Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer Fun! Pool, Pizza and new Panties!

June officially started wearing big girl underwear this summer! I was super anxious about potty training after having a tough experience with Lucy and a rough start with Hank, but June took potty training like a champ. She was seriously the most easy to potty train. Everything literally just clicked! If another parent would have told me their kid behaved this way, I probably would have just assumed they were lieing or not telling me the full story, but I actually witnessed it and realized that it is all dependent on the kids personality. That and I think God knew I needed a break this time around!
We spent many days at the pool this summer. I think I only took pictures this day when our neighbors and friends had met us there. We had a blast swimming with our friends! And we had a blast going to the pool all summer - the JCC was one of Ben's greatest ideas!

The kids also decided to take the plunge and take the swim test to be able to go down the water slide and go off the diving board. Lucy had been able to do it all summer, but had no interest in the diving board or slide so didn't really need to take the test and Hank was really just building up his stamina, but seeing Estella and Mason complete the swim test gave both of them the courage and strength to take and pass the test! The JCC pool just got taken to a whole new level!

And lastly, we had a new pizza joint go in down the street. The pizza is awesome, it's within walking distance and they have great ambiance.  The food is a bit pricey, so we probably won't be back with the kids any time soon, but we have done a date night there and hope to take advantage of this fun restaurant lots in the near future!

August Fun

We were very busy this summer and I'm really just catching up on all the fun! We went to Florida, Indy, Put-In-Bay on top of our regular fun in Akron - going to the pool, playing t-ball and just enjoying the summer. Here are a few highlights from Our trip to Indy and Put-in-Bay.

We had two weekends in a row that we needed to be in Indy, for Luke and Emily's shower and then so the grandparents could watch the kids while we got away. Instead of driving back and forth two weekends in a row, I decided to stay in Indy for the week and visit with friends and family. The trip was actually a bit stressful and chaotic and I probably won't do it again, but we did get some fun in and visited lots of friends. While it's fun to see everyone, I always forget how hard it is to get so many places with 3 kids (who are grumpy and out of their element) and I was by myself (Ben traveled back to Akron) so it made it extra exhausting.

During our stay we did travel down to Bloomington one day to visit with Katy and Brandon. It was a beautiful day and after some major disappointment that the pool was closed we rearranged our plans and made it to the beach at Lake Monroe. We ended up having a great day with lots of sunshine, fun and relaxation!

After the trip, Hank was so wiped he ended up falling asleep while I waited in the car line to pick up Jadyn. None of the kids slept well the whole trip... I used to not mind the sleeplessness of travel but on weekends in Akron our kids will sometimes sleep in till 8 or 8:30am and most Indy mornings started around 7am... a little too early for my taste. 

At the end of the week I left the kids and drove back to meet Ben in Akron for a little weekend away. We spent one day by ourselves exploring Put-In-Bay on Mopeds and then met up with some couples from our life group for a little couples retreat hosted at the home of one of the families.

 This was Ben's birthday present. His dream is to own a moped and while I won't give in to that craziness, I did try to appease him with a day rental. We had a blast exploring the island, riding around and just being kids again.
 A couple in our group has a home on Catawba Island and invited our entire life group up for the weekend. Only 5 couples were able to join, but of course we still had a blast with lots of fun games, a little organized learning time and lots of relaxation time.

We were extremely thankful and felt blessed to be able to stay at Jeff and Nicole's home and to sit back and participate in all the fun that was planned by Wendy and Sarah!

This weekend also marked one of the last social things our group did as a whole before splitting up. We had a new couple volunteer to step up and lead a new group out of their home. This is of course a great thing (at the time we had 12 couples in our group and needed to split!) but we were sad to see 3 couples leave our group that we had been in close community with for more than a year.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


  Just a few highlights from Lucy's first season playing t-ball. She had fun playing and we enjoyed the league - most games were down the street (within walking distance) and the weather was perfect. June and Hank usually played in the dirt most of the time, resulting in some dusty walks home but they had fun being at the field as much as Lucy did.
Akron has a small town feel to it and the league didn't disappoint. Lucy had several friends on her team and we even had friends on the other teams. Seeing so many familiar faces really makes Akron feel like home.
Overall Lucy had fun, I wouldn't say it was her favorite or that this sport stood out from all the rest, but hopefully we'll try it again this summer and see if somethings she learned stuck!
Oh, and this was the last of Lucy's earrings... after getting one knocked loose from the catcher's helmet and a series of unfortunate events there after, we decided that pierced ears would have to wait till Lucy got a bit older. Next time we'll leave the studs in and not change them out - I think that was our downfall!

