Sunday, January 31, 2010

Little Hands (and feet) - Big Help

My husband is a police officer and has rotating shifts. For the month of January he was on afternoon shift which is 3pm-11pm. So for dinner, baths and bedtime, Jim is at work. At times it can be challenging to be "husbandless" in the evening (especially since my husband is a HUGE help and very "hands on" with the kids and things around the house), but one thing that I have seen so much since Caleb has been here is that little hands are a big help!

The other night, I was getting dinner on the table for me and the kids and Caleb was crying. He was in his car seat and I had to do a few more things before I could pick him up and sit down with the kids. My back was turned from him as I was facing the sink and all of a sudden he stopped crying. I looked back to see if he had fallen asleep and saw Jacob's little leg stretched back rocking Caleb in his seat with his foot. I just had to smile when I saw him jump right in and help out without being asked. He continued rocking him while eating his dinner :). It was so cute (and very helpful!)

And our Abbey is just a little mommy herself. She's so good with Caleb and he just loves her. He laughs much more at her than at anyone else in the house and I can't tell you the many times she has helped me out. She gets things that I need whenever I ask her to and loves holding him. She gives him his paci and talks to him when he's fussy. I have gotten many showers because of Abbey's help!

And someday maybe Micah and Caleb will be using their little hands (and feet) to help with another little baby... :) We shall see...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Check Ceremony from VDC

It's a good thing that Abbey got better so fast, because yesterday morning Mitchel and VDC presented us and the Leukemia Society with the money that they raised at the "Praying for Abbey Show"! I really wanted Abbey to be able to be there so we could get some pictures and like always, she pulled through!! I often find myself daydreaming of her being all grown up and healthy, and showing her all the pictures and things that we've collected along the way to document our journey. Since she was diagnosed at such a young age, I think she will forget a lot of what she's had to go through (hopefully she'll forget all the bad stuff), but she will also probably not remember all this amazing stuff that's been done for us too! So, I have tons of pictures to show her of all the good stuff when she's older :)

I can't tell you how many times Jim and I have said that Abbey "stepped up to the plate" since she was diagnosed. There have been many situations where she is the focus of attention and if you know our Abbey at all, you know she is shy. She doesn't like the focus of attention to be on her, but there have been many times over this last year where it has been.

For those of you who have followed our blog for a while, you might remember that last spring she had the opportunity to play kickball with some of the Cleveland Indians. I was sure it was going to be hard for her to walk out onto Progressive Field with lots of grown men that she didn't know and play a game of kickball with them. But to our surprise, when we got there she got right out there and smiled and talked to the guys and even let some of them hold her! And she was the first up to kick in the game and watching her run her little heart out on this huge baseball field was amazing.

We also participated in Relay for Life (which we will be doing again this summer), and again she did great that day with being the youngest little cancer survivor there. Who could resist talking to our sweet little bald headed girl, yet she handled the attention like a champ.

And at the Praying For Abbey show she not only handled the day well, but she loved it! It was so exciting and wonderful, yet at times I was worried that the attention would be overwhelming for her. She talks about the show continually though and we often have reenactments of the show, where she is on stage and we are in the audience :). It has been so fun to see her growing up in so many ways and to watch her blossom. About a year ago, she was the little girl who would bury her face in my shoulder anytime anyone would talk to her and we are starting to see her enjoy being around new people. Yesterday morning as they presented us with the check, Abbey really enjoyed seeing Mitchel and the girls that were there and she yet again surprised us.

We continue to be in awe of Mitchel for choosing the Leukemia Society and our family to be the beneficiaries for his first show! Mitchel and this group of young people are a very special group of people and their desire to use their talent of dance to benefit others is amazing. A DVD of the show will be coming out soon and we are very anxious to get it so we can watch it again and again :)!

So our journey continues... both good and bad, ups and downs, yet we are surrounded by many who love us and for that we are forever thankful!


Abbey bounced back quickly and is feeling so much better! Aren't kids so amazingly resilient! One day they're throwing up with a high fever and bad cold, and two days later, they are as good as new (well almost :), but definitely much better)!

We did have to go back to clinic yesterday for them to check her out before the weekend, but she checked out great! Her nurse and doctors were all saying that she was a new woman compared to the day before.

This poor girl! She goes through so much already, then when she gets sick on top of it it just stinks! Her little voice and smile keeps us all going though and we're just glad that's over. We will most likely be on lock down again for a while here as we've really been pushing it lately with doing things. I can't wait for the day when we can do whatever we want and not have to always worry about her picking something up and getting a fever... We're getting there!

Thanks once again for your thoughts and prayers for our little love muffin :)!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Sick Abbey

We've had a couple rough days here. Wednesday afternoon, Abbey got a fever. She felt warm when she woke up, but was acting pretty normal so I waited about an hour to take her temperature in hopes that she was just warm from being bundled in her bed that morning. Sure enough, by lunch time she had a fever or over 101 which meant a call to the doctor and a trip to the hospital.

On Tuesday night I noticed her getting some mild cold symptoms. By Wednesday she definitely had a cold so we felt pretty sure that this fever was related to some sort of virus. Virus or not though we always have to take her in for a blood culture, numbers check and an antibiotic. Her numbers were nice and high so after everything was done there, we were able to come home.

Wednesday night her cold had gotten really bad and then right before bedtime she started throwing up. She had a very rough night with her fever continuing, a bad cold and vomiting. Ugh! I felt so bad for her. At one point in the middle of a throw up session she said "mommy, please pray that I would stop throwing up." We prayed together and she fell asleep soon after that. Not too long after she was up again though throwing up. This went on the whole night. By morning, she had stopped, but her fever was still there. She told me soon after she woke up that she stopped throwing up because we prayed. That pretty much was the best thing that came out of these last few days... Abbey seeing an answer to prayer :).

