Monday, July 30, 2012

July 2012

With August just around the bend, I am continuing to feel summer slip away through my fingers, which continues to make me cringe. In all honesty I am not looking forward to fall and the beginning of preschool for Landen. Don't get me wrong, I am beyond thrilled for Landen to have the opportunity to get to go to preschool, experience new things, meet new people, reacquaint with friends and just get out of the house and experience what being a kid should be all about. What I am not at all excited about is germs and sicknesses - it is so hard. I have a small glimmer of hope that perhaps this year won't be as bad as last year was for sicknesses but seeing as last year was a difficult one, I don't get my hopes up too high. I'm hoping that since Landen has one year of preschool under his belt already and since he's one year older that maybe, just maybe, he won't get sick quite as often this school year. He knows how important infection control practices are and I truly believe for a 5 year old he knows better than most to always wash his hands before he eats, not to touch his mouth nor put things in his mouth, but let's be real, he's only 5, he's just a kid.

Landen getting sick isn't the end of the world nor is it when Olivia gets sick but it's just so much harder when Olivia gets sick. It's scary, it's full of unknowns and uncertainties - I absolutely hate it. As much as we go through to prevent the spread of illnesses, Landen and Olivia are best friends, they share everything, unfortunately as history has proven, that includes the passing of germs. No matter what, we always make sure Landen feels loved and comforted when he's sick and we try to reassure him that no matter how much we wash our hands and take measures to prevent getting sick, sometimes it's not good enough and in the end we all get sick every now and then. We make sure he knows that he did all he could and that all kids get sick. We try to ensure that Landen doesn't feel bad about being sick and in fact we go out of our way to make sure he doesn't feel like it's his fault. Getting sick for a kid is a part of life, we know that, but I also know that deep down despite all of our reassuring that it is what it is, Landen is smart enough to realize that when he is sick and Olivia gets sick a few days later, it came from him. Again, I hate when the kids are sick, but what I hate the most is how awful Landen feels when Olivia gets sick, it breaks my heart. No 5 year old should ever have to feel blame or upset because his sibling is sick. Landen does, he's smart, he knows that it's different for Olivia, he gets that it's worse for her and for only being 5, I think he really knows a lot more than we realize he does about CF. He may not know that Olivia has CF, or what it even is, but he does know it's different and that when she gets sick, it's much worse for her. 

So yes, I'm for sure not looking forward to that part of school, but I will remain somewhat hopeful that this year will be better in terms of sicknesses for the kids. After all, I have a year under my belt too, I know what to expect and I honestly have to believe that the further along we go on our CF journey, we understand things more, we relax a smidge more and we know that we do all we do to the best of our abilities and despite all that, sometimes, many times, it's just not good enough. I know things could be much better or much worse than last year, we have to wait and see. As with so many things in life, and especially with CF, we take it day by day.  

