Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rory very good at counting.  She has been counting for some time, and can count up to 14.  We try to count as much as possible, weather it is bagging peaches at the grocery store or counting animal crackers before we eat them.  The only problem with Rory and counting, the number 7.

Counting her cereal!
Rory always forgets to add the number 7!  She goest straight from 6 to 8 and doesn’t look back!  Even when we do her number puzzles, she turns the 7 upside down and calls it an “L” and will then proceed in singing her ABC’s.   We are now trying to add a 7 into everything.  She is such a funny girl! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Many of you may know my love for custom-made things for Rory.  I love making everything from cups, to plates, to books.  I love making Rory books because I get to create stories and put pictures of her family in it, and Rory loves reading books!   A few of her favorites include: Rory’s ABC’s and Go Shanny Go (made by my sister)! It is so much fun to see her face as she sees pictures of herself, of me, daddy, and her aunts and cousins.  

Many of you also know my love for bargains!  I found one today for a custom made book.   It is through the company SNAPFISH; www.snapfish.com It is for a 5*7 softcover photo book for free, all you have to pay is shipping and handling, which is $1.99! 

This is an amazing deal!   Whenever it is time to check out, add the promo code HPREWARD and all you have to pay is $1.99 for shipping!  I'm already making a book right now, Im going through all my pictures and thinking of fun stories!   I hope you enjoy  making these books.  If you have any problems feel free to send me an e-mail and I'll be more than happy to help you.   Time to get creative!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One thing I never want to take away from Rory is being a wild and crazy toddler.  I want her to be adventurous: run around, get dirty, be crazy, and have fun like most other toddlers her age.  The only problem is the 6 centimeter lift on her shoe sometimes makes things difficult for her (and for me).  
Although Rory does not let the shoe hold her back, it causes me reticence.  The shoe is so tall that it often causes falls, bruises, scrapes, bumps, and other catastrophes.  I find my stomach sinking in my belly every time I see her take off in a sprint or jump around the house.  The realization has set in that I can't keep her in my own little bubble for the rest of my life.  Rather than accept the bumps and bruises I have found myself modifying every day activities so that she can still enjoy herself, but just a bit safer.  

Playgrounds are a big part of our weekly, if not daily, routine.  Rory loves them and there is no keeping her from climbing up and down and jumping all around the equipment.  When she was younger we would just hold hands the whole time on the playground, I would do everything she did, but now that she is getting older she wants to be independent and do things on her own.  I have to find ways that allow her to feel independent but also still protect her from injury.
Playground Obstacle #1- 
Many of the new playgrounds have wonderful astroturf that is almost bouncy when you walk on it- which is really great to have when you have a sprinting toddler!   Most of the older parks have wood chips, sand or sticks which is really hard for her to walk in.  Whenever we encounter rough playground terrains I make sure that I walk everywhere with Rory so that if she does fall, I am right there to catch her.  
With Rory’s new “independent” stage, somedays she doesn’t want to hold hands and walk.  To avoid the upcoming fall, I will pretend to “walk” race her or “baby step” race her.  This way she isn’t running, she feels like she is still independent, and mommy is still within reach to catch her falling beauty and avoid injury.
Playground Obstacle #2
When she first attempted going down a slide, we quickly learned that her shoe created an issue.  The shoe often will catch on the slide and she will fall forward hitting her head on the slide.  Because of this, we have taught her to go down the slide on her tummy, just a little modification, but helps minimize injury.
Minimize injury is the key phrase.  
Now that Rory is older, she notices older children going down slides in the sitting position, and in turn, wants to do so herself.  She attempted this the other day and fell, hard.  Although I am always waiting for her at the bottom of the slide, this was a big slide, and it left a big welt on her head.  So now we opt for playgrounds with small slides to mitigate seated side slip-ups.  Many playgrounds we go to have two slides together so that Rory and I can go down the slides at the same time, that way if she falls I am right next to her to get her!  

