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Since the summer we have been trying to stay extremely busy to try and fill the vast emptiness in our lives. So far there may have been only one or two weekends were we didn’t have plans. The summer was filled with visits to family and friends. We took a trip to Mississauga for Grandma and Granddad’s 40th anniversary and Andrew really enjoyed playing with his little cousin Abigail. We spent some time at Mama and Papa’s in New Jersey where we were surrounded by family and friends. We also had a peaceful weekend on the beach in Michigan with our good friend and her four doggies!

Andrew’s birthday was especially difficult for Mommy and Daddy, as our Mia would have been so excited for him. She would have loved to put together goody bags and wrap his present. As it was, it was a very boy party. Andrew’s little buddies joined us for chaos and mayhem at an indoor inflatable playground. After jumping and climbing and running around, we made sure to jack them all up on sugar before sending them home by having a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cake. I am very proud of the fact that I can remember all the names and colors of each turtle and what their choice of weapon is. I am now becoming more familiar with the shade of green of each of the ninja turtles. There is a daily quiz.

The first day of school was quite emotional for us, although Andrew jumped right on the big bus, no problem. Mia was so looking forward to Andrew riding the little bus with her. It was actually against the rules, but Mia wished it, so the next day the school approved! Everyone at school is taking very good care of our Andrew, and after the initial transition to the new big school, he settled in quite nicely. He has Mia’s wonderful teacher, Mrs. Slowinski and has made some great new friends. He has a group of soccer buddies who play nonstop at every recess. He played soccer again this fall and really enjoyed it. His team is now the Orange Crush and they will regroup again in the spring. For winter we are trying basketball which has been fun and we hope to try baseball in the summer. He is definitely a sporty guy. Mommy has been trying to get in shape to keep up with him.

We had a long weekend in October when we took Andrew to San Diego. We were lucky enough to meet up with our good friends the Kershaws and spent great days together at Legoland and the Wild Animal Park (related to the San Diego Zoo). We also did Sea World and spent a day in downtown San Diego. It was a really nice trip. Halloween was fun and we lucked out with a fairly mild, sunny day. Usually we are just able to stick to our block, but Andrew and his friends sprinted around the whole neighborhood. We could barely keep up! For Thanksgiving we decided to do something different and go to the Wisconsin Dells. This is a popular vacation spot around here famous for resorts with indoor and outdoor water parks. We spent a couple of days in pools and water slides and enjoyed good food and festivities. We took a side trip on the way home to visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Andrew has been very interested in submarines and ships especially having to do with the Great Lakes. We plan to spend Christmas at Mama and Papa’s in New Jersey and for New Year’s Grandma, Granddad, Uncle Stu, Aunt Sarah and cousin Abigail will come to our house.

Mommy and Daddy have been filling our days. Daddy has been busy at work and seemed to travel quite a bit this fall. Even though Mommy is semi-retired for the moment, I have been too busy to start on my many projects! We have friends and family and doctors and counselors watching out for us, especially with the holidays upon us. Mia loved Christmastime so much. It actually starts the day after Halloween when some radio stations start playing Christmas music nonstop. She would love to listen anytime. She loved decorating the tree and putting up the nativity and making cookies and going to see Santa. Andrew does enjoy these too, but it is just different. Everything is different now.

We are trying to do different things, maybe some things that we would have not ordinarily done. There are some things that Mia could not have done. But now it is all about Andrew and trying to find a balance between being happy and missing our Mia.

Mia's Updates

Learn about what an inspiration Mia has been and the incredible strength she has shown during her treatment.

Family News

Our family has kept us strong during this time of trouble. Here we share what our lives are like while we help Mia battle her cancer.

Reflections

Helping our daughter fight this thing is hard. Here you can read our personal observations on the situation.