Thursday, June 30, 2011

More rain… Day 957 30JUN11

Somebody threw the rain switch around here and we got even more today. The boys and I got up and grabbed some breakfast before heading off to the rink to get some ice time in. We all had a good skate with no bad falls which is definitely a good thing. All the practice is starting to pay off and we are all improving little by little. It was pouring while we were skating but we caught a break in the weather for our trip home. Most of the afternoon we passed quietly doing different things around the house. We got enough of a break in the weather to grill out some pork chops for dinner before it started back up again. I am sure the boys will sleep good tonight and the frogs will be happy to sing them off to dreamland :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cousins… Day 956 29JUN11

We had a few extra kids for part of today. Taylor and Avery came over to play for a bit while Scott and Alecia took care of a few things. They are always great when they come over and we enjoy having them. Taylor and Joshua played Monopoly for a while and then switched over to Bakugan, Miss Avery meanwhile played LEGO Indiana Jones with Renee. I was working on a project out in the shop for the morning and Jarrod kept himself amused on his computer. They left in the late afternoon as I was getting ready to go to work. Jarrod headed out about the same time to go mow grandma and pa's lawn to earn money for his hockey stuff. I understand he got it done just before the afternoon rains came rolling in. The frogs are loving all the water coming out of the sky and are singing a happy chorus outside as I write. We are slated to get more rain every day this week and the plants are already awakening from their long drought induced slumber.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A little break… Day 955 28JUN11

Joshua and Jarrod got a little break from being at home this afternoon when they went over to Carly's house to play for a bit. Joshua wanted Jarrod to hang out with them and go swimming and Jarrod was happy to oblige. So the boys got some fun swim and play time in and Renee got a little break for the afternoon. It was sweet that Joshua wanted to include his big brother and I know it makes Jarrod feel good. Jarrod has always done such a great job of looking out for and taking care of his little brother, we couldn't manage without him.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mellow Monday… Day 954 27JUN11

Renee and I spent today as just the two of us. I worked out in the garage until it got too hot and Renee took care of stuff in the house. We both took it easy indoors for the steamy part of the afternoon. The house was quiet and we enjoyed our little break. We even managed to get a little dinner date in before heading over to Tampa to pick up the kids. Jamie and Christian met us at my dad's house so we could visit a little and neither one of us have to drive all that far. The boys of course had tons of fun and got the minimum amount of sleep that they could get away with so it's off to bed early tonight. We made it home and shuffled the boys off to sleep. The rest of the week should be back to normal.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lots of kids and then none… Day 953 26JUN11

It was still raining this morning and we all slept in a bit which was nice. Jamie and Christian along with Miss Allie arrived shortly after 11 to spend the day with us. Miss Allie was her usual cute and charming self and we had a fun time watching her run around the house and play. We whipped up dinner for everybody and afterwards the boys decided to go and spend the night with Christian and Jamie so they got their stuff together and headed off. This left Renee and I with an unexpected quiet evening together. We took full advantage of the opportunity to watch a movie we had been waiting to see and relax in a much quieter than usual house. I am sure the boys are having a blast with the kids and we should collect them some time tomorrow.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ice and rain… Day 952 25JUN11

We got up early and got ready to go to the rink for our skating lesson. Joshua did really well and is progressing nicely. He even decided not to fall down today :) Jarrod and I continued with our hockey class and for the very first time got to actually play a little hockey on the ice. How was it? Well, for us it was lot of fun and a very good time, for the people watching us it must have looked like it does when they grease a pig and a bunch of people try and catch it :) We definitely have a ways to go and lots left to learn. Afterwards we cooled down and headed home to get some lunch. Renee had roasted a chicken while we were gone and she set out a yummy lunch for all of us. The rest of the day we did stuff inside and watched the rain come down in sporadic fits outside, at least it is raining… finally… before we all dry up and blow away. Joshua had his friend Trent over for a few hours and the sound of their giggles filled the house which was very nice. I have always enjoyed listening to children having fun as only they know how to do.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Kite Camp Day 5… Day 951 24JUN11

