Bath Time

One of the most "normal" things that we do around our home is bath time.  This singular event was the one thing I honestly missed most while Lucy was sick.  Bath time in our house is about laughing, singing, and pure silliness.  Erik turns on his i-Pod and the girls and Jack sing and dance.  Bath time has always been a big deal to the kiddos.  I am so very thankful to have this "normal" back in our lives.
   (and a brag on my husband....for almost 9 years, Erik has done bath time every night.  He's pretty                                     awesome like that.)







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Race Time!


The time is getting near!  You can keep up with all the race happenings by following THIS blog!






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Ski Trip 2012

(this is my second post about our trip.  Somehow I managed to delete the first one)

This year's ski trip was two years in the making.  We were scheduled to leave for our trip last year one week after Lucy received her diagnosis.  We encouraged our friends to go without us, but I knew they wouldn't.  And they didn't.  They were right there by our sides every day.  Every step of the way.  Erik and I have been very blessed throughout our lives with wonderful friends and we were happy to share this year's ski trip with 10 of them.  

 

















Installing Alternative Markets! (Original nabi Tablet)

Even with the myriad of YouTube videos out there, some parents appear to still be struggling when it comes to installing the alternative markets on the nabi Tablet.  Below you will find step by step instructions to get you through those setups.  

Viewing this blog post on your tablet, will allow you to skip several steps, by easily clicking on the download links.  If you type "everythingnabi" in the Google Search field and hit Go, you'll find several links that can get you to Everything Nabi! 

To ensure an error free process, be sure your default internet browser is the Browser app and not the Maxthon Mobile Browser.

Note if you already use the Amazon Appstore or Android Market on your smartphone, then logging in with same account will allow you to install apps that you've already paid for, as long as they are compatible. 

Amazon Appstore:
1. Login to Mommy Mode.
2. Type "Amazon Appstore apk" into the Google Search field and hit Go.
3. Click on the link listed as: Install Amazon Appstore.
4. Click the Download now button.
5. Pull down on the Notification bar at the top of the tablet.
6. Click on Amazon_Appstore-release.apk, once the download has completed.
7. Click the Install button.
8. Click the Open button.
9. If you have an existing Amazon.com account, enter the proper e-mail address and password and click Done. If not then create an account, by clicking the button on the bottom.
After successfully logging in to the store, you may want to enable the Parental Controls and ensure that In-App Purchases are disabled.
10. Click the Menu Key.
11. Click the Settings option.
12. Click on Parental Controls.
13. Check the Enable Parental Controls option, to require your Amazon.com password or PIN in order to purchase in-app items.
14. Enter your Amazon.com password and hit the Continue button.
15. Check the Use PIN, if you'd prefer to use a four digit PIN number instead of your Amazon.com password, when making an in-app purchase.
16. Click on Change/Reset PIN.
17. Enter your PIN and confirm.
18. Click the Back Key to back out of Parental Controls.
19. By default In-App Purchasing should be disabled.  If not, then uncheck the Allow In-App Item Purchases.

Google Play Store (Formerly the Android Market):
NOT AVAILABLE YET FOR THE NABI 2 TABLET
Prerequisite:  ES File Explorer 
1. Login to Mommy Mode.
2. Select and launch App Zone.
3. Click on the Search icon in the top right corner.
4. Enter "File" into the Keywords field and click Search button.
5. Click the Free button located by ES File Explorer.
6. Click the Download button.
7. Once downloaded, click the Install button.
8. Once installed, click the Done button.
9. Hit the Home key to exit the App Zone.

10. Type "mediafire.com/?5UGDTL9AWT74L14" into the Google Search field  and hit Go.  (Case does not matter.)
OR 
11. Select the 4.com.android.vending-3.3.12.apk link, if you are viewing this post on your tablet.
12. Click on the green Download (3.37 MB) button.
13. Pull down on the Notification bar at the top of the tablet.
14. When 4.txt shows Download Complete, click the Clear button.
15. Hit the Home key to exit the Browser app.
16. Launch the ES File Explorer app.
17. Click on the first icon that looks like an SD Card.
18. Click the nand folder.
19. Click the download folder.
20. Put your finder on the 4.txt file and hold down until the Operations window appears.
21. Select the Rename option.
22. Type 4.apk and click the Done button or key.
23. Click on the 4.apk file.
24. Click the Install button.
25. Click the Open button.
NOTE: Some parents have run into force close issues after clicking the Open button.  If this happens power off the tablet and then restart it. Log back into Mommy Mode and launch the Market app.
26. Click the Yes button to begin adding an account to the tablet.
27. Click the Next button.
28. Click the Create button if you do not already have a Google account, otherwise click the Sign In button.
29. Click the Finish Setup button.
30. Click the Accept button to agree to the various Terms of Services.

