Friday, December 26, 2008

Good News!

Got a call today from the doctor. Eva's urine tests were NORMAL! That means that the little piece that is still left inside of her is probably NOT neuroblastoma!

This is terrific news!

So, next week, we call the surgeon to see if we can remove the tumor.

Taking things a day at a time but this was a step in the RIGHT direction!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Five Things I Love About Christmas

My pal Laura, tagged me with the easiest tag I have ever received. Name five things I love about Christmas. Christmas is my favorite time of year. I could go on and on about the things that I love about it. But, since I only can name five, here you go!

As I sit here at my sister's house with children screaming in my ear, I am reminded of #1.

1) Being around my family. I know that many of you have large crazy families. You have to understand how wonderful and stressful and terrific and comforting it is to be around them. My sister and I have children the same age so we have five children between the age of 2 and 8 running around the house nonstop for a week. Some might find this a bit of a beat down, it makes me so happy.

2) The smell of Christmas trees. Can't be beat. Seriously.

3) How happy everyone seems to be this time of year. It is as if people just inject themselves with happiness. I LOVE that!

4) Christmas songs sung by my family. Ok, if you guys had not figured it out yet, we are geeks to the core. I think that my family just wishes that life were a musical because we can be known to burst into song at any time. It only takes one person to sing one note and the whole family joins in. Here's a perfect example. Christmas this year happens to coincide with Hanukkah. So, Jon brought our menorah and we've been celebrating this week here. Well, last night, Jon very quietly lit his menorah. Not to let any tradition slip past us, we all burst into"'Tis the week of Hanukkah", all just for Jon. Yes, nothing makes my husband happier than a room full of Doziers singing songs to him. Bring on the music!

5) Watching the kids open presents on Christmas morning. Awesome.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

25,000!

Today, I hit 25,000 visits on my blog! Holy cow! That is amazing to me. It is so amazing that so many folks care about my family.

Now, I know that since Eva got sick, the number of folks reading this went up dramatically. I mean, it's not like 25,000 folks suddenly decided that there was this quirky Mom blathering on about her kids and thought they should read about it. I know the real reason.

I tell you, that little baby is so fortunate to have so many folks who care about her!

While we're on the topic of the site meter, I have to say that I quite regularly take a look at who is looking at my blog. I mean, since I write so much about my kids, I want to make sure that there aren't any crazies downloading pictures of my kids, you know?

I once read from a pal of mine how someone she knew was so excited that so many folks were looking at her blog. Her site meter was going through the roof and she was feeling so confident in her writing! Of course, when she dug deeper, she discovered that people were finding her because they had a thing for women who wore eyeglasses. EWWW!

The reason I mention this is that there are often funny ways people find my blog from Google.

In honor of the 25,000 folks who accidentally or purposefully found me, I thought I would write
the top five google searches to find my blog that I see.

1-The one I see the most is that they are often googling Bon Jovi lyrics (I mean, who wouldn't? he's AWESOME!)

2-I get found because of the 10,000 times I talk about the Imagination Movers.

3-Recently, people have been finding me because of my love letter to my Dyda. Seems like "Love Letter to Mom" is a popular search.

4-Of course, neuroblastoma comes up A LOT.

BUT, by far my favorite, in honor of my friend who shall remain nameless is #5

5-Someone found me recently by googling "Zac Efron fan club."

Gotta love that internet!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Results

Met with the doctor this morning. Have a clearer picture of what we've got. Here's the deal. Eva still has a very very small tumor in her, right on her spine on the lower left side. It is slightly smaller than it was when we saw it after round 2.

What does that mean? Lots.

The first thing we have to do is determine if this is immature NB cells. The doctors do not suspect that they are. They suspect that it was a mix of immature (bad) and mature (not bad on the scale) cells. They think that the chemo that we had killed those immature cells and left the mature cells, thus the slightly smaller size.

So, we did the urine test to see if her catacholemines are elevated. They also did lots of blood work to verify this.

If it comes back abnormal, stop. Go to path A, we do more chemo.

If it comes back normal, we go to path B. Path B is we meet with the surgeon to discuss whether or not we remove the tumor. Why would we not? Well, it's in a pretty tricky location, just hugging the spine.

Path B1-Surgery (most likely scenario)--this way we can remove the tumor, look at it and make sure that it was all mature as they suspect.

Path B2-Watchful waiting (the do nothing plan, as we call it)--this will have us getting just an MRI every eight weeks for the next year.

So, we get the results of all the blood work on Monday the 29th.

There is still much to celebrate. They think it is highly unlikely that we will need more chemo so we'll celebrate that. If it changes and we do, we'll deal with that when we come to it.

This is a great Christmas gift, that is for sure.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Results

Tonight, I raced home from work today to get Jack ready for his big night at the Christmas pagent. I had both kids in the bath when the phone rang. It was Dr. Goldman. My heart stopped.
He thought he would just go ahead and call us about the news with Eva.

It is good.

Here's the deal. Eva's MRI was exactly the same as the last time. After two rounds of chemo. Nothing on the left but there is a one inch something on the left side. What does that mean? Well, it means that the cells that are there are either scar tissue or mature neuroblastoma cells.

So, what's next? Well, after the new year, we'll meet with the surgeon. We'll talk about whether or not to resect that little piece. What the dr. thinks is that we should leave it there and then look at it in eight weeks to see what it is doing. If it is growing, we'll resect it. If not, we'll just leave it.

Anyway, it is just great news and we'll take it. That is the best Christmas present I could ever get.

No more chemo.

Merry Christmas to you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tomorrow

Well, we've had quite a bit of slack time over here in Goodnight Mom Land. Back to reality tomorrow. Jon is taking Eva to have an MRI tomorrow. This will be the real test to see if the chemo worked.

From here, as I've said, we have many decisions to make once we get the results Friday morning.

I can't go because I have a meeting I can't get out of tomorrow. So, Jon is taking her. I'm sure she'll do fine.

More to come!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

They're Coming to Dallas!!!


Well, it was a BANNER day today in the Goodnight Mom household! The Imagination Movers are coming to Dallas! Well, Fort Worth, anyway.

Here's the great news, they are playing on Jack's birthday weekend in March! We told him a couple of days ago that they were coming and that we would be celebrating his birthday with his favorite band!

If you live in this area and have preschool kids, I would highly recommend you pick up some tickets. I won't even go into how much Eva loves the Movers. I talk about it enough here.

This ain't your mama's Wiggles! (Although, truth be told, The Wiggles don't bother me that much.) This is a rockin' dance party for you and your kids.

I won't go into the details of how Jon injured himself at the last Movers concert we attended, BUT feel free to read about it here!

If you want to find out which show we're attending to join us in Jack's birthday celebration, feel free to shoot me an email.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Secret Santa

This arrived at my house today. No card, nothing. I am assuming that the florist who sent it (not on the box) probably forgot to include the card. So, I am unable to thank my wonderful friend, whomever it is.

Anyone want to claim it?

THANK YOU! It looks gorgeous on my mantle!!!


AH-OOOOOH Werewolves in London! AH-OOOOO!

Tonight, my very funny child Jack thought that in honor of the full moon, he would make crazy faces at me. Here's the collection.






Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Skirt

If there is ever a good story about the commercialism of Christmas, it is this one.

I left the office early today to take Eva to the doctor. Late this evening, I realized that I have my Board of Directors Christmas party tomorrow night. I had no idea what the dress code was as I have been at my job for less than a year.

So, I called one of my co-workers who told me that while it was not imperative, most of the women wore skirts. Skirts. Skirts?

