Monday, May 30, 2011

Here's To The Day...

Here's to a day filled with happy moments, new adventures and smiling faces...

When surprise packages arrive in the mail filled with goodies and sweet treats...

And you feel on top of the world....

And you understand that sharing makes the snack that much sweeter...

And you get to try something new, even if it means happily hopping along like you saw others do and figuring it must be right...

And you can stand proud in a jersey 10 times too big...

And finish the day eating an ice cream while pantless in public.

This kid is the BEST.

No hospital for us- we are still home!  I really have no words to describe how tough my little man is.  He possibly could be superhuman.  I do not know where he finds the strength to even smile, much less stand up and play.  His vision is gone... I don't think he can see anything anymore.  And his mouth is beyond horrible.  He lives with infection after infection, covered in raw open sores.  And he can still smile, laugh, play his drum, and cop an attitude with the best of them.  I'm so thankful that he's feeling well enough to play.  And as long as he's feeling well enough to play- we aren't going NEAR the hospital.
Here's a small look at where we've been and where we are now... :(

One month...

One year...

Yesterday... (check out that poor baby's eyes)

See what this horrible disease has done to my man??
I don't know how he still smiles that amazing smile!!!

He's such a miracle.  And to me, just as handsome as ever!

I am guessing the antibiotics helped him because the fevers have stopped and he's feeling well enough to play some during the day.  He finishes up the antibiotics tomorrow.  He's just been sleeping a whole lot lately.  And of course, has no type of schedule whatsoever.  Sometimes he will wake up at 2:00 in the afternoon, sometimes at 8:00 in the morning.  Sometimes he'll go to sleep at 2:00 in the morning, and other times he will get in his bed around 8-9 at night.  It all depends on how he's feeling, how well he sleeps without waking up through the night, and if he takes a nap or not during the day.  

Baths have been tolerable (of course I am not talking about the "water" part- that will NEVER be tolerable for Tripp, my mom, or me).  But the process of putting all the dressings back on has been pretty good the past few baths.  He's been quite the little clown- snapping, clicking his tongue, shaking his little booty... all the little cute things he does while listening to his music.  He instantly feels better after his baths.  He will play and play for sometimes hours after a bath.  His little personality is getting cuter and cuter every day.  Yes, he can be a tad bit mean sometimes... but put a hundred sores on you and take away your eyesight and see how nice you want to be:)  So what do we do when he's mean??  We laugh and encourage it:).... judge if you would like.  We may be creating a monster, but he's the cutest little monster I know. 

My mom is my hero.  Have I mentioned that?  I think a lot of times I take her for granted.  I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have a mom like I do- a mom that is supportive of you no matter what.   She would literally do anything for me.  And she HAS done everything for me these past 2 years.  Starting by driving to Norco (an hour there and an hour home) at least 6 days a week since Tripp was born to help me.  And then last July, welcoming Tripp and I into her home with open arms- no matter what kind of drama and obstacles came with us, while dropping everything to help me with Tripp 24/7 (which would be impossible on my own).  I just assume sometimes that every mom would do these things for their child, when that's not the case.  Thanks Mom- I know these past 10 months have been rough.  Thank you for listening, putting up with my mood swings, and most of all for trusting me enough to step back and let me learn from my own mistakes.  I know I tell you this every day, but it's the truth- I would be in a crazy house if it wasn't for you.  And I appreciate all the sacrifices you make for us. 

And here's some awesome news- between the two posts from Patrice on her blog last week, my last post, and all the people that have shared the Cannell Family's story on Facebook... they have raised approximately $8,000 in close to 10 days.  Their total amount of funds raised is over $16,000!  That is AMAZING.  But we cannot drop the ball yet- they still need around $20,000 more before they can take these boys home!!  SO Please if you haven't donated to this family yet, click 
and join all of us in bringing Carson and John home!!
Even if it's $5.00- every little bit helps!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have donated. 
It will be because of you that these boys will have a new and better life. 
I can't wait to see and share pictures of them with their new family!!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Raising A Kid...

