Friday, July 29, 2011


Brooklyn started getting sick with a small cold in her eyes on Saturday, July 23rd. I wasn't worried at all cause we had a week before we were leaving & 2 weeks & 2 days before her surgery. I KNEW she'd be better by then. Days went by & she still had it, but she didn't have anything else...JUST the goopy eyes. Poor little thing...

This is a pretty bad picture but you can see how horrible she looks, even though she's smiling for the camera!!!

We had her pre-op physical on Wednesday & guess what...I woke up sick. The little buggar gave me whatever she had. This, in turn, went right back to her & it moved from her eyes to the whole rest of her body...UGH! She also had an ear infection at her pre-op physical that I didn't even suspect! So great... Well at least she was put on antibiotics in hopes of clearing EVERYTHING up.

But as of now, the night before we leave, she's sick and she's not getting any better. Me, on the other hand... I missed my last 2 days of work because I'm so sick. I can barely sit up & type this without keeling over. I feel absolutely horrible. This is the sickest I've been in a very long time. I felt sooooo bad about missing work but seriously I looked like hell...(I know cause Dustin told me) & I felt even worse. I didn't get out of bed even ONCE until 8:30PM yesterday. Today I HAD to do homework so I forced myself to get up & do that. So why not write a blog post while I'm at it?! I had to pack too for our entire trip, which I hadn't even started on until today. What better way to spend a day sicker than a dog at home?!

Here's to a fun 3 day driving trip...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Baseball-Playing Brother

I've never written how amazing my baseball-playing brother is. So I thought I'd take a second & let you all know.

For those of you that don't brother's middle name is Inning. Yes, as in a baseball inning. My dad had an imaginary baseball team back in the day & the 1st baseman's name was Curtis Lemay Inning. So my parents named my brother Curtis Inning Cauffman. So it totally fits that he is just an amazing baseball player.

And no, I promise you, I'm not just saying that because he's my brother! Just looking at his stats you can tell that he's pretty darn great. He will be 18 next week so he plays Legion ball. We don't have a baseball team associated with the high school here so anyone that wants to play plays legion ball.

They start super the middle of March & their last weekend tournaments are the last weeks of July or 1st weeks of August. They play TONS of games. Each weekend they have a double-header & then once school's out they play double-headers on the weekdays too.

They also play in numerous tournaments throughout the season. Now, I don't know the stats off the top of my head, but if I remember right, they either got 1st or 2nd place in EVERY tournament they played in. One of those is the Lewistown Annual Gjerde Tournament that lasts from Thursday through Sunday. They, of course, got 1st place in that tournament & of course, there was an MVP in each game. At the end of the tournament they announced who the whole tournament MVP was.....drum roll please.......CURTIS CAUFFMAN!!! We were soooooooo stoked, excited, happy for him! My mom was even in tears & I was holding them back cause I didn't want to look like a cry baby! ;o)  Here are a couple pictures of that...

Getting his Tournament MVP trophy

 The team congratulating him
(Oh...& he is really #11, but there was a jersey-mishap the morning of the game so he had to wear #13.)

The whole team. Curt is in the bottom row, 3rd from the left.

 A close-up of my cute little brother. Ok so he's not little anymore but he'll always be my little bruddah!! (He's the 3rd from the left on the bottom row.)

 Proud big sis & Curt

 Proud mom & dad with Curt. (And yes, folks, my dad was making that face on purpose.)

The Redbirds had a great season. At one point in their season they were undefeated for about 25 games in a row & Curt was on a 20 game hitting streak (approximately). They even beat the team TWICE that always wins state. So they were on quite the high there for a while. Unfortunately though it wasn't meant to be & they ended the season not making it to state.

The Redbirds last tournament was this past weekend where they had their district tournament. The top 2 finishers go to State. They actually lost their very first game, which was a complete shock to everone. They started winning though & they kept winning & winning & winning all the way up until the last game, which they lost. If they'd have won that game, they'd have gone to state. But they got 3rd in the District Tournament so everyone was happy with that.

For quite a long time Curt was the leader of the team in both home runs & batting average. He ended the season tied for the most home runs & was 2nd in batting average. Pretty darn impressive if you ask me! Here are a couple more pics of my awesome baseball-playing brother!

Him & a teammate warming up.

 Waiting for a pitch in his usual position, catcher.

Here's a little 4-picture play-by-play:
Up to bat, waiting for the pitch...

 Here comes the pitch...getting ready to swing!!



Curt, You are the most amazing "little" brother a sister could ask for. Baseball or no baseball I love you like crazy. I'm VERY proud to be your SFAM!! ;o)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13, 2009...Our lives changed forever

July 13, 2009 may seem like just any other day to you...but to us, it was the day our lives would change forever. It was the day that we found out we were pregnant. I found out I was due March 8, 2010. Like with Cali, we didn't find out if we were having a boy or a girl. My pregnancy was fine, but I was consistently smaller than I should have been so instead of the regular 1 ultrasound I ended up having 4. We even saw hair in one ultrasound (which we later figured out was actually her nevus hair)!!