It hit the closet immediately to take a look at what I had. Guess what? No skirts. Now, don't get me wrong, I wear summer skirts with flip flops all summer long. Once it becomes too cold to wear open-toed shoes, I run out of skirts. I'm all pants all the time.

Here's why the commercialism of Christmas is sometimes a good thing. I left the house at 10:00pm to hit two stores to find a skirt. Stores are still open on a Wednesday night! More than one store! Wahoo! I came home with a perfectly appropriate winter skirt. Oh, and an ice scraper for my car.

Here's a Quick Note on Eva

Went to the doctor this afternoon. Eva's counts are back to normal! WBC 9.6 ANC 3.24 Wahoo!!! I stopped the neupogen shots on Saturday so this is an ACTUAL not enhanced by the shots reading! YIPPEE!

So, that said, we have an appointment on Wednesday for an MRI.

As you know, when we started chemo, Eva had a tumor hugging her spine about four inches long and about an inch wide. After two rounds of chemo, we did an MRI and it showed that the tumor had shrunk to one by one inch!

So, it is our hope that after two more rounds, all is clear. That would be the best way to celebrate Christmas. If it is not clear, we look at more chemo, maybe surgery or what the doctors call "watchful waiting" and Jon and I call the "do nothing plan."

We get the results of the MRI on Friday (the 19th) morning. Then, we decide what the next steps will be.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree...

Today I came home from work sick. Sick. Sick. Sick. Both kids were up all night long last night and I got no sleep at all. I was exhausted and probably have a sinus infection. I immediately went to bed.

Of course, this is the night that we had already decided to put up the Christmas tree and the kids were NOT going to let me put it off another day. So, I dragged myself out of bed to help put up the tree. The kids were going crazy with excitement. I was running on fumes.

Then, the most amazing thing happened right here in Dallas. While we were putting up the tree, it started snowing outside for the first time this year. It never snows in Dallas and here it was, early December. Snowing outside.

I suddenly felt energized. My fever was gone. The chills were gone. It was Christmas!!!!

The kids and I all went outside danced around the front yard. I got to teach Eva how to catch snowflakes on her tongue. Jack tried to make a snowball off of the five snowflakes that landed on his head. We all laughed and laughed and laughed.

I could see my beautiful new tree glistening in the window.

Ahh, the medicine of Christmas.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Kissing Place


Tonight Jon and I went into the attic to pull down all the Christmas gear. Keeping two very curious children out of the boxes proved to be quite a challenge.

What to do? Well, I put them to bed so I could quietly open each box.

I love many things about Christmas. It is, by far, my favorite time of year. One thing that I love more than anything is opening up those boxes and looking at all my family "treasures."

This is the Dozier Family Grand Prize when it comes to Christmas stuff. It is a plastic snowman that has a bit of mistletoe dangling down from it.

I believe that my grandmother, Bama, bought this thing in the 1960's. One thing I know for sure is that this alone brings more memories than anything else that I have in my home.

My grandmother would walk each of us under the mistletoe and kiss us every year on Christmas morning. She kissed my parents, my friends, anyone who happened by to drop off, say, a newspaper. This was the kissing place.

My first Christmas in Texas after I got married, I pulled out my Christmas boxes and hark and behold, here was the Dozier Family Grand Prize. I immediately called Dyda to tell him that I would be shipping it back to him immediately.

He said, "Dahlin', this is for your home now. Make sure you kiss your husband under it for many years."

This is my first Christmas without my Dyda, but I did just that tonight.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What Time Is It in Southeast Asia?

This is an actual conversation that occurred in the car today as we headed to East Texas to cut down our Christmas tree.

Jack was sound asleep in the back seat.

He pops his head up and says, "Mommy, what time is it in Southeast Asia?"

Jon and I just look at each other.

Jon: "3:15am, buddy"

Jack: "Oh"

End of conversation.

I think that might have been quite possibly the funniest random conversation I have ever been involved in.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Lunch for Life

Hi everyone! Our good NB friend Erin posted about the Lunch for Life program. This is a program that is a fundraiser for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. The money they raise goes to fund neuroblastmoa research.

Each year, they do a fundraiser where children can sign up to have a virtual tree. You can "give up a lunch" ($5, $10, whatever you would spend) and donate it to help fund research to save a life like Eva's. For every $5 you donate, Eva gets an ornament for her "tree."

Here’s how it works: Eva has her own virtual giving tree, and your donations will decorate those trees with ornaments and (ultimately) presents. Every donation has three effects: 1) Eva's tree receives 1 ornament for every $5 you donate; 2) every donation generates a Giving Code which can get you bonus ornaments when your friends type it in; and 3) each ornament placed on a Eva's tree creates one entry for Eva into our Disney World giveaway.

For example, if I donate $15 to Eva's tree, then that places 3 ornaments on her tree, creates 3 contest entries for Eva, and generates a Giving Code for me to pass along. When a tree is full (500 ornaments), those ornaments transform into a present underneath that tree, and the decoration process begins all over again.

To donate, go to Eva's Lunch for Life website
Our Giving Code is 31557

Here's your shot to eat healthier by bringing lunch from home AND help children like Eva fight.

Thank you all so much for your support.

Friday, December 05, 2008

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!


When I got home from work this afternoon, Jack and Eva wanted to play "Mommy is a Jungle Gym."

Although I usually end up kicked in the face on multiple occasions, battered and bruised, I'm usually ok with this little game. It makes the kids very happy and since I'm always trying to find ways to get though the 5:30-7:00pm "witching hour", I agreed today.

What does "Mommy is a Jungle Gym" entail? Let's tackle Mom. Let's smack Mom with a pillow. Let's try to hang on to Mom's legs while she tries to walk away. Let's tag team dangling from Mom's appendages.

Anyway, back to the bed. Mommy is a Jungle Gym led to a pretty raucous game of hide and seek. I'm a great hider. The kids are horrible seekers.

Jack found me on the bed and went to jump on top of me. When I leapt to catch him to prevent his 45lb solid body from landing on my head, I landed on the corner of our bed. CRASH!

Broken.

I broke my own bed while playing with the kids today. Not a little bit broken. REALLY broken. Like Jon's sleeping on the couch because he will roll off the bed broken. Like we need a new bed broken.

Bummer.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh, Man, My Sister and I Do Have Way Too Much Time

Here's what my sister visiting + kids napping + cold weather + nothing on TV =



Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thoughts on a Saturday...

Good Morning, friends.

I'm just sitting here on the computer on a cool Saturday morning. Jon has taken the kids to his sister's house for breakfast so that I could sleep in. Sadly, since I go to work at 5 am, 7:40 IS sleeping in. So, I'm up sitting on the computer and catching up on my reading that I have ignored for the past two months.

I can't believe how time has flown by. We would just go week to week with this chemo thing. Week one, chemo in hospital/doctor's office. This was immediately followed by nights of vomiting and waking up every two hours for diaper changes. Week two, Eva crashes. Maybe another hospital stay/transfusion, maybe not. Week three. Normalcy. That week went by fast. Then, back again to chemo and start over.

Meanwhile, trying to maintain my work and Jack. Pretty much all free time was at home with family and in bed by 8. As it should be, I guess.

We made leaf piles, went to the State Fair, baked cupcakes, rode bikes, played hide and seek, had dance parties.... Now that I think about it, maybe it was not so bad, after all. I mean, except for the vomiting, weakness, hair loss, extreme diaper rash and hospitalizations, maybe having a Fall at home was ok.

Back to today. I have nothing planned for today at all. It has been so long since I've been faced with a Saturday with NO plans. No soccer, no birthday parties, nothing. My work email is even down for the next two days due to maintenance. I can't even do that!

