Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Camping Out

Caleb was jabbering about wanting to go camping and asked if we could set up the tent in our backyard.  On a whim, I asked if he wanted to make a tent out of blankets and our kitchen table.  His eyes lit up and he replied, "With s'mores?!"  Treats are always on this boy's mind!

So I grabbed a few old blankets, pulled the chairs and bench away, and we made our "tent."  He had a true camping dinner of hot dogs, applesauce, veggies, and dip...and yes, we did have indoor s'mores (done in the microwave) for dessert!  We played shadow puppets with flashlights, sang "camp songs," (which apparently consists of making songs up about camping...), and read books in the tent. We did this right up until the Memorial Day concert came on TV, which I allowed him to watch for a few minutes before bed. 

Can I just tell you how many times he said thank you for the fun we had?!  That kid had such a blast.  He loved having my attention (for the most part--Abby was there with us in the kitchen, but she was sleeping most of the time) and just enjoyed playing with his mom.  I felt like I gave him back a little of the attention he's been missing in the months since his world was first rocked in September. 

It was a good night.  :)

Good Video

I found this video recently.  It's a little long, but it's definitely worth the view.  Kelsey is a miracle baby, just like Abby!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pool Day!

Like I said yesterday, Abby, Caleb, and I had a great time outside.  Here are more pictures of our fun afternoon!

At first, Abby wasn't quite sure what to think...

But then she got the kicking down pat!

Caleb had an awesome time running from the spinning sprinkler... 

...and drinking his share of water!

Abby fell asleep in the pool, so I took her out and laid her out on the towel.

She woke up for a few minutes, then drifted back to sleep in the warmth of the sun. 
P.S. Isn't her bathing suit the cutest?!
Caleb continued to run around and try to get me wet. :)

Doesn't that look like the face of a boy who had a grand time?

It really was a good afternoon...one of the best I've had in a while.  :)

Water Baby


Abby loves her blankets more than any other baby I know.  She just loves to snuggle!  Here, she pulled this blanket up from where it was at her feet (she had a different one over her) so that she could feel it against her cheek.  LOVE it!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another Great Deal!

Lock and Lock is having a great sale over at their website.  There are lots of things on sale, plus you can "scratch" an egg for a coupon code for an additional percentage off.  I got an additional 25% off of my order the other day when I did it. 

The sale goes until the 31st.  If you're interested in that frying pan (and you are!!!!), go get it while it's cheap! 

***Nope, no additional compensation for any of these posts.  I just love Lock and Lock and figured that if any of you do too, you might want to get it for cheaper!  Plus, that frying pan is pretty stinkin' awesome!!

It's That Time Again...

So, I heard constant complaints about the temperature of our house over the winter.  We kept our heat at the recommended 68 degrees (a far cry from the 63 it used to be on before Abby came home!), but that apparently wasn't warm enough for all of the new people we have in our house these days.  The nurses said they were worried about Abby, but it always seemed like the space heater we bought for the room was always aimed right at them!

In typical Maryland fashion, we went from winter to summer in a matter of just a few weeks.  While I oh-so-enjoy the lovely spring weather, it just doesn't stay around very long in the mid-atlantic.  We're hitting 90 degrees with lots of humidity this week, and now there's a heat advisory for the next few days. 

All of this to say that I have already heard the "it's too hot in here for Abby" comments.  Again, my house is at the recommended 78 degrees....much, much cooler than the 85 it used to be on!!  My nurse today said she was about to open a window because it was so hot.  It's not!!  (I'm SO not telling them that we're part of SMECO's program where they can override our AC on the really hot days to save electricity...we'll just let them figure that out for themselves!)

I'm contemplating getting a fan, but I can't decide which one I want.  I need something that isn't going to take up a lot of space in our already too-cramped room.  I don't want an AC unit-just something that might keep things a bit cooler.  I'm also slightly concerned about the fan stirring up stuff that might irritate Abby.  I know that sometimes happens to me and makes me cough.  Suggestions welcome!

Here are a few I've found on Amazon.  Thoughts? 

Also, I'm interested in knowing...what's your thermostat set on in the summer?  Am I way out of the "norm" here? 

The View From Here

These were all taken by me holding my camera above my head so that you could see what I was seeing after some hard playing!  Caleb, Abby, and I spent the late afternoon in the backyard enjoying the warm weather!  This was a new adventure for me because, until now, I have never gone outside with Abby without another adult with me.  I'm getting braver these days (and spent half an hour planning and getting everything I needed so that I would be ready for an emergency!)

Abby was in a tiny little duck pool that was just her size (she could lean against the back, so it was perfect!) and Caleb played in the sprinkler.  Afterwards, we all laid on the deck and soaked up some vitamin D for a while.  It was lovely!

Don't you love those lips?!

She was totally out.  All that splashing is hard work!

Caleb was so cold he was shivering.

I can't have anymore kids.  I don't have anymore room on my lap!  :)

I love that pudgy little hand.

Look for some more pictures of our adventure soon!

