So now that our lives are changing once again and we are about to be 100% completely in charge of Abby's care for the first time ever (woo hoo!!), I won't be staying up until 11:00 waiting for the nurse with several hours of blogging time on my hands. That means that blogging might be a little less frequent, but that's a good thing! :) We'll be spending more time doing "normal" family things this fall, like going to pumpkin patches, celebrating birthdays, and visiting museums. Oh yeah, and Abby will be going to Baltimore twice a week for the entire month of October. Gotta love those annual appointments! Oy.
What's been going on during my blogging hiatus? Well...
...I have been spending lots of snuggle time with the newest addition to our extended family, my niece Lucy Jane. She's awfully cute, although she apparently cries most of the night. I'm sure it's just because she is missing me. :) We've also been trying to help out with the other three kids while everybody adjusts to life as a family of six.
...Abby is loving Mom's Morning Out on Friday's at our church!! Her teacher is super-sweet and Abby doesn't even say goodbye to Matt when he drops her off! Abby's nurse has been with her these first two weeks and there isn't MMO this week, but Abby will be flying solo next week. I'm not worried though, because 1) I know Abby will be fine and 2) Matt will be in the building at all times during MMO until we are all comfortable!
...Caleb is continuing to love Kindergarten, although some issues with a not-so-nice kid have put a bit of a damper on the fun. We're helping him work through it, but it's hard to watch your child be hurt by another. I've been trying to combat it with lots of play dates, time with Momma, and ice cream. :) He is also doing GREAT with his sight words we've been practicing. Caleb just isn't a flash card kind of a kid, so all of our practice has been in the context of various games. We have relay races, competitions against Momma and Daddy, play board games, etc. I've been very impressed with his speed and willingness to practice them. His attitude toward learning has definitely become much more positive since he's started Kindergarten. Thanks, Mrs. B!
...I took Abby to the nursery for the very first time on Sunday. Yikes! This made me way more nervous than MMO, because the nursery workers change each week. The people in there may not know Abby and I don't like having her be with someone who doesn't know anything about her history, even though I'm just a flash-of-a-number-on-the-screen away. But I stopped by to see why was working and one of the teen helpers was a wonderful girl who has been around Abby a lot. We are even considering having her babysit in the future (once I stop hyperventilating at the thought of leaving her with anyone!) Then I saw that the lead teacher is a wonderful mom I know who is also a kindergarten teacher, so I felt extra secure. Abby did great, as usual, and my anxiety was for nothing.
...We did get a pair of glasses for Abby on Saturday. The suggestion my friend Betsie gave us was a great one! This place had an entire room of pediatric glasses, and quite a few fit her. The store owner himself helped us, and the first pair he picked out were perfect for Abby. The picture is not fabulous (she gets this blank stare whenever she puts the glasses on!), but at least you can see the glasses. They're wire-rimmed and just about the exact color of her hair. I like that they are subtle and not drawing extra attention to her. They are titanium alloy, which means they
...The dress I bought for The Ronald McDonald House gala has been altered. Now I'm all set with the dress, shoes, and accessories! I have to figure out something to do with my hair that I can do on my own, since I won't have time to come home to get it done that morning.
...The medical supplies that took over our playroom and half of our garage have been significantly reduced now that Abby's trach-free! Two of the playroom cabinets and a drawer have been cleaned out, with more to come once nursing is over next week! What's left is g-tube supplies, cans of formula, and basic stuff like syringes and alcohol prep pads. I have been very, very busy posting, weighing, and mailing packages of medical supplies to people in a medical-supply-share I'm part of. To date, I've sent over 30 packages to people all over the U.S. and Canada and they're still coming! These supplies are free to them (less the cost of shipping) and really help out people whose insurance isn't so great. I can't imagine having to pay $100 out of pocket for a trach that we change once a week! I'm happy to help out, although I think I bit off a little more than I could chew when I posted ALL of our supplies at once! Our living room looked a little like a sales room and I was so worried I would make a mistake! Everybody seemed please with their packages though, and I'm just about to the end of the supplies now! I'm excited about being able to take back my garage...now we just have to get out there and get it organized!
...I have also been working on normalizing Abby's bedroom and the playroom again! The only pieces in Abby's room that is not typical for a two year old are the feeding pole and pulse oximeter. We also have an air purifier in her room, but that is simply for white noise because she is so used to the sound of the ventilator! We will be taking the rocking chair and folding table out of the room as soon as the nurses are gone, which will give a lot more floor space and room for the doll house she'll be getting for her birthday! In the playroom, we took out the changing table (we figured we could just change her on the floor when needed, and most of the time we change her diaper upstairs anyway!) and the the black rolling cart that held a lot of medical supplies. That is now in the kitchen and gives us a bit of extra counter and storage space. We have SO much more space in the playroom now! I'm so excited to not have things so cramped.
Wow, this has turned out to be a really long post! I guess I had more to say than I thought I did! Of course, I wrote this in little sections and took breaks to do various other tasks, but still! Be ready to hear lots from me over the next few weeks as we look forward to the pumpkin patch, Abby's birthday and party, Caleb's first kindergarten party, Halloween, the Fall Festival at church, and the beginning of life without nursing!!!! :)