Reincarnated As A Mother

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Hitchhiker

I'll make this quick.
We made it to Atlanta.
I'll admit, I was a bit emotional on the trip out here-- every time
I saw a little kid or when I saw a bald woman with her head in a scarf-- I got teary.  I can't begin to explain it to myself or to you.  Thankfully, it only lasted that one day. 
We just got off the phone with the kiddos.
The girls are great.  Kean is flourishing-- taking all his meds, eating and sleeping well.
My mom took him for a walk today.  I guess they passed by one of my parents' neighbors out mowing his law.  Passed being the word of the day-- Kean threw a royal fit and ended up hitching a ride with this newly adopted grandpa while he mowed the lawn.
I swear, that boy and his machines.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Reese's latest nickname will be "Crash".
She biffed it big time on her bike last night and now has
several bloody trophies to show from it.
But here's the funny part, way back last year when she got rid of her
training wheels, Byron had told her that if she rides slow, she'll be wobbly.
The faster she goes, the easier it will be to stay steady.
Well, Miss Literal, took that advice to heart and decided
if faster was good, then really fast must be great.
She challenged Greer to a race and yes, you can guess the rest of the story.
It is a wonder her knee, chin, under her chin, hand and elbow aren't worse.
 Kean continues to do great.
He got a surprise package in the mail today from his "Aunt" Pam Brown.
A police car that has all kinds of buttons and sounds-- it even plays the
old theme song from Cops.
Which brings back all kinds of memories for me.
When I was a young whipper snapper crime reporter in Vegas,
I spent a few days doing a story on the TV show Cops doing a show
on the Las Vegas Vice Squad.
They set up an undercover officer in a hotel room laden with hidden cameras
and had him act as a very wealthy sheik.
Then they sat back and let the prostitutes come and trap themselves.
Vegas was one fun place to be a crime reporter.
But, I digress.
Kean loves the car-- especially when a voice booms out:
you have the right to remain silent.
Wonder what he's thinking.
One more thing, Byron and I are off to Atlanta for a trade show
to try and resurrect his Paloma Pewter Metal Tiles business.
I will not be posting for the next little while.
My parents are taking over on the home front.
Pray for them!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Keanut never ceases to amaze.
Forget about the chicken enchiladas we had for dinner...
all he wanted tonight was the spinach in our salad.
 Check out his little grubby hand stealing the salad bowl...
 and moving it right into prime position.
The "powers that be" say all the Chemo leaves a metallic
taste in the mouth. I'm guessing it wasn't so much the
spinach... but the tangy Italian dressing he was
digging on.
Funny boy.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spring Carnival

Today was therapy day.
Actually, it should've been comedy day.
Kean's physical therapist got her uncooperative little subject to
climb the stairs, where he promptly crawled into his bedroom,
had me put him in his crib and started signing he wanted to go to sleep.
Thay was at 9:45 this morning.
Then Maureen (Momma Gump), his Occupational Therapist came
and all he wanted to do was sing songs about bubbles and bubble gum
(well, watch us sing songs)...
 and play on the I-pad.
 Today was also one of those incredibly, spectacular Spring days.
And Boy Wonder just wanted to be outside.
Several rides on the four-wheeler are never enough.
Thankfully, sitting on the sitting four-wheeler keeps him happy.
 Kean wasn't the only one itching to be outside.
His sweet sisters, Greer and Reese designed a Spring Carnival
all for Kean (Byron and Holland had church activities tonight).
First, we had to sign in and give our ages.
Plus, Reese had us give what was wrong with us, you know, for example, Kean
has Cancer and Down syndrome.  I guess mine would be just plain old old age and exhaustion.
 Then we headed over to the fishing station.
Kean got bubbles and I got bubble bath.
Next it was onto the trampoline for a hoops obstacle course.
 But wait, there's more.
Kean and Reese had a pool noodle sword fight.
It was a draw.
 Then a little "freeze dance"...
 a kick ball contest...
 and finally, a rousing game of stick Limbo.

