Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lung Cancer Sucks

Three years ago today, my Momma died of lung cancer.
It was four days after my baby's 1st birthday.  The day after his birthday party. She didn't even get to be at it.  I only got three pictures of them together.  I'm sad every time I think about it.
I miss her everyday.  But the pain isn't as sharp as it used to be.
I don't see my siblings as much with her gone.  That makes me sad.
My cousin reminded me a funny story, so I decided to share it with you today.
One day my Aunt Shiela, cousin Love'e and her two sons (ages 10 and 13) came to visit mom (who's name was Twila), when she was sick.  Mom was talking about telemarketers and how they drove her crazy!  She said one night a telemarketer called and for Twiller. 
My mom quickly snapped, "Who the *beep* names their kid Twiller?"
My cousin's boys thought that was hilarious....and still talk about it to this day.
Oh, my gosh I miss her!

Monday, August 24, 2009

African Safari Birthday Party

We had Eli's birthday party on Saturday...
I baked the cakes.  My friend Karen decorated them, and I put the plastic characters on at the end.  I LOVE how this cake turned out!
Eli got spoiled by our family and friends....lots of presents.  A late August birthday sure does help a parent with the "back to school" shopping budget!  He's set!
The Family Portrait:
We had a Safari Treasure Hunt for the kids:
De Zanem = Welcome!
Kids On Safari:  (You can hardly see the big giraffe!)
The first clue:  Find the Lions
There they are! - and there's the first treasure box!  Lion = Gigne
...and we hunted Elephants = Wobugo
...and Giraffes (of course!) Giraffe - LaLaKum

Here is Eli and his friend Wyatt, who also has CP:
...and we hunted for Monkeys on safari!  Monkey = Gywaga
(each animal display had a small treasure box)
...and finally Zebras (didn't get the translation for this)....
Of course no party is complete without Lou Lou begging for a belly rub....
....and the dogs getting into the garbage after everyone leaves!  Ugh!
It was a wonderful party.  I may have to do another post later this week, since we only got about 140 pictures!  Thank goodness my friend Glenda took on the duty of photographer for the day!
Unfortunately, that means I'm in waaaaay too many pictures!  Not used to that!  I kinda like being behind the camera, you know?  I'm so thankful, though.  The party was over before I knew it...and I didn't even get to see much of it!  With all Glenda's photo taking, I was able to see what really happened!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Is What 4 Looks Like...

...looks fun, doesn't it?
He's having a great day!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Family - Flesh and Fur!

Does anyone else love pictures of their hubby and baby as much as me?
Last Saturday, my cousin Love'e and her husband Gary came over to visit. We haven't had pics of her holding Eli in a long we got this great pic!
My cousins took my mom's dogs after she died 3 years ago. It was such a blessing for me. I didn't have to worry about them during that most difficult time of my life. But, their life situation has changed and it was time for my "baby brothers" to move in with us!
I'd like you to meet HARLEY:
and BUDDY:
Harley needs a forever home where he will be spoiled rotten. We hope we can find one for him soon.
Buddy is fitting in really well with our dogs, and we are thinking we might keep him around. We'll see.
Eli has slept on his tummy, all night, for about two years. He now likes to go to sleep on his side...and I flip him over after he's in a deep sleep. Well, last night he decided to roll onto his back...and he stayed asleep!
My boy is growing up before my eyes, I tell ya!
For now, we can't leave him this way, because if he starts to stir, it will scare not long after this picture was taken, I put him on his tummy.
Then at 1:45 am when I got up to give Eli his meds, his tummy was wet. G-tube/Extension malfunction of some kind. Haven't had that happen before. I had to change his layers on his bed, change his clothes, underpants, re-dress his stoma, and put a new guaze wrap on his belly. That last thing finally woke him up....luckily I was I scooped him up and put him back in his bed, layed down with him and he went right back to sleep. Whew. Poor guy. I hate it when that stuff happens.
Today, he looked particularly fabulous while long sitting with Tina (his caregiver/therapist).
Of course, I had to grab the camera!
Have a great week everyone! We are starting our countdown to Eli's 4th birthday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Miss Me? I'm Back!

