Sunday, July 31, 2011

A full Sunday

Today we had a full day.  We finished up the last little cleaning this morning before our open house this afternoon.  (People came by that loved the house, so we are keeping our fingers crossed!)

We left and had lunch at Panera bread, and then ran some errands before we took the kids to see the Smurfs.  It was a cute movie - better than we expected.  The kids loved it.  After the movie we did the last of our errands and then came home to start to ready the house for the move.

We don't have to do much, but there were a few things we needed to accomplish before the packers come on Tuesday.  We had to take all the sand out of the base of our enormous umbrella we have on our porch.  We set the kids to that job, which they really enjoyed.  They would carry buckets of sand from the base up to their sand box.  It was a good way to spend a sunny afternoon.

While they did that, Mat and I set to getting everything out of our attic space.  I had no idea we had been able to put so much stuff in that space over the last 3 years.  That was the only area they asked us to bring out so they could pack it a little easier.  Now our bedroom is full of stuff.

So now we are ready.  Well - as ready as we can be.  Mat has a long day at work tomorrow and I have to take Cainan to his follow up appointment from his surgery and go to work one last time.  So it was good to get ready for Tuesday now.

Speaking of Cainan - the boy fell yesterday and hit his nose. Hard.  Of course he did.  I am afraid he did some damage to it.  It didn't look bad yesterday - just a little red and bruised.  But today -when I looked inside - I see a bump I don't like.  I am afraid he has disturbed something.  I really can't believe it, actually.  We have been so careful.  But he tripped and didn't even bother to try and catch himself.  It is upsetting.  And I know it had to hurt - he cried for a half and hour.  So we will see what the doctor says tomorrow.  He isn't going to be happy, I am sure.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

So Tired

Today we cleaned for the open house tomorrow.  It was a full day project.  This will be the last open house we will have before we leave, so we wanted it to look great.  We know of a few people (who contacted our realtor) who are attending tomorrow, so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Tomorrow we will be going to church and taking the kids to see the Smurfs while the open house is going on.  Then tomorrow night is when we start to decide what goes on the moving truck and what we want to hold back and take in the car.  (clothes, towels - that kind of thing).  We only have to worry about 1 night in this house and one night in the new house without our stuff, so it is nice we don't have to pack much.

We are only two days away from the movers showing up and starting to pack.  This week is going to fly by.

Monday night will probably be the last time I blog this week.  I will return once we are settled in the new house.  I know you will miss me, but try not to cry.  (ha ha)

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 29, 2011

It would be easier to tell you when we are NOT busy

I think that is going to be my theme from now on.  Just assume we are beyond busy unless I say otherwise.

**Reminder - send in your registrations or print a registration out online for the upcoming Bike Walk Run!  We appreciate your support!**

Today's job to tackle.....the DMV.  I know I have said that dealing with the sellers has been my least favorite part about moving, but my OVERALL hate about moving?  The DMV.  This is our 6th state, and I still get nervous every time I go to have our license changed over.  I think it all started when we moved to California, and we walked into the DMV ready to go and we were surprised to find out we had to take a test.

Which I promptly failed the first time through.  CA is like a different planet - they have their own road rules.

So - off I went today to have our cars registered and get my driver's license.  I took just about every form of identification I own to make sure that all of our basis were covered.  I was pleasantly surprised to find the place fairly empty.

And within about 45 minutes I was all done.  I had Massachusetts plates for both cars, and my drivers license.  Done and done.  I even had time to go over to have the van inspected and turn all the paperwork into our new insurance company.  So this was HUGE.  All that is left is for Mat to take his car in for inspection and to get his license.  Big sigh of relief.  Thank you Massachusetts for not giving me any surprises today.

I even found the library, the town hall, the parks and rec department and the place where I have to get the kids bus passes (don't ask) while I was waiting for the inspection to be complete.  It was nice to find a few things in our new town before we arrive.

Tonight Mat and Cainan worked on a lego project

 And then he wrestled with Finley - her favorite activity.  That girl doesn't hold back.  Good thing Mat is sturdy - she plows me over.

