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!