Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Graduation day, Picture Tuesday

Picture Tuesday, Tate at 23 weeks old.
Tate loves the water. Bath time is the best. He especially loves when we let the water sprinkle on him from the washcloth. His eyes get really big and he holds really still and just watches it fall on his hands. It's like magic.

We went to visit Glenn during his lunch break last week and Tate could not get enough of these amazing maps Glenn made on his office wall! Glenn couldn't have been more proud. We tried to get him to say words like "horizon" and "well" but to no avail. Maybe later.

This is what Glenn has been working on this summer. In much more simple language than Glenn would use, he's been mapping and analyzing an area in the gulf that is up for lease this year and analyzing different layers to see if there are any places where pockets where oil could be trapped. He is making his presentation to the big guys next week to show them the work he's done. His presentation and performance reviews from his supervisor will help them determine whether they want to offer him a position after he graduates or not! Big week for Glenn. Today was also graduation day for Glenn. He graduated from radiation. He was very proud. The sweet nurses let him hit the graduation gong. (He was so excited to hit it that he couldn't even wait for them to get me in the waiting room to take a picture. I just heard this loud noise from the waiting room and then we had to go back and take pictures by the gong afterward.) They even gave him a graduation certificate. It's great. It says, "having completed the prescribed course of radiation oncology with a high order of proficiency in the science and art of being cheerful, outstanding in high courage, tolerant and determined in all orders given, is therefore, now entitled to receive certification as an active member in our favorite patient club subject to all rights, honors, and privileges thereof." Awesome. The nurses there have been so sweet to us. I'm proud of my husband. He's been very busy trying to keep up with everything at his work and work hard enough to stand out as an intern while undergoing radiation which made him sick and very tired. Glenn is a trooper. I'm so glad he's my husband. I drove him to work this morning and he was singing "Pomp and Circumstance" all the way there. It's been stuck in my head all day. Couldn't ask for a more positive, patient husband. I love ya babe. Happy graduation day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Roller Derby

Last weekend we tried something new. It's fun to live in a place where we can try new things all the time! Some of our good friends, the Cluffs from Austin, were down for the weekend and Janelle's sister happens to be on the Austin "Honky Tonk Heartbreakers" Roller Derby team and they were having a bout here in Houston (we learned the event is called a "bout" not a match or a game) so they invited us to watch. I was pretty stoked. I've wanted to see a Roller Derby bout just for the sheer uniqueness of the thing, but never really had a reason or opportunity to, so this was perfect! We even had someone to cheer for.
Glenn and Tate with the Cluff Family.
I wasn't sure what to expect but had a really good time! Basically there are two teams and they skate around the track super fast and there is one member of each team called the "Jammer" who wears a star on their helmet. The jammers have to skate faster than the big group and lap members of the other team. They get a point for each member of the opposite team they lap. So there's this huge mass of skaters with members of both teams in it and they're all trying to keep the Jammer who isn't on their team from passing them while trying to help out the Jammer on their own team. Yeah, I was confused for a while too. Basically it's a whole bunch of grown women trying to block players with their bums or push them over with their shoulders or skate into them from the side. It was awesome.
It seems like every time we do something new we stumble into this whole sub-culture that we never knew existed. I don't know what I loved more. The grown women in spandex and tulle skirts and fishnet stockings with bright blue, green, or pink eye shadow, the fact that we got a jersey thrown to us during the warmups that has this logo on it: (yep, that's an almost naked lady wearing skates and riding a rocket. pajama shirt? Hmmm) the coach of the Houston team who was sporting a great mohawk and a kilt, the interesting roller derby fans that surrounded us with their language, undying devotion to the sport and spilt beer, or the roller derby names. I think it's probably the names. I had fun just reading their names in the program and on their jerseys. Some of my favorites include: Death by Chocolate (she happened to be one of the 2 black girls in the bout), Scarlet O'Hurtya, CoCo ChanHell, Princess Prozac, Desi Cration, Angie Christ, Ivana B. Sedated, and Glenn's favorite Tex Offender. Wow. I have been thinking this week what my roller derby name would be. Hmmm. I would go for Death by Ice Cream Mmmmm, but that sounds less menacing and more fat housewife. Which lead me to Freezr Burn, Crashalicious (based on my stellar skating skills), or maybe Skaterella, I do love fairy tales. It's harder than I thought. Overall, a very enjoyable evening. Really glad we checked out the Roller Derby.
What would your Roller Derby name be? I found some roller derby name generators if you want some help. I'm telling you, it's a culture of its own.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Putting on the Pound

Tate 22 weeks old.