Today was the last day of camp. Joshua went bowling and then they headed over to the movies. After lunch it was back to playing with his friends. It has been a great week and he has really enjoyed going to camp. I know he will be sad that is coming to a close. We all met at the CCC for dinner and a chance to see all the wonderful things the kids had made throughout the week. Dinner was good and we had a chance to connect with friends and even get to know some parents that we really hadn't had a chance to get to know before. There was a great slideshow of all the pictures from the week and then we all hung out for a bit before heading for home. Thanks to all the volunteers and staff of the CCC for giving the kids a wonderful week filled with fun, they really appreciate it. Joshua has ice skating lessons in the morning so he was off to bed on time to get his rest in.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kite Camp Day 4… Day 950 23JUN11

Today the kids went swimming at an indoor pool, ate chicken nuggets and other treats and played their hearts out. While he was gone at camp Jarrod and I went skating, I got a haircut, and Renee ran a bunch of errands. When Joshua got home he said he was pretty tired and got himself ready for bed before dinner. He managed to stay awake until his normal bedtime though. Tomorrow is the final day of cam and we will all meet at the CCC for dinner and a chance to see all of the neat things the kids have created this week. Should be a lot of fun.

Kite Camp Day 3… Day 949 22JUN11

Today the kids visited the Glazer museum and then headed back to the Children's Cancer Center for lunch and what must have been some intense playtime. Joshua came home, had dinner, and promptly crashed on the couch before 7:00. So we know he played hard and had a good time. Jarrod and I got some ice time in since he is, sadly, to old to attend camp now. Tomorrow the kids are going swimming and I am sure Joshua will come back tired but smiling.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kite Camp Day 2… Day 948 21JUN11

Today Joshua made soap from scratch in the morning and then headed out for a cooking lesson at a great Italian restaurant we love to eat at. They taught him how to make tiramisu (which I love) and then he had a nice lunch before heading back to the CCC to play the afternoon away. While he was there Renee and Jarrod were at my dad's house. Jarrod was doing a bunch of different things for my dad as a way to pay for some new hockey stuff we ordered for him. Boy they grow up quickly. After he got done they relaxed for a bit until it was time to head out and pick up Joshua and then head for home. By the time I made it home the house was dark and quiet with tired boys fast asleep in their beds. Tomorrow should be another fun day at camp for Joshua and I know he is looking forward to it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kite Camp… Day 947 20JUN11

Joshua started a week of fun at the Children's Cancer Center this morning with their annual Kite Camp. Each day the kids do a different set of activities and today they got off to a big start. They did arts and crafts in the morning where they made masks. For lunch they headed to a the Kobe Japanese steak house to be impressed by the cool Chef's antics and knife skills. For the afternoon they brought in two huge trucks full of electronic games and a 4D theatre. They even had a robot that the kids could get inside of and drive around. Jarrod went with Renee to pick Joshua up and got a chance to play the games and try out the robot. He thought the robot was really great and I am sure he has an idea for how we can build one at home :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day… Day 946 19JUN11

Today all of us fathers had a special day. I started mine off just right with a cup of coffee and two handsome boys who had a card waiting for me at the dining room table. We left a little bit later to go over to Renee's parents house for breakfast with her dad and the five college students they had staying with them for the weekend. Breakfast was great and lots of good conversation flowed while we ate and cleaned up afterwards. Joshua was happy because Taylor and Avery were there for him to hang out with. We headed back home and waited for my dad to arrive just after lunchtime. We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with him and then grilled out some chicken for a yummy dinner. Sated for a bit we all visited a bit longer and then it was time for my dad to head home while the sun was still lighting the way. Next up the boys and I headed out with our skates and sticks in hand for a rousing scrimmage in front of the house. We wound up skating over and hour and really had a lot of fun. To round out the evening Jarrod and I found a neat documentary to watch and settled down on the couch for a bit. Every day I get to spend with my family is special, today was jut a little bit more special :) A special Father's Day wish to all of you who read our blog . Happy Father's Day guys!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Skate lessons… Day 945 18JUN11

Joshua started his ice skating lessons today which were donated to him by the manager of the ice rink. She wanted to make sure that he could learn to skate and make use of the equipment that the bulls gave him. So the boys and I got up early, grabbed some breakfast, and then headed out to the rink. Joshua was excited and we got our skates on and headed out on the ice as soon as we could. Joshua did really well on his first day and was moved into the elite class after they saw him skate a little bit. Jarrod and I got the nod to move up to the hockey class and we are pretty excited about that. When we got done it was time to head for home and get some lunch and a little rest. Joshua's batteries were pretty drained and he spent a few hours laying down and resting. He bounced back by the late afternoon and was fine. For our evening's entertainment Joshua picked out a movie for us to watch and afterwards it was off to bed. We had a full day and the boys are already looking forward to the next time we can get on the ice.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Playtime… Day 944 17JUN11

