The Notebook

29 Apr

FullSizeRenderI have been logging Annika’s caloric intake since February. I reached the end of the notebook, so I flipped back through to see what else was in it.

The first page is the list of what I needed to bring to the hospital when I had her!

The next few pages are breastfeeding logs from when I was in the hospital. (They keep you there for 3 days in Germany.) There are two pages of baby names. (She wasn’t named until the day after she was born.) The first is a list of various combinations of the names we had on the list on my phone, written in my handwriting. Then the next page is Jason’s writing, where is pulling completely new names out of thin air that we had never discussed, along with more combinations of the “old” ones. Ironically, “Annika Beatrix” is listed twice by accident on the first page, and again on the second page.

Next comes lists of things to do/ask (make first appointment with pediatrician, call passport office, “belly button,” which was presumably what we had to do with it once we went home.) Then there is a list of paperwork needed for her US Passport (9 items.) Then next page is info on transferring Jason’s GI Bill benefits to Annika.

There is a list of questions for the lactation consultant and weights before and after nursing.

Then there is obviously a break in time…because the next page is lists of high calorie foods that I can puree/add ins/etc. that I got from the nutritionist that I met with in Germany when Annika wasn’t gaining weight well.

There are notes written by two different lactation consultants and daily schedules I wrote out (to keep track of her feeds).

Then we get to notes with questions about the NG tube, along with notes, caloric goals, contact info for doctors at the hospital where we got it put in, and steps to doing a tube feed. There is contact info for a new GI doctor, throw up logs, feeding logs, and blood test results.

Finally we get to the more recent calorie logs. I bought a new notebook yesterday because we are hoping to wean from the tube, which means stringent calorie counting to ensure she doesn’t lose too much weight.

It’s interesting to me because it shows the changing goals and focus of meeting Annika’s feeding needs, and I never even realized that I always grabbed this notebook. (I also ripped pages out here and there to make unrelated lists and notes, so I never deemed it a “feeding notebook.”)

I’m going to keep it so she can look back when she’s older. I’m sure she will say, “whatever mom, you were crazy.”

Now I have to go try to feed her again.




Rare Gem

29 Feb

Today is Rare Disease Day.


I have a rare gem of my own. One that has taught me more about unconditional love, pride, determination, and the shattering of expectations than I ever could have imagined. And she is only two and a half.

She does things her way, on her timeline.

Maybe she is learning from her Mama. My high school principal once told me that I “march to the beat of my own xylophone.”

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I now have multiple friends who know what it’s like–none of whom I have met in real life. Some have it “easier;” some have harder battles. But I am so grateful and have so much respect for these parents. My eyes have been opened–I know that I am not alone. I know that things could be so much worse. I know that I am lucky.

Here’s to the ones that stand out from the rest and keep everyone on their toes. Here’s to not knowing what to expect, but being sure that no matter what, it’s going to be amazing. And may all of those searching for answers find them, and find peace. I may not have all of our answers yet, but I have peace. Because I am the luckiest.


Donate to the National Organization for Rare Disorders

February Update

28 Feb

Jason is home. I never explicitly told you all he was gone, but he left in August. He got back last week.  The pros? After six months, I will possibly leave the house after dark once in awhile. (Seriously, I think I did it fewer than 10 times.) I have someone to talk to aside from Annika’s therapists. Again, I can count the times I hung out with friends while he was gone. I am apparently incredibly antisocial and lazy. He can help out with Annika. My best friend is around to do things with. The cons? I have to cook now. More laundry. More cleaning. Less room in the bed. (We are getting a King, small bedroom be damned.) I don’t get the remote in the evenings. I suddenly have someone with an opinion about how I do things. I’m looking forward to actually doing stuff (outside of appointments for Annika–we already went to see Star Wars. We even took Annika and she did great.) We need to soak up all the fun family time we can, because he leaves again in August. (Womp, womp.)

We have done another major purge of some closets and storage areas in our house, which resulted in four 40-gallon trash bags full of clothing, 2 more garbage bags full of hangers and who know what else, and 3 boxes of books that I took to the trade-in store for credit. Then we went shopping yesterday because my husband has a problem. (Yes I got a couple of things, too. But those trash bags referenced above were 90% his.) The donations are still on our front porch because we are classy and too busy to take them to Goodwill. Tomorrow is the plan.

