Monday, April 23, 2012

Home Sweet Home

The moment we've all been waiting for, and praying for, has arrived. Everett is finally home!!! The family spent a day in San Francisco, celebrating his release from the hospital. There was a trip to the aquarium...

And even a trip to the beach!

Being in the company of his brothers, and his grandparents, has made all the difference in the world. Everett is in better spirits, and Heather says he seems to be feeling so much better! 

Naturally, both Gege and Nena were very excited to have their little boy back. And Heather is thrilled to be back with her other two sons, Jaiden and Cooper.

Heather and Jaiden at the Rain Forest Cafe.
Heather and Cooper enjoying the sunshine.

After a fun-filled day in the big city, the family loaded up for the long trek back up to Eureka. And after many hours in the car, they arrived safe and sound back home.

And we're ALL happy about that. :0)

For now, we will close the chapter on hospital life. We will build things with blocks, and we will finger paint beautiful pictures, and we will race our tiny cars all around the house. We will laugh with our brothers, and cuddle with our grandmothers, and sit in Mommy's lap while she reads us a story. We won't think about needles or tubes or beeping machines. We will revel in being a child, and enjoy being home again.

Thank you to those who have visited daily for updates on Everett. As I receive progress reports from Heather, I will gladly post that information here. There are many road blocks in the path to recovery, so your help would still mean the world to the Masons as they travel to and from San Francisco for Everett's treatments. Let's continue our mission of sending warm thoughts and plentiful prayers their way as they navigate their way back to health.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Everett has officially been released from the hospital!!!

I'm so happy to hear this news, I've been bopping around to the Pointer Sisters all morning long.

(It should be noted that I don't dance on camera for just anyone. Nope! Only Everett.)

Heather and Everett are snuggled up safe and sound in a nearby hotel with Nena, Gege, Jaiden and Cooper. And they couldn't be happier!!

However, there is still a long way to go for Everett's recovery. Heather had to learn all about a kidney-friendly diet for Ev. She will also have to constantly monitor Everett's blood pressure, as he's been having problems with it since the beginning. He will have to continue seeing a doctor on a regular basis for the better part of a year. Remember, his kidneys are still functioning at less than 20%. 

So while this is a major victory in Everett's battle, we still have some skirmishes to fight!! The family faces frequent trips to San Francisco, which is over 400 miles away from where they live. Everett and Heather will be spending many days traveling to and from the hospital for his appointments. 

What does that mean, Everett Warriors?? That our task is still not complete!! Keep those donations, care packages, and positive messages rolling in!!

And I don't think Everett would mind a few more dancing videos, from any of those who are so inclined.

Because for now, we're putting all the rest aside and celebrating the simple fact that Everett finally gets to go home!!!! YAAAAY!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Together At Last!

After three long weeks, Everett and his brothers are together again!!

Don't let the tired-looking children confuse you. Jaiden and Cooper, along with Gege and Nena, traveled 6 long hours before this photo was taken. The official response to his family walking into his hospital room looked a little more like this:

Everett had a much better day yesterday, and is eating much better. We're still keeping our fingers crossed that his fluid intake gets better...and that his doctors will release him soon.

Stay tuned to Sunshine for Everett for updates as I receive them! In the meantime, just keep singing "I Don't Need Anything But You," from Annie. (What? I can't get the song out of my head!)

Seems like the perfect fit for this reunion. Right?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Prison Break! (Hopefully)

Today is the day. After weeks of being apart, Heather's family are on their way to San Francisco, to reunite with little Everett!

This trip comes on the heels of a minor setback for our boy. Doctors worry that he's still not eating or drinking enough, and that may cause them to release him later than originally planned. Dehydration is always a big concern. Lack of interest in food and water has led to lethargy, grumpiness, and a less-than-happy Everett. Heather is worried and stressed, and a visit from her Mom, Sharon, Jaiden and Cooper will surely give her the strength she needs to get through the next few days.

While he waits to see his brothers, Everett is spending lots of time with his new favorite toy---his Daddy pillow:

It brings him comfort to be able to hug Daddy, even when he's still so far away. Jaiden and Cooper had Daddy Pillows, too. It's a sweet way for them to be able to see him whenever they want. It's also another reminder of the hardship that comes with being a military family. However, Blake is staying strong, supporting his family and especially his wife, despite the distance between them. 

Everett is also busy stealing the hearts of all the nurses on his floor. It's easy, when you pair those dimples, that smile, and the crazy-adorable mini-scrubs.

All of us Everett fans are waiting patiently for the news that the family has finally reunited. We're wishing Cindi, Sharon, Jaiden and Cooper a safe trip to San Francisco! And hoping that, with the physical support of the rest of his family, Everett finds that little appetite and starts eating normally again soon.

