Thursday, December 30, 2010

Took Richard to the Lodge Yesterday

I took Richard back to the lodge to check in yesterday (Wednesday).

Thank you so much Jen (and her, and her husband, and her mom and dad too) for watching the boys so I could stay for Richard's appointment and spend some more time with him!

I think he had a nice night at home and enjoyed his comfortable bed, but I also think it took a lot out of him to be here.

He's still often in a lot of pain. And, often discomfort.

He had his LBMT appointment for 2pm. I dropped him off out front and took off to go park the car.

His appointment was just supposed to be to get a bag of fluids and some meds, but you never know, right?

I got a chance to talk to the nurse some more. It's actually a virus in his bladder. It's not just the scarring. She kind of described it in a what-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg kind of way. When someone gets a stem-cell transplant and gets drugs to keep the graft at bay and more drugs to keep the GVHD (graft vs. host disease) in check, it suppresses the immune system, obviously, allowing for more chances to get a virus. But, you have to do it or the GVHD will take over. Jeepers, I hope I'm explaining that correctly. Richard did have the first signs of the GVHD a while back (the rash on the arms, the vibrant green puke).

We are just waiting for the virus to leave and the bladder to heal.

People have asked when he'll start to feel better. I don't know.

But what I do know is that if it weren't for this bladder situation, he'd be a lot stronger and feeling better. This kind of threw a wrench in the plans of getting stronger for the time being.

Just about 10 minutes from the end of his appointment, his 'chemistry' results came back (magnesium, potassium, creatinin, etc - I don't know if I spelled those correctly). His Creatinin levels had doubled which isn't good, but isn't surprising since he was taken off the constant fluid drip when he was going to be released from the hospital. They now wanted him to come in twice a day for his appointments to get enough fluids and were going to be hooking him up to another bag right then (adding another hour onto his appointment that had already been 1.5 hours). Richard and one of the nurses convinced the doctor to just let Richard do the other daily bag of fluids at the lodge or at home at night. That doctor had obviously never heard of a patient doing that themselves, but the nurse had, many times. She did say, "For certain patients" which I think means, patients who are capable and clever enough to be trusted to do the hook up to the Hickman Line properly and without a problem. Richard is definitely that guy and has already done his own fluids before (as long as there aren't meds). There is a hook right above his bed at home and at the lodge for hooking up the bag of fluids.

The doctor seemed pleased with that.

Another question that has been recently asked of me is "Why can't they do THIS in Abbotsford?"

He's not just going in (like when he just got admitted) for the bladder situation. He has to be in regularly at the LBMT. The only place someone goes for their Leukemia check-ups and appointments is VGH. If he were admitted in Abbotsford for all of this bladder stuff, there would be no one there to do all the things that need to be done and checked for his Leukemia/stem-cell transplant.

Yes, Abbotsford has a Cancer Clinic, but it's for Cancer, not a blood-Cancer like Leukemia.

I hope that explains that properly.

Keep the questions coming! I don't mind answering them at all.

After his appointment, around 5pm, Richard was feeling up to joining my dad and I for dinner!
My dad got us skookum seats right beside the bathroom for poor Richard.

Richard got to have his beloved beef-dip. It was a great kid-less dinner (thanks again, Jen and thanks, Dad)!

I dropped Richard back off at the lodge around 6:45pm and headed to Jen's for around 7:45pm. Rather than just picking up the kids who had recently gone to bed, I was invited to stay for a vodka and pepsi (it was raspberry vodka), YUM. I'm pretty much a non-drinker (not to be confused with an anti-drinker), so it was a special little treat for sure!

We retired to the basement (after visiting and chatting with Jen's mom for a bit to talk about Richard) to play Rockband!!! Woot woot! We rocked it out until about 11pm or later.

Thanks for helping me take the boys out to the car, Dave!

It was COLD!

The boys transferred into bed nicely and got to have a sleepover in Dexy's bed together since it was nice and late and I knew they wouldn't goof off.

I, of course, having had that darned pepsi (and the one at dinner) proceeded to stay up until, I don't know... 2am.

