Monday, November 29, 2010

GLOW? More like EXPLODE!

Hey, you! You adorable bald guy with the mustache above this here post. Yeah. I'm talkin' to you, Gideon. I just want you to know: I plan on seeing real hair stubble grow on that face someday. Had to let you in on my plans, is all. And guess what else? You may wear your hair and your facial hair however you want as you grow up, and I will never say anything other than "You are gorgeous!" You may use this post someday when you are way into scraggly, long beards and hair that constantly covers up your eyes. I mean it. You be YOU. Stick around, kiddo. I can't wait to see how you'll turn out. You're so incredible NOW... To see what you've accomplished by the time gray starts peppering your facial stubble and hair will be phenomenal.

And now, for the blog. (Thank you for giving me a moment to have that little private conversation with Gideon... You patient one, you!)

I hung up the phone today with a friend and said, "If I have to pay-it-forward for all of the amazing things given to me or my family, I would have to become Mother Teresa." So, you can see my conundrum. I am no Mother Teresa, I'm Mama Manda. And, may I say... I am one over-the-moon thankful mama? I am.

Gideon is doing well. He has not been sick in the last few days. He is weepier and wants to lay on me a lot, but I'll take the overly sensitive/owie instead of the overly sick ANYDAY! We go in for labs and the rigamarole of Clinic tomorrow morning. We'll know where we're heading more clearly after that. But for delightful now, I'm spending my days letting my worn out boy lay on me and love me. He is back to being my "Gideon Third Arm," and I am okay with that.

I have been on a BLOG READING KICK as of late. I read blogs about other kids going through the same cancer as Gideon. Sometimes I wonder why I do it since it gets me all nervous and I check Gideon over from head to toe constantly, but here's the truth: Things could be much more difficult. Each case is so very unique. I'm convinced the dolphins are beating the sharks in my boy.

Yes, the dolphins are winning, but I'm noticing that Gideon gets down more often than he ever has in the past. We dropped Brody off at school, and I looked at Gideon in my rearview mirror. He had tears in his eyes and his precious bottom lip was practically getting traction on the street. I asked him what was wrong. He said, "Brody gets to be around people. I want to see people. I want to see people smile. I want to hear people laugh!" Tug. Tug. Tug my heart! I completely get this. I am exactly the same way: I adore people (even the crabby ones) and find them fascinating. My energy is amplified when I'm with anyone. Anyone at all. As long as it is a human, I will chat it up! In fact, I invited the animal removal man (Mark) in for a chat when he was checking for any more flying squirrels the other day. We talked for over forty five minutes. Be careful if you come over: I might not let you leave.


"What would you like to do, Gideon?" I asked him, ready to head south to Disney World, that's how much I wanted to get a smile out of that boy! You think I'm kidding. I'm not. I would have pointed the car south and driven there with all this kid has been through. We'd worry about clothing and sunscreen and money once we got there.

"I want to go to the MALL!" he yelled.

Easier than a three day road-trip, huh? I have no idea how much his immunity has dropped since it was last checked, so I put a mask on him and loaded my purse with antibacterial paraphernalia. I told him we were going to walk around, look around, listen to the people, and stare at the people (I taught him how to do this without being annoying. It's an important lifeskill for a mommy to teach her nosey son)...but NO BUYING ANYTHING. He has been getting "stuff" a lot lately, and I want him to know that it is not always that way. (Sidenote: I must say, for all he is "getting" lately, he has not lost his appreciation for every tiny thing!) He nodded in agreement. His little eyes were twinkling and he was just completely stoked to be going OUT. Just out and among the living. It felt like the best medicine for the moment.

Gideon oooooed and awwwwwwwed about each and every miniscule thing: the Christmas decorations, the music, the smell of the food court, the way a lady walked "SO FAST" with her "clippety-clop shoes..." and "SOOOO many pretty bags!" Yes, he was soaking it in with each of the five senses, I promise. We stood outside of Santa's chair area and Gideon whispered through his mask, "Here's where he'll sit. Here it is! I will see him here sometime. He is building me my Lightning McQueen Powerwheel right now. That's why he's not here." I didn't rush him. I let him drag me wherever he wanted to go. We stood and looked at the fluff circulating in Build-a-Bear for what seemed an eternity.

Then we came to a little kiosk that sold stuffed animals that unfolded into humungous furry pillows. He pulled my hand and practically ran up to them. "LOOK! LOOK, mommy! A DOLPHIN one! Awwwwwwww!" I was waiting for the pleading and for my inevitable "NO," but no plea escaped his lips. Just a giggle. He just appreciated the sweetness of that stuffed dolphin and we moved on.

And here is when I started to cry. Dang it. Will I ever have a day without tears? About five minutes later, I heard a, "Ma'am! Excuse me, ma'am?" I wanted to turn around and say, "You talking to me? Don't you mean 'Miss'? My mom isn't here..." Oh, wait. I am a mom...aren't I (where has the time gone...)? Okay. So I turned around. A man in a business suit was running toward me. He must have been Christmas shopping on his lunch break. He said, "I'm sorry, I couldn't help but to witness how sweet your little boy is and I have been watching you two smile and laugh at everything. I saw how his eyes lit up when he saw this..." and he pulled out the stuffed dolphin pillow, "I hope you don't mind, but may I give it to him? Merry Christmas!"

Humanity!!! I didn't know those Hallmark Hall of Fame movies are FOR REAL! They ARE! And then...tears. Blubbering thank you's. I gushed over his random act of gorgeousness, and sweet Gideon asked me, "Is that okay, mommy?" before he accepted his gift. Big sigh.

Before we left, an elderly woman walked up to me and with diamonds ready to drip from her animated eyes she said, "They said I wouldn't make it! But I did! I lived to be a grandma!" She pointed at her cancer awareness pin. "He'll be a survivor, too! Don't give up!" Then, after I was able to talk to her for awhile (poor lady probably had somewhere to go...but, alas! I wanted to chat), she felt comfortable enough to show me her amazing tattoo behind her shoulder. It was a cancer awareness ribbon. What a FUN grandma! That's it...I need a tatt. Soon.

We got home, and Gideon laid down on his dolphin. He kept rubbing his face on the fur and making those cozy squeaks of delight from the texture and warmth of it all. I didn't demand a nap. Now I'm glad I didn't.

The doorbell rang and it was our mailman. Thank goodness I got the gab out of me or that sweet man would have been late to all of the other houses. In his hand was a package. The return address? DONAVON FRANKENREITER!




I think my face turned eight shades of red. Remember Gideon's chemo song I posted awhile back? "GLOW"? That is a Donavon song. Stop it. Stop the madness. My heart was racing and I screamed for Gideon.

