- I realized I haven't updated about my dad for a while. During the 2nd procedure on his skin they took a couple lymph nodes to be tested and they learned the cancer had spread to at least one lymph node. (As I type this I think I may have already told about that part.) But anyway, he he opted to have another surgery to have all they lymph nodes in that area (arm/shoulder etc.) removed. The surgery went well and the results came back a few days later that he's all clear and cancer free!
- This past spring I posted a couple of times about Atticus Hansen. A 4 year old who had a short but very challenging fight with an extremely aggressive cancer in his brain. He passed away almost 7 months ago and I've stayed in touch with his mom, mostly through facebook. Atticus would be turning 5 on December 17th and his aunt sent out a request to all family and friends to send a birthday card to the family to help them through that hard day. I had to run to the store a couple days ago for something and was on a tight time schedule. I remembered about this and ran to the card section to grab a birthday card. Fast forward 30 minutes. I'm standing in front of the cards, wiping away tears and wondering, "Why are all the birthday cards so happy??" Honestly, when I think about them, I don't even know how they're functioning. It still breaks my heart, and I've never even met them in person.
- I hate cancer and I'm terrified of it. Just over two years ago, my in-laws' massage therapist was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, I believe it was ovarian. I'd met her a couple times for massages, but didn't know her well. Monica, who I get a massage from every week, is really good friends with Maurine and has updated me often. It just kept spreading and getting worse and worse. About 3 weeks ago, Maurine was put on hospice care, and my father in law went over to do funeral pre-arrangements with she and her husband. I'd thought of taking them dinner, but Monica told me that Maurine often didn't even know who people were that came to visit, even people she knew really well. So I knew she wouldn't have any idea who I was. And also, I'm sure I would have just stood there and cried. And the last thing that family needed was to try and comfort a stranger who was having a melt down in their home. So I cooked dinner and dropped it off at Monica's and she took it over for me. Maurine turned 40 a week ago today and on Thursday night she passed away at home. Leaving behind a husband and two young girls. I have a lot of questions that I hope to someday ask God. But right at the top of my list is: What could possibly be more important for a mom to do than raise her babies? I'm hoping it'll someday make sense, but right now, it doesn't.
Moving on to something happier...
2. The hustle and bustle of the holidays.
- I remember as a kid having a felt board nativity scene that was our advent calendar. Every day we took turns adding a piece. We were always so excited to get up on the morning that it was our turn to add the piece. And none of us ever forgot. Now I have countdown blocks, an activity-a-day countdown, and my MIL gave each of the kids a Santa with a treat behind each card board door. The blocks still say 22 days til Christmas, we've been 6 days behind on activities- twice. Doesn't sound possible being only 10 days in? Oh, it's possible. And the kids have taken one treat out of 10 from the Santa box. How do the days fly by!?! I'm sure when they're older, the kids will be quick to keep up, but right now, I just can't do it.
- I've spent quite a bit of time on Addie's play kitchen and I'm so happy with how it's looking. (pictures soon) I say it's Addie's, but I know Garrett will be way more into it. He's constantly by my side or on his helper stool in the kitchen. And the past couple days he's been bringing me one of Addie's tea party trays with a race car on it and telling me it's cake. Then he tries to put it in the oven. I'm thinking we'll be spending a lot of time doing all kinds of pretend cooking and eating.
- Speaking of gifts for the kids. Last year I saw an idea floating around pinterest about how to give gifts to your children. The idea was: 4 gifts- Something they want. Something they need. Something they wear. Something they read. I love this idea and I really hope to stick to it in the years to come. The hard part for me is that I love to shop and I think of one thing but then a bunch of little things that go with it. Like, a play kitchen...and an apron...and pans...and play food...and dishes... ya know? So we'll see how I do. There are a couple things I want to add to the list. Something handmade. And I also want each member of the family to think of an activity they enjoy that the whole family can do together. I realize that Paul and I will probably always foot the bill on this one, but that's fine if everyone gets involved. Like, if Garrett loves bowling, I'll take him to get a bowling alley gift card and then he can wrap it or write up his family fun plan. Or like a sunset hike and dinner at a favorite restaurant We'll go buy the restaurant gift card and then whoever came up with that plan will write up the details for the activity and wrap it. Then on Christmas every family member will open another's activity plan. Then we'll have 4 pre-paid things to do as a family sometime that year. I just tried to reread that...I think you get my point. We'll probably start that one next year when the kids can start being more involved.
3. Kids...My kids are exhausting me these days.
- Addie is teething, probably. Her first tooth came just a couple weeks before her 1st birthday and it was a long and painful process. Not eating...waking up moaning...drool...diaper rash...(who knows if they're related, but apparently Paul had diaper rash only when he was teething and that's the only time Addie's had it too)... Then right after her birthday 3 more teeth cut through at the same time, effortlessly.
- Both kids have colds right now. This is only Addie's second cold ever and I hate it. I even took them to the doctor today because they both get so frustrated during coughing spells that it leads to crying, which leads to throwing up. But it's not the flu. The doc just said to try and keep them from getting so worked up when they're coughing. I've been doing laundry around the clock for over 24 hours. The only good part is that they are both so snuggly, which is out of the norm, so I guess I'll take it when I can get it. But I hope they get better soon.
- I just realized how tired I am. And also, that I haven't heard any coughing through the monitors for a couple of hours, so I'm going to bed.