Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tantrums and Another Surgery

Life has been busy around here.  

Brody had his ENT appointment last week.  He is scheduled to have tubes placed January 13th.  Oh just another surgery within our little family.  This will help with all these doctor appointment we have had to go to, and more importantly, make the little guy feel better.  His left ear has been much worse and very retracted.  When measuring pressure, it didn't change at all.  He is hearing a muffled noise there, and the surgery should really help his speech.  Mason had tubes and adenoids removed.  Brody is just having tubes, and surgery is much easier.  It helps that Mason had this and it was easy easy on him.  



I was able to go with John to chemo while I was off for Christmas.  There won't be many I can go to, so I wanted to tag along.  I may have fallen asleep in one of those comfortable chairs on this particular day.  They were very slow so the nurses told me to prop my feet up and enjoy the quiet time. 


I can't say enough how awesome our friends are.  They say when things like this happen, your true friends shine.  I cannot think of a single person that hasn't worried or cared.  We have an army of people praying for us and offering up all kinds of help with the kids, laundry, grocery shopping, taking down Christmas decor, etc.  

Our friends have put together a meal train online where people sign up to bring food.  We are covered for the month of January basically.  It's unreal.  We are so so blessed with amazing people in our life.  

Jessica brought us dinner again and it was delicious.  Im having to jot down some of these recipes (esp. the cheese grits/sausage breakfast casserole...OMG it was amazing).  You can tell in these pictures the kids loved it too.  

Chocolate all over the face.  


Another morning of chemo, so I took the boys to my mom's house.  Good thing she takes vacation between Christmas and New Year's...not much of a vacation though!  

Brody giving Mason morning kisses.


Brody has decided he likes superheroes just as much as big brother.  He totally stole these guys from Mason and slept with them all night.  


Taking chemo through the veins is not fun for the veins.  This was after only two doses...he's had two more since then. 

Another day down.  


Our kids decided to get sick right before Christmas.  Colds this time of year are no fun.  I knew Mason didn't feel well when I found him passed out upstairs just watching TV. 

Not only have they been sick, Brody has turned into a whole new child.  He has been throwing the biggest tantrums!!  Obviously, a lot has been going on; and honestly, Brody has done worse than Mason with all the changes.  He has developed some serious separation anxiety on top of this new personality.  Here he is just climbing out of his high chair....  
I actually worked yesterday and he had to go to Mrs. Pat's house.  I dropped him off and told her I expected to pick up my sweet baby when I returned....which did NOT happen.  I do think things will get better with the kids once everyone is back to work, school, and daycare.  A little routine goes a looooong way.  



Will and Catey stopped by Sunday night with a big dish of baked ziti, salad, bread, and apple pies. Yummy.  We also got to see Baby Lawson which was an extra bonus.  


I went on and bought a dry erase calendar for the refrigerator.  This is what our lives have turned to.  I feel much better being organized and having everyone else know whats going on (aka John).  =)


Sweet little boy in one of his new outfits.


We had some snow flurries yesterday.  Mason was with my mom and I told her to make sure he saw it, even if it was just a bit.  He woke up pretty disappointed Christmas morning.  He was under the impression it would snow Christmas Day.  (I guess because of Santa)  He was happy to see the snow but did say to my mom, "It's Christmas!"  I think he is still confused about the snow.


As I am typing, John is in surgery to have his port a cath placed.  They called late yesterday and scheduled it for early this morning.  I know most people wouldn't be excited to have surgery on New Year's Eve, but we are ready for the port a cath.  It will be so much easier on him.


We have a big day because after the surgery, he is headed to Dr. Week's office for his last dose of chemo for this first cycle (and they will be able to deliver it through the port a cath!!!).  We are so thankful to have started the chemo earlier than originally planned.  I just can't imagine not starting yet.

He has done okay with the chemo, but it has been a little harder on him than we originally thought.  He feels pretty good while getting the chemo and can eat well after his treatment, but the days following are not as pleasant.  Turns out, having so many breaks in his treatment because of Christmas and the weekend, wasn't as easy on him as if he had gotten it five days in a row.

So Christmas and then this past weekend, he did not feel good.  He will get a little nauseas and dizzy, but the worst part is his whole body is achy and hurting, almost like he has the flu.  He feels so bad that it is hard to eat anything.  The nurse yesterday told him if he isn't throwing up, he is doing pretty good.  I was hoping there was a magic pill he could take.  =)

Robert took him to his treatment yesterday and said about half way through, he was like a whole new person.  The fluids really help.  We are going to work on him drinking even more water.  I'm hoping in a few of days, he will start feeling better and can enjoy a couple of weeks off chemo, get back to work, and feel a little more "normal".   And also get that appetite back up so he can put on more weight.  He weighs less than Robert...that is a first.  Seriously.  He weighed more than Robert when he was born.

Once he feels better after this cycle of chemo/ chemo recovery, we are going to see where we are at with the back pain.  I think it has really improved, but it's hard to tell.  I would never want to have him try to go without pain meds while he is feeling so bad.  I'm hoping we will be able to throw those pills away in about a week!  =)

Can't wait for a HEALTHY and new year!  I feel sure 2014 will be great!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas with the Fam

We have had a busy, yet fun, weekend!  We started off with Christmas with the Browers' Saturday.  We had originally planned on doing both of our family Christmas' at our house prior to this hiccup in the road.  John decided it would be easier on him to still have them at our house.  He could go to his own bed and sleep if he needed, but he also thought it would be easier on me with the kids being in their own home.  I totally agreed.  

Before everyone arrived.  Mason had his pirate gear on...although he said he was a ninja turtle.  


Reese blessed our food. 
 


