Thursday, December 29, 2011

Audrey goes to the aquarium...and the ER

My sister, Alex, is off of work until next week.  So we decided to try a fun outing with the kiddos yesterday and head to the children's aquarium at Fair Park.  It's small, not too much to see and not too crowded compared to the World Aquarium downtown.

Keegan is a big Nemo fan, so we thought it would be a hit for him.  Not so much.  He wanted to grab fistfuls of gravel from the horseshoe crab tank in the entry and soaked his tshirt.  He had no interest in the fish, turtles, or alligator but had a meltdown when we told him we had to move on from the empty tank he was apparently fascinated with.  Audrey did a lot of pointing, running, and "wow"-ing.

The last stop was the sting ray and shark tanks.  Keegan was mesmerized by the rays, as was Audrey by the sharks.  She especially loved it when the tiger sharks would swoosh by really fast and spook her.  One really caught her off guard, and she stumbled backwards a bit.  It was a slightly awkward fall.  Audrey didn't even seem that upset, but she wouldn't let me put her down at all.  We had some lunch and put her down for her nap at home.  When she woke up, she was just beside herself whenever we asked her to stand or walk.

And so, Audrey made her first trip to the Children's ER.  Of course, the ER staff at Legacy are our good friends (sad, no?), so Audrey received a LOT of attention at first.  A quick exam said she likely had a toddler's fracture.  X-rays were ordered, done, and surprisingly, negative for a break!  Just a sprain or pulled muscle of some kind.  One dose of motrin, and she was toddling out the door.  Waving and blowing kisses.  That was one really expensive dose of motrin, little girl!

We were instructed to give her scheduled motrin for 24 hours, but I didn't even give her two.  She is more than fine today.  Truly never a dull moment in the Harrison house!

It was interesting to be there though with her.  Driving onto the campus at the speed limit.  Not compulsively checking the ambulance bay to see if there is a transport team on hand.  Actually waiting in the waiting room for her name to be called, instead of the receptionist seeing us run in and just immediately taking us through the doors to triage or even straight to a room.  Knowing that no matter what, we would be walking out the door to go home in a few hours at most.

It truly was different.  And refreshing.  So thank you, Audrey.  For showing us that life can have just normal, everyday childhood moments that can be weathered with a few extra hugs, kisses...and just a little motrin.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas picture overload

We were extremely blessed to be able to spend this Christmas with our families.
It was a very busy few days, but the kids handled very well with many smiles all around.
Santa was certainly good to Keegan and Audrey this year!

Christmas Eve at Mamie & BD's house:
 A new Gator for Keegan!
Unfortunately, the weather was horrible, requiring him to learn to drive (without hitting too much stuff) in the garage.  

This will get much love and use as the weather improves.

Snack time with cousin Maya

Luckily, this year we had a few ideas for helping Keegan when he became overstimulated.
Bear hugs and leaving the fray to escape into a video helped immensely.  

Playing monkey with Aunt Alex

Rock Star Mickey was a HIT!

Christmas morning at HOME:

A new DVD player with headphones for each kiddo in anticipation of spending more time on the road this year for Keegan's appointments.

The best playhouse ever!  It's felt, draped over a folding card table.  So easy to store!

A highchair for her baby dolls

Testing out some new MobiGo games

Sneaking in some time on Keegan's cash register.
He has been obsessed with coins (fake, real, anything that's small and round, actually) for the last several months.  So, Santa played into it with a play cash register.  He loves it so far!

A Christmas morning Sic'Em!  
(Gonna have to try to restage a Christmas pj picture.  Couldn't get much cooperation this day.  See video in the post below for proof!)

Come play, Keegan!

Christmas morning at Oma & Pops' house:
 A bounce house just for them!

Keegan wanted it blown up right NOW!

Merry Christmas from Santa's lil' helpers!

Ho Ho Ho!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours,
we pray that your Christmas was truly merry and bright.
We are so thankful for spending this blessed holiday together with all of our family.


And this will be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was a with the angels a multitude of heavenly host, praising God and saying"
"Glory to God in the highest, 
And on earth, peace and goodwill toward men!"
Luke 2:12-14

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Comic relief

Audrey is 18 months old.  I know!  I can't believe it either!

This little girl is a ham-and-a-half, the comic relief in our household.  (And thank God for that, right?!)

Audrey is doing very well.  She still eats well most days and had a nice little growth spurt to show for it.  Up to 42 percentile in height!  She is sprouting her last baby tooth at this very moment.  She babbles constantly with quite a few identifiable words.  I honestly believe Audrey is a perfectionist.  Just like her walking, she is going to wait until she has down pat and just bust out with it.

