Dec 20, 2012

{isaac's really big christmas gift}

we have a date {finally finally. thank you lord!} for isaac's sixth surgery.
january 8th. with a super small chance of it happening before the end of the year if there is any kind of cancellation. we're on that list {before our deductible starts all over again. see the kinds of things i think about now?}

if 'everything' looks okay - they will have to take isaac to the OR {operating room. everyone probably knows that. i didn't before because i never watched grays anatomy...} & he will have a functioning little bum by the end of that day.
i couldn't quite tell you what 'everything' looking okay means. more than likely, the procedure will be done, but there is definitely a chance that it won't. & if it's not, i really don't know what will happen. we'll have to have a nice long sit down with the surgeon & reevaluate everything.

but we are going to pray & hope that this gets done. i am so so excited & as always, a bit nervous.

so all of that said, after 11 months of waiting, we are really excited to have a date on the calendar for this.


i feel like i should be posting something christmassy instead, but we haven't really done an isaac update in awhile, so here it is :)

Dec 5, 2012

{family photos 2012}









michael took our family photos again this year.
he is a dear friend & amazing photographer. we are always glad for an excuse to see him.
& winter to me is one of the best times to take photos. i just love all of the branchy trees & gray skies. its lovely.

isaac was a little mad at being taken outside in the cold. he's the only one of us that could manage to still look cute like that ;)

see last years before & after baby photos here & here.

Nov 16, 2012

{being thankful}

its been awhile since i've posted anything. 
our colds are all gone. my birthday has passed. i spent my first days away from both boys, back in my growing up town for my friends wedding & have come back home. its been a wonderfully busy month so far.

tomorrow marks our one year date with isaac being with us at home. i take it for granted a lot of the time now. that he is healthy for now, & with us. & i just wonder, when i let that happen? when i got so  wrapped up in day to day & have not consciously been thankful for a lot of things.

there are a lot of ways i want to grow. but one, for now, is thankfulness. a lot of times, it seems like i have to choose to be thankful. for the way things are, & for how much goodness we have experienced.

there really is so much to be thankful for.

so today i am thankful for the chilly winter air, & a cup of coffee in the morning. for time to do yoga. for isaac & how he will 'turn the page' when we read books now. for daniel working so hard so i can stay at home & do the job i love most. & for the sweet potato fries in the oven right now. especially those, at this moment :)

what are you thankful for today? its the perfect time to start thinking!

Oct 28, 2012

{cures to your flu blues}

the flu bug hit our home this week, at some point.
i am the only victim, so far. & goodness is it hanging on. i can't seem to shake it at all.
daniel has also been out of town, so its just been me & the little man & the flu bug & netflix.
i am seriously missing me some snuggles between one of them being gone & being afraid to make the other sick.

& today, since i have been thinking so much about the little sickhead i am, & also having been staring at a dwindling supply of teas & medicines,  i am taking more preventative measures for the other 2/3 of our home & stocking up. especially since winter hasn't even yet begun.

can i just get on my little soapbox for just a minute & say that vitacost, you guys, is my new best friend. i wish i had known about it sooner. it has a lot more natural options for our sickie bugs than the drugstore {plus multivitamins, oils, teas etc...} & is a lot cheaper, too.
& remember when i posted about coconut oil awhile back?

they have a half gallon for 20 bucks!!! the only downside {for some} is that it is more coconutty tasting, but you can still use it for lots of things. just maybe not in your stir fry...

i signed up through a friend. when you do that, you get $10 to spend & your buddy gets $10, too. so just sayin - $10 for a half gallon of coconut oil is pretty unbeatable. you should do this with your buddies, ladies & gents! you have to be signed up already to access the $10 code, so ask a buddy to send it over to you, or you can click here to sign up, too. {i promise it is 100% legit & not sketchy, even  though the page looks cheesy}

also, some links for natural cold & flu remedies. i love this website. super helpful...
stocking up your natural medicine cabinet
elderberry cough syrup

