Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In the Arms of the Angels

Evelyn Rose "Evie" Cermak
Our little "teapot"

On Easter Sunday, God called our little Evie home. She had a wonderful Easter weekend with her twin brother Gavin, grandparents and family: coloring eggs, going to the park, and eating a lot of ham at Easter dinner. On the ride home from dinner, she had a seizure (her first).

We took her to the emergency room where they tried to stabilize her in order to transport her to the children's hospital where she has had all of her past procedures. Evie did recover for about 15 minutes, but then she “crashed” again and was given chest compressions for nearly 40 minutes to keep her alive, but sadly, her little heart was not able to start pumping again on its own. Evie passed away cuddled in our arms that evening.

It all happened very suddenly. Even though Evie had complex heart and lung problems, we did not expect her time with us to be so short.

We have many wonderful photos of Evie’s last Easter that we will post sometime after the services, and we hope you will continue visiting our family blog and watch Evie's twin brother Gavin grow up. We want to thank all of you for you kind offers of support and prayers for Evie and our family during this difficult time. We love you all.

Love, Sharon, Francis and Gavin


We hope you will join us at Evie’s visitation, and as we lay her to rest. We encourage you to bring your children to celebrate Evie’s life and help them to understand her death.

Visitation is Thursday, April 28, 3:00-9:00 P.M. at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home, 44 S. Mill St, Naperville.

Services will begin Friday, April 29, 9:45 A.M. from the funeral home and will proceed to a 10:30 A.M. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 1500 Brookdale Rd., Naperville

Interment will will then take place graveside at Naperville Cemetary. A tent will be provided in the event of incliment weather; it has been raining all week so appropriate shoes are recommended.

A lunch reception will immediately follow interment back at St. Thomas the Apostle Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to: Hearts for Hope, Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital, 4440 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn, IL 60453, (708) 684-5231 or online at Hearts for Hope and designate your gift for Hearts for Hope.

For more info about the services call (630) 355-0213 or visit

Thursday, April 21, 2011

At The Bookstore

Uncle David came over to play with us last Saturday. It was a chilly day, so we headed over to Barnes and Noble. But first, Uncle David showed the kids some videos of trains on his iPhone as Evie finished up her breakfast. Evie is a VERY slow eater. It probably has nothing to do with her heart - I'm convinced it's genetic. Both Nana Cermak and Grandma Cordes are always the last ones finished eating at any given meal. Then factor in Uncle Brad, who is just as slow, and I have already planned the seating arrangement at future meals. Evie, Brad, Nana, and Grandma will have their own table!

Reading Jan Brett's The Easter Bunny:

Evie hung out with her uncle at the B&N cafe:

Gavin hid from me in the cookbook section:

Driving trains on the floor. Why not?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nana's Birthday Brunch

Last Sunday we went out to our favorite breakfast place, Eggsperience, to celebrate Nana's birthday. We have a favorite waitress who we always request, and it doesn't matter if the kids get loud. Evie had fun counting the jelly packets and then putting them away with Grandpa:

As soon as we sat down, Gavin announced that he was going to make Nana's coffee. He proceeded to pour in cream and sugar, then stirred it carefully. Then, he had fun pouring salt and pepper into the glasses and cups:

My cutie in his Northwestern gear. His favorite color is purple. He asked us for a purple hoodie, and it's hard to find purple for boys, so we got him an NU one:

Francis and Nana:

Francis and Grandpa:

This kid cannot drink enough orange juice!

Evie ate a little sausage, but preferred the bacon:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kids Town

On one of the crummy weather days last week, we went to Kids Town. We had not been there in about a year. Gavin ran around non-stop for close to two hours and made lots of new friends. Below, he's in the large play unit where kids can climb, jump, and slide:

The twins had a tea party in the "Princess Palace." Gavin had tea and Evie had waffles:

"I'd like some more syrup, please!"

The fish are always a big hit with Evie:

A chair that's just Evie's size!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Morning in the Cat Room

Last week I got another turn to volunteer in Gavin's classroom (the Cat room). After we put our things away and washed our hands, I sat with Gavin at a table. The kids were drawing on little dry-erase boards, wiping them off with tissues, then drawing again. They were supposed to be drawing, not scribbling...let's just say there many kinds of artwork at our table!