After successfully logging in to the store, you may want to enable the User Controls and ensure that purchases can only be made by first entering a PIN.
31. Enter the Market app.
32. Hit the Menu Key.
33. Click on Settings.
34. Scroll down to User Controls and select Set or Change PIN.
35. Enter a PIN number then click the OK button.
36. Re-enter the Pin number then click the OK button.
37. Check the Use PIN for Purchases option.
38. Hit the Backup Key to exit Settings.
Anytime that an app is now to be purchased within the Google Play Store, a pop up will display asking for the PIN number.

There are a number of other websites that offer Android apps, just be sure to do your due diligence when selecting sources and apps for your tablet.  Here are a few additional sites: 1Mobile Market,  4SharedAppBrainAppoliciousAndroidZoom,  and GetJar.





As if to remind me that my work is not complete, I have spent my morning at the doctors office with sick babies.  

 Ella has a bad sinus infection and is now on breathing treatments.  


Lucy still has an ear infection (just finished 10 days on amoxicillin) and is about 1 day away from a sinus infection.  On the 1 year anniversary of Lucy's diagnosis, let me just tell you I did not welcome the vomit that  she woke up with this morning.


And Jack is about 3 days into the antibiotic he is being treated with for his sinus infection.  His Daddy is too.  Thank God I am well.  Mommy just doesn't have the time to be sick.

Everyday is a reminder to keep life in perspective.  Thankful today for sinus and ear infections.


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Rose Colored Glasses

I've always heard the saying "seeing life through rose colored glasses" but I've never really stopped to think about what it really means.  Not until this week.  I've actually given it a lot of thought.  The English novelist Thomas Hughes was the first to record the phrase in 1851.  It means to see things in a favorable light--to have unmitigated optimism.  Have you ever known anyone like this?  For the most part, I have always had a bit of rose colored tint to my life.  In most situations I have been able to see the positive side of the problem, to see the brighter horizon, to look past the negative.  And for the most part, even after this past year, I am still a lot like that.

However, the tint is gone a bit.  It has been made dirty by the crystal clear glasses that I have worn for the past year.  365 days of in-your-face reality.  What I have witnessed, what our family has endured over the past year will stay with me forever.  The tears I have cried, the prayers I have prayed, the friends I have made and lost....those are the things that change your perceptions of life.

I have seen children die.  I have seen more suffering in the past year than anyone should witness in a lifetime. I have seen the most innocent of God's creation have their lives ripped apart before they even turned one.  I have met so many broken-hearted mothers and father.  Parents who would give their lives in a moment for their child to have another chance at life.

Those are the things that I still don't understand.  Those are the things I still question every, single day.  I don't get it.  I never, ever will.  Cancer is evil.  It has no shame.  It will destroy a life, a family and will never have remorse.  Children are not supposed to die.  They are not supposed to suffer.  It's just not the way life should be.  And these are the things that I have seen through my crystal clear glasses this past year.  No amount of tint could ever change that.

But  I have also been blessed to witness God's miraculous healing first hand.  I have been literally pulled from the depths of despair on sevearl occasions by the hand of a loving God who has never forsaken me.  I have seen my faith blossom (although I know it will never be complete).  I have learned to let go of compulsiveness, control and fear.  I have learned to walk day by day trusting in God to guide my every step.  I have grown to cherish the now and live for the moment.  I have been transformed.  I am a new person.  I still have my moments of "old me," but the change in my life has been amazing.

So while the past year was devastating, I know I am a better person for having lived it.  So life gave me a raw deal for a while.  So what?  It's what you do with it that counts, right?  The experiences, the lessons learned.  I now know how to be a friend to those who have lost love ones.  I now know what to say to a parent that has a child with a life threatening illness.  I know how to pray for mercy, faith, peace and healing with unbridled passion.  I have come close to knowing what it would feel like to be separated from a child forever.  I know how to appreciate the small victories in life like elevated ANC, central lines that don't have to be replaced, 2/10th of a pound gained, only vomiting 5 times in a day.  Learning to appreciate those little victories has made reveling in the big ones that much sweeter.

