Monday, October 29, 2012

Cancer Sucks

After getting the all clear last week from my doctor regarding my mole I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt like dancing and celebrating my clean bill of health. Life was good.

Saturday we got news that was like a punch to the gut.  A very good friend was diagnosed with Stage IV Appendiceal Cancer.

She had an abnormal pap over the summer so they went it to do a biopsy. When they did they found cancer all within her abdominal cavity, but they thought it was all on the outside of organs.  They had to remove her ovaries and a section of her uterus, but the prognosis was good. She was going to have her appendix removed and they were going to do a chemo wash before starting traditional chemotherapy.  We were obviously concerned, but took a little comfort from the fact that they said it was not ovarian cancer.

Last week she went in for a CT scan prior to having the surgery for her appendix. The results were not what they were expecting. The cancer has metastasized and is in her liver and lymph nodes.  They did not do the surgery and instead told her there is nothing they can do and sent her home.

Stage IV cancer with a prognosis of 6 months.

When J told me this news I felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me.  How can this be happening to one of our friends?  She was just down for a visit a month ago and everything was fine.  J is taking this very hard - he has known Julie for 20 years and is great friends with her and her brother (Chris lived with J after college for a while).  I've only known her for 7 years, but she is a great friend and an amazing person.  I feel so silly for being all upset about a stupid mole on my back when Julie is now fighting for her life.

I cried myself to sleep Saturday night.  I'm not an overly religious person, but I am praying with everything I've got that she is able to get into a clinical trial.  Beyond that I am praying for a miracle.

So yeah - cancer sucks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Now I Can Breathe

I just got the call from my dermatologist with the results of the biopsy.

Benign.  Thank God.

I go back next Tuesday to get the sutures out and that can't come soon enough - these things are driving me crazy.  I may end up with a nice little scar, but as I told the doctor - I'd rather be alive with a scar than dead with a mole.

It's really hard to take a picture of your own back!

Ahhhh - I am so glad they got the results back to me quickly so now I can stop worrying and focus on our amazing little kid.  He gets more awesome every single day and the worry that I wouldn't be here to see just how awesome he gets has been a little pit in my stomach for the last week.

Sweet relief...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Do We Do Enough?

Recently on a message board that I frequent one of the moms raised the question about if she is doing enough with her little girl.  It got me thinking and wondering - are we?

Andrew is in daycare Monday - Friday from 7:30ish until 5:00 or 5:30. On those days he gets plenty of interaction - play time, learning time, outings to the park and walks around the neighborhood.  I feel like on those days he is doing plenty.

On the weekends it's kind of a free-for-all.  Sometimes we have things planned, like this weekend when I took him to the farmer's market and we had plans with friends to go watch football and let the kids play.  Other times there isn't much going on and we spend a lot of time around the house.  It's weekends like that that make me wonder - are we doing enough?

I read about/talk to these other moms that have a seemingly endless schedule of play-dates, classes and special outings planned for their kids.  I know some of them are stay at home moms so their kids aren't in daycare all day so maybe that has something to do with it.  Andrew doesn't seem unhappy or all that stir crazy when we are home.  He does well when we go places, but we haven't felt the need to constantly  be on the go when we have time with him.

Are we doing him a disservice by not getting him more involved?  Should I be setting up a play-date for him over the weekend?  Making sure we take him out to at least one outing a week?  Signing him up for classes?

I know as he gets older he will benefit from more structure, but I feel like right now he is at the age where he easily entertains himself but doesn't have the attention span for structured classes.

As evidence - he spent quite a bit of time playing in the puddles left over from us washing our cars yesterday:

So what about you?  Do you have regular play-dates and outings to keep your little one occupied?  Or are you more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants schedulers like us??

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'm Scared

In less than an hour I have an appointment at the doctor to get a suspicious mole removed from my back.

Up until two weeks ago I had never noticed it (it IS on my back after all).  When I had an itchy spot I looked in the mirror and was a little shocked to see this somewhat sizable and dark mole.  J was also surprised by it since he had never noticed it before.  The next day I called the dermatologist and made an appointment to get it checked out.

That appointment was two days ago. He looked at it, measured it, examined it under some special light, and made the decision that it is of concern enough that they want to make sure they get the whole thing out.

