Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday laughs....

I promise I'm not becoming a super religious blogger who is trying to convince you to believe what we may believe, but I have to share our Mass visit... Since its Ash Wednesday we headed to noon Mass. I take Burke every year, but I guess he doesn't remember much.  Lunch time isn't really the best time to take your 4 year old to Mass (Campbell hung out with Ash and Em b/c there was no chance I could handle both of them at lunch time and alone), but it was better than the bedtime option. 

After receiving our ashes, Burke very loudly said "umm.. why did that guy just put dirt on my head?!?" followed up with "yeah, so tomorrow when we come back to church, I don't need any dirt.. I already had a bath."  I couldn't help but laugh.  It's hard to explain to your 4 year old what Ash Wednesday means.. :)

He did also have the realization today that Jesus died.  Out of nowhere during mass he (again very loudly) says "Jesus DIED?  WHAT? He's in my heart. He didn't die."

Oh how I love that little boy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Burke has always been a very spiritual child.. at 2 years old he looked me straight in the eye, pointed to the cross on my neck and said "mommy that man, that man got stuck on that cross... b/c he loves me."  Talk about making you cry.  I couldn't believe was I was hearing.  I had never said those words to him, yet he knew.  Wow.

I grew up going to church.  I go to church, but we do not go every Sunday and we certainly don't pray as much as we "should,"  but Burke always catches me at some random moment and shares some deep secret in the most matter of fact way.  It's crazy and awesome all in the same moment. I always joke, he's going to be a priest or pastor or deacon.. Maybe simply a lover of Jesus.  But the kid knows.  He really knows his stuff.

The past few months (let's be honest.. the last year) have been really tough for us.  We're not talking finances, which can be extremely stressful and taxing, but instead life.  We dealt with a very long summer that kept us apart more than we like, Campbell's mysterious illness (with no real answers), a second miscarriage with D&C, a second hospital stay for Campbell, and an outpatient surgery for Burke.  We dealt with the financial toll this took on our family.  We dealt with happy and sad times.  We continued to work and figure out life along the way.  We struggled with the unknown, fear, stress and more stress.

After the new year rolled around, we decided to sell our house and go for a bigger house.  I have NEVER felt so much stress in my life. I know this seems silly, but I spent countless nights not able to sleep, nausea, vomiting, real life anxiety.  I seriously considered not making the step to sell because it was physically exhausting.. but we decided to go ahead with it.. Unimportant in the big picture, but still more stress.

I decided I needed a real life change and started reading my devotional everyday at the beginning of the year.  Boy did it calm my nerves.  It didn't fix our problems and life stresses, but it gave me a bigger picture.  A picture I needed. 

Last week, we suffered our 3rd miscarriage.  There is nothing more painful than having something so big (yet so small) taken from you.  Life is precious no matter how small or short.  It doesn't matter if its your first or 5th.. it doesn't get any easier.. It may even get harder.  The frustration, stress, questions.. It's miserable. Yes, I am very fortunate to have 2 healthy (if you can call Campbell healthy ;)) boys at home.  I am VERY thankful for this, but it doesn't lessen our pain.  The same day as we found this out, my mom found out she was laid off after 35 years with her company.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?  Life is not fair.  No one ever said it was, but man we could REALLY USE A PICK ME UP SOON!

We've suffered, we've prayed, we've cried...We need something..

Insert Burke. This morning we are making our way to preschool like we do every morning.  Just your normal Tuesday morning singing some Frozen and dancing to the beat.  Then Burke says mid-song "Mommy, angels make Jesus bigger"  What?  "Angels make Jesus grow..." (Wow..) Who told you that? "Nobody.. The Angel just told me when she came to visit..."

I think it's safe to say God sent us a message today.  Much bigger than angels (although I love angels and long to see one).  I think he was saying.. "I'm here and I'm here to stay."  He's with us ALWAYS.  And I think I needed Burke to tell me this.

I know God has a will and a way.  Sometimes I really wish I knew what that was. I know it's not my place to know or to even ask, but it doesn't change that I would love to know what is ahead for us.  Instead, I will sit back, ride this roller coaster of life and know he's standing next to me.

And I'm sure Burke will have another message for me when I need to hear it. The 4 year old with the simple answers.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bring on November!!

