Monday, October 04, 2010

The Real Deal - Updates on Richard and The Boys

Before Richard Begins the Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant

Richard's been cleaning up his office and going through some stuff. He was going through an old box of stuff from when he was a kid. There was some really cool Meccano stuff, including a Meccano motor!

AJ and Dexter got something special out of Daddy's purging....

AJ got an old box of Daddy's Crayola crayons. We have lots of crayons and markers, but these little gems have been used like crazy the last couple days.
Do you see Richard's name at the top of the box?

Dexter scored some little ceramic animals that Daddy collected? I'm not sure about this, but they were in the box. The boys have enjoyed these characters on Dexter's Take Along Thomas Train Track.

Speaking of Richard going into the hospital, we received some details today:
*Richard will be admitted to the hospital on the 21st, probably.
*I guess the chemo will begin shortly after that.
*The full body radiation begins on the 25th and continues for the 26th and 27th.
*The 28th is the official date of his transplant!
*The week following this is the 'scary time' while we wait to be sure his body is accepting the new bone marrow/stem cells.
*Norma will be coming out around the date of Richard getting admitted, in all likelihood. Richard's treatment will be very intense. I will, of course, be with the boys, and Norma is hoping to stay at the Cancer Lodge so she can be close to Richard during the transplant process.
*I'm hoping to work something out so that I can stay at the hospital with Richard the night before and maybe the two nights following the transplant until I feel safe that things are going well and his body is taking to the foreign stem cells.

Please send all your good vibes, well wishes, prayers, and anything else you have at this time! It's exciting, but oh so scary too!

*****This is where to stop if you just wanted to know what's coming next for Richard.********

Leftovers From Summer

On the camera are quite a few pics left over from summer. Here are the boys having a sleepover in AJ's reading bed. They don't sleep with the light on, but the flash sure does light up the room!

A couple hours later.


I think this day, Rya came over because Jack was possibly at his Kindergarten orientation.

Afternoon snack.

Lunch? I'm really not sure why this picture is here, and if it's in fact, lunch, where the heck are the veggies?

Fun with Daddy before he started his Chemo.

I just can't figure out why the boys cannot remember that the couch IS NOT a place to play.

First Day of the Last Year of Preschool
That's right, AJ and Makenna are 'seniors' this year. This is AJ's third year in preschool! Next year is the year they start kindergarten! I already posted my phone pics from the first day of school, but these ones are from my camera. (Jen, these have been resized for easy blog-posting. If you want the originals in full-size, I'll email them to you).

Fun With Lego

AJ's big passion right now.
This is the crocodile sanctuary we built together.
There are many guards and a few of them are missing their legs that have been eaten by the crocodile. Silly guards. Why would you go into a high security area of a crocodile sanctuary? One of the guards was silly enough to lay down in the crocodile's dish. Geesh! What did he think would happen?
Finishing touches.
That tree will definitely help keep the crocdile in his cage.


A Day With Jen's Kids

Emerson and Jaxon playing with AJ's train track, singing 'Chuggington' all the while.

AJ and Makenna either drawing or practicing letters.

Makenna is wearing AJ's short because her pants got wet at the bottoms from the wet grass.

Happy Hallowe'en

Got this idea for making Hallowe'en Jack Skellington (A Nightmare Before Christmas) shirts from this cool blog.

A shout-out to my friend Lee Ann who keeps a list of blogs she follows "when she should be cleaning her house". Those are my favourite kinds of blogs!

Later that day, I went to see if Jack wanted to come play, but while I was asking Erica, Jack and AJ plotted behind my back and came asking if AJ could stay at Erica's. So, I was left with just Dexter (once he woke up from his nap). I let him play some computer games. He's getting really good with the mouse too. This is a game for helping him learn his shapes and colours. He yells out the shape and colour and then he shoots it with his Lego gun (that I possibly assisted in making).

Happy Birthday Uncle Paul

The boys were working on cards for Uncle Paul's 17th birthday while watching a movie.
I wrote out Uncle Paul's name, but AJ insisted on 'sounding it out' himself. Hence, the 'uncel paul'.

