Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day +878: Sensational Summer & the Start of School

It's day +878 for Max and things continue to be good for him, although he is spending his Saturday morning up in bed.  Things have caught up with him a bit this morning and he is just exhausted.  We've had another big week.  School started on Wednesday for Max and Alex - Max in 4th grade and Alex in 1st.  They have both done extremely well!  In fact, my biggest worry has really been Alex this week since this is his first experience with going to school all day, five days a week.  Max did amazingly well.  He was actually so excited about school starting that he has been bouncing off the walls a bit all week, driving Matt and I a bit crazy, although we are THRILLED to see him so happy.  It's worth all the crazy, over-excited behavior to see him so elated to be back at school. 

Alex has handled things well too, although he is definitely going through a big adjustment.  I helped with the first grade lunch time on Wednesday and Alex did look quite a bit like a deer in headlights throughout lunch.  Poor little guy!!  Entry into the real world through 1st grade really is quite a shocker for the kids, I think.  By yesterday, Friday, he seemed to be getting more into the groove already, though and I suspect by the end of next week, he'll be doing just fine.  No tears so far, which I am extremely grateful for.  He did ask me one day last week, in nervous anticipation of his first day, "mom, if you cry, do you have to go to school?"  Sweetest thing. 

Ellee is very anxious about her school starting, given that her big brothers are back now.  She will be going to three mornings of preschool and has been telling everyone lately, "I start after Labor Days."  She definitely misses her brothers when they are gone but, we keep ourselves quite busy with one thing or another and the time seems to fly by so far.

Work for me has gone even better than I could have hoped for.  The adjustment for everyone has seemed pretty smooth thus far.  The kids did wonderfully over the summer since they got to spend the one day that I am in the office right now with their Aunt Molly and cousins Andrew and Jacob.  They had a ball every day they were with them and that really helped them get re-adjusted to me not being with them every minute.  Now that school is back in session, my wonderful neighbor, Karen is watching Ellee for me when I go into the office and getting the boys off the bus and watching all three of them for about 2 hours before Matt or I get them.  Ellee and Karen had their first full day together on Thursday and had a ball.  They played like crazy, swam and just enjoyed each other.  Again, things went better than I could have wished for.  She got the boys off of the bus after school and everyone did fantastically.  We are so blessed to have Karen watching the kids.  As she and I talked later that night, we agreed that things are just falling into place like they were meant to be this way.  So far, going back to work at GE has been wonderful for me and the entire family.  I will be upping my hours to my former 20/week at the end of September so, I am optimistic that things will continue to go as smoothly as they have so far.  I am truly blessed.

Speaking of blessed - we had a sensational summer!  It was our first "normal" summer in three years and we made the absolute most of it!  We spent tons of time at our swim club; made a trip to Kings Island courtesy of a wonderful group, the Dragonfly Foundation; spent a day at Coney Island (the worlds largest re-circulating pool and amusement park here in Cincy) with our cousins and Aunts; attended multiple sports camps (XU basketball, Marvin Lewis football, Jay Bruce baseball); rode scooters and bikes at the local skatepark and our favorite indoor skatepark, Ollies; went to Reds games; went to cousin Jimmy's wedding in Kentucky; and had a fantastic family vacation with the Sherwin side in Canaan Valley, West Virginia!!!  We were busy and enjoyed every single minute of it!  I have included some photo album links on the right side of the blog page which have lots of pictures from all this fun in them if you are interested.  It's no wonder that I have not blogged in almost two months!!!  We've just been having too much fun!

As things are settling down a bit with the start of school, we are beginning to put our Max's Mighty Mob team together for the Cincy Walk for Kids event to benefit Children's Hospital on Saturday, October 15th at Coney Island.  We are honored to have been selected to be one of the featured walk teams this year so, if you received a Walk registration packet, you saw our picture and story inside.  There will also be another article in the For the Children magazine that the Hospital produces coming out soon and there is a story on their website as well at the following link:  We would love to have all of you join us for the Walk or support us with a donation, if possible.  You can do either one by visiting the Max's Mighty Mob page at  Hope to see you there!  We are also planning a garage sale fundraiser soon and will have more details on that event shortly.

Max's Meals has also continued to keep us busy this summer.  In addition to Mother's Day, Father's Day, Fourth of July and Just Because meals for the families of the Cancer & Blood Diseases Institue (CBDI), we also served three meals (one per month) to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House and provided two catered meals to the campers of CBDIs special summer camp.  We loved doing all of this and have gotten more and more people involved in serving these meals with us!  Our small but mighty team of fundraiser planners has begun meeting about our event for next spring and we should have more details coming about that soon also.

As you can imagine from reading all this, we are all on cloud 9.  Life is good, really good!  Given our journey with Max and all that we have experienced, we could not be appreciating all of these blessings of good health, wonderful family and friends, and fun times more.  We are all living every moment to its fullest and loving life!  We now know all too well how quickly things can change and how important it is to live for today.

Thanks for continuing to check in on us and for your continued thoughts and prayers.  More soon...

Peace and love,
Kristi (and Matt, Max, Alex, Ellee and Spud)