Monday, February 22, 2010

Birthday Boy

After a week-long silence I’m finally back online. What’s kept me away? Why, thanks for asking! Last Friday was The Boy’s second birthday and I spent almost all week preparing (which begs the question of what on earth I’m going to do for, say, his communion or 18th birthday, seeing as it took a week to get ready just for his second birthday!) . Anyway, I managed to send out the invitations for his party a whopping ten days before the big event, but of course the Italian postal system being what it is his friends have yet to receive them… thankfully I got some sort of divine illumination and decided to send out text messages to everyone, just in case… The party was supposed to be train themed as we’re going through a Thomas the tank engine phase right now, so I went online, found (shockingly), ordered and received (even more shocking) a train cake pan, made and decorated a practice cake and, moderately satisfied with the results, went about the business of finding the rest of the party items in a train theme. HA! There was nary a train plate, cup or napkin to be found, nor was there any sort of small, (affordable) trains to put in the goody bags, no train décor whatsoever, in fact. So after a week of searching for what I thought would  be a pretty easy theme for a party (boys like trains, right? And we live in a country where trains are as common as buses in public use, so what the hey!!) I gave up and the theme was no theme at all, but the train cake was totally awesome, if I do say so myself!!! We had a small birthday party Friday afternoon with just the family so The Boy had a happy couple of hours opening presents and playing with his cousin R. Of course, him being two and right smack in the middle of the contrary toddler phase, we were not allowed to wish him a happy birthday (all of our attempts were met with a scream of noooooo!) Though when we sang Happy Birthday (too many of us, he couldn’t stop us!) he got all teary eyed and flustered and wanted to leave. Daddy participated online (thank goodness for webcams) and overall it was a good birthday. Saturday was a very exciting day, the Bears came over all the way from Milan, we had lunch together and the kiddos played a little bit, then in the afternoon we had The Boy’s  “train” party at his daycare. Unfortunately, a few kids cancelled at the last minute cause of a variety of bugs still going around (another reason to move somewhere warmer - I’m compiling a list!) but we had fun, which at this age means everyone played reasonably well together, there were no major meltdowns, no one got hurt, and they all ate at least something moderately healthy before cake.

Monday, February 15, 2010

From scratch

Ok, I’m watching the first episode of Flash Forward and it’s FREAKY! I don’t know if I like it yet, but it’s definitely intriguing (plus, Joseph Fiennes…). Getting back to us, I had a very happy Valentine’s day. My wonderful husband managed to send me flowers even though he’s in the hospital, The Boy and I made a beautiful card for Daddy and most importantly I got to see The Husband after 8 days of being sick and then tending to sick kids! We had a lot to talk about, which is weird cause we talk about 8 times a day, but somehow in person you remember so much more. 
We’ve received news of several good friends expecting babies and one just had a baby plus The Boy is in a very mommy-centric moment right now and The Girl is starting to interact more, smiling and laughing at me, following my voice around and stuff so all this has made me start thinking of the relationship between mothers and their kids. What amazes me most is the sheer strength of my feelings towards these little people. It almost seems unbelievable to me that other mothers love their children as much as I love mine, and that their kids do the same amazing things mine do… rationally I know it’s true, but I guess that in our heart of hearts we all think OUR kids are a little bit more amazing than others. I look at them and think, I MADE them, I actually made them from scratch… and I’m responsible for them, right now I’m responsible for their whole entire world, and I’m the most important person in their lives. Isn’t that just AMAZING??
 I realize that these thoughts seem obvious but if you sit there and actually think about it it’s actually a little mind-boggling. So, I want some feedback, what do y’all think?
Back to our more mundane news, The Husband is doing ok, he could definitely be better (though, if we’re wishful thinking then he could definitely be completely healthy..) but he’s hanging in there and being very strong and concentrating on the fact that in a few days he’ll start feeling better.
I talked to one of his docs today and got a better idea of the timeframe for the transplant, which should happen at the end of march after 3 days of radiation therapy and 3 more days of chemo and the recovery time seems to be between 6 to 12 months for a full recovery. But, he cautioned me not to think too far ahead, so right now we are concentrating on getting him through the effects of the chemo he just did, and getting him to produce good, healthy white blood cells (which didn’t happen after the first round last month) and of course on the fact that he’s coming home for two weeks in march (YAY!!!). Though I must say that I’ve decided not to talk to his docs again unless it’s absolutely necessary cause the statistics, which they always end up bringing out, are a little bleak – but then again we’re talking statistics here so the whole concept is a little bleak! (I apologize to all you math minded people out there, but seriously, statistics are never fun!)
Anyway, we’re staying positive and only thinking of what to do with our time together in march!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow and stuff

