Sunday, August 31, 2008

Awards and Memes!

So I have been a HORRIBLE blogger and haven't posted all the awards and memes I've been tagged for lately, SO here's my catch up post!

Awards first:

Mindy over at Among the Lions AND Mom2SpiritedBoy AND Shelley at Embracing Life as a Household 6 sent me this great award! Thank you SO much ladies!!! I wanted to post their reasons for presenting me with this award, I was so touched by both of them!

Mindy said: because she gives me hope that no matter how scary or rough life may get as long as you keep an open heart and a positive outlook it’s easy to believe in miracles.

Mom2SpiritedBoy said: she has 4 young children (very cute kids), one with Leukemia and Down Syndrome, AND her husband is in the military AND she keeps up with her blog - need I say more? (Fortunately, I can now say that Kennedy HAD Leukemia... and hopefully she'll NEVER have it again!) :)

Shelley said: I always love to read about Sincess Kennedyand the rest of her Army family

The rules of the award are:
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated.

I now nominate:
Crackerjacks at Izzy N Emmy
Karyn at Reed Rugrats
Lyndi from The Shupp Family
Leslie from I remember when there were no questions
Kelli at All K Names
Shannon at Gabi's World
Riki's mom at Beneath the Wings






Amy at A Redeemed Sheep gave me this award, she said she gave it to me because, "This is another of my most favorite blogs to read. At this time, she is a single mom managing 4 children on her own, one with special needs, while her beloved husband is overseas protecting our country. Please stop by her blog and encourage this amazing mom!" THANKS AMY! :)

The rules that go with this award:

Put the logo on your blog
Link to the person you received your award from
Nominate at least 7 other blogs
Put links to those blogs on your site
Leave messages on the blogs you've nominated

I now nominate:
LaForestGump from My Army Life Too
Bridgesc over at The Bridges Bunch
Monica at Barnes Bunch
Adria at A Mile in my Birks
Damselfly at Growing a Life
Ron over at Graced Again
Jen at Yours + Mine = Ours







My friend Christina over at Kwisteena's Kwaziness sent me this cool award! Thanks, C!

These are the rules:
1. The recipient must link back the the award's creator
2. You must post these rules if you recieve the award.
3. You must chose 5 people to recieve the award after recieving it yourself
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Characteristics for the Smile Award:
1. Must display a cheerful attitude. (not necessarily at all times--we are all human)
2. Must love one another
3. Must make mistakes
4. Must learn from others
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world
6. Must love life
7. Must love kids

I nominate:
Amy at A Redeemed Sheep
Ashley at Ashley's Attic
Lori from Dave and Lori Plus 8
Milk Mama from My Mommyology
Marla at Life With 4 J's





Milk Mama from My Mommyology presented me with this award! She said: "A blog about being a busy mom to four beautiful children and battles with leukemia and Down's Syndrome, and also being a wife to a military man. ;)" Thanks so much!! :)

Here are the rules for this award:- Only 5 people are allowed to receive this award.- 4 of them followers of your blog.- One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the World!

I nominate:
Christina over at Kwisteena's Kwaziness
Tara Marie at Emma Sage
Amy over at Those Fabulous Banta Boys
Joy at Llama Queens Don't Do Homework
Michelle at My Semblance of Sanity





Crackerjacks over at Izzy N Emmy tagged me for the 6 Quirky Things About Me meme. I've done this one here and here and here but let's see if I can come up with 6 more! :)

1. One of my favorite comfort foods is a McDonalds Double Cheeseburger... and their Sweet tea!
2. I am addicted to Lifetime movies, and have watched TONS in the last few weeks!
3. I can't watch scary movies or I'll be up all night thinking someone is breaking into my house.
4. One of my biggest fears is my house catching on fire.
5. If it's late at night and I have to get something from my car I always call someone on the phone while I am outside in case someone kidnaps me. haha
6. I'm a little over paranoid about things! (Ya THINK?!) haha

The Rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged

I now tag:
Mindy at Among the Lions
Mom2SpiritedBoys
Shannon at Live, Laugh, Love
Anita from My Sojourn...
His Doorkeeper
Rachel at Cheaper by 3 Dozen

Kennedy's birth story Part 1

Over my last year (almost) of blogging, people have asked several times about Kennedy's birth, whether or not we knew she had Down syndrome prenatally, and all the emotions that surrounded her birth day... both good and bad. What follows is probably one of the most "real" posts you will read from me. It's not all pretty, but it's part of our lives, for better or worse.

It was September 2003... Frank had been home visiting from AIT (tech school in Virginia) a few weeks before, and viola! I was pregnant! It doesn't take much for me to get pregnant... putting our toothbrushes next to each other worked for our first two ;). Since we had actually PLANNED on getting pregnant this time, I was very excited! The new digital pregnancy tests had just come out so I went and bought one ok, ok I bought three to try it out. They work.

With my pregnancies with Kassidy and Kameron I had horrible kidney infections. With Kass I was admitted to the hospital during my second trimester where I slept with an ice blanket on as they tried to get my fever down. At that point I still cried over the thought of an IV... huh Kelly?! LOL With Kameron I spent another few days in the hospital battling another infection. With Kennedy I was determined NOT to get a kidney infection! I drank gallons of water (and almost gave myself water poisoning at one point... who knew?!). I went on prophylactic antibiotics and all was well! I did however have constant, horrible ear infections. I kept telling my OB they HAD to be pregnancy related because I never got ear infections normally. They laughed at me. Seriously. Fine! (For the record, after Kennedy was born, the infections stopped and I never got another one. So there!)

Other than that my pregnancy was GREAT! I had hardly any morning sickness and I felt wonderful. I did the AFP test at the suggestion of my doctor, but I was only 24 and she assured me I had nothing to worry about. The test came back normal. I went to get my 20 week ultrasound on December 19th (my wedding anniversary). Frank was in Iraq at the time, so my mom went with me. We were thrilled to find out I was having a girl!! Kassidy would now have the sister I always wanted when I was growing up! I had instant dreams of matching outfits and tea parties and the girls staying up late at night to talk about boys (you know, when they were 20 or so!). At one point during the ultrasound, the tech stood up and walked out of the room without a word. I remember thinking, "Oh no, something's wrong." But she came back after a few minutes, assured me everything was fine, and we moved on.

In February, Frank returned from Iraq and came to California to get us and move us to Tennessee. (I do NOT recommend driving from CA to TN while you're 7 months pregnant... just FYI.) Once we got here, I got set up with the Military OB. They did another ultrasound just for the heck of it, and once again, everything was fine.

In March, Kameron was diagnosed with Autism (another story for another day) and we worked to get him settled with Early Intervention before Kennedy was born. We continued to find our groove here in TN... found a church, made friends, I got bigger and bigger and bigger... and then finally, on May 15th I started having contractions! Our new daughter was on her way!!!!