As a matter of fact, my biggest decision that I have to make right now is whether or not to eat the awesome stuffing my husband made for Thanksgiving for breakfast cold or hot. Oh, and sweet potatoes, they are like hash browns, right? Anyone want to weigh in?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy End of Chemo Day!

Just some shots of tonight's celebration. Thank you so much to my father-in-law who made the MOST incredible meal! All my favorites: Oyster loaf, BBQ shrimp, gumbo, shrimp and crab salad.... ahh... This was followed by the No More Chemo Celebration!



What Happens When My Sister and I Have Too Much Time on Our Hands


My Blog Type

My BFF, Jana, over at PoetMom had this link and I went ahead to check my blog type.

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

I gotta say, just as Jana says, I am my blog. Maybe minus the plan ahead part, two kids, you gotta stay ahead of things. But I sure am exhausted.

No More Medicine!

Here's a shot of Eva today at the doctor's office. Today was day 3 of Round 4 or THE LAST DAY OF CHEMO!!!!!!
Today, when the nurse de-accessed her port, Eva looked at her and said, "No more medicine?" I said, "NO! NO MORE MEDICINE!!"
Now, I know how these things go. We may be right back here doing chemo again in January but for now, we are finished for the foreseeable future and that is worth celebrating!!!!

Break out the champagne!
Way to go Super Eva!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back from the Great Unknown

Well, here I am sitting in the doctor's office. Eva is asleep in the crib next to me. We are on Day 1 of our fourth round of chemo. If all goes well, this will be the last round we'll ever need. Obviously, someone up above has his own plans but here's to hoping!

It has been so long since I've updated my blog on a regular basis. To be honest, I'm just exhausted. I go to work at this insane hour, work 11 hr days five days per week, and then go to bed around 8pm every night. I've also had family in town for Eva so when I am home and up late, I'm just with them. Excuses, excuses, I guess. Time to get back on the train.

Also, since my Dyda passed away, I've just not been feeling very creative. I miss him terribly. That week was such a blur with Eva in the hospital with an infected port. I figured out that I slept in seven different beds in 10 days. When I got back from Virginia from the funeral, that first night, I freaked out when Jon came to bed. I thought I was in a hotel room by myself and had no idea why this MAN was climbing into bed!!! YIKES!!!

As Jon wrote last week, Eva is doing great. She is just the funniest and happiest person you can meet. Today, we're here and SAVED by my dear cousins who sent Eva her very own Imagination Movers DVD that they taped from the television. We're all Movers all the time and having 10 episodes at our disposal makes quite the happy child. THANK YOU BROWDERS!

Jack is also fine. Just his usual hyper, hilarious, outgoing self. Nothing really to write about him.

Anyway, that's the quick update on us. I've also finally gotten our house wireless so Jon and I can BOTH work at the same time (YEAH) and not have to work in the kitchen attached to the wall. That alone was a drain on creativity!

I hope you are all well. More to come. Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Note from Jon

This was sent from my hubby yesterday. Thought it summed things up nicely.

Eva had a “check under the hood” appointment today, and all is well. Her blood counts are excellent, and she’s even gaining weight, hitting 28.2 lbs. We are good to go for Round 4 of chemo starting Monday. It will be 3 days of chemo, then 3 weeks of recovery. In mid-December, we will do an MRI to assess the tumor and our next steps. Options include:

1. More chemo
2. Surgery to remove the tumor
3. Nothing (MRIs every so often to watch and see)

I must say the farther we go, the more I am impressed by how damn tough Eva is becoming. When they stabbed her to take blood today, she didn’t cry, wince, jerk her hand, nothing. Stone cold face, watching intensely as the blood drops went into the vial. Man, maybe others would say, “so what, that’s normal”, but it gets me every time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ahhhhh!!!

I can't believe that a week has gone by since last I posted! I have so much to write but just no time or energy to do it. I promise that tonight, I'll go to bed early and get some rest so that tomorrow night, I can do a proper post.

THAT SAID!

Here's where we are:

Had round 3 of chemo last week. Finally saw the pictures of the MRI. The tumor that was four inches long has been reduced to one inch!!!! The other tumor is GONE! This is just after two rounds of chemo. We have two more!

Got through all the vomiting with this round. All went well. Her counts are up so we're coasting a bit for the next two weeks (hopefully...please God?) and then the final round the week of Thanksgiving.

Ok, have to run, I'm fading FAST. These 5am work days are tough!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Markedly Decreased

Well, I'm pretty sure that when you see the words "markedly decreased" on an MRI report, it is good news!!! YIPPEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Neither the doctor nor we have seen the actual pictures yet. We won't see them until Thursday but the doctor says that he very rarely sees those words on a radiology report.

So, we're proceeding as planned to finish this chemo!!! This is the best possible news that we could have ever hoped for.

Jon and I have one of the child life specialists coming to watch Eva while we go vote for a bit. But we are just flying high....

Monday, November 03, 2008

Round 3

Greetings, again, from our home away from home, Medical City, also known as the chocolate thunder cake lovefest. We're here for our third round of chemo until Wednesday.

It has been quite a ten days. When I have time tomorrow, I'll write a confession to try to summarize.

The big news for us is that Eva just had an MRI to determine if the chemo is working. If it is, we'll keep plugging along. If not, well, I don't know what we'll do. We'll find out the results tomorrow. I can only hope for the best but to be honest, it is a bit nerve racking to have all the MRI techs look at you with their cocked heads and furrowed brows and say, "Oooh, best of luck to you. She's on our prayer list." That can't be good.

Oh, and in other news, they cultured Eva's port on Friday and it grew something again! She seems perfectly healthy so they think it might be contaminated. Here's to hoping.

Longer post tomorrow when I get back after voting!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We're Home!

We're all home at last!

Got back from North Carolina on Monday and broke Eva out of the hospital! Wahoo! She's doing just fine! They sent us home with IV antibiotics, which Jon and I I get to administer but still, we're home.

Things are still set for Monday's chemo. We are going to check into the hospital for the night, get an MRI and get chemo on Monday and Tuesday. Then, we go home.

I'm heading to Norfolk tomorrow for Dyda's funeral. Strange, I feel such at peace about it. I think that all the crying was such a release of all the tension I had been carrying for so long. I really feel better. Dyda, thanks, again!

Going to miss Halloween, which saddens me deeply. It is my favorite holiday outside of christmas. I always put on this witch hat and answer the door while Jon takes the kids out trick or treating. I sure love to see all the kids in their costumes! Alas, I will miss it.

That's about it. I'm up because I have to change Eva's medicine but I sure can't wait to go to bed!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Love Letter


Dear Dyda,

Well, I always knew someday I would write this letter to you. I had just hoped that it would be a bit longer until I did. Alas, God had other plans.

You see, I have always considered myself one of the luckiest persons ever to be to not only have one incredible father, but two. Bama and you were like the extra set of parents any gal of seven siblings needed. Not only were you MY grandfather, but you managed to adopt just about every friend that I have ever had. Nearly all my friends tell me that they have always considered you THEIR granfather, as well.

All my earliest memories have you in it. Dyda, you I often think of those weekends in Snug Harbor, all the kids running around, you on those mini-bikes and dazzling us all with your ability to water ski. You, Daddy and Uncle Denny shooting off your firework display for the cheering audience each Forth of July remains the highlight of my childhood. You had infinite patience with those rugrats running about climbing on your things, breaking your things, moving your things. Maybe you didn't, really, but it sure felt like you did to us.

As I got older, my relationship with you just blossomed. I cannot remember any situation that I might have found myself in during my teen years that I did not tell you and Bama. As a matter of fact, I remember very clearly driving home late one Friday night when I was in high school. I was pulled over for the first of my many speeding tickets. The police officer said, "Well, Missy, where are you coming from at this late hour?" I said, "My Grandparent's house". He said, "Yeah, right. On a Friday night?" I was like, "Yeah, where else would I be?" He let me off (so thank you for that, by the way).

