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Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words

There is a duck pond just around the corner from our house...






Friday, January 30, 2009

Awards Day at Gymnastics

This week marked the end of the semester at gymnastics for Reagan, and she invited her Daddy to come see all of her super skills. She showed off for him like I have never seen her do before, and it was obvious that she was so proud to have him there. She simply glowed throughout the entire class.

Reagan's coach gave her a Certificate of Achievement that said,
"This certificate is awarded to Reagan Knopp in recognition of completing the semester in Super Beasts. Reagan is always so polite, and she has a special way of being everyone's friend. Reagan has great listening skills, and she works well in a group. Reagan is a super star, and she will make an easy transition into the Funny Bugs program."

As of Tuesday next week, Reagan will enter into the new program, Funny Bugs, at her gymnastics center. This is no longer a "parent participation" class, meaning Mommy will be forced to sit in the lobby and watch through a window as my little gymnast excels on her own. Her coach has already asked me if they need to have counselors on hand for me next week! They just might need to...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

THIRD Back Surgery

Ryan has been dealing with severe pain since May of last year. He has had all kinds of complications along the way. He had his first back surgery on November 19, 2008. His second back surgery was on December 9, 2008. We were shocked to find out that he was going to have to have a second surgery... we thought that would certainly be the end of it. We were wrong.

This is a picture of Ryan's back four weeks after his second surgery. Notice how it is healing nicely, thanks to the help of his personal nurse Reagan.LinkThis is a picture of Ryan's back six weeks after his second surgery. Yes, we have a problem.
The change in the appearance of his back happened almost overnight. We went to our family Doctor, who immediately sent him back to the Neurosurgeon. An emergency MRI was scheduled, and the results showed what the Neurosurgeon already suspected. A hole or tear has occurred in Ryan's spine at the surgical site and his CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) is leaking and pooling. Cerebral Spinal Fluid is a serum-like fluid that circulates through the ventricles of the brain and the cavity of the spinal cord. It acts as a cushion, protecting the brain and spine from injury. Ryan is going to have to undergo a third surgery in order to "plug the leak" in his spinal cord. Dr. Mutat, Ryan's neurosurgeon, explained to us that this surgery will be more complicated than the previous two. Ryan is having really bad headaches due to the lack of fluid around his brain since it is all pooling at his lower back. Also, the pain has returned in his leg due to pressure being put on his sciatic nerve from the fluid build-up. At this point, we are waiting to find out when the surgery will be. Our family Doctor explained to us that this is an urgent situation due to a risk of meningitis, so we are hoping to have a surgery date sooner rather than later. I will certainly post an update once I know something more. In the meantime, we could really use your prayers...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Birthday To My Momsey!

On January 27, 1949, the most amazing woman in this world was born. That woman is my mom. Today marks her 60th birthday, and she is becoming more and more remarkable every year. As a little girl, I can remember her taking the time to come up with fun things to do like melting crayons in wax paper to make our own stained glass masterpieces or cooking styrofoam cups in the oven until they turned into sombrero hats to paint. She has always loved to travel with my Dad, and by the time I was two, I had already seen more of the world than most people do in a lifetime. She recently retired from a long teaching career where she helped countless students to learn the fundamentals needed for their education. While she was never my teacher in the classroom, she has always been my best teacher. I can recall many late nights where she would stay up with me to help me with my homework, help me study for an exam, or to proof read a paper. She is still the one I turn to when I need someone to proof read any of my work! She taught me so much more than what I needed to know for school… she taught me what I needed to know for life like how to be a good friend, a good wife, and a good mother.

She probably often felt like a taxi driver, having to drive the 40-minute drive to and from Florence to take me to gymnastics every day of the week for 8 years. For a woman who detests driving at night, this was a chore in itself. She rarely complained about having to do it… instead she would help come up with fun games to play as we boogied down I-95. I still find myself playing the ABC game whenever I am on a road trip!

If you were to ask her, she would tell you that she has never been athletic, and that she is not very coordinated. While this may be true, I have to say that she is the most outstanding cheerleader that I have ever known. No, she wasn’t at the top of a pyramid waving her pom-poms. She was at the top of the bleachers screaming her head off for my Dad’s football and basketball teams! She was often the one who prompted the cheerleaders on the field to either take up the chant “DEFENSE!” or “GO GO GO!” And she was always in the crowd cheering for me to do my best whether it was for little league T-ball, gymnastics, cheerleading competitions, or Jr. Miss pageants.

Like most mother-daughter relationships, ours was sometimes strained during my teenage years. I am to blame for this, as I was a typical “know-it-all” teenager who was oblivious to the fact that my mom has always been wise beyond her years. Luckily, I grew up along the way and came to realize that she does have all the answers. I may not always like what I hear, but her advice is now the first that I seek. I probably sometimes drive her crazy, because I am known to phone her MULTIPLE times a day! She is the one I turn to, good or bad. There is NOTHING that I can't tell her. She has become my best friend.

