Reincarnated As A Mother

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dancing Queens

Talk about feeling like Cinderella at the ball
(especially since I got to come home today and clean house).
Last night Greer, Reese and I went to the Boise State Dance Marathon.
The Moomey's watched Kean and Byron and Holland went to 
Montana for a funeral.
Over 700 students dance for 17 hours straight to raise 
money for St. Luke's Children's Hospital.
 Even though Kean's never been able to go, he's been one of 
their honored kids for the past three years.
 The event gets bigger and bigger every year.
This year Kean was one of twelve honored children.
 And not only does it get bigger, it gets better every year.
To give you an idea, the first year they raised just over 5 grand.
Last year, it was over 35 and this year-- drum roll please--
they raised over 66 thousand dollars!!!
The afternoon started with this adorable band of siblings:
The Runaway Hamsters singing four of their original songs.
(One of them they wrote for a schoolmate battling cancer).
 Our family was asked to kick things off with a speech
about what Dance Marathon has meant to us--
which is tons.
We love everything about this night and wish we
could take you all with us to experience it first hand.
The students are so welcoming and fun to be around.
Greer and Reese get pulled in and always somehow
 end up dancing in the middle of things and making a million new fast friends.
We were also asked to give a second speech telling Kean's story.
This time we went up on stage with some of the BSU football team members.
They were one of our favorite parts about last year-- making us feel
a part of the party, so cute with the girls and dancing up a storm with Reese.
 I've decided if you ever want to feel short and tiny-- just 
stand next to these guys!
 They are the best-- not only did some of them
spend lots of time dancing with Reese, twirling her around,
teaching her how to line dance etc., 
they went up to the Honored Kids room-- the Champions Room,
to take pics, sign autographs (and get the kids autographs-- so sweet)
 and to play games with the children.
They are all pretty impressive young men.
Actually, all of the students we hobnobbed with are beyond sharp.
Nick and Sidney (below) are the two top organizers and trust me, you'll
be hearing about these two some day.
All I can say, is our future is in good hands.
 They made sure the girls had a grand time--
 We stayed as late as we dared--
let the kids dance, play games and party.
And I probably don't need to tell you-- but they passed out in the car
on the way home.
Next year we will be going for sure-- with Kean!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Breakfast Heart Attack

Kean has been serving as our little rooster and waking up
every morning between 5 and 5:30 a.m.
I should have known we were in trouble when he still
wasn't awake by 7:30
 When I went to wake him up, the poor
boy was drenched in sweat, cold and clammy,
and completely non-responsive.
 His temperature came out at 95.6 
and his blood glucose level was a low 64.
I can't for the life of me figure out why though...
every other time he's done this, we could pin it on the fact
he didn't eat well the evening before.
Last night, he ate and drank a ton.
I could tell he hasn't felt good for a few days
but I still can't put an explanation to this one.
Of course, his cancer doc wanted us to go to the E.R.
but thankfully we were able to get a little bit of orange juice
down him and within 30 minutes he was coming around.
Thankfully we got to stay home.
Can't say the same for poor Reese.
She still had to go to school, still freaked out.
I probably say this too often but I can't wait for this
part of our lives to be behind us!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Vroom, Vroom

Our Greer girl is growing up.
(How's that for alliteration?)
Tonight at church, they had a special program
welcoming into the Young Women's program
the girls who will be turning 12 this year.
Greer loved being in the spotlight
and it was fun to watch her shine.
 My parents watched Reese and Kean so Byron and I could
both go.
The girls had a little bit too much fun with Kean
and the ol' laundry basket when we went to pick him up.
 That boy and his rides!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