I have got to stop doing that! It's going to be horrible setting my alarm for 5:30am for work on Wednesday! YIKES!

Richard's mom was heading back over on the ferry today to come stay with Richard at the lodge. I think she took a 12:30 ferry over. Thanks, Norma!

Talked to Richard a few times today. He was okay... no different, really.

Today was a nice day for me and the boys including a trip to the library for a book exchange (we also took out a Charlie Brown movie that the boys loved), a trip to Costco (ugg), and a trip to the skatepark.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. I'm skipping out on the festivities. It's been a lot of running around this week and a lot of late nights. I think I'm going to go rent some dvds with the boys tomorrow (for the evening), we got some white-cheddar popcorn (shhhh... don't tell Daddy), and we're just going to be cozy and vegging out around the house. Hopefully, I'll get all the Christmas stuff put away too.

This year I don't have the motivation (of superstition) like I have in past years. My mom always told me (I think it was her) that you have to put away all your Christmas stuff before the new year.

Bah, humbug. I followed that tradition last year and Richard's Leukemia came back!

Hmmmm... maybe it could've been worse though.

ARG. Now I just scared myself back into cleaning up tomorrow, lest something worse happens!

Have a great New Year everyone.

THANK YOU for making this year (and last year) not as horrible as they could've been. All of your love and support in ALL the different ways that many of you show it have made this journey a pleasant as possible.

That doesn't sound right, but I've re-written it five times and nothing sounds better, so I'll just hope that you understand what I'm trying to say.

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Christmastime Q&A !!!

Section 1 - Richard

Q - Did Richard get home for Christmas?

A - No. Richard was in a pretty bad state. Even if they would've let him out, he wouldn't have wanted to come home.

Q - Is Richard home right now?

A - Yes. I picked him up today (Tuesday Dec. 28th). However, the only reason he's at home is because the lodge does not open until tomorrow.

Q - How is Richard?

A - Horrible. The burned out lining of his bladder is driving him nuts. He's going to the bathroom about every 15-30 minutes (meaning about 5 stops on the way home from the hospital). He's on about 6 different drugs. He's weak. He can barely get around.

Q - Is Norma (his mom) coming back over here?

A - Probably on Friday so that she can hopefully stay with him at the lodge. He will definitely need help existing at the lodge.

Q - Did you record the boys opening their Santa gifts so that Richard could watch?

A - Yes, but only on the camera, not on the video camera. If you'd like to view the video, it's on Facebook. Send me a message on there and I'll direct you to it! I couldn't upload it onto Blogger, unfortunately.

Q - Did the boys have a great Christmas?

A - Yes!

Section 2 - The Boys' Christmas

Q - What are they wearing?
A - It's our little tradition to open up one gift on Christmas Eve. It's their new jammies!

Q - What are they doing?
A - Shooting and Karate chopping, of course because I have two boys.

The jammies say "Cool Like Daddy". Last year's were "Handsome Like Daddy".

Q - What's going on here?
A - The boys are seeing their gift from Santa for the very first time. Dexter is peeking through the wrapping paper to notice that it's "noo tooz". (new tools)

Q - What's going on here?
A - While I'm making coffee for the morning, the boys are opening their many little stocking stuffers: Notepads, markers, pens, candy, Bakugan, Ben 10 watches, etc.

Q - Sonja, you didn't buy Dexter a gun, did you?
A - ARG. Yes. I caved. He wanted these laser guns more than anything in the whole world. They are his gift from Mommy and Daddy.

Q - Why does Grand-Dan look so perplexed?
A - He is trying to help AJ transform his new Transformers.
Q - What is that in the background? Is that a guitar?
A - Yes. Dexter is always taking AJ's guitar. He wanted one so badly. AJ wanted that to be his gift to Dexter.

Q - Where is this taken?
A - After finishing up Christmas morning at my very own house for the first time EVER (with my dad too), I packed up the boys and headed to my mom's to finish off Christmas morning. My dad headed over to the Island to his sister's place.

Q - Who is that?
A - My brother, Paul, watching the boys open their gifts.

