Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treating Teaser

Happy Hallowe'en!!!

The picture-resizer file does not seem to be working right now, so I cannot load all of the pumpkin carving and trick or treating photos right now. However, I'll give you this.....

One thing I forgot to prepare the boys for was the occasional house that asks the kids to 'do a trick'.

At the first house that said, "Can I see a trick?", Dexter just stared blankly, and AJ showed the lady how he can swing his trick or treat bag around in a circle without dropping out any candy. Not too bad.

AJ asked me, "Why did she ask me to show her a trick?"

I explained that "Trick or Treat" means that you can show someone a trick and then get candy that's the 'treat'. I said, "You just show the person something that you can do really well, or sometimes kids sing a song or tell a joke."

AJ said, "Oh. Dexter could sing his ladybug song to the next lady."

I said, "Yes, he could."

Just as we were about 2 houses from going home, at about 8:15pm, we came to one-of-those houses.

The guy said, "Can you do a trick?"

AJ said to Dexter, "Sing your ladybug song Dex."
Dex just stood and stared.

The guy said to AJ, "How about you? What can you do?"

AJ said, "I can do 5's."

And the guy said, "What are 5's?"

And AJ proceeded to say:

" 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, 100!!!"

The guy said, "Wow! That IS a good trick!"

And away walked AJ with an EXTRA bag of candy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back Home From Being With Richard - Day 3 / 100

Above is the bag of stem cells from the wonderful stranger! The bag looks darker than it really was. The little tube into which it drained, is a much more accurate visual of the stem cell colour.

Below is Richard watching it slowly drain into his Hickman Line. You can't see how watery his eyes are, but he was definitely 'welled up'. Not sure if it was fear or joy or just everything all built up to this moment.
That was at around 11pm on Wednesday night. October 27th, 2010.

How Richard's Doing:

When I left, Richard still had the hiccups, but they didn't sound near as bad as they do in the evening. His sleep last night was only slightly better. From where I'm sleeping in his room, he sounds like he's choking many times in the night and gasping for air from the hiccups. He assures me that it sounds worse than it is.

I'm hoping he took advantage of the offer of a sleeping pill for tonight. When he falls asleep, he isn't hiccuping, so I imagine it would be nice for him to go an entire night without hiccups.

Earlier today, he wanted a break from the pain in his throat/chest area. He didn't want Morphine (not to mention, slow drip morphine can be one of the hiccup causes). He didn't want Codine because he was worried about constipation aggravating his diverticulitis. He's not allowed to have Advil (Ibuprofen- I didn't ask why). He just wanted Tylenol. He wasn't really allowed to have Tylenol because his temperature was running high at 37.9 and they didn't want the Tylenol to mask his fever. The nurse (one of my faves) allowed him to have the Tylenol "just this once" to give a little break from the pain. He was quite happy with that!

On the hiccup topic. My curiosity led me to this site on chemo hiccups. I found the part about drinking upside down funny since that what I recommended to Richard. It's a good thing he doesn't listen to me.

The Visit With Richard:

It was really great to be able to stay with Richard for the three nights. I was glad to be there, and likewise, he was happy to have me there (even if he slept for a lot of it). The last day resulted in us creating a code word for when he doesn't want me to talk while the nurse is You know, like "Serenity Now". We decided on "Woman.. Shut up!"

It was pretty funny. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't speak up about my worries about Richard's gasps for air. It was my favourite nurse who was on staff who seems pretty 'cool' and easy to talk to, so while she was in the room, I expressed my worries....

"I'm not going to be able to sleep if I don't say something, and I know that I'm probably making a mountain out of a mole-hill, but I ..... blah blah blah... feel like a new mother waking to every sound her baby makes in the middle of the night... blah blah blah... is he breathing? Blah blah blah.... are you okay?..... blah blah blah.... did he pass out?... blah blah blah.... gasping for breath and looking scared... blah blah blah...... he wasn't near the call bell when he was gasping... blah ... I had to press it.... blah.... worried he's going to pass out and no one's going to know for like an hour."

