This is Saxon, our energetic little man who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was a week old. We gathered together many friends and family members and created Strides for Sax. Our mission is to raise money and create awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to find a cure for cf. This is all about Sax and our team's efforts for the cause. As of the creation of this blog, Saxon is 21 months old, has been hospitalized several times for pneumonia, and had undergone 3 surgeries since his first birthday.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vacation 2011!! - Days 3 & 4

I thought there was just too much to share in one post, so here is the rest of our trip :)  Saturday (May 14) started out as any of our other days, with breakfast in our cabin.  Then we headed to Hill City to do a little window shopping.  We had been planning on finding some Black Hills Gold jewelry, but it was way too expensive in town, and my fingers are too swollen to buy what I really wanted - a gold ring. 

We spent about an hour or so wandering around from store to store, then we headed to Prairie Berry Winery.  Unfortunately there was no wine tasting for me :(  But Daddy was a champ and sampled a couple for me :)  I brought two bottles home for after baby comes - a pear wine called Gold Digger, and a dessert wine called Strawberry Fusion.  Can't wait!!  We had planned on having lunch at the winery bistro, but even their kids' menu didn't seem very kid friendly. 

After Daddy patiently waited for Mommy to look around the winery and he kept the kids content, we decided to head into town to the 50's Diner for lunch - major score!!  The kids loved the lighted signs and the 50's decor.  The waitresses were dressed in poodle skirts.  The food was great - we all got shakes or malts.  Sax went for spaghetti, Raine had Mac & Cheese with fries (of course!), Daddy got a chili-cheese burger with rings, and Mama got a BLT with chili-cheese fries.

The only bad part about the diner was the table behind us.  I have a ton of respect for those in the military.  However, the type of crude and vulgar language coming from the Army National Guards sitting behind us - in uniform, mind you! - was completely inappropriate for a family restaurant, especially when there are small children in earshot.  I am VERY disappointed in these men!!

Anyway.  After lunch we headed to the depot to get our tickets for the 1880 train ride.  Sax was really excited that he was getting to go on a real choo-choo train!  On the way from Hill City to Keystone, he sat with Mommy and Raine sat with Daddy.  On the way back, Sax slept on Daddy and Raine sat by Mommy.  The scenery was interesting and again we saw a lot of deer.

We kept things pretty simple on Saturday.  After going on the train, we headed to the grocery store and got a few things we needed to go with supper since we were cooking over the fire at the campground.  We ATTEMPTED to roast marshmallows for s'mores too, but that didn't work too well.  I had a nice fire going for the steaks and hot dogs, but put the fire out to go in and eat since it was cold and VERY windy out (Did I mention that it was snowing??  It snowed most of the day Saturday - not enough for there to still be snow on the ground, but enough to make it cold!!)  When I went out to start the second bundle of wood, I couldn't keep a good fire going because the wind had picked up more.  Some of the wood was moldy too, which really wasn't helping the situation.  We ended up making the s'mores in the microwave :/

Sunday was time to head home.  Our first stop after checking out of the cabin was to go to Old McDonald's Farm.  Even though our tickets were for Thursday, they still honored them for Sunday because of the bad weather.  The kids had a lot of fun.  Saxon tried going on the pony ride, but got scared, so Raine got to go twice and used Saxon's ticket.  They got to hold and pet baby chicks and turkeys, fed some goats, sheep, pot-bellied pig, fish, piglets, ducks, geese and calves.  They got to pet most of those, along with longhorns, ponies, and donkeys.  They particularly enjoyed bottle-feeding the calves.  It was super cute!!

Our last "attraction" to see before home was the Ellsworth Air Force Base - South Dakota Air and Space Museum.  About the only thing there that the kids were interested in was the airplanes.  They really didn't want to see much else.  Saxon's obsession was with the helicopter and how big all the wheels were.

The rest of the way was pretty uneventful.  The car acted up a few times, but we took care of that.  We stopped at a truck stop in Mitchell called Marlin's for supper which was really good.  We made it home about 11pm.  Saxon was so happy to be home and sleeping in his own bed :)  He wasn't the only one though!  A few times on the trip he told us he wanted to sleep in his bed, but in spite of that, he seemed to have quite a bit of fun!!

VACATION 2011!! - Days 1 & 2

We had a wonderful vacation!!  We left Wednesday night (May 11) for Hill City, South Dakota and came home on Sunday (May 15).  Of course, it rained once we got to Worthington, and rained all the way there and all day Thursday.  Plus there were a million deer between Rapid City and Hill city, which isn't fun at 3 am, so the going was slow there.  I ended up with about 3 1/2 hours of sleep Wednesday night since we had a lot scheduled for Thursday. 
Our Cabin and the 'bu

Breakfast in the cabin

We started out with Bear Country USA.  It was fun, even though it was raining.  Most of the pictures didn't turn out very well because of the combination of the rain and the camera flash (my digital camera display is broken, so I'm just glad so many of the pictures DID come out!!)

