Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!


A few pictures of my cherubs enjoying spring!


A whole new meaning to the term “tree-huggers!”


The sun was shining right in Eli’s eyes! Cara thought it would be a good idea to pick up pieces of grass and drop them in her face…


And here she is seconds later. If you look closely she had tiny pieces of dirt in her teeth:)


Brady boy walking down the sidewalk. Can you believe a year ago he was just starting to stand and take the tiniest toddle-steps?


And Miss Allie who is wearing pants that Cara grew out of…last week! She is getting so big, so fast!


March came in like a lion and out like a lamb for sure!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm Afraid to Think It!

I'm afraid to think it, but it just may be that this virus might leave the rest of us alone? Matt made it back to work today which I thought was downright amazing. So far, the other 5 Williams' seem to be okay. Short of spraying Matt down with Lysol, I think I did a pretty decent job of washing and sanitizing everything he touched. Poor guy...I think I make him feel like he had leprosy or something:(

I grabbed my Eli today and we took a drive to bring daddy lunch at work. He was so cute as he walked in holding the container and said, "Here's your lunch daddy!" Afterward we had to pick up some things at Target. As I stopped at the foil pan section, Eli pointed at the pans and said, "Oooo! Chinese for dinner...Yes!" I'm not sure if you get the connection, but the Chinese place we get take out from once in a while serves the food to you in foil pans! As we checked out he and the cashier were talking back and forth. He proudly showed her his baseball hat and said, "Here's my hat! You like it?" Of course she replied that she liked it very much. Then he said, pointing to me, "This is my mommy. She's nice!" Ooo, he is the sweetest:)

We are coming up on a big milestone in Brady's journey. It was one year ago that we prepared for our final battle (God willing) with Neuroblastoma. On March 31st last year we headed to NYC for Brady's consultation appointment and testing leading up to his surgery on April 6th. Reading my words from that time brings me right back to the mountain of emotion that I was feeling.
written March 27th 2009
Joshua 1:9
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Thank you God for the truth in Your word. Thank you for this verse. Please make me the strongest most courageous mom I can be. I trust that You will be with me wherever I go...You'll be with me as I kiss my sweet babies goodbye, You'll be with me as I hold Brady on the airplane knowing where we are going, You'll be with me as I walk to the hospital with him on April 6th, and You'll be with me as I sit and wait during his surgery. Thank you for your promises, and thank you that they are true for me, for Brady, and for everyone who trusts in You. Amen

It is a pretty cool thing to actually have a prayer from a year ago written down. By reading it and thinking about the events of the last year, I can actually see how God has been faithful. I'm not talking about God making our lives without problems, worries, or obstacles. Of course we continue to experience all of those. I'm talking about the part where God tells us that He will be with us wherever we go. And He has been. He was with us the night before we left, as we tried to sleep with the weight of the world on our shoulders. He was with us the morning of Brady's surgery, as we held him tight as unimaginable fear was weighing on our hearts. And He has been with us, sustaining us, encouraging us, and blessing us every day since.

Wherever you are tonight, I pray that you know that God is with you wherever you are:)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Man Down!

I hate to even type these words because of the dread that I feel about what might come...but...
Matt has the stomach bug.

My poor honey who rarely gets sick, is quite sick. He stayed home from work and spent the day trying to recuperate from a pretty awful night. Of course as soon as I heard him throwing up I thought I might throw up at the thought of the rest of us succumbing to this bug.

So far we are all still holding strong. I've been Lysoling and cleaning all day making my best attempt to spare the kids and I:) The kids and I included daddy in our prayers tonight at bedtime. I asked that God help daddy to feel better since he was "achey." Well, Brady thought that was the funniest word ever and I could hear him giggling and saying "achey" well after I turned out the light. Silly boy!

Hopefully you'll hear from me tomorrow:)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

Sunday is a day of rest huh? Some of them are, and some of them just aren't:)

Our family went every which way today. The boys went to church with Grandma and Grandpa. The girls went to church with us. After church my mom took Allie home, and Grandma and Grandpa brought the boys home. My mom spent the afternoon with them, and Matt and I took Cara with us to visit Matt's grandma who is recovering from her broken hip in a rehab facility about 1 1/2 hours away. It was a little chaotic packing things for everyone and getting us all where we needed to go, but I think all of the kids had fun doing something a little bit different!

