Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Organizing and Art

This week I have been focusing on re-organizing all of Delilah's "stuff". In her two short years, she has managed to collect quite a bit of stuff. With the new year approaching, it's the perfect time to cycle out the old for the new. It has taken me two and a half days, but I have finally managed to organize little girls room. Not only is it organized, but I also managed to move all her toys to her room. I know this doesn't mean she will keep the toys in her room, but at least I can re-claim the rest of the house (mainly the living room). 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that she keeps her room much cleaner now that it is organized. I was afraid she would dump all the new bins of toys all over the place, like she does her dresser drawers. So far, she has kept it pretty neat and returns blocks to the correct bin. This is not to say she keeps a spotless room. Little girls kitchen accessories are all over the place. 

I don't have any pictures of her room yet, but I'll take some soon. However, I do have a few of her painting on her new easel today. She really enjoyed herself. I plan to make a corner of the loft into her little art studio. Still thinking through some of the elements I want to add, like a place to hang her art work. 

On a side note, you may also notice that I redesigned the blog. New year, new blog design. I've finally figured out a way to make installing these changes much easier, so you may see her blog design change a lot. It's just so much fun. 

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week. I will be getting ready for my Momma and Janet's visit this weekend.  Woohoo!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Christmas morning is so much more fun with a toddler. Her excitement is contagious. I could go on and on about how amazing this morning was, but I will let the photos do all the talking. Enjoy!

***Pictures are in black and white due to the unbearable lighting in my house, which lead me to use the flash.***

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Maybe Next Time

Potty training was a bust. Delilah wasn't ready after all. During the middle of the second day things just got ugly. Not only were there accidents there were also huge meltdowns when I would sit her on the potty. It became a battle, one I'm not going to have. Potty training needs to be a positive experience, not something that scares her off. Back in diapers she went. 

At first, I was a little conflicted on how I feel about this. Did I stop too soon? Could I have done more? After dissecting everything in my mind, I came to the conclusion that Delilah just isn't ready for this step. The accidents never phased her. Pee or poop, she was content to continue playing without letting me know. She also viewed the potty as a toy chair. Nothing more than a place to sit, when she felt like it. 

One thing I learned from this experience is my daughter has absolutely no cues to when she is peeing or pooping. Zero! Makes it hard to set her on the potty in time without those. We definitely will have to wait for those cues before we start potty training again. It will happen one day. Today is just not the day.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 2: Mid-morning

This morning I decided to try using Dora to keep her on the potty longer. I started by giving her some chocolate milk with breakfast, hoping to get her to drink it all. (She rarely gets chocolate milk, if ever.) We then played for a little while. At 8:30 I put on a Christmas Dora DVD and set her on the potty. She happily sat there for over an hour, wanting more Dora when it ended. She was halfway through the second run of the DVD when she got up from the potty. I didn't argue with her, since she sat there for over an hour. Within 30 seconds of getting up she peed in her panties. She had no reaction until I heard it and set her immediately on the potty, the she started to cry. I believe she was crying because she didn't want to sit on the potty anymore. I cleaned her up, put her in clean panties and let her go play again.

I know this is only day two, but I'm beginning to think I was a bit premature about potty training. I don't say this because I am frustrated (I am a little, but I don't show it to Delilah), I think she may not be truly ready. I gather this from her not having reactions to accidents. It doesn't seem to bother her. When she had a poopy accident yesterday, she was happy to continue playing. It didn't phase her one bit. It's the same thing with pee accidents. Also, she only sees her potty as a chair. 

I am going to continue down this path for today and possibly tomorrow, as I don't want to throw in the towel after only 24 hours, but we may return to diapers after that. I will keep the potty chairs accessible, should she choose to try again. I just think this may not be the right time for her. Hopefully I will have a clearer idea by the end if the day. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 1: Evening

Well, it went almost exactly as expected. Lots of accidents, no potty success. No big deal, we will keep going.

Timeline of our day:
About 9:00am she had her first pee accident. Luckily she was standing in the bathroom when it happened, so the cleanup wasn't so bad.

Before nap I put her on the potty for 5-10 minutes while I read her "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!". No poop or pee, so off to bed she went. I checked in on her 5 minutes later, because I heard her playing, and she had pooped in her panties. Go figure! I cleaned her up, set her on the potty again and then off to bed once more.

