It's that time of year again! Everyone is gearing up for the Holidays, myself included. We put up our tree yesterday, which basically means that we decorated the pencil tree that already has a permanent place in one corner of our living room. Growing up we always had a real tree. I love real trees... but really, with 2 little kids, it's the last thing I want to deal with! I am fine decorating our pencil tree. And this year it was even more fun than usual because Eloise was big enough to help. Of course, it wasn't always helpful when she put 3 ornaments on one branch... but we worked it out as we went!
Cory kept Dinah corralled for the most part so that we could decorate in
peace... but we did let Dinah "help" as well. Surprisingly enough, she
hasn't bothered the tree much after that first little bit.
Of course, going along with tree decorating, I have been slowly accumulating gifts for everyone on our list. The girls aren't getting a whole lot. Mostly some clothes and books. Little things for their stockings like band aids, toothbrushes and socks. We know that other family members are getting them some toys, so we are only getting a small toy or so for each girl. I think I have most of my shopping done besides a couple of things. I even have most of it wrapped! I know... on the ball, right? Haha! Only because I just can't WAIT! I love to wrap! I even wrap my neighbors presents while she watches the girls.... if you lived nearby, I'd wrap for you too! :)
Anyway... amidst all of the buying for the season, though I am trying to get good deals and be smart with my purchases, there has been this little nagging in the back of my mind. The girls' birthdays are both in January. Dinah's is only a week after Christmas! So that puts a little pressure on the finances. I want to make sure the girls both have parties that are special. I know that looking back on pictures from when I was a kid, I really appreciate the time and effort my mom put into having birthday parties for me and my sister. Some day I should scan the old pictures of the cakes she made us! So fun! (Thanks mom!) I like to try to have DIY parties. Not that there is anything wrong with going out and buying decorations... but there is just something about doing it myself that gives me mommy-satisfaction! And I hope one day my girls will look back at pictures and appreciate what I tried to do for them and the fun we had!
Oh... and did I mention that I am going away for a few days in February? That's part of the reason for the nagging in my mind.... my cousin is getting married and asked me to be in the wedding.... in ARIZONA! (I'm in PA, if you didn't know) I have gone back and forth ever since she asked... should I go? Should I not go? There are many different factors to weigh in on both fronts... but finally I just decided that it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance. We grew up together talking about our weddings... planning them in notebooks that we'll probably dig out of boxes some day! I really feel like I need to be there. I know my girls need me too... but it will be over a weekend and Cory will be home and have help from his mom, the neighbors or my family if he needs it!
Soooo.... All of that to say... I have been wanting to start getting party decorations together... but I haven't had the extra money to do it. (Plane tickets, bridesmaid dresses & accessories aren't cheap!) Yesterday Eloise helped me wrap a few presents to put under the tree while Dinah napped... and as we were going through boxes that I had saved from last year... we kept opening boxes that were inside of boxes until we got to the very last small box... and as Eloise shook it, we could hear something clattering around. I opened the box to find a Jo Anns gift card from last Christmas that I had thought I'd lost forever!! I seriously have been wondering off and on all year what "safe place" I had put the card in because I sure was never able to find it... and here we are a year later and it shows up... just at the right time! It might sound silly... but I think it was a God thing. He timed it just right - and now I don't have that little nagging about getting things for the girls' birthday parties! It worked out just perfect! I look forward to sharing what I make! If you'd like to see my posts from El's last 2 parties... you can go HERE and HERE!
I hope you are enjoying decorating and preparing for the Holidays as much as I am... and don't forget to thank God for the little things. Even if they seem insignificant. You never know the reason why something happens... but even in the case of a lost gift card being found, I thank Him for taking a little bit of stress off my shoulders! Even if it was stress of my own doing!
What started out as a beautiful (rare!) November afternoon, perfect for a fun wagon ride... turned into a bit of panic when Cory received a call that his dad was being rushed to the hospital. He'd suffered a seizure and possibly a stroke. We were all pretty shaken... and Cory sped off to be with his parents. After several hours in the hospital, the doctors determined that he did NOT have a stroke and they put him on some anti-seizure medication. He will be contacting his cancer doctors in Pittsburgh on Monday to see if he can schedule an assessment. It's not surprising that this has occurred, given all that his brain has been through with the tumors and treatments, but it is definitely alarming nonetheless. Please keep Gene and our family in your prayers! Boo spent the evening with us while my in laws and Cory were at the hospital... so we took this picture for Pappy!
We have been battling a horrible cold in our house and poor Eloise has been relegated to the couch for most of the week.
She is doing MUCH better, but we still have her taking it easy! Due to her asthmatic tendencies, she has to endure breathing treatments. Though she is still too young to diagnose, it looks like we will be dealing with asthma in the future for sure! It was pretty scary watching her struggle to breath the other night. Thank goodness for the Nebulizer!
Luckily, Dinah hasn't seemed to catch the bug!
And did I mention that she's now 10 months old?!
