Monday, June 28, 2010


5 years ago today I gave birth to my third child, second son, Joseph Andrew Stafford. Today that baby has turned into a big boy. He is 5 yrs old today. Were has the time gone. 5, he can't be 5, really he is 5, OMG he's 5! He even looks 5. I think he grew over night knowing he was turning 5 today.

So much has happened in the last 5 yrs. He learned to talk twice and sit up twice, laugh and smile twice. He is learning to walk for the second time and learning to give kisses and hugs twice again. He has gained weight and lost weight. He has grown in so many ways. Even though he is a big boy now, he will always be my baby. Ok so I'm done dealing with diapers and feedings, but if that is what is keeping him my baby I'll take it.

Yesterday we had a family birthday party for Joey. We had hamburgers and hot dogs and a chocolate toy story bday cake. Today will be his first day of summer school/ camp. He will go for the next 3 weeks on Mon./Wed./Fri. half days. Ok, so im using this as a little babysitting time, but he does love all the kids and laughter and music.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Joey's Bday Party

Today we had Joey's B-day Party. It was just a family thing. It turned out great. All his grandparents came, his aunts and uncles and all the cousins. He had a chocolate Toy Story b-day cake, and got some nice presents. Thanks you to all my family for coming and celebrating today with us.

Also today my 8 yr old nephew had his championship all star game for baseball. He told his mom earlier today that he was playing the 2 games today for his cousin Joey. Well he won those games and received a 1st place trophy. He gave his trophy to Joey. He brought tears to my eyes.

Anyways, I'm to tired to write much so I'll post it in pictures.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blue Rose

So every once in awhile as I am reading through my friends blogs I read something truly inspirational. Sometimes what I read are things my friends have wrote or are things they got from other people. Either way they are amazing and touch my heart.

Here is one of those stories.

Blue Rose

Having four visiting family members, the wife was very busy, so I
offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included
light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent, and Clorox. So off I

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies, and headed for
the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man
who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I
patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he
waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, "Mommy,
I'm over here."

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged, and also startled as
he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His
eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, "Hey Buddy, what's
your name?"

"My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother," he responded
proudly. "Wow," I said, "that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but
my name is Steve."

"Steve, like Stevarino?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "How old are you Denny?"

"How old am I now, Mommy?" he asked his mother as she slowly came over
from the next aisle.. "You're fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy
and let the man pass by."

I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more
minutes about summer, bicycles, and school. I watched his brown eyes dance
with excitement because he was the center of someone's attention. He then
abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking
the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even
look at him, much less talk to him. I told her that it was my pleasure and
then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the
prompting of the Holy Spirit.

I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in
God's Garden; however, "Blue Roses" are very rare and should be appreciated
for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if
someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that
rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God.

She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked,
"Who are you?"

Without thinking I said, "Oh, I'm probably just a dandelion but I sure
love living in God's garden."

She reached out, squeezed my hand, and said, "God bless you!" and then
I had tears in my eyes.

May I suggest that the next time you see a BLUE ROSE, don't turn your
head and walk off. Take the time to smile and say Hello. Why? Because, by
the grace of GOD, this mother or father could be you. This could be your
child, grandchild, niece, or nephew. What a difference a moment can mean to
that person or their family.

From an old dandelion!

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the
rest to God.

"People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."lue Rose

Monday, June 21, 2010

Continues to Amaze Me!

On Friday we left Los Angeles to head to Sacramento, our layover stop to Idaho. The trip took us about 8 hrs. We had to stop every 2 hrs to feed Joey and gas the car up. On one of our stops for lunch, Joey decided to amaze me. We went to a restaurant to sit and eat. I put one of those thick, plastic, bendy straws that come in the kids drinks in Joey's hand. His hand was resting on the table when I put the straw in his hand. Right away he bent his arm and brought the straw to his mouth. He continued for about 10 minutes sucking and moving the straw around his lips. He had the straw in his mouth most of the time. His arm was bent the whole time and not resting on anything. He was really great to watch. When he was done sucking on the straw, he moved his hand back to the table and put the straw back on the table. WOW! Pretty amazing. Just when I think that I have seen all of what Joey is going to regain, he amazes me more.

When we got to Sacramento, we head to my aunts house for dinner and then to the hotel for bed. Uncle Dan, cooked us a great dinner. Thanks Nana and Uncle Dan. We started our second leg of the trip at my aunts house for Dan McMuffins. yum, yum.

Our drive from Sacramento to Idaho took us 10.5 hrs. And again we had to stop every 2 hrs for Joey. We got to Idaho with no complications. Joey went to bed about 9:30 at night on our first night in Idaho. This is late for him, but it stays light outside till that time so it is hard to put him to sleep earlier. Also when we are on vacation I have to lay with him to put him to sleep. This is not the norm, so my sleep has been crappy.

We are visiting all the restaurants on man vs. food, hee hee hee and having a great time with my sister-in-law and my niece and nephews. It is definitely a bit crazy in the house with 4 boys running a muck. However they all love Joey and are very caring.

We have 3 more days here and then we head home. Here is a picture of Joey and his straw.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


My Team
My Friends really like me.
Getting my trophy and year book and thanking the firemen.

Life is filled with so many twists and turns. Just when you think things are going to settle down and your life and mind are not going to be so stressed and chaotic, there is a twist in the road.