Thursday I sliced my finger while cutting a bagel because I am a moron. I had to go to the doctor to get superglued. I found blood around my house for a few days. Annika threw up twice, tube included. Oh and there was a tornado watch, and Annika is/was teething or SOMETHING because she was a cranky bear. It was a great day.

I took Annika to the GI doctor Friday for the first time since November. I had previously been nervous that we were going to be pushed to get a G tube. I even purposely delayed it until after Jason got home in case I needed backup. (He couldn’t get off work, so oh well.) As it turns out, we were deemed a “success story,” and the doctor was thrilled with her progress. I didn’t need to bring my notebook with all the calorie counting I have done every day since January 28. I didn’t need to argue why she needs fewer calories than a typical 26-pound, two-and-a-half-year-old child and why I have set her calorie goals as such. (When I explained it to him and the nutritionist, they both agreed with my reasoning.)  I didn’t need to fight for her keeping the NG, and denying the G tube. He said if this is working, particularly if she needs the NG for fluids, then let’s keep doing what works. I am so relieved. While a huge part of this is due to the fact that Annika has decided to start eating more orally, (though not so much this week, because we are cycling off of her appetite-stimulating medication until next week,) I know this is also because I have worked my ass off to get her here. I am going to go ahead and pat myself on the back.


Annika is thrilled to have her Daddy home. She loves to play with him (and vice versa) and give him kisses. They are pretty in love with each other.



The Luckiest

8 Feb

It’s easy to focus on the challenges we face. I can’t just give Annika some chicken nuggets and enjoy my own meal. I can’t give her a sippy cup of milk and trust that she will stay hydrated. We don’t often have days free from some sort of therapy or doctor’s appointment. I can’t ask her what’s wrong or what she wants to eat, or have her walk when my hands are full.

However, there are a million ways in which I am the luckiest mom ever. First of all, it’s Annika. She is magic. She is pure joy embodied in a tiny human. Everyone who meets her adores her because she is so sweet and loving.

She rarely cries. I can literally go days without hearing her whine or cry. The only reasons she cries is when she is tired, having gas pains, or, very rarely, frustrated or uncomfortable in a situation. (Examples would be when we put her in the ball pit at OT, or sometimes if we are somewhere too noisy for her mood.)

She is very flexible and adapts well. She doesn’t have a strict sleep or napping schedule. If We need to run errands, go to appointments, or take a trip to London, she is game. She goes with the flow and handles it well. We traveled to multiple countries; I have taken her on International flights by myself. Sure, she had her moments, but overall she was a gem.

So, she can’t walk yet. However, this means I don’t have to chase her around. She also doesn’t climb yet. So I can close her in the living room area and be anywhere else in the house, knowing she is safely corralled and not in danger of hurting herself. (However I can’t leave her on the couch or bed because she doesn’t know how to safely climb off of things yet either.)

She has yet to throw a temper tantrum or demand that I give/buy her something.

She is easily amused. She will play with the same toys for hours/years. She doesn’t seem to get bored. She is happy just observing the world around her, occasionally crawling over to me, pulling up on a different surface, checking out a new toy, glancing at the TV, grabbing for my phone…honestly babysitting her is the easiest gig anyone could get.

She is an expert car traveler. This is saying a lot considering the first 6 months of her life, she screamed bloody murder almost every time we were in the car. I never wanted to leave the house. She has now endured multiple 7+hour road trips to and from my parents’ house (with a few stops, of course) with little to no complaint. She prefers the lights to be on when we are driving after dark.

She smells delicious. Always. Even when she needs a bath.

She is just so damn happy. At the end of the day, if Annika is happy, how can I not be happy?  (Likewise, when Annika is unhappy, it’s really hard for me to keep my spirits up. Having a sick child is the worst.) She doesn’t whine, fuss, complain or protest. She wants to be around me and sit on my lap. She enjoys the simple things in life.

I look at her and feel like the luckiest person alive because I get to be her Mama.








FeediNG Tube

4 Feb

Apparently February 7-13 is feeding tube awareness week. Ironically, yesterday marks one year that Annika has had an NG (nasogastric) tube.


It was not a happy day. It was an incredibly lonely, stressful day. I cried a lot. But I cannot help but smile when I see her face.

