Monday, November 29, 2010

What a Great Weekend!

Daddy Was Home!!!

Dexter was THRILLED that Daddy came home to surprise us on Friday! He didn't leave Daddy's side for quite some time. When he woke from his nap and I showed him that Daddy was here at the kitchen table, Daddy reached out for a high five and Dexter just about knocked him out with the BIGGEST hug ever!

What a great surprise!

Richard went back to Vancouver for his appointment on Saturday afternoon, then came back in the evening with Norma (his mom) to stay over for the next two nights! It was awesome!

We fit in some good visiting, some pizza on Saturday night, and of course, Butter Chicken (a la Richard) on Sunday night! Too bad Richard couldn't taste it. It was delicious!

Just this morning, Richard was finally able to taste a little bit of his breakfast, so hopefully, his tastebuds are returning.

We'll see what the rest of the week holds. Richard has appointments on Mon/Wed/Fri this week. He should be home for the weekend, or maybe permanently. It sounds like he has an appointment for the following Monday and he's hoping they will be twice a week then, on Mon. and Thurs. from then on for the next while provided nothing new goes wrong!

Some Snow!

We had some snow. On Thursday, while AJ was at preschool, Dexter and I were shoveling the driveway and the sidewalk.

Of course, halfway through the sidewalk being done (once AJ was home), my snow shovel broke. No amount of duct tape could fix it. Thankfully, our wonderful neighbor was heading down the sidewalk at the same time and finished it off for me!


Before Norma and Richard headed back the lodge, I began my regular Monday routine of heading to the gym and getting a coffee. I went to a different Starbucks today because I had to go to the post office to send off a package and all of my international Christmas cards.

Here are the boys waiting for me to get my drink.

Later in the afternoon, it was finally dry outside and I was all ready to take AJ and Dexter to the skatepark. AJ has been begging for days.

We got dressed. We got warm. We headed outside.

It began to rain. Oh well, we went for a walk instead.

Last Week

AJ was having trouble falling asleep a few nights ago. He came out of his room with a Christmas list he had tried to write in bed on a piece of paper that he held in his hand.

I gave him my lined paper-pad and told him to 'go to town'.

He came back into my room (it was like 10pm, I'll add here) with this -

If you click on the picture, it will show up larger for you if you're curious to see the details.

It says,
(AJ wants Transformers)
"BuBL Bae"
(Dex wants)
(a gun)

Kim - Did You Take This Picture?

I do not remember taking this picture. It looks like AJ went on one of his famous 'camping trips', but accidentally fell asleep!

Duplo Building Together

AJ found one of the Wall-E figurines from his birthday cake two years ago. Dex was very upset that there wasn't one for him too.

AJ said, "No problem, Dex! I'll make you a Wall-E."

He came out of Dexter's room a few minutes later with this -
More impressive was that two days later, Dex made one of his own! Way to go, Dex!

AJ's been the best big brother ever today. He's been taking care of Dexter, worried about Dexter, hugging Dexter, and generally mothering Dexter today. It's been very sweet! Dexter has been crying lots today. I think he misses Daddy already and was a little overwhelmed with getting to see Daddy for 3 whole days!

**** Baby Book Note

Dexter is not enjoying taking 'no' for an answer from me. Everything is returned to me with a very upset,

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Man's Coming Home for the Weekend!

As I mentioned in the last post, Richard is out of the hospital. He is staying nice and close to the hospital at the Cancer Lodge for his very many outpatient appointments to come at the LBMT Clinic at VGH.

He has an appointment today and one tomorrow, but he gets Sunday off. His Monday appointment will not be until 2:30pm.

This means he and Norma can come stay at the house for two nights ! He'll be coming Saturday night and Sunday night, barring no unforeseen circumstances or blizzards.

I cannot wait!

From here on out, it's just kind of a 'wait and see' situation. If Richard's appointments go down to about twice a week, then he may decide to stay home instead of the lodge. If his appointments stay up at thrice a week or more, then the lodge is the better option.

Who knows, really. But I thought I'd explain for the many of you who are asking "When is he allowed to come home?"

The answer is, that he's allowed to come home, as soon as he's let out of the hospital, which was yesterday. If we lived in Vancouver, then that would make sense. But we don't. We live a long ways away in Abbotsford. When there's no traffic and no construction, the commute is as quick as 45 minutes. However, there IS construction (so the highway is 80km most of the way) and there is almost always traffic during the weekdays, even when it isn't rush hour. Sometimes the commute is then upwards of 2 hours. It sucks. Especially when you're sick. It just takes everything out of him and whoever is driving. It's exhausting.

