bronwynrh: (Default)

A warm baby on your chest is a great sleep aid, until he startles and scares the bejeezus out of you.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

bronwynrh: (rose)
On the 14th of every month, I'm going to post this 'ere post and this 'ere button:








It will allow anyone to make a donation to help offset the costs of my mom's PBSC transplant (stem cell transplant).

On December 9, 2008, my mom was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. The first quarter of 2009, mom went through three rounds of chemotherapy and came through like a champ. She has been in remission since the first round was complete, but her blood counts have never come back to normal. She's been told that a relapse is all but certain, and that a transplant is her best bet.

Thanks to the wonderful Be The Match donor registry, a perfectly matched donor has been found. This wonderful person, whoever and wherever they are, is willing to go through the somewhat painful process of injections and then the lengthy donation process to save a life - my mom's life.

Of all the places we imagine ourselves, this is not one we ever really consider, until it strikes.

My mother is my best friend, and has always been my source of strength and level-headedness, all the times I've needed it. This is the least I can do for her.

Please donate if you can, and register to be a bone marrow donor.

I can't offer you any tax benefits for your donation, but I assure that your gift will go directly to my mom's medical bills.

Please make whatever use of your own networks as you are comfortable. The more, the merrier, and every little bit will be accepted with my deepest gratitude. The smallest gift still sends a message of love and support that cannot be assigned any value.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
bronwynrh: (Me)
that mom has a perfectly matched bone marrow donor?

This morning, I dropped her off at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, where she's been getting daily high-dose GCSF injections since last Thursday (or was it Wednesday?). Today, they insert the central line and start the draws, which will probably take at least two days, maybe three or four.

They're collecting her stem cells because she's in full remission and they want to have something in the bank. At first, they said this would be banking against a relapse occurring before a donor could be found, but since that's taken care of, we're now banking against a failure of the transplant.

They can store her stem cells for five years, and it will serve as a stop-gap measure autologous transplant should something go wrong in that time.

BUT, she has a matched donor, and the donor is still willing to serve! When she's done with donating to herself, mom will find out the timeline for her transplant. I imagine she'll be admitted shortly after the new year. A week of high-dose chemotherapy, followed by the transplant and another month or more while we await engraftment of the donor cells. Once they start cranking, she should be good to go.

Mom just rang to tell me where she is and what she knows so far about her day's plans. Once things get going, I'll head over to keep her company. Unlike last winter, when she was in the hospital about 15 minutes from here, she's going to be just a couple of blocks from where I work. If it weren't so damned cold outside, I could walk it.

We're all nervous - none more so than my mom - but we cling to our hope to keep the nerves at bay. Besides, we have to remember to LIVE, else we forget how by worrying too much.

When I gave birth to Samuel, I was struck with a sense of my own mortality. That sense has been solidly reinforced almost daily, and I redefine my perspective on living day-to-day.
bronwynrh: (Default)
Back at work (*sob*) after a wonderful four-day weekend with my family.

We hosted Thanksgiving, as usual, and between my parents and myself, we put up a pretty good spread. The unfortunate part is that I work for a day and half for about three and a half hours' worth of entertaining. Half of my guests leave early for celebrations at another household, and the other half just don't stick around.

When I was growing up, Thanksgiving started in the early afternoon and continued late into the evening. I miss that, although I realize much of it was borne of the fact that we lived overseas and everyone was seeking a replacement for the family celebrations of home. Still, I imagine that other families have daylong affairs, so I'm not sure why we don't.

On Friday, I went shopping. Yes, shopping. I've always sworn off Black Friday shopping, but this Friday morning saw me journeying with my mother to a carpet center where we met the contractor who's going to be fixing the water damage in Samuel's room. I didn't count that as shopping, especially since we were the only people in the closed-to-the-public warehouse. On the way home, though, mom suggested we go ahead and visit the mall. My Christmas gift this year was to be a new suit and, mom figured, we so rarely have the opportunity to be out together and kid-free. We're also very good at shopping by surgical strike, so we reasoned that any mobs would be easily navigated.