Watch for the rest of this story soon!!

Read Part 2 Here
Read Part 3 Here
Read Part 4 Here
Read Part 5 Here
Read Part 6 Here
Read Part 7 Here

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

Thursday night as I was driving to my DSAMT board meeting, I realized it was the first time in a long time that I was in a car, by myself, with no one asking to watch cartoons in the back seat! YAY! So, I put in my new Moi CD (Thanks Lori-Lynn!) and spent some time with my thoughts. (Scary, I know.)

I got to thinking about Kassidy and some struggles we've been having lately. Don't get me wrong, Kassidy is AMAZING, but lately I find myself losing my patience with her more often than I would like. I have this horrible character flaw that when I ask one of my kids to DO something, I want it DONE... right away. For example, I could say, "Kassidy, go put your clothes away in your drawers." And Kassidy will wander around, pick up her shoes or her backpack or do something else first. And it drives me CRAZY! And I'll say, "KASSIDY! What did I JUST tell you to do?!" She will look at me and say, "I was going to... I'm just going to do this first." It just doesn't fly with me. I get mad - she gets sad - and we're both unhappy. *sigh*

So I was thinking about this tonight and trying to figure out a solution to this ongoing problem when I felt God tap me on the shoulder. He said, "Seriously Renee, I know this frustrates you, but what about when I ask you to do something? Do you always do it right away?" No. I don't. I can come up with EVERY excuse in the book. "OK God, I will. But first I'm going to do this." And I'm sure He's standing there shaking His head at me saying, "Renee, what did I JUST tell you to do?!" For some reason, my priorities are always more important than His, and just like Kassidy, I think, "Well I was going to do it... eventually."

So as I drove down the 65 Freeway I prayed (with my eyes open of course) and asked for forgiveness... forgiveness for not always answering God's call and forgiveness for losing my patience with Kassidy for the very thing I am guilty of. And later I will talk to Kassidy again and we'll figure out a way for both of us to be better listeners. Life is full of lessons, and I'm thankful this was one I didn't miss.

Bladder Control

NEVER in my blogging life, did I think I would ever have a post called "Bladder control", but seriously, it's the most fitting title I could think of!

Sincess Kennedy is too smart for her own good, I think. Today she has figured out that if she pees just a little she gets candy. I mean, she knew before she would get candy, but she would FILL that potty chair... Today she went potty and proudly exclaimed, "MOM!" (Which is a whole other post) "MOM! I DID IT! SEE?!" And as soon as I get back from rinsing out her chair she asks for her candy... then, about 30 seconds later she sits down and pees just a little more... "MOM! I DID IT!!! SEE?! Candy????" Hmmmm

I've given her 3 M&Ms in the last 5 minutes. Something tells me I'm being played.

Then Sings My Soul Saturday - Freely, Freely



This is my newest weekly post!

The instructions are easy. Just write a post on your blog about a song. It can be a song that has spoken to your heart during a difficult time... a song that brings back a special memory... a song that makes you want to sing along to the top of your lungs... a song that makes you glad... a song that makes you want to dance... a song that has inspired you... a song that makes you feel like the words were written just for you... a song that makes your soul sing.

You can include the lyrics or maybe include the You Tube video. After you write the post, go to Signs, Miracles and Wonders and link your post to Mr. Linky at the bottom of the page. Then you can read about all the other songs and stories that are posted.

Since this is my very first TSMS post I decided to post the song, "Freely, Freely". I picked this song because it was the VERY first song I performed solo in church when I was 4 years old. I still remember the light purple dress I wore with the pretty sleeves... it's one of my most favorite memories and therefore it's always been one of my favorite hymns. Here are the Lyrics:

God Forgave My Sin
Words and Music: Carol Owens

God forgave my sin in Jesus’ name,
I’ve been born again in Jesus’ name;
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share His love as He told me to.

He said: ‘Freely, freely, you have received,
Freely, freely give;
Go in My name, and because you believe
Others will know that I live.’

All power is given in Jesus’ name,
In earth and heaven in Jesus’ name;
And in Jesus’ name I come to you
To share His power as He told me to.

He said: ‘Freely, freely, you have received,
Freely, freely give;
Go in My name, and because you believe
Others will know that I live.’


And if you go to this site you can hear the music. Next week I promise to do something more contemporary, but I figured I may as well start at the beginning! :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Medical Stuff!


Sorry I haven't updated in awhile! There really hasn't been much to report... and praise God for that! Last Friday Kassidy came down with strep (which is crazy she can do that with no tonsils! LOL) and when her strep test came back positive I asked them to test Kameron and he of course was positive too even though he had no symptoms. How the heck does he DO that?! LOL
Kennedy and Keeghan are finally over their sickness and didn't get strep from the big kids, thank goodness! I DID end up getting it though and spent a lovely evening in the ER where I got a shot of penicillan and felt MUCH better the next day.
There is tons of new stuff on my blog including cute stories about all the kids, a few new pictures, AND Kennedy's potty training progress! Be sure to go check it all out if you haven't been there in awhile!
Kass and Kam are enjoying school. Kassidy brought home straight As on her progress report today. Haven't seen Kam's yet. Kameron goes to the feeding clinic at Vandy on Tuesday to see if they can get him to eat more than 5 foods, so please be praying that goes well. Kennedy's next appointment is with GI on September 16th in Cincinnati. It's just a follow up and we're SO thankful that her diarrhea has stopped! Keeghan's doing well, he's cutting SIX teeth all at once right now, so he's whiney... but what else is new? :)
OK! I guess that's about it! 

Tales from the potty chair

Kennedy has been doing GREAT! She will now go sit on her potty without any reminding! She'll be off playing and then all of the sudden I hear, "YAY!!!... Mommy? Mommy! Mommy! I DO IT! SEE?!?! YAY!!!" And then we clap and cheer and then she asks, "CANDY?!" Yes folks, I will be handing out M&M's every time she pees for YEARS I bet! LOL

She had one accident yesterday and NONE today! BUT here's the thing... right now, whenever she's home, she's naked. SO no panties to mess with to slow her down... so phase 2 is going to be teaching her to pull her panties up and down and still have time to make it to the potty.

Also, when we go out, she doesn't tell me when she has to go. I have been putting pull ups on her so maybe she feels like it's ok to just go? Sometimes she does stay dry when we're gone but she's going to have to learn to tell me, and tell me in enough time to get her to the bathroom, especially if we're driving or something. You know? Any ideas on this? She's more than capable of telling me, she just doesn't... for whatever reason.

But we're getting there, slowly but surely... she hasn't worn an actual diaper except for at bedtime for several days! YAY for Kennedy!

Sarah Palin for McCain's VP!!!!!

