Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Last Day of School!!! Finally..........

I know my friends are probably sick of hearing me say it, but I hate the school year up here! It just drags on and on and on...but it's finally over! Hooray!

My chitlins were adorable as usual! After they got out of school we headed to DQ for our post-school celebration! 

My brain is still having a hard time processing the fact that Red One is no longer in elementary school. She will be going to the 6th grade academy next fall...WOW! There's a reason for the cliche...time flies!

And my tiny girl is going into 2nd grade...unbelievable. Not to mention Red Two is in 5th grade now. At least Buddy is still home with me a couple more years!

Red One had a school project...all the kids in her class had to make a car entirely out of pasta (except for some coffee straws to use for struts) and then they would race them on a ramp at school. She had fun making and decorating her car. There were going to be prizes for creativity, speed, and distance. She was aiming for creativity. She came home with a $10 and $8 gift certificates for Barnes & Noble because she won first in distance and second in speed! She was thrilled!!! That child is such a bookworm (like her mom ;) that a B&N gift card is awesome! She thought it was funny she didn't get anything for creativity even though that's what she was hoping for.

My dear friend Sarah and I were planning on going to the beach last week. I was super excited, especially since I'd only have to watch Buddy, not all four of them. But then Red Three started having horrible stomach pain. It was really weird. It would flare up and she'd have a lot of pain, then it would go away. Of course, I'm thinking appendicitis...but she didn't have any fever or other signs of infection. I was also thinking gas, lol, but that usually doesn't last too long. She complained last Saturday, but then it went away. On Monday night she complained a bit, but again it went away. Tuesday morning, when we were about to walk to school, she started crying from pain. This is so unlike her...I decided to keep her home. I got her an appointment with the doctor later in the afternoon. Her day wasn't too bad...lots of shows...lol! Of course, the appointment was after school was out, and I was supposed to watch my friend's boys. Thankfully my mom is still visiting and she didn't mind stepping up while I was gone. The doctor couldn't figure out what it was...she was pretty sure it wasn't appendicitis. Red Three didn't have any of the typical signs, no fever, no elevated white blood counts, not the normal pain responses. She said it could be a virus, something she ate...no telling. I was a little worried because Red Three has had polyps in the past that caused bleeding in her stool, but she never had any pain from it. So the doctor said to give her some Culturelle, to help balance the good bacteria in the gut. She felt she should be fine to go to school...So Wednesday (our planned beach day) she heads to school. If she did start feeling badly, my mom could go get her. Of course, right as we're literally heading to the highway, the nurse calls. We picked her up and dropped her off with Mumsie. But, thinking it would be better to not be as far as the beach (about an hour away) we decided to go to a nearby pond that's got a sand beach and everything...just in case she got worse. I wasn't too worried, but still, no telling.

So Sarah, Buddy, and I head to Eastbury Pond and we didn't even have to pay! Since the local schools were still in session, they were only open from 3-8...but you can still get in and swim, for free no less! There just aren't any lifeguards. We couldn't believe how empty it was..there was only one other group there. Buddy had a great time!

It was the most gorgeous day!

He loved trying to catch the tiny tadpoles with his bucket. I love this pond! We go there all the time in the summer. It's a great compromise for the beach! It's only about 20 minutes away, as opposed to the hour plus drive to the shoreline. The kids can dig in the sand...one time last summer they excavated a giant tree branch that had been completely buried under the sand. The lifeguards were watching them and laughing the whole time. They worked on it for like an hour...finally the guards told them not to do it anymore and they dragged the huge branch out to the woods. They can jump off the pier into deeper water, but there's plenty of shallow spots for the younger crowd. People fish on the back pond...you can walk around the whole thing and try to catch frogs. It's just so much fun!

Afterwards we decided to go to our favorite store...Anthropologie! We love it so much! Of course, I can't afford hardly anything there...but it's so much fun just looking at all the stuff. Sarah had the cutest yellow scarf with her...she gave it to me to throw over my swimsuit with my maxi dress. I'm not the biggest scarf fan, but I loved it! I wore it the next day too ;) Thanks for the scarf and the coffee Sarah! Then we took worn out Buddy home...he was such a good boy...pretty sure he got a nice nap in too. 

