Monday, March 30, 2009

Test Results

Got the word this afternoon that the test results were normal!

For those NB folks who know what this means:
Her HVA count was 15.6 up slightly from last month of 12.8 but still well within range of <22. Her VMA was 5.4 down slightly from last month of 6.6 also still within range of <11.

Of course the HVA increase scared me to death but I'm assured that it can fluctuate like blood work. Now, if we are showing an increase for next month, then, that's a trend we should be worried about.

For now, I'll just be happy that we still "normal."

The plan is that we will do this again April 20. If that is "normal" and not showing an increase, we will stick with the plan to do an MRI in May. If that shows good results, we'll remove the port.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

St. Baldrick's Day

Well, what a day we had yesterday participating in St. Baldrick's Day!

First, I want to thank all the folks who either donated to us, came out to support Jon and sent encouraging notes to Jon. We were overwhelmed by it all!

Secondly, I want to thank the folks at Trinity Hall Irish Pub for hosting this event for the 6th year. As many of you know, we spend lots of time at Trinity Hall with the kids. The food is great and it is very family friendly. So, for us to be able to participate in such a great event AND have it at our "home pub", that was just a bonus.

One other thing. In addition to just being a great family place, the wait staff donated ALL their tips from St. Patrick's Day to St. Baldrick's Day event. Can you imagine how much they would make in an Irish Pub on St. Patty's Day? Should tell you alot about what kind of place it is.

On to the event!

We got there. Jon was excited and nervous. It was CROWDED with head shavers and supporters.

Here's something very funny. When Jon was up, they had shaved about 2/3 of his head and I'm not kidding, the power went out. In the WHOLE complex! We had no idea how long it would be out and how long Jon would have this patch on his head! It was hilarious. But, Jon handled it like the champ he is and took it all in stride. I could not stop laughing, of course!

Anyway, here are some of the pics from the day. A special thank you to Will Montgomery who took a bunch of these with his fancy camera and way better photographic eye. His look MUCH better than mine!! Thank you!!!

When we first arrived.

Jon and Eva in the chair.

Here's where we were when the power went out.

Jon gets into his new look!

Some of our friends who came out to support us!

That's it. It was a great day all in all. I managed to not sob openly but did cry just a bit here and there. I'm hoping no one noticed. :) As for my new hot bald hubby, we're going to get Jon some Doc Martens to complete his look. I think the event hit their goal of $150,000 for pediatric cancer research.

One final thing. Tomorrow, we get test results on Eva's montly cathecholemines so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. And, if you have a moment, please give some encouragement to our NB friends, Erin and her mom. Erin is such a light and is having a bit of a rough time. Please do cheer her on.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Eva and Her Hair

I'm going to write about our awesome St. Baldrick's Day a bit later. I just had to post this as I'm on my way out.

I've often said that the one thing that I will be happy with Eva's hair growing out is that people will stop thinking she's a boy. I think that the short hair becomes her and makes her look a bit like a "bad a**" but often people are shocked when they hear she's a girl. I say things like, she's wearing pink shoes? Why would you think she's a boy?

Anyway, back to tonight.

We went out to dinner tonight at one of our favorite german restaurants. I have to say, Eva was a riot. There was an accordian player and Eva demanded that we dance and clap to every song. We were having such a nice time.

As we were starting to leave, I took Eva to the restroom. As I was coming out, this woman was coming in and stopped me.

She said, "How old is he?"

I said, "Oh, she's 2.5yrs"

Woman: "She's a girl?"

Me: "Yes."

Woman with a snarl: "Let her hair grow out!"

Me in shock also with a snarl: "She has cancer. I am letting her hair grow out."

She just stood there. I mean, I have never been so satisified to tell someone that my kid had cancer. Serves her right to tell folks how to cut their children's hair.

The great irony? She had short hair.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two Bald Men and a Fuzz Girl

Jack is obsessed with the fact that Jon is shaving his head on Saturday. It is all he wants to talk about.

Yesterday, he would not let go the fact that he wanted to shave his head, too, on Saturday. After spending lots of energy trying to talk him out of it, I just finally said, fine, Jack. Of course, I know full well that as soon as Saturday rolls around, he will have forgotten it.

Jack then just follows me around the house talking about how excited he is that he will shave his head.

Finally, he comes running up to me and we had this exchange:

Jack: "Mommy! Mommy! We have to go to dinner on Friday night!!!"

Me: "Why?"

Jack: "No one will let us in a restaurant on Saturday night!!"

Me: "Why not, honey?"

Jack: "Because we'll be two bald men and a fuzz girl!! Who will let us eat in their restaurant??"