Joshua started of his day like and was in pretty good spirits this morning. After Lunch the boys and Renee took off for a play date over at Wojtek's house. They spent the afternoon doing LEGO stuff and had a great time. I understand the Wojtek and his parents are building the Death Star out of LEGO from scratch and that it looks pretty cool. Should be operational and headed out to destroy non-cooperative planets sometime very soon. They picked up a pizza on the way home and settled in for the evening. When I got home from work they were quietly playing and we had a relaxing evening before heading off to bed. Joshua starts skating lessons in the morning and he is very excited about it. I know that he will do great and will be out skating me and Jarrod in no time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ice and heat… Day 943 16JUN11

We all got up early and grabbed a bite of breakfast before the boys and I headed off to the ice rink to skate. We had a great time and other than a few bumps the boys escaped injury free. We stopped by Brighthouse on the way home to exchange our cable box which has been acting flaky lately and the guy that helped us figured out how to drop our bill and triple our bandwidth all at the same time. I even got a Father's day gift :) Cool!

We headed home after that and got showers and lunch before relaxing in the cool of the house until dinner time. We grilled a piece of salmon that was in the freezer and for the first time in quite a while Joshua ate the same dinner as the rest of us. The boy's and I headed out to the street a little before sundown to play a little hockey and we wound up having a lot of fun although we all came back in sweaty again. The boys got cleaned up and settled down to watch a little tele while I went out in the garage and fixed the washing machine. It went on the fritz, must have been talking to the cable box, last week and the part I ordered to fix it arrived this afternoon so it was time to get it back to working correctly. It took a while but I got the part swapped out without leaving any skin or other genetic material behind. After a quick test to make sure it was all functioning correctly I took refuge in the air conditioning once again. It really shouldn't be 90 degrees in your garage at 8:00 at night. Renee and the boys have a play date planned for tomorrow while I am at work. Should be a fun day for them all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rest day… Day 942 14JUN11

Joshua spent today resting. He played really hard the last two days over at Carly's house and today his was pretty much tuckered out. We can definitely tell when he has pushed himself hard physically and a day of rest will fix him right up. So not much really occurred today, I went to work, the kids played and relaxed around the house. To hot to do much else :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Testing… Day 941 13JUN11

Joshua left this morning to go take his assessment testing for placement in virtual school this fall. He said he tightened up the screws in his head and did the bet job he could. While they were gone Jarrod and I got in a nice skate and then I got ready to go to work. Renee and Joshua got back in time for me to spend a few minutes with them before we all departed again, me for work, Joshua over to Carly's for another play day, and Jarrod to run errands with Renee. This evening they headed over to Renee's parent's to celebrate Alecia's birthday. Happy Birthday Alecia! They were all sound asleep by the time I got home so I will have to wait until morning to hear the details from the party. I am sure they all had good time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Friends… Day 940 12JUN11

After breakfast this morning Joshua was working on his summer school work when there was a knock on the front door. When we opened it we found Carly and her mom who had stopped by while out on a bike ride. Needless to say Joshua was thrilled and it wasn't long before they had set up a play date over at her house. Renee ran him over after lunch and they spent the afternoon playing with her new bird and frolicking in the pool. He came back tired but smiling right before dinner time. He was very pleased that he had a  friend that he could hang out with and as I understand it they have another day planned for tomorrow:)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Warrior stick… Day 939 11JUN11

We started off the day like always but were soon joined by Jamie, Christian, and Miss Allie. Allie, I swear, gets cuter every time we see her and today was no exception. After lunch the boys and I along with Jamie headed up to the rink to get some ice time in. JAmie hadn't been on ice skates since she was a kid but she did great and was skating around in no time. We even got her going backwards a little bit. We all had a good workout and a great time. Afterwards we wandered over to the pro shop to look around and Joshua found the perfect goalie stick for him. The Warrior stick:)
The Warrior Stick