I think Gideon thought something was wrong because he never comes that quickly when I call him, mostly because I feed him burning fuel-like meds right after I call his name these days. "What's wrong, mommy?" he asked with worry etched all over that precious face.

"DONAVON FRANKENREITER sent you a package, Gideon!" I yelled.

He jumped up and down and immediately started to sing, "GLOW! I wanna see you GLOW!" We hooked up the iPod and put on our favorite Donavon playlist. Then Gideon opened the package. It contained: signed drumsticks, a T-shirt, a signed poster, a signed set-list by every member of the band, mustaches (I will describe Donavon's "MUSTACHE MANIFESTO" another time...this is already a lengthy blog), an ALL ACCESS pass for their tour, stickers, and an autographed CD. Really? Now famous people we love are spoiling us, too? Woah. I was floored, as was Gideon.

Remember Gideon's tears from earlier today? They seemed to have been shed a million years ago. Except for mine. AGAIN. Sobbing and blubbering and wah-wah-wah and wow-wow-wow! More amazed tears...

How did this come to be? How did Donavon know about us? I would like to point my finger at a friend of mine who I am CONVINCED works for the CIA or something that involves craftiness, cunningness, lack of fear, and ingenious people skills. The girl is not afraid of anything...nothing intimidates her, and she is just a complete riot to be around. Apparently, she also does not have any problem emailing and calling a band she knows has been integral in our healing over here in the Schripsema household. DAWN MARCINIAK. She emailed the band with a link to my blog (the one that references "Glow"). The band wanted to do something for Gideon. After conversing many times with the drummer, Craig Barnette, she handed over our address. I love YOU, Dawn. And, gosh! THANK YOU DONAVON and HIS BAND! You live out the positivity of your music, that is for sure!

Again, Donavon: You made a lovely day even lovelier!

Friday, November 26, 2010

BLACK Friday

THAT may be crossed off the bucket list with permanent ink, please. WOAH. I have always been up north for Thanksgiving, and "Black Friday" up there is actually called "Starry, Starry Night." It all makes sense to me now. "Starry, Starry Night" is just that: star-filled, and snowy, and each quaint Grand Marais shop has Christmas music, free refreshments and delectable hors 'd oeuvres, one-of-a-kind gifts, and jovial conversations. It is all incredibly cozy and heartwarming. This is absolutely opposite of what I experienced last night. Night-and-day, hot-and-cold opposite.


I'm on the side that believes "Black Friday" was dubbed that way not because of the black ink profitability of it all, but because that is the color of most souls pushing and shoving all around the stores. Okay. Maybe that was harsh. How about the black and tarnished side of people is more obvious on this day? All of these years I have been wondering what it would be like to score these huge exciting it would be! It was not. Well, there was excitement...just not the good kind.

I got to Toys R Us at 9:25 last night. The boys were fast asleep with turkey grins plastered on their faces. The doors opened at 10. When I saw the line outside I thought, This isn't too bad. Then they started letting ten people in at a time. As the line inched along in a snail slither, I finally got to the corner of the store. The line wrapped BEHIND the building. Behind. I clutched my hopeful wishlist and wondered if it was worth it since I could no longer feel my feet, let alone my toes. I had visions of Christmas morning: As the kids tore into their gifts, my toe-less feet would be perched atop an ottoman and my raspy voice that was destroyed by the cold of this night would croak out, "I hope you like it." But I am stubborn, and I am curious. That trumped the need for toes.

I finally got in the door at 11:15 (almost two hours in the freezing cold). Then, I was pushed around like a ragdoll. I went for a cart, but a crafty lady with a shirt that said, "OUT OF MY WAY, IT'S BLACK FRIDAY!" tore it out of my hands. I am not lying. She really had that shirt, and she really did rip it out of my hands. Once I got over my initial shock, I turned for another cart. They were all gone. I was going in alone and without the armor/protection of a metal wheeled beast. I only got pushed down once by a mom who had to have some doll that peed. I was merely in the way. I was not going to buy it. By the look she gave me, you would have thought I was about to snag her daughter and make a run for it. Woah. I am not a fan of crazy eyes and they were E V E R Y W H E R E !

I ended up scoring SEVEN things from my list. All of them were at least half off the regular price, and I felt a small smile of accomplishment start to form. Once I got in the checkout line (which zigzagged from the back of the store to the front, I thought: I MADE IT! I DID IT! It wasn't that horrific!

I should have looked awhile longer, but without a cart, I was a towering, teetering and unstable danger to all around me. As I kicked a few things, and awkwardly cradled the rest, I got behind the ex-wife of Earl from the show "My Name is Earl." She is the character played by Jaime Pressly. Whoever dreamt that character up, KNEW the woman in front of me. Oh. My. Gosh. I thought my nightmare was over once I was in the check-out line, but I was dead wrong. I know I have a sign on my face that says, "DOORMAT," but it got ridiculous. She was sweet and talkative at first, and then she said, "Would you mind watching my cart? I forgot something." As I peered behind awkward boxes in my arms, a muffled, "Sure," was murmured. Off she went! For a LONG time. I had to kick her cart with my foot all while having my arms full of STUFF. Boxes kept falling. I had to put down my pile to maneuver her cart and then go back for my stuff.

When she came back fifteen minutes later, I was relieved. I was starting to feel anger bubble up in me. I knew she arrived back to her cart because she was mindlessly plowing people over and smacking them with the corners of her boxes. I thought that was it, but then she kept disappearing over and over without saying anything. It was like my "Sure" from an hour ago still stood as our spoken contract/pledge. Over and over and over again I found myself having to move her cart all while being some supernatural-balance-freak at the same time. Honestly, it was ridiculous. I should have left her cart and walked around it, but the truth is: I was afraid... On one of her rare appearances, she told me how she almost got in a fight with some girl outside who wouldn't let her back in HER spot. Her story was peppered with obscenities. I believed she would have pummeled me, and honestly: I was tired. I would have balled up in a fetal position and just let her go. I think she meant it as a threat. So, I kept maneuvering her cart with my foot and repeated to myself, "It'll be over soon. It'll be over soon."

"Soon" came two hours later. At least this line was inside the store. I had done it! It was over. All of my gifts were put in one ginormous bag. The bag ripped as soon as I walked outside. My car was in the very last row in the very far corner of the lot. I wish I was making this up. There were STILL no carts around. So, I did my crazy balance act one last time as the finale to my night. TA-DAAAAA! Once I sat in the seat, I realized it was not worth it. It would have been if I had my iflip. I could have entertained myself video recording the craziness around me. But I pledged to myself, "NEVER AGAIN!"

