Thursday, May 31, 2012

Floor Bug!

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Rory’s new sleeping trend is sleeping on her floor.  Jon and I have gone back and forth about getting her a toddler bed, but haven’t gotten one yet.  Yesterday I decided to put the mattress from her crib on the floor.  I put some blankets and pillows around it incase she rolled off.   I was quite nervous because I have heard horror stories about transferring toddlers from cribs to beds.  When my sister got my nephew a toddler bed she said the first few days and nights were hectic because he kept waking up, getting out of bed, and playing.  
Rory did so good!  She actually slept better on her floor mattress than she does on her crib!  She did roll off the bed, but because of my wonderful video monitors I was able to watch her.   When she started stirring and realized she was off her mattress she moved her cute little self back up on the mattress.   I could hear her when she woke up, and was watching her to make sure she wasn’t jumping off her mattress, but all she did was reading books to her babies.   

I have two hands and two feet with all digits crossed in high hopes of her sleeping through the night!

Squirrel

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Water Baby!

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This memorial day weekend was SO much fun for my family!  We did so much with Rory that we could have used Tuesday just to recover from the chaos of the weekend!  On Friday we went back to the botanical gardens to play.  It was extremely hot this, it seemed like the temperature here went from mild, in the 60’s to Hot Hot and humid, so we went first thing in the morning.  I only wanted to stay a few hours because I didn’t want Rory to get dehydrated or overheated.  

Rory wears her old shoes (the 5 centimeter lift) and we are off to the races!  If you couldn’t see Rory’s shoe lift, you would have no idea that she had anything wrong with her leg!  We were running through the water, marching, acting like monkeys, waddling like penguins, and splashing as much as we could!  Watching her running around made me so proud- she was moving around so smoothly!  I was the happiest mother there!  The smile on Rory’s face would make the eternal pessimist smile.  
Not sure who it was more fun for, me, Jon or Rory!  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Baking with Rory!

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I am a huge foodie- I enjoy cooking and baking as much as possible!  Lately, Rory has been getting involved in the cooking and baking!  She loves to help anyway she can with stirring, measuring, and of course sampling.  (The other morning when I asked Rory what she wanted to do she told me she wanted to “make bread to feed the ducks.” It was the cutest thing ever.)  

There are a few problems that arise when baking with Rory.  She is just like her mom and her aunts; she loves to pick at the batter.  However, if the batter has any egg product it's not going to touch Rory’s mouth!  Lately, I have been trying to make recipes that don’t have raw eggs, just to be safe.  I really wanted to make something nice and refreshing on this hot Memorial Day weekend.    I looked no further than COOL WHIP Whipped Topping!  I am quite fond of deserts using COOL WHIP because (for most deserts using COOL WHIP) Rory can help me stir and then eat the spoon without me worrying about her getting food poisoning!

For this scorching Memorial Day we decided to make a Frozen Limeade Cake! This recipe is so easy to make- it is a simple graham cracker crust with a creamy limeade topping- perfect for our scalding hot weekend!

Rory got so excited when I told her it was time to bake!  Baking with Rory is now one of our favorite “bonding” activities.  Her face lights up like a jewel when I give her a big spoon to help me stir.  We turn baking into learning activities; for this recipe we needed 12 oz of COOL WHIP; I cut it into six segments and we counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (and of course we clap our hands and cheer when we are finished).  We also talk about the colors of what we are using; the white COOL WHIP, the brown graham crackers, the yellow butter.  
This cake has been one of her favorites to make!   
  
Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

The crust is the only part of the cake you have to bake, and you only bake it for a few minutes!   Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and then start crushing graham crackers!  I got Rory involved with the crushing- we first started with a rolling pin.  I put some of the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and let her crush them with the rolling pin.  When she got tired of crushing the crackers with the rolling pin, I let her pound on them with her fist and lastly (and her most favorite way) letting her stomp on them!  
When all the crackers were crushed to crumbs, I measured out 2 cups and put them into the pie pan.  Rory added the sugar (which she is so careful to pour) and I put in the melted butter.  Then we mixed it up by hand, Rory enjoying a few tastes, and pressed it into the pie pan.  Feel free to use a bowl when mixing this, I just used the pie pan because I didn’t want to have to wash too many dishes!

