Thursday, September 29, 2011

It Is Lame

That I've been slacking so much on posting to my blog.So an update on our fam:  I am fully recovered from my surgery. I had so much help from my mom, Jeff's parent's, my sisters in law, and my ward family. Thank you everyone for loving my little boys and taking care of them when I couldn't and for all the freezer meals, it helped immensely! I have the best ward, seriously. I hate to ask for help because I hate putting people out. But I didn't even have to ask! They just are so awesome.
Bennett is doing great in school. We went to a parent night at his school this week and I haven't seen him that excited in a long time. He was showing us everything- even the bathrooms :) He introduced Jeff and I and Casey to his teachers with out us even asking him to and introduced us to his friends Quinton, Zane, a boy who he forgot the name of, and his girlfriend. Yes. He has a girlfriend. Okay, okay, so he calls his friends that are boys his boyfriends too, he has no idea what any of that means. It was funny, the girl's family walked by us and Bennett yelled "That's my girlfriend!" (I guess he forgot her name too) but the mother of the little girl turned and laughed. It was so fun to see all his little crafts  he made hanging up on the walls.  His teacher says he's a great helper and takes his job as line leader very seriously. He loves going to school, he just gets right out of the car with out crying or anything (even has that smile on his face where he's trying not to smile because he's so excited). I'm so proud of my little man!
I've been trying to start my photography business again and I'm getting into Pampered Chef which I'm really excited about and doing Relay For Life stuff.
We've been redoing our back room. The carpet was just gross out there. FYI if you plan on getting a puppy, consider also getting pergo floors :) It was really bad to begin with though, the back door is in that room and mud just would get tracked in. So we are putting some laminate flooring down and I painted the walls a milk chocolate color. It looks so much better and the floor isn't even down yet! The floor will be dark walnut.  I'm trying to convince Jeff to let me do a faux board and batten look around the room to go over the wainscotting we currently have in there. It's a big job so maybe we'll have to do one wall at a time. After it's all done we'll have that be our dining room with a desk for my crafts and sewing.  Where the dining room table is now there used to be a fireplace that they sealed up. Jeff wants to put a pellet stove there and get rid of our old, loud furnace. It's a great idea (especially if we put a fireplace mantle around the stove) but I think it's a bigger project than Jeff has in mind.
The boys are now sharing a room and doing awesome! I wonder if Casey feels safer with his big brother in his room with him. It's fun to listen to them chat before they fall asleep although they don't do it very often. They are such good friends and I hope they always love each other as much as they do now. The other day Casey bonked his head and when I was holding him he was calling for Bennett so Bennett came in and he asked Casey what was wrong and Casey said "I bonk head" and Bennett kissed it better, then Casey was fine. I bet they really bonded over my recovery period when they had to rely on each other when they'd go to other people's houses.
So now that the boys are sharing their room, Jeff and I have our room back which is sooooo nice. We were in the back room before.
Casey's hair has still not been cut. He's talking so much more. The other day he was playing with our vacuum cleaner and got yogurt all over it and I said "Oh Casey..." not even really mad just annoyed and he said "I sorry mommy" I didn't even know he understood the concept of sorry. It broke my heart, so sweet. He is constantly talking to himself or us. And he sings to himself. He reminds me of Boo from Monster's Inc when she's going to the bathroom singing. You can't really understand what he's saying exactly.  His favorite song to sing is the Buzz Lightyear song when Buzz finds out he's a toy and tries to fly but falls. He's pretty good at remembering the words.
Lucy is doing great although she's becoming more brave which is not that great because if she gets out of the house she'll head right to the park. We cut her mop of hair, now she looks like a cocker spaniel and a million times cuter! We love her to pieces! She's still my dog though. :) She does have a problem with loosing control of her bladder when she gets excited. So if you come to our house or when you meet her, just don't pet her until she calms down or talk in a high pitched voice. Yesterday we got rid of an old recliner that was in pretty good shape but we just listed it for free on craigslist. A guy came to get it and when he came in Lucy jumped up on it and he pet her and she peed. Just a little, don't know if he noticed cuz he sat down in it right after. Oh well, it was free. Nothing a little soap and water won't fix.
Jeff has been busy at work. I'm so lucky he gets to come home every day for lunch and is off by 4:30.  I love that guy so much. He is the worlds best daddy and husband. He's had a lot of stress this past year and had to fill in for me a lot and he has handled it amazingly! All the while with a sense of humor that helped more than anything.
So that's us right now. I love my little family, I'm so thankful for all the laughter and love in this house.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Relay for Life 2012


After attending the Relay for Life in Albany and Eugene to walk the survivor lap, I really wanted to participate on a team next year. Some lovely ladies from church ran in my name this year and it really touched me. So in 2012 I will get to be on their team!!! I am so excited!

