Sunday, August 2, 2015

Our 2015-2016 PreK Curriculum

I am so beyond excited to have Evan join us more formally this year for homeschool! He loves to learn and I know he is going to be thrilled to finally have his own worksheets and activities to complete right along side his big sister! Evan is 4.5 years old and I really struggled with the decision to homeschool vs sending him to attend public school VPK. Half-day VPK is free in my county, but Evan's special needs definitely pose a challenge and would not allow him to attend a regular classroom. Ultimately, we have opted to work diligently with private therapy services and homeschool this year. If at any time I feel Evan isn't progressing, we can always reevaluate and try to get into an ESE PreK for the remainder of the year or just start in Kindergarten. But I am confident Evan will thrive working one-on-one at home, in his own environment, with minimal distractions and the ability to learn however he wants to!

Many of you have seen me prepping Evan's curriculum via Instagram this summer and have asked about our curriculum choice for PreK. I searched all over the internet, read reviews, viewed hundres of pins on Pinterest and finally settled on Confessions of a Homeschooler's Letter of the Week curriculum. Letter of the Week is a 26 week homeschool PreK 3 curriculum. Each week is themed and focuses on a letter of the alphabet. It includes so many options for games, worksheets, skill development, counting, etc. Evan already knows all of his letters, numbers to 20, colors and shapes, but he is really struggling with fine motor skills and some other skills that LOTW includes in the weekly lessons. I decided it was more important for Evan to really build up these skills he is behind on and master them rather than move on to a more advanced PreK curriculum option. Plus I don't want to overwhelm Evan during his first year of formal homeschool! Or overwhelm myself for my first year with two students! ;)

After I purchased LOTW, I was opening all of the files and had a little bit of buyer's remorse. Seriously, there are over 1500 printables included with this curriculum! What was I thinking?! I started sorting through the lessons and decided there was only one way we could successfully complete this curriculum - I needed to prep the entire year before we started.  I am a procrastinator. I have proven to myself over and over that if I need to do a lot of prep work before a lesson, I will put it off and put it off and then it just won't get done. So I really had no choice but to print out every page, for every lesson, for every week and then cut/laminate/hole punch/staple/sort/organize everything. I finished prepping everything about a week ago and I can't believe I finished. My hands were blistered from cutting out hundreds of little shapes, the dining room table was a disaster zone, my printer tried to die multiple times. It was a challenge, to say the least, but now I am so happy that I literally do not have to prep a single thing for the rest of the year for Evan.. And that feels amazing. It took me around 6 weeks of working a few hours each week to finish prepping and I highly recommend you do the same if you plan to use this curriculum with your Preschooler or even if you're using one of the many free options with a lot of prep work. This method will definitely save your sanity for the year and trust me, you'll need all the sanity you can get.

If I haven't scared you away yet, I would love to share with you my method for prepping a year's worth of lessons! Before I started printing individual pages, I printed out the weekly lesson plan pages and highlighted assignments I wanted to work on each week with Evan. I generally picked between 4-5 assignments per day. Next, I opened each week's file and printed the selected assignment pages. It took me a few evenings over the course of a couple of weeks to print out all of the pages I needed. I also printed the Daily PreK journal pages. Next, I organized my binders in groups of 5 letters and separated each letter with tabs. I cut out and laminated any pieces I wanted to be sturdier, like the lacing cards, and then stored all of the cut outs in labeled plastic bags. I hole punched all of the worksheets and put the labeled bags in a page protector sleeve to keep everything for each letter together. I repeated this process for each letter. There are still several things I opted not to print/use this year because again, I do not want to overwhelm myself or Evan! We can always add these things later in the year if we want to.

Each day of the week is in a page protector. Evan will complete these with a dry erase marker so we can just keep reusing them!
 
This is the weekly lesson plan page. I highlighted all of the assignments Evan will be completing.  
 
All of the worksheets for each letter are hole punched and stored behind their subject divider.
 
Here are all of the cut outs for the letter "A" week. Everything is labeled and sorted into plastic bags and then kept in a page protector behind the rest of the week's worksheets.
 
I purchased LOTW for $15 and spent about an additional $200 in supplies (paper, printer ink, notebooks, dividers, page protectors, laminator sheets, books, manipulatives, etc). It definitely wasn't the cheapest option but I'm sure the cost would be less shocking if you spread out the printing and prep throughout the year.

