Saturday, September 29, 2012

Glasses Update

Abby got her glasses!!!


Right now, she's not thrilled with them.  Don't let the picture fool you!  I think that they make her a little dizzy and unsteady.  I can understand, because that's how I feel whenever I get a new prescription.  Unfortunately, she won't keep them on for more than 10 minutes at a time, and that is only with bribes!  

Just like everything else, we're going to keep working on it and try to increase the stretches of time over the next few days.  Today I mostly focused on getting her to realize that she can't throw them if she wants them off!  She has started handing them to me, at least!  

Our ultimate goal is for Abby to wear her glasses 80% of the time, but her doctor said he would be happy with 50% of the time in the beginning.  I think we hit about 8% today.  :)

The First of Many...

...lazy Saturday mornings watching cartoons.


Love those kids!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Calebisms

Caleb came downstairs Sunday  morning to see that I had removed the changing table from the playroom.

C:  I see that something is missing!

Me:  Yes, it is!  What?

C:  The changing table.  Why did you take that out?

Me:  Well, I figured I could just change Abby on the floor and we could use the extra space.

C:  (smiling this weird smile) Oh, that is very nice.

Me:  Ok...thanks...

C:  I smiled and said that very politely, didn't I?  But on the inside I was thinking, there is going to be poop ALLLLLL over the floor!

------

C:  When I grow up, I want to be a dancer.

Me:  Oh, I thought you wanted to be an astronaut.

C:  Well, I am.  I'm going to be an astronaut who is also a speech therapist for the other astronauts who need some help talking.  I can also use sign language for the ones who can't hear.  Then I'll just be a dancer on the weekends.

Me:  I see...what kind of dancer?

C:  A disco dancer, of course.

Side note:  I'm sure speech therapy and signing services are a real need at NASA.  I'm confident that he will be perfect for that position.  Dream big, Caleb.


-------

C:  (points to red decorative tag at the bottom of his shirt) This red tag shows everyone else that I'm a Ninja of Fire.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Feeding Update


We're looking at possibly moving all of Abby's gtube feedings to overnight.  This will be good for a couple of reasons:

1) It frees her up during the day.  Now that she's in Mom's Morning Out and story time at the library each week, I'm noticing that gtube feeds are getting in the way of her activities a little more.  With the new-found freedom of no nursing, I want Abby to be free to go places and have play dates without having to deal with feeding schedules.

2) She will hopefully eat more by mouth because her belly won't be getting full at 12 and 4!  We're really, really trying to increase the volume of food she is taking.  This is a very slow process, but we have noticed an improvement with the Pediasure.  Abby is typically taking 3 ounces of pureed food and 1 ounce of Pediasure at each meal.  (She eats 3 meals a day and one or two snacks)  She's still not chewing anything.  Texture is just not tolerated at all--not even the tiny little chunks in the level 3 baby foods that could basically just be swallowed whole.  There is no physical reason why she cannot chew, but she sure doesn't want to try!

3) The overnight feed will go longer, so we can have a longer stretch of sleep. It currently goes from 8p-2a.  I don't mind getting up, but if it's a positive change for the other two reasons, then it would also be nice to sleep longer.  If we did it, I think we would wait to set up her feed when we went to bed (probably around 10p), so that it would run for eight hours and go until 6a.

We'll see what her GI says next week, but I think it could be a good thing all around.  I'm also anxious to see her feeding therapist next week (we took a month off because of the trach coming out and not wanting to overwhelm Abby with changes) because the texture issues seem to be getting worse.  I'm hoping she might have some suggestions for us now that Abby had adjusted to being trach-free.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Things I Will Not Miss About Nursing

I will miss our nurses.  They all love Abby and have become part of our lives.  I'm sure we will keep in touch with them.  I'm glad we have nurses that we will actually miss, because there was a time when nothing about nursing was a positive experience.  Now, overall, we are very thankful for the extra help we have received with Abby.

But there are also a few things I will NOT miss!  Like...

*  ...keeping paper towels in the bathroom instead of a hand towel because the nurses can't use them.  It creates SO much trash and gets expensive!

*  ...cleaning up after people who are not part of my family.  The nurses we have now are great about this, but others have not been neat.  There have been many spills on my carpet, marks on my walls, crumbs down in my chair cushion, trash left on my floor, dirty dishes they used in my sink...I have enough messes to clean up as it is!

