Friday, June 19, 2015

Great Strides, Great Strides and More Great Strides

Did I mention it's Great Strides season?! This spring was filled with three Great Strides events for me and it was so awesome!!


Our first event was in DeKalb in April. This one is very special to me because I helped create this walk when we lived there five years ago. It also takes place at the same park where Tim and I got married, so it has lots of sentimental value to me. I loved having Anna there this year and am excited to continuously attend as the years go by and as our family grows and changes. Its fun visiting the town where it all started.

We typically have a smaller team at this event - a few of our friends, my family and Tim's aunt & uncle who live nearby. Even though our team was small, we still raised $450!

My second event was actually held at my school. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak to all classrooms about what CF is and how I keep myself healthy on a daily basis.

We did two fundraisers as a school and finished with our own Great Strides Walk on the path around our playground. Each class collected money, but then we also did a school-wide change collection that was much more popular. We had a "Cutest Baby Contest" where I displayed 26 different baby pictures that belonged to different staff members throughout the building. The students put change (some put cash) in the jug of the baby they thought was the cutest. It was so fun and the kids loved it!
The combined total from classroom donations and the Cutest Baby Contest was $597.63! My students brought in the most money to our class so we were able to lead the school in our Great Strides walk. As an entire school, we walked one mile outside. The local newspaper was there to report on our event, and there was also a former student (now in her early 40s) who has CF and has had a double lung transplant who walked with us. (Extra pictures from the paper)

It was an amazing event to bring awareness to the kids about CF and I'm excited to see it hopefully grow into the community over the years.


Our final Great Strides event was in Bloomington which is now our team's biggest location. I even had a few Parsons people come out to support me! Last minute, I was asked to speak before the walk, which I always enjoy doing because I hope to spread some positives about CF and how it is possible to live a 'normal' life despite having a disease. This year, I brought Anna up with me during my speech.

We enjoyed a nice walk with friends and family, then hung out at the park for a little while before leaving to celebrate our nephew's second birthday.

Our team raised a total of $1,695 at this sight!!

Which brings Parsons Owls and Colleen's Friends and Family grand total to:

Thank you so much to everyone who shared information about CF, donated and walked with us this year! I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. :-)  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ten Months Old

You were not interested in pictures today.
You kept trying to crawl out of the chair & rip off your sticker :)
Wow! This month was full of huge developments, again! And the best part is that I'm done with school now so I get to spend SO much more time with you! This summer is already off to a fun start! :-)

You started off the month pulling up to your knees, but quickly figured how to pull up to a standing position. Not too soon after that you were cruising around the table, along the couch, from the couch to the table to the ottomans, on the walls, fireplace...practically everything! As long as you have something to hold onto, you'll try to pull up and walk along it. Of course when you're not practicing walking (which is totally adorable) you're crawling all over the place. You also started to figure out how to climb on and over things like toys, you little step stool, Grandma's stairs from her plant room to the kitchen, Mommy & Daddy's feet/legs, etc.

You LOVE Ozzie...and he loves you, too!!! (Archie is still terrified of you and keeps his distance) You squeal with excitement anytime he's near, which is pretty much all the time because he'll follow us from room to room, or you'll chase after him. He's so good and patient with you when you screech in his face, tug his fur and ears and 'pat' (smack) him. He typically meows when you first touch him which gets you even more riled up and its so cute to watch. He rubs on you when he walks by and lays down near you wherever you're playing. He'd probably sleep with you at night if we let him, but we'll wait til you're a bit older and in a big girl bed for that. :)

Captured this picture about two seconds too late - you were laying
your head on Ozzie's back legs & his head was down on the cat bed :)
This month we really started giving a lot more food because you were having so much trouble sleeping for a few weeks and you weren't nursing as well. Once we increased your food intake during the day, your sleeping got better and has been back to normal for a couple weeks now. You're still a distracted nurser, but have gotten much better as the month has gone on, especially now that I'm home to feed you whenever you'd like.

Took the Beetle Walker out for a drive one summer afternoon.
Its so cute watching you cruise around in it :)
Along with your food now, we've been giving you a sippy cup with water to get you used to taking a cup. You picked up on them very quickly and you look so grown up drinking out of it all by yourself now. Your doctor also recommended the water to help with your oral health, to help keep those five teeth clean while/after eating. Speaking of teeth, the two next to your top teeth decided to start coming in at the same time which was not fun for you, but you were a trooper. One has cut through and the other one is almost there! Lots of drool came with cutting those two teeth, too.

Finally, Daddy and I are so amazed by how smart you are and how much you understand already. You know what the word 'no' means and give such a pathetic pouty lip when we break your heart when you can't eat the cat food or go in the kitchen when Daddy's working. You wave when we say 'hi', 'bye-bye' and 'ni-night'. You've just recently started signing 'more' when you're eating and you can finally clap your hands together (and make them touch) while you say 'yay'. You haven't said any real words yet, but you are talking constantly. Lots of 'baba', 'pff', 'dada', 'yaya', 'mama', any combination of these and screeching. You also love to repeat/imitate anything we say...even my coughing, which is really cute.

This month flew by, and I know the next two will, too! You're so close to being ONE, so close to's so fun!! Mommy and Daddy love you so much!!