the Zoo

Today we went to the Toronto Zoo!     Through Sick Kids Child Life Program,  the Zoo graciously had us as their guests (free of charge) and we went and enjoyed a day with the kids and the animals.  It was good and we had a great time and it was nice to get away and spend some time as a family.

And we saw the Pandas!   Well, actually we saw one of the Pandas that are currently on loan to the Zoo from China.   The other one was sleeping inside and we didn’t want to line up to see him or her, I can’t remember which Panda this was… but it was pretty cute!

Panda

I think our favouite was the Polar bears though… it was cool seeing them swim underwater and eat their vegetables…

Polarbears

Now I’ll be honest, going to the zoo wasn’t exactly all roses and peaches and cream.  Jason and I have been realizing that our regular lives include more than the average amount of stress (really?) and so when we add extra stress (like taking four kids to a Zoo)  I feel like I don’t have much reserve to deal with stressful situations… like when we lost Will today.  Well technically Will lost us, he kept walking after we saw the penguins and thought we were behind him, except when he looked behind we weren’t there.    Thankfully the other kids and I stayed put and Jason went after him and found a rather upset Will fairly quickly, praise God, but I felt the panic rising up in me much quicker than it would have before.

So it was really nice that when we found ourselves all getting tired and cranky and hot,  we could go cool off at the splash pad.  The kids loved it and had a great time.

Will

Soph

Sarah

Erik

We were definitly blessed to be able to get away today and make some memories!!!

And then I had time before dinner to go to the hospital and see our own little elephant…. sweet little Ava on her CPAP…

Ava Cpap2

Ava Cpap

The camera flash startled her here…  sweet little miss.   It’s a little hard that Ava needs to be on CPAP so much, they have pretty much said she needs to be on it at all times, except for a few quick breaks here and there.    But thankfully for most of that time is she asleep, and when she is awake it doesn’t bother her too much and I can still hold her interact with her with it on.

When I did take the CPAP mask off her tonight, she was so smiley and happy…

Ava

But she just can’t be off it for long.     Tonight she only lasted about 30 minutes off before it was obvious that she was working too hard.   But last night in the short time she was off, I was able to feed her pears and she was drinking milk from her sippy cup!     We just have to enjoy the good times we do have with her now,  even though it is hard not to mourn the time that we are missing out on.    But we will take whatever good God gives.

So all in all,  it was a good day, making the most of the situation we are in.

Thanks again for your prayers and your encouragement… we appreciate it so much!

Some pink in her cheeks

I’m happy to say that the blood transfusion yesterday did Ava some good and there is some pink in our baby’s cheeks again!    And I just want to say a huge thank-you to all of you who donate blood.  It’s one of those things that you don’t think about until you need it, but then you realize just how important it is.

So now Ava is pinker, but she wasn’t much happier today.  She seemed uncomfortable, but she does have an IV in her foot right now.   Even though she has a picc line, the picc line is being used for her heart meds (milrinone) the picc only has one lumen (port) so had to get an IV for her blood transfusion yesterday.    Sometimes IV’s are fine and sometimes they just really seem to bother her, so hopefully this IV stays open as she needs it for a test tomorrow and then we can take it out.

And Ava is also off her oxygen!  She’s been slowly weaning herself off of it for the past couple of days and so we turned it off later this afternoon.  It’s nice to get the prongs off her face and having her breath room air again, praise God!  See how much better she looks… definitely not as white.

20130606_145045 (1)

And isn’t that dolly beside Ava a riot?   This afternoon our floor’s Child Life worker took Sarah and Sophia off for a play and they had these dolls that she gave to the girls and they got to decorate them and then they played hospital.  Well as I was told later, Sarah’s dolly had a breaking heart… and then the dolly had cancer and got a few needles.   Sophia informed me that her dolly didn’t have a heart, but that was OK because she didn’t need one. 🙂  Oh my girls, it’s so sweet but sad at what comes out in their play.  (The child life worker and I agreed that the cancer thing is probably something Sarah picked up from living here at the Ronald MacDonald House).

When I tucked Sarah into bed tonight she had her doll and she said that the doll was better now but still had to get a needle every day.  I asked her if the doll had diabetes,  but she said the doll doesn’t have diabetes, just something similar.   Oh my Sarah!!!

We also saw Grandma today as she drove in for a quick visit and Jason and I met with the transplant team’s social worker which was very informative, so the day went by really quickly which is always good.

So even though Ava isn’t quite back to her old self, I’m glad that she is looking better, and hopefully tomorrow will see even more improvement.

We’ll keep you posted!