Here are most of the manipulatives we need for the year. (Not pictured are large plastic tweezers, play doh, crayons, pencils, etc)
 
These are some of the books LOTW recommends.
Evan officially starts PreK tomorrow and I can't wait to see how much he learns this year! If you want to see a more in-depth review of LOTW, click here. I am also happy to answer any questions you may have!











Our Homeschool Room.. Or something like that

I'm pretty sure every homeschool mom daydreams of their perfect school room. Mine would be huge- with wood floors, light teal walls, an on-suite bathroom, a reading corner complete with a super cute Pinterest worthy teepee, a community desk that seats 4, and curriculum storage that would put Ikea systems to shame. You know, sort of like Confession of a Homeschooler's amazing classroom. Except a little more awesome. :)

While I would absolutely love to have even a dedicated classroom, that is just not in the cards right now for us. We moved from our small cozy home to our current, much larger home about a year ago and while we do have space to have a dedicated classroom, I just have a hard time giving up the "traditional" rooms- like the dining room and guest bedroom. I know, that sounds SO dumb, but I just love simple, clean d├ęcor at home and would rather find an alternate solution. Last year, we kept the school books in the living room and Elli worked at our dining room table, at the kitchen bar, and at the computer desk. Yeah- it was kind of chaotic. My darling husband and I spent a few hours this past week literally moving the bookshelves into all the rooms and rearranging furniture to find a permanent homeschool space for the coming year. We ended up settling on taking over the breakfast nook and I am really pleased with the way it looks! We rarely use that space and I don't know why we didn't come up with this solution earlier! Yes, it is small, but I'm very optimistic it will suit our needs perfectly this year!

And now I present to you, the Magnifico Academy classroom:

(Our classroom!)

(Main white board and calendar bulletin board with empty wall space to feature projects and topics we will learn about this year.)

(Work table and storage)

(We only keep current year's curriculum and supplies readily available. Everything else is stored in the garage. The less clutter, the better! This bookshelf holds craft supplies, painting supplies, and Elli's curriculum)

(Arts & Crafts - all out of reach of our little one!)

(This cube organizer houses most of Evan's supplies and curriculum. Everything is stored in bins because if he sees it, he takes it out.. )

(Extra supplies for the year)

(Calendar and Evan's "Beginning of the Day" activities)

(Elli's Curriculum)
That is it! This is our cozy new spot and I am so excited to kick off our 2015-2016 school year on Monday!

One thing I have learned over the past 4 years of homeschooling is where you teach your children absolutely doesn't matter. You could have the "dream" homeschool room and still have an unproductive year of school! All that matters is that you are dedicated to teaching your babies and the rest will fall into place.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Evan's HLHS Update

I know, this update is well overdue. Since Evan has been so stable for the past few years, this blog has slowly died. I'm going to attempt to revive it by not focusing so much on the HLHS portion of our lives, but more on our every day adventures - like homeschooling, therapies for Evan's special needs, Disney tips from a seasoned passholder, DIY projects, successful pinterest crap, etc. But before I move on, I feel I need to bring this page up to speed on Evan and his HLHS journey since so many newly-diagnosed HLHS families still make their way to our page!


On May 21, we celebrated TWO years post-Fontan for Evan! And we are quickly approaching one year since his last heart cath! I can't believe how far we have come on this journey, yet it is daunting to see how much farther we have to go! We all thought Evan was doing pretty well developmentally, especially after seeing how much he had learned over the past two years. But when we were given the opportunity to see a Developmental Pediatrician at our cardiac center, we jumped on it. I didn't really know what to expect going into the appointment. I thought we would answer a few questions, Evan would be asked to complete a few tasks, and we would be on our way with a "here is where your child stands" letter. Yeah, no. Didn't happen that way. It was a super long, very intense appointment that covered all aspects of Evan's development and skills from birth til now. My kid is four and a half and has a detailed history - you can only imagine how much info we covered. The DR and his nurse practitioner did such a great job staying patient with my rowdy boy and I could tell they were trying to be respectful of our time while also gathering all of the information they needed. I filled out several questionnaires prior to the appointment and filled out another in the office. The DR and I reviewed all of that information and then he examined Evan physically as well as tested his skills. My boy has just recently begun to like clinicians again so he was a little unsure of them but overall did well. We definitely knew going into the appointment that Evan was still delayed in some areas but we were not prepared to find out just how delayed he is. We left the appointment with referrals to Speech therapy, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, and a hearing evaluation. Phew. Then the detailed report came in the mail and it saddened me to see just how much harder Evan was going to have to work to catch up. It is definitely not fair to have to undergo so much in your life at a young age and then when all of the "hard" stuff is supposed to be over, you get smacked in the face with the reality of its never really over. There is always more to be done..

