Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries When You Have Breakfast With Dolly

We were starting our morning, as usual, with fruit for breakfast.  Today was special because Barrett was getting an entire bowlful of cherries, a favorite.  I usually do a combo of three fruits of either cherries, blueberries, peaches, pears, apples, etc.  But, I was running low on the others and had a cherry surplus, so decided to treat him.  We normally listen to a particular CD of children's songs while Barrett is dining, but this morning I wasn't in the mood, probably because I'd gone to bed the night before and couldn't get the music out of my head ("Did you ever see a bee with a sunburned knee??  Did you ever see a whale with a polka-dotted tail??  Did you ever see a moose kissing a goose??")  You get the picture.  So, I decided this morning we would listen to Good Morning America instead and catch up on a little news. Barrett was happily chowing down when I noticed that he was staring at the TV over my shoulder, slack jawed, in total awe.

It was Dolly Parton, in all her big-haired, sequined, and beaded trim glory.  Barrett was paying rapt attention to her -- now ignoring the cherries -- which I found totally hilarious.  What is it about Dolly?  I'm not sure, but it is definitely something.  She seems so down to earth and has such a good sense of humor about herself, which I appreciate.  Have you heard her say "it takes a lot of money to look this cheap?"  Hee hee, that kind of self-deprecating humor is endearing, plus she does a bunch of great charitable work.  I'm a fan.  Apparently, Barrett is too. 

So, breakfast was literally a bowlful of cherries with Dolly.  Immediately followed by a bath, to help wash off the cherries, and then his morning nap~~  What a way to start your day.

He loves to watch the water trickle out of his whale bath toy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Boys!

Yesterday was a big day -- Kristopher's birthday, my dad's birthday, and Barrett's 9m birthday.  :)  I think a good time was had by all. 
Kristopher and I went to dinner at one of his favorite places, a Brazilian steakhouse.  The main thing about this place is meat, meat, and more meat.  The literally bring it to your table piled up on swords and slide a hunk off onto your plate if it looks like something you might want to try (sirloin, flank steak, filet, lamb, chicken, etc, etc). 
He was in heaven.  Also, it was our first date in a while so it was fun to have a chance to eat simultanously (versus one of us eating while the other played with and/or fed Barrett) PLUS have a conversation, all at once.  So, Happy Birthday to the most important guys in my life!  I love you all.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Going, Going, Gone!

After a week on the market, our house sold!  Who-hoo!  Not a minute too soon either, because I hated the "showing your house/leave at a moments notice" process.  We got three full price offers, picked the most favorable one, and made it a done deal.  You would not believe what some folks will try to negotiate into the purchase agreement...
Now that the house is sold, we are focusing most of our attention on getting ready to remodel the new house.  This means lots of comparison shopping between Lowe's and Home Depot.  I wish they were located closer together.  It is fun to chose finishes for the new house, but I'm trying not to rush into any decisions.  I still remember the collective look of horror when we rolled on the green paint in our current kitchen...and supportive attempts like "well....maybe it will dry a different color (awkward silence as everyone stares at wall)."

But I stand behind my green kitchen!!  I have to remind Kristopher to wait to hate something until you see it all together.  He doesn't hate it now.  Still, I want to avoid that particular brand of shocked silence the moment the paint roller hits the wall this time around.  Wish me luck!

Excuse the skeeter bite in between his eyes...those things are the size of butterflies down here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No Dogs Allowed?

All of the house showings can leave us suddenly homeless, which now requires me to be more creative of where I can go with a baby and puppy in tow.  Of course, I already had some experience in running around town with the babe, but it is trickier with Sass along for the ride.  Basically, I'm limited to places with drive-thrus...even though I could technically stash her in the diaper bag and no one would be the wiser.  So that's the bank, pharmacy, post office, gas station/car wash and.....that's it.  Anywho, we didn't even have time to make it out of the house for one particularly last-minute showing yesterday, so we just sat on the front porch swing under the fans and read books. 
Not too bad.  Plus, I think Sassy enjoys being included in all activities.

Although Barrett is a notorious creature of habit and routine (wonder where he gets that??) he hasn't minded our new pseudo gypsy lifestyle.  I hope the transition to the new house goes well too.  Maybe the fact that he is so young will help??  Or hurt??  Not sure, but I hope it goes well.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Moving

Well, it's official!  We're moving!
That's right, we bought a new house, signed all the papers, had an inspection, and the transition is underway.  Luckily, the new house is not far from our current house, so life will not change too drastically.  The new house is larger than our current home, has a pool, and is in a "grown up" neighborhood, very exciting.  Plus, we have several friends with young kiddos in the same neighborhood, super fun!
The house hoopla is part of the aforementioned busyness -- getting everything squared away and planning renovations for the new house; getting the old house ready to go on the market, etc.
I will miss our old house; we have so many good memories here.  Not to mention that Kristopher and I completely renovated it ourselves, with the help of lots of family and friends.  Ahhh......memories.....I'm getting sappy about it already and we haven't even moved yet.
Now our house is on the market, as of this afternoon, and our realtor told us to brace for a flood of showings (i.e., be prepared to vacate the premises -- but leave it in perfect condition -- at the drop of a hat).  Hopefully, it will sell quickly so I don't have to keep up that routine for too long :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back in the Saddle




