Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby Toys and the RAFFLE!

Yesterday I started watching a seven week old little boy, “R”. I was curious to see how Gavin would do with a baby around throughout the day, and he did fantastic!

Gavin loves to hold R, help me with his bottle, and calm him down when he cries. Now, it’s only day two so the excitement of a baby around will probably wear out here quickly, but for now life is good!

With a baby in the house, the old baby supplies got pulled out of our storage room, and a certain someone thought that they needed to try everything out, but didn’t quite fit as well as he used to :)

 

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And please don’t forget…tomorrow is the last day to purchase a “raffle ticket” to be entered in the drawing for the uvaire whole house air sanitizer. I will ship it free to anywhere in the lower 48 states! It is valued at over $200! Please, please purchase a ticket (one for $5, three for $10) because all money raised will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of Gavin. This cleans the air that travels throughout your home using uv light, amazing product for everyone not just those with Cystic Fibrosis!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Planting Savings

Sometimes living on a strict budget can be fun. Seeing how far a dollar can stretch, watching the numbers tick down at the checkout lane as the gal scans your coupons, reusing an old object and turning it into something new…

And this weekend Gavin and I decided we could create a fun project, and save money all at the same time.

Last spring, we didn’t move into our new home until May, so it was too late to start planting anything with seeds and we ended up buying tons of plants & veggies that had already sprouted…adding up to quite a bit of cash. This year we decided to start everything from scratch.

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We went out and bought a mini green house kit and seeds. Not only vegetable seeds but flower seeds as well, I am tired of spending $20 a plant for flowers in the spring! These seeds were only 50 cents a bag, so I am crossing my fingers that we get a good result and save $100 on flowers alone.

The first step was to poke at the dirt…this step wasn’t in the list of instructions but Gavin decided it was necessary

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Then we slowly added water, and waited for each packet to expand.

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We then planted all sorts of vegetable seeds and flower seeds into each container, and labeled them with my ghetto homemade labels (I ‘laminated’ them with packing tape, haha).

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Then on went the top, and we placed them above the kitchen cabinets to sit (away from the sun) for a couple of days.

 IMG_4991we had to go back to the store and get more seeds to fill it up!

This morning I checked on them, just 2 1/2 days later and some of the flowers and veggies have already begun to sprout, hooray! 

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I can’t wait for Gavin to watch this process along with me, for us to transfer them outside, and to pick the vegetables together this summer. Not only will this project saves us tons of cash this summer, but it will be a fantastic learning experience for Gavin as well! And I’ve heard that if the kiddos get to pick the veggies themselves that they are more apt to eat them…even better!

Right now these greenhouses are on sale at Menards, two for five bucks…we might head over to get some and plant more flower seeds since everything seems to be turning out so well!

Monday, March 28, 2011

WIN A WHOLE HOUSE AIR SANITIZER!

Did you know that you can safely use UV to kill & reduce airborne bacteria, mold & viruses with a simple device that plugs into your homes airway system?

Would you like such a device in your home?

Well…you’re in luck! From today until the first of April, we are selling raffle tickets to win a UVAIRE Whole House Air Sanitizer (transformer included) valued at over $200!

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For five dollars you can get one entry in the drawing, for ten dollars you get three entries! ALL PROCEEDS will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The more entries, the better chance at winning!!!

This product is fantastic for everyone not just those with CF, so please look at the button on the right side of this blog to find the link to purchase your entry(s). For more information on this product click HERE.

We will provide free shipping to anyone in the lower 48 states!

On April 2nd, we will randomly draw one name to be the lucky winner! Winner will be announced here!

**Please feel free to share this raffle/fundraiser!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Movin’ & Groovin’

We definitely were blessed to get the opportunity to bring Gavin to meet his favorite tv stars! 

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With the magic of fan sites & emailing, I was able to connect with some of their staff. And they are unbelievably amazing! We were given the friends & family rate for the tickets, and were upgraded to VIP for free! A single VIP ticket (which included the meet & greet) was $125. Times that by three? No way we could have afforded it. But, all three of us were able to attend, to join the VIP adventures and have really great seats, for less than the cost of just one VIP ticket. We just couldn’t turn a deal like that down!

In my opinion, Gavin has more than enough extra obstacles to overcome in his life, so if he can get a few extras here and there, I’m OK with it. Which is exactly why I contacted the Imagination Movers in the first place. To be honest, I never thought I’d hear back from them…but I should have known that their team would be filled with caring & compassionate people!

