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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Modern Portrait Plates!

I found this awesome tutorial for Modern Portrait Plates over at Fireflies and Jellybeans and I immediately went to the store and bought clear glass plates (I found mine at Walmart for about a dollar)!

The Boy:


The Girl:


I can't wait to hang them on the wall in our kitchen!


These make me happy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Cliff Will Walk Independently" - Dr. Park (Post Op week 19)

Sunday we hopped on a plane and flew back to St. Louis for Cliff's 4 month post op visit with Dr. Park. This time the craziness of us buzzing through airports struggling with a walker, stroller, bags and more bags was different. The excitement was written all over our faces, we couldn't get there fast enough. We were proud of Cliff, all that he has accomplished in four short months and we were eager for Cliff to show off his new "tricks"  for THE Dr.Park.

This time people stopped, they smiled and encouraged Cliff to walk through the airport even though he was slow, everyone that was bustling through the airport racing to catch their next flight stopped. They stopped and learned from Cliff. A little boy who most people would think was "in the way" was teaching complete strangers. They listened to Cliff's story, some of them teared up, others praised God and wanted to touch this child that was so blessed by our Savior. Cliff probably touched more lives in that airport than we will ever know and we are so thankful that the Lord uses Cliff as a teaching tool.


This time, Cliff could stand at the window, just like any other three year old little boy and watch all of the commotion happening below. Planes, trucks, carts, workers, he was in heaven!


Two planes later, we arrived in St. Louis. We love this city, although we have actually only seen a few blocks, this city is where Cliff's life was changed forever. This city represents hope. This city is magical to us. Our excitement grew and grew the closer we got to the city. The taxi was filled with our laughter. I was sure the taxi was going to bust with our excitement and joy. 


And then we saw it. THE place. I swear we could hear the Choir Of Angels sing when we saw it. To us,  this hospital is better than Disney World, so much better.


This time was so different. The boy HAD to push the buttons every time we went on the elevator.


He walked around the Parkway as if he owned the place. This was his palace and everyone knew it.


Pride.


He was so excited to show everyone at the Parkway his "new legs" and what they could do! Last time they saw Cliff, he could hardly stand in his walker and now he was walking everywhere! They were amazed, Cliff was proud, the lobby was filled with pure bliss.


We took the boy to the Science Center and he had a blast! He danced on the magic dance floor with all of the other children. He was included, part of the group and he was loving every moment of it!



He learned about tornadoes.


And just in case you wanted to know, it would cost this much to send me to space:


Cliff got to pretend to fly a spaceship, just like Buzz Light Year from Toy Story! He was smitten!


And daddy taught Cliff how to operate a tractor!


The next morning we woke up and rushed to therapy then we met with Dr. Park! The PT was so impressed with Cliff and how well he was doing! Before the SDR, Cliff could not do most of the things they asked of him and now he can! It was so wonderful to see his little face light up with pride when he accomplished each task. The expression on Dr. Park's face when he walked into the room and saw this was priceless:



Dr. Park reviewed the new x-rays of Cliff's hips (his left hip was about 25% out of socket before his surgery) and was happy to inform us that Cliff's x-rays were now normal! God is good, so awesomely good. Dr. Park told us that Cliff did not need to wear knee immobilizers at night anymore (aka "sleepy braces") because Cliff has great range of motion in his hamstrings and all we need to do is daily stretching to maintain flexibility! Can I get an Amen?!  Then he did THE "test" and asked Cliff to lift his toes to get his hospital badge... and Cliff did it! He did this right before the surgery but the movement was teeny tiny and that is when Dr. Park initially said "Cliff has a good chance at walking independently!" But this time he looked at me dead in my eyes and said...


"Cliff WILL walk independently!" The tears welled up in my eyes and I swear the earth stopped spinning.  "Really?" I squeezed out around the lump in my throat. "Yes. He will walk independently" Dr Park said again. Then I made him repeat himself two more times. Then Dr. Park said "The goal is that Cliff will begin to walk independently within the next 18 months." I couldn't hear those words enough. No Dr. has ever said those words to us and with such ease and confidence. It was no surprise to Dr. Park. He knew it. God knew it. And now we KNOW it. CLIFF WILL WALK INDEPENDENTLY! I will remember this moment for a long as I live.