October was easily the worst month of our lives... It started with the scare of our life with Campbell.. We watched our best friend's daughter have skull reconstruction surgery and ended with us finding out we had another miscarriage and having a D&C.  Campbell was issued a Blood Glucose meter today (Halloween - irony?!) and we've spent most of our new house fund on medical bills.  I have never been so excited for a new month.  A new start.  Bring on November and happy things!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our sweet, crazy, cuddley, red headed boy... Oh I'm sure we're in store for a lot of stress.

It is so amazing how very different my kids are.  They are getting to a really good age of playing well and I can totally see them being best friends soon, but how different they are.

Campbell will be the one to send me over the top.  Campbell will push us to our limits and come running back with a huge hug.  He's so loving and mean at the same time.  Oh how I love that kid. But Campbell, that sweet thing gave us the scare of our life 2 weeks ago... I don't go 15 minutes without thinking about it.. Here's a recap...

Saturday morning we woke up late for our own Yard Sale.  I yelled at Brian and pushed him out the door.. I waited for Chad to bring Emery and woke up the boys to rush to the yard sale.  When I got Campbell out of bed I noticed he was wheezy.  This is typical Campbell and we weren't alarmed.  Campbell has the early stages of asthma.  Whenever he has any runny nose, he's needing breathing treatments.  He's experienced pneumonia twice, and it's just how it is.. Anyway, we ran to the yard sale and set up with 3 kids in tow. I then sent Brian home with Campbell to give him a breathing treatment.  It didn't really do much, so after a day of albuterol, I took him to Med Express for some steroids.. I knew that would open him up.  He was acting fine and skipped dinner, but we weren't alarmed.  We gave him a breathing treatment and sent him to bed...

Then the nightmare began.....

We did nothing different than normal. We put both boys to bed, watched a little TV and headed to bed ourselves. I was able to actually sleep in, which was unusual and nice!  At 9am I woke up and on my way down I noticed Campbell was still asleep.  I stopped in his room to make sure he was okay.  He was sleeping peacefully so I left him to sleep.  We had been out late at MedExpress, so I chalked it up to that.  About 30 minutes later, I went back in and this time made noise.  He opened his eyes and reached with one arm for me.  I picked him up, snuggled him and took him down stairs with his blankey in tow (which usually stays in his bed).  I snuggled him while I read the paper on my computer and he fell back asleep.  I didn't think much of it.  After about 15 minutes, I went to lay on the couch with him and noticed he didn't even budge when I moved.. WEIRD.  Then I laid on the couch and thought he seemed cold. I yelled to Brian to get the thermometer.  His temperature was 96.6.  I handed him to Brian, literally RAN upstairs, got on clothes and ran out the door with my baby.  Brian asked where I was going and I yelled the ER.  I don't know if its my training or what, but I knew he needed to be there and I would be way faster than a rescue squad.  I YELLED the entire 6 minute drive to the ER trying everything to get him to stay awake.  He just wouldn't.  I called on my way to the ER our friend Kristen on the phone and told her to meet us at the ER to get Burke. Thank god for good friends.  As I ran in with my lifeless baby, I began yelling and they almost immediately had nurses standing there.  We ran into the room and there had to have been 12 nurses and a doctor working on our baby. I cried and cried.. No one knew what was wrong.  Kristen made it there before Brian and sat with me while we watched in horror. They said he would scream when they put in the IV. He didn't move (i cried more.).  After what seemed a lifetime, Brian got there, they took his blood sugar and found it to be 35.  DANGEROUSLY LOW.  They immediately started shooting him up with glucose and he finally opened his eyes.  Thank you God.  Although he never cried or moved, but he finally looked at me.  They were relieved, we were scared.  His body temperature was 95.

