Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday, Monday

Mandy can complain about a lot of things.

"Why won't you let me wear make-up to the dance?"

"Zachary looked at me!"

"Why is my favorite pink dress not clean?"

"Zachary is breathing too loud!!"

"Zachary looked at me again!!!"

But, there are lots more thing she never complains about. She never complains about having to go to clinic. She never complains about brain tumors or NF or chemo. Most of all, she never, ever complains about not feeling good. Even when she doesn't feel good, she will bull her way through it and say she feels fine, thankyouverymuch. She is made of some really tough stuff, lemme tell ya.

So, you can imagine my concern as she stood in front of me this morning, wobbly on her feet, complaining of a severe headache and nausea.

We talked about her headache, what kind of hurt, how bad on a scale of 1-10, where it hurt, etc.

"It's an 8, Momma."

She struggled to keep her eyes open in the car as we took Zachary to school. We came home and I carried her in and laid her back in bed and lay down beside her. I waited for clinic to turn on the phones at 9.

By 9, she was feeling much better, though far from 100%.

By 11:15, when we arrived at clinic she was running at about 95% and would only tell you her head hurt if you asked. A neuro exam performed by the doc was okay. So we left with instructions to keep a close eye on symptoms and call if they returned the next morning.

By 3 she was perfectly fine and said her head was hurting at the level of about a 2 or 3.

With brain tumors, there can be morning headaches and nausea associated with hydrocephalus or pressure. Or, she could just have a touch of something. Or have been tired.

She was mostly fine for the rest of the day and hopefully tomorrow morning will prove that this morning was a flukey series of events to make my blood run cold.

Love to all~

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A timeline in three time zones

Had any one of us been delayed one solitary hour on Saturday, it would have all fallen apart.

8am(Mountain time)- Ronnie gets on a plane in Edmonton, Alberta(Canada for the geographically impaired among us, such as myself)

9am(Eastern time)- having slept late, cause frankly we were all exhausted and deserved it, kids and I start our day with Cap'n Crunch, Kix and coffee

9:30am(Eastern) start throwing various children in various showers and yelling about how "I can't change the clock, people, you have got to get a move on!"

11:30am(Eastern)- launch into, "I am serious!! We have got to go!" lecture

12:00(Eastern)- get children out the door, making sure Zachary has his script, all his costumes and has brushed his teeth in the last 24 hours.

1pm(Central time)- Ronnie changes planes in Minneapolis

1pm(Eastern) The girls and I start watching the best High School Musical 2 production, ever. Zachary played Ryan and was great!! He is such a hoot on stage and loves to make people laugh. We loved it and I was so darned proud I couldn't stand it!

The whole cast

My favorite scene, he and Sharpay(his script sister) spying on Troy and Gabriella. He was so funny!

1pm(Central)-Ronnie boards plane in Minneapolis heading to Tampa

3pm(Eastern)- HSM2 wraps up it's matinee performance and we begin a 30 minute picture taking extravaganza

3:30pm(Eastern)- Kids and I leave first performance and head over to house to check on roof work being done. Instruct kids they are not to set foot in the house due to mold remediation being in full swing. I consider pouring myself a stiff drink when I am told again just how badly we need to think about putting on a whole new roof.

3:40pm(Eastern)- I am really hoping Ronnie is somewhere in the same time zone by this point. Reluctantly do NOT pour myself stiff drink, though I totally deserve it. Herd children out of front yard and back into car.

4:00 pm- Arrive back at friends house which has become our temporary address.

4:15pm- Feed children leftover pizza, cause I am all about healthy well balanced meals today...Cap'n Crunch and pizza. Yea, I am so mother of the year, it ain't even funny.

4:30- Start back in on, "I can't change the clock, people, ya gotta HURRY!!"

4:40- Throw Mandy in bathtub.

4:44- Pull Mandy from tub and dry and curl her hair.

4:47- Spend 10 minutes trying to convince Mandy that she does NOT need lady-of-the-night-esque makeup for the Daddy/Daughter dance.

4:57- Am worn down and out of time and give in to sheer lip gloss and translucent powder and hope that I have successfully convinced her that both invisible make-ups are noticeable and gorgeous.

4:59- Shoot a few pictures of Mandy, dressed and ready for the Daddy/Daughter dance, while hollering across temporary house to Zachary to get on his shoes and brush his teeth again.

5:01- Tell Alannah that her number one goal until Ronnie hopefully arrives for Mandy is to keep her out of my makeup bag.

5:02- Pack Zachary back into car to head back to evening performance of HSM2.

