Sunday, August 31, 2008

It was a very good year...

Yesterday was The Boy's first birthday! It's amazing how the time flies. At birth, The Boy was 8 lbs 7 oz and 21 inches. Now he's 23.5 lbs and 31.5 inches.

"Still" breastfeeding of course. He will be encouraged to do so through his treatment and "permitted" to do so afterward until he's done. I'm placing all my idiomatic eggs in the "he'll get too busy to remember" basket.

The party was a success. No one argued. Not a cross word was uttered, not that I was expecting anything different. The Boy napped before the party and was able to enjoy himself with all of the guests. He got wonderful gifts and cards (and none of the gifts were impractical. All toys had good play value--read my earlier post on that subject) and got to see some friends too.

The food was great. Snaps to father-in-law for suggesting a bagel lunch instead of a hamburger-and-hot-dog sort of spread. I fed The Boy a selection of veggies along with some tofu for his actual lunch in his high chair, knowing that he'd be coaxing food from other family members later on. Which he did, of course.

Also, The Boy did have some birthday cake. I gave him just a little piece in his high chair and everyone was waiting to see him make a huge mess and get it in his hair. No such luck--he didn't even seem to like the cake that much. He picked up pieces and ate them, making some faces, and, because I don't think he was that hungry, smeared it on his tray. He often does that when he's done eating--push his hands around in the food on the tray because it feels neat and makes a cool sound. He ended up with messy hands and a bit of cake on his face, but on the whole it was anticlimactic for those friends and relatives who were expecting more of a show. They should have known better, as just about everyone in attendance had eaten a meal with The Boy before, and they were all familiar with his mealtime practices.

It was wonderful to see two of my siblings at the party. They travelled pretty far for a day trip.

Now that the wonderful excitement of The Boy's birthday has passed, it's time to face two realities. Short-term, we have our trip to Philadelphia for the surgery. I really hope that the reasons behind the change in doctor and facility is just because of the original surgeon's opinion and not because there is anything seriously wrong. Maybe this is common enough, that the particular location of this tumor makes it more complicated and these cases are usually passed to this surgeon.

I'm looking forward to being done with the surgery. I'm not looking forward to spending several days in a strange hospital, in a strange place where we know no one. All of The Boy's care has been here and to go somewhere different will be difficult. I don't know what the accommodations are. At "our" hospital, The Boy had his own room the entire time and there was plenty of room for the air bed.

Longer-term, we have our return to work and the fact that The Boy will be spending his days with someone different. We like her, she seems trustworthy, she got glowing recommendations. But we're still going to miss The Boy during the day. Even with all of our issues this summer, we've had a wonderful time spending all day together, he and I. And most of the time with Musical Daddy as well...actually doing things as a family. Granted, we spent a lot of time just sitting around watching The Boy crawl in circles around the house or cruise the furniture looking for gadgets (or food).

I'm not crazy about the coughing that he's been doing over the past few days either. It sounds a bit like reflux and a bit like a cold. He has a runny nose, so it's probably the cold. He's also been working on molars for awhile...maybe he'll get them soon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh Philadelphia Freedom, Shine on Me

I confess, I had to look that up because I'm letting Musical Daddy have the "Sailing to Philadelphia" line but I definitely thought of that one as well.

So here's the new story:

We're going to Philadelphia for The Boy's surgery. We just learned this today, that our surgeon called this other surgeon who is the best. And who are we to argue, when our boy is getting the best?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Surgery #2

The Boy's second surgery is scheduled for sometime Thursday of next week. He'll be admitted sometime Wednesday. We'll be getting more information soon as to when that will be.

The oncologist speculates a 3 day recovery from the surgery. That sounds about right--last time The Boy had the surgery, also on a Thursday, he had his first nursing on Friday evening and his first real meal Saturday evening. He was bouncing around by Sunday.

He had his chemo this week, just Vincristine, but will wait an additional week to have the "week 9" treatment of Vincristine and Doxorubicin. You know, the red diaper solution.

Starts to get complicated because school starts next week but we'll work it out and whatever The Boy needs, that's what we'll do.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CT Scan--The Saga

I think I'll start by saying that we just got a call from the doctor saying that she and the radiologist looked at The Boy's CT scan results. The tumor in the right kidney has become more circumscribed, which mean that it is more of its own entity and less entrenched in the kidney, so they'd be able to go in and nab that sucker. Unfortunately, the surgeon has not finished looking at the scan, so we may not get a definite answer on when surgery will be until tomorrow, most likely.

So that's positive--it means that the chemotherapy is working. It was a genuine concern because we thought that the relative lack of symptoms (specifically the fact that The Boy still has his hair and grows more each day) meant that perhaps the chemotherapy was having no effect. Thankfully, that isn't the case.

The process of bringing a baby in for a CT scan is one that I wouldn't really wish on anyone. Remember that small children cannot follow the directions normally given "Okay...lie perfectly still. Now breathe in, and now breathe out." I don't think so. They need to be sedated (a "conscious sedation") so that they'll stay still. Which means that they can't eat before the procedure. Specifically, the guidelines are that 8 hours before is the last time they can have solid food, 6 hours before is the last time that they can have formula if that's what they're on, 4 hours for breastmilk, and 2 hours for clear liquids like water, apple juice, or Pedialyte. Look that up and remember it if, heaven forbid, your child has to go through such a thing.

The Boy loves his milk. You know that he doesn't sleep through the night so he never goes more than 4 hours without it and that's pushing it. The scan was scheduled for 7:30 AM, with a 6:00 AM arrival, so his last nursing was a little after 3 AM. Did it start at 7:30 AM? Nope. The possibility existed, but it was not meant to be. Here's why:

The doctors expected The Boy to drink the contrast solution. By itself, looked to be about...3 ounces. It needed to be mixed with something like apple juice to get him to drink it. I had to leave the room because he wanted nothing to do with apple juice; he wanted milk and he knows where to get it. My mother tried and tried, first with a sippy cup and then with a bottle. Then I tried the bottle. Forget it--he was batting it away and wanted nothing to do with it.

Here's the thing: The Boy has never been "forced" to eat or drink anything. He doesn't "get fed" his food. Never has. Moreover, he eats what he wants when he wants it. We serve him meals and he decides which items he would like first or second, and he decides how much water or juice he wants; there is no expectation that he finish the cup. I have no idea how much food or water/juice he takes in a meal. And The Boy hasn't had a bottle in about 6 weeks, when I was gone for more than 4 hours teaching lessons.

How about a little warning?