So, I am hoping Gideon will be healthy enough for us to resume our up north Thanksgiving tradition next year. I will never BLACK FRIDAY it up again. I'm over it. I don't even like to shop, to be honest. I just wanted to make this Christmas a little bigger than those in the past, and Black Friday was a means to an end. Gideon did well with the shot in the leg at home, but he is still sick of it. Thankfully, he listened to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and wants Santa to catch him being good and brave. Before his shot, I yelled out, "LOOK, Santa! Look at how brave Gideon is behaving!" Even behind Gideon's tears there was a little glimmer of a proud smile. Yes, I'm thankful Christmas is on its way (and that BLACK FRIDAY is in my past).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Remember how spiders have always scared me into a dither of high-pitched girly screams? Remember how I now can practically pick up these venomous creatures by a leg and easily escort them outside without so much as a wince? Spiders are nothin' anymore. Things have gotten even more Twilight-Zone-ish since yesterday. (For you young ones, Twilight Zone has nothing to do with vampires in love with humans. Google it.)

So, cue the do-do-do-dooo-do-do-do-dooo music as I begin this story: I completely stepped outside of myself yesterday for a brief moment. I don't know who that person was who filled in while I was away, but she was one efficient and focused mama. She didn't feel any emotions, just felt attuned to the task at hand. Where was the bleeding hearted and sensitive Amanda? I don't know, but I am so thankful this Amanda has been hiding out within some crazy disguised and cobwebbed corners of my persona.

I had to give Gideon his shot of chemo yesterday, and the hardest part was putting on those rubber gloves. You nurses make it look so easy. I am shocked by how this went down. This is not what I was expecting. I envisioned tears blinding my eyes and a shaking hand and a dry heave of sickness as I inserted the needle into my baby and injected poison, yes, POISON into my little boy's veins. Gideon was crying, and I reminded him that we HAVE to get those sharks. Then, it was done.

I did not cry. Is there something wrong with me?

I think it's mind over matter and about 65 hours of prayer over this situation. Plus, it wasn't even me. It was someone else. We need to name this person I became in that instant. Edna? Maybe. Needles always topped the chart as the freakiest things ever. I made the mistake of watching one go into Brody when he was a baby and I instantly felt queasy. I never looked again. Now I am giving them. Who knew? Maybe it was watching so many spinal taps that calloused me, I don't know.

Gideon is over all that chemo offers him -- the attention, the prizes, all of it. He just wants to never get a shot again or swallow burning liquid. We go in again today so that the nurses can watch me give him another ARA-C injection, and then I will be released with pre-filled syringes to give the shots at home tomorrow.

I was so thankful that Gideon got up before dawn this morning since he woke up peacefully and not ready to hurl. He sat on my lap and we just talked. I reminded him about the painful sharks in his legs before we started chemo. We talked about how that pain lasted a long time and a shot only lasts a second. That tiny second is better than a long time. We talked about how the shot put DOLPHINS into his blood to fight the sharks: the most fierce of all shark-fighters. It makes sense it would hurt more to get dolphins in there. He promised he would try to be brave today and won't try to wiggle away. I asked him if I made the shot feel more gentle since I gave it to him yesterday instead of a nurse. He said, "No, but that's because you forgot to put kisses inside of the needle first. Don't forget today. That's what mommies do: put kisses inside of the owies." Mmmmm...more opportunities for magic. Another thing in which to be thankful.

I'm trying to be creative in making this experience easier on Gideon. Unless someone is with him every single time he goes to chemo or takes his oral chemo, I don't think it is comprehensible the amount of stress this places on his little body, mind, and spirit. I will let him pick out a treat before every single one of these injections. I will unspoil him later. For now, I just want him to feel more peace and less angst over this entire situation. I will speak his peace language: fun and toys. Emphasis on the fun.

Speaking of fun, it is exciting to see that I'm not the only one with a dual personality. Even the rockers of Led Zeppelin needed to tap into their more sensitive side as The Honeydippers. Let's celebrate the many facets of humanity! Sail with me as the dolphins take to the seas within Gideon...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sports Sunday

Thanks, Rob and Priya for accompanying us on the couch for some Lions letdown. WE MISSED YOU, TEAGAN! Happily, this couch went from a glum place of ho-hums to one of complete celebration over the RED WINGS! At least we have you bright red boys to get our hearts resuscitated once again. Someday, Lions... SOMEDAY.

Gideon did well this weekend. We had some Gideon-mommy time as Tom and Brody went to the Western football game. Brody got to go into THAT locker room, as well. We love Coach Cubit. I wonder if Brody just thinks it's normal to go into locker rooms with teams. He is one LUCKY boy.

While Gideon and I chilled at home, I watched his energy level go from nonexistent to pretty normal all in the matter of a couple hours. As a mom, I have experienced taking care of an ill child. But this is nothing like I've ever seen before. During normal viruses, there are a few days of absolute sickness and then....better. This chemo stuff is a whole new kind of sick. Sometimes it lasts days, sometimes hours. One thing is a fact: I am doing everything I can to get Gideon to eat. He has no appetite. I even Google image searched different foods with him, pointing and saying, "Does this look yummy? How about this? OoooOooo...Look at this!" No. That didn't fly. So, I am just pushing fluids. I have read WAY too many ALL Leukemia blogs about dehydration, lately.

Gideon wanted to go on a bike ride with me during our playdate together. He then was the Bubble Dictator on his little outdoor chair. As he blew bubbles, I had to perform crazy acrobatics to pop every single one. They flew a little high once in awhile and Gideon yelled at me, "C'mon, mom! JUMP! You can do better than THAT!" And then he'd scream, "Duck!" or "LOW! GO LOW!" Oh, he loved being in charge. So much so that we did this for an hour and a half. We painted after that... I needed a little reprieve.

After MUCH fussing and naysaying, I finally convinced both boys to watch the newest Tinkerbell movie with me. I am a girly girl and I never get to see these kinds of shows! They gave in and reluctantly cuddled with me. They finally got into it when Tinkerbell was almost eaten by a cat. It figures! Still, it ended up being a fabulously relaxed weekend.

What feels the BEST is that this entire blog was as relaxed and low-key as a Sunday SHOULD be... there were no emergencies. There were no scary situations. Just relaxation. Thank you, God.

This week:
- Daily oral chemo (NOT a fan of 6TG)
- Labs and port chemo on Tuesday
- Leg shots Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
- Normal doses of Bactrim and Zofran

Brody with Western's quarterback, Alex Carter

Friday, November 19, 2010

My Own Early Thanksgiving...