She was really great about it, and funny too, but it brought up the part about Richard's sleep being interrupted when he needs to go to the bathroom and the hiccups starting all over, hence the gasps, and then the vomitting. She mentioned the possibility of a bedpan or a catheter at night so he could get rest undisturbed. Ooooooh, he gave me the evil eye!!! Hence his new phrase that will be uttered if he wants me to not be such a 'mom'.

"Woman... SHUT UP!"

Aaaahhh. I love that man. Glad he puts up with me.

Visit With Norma:

Norma was by again today. Luckily, her scratchy throat the other day was just that, and not a cold. Had another nice visit with Norma, as all visits with Norma are. Norma, if any of you readers do not already know, is staying at the Cancer Lodge, about four blocks away to be close to Richard during the transplant process. Eases my mind to know she there. Eases Richard's too. I imagine it also eases Norma's.

Norma knitted Richard a nice toque which is great for his bald head and the cold weather for when he'll eventually be at the Cancer Lodge and walking to outpatient appointments, I imagine.

Norma's looking great and is a nice ray of sunshine in the room when she arrives. Thanks for that, Norma!

Picking up the Boys:

Everything went according to the plan for the boys:

*Kim and Jared stayed over Tuesday night - check
*Wednesday they watched the boys while I was at work - check
*Wednesday night they watched the boys while I headed straight to the hospital - check
*Thursday Kim took AJ and Makenna to preschool in their costumes - check
*Thursday after preschool, Kim and Jared took the boys and their pre-packed-by-me bags to mom's for their
Thursday night sleepover
- check
*Friday the boys hung out with mom who did not have a shift that day and filled them full of sugar and cookies
- check
*Friday night, the boys spent a second night at my mom's - check
*Saturday, the boys spent another day with Gram eating sugar, but having good naps - check

The added bonus? Paul had three friends over this evening all getting ready for a Hallowe'en party. They were crazy and rowdy with AJ and Dexter burning off lots of energy and giving them the rough play they've been missing while Daddy's been in the hospital. That was wonderful!

I got back home with the boys around 10:15pm or so. Aaaaaah. Relax.


Norma - For staying with Richard while I'm home with the boys. For the awesome Starbucks card to help keep me sane. For some nice little visits!

Mom - For watching the boys and letting them have sugary-Gram fun (with fruits and vegetables too - I believe you).

Kim and Jared - For staying at the house to watch the boys and taking AJ and Makenna to preschool.

Paul, Matthew, Matthew, and Spencer - Thank you for fighting with the boys and tipping them upside down and rough-housing with them. I'll talk to you later about Dexter saying, "Call of Duty with Uncle Paul". ;)

Dad - For driving me to the hospital on Wednesday night from your place, then having my car washed inside and out, filling it with gas, picking me up on Saturday, taking me for lunch, and bringing me back to your place so I could drive home!

Ryan - Thanks for the card! I just got it today! I'll take it to Richard when I see him next!

Terri (from the gym) - Thank you for the Starbucks card!

Toboo, Shakespeare, and Sassy - For not subjecting me to cat-barf at my front entrance or at the top of the stairs.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 2 / 100 - Psychadelic Baby

Richard's hanging in there. His chemo/anti nausea drug-induced hiccups are driving him pretty batty and draining all his energy due to the constant muscle contractions. Last night he decided to bite the bullet and take the crazy hiccup-curing med that gives him hallucinations.

It helped get rid of them for a sleep. A crazy sleep, but nonetheless, sleep. Now they're back again.

The hiccups were getting so bad last night that he was literally gasping to catch his breath. You know... when you're so scared that your eyes get really big with fear. That was what he looked like at about 1:30am. He was so uncomfortable and in pain from the hiccups that he decided to go sit in the chair at the end of the bed. His hiccups and gasps were scaring me awake periodically and that big gasp/choke had me really scared. He was down at the end of the bed where he cannot reach the nurse-calling button. Now, yes, he did eventually catch his breath, but not before I had gotten the okay from him to push the button myself in hopes that maybe they could give him oxygen or something. Jinkies, I don't know. I didn't know if that would help, but my non-medical common sense said "can't get enough oxygen = give oxygen".

