Reincarnated As A Mother

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat - but Mostly Treats

The make-up is washed off, the teeth are brushed and the giddy, sugar-filled girly-ohs are trying their
best to settle into bed.
From the load they brought home, it appears they hit up every house from here to Denver.
 They of course, made the rounds to our favorite and world's greatest neighbors--
from Johanna and Annie...
 to Grandpa and Grandma Bodily...
 to our former neighbors Nancy (who is out of town) and her daughter, Jacqui.
They used to live next to us until their house burned down in the fire that raced
through our hills a few years back.
 You should see how they spoil these girls.  (That's Greer's good friend Zayah, dressed as Katniss).
Keanut and I held the fort down at home.
He dressed up in his Skeletor jammies... but alas, since we live out in the sticks,
we don't see a single Trick or Treater.
 The girls have promised to share their haul with Kean-- of course that will
be after Byron takes out his "Daddy Tax".
Here's the ironic part... Byron and the girls went out with Zayah and her dad--
who just so happens to be our dentist.
Personally, I think he's just ensuring he'll have business for a long time to come.


Yes, I admit it.
I am terribly biased when it comes to thinking Keanut is the cutest ever.
Fabiana called today and has the pictures of the family photo shoot ready
for the hospital marketing team (and for us).
She's bringing them over shortly-- but in the meantime, she
stayed up waaayy to late putting this little gem together.
It melts my heart!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors...

Okay, I hate to give someone free advertising on here but I have finally
discovered a product Kean loves! 
 It's not something I crave but Kean can pretty much polish off nearly
an entire can of Ravioli. 
He loves the stuff and I'm thrilled to find something he'll actually eat and eat a lot of.
By the way, this is his second helping at lunch.
 We finally got around to pumpkin carving. 
Our neighbors, Jaymie and Joe came over.
 As did our friend, Trent who has spent the summer and fall with his grandparents (our neighbors) and
has helped Byron out a bit on our place.
 We were told Kean can't be near the pumpkin carving... so we had him
supervise from his chariot.
 Other than a little pumpkin guts fight that our little stinker, Holland started,
all went well.  Here are the kids lined up with their trophies...
thanks to Trent for sitting in as our surrogate son. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, Monday

Kean is still in his grouchy goose mode.
He's starting to feel better but his mood really depends upon the minute.
I took him for a ride this morning-- this picture is taken from the street looking up
at our place at 11:23 a.m.  Can you believe the fog?
Poor kid, didn't have much of a view.
 A few weeks ago, we took care of our good friends' (Ron and Elly Moomey) dog while
they went out of town.
To reward us for the extra barking and deposits on our lawn, Elly made a
scrumptious dinner for us tonight.  We also had our other friends, Sheryl and Robert Alderman over.
 I don't know which was better... the brisket or the entertainment...
 but Kean just took it all in (along with lots of ice cream and cobbler).
 On Monday nights, we try to have what is known as Family Home Evening
where we spend time together, have fun and share a little lesson on a gospel-related
principle.  Tonight,, the girls put on the lesson for everyone-- telling
stories from the scriptures that teach us about faith.
They did great, if you could get beyond the giggling.
I don't know about you, but our home always seems abnormally loud.
Who would think such little people could make so much noise!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mister September

I still haven't got my paws on it...
but Kean's new Physical Therapist, Andrea sent me this little shot.
It shows our Mister Miracle sharing the Mister September
pin up!
And oh, do I love the saying for the month...
"Having a child with Down syndrome is an experience
I wouldnt' wish for my worst enemy
-but I would wish it for my best friend."
Those of us who have hit the Down syndrome lottery know this is so very true.
Can't wait for my copy to arrive!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Who... Are You? Who, Who?

