Friday, January 29, 2010

Is it really Friday already?

Well, it looks like we will probably be going home today, but my baby is having a cousins sleepover at Memaw's house tonight so we will not be getting her back. For those of you who don't know, my hubby also has kidney cancer (diagnosed in 2007) and received his first treatment (besides surgery) this week at Vanderbilt. Things have been going okay, but he feels like complete crap and the mere fact that he is allowing me to type while he lays in the hospital bed beside me is a miracle. They stopped his treatment after 6 doses (supposed to get 14) because of his liver and kidney function. His platelets are also low, and he received a transfusion last night. If they remain steady or increase, we will be getting the heck out of dodge today. I am looking out the window as I type, watching snowflakes fall to the ground. It is so pretty and I almost hate to leave before the world turns wintry white and beautiful. But, we don't want to get snowed in here and not be able to see our precious little angel tomorrow.

She has had a great week. Nanny took her to get some crafts earlier this week which she really enjoyed. Then yesterday, she spent the day with my aunt Leisa and did even more crafts. She even got to go to the video store and pick out a movie which is a first for her (we have Netflix at home). Last night, I was a little down and called my mom. Summer surprised me by wanting to talk to me. So, I had to regain my composure and talk to her. What a sweet voice she has. "Where are you? Where is Daddy? I love you!" It made my day because usually when I call, she is too caught up in playing to really want to talk to me. I sure do miss her and can't wait to give her a big hug and a million kisses when I see her again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making the most of our time together

Yesterday morning, I said my goodbyes to Summer. She wanted to run from me so I would chase her so I played along and got a few more giggles and smiles out of her before I had to leave. I told her I could pack her up in my suitcase and at first she said no. But, then she said ok. I told her she would have to stay in there all week and she replied that she didn't think she would be able to breathe. :) So smart. Last night, she was building a hospital at Memaw's house. Then they played LPS dr. and she told my mom all the animals had to stay with her (Summer) until their mommies and daddies came to get them...which would be a long time. I guess she is living out her reality through her play time.

We had a great weekend, filled with fun activities together. She is really into doing "activities" now. We did several pages in a few of her workbooks - dot to dot and cutting lines. She is definitely becoming better at cutting with scissors. I also found a book in the free bins at McKays called "365 TV Free Activities to do with your child." She LOVES it. After the first activity, she couldn't get enough and wanted to do more, more, more. I am starting to think we might actually need to put her into a mother's day out program or something before kindergarten. I could always invest in more preschool type books and do them with her myself. The time we spend together is so precious that I hate to give it away to a stranger. Of course, a break might just do mommy good sometimes.

We got her two used games for the Wii: Alvin and the Chipmunks and Disney Princess Enchanted Journey. They both require you to use the nunchuck and the remote so it will take a while for her to get used to that since her hands are still rather small compared to the remotes. A few minutes into them both, I ended up playing for her. LOL I definitely like the chipmunks game better. Someone from church is going to let us borrow their Diego game which they say will be easier for her. Can't wait to see it.

For now, I am not having too big "Summertime" withdrawals. There were a few tears shed on my part before I left yesterday. We have been too busy here to really think about much other than getting through the treatments. So far, so good.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Big girl

Today, after our shower, she said, "I want you to carry my like a big girl."

Yep, she's growing up. Yesterday after our shower, and almost every other one before that, she said, "I want you to carry me like a baby."

She's all dressed up like a big girl too in her frilly skirt, shiny shirt and tights. Who knows what the day will bring, but we've already changed two of her bears clothes and practiced tracing letters....and showered. I am thinking that since she is such a big girl, we might get her a game of her own for the Wii. She is really wanting Littlest Pet Shop, but I don't want to fork out $30 or $40 and have her not play it. We will probably check out our local resale store and try to find it or something else a little more pocketbook friendly. :) Of course my girl says, "Just go to Target and get it." The funny thing about that is we rarely ever go to Target. She must not realize they sell them at Wal-mart too. She doesn't really have a good concept of money either since she gets things all the time without anyone worrying about the cost. We'll be working to correct that although we'll hopefully never have to be penny pinchers. One big problem I see in the world today is nobody knows how to save anymore. It is always spend, spend, spend. Put it on the credit card. I do not want my little girl growing up thinking it is okay to accumulate masses of credit card debt to get the instant gratification a lot of Americans have come to expect. I've got to teach her to think ahead and plan for the future. Although you can't take it with you when you die......

