Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo Friday!

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Happy Photo Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fall Leaf Cards

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It is just starting to turn Fall out here on the East Coast.  We are very lucky to not to have to endure the long hard winters as we did when we lived in the midwest.  It only recently became colder after Hurricane Sandy hit.  Currently the trees are changing colors and there are plenty of leaves on the ground.  

Rory and I love the changing colors and leaves.  We notice them every time we go on our walks.  Recently my mom was fortunate enough to come visit for a few days and Rory really misses her.  When we were walking the other day, she said she wanted to send mimi some of the pretty leaves.  That is what inspired this next craft.  

We are making “Fall Cards” for our out of town friends and families. 

Materials needed:
glue (we used paintbrushes to help coat the sticks with the glue, but they aren’t needed) 
leaf stickers or leaf cut outs.  

To make these cards, we started out on a journey to find sticks.  I explained to Rory how we wanted to find small sticks because we would have to glue them on our cards.  We walked all around the neighborhood; even though there were plenty of sticks in our yard, picking up sticks and putting them in our bag.  REmember the smaller and thinner the sticks, the easier they will be to glue!

We brought the sticks back to the house and got out the rest of our supplies.  We are fortunate enough to have a small leaf cut out, where all we have to do is put different colors of paper in the machine and press down on a button and we have small leaves.  If you don’t have one of these, no worries!   If you have a hobby shop near by there are lots of small leaf stickers you can buy! 

We then got out our collection of sticks.  We broke them down into smaller pieces so they would fit on the card.  Rory loved dipping the paint brush in the little pile of glue and putting the glue on the sticks.  We then put the sticks on the cards.  I had to help with this part, mainly because I wanted the sticks to look like trees and Rory was putting the sticks randomly all over the cards.  

We then used the paint brush to put little dots of glue all over the cards.  We then were able to put the leaves in the little glue spots.  This was no only good for Rory’s hand eye coordination, but also good for her skills in colors.  We would put pink leaves on one spot of glue, brown leaves on another, etc... until we had used all of our colors.   We then set them out to dry.

When they were all dry we could write fun fall phrases on them like, “Hope you fall our way”, and other cute phrases, but you can use a quote or whatever you would like.  

We also glued a picture of Rory playing in leaves on the inside of the card.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

final day of Mimi's visit- Day 3

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Final Day of Mimi's Visit!  
The next day we did Rory’s other favorite things to do; go to the beach and “Pancakes, pancakes, yeah!”  The hurricane brought in some colder temperatures so we didnt’ get swim suits and beach toys, but rode in the stroller along the beach and drank coffee, which was just as good.  Then off to get pancakes!  
What trip to see Rory would be complete without a trip to dance class.  This is where Rory shines, she loves to dance with her friends, and then hang on the parallel bars as much as possible.  It was really neat because the last time my parents came to visit was on Rory's first birthday where they went to dance class with Rory, and she got to see how much stronger she is and how much she has grown since the last time she saw her! 
Before we had mom leave we had the most special treat of all.  Mom wanted to spend some time with Rory, so Jon and I left for a few hours childless!  We weren’t even sure what to do, so we went to walk on the beach.  We walked and had an uninterrupted conversation for nearly 2 hours.  
Then we went out to dinner.  That was strange too...we ate without food being thrown, spit out, or holding Rory in our lap!  It was really nice to know that Rory was happy and having fun with her Mimi and Jon and I could be normal adults.  It is hard being “on” all the time!  We really enjoyed our time away!

Rory was so good the whole time Mimi was here- I don't think she fussed once! The only time she did fuss, was when we took Mimi to the airport because she wanted her to come home with us!  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Still feeling Thankful: Handprint Trees!

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Thanksgiving at our house is anything but traditional!  We usually choose a country and then make their traditional cuisine.   The past few years we have had Thai, Greecian, and Indian; and all of them were a lot of work but completely worth it!  We also extend an invitation to the soldiers who can not go home for the holidays to come and dine at our house.  I never have decorations or fancy table settings or traditional thanksgiving food and sometimes feel bad.   Jon and I love our ethnic thanksgiving, so this year we will just make decorations for our guests.  

