Reincarnated As A Mother

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye and Good Riddance!

I am so glad 2014 is in the rear view mirror in a matter of moments!
Kean sure knows how to end the year with a bang.
We spent the last day of 2014 at the hospital.
He woke up this morning and was limp, lethargic
and just a hair this side of comatose.
Guess I shouldn't be surprised.
We've had a heck of a time getting Kean to eat and drink
much over the past several days.
Add that with the fact he's had the runs and did vomit--
and it was pretty much expected we'd have another
one of his scary episodes.
We took him in today for what we thought would be a 
relatively quick trip to the hospital for some IV fluids
and blood counts.
 Our quick trip turned into a marathon and quite the ordeal for this cute boy.
 First off, once the nurses accessed his port, they couldn't get
any blood out -- and not for the lack of trying.
That meant, an order was sent off to the pharmacy for some TPA
to try and thin the clots.
Which really means a ton of waiting-- waiting for the med to be made
and then waiting forever for it to work its magic.
In the meantime, we met with the doc-- you'd think Kean was
being tortured by the amount of screaming he did.
His left ear has signs of an infection-- lots of gunk.
By the time she cleaned that out, oh, man, was he ever steamed.
It took three of us to hold him down-- and the really bad news is
he somehow dislodged the needle in his chest/port and some of the
fluids went into his skin instead of his port-- which meant a lot of 
swelling around his port.
They then had to pull out his needle, let the swelling go down
and start all over again.
This time it HURT him and there was lots of blood.
It was awful-- not only a long day for our guy but a traumatic one too.
 The good news is, the second time worked perfectly-
we got his blood (his counts are safe) and gave him lots of fluid
to help with the dehydration.
We had our sweet little Reese along (for what I thought would be
an easy, quick trip).
Hope we didn't further traumatize the child!!!
She was so helpful and cute.
We are scheduled to go back Friday to check him
and get more fluids.
Hoping, oh so hoping, that won't be necessary.
Wouldn't it be nice to kick 2015 off nice, quiet and BORING?!?!?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Birthday Blessings

A lot has happened since I wrote last night.
Kean was up-- quite miserable -- from 1:30 to 6 a.m.
Which means I was up with him.
Poor little guy was still feverish but not high enough to earn a trip to the hospital.
He did earn a bath and mom and dad getting to wash bedding and his clothes
in the middle of the night (ick) but by morning he was starving
(good sign) and the fever was all but gone.
The way I look at it is what a gift.
We didn't end up in the Emergency Room-- so that gives
us much to be thankful for.
Especially Reese.  When he started throwing up last night,
she burst into tears, ran and hid in her room.
My sensitive girl lives in fear of us leaving her for the hospital again.
Even though Kean is not feeling great, I had a wonderful day.
My friend, Calene kidnapped me for lunch where we joined
8 of our friends for a long, leisurely lunch.
Three of us were celebrating birthdays.
Then this evening, the Bodily's offered to watch Kean
and Byron's mom took all of us out for dinner.
Yum-- ribs! 
 Byron's mom leaves us tomorrow to head back to Montana.
What a treat it has been to have her here for the holidays.
Thank you for all of your prayers for Kean
and birthday wishes for me.
It means so much.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Both Ends!

We are a little stressed over here.
Poor Kean hasn't felt well all weekend-- nothing
big, he was just off.
Well today, without going into too many details, I changed
four diapers in less than 30 minutes-- the smelly kind.
And just as we were sitting down for dinner, our boy
vomited and vomited (really, my cooking is not that bad)!
So we now are in that waiting game-- watching him way too 
closely and taking his temperature every 30 minutes.
He's been running around 99.5 to 100.  Remember,
if he goes over 101, we go to the hospital.
The thing is, other than be overly cuddly, he looks and acts
quite fine.
He even wanted to brush his teeth tonight.
 His Oncologist said there are about five viruses going around
and he's letting us stay home and play the waiting game
rather than run to the E.R. tonight.
So extra prayers, fingers crossed and anything else you can
think of that will help our little warrior  beat this bug
without us spending hours upon hours in the E.R.

p.s.  Rudolph Hubert Barker the first-- a.k.a. Rudy
is doing great.  He's running, jumping, practically skipping
around his pen.  We are all quite taken with the little calf.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A New Baby for the Barkers!!!

Hold onto your shorts.
It's not what you think.
But we do have a new addition to the family--
and for all of you who know me as a city girl-- boy, are you
ever gonna be shocked.
But first,
we had a great, great Christmas.
 This year, we had a full house, or shall I say, a full
audience to watch the kids in all their giddiness.
My folks, Byron's mom and our beloved neighbors,
the Bodily's joined us Christmas morn.
The girls got all kinds of new bedding and decorations
for their rooms...
 Reese gave Byron some of her framed artwork
for his office...
 but hands down, my favorite gift was the one Grandpa Bodily opened.
We made him a book chronicling all the months he spent
riding his lawn mower to help Kean build up those legs and learn
to walk.  It was titled "Lawn Mower Therapy" (and it even
made him cry a tiny bit).
So worth it! 
It was a great day.
 Now onto our baby news.
Our cow Sadie finally decided to give birth today--
the day after Christmas.
I won't go into all of the gory details-- but I will say I came
pretty darn close to throwing up.
(It made me, for the first time, thankful it was me giving birth
and not my husband having to watch it when we had our children).
Sadie's birthing was well, to put it delicately, rather icky.
So if you have a wimpy stomach (much  like mine,
skip the picture below).
If you don't, look closely.  That is a little hoof
sticking out.
Thankfully, all went well, and this little guy-- yes, it is a boy
joined us. 
 We all watched in utter amazement as Sadie
instinctively turned into a mother before our eyes.
She softly mooed and washed her baby down with her tongue.
 And then little Rudy (Rudolph) got up and tried his darndest
to walk in front of us.
It took him several tries before he got the hang of it
but tonight, he's a walkin' drinkin' machine.
Ah, what experiences we are having!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Night Before the Big One