So, is he allowed to come home? Yes, whenever he wants.

Does it make sense for him to come home? No, not yet.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

He's Out of the Hospital!

He's out! He's out!

Richard and his mom are over at the Cancer Lodge together ... roomies!

He has his first outpatient appointment tomorrow. It is possible they will let him go all the way until Monday for his next appointment meaning he could come home for the weekend!

Hip hip hooray!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Big Day, But Lots For Which to be Thankful

Decided to bail on the gym and ask Jen to take AJ back and forth to preschool, so I could head early to Ken's work to get the snow tires put on. The plan was, on the way back, around lunch time, to pick up Makenna and bring her back with AJ for playtime while Dexter napped.

It was a long day that did NOT go as planned, including a flat tire. To tell you the truth, I had already seen this day in my mind, and it went exactly as I had imagined it, wrong. BUT...

Let's not dwell. There is much to be thankful for (bad english, but it sounds better than the title):

Thank you, Jen...
For taking AJ to and from school and instead of me taking Makenna, you instead kept AJ all the way until 3pm or so and did crafts!

Thank you, Ken...
For getting my snow tires put on at your work and having the perfect waiting area for Dexter.

Thank you, Dexter...
For being an absolutely AWESOME kid who busied himself playing with puzzles and watching the excavator/concrete buster/backhoe loader for over two hours running into lunch!

Thank you, Ken, again...
For telling me what to do when my tire went flat on the way home and guiding me to a great place to get it fixed in a very timely fashion.

Thank you to Ken's old place of work....
For fixing the flat and having a nice, warm waiting area with a train table for Dexter!

Thank you, Jen, again...
For continuing to watch AJ during all this.

Thank you, Me...
For staying strong and not crying because I had already forseen the flat tire and went a logical way home.

Thank you, Richard...
For feeling badly for me even though you have it much worse.

Belated thank you, Norma and Bud...
For the birthday card and gift that I do not think I mentioned yet!

Thank you, everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday yesterday!

In the end, my car is home. I haven't looked at it again, but I'm pretty sure all the tires still have air. I'm ready for Thursday's snow which seems to be becoming less and less every time I check the weather network.


He has platelets in 'normal' range. He says his throat feels practically normal! The were looking to let him out for Wednesday, but now it's looking like Thursday.

He and Norma will hopefully get to be roomies at the Lodge and I'm sure (judging by Richard's antsy-ness to get home) will be coming for at least a sleepover at home soon. Norma's bed is all set up downstairs. I've just to get those outdoor Christmas lights up and then I'll feel completely ready for Richard to come home.

Dexter said something interesting this morning that leads me to believe that all this time, he has thought that Richard comes home after he (Dex) goes to sleep and then he (Richard) leaves early in the morning before he (Dexter) wakes up.

Dexter asked where Daddy was when he came in my room this morning. I said he was at the hospital. Dexter said, " Daddy sleep at hospital? Because why?"

AJ is the Spitting Image of His Father

While I'm here fixing the dates on the Christmas photos (I was a year off! Thanks, Mom for pointing that out), I noticed how much AJ looks like Richard. I already knew this, but the Christmas photo really made it show.


His Daddy (in August, when he went in to start the chemo for the Leukemia that had returned).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Santa Photos - Year One, Two, and Three

A Look Back...

Yes, AJ had his picture taken with Santa for two years previous to this at the mall, but these are on CD and are part of the 'Annual Visit With Santa' session.

Christmas 2008
AJ = 4 months away from turning 3
Dexter = 2 months away from turning 1

Christmas 2009
AJ = 4 months away from turning 4
Dexter = 2 months away from turning 2

Christmas 2010
AJ = 4 months away from turning 5
Dexter = 2 months away from turning 3

Some Photos of the Boys

That was our Hallowe'en costume photo shoot!
Thanks Gillian from Funky Monkey Photography!

And here are some of the Santa photos!

No screaming, but a very shy Dexter!

Thanks to Marci's hubby, Kevin at Shot by Kevin for another great Santa photo session!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Visit With Daddy!


What a day! I just got home from the hospital yesterday, but I missed him so much, I had to bring the boys to visit him today!

Annual Santa Photos! No screaming this time, sorry! The Christmas cards will be pretty boring this year. Dexter and AJ were so excited, but Dexter got really shy. There are no smiles from Dex, I don't think. But, he did talk to Santa. He asked for drums and AJ asked for Bakugan (wth?). The pics, as well as the ones from the Hallowe'en photo shoot and the brother photo shoot are on CDs. I'll ask Richard to help me out with those tomorrow. We'll get crackin' on those Christmas cards.