OK OK I know I said I don't talk politics on here, but seriously?! I'm SO excited right now!! John McCain has chosen Governor Sarah Palin for his VP. So why am I so excited? It just so happens that her son Trig happens to have a common bond with Kennedy - Down syndrome. She also has an older son in the Army, which means she'll be looking out for us Military families! Can I get a huge YAY!!!! :) This election is finally looking up for me.

***I have no problem with kind debate on this blog (though I probably won't respond because like I said, I can't change your mind and you can't change mine!)... my only rule is "be nice".***

PS. OK I know I said I wasn't going to respond, but I changed my mind... you can read my further thoughts in the comment section if you wish!

You found my blog HOW?! (Part 2)

It’s been so interesting to see how different people came to my blog… and what crazy things they will put into search engines. Here are some of them… funny and not so funny!

single mom of son with down syndrome
(I’m sure there are lots out there!)

sad down syndrome
(Actually we’re pretty happy!)

my down syndrome kid 4 years
(Yep, Kennedy is a kid with Down syndrome… people first language!)

percentage of divorce parents of children with disabilities
(Does it really matter? Somehow I doubt Ds factored into it!)

leukemia and divorce statistics
(This I can maybe see a little more… but still!)

gi doctors in cincinnati
(I can only speak for one, Dr. Yazigi, and she’s great!)

what is adno virus
(You really want to know? Knock yourself out!)

"locks of love"
(It's a great organization.)

cancer sucks
(Yes. Yes it does.)

kennedy conversation
(We have several GREAT ones!)

kassidy w is preggo
(She better NOT BE!)

silly birthday photos
(Hmm... define "silly")

mental health "princess syndrome"
(Can you believe this is an actual syndrome?!)

my amazing body - sesame street
(I'm thinking this is a weird Sesame Street title)

12 month deployments 2008
(I think you can add that to the "sucks" category)

noisy tn cicadas bug
(I know, right?!)

matching pj christmas photo
(oh oh oh we have one of those! See?)


monogramming backpacks good idea or bad idea
(I think it's a pretty good idea... especially if your kids all have the same initials!)

m is for the many things she gave me, o is for
(WHAT? What is O for???? The suspense is killing me!)

sorry, i don't speak english
(Hmm. I forgive you, but if you live in the U.S. you should really learn!)

i want to see my house
(Step 1: Walk to door.
Step 2: Open door.
Step 3: Turn around.
Step 4: See house.)

For more Google Craziness, Click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Revenge or Kindness

Every day I receive a "Thought for the Day" in my email box. It comes from Alan Smith who is a Pastor in North Carolina. Today's thought really hit home with me right now, and I thought I would share it. It's an age old lesson, but sometimes it's one we need to be reminded of over and over... especially when our hearts hurt. Enjoy

Years ago, on the mighty Mississippi River, two tugboat captains who had been friends for years, would always cry "Aye!" and blow their whistles whenever they passed each other.

A new crewman asked his boat's mate, "What do they do that for?"

The mate looked surprised and replied, "You mean that you've never heard of... an aye for an aye and a toot for a toot?"

(insert groan here)

I suspect that few of us would admit to living by the motto, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" (Matthew 5:38), but let's be honest -- there is something inside us that enjoys the idea of getting revenge. Some of the more popular movies throughout the past years have been those that opened with someone being mistreated. We spend the rest of the movie anxiously waiting for the hero to get the opportunity to exact his revenge -- and then we cheer!

It's not much different on a personal level. I suspect that whenever somebody does you wrong, the temptation is there to immediately start thinking of what you can do to get them back. But, if you find yourself tempted to take revenge, may I suggest two things:

(1) Resist the temptation to exchange evil for evil. That temptation will always be strong and we need realize that it will be there. But we also need to remember the emptiness and hollowness of revenge and resentment.

(2) Show your enemy kindness. Abraham Lincoln was once accused of being too nice to his enemy. He was told to be firmer; he must destroy his enemies. He replied, "I do destroy them when they become my friends."

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matt. 5:43-44)




To subscribe to Alan Smith's TFTD, go to his website.

She thinks she's SO funny!

On the way to school yesterday I was talking to Kennedy's Speech Therapist on the phone confirming her appointment for later in the day. After I got off the phone, Kassidy asked where we were going...

Me: To Speech Therapy.

Kassidy: For Kennedy?

Me: Yep.

Kameron: Not for Keeghan?

Me: No, I'm pretty sure Keeghan doesn't need Speech Therapy.

Kassidy: And it's not for you.

Me: Nope, not for me either.

**silence**

Kassidy: (quietly) You REALLY don't need it!

The best option

I try hard to keep my political views off of this blog. I figure I'm not going to change anyone's mind anyway, and you're not going to change mine, so why bother? But this conversation was too funny not to share.

Kameron: I wonder who's going to be our next President?

Kassidy: Well, we know it's either going to be McCain or Obama.

Kameron: Maybe we'll get lucky and it will be neither one!

My boy is wise beyond his years. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pockets

Kennedy LOVES pockets, so she was thrilled when I picked out one of her dresses with pockets in it today. She immediately put her hand into one pocket and came out with an imaginary phone.

"A Plone!" (Yes, Plone... it's what all the cool Sincesses talk with.)

She puts her phone up to her ear:

"Hello? Hi! Yes... Ummm ok!"

(Then she whispered to me:)

"Just one minute... I on plone".

So SORRY to interrupt! LOL

"OK... ok... (insert babbling here)... see ya bye bye!!"

And then the phone goes back to her pocket.

I have NO idea where she gets this from. Stop laughing!

Laptop contest - Part 2

Remember this post where I nominated my friend Christina for this contest?

Well several people asked me if they could go vote for her, and I wasn't sure, but I found out today you CAN! All you have to do is go to this post and leave a comment saying that you think Christina should win!

The catch is, you have to do it TODAY! Please head on over there and leave a comment! Thanks so much!

Wordless Wednesday - A glimpse of Afghanistan


(All pictures Copyright: Frank Garcia)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Who are you voting for?!

So apparently my pastor has been nominated for the presidential campaign! Check it out! haha Hey, he's better than our other options out there.

RON FOR PREZ!

Feeling better...

Well after feeling worse and worse last night I decided to go to the ER. I know, I know, I always wait too long, I need to take better care of myself. I know. My mom called one of her friends who met me at my mom's house and put the kids to bed there and stayed with them. I went to the ER, got a shot of Pennicillan and a prescription for Tessalon Perles (which I had never even heard of before) and I'm feeling a bit better this morning... still kinda blah but the fire in my throat has gone down considerably.

AND we're back to potty training. Kennedy's gone on the potty 4 times this morning and so far, no accidents! (Well except the first time, she had a dress on and didn't pull the back of the dress up so she peed through it into the potty! LOL) Hopefully we'll have an accident free day!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm a horrible potty training mama!

What's the key to potty training your child? Consistency! But today, I'm sick sick sick with strep and Kennedy's been in a pull up all day long. She did pee on the potty twice, once when she woke up and once before we went to pick up the kids. *sigh* Back to square one tomorrow and it's all my fault. I hate potty training.