Their team did extraordinary this year! They came in 6th place out of 58 teams in overall fundraising and raised $4,228.16! Their team goal was $30000.
Overall the Albany Relay for Life for 2011

  • grossed $146,597!!!
  • Most luminaries EVER- 1500 luminaries = $7,500 in luminaria sales!
  • the most fundraising teams ever- 58!
  • 170 Survivors
  • Over 1,050 participants
  • raised $3,398 in silent auction
Our team goals for 2012 are to have 10 team members and up to 18 if we can, get at least 25 survivors registered for the relay, sell at least 100 luminarias, our team fundraising goal is $8000 with individual goals of $300. I know with the hard work of our team and some fun creative fundraising we can reach our goal, so stay tuned to my blog for upcoming fundraising events if you'd like to help out.
If you'd like to help support our team please join us! Become a team member or a team supporter where you'll:

  • attend relay with us
  • help with fundraising and attend fundraisers (help spread the word about events, donate goods or services to the team, etc.)
  • Help us find survivors
  • attend meetings and find out ways to help if you want
If you would like to be on our team you can register online at the Relay for Life website. If we register before October 1st, 2011, then 100% of our $125 registration fee will be credited towards our team fundraising!  The relay will take place next year June 22nd 4pm - June 23rd 10am. 
This is my cousin Whitney and I at the Eugene Relay for life. We walked the survivor lap together, she survived  Hodgkins Lymphoma. Go Green Team! ;)


What do your relay donations support?

  • Research The society is the largest source of non-profit, non-governmental cancer research funding in the U.S., investing about $130 million each year. They've funded 42 researchers who later went on to win the Nobel Prize.
  • Education Following the Society's wellness and cancer-detection guidelines can save your life and the lives of people you love. They publish educational materials and programs on early detection and prevention of cancer for the community, our schools, physicians and cancer patients.
  • Advocacy They fight for life-saving laws to increase federal research funding, reduce tobacco use, promote early detection of cancers, improve access to and coverage of care, and support cancer patients.
  • Service They provide many patient and family support services to help people with cancer during and after treatment. Anyone, anywhere can access cancer information and support 24/7 at 1-800-227-2345 or at cancer.org. 
                     On average EACH week the American Cancer Society provides the following services and programs to reduce the impact of cancer on Oregon:

  • 4,485 visits are made by state residents to cancer.org
  • 127 people contact the American Cancer Society from our state via our 24-hour information line at 1-800-227-2345
  • 104 State residents receive cancer patient related information or services from the American Cancer Society
  • 3 Visits are made by Reach to Recovery volunteers to breast cancer patients
  • 49 trips transporting cancer patients to treatment are provided by American Cancer Society Road to Recovery volunteers and other transportation programs
  • 23 gift items such as turbans, prosthesis, or durable medical equipment are provided to cancer patients living in our state
  • 18 wigs are provided to residents of our state
  • 16 free or reduced rate accommodations are provided through our Patient Lodging program to cancer patients and their families traveling long distances for treatment
What your gift can do:

  • $5-an hour of toll-free access to the National Cancer Information Center, providing support and valuable info for newly diagnosed cancer patients anywhere in the country. (This is the scariest time, when first diagnosed, you don't have any results back but a boat load of questions and concerns, this help line really...helps.)
  • $25- an interpreter for a 10-minute call to the National Cancer Info Center (1-800-227-2345)- providing priceless information for a patient newly diagnosed.
  • $100- Can provide a gas card to a patient to help them get to treatment appointments and relieve financial burden.
  • $75- Can provide a woman battling cancer with a complimentary bra or other personal care item from their TLC catalog. (After my mastectomy they provided me with a special tank top to hold my drainage tubes, pain killer medicine tubes and breast prosthesis along with the actual breast prosthesis. I cannot tell you how helpful that tank top was for holding my tubes.)
  • $100- a wig 
  • $75- cost of training and providing resources for the Reach for Recovery volunteer to visit and provide ACS resources to a woman just diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • $350- Value of Look Good-Feel Better consultation giving a cancer patient the opportunity to learn how to care for her changing skin during treatment including simple tactics for drawing eyebrows on her face and impacting her sense of well-being and self esteem. (Imagine loosing your breasts, your hair, your eyelashes - all your hair, possibly your ovaries and possibly uterus removed depending on what type of breast cancer you have, having ugly scars and burns not to mention the weight gain for breast cancer patients because the chemo we get doesn't always make us loose weight and because you're not feeling well enough or energetic enough to exercise plus the burden of having cancer. You are just depressed, you feel ugly and unwomanly. This can really help lift your spirits even for a short time.)
  • $2,500- pays for 1 year of collage scholarship awarded to eligible young cancer survivors to help relieve the burden on families facing costly medical bills.
  • $150- lodging to a patient to help them get to treatment and ease financial burden.
  • $10- petri dish for cancer research
  • $15- 50 test tubes
  • $20- the cost of DNA taken from 5 of the 1,200 cases during American Cancer Society's Prevention Study II, which helps researchers understand the genetics of cancer.
  • $30- a glass Erlenmeyer flask, which allows researchers to mix and/or store different substances, including potentially beneficial drugs, to discover their cancer-related effects.
  • $350-provides 1 Gel Box, which researchers use to isolate DNA and identify differences that may impact cancer diagnosis or treatment.
  • $10- Pays for a one-year membership to American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). Members take action on legislative issues consistent with the Society's leadership role in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship. 
  • $50-Supports advocacy campaigns to increase funding for cancer research or smoke-free laws.
I thought that was interesting to know where your donation dollars actually go and how they help, they really do help.