Oh ya and at that point he was starting to feel nauseated and was trying to throw up.

The nurse came and more or less said (nicely, of course... she's a really great nurse) that there isn't much she can do aside from offering the hiccup-curing med that Richard didn't really want. She didn't think the oxygen would help, but obliged with our request.

She headed off to go order/get the med and in the mean time, Richard sat over the edge of the bed with the oxygen tubes in his nose and taking deep breaths. I don't know if there's any scientific reason for the that helping or if it was just something new for him to focus on aside from the hiccups.

Anyhow, it was a rough night, but he did get sleep. He said his 6 hour or so sleep was filled with so many crazy hallucinations and stuff that it felt like a long 12 hour (but not enjoyable 12 hours) sleep.


Things I forgot to add yesterday.

I may have made it sound like the procedure of the tranfusion of stem-cells was 'not-a-big-deal'. It, in fact, could have been scary, hence the fact that the doctor stays close by for a couple hours and the nurse stayed in the room for two or so hours too to keep a close eye on him.

So, the transfusion itself was uneventful which was wonderful.

But, once the grapht starts to get comfy in a couple weeks, we'll see then what kind of havoc it tries to reek.

As Richard words it, he says that in two weeks:

The new stem cells will start to get comfy and then they'll wake up and look around and say, "What the heck!? This isn't our liver... Let's kill it! Hey! What the heck!? These aren't our kidneys! Let's kill them! Hey! This isn't our body! We don't belong here! Let's get out of here."

So we'll see how that goes. I'm staying pretty positive right now. It really helped that the tranfusion went so smoothly. It kind of makes it seem like 'normal'. Normal, meaning what normal is right now, not actually normal. Keeps me a little calm.

The thing I'm worried about is him passing out from his hiccups while no one's in the room.

Right now, he doesn't have the hiccups, so maybe, possibly, they're on the way out.

Let's hope so.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 1 / 100

I arrived at the hospital around 8:30pm last night after showering and having dinner at Dad's. (thanks for taking me to the hospital, Dad).

Richard looked wonderful and handsome as always, but with a nice little tan from the radiation.
*little side note here - Did I tell you how they mentioned that the radiation can cause Cancer?
yah... nice eh?

Richard has had the horrible chemo-hiccups for about 3 or 4 days now. It really takes a toll on him due to all the constant flexing of his muscles. He's just exhausted. He had a couple breaks from the hiccups through the night (when I cuddled with him in his hospital bed and fell asleep with him for a little bit), and again while he slept.

I set up camp on the pull-out bed for a horrible, but nicely long, sleep. I don't know why I bother to mention how my sleep was when it soooo doesn't matter. It's nothing compared to Richard's horrible sleep, obviously. But, it's part of the story, I guess.

Around 11pm or 11:30pm, maybe, Dr. Bernard (the petite, yet powerful one who delivered the fastest bone marrow biopsy ever) had just arrived from picking up the stem cells from the Vancouver airport (nice and fresh from wherever they came from - I think the UK).

It was all very anti-climactic. We've been building up for this day even though this really isn't the time when problems could (but hopefully won't occur). All they did was hang up the bag like any old bag of blood or platelets and hooked it up to his Hickman Line. It took all of about 40 minutes to drain in. They had said upwards of an hour, but I guess his body was taking it well, so the drip could be quick. Richard looked pretty emotional as it crept its way through the line into his body. It was a thicker, tomato-soupy looking version of regular blood. I guess I expected it to look different somehow. The label on it had something blacked out. I tried to read it hoping it said where it came from, but nope.

There was no initial reaction, yay!

Problems, if any, tend to occur about two weeks into the transplant process when the graft could possibly start to reject the host (Richard).

Richard received his second or third batch of the test-drug that hopefully will decrease the chances of graft vs. host disease . The first batch he got, he reacted to with some chills, but the second went just fine.

