Archive for June, 2011


Monday, June 13th, 2011

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

We raised $2,000 this afternoon and earned the $500 bonus!!!!!!!!!

I really didn’t know if we could! I was telling the anonymous donor today via email  that I’d make a terrible sports fan since I’d be watching the score board and biting my nails the whole game! I’ve been super  emotional since this began! But look at all you wonderful people and your generosity! You amaze me!

Go here to see all the pretty monies. Hehe. :) It’s fun. I do it often! :)

Thank you for helping to milk this donor for every penny!

Oh and I got an email from Reece’s Rainbow today.

And as an extra reward, here’s the picture they sent me!

The whole picture!

Look familiar?

My Little Laelia presented the same way! 10/9/07

So if you want to know how Joel will look in the future, you can just  look at  pictures  and videos of Laelia for a good idea. But Laelia could not raise her arms as high as Joel  can in this picture. In fact she didn’t move her arms or legs much at all for the first year of her life. So I see a TON of potential in little Joel. A ton!!!



Thank you.

I’m humbled.

A note to Joel’s Mommy,

I know adoption is expensive and we’ve only raised 1/8th of your costs. And I know special needs are worrisome. But you have a whole community of people behind you. People gave to his little boy who you will probably never meet.  We’re here for you. We want to see your son be given his forever name and his forever home. We want to see him stand and walk and play baseball. We want to see him smile and  laugh and read his first books. Most of all, we want to see him with you.

It’s been my greatest joy in life to watch my daughter thrive, to have the backing of a whole community of  my  AMC  family,  to battle arthrogryposis and kick its butt! I can’t wait for you to experience this. It’s a wild ride.


Alexis your friend

Changing Joel’s Life

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

You don’t know us, little guy, but we’re here to help you. Because that’s what grown-ups are for.

Click here to donate!

Jumping onto Joel’s account today after the anonymous donor dumped a few more matching funds in,  and seeing the $972.55 (!!!)  made me squeal out loud!  Laelia asked me, “What?” I told her that people had given money to help baby Joel, and that I was very happy and thankful. She said, “Can I see baby Joel now?” And  I said, “As soon as his  mommy finds him, and  IF  they take him to see the same arthrogryposis doctor we all travel to see then probably!” Laelia nodded and went back to eating her sandwich. In her world good things happen. Adults take care of babies. Period.  And Joel’s situation is as foreign to her as advanced calculus is to me.

She would never guess some babies end up here. And Joel could face something similar to this in a couple of years.

Just to recap: A generous, anonymous  person has offered to match every donation made to baby Joel’s adoption fund until either we reach $2,000 or until Saturday, June 18th, whichever comes first! If we reach $2000 by  June 13th (TOMORROW)  the donor will throw in another $500 bonus! So really we only have to raise less than $600 for that to happen!  So even if you only have $5 PLEASE give because it will become $10! And it’s tax deductible!!!

Right now Joel is eight  months old!  The more  money in his account, the more likely he’ll be adopted! The faster we get funds into his account, the faster his parents can afford to bring him home. And anyone associated with arthrogryposis KNOWS that the sooner these kids get treatment the better their outcome! It’s not too late.

If you can’t give right now, please  share this! Please help him! He has my heart in a vice grip and I’m desperate for him.

Thank you!

A year of preschool and a day at the zoo!

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Here’s Laelia’s preschool class on graduation day!

My kid is the  only fair child in the only wheelchair. No one asks, “Which one is your child?” No one.  :)

Lining up!

Finding her place.

Singing the songs.


Getting her certificate for completing her first year of preschool!

Laelia attempts to escape from the group picture. Good catch Miss Wilson! :)

I just liked this one because Laelia and Miss Wilson have the same facial expression in this picture. :)

Yesterday I asked her how she liked the ceremony and she said (and I quote), “Honey, pleeeeeease.” Really?! Ha! :)

Today we went to the zoo to celebrate!

Okay fine we went to the zoo because we heard Elliot and her parents would be there and we thought we could weasel in on their vacation. :) :) :)

The girls!

Baby hippo!




The orangutan council is called to order.

Scooting with the hippo.




In other news, when we got home from the zoo we checked in on Joel’s account, and he has *gasp* $877.15!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m starting to think maybe we can get him to $2,000 by Monday for that $500 bonus. I’m trying to not get my hopes up. I just so want this little guy to have a family of his own! Joel deserves to go to the zoo with his Mommy! Remember every dollar donated to his account is still matched dollar for dollar from an anonymous donor! For a limited time only!! Tax deductible! Go here to donate! Thank you!

