Friday, March 30, 2012

Warm day

It is such a beautiful day today. Chris even called to tell me so since it's not abnormal for me to go an entire day or two or even three without stepping outside. It's almost 50 F and we are all loving this glove-less weather.

We went to a cool park that's 20 min from our house. Its really big and mostly all made out of wood and tires - I love those kinds! It had two playgrounds, 4 tire swings, like 8 baby swings all in a row and another 8 regular swings. It looks like in the summer there is a splash fountain and some super duper long slides. Seriously. I've never seen such long plastic half-tube slides before in my life. It was really fun to go down. Gwen gets going pretty fast, and I have to catch her at the end or she'd go flying! She loved it.

The following is NOT the super duper long slide. In fact, I think its the SHORTEST plastic half-tube tube slide I've ever seen. Alec tried to race some sand down it and won. Silly boy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Gwen jumped off the ground today for the first time! She's been working on it for a while now and does a cute little jig/dance when she tries. We got a movie of it and in the process of getting that movie off the camera and formatted right, I came across some other older movies and pictures.

Gwen Jumps!

Gwen shares some of her favorite words two months ago.

Once, when the kids and I dropped Chris off for just a few hours so he could attend a meeting 2 or 3 days after a Chemo treatment we waited for him to be done by going to a nearby park. Its one of my favorite parks here. It has access to the river, and a big pond where ducks and paddle boats are in the summer but now, that its winter, its frozen over and people go ice skating. There is a playground and lots of extra space where they sometimes do festival things. Well, anyway, that day we happened to come right after a Family Day festival and they still had up some ice sculptures!

One of the sculptures was a slide! It was a really fast ice slide and had a steep drop that would not be a tail bone's best friend. Notwithstanding, the kids loved it.

Gwen looked so adorable in her snowsuit. Her little round face surrounded by fur and a generally puffy snowsuit on her cute little body. I heard a little girl point to Gwen and say, "Look mom! A chubby baby!"

P.S. Happy No Chemo Tuesday! We've got plans for smoothies and french toast for dinner and buying a new song off of Itunes. Also I think we'll shave Chris' head again, his hair is still falling out aggressively.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patricks Day

Wearing green.

At lunch Gwen apparently didn't think she was wearing enough green and her subconscious decided to take matters into it's own hands.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I'm going to try and ignore the fact that practically every toy we own is strewn about every room in the house and focus instead on how cute Gwen is when she struts around the house with her "hams" (hands) in her "pockips" (pockets).

At some point though I am going to have to focus on those toys. If the kids are lucky I'll just pick everything up myself since that's easiest and just hope my kids will still learn how to be hardworking and tidy people.

Friday, March 9, 2012

an ADHD angel

Because I know the whole world is wondering what happened for the rest of our No Chemo Tuesday party, I'll tell you: an angel happened.

I guess you could said two angels happened. Chris was an angel and remembered we talked about going sledding/plastic-kid skiing at the nearby park. So I took some Tylenol got the kids all bundled and we met Chris and had a really good time. Charlie was so brave in trying the skis on first and then had a blast entertaining himself on the sled while we convinced Alec to give the ski's another try. He did great and eventually slid down the hill on the skis for a good 20 feet! Even Gwen was having fun for a little bit, sliding down the hill on her bum. But it was pretty cold so we only stayed under an hour and then went out to eat at Red Robin... not exactly free, but pretty yummy and VERY kid-friendly.

Then seconds after walking in the door around 7:30pm, an angel called. She wanted to know if we would like a babysitter that evening for a few hours and with our happy consent she said she'd be over in 30 min! The kids were in bed and the upstairs was in order just in time for Chris and I to slip away to the West Edmonton Mall to check out an outdoor store to browse their backpacking gear then to watch some pick-up hockey at the ice rink while we sipped Hot Chocolate from Starbuck's comfortable overlooking seats. We were home within 2 hours but it was a wonderful break! Sister K Maurikami (our angel and a sweet, self-proclaimed-late-onset-ADHD grandmother in our ward) told me she had a feeling that she needed to call us and come over. Then she told me she would help us get babysitters so we could go to the temple this Saturday and, oh, she knows the owner of the nearby Ski Hill and would like to hook Chris and I up for a ski night while she babysits does Thursday sound?

What did I tell you? An angel.

And in case any of you were wondering how I did my first time skiing last night (we didn't actually take any pictures but) I looked basically like this:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy No Chemo Tuesday

Today is usually the day Chris would have to go get chemotherapy, but not today! Not for this whole month! This is the first break Chris has had in 6 months. Hopefully, it is the start of a lifelong break. We'll have to wait until April 2 to find out for sure. But until then we're going to try and get back to normal life. It wasn't possible to celebrate the last round of Chemo two weeks ago since he still feels pretty awful for a while, so we planned on having a party on the first "No Neupogen Friday" and "No Chemo Tuesday."

