Monday, December 31, 2012

NYE: Get The Hell Out, 2012

After 1 year of this blog, we've had 16,000 views of the 140 posts. Not bad at all! Who knew my blathering could be so interesting??

My husband is asleep on the other side of the bed. Spencer is asleep between us with his head up in my ribs and his feet on Todd's back. And Sully is asleep in his bassinet, still wearing his "tuxedo". I'm struggling to keep my eyes open while flipping between Pretty Woman, Grown Ups, and American Dad.

It's 10:30p on New Year's Eve.

We were supposed to have our friends and their kids over but sickness smashed those plans. So we ordered a pizza, had a few cocktails, and watched the last 2 Harry Potter movies. But we were struggling so Todd suggested we watched the ball drop (HA) in bed. It were mere minutes before all my dudes were asleep and I'm getting ready to join them. I'm feeling a little bored and lonely, I'm not going to lie. My alarm is set for 11:55p so I can wake up and smooch my loves at midnight.

I'm ready for 2012 to be over (besides the debut of the utterly awesome Sullivan Richard Skywalker, the year, at least the end, was tough on us) but with a biopsy kicking off 2013, I'm really in no rush for next year to start either. Limbo. But maybe we'll get all the rough junk out of the way right off the bat and the rest of the year will be cake. I plan to make the best out of the upcoming year. Every day, you have a second chance. Or some hippie junk like that. But again, I don't want to lie...I don't have much hope for 2013 being an incredibly awesome year or anything. I'm realistic.

I haven't made a resolution in years but I'm making one for 2013 that I have no choice but to stick to: I resolve to try and be a better wife, mother, and student. I think I've done a pretty good job but there's always room for improvement! ALWAYS. No one is perfect. These are the areas that are going to fill the most of my life in 2013 (being a good friend and family member are of course as important as ever) so I want to do the best I can. I need to be the best I can be in all areas, putting my best foot forward and not letting stress cause failure. My husband, kids, and MYSELF need and deserve the best from me. And if 2013 is sucko, at least I can say I tried my hardest to be top notch.

So that's my plan. My plan for tomorrow any way. My plan for now? Following in the footsteps of the dudes in my life. LIGHTS OUT!

Happy New Year, y'all!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Getting To Know You: You're 3 Months Old

Dear Sullivan:

I know I am several days late posting about you being 3 months old, which you turned on Christmas Eve. With a boatload of holiday festivities and an unexpected ER trip for your brother, I was just overwhelmed. But that's no excuse. There were some ups and downs with your 1st X-Mas but the moments that truly mattered we're amazing. You were a great gift this year. You mean so much to me and I don't want you to think that I'm too busy or that you're not worth the time it takes to put a birthday blog together. I would punch a tiger in the face for you so I should be able to whip these up on time.

Bottom line: you are 3 months old! Holy COW!

You are still such a solid dude, growing bigger and stronger every day. You're going to surpass your brother in the weight department the way you're heading! You've got crazy red spikes and strangers are always sneaking a peak at your adorable mug. And you're a total GOOFBALL! Always laughing and chatting, smiling and dancing. You're really funny for being so little. I love the sound of your voice when you babble. You're just a very content little dude.

I don't want to constantly compare you to your brother but you're both so different while having so much in common. You're more rough and rumble but like him, you're also laid back and easy going, totally hilarious and adorable, very independent, yet bonded to mommy and daddy. You're alert and interested and you soak everything in. Daddy calls it "Observation Mode" when Spencer does're following suit. You like being read to, you like when I sing ABC/Twinkle Twinkle just like Spencer, and you LIKE Spencer, and he likes you. I'm so glad that in 3 short months, you guys are already such pals. He lights up when he sees you. Everyone does. You're a dream baby. I'm so very lucky to be your mommy.

But one way that you're different??? You fart like a grown MAN. And when you's epic! EPIC! I've never seen a baby explode quite like you. And you're so HAPPY about it. I think you have a devious, mischievous side of you and it cracks me up. You ooze personality, and sometimes it oozes out of your buns. You're SUCH A BOY!

I've enjoyed every moment of these past 3 months. Especially the little moments like now as you're holding my fingers as I type. I can't wait to see who you become but PLEASE don't grow up too fast! And even if you do, because these 3 months have FLOWN BY, you're going to be my baby boy for life.

