Friday, August 30, 2013

Tickles From Heaven...

It's been a long two days since my last post (which I'll get to in a moment).  I have had a terrible headache that won't go away (and still hasn't).  I really don't get headaches, so of course my first thought was - something is wrong with my pregnancy.  When the headache got worse today, I ended up at the hospital to get evaluated for Pre-Eclampsia.  Thankfully, my labs came back looking perfect (is that rude to brag like that?).  I still have the headache - and I really haven't had the luxury to lay in a dark, quiet room with a bag of peas on my head.  For the last two days I've had to answer Brian's ten million questions, beg him to watch yet another Scooby Doo, say no twenty times to playing outside... and get bossed around while painting and coloring and playing pirates and building houses.  I'm not complaining - I love playing with Brian - ok, I am complaining.  I would have rather been in bed all day.  But Ed is home now - and I am finally in bed.  And I likely won't leave until tomorrow night if I can swing it.

So far, this pregnancy has been my easiest.  Every ultrasound has looked picture perfect - there have been no worries or complications.  My blood pressure (which has been a problem in previous pregnancies and the big reason Gavin and Brian were born before their due dates) has been perfect.  I have the normal issues - sciatica, restless legs, heartburn and difficulty sleeping... but you won't hear me complain!  And it's getting harder, physically, for me to do strenuous activities.  You know, like getting up off the couch.  But when something comes up - like this headache - I panic.  I don't believe I could bear to lose another child.  I have said from the start that I plan to "believe this baby born" - but I still have this little cloud of anxiety that follows me everywhere.  Because I know that the worst can happen - and it can happen quickly like a sucker punch.  I know because I've lived it.  Twice.

But Hope is fine.  And I will live (in my bed... until tomorrow night).  She is proving to be a very considerate little girl, this Hope Margaret.  She moves ALL the time - just like her brother, Brian, who I nicknamed "monkey" during my pregnancy with him!  It's very reassuring to me to know that she's ok. Every movement - even if it wakes me - is like a hello from Heaven.  I just have this visual of Gavin constantly tickling her feet to get her to move because he knows it will bring me comfort. Silly, maybe, but it's something I love to visualize.

I want to thank ALL of you for receiving our project for Gavin's birthday with such enthusiasm and support.  I was so grateful for your lovely comments, your great suggestions and your overall excitement for our plan to re-do the children's waiting room in Paoli Hospital's emergency room in his memory... inspired, of course, by Brian.  As of this moment, the unbelievable total stands at $5, 955.00. I'm going to keep it open until next week for anyone who wants to donate, but I have to say - the generosity has blown us away.  EVERY donation to me is generous - from the $6.00 donations that were given to represent his sixth birthday to the $600.00 donation from a generous woman who had been waiting to do something extraordinary with some inheritance money she received.  Picturing each and every one of you taking the time to enter your information online and pull out a credit card and read those tiny numbers as you typed it all in - it makes me want to cry.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to care about our project... our son's memory... and our family.  I don't take any of this for granted and I promise you that I will keep you involved every step of the way as we transform this little room (with extra to spare!) for all of the children, like Brian, who are left waiting.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What To Get The Boy Who Has Given Us Everything...

Exactly one month from today - on September 29th - we will mark Gavin's sixth birthday.  The first birthday without him.  Ed and I are not looking forward to it.
Gavin was always very easy to please.  Put him in a room with something that plays music or lights up and he was happy.  Put him in a room with Brian, his beloved little brother?  He was even happier.  He loved Brian so much.
I want so badly to do something special - something permanent - to honor Gavin's birthday.  I had so many ideas swirling around in my head and I kept coming back to Brian.  I am hoping that Gavin is watching me from Heaven and feeling so pleased that his brother was the inspiration for this birthday project.  

None of us knew that the last time we would see Gavin smile... watch him play with toys in the playroom with Brian... hear him laugh... would be on the morning of April 10th, 2013.  It is a miracle that I decided to take Gavin to the emergency room that afternoon - not even thinking that we were dealing with anything close to a real emergency.  And it was a HUGE blessing that Miss Sara was with me so she could bring Brian into the waiting room.  We couldn't have known that this would be one of the most traumatic days of Brian's life.

Since that day, Brian has consistently reminded me of one very important fact:

"Mama, remember that little room in the hospital when Gavin got sick?  It didn't have enough toys."

