Tuesday, October 28, 2008

3rd Annual Halloween Party- Come one come all

With so much change these days and with all our little ghosts and goblins growing up way too fast, I am determined to keep up a tradition of hotdogs and cider at my house after trick or treating on Halloween night. There is no reservation time. Just load up on the candy then drop on by. We'll have hot dogs on the grill and chips in the bowl. I'm sure that I can find some witches to stir me up a bubbly brew to drink. If the lights are out please still come in, we're toying with the idea of having only black lighting.

If you want to bring something, anything will do. Snake heads, eye ball soup, spider sandwiches......anything Halloween worthy will do.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fun times four

I have to admit that I stole this picture idea from a friend. She also has 4 kids and I thought hers was so cute that I just had to copy.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oct 20- Happy 50th Birthday Mom

To day is the day my mom would have turned 50 years old. She was exactly 20 years and 1 month older than myself. This would have big a couple of big birthdays for us. It hard to think of her as being 50. She is engraved in my mind as a 38 year old women.

When I remember her, I don't remember the last few months when she was really sick. I don't remember the bad times. Those are there in my memory, don't get me wrong. Those images I will never be able to get out, even if I wanted to. But when someone like a friend or even my little sister, who remembers so little of her, asks what was she like, I remember her alive and vivacious.

JoAnn Walkingshaw DeMie was a fighter. She was a fighter even before she got breast cancer. She was strong willed and stubborn. If she wanted something, or if one of her girls wanting something, she fought till it was hers, or theirs. She didn't let people push her around. Her and I went at it many times during my adolescence. Now you all know where I get it.

My mother instilled in me a sense to be more than circustance should allow. To achieve higher than my parents. To want more in life than she could give, no matter how hard she tried. For that, I am forever gratefull. I graduated from the Univeristy of Utah with my bachelors in Psychology in 2004. I worked full time and put myself and my husband through school. Without the detirmination that she gave me when I was young, I don't know that I would have done it. Now I expect even more out of my children.

My mother loved to laugh and was a good friend, sister and daughter. She would do anything for anyone, but had a hard time accepting help from anyone else. She got embarrassed easily and didn't like a lot of attention on herself.

She cussed like a sailor, minus the f bomb.

She encouraged all her girls to go to church when we were young and to be baptized, even though she herself didn't attend. She knew that the teachings were right and the church instilled good values. She may not have attended church meetings, but she led a farely clean life. She didn't smoke and drank only a handful of times that I can remember. Because of her example it wasn't hard for me to find the LDS life difficult. The ground work was laid out for me, all I had to do was start attending meetings. Again, she wanted more for her girls than she had been able to do. And I want more for my children than I will be able to accomplish.

Mom, I miss you every minute, of every day, of every year, since you've been gone. I wish I had you to fight with and laugh with. I wish I could call you when my kids got the chicken pox. I wish I had you to babysit when I need a night off. I wish we could make our Thanksgiving dinner together like we did so many times. I wish I could see all your tacky Christmas decorations. I wish my kids knew their grandma Joey. I wish you were here last night when your 3 girls and their 3 husbands, and your 5 grandchildren celebrated your 50th birthday. I love you mom!

Monday, October 13, 2008

More breast cancer stuff

For starters, as you've sure seen/heard chicken pox has taken over my October and grand plans to make it a Breast Cancer awareness Month.

Saturday there was a walk for the cure at Sugar House park. Jetblue helped sponsor it and I hear it was a good sucess despite the weather. I was not able to attend. I was stuck with my spotted monsters while JD was at Easton's flag football game.

It has now been 6 months since my "scare," and the saga continues. About 3 weeks ago I got the letter reminding me that I needed to go in for my 6 month follow-up mamogram on the right breast. I called and made an appointment. My breast care corrdinator (you get one of those when you have to go through all of this crap) decided to schedule me for both the left and the right breast since there was concerns with both. I went to the appointment, JD held my hand up until the door of the changing rooms. Then, I was on my own. I got in my gown and sat down in their beautiful waiting room. Another lady sat down across from me. She asked how old I was. Since every lady in the room had me by at least 20 years, I didn't think it was rude. We started up a conversation and she was shoked by my age. She inquired why I was there. I was surprised by the sudden tears that came when I tried to tell her. I hadn't realized I was that nervous.