The kids continue to do well with their new beds. We have had our share of boo boos involving them flipping out of them, pushing unwanted visitors (Allie) out of them, and standing up and jumping out. We continue to reinforce safety rules and pray that the novelty wears off soon. One thing is for sure, they don't miss their cribs at all! I guess this means that they truly have reached the phase of craving more independence and needing less and less security. BIG sigh...

In other news, I have officially resigned from my teaching job. Some of you may say "What teaching job?" as I obviously have not been working outside of the home in quite a few years. I've been on maternity leave since February of 2007 when I voluntarily took myself out of work while pregnant with the triplets and during my mom's relapse with Lymphoma. Fortunately I was able to extend my maternity leave when I became pregnant with Allison. I had to make a decision this spring to either return full time in the fall or resign.

After toiling for months about this decision...I have come to terms with the fact that I can't work full time and care for my family in the way that I want to while maintaining my sanity. So I resigned. I won't get into all the feelings that went along with that decision, but it was surely a very hard one to make. That being said, I feel so happy to know that I'll be home for the next few years before the kids are in school. Oh how I feel this time flying by so fast...

The catch is that I do need to find some part time work. So where does one go to find a job that offers very flexible hours to a 31 year old mom who has a degree or two and likes to sing, write, and plan parties? Anyone....anyone?

I'm praying that God will point me in the direction I should go:)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We Survived!

The Williams family has survived the first big transition of the year! The kids slept in their beds all night:)

It took some of them (ahem, Cara) quite a long time to settle down, but by 9ish they were all asleep.

Of course some of them looked like this at 11pm when I went in to check on them...

But after a little readjusting, our three slept soundly all night.

Matt found them reading books in their beds this morning. This of course made me quite worried that if they thought it was okay to get out of their beds and read this morning...what will they think to do tomorrow morning?

Friday, March 26, 2010

We End the Week with a Big Change

Fun times with my girls


Cara sitting in the sun showing off her new hair cut!


It was time for a big change at our house…


Eli, Cara, and Brady will be 3 in less than a month, so it was time to move on to big kid beds.

Between 4 and 8 pm Matt and I accomplished quite a bit. While I made dinner and fed the kids, Matt took apart all 3 cribs. He had already assembled the toddler beds, so he and I just brought them up from the basement.


We put the new sheets on, rearranged the room a bit, and introduced the kids to their new beds!


We might be a little bit crazy for putting the boys so close together…

Cara got a white bed so that someday her furniture will match what Allie has. They will share a girly room someday! Of course she had to wear her Tinkerbell jammies to match her Tinkerbell sheets!


The funniest thing I’ve seen in a while was what Eli did when we took down his crib. We had to take all of his “friends” out (think Mickey, Snuffleupugus, little Snuffleupugus, Elmo…). We didn’t realize while we were getting his bed ready, Eli had gathered all of his friends and put them safely in a laundry basket. It was like he was packing up his belongings and moving! Then when his bed was ready, Eli came marching into the room dragging the basket full of friends. He then promptly unpacked all of them onto his new bed.

He was like a hobo who had found a home…I could not stop laughing! Here he is unpacking…




We quickly had to lay down some new rules. This became very clear after Allie flipped off one of the beds and the big kids were acting like wild hooligans.

After bath time, we stuck with our usual routine and prayed for the best! The kids have complete independence in their room now, but we tried to make it clear that they are NOT allowed to get out of their beds.





It’s 9:25 pm and it is finally quiet in there:)

Did I tell you that all I keep thinking about is when I brought those tiny little babies home from the hospital and put them in those cribs for the first time? Sigh***

Thursday, March 25, 2010



The scene of the crime…


Innocent till proven guilty:)


Just a crib?


Or a hiding place for two little monkeys?


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Look Who!

Look who is the current Featured Hero on the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation's homepage!

Click Here

Go Brady!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



Here is one side of the table…


And here is what is always on the other side…


Look at that stinker face! This is what Allie is all about these days. She is 16 months old, but in her mind she is the long lost quadruplet in our family! I hate to even use that comparison, because it always rubs a triplet mommy the wrong way when someone says, “Oh! I had three kids in 4 years, it was just like having triplets!” Umm…no! So, no offense to quadruplet moms out there! Allie just “thinks” she is one of them!

Why shouldn’t she just follow the big kids all day, do what they do, play with what they play with, and try to be just like them!

Today I got to spend my day with just this little cutie and actually this is the first day I’ve done that since she was born! She had a cardiology appointment at 10:30 and then an immunization appointment at 2:00.