Dexter is probably drawing people and spiders and maybe some cars.

Recent Sunshine!

Special Day With Daddy Before He Goes Into the Hospital

I've been telling Richard that we should do a couple special family outing days before he heads back into the hospital for his bone marrow/stem cell transplant for 1-3 months.

The plan on this sunny Friday, I think, was to go to Maan Farms. I've been dying to take the boys to Maan Farms. It has a giant sandbox, a corn maze, a tractor, and the Goatel 6 full of goats to pat!

I guess they don't really have their act together or maybe they're used to only having schools booked, but when we got there, even though it was open, there was no one there. I wanted to wait and get a hold of someone. I could get the number from Richard's phone. I was hoping maybe they were just waiting around for someone to come. Worth a try, right? Before I could even find the number, Richard had already started packing the boys into the car like a man who won't ask for directions. ARG. That's the true story. Richard's version of the story is the man-version. If you have a husband who won't ask for assistance at a store or ask directions if you've been driving around for a while, then you know what I'm talking about. I would've happily waited around for the 20 minutes in the parking lot while the boys busied themselves by kicking gravel.


AJ has been asking to use one of these for the whole summer whenever we're at the zoo. Off we headed after naptime to the zoo.

I thought it would be too much for Richard who's still recovering from his chemo, but I thought, "No problem, my endurance is pretty awesome as of late, so I can just pedal us all around the zoo myself!"

Turns out, that's not at all true.

Richard spent most of the day telling the boys that every single animal in the zoo was either a monkey or a turkey. He's kind of "anti-educational". I think he does it just to get a rise out of me. He thinks he's funny.

Dexter was not impressed about not being allowed to drive the bike.
Richard helped me pedal.

Alton didn't mind at all. He's been dreaming of this day for quite a long time.

Here's Alton pretending to be 'sad like Dex'.

Here's sad Dex upset that I won't let him drive and instead he has to relax in the front seat.

Some jumping off rocks at the Hippo pond.

Dexter forcing a smile.

The Cheetah. She's my favourite animal at the zoo. I just want to sneak in there and scratch under her chin and behind her ears.

When we passed near some kids at the Cheetah area, he told Alton the kids lived at the zoo and were "free range kids".

The petting zoo was closed by the time we got to it, but the boys seemed to think this was just as fun.

AJ was in the mood to pose.

After the zoo, it was a special dinner at Burger King. We haven't been to this playplace in a couple years, I think. Here's the sign full of the regular playplace rules... socks... supervision... no climbing on the outside of the structure... yadda yadda yadda.
But look at rule #6 !!!
Like poo?

My Friend (Jen's neighbor) Kandis

This just makes me laugh, so I had to post it. She's almost 6 months pregnant. She's riding Makenna's bike here.

More Encouragement for People to Sign Up to Be Donors

Not only have my friends and family been posting on Facebook and blogs to spread the word about joining the donor registry for stem cell/bone marrow, but Norma has also been busy! She had an article published about Richard's story in her local paper. There was also to be a radio interview and a tv appearance! ( I will try to get the links to those - They have evidently happened already!) I cannot seem to find them myself, but I will ask Richard's step-sister, Tracy! So exciting! Here's a link to the article! It's great and hopefully touched many hearts and helped round up some more donors!!!

**The reporter had a couple mix-ups. The picture says it's of AJ, but it's a picture of Dexter, and it says that Richard and I both weren't working last year because of the Leukemia, but it was only Richard unable to work. I was teaching once a week, watching Erica's kids once a week (she watched mine once a week too), and then of course, mommy-ing the other days.

About the Boys

(baby book entry kind of stuff)

Dex is counting to 12 thanks to the Ladybug song we sing every night. I think he can count further, but it's very hard to decipher the different numbers when he says them. His speech is still coming leaps and bounds. Giant sentences and stories are becoming more and more clear, slowly, but surely. And, I should add that almost everything ends with the words "right here", "right there", or "right now".

right here = igh hee
right now = igh now
right there = igh theyee

The counting to twelve sounds like this:
vun, too, see, sore, sighve, siss, city, ay, nighee, ten, wehen, tzelwve,
and he continues but it gets even more sketchy after that.

