are out of school. So, anyway, tonight Jacob decided in the tubby that he was going to go "night-night" and discovered he is quite buoyant. I think he might be the easiest to teach to swim. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

and the winner is...

dah dah dah dauh....

Congrats Janice. You have just won yourself a hair bow of your choosing. Send me an e-mail with your address and which bow you would like and I will get it out to you ASAP.

Thank you to everyone for all of your comments and suggestions and especially to those that took the leap and bought some bows. Keep your eyes out for some new bows to be posted soon and I am currently working on a headband design for those little princesses that are follicley challenged.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


This was the abbreviation that I remember when I first saw it during clinicals I thought it was something really bad - at least something not appropriate. Well, come to find out it stands for fever of unknown origin.

Not that I am a doctor but that is what I am calling what AJ has been experiencing. He went from normal to 104.5 in a matter of 8 hours with a huge spike in the middle. He didn't have any other symptoms and seems to be back to normal today so who knows.

Must be a virus, right? (Or isn't that the catch all?)

So for now my son is FOUO.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ten on tuesday

1. Shout it from the roof tops! Mike has had two promotions in two days. Yesterday he was promoted to test director for the SPO. (Don't ask me what that means but I know it is a move in the right direction.) And today he found out that he made Major. He doesn't get to pin on for a while but he did it! Proud of you babe!

2. Update on the Binky situation: The weaning was great. Who thought that my craziness would have resulted in such an easy transition. Jacob had a rough time during nap on the first day but since then it has been a breeze. Every once in a while he will tell me that his Binky is broken but nothing beyond that.

3. While we are on the subject of updates, the nose is doing good. A little sore still but really no bruising and not too noticeable that it is out of place. I go in to the doc in mid-April to schedule the surgery to remove the splinters and do a cartilage graft. Being it doesn't hurt that bad, I wonder if I should even do the surgery because I have a feeling that is going to be a lot worse. Hmmm.

4. The weather is beautiful right now. Mid 70's with a light breeze and sunny. Who could ask for more. Now if it would only stay this way all year round, I would be in heaven.

5. With the weather being so nice lately, we have implemented a new rule. No TV on weekends. This has become much harder than anticipated. My kids are truly addicted to the thing. Is it so bad that I am forcing them to play outside? You would think I was torturing them. I suppose there are worse things I could do to them, right?

6. I have started thinking about AJ & Elizabeth's birthdays coming up next month and think I am going to go with the same theme party we did last year - a luau in the park. Niceville has a wonderful Children's Park and you can reserve space for a birthday party. The kids have agreed to have a combined party again this year and it is just so hard to come up with a gender neutral theme and they seem to think the luau thing is cool. Plus, the benefit of the park is that I don't have to worry about having my house clean or cleaning up afterwards.

7. If you haven't headed over here, you should. I still have my bow contest going on until Thursday evening. Enter yourself to win free bows. I have been adding more bows every day.

8. I started my 10K training on Sunday. I haven't signed up for one yet but I do have another 5K in April and then the Eglin Gate-2-Gate race (4.4 miles) in May. I am in the process of trying to figure out if I want to go the route of training for a half marathon or just stay with my lower mileage. I am going to just take it slow and see how I feel in a couple of weeks. No rush, right?

9. Girl Scout cookies are evil! Evil, I tell ya!

10. I am getting photography bookings for almost every weekend. I love it! Jump on over here and check out some shots from one of my shoots this weekend! Beautiful family!

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

tea for two.

Being the older and wiser princess of the group, Elizabeth displayed her ability to talk with an English accent and drink with her pinky up during a "real" tea party. What a daunting task it must be to teach these little ones the ways of the world. How fun it is to be a little girl!

Friday, March 6, 2009

reflections of an injury prone mother.

Well, he has done it again! Yep! Jacob has broken my nose. Let's think back to the day not so long ago when a similar incident occurred. Hmmm! Oh yeah - it sucked then too!!!!

I was holding my little angel the other night when his big sister decided to come by and tickle him. With a natural reaction and a jerk, he headbutted me right in the face. The kids all thought I was laughing but really I was screaming for the pain was like squeezing a watermelon through my nose. (Haven't I heard that metaphor before?) Anyway, after some confusion, ice packs, Motrin and the kids getting sent to bed, I decided it felt oddly familiar.