The doctor that was in today said that they are keeping a close eye on his liver because it is slightly lower (or something) than it's supposed to be. It's only very minor, but when they give the Methotrexate, they need to watch your liver and kidneys and will only give it to you (or will adjust the dose accordingly) dependent on how they are doing. (For all you drug-googlers out there - Don't be confused about the methotrexate being a chemo-drug. It's not used the same way in this case, as it would be for someone with .. say... prostate cancer).

While it's popped into my mind - A BIG thank you to Tony who popped by again to see Richard and brought him a bunch of treats. Richard really enjoyed that visit. Evidently, you're a great guy, Tony. Everyone says so and evidently, EVERYONE knows Tony!

So, Richard spent the night not having a very good sleep due to hiccups and nausea. Not sure which drug causes the hiccups, but man, they're just horrible.

Currently, his hiccups are giving him a break.
You are probably wondering why they don't give him some special cure for them. Believe me, I gave him lots of ideas... hopping on one foot, holding his breath, and my personal favourite, drinking water upside down. He was having none of it, and since the hiccups pain him so much that they leave him short of breath, he didn't think that drinking water upside was a great idea.

Oops, by typing that his hiccups were gone for a while, I've jinxed him and now they're back. Sorry Richard.

So... the hiccup drug. There is a hiccup-curing-drug, but the problem with it is that it makes Richard hallucinate. He didn't think that was a good idea with the transplant happening last night. The last thing he wants while the stem cells are going in, is to be looking like a drug-addict freaking out about imaginary bugs crawling up and into his arms.

Sorry to all that I haven't called yet. I did a couple texts last night, but truth be told, it was just very uneventful and no-news-is-good-news, right?

Norma came in this morning from the lodge and we had a nice visit. She left around 10am and I headed to go get my morning coffee (Thank you so much, Terri, from the gym, who got me a Starbucks card!), and to pick up Richard a requested apple fritter. I never buy food at Starbucks, but he asked, so he got! When a Leukemia patient says he wants an apple fritter, you get it for him!!!

I'm avoiding kissing Richard on the mouth right now and avoiding touching his hands, as little Dexter is sick with a cough right now and although I'm not sick, I want to be cautious. Norma's got a bit of scratchy throat and had a pretty crappy sleep last night due to thinking and worrying about Richard all last night, so she's going to spend the afternoon at the lodge, resting up.

My three frenzied days of cleaning and cooking have paid off. I look forward to getting home to my moderately clean house (except for my stairs - ugg - usually Richard does those). My cooler that I packed is full of my food I'll be eating while I stay here with Richard. In fact, I shared my dinner with Dad last night. It was delicious.... Butter Chicken, homemade carrot soup, apples, and peas. Mmmmm. Those will be my dinners while I'm here. My lunch is my chicken and veggie soup that Richard made up for me before he left for the hospital. My breakfasts are my spinach/feta/bacon/egg things that I premade for the month. Snacks = sugar peas and apples.

I'm set. I have books, I have marking to do, I have Word Mole on my phone, and I have Richard (and the tv - I keep forgetting it's there, but I'm looking forward to Big Bang Theory tonight!!!).

Kim had a busy morning. Makenna arrived around 7am and Kim got AJ into his Hallowe'en costume so that he and Makenna could be taken to preschool for their Hallowe'en party. When she gets AJ back home, she'll be taking the boys to Mom's house. (Thanks again Kim and Jared and Mom!).

I did take pictures of the bag of stem cells and the nurse took a picture of Richard and I, but for some reason, they don't want to upload right now. Oh well. You'll have to wait for those.

We don't get to sign up to find the donor for a year (and that's only if the donor sign up to find out who we are too), but I thought I'd take a chance and put it out there in cyberspace....

If you had stem cells taken out of you on the 27th of October, 2010, THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Kim has headed to her place with the boys and they're already asleep for the ride to Chilliwack.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Transplant is Tomorrow Night

Love love love love love that guy.
If you're not 'in the loop', Richard's transplant is Wednesday night, going into Thursday morning. About midnight.

As the countdown of days until Richard's transplant turns into a countdown of hours, I find myself unable to control my tears more and more.