Bake your pie crust for about 7 minutes.  When it is done baking, let it cool completely before adding your filling- We didn’t have a lot of time so I stuck it in the fridge while we whipped up our delicious topping!
Limeade Filling:
  • One 12-ounce container of COOL WHIP- thawed (We used COOL WHIP free, but any kind of COOL WHIP will do!)
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, (we used Fat Free, but again, you can use any kind)
  • One 6-fluid-ounce can frozen limeade, unthawed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (I have used lime zest before and it works just as well!)

In a large bowl mix together the COOL WHIP and sweetened condensed milk until nice and fluffy.  I used my stand up mixer, but it is very easy to do by hand.  Add the frozen Limeade and lemon zest and fold in.  Be careful not to overmix- stop folding immediately if you feel that it is getting too soupy!  Pour the filling into the pie pan and freeze! 

The mixing was Rory’s favorite part, she normally goes straight for the spoon, but  today went straight for the empty COOL WHIP container!
The hardest part is waiting for the cake to freeze!  We made it the night before and let it freeze over night.  

Rory was SO excited to see the cake in the morning!  She was touching it and saying “cold, Mama.”    

This freezer cake is such a refreshing summer treat!  Another baking success with Rory!


Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content. I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all my own.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Puddle Princess!

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No one loves rain more than Rory!  As soon as it starts raining she immediately runs for her green shoes (her old 5 cm lift), or her “puddle shoes”, and tries to put them on while watching the rain from the front door.  
We don’t wait for the rain to stop- we go outside; in the wind and rain!  We live close to a golf course and it floods so bad!  The puddles are like small ponds and Rory’s eyes light up when she sees them!  
All three of us are always knee deep in puddles!  Last night I was hesitant to go out in the rain because it was coming down hard and it was a little cold, but as soon as we got out there I wondered why on earth I would ever miss this!  
The Nauss family sure loves a good rain!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Homemade Maracas!

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I have mentioned before how much Rory loves music.  She is always asking to play my guitar and loved her Easter basket filled with musical instruments.   At a recent dinner with our friends, we couldn't pull Rory away from the piano and drums!  Although she has many musical instruments in the house, she doesn't have a set of maracas.  I knew Rory would love them because Rory has a lot of “shaker” toys, and (somedays) they are a big hit!



To make the maracas we used:
  • mini water bottles- emptied
  • beads (or beans, just something to put in the water bottles that will make a fun noise when your little one shakes them up!)
  • tape
  • a paper towel roll, or toilet paper
  • crayons or markers to decorate (these are optional)
Once we drank all the water from the bottles, we filled them up with some pretty red beads, shells, and gold stars.   You can put as many beads as you want in them.  Rory loved grabbing the “red” beads since red is her favorite color, and putting all the beads in the water bottle is great for hand eye coordination!   When you are finished putting all your beads and other shakers in, just make sure to screw the top back on the bottle!  

 Because I didn’t want the maracas to have paper towel roll colored handles, we decided to color on some paper to use as decoration.  I took the paper towel roll and cut it down the center so I could wrap it around the mouth of the bottle.  

Wrap the paper towel roll over the mouth of the bottle, ours over lapped a few times.  Once you have the paper towel roll wrapped around the mouth of the water bottle, add some tape so the paper towel roll sticks together.  I added a little tape connecting the top of the water bottle to the drawing (just because I know Rory is a little rough on her toys).

I measured Rory’s drawing so that it fit the size of the paper towel roll, and with glue, wrapped them around the paper towel roll.  For a change of pace, I put two water bottle maracas on one paper towel holder.   
We now have new musical instruments in our house, and Rory couldn’t love them more!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fountain Fun!

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We had such a fun weekend!  Our friends had a birthday party at the Botanical Gardens.  Jon and I had been to the botanical gardens before Rory was born (one week before she was born actually).   Since it was just the two of us, we walked right past the kid section with the fountains.
Today we experienced the kid section, and we left with a membership!
There were fountains all over that Rory loved!  It was cooler this weekend, so I didn't pack a swimsuit for Rory (I should have known better!).  Before I knew it, Rory had stripped down to her shorts (and shorts only) and was playing in the fountains!