Monday Moment for Down Syndrome - Gracie's Rock

Over the last 4 years I have collected MANY poems and stories about Down syndrome and special needs in general. Since a lot of my readers have kids with special needs, I thought I would post one poem or story every Monday. Chances are you'll find one you've never heard along the way!

Gracie's Rock
By: Lisa Moderwell


We walked along the beach, my daughter Gracie and I. As she held my hand
she asked me, "Mommy, why are things so hard for me?"
I thought for a few moments how difficult it had been for Gracie,
nothing had come easy for her. She worked hard to learn many things that
came naturally to other children. Then I saw it; I saw my answer to
Gracie's question. It was a beautiful, smooth, shiny rock. I picked it
up and gave it to Gracie. "See this pretty rock," I told her. "This rock
has been tossed endlessly by the crashing waves, and constant turmoil of
the ocean. The process has been hard, but the result is this beautiful
rock."

Then we came to a sheltered cove. The cove was littered with course,
ugly rocks. I picked up one of the rough rocks and gave it to Gracie,
"Feel this rock." She held the rough rock in her hand. "The ugly rock
has always been sheltered by this cove," I explained. "It has never
known the hardships of the wild storms and crashing waves."
She looked up at me and smiled, "I'm the pretty rock, aren't I Mommy?"

"Yes, Gracie," I replied, "You are the very pretty one."

For more Monday Moments, Click Here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The House of They

THE HOUSE OF THEY

Have you heard of the terrible family They,
And the dreadful, venomous things They say?
Why, half the gossip under the sun,
If you trace it back, you will find begun
In that wretched House of They.

A numerous family, so I am told,
And its genealogical tree is old;
For ever since Adam and Eve began
To build up the curious race of man,
Has existed the House of They.

Gossip-mongers and spreaders of lies,
Horrid people whom all despise!
And yet the best of us now and then,
Repeat queer tales about women and men
And quote the House of They.

They live like lords, and never labor;
A They’s one task is to watch his neighbor,
And tell his business and private affairs
To the world at large; they are sowers of tares –
These folks in the House of They.

It is wholly useless to follow a They
With a whip or a gun, for he slips away
And into his house, where you cannot go;
It is locked and bolted and guarded so –
This horrible house of They.

Though you cannot get in, yet They got out,
And spread their villainous tales about;
Of all the rascals under the sun
Who have come to punishment, never one
Belonged to the House of They.

Q&A #21

Now can you tell me how to put my new header on my blog I have tried about 10000 times :(
I have absolutely no idea! Rebecca designed mine... maybe she'll pop in here on the comments and help you! :)

I am creating a Hopes and Dreams Wall where families and those with Ds can write their hopes and dreams. But most of your posted poems are really too long to put down the center of the wall. Do you have something inspirational that would be a good fit here?
I emailed you some fun stuff last night, let me know if you didn't get it!

Will you PLEASE send in a picture of her to Andy for his calender?
Sure will! I will try to do that today. I know, I'm a slacker!

By the way, do you understand what the comments in different languages mean? I'm trying to figure out this one above me.
It's in Spanish... and I WOULD understand it if I didn't have Frank do all my Spanish homework in college! haha He translates them for me :)).


About the surprise in 43 days!
Are you turning *30*???
Not till March!

So your giving away a million dollars, good cause I can use it ;)
A million dollars? I will totally give that away once I win the $234,000,000 lottery!

So, will there be a huge celebrating with cake and ice cream?
No... but I DO have a present for you all! :)

A-HA!! SEE - I GUESSED IT! YOU ARE GOING TO ACCOMPLISH ALL OF THIS IN 50 DAYS...AND THEN WE'LL HAVE A PARTY!! RIGHT???? So do I have to go along with these changes when I have the kids? Or can I let them go back to their old ways??
I'll be happy if it is all accomplished in 50 days! haha And YES you have to reinforce the changes Grandma!!! Otherwise YOU get to change Kennedy's diapers forever and explain to his pediatrician WHY Keeghan is still drinking out of a bottle at age 10!

Kennedy
She looks adorable with those bangs!! Is her hair the same color as it was before chemo? Or is it darker?
Nope it's darker :(. She was so blonde before... see?
Photo copyright Jamie Wright Photography.

I'm still hoping it will lighten up more.

Is she LOVING being out of the Halo?
Yes! Except she keeps trying to do somersaults... which is a huge no no. Don't tell her surgeon!

I was just looking at this picture again and was wondering is that a hospital bracelet still on Kennedy's arm?
Yes, because:
1. I always forget to take them off.
2. She likes them and think they make her a "sincess"... as if she's not already!

Just think our kids are going to be the healthiest old people around cause we fixed everything while they were young, right?!?!?
HA! That's what I'm hoping. I'm actually praying EVERYTHING is fixed now and she never has to go into an OR again!


Kameron
I'm glad he believes that Canada does actually exist. (What was between Alaska and the rest of the states before?
We showed him a map. Pointed to Canada and asked him what that was, and he said, "Canada. But it's just an illusion." LOL

I wonder what would happen if I claimed not to believe that Hawaii exists ... would someone send me a ticket to visit there? Seems like a good plan to me!
Haha sounds good to me, too! I don't believe Hawaii exists. Prove it! I dare you! :)



You might try just calling your doctor and telling them you are sick and you have already had 2 positive strep tests from your kids. They might call you in something so you don't have to go in?
I tried that. They don't care that I would have to come sit there with a bunch of sick kids. *sigh*

When does Frank come home for good?
They're set for March 2009. I've heard he may be coming back a little earlier. I'll believe it when I see it.

How is Frank feeling?
MUCH Better! Thanks for praying for him!

That's an adorable certificate. I hope wherever I end up taking PJ they have them. In the lower right corner, is that for a locket of his (Keeghan's) hair?
Yep it sure is! I thought it was a great idea too!

Can I bring Jonathan and drop him off for a few days? So, when do you want me to drop him off...he's a great bed maker and cleaner..is the bribery working???
You can definitely drop him off. I make no guarentees he'll be potty trained when you pick him up though! :)

Hahahaha, the kids didn't say ummm mom what are you doing? Mine would, well at least Natalie would since she can tell time.
I think they saw me panicking so they jumped up to action and got going! Then when I realized we were so early they guilted me into morning TV time which RARELY hapens.

How do you find out what search words lead people to your blog?
You need a sitemeter. It tells you how people came to your blog, where they live, how long they stayed on your blog and where they went after your blog. It's pretty fun. It also makes it easy to track people who leave nasty comments ;).


For more Q&As, Click Here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Potty Report - Saturday

So today's been a little better on the potty training front... Kennedy's been naked all day long! BUT She's peed on the potty 4 times and we've done the happy dance and clapped and sang and Kennedy says "YES! I DID IT!" :) And then she gets candy. I'm SO not above bribery! HA!