I've been absent for a few days....recuperating from our trip and getting back into the groove at home (and then blogger didn't want to let me load pictures yesterday!)....and boy do I have a lot to catch you up on! To make it easy, there's going to be LOTS of pictures, and a little bit of text...enjoy!
Dear Trader Joe's,
Where have you been all my life?
I love you.
Sincerely, Amy
My Aunt (in picture below) took me to Trader Joe's last weekend. OMIGOSH! I am in love.
I love saving money.  I love trying new things.  I love delicious food.  My hubby is very health conscious, and he's vegetarian with food allergies and UC.  Trader Joe's has many of his staple food items at about 1/2 the price we pay at Fred Meyer!  If you look closely you will see on the counter below I am stocking up on his salad dressings! $1.99 a bottle. I was in heaven! They are at least $3.79 when on sale here!
I haven't traveled with Eli since last Spring.  At which point I realized it would be his last time sleeping in his play yard!  I was a bit apprehensive about how we'd stay at my Aunt's...then I remembered she has a trundle bed in one of her spare rooms!  It worked out perfectly!  See?  We just stuck a piece of heavy duty cardboard between the frame and mattress...and he was safely tucked away in a big boy bed!
And how did Eli do on the drive?  AWESOME!
It was a long first two years of his life with him hating the carseat....but's a joy to travel with him.
We only stopped five times each way - to wipe up slobbers and change to a dry bib.  (It's a 2 1/2 hr drive normally - it took us about 3 hrs together.  Not bad!)
My Aunt and my cousin live next door to each other.  Their yards are full of beautiful nature!
I had a blast photographing it all...
Dinner Plate Dahlia
Periwinkle Hydrangea
Butterfly Bushes
Mmm....Hydrangeas galore....
My Aunt feeds hummingbirds...and other birds....
and she puts nuts on the ground for the squirrels....
AND she wishes she knew what to feed Raccoons!  LOL.
She has a cat that she feeds on her back deck, and the raccoons come up and try to steal the cat food...and of course they use the water dish to clean off the food before they eat it.  What a hoot!
Seattle does get lots of rain, but it reaps the benefit of lots of green trees, beautiful plants and foliage!
I miss it sometimes....but then I remember the traffic....and it makes me thankful to be in Central Washington!!
And finally I leave you with some yummy pictures of Eli and Peanut:
Does it get much cuter than this?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

And The Winner Is.....

Thank you to everyone who entered my give-away!

The winner of the set of 8 notecards is: Candace over at Living with Faith!  Congratulations!

I'm over in the Seattle area this weekend visiting my Aunt and cousins.  It's our first trip out of town, (for fun) in over a year!  It's so nice to have mini-vacation.    We are hoping next year to be able to take Eli to the beach....but for now my 2 1/2 hr drive to my Aunt's is just what I needed.  Time with family.  Good food.
Games with my crazy uncle and cousins! :)  Ever played Buzzword?  These people know how to play games!  Hoping to play Balderdash tonight!  It's one of my faves!

Today's big adventure will be heading to Trader Joe's - I keep hearing how great it is and I want to check it out.  I can't imagine it being better than Metropolitan Market, though.  That place rocks!  I'll let you know...

Eli did AWESOME on the drive yesterday.  We stopped at the North Bend outlet mall and got Eli some Fall and Winter pajamas....and some new pants and size 4T onesies!!!!  Yahoo!  I love Carter's and The Children's Place!  It was naptime, and when my boy is's time to sleep.  NOW.
So, I held him in my lap on a bench outside of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and he took his nap.  This was a most unfortunate event! 
For me. 
First, I kept watching everyone come out of there with delicious treats!  Caramel Apples! Yummy! 
Second, my back decided to have a spasm.....I was dying!  When my right arm started shaking...I had to wake him up!  He got a 35 min nap.  Better than nothing, and pretty good for a road trip!

We hit the road again...and finally made it to Auntie's house!  I love it here!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Front Porch Chatter - 10 Things About Me

One of the blogs I read is

Today she is hosting a "front porch chat" asking her readers to tell 10 things about themselves on their own blog, and then leave a link on her her readers can all get to know each other.

So, here goes my list:

1) I am the youngest of 5 children. My mom had her 4th child at age 21. (Yeah, she was crazy! God rest her soul!) She found herself pregnant again at age 28 and thought, "no, way I can't do this." But, she did, and I changed her life. It was a tough childhood, but I was blessed in many ways. I had 3 older sisters and one older brother. They are 8 - 12 years older. I became an Aunt when I was 9, and Great-Aunt when I was almost 27, and now at age 37 I have FOUR GREAT nephews! :)

2) I love to craft! Scrapbooking, making cards, photography, playing in PhotoShop, designing blogs, party planning, decorating, cooking and baking are my favorite things. I've only met one craft I didn't like. Beading. Too tedious for me. I like quicker results and bigger pieces. I love to play with paper. So, I just get my earrings from my sister Shiela who loves to play with beads (and sells her wares)....and I made a scrapbook for her! My sister Ricky quilts, my sister Gina paints, and my don't think he crafts! LOL.

