Valentine's, Snow, and another update

First, the update. PaPaw is home, and seems to be doing ok. He came home last Tuesday (his 76th birthday!), and should be starting treatments in a few weeks. He'll have to come up here to get them because the place closer to home didn't offer this particular treatment, but we were told it's the same thing he would get at MD Anderson. I think we all agree that the hour drive is worth it for the better treatment options. Cadence and I are leaving in about an hour and a half to go down there, for the weekend (Mike is in Nashville at the moment) and I hope to get some more info and pictures while I'm there.

Now, on to the pictures that I promised a week ago! Valentine's was really low key, but Mike did get Cadence this huge stuffed dog. She's big and floppy and pink and soft, and of course, Cadence adores her. The night he gave her it, she insisted on dressing it up as a princess so that they could both have a tea party. This dog has also been dressed as Tinkerbell and gone out to eat with us, and has to wear pjs to go to bed at night.



We also had snow! Lots of snow! Like, more snow than I've ever seen in Mississippi at one time! I actually played in it longer than Cadence did, though. She was out there for a little while, then declared that it was cold and her hands were wet, so she wanted to go back inside. I built a snowman, then raided Cadence's dress up box to dress it. I was full expecting to have a princess, but found a ton of Mardi Gras stuff in there, so we had a Mardi Gras snowman instead. I think he came out cute, and I actually had a lady stop and ask if she could take a picture. Of course by Saturday night/Sunday morning, all the snow was gone, but it was nice to have it for at least a little while!







Things I'm thankful for:
1) Today with Cadence. So far it's been wonderful
2) My cousin and her husband and kids that I get to see in about two weeks
3) Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies
4) The "I love you...." game
5) Crayon drawings


An update

I know that I haven’t posted in a few days, and I have a ton of cute pictures to put up of Valentine’s Day and the snow last Friday. However, those will have to wait until later this weekend when I have a chance to sit and upload things. Sorry, and I”ll get them up soon!

We do have a slight update on my grandfather. I can’t remember what all I’ve posted on here, so I’ll tell all we know up to this point. A week ago Tuesday, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This past Tuesday, they went in for surgery, and were hoping to remove the cancer. However, they also found it on his gallbladder and liver. I was told that they removed what they could (I have no idea what all that includes, but would guess gallbladder and maybe some on the pancreas), but the rest was inoperable and incurable. He was in ICU until yesterday, and is currently in a private room and will be there until probably early/mid next week. At this point, we have no idea about treatments, longevity, or anything else, but I’ve heard “chemo” thrown around, along with an idea that he might be able to have treatments a lot closer to home. I also heard last night that as soon as he’s able/wants to, there is a job waiting for him at the school (which is definitely a blessing.)

I’m hoping to hear something soon, and prayers are still appreciated. This is going to be long and hard on all of us, but especially him and my grandmother.

Things I’m thankful for:
1) My grandparents
2) Wonderful nurses
3) Caring doctors
4) My family
5) All the prayers that I know have been said for him


Operation: Princess Bathroom - Completed!

We finished up the Princess Bathroom yesterday, and I think it's awesome! It's MUCH different than before, but it's growing on me. Plus, she loves it, and that's really all that matters.

Total cost for the project:
Shower curtain: $6.75
Bathmats: $9 and $13
Primer: $11 (used half a can)
Paint: $11 (again, half a can)
Canvases: $28
Total: $78.75

We already had everything else in there, plus the paint and brushes she used to paint the pictures with. Not bad for less than $100! The floor will get replaced eventually, but we decided to wait on that for now.


As you can see, quite a change. And now, all the gory details! :)

Mike said her section looked like graffiti

After the primer. She said it looked like "a big fluffy marshmallow!!!" Too bad it didn't smell that way.


Painting away...


And it's finished!!



And a close up of the artwork:
Wall across from the sink and toilet

By the sink and door

Above the toilet


Operation: Princess Bathroom is now underway!

We decided that with some of our tax refund money, we'd update/fix/redecorate a few things around the house. One of those things is our hall bathroom, which until tonight had black walls, blue and silver accents, and this cool white shower curtain with blue/silver/black squares on it. It was very nice, and I loved it. However, I never use that bathroom, and Cadence was tired of it looking like a grownup bathroom and not one she liked. We figured since that was the bathroom she was using all the time, we would let her have a say in the decorating (with Mommy making the final decision.)