“Raising a kid is part joy and part guerilla warfare.”
~Ed Asner
(I saw this quote at Muthering Heights and just had to share our version - helmet angst!)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Sun Came For A Visit!

This week we had 2 whole days of sunshine!! Which for us meant dropping everything and heading outside for some much needed fresh air! So although in many ways we set aside our bug themed activities in pursuit of outdoor adventures, the fact of the matter is when you're outside there is always a lesson on bugs to be had!

Our first lesson was intentional. It was one we had postponed from our rainy ant week. We set out flour, salt and honey on the driveway. Piper then predicted that they would like the honey the most. It took a little while before any ants happened by but Piper was very patient and spent quite a while waiting for them to come!

In the end her prediction proved true! And she was so excited to see them chowing down on the honey!

She also found a spider stuck to some tape - a perfect opportunity to get to check it out up close!

The girls found a junebug crawling around and followed it until it found a hiding place!

Taitum was rather intrigued by some ant hills we found. It was so cute to listen to Piper explain what they were to her!

Before this rainy month began, I had planned a bunch of outdoor activities. Because of the gloomy weather we haven't been able to do much of what I'd planned. So I was pleased to have a chance to try one of the activities I'd planned: Ball painting!

First, we'd put them in a container with paint, put on the lid and give it a good shake. Then we'd let the ball go on the paper! It was fun to see the different designs it made!

Taitum was more interested in finger painting!

Here's our masterpiece!

We also did some dandilion prints!

Piper spent loads of time blowing bubbles...

And Taitum had fun making bubbles with the bubble mower!

Inside, we spent some time  doing a bug graph from the Pretty Bug and Creatures Preschool Pack at 1+1+1=1. Piper would roll the dice...

Then fill in the graph according to which bug she rolled and kept doing so until we had a 'winner'! She LOVED this!

Piper also made a spider web by string painting after we read Aranea. She's done this one at Halloween before but enjoys string painting so didn't seem to mind doing a re-do of a craft! Tait gave it a try to but was too quickly frustrated with trying to control the string!

Although this was a week that drifted away from our original plan, it was fantastic nonetheless! Getting to roam around outside is always far better than any academic type activities I could plan! I'd even go so far as to say its likely more educational! I find even I am becoming a wee bit more comfortable with bugs (which is a HUGE step for me!) as we learn about them and what they are up to! I love getting to learn with my kids!

I'm linking up to:

Tot School

Friday, May 27, 2011

For The Hard Mommy Days

If you've ever had a hard Mommy day,
And felt like everything was falling apart
And you're running to catch up with life...

Read this.

And remember your not alone!
And the craziness is worth a laugh in retrospect!
And some days just surviving is the greatest success!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


My pumpkin pie finished his first year of pre-school today.  
First Day of School - September 2010
A whole school year gone in a flash.  And while my days in first grade are d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g by, it seems 12 kinds of crazy that my baby boy is moving to the "big kids'" class next year.  No really, that's what his teacher wrote in a note to us: I look forward to seeing Beckham in the hall next year in the big kids' class. 

Big kid?!  What?!

It's true.  Every bit of baby is gone.  No more pacifiers, diapers, or onesies.  All that's left is this amazing little kid who charms our pants off with his sweet little personality and hilarious conversations.  I can't think of one right now, but we're always laughing.  With him and at him :)

Also, he's an *extreme* stinker, keeping us on our toes at all times. 

When he walked into his end-of-the-year program with his class, he immediately made eye-contact with me manning the camera {of course} and would not smile at me! 

He struggled to keep it in for awhile, until he finally gave in and let us have a little grin.

And then he started performing. 

He's singing the "I love yooooooou!" part of Skidamarink.  I felt like a mommy superstar since he was pointing to me!
Love him.
This is when he recognized that the rest of our family was seated in a pew behind me.  Cute!
Happy Memorial Day Weekend, friends!