I'm used to being able to 'get through all this' by looking at the bright side and being tough and just making the best of it. That's not cutting it right now. As much as I'm trying to think positively, I'm scared. Really scared. Then my mind wanders. Then I'm terrified.

I've been keeping my mind off of how sad I am by watching these two cuties around the house. They're not used to being cooped up indoors and had to re-learn how to spend hours on end in the house. I've spent the last few rainy days doing minimal errands and avoiding my feelings by cleaning my house. It helps that I have houseguests coming to watch the boys while I'm away (THANKS KIM AND JARED!) They get to play house. I'm truly indebted to the both of them for this (and my mom who will be watching them in a few more days). If it's not already clear, I'm going to be spending some nights by Richard's side during and just after the transplant. I'm kind of feeling overwhelmed with emotion, but I guess that's pretty much expected.

Playing with a box.

I had to remind AJ and Dexter that they don't have to play together all day. I forced them to have some separated time in their own rooms. It was so peaceful. I don't think that Dexter realizes that it can be fun to play alone. No one tells you what to do. No one tells you how to play or what character you have to be.

I've also been keeping my mind busy with lists and cooking (getting ready for being away for a few days). Every time I think of something like 'remember to put out the constant-feed cat water dish', I run over to my list. It's getting crazy. My mind is just trailing into branches that lead to more branches.

Dexter wants to walk around with a pad of paper and a pen all day.
He's been drawing people lately! This is Mom and Dad.

Here's what AJ does with the same pad of paper and a pen while waiting for Dexter to wake up from his nap yesterday so that we could make cupcakes together.
It says "next time we will make cupcakes, love mom".
He wrote "nex tim we will mac cupcacs luv mom".

Unfortunately, I was too lazy to deal with the clean up of using the cupcake bakeware.
So I made two round cakes and cut them up so I could put on these cute little Hallowe'en characters from Norma's cousin, Elva. Well, actually, they're from her grandson. Thank you!

Later I found the boys giggling away doing an I Spy book together in Dexter's loft bed.

Any chance I've had during the breaks in the rain to get outside with them, I've loved.
I raked the leaves again.

There's the big tree from which they're falling. I backed up all the way to my fence and still couldn't get the giant tree in the picture.

While I was back there, I just took a couple more.

Here's our new fence that the city put in for the path that's now running beside our house. There will be hedging cedars put in next. Not sure exactly when. I'm glad that tree got to stay in our yard. I love that tree.


I took the boys to the hospital to see Daddy and Grannie (who had arrived from the Island). Grannie came bearing gifts of Transformers for the boys which kept them occupied quite well. We were there for a good two hours. It's wonderful that Richard has his own room. It makes visits with the kids sooooo much easier.

I was too bagged to head to Richmond to see my dad after, so I just headed home with the boys and we had dinner in the car on the way home.


Just finishing getting ready for tomorrow. The boys are finishing a late dinner while watching a movie.
We got home late because it wasn't raining this late afternoon, so after my couple errands, I took the boys to the skatepark, as per their begging. We had been there all of 10 seconds, when AJ did a jump and came down with his face onto the handle bar of the scooter. Blood, blood, blood, and more blood EVERYWHERE. And, when AJ gets hurt, he doesn't run to me, he runs away! I just watched the blood dripping from his mouth wondering whether or not the night would be all the more exciting by heading to the ER again.
But no, his teeth went into his lip, but not through. There was a lot of blood. I had no wipes, no napkins, nothing. All I had was a clean emergency diaper in my purse. He still wanted to ride, so he rode around for the next 25 minutes with dried blood all over his chin and hands and, of course, my hands too. Nice. Could've been worse. Could've been a lot worse.
Thought I'd do this update quickly, since I don't know how much I'll get onto the computer the next few days and I have LOTS still to do tonight to get ready to be away for a few days.

The Plan

Kim and Jared will arrive tonight. I will leave for work (with everything I need for the hospital) at around 6:30am/6:45am.

After work, I'll make sure I'm all planned for next week and hopefully, stay long enough to finish up some marking. I'm such a procrastinator.