They ended up putting him out using a breathing mask and then placing an IV in his arm in order to inject the contrast solution. This isn't as effective of a method for this type of scan, apparently, but it worked. And why the IV in the arm when he has a medi-port? There is a clotting risk with this solution going through, so they don't run it through the port. It was really a no-win situation--chubby baby with no visible vains who also wants nothing to drink but mama milk, which he can't have until afterwards.

FINALLY they figured out what to do, as I said, and they did it. It didn't take very long at all, all told, and he started to wake up right away after it was all done, negating the need for a recovery room.

We went to his treatment center because they validate parking, and we were fortunate to see one of the oncologists and discuss everything with her. They had had to call her once The Boy decided that he wasn't drinking any of that contrast solution, so she knew that he had been an interesting patient. She explained that she'd have to look at the scan and consult with the surgeon, which brings us to the results that we got via the phone call.

Also, as an added nicety, we saw The Boy's pediatrician on the way in, at 6:00 AM. It was reassuring to see him and have him say that The Boy looked so good!

So...even though we know that the chemo is working, we still don't know when the surgery will be. Although we're pretty sure that the surgery will happen.

All in all, good news.

Hospital-Induced Memory Lapse

It's o'dark-thirty, the "middle of the night", the wee small hours, and I'm awake. I'm pretty sure that it won't last long and I can get that last hour of sleep before we have to leave for the hospital. The Boy will be having a CT scan in a matter of hours to determine what's what in the cancer realm. He just had his last nursing before the test, as he has to be sedated. Most CT scans do not require sedation but if you've ever had one, you'll know that the first instruction is to lie perfectly still, and the only way you'll get a baby to do that is if he's sleeping.

Not being a big fan of drugs in general, I rather look forward to the time when The Boy will be able to do this test while awake. I wonder how old he'll be then; either way, I'm fairly certain that he'll still have to have this test done on a regular basis.

Interestingly enough, I was trying to remember what all of the procedures were for The Boy's first CT scan--when he could have his milk, what time we had to go, where we went, and how long we waited. It's all very fuzzy in my memories. Now, they say (whomever "they" are) that when a woman gives birth, she subsequently forgets most of the labor experience, certainly the pain of labor, for many reasons including her actually wanting to have more children. I think that's just propaganda from the various groups of people who believe that women should spend a lot of time popping out babies.

I remember being in labor with The Boy. Pretty well. And I'm not going to sugar-coat it and say that it was no big deal or that it didn't hurt like the dickens at times. Musical Daddy can attest to the fact that I wasn't too miserable except for near the end of the process. My obstetrician was amazed at how calm, relatively speaking, I was when she arrived for the delivery, especially considering that I was going without anesthesia. She and the other doctor there were also impressed with the delivery itself. But I digress. As I tend to do.

Point being, I could probably recount the sequence of events pertaining to labor and delivery better than some of the processes pertaining to The Boy's most recent hospital stay. The Tuesday evening and all day Wednesday, when they were preparing him for procedures and when they were doing the various tests...that was a hodge-podge of waiting, calming the crying Boy, watching things being done, waiting some more, making calls, talking to doctors...labor and delivery is pretty straightforward. You've got one thing to do. It takes awhile. It's not a picnic in the park but you get it done.

Thank goodness I have my mother here. Musical Daddy is away at band camp; he'll be back soon. The Boy does miss him. Both Musical Daddy and my mother have such a calming effect on The Boy and they love him so much. Even though The Boy is still in a mommymommymommy phase, he knows where else to get the best snuggles.

In related news, I went to my school yesterday to get some work done in my classroom and one of my colleagues, who is a cancer patient herself at the same hospital, told her oncologist about The Boy and his Wilm's Tumor. The oncologist basically said, "Oh, it's just Wilm's Tumor. He'll be fine."

Sounds like a plan.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


For awhile, I've noticed that The Boy has been particularly attached to me. Which makes sense--I'm his mother. I know that mommies are just special to their babies. It's the sort of unconditional love that everyone talks about.

That said, it sometimes makes things difficult. If I'm in the house, most of the time The Boy won't have much to do with anyone else. I can no longer speak while I am doing my hair in the bathroom because then The Boy will cry at the door.

And forget about anyone else putting him in his bed. He occasionally will go to bed in his own crib with my help. We started getting it right and then chemo, coupled with Grandma's visit, has messed it up pretty thoroughly. But after 30 seconds of rocking in the chair in his room with Dad, Dad calls me in claiming that The Boy wants me and will stand for nothing less.

As a nursing mom I think that the Mommy attachment is multiplied. I wouldn't have it any other way.

It's tough being Number One and sometimes I wonder if I'm up to the challenge. And other times I wish that I didn't get so many people's advice because ultimately I know what I'm doing.

Friday, August 22, 2008

tried it, liked it, but couldn't get enough

That's sleep, ladies and gentlemen.

It's the night post-chemo and that means Diaper Doom for all! My mother is even here and for some reason she rather enjoys being up with The Boy in the middle of the night.

Unfortunately, no matter what, I can't sleep if The Boy can't sleep. And sometimes, he needs milk. Or more milk. And I won't get sucked into the line of thinking that it's a "bad habit" to offer milk whenever a baby is upset, because if they don't want it or something else is wrong, they just won't take it. If they do want it, it makes everything all better. Let me tell you--there isn't a darned thing in the universe that truly does that to the extent that mama milk does, in terms of fixing all better. Anything else that is touted as such may have some sort of nasty side effect.

What's my excuse now, though? Musical Daddy, my mother, and The Boy are all fast asleep. Maybe it's a bit of the mom-as-martyr thing...but I really WANT to be sleeping. I don't want to spend tomorrow drinking iced tea (coffee makes me ill) and stumbling around all day without the bulk of my IQ points.

It was a pretty good day for The Boy even though it was chemo day. I went to the airport to get my mother while Musical Daddy and The Boy rode the van to the center. We met them as they arrived and The Boy was quite happy to see Grandma. The time at the center was rather long, as was to be expected, since he was getting one of the other medications that he was supposed to get last week. In order to receive this medication, the complete blood counts and differential have to be at a certain level and they have to wait for the results before they even order the medication. Last week, he didn't get it because his blood counts were low. This week they were back up as they should have been.

The Boy napped with Daddy during our visit, which was probably nice for both of them.

After we came home, The Boy spend quite a bit of time playing and traversing the house. Musical Daddy took him to the comic book store (even though they had gone yesterday, the books just hadn't come in for some reason) and he fell asleep on the walk. Then dinner, some more playing, and in bed.

Getting him to start the night in the crib has become much easier, for which I am grateful. In thinking about the concept of sleep-training, of any type, it is important to remember that the goal is not so much to train the child that the parents just won't come but rather to allow him to recognize that the crib is both safe and comfortable.