my current way of dealing with the flu this past week has been:
-lots of epsom salt baths
-oregano oil {plug your nose & just DO it. first thing in the am. it helps keep me going the rest of the day}
-hot emergen-c & honey {plus extra powdered vitamin-c}
-garlic on toast for breakfasts {i'm kind of crazy about garlic anyways, so this isn't gross to me, strangely...}
-chicken broth {straight up, or in a yummy soup}
-salt water for stuffy noses {another gross but mega effective treatment. fill a bowl or sink with enough warm water to cover nose & suck in - just not TOO much & blow out. clears you right up. probably a lot like a neti-pot. without the neti-pot part...}
-acv tea {organic apple cider vinegar, honey, cayenne, lemon & water}

hope you all are having a wonderful FALL weekend! isn't this weather incredible?!

Oct 19, 2012

{i will not cry all through isaac's birthday video. again.}

we are, by no stretch of the imagination, videographers.
i know beautiful videos when i see them, but don't have the eye for making them myself at all.
so our little video of isaacs first year may not be expertly made, but it is made with love.
& i boohoo all over the place every time i watch it. i forget how tiny & fragile isaac was...

we have SO many little video clips from this past year, i am actually really happy with how we condensed a few of them down to a watchable size.

we played this at isaac's birthday, just before we played 'fantastic mr. fox'.

Oct 16, 2012

{happy one year, not so little baby isaac}

so guys...
i have a ONE year old!!!
{two weeks ago. shhhh. don't tell him i'm so hugely behind announcing it}

i absolutely can't believe it.
we celebrated coleman style. we like to do things big. the big things. not everything.
like, we are going to invite everyone we know over for dinner & pie & an outdoor movie big.
have i said big enough times yet?
i think he had a pretty nice time :)

all of a sudden, too, isaac is acting older. he is two feet long & i don't know when he decided to stretch out that much. he is babbling ALL the time - most loudly when we are shopping. he likes to scare fellow shoppers with a loud, short BLAAA. 

he is starting to sit up on his own {when he wants to. he is also proving to be quite stubborn. i think he will need that fighting spirit, though, in years to come...} & he has this little drum toy my friend crystal bought him with hammers & balls. he absolutely shocked me yesterday when he picked up the hammer & started hitting the balls with it. it is the first toy he hasn't chewed on. although he does that some still, too.

we also celebrated his birthday week with his first tooth number one & two. when the little dude decides to grow up, he sure does it quick!

okay, enough talking & on to pictures.

by the way, totally unrelated, but isaac is still doing fabulous after his last surgery! he is 100%. thanks everyone for asking about him :)

Sep 28, 2012

{home again}

we're back! a little bit later than expected, but home, none the less. we were all itching the last few hours to get out of doors again. & to see our old home again. isaac, as you can see, is wiggling all around again & feeling nearly 100%. you would never guess his little bum was all in stitches...he makes me a bit nervous with all of the kicking.

this was by far our smoothest hospital visit yet! surgery was only an hour {compared to six last time around} we had great nurses, & even though it was a longer stay that we had hoped for, it was still just a little over 24 hours. horray! we are done now for about another 8 weeks :)

the 'unfortunately' of our trip was that we had our second vehicle mishap {why always in the parking deck?!} daniel went out to grab our luggage thursday evening & our car wouldn't start. the 'fortunately' though, was that he even tried to move our car that evening & we found out before we tried to leave with isaac & that we had two separate friends who both helped us check my car & tow it away. SUCH a lifesaver! it could have actually been about 1000x worse & i feel like they {& daniel, too, for taking care of it all} blessed us so much. i wasn't worried about it at all & was able to focus on isaac. needless to say, we are ending today feeling really grateful all over again for all of the wonderful, caring friends we have here.

crisis = avoided

tomorrow we are already taking isaac out {& i'll say it again - he is doing AWESOME} to a 'Be the One Run' -, the bone marrow registry i've mentioned before is sponsoring it & we are really excited to be there & share just a tiny bit of our story with people. we're going to try to run to. {ha}

