Thursday, July 29, 2010

Frog Treasure Holders

On a Happy Note, I first need to tell you that my niece is doing amazingly better.  She should get to go home this weekend.  What a great relief I feel tonight as she was almost totally back to herself.  The thought of losing her was just not possible in my eyes. But she is on the road to recovery and we can’t be happier.  But now, on to our awesome frog treasure holders!

I saw these in the Family Fun sometime this spring.  I gave it to my mom-in-law and she made each of the kids a frog treasure holder!  They absolutely love them and they are going to be great for our outdoor adventures in the future! 

We have a creek that runs through our backyard.  We don’t play in it much, but we do go explore in it every now and then.  Well, we took out our frog treasure holders and the kids got on their rain boots and we had some fun walking in the water!  We mostly found trash, but hey, there is less trash in the creek now!  Jayden did put some worms in it too to show his dad when he got home from work!  We will for sure be using these again very soon!  Enjoy the pictures!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Half Full or Half Empty?

Josie and Kacie

People ask,  are you a half full or half empty kind of person?  I think I am both.  When I go to a restaurant my glass is always half full, but when it comes to life, it’s half empty.  This week has started off very trying on me and my family.  My niece, who is the older one in the picture was in an accident that left her with some head trauma.  It was a VERY scary, eventful Sunday night, but she is going strong!  I, of course, have had plenty of time sitting in the hospital in the the last 48 hours to think about life. 

I am a half empty kind of girl because it seems, my family has a curse.  Something bad seems to happen more often than something good.  We have been through many, many, many trying times.  We have made our rounds in enough hospitals.  There is always someone we have to worry about.  Now, the question is, why us?  Why does God put us through these trying time?  It brings our family together, in waiting rooms way too much! You may ask, “What has been so bad that you can’t handle it?”  Well the list is long and it’s all legit.  I don’t feel I need to go into an explanation.  Just know that it’s a LONG list.

It makes it hard to believe in God, when a person has had so many different things happen to them, that makes them feel like God is giving up.  You can pray and pray, go on with life and BAM another thing happens.  This is very hard on me and I don’t understand why things always have to happen. I know that things happen for a reason, but I find no reason in this!  She did not deserve this.  We, as a family, did not deserve this.  Pick on someone else, please. You can believe in God all you want, but right now, I’m having my doubts.  I never was a strong believer and have had my doubts and questions. When all the bad happens, I don’t feel he’s watching out for us.

You  know how often it happens?  It’s so bad sometimes, that I am scared to answer the phone when a family member is calling.  I think it’s going to be bad news every time.  I hate that feeling, but it’s true.  I’m scared, because the bad haunts us.

I think back to my old post about the little girl out in Idaho that I was following.  And I said, you just never know when something will happen.  Well, God, I did not mean for you to make this happen!   I would like to wrap my whole family into a bubble and say leave us alone! 

The good thing is, she is going to pull out of this situation.  The bad thing is, it’s going to take time.  I ask you one thing, God, if you are listening, to bring back the Kacie we know!  She has a special little place in my heart because we are very close.  I need my Brat #2!

So, in the end, the only time I see life half full is at a restaurant when my Mountain Dew is getting low :)

I could vent more about this, but I will leave it at that for now.  Come on Kacie Ann!  We love you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Crafty Mom-in-law!

I am crafty, but only to an extent.  I can sew, but not as awesome as my mom-in-law.  She always comes to my rescue when I need something fixed or made.  It’s nice to have someone close that enjoys doing crafty things!  She has made many cute, fun this for us in the past, but these are her recent ones! 


Josie likes to wear dresses!  She could wear one everyday!  Unlike her mother, she is very girly!  But it’s fun.  I enjoy watching her excitement about wearing a dress, watching her twirl and thinking she is just the cutest thing on earth. Well, she is in my opinion, VERY cute!  My mom-in-law just made her this awesome Fancy Nancy dress.  She wears it proudly and will probably have it worn out before it is too small! 