Today we are making “thankful trees,” our handprint trees that show what we are thankful for on them.  

Materials Needed:
old paper towel roll
brown paint
paint brushes
white paper
other colors of paint for handprint leaves
pipe cleaners (I used black and brown)

To make the trees, start with the paper towel roll and put a couple coatings of brown paint on it to make it look like a tree stump.  Set them aside to dry.  

Now it is time for handprints!  We used several different colors for the hand print leaves.  We even painted a few feet!  Put paint all over your hands and press them down on the white paper.  You can spread your fingers out or keep them closed to make different types of leaves if you want.  Set them aside and let them dry.  

If the paper towel roll is dry, you can then poke holes in the sides of the roll using the scissors.  Make sure you do an even number of holes, because you will be putting the pipe cleaner in one hole and out through the other.  Once all the holes are poked you can thread the pipe cleaners through them.   

Check on your handprints.  If they are now dry you can cut them out.  After they are cut out you can tape the the pipe cleaners to the back of the handprints.  Now you can write what you are thankful for on the back of the handprint leaves.  This was my favorite part because when I asked Rory what she was thankful for she said: Mommy, Daddy, Marilyn (her doll), and cereal!  It was so cute!

Now you have your Thanksgiving trees!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pin It Today I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a lot to be thankful for, even though I tend to throw myself the occasional pity party!  I am thankful for Rory everyday, even the days where she drives me insane!  I am very thankful that she is healthy- all of her organs work, she is happy, and besides that leg, she is one healthy girl!

I am already getting nervous and anxious about this third upcoming surgery, and often find myself down about it.  But thanksgiving helps me realize that need to be thankful that Rory's leg can be fixed, and that there are doctors that can help her out there!

I am very thankful for my girl- I don't know what I would do without her!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey Footprints!

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We still are in need of some Thanksgiving decorations.  Although I love doing hand and foot crafts I wanted to refrain from doing the handprint turkeys, just because I know many people already know how to do them.  So, I decided to do a “play” on the traditional handprint turkeys; we are doing footprint turkeys!

Materials Needed:
scrap pieces of paper
construction paper
glue (we used a paint brush for the glue, but you don’t need to)
brown paint
orange paper
red paper
goggle eyes
optional- Thanksgiving Stickers

To being with, I had Rory pick out different types of paper.  Rory picked out the bright colorful pieces of scrap paper.  I then cut these out into a feather shape; rounded and larger at the top and smaller at the bottom.  

When they are all cut out, have your child put some glue on the back of the feathers and arrange them on the construction paper.  We chose to use five feathers, one a the top, two at the bottom, and two in between the top feather and the bottom feather. 

Then it was Rory’s favorite part- the Footprints!  We painted all of Rory’s feet, she used the paintbrush to paint her heels, toes, and rest of the foot.  Turn the paper with the feathers upside down and put the footprint on the paper.  Set them aside to dry.

While they are drying, we cut out a triangle beaks out of the orange construction paper, and the turkey necks out of the red construction paper.  I also grabbed some goggly eyes for each of the turkeys.  

Once the turkeys are dry you can apply the beaks, necks, and eyes.  We then added some Thanksgiving stickers.  We can’t wait to hang up our turkeys!   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mimi Visit Day 2!

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We had so much fun with Mimi here!  When I asked my mom what she wanted to do while she was here, if she wanted to go to do something: like go to the beach, or out to eat, any touristy thing, but all she wanted to do was stay at home and play with Rory.  So that is exactly what we planned.
The first day she was here we made it a typical mommy and Rory day, and took her to many of our favorite hot spots.  We took her to the “Jungle Baby,” Rorys most favorite place in town.  It is just a pet store, but it is huge!  They have a lot of animals out for you to pet and hold, and Rory is a frequent customer.  

We then took her to the playground on the way home.  It wasn’t one of the big playgrounds in town, just a small one so that Rory could play all over and mom could watch how big and crazy she is.  Rory loved showing off how she can "hang," swing, and slide to her Mimi, who thought she could do no wrong!
We then came back to the house, and they played all day!