Audrey is a little lovebug.  When she can tell you need a hug, she lays the best one imaginable on you...even if you didn't know you needed it.  She really loves to tackle Keegan and cover him with hugs and kisses.  He could care less, but Audrey obviously thinks it's the best thing ever.  I really wish he knew how much she loves him.

We sure love you, little Ladybug!  Thank you for keeping our days merry and bright!

(And yes, more detailed info on Keegan is coming soon.  In the midst of trying to orient ourselves in the autism world, we are still trying to manage his medical issues.  The last of the send-out labs are being run, and we are planning our first trip to Cincinnati Children's to meet with the bone marrow team there on January 25.  Merry Christmas to us, right?)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas lights...and thanks

Let me start out by saying a big, heartfelt thank you to all of you for your support and outpouring of love in response to Keegan's autism diagnosis.  I promise to update more about all the testing he went through and the doctors' decisions soon, but we are still processing it all ourselves.  Gray and I have a lot of mixed feelings about it.  For now, what's important is the love and support our family and friends as we sort it all out.  And we could not have been more overwhelmed by it all.  It is easy to begin to feel that people are used to Keegan being sick and don't want to hear it anymore.  This year has been one of the toughest ever, and to be honest, our spirits were sagging terribly as the holidays approached, especially upon hearing the extensive brain damage Keegan has suffered thus far that has contributed to his autism.  Your kindness and love has renewed our resolve and given us hope as we face another year that is posed to be just as tough on our little boy and family.  So, thank you, once again.  We simply can't say it enough.

Here's another thing that brightened our day.  A carriage ride to see the lights in the neighborhood south of us.  Our friends and neighbors, the Loredos, hosted us all in this evening of holiday fun.  As expected, Audrey adored it.  She picked a seat in Daddy's lap right up by the horses and literally danced and jumped with joy the entire hour.  We couldn't tell if it was all excitement from the lights, the horses, or both.  But oh boy, am I excited that horseback-riding may be in her future!  

Anyway, I was very nervous because our ride was scheduled during the kids' normal dinner and bathtime.  Keegan is very dependent on routines, especially at night.  I wasn't sure how he would do with such a major disruption tonight.  Overall, he had little interest in the lights or company but had no major meltdowns or problems.  We were thrilled with the whole experience overall!  Thank you, Loredo family, for such a treat!  Merry Christmas!

Our ride for the evening.  The horses names were General and Patton.  Classic.

A nice try at a family pic.  Ironically, a smirk from K and a tantrum from A!
She did not want to stop talking to the horses and her friends to take a picture.
And Keegan cracks me up with that candy cane...he had no idea what to do with it, but it entertained him for a little while.

All bundled up and ready to ride.

Daddy and his troublemakers


This one was in such overload by the time we got home!
She wanted to stand backward on the recliner and "ride" like she had in the carriage instead of eating dinner.  Umm, don't think so, little girl!
The tantrum got to be so much that the only thing that calmed her down was some veggie puffs and the Grinch on tv.  Not my best dinner moment as a mom.  Ultimately, she did eat some PB&J though, so I didn't feel SO bad!  Even if I did have to hand-feed her the sandwich and hold her cup for her while she drank.  Has me wrapped around her finger much?  Yeah.

And just a pic to make you smile.  Crazy kiddos totally staged this themselves.
(On a sad note though, this is a horrible picture of Keegan.  It hurts my heart to see this transformation. We are SO ready to say goodbye to these stupid steroids and see our Bug look like himself again.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Do you know Keegan?

He has autism.

Just one more diagnosis.  A pretty big one.

But it is not him.  

He is still Keegan, our amazing, strong, courageous, resilient little Bug.

And we love him.

Do you?

Friday, December 16, 2011


Well, we've had a pretty crappy week.  In too many ways.  

Since I don't want to go into all that tonight and to have a better ending to the week for the kids, we made one last attempt at a Christmas outing before school lets out, preventing Keegan from going anywhere public.  We started with a quick lab draw at the hospital and then snuck over to see the Trains at NorthPark.  Proceeds from the exhibit tickets proceed the Ronald McDonald House, and our transplant friend, Leah Grace, had the honor of presiding over the opening ceremonies a few weeks ago.  Keegan was not thrilled with this break in his routine at first, but once he saw them, he warmed up to the idea.  He and Audrey both had some "oohs" and "ahhs", a nice end to the morning and week.  I didn't bring my big camera, so phone pics will have to do!  

A bigger post will follow, but we would appreciate your prayers for our family at this time.  Thank you so much.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Audrey & the Advent Calendar

Rockin' the dress, slippers, and Christmas book as a purse look.

These little doors are so fun to close again every day and watch Mama have to reopen them.

Me: "Audrey, that's your Advent calendar.  Your chocolate at dinner each night helps us count down to Christmas!"
Audrey: "What? I didn't know that!"

Oh, that makes me happy! 
Merry Christmas!