All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


The Monday Snapshot – First Day of Spring

The first day of spring may have technically been March 20th, but as far as I’m concerned, it was Friday!  This time last year, taking daily walks was part of our routine.  This year, it’s been too cold.  On Friday, it was beautiful outside so after a nap strike, I decided we were going to the park!  We were there for an hour – and it was the best hour of our week!  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if B could be there too (he was flying home from an overnight trip to NYC for work – ugh!).  We sent him this picture (and many more) to help him feel like he wasn’t missing out!  (B took Matthew to the park the next day!)

Slowing him down for a quick photo!

Slowing him down for a quick photo!


Circle of Life

With the good comes the bad.

My favorite cat (I know you’re not supposed to have favorites, but I do, and I’m not ashamed to admit it) is diabetic.  I’ve mentioned this before.  She is my bestie, my love, my girl.  As I write this, crying, she’s snuggling up and plucking my chest as she purrs with delight, nudging her head gently against mine.  Her diabetes have always caused us a lot of concern, but it’s been manageable and actually has been in remission for a long time.  I pay close attention to her though, even when her diabetes seem to be on a break.  Paying close attention has its pros and cons.  With the pros come the cons.

The con came last week when I weighed her.

I’ve noticed her seeming a bit thinner (for her – she started at 15 pounds!) and have I’ve sort of ignored it.  I had a cat prior to her (the BEAR, who was my very first kitty) who was a very sick kitty, and when he would lose weight, it meant bad things were going on.  I only had the BEAR for 4.5 years before I lost him to hypotrophic cardiomyopathy.  That was so hard on my heart (and his, obviously) and Lily’s weight loss spiraled my mind back to those days when the BEAR was so sick.  I finally weighed her last week and I figured that she’d lost about 1.5-2 pounds since her last vet visit 6 months prior.  This was not good.  I knew it.  Despite ignoring the vet reminder cards for a month to bring her in for her 6 month check, I knew it was time to get her checked out.  I scheduled an appointment that day for the following Monday, figuring that I’d enjoy the weekend before getting the potential bad news.

I got the news today.  When we went in yesterday, Dr. D seemed alarmed.  Lily has lost 2.5 pounds since September and although he’s thrilled with her diabetes remission, he just seemed concerned.  He mentioned that that type of weight loss is not good, and I said I already knew that.  We talked about the BEAR and what weight loss usually means, and I cried.  Dr. D didn’t say much to make me feel better.  I think he knew that things were not good, and he knows that sugar-coating is not my thing.  He drew blood and said he’d call me the next day, but that on physical exam she looks great, so if there is a problem, it should show up in the blood work.

Dr. D called today.  We will be going in for x-rays on Thursday to look for tumors – tumors that will likely be malignant but may not show up on x-rays.  I knew when he called that things were not good.  He didn’t pump me full of hope, he said he wants to do the basics to get a diagnosis but that things are pointing to cancer (likely lymphoma) and that the blood work would imply that it’s agressive.  God.  I asked if x-rays could wait until we’re in Florida and he said no, let’s do it now so that if they can treat her while she’s there for a week, that that would be preferred.  I agree.

People say things to me like, “I don’t get cats.  I don’t get how you can love a cat.”  But my response is, “do you get dogs?  Do you get animals?  It’s the same thing – it’s the same love – just for a different species.”  A very large chunk of my heart is aching right now, knowing what’s coming, and it’s debilitating.  Dr. D and I talked about treatment and he says that there really isn’t much to do but make the time she has (unknown at this point) as comfy as possible.  There’s no way to know how much time she has – it could be months, it could be a couple of years.  We’re already on borrowed time with her diabetes, so I don’t assume it’s a long time we have left together.  The minute her life gets hard is the minute I will let her go.  Just typing that is upsetting, but it’s the truth.  She’s been too good to me to go a minute longer than is comfortable for her.

So there it is.  We’re going to Dis.neywo.rld, and my favorite cat probably has cancer.  While we’re in Dis.neywo.rld, my favorite cat will be “at the spa” being watched over closely by people who love her and take good care of her, while I worry about her.

