Saturday: Set-up for the amazing Relay for Life event! I had the first shift, so my job was to get Abbey and her friends safely into the event, set up the tent and their supplies, and make sure they were all sun-screened (I'm a fanatic about this). I got to walk a few laps around the track with some friends and reflect on this amazing event and all the good work it does.The five middle schools in our school district run the largest school-run Relay for Life event in the country, and has raised over $2.5 million in the last 11 years! Pretty amazing for middle-schoolers! Abbey was part of a team of only six girls, and they were honored as one of the top three fundraising teams at their school. They raised over $2000 on their own! I'm so very proud of these girls!
|Abbey took pictures of the luminaries honoring my mom, a lung cancer survivor, and in memory of my dad who died of liver cancer, and my mother-in-law, who lost her battle to melanoma. Relay for Life means a great deal to our family.|
At dusk the whole track is lit up with luminaries. It is such an amazing sight and Abbey knew I was sad to miss it. She texted me this beautiful picture.
After leaving Relay, Katie and I headed to NYC to see Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, This was Katie's big Christmas gift, and she'd been waiting months to see it. We had an amazing dinner in a little cafe -- great food, great conversation and lots of fun people watching -- and headed to the show.
What an amazingly powerful show! Probably not a show for everyone, but we loved it! As I've mentioned before, Katie is my theatre girl, and waiting at the stage door is her most favorite thing of all. We went to the 7PM show, and found out immediately after the show that the cast would not be coming out until after the 10PM show. Katie was devastated. After some quick texting back and forth with Mike at home, I decided we would stay. Not a decision I made lightly. This would mean three extra hours in NYC before we even began waiting at Midnight. Katie was overjoyed! In true Iafolla fashion, we realized the only solution was to find another restaurant. We passed some time in a wonderful Italian cafe, until we took our spot behind the barricade to wait...
|Amazing actress and singer Lena Hall|
|NPH - live and in person!|
|Not my best iPhone camera work! But it was REALLY late and there was lots of jostling in the crowd!|
As you can see, it was all worth it! Katie's feet haven't touched down yet! The 2 1/2 hour drive home was brutal, but we kept chatting and made it home safely at 3:45 AM. Yikes! I can't remember the last time I was awake at that hour. My girl was over the moon...and my heart was glad.
Sunday: I'm sure lots of important things happened, but I was too exhausted to truly remember what they were. I know I made lots of lists in preparation for Monday's adventure.
Monday: Cole, Michael and I headed out at 7AM for the four hour drive to Georgetown University Hospital in DC. Cole needed pre-admission testing for his surgery the next morning (I talked about this here) We capped off the day with a great dinner in DC. While we were all dreading the next day, we also had a wonderful night. I can't remember the last time that Mike and I had Cole all to ourselves. We got to talk a lot about friends, graduation and college (which is coming WAY too quickly -- but more on that later). Cole is insightful, and very funny, with his dad's dry sense of humor. I'm going to miss him so much when he's gone.
Tuesday: Waking up at 4:30 AM is just wrong. Period. We arrived at the hospital at 5:45 AM and settled in for a long day of waiting. Cole was as cool as a cucumber. I was a wreck. At about 7 AM, I kissed my boy as they wheeled him off for surgery (sinus surgery, nasal reconstruction and three wisdom teeth pulled. UGH!). It was a bit surreal to be in this hospital again. Almost a year ago, Katie had her orthognathic surgery here, and spent three days in the pediatric ICU ( I will write about that eventually because I think could help some people facing the same thing -- but I'm not quite ready yet). We could have had Cole's surgery done much closer to home, but Katie's surgeon was so amazing that we couldn't imagine having anyone else operate on Cole. Three hours and two surgeons later, Cole was in recovery. The surgery went exactly as planned, and this is how he looked.
Honestly, it was so much better than I expected. You may think that I'm invading his privacy by posting these pictures, but you don't know Cole. He tweeted these pictures moments after his eyes were open. I'm not kidding.
Wednesday: We had a follow-up appointment with Cole's primary surgeon and then began the long car ride home. Cole was in a lot of pain, but boy was he a trooper. Katie did an amazing job of holding down the fort and taking care of Abbey while we were gone. They were both thrilled to have us all back. Now began the several day struggle of finding things that Cole could/would eat and managing his pain.
Thursday: My baby turns fourteen!! How did this happen? I wish I could freeze time. Here was my little tribute to my girl on Facebook...
Happy 14th birthday to my amazing baby girl. I love you more than you'll ever know. You are beautiful inside and out, and I'm so grateful that you're mine.
Yes, that is a giant doughnut cake! Isn't that the greatest thing you've ever seen? Abbey's big celebration (complete with mom's carrot cake) was happening a few days later over the Memorial Day weekend (pictures to follow), so a friend gave us this fabulous idea. It was a huge hit and a bargain...$10 for a giant doughnut that lasted for days. We've decided to get one for every Iafolla occasion from now on. Abbey's actually birthday didn't get quite the fanfare it deserved because of Cole's surgery and recovery, but we made it up to her on the weekend.
So that's a not so brief recap of a bit of what's been going on in our house. Some special moments with each of my kids, although Cole certainly got the short end of that stick this time.
He's doing so much better and headed back to school yesterday. Hard to miss six days in your senior year. Six days of AP Statistics is a whole lot to miss...I think his head is spinning a bit!
It felt great to be back at the computer, so let's hope it continues. More pictures of Abbey's birthday celebration to follow. There were lots of babies here, and I love babies. Until then...