Here are just a few pictures- You can see why we got a membership :)

Bubbles

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One "fool proof" thing that will always cheer my girl up is Bubbles!  She loves them so much- she likes popping them, blowing them, watching teh cats pop them, catching them on her finger, and then showing me the bubble where I pretend to eat it.

Nothing is cooler than bubbles.





hints for special needs moms!

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Many of you know about my daughter Rory and her Congenital Femoral Deficiency.  She currently wears a 6 centimeter shoe lift on her right shoe.  Her physical therapist makes sure she is doing well with it, because she tends to roll her ankle due to the hight of the shoes.  She has her first surgery coming up shortly in less than 6 months; I know Rory will be ok, however I am a bit of a nervous wreck!
Whenever I start to think about her surgeries and having my little baby with screws in her leg, I become completely overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, and sadness.  All mothers out there know that when anything bad happens to your child, it is usually harder on you than it is on them.  When your child is sick, the feeling you have inside seeing them be in pain makes you feel just as, if not more, physically ill inside.  Sometimes, it is down right hard being a mom.
I have found a few things that help me not to become depressed each day with seeing Rory’s little leg and thinking about our future.     
  1. a strong partner: My husband is the calm, eternal optimist in our relationship.  He helps calm me down when I being to worry about the future or start to think about her up coming surgeries.  Sometimes having someone; spouse, friend, anyone who is going through the same thing you are, can help keep you grounded and focused. 
  2. educate yourself: Know everything you possibly can about the disability your child has.  After Rory was born, and we learned she had Congenital Femoral Deficiency, I immediately began researching CFD.  I made it my job to know everything there was about it.  I used a search engine called pubmed and then went to a medical library to make copies of journal articles.  We were told that we may have to have Rory’s leg amputated.  After doing research on her condition, I learned we could lengthen it with the right doctor.  Even now, some of the other doctors Rory has seen, often ask me about her CFD because it is so rare.  I find myself informing them (one doctor even told me that he feels the parents are the best source of information!).  You can never know too much!
  3. the right doctor:  I feel that it is essential for you to get a doctor you trust and are comfortable with.  When I learned we could have Rory’s leg lengthened, I once again did my research.  I soon learned for Rory’s condition there are only a few doctors who have actually performed the surgery, and one doctor that created the surgery.   I soon emailed the doctor that created the surgery and Rory is now his patient.  For me, no one was going to operate on my daughter without having experience. We travel across the country to see this doctor, but I am 100% confident in him and am so blessed he is going to take care of Rory!
  4. support: My family is our biggest support group.  They know everything about Rory’s condition and are always there to listen to me vent about things.  My parents took time out of their vacation to drive 5 hours just to stay a few hours with us before Rory’s appointment, because they know I am always nervous when we go to see her surgeon.  They provide us with unlimited support and love and that is something everyone needs!  Another huge support system are my friends.  I have also found great friends in the community who have children with Special needs.  Although I get along with most anyone, I feel very connected to other parents who have children with special needs.  I met one of my best friends at a library, of course asking her permission to ask about her daughter special needs.  (I always ask permission to ask other mothers about their child’s special needs, I know I would much rather have someone ask than just stare!) There are people out there who feel similar to the way you do, you just have to find them!
  5. activities: When Rory’s doctor gave me the “ok” to let her do everything normal legged kids do, we started planning activities.  Our local library has story times that we go to each week.  We also frequent parks, schedule play dates, and have activity time at home.  Sometimes when she rolls her ankle really bad, we have to modify her activities; rather than going to playgrounds or do other activities that are hard on her her ankles and legs  we work on our weekly hand and feet crafts!  Find activities with your child that they can do and never stop the positive reinforcement!   Sometimes surrounding yourself with activities helps calm your worry-some mind down. 
Just a few things that have helped me deal with everything.  I hope they help you as well!  Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments you may have! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A mother's worry never ends....