Q - The boys are still in their jammies?
A - That's right. I may have done my hair and make-up, but we went to mom's to finish off Christmas morning which means still in our jammies!

Q - Sonja, will you ever buy them non-matching jammies?
A - Maybe next year. Maybe next year.

Q - Wow, did Dexter get his own Leapster, just like his brother's?
A - Yes he did, from Gram and Papa. AJ's just coaching him here. (Thanks, Jared for helping me get this set up on the computer!)

Q - Wow, Sonja, they look like absolute angels here. Your house must be so peaceful all the time! How relaxing for you!
A - Okay, that's not a question... and.... no comment.

Q - Where is everyone?
A - I know, right? I think there were a few too many family members worried about giving Richard their horrible coughs and colds in case Richard came. So, they didn't come!
(We missed you Mike and Erin, Shauna and Mike, and Michelle! Thanks for coming by to see us, Uncle Len!)
Clockwise from the left
Dexter, Kim (my sister), me (if I were sitting down), Mom (who I got to sit beside for the first time ever, I think), Ken ( my step-dad), Uncle Al (who you can't actually see because he's up getting his dinner on your far right), Auntie Brenda (you can only see her hair), Jared (Kim's boyfriend), Paul (my brother), and AJ.

Q - Did Kim purposely wear a plaid shirt just to match with your kids?
A - Hee hee. No. I told her to wear it.

Q - Did Jared wear a plaid shirt just to match with Kim?
A - Hmmmm. Maybe.

Q - Do those five Transformers attach together to make one giant Transformer?
A - Youbetcha! That was AJ's gift from Mommy and Daddy.

Q - You let your son play crazy video games?
A - Ummm, yah.... no. I come downstairs to find him thinking that he's playing Call of Duty B.O. with Uncle Paul. Uncle Paul turned out okay. He's a pretty great kid. Hopefully Dexy will too.

Q - Is it just me or do they look a lot alike?
A - It's not just you. And... they don't just look alike. They act alike. Dexter IS Paul at age 3.

Section 3 - The Breakdown of Christmas

Christmas Eve

My dad comes over to spend the night and Christmas morning with us. I make those leave em' out all night cinnamon buns and some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
When putting out the carrot for Rudolph, AJ says, "Who's that for?" I say, "For Rudolph." He says, "What?! You mean Rudolph's real, like in real-life?" I say, "That's who I'm putting the carrot out for."

The boys and I had a hard time getting to sleep. So much so, that in an effort to be able to get out of his room, my late-bloomer-potty-trainer Dexter decided he would come out to alert me that he needed to do his first real poop on the potty. Sneaky bugger.

Christmas Morning

I thought the boys would wake early at 6:30am, but at 7:15am, I couldn't wait any longer and went and woke them both. Dexter had technically woken already, but not AJ.

It was great! It took the boys way longer than I anticipated to open their gifts. They just wanted to play with each thing that they opened!

I had planned on leaving the house at 10am to head to Mom's, but ended up leaving the house more like 12pm. No one seemed to mind. I told them to do as much Christmas-Morning as they wanted before I arrived.

It was really nice spending my first Christmas morning with my dad since I was about 9 years old! Thanks for coming out, Dad!

We finished gift opening at Mom's, the boys had their lunch, we put Dexter down for his nap, and lazed around a bit before getting ready for Christmas dinner. Uncle Len came out to visit before heading back to his Christmas dinner.

Christmas dinner was delicious and fun as always. Thanks everyone!

I called Richard during the day so I could ask him to open his Christmas gift from me while we were on the phone together. I had a t-shirt made for him that said "Stem Cell Transplant Survivor Since 2010" much like one I had seen on a website.

The boys and I stayed overnight until Boxing Day.

Boxing Day

It was a nice, relaxing Christmas morning at my mom's, as usual. The boys played with their toys while I puttered around getting packed up. We said our good-byes around 11:30am or so.

I still wasn't totally sure whether or not I'd be picking up Richard from the hospital this day at this point.

I ran in the door, threw all the gifts and bags into the house, packed a quick on-the-go lunch for the boys, and drove to the mall.