Next stop was Reptile Gardens.  We got there in time to see the snake show, which was interesting.  He had a large python, about 12 feet long, a cobra, a rattlesnake, and a couple others too.  Of course I held the python.  Saxon was afraid of the snakes.  Raine finally braved up and pet the python though!! :)  Sax was ok with the gators, snakes, and lizards that were in the cages.

We had planned on going to Old McDonald's Farm, but they weren't open because of the rain.  We headed up to Mt Rushmore instead.  It was still rainy and cold and it even started snowing while we were up there.  Really glad we remembered to pack the hooded sweatshirts!!  We  had checked the forecast and it was supposed to be in the 60's and clear.  But I guess in the mountains, the weather isn't that predictable!!  A lot has changed at Mt Rushmore since I was there last as far as the museum and the parking.  The kids seemed to enjoy it :)

We had eaten breakfast at the cabin and we packed lunch, so we checked out Chute Roosters for supper.  We were sitting down to supper - leather topped tables and leather chairs - a converted barn - and Raine cracked us all up.  "Geez, Mom, this place is pretty classy!"  Funny stuff!!  They had really good food!!  Scot and I both got steak and veggies, Sax got a corn dog, and Raine got a cheeseburger, and we shared a potato appetizer.  HIGHLY recommend Chute Roosters if you make it out to Hill City!!

We tried getting to bed early that night since both Mommy and Daddy we just beat.  The kids had other ideas.  They weren't tired since they'd slept in the car.  Sax was scared, so he wanted to sleep with Daddy and Mommy, then Raine got scared, so Mommy ended up going over to sleep with her.  Man is that girl a bed hog!!  And a kicker!!  Sax wasn't much nicer to Daddy.  Actually, when I got up, Sax was sleeping with his feet by Daddy's face.  Apparently he spun around all night, so Daddy didn't get much sleep either.

Day 2 - Friday - started out with much better weather than Thursday.  It was only in the 50's for a high, but it was sunny :)  After eating breakfast in the cabin, we headed off to the National Museum of Woodcarving.  Of course the kids didn't want to sit through the video explaining who did most of the carvings, so we headed for displays after only watching a few minutes of the video.  There were a few displays that were animated and activated by coins.  Sax was afraid of some of them and Raine thought a few were too graphic.  I thought they were really interesting.  Daddy liked the train in particular.

After the Woodcarving Museum, we headed to Four Mile Old West ghost town.  Raine kept asking where the ghosts were - lol!!  We explained to her SEVERAL times that it's called a ghost town because it's abandoned.  She still didn't get it :/  Sax was really curious and wanted to look around at the buildings.  We got to see an actual spring too, with fresh water coming up.  That was pretty cool.  Plus the kids posed for a few pictures in the cutouts.  Some of the buildings were dilapidated since the "official" tourist season hasn't started and they were still doing some repairs.  But it was fun!

After the Ghost Town, we headed to Windcave National Park.  At the park entrance we saw a few buffalo grazing and a couple antelope. 

We were a little early for the tour, so we decided it would be a good time to have our lunch before heading down.  It was pretty cool going in the cave, in spite of my claustrophobia!!  We saw the original entrance to the cave... Freaky!!  Don't think I'd every be able to do that!!

Original natural entrance
 Once we got inside, Sax was kind of scared because it was pretty dark in there.  Daddy had a pen light which he let Sax carry, so he was fine after that.  Was glad we took our sweatshirts since it was about 53 degrees in there.  Some of the passages were kind of narrow, and there were places we had to duck.  We went down over 300 steps as we went in.  Much of the walk, when we weren't on the steps, were on downward ramps.  It was a little nerve-wracking in some places where the floor was wet :/  But it was still fun.  We didn't see much of Raine on the tour, since she was "helping" lead the group on the tour with the park ranger.

Our next stop for Friday was the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs.  I had been there about 15 years ago, so it was interesting to see how much more they had dug up since we were last there.  Sax ended up crashing, so Daddy had to carry him most of the time since he was getting pretty heavy.

On the way back to the camper, we debated between going through Custer State Park Wildlife Loop or Needle's Highway.  Well..... we took Needle's Highway.  My first experience actually doing the driving on mountain roads.  SCARY!!  Daddy asked if I wanted him to drive - NO THANK YOU!!  I didn't want to be the one looking down the drop-off!!  We didn't see many buffalo on the way back, but we saw a LOT of deer!!  And some very beautiful scenery.  Of course, do you think we actually got a picture of Needle's Eye when we got up there?  No.  Dang it.  But we saw a lot of snow up there and saw Harney Peak, which is the highest point between the Rockies and the Swiss Alps.  Pretty cool :) 

We'd had a pretty busy day, so we decided to just eat our supper at the cabin.  Daddy got some food from the 50's Diner and shared with Sax, and Raine and I had our leftovers from Chute Roosters.  But it was a good day!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time for a break!!

Yesterday I had to take Sax back to Urgent Care.  His eyes had cleared up for a couple days, then gooped up again.  His face was red and swollen up a bit, so I had a hunch, which Dr Mankoti confirmed - Sax has a sinus infection :(  His sinuses are clogged, he's not able to get much out when he blows his nose.  They put him on 3 mg Amoxicillan 2x per day for 14 days.  Vicki is going to check with Dr P to see if he should do it 21 days instead.  He seems to be feeling better already!!  I was told to up his nasal spray too...