Ahhh, hyperness reigns at our house.
Luckily, we had plenty to keep the girls busy and hopefully 
wear them all out.
Tonight was our traditional family Christmas Eve party--
where we feast on all hors d'oeuvres and desserts.
 We also attempt to re-enact the Christmas story from the Bible.
Attempt being the important word here.
My mom always tells the story...
 and this year, my niece Morgan was Joseph,
while Holland got to be Mary.
Byron (as always) serves as the donkey.
Notice I used the word donkey instead of that
other, more colorful one that is also found in the Bible!
 I think this will likely be our last year using Kean as
Baby Jesus. He's not the most cooperative.
That's his foot sticking up in the air.
 We were a bit short when it comes to covering all the cast, so Reese
wanted to be a sheep.  She got one of her dolls to fill in
as a shepherd.
 Katie was the perfect angel...
 while Lindsey, Greer and a teddy bear filled in for the 
Three Wise men.
 It's not ever a very spiritual re-enactment.
Hopefully, the Lord has a good sense of humor.
We always follow up the pageant with some music.
Greer played The First Noel,
and then the three girls sang for us.
 Finally, we capped off the evening with the opening of
the Christmas pajamas from Grammy.
The picture seems funny without my nephew Derek who
just left to serve a mission for our church.
So we've cleaned up, watched Tangled with Kean, played the games Uncle Marc and Aunt
Rachel sent us for Christmas from Texas and have tucked
all the children in bed.
Hoping they run out of gas before mom and dad!
Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Spoiling Machines

I took Kean by the "Motorcycle Men's" office to give them 
their Christmas presents (and to get and give a few hugs).  Kean was totally into it--
showing off his newly acquired smooth walking skills.
Motorcycle Jeff (aka - the Spoiling Machine) had a present
of his own for the boy--
 one that was quite the hit-- and bound to be a favorite
for the next few years--
 a bonafide biker jacket just like the big boys wear!
 Fur lined to keep him toasty warm.
And can I tell you it fits perfectly and he has worn it a ton,
except when I get out my phone to take a picture of him in it--
then it is off in a flash.  Go figure.
Motorcycle Jeff's spoiling didn't stop there.
Look what he gave each of the girls.
Can't get any cooler, eh?
As if Kean isn't getting enough love,
look who came over tonight?
 Kean's buddy, Axe (Alex), also bearing a gift.
He got him a Matchbox racing track.
And, dang, I didn't capture his initial reaction the first time
the cars raced down the track-- Kean was tickled.
So you'll have to settle for this one-- let's just agree
that he will LOVE this toy!

Monday, December 22, 2014


Those cute neighbors of ours, the Bodily's gave us our Christmas
gift tonight-- they took Kean for the evening and sent us
to the Winter Gardens Aglow-- the Botanical Gardens
decked out in their finest.
 And while it was a bit nippy,
the girls kept us oohing and awing.
 Really, the place is amazing...
 It seemed everywhere we turned the girls were like
"Dad-- take a picture of us here".
 We are now officially caught up in the spirit of the holidays
and ready for the big day.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

The gift - fest continues over here.
Some of our closest friends, the Moomey's came over for
dinner tonight.
And they came laden with gifts-- for everyone-- including
Byron's mom who is staying with us.
Greer and Reese were thrilled with the bow and arrows
and the target they got.
 And Kean, who by the way, turned the corner and is feeling
a lot better today (yippee) was super into tearing off the 
wrapping paper.
 Elly and Ron bought him a T-Ball set...
and I just know his therapists are gonna love this gift!
 Holland got a blouse I'm thinking I might just be able to
borrow.  All of a sudden, she is big enough to raid my closet.
So I will be giving her a taste of her own medicine.
(Insert evil laughter here).
Byron and I were spoiled with all kind of yummy treats
from Elly's kitchen.  
 Elly is one fabulous cook- in case you didn't know.
And they both are wonderful friends.
It was Elly who came over and watched the Keanut-man
this morning while I spoke in the Christmas program at church.
I've sure been blessed in the friend department.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Guilt Erased

I went to bed last night, covered in a blanket of "Mommy Guilt".
An overly tired and not feeling so great Reese tearfully told
me she was the only kid in her class that didn't have a parent
at school for yesterday's holiday party.
But you know what?
Something happened today-- to make me feel a heck of a whole
lot better and to realize while my girls may be missing out on
certain things-- they are having many, many more amazing 
experiences because of Kean's cancer.
Case in point:  a fellow member of the "cancer club", my
mom's neighbor Janice (and her mom Crickett) came over 
today.  We have all fallen in love with our dear Janice and
her husband and mother.
Janice, if you will remember, is a walking miracle.
Both St. Luke's and St. Alphonsus hospitals here
told her there was nothing further they could do to treat her cancer
and that was a few years ago.
Just last month, she had what we hope to be the first of many "clean"
(cancer free) scans!
 Janice came over today bearing more gifts than I think
Santa has in his workshop.
 Even "Chemo Kean" perked right up at the site of--
count 'em - not one, not two, but three motorcycles
and a little horse!
 There where so many fun things--- from these play
microphones (that inspired an impromptu Christmas Carol concert)...
 to a red nose that flashes.
 I really question whether Santa even needs to come now--
the kids were so spoiled.
Thank you Janice for all the fun surprises
and for still being here with us!!!!!!