I always go to the mall on Boxing Day to get my More Time Moms calendar at 40% off and usually to pick up the boys' yearly ornaments that they choose themselves (but we bought ours last week instead).

I remembered the stroller, thank goodness! I had hoped Dexter would sleep at the mall since I would be running into his nap. He did not. However, BOTH boys were awesome at the mall. They really seemed happy to be out and about. It's been a lot of dreary, rainy days, so outside is outside, I guess!

I got my calendar! YAY! Last year they were out. It just about did me in! I was lost without my calendar for a whole week or so!

Usually, on Boxing Day, we go to The Joniec's house at some point (that's Richard's friend Tarrie and his wife and kids). This year it was a Christmas dinner over there. Thanks you guys! We had fun! The boys had a blast playing with all the big kids!

The 27th

Finally! A day to just relax in our own house so the boys could finally play with the rest of their new toys!

But wait! It looked like I'd need to drive out to Vancouver with the boys to pick up Richard. I had Erica, come drop off Jack for a play-date. I spent the morning cleaning up a bit, getting ready, and packing for the day to go to Vancouver to go get Richard.

Then, he said he wasn't coming home after all, but there was no sense going for a visit and bringing out all his stuff since he was probably coming home the next day. If not, I would go visit him the next day.

Erica came to pick up Jack, and she took AJ with her so the boys could go play with Jack's Christmas toys! Thanks, Erica!

That early evening, Dexter and I went over to Erica and Kevin's for a night of yummy burgers, the best coffee I've ever had in my whole life, some dancing on the Kinect, and of course, Rockband. It was a nice early dinner which meant I could get the boys home just shortly after bedtime instead of having to put them to bed over there.

I spent the rest of the night trying to clean up the Christmas-Tornado and lounging.

The 28th

Time to pick up Richard from the hospital! Mom and Ken came out to watch the boys, so I could drive to VGH to go get Richard.

As I said, he's horrible. He can barely get around. I would've driven him straight to the Cancer Lodge if it was open. Still, it was great to see him and bring him home, even just for the one day.

It was a long ride home with all the pee-stops we needed to make and prescription runs at two pharmacies to get his Morphine and 4 other drugs for stomach issues, blood pressure, and easing spasms that he's having due to the bladder issues.

Once home, Mom and Ken got a small chance to visit with Richard, but he just needed to vegetate.

Thanks Mom for bathing the boys and sticking around during dinner, it made the day a lot easier! Thanks too, for taking them for a walk in the mud. That made AJ's day and Dexter's too!

The boys got to give Richard his Christmas gifts tonight and give him some much needed hugs, but they had to be pretty gentle with him.

I'm just catching up on his laundry and then I'm about to go gather up the things he needs to add to his bags for tomorrow.

Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for all your cards and gifts. We are happy to have Richard home, even if it's only for one day.
He's in rough shape. Send him all the positive vibes you have! Or, if you like to pray, we'll take that too! Thank you, everyone!

Thanks Richard, for holding up okay by yourself at the hospital for Christmas. Sorry you were so sick. Sorry you couldn't be here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Visit with Richard, Grannie, and Grand-Dan

The Wii has been a source of fun at night for us lately. This particular night, the boys tried out Mario Kart first. Dexter just wasn't willing to hold down a button while he drove. Toy Story 3 was going to be too difficult. Next, we tried Go Diego Go. This one was a success.
I realized it was a one player game. That would be a problem, so I thought. It turned out to be awesome. Little baby-Jaguar follows Diego everywhere. I told AJ that he was Diego. I told Dexter that he was Baby-Jaguar. They were both perfectly happy with that scenario. Half the time, Dex just sits watching the game like it's a movie anyhow, not even moving his controller.
Can you see Diego and Baby-Jaguar there? They played for about 20 minutes while I did some laundry and put all their clothes away.
Here they are doing stamps this morning. No shirts = less mess.

Guess what?
There's an indoor skate park in Abbotsford now! YAY! We went to check it out, and get AJ some pads of his own so he can practice at the outdoor park too.