If you've lost a loved one to cancer you know how hard it is when their birthday comes up every year or during holidays or the anniversary of their death. You can still remember them on those days and feel good about donating in their name as a gift to them, help another cancer patient live for another day. 

Thanks for reading this and weather it's financial or with service, any help is appreciated.  I have so much appreciation for all the donation dollars that helped me get through this and all the love and support and service from my family, friends and church. I cannot express my gratitude. It has been an amazing, humbling experience. I look forward to being able to pay if forward. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Best Big Brother EVER!


video

Magooly's off to PRE SCHOOL!


My handsome little man is not so little any more. Friday Jeff took the day off so he and I could take him to his first day of pre school, well almost first day.  It was a half day and the parents went to an orientation while Little Man met his teachers and other students in his class. Monday will be his firs real day.

I just couldn't get enough of this shot, finally Bennett said "Okay! I wanna go to school now!"

He was so excited when we got there, he's trying not to smile.

Here he's meeting his teacher's and telling them he has "a brother named Casey who is 2 but he is too little to go to school."
Afterward we spent the night at Cinnie and Papa's house.



Bennett, I love you buddy! You're going to do awesome in school, you are so smart and kind and will make lots of friends! I am so excited for you pal! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Lovelies

video video







I prefer them in their undies or au naturel and messy, usually with some sort of medium or food on them - paint, glue, markers, syrup, strawberry juice. Nothing beats the smell of sleepy kids mixed with maple syrup. (I think I've said that before on here, oh well.) But don't worry, they clean up nice and dove soap smells even better on fresh clean babies with just laundered pj's. Yep they is in they's undies (sorry, recently saw The Help) "You is kind, you is smart, you is important". Excellent movie by the way.
I love this video (can't figure out why it posted twice or how to delete one) it really demonstrates Casey and Lucy's relationship or buddyship.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recovering

Today marks a week since my surgery and I'm feeling really good! On a scale of 1-10 my mastectomy was a 9, this one is a 2! I am able to sleep in my bed even better than when I had my expanders in, so nice. The boys got to stay with Cinnie and Papa for a few days.  Thank you guys! They had so much fun with their cousins and you guys!  We were able to see Captain America in the theater the night before my surgery and I have to say it was a pretty fitting movie to watch before this procedure, although I can't jump 30 feet or take out Red Skull while going down in a plane, I feel like a new woman, (as cheesey as that sounds).
I'm so grateful my mom is here, she's been with us for almost a week and it has helped sooo much! I still can't lift anything more than 5lbs, can't push or pull anything or outstretch my arms ( have to keep my elbows to my sides) because I have extra stitching that can bust open. That would lead to another surgery.  Recovery will be 4-6 weeks.
Jeff has been super helpful too and it was nice to have just some us time while the kiddos were at Cinnie and Papas even if it was just laying around the house watching movies.
I am so grateful for a family that loves me so much and is so supportive. The boys are being very careful around me. Lucy was the biggest issue with jumping but has gotten better.
Laughter is the best medicine and we've been having a lot of that around here. Thanks to The IT CrowdKid History, and Ricky Gervais stand up (but I can't recommend that one- little too raunchy).
The boys leave to visit their cousins Jaxon and baby Alice tomorrow, wish I could go with them :(.  But my mom and I will have fun together, just us. I think we may go see the Help.

I'll leave you with some old photos of the boys we just found on an old camera.


Look how little he is!

My current obsession

Raising Cain, The Emotional Lives of Boys. Read it, just do it. It's only 258 pages long and it will change how you view and interact with boys. If you have a boy in your life, whether you're a parent, teacher, mentor or friend, you need to read this.
"...But as their manuscript progressed, Kindlon and Thompson realized a simple "how-to" would not do. "In the end," they write, "we found that the best advice we had to offer was simply to understand boys as they truly are ­ rather than as they appear or as we wish them to be. Our deepest wish is to pull aside the curtain boys so tenaciously draw around themselves and offer you a look inside their hearts and minds. If we succeed, we hope that you will see more clearly the ways in which our culture conspires to limit and undermine their emotional lives. We hope you will understand boys better, and above all, we hope you will enjoy them more"
Read an interview with one of the authors, Dan Kindlon, PH.D. here.