So, things are definitely looking up today…  sun is shining, The Boy has moved on from constant vomiting to diarrhea (which basically means that I only have to change his clothes every hour or so rather than both his AND mine, a definite improvement!), R came over unexpectedly this morning and shoveled all the snow from our drive and from the cars and I’m still not sick (though will now start worrying that I have jinxed it…). The only sour note is that the poor Girl is sick now too, though I must say this for babies vs toddlers, it is soooo much easier to give her medicine than the Boy and (I realize this may fall in the TMI category) she’s so used to spitting up that when she vomits its really no big deal she just goes right back to being smiley. I’m also really happy cause I managed to find and order a train shaped cake pan (not an easy feat here in Italy) as well as train invites so The Boy’s birthday party is well on the way to being organized. It remains to be seen whether I will manage to decorate the train shaped cake and get it to his daycare (where we’re having the party) all in one piece and most importantly whether I will manage to get the birthday boy to the party venue on time and in a good mood, but for now I’m cautiously optimistic... We’re looking forward to Nana’s (my Mom) arrival next week, and I’ve already got an email ready in my drafts folder with all the things I need from Houston! Poor Nana, between her daughter, two grandkids, and a son in law who loves American stuff, she has to bring a suitcase just for us!
On the hospital front, The Husband is still doing well, he actually had a 3 hour video conference with his sales team today so he’s definitely doing better than expected! In fact, this video conference thing may well become a permanent way to interact with the sales guys  cause apparently he finds it a lot easier to get them to shut up and listen!
Ok, well, The Girl’s waking up so my free time is over. Today’s reason why we’re so lucky…. Our good friend R, coming over to shovel our snow of course!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bugs, bugs, bugs

The health situation at home has gone from bad to worse, but thankfully my mood has improved… the last post was a little depressing, I admit! The Boy obviously caught my cold, so we spent several fun nights awake with him coughing, and then he segued directly into a lovely stomach flu, which has been no fun for any of us though I will spare you the details! We had our first watercolor experience which was a lot of fun, The Boy was really happy to see his biggest passions combined, color, water, making pretty pictures but most importantly making a right mess!! Today we tried playdoh but apparently it’s too soon for him, it wasn’t as exciting, though tomorrow we’re making Daddy a Valentine’s day card, all I can say for now is that scissors and glitter glue are involved so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a winner…
The Husband is doing ok on this second round, today was the hardest day of the cycle but he’s holding up pretty well. We haven’t seen each other in a few days, but he sounds in good spirits over  the phone, though I can’t wait for The Boy to get better and for me to be sure that I didn’t catch his bug so I can go see him again. (I realize there are about ten grammatical errors in that sentence, but I’m sure you get the gist!) It’s been snowing all the live long day, we’ve had about a foot and a half already and I’ve decided not to complain about it or worry about the shoveling I’m going to be doing tomorrow so I can reach my car, I’m just concentrating on the wonderful holiday-like feeling of having a great excuse not to go outside. Also, the city is cooperating with me cause we’ve seen neither  hide nor hair of a snow plow this afternoon, I assume it’s because it’s snowing so much they’re having a hard time getting to the higher traffic areas done and have forgotten about our little residential area. Free time’s up, The Girl must eat….so as Tigger would say, ta ta for now!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Damn Cold

