Little Heart. Big Cause.

Our little heart angel

Our little heart angel

Our son, Adam (now 2 years-old), was born with a major Congenital Heart Defect called Truncus Arteriosus. The defect is complicated but essentially means that he was born without a pulmonary artery (one of the two major blood vessels that extends from the heart). At just 4 days old Adam underwent a life-saving open heart procedure to repair his aortic valve, insert a human donor graft to act as his pulmonary artery and to give him hope. Since then he has endured several other procedures for his heart. Unfortunately, the pulmonary artery graft is not his own tissue so it will not grow with him. As such, Adam has many more surgeries and procedures in store for him, unless doctors and scientists are able to perform more research and develop better solutions. In three days our little Adam will undergo another open heart surgery to give him a new pulmonary graft and to replace his aortic valve, which is now deteriorating. Continue reading

OH Summer Fun Week 10: Big Bone Lick State Park & Garden of Hope

Summer Bucket List

Big Bone Lick State Park

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Cost: Free, unless you play miniature golf which costs a couple bucks a person

Time: 2 hours

Located in northern Kentucky, Big Bone Lick State Park is home to a herd of wild bison! Matthew and Jordan especially loved watching the new calves roam with their mommas. It’s not quite the Yellowstone experience (where there are no fences and they really do run wild), but you can still get up close and personal to these amazing creatures. Continue reading

OH Summer Fun Week 9: Ride the Ducks, Newport Aquarium, Lunken Airfield

Summer Bucket List

This was certainly a day of adventure. Our first stop was Newport on the Levee in Newport, KY.

Ride the Ducks Newport

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Cost: $18/adult; $12/child (Newport Aquarium pass holders get a substantial discount!)

Time: 1 hour

While this is a somewhat pricey activity, I’ve been wanting to do it since we moved here, so I splurged today. The Ducks resemble the WWII DUKWs and travel on land and water. Our Duck drove from Newport to Cincinnati, entered the Ohio River near Yeatman’s Cove, spent some time rolling on the river and then ended the tour with some sights in Cincinnati and Newport. Our tour guide was awesome – the perfect blend of informative and funny. Actually, I was surprised at how interesting it was and how much I learned about these cities. Matthew, Jordan and Adam loved making noise with the plastic quackers that each guest received when entering the boat, and the tour guide invited them to quack along to the music at different points during the tour. Overall, riding the Ducks was a good experience and I would recommend it to anyone. Continue reading

OH Summer Fun Week 9: Carriage Hill Metropark

Summer Bucket List

Carriage Hill Metropark

Carriagehill

Cost: Free (plus some change to purchase candy at the general store)

Time: 2+ hours

This park has various elements that make it lovable, including a recreated 1800’s farm, an old fashioned general store, hiking trails, and picnic area by a lake. My boys’ favorite part is the general store where you can buy “penny” candy. They bring their own nickels and love browsing the jars of candy and ordering a piece at a time. Continue reading

OH Summer Fun Week 8: Columbus Factory Tours

Summer Bucket List

When I plan adventures, sometimes I really don’t know how it’s going to turn out. This day was one of those. I wasn’t sure how well the tours would be run or how my boys would take to them. Well, I must say that my expectations were exceeded! We had so much fun learning about how things are made in these Columbus, Ohio factories.

factorytoursColumbus

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OH Summer Fun Week 8: Megaland, Anderson Ferry, Sawyer Point

Summer Bucket List

We went on an adventure in Cincinnati and hit a few sites…

Colerain Park/Megaland

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Cost: $2 (Cincy has an awesome parks system, but what I don’t like about it is that you have to pay to get into most of their parks. The cost is minimal, but still. $2 to play on a playground?)

Time: 1-2 hours

The park is called Colerain Park and the play area is Megaland. The first thing we did when we got there was eat our picnic lunch. There’s a nice picnic shelter right by the playground. Matthew and Jordan spent the next hour playing – it’s definitely a mega playground! It’s all wooden and huge with multiple levels, slides, tunnels and climbing structures. I didn’t have my 2 year-old with me, but this playground is suitable for all ages. Continue reading