The girls did try to get our neighbors, the Bodily's and the Kwid's
to come participate--- luckily for them  unfortunately for them, they had
previous engagements.
It's at times like this, I know you are wishing you lived next to the Barker's
so you too, could run the carnival gauntlet.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

Do you ever have days where you would give every worldly possession
for three days of solid, uninterrupted sleep?
Yeah.  Me too.
We spent the morning at the hospital.
My wonderful friend, Linda Steven's was today's date
(and honestly we could've used a few more hours to get caught up).
 So here's the scoop.
Kean's counts are down.
He's at about 700 and they'd like him to be between 1000 and 1500.
However, he wasn't low enough to cut his daily Chemo or lower the dosage.
So we just keep plugging along.
We had a long meeting with Kean's main doc, Dr. Camilo.
He wanted us (Byron and I) to go home and decide what direction we will take for the next 2 1/2 years.
 To put it in a nutshell, one option cuts down on the amount of Chemo and Steroids he
would be on-- to help cut down the chances of a toxic reaction.  But with no data to
show how Down's kids do, we don't know if the Cancer will stay away.
So we opted to stay the course and hope our boy continues
to do well.
It is stressful when you have your child's future at stake.
I pray we made the right decision.
On a brighter note,
we ran into one of our favorite friends at the hospital today--
Little Audrey and her mom, Amy from Twin Falls.
Audrey, if you remember, has Down's and was diagnosed
with A.L.L.-- just like Kean, a month before she turned 3.
She looks great and somehow is hanging on to some of her hair.
 They seemed quite intrigued with each other...
that is, until Kean tried to grab a handful of Audrey's hair.
I think he has hair envy.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Flock

It is official.
Other than a runny nose, our boy is doing great.
He even experienced the age old custom of eating olives off of his fingers.
And he loved it! 
Tomorrow marks another "duck day".
Kean gets these little rubber duckies each time he gets his blood drawn for counts and Chemo.
 Last count we were up to 38... of course there are likely more under the car seats,
in my diaper bag, purse etc.  I swear they seem to have mated and multiplied.
Yup, Super Boy goes in to the hospital tomorrow just for blood counts
and a meeting with one of his Docs.
No Chemo.
Well, no Chemo at St. Luke's.  He's on oral Chemo at home.
It will be interesting to see how he's holding up count-wise.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

3 Times A Charm

We had a good day to make up for the going 9-oh yesterday.
The weather was about picture perfect... and Kean having made it
very clear he is done with this house arrest stuff... got his ol' pops to
take him on not one, not two but three motorcycle rides.
So I'm certain if he were writing this, he'd tell you today was a ten!

Reese just said prayers with me.
Wish you all could have heard her sweet pleas...
"Please bless the poor people.
And Kean.
And please bless all the kids who have Cancer."
Amen, Reese, amen.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Soiree'

Geez, I was almost too tired to post this tonight... but here goes.
Today was Holland's birthday and somehow going rock climbing got changed
into having 11 of her friends over for a party.
Since we can't have that many kids in the house, we used my parent's home.
But before we went, Pam Brown and her daughter Mary came over bearing
balloons, gifts and helping hands. (Elly Moomey met us at my mom's house to help there)!
 The girls all arrived and started off with a little dinner,
 then headed outside to pose for the camera...
 play our favorite games:  Shipwreck,
 Poison Stump and European Twister.
 Then it was inside for presents, more games, a movie and cake and ice cream.
Please take notice of the cake I made-- it took me darn near all day to make
and probably cost me a year of my life in stress.
(Had a slight disaster with cake number one and had to make a second)!
Thank heavens Kean is off steroids for now and took a normal nap.
Holland's friends are darling-- as are mine.
Thanks Pam and Elly for all the extra hands.
I needed them.
Oh, and Byron and Kean stayed home.
But don't worry, we left them food and saved a piece of cake.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Birthday Buildup

It rained most of the day... which kinda matched Kean's mood (and mine too).
He finally slept through the night, his cough seems a bit better
but he still wanted to be held most of the day.
I think we read at least 18 books today and watched, yup, you guessed it:  Cars (when I wasn't
watching all the crazy news in Boston-- I swear you'd think it was an episode from 24)!
Thankfully, the rain stopped for a while this evening and the girls took him (quite happily)
out on the trampoline.
 Holland's big 12th birthday is tomorrow... and a few of her friends
surprised her with treats and a decorated locker at school.
Then our neighbors, Grandpa and Grandma Bodily brought up cake
and ice cream this evening after dinner.
 I know we are quite spoiled to have such good friends and neighbors.
And I love how Kean and Grandpa Bodily have this "thing".
Wish you were here to see how cute they are with each other.
Happy Friday everyone.  We made it to another weekend.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

He's Baaaack!