A couple nights ago, we went to the playground at 5pm. It was dark! And it was cold! But they didn't care. I had my coffee, so I was good too.

Crappy phone photos, sorry, but you can still see their smiles!

I hmmm and hawed about when to head out to visit Richard yesterday. Kim and Kareen convinced me to head out during Dexter's nap. I packed up, and I headed out to Dad's.

It was a perfect drive. I got to bypass ALL of the backup from the counter-flow lane being in effect at the tunnel because I could use the HOV. Ohhh, people did not like watching me drive up the side to the front of the line. It felt good.

Once we got to Dad's around 3:30pm, right on time, as Dad pulled into the parking lot, we moved the carseat and the booster over and headed to the hospital.

Our visit overlapped with Grannie being at the hospital which worked out perfectly. The boys got to see Grannie, I got to see Grannie, and we all got to visit with Richard. Again, he looks great as always, but that doesn't reflect how he's feeling.

His urine has been clear of blood for a couple days now. Today, he said he's getting longer breaks between needing to pee, so hopefully, that's a good sign.

Just in case he's in the hospital on Christmas day, we brought him his gift wrapped up too along with all the other supplies he requested.

We fit in lots of hugs and love. The boys were good. We stayed for close to an hour.

Dad, me, and the boys went back to Richmond, had dinner at WhiteSpot running through what would normally be Dexter's 7:30pm bedtime. The boys eyes were beginning to close.

I remember, before I had kids, seeing kids peeking over booths, standing on the seats and thinking, "I will NEVER let my kids behave like that at a restaurant!"

Oh, I was soooo naive. The boys are actually really well behaved at restaurants, but... they're still kids.

Dexter, while I wasn't watching, had snuck his head around to peek at the people in the booth behind me. He was reaching his hand through and smiling at them.
me - "Dexter! Sit properly! On your bum or your knees. No peeking at other people!"
Dex - (quite sternly, I'll add) - "I just saying hi to them mom!!!"

However, after Dad brought us back to his place where my car was parked and I transferred everything over, I was feeling like pushing my luck.

I asked the boys (at 8pm) if it was okay if we went to the mall. We did. Dexter was actually falling asleep while we were walking. I was 'one of those moms' that I usually condemn in my mind, silently, for messing with their kids routines and taking them to malls WAY past bedtime.

Here's Grand-Dan looking at pics of the boys ice-skating on his phone while AJ does puzzles on the DS.

Here's Dex, colouring. He looks like he's sleeping here!

Thanks Dad for helping the night run smoothly!

Get better, Richard! We want you home!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More to Say About Richard

Actually, there isn't much with which to update you.

I do have some pics to post, but they'll have to wait. I've got a messy house, baking to do, and I think I'm about to drop it all to go head to Vancouver to visit Richard.

I'm feeling good. I'm not sick. The boys miss him. I miss him.

Here's a little update:

Yesterday, they tried to put in a 'bigger than normal' catheter. Richard didn't last an hour. He said the pain was unbearable to the point that he was actually crying. He had them take it out.

The good thing?

He said it gave him some 'pain perspective'
He thought that he could not handle the lack of sleep he was getting having to pee every half hour. He has now decided that he can, in fact, and will enjoy not getting a good sleep if it means not having to have that catheter in.

Will he be home for Christmas?

We still don't know. I'm not getting my hopes up, but I am hopeful. As I see it, he still has three whole days to be good enough to come home, even if it's just for the one night, if he feels up to it.

Norma is there with him right now. That makes me feel better, and makes her feel better, and I'm sure, makes Richard feel better.

We are 'at peace' with how Christmas will turn out, however it turns out. Decisions have been made....

It will be my first Christmas waking in my own house instead of my mom's and I'm feeling good with that.

My Dad is going to stay over at our place Christmas Eve and Richard feels good about that.

I've told Richard that if he changes his mind at ANY time, to let me know and we will come out to see him Christmas day, but...

So far, what makes Richard feel good is knowing the boys are having a 'normal' Christmas which would mean waking up at home, heading to Mom's around 10am, finishing Christmas, and having Christmas dinner at Mom's, even if Richard's in the hospital.