When May came and school was out for the summer, I made a mental note to do and pack in as many fun things as we could this summer, to take advantage of the time away from school and sicknesses, to just enjoy life. So far, our summer has been great, it's been wonderful to get out and about, to do new and different things and make everlasting memories to cherish. So as I continue to cringe the thought that there is only one month left of summer, I thought I'd post reminders of July, to remind me of all that we have done this summer and how fun it's been for us and that no matter what the fall/winter has in store for our family, we did have a kick butt summer and it's not over yet!
Of course as detailed in my previous blog post, July started out with a bang as we were on our yearly camping vacation. Here's a photo of the whole gang - oh how fun it was!
The warm summer days have been perfect for outdoor water fun. Landen got Daddy good in this water balloon fight.  
When cousin Braelyn is over, there is no telling what the kids will come up with. Here they have turned leftover party hats into noses, running around telling us that they are "ant eaters".  
Another fun way to keep cool on this hot day was to spend it inside an ice cold movie theater. Darci and I took the kids to Madagascar 3. Loads of popcorn, a funny movie and an unforgettable memory, the perfect way to spend a summer day. 
July 9, 2012 - Olivia officially has learned how to pedal her trike. This past weekend we went on a bike ride and Olivia would have no part of being in the bike trailer, instead she pedaled her trike as far as we let her, which was about 3 blocks, before we convinced her to take a break and ride in the trailer so we could go a little faster. She was so proud of herself for her accomplishment and Jeff and I were just as proud, it was precious. 
We love to spend summer days in the pool but to change things up a bit I thought going down the slide into Shelby's small pool would be something fun and different to try. Landen had a blast and his face in this photo cracks me up everytime! 
Olivia thought going down the smaller orange slide was more fun that flying down the bigger slide, which surprised me as she is usually fearless and willing to try most anything and everything.  
Anissa, Darci and I at the Scentsy Party we had in July. I found out yesterday that through our sales, we raised $170.00 for the CFF. Considering this was a pretty small party, we were all pleased with this amount as I most certainly know that every single dollar raised truly does help.
Landen and Olivia got to attend our friends' daughter Harriett's 5th birthday party, it was delightful to be able to hang out with our friends and get all the kids together. Here the kids are enjoying the aftermath of the party with their balloons that they got to take home.  
Despite the high heat and humidity, Landen and I baked up some Dinosaur cookies early one morning  as Landen had been asking to make some ever since he got a very cool Dinosaur book with cookie recipes in it for his birthday from Aunt Em, Uncle Mike, Austin, Carter and Makayla. They turned out yummy and of course Landen kept all the T-rex ones for himself. 
For Landen's birthday from Grandma Pam & Grandpa George he got some awesome new dino bedding and absolutely loves spending time in his room now with all his cool dino things. 
As is the norm around here, Miss Olivia and Landen were of course being rowdy and rambunctious and Olivia hurt her toe/leg one morning. So after a day of her limping around we took her to the doctor to get things checked out. Thankfully, a check-up and an x-ray ensured she didn't break anything. Of course they also weighed her and she hasn't gained any weight since May. I cringe at this yet know at the same time we are trying and pushing very hard at this point and will address it further at the end of August at her next CF clinic visit and in the mean time will continue to stress out and provide her with as many calories and fats that we possibly can get her eat.  
Landen and Daddy enjoyed a boys day out and decided to fill up on popcorn at the new Ice Age: Continental Drift movie. They had a lot of fun and are still laughing and re-telling funny parts of the movie.  
More hot days, more water fun. Cooling off with the Wham-O Slip n Slide. 
Olivia's final night of swimming lessons. After 4 weeks of being afraid, she finally had a blast the final 2 weeks and was enjoying it. She finally let her teacher, Ms. Tracy, get a little closer to her without crying on her last night. 
This past weekend Landen and Olivia got to enjoy some fun pool time with Daddy. Once again, Landen is getting Daddy good and wet, this time with his shark squirter. 
This past weekend, we also decided to get more use out of our boat and spent the afternoon at a lake. The weather was gorgeous. The kids did a good job, they had fun swimming, boating and fishing.  
Landen is turning into quite the fisherman. He has "out fished" both Jeff and I now for the past few years. He was the only one to catch a fish this past weekend, bringing in a nice perch and he was pretty proud. Of course Olivia wouldn't keep her pole in the water long enough to get a nibble, but she sure had a blast casting it out and reeling it back in, over and over and over again.

That about sums up our month of July. It was a good one, we are hoping August will be equally as awesome as we have a few more fun day trips and adventures coming our way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Vacation 101 . . .

. . . Cherish every moment. 

Ah yes, vacation. For me it never comes often enough and it goes by all too quickly. I love vacation but let's be real, as a stay-at-home mother of two small children, vacation is not really a time to relax. There may be a rare moment when I can sit for a few minutes with a cold drink in hand but those quickly pass as either Landen or Olivia is in need of something or someone and it's most certainly not like our "pre-children" days that is for certain. Vacation can be stressful, chaotic and a lot more work than being at home, especially when you throw in the daily CF tasks involved but through all the craziness I absolutely LOVE vacation. To watch my children loving every minute of it and creating such great memories, it is priceless. 