Red Three came home from school early on Thursday too...but after that the pain gradually just went away. It was the oddest thing. Still don't know what it was either...but at least it's gone!

Since David didn't celebrate Father's Day with us, he wanted a redo! He really wanted ribeye fajitas...apparently he's too high class for regular ones! lol...Anyways, I marinated some chicken in tequila and lime overnight, then while the charcoal was heating I marinated the steak in the same. I also bought some corn and pan grilled onions and peppers. The meat came out awesome! Best fajitas I've had in a while! Tres Leches would have been a good idea in keeping with the theme, but I didn't think of it...hahaha. I did make a blackberry swirl pie and fruit kabobs. Everyone was pretty happy with everything. Of course, I forgot to take any pics. It was a nice relaxing day.

David had mentioned that he wanted to have some friends over soon...I jumped all over that! Any time David shows signs of non-hermit-ness I take total advantage of it! I immediately got Sarah and Kim to tell me what day was good for their families...which turned out to be Monday. I kept it totally simple...marinated more chicken, threw some hot dogs, brats and kielbasa on the grill...more corn and a super easy pasta salad...voila! Oh, and I grilled the bread...I really liked it. It gave it just a little extra flavor. Kim made some yummy gooey brownies and Sarah brought guacamole! She also brought their firepit over; we were planning on doing s'mores...until a giant thunderstorm rolled through! It was crazy loud...but the kids were happy watching Mulan. Seemed like the guys had a good time...us girls went out on the porch to hang. It's been way too long since our last get together, so it was really nice! (Again, totally forgot to break out my camera! grrrrrrr)

While I was out picking up stuff for the cookout, I realized I hadn't even thought about end of the year teacher gifts...GAH! Luckily I was at Christmas Tree Shop and found the most adorable baskets on clearance for 2.99! It  was such a great price! I grabbed some and started to try to think what to put in them. I was initially thinking beach towels, but they were a little pricey. I mean, I have 3 kids in school...I have to do triplicate presents! lol...anyways...I always buy my sunscreen at Christmas Tree, they have the best prices! And actually, some of them were on clearance too. I decided to go with a summer fun theme.

Here's what I wound up putting in the baskets:

  1. Sunscreen (on clearance for 2.99)
  2. Insulated Tumbler (2 for $5)
  3. Drink packets (honey tea) (1.49 I think)
  4. Bugles (because come on, how fun are they?) ($1)
  5. Chapstick (clearance for .50 for a pack of 2)
  6. Nail polish (.89)
  7. Flyswatter ($1 for pack of 3)
  8. Paddle ball (yes, cheesy but fun!) ($1)
I wanted to put a magazine in there, but oh well...I think they came out super cute! Since Red Three's teacher went on maternity leave a couple weeks ago, I just gave her substitute a tumbler filled with drink packets. I actually kept a lime green version of the baskets for myself. I love it!