Anyways, this morning we put in another call to the doctor, and we were told to head back in, but this time with our bags packed for an admit. We were pleasantly surprised though that they let us leave after giving her some fluids and an antibiotic.

She is now sleeping soundly next to me on the couch with no fever :)! She hasn't eaten a bite of food all day, but she has been drinking and keeping the fluids down. We were told today that we would most likely have to bring her back to clinic again tomorrow for them to check her out once more before the weekend to make sure whatever this is is passing, but her planned chemo tomorrow (spinal tap with chemo put into her spinal fluid and vincristine in her port) will be held until this completely passes next week.

So, for now we continue to pray that she kicks this sickness to the curb and that her smile starts showing up again soon. Please join us in praying for our Abbey. Thanks and we'll let you know how she is tomorrow.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


It has been a while since I've done an update on Abbey and other things here. We had a couple busy weeks so I haven't had much time to spend on the computer, but things have settled down some so I wanted to let you know what's new :).

The craziness began with us putting our house on the market. We have lived in our house for 7 years now and have most definitely grown out of it! When we moved in, we weren't even pregnant with Jacob (our firstborn) so since have had 4 kids :)! We tried to sell our house a couple years ago and decided to take it off the market after our listing had expired. Looking back, it was a God thing that it didn't sell. Soon after we took it off the market, Abbey was diagnosed. It has been a good thing (for many, many reasons) that we have been in this house, in this area over this past year and a half. We now are ready to try again to sell and hopefully get into something bigger as our growing family is bursting out of the seams of our little bungalow. We feel like we are in a really good spot because we don't have to sell, but if we do it will be great. Our prayer is that God will open and close doors where he sees fit. In His timing we know it will happen and we are trusting Him through this process.

Our visit with my in-laws was great! They were here for ten days and it went by way too fast. It's so fun to have a full house, not to mention helpful to have extra hands around :). There's always lots of laughs, good talks and late nights when they're here. We always enjoy our visits with them very much! Jacob cried and cried when they pulled out to head home. My heart broke for him as I know he really "gets it" that they live far and it will be a while before we see them again. Hopefully we will be able to make a trip out to Philly soon.

And here's a few pics of Abbey's very first haircut since her hair has come back :)! It is growing like crazy and we just love her curls!! She really wanted to get her hair trimmed where I go so my dear friend Kendra trimmed her up last weekend. Abbey loved going to the beauty salon and she beamed as she sat in the chair. After Abbey was done, Kendra highlighted my hair for me as a gift to me :)! Thanks Kendra! You're so very good to us :)!
Caleb is growing like a weed. We are just crazy about this baby! I cannot get enough of his cheeks. Sometimes I kiss them so much that I make him cry. They're just so kissable that I can't help myself! He is a very content, happy baby and he has been consistently sleeping for 8 hour stretches at night with regular good naps during the day. I wish I could just freeze his age right now and that he could stay little forever. It is never far from my mind how God so richly blessed us with him in the midst of this hard year that we've had. He brings me so much joy and we are so thankful for our little Caleb :)!

Abbey has been feeling great! We have not been to clinic in 3 weeks and are not scheduled to go back until next Friday. At that visit she will get her monthly chemo in her port and her spinal chemo that she gets once every three months. I'm not looking forward to that as it's been so long since she has had to be sedated, but we'll get through it. We have loved this break from the hospital though! We have never gone a whole month without going so this has been our longest break ever.

We're all getting tired of winter around here. When it's nice outside we pretty much spend all day out so these long winters really get to us after a while. To help our cabin fever we just got Band Hero. If you don't know what it is, it's a game for the Wii with drums, a guitar and microphone. It's a ton of fun and we have all been getting a kick out of it! Below are some pics of the kids playing it.

We are very much looking forward to our Make a Wish trip which will be this spring. We are going to Disney World and we can't wait! We'll update you more on our trip as it gets closer. Thanks so much for checking in and continuing to love our family :)! Blessings to you all!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Praying for Abbey Show

So sorry for the long delay since my last post. Everything here is just fine (thanks Cindy for your concern :). We had a very busy week and I've been trying to get caught up on my life the last couple days.
As I mentioned before, the show was amazing! There truly are no words to give justice to what an unforgettable day it was!

The hard work that went into every detail of this show was so evident. Mitchel and VDC's passion for dance, unbelievable talent and hard work made the show so wonderful from start to finish! It portrayed our journey in such a unique way. Quest Crew was awesome! Stepp Stewart, the MC was very entertaining and Jewel & Blair wrote and performed a beautiful song for our Abbey.

The theatre was filled with a little shy of 1,000 people! The turnout was awesome and there was so much excitement there that day.

Mitchel and all the dancers are a
very special group of people! They will never know how much it meant to us for them to take their talent and to use it to raise money for us and for leukemia research.

My voice, telling our journey was added into the beginning of each song and the dances portrayed what we've gone through so beautifully.

Some dances made us cry, yet they were all so full of hope. The day was just beautiful!

Mitchel and VDC raised $15,000 that day!! $7,500 is going toward leukemia/lymphoma research and $7,500 for our family!!! Unbelievable... I know :)!!!! There are not words that can express our thankfulness! God's faithfulness continues towards our family and we are forever thankful for Mitchel and VDC for their love and support! THANK YOU Mitchel and VDC!!! I also want to add in here a huge thanks for all the hard work by many that was put into making this day so special and amazing! There are many to thank, but to all who had a part in this day, THANK YOU! From the mom's who ran the raffle table to the many who bought tickets to be there, thank you all sooo very much!

Enjoy the pics and hopefully you can get a small glimpse into the amazingness (is that a word?) of the show :)!!!!

Much love to you all! :)