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yikes!!! She's a bugger eater!

Yep, it's true. Sad, but true. So, here's how it goes last night:

Me: Don't eat your buggers.

Summer: But, I like them.


Not sure how to stop it because she is a bugger maker right now. Her nose is snotty and buggery just about every time I look at her. I tell her to get a tissue or get her one myself and she blows them out. But, sometimes a few crusty buggers are just hanging around and she will pick them. Now not all of them go to her mouth, but even if one does it is too many in my opinion. I tried to explain to her that it is germs and stuff that her body is trying to get rid of, but she "likes them." Now, onto more pleasant subjects....
We have been seeing quite a bit more of Lexie lately which is nice. She is the doll above wearing a hat I got her at the clinic. It is crocheted like her favorite blanket so I figured she might actually wear it or at least be comforted it by it should she be without the blanket but have the hat. The other day I took the girls to the mall playground which was fun. Afterwards, Summer rode home with her Daddy. As they were riding down the road, Clint was acting like he was going to throw Teddy out the window. He would hang him out and pull him back in. Well, when Summer had a try at it, out the window he flew. I was on the phone with Clint at the time and all I heard was "Summer I'm going to shoot you." Then he hung up. I had no idea what was going on, but was filled in with "she threw Teddy out the window" when I called him right back. Well, I wouldn't say she actually threw him out so much as he accidentally fell out of her hand when she was imitating her dad. Funny how a few words can change your view of what actually happened.

Summer had fun making this snowman at Willow's house last week. We are going to put a magnet on him so he can decorate our fridge during the holiday seasons to come.

Fishing for cats....what fun!

Leah and Summer enjoyed the tea party, but not as much as me and my sis. Summer's favorite part was putting sugar into her tea. She always seemed to need more, but it is okay because she probably only had a sip of it.

Me and my sis with our girls....great memories.

Okay, so the pic below is of the "house" that was in my living room until yesterday. We finally cleaned it up yesterday afternoon before Summer convinced us to go to Olive Garden for dinner. We went a few days ago, but on the way to the car she lost her green crayon. She was very upset because she had brought her menu and the crayons to the car...losing one in the process. So, we needed to go back and get her another green crayon. Not that we don't have green crayons at home, but they are NOT Olive Garden crayons. LOL So, last night sure enough she toted her red crayon and menu back to the restaurant and got another green crayon. Now, they are both in the living room floor with her newest creation which she built after I went to bed last night. I am assuming she was playing restaurant but I will have to wait until she gets up to verify that. Wait, here she comes. Well, she says she doesn't remember. Maybe I should give her a few minutes to wake up.

We are off to another play date today. I am so lucky to have friends with kids her age that she can go play with. Not only do the kids benefit, but the mommies too because then we can catch up and talk about adult things. Let's hope there is no bugger eating today, at least in public.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sleepovers, fun and death...oh my!!!

This week is flying by and before I know it, I will be away from my baby girl. :( She had two sleepovers last weekend, one with her cousins which she had been wanting to do for a long time. Next week will be a really long sleepover at her Memaw's house and possibly a night at my aunt's house if she is up for that.

Monday we took some lunch to some friends at the clinic and then proceeded to hang out for a while. It was strange being in the clinic with no appointment, for me at least. Summer enjoyed it and played and did crafts as usual. It was fun for me too talking to the other parents and kids, but I know some of the other parents thought it was odd to come there without having to. We were lucky and got to sing "No More Chemo" to one of her fellow cancer warriors, Kennedy. That also meant Summer got cake. I restrained myself even though it was chocolate. After that we met up with Daddy and Josh for lunch followed by a trip to the playground. Summer enjoyed the swings the most.

