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Friday, July 25, 2014

Bouncing back in B-ham: the highs and lows

Korban seemed to bounce back fine physically from getting his infusion, but there were a lot of highs and lows the rest of the weekend. We did some cool stuff that we really enjoyed but Korban struggled pretty hard at times. Lots of anxiety, stims, obsessions, lots of skin picking, and some aggression. 

We stayed the night at the Ronald McDonald House after his infusion like we normally do. Korban woke up around 6:00 Saturday morning and giggled hysterically and was just really wild and out of sorts until around 9:00. A group came in and fixed breakfast for everyone and Brad took Korban down to eat. It was cool because he had polished off all the blueberries that I brought with us the night before and was asking for more, and this group brought a big fruit tray with lots of blueberries. Korban ate a good breakfast and I was happy about that. 

After that we took the kids to the Birmingham Zoo, complements of the McDonald House, for a little while. We just love that zoo and we had a nice time there. 

This guy was a big favorite! (Literally!)

He was right up against the fence, and Selah just sat and talked to him. 

"Mama, can I pet him PLEEEASE?!?"

Such a cutie, but the answer was "NO!" 

Selah brought her Sprite in and enjoyed it. 

But she was willing to share!  

Glad Selah wasn't able to pet this fella. ;)

"You sleeping, bear?" 

This is what happens when you forget the stroller and a little girl needs a break. 

Got to visit her flamingos!  

Korban didn't want to leave so I got hit a few times on our way out but it wasn't as bad as the day before at the McWane, so that's good.  We lured the kids away from the zoo with the promise of ice cream. Brad saw where Whole Foods was having a free ice cream social and giving away samples of different kinds of ice cream. We enjoyed that. The ice cream was healthy and really yummy!  

After that we stopped by Birmingham Botantical Gardens. If you are ever over that way, definitely check that place out. It's open year-round, totally free and very beautiful. We didn't stay very long and probably didn't see 1/4 of what all they had, but we plan on going back!  I got some pretty pictures of the kids:

This sculpture was an Eagle Scout project. The kids loved if and Brad and I were impressed too!

The kiddos appeared to be tiring out (see above photo) so we decided to go back to the Ronald McDonald House to rest. Korban repeatedly asked if we were leaving throughout our visit so I dreaded telling him that it was time to go. Thankfully, there was no aggression this time around, but he introduced us to a bizarre new behavior. I thought everything was going fine, but when we got to the parking lot, he jerked away from me, ran a little ways, flopped down in a mud puddle and rolled in it. I was like "Really?!?l Then he remembered he doesn't like getting wet and cried for his clothes to be changed. We try to carry extra clothes with us everywhere we go so I changed him before he got in the van. 

We took some time to rest at the Ronald McDonald House before heading out for Korban's big weekend treat. The Birmingham Barrons do a lot with the Ronald McDonald House.  The first time we ever stayed there we got to meet the Barrons and got an autographed ball. It was so cool. They also donate tickets to the Ronald McDonald House and we were given tickets to Saturday night's game. Korban had been asking to go to a game (we could see the stadium from our room) and we were so excited to be able to take him. 

After having some down time, we headed out to the stadium. We decided to walk. Selah insisted on carrying her stuffed pug Oscar--named after my friend Carla's real live pug Oscar--and she spent most of our walk clutching Oscar's tail in one hand and eating a big, fresh peach from her other hand. 

It was a good walk. Korban was happy to get to the stadium, but also nervous. We were just happy to be able to go, and I hadn't given any thought to where our seats would be at. We couldn't believe that they were on the first row right by the visiting team's dugout, behind home plate. They were awesome seats!  It was so cool. 

Also, it was jersey night and both the kids got free jerseys!  

Selah let Oscar wear hers. 

They were actually playing the Mississippi Braves, which was an added bonus. We've been to a couple of their games several years ago when Korban had frequent appointments at Blair Batson in Jackson MS, and we always enjoyed seeing them play. 

Korban always sits well during sporting events, which makes us proud. It helps that it has his own seat to sit in, so he knows where his space is. He also truly enjoys watching most any sport. He was anxious and picked his skin a lot but he was able to enjoy the game. 

Happy, sports loving boys!  

Family photo op!  

Selah passed her time playing with Oscar as she enjoyed the game 

I think she's trying to teach him to fetch a baseball...

Speaking of baseballs, both my kids were given a baseball. The M-Braves coach tossed one over for Korban and gave a big thumbs up. A guy on the field crew said he felt bad that Selah didn't have one so he took care of that. So sweet of both of them.  After the game, when the M-Braves walked right past us we were able to get some signatures. 

Wasn't that nice?  Notice Korban picking with his left hand as hands the ball with his right...even when having a moment of fun the anxiety is there.  

We really enjoyed ourselves and it was nice to be able to treat the kids to some fun things after having such a rough time with the infusion the day before. I've said it before and I will say it again--the Ronald McDonald House has been SUCH a blessing to us. It's just nice to have a place to rest before and after his treatments and it's great that different volunteers provide meals and fun activities for the kids. As always, our hope is that the kids will remember the fun things we did and not dwell on the hard parts. 

That's a pretty good philosophy for life if you think about it. This weekend was full of ups and downs but we will try our best to be strong through the hard parts and enjoy the good times. 

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