Oh, I almost totally forgot! Remember how a few weeks ago I talked about how David was having pain in his forehead and along his scar line? Well, yesterday was his appointment with his neurosurgeon, Dr Schwartz. We actually hadn't been to see him since September...David's supposed to go see him every 4-6 months. Oops...Dr Schwartz politely got onto us. ;) Of course, by the time we got in to see him, the pain David had been feeling a few weeks earlier was much less. After listening to David describe where and what type of pain, the doctor said, let me try this...and pressed right above David's left eyebrow with his thumb. David was about ready to swing at him! Not really, but I could tell that it was killing him! He asked "does that hurt?" David was like "umm, YES!!!!) Apparently, because David had radiation back in September, it actually really damages your skin (I guess obviously)...even long term. The skin there looks much older than the rest of his face, but also, Dr Schwartz said that the layers are much thinner. It's actually about 50% thinner than it was before. Because of that, normal scalp movement etc, is rubbing right on that nerve that he pushed on, and causing the pain. He said if it got much worse, they could inject it with numbing medication...but didn't think it was necessary at this point. David was just relieved it wasn't an infection. Dr Schwartz had looked at his last two MRIs...he thought they looked good. He said there were a couple of fluid pockets in there...nothing to worry about. He said if one of them was a mucous seal, that could be problematic, but he didn't think it was showing the right characteristics. Basically, he sealed up David's sinuses up in his forehead with a mucous seal during his first surgery...a possible outcome would be that the seal started to grow into the brain cavity...at least I think that's what he said. It wasn't looking like that, but it was something he would keep an eye out for. He also said that David had a white spot on his last MRI near his nose...thought he should go see an ENT to make sure nothing going on there. David has had trouble with sinus infections in the past. Also, since David keeps having persistent ringing in his left ear, a specialist should take a look at that. We really love Dr Schwartz. He really takes the time to answer questions, explain symptoms. Like, David's been having really slight balance issues...he was starting to worry. Apparently that's a common side effect of Vincristine, the IV chemo David is on. We knew it could cause numbness and tingling in the extremities, but not the balance issues. He knew right away! He mentioned that he had had a family member on it, so was even more aware of all the possible issues. Having someone on your side who's been there makes such a difference. We really enjoy all our visits, we leave feeling good, even when it's not necessarily the best outcome. You can tell that he really cares and wants to help. He even asked about our kids and how they were doing...if they were handling it OK. He was also super quick to respond to David's comment that theologically, death and evil are completely different. No hesitation, he totally agreed and responded. I think he's probably a man of faith...at least he acts like one! He also informed David that because of radiation and the fact that he's on chemo, he's much more sensitive to the sun. David had mentioned that he was having a hard time working outside, it's been really, really hot the past few days...but it seemed to be affecting him more than normal. He told David that he's now a sunscreen user for life! Also good information to have. I really can't stress enough how great it is not to be rushed, to feel that you have a doctor's full attention, and that they are genuinely interested in helping you. We were so blessed that David just "happened" to be assigned to Dr Schwartz that first day in the ER...that Dr Schwartz just "happened" to be on call...there are no accidents IMO!

We just had another giant storm roll through! We actually lost power when I was right in the middle of trying to write this post. Luckily it auto-updates every few minutes, so I didn't lose but a sentence or two. The power was only out for a couple hours, but felt much longer...hahaha! We roasted some mini marshmallows over the candle, the kids loved that. Kim lives a couple houses down...she said one of their trees came down! Thankfully it didn't hit anything. It's always cause for rejoicing when the power comes back on though, that's for sure!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Flashback #8 - Life goes on...

As I talked about in the last flashback post, David started his first round of chemotherapy the first week of December. Days 3-6 or 7 of the cycle were the worst as far as nausea goes...it really wasn't as bad as all the horror stories that you normally hear. Temodar is widely prescribed for brain cancer because of its effectiveness plus the lack of severe side effects. Typically there is no hair loss, which is cool, constipation is very common, as is fatigue and nausea...white blood counts need to be monitored, but not guaranteed to lower. David would get weekly blood tests to make sure his counts stayed at a good level. He was supposed to take colace, a stool softener, to help with constipation...as well as miralax as needed. Overall, the Temodar was mild...it was no picnic, he still had days that he felt awful, but it was bearable. It does have a cumulative effect, so by the end of the year of chemo, he felt a lot worse...but at the beginning it was much easier than expected. 

I know I've mentioned it before, but David has always been a bit of a hermit. He's perfectly happy to not leave the house for days. I didn't know how bad he was when we first met...lol...but he's definitely gotten worse the older he gets. I'm so the opposite...I start to get antsy if I don't leave the house at least once a day. Guess the whole opposites attract is a saying for a reason, huh? :) Anyways, one of the side effects of brain surgery/cancer seemed to be a change in this. David started wanting to get out, hang out with friends as often as possible, go places...I loved it!!! He's slipped back into his old ways now, but I sure enjoyed it while it lasted...lol! Anyways, my brother is in the Army and we don't get to see his family that often. They were stationed in VA that year though, and we figured, hey, at least it's the same coast, let's go visit them! (They were near Seattle before this) We packed up the kids and drove the eleven hours to see them for a long weekend. We had a great time, and of course the girls loved visiting their cousins. My nephew Alex loved having another boy in the family...he just loved Buddy! 
  • not in Yankeeland anymore! just passed a sign for "Stonewall Jackson Shrine" LOL, awesome!