As Thoreau sat for hours mesmerized by a leaf, tracing its outline with absolute fascination, I feel I share that same wonder and total awe when it comes to people. I have felt like I have reached my quota of good people doing extraordinary things for me. Really. I could live until 2080 without anymore amazing souls giving so much of themselves, and still feel as though I was given too much. Sometimes I feel like my heart is going to completely rupture from being utterly overwhelmed by the sheer goodness around me. I know this is cheesy, but it is TRUE. I know some of my cynical friends are rolling their eyes at me, but thankfully they know what I am saying is my honest truth. Truly. This is not just a bunch of blog fluff.

I think I have cried about ten times today out of gratitude (and once since we had to hold Gideon down to get his shot...that was a first, but I won't focus on that tear genre). I'm pretty sure I will remain misty-eyed for the remainder of the night, as well. Maybe my eyes will be perpetually aqueous for the rest of my days, and I would not be surprised. I just can't fathom this goodness. I can't. It's too big for me.

As you all know, I have been taking off from school to take care of Gideon. Between the appointments, transfusions, and bouts of vomiting, I would have missed most of the school days anyway (even if I had gone back to work). Besides that, Gideon has just needed his mommy. He has. We have had days of cuddling and maybe I'm about to say this just to make myself feel more important, but I really think my constant presence has benefitted Gideon and his health. I feel like Gideon is at ease with me. No matter his pain or discomfort, I can rock him or dance him into a more tranquil place. This does not make me magic, it simply makes me a mommy...a mommy to a sick boy who, unfortunately, has been and will be sick longer than I ever imagined he would be. But, I had thirty three sick days, and my fantastic school system let me use every last one of them without question.

Now my sick days are up. I have to have my job, not only from the insurance and pay standpoint, but...I love it. I thought about taking a year leave, but that would leave me without insurance. Since Tom has to get private insurance if we don't use mine, that would ruin us. Without getting political, what insurance company would want to welcome us to their ranks? So, we ruled that out. We have been praying and waiting.

The waiting is over. Kirt Brown, a teacher at Mattawan High School, called to inform me that it was voted that I be granted "Critical Leave" to take care of Gideon. Kirt introduced this concept to our staff last year, and I remember whispering to my neighbor, "Isn't that amazing?" He worked hard to get this program in working order for our district. Never did I fathom I would be the one benefitting from it. Do you know what this means? It means that I work for and with a whole host of humanitarians. Mattawan Consolidated Schools is by far the district with the strongest heart and most giving spirit. No one has been anything short of supportive, from the top down. Basically, the staff will willingly donate their own sick days to me. I am dumbfounded, and yes -- teary. To work with a group of individuals who continually give of themselves makes me realize that the students we let loose into the world have had to have some of that beauty of selflessness seep through to them, as well. Love can be learned through osmosis. Thankful is not a strong enough word for how I'm feeling right now. Indebted? Nope, still not strong enough. I will work on that... I may be working on that for the rest of my life when I think back on this precious time I was granted. Every second I am able to comfort my sick baby is another eternity of gratefulness I feel towards you, Mattawan staff.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but besides my church who is still delivering meals, so is Mattawan. We have home cooked meals constantly without any of the work involved. Also, I have someone who is assigned to be ON CALL for me if I need anything and can't leave for any reason: milk, eggs, a trashy magazine...anything. This was all organized by the staff as well. I don't think any human being could have been more loved and treated like a queen.

This news was enough to keep me singing unending versions of Zippity-doo-dah all on its own, but get ready for another massive load of human beauty in the form of a Mattawan student I had the pleasure of teaching when she was in seventh grade: Katelyn Drake. She has dreamt up, planned, and organized a fundraiser to benefit Childhood Leukemia, and I am honored to be involved. The event itself is called "We Play for Hope Campaign." Please become a fan of it via Facebook by clicking here. It will occur at the Mattawan vs. White Pigeon Varsity basketball game on December 14. Everyone will wear ORANGE in support of this cause, and there will be orange apparel on hand to be ordered ahead of time. The NO SHARK shirts are BACK and in orange (with a newer picture of Gideon on the back)! There are also "We Play for Hope" shirts available. This is the ordering page. Orange wristbands and Mardi Gras necklaces will be on sale during all lunches and at games. For every dollar that is spent, a ticket will be entered into a raffle to win an Ice Watch courtesy of Medawar Jewelers (the sponsoring company). You do not have to be present to win. I am hoping that every set of eyes that read this post will be somehow involved in this event, or will participate in it. If you have any questions, you can email Katelyn at Katelyn, it was a joy having you as a student and an absolute delight to witness who you have become as a person. You are an inspiration!

I ended this grateful day with a snuggle-fest with my boys. Here they are, wrapped in their favorite quilts. Oh! And these quilts were made for them by the very talented Carol Grant...who happens to be the Mattawan Early Elementary music teacher. Sheesh. I'm crying again. I think I may rent a sappy chick-flick now. Might as well keep this dreamy-ooey-gooey heartbeat going...

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I completely jinxed myself. The puke bowl was needed last night, unfortunately. Thankfully, my friend Dawn taught me an anti-jinxing technique that I will administer the next time I feel the hackles rise up in a strange foreboding of a backfire towards anything I say (I hope that run-on made sense to more people than just me. It's staying). Gideon was very sick early this morning and on. He did not want a bite of anything. Nothing at all. He was crabby and hurting; I just stared at the clock knowing the inevitable Clinic visit would fast approach. Dread was the word of the morning. Then Brody walked into the stressed-out room with something in his hands...

I am not materialistic, but sometimes a small man-made devise can change the trajectory of an entire day. What Brody had in his hands did just that, and he knew he was saving me grief when he walked in with a happy and proud smile plastered on his face. Gideon was crying and laying on the ground. Every time I tried to pick him up to get him numbed up for his shot, he went limp-noodle on me. Boneless. Brody sauntered over and whispered in my ear, "Let me help, mom." He then opened his hands to reveal the Object. I promise the gloomy day got sunny for the half of a second it took for Gideon to see what he had. "Fllllllllllluuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrp!" and Gideon instantaneously burst into a bout of hysterical giggles.

It was a fart cup, or a "Toot Cup," which is what my boys call it. A precious, precious fart cup made of that priceless, noisy putty. Farts never stop being funny. They can even make a kid in pain and anguish giggle, or even belly laugh (as I found out). But the story gets better when it comes to Brody's grown up problem solving...

"Don't you want to show the nurses, Gideon? You could sneak up behind Dr. Lobel and make him TOOT SO LOUD! Won't that be funny?" Brody asked.