We were right. With a couple of side-jaunts, mom and I successfully completed our mission, and then some. We discovered Soma, a Chico's offshoot and beautiful alternative to Victoria's Secret. They have a camisole bra and a 10-way sweater wrap that I covet. We took notes, and moved on toward Ann Taylor. I now have a beautiful suit (thanks mom and dad!) and treated myself to a new pair of shoes, a sweater that will be perfect for work, and a lovely top, all thanks to Ann Taylor's 40% off sale. On our way out, we dove into Macy's so I could buy a much-needed full slip and trouser slip, and then headed up one more level to peek at the Tools of The Trade cookware.

Jeff and I have been fed up with our non-stick cookware for a couple of years now, worrying about what sort of chemical gunk is leaching from the coating into our food. We'd determined that our Christmas present to ourselves this year would be a new set of pots and pans. My parents have used and loved their Tools of the Trade for more than 20 years, and I was curious to see what was available.

Oh my goodness! Macy's was selling their Tools of the Trade for almost 50% off! And even at full price, the brand is far more affordable than the other top brands. The sets we had been looking at were running around $400, and the additional pieces were all $100 or more. The Tools set was only $129, and the additional pieces (some in sets of two) were all under $50 - most of them under $30. I squealed with joy at the thought of how much more palatable this major purchase had just become.

So a Black Friday trip to choose carpet turned into a major coup of shopping success.

Open our kitchen cabinets and they *gleam* with stainless steal beauty. The dinged and scratched coated cookware is huddled in a corner, awaiting an uncertain fate.

Perhaps I gush a bit much, but maybe I needed the retail therapy.

We invited my parents upstairs for a fondue dinner on Saturday night, with the Ramey family traditional beef fondue and a killer cheese fondue. SO. YUMMY.

Sunday was spent in quieter family pursuits. Dixon and I hung out at home and I knitted while Jeff and Samuel went to visit my MIL and FIL.

Dixon's sweater is a little more than half-way finished, and my fingers are itching to get back to it. Dang job is getting in the way of my domesticity.

So that's my brain-dump. Work is extraordinarily busy; my coworker and I both feel that we have two full-time jobs each. I just hope that all this work pays off.

And with that, I leave you with a photographic collection from the holiday.
bronwynrh: (Boys)
I've been busy. Actually, I've been sick, which means I've been too exhausted and snotty to be very productive these past few weeks. My knitting has languished, my pile of sewing projects spread across the tables, and the guilt huddles in my mind, waiting for any opportunity to make me feel like an unaccomplished loser.

I do have one freelance job completed, so that's something. I should get another assignment next week... with one or two more jobs this month, I should earn a nice little pocket full of Jeff's 40th Birthday Present money. I've made a couple of Lizzypops sales, too, and hope to grab some momentum, there.

I have projects in progress for myself, Jeff and Dixon, but feel guilty working on them because they won't make any money. Then I feel guilty if I focus on Lizzypops stuff, because it may just all be a colossal waste of time. So I wind up doing nothing at all, which does wonders for the self-esteem, let me tell you.

Let's see... Ah, October in Pictures! The boys were fun this month. They're becoming closer, having fun and being affectionate with each other, although Samuel still feels very jealous of Dixon and often steals toys or squeezes between us and the baby, pushing Dixon away. He's learning, but it's taking some time. When they're not competing for toys or attention, they set each other off into choruses of squeals, screeches and giggles, and play extended games of Monkey See, Monkey Do. Last night, they were executing tandem Downward Dog poses with their heads butted up against each other on the floor. Then they'd rise up on their toes and roll over their heads, over each other, giggling like little madmen. I'll be sure to have the camera ready for video, tonight.

