Reincarnated As A Mother

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Freedom

I swear, there's never a dull moment around here.
Never.
Our breakfast was interrupted this morning with a phone call from a neighbor
saying there were 4 cows trying to break in to our pasture.
My wrangler husband (with Holland and Greer along for moral support)
had to corral the two bulls and two steers and keep them away from our Sadie and our two boy cows.
Only in Eagle-- a sheriff's deputy showed up to help keep them out of the middle of the road.
They ended up putting them into our back pasture - segregated from our cows 
until the owner can pick them up tomorrow.
We told Reese the cows are having a big slumber party with their friends.  
Well, sort of.
Also-- big news.  Holland volunteered to watch Keanut
while Byron and I went out for a date night-- and a little Christmas shopping.
We had so much fun, picked up something the kiddos will love
and sure enjoyed just getting away!
Holland said she had it easy.
Steroid boy -- who had refused to take a nap today--
passed out on the couch shortly after we left.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Crafty Critter

While Holland and Greer were away,
Reesey got to play.
Holland and Greer went up to the mountains--
sledding with my cousins as they followed our
family tradition and chopped down Christmas trees.
(The Docs say we have to have an artificial one again).
Reese, Kean and I hung out with my folks.
Reese and Grammy made this super cool Christmas decoration--
 Here's a close-up of the hanging decoration-- 
it is all made out of big spools of sparkly ribbon.
She even made one for her Aunt Dana.
Let the Christmas giving commence!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gobble, Gobble 'Til You Wobble, Wobble

I can't take credit for that snappy little saying.
Greer said it to me.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
We woke up to this -- a few fields away from our home.
Last week, our creative Greer made fancy cards where
she carefully spelled out the word Thanksgiving.
She put a T on one, an H on the next and so on.
Just after our big dinner today, she passed the cards around
and had each of us say something we were thankful for that started with our letter.
I got the T.
So here goes--  I'm thankful for turkey and treatments--
treatments that make cancer go away (just not fast enough,eh?)!
How thankful I am, this year especially for our family.
Everything we've been through this past year plus,
has only served to make me appreciate all the blessings I have.
And the biggest blessing in my stable, would be my husband and children.
I can't forget my parents, my brothers and their families and my kind, giving and 
supportive friends.
For that, I am thankful on this day and every day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Naughty and Nice

"Bipolar Boy" is in the house.
He woke up this morning in full roid rage bloom.
Gotta love those Steroids.
He had physical therapy with Andrea first thing
and poor Andrea-- it was a colossal waste of time.
He wouldn't put any weight on his feet, let alone walk a step or two.
And he pretty much growled at us every time we tried!
(By the way, the chemo he got yesterday has a side effect that causes
pins and needles in is feet for a few days).
He got somewhat better as the day progressed-- but still
wouldn't use his feet much.
And I wonder why we can't get him to walk with all these setbacks!
Anyway, Maureen came at lunchtime for Occupational Therapy
and he was quite cooperative.
Sitting at the table and working on puzzles and playing games
was just his speed.
Plus, I think he'd do just about anything for Momma Gump.
 Of course it didn't hurt he had two lovely assistants to help him on the ipad.
Oh, one other note.  Yesterday at the hospital, we were given the big N.O. on a live
Christmas tree again for this year.
Anyone have an extra artificial one hanging out in their attic not being used?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