*  ...having to get a doctor's order to give my child anything...even Tylenol or teething gel.

*  ...the agency treating us like we are imbeciles.  This is probably the most annoying thing at this point.  Well, that and the lack of communication among agency office staff.

*  ...the lack of privacy.

* ...trying to keep everyone on the same page about Abby's care.  That's five people in all who are taking care of Abby, and it can get very difficult to keep everyone consistent.  This is especially true with the various therapies Abby has!!

*  ...having to stay up to let the nurse in.  Matt and I haven't gone to bed at the same time in two years.

*  ...being a nurse manager.  That is just not my calling.  Not. At. All.

We are super excited to just be a traditional family unit again, especially after getting a glimpse of it this weekend when our weekend night nurse called out.  We slept with the monitor on and each took a night to be in charge of getting up with the feeding pump and to deal with alarms.  Abby did fine, and getting up with the feeding pump really isn't that big of a deal.  Abby and Caleb came into our room Saturday morning and watched cartoons while we dozed...it was SO nice to not have to be up and dressed by 7 to sign the nurse out!




Monday, September 24, 2012

What's Been Going On?

Wow, I haven't blogged in a week.  It's weird to not do something when you are so used to doing it every day.  For a long time, blogging was therapeutic for me.  But I never want blogging to become a chore or get in the way of my role as a teacher, wife, and mom.

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...

...my third child camera is being repaired, and I have definitely been missing it.  This was a "good" time (is there ever a good time to give up your camera??) to get it fixed though, because it will be ready for Abby's birthday party and Halloween.  After that comes Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then Caleb's birthday...so this really was the best time to be without it for a month.  But I do miss you, D90!!

...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 are ridiculously expensive can withstand lots of bending and pulling without breaking. The lenses had to be custom cut because she is so little, but we should be able to pick them up next Saturday.  I'm just excited that we found some, and, as always, I'm thankful for insurance that picks up at least some of the cost!  An added bonus was that it was a quick and painless process.  I just wish I'd gone there first!

...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!!!!  :)  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lookin' Good!

We got Abby's doll some glasses from Build-a-Bear, but they ended up fitting Abby perfectly!


Is she cute, or what?

They have actually been really good for getting her used to glasses without having to worry about her breaking an expensive pair.  If something happens to these, we're just out $4!  She is really starting to like them though, and actually hands them to me to put on her.  (Of course, they certainly aren't helping with the eye turning in!)  

I'm seriously considering taking these to an eye care place and asking if they can put lenses in them.   We are just about at our wit's end after going to about a million stores looking for glasses!  We have one more promising place to go to on Friday.  After that, we're pretty much out of options and will begin the process of ordering online!  I'm really hoping that we find something, because the idea of ordering glasses without trying them on her bothers me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm an Aunt Again!

My favorite only sister Amy had her 4th baby early Sunday morning.  I'm pretty sure walking the mall with me on Saturday helped get things rolling!  Lucy Jane came into the world at 2:44 a.m. weighing 6 lbs 11 oz and measuring 19 inches long.  She's beautiful!  Like her oldest sister and daddy, she has lots of dark hair.  Although she never opened her eyes for me, I hear they are also very dark!

Caleb said, "I think she likes me!" when he held her.  Abby is quite enamored with her, but I think she is still confusing her with a baby doll.  She may or may not have tried to pull her off of the hospital bed by her leg....gotta watch that one!

We're busy getting our baby fix and helping out with the older kids, so I'll apologize if I don't post too much for a few days.

I will note that today marks two years since the first day of our new normal.  Today is the day I was medivaced to UMMC with preterm labor, and the start of what has been a crazy, but joyful, two years!  :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Why I Love Natural Light


Here's an early-morning picture of Abby sleeping with her favorite doll, Beth.


And here is a picture taken just a second after, with Devil Doll!



Friday, September 14, 2012

Hello Kitty!


The obsession continues!  

Abby is going to be Hello Kitty for Halloween, her Hello Kitty birthday party will be just a week before, she has Hello Kitty band-aids over her trach hole, there are Hello Kitty stickers on various pieces of furniture all over our house, and Abby's Grammy made her a Hello Kitty blanket that she takes everywhere now.

