Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: This NEVER Happens!!

This is very likely my last post as Two Little Monkeys. On Friday I’ll be rolling out a new name and a new look. Stay tuned!!


TWO boys asleep in the car?!?!!?!

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Monday, June 27, 2011

A Joyful Heart

Today my parents came over to my house. Yes, my parents. It was the first time since before Christmas that my mom was able to come over. What a blessing!! My heart was SO full of joy after they left.

Jacob had a blast showing her all of the new things he has gotten since then. And for once when he asked her “You’re not sick anymore?” she was able to say “No, now I can play with you!”

THANK YOU JESUS for this gift!!!!!


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Proud Mama Monday

My kids make me a proud mama often. Here are a few Proud Mama Moments from the last week 🙂

1. Today Jacob started singing “Now I know my ABCs, next time won’t you sing with me” instead of his previous “Now sing me” at the end of his ABC’s

2. On Saturday Jacob started pedaling on his tricycle!

3. I don’t remember what day but Jordan was in his carseat and he was crying. Jacob went over to him and started rocking him and singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to him to get him to stop crying

4. Jordan has learned how to clap his hands

5. Jordan has learned how to pull up on everything and to cruise a little bit along the furniture



What are your Proud Mama Moments from this week? Feel free to grab this button and/or link up below 🙂








Sunday, June 26, 2011

Five Years Later….

Five years later and it still fits!!!



Well….


kinda??




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Friday, June 24, 2011

Five Question Friday 6/24/11



1. What is your current favorite tv show?
I really don’t watch TV. *gasp* I know. I used to try to stay up to date on shows online but I even haven’t been doing that lately. The only show I did stay up to date on was Fringe. So I guess I’ll say that’s my favorite. The only other one I even have any desire to catch up on is Desperate Housewives. But, there’s just no time for TV around here! And that’s perfectly fine with me!

2. What’s the worst haircut you ever got?
Hmm… besides the one I gave to myself? That was cute. My husband had to fix it for me. It ended up being really short. But… I’m actually thinking of going that short again.


What do you think? Add a few layers in there? It could work….

Then there was this one time in college when we went to the mall and I got my hair cut. The lady left a few strands in the front longer than the rest of my hair (and this was way before that was even considered stylish — though I still think it looks dumb) and when we got home my roommate, Jessica, had to give me another cut and fix it.

Then there’s the fact that I can’t do anything with my hair so it ALWAYS looks like a bad haircut. Yep. We’ll go with that one!

3. What was something that you did as a child that you thought you were so cool for doing?
Oh man, SO many idiotic things, that’s for sure. One thing that comes to mind is having dancing/rollerskating/whatever else “recitals” for my parents. We’d play on the rocks by our driveway. Ohhhh yeah! Do you remember that Mom & Dad?

4. Do you have any GREAT frugal family fun tips?
No, not really.

5. Would you drive across country if you had the money to fly?
No. I prefer flying. And, as my husband can attest, I have this strange condition called Goes-Psycho-After-Two-Hours-In-The-Car, where I get all giddy and chatty and talk a million miles a minute about nonsense and laugh hysterically at nothing. And I start muttering things like “Laguardia” and “Racoon babies!!!” And then my legs get all restless. And it makes for a long trip for everyone involved.



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Flashback Friday 6/24

A blog that I frequently read, The Heir to Blair, came up with a great idea to do a flashback picture/story every Friday. I’m definitely going to play along with Flashback Fridays and what a perfect day for my first flashback!!

Five years ago today, June 24, 2006, I awoke at my parents’ house and laid calmly in bed staring at what I was going to wear that day. How do I remember this in such detail? Well, you see, I was staring at my wedding dress. And that is the first memory I have of my wedding day.

I could write for hours upon hours of all the memories I have from that wonderful day. But I’ll spare ya.



It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since our wedding day. It seems so monumental and at the same time, so ordinary. So much has changed these last five years. I graduated college and got a job. Matt went back to school. We bought a house, adopted several animals (most of which we since adopted back out), and were blessed with two beautiful baby boys. We’ve had arguments but we’ve also filled our lives with amazing memories. I couldn’t imagine going through life with anyone else.

I love you, Matthew James. Thank you for the last five years.


…and they lived happily ever after…



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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Father’s Day 2011



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Children’s Books

I’m sure there are many great children’s books that I’ve yet to discover. Here’s a list of my top ten that I didn’t or don’t get tired of reading with the boys.