Evan has now had all of his evaluations for therapies completed and each specialist determined he would need their therapy 2x per week. That is six, 45 minute appointments every week. We ended up settling on five appointments each week based on what we felt we could handle in our schedule and how expensive our copays are for each appointment. You can only imagine how crazy our calendar looks with all of these appointments in addition to normal weekly activities! Evan has been going to his therapies for 2 weeks now and he is definitely still adjusting. He has some major anxiety issues and is easily frustrated when he can't complete a task or finds the task hard.. We've had our share of meltdowns these past few weeks but I am confident he will begin to trust his therapists and start to have more productive sessions.

If your center offers a neurodevelopment appointment to you for your child, take it. Even if you think your child is on target developmentally, just go. Having a new set of eyes specially trained in development and delays for cardiac kids is essential to not only helping your child to get the services they may need, but also key to helping them remain on target! I only wish we had something like this offered to us when Evan was still a baby. I can only assume his development status would be much different now.

Other than working on delays, Evan has been pretty status quo! He had a routine cardiology visit in June and everything checked out great. He is growing well and gaining weight appropriately. His heart function still looks amazing and his sats were in the high 90's. And, he made it through the appointment with minimal tears! I, on the other hand, did not have a pleasant visit. Our beloved cardiologist, the first person to give us hope that our baby could survive this diagnosis, announced she was leaving the practice this summer. I was shocked and devastated! We have always joked that we would follow her across the country if she ever moved and all of a sudden it wasn't so funny anymore. After days and days of discussion, we decided to switch to another cardiologist at All Children's. While we know she can never be replaced, and we could have followed her to her new clinic, we just didn't feel comfortable not knowing any of the other cardiologists at her new center. SO SAD! Seriously. It still makes me teary eyed to think after five years we are losing our favorite person but I know she will be loved at her new clinic by her new patients. I am just selfishly sad for my family.

This year, Evan will officially be joining his sister and I for (home)school! I know, it seems impossible that he is old enough to start school, yet here we are! He is very excited to have his own place at the table this year and can't wait to start learning! I'll share more on which curriculum we will be using in another post.

That is all for now, folks. We hope to have an uneventful second half of the year and just know our little guy is going to work super hard to catch up with his peers. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014-2015 3rd Grade Homeschool Curriculum

I should probably be a little more ashamed than I am that it has been over a year since I have updated our blog. But honestly, I'm not.. We have been busy living life to the fullest and I would much rather live in the moment than worry about writing it all down! But, I really do enjoy it so I will be trying to pay a little more attention to my poor, left-behind blog.

Last week, Elli and I dove into our fourth year of homeschooling! I can't believe we have made it this far, we are halfway through elementary school! I never would have imagined I would be homeschooling my children, or that I would enjoy spending all of my time with them, but I really do love seeing the passion they both have for learning and I am so grateful to be their teacher.

This year, I have decided to bring Evan to the homeschool table a little more formally than years past. He is very eager leaner! He has already learned all of his alphabet letters, numbers 1-10, and recognizes about 30+ sight words. And this is all despite of his very big speech delay! His lessons are still more play and less structured but he is just thrilled to be able to sit at the table with Sissy.

The biggest curriculum changes we made for Elli this year were switching out math, reading, science, and history. There was nothing wrong with the curriculum we have used in the past, but it wasn't my favorite, or Elli's favorite for that matter. I am always asked which curricula we have chosen so here is our list for our 2014-15 3rd grade year:

Math: Teaching Textbooks 3. We had previously used Rightstart Math and enjoyed the hands on approach, however I did not enjoy all of the prep work. Elli also seemed to tire easily from the games and lessons because she grasped the concepts so quickly. Teaching Textbooks is totally new to us. It's a computer based program that is very interactive and keeps her smiling throughout the entire lesson. I can easily check her assignments and progress on the grade book as well. Elli is very eager to begin school with math every day!

Reading: Another huge change for us this year was switching from Horizons Reading & Phonics to BJU Reading 3. The teacher manual is much easier to follow and instruct from and the student worksheets are short but do a great job reinforcing the lesson. Elli was not a fan of the Horizons curriculum and seems to enjoy our new selection! Fingers crossed this continues as we progress to more challenging work.