Lucky for Brian, he had Miss Sara to occupy him.  But she was very stressed, too.  Brian has showed us the importance of toys to help children (and the adults that are with them) through very stressful times.  And that is when it came to me...

We will re-do the children's waiting room at Paoli Hospital for Gavin's birthday.  

I've been working on this behind the scenes for a little while now.  I went to the hospital to meet with the nurse manager in the E.R. to look at the room (and Brian was definitely right about the lack of toys!) - and I have been working with the hospital to be sure that the items I chose met with their safety and infectious disease protocols.  I am so excited to make this a reality.  

These are the items I have chosen...

I chose several of these items with Gavin and Brian in mind.  Like the Sea Life Table and Pathfinder Panels - we all know how much Gavin loved the ocean.  And the Springtime mirrors.  I chose them to honor the Spring day that we lost Gavin... and were introduced to Hope.  Brian loves mirrors - and I figured they would be great for infants and toddlers in the waiting room, too.

This is the hospital where Gavin was born and spent the first month of his life... the hospital where Brian was born and where he will meet his sister, Hope, this December.  If I can make this a true reality, there will be a permanent plaque on the wall saying that this children's waiting room was made possible by our family and the Chasing Rainbows community in memory of Gavin and in honor of his little brother, Brian.  Our hope is that as Brian gets older and understands more, he will realize that we heard him that day... that we cared about him that day... and we did something about it.  We hope that as he grows up, he will be proud that there is a lasting legacy that he helped inspire... and, because of that, other children will find a little joy in that Emergency Room because of him.
Ed and I have contributed $600 to the project.  $1,000 more will get us everything on my list.  I would love to invite you to this "birthday party" by contributing $1.00 - $5.00 - $10.00 - or more.  I chose to use "GoFundMe" in order to keep my PayPal account strictly dedicated to Gavin's Trust Project.  If you click the link below, you can see the fundraising page and watch the donations as they come in (hopefully!).  Or, you can click the badge with Gavin's photo at the top right side of this blog.  

UPDATE!!!  I never expected this, but through the middle of the night I not only met - but surpassed! - my $1,000 goal!!  I thought asking for $1,000 was asking for a lot.  I have decided to let the donations keep coming and use the money for MORE toys and the personalized plaque for the wall.  I couldn't do all of this without you!  Thank you to those who have donated already - who will donate - and even those who merely support us with your kind words and encouragement.  Each gift is SO generous!!  Thank you!!!

Feel free to share the link!  

The Chasing Rainbows community has proven that tiny drops of water make a mighty ocean.  
Let's create an ocean for our little Superhero's birthday.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Place Where They "Get It"...

Yesterday would have been an exciting day - Gavin's first day of Kindergarten.

Instead, I chose to spend the day at the hospital... the same hospital where he died.

It's hard to explain to those who have not lived my life - in and out of those hospital doors many, many times for doctor appointments, testing, surgeries and long stays.  And maybe it's even hard to explain to those who have lived that life.  But it was the only place I wanted to be yesterday - and I was so glad I made that choice.

Brian and I got there in the morning and paid a visit to the Family Resource Center first.  This is a wonderful room in the hospital for families to relax, use computers, do laundry, have a snack or a free coffee or tea and even borrow books from their library.  When Gavin was an infant and I lived at this hospital with him for months, we used to spend a lot of time in this room... and I did a lot of research in their library.  So our first order of business was to donate my entire collection of books that I've bought over the last five years.  Books on Cerebral Palsy, Hearing Loss, Disabilities, Therapy Techniques and more.  When I told Brian that Gavin and I used to come into this room at night so he could look up at their twinkly ceiling lights that look like stars, he insisted that we do the same thing.  So before we went anywhere else, Brian and I relaxed on the couch and did just that.

Next we visited with Jennifer, the social worker we've known since Gavin was an infant... and who helped us tremendously during his last days.  We left her with Gavin's feeding pump that we hadn't seen since he was a baby - hoping that another family could use it for their child.  

Then we headed down to the Child Life Department.  Brian was excited to see Miss Jenn, who worked with him before Gavin died to give him some tools to help him process the tremendous loss.  She was so generous to offer to work with Brian while I attended my first grief counseling session.  I left him happy and in excellent hands while I found my way to a little room... steps away from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where Gavin died... to meet with the counselor.  