I won't lie - I'm scared.  Terrified that my irresponsibility with sunscreen is coming back to haunt me.  Terrified that the worst case scenario will come true and I will not be here to watch Andrew grow up.  That thought alone is driving me to tears.

It will be about a week before I get the pathology results.  It's going to be a long week.  If anyone out there has some positive vibes they can send my way I would be very appreciative.

Now it's time to get ready to go get some flesh removed.  Deep breaths...

Monday, October 15, 2012

We Made It!

This past weekend I was on my own with the munchkin.  J left Friday morning to go camping with some friends up at Table Rock so it was just me and the little man.  I knew it wouldn't be too bad because let's face it, he is an awesome kid  ;)

Friday evening I picked him up and we had some playtime outside. He is happy as a clam when he's outside and he kept walking over to the pumpkins and yelling "Ball!". I keep correcting him, but so far he isn't getting the whole "pumpkin" thing.

We had some dinner, some fun in the tub, and then a little more playtime before bed.   He was such a happy giggly kid that I almost hated to put him down for the night.

J called to say goodnight, but Andrew doesn't quite grasp the concept of the phone. He kept looking at it all confused since daddy's voice was coming out of it, but he didn't understand what that meant.

So I put him down for the night and decided to kick back and relax with a little wine since I had the night to myself.  Unfortunately the "little" wine was a little too much and I woke up Saturday feeling like shit (I never drink wine).  With a toddler to take care of all by myself for the day. Oh boy.

All I can say is thank god he is such a good kid.  He was ok with hanging out around the house instead of going out and running around everywhere. It was super windy outside, so I didn't think the bike ride I had planned would go over too well anyway. Instead we hung out out around the house, watched some football, and played one of his favorite games - climb on mommy:

At one point Andrew disappeared into the guest room and I heard him say "Doggy!".  I was confused until I saw that he was holding a picture frame that holds a couple pictures, one of which is of our dogs.  I sat on the bed while he looked at the pictures and smiled when he said "Daddy!" and pointed at J. I could tell he missed him.

Yesterday to make up for me being a slacker on Saturday we took a walk over to the park. He LOVES the park.  Particularly the rocking thing. He used to hate it, but yesterday he kept running over to it and trying to climb up on it.  I had to help him up, but he had a blast when he was up on it.  He would climb down by himself and run around some more, but then end up right back over at the rocker.

We spent 90 minutes at the park before I made him leave. We got home and he had a snack before we had more playtime outside. It was a beautiful day - sunshine, a nice breeze and a perfect temperature.  I love fall days like yesterday and can only hope that there will be more of them to come.  We had a little lunch and I got him down for his nap at 1:00, just in time for me to do some laundry and watch some football.  J called to let me know he'd been home around 7:30 - sans the skin on the back of his heels (hiking boots weren't quite broken in enough before his hike).  Once Andrew got up we hung out outside before making a Target run and picking up some dinner.  J got home while Andrew was in the tub - his face lit up as soon as he saw his daddy and it was enough to melt my heart.

So we made it through the weekend  - even with my little wine hangover (lesson learned).  I had so much fun having my little man all to myself, but I'll say it's nice to have everyone back together again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Time!

Last night we decided to take the munchkin to the pumpkin patch to pick some out and try to get some pictures.  Of course we didn't get the hours before we went and arrived at 5:47 with a 6:00 closing time.  Oops!

We decided to make it quick and snap some pictures while picking out pumpkins.  Trying to get pictures of Andrew this year proved a lot more difficult than last year when all he could do was sit there (although he was pretty damn cute last year!).  The better pictures on on my camera and haven't been downloaded yet, but here are a couple from my phone:

Looking less than thrilled on the tractor

He did like steering it, though

"Ooooh! Flowers!"

He was more interested in playing with the flowers than posing for pictures.  We eventually had to remove the flowers - I was afraid he was going to destroy them!

After we got booted from the pumpkin patch at 6:15 we headed to Cracker Barrel for dinner (we had a gift card). It had been forever since I'd been to a Cracker Barrel, but a new one opened up outside of town and we knew it would be quick and easy.

Andrew went to work with the crayons with a little help from daddy:

We ordered him some chicken fingers with a side of mac n' cheese. Turns out we should have just gotten him the mac n' cheese dinner - he LOVED that stuff!

After dinner while J was paying we browsed around the country store part.  Andrew was SO excited - there is so much stuff to look at and play with. He was particularly enthralled with these little Hello Kitty stuffed animals and was trying his hardest to pick up all three of them but kept dropping one.