So explain to me what The Boy is doing sleeping on Grandma in the easy chair...?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Baby Phase

Any Scrubs fans will probably remember the exchange that I'm about to describe:

Dr. Cox and Jordan, who have been divorced for quite awhile but had a child together because they continued to hook up, gave expectant nurse Carla all of their baby stuff from their son, who is now about 3, as a shower gift. They rejoiced at the fact that by passing off the baby paraphernalia, they are freeing themselves of the "relationship-killing nightmare that is the baby phase" (and if you know the quote better than I, please correct me).

Until, of course, Jordan finds out that she is pregnant again.

Don't worry, I'm not pregnant again. At least not to my knowledge.

But I've been working this particular entry in my head for a little while (and you'd think I'd come up with something better, or at least get the quote right). The Baby Phase. What exactly does it mean? When does it end? I used to think that it would end at 1 year because I would then have a walking, talking toddler. Ladies and gentlemen, my son will be a year old in 10 days, and he neither walks nor talks. We need to come up with some better criteria than just age, as he doesn't have the sense of irony to start doing both of those things on his birthday. At least I don't think he does.

Is it when they have mastered the sippy cup? That, the ultimate toddler prop? Doubt it--The Boy has been drinking water and juice from the sippy cup since he was 6 months old. I guess mastery happened at closer to 7 months, when he also got the food concept down. But that was a personal preference, to serve him his meals with a sippy cup at the table.

What about when they can feed themselves? Doesn't work--again, a personal preference for not wanting to play the airplane game and instead letting The Boy explore his food as is developmentally appropriate.

Walking? Perhaps. But how good do they have to be? And does that even matter? Hepcat and Chynna's daughter has been walking since she was about 9 months old and was able to run for the doctor at her 1-year checkup. Yet, she is still a baby. There's no doubt. If they can take 5 steps does it not count, but 6 steps and they're a walker?

Talking? Well how much do they have to say?

Maybe it's a little later on. Perhaps "toddler" is an arbitrary distinction based on walking ability and appearance but very little really changes except for the amount of chasing you have to do and the overall skill level. Maybe it's...potty training.

I don't know about that either, because I've seen plenty of kids who definitely didn't seem like babies to me running around the playground with that old familiar plastic and paper sticking out of their size 4T bluejeans.

It's so interesting to watch the progression. The Boy's relatively average gross motor and verbal skills don't compare at all to his great fine motor skills. If we actually were to give him Cheerios, I doubt he'd drop a single one unless he were doing it on purpose. He picks up peas one by one. He caught a ladybug about 2 months ago. It was moving, as ladybugs tend to do. He still managed to pounce on it and get it in his mouth. Ew.

So do tell me, when is the baby phase over? I'm going to miss it quite a bit, because The Boy is one cute baby.

I guess it happens a little more like this, as this mommy writes in her blog, where you look around and all of a sudden you realize that your little baby is now a little boy or little girl. I know that it hasn't happened for us yet although we can definitely see in his face and his mannerisms what kind of kid he's going to be. Even his appearance has changed. Those cheeks, while still chubby, come out from an otherwise angular face. His face is shaped like mine although he has a distinctive chin. His eyes...well, those have been charming people since the day he was born. There's a photo somewhere among our computers here from the day that he was born, in which he was looking right at the camera and saying, "That's right, I'm handsome--take my picture. Yes, take my picture because you just can't help yourself."

Stay awake, don't rest your head...

Tonight was about 10 minutes from initial crib entry until sleepiness. But it was one of those irritating progressions wherein he was SO close to sleeping and would be asleep...and then cry again. I'm still at the point where I am willingly patting him or putting my hand on his back to calm him down. Not that I'd ever do such things unwillingly--I love to give my child the affection and attention that he needs. But he still needs the extra coaxing.

He just woke up again; I'm figuring that since last night he had a really full nursing at 8:00, he didn't get up again until 1. But this evening he didn't nurse at the same times so he was up again...? Don't know. He nursed and then needed about 30 seconds of comforting to get back to sleep. Next time he gets up, which could be anywhere from 1 to 6, I should be in bed and I'll just scoop him up and bring him in bed with us.

The biggest reason why I'm not looking to stop having him in bed with us at least a little bit? We get extra sleep. He will wake up WAY too early and we have to get out of bed and fetch his little behind...but if he's in bed with us and gets hungry for some milk at 5:30, he gets his milk and rolls over and goes back to sleep. Of course once school starts, 5:30 will be sleeping in for me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When it's sleepytime up North...

Last night I attempted to put The Boy in his crib while he was still awake. He protested. And I let him. For WAY longer than either Musical Daddy or I would normally tolerate.

It just wasn't worth it and he still ended up in our bed last night from bedtime to wake time.

Tonight I decided that I'd actually do it right and do bedtime-things, in keeping with the whole concept of a bedtime routine. 8:00 was a bath and teeth-brushing, followed by a book and a long nursing in the living room. Then we read a short book and a few poems out of a poetry book. I put on his favorite album and put him in the crib. Again, he protested.

A lot.

But I was prepared--I brought the computer in (can't exactly read a book in the dark) and sat with him, occasionally holding his hand. He didn't scream the whole time--sometimes he just sulked, and other times he pressed the button on his aquarium soother which, unfortunately, is rather low on batteries. But it did start the music and the fish display, which transfixed him for awhile.

All told, it took close to forty-five minutes to get him from the initial crib entry to asleep. And at the end I picked him up, put him down on his back, and he was holding my arm for awhile. He actually fell asleep without his thumb in his mouth either.

Hopefully we can make this 8:30 in bed thing a habit for The Boy. Preferably without all the screaming because I just can't take it. But, here are Musical Daddy's posts from June when we initially got The Boy back into the crib. You know, before the whole cancer thing. It's so strange, and it seems like ages ago, that our biggest concern in life was getting our son to sleep in his own crib and then sleep through the night reasonably. Not to mention rather haunting, because after the first night was when we discovered the tumor.

Day 1
Day 2

I don't think that either Musical Daddy or I do such a great job with our own sleep habits. Sometimes it can't be helped--if my stomach bothers me, which it used to do a lot more often than it does now, I can't sleep. More specifically, I can't lie down, so the easy chair is really the spot for me. Sometimes we just do dumb stuff like staying up too late. Sometimes we really have too much stuff to do and can't go to bed until it's done. I'm hoping that with The Boy having some sort of bedtime routine, I'll be able to a better job for myself of calming down before bed and, more importantly, going to bed earlier because I'll have to get up earlier in order to get The Boy ready to leave with Musical Daddy. Last schoolyear, all I had to do was get myself ready and the boys would usually go right back to sleep!

