Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A year ago.

Jackson's big surgery was a year ago today. In some ways it has flown by, but it other ways it seems like a lifetime has passed.

The actual surgery was a huge success. I will never forget the pure gratitude I felt towards God and those three surgeons.

We went into surgery thinking that was our last step. There was a small chance of a few radiation treatments, but it wasn't talked about much and the overall feeling was that all would be well after surgery.

And we were READY. We were ready for our pre-cancer life back, ready to not be isolated, ready to get back to normal.

But then that initial pathology report came back a couple of days later. The tumor was angrier than earlier thought, a higher-grade than guessed pre-surgery.

I will never forget our beloved Dr. W bursting through our hospital door during naptime, already mid-conversation about the findings. When I think about that moment, something another cancer parent said comes to mind..."Everything was fine. Until that split second that it wasn't."

Dr. W is probably the smartest person I have ever met and he does not beat around the bush. That conversation wasn't fun...we were tired, upset, terrified and truly surprised.

We thought it was over.

And we were thrown back into the chemo game, only this time it was much more intense. The 'few' radiation treatments turned into 20.

But, as hard as it all was, we've been lucky. Today I look at him and see a healthy little boy with a head full of (unruly) hair.

I am so thankful to be on this side of surgery, chemo, radiation. I feel like it's harder emotionally now than it was then. The adrenaline has worn off I guess.

Thankfully, Jackson is blissfully unaware of any silly anniversary and is as happy, wild, loving and inquisitive as ever.

{The night before surgery. Momma needed to pack for a week+ in the hospital, bathe babies and generally clean up. So of course making matching shirts was at the top of the must-do list.}


{Waiting, waiting, more waiting.}

{Uncle Wes keeping Brayden company.}

{Sleeping off anesthesia with Batman.}

{Daddy trying to get our sweet, tired, over-it guy to smile.}


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First day.

Today was the boys' first day of Mother's Day Out. They were so excited!

Jackson went to MDO for two years, one of those years it was a necessity because I was still working. Since I stopped working right before Brayden was born, the second year of MDO was a nice time to bond one-on-one with Brayden and a really good opportunity for social development for Jack.

We missed the last part of Jack's second year when he got sick and of course neither of the boys went last year while Jack was undergoing treatment.

We're starting back slowly, only one day a week. I'm a little nervous because Jack got really sick when he first started MDO so I'm afraid Brayden will too. Little kids have lots of germs :) And of course I'm worried about Jack's immune system. Even though it's been six months since he stopped treatment, his counts have stayed fairly low. They've both been minimally exposed to other kids in the past year once we were allowed off of isolation--only Sunday school and small playdates.

They both had a great day! Neither one of them seemed to notice when we left them this morning and they were both smiling at pick up time.

Jackson has been singing "If You're Happy and You Know It", talking about the mouse book and asking if bees get nectar from I would say he had a day full of fun and learning!

Brayden's teacher commented on how energetic he was ;) He is definitely an on-the-go guy. Every time I ask him if he had a good day at school, he just smiles so I think it was a happy day for him.

I'm so glad they had fun, but I'm also glad that they were pretty happy to see me at pick up time :)

We met Brady for first-day ice cream. They had a blast and by the time we were leaving, I'm sure everyone in the place was happy!! They are rowdy when they're together.

{Early morning bath.}

{Ready to go!}

{So excited!!}

{Such a big boy!!}

{Out the door with new Superhero backpacks.}

{Only green--mint choc chip--ice cream will do for Jackson!!}

{Just let us eat our ice cream Momma!!}

We love our Mother's Day Out program...the teachers are wonderful and we're just overall really happy with how everything runs. We are looking forward to a great "school" year!!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today I sat Jackson down and asked him some questions. He is at such a fun age...he is forming his own opinions, likes and dislikes. I really enjoy just listening to him talk and I want to remember how his mind works at this age.

I tried to put down exactly what he said. I may have bribed him with M&M's. Also, each time he said "Ninja Turtles", he sang the song. He currently sings that song approximately 876 times a day ;)

What is your name?
Jackson Rex Spiderman from Waxahachie. Can I have candy now?

How old are you? Free! (3 for just 2 1/2 more weeks!)

What is your favorite color? Orange. And red. Blue. Well, that's Daddy's favorite. And yellow. Gring.

Who is your best friend? Jadon. Austin. Cole. Brayden. Ellie. Can I have candy now?

What is your favorite animal? A goose. (????)

What do you want to be when you grow-up? Batman! Spiderman! Or a Fireman.

What is your favorite Movie? Spiderman. Lightning (Cars). And Ninja Turtles.

What is your favorite book? Spiderman. Llama Llama Mad at Momma. Where The Wild Things Are. Can I have candy now?

What makes you happy? Playing with my Ninja Turtles. Watching my Ninja Turtle movie.

What makes you sad? Brayden does. Because he's a tooter. (Hahahaaa!!)