Yesterday, we went to Bunco where Summer played with some friends and helped me roll the dice a little. She did a great job rolling and even helped us win the first round. On the way home, we stopped to get the cow we bought. When I had it loaded in the trunk, Summer asked me what it looked like. LOL I told her meat. A little bit later, she asked me a question that caught me off guard. "What will it be like after we die?" Hmmmm. I really wondered what was going through her head to make her ask this and even got a little worried that she is thinking about death, but I answered her like a good mom would. I told her it would be awesome because no one will be sick anymore or hurting. I told her we will get to see the people who died before us and Jesus and angels. That seemed to answer her question enough. I wonder who she was thinking about when she asked that. Maybe the cow.

I am currently struggling with the "house" she has built in the middle of the living room floor. I'm about ready for it to be cleaned up, but she seems to think it isn't finished yet....and that it will take a long time. Maybe one more day will be enough and then she will pack it all back into her room. I foresee a visit with Thomas in our future. Fun, fun, fun.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Early bird

This morning Summer was up before I could crawl back in bed after my trip to the gym. 6:30 a.m. is time to be sleeping not creeping around the house. But, she was hungry and wanted to watch cartoons. She had some pineapple and strawberries while I crawled back in bed only to be awaken half an hour later so she could ask me the name of her new beanie baby bear, Halo. I've got to teach her to read so she can look at the tag herself whenever she forgets. :)

Yesterday, she tortured played with Thomas for a good while. We had lunch with my dad and hung out at the lake house for a while. Then we made a quick trip to Wal-mart to pick up a birthday gift for my niece. We are having a tea party at the English Rose tomorrow morning which will be a treat for us all. I just hope the girls will eat the little sandwiches they make. On the way home, Summer asked where we were going and I told her home. She said she wanted to go somewhere else, but didn't have anywhere in particular in mind. So, I suggested we go to the carousel (yeah, I rock like that). As soon as we parked, we hopped on the bike and headed to the park. We pulled up in front of an empty and noiseless carousel. Apparently, it was not open even though it was 4:15 and the hours of operation are from 3:00-6:00. The door was open, but no one was in there to work it so we hopped back on the bike and took a spin around the park. Then she decided that we should get off and play. So we ran across the field together a few times getting some exercise (her idea). Then we climbed on the animals surrounding the water fountains which were off due to the cold weather. It was fun and nice to be outside getting some fresh air.

Last night we went through three big boxes of stuffed animals and divided them into two different donation piles - one for the Discovery Museum and one for kids in Nicaragua. She only claimed two of the animals for herself - an angel bear (Halo) and a dog (Butch) like the one Memaw and Nanny have from when my nephew Sawyer was born. We are headed to the museum this morning for a PlayGym class. She is so excited and keeps asking if it is time to go. Guess I better get off here and get our bellies full so we will have energy to play.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

She's babysitting

First thing this morning, Summer brings her baby doll crib and a little rocking chair into the living room. When I ask her what she is doing, she says "babysitting." It was cute as are a lot of the things she does. Kids are always full of surprises that usually put smiles on our faces, aren't they?

Last night, she did not go to her class at church, so she had to go straight to bed when we got home (we did brush her teeth first). I guess she enjoyed my middle school class last week a little too much. Or, maybe she just can't stand to be away from me, even if it's just in the next room. Maybe one day we will cut that cord, but I do love that she loves to be with me. One day I'm sure that will change. She is enjoying her dad more than she has. Ever since his last scan, he has been playing with her more which is great. It gives me a break and also gives them a closer relationship. I was scared she was going to want to stay home with him instead of going to church last night since she didn't have any interest in seeing her church friends or attending her class. Thankfully, she did not mention it. We are not going to start that anyway. I remember as a teenager trying to get out of church. Those were the days of sleeping late which just don't happen for me anymore. Not that I would sleep late, but occasionally it would be nice to be in the bed until after 8:00 a.m. I guess I am spoiled not having to work. In another year and a half, I'll be getting her up to go to school and I hope she won't put up a big fuss. I'm not looking forward to those days....not too much anyway. What will I do with all that time to myself?