Even though Halloween is still a half week away, the girls were invited to a neighbor's costume party this afternoon.
So we drug out the box of costumes, make-up and wigs and got busy (more like, got busy messing up our house).
 I've decided Greer looks particularly cute in green.
Holland went as a Mardi Gras Dancer...
 And we tried to make Reese look like Mulan or a Geisha girl.
We ended up scrapping the wig and putting her hair in a bun.
She didn't look quite so scary.
I also took the girls to a church "Trunk or Treat".
They loved it... even though it sprinkled on us at the end.
Byron stayed home with the grouchy goose and patiently awaited his chance to enact his "candy tax".
Kean did not have a banner day.
But he did have moments of brilliance...
and I actually caught one of those happy moments-- as he did his version of
dancing to the girls' new Taylor Swift c.d.
Thankfully, he is in bed, asleep.
Hoping he'll feel better tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Acts of Kindness

I told you we had a few sweet surprises that made yesterday's Chemo day much more bearable...
At the Children's Cancer Center, there was a basket of homemade hats--
several of them hand knitted by Maddie Tanner,
a friend of ours who is a few years older than Holland.  She had made and donated them in honor of Kean Barker.
That sure made us feel loved.
(Yes, we know this one is kind of girl-ish... what can I say, he liked it and  so did we.  The girls can scrap over it).
 Then when we came home, we found a pile of goodies:  a Halloween basket with scrumptious cookies,
super cute straws, a story book about Halloween, a soft activity book, a bag of mini Tonka cars...
 and the cutest Halloween card I've ever seen.
My pictures do NOT do this justice.
All of it was to Kean from a 3-year old friend from his Nursery class at church.
Boston (I'm quite certain with some help from his mom) wrote Kean quite the letter-- maybe you'll think it's
as darn cute as I did:  "I miss you in nursery.  There are too many girls in there.  I am banking on you getting
well soon, so we can rule the nursery together.  I know you are fighting hard!  I'll work hard in nursery
to keep the girls under control until your speedy return!"
I think the card and Boston are both keepers!
 As for Kean, today was a bit of a rough one.
Typical of the few days right after Chemo.
He was low energy...
 and did a lot of just hanging out...
 in positions that don't look all that comfortable to me.
 Byron and I went with some friends tonight to tour the newly remodeled Boise Temple.
It is such a beautiful and sacred building.  We sure had a fun night sharing our beliefs and talking
religion with our friends. 
Robin Clark-- one of the kindest women in the world came over and played with the kids.
She made homemade pizza...
 and homemade spiders with the girls.
I can't say it enough, we are surrounded by the greatest of friends.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chemo Cocktail

Thank heavens today is over.
And now that it is over... I can say it wasn't so bad.

 Kean met with the Nurse Practitioner, Marnie.
His counts are actually up and looking pretty good.
So they upped his dosage of Chemo.
Which means, his counts will start to plummet..
Oh well.
We do get two weeks off from the Chemo to build up for the dreaded Phase four.
To quote Marnie today... Kean is doing "exceptionally well".
We have grown quite attached to Penny, the nurse who oversees the kingdom known as the Chemo Suite.
It is no wonder we like her so much, come to find out she spent three weeks in the same place I spent 11 weeks:
bed rest in Ante-partum.  Her favorite nurse who took care of her,
 just so happened to be my favorite nurse:  Liz.
Small world.
 On the patio outside the Cancer center sits a whopping 170 pound pumpkin.
Kean was over the place and the day-- so wasn't too impressed.
 I guess one of the guys who works at St. Luke's grew it and donated it to the children's
Oncology area.  They had to bring it in via a crane.
That's my dearest friend Elly who came with us to keep me company and help entertain Kean.
 I'm sure I could get through these days by myself.  But I tell you, it means the world
to me to have such dear friends to go through this with me.
We came home to a few fun surprises (you'll have to wait until tomorrow)...
but take a look at these two.
Katie is one of Holland's good friends from school.  She and her
mom, Heather brought over the yummiest dinner (my family said it looked like Thanksgiving-- there was so much delicious food).
Alas, Kean wouldn't taste any of it.  (Nor would he eat the french fries or milk shake Elly bought
him on the way home from the hospital).
We of course, gobbled it up.  And as an update, I did finally get Kean to eat some dinner right before bed (and
after Tylenol). 
I'm just feeling very blessed today.
We are surrounded by the most loving, kind and supportive friends.
And then we go to the children's Cancer center and instead of getting discouraged or feeling sorry for what we are going through, we are reminded by seeing the other children how well Kean is doing.  And we can't help but feel very
loved and very blessed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sugar and Spice