The girl loves the Kitty!  What can I say?



Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Fanciest Event I've Ever Attended

On November 3rd, our family will be speaking at the 30th Anniversary Gala for the Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore.  We were asked back in June, and we eagerly accepted because we love talking about RMH in any capacity!  We recently got more details about the event, and WOW is it fancy!!!

I went shopping with my sister on Tuesday and managed to find an evening gown. Yep, an evening gown!  I haven't worn a formal dress since my senior prom!  (Well, is your wedding dress considered a formal gown?)  I actually found two, and am taking back one after showing both to Matt and letting him choose the one he liked best!

We'll be going next week to get Matt fitted for a tux, too.  He keeps trying to convince me to let him wear a suit, but that's not happening.  It's a black tie event, so tuxedo it is!

Although it's way out of our comfort zone, it's really exciting to go to such a fancy event.  I'm pretty sure I've never been to anything like it!  I'm not a dressy person, but it's fun to get all dressed up once in a while!  Plus, we get to talk about our favorite charity and share the miracles our family has witnessed!

Abby and Caleb will be coming too, although they won't be dressed up quite as much.  I think Caleb can get away with a suit, and Abby will wear some kind of a fancy dress.  My sister brought over a couple last night that I think will work.  I just want to figure out my dress so that we all kind of match.

This is a really cool opportunity, and it will definitely be something we won't soon forget!


One Week Post-Decannulation

After a week of being trach free, here are some new things about Abby:

*  She took her first bath with water in the tub on Wednesday.  The girl LOVED it!  She splashed and laughed the entire time, giving me quite a mess to clean up!  It was so worth it to see her so happy.  It's exciting that she can do that now that the hole is closed up!

*  Abby sings all of the time now!  She never did any singing when she had her trach, but she started singing just a few hours after getting it out.  That evening, I asked if she wanted to sing a song and she la-la-ed something very close to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!  She now la-las all of the time, and I LOVE IT.  LOVE it.  This was one of the things I was most looking forward to with her decannulation.  It is so sweet!

*  We went to the ophthalmologist today and he confirmed that she needs glasses.  Her eye has started drifting and she's nearsighted.  (We already knew this, but he was holding off because of the whole throwing stage thing!)  We're now on the hunt for some cute toddler glasses!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Videos!!!!!

I finally figured out how to get the videos off of my phone and onto my blog.  I'm not sure I could ever do it again!  Moral of the story:  take important videos with your camera!!!




Abby is so excited to be trach free!

Caleb's first glimpse at Abby trachless.  Get your tissues.  :)

Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Peaceful Sleep!

This is the last picture I have of Abby sleeping by herself without a trach.



This is the first picture of Abby sleeping after having her trach removed!



How far God has brought us!  She is so beautiful!

Technical Difficulties

I don't know why my videos aren't posting.  I embedded them from Facebook, but I'm thinking that my permissions of Facebook are keeping them from being shown.  I am going to try another way, but probably won't have time until tomorrow night.  I'm sorry!!  :(

Until then, contemplate the affects of three weeks of Kindergarten:  my son was playing "Having a baby" with my niece yesterday.  No more Baby Story when he's around!  Then he told me all about his girlfriend and how he stole her from another little boy.  She's beautiful and he loves her.  I asked if the other boy was upset, and Caleb's reply was no because he likes boys anyway.

Is this what I'm in for????  (For the record, we had several discussions last night!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

First Glimpse

Caleb's first glimpse of Abby without a trach!  Get your tissues.  :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

No More Trach!

Two videos from the big day!

Here is the actual decannulation.  It's so anticlimatic!  A lot of people couldn't believe that this was it...it's so simple, yet so HUGE!



Abby got her voice back really quickly and spent the rest of the day saying, "No more trach!"

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Just a Little Bump

As luck would have it, Abby seems to have gotten an upper respiratory infection that didn't show itself until yesterday evening.  She started out with lots of drainage from her nose, but by bedtime, she was absolutely miserable.  She tossed and turned most of the night, sleeping only for short amounts of time and crying whenever she was awake.  Thankfully, her oxygen levels stayed perfect, so there was no reason to make any calls last night.