"YES! YES!" Gideon nodded with that mischievous glint I've been missing so much. While he was letting the scenario play out in his mind, I applied the cream to his leg without him even twitching in panic or anger.


I told Gideon I would be giving him his shot tomorrow. He does not believe me. He keeps saying, "A PRETEND shot, right mommy? Only nurses give shots." It must be confusing for this poor little guy. I don't blame him. It's not something I'm looking forward to, but I pray that I can somehow explain in a way that makes him understand.

Gideon got a glimpse of himself in the mirror today. That was another big moment for him. He realized he is almost completely like "Caillou" now, and his bottom lip instantly protruded and those sweet and tired eyes welled right up. "No more curls. None. People love my curls," and he started to cry. I promised him people just mentioned his curls because they had to find something to say since it was his happy heart that they actually noticed to begin with. How did he understand that more abstract explanation but can't picture me with a needle in my hands? I don't know. But it calmed him almost immediately and I am praying we are all finally over the hair issue. Please.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY. That means we have the weekend without SHOTS. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Never has TGIF rang more true with me!

Goodnight. Now a lullaby for me (and you, too!).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pray, Dance, Watch a Movie.

Please don't hide the kitchen knives just yet. I'm okay. I did have a complete breakdown after my blog last night, it's true. And, I couldn't really proofread due to the tissues in my face. But I just finished some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream, and my eldest just made me the proudest mama on the planet. He completed a full headspin. A legitimate B-Boy headspin. He wasn't able to replicate just yet, but when he does -- it will be on film. So, between the ice cream and the moves, things are looking up. Little pieces of happy make one gigantic quilt of warmth in the end.

Gideon has been complaining about his stomach hurting, but........I am so afraid to type these words.........he hasn't puked yet. I just cowered after I typed that period, waiting to hear the hurls from upstairs. I will still sleep with a bucket, but I'm hoping things will be puke-free for awhile. THAT would be something else to cheer over.

So, that's the happy news about Gideon. He is definitely not himself completely, but he is a cuddler and a lover as always. He has had it with chemo, though. As in OVER IT completely. We had quite the battle today for the first time. I explained that we had to go to the clinic for a shot of chemo in his leg, and that it wouldn't be as bad as the PEG. He did not care. He glared at me and said, "I am NOT going." I explained that he needed the chemo to fight the sharks still, that the battle isn't over even though he's tired of it all. He said, "I AM DONE WITH CHEMO! I AM DONE WITH IT!" I explained that if we stopped, the Leukemia would win. He replied, "I like my Leukemia. The chemo hurts more." I said that we have to go through this so that he could grow up and be healthy someday. He is three, though. Someday seems so obsolete. I oozed on the cream and tried to cover it up. He tried to wipe it off and was more squirmy than ever - twisting and yanking and yelping. Yes, it was an all-out struggle. It lasted far too long. Finally, I promised him a new monster truck. He can't figure out "someday," but he could wrap his mind around a new monster truck. I know, I know...Not the best parenting. This is just not the best situation, though. I have no idea what he is going to do when he realizes we have to go back for another shot tomorrow. And the next day. Ugh. Pray for us all on that one, please.

I was talking to another mom going through this, and I shared how weird it is to feel fine and then all-of-a-sudden something just pries out the heart and sticks it in your mouth and the jaw just can't help but to chew. I have never experienced this until this stage of my life. Gideon was sleeping and I was laying next to him, reading and listening to music. Sarah McLachlan's "Freedom Session" version of "Hold on" came on over the headphones. I have heard this song hundreds, thousands of times over the years. SO many times I have belted along and gotten into it, all the while pretending I am the backup singer. But now, these words echoed so loudly that it jostled my heart loose, and yup! It was vacuumed up into my mouth:
"Am I in heaven here or am I...
At the crossroads I am standing.
So now you’re sleeping, peaceful.
I lay awake and pray
That you’ll be strong tomorrow and we’ll
See another day and we will praise it!
And love the light that brings a smile
Across your face."
Ummmmmmm... New meaning now. I wonder how many new meanings will bust out in front of me.

When this sadness grips me, I have a newfound healing process that actually works. I pray, then I dance like a fool to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy", and finally I watch a movie I made of our last get-away together. I made the movie for family to see (I shared it online with them), but I'm realizing that it is healing for ME, too. Gideon's numbers rocketed up in early October (or maybe that was mid-October) and we were told it would be our last opportunity to travel for awhile. We never took any vacations since this cancer began. So, since Tom had to work, I took the boys up north for a few nights. They were very careful nights with the quickest route to the hospital pinned to the ceiling of the car. Watching that movie makes me remember that it was not so long ago that Gideon was acting like himself, even with the cancer. He will get there again. He will get there again AND be cancer-free! It brings me hope and comfort just watching those memories, those healing memories we made up there. Again, the song is one of Gideon-The-Yellow-Boy's lullabies. (It was made for itty-bitty phones, so it is grainy. Sorry.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


How am I so exhausted from simply sitting with Gideon alllllll day long? It makes no sense at all. I don't think I have been this tired and ready to fall over than right at this very second. My emotional stability is also dangling precariously by a a finely sliced sliver of particle board, and the emotions are heavy. Super heavy. I don't think the sliver has a chance, so that is why I am going to bed to avoid the collapse. Right after I post this blog.

I want to THANK all of my amazing friends who have emailed or left messages today. I felt your prayers and your love. I don't think I would be blogging at all right now, but I know how beautifully concerned you were for all of us. I am so blessed to have true friends like you...ones who would never dream of leaving my side no matter how scary or unknown the road ahead may seem. Gosh, I love you. Even you, LOONEY TOONS CATE (P.S. It took me about 10 minutes to finally understand that text...mush brains, what?) Also, I have to give a virtual squeeze to JULIE JENKINS, whose son Andy went through and beat this same cancer. You have been aloe to this sunburnt chemo heart, Julie. Again...THANK YOU.

Gideon did great today. His spirit and sense of happiness in the midst of all of this cannot be contributed to anyone but God. He is working through this boy, there is no doubt. HIs light is still spotlighting out of Gideon's eyes in a steady stream of love. He was a trooper as he was pumped full of chemo he hasn't had before. We won't really know how he responds to all of this until tomorrow and the next few days. We do know for a fact that his counts will drop and that he will most definitely need blood transfusions during the next few weeks. He will also be on a consistent regimen of anti-nausea medications due to all of the chemo. All of the every-single-day chemo. Sorry. I can't get used to this. I catch myself getting bitter in a paragraph that started with thankfulness to God. So many emotions. I never wanted to ride this rollercoaster. Hold on, sliver! Almost done.

