Reincarnated As A Mother

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Huge Highs and the Little Lows

It is funny, I used to be so good about making near daily
posts on this blog.  Now that Kean is finished with treatment
(and hopefully cancer forever) I'm lucky if I check in once a week.
So here goes:  our week in review-- and what a week it has been.
We had a church/neighborhood Rodeo-- the real thing.
From 3 legged races...
 to jump houses that Kean didn't ever want to leave...
 to massive egg toss competitions (come now, doesn't every
rodeo have an egg toss)?
 The highlight had to be the pig chase--
yep, picture 100 kids madly chasing after a good sized
hefty, squealing pig with fifty bucks taped to its hind leg.  And they
did it twice with two different pigs!
Byron and I even ran into an old friend from our single days in Arizona-
Maurice Matsumori. 
 Kean had a ball.... riding horses...
and deciding after all that Cotton Candy is a good thing.
 I cursed him by telling everyone how well he's been doing.
The next night, we spent most of the night in the E.R.
 Poor boy got a double whammy-
Croup and Stridor-- both respiratory issues.
He's fine now, thankfully.
 Greer and I spent much of Saturday at the Music Theater of Idaho's offices
building a bathtub as part of the set for The Little Mermaid.
Then we raced home, scraped the paint off of our hands and arms
and did our best to clean up.
Our family was invited to the big Make A Wish gala event.
 It was in the Stueckle Sky Building-overlooking
BSU's football stadium.
The views were stunning of our fair city (and
Greer looked just as stunning-- so grown up)!
 My mom kept Kean and brought him up later
for the program.  I was the keynote.
But we had a blast leading up to the dinner.
The attendees all buy "wish bucks"-- think monopoly money
they pass out to BSU athletes who pull off the craziest antics
to earn money.
 They have players from all the big sports teams at BSU and
they compete to see which team can earn the most.
This guy was from the wrestling team.  He showed off
a talent only a mother could be proud of-- he drank down a
water bottle through his nose.
 The football team sang and danced...
 Reese's favorite was the gymnastics team--
they did back flips, cartwheels and all kinds of
bendy things down the hallway.
 Holland was adopted by the Track and Field team
(she runs track for Eagle High)...
 And this tennis player serenaded the family in French.
 In fact, I think we had every team do something for our family
What a fun and crazy night.
All of a sudden, the BSU marching band came streaming out
of the elevators- playing their fight songs full blast.
They literally pushed everyone into the room for dinner to be served.
 Once inside, some of the coaches spoke, we had more
players do some pretty crazy things
and we had a lovely dinner.
 Well, the little bit I ate tasted fine.
I can't eat a ton and then get up and speak.
Suffice it to say, the speech went well, there were tears
in the audience and most importantly, people gave generously
to Make A Wish when all the talking was done.
 We treasured our trip to Disney World, Universal and Sea World.
Looking forward to it kept us going for those three plus dark
years of Chemo, surgical procedures, vomit and hair loss.
And now, we have those memories-- and what amazing memories they are--
to always fall back on.
Thank you Make A Wish for an incredible evening and
a trip of a life time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

La Goon's

Why do I feel like I need a vacation to recover from a vacation?
Probably because I wrestled the kids without Byron.
He stayed home while I took the crew to Utah for the weekend.
First stop?  Lagoon Amusement Park.
 The girls took off and hit some of the "bigger kid" rides
while Kean and I hit a bunch of the small fry options.
Reese was a good sport and joined up with us to ride with
Kean on many of the rides I could barely get my long legs in to!
 And then, bless their sweet souls, were my nieces, Morgan and Lindsey.
They rode with Kean on several rides that would have had me barfing- like this one-
a ride that spins and lifts up.  
It was, hands down, Kean's favorite.  Get this, he rode
it EIGHT times with Morgan and Lindsey.
 My favorite was the ol' Rattlesnake Rapids-- a rafting trip
down a river and through a waterfall.  Because of Kean, we
got to ride every ride twice before getting off.
And on this one, boy, did we get soaked.
 Our tickets to Lagoon were free-- part of our parting gift
from our Make A Wish trip we took to Florida back in
 We didn't get the rock star treatment like we did on our
Make A Wish trip, but we did have a blast cramming in
as much as we could.  The lines weren't bad and Kean
surprised us with his stamina.  As long as we kept him
on rides, he was happy.
The girls were just crazy.
 We topped the night off with a stop for dinner
at In and Out.  
Kean wolfed down his own milkshake.
You can see someone's hands in the pic- all
ready to grab the shake.
That would be because he has a habit of
tossing things when he's done.
For example, a near full cup of root beer
in the car (make that, all over the car we had just cleaned 
from top to bottom)!
 Notice, the girls are all responsible drinkers.
 The other big highlight of our trip was visiting my
grandmother at her new assisted living center.
Of course, Kean waltzed right in, found her bed
and pretended to take a nap (snores and all).
 Her new place is lovely.
Seriously, I'm tempted to sell off my kids
and move in there with her.
It is that nice!
 We got a tour of her new digs...
 look at how cute the area is just outside her door.
 We even had lunch with her in the dining room.
We actually were there to help celebrate and honor her
on her 98th birthday.
We gathered in a room upstairs and many of her children,
grandchildren (there are 86 of us) and great grandchildren (she has over 300)
took turns performing for her and sharing their talents.
Greer was one of the first to go-- she sang a solo.
 I thought you'd like to see my darling Grandma
and her children.  I love every one of these people
more than I can ever express.
I count myself pretty blessed to come from such goodness.
Now if I can just figure out how my grandmother seems
to have much more energy at 98 than I do at .........