We went up to Austin for Tate's 5 month appointment last weekend. The doctor said that she wanted to see him at 5 months because his weight dropped so much by percentile between months 2 and 4 (75th to 40th). So we went in and he had dropped to the 25th percentile. He now weighs 15 pounds even (25th percentile), is 26 1/2 inches long (75th percentile). She is concerned enough about his drop in weight percentile that she ordered some blood and urine tests. The blood draw was no fun at all. It was much worse watching that than watching his shots. Luckily he had dad to make it all better once we got home.

She also put him on a "diet" of sorts. We have to start supplementing with formula 3 times a day and feeding him food as well. Tate needs to at least stay in the 25th percentile next month and we'll be fine. If he drops again we are supposed to see a specialist of some sort because apparently that would mean something is not quite right. The Dr. said she's not worried about the fact that he is in the 25th percentile, but about the drop in percentile from just a few months ago to now. I guess that's not normal. In order to stay in the 25th percentile at 6 months he needs to weigh 16 pounds. So the race is on. Tate needs to gain 1 pound this month. Last month he only gained 8 ounces so we have some work to do.

Tate is NOT amused by the changes around here. He's sort of sluggish and spits up a lot (which is strange because the kid doesn't normally spit up much). He's also decided to wake up quite a bit more at night. And he does NOT like rice cereal, that much is pretty clear. We tried it a month ago when the doctor told us to and this was the result:He basically spit it out and gagged over and over. We thought it was pretty darn funny. We're terrible parents.

So this time we tried mixing it with apple juice. Another "Absolutely not, Mom and Dad". Not as much gagging this time but it was pretty funny watching his whole body just cringe away when he saw the spoon coming.
All in all, we're not too worried. I think the whole percentile thing is kind of a bunch of fluff. I'd rather my doctor be more cautious than not I suppose so if there is something up we'll find it sooner rather than later. But Tate is growing and he's pleasant and seems full after he eats so I think he's fine. Maybe he just came as a big baby and he's decided to put on the brakes for a while. Nonetheless, here we are, in the race to put on a pound in a month. So easy for Glenn and I. Why so difficult for our son?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If I lived near family...

I would SO have been at the midnight movie last night! Who but family would babysit until the wee hours of the morning? I'm sure I'll see it soon enough anyway, but there's just something about being at the midnight movie on opening night. Yes, I am 10 years old inside.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

5 months, TUTS

Tate has learned so many things this week. Sometimes it seems like he goes through spurts where he figures out tons of things all at once and it's too fast! I feel like giving him a serious talking to and telling him to slow down! This week he started rolling from his back to his tummy. He's getting a little more wiggly since he knows he can be, and has started to need toys or books to look at once in a while to keep him occupied when he doesn't feel like being still anymore. And he started to suck on his thumb which is super cute in my opinion.

Tate at 21 weeks old.
One benefit to living in an enormous city is that there are usually some really cool things to do for FREE! I like to research such activities and this past weekend we tried a new one. We live right across the street from an enormous park that has a zoo, a golf course, and a huge outdoor theater among other things. The outdoor theater is really big and all of the plays and shows that are performed there are FREE! You can get a ticket for the seated area if you stand in line the afternoon of the show or you can just show up and sit on a blanket on the huge lawn. Glenn stood in line while I was at Enrichment and got us seats. It was SO nice to be able to go to a play again. I haven't been for...far too long.
We saw 42nd Street and I have to be honest, I was a little bit skeptical. I mean, the last time I saw 42nd Street it was on Broadway and how good can this little outdoor theatre in Houston that does shows for free actually be? Well, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a very impressive production. The live orchestra, the amazing costumes, the fun, familiar 40's music that had you tapping your toes and humming along, and the tappers that just did not stop despite the breathtaking heat. One of Glenn's friends from back East stopped by for a visit a couple of weeks ago and described the heat here as "soul-crushing". An accurate description. The theatre season is called "Theatre Under the Stars" TUTS. I think it should be renamed, "Theatre On The Sun". Seriously, the play started at 8:15 and ended at almost 11 and the entire time I was sweating like crazy. Sweating from places I didn't know could sweat. We started stripping poor Tatie down, probably more because we wanted to strip ourselves than that he actually needed it. But for theatre on the surface of the sun, it was pretty awesome. It was really nice to be able to see such a great production for free, and to see it outside where we could bring Tate! Here's a picture of the theater.Tate and his daddy.
Tate apparently didn't appreciate me talking to Glenn during the performance! The kid knows his audience etiquette. He just sat quitely on our laps and then fell asleep when he got tired without so much as a peep. He's been well taught.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ode to Zofran

A professional poemster I am not. But we're pretty grateful for Zofran around here, especially of late, so I think it deserves an Ode. Here it is:

Zofran you're the coolest drug that we've seen
To help us get better when we're feeling green.
You're the best drug there is, there's simply no doubt
For curing us from every throwing up bout.