You won't believe this part.  DuPont offers FREE - yes, free... as in zero dollars - bereavement counseling for a year.  You could go as an individual, a couple or a family.  I don't know how many hospitals offer this, but I find it to be a remarkable and generous gift to the families left behind.  Like us. But the reason I'm driving to that hospital for the counseling - which is close to an hour from our home - is not because it's free.  Not by a long shot.  I'm planning to make the trip as often as possible because it's at the hospital.  "Gavin's Hospital."

That was a big topic of my first session.  That hospital.  I experienced so much with Gavin between those walls.  In the first two years of Gavin's life, it seemed like I was making that drive for various appointments once a week.  We experienced some lows - scary moments following surgeries when Gavin had a hard time coming out of anesthesia on his own... to getting his diagnosis of hearing loss... to finding out, six days before his first birthday, that he had Cerebral Palsy.  But we also experienced some very high highs - like the day he sat up, unassisted, for the very first time on the altar of the hospital chapel... or the day that his sedated hearing test inexplicably came back normal... to every single time he came home after a scare.  I was always made to feel like I was the most important part of Gavin's team while I was there.  Doctors and nurses and therapists listened to me with an intensity - as they do all parents - like I was the real expert.  When you are a special needs parent - and so many things are truly out of your control - you need that.  You need the affirmation, the encouragement, the confidence from those moments.  Whenever I was there with Gavin, I felt like the best Mom.

Like many chapters after Gavin's sudden death, the "trips to the hospital" chapter of my life was slammed shut.  I feel a need to be there - and it's so hard to explain why.  I think other parents who are in my position will get it... but many won't.  I'm happy to have a reason to go back there - even if it's just for a little while.

I also spoke to the counselor about my on and off struggle with the unknown.  The unknown diagnosis. The inconclusive autopsy.  How I often replay that awful day on April 10th and wonder if I missed something.  I had to have missed something.

The reality is... there's nothing that he can say that will make this better.  And I don't mean any disrespect to him.  There's no one that can say anything to magically make my feelings stop.  That will come with time.  I know logically that Gavin died... that I couldn't have prevented it... that no one did anything wrong... that needing to come back to the hospital is ok and maybe even normal... logically, I know all these things.  But for me, having a place to safely dump all of these feelings - especially at Gavin's hospital where they "get it" and understand the life we led - is key.  Sure, I can pour out my feelings here in front of my computer - and, as you know, I rarely hold back.  But believe it or not, there may be things in my dumping session that I won't share outside of his office.  GASP!  I know... even I find that hard to believe as a confessed "over-sharer."

After my session, I went to collect Brian and found him happy and content doing craft projects with Miss Jenn.
She told me that she thinks he's right on track with how he's been handling Gavin's death, developmentally, which comforted me.  And both of them showed me a picture that Brian drew of our family.
Daddy is wearing the glasses... 
Mommy has the belly with Hope in it... 
Brian is on the left... and the floating head above Brian is Gavin.
After we hugged Miss Jenn goodbye, we walked down the hall towards the elevator and ran into Miss Stephanie... Gavin's former Occupational Therapist!!
And, while in the wheelchair clinic dropping off donations, we were able to hug Miss Denise who always handled Gavin's wheelchair adjustments.  The last time we saw Denise was the day before Gavin's ER visit on April 10th.  The two of us donated my Dad's wheelchair to the clinic.
We even ran into Bridie, Gavin's therapist during our long hospital stay when he was a baby!!  It was so great to see her.  I wish I could find the picture of her with Gavin when he was a baby!!  

Brian and I had a lunch date in the cafeteria... bought a toy in the gift shop... and even paid a visit to the PICU to say hello to any of the doctors and nurses that were there.  We stopped in the chapel where Brian asked me to take his picture... 

and we played for a long time on the hospital playground before heading home.

Brian declared on the ride home... "This was the best day ever."

We really spent the entire day there.  And it was the best idea I've had in a long time.  It kept my mind (temporarily) off of the "First Day of Kindergarten" blues.

But I was just holding it in.  I found that out the hard way when I got home and felt mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.  We ordered pizzas and I went to bed early.  

Grieving is hard work.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Night Before What Could Have Been...

Today I could have been spending my time feeling the jitters... checking and re-checking to make sure I had everything ready... agonizing over "just the right outfit"... and then sitting back and staring with pride at my little boy on the eve of his first day of Kindergarten.

