I tried in my sleep last night to focus less on the day and more on the Thanks and Giving of this trip. So many things to be thankful for. We started our trip in a rain storm stuck in traffic. I swear a part of each of us in the car snapped a little while stuck on the Dan Ryan in a rainstorm. The car ride was then diverted by traffic and we chose to head to the hotel rather than keep on course to the Lego Store in Schaumburg. Dinner was planned at 6:30 with some really great friends. As we checked in the hotel some 1.5 hrs after hitting the city limits we actually laughed about our moods hitting our new friends in the face. We got to Leona's Pizza in Oak Park and waited anxiously for our friends the Giunta family to arrive. I saw Tracy walk through the door first and air left my lungs. We embraced and I knew it was going to be OK. We didn't have to be anything to these people other than scared parents the night before a cast. They have been there. The night was easy. Will and Massi were little monsters running around the restaurant and giggling with delight. Before I knew it 2 hours had passed and it was time to head home. I still fear they got to see the cynical side of the The Diefenbaugh's rather than Chad and Catie fun and outgoing. After a little sleep, I think it is OK. They are friends, the lifelong kind and all is good. We will hopefully have all our friends to our neck of the woods for a little out of city experience where we can show them a little glimpse of our city. Thank you to the Giunta Family for helping us through a crazy night. We pray your clan is over their stomach virus that attacked the day after. You are amazing people! We are blessed this journey has giving us the pleasure of this friendship.
OK so cast day....William slept all night. That doesn't happen often but heaven gave us this gift. We arrived at precisely the same time as the Miller family and hugs were exchanged with our old friends. We checked into our room to see Kelli and Doug with sweet Rylie! Here's another family we absolutely LOVE. We all looked at the 4th tag on the wall and said do we know Quinn? About that time a 4th family with another beautiful little girl walked in....Quinn makes 4! Two beautiful girls and Two strong handsome boys. The quartet of Casting Families were talking and sharing as Gwen ran vitals around the room. The big boys were so brave for weight and bp. This was a first for William. The squeezy arm thing is his arch nemesis. We all trailed down to x-ray in sequence: Rylie first, Quinn, William, then Super Hero Jack. The resident was funny, I guess I have to sign these backs so they don't confuse it with another back...He had a point, they weren't cutting off the wrong arm, it was a back and they only have one of them. Linda came in and gave us all smiles. Linda and Gwen are the backbone of that place. I asked her a ton of really stupid questions to which she answers all of them. Time began to fly at that point. Cast time is now here.
Rylie, Quinn, William, then Jack. As each little brave one travels back a scared parent walks out. We all gathered our Pj's as we waited. So many Pj's for so many friends. This is going to be great. Numbers came out before little ones, then was little angels in sequence coming out and getting taped and heading home. We said goodbye to Sweet Baby Rylie while William was still in and Goodbye to sweet Quinn while William was being taped, Super Hero Jack came out while William was throwing his tantrum. New things shot at us and Big brother was there the entire time. We are truly blessed parents to have two wonderful boys and Cody is amazingly attentive to his brother. For this day and it's blessings we are Thankful.
The Giving: Each little one left with a new pair of Pajama's. YAY LUCKY CAST CLUB! Our first dream becoming a reality. New Toys and PJ's were delivered. YAY Shriners kids! You are getting a special hug from some special families. Kelli came up with some fabulous new ideas to take us into the new year. Bedside DVD players are next and a fabulous movie drive to stock the hospital with kids favorites. Pj's need to be a staple to our club. We all realized this while sitting in the room talking. So PJ's and DVDs for the Lucky Cast Club will kick off in the new year. Amy gave us all a surprise with her news release to showcase the Thanks and Giving of some very special little friends. Hopefully someone with heart will read her release.
BIG THANKS: Thank you to the families who are supporting us, The wonderful Shriners staff: Gwen, Linda, Tom, Robert, Ruby, Dr. Hammerberg and the beautiful aides and nurses who pop in and out of our little ones days. Thanks for the cast free hugs some of our little ones will get through the holidays. I know there is heartache and fear associated with some of these out of cast moments but look at them as a gift of time. Additional time to let them be little and carefree. Thanks for a year of casting that has staved off surgery. Thanks for numbers lower than where we started and time to continue the process. Thanks that Keira is out of surgery range, Dylan is still casting at a center willing to keep trying, Max, Makenna, & Drue are in braces, Adelyn is going to get the help she needs to get her back on track...we love our sweet girl, Kiya is going to get back to casting after her Keloid is removed...enjoy the hugs mom, Cadence, Jackson and William are still in the game...just in overtime so to speak, Beautiful Giana is holding strong and charting new courses in her wake, she is our hope for what is to come...lead the way sweet girl, Massimo, Rylie, & Kaity are making it through their first year of milestones and gaining correction along the way, We love our sweet babies, and Sweet Quinn and her family have entered our lives. Way to Grow Lucky Cast Friends! We have a lot to be thankful for even if we have to take a few moments sometimes to see it.