Saturday, September 13, 2014

Back To School

We finished off the summer with a couple get-togethers with family and friends, Steve took Evie and Adrian to Wild Waves (a water park) and we spent a day together as a family at the Evergreen State Fair. Sadly it was a bit of a bummer summer. (Other than their week away at camp.) The only good thing about that is that the kids were ready to go back to school. Evie especially because she misses her friends and there just might be a boy she likes (a new chapter for us as parents for sure). Adrian was ecstatic to leave elementary school behind him which is a little sad, but really I was the same way as a kid. And of course Ainsley would be going back to school without her trach. So it is a huge year of change for all the kids.  But before I show you their back to school pictures and talk about how things have gone at school this past week and a half I want to share our fair pictures.

Adrian was afraid of the rides. Rightly so on the two above as you can see. Evie LOVES it. Two opposites those kids are. In 2009 we went to Disneyland and Ainsley rode all the rides with no problem. This time she didn't even want to go on the Merry-Go-Round. I had to force her.  (I'm there behind her keeping her safe.) What a let-down when you're just trying to have fun.

I thought I'd get them all to go on the Magic Carpet ride, but only Evie would go on it with me. 
We're on the far right. It was scarier than you'd think.

Later in the night I finally persuaded Adrian to go on the spinning bears. Sheesh! So in the end he went on one ride. We pulled hard, spun around as fast as we could, and he thought that was pretty cool.

He had a bit of trouble finding food to eat now that he's a vegetarian (he still hasn't had any meat since May).

What he really wanted was to win a giant donut. See them there in the back? Of course you know how difficult it is to win a prize at the fair, but since this trip to the fair was our "summer fun" we let him try. Several times and many dollars later....he didn't win one, so he was very disappointed. Strike 3.

The man at the ring toss gave Ainsley a free bucket of rings to toss and she had a blast! It didn't matter to her that she didn't get any rings on the bottles or that she didn't win a prize. But they gave her a consolation prize anyway. It was so nice of them! 

I love all the classic fair stuff, the grange displays, the canning competitions, knitting, quilting etc.but the rest of the family was less enthusiastic. Did you know there is a "mix in a jar" competition? 

Of all the animals we enjoyed the piglets the most. OMG SO CUTE! I wanted to scoop up the little brown one and take him home. Ainsley pet them as they wriggled around.

The BEST KETTLE KORN in the history of the world was consumed that night! It was so awesome that Ainsley was able to eat fair food. No tube feedings at all. She's getting stronger, and in a few months it will be a year that she's been eating pretty much fully orally!

We contemplated buying some yard art to put in the center island in front of our house.
Just kidding, but I'd love to see the neighbors' faces.

It was a fun day at the fair and a great way to end the summer.

We roasted Smores for the last time in the season. Ainsley ate 2!

Earlier in August I'd gathered most of what I needed for Evie and Adrian, ordering the last few things on-line the week before like a graphing calculator and drawing pencils. I felt fairly well prepared but it wasn't clear what Ainsley needed for supplies. The teacher sent out a last minute invite to an open house at which we were supposed to get our supply list...the Thursday before school started. The same day and time as E&A's orientation. Don't they realize they are doing us no favor by waiting until the last minute? So I had to get a bunch of stuff for Ainsley over Labor Day weekend. We did it, but it took up a good chunk of time since I also hadn't heard back from her General Education teacher. For that class I printed the general list for 2nd grade and guessed what items Ainsley would actually need. In other words, not a billion pencils, no magazine subscription money, no flash drive or headphones for netbooks etc.

I think it can be a bit of a sad time for parents of kids with special needs, when most parents are happily getting their kids ready to go back to school, posing for perfect pictures with fancy signs celebrating their grade level. When your child is different "back to school" can be a reminder of all the ways they don't fit in. I felt a bit sad thinking of how she won't need many of the items on the list, how she doesn't really care about her old backpack and lunchbox, that she can't carry it anyway, and that she will be using a wheelchair lift again this year to get on the school bus, that she still can't talk....or that she doesn't have friends to miss. And I spent the last weeks of the summer trying to get answers about whether a nurse or aide would be assisting her to that we can attempt to get her an education. Although these feelings popped up from time to time, I tried my best to feel them, acknowledge the truth of their source and then let them pass and focus on the positives. Ainsley is HAPPY. Healthy. Heading off to school without a trach. She likes school.  Then we made up two pencil boxes for her, one for each classroom, which was kind of fun.