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Goldilocks and the Three Beds

This boy.
Never a dull moment.
We went to visit a friend from church and up the stairs he
went (we thought to play with her kids).
Nope, we found him first trying out this bed.

 Clearly, it was too hard...
so off it was to this bed.
I think that one was a little too soft...
or perhaps, too BSU-ey?
 He finally settled on this bed;  the teenage daughter's
queen sized bed.
Good choice son.
He was a "bear" though, to get out of there and get
him out to the car.
Speaking of the car.
Look who commandeered my camera
while I was driving.
That girl.
(And that boy)!

Monday, August 22, 2016

And They Are Off...

Let's face it.  The Internet has been full 
of all these darling portraits of kids holding signs
about what grade they are in or what school they are going to.
I'm lucky to a. get my kids off to school
and b. be alert enough to snap a picture on my phone.
Poor Holland starts her day with an out the door time of 6 a.m.
Yes, it is still dark.
And yes, she's still half asleep.
 Greer is a much more palatable 7 a.m.
 Remember, I was crazy enough to have four kids going to four schools.
Reese and Kean both ride buses.
Luckily they are supposed to be only 15 minutes apart.
 Reese got on and left us with no problems.
 Kean's bus was well over half an hour late.  Which means we played around
and rode his bicycle for nearly 50 minutes.
But once he got on the bus, he was fine.
His new bus driver and aid, by the way, are darling.
The first day is under our belt.
They all seemed to do fine, even Kean.
He's a big first grader this year- we have him on a Kindergarten 
schedule, only going half a day.  But I think he'll be moving right up to longer
and longer days before we know it.
Yes, he's doing that well!
Knock on wood...

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Big sigh of relief tonight.
We got through another day of screenings at the hospital
(checks to make sure the big C hasn't come back to torture us).
One of the best things about going to the clinic is Miss Jenn.
As a Child Life Specialist, her job is to play with the kiddos.
Kean loves her--
 and pleasantly shocked both of us by telling her some of his
favorite foods he likes to eat (without prompting).
That's a big deal, folks!
Here's the rundown.
Kean's counts are all looking fabulous.
His neutraphils (ability to fight germs) are still quite low
but slowly, slowly inching up.
The doc said once in a while it takes a kid much longer
to recover.  Guess we have that "once in a while kid".
I like to tell myself, slow and steady wins the race, right?!?!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Birthday Cone of Shame

I absolutely love this picture.
My friend Fabiana took it THREE YEARS ago
when we did the photo shoot for the Hall of Heroes
at St. Luke's Children's Hospital.
This boy is growing up so very fast.
 Today we celebrated his seventh trip around the sun.
And what did he want for dinner?  Tacos.
It is a big deal that he has progressed enough to tell us
what he wants for dinner.
He is doing really well.
(Knock on wood)!!!
 For the first time ever, he blew out some of the candles on his cake
and was engaged and excited to open some of his presents.
 He was particularly taken with this little car his Aunt Kori
sent him.  He'd push the button and giggle as it raced across the table.
 Alas, the item that got the most play
(and wasn't even a birthday gift) was
the dog's cone of shame.
Go figure!