Friday, January 28, 2011

All About Autumn

*She is NOT girly* Her favorite toys are hot wheels* She loves cheetos* Her favorite activity is nodding yes and no* She is rolling over by herself* She loves to dance* I think she will "walk" on her knees* She pretty much has everyone wrapped around her tiny finger* Her feet are still so tiny because she does not bear any weight on them* She cannot wear shoes* This girl LOVES "Wheel of Fortune" Loves it~will stop whatever she is doing and watch it*She signed "more" yesterday for the first time* She cries when I leave a room~~a habit I am trying to break but oh so fond of* She is so very curious of anything and everything* She gets her hand stuck in the door everyday because of her curiosity* She can still take a bath in the sink at sixteen months old* She weighs about 16 lbs* She has three teeth* She has no fear whatsoever* She tried to eat a spider once* She loves to help me with laundry or rather unfold everything I have already folded* Her Pops is her favorite person* Her mommy is her biggest fan* She has the best giggle in the entire world

Thursday, January 27, 2011

XOXOXOXOXOXO

I LOVE Valentine's Day.

I love that we celebrate a day just for love.

My patient husband let me start decorating early.

So, after a rough week I made DIY Valentine's decorations.

Heart garland :)

My fun filled table of failed attempts
Matthew's handprint heart wreath~~Autumn has not cooperated just yet in tracing her hand.  Hopefully she will have a wreath as well.
Hours of shaving crayons +
A really hot iron =
A smudgy mess~~~~



Stained glass hearts on our living room windows!
Happy Almost Heart Day!

How are you setting the mood :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

All In Knots

Last week was rough.

Rough.

It felt like we were in a war we had no idea about and losing badly.  It was one of those weeks that made you want to hide under the covers and wait for it to end.

Rough.

Brandon has knots on his body.  About twenty to be semi-accurate.  They are small and under the skin.  A few years ago he had one on his hand that needed to be removed.  It was affecting him daily.  The knot was sent off to be checked and came back as just a typical everyday mass.  It just so happens that hand knot had twenty brothers and sisters still remaining on my husband! 

Life has gone on.  Knots there, but not forgotten.  Recently, Brandon found one on his lower back.  It seems to hurt him, and I have nagged and nagged for him to have it looked at~~nagging is one of my best qualities!

Brandon stuck with the "there's nothing to worry about" theme until last week.

Brandon's dad has knots.  He too, has refused to have them checked.  He had one removed on his forehead a while back that was found benign, so that was all she wrote. 

Recently, Brandon's dad has been having some pain.  He is finding it hard to do things, and what was once a single small knot on his chest has grown to the size of a melon and is even under his arm.

Needless to say, we are awaiting a diagnosis.  Prayers are much appreciated! 

Shocked into reality, Brandon went to the doctor.  Being the kind, quiet wife I am~yeah right!~ I joined him.  After family history, his doctor decided Brandon needed to have the knot on his back biopsied and removed.

Did I mention last week was rough?

I didn't want to blog about this.  I did not want to burden any of you.  I am asking for prayers.  Brandon's appointment is in March, and we have faith everything is fine.  Pray anyway!

Thank you, dear blogger friends!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bliss

Bliss is.....








Sharing Secrets with your Daddy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Habit Forming

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit

*****************************

In that case, I am habitually a runner!

I have been running for 22 days, and I feel great.  My pants are feeling a bit looser.  My belly looks a bit smaller.  My head thinks I am making all of this up!  But I am running.

Every morning I wake up and start the day.  I am, sadly, not a runner who can rush out the door before anyone wakes up.  Around 3:00 am, Matthew wakes up on cue and decides loudly he wants to snuggle us.  We, being the tired parents we are, give in.  

I know, I know.  Please feel free to rush down to the comment box and tell me all about how unhealthy this is.
Or you can come see the biggest grin from the cutest little guy at 3:00 am tomorrow morning, and lets see if you cave!

I digress...