My, that’s generous!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I love a good challenge, which  is why the email I just read is  super exciting! How exciting you ask?

Yep just about this exciting. No wait…

Maybe a little closer to this exciting!

Joel, the Ukrainian orphan with arthrogryposis,  has  *another* (different this time) anonymous donor! This time we’re trying to get to $2,000! That would be quite a bit! Funds will be matched dollar for dollar and penny for penny until either Saturday, June 18th, or until we reach $2,000, whichever comes first! (Oh I hope we reach $2,000 before next Saturday!!!) Click here to donate!

But that’s not all!

If we make our goal by Wednesday (June 15th), three days early, the donor will throw in another $250 on top of that!!! (Whoa! I’d LOVE to see $2,250 in Joel’s account!) Please click here to donate!!!

But that’s not all!

If we make our goal by Monday (June 13th), five days early, the donor will throw in $500 instead of the $250!!! (For a total of $2,500 if we’re quick! I’m crying because I’m so excited!) So… um… CLICK HERE TO DONATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No time to lose! If you help us now, your gifts will be doubled! If you help us sooner rather  than later we may even  get a bonus!!! All  donations are tax deductible!

Then after the excitement dies down you can go back to whatever you were doing before. Like eating dinner!

Thank you!

Lots of Videos

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Wanna know how I got up here? Watch the videos below and see!

I’m just going to post them all. You asked for it!



Whew! What a work out. I’m worn out. :)


Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Is he smiling? Does he know?!

WE DID IT! We made our $640 goal for baby Joel!

Not only that, but after the anonymous donor dumped some matching funds in  Joel’s account, we ended up exceeded our goal!

Joel has just shy of $700 in his account!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I’m so thrilled for him! I’m trying to figure out ways to get him to $1,000 next!  But not to get ahead of myself, we have a winner to pick!

And the winner is……………………..







Maria Ryan!

Congratulations Maria! You are the winner of the Laelia-does-a-video-for-you-if-you-win GiveAway!

It’s funny because I put a name to each ticket, numbered the tickets, counted them all up and then put the total into’s True Random Number Generator. The first time I got Maria’s  number (20)  as the winner, but then I realized someone else actually won five tickets and I had only given them three. So I added two more tickets to be fair and hit the Generate button again and got (19) which was also Maria!

So there you have it. Maria, you can expect one video special just for you from the Lali  Kid in a timeframe hopefully shorter than it’s taken me to post all these other videos I’ve had on my camera forever.  I’ll be posting  all the other videos  just as soon as YouTube is done with them. Apparently  I’ve been accidentally holding them  ransom. (Didn’t know how long I’d held them until people started bribing me for them. :)) Enjoy!

Baby Joel!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

An amazing annonymous donor has decided to double every gift to baby Joel this week until we hit our goal of $640! So  $1  becomes $2!

$5 will be $10!

$50 will be $100!!!


We have $355 now so we’re really close! Let’s do this!

Please go here to donate!

Please if you never thought to give to Joel before because you didn’t think $5 would go very far, well now it will!

In 13 days we have raised $70!!! THANK YOU! I know three little kids who each donated $5 to help Joel. It made me cry!

He has no one else. No one else is raising funds for him. He’s an orphan facing a life without hope in a mental insitution just because he has arthrogryposis.

Please help! And now you’ll be helping double!

Thank you!

Life in the Fast Lane

Monday, June 6th, 2011

It seems life has been going too quickly to keep up with. For one thing we had an AMC Get Together at our house almost three weeks ago. I didn’t get many pictures (the ones below were taken by other people), but here’s a few of the kids.

Hanging out on the bed.

The kids loved rolling up and down the carpeted wheelchair ramp.

It’s the Diego monster! Roll away!!!