We went shopping yesterday and today, and have come home with the following:

  • A pretty light pink and lavender shower curtain with a castle on it. It also has pretty pink gems at the top. It was the one I wanted to run screaming from, but Daddy knew she wanted it, and it was on sale, so home with us it came.
  • Two bubble gum pink bath mats (and boy, are they pink!)
  • Two 11x14 canvases, two 8x10 canvases and three 5x5 square canvases for her to paint. They are to decorate the walls with. I'm not sure yet what will be on them, but right now the four larger ones will probably be princesses. I might try and get her to go with crowns or something for the square ones. We'll see.
  • A gallon of primer to cover the black currently on the walls
  • A gallon of light lavender to repaint the walls
We started with the primer tonight (Cadence even helped), and wow, does the room look different already! Mike and I are going to try and get the lavender on the walls tomorrow, and I might set her up with some paints to work on the canvases while we do that. Our goal is to have it finished by the weekend. I promise to post pictures as soon as it's finished!

Things I'm thankful for:
1) Tax refund money
2) A husband who doesn't mind a "honey do" list 10 miles long
3) My grandfather is HOME!
4) Snow!
5) My new, warm, cozy sheets and comforter



I got the word earlier that PaPaw is home! The tests today all came back great, and he has surgery scheduled for Tuesday. The doctor that is doing the surgery wants him at a different hospital in town because the facilities are better and it's connected to MD Anderson in Houston. Also, this doctor has performed this surgery many times, and says that right now everything looks great.

Of course there is still the chance that something goes wrong on Tuesday or they start the surgery and see that they can't finish, so prayers are still greatly appreciated. However, things look VERY positive at the moment! Thank you to everyone for the prayers!


An update!

My mom just called and said the oncologist has been in to see them. They seem to think right now that it is very small and very localized, and if he's a candidate for surgery, they should be able to go in and remove it and not have to use chemo or radiation.

I cannot even voice how relieved I am at this news. Of course, there are a few things that we're still praying for that could not make him eligible for surgery. He has a lung scan and a few other tests scheduled for tomorrow, and they said that they'll have to make sure all of that is clear and that he's strong enough/healthy enough for surgery. Also, there is a lymph node close to the pancreas, and they are going to have to check it for signs of cancer as well. If it's irritated, that's fine. But if it's infected, then the surgery is out and he'll have to have chemo/radiation. They are also waiting on final biopsy results to come in, and a few other test results. But overall, he looks good, and if everything is clear tomorrow, he should be able to proceed with surgery.

Thanks to everyone for the prayers, because they are working. I'll post more updates when I get them.

Things I'm thankful for:
1) Wonderful doctors
2) A good update
3) A wonderful possible solution
4) My family
5) My co-workers (the outpouring of support is unbelievable)


So many feelings from just one little word

Today our family heard the dreaded "C" word - my grandfather more than likely has cancer. So many emotions, caused by that one little collection of letters. They thought at first it might be gall stones (they found "something" between his gallbladder and pancreas), but after further testing and a biopsy, it looks like pancreatic cancer. They are still doing tests, and won't know specifics - like stages or severity or treatments - until at least tomorrow.

It's just all so unfair, and right now I'm scared to death. I'm worried for him, I'm really worried for my grandmother, and I'm terrified for all of us. Cecily has been crying for two days. I've burst into tears at work more than once. I think I even scared Cadence at one point, but she was so sweet and drew me pictures to make me feel better. I'm praying that tomorrow brings wonderful news - it's stage 1, they caught it early, it's not as bad as they first thought, it's removable without chemo, it was a total mistake and it's actually a cyst - anything as long as it's good news. Please, please, please let them come back with good news.

Things I'm thankful for:
1) My family
2) The memories I have
3) The hope I have that it will be ok
4) The faith I have that even if it's bad news, we'll make it through
5) The support from my job and from friends

Who Dat!


Congratulations to the Saints on a phenomenal Super Bowl win! Geaux Saints!


AIC: Tyler Florence's Quick Farmer's Market Pasta

Mike and I saw this recipe on an episode of Tyler's Ultimate on Food Network, and he made it look SO simple. It looked amazing when he was finished, and I figured it would be a great project for Adventures in Cooking, mainly because it has ingredients (artichokes and zucchini) that we don't normally eat, and I've never cooked with. Here's his recipe, from the Food Network site: Quick Farmer's Market Pasta

I went grocery shopping today, and managed to get all the ingredients but the basil (skipped it because the budget was so tight this week, and he has it more as a garnish. Bad move.) I also went with the jarred artichoke hearts, because 1) chopping artichokes scares me, and 2) the jarred ones were cheaper.
I pulled out the new iron skillet I received for Christmas (I love this thing!) and started the tomatoes cooking. 