Then, I'll head to Dad's from work and take a shower there at his place. I'll leave my car at Dad's and he'll drive me to the hospital.

Kim and Jared will stay a second night (Wednesday night), take AJ and Makenna to preschool in the morning and then after preschool, head to mom's. Where the boys will stay for the next two nights. My plan is to come get them on Saturday and bring them home so that we can do a nice, calm Hallowe'en Sunday. We'll see how that all works out. Hopefully, I'm feeling safe enough with Richard's condition to leave the hospital.

Richard's transplant is at about midnight or so on Wednesday night, hence the confusion about the date. It's technically on the 28th (Thursday), but is in-a-way on the 27th because it's Wednesday night if you know what I mean.

About the Boys - Some Funnies

Here's what happened yesterday afternoon as I wrote it on Facebook.

"Just had a HUGE scare. I was putting some things in the garbage and behind my back I could hear whistling. It was WAY to clear to be AJ, so I was afraid to turn around thinking some random stranger walked into my house somehow, and seemed to be whistling 'teenage dream'. I reluctantly turned around ready to fight ...for my life, and....... it WAS AJ! My heart is still racing."

AJ and I's conversation in the car the other day....

AJ: "Mom, can our car travel through time like the DeLorean?" Me: "No." AJ: "Why not?" Me: "Because no one has invented time travel least, I don't think so." AJ: "What if we drove really fast, like 88?" Me: "No, we'd probably just crash." AJ: "Oh."

And AJ while we were driving home from the hospital...

It was rainy and I was just taking my time on the highway in the slow lane going the actual speed limit. AJ said, "What are we doing in THIS lane and why are all the other cars passing US?"

Last but not least, Dexy....

He cupped my face in his hand yesterday morning and said,
"Mom. Ooo aahh boo-i-sowl"
which translated means - Mom, you are beautiful.
Awwww. I teared up. He got some big hugs.

Potty Training

3 dry days in a row, minus a poop that I didn't catch in time.
And then today was 'in the pooper' so to speak. Pun intended. He's getting a cold and feeling under the weather (I swear he always gets sick whenever we come back from the hospital).

Online Games

Dexter is having a great time with the online games by Fisher Price. He's great with the mouse and just loves being on the computer. AJ's had some time on Boowa and Kwala again. He's just a little bit older and with being able to read, he can figure out what all the games are about, so I don't have to stay right beside him. That's been quite a treat for the boys this week.


Dexy can cut with scissors! It was my first time showing him how and he just took them away and started cutting. That surprised me, a lot!

Thank yous

Forgive me if I've already said these ones....

Thank you to:
Karen (a lady I used to work with back in the day at Extra Foods), Bill and Elaine (Richard's uncle and aunt), Shauna and Mike (my cousin and her husband), and Elva and Tony (Norma's cousin and her husband) for the beautiful cards and gifts!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Biggest Blogpost EVER

Today was just what I needed. Routine, my boys, and a friend.

Routine - wake up, breakfast, get ready, gym, coffee, 'take the boys somewhere to play' (actually, they were already at Erica's because she offered to take them while I was at the gym)
Coffee - aaaahhhh
Friend - Today, I hung out with Erica. If you see her, and she is missing an ear, it's because I talked it off!. Thanks E.

In the afternoon, after Dexter's nap, I met Erica (with Jack, AJ, and Rya) and Jen's hubby, Dave (with Makenna, Emerson, and Jaxon) at T.S. playground that we haven't visited since the summer!

I was going to spend this blog spilling my guts, but frankly, I'm all 'spilled out' right now. I'd rather just show you some happy times. These are what I'm thinking about right now, and I'm also thinking about the many happy times to come once Richard is better.

Richard's chemo started today at 10am. It was for two hours. When I talked to him earlier, he wasn't feeling anything yet.

Here we go with some happiness....

The Apple Barn!

A big thanks to Ryan for planning a special family day at the Apple Barn on Saturday! Unfortunately, Ryan couldn't come and was missed, but it was still, a VERY special family day for us with Richard's admitting day looming close ahead.

