Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Sledding with Ice

Look at that face!! 

I saw this on one of my favorite blogs for ideas of awesome kid stuff: Play At Home Mom 
Here is the direct link to their Ice Block Sledding idea.

I didn't really set out to do this activity tonight.  We were playing ball outside and it was HOT, in the 90's.  Suddenly, I remembered reading about the ice block sledding and that I had a blue "ice skating rink" for toys/characters in the freezer that hadn't been used in a looong time. 

I pulled it out to give the sledding idea a try.  Did we have a fantastic time!

If you have a hill, you should do this. 

If that sled didn't melt, I think at 1am (the time that I am writing this) we would STILL be out there sledding.  She even caught her first lightening bug and took it down the hill :)

Once the sled was too small for her to fit on, it occured to her some friends (who would fit) may like to try it out:

 When everyone ... EVERYONE (all of her favorite critters) had a ride, it was a skating rink again!

The sled for next time will be bigger, pinker, and glittery-er:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our Basset's Lymphoma - Second-Third Treatments

Going in for Week 2 of Chase's 19 week chemotherapy treatment, we were causiously optimistic and excited.  The first treatment really seemed to make a difference in his energy level, lymph nodes (that I can feel) and overall well being.  Just look at his beaming reports going into Week 2 :)    
A kind gentleman at the vet hospital with his dog even said how gorgeous Chase is :)  A compliment can really brighten a day. 
Chase's side effects were again minimal.  This past week his energy level has come and gone.  Though, he did manage to growl at me once and also steal a cupcake right out of a sweet little four year old's hand causing her to cry.  SO - there are some signs he is definitely feeling himself!

For some reason, I did not think he had a dramatic improvement after week 2 and heading to week 3.  Here are the exerpts from today's evaluation:

Not bad, but not as exciting as last week's evaluation. 

He's laying on the couch with me as I type this.  Today's treatment went well.  Gumby went this time for the first time.  She said it was fun.  She enjoys taking part in what goes on with the family.  She always helps me take his bandaid off when we get back home.  I asked them how he does for his treaments and they said really well.  He does great for the exams but does not like the IV.  He yelps a lot and they do muzzle him for safety, which is okay.  He's a trooper.

He's been a part of our family for nine years.  I am glad we have chosen to help him fight this war.  While, he may not win the war, there are many battles that he will fight and win along the way.  It seems strange to think that he will not get better.  We hope to get remission for a while and want the best possible outcome, but we know our time is limited.  We are prolonging his life for us all to enjoy.  We are helping him have more time ...

More time for baths by loved ones...

More time for front porch sittin...

More time for scent sniffin...

More time for his all time favorite activity in the world ever...

Isn't more time all anyone wants?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Basset's Lymphoma - First Treatment

Last week, our nine year young basset hound Chase was diagnosed with lymphoma.  I was petting him and noticed he had swollen glands on his neck.  We were not surprised at the diagnosis.  We decided to treat it aggressively.  It's the difference between life for a few weeks or months at best to a year or year and a half or even longer.

His diagnosis is nonhodgkins lymphoma.  He has mild/moderate swelling in the lymph nodes in his neck, chest, underarms, behind his knees and his rump.  His liver and spleen are also enlarged, which is common with this.

Today he started the 19-week Wisconsin program for chemotherapy.  He will be given three different medications through IV plus prednisone that we will give him at home.  He will have one treatment per week for 19 weeks with a break after each group of four weeks.  Side effects should be mild.  Improvement should be seen after 6 weeks.  Hopefully, he will attain remission.

Recovering after his first chemotherapy treatment.

The other day Gumby asked when he would be feeling better.  He's been a little more lazy and a little sore, so has yelped if he gets bumped sometimes..  We told her he is sick and not feeling good and that we need to be extra gentle with him.  We told her he was getting some medicine to help him feel more like himself, but that he wouldn't really get better.  We will not be hiding the fact that all living creatures die.  We will go through this together, as a family.

Basset Hounds don't have the longest lifespan, at around 10-12 years.  I had always thought he'd make it to the upper end.  I wish Lil' Dove would be able to remember him.

He had a good ride to and from the vet hospital, riding on laps of friends who were kind enough to go with us and help take care of Lil' Dove because today's consultation was a longer appointment than most will be.

Gumby was fortunate to spend the day playing with her friends. 
Huge bubbles!
She had a great time.  She rarely spends time away from us.  On those rare occasions that she does, it's usually with one of the grandparents in our home.  This was different for her; she had a great time.  I had to ask for a hug goodbye!  She was ready to roll!

We are grateful for our friends' support throughout this time :)

In the three days that it has taken me to write this, Chase is doing wonderful.  I think his lymph nodes are going down already.  Yesterday, he had so much more energy that he has had in weeks.  He was more awake and alert during the day, more playful and energetic outside and his appetite is wonderful.  Well, maybe the appetite is him and maybe it's a side effect of the medicine.  I'd rather see him eat than not.  Last night, he ran into our bedroom and did something he has not done in a very, very long time.  He came barrelling out of our room, tail wagging with a sock in his mouth.  He loves playing chase, tug, keep away and fetch with socks.  And all of that we did.  I even took a video.  I will enjoy every moment that we have with him <3

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Tribute to Deeda

Sharing his love of the beach with his lil ladies <3
Deeda & Gumby at Presque Isle beach
Showing Lil' Dove Lake Erie for the first time
Playing at Experience Childrens' Museum in Erie
Our favorite Mexican restaurant
Lil' Dove doesn't always like to nurse to sleep ... but she does love Deeda's rocking and cuddling!
Sharing Drinks

Gumby says "I love you"

Deeda taking Lil' Dove on her first Ferris Wheel ride at our local park
Gumby waits for Deeda to get home from work, every day at lunch time and at the end of the day.  Even in the rain!
Lil' Dove loves looking deep into Deeda's eyes and touching his face.

Playing with the girls

Deeda and Gumby waiting to board Thomas the Tank Engine!

First train ride, aboard Thomas the Tank Engine no less! ;)

Deeda takes care of Gumby's night wakings.  Here he is cuddled up with Gumby in her bed.  He's actually half on the floor and half on her bed.  Deeda will do anything for his lil' ladies.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Family Life Daily Pictures (6/1/2012)

look at that concentration!
Gumby's handprints in green salt

Gumby is wet.  She always waits outside for Deeda to get home from work.  Today it was raining.  She said the umbrella was too heavy to hold.  So she waited for Deeda, just the same.  In the rain.  <3

Child-led Fun with Water!

We have a lot of impromptu sensory fun led and directed by Gumby; today was a lot of water play.  Gumby asked for water for Bert and Ernie.  Then, she said Bert wanted pink and Ernie wanted purple.  I also gave her this duck that grows in water - it's shown here as big as it grows.  It shrinks back down when dry, then will grow again.  It's fun :)  The duck wanted purple water also.  I threw in some water beads and an eye dropper, just incase ...

The fun continued outside where we have our poor man's swimming pool until we go and get a new pool.  It needed pink and purple water too.  These are currently Gumby's favorite colors!  We threw in some pony beads.  Can you tell in the picture if the float or sink?  If you can't, you should give it a try yourself and find out!

Rubber duckies, Gumby's awfully fond of you!  The dogs and cats (HAHA!) got baths, but I was too busy chuckling and Gumby was nude, so I dont have any action shots of that :P  She also found if she pushed the ducks down really hard that they would sucker themselves to the bottom of the pool.

What impromptu fun things have you thrown together with the kids lately?