W. W. F.

Oh, you should've been a fly on the wall at our house this morning.
It took, three, yep, count 'em, three of us to hold down Kean to put
the numbing cream on his port for Chemo.
Even with that, I still got the stuff all over my arm, hand and his shirt.
Once we got through that, he was in fine spirits.
We ran into some of our favorites, Amy and Audrey Benson-- but just
look at that scoundrel-- he wouldn't give sweet little Audrey the time of day.
He was way too excited over a book on-- yes, you know, Cars.
 Get this, at vitals, we learned Kean has gained nearly two pounds and grown two centimeters.
That surprised me with all the days and meals he refuses to eat anything.
Guess enough is getting down and staying down!
Elly Moomey was our Chemo date for the day.
What a relief to have her along-- she's been with us so many times
and was with us the dreaded first day when this crazy journey started for us.
Just look at him-- totally happy and comfy with the nurses who are about to access his port.
(I like to call this picture The 3rd Boob).
 We sure love all the nurses and therapists who try to keep things fun and entertaining.
video
Kean even had a special visitor while he was getting his Chemo.
Meet Lucy Mae.
Kean greeted him with a ruff, ruff.
For the most part, Kean's holding strong and feeling pretty good.
Although, we've had some pretty horrific diapers-- so bad, I just threw his undershirt away-- ug.
He started back on Steroids this evening.
So not my favorite.
I'm bracing myself.
The girls sure picked things up this evening by decorating giant gingerbread men.
Greer even made one special for Kean-- that had a motorcycle on it!!!
Too bad it will get eaten.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pulling For You

We survived another day of therapy/school without any major issues.
I guess there was a little incident with some hair pulling-- but get this,
the therapist told me the little girl pretty much tossed her hair in his face
and likes to get that "input".  Go figure.
We're still working on that-- but he did play alongside this little girl
for quite some time.  Progress, right?

 They said he is just one exhausted little boy about half an hour before it is time to go.
Hopefully, he'll build up his strength-- but kind hard when he just starts feeling better and then he just gets
knocked down again.
Heavy Chemo at the hospital tomorrow.
Yuck.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

On A Roll...

Hurray, Grandpa and Grammy made it home safe to be with us before heading back
in a week to meet with the Cancer doc.  We'll know more then.
All I can say, is it was sure good to be with them tonight.
Today was a pretty sweet day on the milestone front.
I put on Kean's walking harness (remember the hot pink number) and
he took three steps on his own while I held the straps but not him.
Of course,
I couldn't get him to do it again-- but he walked a couple steps today!!!!!
That's huge.
He's also started calling Holland -- Holla and for Greer and Reese -- it sounds like he's saying "Sissie".
Even tonight, he was able to say the name of two of my nieces-- Morgan and Katie--
who just so happened to make a yummy cake for dessert.
video
He's blossoming, I tell you.  Wouldn't it be amazing if we could get him to walk by Christmas?
That's what I want!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Bear on the Hog

Okay, okay, so Byron's old motorcycle from his younger years isn't a Harley...
but to Kean it might as well be the baddest cycle in the world.
 It has gotten down right chilly here so the "cycle ride, cycle ride, cycle ride"
(that's what Kean says at least 80 times a day)... have been rather sparse lately.
But tonight, Byron bundled the boy up and took him for a slow spin.
 Please take note of the socks on his hands.
I had taken Holland to see the new Hunger Games movie
and Byron couldn't find where I keep Kean's "stuff"-- so he made do.
 I don't think the socks took any of his focus away-- he's serious about this road warrior stuff.
You have to admit that bear hat makes him look pretty tough.
Perhaps we should let him start his own motorcycle gang.
We gotta find the perfect name for it though...
Suggestions?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Land Locked

What kind hearted little girls I have.
Reese has been doing a "Pioneer Unit" at school this week--
today they hand churned butter and made yarn dolls.
She made a boy yarn doll and brought it home for Kean.
Not sure if he appreciated it as much as I did.
 Greer and Reese have been entertaining us as they surf the wild waves here in Idaho--
Please take note of Reese's arm stuffed down her shirt.
She likes to channel the girl from Soul Surfer who lost her arm to a shark.
(Hey, better to pretend to be her than a lot of other so-called role models out there).
On the dad- news front, they met with another doctor today, his primary.
Looks like he'll be meeting with the Cancer Plastic Surgeon on Dec. 2nd.
With the Thanksgiving holiday, that's as soon as they could get him in.
The doc today said it looks like it is Squamous Carcinoma and they should
be able to get it all out with surgery-- hopefully.
So that's good news-- and looks like we'll all be together for Thanksgiving after all.
Another big reason to be thankful. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mad At The World

