Did you know it is National Cat Day?

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#nationalcatday

My family now belongs to not one but two fluffy felines. They of course rule the house in their own ways.

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One, our very old kitty, often ignores everything and everyone unless she is out of food, wants to go outside, or demands to be worshiped and petted. She was born outside in a barn so very long ago, she had many siblings and was very loved by her family. She was though as mentioned, one of many. When we visited she just wouldn’t stay off me and the family insisted I take her home. She seemed to insist too, so we did. All these many military moves she has stuck with us. She has gotten out in almost every place we have lived, patrolled her homes, and in her mind, kept us safe.

The other, a much younger kitty is all black. He was born outside and abandoned by his mother who sadly had to take care of her own hide in a harsh forest world. A call went out across the local groups, kitten needed rescuing. Families stepped up to help knowing that in a shelter black cats are normally not chosen for what ever reason. We were one of the families that rushed to help. It was impulsive and I am so glad we did. I wish we could have helped them all, but they did all in fact get quick homes.

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We adopted him, fed him like a newborn around the clock with a kitty bottle, and of course he put a spell on us and we fell in love. His cute and sweet side though is just a tool he uses against us so he can gain our attention and then attack us with his razor claws and needle teeth.

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He loves to play, and he loves to stalk toes and chomp on them. He has only kitty syndrome as it turns out, without siblings and a mother to teach him how to not play so hard, he has no self control now. It is painful! Thankfully for him, we love him, and will put up with it till he hopefully grows out of it!

So in honor of National Cat Day we got the Kitties new toys!

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The friendly yet feist toy! Cat Paws are wildly fun! Creep out co-workers, amuse cat lovers and STUPEFY cats themselves with the amazing, bizarre, wonderful and super fun CAT PAW! @mycatpaw You can find them at Toys R Us.

My 4 kids have found these to be a lot of fun. I shouldn’t have been shocked at how much they liked them. The cats loved them too. I figured they would as these toys are just another thing to pet them with and for the kitten, something to attack and play with!

My_Cat_Paw1These are the two cat paw toys we have been playing with. They have a trigger and it causes the paw to bend the way a cats paw does. It also has 2 sound effects, a cute meow and a fierce cat sound.

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Our older cat specially loved these and getting pet with them. I thought the fierce sound would bother her but it didn’t at all. She jumped to be petted by this and just about dances. My_Cat_Paw3

The kitten doesn’t want to be pet as much as have something to play with! The toy paw has no claws but our kitten certainly does!

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All the kids like playing with these toys and the cats!
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The kids specially seem to like the white one. The cats do not seem to have a color preference, though it might be because they are color blind?

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The kids really like these toys. So many giggles.

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They are fun for tickling noses!

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And a little grooming even!

Tag your cat photos today with #nationalcatday

You can find The Cat Paw:

Instagram - thecatpaw

My Cat Paw on Facebook 

My Cat Paw on Pinterest

We hope that you and your cat have a great day with lots of love and play!

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Down Syndrome – Spencer’s Journey

Guest Post brought to you by a dear friend of my sisters.

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He was just 12 weeks gestation when my Dr told me the Harmony test showed a positive result for Trisomy 21.  I was confused, mad, I thought I had done something wrong.  I had no idea what to expect for the rest of my pregnancy and I instantly began to fear for my child’s future.  I cried, alot.  And no matter what any one said, I could not stop fearing for the worst.

Trisomy 21, also known as Down Syndrome, is the most common genetic mutation to occur during pregnancy.  About 6,000 babies a year are born with Down Syndrome.  That means 1 in every 700 babies born will have an extra chromosome (or part of an extra) added to the already paired 21st.

My name is Emily, and my son Spencer, has Down Syndrome.  Let me start first by telling you, it’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to cry, you may even be upset. Let me also tell you that thing’s aren’t as bad as they appear to be.  God has bestowed a blessing upon you, his own personal little angel that’s now yours to care for, and in return this angel will mend your soul.

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Spencer’s Journey

             
“He may not walk until the age of four.” It was the first of the many heart wrenching and terrifying things Drs began telling me about my boy. His muscle tone, he was so weak and flimsy.

A hole in the heart, Sleep apnea,  Syndactaly of his fingers and toes, Balanced Translocation of the 7th and 8th chromosome along with the already diagnosed Trisomy 21.

I became more and more terrified.  I spent every sitting, nursing him with tears pouring down my cheeks. I second guessed my ability to handle this task. “What if I’m not good enough? What if I can’t give him everything he needs?”