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If you have been following some of our previous posts you know how Rory had a very bad case Hand Foot and Mouth disease.   My previous post described how hard was at night with Rory screaming in pain.  I would come in the bed room crying to Jon about how I had no idea what to do to make Rory feel better.  It was by far the worst feeling in the world to know your baby was not doing well and that there was nothing you could do to make her better.  

Luckily I only had 7-10 days of this...however I am completely horrified that I am goign to have 30 days of it in few months.  I am referring to Rory’s first surgery coming up.   During this surgery, Dr. Paley is going to do several procedures-; in a nut shell- he is going to cut her tendon and make new ligaments for her hip and knee.  He will also shave her hip bones so that they have the same angle and then pop her hip back inot place.  
I have never had surgery before; however, I know it is going to be painful and completely uncomfortable.  I am so worried that she is going to be hysterical and I am not going to be able to help her.  I am just going to hold her and pray that she starts feeling better.  I don’t know what I am going to do.  

I have a few months prepare, but I don’t even know how to prepare for this! 

Mother's day weekend!

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I had such a great Mother’s day!  It was kind of a “mother’s Day Weekend.”  Jon did all my normal “mom duties” of cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc and went completely above and beyond for me.  

Saturday we had a family day, we had so much fun!  It started with me waking up to Jon making some delicious banana cream cheese filled muffins and Rory still in bed!  The muffins were SO delicious!  After some fun family playing we went to the K-9 festival at mount trashmore.  Instead of us all driving there, I ran there and met Jon and Rory!  I normally don’t get to go on long runs, Rory doesn’t ride in her stroller longer than 10 minuets (unless there are busses out for her to look at), so I normally just run for 30 minuets in the morning.  This nice long run was quite a treat!

The K-9 festival was so much fun too!  Rory loved seeing all the dogs, and they were all friendly pups too!  It was such a wonderful day to be outside; it wasn’t too hot or too cold.  It was perfect out.

When Rory went down for her nap, I was able to have uninterrupted time and got so much work done!  Jon brought me lunch and did all my chores- it was so nice to have uninterrupted time!  

Then we had family fun time!

I then got the best present of all- Rory slept!  She was up at 5:30am; but I will take it!!!  It was SO nice to have more than 2 hours of sleep!!!!

Sunday was great too!  Jon made me a delicious blueberry coffee cake which I devoured more than I should have!  Rory’s blisters were doing so much better- she was still hurting but could walk better and wasn’t so fussy!  I got to go on a nice long 8 mile run too and came home to the smell of charcoal and got to play outside with Rory while Jon barbecued.  

I am so lucky to have such a great family!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rory Update!

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A few days have passed since the sleepless nights with my blistered baby girl.  She is doing quite better.  After the first night of Rory screaming in pain, I immediately scheduled an appointment with Rory’s doctor to make sure it was Hand Foot mouth disease and not something else.  

The doctor said it was just a bad case of Hand Foot Mouth.  Since she wouldn't’ eat because of the blisters in her mouth hurt so bad the doctor told me to make her a “kiddie cocktail” to give to her before she eats.  The cocktail was 1 teaspoon of mylanta and 1 teaspoon of benedryl.  After it was mixed I had to put some on my finger and rub it on Rory’s blisters in her mouth.  It seemed to help a little bit.  The main thing that helped was all the grapes I bought her, I let her eat as many as she wanted.  

Every night she sleeps a little better.  She woke up this morning and many of her blisters had popped and visibly looked better.  She points to the blisters on her hands and goes “pop pop pop.”  

For now we are boycotting all of her normal scheduled activities, the doctor said she wasn’t contagious after she broke out in all the blisters, but she still looks bad and I would not wish this on any other moms!  

Her doctor said that it should last 7-10 days; we are on day 7 and I am so excited its almost over!  Nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain....nothing!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ok...NEW Worst night of my life!!!!