Each year during the summer we take a camping vacation. 10 days in a motorhome with 2 adults, 2 children and our yellow lab Shelby plus all the necessities packed in for 10 days away from home, can get to be a little claustrophobic. In our camper I always feel like we are walking over each other literally, and on occasion at the end of the outdoor sunny filled days, I feel drained, crabby and just plain stressed but I would not trade our vacation for anything. I'm always sad when it's over and always looking forward to the next years camping trip. To spend ever so precious time with our family we never see often enough at the lake is pure bliss. The best part about it for me, and the most bittersweet, is that we vacation at the same place each year so as the backdrop stays the same, everything else changes. The kids grow up and do new things each year and I get a raw sense of time and just how quickly it really does fly by. The memories and unforgettable moments that we create on our yearly vacation are something I cherish and as long as my memory lasts, will always continue to do so.

"We do not remember days, we remember moments".
"A moment lasts all of a second but the memory lives on forever".
~ Cesare Pavese



This is from our first night at the lake. We arrived around supper time and Olivia immediately headed for the lake. With sand on the face and clothes soaking wet, she was already having a blast. 

Despite looking a little scared, Olivia was having no part of being left out of Mommy & Landen's tubing adventure. She was willing to cross mountains if need be to tube with us, despite the bumpy ride!

Our family, chilling at the sandbar.

Landen & Olivia absolutely loving spending the hot days in the cool lake.

A steamy hot and humid 4th of July, spent at Grandma & Grandpa's lake place. 
Makayla, Olivia & Landen have found a way to stay cool.

Our niece Alexis just recently got her boaters permit so Uncle Jeff was coaching her here on how to drive the boat and she did really well.

Cousins Austin & Aleah. This was such a sweet moment as they look to be having a wonderful time!

Daddy showing Landen how to drench the other opponents in the water fight. 
It was a great way for kids and adults alike to stay cool on this hot day.

Landen with cousin Carter in the midst of a water fight.

Olivia's 1st Sunfish catch of the season. She certainly isn't afraid to touch the fish.

Landen proudly showing off his catch of the day. 

Miss Alexis broke her leg playing softball earlier this summer. She made the most of our 10 day camping adventure and joined in wherever she could. Here she covered up her pink cast with her plastic suction bag and took a tube ride with Grandma Pam, Aleah, Austin, Landen and Carter. 

Grandma, Carter and Landen are again busy collecting snail shells this year and had quite the bucket full by the time they had finished.

Daddy and Landen have cleverly named this guy "Clark the Clam". What those two don't come up with!

Miss Olivia having another absolute blast spending the day splashing in the lake.

1, 2, 3, Dock Jumping!

Grandma & Grandpa's newest family member, Muffy the Cockapoo, their 2012 camping souvenir.

Landen pretending to drive the boat, sad to think it won't be long before it's no longer pretend.

Olivia was really enjoying this boat outing and was absolutely fearless, thank goodness for life jackets.

There are so many more cherished memories I could share but to prevent photo overload I will stop here. We had a great vacation this year, the kids had a blast playing with all their cousins which was a treasure to see as they are usually so quiet, shy and reserved so it was great to see them hamming it up with their cousins. Jeff and I had a blast as well and are already looking forward to our next camping adventure. Walking back into the spaciousness of our home upon completion of our trip made me realize that despite the cramped and small conditions of our motorhome, on any given day I would trade it all to be back camping again. Vacation is precious, something to cherish and I'm thankful for the unforgettable memories that I have to carry with me. I know that vacation wouldn't be all it's cracked up to be if life was a constant vacation. Like so many other things in life, you have to muddle through and go through the not so good and not so fun times to really appreciate those moments that are so precious, like those made on vacation. 

*Lastly, congratulations to Grandma Dianne for being the winner of the catalog/on-line orders drawing for the Fizz Scentsy and Cherry Vanilla bars. Olivia conducted the drawing for me this morning while doing her treatments so it was all done fairly, here's pictures to prove. 



Thanks to all who supported the CFF through this fundraiser. Darci and I will get the orders to all who placed one, once they arrive. 



