But he was healthy, and a big boy too.  Weighed in at a whopping 7 lbs 11 oz even being 3 weeks early.  And the minute I saw him he latched onto my heart and he hasn’t let go since.

We spent 6 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Tufts Medical in Boston, Ma.   But, before leaving we were hooked up to a Pulse Oximeter (sleep apnea monitor) and I had a years worth of appointments set up for the little guy.

Every night was terrifying, I was afraid to let him sleep. For his whole first year of life, I don’t know who slept worse Spencer or myself,  that monitor could wake a giant.

Every week we had at least one to two trips to Boston. Neurology, ENT,   Pulmonary,  Cardiology, the list goes on and on.  Luckily, he never needed surgery on his heart and the hole slowly closed on its own.

Shortly after that, Drs learned that his poor newborn hearing scores weren’t just a fluke. He was then diagnosed with Inner Cochlea ear damage which resulted in moderate hearing loss which is not uncommon for children with Down Syndrome.

Now, most children with Down Syndrome will experience some kind of a surgical procedure before there first birthday. For most, its heart surgery and others abdominal. Spencer’s first surgery was not so serious. A routine cleaning for the ears, draining some fluid behind the drums and a placing of tubes was all he needed. But hearing that your child needs to be put to sleep for the procedure adds a whole new level of fear to the already scared parent.Photo Collage Maker_BwgIz9

Luckily, the surgery went excellent. His sleep apnea didn’t serve as a problem. And he was awake and alert only hours later. Eventually, he will be fitted for hearing aids and he would start receiving Early Intervention for PT and Speech.

Spencer is growing and reaches his milestones some earlier then others, some later. But for Spencer, reaching milestones means a celebration. Anytime he amazes me I let him know. ♡

He eventually underwent another surgery shortly after his first birthday. Spencer has (had) Syndactaly (his digits failed to separate before birth) of his toes on on both feet and two fingers on his left hand.  He conquered that surgery as well and went on to sport a full arm cast for the next six weeks.

So after my lil guy made a full and beautiful recovery from his surgery it was time to start working on his PT.  Getting my lil man to crawl and walk was something I dedicated alot of time in helping him learn how to do.

Practice, Practice,  Practice.  He slowly but surely started picking it up and at 22 months Spencer officially became a walker.  I cannot explain the joy I felt when my little boy took his first steps.

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Now its very common in children that have Down Syndrome, to have a weakened immune system.  Spencer is notorious for taking the everyday cold and turning it into a week stay in ICU.

In Jan of 2014, Spencer got very ill. Putting him in the hospital for a few days with a diagnosis of RSV. Luckily, this adventure led to the discovery of something bigger.

During a routine xray of Spencer’s lungs Drs discovered a decent sized Diaphragmatic Hernia (his intestines slipped through diaphragm and was pushing on internal organs)in his gut.  He would need surgery again.

So, fast forward to May of 2014. The 23rd, the day I dreaded for months, Spencer’s surgery.  We woke up early, got ready and headed to Boston.  The prep was no different then his previous surgeries before, but my anxiety was so much worse. This wasn’t an ear tube, or his fingers. It was major internal surgery.

But like the lil’ champ he is, he made it through with flying colors. He was even up and smiling only hours later.

Since Spencer’s surgery, he has grown immensely.  With his surgery only being 5 months ago, Spencer has gained 6lbs (the largest weight gain hes ever had in such a small time).

Now I know alot of Spencer’s story seems terrifying, and I would never suger coat and say that it wasn’t.  But, I would do every ounce of it again for my boy.

From 31 hours in labor to waiting hours for him to come out of surgery.  Every tear drop has been worth it.

Spencer has taught me alot about life. He has taught me that it’s the little things that make it worth while. That every accomplishment deserves to be acknowledged. Whether its learning how to walk or learning how to dunk a chocolate chip cookie in milk for the first time.  He has shown me patience, pure kindness, but most of all, he has shown me what its like to truly love someone with every fiber of my existence. There have been days where I have sobbed for my son, and feared for his future. When he was real little, I was scared he may not even have one.

But through all the ups and downs, he has shown me how to truly live. He has taught me how to really laugh, and has shown me what a real smile feels like.

For now, and hopefully for a long time.  Spencer is healthy and has 0 surgeries planned for the future. He begins preschool in the next few months.

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So to you moms, with children with DS or to those who are expecting. Try to not worry to much about the “what ifs”.  Remember to always embrace the little things. Whether your baby has a long fulfilling life or they are only with you for a small time. Capture the moment.   Learn to laugh and smile like your child does. But most importantly, learn to love like your child does.