When life got tough in Atlanta, you opened your home to me so that I could finish school in my mid-twenties. That time, our "roomie" time, means more to me than I can say. You saw me through many boyfriends (most of whom you hated but would NEVER let me know until we broke up!) but we always kept our Thursday night date nights at the Arby's. Why did I need a boyfriend when I had my main squeeze at home?

I also remember our Jeopardy nights when I had to work the night shift. I would take my 15 minute break just at the end of Jeopardy so we could play our little game, Guess the Final Jeopardy Answer Based Only on the Category. Maybe we should have thought of a better title for that game. But, nonetheless, your answer to my answer was always the same. "Oh, no, no, no, that's too obvious!"

I was also in awe of your ablity to fix anything. Anything at all. I would come home with my car "acting funny", a few minutes later, it was fine. I used a hairdryer that you rewired and rigged with duct tape for about 7 years. Even when your sight was failing, you were a marvelous instructor. "See that red line, cut it." "Uh, seriously, Dyda? I'm not a mechanic at all." "Dahlin' cut it!" Ok! All was always well.

As I got married and moved to Dallas, distance separated us, again, but not certainly in my heart. Dyda, seeing you with Bama has always served as my role model for a perfect marriage. You were two people who loved each other desperately, always respectful of each other and had ability to make the other laugh so hard! You two were truly a united front, a force to be reckoned with. Now that I am married, I know that took such hard work but you two made it look so easy.

Dyda, more than anything, I'll miss seeing your wonderful face and hearing those words, "Hi Daaahhhhlin', Hi Sugar Baby!!!!" as I enter the room.

I know you are up there with Bama, Uncle Denny, your Dad, Mom and brother, Alice, and all those whom you have loved. We got you for 93 years, so, I guess it is just their turn.

I love you so much, my handsome fella.

Always,
Your Roomie

Settling in for the Long Haul

Well, it looks like we're going to be here for a while.

Dr. Goldman came in this morning and told us that she did, indeed, grow staff in the culture. What that means is that we need to give her IV antibiotics to get this under control in order to save her port.

He told us that we were going to be here until the culture came back negative and then seven days after that. So, the earliest we can go home is next Friday. He did say that if her counts were up, we might be able to negotiate going home next Monday with an at home nurse. Maybe. So, that's what we're hoping for.

Good news about being in the hospital? Chocolate Thunder Cake. I mean, really, let's look at the bright side, shall we? What do they put in that little bit of deliciousness? It is a fork full of heaven.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Little Update

Just a quick update.

Eva had a rough night. Jon was with her because I had a Board meeting this afternoon. When I left last night, she was just this little limp bit of nothin', clinging to Jon and me.

This morning, they found that her cultures grew a staff (they think) infection. So, they changed her antibiotics. They also found that her counts were low on all around so this afternoon, they gave her a transfusion.

She's MUCH better now, almost back to her old self.

Here's the bottom line, we're here for a while. The doctor said we could leave Monday at the earliest. So, we're settling on in.

Thanks so much for all your notes, thoughts and prayers!!

Oh, how quickly things change!

Well, had fully prepared to come home and write a silly confessional, my first in a bit. However, Nubbin had something else in mind.

Mother is here and when I walked in the door, she said that she thought Eva felt warm. She had taken her temp and it was 99. I took her temp, it was 101. Off to the hospital.

So, that's where we are for the next couple of days while they try to find out why her fever is spiking.

Yesterday, Jon took her to the doctor. I thought for sure her counts were high because Monday, on her birthday, she literally ran in the yard for 40 solid minutes while the family played freeze tag. Turns out that her WBC was .8 (should be 4.0-11.0) and her ANC was 0. The doctor told Jon just to keep doing the neupogen shots and keep her on at home lock down until Friday. Well, that plan just did not work.

Last night, you would never know she was the same gal who ran in circles just 24 hours ago.

She'll be ok, we just have to find out what is causing the fever.

More to come!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to Eva Squared!


Happy Birthday to my two favorite Eva's!!!!

Eva is a big 2 and Grandma Eva, well, she's a little older!

I'm way too emotional about these two gals to write much more other than I love them both more than I can say.

Happy Birthday!!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Yuktoberfest!


My pal, Laura, over at Catholic Teacher Musings asked for a Bad Haiku Friday Festival, here's my entry.


At the pumpkin patch,

Jack and Eva make their choice.

No rotting gourds, please.

Transfusion-Free Friday!

Well, it's a new holiday, Transfusion-Free Friday!

Took Eva to the dr. and her counts were terrific! I'm sure it has lots to do with the neupogen shots and they think that they might have to transfuse on Tuesday but for now, we'll celebrate OUR holiday!

I'm so happy her counts are so good as we're heading into her birthday weekend. Mother is here (hooray!) and it is just so fun to watch the two of them have fun at the next table while I work.

Happy Transfusion-Free Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hot Fuzz

When Eva was very little, Jack always called her Fuzz. When asked, he would say that it was because Eva had fuzzy hair (she was a baldy). Well, that look is back, again.

Here she is. For me, I've had my cry-out in the car on the way home. I am saved, of course, by the fact that she is so adorable with or without hair.

Thank you, Stephen, again for your friendship and your superior hair dressing skills!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oh Oh, We're Halfway There, Oh Oh Livin' on a Prayer!

You know, I always love the days when I can sneak in a Bon Jovi reference into my blog. I loves me some Bon Jovi.

Well, we are, in fact, halfway there. Eva had her second round of chemo yesterday. It went ok. Last night, of course, the vomiting arrived and Jon and I were all hands on deck. Poor Nubbin, she did not know what hit her. Jon and I are alternating nights and it was mine last night. So, it was a long night.

Several of you have been asking exactly what Eva is taking, here's the plan:

Round 1-Done
Carboplatin-1 hr in 1 day
Etoposide-1 hr per day for 3 days

Round 2-Done
Carboplatin-1 hr in 1 day
Cyclophosphamide-1 hr in 1 day
Doxorubicin-1 hr in 1 day

Round 3
Cyclophosphamide-1 hr in 1 day
Etoposide-1 hr per day for 3 days

Round 4
Carboplatin-1 hr in 1 day
Etoposide-1 hr per day for 3 days
Doxorubicin-1 hr for 1 day

Each round is three weeks apart from the other one. If we keep to schedule, meaning Eva can receive chemo on the days that she is scheduled, we will finish the week of Thanksgiving.

The day is long because you need two hours of IV hydration prior to chemo and two hours after. She also gets a shot for nausea that takes 15 min and a 30 min antibiotic.

So, there is lots of time to kill in a little room at the doctor's office. Eva felt fine, though, and asked to see her Imagination Movers dvd every thirty seconds. Eva, do you want to eat? Answer, "Movers!!!" Eva, do you want your paci? Answer, "Movers!!" I tried to mix it up a little bit and found a High School Musical cd in the Child Life area. Any music is fine by Eva. Alas, she could not be dissuaded from her beloved "Movers!!!" By the time it got to "We're All in this Together", Eva would not stop saying "Movers! Movers!! MOVERS!!!" Fine.

Yesterday, her counts were low. She had such high counts last week I think I was riding high a bit. Well, they were not a "false reading" but they were definitely altered by her neupogen shots. Dr. Lenarsky said that while her counts were low, she was "normal for a chemotherapy patient."
Her counts will continue to go down and be at their lowest on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Eva's 2nd birthday is Monday so I'm really hoping she feels well enough to celebrate some.

