Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When I Grow Up...

Over a year ago I asked Nathan what he would like to be when he grew up.

Nathan: I want to be a kid forever!

While we were in Jacksonville Audrey was asked what she would like to be when she grows up:

Audrey: 5

Recently Nathan has decided to change his career plans and let me tell you, the plans are diverse.

Zoo keeper
Fire fighter
Airplane pilot

Monday, March 15, 2010

All About Nathan

With everything going on with Audrey it seems I haven't spent much time blogging about Nathan. He grew up a lot while I was in Jacksonville most of that had to do with spending time with other families. He had quite the social schedule while I was away. On Mondays he spent the days with the Hatch family (from church) with two of his best friends Drew and Nick. Nathan claims that they are his brothers! Tuesdays he went to the home of the Jarrets (from school)- this is where he spends time with Sam, Jake and Alex, what's one more boy in the crowd, right? Wednesdays he was over at another school friends house, Tommy Pinner - they had a lot of outdoor play, including once falling into a pond and then warming up in the hot tub! Thursdays he was at the Eicksons (from church) they have a little girl, Gracie that Nathan gets a long with very well. And Fridays he would spend at Aunt Sandy's.

Nathan is happy to have me home but he really enjoyed playing at different houses while I was away. I have been back for nearly three weeks and he has since been over to Tommy's once just to play and today he went to visit Drew and Nick while Audrey had a blood transfusion.

For the past few months Ryan and I have been discussing Nathan's plan for next year. Last year at this time we decided to look for a private kindergarten to put Nathan in because the public kindergartens are full day and we didn't think he would be able to handle it. We researched schools and found one that worked perfectly for us. We are so glad that we chose the school he is currently in. In our decisions for next year we have been discussing whether he should attend the full day kindergarten or if he is ready for first grade. The birthday cut-off is August 31st and he barely makes it in. I have polled half the kids/parents in his class to see what they are deciding to do with their children.

So far we know of three kids going to first grade (one private school the other two public) and three kids going into kindergarten again (two private and one public). One of the moms I was talking to said that they had decided their daughter would be going to public first grade - they too had been trying very hard to decide what to do when they talked to some friends that have children a few years older. Their friends suggested going the public school route and getting a tutor as it is much less expensive than private school and your child gets the benefits of one on one coaching. It is very important to Ryan and I that Nathan at least have the opportunity to perform at the top of his class. Once I talked with this mom I suddenly felt like we had the answer. I called Ryan immediately and discussed this with him and we are both very happy with the decision to send Nathan to first grade and get a tutor. The trick with the tutor is to do it now so that he thinks it is perfectly normal. In fact, we want him to continue to progress over the summer so we are going to look into getting a tutor for two hours per week during the summer. The tutor isn't to "catch" Nathan up or anything like that, in fact we are very happy with his academic progress this year we just know how much can be lost over the summer - I think Nathan will learn better from someone other than myself, I am definitely not the homeschooling type, unfortunately I have little patience and homework is about all I can handle.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lunch Date

Ryan often has lunch dates with other professionals from the area for business purposes. Last night he was telling me about the guy he met for lunch and said that we have very similar stories.

This guy and his wife had two children. While their second child was still young they found out that the child had a genetic disorder that he and his wife passed on. They day after the child was diagnosed they found out that they were expecting another baby. Had they known they were carriers of a genetic disorder they would have decided not to have any more children. However, they looked at the pregnancy as a blessing and felt that this child was suppose to be part of their family. They were also given a percentage chance that the baby would have the same disorder - 25%. The baby came and sure enough it too had the same disorder.

I am sure you can follow my thought process from here...


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Homecoming #?

Okay, I have lost track of the number of times we have been released from the hospital. It seems like this is the 7th time but a couple of the times we didn't go "home." Anyway, Audrey's chemo went well. We are going to be leaving the hospital in less than an hour and she is currently napping. Here is the schedule as far as we know it...