We got it because she was not gaining weight and refusing to eat enough to help her gain adequately. She was off the charts small, weighing only 17 pounds at 18 months old. While we weren’t thrilled with the idea, it seemed like a fair compromise (between doing nothing and getting a surgical G tube, or one of the tubes that goes directly into the stomach,with a port on the outside.) While the GI doctor in Germany didn’t give us a clear answer as to how long we would need to keep the NG in, we expected about 3-4 months.

It took longer than expected for the supplemental feedings to really make a difference. After 12 months, she has gained 9 pounds. We give Pediasure through the tube, which is pretty high-calorie. However even after she gained enough to get her on the charts, she still wasn’t eating enough orally to justify taking out the tube. At this point, the biggest reason feel the need to keep the tube in is for fluids (and medications.) She still isn’t drinking from a cup or bottle. While she is nursing, it isn’t a lot, and we can’t keep doing this forever.

We go back to the GI doctor at the end of the month. I strategically scheduled it for after Jason would be home, because I didn’t want to have to fight the G-tube battle alone, and potentially tell Jason I lost and for him to feel helpless. There is still a very real possibility that she may have to get one. While I know it’s not the end of the world, it feels a bit like a failure that over the course of a year, I didn’t teach her to drink from a cup. But I need to remind myself that Annika is doing things on her timeline, regardless of what we teach her and when. Yes, we must help her and go to therapies, but doing PT 5 days a week is not going to make her walk sooner than she is ready to. Likewise, shoving a cup in her face against her will is not necessarily going to teach her to drink. That whole “you can lead a horse to water” idea. My little horsey just wants to nurse, thankyouverymuch.

I have very complicated feelings about the NG. Obviously I hate it when we have to replace it. (I change it either every 3 weeks or when she throws it up or pulls it out, whichever comes first. Thankfully lately we have been making it 3 weeks.)  I hate when I have to retape it multiple times a day when she is particularly snotty or slobbery. I hate that it is in the way of her beautiful face. I hate the extra chores it creates, from managing and ordering the right supplies, cleaning them, and remembering to pack them when we leave the house. I hated the cumbersome nature of the overnight pump feeds, especially when it leaked. I hate the tube when it comes out when she throws up sometimes. I still hate it when it sporadically starts popping open and leaking all over.

I appreciate it because we were able to help her gain weight. When she refuses food (which happens less often now,) I can give her some extra calories. When she is sick and doesn’t want to eat, it is helpful to keep her from losing too many precious ounces. I give her multiple medications and supplements daily, and it is so much easier to put it through the tube than to try to wrestle them into her mouth. This is particularly true when she is up in the middle of the night with a fever or cough. Into the tube it goes, and she can just keep on crying and won’t gag it all up and cry harder.

Lately we are using it much less frequently for calories, but again, it is essential for fluids and medications. I’m so excited about her emerging textural competence (I just made up that term)–she had a few bites of GRILLED CHEESE today! But I am still very anxious about what the doctor will say when we see him at the end of the month. Keep your fingers crossed. I am hoping that he will let us keep it for another few months to see if we can make some more progress.



16 Jan

A little update on Annika. I am so proud of the progress she is making. She has been eating well lately, which means she isn’t refusing food multiple times per day. In fact, I haven’t given her Pediasure for two days. And this is when she is on the “off cycle” of the medication that is supposed to increase her appetite. I am thrilled.


We went to the nutritionist Thursday,who said Annika was at 22% (!!!!) on the weight charts. Granted, she has lost a few ounces since then (we have a scale at home) but I am still not losing sleep. This is amazing, considering she was still off the charts (as in, below 0%) until October. The last few weeks have been really good, where I don’t feel the need to supplement with Pediasure frequently. It’s the combination of her usually eating well (enough) in terms of volume, and also deciding that the world won’t end if she loses a few ounces because she isn’t hungry. It has removed a lot of stress (and work) from my plate.

She has also shown a lot of improvement in textures. Over the holidays, she was eagerly wanting to try everything I was eating. Sometimes this worked out well–cake, scrambled eggs, soft breads, even undercooked french fries. Other times it is a bit more of a challenge, as she can’t handle things like chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, or steak yet. I try to find something in my meal that she can eat, or something that is so tough that she won’t break through it when she bites down (like pizza crust.)  She lets me bring it to her mouth, she bites down, and feels satisfied that she “got a bite.”