They smelled SO good once they started heating up, and I think I might be addicted to making sauce with real tomatoes instead of canned ones!

While that was going, I cooked the sausage, chopped and cooked the zucchini and cooked the artichoke hearts. Again, this was my first time cooking with zucchini or artichokes, and I can probably count on one hand the number of dishes I've had with either one.


When everything was finished cooking, I combined it all, and served with the cheese on top. It looked SO much prettier when Tyler Florence did it, but his kitchen couldn't have smelled any better!


Mike, who isn't a huge vegetable fan, and who I was sure would hate it, actually thought it was pretty good. However, we both agreed that there was *something* missing. I finally narrowed it down to something with the tomato portion of the sauce, but couldn't quite put my finger on the missing ingredient. After dinner I went back through the recipe and figured out what it was. I had totally forgotten to put in the garlic. I had bought it - actual cloves even! I was so excited because I was going to do the whole hit-it-with-a-knife-on-the-cutting-board-and-separate-it thing, and totally forgot to add it. We figure with that and the basil, this would be a fantastic dish!

I have an entire bowl of it still in the fridge that may or may not get eaten, but seeing how easy it really was, and how awesome it could potentially taste, I know I'll be trying it again in the future!

Things I'm thankful for:
1) A husband and daughter that don't complain when I decide to cook new things.
2) Access to recipes and ingredients that I never would have used/tried before.
3) Good friends to spend tomorrow afternoon with - Geaux Saints!
4) My sisters. 
5) My mom.

Cadence is One Toothless, Smart Cookie!

THE TOOTH CAME OUT!!!! She is now, officially, a big girl, and has lost her first tooth! Thursday night the poor thing was just hanging, and I knew all it would take was one pull and it would pop out. However, she wouldn't let anyone within 10 feet of her mouth. Finally, around 9:00 that night, Mike told me to come with him and he grabbed his belt. She was already in bed, so he walked in and said, "You are going to sit right there and let your Momma pull that tooth, and if you so much as FLINCH, you're going to get a spanking with a belt." (knowing good and well that he wouldn't spank her over something like this, but just the site of the belt worked.) She laid on the bed and opened her mouth, and actually let me get the dental floss wrapped around it. As I went to tighten it up, she flinched and jerked her head back, and the tooth popped out.

She was so shocked that it actually happened, and even said, "Hey! That didn't hurt at all!" She then got REALLY excited, and kept asking if the Tooth Fairy had come yet. I think she was more excited about her than Santa! The Tooth Fairy (or Greta as a friend's family calls her), came that night and brought her $5 (because Greta knew that Momma didn't want to pay a dentist to pull that tooth), and Cadence now thinks she's hot stuff with her toothless grin!



Also, in even bigger news, she got the Cookie Reward yesterday! I don't know if you remember the last issues we had with the Cookie Reward, but we really didn't think she was going to get it at all before. She had been having a really rough time at school, and it was down to her and the kid that doesn't speak any English to get it. She did finally get it, but it was a nightmare. So yesterday, when she came running down the hall with the Cookie Reward around her neck, I think I was jumping up and down and more excited than she was!! This time she got it without any bribing or arguing or us having to remind her the entire week to be good. This time she got it just because she was One Smart Cookie! And I couldn't be more proud of her!


No Karate Kid II for you!

One story that Mike loves telling comes from 1986, when he was about 7 years old. He HATED losing his teeth (not sure if it was the pain, the blood, or the torture, but it was, well, like pulling teeth to pull his teeth), and he had a tooth that had to come out. He says that his mom told him that if he would let them pull the tooth, she would take him and his friend Jason to see Karate Kid II. Being a 7 year old boy, this was a big deal! I have a feeling it would be like telling Cadence we'd buy her The Princess and the Frog. But if he didn't let her pull that tooth, he would have to stay home while she and Jason went.

Well, Mike being Mike, he refused. And he says that his mom took Jason to the movies and left him sitting at the house. Poor thing got no movie, no Tooth Fairy money, and was stuck with the torture of having to go to the dentist to get the tooth pulled on top of that. He's still traumatized over it almost 24 years later, and I'm not sure he ever really forgave his mom.