Our pediatrician came running in.. she started with theories and tests she wanted to run.. spinal taps, etc. She mentioned sepsis, meningitis, she even tested for strep.  Ashley came and sat with us. We were scared and hopeful.  She warned us if there was any indication of cloudiness on the spinal tap we would be headed to Roanoke.  If she couldn't get it, we would be in Roanoke.  They wouldn't let us watch.  We waited outside.  Horrible gut in your stomach.  Miserable.  Then they said it was done.  Campbell was sitting up crying, thank you Jesus.  I hate to see him in pain, but he was alert.  She came back in and said she got it fine, but she was concerned that he didn't fight her.  She's had 6 month olds fight harder.  Her worry, worried us.  We knew it before she had to say it, we were headed to Roanoke.... Everything pretty much came back normal.  Some slight elevations, etc.. but nothing crazy... by 2pm, we were in an ambulance on our way to Roanoke. Burke was super jealous, if only he knew. 
 10 am... How he was when we got there.

10:30am, eye contact but nothing else.
2pm - First and hopefully last ever ambulance ride

When we got to Roanoke Children's Hospital, they checked us in and we immediately saw A LOT of doctors.  No one had answers, no one really knew what to do.  They finally gave Campbell the opportunity to eat whatever he wanted. And he ate. and ate. and ate.  He was finally up and moving (which was hard with an IV pole). Kristen brought Burke to visit that evening and Campbell finally seemed to be back to normal.  We didn't know anything except we would be in Roanoke for a minimum of 48 hours, possibly more. 

3:30pm - FOOD!

It is near impossible to sleep in a hospital.  Beeps, crying, 4 hour checks.. you name it, it keeps you awake. We sent Brian and Burke home for a good night's sleep and we tried to sleep, played ipad, watched movies and made it out to play in the playroom quite a bit! It was a very long night for us, but we made it!

Daddy came back Monday morning after he dropped Burke off at preschool.  He missed the doctor rounds, but we didn't really find anything out.  They were still at odds at what was going on and talked to the endocrinologist multiple times, who assured them she could do nothing without blood tests, which could only be run on the "sick" blood.  We didn't have any extra from the ER, so we were told he just had to wait.  NOT REASSURING!  I ask a ton of  questions (thank God I'm an RD and know a little about metabolic disorders!) and got few answers.  The pediatrician did agree that we should do some glucose testing and cut off the IV since he was getting constant sugar through his IV.   The testing ended up being a bust because the nurse forgot to turn off the IV, until I told her.  Then the nurses and doctors never told us they were doing it through the night (a 12 hour+ fast), so he snacked during our nightmare IV replacement, so he wasn't fasting.. perfect.  But in all, the lack of IV was huge for the little boy to be able to move around.  They also explained if nothing changed we would leave Tuesday around noon.  We were ready to get out!

Again we are blessed with great friends who took care of Burke.  Ashley and Megan split time with him on Monday and Megan brought him and dinner Monday to the hospital.  Poor guy had some hard and fun days, but was exhausted!  Campbell was so excited when Burke was at the hospital and so sad when he left.  Burke was also sad to leave all of the awesome toys and asked when he could go back to the hospital.

Tuesday came and we waited to be discharged.  All of Campbell's tests came back normal and we have no answers.  Everyone agrees they feel there is a metabolic issue, but it can not be detected unless he is sick.  I'm holding out hope it was just a crazy fluke.  They've assured me that's likely not the case.. We have a long list of tests to be run the second his blood sugar is low again.  It is stored in my phone so I have it if we ever end up in the ER again.  The doctors have it in his charts to check his glucose every time we come in just in case... Oh the joys...

Best sign ever.. and Best smile ever.

I will say, Roanoke was a great hospital and the nurses were so good with Campbell.  They are a children's hospital, but my kid ran around at all hours of the day playing cars, riding the cozy coupe and they were so patient.  When we finally went to leave, a nurse we didn't have told us how much she would miss seeing Campbell running around.  Roanoke was great, but I have to say how impressed I was with Lewis Gale Montgomery ER nurses.  They called multiple times to check on him because they were so concerned.  We stopped by to visit them the Wednesday after we got released and the nurse that spent the most time with us was there and cried when she saw him.  She was a peds nurse who had just left Roanoke to be closer to home, so I think she was truly touched by a little boy being so sick. 

But when it's all said and done... I'm scared out of my mind.  And constantly wondering if it will happen again.

And to any doctor's reading this..  It is NOT reassuring or funny to tell a parent their child is a mystery.   

But yes, lil C is totally back to normal and 100% healthy! And here's to hoping he stays that way!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day 7 - Our LAST full day. So sad.. Hollywood Studios, EPCOT and Kaitlin's BIG SURPRISE!