Like I mentioned, we had fantastic seats, just a few rows away from the stage. And the guys did an amazing job of including the audience in their show. They all took time to run around the audience (even the balcony) and when Smitty came around Gavin got a big high five!

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A friend had warned me that these “VIP parties” weren’t very exclusive. So I had prepared myself to be in the mix of craziness. But in this case, it wasn’t that way at all. About 20 kids plus their parents were at the Mini Mover party following the show. The guys arrived and put on a mini private concert, taking requests from all the kids.

 

IMG_4943doesn’t Smitty (3rd from the left) look like Josh from Joshland?!?
 

When it came time to take pictures with the group, I really thought that they would pose, smile and move on to the next family. But it was the exact opposite. They took the time to personally thank the parents, say hi to the kids, and get to know each and every fan that was there. Because we were the second to last group to meet them, we got a few extra minutes of their time. We told them about Gavin having CF, that he does an hour of breathing treatments a day, and that their show is one of the few he’ll sit still for. They quickly realized how many hours of their show we had all watched, and laughed that we’d still come to see them (aka we weren’t sick of them yet, ha!).

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It truly was an amazing day, and we loved that their show was Gavin’s first ever concert. He did great during the show by the way, he loved every single second of it! I just hope that he can remember even a brief moment of it…my first memory is of a Neil Diamond concert when I was about his age…maybe this can be his first memory too :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

GREAT STRIDES!

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Hello All! It’s Great Strides time! We will be walking on May 7th in Minneapolis to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis!


As many of you know we are this close to a medication that will control Gavin’s disease. This oral medication called VX-770 is geared towards the genetic mutation G551d, which Gavin has. Only THREE PERCENT of the CF population has this mutation, which is about 300 people in the United States. Needless to say, we are extremely lucky and should probably be out buying some Powerball tickets!


Here’s the kicker, this medication is here because of you. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) depends solely on donations, they do not receive federal assistance. The majority of funding for this new miracle drug was made available because of all your generous donations.


For years, people were donating with the hope of such a medication, now there is tangible proof that your help truly is making an enormous difference!
I know that the economy is still struggling, and many of us don’t have a whole lot of extra money floating around, but these donations are truly lifesaving for our little guy. Whether it’s one, five, ten, or one hundred dollars, every single penny counts in our fight against Cystic Fibrosis. We refuse to let this disease control our son, but we need your help to keep him ahead in his fight.


So please head over to


http://www.cff.org/Great_Strides/JenniferVanderpool

and make a donation for the Gav man and all of those living, and fighting against, Cystic Fibrosis. Thank you in advance!

Love,
Casey, Jen & Gavin

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Rambles

I wish I could say that my lack of blog posts lately is because I’ve been doing some heavy duty spring cleaning. But, umm…here’s a section of my kitchen counter

 

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So, obviously we haven’t been busy cleaning.

But we have been enjoying the warmer weather. This morning the last tiny bit of snow in our backyard melted, and our front yard is melting away like crazy. We’ve finally gone from this

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to this!

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Gavin and I have spent hours outside this week, enjoying the ability to play outside without stuffing ourselves into bulky, winter wear! Gavin helped me spread out the larger piles so that they would melt more quickly, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that we try to keep it off the driveway, he was such a big helper!

 

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Did you notice the toy lawn mower on the small patch of grass, he’s still obsessed!

For his second birthday, my mom got him a motorized John Deere tractor. But for a Minnesota kid with February birthday, the gift had to wait all boxed up in the garage! Yesterday, I spent nearly 1 1/2 hours putting the thing together, but it was worth every minute when my little guy woke up from a nap to the finished result!

 IMG_4888 no, he’s not driving it in the house! just pretending!

I was so excited to get him outside to try it out…but he wasn’t quite sure about the whole idea. He pushed the “gas” pedal a couple of times, but was hesitant to drive it more than a few feet. I’m sure that after a couple more days, or watching a neighbor kid drive it around, he’ll be more into it!

Tomorrow we’re headed to Minneapolis for a big surprise for our little guy. About a month ago I wrote a letter to one of his favorite tv shows, one that we have spent uncountable hours watching while doing his vest…after the weekend I’ll share the event! Any guesses on what we’re going to do?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mr. Independent

The hibernation of winter appears to be over.

Everywhere you look there are people out and about. People are out walking, stopping to talk to their neighbors instead of hustling back inside.

Yesterday, several kids on the block were out playing on the remaining snowdrifts. I noticed Gavin watching them out the front window, and realized that this year he was old enough to head out and play without me being within arms reach. So out he went, and as he hit the end of the driveway he turned at looked at me with a wave and said, “Bye Mom.”