She woke (if she really slept) from her nap nearly an hour later with a small pee accident. Again, I cleaned her up, set her on the potty, then off to play.

No more accidents after nap, but no using the potty either. She was dry until dinner and bath, and then we put her in a diaper for bed.

We have made a point to set her on the potty every half hour or so. Now I think we may need to keep her on the potty longer than5-10 minutes. I think tomorrow we will try watching a Dora episode while she sits on the potty. I think that once she actually goes in the potty, and sees how excited we will be, then maybe she will understand the concept better. At this point I think she thinks it's just a chair to sit on, bare butt of course.

Hopefully tomorrow goes a bit smoother, but all in all it wasn't too bad. Definitely could have been worse.

Day 1: Morning

It's a big day in the Unfried household. Today Delilah begins potty training. We have been noticing the signs for a while. Pulling at her diaper and saying diaper. Willingly leading us to the changing table so we can change her. Pulling off her diaper if it is full (which has led to some uber messes). She has also built up a large enough vocabulary to tell us when it is potty time.

Seeing how we have no class or appointments for the next 2 weeks, we decided now is the best time to try potty training. I say "try" because there is always a chance it won't take and I will not be discouraged. We will just try again. No biggie. 

Our method will be sort of cold turkey. We got her a ton of the thick, cotton, training panties. She will wear these, and only these from the waist down, during the day. No diaper and no pull-up until bed time. We will set her on the potty every half hour, or so, during the day. We set up a potty in her bathroom and one in the living room. Why the living room? Well, we have a multiple level house with only a bathroom on the top floor. We figured it would be too soon to expect her to rush upstairs if she needs to potty. When she is fully trained with minimal accidents we will retire the living room potty. 

I plan to use this blog as a journal of our experience, so plan on lots of updates, possibly multiple times a day. Hopefully, by doing so, I can have a reminder of what works and doesn't work, just in case we ever have to do this again. 

Now to discuss Delilah's reaction to her first pair of panties and the potty. As soon as she woke up this morning I removed her diaper and put her in panties then on the potty. She was a little confused at first and tugged at them. Once I showed her how to pull them up and down at the potty they became a novelty. In the last hour, since she has been awake, she has pulled them down and up to sit on the potty. She always says "potty" before she does it. I know it's the novelty of something new, but it is nice to see she has grasped the concept. Now to see if she will keep it up and actually pee in the potty. Wish us luck! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago my friend Lindy and I took our little princesses for a little Christmas Card photo shoot. Believe me when I say it takes 2. I honestly went into it thinking it would be a challenge to get Delilah to look at the camera, let alone smile for it. Thank goodness for Lindy. She has the magic touch...lipgloss. Ha! Why didn't I ever think of that? Anyway, we got a ton of cute photos to choose from. Actually, Lindy got a bunch of great photos to choose from. Apparently my camera decided to act up during the entire shoot. Now that the cards have gone out in the mail, I can post some of the pictures for you to enjoy. (Sorry for those who didn't receive a card. I seriously miscalculated how many I needed. Whoops.) Delilah and Addison were too adorable, especially when we let them run. I love the pic of them holding hands. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

This past week/weekend was full of fun, family and fantastic food. However, there have been a few bumps in the road, hence the late post. Up first, the need to replace the brake pads on the Tahoe. Thank goodness I had the good sense to get an oil change and have the brakes checked before we left for Florida. I knew there was a reason I could hear them while backing out the driveway. Next up, the extra long drive home from Florida. Not really unexpected, but not welcome either. Delilah is usually a great little traveler, but I65 on Sunday was really pushing her limits. Finally, the straw that broke the camels back, was returning home to the power going out. Seems to happen everytime we return home from a trip. However, this time it wasn't the power company (who was very rude to me in my distressed state). Apparently the main breaker was fried. How? No idea. Even the electrician was stumped. He says we were lucky it didn't cause a fire (silver lining). As I type this it doesn't seem very dramatic, but I was a bit of a stress ball with it all.