The last day of vacation is always the worst.  The dread of heading home is never fun.  But we were definitely excited for the day ahead!!

We started out our morning at Hollywood Studios.  We were happy that Kaitlin met us at the hotel super early so we could be there at rope drop.  Hollywood is one of the only places we always hit at rope drop.  And lets be honest, its for Toy Story Mania.  If you get there at rope drop, you can grab fast passes very quickly and still get on the ride before it becomes an hour long wait!

We almost ALWAYS ride Toy Story as it opens, go visit Buzz and Woody then hit it again with our fast passes.  This trip was no different.  Campbell was getting better with the characters, but still not 100% sold.

After we did our Toy Story things, we headed towards Star Tours.  On our way, we ran into Donald Duck, Campbell and I decided to stop and say hello, while the boys and Kaitlin rode Star Tours.  He did like Donald and kept saying "quack, quack"

The boys rode Star Tours, then we headed over to check out a few more characters.  Unfortunately, we couldn't find many yet as it was still early.  After a few more things, we headed to MK for lunch and the Buzz ride.  Yes we are crazy, but it was our last day and the boys needed to ride Buzz one more time.  We ate at Casey's for hot dogs and nachos then hit up Buzz a few times.  After Buzz, we headed back to the room for a rest.  We had a big night ahead and definitely needed a good rest!  While the boys all napped, I did a lot of packing so we would be ready the next morning.  

After nap, we headed over to EPCOT for a little fun.  The big boys did Test Track while Campbell and I got a Starbucks treat!  We happened to run into Kaitlin and Reid before heading back to Test Track, which was a nice surprise.  They were celebrating their anniversary at EPCOT (with a surprise to come later).  Test Track took a little longer than we were hoping because it was raining so it wasn't running.  We then headed over to Soarin'.  While the big boys rode Soarin', Campbell and I hit up Innoventions and the Disney VISA Character Meet and Greet.  I am SO glad we did it because Campbell fell in love the Mouse.  They danced together and had so much fun.  No one else was waiting so he got plenty of time to party!  If you have a Disney VISA you need to go!  You get one on one time with characters AND a free picture :)

dancing with Mickey

picture time!

After our adventures, we headed to dinner at the Land again.  We then hit the Coke Refreshment place.  I love watching people try the gross drinks :)  We let Campbell have his first taste of watermelon soda.  He loved it.  We don't allow soda in our house and Burke can't stand it because its "spicy" but it is Disney World :)

After we hit the Coke stand, we rushed to meet Kaitilin and Reed for the illuminations show.  Reed had reserved a special area.  We did stop for light up toys and learned the outside stands take cash only.  BIG MISTAKE. NO CASH?  Luckily we found some inside and then traded for outside toys :)

We finally caught up with Reed and Kaitlin and enjoyed a great fireworks show.  The seating was amazing and as the fireworks ended, we witnessed Reed propose!!!!!!!!!!  It was so awesome! Kaitlin was so excited and so are we!  

 My phone died so I didn't get the ring picture, but it was pretty awesome!!  Its the Disney Rapunzel engagement ring.  Very fitting :)

After a very fun day, we sadly said good bye and headed back to our room.  We had to catch the bus at 9a back to the airport, so we needed to get some rest! As we walked to our room Campbell stopped at every car and kissed it goodnight.  He's so cute!

What an amazing trip!  We had so much fun and I am SO glad we went.  I love Disney World so much, but I love time with my family even more!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day 6 - Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Rain Forest Cafe fun!

On day 6, we hit up MK early in the morning.  We try to get to every park during the morning on our trips.  Early morning before lunch is usually a quieter time and you can get most things done.  The closer you get to the lunch, the more busy it gets. 

This time we had fast pass + so we headed for Peter Pan.  It wasn't a super long wait so we actually got to ride it back to back.  The boys really enjoy it.  The stand by line wait is usually 45+ so we always get fast passes.  After we rode, we ran into Peter pan and Wendy and had to stop for a photo!

We then headed to Belle's Enchanted Tales.  Again, the line is always super long and we have boys so we've actually never waited, but since I could schedule the time, we went for it :)  It was super cute and the boys really enjoyed it. Belle takes pictures with each child but doesn't sign anything.