I guess I'm off to get our day started. We are going to visit Paw-Paw and Thomas. It should be fun. I just hope the cat doesn't run away from Summer. He is learning that she wants him in her arms at all times, and I'm not sure he is a fan of it. Maybe if she was just sitting, but nope she's got to carry him around and dance and stuff.

She just brought some friends in here to see me. I guess they are all ready for breakfast. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Play dates, a clinic visit and a "night mare"

Summer had two play dates today. This morning we went up to visit my Buddy and her daughters. Summer and Willow played very well together. We walked in on them playing house in the bedroom. Summer was the mommy, Willow the daddy and they had a few puppies for their babies. :) We played games with the girls and Selena ended up being the prettiest princess of us all. LOL Then we did a snowman craft together. It was fun. Tonight, we had a play date with some other friends at the mall playground. Summer was so excited that she didn't eat dinner with us before. She was just ready to play. So, we had to stop at Taco Bell to get her a beefy 5 layer burrito on the way home (which she is now enjoying with an episode of Dragon Tales). Yesterday, we had Lexie and ended the day at Chuck E Cheese. So, there has been no lack of fun around here.

Summer's clinic visit went great although she cried when they accessed her port. She ended up making Lexie cry because of all of her tears. Before I knew it, my arms were full of two crying little girls. What a difference another kid makes!! Can you say jealous? Summer was all over my lap, especially knowing she had competition for it. All of Summer's numbers were great. We rescheduled her scans (CT and EKG/Echo) so she won't be getting scanned while her daddy is getting treatment 2 hours away. We will also get her monthly antibiotic that same day. We left the clinic with several crafts for Summer to do at home. She enjoyed making a "Enter with a happy heart" door hanger and Popsicle stick puppets very much. She's very crafty.

Tomorrow we may stay close to the house or make a trip to see Paw-Paw and Thomas. I guess we'll see how we feel in the morning. We have church tomorrow night and hopefully Summer will attend her entire class. Last week, she ended up in my middle school class after about 10 minutes. Sunday she made it through the whole Sunday school for the first time. Yay! Hopefully, it will be a routine thing for her now. Speaking of Sunday, on the way to church, she told me she had a night mare. When I asked her what it was about, she told me her daddy stuck her head in the toilet and flushed it. I guess that's what happens when you explain swirlies to a 3 year old. LOL I was really wanting to start her other classes this month, but I think I will wait until after Clint's treatment so I can take her to all of them. I hate to put it off on someone else, and I really don't want to miss out on the fun either. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A mountain retreat