In the event that he's not released today or tomorrow, the family may need to stay over in the city for an extra night or two, so they can bring Heather and Everett home. Your donations are more important now than they ever were!!! Please consider opening your hearts, and your wallets, to help! Just click the "Donations Information" button above. It's the most direct way to send aid to Heather and her family. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunshine For Me

Even on a day when Everett was feeling grumpy, clingy, and less-than-enthused by his hospital helpers, he still found a way to let the world know that he's a sweet little guy who loves his Auntie Abby. (That would be me, for those who don't know.) I received a message on my Facebook page from Heather this morning. And here's what it said:

Everett made this sun-catcher for you, and I quote, "For Miss Abby 'cause she likes rainbow shoes."


And it's true. I really do favor Rainbow Flip Flops. I wear them from mid-March to late-September. See? Here's proof:

Shoes on my feet today.

And so, that Everett thought of me, even for a second...well, that's a little extra sunshine for ME today. 

Everett continues to improve little by little. The hospital life is wearing on him, though, and he's less-than-enthusiastic if Mommy needs to step out of the room for a break. Heather didn't get many chances to eat yesterday because Everett wouldn't let her out of his sight. Even the play room wasn't adequate enough distraction so this hungry and tired Mommy could grab a quick bite to eat!! So today, we're hoping for sunshine, smiles, and maybe a little distraction so Heather can have a hot meal.

Oh, and one last thing...

Please ignore the laundry basket in the background. They're clean, I swear. Similarly, please excuse my less-than-Idol voice. But...I like singing to the kiddies, so there you have it. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Monday

When you've been in the hospital for 17 days, things start to get a little monotonous. The drone of the machines, the perpetual chirping from heart rate monitors, the ebb and flow of constant door knocks and needle sticks. When boredom sets in for a fidgety 2-year-old, only the most creative of Mommies can bring on the laughter.

Fortunately for Everett, he has Heather.

First, there are the costumes. Nothing is quite as much fun as a little make-believe with Mommy. We've seen Super Everett, Doctor Everett, and today we meet Nurse Everett--Patient Caretaker A-Go-Go. 

When that gets old, it's time to tap into the numerous resources provided by the hospital. The toy room, arts and name it, and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital has got it.

When it's time to go back to their room, Heather has to get really creative to keep Everett busy. They've received lots of gifts from very generous friends and family, but you can only keep a 2-year-old excited about the same toys for so long. So Super Mom grabbed some stickers and did what any Super Mom would do...a photo shoot, of course.

But if you want to get a true smile out of a hospitalized toddler, play the "midnight wagon ride" card. It's conspiratorial, it's breaking all the's the most fun secret, ever.

*   *   *   *   *
Update on Everett's Progress: We've hit just a bit of a bump in the road. Everett's doctors took him off of the medication helping him urinate yesterday because they worry about dehydration. Our little man still isn't eating and drinking the way he should, and until he is, the staff will be diligently watching him to make sure he doesn't plummet into severe dehydration again. This may prove to be a bit of a set back for Everett's release this weekend, so let's send lots of positive thoughts their way today, in hopes that someone will wake up hungry!

If all goes well, the family has been told that Everett may be released on Friday or Saturday. They have been asked to stay in San Francisco for the weekend, though, so they can test Everett's blood before he heads back to Eureka. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the hospital will pay for any extra days the family has to stay over in order to take Everett and Heather home. 

Your donations are crucial now more than ever!!! Let's make sure the family has enough funds in their bank account to get Everett and Heather back in their own beds!! Remember, there are two ways to help out. You can click on the Donation Information tab at the top of the post to read about how to donate directly to Heather through Pay Pal. Or you can participate in our awesome Mary Kay fundraiser by visiting Leslie's shop and making an order! All proceeds will be donated to the family.

Today we close by reminding Everett that he's one of those lucky kids whose Mommy knows her way around the kitchen. We know that hospital food isn't the best, buddy. Just close your eyes and pretend it's something your Mom whipped up, just for you!! You can do it!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Super-Short Sunday Post

Look who got an ice pop AND a wagon ride yesterday!

That's one happy little camper! He also got to paint AND play with a new friend.

Mom and Everett didn't see any doctors yesterday, so there was plenty of time to play and laugh. That's good news all around!! We're also happy to report 3 wet diapers yesterday! It seems like Everett's kidneys are working their hardest because they know how much he wants to go home to be with his Gege and Nina and Cooper and Jaiden.

Here's hoping his Sunday is just as fun!!

Don't forget to visit Leslie's (our Mary Kay liaison) shop to participate in our awesome fundraiser, called Lashes & Love, Skincare & Sunshine!