No Neupogen Friday happened a few days ago. Chris didn't have to spend almost $700 for the tiny 3 vials of Neupogen (the drug that makes all this chemo possible by giving his immune system a nice boost to be "healthy" enough to get the next round of poison.) I didn't have to give him a shot of 1 vial each day in his stomach over the weekend. Chris didn't have to feel any bone pain or other unpleasant Neupogen symptoms. WAHOO!

We celebrated No Nuepogen Friday apart since Chris was helping out with our church's Young Mens Camp out. The kids and I had FridayNightMovieNight by ourselves and watched Lion King and ate homemade pizza (that turned out pretty bad, actually). Chris got to enjoy sleeping out in the roughly -10 degrees C weather in an igloo (they call them Quinzees) he scraped out himself. More pictures on that will hopefully come but they're on Chris' phone and I don't have access to them. So.... no this wasn't the party I had originally had in mind but what could I do?
Well, I could stop "having party's in mind," since today, No Chemo Tuesday hasn't gone as I'd imagined either. Moments after Chris left early for work I had to escape from the kids to the only place in the house I can lock myself in: The shower/bath portion of the bathroom. I ended up showering while I was there and theres nothing like warm water on your face to bring out the tears. I spent most of the morning moping in bed, trying to disengage myself from the world around me as much as is possible while still being in charge of the well being of my 3 little children. They mostly left me alone and enjoyed the minimal supervision by playing with LOTS of water, ALL my pots and pans and a handful of toys. I eventually pulled myself together and got out of bed, found out the details of what they were doing and actually enjoyed watching them play for a bit. But one look at the kitchen table told me I needed to really get it together (is a new gallon of milk still ok if its been out for maybe 2 hours but still feels cold?)
I will say that while I'm sad and a bit mad at myself that I had a morning like this one, I am quite pleased that I didn't take it out on the kids. (It really is all my own causing anyway.) I didn't yell or get angry once. In fact it was their faces that made me first smile. Their faces and the fact that while I was hugging them Alec said, "I like this. I like to cuddle with you." Funny how "cuddling" is the word he used to describe what he was doing. I would have used, "tenderly maul" or "pile on top of" or "wrestle."

I needed them contained while I cleaned up and I was feeling a need to make up for my disappearance earlier so I made a big fort and let them watch a movie in it with the portable dvd player while eating snacks for lunch. I put on some Aaron Copeland and then some Mormon Tabernacle Choir and got to work. Not my normal cleaning music but I needed something soothing.

So, so far we've celebrated No Chemo Tuesday by laying in bed all morning, wearing PJ's all day (the kids got their clothes quite wet earlier....and Charlie wanted warm Pajamas back on, so...why not?), and watching a movie in the morning. Kind of appropriate in an odd the-tables-have-turned kind of way.

There is still hope for a fun evening, if my headache goes away and we can figure out a practically free, yummy, kid-friendly place to get dinner.

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Full of hands"

When my little sister, Sarah, was really young, I once asked her to carry something for me and she happened to already be holding something in each hand and she said, "but I'm full of hands!" For some reason that cute expression for having ones hands full has stuck with me and I think of it whenever I get little Gweny out of her crib after sleeping. The moment I walk in the room, she gets excited and starts jabbering about things, usually whatever is in her bed that she MUST take with her before leaving her crib. Its usually some combination of "daw-ee" "pih-yoh" "behr" "lub-ee" and "bent-eh" (dolly, pillow, bear, lovey, and blanket). She stuffs her hands full, picking things up that have fallen out 3 or 4 times before letting me lift her out.

The other cutie pie around here is Charlie. He cares nothing for gender specifics ---wait.... I lie, just this morning he whined that he didn't want to watch the story of Moses and the Red Sea for FridayNightMovieNight tonight because it was a girl movie... he wanted to watch a boy movie ---So maybe he does care for gender specifics but just has his specifics crossed every now and then. Whatever it is, he sure is cute when he puts on Gwen's necklaces and bracelets. He does insist on wearing the bracelets as arm bands. He still looks so "full of boy" to me, despite the accessories.

Cold Mornings

So it was pretty cold for running this week. On Wednesday morning it was borderline too cold, but we ended up going and by the end of the run we were fairly frosted. Our eyelashes were white with ice and any stray hair poking out of our hats were also frozen. It looked pretty cool. The worst part of it isn't getting frozen, it doesn't feel too much different than any other run out in cold weather. The worst part is thawing out. Mistakenly, I jumped straight into the shower on Wednesday and turned up the heat in my rush to feel warm again. Bad idea. The skin on my legs turned bright red and a bit puffy and started to itch like crazy.

This morning's run wasn't quite as cold, but only because I slept in and went an hour later as the sun was just poking up over the horizon. Today is when Chris took those pictures of me, I do have to say I looked even more like a snowman on Wednesday. At least this time around, I learned my lesson and jumped back in bed to try and thaw more slowly before a warm shower. Ugghhh... I'm not sure I can take many more frozen runs.