Our morning routine takes a while, so 10:00 am is mommy time.  I tie my shoes.  I charge my ipod.  I check and make sure there is no toilet paper attached to me.  I run. 


The sharp wind and cold air has made running a bit more of a challenge.  Not necessarily physically, but mentally the warm embrace that is my house calls to my frozen cheeks when I step outside.  But I run. 


Armed with loud, fast music I am running. I am starting to care less and less about what people think of me.  I was even able to recruit my husband this weekend.  By the way, he was a total rock star and kept up the pace.


I hope they are right about 21 days. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

All About Matthew

his favorite color is lime green~he seems to be able to see it *he LOVES Katy Perry * he has a lot of diagnosis but nothing of them really tell you who he is * his daddy is his favorite person * his room is decorated in cowboy theme * he is gaining a lot of control over his head * he really likes his stander * he has probably the coolest nurse ever * he loves when someone sings to him * he laughs when Autumn cries * he likes the sound of a cat * he enjoys being outside but cannot take a lot of direct sunlight * his vision is constantly improving * he is trying to communicate more and more * he has an opinion on American Idol * he laughs when he gets to ride in the car with his window down * he is sooo tall * he has super long eyelashes that many girls are jealous of * his mommy is his biggest fan * when he has his headphones on he sings with the music * he still doesn't really sleep through the night * he hates to be wet or dirty * bath time is one of his favorite activities * he is the most handsome little guy in the world 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

International Day of Acceptance

Today is the day to make a difference.

It is International Day of Acceptance.

Doesn't that just sound beautiful?

The International Day of Acceptance is sponsored by a wonderful organization called 3ELove.  This organization rocks!  Its entire mission is to create products that empower people with disabilities! 

Empowerment~~

It truly is a beautiful concept. 

I want my children to grow up educating others about their abilities.  I want them to be seen for who they are, not what they cannot do, because who they are is awesome!  People with disabilities are often categorized by the diagnosis. 

Autistic
Blind
Wheelchair bound
Cerebal Palsy

When I see someone with a special ability, I see a superhero!

For instance,

Matthew is:  Captain Awesome
His special powers include:  Seeing the world with his hands and having a laugh that makes everybody feel better.

Autumn is:  Super Dancer Girl
Her special powers include:  crawling super fast even without the use of her legs and dancing for all the world to see

So, today wear your heart on your sleeve.  If you don't know how, then check out 3ELove.  You will leave their site inspired and slightly lighter in your wallet ~wink~

Today is the International Day of Acceptance, but I think we should strive for acceptance to be everyday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

March On!

Autumn a few weeks after birth.  Weighing 3lbs!


Even in the NICU our drama queen was all smiles!
Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick.  Autumn was born this way.  At anywhere between 28 and 32 weeks gestation, she was born into this world long before she was ready. We are participating in the March for Babies because we want to do something about this.

The money we raise will support March of Dimes research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. And it will be used to bring comfort and information to families with a baby in newborn intensive care.

Please join my team. You can do so on my team Web page.  You can also click the March for Babies tab on the right!  If you can`t walk with me, please help the team reach our goal by making a donation. You can do that online as well.

Home with Mommy & growing strong!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bliss

 Bliss is.....
Overcoming obstacles!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Run Brandi, Run

I have decided to run.  I have wanted to be a runner for a long time, and now is as good a time as any.  A friend told me about the Couch-to-5k program, and I have been following it with tons of determination.


The C25K starts you off very easy.  I know that I need to lose some weight, so I have committed myself to six days a week runs.  I break on Sunday.  So far I am loving this!

I have stuck to running inside only as to not scare the public.  Yesterday, I gathered any bravery I could find lying around and took my running outside.  It was a breath of fresh, cold air.  I ran just around our neighborhood, but enjoyed the time I had.  My ipod was, as always, with me playing loud fast songs.  Running outside was a little harder than running inside.  The elements, the cold, and my fear of looking stupid caused me to lose focus quite often.  But I did it!