Playground Obstacle #3
Climbing is another issue we have.  Many of the playgrounds have little square holes cut out that kids can climb up to get to the big playground equipment.  These don't seem to work well with the shoes- Rory’s shoes are just too big to fit in them.  Rory is so determined to go up the obstacles she will do it with our without her shoe.  When she does attempt to go up these, I stay behind and cheer for her.  Little does she know my hands are right underneath that little body and often times my hand will act as a hole for her foot to push off of.  
In a nut shell, playgrounds are hard for us, but Rory loves them.  For all you special needs mothers out there, try to find ways to give your child “independence” while still maintaining peace of mind

Monday, June 18, 2012

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day!  I think that Mother's Day and Father's Day is always such a great time to thank and appreciate how extremely difficult it is being a GOOD parent.  (I stress the good, because it is easy to just be a “parent”).   I never, in a million years, thought being a good parent was as difficult as it is.   Today I want to share a little bit about our special Daddy! 
I am going to write today about the best father anyone could ask for, my husband Jon.   Jon is the best father to Aurora.  Although I always knew he would be an amazing father, he has completely exceeded all of my expectations.  I felt so upset because yesterday we didn't have a lot of time to celebrate Father's Day.   Rory was insanely crazy, we were backed up on our house duties because of our busy week both jon had at work and I had here with Rory.  
Rory and I woke up making him “Jelly doughnut muffins” and then gave him his father’s day presents.  We gave him the tie we made and showed him The matching dresses that I made for Rory and I to match.  We also made him some coasters and I barbecued for him on our weekly “grill night.”  I really wanted Jon to have a great Father's Day.  I wanted to plan a whole weekend just to let him know how much we appreciate him and how much we love him, even though I know he knows.... it is always nice to have a little remind.
 Jon has always been there for me and Rory.  It is one of the many reasons why I love him so much.  He always puts us first before anything else in his life.  Jon I have been married for almost 7 years to be seven years (next month will be our anniversary) and although we do have our ups and downs we could not be more compatible together.  Part of what makes our marriage work so much is our communication.  I could not be more happy as a wife and mother and part of that is because I have such a great husband who is there for us no matter what.   I always knew that Jon would be a great father, but I didn't know just how good!  Once Rory was born Jon just turned into super dad!  He is amazing!  I am so lucky to have him!  
Rory loves him so much!   It is so funny because when Jon is home, all Rory wants to do is spend time with her daddy!  Even when Jon is outside cutting grass Rory and I are by the window watching him waving every time he passes us!  She always wants to do what her daddy is doing...And who could blame her! I love watching the two of them play together- nothing makes me smile more than watching the two of them play!
I hope everyone had a great Father's Day.  I am very happy and lucky that Rory has the best daddy!  Jon, happy Father's Day and I love you!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Everyday Victories logo
Thank you to P&G and Kroger stores for celebrating “Team Mom’s Everyday Victories”! Please visit the P&G's event page to play games, win money off your next Kroger trip and more fun!

Rory always amazes me.  Everyday she does something new that completely blows me out of the water!  Today, was no exception...it isn’t even noon and yours truely has used the potty chair twice!  Yesterday she used her potty chair 3 times!  Of course; we now have a whole new toilet paper budget, but it it is no doubt cheaper than diapers!  

Rory loves to take pictures with my phone!
I know everyone has their ways of potty training and different methods work for different kids.  Currently, Rory loves to use her potty chair for: 
  • lots of toilet paper
  • Mommy singing and doing a happy dance
  • She often will ask to call Dada, Mimi, or Papa after she goes potty- and so loves to use the phone

Growing so fast!

I can’t believe that Rory is getting so big!  The other night we were looking at pictures and videos last year of her and I am completely shocked at what one year can do!   I bought pull ups yesterday because I know that is our next step.  She is just growing up so fast!  And I am so proud of her for doing so well with her potty chair!

Since Rory is in that "in-between" diapers and pull ups stage, I am not going to go all 100% pull ups.  Which is good for me because Kroger is having a big P&G sale June 10-23 and I know they are going to have a huge sale on Pampers and other items throughout the store, which is good for this coupon-clipping-mamma!  They will also have sales on Charmin Basic, which is good since Rory uses SO much toilet paper!  

Before hitting the store, visit P&G’s event page on Kroger.com: http://bit.ly/KG6dw5 

I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

This weekend was really difficult for us.  Jon, Rory and I went to a local K9 Festival and had a great time seeing all the dogs.  There was only one problem; Rory’s shoes were quite a distraction for many people.  She was in her bike/stroller so if people saw her from one side, they would only see her one big shoe.