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A while back, my kids had went to the dentist.  Jayden was told that his teeth are starting to loosen.  I thought I better get prepared for the Tooth Fairy!  I asked my mom-in-law if she could make the kids a Tooth Fairy Pillow.  Now, I wasn’t wanting anything fancy, just something to use on those big nights when the too fairy gets to come!  Of course, she can’t just make anything simple!  She whipped up these awesome cross stitched pillows!  I adore them and the kids think they are great.  They really have no clue what they are for at this point, but when the time comes, I am sure they will be happy to see what is in the little pocket when they wake up!  Aren’t they just adorable!!!

I wish I was as crafty as she, but I know it means a lot to the kids when Grandma makes them something special.  Something from her heart!  We will cherish how crafty she is forever and we always look forward to what she makes next!  Do you have someone crafty in your life?

Thank you mom-in-law!  You are the best!  Here is a hug from your two love bugs!!

Fun With Magnets

I finally came across some magnet bars encased in plastic with a handle.  My friend had a few of them and I thought my kids would like them as well.  I to our local Learning Post store and found some!  They also had these fun colored circles that would stick to magnets as well.  Of course, I am a sucker and bought them! 

My 4 year old, loved them!!  She played with them for a really long time.  She even sorted by colors and picked up certain colors with her bar!  How fun is that!    I think I need to go back and get another container of the little colored circles.  If both kids want to play, then I might not have enough!  A while back, I had gotten my son some magnetic rocks that he could easily haul in his tractors.  They make a nice addition to our magnetic fun! My goal is to find more magnetic items and put them with this for the kids to experiment.  I did buy some containers for them to use with this project, but I don’t have a picture of them using them yet.  Maybe in a future post!  Magnets can be a ton of fun and am looking forward to adding to this fun project!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Every Tinkerbell Needs a Mirror!

This last month’s issue of Family Fun Magazine had an awesome idea for a girl’s room! Of course I had to do it!  I have been wanting to put a mirror in Josie’s room.  She loves to look at herself, dance, sing, etc. into a mirror.  So, I decided she needed a mirror.  When I saw this idea, I thought it would just be down right cute!  The second reason I liked this idea is because it’s also like a life size dress up doll.  Something else that Josie likes to play with.

So last week, I got it all done and put it together on her wall.  It said to use a closet door, but her room isn’t designed like that.  And I had some empty space on her wall!

I had bought a mirror at IKEA (6.99)  last month.  My friend, Amy, had given me a tip on some free glidden paint samples.   IMG_7575

I then painted a framed cork board (on clearance at Michaels for $1) that she could hang her necklaces and other random jewelry from.  I put one of my favorite pictures of her in the picture holder in the middle.



This is the empty wall space I used to hang up the new creation!






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And here is the end product!  I’m so excited about it and I know Josie is too.  I am going to change the shoe strings that hold the outfit.  I want to braid some ribbon that would match her room.  I like the shoe string idea, but I feel it’s like a locker room feel or something.  I also added a circle cork board that I had gotten at IKEA (2 pack for $1 I believe) a long time ago.  I seem to buy stuff that I like and think I will use it sometime. And it worked out this time!  I’m not for sure what I’m going to use it for. I might let her hang her earrings on it. I also might add a couple more things to this as I find them, but this is it for now!  Hope you enjoy my newest project!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Projects: The Wisconsin Dells

Our first trip to the Wisconsin Dells was a hit!  We will definitely go back in the future, but might modify the trip a little bit.  We went with our good friends, which was totally awesome.  The kids had a ton of fun together and lots of memories were made!

We stopped in Dyersville on the way and went to the Farm Toy Museum.  Jayden was in complete heaven as we did not tell him we were going to stop there!


There were many, many, many tractors and toys that Jayden could dream about!  Of course most were in cases and not able to touch, but he still could dream!  I never knew there were so many different kinds of farm toys, but I got a quick lesson!  We will stop there again someday and spend a bit more time.




After we left the Museum, we went to the Field of Dreams.  After 21 years since the movie was made, it was a good time to visit. :) Plus, the field is for sale, so who knows what it could end up being if it does sell!  Now we need to show the kids the movie.  Jayden was really confused, but I am sure once he sees the movie, his little light bulb will turn on!  The kids ran the bases, sat on the bleachers and had a snack, and tried to get lost in the corn!