Language Arts/Writing: This year we are continuing with the next levels of First Language Lessons & Writing With Ease. Both books are easy to follow along as a teacher and are short enough to keep Elli's attention.

Spelling: You know how some people are just naturally good spellers? And others really struggle to spell the most basic of words? My sweet Elli falls into the second category, poor thing. Spelling has just never clicked for her. We started All About Spelling level 3 last week and I am just so thrilled with the progress she has made using this program. It really is one of the best, easiest homeschool curriculum available. I highly recommend using AAS if you are new to homeschooling. We have used it from the beginning and it is excellent.

History: Ok, first let me say that I love Confessions of a Homeschooler just as much as any other HS mom. I do, honestly. But last year we decided to use her Roadtrip USA curriculum and it was such a disaster for us. The lessons are so long, there is so much prep work involved, too many options and activities to choose from. It was just  overwhelming. This year we have decided to switch to the Time Travelers studies, New World Explorers and Colonial Life. The program is on a CD and you can easily print out your lessons for the week with little prep work involved. I think it is very age and skill appropriate for older elementary school aged kids.

Science: Another big change to our lessons this year is our science curriculum. We have never used any Apologia curriculum before. History and Science are two subjects I feel Elli should have an opinion on so I allowed her to choose what she wanted to study this year. No surprise here, my beach babe asked to learn about the Ocean. We are using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures. Yes, technically you should probably follow the books in order (this curriculum is biblical based and follows science through Creation) but we are rebels so what the heck, right? We are splitting the lessons up into 4 days, 2 days per week and so far we both love it. It reads well and the elementary journal that accompanies the lessons is perfect for Elli. We are very much looking forward to many field trips to Sea World this year!

Foreign Language: I would say the biggest change to our curriculum this year is the addition of Spanish. We will be using Rosetta Stone this year. Kids are sponges and this is the perfect time for Elli to tackle another language. I have no doubt she will be fluent in Spanish soon! If you are looking to start foreign language studies at home, I highly recommend Rosetta Stone! It is a great program.

So, there you have it! I will report back in a few months with longer reviews on each program once we have used each of the new books for longer than a week. ;)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

DIY Stenciled Table Top

A few weeks ago while I was laying in Evan's teeny tiny hospital bed, squished to the side and unable to move, I was browsing Pinterest when I came across the prettiest DIY table. I knew I wanted to create my own for Elli's homeschool table so I pinned it and went about my browsing. After we were discharged, the first time, I went yard-saling and found the perfect table for super cheap! I loaded it up in the van and set out to get all of my supplies. Unfortunately, hospital admission #2 threw a wrench into my plans so I had to patiently wait to finish it. I am so thrilled to share that it is now complete and I could not be any more in love with this table! Seriously! I want to stencil every piece of furniture in my home now, lol.

My inspiration came from this post at Domestic Imperfection. See? Totally gorgeous, right?


Here is my $15 yard sale table. It's just your basic, every day dining room table.


First, I painted the legs of the table. I used primer & paint duo spray paint in white. It took 2 cans to cover the legs and no sanding was required. 


Next I(we) sanded down the table top. Sanding was the most time consuming (and messy) part of the project and was a major pain in the rear. Who has two thumbs and an awesome husband who will trade a date night out for a date night in sweating and getting tore up by mosquitos? This girl. Love you hunny! :)


Once the top was completely sanded down, I painted on the stencil. Originally I planned to repeat the stencil over the entire top, but then decided to just do a border because of how busy the design was. I purchased my stencil at Michael's with a 50% off coupon for $5 and used just your basic 79cent acrylic paint in white. I also purchased a stencil foam roller with a 50% off coupon for just a couple bucks. This stencil, made by Folk Art, was really great and had a guide for repeating the design, which made lining it up super easy. 


I borrowed stain and polyurethane from my dad and stained the top the next morning. (You could stain same day if you'd like, the acrylic paint dries very fast.) Since this was my first time staining anything, I called the expert, aka my Dad, and had him walk me through the process via FaceTime. I dipped a clean, folded up rag into the stain and wiped down the table, following the grain of the wood. Once it was covered, I took another clean rag and wiped in a circular motion across the entire table. That whole process took about 5 minutes! Don't forget the gloves! 


I decided I liked the color with one application and after it dried for several hours, I brushed on a few coats of polyurethane. The whole process was relatively simple, just very time consuming. It ended up taking 3 days to complete the table but I would do it over in a second! This is my completed table: 


So gorgeous! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Home Sweet Home.. Part Deux.