Good first day of Mimi time!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mimi's visit day 1

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We were so lucky to have Rory’s mimi come and spend time with us.   She was going to meet us in Florida for Rory’s surgery (she had to reschedule it from the first surgery....and now has had to reschedule it again!) but since it has been about 9 months since we had seen her she decided to spend a few days with us.  
She came in on halloween night.  We were really nervous with how Rory would act when she saw her Mimi, for several reasons:
  1. it was halloween and Rory ate more candy than she ever had in her life
  2. she hasn’t seen mimi in 9 months, so I wasn’t sure how she would act.  I know that we skype and talk on the phone often, but you never know what a toddler will do!
  3. Mimi was coming right at Rory’s bed time, which could be a volatile time....

I picked up mom from the airport and when we came home, Rory was SO happy!  she started jumping up and down and yelling mimi, and even gave hugs and kisses.   She even let Mimi help put her to bed! 
It was awesome!  More about Mimi’s visit tomorrow!  

Weather Board!

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Every day we look outside and check the weather.  If it is a nice sunny day we take the dogs out, if it is raining we usually get out our puddle shoes and stomp in the puddles, if it is a windy day we like to watch balloons float in the wind.  Regardless of what we do, we are always checking the weather!  So, we decided to make a weather board so we would know the weather for the day.   Everyday, when we go outside to check the weather, we come in and get out our weather board.  We will place the arrows on whatever weather we have for the day!

Materials Needed:
  • large board 
  • paper to help cover the board
  • different weather shapes (we have different “weather” shapes for sunny day, hot day, rainy day, snowy day, cold day, night time, cloudy day, cold day, and windy day)
  • glue to attach the “weather” shapes
  • velcro to attach the arrows

To make this, we first covered up a large board with white paper.  We then cut out and made shapes for each type of day, we made a sunny day, windy day, cold day, cloudy day, night time, rainy day, hot day, and sunny day.  We also cut out arrows, we chose to cut out two arrows because sometimes it is a windy and a rainy day!  We glued each of the cut outs to the weather board.  While we put the cut-outs on the board we talked about all of them.  We pretended to be cold during the cold day, pretended to hold an umbrella during the rainy day, pretended we were sleeping at night time.  

Next, we attached a piece of velcro to the back of the two arrows.  On the weather board we also attached pieces of velcro in the direction of each of the weather cut outs so the arrows will stick to the board.  Then we brought it down stairs and checked the weather!  

Its so easy, and such a fun thing for us to do every morning!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo Friday!

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Rory on a run!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cute girl on her bike!

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For Rory's first birthday we splurged, as most parents do, and got her the Alex ready, set, go 3 in one trike. It has been the only thing rory likes to ride in, since she hates to be confined in large strollers (she's doing better now she gets tired from walkin so much!). When she's in her shoes she can now reach both pedals, so we decided to take it out on a stroll!

This was so exciting for me, I wasn't sure how she would do with this, and was eagerly anticipating her reaction. She did good, but was so confused as to why she had to pedal herself and I wouldn't push her!

I think part of the issue is the bike itself, the pedals turn but the bike won't move very far, so I think she got frustrated when the bike wouldn't go very far.

Over all, it is so much fun to take this girl out on her bike!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Shoes!!!!

Pin It Guess who got new shoes! She got a size 5 instead or a size 4 and since her third rescheduled surgery is coming up soon, we only got a half centimeter on her show lift, so it is now a 6.5cm lift.
Everytime we get a new pair or shoes it takes a day or so to get adjusted to them. For example her blue Adidas was worn so much her lift had its own indentation of where she would scrape it on the pavement when she would lazy when she was walking a lot. Now when she gets tired, her shoe scrapes a bit and she has to pick up her foot.
She does have laces rather than he Velcro snaps which is new, so we will see how that will work! So far it's not too bad! She still manages to get them off and throw them when she gets upset!
I am So happy that she doesn't say, "shoes too tight," every time we put them on!
She is doing so well, and I am pretty sure we won't need an ankle brace for a long time!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Shoes Needed!

