Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Caleb is 9 months old already! Seems like we just had him, but then again we totally can't imagine life without him :). I am so very crazy about this baby and just thinking about him makes me smile. His dimples melt my heart and his laugh brings instant happiness. He has brought so much joy since the day I found out we were going to have another baby and in the midst of this cancer journey that we have been on, he has been a blessing like no other. It's crazy to look back and think how we found out I was pregnant with him just 3 short months after we found out our Abbey had leukemia. We must have been crazy to add another baby to the mix of what we were going through, but looking back on it all, God totally knew what he was doing because he is a perfect addition to our family. You are so loved little man :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Go Abbey Girl!

Friday was Abbey's clinic day and all went well. Her numbers were good and her visit was fine overall. Her normal nurse and nurse practitioner were both on vacation and the doctor that we deal with the most was not in clinic while we were there so we dealt with all different people, which was kind of weird. They are all very knowledgeable and they all know what they're doing, but it's amazing how much we have gotten to be so comfortable with our "regulars". It's usually like going to a good friends house when we go to clinic because we catch up on life with them and there's something very comforting about being with people who have been there since day 1 with us and who know every single thing that has happened medically over these past 22 months with Abbey. Our nurse Kathy knows me so well and no matter what my concerns are (and no matter how small they seem), she takes her time and talks me through everything. I can't tell you the number of times that she's been a shoulder to cry on for me and she can tell in my eyes when I'm worrying about something or needing more information. So, needless to say, it's easier when our normal medical team is there. Abbey breezed through the day though like a champ. She never once complained about not being able to eat (and she wasn't awake from sedation till after 2:00) and she just went with the flow through her chemo, exam and sedation for her lp. I am always so happy when she opens her big brown eyes after it's over and I get to take her home :)!

Wanna know something super cool?? This week Abbey learned how to swallow her pills whole with water instead of them needing to be crushed up and put into bites of food. A while back we had talked to her nurse about little kids swallowing pills and she said sometimes they can learn to do it. We never did ask Abbey if she wanted to try it because we really felt like she was too young to even attempt it. There is one week per month where she has to take three pills each day for a five day period (her steroids 2 times a day plus her oral chemo). Well the other night out of the blue (apparently this has been in the back of her brain since she heard us talking about it at clinic a couple months ago) she asked me if she could try to swallow the pill whole instead of me crushing it up. Of course I said sure and after three sips of water, the pill went down. Since then she has swallowed every pill that I have given her including her chemo (this one I have to cut in half because it's pretty big, but she gets both halves down without a problem :)! She is sooo proud of herself and we are sooo stinkin proud of her too! I think I was about 13 before I learned to swallow pills and I still don't like the feeling, but like with everything else this girl has amazed us with her courage and strength through this journey. Go Abbey Girl :)!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Abbey :)

This Friday, we will go to clinic for Abbey's chemo in her port, spinal tap and spinal chemo. At this point she only gets an lp done once every 3 months, where at the beginning this was weekly. She will be put under sedation for the procedure and won't be able to eat until it's over. For as many times as we've done this, you'd think it would get easier, but sometimes I feel like it gets harder. I can't wait for the day when she's done with her treatment. We sometimes feel like we can see her body just getting tired and worn out from all that she's been through and all the medications that have gone into her these past 21 months. But, we are in the final stretch now and we know we can do it :)! Please pray for all to go smoothly this Friday. For high numbers and for her usual braveness through it all! Thanks :)!


We have spent lots of time at our local pool this summer. Jacob and Abbey are currently taking swimming lessons Monday-Friday for a 3 week session and they are loving it. Jacob has really strived in his class and just got moved up after mastering all the skills in the class that he was placed in. He's swimming so hard that by bedtime, he's out the second his head hits the pillow :)

Micah prefers running through the fountain most of the time that we're there. Every once in a while, he runs over to the pool and jumps in to me a few times, but he always finds his way back to the fountain :).