Well, our boy has turned a corner.
It's all those prayers, I tell ya.
He woke up at 3:30 this morning with a barky cough.
I figured before dragging us both into the ol' E.R., I'd bundle him up and sit outside in the moist air
for a bit.  But get this, by the time I got some warm clothes on, he had fallen back asleep
and seemed to be breathing well enough.
So I headed back to bed.
By morning, he was happy and his cough-- still there but not as bad.
 He certainly wanted to take it easy and was quite particular about
wanting to watch his new obsession:  Cars.
 The weather, also finally turned a corner (at least for today-- that's Spring in Idaho)!
We went for a walk and found Grandpa Bodily out mowing his lawn.
So guess who conned Grandpa Bodily into giving him a ride?
My erratic sleep patterns at night have awarded me with a very achy body.
My friend, Carol Wintersteen spoiled me with an aromatherapy back massage
this afternoon while Kean napped-- that was nothing short of heavenly.
Carol is about to get certified and needed another guinea pig
to practice on.  Let me just say, she has magic fingers and I was happy to oblige.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hedging Our Bets

Another rough night.
I swear, I am way to old for this ride.
But Kean seemed okay enough by morning, so we went forward
with his therapy today.
However, after his nap, he was pretty miserable.
 And we are starting to hear some congestion in his chest.
Can I just start crying now?
I feel a trip to that dang E.R. looming in our future.
 The good news is now that Holland is turning 12, she gets to move up from the childrens' program
in our church to the "Young Women".  And tonight she went to her first activity-- a spaghetti dinner
 fundraiser for this summer's girls camp.
Holland was so excited to get to be one of the servers.
 While she was helping to set up the dinner, several of the girls from her new class
came over to the house to decorate her room as a way to welcome her in.
 They hung streamers, balloons, plastered the room with the cutest notes, posters and letters
and sprinkled candy throughout.
 The best part is she had no idea!
 And when she came home, boy oh, boy, was she tickled.
 As part of the spaghetti dinner, the girls also had a dessert auction.
I hear overall, they made 3 grand.
Holland's lemon bars went for fifty buck.  Crazy.
And my dear friend, Teresa Peery sent Holland home with a box of spaghetti, salad
and this little gem.
Dinner tomorrow night will be sweet.
And Kean and I better be home to enjoy it!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Super Surprise!

We had a long night.
Kean whimpered and whined on and off while he slept
(which means I didn't sleep).
But good news, he woke up in pretty good spirits
and was markedly better than the past few days.
He was even willing to get in a bit of therapy time.
 While our boy was taking a nap to recharge his batteries,
the UPS guy made a visit and delivered a huge box.
A box that Kean had quite the time studying...
 It didn't take long for the girls to put together this new tunnel and tent...
 and it took even less time for Kean to dive right in and fall in love with his new toy.
I saved the best for last-- who it was from.
My darling friends Lisa and Dan McCosley.
Lisa and I go waaaay back-- she was engaged to Rick Sherrill, my old TV station's engineer
 when I worked in North Carolina.
Rick, along with one of our photographers and our helicopter pilot were killed
when our news station's chopper crashed over 20 years ago.
All three of the guys killed were engaged to be married.
It was one of those events in my life that changed everything-- especially me.
Out of the blue, this cheerful toy arrived for Kean with a note that brought me to tears.
Listen to this;
"The reason for this gift for Kean--- I can be as "politically correct" as anyone and appreciate blurred gender roles in this modern world.  However, there are many times that gender differences should be celebrated.
I smiled at Reese's thoughtfulness in sharing her princess tent when Kean was unable to go camping.  Now I know little dude is secure in his manhood - but I think every man deserves his own little "manly" space - his own man cave that is not  pink.  I came across this "macho" gift for Kean to create his own man cave, a place where he can go to think about manly things -- tractors, motorcycles, spicy pickles, wowing the ladies with that smile and ll the "dude stuff"! 
You know, just being a boy!
Can you see why that made my day, my week, my month?
I continue to be floored at all the goodness and love out there in this world.
What a lovely reminder the day after such heartbreak in Boston.
Thank you Lisa and Danny for being such beautiful souls.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Slug

Kean is still very off-- but not off enough that we need to go to hotel St. Luke's.
He woke up this morning a little shaky and I thought oh no, here we go.
But that settled down after a good breakfast-- so who knows what that was all about.
The rest of the day, he looked about like this:
I do remember one of his docs saying the first few months of Maintenance
(the phase we are in) might be a bit rough while they try and get the doses right.
Perhaps that is what we are dealing with.
We'll just keep moving forward.
p.s.  what a scary day in Boston.  I have a couple of friends who
were running in the race and we got the good news this afternoon that they are fine.
One of my old co-workers from L.A. was reporting live at the finish line when the first
bomb went off-- just 30 feet from him. 
Prayers for all those killed and injured and their families tonight.