I think it's a bit ridiculous how nowadays we are expected to provide so many supplies. When I was a kid the school provided everything we needed to learn. I'm not even sure we had a backpack.

Evie and Adrian leaving at 6:45. Poor Penny has been missing them. She's also in heat and that is no fun.

We found a bunny eating fallen grapes while we waited for Ainsley's bus.

I was so happy. We have the same bus driver. I LOVE him. For awhile I was afraid Ainsley was going to have to ride the bus alone and I felt much safer when I knew it would be Gene driving her. 

We have a little goodbye routine that we do every day, including fist bumps at the end. I LOVE this girl!

It may not be popular to admit, but I was happy as can be to see the bus drive off with my last child on it. I am glad to get back to a regular routine. I was glad to be able to take care of things that need to be taken care of without feeling guilty that I wasn't providing a fun summer break for the kids. 

Everything Ainsley does takes her a lot of effort. It wears her out. And by the time she's home from school she doesn't have a ton of energy. This day I found her in my bed, she'd climbed in and was watching her dad's Kindle under the covers. 

We'd received a 60 day extension of nursing services through the Developmental Disabilities Administration while Ainsley adjusted to life without a trach. The decannulation happened earlier than expected (July instead of August to accomodate the doctor's schedule) which meant our 60 days ended sooner in the school year than originally expected. Ainsley has had a one-on-one nurse attend school with her since she was 3. I couldn't imagine how she would function without the support. There are so many things she needs help with throughout the day. Of course trying to get answers during the summer is difficult. During the first weeks of school is hardly much better. But after many e-mails and calls we had an urgent IEP meeting with the school principal this week and were able to get a decision. The school is keeping our nurse on through the end of this school year. She agreed to work all 5 days a week, a huge increase from her usual 2. This is great since she knows Ainsley so well. Ultimately it will probably be good for Ainsley to transition to a paraeducator whose focus is on teaching Ainsley as well as keeping her safe. However since we really don't know how Ainsley is going to do during cold and flu season and there is a small chance she could end up needing to be re-trached. If that happens then I would presume our nurse would be willing to come back to do home-care. I think we'll all feel more comfortable after we see how she does the first few times she gets really sick. 

The nurse needed two days off because she had a couple things already planned so I had to attend school with Ainsley myself which I really didn't mind. Despite the loss of time to get other things done I actually really like having the opportunity to see what goes on at school and think it's good to get to know the staff. The only problem was that both days I was supposed to drive the carpool. But the other families helped me out, each taking a shift picking up the kids at 2:00. I am so lucky to be part of this carpool. Otherwise my kids would not be able to have the opportunity to attend this school.

The first day I attended with Ainsley it was awesome to see she used her communication device to ask a classmate to play with her. This was totally unprompted. She is starting to use it more and more.

I stood back quickly to take these shots of Ainsley climbing on the equipment. We've done a lot of home PT this summer and she's getting stronger.  She needs help every step of the way but it's awesome to see her able to access the playground. Pictures can be deceiving. I have to keep kids from knocking her over because they don't understand how unstable she is and that she can't get out of their way as they run around. It tugs at my heart a little. But she's having fun anyway and it's so good for her to be out there doing as much as she can. She  really doesn't seem to notice the stares on the playground, or in the lunchroom or anywhere else they happen. And I am so SO thankful for that! Several kids came up and to introduce themselves as Ainsley's friends which was really sweet. Many people tell her hello in the halls. All in all she is a valued member of the school community. 


Counting chips earned for good behavior, to spend at the class "store".

I cleaned out her desk with some anti-bacterial wipes which you can see was necessary. I wonder if there will ever come a time that I don't have to worry about germs the way you do when you have a medically fragile child. I suspect she will always be at higher risk. 

All in all I'm very excited for all three kids. Ainsley was assigned to a new classroom and many of the kids are higher functioning. I think Ainsley will thrive in the new environment. Adrian loves his new school and feels that he fits in well and is making friends. Evie is happy and I think she's going to have a great last year with these kids before heading off to high school

We bought her a smartphone the week before school started for several reasons. First she's highly motivated by it and we made up a contract that she had to agree to maintain a B in all classes, in addition it is the most effective incentive for other positive behavior since she does not want it taken away. Second it's a safety thing as this allows us to reach her and Adrian at their school which is in the next town over. Third is that now that Ainsley's trach is out and we lose our home nursing we expect Evie to babysit her, in exchange for the phone service. She is beyond thrilled and so far things have gone well and she's following the rules. Aside from that her Ipod broke a few months ago and she's been unable to listen to music which she does all.the.time. She was borrowing Adrian's a LOT and as you can imagine that was causing some problems.