5:03- Am THRILLED when cell phone rings with Ronnie's name displayed. "I am on the ground," he says, "and will be there shortly." ROCK ON!!!

6:00- HSM2 second performance starts. Ronnie arrives and whisks Mandy away to the ball.

6:26- Arrive at Daddy/Daughter dance where much dancing and cavorting with her friends ensued.

8:00- HSM2 evening performance wraps up and was awesome!! Cast party with pizza, cookies, soda and all sorts of giggling, autographing, eating mania begins.

8:30- Daddy/Daughter dance wraps up and Daddy brings a completely exhausted daughter back home.

8:45- issue "time to go soon, buddy" to Zachary

9:00- arrive home with exhausted, but throughly convinced he wants to be an actor when he grows up, boy child

9:15 Zachary in bed. Mandy in bed. Alannah, Ronnie and I share some Chinese food.

11pm- crash into bed

Sunday we do a whole lot of nothing. Except Alannah.

Who went to the opera with her friend. Before getting her homework done. Which prompted this statement from Ronnie, "If your homework wasn't done you should have maybe thought twice about going out and having fun at the opera."

Which may very well be the goofiest moment of the whole darn crazy weekend.

Love to all~

Friday, April 17, 2009

Phone home

So, a priest, a rabbi and a monk all walk into a bar....

That is how my morning started.

Expect it wasn't a bar. It was my house.

And it wasn't a priest and a rabbi and a monk so much as it was a mold guy, and insurance adjuster and a roofer.

And they didn't all walk into a bar, they all walked into my house. Well, except one. Cause he couldn't make it today. But a priest and a rabbi and a monk were supposed to walk into a bar, but the monk got delayed due to a very chatty correctional officer whose kitchen the monk is redoing....just doesn't have quite the same ring.

So, the insurance guy came back out today. And after *ahem* shall we say REITERATING how very important this was to do it right approximately eleventy bazillion times, I think we may be on the same page. He has to go back and write up a report and at some point on the third Tuesday of the month, when the wind is blowing from the East and a hawk takes flight from an oak tree and a rabbi sneezes 4 times and a butterfly in Japan flaps it's wings, we will get a check to do the repairs.

But, mold guy came and started all his fun stuff today. It looks like that scene from ET when the house is all under containment from the evil stuffed animal loving alien. It made me have an odd craving for Reese's Pieces is all I can say.

My family purdy, no?

And the bedroom is stylin' too in the latest in high fashion plastic tarps and blue painters tape. It is all the rage in Paris, I hear.

And, just in case you ever wondered what was behind the iron, well, plastic, curtain. Ya gotta little of this

And a little of this

Lotsa people supposed to be showing up in the next week or two. I hear Vegas is giving 14 to 1 odds that I will get stood up at least 3 times in the next 2 weeks.

Crazy, busy weekend for the Willis'...Zachary's play is this weekend, stay tuned for pictures on that and stories as he debuts as Ryan in High School Musical 2. Mandy has a Daddy/Daughter dance this weekend. Can I get a great big , "Awwwwwwwww." Cause seriously? Little bitty girls dancing with their Daddies...just doesn't get a whole cuter/sweeter. Alannah is going to an Opera this weekend. No. Really. I'm serious. I swear. My 14yo is excited to go to an Opera. Yea...I don't know either.

And please, if you have stuff or time to donate, please consider donating to the fundraiser garage sale for Mandy's Fund:

• Volunteers are needed Friday, April 24,
for collection/sorting/pricing
• Volunteers are needed Saturday, April
25, for set up,selling and cleanup
• Donations are accepted at several places.
Call James Council, 508-3609 to sched-
ule a pick up or to select a drop off location.
• Curbisde pickup will be available Friday
afternoon after the Friday community sale.
Please call 508-3609 and state you have a
pickup and your address.

Love to all~

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A string of unrelated subtopics

1) There has been a drought. A bad one. For a long time. HOWEVER, I am pleased to report that because I have a hole in my roof currently (that basically affords me the fancy schmancy indoor waterfall I have always wanted) that we have single handedly guaranteed immediate rain and no doubt a swift end to the drought. Thanks you cards, flowers and chocolates are expected and appreciated, as a thank you, from all Floridians. You're welcome. Sorry to say that you can expect the deluge to stop as off Friday when the hole should be fixed and mold/water remediation start. For our next trick....locusts!