Then we went over a ton of other things like the fact that Cliff will now wear  SMO's, braces that go up to his ankle instead of covering his whole calf (of course I thought "Wahoo! Just in time for summer!") and he will only need to wear these when he is out in public. Dr. Park wants Cliff to walk barefoot around the house to build the strength up in his feet and ankles. They also sent us home with a prescription for canes! Yep! Dr. Park thinks Cliff is ready to begin using canes and will eventually use these all the time instead of his walker! We also got a prescription for these shoe inserts called Pollywogs. The goal is that sometime in the near future Cliff will no longer need braces and will just have shoe inserts! A-mazing! We also learned about  Fabrifoam Straps. Cliff's left leg  turns in a little bit and this band will help him take straight steps. He will need this for a little while during therapy so he can learn how to correctly take straight steps and build up the muscles in his left leg. Dr. Park wants Cliff to walk pretty much everywhere we go. It is so easy for us to pick him up and hurry through our daily routine, but now we are going to have to learn to slow down and let Cliff walk. Dr. Park told Cliff "You have to walk, walk, WALK!" and Cliff smiled then said "Alright!" Then most importantly, Cliff walked with Dr. Park to get stickers:


And this time, Cliff walked out of the hospital! 



It's hard to believe that all of this can happen in just 4 short months! What a miracle! I can't share this wonderful news without giving 100 percent of the credit to God. He is amazing. I can't sing his praises enough. From the moment Cliff entered this world, God has placed his healing hands on him. Everyday we are witnessing God's good work in our lives. Every step Cliff takes is a miracle and we will forever be thankful to God for blessing our family and especially Cliff. God is so good. We are so grateful. We are so blessed.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Picture Wall - My Way!

When I decided to create the picture wall in our kitchen, I looked all over the internet for ways to "properly" make a picture wall. Ummm... too much measuring and taping... who has time for that?!
 I sure don't!



So I decided that I can totally do this MY way! And this is how I did it:

I started with one picture frame somewhat in the middle.


And continued to add from there. Do not worry about pictures or the frames (we will address this a little later).


Just keep on adding frames... (I just eye balled the location of each frame by holding it up where I thought it should go. Then I would put a little nail in the wall and hang the frame! - Super simple.)


...until the whole wall is covered!


Once I got all of the frames where I wanted them, I took the frames I wanted to paint off the wall and got to sprayin'!


Then I printed out new pictures to replace the old ones. When selecting pictures to put on your wall make sure you get the ones that make you smile, the ones that bring back your favorite memories and the ones that represent your family best.




Put the new pictures in their frames, hang them on the wall in their spot, add a little two sided tape to the corners of the smaller frames to keep them straight and ...


...enjoy your new picture wall!

PS - I used old frames and spray paint I already had for this entire picture wall! It cost me about 10 bucks to print the new pictures! Can't beat that!
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturdays


On Saturdays you can find us here:


Playing in the sand. This is our place where time doesn't matter. Naps are a thing of the past. We are together, really together. Just being.


Saturdays are best when our boat is loaded down with best buddies. Mischief and mayhem.


Secrets are shared.


You can find us splashing in the water.



And my heart melts when I see these sunscreen soaked cheeks covered in water drops just begging to be kissed. These are the best moments.


Sand. She freaks out when it sticks to her hands. I love her.


The boy fishes. This is when he is happiest.


Then I see him looking like this and I wonder where has the time gone?



Saturdays. I love them.


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Friday, March 25, 2011

Beautify that Boring Knife Block!

The New.

  
The Old. Yuck. Boring. Blah.


Isn't it amazing what a little paint and some sanding can do?! 


Thank you, Silhouette, for cutting out my "P" - You are the BEST!


Now go on and beautify your old Knife Block!
And use a fun COLOR for Pete's sake!


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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pause.

I wish I could press pause right now. These are my favorite days. These are the days when life feels so perfect it seems like a dream. These are the best days of my life. These moments. Right now.

I want wake up to this sweet little face every morning for the rest of my life:


And read "Llama Llama Red Pajama" a million more times just to hear her squeal with delight as we turn each page.


I want to hear him say "I Lush You, Mama!" everyday.


And see his face light up with pride when he accomplishes something he has never been able to do before.


And hold her so close to me as I rock her to sleep. Breathe her in. Feeling that sweet, soft baby hair brush against my cheek right before I lay her in her crib. Fighting the urge to hold her for just one more minute because I have gone through "Ok, just one more minute" about 45 times already.


These days are like a drug. I can't get enough.

And even though some days I am exhausted, overwhelmed and wondering how will I make it, I know that these are the moments I will miss one day. So, I soak them in. Absorb every giggle, every tear, every triumph, every boo boo. I look at the chaotic mess that has taken over my house and you know what I see? A beautiful mess. I finally realized that it's ok to be a little messy because I have the rest of my life to have a spotless, perfect house and I want to spend my days playing with them, not cleaning. I try to etch these memories in my mind so I can keep these moments forever because I know this blazing trail we are all on called life will soon leave these moments in the dust. So these moments, I treasure them. Love them. I strive to be the best I can be for them.


These are the days, my friend, these are the days.


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