I love you, Sully Banana!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Surviving 2012: Barely Making It Out Of The Holiday Season Alive

I'm exhausted from the inside out and I'm definitely experiencing a lot of anxiety. I've been putting off having my prescription filled that my OB/GYN wrote me but it's time to stop putting that off. My heart and stomach are in my throat and I just can't live this way. Not with work, school, and a second biopsy all right around the corner.

Despite my anxiousness, not all of Christmas was a shit show.

Christmas Eve was probably my favorite day of the festivities. There was no pressure. No schedule. The day was laid back and my overworked brain was OFF. We pretty much stayed in our pajamas watching movies with friends and family all day. Goonies, Just Friends, Anchorman, Home Alone...turkey dinner, cocktails, and pie. A short visit from Phoebe (with an Evel Knievel jumpsuit for Sully and Fonzie leather jacket for Spencer) and some picture perfect snowfall just made the day. I wish more days were like that.

After Santa had dropped his loot and we had a few hours alone with Sully on his 1st Christmas, we woke up Spencer and Aiden and started our day. Both my babies were in sweet moods and everyone loved their gifts. It was exactly what I imagined Christmas morning as a mom would be like. But I had anxiety and exhaustion beating me up from head to toe, unfortunately. We went to my sister's for breakfast and then to my mom's par-tay, where another visit from Phoebe temporarily rounded things out for me. Besides a major ass explosion from Sully, both boys were perfection. I'm so happy that they had a good Christmas. It's all I wanted.

When we got home, I had to take a minute to deal with the milk jugs. I'm weaning off the pump and weaning Sully onto formula. It's depressing. I know it's the shift in hormones but I feel like I'm letting him down. When all is said and done, thanks to my frozen supply, he will have gotten the liquid gold for 3.5 months, just like Spencer. And he likes the formula I'm working into his routine. So I need to stop beating myself up about it!! I did the best I could. I probably could keep trying but I don't want to pump at work. It's creepy.

This isn't even really what the story is supposed to be about.

When I came downstairs (after a text saying my boys wanted to see me), I noticed Spencer was holding a little silver bag. I opened it and inside was a frog bead for a Pandora bracelet! I mentioned that I didn't have one and Todd motioned to Sully who also had a silver bag...this one had a fish bead from my little catfish! Then Todd handed me a box that said "Mommy" with the bracelet and 2 beads (an S and a snowflake) inside. It was such a rad surprise!! I'm the last person on the planet who doesn't have one and the way my fellas gave it to me was so cool. It made my night.

Yesterday, it was just me and my little guys and we were stuck at home since it was snowing. Luckily, we had new books, videos, toys, and art supplies to entertain us. I never got out of my pajamas and it was Heaven...besides having a raging headache and a sore throat. I thought about taking Spencer outside for a minute to play in the snow but he was so happy rolling around with his crayons and They Might Be Giants "Here Come The 123s".

So there you have it. Christmas 2012 is over and soon, the year itself will be over. It was a decent year (HELLO SULLY!) up until Spencer's blood count got wacky. And I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a difficult year but I'm going to hold on to hope. Someone somewhere owes us a break and I'm counting on that. I'm too old to run away from home and haven't quite perfected time travel! My next few days are wide open until New Years Eve so I'm going to do my best to relax. I'm not holding my breath on that one as relaxing is no longer my strong suit. And I used to be such a pro!

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas: I Think I'll Skip This One This Year

I spent a majority of the day with Spencer in the Rainbow Babies ER downtown. Not only was it a bummer because something wasn't right with Spencer, but I was really looking forward to today's holiday events. I missed Sully's 1st major holiday party. Maybe he won't remember but I will. And I'll remember that I spent my holiday season worried that my son is starting to show symptoms of Leukemia. I really just want to skip ahead to 2013 which will undoubtedly suck since Spencer is having a second biopsy. I'm not in a good frame of mind.

Spencer had a rash all over his body. Top of his head to his legs and everywhere in between. Rushed him to the UH Urgicare around the corner where his nose started bleeding (woke up with bleeding lips). Rash, bleeding and bruising are some of the main things we need to look for regarding his Leukemia situation so I was terrified. They spoke with the doc-on-call at his clinic and before I knew it, my sister and I were on our way downtown to the ER at Rainbow.

I insisted Todd take Sully to my aunt's house (which I was really looking forward to). This is his first Christmas and everything is about Spencer. Everyone insists he won't remember what happened or who he was with and where...but I will. It's bad enough that I'll remember 2012 as when Spencer was sick. I can't also remember it as the year Sully got screwed out of his 1st Christmas. It's just another thing making me feel like a failure.