And while I may not be walking with rose colored glasses these days, I do walk through life with the lenses of appreciation.  I can honestly say that I cherish every moment with my children.  Don't get me wrong.  I stay tired, I often get frustrated, I sometimes snap too easily and I even find myself longing for bedtime to arrive.  But I still cherish every moment.  I love my children more today than I ever have.  Unless you have almost lost a child there is no way you can ever understand what I am saying.  You just can't.  There is an urgency of appreciation that I will forever live with.  And I am SO grateful for it, too.  I choose to view it as a gift.  It's something I have been given and I wear it with pride.  It's like a badge of honor.  Lord, may I never take your gift to me for granted.

This is the Bible verse that I am claiming for the rest of Lucy's life.  Our hope is in Him, our faith is in Him.
                           Luke 8:50  "Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed."

February 23, 2011 will forever be the day that changed all of our lives but the way we have chosen and the way we will choose to handle every day since will define our lives.  I may not live the rest of my life with unmitigated optimism, but I pray that I never lose all of the rose tint from my life.


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One Year Ago

While the 23rd is the actual anniversary, one year ago today my life changed forever.  One year ago today I drove Lucy to Memphis for a "quick" doctor's visit.  By 2:00pm we were thrust into the depths of chaos, fear and confusion.  One year ago today OUR lives changed forever.  Not just mine, but the lives of Erik, Ella, Jack and mostly Lucy.  Our family, our old friends and the new friends we have made across the world through this blog.  We have all been changed.  Some days I know it's for the better and some days I still question.  A LOT.

This is not the post I have been wanting to write, but it's all I can do right this moment with Jack helping me.  It's time to get Lucy to OT and then our day of therapy, tutoring and trials begins.  I couldn't start the day without saying thank you to you all.  Thank you to all the ones who have showered our family and our Lucy with prayer every single day.  In all honesty, we still need it.  Many days are hard.  Most days I still worry.  And every day we need your prayers.

As we begin the Lenten season today, this day of such a sad anniversary, I know my moments will be spent in reflection about where we were, where we have been and where we are going.  Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I am giving up Sonic for Lent.  (That's a whole other post in itself.)  I am also taking on the task or writing letters of thanks and/or encouragement to 40 people during the 40 days of Lent.  This was not my original idea, but I sure have a lot to be thankful for so it seemed like a great fit for me.

Today is the day.  The day that changed our lives forever.

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Ugh

So my Internet is messed up at home. I have a post I want to write and I've been praying over it for a few days. Guess it will have to wait one more day. Because it is was too long to type on my phone.

Today and tonight I have been praying so hard that God would convict me about what I should do/give up or both for Lent. Being Baptist, we don't really participate in Lenten activities. But I started about 10 years ago and plan on teaching my children to do the same. To me it is a great time for reflection about Jesus's sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Me giving up caffeine or pledging to read my Bible for 40 days in a row seems like such a small sacrifice.

I liked what a blogger said about us not needed to give up something in order to pay a pentence. That is what Jesus did for us on the cross. There is nothing in this world I can give up to try to gain pardon for my sins. And because of that I am eternally grateful for God's redeeming mercies.

However, from my experience it seems that giving up something that is important to you seems to draw you nearer to the cross each time you are reminded that it is gone.

That being said, I will make my decision by morning. I will be giving up something and vowing to do something"good" during the 40 days of Lent.

Test

Blogger is messed up online. Trying to see if this will post.

No pictures.... Just a memory

Exactly one year ago today we spent the day riding 4 wheelers and Rangers with our closest friends. Afterwards we ate dinner at Nelson and Amanda's house. If I remember correctly we had burgers and hotdogs. Lucy was recovering from a stomach bug and
we had to leave early that night because she wasn't feeling well.

Tonight we had dinner at Nelson and Amanda's house. One year to the date. We ate hotdogs and burgers. No one even realized how significant today was. It was just another night to us. The way it should be. The way I pray it will be forever more.