Today, she is doing well. Her beloved Imagination Movers have a tv show in Disney now so we have it taped on our DVR. She has been asking all day to watch it and demands that we dance along with her. If we are not in the room, she comes to get us and just yells, "Movers, Dance!" Quite the dancing dictator, Little Nubbin. I wish I had filmed her in the crib dancing yesterday and today in the den. Hilarious.

Tomorrow, I'm taking her to get her head shaved. She's lost so much hair even since yesterday, there is no need to keep the few strands she has left because you can't really apply any sunscreen without making a big mess. I think I'll be ok. Think.

Anyway, here she is in her crib yesterday at the doctor's office. Paci in her mouth, paci in her hand and you can't see it but she is holding another paci in the other hand. She cracks me up. My sister gave her the shirt she is wearing. She is, indeed, one brave chick.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Random Thoughts

Ok, won't call this a confession because actually, it is Thursday night. So, it is now, just random thoughts. Forgive my stream of consciousness.

Where have I been?

Well, apparently working 5:30a-5:00p can make you awfully tired. For the past two weeks, I've been going to bed at 8:30.
***************
Up with the Eva news first. She's doing great. Great. So well, in fact, that our doctors told us we did not need to come in this week for counts. Her WBC is higher than mine, I think.

We start chemo round 2 on Monday. I'm not looking forward to that at all.
*****************
Jon told me yesterday while I was sitting at my desk that Eva's hair has started to fall out. I completely fell apart at my desk and was useless the rest of the day. Just could not get it together about it. I think I had been in a bit of denial but when the hair started falling out, it just became so real. I just kept thinking, is she scared because she does not know what is going on?

So, when I went home, she came running up and pulled a wad of her hair out, said, "Look Mommy!" and then busted out laughing so hard she fell on the floor. So, to Eva, it's just a fun new party trick. Hey, look at me, betcha I can do something YOU can't do!

That makes it a bit easier.

For us, Jon said when you kiss her it is like kissing a cat. You get a mouthful of hair.
****************
Have had a busy week. Can't even talk about all the goings on because it has been so much. Car blew a tire and had a huge adventure that day, went to a cocktail party for the King Tut exhibit here in Dallas, saw the exhibit twice, went to the state fair, work work work work. I've got lots to blog about so will catch up when I get back.

SOOO excited but am heading to VA for my 20 year high school reunion this weekend! YIPPEE! I'm staying with my girlfriend, SG, who has said that I don't need to even get out of bed this weekend. Ahhhhhhhhh....

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No Chips for Jack Today

This week, I've been going to work at 5:30am in hopes that I can leave earlier and be home more. Jon is going to work a bit later and staying later. So far, this schedule has worked (day 2, anyway).
This morning, I sat down at my computer to do a little work at 5am before I left for the office. I heard this rustling in my pantry. I thought, oh man, I have another possum under the house. Better call my guy to have him set another trap!

I begin to make Jack's lunch and head into the pantry for the chips. Well, all of a sudden a giant mouse/rat came running at me!

I screamed bloody murder!!!

Jon comes running in wondering what was wrong. "Chips. Pantry. Mouse." was all I could muster.

Turns out that my big strong husband has but one weakness when it comes to critters...rodents. I feel like everyone has something. For me, it is cockroaches. They scare the pants off of me. Maybe it was living in Savannah where they fly at your head or maybe it was just one too many times I swept one up thinking it was dead and it turned over and scurried away on my arm. I don't know but I don't touch them. At all.

Now, rodents on the other hand, I'm ok with getting rid of them as long as they don't come charging out of the pantry at me.

Time for me to put my big girl panties on and build a mousetrap, myself. I happened to have LOVED the game Mousetrap growing up. Maybe it was just good training for my future rodent extermination duties.

So, I immediately jump into game mode. Here is what I built in a matter of minutes. Not bad, eh?

Jon had to reach into the pantry to grab the peanut butter so that I could fashion the trap. That was HILARIOUS! Anyway, the mouse/rat was going to run up the ramp to get to the peanut butter and then tumble into the trash can. Jon was then going to carry the trash can out and set him free. Not that I want mice here but no need to kill it. However, Eva is immuno-compromised and I'm sorry, it had to go RIGHT NOW!

I leave for work and leave my hubby in charge of the disposal. I get to work and am sitting at my desk. Jon called. "It's in the kiiiitcheeeennn!!!" Somehow it had escaped my trap.

Alas, time for your demise mouse/rat. You had your chance. Now, for all you animal folks, don't go writing mean notes about how horrible I am to kill the mouse/rat. It CANNOT stay in my house and I have no time to mess with this. That mouse/rat chose the wrong house to enter. End of story.

So, I left downtown, headed to the Depot, bought my supplies and headed home. Set all the traps in the kitchen and then I looked at my watch. 7am.

We did not catch our friend today but I've reset all traps for tonight. Maybe tomorrow Jack can have his chips. We'll see....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Eva's First Haircut

Well, we're home. It was a harrowing 48 hours at home but it is over now and we have our little Eva back.

They told me that Eva's hair would be falling out in the next couple of weeks. Since I did not want Eva's first haircut to be chemotherapy, I thought I would go ahead and have her hair cut. My hairdresser Stephen was so amazing to do this for me.

Anyway, here are the results!


Before



After



Bad Ass Eva and her kickin' cancer's butt 'do!


Not to be outdone, Big Brother Jack needed the same look.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We're Going Home!

Wahoo! One day earlier than planned. Eva is currently getting her last chemo treatment of this round and we'll be home!

Here she is getting her last chemo treatment.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jack Update pt 2

Well, no trip to the hospital for Eva would be complete without her big brother Jack having some sort of "episode". As you all might recall, way back when in February when we did not know what exactly was wrong with Eva, Jack had a trip to the hospital.

Today, he was sooooo excited to come to see Eva. We had planned all along that on Tuesday, he would come by the hospital and meet with the child life specialist to talk to him about Eva's port, treatment, hair loss, etc.

This week, I could tell that Eva was really missing her big brother. I had given her two dolls before we came. One, I told her was Eva and the other one was Jack. She has been snuggling with her Jack doll almost non-stop. She also kept looking at the picture in my phone and just saying, "Jack and Eeeeeva."

Angela comes up with Jack this afternoon and he is so happy to be there, his cheeks were flushed. He went to the store and bought Eva a balloon. We get him up to meet with the child life specialist. They come out about 45 min later and she immediately says that Jack is one of the most inquisitive children she has ever met. I was shocked by that statement! What? Jack, inquisitive?

Anyway, while we were sitting on the floor outside of Eva's room, Jack was explaining to me how Eva's port worked. I looked at his cheeks and they were still flushed. I asked Jack why his cheeks were red and he said that he was scratching it. Uh oh.

I immediately stripped him down and looked to see if I could see any red bumps on his body. He had a few. The nurse took him over to the regular ped side to see if someone there could identify what was wrong with him. It was "Fifth's Disease", a highly contagious virus. Every nurse on the floor jumped on the computer to find out what this meant. We immediately called Dr. Kennedy (our ped) to see if Jack could even see Eva at all.

It was a good news/bad news. Good news is that once the rash appears, you are no longer contagious. Bad news is that he's probably had this for over a week without us knowing so Eva is already exposed. Ugh.

So, just for precaution, we let Jack in the room to sit on the floor and just wave at his sister.

To say that Eva had been grumpy all day was an understatement. Totally understandable but an understatement. When Big Brother Jack walked into that room, Eva let out the largest squeal I have ever heard. Jaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!! She just laughed and talked to him and laughed and laughed. He gave her (through us) his Dora balloon and she was so happy. It completely changed the day for her.