Our day had a rough start. Being wide awake with a full belly is not a good combination for sweet Allison. She threw up two times on the way to Rochester which meant we had to do the pull-over-on-the-shoulder-in-the-cold-rain-clean-up routine. After our two pit-stops, our day was smooth sailing!

Great news! The cardiologist can still detect Allie’s heart murmur slightly, but  he said that it is totally insignificant, isn’t affecting her at all, and doesn’t want to see her back for 3 years! Hooray!

We had a great lunch together at IHOP and Allie ate as much as I did. After lunch we did some shopping. Well I shopped, and Allie worked her charm on everyone that came within 5 feet of her. She smiled, she cooed, she said “Lul-oh” (her version of hello), and she played peek-a-boo.

Allie was supposed to get vaccinated a few days before Disney, but I decided to put it off until after our trip. So today she had to get her MMR and her Chickenpox vaccinations. Two nurses came in the room and did two shots at the same time, one in each arm. They prepped me by telling me to hold her arms down and that one of the shots really stings. So my baby, she just sat there. She never flinched, never cried…nothing. She just kind of looked at them like they were big meanies and that was it. She has never cried during a shot in her whole life.

I just have to say for the record that my two girls in the past week have not shed a single tear during their shots. They are so mature about it! Now my boys…big.huge.babies! Their turns are coming up in a few weeks and I’m predicting tears and constant reliving of the events for days.  Time will tell boys:)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Allie's Day

Tomorrow Allison and I are going to be spending the day together tomorrow. Finally we will have our follow up appointment with the cardiologist to check on the status of her heart murmur. Then in the afternoon we go to the pediatrician's office to get caught up on a vaccination. Fun times! In between appointments we have about 2 hours, so I will be looking for things to do with my little sweetie!

Of course I have to keep mind the car sickness issue. She is sure to get sick on the way to the cardiologist as she will be wide awake at 9:15. Mostly likely she will get sick on the way from the cardiologist to the pediatrician as well, but hopefully on the way home she will sleep! So I'm packing 3 changes of clothes and praying for the best!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cute Things

I'm sure I'm like all mommies out there when I say that my kids do the cutest things!

Case in point...check out Brady having a tea party with his baby sister. Notice that he reached across the table and put a little pink cupcake on her plate. Very cute.

Miss Cara was all dressed and ready to go to church today. I found her sitting on Eli's blow up rocket chair in a not-so-lady-like position. Of course she looked totally cute as she snuggled her baby doll. Super cute.

Eli was chilling out in daddy's chair. Oh so cute.

And here are my babes all ready to go to church, waiting by the back door for daddy to come and get them.

Cuteness times four!

Of course this is just my own, totally unbiased opinion.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


The Easter season is here...

The season brings many thoughts to my mind...

Just where am I going to find 2 pairs of black dress pants for the boys?
What about white shoes for the girls?
Oh, wait, I need something to wear too!?!
Filling four Easter baskets is expensive!
These have been the thoughts in my silly head for the past few days. But then came this song.
This song I heard a few weeks ago that just spoke directly to my heart. This song has caused me to remember what Easter is all about.
It's a song about redemption. I looked up the word redemption today and read the following:
the act of redeeming; deliverance; rescue; salvation
If you or I made a list of the things we need to be delivered from, rescued from, saved from, I wonder how long that list would be? I know that my list would be a lengthy list of all of the things I struggle with, the parts of my life I wish were different, the choices I've made that I regret, the things I've said that I wish I could take back, the fear that grips my heart...oh this list could go on and on.
The greatest thing about my list though? God knows each and every thing on my list. He knows it and he loves me anyway. The same can be said for you, for all of us. For each and every one who accepts God as their savior, He willingly accepts you no matter if your list is numbered 1-10 or 1-100!
His perfect love redeems every last piece of you. Once this happens you can let go of the world's desire for you to be perfect. For God takes your brokenness and in His time makes all things good according to His purpose.
This is what Easter needs to be about in my heart. God sent His son to die on the cross for me, for you, and by doing so He redeemed us all.
So, the song. You can listen to it here (don't forget to turn on your volume).
Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God's grace

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hello Weekend

Just a quick note to wish you all a great weekend! Nothing too exciting going on in our world and that is just fine with me! Tonight Matt and I are getting ready for the big Syracuse game (okay, Matt is ready and I'm sitting here on the computer:)

Happy Spring!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grim Statistics Hard to Ignore

Hello all! It's me...Megan the "chick who always goes on and on about pediatric cancer" again. You can tell that I sometimes feel as though I should avoid talking with you all about depressing, cancer issues. But alas, I can't. This is a huge part of the purpose for this little blog of mine.