On to what you have been waiting on, news on little miss Delilah. She is absolutely amazing, as usual. She really enjoyed her time with family. She is always treated like the little princess she is. Which is to say, she gets spoiled rotten. One major event of note, Delilah said her first, clear three word phrase/sentence. It happened when we put her up on a horse with her Aunt Danielle. She said, "I want down." Clear as day. Multiple times. I was elated. 

A quick pic on the horse. 

Since then, I feel liked am hearing more and more multiple word phrases, like "I want milk". It's really really nice. 

Thanksgiving was a great day. We spent it at Grandma and Grandpa Barrow's house. The food was great. I really could eat Thanksgiving dinner every day. So good. While we were waiting for dinner, Delilah, my mom and I went outside to expel some energy. Delilah loves her Nana. She kept running and jumping into her arms. It was adorable. It also helped wear her out a little. She nearly fell asleep eating the stuffing! 

On Friday we went to spend the weekend with Janet. Delilah had a blast sitting on the deck watching the water. We learned she likes Smoked Tuna Dip, a favorite of mine. Also, she isn't a fan of spicy food. We had a shrimp boil Saturday night, which had a bit of a kick to it. She bit into her corn on the cob and immediately put it down. Her nose started running and she was scraping her tongue. (I promise I didnt think it was that hot. Lesson learned.) She was fine once we made her some new, non spicy corn. 

Now that we are home, and no new major issues seem to have creeped up (knocking on wood), we are getting excited for John's return home. He should be home sometime tomorrow evening and we can't wait. Now to just get the house in order. Once he gets home, I will finally be able to get the Christmas decoration out of the attic and put up.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Growing too fast!

Two days ago, Delilah climbed out of her crib for the first time. Actually, she kind of fell out of it. At least, that is what I assume, considering the big thump I heard coming from her room. I thought she had just thrown her baby dolls out, but then I heard her banging on the door. I cannot say I was excited about this new development. All I could picture was nap time flying out the window, and bedtime becoming a struggle.

Instead if immediately taking the front bars off her crib, I decided to wait and see if she would do it again. I was hoping the fall would deter her from doing it again. That night and the next day and night she didn't climb out. I was sighing with relief. Until today, that is.

Little girl has climbed out of her crib not once, not twice, but three times during nap. Oh no! Looks like she will be graduating to a toddler bed now. Hopefully night time won't be such too difficult.

On a completely different note, the other day, my friend, Lindy, and I took our two little princesses out for some photos. We both needed to get some good shots out Christmas cards, and it is always fun to get Addie and Delilah together. Let me just say, the photos turned out ADORABLE! The girls were much more cooperative then we even imagined. Apparently the secret weapon is lipgloss. Who knew? I am dying to show you all the pics, but I don't want to spoil the surprise. Once the cards are mailed, I will post all the cuteness. Until then, here is a tease.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Planning for the Future

This past Tuesday I was fortunate enough to attend a Parent Seminar put on by The Bell Center. This particular seminar focused on financial planning for your child with special needs. I am so glad I went. I had no idea how complex planning for the future really is. I really wish more parents would have attended.

One of the biggest pieces of information I learned (in my opinion) is how it is a bad idea to leave anything in the child, with special needs, name. Actually it isn't just a bad idea. It is a terrible, no good, very bad, don't you dare do it idea. Why? Well, if the said child (hopefully adult by then) has $1 more than $2000 in assets, they are disqualified from government assistance. As in no Medicare or Social Security, no government assistance with group housing, transportation, etc. Nothing. Nada. Trust me, we don't want that.

You may be wondering (or not) what qualifies as an asset. Pretty much anything with a cash value; examples include car, house, savings bond, cash, etc. It's just a good idea to assume that nothing, absolutely nothing should be left in the child's name. Instead, it should be left for the child, in a Special Needs Trust.

Which leads me to my next bit of new information, the Special Needs Trust. I had never heard of this before. Not surprising, considering I've never really considered the future. Instead of leaving insurance, money, etc in the child's name, we will set up a Special Needs Trust to be managed on her behalf. The trust will then be able to provide extra care and support beyond that which will provided by the local, state and governmental programs.

