Saturday, January 31, 2015

Finally, a good reason for a hospital visit

It is a beautiful thing to find grace in the midst of so much brokenness. And today, that's just what we found.

Meet Mr. Leggett.

His story started long before our little snake charmer was born when his granddaughter, Felicity, was diagnosed with a brain tumor nearly four years ago. One day while he was visiting the hospital with his son, they noticed a woman struggling to get a wagon and her child's medical equipment onto an elevator. Working alongside his son Chad, he developed a bracket that could be permanently installed on the hospital's wagons to hold IV poles and make life a little easier for patients and parents. When Mr. Leggett's son tragically passed away, the bracket was named for him, and two years of brainstorming and design and development later, the first Chad's Bracket was installed.

When he saw the story of Abby's wagon donation, Mr. Leggett reached out to us with a simple offer. Inspired by her kindness, he wanted to do something special for her and offered to install IV poles on her wagons.

And this morning, she got to help. We met the Leggetts in the hospital lobby, helped them deliver some wagon donations they were dropping off, then headed outside to install brackets and IV poles on Abby's wagons.

Today, with the addition of four Chad's Brackets on wagons now labeled Abby 1, Abby 2, Abby 3, and Abby 4, there are 73 of these wagons at this hospital alone, and quite a few more at other area hospitals. Mr. Leggett explained that numerous individuals and civic organizations have donated wagons with the brackets and poles attached as well. And yes, there are some with his granddaughter's name on them.

And so from so much heartache--in the midst of cancer and loss and stupid snakes--came something wonderful. A gift, it seems, that just keeps on giving, and that will continue to do so for as long as those little red wagons roll down the hallways of that hospital.

And we're grateful to be a part of it.

Interested in doing something about it? I'd love to put you in touch with Mr. Leggett about how you can help kids like Felicity and Levi and so many others that find themselves stuck in the hospital. Each complete wagon (with bracket and IV pole) costs $250, and every donation helps!

Monday, January 12, 2015


Never has there been a less intimidating–or more adorable–pair of predators.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Baby in a basket

She was all set to stuff her doll in that basket and pretend to be the princess finding baby Moses floating in the river.

But who needs dolls when little brothers are this cooperative?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Half-birthday festivities

"Where's your entourage?" the barista asked me as I waited in line.

They know our family well here. Four young kids sipping hot chocolate and spilling muffin crumbs leaves an impression in a store that is mostly patronized by the 65-and-up crowd.

But today it was just me and the little guy, and for good reason.

"It's his half-birthday," I explained. "We're having a celebratory breakfast."

I had offered my precisely 2.5-year-old the option of something glazed and yummy at Dunkin' Donuts or pumpkin bread from his favorite coffee shop. He chose the latter, because he's awesome like that.

And since it's his half-birthday, I've been thinking a lot about all the things that I love about him.
  • He has dry skin, and it drives him crazy. So he's all the time scratching furiously and asking for me to rub some lotion on it. And when I ask him to show me where it's itchy, I always get the same reply.
    "It's not itchy, it's scratchy," he explains. Of course it is.
  • Two of those particularly "scratchy" places are on the backs of his knees. Only he doesn't call them knees.
    They're his "leg elbows." This is officially what we're calling them from now on.
  • He has his priorities straight. I got him up from a nap last week and asked, as I scooped him up, if I could have a hug.
    He paused for a second before replying, "Nope, I just peed. Change my diaper first."
    Hard to argue with that.
  • If he needs me to help him turn something right-side-up, it's not because it's upside down. It's because it's "up so down."
    "Mommy, I can't put my jacket on. It's up so down!"
And as I pondered all these habits of his that never cease to entertain me, he interrupted my thoughts by shoving a fistful of pumpkin bread at me.

"Here, Mommy," he said, "I'm gonna put this in your face."

I don't know where he comes up with this stuff. But I love it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

All dressed up and no place to go

Today was not the first day back for their homeschool co-op classes.

Apparently, that's next week.

Today was simply the day I thought was the first day back. But once we realized we were the only ones who had shown up for classes, I quickly saw the error of my ways.

We couldn't go home. That would have been tragic. Our lunches were packed, we were dressed for the day, and going home would have been the ultimate betrayal after the fun day I had told them they had to look forward to.

So we did the next logical thing.

We went somewhere else.

While the kids debated whether we should fly to Australia or ride our bikes to Mexico, I pointed the van downtown and landed us at the natural history museum. (Thanks for the membership, Mimi and Papa!)

The kids had a blast, and forgot all about this morning's mix-up.

Oh, and we got to each lunch underneath some giant dinosaurs. So I'm pretty sure the kids were okay with the adjustments.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Polar bear plunge

It's 10° outside today. Perfect weather for starting swimming lessons.

Let the countdown to summer begin!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Take my picture!

"Take a picture of me and my train!" - Levi, age 2

"Take a picture of me and my brother!" - Caleb, age 5

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Morning chores

Three guesses who helped load the dishwasher this morning...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Seventy-five days to go

We're officially back to school after a very long winter break.

Essentially, what this means is that we're now spending even more hours a day playing play dough at this table. Only some of us will be doing math at the same time.

And hopefully the littles won't mind entertaining themselves for a bit while I try to convince Abby that language arts is a necessary life skill.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


He's really becoming quite adept at photographing his own face.

Just imagine how well Levi will have perfected this skill by the time he gets his own picture-taking device.

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