I had a great time watching all the kids play together. I got to hold a newborn with AMC too!  And meet her mom!  It was a great time. I even got to meet Michelle and Mark and their daughter, Colette, who live in Arizona! The kids had fun while the adults talked shop–mostly  braces and doctors. :)

In other good news, Laelia is doing amazing! In power chair news she’s now officially a better driver than her daddy. ;)

In bad news, since moving into our new home we’ve had plagues of apocalyptic proportions. :)   First there were the spiders, but I think we finally have that under control. But one day out of the blue we had around 300 wasps appear in our living room. Well, at first it was a hundred (you count them when you’re sucking them all up one by one in a vacuum), then after they were gone more and more appeared!  It looked like a blurry indoor hurricane! A ton of poison, a ton of caulk and multiple vacuum attachments later they were mostly gone. It was almost fun sucking them out of the air (and arguing over who got more) after the initial horror passed. They got in through a long crack in the seem where the fireplace meets the wall. We thought we fixed the problem and were patting ourselves on the back when TWO WEEKS LATER we hear what sounds like buzzing in our living room.

Now in case you don’t know,  wasps make a loud, angry sound when flying. BEES on the other hand  make a buzzing sound. We literally killed off the wasp population to make room for the bee population! I grabbed the vacuum but to my surprise, bees, unlike paper wasps, don’t just keep flying when you start sucking them up. No, bees are smarter than that. They see a vacuum attachment and start dive-bombing your face! I think we counted around 100 bees, then about 20 a day after that for the next week. Unlike wasps, people actually like bees because of some dumb reason like they’re beneficial to our environment bla bla bla. So we had to wait for the bee guy to show up and locate the hive. It was in our wall. Thankfully he didn’t have to destroy the wall once he found out how they were getting in. Talk about an adventure! I did take one video after day two of the wasp invasion, but it doesn’t really capture the event.  Click here to see it anyway.

Then I hear this buzzing sound coming from Laelia’s room. Oh no. Knowing my daughter was in her room with the door shut, trapped inside with what was–I was now convinced–a vengeful killer bee, I burst through the door ready to take it down. It was then that I  discovered the “bee” was my daughter making less and less realistic bee noises. She said, “Mama, I’m a bee! I’ll be a baby bee and you can be my Mama bee! Buzzzzzzzzzzz!”

That child will give me a heart attack one of these days. Good thing she’s cute…

But no one was stung or bitten so we were very lucky. We were, however, bitten by the tummy bug. My husband was a bit ill, but I had  a full on  stomach flu. Laelia didn’t get sick or  miss a beat in her usual way. I think she’s a carrier  for all disease. She never seems to get that sick, but I think she happily passes along every disease known to Ms. Wilson’s preschool class.

Speaking of preschool, Laelia had her IEP meeting a few weeks ago and it was a piece of cake! They even gave us limited OT hours, and when I asked for the max instead, they said yes! I look forward to next year!

We  have been waiting to hear if Laelia was accepted to summer school or not. Today I received two letters: a denial letter for summer school and an acceptance letter for the same summer school. :) I was so sad to read the first one and then just confused when I saw the second one. (They were handed to me at the same time and folded together.) Turns out Laelia was denied and then later accepted. So now I’m just working out the three week gap and getting denied by daycares left and right. We have been paying into a daycare fund all year, so it’s paid for if we can find something. But our money is not good enough because our daughter is seen as a liability. Boo! That’s why I love Laelia’s preschool. It’s been a positive experience for her, and no one looks at her as anything but a child. A smarty-pants child. :)

I also just got officially awarded paid family leave to take Laelia to OT and PT right after Laelia’s school aide leaves for the day!  This way I can retain my full time work status, but take off an hour and a half early from work to do OT and PT with Laelia!  And Laelia is getting so much out of OT and PT lately–it’s amazing! The reason it took so long to get accepted was because my paperwork did not have an “end recovery date.” I guess they wanted to know when that yucky arthrogryposis would clear up! I spoke to 3 customer service reps and they would not budge on this! Our doctor faxed them a detailed letter about how  AMC is  a lifelong condition, but they just glanced at it (while I was on the phone) and said, “There’s no end date. Denied.” When I asked to speak to a lead (or supervisor) they hung up on me. Finally thanks to the wonderful Mimi at Shriners, and multiple faxes, we finally got approved and my time cards filled out. We had to say that the arthrogryosis would magically vanish in 2022. I wish.

Well I’d better wrap this up. Speaking of the fast lane, someone just told us happy anniversary and my husband and I both realized we totally forgot. We’ve been too busy lately! Oh and I just noticed my driver’s license expired…  two months ago.  Ugh. I’ll deal with this and then come back and post videos. :)


What is Arthrogryposis?

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

I changed the “Welcome” link on this website to “What is Arthrogryposis?” Please take some time to check it out. Thank you!