Anyhow, since I forgot to hit the "post" button, I can now say that it's been 45 minutes, the iPod is almost done with the Max Q albums, and The Boy is still sleeping.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Swimming, swimming

Again, a better day today, even than yesterday. This morning, we woke up and all had breakfast together, and not long afterwards, we went back to sleep. The Boy and Musical Daddy napped for about an hour longer than I did, which allowed me to finish making a blueberry pie and make some salads for our visit to Uncle P (Musical Daddy's brother). Always a fun time because The Boy enjoys the pool.

It was interesting during some of our time there--Uncle P's mother-in-law and brother-in-law analyzed every little squawk from The Boy as "oh, he's tired." Not at all--he was mad that we wouldn't let him knock over the bowl of cheese or play with the glass coaster. It seems like many people of an older generation--and some small children--like to dismiss every baby protest with "he's tired" or even "he's hungry." Forgive us, but it's a little more complicated than that sometimes. Or, more often, it's as simple as The Boy needs a hug.

But then again, this is the generation of parents who so strongly advocated the rationing of affection. Why, really, when baby hugs are the best?

We also had a fascinating discussion at the dinner table about nutrition and I am proud of Aunt S. (sister-in-law) for getting more interested in healthy food. It's difficult to criticize her in the first place because they usually have home-cooked food and eat a balanced diet, but it's little things like switching from white bread and white pasta to more whole-grain editions and trying out things that are made with soy from time to time. She and Musical Daddy are at either ends of the last group of kids who were raised eating a little more butter, a little more Wonder Bread, and a little more sugary cereal but also spent a lot more time running around outside all day, especially during the summer.

But, back to our discussion. There was an amazing amount of protest around the table when Musical Daddy and I brought up the idea that neither wheat nor cow's milk is particularly good for anyone. Uncle P said that we needed calcium, to which we responded that there are many other good sources of calcium out there and that the dairy industry has done quite an amazing job of making us believe that cow's milk is a good drink for children. Not that I don't like my pizza and ice cream but we never drink milk. Except for The Boy...but that's different :) .

And he won't drink milk either, most likely. I'm expecting, especially with his condition and treatment, that he'll nurse for the better part of an additional year, which will take him to 2 years. In compliance, mind you, with the World Health Organization's recommendation. I'm sure that at some point relatively soon I'll start hearing people ask the question, "Shouldn't he be drinking cow's milk from a cup by now?" At which point I'll ask them to repeat themselves and listen to what a patently ridiculous question that is. After he has finished nursing, I don't really see the need for him to have milk. Maybe some soy or rice milk in his cereal, and I don't see a problem with the occasional pizza and ice cream, but I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that cow's milk is good for any of us.

I feel bad for Musical Daddy because The Boy has been so much of a mama's boy for quite awhile now. Although that means that any attempts to put The Boy in his crib for bedtime (which by the way, hasn't happened since Thursday night) have to be done by me.

On that subject, of baby in the bed, I still maintain that I don't have a problem with him being in here with us most of the time. From the beginning of the whole cancer thing until this past weekend, The Boy would start in the crib and end up with us at some point. About a month ago, during a particularly difficult evening, I had wanted to just bring The Boy in with us and Musical Daddy vetoed the idea, saying that if we did that it would set us back and we'd have just as difficult a time as we did before in getting him to tolerate the crib again. Now we'll have to see if that's true, because right now neither of us really wants to fight The Boy on this one. It's clear that he needs the snuggles to fall asleep and stay asleep nicely. I don't really remember him nursing much last night; sometimes he only wakes up once during the wee small hours if he comes into our bed earlier. Or maybe I'm just getting better at staying asleep while The Boy has his milk.

Intellectually, I understand the principle behind letting the child cry if necessary, even for a longer time, when it's bedtime. I didn't quite get it before and I thought that it was incredibly inhumane. What's supposed to happen is that the child is put to bed awake and gets that it's bedtime and this is the environment in which he is supposed to fall asleep. Furthermore, this is the environment in which he is supposed to stay asleep, so that when he wakes up in the middle of the night and sees the same things, he doesn't concern himself and goes back to sleep. This is why so many kids who are left to "cry it out" do end up sleeping through the night after a little while. That said, even though I do understand it, I'm just not going to do it. The Boy has high blood pressure. Oh yeah, and cancer.

We may need to do a better job once school starts of setting the tone for bedtime. Maybe dimmer lights and calm activities when it gets close to bedtime, and a little less TV. Also, we could use some bedtime rituals, which neither of us has done much of with The Boy at all. I'd also like to child-proof his room a little more thoroughly so that we can spend more time in there. We need to put things on really high shelves, which don't exist yet.

Tomorrow I may go in to my school to get some work done, and since Musical Daddy will be working too, I'll be bringing The Boy with me. I'm sure that no one will mind seeing him. He's pretty cute.

Saturday, August 16, 2008 the park...

I'm stuck on our chair with The Boy sleeping on me. He hasn't done this, at least not in this position for this long, in ages. His head is over my heart.

Now he just moved into a more typical position, resting his head in the crook of my elbow.

It is lovely and peaceful to be stuck with a baby on you although you can't get much done. I wanted to do laundry, which I started. I also had intended to bake a blueberry pie. Then The Boy managed to whack himself in the mouth with one of his toys, causing him to bite his tongue as well. This when I was going to say that he had had a better day.

Really, though, it was a better day today. We did our normal thing this morning of going to the diner and then to the farmer's market. Following that expedition, I exercised while the men of the house napped.

We bought a new easy chair today; we had to visit 2 stores in order to get it, plus another store to get bungee cords to tie my trunk closed. Surprisingly enough, because Musical Daddy took it out of the box and it was in 2 pieces, it fit pretty well in my car. It helps that Musical Daddy is strong as heck and thinks nothing of lifting large pieces of furniture. The chair is still sitting in the garage because I had applied a nice coat of Scotch Gard earlier today. We'll start using it tomorrow.

In other news, The Boy really enjoys corn on the cob! He knows exactly what to do with it, too. He wasn't all that interested in breakfast, but lunch and dinner were moderately successful for him, so I'm happy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More grumping

The late morning was not so bad for The Boy but during the afternoon and the late evening we had several hysterical episodes. I called the treatment center and the nurse said that it could be jaw or leg pain. We are to take his temperature whenever we feel that he is in pain, and if he has a fever, it may be infection. If not, Tylenol is okay to help take the edge off the pain.