Campbell clearly seems thrilled.

After our visit with Belle, we hit up the new Ariel ride.  The boys are scared of it but I have NO idea why.  After Ariel, we of course rode the Buzz ride 4 times and then hit lunch.  The boys LOVE Cosmic Rays for the entertainment, we enjoy the food, so it works.  After lunch, we hit up Buzz one more time, stopped on Main Street for ice cream, then headed back to the room to rest.  

Right as we got the room, we found out where Kaitlin would be working and so Burke and I headed out to EPCOT to see her in action.  Most of the trip she spent with us, which was nice, but we couldn't miss the chance to see her making money!

Waiting for the bus!

YES!! We found her :)

Have I ever mentioned how jealous I am of her?  She works with Mickey Mouse every day!

After playing at EPCOT in Innoventions for a bit (Burke loved the video games, fire house game and the fire truck) and then hitting Space Ship Earth, we headed back to the room to meet up with Campbell and Daddy.  

Although Burke and I could have definitely used a nap, we had to head out to Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney for our dinner reservations. We had never been and really enjoyed it.  The boys loved the atmosphere and we loved the food.  We've done TRex a few times and the food was mediocre but here it seemed much better?


After dinner, we did a little shopping in DTD for our friends back home.  We didn't spend too much money on this trip, but we had to bring our friends some treats!  Preschoolers would be sad if they didn't get a Mickey Lollipop!  We also hit the LEGO store and let the boys pick out something before heading back to the room for some MUCH needed rest!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 5 - EPCOT, 'Ohana and more MK!

I always have these GREAT plans of blogging our vacation and trying to have a good journal of what we did. I start great and end terribly.  EVERY SINGLE TIME.  Although much delayed, I WILL get through our entire vacation. 

Saturday's stop was to EPCOT.  This isn't most people's favorite place, but we have some must do places and we do enjoy it!  It's more kid-friendly than most people think, but it's no Magic Kingdom.  On our last trip to Disney as a family (January) Burke was 39.999 inches.  This meant he was able to ride the 40 inch rides sometimes (star tours was fine the whole trip).  Sadly this was not the case when we tried to get him on Test Track.  He was DEVASTATED.  He stood in place and said "well, fine. I'm not moving until I grow up." (we laughed, he cried.).  So we were NOT going to miss it this time.  He was so very proud that he was tall enough.  Some lady we met downtown Blacksburg last weekend tried to convince me and Burke you shouldn't got o Disney until you are tall enough to do everything.  Oh crazy lady how wrong you are!

FINALLY!! Big enough :)

Designing his own car.

Here we go!

As suspected, he loved it!  Campbell and I enjoyed the cars and other things GM has set up at the end of the ride.  Then we switched and Brian stayed with Campbell and Burke and I went.  Burke got to ride twice!  Rider swap rocks!

After Test Track, we headed over to see Minnie, Mickey and Pluto for some pictures.  Campbell was still traumatized by the Beast so he had  a hard time.  But I will say, Minnie was great with him and he was much better with her!


After character spot we headed to The Seas with Nemo.  The boys enjoyed the ride and LOVED the aquariums.  Its no Sea World, but its fun and we got to see dolphins :)

We stopped in the Land for a ride on Soarin.  Campbell and I road the boat ride while the big boys did Soarin.  Rider swap didn't work out on this ride because the Fast Pass line was way too long.  I gave up my turn and opted for lunch.  The land has the BEST quick service on property and we always try to eat there.  After lunch we rode Spaceship Earth (one of Burke's favorites) and headed back to the room for a swim and rest!

Since we were staying on property with the biggest pool, we couldn't resist a trip to the Nemo pool.  The splash area was fun but the pool was a huge hit!  The boys loved being in the water and were not pleased when it was time to go!  We had the normal afternoon nap before heading to dinner at 'Ohana.  'Ohana is inside the Polynesian and easily our FAVORITE restaurant on property.  All you can eat family style and grilled meat galore.  Whats not to love? I can't say the service was awesome this visit but the food is always great.

After dinner, we couldn't miss the chance to go to MK and ride the Buzz ride.  After a quick trip, we headed to the room for BED! Another fun day!!