But we did spend a few minutes in reflection about how much all of our loves have changed. We talked about the phone call that change all our lives forever. Sarah and Amanda were on a school bus together coming home from a field trip. Erik was at a lunch meeting. I was just a stay at home mom who was put out be because of an ongoing stomach bug.

Tonight as I type on my phone laying on bed I'm thinking about the medicine I just gave Lucy, the feeding tube I just cleaned and attached, the bald head I kissed goodnight and the 8 year old sleeping beside her; keeping watch as her baby sister sleeps.

This was not my life one year ago. My life was perfect one year ago.... or so I thought.

Our pastor talked this morning about the sifting process that God allows us to go through at times in our lives. He is sifting the useful parts of us from the worthless parts. He is purifying the finished product. While I know I am a long, long way from a finished product, I feel that this past year has begun to prepare me and our whole family for something so much greater than even our wildest imagination.

February 23rd is the day that we will always remember as Lucy's diagnosis day. So many memories are attached to this day. Horrible, painful memories.

But as I look back tonight I am reminded of the miracles that have been performed for Lucy and the grace that has been bestowed upon our family. As the road map of our lives is laid out before us it is evident that God has designed each step of our lives to perfectly fit within this huge master plan he has created for us.

It has been humbling to watch things fall into place in such a way that can not even be explained. Our lives are a masterpiece in the creation. I know this full well.

We are blessed. So very blessed.

Going to the Movies!


Adding movies to the nabi Tablet seems to be one of the larger growing interests on the Facebook page.  The information provided below is given simply to educate parents on the subject. 

First backing up or ripping of your personal DVDs to another electronic format is illegal, as a result of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copy Right Act.  This law goes against the rights of consumer's Fair Use protection and what has been previously ruled in regard to the older Audio Home Recording Act of 1992.  The circumventing of a manufacturer's Digital Rights Management protection appears to be universally frowned upon by most governments and the Motion Picture Association of America.  Please take this into consideration when reading the rest of this post.

While the nabi Tablet provides the FoozKids Videos with access to an assortment of predefined and customizable kid-friendly YouTube videos; WiFi access is required.  On a long road trip you can only count on Angry Birds to hold your child's attention for so long.  Sure tethering the nabi Tablet to your smartphone may be an option, but unless you have an unlimited data plan, this could be expensive.  

An assortment of your Home Videos may do the trick.  In this case, you can simply copy the AVI formatted files to your Micro SD card and the Gallery app will play them.  That will probably keep your child entertained for a half hour or so; unless of course you're one of the families that is constantly submitting to AFHV.

On the other hand, if you have a number of DVDs that your children enjoy, you may want to make some of your investment portable by backing it up to an electronic file format that an Android Tablet can view.  This is where the small investment in a large and fast Micro SD Card becomes worth it.

While some parents on the Facebook community have posted freeware applications that can bypass DRM protections and convert from DVD to the MP4 format, none of these are generally associated with each other or come in an all-in-one application.  One of the issues that can arise with freeware is that the developer stops upgrading their program on a regular basis.  With new DVDs releasing every Tuesday introducing the latest DRM protections developed by the industry, it may be important to choose something that is constantly being upgraded.

One application that can convert the latest commercially released DVDs with DRM protection direct to a supported digital file format is IDEAL DVD to MP4 Converter.  A lifetime license key is currently on sale for $30.00 (regular $35.00) which provides you with the latest decryption software updates.  An added bonus is that the fully functional trial version is capable of converting up to 10 DVDs at no cost.

Below are the basic steps required to use IDEAL DVD to MP4 Converter, after you've downloaded the trial version and installed it selecting all of the defaults.

1. Put your DVD into your Windows computer.
2. Launch IDEAL DVD to MP4 Converter.
3. Dismiss the Registration window.
3. Check the Title that you'd like to converter.  Generally this will be the option with the largest time in square brackets.
4. Enter the desired Filename for the converted file or accept the default.
5. Choose the location where you'd like the converted file saved.  

NOTE: You can save the file directly to your Micro SD Card.  This will probably take a bit longer than saving the file to your hard drive, but it will save having to move the file later.  A Class 10 Micro SD Card is recommended for this method.