Today I received a solicitation from St Jude's hospital in the mail. You know the get a great sheet of return address labels along with a plea for a donation? The Megan of a few years ago would have taken those labels and thrown away the rest. Today I actually read it. I know St. Jude is very involved with pediatric cancer treatment and research. They included a chart that compared 5-year survival rates for several different types of pediatric cancer. The chart compared survival rates from 1962 to present day. It was shocking to see how low survival rates were for children only 50 years low as 4%.

The encouraging news was just how much survival rates have increased in the last 5 decades. For example Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia had a 5-year survival rate of only 4% in 1962 and now...the survival rate is 94%!!! Earlier detection, better screening tests, and improved treatment options have all impacted survival rates in amazing ways! Of the 10 types of childhood cancer listed, 6 of them have survival rates of greater than 85%.

The bad news is that Neuroblastoma had the lowest survival rate of all the types of cancer listed. The 5 year survival rate for children with Neuroblastoma is a dreadful 55%. I was shocked to see how much lower the survival rate was for NB than Leukemia, Lymphoma, and other cancers of the eye, kidneys, and bone. I have to say that I instantly thought of 10 or so children I know of with NB, and yes, only about half of them are still alive. This statistic is scary...

I think why this statistic is so shocking to me is because Neuroblastoma is a relatively new word in my vocabulary. I bet if I was to ask you how many of you had heard of NB before Brady, many of you would join me in saying you hadn't ever heard that word. And this is precisely why I need to continue to speak out about this disease...raise awareness...educate parents about warning signs...raise research money...and support families fighting this disease. I understand that research money for NB is low because kids are diagnosed with other types of cancer in greater numbers, but that certainly doesn't minimize the impact that this disease has on the 700 children who are diagnosed each year. I need to keep talking about it.

I'm really excited about being asked to participate in the Alex's Lemondade Stand Foundation's Hero Ambassador Program. In a few weeks I will be participating in a webinar (certainly the most high tech thing I've ever done) that will train me in how to represent the Foundation by speaking at local events and working with children in schools to understand what pediatric cancer is. I'm really excited to participate in this opportunity and help the ALSF in their quest to beat pediatric cancer.

And one more thing...You may remember our wildly successful Alex's Lemonade Stand that we hosted last September?!?! It was a lot of fun and we raised $2,500 for research money! Sadly this year, our local Labor Day festival has been cancelled and I have been thinking about other possible venues. I received a letter that there is a smaller-scale community celebration being planned for Labor Day and our stand was invited to take part. Of course this will only be a one-day event, and therefore make less money, but I'm considering how to best become involved. If anyone is interested in helping me organize a Labor Day Stand, or if you have ideas you are willing to share, please email me

If you are still reading (despite the lack of cute-kid-pictures in today's post), thank you! Your support means the world!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Test Results are in!

Late last night it hit me! I never emailed to find out the results of Brady's urine test! We dropped off the sample the same day of his orthopedic appointment. I guess the good news that day totally clouded my memory! So last night at 10pm I emailed Brady oncologist and asked him to check for the results. Well, about 3 minutes later he emailed me back (what an amazing guy--but I wonder if he ever stops worrying about his patients?) He checked the urine levels and in his words they are "rock solid!" This is great, wonderful, and oh-so-reassuring news! It has been a difficult few weeks in the Neuroblastoma world, and knowing that so many children are fighting losing battles allows the doubt in my mind to rear its ugly head. I'm so thankful for this bit of reassurance in between scans that things are okay.

Scans will be sometime the week of April 12th...

Onward we

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunny skies and Mud pies!

I’m a lucky momma this week. I took advantage of having grandma over today and grabbed Eli and we headed to the store. Oooo how I love to have my babes with me one  at a time! Yesterday I had Brady, today Eli, and tomorrow Cara and I go to her 3 year check up.

Eli is just the best kid to shop with. He thinks everything is amazing, never complains no matter how many stores I drag him to, and thanks me for silly things like buckling him in his car seat.