I went in for the mamogram and the technician told me to take my left arm out. I said are we doing both then, because I was supposed to have the right done? She said, no I looked at your reports and since the right was benign we only need to do the left. I know better, but I let her just do the left. Thankfully things were fine and the Dr scheduled me for another one in 6 months.

Then last week I got another letter that said "we have't seen you for you follow-up on your right breast. This is important. Please call us." Fantastic. I called my corrdinator and she was bugged. She actually talked to the original doctor and he wants a mamo on the right side. I knew I shouldn't have left without the right side. If there's one thing I know, you are your best advocate. If you don't stick up for you, no one else will.

So, here I go today for the second mamogram in 2 weeks. Yeah, me. I'll keep you posted.

Chicken Pox day 6

We're in the home stretch. I believe that Carson has no more pox and Avery only has a couple. Halle still has around 25 still showing. I think I should keep them in quarrantine for a full 7 days.I figure they will all be fine and ready to go to school by Thursday. Just in time for UEA and a 4 day weekend!

At this point I can't tell if they're cranky because they don't feel good, or because they are as sick of me as I am of them being sick. We have a big house, but the walls are getting smaller everyday. I've done crafts, cooking, rented movies, pulled out the Halloween decorations, we've played dress up about 18 times, I've even stuck them in the car and just drove around. We just tired of each other. At least the weekend weather is looking to be nice and warm. I think I'll try to do something fun and OUTSIDE! Maybe the zoo? Anyone want to come?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chicken Pox day 4

Worst day yet. Well I should say night. Carson woke me up at a wonderful hour of 3:00 am with the cutest yell from his bed. "Mom? Mom? Moooom? Mom where could you have gone?" I went and pulled him from his bed. He was covered in vomit. I cleaned him off the best I could, but he was so weak he could barely stand up. He ended up in our bed where he tossed and turned, kicked and punched. At 4:00 am, Avery wakes me up saying that she itches everywhere. I give her the "don't scratch" pep talk and put her back down. At 6:45 Halle wakes me up that she feels like she is going to throw up.

The real bugger is that just when I think they're starting to scab over, they'll get one or two new spots. They're contagious until they all are scabbed over, and each one seems to take 2 days to do it. It may be a whole week of this.

At least it's crappy wheather so we don't want to go outside anyway.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Pox it is!

Well, it's confirmed. Avery, Halle, and Carson all have the Pox. I took them to the doctor's today. They weren't real happy that I brought them in, by the way. But, I had called ahead and the nurse told me as long as they didn't have a fever that it was fine. So here's a little info that I didn't realize, and I'm sure moms of our generation didn't know:

The chicken pox vacination is only about 80% effective if given before 15 months old.
That goes up to about 95% if they are over 15 months old.
They should get a booster at 3-4 years old.
If they do contract the disease after having the vaccine, it is a mild case.

Now what does "mild" mean? I couldn't find the answer on any web site, so I'll tell you about my 3 spotted monsters (as I like to call them now).

Avery and Carson have about 10 spots each. Halle on the other hand has 50 just on her tummy and back (yes we counted. It's very boring after 48 hours of just us). None of the spots are itchy. Yes, I said that right. They don't itch. Weird, I know. I remember wanting to take a knife and cut each little sore out of my skin when I had it. They have no fever, no aches, vertually no pain. Halle has it worse than the other two, but the worst thing is for her is a lose of appetite. Today she complained of a tummy ache and didn't eat much. Other than that it's buisness as normal. Except the fact that we're all stuck with each other for the next 7 days. No school, shopping, dance, football games.....nothing, nothing but each others smiling faces.

We'll survive, our mothers did right? We all had it and live to tell the tale. So, sorry to all those we may or may not have infected. Not much to do now but wait.

The incubation period is 12-14 days. They're contagious 1-3 days before showing spots, until they spots have scabbed over or go away. It last anywhere from 5-12 days.