6. You can change the default MP4 Profile to one of the many choices available in the pull down list or create your own by selecting the Configuration button.  I'd recommend sticking with the default MP4 settings for now.  You can play around with the settings on future rips, once you see how the first conversion turns out.  Increasing or decreasing the quality and resolution settings will respectively increase or decrease the size and time to generate the file.
7.  There are other settings for the program that you may also choose to change.  Especially if you're doing this late in the evening.
8. Click the Rip button, once you have everything setup the way you want it.
9. The time it takes to backup a DVD will be dependent on several other factors including: other programs running, Windows OS, amount of RAM, Processor speed, DVD drive speed,  and where the file is being stored.
10. Once the conversion has completed, if necessary, copy the MP4 file to your Micro SD card and put it in the nabi Tablet.
11.  Launch the Gallery app and your video will display as one of the possible choices.

NOTE:  IDEAL DVD to MP4 Converter will remember all of your settings from the previous backup, so if you were happy with the results all you'll really need to do is insert another DVD, launch the application, select your desired title and click the Rip button. 

I'd request that if you have any other software recommendations for the community that you leave a comment below.

As a cool alternative to the default Gallery, I'd highly recommend Movie Gallery Free available in the Android Market.  The only real difference between the paid and free app is that the free version limits the display to up to 10 movies in 5 folders.



The creators of Movie Gallery, Tools4Movies, also offer an all-in-one DVD to MP4 conversion application called DVD Catalyst which is currently on sale for $10.00 (Regular $20.00).  They've provided the community with how to instructions from inserting the DVD to viewing the video on the nabi Tablet.

March 13, 2012 UPDATE: Check out Going to the Movies - The Sequel! for steps on how to install, rent, view and download movies using Google Play Movies (formerly Google's Videos app).

Customizing the FoozKids Apps on Nabi

With the release of the nabi 1.1 OS upgrade, Fuhu, Inc. now allows parents to customize what is available in the FoozKids apps on the Nabi Tablet.  This can be accessed through the FoozKids web-site or the FoozKids computer application

1. On your computer, login to the FoozKids website.
2. Enter your account information, using the same e-mail address and password you used when setting up the Nabi.  Hint: The password is the same one you use to go into Mommy Mode.
3. You are now logged into the Parental Dashboard where you can control what content is available through both the computer application and the nabi Tablet FoozKids apps.  Select the nabi Tablet product.  
NOTE: You can always switch between child accounts by clicking on their Avatar on the top of the page.
4.  The nabi Parental Dashboard allows you to manage all of the content that is available to your child through the FoozKids apps found on the nabi Tablet.  Select the Websites Edit link.
5. You'll be presented with 7 pages of the predefined Websites that are available for viewing through the FoozKids Websites app on the nabi Tablet.  You need to uncheck the sites you'd like to remove access to.
Here's where I've found a slight flaw in the logic used for these pages.   
If you choose to refine what is being displayed by choosing your child's gender and age it will display those websites fine, however it still keeps all of the other non-gender or non-age appropriate websites checked.  I brought this up during the beta testing of nabi 1.1 OS, so hopefully it can be addressed in the near future.

WORK-AROUND:
7. Do not select your child's gender or age.
8. Click the Disable All link to uncheck all of the displayed sites on the page.
9. Click the Next link to move to the next page and repeat Step 8.
10. Continue until all of the websites are unchecked.
11. Now you can filter by Gender and Age.
12. Click on the title of a website that you may be interested in to read a description of the material.  A link to the actual website is also provided, so that you can look at it further and decide if it is appropriate for your child.
13. Go through and check the websites that you'd like you child to have access to.
14. Other available websites can be viewed and checked by filtering on other Gender or Ages.

15. Repeat the above steps for Videos, Games and Crafts.

NOTE: Adobe Flash Player is required for many Websites and Videos.  This app can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Families outside of the US may be subject to a limited experience on some websites and videos due to international restrictions.

16.  Once you have chosen from the predefined Websites, Videos, Games and Crafts you'll probably want to add some specific things that weren't available.  Click on one of the Add  links listed under My Channels.  This is where families from outside the US can add country specific content.
17.  My Channels provides Google and You Tube searches for sites that contain your search criteria.  
18.Once you've reviewed the website or video and feel that it is appropriate for your child, then simply click on the green Add button to add it to your My Channels list.
19. Continue adding your custom content within Websites, Videos, Games and Crafts.