We  just ran to a few stores and of course to KMART to visit his favorite toy department. He and I have this tradition of going to the KMART toy aisles because they carry Little Einstein toys (his favorite!) When we go in that store, he pipes right up and says, “This is where my rocket is!” He is so sweet about playing with the toys just for a few minutes and understands when we have to leave, that he has to leave his favorite rocket behind. Don’t tell Eli, but mommy has that rocket hiding up the closet just waiting for a certain little boy to turn 3 next month:)

This afternoon we got outside to soak up some of that gorgeous sunshine! The kids are having a great time playing on top of the mud mound in our front yard. If you haven’t seen our front yard lately, you should drive by sometime. It is so lovely so see a huge dirt mound leading from the sidewalk to our house where they dug 12 feet down to find our water/sewer lines back in January. Just lovely!

Here is Allison telling you she is SOOOO big!


The triplets checking out the side yard which is kind of swampy these days!  Um..when did they learn to climb the fence?!?!


Of course I had to run around to the other side of the fence to get a picture from the front! (Oh, and the lovely dirt mound is visible in the background!)


Never wanting to be left out, Allie had to go and be this cute and peek at me through the fence!

DSC_0640  DSC_0643


And I have to share this shot of  Allison the pudding-faced cutie!


Monday, March 15, 2010

What I Realized Today

Sometimes the reality of Brady’s illness  leaves my mind for a day or two. Sure, cancer is on my mind in one way or another every day, but there are days when it is just a fleeting thought.

Then there are days like today when I’m able to truly look at my Brady Andrew and grasp the miracles that God has worked in his life. Today I watched Brady do things that brought tears to my eyes and a song of praise to my heart.

Brady was evaluated today in Rochester in order to see if he would qualify for Physical Therapy services now that he is almost preschool age. He had to have a psychological and physical therapy evaluation. I had to meet with a social worker to complete his social history. The appointments lasted 2 1/2 hours and Brady boy was a true champ throughout.

Sweet Brady did a great job on each piece of the evaluation. The only area of concern that we have is the PT part, but even in that area Brady seems to be doing quite well. We won’t know if he qualifies or not for a few weeks.

For me though, it wasn’t about how well he did with the tasks (although I was pretty proud:) I was just in awe of how comfortable he was with the social worker, psychologist, and PT. He had never met these people, and he interacted with them in such a cute, comfortable way. The “old Brady” of a year and a half or so ago, would have clung to me, refused to talk, and cried his eyes out if anything was difficult for him. This was the Brady that was suffering, scared, and unsure of all that was around him. We will never know what kind of pain he was in before his diagnosis, but looking back, it’s hard not to realize that his clingy behavior was because he was hurting.

Today I was in awe of the physical healing in Brady’s life, but even more so, the emotional healing. Brady is a confident, secure boy now. God has restored his spirit and allowed him to blossom socially. To think of all he has been through and all of the times he has had to be vulnerable at the hands of nurses and doctors. I’m amazed at how far he has come.  I am so thankful  for that healing.

After the long morning of appointments, Brady and I went to Perkins for lunch. The other patrons must have thought I was a little bit smothering, as Brady and I sat right next to each other and I just snuggled him throughout all of lunch. The waitress brought him a green balloon before we left and he was so excited.


He held it tightly in his hands even as he fell asleep in the van on the way home.  I knew this balloon would become a hot commodity in our house when we got home. Boy, was I right.

A riot ensued with 4 small children screaming, pushing, and shoving all to get their hands on that balloon. After trying my best to encourage them to take turns, I knew I was fighting a losing battle, and that the balloons days were numbered.

Just as I was about to grab the scissors from the drawer and pop that balloon into oblivion, I got a better idea. I texted Matt and asked him to stop at the pharmacy on the way home and pick up 4 helium balloons.

30 minutes later, my knight in shining armor arrived. Thanks honey…crisis averted!



Sunday, March 14, 2010


We ask for your prayers for Matt's grandma. Yesterday she fell and broke her hip. This morning she had surgery to repair it and came through the surgery fine. Please pray for her comfort, healing, and for those caring for her.

My heart is also aching for the families of 8 precious children who have passed away this week from Neuroblastoma. 8 children in just 7 days. Please join me in praying for their families, that they may be drawn closer to God through this dark time. Pray for those still fighting this disease and for those who have survived but live with uncertainty each day.

Tomorrow Brady and I are headed to Rochester. In order for him to continue receiving physical therapy services, he needs to have a complete preschool evaluation. Tomorrow he will have a lot of testing done in several areas. I'm hoping he wakes up in a good mood and that we have a great day! I'm thinking that we will be going out to lunch together too:)

Friday, March 12, 2010