Adrian has had 3 soccer games so far. He spends most of his time defending but he's hustling so hopefully scoring will come soon enough. 

We enjoyed eating our last meal of the season outside and finally made the Sangria we'd planned for earlier in the summer. I just don't know where the days went. I am looking forward to fall. We cleaned out the herb garden and I made 12 bean soup with the herb trimmings. Fall is my favorite season of all. We aren't there yet, but it's in the air and I can't wait. Next week.........I am an overnight chaperone at the middle school camp. Three nights in cabins. We'll see how I do. It might just be the best sleep I've had in years. We'll see. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

One Month Decannulated and the Final Month of Summer

Get yourself a nice cold drink or cup of tea because this is a LONG one.

Today it's officially been a month that Ainsley's been decannulated. You would think I would be thrilled to bits. In reality it hasn't been like that mostly because of the need for CPAP at night. Lately though, she's been doing better and waking less often through the night. Oddly I think this is in part to the new leg braces she got from Physical Therapy (we've been doing some summer sessions at the hospital) to wear to sleep. Ainsley's had a habit of sleeping in somewhat of a fetal position. Since she has tightness of her leg muscles we hope the braces will help. The PT thinks that Ainsley's biggest obstacle to standing right now is due to her legs not being able to fully straighten. The stretches we do haven't been enough. I expected that to be a bit of a fight but in all honesty Ainsley's taken to them quite well. Back to the CPAP. It's tolerable.

People have asked if I've seen a benefit from decannulation. Less than I'd hoped but there are some: no more searching for trach caps being the primary one (it sounds silly but I can't tell you how irritating it was to always be searching for those around the house and sit down to eat just to find she'd removed her cap and have to get up from the dinner table to find it, years of this gets quite old), no more trach snot...that's really great. Instead she has a crusty neck but still I'm not having to catch it in my hand so I'm still thrilled about that change. It's one notch down the scale of grossness.  People do seem to be impressed. Even doctors. Sadly the trach is seen as a piece of "equipment" and there is a bit of a negative association people have with it. Much like seeing someone in a wheelchair, even if they know the person can walk and they try not to let it influence their opinion. Even though Ainsley's been capping for 4 years, when they see the lack of a trach they think it's major progress. In reality her airway is much the same as it has been. She is the same kid. But they see her differently.  If she happens to also be in her walker instead of her wheelchair then they presume she has made major progress. When in reality there has been slow gradual progress over many years leading us to where she is. I'd hoped for increased appetite and verbalization but haven't given up hope that it may be coming eventually, after all a month isn't a huge amount of time.

We have more changes coming soon, now that we are nearly back to school (the 2nd). After having a nurse care for her at home as well as school for years it will be hard when she loses that security. Particularly the nurse who's been with Ainsley 5 years. Although it is difficult to imagine I am trying to have faith that she will be okay with just an aide, that they will provide a 1-on-1 and if not she may even blossom under the opportunity to be more independent. There are many ways that it could go badly but rather than share my fears I will leave it at that. At this time our nurse (bless her) is picking up the school shifts of the nurse we let go over the summer. We'll have about 3 weeks with the nurse at school before the 60 days expires and the school has to make other arrangements.

The biggest concern, and probably the true reason I haven't allowed myself to be excited about the decannulation is this: COLD AND FLU SEASON. There I said it. It's coming. Usually a week or so after school starts one of the kids bring home the first virus of the season. This is the first year I've actually been looking forward to that because the sooner Ainsley gets sick and we see how she does the better. We don't want to lose our nurse if it turns out she'll have to be re-trached when she gets sick.  With any luck Ainsley will surprise us and manage through it okay. Probably she won't get sick enough to have to be re-trached in September, but it may give us an indication of what to expect at the peak of the season. In all honesty though if it IS a struggle then I would rather take the trach back. Despite the benefits of decannulation there is a huge benefit of the trach. It allowed her to sleep very comfortably. I miss being able to see that sweet face when I tuck her in to sleep. She looks so sad going off to sleep with that contraption. But these are the hard choices of this life. Often you trade one thing for another.