NOTE: For those parents wanting to make the YouTube app available to their children in Kidz Mode this is a much better option, as it allows you to control what your child is watching.  It completely eliminates that chance of them going from a kid-friendly video to something on the other end of the spectrum.

20.  FoozKids Flix works along the same principles, as above, check the video series you want your child to have access to.
21.  Once you've completed all of your modifications, it's time to check to see if they've synced with the nabi Tablet.  Simply launching Web, Videos, Games or Crafts in Kidz Mode will let you know.  

NOTE: The syncing between the tablet and the FoozKids website takes a few hours to update the selections available on the Tablet.   Nabi Cares Support addressed this issue with the release of the nabi OS 1.1.2 update.

UPDATE:  I had planned to finish this blog post today over lunch, but unfortunately didn't have time to take that break.  In the meantime, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Fan-a-Tech Robyn had uploaded the following You Tube video.  Great minds think alike!


Lucy Goes to DC

Lucy's story was part of a congressional hearing last week.  Upon hearing this, Erik and I were both transported back to a horrific time in our lives.  While I am glad that something positive may come from Lucy's experience, we both agree that no one testifing to Congress about Lucy's experience has a clue what it was really like.  No one can begin to imagine the fear we lived with for 3 excruciating days.

This was an email that was written today by my husband, Erik.  He never writes for our family blog, but I asked his permission to put his words on today.  He was happy to share his view of one of the worst day(s) of our lives:

Last week our Lucy’s story made it to Capitol Hill as part of congressional testimony on drug shortages. I wish that I was the one who could have testified.

As many of you remember, we had just finished radiation and were looking forward to a month off before chemo.  Lucy finished radiation on a Friday. She hadn’t really eaten since radiation started. She had been on I.V. nutrition(TPN) basically since diagnosis. On that Monday she went to school.  She started to eat jello and whipped cream. She went to Ella’s softball game.  And then she ate some watermelon and some whipped cream. We were so excited, it was a great day.  That night as we were preparing for bed, Lucy looked at me and said, “Daddy I can’t see very well.” I tried not to panic, and hoped that maybe she was just worn out.  By morning, Lucy couldn’t keep her eyes from fluttering uncontrollably. 

We rushed to St. Jude only to be told we would have to wait a few days until they could do an MRI. Kate and I uneasily headed to the cafeteria, but before we get there our Doctor calls.  By a miracle Lucy had not eaten since midnight, and they were able to arrange an MRI immediately. Kate and I are thinking the worst.  Cancer must be spreading.  It was the sickest feeling. I can only compare it to our first few days of diagnosis.  We were defeated.  We spend hours waiting on the MRI results. They come out and let us know that Lucy is in recovery. We rush back to her.  She usually wakes up after a few minutes in the recovery room. This day she did not.  I think her body was just worn out. 

Kate and I load her into a wagon and head to consult the Doctor.   While we are in the waiting room, our phone rings again.  In the second minor miracle of the day, Lucy is still asleep.  They saw something concerning on the MRI and want to take more pictures.  Since Lucy is still asleep, they can still take her back.  Kate and I are a wreck. We are still convinced that tumors are pressing on her optic nerve and causing the problems. We are sick. By this time it is 5 pm and we are exhausted from waiting on pins and needles all day. In about 20 minutes they bring our little girl back to us again.  The Dr’s look confused. Dr. K, one of the great heroes of pediatric oncology doesn’t even look at us.  I’m trying to read body language.  His was telling. So they take Kate and I back to the room. Its good news they tell us.  Good news in a completely warped way.  It is not tumors causing the trouble.  They think she has had a stroke. A relief.  You are in a strange world when its good news that they think your 5 year old daughter has had a stroke. They admit us to the hospital room for the night. Wednesday and Thursday were just painful.

 We watched our little angel go completely blind in a matter of a couple days. The optimism of Monday was long forgotten. By Friday morning, she couldn’t see her hand in front of her face. If I put my hand in front of her face and said ”how many fingers?” She didn’t even know that my hand was there. “It’s ok Daddy” she says, “At least I can still hear.”  I had to leave the room and I balled like a baby. I was never more impressed with St. Jude than I was this day.  The sheer firepower of talent that was on our Lucy’s case was incredible. While we had a diagnosis of a stroke, it was clear that they were not really sure what was going on.  It was a who’s who of pediatric oncology parading through her room. And each one of them was talking to colleagues all over the country. I have been told that the email chains had gone on long into the night.