                          -Emily

                     Spencer’s mom

For those of you who would like to continuing following Spencer’s Journey you can follow him on Facebook at
www.Facebook.com/ds21spencersjournney

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 Thank you Emily for sharing your story, and Spencer’s on littlecrunchy.com we are all wishing Spencer the best and hope preschool is fun and amazing for him! 

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Premium Plus Probiotic Review + Flash Giveaway

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Premium Plus Probiotic #premiumplus MightySupp’s Premium Plus Probiotic is designed to provide premium quality ingredients for maximum daily support. The optimum blend of four highly effective bacteria will help keep your digestive system in prime condition. This product says it will: Replenishes good bacteria Helps maintain your immune system Assists with weight loss Reduces bloating […]

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Review and Giveaway – Neato Cell Phone Skins – Ends Nov 6th

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www.neato.com Neato Skins is a customizable system for cell phones to help users like me get the design we want and be able to change things up without spending a fortune on different cell phone cases. For $19.95 you get their starter kit, a clear case, 5 skin sheets, a test sheet, instructions, and the […]

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Review – Monthly Learning Box – kidableadventures.com

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  kidableadventures.com This company as sweet enough to send us a box to review! We received the Little Thinker Box This monthly subscription box is specially for little thinkers who are entering Prek or Kinder. Perfect for my 4 year old daughter. Of course we can’t ever seem to do anything with just one child, […]

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Free Trial Offer – Powerful Editing Software

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    Become a Better Writer Instantly With the World’s Most Powerful Editing Software – FREE Trial Offer. As a respected writer yourself, you know it’s essential to write in a clear, concise and compelling style. Unfortunately, millions of students and business professionals struggle with their writing skills. I hope you’ll consider becoming part of […]

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The Life of a Military Brat

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Written by my Daughter Crystal C.      Yes, I am a Military Brat   Just a few days ago, a friend who is also a classmate and I were talking. The words “Military Brat” came up. My friend said “I don’t think it is a good idea to call a military child a “Military Brat”. […]

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Giveaway – Hawaiian Turtle Pendant – Ends 11/4

Prize: ONE Winner will receive a Turtle Pendant from Honolulu Jewelry Company Sponsor: Honolulu Jewelry Company Dates: 10/22/14 – 11/04/14 You can read the review on the turtle pendant <—- here. 18 + only. USA only Entries will be verified Winner will have 48 hours to verify or another winner will be chosen. This blog […]

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Make a difference by fostering a pet! – Part 2

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Guest Post – By my sister Ashley R.  See Part 1 of Make a Difference by Fostering a Pet After a few days we started naming our foster babies, the Labra-dane was named Tanner, the shiba inu we named Wiley (he was so mange-y and thin he looked just like a coyote), the 2nd batch […]

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Make a difference by fostering a pet! – Part 1

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Guest Post – By my sister – Ashley R.  This time last year my home was filled with the sound of tiny padded feet running across my tile floor. Every morning there were 20 tails wagging and 40 eyes shining when I opened up my door, I was the only difference between life and death, […]

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5 Ways to Show Kids How Much They Are Loved

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5 Ways to Show Kids How Much They Are Loved “I love you” are words kids need to hear, but saying them is not enough. You may love your kids with all your heart and you might tell them all the time, but they need to actually feel it. You may think you are doing […]

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Giveaway – Mystery Beauty Box

Life of a Mad Typer had so much fun with the last mystery box that we wanted to do another one! This giveaway will run till the 6th of Nov at 12am cst We will be taking a medium flat rate and stuffing it full of beauty goodies. If you would like to see what […]

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Review – K5 Learning – Homeschooling and School Success

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www.k5learning.com K5 Learning is an award winning reading and math program for kids grade K – 5th. StormBaby our 6 year old daughter has been playing with program a bit. Right away she liked the Math as it had bouncing heads go across the screen with a rewarding silly sound. I am not sure why […]

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October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month

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  I honestly wasn’t going to post about this at all. I am one of those people who run from memories that sting because I fall into them, into the sorrow, and I then find it hard to function in the moment. I don’t know if others deal better with memories than I do or […]

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Chore Ideas for Teenagers

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When children are young they are often eager to help with things around the house. To them, having more responsibility is fun. Parents often don’t let young kids handle things because they can take care of tasks faster themselves. This is a big mistake. Kids like to feel needed. Dealing with teenagers is a little […]

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Muay Thai training for children at Bestmuaythai

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B y: Kit Nelson Muay Thai is one of the best combat sports and is gaining recognition internationally. It has been originated from Thailand and is a very popular event there. It is one of the most famous forms of martial arts practiced all over the world. It is similar to boxing being a ring […]

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Practicing for Sustainable and Living Green – Update

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StormBaby (age 6) in her play dress out taking care of the chickens and so excited about the first Olive Egg! Can we manage sustainable living someday? In our effort to live more green and someday be more sustainable and possibly even give energy back to the grid we have been trying a lot of […]

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Giveaway and Review – Nerd Block Jr for Kids!