Ok, so I resort to begging...

Please meet
The CANNELL Family

Donnie and Karrie Cannell are from Lodi, CA.
They are a "his/hers/ours" family of TEN.  They have eight children between the two of them.  
Their oldest daughter, Jamie, was born with EB (Dominant Dystrophic) so they have experience in the physical and emotional part of caring for someone with this disease. 
They first found out about Carson through an EB help site called "EBfriends."

This is Carson.  He has EB.
He is in an orphanage in Eastern Europe.

The minute Donnie and Karrie saw him, they knew they wanted to adopt him. 
And through the (long) process of adopting Carson, they recently learned that Carson has an older brother!
His brother's name is John.  He also has EB.

Carson and John were seperated from each other about 2 years ago when John was sent to an institution  because he was too old for the orphanage.  

Donnie and Karrie will be adopting both Carson AND John. 
They are trying to bring these boys back together and home to the states to be a part of their family.

Here they are before they were seperated.

These boys HAVE EB. 
They are living without parents and without each other in an orphanage and an institution. 

SO... you might ask, "What's the problem?" 
The Cannell Family have already raised 
$11,360 towards adopting these boys.
They need about $35,000 more. 

They are working SO hard with tons of small fundraisers here and there. 
It's just not enough and not fast enough.  
Here's why:

The next step for them is their travel date!
This is HUGE. 
They could be traveling to their boys in a week to 4 weeks.


They cannot bring these boys home without these funds. 
That is the only thing in the way of Carson and John coming home to the states to be with their new family.
So instead of all these small fundraisers that this family has been doing in the past 6 months (auctions, garage sales, scentsy parties, pancake breakfasts... etc), let's ALL come together to help them.

So here's the deal. 
And I'm just as guilty as anyone. 
(And I FEEL guilty for even asking this after everyone has been so generous to me)
But think about your most recent trip to the mall, or Target, or Wal Mart, where ever...
Think about that one thing that you bought after you said, "Do I really need this?" 
But you bought it anyway, right?  Of course.  We all do.  
Well I'm asking you... Ok, I'm BEGGING you- 
Take that $5, that $10, that $20- whatever you can- 
and click 
Then click the link on this family's page and donate that amount to them. 
They are trying to save these little boy's lives.  
They are trying to bring them home to a real family and show them what it feels like to be LOVED.
If you can help this family family save these boys by just going without that "one little thing" that you can't decide if you want to buy or not- PLEASE do.  PLEASE. 
This family has asked for my help in doing this-
so I'm asking for yours.  
I want so bad to get the email from Donnie and Karrie that they are holding their two boys in their arms.
And that their kids are playing and enjoying their new brothers.  
When I share that e-mail here on this blog again, 
I hope you can say that you helped bring those boys home.
Please help these boys become Carson and John Cannell.

I have 610 followers on this blog. 
If you each gave them $5- that would be $3,050.
$10- $6,100
$20- $12,200
That would be huge to them!!
ANY amount would be huge to this amazing family!!

Please go to their page, and click on the link to donate. 

GO, GO, GO... 


And if you don't want to donate through the link on their page, 
you can e-mail me and I can give you their address to mail a check directly to their home. 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sunny Day Lemons

After what has seemed like an eternity of endless rain...


A whole day of it, in fact!

And there is just something about sun flooding in through the windows and the smell of lemons that make a day feel simply grand!

Lemons to make...

A strawberry spinach salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette,

which perfectly accompanied BBQ steak and my most favorite food ever - fiddleheads!
(Its good to be a Maritimer!)

In the end, the vinaigrette was a bit too vinger-y, there were far too few fiddleheads for my liking and the muffins weren't as delish as I'd hoped. But it was sunny out! So it really didn't matter.

I was happy.

We were all happy!

A sunny day will do that for a person!

Monday, May 23, 2011

We built this marriage on rock-and-roll. Or hinge side Z-bars.