Whoever it was that told me the first year of life with CPAP is worse than the first year of trach life must have had a MUCH easier first year than we had. That year was so awful that I was a bit terrified of the CPAP. In reality it's been more of a nuisance than anything. Nothing like the hell that was our first year of life with a trached baby. It makes me wonder if Ainsley would have done this well if we'd have taken the plunge 4 years ago when I made the plan and got our first CPAP machine. I can't help but imagine what a different place we might be in if she'd been trach-free these past 4 years. Oh well, it wasn't left up to me. Though the doctors supported my plan initially they were nervous because of the sleep study results despite the fact that she'd been able to sleep capped through the night with CPAP even back then.

For all my trachie friends: As you probably gathered from my description of her neck, the stoma did not close but has narrowed inside to a pin prick. When the airway is under pressure you can hear air escape. Then there are the secretions that ooze out. It's closed enough that I'm not worried about things getting into it even though things under pressure can get out. It's a bit like a cat's butt if you know what I mean. Sorry for the analogy but it works, unfortunately. Because of that we don't cover the stoma at all, even with a Bandaid. Her neck is sunken so nothing really sticks anyway.  Even so, I am a bit worried about letting her go under water in the pool. She goes in just like she did with the capped trach. In a life jacket, and a floaty ring. I wouldn't let her go in water that is deeper than her chest.

Sadly when asked about the trach Ainsley would prefer to have it than not. In this photo she actually tried to put it back in. We didn't really let her try but it was clear that from her perspective the trach wasn't so bad. I think we'll need a good 6 months to know for sure that this was a good decision.

And life moves on.....

While the kids were at camp we tackled the attic thinking we were preparing to have a garage sale. Our belongings had accumulated to the point of running out of storage space. We started the process of reviewing the contents of all these boxes and deciding what to do with each thing. A. Painful. Process. It took so much time that we decided to donate the items to Northwest Center and forget the yard sale. They are an organization that helped my uncle (with Down Syndrome) a lot in his lifetime. I folded down the seats in my van and filled it TWICE. Sadly even donating took so much time that I just finished this week and now there is so little summer left. 

The sort process.

Evie's old shoes I've saved for Ainsley. Too bad she likely won't be able to wear most of them due to the need for AFOs. But they're still nice to have for special occasions.

We had little insulation in the garage roof and what was there was dirty and falling apart. I learned it isn't typical to insulate your roof, but the temperatures were extreme in this space and that isn't good for our things.

We hired a company to insulate once it was empty. Unfortunately they didn't get the staples into the wood and it was tearing the sheeting which is what holds the insulation up (it is supposed to have a space behind it). It took me a day's work to fix it and tape it so that we were then able to load the "keep" items back in.

Now that it's done we can get to everything, like for example Evie's clothing that I save for Ainsley. 

Steve will have a much easier time getting the holiday decorations.

We still have a bunch of stuff to sell (like furniture) on Craigslist. And documents, negatives and other things I need to deal with piled up in places. My house is not completely back in order, but it's tolerable and I think I'll finish up after school starts. 

I know, I know super exciting stuff right?!

The kids did have a fantastic time at their camps. Thank goodness they got to do that or I would feel very bad for the boring summer they've had. We drove up to Mt. Vernon to get Evie on Friday the 1st.

On the way up we saw this GIANT Western Red Cedar Stump. 

Ainsley was too cute in Evie's old cowgirl boots that I'd found just in time! A one time wear.

The covered wagons where the girls slept, next to the lake.

Evie on her horse which they decorate for the horse show that they put on for the parents.

We are so proud! She has become quite an experienced rider, simply from attending this camp each year.

The sky was AMAZING on the way home!

It's a bit scary now taking a long drive since there is no access to CPAP but Ainsley made it okay.

Poor Penny had been missing the kids terribly. Toward the end of the week she was saaaaad. But boy she was happy when they came home. It was so cute! After Evie got licks she bounded back to the garage looking for Adrian (who wasn't home until the next morning) and was visibly disappointed and confused not to find him. Clearly she loves the kids.

We had some very hot days (mid 90's for us is very hot) and I was glad the kids could cool off in the pool. It was great that Ainsley didn't seem to have any trouble in the water because of the decannulation.