Finally, yesterday I got out the sippy cup(s) again. Up to this point, anytime I brought them anywhere near her mouth, she would turn her head and push them away. Spoiler alert, I don’t have enough hands to hold two toddler arms, a head, and a sippy cup. While she still doesn’t know exactly what to do with the liquid once it’s in her mouth (sometimes it goes down the wrong pipe; other times it just dribbles back out down her chin,) she is actually letting me bring it to her mouth and even opening up for it sometimes. THIS IS HUGE, PEOPLE. I was just telling the nutritionist that while it seems like we are needing the NG tube less for nutrition, we still need it for fluid intake. I give her medications and water through the tube. She is still nursing, but not frequently. The nutritionist told me she should be getting about 36 fluid ounces a day, and I literally laughed in her face, because that is just not happening.  She did say that it includes water in foods, and her purees have a lot of water in them.

So while I can’t pull the NG tube permanently, I am feeling more hopeful that we truly may be able to avoid a G tube. Believe it or not, she has had the NG tube for almost a year. She got it the first week of February 2015. In that time, she has already gained 9 POUNDS. While there are days and moments when I absolutely despise that damn thing (usually when it starts leaking or when I have to put a new one in,) it has been a lifesaver and I’m glad we decided to do it. We return to the GI doctor at the end of February, and he is the gatekeeper of sorts in terms of keeping the NG vs. going forward with a G tube. He has “allowed” us to keep the NG tube longer than most people do, since we all agree it is working well and doesn’t seem to be giving her any problems. While I can see how a G tube might be easier in some ways, I would like to avoid surgery if we can.


OMG no one knew how the hell to tape her. Look at this mess.


I am not in this picture because I was crying. It was a very emotional and exhausting week for me up at the hospital without Jason, who was on a work trip. I hated this stupid tube and I didn’t see how we could possibly function with it long-term.

So please keep your fingers crossed for Annika to keep making oral motor progress. The more she eats and drinks, the closer we are to moving forward with that beautiful face, tube-free!


Carry The Future

12 Jan

I’m sure you have noticed that I am often using baby carriers when I am out and about with Annika. Without our Ergo, I don’t know how we would have been able to do the extensive traveling we did in Europe. (I have since also purchased a Lillebaby, which is mesh and allows her to face forward sometimes.) I would have had more issues running errands or shopping. Even now, I use it when we go on walks or when I have to run errands and she doesn’t want to be in the stroller or cart. It has been instrumental in allowing me to fly alone with Annika on multiple occasions, and obviously helps even when Jason is with us. We don’t have to bring a bulky stroller, but our hands are free. Annika loves being “worn;” she likes being close to us. (She literally sleeps on top of me. It’s adorable until your limbs fall asleep.)


Jason has used it a few times too!



Babies (and toddlers) get heavy. Annika is somewhere around 26 pounds right now, and not walking yet. While she finally started enjoying riding in the stroller last Spring, it is not always a practical option.

I heard about Carry The Future a few months ago. A mother in the US started collecting used baby carriers for refugees in Europe. It started in her home, and has grown exponentially thanks to its exposure on multiple media outlets. They can now purchase new carriers as well, and have delivered over 2500 carriers.

I got teary eyed watching this, just imagining what these poor children have been through and the desperation their parents must feel.

Over Christmas, we spent some time in a city, where we probably averaged 2 or more miles per day (when we weren’t hunkered down in the apartment and avoiding the freezing temperatures.) Of course,  I had the baby carrier. The bottom line is that I would be screwed without it. Twenty six pounds gets really heavy after a pretty short time. There were days when I was walking, just up a slight incline, and my back would start to hurt a bit. Maybe I was cold. Maybe I was cold and sweating at the same time, which is my own personal hell, but that’s neither here nor there. But I could not stop thinking about these families.


Refugees are running from their homes in search of a better life for themselves and their children. Can you imagine walking miles–tens, even hundreds…traveling for 12 or more hours a day for weeks at a time…and carrying a baby or toddler? I can’t. I just can’t. I cannot fathom the exhaustion and determination these people feel. As I carried Annika through the streets, these families were constantly on my mind.

While I read about this organization months ago, and even went on to “like” them on Facebook, I didn’t do anything. But I am now. I am going to donate to this cause, because I want someone else to feel the relief of a baby carrier. I am writing this post in hopes that you will feel compelled to do the same. I encourage you to like them on Facebook. They are also on Twitter and Instagram.  They often post photos and the happiness and gratefulness on the faces of these parents (and sometimes siblings) is heartwarming. I can’t do a lot to help these refugees, but this is something I can do. And I truly think it will make a difference.