On the down side she has had 2 accidents today, but both times as soon as she started going she knew and ran toward the potty chair, so that's progress I think! We're sticking close to the potty for the rest of today and tomorrow and then we'll have to deal with Monday and keeping her dry when we take Kass and Kam to school.

AHHHH OK as I was typing this she peed all over the place. *sigh* But it's still better than yesterday...

No potty chairs will be flying out the window... for now anyway. Off to clean.

Babies - A Kameron conversation

Kam: Mommy, you know what I've been thinking about?

Me: What?

Kam: How does a baby get out of a mommy's tummy? You know, at the beginning?

Me: Uhhhh

Kam: Does the doctor just cut the mommy's tummy open at take the baby out?

Me: Sometimes yes, that's what the doctor does.

Kam: Oh. OK.

*whew*

You found my blog HOW?! (Part 1)

It’s been so interesting to see how different people came to my blog… and what crazy things they will put into search engines. Here are some of them… funny and not so funny!

did the kennedy family have a down syndrome daughter
(I don’t know… did they?!)

down syndrome and potty training 2008
(Good luck with that!)

teething down syndrome
(Expect the unexpected… like molars for a first tooth!)

divorce rate down syndrome
(Something tells me if they DO get married, they will stay that way forever!)

divorce rate parents of disabled
(It can be stressful, but don’t give up!)

ent deaf
(It’s NEVER good to have a deaf ENT!)

she must wear a neck brace
(It’s probably for her own good!)

what its like to wear a halo neck brace
(I would think it pretty much sucks… but Kennedy didn’t seem to mind!)

what is a hickman
(It’s a central line that goes into your chest and delivers chemo or other medications without having to change IVs every couple days)

"allergic to tegaderm"
(I’m SO sorry!)

leukemia bad kind or good kind
(There is NO good kind!)

middle names to go with kassidy
(I recommend Jean… or how bout Renee!) :)

Kameron memories past previous life
(I’d ask if he has any, but I’m scared to hear the answer!)

kennedy cancer one of the best days of my life free
(HUH?!)

the princess and the cheese
(I think you mean “The Princess and the Pea” unless you’re talking about mac and cheese!)

cable box fried
(I hope you don’t have Charter!)

should i take my 1 year old to sesame place
(Sure… if he likes to get wet!)

scary bubble wrap mania
(It’s REALLY scary. You’ve been warned! Kameron will tell you all about it)

big flying bugs tennessee
(Yeah, those would be Cicadas)

big flying bug in iowa
(Probably Cicadas as well!)

how to handle husbands deployment
(Stay REALLY busy!)

pictures 14 year old in bath
(Stay off my blog sicko!)

pictures ladies oriental
(You stay off my blog, too!)

how much is spent on children's backpacks per year in the us
(I can’t EVEN imagine!)

baby
(OK how many hits did this pull up?)

mommy
(Again… seriously. There must have been millions of hits!)

why is spongebob getting worse?
(I’m pretty sure he was always that bad)

kids crazy hair does
(Does what?! Don’t leave me hanging!)

wiggly or loose "top tooth" -book -books -amazon -landie -landies -rabbit -rabbits -arthur -stories -story -health -accident -chipped -busted -broken -implant -dental -dentistry -chip
(Seriously?! You got to my blog from THIS?!)

beautiful kids
(Now THIS I understand!)

how to pronounce cincinnati
(I don’t think reading a blog is going to help with this.)

yay i'm in year five
(Congratulations!)

buzz lightyear caringbridge
(Buzz Lightyear has a caringbridge page?! Cool!)

where is everyone
(That’s what I’D like to know!)

i am a pair of shoes
(Does that mean you have a lot of soul?)

mom sick puke throw up 2008 august
(Thank GOD that’s not me!)

spell plagerize
(P-l-a-g-i-a-r-i-z-e)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Strep strikes again

I got a phone call from the kids' school nurse today and she had Kassidy in her office with a fever and a sore throat. We're what? 2 weeks into the school year?! SO I picked her up, checked Kam out too, and took her in for a strep test. Sure enough, it was positive. I told them they may as well test Kameron too, because if Kassidy has strep, so does Kam. It doesn't matter that he has NO symptoms, he never does.

They decided to go ahead and test Kam, Kenn and Keeghan. Kam has strep too. Shocker. The little two don't have it, thank goodness, but their ped decided to treat all 4 of them since strep always runs rampant through our family.

I've been ignoring my own sore throat for a couple days now. I figured I was just getting Kenn and Keeghan's cold, and I knew it couldn't be strep because I only get it when the kids do. HA! If I'm not better by Monday I'll try to get into the doctor. I haven't been in for myself since 6 weeks after Keeghan was born!

Anyway, that's about it. Pray Kass feels better soon, she's pretty miserable right now.

Potty Training Woes

Day 1 of Kennedy's potty training.

She always wakes up dry in the morning (at least 99% of the time) and if I can get her right to the potty chair, she'll pee in it. So she went once today in the potty. Then she went 6 times in her elmo panties. *sigh* After she does it she says, "OH NO! I all wet!" And then I say, "KENNEDY!" And then she says, "I so sorry!" and she hugs my leg. And if I ask her for the 100th time in 10 minutes if she needs to go potty she tells me to "Stop it!" *sigh*

I hate potty training.

What do I need?!

So there's a meme out in blogland where you are supposed to go to Google and type in "Your name needs" and see what comes up. SO I went and typed "Renee needs" and apparently there is someone named Renee on Top Model who is NOT liked very much!! LOL People also don't seem to like Renee Zellwegger very much! haha Here's what comes up. I did Frank's below too, and then one favorite for each of the kids.

RENEE NEEDS TO MIND HER BUSINESS AND STOP TAKING ALL OF STRESS AND PUTTING ON OTHER PEOPLE. (I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Quit yelling.)

Renee needs to go. Seriously. (Go where? Can I take my kids with me?)

Renee needs a break. (YAY! Some niceness)

Renee needs her income to help provide for her family. (They couldn't pay me enough)

Renee needs to gain weight. (HA! Someone's delusional!)

Renee needs to get back to the joy of "just being." (Hmmm. I remember doing that once.)

Renee needs a man. (No. I already have one. I don't need another.)

Renee needs a couple of double cheeseburgers and a shake! (NOW You're talking! Guess that will accomplish the weight gain issue!)

Renee needs to tell a very important reality-altering story. (Really? Once upon a time...)

Renee needs a new laptop (If you insist!)

Renee needs our strength and our prayers (always. I'll always take prayer!)

Renee Needs a Hit picture (that would definitely give me the income to provide for my family! LOL)

Renee needs new medication (Valium perhaps?!)

Renee needs help (HA!)

