Tuesday, August 26, 2014

first day of school 2014.

the last time that i took official FDOS photos of reese was 2012. she was starting the 2's class mdo. she had a pink sparkly backpack, an adorable lunch box, and a huge giggly grin. she would go on and off for a month, being sent home for random vomiting. the entire month of october, basically, she would miss. then i went up to the school and said that i was probably going to withdraw her til the next january bc i just didnt feel as if things were okay.

then that photo would be the photo. it was the face of reese and her fight. it was her #gingerfight photo. it was on headers and pray chains and shared by hundreds of people. her last FDOS photo, before monday, was the "before". it exemplified the happy little box of normalcy that i thought we lived in.

reese 2012 FDOS5

so if that was the before, then this is the after.

at least right now. and i'll take it.

FDOS 20143

aidan is now in 2nd grade and sawyer in 1st. to have a second grader seems very old. she has a planner in her school binder - something big kids have. aidan and sawyer take the bus home. they dont need me to wait at the bus stop, but i do. i told them 100 times "make sure your sister is always on the bus or don't let it leave!!"

monday was hard to organize. i had to get reese to school the same time as A and S. and while EJ could have done the big girls, aidan protested "but you always take us the first day..." and so i did.

but first we took photos. of course.

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foxy obviously was going, too. reese's laylee was in her backpack and then foxy by her side.

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and off to school we went.

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i wrote on facebook a bit about that last photo - i was focusing on reese. i wanted to get her reaction to leaving her sisters, but instead i got so much more. aidan, my sweet big girl, so sad to leave reese. what a treat to find on my card.

we said goodbye and headed to reese's school. and got a warm welcome from friends.

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...and then she waved goodbye and was at school til 2pm ::faint:: (MWF she is full day. T/Th she is half).

to think that next year she will be going to kindergarten makes my heart skip a beat.

next week, miller starts mdo - and then for 2 days a week, itll just be me and corbin.

no one knows what the future will bring. but, then again, i didnt know what the future was going to bring in 2012 and still lived life day to day.

scans are coming soon. mid september. im caught between anxious and confident - like always.

i hope this is the lull. i hope this is down the mountain to a happy plateau. i hope that this is where we embrace our new normal. a better normal, because we have lived the worst.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

growing up.

this is a busy week. we had reese's teachers come over on monday to visit before school. ive never seen her giggle for that long. literally the whole time they were here. tuesday was "meet the teacher" for her - which meant we brought supplies in and said hello. she got the warmest welcome as she pushed that walker through the door. she had on fake purple glasses, a top knot headband, her rainbow shirt, and cut off lace shorts. just so her. and when i remembered that these are the things she picked out. the ensemble she put together, i realized how much she has grown up.


sunday night i said to EJ, "i bet she has a fever. i can tell." he rolled his eyes, got the thermometer, then made the "damn, you're right" face lol


not even a fever for most, but reese's natural temperature is lower than most (tumor location, mainly), and i didnt want it to possibly go higher and us have to leave for the ER even later than it was. she responds like normal - "can we go to the dr to get you some med meds?" "yah. but not my port!"


she walks in w me using her walker. no stroller. i don't carry her. i carry my sonic drink - because we obviously stopped for cheese-cheese before we got there ;)

it was a longer night than i expected. i knew that the fever was just something going around our house - i mean, sawyer had a fever only days before. and since then, actually, miller had up to 102.5 and aidan had a low-grade fever. it is just what was floating around here. she sticks her arm out for blood pressure and smiles at the nurses. she made the dr bribe her with stickers before chatting w him, though.

we had to get a "clean catch" on urine to test for UTI so we shuffled our way to the bathroom with a cup. we came back to the room and waited until we [finally] got some emla cream for her port.

she is strong now. after the 30 mins w cream on, they came in with their gloves and accessing stuff. she watched. she surprisingly put a mask on. then we put one on foxy.

when it was time to access her, she tried to kick her legs so we had to hold her legs down.