To donate, you can go to their website and click on the “Donate” tab. Whether you want to donate a baby carrier you already have, send money for them to purchase a new one, or a relief package including snacks and diapers (diapers! Can you imagine? Just an added stress…) there are many ways to support this organization. I hope you will consider easing the burden for a parent seeking safety for their child.


Highs and Lows

10 Dec

I know everyone has bad days. The other night I started a post about what a rough day I had, but it was really boring and whiny so I deleted it. The past week or two has been a lot of ups and downs. (I now have more pity for my mom/BFF/sister-in-law, because they still have to listen to my whining.)

Every single day I am absolutely certain that no one has ever loved anyone as much as I love this child. Those are the highs. Today was a high. We had no appointments. We picked up a prescription then went to Red Robin because I had a coupon for a free burger. She ate well, and we shared dessert, which she eagerly enjoyed. Then we went to the grocery store. Nothing groundbreaking, but a good day. It’s equally amazing and kind of sad how much my mood depends on how well she eats (orally.) On days/meals she refuses food, I get depressed and frustrated. When she happily eats for me, I am ecstatic.


Last night her Best Child Ever title was revoked from 2:00-5:45 AM when she was wide awake and refusing to sleep. It was the most frustrating night I have had in months. I might have cried a little. Luckily when I texted Jason he actually sympathized, so that helped.

This morning we had to put in the tube again (low: she threw it up yesterday) but it went in first try, and she barely fights me. She pushes back when she starts gagging, which is more reflex. But even when she sees the tube and starts fussing because she knows what’s coming, she keeps her arms down and lets me put it in. This makes me want to cry because I am so proud of her. She is so brave and cooperative and I just couldn’t have gotten a better child. (Although sleeping through the night would be awesome.)

She has been boycotting naps almost every other day. That means by evening, she is cranky, fussy, and needy. I am only one person, and it is exhausting and frustrating. I have started just getting us ready for bed at 7 or 8 on those nights. (Ironically, she skipped her nap yesterday, but slept terribly last night.)

The NG tube popped open and leaked (did I already write about this? Possibly.) so I have ordered more NG tubes from a supplier that never gave us this issue. I am paying out-of-pocket in hopes of getting reimbursed by insurance, but I won’t throw a fit if we don’t. $13 every 3 weeks out of my pocket for the peace of mind of not changing the sheets in the middle of the night or using tape every time I give her a tube feed is worth it in my book. (We had this brand in Germany, but our supplier in NC isn’t able to get them.)

I call the GI doc with a weight check tomorrow, and I am hoping he will give permission to take a month off of pump/overnight feeds to see how her weight goes.

She had an awesome OT session yesterday where we tried new things and she ate really well. She even helped me bring the spoon to her mouth during feeding therapy.


Therapeutic listening and sensory play

Last week I took her to a local tree lighting solely because Santa was there for free pictures.IMG_1189


The next morning we went to the Christmas parade in town, which was pretty boring but we enjoyed the high school marching bands.


Checking out her neon shoes

And it’s going to be in the 70s this weekend. (The highs are outnumbering the lows!)


A series of unfortunate events {spoiler: boring post}

3 Dec

Tuesday I went out to the car to go to work and it wouldn’t start–the battery was dead. Luckily my babysitter was wonderful and let me drive her car (1 mile) to work so that we could both get paid that day. I had roadside assistance (free for 2 years) come after work and jump me. I had already scheduled an appointment for today for the audio issue (which was fixed when he jumped it) so decided to keep it.

Last night after I gave Annika her pump/sleep feed, her NG tube popped open. This was especially infuriating because I had just replaced it the morning before and I expected to get a good 3 weeks or so out of that placement. I actually made a video on my phone–it took a minute and a half, and it opened all on its own. It only made a minor mess before I caught it, then I taped it shut. Apparently I didn’t do a good job because at 1:20 AM she woke up in a puddle. It leaked through the bottom sheet, mattress pad, and onto the feather mattress topper below. [Expletive.] The Best Child Ever sat in the bathroom without clothes on while I changed the sheets. I texted Jason and got zero sympathy because I think he didn’t get that gene.

