Sunday, December 16, 2012

Our Trip to Pittsburgh

On Friday, November 30th, we headed to PA to see Grandma, Pap Pap, and the rest of Tom's family.  The kids spent over a week counting down the days.  We rarely get to take a trip as a family - for FUN!!!!  So, needless to say, we were all really excited!  I think it had been four years since Harlie was there.  Awful!

We managed to get out the door on schedule.  Although we did forget to pack Harlie's formula, which forced us to turnaround and go home.  We were on our last few cans and limping until our supplies came in.  They were due to be delivered that morning and I had asked them to deliver them before noon so I could have what we needed.  Of course, that didn't happen.  And there's another problem with her not being on store bought formula.  Ugh!

Anyway, the car was packed (except for Rooney).  We left him with Brandy again.  I am so glad he is a good pup for her and Brodie.  Thank you Brandy!

We got on the road and proceeded to have to listen to, "Are we there yet?" about a trillion times from Cooper.  Oh, Lord give me patience!

We also passed a spot with a memory for us.  I'm laughing just thinking about it.  It is a two-lane road with double yellow lines (Rt. 17).  Apparently, there is a "Bump" sign (which Tom pointed out for me, by the way).  Many, many years ago (way before Murphy came along) we were headed to visit his family.  I had a Ford Focus at the time.  I was driving.  I did not see the "Bump" sign and if I did I clearly ignored it.  Right after that sign there are some railroad tracks.  Whatever.

When we drove over them, we totally caught air and both of us left our seats.  I think if memory serves, Tom even bumped his head on the ceiling.  I can tell you that I remember the look on his face like it happened yesterday.  Oh, it still makes me laugh till I cry.

I wish I could have seen what we looked like flying through the air from the street.  Oh, funny stuff!  Oh, here we are!

As Tom drove past the sign, he pointed to it and said, "What did that sign say?  Oh, never mind, who cares?  We're making good time.  I'm going to speed it up a little."

LOL!  I am NEVER going to live that one down.

We had a great trip.  Although the first night we were there, Harlie went to go wash her hands and somehow lost her balance on the step stool.  She did a face plant into the vanity and knocked out a tooth.  Oh, there's something about her losing her teeth in traumatic ways that just bugs the ever loving crap outta me.  It was a baby tooth, thankfully.  But, since she's quickly running out of baby teeth, and is still just as unstable as ever, it's really only a matter of time before she knocks out a permanent one.  Her poor mouth!  Her dental future is a scary thing.

And you might remember that we were (and are still) dealing with her GI/constipation issues.  She's been wearing pull-ups for a few weeks now.  This is a time when I am thankful for her marching to her own beat - because she doesn't really care about wearing them.  Whereas most girls her age would definitely fight wearing pull-ups (after all, they're for babies!).  She seemed to be pretty good for a few days, so when we were there, I asked her if she wanted to wear underwear.  She said no and pointed to the pull-ups.  I didn't listen, of course, and put underwear on her.  That was a mistake.  She was right.  I was wrong.  I think it's time I give her a little credit and start listening to her more.

We celebrated Christmas with his family.  They are all so good to us!  Harlie loves her new scooter that Grandma and Pap Pap gave her.  Although as of now she's only ridden it in the house.  I must say that my stomach tightens when I think of her going down our street on it.  Luckily, I don't think that's really a goal of hers right now.


Tom took Harlie for a ride on the four wheeler and she loved it.


 Cooper did, too.

But Murphy did not.  Hence why there are no pictures of him on it.  Murphy did love one of her dogs, though.


Kristie (Tom's sister) and me.

Me and Tayne (Kristie's daughter).
The next day we headed down to Pittsburgh to take the kids to Lego Kids Fest.  That was great.  While waiting in line for them to open (they count down and shoot confetti into the air at opening time) there is a sign that suggests that you take a picture of your kids with your cell phone, just in case you get separated.  Pretty smart.

The kids loved it.  Here are a few pics...










Somehow, we managed to keep track of all three kids the whole time.  Although at times it was a little challenging.  Tom and the boys wore Steelers shirts.  Along with the rest of the entire crowd.  So, that didn't help much.  There was one area that was set up to build cars and they had race tracks for you to race them down.  All three kids loved that area.  Harlie could have stayed there all day!  It was a lot of fun.

After that, we had lunch with Tom's dad.  Then we went to our friend's house (we vacationed with them in Charleston, SC back in the spring) to watch the Steelers vs. Ravens game and stay the night.  We had a great time.

Then on Monday we came back home.  We heard "Are we there yet?" from Cooper a few hundred times, but considerably less than on our way there.  So, that was good.

We also decided on the way home that we really need to move forward with focusing on Harlie's communication device as her main means of communication.  While she wants to talk so desperately, and tries so, so hard... she simply cannot manipulate her mouth to be clearly understood.  I don't know when she'll be more understandable.  But, it won't be soon.  And trying to drive in the car, and figure out what Harlie is trying to say in the back seat is nearly  impossible and very UNSAFE.  She requires eye contact and time.  Two things you cannot give to a backseat passenger while driving.  It's so painful to know that she wants to say something, and you just can't figure out what.  If only she could talk - our life would be immensely better and easier.

When we got home, the kids wanted to ride their scooters.  So, Murphy looked for his helmet.  And that's when it hit Tom that Murphy rides his bike to school and we picked him up early on Friday - forgetting all about his bike in the bike rack at school!!!  OH NO!!!

So, they raced down to the school and found that the bike was gone.  :-(

While I know that we shouldn't have left it there (that was oh-so-stupid!) someone still took something that didn't belong to them.  We were just so excited to be leaving for a fun trip that we lost our heads for a minute!  Needless to say, Murphy was very upset.  And he rode his bike to/from school every day!  So, he really notices its absence.

But, one of Tom's friends and his wife, who are very kind and generous, reached out to him and said they wanted to get Murphy a new bike for Christmas.  I am constantly amazed by the goodness in people and how incredibly lucky we are to be surrounded by such good friends and support network.  And Murphy will be so freaking excited when he sees his new bike on Christmas morning!  I just can't say how thankful we are for these good people!!!

Okay, that's it for this post.  More soon!
Thanks,
~Christy xo

1 comment:

Susan said...

I'm glad you had a nice family trip. (Aside from the lost tooth, dang it!) The Lego event looks AMAZING. I BET your kids had a great time! I'm sorry that Murphy's bike was taken but how nice Tom's friends are! Amazing. Let me know if you want to talk AAC's. I could kind of see Harlie with ProLoQuo2Go or other speech ap on an IPodTouch so she could wear it around her neck. Whatever device you use I bet she'll pick it up quickly.