Summer finally got the sleepover she was wanting at Memaw's house - with me! Even better, two nights!!! We went up there on Thursday morning and waited for the snow. When we saw it starting, we got bundled up and went outside to try to catch some flakes with our mouths. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but still fun.
It was so beautiful to see the flakes falling and slowly covering the ground. The pictures just don't do it justice.
When Memaw and Nanny got home from work, we got bundled up and went for our first sledding excursion. Summer absolutely loved it. She did not complain once about walking up the hill and wanted to go every time. I did go a time or two alone, but usually she was riding with one of us.
Scratch got in on the fun too. She rode in the lap of whoever was on back. When we put her on the back by herself, she usually jumped off before the ride was over. It seemed like she could not get enough of the sledding either. Of course, it could've just been our body heat she was enjoying.
The ride started with a big push from someone to get us going.....
Everyone was all smiles while on the sled. It was really a blast!
Summer is ready for another round, even though it was dark outside (about 8:00 p.m.). Uncle Bradley had been asleep all day, so we went out again while we were waiting on the Bama game to start. Summer told everyone that she was going upstairs the whole time the game was on. Then she asked me if I was going to go to bed. :) LOL She is so perceptive. I don't usually watch the games with her daddy, so she just figured I'd go to bed as usual.
We waited until Uncle Bradley pulled the 4 wheeler out for more light.
After the sledding was done, Summer wanted to play "Dark Tag." Basically, tag (or hide 'n go seek) in the dark. When it was our turn to hide, we hid on the ground behind a car in the field. Summer wanted to lay down so we did. Then we made snow angels while were laying there waiting on Memaw to find us. Can you see her little angel on the left of mine?
Here is our little snow man. The snow was not good packing snow, but I did attempt to make a snow man nonetheless. It only lasted a day because someone (probably Mr. Nobody) knocked it over. Summer and I tried to put it together last night, but it was more trouble than it was worth.
On Friday, we walked to the end of my mom's street to try out the sledding there. It was fun, but Summer preferred the yard where we started.
She was really bundled up for our outdoor excursions. Three layers on top and bottom, one being her footed pj's. Under it she would wear either tights or pj pants and a shirt. Then we would put the off white pants on top and a big jacket. She also wore little gloves and never once complained about having cold hands. It must have been because her jacket hung down over her hands. We did have a few problems with her boots being uncomfortable with the footed pj's, but once outside they were forgotten. Amazingly, her feet never got cold either. You can really see how long her hair and eyelashes are getting in this pic.
My sister and her family came over for some more sledding and fun. The men rigged up a slide on the back of the 4 wheeler and we all took turns getting pulled behind. Clint is on in this picture. At the end of the post, there is a video of Summer's turn.
Last night, Summer made one last angel on Mom's porch. She wanted to go outside and play "Dark Tag" again, so us two went out for a bit. We did play very long because it was cold, dark and slippery, but it was fun anyway.
Guitar Hero was a fun game for the whole family, although I must say I like Rock Band better. The drums and microphone really do add to the game, especially for those who aren't good with their fingers. Summer got a little help from Memaw this morning before we headed home.

Here are a few videos from our winter fun:
Cousins sledding

Summer gets pulled behind 4 wheeler

I hope everyone enjoyed the snow as much as we did!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


No, not that kind. I am referring to modeling behavior that you want to see in your child. It is important to act and speak the way you want your kids to act because they will follow your lead. If you are a happy, smiling person, your kid will probably be the same. If you frown a lot, your kid probably will too. Something I have always tried to do with Summer is to keep a smile on my face and give her a fun atmosphere in which to grow up. So far I think she is a very happy child. A few nights ago, I went to our support group meeting and we had a speaker talking about disciplining the sick child. Basically, the discipline should be no different than before. She said it is important to keep the same level of expectations so that after they are well, they will be able to function in society as they should. I didn't learn much new, but did have some things reinforced. Consistency is key. Also, swift punishments that get their attention. There were two "R" words, but for the life of me I can't remember either. While there, I was reminded of something that my mom told me Summer did while playing dolls at her house a few weeks ago. She had a little "talk" with her baby and told them that if they needed to have another one they will. :) I guess she's heard that before. Lately when she is misbehaving, I have been sending her to her room until she calms down. Seems to be working pretty good so far. A lot of times, she will say she is angry, and I'm not sure where she has heard that before. She is pretty good at expressing her emotions, but not always in a way that I would like. Overall, she knows I mean what I say. Although she may not always like it, she is learning that obeying your parents is important.

On a lighter note, things are going great. Summer is really loving her Littlest Pet Shop toys. She got a doctor office for them and they have been getting really good treatment from Dr. Summer (although she's been calling herself Thomas for the past day or so-LOL). Yesterday, we did a flower garden craft that she got and she loved it. She did not want to stop before it was all done, but we had to make a quick trip to the hospital to visit a friend. She was very disappointed that I wouldn't let her take it with her, but as soon as we got home, we finished it up. This morning she had me find her a watering can so she can pretend to water her flowers. :) She always seems to make me smile with her imaginative ways.