Abby seemed even more miserable this morning and had a decent fever. I called our amazing pediatrician, who took the time on his day off to meet us at the office so that he could see her.  He really goes above and beyond for us!  After checking Abs out, he felt like she probably had a virus that lots of kids have been getting recently.  But since she just had her trach removed, he went ahead and put her on an antibiotic to kill whatever might be floating around in there.  Thank you, Dr. S!  You are so awesome!!

We've learned that packing a bag for the hospital in these sorts of situations ensures that we don't have to go to the hospital!  So, pack we did!!!  :)

After two doses of antibiotics, Abby is sleeping much more peacefully and her saturation levels are continuing to be great!  We're hoping that the worst is behind us now as we deal with her first cold post-trach!

In other news, Abby's trach hole has officially closed up!  There's no turning back now!  :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

October 27, 2010 to September 6, 2012

October 27, 2010 was the last day that my daughter breathed on her own.

If we want to get technical, Abby has never breathed unassisted.  She had a trumpet clearing her airway put it immediately after birth and was placed under an oxygen tent until she had her emergency tracheostomy at five days old on October 27th.

To relive that difficult day a little...Abby had been really struggling to breathe, and the day before had given us enough of a scare that the emergency response team had been called in.  I felt completely helpless watching the team work on my little girl.  Saturation levels were down in the 30s (out of 100%) and we were constantly repositioning and stimulating Abby to try to improve her breathing.  It was becoming more and more evident that the trumpet wasn't working.

I had gone to the rest room and was then heading downstairs to grab some lunch with Matt and bring it back up.  I popped my head back in Abby's room to let the nurse know we would be back in a few minutes.

She stopped me, told me that the doctor had decided that Abby needed to be intubated, and informed me that they were heading to the OR.  I asked if I could go get Matt, and she told me to hurry.  I distinctly remember saying, well it's not an emergency...and she looked at me with very serious eyes and said, "Yes, it is."

I ran down the hall to get Matt and we hurried back to Abby's room.  They quickly ushered us through the halls with Abby to the OR.  During the traveling, we were asked if we wanted them to proceed with a tracheostomy if the intubation was unsuccessful.  We said yes without a moment's hesitation because we knew that the tracheostomy could very well save Abby's life.

After hurriedly signing the consent forms for the trach outside of the OR (they had already taken Abby in to get her prepped), I looked the ENT in the eye and said, "Don't you dare let anyone else touch her but you!"  He assured me that he wouldn't (I'm kind of anti-residents using my kid to learn on, but that's a different story.)  Then I broke down in sobs and begged him to save my girl.

We were taken to a waiting room where we cried and prayed for what seemed like an eternity before the nurse practitioner came out to tell us that the intubation had failed and that the ENT had to proceed with the tracheostomy.  We sobbed for the hard road ahead, but prayed fervently that this would work and that we would have Abby.  Please just let us have her.  I'll take her any way. Just let us have her.

Fast forward 22 months, 5 surgeries, 10 nurses, and 4,389,2068 I Love Yous later to September 6, 2012.

Abby was decannulated at 12:10 p.m. and is doing GREAT!  After a long nap where she slept off the last effects of the the anesthesia, she played, charmed, and sassed her way through the evening!
She has been asleep for about half an hour and her saturation level is currently 99% out of 100%.  Keep it up, Abs!



As long as everything looks good tonight, we will go home tomorrow and begin the next chapter.

Wow.

If you didn't catch the emotion in the first half of this post, know that we are beyond amazed that this is happening.  I never, ever thought that Abby would be decannulated before her second birthday.  In fact, my answer to that question was always that she would go to school with a trach.

There was a time when I couldn't think about Abby's future much beyond that day, because it was too painful to think that I may lose out on so much time with her.  One by one, the limitations that had been placed upon Abby were torn off by a God who is much bigger than statistics.  This was the item to be crossed off of the "Abby Will Never..." list.  I think we can officially chuck it in the trash!!!!!!!

There's so much more floating around in my head, but the emotional and physical exhaustion from the last few days is keeping me from staying focused and formulating coherent thoughts.  So I apologize if this is a little all over the place!  I did want to make sure I shared tonight though, because I wanted the raw emotion to be felt.