I am able to block any and everything out.  I focus on the music, the next step, the seconds ticking by.  I am free to go at my own pace.  Its an amazing experience I am sad I only now discovered.


Seven weeks from now, the C25K program will be over, but I will continue to run.

Next step.......maybe I will complete a 5K??

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spit Happens

Or at least it does in our home.


Autumn is a spitter. 


Food.


Drink.


Medicine.


Saliva.


She has no preference.  In the privacy of our home, or the open range of the public eye, when Autumn has to spit~~well its not pretty.


Last night as we were out to dinner, Autumn started spitting.  She spit her beans first.  Then she spit her milk.  Before long, she was just spitting to spit. 


Originally this little quirk was quite cute.  She was proud of her accomplishment, and we were loving all the fun she was having.



That phase ended fairly quickly. 



We scolded her not to spit.  We pointed our finger and sternly told her "no," as we buckled her into her carseat.


The car starts, we think we are in the clear. 

Parents-1 Autumn-0


Do you know what sound we hear from the backseat? 


Yep, you would be ride.  She proceeded to spit all the way home!

So in this house our new motto is:


Spit Happens

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hunk

I have one hunk of a man!

He is my best friend~

My partner in crime~





My biggest fan~

My love!

Brandon is an amazing father, and I don't think he gets told these things near enough.

So this one is for you babe!
We love you more and more every single day!






Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bliss

Bliss is....



Rocking out to your favorite music!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Potty Party

Due to Autumn's needs, she requires help going to the potty. 

I know, I know, way too much information.  Please feel free to quit reading now, but I promise super cute pictures at the end!



Autumn take a laxative type medication everyday, and she gets an Enemeez in the afternoon.  An Enemeez is very much a baby enema. Believe me when I say the name fits this medicaiton.  It is awful.  It burns her tummy.  We recently we able to try Enemeez with Lidocaine, but that did not help either.  She screams the entire 30 - 45 minutes until she finally uses the potty.  We were at wits end!


Until....


We decided to try putting her on her lil potty. 


I wish I could take credit for this life changing choice, but alas, it was not me.  Our amazing OT and Matthew's nurse are the ones that mentioned it.  I was too preoccupied with not wanting to push her further than she needed. 


I was indeed wrong!

Today was day 6 of our potty adventure!  Autumn is doing amazingly!  She fusses for just a few moments, and then our little potty plays a tune signaling we have completed the task at hand.

I have no intention on potty-training at such a young age.

But.....

If our sweet girl wants to prove otherwise, fine by me!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Change

I always start a new year with a plan.

This year has already proved to be no different.

There are many goals I want accomplished before 2012 arrives.

Panic is already setting in.

I know, I am a little crazy.  I have accepted that fact.

Moving on .....


This year I want to do something!  I don't contribute financially to the household.  I am proudly a stay at home mommy.  Its the best job in the world.  I am proud of what I accomplish every day.  I ranked high score at diaper changing times just yesterday.  I am pretty good at running from one end of the house to the other without tripping over toys. 

Yet, somehow, I want more added to my already overflowing plate.

I have dreams and aspirations.  
There are a million things I want to do. 
There are several things I think I could do.  
There is no time to do any of them.

So 2011 is bringing change to our very structured and organized home.  I have not yet decided on what I am going to do, or how I plan on doing said change...but its a'coming!

I am hoping you dear blogger friends can help!

Two of my personal loves are writing and photography.

Writing a blog has been hard enough to keep up with, so I am slightly nervous about attempting anything else.

Taking pictures seems so easy when your muses are cute and cuddly, but how do you cut it in the real world?


What are your opinions?

Any?

Don't quit my day job?

On a very serious note, 2011 will also bring education.  As a family we are participating in any and all volunteer opportunities available.  Our first big project is the 2011 Epilepsy Stroll.  It will be our first walk as a family.  We are so excited about instilling in our children pride in themselves.  We are hard at work on raising money.  Every penny counts!  Matthew's Entourage will walk proud this year.  