Renée needs your help to get her message out and continue representing the values of our families and our community (WOW that makes me sound important! LOL)

Renee needs another drink (Can I drink it with my valium?)

Renee needs to get over it (I'm over it. Seriously.)

Renee needs fiscal responsibility (I have enough responsibility. I don't need more.)

Renee needs to go away, forever! (*sniff* That's pretty harsh!)

Renee needs a hearing aid (This may very well be true.)

Renee needs to rethink her color (My hair dresser would be sad!)

Renee needs to change her hairstyle. She looks bad. (Man, my color AND my style?!)

Renee needs her eyelids removed! (Ewwww)

Renee Needs to Figure out What she Wants! (I want it ALL!)

renee needs therapy (Maybe they'll give me the valium!)

Renee needs to be consistent (I'm TRYING!)

Renee needs a nap (FINALLY! Someone who gets it!)

Renee needs to relax (I can do that before I nap.)

Renee needs to “lighten up”. (Yes. I'm so serious.)

Renee needs to stop so much Botox. (I'll remember that after I change my hairstyle and color!)

Renee needs to both gain 10 pounds and find a better stylist (SEE! I DO need those cheeseburgers! But my stylist is still going to be sad!)

And my favorite:

Renee needs George Clooney (OK I'll take him! Just let me gain some weight first!)




Frank needs to resign from Congress (This must have been from his past life)

Frank Needs Sensitivity Training (Glad they're being harsh with him, too!)

Frank needs to do his duty (I'm pretty sure he already is!)

Frank Needs a Date (NO he doesn't... unless it's with ME!)

Frank needs to team up with the Incredibles. (WOW nothing like stroking the ego! LOL)

Frank Needs To Grow a Spine (Yeah, the incredibles would probably prefer that!)

Frank needs to put limits on his work (I'm thinking the Army wouldn't approve.)

Frank needs to clearly communicate his boundaries. (He tries... people just don't listen!)

Frank needs to understand Sandy's position and work with her... (Who's Sandy??)

Frank needs to be able to belive on Jesus and be saved!! (Amen! Good thing he already is!)

Frank needs to be careful not to get too rough with Janet. (First Sandy, now Janet?! I'm getting jealous!)

Frank needs genuine psychological help. (It's ok, we can go together... maybe they'll give him valium too!)

Frank needs to start documenting everything he does (In other words, he needs a blog... or twitter!)

And my favorite:

Frank needs to retire and be replaced by a llama. (A llama repairing helicopters. The pilots will feel SO safe!)




My favorites for the kids:

Kassidy needs new clothes. (I'm thinking she would like this idea!)

Kameron needs constant monitoring. (NO kidding!)

Kennedy Needs Our Prayers. (Always!)

Keeghan needs someone that is home the majority of the day. (Darn, guess I can't leave him home alone anymore!)

(If you do this, leave me a comment so I can check it out!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

WHY do I buy them toys?!


A whole room full of toys and what do my kids do? They take all the clean diapers out of the drawer and play with them. They throw them, they use them as pillows and blankets for the dolls, they laugh... hysterically... for almost an hour. And I buy them toys WHY?!

Snot machines

Kennedy's croup has turned into a head cold. She actually slept really well last night with the decongestant I gave her. She's all snotty today though and the medicine knocks her out so I'm hesitant to give her more...

Keeghan had a horrible night and woke up screaming every 40 minutes or so. I thought it was his teeth, but he woke up all snotty this morning too. He climbed up in my lap this morning and laid there whining until he fell asleep about 5 minutes ago. Poor little guy. I'm not even sure I can give him anything since the stupid FDA took all the infant decongestants off the market. *grrr* When he wakes up I guess I will try Vicks Vaporub. Any other tips for a snotty baby?!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh and I almost forgot!

I was so excited to post Keeghan's haircut pics, I almost forgot to post that Kennedy has croup! She was completely fine all day yesterday (Tuesday). She had her hemonc appointment (which I also forgot to post about!) and her counts were GREAT! (YAY we don't have to go back for another month! :)) She was fine last night when she went to bed and then at midnight she woke up with stridor. She hasn't had croup in years and she had no fever and wasn't coughing so I wasn't sure what to think. We sat in a steamy bathroom for a bit and then she went to bed with me. By 2am her temp was over 102. *sigh* It was a long, long night for both of us!

This morning she woke up and she was a little whiney and congested, but once she was up for a bit she was fine and her fever was down. Still, just to be safe, I took her to the ped's office today and she checked her counts just to be sure there wasn't an infection brewing somewhere, but they were still great and so... just croup. BUT It's just croup. Right?! I gave her a saline breathing treatment before bed tonight and a decongestant which will hopefully help her sleep. As with most things, the Sincess is taking it all in stride! I'm praying hard that Keeghan won't get it... he's cutting his bottom molars right now so he's miserable enough!

OK that's all I have to say. Goodnight everybody!

Just a quick update


Everything is going ok here! Kennedy has croup... which totally showed up out of NOWHERE around midnight last night. It amazes me she can go from perfectly fine to pretty sick in a matter of hours! She's doing ok though tonight so far.
She had her hemonc appointment yesterday and her counts looked great! (At least that is what her doctor told me, I didn't even ask to look at them! LOL) She doesn't have to go back for another month now.
Her pin sites are healing well. There is still one in the back that's not doing so great, but it's slowly getting there. The front ones look really good.
I guess that's about it! There are lots of cute pictures and stuff on my blog. Keeghan got his first haircut today and I cut Kennedy's bangs a couple days ago and Kameron got some exciting mail from Canada. There's also lots of other new stuff over there so go check it out! :)
I am thankful for "just" croup. We can handle that!

Wordless Wednesday - Keeghan's First Hair Cut










For more Wordless Wednesdays, click here.

Don't you hate it...

When you wake up and look at the clock and think you woke up an hour late so you jump up to get the kids ready, make them scarf down their breakfast, gather their things and then realize it's an hour earlier than you thought? Yeah that doesn't make the kids very happy at all. Just in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Big changes for the littlest Special Ks

So now that things ARE going to settle down medically around here, it's time for some long overdue changes.

First, since I'm not quite ready to break my teething baby of this: , Keeghan will be going from this: to this: full time (though not that exact cup because it cost $17.00!!!). He will also be learning to use these: . I hope.

And my beautiful Kennedy will be going from these: to this: and this: , and these: and eventually these: .

We will also be working on perfecting her letters, numbers, shapes and colors and then move onto sight reading to get Kennedy ready for Kindergarten NEXT Fall! I'll post more about how we're doing this later! In the meantime, watch for a stressed out mommy and bottles, sippy cups, forks, spoons and potty chairs flying out the window. You've been forewarned.

A believer!!

Remember when Kameron said that Canada doesn't exist? Well, my friend Lisa who lives there decided that Kameron just HAD to believe! SO she sent him a newspaper from her town. Here are a few pictures:


Mail for ME?!