I’m sick, crap! I’ve got a stupid cold. I HATE colds, the headache, runny nose, itchy throat… I hate them. I realize it looks like I’m overreacting but seriously, having a cold means I can’t visit The Husband (dammit!) and that’s literally the best part of my day, plus for the next couple of days I’m going to be worrying that I was contagious yesterday and that I may have taken my germs over to his sterile room. Also, The Boy looks like he may have caught it too so that sucks doubly because he’s going to be feeling like crap, not sleeping and guess who is going to be up with him, feeling like crap too…. The silver lining (and I hope I’m not jinxing it) is that since The Girl is breastfed she may not get it. Thankfully The Husband is doing a little better, he seems to have enjoyed the soup I brought him for lunch and the lasagna for dinner  so at least that’s some good news. Oh, and miraculously, right now The Boy is being put to bed by The Nanny (I’m trying to limit the spreading of germs) and The Girl is sleeping (shock, disbelief, joy!) so I’m happily typing away with both hands (and that is a rare occurrence lately). I will now push my luck to the limit and turn on a tivoed episode of Desperate Housewives, which will probably result in her waking up screaming for food and The Boy refusing to fall asleep with anyone but me, but hey, I’m an optimist! So that’s all for tonight folks!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day to day part 3

I haven’t managed to write in a few days, so I’ve got some catching up to do! Since round 1 didn’t get the job done this round of chemo was a lot stronger and has been a lot harder on The Husband.  This time around the cycle is 3 days of chemo, which he finished on Thursday, a 4 day break and then 3 more days of chemo next week. Poor Husband started feeling bad pretty much right away this time, nausea and his face became reddish (which actually made him look less sick, and more like he spent a day on the slopes!) he also had a lot of pain in his bones, he described it as having really bad flu symptoms. Thankfully today he’s better so we are all relieved! Though, honestly I am not looking forward to next week cause he’s probably going to feel even worst (I realize that possibly The Husband is looking even less forward to next week as he’s the one actually feeling sick, while I just feel bad for him…). On the home front, we’re busy planning The Boy’s 2nd birthday party, which will probably be train themed as he’s really into Thomas the tank lately. Thursday The Husband’s aunt and uncle came to visit and The Boy had a great time showing them all of his toys. Yesterday was a very special day for me cause it was my Vovo’s 100th birthday (my grandma). I’m really sad not to have been at her birthday celebration this year, my mom organized a big ole shin ding, with all our Brazilian family and friends. I’ll post some pics as soon as I get them. Of course we couldn’t tell her the real reason we weren’t going to make it, it would have made her too sad, but we did promise we would be there to celebrate her birthday next year so there’s a trip to Sao Paolo in our nearish future! I can’t wait to show Sao Paolo to The Husband who didn’t make it over with me and The Boy last year and of course to introduce The Girl to my grandma.
Today The Boy’s Nonni (grandparents) came back, so his afternoon entertainment is right back on schedule!  And, last piece of news, The Girl started laughing, which is really cute and entertaining for us.
That’s all for now, and today’s reason why we’re so lucky is that R (a really nice gentleman who we consider a friend and who is also our gardener during the summer) came over today, out of the goodness of his heart, to shovel the foot of snow that came down yesterday from our drive and my car. God bless him!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day to day, part 2

Today life went back to the normal routine, The Boy went back to daycare (which we stopped two weeks ago so he wouldn’t get sick before The Husband came home) and I resumed my regular visits at the hospital. The Boy was very excited to go back “to school” and see his friends, but he was just as excited to come home apparently since he met me at the door in just his socks having chucked his slippers as soon as he heard the door and with his shoes in his hands (I pick him up right after lunch before naptime so it’s pretty predictable). I finally found a book for two year olds about the hospital, so tonight we read all about where Daddy is and what doctors and nurses do. (Hopefully this will help him deal with The Husband’s absence better). Also, last night The Girl took her bath with The Boy in the big tub for the first time, not that it was planned, I just realized after dinner that she hadn’t had a bath and I wasn’t going to be able to get one in until after The Boy fell asleep (since I now have to lie with him till he does, I’ll get into the whole nightmarish sleep situation soon) and who the heck wants to give a baby a bath at 10pm, so I figured two birds with one stone! That’s it for today, short but (hopefully) sweet. Oh, and today I feel lucky because now that The Husband is back in the hospital I get to spent two hours every day alone with him just chatting about random stuff, a rare occurrence when you are married with two small kids!