We will be returning to the clinic tomorrow for his leg shot of ARA-C. This will be administered every day this week. I found out today that I will be trained to give him these shots. I will be the one to give them at our house on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, since the clinic will be closed. While I put on a brave face for this, I will tell you the truth: I can't tell the truth about how this makes me feel right now. The sliver is breaking right at this moment. I really need that bed, I think.

Goodnight, friends. Thank you for your prayers... I will be doing the same with every exhale tonight.

Monday, November 15, 2010

We Belong Together...

"Weeeeeeeeee belong! We belong, we belong toge-e-ther!" Oh. The sweet falsetto voices of my two crooners in the backseat made me want to be the brown sugar dissolving in this delectable oatmeal moment. Somehow my boys knew all of the words to this Pat Benatar hit. Between the chorus and the part when Brody turned to Gideon and sang, "Close your eyes and try to sleep now!" and then Gideon caught his big brother's eye and sang back, "Close your eyes and try to dream!" It could not have been rehearsed better. I should have pulled over to witness all of this since my eyes were practically glued to the rearview mirror and my heart was floating somewhere above Oakland Drive. If you are driving down this road today and feel a sudden attack of hot chocolate soul warmth, I think you may have collided with my spirit that is still dancing out there.

It must have been 80's morning on our way to the clinic, which was a gift in and of itself. The next song came on was Prince's "Purple Rain." Gideon said, "MICHAEL JACKSON!" Brody replied, "No, Michael Jackson is the king. This is just the prince." You would be right, the smile on my face has not left me. Yet again, if you run into my soul-dancing-self still out there bounding around, please return her to me. Or not. She can continue to frolic since I can still feel her joy (it's good to always have a string on the kite-soul, I think). I am beyond lucky to have these two. I am crazy blessed. No matter how things turned out at the clinic, or how very crappy this cancer stuff can be or down I get, I have moments like these constantly.

Brody got a special package in the mail this weekend. He is a member of "SUPER SIBS," a club dedicated to the siblings of cancer patients. He got his own personalized trophy honoring him as a brave, courageous, loving and helpful big brother. It even has his name on it. He has been taking it with him everywhere. He brought it to the clinic this morning to show it off, and cannot wait until it is his share day at school. Bridgett, a fabulous staff member at the clinic, said, "Someday when you have your graduation party, you'll have all of your awards out on display. You will be the only one of your friends with a trophy like that one!" She is right. And, I must say, no sibling is more deserving than Brody.

While Brody stared at his trophy in the playroom, Gideon had his blood work done. This is to ensure that he is ready for his all day chemo tomorrow. He will get spinal methotrexate, ARA-C through his port, Cutoxan through his port, and oral chemo. It will be intense, but then again, that's the name of this stage. We are praying he gets through tomorrow beautifully. We will go in to the clinic once everyday for a chemo "shot" in his arm, as well as the oral stuff at home. I'm not sure how his body will react to it all, but I'm praying it responds as it should without any hiccups (or throw-ups, to be honest). His numbers came back showing that he is ready to stay on schedule and get everything tomorrow. Please pray for him.

We're always hoping for the best.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

...and then humanity up and makes me smile.

Craziest thing about my recent days: Every single time tears have threatened to spill, they were stopped mid-plunge by some loving human. Then that love has totally obliterated the need for tears. One example of this was that my priceless iflip movies I have been uploading (like it's my job) stopped saving. As did my more-precious-than-gold pictures. In fact, nothing would load and it looked like a lot of my files VANISHED. I know everyone with a sentimental soul says they would first grab the pictures before leaving their burning down homes, and let's face it: our computers have become our photo albums. When the idea that all of this could just POOF! disappear, the tears were very real. Then Scott Poehlman of Wired Solutions came to the rescue. Tom knows Scott well, and called him to save our memories. Scott was able to save everything I thought was lost and I now have enough room for another lifetime of pictures and movies. Yet again, AGAIN, here is a company who refused to let me PAY. What is going ON with the world I have been taught was so greedy? I said I HAD to give something, because, COME ON! I have been the Queen of Takers lately. His answer? He wanted me to donate what he would normally charge to Childhood Cancer Research. Wow. More good souls popping out of every vocation.

Another example: I ran my fingers through Gideon's hair this morning and CHUNKS, not strands, CHUNKS of hair came out. We are in our shedding season, everyone. It is real and it is rapid. I thought I had a harness around this losing-the-hair bit. There's just something about the reality of cancer that happened when the first chunk of hair follicles landed in my hand. All of this treatment is doing that much to the outer layers of my boy, what about the insides? Tears. Again. Then, here I go...admitting my insanity again, THEN I started scooping up every lost chunk and putting it in a big baggie labeled, "Gideon's sheddings." I'm keeping the hair. Would it be extra creepy if I put a handful of hair in clear Christmas ornaments and painted the outside with some Golden Childhood Cancer ribbon with something that says, "We believe in Miracles..."? Would that be weird? Because I am halfway planning on making one for my Christmas tree and my parents. I won't be mass producing them, don't worry. Just the immediate family will get one. Merry Christmas, family! You can't take it back. That would be even more awkward.

So, that was a tangent. The tears started to well up as I started to scoop off more hair from Gideon's pillow, his clothes, everywhere. I was on some Zombie-Hair-Finding Mission and it was really quite sad. Nothing could stop me or detract me. Here I was, about to let it all explode into hiccups and a snot-snorting cry when I heard a car in the driveway. Linda Parker, a friend from church, drove up. She had a present wrapped for Gideon. When Gideon opened it, he shouted out with immense joy! It was a knitted BATMAN hat (as seen in the picture above). Gideon's church school sent him a crown that he has been wearing every single day, but the crown came off when the hat arrived. He put the hat on his head and beamed. It fits beautifully and it will cover his shiny noggin of the future. I was so very touched by this. Linda wrote in her card, "When I knitted this hat, it was embedded with prayer. And although it is washer and dryer friendly, the prayers won't wash out."

When Gideon took the hat off, more hair stayed inside. He gave it to me and said, "Here you go, mom. More hair for your collection," and then he gave me another eye-disappearing smile. Wake up call for Amanda. It's the BOY, not the hair. THE BOY. I got over my hair picking up obsession (with a little help from my friends)... I'm so thankful for that.

As far as Gideon's health is concerned, things are okay. He has a low-grade fever that I have to watch along with a horrible cough and green boogers and diarrhea. So, we have to just keep monitoring and pumping him full of liquids. If his fever gets higher, I will have to bring him in to the hospital. I'm praying it doesn't. I'm also praying that this doesn't slow down the progress for next week. Next week: The big one. I feel like I keep saying that. "This is IT! The biggest!" Maybe I should just say, "the most intense so far." Gideon will be getting an all day chemo treatment and then we will be in each day for a shot of more chemo....Every day. Julie Jenkins, I will be calling you soon for a mom perspective of all of this. Please be ready :). More friends to stop potential tears -- GOOD. I will earn my PhD in Appreciation due to all of you darlings out there who help SO much.