I'm going to take out Richard's Christmas gift tonight in hopes that he'd like to open it early. I will leave it with him in case he's in the hospital for Christmas day.

We'll see how things progress and if things change.

Thank you...

A big thank you to everyone who has sent Christmas cards. I know they're a normal part of Christmas each year, but I just love opening the mail box and finding more Christmas cards. They put a smile on my face!

A BIG thank you to Dean's (my principal) 'worship team' at Bridge Community Church, Doug and Joyce (Jen's in laws), Carol and John (Erica's parents), and to Eagle West Cranes who helped make Christmas a little less stressful.

Thanks to Rhonda for some farm fresh eggs and thanks to Jen and Dave for a fun time at Safari Kids Zone!!

I'm forgetting someone, but I'm sure it will come to me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

No Catheter Yet

They have not hooked him up to a catheter yet.
I guess it's in his best interest to not have a catheter because they fear infection. So, instead they're just constantly flushing him. He's in a single room, just 'existing' as he puts it.

My cold is on it's way out over the past couple days. I'm thinking that tomorrow evening, I may be able to get out there for a visit and to bring him supplies.

We'll see!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Richard is Moved In Up on T15

Well, he's settled up on T15. They found him a bed, or rather, I guess, kicked someone out so that he could get in. I sure hope the person that got sent home is happy to be going home. Let's hope so!

He sounded in better spirits when I spoke to him a half hour ago. He was happy to be settled. It was a long day. He's had lots of fluid and platelets and such. No catheter as of yet, but nonetheless, I'm thinking he's in a better place.

BIG THANK YOU to my dad who offered to head over to lodge and pack up all of Richard's stuff to deliver to him over at the hospital and pick him up a burger too!

BIG THANK YOU to Richard's mom too, who I'm pretty sure is on the edge of her seat just waiting to hear if Richard wants/needs her to come over.

More Information Regarding Richard

He'll be getting readmitted, but currently, there isn't a bed available for him on T15 (the Leukemia ward).

But they're not letting him leave the hospital. Who knows where he's spending the night... emergency... some other ward... just don't know.

I'm still pretty sick and don't want to infect him or the poor people at the lodge. My dad (Thanks so much, Dad) is going to head to the lodge and call Richard on his cell so that Richard can talk my dad through packing everything up in his room at the lodge.

Dad will bring everything back to his place and wait for Richard's call once Richard knows where he's spending the night.



He's being re-admitted to the hospital.


More News

Well, they're thinking about admitting Richard back into the hospital to deal with the bladder situation.

A catheter and therefore, constant flushing of his bladder.

I sure hope that means only a couple of days, but who knows, right? We never know.

Whatever gets him better.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Richard is Doing

Well, he's not well.

One of the strong chemo-drugs that can cause scarring of the walls of the bladder is definitely taking it's toll now.

Richard is at the lodge, as I previously mentioned on Monday. He started to feel a bladder infection (the first ever in his life) on Sunday night and there was blood in his urine on Monday. Again, as I already documented, they (the doctors/nurses) were not too worried in that this seems par for the course due to the strong chemo drug.

Richard anticipated more than just his Mon/Thurs appointment, packed his bags, and booked himself at the lodge.

To clarify, Richard is at the lodge by choice. Many people have asked me this week how long he 'has to stay' there. He doesn't have to stay there at all. He could come home, but that would mean driving upwards of 1.25-2 hours each way during traffic during the weekdays. It's just too much gas/$, and it takes too much out of him. They are often long days, being hooked up to fluids for sometimes, 4 hours or more! Then to have the energy to drive home....
It's just too much for him. And, it's not easy for me to drive him back and forth from home because we have the kids to think about. The hospital's a pretty boring place for 6 hours a day with two little boys.

The lodge is a great place for him to be able to rest, undisturbed. He has the truck with him if he needs to go anywhere. Plus, there's a supermarket in walking distance and many other shops.

He's away from our germs. I'm still trying to get rid of this cold. We sure don't want him to get it!