If Lucy had a chance to be healed, God was using the best and brightest of his creation. There was great debate about whether to do another MRI this day.  It had only been since Tuesday. Not really long enough to see a change. My wife has done  many things well during Lucy’s journey, but I am most proud of her for the quality relationships that she has with Lucy’s Docs. I will never forget, Dr. K, to his credit, grabbed Kate by the arm, and asked “what do you think? Do you think it has changed from Tuesday?” He respected and trusted her opinion. Kate says “yes” and we are off to get another MRI.  While we are wheeling her down to MRI, the nurse kind of puzzledly asked if we knew they had ordered some vitamin for her I.V.  We of course knew nothing.  And didn’t think anything of it. We are on pins and needles again waiting on the results. 

In a couple hours, Dr. D. comes to get Kate and me, and we go with her to review the MRI scans.  The tumors are looking much improved. That’s not the problem. And it wasn’t a stroke after all.  They have a new hypothesis.  She was deficient in Thiamine.  Vitamin B1.  There had been a shortage worldwide. And she wasn’t getting it in her TPN.  Thiamine is needed for the part of your brain that processes information from your optic nerve. Coincidentally it is also required by our bodies to process sugar.

 So when Lucy ate her watermelon and whipped cream, her body used up every bit of thiamine she had left, and the light switch literally turned off.  So good news. It is likely all reversible, but they don’t have a lot of data in small children, and they don’t know if any permanent damage was done. We leave Dr. D. Relieved and still concerned at the same time. When we get back to the room, Lucy is waking up.  She turns her head as we enter the room. She squeals as we come in.  The nurse is wearing a Scooby Doo scrubs shirt.  And Lucy can already make out the characters.  Just hours after they added a simple vitamin to her I.V..

So brilliant Dr.’s,and state of the art equipment, and God’s grace have come through for our Lucy. It took several weeks for her vision to return to normal. But now, months later those blue eyes are just perfect. And that is the story of how our little Lucy went to Capitol Hill.

Follow the link and then you can read the full testimony in the attached document.   http://www.ashp.org/menu/News/NewsCapsules/Article.aspx?id=414

For those of you who are interested, here is my take of this horrible experience. 


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Customizing Your Child's FoozKids Avatar!

Here are the steps necessary to have you and your child customize their avatar for FoozKids and the Nabit Tablet.

1. On your computer, login to the FoozKids website.
2. Enter your account information, using the same e-mail address and password you used when setting up the Nabi.  Hint: The password is the same one you use to go into Mommy Mode.
3. You are now logged into the Parental Dashboard where you can control what content is available through both the computer application and the Nabi Tablet FoozKids apps (Web, Videos, Games, Crafts and Flix).  Select the Computer product.
4.  Click on the Click Here link located on the lower right corner.
5. The download of FoozKidsSetup_3.1.00.exe should start automatically.
6. Once the download is complete, launch the executable file.
7. Confirm that you want to install the program.
8. Walk through the installation confirming your desired language, accepting the license agreement and choosing the installation location.  To keep it simple just go along with all of the defaults.
9. Click the Finish button to launch the FoozKids application for the first time.
10. Click the Sign In link located under Already a Member?
11. Sign into the FoozKids application using the same e-mail address and password, as in Step 2.
12. Choose the child's account that you want to use.
13. You can choose to sign up for the optional FoozKids subscription, or click the X in the top right corner, to continue.
14. Select the Creator application.
15. Begin customizing  the avatar with the numerous options and hundreds of combinations.  Be sure to click Save once you have what you want.  
NOTE: Clicking the Undo button will take you back one change, as many times as you click.
16. OPTIONAL: Click on the Parental Dashboard link at the top right corner and login, in order to customize the options available for the FoozKids Apps on the Nabi.
17. Close the FoozKids application and power on the Nabi Tablet.
18. Click on the Menu Key and choose Child Settings.
19. Enter the Mommy Mode password.
20. Give it a second and your new avatars will display.

For those families with only one tablet but multiple children, be sure to take advantage of the FoozKids application that you've just installed.