For some reason, that struck me as a funny name for a new sitcom. Anyone work for NBC?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why Jon is Awesome

Last night, long before we had flaming cocktails at Trader Vic's to celebrate my birthday, Jon agreed to have his head shaved for St. Baldrick's Day.

For those not familiar, St. Baldrick's Day is a day where folks shave their heads and raise money in honor of a child with cancer.

Since we have one of those in our house, Jon thought he would participate.

If you are around next Saturday, please join us at Trinity Hall Irish Pub around 11:00. We'll be there to cheer Jon on and have some lunch before Jack's soccer game at 1pm. If you can't make it and would like to donate, you may do so here.

Thank you, all, for your support.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Dearest Me,

I wanted to wish you a very happy birthday today.

Me, you bring such joy to my heart and I'm so thankful that you are around. Oh, I think I'm going to tear up from the happiness that you bring. I mean, everyone says it all the time, you are the best!

I mean, me, where would I be without you? I shell of a human being, that's who!

A very happy birthday, dear me. I hope that you have a wonderful day.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Confession Tuesday

Well, a happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! I hope that those who are embracing the green beer are having fun. I'm sure that none of those people are reading this right now. If you are, put the computer away! Do not drink and email! I've done it. It is not pretty!!
Here we are another week down. I had a great week this week because my sister came to town! Wahoo! I took off a half a day on Friday so that we could just hang out together and celebrate our birthdays, which are three days apart. With five kids between us (mostly hers) and one on the way (hers, again), it was so nice to not have to be mommies for about nine hours and just be us. We went to the movies, went to Sephora, walked around and looked purses we could not afford, it was awesome.
On Saturday, we went to the Dallas St. Patrick's Day parade. It was quite interesting, let me say. Overall, we did have a great time and cracked up at the cleverness of some of the floats. One of my best girlfriends was in the parade with her roller derby team which was awesome and very fun to see. Eva and Jack loved to catch those beads. Eva wore every bead that she caught and had quite a collection at the end of it!
Only one slight damper set me over the edge, I must say. On Monday I fired off a letter to the City Councilwoman, Angela Hunt, who is in charge of that district, regarding something that was attached to a set of beads one of the floats threw to my five-year old son and my two-year old daughter. I won't go into it because I might get fired up, again. Let's just say that I was really hoping to put off the "what are those?" discussions with Jack for a bit longer. Councilwoman Hunt kind of blew me off but I'm not finished yet. I've written a letter to the newspaper.
I changed my profile picture for the first time in almost two years. I have a facebook page that I change quite regularly but for some reason, I've kept this same picture here. But, I thought, hey, Eva is almost in college, I should probably update the kids. Maybe someday, I'll have someone draw a really cool picture of me with the kids and I'll just use that forever more. I mean, the Simpsons don't get old, why should my kids?
Jack and Eva are on spring break this week. This has caused many challenges. 1) How do I get Jack out of the house for a couple of hours each day so that my nanny does not quit? 2) How do I get Jack out of the house for a couple of hours each day so that Eva will not be seriously injured? 3) How do I get Jack out of the house for a couple of hours each day and wear him down so that he'll sleep at night? At the last minute, I signed him up for a local swim camp for the week. He loves it and it wears his toushie out. Everybody wins!
I turn 39 on Friday. Now, I know that age is just a number and that I'm very youthful in spirit and I still stay up too late, dance my bottom off, and drink way too much for my age but the other day, when I said it out loud to someone, I could hardly believe it. Where did my 30's go?

It seems like five minutes ago that I threw my own 30th birthday party at Dyda's house. I had so many good friends there. Maybe it is not that I'm struggling with the actual number. Maybe I'm just struggling with the passage of time. I feel great. I'm happy in my life. With the exception of the fact that only my darling hairdresser really knows the extent of my grey (it's a lot), I think I look pretty young. I just can't believe all that happened in my 30's.

Here's a brief recap:

-Started dating my husband
-Got engaged five months later in Paris
-Traveled to India, Australia, Japan and Korea all by myself with meeting various friends/family members along the way
-Moved to Texas (cannot still believe I live so far from the coast!)
-Got married
-Did a bunch of more traveling (love those AA bene's!!!)
-Had Jack
-Did more traveling
-Had Eva
-Stopped traveling
-Eva got sick
-Eva got better
-Turned 39

That's quite a decade! Well, I guess I'll just embrace it. Come on 39! That only gives me one year to plan the 40th birthday blow out!! Time is ticking away and heaven only knows, it sure does go fast!!

Happy Birthday Sis!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Calm Within a Storm

I'm so happy to have my house back after the great plumbing debacle.

This weekend, it was 80 degrees and sunny. Today? Not so much. I got up for work today at 0-dark-thirty. I could hear it was raining outside but because it is still so dark with the time change, I had no idea how hard it was coming down. I found out pretty quick.