Joshua practicing having no neck ;)

We headed home after that and hung out with  the kid before they headed home for the evening. We had to wait until almost 7:00 to go play outside and it was still pretty hot but we still enjoyed it. Tomorrow is a no clinic day now that we have switched to every other week so we will get to have Monday morning at home instead of on the road.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rested up… Day 938 10JUN11

Joshua got a lot of rest in today. He took it easy and was feeling good. He is amazingly resilient and bounces back from all of the stuff that is inflicted upon him in champion style. This evening me and Joshua got some good play time in with a little street hockey practice. It is hot outside but not too hot today to get a little bit of fresh air. This was one of our better steroids cycles and he really didn't have any emotional issues at all, just hungry. So now we settle in for another round of maintenance and mark it off the list of cycles left to start. The list is getting shorter :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

IVIG… Day 937 09JUN11

Joshua got an early start when Miss Caroline showed up to get his IVIG transfusion going. He spent the day on the couch hooked up to the IV pump alternating between watching the tele and eating. His appetite has not subsided at all the only problem is he was having a hard time trying to decide what to eat. He did good all day and had no issues or side effects from the IVIG. He tok his last dose of steroids tonight which means we get to put the monster back in the box for three weeks until we have to let him out again. With a little rest tomorrow Joshua should be back up to snuff by Sunday and we will mark another transfusion off the list. Until next month.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Footing along… Day 936 08JUN11

Joshua had a good visit with the Ortho this morning and he got a clean foot of health. He is supposed to wear his braces every day and come back for a follow up visit when school starts back up in the fall.This of course was good news for all of us and a relief for Renee and I. Joshua has enough to deal with without his feet and ankles acting up. The boys stopped with Renee at Gamestop to trade in some old games for a new one and then headed home in time for lunch. The rest of the day was pretty normal, the boy's played inside, I did some yard work and stuff around the house. We fired up the grill for diner and then settled in for the evening. Joshua has his IVIG transfusion in the morning so a day of rest was just what he needed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eat, eat, eat again… Day 935 07JUN11

Joshua is doing a pretty good job of cleaning out the pantry and the fridge today. The steroids appetite has come on full force and he is craving all kinds of strange stuff. Brownies, bacon, Renee said he wants MCgriddles for breakfast. From scratch no less. Nice to see him with a good appetite but it is like shoveling coal into a furnace. So far he has not had any emotional explosions but during a steroids week you can almost feel the tremors in the floor as the week stretches out. In the morning he has a follow up appointment with his Ortho Doctor, he is still not walking normally on his right foot so we are going to try and find out what is going on. With luck it is just stiffness left over from wearing a cast for so long but we think it should have loosened up by now. We shall see...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Holding his own… Day 934 06JUN11

Joshua is doing pretty good so far on the steroids. He managed to get a decent nights sleep and was bright and chipper this morning when he got up. He is, of course, constantly hungry but developed a little heartburn this evening which made it hard for him to find stuff to eat. He was playing a game with Jarrod when I got home tonight and said he had a good day. I started a new semester today so I will be home much less for the next ten weeks and Renee will have to take care of the boys much more. In the morning Joshua has an appointment with his ENT to see if his deviated septum (which is caused by one of the chemo drugs) has gotten any worse and might be the cause of all the sinus and respiratory problems he has been having. He will probably have to have it repaired at some point in his life but we are certainly hoping that it is not anytime soon. We will keep our fingers crossed and see what the Doctor has to say in the morning.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Full day… Day 933 05JUN11

Joshua had a full day at the hospital. He got to the clinic early this morning and they got him accessed and then he got his vincristine followed by his breathing treatment. Next stop was the day hospital for his IT methotrexate and his LP. He did great during he procedure and took over an hour to come out from under the anesthesia. He takes a full adult sized dose to put under since he has gotten it so many times before. As soon as he woke up he wanted a cola and some cookies which the nurse gladly got for him. They got him de-accessed and unhooked from all the monitors and we were out the door. We all headed home and spent the day resting and getting a few things done around the house. Joshua did okay tonight with the steroids but he was having a really hard time falling asleep. The steroids frequently give him a bad case of insomnia and make him sleep very restlessly. I am hoping he can get a good night's rest so he won't be tired tomorrow, it just makes thing worse :) So just another "normal" day for all of us...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Resting up… Day 932 04JUN11