Ahh, the power of a sibling visit. I know this first hand. I don't know what I'll do when my sister goes home. Maybe I need an Angela doll.

Another Update

We're in Medical City on day 3.

As you know, Eva had a port put in and started chemo last night. We waited and waited all day to start the chemo but it finally began at 10p! Good news is that Eva slept through the whole thing.

She seemed to do ok last night but this morning was a bit tough. She threw up all over the place. We got her vomiting under control and she rested.

Last night, we gave her two of the four drugs that she will get. Each of these drugs has a different really exciting potential side effect. One of these drugs causes nausea (check). The other one causes heart issues (wahoo, not check). They have to closely monitor her during the time she is receiving this drug. She gets this drug tonight and tomorrow. The next two, coming in the next round, can cause leukemia and hair loss, respectively, so sign us up!

Today, we had a bone scan. My sister, Angela, and I had taken a moment to slip out to the Y for some exercise when she left. Jon had the pleasure. By pleasure, I mean Jon got to experience what we have learned is called "Emersion Dementia." Fortunately, it did not last as long as it did when I had her with the CT and MRI.

Dr. Lenarsky came in and told us that the bone marrow aspirate came back ok, her belly scan came back ok, and her bone scan from this morning came back ok. We are still waiting on the biopsy but he feels pretty good we're in the clear there. Here is what that means: the neuroblastoma has not spread to her bone marrow, her belly or attached itself to any bones. That is a good thing.

The plan is for us to leave tomorrow after her chemo treatment. It is overwhelming what we have to do for Eva at home care. Good news is that we are going to have our nanny trained tomorrow so she'll be ready and an extra pair of hands for us.

Anyway, that's the story. Thank you, again, so much for your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chemo? What Chemo?

Well, pretty much this photo says it all. Here's Eva this afternoon.

Surgery Update

Just a quick note. We're out of surgery and it went very well.

Eva is just coming around now and is READY for some food. I hope it arrives soon!! Girl likes to eat!

They are starting chemo at 3:30 today.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers. More soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Greetings from Medical City!

Well, here we are back at Medical City. We arrived this evening in enough time to get settled before Eva had to go to bed. We got the room next to our old room. The good news is that this room has a full panel of windows so it is so bright and sunny.

Tomorrow, we have the port surgery at 9am and then start chemo in the afternoon.

We're doing ok. I am lifted by my sister's and my in-law's arrival. Last night, my mother-in-law was kind enough to keep the kids so Jon and I could go out for a bit. We went to the pub (no big surprise).

Today was a bit hard, I must admit. When my sister arrived, she brought Eva this tshirt that has a chick on it and it says, "One Brave Chick". I, of course, burst into tears at the table. Then, later on, I went to Target by myself to pick up just a few final things for our stay. When I was checking out, it hit me what I was doing and I burst into tears, again.

It was quite embarrassing dashing out of the Target, I'm not sure what the cashier thought was wrong. I mean, she was probably thinking, Mam, it is just dish soap and a sippy cup. It is ok!

You see, while I am a huge fan of PDA--Public Displays of Affection (I always hug and kiss my friends hello and good bye, I'm very french that way), I am NOT a fan of PDE--Public Displays of Emotion. Ask Jon. Nothing mortifies me more than PDE. An exception to this is Extreme Happiness, which I pretty much exude most of the time. But sadness, well, that's another story altogether. Privately, water faucet. Publicly, stone. If I happen to break down in front of someone, I spend the next three hours apologizing.

I guess, I'll just apologize in advance for my melt downs these next few months. For all my friends and family seeing me over the next several months, they might have to forgive me just this once.

I'll be back to my jovial self sometime in December when this is all over.

More on Eva tomorrow. Please keep Jack and her in your prayers.

Parenthood


Every so often, there is a movie you see that makes you say, wow, this is really me. For me, that movie is that 1989 gem, Parenthood. My family is very similar to the Buckmans, minus, of course, the horrible dad. My dad is just fine. Oh, and I don't have a nephew named, "Kool" but my siblings have not stopped having kids yet, so you never know, really.

Jon and I joke about that movie quite frequently. When Jack was little, we used to laugh that we had the Justin character. Jack would LITERALLY put buckets on his head and bang his head in the wall. We would say, "he likes to butt things with his head" and others would reply, "you must be so proud." Just like the movie.

Jack has moved from Justin to Kevin, the older boy, with the social problems. We sat in the school director's office the other day while they told us (what we already knew) that Jack has some social issues. He's disruptive in the class, hits other children and takes up a ton of the teacher's time. They are, by the way, so great and really want to help Jack. That said, I was thrown back in to that movie and almost shouted, "Jon smoked grass!"

On Saturday, we went to the soccer field for Jack's first game of the season. We played soccer for two seasons and in 16 games, Jack probably touched the ball twice. Maybe. We signed him up fully expecting the same "You made me play second base!" results. When we got to one of the practices, I heard another child say, "Oh, great, it's Jack B." I just died inside.

This Saturday, however, he was on fire. He was moving all over the place with the ball and even made one of the two goals that the team scored! Jon and I were so proud, we went screaming out to the field to hug him. When Jack scored the goal, I heard one of the kids say, "Did you see what Jack B. did? He scored a great goal!" I burst into tears.

Jack plays the field! (Thanks, Nicole for the pic!)


I was on a high about that game all day. I felt that nothing bad could happen to me. My son scored a goal in a four-year old soccer league!!!!

I keep thinking about the grandmother's quote when she was talking about carnival rides as a metaphor for life. She said, "I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it." You said it, Grandma, bring on the coaster.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Camp Chemo

Well, it looks like chemo for Eva. The tumor has grown and there is another one coming on as well on the other side.

Good news is that her cathecholimines (urine levels) were still normal which means that the tumor is calcifiying (turning into non-malignant tumors).

But, with the new growth, the doctor just felt that it was time to start attacking things. I'm ok with that!

Here's the info: We'll be admitted to Medical City on the 21st (sunday). Eva will have a port put in on the 22nd in the AM. We will stay at Medical City for four days while she gets chemo. There are four rounds of chemo, each 21 days apart. The doctor is hopeful that once this is all done, it is all done. No more cancer. Here's to hoping!

Anyway, that's the quick update. More to come.

I'm fine and thankful that my friend Whitney was at the appointment with me. Now, to turn the focus to Ike for a bit. Not that Dallas is going to get too much of it but you never know about the power.

Time to get those prayers started again!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Good Day, Sunshine

Well, just a quick note to tell you that yesterday's fiasco is nothing that a couple of cocktails and a bottle of wine can't cure.

I'm MUCH better today. Last night, my awesome sister-in-law came over and took us all to dinner. By then, I was coming around from the trauma. She made me laugh and relax.

Eva was perfect. She completely bounced back and was in great spirits.

I came home, put the kids to bed, settled down with Project Runway and my dear French friend Mr. Noir. You might know him, Pinot Noir? Anyway, we had a happy time together before I went to bed early.

New day! Time to put it all behind.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Today

I'm home now. I'm trying to type this but honestly, my fingers hardly have the strength to work.
It was a trying day. First of all, they called yesterday and told me that I needed to be there at 7:30am for a 9am appt. Ok, so I get Jill (THANK YOU!) to come over and help me out and take care of Jack before Delfina gets here.

Eva and I get to the hospital and do our paperwork and head to the waiting room. There, you sit with other parents and play the usual "Whose Kid is Sicker?" game. This time, I did not win. Not even close.

One hour goes by, then two. Are they taking Eva soon, I ask? No, not yet. Three hours. Eva is REALLY getting hungry. But, you know that awesome girl, even though she tried to eat the plastic food in the playroom, she was really quite chipper. Three and hours and 45 min later, they take her.