I'm going to get back on a regular blogging schedule, really.  I won't bore you with my excuses, it's just fallen by the wayside lately.
Anywho, Barrett is thriving and now officially eats his meals in a high chair.  Very grown up, huh?  I don't want to jinx it, but he's liked almost all of the foods I've tried, although sometimes I cheat and swirl in a cube of apples or pears if I'm giving him something questionable, like asparagus, because honestly, would you want to eat steamed purred asparagus by itself?  That's what I thought... 
He's getting so heavy that it's hard to lug him around for long period of time! 
Not much on the mobility front, unless you count jumping in his jumper, which he does LOTS of -- but no crawling (I'm secretly grateful for that, for now, because it is so much easier to contain him) but he scoots backwards and stands up when you hold his hands.
In my quest to loosen up a little bit, I've started taking him to the nursery at the gym when I go to work out, so his social horizons are expanding and he's making new friends. 
He's getting pretty good at playing with his blocks!  He can pick one block off the top of a stack without knocking down all of the ones under it.  I'm impressed :)
We attended the drawing for the Children's Hospital Miracle Mansion and a really nice couple won the house! They were thrilled -- they are both teachers and have a baby, so the house was a real blessing. We've had such a wonderful experience helping the Children's Hospital, I hope we have the opportunity to do more to help.

More to come soon~~

Friday, June 4, 2010

Barrett's TV Special

Barrett's story was part of a 30 minute TV special, airing to promote a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital.  Barrett is on Part I of the Hope Now TV Special (around minute 9:40) and his other 2 commercials are also on the website.
Like last time, I am a total goofball (especially the staged part on the front porch...Kristopher and I are not good with a script. "Hi.  I'm Rebecca. (awkward pause) And I'm Kristopher.  (awkward pause)  And this is Barrett.  Welcome to our home.  (cringing inside....))  Anyway, of course the baby is cute, so he saves it :) 

http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=12036195

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Between a Rock and a Hard Place


I haven't written a blog post in a while...  We were waiting on some definitive results of Barrett's tests and well, I didn't feel like it.  I guess I was hibernating.  So, I apologize to the blog readers, both of you :)
Here's a brief medical update, and then I'm moving on to lighter stuff for a while:
Right after the last post, we found out that Barrett's doctors thought he had leukemia.  His blood tests showed that he did NOT, which is WONDERFUL, but I was completely freaked out and we began an odyssey of other tests to look for other cancers, tumors, infections, etc.  He's had four separate sets of blood work ups, EKG, echocardiogram, two catheters for urinalysis, chest x-rays, abdominal ultrasound to look at his organs, and a bone scan.  Possible PET scan, gallium scan, and renal ultrasound of his kidneys on the horizon.

He's been evaluated by two pediatricians, his cardiologist, plus oncologist, hematologist, rheumatologist, infectious disease specialist, nuclear medicine doctor, and urologist.  And several of these doctors have conferred with their peers at other Children's Hospitals.  So, we've had dozens of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals on the case.
The bone scan was remarkable.  They gave him an IV of radioactive fluid that coursed through his little body and allowed them to take scans over several hours.  Afterwards, Barrett himself was radioactive (including any wet diapers -- which we were instructed to take outside and not leave in the diaper genie in the nursery.  Radioactive tee-tee???  Crazy.)  Here's a few bone scan pics.

Hey, this might be fun!!
Wait, why are they putting me in that tunnel?

Okay, not fun!  Not fun!  I want OUT!


The sweet nurses gave him Dr. Bear for being such a good little patient.  Complete with scrubs and surgical mask.

But, I'm afraid he is starting to dislike doctors...


BFF Sassy has been sticking very close to Barrett.  She'll curl up next to him, patiently letting him pull her ears.  Sweet pup.

In sum, all tests are basically negative.  There are no specific findings to explain the fever.  They don't know why he's had fever for two months.  About eight of the doctors think it is "drug fever" from the very strong heart medicine.  Although fever is a potential side effect for almost any medication, Barrett's cardiologist (plus the slew of other cardiac specialists he consulted) have never actually seen this happen.  Plus, this is a diagnosis that they can't prove without taking him off the medicine.  So, we have to chose between taking him off the medicine (which is essentially keeping him alive, so NOT an option for me) or leaving him on the medicine and hoping (1) he can tolerate the fever; (2) that the fever doesn't cause an SVT recurrence, which fever is prone to do; and (3) periodically re-testing his blood for something that was maybe too "young" to show up before (I guess this is likely looking for leukemia or liver damage).  I hate my options. 

Also, just a side note, the pediatrician insists that Barrett is not contagious or harmful to be around other people or children.  He has been tested for everything under the sun and we know that Barrett does not have a contagious illness with more certainty than most any other child, who has not likely had such tests.  Just throwing that out there, so you won't worry that you might get sick if you have seen us. 

Enough of all this for now.  Here's some cute baby pictures.  Lighter blogging to return, I'm done with all of this heavy stuff!!