For now, know that we are so incredibly thankful for the family members who have supported us every step of this journey, for Abby's cheerleaders (there are many of you!!) who have encouraged her and us, for the therapists and nurses who have pushed Abby to get her to where she is now, and most of all...to a wonderful God who chose to perform so many miracles in our daughter so that we might share His power and faithfulness.

Happy Decann Day!

If all goes well, Abby will be trach free today!!  Here's a picture of what she might look like without a trach.


(She does have a trach here, but it sure doesn't look like it!)

I will post a trach free picture when I can, but it is hard to do sometimes at the hospital.  I'll definitely be uploading onto Facebook though!

Happy Decann Day, Abby Joy!  We are SO proud of you!

And just to put it all in perspective...

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.
C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

WordFULL Wednesday


For my Abby Girl, who is going to be trach-free tomorrow! <3 p="p">

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

TWO DAYS!!!

I cannot believe that Abby will be trachless in two days.  Amazing.

Really, our adventure starts tomorrow evening when we go to RMH.  We'll stay there Wednesday night and then head over to JHH at 6:45 a.m.  See why we are staying at RMH?!  Her surgery is scheduled for 8:45, but I wouldn't be surprised if they took her early.  JHH has been really great about being on time or early since being in their new building.  They have operating rooms for each of the specialties, which REALLY cuts down on the emergency bumps!  Love it!

While under anesthesia, the ENT will check out Abby's airway one last time.  It's routine and we are not expecting anything strange, but he just wants one more peek.  He will also clean out her ears again, since she'll be under anyway.  Doctors can't see her right ear drum now that the tube isn't there (Abby's ear canals are special...), so our ENT wants to get a good look at it to make sure there isn't fluid building up.

Abby will go to the recovery room and will then be admitted to the PICU.  Once she is settled in and fully awake, our ENT will come in and take the trach out.  It will hopefully be extremely anti-climatic!!  Abby will be monitored overnight just to make sure she is doing okay.  If all is well, she will be sent home on Friday--trach free!

For those who have asked, yes, we will be losing our nursing in a few weeks.  Abby will no longer qualify after she has proven herself fine without a trach.  Right now, we will be nurseless on October 1st.  We are looking forward to reclaiming our privacy, but we will certainly miss the nurses who show so much love and concern for our girl!

So that is the plan for Thursday. Let's hope it is a very calm and boring hospital stay!  Thanks for praying for my girl, and for our nerves.  I haven't been sleeping too well recently...all of the possible scenarios keep playing through my head!  But I know she is ready, and I am so excited!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Secret Sisters

I have been blessed this year to be part of the Secret Sisters program at our church.  They have graciously "adopted" me as somebody who might like an extra smile now and then.  Each month, I have a different Secret Sister who prays for me, sends me sweet notes, and leaves a thoughtful gift for me to enjoy.  I never know who is the Secret Sister that month, but the surprise is part of the fun!

I have to say, I have been spoiled by my Secret Sisters!  I've received everything from a Reese's Overload package, to really nice lotions and body washes, to door decorations, to gift cards to get my nails done...many times, the notes and gifts came on days when I really could use a little encouragement!  Most recently, my sweet Secret Sister for August sent me a beautiful Vera tote bag!  I have a little Vera fetish, so this was just about perfect.

Secret Sisters, if you are reading this, THANK YOU for the encouraging notes, the gifts, and--most importantly--the prayers for my family.  What a blessing you have been!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

B & O Railroad Museum

Abby had a doctor's appointment the Monday before I went back to work, so we decided to make a family day of it and go to the B & O Railroad Museum afterward.  

Caleb and Abby rode a little train around outside.  I wish I'd gotten video of Abby going, "Woooooooo!" the whole time like she was on a roller coaster!  It was a little small for Caleb's entertainment, but I think he still liked it.



There are huge trains in the round house.  Most of them don't allow you to board, but there are a few you can climb in.  


They had a satellite camera on the roof of the roundhouse.  Caleb thought it was the coolest thing!  We found the Ronald McDonald House on it.



There was a nice play area there for the kids.  I love that Caleb and Abby can play together now.  I also love that Abby doesn't have to stop playing to eat!  :)


It was a really nice "Goodbye to Summer" day with the family, complete with a meal at The Cheesecake Factory!  Mmmmm.



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Siblings

Hugs...


...and shoves!