Anyway, after 4 or 5 hours, an IV, blood work, and a gown, they determined he does have some of the Leukemia-related rash but that was NOT the bulk. They weren't 100% on what it was but were guessing it was a virus. His blood work showed that his blast count was the same but his platelets had dropped again, from 40 to 39. Since he wasn't in any pain and the bleeding had stopped (and was minimal), we were sent home to follow up at his next clinic appt on January 2nd. I'm guessing this whole ER situation might encourage them to do the second biopsy soon. I'm trapped in a nightmare, I swear. This is by far the worst Christmas Ive ever had.

We rushed home to prep for my immediate family's X-Mas celebration at my house but a dark cloud was over the day. Even though I worked so hard, it felt off. Everyone said they had a good time but I don't know. I was ready to break. This was the day I was looking forward to. The day I felt I could really turn my brain off but instead...Damn. Overall, Spencer was a champ. He was so good and so sweet. He got a Captain America hoodie and he earned it. He's my superhero (Sully got a Hulk rad). I could go on and on about how he doesn't deserve this and how scared I am but I'd just sound like a broken record at this point. My day was ruined but at least Spencer didn't need to be transfused (that was a possibility) or admitted. I guess I should be thankful for any rays of hope.

My heart hurts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Heartbroken: The Holiday Season Goes Up In Flames

I'm heartbroken all over again.

Spencer's blood work last week made a tiny leap forward, as did my hopes, only to plummet at the clinic today. His platelets took a serious nosedive and the abnormal blasts are up to a lousy 3%. While his docs have considered him "stable" for 6 weeks, it's unavoidable. He has to have another bone marrow biopsy.

I haven't cried but I can feel it trapped in my chest. It will come out at the most inconvenient time, I'm sure. I was so happy last month when we got the good news that there was no Leukemia visible after the biopsy. I was able to enjoy Sully's baptism and a weight had been lifted. That weight is so much heavier now and I'm so upset and so angry.

I keep telling myself that the biopsy wasn't nearly as bad as I expected it to be (we were in the room from start to finish) but I still don't want him to go through it again. Maybe he's tough enough to handle it but his mom is feeling a little weak right now. His next appointment is a few days before I go back to work, and that should be when the next biopsy is scheduled. Super. I'll really be able to focus on being back at work.

I was already dreading being separated from my boys. And now my focus is distracted AGAIN from bonding with Sully. Poor little pot roast. All my attention should be on him. I should be enjoying him being a little baby. Before I know it, he'll be grown. I feel SICK thinking about it.

Everything about this makes me sick.

And I was so looking forward to Christmas. Now I wish I could fast forward through it so we can get on with things because I'm done living in limbo. People may tell me not think about it right now but how can I not? This isn't just something to forget about. There's a chance (again) that my son has Leukemia. He's been through enough. We've been through enough. I'm just...angry. I want to take this away from him. It should be me. He has enough on his plate, even if he doesn't know it.

But I have to at least put on a happy face temporarily so I don't miss out on Sully's 1st Christmas. I owe him something wonderful. Those 2 little dudes are the only things I can focus on right now.

I truly hate this.

I will keep you posted at this nightmare continues.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It: Playing Catch Up

It's been awhile since I've blogged so I thought I would pop in and just blather for a minute or two.

I'm currently typing on my new laptop and I love the way the clacking of the keys sounds. I also love that scanning my fingerprints opens certain web pages. So high tech. I feel like I'm part of that company in Terminator 2 that was responsible for the Apocalypse, but less threatening of course. I'm taking 3 classes in January (Intermediate Algebra, A&P 1, and Intro To Inorganic Chem, if I hadn't already bored you enough about school) and they're all online so it was time to upgrade. And speaking of school, I just completed my final exam and went into it with an A so I feel pretty solid. I worked hard and didn't bail so...pat pat (right on my back).

What else can I catch you up on?

This isn't important at all but in under a year we've had 15,000 views. Awesome.

Actually important are my boys, one of whom...a red-head with a natural asleep in my lap as I'm blogging. Sully is really amazing. I have the two sweetest little fellas...if I would've started breeding earlier, I would have a boatload of these guys. Sully's personality is bursting out more and more every day. He's been eating like a champ and rolled over a few days ago. He and Spencer adore each other. It's really incredible to watch them together. And Spencer's doing great, too. He's been crawling, army style, all over this place and getting stronger day-by-day. He's working on his 3rd and 4th tooth and handling that nonsense like a pro. He's a tuff dude.