October 2009



~~~


And now... I dare you to go to YouTube and search for "world's biggest zit". I double dog dare you. Don't make me suffer the traumatic aftereffects alone, but don't blame me if you're foolish enough to take the dare.
bronwynrh: (Default)
It feels good to have another project completed. This one, a quilt for a co-worker's daughter. The cute-as-a-button Bitzer is three weeks older than Dixon.





Other goings on... )

Picture time! )
bronwynrh: (Default)
Had a fun evening with Samuel and Dixon on Friday evening, just me and the weejuns. Saturday, Jeff and Mog (Sam's name for my MIL) took Samuel along on a trip to Thieneman's nursery for some plant shopping. After a nap, we took the boys over to Mog and MogDaddy's house for a little pool party.

Samuel and Dixon Go Swimming


Home again, home again, jiggety jig, for a Sunday filled with running in mad circles around the house interrupted by a shopping trip with Mommy and MomMom and, of course, a nap.

There were giggles galore from Mr. Dixon and loads of energy and verbosity from Mr. Samuel.

Today, poor Mr. Samuel came down with a fever. *sigh*
Poor kid was completely deflated. It was all he could do to flop on his fish pillow on the floor and watch Sesame Street with Dixon and PopPop.

I met him and PopPop at the doctor's office after work. The Strep swab came back negative, so this is just an "observe and treat the fever as we wish" illness. Unless it doesn't get better in a couple of days.

It will, though.

Just figures that this means Samuel will miss the first day of preschool at Miss Kelly's house. And he was looking forward to it, too.

It's about an hour away from Motrin time, so I'm going to go up to wake the Young Master to check on him and see if I can't convince him to eat something. He asked to be stripped to his diaper and put to bed as soon as we got home, and he's been asleep since then. I've heard him chatter a few times, but he never called to me.

Anyway, off to snuggle Mr. Sam.
bronwynrh: (Boys)


And we know he's ticklish.


bronwynrh: (Default)
The Darling Dixon loves me so much, he feels he must awaken at 11, midnight, 3:30 and 6, just to be with me. Every night, it's some variation of this routine, although the midnight and 3:30 wakeups are sometimes moved to 1 and 4.

This makes mommy very, very tired.  It's hard to be angry, though, when the cause of my great sleep debt (shall we call it a toxic asset?) is so heart breakingly cute. See?

 
I cannot resist a baby in blue jeans. I almost took a photo of him crawling, just to have a shot of that adorable little blue-jean'd bottom.  Nine months old, 22.5 lbs, two teeth. He's trying to stand up, holding on to any vertical surface he comes across.  Alas, this means he has something of a perma-bruise on his forehead.  He doesn't give up, though!

And then there's Samuel, who has become Little Mr. Chatterbox.  Babble, babble babble, all the time.  Bedtime is 8 o'clock, but I listen to his chatter until 9:15 almost every evening.  He understands now that objects and people have names, and is doing very well with labelling.  He still loves his alphabet, and will spend a good while reading to himself or spelling aloud.  The best advancement for him lately, though, is 2- and 3-word sentences.  The bad news is, when I'm around, his topic of choice is often "boobies".  Yesterday morning, he said, "mama boobie Dix mik!"  "Mommy's boobies make milk for Dixon?" I asked for clarification. "Yes!"  He replied with an emphatic nod.  He's a nutty, button-pushing two year-old, but Samuel is also bright, energetic and a very sweet little boy, with a great sense of humor and a musical laugh.  Like the haircut? I think I'm getting the hang of it.


bronwynrh: (Dixon smiles)
Here 'tis...



Getting there!

Also, a few (ok, too many) Dixon pics in hier )
bronwynrh: (Default)
My son asked for popcorn for dinner. By name, he asked for popcorn. When pressed, he emphatically reiterated his request, complete with full-body nodding.

I, terrible mother that I am, acquiesced. Hey, it's fresh popped on the stove, with olive oil. And, people, he asked for it by using a WORD.

He ate the guts from a piece of crusty bread, a few handfuls of popcorn, and sucked down a glass of grape juice. The kid just has no appetite. I fail to see how he manages to survive, but the pediatrician and First Steps folks unanimously insist that he's fine, perfectly normal, nothing to worry about, Mizz Hartung.