Tomorrow would have been Gavin's first day of Kindergarten at the Phoenixville Area Kindergarten Center.
And I am not handling it very well.

Actually, let me rephrase that and give myself some credit.  I'm actually "handling" it quite well - but, as many grieving Mothers might understand, I could easily cross the line into the dark side and let it consume me.  But letting this grief consume me is not a choice I'm allowed to make.  Why?  Because in doing so, I would take innocent casualties down with me.  Ed.  Brian.  Hope.  Family and friends.  And that would be a bigger tragedy... and one that would not honor Gavin at all.  

So, to get through tomorrow I came up with a game plan to stay busy.  

Yesterday we spent the day as a family and Ed came up with the great idea of going Miniature Golfing. Brian had so much fun...

He even, believe it or not, got a HOLE IN ONE!!!!  He's a natural like his Dad.
And today... I had some "me" time.  While Ed and Brian took off for some fun, I spent a couple hours slowly (and aimlessly) going up and down every aisle in Babies r Us with Hope.  I marveled over how much has changed since I shopped for an infant and I made a list of all the things I needed... and just plain wanted because I couldn't resist the cuteness.

Then, when I got home, Ed took us out for a Sunday drive with the top down.  
We always wanted to do that with Gavin, who would have absolutely LOVED it, but never did.  He was our resident daredevil.  But Brian suddenly has taken over that role - he thought the entire ride was "SO COOL!"
I even have a plan for tomorrow.  I have my first session with a grief counselor at DuPont (Gavin's hospital where he lived...and died).  And Brian will be spending time with Miss Jenn from Child Life - the wonderful woman who helped us the day that he came in to say goodbye to Gavin.  She was the one who created the invisible string with Brian that hangs on Gavin's closet door to this day... and who did Gavin and Brian's handprints side by side for us.  She's going to work with him simultaneously while I'm with the bereavement counselor.  I'm also hoping to stop into the PICU, where Gavin spent his final days, to say hello to the doctors and nurses that mean so much to us.  Brian and I have some donations for the hospital as well, which we'll be delivering, and then we plan to spend the rest of the day doing whatever we want.  Lunch... the toy store... a playground... who knows.  We'll be busy.

But tomorrow and what could have been... what would have been... what should have been... will not be far from my mind.  I was so looking forward to Gavin starting Kindergarten.  I couldn't even believe it was really happening - my little boy attending a mainstream school.  I couldn't wait to take his "first day of school" photos again like I did last year...
...and to capture him with Miss Sara, who was planning to go with him every day.

Tomorrow marks the start of what I know will be a painful month for me.  The start of Kindergarten... Gavin's 6th birthday.  But really the "firsts" will never end.  And the "what could have beens" will always follow me.  

But the "what was" follows me, too.

And what was - that was something really great.

And the what is, following Gavin's death?  That's just remarkable.

Happy First Day of Kindergarten to everyone at the Kindergarten Center.
 And to Gavin, I will always be so proud of you and how far you came.  And I continue to be proud of all you continue to accomplish from where you are.  I miss you, Bugaboo.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is There Ever A Good Time To Die?...

Something is on my mind.  It steals my thoughts like a thief and has no respect for anything... often invading my head at inopportune times.

It's not just the WHY about Gavin's death.

It's not even the HOW in the HELL did this happen??  (Although I struggle with the unanswered questions)

What I think about most is the timing of it all.  How we went from fine to not so quickly.  How, walking into that emergency room with Gavin in my arms, I knew I was overreacting with his symptoms.  How, when he had the seizure and then stopped breathing in front of me I didn't freak out. I was almost... numb.  In my mind I remembered his first febrile seizure at home a year or more ago when I DID freak out - thought he was dead in his highchair - and how it turned out fine.  That day, standing dazed in the corner of the trauma room - watching people work on him - I really thought... "This is Gavin.  He scares us at least once a year with an emergency - and he always pulls through.  This will be just another story to tell."

Well, there was a story to tell.  But it wasn't the one I wanted to write.  And the ending sucks.
I'm not sure what would have been worse - and I think about this every day - a sudden, shocking death like we experienced... or an illness that gives you the warning of death before it comes.

Gavin was, for all intents and purposes, the healthiest person in our house.  He had a great (amazing, actually) diet... he got a lot of sleep through the night... he was not sick very often at all.  There were no indicators - no warning bells - nothing that could have prepared us for April 10th.  Nothing.  I kissed him good morning as I got him out of bed - and gave him a rare morning bath which made him so happy - and by that night I knew we were going to lose him.  How the hell does a Mother deal with such a sudden, shocking turn of events?  How does anyone?