2011 is also bringing remodeling to our humble abode.  Our bathroom will be the first of, I am assuming, many DIY projects.  This one, however, I am very excited about.  This will be the first renovation done for our children. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wii

So....

I got a Wii Fit.  I am excited about trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle in 2011.  I also want to shed some..okay...a LOT of weight. 

50 lbs to be exact!

I hooked up the Wii Fit.  I created a chubby little person to represent me.  I was having a blast.

And then it was as if someone knocked the breath out of me. 

The little sweet Wii guy asked me to stand on the board.

I happily obliged.

From the board I hear, "Oohhh!"

It was NOT in a nice way!

A little embarrassed, I let the Wii tell me my weight.

So, yeah, that did not go well.

Then the sweet Wii revealed my body age...

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me!

46!
Seriously!

Because this humiliating encounter was in the privacy of my own home (and my children are too young to tell anyone) the Wii can live.  ~~For now~~~

I am resuming all plans to lose weight. 

There will be no crazy diets here.

I will watch what I eat.  I will limit myself in my caffeine consumption~~I am already having withdrawals.

Don't tell anyone, but my secret wish is to be a runner!  Really Really Bad.

So here's to you Wii Fit.  Fifty pounds from now, I expect nothing but pleasantries when I step on you!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Strolling

One of Matthew's many diagnoses is Epilepsy.  His Epilepsy affects his daily life.  At this time we are seeing around 40-50 seizures daily.  Matthew takes two anti-seizure medications as well as participates in the Ketogenic diet.

Epilepsy is a beast.  It is a strong fighter, but so is our beautiful boy.

This year, however, we are vowing to make a difference.

We are participating in the 2011 Stroll for Epilepsy. 

Our goal is to raise $1,000.00.

We think we can do it!!!!

But we need some help.

Please visit our team page and make a donation today!

Every donation no matter the size make a BIG difference. Funds raised will help...

send kids to camp
provide clinics for people with no insurance
educate people about epilepsy and seizure disorders
destroy the stygma and negative images in society
a person with epilepsy learn job skills to become employed.

Don't hesitate. Make your donation today!

We are doing what we can to stand up against Epilepsy.


Will you do the same??

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Drama Queen

So......I don't know if you've noticed, but we have a slight drama queen on our hands!
Autumn is the girl with a thousand faces.....
Here are some of our favorites!

Her *what are you doing* face

Her *you scared me* face
Her *I'm the boss and you know it* face

Her *you want me to eat this* face

Her *you caught me* face

Her *I've got better things to do* face
And my favorite~ Her *I wasn't doing anything wrong.  Look how sweet I am.* face    











Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cookie Cutter

We don't lead a "normal" life.

Days are much too long.  Night are much too short.

And I don't think I would have it any other way.

I must admit there are moments ever so fleeting where I worry about the future.  I wonder if we will ever trust anyone enough to care for Matthew if necessary.  I worry about Autumn's reaction to the news of her adoption. 

And then, Autumn giggles with her entire body or Matthew shows progress when we didn't think it was possible, and I decide to live in the now. 

We are not a cookie cutter family.

There are things on my kitchen counter most people would not understand.  I test urine (which is a nice way of saying that I play with pee) every morning.

50% of my day revolves around both of my children and their bowel movements.  

And I don't think I would have it any other way.

I realized something not long after Matthew came home.
Children with special needs are pretty cool.

My kid's see the world in a way I would never have known.  Matthew absorbs every sound.  He coos at a cat's meow or the wind-chime.  I have learned to tune those things out.


Autumn gets so very excited about everything.  When I walk through the door its a party!  I have taught myself how to expect the mundane.

I am so thankful for the daily lessons I am taught by these "special" children.

And I don't think I would have it any other way.


Being in the very presence of our children is humbling.
I sometimes forget how important a hug can be. 
Our children don't. 
I forget how unimportant clean dishes are. 
Our children don't. 

So as 2011 begins, so does a new found appreciation for the tiny treasures hidden in our everyday.  

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
John Lubbock