These little moments of misery seem to take a lot out of him, and us.

So far his appetite has been pretty good. He enjoyed his dinner quite a bit and even demonstrated that he can wave "hi" to us. Very cool!

Tomorrow, we'll do our normal summer weekend thing, where we walk to the diner for breakfast and go to the farmer's market in town. We wanted to go to services this evening but The Boy was sleeping for quite awhile...and quite honestly, I just couldn't handle it. We lit candles, blessed wine, and blessed The Boy.

He needs it.

They say misery loves company....

The Boy was probably as miserable as I'd ever seen him last night, at least since his hospital stay. He has been unreasonably cranky and sad, and even after nursing would still cry...not necessarily the "I'm still hungry; make with the milk" cry but the mad-at-the-world sort of thing. It was helpful to me that Musical Daddy took him for most of the night--poor guy just couldn't sleep--and now I'm returning the favor.

Right now The Boy is snuggled in my lap in the chair. I changed his diaper 20 minutes early so that I wouldn't have to wake him up (potentially) to do it again until the next time he wakes up miserable.

This probably speaks to how well he's handled everything otherwise (and perhaps props to Grandma as well, who sailed through her chemotherapy and believes that The Boy will do the same), but the first thing I thought of with regards to this newfound misery was teething, not chemo. Something else must be causing this because chemo has been pretty easy so far.

He nursed reluctantly last night when he did...he'd latch, then cough a bit, and then latch again and draw his milk slowly. I had Musical Daddy administer some Zofran after he flat-out refused milk at 12:00.

I may be wrong; I'll check sometime today to see if The Boy is sprouting some molars. Also may explain the low counts; I'll obviously check this weird science out with someone who knows better but teething does render babies more prone to fever and infection.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Low Counts Today

One of today's chemotherapy meds was dependent on his white counts being 1,000 or higher, and they were not, so The Boy did not get his Actinomycin-D. He'll get it next week, assuming that his counts are high enough.

So it was a fairly long stay at the center this week, and will be a fairly long stay next week as well because he will (hopefully) actually get the AMD this next time. Unless he continues to have low counts, he'll still have the CT scan as scheduled.

With lower white cell counts, it means that he may be more prone to infection (although the doctor did not indicate that we need to restrict his activities). Unfortunately, we have a kid who likes to crawl around and put stuff in his mouth. And he has an amazing pincer grasp (thank you, BLW). Fortunately, he is more likely to go for things that are (or were) food...but if I missed a green pea from yesterday's lunch in my cleanup efforts, I'd really rather that the immunocompromized baby NOT eat it because I can't imagine that sitting on the floor improves the quality and nutritional value of the vegetable.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Coming up on Week 6

Any treatment week that is a multiple of 3 is one in which The Boy receives 2 medications and will receive a Zofran IV as a precursor. So this week it's week 6. Not a red diaper week, at least. We'll be there a little longer; if The Boy starts to get sleepy, he and I might go into the quiet room and snuggle up for a nap.

I love naps with The Boy.

I failed to nap today, as per usual, although I usually nap post-treatment with The Boy and Musical Daddy. Something about the whole process makes me all sleepy.

Not sure if I mentioned it, but looking at The Boy's calendar, after week 10 he will only receive actual chemo meds on the "multiple of 3" weeks. That means that recovery from Diaper Doom is a lot easier.

Today was a dull day. I didn't leave the property (I left the house only to get something out of the car and to take diapers off the line) because it was just that kind of day. Tomorrow I'll exercise first thing in the morning and make breakfast for The Boy and Musical Daddy.

I did get an "exciting" email thanking me for my recent blood donation and informing me that my cholesterol was 153. Seeing as how it was 203 in 2004 (no, I don't know why), that's pretty darned good.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Sunday By The Sea; Baseball Tuesday

We decided to get away from it all and go down to the shore for a few days. Left Sunday; came back today. A good time was had by all.

Technically, we did not spend Sunday by the sea because it was raining the entire evening. Instead, we checked into our appropriately sketchy shore motel, napped a bit, and then went looking for dinner. We ended up at Hemingway's which was a pretty large establishment. Our meals were somewhat Italian-style, as were most of the dishes around us, but then they also had a sushi bar. Weird...

Monday morning was The Boy's first time on the beach and he was not having it. Last he heard, the ground was NOT supposed to move when stepped on. He was fine while sitting on one of our laps but not so much when he was sitting on his own. He also wasn't having the water. Musical Daddy and I each took our turns in the ocean while the other sat and watched with The Boy.

I love the ocean. Absolutely adore it. When I swim in the ocean, I'm a crazy kid again. I have no problem facing an already-broken wave with my entire midsection or riding a wave all the way in to the shore. Dignity be darned--I'm going to fall on my behind, get all wet and covered in sand, and laugh out loud, because I'm in the ocean. We took shore trips every summer when I was younger and I'm hoping to make similar wonderful memories with The Boy. And any other future hatchlings.

But I digress...

As I usually do...

Breakfast was at one of those cute beachy family restaurants; Lunch and dinner were on the boardwalk. We also had leftovers from the previous night's dinner as a mid-afternoon snack. Or, tea, for those of you across the pond. Entirely too much chicken.

I also had my frozen custard that I had been craving since I was aware that this particular beach location had custard. Yum.

The beds in our appropriately sketchy shore motel were double beds. Not queen sized; double beds. We had brought the Pack n Play with us, which we were glad of because it gave us a safe place to plop The Boy while we got settled or packed things or otherwise didn't want to have to chase him. He has never slept in a Pack n Play but he plays in it a few times a week. There was no way that we'd be getting him to sleep in a Pack n Play (a real problem for when he's with the sitter because that's where he'll be expected to nap), at least not on this trip. We ended up all sleeping together on one double bed. Snuggly.

I should also mention, even though this is out of chronological order, that several times over the past few days, The Boy has either been put in the car or woken up in the middle of the car ride and gotten very upset. We put on his favorite album and INSTANTLY he calmed down. On one occasion, we put on a barbershop playlist and these guys came up; the same thing happened. He knows what he likes.

Anyhow, so our shore trip was successful and just what we needed.

This evening we went to a minor league ballgame where Musical Daddy, his chorus, and another chorus, were singing "God Bless America" and the national anthem. Minor league ballgames are always a good time.

The Boy was getting antsy and cranky, and Musical Daddy suggested leaving...but he calmed down and started playing with various objects while standing and holding onto the seat next to me. know, the usual.

The fun started when he was playing with an old copy card and my old PA driver's license which, for some reason, I still carry around. As he played with these objects, he'd take his hands away from the chair, for a good 5 seconds or so, and then either lean onto the chair or fall on his bum.