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Rory has needed some new shoes for a while.  She currently has a size 4 shoe and a 6 cm lift.  Her left foot is probably a size 5 now and her right foot is probably a size 4 1/2 now.  Her lift is 6cm and that needs to be taller too.  

We figured we would get shoes after her first surgery, (since she will gain a centimeter in her hip after the first surgery) but her first surgery was rescheduled due to her fever and ear infection.  So my poor little Bug has been squeezing into one tight shoe and a small lift.  

She will always tell me that her left shoe feels “too tight” especially with certain pairs of socks, and then will ask when she can get a new pair of shoes.  Since her shoes are so tight, she doesn’t wear them all the time, whenever she is at home she is normally in bare feet.  The only problem with the bare feet is that the little toes on her right foot are now chap and completely peeling on the tops.  

We got her new shoes and I will show pictures of them tomorrow!  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Veterans Day!

Pin It A very happy veterans day to all out there!  Thank you for all that you do.  And a big thank you and all of our love to our Daddy!  We  missed you so much and love you even more!


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When we were in Califorina, we were fortunate enough to be able to spend some time at Sea World.  I knew Rory would love Sea World, because she loves animals, but her reaction to the animals surprised me.  Her absolute; hands down; most favorite anima in all of Sea World was a sea star!  I am not sure if she liked them so much because they were in an interactive display where she could see them and  touch them, but for whatever the reason, they were the best thing at Sea World

Since I am missing Califorina, we decided to make our own sea stars!

Materials needed:

  • paper
  • Scissors
  • couscous 
  • glue
  • newspaper

This project was so simple, affordable and fun!

We started by laying newspaper down on the ground.  We knew we were going to be using glue and couscous...which can be a deadly messy combination!  

To start with, I drew a star as a “template” first.  I drew a regular star and then rounded the five prongs of the stars.  After the template was cut out, I traced it onto some construction paper.  We picked out what colors of construction paper we wanted to use, just to reinforce our colors.  I had Rory help tracing around the sea star just to help with her pre-writing skills.  

Once we cut out all the stars, and after we counted the prongs of the stars, we bent the stars in the middle of each of the 5 prongs.  The bending just helped with elevating the stars a bit, so they popped up a bit!  We placed a small bit of glue on the sea stars, it was mainly in the middle of the prongs (where we bent them earlier), but Since Rory loves glue so much, it ended up being everywhere!  

Once we had the glue in the proper places, we sprinkled the couscous over the top so that it stuck to the glue.  We then sprinkled the remnants of the couscous onto the newspaper.  I used couscous for this because I liked teh texture and thougth it was quite realistic looking, but feel free to use anything you would like: glitter, beads, anything you would like!

Once they were done drying, we got to touch them!  Now we randomly place the sea stars around the house, Rory likes to hide them and have me find them, and then we touch them and feel their texture. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Photo Friday!

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More Halloween Fun!  Rory and Marilyn!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween 2012

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This year we went as toys from “The Island of Misfit Toys” from Rudolph and the Red-nosed Reindeer.  Rory has the “dolly for Sue” that she got from her Aunt Lauren for her first Christmas.  We were listening to the misfits at the time, and we just connected “Misfit toys,” with “misfits” and came up with Marilyn, out of their love for Marilyn Monroe.

 We had no idea that Marilyn would become such a huge part of our family.  When we went into pre-op and they talked about Rory’s “comfort- needs” it was immediately Marilyn, her blanket from her great grandma, and and a pacy.  Marilyn goes everywhere with us, she does everything with us, and is pretty much like a another child here.  

So for Halloween, when I asked Rory what she wanted to be she immediately replied, “Marilyn.”  And I went out the next day to buy material to make costumes.  Since Rory has been born, we have all dressed up together as a family; so Jon and I decided we would be some of the other toys from “The Island of Misfit Toys.”  I was the spotted elephant and Jon was the Charlie in a box.

Before Rory’s surgery I made her “Marilyn” costume, but when I started with my costume and Jon’s costume, I realized that we couldn’t pack all of our costumes to Florida with it costing $25 to check a bag.  I put the costumes on hold, until Halloween 2013.  Until the surgery was canceled, then I had to rush to finish Jon’s costume and my costume!  I was finishing them up until the last minuet on Halloween!

