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Do you shop at or know someone who does? Click on the link below, or any Amazon link in this blog, to help us earn Amazon Credit in order to buy therapy equipment! Anything you order off Amazon counts! Please bookmark Madi, Ramya and Deena's link and pass it on... every order helps!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Our Easy Solution for the Day.... A Small Playhouse Make-Over

As I previously posted about, Madi and Conner got a playhouse for Christmas.  We got it off of Craigslist and specifically searched this model of Little Tykes house out because it has a side panel that opens up, making it wheelchair accessible.  There was a small issue with the playhouse; that issue being that there were cupboards to store things in, but madi can't reach down in to the cupboards in her wheelchair or mobile stander, and it's hard for her to even in her up-ups.

I went to Lowes and talked with a guy about what I was trying to accomplish (shelves inside the cupboards that are more easy to reach.  He was amazing and looked in a million isles with me, brainstorming a bunch of different ideas and options.  Finally he remembered a newer product they had, industrial strength Velcro that can stick to most any surface, even rough ones.  I went to the dollar store and found baskets that were just the right size.

Because the baskets I found had open slats, and I wanted the sticky back of the Velcro to be able to stick, after sticking on the Velcro, I used a thin plastic vinyl (found at any fabric store) for the inside of the basket (so the Velcro went on the outside with the sticky part facing against the outside slats.  Then, the Velcro went on the inside, across the slats and stuck to the stick part of the Velcro).  I used the baskets on the walls, so that they would be easy to reach.

Next I added our play cups, plates, utensils, and bowls, so that Madi would be able to reach them easier.

I'm not done yet, I just ran out of Velcro and baskets :).  My plan is to add a few more down below the others and also add a few inside of the cupboards that will open out when the cupboards are opened.  I'm glad to have such an easy and fast solution, though!  So far, it's working out well!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

$58 closer to our goal (and a quick update)

I just wanted to say a big "thank you" to Amanda for hosting a thirty-one fundraiser for us.  Thanks to her (and the generous people who purchased from her for our fundraiser), we are $58 closer to our goal!!  YEAH!  I updated the ticker, and we are getting closer! 

We do have a small update on the adoption as well.  The i-800a information came back saying that my fingerprints didn't go through (because they stink and they can never get a good copy), so I have to, instead, send in a letter stating I have no criminal background.  I already had a letter written, but that one went to India, so I go tomorrow to get a new letter.  Once that is done, we will hopefully hear back on our i-800a.  Once the i-800a is approved, we can be processed/approved in India.  Our paperwork is already in India, but for now, it sits waiting for our i-800a approval.  So, another un-update, but an update none-the-less.

Thanks for following our journey and for walking it with us!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Our Snow Adventure

My parents have a cabin in Flagstaff and we went there to go sledding over the 3 day weekend.  We had a BLAST!  Just thought I'd share some photos :).

(Yup, that's a giant snow ball in his mouth :))

She wanted to sled by herself, so I took her up just a couple feet and she sledded down !

Need Valentine's Day Gifts? Love Avon?

Carena is still giving 20% of her purchase towards our adoption!! If you need anything from Avon, she's your gal! Here's the info...

I will donate 20% of all sales toward bringing Ramya home. Please consider placing an order- even a small one, to help support this amazing family in their journey to bringing Ramya home. Thank you!

Click on "online events" and shop from there to benefit Ramyas adoption.

Need Valentine's Day Gifts? Love Avon?

Carena is still giving 20% of her purchase towards our adoption!! If you need anything from Avon, she's your gal! Here's the info...

I will donate 20% of all sales toward bringing Ramya home. Please consider placing an order- even a small one, to help support this amazing family in their journey to bringing Ramya home. Thank you!

Click on "online events" and shop from there to benefit Ramyas adoption.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What Does it Mean to be a Girl in India?

The answer is very often not a good one. I plan to write a post soon that goes in to more details, but for now, check out a new film comming out that discusses the topic and spread the news, because that is the best way to raise awareness!

It’s a Girl! Documentary Film – Official Website

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Madi's New HKFOs (AKA Up-Ups)

Madi got her new HKFOs today and is SO SO excited!  Ron at Hanger re-did her design.  This one will take more strength, but will give her more mobility at the same time.  She can kick her legs so much better in them!  We took her old HKFOs and are took off the H (hip) part so that we try using them as her night-time knee immobilizers.... that's one way to reuse and recycle, right?!?!? :).  I'll get a video of Madi cruisin in her new up ups tomorrow for everyone to see them in action! 

Being great waiters!  The little girl on the right is Kaylynn, whom I watch 3 days a week.  Conner is so good with her and she is such a little sweetie!

YEAH!  Time to try them on!  (pardon the chocolate from her granola bar on her clothes ;))

Left... old; Right... new

My kiddos sure do love Ron!

Our Rifton Stander at the Science Center

I had really cool news to share, but need some time to get it all together.  In the meantime, I have been wanting to share these photos from the science center (I'm a bit behind... we went a while ago!!).  We took Madi's Rifton Dynamic Stander and it worked out really well.  She had a blast cruising around and interacting with everything!  Conner had a blast too, and I bet you can figure out by the picture what his favorite part was ;)

.... Yup, you guessed it right.  His favorite thing to do was walk through the stomach, then slide down the intestines to get "pooped" out.  Such a boy!!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Big Guy Turned 5!!!