Red One had her birthday, turned 9. We had a nice, quiet Christmas with David's family. We received lots and lots and lots of snow. That year was the most snow since we had moved to New England...it was awful! lol...actually got up on my roof and shoveled a bit off. It took hours to shovel the sidewalks...then it all froze so the kids could actually run on top of the snow. That was pretty cool. 

Birthday bike

  • well, after almost 4 hours of slogging, I have a tiny shovel-wide path that goes almost all the way around the house. One of my neighbors tried to come over and snow blow, but his blower died on my driveway :( But another neighbor is gonna come over in a bit and finish up and widen my paths. So thankful! and so very very tired and sore...it totally counts for like 5 days of pilates!
I had chopped my hair pretty short then...I always do that. I get bored so I color or cut it all the time! I thought David and I would match for a bit at this point ;)

Message I found scrawled on my car door...my sweet Caelyn admitted to penning the missive. I asked her where on earth she got it from and she said "scooby doo!" hahahaha

Just to backtrack a bit...I want to talk about some of the changes in our lives brought about by David's diagnosis. We were both raised in Christian households, although very different...my parents were charismatic Catholics and he's basically a calvinist pentecostal...lol...faith was a part of our lives for a long time. However...that being said, it's really easy to just drift along and not invest a lot of time in that relationship. What with kids, work, moving a few times, we had gotten a bit disconnected from church and from God. I attended the local parish, but since David is not Catholic he never got much out of going. I had offered for years to go find a church with him and go to both, but he didn't want to confuse the kids. I did get some spiritual support from my MOPS group, but still...we were definitely not putting a lot of effort into our faith at that point. Nothing like a major flat on your back moment to change all that! This is an excerpt from my testimony that I shared with my MOPS group last year, talking about David's diagnosis.

"However, as unbelievable as it sounds, it’s also one of the best things that happened in our lives, at least as far as side effects go. Of course we wish it hadn't happened! But, at times like these you really figure out what is most important. It was a complete wake up call for both of us and we don’t take God’s goodness for granted anymore. Our faith has been completely revitalized and is stronger now than it ever has been. Without the complete grace of God there is no way we could handle this burden. He is there beside us at the Drs office giving us wisdom and discernment, there when fear returns, there in the times of discouragement…shining His holy light into darkness. He’s there in the friends that he has blessed us with, who prayed with us, cried with us, listen to us, cooked for us, and who still laughed with us. For there is still joy! His mighty hand is upon us and sustains us and we are happy and thankful to be so blessed. Do I still have moments where worldly wisdom hits me and I lose it? Yes, absolutely. But I have wonderful shining moments of the knowledge of His love for me, that He never abandons me, that He is the great healer and lover of my soul."

This is not to say that I haven't had my share of "Why me God?" moments...far from it!!! There are moments, hours, days that truly suck and you can't help but feel depressed. This is no bury your head in the sand mentality. But underneath it all, I have a peace and joy that could only come from trusting in my LORD. 

We knew that it was super important to find a church that we could all attend together. We tried out the church where my MOPS group meets, and while it's a wonderful church...I love all the people there, it wasn't quite what David was looking for. He grew up in Pentecostal churches, so we kept looking. His dad was going to a church near where they lived...so we went. It was the weirdest thing. The preacher seemed very charismatic etc while he was preaching, but when David went to talk to him and ask for prayer, he did not respond in any sort of normal way. He didn't pray for him there, acted like he wanted to get away. It was so odd and not normal for a preacher. We really felt like it's because that wasn't the church for us. Then David and Dad went to a Wed night service at Church of the Living God. They really liked it. We all went on Sunday...it was almost too Pentecostal for me...it had been so long since I'd been to any church that really had all the clapping, hand raising, flag waving...it felt foreign! But the worship was wonderful and the preaching was amazing. Best of all, the pastor was so wonderful and prayed for David immediately. Not only that, the first few services after we started attending was all on healing. It was definitely providential! We joined a small group and made some friends. It's not perfect by any means, but there's no such thing, IMO. It's been such a place of encouragement and support...I'm very grateful to the community there! 