The pregnancy ickies are sure not much fun.
Stomach muscles get a workout before each day is done.
Radiation is a mess. There's not much that's pleasant.
Even the instant weight loss is not a welcome present.

But no matter how awful those nausea waves become
Just one tiny pill brings the barfing to none.
Oh Zofran, we love you. You're our favorite pill.
Thanks for all the love when we're feeling ill!

Thanks for all of the prayers and thoughts this past week. Glenn is feeling so much better. Not 100% but so much better than those first couple of days. There are a few side effects that could start this week...hopefully he won't get those. The nausea is much more under control with the Zofran, thank heavens. So long as we can keep getting refills we're in much better shape. Just two more weeks! Thanks again everyone!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Love


I love Kim. She took such good care of me the other day when I was flat on my back. It was one of those really humbling times in life when you are totally dependant on someone else. I don't know what I would have done if I were alone. I was so helpless. Kim was on the phone with the doctor, insurance, and pharmacy for well over a solid hour. She got me three different types of medicine to make me feel better, went to Sonic and got pebble ice for me to chew on, and even emptied my bowl frequently.
Thank you Kim. I love you, and I feel much better today.
-Your favorite superhero, Radioactive Man.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Radiation

Stomach and sides marked with targets of Xs and Os in permanent marker covered with funny dinosaur stickers so they don't wear off.
Several CT scans to measure abdomen and figure out exactly where to shoot radiation into my honey.
Treatment sessions last about five minutes every day for three weeks. Must be pretty powerful to do such damage in just 5 minutes.
Second treatment this morning.
Felt rotten yesterday but made it through work.
Came home from work this morning at ten o'clock after throwing up a few times.
Feeling rotten. Lying in bed. Nothing left to throw up but keeps throwing up every 5 minutes or so.
Three more weeks of this? How do I take care of all three of us at once? What can I cook or eat that won't smell too strong and make him sick? How do I hold down the barf when I hear his barfing sounds? How long will it take the insurance company to approve his nausea meds? How do I keep him hydrated when he can't keep anything down?
Chances go from something like 70 percent that cancer is gone to 98 percent after radiation treatment. Worth it. For me at least. Not sure about how Glenn feels today.
Not fun. Needs to be documented. I love you my sweetheart.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Hampshire in Summertime

Picture Tuesday. Tate at 20 weeks old. We had a super busy and super fun last week. Glenn has wanted to be back at his home during the summertime, especially for the Fourth of July, for a really long time so we finally made the trip. It was fun and fast. It's like I blinked and we're home again. On Wednesday night we flew out to Boston. Our flight was delayed because of bad weather in Boston so we ended up getting to Andover, NH at 4:30 am. It was a long night, but we made it.We were excited for Tate to meet his grandparents. It was the first time he met Gramma Heather.And Grampa Arthur. They got along very well and he certainly showed them his best side throughout the weekend. It was so great to show off our little boy for a weekend. Tate met most of the town during out stay. On Thursday we woke up bright and early, thank you Tate, and spent the day running errands with Gramma Heather. New Hampshire really is one of the most beautiful places on earth. We get to go back every Thanksgiving because that's the holiday that Glenn's brothers are in town for so we get to spend time with them. Glenn tells me every year that I'm seeing New Hampshire at its ugliest and I still think it's beautiful. It is even more beautiful in the summer. Everything is green and the lakes are gorgeous. We were hoping for better weather. It rained on and off all weekend and was pretty cold. Well, cold for us. But that was actually great. We were glad for the break from the heat even if it meant that it was a bit too cold for swimming while we were there.
On Friday we headed down to Boston to see a much anticipated Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Glenn found out months ago that there was a game on the third and spent countless hours online looking for tickets in just the right section and for just the right price. It became a very serious hunt unlike any I had known, and I grew up with men who take hunting very seriously. Apparently since the Red Sox started getting good again every season is sold out and tickets are nearly impossible to get from the Red Sox association so you just have to get them from other people who are selling them online. He finally found some and we were all very excited to experience Fenway Park. Glenn had been several times growing up but it had been years. It was awesome. We drove down to Boston and took the T into town.
"What is with this Red Sox thing again?"