Fast forward to 2010. Cadence has a tooth that is SO close to coming out, and last night I noticed that there's another tooth coming in behind it. I called the dentist today, and they said that if we couldn't get it out tonight, I needed to bring her in tomorrow to have it pulled. We have tried everything we could think of - more money from the Tooth Fairy (I have a $5 bill in my purse I'm more than happy to donate!), telling her the dentist would hurt worse if he had to pull it (probably not the best idea, but I was desperate), candy, and even going to get ice cream at 10 pm. Nothing could convince her to let us get that tooth out. She tried to get it out herself with paper towels, and even safety scissors, but to no avail. The tooth is still there. She's spent most of the night crying, and was devastated when she realized that 1) the Tooth Fairy isn't coming tonight, and 2) she also wouldn't get any ice cream tonight. It was sad and pitiful and it's not looking well for loose teeth in the future.

And all Mike kept saying through the whole thing was, "No Karate Kid II for you!"

Things I'm thankful for:
1) A husband with a sense of humor. Even if it is at the expense of his firstborn.
2) Dental insurance
3) A new season of LOST
4) Leftovers for dinner
5) The chocolate cake and 3 surveys from McAlister's today


Cadence updates

We've had a pretty exciting last week around here, and a few new things have happened to the Wee One!

First, and most notable, she cut her hair. Well, actually her bangs, but of course it was right in front and she scalped herself. She didn't touch the back, but I think it's because it was up in pigtails (even though part of me wishes she had attacked it - there's plenty to work with there!) When I asked her why, her response was "Cause they were in my face!" I don't think she'll have to worry about that for awhile!

Aren't those just the prettiest bangs ever?!?! ;)

Also, we had our first visit with a new dentist. His name is Dr. Cook, and she absolutely adores him! His office is a kid's dream, and the child racked up when she came out. She had about half a dozen stickers, a bag with toothpaste, pink mouthwash, dino flossers and a pink Ariel toothbrush, and a purple ring with a pink jewel and sparkles. The bad news was that she has 4 cavities (Mommy has been doing a really bad job at making her floss), but they said that she was an excellent patient. She went back there like she had known them forever, and they were nice enough to treat her, and also JoJo. She also found out that she has two loose teeth, and has spent the last week wiggling one of them. The child can't wait for the tooth fairy to come, and now I have to decide if the tooth fairy is going to bring money or small gifts. It's getting so close to coming out, and I noticed today that there's another one pushing through right behind it.

On Friday she got to go to the skating rink with her class. She did so much better than I thought she would, and absolutely loved it! I even got out there on skates, too, and did better than I thought *I* would.



After the party I took her out to lunch, then we visited the college that I went to. She loves drawing, and it was so nice to get to show her some real art supplies and a real art department. She wanted to touch everything, and kept asking about the paint and easels that we saw. We also saw a few of my old teachers, and they seemed to enjoy talking to her as well. I even took her into the gallery, which may have been a little much for an overly tired 5 year old, no matter how much she likes art! I'm looking forward to redoing her bathroom, because we're going to let her do the artwork for it. I'm sure it will look like all the princesses she's been drawing, but that's just fine with me. I mean, how cute would it be to have a bathroom decorated like this??
(that's me as a princess, btw)

She's also started writing sentences at school, and her teacher lets them have "creative spelling." I know that it's to help them learn to sound out words, but I think she knows that the moms love stuff like this! Today's sentence was "February is the sekn mof of the yir." I know I'm a sap, but seeing that written in big, block, pencil letters is about the coolest thing ever!

And the most depressing update, I called today about Kindergarten registration. I can't believe she's old enough to be doing this already! This means a real school bus, and no more lunches together every day, and no more baby girl! She's thrilled, but I think I'm going to cry. I've never wanted to homeschool so much in my life, even though I *know* the time apart is vital for both of us. As much as I love her, we're like oil and water if we're together too long (like all day, every day!) But man, am I going to miss seeing her for lunch and having her in my office in the mornings next year!

Things I'm thankful for:
1) The tooth fairy, and the excitement she brings
2) Having a "little chef" in the kitchen to help
3) Having both a great dentist and pediatrician that she loves
4) "I love you" written in cute 5 year old handwriting
5) Being in a great school system