We had a visit from my sister and nephew yesterday!
It was nice to have some company and of course, the girls love to play!
Doctor Jaxson and Nurse Eloise give Dinah a check up!
We don't really "do" Halloween as far as the Trick-or-Treating goes (hello, food allergies!)... but I just love dressing the girls up and taking them to see friends and family. Yesterday we took a trip to my hometown to visit an old folks home for their Halloween Party and also to see my sister's family and my parents.
Please say "Hello!" to Peter Pan....
And Tinker Bell!
We look forward to Peter Pan and Tink "reappearing" next week to
Over the past couple of weeks I have been using my spare time to sew the girls' Halloween Costumes. I was a little bit under the gun because I promised to take the girls to a Party on the 25th. That reduced my sewing time by almost a week! BUT, I rallied those nap times and finally finished the costumes. I'm pleased with how they turned out! Of course, I am not going to spoil the surprise just yet! But instead, I will share some pictures of a very impromptu photo shoot I tried to do with the girls this afternoon. I was by myself and the wind was biting our noses (sure got chilly out there!)... but I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day. Unfortunately, with only myself to try to pose the kiddos AND take pictures, I didn't get many "good" shots.. but I definitely got "real" ones! Maybe I can try again one of these days when Cory is home!
My husband and I try to make our daughter's life as normal as possible when it comes to food.
Normal in a healthy way.
Since she can't have eggs or peanuts, and we limit her store-bought processed and sugary foods... we are often changing and adapting recipes we find to make things she can eat. I have to give my husband total credit for this one... he rocked out the ice cream recipe! I don't know if you can find this same recipe on the internet somewhere. I haven't looked. But in case you can't... here is how Cory made it.
And let me assure you, it is oh-so-delicious!
We have a Cuisinart ice cream maker...
but imagine it works with any kind!
2 cups Whole Milk (preferably raw or organic)
1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Add to your ice cream maker
(make sure the bowl thing for the ice cream maker was in the freezer, as per the Cuisinart directions!)
Let it do it's magic for half an hour and Voila!
Yummy Egg-Free, Refined Sugar-Free ice cream!
The texture isn't quite as "creamy"... but it's still SO good!
And if you're like us, you may enjoy adding some chocolate chips!
We get Enjoy Life for the allergy free benefits...
but you gotta watch for them to go on sale or they can be pricey!
(It's hard to get a still picture of Dinah these days... always on the go go go!!)
Eloise (and her crazy hair!) sent a letter to Peter Pan (at Walt Disney World Productions)... we are hoping for a reply, though I'm not sure Peter qualifies for a reply as some of the more popular characters do! We'll see! It will be a nice surprise, since I didn't tell Eloise one way or the other if Peter would "write back". (Notice her Peter Pan toys on the floor there - a little obsessed she is!)
This weekend is the Annual Fall Festival in my hometown. Usually I try to compile a bunch of handmade stuff to set up my own table as a vendor. In previous years, I've sold pottery,
stationery stuff (handmade envelopes), Handmade bags, wristlets and other things...
and last year I sold Baby Shoes!
Well, this year I have NADA! Having 2 girls has been a blessing, but it leaves me with little time to do much crafting! I don't really mind since I know that they will be grown in the blink of an eye and I'll have lots of time later to sew and craft. BUT... I did have a little time to do some painting, thanks to my awesome neighbor who watched the girls for a couple of hours! I am sooo excited that I had to share the pictures with you. It's not every day I get a chance to paint and I truly enjoy it!
So I hope you enjoy as well!
This mural is going to have holes cut out on the pumpkins so that people can get pictures of their little pumpkins' faces! I can't wait to do it with my girls when we get there on Saturday!
My neighbor's husband is so awesome, he supplied the board and the primer for me to get started!
This was all done free-hand... with only a little picture I doodled on an old envelope as my guide!
Here is a look straight-on! I'm really happy with the results!
Here are some pumpkins I painted for them to sell also!
You can read my previous post about what was going on HERE if you'd like a refresher!.
Yesterday was his 2nd Gamma Knife Surgery on his brain. We were surprised to get the call that the doctors wanted to schedule it so soon. We weren't expecting anything until October! My in-laws had to leave in the wee hours to get to the hospital in time for his 6AM appointment. My mother-in-law called with updates and he got prepped and was in the actual surgery a little after 9AM. We finally got a call not long after that... that they were able to "zap" the new tumor and that they determined that the other tumors which they thought were re-growing... were only swollen from his previous surgery! (Gamma Knife can have effects on the brain for many months following surgery).
We are thrilled! This is great news!
Of course, we would like him to NOT have tumors at all!
But the outlook is very optimistic!
Thank you for the prayers! We are so very grateful!
I got a little pampering this evening from one of my best girls! Of course, there was more nail polish on the skin of my left "pointer" toe (not sure what it's technical name is!) than on the actual nail... but she had fun and it was nice to spend a little time together while Daddy watched the Dinah-monster! *LOVE*