He even took 2 steps towards me today!

Many thanks to our friend Hepcat for sharing kid stories and repeatedly picking up the things that The Boy was dropping.

Anyhow...I'm sure I'll have more to say later but right now Musical Daddy wants to do his homework!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Hippie Ambassador

For some reason whenever we're around people who are expecting a baby or who have a tiny one, we always end up talking about the way that we've been doing things around here, specifically with regards to cloth diapering and baby-led weaning (read my first post if you haven't and catch up with what all that is about for us).

Today was no different. We went on a visit; those in attendance were the host and hostess (Uncle B and Aunt L; our very good buddies), Aunt L's dad (his house, the 3 of them live there; the couple owns their place and want to move but YOU try selling something now), and Aunt L's sister and sister's boyfriend. Aunt L's sister is pregnant and due in October, but she needed to get a cerclage due to complications and since the cerclage comes out at about 36 weeks gestation, the baby might be born before the due date. She was on bedrest and is now on "take it easy" for the remainder of her pregnancy.

Being new parents, Musical Daddy and I do our best to talk up the positive aspects of being parents. As he has mentioned numerous times, he detests when people say "just wait until The Boy learns to crawl/stand/walk/talk...then your life is OVER." Or when they used to say "once the baby arrives, you'll be getting no sleep." We commiserated over that whole load of nonsense for awhile. We emphasized that we've loved every stage of The Boy's development so far.

We discussed The Boy's eating habits during dinner. It's a conversation topic anyway, because for him to eat food means that he's probably feeling pretty well, and for him not to eat means that he's probably not feeling so super. He LOVED Aunt L's macaroni salad but found that hamburgers are a bit hard to chew. The Boy was sitting in his chair just eating his dinner and being a gentleman at the table, as he always does, and we started talking about it. Aunt L remembered a trip to Charlie Brown's steakhouse in which The Boy was eating pieces of chicken, broccoli, green beans, and lettuce at 7 months old with barely 3 teeth and was telling her sister how awesome it was...and she realized after we mentioned it that The Boy never ate baby food. We do spoon-feed him his applesauce for his blood pressure medication, and we also will share soy yogurt as a treat and that he doesn't feed himself. Everything else, though, it's on him to conquer and that he does. I said that it's great for us because we just let him do his eating and we do ours and (to appeal to the fact that Aunt L's sister is a teacher) that it is developmentally appropriate--when they start putting things in their mouths they can try food too.

Then, after dinner, I went in to change The Boy and came back out with him wearing his baseball diaper (by the way this diaper is on sale right now and I want another one for The Boy but I just bought 2 of these to try). Aunt L's sister asked if that was something to put over the diaper, to which I responded that it was the diaper, that it's cloth, and washable, and very easy to deal with. We qualified the discussion with an explanation that Musical Daddy has very sensitive skin and that The Boy has clearly inherited that trait; disposables were not an option for us anymore once the rashes just kept on going and didn't get better. Now I knew that the subject would come up about his diaper which was why I was sure to bring nice ones (a few get stains from time to time but a combination of the sun and the next wash cycle get rid of the stains...but when going out, I choose nice looking dipes).

So...will they consider baby-led weaning or cloth diapers? I'm speculating that the idea of baby-led weaning is instantly much more appealing, but cloth diapers are a healthy option and you just can't help but go to bits about the way that a baby looks in cloth. Sorry--I don't think that disposable diapers are cute. Maybe that's my bias from having successfully cloth-diapered my little man for about 9 months, starting from when he was 2.5 months. Or maybe it's just that the diapers really are adorable. As for baby-led weaning, I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that she has read up on the topic when it comes time for her little one to try some food. Oh, the book is coming out soon!

I know that I've helped convince several moms to use cloth diapers on the WebMD forums. It's pretty easy for us and we save money. And we don't generate so much garbage! I try not to preach or act uppity about this stuff (although when the discussion turns to breastfeeding I'm finding it increasingly hard not to preach) but instead "lead by example" with these choices that we've made. They worked so well for us and so many people will say "I wish I had heard about this earlier" with regards to pocket diapers or AIOs as well as baby-led weaning. Perhaps if I provide the service of talking about it and sharing the information, more families will consider it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Best Resters

Since I am awake and it's only just after 7:00, while The Boy and Musical Daddy are still sleeping, it's clear that I do not win the "best rester" award.

The Golden Pillow...the mattress trophy...The Bronze Blankie...none of that for me. Not for lack of trying--I wanted to nap with The Boy yesterday but it just wasn't happening.

Yesterday I went out to lunch with some other moms from an online group. We all live close to each other (relatively speaking) and we get together occasionally for park playdates or museum visits, and occasional house visits as well. The leader of the group (appointed so because she takes most of the initiative in arranging events and also does the online group maintenance) has a son who just turned 5 and a son who is 8 months or so. The Boy will likely be friends with the younger son once they are old enough to have friends.

We had Indian food which, to me, is fantastic. I know that it's an acquired taste...but somehow I think that The Boy would enjoy it. It's a lunch buffet during the day, so I'd imagine that at his age he would just be expected to eat from our plates. Which he does (sometimes literally, by swiping food from us). One of these days we'll go as a family. Preferably on a day where we anticipate that The Boy will actually have an appetite.

So far he seems better than last weekend. The Boy and I went to services last night which is not nearly as difficult as one might imagine. For much of the service, he has no problem just sitting on my lap. Once he gets antsy, it isn't a problem to let him get down and do some crawling. When we first entered and I had to get him out of the sling, he actually stood for a good five-ish seconds! Long enough to realize that he was standing. Then he fell on his bum.

It's been helpful, we think, that he's in cloth dipes because there's so much more padding there and he isn't afraid to just plop right down on his behind. Another friend told us that their little girl would sometimes get a bruised behind just from plopping down on the ground so much. But then, she was walking at 9 or 10 months so she must have gotten over it enough to practice!

At any rate, I need to go hang up the diapers so that enough of them will be dry; otherwise, The Boy will have none.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Treatment, Week 5

Today The Boy had another "routine" treatment visit. This one was very simple--in the door, check in, BP/Temp, hang out and play, then checkup and chemo procedure. The center was hopping today because there was a mom with 5 kids. Get this--a set of twins and a set of triplets. The triplets are 5, and one of them has Wilms as well. She has gone through treatment and I guess she's doing some more, but she looks pretty good other than the fact that she has no hair.

I can't imagine having to go through all this with other children in the house that also need our love and attention. I guess we're lucky in that respect. Lucky indeed.