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"im stuck in mud! im stuck in mud!" and my heart broke.

thats from super why. "jasper's cowboy wish". which we have seen three dozen times. jasper has to be a hero and save the horse from the mud. we play "stuck in mud" all the time at home. and we save reese from "the mud" as she is stuck on all 4's on the floor.

but she was just crying. she couldn't move.

we were done in a flash, but i couldn't seem to get her to understand we weren't staying. i told her a dozen times that we weren't sleeping there. we were sleeping at home. port out. bandaid on. she wouldn't even lay down to relax.

"stop your talking, mommy!"

lol so that didn't work.

within a few mins, she settled down. i went to get her a snack and she facetimed EJ. eventually she got it. and in reality, i assume she just thought i was lying. i've told her a dozen times before "meds in. port out." but the length of times have varied. antibiotics, chemo... it just depends. and that's my fault, i suppose.

but now she's older. now she understands more.

so now she goes to school. every day. only this year she gets full day 3x a week. what an absolute blessing. not only will this help with her endurance, and pretty much all things PT, but will get her so much more ready for kindergarten next year. she's learning her letters and numbers. figuring out sounds, recognizing them, and counting. things that i was not even thinking about almost 2 years ago when this all began.

i am just so proud.

the rest of the week consists of more "meet the teachers", play dates, sleepovers, and celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary which is next monday. which is also the first day of school, of course.

since reese will be in school on fridays, i want to join a MOPS group. as a friend said, "only you would find free time and then try to fill it up..."

i am spending today organizing more of the "back to school" portions of the house and im really geeked out about starting this year.

this one is different. this is going to be a good year. a normal year.

...whatever that means.
ig9 ig8 ig4 ig3 ig2

Thursday, August 14, 2014

the summer is beginning to end.

its august. its hot - although not as hot as it usually is this time of year. my kids are sort of… over my face. we try to go to the gym in the mornings. if i can't get everyone ready in time for the 8:45 or 9am class, here we stay. i don't like driving around for no reason with all 5. its such a huge ordeal to get them in and out that i just... would rather sit in my PJs some days.  plus, dance is in the afternoons so we play, eat, nap, and go, generally.

the house gets so messy. toys come out that i haven't seen in months. yesterday, they brought a ridiculous amount of baby stuff downstairs. and carts. and "got in the car" and "went to the store". it was fun to listen to them.

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i put them in the bath to waste time. or the sink. reese loves sink bubbles. today i had to hose corbin down after she ate and then i tossed reese in. so worth it.

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they play dress up. they make each other laugh. or cry. or yell. or kiss and hug. and all of those emotions in a 30 second span.

sawyer had a fever last night and all day today. up to 102 or so. tonight the same. reese has been cranky and has a canker sore and i wonder if she is going to get sick.

i have been so good lately. its middle of august, 1 month until our next MRI, almost exactly. and i have been super confident. i watch reese show everyone how amazingly she opens her bad arm. i watch her walk everywhere. its amazing. she talks more. understand jokes and tells them. she knows so many numbers and letters - a place where i thought she'd be behind for kindergarten next year - i think she'll be right on track. her hair so soft and fluffy. growing back right over the scars.

but then i make things up, of course. "she looks fatter" - well, she is. lol she is bigger. she has gained weight and a smidgen of height. i imagine since chemo is over, she'll grow to be the size of a normal 4 year old haha she's still pounds and inches less than aidan was (similar body type as a toddler) at the same age. i worry about sleep. "oh she didnt sleep well last night" and then she's tired the next day. not too tired - normal tired. but then i think "wait she slept too well last night" blah blah. its a cycle of crazy. and then when another kid is sick? its hard to say to myself that there's even a possibility that anything reese does is because she, too, may feel crappy.

because it always has to be about the tumor.

but then i look at photos like this. or my random daily IG posts (punkfictionv4) and know that everything is okay right now. we are happy.

school starts on the 25th. next week is filled with meet the teacher nights and back to school shopping for things i couldn't find yet.

aidan is a bit nervous, but so excited. sawyer is beyond ready. reese cannot wait to see her teachers again. miller is giggly to see her friends. and corbin, well, she's happy with me ;)

prayers that we stay healthy, please. and that every day only feels better than the one before.