She loves everything about the beach. She is my Dad’s first mate when they go fishing, and she isn’t afraid to get fish guts all over her. It doesn’t matter if she is on the jet-ski or in the boat, she is happy to just be on the water. She loves to sit on the end of the pier, working on her tan with a good book in her hand.

She is a woman of God, and she made sure that I learned about our Lord and Savior at a very early age. She had me in church every Sunday and often on Wednesday nights as well. She was always a source of constant strength and knowledge as I developed my faith. She taught me the difference between right and wrong, and she taught me to make the proper decisions for my life. I may not have always made the right choices, but she also taught me that God is forgiving. Thankfully, so is my Mom.

She is the type of wife that I aspire to be. She is patient, loving, supportive, devoted, and encouraging. I have never witnessed a harsh word between my parents, and their marriage has only grown stronger over the years. Not only are they husband and wife, they are soul mates, teammates, and best friends.

My mom continues to surprise and impress me in her retired life. She and my Dad are “chasing the dream” in their motor home as they travel across the country. She has substituted her role as first mate of the boat to become first mate of the motor home. She has taken to the road and traveling as if she has been doing it her whole life. Now, at the age of 60, I think she is just hitting her prime. She’s making new friends, seeing all the sights, and making a lifelong dream come true. She has taken up water aerobics, she’s walking, she’s biking… she’s even kayaking! She is becoming that athletic person that she never was before! And none of it comes as a surprise to me. In my eyes, there is nothing that my mom can’t do. If she wants it, she will make it happen.

She’s the coolest woman I know. She’s hip and she’s fun. She’s Reagan’s Momsey. She’s my mommy, my momma, my mom. She’s my role model. She’s my best friend.

I love her with all my heart!

Happy 60th Birthday Mom!


Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sleeping Beauties




As predicted, she slept in the tent... with Dixie!

Let's Go Camping... INSIDE!




One of Reagan's favorite TV shows is Playhouse Disney's Handy Manny. On yesterday's episode, Manny and his tools went camping in a tent. This prompted Reagan to continuously ask us to go camping. We explained to her that it is just too cold this time of year to be sleeping in a tent, but that maybe this summer we would take her camping. I showed her pictures from when we had taken her camping for Ryan's birthday two summers ago, and that just sparked her interest even more. So, this morning, Ryan & I decided to give Reagan a little surprise. He got the camping gear out of our shed, and we "set up camp" right in our den! Reagan absolutely LOVES it, and she hasn't come out of the tent for more than five minutes at a time all day. Something tells me that she may be sleeping in the tent tonight, and that I may just have to deal with this obstacle in my den for a few days...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Just a Bump!


You have to admit... this is one cute kid! And you won't believe some of the cute and crazy stuff that comes out of her mouth. Let me tell you the story of what happened just the other morning for example...

Reagan and I are brushing our teeth, when she suddenly exclaims: "Mommy! Oh my gosh! What is that?"

Me, with no clue what she is talking about, but a bit concerned from the tone of her voice: "What, honey?"

"That!" She says as she jabs her finger into my chin. "Mommy, you've got a booby on your chin!"

Well, at least now I know what she is talking about. I already knew that I had the queen mother of all zits on my chin. Lucky me! I try to explain this to her...

"No, honey. It's not a boo-boo. It's just a bump. Mommy sometimes gets bumps on her face."

Her response: "It's not a boo-boo, mommy. It's a booby."

Me, as I try to contain my laugher:
"No babe. It's just a bump!"

Seriously! A booby? I didn't think it was THAT big!

Monday, January 12, 2009

NOT ME!



I’m trying something new for my blog, and hopefully it will provide you with a few laughs. If not, then at least it will help you waste some time while you could be doing something more constructive!

Recently, I have started following MANY other “mommy” blogs out there. Ryan sometimes thinks that I have lost my mind completely when I will burst out laughing (or crying) over something I am reading about complete strangers. Quite often though, these strangers could pass for my long lost relatives because we all share such similar stories!
McMama is a blogger that I have become addicted to, and one of the reasons is her “NOT ME! MONDAYS” posts. Let me take a few steps back for a moment before I explain her “game” and tell you a story…

My husband grew up as the youngest in a household of six boys. Being the baby, he apparently got away with anything and everything. This left such a mark on the other boys, that a large portion of Ryan’s brother Kyle’s wedding toast to us was devoted to this issue. He went into great detail describing how Ryan would do this or that to get into trouble, and then when caught he would simply say, “NOT ME!” Kyle also went on to very vividly demonstrate the little dance that Ryan would do behind his parent’s backs as one of the other boys took the punishment for his crimes. It was quite a funny speech/toast that I will never forget. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE TO THIS DAY MY HUSBAND STILL PLAYS THE “NOT ME” GAME! I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have asked “Who did this” or “What happened to that?” to hear Ryan answer (often from another room where he actually has no idea of what I am referring to) with the response of “Not me!”

So when I discovered McMama’s Not Me! Mondays, I had to find out more. To use her words exactly…

Not Me! Monday was born out of a desire to admit some of our imperfections and reveal a few moments we'd rather forget. 