Sep 25, 2012

{surprise! surgery this thursday}

so we thought we had this year planned - surgery wise. we had two more to go. a connection for isaac's colostomy & a left hand straightening, but yesterday i went in to see his surgeon - hoping we would be able to schedule a surgery date...& we did. it just wasn't the surgery i had expected.

thursday afternoon we have a bonus surgery that is also colostomy related. there was some scar tissue that we were hoping would soften up & just isn't improving at all {i won't get too graphic because isaac will see this one day & be embarrassed} so thursday it is.

the good news, is that it should be on the less invasive side - for an operation. & could possibly even be an outpatient procedure if he is doing well, which means we could possibly take him home thursday evening!

so kind of a bummer thrown into the middle of our week, but we'll make it through just fine, i think. isaac is fearless & strong. i can't wait for this set of surgeries to be OVER! it will be a wonderful wonderful day :)

prayers never get old, by the way. we need bunches of them!

i'll post an update later thursday. hope you all are having a nice week, in the meantime!

Sep 19, 2012

{piano painting}

i completely disregarded the general upkeep of our home this past week & devoted all of my precious nap time hours to transforming our piano with a bit of paint.

all in all, this was probably a 6-7 hour project. i didn't go totally crazy with the sanding, though, & i am actually glad with how it turned out!
you see the before up there? that was the very first thing you saw walking into our front door. now, some context - our entry room is the darkest in our home, & we have all hardwood floors that are exactly the same color as the piano, leaving our entry room looking a little blah. we have been talking about painting this piano for several months. ever since it was given to us, actually, but couldn't decide on the perfect color. something bright was our original plan. but a pop of color that we wouldn't get tired of? not so easy. & pianos aren't just things you want to paint every day, so we needed to be absolutely sure.
after toying around with all sorts of colors, we ended up with a dark slate gray. valspars mark twain gray brick in satin {i'm very glad we did satin, too, by the way. a semi-gloss would have been much much too shiny for me, at least}.

i looked in multiple places for tutorials on painting pianos & they were all across the board. one of them, i believe, even dedicated their garage for a month to the painting & drying process. not for me! i am, firstly, not patient enough to let anything dry for a month, & we weren't about to move this beast around. we just had to make it work, in a few days in our home. & it really wasn't so bad of a process.

you will need:
-masking or blue painting tape
-1 quart of primer {less, really, so if you have leftovers from anything, use it}
-1 quart of paint
-100 grit sanding blocks
-a pack of 4" foam rollers, handle & paint tray
-small brush for touch up painting

the steps i used are as follows:

1. remove music stand, piano top {i didn't do this because i was lazy, but it would be best if you did. i still need to do a bit of touching up paint because of it} & tape around the foot pedals & key edges. i did a not so awesome diagram below of where i taped. you can see, too that & left one little strip of wood behind the keys. as i was looking for examples of other painted pianos, this was often left just because its so difficult to paint back there & to flatten your keys to do it. & it doesn't bother me. i wondered if it would, but its a personal preference.
2. i did all of this indoors, so i opted not to use an electric sander {can you imagine?!}. instead, i just lightly buffed the entire surface with a hand block sander from lowes. you will see them with all of the sanding pads. it is literally a 3"x6" block with sandpaper on all sides & it works great for indoors. i would get 100 grit or so. then wipe all residual dust off & prep your area to paint.

3. start with primer. we had a gray tinted primer left from another project that worked perfectly for us. i also used a foam roller. we used these to paint the cabinets in our kitchen. it seems to leave a much smoother finish to me. i would definitely say use this over a brush. definitely. it goes much quicker, too.

4. do a second coat of primer now. this is optional, but i think it really made a difference. our piano had a few nicks & things that we wanted to cover & this did the trick pretty well. you can sand in between if you feel like you need to, as well. i didn't.
5. finish off with two coats of your paint. i let each coat of gray dry a day in between & did both coats of primer in the same afternoon.
i'm really happy with how it turned out for us. i was originally planning on distressing it a bit afterwards, but now i'm not so sure after all...

p.s. i'm sorry if i've completely horrified anyone for painting over such pretty wood, this just works for us better!