Next week will be another longer visit because he has to get a second drug in addition to the Vincristine. I think that they'll give him a Zofran IV as well before he gets the Actinomycin-D.

I don't know why, but "Vincristine" sounds both sinister and poisonous. But it does good for those who must receive it. I guess in a way it's both good and bad. Kind of a Dark Knight, if you will.

Come on, that was clever!

Anyhow, the CT scan is on the 26th and we got a definite answer from The Boy's regular doctor, saying that if the scan shows that he's ready for surgery, after the surgeon has had a chance to look at it, he'll go in pretty soon after that. Two questions that we still need to ask (maybe I'll call later): will The Boy receive his chemo treatment that week, and approximately how long will he be staying in the hospital this time around? I'm guessing that he won't be in as long as he was last time--we had to wait for pathology results before he could be discharged. Maybe this time, even though they'll still have to send whatever they remove out for tests and such, they'll just send us home once The Boy is recovered. I'm not really thinking that he won't need surgery, even though that's a possibility, but I am wondering about what his doctor said with regards to hair loss and how he might not lose his hair at all!

Wouldn't that be humorous (according to the Cancer Mom's Dictionary...if this doesn't exist, then I might have to get together with some other cancer moms and create it)--a kid with two bald grandfathers and a bald dad whose fortitude in hair growth is so strong that chemotherapy can't even cause hair loss.

Anyhow, I'll probably have more to say later but right now it's time for a diaper change. And of course, he's napping.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Musical Daddy

Today Musical Daddy had a birthday (I'll leave it up to him to tell you which one). I had left his presents on his side of the bed last night since he got home late from rehearsal and hanging out with the guys afterwards. The Boy had gone to sleep at 9:00 and woke up at 12:00 just as I was about to get into bed, so I brought him in with me even though I could have easily put him back to bed after a quick feeding. Musical Daddy got home around 12:30 and we all slept for quite awhile. The Boy woke up at 4:30 to nurse...not bad, going for over 4 hours overnight.

By the way...I'm on the really old laptop. It is in such bad shape. Worse so because it fell down a few days ago...and the 4 key is messed up. Among other problems. There's very little response, so you don't know what you're going to get with it. As an experiment, I pressed the 4 key 10 times and got 5 4's out of the deal. But I deleted them because you don't want to see 4's (I had to type that over again).

ANYHOW...we woke up for the morning at about 7:30. Barely awake, but we somehow managed. Musical Daddy opened his presents--an organizer for the fridge with shopping list and white board (you'd think that that was the equivalent of Marge getting a bowling ball from Homer but if you know him and us, that's a pretty good gift) and the book Tigerheart which, in all fairness, he specifically requested.

The best present, however, was when he handed the wrapping paper to The Boy, and just to watch him explore the new texture, examining it carefully in his typical multisensory fashion...and then to watch him rip it and throw it around, just shouting with glee, was SO worth the effort of wrapping the gifts and a lovely way for Musical Daddy to start his birthday.

We went out to breakfast, to a place that we hadn't gone in awhile because since the management had changed and most of the staff that we knew wasn't there, it wasn't nearly as good as it had been. I decided that since it was the middle of the week it might be a good idea to try them again. Musical Daddy was not disappointed by his raisin French toast and eggs on the side and I did enjoy my broccoli, tomato, and cheddar omelette. The Boy enjoyed breakfast as well; he ate quite a bit of both plain egg and the broccoli and tomato egg, and some potatoes.

Another aside: Musical Daddy and I have been together for nearly 8 years. For quite a long time he led me to believe that I was indecisive and needed to have a stronger voice in picking out things for myself or for us...when in reality he's the one who is indecisive and I can't believe it took me as long as it did to figure this out. Really, neither one of us has strong opinions about things like exactly where we go out to eat or what color to paint the walls but it seems as though I'm usually the tiebreaker (I rather like our walls, by the way. They are a silver color, rather than a white or a beige, and they have a satin finish).

We relaxed at home for awhile and then I exercised. This makes the third time in a week that I've exercised and I have to say, I rather like the feeling. Of course, with the way that I ate today, I'm sure glad that I have been exercising.

I also washed diapers today. The past 2 diaper washings have been more like 5 days apart instead of the more typical (and more recommended) 3 or so. I think that since we've rediscovered the prefold, thanks to the wonders of the nice covers that make it easy (like the Bummis Super Whisper Wrap), we've been using them more often. I think that we've been changing The Boy more often, especially while he's in prefolds, but it hasn't affected the amount of wash cycles. We have been setting it for large instead of medium, however. Since it was sunny and hot, it was a good day to line-dry (I would have planned the washing for a line-drying day anyway).

I went to teach lessons after lunch and, surprisingly enough, The Boy went for that entire time while I was gone without any milk (I have a stash in the freezer; if you just clicked the link and you're a person who is looking to improve athletic performance, tough luck).

We walked around a bit before dinner; we had intended to walk down the street for Soul Food but alas, they were closed because they lacked air conditioning. So we went to check out another place and to be honest, I thought that it looked too foofy to bring The Boy there. Instead, we went for dinner.

It is rare that we, being both health-conscious and cheap, will go out for more than one meal in a day unless perhaps one of those meals is a nice light sandwich from Quick-Chek. However, since it was Musical Daddy's birthday, it was a treat.

The Boy was fussier than normal at dinner. I tested the meatball theory and while he did moderately enjoy it, he also had some chicken in a sauce and quite a bit of bread. Including garlic bread, which he really enjoyed. I'm glad that we don't usually have bread in the house because white bread has so little nutritional value and The Boy doesn't need to have it become a staple of his diet.

We also had forgotten a sippy cup but The Boy did have several successful drinks from a regular cup. And several successful attempts to shove his whole face into the cup.

Chemo tomorrow, week 5. I'm not looking forward to the fact that it seems like he just got back to normal after last week and now he has to have more chemo; who knows how long it will take this time? Will he still be "not himself" for the next treatment? I'm not sure if next week will, in fact, be worse, because the Adriamycin (Doxorubicin) was 2 weeks ago and that is probably the harshest of the three drugs. It is certainly the reddest. Since chemotherapy is cumulative, maybe he was only recently feeling the effects of that drug rather than this past week's Vincristine, which is the primary drug in his treatment schedule.

Interestingly enough, as we studied the treatment schedule, The Boy will not get medicine every week once week 9 is over. Sometimes he will only require a blood draw at the center. Tomorrow we should have some more definite answers as to when more things are happening.

I do hope that Musical Daddy had a good birthday. We're not the most exciting people but we have a good time, and we love each other.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's suppertime!!!