Friday, July 13, 2012

Thanks

Thanks to everyone who has ordered from our Scentsy party to benefit the CFF and a huge thanks to those of you whom came to the Open House Party last evening. Congratulations go out to Carly for winning the Open House Party door prize, the Contenta Mid-Size warmer and Cherry Vanilla scent bar and to Stefanie for winning the Welcome Home scent bar for placing the highest dollar amount order at the party. A good time was had by all last night - thank you for coming out.

For those who are still interested in placing an order through our CF party, you may do so through the end of the day on Monday, July 16th and then our party will be closed. Tuesday the winner of the drawing for the Fizz Plug-In warmer and Cherry Vanilla scent bar will be announced for anyone who has placed a catalog order and/or an on-line order.

Fizz Plug-in Warmer & Cherry Vanilla Bar Prize - winner to be announced Tuesday


Since returning from our camping trip last weekend, I have misplaced my camera cable and therefore I can't load any photos onto the computer so I'm still working on getting some photos of the kids while on vacation and our Scentsy party posted, hopefully soon, once the camera cable magically appears from somewhere!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Scentsy Party Reminder



I can't believe how quickly the time is passing, this past month has gone by all too fast and I feel summer slipping away through my fingers which makes me cringe. The thought of school and sickness after sickness again just doesn't excite me one bit - honestly how can time go by so quickly? Thankfully, we have been very busy here, enjoying the summer and fitting in fun things to do aside from everyday crazy life. We just got back from a 10 day camping trip to the lake. It was a blast, the kids had so much fun this year and we were all a little sad to have to come back home. Vacation is always so fun, a lot of work indeed, but oh so fun and it never happens often enough. It's on these precious occasions when I realize how much I can take for granted at other times in my life. So this morning it leaves me feeling drained but also refreshed and much more appreciative of the things I do have. For instance, we camped in a motorhome, so much better than a tent that is for sure as you have almost all the amenities of home, just much, much smaller, so it sure made me appreciate the roominess of our house when I stepped through the door yesterday. Both the kids and I are feeling saddened this morning as Daddy headed back to work, we never get to spend enough time with him during the days and having him all to ourselves these past 10 days was sure nice. I'm sure he didn't think too much of going back to work today either. Landen even went as far to ask Daddy if he "could stay home until snow time". Wouldn't that be nice to only work when the weather is crummy and you don't want to be outside anyway - not in the cards for us but a great thought by Landen! I also am thankful for big family gathering times, which also never happen enough. We spent our vacation with Jeff's family so Landen and Olivia got to play with their cousins which they really did enjoy this year, so much fun. It was just fun to sit back and watch the kids have a blast doing all that they chose to do as I realized how fast they are growing up. This year I noticed that some of the things Olivia would do while camping were the same that I remember Landen doing not so long ago. Sad how fast the time does go.

Olivia had an absolute blast, she loved swimming in the lake and playing on the beach. She's doing well and even with all the extra things going on while vacationing, we made sure to fit in her 2 treatments everyday. Thanks to a good Pharmacist friend of mine, we were able to get a month's supply of Mucomyst for her nebulizer which I was elated about, especially since we were heading out to the lake for 10 days, I for sure wanted to have some for Olivia's treatments. Silly how I can be so excited about that but I was. Our local pharmacist couldn't get the drug anywhere so I was all out, thankfully a fun girls night out a few weeks ago turned into a miracle when my pharmacist friend was able to conjure up a supply for us in lieu of the drug shortage.

Aside from our vacation we have had a lot going on which I'll share at a later date and post pictures to go along with our summer fun but as treatment time is dwindling down, my time is about up. I do want to take a moment to remind everyone of the Scentsy Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser party my sister and I are having this week on Thursday. If you are interested and able, please join us or you may also place an on-line order through the end of the week at this link: Scentsy Cystic Fibrosis Party. The party details are listed below:


Scentsy Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser Open House Party
Thursday, July 12th, 2012
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Birchwood Arbors, Forest Lake, MN (2nd Floor Activity Room)
*Birchwood is Darci's place of employment*


Thanks to everyone who has already placed an order. On-line orders can be placed through the end of the week and we'll be drawing for our giveaway prizes 1 week from today.