3) I can't remember NOT knowing about Jesus. I was always involved in Sunday school, church plays, church retreats, youth group, etc. I took a 10 year break from my walk (ages 16 - 26) and it's one of my biggest regrets. I didn't stop believing, I just stopped trying to live to please Jesus. I lived for me. It ended it lots of heartaches! I'm so thankful to have a Saviour who always welcomes me back, and for a wonderful church family. I'm proud to be a christian.

4) All I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother. My life has taken some interesting turns, and I finally got to become a Mom at age 33. Due to a traumatic birth my son's life was altered forever. Four years later, I've accepted most of it, but there will always be a piece of me that remains sad that it had to happen to my baby. Eli is so precious. I love him so much. I can't imagine my life without him. But, I don't get to know what's inside him. I want to know what his sense of humor would be like. More than anything I want to hear his voice. I want to know what he would be interested in. (bugs? boats? planes? sharks? dinosaurs? sports?) I want to hear him tell me what he thinks of things. I want to know if he'd sneak into bed with us at night. I want to know what potty training would be like. I want to know what handprints on my coffee table look like.........

5) I love our home! We moved last summer and I feel so blessed. We live on 2 1/2 acres, have 2 dogs, and 12 cats. Tons of trees and it's wonderful.

6) I could live on cereal. Seriously.

7) I went to Disney World, by myself, in 2003. I went to Orlando for a conference through my job, and I stayed an extra 2 days and went to Universal Studios and Magic Kingdom. It was AWESOME.

8) We collect Giraffes for Eli. His dayroom is decorated in a giraffe motif. It's fabulous! So is the story as to how God is at work in our lives....through giraffes! Click HERE.

9) Secret Dream: I would love to be the voice for a cartoon character!

10) If I had one wish: I'd wish my son could talk.

How about you? Let's find out 10 things about you! Leave them in a comment, or tell me to check out one of your posts!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Backgrounds and such...

Dear Bloggy Friends -
I'm not used to having so many people commenting on my blog.  I knew there were a lot of lurkers out there....and I'm SO GLAD my meager little give away is drawing people in - or out - however I should say it??! LOL.

Just wanted to I am used to my family and friends being some of the only commenters....I was referring to them when I said "not one person commented on my background".

I do not expect my newcomers, or general readers to feed my ego!  haha

Thanks for commenting everyone.  This is fun!  Guess I'll have to start doing more give aways!!!



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Forgive Me! - UPDATED - Give Away Info

I put the pond play background back on.  I missed it....and I can't decide on my next design - so it will have to do until then!  You still have a couple of days to enter my Give Away!!!  Leave a comment! :)

So far so good....several of you have commented already.  Let's have the rest of you "lurkers" come out of the woodwork and leave a comment and enter my give away!  Here is a picture of the set of 8 notecards you can win, just by leaving a comment on this post!  (includes envelopes, you choose which monogram letter).
(they are made with yummy Cosmo Cricket papers and Bazzill cardstock)

As much as I loved my Pond Play blog design (all the frogs and turtles at the pond in the background) - I was getting tired of it. AND not one person commented on it being cute. Kinda hurt my feelers. :) It was busy - I know - and some people don't like busy. I thrive on it!
Forgive me for the B O R I N G blog design I have right now.
I'm not feeling very creative tonight.

All the A/C we've been having to use with our heat wave we're having is giving me a killer headache tonight.

I'm tired.

Eli's had a couple rought nights, which means I do, too. We went to the Doctor today and he thinks he has an viral upper respiratory infection. No meds at this time...hoping to take care of it with humidifiers and saline and suctioning.

I'll re-design it when I'm feeling more inspired. Thanks for stopping by - and reading this most boring post ever! :) I'll make it up to you by having a GIVE AWAY!!!

All you have to do is LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST and you'll be entered to win a set of 8 monogrammed notecards, handmade by me. Contest will end Friday. You do not need to have a blog to leave a comment. Just make sure to leave your email address so I know how to get ahold of you for an address.

I'm going to bed now....G'night!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Who Spilled The Beans?

He loves playing in this bucket when in his stander.  We have it full of dry navy beans and small toys.
(strips of mylar tied to a hairband is great.  there's sound, texture, and you can hook it to their hand!)
...and wadded up paper...who knew that could be so much fun?
He does really well in in stander.  (Aside from the congestion that happens.  Alas.)
He loves playing with his toys by himself!  Or playing cars with Daddy.
Or I hold his hand and we write his name.
As long as the music is good....he likes anything! :)
I'm such a lucky Mom to enjoy this face everyday!!