It's from CANADA?!


It has Thomas on it!


OK I guess I believe Canada is real!

Aren't all you Canadians SO relieved?! LOL Thanks Lisa! :o)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bangs!!

Kennedy has always had bangs since she was very tiny. Then of course once she started chemo she lost all her hair and I waited for the day I could cut her bangs again. Then of course she had her halo on so I couldn't really do bangs then because her hair would wrap around the pins.

So tonight I gave her a bath and decided it was time for bangs again! I'm the worst hair cutter in the world, but I think she looks cute anyway! ;)


Sweet Girl


Dancing!


She's saying, "FINE!" and trying SO hard not to smile! :)


Telling me she's FOUR!


Love that smile!


Look at those eyelashes!


How can you NOT love that face?! :)

Monday Moment for Down Syndrome - Like Me

Over the last 4 years I have collected MANY poems and stories about Down syndrome and special needs in general. Since a lot of my readers have kids with special needs, I thought I would post one poem or story every Monday. Chances are you'll find one you've never heard along the way!

"Like Me"
By: Emily Perl Kingsley


I went to my dad and said to him,
There's a new kid who's come to my school.
He's different from me and he isn't too cool.
No, he's nothing at all like me, like me,
No, he's nothing at all like me.

He runs in a funnyish jerkyish way
And he never comes first in a race
Sometimes he forgets which way is first base,
And he's nothing at all like me, like me,
No, he's nothing at all like me.

He studies all day in a separate class
And they say that it's called "Special Ed."
And sometimes I don't understand what he's said,
And he's nothing at all like me, like me,
No, he's nothing at all like me.

His face looks kind of different from mine,
And his talking is sometimes so slow
And it makes me feel funny and there's one thing I know;
He is nothing at all like me, like me,
No, he's nothing at all like me!

And my father said, "Son, I want you to think
When you meet some one different and new
That he may seem a little bit strange, it's true,
But he's not very different from you, from you,
No, he's not very different from you,"

Well I guess, I admitted, I've looked at his face;
When he's left out of games, he feels bad.
And when other kids tease him, I can see he's so sad.
I guess that's not so different from me, from me,
No, that's not very different from me.

And when we're in Music, he sure loves to sing,
And he sings just like me, right out loud.
When he gets his report card, I can tell he feels proud,
And that's not very different from me, from me,
No, that's not very different from me.

And I know in the lunchroom he has lots of fun;
He loves hot dogs and ice cream and fries.
And he hates to eat spinach and that's not a surprise,
'Cause that's not very different from me, from me,
No, that's not very different from me.

And he's always so friendly, he always says hi,
And he waves and he calls out my name.
And he'd like to be friends and get into a game,
Which is not very different from me, from me,
No, I guess that's not different from me.

And his folks really love him. I saw them at school,
I remember on Open School Night --
They were smiling and proud and they hugged him real tight,
And that's not very different from me, from me,
No, that's not very different from me.

So I said to my dad, Hey, you know that new kid?
well, I've really been thinking a lot.
Some things are different . . . and some things are not . . .
But mostly he's really like me, like me,
Yes, my new friend's . . . a lot . . . like me.


For More Monday Moments, Click Here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Q&A #20

So you've gone months without a cable box and now they are charging you more? Did they at least not charge you for the time you did not have the cable box? That other cable company better get DVR soon, right?
So, I called them back and talked to them and it turns out that they DID change my bill to a lower price since I couldn't get all the extra channels without a box, and then they had to change it back... but it confused me because I HAD all those channels right away when I set up my new box... and no one told me they were going to change my plan. Unless that's what the one guy meant when he kept saying he would reimburse me! LOL

I have heard 3rd is the hardest of the elementary years...lets hope everyone that says that is wrong!
I hope that is wrong too!!! LOL 3rd Grade was my absolute BEST year of elementary, I loved my teacher that year!

Can we vote for Christina, or what do you do so she can get the laptop?
I'm not sure you CAN vote for this contest unfortunately. I'll let you know if I hear more!!

I have hardly any hits on my blog. I must be boring or something or nobody likes me (does that mean I have to eat some worms?)!!
I have to eat them a lot ;) Everyone go visit Shari's blog. She is an amazing mama to 3 fabulous boys! You'll love her, promise!

Now wait a second...not only is it the beginning of August, which is WAY too early to go back to school, but they start their first day of school on a Friday??? What's with that!??
Oh, tell me about it! And not ONLY do they start on a Friday... but it was only a half day, too! Crazy, right?! I'll never understand people!

Too cute! Was Kennedy lonely today without the two older ones? Is she feeling okay now?
Kennedy and Keeghan actually get along really well when Kass and Kam aren't home... when all 4 are home they mix it up... when they get tired of one sibling they can move to the next! hahaha

How cute! I just noticed how long Kassidy's hair is already! She could donate it soon! Didn't she do that before?
Yes! Kassidy donated her hair to Locks of Love in May 2007 just after Kennedy was diagnosed with Leukemia. She does want to donate it again. I told her by next Spring it should be long enough. She wants it to end up a little longer than it did last time.

I too noticed how long Kassidy's hair got all of a sudden! Didn't she JUST chop it all off?
It's been over a year already! Hard to believe, huh?!

Hey, just think all those oversized shirts you had to buy for her to be able to wear with the halo you can save for when she actually fits in that size without the halo ;). Can we all have some sedation when she gets that halo removed?
LOL yep! They are all size 5/6 so she should fit into them in about 10 years! hahaha

hey, how do I make my button smaller so it fits in my side bar...I have tried things but nothing seems to work.
Put in the width code... < img src="addy of pic here" width="300"> The smaller the number, the smaller the pic will get. I hope that makes sense!

Kennedy is feeling better, any news on the cultures?
Cultures showed Staph but NOT MRSA which is VERY good!

What size is Kennedy wearing?
Well let's see... she's like a 2T in pants (ok who am I kidding, she's 18 months LOL) and she's a 2T to 3T on top... gotta accomodate that cute little belly!

So glad you are home and that the halo venture is over. Did they say anything about how it has healed so far? Or did I miss that?
Yes! Her surgeon was VERY pleased with how things look so far. He said he can see a lot of bone growth already on the CT, which is awesome :). He's optimistic about her healing.

Are the wounds on her head really bad from the screws??
The front ones actually look AMAZING! I will try to take a picture soon. The back ones are still pretty bad. They're oozing a lot... and it's hard to keep bandaids on them of course. I'm hoping they will start to close up soon.

What-are-the-neck-brace-rules?
She has to keep it on at ALL times unless she is in the bathtub where she gets 15 minutes to bathe. Her neck is like a newborn's right now. Without the brace on she has no head control at all. After a couple months we will start to wean her off the neck brace and build those muscles back up.