1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin


2. Goodnight by Melanie Mitchell

Good Night: A Touch & Feel Bedtime Book

3. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give...)

4. Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino


5. It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler


6. The Little Green Turtle by Adam Relf

7. That’s Not My Kitten by Fiona Watt

8. Mickey and the Beanstalk


9. Moose Tracks by Karma Wilson


10. Where is Baby’s Bellybutton? by Karen Katz

Where Is Baby's Belly Button? A Lift-the-Flap Book


What are your favorites??
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Monday, June 20, 2011

From The Mouths of Babes…

… is bound to be something to make you smile or laugh. Here are a few smile-worthy moments from Jake recently.

Me: “Do you want to read a book? Or draw? Or do a puzzle?”
Jake: “I want to draw. That make me happy.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Matt sings the ABC’s while brushing Jake’s teeth and when they are finished they both say “yay!”
Well, the other night after Jake’s “yay” was a very enthusiastic “I love that song!”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Jake’s version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star….

“Twinkle twinkle little star
Way up high
Like diamond in sky
I don’t know who you are
Twinkle twinkle”





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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Explaining Cancer to a Two Year Old

Cancer is not easy to explain. As an adult and especially as a person in the medical profession, I thought I understood cancer. At least for the most part. After all, we all know that unhealthy behaviors (smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet, etc) can cause cancer. But then it struck my family. And suddenly nothing about cancer made sense anymore. And more than that, I realized how much I truly didn’t know about it.

Then add a two year old in the mix. A two year old who wonders why one of his favorite people, his Lolo, no longer comes over to our house to babysit him. Why we don’t see her as much anymore, why we can’t play with her anymore, why she has no hair. The innocence of some of his questions is just heartbreaking. And all I can muster to say to him is “Lolo is sick, but she’s getting better.”

Almost every day we have a conversation that goes something like this…

Jake: “Lolo all better?”
Me: “Not yet, but she’s getting better.”
Jake: “Then we play with her?”
Me: “Yep, then we can play with her.”
Jake: “Lolo sick” *insert pouty face*


Sure, it’s kind of adorable. But it’s also sad. Because he can’t understand it. Because none of us can. But how do you explain cancer to a two year old?

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Surviving

Another article I received with my order from ChooseHope.com that I thought was worth sharing. This was not written by me.

Surviving:
15 Helpful Steps When You’re Diagnosed with Cancer
by Chris McHugh


STEP 1: Go to the best “National Cancer Center”. Usually a training school facility will have the latest treatments available. Sometimes you have to push until it feels uncomfortable to find the newest treatments. This is something we should do in life whether we are decorating or finding the best treatment.

STEP 2: Use technology to research your disease and possible treatments. Call 1-800-4-CANCER, ask for help to formulate the best questions to get the best answers from your doctors. Use the internet, but have someone be your researcher because this is very time consuming. The key is to educate yourself about your disease.

STEP 3: Cancer is BIG money business to hospital and treatment centers. You are hiring this professional, get different opinions until you are comfortable. Remember this doctor will be with you until they die or you die. Does your doctor have the same goals as you do? Do you share the same values? Remember, YOU know your disease, you can make choices. No one will walk into the room and say they will cure you. You have to fight for the best treatment and care. I interviewed three doctors and asked them questions. The most important question to me was, “If after I listen to your treatment plan, may I choose what I think is best for me?” My doctor answered, “absolutely!”

STEP 4: Make doctors aware of your life and your life stories. Make yourself human to them. Make sure your doctor knows you are loved. Make this known to your insurance company also. They document who calls. This is important for questionable treatments. If they don’t think you can fight and know no one else is around, they may deny you. (During my bone marrow transplant, I wore a button every day that said, “I AM LOVED.”)

STEP 5: Do not consider yourself a statistic. Doctors can only give you their human opinion. My attitude and my family’s love changed my statistics.

STEP 6: My belief is to use the “Biggest Guns” they have, but remember treatment choices are choices that are as unique as your cancer is, and as unique as you are. Life goals, general health, and age are all factors. When we use words like “win” and “lose” with cancer we are setting ourselves up for feelings like “failure”. You make the best choice at the time and don’t look back. “Should’ves” and “could’ves” are traps.

STEP 7: You have choices… choose to be POSITIVE! A positive attitude has everything to do with it! Choose to make the most out of any situation, but don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Forgive yourself and go on.