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nerdblock.com We were sent a  Jr. Girl and Jr. Boy block to review with our little geeklings, StormBaby who is 6 and her brother Mr. Handsome who is 8 years old. As soon as they saw the boxes they were full of excitement. Kids love getting mail! They specially love getting boxes! Each Month for just […]

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Wordless Wednesday – Halloween Bat Craft with Kids

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Easy Batty Halloween Craft Items Needed:  Toilet paper rolls Googly Eyes Black Pain and Paint brushes Black construction Paper Glue  Scissors  First lay out what ever table coverage you normally use for messy crafts. Make sure the kids have play clothing on or smocks. Give them the black paint and the paint brushes to paint […]

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Surprise Ride Review and Giveaway – Monthly Children’s Box

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Surprise Ride is a subscription service for children ages 6-11. Boys and Girls both find the box of arts and crafts fun and educational. Hands-on activities foster creativity and imagination and make it easy for parents and care providers to provide memorable learning. This company is on the hot path to a bright future and you […]

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Review: Hand Made By The Seeds of 3 – Ecofriendly Fabulous

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handmadebytheseedsof3.com Organic Fabric crafted beautifully into children’s clothing and toys! This post may sound like less of a review post and more like a post about love, be warned! This is what it looks like when a crunchy Mommy finds something she adores and makes her have hope for the world and the future of […]

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The Rise of The Cybercriminal – A New Age

The 2014 statistics aren’t any more pretty than these from 2013 and the future doesn’t appear all that safer. My own dear wonderful husband is more aware of it all than I am and his job is moving in the direction of cyber security. It requires a lot of schooling but as long as there […]

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#Giveaway – Chewigem – For children with Sensory needs

This is a giveaway that is dear to my heart as I know others who have children with a sensory need to chew. Too often they can’t sit still or focus or do many things others can do because they have this true need to chew and so they chew on things that are not […]

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Drop Your Pants For Underwareness! – Get Free Samples!

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Our thanks goes out to Depend for sponsoring today’s discussion! Before I learned about Depend I had no idea that 65 million Americans experience bladder leakage, and that half of them are under 50! A more shocking number to me was that 12 MILLION are under age 35. To help support them, Depend has created […]

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Electric Moon Buggies To An Electric Bicycle In Sydney

Electric Moon Buggies to an Electric Bicycle in Sydney Image from Flickr Creative Commons

    In modern day life there is too much focus on ‘the norm’. It seems that everyone wants to be normal, blending into the background like a camouflaged soldier in the Borneo jungle. But let’s be honest; normal is boring. It’s better to be exciting, unique and interesting.   If you are looking for […]

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An October Trick not Treat!

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Feathers are NOT Fun! My dear sweet 8 year old son, Mr. Handsome, came to me looking very guilty. Storm Baby who is 6 followed him, only she had her hands over her ears. Both got very close and made me worry… “Mom” He said. “I have to be honest with you about something” he […]

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Concrete Floor Staining Tips

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Let’s face it: it’s hard to get excited about a plain white or gray concrete floor. The good news is that you’re not stuck with this basic look, even if you’ve moved into a house that already has concrete floors. Staining concrete is becoming a popular choice because it allows you to keep the durability […]

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Wordless Wednesday – This week in Chickens!

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This Week In Our Back Yard Chicken Coop….. This is one of our two lavender Amerucauna chicks about 8 weeks old. Hope they are both not Roos! We have enough of those! It has been so very wet and muddy as of late and the chicks show it. This chick though looks about right for […]

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Giveaway – The Forgotten Pharaoh – Egyptian Prize Pack

Julie Gerber isn’t thrilled to be pulled out of school her senior year to follow her parents halfway around the world to unearth a lost pyramid. However, when the cute British guy and the mysterious financier of their project both fight for her attention, things start to get interesting. The pharaoh known as Djedefre was […]

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Giveaway – FROZEN Soundtrack and Poster

  Do you love Frozen too? Frozen: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the 2013 Disney animated film, Frozen. The soundtrack features 10 original songs written and composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and twenty-two score pieces composed by Christophe Beck. It features the song “Let It Go” (film version performed by […]

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