Saturday, April 23, 2011

Home again, home again.

We are home.  We've been home for almost a week now.  It's taken a while to get used to life here again.

It's strange how this blog has become such a big part of our lives.  Everywhere we went in Arizona, it seemed like at least one of the kids said: "Take a picture of this, so we can put it in the blog." or "You should write about this on the blog."  As a result, we have lots of pictures and lots of ideas of things to write about.  We just didn't take the time to actually write more posts.  By the time evening came, and we had the opportunity to write, we just enjoyed each others' company instead. 

We spent the time together in the evenings playing games, swimming, watching a couple of movies, and reading (Kol read three 400 page novels at the airports and on the planes, and about 10 more short novels while we were there).  During the days, we checked out a few attractions,  managed to complete the hike that had been cut short by the wind (that I talked about in the last post), Kirk and the 4 big kids all got sunburned while at the pool on one of our last days there.  We went to the zoo and got to pet the stingrays (I was even bitten by one - they have very powerful jaws), and brushed goats at the same petting zoo where a goat tried to eat Julianna's hair when she was 5 - Julianna just watched the goats this time.  I have pictures (which we were told to take) but I can't find the cable to copy them onto my computer with, so I'll have to add them later.  Or maybe I'll get Kirk to do that. 

Thank-you to everyone for the good wishes and prayers while we were away.  It was a good holiday. While we were gone it was easy to forget that Kol had been sick until we caught a glimpse of his bald head, and the memories came back briefly. Kol seemed to blossom while we were away, though.  He seemed to have lots of energy for running,  swimming, hiking and walking around all of the different attractions for hours on end.   He looks healthier - he no longer looks jaundiced or pale, he has eyelashes again, his eyebrows are growing back, and his hair is almost 1 cm long.  We think his hair is coming back darker, although it is still too early to tell, and at this point it looks like it may be curly, too. Those who saw Kol's hair before we left and after we returned really noticed the difference. 

It's still too early for me to give up the constant vigilance we've lived with for so long, but we are encouraged by all of these signs of health that we see in our son.  We know that the journey is no where near an end, but it does feel like we are nearing the end of a long, dark tunnel.  The light at the end is getting bigger, and brighter.  We can finally let ourselves start to believe that our family will not only get through the turmoil, but thrive as a result of all that we have learned. 

God has been good to us.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feelin' hot, hot, hot

Kol has been coming up with titles for new blog posts for the last week, and telling me what I should write about. He chose the title for this post. Our first two days here in Arizona were hot; I think it was somewhere around 38 degrees C, or 97 - 98F. Then, on Saturday, the air conditioning died, so it really was hot. It was a good thing that we had planned to do nothing strenuous those first two days here. It was probably exactly what we needed.

It's hard to believe that we've been here a week already. We've never taken holidays longer than a week before. I think we'll try to take longer vacations in the future, though. It really feels like we're just finally starting to relax and breathe again - and we still have several days left. We've kept busy, but not overly so. We went to the Sea Life Aquarium (very cool), the Musical Instrument Museum (which was incredible: we spent 6 hours there, and Julianna took 300 photos), the AZ Museum of Natural History (and saw dinosaurs). We had a picnic on a pontoon boat at Canyon Lake with Connie and Obert. The kids have been planning on taking Kirk to Organ Stop Pizza ever since we found out we'd be in AZ over his birthday, so we were there the night before Connie and Obert left. We've also done a bit of shopping, been swimming several times, and gone on a short hike - although it was cut short by the wind.

Today was cold and rainy. We woke to snow and fog on the mountains and water on the streets. It was really quite beautiful - seeing cacti, snow, and pools of water all at once. The temperature will be higher at home tomorrow than it was here today.

The kids are having a blast. It's so good to see them all having so much fun. It might just be my imagination, but Kol seems 'lighter', more carefree since we got here. He can finally get to swim, and run, and just be a kid without all of the constant reminders of his tumour. He is very excited that his hair is growing back, and has even gone hat-less much of the time here. He's quite willing to show off his fuzz to anyone who asks. It's a big change from the days when we never saw his scalp because he didn't even take his toque off at night. Sometimes, I've even been able to forget how much Kol has been through in the last year and start to get excited about the future. That's cool.