STEP 8: Wrap yourself in a blanket of love provided by family and friends. Allow others to take care of you so you can take care of yourself.

STEP 9: Be honest about your feelings with yourself and share them with family, spouse, and friends. Sometimes saying it out loud allows you to move on.

STEP 10: Support groups were my lifeline. They know how you feel, making you feel less isolated.

STEP 11: Avoid toxic people. You know who they are. You work with them. You live next door to them. You may even life with them! Put a sign on the front door that reads “Don’t come in if you can’t be POSITIVE!”

STEP 12: Financial burdens and giving up work both cause emotional strife. If you can’t work, remember you ARE working. Your job is to heal.

STEP 13: Headphones and meditation. I couldn’t have survived without these two. Use your mind, it’s the most powerful tool you have. Learn to relax and understand your body. Let your heart and mind be open to messages.

STEP 14: You are not dying the day you are diagnosed, so seize the day.

STEP 15: Never lose your faith. Never lose hope and believe in prayer. Believe in miracles!!!!!


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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Caching for a Cure

It’s no secret that my mom was recently diagnosed with liver cancer. It’s also no secret that she’s been undergoing chemo and kicking cancer in the behind!!!! But what you may not be aware of is what my amazing husband has been up to because of this.

He had wanted to give back to the community for awhile and after the devastating diagnosis came last December, he knew what he wanted to do. So he worked hard to create Caching for a Cure. What this event will entail is a mixture of geocaching and Relay for Life, basically. It’s going to be a fun time to raise money for cancer research. ALL proceeds go to the American Cancer Society to help find a cure for my mom and the millions of others affected by cancer.

The event will take place on Saturday, July 16th at Palmer Park (1275 52nd St SW, Wyoming, MI) Registration will begin at 10am (you may also pre-register on the Caching for a Cure website). So come on out for a good time and a chance to win some great prizes (including a brand new Magellan eXplorist 510 GPS!) We hope to see you there!!

We are still in need of the following:
– Donations for goods/services for the silent auction
– Donations for the event itself (especially lunch)
– And of course, monetary donations/sponsors for the American Cancer Society! (That’s what it’s all about, after all!)

If you can help, please email sticks1983@gmail.com with the subject “Caching for a Cure”




Cache for a Cure: woodtv.com


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: Sensory Block

Here is a sensory block that I made for Jordan. I think it turned out pretty cute and I’m pretty proud of myself. I’m thinking of making a few more for some friends babies.


testing it out

a gummy smile – the baby seal of approval


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Places I Want to Visit

Top Ten {Tuesday}

When Matt and I were first married we decided every year we’d take a vacation and we wanted to visit every state. We wrote down the names of all the states and put them into a jar and then drew out where our vacation would be. We were sorely disappointed to pull out Missouri for our first trip but we ended up finding a lot of fun things to do there that we wouldn’t have even known (or cared) existed.

Then we had kids and our plans of a vacation every year went out the window. But here’s a list of ten places I’d like to visit someday, in no particular order.


1. The Carolinas. I still maintain that I’d like to move to the Carolinas someday. So I suppose I should actually visit there and make sure it’s everything I think/hope/dream it to be.

2. The Grand Canyon. I think The Grand Canyon speaks for itself. No explanation needed here.

3. Yellowstone National Park. I think this is another no explanation needed.

4. Hawaii. I’ve decided since our five year wedding anniversary is coming up and we aren’t doing anything that for our ten year wedding anniversary we’re going to take a vacation – sans kids – to Hawaii. A girl can dream, right? And even if it never happens, I’ll have fun planning that vacation for the next five years.

5. Wilmington, NC. I know I already mentioned the Carolinas in general but I’d also like to specifically see Wilmington. This goes back to my Dawson’s Creek days, as this is where the show was filmed. I have always wanted to go there and even though I am no longer obsessed with the show (only because it’s no longer on, let’s be honest) I still want to go there.

6. Sandals Grand Antigua. If you haven’t seen pictures of this place, well, you should. Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
Sandals Grande Antigua Highlight 2
this is my favorite lodging set up

7. Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. They have a huge water-slide that is enclosed and when you go down it you are surrounded by sharks. Enough said.

8. Greece. Ever since I did a project on Ancient Greece in high school world’s studies class I have been totally fascinated with Greece. Of all the places in the world, if I went anywhere outside of the US, that’s where I’d like to go. I love all the history there and knowing that people THOUSANDS of years ago were standing at the very spot I was standing at and looking at the very same building that I am looking at. It just totally blows my mind.