We had so many people come up to us talking about her shoe; the usual comments: how they have never seen platform shoes for babies, if she has trouble walking in her platforms, where they can find heels for their babies, and of course how cute it is.  Jon is better about shaking things off than I am, but after a while these comments start to get to me.
K9 Festival!

Which brings me to today’s post.  There are a few things that people have said to me that have made me feel nothing less than awful.  I just want other people to know

 “What did you do to cause this?” 
I know that as a mother of a child with special needs, I have guilt about Rory’s leg.  I know that there was nothing I could have done differently during my pregnancy that would change Rory’s getting Congenital Femoral Deficiency, but I still have the motherly feelings of guilt that there was something I could have done; because she was in my womb.  The last thing a mother wants to here is that they did something to harm their baby- trust me, they have enough guilt, even if they had no control over what happened.

I remember the first time an older woman said this to me (at a church no less).  It killed me, I came home and cried for hours.  I wasn’t sure if she expected me to say that I smoked during my pregnancy or what (I did pregnancy by the book) but I do know how much it hurt.

All I know is that if I could have done something to prevent Rory from getting this, I would.  I would cut off my my leg and give it to her, I would do anything I could to help that little leg grow to be the same size as the other leg; so for someone to ask me what I did to cause this...It just hurts.

 “It’s so cute!” (whatever the disability is)
I know Rory is adorable, and that everything about her is adorable; but sometimes it is really hard when people tell me how cute her shoe is.  Having people tell me about how cute it is makes me feel like people think it is a “privilege” to have a special shoe.  That her shoe is some fancy accessory, other people want to have.  I wish that Rory would never have to wear her shoe lift again, that we could go to any shoe store and pick out any kind of shoes there and Rory could even wear them home.
Anything on Rory looks cute!  It is Rory that is cute, no the shoe!

I know people want to just try and make me feel good, but hearing about how cute it is is difficult to hear.

The last thing, isn’t saying anything- it’s an action: a stare.  
I  am pretty sure any mother of a special needs child would much rather have someone ask a question about their child's condition than have someone stare.  Sadly, many of the stares come from adults, other kids seem to always ask.

When we were leaving Florida from one of our visits to Dr. Paley, there was a husband and wife couple across from us in the airport.  The wife couldn’t take her eyes off Rory’s shoe.  After a few minutes, she nudged her husband and whispered, “look at that baby’s big shoe.”  Just what every mother wants, people looking at your child like she belongs in teh circus.  I was a few feet away from her and would have much rather her ask me about the shoe.

I always welcome questions about Rory’s condition because I want to make people more aware of her Congenital Femoral Deficiency.  I think other mothers of special needs kids would much rather answer a question than have their child being stared at.  No one wants their “imperfections” pointed out (I am not sure if “imperfection” is the right word, since Rory is completely perfect in my eyes...but for now it will have to do).

Just remember: Mothers are extremely sensitive with their children.  Before you say anything to a mother with a special needs child, just think about if you would want someone to say that about your child (or loved one).   It is hard to be a mom....especially when your child has special needs.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

It is almost Father’s day! 
Because Rory has the best Daddy we are trying to make some great gifts for him Father’s day so he truly knows how much he means to us.   Daddy loves all of Rory’s art work, it is hung up all over his office; but for father’s day I wanted to make something different!  I thought we could make him something he could wear to work.   We decided to make Daddy a nice fancy tie! 

Materials needed:
  • Tie
  • fabric crayons
  • paper to color on
  • iron
*It does require an iron, but I made sure to use the iron when she was napping. 
This activity really affordable and easy.   We bought a nice white tie and some Fabric crayons and started to color!  
I have always wanted to use Fabric crayons, just to see if they worked and how well they worked.  I had Rory color on a big piece of white paper, we went through each color and she had a great time scribbling.  I made sure she pressed hard with the colors, so when I needed to iron the drawing on the tie the colors would be bright and vibrant!
I cut the paper up into strips so that the whole tie would be covered.  When Rory went down for a nap; I put the paper, colored side down, on the tie.  I held the iron down on the coloring for a few minutes at a time.   The crayons worked great!  When I removed the paper there was beautiful scribbles all over the tie!  The color was so bright and I know Daddy will love it!
Then your done!  A beautiful, one and only, Rory designed tie!  I can’t wait for Father’s day!   

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