A bit ago, Jon and I removed our gutters from the back of the house. We noticed that the wood was rotting and we wanted to hire someone to replace all the wood and hang new gutters. That work is set to begin next week. With no gutters, the rain just pours off the roof and on to my head. Good morning, Goodnight Mom!

So, back to the home repairs.

The past 10 days reminds me of a song....
We called a man to fix the house, what oh what a house, why would you grouse? We pumped out the water so we could kill spiders, who wiggled and jiggled inside her, we killed the spiders to fix the pipes, I don't know why, she swallowed a fly....perhaps she'll die.....

It is never good when you are at your desk at work and your father sends a text message that reads: "How do you know that you will need a second mortgage to pay your plumbing bill? Answer: You have three trucks and five plumbers." Crap.

I called the guy and he said in all of his 20 years, he had never seen such rotted pipes. ALL PIPES IN THE HOUSE! Rotted out. Now, we have had plumbers over to the house MANY times. No one once said that our pipes were rotted out. We knew there was a problem, we kept smelling things. So, we would call American Home Shield, (the worst investment ever, by the way!) but they just kept telling us the smell was dead animals down there. The animal story made sense because we often see critters running about. But, when this plumber that we hired ourselves NOT from AHS showed me the photographs, you cannot imagine what I saw.

The problem with this whole thing, other than the money we had to shell out unexpectedly, is that this took away our kitchen sink and washing machine for 10 days. Oh, and I had 80 people attending Jack's birthday party with no sink! Oh, and my parents were coming to stay! Somehow I managed to make the cupcakes and my folks only had to go to the laundromat once, but still, my house was a wreck.

The bottom line is that we now have all new pipes under the house AND as an added bonus, my house does not stink! YIPPEE!

Our new favorite plumber did have some news for us. Our duct work has fallen apart and needs to be replaced. Oh, and we need a kitchen sink. Oh, and our dryer isn't installed to code. Oh, and don't forget those gutters!! Cha-Ching!!!

That's ok. I'm not burning down the house just yet (but thank you for the suggestion, dear reader!)

I'm just relaxing this week. Jack's party is over. I have my house back for a bit until phase 2 of the repairs begins next week. My sister heads to Dallas tomorrow afternoon for a restful babymoon (hers--baby #4 on the way!)

Tonight, I'll relax, go to bed and listen to the rain pour off the side of the house....ahhhhhh.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Jack's Birthday Party

I'm so tired, I can hardly type. I have been working late nights forever to plan Jack's birthday party today.

It was supposed to be a party in the park. Unfortunately, all week long and even up until Thursday, the weather called for storms. I called my pal at the White Rock YMCA and asked if we could have the party there. He was so generous to let us do it.

Well, as it turned out, it was 80 degrees and sunny, of course. Since we had already made the decision to move it, we stuck with it.

We had over 80 people RSVP! The theme of the party was robots. By the way, if I had any ability to design any party ware, it would be of robots. No one makes anything. This sadly meant that I had to do my own design work. As you faithful readers know, this can either be great or hilariously bad. Mostly hilariously bad. You can decide for yourself. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

I had this harebrained idea that I would make "robot" cupcakes using cake cones. I was up until 2am making these bad boys.

Here are some shots of the party. I had several stations set up. The kids could make robot costumes from paper bags and some alien spaceships.

and have their picture taken in an adorable robot box that one of my co-workers painted for me.

As party favors, I made t-shirts for the kids. My girlfriend's kids were kind enough to model them for me!

All in all, it was a good day. We had so many kids running about. Jack got some amazing presents, too! We're so fortunate to have so many folks who care about him!

I really hope that Jack had a good weekend. Between the Imagination Movers on Saturday and this great party today, I think that he did. Now, Mommy can rest for a bit. I've got my birthday on the horizon!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Why I (Heart) the Imagination Movers

Today, we went to see the Imagination Movers in concert. I sent them a note asking them if they would give a shout out to Jack for his birthday. They wrote back and told me that they wanted us to come to the meet and greet! I was so excited as I knew it would be so special for the kids.

Anyway, today went great. The concert was fantastic. We went with my parents and our dear friends the Sara and William.

After the show, the kids were blown away by the surprise! We got to visit with them for a few minutes and they were so kind to the kids.
Eva hugged Mover Scott so many times. She loved him. When we left, she turned back to them and yelled, "I LOVE YOU MOVERS!!" It was so great.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Jack!

Today, my little one turns 5!

The teacher sent home this note to ask us to write just two memories for each year of Jack's life for her to read to the class today. Here's what we said:

Birth to one year
Jack was born one week early at 12:48pm. He was 8lb and 12 oz and 20 inches long. He got his first passport at four weeks and went to France, Germany, and England, as well as New Orleans and North Carolina all before he was 3 months old! Jack did not like to crawl so he started walking at 10 months!