We started to settle into a routine. David was back at work, kids were in school. He was on the 28 day chemo cycles, church on Sunday and Wednesday...things were pretty uneventful at this point. One day I got a call from someone I didn't know. She told me she was a photographer and that someone had nominated me to receive a free photo session with her. My friend Darcy had entered me in her contest...it was so sweet! 
  • Congratulations Mary Catherine for being the winner of "The Joy Of Giving"! I truly can't wait to meet you and your wonderful family! I will call you today!
We decided since it was still winter and snow everywhere, we'd wait till the spring for our family portrait. It was something to look forward to.

I can't remember exactly why, but David had to get a stress test done...oh that's right, he'd had some chest pain in the past and they wanted him to get it checked out.
  • Had a stress test today. The good news is I have a good heart. The bad is it showed how out of shape I am. I even have a treadmill. Makes it all the more worse.
Totally normal...wouldn't it just be ridiculous to have more issues to take care of???

David was a total germophobe at this point too...with good reason I suppose ;) Lysol and hand sanitizer everywhere! Our dishwasher isn't the greatest...sometimes the cups come out with tiny pieces of debris stuck to them. He'd inspect each dish so carefully before using one. Heaven forbid if it had a spot or anything on them! So imagine if you can how he felt after this happened! :P
  • so, I have some awesome news!!! (not!) my girls picked up head lice from school, I have never had to deal with this, so new territory for me...just wanted to give fair warning to any of their friends, check your heads! lol...laundry and vacuuming here we come!
I'd never even seen lice before...so gross!!! I don't know how they caught it...who knows. He was freaking out though! lol...I wasn't much better, it was awful! Not only that, but after we finally got rid of it (so much combing, ugh!) a few weeks later they caught it again! I did so much laundry and RID applications...I'm tired just remembering! I had to keep checking David's (less than an inch long) hair. hahahaha

David had found a new music group online, you may have heard of them...The Civil Wars. But this was right before they became famous. He really liked their music and found out they were going to be in concert in Boston in a couple weeks. We roped in a couple of our best friends to go with us, sans kids! It was amazing! We had the best BBQ we've had in years (in Boston no less! That ain't right!) and then the concert. It was in a small venue, at Berkeley I think...they are so wonderful live!
  • Can't wait to go see The Civil Wars tonight in Boston with our friends! Should be awesome!!!

Then we went to Mike's Pastry and got some lobster tails...the best pastry confection ever! and pistachio macaroons, which are pretty amazing too! Seriously, if you're ever in Boston, go to Mike's Pastry!!!

The next week, David was due for his first MRI after starting treatment.
  • so, need all you prayer warriors working overtime this week...David's next appt is this Wed, and it's a pretty important one. He's getting his first MRI since starting chemo, and it will determine whether or not he will continue with the trial...basically we need to see a reduction...for more than one reason! Please keep us in major prayer! Thanks!

    • I am having my first MRI since starting chemo tomorrow. The doctors correlating some chromosomes indicate that it should be a positive day tomorrow but regardless I am sure it will be stressful. But I will take prayers over some correlation any day. Please pray for me and my family. Thanks.
Needless to say, we were pretty nervous...so nervous we got the day wrong, apparently, lol! We actually drove almost all the way to the doctor's office, we were in the Bronx when we found out it was the wrong day...oops! 
One of the nice things about going to MSKCC in NYC is that we don't have to wait for scan results. By the time we're done with the MRI, walk the couple blocks to the doctor's building, get blood work, finally get called to the room, the doctor has had a chance to view the results. Dr Lassman told us that there had been no changes, everything was the same. While it wasn't smaller, it was still good news. At least he seemed to think it was good news, so of course, we thought we'd go with that too. :) I know we were disappointed that it hadn't shrunk at all...but WAY better than getting any bigger, that's for sure!