9. England/Wales. After growing up with the dream of becoming a princess some day (thanks Kate Middleton for ruining that one for me and thousands of other girls) and having Princess Diana as a role model, it only seems fitting to have this on my list.

10. Forks, Washington. Yup. Because Edward lives there? 😀

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Menu Planning 6/6/11

I need to get back in the habit of posting our menu plans for the week again. I think it helps me to be more accountable on having good meals. Anyway, here’s what we came up with for this week.

Monday 6/6: Minestrone soup. (We were supposed to have this last night but were out too late so we stopped at Steak N Shake instead :-/ so we’re having this tonight now!) Breadsticks.

Tuesday 6/7: Fend for yourself, Matt will be at class. I’ll probably make some egg salad sandwiches for Jake and myself.

Wednesday 6/8: Strawberry salad (think Panera) Romaine, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, mandarin oranges, pecans. Delicious!

Thursday 6/9: Fend for yourself, Matt will be at class

Friday 6/10: Hamburgers, sweet potato fries, fresh green beans, salad if the lettuce still looks okay

Saturday 6/11: Grilled chicken quesadillas

Sunday 6/12: Breakfast. I can’t wait for this one!! French toast, scrambled eggs, turkey bacon. Mmmmm.


What do you think? What are YOU having this week?

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Jacob at 30 Months (2 1/2)

Today Jacob turned 2 1/2. Which means we are halfway through surviving the terrible two’s. And so far they haven’t been too terrible. We’ve had our challenges, of course, but we mostly just have to laugh at the drama. Anyway, here’s a glimpse of Jacob at 2 1/2.




Weight: 33.6 lbs
Height: 36″
Favorite Food: chicken, crackers, cheerios, cheesesticks
Favorite Toy: balls, bike, lawnmower, art supplies
Frequent Phrases: “probably,” “right now?,” “what kind?” (this one is getting on my nerves) “I do it” and “I do it all by self,” “stop,” “you want to try it?,” and “you eat?”
For example….
Me: Look at the bug
Jake: You like bugs?
Me: They are okay
Jake: You eat bugs?
Me: No
(he asks this about EVERYTHING)

New Accomplishments: going potty all by himself, he’s about 75% potty trained, dressing and undressing
What We Did This Month: continued the sticker reward system for potty training (still working well), celebrated Mother’s Day, met Ben, Auntie Sarah came for a visit, Relay for Life, flew his kite for the first time, had our first picnic, lots of visits to the park
Likes: spiderman (he’s slightly obsessed even though he’s never even SEEN spiderman haha), trains, trucks, swimming, playing outside, monsters, being chased, reading, his baby brother
Dislikes: going to bed, brushing his teeth (though he’s getting better about this), not getting his way

Pictures:

he got to play on this firetruck at relay




I think kids are just born knowing how to do this.

SPIDERMAN BALL!!!!



hiding under his bed


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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cancer: Signs and Symptoms

This is the first of a couple of cancer related posts I will be doing soon. None of these were written by me, but I received this paper in the mail with my order from Choose Hope (definitely recommend this site!) and I thought they were all worth sharing.

The following is taken from www.chosehope.com


The key to a cure is early diagnosis! Knowing these signs could save your life or the life of someone you know. Having any of these symptoms does NOT necessarily mean you have cancer, but is something you should have checked out if symptoms persist.


Bladder Cancer: Blood in the urine, pain, or burning upon urination; frequent urination; or cloudy urine

Bone Cancer: Pain in the bone or swelling around the affected site; repeated fractures in bones, weakness, fatigue, weight loss; repeated infections; nausea, vomiting, constipation, problems with urination; weakness or numbness in the legs; bumps and bruises that persist

Brain Cancer: Dizziness; drowsiness, abnormal eye movements or changes in vision; weakness, loss of feeling in arms or legs or difficulties in walking; fits or convulsions; changes in personality, memory or speech; headaches that tend to be worse in the morning and ease during the day, that may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting

Breast Cancer: A lump or thickening of the breast, inverted nipple or discharge from the nipple; change in the skin of the breast; a feeling of heat; or enlarged lymph nodes under the arm

Breast Cancer – Inflammatory: Change in the skin of the breast including redness, thickening of the skin, prominence of the hair follicles resembling an orange peel. A rash-like appearance that doesn’t go away

Cervical Cancer: Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as between periods or after intercourse. Vaginal bleeding after menopause. Foul vaginal discharge. Discomfort during intercourse.