But really - if you think about it - is there ever a good time for death?  

I think if I had known ahead of time - either through a diagnosis early on that told us he would have a shortened life expectancy... or an illness that promised death - I might have acted differently.  It might have colored our experiences like a black cloud looming over every event.

This has been one of my greatest life lessons...

Gavin enjoyed his life - and we enjoyed loving him - every single day.  He had lots of interesting and fun experiences... he was adored by his brother and his parents and his extended family and his aides and his teachers and therapists.  I documented everything without knowing he would die so young... I did it because I loved sharing every step with anyone and everyone I met.  Or even never met! 
We lived until he died.  And because of that, I don't have any regrets.  There was nothing left unsaid to Gavin.  I know in my heart that I loved him well and that I tried everything to give him a better, more independent life.
Because of this, I hope to live MY life in a way - and love those in it in a way - that any time would be a good time to die.  

Death doesn't take reservations, after all.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

This is Brian!...

Tonight, I am pleased to bring you an exclusive interview with 4 1/2 year old Brian Leong.  I feel extra lucky to have been granted this special interview - and Brian was not only cooperative, he was happy to do it.

Just two disclaimers before you watch:

This entire pregnancy I have been suffering terribly with allergies.  So excuse the throat clearing the whole time.


At one point Brian says that he's "happy Gavin is in Heaven."  He says this often because he knows that Gavin is happy in Heaven and that makes HIM happy.  When I tell him that Gavin can walk and run and jump and talk and eat real food and sing... he says "I'm happy he's there then, Mommy."  So, before you raise an eyebrow when you hear him say that - I wanted you to know the back story.  But honestly, Brian can say and feel and act and express himself anyway he needs to get through his brother's death.  There is no wrong way for him to get through this as far as I'm concerned.  I'm just here to support and love him through it.

I give you... Brian Leong!

After Gavin died, someone arranged something very special for Brian.  My childhood friend, Megan, and her husband, Carlos, work for Nike.  They had the wonderful shoe makers at Nike generously craft "Super G" shoes in two sizes for Brian.  Megan and Carlos wanted Brian to feel like he was running and jumping and playing with his brother for the next couple years.  It was the sweetest gesture - and they are the sweetest shoes!  Brian is just fitting into the first pair and he is obsessed with them.  He even reaches down to fix the tongue, which has the "Super G" logo on it, so it's very visible.
Here is Brian modeling his custom Nikes!

Thank you, Megan and Carlos!
And thank you, Nike!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Was So Wrong...

It started when Brian was a baby.  He was six months old when we decided to start trying for another child.  We still didn't know exactly what we were dealing with with Gavin (we never did find that out!), but we wanted to be sure that Brian had another sibling.  My mind kept racing towards the future - the day that Ed and I were no longer here.  I figured that Gavin would likely need care his entire life... and I didn't want Brian to feel alone in that.  And I also worried that Brian would feel lonely - if Gavin never talked or walked.  Boy, did we try for that other baby.  The old fashioned way... pills... injections... we even made an attempt with donor eggs.  Along the way we lost Darcy and many other babies who never made it to this Earth.

Giving up and moving on was a gut wrenching decision.  But when I knew it was time to stop - I knew.  And I felt pretty comfortable with that.  I was proud to finally be strong enough to walk away and wrote about it in one of my personal favorite posts called "Reclaiming Me."

But I still had those pangs - mainly when I looked at Brian.  As he progressed and Gavin trailed behind... as they started playing with completely different types of toys... I would worry.  About Brian.

But now Gavin is dead.

And I was so, so wrong.

As I lay in bed each night with Brian and we go over Gavin's "death day" in detail before I turn out the lights.
As I sit on the swings with him and, on his request, push the invisible "angel Gavin" in his bucket swing.
As he says to me, "I miss Gavin's laugh the most."  (So do I, buddy.  So do I.  Watch this little video and you will, too.)

As I watch him sleep in Gavin's bed.
As I well up with tears when he says, "Mama, remember when me and Gavin..." and recounts so many memories he has having fun with his big brother.
As I look in the rear view mirror when he says, "Mama - I miss Gavin sitting next to me.  It's lonely back here."
As I hear him talk to Hope in my belly, which he has started to do, and he says "You have two big brothers - me and Gavin.  Gavin died, but that's okay.  I'll be your big brother and I'll tell you all about Gavin later."
As I watch... and listen... I realize.