The gloves (and the glasses) come off for her wrestling moves:

Tomorrow we are spending the day cleaning for our open house on Sunday.  If you know anyone who wants a beautiful house in Salem, Ct - we have the house for you!  This will be the last open house where furniture will be in any of the rooms.  This is our last weekend in this house.

Today we also got a phone call from one of our new neighbors in Massachusetts.  We live in a "development"  (there is a small association due to a common road we all share that needs to be plowed in the winter) and so he was calling to welcome us to the neighborhood and tell us about an upcoming meeting.  It was pretty great.  We talked for awhile about the other families that will be around us, and we are excited to meet them and get settled.

Countdown to Massachusetts - 5 days.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A very full day

First - I want to tell you that we had a very full day.  I am still trying to help with my "old" job by getting the Kindergarten registrations in line before school starts.  The kids were good to me this morning and sat and watched a movie while I worked for almost 3 hours on the files.  I finished them, and was very pleased with what I got done before I left.  I only have one more visit there next week, so I want to make sure everything is in order.

This afternoon, the kids and I went to my friend Athena's house to swim in her beautiful pool.  I am really going to miss Athena when I go.  She was one of my first friends when we moved to Salem, and has been really good to our family.  I am so glad we have gotten to know each other over these last few years, and hope that our friendship will continue after we move away.  I definitely don't want to lose her.  Athena was also the VERY FIRST person to donate to our cause for Finley.  I won't ever forget that.

Ask me if I remembered to take my camera.  Go - no I didn't.  I can't believe it.  So I don't have any pictures today.  My grandma is not going to be pleased.

The kids had a great time swimming.  Cainan was very good and sat on the steps and played quietly, but still was in the water.  That made him very happy.  He just isn't allowed to get his head fully submerged, which, he doesn't love anyway.  We have his post-op appointment on Monday, so maybe he will be let out of cleft lip jail on that day.

After we swam for a few hours, we headed to a doctor's appointment and then had McDonalds for dinner.  Thursdays Mat is in Boston the entire day, so we treated ourselves by not eating at home.  The kids had been fantastic all day.  No one had a fight, no one whined, and they behaved themselves in public.  So - they deserved sugar filled fast food.

Tonight, they went to sleep easily.  Mat and I are relishing in the fact that in one week we will no longer be residents of Connecticut.  We are gearing up for a very busy weekend and a very busy week ahead.

But tonight - we sit under the fans with the windows open and the fresh air coming in, and relaxing with our kids asleep upstairs.

I have had a few more questions about the upcoming FUN RUN BIKE/WALK for Finley on August 20th.  First - it is a FUN event - no competition.  You can walk/bike/run if you want, or you can come and relax in the shade.  If you need a bike - there is a bike rental place near by.  If you let us know, we can try and arrange for you to have a rental bike.  But there will be a fee, of course.  I will get back to you on the cost.

If you lost your form, or don't have a form, and you go HERE:
You can print out the form and send it in.  At this time we DO NOT have online registration.  If you want to pay by credit card, though, that can be arranged.  Just email me at and I can tell you how you can pay right to our FUND (and will still get a tax receipt).  It is easy and secure, and our Spartanburg Foundation runs that part of our fund.  And the form can be printed out and scan emailed to us if you want to save a stamp.  You can email it to the same address above and we can just print it out for you.

Any other questions - please let me know.  We are so happy to be receiving so many registrations and donations so far.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support for our little girl.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A day for dancing

Yesterday, the kids put on some costumes and dances for an hour to music.

They never get tired.

They would dance to anything that came up on the CD list - sometimes it was Christmas music.   It didn't matter to them.

They had a great time during a rainy afternoon yesterday and wanted me to take their picture while they danced.

So this post contains their dance mania photos.

Today we closed on our new house.  After a very (very) long month with some very (very) interesting sellers, today the deal was done.

We don't move in until next week, but as of today, the house belongs to us.