My boys, of course, are my main source of laughter and deterrent from tired/sad tears. There is some nasty bug running rampant in Brody's class, so his teacher called me about it. We chose to keep him home to avoid that situation. So, we practiced RHYMING words today. LOTS of rhyming words. As the boys were brushing their teeth tonight, Brody started to sing, "So if you're too school for cool..." Gideon then piped in with, "And you're treated like a fool! And you act just like a tool! And you poop in the pool! KEEP YOUR HEAD UP!" He added his own lyrics there, did you notice? Not only was I proud that he understood the lesson, but the use of HUMOR mixed in with Pop Culture. AH! I love those giggle-clowns. Where was my iFlip for THAT one?!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The shakes

I know we've been through this before, but I just cannot get used to it. I blogged at the beginning how Gideon's hand was shaking so much while he was eating that he couldn't get the fork in his mouth. The shakes are back. He has been even more in need of mommy holding him. He has said to me over and over, "Mommy, please help me to stop shaking. It scares me." All I can do is squeeze him tighter. I will happily wear him as an extra appendage. I thought with this being the pinnacle of the steroids, he would be tearing through the house. Nope. He is the opposite of what I expected. He feels awful, and it is evident. Once in awhile a surreptitious smile gets in there, but mostly he is weight-heavy and in my arms. I offer to play games with him, toys with him, anything. He just says, "I just want to lay, mama." He asks to take naps. He asks to go to bed at seven. I realize that he is up at all hours eating his meals, but still... I don't like this.

I was told it's the drugs and possibly symptoms of withdraw. Another difficult thing to swallow: withdraw and three years old. He dry heaves a lot. He actually did it at the clinic this morning... He is napping now and I am praying that he will wake up refreshed and ready for a destructive game of SMASH CARS or something. He does that -- swings from happy and energetic to rock-bottom-tired and lethargic. The pendulum should just stay in the middle, as it should in most areas of life. I won't get into the philosophical, though. Not when I'm tired.

Let's go to the POSITIVE, though: His numbers are still looking great! He is going through this beginning of this intensive stage very well, considering all that could be happening. It is so easy to get in a tizzy and feel so sorry for our situation, but we have been blessed so far, no doubt! I am by no means perfect, but I refuse to let anything make me feel like we are fighting a losing battle. This link was brought to my attention, and it can be read in so many ways. It seems depressing that Childhood Cancer is the number disease-causing death, but then again: it's not the number one cause of death. It also can get disheartening to think that Gideon has a 75% chance of some sad side effect later in life, but then again, he has a 25% chance of NOT having any side effects. And let's be honest: WHAT does a side effect matter if the treatment SAVES HIS LIFE? Also, there is a great chance that by then there will be a remedy to the side effect, right? Of that entire study, I will focus on this part: "Today, the overall 5 year survival rate for childhood cancer is close to 80%. Because treatment cure rates have increased, the population of childhood cancer survivors has also increased. Currently there are estimated to be 270,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the U.S. This equates to one in 640 young adults between the ages of 20 to 39 being a survivor of a childhood malignancy." Gideon will join the ranks of survivors! I know it. Things will get easier!

With is another of Gideon's favorite lullabies, lately:

Friday, November 5, 2010


Gideon said something last night that completely stunned me into a silent stretch (I know... that I was stunned into silence was stunning in and of itself). My mouth was agape and I just sat there, staring at him. Honestly and truly he came up with this all on his own, and it made me want to cheer him on for being so very in touch with how he feels, and it made me want to cry at the same time. By now you know about his heavy dosage of steroids. It turns our sweet one into a beast from time-to-time. Well, more often than that. I was putting on his jammies last night, and he was staring at me. He wasn't talking for once. I asked him what he was thinking about. This is what he said...word-for-word. I wrote it down as soon as I was able to move again, "Mommy, my body is telling me to hit you hard, but my heart is telling me to hug you and say 'thank you.' I will listen to my heart." He then leaned over and gave me the most gentle hug that lasted a good five seconds. He backed away, delicately placed one hand on each of my cheeks and said, "Thank you, mommy. Thank you for not getting mad when I listen to my body and hit. It makes me really sad when I hurt you. I don't want to hurt you!" Oh, oh, oh! How he was able to articulate what the steroids were doing to him still makes me tear up just in typing that. How is he three? How is he so in touch with his emotions and with the reality of all of this? So many times I feel like I'm going to lose it when he randomly head-butts me or punches my leg with crazy brute force. I have to pray, pray, pray for sweetness and gentle words (especially when I'm overly tired). Listening to him expressing thanks for that... My gosh. He is a gem, people. That's all.

Gideon is looking more like a chemo boy now. His face is puffy and his eyes have very dark circles under them. Sometimes those circles almost look black. His hair is very thin on top, but it's still there. How? I have no clue. Nurse Michelle was guessing that maybe it would fall out all at once, in a matter of a couple days. We shall see. That part does not bother me in the least now. He's held on to it longer than we ever thought he would, and that boy has a soul that can outshine any amount of curly blonde hair. He will be my yellow boy with or without it. Let's just keep him on this planet. That's all. Lose the hair, keep Gideon.

I have noticed that toys are not as exciting to Gideon lately. He does show joy over food. He claps his hands and cheers when I put something in front of him that he's craving. Other than that, he wants to curl up and lay on me. We spend a lot of time on the rocking chair looking at letter books. He knows all of his sounds of every letter and asked me to teach him how to read. Since he is so still and attentive lately, he should be reading in a couple of days... kidding. Although, he said this on his own and it made me want to shout from the rooftops, "I HAVE SUCH A SMART BOY RIGHT HERE!" He said, "The letters a-e-and o sound a lot alike. Are they in a family together?" HE made that connection! HE DID! HE DID! So, I taught him the vowel song and it is now his favorite. We are going to make the most out of these no-energy-I-wanna-puke days. We will and we are.

We have had some added excitement around here. There have been some bumps in the night, and Tom called Animal Removal Service to come out and take a peek at the booming noises from our ducts. He was sure there was some humongous creature in there. I was not looking forward to what would be found. Lo-and-behold, a FLYING SQUIRREL was brought upstairs in his little cage. The boys and I had our own personal science lesson up close and firsthand. I have never seen such an adorable little guy! I wanted to keep him. I really did. Then I was told they pee a lot. So, that ended that dream. But really, he was not mouse cute, he was just CUTE. I loved the way the pest removal company treated this little guy. He was fed an apple and was going to be brought back into the wild. A pest control person who loves animals? YES. This goes against every cartoon I have ever seen, but it is true. This company's goal is to rid your home of animals, but rehabilitate the animals for the wild.