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So ...The next day after Rory’s 11-3am slumber party she woke up and had a 101 degree fever.  I got her completely undressed and noticed she had very small bumps on her feet.  A while ago some of our friends came down with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease and I remember being so frightened that Rory would get it...but luckily with all the laundry and bathing she never did.  But I saw pictures of what Hand foot and mouth looked like.  As soon as I saw the little bumps on her feet- I knew she finally got it.  

Throughout the day the blisters grew....and multiplied.....they were all over her feet, toes, hands, fingers, butt, legs, face, tongue, and inside her mouth.   It was SO bad!

I remember reading up on hand foot and mouth disease when our friend had it, I learned that it was a virus and that there really isn’t anything you can do for it, but wait it out.  So I didn’t call the doctor right away.

She was so fussy during the day- it was completely obvious that she was uncomfortable and in pain.  She didn’t eat anything all day because the blisters in her mouth were hurting her.  By the end of the night she still had a fever and was itching her feet uncontrollably!  It was so hard for me to watch her and not be able to do anything.  Jon had to make a late night run to the store to buy some cortisone cream, Tylenol, and freeze pops.  

We thought she would sleep and be exhausted from all the fussing from the day...but we were wrong.  

She was up until 3 am.  She was screaming, and kept saying “Mama” and “No.”  I tried everything to get her to sleep, everything, but she wouldn't go to sleep.  Finally around 2am, I was fussy and needed my sleep.  I told Jon I was taking her for a car ride.  He decided to come with us because he knew how tired I was and didn’t want us falling asleep at teh wheel.  

She went down about 3 and we made the switch from the car seat to her crib.  We got a good hour of sleep in until she was up at 4.  At 4am I just brought her into my bed and let her lay on top of me.  


It was the worst night EVER...I thought the previous night was bad, but there is nothing worse than hearing your baby cry, knowing she is in pain, and knowing there is nothing you can do for her.  


She is doing so much better now, my poor bug still has blisters on her, but she doesn't seem to be in any pain and my normal wild Rory is back!


I will post more tomorrow about how she is doing...and my most wonderful mothers day weekend ;)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Father's Day Ties!

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It is almost Father’s day! 
Because Rory has the best Daddy we are trying to make some great gifts for him Father’s day so he truly knows how much he means to us.   Daddy loves all of Rory’s art work, it is hung up all over his office; but for father’s day I wanted to make something different!  I thought we could make him something he could wear to work.   We decided to make Daddy a nice fancy tie! 
Materials needed:
  • Tie
  • fabric crayons
  • paper to color on
  • iron
*It does require an iron, but I made sure to use the iron when she was napping. 
This activity really affordable and easy.   We bought a nice white tie and some Fabric crayons and started to color!  
I have always wanted to use Fabric crayons, just to see if they worked and how well they worked.  I had Rory color on a big piece of white paper, we went through each color and she had a great time scribbling.  I made sure she pressed hard with the colors, so when I needed to iron the drawing on the tie the colors would be bright and vibrant!
I cut the paper up into strips so that the whole tie would be covered.  When Rory went down for a nap; I put the paper, colored side down, on the tie.  I held the iron down on the coloring for a few minutes at a time.   The crayons worked great!  When I removed the paper there was beautiful scribbles all over the tie!  The color was so bright and I know Daddy will love it!
Then your done!  A beautiful, one and only, Rory designed tie!  I can’t wait for Father’s day!   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

hardest night of my career

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Last night was by far the hardest night I have ever had with Rory.  She went to bed at 8pm; was up at 9; then got up again around 10.  Those three times I was able to just rock her to sleep; she was pretty tired because she only took an hour long nap during the day. She got up for the last time around 11.  This time I could not rock her to sleep. 

We laid on the floor (like we normally do) but she was not ready to go back to sleep.  We just laid there for a while, until she went to the door and screamed for me to let her out.  She then wasn’t sure if she wanted to eat or go into my room and sleep in mommy’s bed.  We tried both.   

We first went to the high chair to try and eat.  Of course everything I asked if she wanted she said “no.” She finally ate some of a cereal bar and drank some milk and then went to mommy’s bed.  

