1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Trick or Treat

Rachel went trick or treating today with her sisters at the nursing home I work at. I was so proud of her. She used her walker the entire time and was not shy at all. I was worried that she was going to be shy and make me carry her. She definitely proved me wrong.
Busy little bumble bee!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spina Bifida Mateys

Hoot Hoot! I made Rachel a pair of owl leg warmers that fit over her twister cables. The weather has taken a turn for the cold here in Wisconsin. I actually saw snow flurries today. With the cold weather brings the problem of Rachel's little legs getting cold and the metal bars of the twister cables being cold. I am hoping to make more leg warmers for her. There is a tutorial on how to make them on the right hand side of this blog under the pages section. It is named custom fit leg warmers.If you look closely you will notice Rachel is wearing two different shoes. For a kid that has very little feeling in her feet she is very fussy about her footwear and having her toe nails painted. Yes- she can not get enough of the toe nail polish- she currently has her toe nails painted with green sparkles.
I caught a picture of Rachel doing her "bear crawl". This is how she has been crawling lately with her twister cables on. This is also the position she gets her self into prior to standing up near something.
Rachel playing with her cousin Max's trucks and Ants in the Pants.
Last week we took the girls to the mall. We maybe go 4 to 5 times a year. Rachel decided she was going to walk the mall. We didn't bring her walker with. She walked from one end of the mall to the other just holding onto to my fingers. I did not hold her up- she did all of the work. She sat down to take a couple of breaks but would absolutely not let me carry her or put her back in the stroller. I am so proud of her determination!

Below is a link to an interview another spina bifida mom Kellie did with her son Adam. He just turned 2 and is a total spina bifida rock star. 

Here is Alexia with her pirate play set! This girl has the best smiles ever! I look at her and see a young Christie Brinkley super model. Another spina bifida rock star!
Pirate Ruth and her pirate "food"! Ruth also is a spina bifida rock star!
Pirate Ruth and her gang of pirate sisters!Love it!
Here is Ruth rocking out the cover of Insights into Spina Bifida magazine!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Happy 17th Wedding Anniversary

This is the story of the beginning of our family. I met Steve 4 months after I graduated from high school through a mutual friend-Sherry. We met around Sweetest Day 18 years ago. We started dating soon after meeting. We got engaged on Valentine's Day after a few months of dating. We were married on Sweetest Day October 19, 1996. We were married 1 year after I graduated high school. Three years after our marriage we were blessed with having Breanne. We added a wonderful black lab named Dixie to our family.She passed away this past January. Dixie was the most loving dog ever. Two years after having Breanne we were blessed with having Alicia.  We added a stray black lab mix to our family that the girls named Lucky. Lucky was estimated to be about 13 weeks old and was so thin his ribs showed and he had mange. Through vet care and love Lucky grew into a hefty 90 lbs of muscle and cured his mange. Lucky is 8 yrs old and still with us. Nine years after having Alicia we were blessed with having Rachel.  Our family maybe small but it is filled with love.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Will to Walk

This has been a busy week for Rachel and I. A busy but happy week. On our fetal surgery for spina bifida facebook group we also gave away 2 super hero masks.Our little spina bifida kiddos are true super heroes and defy the odds. The masks are also available to purchase at the Twice Born Boutique in infant, toddler and child sizes.
Here is Dryden's super hero mask.
Here is Miah's super hero mask.
 We also made a super hero mask for Darb. She is Rachel's runner from the I Run For organization. She has been working hard in Rachel's honor. Go Darb Go!
Here is Darb's super hero mask!
Here is Carter with his sister and the sword and eye patch from the pirate play set give away. They are both so cute!Carter is going to need to learn how to use that sword to chase the boys away from his sister!
Rachel giving her stuffed dog a kiss. She is so sweet!
Rachel standing tall. She is rearranging the front of our fridge. I have caught her swinging on the door handle of the fridge trying to get it open. It will only be a matter of time before she figures it out.
Rachel's physical therapist brought over a front facing walker this week for Rachel to try. She has been using it nonstop- as in she hasn't even touched her other two walkers since this one arrived. The problem is she wants to walk with it like her backward facing ones. During her therapy session we had to attach a soft pumpkin trick or treat basket to it and bribe her with candy into her basket. That worked for a while until she realized we were placing the same 2 suckers back in when she wasn't looking. Height wise this one is a little too tall for her yet but she likes it. It is easier for her to maneuver around the house with it. It can fold up and be brought with when we go places. Over all we both like it. In time she will use it in the right direction but for now I am just happy with her will to walk. She has also been doing a lot of bear crawling this week- this is where she crawls with both her arms and legs extended and not bent. Kind of like the yoga position- downward facing dog only crawling at the same time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sea Legs