So, yesterday I tromped off to the doc and without an x-Ray the doc said, yep it's broke. You gotta got see the surgeon. So, off to the surgeon I went. He started by saying, well you have great bone structure but we need to take a better look. Seriously, what the heck does that mean? Anyway, after a CT scan and some more nose prodding, he told me that it was splintered and that there was some cartilage damage. I have to let it heal the way it is and come back in 6 weeks so they can re-break it again and file it down. Sounds pleasant, doesn't it?

For the time being, I think I will be investing in a lot of make-up. Actually the bruising isn't that bad at all. It just hurts! Uuuggh! When will these incidents end?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

little contest.

The bows are made and the store is partially stocked but I need your help! I recently opened my own Etsy store called Bundles of Bows. (Like the bundles theme I have going?) Anyway, I need your comments, suggestions, honesty on how I can make it better. Leave a comment below telling me what you would like to see (i.e., color combinations, types of bows, prices, etc.) and you will be entered into a contest to receive the bow of your choice. I will close the contest at 8:00PM CST on Thursday, March 12th. As an added benefit, if you post a link on your own blog about this contest, that will give you an additional entry - just let me know that you did it and leave the address to your blog in the comment section. I can't wait to hear what you all have to say. So go forth and give me your honest opinions (not to brutal though please). :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

how to traumatize your child.

Update #2 (3:01PM): So he finally fell asleep or passed out or something. The room has been quite for about 45 minutes now. I must say the consumption of Girl Scout cookies on my part to make me feel better about all of this is probably not the best thing for my butt, but you do what you gotta do, right? Wish us a better night time!!


Update (2:00PM): Nap time sucks! He has been in his room for almost two hours whinning and crying about me and the Binky. What was I thinking?? OK, OK - just stay strong, right?


First you have to be totally fed up with your child still using a Binky. I am not saying that this a general rule for everyone but our family alone. Anyway, for some reason, Jacob has decided lately that he needs his Binky every hour of every day instead of just during nap and bedtime. To me this is just not acceptable but when he sits there yelling and demanding his Binky, it is just so easy to plug him up and end the drama.

Well, for the sake of weaning and proving my point (probably not the way to go about it), I just cut off the nipple part this morning and told him he could have his Binky.
Let's just say that didn't go over too well. We had screaming, falling to the ground, hysteria, throwing, hitting, gagging, and the list could go on.

Now he is quietly playing in the other room but every once in a while I hear him yell out "Bad bad Mommy!" Nap time should be real interesting today! (I do have others hidden that are still in tact. Oh, but please let me be strong!)

Do you think he will be scarred for life?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

running day, part 2.

Event: Seaside Half Marathon and 5K
Date: March 1, 2009
Time: 7:25 AM (wake up at 4:50AM to be there by 6:30AM - ugghh!)
Location: Seaside, FL
Temp: 38 F
Weather Conditions: 35 mph NW winds and overcast with high of 42F
Distance: 5K - 3.1 miles
Time: 32:19; 22nd for femals in my age group out of 57 and 279th out of 720 overall. Yah!!!

So today was the day for me - my first race since oh the age of 16. We won't count how many years that is, right? :)

Anyway, my race was in Seaside, FL where the weather was quite out of character with just above freezing temps and quite strong winds. It was wicked cold!!!!

Mike, Elizabeth and AJ joined me this morning to see me off. They weren't too thirlled with being so cold but did pretty good considering. It is amazing what a beach towel can do.

On my way to start the race.

The home stretch. Amazing that I was smiling, huh?

Mike unfortunatly missed my finish but AJ and Elizabeth were there with a great girlfrind of mine to greet me and give me flowers.
The kids huddled after the race waiting for some of the half-marathoners to finish.
Ummm! Some good, hot coffee!

Once again the beach towel comes into play. My girlfriend, Lynette, brought Jacob a little later so he was there for the end as well.

And just for kicks and giggles, some pics that the kids thought were hilarious. Let me tell you, you really do see everything on a run!

What a great experience and I am so happy that I was able to complete this. Now off to bigger and more exciting races that aren't so darn cold, right? We'll see....