On Friday Joey finished his 3 weeks of IMOT (Intensive Model of therapy). He did a great job. He is so much stronger. He did the whole 3 weeks with his casts on. Speaking of cast, 2 weeks ago when we went in to get them changed, the dr. put on removable cast. These are just regular cast that were cut down the sides and ace bandaged closed. Friday afternoon I had to take Joey to get fitted for his new AFO's (braces). When we were done and his cast were put back on they just didnt fit right. By Saturday morning he wiggled out of them. So I dedcided to put on his old braces. These are just a little small, but didn't look to bad or seem to bother him. Well I was wrong, by 2 oclock in the afternoon he began screaming and pulling his legs in. This is what he does when he has to go to the bathroom. So I assumed he had to go o the bathroom. He cried all day and most of the night. At about 5am Sunday morning I decided to put him in the tub to help relieve his so called tummy pain. As soon as I took his braces off all was well. He took a bath and then was a happy camper. It was a very frustrating day. It hurts when you can't figure out why your child is in pain.

So with that all being said, Joey is no longer wearing his braces or casts. His feet are already starting to point again. We don't get his new AFO's until 2 weeks. I take him back to the dr. tomorrow for new casts possibly. I just hope we don't lose all that we have tried so hard to gain with his feet. I keep stretching and stretching and stretching him. Please PRAY that is all works out the way we need it to be.

Also on Saturday before his crying began, he had his allstar game and closing ceremonies for baseball. The challengers league is such a great league. I love that my son can play baseball like other kids his age. There are so many types of kids with disabilities in the league. It is the most none competetive, hard working, dedicated league of baseball anywhere. The Simi Valley Youth baseball league along with the Amanda McPherson foundation is trying to raise monies to build the challengers their own field. I cant wait for him to play again next year. He had a great time.

I have some great news. I talked to the HBOT clinic to schedule his appt's. They are only charging me $100 a session. This saves me a $1000. Whoo HOoo! We start in Aug.

Ok thats about it for now.

Friday, June 11, 2010

End of Suit Therapy

Today was the last day of Joey's three week intensive suit therapy. Joey did great. He had his casts on for the whole time and still kicked butt. He is holding his head up so much better now and is bearing weight through his arms when he sits all the time. We also did Vital Stim therapy which helped him to close his mouth around the spoon/fork when fed. He also began drink more from a straw and sippy cup. He did a really great job.
I posted a couple of videos on
I did not take any pictures this time. I have tons and tons of pictures of Joey and his suit therapy.

Our next therapy adventure is to Phoenix, AZ for ABM therapy. We will be going in July for a week. I am very excited to see the results from the ABM.

Today after his graduation from suit therapy he got fitted for his braces (DAFO's). I am very excited to get them. They will be ready in 2 weeks. At this time we can throw away his casts. WHOO HOO!

We thats my little update for now. I'm tired and going to bed.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Let Summer Begin

June has started off very busy.

For Memorial Weekend we went away with our group of friends. We had a great time. We did a little antique shopping and played a lot of Volleyball. However, Joey doesn't make it very relaxing. He keeps us busy. He is not to fond of being away from home.

Then this last week we have been busy getting ready for our garage sale. We had a very successful garage sale over the weekend. I would like to send out a BIG THANK YOU to a lot of people; first to all my wonderful friends and family and even strangers that donated items to our garage sale, then special thanks to my mom, sister, dad and step mom for helping with the setup and break down of the garage sale. I couldn't have done it with out you guys. Thanks to Leah and Paige, Carey, Brandon and Kanan, Taylor's Grandma and Grandpa, my father in law Stan for helping with the selling of items at the sale, my daughter Jessica and her friend Madison for selling the lemonade and rice krispie treats and for handling the cash register, my son Jack and his friend Austin for the security and my wonderful husband for supporting me and helping with everything. I love you all very much and really appreciated your help. Thanks to Trish for making the special rice krispie treats and my dad for making the lemonade. Thank you to Patrick and Dessie for your generous donation. You all really ROCKED this weekend. It really means a lot to me and Jeremy. Ok so I know the big question is "How much did we make?". We made half of what I need to pay for Joey's HBOT. I will be able to make payments are the rest.


This is the last week of school for the kids. Whoo Hoo! I leave with my MIL, Jack and Joey on Saturday for Idaho to visit my SIL and niece and nephews. Then when we get back Joey start summer school. It is just an extension of his pre-school for 4 weeks. He has the same teacher and aide he had during the regular year.

Joey has had his cast on for about 3 weeks now. About 4 weeks ago Joey received botox in his calf's so that we can stretch his muscles and tendons. He is then serial casted for 4 weeks. He gets fitted on Friday for his AFO's (ankle and feet braces). It was very painful for him when we replaced the cast after 2 weeks. His legs really spasmed. However we are more than half way through this casting time now.

As far as Joey's improvements since this last stem cell in August, well, it's hard to tell. What I do see is his ability to suck and move food around in his mouth is better. He also moves his arms so much more. His cognition is a lot better. He understands more so has more tantrums. Great thing, but very exhausting.

This is our last week of Intensive Suit therapy, then in July we go to Arizona for a week for ABM therapy ( this is the same therapy he received in Costa Rica). I am hoping to start his HBOT in August. I am very excited. Then we will take a little break through the holidays.

Well that's about it for now. We are all doing great. Thank you for your support and prayers.