I couldn’t wait for Halloween! Although our costumes were not exactly how I wanted them, but they were done!  We painted and carved pumpkins and then went trick or treating with Rory.  After the first house, she knew exactly what to do and was a “trick or treating” professional!

We had such a great Halloween!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rescheduled Surgery Saga part 2...

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I was so mad.  I was so upset at everything: how she was cleared for surgery, how we came all the way down to Florida to find out she had bronchitis, why this wasn’t recognized in her blood work, I was freaking out about expenses, getting Rory’s bronchitis checked and taken care of, I was just freaking out!  

We got a new surgery date, and went back to the hotel.  We went to schedule flights back, and of course we had to pay an extra $450 to move the flights we already had, and they were longer flights, normally the flights to Florida are a little over 4 hours, plus lay overs, but we were looking at around 6 hours on this last minuet flight.  We thought about staying a few extra days, but just wanted to get home and have Rory see a doctor.  

We booked our flight and then remembered all the food we bought the day before.  That night for dinner, we cooked 2 frozen pizza’s and had gallons of ice cream for desert.  (We also let Rory munch on whatever she wanted, and later on found 3 apples with only 2 sweet bites taken out of them!).  We ate and saved what we could and then gave the rest to the hotel kitchen and the housekeeping staff, so none of it went to waste.   

Jon trying to make us all smile by taking pictures of us
 packing up all our groceries....we needed more boxes!
We finally got up and left around 9 am and headed to the airport.  We made our first flight on time, and got into Washington DC around 2.  Knowing full well we had a hour and a half wait ahead of us until our flight left (it is only a 3-4 hour drive from DC to Virginia Beach we decided to wait it out).  
Rory asking when we can go home
I kept getting updates on my phone, about our flight being delayed....We were living of packed Cheetos, and to keep Rory happy we let her eat as many fruit snacks as she wanted; making sure that we didn't not run out.  We finally got word that we were boarding a plane around 7:15pm.

We had to take a little bus out to the small plane, a propeller plane with only 13 rows of seats, seated two together.  Rory was insane after all she had been through so she was moving from my seat to Jon’s seat (Jon was seated in front of me).  It was finally time for take off, and Jon had Rory, so he put her on her lap and we thought we were good to go.  

Mid take off, the one stewardess on the plan calls to Jon that Rory has to be in her own seat.  We were seated right near the propellers and it was so loud and dark, and i knew this was not going to work.  Immediately Rory started screaming: she wanted mommy.  The screaming and convulsing got worse by the minuet: I had my hand between the seats touching her but she kept screaming for Mommy.  The flight attendant came over, because the whole plane could hear her, and asked if she could get some juice to calm her down.  

I lost it.....

I told her that unless Juice is “Mommy” its not going to help.  I was furious because we had been to Kansas for the memorial, taking 4 planes for that trip, and now for Florida, another 4 planes, and on all the flights she has been able to sit on my lap!  The stewardess and I started fighting, Rory was literally screaming, sweating, and it was so bad she was having trouble breathing.

No doubt everyone on the plane could hear her and would have paid money for this lady to let my daughter sit on my lap.  I burst out in tears, it was so painful for me to hear her scream like this for me, when I am sitting right behind her and have this woman tell me to sit and relax.  

The stewardess was upset because Rory was 2 years old, and because she is 2 we have to buy her her own plane ticket.  To me that is complete BS because she's on my lap during the duration of the flights anyway!  We only bought her her own ticket because the airline makes us!  I was upset because we had been on seven flight and all of the sudden for this one flight she can’t be on my lap! 
Things were getting extremely ugly, there was yelling from Rory, from myself and from the stewardess!  I couldn’t take Rory acting like this!
She had just been through so much; going to Florida, to pre-op, to hours in an airport for layovers, and now one final flight home. 