He's just zoning out and trying to 'get through this' horribly painful time. It seems consistently painful and although, yes, they've given him stuff for it, it doesn't seem to be doing much for the pain. I think he said it's mostly for nighttime.

I asked if it was worse than when he had the hemorrhoids from the chemo in 2009. He said that it was way worse. I remember that he was near tears then, so I can't imagine how much it hurts right now for him.

He was going to be coming home to get some of his stuff on Sunday, but he's not now. He doesn't want me to bring anything out either, since it's not anything of dire emergency, and he's just not in a state to visit.

Well, that's about all I have to say about that.
He's not doing so well. He's in a lot of pain. He doesn't know (nor do they) how long it will last. He has to wait for the bladder walls to heal, I guess.

We miss him. A lot.

Friday, December 17, 2010

This Week - Scroll to the Bottom to Read About Richard and Skip the Daily-Drivel

The toilet box has been converted into a playhouse. The boys are in it all the time!
They've been turning off all the lights and playing their projector slideshows in there. See it on the wall of the box?
me - "Peek-a-boo AJ."
AJ - "Mom. Go away. This is a secret clubhouse. No girls allowed."
Dex - "Yah... go-way mom! No geeyeez oud!"

Getting the new toilet last weekend at Home Depot.
Phone pic - so it's not so great, just like the ice-skating photos.

I can't remember Monday. All that I remember is that I started getting sick with a cold. My first cold in about 2 years. I've started to get many colds, but have managed to ward them all off and stop them before they turned into a full fledged cold. This one, I wasn't so lucky.

You know when you wear yourself out and it's a really busy time (like report card time), and as soon as it's all over, your body says, "Hey, she's starting to relax! Let's get her!"? Well, that's what's happened to me.

But there's this really weird part of me that's enjoyed it. The coziness of it. I let myself off the hook for going to the gym the rest of the week. I've been bundled up in a blanket on the couch much of the week at nighttime, and sipping on tea. Just thinking about it makes me smile. I guess I needed a cold just to slow down a little. Nice.

I've had lots of cleaning up to catch up on after Richard left for the lodge. This is not because Richard is messy, but rather that his presence makes me lazy. I'm super-mom when he's away, but when he comes home, I just want to sit around. I don't know if it's just knowing that the other parent is there to 'share the responsibility' even if I'm encouraging him to just sit on the couch, or if it's just wanting to share his company on the couch. Anyhow, my counters are a disaster.

Throw in a pretty busy week and being sick and whoa... it's like a tornado hit the place. And, I'm behind on my laundry. I hate that.

Jen took AJ and Makenna to preschool. I went to the gym for a short time and then ran some errands. I came home, had Jen drop off Emerson and Jaxon, and Jen went to the preschool to watch Makenna and AJ perform their Christmas songs.

Jen brought AJ and Makenna back home to me and then left to head to school to go help out with the Christmas concert. I stayed home with the 5 kids and had a near perfect day until there was a juice-spitting incident (courtesy of the Notorious Duo known as AJ and Makenna). "We promise we'll be careful with our drinks downstairs" = sticky hair, sticky clothes, and sticky floor. I went mildly irate for about 5 minutes, then it was back to an awesome day. I kept the kids all for dinner until their Auntie Allison came and got them around 6pm. It was a good day and left not much clean-up! I guess I cleaned up after them as they went.

Auntie Kim came the night before so I could head to work on Wednesday morning around 6:40am. I contemplated calling in sick the night before due to my achy body and eyes, but it's just so much more work and worry to call in a sub, I'm only there once a week, and it was my last day with my students before the break. Even though they're hormone-crazy-hyped-up-on-a-Christmas-high, I really wanted to see them. I knew that if I lazed around and stayed in bed all day, I'd just feel worse. So, instead, I just drugged up and headed to school. I'm glad I did, but I was drained by the end of the day. I had to set up for the first day back and stuff.
On the way home, I ran some errands and picked up my last of the Christmas gifts (Auntie Kim's), and then headed home. Kim was getting the kids into bed and then her and I shared some sushi as a nice little treat. Good times.