Sep 17, 2012

{happy three years}

daniel & i celebrated our third married anniversary…almost two weeks ago {i'm a little behind}
they have been the craziest, busiest, most life changing yet. i can't imagine so many big things happening in another three years {graduating, job, buying home, fixing home, having baby}
& they've been the best years so far! looking forward to many more with you, sweet thing!

Sep 5, 2012

{happy 11 months, isaac}




you guys, isaac is almost a YEAR OLD!!!
i am so not ready for this, yet...

i was just thinking through how far he's come in the past year, & i don't talk about all of the little things he's doing, a lot.

we  have had all kinds of obstacles getting him moving & developing appropriately for his age: extended time in the hospital, his hydrocephalous, surgeries, not hearing for the first 9 months of his life - we've even found that his arms being shorter than typical have made it harder for him to sit up {he can't prop himself up with his hands at all. its pretty much a torso balancing act} & crawl.

so, all of those things considered, i could not be more thrilled with how he is doing.
with the hydrocephalous alone, we really didn't know what kind of brain function he would have, & we really are just having to wait & see with that, still, but he is already doing better than we could have hoped for.

the first time he rolled onto his side on his own was a HUGE deal for us - i was just watching a video of it a few days back. we were freaking out excited & screaming. it was probably a good thing he couldn't really hear us :)

now he reaches for his toys & can manipulate things with his hands really well. he rolls from side to side & will scoot himself around on the floor with his feet to get to his toys. he bounces in his jumper like mad & laughs & has recently started to talk to us more. he can sit up when we're spotting him - & mommies don't freak out, but this boy just may never crawl. thats all there is to it. we are still going to try, but we've heard that with his arms the way they are, a lot of kids don't crawl. & if thats what happens, then its okay.

we are still working on sleeping through the night - with his small size, though {10 1/2 pounds. normal for FA, i promise i'm feeding him}  i'm wondering if it will be quite awhile before we make it through the night. but gracious, i'm hoping not. that is probably the hardest part.

& still no teeth! i have been saying that he is teething for the last 6 months & haven't seen a thing. those little guys are slow movers. i think they'll probably just all decide to show up at the same time.

i am so proud of my little buddy. i stopped keeping track of where he should be & am just glad for what he is able to do & when. i think he's just fabulous :)

happy 11 months little raptor baby!

Aug 29, 2012

{homemade pop tarts}

pop tarts
these pop tarts are far superior to the boxed ones {you will never ever no back! & while i still can't say they are the ideal healthy treat, they are much much better for you, still} & require next to no effort to make. they are our new favorite saturday morning treat :)

all you need is:
pie crust, rolled out flat. store bought, or homemade. {we have an excellent crust recipe that we use here. i make several at a time & freeze them. & use all spelt flour instead of white & it is delicious & slightly nutty tasting}
jam of your choice

frosting is made with powdered sugar {start with a cup or so} & a dash of milk & vanilla extract to desired thickness. or you could do an egg wash using one egg, beat & brushed on the top.
we've actually come to like them plain. just a preference with us, though.

no.1 roll out your pie crust to a thin, but workable amount. cut into long rectangles with a pizza cutter until you have used all the dough {you will be folding these in half, so think very long rectangles} 
no. 2 scoop about 2 tsp of jam onto one side of your crust & spread - leaving a bit of room around the edges.
no. 3 fold crust in half & crimp the edges with a fork.
no. 4 bake at 350 degrees until slightly browned on top, or 7-ish minutes

bon appetite!