Why? Well, for one, because it's just plain fun to pretend that we really did not do the things that we actually so did do. And, two, because reading through great tales of other people's Not Me! Mondays each week is a great way to level the playing field. We're all human, we all take embarrassing shortcuts, and so we may as well show each other that we're all in good company!”

With that being said, this will be my first time participating in the Not Me! fun. I can’t guarantee that I will play along every week, but here we go for now…

I DID NOT stay up after midnight almost every night last week reading all 12 books of the Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels. I also DID NOT drink Starbucks espressos by the pot (not the cup) because of this!

I DID NOT put Reagan to bed three nights in a row without a bath last week. I DID NOT ignore the fact that we have other bathrooms in the house and instead blamed it on the fact that the bathtub in her bathroom was leaking into the light fixture in the kitchen below and it took three days for the plumber to fix it. It certainly wouldn’t have been so that I would have more time to read the previously mentioned books!

My kitchen DID NOT remain dark because I was too lazy for three days after the plumbing problem was fixed to re-connect the now dry light fixture in the kitchen. I most certainly DID NOT use my dark kitchen as an excuse to go out to eat or to order in for those nights!

I DID NOT spend over half an hour getting Reagan’s hair perfectly curled and coiffed for her gymnastics class this week while only taking 5 minutes to brush my own hair and teeth.

I DID NOT, as of January 6, manage to have already broken my New Year’s Resolution to remember to take my vitamins everyday.

I DID NOT contemplate taking a double dose of vitamins on January 7 to make up for it.

I DID NOT phone and whine to my parents that they posted on their blog what my sister gave them for Christmas, but they didn’t say anything about what Ryan, Reagan & I gave them. That would have been something a two year old would have done! I also DID NOT complain that they put a picture of me on their blog where I looked horrible because I had been shoveling snow all day and I was gross and sweaty. Considering my appearance at Reagan’s gymnastics, who would care about a picture like that?! Not me! (PS… their blog is www.mytripjournal.com/skipandcindy if you want to follow along with them as they “Chase the Dream”)

I DID NOT scream at my computer while working on the upcoming Wedding Show because some idiot sent me a message three times asking the same question three different ways. “Hello dumb person… read your wedding show info pack to answer those questions yourself!”

And finally…
I DID NOT just show this post to my husband and tell him that I have no idea who would write such things about him or how in the world it ended up on my blog. I certainly wouldn’t do that. NOPE, NOT ME!!!!




Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Girl's Gotta Eat!


This picture was taken on a GOOD FOOD DAY! With the enthusiasm that she is showing for eating this apple, you would think that we never have a problem with food. Some days, it takes all I've got to get Reagan to eat something. The child loves milk, and she would drink a liter of it a day if I let her... and some days, I do. I mean, the child has to get nourishment from somewhere, and at least it is milk and not Pepsi! Usually one day a week her diet consists of nothing but milk and a Flintstone vitamin. There is also usually one day a week that she will eat everything in sight, with no encouragement or prompting needed. The other days, I struggle to come up with creative ideas to get her to eat. I'm happy to say that I do have one trick up my sleeve that seems to ALMOST always work, however odd it may be. This is how it goes... we pretend Reagan is a dog. I whistle for whatever dog she chooses to be (Dixie, Buster, Bingo, Sadie, Pluto... you get the picture) and then I reward her with a "doggie treat" when she comes. The treat it usually whatever we are eating for dinner that night! But I have to tell her that it is dog food in order for her to eat it. It can be pizza, steak, pasta, whatever... all I have to do is say, "Come here Bingo! Come on girl! Come eat your dog food!" and she will eat it. Hey whatever works! I do worry that I am creating a monster, and that she will be in preschool next year and the teachers will have to resort to calling her doggie names to get her to participate in snack time. Hopefully by then we will no longer need a gimmick! And hey, at least she hasn't requested to be served her meals out of a dog bowl... that is where I will have to draw the line!
Any ideas or helpful hints would be much appreciated if you have been through this stage with your kids.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Reagan's Snowgirl

We have built more snowmen in the past week that I have built in the rest of my life combined. They are in the back yard, the neighbor's yard, several are at the park, and our newest addition is in the front yard. Reagan helped me do the decorations... this snow GIRL is complete with purse, earrings, and sparkle buttons!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cute & Cuddly


Reagan and I got matching pajamas for Christmas from Momsey & Pops, and we were more than happy to stay in them ALL DAY LONG on New Years Day!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We celebrated New Year's Eve on East Coast Time this year so that Reagan could enjoy the countdown and the ball drop with us. Kyle, Denise and Brady came over earlier in the evening to celebrate with us, but Brady just couldn't stay up any longer. They left around 8:30, and at 9:00pm our time, we made out like it was midnight! We had streamers, noise makers, tiaras and top hats. And of course, "champagne" (also known as APPLE JUICE!) out of our fine crystal goblets. Reagan felt like such a big girl being allowed to stay up late to ring in the New Year with us. She went to bed shortly after the festivities, and Ryan & I weren't too far behind her. I guess we are truly getting old because gone are the days of pulling all nighters to have a party!