Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm not sure where this week went

Emily worked Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and we got to keep Graysen on Wednesday.  We had plans to take her downtown to the library for toddler story time, and we were there waiting when we noticed that people were reading a sign on the door that said story time was cancelled.  Not to waste a good experience, we, and many others, went on in and let the children play or pull books off the shelf or, in Graysen's case, just stand and observe everything closely.  It was a little new to her, but I think next time she will be comfortable listening to the story and playing with the others.  She WAS the cutest one though, I have to admit, although Emily laughed at my choice of clothing.  I had on a favorite yellow playsuit and green sandals, but the hooded sweatshirt she had to wear because of 60-something-degree weather and rain kind of ruined the effect.  The only one there with bare legs,   After we left, we walked around half a block and came back.  She held my hand so sweetly and enjoyed looking around at new things.  A man in a store window waved at her, and he got "the look."  Later on after her nap, we took her to the grocery store.  We all enjoyed that.  We were just getting a few things, including milk, and when G saw the milk carton with a cow on it, she said, "Moooo."  Grandparents are thrilled over the smallest things, but it did make us laugh.

Friday was the trip to Seattle to the cancer center.  It was sooo much better this time.  We went first to get labs drawn, which was so easy with a port.

At this point, Mike had not yet realized that he left home without his crossword puzzles and his book.

This is what it looked like when he realized it.

Our visit with Dr Kaplan and Stephanie, his nurse, was great.  His labs were perfect, and he had lost only 1 pound and that probably from eating healthier and not from loss of appetite - although there was a little bit of that during the week.  The doctor was well pleased with his good symptom-free week and gave some advice on what to do if and when certain things happen.  He and Mike ended up having a history discussion, and he told Mike a good joke that he can't wait to deliver himself.

The next visit was to the treatment room.  We didn't get a private room, of course, but he did have the one with the best view - the garden room.  
Since there were so few patients, Emily and I could stay there comfortably with him, which may not always be the case.  Once again, the nurses were friendly and competent, and it was just a pleasant afternoon.  He was able to get his lunch - a turkey sandwich, orange, and cookie - and an egg custard to top it off, so it couldn't have been better for him.  Except maybe not to be there at all!

Emily found a trivia app on her phone that kept them entertained for much of the time.

Just a good picture of Emily being able to relax a tiny bit with everything going so well.

I just cannot remember what we did one day ago without writing it down.  We did get out and ride around North Bend yesterday, and that was interesting and nice to just get out for pleasure.

This morning, Mike and Ryan went to see about buying a boat, and Emily, Graysen, and I were going to church.  We got all dressed and were ready for the 9:30 service, but when we got there, there were no cars and a notice on the door that services were going to be held at a nearby park - at 10:30 - for some anniversary.  They are new to this church and don't really know anyone yet, so we just came home and enjoyed a short walk with Graysen in her wagon.

Blackberries are everywhere along our route, and sometimes we will pick one, but they're a little hard to get to.  This time, I was able to get a handful.  Emily washed one for Graysen, and she gobbled it up and wanted more.  She was eating them as fast as we could pick them.  

We managed to get home with a few which she finished up.

This is truly the sweetest baby - or little girl.  She is learning so much every day it just amazes us.  I get to pretty much spend as much time as I want to with her, and this afternoon we stayed in Mimi's Room for a couple of hours.  I let her look at a few videos on my computer, and she is obsessed with "Wheels on the Bus" and "Itsy Bitsy Spider."    I limit it to one session a day, but that doesn't stop her from pointing to my computer and moving her head around and saying "Bus."  We read books and played in her tunnel, but the most fun was playing on the bed and reading under the comforter.  She will now give me kisses and cuddle, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.  

I see the Parmesan Chicken picture on my screen, which is what we made last night.  Delicious!  One of those simple recipes that never fail.

Mike continues to feel pretty good.  He is not sleeping as much as he would like but seems to have plenty of energy.  Just praying it stays this way.  We know how lucky we are to be spending these treatment days in a place where he is happy and content.  Ryan tapes Jeopardy every day, and we gather after Graysen goes to sleep to play.  Or rather, I kind of listen and toss out an answer once in awhile.  

Tomorrow Emily is off, and I'm not sure what we'll do.  It's time for us to have a girls' day since the guys have been having so much fun fishing.  Tomorrow is Ryan's birthday, and Tuesday is Mike's.  Guess we'll be partying all week.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Busy Monday

I see now why I need to write every day because big chunks of yesterday are missing from my memory.  I do know it was one of the best days we've spent with Graysen - from the time I got her out of bed at 6:15 until her parents got home at the end of the day.

She was talking and pointing as soon as I opened the door to her room and was content to just stand in her bed and jabber and exclaim over things.  Opening the blinds to let in some light was just so exciting for her.