We got a new game for our Wii called "Just Dance." The first time we played it together, Summer won. I know it will be lots of fun (and exercise) for us as she loves to dance as much as I do. We are really music people. Maybe she'll grow up to be an entertainer.

She goes back to the clinic on Monday for her monthly antibiotic and port flush. Scans will be next months. Not going to worry about them though because we've got enough on our plate with Daddy's treatment starting up in a week and a half.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A great start

This year is off to a great start. We ended 2009 with friends and started it with them. Yesterday, we went to do our last Christmas exchange of the year with the Lynch's. We also had some awesome BBQ pork butt. When I told Clint was were here having, he said it didn't sound too good. But it was! Summer and I loved it. She loves just about any kind of BBQ - pork, chicken or beef. Baked beans are also on her "loves to eat" list. Today, at Chuck E Cheese, she wanted a salad instead of pizza. Sure enough, all she ate was cucumbers, tomatoes, a cracker and a few bites of black olives. For breakfast she had a mini ice cream sandwich followed by an orange. She begged me for a grapefruit, but I didn't have time to cut it up and wait for her to eat it too.

I was trying to get her out the door. Then, we had a major shoe meltdown. "I can't decide," she would say. "I wanna wear boots, but...." Oh my. It really tried my patience. I was equally frustrated because no shoes I picked felt good to her. Drama queen. I am thinking of shrinking the shoe supply therefore eliminating the need to choose. You have one pair, you wear them, right? Not sure I can bring myself to do that seeing as how it will be a complete waste of about 6 or 7 pairs of shoes that will be too little in a few months. But, we won't have that deciding problem. We are getting better about the clothes choosing. She still has the option to dress herself most of the time, but I still won't let her wear something out of the house that completely clashes like what she wanted to wear yesterday. Just because the pants and the shirt both have butterflies on them, does not mean they match or go together. Try telling that to a 3 year old. :) I wouldn't trade all these moments for anything though. They are just growing pains. The struggles and meltdowns are just part of life. They are normal.

Speaking of normal, it really does seem like everything is back to normal with Summer. No more worrying about going places for fear of her getting sick. While, I still do not want her to get sick, her immune system is working and should be able to defend her against the normal everyday illnesses that may be going around. I am so thankful to have a snotty nose kid. Although buggers are gross, I am not worried that we will land back in the hospital at any moment. I am so glad those days are over. She rarely complains of leg or foot pain anymore so her muscles must be taking up slack for any nerve damage she sustained from the chemo. PTL! Everyone always asks how she is doing and I say, "She back to being a normal kid." Feels good to be able to say that.

Her hair is looking like it will be darker, at least on the sides of her head. For some reason the top still looks blonde, but it could just be wishful thinking on my part. She's got a super fuzzy head now, but you can still clearly see the scalp and it has been two and a half months since her last treatment. Her eyelashes have definitely already surpassed mine in length. I guess it is a good thing I don't have to bat mine at the men anymore. LOL

This year I want to continue to live for the day, making the most of every one I have with her. That will mean lots of playing doctor or LPS or house or whatever, but aren't we always wishing we could be a kid again? I guess I still can as long as I have her to bring me back into the world of play. Let the games begin!!!

Holiday pics

I am pretty bummed I did not take the time to get a new camera before the holidays, but a few pics were NOT blurry. Blurry or not, I'm keeping them to look back on one day. Here are a few of my favorites.

Christmas EveMemaw and Summer The tree on Christmas morning
She LOVES Thomas!!! First (and only) ride on the scooter.
Summer and Thomas playing with the Zhu Zhu pets. She is holding the hamsters so he can't play with them. LOL
She's ready to play the game she got (Guess Who), but patiently waits on me to open my gifts. Watching cartoons together.
Yep, she loves to dance and jump with him.
Next year, I'll definitely have a new camera because I took at least 250 pics and there are only a few that turned out good. Live and learn. :)