The spread.  It was probably a little harder on Mrs. Judy because she cooked most of the food and had to bring it over to our house.  It was all so good!


We brought a table out for the kids.  Brody got to sit up there like a big boy.  


These two were waiting patiently to open presents. 


Reese found our gift to her and thought it was shaped like a guitar.  She asked Mason a thousand times to tell her what it was.  In this picture she is saying "tell me" and he is saying "noooooo".  Well after all the waiting...he gave in a told her it was a guitar.  Guess I know who not to tell anything to anymore!


Grandma Reba and Papaw Bill.


Griffin and Brody.  


Let the madness begin.


And it's a pink guitar. 

She's a little hipster. 


All five of these kiddos sitting still.  It may have taken a lot of high pitched squeals, singing, and skittles.  But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.




Best friends one minute...

Fighting the next.  =)


This was the best we could do.  Robert (as well as the kids) refused to look at the camera...


It really was a fun day.  The kids had a great time.  Reese and Mason do so well playing together.  I can only imagine what it will be like with all three of these little boys growing up together.  I'm sure just a little more wild and a little more fun.  =)    


****************


We had Christmas brunch this morning with my family.  You just can't go wrong with brunch food.  


This little one has gotten a lot more "toddlerish" this long weekend...I can already see what our future holds.  Here is is sneaking up to the presents...all the while knowing he should not be touching them. 

Mickey Mouse and Mason.




He patiently waited to open presents until everyone had theirs.  Such a sweet, sweet boy.  


Sean and Lisa got John a helicopter.  He's been playing with it ever since. 

Mamaw opening up gifts.  

 Sean and Mason having a great conversation about who knows what.  


Family pic.  The last of our Christmas gatherings.  


Even with a cold, he can still enjoy some chocolate pie.  


We gave our parents and Robert and Becca a bottle of "Fat Bastard" for Christmas.  There was a card along with it that stated not to drink the wine until they got a call from us saying John beat that "fat bastard".  I'm ready to drink it, so he needs to hurry up.  =)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Eve and Day


Just like every year, this Christmas post will be long and full of pictures.

I actually went back to work Christmas Eve.  We only had a half day scheduled, but I needed to work.  I had been off six days in a row.  Brody went on to Pat's house and Mrs. Judy and Mr. Larry were able to watch Mason.  John decided last minute for them to watch him at our house.  He thought the company would be nice.

I was very thankful they came over because a neighbor had invited Mason to come over that morning to decorate cookies for Santa.  Since we moved in about the time it started getting darker earlier outside, we haven't really been able to spend as much time with the neighborhood kids as we would like.  He had so much fun and was very proud of his work.  (I was happy he made them, unfortunately, cookies for Santa has been the last thing on my mind)  



Another one bites the dust.  Mr.  Larry shaved his head while they were over.  



Ever since I was a little girl, my parents have wrapped up Christmas jammies with a note "Open on Christmas Eve".  That tradition continues with our little guys.  We usually go to my parents on Christmas Eve, but we stayed home to rest.  They came in with the gifts and Mason was so excited...obviously he forgot it would be clothes.  =)


This little guy didn't mind.  He was thrilled. 


I am telling you, Brody is going to be our little trouble maker.  He is so quiet, but I think he is just thinking of his next plan.  This weekend he really started showing us what's to come with tantrums.  Can't wait. 


And then there's this...I don't know how this happens.  That is one giant belly.  


But he is oh so cute.  


Once the kids were down, "Santa" began playing with the toys. 

Superhero figures and a pirate toy.  That's all Mason ever said he wanted.  This was a very fun, yet easy age.  Brody didn't care a thing about it of course, but has just wanted whatever Mason is playing with all week.  




Mason woke up first and came to get us.  We all woke up Brody (Mason was yelling, "Brody, Santa came!  Wake up!") and headed downstairs. 



He loves Elmo.

"It is just what I wanted!"


I found this Umizoomi toy last minute and Brody LOVES the thing.  It sings one of their songs pretty LOUD and dances.  Hasn't left his side. 


Eating the rest of Santa's cookie...this kid loves sweets. 


Time to open our gifts.  John and I didn't do too much for each other this year, but Mason found a pair of Batman pjs in the Target ad on Thanksgiving and begged me to get them for his Daddy.  I kept telling John Mason picked out something all on his own for him.  I think he approved. 

Happiest kid ever. 


Next, we always head to Mickey Mouse and Pops' house (in our pjs) to open gifts.  


Pops got Mason 70 Hot Wheels cars...just what we needed.  



Looks like a tornado came through. 


Another tradition...sausage balls.  


Such a cute picture. (notice Mason is holding up his Batman figure)



He has played with the figures nonstop.  Thats really all he wanted and thats all he has cared about.  


It is almost impossible to get a good family picture these days.  









My Dad had asked Mrs. Peggy to bring her clippers so she could shave his head.  I'm not gonna lie, I was so nervous...but it turned out so good!  I think he should keep it like that.  Who knew his hair was so long?!



Then TJ and Daniel had her do theirs also.  I know John is so appreciative of all these kind gestures.  He is so loved. 


We ran over to Mrs. Connie and Mr. Jimbo to exchange gifts with Brinkley.  Check out these awesome hats.  I had never seen them before and I love them!!!  You squeeze and the ears flop up.  


Haha


We have spent many Christmas' taking pictures in front of this tree and will have many more!!!  There's nothing like a sister-cousin. 



It was a very fun, but long day.  John did really well but definitely wore himself out.  We are having his family's Christmas Saturday at our house and then my family will be over for Sunday brunch.   I think he will do better in his own home, and if he gets tired or needs to rest, he can.