I have about a bazillion and seven things that I could post about tonight.  But, I'm super sick of writing listy-like posts, so I think I'm going to tell you all about the *free* marriage "retreat" B and I had this weekend. 

Also known as: we installed a new glass door together yesterday.  From 2pm to 10pm.  And, it technically cost $102.82, but I'm going to nix that cost since we provided the labor ourselves (which would have started at $99 if Home Depot installed it).  So, free.  Right?

Anyway, I use the term retreat loosely because it didn't feel very retreaty when I had to walk inside and leave B outside reading about the dang hinge side of the Z-bar because otherwise we were going to cause a dang scene standing on the deck "discussing" it.  And when we were discussing it, I can promise you that words like dang and gee golly were not our choice words.  Especially when we realized we installed the stupid hinge side of the Z-bar on the wrong dang side. 

It wasn't our best moment.

However, the retreaty part of the whole process was that we spent 8 straight hours together, in the sun, working together to accomplish something.  And we came out stronger in the end.  I may have asked for several corny high-fives and maybe even a chest-bump after we finished.  Because it felt 12 kinds of awesome to walk in and out of that door knowing that we, Super B & Super Abby, installed that bad boy ourselves. 

Take that hinge side Z-bar.  *chest bump*

I have no picture of this feat, but what I do have is my new hair.  My new pink hair.  Because I thought it would be totally fun to have a little pink hair mixed in on the underside of my regular highlight for this summer.  I kinda love it. 

The quality of this pic is no good.  But neither is my ability to take a self-portrait.  Forgive.

Happy, happy Monday.  From your resident Jem and the Holograms blogger ;)

Who Likes Long Weekends?!

Who likes long weekends?!


I already told you about our family night.

But the fun didn't stop there!

Oh no!

We went on a favorite family outting the next day - the public library!

And found lots of 'buggy' books!

That evening we were able to spend time with family as we celebrated my sister-in-law Mya's boyfriend's birthday (Happy Belated Birthday, Brendan!)

Oh and enjoyed this fabulous cake by Mya!

Triple layer dark chocolate carrot cake with pineapple jam and coconut cream cheese frosting between the layers.

Are you jealous yet? :D

Sunday we were off to church and sang a new song I am in love with - As We Gather (We Will Worship). Although, I have to say, I like our worship team's version of it much better but maybe I'm a little biased! ;) Go take a listen!

That afternoon there was actually no rain AND the sun decided to show up! So Matt and I nabbed the opportunity to work on our shutter transformation!

Goodbye, Blue!

Hello, Brown!

So today has been lazy and mellow. Just perfect!

My book club book arrived last week - The Ministry of Motherhood - and I cozied in to begin reading it this morning! I am so thrilled about having joined this book club! (You still can, too!)

I went shopping!

Online that is! There are so many great deals out there right now!

Like Scholastic's Teacher Express Dollar Deals! I got over $100 worth of resources for $10! Say what??!

Also, I nabbed some Eco Nuts at Baby Half Off for 50% off! I've been wanting to try this forever! This was my chance! I'll likely use them mainly for washing Taitum's cloth diapers but if I love them I just might start washing everything with them! They're all natural and free from man made chemicals (among other really good things!). All in all, I'm very excited to give them a try! I'll let you know how it goes!

Speaking of safer products, I came across some sunscreen worth sharing! Thinksport Livestrong Sunscreen! I found it on Baby Half Off, too but even without a deal its fairly affordable! I recommend reading the info they have on their site about the sunscreen. It makes me feel a billion times better that I'm not only protecting my family from the sun but from known carcinogens found in the majority of sunscreens. 

Finally, Shining Dawn Books is offering their Facebook friends a choice of one of their products for $5.00! I haven't ordered yet because I simply can't decide! But I have until May 31st - hopefully, I'll have my mind made up by then!

To end our lovely weekend, the girls and I went to my parent's house for some delicious strawberries and cream! It might not feel like summer in these parts but at least it tasted like it!

How was your long weekend?