So, I carry her into the room and hark and behold, who is the anesthesiologist? Senior Moment Lady! Oh, man. So, instead of letting me hold Eva while they put her to sleep like the other ones do, SHE made me hold her down while she screamed on the bed. It was awful.

I went down to the cafe because it was 11:30 and I had not eaten either. Jon called from Bangkok. I was happy to get to talk to him when I did not have screaming kids. Anyway, he did make me feel better about MY day so far because he told me that he was going to have to fly coach on a 13 hour flight and the only dvd he had with him was Hong Kong Phooey. Now, I love Hong Kong Phooey just as much as the next guy but for 13 hours, geesh!

I had finally recovered from the earlier incident and went back upstairs. They called me to tell me that Eva was ready for me.

What I left was an adorable child. What I got was a complete crazy person. Eva had a reaction to the gas that they gave her and because I really don't want to relive those horrible 40 minutes, I'll just say that it was such an awful experience I hope that no parent has to ever deal with it. I had to restrain her for a full 40 minutes while she screamed, clawed at my face and kicked me and anyone nearby. There are no words for it, really.

The good news is that once the gas wears off, she becomes her charming self. We were driving home and Eva was sitting in the back singing to the Imagination Movers (her request). Me? I was shaking and completely spent.

It has been two hours and I think that my adrenaline has calmed down. I'm heading off for some rest.

I'll get the results on Friday. AND Oh, hear me now, this is the LAST we will see of Senior Moment Lady, trust.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Confession Tuesday

Here I sit, Tuesday night. Day 5 of a Jon-Free Zone. Where is Jon, you ask? Well, since Friday he's been to Hong Kong, Hanoi, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City. Tomorrow, he's off to Bangkok and then in London by Thursday. What a trip! I know he's exhausted.
*******
Speaking of exhausted, I'm on Day 5 of a Jon-Free Zone.
*******
Truth be told, I would really like to hear about what Jon is seeing but I'm honestly more interested in what he's eating. Our email exchanges go like this. Jon: "Today I saw____" Me: "yeah, yeah, yeah. What did you have for dinner? And before that, lunch? Oh and breakfast, don't forget about breakfast, tell me everything!"
*******
The kids have been fine. It is so sad that I was so panicked at the thought of 10 days alone with my own children. How awful a parent am I? I have all these friends with husbands in the military and they have their kids with NO support for months and months on end. How do they do it? I'm such a baby.
*******
Speaking of being a baby, I was going to write my confessions last night but Jack refused to go to bed unless I was with him. Although, admittedly, I was bummed that I could not get the mounds of work done I had brought home, there is nothing better than crawling into bed with that little guy. What a snuggle bug.
********
That is, of course, until he starts shouting in his sleep, which he does quite regularly. Last night, he just kept shouting the word "carrots!!!" Talk amongst yourselves.
********
Why is it that both my kids talk in their sleep? The other night, I heard this screaming from Eva's room. She was screaming "MINE! MINE!! MINE!!!" Talk amongst yourselves.
*******
My 20th high school reunion is coming up in October. A HUGE portion of my former classmates have suddenly joined Facebook and have reconnected. Everyone has been posting pictures to the site and just talking away. It has been so much fun to see everyone and see where they have landed.
*******
I was not hugely popular in high school. As a matter of fact, I was the opposite of popular in high school. For me, the reunion is the excitement of forging friendships that I should have done 30 years ago. I was pretty quiet back then. I'm much louder now. Maybe it is the old age hearing loss.
********
Back then, I have to say, I was so lucky that even though I did not have many friends IN school, I had many friends OUT of school. Many of those dear friends are still dear friends. Not dear friends that you remember fondly in the past, I mean, friends I speak to on a REGULAR basis. I'm so lucky to have them.
*******
AND FINALLY, I'm off to the hospital with Eva tomorrow for her MRI and CT. I get the results on Friday. People keep asking me about going by myself for the tests and results. For the tests, I know it will be fine. I mean, it is two hours of me by myself in the hospital! For Friday, I know already what the doctors are going to say. I know that they will want to do something and I'll have to say that we'll just wait for Jon to return from his trip next week. Anyway, just keep Nubbin in your prayers.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Denial August

I had worked tonight's post in my head yesterday when we were at The Westfest Polka Festival in West, TX. We go every year and I was going to fill tonight's post with funny stories about the kids and how much fun they had doing the chicken dance. This is not that post.

When you look back at the posts for the past several weeks, you might notice that I have not been mentioning Eva's cancer very much. I think it is because subconsciously, I was enjoying what I have called "Denial August."

Jon and I just spent the month having fun as a family, doing our dance parties, naked racing (the kids, not us), celebrating our anniversary, watching the Olympics, etc. Just not focusing on Eva's illness at all.

Well, it is September now. Today, I was checking in one of the kids with NB that I follow, Max, only to find that he suddenly passed away last night. He was seven.

My heart breaks for the family. He's been progressively getting sicker and sicker but his passing was completely unexpected, yesterday.

I guess August is over. Eva gets a CT and MRI on the 10th. I get the results on the 12th. Jon is in SE Asia for that week but when he returns, we will have to decide our next move with Eva's regrowth.

Time to move to the next month.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School




"It's my first day at school, and I'm a little scared, there's a lot to do, but I'm prepared, to brush my teeth and comb my hair, get in my seat, mom takes me there. Gonna wave bye bye, go through the door, learn a little somethin' that I never knew before..." The Imagination Movers, First Day of School

As I dropped both kids off at school today, this song by the Imagination Movers popped in my head. Here I was, dropping my two babies off at school for the first time. Both of them.

Jack was so proud to have his sister there. He took her to his classroom and showed her all around. Then, he introduced her to his teachers and they both shook hands with her. Next, Jack took Eva to her classroom (his old one) and he signed her in. It was too adorable for words.

How did I do? Well, after I literally hid in the bushes for a few minutes watching Jack in the classroom, I went on my way downtown to work...alone.

Sniff, sniff, sob, sob.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I Like to Call Them "Quirks"

My friend, Laura, at Catholic Teacher Musings, tagged me today to discuss "Unspectacular Things" or quirks as a meme. Usually, I'm not so into meme's because I feel like I talk about myself enough on this blog BUT, this one is about quirks and on this subject, I have plenty to say.

The job is to talk about only six of them so I'll have to limit myself.

Here you go:

1) I don't eat mushrooms because I saw a Mr. Rogers episode where he went to a mushroom cave. All the mushrooms were growing directly out of manure and that freaked me out at 6. I have never gotten over it. I'm sure they taste fine. To me, they taste like doo doo.

2) I have a very OCD quality about making sure that things are spaced appropriately. This will apply to my wall hangings, things on my desk, etc. I am a human measuring tape.

3) I have a melt down when I'm sitting at a table and everyone places their silverware in the wrong place. The fork goes on the left. The spoon and knife go on the right. What is wrong with you people??!! While on the subject of forks, I can't handle it when I'm given a fork at a restaurant that has the tongs bent out of place. I have to adjust it until they are correct.

4) I can split my tongue in half. My mother used to say, "white man speak with forked tongue".

5) I sleepwalk and talk in my sleep. I used to do it alot more before I got married but Jon tells some pretty funny stories about my sleep antics. I did used to scare some roomates, though!

6) I can't put eyedrops in my eyes. Totally freaks me out. I mean, FREAKS me out. Bad. Ooooh, get the heebee jeebees just thinking about. Man, have to stop talking...

