Friday, August 19, 2011

Maybe we really do have a natural athlete in the family?!

Last night I took Mason to the Mott Tigers Event: Keeping Kids in the Game. It was a benefit for children's health and youth baseball. It was a bittersweet event for me because this was the first indication that I really had to accept that we are a "Mott Family". Even though Ava is not terribly sick and doesn't have long stays at Mott, I can no longer deny the fact that Ava sees 7 doctors and 2 therapists (as of my last count) and is a "regular" patient of Mott. Mott does an exceptional job of including the whole family by providing fun opportunities for everyone. Since Ava is too young to enjoy a baseball event and Maddi is a little too young to stay up until midnight, Mason and I got to enjoy some mom and Mason time.

It was important to me that Mason understood why he got to go to this fun event. I told him on our way there that the nice people at Mott know that when Ava is sick or needs to see a doctor it means that Mom and Dad sometimes have to be away from him and Maddi. This is their way of helping Mom spend some special time alone with him and later we will spend some special time alone with Maddi. I don't think he cared about was as touched by the reason behind this opportunity as I was!

Here is our evening in photos:

Getting his baseball autographed by a player. Mason got 3 autographs and was shaking with fear when I asked him to take a picture with the player...hence, just this one picture of a player by himself (someone tell us who this is - we need to become more knowledgable fans!):

Next Mason got a balloon animal. He chose a Lion at the last minute and didn't smile the entire time his animal was being made, but he did watch the process very intently:

He LOVED the hitting center where air held a ball in place and he used his new Tigers bat - he hit every ball on the first swing most of the time (thus the natural athlete title?!):

We toured the dugout:

And the locker room:

Then we went out onto the field to hit some balls. I must have thrown the ball 50 times (I only hit him in the head twice - good thing it was a foam ball):

We had dessert and watched the fireworks:

At the end of the night when we were walking back to the car, I asked Mason if he had fun. He told me, "yes, this was better than a baseball game, Mom". I agree buddy!

Thank you to all of the Mott staff who helped plan this event. We didn't even get a chance to do everything - there was a lot of fun stuff. Next year we hope that Bill, Maddi and Ava can enjoy this opportunity as well. There are more pictures in our slideshow to the right!

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Beginnings

August will officially be considered a month of new beginnings!

For us it started with the wedding of our good friends, Mark and Jayme. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding and a wonderful reception filled with dancing and laughter. My legs hurt for 4 days after the reception!

Mason, Maddi, and Ava stayed home with Grandma and Aunt Lee while we spent the night in a hotel room. We enjoyed every minute of sleeping later than 7am in a bed by ourselves and didn't leave until 12:01pm (checkout was at 12pm). We missed our little bears.

Mason started doing chores and earning an allowance. Each day/night Mason does these chores:
- Pick up toys before bed
- Clear the dinner table
- Feed Waylon dinner
- Help Daddy with the trash (on Wed and Sun)

He marks his jobs off on his whiteboard. On Friday's he gets paid $3. He puts $2 in his jar to spend; $0.50 in his jar to save for charity/donation or for kids who don't have toys of their own; and $0.50 in his piggy bank to save forever (or for college!).

Mason has been saving for a plane from the Cars2 movie. He chose to save for 2 weeks and then we told him he had enough money (we pitched in some money so that he could see the fruit of his labor sooner rather than later). He was really excited to pick out his toy and pay for it. We were really proud of him for choosing to save his money so well.

Here he is waiting to pay for his toy:

Here he is handing over his hard-earned cash:

Maddi doesn't really have a new beginnings story. She's just been really cute and very grown up lately. She tells me "just a minute" if she is busy doing something and I ask her to come over to me. Here she is in all of her cuteness - she put the glasses on top of her head by herself:

Ava has lots of new beginnings!! She started daycare today with Mason and Maddi and I have to say that she was in a great mood and seemed happy to be with all of the kids. Mason and Maddi were very excited that Ava was staying at school with them and Mason helped carry Ava's seat and bag into school with a very proud look on his face. Maddi held Ava's hand all the way to school. I cannot even express in words what our daycare and all of the teachers have meant to our family. We are truly blessed that we can send Mason, Maddi, and now Ava, there every day without a worry and especially that they have taken on Ava's more complex care without skipping a beat. Thank you, Miss D, Mr. C, Miss M, and everyone else!

Ava has also been sitting and holding her head up a little better with some help. What a cutie!

On Friday, August 26 Ava will have surgery for her g-tube. This will allow her to have the NG tube out of her nose and she will get her formula through the g-tube (a tube surgically placed through her belly into her stomach). We have a world-class surgeon performing the surgery (he is well-known for his fetal surgeries!), so we feel that Ava is in the best hands possible. The decision to get a g-tube did not come lightly. We had been hoping that Ava would begin to swallow properly and could be rid of all tubes. However, she continues to aspirate even the thickest liquid (which she had previously swallowed properly). Therefore, feeding Ava orally may take longer than we anticipated and having a tube in her nose isn't the most comfortable. Though the g-tube requires surgery - she should be more comfortable in the long run.

This also means that Ava will begin seeing an OT for swallowing/feeding exercises. We love her OT and welcome her to Ava's growing medical team.

Bill's first day at his new job is today (but, no first day of work photo!). He did look very handsome in his shirt and tie when he woke me up before he left!

This was a lengthy update and it didn't even cover everything!! We will be sure to update about our upcoming family reunion and Ava's surgery in a couple weeks.

Please forgive the grainy iphone pics!!