We stayed in Madison the first night and then headed up to the Dells the next day.  We arrived at the Dells, stopped and got some lunch meat and had a picnic in a State Park that was full of Pine Trees!  The smell was pretty Christmas-like!  After lunch, we tried taking a hike in the trees on one of the trails, but we made it about 5 minutes!  Josie and Mataya were getting attacked by mosquitoes!  I am pretty sure Josie had about 10 bites before we got out of there.  I felt really bad!

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After lunch, we headed to our hotel.  This is where the “projects” comes in!  It was our running joke for the weekend!  Like Tony said, “It’s not the Taj Majhal!”  We stayed at a cheaper hotel that gave tickets to Mt. Olympus.  I can’t complain about the cleanliness, but it was a strange set up!  We figured out that many of the local lifeguards stayed at this hotel and took over the bottom floor.  It was a place full of many different nationalities.  And they all seemed to come out at night!  We enjoyed our nights, sitting on the balcony and watching people, or people watching us. It was kind of like what you see in the movies.  Everyone sitting out on their porches, yelling at people, or just kicking back with a beverage and a smoke!  It was a place to sleep, it was cheep and we made it work!  We spent some time in the hotel pool when we got there, then headed to ride the Army Duck Boats.  This was pretty fun and the kids loved it!  It took us on a tour of the Dells: On land and water!  I recommend this to anyone new to the Dells. Jayden absolutely loved this and wanted to stay on it all day!  He couldn’t get enough!

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This is where our day then got a bit rocky.  We have been pushing and pushing Josie to drink when she is outside.  I can only make her do so much.  Well, on the boat, she must have got a bit over heated.  We got off the boat, went and ate supper.  She did not eat!  She laid on my lap.  We left and went to a big candy store.  At the candy store…she puked.  And me, being the good mother I am, caught most of it in my hand and dashed for the door.  Oh-how embarrassing!  So, we came to a conclusion, that she got overheated from riding on the boat!  I’m very sad that I have to worry so much about this.  The medicine she takes for her bladder issues causes her not to sweat as well.  I felt really bad, but we made it through and she was feeling better the next day. But this is when the next great adventure came in.  We were to spend all day Saturday at Mt. Olympus.  Well, I had a hunch on Friday that Josie was also coming down with a UTI.  Yep, my conclusions were right when she got up on Saturday morning.  So, we spent Saturday morning at an Urgent Care.  Thank got they had one! So, we got her some medicine and headed on to the water park that afternoon! 

Mt. Olympus was great!  A lot of water things to do, plus a theme park all in one!  There were a ton of people there, but since we got there later in the day we didn’t have to mess with a big mob!  Jayden had a BLAST!  My little man came out of his shell and did more than I ever thought he would!  He went down a ton of slides, floated around on the lazy river, and relied on his life jacket around the fast current lazy river!  I followed behind him as he floated!  I was very, very proud of him!  He let water get on his face, he made himself go under waterfalls, went and played with the waves in the wave pool, and went on slides that splashed water on him!  I was one proud mama!  Josie on the other hand, she did not have as much fun.  We know she wasn’t feeling the best.  She liked the lazy river and splashed around some in the water, but that was about it!  Later that night, some of us went back to do the rides.  Jayden did some go-karts and the kids roller coaster.  Kevin and I took Addisyn on a roller coaster.  She is almost 8.  Just a tad nervous, but she had fun!  I had fun too except for the fact that it jostled me around enough that I ripped half my big toe-toe nail off.  OUCH!

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We had a great time with our friends and look forward to doing something like this with them again!  It was our first trip to the Dells, so we did learn some things of what we might do different next time;

1.  Stay at a place that has it’s own big water park attached. (tourist trap = lots of traffic to fight)

2.  Do more of the things that we saw that we didn’t get to do!  There are a ton of other little adventures you can do, but we just didn’t have the time.