Hank and June with our neighbor friend Lizzy! Next year hopefully Hank will be out on the field!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hank's Appendicitis

 On the 4th of July after our neighborhood parade Hank started complaining of an upset stomach and started throwing up. After all the candy and popsicles he had eaten, I assumed it was just a reaction to too much sugar. When it lasted into the night and the next day, I switched to thinking it was a stomach bug. He spent most of Monday puking and then most of Tuesday laying on the couch complaining that his stomach was hurting and not wanting to get up. Because he has had so many other 24 hour stomach bugs, I didn't really think much of it... just that I was ready to be done with another bought of sickness! On Wednesday morning, I started to get more concerned. Hank was still acting like he was in a lot of pain and was still complaining of stomach pain but was not vomiting anymore. I decided to call the doctor's office but assumed I would be sent home just being told it was a virus and to rest and recover at home.
 As soon as the doctor started examining Hank at the pediatricians office my head started spinning and my blood started pumping fast, I could tell just by the way she was pressing on his sides that he had appendicitis. I had just recently had a friend tell me about her son's appendectomy so I had kind of kept an eye out for that at home, but every time I asked Hank about his belly he would point to his belly button and the pain didn't seem very one sided. Once we were at the doctor and she had him lay on the table, I watched as he seized up, cringed and cried out when she pressed his right side and he only slightly moved when she pressed his left side.  I realized I hadn't been pushing as hard as I should have or watching for the right things. 
 From there things started moving pretty fast. We headed down to Akron Children's Hospital where we were told they would do some blood work and a few other tests to confirm it was truly appendicitis. While no nurse or doctor would confirm it at first, every single one said it looked very likely. They got him hooked up to an IV, got him some morphine, took his blood and then he finally passed out.  It was a relief to see him rest peacefully since he had been in so much pain the past few days.
 They took him for an ultrasound also and saw that not only did he have appendicitis, his appendix had also ruptured and so he would need surgery right away. The doctors assured us that we had done the right things as parents and there was no way we could have known to come in any sooner.  They said sometimes a person is in pain for 12 hours and the appendix has already ruptured and other times a person will be in pain for 5 days and it hasn't ruptured yet.
 Once Hank woke up from his nap he switched from complaining about his pain to desperately wanting water. He hadn't eaten or drank anything since that morning and he wasn't allowed to have anything since he was scheduled to have surgery any minute.  It took about an hour to get sent up to the surgery floor and it was grueling. Hank was very upset about not getting any water and there was no consoling him about it.
 At this point we also started making some decisions about what to do with the girls and ourselves as we planned for our next few days with a son in the hospital. We felt beyond blessed to have several friends offer to drop everything and come grab the girls and several more that offered up help in anyway they could. We are so lucky to have an amazing "family" in Akron. We ended up taking the girls to a neighbors house because of the proximity to home and because it is one of Lucy's favorite places to play. Our neighbors cared for the girls, fed the girls and got them tucked into bed, all so we could be together at the hospital without any distractions while Hank had his surgery. We are so blessed by their friendship! We were also lucky because my mom was able to drop everything and come out to care for us and the girls over the next couple days as Hank recovered. She left the next morning - such a HUGE help!

Once Ben dropped the girls off he rushed back to the hospital and we were able to walk together to send Hank off for surgery. Everything moved so quickly and Hank was in so much pain I didn't really have an opportunity to be scared or worry about the severity of the situation. The nurses and doctors all took good care of us and they especially took such good care of Hank. I was again overwhelmed with the thought of how blessed we are to live in a country where we have access to medical care, care that we can afford and can entrust our son to. I felt so lucky to be dealing JUST with appendicitis.
 After the surgery the doctor said everything went really well but he was also very serious about the severity of Hank's appendix. He said it had pretty much all disintegrated into his body and left him in pretty rough shape. He warned us that he would not be able to eat or drink for a couple days because his insides had pretty much shut down due to the overwhelming amount of infection. This made me worry since we had just spent an awful hour trying to explain to Hank why he couldn't have water, but it turned out not to be too big of a deal in the end as he didn't really seem in the mood for much the first day after surgery.