His blood work this week was promising. While his white blood cells and platelets are still low, they're better than they were last week. I'm hoping the numbers keep going up because we need to establish a pattern and this is the pattern we want. Not sure how many abnormal cells are in his blood because that's only screened when we go downtown so we'll have to wait until next week. My little four-eyes also had a good appointment at the Ophthalmologist. He said everything looked fantastic and to just keep doing what we're doing...which is basically putting his glasses on in the morning and taking them off at night. Cake.

Mmmmmm, cake would be good right now.

I have 3 weeks left in my maternity leave and I feel sicker and sicker as the days go by. I hate saying this but it was much easier to go back to work after Spencer was born. Yes, I missed him like crazy but things were so stressful after his birth that it was good to have a break. I was forced to do something else besides dwell on things. But now I just want to be with my little dudes. I can't imagine what that first day back is going to be like. Yesterday was the work Christmas party and even though I've worked there for 5 years, I felt so out of place. I can't let my panic ruin these last few weeks. It's going to be hard. I know I've been rattling on and on about this work thing a lot. But I have to vent so I don't implode.

So that's school, my boys, work...

I've also managed to have some fun. Todd and I have been watching a lot of movies and just hanging out, doing family shtuff and getting ready for holiday festivities. I'm really excited about Christmas but I'm not even close to ready. Luckily, I've been able to de-stress during some time with my favorite gal pals, especially Phoebe and Carol. Tomorrow Phoebe and I are going to IKEA and I'm equally as excited about the drive and chatter as I am about picking up a dining room table (you know you're getting older when you're excited about furniture and appliances and such). Good times.

I don't want to switch from a fun topic to something so miserably sad but that shooting in Connecticut just makes me sick. Ever since I became a parent, I can't help but immediately think of Spencer and Sullivan when bad things happen to young children. If ANYTHING like this happened to just makes me ill. What is wrong with people? How could you shoot up a bunch of LITTLE KIDS? I can't keep thinking about it. I shouldn't even leave this paragraph because if I re-read it, it'll just make me feel horrible all over again. I truly feel for the families. I can't imagine how they'll be able to sleep tonight. I wouldn't want to wake up without Spence and Sully, I know that for sure.

I think I'm going to go snuggle my little Pork Chop.

(Thinking about snuggling an actual pork chop made me both smile and feel a little gross).

I'll try and get back in the regular blogging swing. Promise.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Square One: Taking a Few Steps Backwards

Getting right to the point...

Spencer, ear infection and all, and I went downtown to his clinic yesterday. He's up to 19 pounds 2 ounces (Sully isn't far behind), no fever, good blood pressure. But his blood work wasn't great. Not horrible but not what we want.

Both his platelets and infection-fighting white blood cells have dropped and the blasts are still showing up. The good news, the only real good news, is that there aren't more. The percentage has stayed the same. But they're still there, numbers are still dropping, and we still don't officially know what's going on. These results aren't something you can ignore.

So for now, he just keeps having weekly blood work so we can "connect some dots". We need to see a trend whether it be everything getting worse or everything getting better. We can't stay in limbo. But luckily, the upside to going every week is that they will catch anything they might need to SO EARLY. His doc said they may have done the bone marrow biopsy too early but they didn't want to miss anything. This means there could possibly be a repeat biopsy in a few weeks or after the holidays.

We're back at square one.

He didn't cry when they took his blood. He hasn't been lately. His doc said its sad when kids get used to all of this. It's not something you want them to get used to. Not something they should have to get used to. But it's better than holding my son while he's screaming because they can't find his veins. Still, I would trade anything for him not to go through this. And for us not to be at this weird in between point. I want it to resolve but have a funny feeling it's not heading that way. Like they're waiting for the Leukemia to develop.

But I was wrong before. Happily wrong!

He can have his flu shot booster but no more vaccines until his Oncology/Hematology doc gives the green light to his Pediatrician. We need to keep him germ free. And I want to keep him happy, which isn't hard to do. He's the happiest, goofiest boy I've ever known
and I love that about him. I love that he's still unaffected after over a year of this garbage. Todd and I are plenty affected. No need for him to be.

I spent a lot of yesterday upset. I shouldn't assume the worst but I hate being back at square one. Spencer is staying home from the sitter today due to his ear infection (his 1st, went 16 months without being "sick") and I know hanging with both of my boys will make me feel at least a little better. And speaking of my boyS...