3.  Go during the middle of the week. (maybe a little less people?)

4.  Pray we don’t have to go to urgent care!

5.  Have fun with friends again!  Thank you Vorm’s for making it a fun vacation! 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Am Guilty: Taking life for granted.

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a blog of a family going through a tramatic event. 

I found this blog by way of a craft site that knew of these people and were posting it for prayers.  Wow, did it impact me this week!  I feel for this family.  If you scroll down and read some older posts, the little girl in the family, somehow slipped into a canal and was found 30-40 mins. later by a couple of farmers.  She’s now clinging to life at a hospital.  Do I know these people or where they live? No.  It just shows how in a split second life can change.  She was a happy go lucky little girl, living life and then a few days later she is clinging to that life.

I am guilty.  Yes, I am guilty for taking life, people, things for granted.  I shouldn’t be, but I am.  Almost 17 years ago, I lost my brother to a tramatic event.  I was just a high schooler, so I didn’t know much about life yet.  But you would think after losing someone so close, I would learn my lesson.  Life can change SO fast.  It’s out of our control.  It’s in higher hands.  We all go about our day.  Whine, complain, get angry, get jealous, etc.  Yep, I do it.  Not everyday, but enough to know I need to change my attitude.

I know a lot of my attitude has changed after Jayden was born.  Which I have explained a little before.  I am not that same person I was before kids.  I get angry easier.  I get agitated easier.  I don’t love people, like I should.  I take them for granted.  I have had a very hard time being close to my husband this last 6 years.  Yes, we are doing fine.  We love each other and we care for each other.  But my affectionate self I used to be is gone.  I find it hard to be close.  It sounds weird, but post partum depression does strange things to a person.  If I could, I would take it all away and be that happy, go lucky self I once was.  I have thought about therapy, but getting me in the door is another thing. 

I take my husband for granted.  I take my kids for granted.  I always think, there is always tomorrow.  But then I read the life of the Sullenger’s and the fact that their lives have changed forever.  I am guilty, and I am going to work on changing myself into a better person.  I know there are more stories out there that are similar to these people. Tragedy happens more than it needs too.  So tonight, give that someone special another hug, or kiss or a compliment.  Something to show you care, because tomorrow, you might not get that chance.

This is some downer of a post, but I have been thinking about it this week!

Love the ones you are with and live life!

*In memory of my brother Cory* – Oh how I miss your laugh.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Look In Her Eye

Today, tested my inner strength as a mom.   After a night of a 4 year old in the same hotel bed as me, with her feet in my back the whole night and thinking about the procedure they were going to be doing on my daughter, I got little sleep.  I had to psych myself up: “I am going to be strong, I am going to be strong, I will not cry. I will not cry.”   Did my inner strength win?  Nope.

The only good thing about entering the room today was that Josie had no clue what was about to happen to her.  The bad thing is, if they need to do this procedure again, it won’t go as smooth.  She was a trooper!  I was very proud of my daughter and her courage to do what they asked her to do. 

I have never seen the look in my daughter’s eyes as they were placing the catheter and tube into her to run to her bladder.  It was that look of fear.  The look of, get me the heck out of here.  Save me mom.  Aren’t you supposed to keep me safe!?  This was the point I lost it and my own tears started to stream down.  I was trying to stay strong, but my little girl’s look made me weak.  But like I said, she stuck through it!

The test they did today showed us a few things.  It registered bladder spasms (the urge to pee) she is having.  At which point she had one that peaked at 232.  A normal person’s urge to pee is 20.  That is how badKim and Josie it is for her.  The test also showed that she has a little bit of reflux going on.  Which means, when she has a spasm and is trying to hold it off, some of her pee is shooting back up to her kidneys.  We also found out, through a urine sample, that her bladder is only holding about 50% of it’s capacity.  At this point, is when she has the urge/spasm to pee and this explains why she has to go to the bathroom often.