Many of my readers are aware that we subscribe to the Baby-Led Weaning manner of feeding The Boy. What that means is that rather that start giving him pureed food at 4 or even 6 months old, we started offering him food that is easy to pick up and soft to chew/gum. He had just the very tips of his first two teeth when we first started offering him food (although he did enjoy carrot chips, hard and cold, to soothe his gums) yet he was still able to handle things like bananas broken into thirds, sweet potato, green beans, and of course, broccoli. Baby-Led Weaning has been awesome through and through because right from the beginning, The Boy was sitting at the table and participating in meals, which also meant that neither Musical Daddy nor I had to scramble to feed him before dinner was ready or feed him and watch our food get cold.

As an aside, "Baby-Led Weaning" was a term coined by Gill Rapley, who was also working with UNICEF and the Baby-Friendly Initiative UK, although this work was separate from that. Weaning in the UK just means getting nutrition from somewhere other than the breast (as opposed to the cessation of breastfeeding). It does eventually lead to the child eating more food and nursing less. Or so I've heard...I have yet to observe this pattern in my own child...

Anyhow, I cannot recommend this way of feeding enough. Anyone with infants should really do some reading on this subject. There is a Facebook group for it. There is a Facebook group for everything.

Just a few things that prospective BLWers need for understanding:

1. Babies lose their tongue thrust reflex sometime between 4 and 6 months usually, and the feeding of pureed food overrides that to some extent (or, if a baby rejects puree, that may be why). It is only after a baby has lost that reflex, is able to sit up in the high chair, and is able to put objects in his mouth that he is "ready" for food.

2. The child will not finish all of his food right away or even eat any of it at first. It's a process. Food is a toy like any other when he gets it and it takes awhile for him to realize that food is a special toy that can be eaten. It takes even longer for him to realize that eating food means being less hungry afterwards.

EDIT: Also, you cannot concern yourself with the exact amounts of food and trying to measure it against the amount of milk that the baby takes. This is why this method works better with breastfed babies, because they are entirely in control of how much milk they take in, but bottlefed babies who are fed more on demand than on a strict schedule have also done well. Since we only "know" how much milk The Boy has when he was having pumped bottles while I was at work, and that it isn't an accurate representation, we don't have any idea "how much he's getting" but looking at the output--diaper-wise--we know he's getting enough to eat. Not to mention, if you've seen The Boy, he doesn't look like he misses a meal although he has gotten longer and thinner since really starting to crawl and cruise.

3. The best way to start is with sticks and trees. That is, anything that has a handle. Babies at this age do not understand object permanence, that the food in their fist is still there, so they need something that will stick out of a baby fist. As a corollary, it takes a few more months before the pincer grasp is developed--long thin pieces of food, or just "trees" like broccoli/cauliflower are the way to go when starting out, NOT tiny diced things. Peas will have to wait.

EDIT: 4. The baby will not choke. That's the most common fear. Actually, you have a lot more to worry about when starting "real" food after a baby has been fed puree, and a lot more trouble to boot. If the food that you're using is appropriate, you have to trust that the baby will learn to work the food himself. That will likely mean that the food will go in and out of his mouth several times. Sometimes as ABC food (already been chewed!) but that's just his way of experimenting. It's gross, but so is a baby covered in the contents of a jar of "chicken surprise."

The Boy's favorite foods, for a long time, were chicken and broccoli. Right now his favorites are blueberries and soybeans. He is actually enjoying the challenge of picking things up that are tiny. He had peas today for the first time in awhile.

Interestingly enough, I very rarely shop in the baby aisle at the supermarket.

Monday, August 4, 2008

I've had better.

This weekend was a little rough. The Boy was a total cranky-pants on Saturday and only somewhat better on Sunday. Today he is in better spirits but he's still not himself.

He's also still not eating much. He has had mostly liquid poo. You cared. So I shared. He's been nursing like he did as a much younger baby--about every 3 hours. Not like he was immediately post-surgery which was...ALL the time.

We continue to offer him food although his diet somewhat resembles mine during the earlier part of my pregnancy with him. I didn't get very sick at all, but I had an aversion to meat most of the time, except for chicken fingers and meatballs. Hm...maybe he'll eat meatballs. It's worth a shot. I didn't think that the tomato sauce would be too good for him, considering his reflux, but if he eats meatballs, then that's a good thing.

And, at least he's nursing. I don't know what we'd do if he weren't.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's The Vampires!

I donated blood today. The bloodmobile was parked right near the Farmer's Market, our regular Saturday stop (they only have the Farmer's Market in our town on Saturdays) and I hadn't donated in a REALLY long time. The Boy needed blood during his surgery and may need a transfusion at some point during the chemotherapy process, so I figured that it was the least I could do.

I had given blood previously and had had no problems, so I didn't expect any today. I have pale skin and visible veins, but apparently my visible veins are thin. They found a possibility a bit off-center but hesitated to stick me until they were sure that it would flow...had I not been talking about The Boy and his situation, they probably wouldn't have bothered. Two people who had been hooked up later than me finished before me, and I didn't even fill the entire bag (but apparently I gave them enough so that they could use the blood). But I did it and I'll do my best to do it again once I'm eligible.

My father donates regularly; the blood bank in Pittsburgh calls him every 56 days. We joked that he gets phone calls from the vampires.

The Boy just bit Musical Daddy on the nose. More precisely, he slimed all over it. Ew.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Quiet Time

If you know my husband at all, you'll know that he is always moving, always going, always doing something, and usually has his iPod on. He is always reading or listening to something and has to know what's going on.

I think that The Boy has been amazingly therapeutic for him. Just now, The Boy woke up from having been asleep for an hour or so and just needed a quick snuggle. Musical Daddy picked him up and sat with him on the rocking chair in his room. For about 15 minutes. Throughout the house I heard only the ceiling fan and the soft whrrring of this old laptop.

Musical Daddy has also been a fan of naps for his entire life, which is the only time that he does stop, but never before has he enjoyed napping so much as when he naps with The Boy. He is the greatest little snuggle man.

Quick hit

Chemo yesterday was good even though we waited a little longer than normal. We're still a little up in the air about the surgery although I did get an appointment for his CT scan on August 26th. If The Boy's regular oncologist, whom we should see next week, is fine with this date, then we'll keep it. Surgery may be a little later than we expected. Possibly it won't happen but I'm not holding my breath on him not requiring the second surgery. Hey, if it happens that way, then that's fine.

Working on a project right now for a summer program. It doesn't exist yet; I'm trying to make it exist.

Thinking about exercising right I'll go do a little bit of that. Maybe exercise will make my back feel better.