Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Heavy hearted...

Many of you may have read other blog posts from me about my friend Eric who is suffering (and has been for 10 years) from Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Well, this afternoon I logged onto Facebook and saw an update from L.I.F.E with a link to a video titled "Eric's Confession Final".

I guess I should have followed my gut instinct and NOT watched it at work. And if you're going to click on that link, be sure you have a box of Kleenex. I couldn't even make it through the whole thing.

For those not willing to put yourself through that, the long and short of it is that Eric is terminal. So much so that they've begun hospice care for him at his parents' house. He's in agony and I can only hope that they can do anything to make his remaining time here as comfortable as they can.

You know, as if cancer isn't bad enough-eating away at your body and virtually sucking the life out of you-the treatments are just as bad. They ruin your appetite. You're unable to eat or keep anything down. You lose way more weight than is healthy. But then, when the cancer finally wins, it can't even let you go with any kind of mercy. It's almost always painful...and not just a little, either.

So we will shed our tears and mourn for someone who will be leaving this world far sooner than he should. But we need to soldier on for the cause. We need to keep fighting, even when Eric isn't physically here to lead the charge. He will be with us in spirit-cheering us on as we cheered him on during his long and courageous fight. We will keep fighting so that maybe, some day, someone won't have to suffer the same fate. Some day we will find a cure and in the meantime we keep finding ways to prolong the lives of people who are cursed with this terrible disease so that maybe they will live long enough to find a cure.

One of the items on Eric's Bucket List is for as many people as possible to sign up for the National Bone Marrow Registry. I've already done it, but I will continue to promote the cause, not just for Eric, but for the people who wouldn't live if it weren't for people like me, who aren't afraid to put themselves out there so that someone else can benefit.

Life is way too short. Never take it for granted. Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you everyday and live each moment like it could be your last because it very well could be.

Eric, you're an inspiration to a great many people. You're a true warrior who never accepted an answer you didn't want. When the doctors told you that you only had months to live you proved them all wrong. You became an exception rather than the rule. Those of us who will stay behind will share your story and you will truly never be forgotten. And hopefully your suffering will not have been for nothing. Someday everything you went through will pay off and we will find a cure for this awful disease.

We love you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Clara's 20 & 21 month survey...just to catch her up.

Monthly Survey

  1. How old? 21 months
  2. Doctor’s appointments?: Her next check-up is at 2 years on November 7.
  3. Stats:
    1. Weight: 29.8lbs
    2. Height: 35.5 inches
    3. Clothes size: 2T or 3T (or even some 4T) depending on brands. She’s up to a 7.5-8 in shoes already!
    4. Diaper size: We moved up to a 6 for both regular and overnight diapers.
    5. Hair color: Blonde and thick...but really pretty. :)
    6. Anything else? She jumps now! She went from attempting to full-out doing in a matter of days. Now it’s one of her favorite things to do…and of course she has to narrate (Jump! Jump!).
  4. Milestones:
    1. Teething: I can’t see for sure because she doesn’t let me, but I think the bottom 2 molars are in now.
    2. Talking: She's putting together short sentences now. She had been experimenting with it over the last month but has really picked it up.
      1. New words: chin, shoe, bed, milk, juice, fork, oops, mouse, train, and her all time favorite: okay.
    3. Anything else? We converted her crib to a toddler bed and tonight is the first night in it (7/19/12). She knows the entire alphabet and the sounds each letter makes, she knows a bunch of numbers and can do a little counting, and she knows most of her colors. She asks to go to bed but hasn’t yet fallen asleep in her bed; we still rock her. We’ve also managed to eliminate the bottle completely. Now she just takes a small sippy while sitting on Daddy’s lap before rocking to sleep.
  5. Things she likes:
    1. Toys: her big green ball and climbing on anything.
    2. Books: She has been getting back into books again. I think she likes that she can say what the characters are (ie: mouse).
    3. Songs: Alphabet song, If You're Happy & You Know It. She sings along with a lot of songs. She even has the songs in her LeapFrog shows memorized and can sing along.
    4. TV Shows/Movies: SuperWhy, Sesame Street, Dinosaur Train, and her LeapFrog shows.
    5. Other Activities: We got her back into swimming. Adam takes her and I go along with Sam on the nights that I'm off. She really loves it! She cries when it's time to leave.
  6. Things she dislikes: Eating.
  7. Sleeping: Good most nights, even with the transition to her big girl bed. She still wakes up sometimes with nightmares, though…and has a hard time going back to sleep afterward.
  8. Eating: Apparently we've hit the phase of toddler-hood where she has given up wanting to eat. It's a fight just to get her to eat a couple bites sometimes.
    1. Favorite Foods: Anything if it can be dipped in something else. :)
    2. Not so Favorites:
  9. Nicknames: Nothing new from last month.
  10. Things we’re looking forward to next month: Visiting Nama & Grandpa at their cottage and maybe going to Washington Island.
21 months old!!

I unfortunately only have one picture for this month because I'm SUPER disorganized lately!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sam's 4 month survey

Monthly Survey

1.       How old is baby? 4 months!

2.       Doctor’s appointments?: His next one is scheduled for August 2nd.

3.       Stats:

a.       Weight: 15lbs 8oz

b.      Height: 26 inches

c.       Clothes size: Anywhere from 3-9 months depending on the brand.

d.      Diaper size: Huggies size 2...possibly moving up to a 3 soon.

e.      Hair color: Turning red!!!

f.        Anything else? He has the most amazing blue eyes! They've got a really neat pattern. :)

4.       Milestones:

a.       Verbal skills: He loves to talk! He's even starting to explore different sounds that he can make.

b.      Teething: He's drooling like a fountain and his gums are swelling. I can feel a little bit of something on the bottom, too, but can't quite see them yet.

c.       Rolling: He can roll from his tummy to his back and just today (7/19/12) he rolled from his back to his tummy!

d.      Crawling: He can scoot pretty far if he has something to push off of with his feet.

e.      Anything else? He can zero in on something he wants to play with and then bring it to his mouth.

5.       Things he likes: He likes to stand on laps, he likes to sit up to look around. He likes playing on his play mat. He can actually turn himself 180 degrees! He also just moved up to his jumper, which he really likes! He even figured out how to play with most of the stuff on there. His hand/eye coordination is pretty amazing!

6.       Things he dislikes: His car seat and tummy time.

7.       Sleeping: He's still sleeping through the night. He goes to bed around 7-7:30 and sleeps until around 6am. He occasionally still wakes up for a feed around 4-5am, but will usually go back to bed.

8.       Eating: He will drink a 5oz bottle of breast milk about 4 times a day while I'm at work and then I nurse when I'm home. If I'm home he'll occasionally get a bottle of breast milk, but otherwise I just nurse. We're going to be increasing the amount of milk he's been taking in in an effort to keep him from getting hungry every 2 hours during the day, but he's still sleeping through the night for now, so we're going to hold off on cereal until closer to 6 months.

9.       Nicknames:

10.   Things we’re looking forward to next month: We’ll be making a visit to Nama & Grandpa’s cottage for a day, but other than that August is pretty quiet.

11.   How I like motherhood:

a.       Likes: Seeing the interaction between my two kids. Sam loves to watch Clara and Clara just loves Sam to bits. She says hi to him and gives him kisses all the time.

b.      Dislikes: It’s still a struggle some days. And I know it will b e until the day I die, but it’s worth it. I just need to remember to take a few minutes for myself once in a while. If that means getting a little less sleep I guess that’s what it’s going to take.

Sleepy Brewer fan

Smiley guy

Hanging out in the jumper


Mommy, stop taking my picture!