Colorectal Cancer: Rectal bleeding (red blood in stools or black stools) abdominal cramps; constipation alternating with diarrhea; weight loss; loss of appetite; weakness; pallid complexion

Esophageal Cancer: Difficulty swallowing; severe unintentional weight loss; pain in your throat, mid-chest, or between your shoulder blades; hoarseness or a chronic cough

Hodgkin’s Disease: Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin

Kidney Cancer: Blood in urine; dull ache or pain in the back or side; lump in kidney area, sometimes accompanied by high blood pressure or abnormality in red blood cell count

Leukemia: Weakness, paleness; fever and flu-like symptoms; bruising and prolonged bleeding; enlarged lymph nodes, spleen, liver; pain in bones and joints; frequent infections; weight loss; night sweats

Liver Cancer: Loss of appetite and weight loss; fever; fatigue and weakness; pain in the upper right abdomen; abdominal swelling or a feeling of fullness/bloating; jaundice

Lung Cancer: Wheezing, persistent cough for months; blood-streaked sputum; persistent ache in chest; congestion in lungs; enlarged lymph nodes in neck

Melanoma: Change in mole or other bump on the skin, including bleeding or change in size, shape, color, or texture

Multiple Myeloma: Bone pain or frequent fractures; infections, especially bacterial infections of the respiratory and urinary tracts; generalize fatigue, weight loss and malaise; nausea, vomiting, altered mental state; depression

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: Painless swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, or groin; persistent fever; feeling of fatigue; unexplained weight loss; itchy skin and rashes; small lumps in skin; bone pain; swelling in the abdomen; liver or spleen enlargement

Oral Cancer: A lump in the mouth, ulceration of the lip, tongue or inside of the mouth that does not heal within a couple of weeks; dentures that no longer fit well; oral pain, bleeding, foul breath, loose teeth, and changes in speech

Ovarian Cancer: Abdominal swelling; in rare cases, abnormal vaginal bleeding; digestive discomfort

Pancreatic Cancer: Upper abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss; pain near the center of back; intolerance of fatty foods; yellowing of the skin; abdominal masses; enlargement of liver and spleen

Prostate Cancer: Urination difficulties due to blockage of the urethra; bladder retains urine creating frequent feelings of urgency to urinate, especially at night; bladder not emptying completely; burning or painful urination; bloody urine; tenderness over the bladder; and dull ache in the pelvis or back

Stomach Cancer: Indigestion or heartburn; discomfort or pain in the abdomen; nausea and vomiting; diarrhea or constipation; bloating after meals; loss of appetite; weakness and fatigue; vomiting blood or blood in the stool

Testicular Cancer: Pain or swelling in the testes; lumps or nodules, whether painful or not; enlargement of the testicles; pain in the lower back or groin area; swelling of the scrotum

Thyroid Cancer: Problems with swallowing; hoarseness; enlarged lymph nodes in the neck; breathing difficulty; pain in the throat and/or neck


THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED AS A SUBSTITUE FOR THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDER. IF YOU HAVE AN ILLNESS, MEDICAL PROBLEM OR ANY CONCERNS REGARDING THE ABOVE SYMPTOMS, PLEASE CONTACT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL

www.choosehope.com


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Friday, June 3, 2011

Five Question Friday 6/3/2011



1. If you had to choose, how would you prefer to choose to spend money…on landscaping or a pool?
In a perfect world, a pool, hands down. But our yard would be terrible for a pool so realistically landscaping. Or just crafting or diapers 😉

2. Death penalty, yay or nay?
Given the right circumstances, yay. I am for it.

3. What’s the worst thing your kid has gotten into when you turned your back/blogged/showered/blinked?
Thankfully, I think the worst that Jake has done is draw in crayon on the wall/window/furniture/etc. And there was that one time when he dumped almost an entire container of brown sugar all over the carpet. Ugh. But it could have been worse, right?

4. How often do you REALLY go to the dentist?
Every six months, right on schedule. I actually like going to the dentist.

5. What is your favorite animal (doesn’t have to be a pet-type animal)?
I’m pretty sure everyone knows… GIRAFFE!!!


just look at that cutie!!!


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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Comparison at Eight Months



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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Daddy’s Little Helper



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