And so it continues...

There doesn't seem to be any "down time" in our crazy schedule until mid-October. And then...the holidays are upon us!

I know, I know, who isn't busy these days? And to be honest, I find it a little easier to have a lot of things on our calendar than to be sitting at home fighting with my kids about taking naps, trying to explain to Ethan that having 6 suckers in one day will have the dentist knocking at my door, and keeping them entertained with way more than acceptable amounts of PBS Sprout television shows. Sometimes its just better to be on the move. And they seem to enjoy it too.

So what's coming up for the Skees family you ask?
  • My cousin Angie's wedding this weekend (I'm a bridesmaid) and possibly the arrival of her sister Joy's baby??? Please????
  • Bachelorette party and bridal shower for my friend Jen next weekend
  • Leaving for California to attend Alexa's Appeal on Sept. 12 (with an extended mini-vacation for me while Ricky turns it into a work trip)
  • 10-year High School reunion Sept. 19
  • My birthday on the 21st
  • Trip to NKY to spend some time with my family while Ricky is away on business
  • Another cousin's wedding (Nick) the last weekend in Sept.
  • Jen's wedding the following weekend (I'm a bridesmaid)
  • A weekend trip to enjoy Michigan in the fall
  • And a weenie roast at Audrey and Todd's mid-October
"Seriously" you ask? Yes, seriously.
More than anything, I feel blessed to have such wonderful family and friends to share all of these very special moments with (and who also help keep me sane!) You all know who you are. I couldn't do any of it without you :)


My family has spent at least a week up at "Poppy's house" in Michigan every year since before I was even born. My grandfather (whom we called Poppy) bought this cottage many years ago as a summer home. After he passed away in 2005, just 2 months before I was married, the house was given to his children so that our families could continue to make memories there for years to come.

I look forward to spending time there for many reasons. It is 5+ acres of serene space with areas of trees, a large field where the kids play baseball or tag, a sand pile that Poppy had dumped for his grandkids to play and dig in, a pool and a cozy little house that has expanded with additions here and there over the years. And it is just a short walk across the street to County Park and beach access on Lake Michigan.

It is a place that I am grateful to have in our life. It is a place that I will always cherish - as well as the many memories made while Poppy was still here to enjoy it. It is a place that I will bring my family and feel at home. Thank you Poppy!

Here are some pictures from our trip at the beginning of August. We had so much fun picking blueberries, playing at Deanna's Playhouse, at the beach, and around the house. Anyone can see the excitement in the eyes of the kids while spending time there. It makes my heart ~ SMILE ~.

Nothing runs like a Deere

A few weeks ago we went to a pizza party at The Wolff's house. It was so nice to spend some time hanging out with old highschool friends and everyone's families (the group gets larger by the minute!)

One of the highlights of Ethan's time there was riding around their front yard in one of those battery-operated car thingys. He had no fear and tore around the yard without regard for small trees, bushes or flowers (sorry Heather and Nate!) I think he about scared the wits out of Katie and Brad's son Blake. Their faces were priceless.

We decided to see if we could find something similar to get for Ethan. Ricky looked on Craigslist and sure enough, he found a John Deere one for an unbeatable price. He had to drive all the way to Oldham Co. to pick it up but the unveiling of it yesterday made the cost and the drive well worth it. (Although I think Ricky was more excited to give it to him than Ethan was to get it!)

Both Ethan and Aiden had an absolute BLAST riding around the yard. At first I stayed close to Aiden's side, who immediately grabbed the handlebar in front of him anxious for the ride. With no seatbelts - and no predictability in Ethan's driving skills - I wanted to be sure that 1. Aiden wasn't scared to death and 2. Aiden didn't fall out at any point.

But he flashed me a look like
"Get away mom, I'm fine"
(seriously? he's not even two!) so I retreated a little and let them ride off into the sunset (sniffle. sniffle.) My boys are growing up...

And guess what - they were both fine. Aiden's amazing little hands gripped onto that bar as the two of them bounced around and laughed wildly. He didn't fall out.

It was so much fun watching my two boys play together. Now we'll just need to help Ethan with the whole steering thing. Almost a 1 acre wide open front yard and he finds a tree to run into...

Little Fire Big Heart

A lot of progress has been made in the planning of our first annual benefit for CCA! I've named it "Little Fire Big Heart" and have created an event website where people can find information about the event, read Aiden's story and register for tickets.

We've received our formal approval letter from CCA which means we can begin soliciting for event sponsors as well as start collecting all of the wonderful items that will make up the silent auction.

So if you, your company, or anyone you know would like to contribute in any way, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know! Our fundraising goal is $10,000 so every little bit helps - whether it is your monetary donation or items that you would be willing to donate for the auction. I have all of the appropriate event info and tax forms for any interested sponsors/donors - just send me an email at and I will forward on everything you need.

Please forward the event website to anyone who might be interested in attending or contributing.

And don't forget to register for your tickets! There will only be 250 sold. I know it is a ways off, but they will go fast! Register today!

* A special thanks to Jeremy Roberts for creating the
Little Fire Big Heart logo and website banner!

Quick hearing update on Aiden

Aiden had his follow-up Behavioral Auditory Evaluation (he gets them every 6 months) to check for any hearing issues. Generally kids with Apert Syndrome get recurrent ear infections and fluid build up that may impact their ability to hear normally. Aiden has had his share of infections, but he did have ear tubes placed during his head surgery in May to help alleviate the problem. And luckily, the evaluation yesterday at Kosair showed absolutely no hearing loss!!!!

The tube in his right ear has already come out (usually doesn't happen for about a year), however it doesn't seem to be causing a problem. Aiden passed both the behavioral portion of the exam as well as the tympanogram (sp?) with flying colors. What a huge relief! They will continue to retest every 6 months to monitor things as he grows.

Joy's baby shower

Our girls weekend started out with Joy's baby shower last Saturday at Nonnie's Pizza in Woodridge, IL. Joy was absolutely glowing (she couldn't get any cuter, could she?) Pregnancy definitely suits her well.

About 35 people came out to celebrate with us. To start we had each guest decorate a plain white bib using fabric markers and stencils. We ate great food, played a few of the required baby shower games for prizes (Celebrity Baby Name quiz and Baby Word scramble). And then Joy chose her favorite bib and the person who made it won the final prize give-away.

I think everyone had a great time - and Joy left Nonnie's with THREE carloads of baby essentials. The cutest personalized onesie, handmade blankets, baby booties, the newest and best baby gear, etc. Joy and baby Brogan are all set! Now we just have to wait for him to make his debut! Click here for more pictures from the shower.

>>> Angie's bachelorette party was that night - more on that, including pictures (well, the G-rated ones anyway;) to come! <<<