Since Evie no longer wanted her dolls in her room she had the task of readying them for storage. 
It was so sad to see. Seriously if you have a daughter under 10 love every minute, it doesn't last long. 

I cleaned the suction machine. Hopefully for the very last time. 

And switched out the old medical equipment for the new in Ainsley's room.  It seems like this really could be the real deal so it was time, though I am keeping all her medical equipment and supplies until the spring, just in case.

Old syringes are a great way to fill water balloons. FYI.

A friend visited on the hottest day of the year. Her daughter has PHACE syndrome and we met in the hospital years ago in the surgical center. It's so nice to be able to talk to another mom of a medically complex kid. Someone who really knows this life. The day flew by. Although her daughter is about Ainsley's age, she was more interested in doing Evie's makeup but her younger sister played Calico Critters with Ainsley for hours. It was so sweet. And great to see Ainsley feeling like she had a play date with friends. We need to get together more often. There are so many amazing dedicated parents out there working so hard for their kids. Parenting is the toughest job under normal circumstances, but sometimes I wish people really knew what it takes to raise a medically complex and/or special needs child. The support we parents give each other means so much because we know.

That day my FIRST ALBUM- Our Family A-Z book arrived. I am so thrilled. It was a LOT of work but it was worth it and Ainsley loves it! Hopefully it will help motivate her to memorize her ABC's. 

We've stepped up our home "therapy" efforts with Ainsley. I'm asking each family member to spend 20 minutes (minimum) working with her every day. I just can't continue to do it all myself. We're getting better at consistency. But no matter what it will be better than in the past. The kids earn a token for each 20 minute block, which they can cash in for items they want.

Number puzzle and communication device.

Alphabet matching and communication device. 

The PT sessions have been a good thing but it's never enough. Aside from the surgery and decannulation Ainsley got terrible diarrhea for nearly a week. We had the goal to get her walking over the summer, but it's not looking like that will happen. She is getting stronger and better able to stand for seconds at a time. Here are the leg braces they gave her for sleeping. 

We've tried to get out more with the walker. Ainsley gets tired. Steve finally put the seat on which we thought would help so she can rest when she needs to. Unfortunately she sometimes refuses to move like this day (but at least now she can sit). She had to use the bathroom but wouldn't walk. What to do?  I had to put her feet up on the legs and push her to the bathroom so she didn't wet herself. That is not the way it's meant to be used and we got a lot of looks. Fun times. I'd brought her to the store as "therapy" but also wanted to get a few items. Since she wouldn't walk I left them to look at toys with Evie in charge. Her poor siblings. She wanted to play with the playhouse up above all the shelves and sat there for 20 minutes and refused to move while I was gone. Then she cried and didn't want to leave the store, making a bit of a scene. Again more looks. I was reminded why I use the chair. 

My goal has been to use one of my nursing days to do errands and the other to do something special with Evie and Adrian that would otherwise be difficult with Ainsley, while we still have a nurse. This day I had to pay the bills and take care of a few things before we left so we got a late start but we stopped for a quick picnic under the trees at Farrell McWhirter park before heading to Snoqualmie Falls.

I'd wanted a hike so we took the trail down to the river, sadly, just to find it ended above the river bed 500 yards away from the base of the falls. I called our nurse to see if she could stay late. We'd seen people from the top so we decide to break the rules and climb over the fence. It was quite an adventure. 

It's a bit difficult to tell from this photo but that building at the top, the Salish Lodge is quite large. We hiked from there down the side of the mountain, across all the boulders and rocks. At first we carried Penny but then discovered she was able to navigate most of it easily. There is a part where there is runoff that you can stand under. The kids wanted to go, but it was not safe to climb up with Penny so I stayed behind, a bit envious. I wanted to stand under that water so badly. I thought the kids would stop there but adventurous Evie led Adrian to the very end of the rocks where it looked to be quite slippery and dangerous. I watched helplessly as Evie stood on a wet rock at the river's edge, considering whether to leave Penny and risk her jumping in the river and being carried away. The sound of the falls is deafening. You could scream and it wouldn't be heard. I pleaded with some teenage boys to turn back and tell them to turn around. They got an earful when they did. In hindsight I should not have allowed them to cross over without me. Still, it was all worth it to be at the bottom and feel the mist of the falls on our faces. It was so beautiful and wonderful. A once in a lifetime experience. And definitely something Ainsley couldn't do. 