After that we had circle time. Then we got to do something neat - the class has been reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so the kids got to use something called a Smart Board. It was like a big iPad or iTouch, it was hooked up to a computer with the program on it, and the kids walked up to it and touched it to recognize vegetables and drag them around on the board. I didn't get a photo of it, but it's great to see all the learning tools available to Evie and Gavin!

Here is Gavin playing in the house center:

This is the Block Center:

This little white horse is one of his favorite toys:

We had just gotten outside for motor time on one of the playgrounds, when Evie's class came along to run around on the playground next to Gavin's. Both of their classes have motor time at the same time, so they end up seeing each other at some point. Here is Evie with her nurse (Evie usually stays in her wagon):

My favorite boy:

The picture below was taken by Evie's nurse that same day. Evie's class is doing a unit on nursery rhymes, and they were acting out the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Evie got to play the spider that day and she loved making it crawl up the water spout! Someone else got to be the rain, and squirt the spider with a squirt bottle - I haven't seen this in person but it sounds really cute. Maybe on my next volunteer day Evie's room!

We all had a great day. I even got a sticker because I brought fruit for my snack. Gavin's class is doing a unit on fruits and vegetables, and the day after I was there they made smoothies. All the kids drank theirs, but Gavin just wanted to taste his. Hey, I'll take that!

Gavin also annouced one morning before school that he was going to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to me and Evie. We all sat on the couch and as he turned the pages, he described exactly what was happening. I think that must be one of the cutest things he has ever done!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Football with Nana

We went to Old Navy last week - it's the only clothing store that Gavin tolerates. He is so picky about his clothes that I have to hold up items in the store and ask if he likes them. So after picking out a couple T shirts, he picked out a small silver football. And when Nana came over on Saturday, she and Gavin played quite an energetic game!

They were both moving so much that it was hard to get a good picture. And today is Nana's birthday...Happy Birthday Nana! We'll have to try football again - it was quite entertaining!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

All About Gavin

Gavin happened to be very photogenic last week, and I got a lot of cute pictures of him. Here he is singing into a microphone:

Then he cuddled on the floor with Francis:

Then he lined up all of his engines:

On the floor with Daddy again, this time to watch a movie:

And lining up engines again. When he wasn't lining them up, he was toting them around in a Starbucks bag ("Star-cups," as he calls it).

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Cash Register

Over spring break, we went to a playdate in a friend's home, and one of the toys there was this Leap Frog cash register. Evie loved playing with it, and they are not sold in stores anymore, so Francis found one on eBay for five bucks.

Evie shows us her money:

Gavin had to do the same:

Then we had to get our other cash register out of "hiatus" (i.e. the basement - I have to rotate toys) so each kid could have one. Gavin likes to put all the coins into the red drawer and call it "his treasure." We really have to enforce taking turns with the new cash register, but so far, so good!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Outside Fun

We finally got to play outside with no coats or hoodies this weekend! Gavin had a fantastic time running, climbing, and doing all kinds of active stuff. The kids got re-acquainted with their play house:

Evie and Grandpa:

Gavin loved kicking his soccer ball, and was actually pretty good at it.

This was Sunday...more soccer and matching Batman shirts!

Then some good old rough-housing:

Evie preferred to stay inside to read The Lorax by Dr. Seuess:

What a fun weekend! We're looking forward to more of this weather!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Randomness, Part 3

Early morning reading time with me:

Lunchtime reading with Grandma:

Playing with the "Band in a Bucket," from Uncle Mark and Aunt Robin (and making up words for his made-up song):

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Randomness, Part 2

Auntie Clare gave the twins some bead necklaces from her last visit to Chicago. Of course, they remembered that she had given them other bead necklaces in the past so I dug those out as well. Evie and Gavin both had a great time playing with them...especially Gavin. At one point he all six necklaces on at once.

Evie counted butters with Grandpa:

Gavin at the Riverwalk. This part is called the Amphitheater and Gavin loves to run up and down the steps. The twins love the ducks, the covered bridges, the fountains, and the pavilions. On summer afternoons, this is where we will be!