We did a walk through before the closing and the littles got to see the house for the first time.  They were excited to see their rooms, and - of course - that the back yard had a swing set.

We spent the day in Massachusetts.  Between the walk through, the closing, and eating meals, we didn't get home until 6:30.  One more week in Connecticut.  That is all we have left.
 Tonight, I also ask you for prayers for my sister-in-law, Kristine (Teen).  She is having pre-term labor that has landed her in the hospital.  The doctors are doing everything they can to stop her labor, but so far, they have not been successful.  My in-laws are on the way to Florida to be with her and her family now.  The very least, she will be in the hospital until Saturday.  She is 32 weeks pregnant - still has 8 weeks to go.  So we are hoping that little man calms down and stays put a little longer.  Please pray that the contractions stop and she can go home still pregnant in a few days.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer day

Today we didn't go anywhere.

This was not our original plan.  I planned on going in to work for a few hours to help out, and possibly take the kids swimming.

But due to some mishaps with our closing that is happening tomorrow on our new house, I had to stay home to field phone calls and emails to make sure everything is put in place.

So instead, the kids and I had a calm morning and then went outside to play for a few hours.  It is a nice day - not too hot.
They started their outside time on the back porch swing with fruitcicles.  Always a good way to start off.
Cainan can't do much yet but he did enjoy this bit of outside time.
Tomorrow we close on our house in Massachusetts.  I will save you the painful details of our bank who tried to give me a coronary yesterday with their antics.

But - since they have never met me - they didn't know that I wasn't going to leave them alone until I got my way.

Which I did.
Tomorrow afternoon the littles will get to see the house for the first time.  And then we will sign away all of our money on our house.  And then we are really on the major countdown to our last days in Connecticut.  The rest of this week will be decided what will/will not go on the moving truck, and making sure we are ready to go.

I am just grateful that the moving company will pack everything and that we just get to sit back and relax where that is concerned.
Tomorrow we can breathe a little easier once this closing is behind us.  It has been a crazy ride with some crazy sellers, and we are glad to be at the end.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekly Reminder

I will save you from having to stare at my photoshop pictures for a day.  We take a break while I remind you that Finley's August 20th event is coming up!  We have heard from so many of you, and we thank you!  We are excited to see who is coming, and we appreciate those who cannot come who sent donations - thank you for your support.  We have amazing family and friends.

Most of you have received a flier from us and registration form.   Just a reminder first - this is a FUN run/bike/walk.  It is not competitive.  It is just for fun and is relaxing.  My mom thought that some of you might think this was a competition.  It is not.  It is FUN.  

Here is what I want you to do - go over to your table where you set the form right now.  Go ahead, I will wait.

Hmmmm, Hmmmmm, Hmmmm, la, la, la.........

Oh?  You are back?  Excellent.  I was just singing a little song while I waited for you.  Glad to see you have returned.

Now - do you have a pen?  Oh you don't?  You are going to need that - so go and get one.  I can wait.  I will just go back to my song........

Okay now?  You have a pen and your registration form?  Excellent.  Now........fill it out.  Go ahead.  right now -while you are reading the blog.  I don't mind.  Actually, I prefer it.

See - my mom is slowly having a mental breakdown about the registrations.  This is not an abnormal reaction of hers.  She likes panic.  She lives for it.  But - to save ME......I ask you to fill out your registration right now, and put it in tomorrow's mail.

For those of you who got the registration - when you are looking at the CHILD's shirt sizes - here is what the sizes mean:  Small - 2/4, Medium 6/8, Large 10/12, and XL 14/16.  Just so you know.  It is a bit confusing and I apologize.  Hopefully that will clear up some questions.

If you CANNOT come, but would like to make a donation, we really appreciate it.  We have that GREAT BIG $250,000 goal that we need to reach by March 2012.  We have raised about $90,000 toward that goal, but we need EVERYONE's help.  All donations are tax deductible - we are a non-profit and you will receive a tax receipt letter with your donation.  Please remember to make your checks out to RDH12 Fund for Sight.