My doctor has seen an increase of kids contracting the pox even after they have had the vaccine this year. Lucky us.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

To Be Chicken Pox or Not to Be Chicken Pox, that is the question?

First things first, yes all 4 of my children have been vacinated against the Pox. Chicken not Small. Well, maybe Small too I'm really not sure, but that's not the point right now. The point is I think they may have them, Chicken, not Small.

So, here's the general WARNING for anyone that I haven't been able to get a hold of that may have come in contact with us during the last 3 days, or who may want to see us in the next 10-14 days. The 3 youngest Rex children may have the Chicken Pox.

I say may, because it has not been confirmed. According to WebMD, a mother's best friend:

The pox look like small pimples........which they do. (I tried to pop the first one I saw on Halle, woops)
The spots will start on torso, neck and face.......yes, and for Avery and Carson, that's the only place they are.
A fever proceeds the outbreak..........nope
The spots will spread and get bigger.......nope
The child will show flu like symptoms.......actually they show symptoms of some one on crack.
The child may not want to eat........the 3 of them polished off 2 kids pizza's from Jason's Deli and devoured most of my potatoe. A slice each of Brenda's zuccini bread and a small chocolate bar, and finished it off with a root beer and lemonade.
Treatment, have child stay in bed and rest.......are you kidding? They are currently chasing each other around the kitchen table with pillows.

So, if any of you have any better ideas as what to do, I'm all ears. I have the spotted monsters scheduled to see the doctor tommorrow to comfirm this. I'll keep you posted. Until then consider our house under quarantine.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Donate to Breast Cancer Research

Did you know there are thousands of products you can buy that donate portions of the proceeds to breast cancer research. I try to purchase things that have the pink ribbon on them.

Right now if you go to Albertson's (or any participating stores) and buy $25.00 worth of Proctor and Gamble Products you can get a coupon for a free pair of Crocs. P&G are things you buy already and don't know it....Tide, Bounce, Frebreeze, etc. Plus, last Sunday P&G had coupons for all these things.

If your going to buy something and have the choice between the pink ribbon or not, pick the ribbon! Every little bit helps. My favorite is the pink M&M's, they just taste better pink and have less calories.....j/k, but as if chocolate needed something to make it taste better, pink does it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

So, it is October. This is one of my favorite months. I love the weather changing along with the leaves. The cool breeze that blows through the hot sun. Halloween is a highlight that I can't seem to grow out of.

There is another special day in October. October 20th is my mom's birthday. This is her 50th birthday. Wow! I can't believe she is that old. For me she is suspended in time as an energenic 35 year old women. And for that purpose, and considering the year I've had, I am going to devote a lot of my blog this month to her and the disease that killed her.

I will give you some not so known facts about breast cancer and it's treatments, detection, and some information about myself that I feel I need to share with the people that love and care about me and my family.

First, some facts:
In 2004 (the most recent year numbers are available),

186,772 women and 1,815 men were diagnosed with breast cancer*†
40,954 women and 362 men died from breast cancer*†

†Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 2004 Incidence and Mortality. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2007.

Only 10-20% of breast cancer patients link it to hereditary, but if you have the gene called brca1 or brca2, you're chance of getting it is up to 80%.

Ok, that's enough facts for one night. I would like to start this soap box with what happened to me this year....

This past May I decided that I needed to start mamograms. It has been recomended to me to get a baseline done at 29. So, being that May 3 was the day my mother died from breast cancer, I went and did it in her memory.

I arrived at the new Intermountain Hospital, and after getting lost for 15 minutes found the office. They got me right in. They instructed me to get undressed from the waist up and put on a gown and to store my things in a locker. No big deal. I went straight into this little room with a rather large and strange looking machine. It was dimly lit. The whole process reminded me too much of a spa. But, I guess it was calming. The technician (female one) instructed me to take one arm out of the gown. She then grabbed the breast and sat it on a clear plastic plate. Lower another one on top of it and squeezed them together until it hurt. She pushed a button and 15 seconds later it released me. The pain was mild. Then we did it on the other side. No big deal. I went home and had a normal day.