Our favorite thing to do is sit in the den and listen to and watch her play.  She does play by herself well, just picking up things and talking to them and sometimes naming them, or running through the house with any of her cars or rolling things.

Stair-climbing for her is so much fun to watch.  And so nice that I no longer have to carry her up and down.  She goes up very methodically and rapidly, enjoying it so much, but then going down, she starts a few feet away from the first step and backs into it.  Then she starts slithering like an eel and sliding until she reaches the landing.  She gives a self-satisfied little exclamation and does the whole thing over again.  When she reaches the bottom, she gives the gate a firm push until it latches.  I have to admit it took me a couple of days until I was comfortable watching this - and may still need to lurk behind her all the time.

The sailboat dress I made is a little bit too big right now, but she looks sweet in it.  I'll definitely use that pattern again.

Mike was feeling good yesterday - not wonderful - but well enough to spend a lot of time playing and reading, and we even walked across the street to the park late in the afternoon.  I've never been in WA in 99-degree weather, but it was almost like being home.  Even the tree-canopied trail behind the park was not cool like it usually is.

This picture is eerie to me.  Kind of like an abandoned (glowing) baby.  We love the ferns and the coolness.

This is just mean.  Mike's idea of a funny thing.  He is constantly pointing out bear nests and trampled down places and asking what I would do if a bobcat came out of the woods.

Emily and I took her over to the park and let her run in the grass.  They're rebuilding the playground, and we can't wait until that's finished.  In the meantime, a bottle of bubble stuff and some boys playing Frisbee are enough entertainment.

Adding new pictures from today.

Crossing the street with Daddy to check out the future park.


 Someone looks guilty, but I'm not sure why.  They wouldn't want it if it didn't pertain to fishing.

Another pensive pose, just waiting for the other kids.

We had a list of chemo side-effects that we refer to, and a headache was one of them to call the doctor for, and I did but was reassured that it would be okay to take something for it.  There was a little heartburn that Emily picked up some Omeprazole for.  I think today the headache is still there a little, but the heartburn is gone.  We're so lucky he hasn't had any of the other ones except being very tired and sleepy - which is fine and expected.

I'm still managing to keep up with work when Graysen is asleep and today when she is at the babysitter's.  We would love to keep her all the time, but they need to keep their babysitter so have to take G over there some.  I have to admit it is nice to have a little break, but I miss her today.

Ryan went off to meet some people, so Mike and I walked to town to the UPS store to mail a package.  It looked a little rainy, and we were sure it was going to start raining on us.  We walked at a pretty good pace and made it and made it back too.  I loved the wind and clouds.  So much nicer than the hot sun.  We had thunder and lightning last night too, a rarity up here, which thrilled Emily and me.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Walk

Having been left at home by ourselves today, Mike and I took our morning walk into town.  We ended up at the grocery store and bought toothpaste and parchment paper.  This is some of what we saw on this cool sunny morning.

There are community garden spots that you can rent near Em and Ryan's house.  We love passing by there to see what people have done.  Some are lush and filled to the brim, and others have squash the size of watermelons because they've been forgotten.

I think it's interesting that Snoqualmie and Montgomery are pretty close to the same hardiness zone.  There are things grown here that I never see in the south, but some things do well everywhere - like squash!

Here are some raspberries.

 Pole beans, we think.  Some kind of beans on a nice teepee.
 Bunches of tomatoes, but Emily says they don't taste the way she's used to having them taste.
 We're guessing these are regular blackberries and on public property, so I picked a handful of the darkest ones, planning to have them for breakfast, but they were way too sour.  I'll try some more next week and see how they taste.

This big rabbit kept running across our path near the gardens.  I stopped to take some pictures, and he didn't seem to mind at all. 

 These were at the entrance to a service station.  
 And the view looking across the street as we walked.
 Mike has already discovered the library and gotten a temporary card.  We're going to try to take Graysen to the toddler story hour on Wednesday morning.  I think she will love being around other children.

 Beautiful hanging baskets on the street corners downtown.

 On the way home, we were surprised to see a Texas vine just like ours - much taller though.  I think it's a trumpet vine or something similar.

 This is the little sitting area where we sat a little bit.  There was a dog trainer's car at a house across the street from us, and we were wanting to see him/her come out, but we never did.

Tonight Mike and Ryan went fishing while Emily and I took Graysen in her wagon and Griff down that little secluded trail to the park.  It's so beautiful with the trees making a canopy and all the ferns growing that I kind of forget to be afraid.  I have a lot of pictures of that outing but too tired to upload them.

Mike felt good all day and had no symptoms except for minor heartburn.  I guess if he went walking and then fishing, he's not feeling that bad.