Each registration form is for your WHOLE family.  Isn't that helpful?  It is $20/person for up to 2 people.  Families of 3 or more, it is $50/family - no matter what the size.  You can put all the names of your party on one paper and send one check if you would like if that helps.  Then send the form back to my mom at the address on the form.  Make all checks out to the RDH12 Fund for Sight.

Please remember to sign the back of the registration form.  If you forget - it is okay - we will have it the day of the event for you to sign.

The registration cost gets you a FREE t-shirt (watch for a picture of the shirt - it was designed by a local and it is FABULOUS), a brailled book mark, water bottle, and lunch.  For kids - we will have special bags just for them with goodies (along with the things listed above).

There will be face painting by my sister-in-law who has a degree in art and is AMAZING.  And there will be balloon animals made for any kid who wants one.  We will have a bounce house for kids as well.

For the adults - we are having a basket raffle with wonderful baskets.  Wait until I can post the pictures of them - they are going to be outstanding.  I can tell you some of the baskets are going to be:  Harry Potter (with a signed book by JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe Signed picture along with all the other goodies), a cooking basket (with a signed book by Guy Fieri from the Food Network); A Steelers basket (with a Steelers jersey and signed picture among the other wonderful things); A movie basket; A Smores basket; A Party Lite basket (thanks to our wonderful Aunt Geri); A Toy basket; A Tastefully Simple basket; 2 Sentsy Baskets; Pittsburgh "to do" basket (which will include tickets to the Children's Museum, Science Center, Pirates Game, and tickets to a CLO show); A Cinco de Mayo basket; Scrapbook basket; A kitchen basket (in a Longenberger basket); and a Sand Hill berries basket.  We have a few more coming, and if you want to make a basket for the event - we would love it.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed.  I can't wait to see them all.

Basket raffle tickets are $2/one, $10/10 and $20/25.  If you can't come to the event, but want to bid on some baskets, let me know - I can drop your tickets in for you.  You DON'T have to be present to win.

There will also be the Sidney Crosby jersey that is being raffled.  For $10/ticket you are taking a chance to win a SIGNED, AUTHENTIC Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Jersey.  We still have tickets to chose from, so let us know if you want a ticket.  You DON'T have to be present to win.  This is an amazing jersey, so take a chance to win!

Every cent we make for this event will be going to our RDH12 Fund for Sight.  Every Cent. We need to get closer to our goal with this fundraiser.

I can't express enough thanks to everyone who is helping us save Finley's Sight.  It means a lot to us that you care for her so much.  This event will be out biggest this year, so we really need your help.

August 4th is the deadline for pre-registration.  That will give our shirt guy enough time to make the shirts for the event.  You can STILL register and send your form in after August 4th and we will try our VERY hardest to make sure you have a shirt for that day.  If not - we will order it and get it to you.  But please - fill out your registration form RIGHT now - and put it in the mail.  I have started making the Braille bookmarks to help me get ahead for that day so they will be ready for those who have registered!

For those who DIDN'T get a form, but would like to come or would like to donate to our event.  You can go HERE:  (just click on it and it will take you right there).  You can print out the form, fill it in, and then mail it in.  If you didn't get a registration from me in the mail it just means that I don't have your address. But we want EVERYONE to come.  And EVERYONE to help us reach that goal.

How amazing is it going to be to say that YOU had a hand in a cure for Finley?  That your support helped save her sight?  We really can't do this without you.  We need your support.  So please - help us reach our goal.

We recently talked with Dr. Bennett (our researcher working on our RDH12 gene) and she said things are going very well and she is very pleased.  So - she seems to be on course to do the safety study next March (which is where the $250,000 comes in). 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

before and after

So - I finally got a book to show me how to work Photoshop.

Doesn't mean I got very far, but I did spend some time with the book and the program today.

I came up with this picture.

Here is the BEFORE:

Here is the AFTER:

One more:


I am not very good -but it is kind of fun!  I can't wait to try more!