Big sigh.
If you remember, we've had a heck of a time getting
Kean to stay on his therapy horse the past few weeks.
So this week, thanks to a most brilliant idea from his therapist,
we asked a wonderful friend -- Mari Tanner to take my place and
see if Kean wouldn't do better riding without wanting me to hold him the entire time!
And guess what?!?!?  It worked beautifully.
He stayed up (without trying to bail off) while I sat out in the car.
 He must have been feeling pretty proud of himself because 
he later rocked his Occupational Therapy session with Maureen.
 He followed through on all kinds of tasks and challenges, mimicked
a number of words and was giving us high fives and "knuckles" all over the place.
But then this afternoon, our great day just kinda fell apart.
And now I find myself a bit mad at the world.
I haven't said anything-- because we all felt like there was
no sense worrying about things until we had a reason to worry.
But my dad had a third appointment with a cancer doc today.
He had two suspicious growths on his face, had then biopsied and they came
back as cancer.
He had to go back to have them removed
and then today, he was supposed to have even more of the margins taken out.
But here's the thing, the doctor told him today, he has a form of Melanoma
that is fast moving-- deep and wide.  He has two choices:
plastic surgery to remove two big chunks of his face or radiation.
What is up with this insidious cancer and does it have to 
terrorize so many of my friends and family?
I'll tell you what makes me particularly sick-- my poor parents, especially
my mom has really suffered watching Kean go through all of this--
and now, here she is having to go through it with my dad.
Life just totally sucks sometimes-- or as it seems lately,
most of the time.
But I will say, my dad will likely go through this and be the strong one for us.
If you've never had the blessing of meeting him-- you're really missing out
on one of the kindest, most loving and giving men on this earth.
Say an extra prayer for my daddy tonight.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Virtual Hugs

It may sound like a little thing, but for some reason, this gesture has been
sweetly significant to us.
I've already mentioned that a friend asked us to sign up for the
I RUN 4 group on facebook
In short, it's an organization that pairs together special needs kids
with runners (or anyone who regularly gets out there and is active) around the world.
There's a shortage of children to match with the long list of runners.
So we were matched within a few days of signing up.
And we love, love, love our new friend-- Clair in Lexington.
Each day she runs or exercises, she sends us the most encouraging notes.
This picture she posted was especially sweet-- as
I struggle each day to get Kean to try and walk. 
It seems we will just be making great progress and then he shuts down
and fights the use of his feet.
Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don't.
One of the Chemo drugs he takes (thankfully only once a month) gives
him pins and needles in his feet-- so I try not to get too frustrated.
But with a non-verbal kiddo-- it's hard to know how he's feeling.
Anyway, these daily missiles from our new friend in Kentucky
have meant so much.
And in honor of "National Hug a Runner" day--
here's your hug!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Torture Chamber

Just look at this face.
Who'd ever guess he was a holy terror today.
 He started the morning being an absolute pill for his Speech Therapist, Clair--
so I knew things were not going to be easy for his big hearing test today.
And I was partly right.
Let me set the stage-- we go into this sound booth-- I'm certain Kean
would call it the torture chamber, where I hold him on my lap-- hold being
the important word here.
They stick these sensors into his ears and then I have to keep his
lightning fast hands from yanking them out-- so I'm basically
holding him in lock down-- which he hates!
 The doc outside the booth plays sounds at different tones and levels
and the idea is-- if he hears the sound, he is supposed to look at a screen 
on his far right.
If he looks, the screen lights up with a dancing cartoon.
Needless to say, he was not too cooperative.
He screamed at the other doctor kneeling in front of him trying to get him to participate.
It was ugly.
He was much, much happier on the floor outside the booth
(without his mom acting like a human straight jacket).
The good news is... the doc thinks she got enough to
make the test work.
The bad news is, he still needs that dang hearing aid in his right ear.
Silly me.  I was hoping for a miracle.
I don't know who hates that thing more-- me or him.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Perfect Timing