Next week: outpatient chemo drug (COMPLETED MONDAY, MARCH 15TH)
The following week: outpatient chemo drug
(When numbers get to their magical spot)
Hospitalization for 4 days
(When numbers get to their magical spot again - aprox 3-5 weeks)
Hospitalization for 2 days
Following week: outpatient chemo drug
Following week: outpatient chemo drug
(when numbers get to their magical spot)
LAST hospitalization 2 days
Following week: outpatient chemo drug
following week: outpatient chemo drug

About three more months to go...should definitely be finished by the end of June/early July.

P.S. Remember how I was joking that I will go into labor during Audrey's last chemo? That actually happened to a patient's mom here. They were in for chemo. She walked down to labor and delivery, had the baby and spent the next couple of days going back and forth between floors!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thoughts on the Baby

I have been formulating this post for the past few weeks and I just haven't found the time to do the actual post. So, while we are here having chemo I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

If you will remember, the same day I discovered the lump on Audrey's back I also found out that we were expecting our third baby. That night when Ryan came home, we put the kids to bed and began discussing the possibilities of Audrey's lump and what it could mean for the remainder of her life. We began discussing the possibility of the lump being cancerous, if it was cancer - how far spread was it? Would she be able to handle any type of chemotherapy, given her small size? How do we tell our family? When do we tell our family? I heard myself say that I didn't want to have any more children because we don't know if perhaps we have caused this...then I realized I hadn't internalized the fact that I was indeed pregnant. That is when I told Ryan that we are expecting another. It was too much for both of us to take in at the time. We had been trying to have another baby for nearly 18 months, why now?

That night we had a very difficult time sleeping. As you now know, Audrey did have cancer, a very serious and rare type of cancer that could only be treated by removing the mass and then beginning intense chemotherapy and radiation. As we have had time to process both the cancer and pregnancy I have come to realize a few things. First of all, if we had been blessed with a baby any earlier dealing with Audrey's prognosis would have been emotionally draining and nearly impossible. But on the other side, if we hadn't been pregnant at the same time we found out about Audrey we would have made the conscious decision not to have any more children. I just know that this special spirit is suppose to be part of our family.

While we were in Florida I received a Priesthood blessing regarding my back and leg problem. I learned two very important things from that experience (1) this pain is only temporary and will not last throughout my life; (2) Heavenly Father is pleased with the decisions that Ryan and I have made regarding our family and our family is going to be exactly what it is suppose to be. I have thought a lot about the last portion of the blessing. It was our initial intent to have four children. Yet, we have made the decision that this is it. I have felt a bit guilty about the fact that we will be stopping but truly three children pulling at the heart-strings is all I can handle. Additionally, it was a further confirmation that this baby is suppose to be in our family.

I was 22 when Nathan was born and I will be 28 when Elysse is born; yet, I feel less prepared to have this baby than I did about being a mom for the first time! I have a million more worries now. Last night when I climbed in bed I began to think about all of the baby proofing things that we will need to do again - locking cabinets, worrying about stairs, the baby learning how to crawl out the dog door (Audrey actually taught Nathan that trick), etc. How is it that at 28 I feel like I am getting too old for this?


Well, here we are. It is Monday and Audrey's numbers were almost where they were suppose to be. Dr. Beaty decided that it would be fine to go ahead with the chemo today. This chemo isn't as hard on her as the other one we alternate between.

The hospital didn't have any beds on our floor so we are actually able to get the entire first day's chemo in the clinic and when a patient is discharged in the early evening (sometime before the clinic closes) we will be sent over to the hospital. We are excited. It is wonderful and relaxed here in the clinic. Audrey already had a nap and is currently watching Tigger and Pooh.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Delay

We went to the clinic this morning to check counts and see if Audrey would be admitted for chemo. Her counts were not high enough so we will try again on Monday. I am certainly not upset - because we are home! Everything is so much more manageable from home. We were hoping to be finished with chemo before the baby comes in June, but we will just have to see. It is going to be close either way. Watch, Audrey will be in the hospital for her last chemo when I go into labor - that would be efficient!