I swear, sometimes it is all we can do not to lose it at our house.
The girls are always (unintentionally) cracking us up.
Tonight, for instance, I'd gotten on Greer's case a bit for not listening.
When I went to wish her good night, she was in quite the reflective mode.
She told me in all earnestness... "Mom, every night I find myself wondering what ever
happened to the girl I used to be."
How in the world am I supposed to answer that one?
Then there was Saturday when my mom and I ran out for a couple of hours to my cousin's baby shower.
Byron was out working on the barn.
Greer answered the phone when I called to check on things.
Before I could say anything, she said "Mom, I know you can hear Kean crying in the background but don't you worry one bit.  We've got it covered.  He'll be just fine."
Gotta love that girl!
We can't leave out ol' Reesey.
Since school started she has begged us not to make her get hot lunch at school.
She's begged for a p b & j every day.
We finally got to the bottom-- to the real reason;
she is too short to see into the containers where they are supposed to separate their
dirty utensils and she is too embarrassed to ask for help.
She and Greer concocted a plan for Greer to stay in the cafeteria after eating lunch (instead of
going outside to play), wait for Reese to get her hot school lunch and eat it, then help her discreetly
figure out where to put everything.
What sweet girls we have!
As for our sweet boy... he was supposed to have two therapy sessions today but Momma
Gump wasn't feeling quite right so opted to play it safe and not come.
Kean's new Physical Therapist, Andrea came and put him through his work out.
Thankfully, he's warmed right up to her.
Chemo day is tomorrow.  Yuck.
He was finally starting to feel pretty good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cover Boy

First off, it appears the Angel of Death... or shall I say, the Sickness Fairy has passed by
the Barker household.
Holland was fine by last night and even went to school today.
Poor girl has a mountain of homework and make-up work to reward her for being sick though.
Fabiana came over again, this time just to take photos of Keanut.  
 As always, he was relatively happy and in good spirits.
Fabiana was darling with our boy.
 And it paid off big time.
I told him to smile (touching my fingers to my cheeks)
and lookey here at what Fabiana captured....
the cutest boy ever - not that I'm biased or anything.
Wish I had a bill board sized wall in my house
to put a bill board sized photo of this up
to make me smile every day.
Oh wait, I have the real thing to make me smile every day, don't I!?!?!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Vomit Queen

Well, it has happened.  The "Sickness Fairy" has hit our home.  Holland started throwing up-- and I mean, throwing up hard last night and didn't stop until the wee hours of this morning.  Yuck.  She has been completely quarantined to her room -- allowed out only for the bathroom-- in the hopes of containing the plague and keeping Kean from heading back to the hospital. Sweet little sisters came home from school, disappeared and came out with get well signs they hung on Holland's bedroom and bathroom doors.
I doubt Holland will be too excited about the candy taped to the signs...
but she'll be feeling better soon.  At least she seems to be already turning a corner.
And thankfully, everyone in the family so far seems fine. Maybe I'll stop holding my breath.
Greer got a little snap happy with the camera tonight.
If you look closely, this picture shows Kean's "drug addict looking" tracks from his belly shots.
Byron should know better... with a camera around and a wife who feels obligated to blog nightly.
And then there's the boy.
He'll go back in front of the camera tomorrow.
Our photographer friend, Fabiana is coming over to take some one on one's of him for the hospital campaign.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In the Company of Greatness

Lucky you.
Here you thought Greer's Dancing School would only be one post.
Well, today, GiGi and her Papa showed off what they've been practicing.
This move is one of three they've nearly perfected.
Just in case you didn't catch that... and you are itching to try it at home, it's called the Polliwogdog.
Byron stayed home with Keanut again today while I took the girls to church.
He said shortly after we left, Kean started signing he wanted to go night night.
So up to bed he went and Byron crashed on Reese's bed (in the same room) for a little nap.
Byron said he woke up an hour later and Kean still hadn't fallen asleep and was just babbling.
We've decided maybe he just likes the comfort of his crib.
I can relate to that!
We went over to my parents' house tonight for the traditional family get together.
My most amazing 94 - year old Grandmother was there.
She leaves tomorrow for a grandson's wedding in Florida.
She's quite the jet setter.
 Remember, she just got back from a three week trip to Russia with my mom and all my aunts.
If you met her, you'd certainly understand why I have my girls call her Grandma the Great
instead of just Great Grandma.