Kean had his school therapy again today (Jump Start)
and did better than the Steroid nightmare day two weeks ago.
They did say they are having to work with him on not grabbing at the other three children
(they are trying to teach him to wave instead).
For the sake of the other children, let's hope he's a fast learner.
 We had "Family Home Evening" tonight... where we spend time-- just us
and usually have a little spiritual lesson and play a game.
Well, at least that's what we try to attempt.
Greer was in charge of teaching us tonight.
She gave a sweet little lesson on how we can always turn to the Lord
and He will answer our prayers.
Reese was in charge of the singing time.
Holland dressed her in one of her dresses- 'so she'd look like
one of the ladies at church that leads the music'.
Actually, the subject matter of the lesson couldn't have been more appropriate.
We got miraculous news today--
my cousin's husband who has been battling Leukemia and had a very dire prognosis
has been told that his cancer has gone from being non-responsive to now looking like
he "may have just beat this".
And if that is not miracle enough, we also got news today, that my mom's
beloved neighbor, Janice will be coming home this Saturday!!!
She has been gone for months getting "last ditch" treatment in Ohio
after our two hospitals here said they could do no more to help her with her cancer.
Other than having some issues with her wounds still needing to heal, she is doing
much better.  We can't wait to see her and oh, are we feeling grateful tonight!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Horse Play

 This weekend, the three girls took part in one of their favorite activities:
the Breyer Model Horse show at their aunt and uncle's horse store: Flynn's Saddle Shop.
 You've never seen anything like this-- all these girls bring down their model horses
and make sure they are polished and clean.
They then compete in categories such as Thoroughbred, Arabian, Western, English,
Paints, Morgans etc.
There are even professional judges.
 They won two firsts, two seconds and one third.
But they didn't win any of the coveted grand prizes-- new Breyer model horses.
Perhaps, next year.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Kiddie Cocaine

Okay, now that I've got your attention, you'll have to agree--  kids and
snow go together like cookies and milk.
Just look at what we woke up to!
 Holland, Greer and Kean were out sledding in their pajamas first thing-
(thanks to daddy-horsepower).
 Reese would've been on the ol' sled too-- but she decided after traipsing across
the yard in her flip flops that she was a bit cold.  Shocker!
The cold didn't stop Greer and Reese from downing at least 3 bowl fulls
of snow.
Like I said, Kiddie Cocaine...
(without the nasty side effects).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Don't Leaf Me Alone!

Is it ever Fall here.
The leaves are everywhere.
And this year, instead of raking them into massive piles,
Greer, Reese and one of their friends, raked them into
ridiculously long race tracks, got the sled out
and went after it.
 Byron  is always the best sport-- he even schlepped
Kean and I down the hill.
 Wanna come for a ride?
Kean loved it!!!
The snow is next.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Regressing

I don't get it.
Kean is still partly obsessed with horses
and gets all excited to go to his horse therapy lessons.
But the last few times we've gone, he's wanted to get off moments after getting on.
In fact, I have to be ready-- he just lurches his body and tries to launch off.
The only remedy we've come up with is for me to climb up in the saddle and hold onto him--
then he's happy.
We are worried he's never gonna get 'back into the saddle' on his own--
so next week we decided to take drastic action. 
I'll bring him to therapy and then go sit in my car while others try and get him confident
and comfortable again.
Our new favorite thing to do after his lesson is over is to watch
Reba, his horse cut loose and roll in the dirt.
It's pretty entertaining.  You just can't help but wonder what Kean
really thinks of it all.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Two Peas in a Pod