NEGU

I have been stressing the past few days--
first about Holland getting into her medical high school (check)
and now about Greer auditioning and trying to get into
a special arts school.
 Today Greer sang her guts out, did scales and read music
for a small panel of judges--
something I'd never have the rocks to do.
I keep telling her just to audition was a good experience.
Unfortunately, the school doesn't have any openings.
They may, just may have some if someone moves, drops
out or changes schools (hence the auditions).
We'll see what happens.
Hoping our streak of good luck continues.
 We did get another surprise package in the mail 
from the folks who make "Joy Jars"-- it is a foundation
honoring a young girl who died of cancer.  The organization
sends out periodic packages to children in the midst of their battle
(and sometimes siblings too).
 It is such a fun pick me up.  
Kean got all kinds of things-- a fuzzy blanket, a pillow case,
toys, a water bottle, and a stuffed dog.
 Most everything has their logo on it--
NEGU
Never Ever Give Up!
And we won't.



Friday, February 20, 2015

Bittersweet

I had the best surprise today.
As I was leaving a breakfast meeting (Kean was in therapy),
I heard someone call my name.
It was my dear friend Jenny--- who was a huge part of Baldapalooza
the first year.
When I first met her, she had just finished some pretty harsh treatment
in her fight with cancer.  A short time later it came back with a vengeance.
Last I saw her, she was moving up to Washington for her
second bone marrow transplant and things were pretty iffy.
So it was especially sweet to see her this morning-- with hair!!!
 It was also a big day for Holland-- make that a nervous day.
Today was the day she found out if she made it into a specialized high school.
In a nutshell, Holland wants to be a Pediatric Oncologist.  The specialized
school is a Medical Arts school.  If she goes all four years, she will graduate
with 42 college credits, certification in two of the following:  a CNA, a Pharmacy
Tech and/or an EMT.
It is intense, accelerated but very impressive.  The classes
range from 9 to 15 students and the teachers were what
really won me over.
I kept my mouth shut the night we attended the program/open house
and Holland was sold all on her own.
 We were there a few minutes after the lists went up
(they accepted 65 students in the Valley) and drum roll:
Holland was on the list..
 We were super excited until we saw that her best 
friend didn't make it.
So kind of a bittersweet day.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Back In Time

Want to hear something absolutely crazy?
I got a call today from the state telling me they need to test
Kean again now that he is five.
Basically, they have to make sure he is still developmentally delayed
so he still qualifies for all the therapy he gets.
What, do they think he just outgrew his Down syndrome?
And how do they expect to test him?
They want to do an IQ test.
Please tell me how they are going to do that.
What a waste of money.
How sad they have to do these things to combat all the fraud out there.
But still.....
Kean had a full house this morning.
He had Physical Therapy with Andrea and didn't really want to do anything for her
until we started getting him to play ball and run the "bases".
Then it was all fun and games. 
video
He also got measured for new braces for his feet/ankles
while his Occupational Therapist, Maureen tried to keep 
him busy.
He gets new braces in two weeks-- that's good-- that means
his feet have finally grown.
Now if we could get those skinny ankles to put on some weight.
And finally, while Boy Wonder napped, I got to go
down to the girls' school and speak to their publications class
about journalism.
It was great fun, telling stories, talking about writing, visuals
and even showing an old investigation from my days in L.A.
How appropriate for Throwback Thursday.
I miss this gang.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Weigh In

Good news to report from plague central.
Byron got out of bed for about half of the day!
He even went down to his office for paperwork for a few hours
(before coming home to crash).
But he is most definitely on the mend.
And please don't let me jinx it, but all the other Barkettes
are so far just fine.
If I had money, I think I'd invest in Tamiflu.
Had to share this cute pic of Greer.
She is auditioning for a special arts school on Saturday.
We've heard her sing "Popular" from Wicked-- oh,
about 2463, nope make that 2464 times.
 And as for the Keanut-man, he's in great form.
Mostly happy today and still eating above and beyond.
I think I failed to tell you he gained nearly a pound
in the week between doctor's appointments.
Which is all the more shocking when you realize
he would hardly eat anything for the first four days
following Chemo.
He's more than made up for the fasting-- and is now
only a few pounds shy of Reese's weight.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Bug