When he was done playing with them I was happy to see him try to set the three of them back up on the shelf. Such a good boy  :)

Then he ran off and found a baby doll in a stroller and was all excited to push it all through the store.

I thought it was cute and don't mind at all that my little boy was playing with baby dolls.  It's good practice for when he has a little brother or sister, right?

We got home and I found the pumpkin hat from last year and tried to get a picture of him in it. My crazy little toddler does NOT sit still, so this was the best I could do:

All in all it was a pretty successful trip to the pumpkin patch.  Maybe this weekend when it's just me and the munchkin I'll try to get some better pictures of him with the pumpkins we bought. And the hat  :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012


We have a new obsession.  And it's name is ball.

Every morning when we leave to go to daycare as soon as I open the front door Andrew exclaims "Ball!" and toddles on over to his little dump truck on the porch.  In the back of the dump truck is an assortment of dog toys (yeah, I know, bad place to put them). He picks up one of them, turns to me and gives me this huge grin and yells "Ball!".

More often than not whatever ball it is stays firmly clenched in his hands all the way down the steps, into his car seat and all the way to daycare.  Most of the time I am able to distract him while getting him out of his car seat and get it out of his hands. On these days I am able to leave the ball in the car. On the other days he keeps that ball all they way into daycare.  Fortunately Marc is good at pulling the switcheroo and gives him another toy so I can get the ball and take it with me.

I know what you're probably thinking. "She lets her kid play with dog toys?!"  Umm, yeah. I do.  I make sure he doesn't lick them or anything, but what can I say, the kid loves balls  :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Where is my baby?

That is the question I have been asking myself more and more lately.  When I look at Andrew I see less and less of a baby and more and more of a little kid.  It probably doesn't help that I went through his drawers and closet again and weeded out all of the too small clothes (leaving a definite shortage of clothing so yay, shopping!).  I look at some of the clothes and it seems impossible that he fit in them not too long ago.

We also (finally) took down the jumperoo this past weekend.  He hadn't been in it in a little while, but he had a bit of a meltdown when I was dismantling it and kept trying to climb into the seat.  I had to keep telling him that he's not a baby anymore, even though it kind of choked me up to say it because then it was really sinking in. He's NOT a baby anymore  :(

I think it's hitting me even harder because there have been a rash of pregnancy announcements from friends and former co-worker and several that are ready to pop any second.  Seeing squishy new babies is just reminding me even more that the munchkin is speeding away from babyhood at an alarming rate.

It isn't all bad, though.  With him growing up he is developing quite the personality and I seriously crack up every day because of him.  Like when we were walking across the parking lot of Outback on Saturday night:

He does this little dancing/bouncing thing when he walks and gets this excited look on his face.  Oh, and he walked clear from the car all the way to the restaurant (we were parked all the way in the back). He loves to walk/run.

He also spent all weekend playing in the tent that is currently set up in our living room. J is going camping this weekend and set it up to make sure it still works since it's been in the garage for the better part of a decade. So currently daddy's tent = playhouse and he loves it.

And finally, he enjoys walking around outside, but keeps consistently taking off his right shoe. I keep checking it to make sure he doesn't have a rock in it or anything (he almost never does), but he'll walk a little bit, sit down and whine, then rip off the shoe and go about his business.  Like doing yoga in the driveway.

Yep, my little guy is full of personality.  But he isn't a baby anymore and that makes me more sad than I thought it would.  But I guess even when he is a full grown adult he will always be my baby...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Happys

Things that are making me happy this Friday:

Beautiful weather that makes me want to spend the day outside

An amazing sunset last night

A picture from Andrea of Andrew "talking" to baby Gradon at daycare

Another picture sent from Andrea and her telling me that he ate ALL his lunch!

And the fact that it's the Friday of a three day weekend for me (yay Columbus Day!).  So all in all it's a pretty fabulous Friday.

What about you? What's making you happy this Friday??

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mr. Excitement

That's my new name for the munchkin, based on his recent seemingly favorite expression:

"I love being outside!"

"Climbing the steps is the best thing ever!"

"Yay!  Slides!!"

"Lowes is SO much fun!!"

"Look mom!  I climbed up here myself!"

What can I say, he's an easily excitable kid  :)