Picture Perfect

Doesn't this look like something out of a 1950s ad for the boardwalk? <3

Saturday, May 28, 2011

She Loves Me


Pure love.

The feeling is mutual.

Caramelized Green Beans

I have a new green bean recipe that we have been enjoying.  It uses caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar, butter, and brown sugar...and it is yummmmmmy!  Here's a recent picture in my lovely Lock-n-Lock glass side dish that I got with my first shipment as a Lock and Lock Supporter.  It actually holds a lot more food than I thought it would.

If you have the "Recipes for a Cure" cookbook from the Jacob Phelps Foundation, the green bean recipe is in there.  If you don't, you can go here to purchase one!  It is full of great recipes (seriously, some of our family's favorite dishes are from it!), and it helps raise money for pediatric brain cancer research.  In case you don't know, Jacob Phelps is my brave little four year old cousin who battled a brain tumor at just 2 1/2 years old.  His family has set up this foundation in his honor.  We'd love for you to support them...and get some great recipes too!

There Was a Time..

...when I was so frustrated with life...

...that I thought Abby would never go out in public...

...and I wanted to give away her beautiful dresses she had.

Now, I'm so glad...

...I listened to my mom and kept them!

Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Months Old!

I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but Abby turned 7 months old on Sunday.  Where in the world did the time go?!?

She looks so big here!

Funny face!


This girl is so easy to make smile now.

Such a BIG girl!

Alright Abby, we're done!

Caleb's New Bike

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

I Take a Lot of Pictures...

Maybe I went a little overboard...

...with all the picture-taking...

...but how could I resist...

...when I have such cute kids?!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm in love....

...with Animoto (and my family!)  :)

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Hide and Seek

Now you see him....

Now you don't!

He liked Sara's flowery pattern!

Proper Gawking Etiquette

When gawking at a family with a child who has special needs, please remember to do the following:

1.  Be sure to wear a disgusted and revolting look on your face.  This will help the family to feel at ease with the situation.

2.  Walk right on up to the family and stand within their personal space without saying a word.  Don't forget about #1!

3.  When walking by a special needs child, make sure you do a double-take so that you can get a better look.  Don't worry, the family won't see you!

4.  Shush your child who openly asks an innocent question and turn him or her away ashamedly.  Then do #3 when your child isn't looking.

5.  Inviting additional family members to your gawk spot is always welcomed.  Just make sure you call for them loudly enough that the family of the child being gawked at can hear you!

Yes, this is all rather tongue-in-cheek...and these are all situations we've encountered thus far in our short time of having Abby out in public.  Seriously, though, I hope that people will consider how they would like to be treated if they were in this situation.  Sometimes, I just get tired of being a spectacle.  Don't I have every right to take my child to the boardwalk and enjoy some time as a family??

I know I have said this before.  This may not be the feeling of every parent of a special needs child, but I would venture to say that most feel the same way we do:  If you have a question, just ask.  We are open books and love to tell people about the miracles being performed on our daughter!!  I would much prefer to answer a question than to have people catching flies with their gaping mouths.  Honestly, I feel like it is much more polite to ask a genuine question than to "sneak a peek," do the double-take (which I always catch!), or--the worst--openly stare in horror at our situation.  Don't you think we know that having a child on a ventilator is not a good thing?!?! 

We encountered a few Boy Scouts the other day who asked some wonderful questions about Abby's tubes.  We so appreciated their openness and willingness to ask about her instead of just staring. 

I'm not putting anyone down and I don't mean to condemn.  I've been there, remember?  I used to be the one to shush my son when he asked why that man is in a wheelchair.  I will even admit to doing the double-take.  I never meant any harm by it and neither do most people (the gaping-in-horror woman might have...), but I would encourage everyone to really consider how they would like to be treated in this situation.  If you need some real-life experience, come hang out with us one Friday night on the boardwalk.  I think our friends had a real eye-opener!  :)

Because really, all we want is to just blend in with the crowd! 

Just food for thought...

Messing Around

I'm learning a new program called Animoto.  It's a subscription, but they have a free version as well.  I'm trying to decide if I like it enough to purchase it.  I'll be doing the slide show for our 5th grade recognition, and a fellow teacher recommended this to me as an easy way to put show the pictures.

This is only a 30 second video because that's the limit without paying, but I think the concept is pretty cool!  It took me about 5 minutes to do the entire thing.  It is SO easy!  There is music, so be sure to pause the music player at the bottom of the blog before playing the video.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Never Fear...

...Amy and I planned both of our daughters' birthday parties tonight.  It's all set--even the menu, the guest list, and the materials needed.  The invitations aren't done yet, but I have a definite idea in my mind. 

Yes, I know Abby is seven months old.  I usually have Caleb's planned six months in advance, so I'm slightly behind.  I've been a little busy!!

Yes, I know I have a problem.  Don't judge.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Such a Big Girl!

She really got tired of all the photos.  This is the glare she gave me.

I love how she appears to be sitting all by herself in these pictures.  It will come!!