I'll spare you a running tally on the food intake today.
This picture from breakfast will give you a "taste" of
what life is like at the Barker ranch.
And I'll really spare you about his "roid rage"-- man
was he on one this evening.
 We spent half of of the day at the hospital.
Look at who saw himself on display in the lobby of
MSTI (Pediatric Oncology clinic).
 So, other than eating his way through the appointment-- here
are the cliff notes.
We had some problems getting blood out of his port for a sample.
But luckily, it worked without going through the rigmarole of
having to administer meds.
 And after his counts were so scary low last week-- they
were unbelievably high today.
From 540 to 2314.  
We all about fell out of our chairs.
The doc said we can thank the Steroids--
and that his counts should plummet again after tomorrow 
when he takes his next dose of Methotrexate.
 Kean and I also started on Tamiflu today in the hopes
of not catching Byron's plague.
We notified the girls' pediatrician and if they so much as
cross their eyes funny, they'll go on it too.
As for Sickie, we thought he was turning a corner-- he even
walked the girls (kept at a safe distance) down to their bus
this morning... but was so exhausted he went straight to bed when he got back.
He does seem a bit better but then it comes back with a vengeance.
This is one flu bug we all want to avoid.
Nas---teey.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Food, Glorious Food

Kean has officially turned the corner, is feeling better,
finally going (the Miralax has kicked in) and is after days
of hardly eating--- now eating like there is no tomorrow.
Have I mentioned he has also learned how to open the refrigerator?
This was at Grandpa Bodily's the other day.
He heads in on mornings after getting the girls off on the bus and
helps himself to Grandpa's yogurt.
And nearly every morning for the past few days-- the only thing I could
get him to eat-- if that, was sausage.
So much for the "breakfast of champions"-- this is the
"breakfast of Steroids".
Tonight, though, he has entered into that power eating phase.
He ate, four, count 'em, four - adult sized bowls of homemade
chicken noodle soup, four large rolls, a plate of fruit salad and a brownie.
He then left the table, headed over to the cupboard and started
pulling out chips, popcorn and pretzels.
After grazing on those items for a while,
he moved onto an orange and a cup of chocolate milk.
The problem I'm running into here, is he has to fast for
at least an hour (preferably two) before taking his
nightly Chemo.
Heaven help us all.
Sickie update.
Byron is still down and totally out.
He did get a shower today-- so looks a bit better
but still feels rather rotten.
He's tired of his exile.
I won't humiliate him with a picture while he is feeling like
death warmed over.
You'll have to settle for me and my anti-germ mask as I helped
Sickie feed the cows.
Tomorrow Kean and I head back to the hospital for 
tests to see if his counts have risen-- and to hear their final verdict
if they want to put him on another dose of Tamiflu.
Fun times I tell you.
This all will end someday.....

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Mustache Man

What a Sunday!
Byron came down and got hit hard with the flu late yesterday.
Suffice it to say, he is miserable and confined (more like exiled)
to rooms away from the family, especially Kean.
Poor boy, he sees Daddy home and thinks it should be cycle ride time.
The girls have been great at keeping him entertained.
 After they got home from church, Reese and Greer
put together a one day late Valentine's Party extravaganza.
We all had to wear mustaches-- Kean's lasted point 2 seconds.
 They took over most of the upstairs-- had a fishing booth,
pin the flower on the Valentine, relay races-- you name it.
 The best was tonight though- at my parents house for Sunday dinner.
Sickie stayed home.
Kean was in fine form, taking blueberries and force feeding them 
to all in sight.
He was so tickled to be on the giving end-- instead of the receiving end.
video

Saturday, February 14, 2015

His Thing

Valentine's Day just has to start off with heart shaped pancakes.
 And it just got better from there.
The entire family took a long, leisurely ride
up into the hills behind out house.
 Isn't that what everyone does on Valentines?
Oh, and check out Holland basking in the 50 plus
weather on the four wheeler.
 You'd better believe Kean was in heaven.
This is certainly "his thing".
 Loved this day and love this family.
Happy Valentine's everyone.