Our Five Ring Circus: Life Lately Weekend Edition - Liam's Hospital Visit, The World's Largest Candy Store & St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 19, 2018

Life Lately Weekend Edition - Liam's Hospital Visit, The World's Largest Candy Store & St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day

Happy Monday! Our entire weekend was busy, and there was no time to rest. It kicked off with a VERY long day at the hospital, included a trip to the World's Largest Candy Store, was filled with St. Patrick's Day fun, and ended with a day full of errands. I feel like I need just one more day to recover from the weekend!

I have a very long lineup of relevant blog posts to finish in my drafts folder, but I can't quite muster the energy to do so. Although my blog has turned into so much more than a diary of life with my kids, I never want to lose sight of why I started it in the first place: to share my family. So I figured a good 'ole life lately weekend edition post was in order!

So here goes...


Most of Friday was spent at the hospital. Liam had an endoscopy scheduled to confirm a Celiac Disease diagnosis. He was supposed to have it done in January, but thanks to an illness, it had to be rescheduled. Friday was the soonest available!

We drove into Pittsburgh shortly after Dylan, Lexie and Lily headed to school, checked in at the same day surgery center, and nervously waited to be called back. Thankfully, Liam doesn't have any of the common health conditions associated with Down syndrome, and this is the first health "issue" we've had to deal with. This was his second time going under general anesthesia, though, and we were very worried about all the things that could go wrong! It was so difficult handing him over when he was 2 months old for a scope of his airways, and it was just as difficult this time around.

Liam was called back quickly for his pre-op exam, and we spent a LOT of time waiting in the exam room for the procedure to begin. Liam is very energetic, and he hated that tiny room, and the fact that he couldn't escape! Grant and I did our best to keep him entertained, which included a very rowdy game of sock ball, which you can watch on Instagram!

Down syndrome awareness

Down syndrome

After what felt like hours (it actually was since they were running behind in the OR), the anesthesiologist finally brought in the "silly juice" to sedate Liam before giving him the general anesthesia. It was surprising how quickly he went from Tiny Tornado to completely sedated! It was almost like he was drunk.

Down syndrome blog

Before I could process what was happening, the surgical team came in to wheel him to the OR, and sent us off to the surgical waiting room once we reached the OR doors. We said a tearful goodbye, and forced ourselves to walk away from him. Just like the first time, the wait was excruciating. We tried to keep busy by drinking vast amounts of caffeine and watching the surgical board closely to see where he was in the process. We let out a huge sigh of relief when he hit the first post-op recovery room.

Liam's doctor came into the waiting room to talk to us about the procedure shortly after. The endoscopy showed no signs of visible damage other than one questionable area in his stomach, but they did take 6 biopsies to confirm the postive Celiac Panel. The worst case scenario is obviously Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disease. The best case scenario is simply a gluten allergy or intolerance. Either way, he will still have to avoid gluten, but we're hoping it's just an allergy/intolerance. We should have answers by the end of this week.

We were taken back to the first recovery room, where Liam's nurse was holding him as he was sitting in the crib. She placed him in my arms, and once I saw he was awake and alert, I could finally let go of all of my worry. After a few minutes, he chugged apple juice, and managed to keep it down, so they moved us to a private recovery room.

We were warned that he would be grumpy and lethargic all day, and probably throw up once or twice, but not our kid! Liam managed to shock the nurses and anesthesiologist by eating two popsicles and 1 1/2 slushies, and leaping out of my lap to try to run down the hall. Not only did he keep everything down, but the anesthesiologist said he was one of the most alert kids coming out of anesthesia that she had seen in a while. See? There's proof to my "Liam is the Energizer Bunny" claim!

He was promptly released, and we headed home, armed with the barf bags that the anesthesiologist insisted we take with us. Liam just grinned happily from his car seat, with his mouth stained blue from the slushie. Nothing stops our tiny but mighty boy!

Up Syndrome

Okay, so we didn't head straight home. There was a trip to the gas station to fill up the tank, a trip to Target for dog food and paper towels, and a quick stop at a drive through for some much needed food for three very hungry people!

After 8 hours away from home, we arrived to chaos. The kids were just coming home from school, a friend showed up with Shamrock Shakes for all, and Liam simply took off running. It was as if nothing happened to him at all!

Friday evening passed by quickly. My parents picked Lexie up for a sleepover, Lily took a nap on the living room floor, the puppy wouldn't leave our sides after being left alone all day for the first time, and our friends came over to watch movies. After a mentally and physically exhausting day, it was exactly what we needed!

English Mastiff


English Mastiff

English Mastiff Puppy

Best Dogs for Kids with Down syndrome

Family Dogs


Despite not doing much to celebrate, my family was so excited about St. Patrick's Day! They were all decked out in green, but it was just an ordinary busy Saturday for us. Dylan spent the day with Grant, Liam, Ella, and I visited my mom, and my dad took the girls on a day trip. We all reunited that evening for a night with friends that included snacks and "Darby O'Gill and the Little People."

Lexie, Lily and my Dad drove about an hour away to go to a candy store that was considered the world's largest. (Not sure if they still hold that record, but definitely a delcious place to visit!) Either way, they were so excited to see the Chocolate Kingdom at Daffin's Candies, and run into the Easter Bunny during their visit. And they just might have returned with 10 pounds of candy each. (I'm not kidding!)

Daffin's Candies

They followed it up with a trip to Kraynak's, which is a nearby store that puts out elaborate holiday displays that you can walk through. They were so excited to see the Easter-themed displays this time!


They arrived back at my parent's house just before dinner, and they were so excited to show us all the pictures Lexie took, and all the goodies they brought home! I used to go on these day trips with my dad all the time, and I love that he does the same thing with my kids. He's such an amazing Papa!

We didn't really do much to celebrate St. Patrick's Day other than dress up, eat an Irish dinner, watch the movie and listen to Grant play Irish tunes on his guitar, but it was a good day!  And I was able to get pictures of most of my Irish crew!

St. Patrick's Day

The Lucky Few

St. Patrick's Day

Down syndrome blogs

English Mastiff


Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but that NEVER happens here! In addition to our normal Sunday happenings, I also had to drive Dylan to and from a friend's house, and do my weekly shopping at Aldi and Walmart.

We didn't arrive home until 7, and that's when we launch into school night chaos: cooking, eating dinner, packing lunches, gathering up backpacks and coats, picking out clothes, showering, the bedtime routine...by the time it's all over, we're all exhausted!

I DID get to relax, and snuggle my sweet boy for a few minutes. Maybe I will find a few minutes to relax again today, too! Here's to a very busy, but (hopefully) great week ahead!!!

mom blogger

How was your weekend? How did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?


  1. So glad you still made the most of your weekend. Hoping it's just a gluten allergy!

  2. So glad Liam's procedure went well. I'm sure it was nerve wracking! And everyone else had such a busy weekend too!

  3. Your family has been in my prayers. I hope you get answers soon. I know it's so tough not knowing. Once you know at least you'll know what you need to be doing to keep him as healthy as possible!

  4. So glad Liam is okay. Your pup is the cutest and he's getting BIGGER!! Love the St. Patty's Day pics of the kids too!


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