The next morning, the phone rings. Caller ID tells me it's IHC. I figure they need some insurance info or something. It was the Mamo's office. Actually, the doctor himself. I thought, wow he must be a good doctor to call and give me my results in person. Well, maybe not. The radioligist had found something on the left breast and wanted a better look. So, we scheduled an apointment for the next day. Now this is getting to be a big deal.

JD went with me to the Breast Health center at the hospital, but they didn't let him come with me to the mamogram. This time it was only the left breast they looked at, but they did it 4 different times and a lot harder. After, I spoke directly with the doctor. She told me that they had found calcifications, which is common but can be a sign of a cancerous mass. Ok, I was sitting there in a gown without my husband being told I may have the start of cancer? This was definately not OK. She then told me because I have dense breast tissue and my family history that an MRI would be a good idea. I stumbled out of the room, got dressed and found JD. We talked to a breast care counselor and scheduled the MRI for 2 days later.

After 2 days of being scared, I went for the MRI. It wasn't too big of deal, but took over an hour of laying in a big tube with both breast dangling down toward the floor. Think of a massage table, where your face goes in the hole, it was like that except there was also two holes for the breasts. Great, at least they weren't stirups right ladies?

The very next day the Doctor himself calls me. At this point I had come to realize that if the doctor calls himself, it's not good news. I immediately begin to shake. He tells me that, though the left breast is fine, the MRI showed a mass in the right side. I needed to come in for a biopsy.

Holy Crap! I remember where I was sitting. I was on the stairs looking out of the window. I called JD and just started crying. I told him I didn't know if I could do this. I couldn't do what my mother did. I'm not that strong. He was reassuring that we didn't need to worry about that now. But, I could tell he was scared too. Really scared.

The soonest they could get me in was 5 days later. These were the longest 5 days of my life. I had seen what cancer does to a young family. What it does to the children to watch the person who was supposed to be super human, throw up 24 hours a day, loose her hair, grow weak and thin. I couldn't imagine how we would get through it. You all remember my hair that hung to my butt? I cut it off, all the way to my ears. If chemo was going to make it fall out, I didn't want it to be that big of a difference. I had planned on canceling a life insurance policy and get a new one. They just so happened to be overlapping at the time. Well, needless to say, we didn't cancel that. I spent a lot of time alone, not a lot of time sleeping. I prayed and we fasted. I didn't know what else to do.

The day final came for the biopsy. I wanted to throw up I was so nervous. I didn't have that gut feeling of it being benign or cancerous. I just didn't know. The biopsy was weird. They found it on a ultrasound, then numbed me up. They stuck a huge hollow needle in and extracted some of the mass...3 times. I couldn't feel anything, but I could hear it puncture the skin. The nurse even got queazy.

The results took 3 days. JD and I decided that we needed to get away from everything and everyone. We had only told my sisters. Stacie watched the kids and we headed south. We figured wheather good or bad news, I didn't want to be in front of the kids. While we were gone, I got the results. Everything came out benign. No cancer!!!! I cried like a baby. The relief of knowing that I wasn't going to die, at least not that way and not yet, was so overpowering.

I have to do 6 month follow ups for 2 years, and each time it's nerve wracking. The weird thing is, I feel like a cancer survivor. Even though I didn't ever have the disease, I feel like I beat it. I beat breast cancer.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I think we'd all be amazed at how many "close calls" are out there.

So girls, keep on doing self exams and mamo's for those of you over 35. I love you too much to chance it.

I've been Tagged.....

1. Who tagged you
2. mention rules on my blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks you have
4. Tag 6 other bloggers

Carrie tagged me.....

#1. My house may look like a tornado just came through it and I'm fine, but if there is dirt on my walls....I'll scrub all day.

#2. My pantry is organized by cuisine, ie, italian, mexican etc. and could feed my family of 6 for 3 months.

#3. I'm addicted to my email.

#4. I like to make cakes when my kids are at school so I get the beaters/bowl to lick all by myself.

#5. I hate long toe nails on myself and everyone else. French manicures on toes digust me. Sorry if that affends anyone.

#6. I secretly enjoy watching Wizards of Waverly Place.

Cooks, Rex's, Johnson's, consider yourselves tagged!