We had quite the surprise show up at our house...
my cousin Shera Mae and her children-- including 6 year old Andrew--
who like Kean is blessed with that extra chromosome.
 They came bearing gifts... specifically a brand, spanking new Cars sleeping bag for Keanut.
 Talk about being tickled.
 At first I dont' think he could quite figure out what Mater and Lightning were doing on the floor...
But we put it up in his crib and let him sleep on top of it last night.
All he did was giggle for the first little while...
oh, that, and whisper Cars in the most reverent of tones. 
Thanks Andrew and family.
We have high hopes for these two little guys to take on the world someday!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Healing Heart

Well, this silly old blog has finally done some good.
The young lady at school that has been not the kindest to Greer of late...
came up to her today, told Greer she had "read her mother's blog and
figured that she was the one who needed to apologize". 
What a bold move!  Greer came home on cloud nine.
She said this girl was so kind and nice.
I'm crossing my fingers it will last and we've turned a corner.
Perhaps, we'll see more dancing from her
and less crying now.
video
One final note on this whole girly business...
one of our neighbors, Marissa read about Greer on the blog too.
She's the same age and called tonight to say she had
a similar experience at her school and "knows just how you feel".
She called to make sure Greer was okay.
Seems like we have to learn the same lesson over and over again
that every time something bad happens - there is always something
very, very good that comes out of it.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Star Pupil

First things first.  Kean had school again today.
After last week's debacle, yes, okay, I admit it, I was quite nervous
about his behavior today.
But our boy did not let us down.
When I picked him up, he was all smiles.
In fact, one of the therapists who worked with him last week (well, perhaps, I should say attempted)
and worked with him today-- said it was like night and day.
Yup, that's Steroids for you.
As I said, he's back.
And today, he even played with another child.
That's huge progress.  I'm so excited.
As you know, it was also Veteran's Day today.
The girls' school had an assembly to honor the children's relatives who have served.
Since my dad served in the Army, the three girls got pulled out of class
and got to go the assembly with their grandpa.
They had a slide show they put together
which included these pictures of my pops. 
 That's him in the center.  (Love the Stalag sign above him).
Happy Veteran's Day and thank you to all those who have served and continue to serve us... especially
my dad, my great grandfather and Byron's father.  Your sacrifice will not be forgotten.
p.s.  thank you for all the kind comments about Greer.  I told Greer about them tonight and she sure seemed touched.
I think she is so kind and sweet-- she sometimes just gets taken advantage of.
That's why we'll be arranging her marriage someday!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Back to Back

First off, Kean is back.
Our Kean-- not his evil twin.
The Steroids are officially gone-- big sigh.
My parents are also back.
My mom figured she's been gone for the past six Sundays.
Insert another big sigh that they are home.
And just lookey at what Grammy brought back for the Keanut man--
his very own Cars backpack to take to his new therapy school.

A little heartbreak for our sweet Greer tonight.
Her best friend in the world moved to California over the summer
and the remaining girls in her class are not being very nice--
including girls she has been friends with for years.
Poor thing, just sobbed and sobbed tonight.
This is when, as a mom, you feel so utterly helpless.
And a little bit tempted to go chew out a group of girls at school.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Flyin' High

The effort to get Kean walking on his own has been stepped up to urgent
since I hurt my back in that dang car accident.
Kean's Physical Therapist, Andrea is back from maternity leave
and brought with her these "walking wings".
 At this stage, I think his ankles finally have the strength to hold him up--
it's now just building up his confidence.
And his smile sure tells me he likes the "walking wings".
 We are borrowing them from one of Kean's friends, Mirabelle.
Hence, the sizzling, hot pink color.
But I kinda like it.
It shows he's totally comfortable in his masculinity
and looks hot-- no matter the color.
 Oh, he wouldn't have anything-- anything whatsoever
to do with the walker.
But Reese, on the other hand, sure thought it was fun.