What is your favorite food to eat? Cheese and meat and crackers. And milk.

What is your favorite song to sing? Spiderman. The girl song, it's called the girlfriend one. (I have no clue!)

What's your favorite toy? My Ninja Turtles. Captain America.

What games do you like to play? My new game. The fishies one.

What do you want to be for Halloween? Batman! (Seriously shocked that he didn't say a Ninja Turtle!)

What's your favorite tv show? Caillou. (This is a new obsession!)

What do you like to do? Make crafts with Mommy.

Where's your favorite place to go in the car? The park.

I love my crazy, sweet, energetic, Superhero-obsessed lil man. He is changing every single day and I know one day I will miss these sweet times so very much.

So thankful to be his Momma.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I don't want to forget {part three}

Part one {here}.
Part two {here}.

{Jackson edition}

How, at almost 4 years old, you still clutch onto me in your sleep when I try and lay you down.

How you tell Brayden he needs to "talk right like you" but then you ask to watch "Conan the Librarian".

How you ask to touch my belly and tell the babies you love them no less than five times a day.

How you conquered staying dry at naptime and nighttime before the dreaded number two (happy to say all is now conquered!).

How you were SO excited when Daddy gave you his old Ninja Turtles...they are one of your most prized possessions.

How you are very concerned about the babies kicking Momma..."Babies, don't kick my Momma! That's ug-we!(ugly)".

How you are so excited about your new big boy bed, along with your Green Lantern sheets and SpiderMan blanket.

How you still talk about our trip to "see where Mickey Mouse lives" often.

How you are SO excited to start school (Mother's Day Out) back up after missing last year.

How you love, love, love your brother.

How you rock the rainboots-and-undies look.

How you have hair again...long enough for Mommy to run her fingers through.

{Brayden edition}

How you say "O-tape" instead of "Okay".

How you show off your silly face.

How you dance your little heart out, then shyly look over your shoulder to see if we're watching.

How you say "Love you too!" so enthusiastically when I say 'I love you' started out as "Too, Mommy, too!"

How you love to touch my face when you drink your milk (what you called "nu" for ahwile).

How you smile.

How you say "Hold hands?" and reach for your brother's hand.

How you love Buzz Lightyear.

How you say "Me too!" when you see someone eating/drinking/doing something you want a part of.

How you require a monkey leash backpack anytime we are in a public place.

How you say "No be 2!" when I ask you how old you will be next month...we are both in denial that you are that old.

How you are your brother's shadow...but you still manage to make your own mark.


Monday, August 15, 2011


I feel like I've been hibernating for the last 6 weeks! The first few weeks after finding out we have 2 babes on the way were rough. I held the couch down, my house was neglected and the boys were restless. Thankfully, the last couple of weeks have been much better.

Not much has been going on but I'm going to get caught up real quick, list style!

*We go back Thursday to check on these sweet babies. Can't wait to see how they've grown since last time.

*Brayden will be 2 soon and just six days later, Jackson will be 4! Crazy.

*For those that knew our house was on the market, we took it off. The market stinks and it is way too stressful to being doing right now. So we've been spending lots of time organizing, improving and utilizing every last inch of our house! We'll try again once the babies are here.

*Jack's next set of scans are October 3. They are doing a longer, more detailed MRI this time. They decided to not do the PET scan (he hasn't had one since January and was due for one this time) in order to limit his radiation exposure. They felt like it wasn't necessary since he has had completely clear scans since January. I have mixed feelings--glad to keep him from the radiation exposure (out of the scans Jackson gets, the PET has the most radiation) but nervous about missing any rogue cancerous cells that could be anywhere in his body. The PET gives a picture of his whole body and even though the oncologists think his type of cancer would reoccur first locally (where it was before), cancer doesn't play by the rules so that full-body picture does give me a little peace.

*It's time again! The Heroes for Children 5k is Saturday, September 24th. The J Team will be there and we hope you will join us!!
Here is the link to register for the 5k as a member of The J Team:
Click on 'Join a Team' on the top left and search for The J Team.
If you would like to support The J Team but cannot participate in the 5k, here is the link to donate:
Click 'Search for a Team', enter The J Team. Once you get to The J Team's page, click on 'Make a Gift' on the right hand side.
Every dollar raised--through donations or registration for the 5k--goes to families in Texas battling childhood cancer. Heroes for Children is an outstanding organization started by two mothers who lost their daughters to cancer. They not only provide financial assistance, but social assistance as well. It's nice to be able to meet other families who understand.
If you are planning on participating in the 5k, we are wearing our J Team shirts from last year. If you would like to order one, please leave a comment here or on Facebook and I will be in contact with you. This is an awesome event that we are SO looking forward to. I will be huge and I will probably be very emotional and hormonal--fair warning ;) We appreciate your support so much!!!

Back soon with more updates and pictures!


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