The next night, more bumps. Once again, we calledAnimal Removal Service. Another flying squirrel was recovered alive and safe, as was a BAT. So, these two creatures were coming in through an air duct in the attic. The bat was put in a container without grate holes, but with breathing holes. Gideon, our Batman lover, was ecstatic to look at this bat. He asked all kinds of questions, to which scientific answers were given. These professionals know and love their critters! I tried to pay them for this second removal and was told, "You have enough stress going on with your son's Leukemia. I told Mark, the owner, about your predicament and he told me not to charge you anymore. He has a good heart. Also, I know where these guys are coming in, so I'm going to rig something on the outside of your house right now." That they were concerned with our personal issues was a spa treatment for my soul. What a good, good, good-hearted company. CALL THEM if you have a critter issue, please. They are the BEST! Taking the time to educate my boys before he left, too. I loved that. At his first visit, Gideon did NOT want to partake in his smorgasbord of chemo meds. Since he wanted to impress the Brave-Animal-Trapper, he didn't fight and took them all. So, that's how they knew about our issue...

I TOLD you they are CUTE!

Our little friends were cuter than Rocky!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Update: Tired

It's 3 a.m. and Gideon is fine. He is sleeping soundly. That is the best and the most frustrating news all at once. Sleep has been such an illusive friend for the last week, and here I am: awake. As soon as my sister in law came over yesterday, I disappeared for a nap. I think I hardly said hi. Never in my life have I had two things: ear infections or heartburn. Since this cancer ordeal, I have had several ear infections and now I am up and awake because I'm pretty sure the acids in my esophagus are burning gaping holes through vital internal tubing. Ouch. I always thought you heartburn people exaggerated. And now it's time for me to realize you were not. I am falling apart, still.

Gideon has been up a lot asking for food, but then at the same time, this is the most stomach sick he has been since the chemo began. Every day he throws up. The up and down of FEED ME! and I'M-GONNA-PUKE! is one crazy-strange dichotomy.

He missed the bowl two days ago, and that is a rarity. Yesterday he actually went into the tupperware cabinet, found a bowl on his own, and puked in it. That's how good he is at that. But, when he missed and the puke was a ninja attack, he looked at me with eyes glazed over with tears of shame. His bottom lip protruded and his eyes filled up with tears. He started to sob. It was the soundtrack for every sadness this world has ever felt, I promise. I tried to console him, but he kept looking at me and repeating, "I'm soooo s-s-s-s-s-s-SORRY, mommy! I didn't feel the monster in time! SORRY!" And here's the crazy part: The only thing that helped him feel better was when I told him he could Swiffer the spot after I cleaned it up first. The picture above is of him doing just that. This is about a minute after the puking... He breaks my heart. I'll take heartburn above that, please. (Sidenote: Why is the heartburn more pronounced when I breathe? I think I'll hold my breath...)

The steroids make Gideon even more of a talker! He has always been an avid communicator, and I told you about his steady stream of conscious thought rolling off his tongue as he plays. This is yet another thing that has made me love him more... Well, more like treasure him. He comes up with things that just make me want to spend the day recording him so that we can write picture books together. And then we can both retire.

Some of Gideon's thoughts (outloud):
"Mommy, circles are the best shapes. The sun is a circle. The moon is a circle, but sometimes a crescent, too. Bubbles are fat circles. And they float to the sun. Maybe they think it's their mommy. You like polka dots. Those are circles."

"Let's go on a circle hunt, Gideon!"


"Hey! Look!" I flared my nostrils. "Mommy's nostrils are circles!"

Gideon shook his head in disappointment. "No, mommy. Those nostril holes are OVALS, like squished circles. Try again!"

I looked at him with sad eyes to which he replied, "It's okay, mommy! SOME people have circle nostrils. Just YOU don't because you are a beautiful princess."

"My favorite color is red, but you call me Yellow Boy. Brody is your Blue Boy."

"What color do I remind you of, Gideon?" I asked.

"YOU are PINK!" He got a mischievous glint in his eye and said, "But Daddy's color is POOP BROWN!"

Commence the laugh track. Funny kid.

"The Shamalamadingdongs live on the sun!" Gideon reported.

(Back story: A long time ago the boys were fighting and yelling. I screamed, "QUIET or the SHAMALAMADINGDONGS from outer space are going to come and yell at you! THAT'S how LOUD you are being!" To my shock, it automatically made them quiet. Just goes to show you, the more random, the more you take 'em by surprise.)

"They do, Gideon? What's it like up there for them?" I asked.

"Well, it's HOT, mom," and the boy ROLLED his eyes at me!

"Okay...what do they eat on the sun?" I asked, hoping to stump my hormonal teenaged three year old.

Again he looked at me like I myself lived on the sun and answered, "Sun Chips." He then laughed so hard that he puked. That made him laugh even more. Seriously? I cannot get ENOUGH of him.

He is mine! Mine! MINE! I had to squeeze him after that one. But gently, since he puked.

And, I'd like to report that with that last little anecdote, the Alka-Seltzer has kicked in! I am your friendly product tester. As a first-timer I'd say the fires have been put out and I can go BACK TO SLEEP! Thank you, Alka-Seltzer! Oh, what a relief it is!

P.S. Halloween was GREAT! I took Gideon trick-or-treating two nights in a row. Brody was watching his Bronco Hockey team the first night. He even got to go into the LOCKER ROOM with the team... I love you, Bronco HOCKEY! Have I told you that?!
Back on topic: Gideon was too tired to walk while trick-or-treating, but he LOVED getting pushed from door-to-door. To the sweet people who offered Gideon to pick his own candy: Thank you for being understanding when I said, "He is not allowed to touch it, could you please just choose for him?" I got some looks like, Ooooo-crazy-germ-scared-mommy! But, that's okay. That assumption is actually correct. Brody was SPIDERMAN and Gideon was BATMAN. They got to be their FAVORITE superheroes. They are MY favorite superheroes!

P.P.S. Brody started an indoor baseball clinic yesterday. He is loving it! He also is trying to avoid getting punched by steroid-Gideon, and he's doing a great job of that, as well. I offer thanks to the sprint drills at the clinic for that one.

P.P.P.S . Seriously going back to bed now. Night. Oh! And the LIONS WON!!! WOOO!