Buddy had his first birthday! In the meantime, Red Three started having problems. She noticed blood in her stool...she would call me everytime she saw it...it kept getting more common and more of it. I took her to her pediatrician, who referred me to a pediatric gastro doctor...she recommended Miralax, as constipation was the most common cause of stomach/bowel issues in children. If it didn't get better, than other options would be explored. She was on it for about a month, but kept having blood. 
  • so...since the Miralax didn't help, Ranae is scheduled for an endoscopy/colonoscopy to check for polyps in a few weeks. Poor baby :(
Of course, this scared me half to death! I was so worried it would be something serious. Then, we wound up having to postpone her procedure until May. She was so little then, only 4. She didn't understand everything that was going on...luckily it would be at the children's hospital and she would be under anesthesia. It was hard having to wait a couple more months though.

We wound up having to go to NYC on our anniversary...:(
  • soooo, our anniversary is this coming weekend and David is gonna take me to NYC...for a dr's appt! Yay! lol, hopefully I can at least get a good dinner out of it ;)
We didn't have time to eat a nice meal...oh well, at least he'd gotten me flowers! lol...that's a big deal!

David's chemo was going pretty uneventfully...he felt terrible for those few days, more tired than normal, but still working and overall healthy. We were so grateful!  April wound up being pretty uneventful...praise the LORD...it would turn out to be the lull before more storms!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day!

I know, I know...that was yesterday...but we were so busy celebrating I couldn't post anything till now. 

So Rachel and I were trying to plan what we were gonna do for Father's Day...maybe go to the shooting range. We hadn't been in a while, and it's one of the few outdoors things David enjoys. His dad is a member at a gun range near where they live. We figured we'd cook burgers and such, go shooting for a bit and maybe even go hiking too. Seemed like it'd be fun for the both the dads...and David could always hang at the house and rest if he didn't want to do the other stuff. Anyways, that was what we came up with...best laid plans. :)

Some artwork the girls made on Thursday, I think...

Silly Red Three, using the chalk for makeup! And I told Red One and Red Two they could be on my blog...they wore gray that day! So did Buddy...Red Three just slipped in because she's so darn cute.

Well, it's been raining a ton lately...rain for a couple days, then sunny then rain for another couple days, then sunny. I had wondered briefly about my basement earlier this week, but it was fine. Then Friday night I headed down there to get something...flooded! Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd say it was about 2-3 inches. Our wet vac wasn't working, and it wasn't deep enough for our sump pump. We don't have a sump pump hole...that would have been a lifesaver. Thankfully, most of the stuff down there is in plastic bins. But I did have to throw away my entire collection of gift bags :( lol...there were a few other ruined things, but nothing I'll miss. After salvaging/moving what I could, I tried the sump pump...but like I said, not deep enough. The motor started overheating. Although we have a dehumidifier, there's no way it would get ahead of that much! It was late, so I figured we'd bail it out in the morning. So Saturday morning, the girls and I headed down to bail. I actually had the (genius) idea of putting the sump pump in the big 5 gallon paint bucket and scoop the water into that...and drain it into the sink down there. It worked pretty well. Of course, we were all soaked! But the girls thought it was fun. :) We couldn't keep up with the pump, so kept having to turn it off...but overall, it worked pretty well. It was a lot better than lugging the bucket to the sink at any rate, and faster too! We've had a couple days now of no rain, so hopefully the ground has dried a bit. It's only the second time it's flooded...the last was a couple of winters ago. We had 3-4 feet of snow on the ground, and when it all melted, we got about the same amount of seepage. I should have at least gotten a picture of the girls and I soaked from bailing, but oh well. Of course we couldn't get every last bit...but the dehumidifier is taking care of the rest...just about dry now. Could have been worse!