In the above picture Hank is surrounded by ice packs immediately following surgery because his fever had spiked to 104 and the doctors and nurses were worried about him. 
 That evening I slept at the hospital while Ben went home and took care of the girls. We arranged for Ben to go to work the next day while the girls went to my friend Lori's to play until my mom got into town that afternoon. The first evening went well. It was about 11pm by the time we got settled into our room and Hank was passed out from exhaustion and probably a little leftover anesthesia as well.

Our first full day in the hospital was pretty rough. I was alone and had only the PJs Ben had brought me the night before. Luckily I was able to text another neighbor and asked her to bring me a bag of supplies (Ben had packed for me) and COFFEE! I desperately needed it and had no way of getting any without leaving Hank (which was something I was not willing to do)... this was actually my one sticking point with the hospital (everything else was actually really great!) - help a tired momma out with her coffee, please!!!

So the morning was rough, I did get some supplies form Audrey and my much needed coffee, but I didn't have a chance to eat or change or do anything really because we had a lot of action happening at the hospital. Our big goal was to get Hank up and moving and we started doing this with baby steps, like a move to the below rocking chair and a move to a wheel chair. He did not like this at all and usually spent the entire time he was up and moving screaming out in pain.

 Just as we were making a big move to a wheel chair in the hall we had some friends stop by. We tried walking with them down the hall to do a music time but Hank was not having it. He was cranky and frustrated and wanted nothing to do with anybody at that time. I started to break down and cry myself! Luckily our friends understood and dropped off some goodies and left. Their gifts couldn't have come at a better time though because it included some snacks for me and some games for Hank to play with that actually got him to crack his first smile! It was so good to see him start to feel some joy again.

The next day we had a few friends visit! This was a highlight of our stay (for me, and I'm sure for Hank too). He loves Henry and Tru and by the time they came to visit he was starting to feel more excited to see people and interact with them.  And I got to hang with my friend Sarah as the boys played in the game room.

 Hank went a full 24 hours after his surgery without any liquids. He would occasionally ask for something to drink but overall he wasn't as upset as I thought he would be about this. Finally after passing gas on the second day of our stay he was allowed to have some liquids in his diet. Luckily this included popsicles, chicken broth, jello and all sorts of drinks, so that kept him pretty happy.

He was also making great progress moving around and really seemed to be getting back to himself.

 Meanwhile, the girls were playing with Mimi and Jadyn and having lots of fun exploring Akron. My mom was such a huge help during this whole process I don't know what we would have done without her.

 Finally on Saturday Hank was able to start eating solid food. His appetite was small, but he was keeping everything down and slowly but surely making progress. We had a little pizza party in Hanks room with my mom and the girls and got to walk Hank around a bit more off his IV by this time too. He even got to go outside and walk around with us for a bit, which helped because we were definitely starting to get a bit stir crazy by then!
 That night, after fighting naps and taking longer to fall asleep at night, my exhausted boy fell asleep in my arms while we watched a moving together. It was one of my favorite moments because I hadn't been able to hold him for so long (because cuddling usually hurt him) and he was so peaceful and still.
 The next morning we were released to go home. Ben brought the girls down and we said goodbye to Mimi and Jadyn.  Of course it took forever to get released so we had lunch and watched a few shows while we waited for all of the paperwork to go through. All in all we were admitted to the hospital on Wednesday night and got released on a Sunday afternoon. Not quite 5 days and they had told us anywhere from 4-8 days for a ruptured appendix so we felt like it wasn't too bad of a stay.
 Hank was  released to full activity but he had to slowly ease into things. He still tired easily and was a bit wobbly the first couple days we were back home. Of course he wanted to jump right back on his bike but after one fall I decided he would need to prove he could run without being hunched over before he could ride his bike again! We celebrated bringing Hank home with a trip to sweet frogs and a big sigh of relief that our boy was home!

 We actually ended up going back to the ER after being home for a week because Hank got a skin infection around his wound site that he ended up taking an antibiotic for. I also took him to the doctor twice before his scheduled follow up because of inflammation around his belly button which we ended up having to lance due to irritation from the stitches. It all turned out well, but we definitely spent a good part of our summer in and out of the hospital and I'm happy to have that behind us now!