The weather here has been beautiful! Hot, hot, hot and just perfect for swimming during the day, and playing outside at night :). I sure wish summertime could last forever!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jacob's 7th Birthday, Abbey's first ponytail, our Snugglers and an End Date :)

Life here has been good! On July 7th we celebrated Jacob's 7th Birthday (his actual birthday is the 8th) and it was a super fun day! He invited 14 of his closest buddies to come spend the day at a place called Fun n Stuff and they jumped in inflatables, played video games, did eurobungy, played mini golf and ate pizza and cake. I truly cannot believe that we have a 7 year old already! Jacob has since been building all his new little lego sets and playing with all the other very cool stuff that he got. If you know Jacob at all, you know that he LOVES his toys. Since his birthday, his bed is full of his new stuff and you will often find him sleeping with a toy in his hand. Jacob is such a neat kid and we sure do love him!

Abbey had her first ponytail last week, which is pretty amazing considering last year at this time her hair had just started coming back in! There wasn't a better time than last week to be able to get your hair out of your face as we had some 90 degree days here. The kids have been fishes this summer and have been thoroughly enjoying our nearby pool. Today, Jacob and Abbey started swimming lessons and as we walked out to the car, all they could talk about was going back tomorrow so they could get back in the water.

Caleb is growing so fast and is quickly catching up to Micah! He is at the age now where he just loves his mommy :)! The feeling is totally mutual! He is also pretty crazy about his siblings! Micah often entertains him and keeps him smiling!

Jim is busy with work! He is so happy to be back! This month he is on afternoon shift, which is 3-11 and in the past this is usually a shift that I don't like too much since he's gone for dinner and bedtime, but I will never complain about or dislike a shift again. I'm just so happy that he is working Police shifts and back to doing what he was meant to do!

And lastly a quick update on Abbey. She has been doing beautifully! These last 2 months have been the most normal months since she was diagnosed, 21 months ago. Her numbers have been holding steady where they want them and she is handling all of her medications like a champ. She has had no fevers and has been healthy as can be! She will go back at the end of this month for her chemo in her port and spinal chemo and each clinic visit we know we are one month closer to being done. And the most exciting thing to share... We have an end date for her treatment!!! Her last treatment date will be
January 8th, 2011!!!

I'm going to end on that today as there is nothing that can top that :)!! Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

10 Years

Today Jim and I celebrate 10 years of marriage :)! It has been an amazing adventure so far! From our first year in Philly in our first tiny apartment, to our big move to Ohio, to Jim getting his dream job as a Police Officer, to buying our first house, to baby, after baby, after baby, after baby, to cancer, to lay offs, to good times and bad, it has been an amazing 10 years! There's no one else in the world that I'd rather experience it all with and Jim and I say it all the time... We make a great team!

Dating in College
Graduating from College in June of 2000

Our wedding - July 1st, 2000

Our Honeymoon in Jamaica

Summer 2010 :) Still going strong!

Thanks Jim for all the things that you do (here's a few of the many :)! For providing for our family amazingly, for not only allowing me to stay home with our kids, but having it no other way, for protecting us, for being the level headed one and bringing me back to reality when my mind starts going crazy, for being a hero to our four blessings, for talking to me for endless hours even when you're exhausted because you know that's what I need, for being wise with our money, for reading me scripture verses when I'm scared or worried, for running out to get pizza when you know I have completely run out of dinner ideas, for understanding my germaphobeiness and for helping to keep things clean, for being the spiritual leader in our home, for being so patient with the kids, for letting me sleep in as late as I want sometimes because you can tell in my eyes that I need it, for entertaining the thought of 1 more baby :), for being the best daddy to the most precious little girl with cancer, for reminding me of who's in control when things seem out of control, for being forgiving, for telling me how beautiful I am even when I look less than beautiful, for praying for me, for helping me give all 4 kids baths every night (man that gets to be exhausting :), for cleaning my van, for making me happy and for loving me and being the best husband and daddy! I love you Jim!

Happy Anniversary :)