Here she is...just minutes old. 3/7/10 @ 2:22am  6lb4oz  19" long

Here she is with our amazing doctor, Dr. Bennett
I do need to take this minute to say an emotional, & huge, THANK YOU to our wonderful family doctor, Dr. Bennett. I have heard WAY TOO MANY TIMES of families who's children were born with a nevus & the babies are immediately taken away to the NIC-U because they don't know what's "wrong" with them; the doctor's can't identify what the nevus is. Or the doctor's say that it's cancer & the baby will die within a year. Or that the doctor's have no idea what the problem is when they see the baby with the nevus that they can't even tell the parents what this spot is on their child. How horrific for these parents! I believe that we are one of the fortunate families out there. When she put Brooklyn on my stomach immediately after she was born I noticed her nevus right away. I, however, was convinced that it was just bruising from the birth canal so I didn't even mention it. She was so covered in gunk that I hardly even noticed the slight hair on it. Once she was taken to the nursery Dr. Bennett got a good look at her & came back in & told us that she has a birthmark on her forehead. This was after hours of labor & it was about 3am so I don't think I was thinking quite straight. Later that morning when Dr. Bennett came back in, she told us that her birthmark was called a "hairy nevus" & that it'd need to be removed. I can not thank her enough for actually knowing what Brooklyn's nevus was. She saved me so many hours, so much worry, & so much internet searching time. Now, I still stressed myself out searching for nevi's on the internet months after she was born, but AT LEAST I KNEW WHAT IT WAS!!!!!! And that's all thanks to Dr. Bennett. I couldn't be more thankful for her & her knowledge.

Brooklyn - 8 days old. You can see her nevus on her right scalp/forehead.

And our precious little Brooklyn today. Just 20% of her nevus remains.
Who'd have thought on July 13, 2009, that we'd be here today?! What an amazing journey we're on!!

Staying Healthy & Well

Please re-read our post about Brooklyn staying well. Click Here to read it. Since we're so close to our next surgery it's imperative that she stay well!! Thanks in advance for your co-operation!

Long Time No See!!! (Catching Up)

WOW!!! It's been FOREVER since I've posted here. I'm so sorry... I guess originally I thought this would just be a "Brooklyn's Surgery" blog, but in the past few months I've wanted to write about our entire family & what we're doing. But then I've been just so busy that I don't know where time has gone! For instance, we leave in less than 3 weeks for surgery #3 of 5 in this whole Nevus-Removal Process!! Yes...LESS THAN 3 WEEKS. This 4 month break has literally flown by...I can't believe it!

So to spare you with an INCREDIBLY long post of all that we've been up to since the last post I'm just going to do separate posts with each "activity" we've done! :o) Yes...You're welcome! 

(FYI: Each post will be dated on the date that I SHOULD have done they'll likely be BELOW this just scroll down, & down, & down....)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Just call me Betty Crocker...

...or Martha Stewart!!

I went all out for our 4th of July Bash. I'm so proud of myself & I'm so happy with my concoctions that I just had to share...

This is my flag dessert. Heavy whipping cream, sugar, & loads of berries!! I don't like that kind of stuff, but seems like everyone else did!

Here are my festive cupcakes. You can't see, but even the cupcake liners are 4th of July themed! They're rainbow chip cupcakes with white frosting, red & blue sprinkles, & the 4th of July flags, of course! :o)

This one was amazing! LOL I don't generally like what I make, but this was awesome. :o)  It's a curry pasta salad. There's lettuce on the bottom, layered with peas, tomatoes, & grated carrots. Then pasta salad with curry (about 3 times as much curry as called for cause I love it so much) & then sliced almonds on top! Mmmmmm...

This was my favorite... It's a sugar cookie bottom, cooked in the oven, with cream cheese, sugar, & almond & vanilla extracts spread on top. Then some glaze mixed with sliced strawberries on top. Oh wow yum! I'd seriously make this every night, except that it took like 3+ hours!

And that's my Betty Crocker moment! It was fun...but it won't happen again for a very long time! ;o)

Our Vance Annual 4th of July Bash!


Every year, rain or shine, we have our Vance Annual 4th of July Bash. We've been doing this since we were married so it's really just a given that it'll happen every year. People don't even call us anymore to find out if it's happening, they just show up. Every year on July 5th Dustin starts planning for next year's 4th of July party. Seriously...sometimes I think he likes the 4th of July more than he likes me! ;o) 

Anyways, serious planning, cooking, firework-buying, & lots of thought goes in to every party we have. Some years we have friends come from out of town, other years we have family come from out of town, but every year we have our friends that live here & our parents/siblings come & it's just a grand ole time! :o)

This year, however, was a first for us. This year since the 4th of July was on a Monday, everyone had to work on Tuesday (except Dustin & I, of course....I have Tues/Wed off, & this last week was Dustin's turn to have a Tuesday off) so everyone ELSE had to work that next day. No one really wanted to stay up late doing fireworks just to have to get up early & go to work. So we did something for the first time...we had our party on Sunday, the day before the 4th. It actually worked out quite well. We had all day to plan, cook, bake, & set up...oh & get some "last minute" fireworks, of course. Then no one had to be at work the next it all turned out great.

Here's our fireworks display...

Dustin & Cali with all the fireworks, including her 2 Princess ones...(She was quite proud of those!)

Food table, tents, & people

Dustin talking over some strategy with the kids

Dustin & his friend, Jake, High 5-ing with their morning-after mess!!!

So needless to was another successful 4th of July party. My mom & brother were out of town but got back super late on the 3rd so we had another little mini-4th of July party on the actual day. We used up all the left-over fireworks, left-over food, & made another huge mess. But it was all worth it! :o)

Here's one last picture of how "intense" Dustin is... This is what he uses to light his fireworks with.....
Yes, folks, that's a blow torch. End of story!