Aug 23, 2012

{camp sunshine}

camp sunshine.
camp sunshine_2
camp sunshine_3
camp sunshine_4
camp sunshine_5
camp sunshine_6
camp sunshine_7

i have too many great things to say about our time in maine this past week. {once we finally got there. ptl!} just going through the photos today i am missing the people & am wanting to be back again. only 55 more weeks, right?

there were definitely mixed emotions being there. i had time to think more about isaac than i have in a long while. we met so many parents that had lost children. i didn't know what to say. i think we have grieved, in a way, & can relate more than some, but there is nothing to say that makes these things okay. they are all such strong, wonderful people, though. we felt at home with them right away.

even so, we talked & laughed & sang karaoke {daniel was king, by the way}, & ate LOBSTER! for the very very first time & i loved it. i was a pro by the second one guys, let me tell you...

we spent a lot of our days in 'lectures' i suppose you could say. isaac had plenty of ladies to coo over him in the 'tot lot' all during the day.

one talk in particular though, on gene therapy was amazing & encouraging - for a lot of the parents, i think. the hope, & a lot of the research being done right now with FA is essentially looking to isolate & fixing the broken DNA & putting it into the body via a carrier, or virus. if its successful in a patient, it would eliminate the need for a bone marrow transplant & would be an outpatient procedure - both of those things are crazy mind-blowing & almost too good to be true sounding!!! its okay if none of that makes sense, but just know that it is really hopeful & exciting news to us.

there is so so much i could say, but i'll let some of the pictures speak for themselves, & i also don't want to give too much away - i'll be posting some more thoughts on camp in a few months via the FA Newsletter, so we'll save some of the details for then ;)

i am also going to take just a minute to gush over photos of my little son & say that the one of him holding the balloon & the 'isaac' wish boat tie for the most heart melting photos EVER. i can't stop looking at them. at least they are in my book...

Aug 18, 2012

{home again}

baggage claim.
baggage claim.
baggage claim.
we are back! it has never felt more lovely to be home, but at the same time, we had a wonderful trip.
some parts of it were incredibly unexpected. like the 3 cancelled flights & two days in detroit that we didn't plan on {we are driving from now on!} but that also meant spending time with a sweet friend - one of my bridesmaids way back in the day, juliet & her man. they seriously get friend of the YEAR awards for picking us up at the airport at 2 in the morning & saving us from sleeping in the terminal at the airport! we were able to spend all last friday with them, too, so it actually ended up being a really nice time that we didnt expect in the middle of a crazy situation.

we got to camp a day late - saturday afternoon & had a wonderful time.
more on that, soon, though :)
THANK you guys, again for all of the travel tips! it was really helping for our many flights!

Aug 9, 2012

{packed & ready}

thanks everyone, for the travel tips! i am feeling SO much more prepared & mostly at ease about our journey now.

we are packed {a bit early} & ready. one carry on. two backpacks. stroller. carseat & a baby.
i seriously don't know how that happened. seriously.

isaac was an awesome little packing buddy. he has figured out how to shake his head, so he jammed out to musics the whole time & watched me.

it is feeling really real now. can't wait!


Aug 3, 2012

{a 10 month birthday}

isaac is 10 months old today. we are coming up on a year SO quickly! & to celebrate 10 months we are going to camp in a few weeks! our new fanconi family will all be there as well as a lot of the doctors & researchers. we are excited to meet everyone. our circle of people has grown so much because of isaac & i feel like it is about to explode.

i will say, though. i am really nervous about flying with him. & just being so far away from home. he is a super well behaved little man - but he does seem to choose the absolute worst moments to cry unconsolably. i'm just praying for an uneventful flight...

any of you mommies have tips for traveling with wee ones? from airports, to packing & being in new places...
i need your mommy expertise!!!

Jul 30, 2012

{diy wicker basket makeover}


this really isn't even a diy. absolutely anyone could do this, its more of an idea, really.

you know those wicker baskets that were probably all over your house growing up?
well they are in just about every single yard sale/thrift shop you can imagine now.

so you can take them from junky & dull to beautiful in about 10 minutes. all you need is a can of spray paint. i think metallic colors are especially beautiful, personally.

we use ours to store little supplies for isaac in our room, now. way nicer than leaving them all over our dresser!

{you will need}
spray paint
primer (optional)

before you start painting, be sure there isn't any dust or cobwebs or it will show up when you spray paint. you may want to pull out your vacuum hose for that one.

then prime, if you so choose. i didn't with mine, but if i did it again, i think i would just because the wicker was so dark on my baskets to begin with.

these were done with a valspar metallic silver spray paint from lowes.

have fun!