Favourite things to do right now... having us read his favourite robot book, riding his bike and scooter, playing with his train track, swords, shooting, puzzles, and Lego and Duplo.


Depsite not 'working on' his reading most of the summer, with the exception of reading stories to him and having him read to me, of course, his reading continues to get better and better. He loves the little easy-readers from the library that have a "1" in the corner. I keep the books that he's capable of reading to himself behind his bed. When we say goodnight after storytime, he turns on his night light, grabs 4 or 5 books (it's only supposed to be 3, but I figure I'll let him win that battle) and he reads himself to sleep. It's pretty darned adorable to walk by his room and hear him reading. Sometimes, I stop for a while and just listen. My favourite parts are when you hear him adding expression and using the punctuation like exclamation marks and question marks.

Aside from reading, he's really getting into writing. He's been great with sounding out words and trying to write out sentences, but it's something I don't usually 'work on' with him, wanting to save that for school, but, he appears to be wanting to push this one himself. He asked to write a story the other day. I have some books with lines on the bottom and spaces for pictures above. Here's the story he wrote without help...

Page 1
wuntsupen thri wos mom end AJ tha wr ulon
(Once upon a time there was mom and AJ. They were all alone.)

Page 2
and then thr wus u prpl bat
(and then there was a purple bat)

Page 3
and we wr floloen th bat
(and we were following the bat)

Page 4
and then we wr lost than tha bat wus lken for us
(and then we were lost. Than the bat was looking for us.)

Page 5
than th bat god th uthr wa
(then the bat go'd the other way)

Page 6
he fod mome bute not AJ
(He found Mommy but not AJ)

Page 7
thn th bat fond AJ
(then the bat found AJ)
he wrote that sentence three times for some reason

Page 8
than man th bat thre 5 freb and thu bat luvd that
(then they made the bat their fifth friend and the bat loved that)

After each page, he would draw a picture for it, or sometimes he would do the picture first. He would bring it to me, read it to me, and I would write a translation of what he had just written under what he wrote. Then I would say, "What happens next?"

Back and forth, back and forth, he spent the next 30 minutes making the story.

Aside from all that, he's loving Legos, bigger and bigger puzzles, riding his bike, riding his scooter, rescue heroes, his trains, mazes, drawing, superheroes, the movie "How to Train Your Dragon", playing outside, and trying to learn how to skateboard. He's a bit of a stuntman. Many a time, my heart has to skip a beat as he jumps off of the sixth step or something crazy. YIKES!

Thank Yous

Joanna - My friend Joanna dropped off homemade soup and homemade amazing cookies! We're trying out the soup tonight.

Marion and John - Thank you for the beautiful card and gift.


ErIca said...

Love rule #6!

K, wait... are those figurines the priceless (I'm not joking) Red Rose Collectables?

Look like Richard may have a complete "Animal Series" circa 1983
DOn't be smashing those around with Thomas!

ErIca said...

OK- I checked ebay- maybe not priceless.... but easily $100!

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

I read this out to Richard, and as soon as I read the words, "Red Rose" he said, "Yes! That's it! I remember now!"

But he also said that for $100 it's worth it to let the boys play with them.

Mama K said...

Wait a minute...they don't wear matching pajamas?! ;)

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

ha ha ha
hardy har har

um, only sometimes.

Lee Ann said...

Oh sonja!! What an awesome post!! A bit of everything! Loving the Richard hand me downs and loving that the animals are actually collectables.

I was laughing so hard at your zoo story. R anti-teaching the boys about animals and Dexy's little sad face. Priceless!!

Love your Dexy translation , I was sitting saying it so j could hear it lol

thankyou for my shout out!! And omg those shirts are amazing!!! I bet Fraser would love one of those! I never make anything for him ( poor guy)

Aj's reading and writing are so good! He is a wee genius x

Sending love, prayers, vibes, everything for Richard xxx

Tara said...

LOVE the Skeleton shirts!