Rachel is trying to get her "sea legs" under her. She has been being brave this week and letting go of holding onto things while she is standing. She looks so hesitant but proud at the same time. She stays steady, then those "sea legs" start to sway and down she goes. I love how determined she is. We have caught her walking along the outside of her parallel bars with just one hand lightly skimming the top of the bar. I wish I would have gotten video of the that. With her "sea legs" and love for Jake and the Neverland Pirates we made a girl and boy pirate playset. The pirate playset was then put into a drawing amongst our Fetal Surgery for Spina Bifida facebook group. We are excited to send them out in the mail tomorrow to Alexis and Carter.
During one of our walks this week Rachel walked about a 1/4 mile with her walker. We took a different route and her toddler curiosity kept her going. I took this picture of her during this walk.
I found Rachel her own student sized guitar. She loves it! I wouldn't be surprised if during her fetal surgery in Nashville she got a little taste of Music Row.
Rachel has an improved pancake with the maple syrup on it this time-lol!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month

I have seen so many wonderful spina bifida awareness pictures on Facebook since the beginning of October. I love them! One of the facts that I have seen posted several times is that 64% of pregnancies with a spina bifida babe end in abortion. That is a horrifying number!
Rachel and I getting ready to go down the slide together. I am not sure which one of us has more fun on the slides. Yes- I admit we were at McDonald's again. Truthfully she gets an amazing workout crawling through the tunnels and she is so motivated to go while we are there. (and no I still have not had any french fries yet this year) We were blessed to have met a nice young man (I am guessing 3-4 years old) that would take Rachel's hand and try to help her up over the tough spots. He never questioned why she needed help- he could just see that she did and he stepped up to help her  without being asked to. What a little gentleman! I stopped to compliment this young man to his mom and grandma. It turns out they have a member of their family affected by spina bifida too. Trey (I hope I have the spelling correct) has spina bifida starting at the L2 level of his spine. His grandma is very proud of him and told me wonderful and inspiring things about Trey.  He maybe surprised to know that this was the second person to have mentioned him to our family. My sister-in-law told me about a  wonderful athlete from West Bend High School with spina bifida when we had  just found out Rachel had spina bifida. I have tears in my eyes as I write this- I hope one day he will know how he inspired my family and gave us hope.

 I have started working on Rachel's pirate costume. I had to get creative with eye patch. I couldn't make a skull shape for the front of it no matter how hard I tried. I improvised with a pink heart instead. I will write up a tutorial on how I made it soon. Very easy and the length of the ribbon can adjust to fit those bigger spina bifida/hydrocephalus heads if needed.
I also made Rachel a felt sword. The pattern is from http://gracesfavours.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/how-to-make-diy-pirate-sword-tutorial.html I love this pattern! There are a lot of pictures that help make the project go smoothly.

Rachel walking around at Breanne's track meet. She has started cheering. "Go Girls Go!"
She got her walker stuck in a tree root.
Rachel troubleshooting the situation. She pulled all the leaves away from her walker wheel and got it out herself.
My parents stopped by and dropped off our annual 50lb bag of potatoes from Crystal Falls MI. There were just harvested and are the best potatoes ever. Our family looks forward to these potatoes each fall. Thank you mom and dad!While my parents were visiting- my dad told me an awesome story. I have requested to receive pictures of his story that I can post here. Working with another friend up in the backwoods of Northern Wisconsin, my dad and his friend cleared away about 400 trees to make a path and an opening in the woods. They then built a ramp and wheelchair accessible tree stand for hunting. They did all of this work so a friend of theirs could enjoy hunting again. Their friend is paralyzed from a fall off of a roof and uses a motorized wheelchair. My dad said they also added a wench system to ramp in case there would be any problems with the wheelchair. My dad said their friend cried at being able to go out and enjoy hunting again.  I say a huge round of applause to these gentlemen! And to Jerry- I hope you get the biggest bad-assed buck out there! I look forward to seeing the hunting pictures.
Rachel kicking it up at the library. Her first trip to the children's section and she did not want to leave. She pushed around a little chair to get around since we didn't have her walker with.
Future nurse or doctor? She loves to use my stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and thermometer. I will have to teach her how to use the pulse ox and she will be ready to go to work.