As many of you know, Evan was readmitted into the hospital last Monday for bilateral pleural effusions, aka fluid in both sides of his chest. It was an emotionally exhausting 5 day stay that included an unwanted room in the PICU, angry nurses, tears of frustration, and finally a much happier little boy. We had such a horrible experience in the PICU that I am choosing to not relive it, therefore I will not be sharing the details of our experience. Lets just say heart kids belong in the cardiac icu for a reason. 

We were discharged home Friday afternoon and let me tell you, Evan has been non-stop since we walked out of the hospital! He is completely back to his normal self and has way more energy than I imagined he would! Today was his post-discharge follow up at the cardiology office and he ran around the whole waiting room for almost an hour before being called back. He made sure to stop and say hi to every single person waiting too. I can't believe how outgoing he is and just how happy he is in general. This kid has more strength than I could ever have, especially for just having open heart surgery 3 weeks ago! The cardiologist was super impressed with Evan today, his heart and lungs sounded perfect and his chest x-ray was completely clear, thank God! You know what the best part of the day was? Watching Evan run around for so long without taking a break and without turning blue. I am just.. just so amazed. I am so thrilled Evan is POST FONTAN and know that he can now live to his fullest potential. 

Saturday night we went to dinner with family for my husband's birthday. My father in law mentioned to our waitress that Evan had his third open heart surgery just 2 weeks ago and she was just blown away because he looked so good. Then she turned to me and told me she was amazed at how calm and at peace I was for just having gone through something so major with my child. I just smiled and said thank you, but I have been thinking so much about her words and keep coming to the same conclusion. How can I not be at peace when I have Jesus? How can I be afraid if I trust in my Father? How can I not have a positive attitude when my God is always faithful? I don't want Evan to ever be afraid of his future, or lack of a future. I want him to trust the Lord with all of his heart and I hope he will see that in both Scott and I.. We love our little man and don't ever want to set limitations for his future, unless we are talking about dating, then the answer is never. ;)

Please remember to keep all of our heart buddies going in for their Fontans this summer in your prayers. Going through major surgery with your preschooler is absolute madness and the anxiety building up to the date really sucks. 

OH! I almost forgot, Evan has been talking so much more in the last few weeks! He has now added "moo moo", "all done", "baby", "pizza", "coke", "eat pizza", "thank you", and "jake" to his vocabulary! Yay! :)


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Home Sweet Home

WE ARE POST FONTAN!! 

Can you believe it? All of the worry, anticipation, anxiety, fear, what ifs, and tears- gone. We did it, we crossed the finish line of the longest race of ours lives. I couldn't be any more proud of Evan! 

We were discharged home yesterday morning. Now we are focusing on continued healing and rest for Evan, as well as encouraging the little guy to eat/drink and helping him build his strength back up in his legs. It will still be a few weeks before Evan is feeling like himself again so please continue to pray that he recovers well at home. 

I know so many of my heart mama friends are "Fontanning" it this summer and I want to make sure I share our experience in detail for you. We all know it is rare for our kids to share the exact same experience, but hopefully you find encouragement and reassurance through Evan. 

Before Evan's Fontan, I researched and learned as much as I could about the Fontan. I asked post-Fontan moms for advice and read through as many Fontan blogs as I could. I was confident that I was more than prepared for what was to come. But the truth is, I wasn't prepared at all. 

The Fontan freaking sucks. 

Really. For myself as a parent, it was the worst of the 3 surgeries. Going through open heart surgery with a newborn and 5 month old seemed HORRIBLE at the time, but the Fontan takes the cake. Evan was miserable all day every day. He needed our attention 24/7 and it was exhausting. The first day, we stood at Evan's bedside trying to keep him calm for 8 hours. The next day, I sat in a chair with Evan in my lap for over 6 hours. I spent so many hours laying in bed with him that I was sure I would have bed sores by the time we were discharged. I spent every second worrying that Evan was in pain, scheming to trick him into eating or drinking, and begging God to help us get through it all. It was awful, but it didn't last forever and we are already falling back into a normal routine at home and I know these memories will eventually fade into just that- a memory. 