The above just touches on a couple of things I learned in the Seminar. Once John returns from Maine, and we get back into the swing of things, we will be sitting down with some professionals (Attorney and Financial Planner, specializing in Special Needs) and mapping out a plan. I'm so glad I learned of all this now, so that we can begin to get the ball rolling. As we all know, none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. I want to make sure Delilah had the best possible life, even when we aren't around.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I think I have finally found an app for my iPad that will let me write and publish blog posts. This is a test post to see if it works. I'm hoping this app will help me post more often.
Here is a pic of D, as no post is complete without one. I took this pic to try out my new Camera Connection Kit for the iPad and an editing app called Photoforge2. It allows me to do some simple edits and work in layers, which is how I was able to add a watermark.
The combination of these apps should help me update my blogs more frequently. Having it all available on my very portable iPad means I can now work on posts while D is in school.
Please check out my new blog if you have a minute. Creations By Kera.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Audrey Hepburn

As you all know, yesterday was Halloween. You also know that I live for the opportunity to dress up Delilah. This Halloween was no exception. Before I show you the pics, let me take a moment to tell you how this costume came to be. I had every intention of making a Peacock costume for Delilah. I had already ordered the feathers and was, quite literally, about to walk out the door to buy the remaining supplies. Then I went on Pinterest, which happens to be my obsession. It was like fate. As I scrolled through recent Pins I came across the most adorable Mini Audrey Hepburn costume I had ever seen. My jaw hit my desk. My Mother-In-Law, Deanie, happened to be in town (and a fellow Audrey super fan). When I showed her we both knew it was meant to be. Delilah was definitely going to be Audrey Hepburn (Holly Golightly). This may be my last year I get to choose the costume. Might as well go out with a bang!

Without further adieu, I present Audrey Hepburn. ***WARNING: The cuteness is at a dangerous level.***

The coach bag was her Trick or Treat bag. Couldn't let it clash with her outfit!

An outtake, but I couldn't resist posting. She wasn't thrilled Jenn walked away.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sea World and then some!

This past weekend, Delilah and I ventured south to Georgia and then on to Orlando. Our friends (and previous neighbors in AK), the Martins, invited us to join them on a trip to SeaWorld. They didn't have to ask twice, especially after learning about the Here's to the Heroes program; free admission for Military Members and their direct dependents.

I would love to say this trip was easy breezy, but that just isn't how our lives work. The night I was packing, the cat spilt a soda on my laptop. It immediately shut down and acted very dead. I was devastated. Mainly because a replacement for my MacBook is not in the budget. Luckily, I am very OCD on backing up to my external hard drive, so most things were saved. I unplugged the MacBook, removed the battery, and left it upside down during the trip. When I came home it turned on and seems to be working fine. Crossing my fingers that it continues, but will be putting some money aside for a replacement, just in case.

The kicks don't stop there. After arriving at the Martins house, in Georgia, the Tahoe decided not to start. We jumped it and charged the battery. It seemed to work, but on Friday morning when we were getting ready to head to Orlando, it had the same problem. Jumped it again and then decided to get the battery tested when we got to Orlando. (Upon reflection, I realize that we probably should have done that Thursday night, before we left. Oh well!) Guess what? I needed to replace the battery. Fine. Anything to get my Tahoe running normal.

So we enjoyed the rest of Friday and our day at Sea World on Saturday (more on that later). Sunday we drove back to Georgia and arrived around lunchtime. We decided to go out to dinner that night. Once we are all loaded into the Tahoe, guess what happens? Nothing!!! Darn thing wouldn't start. We were stumped. The battery was working, as was evident by all the lights working. Monica managed to call a friend who knew a mechanic. He was able to come out to the house Monday morning. (Thank goodness. A tow was not really in the budget!) After about a half hour looking at everything, he figured it out. Blown fuse. All the stress and worry that darn fuse caused me! ***I know I'm rambling on, but it's important to share all the adventures of a trip, even if they aren't so much fun.***

Anyhow, I should probably move onto talking about the fun stuff, like Sea World. Delilah and I had a blast. The Martin's too! Little girl loved everything, even the carousel! I was amazed that her attention was held so long durning the shows. When they would end she would turn to us and sign/say "more". She also loved the aquariums. I think we may have to get one for the house one of these days. Here are some pics. Hope you enjoy!
Delilah trying to give Alex a kiss. He wouldn't have it.
She also tried holding his hand, all day, but, sadly, he wasn't interested.  