2) My ankle swelled up to look like that of a baby elephant. It didn't hurt at all, which I thought was kind of odd.So, rather than waste my time going to our family doctor(and I would first have to figure out who the heck my doctor is, so we are talking a good several hours of my life that I would never get back)I went to one of those Doc in a Box Urgent Care places. I knew they would want to shoot an xray of the ankle so it seemed like a decent one stop shopping idea. Yea. Not so much. Woman "diagnoses" me with a heart murmur that I have never had and a sprained ankle that doesn't hurt and probably dandruff and I think he said one of my arms might be shorter than the other.

I actually heard this conversation between doc and very pregnant lady with a spider bite in the cubicle next to me.

Very Pregnant Lady(sounding concerned): Dr Stupidhead, my concern is much less for me than for the baby. This bite is red and angry and hot to the touch. I am worried it is something toxic. Like say a brown recluse for example.

Quack( sounding like a quack): Oh pfft. You could not possibly have been bitten by a brown recluse! You know why? Cause they are reclusive. That's why! They won't come out and bite you!

Um, wow. So someone obviously slept through doctor class, but got herself a mocha before English class cause SOMEBODY knows her root words. Color me impressed.

3)It never ceases to amaze me, what amazing and kind people we are surrounded by. Once again, we stand awed and humbled that people would give of themselves yet again to our family. Our neighborhood is holding a benefit garage sale on April 25 to benefit Mandy's Fund at the Children's Cancer Center. Thanks to everyone who is being so kind and wonderful They need some help with the following:
• Volunteers are needed Friday, April 24,
for collection/sorting/pricing
• Volunteers are needed Saturday, April
25, for set up,selling and cleanup
• Donations are accepted at several places.
Call James Council, 508-3609 to schedule
a pick up or to select a drop off location.
• Curbside pickup will be available Friday
afternoon after the Friday community sale.
Please call 508-3609 and state you have a
pickup and your address.

Chemo went well today. Counts dropped quite a bit, but otherwise it went well.

Love to all~

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Week in Review

Yeah, yeah, I know. I haven't posted in a week or so. Cut me some slack. I've had stuff. K? Thanks.

So, when we last saw the Willis family, they had a birthday, a roof leak, mold growing, impending chemo and a chest film.

Will they patch the leak? Subdue the mold? Are they doomed to a life of remodeling? Will they leap tall, mold infested buildings in a single bound?

Let's watch and see...

The best news is that we did a chest film on Mandy at clinic on Wednesday and it was normal, no evidence of anything fungal from mold inhalation. Can I get a big, fat amen for that one? Counts were great, chemo was more week down.

The rest of that mold stuff is just stuff...just a house. It is nothing time and money can't fix. Looks good for the insurance to be covering most of it. They all understand just how hyper-vigilant we have to be about the mold removal, so, though it is a pain in the hind quarters, it ain't nothin' but stuff and will get taken care of in due time. It is going to cost us money, and though that is a stress, there are far more important things.

That brings us to birthday madness. Zachary turned 10. I am not sure how that happened, exactly. 'Cause I am relatively certain he was a very fat 2 year old yesterday. Apparently my memory and time perception is a bit off. So let the 10 year old birthday extravaganza begin...

We took him to his favorite restaurant for lunch. To celebrate his birthday, they gave him a "beak" and had him flap his arms like a bird and run through the restaurant making crow noises.

Next stop, the Lego store in Orlando to pick out his birthday gift. 'Twas darn near heaven for my boy child. It is always a good day in Zachary-land when you leave with a Lego bag that is darn near as big as you are.

Then came the birthday party to end all birthday parties. We used points from Ronnie's extensive business travel to score a free room at the Embassy Suites hotel in Orlando. Ronnie took Zachary and three of his best buddies for a "No Girls Allowed" weekend.

There was some of this

Ok, so, maybe it was a whole lotta this

They took the party indoors after the pool closed and proceeded to test the soundproof quality of the room.

I am told eventually they all crashed, basically where they stood and sleep was achieved. I have no choice but to believe this happened.

They got up the next morning and ate their way through the all you can eat breakfast buffet at the hotel. I don't think that management could possibly have had enough bacon prepared to handle these boys...

Then it was on to the go-kart , carnival ride, video game nirvana....

There was this

and this,


and even some of this.

I am told it was repeated by more than one party attendee as well as the birthday boy that this was the "BEST. DAY. EVER."

No higher praise could be had! I am so thrilled Zachary had an awesome all boy, all the time party for his big 1-0! He is a great kid, totally deserving of a great day all about him! Thanks to the parents who let their kids come and make Zachary's weekend so amazing! Thanks to Ronnie for being such an amazing Dad and making the day so perfect for all of them!!

Stay tuned for the next episode of "As the Willis' Turn," where we see demolition, reconstruction and remediation.

Love to all~