Whoa! What a full but fun day.
Makenna came around 7:15am and Rya (Erica's daughter - because Erica was going to be helping out in Jack's kindergarten class) got dropped off around 8:30am.
We did preschool drop-off. I skipped the gym due to feeling sick, and instead ran a few errands with Dexy and Rya who thoroughly enjoyed their time together in the back seat and did not fight like brother and sister back there like they used to! The just laughed and laughed and laughed like AJ and Makenna do.
I brought them back for some Meet the Colours movie-time, and then we picked up AJ and Makenna from preschool, dropped off Makenna at daycare, and came back to the house.
Erica came close to lunch, stayed for a visit and when she left, she took AJ with her to Jack's school Christmas sing-song-party.
After Dexter's nap, Erica brought AJ back to me (thanks Erica!) and the boys and I headed for ice-skating! I've only taken them once before (back in the spring). AJ was a totally different person this time! It's like he came on the ice thinking he could already skate like a super-star. He got on the ice and just took off skating to the other side to go get one of the training bars! He played with that racing around for about 15 minutes and then just switched over to skating without the bar. He was turning in circles and everything! It was so fun to watch. He was loving it! He fell lots too, but was well padded from his snow suit, and eventually started falling on purpose just for fun!


Dexter and his bob-skates, but one has fallen off.

AJ early on.

AJ after a few minutes.

AJ on the left and Dexter on the right, racing.
Dexter taking a break to watch for a bit.
AJ trying to go fast.
Dexter falling.
Dexter showing me how he skates without help. "I do it Mom! Go way!"

Dexter eating snow off of his mittens and AJ falling in the background.

Dexter eating snow off of his mittens.
He kept eating the snow off his mittens. Ewww.

Dexter wore his bob-skates this time. He had a blast too. He could skate (walk) on the ice unassisted, but much preferred to use the bar and have fun getting around faster.

This is what Dexter's bob-skates look like.

This is what I remember my bob-skates looking like when I was about Dexter's age. They had leather straps on them. I remember going on the ice after my dad's hockey games. He made me my very own miniature hockey stick made of a real hockey stick cut to my size.

I asked if I was allowed to not skate so that I could help them out and they gave me these cool spiky things to slip over my boots so I could walk on the ice. Because I chose not to skate and Dexter's still free (because he's still 2) and the boys have their own skates, the skating experience only cost $3.10 !! Very affordable fun!

It's much like a backyard or outdoor skate-rink. It's barely ever Zambonied (I just invented a word there!) and there's 'snow' all over it and everything. It's great for beginner skaters because it's not too slippery. The real ice rink was open only to lessons at that time.

We came home for dinner and then headed back out to drive around and look at special Christmas light displays at people's houses!

Followed by hot-chocolate and a sugar-rush that kept them up way too late!

Friday (today)
Off to my gym (I had a sauna instead of working out) so the boys could attend the gym-daycare-Christmas Party. After the gym, we decided to take full advantage of the sunshine and dry pavement by going to the skatepark. The boys were given the choice between Mill Lake playground or the skatepark and it was a unanimous 'skatepark' vote. We headed home for warmer jackets, a potty-break, and mittens, then headed to the skatepark where I sipped my coffee and boys scootered around.

Dexter's just having his nap right now, AJ's having quiet room time, and I'm about to go empty the dishwasher before we take Toboo for a back-shaving. He's got some bad matting on his back. I think he cannot clean his back himself anymore. Sad. If that doesn't take too long, we may head to the skatepark again later.


He feels really crappy. The chemo drug ate away at the lining of his bladder causing a VERY constantly painful bladder infection so to speak. He says he gets about 30-45 minutes of a pain-free break in between having to deal with the pain again. He sounds exhausted just explaining the pain he has to endure.

Poor guy.

He's probably going to come home on Sunday to pick up some supplies. I anticipate him staying at the lodge right up until the 24th. We'll see how he feels and how his appointments go.

I'm hoping he has the energy to update his blog soon to give you more details of how he's coping.

We miss him lots.