Ugh. Already? I know that he still loves to play around with me, but the lure of kids is already pulling him away. The “big” kids were thrilled to see “Gavey” running their way and immediately included him in their play. As I sat and watched him play from three doors down (while soaking up some sun!) I realized that this summer will bring a whole new level of independence for my little man.

While he was outside, I noticed our new neighbor pulling into her driveway. And surprisingly, she unloaded not one, but two young kids from her car! As much as we love our block, most of the kids are a few years older than Gavin, so I was thrilled to see two younger ones on the street. Her little girl is almost four, and her little boy is the same age as Gavin! And when I say the same age, they really are…his birthday is just one day before Gavin's! Score! I am so excited for these two to become little buddies!

So as the snow begins to melt away, I will miss my little peanut doing this…

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But I am even more excited to get back to this…

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Happy melting!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

His own.

Like father mother, like son.

I love taking pictures. No, I am not a photographer (obviously) but I do love capturing the moments of our day to day lives. And lately Gavin has become increasingly interested in our DSLR. It’s far from being the fancy camera among my photo loving friends, but it cost us a pretty penny and the last thing we need is a two year old destroying it!

So I dug out an old point and shoot…and Gavin is obsessed. He has figured out how to turn it on & off, how to zoom, how to click to take a picture…and when he attempts to take a picture of his toys he yells at them to “Say Cheese!”

 

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Let’s be honest…the majority of his pictures are of absolutely nothing. A random shot of the living room rug, the corner of his dresser, or his feet. But he’s thrilled, and I get the giggles when I see the random images he’s captured throughout the day.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Living Life

The flu season has finally arrived in Rochester. Now obviously with winter in Minnesota we’ve been dealing with the “winter bugs” for several months now…but the official flu has made its way to town (at least this is what Gavin’s ped told me.) There were two ways I could take this, (1) freak out and keep Gavin inside in our little bubble or (2) deal with it and move on.

I choose option number two.

Sure, we wash our hands & sanitize. Sure, I’m a bit more cautious than the “typical” mom. But come on. He’s two. This kid has crazy amounts of energy, loves to touch everything, loves to learn new things and he loves to get out of the house. There is no way that I am going to bunker down in the house and hide from all the germs. And guess what, he’s going to get sick. And I’d much rather have him build up his immune system with the pink healthy lungs he has now, when he has the ability to fight off most of the bugs on his own.

I could look at life, afraid of him getting any kind of illness. Afraid that every single cold/flu is going to send him rushing to the hospital. I could be the mom standing next to him with hand wipes/hand sanitizer. I could be the mom dragging him immediately away from every kid that just might have the sniffles. But what kind of life is that? Living life in fear is not living life at all.

I could sit and complain about all my other friends going off about their child’s ear aches, colds, and stomach flus. I could complain to them that they are “lucky” to have that be their biggest worry. But what kind of a friend is that? Whether your child is dealing with a chronic illness or is a normal, typical child…no parent likes to see their child feeling sick, and everyone has the right to feel blue when their kid is down for the count. No one sickness trumps the other, the downs and ups of all my parenting friends are equally important.

I could sit and count the weeks that Gavin is or isn’t on an antibiotic. I could sit and cry about how many pills he has to take on a daily basis. I could be mad at the big man upstairs for bringing CF into our lives. But…what’s the point? This is our life. This is the deck of cards we’ve been handed. What would whining/complaining/bitching change? It would change nothing.

Instead we focus on the life we are blessed to live, even if it takes extra work to live it. We focus on what we can change. We can have an impact on the research/new drugs out there through fundraising. We can bring awareness to the world about CF and what it entails. We can feel blessed about the countless number of amazing people that would not have entered our lives if it weren’t for CF.

We don’t take the little things for granted. Every morning I feel blessed to be here (yes, even when I myself am sick). There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reminded how lucky and thankful I am to have my little family of three flourishing, and enjoying life.

So, no. We don’t hide inside all the time, afraid of germs. No, we don’t believe that Gavin’s obstacles in life are/will be any more important than the obstacles everyone else faces. Yes, we have made “peace” with this fact that Gavin has Cystic Fibrosis and that life goes on in spite of it. From day one we have raised Gavin to know that he is fully capable of fulfilling whatever hopes/dreams are floating around in his imagination.

We are living life, not hiding from it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you do is run to the cupboard, grab a can of black beans and beg someone to open up the can for you to eat…right?!?

Hmm…me neither.

But apparently, black beans (right out of the can) is a perfect breakfast in Gavin’s eyes.

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Well, at least he got some protein!