Sullivan had his first vaccines this week and handled them like a trooper. He's 12 pounds 6 ounces and 24" long. His doc said he's TALL. 90th percentile. And 75th percentile for weight. He's a sturdy dude and is looking great! But did you know it's normal for a kid on boob milk to not boob for 11-14 DAYS??? And that leads to what I call "an unavoidable ass explosion". I'd feel bad for him if he hadn't actually seemed to be enjoying himself being all poo'd up! And I mean POO'D UP! To his NECK! It was both disgusting and hilarious. I'm totally in love with my little bruiser. Especially now that he's smiling and laughing like a maniac. My heart melts.

But does Sully lose out during all of this? He is also my top priority. He's NOT just a "speaking of". Not at all.

So there you have it. A bunch of drama for the holidays. Still hoping for a resolution so we can get on with our lives. I don't want this mess to be what defines us. I'm tired of it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Yap Yap Yap: Can't Come Up With a Title

1. It's 4:00am and the only light in the room is the TV, which is only on so I can pump. I glanced down at Sully's bassinet (yes, he's still kicking it in our room because he's not sleeping through the night), and he's awake. He's not making any noise, but he's doing these little dance moves and smiling so big! I want to go scoop him up but I also want him to go back to sleep. Sigh. *I just sneezed and he got scared and yelped, poor dude.

2. Speaking of pumping, which I think I me mentioned up there, I am so very over it. I know it's the best for him but I can't wait to be done. My goal was 4 months (January 24th) since that's what I did for Spencer but 3 months is looking more and more enticing. I have a nice frozen supply so maybe I'll start weaning off the pump when I go back to work. Decisions.

3. And speaking of Spencer, he has physical and speech therapy in a few hours. Per usual, I've got my tentacles crossed for a good report. He's made so much progress that I can't imagine they'd have anything negative to say.

4. Taking my last Intensified Algebra quiz today. My final exam is next week and again, my tentacles are crossed but this time, it's so I get an A in the class. I want it so badly. I worked hard. Spring semester, I'm registered for 3 online classes: Intermediate Algebra, A&P 1 (took it years ago, brushing up), and Intro to Inorganic Chem. I have to carry a heavy load to get into Kent's nursing program for fall. I'd be lying if I wasn't a little stressed.

5. A major source of above mentioned stress has to do with work and when I will no longer be employed and receiving a steady paycheck. We knew all along that I wouldn't be working once the nursing program began because I'm going to be in the accelerated BSN program (12 months). It's like a full time job. But during summer semester, I'm taking 3 classes (2 on campus) with labs in less weeks! So it's looking like I'll stop working at the end of May. That's not a lot of time to save money.

So I'm stressing. But if I kept working, going to school/homework, and being mom, school would suffer. And then what's the point? I want to do this RIGHT. And let me point out that I KNOW people go to school AND work but this program is hardcore. I won't half-ass it and I won't half-ass being a parent. I want to be in school when my boys are little and don't remember. It'll be hard. Belts will be tight. But we can do it. And in the end, I'll have a career and I'll be proud of it. And if myself!'s stressful and I don't handle stress as well as you'd think I would by now.

6. I'm so excited about Christmas! It's a holiday I used to not be so hip on but I love it now that I'm a mom. I like all the stuff we have planned and that this year, we get X-Mas Eve to ourselves to do whatever we want (and we want a turkey dinner and holiday movies). The whole holiday she-bang kicks off next weekend with our traditional Cookie Day. Good times.

7. Yesterday was Phoebe and Ryan's 3rd wedding anniversary. I officiated the event. I just want to congratulate them. Marriage is hard any way and they had a shit storm to get through (namely CANCER, which I despise and hurts people I love). It only made them stronger. Happy Anniversary, kids. And may the next year just be easy breezy for you. Tropical umbrella drinks and sunny days, you know?

8. I bought a copy of Hunger Games, the book. I love reading and haven't done much recently outside of US Magazine. The Hunger Games series will be an easy start as I work my way up to those 1,000 page Game Of Thrones books. I need to do some preparation so my eyeballs don't bleed. Gross.

9. Talking about Hunger Games reminds me that I need to see Breaking Dawn 2 again. So flipping GOOD.

10. Spencer has to have blood work every week for the foreseeable future. We go to the cancer center this week for the big work up, around the corner from our house for a quick blood draw next, and back and forth. Basically, since the blasts are still there but the rest of his blood stuff has been stable, they're waiting for everything to resolve or Leukemia to develop. It's terrifying and exhausting. But we've got to do what we've got to do. No corners will be cut when it comes to my sons. Period. Those blasts should be scared of me and take a hike if they know what's best...