The only thing that happened when we went into my room was we woke up daddy (as if he wasn’t already awake).  She laid down for a few minutes and then was up walking around my room.  She was up giong back and forth from room to room just screaming “Mama” even though she was in my arms.  We finally put her down in her crib for a while just to let her “scream it out” for a while, but she got so worked up she had trouble breathing and was gagging.  

Around 3am, Jon and I were completely exhausted.  Knowing that our alarm was going to go off in an hour and 15 minutes, we used our last resort: Baby Signing Time.  It is a video of little kids signing and singing songs that Rory loves.  I let her watch the 25 minute program until she fell asleep.  I felt like such a bad mom, but we had no other option.  So today’s blog post is small, because I am exhausted!  I will post more tomorrow ;)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My musical genius!

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I know I have said it before, but Rory is a music lover!  She was at our friends house the other day and could not get enough of the piano and drums.  Hearing her play was almost as enjoyable as watching her play!  I do think Music could be her "thing" since most sports will be out of the question because of her leg.  All I know is I love to her her play and sing!






Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day Flower Bouquet!

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Mothers day is this Sunday, and I wanted to make myself a present!


Many of you may know that my husband is a veterinarian and we both have a love for animals.  This means we have a few pets; 3 dogs and 2 cats to be exact.  I love my pets dearly, however, they destroy everything!  We have never been able to have nice things sitting out in our living room, this includes wonderful fresh flowers.   I have always wanted to have fresh herbs and flowers around the house, so Rory and I decided to make our own for my mothers day present!


These are also extremely inexpensive to make and they make great gifts for mothers and grandmothers!

Materials:
  • card stock
  • pipe cleaners
  • pencil
  • tape or strong glue
To make these flowers, simply trace the outline of your hands on card stock.  I decided to trace my hand and Rory’s hand to make different sized flowers.  I also used different colors of card stock for multiple colored flowers.


Cut the hand print out of the card stock and uisng a pen or pencil, curl the fingers to make petals flare out a bit.



Grab a green pipe cleaner (for the stem) and using another color (for the inside of the flower) bend the pipe cleaners together to connect them.  I just twisted them a bit and they were plenty secure.


Take the hand print with the curled petals and wrap it around the pipe cleaner connecting the bases of the hands,and put a piece of tape (or use the glue) to connect them.





I tied a ribbon around them and put them in a vase!  Believe it or not, the cats haven't touched them!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Strawberry Picking!

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Yesterday we went strawberry picking!  It was So much fun to go with Rory!  She loved lifting up the leaves and finding the strawberries.  Every time she saw them, it was like a present, she would yell out "Mama berries!"  She LOVED it!  She had her own little basket that she carried around and it was so much fun for her to put strawberries in it.  We didn't buy a bunch of strawberries because we can't wait to go back!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Photo Friday!

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Pointing at birds during breakfast!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sprinkler Fun!

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Yesterday we had beautiful weather.  I got done cutting the grass to find jon and Rory outside playing with the hose.  
It was sprinkler time!  


Last year Rory didn’t like the sprinkler much, she hated it actually, but this year the sprinkler was a hit!  We could hardly get her out of it!  Jon and I could not stop laughing at her.  She was running, drinking, watering the grass, and being the cutest little bug ever! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Routine is King!

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Our Routine is King.  Rory and I live, breathe, and  die by our schedule.  Last week Jon had the PRK procedure and he was was out of commission for a while.  He was at home, but in a lot of pain and was stuck in bed.  Because he couldn’t use his eyes, Rory and I had to drive him to his doctor appointments.  It was a hard week for all of us being off schedule.
Rory was so confused.  We had to wake Rory up early and drive (longer than we normally do) to the doctors.  The worst part of the week was how completely awful it was to have Daddy in the other room- but couldn’t play with us.  Rory would stand by our bedroom door and scream and fuss until I let her in to see Daddy.  
Because she was so off schedule she was so fussy and crazy at night. She was crazy. 
The past few days, Jon’s eyes were better and he was back walking amongst us- It was like a normal weekend; we went to the park, we went to see the ducks, and Rory’s fussiness and craziness went away.  
Rory was back on schedule; Jon’s eyes were better, and all was good with the world.  Routine is King ;)
 

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