I spent some time today on the phone back and forth with the DME (durable medical equipment) agency that provides her NG tubes & supplies trying to find an acceptable replacement. I am sick of this brand. Last time it happened I complained to the manufacturer and they sent me new ones. This is one of the new ones, so I am done with them. The supplier is sending me a couple of potential replacements but one is a different material and one is longer, so I don’t have high hopes for either one. I may end up just finding the kind I want and paying for them out of pocket. $50 a month to save me the frustration and hassle of leaking NG tubes is worth it in my opinion. (It’s annoying because only certain brands are covered by insurance/available to my supplier.)

We went to the neurologist today, which took longer than expected (they are almost always running behind, then they spend lots of time on each patient…which explains it all…) so I had to hightail it to my car appointment. [More on what the doctor said in another post.]

It took TWO AND A HALF HOURS at Volvo for them to figure out what was wrong. I was so annoyed that I didn’t arrange for a loaner car. Fail. Annika refused to nap while we were there. I didn’t have time to get anything to eat before we got there so I found a Honey Bun in the vending machine. Why don’t I eat Honey Buns more often?

They got my car back to me with 30 minutes to make it to the pharmacy on base to get a new prescription filled. That turned out well because they kindly filled it even though I was supposed to be there 15 minutes earlier if I wanted to wait for a new prescription.

Then I battled rush hour traffic leaving post (35 minutes to go 8 miles) back to Target, which is right by the Volvo dealership to get a bunch of crap I needed. (Literally. I had a list and I did not deviate. I deserve a medal.) Annika finally fell asleep on the way over there.

While it was a series of frustrations today, overall I was reminded that Annika is the most amazing, adaptable child ever, and I have also come a long way in dealing with annoying situations. I didn’t cry at all.  I deserve a second medal. Or maybe I will just say my Honey Bun was my reward.

Highlight of the day: Look at her cute outfit!

Highlight of the day: Look at her cute outfit!

And look what she did today! She's going to be climbing in no time.

And look what she did today! She’s going to be climbing in no time.

Thankful for family, friends, The Best Child Ever, and (not) the sound of silence

28 Nov

A few random thoughts, for starters: there are lots of things I dislike about North Carolina, but 72 degrees at the end of November is not one of them.

My child has not napped today. She isn’t going to.

I ate more than half a pizza by myself.

Annika and I went back to my parents’ house in Virginia for Thanksgiving. That meant taking two dogs and a cat with us, which made it super fun. The night before we left I was really cranky about packing, how much stuff we had to bring, and just dreading the long drive by myself. When I texted Sarah she told me to suck it up.  However, I have an amazing child and patient pets and we made it just fine. It is supposed to take almost exactly 6 hours. It ended up taking us longer because I had to stop every 3 hours to feed her, plus once for me to use the bathroom. Unfortunately she only napped for an hour, but she doesn’t usually get cranky until toward the last hour of the trip because she is the Best Child Ever. I had saved all of my Christmas CDs until my drive up. (I looked in 3 boxes looking for them. I finally found them in a box marked “Christmas.” Amazing, right?)

While we were back, I got to catch up with a friend from Germany (and meet her sweet 7 month old, along with seeing her son who is a few months younger than Annika.) We both dragged our mothers to meet at Panera and it was wonderful. I went to dinner with two college girlfriends, one of whom had never met Annika. They were very impressed with her ability to sit there and play with toys/my phone for about 2 hours without throwing a fit or fussing. Again, Best Child Ever. Of course I caught up with Sarah (along with her family, including her niece Ruth, who is 2 months younger than Annika.) Thanksgiving day was spent with some of my dad’s family along with my brothers. My sister wasn’t able to get off for Thanksgiving but our visit overlapped for a day.


These PJs are from the 80s. They are also too big.




Snuggling with Uncle Gus after her bath


Making themselves at home


iPhone time with Grumpa (who doesn’t look grumpy whenever she is around)


My cousin Cole is pretty smitten with Annika


My other cousin Josef stepped outside his comfort zone and held her

Another playdate

Another playdate

For whatever reason, my fancy car decided to stop playing anything out of the speakers two days before I left. That means I got to drive 7+ hours back to NC in silence. I spent at least one hour singing to Annika. I went through every Christmas carol I knew, some TV theme songs, the Beatles, kid songs…I have an appointment to get it checked out this week.

While it was a nice visit, I am glad to be back at my own house with my own bed, and I am definitely not looking forward to making the trip all over again in less than a month, but I’m sure we will survive. And I am hoping my radio will work by then.

Annika just pulled her tube out by accident. The fun never ends over here.



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