So have you given her a bath yet?
Yes, my friend Stephanie helped me on Friday night. She was so mad when we had to get her out! Her skin was pretty gross under the vest, I can't imagine if she had to keep it on for 6 months!

do you have to stay in Philly for a few days????
Nope! We got to leave the next day! Amazing right?! Her surgeon did email me Friday night to check on her though. He is awesome!

Oh wow! I can't believe it is coming off already. What does this do to her recovery?
Hopefully it won't hinder her recovery at all. She'll be in the neck brace for about 6 months her surgeon thinks. It will depend on how all the scans look in the future.

I think it's so great that you are documenting all these absolutely hysterical things that Kameron says. He's a funny funny boy. I never seem to be able to remember when I get back to my computer any of the things the kids say to me that made me laugh ;). So how do you remember these conversations so well?
I forget A LOT of them and it makes me so sad! I need to carry a tape recorder at all times! LOL

I have to ask though - what on earth are cheesesteaks?
MMMMMM Cheesesteaks! You can get them anywhere, but I've learned (in my vast experience) that no place makes them like Philadelphia (hence the name Philly Cheesesteaks) and if you ever GO to Philly, no one makes them like Geno's. (Don't listen to those people who like Pat's or Jim's better.) BUT if you're going to order at Geno's be sure to know your order before you get to the window. I order a "Wiz With"... that's a cheesesteak with cheese wiz and onions. I know, it sounds gross, but it's AWESOME! I could live on those things.

Did you stuff any food in your bag? I hear you can't get a good cheese steak anywhere.
Actually I DID stuff the rest of Kenn's ham hoagie in, but I forgot about it and had to throw it away today! LOL

Do you get sick days overseas?
Uhhh no! hahaha He said you get a day off if you're practically dying, but that's it.

About the surprise in 50 days
Is there another Special K on the way?
hahahahahahahahahahaha NO! I promise you it's not that! My mother would kill me... and so would my OB doc!

no hints?? i hope its hubby coming home!!
Your only hint is that there's a clue somewhere on this blog... and no it's not Frank coming home. I wish!!!

For more Q&A's, Click Here.

Pray for my hubby!

Frank is sick :(. He said he thinks he has the flu. Somehow I doubt the other Soldiers are going to have much sympathy (or flu medicine) for him, so say a few prayers that he feels better soon. He so rarely gets sick, but when he does, he is completely knocked off his feet! I love you baby, feel better soon!

In just 50 days...


To a blog near you! (OK a blog right here!) Watch for it! :)

Let Me Hold You Longer

I read this on my friend Lindsey's blog a couple days ago and thought it was so sweet! I know every mom out there can relate!

Let Me Hold You Longer
By: Karen Kingsbury

"Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts:
First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst.
But one day you will move away and leave to me your past,
And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts.
~~~~~
The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips.
The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip.
The last time when you woke up crying needing to walked.
When last you crawled up with your blanket, wanting to be rocked.
~~~~~
The last time that you ran to me still small enough to hold,
The last time when you said you'd marry me when you grew old.
Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from the past -
Would I have held you longer if I'd known they were the last?
~~~~~
Our last adventure to the park, your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite faded baseball cap.
Your last few hours of kindergarten, last days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League, last colored picture made.
~~~~~
I never said goodbye to all your yesterdays long past.
So what about tomorrow -- will I recognize your lasts?
~~~~~
The last time that you catch a frog in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot across our fresh-cut lawn.
Silly, scattered images will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures, never quite sure of your lasts...
~~~~~
The last time that I comb your hair or stop a pillow fight.
The last that I pray with you and tuck you in at night.
The last time that we cuddle with a book, just me and you.
The last time you jump in our bed and sleep between us two.
~~~~~
The last piano lesson, last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school, last soccer goal you make.
I look ahead and dream of days that haven't come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss today's sweet, precious lasts...
~~~~~
The last time that I help you with a math or spelling test.
The last when I should that yes, your room is still a mess.
The last time that you need me for a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night with your old tattered bear.
~~~~~
My life keeps moving faster, stealing precious days that pass.
I want to hold on longer -- want to recognize your lasts...
~~~~~
The last time that you need my help with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for advice about romance.
The last time that you talk to me about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey for your high school team.
~~~~~
I've watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time, I'd hold on to your lasts.
For come some bright fall morning you'll be going far away.
College life will beckon in a brilliant sort of way.
~~~~~
One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand just how much you will be missed.
I'll watch you leave and think how fast our times together passed.
Let me hold on longer God, to every precious last.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We're home

Kennedy and I are home from Philly and getting settled in. She had a hard time sleeping last night... the holes on the back of her head hurt her when any pressure is on them. Dr. Samdani said they would feel better in a couple days. She pulled her front bandaids off on the way to the airport and the holes look pretty good. It's amazing what the body can do!

Our flight home went well and we are happy to be here, though we had a great time with Stephanie and my friends Dave and Lisa who we got to meet for lunch today (and ate cheesesteaks and then Rita's for dessert, of course!). Thanks Stephanie for letting us invade your home and for being my chauffer! Thanks Dave and Lisa for lunch! :)

My mom said that Kameron wasn't feeling too well yesterday. He had a fever and was complaining of a headache and sore throat. It's so rare for him to get sick! My mom nursed him back to health though and he's much better today. Thanks mom, for keeping the kids and taking good care of them.

Anyway, I guess that's about it! I still have pics from our LAST trip to Philly that I need to get posted, maybe I can work on that this week!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kennedy... sans Halo

Here are pictures of Kennedy, from last night and this morning. I didn't get pictures while they were taking the pins out... Stephanie and I were both about to pass out! Something about taking screws out of your child's skull and seeing DEEP holes underneath! UGH!

She did SOOOO well! She got a little weepy when they were taking the back pins out because those are the ones that were so painful to her anyway. We were able to distract her with a book though.

Now she is back in a neck brace and will wear it for several months. Her CT looked great! Dr. Samdani said that he already saw a lot of bone growth and he was very pleased. We have to come back to Philly in about 2 1/2 months.



Olivia, Megan and Kennedy last night at Stephanie's house


This morning before Kennedy's CT scan


Being silly


Dr. Samdani telling Kennedy he's going to take the halo off...


Taking off the side bars...


Here we go....


Bars are off! (Yes, I was crying!)


Happy to be almost free


FREEEEEEEEEEE... ok except for the neck brace!

On a more personal note, I wanted to say thank you to everyone out there who has supported us with prayer on this journey, and to all those who love Kennedy and our family. It's been so amazing to hear all the stories of people who have been touched by her life, and even more the people who have been in similar situations and have written to tell me how it's helped them just to read of another family going through the same things. I know I have gained a HUGE amount of my strength from following other families who have been there, done that with their children and I am so thankful I am able to pass that on to other families going down the same path. I am so blessed to be Kennedy's mother.