This is as low as the path goes. During other times of the year there can be water surges, but in summer it was probably somewhat safe, other than the climb down the rocks.

We bought Washington cherries off the side of the road to enjoy when we got home. Delicious!

This was the summer of  Nathalie Lete plates and open face Tuscano bread, Italian black truffle cheese and egg sandwiches with a sprinkling of sea salt. So yummy! It's the little things that make ordinary days special.

We explored our heritage (Steve's parents were British immigrants in the 60's). I took Evie and Adrian to shop at the British Pantry for treats. Chocolates. Sausage rolls (but not for Adrian). And we had tea and crumpets for breakfast. 

We spent a day visiting my birth father's mother in West Seattle with one of my sisters and her two kids. 

The assisted living facility has a rooftop garden with a view of the city that she could use but she says she's too depressed to go there. There are a ton of other activities she could do too. It's a shame. She says her arms hurt and I think she is sad about her husband dying (25 years ago). She is spry, can walk really fast. She's a tough cookie and I wouldn't be surprised if she lives past 100. I hope to be like her one day. She says she wants to buy a house and fix it up herself. The glint in her eyes as she says "I can do it too, you know." makes me almost believe it.  The way I see it she is lucky. She's lived into her mid 90's and still has pretty good health and mind, a family that loves her and she gets to see her 7 great-grand kids grow up. After our visit it was a good opportunity to talk to the kids about how happiness is a choice (not always an easy one) and not a set of circumstances. It was nice to make her happy for a few hours with our visit. 

Afterward we went for lunch at an Irish Pub on the beach. My birth father's father was Irish and I have a bit on my maternal side as well. 

We tried new foods: Irish Potato Bread, and fried pickles.

What's a vegetarian to eat at an Irish Pub? A baked tater with baked beans and cheese. Minus the coleslaw on top, which seemed a little weird.

Lamb stew.

Shepherd's Pie.

Unfortunately it ended up we only had time for a short trip to the beach before heading back over the bridge but it was still a nice day. We gave the cousins Evie and Adrian's kids chairs. A passing of the torch to the new little kids of the family.  

My sister's dog Luna. My boy loves dogs. And all animals really.

Evie worked up the nerve to play a piano in the park before we left. She has music on the brain all the time.

Steve has been driving my 20 year old car. Seriously it was a 1994 Jeep Cheroke V8. A gas guzzler. It was time for him to get a nice car. He works hard and deserves it. Plus with two middle-schoolers at a choice school next year he wanted a 7 seater to make it easier to help with the increased carpool driving so he won't have to bring my car back to the house on mornings that he drives. Now that two of the 5 kids are ours we will drive to Sammamish 4 times a week. He is beyond happy with his new Ford Explorer Sport. 

Adrian has had too much screen time this summer but when I force him to get off he does creative things. Yes, this rubber band spider web is probably not that safe. It was cool though.

Evie had a friend over to view the world premier of Taylor Swift's new song. We've now heard it a hundred times. Evie is growing up fast. Her friends are important to her and she is eager to get back to school.  I told my kids to enjoy being bored this summer because childhood is the only time in your life when you will ever have that luxury.

I've got most of my school supplies but need to get clothes. So there likely won't be much opportunity for summer fun before we go back to school. Today would be my day with the kids but Ainsley has her last PT session of the summer at 3:00. I'd planned to do "our day" on Tuesday instead but we were called by the doctor with a cancellation to see Adrian for his 11 year check-up. I felt I had to take it since that means he gets his TPAP shot before school and then I don't have to pull him from school to go in September. Yesterday we had a neuro-developmental appointment which maybe I'll talk about another time. That is how our life goes, I swear, there is always something dull or practical going on, it seems. I don't know how other people seem to squeeze in so much fun. It can make summer a bit depressing at times.We have a plans to see friends a few times in these final days before school starts and Steve's going to squeeze in a trip to Wild Waves.  (I'll stay with home with Ainsley since a whole day there would be too much for her.)

And last week soccer season started for Adrian. Ugh! Evie is signed up for Pointe' classes again. I'd nearly forgotten how busy the school year is but I welcome the structure and I think the kids are ready. 

I will try to post again soon about how things go for Ainsley after she returns to school.  I hope you had a nice summer and are ready for fall.  Thanks for checking in on us.