For those of you preparing for the Fontan, I have compiled a list of 10 things I didn't know before the Fontan. These are things that no amount of research could have prepared us for because they were unique to Evan. If you've already survived the Fontan, I am interested to hear what your "list" is! Alright, here we go: 

1. I had no idea the conduit they use for an extracardiac Fontan was SO big. I had trouble uploading the picture on my last post so here it is again. It's hard to believe something so big fits a 2 year old's heart. 

This is a 24mm conduit.
2. Evan's oxygen saturations before surgery were 80-81. After surgery, he was 90-91. Because of his fenestration (a small hole between his heart and the conduit, used to help with pressure) his sats quickly drop when he is upset. He would drop to 70 after just 30 seconds of screaming and turned super blue. But, as soon as he started to calm, his sats would rise back to normal very fast. I've never seen Evan desat and recover like that before, but now that he can physically show signs of a true desat, it will be easier to recognize and help him recover. 

3. For the Norwood and the Glenn, Evan only had one mediastinal chest tube. For the Fontan, his surgeon routinely places a mediastinal and two pig tail drains, one on each side of the chest, for pleural effusions. Not every surgeon does this, but I was surprised to learn that there are several who do this routinely just in case the patient develops PE and then they don't have to go in and place more chest tubes. 

The big tube in the center is the mediastinal. The small tube with the cotton ball over it is a pig tail. 
4. During the removal of Evan's chest tubes in the past, the PA just rips it out and applies gauze and tape over the opening and it heals. This time, the surgeon had a suture wrapped around the tube and when the tube was pulled, the PA synched the suture. No bleeding! 

5. Scooping a 30lb toddler like a newborn is NO JOKE. Ladies, start building up those biceps and shoulders. There were several times when I was holding Evan that I literally thought my bicep was about to rip in half. It's so hard not to pick up a toddler under the arms. Try it for a day now and figure out what works best for you before you are fumbling bed side with a fragile kid. 

6. I never knew so much fluid could come out of a little body! Evan ended up draining almost 45 ounces from his chest in just 7 days. He drained 15ounces in one day alone! On the day he drained over 400mls, I thought for sure we were going to be inpatient forever. The next day, he only drained 56mls. Don't get discouraged! 

7. My kid is an animal. He loves to eat and drink all day long. We have never had a problem with Evan gaining weight or eating enough. I did not expect his appetite not to return after surgery. It was a struggle all day long (and still is) to get him to eat anything. We tried all of his favorites and tried games/distractions, nothing worked. At one point he had to be given IV fluids and there was talk of a NG tube because we couldn't get him to eat more than 2 goldfish crackers. 

8. I didn't realize managing his pain would be as hard as it was. Right after surgery, Evan was still on morphine and coming off the the anesthesia and he was still thrashing around. We could not keep him still, even after max doses of some heavy pain medications. The only time I broke down was one night where we could tell he was in some serious pain and there was nothing anyone could do or give him to calm him down. I have never felt so helpless as a parent in my life. Prepare yourselves for that, mamas. 

9. Walking was impossible. Guys, if your child is anywhere near as stubborn as mine is, no amount of begging, pleading, bribes, or tricks will get your kid to walk with the chest tubes in. We tried every day to get Evan out of bed and walking and he just refused. It wasn't until all of the chest tubes were removed that he tried to walk but by then he had laid in bed for 8 days and his legs were too weak to support himself. He was so frustrated that he wasn't able to stand and walk. On day 6, our amazing nurse brought us a mat for the floor so Evan could get out of bed and play. I wish we would have had that on day 2! Also, wagon rides outside of his room were worth all the effort it took to get 3 chest tube boxes, a monitor, oxygen tank, and IV pole out with us. Evan was happiest rolling through the unit. 

This is the walking contraption they.. Chest tube drain boxes, oxygen tank, and the monitor hang on the sides. 

Two nurses and a tech to go for a wagon ride.. So worth it. 

10. It will be over before you know it. The whole time I kept thinking "Man, I have no idea how we survived being inpatient for 30 days for the Norwood". We were discharged on day 8 and now the fun begins.. 

Pretty soon you will be home snuggling in bed <3 

THANK YOU to all of our friends and family who contributed to Evan's treasure box. Everything came in handy and Evan loved playing with his new toys! Because there were so many things donated, we wanted to share the love and gave a bunch of stuff to the Child Life Specialist so that other little ones on the cardiac floor could have something new to play with too. There were so many little ones left alone all day with no family there to visit, we know they will enjoy something special. & thank you to our family and friends who came to visit Evan, he enjoyed sharing laughs with you all and it meant a lot to us! 

We are so blessed... <3