Joshua spent most of the day resting up for his big day at the hospital tomorrow. He is scheduled for vincristine, pentam, and his 9th LP of maintenance. He is only supposed to do 11 rounds of maintenance so we are getting closer to the end. We boys did take off for a bit and go skating at the rink, it was practice time for all of us and I am pretty certain we will be a bit stiff come morning. Renee got a quiet afternoon all to herself which I am sure she enjoyed. After an afternoon of just messing about the house Josh and I went for a skate while Renee rode on her bicycle. We had a good time and it was relatively cool out, which in Florida this time of year means that we didn't spontaneously ignite or anything like that. Afterwards the boys watched a bit of tele and we all settled in for the evening. Joshua is NPO until after lunch tomorrow which always puts him in a good mood :) We will all head up to hospital in the morning and watch them put our boy to sleep yet again and then come home to start feeding the monster for a week. The steroids have left Joshua alone the last few cycles for the most part and we are hoping that this round is the same. He has enough on his plate already without having to deal with the emotional forces of the steroids.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Avery's day… Day 932 04JUN11

Jarrod and I got up early and headed out to our skating lesson. We are learning a lot and Jarrod is doing really well. We got home right before lunch and Renee and Joshua were just getting home from running some errands. We all spent the afternoon resting and just taking it easy. We left at 4 to head over to Scott and Alecia's house for a party for Miss Avery to celebrate her completing kindergarten. Amazing how fast she has grown up. They had lots of really yummy food and we all got filled up rather quickly. The kids played outside for a bit before we headed for home. After a quick run up to the grocery store we all settled in to watch Game 2 of the Stanley Cup. It was a fun game to watch and we were all pretty tuckered out by the time it was over.

On a side note: yesterday's post was number 1000 since I started the blog that fateful day back in November of 2008. It is hard for me to believe that it has been so many entries thus far. Thanks to all of our loyal readers for being a part of our journey so far. The road stretches ever onward in front of us.

Friday, June 3, 2011

An icy evening… Day 931 03JUN11

We spent the day messing about around the house. Joshua went out with Renee before lunchtime to try and find a different pair of shoes to fit his braces better, the pair we had gotten earlier weren't working out for him. They managed to find a pair and we will see if they work long term and can help Joshua's feet get stronger. For a special evening we headed up to the ice rink after dinner to go skating. Joshua has been waiting to try out the skates that he got from the Bulls and Jarrod and I are always up for some skating time. We even got Renee out on the ice :) The boys did great and Joshua was especially pleased with his skating gladly admitting that he only fell a few times. We had a lot of fun and it was a good way to burn off the yummy dinner we had :) With luck Joshua's ankle and feet will continue to strengthen and he can get in a lot more ice time this summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cancer family night… Day 930 02JUN11

We had a normal day filled with projects around the house and a little play time thrown in for good measure. This evening we all got ready and headed in to the CHildren's Cancer Center for family night. It had been quite a while since the last time we went because we were busy passing a cold around the house and there were hockey games in there as well. It was great to see our extended family and hear updates on how everyone has been doing. Most everybody is doing really well and there was a lot of new hair running around this evening. It is hard to describe how soft the kids hair is when it grows back after the chemo makes it fall out. Think of the softest bunny you have ever petted and add a few more degrees of soft to that. We had a nice dinner and then had an opportunity to get caught up with everybody. It made for a nice evening and as always we will miss our family until the next time we are together.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Strong bones… Day 929 01JUN11

We got the results of Joshua's DEXA scan this morning and I am happy to report that he has very strong bones. His results were between 95-98% of normal for his age group. This was a great relief for Renee and I, we have been quite concerned since he fractured his foot last month. A normal result means that we can worry about other side effects right now and let Joshua continue to be an active nine year old. Joshua was very pleased to hear the results and really liked the fact that he was a "normal" kid when it comes to his bone density. We spent the day inside mostly because we got a decent amount of rain which we have been hoping for. It let up later in the evening and we managed to get out and skate for a bit before it started back up. The rest of the evening was taken up by Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals and we all gathered in the living room to watch. Tomorrow is another day of summer vacation to enjoy and I am sure the boys will make the most of it.