One year to two years
Jack spoke more spanish than english when he started talking. Jack talked a lot and very early. Whenever he said the word, "Baa", that meant that he wanted to watch The Wiggles.

Two years to three years
Jack saw his first movie in the theatre. It was "Cars". Jack loved to do somersaults on the balance beam at the Little Gym. Jack became a big brother to Eva.

Three years to four years
Jack joined the Grasshoppers, his first soccer team and played two seasons. Jack went to Philadelphia and saw Constitution Hall and the Liberty Bell (which Jack called the Delivery Bell).

Four years to five years
Jack celebrated his fourth birthday at DisneyWorld. Goofy danced around the restaurant with his cake. He also got to fight Darth Vader with a light sabre. Jack is a very funny person and is a great joke teller. He makes us laugh all the time.

I could go on all day about how great Jack is and how lucky I am to be his Mommy. I'll just say, a very Happy Birthday to my little Baby Duck!!!! I love you so much!!!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Confession Tuesday

Good evening!

Well, I'm finally sitting down for the evening. What a day! Tonight, I came home and had to hit the laundromat. What, you say? Yep, we're back on the laundromat trail.

Here's what happened. Our house started splitting. I mean cracks became VERY wide. So, we called a foundation person. They came out and said that our problem was not the foundation but the standing water that we had. So, we called a plumber. Plumber said, yep, standing water. Apparently, our sink and our washing machine basically just dump under the house, thus the movement. The plumber said that he could not fix our problem because as he said we have "Indiana Jones" spiders under the house. Spiders?? So, I called our exterminator to come. He said that he could not come until the standing water was gone because of the compound that he uses. The plumber had to come pump out the water and now we're waiting to dry. For one week, we have not had a kitchen sink or a washing machine. You don't even want to know what we're doing over here!

Scary part? We're all walking on top of a colony of spiders...creepy!
Tomorrow, my baby boy turns 5. I don't know what to say about that because every time I think of it, I start crying. Five just seems like a big boy. You know? Not a little one but a 5 year old! Uh, oh. Waterworks.
Even though I believe that he is really happy, I'm still mad at The Bachelor.
Jack told me yesterday that he wished that I had a beard. I'm just thankful that I don't (yet).
I'm having a HUGE birthday party for Jack at a local park. We've rented a covered park area. Just found out that it is supposed to rain on Sunday. Crap.
Speaking of Jack's birthday, I have such an amazing surprise for him. We've got tickets to the Imagination Movers on Saturday for him. I wrote them to ask them if they would give Jack a shout-out for his birthday. They told me that they wanted for us to come backstage for the meet and greet! Jack will be so excited! Oh, and Eva, I just don't know what she will do! She will love it! I'm so happy that we can do this for them!
My parents are coming! My parents are coming! My parents are coming!
I saw The Women (the new one) on Sunday. First, let me say that The Women (the original) is one of my all time favorite movies. While I often hate remakes, I was willing to give this one a try. I mean, it had a decent cast. Oh my goodness, was that painful. PAINFUL! I'm so sorry if you loved this movie, but I could barely get through it. For those The Women lovers, please rent the original 1939 version. Rosalind Russell is a classic.
That's it. Nothing really exciting here. Just a bunch of water and spiders.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

An Interview with Jack, age (almost) 5

1. What is something mommy always says to you?
I love you

2. What makes mommy happy?
When I give you kisses

3. What makes mommy sad?
When I disobey you

4. How does your mommy make you laugh?
By tickling me

5. What was your mommy like as a child?
A sister

6. How old is your mommy?

7. How tall is your mommy?
3 inches taller than daddy

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Hang out with me

9. What does your mommy do when you're not around?
Mop the floors (Ok, I do this once per month and I put a floor shine on. I always send the kids away with Jon to do this. Today happened to be the day)

10. If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
Getting people around you

11. What is your mommy really good at?
Cooking (ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!)

12. What is your mommy not very good at?
Doing art (Boy, is he right on that one!)

13. What does your mommy do for her job?
Work at the YMCA

14. What is your mommy's favorite food?
Matzo ball soup (What? I only eat this when I’m sick!)

15. What makes you proud of your mommy?
You’re a good hugger

16. If your mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Princess Lea from Star Wars (Jack made me write that she was from Star Wars)

17. What do you and your mommy do together?

18. How are you and your mommy the same?
We’re both Catholic

19. How are you and your mommy different?
I’m a boy and you’re a girl

20. How do you know your mommy loves you?
Because you give me hugs all the time

21. Where is your mommy's favorite place to go?
In the room right here with me