10:45am - ish or so - or maybe 11am?
Visit with Daddy! The boys had play-doh from their loot bag from the Santa photos and occupied themselves with that most of the time!

AJ making a pirate ship.

Daddy helping Dex make a boat.

My phone-photos, sorry. Forgot the camera. Oh heck, I had enough to carry! I was bringing all of Richard's winter gear!

He was pretty darned excited to see Daddy. Both boys were very happy that Daddy was well enough that they could cuddle in his bed with him.

I cannot remember what he was showing us here.

He's on half of the IV nutrition now. He's taking the horse-pills successfully and keeping them down. He really wants to get out of the hospital.
White blood cells - 4.8
Haemoglobin - 96
Platelets - 111
Neutrophils - 2.8

YAY! He seemed to be a little nauseated at the end of the visit, but up until then, he was in good spirits and happy to see the boys (and me too).

Dad had met us at the hospital to bring Richard's laundry and to join the boys and I for lunch.
Unfortunately, with Dexter's naptime looming and a wait at the restaurant, we decided to bail on that idea. Dad still got in some time with the boys. While I got their packed lunch all ready, he and the boys threw snowballs at my car. The boys LOVED the snow. We didn't really get any at our house, or what we did get, blew away with the nutso winds. Thanks Dad, for attempting to do lunch with us, still paying for the lunch to come, and putting up with my sassy attitude about where I parked. (I just don't care about parking close).

A little bit of Christmas shopping at the DC outlet, and Dexter only napped for about 10 minutes before that. Silly me for turning on a movie in the car for the ride.

Letting the boys take their time on a field trip to Toys R Us where both of them changed their minds on their Santa gifts. I think I escaped there without them noticing that I picked up two gifts. We'll see. Dexter was the spitting image of my little brother at that age in complete turmoil over wanting a set of lazers. It wasn't a tantrum. He wasn't uncontrollable or on the floor. It's more that he's absolutely devastated that he cannot take it home right then and there. I was tempted too! Try explaining to an almost 3 year old that he needs to wait until Christmas!!!

Leaving Toys R Us with one treat for each of them... a little mini-pack of Lego that makes a Star Wars aircraft of some sort.
French Fries at the McD's drive thru, as promised for them. They were absolute stars all day! Seriously, all day. Both of them. It was nice.

Home. Exhausted.
In the house to build Lego aircraft together. I was surprised how well AJ could put most of it together himself by following the instructions!
Both of them have been avidly building Lego non-stop for about a week now. They liked their Lego before, but right now, it's a daily obsession. I can barely make out what Dexter says to me on the phone, but he can build guns and swords out of Duplo with no problem at all. AJ is a whiz at making dinosaurs and space vehicles. Luckily I LOVE Lego, so it also means extra quality time. I don't care for playing Transformers, but I'll stop what I'm doing to play Lego, anytime.

Normally dinnertime, but instead, we start getting out Christmas decor.

The tree was already up from last night when Mom and Ken brought the boys out (thanks for that, by the way, Mom and Ken).

Mom and Ken also brought out a birthday cheesecake for me. We did the candle blowing and all. I'm sure you can imagine what I wished for, but I can't tell you. Thanks for the birthday gift too, Mom!

I do miss having a real tree, dearly, but I will say, it has really come in handy these past two Leukemia-recovery-Christmases. You can put up a fake tree as early as you want!

The boys started watching "Santa Claus The Movie" while I got stuff ready.

Here are the boys putting up their special ornaments first.

Dexter trying to put up Wolverine.

AJ helping him out.

Each year, on Boxing Day, we go to Hallmark (all the special ornaments are 50% off), and the boys get to choose one for that year. It's a tradition I love.

Those McD fries meant dinner (uh.. well... kind of dinner... crackers... fruit.. veggies..) got pushed to 7pm. Late naps in the car until 4:45pm meant late bedtime.

In fact, it's 10pm, and AJ's been in bed for well over an hour and he's come into my room unable to fall asleep, asking if he can write out his Christmas list that he started in the night-light-lit bedroom.

So far, he's written Starscream, Bumblebee, and Ravage (Transformers).

Here's the tree all finished.

It looks more like this... without the flash.. but the picture didn't turn out well.

Here are some pics from when I was watching Jen's kids the other day. Early in the morning, all 5 of them were all doing their own things.

Dexter - colouring.

Emerson - Puzzling.

Jaxon - Chilling.

AJ - Camping.

Makenna - Cuddling.
It was a pretty good day. Until about.... 4pm... then everything started to unravel, including me. Oh well. That's just the way it is sometimes! It provided some good conversation for Jen and I the next day.