I completely and totally... 100%... underestimated their relationship.  I thought I got it.  I knew they loved each other.  I still thought another sibling would make things so much better.

But I was so wrong.

It was already great.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mommy and Me Weekend...

Yesterday was such a busy day with Brian that I was wishing today was spent recovering!  We had so much fun and packed a lot in!

In the morning, the two of us drove to Chestnut Hill, Pa - one of my favorite little cities.  I had found a Changing Table on Craig's List that I wanted for our bedroom so I thought we could pick it up and then make a day out of it.

Our first stop was Jenks Park, which is a super cool (and very big!) wooden playground.  Brian tried EVERYTHING out (and was really brave on some rope ladders he's previously been afraid of!)...
But we spent 75% of our time in their sandbox.  It had dump trucks and a big castle toy and it was really hard to pry him out of there - well - until...
...he suddenly announced that he had to go "pee pee."  And I really didn't know where the nearest bathroom was or how much time I had to figure it out.  But then he told me.  
"Mama.  I have to go "pee pee" right now."
Oh boy.
Oh wait!
Oh BOY!!
I pulled him out of the sandbox... left the playground... went down a woodsy path... walked into a corner against a brick wall... and let him go.  How cool (and convenient) is it to be a boy?

And then, we were back to the sandbox.
Around lunchtime, Granny came to meet us!  We walked to her favorite pizza place in town and had a fun lunch together.  My Mom is embarking on a very brave, very exciting trip today - she left on a two week trip to Ireland!!  I'm so happy for her - and so impressed.  It's a group trip, but she really only knows two people.  My Mom and Dad used to travel a lot - especially when I was a flight attendant and they could fly for free.  I'm thrilled that she's doing this for herself.  If I wasn't pregnant - I might have considered tagging along!  I'm definitely going to miss our daily chats while she's away!
As a side note, Brian is obsessed with his Granny.  (Can't say I blame him!)  Every night since Gavin's death I have had to lay with him and "re-tell" the story about how Gavin died and why.  He obviously thinks about it a lot in between because he often surprises me with details he remembers.  The ventilator sound... the urine bag from the catheter... the stop sign on Gavin's hospital door... the IV in his arm.  The other night he surprised me when he asked me if Granny was going to die soon.  I asked why he was asking me that and he told me, "Because she's old and old people die."  And then that was followed with, "Was Gavin old?"  Every night it's a tricky dance.  I don't want to lie to him and say that no one dies until they're old, because we know the unfortunate truth.  But I don't want to burden him with worry that people around him will leave him to go to Heaven!  These nightly conversations are emotionally draining... but I feel so honored that he trusts me to open up and share what's on his heart.  Hopefully I'm doing and saying the right things that won't scar him for life.  And I really hope he is always able to share his feelings - with me and with other important people in his life down the road.

After lunch, I wanted to take Brian to my favorite toy store in town.  The kind of toy store where you find real unique things that you don't often see in Toys r Us.  I told Brian I'd buy him any one toy he wanted (within reason - the final decision being mine, of course) and, on his own, he chose an umbrella!  Yes... an umbrella!

He couldn't wait to get home and made me promise that I'd "make it rain."

But he'd have a little while to wait... because first we went to the movies!  The two of us saw Disney's "Planes" and we loved it.
Brian loves going to the movies so I'm always so excited when a new children's movie comes out.  We shared a lemonade and Lifesavers and you'd have thought he won the lottery.  He can be so easy to please.
And as soon as we got home, I kept my promise.  Brian stood in Gavin's garden by his bench and anxiously waited...
...and Mommy made it rain.  He could have done this for hours.  And, quite honestly, listening to his laugh convinced me that I could have done this for hours, too.
Today was also fun!  Brian and I spent the afternoon at one of my childhood friend's house.  Lizanne and I reconnected through this blog, of all things, and she has three children - not too far in age from Brian.  She had us over for lunch and then the kids were set loose to play outside where Brian was introduced to the "Super Soaker."  We're in trouble now!  It's all he's talked about since we got home!

Now we're home and "Mommy and Me Weekend" is over... and Daddy is back from his getaway... and I need a long, long nap.

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