Meanwhile, young SumoSon will eat an entire banana and then wash it all down with a 20 minute nursing session. And if you offered him some Cheerios, he'll take those, too, thank you very much.

Now they're sitting on the floor at my feet, watching Ni-hao, Kai-lan and passing a puffy book back and forth between them.

Mom tells me the kids love World... let's pull it up and see... Yep, rumor confirmed. Dixon is rocking back and forth, and Samuel climbed up into my lap to watch and replay ... and replay ... and replay.

And look! Now he's eating an apple and more popcorn. Just another Monday night in Paradise.
bronwynrh: (Smiling Sam)
I'm a stair counter. Always have been. Our homes in Saudi Arabia had 15 steps, and I confirmed this fact every time I climbed or descended them.

I am still a stair counter, and have been counting our 18 steps with Samuel nearly every day for a year and half. Yesterday morning, I asked him to count with me and he counted up to ten. TEN! And here I thought he could only count to five.

So now I'm doubly impressed :)
bronwynrh: (Boys)
I need to take a moment
Read more... )

Alright, well I feel better now. Back to work!

bronwynrh: (Boys)
He can count to five, he recognizes the word "moon" and more than half the letters of the alphabet.

Yesterday, he was singing "A,B,C... A,B,C" Then at dinner he said, clear as a bell, "napkin peeze". He's started singing "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat", and is generally becoming more intelligible.

He's making great strides with his speech, and it's so thrilling to see. He's exceptionally bright, and as he gains expressive language he's blossoming even more.

Yes, I'm proud :)
bronwynrh: (Boys)
This just in from MomMom and PopPop: Dixon is Crawling!

After several weeks of rocking, rolling, and backwards and sideways creeping, he's finally figured out the secret to forward locomotion.

YAY!
bronwynrh: (Default)
First, there are these fabulous little fellas.



Then, there's my latest accomplishment: Dixon's quilt!





The pattern is Animal Crossing, from Cherry House Quilts. I can't say enough good things about Cherri... she's just wonderful. And check out her wildly talented daughter, Lizzy.

And now I have to go soothe the younger of those young'uns I'm so proud of. *sigh* So tired. Kid, I love you, but please please please go to sleep.
bronwynrh: (Default)
First, I want to share a little story. When I was a wee thing, my parents used to try to convince me that I was really a boy. We found you under a rock, and you had a tail, they'd say, and we wanted a girl so much that we grew your hair long and put you in dresses.

I did indeed have long hair. It was so long, I used to sit on it. And I did like to wear dresses. One evening, when I was five or so years old, my parents were again telling me the story of how they found me under a rock. This evening, though, I pointed out that Nuh uh, I'm not a boy! I don't have what daddy has! I don't stand up to pee!

And so ended the game.

I thought it may be fun to play with my kids someday, and tell them that they were really girls. To bolster my argument in a way my parents didn't think of, I am gathering photographic evidence )
bronwynrh: (Default)
Oh, no! Not another picture post!

Samuel knows most of the alphabet, and I tried to capture it all on video, but he grew bored before we could finish. Ah, well. Maybe next time. For now, here's the alphabet through P.
From Samuel and Dixon


More dreadful cuteness within. Beware! )

The kids were loads and loads of fun, this weekend. Many giggles, skishes, kisses, chases and cuddles were had. Jeff built the first of two garden beds for me yesterday, and I'm very nearly finished with Dixon's quilt. All that's left is the quilting and binding.

I'm just going to sit here at my desk and bask in the memories ... and work, I guess :)
bronwynrh: (Dixon the thinker)
Dixon sprouted his first tooth yesterday, at 7 months, 6 days.

Samuel didn't sprout his first tooth until his 10-monthsday, and took another month to sprout tooth #2.

Funny, the differences.

Read more... )

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