Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What we have been doing

We have been a little busy lately doing our normal Christmas projects.
We made candy on Friday
Christmas Cookies today
They did cookies for almost two hours!
Ally made me some homemade artwork for my mantle display...love it.
Ally always shows Carly how to do things. She is SUCH a good sister.
We made a foam candy cane village and a gingerbread house over the weekend.
That can wear a mother flat out.....
But I loved Ally's creative roof...all her idea.
We have also made our Christmas cookies, done a little shopping, and ordered our Christmas cards. Trust me though, I am still way behind on most of it. And I have the fear inside me that "what if" something goes wrong and we land back in the hospital and I lose precious time. I am trying not to think about that option.

Overall, Ally is still doing fairly well. She has finished up the dreaded steriod week. She also got two more doses of chemo on Monday when we visited the clinic. No crying at all with the port accessing...she is just a trooper now. Everyone there is so nice to her that I almost think she likes going. (just not the after effects of the drugs) She has been complaining of headaches still...hopefully this is caused by the steriods and will go away. She is not sleeping very well at night because of them....they make her sleep really lightly. She has also just been very down lately, subdued and almost sad. But then when I ask her if she is sad about anything, she just says no. I think this is the way the steriods are treating her. Some kids have tantrums and fits, but I think Ally handles steriods by just becoming even more quiet and subdued. I am hoping anyway....and this is all before I told her about Ashley.

I didn't tell her until Tuesday night, because I just didn't feel like her mood was very good. But then I had to explain to her where I was going tomorrow (Ashley's service) so I had to tell her. Ally is the type of child who just bottles everything up inside. Whereas Evan is constantly talking about Mom, etc, ...well Ally never says a word unless I ask her. And honestly, I would much rather her talk and/or show emotion. So as soon as we mentioned that Ashley had passed away, she just sat quietly and had a sad look on her face. Heartbreaking to tell her and see her little face react. We continued on by telling her that she does NOT have that kind of leukemia and that she is doing really well and this is NOT going to happen to her, etc. Evan had prayed for Ashley every single night, so we told him too. We talked about Ma being up in heaven and that she would definitely be taking care of Ashley and showing her all kinds of cool stuff. And Evan says: well now I know three people in heaven..Ma, Ashley, and Coachie (the neighbors dog). And he sometimes says Michael Jackson too. And Jesus. Man that kid is smart sometimes. Seriously, what 5 year old says Jesus?

And once again I am angry and sad that my kids are having to learn all these life lessons WAY TOO EARLY for my liking. I go back to wishing that all my kids had to worry about were bad dreams or mean kids or whatever else kids worry about. We have bigger things to cause our worry around here.

I did want to mention one thing that Ally did this weekend that made me just weep with pride. The hospital had invited her to attend a party at Build a Bear for some of the sick kids. She was allowed to make a bear for herself and also one for a friend. Build a Bear has always been one of Ally's favorite things to do, so she was happy to go (well, in her subdued way). When we got there, she decided that she was going to make one for a fellow leukemia friend we have made online who lives in NJ. And then she says she doesn't even want to make one for herself, but rather use the other one for her 10 year old friend Davey who is currently in the hospital battling AML. I never even brought up this option to her...it was all her idea...and I was so proud of her for making that decision that I was just crying through most of the event. I could barely muster up enough words to properly thank the man who owned the franchise and was doing this for the kids. I obviously try to teach her that it is better to give than receive....but when she did it all on her own I felt so blessed. And proud. And on Monday when we gave Dave the camoflauged bear that she made him, the look on his face was priceless. He really seemed touched.

Tomorrow is going to be a very hard day. We are driving about an hour north of here to go to Ashley's visitation. I am not sure if I will make it out of there on my own two feet....it is unbearable, unthinkable, there are no words to describe it. But I must go and pay my respects to our fellow hospital family. I pray this is the first and last time that I have to do this.

Please keep all of our kids in your prayers: Ally, Dave, Amanda, Braden, Skye, Jackie, Alivia, Maggie, Lincoln, Bonnie, Owen, Katie, and Tori...just to name a few.


  1. When I look at that second to last picture of Ally, I see me. And you. And mom. I guess I would though since we are all related.

    Love the Build a Bear story, makes me proud too but also can't say I'm not surprised! That's just our Ally! I hope she is taking the news of Ashley well...

  2. Sounds like Santa's helpers are in full gear.
    Janel, all of the kids look so happy in the photos.
    I am so sorry to hear the news about Ashley. I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.
    Hugs to all of you.

  3. Looks like you had such a great weekend. My prayers are with you today, drive safely through all those tears and heartache.

  4. Your mother is smiling at how well you have taught Ally that giving is so much better than receiving. You're a wonderful mother for her to have learned that lesson at such an early age. But then again it is Ally - such a special girl. Praying for all your hospital families and your family.