Erica joined us with Jack and Rya. Thanks E!

We arrived and the boys spotted the jumping pillow immediately! They sat down to take off their boots.

But alas, morning dew, and I'm sure, frost too, had slightly spoiled the excitement (at least, for me, anyhow).

But they had their heart set on getting on there. There weren't many kids on yet, so that made it the perfect opportunity. I warned them their socks would be wet, meaning bare feet in their (thankfully) lined gum boots. AJ was okay with it, so away they went!

Please tilt your head because I'm too lazy to fix these.


Goats!! Dexter was fascinated by this cave.

The view from the ride on tractor track.

Lots of fun.

The big slide. AJ's heading down. Do you see Dexter apprehensively waiting with Daddy at the top?
And here's AJ!
YAY, Daddy and Dexy!
As soon as you get to the bottom of the big slide, there's a mini maze. Just perfect. Your child takes off and you lose them immediately.

The tractor ride to the pumpkin field.
Daddy impersonating this weirdo in Burger King the week before who was talking on his cell phone like this....

No lie. Seriously. For reals.

Looking for a pumpkin.


The big ladybug.
While they wait their turn, AJ finds a gross rotted pumpkin.

Daddy helps Dexter onto the ladybug.
My boys. Tilt please.

Daddy helps Dexter pick out his very own pumpkin. (AJ got to go to Willow View to get his pumpkin when Auntie Jen took him on the preschool field trip).

There it is!
He was extremely excited!
AJ did not get to keep this one, but wanted his picture holding one and he wanted to carry it back on the tractor with him.

My boys 2010.

Here's a link to last year's pics from the pumpkin patch which also includes pics from 2008 and 2007!

The beloved tractor.

Light the Night

A BIG thank you to my cousin, Lisa, for organising a Light the Night team called "A Cure for the Clarks". The weather was beautiful and seeing all those lit balloons was inspirational.

We arrived around 6pm ish and at about 6:30, we let the boys play at the playground while we waited for the rest of the family to arrive (Mom, Kim, Paul, Cousin Alina and Rod, Cousin Lisa and Mike, Uncle Len and Auntie Jacqui, and Cousin Michelle).

I wish I had taken a picture of everyone.

Here we are with our two 'supporter' balloons for the kids and one 'survivor' balloon for Richard. The boys were great in the jogging stroller (we brought the Leapster and the I was hoping Dexter would fall asleep during the walk since it was totally bedtime, but nope.
It was a little chilly, but clear and beautiful. There's my mom walking with Richard and Dexter!
The balloons had lights inside of them. You turned them on to light them up or make them blink.

If you would still like to donate to the Light the Night (Leukemia and Lymphoma research), follow this link....

Light the Night "A Cure for the Clarks"

I'm pretty sure you can still donate until the 31st of October.

One of MANY Days at the SkatePark

Finally I remembered to bring the actual camera to the skatepark instead of just my phone. So now, you can actually see what the boys have been up to.

AJ enjoying the fact that he's allowed to go into the bowl now.

The high school kids' lunch hour was just ending, so Dexter got some extra freedom too.

AJ is attempting a jump to lift his scooter off the ground. The front wheel is up here, but not sure if the back wheel make it.
Happy boy.


Here Dexter is heading over to the big kids who thought it was funny to encourage him to chase them and crash into them. They don't realize what they've done.

Woo hoo, my brave brave AJ!

and some not-so-happy news....

Good-bye Grannie McNeil

I don't know how it slipped my mind, but for those who didn't come across the news elsewhere, Richard's Grannie (Norma's mom) passed away early this month. Richard spent many many summers in Nova Scotia with his Grannie and will miss her dearly. I had the honour of meeting Sadie just the week or two before Richard and I got married. She was a lovely lady. Although the boys never got to meet her, they knew who she was, and her absence from there lives will surely be noticed by them.

My heartfelt hugs are sent to everyone (and there are many) who will miss Sadie McNeil.

Here is the write up from the paper...

Grannie McNeil

This version has a nice poem at the end.
Grannie McNeil