The rain did make it a perfect night for soup though! Pioneer Woman's Chicken and Dumplings hit the spot!

Red Two's modern art sculpture ;) She was very proud.

Sunday morning we head to first church. Buddy was so cute. He was actually mostly good throughout the mass...but he had a lot to say! At one point he was telling me something, I couldn't understand the whole story, but he ended it with "I so cool, I so awesome!" hahaha, that kid! 

I had made an apple pie, although to David, if it doesn't have a crust on top and bottom, it's not an apple pie. Well excuse me! Apparently, even though the crumble topping is 100 x more delicious, it's not a real apple pie! LOL...David's favorite is apple pie, but come on! That's so much work! He got a lattice pie out of me a couple Thanksgivings ago, and I said, you better enjoy it, cuz I don't know if you'll ever get another one! Anyways, I'm mostly joking, but yes, he did still comment on the crumble topping. Seriously, how can you go wrong with butter, sugar, flour, and pecans?!?!?!? Anyways, Red One wanted to make something too...so I let her make the cobbler. It was so funny, David had called me from work the other day to tell me about this new, easy way he'd heard of making cobbler. He's telling me you get fruit, then put cake mix on top and then butter and then bake it. I'm like, seriously? I've made that for YEARS! It's called dump cake and it's delicious. Haha, then he said, well call it cobbler and I'll like it more! bwahahaha, what a brat!
Back to the baking, I thought we'd make peach, because David loves peach. So, in between first church and second church, Red One put it together. She was a little miffed that it was so easy, she felt she was beyond that level...lol! She got over it though. 

Red Three also finally lost her first tooth! It's been wiggly for almost two months...I finally said, that thing is coming out today! It was ready and came right out. Then the poor baby lost it again, we never could find it :( I don't know if the dog ate it or what, but it's gone! Oh well, she'll still get a dollar ;)

I had almost forgotten that it was my week to work the nursery at CLG, or second church as we call it...Buddy calls it play church because he gets to go in the Toddler room :) That's why I have to put everything in my phone calendar! I was sad to miss the service though...our senior pastor has been gone the last three weeks, and I always enjoy his preaching! Red One stayed down to help me. She loves babies and they usually love her back! Not this time though...lol. We only had two little ones this week, and I think they were cousins. The one was totally fine, came right in, started playing. The other cried his little eyes out! He would almost stop, then nope, back to being upset. He's usually fine, but what can ya do. I finally had to call his parents to come get him. Then, after he was gone, the other little one starts to get upset and finally starts wailing. He was totally fine, didn't even care that his cousin was crying, but after he left, he didn't like that! Red One tried to play with him and pick him up...he screamed more! It was almost funny...so I called his mom, then had no one left. I didn't want to go upstairs with Buddy for 20 minutes before the service was over, but they had a tv in the nursing room, so I at least caught part of the preaching. I had lots of people asking about David...I love that they remember and care about him! I feel bad, but sometimes I don't even know who they are...but I appreciate the care and prayers immensely. I also talked to our pastor's wife a bit too...she's so lovely!

David had decided not to go to church...just feeling like crap lately! I was hoping that he'd still want to go hang at his dad's house...maybe go shooting...but he wasn't up for it. He said we'd celebrate again next weekend, when he's not taking the chemo, and he'd pick the menu. He wants rib-eye fajitas...cause apparently regular fajitas are for peasants...lol. Anyways, I really didn't want to leave him by himself...but he said he wanted us to go. Guess it's nice having some peace and quiet. But still :( I hate leaving him like that, but if I never went out without him, I don't know if I'd ever leave the house. He's always been a bit of a hermit, but add in chemo and he's just about a recluse! Of course I can't help worrying about him, but I try not to nag too much. He'd probably say it's still to much...haha! And, whatever he needs to do to get through, I want to be supportive. This cycle is definitely much worse! His stomach just doesn't know what to do...and there's nothing I can do to help. That's the worst part. Just sitting by helpless. Ugh.