Since you then have to tag six people, I'll tag Jana, Amy, Nancy, Vicki, Daddy, and Cher. Here are the rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Confession Tuesday

Greetings phor another round oph the confessional!
******
On my status on my phacebook, I wrote the other day that I am suphering phrom OSD (Olympic Sleep Deprivation). That's really true. I can't turn it oph! My phriend, Theron, wrote that it was as iph someone had been able to "televise crack". That's the truth. I'm all Olympics, all the time.
******
Phor that matter, I'm going to break my usual rule oph hating when people change the letters oph things and let me just say, I'm a Phelps Phan!
******
Ok, I'll stop. But let me just say, that when I recently stated that all life events can relate to the musical Hairspray, the song, "Good Morning, Baltimore" never had more meaning!
******
AWESOME OLYMPIC MOMENT! Back in April, I wrote about our time at Jazzfest and how Cheryl, Hannah and I went to Fest by ourselves and assumed our alter twenty-something (well, at least early 30-something) egos, Shug, Coco and Doz. Anyway, the reason we did that is because we had met these cute boys who I immediately identified as swimmers. We hung out with the cute boys and just danced and partied all day. The next day, we ran into them again, with our husbands, they were like, SHUG! COCO! DOZ! Jon just shook his head, as usual. Anyway, Hannah/Coco called me on Friday night to tell me that one our cute boys won the gold medal in the 50m Freestyle! Way to go Caesar!
******
As I said in yesterday's post, Jon and I celebrated our seven-year anniversary last night. For our anniversary gift, we had given each other a great vacation to Napa Valley in July.

Over the weekend, all Doziers gathered for my brother Nathaniel's (we call him Nippy) wedding. On Saturday night, my parents took my kids so Jon and I could have some alone time. So, last night, when it came time to do the actual celebrating (going out to dinner, etc), Jon and I just were spent from the weekend. So, we cooked a delicious dinner at home with our kids. It was really nice to do that, I must say.
******
To make the day better, we have had rain for the past 48 hours (a very unusual occurrence in Dallas in August). Anyway, just after Jon and I finished our dinner and most a bottle of wine we bought in Napa, Jack came and asked if he could go play in the rain. I said yes. So, Jack, and then of course Eva, stripped down to their naked selves and ran out the door. Jon and I went chasing after them (fully clothed, mind you) and the four of us splashed around in the puddles laughing away until we could not do it anymore.

It was the best possible way we could have celebrated our big day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Seven Years Ago, Tonight

Tonight, we had a rare occurrence in Dallas. It was driving rain in the summer without thunder and lightning.

I was immediately thrown back to another rainy night that took place seven years ago, tonight.

Jon and I got married.

Seven years ago, tonight, I arrived at my wedding wearing shorts and teva's because there were so many puddles that I did not want to get my dress and shoes wet.

Seven years ago, tonight, we had to delay our wedding because all the streets were flooded and none of our guests, including our officiant, could get there.

Seven years ago, tonight, Jon and I stood in a hallway instead of a beautiful rose garden and said our vows in front of all our friends and family who could finally arrive.

Seven years ago, tonight, our friend threw down a phone book for Jon to stand on to kiss me because he was shorter than I.

Seven years ago, tonight, our 95-year old officiant forgot our last name and pronounced us as Mr. and Mrs. Kristi.

Seven years ago, tonight, our wedding cake went crashing to the ground as it was being presented to our friends and family.

Seven years ago, tonight, my brother almost dropped me while I was sitting in my chair during the hora.

Seven years ago, tonight, Jon and I had the best wedding we could possibly imagine.

I would have not changed one minute of that day nor one minute of our seven years together.

Happy Anniversary, my love.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Confession Tuesday

It's a confessional of Olympic proportions!
******
I've been saving that for a while. If you have not guessed, I LOVE the Olympics. I've so enjoyed watching them this past couple of days. I have so many hours recorded, it has almost filled my DVR. Since I'm not sleeping, anyway, I love the fact that the games are on all night long! Love it!
*****
What do I love most about the summer games? Water polo. Now, that's a sport! I first fell in love with water polo when I lived in Atlanta in the 90's. Atlanta was gearing up for the big games and they were able to host the world cup water polo finals in '95. A friend said, hey, let's go, it's, like, $3 and we get to see the new natatorium that they have built. I figured that I would never be able be able to see the Olympics, so this was the next best thing. I was hooked. I watched the entire series over several days. Just kept going back and back. LOVE that water polo!
*****
When the Olympics finally arrived, I WAS able to see MANY games including the medal round for water polo. It was amazing.
*****
What sport do I dislike? Beach volleyball. Now, let me just say that I am a volleyball player. I even play beach volleyball. But, honestly, is this really an Olympic sport? They are taking away baseball and keeping beach volleyball?'
*****
Ok, I admit it, every time the US wins a gold medal and they play the National anthem, I tear up. I have to hide it from Jon because I'm sure he'll make fun of me. No need to risk humiliation.
*****
Michael Phelps. Rock on with your bad self.
*****
I've been in a bit of a dry spell with my writing recently. Dry spell on the blog, dry spell in writing to my friends, dry spell at work. Guess it would help to sleep from time to time to get the creative juices flowing. I guess. Maybe soon, all will be well.
*****
Ok, one final thing, Jack LOVED seeing his sister on the blog. He thought that was the greatest thing. Of course, he BEGGED me to let him dance.

Jack is obsessed right now with robots. We have robot light fixtures, robot sheets, robot pictures in his room, robot toys. Robots everywhere. So, when Jack busted this move out the other day COMPLETELY on his own(!!!) and I nearly cried laughing. Of course, I told him that he needed to do it to appropriate music.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Eva's First Day of School

Today, was Eva's first day of school, EVER.

She's going to be going to the Mother's Day Out program at Jack's school a couple of days per week for the morning hours. I had wanted Eva to have a bit more socialization other than her brother, who can be a bit rough on her. For example, I wanted Eva to learn that when you want a toy, you don't walk up to someone, rip it out of their hands and clock them in the head. You know, things like that.

This morning, I told Eva that we would be going to school (to Jack's old class, Ms. Carmen). Wearing her new dress, she ran over to get her new Dora bag (both courtesy of her Grandma Phyllis) and proceeded to follow me around the house rolling her bag until I was ready to go.



I thought that when I dropped her off this morning, I would be in the parking lot sobbing my head off. I mean, it's my baby girl and EVA no less going off into the world at 22 months. But, I seemed to do just fine. Jack had to go to camp so he went with me to show Eva around her new classroom.


Almost all kids in Texas go back to school on the 25th, and that will include Jack.

I'm sure on that day when I drop both of my children off at school for the first time, I'll be hiding behind a tree in the parking lot, peering into their classroom windows and sobbing my little head off.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quiere Bailar?

Last night, we attended the wedding of the brother of our former nanny, Maria.
One of the many cool things about having a nanny is that these people really do become a part of your family and you theirs. Maria left us because her husband started a restaurant and needed her there. It was the saddest day. We are fortunate, however, to have found Delfina about a year ago.

A couple of weeks ago, we were having dinner at Maria's restaurant and she asked if we would attend her brother's wedding. We were VERY excited and honored to be asked.

So, last night, we all set off to The Crystal Ballroom in a part of town we never go, for a night of amazing food and mariachi bands! We had a ball!

First, my kids were in their element. I may have mentioned this before but Jack is EXCEPTIONALLY bilingual. Eva only says about 20 words but 18 of them are in spanish. So, to watch Jack just turn it on and to watch Eva, was so much fun.

The food was incredible and the music was just terrific. Best of all, the bride and groom looked SO happy.

Here are a couple of shots.

Jack and Maria

Jack took this picture of the three of us.

Jack watches the dancing!

Eva and Delfina

Jaime and Nancy