Jon noticed I was either going to fight the lady or we were going to have to make an emergency landing, so he tried to calm us both down.   The stewardess immediately got defensive about how she was having a hard day and now her plane was delayed.....really....are we going there, my daughter's leg doesn’t grow and she was supposed to have surgery today, but it was rescheduled, and we have been waiting at airports all day.  I’m pretty sure I am having a harder day than you, so lets not play the “whose having a harder day card.” 

The crying didn’t stop and I was going to lose it.  the lady sat next to me in Rory’s seat saying she understood because she has a granddaughter was blind.  All I could utter was, “get away from me, please, get away from me now.”  Jon laughed and said, “ma’am, please just give my wife some space.”

The next thing I knew, Jon flung my sweaty girl back to me, and she got to ride on my lap.  Her crying instantly ceased and Rory was fine.  I was still furious at the stewardess, but was so happy to have my daughter in my lap.  When it came time for landing, the stewardess talked to Jon, while Rory was still on my lap, which was probably the smartest decision she could have made.  

It was the closest I have ever got to being kicked off a plane.  ...And on the shortest 45 min plane ride back home!  Jon said if we did need to make an “emergency landing” because of me, we probably would have landed home!  

We got home at 9pm....we ate a frozen pizza (which tasted like a small piece of heaven).  I calmed down, and we looked forward to her doctor appointment tomorrow to get her bronchitis. 

The next day, we went to the doctors office, and her doctors said she didn’t have bronchitis.  wtf...

It was the longest few days of my life.....I am just glad that Rory is doing fine.  We have her surgery date scheduled.....she is already in quarantine and there is NO way she is getting sick and there is NO way we will fly on that airline! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rescheduled Surgery Saga....take 1

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Many of you may know that Rory’s first surgery was yet again, postponed to a later date.  Last surgery date, in September, Rory came down with an ear infection a week before and the doctors would not operate on her because of her immune system being down.  We were fortunate enough to cancel and reschedule our trip before we went all the way to florida.  This time was a little bit different.

For those who follow our blog, we went to Kansas for Jon’s father’s memorial and the night we came back, she became sick.  Her fever never went over 100 degrees, but she did have a fever and was sniffling a bit.  Before we go down to Florida we have to get her checked by her pediatrician and she has to be “cleared” for surgery.  At this time, we were asked to get a white blood cell count so we could see if her “illness” was viral or not.  

We got the white blood cell count, sent it to Florida, and her doctor here cleared her for surgery.  

Thinking everything was fine, we packed for a whole month and left for Florida.  

coloring in the airport
We packed light, we only packed enough fruit snacks and applesauce packets to get us down to Florida.  As soon as we arrived, Jon went grocery shopping (I was so paranoid about Rory getting sick, we kept her at the hotel and played around).  We had a fabulous hotel complete with stove, cookware, microwave, fridge, and utensils; so we bought a lot of stuff, again: we were planning on spending a month there.
morning of pre-op

The next day was pre-op.  I was so nervous, scared, and every other emotion I could have.  During pre-op, they naturally take the patients temperature, and Rory had a 99.5 degree temperature.  She was sucking on a pacy and in GG’s Blanket (her blanket made by her great grandma that she doest’n part with!).  She was already asking to go home, and it was just pre-op.  We took off her blanket and pacy (which she hated) to see if her fever would go down.  It 99.3.  

So we were immediately sent to anesthesia.

This surgery she is having is extremely long.  It can be anywhere from 7-11 hours, so anesthesia is very important.  The anesthesiologist explained to us how after a child is sick it can take up to 6 weeks for the lungs to get back to normal.  She did not sound confident about the surgery taking place and I was already upset.  She asked us to get a chest x-ray just for her to double check.  
We went up to x-ray, but I couldn't go in with her since I am pregnant (which was awful for me).  Jon went with her and said she did great.  After the x-rays she was completely exhausted.  All the waiting and poking and prodding had gotten to her and she fell asleep in my arms.  Poor Bug!  After more waiting we finally met back up with the anesthesiologist, and learned that Rory’s x-ray showed bronchitis.  Surgery was off.  

We were overwhelmed, upset, sad, and tired. 

And the trip wasn’t over yet.....

The rest of the trip coming tomorrow!

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