Anyways, my brother called me right then...I hadn't talked to him in at least a month or so. It was nice to chat. He's a captain in the Army...he's commander of a company, but will have change of command coming up soon, then will be deployed to Kuwait for a year in September. He was deployed to Iraq about 4 years ago (I think). Kuwait should be much better...it's way better than Afghanistan, that's for sure! The girls are already asking me if we'll be sending care packages again...they really enjoyed sending boxes to the "shoulders" as Red Three called them at the time. So get ready for that Uncle Mike! ;) My oldest niece just turned 18 and graduated high school too...which is just shocking! Makes me feel old...I remember meeting her when she was just this tiny, mop of curls 4 year old! She's such a beautiful young lady now. Way to go, Rose! Super proud of you!!!

After I finally got off the phone with Mike (he'll talk your ear off...lol...love ya dude!), I figured we ought to head over to the in-laws. First, the girls gave their presents to Daddy...they had made some artwork at school. They had also picked out a bear claw back-scratcher from Cabelas, some ranch flavored sunflower seeds (took Red One forever to pick the right flavor, lol) and a tactical weapon magazine. At least he had stuff to do while we were gone! Although, I was worried I'd be the new owner of some new gun accessory when I got back...haha. Since the drive is about 45 minutes, I had time to call my dad...but never could get a hold of him :/

As soon as we got there, we threw on some burgers, dogs, and brats (my favorite!) since we were starving! Rachel had picked up some corn too...delicious! Red Three was eating a cob and what do you know, she totally knocked one of her other teeth loose...we didn't even know it was loose. She pulled it out...two in one day! I've been trying to tell her that Toothless is a cool nickname...she doesn't believe me. But she did say it was better than Baby, which is what we always used to call her. My little cutie!

We never did get to the gun range, or even make it to the park. After eating, it was overcast, we kept thinking it might rain...it never did though. We did shoot arrows with Rachel's bow though...that was way fun. The girls loved it! Only downer, we totally lost 2 arrows! Those suckers are crazy hard to find in the woods...even with the neon orange and green feathering. The problem is they slide in horizontally, and with all the leaves, if it goes under, you'll never find them. :/ oh well...it was a blast! My mom even got in on the fun! Plus the hammock was back in order and the fire pit was going...what more could you want? 

I am woman, here me roar! LOL

We not only had the apple pie (which everybody loved and said was better than regular pie, I might add! lol) and the peach cobbler, but Rachel had fixings for strawberry shortcake, plus of course, s'mores! 

Cool heatwaves! 
What a poser...lol

We even put up the tent to check it out...it hadn't been used for a few years. Easy peasy...came together no problem! We really want to go camping this summer, but we still need some supplies (like sleeping bags...haha). Soon though!

And, it would help if David was not in the middle of a chemo cycle! We finally tore ourselves away around 9:00...the girls had school in the morning...still! Can you believe it???? I hate the ridiculously long school year up here...that's my worst complaint with the Northeast...it's insane! Back in Texas school is typically out before Memorial Day...up here, the last day of school this year is the 25th of June...come one, they're not learning anything by that point!!! Anywho, I'm getting sidetracked...lol! What was I talking about...oh yeah, so that was the end of the day. Super fun, relaxing...just hanging out, playing, talking...perfect! The only thing that would have made it better is if David wasn't on stinking chemo, and even though he's a hermit, he would have come and hung out and played too. I always miss him when he's not there for all the activities...I really think that's my least favorite thing about this whole cancer thing. I hate the way it sucks the energy out of him and makes it hard to do the everyday things. But, we get around it...make it work...it's not perfect, but that's life! I still have so much more to be completely grateful about to allow myself to get lost in the things that aren't as great. 

Oh, I almost forgot! On the way home from walking the girls to school this morning, I saw the tiniest frog/toad I've ever seen! Of course, I didn't have my camera, but luckily I had a water bottle I could put it in to get it home. Buddy was thrilled to walk past the road construction going on...we actually passed it twice. He LOVES tractors! Of course, all the guys said hi to him too. ;) Anyways, I did get a couple good shots of the tiny thing when we got home. I've never seen one that small!!!