Tate and Glenn outside Fenway Park. It was strange walking down the busy Boston street and then you see this huge building that looks just like any other big, old building, except that there are stadium lights sticking out the top. They close the streets around the park and it's just a huge party. Music blasting. People selling enormous italian sausages. People selling all sorts of Red Sox gear to suckers like us. Tate in his little man red sox shirt. Yes, we bought him a shirt. How could we not? He's sort of stopped sucking on his fingers and started just holding them in front of his mouth and licking them. It's funny looking.Tate with Gramma Heather and Grampa Arthur at the game.Wearing dad's new Red Sox hat at the game. Notice the soaking shirt. Drooling has not let up at all. Silly boy.Glenn, Tate, and I. Tate was great throughout the game. He slept and played and just fussed once when he got hungry. They played the Seattle Mariners and the game went into 11 innings. It got exciting in the 11th with a home run and two outs but they ended up losing anyway. It was so much fun just being in the park. It's so old and full of history and just quirky. It's the oldest park in the league and they've had to do all sorts of things to try to update it without knocking it down. It has such character and a cool feeling about it. That, and the Boston fans are a species all their own. Feisty and fiercely loyal at the same time. For example, in the 4th inning, I think, a ball got hit into the stands by the Mariners and a fan reached out and caught it before the Red Sox player could catch it for an out and the entire park was furious at this fan. Glenn pointed out that they didn't replay that clip on the big screen so people could get a good look at the guy who caught the ball because he probably wouldn't make it out of the park if people saw his face. Oh my.There are a lot of fun traditions at Fenway. My favorite is singing Sweet Caroline in the 7th inning. Everyone on their feet and singing as loud as they can. It was great.Art and Heather after the game.Glenn, Tate, and I after the game.

Another late night. The game went late then we took the T back to the car and drove 2 hours back to New Hampshire. We got to bed around 3. Seriously, Tate was a trooper this weekend!

The next day we geared up for the Fourth, celebrated Andover style. Glenn tried to prepare me for the spectacle that is an Andover Fourth of July but it almost defied description. Everyone from nearby towns come to Andover because they know how to throw a party. There was a pancake breakfast, a huge flea market of sorts with people selling all sorts of wares, great food...and some more interesting food, a parade, little shows all day long, and then amazing fireworks at night. It was like everywhere I looked there was a Norman Rockwell painting. Classic old American Fourth of July. It was so fun. Here's Glenn and Tate at the parade. He loved showing off his little accessory to everyone in the town.

The "One-Wheelers". Yep, Andover Elementary school has a unicyling team complete with streamers and matching uniforms. They performed on the street and then in the parade as well. Wow.A traditional part of the parade and a highlight in my opinion was "Leapin' Lena". This old school car that can pop back on its' back wheels and drive along. Here are Glenn and Tate again getting ready for the fireworks in the field. The fireworks show was really big and quite impressive. Especially when you consider the size of the town of Andover that is putting on the show. It was great and lasted about 15 minutes or so. Tate was asleep by then and slept soundly the whole time.We had a great time. It was so nice to catch up with Art and Heather and spend so much time with them. So glad we took the time and money to just do it. Thanks for all the fun!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New Toys

Tate 19 weeks old.
Tate had his 4 month appointment last week and I forgot to record his stats. Weight: 14 pounds, 8 ounces. 40th percentile
Length: 25 and a half inches. 75th percentile
The doctor was concerned at his drop in weight percentile. Last time he was in the 75th, so we have another appointment in a month to check his weight again and see if he levels out. I was super surprised because I feel like he is a big baby but I guess he's not abnormally big after all.

New things for Tatie: He's started to get more control over his hands and can aim and grab whatever he wants. He gets this really serious, focused look on his face when he sees something within his grasp and he reaches out, grabs it, and pulls it slowly into his mouth. So cute. He really loves his play mat. It never gets boring. He's interested in Rosie more too. When he's on the ground and he sees her sitting nearby, he reaches out his hand toward her and she comes over and licks it. He loves it. I wish she wouldn't. It's gross.

He's starting to even out his nap times a bit. I can sort of predict when he's going to go to sleep or when I can just put him to sleep during the day as long as we're at home. When we're out, all bets are off. It's nice to have a little more predictability during the day. It still varies every now and then, but it's much better. Now if we could just get him to stop waking up at night. Baby steps.

I have a fun new toy as well! My mom bought me a serger for my birthday and I've been playing with it this week. I'm super excited to try some new projects and brush up on things I've made before. I really enjoy sewing. It's a fun creative outlet that is good for me right now. There's just something rewarding about putting things together and making something new. I'm not great at it, but I'm learning and it's sure fun. Thanks Mom!