Plan of action: She is back on her pee medicine.  We have to work with her to swallow a mini M&M, whole, so that she can learn to swallow a small pill.  This pill is a time release one which will help her out better than the liquid medicine.  So…we have some homework to do.  If we can get her spasms under control and her bladder trained to pee the right way and not have all the spasms, then she won’t have to be on the medicine.  But until then, this is what we have to do.  Part of me is sad, because I feel like we are back at square one.  But another part of me is happy because we did get some answers today and we do know what is going on in my little girl’s body!

I cannot say anything bad about the care my daughter was given today.  It’s great to walk in somewhere that big, and the people caring for my daughter actually took the time and CARED for her.  After a long 4 1/2 hours, we walked out with a few answers and a happy little girl that got a sticker, Tinkerbell purse, and Tinkerbell movie from the life specialist!  That totally made her day!

I feel for parents that have children with disabilities and illness that have to see their child suffer day in and day out.  This one little procedure pulled on my heart sooooo much.  I give every mom out there the strength to do what they have to do, to better their child’s life.  It took me a good 6-9 months to convince a doctor that something was not right with my daughter.  And now, here we are, a year and a half later, going through all of this. 

Our journey with this is still new, but am hoping we can get this under control very shortly!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Spin Art with a Salad Spinner

Today I decided to bust out the salad spinner that I bought at IKEA last month.  My friend, Amy, gave me the idea. Thought the kids would like it so we tried it out!  Let’s just say it was a BIG hit and I’m sure they will want to do it again! 



I let the kids pick out the colors of tempera paint they wanted to use.  Then we added glitter for some extra flare!  We spun away and the end result was some fun art work!

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Spinning away!

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We let them dry on our handy-dandy Octopus from IKEA and then later hung them up so Daddy could see them when he got home from work!  This was a very fun activity with easy cleanup!  Next time we might try using coffee filters!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Going to the doctor

For the past year and some, we have been fighting Josie with some bathroom issues.  She potty trained like a normal child, then a few months later it all went down hill.  Try convincing a pediatrician that your 2 1/2 year old has problems.  He just kept chalking it up to her being young and potty training age.  Well, finally last fall, I went in to the doctor with a list of things that were going wrong.  FINALLY, he listened.  He sent us on to a specialist in the area.  That specialist was great.  Listened to us, did some tests, listened to us, did some more tests and put her on a bladder relaxer medicine.  All was going well, till about March and everything has gone down hill again!  So, at the end of this week, we are on to another specialist.  Who, of course, is going to do more tests, one in which I’m not too thrilled about, but I know it needs to be done.  I’m going to be one nervous mama!  It seems like a simple procedure, but for a 4 year old, it might not be so simple.  They are going to catheter her and run a line up to her kidneys/bladder and see why she’s having problems.  I pray to God it goes smooth and quick and she doesn’t feel a thing!

This is what the last year and some has been like.  Imagine walking into a store/house/business/etc, and having to know exactly where the bathroom is.  Imagine visiting that bathroom maybe 3 or more times in that little amount of time you were going to be there.  Imagine going through roughly 5 or more change of pants a day.  Imagine sending her to preschool in hopes that it doesn’t affect her day.  Imagine trying to play at a park, but having to research that park to see if there is a bathroom.  Imagine having to monitor what she drinks, how much she drinks, when she drinks it.  Imagine watching her sit on the ground with that look of pain on her face as she tries to control that spasm that is rippling through her body.  Imagine having to wait for the spasm to end so that she can get up and walk to the bathroom. 

Is it causing her pain?  We don’t know.  Is there something that they can do about it?  We don’t know.  All I know is, I want my daughter to live a healthy childhood without having to worry about what she drinks and where the bathroom is.  I want to be able to go anywhere, without always having to know if there is a bathroom we can use.  We just hope that this week brings the answers that we have been wanting for a very long time.

As a mom, watching my child go through this, it has brought some rough days and many tears and frustration.  I don’t want anything to be wrong with her, but I really don’t want this to be something “she will grow out of.”   Just please think of us on Friday and give the doctors guidance in finding out what is wrong.  And guide them to a safe, simple procedure that won’t have lasting affects on her.  And bring me the strength to be a strong mama and to reassure her that everything will be okay.