He hasn't been eating much, which was confirmed yesterday when he stepped on the scale - down to 13.7 kg :(  All that hard work to get his weight up, and a sinus infection made him lose it all again.  We're hoping it's not going to be too long until he gains it back!!!!  And hopefully he's feeling better before we leave for vacation!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Great Strides 2011

Today was Great Strides in Silver Lake!!  Unfortunately, I didn't even think to take any pictures today. 

Strides for Sax had a small group walking this year - just the 4 (5) of us, plus Steph and Sam.  It was a beautiful day out with sunshine and temps pushing near 70!!  Gotta love it, compared to the cold wind we fought last year!  It was spitting rain on the way there, but fortunately it wasn't raining in Roch at all when we got there.

The walk started out pretty good, but when we got to the halfway point, Mommy wasn't sure how much further I was going to be able to go....  Once we hit the 2nd rest stop, though, things were going a lot better!!  A little hydration and a bathroom break did us all some good!!  Sax even decided to get out and do some walking too :)  He was having a really good time.

I guess a bit of an annoyance we had to deal with - not everyone keeps their kids in control    :(  There were girls about Raine's age who kept passing us on their scooters, then they would cut in front of us and stop and block the path.  We'd go around them and keep on our way, and pretty soon hear "Watch out!" and they would pass us, pull in front of us, and stop again.  It was getting really annoying after about 4 times of them doing it.  Fortunately Raine had to stop and tie her shoes, so that gave them some time to get way ahead of us.

The walk was going pretty smooth after that until we got to the half-way/turnaround point at Soldiers Field.  We were taking a sit-down break while Sax ran around a bit and we had some more water and juice, and there were a couple other teams there.  I was absolutely shocked when a couple members of one of the teams pulled out and lit up cigarettes!!!  With all the CFers around who have lung damage and lung problems, this is just plain unacceptable!!  Even though we have a smoker on our team, she knew better than to even think about lighting up because of the very nature of the event.

Are these people trying to poison the very people they are supposedly walking to save? 

I sent an email to the coordinator Kathryn about this and asked that it be addressed for next year's walk, otherwise we likely won't be attending because I'm not going to risk my son's lungs.

We're also trying to (possibly) arrange to have our own Great Strides walk here in Albert Lea.  They need to add one new location each year, and walking around Fountain Lake would be a beautiful walk.  Kathryn will be getting in touch with me about this soon.  I'm hoping if we have a closer walk location, maybe we can get more walkers to show up!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just Another Crazy Month!!

So April 22 was my 30th birthday - and 30 has taken me on one helluva ride so far!!!

Raine and Sax had a new sitter that night, our friends' daughter Ellery, and they absolutely LOVED having her sit for them!!  Yay!!  We stopped in to check on the kids and see how they were getting along, bringing them a big piece of dessert to share (loaded with sugar of course!!)

That weekend was pretty mellow even though Easter was on Sunday.  The Easter Bunny hid baskets in the house for the kids and eggs and toys in the yard.  This year was kites, bubbles, more bubbles (always a huge win for my kids!!), and frisbees.  We knew the Bunny had left 42 eggs, so we were sure to tell Raine that she and her brother each got 21 eggs.  Sax got a 2 minute head start to try to find them... not that it helped at all.  He wasn't sure what he was looking for, but after finding the first egg, he got the idea and he was off!!  The kids put all of their change together into their change jar.  They are saving up for the fair, of course!! Any money they save up is theirs to share and spend come fair time!

Monday Sax had a WIC appointment and recert.  This was a FABULOUS checkup, as his weight has climbed to 14.7 kg, which put him into the 60th percentile - WOOHOO!!  GO SAX!!  This time, along with the PediaSure we usually get, we also got 6 cans of DuoCal - 2 per month.  It seems to be working though!

Wednesday was another HUGE day for us!  We found out Saxon is going to be a big brother!!  I am due to have baby #3 on Dec 25, 2011, so it will be one heck of a Christmas!!  We are not going to find out what we're having, and we're not going to find out if the baby has CF.  There are way too many risks involved with having an amnio, and we'd rather not risk it.

The rest of the week was pretty mellow - until Sunday.  Sax and Raine were playing in the living room with their golf clubs.  Saxon had taken the end off of one of them and put it in his mouth - just long enough to bump into something - OUCH!!  His mouth was bleeding like crazy, so we rushed off to the ER.  What we found out was he gouged under his tongue and put a hole in his soft palate in the back of his throat.  There's really nothing the doc could do for him, so they just sent us home and said it would heal on its own.

We thought that would be the end of it.  Nope.  I ended up taking Sax into Urgent Care on Tuesday.  When he woke up his right eye was matted shut, and it was pretty red most of the day.  I noticed it had been a little goopy on Monday.  Yup, in spite of the fact he's not around a lot of kids during the day, he had gotten pink eye.  The only thing I can think of is that maybe he got it when we were at the grocery store or if Raine brought it home from school with her.

What a fun 2 weeks!! Always waiting to see what happens next!!