Well, as everyone may have noticed, for the first time since we started the blog on September 16 (nearly 2 months ago), we missed a day. I am happy to report that we missed a day for a GOOD reason. However, after reading my writing skills you may wish we missed more days haha.
Before I share an update on the past two days, I first have to say THANK YOU Christina. THANK YOU for being an amazing mom to BOTH Caleb and Tyler regardless of the situation; for being a patient and loving caregiver who continues to somehow successfully and optimistically weather a battle no mom should ever experience; for always being an amazing daughter, friend & person who keeps up with birthdays, talks to her parents everyday and is the first to jump at the chance to help someone else in need; and selfishly, most of all, for being an incredible, head turning beautiful, supportive and god loving wife who tackles all of the above in ways even the strongest person would crumble AND for taking care of our family by still doing all those everyday things that make us the family we are. Behind every superhero there is a supermom and we LOVE YOU more everyday for all that you do!
So now that I have shown why Christina doesn’t let me blog to often, here is my attempt at living up to the amazing job Christina does everyday to share moments with you guys in a way that almost feels like you are there with us.
As Christina shared on Monday, her and I had to fly to Tampa for a quick trip to do a pre-final walk through of the new house we started building 9 months ago before Caleb was diagnosed (more on that later). At the last minute this past week Christina finally agreed to stay in Tampa a few extra days, take some time for herself and let Grebbie, Grandpa and I handle the boys in Memphis. So Tuesday afternoon she dropped me off at the airport in Tampa and she stayed to get some well deserved rest and time with family & friends. This wasn’t easy for her for all the reasons I shared above so I am proud of her! As a side note, a little about why she stayed……After dropping me off she headed straight to dinner with her best friend Taylor, at their favorite restaurant in Tampa (Coopers Hawk) that just happens to have her favorite wine. Now that I think about it a blog post last night might have been pretty entertaining! She then got to spend all day today meeting family on her moms side who are visiting from Germany for the first time ever! Based on the pictures and stories it sounded incredible as it was the first time in over 30 years her grandma (Oma) had seen her brother and his family and the first time Christina had ever met them. Her Oma looked happier than I have seen her in years and Christina was so happy to be there with them. And now we have a great excuse to visit Germany once we win Caleb’s battle!
So, back to Tuesday’s update. As many of you know in February this year an opportunity to build our dream home presented itself and we followed our heart and jumped on it. We broke ground in June and since that day Christina and I and the boys LOVED visiting the house almost every day. It became a family outing that allowed us all to enjoy watching a piece of dirt become our home. We explained to the boys how things were made, we wrote our names in places that couldn’t be seen but we knew would always be there and the boys lived to see the “Master Builders”(from the Lego movies) put together their “new house”. Luckily we were able to enjoy the majority of the process before that day in August, however neither Christina nor the boys have been back since we left in mid-September. I had been back once and Christina had seen pictures along the way but it was definitely hard on all of us to no longer be able to visit as a family like we did so many days before. However, we are finally just 9 days away from closing on our dream home! So, our trip to Tampa Tuesday was something we had been looking forward to for months, seeing everything we designed and built just about complete, as well as one of the last steps before we close (pre-final walk through and inspection). It was definitely a day of mixed emotions, exciting as we enjoyed all the things we customized to make it our home, a little frustrating creating a pretty large punch list of issues we know we would have caught had we been visiting every day and very difficult as we struggled with the fact that we won’t be able to live here until July of 2019. At the end of the day as we wrapped up our visit and everyone else had left, we looked at each other and agreed we wouldn’t look at the fact our house is done and sitting empty, we would look at this as fuel in Caleb’s daily fight and the home we will all come home to!
NO PEAKING, IT’S A SURPRISE!
While Christina and I were in Tampa, Grandpa and Grebbie were fearlessly tackling a routine that can only be represented by a bulleted list, otherwise it would be the longest run-on sentence you have ever seen:
- The Tyler/Caleb 5:30am alarm clock (thank you daylight savings time)
- Finding something Tyler can eat that doesn’t smell or tease Caleb in any way knowing that he can’t eat until after his appointments
- Distracting Caleb from breakfast by allowing him to choose his snack when he wakes up from his appointment (and trust me he doesn’t forget what he chose even in his sleepy, demanding wake up process
- Dressing what can only be described as two slippery octopus fighting each other with 4 arms and playing nicely together with the other 4
- Not forgetting to pack Tyler’s backpack, then not forgetting to pick it back up after he puts it down between the couch and the door
- Getting through car line at Tyler’s school in the rain before 7:55am
- Continuing to distract Caleb for the next 4 hours because his treatments are all scheduled for 12:30 this week (he still can’t eat or drink)
Today however had a pretty good payoff. Caleb had his first speech assessment follow up since the week we got here. Not only did he meet all the 3 1/2 year old milestones, he exceeded every one of them and proceeded to complete two levels above his age group. Christina works with Caleb everyday as we wait in the induction room for him to go to sleep. She reads, uses play doh to create learning games and helps keep him excited to play educational games on the iPad. Our superhero isn’t letting this treatment effect him one bit (he might actually be the Hulk, getting stronger and smarter from it haha). After enjoying that appointment it was on to radiation treatment #25. As always, Caleb handled it like his superhero self and even went to sleep smiling as he told Grebbie he would be dreaming about “SSSSNAAAKKKESS”. Caleb did great in his treatment and was up and bouncing around in the apartment per his normal self. After picking up Tyler a little early the boys requested their Pizza for dinner (as usual) and got to spend an evening with their Grebbie (Grandma Ebbie) and Grandpa. I do have one picture from the evening showing the apple doesn’t fall too far from the family tree :).
I made it home just before midnight to join in the daily routine for Wednesday.
P.S. I’ll have Christina add more pictures later this week.
Distracting a hungry 3-year-old all morning takes real talent. I am in awe of your whole family now.
You continue to be in my prayers.
I enjoy reading the blog everyday. I was surprised to see dad wrote the blog but fully understood why. Dad…. you did an awesome job. I am so happy Caleb is doing well coping with all he is going through. He is a strong little boy that gets extra strength from his family always with him… of course prayers and God. I think about you all and continue daily prayers. God Bless You All.
I am so happy that you have been able to go through these tough times together as one big happy family. Continued prayers and hugs for all.