Sitting with Justin during the Shamu show. Loved it!
During the Shamu show. 

Riding a spinning ride with Monica. (I don't do rides, especially ones that spin!)
Riding the carousel. She was very mad when it ended. 
Me and Michelle. Proof that I was actually on this trip!
Loving the aquarium. 
Worn completely out! (And yes, a wardrobe change.
It was chilly in the morning, but warmed up quite a bit.)
Don't want to forget a pic of the Whales!
Kissing Whales!

Some other news before I go. I finally decided to start (officially) a home business. At this time I am offering custom Camera Strap Covers, E-Reader Covers and Digital Scrapbook Services. I will also discuss other custom sewing projects. My new website is  Please go and take a look. Here is a sample of my work.

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Magic City Mile

I've really been bad about this blog updating. No promises on getting any better.

Anyhow, this past Sunday we attended the Magic City Mile Run/Walk for The Bell Center. As you may already know, Delilah currently attends The Bell Center (a wonderful Early Intervention Program). I can't stress enough how important The Bell Center has been to Delilah's development. Anyhow, the Magic City Mile was a fun way to spend a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. Delilah colored, had her face painted, and played with bubbles. Lucky for her, Mom did all the walking! (I didn't realize how out of shape I was until I had to walk up the hill to the starting line!)

Here is a pic from the fun afternoon. 
Please note her accessories. She is her mother's daughter!

This fall has proven to be quite a busy one so far. Delilah attends school 4 days a week (2hr drop off at The Bell Center). She loves it and always has a good report.

One thing the therapists are working on, with her, is her balance. It seems to be a touch off recently. Mostly due to her always running and not walking. We are trying to teach her to slow down and walk. It seems anytime she stands up, she sprints off, leading to many stumbles and falls. (I was afraid someone would think I beat the poor child with the amount of bruises she gets from her falls.) She also tends to go limp anytime someone tries to hold her hand or steer her in a different direction/activity. Not fun, especially when she drags me down with her. Hopefully we can get this corrected soon.

She is also talking up a storm. We are working on recognizable two word phrases. We believe she is already saying some, we just can't understand them. However, her favorite thing to say right now is "Uh-oh". She will purposely drop or throw something just to say it. It's cuteness wares off after bending down to pick something up for the third time.

She is a big lover of music. She loves to carry around my iPod listening to her tunes. She can throw quite the fit when the battery runs down.

I guess that will do for now. Nap time is over and we will soon be off to the airport to pick up her surprise visitor (Gran Deanie). Hope everyone enjoys the beautiful weather!

P.S. I am taking orders for Poinsettias to help The Bell Center raise money. They are 8 inches and available in red, pink, or white for $17 per plant. All orders and payment are due on October 28th and I will deliver on December 5th. Please let me know if you are interested.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

OSS Walk

It has been a bit crazy around here after the walk. Delilah and I went on vacation and then came home to no power. Long story short, I am finally getting to blogging about the walk.

The Scotiabank One SMALL StepWalk went very well. I was very happy with the outcome, especially for my first time hosting. We raised over $6300. Not to shabby. Worldwide, OSS Walks have raised over $630,000, and we still have a few more walks to go.

I want to thank everyone who helped out with the walk. I would list all your names, but I'm afraid I might miss someone. Also, a huge thank you to all the donors and attendees. I believe between 40 and 50 people attended. (I really should have taken count.)

We kept our walk simple and easy. The first hour, as everyone was arriving, we were able to socialize. Once everyone arrived we took a simple stroll through the park. It was a sweltering 98 degrees, but thanks to some shady areas, we didn't melt. After the walk the kids played a few carnival games and we raffled off the prizes.

See, simple and easy. If I had to do it again, I don't think I would change a thing. Wait! There is something I would change. I would make sure our event wasn't at the same time as a High School Track Invitational. Between 800-1400 people were at the park for that event. Wouldn't be a big deal if everyone of those people didn't try to walk through our set up to get to the bathrooms, even after we roped our area off. Oh well, we did manage to get a few extra donations and sell a few bottles of water.

Anyhow, here are a few pics from the walk.

(Just a small sample of the over packed parking lot.)

Trying to get everyone together for a group pic. 

Group Shot

In the next few days I will post pics from our vacation.