I seriously cannot believe that my little guy is 5!  It seems like only yesterday that I was pregnant with him.  We are so blessed to have such a sweet, funny, and inquisitive little man in our lives.  He is so special!

Conner requested a hotwheels party, so a hotwheels party he got!! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Chance to Join a Spina Bifida Research Project

I got an e-mail about a current study that is looking at genetic links to spina bifida and wanted to share.  We would participate, but we already participated in round one :).  Here's the info....

Help Make a Difference, with a few minutes of your time:

The Spina Bifida Genetics Research Project is starting the second phase of a study to determine if genetic variations in folic acid metabolism account for an increased risk of having a child affected by Spina Bifida. From the results of the study, it may be possible to develop a test that can identify women who may not be adequately protected by standard prenatal vitamins, but who might benefit from high dose folic acid therapy prior to conception.

We are seeking mothers who have had children with Spina Bifida, and who did not participate in the first phase of this study, which was conducted in 2009-2010. We are also enrolling mothers of children who have not had children affected by Spina Bifida to serve as controls for the analysis.

Participants in the study are asked to complete a brief online survey and provide a DNA sample using a simple, at-home saliva collection kit that is delivered and returned by mail. For more information and to enroll in the Spina Bifida Genetics Research Project, please go to the website at and select ENROLL. The website and survey are available in both English and Spanish.

Upon completion, participants may choose to receive a $10 gift card or we will donate $10 to a spina bifida organization of your choice.

The Spina Bifida Genetics Research Project includes scientists from UC Berkeley, Stanford University, UC San Francisco, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and VitaPath Genetics.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Super Yummy Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Carrot Cake Recipe (and a Regular One Too ;))

This is our family carrot cake recipe, and it is really, really yummy!  It's very moist and the cream cheese frosting makes it delicious!  I modified it for Conner's birthday party (pictures to come soon) and it came out super good, so I thought I'd share!  I'll post the regular recipe below, with the changes to make it gluten and dairy free in red.  Enjoy!

  • Cake:
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 cups flour (Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free for a GF version)
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1 cup wesson oil
    • 4 eggs
    • 3 cups grated carrots
    • dash of salt
    • 1 teaspoon xanathan gum for GF
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar for GF
  • Frosting:
    • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese (Use dairy-free vegan cream cheese for a dairy-free version)
    • 1 stick of butter or margarine (Make sure to use a dairy-free margarine (we like soy-free Earth Balance) for dairy free)
    • 1 box (3 1/2 cups) of powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup chopped nuts OR 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
Sift dry ingredients including xanathan gum if you are doing GF (or don't, I never do, I just stir ;)).  Add oil and blend by hand.  Add in eggs and apple cider vinegar if you are doing GF and beat until smooth.  Fold in carrots.  Grease and flour your pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  While baking, beat all frosting ingredients except for the nuts or coconut, until smooth.  Put on the cake after it comes out of the oven and cools a bit.  Top with nuts or coconut if desired.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

WOOOO HOOOO! Great News for Madi!

Madi has an Amtryke at home, which she LOVES and rides often, but I was hoping for one for her to have at preschool as well.  The preschool Madi goes to on Thursdays, and will soon be attending twice a week, always has tricycles out for the kids to ride.  Madi can never ride them, though, because she needs a trike she can work with her arms, not her legs.  Whenever I've gone to help, Madi has really wanted to ride them, but it just doesn't work.  Since I can't very well tote her, her chair, her supplies, AND her Amtryke to and from preschool when she goes (since she has about 2 1/2 years of preschool ahead).   I decided to write up a "Wish" for Madi on the Amtryke site, stating that it would be used for preschool for her.  Our wish was granted in FULL!!  They are sending Madi a trike for preschool!  It will have hand petals, foot blocks, a little strap to keep her knees in, a helmet, and a seat belt, just like she needs!  We are SO excited!!  Now Madi will be able to cruise with all of her friends!  YEAH!

A HUGE HUGE thank-you to the Texas Ambucs Chapter, who donated this trike for Madi.  We are so thankful for you!

If anyone would like to donate to this very cool program, or would like to submit a wish for their child, you can go to, or e-mail

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A "Thank You" for the Adoption Help :)

If you have helped us towards the adoption in any way (garage sale donations, help organizing or running our sales, monetary donations towards our adoption, etc....) you should have gotten a "thank you" from us in the mail, or will be getting one soon!  If for some reason you donated, but do not get a card, PLEASE let me know.  It's nothing personal, I promise!  I have just sent out about 40 cards (aren't we blessed!?!?!?!?), and keep thinking of more people to send them to, so I just have a lot of names in my head :).  Please e-mail me at if I left you out. 

We really do appreciate every one of you and you have been a true blessing in our lives! 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Need Avon?

My wonderful friend, Carena, is doing a fundraiser for our adoption!!  Here's the info from her:

I'm doing an online event to benefit a great friend who is working hard to adopt a little girl from India. I will donate 20% of all sales toward bringing Ramya home. Please consider placing an order- even a small one, to help support this amazing family in their journey to bringing Ramya home. Thank you!

click on "online events" and shop from there to benefit Ramyas adoption.