My dad, the realist when it comes to these things (even though he still can’t talk about losing the BEAR without tearing up), texted me, “:( but remember the circle of life.”  My parents can really irritate me, but I appreciate the realism.  I appreciate the reminder that this is all part of the deal when you have pets.  We love them for as long as we can, and then we let them go.  We sometimes have more time with some than others, but it’s never enough time for us.  Because of that, we do it over, and over, and over again because we love and need their companionship.

Lily is, and always will be, a great companion.




The Monday Snapshot – BOOKED!

It’s been 2 years since we took a REAL vacation.  We took a “Babymoon” to Cap.tiva Isla.nd in March 2011 and had a great time.  I was 5 months pregnant at the time which was great timing.  This time, I’ll be 6.5 months pregnant, which will be different, but I think it will be JUST FINE… because WE ARE GOING TO DIS.NEYW.ORLD!

I have tried to get B to go to Disne.ywo.rld for years, because I think it’s super fun for adults.  It’s never been very high on his list (in fact, it’s at the very bottom of his list).  BUT – I want us to take a trip that is super FUN for Matthew.  And it needs to be easy for B and me.  Traveling with a toddler is hard work, so direct flights are a must.  We have one to Orlando from central Iowa (amazing).  Traveling with a toddler is exhausting for us and said toddler, so a comfortable place with lots of space is a must for naps and regrouping.  Traveling with a toddler is messy, so laundry in-unit is pretty important.  Traveling in general is expensive, and cutting down on meal costs would be AWESOME!  Our unit has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen, and in-unit laundry.  I am so excited!  It’s not on Disn.ey grounds, but it’s very close and just getting a mile off the grounds saves so much money in accommodation costs.

So yeah – we’re going to Disn.eyw.orld, Baby… in just over two weeks!  I don’t think I’ve been this excited about anything since the FET worked back in October!*

“Can I take my blueberries with me? Yes? Then it sounds good to me, Mom!”

* I am revising this…. I haven’t been this excited since we found out that BB2/Wilson is a boy!!!!! That still takes the cake for excitement for me!

This is my contribution to the Monday Snapshot at PAIL Bloggers.  Check it out!


The Monday Snapshot – Perfect Birthday!

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, also known as my birthday around here. B invited my closest friends over for breakfast and birthday cake, which was super fun! It was a low-key morning of good food and good friends, and Matthew thoroughly enjoyed himself with all the big kids that came by. You would have thought it was his birthday party, he was so excited! Every time the doorbell rang, he’d run to the door screaming, “Who is it?” So fun! After everyone left, Matthew took an easy, 2.5 hour nap before an early dinner and errands. It was a simple, perfect way to spend my 37th birthday! Matthew’s awesome gift to me was an on-time bed time with no fuss. Of course, he woke up unusually early at 4:50 this morning, but that was today and not yesterday. 😉


All I Can Really Ask For

It’s a beautiful day outside, and I’m just waiting for Matthew to wake up so we can go out and get some fresh air, even if that fresh air is just between the car and mall to pick out a new blanket for him 🙂

It’s been a rough few weeks, it seems, and not for us personally, but for the people we know. We’ve just gotten bad news, after bad news, after bad news for three weeks now and on Sunday night, I fell apart from it all. It all started with someone our age (a childhood friend’s husband) dying from a 10 year-long battle with cancer. I don’t keep in touch with this gal, but a good friend of mine does and she’s kept me informed of the situation. Things had gotten worse and worse over the last few months and then the end finally came, and it crushed me. Thinking of a father leaving a loving wife and a 5 year-old daughter behind makes me sick to my stomach. After that, we just kept getting bad news every few days, and it shook me to my core. By last Sunday, there just wasn’t much left in me to be strong when I read about someone losing a 1 year-old. I fell apart on the sofa and told B that, “there just is too much bad stuff happening to people we know and people who our friends know.”

He agreed, but pointed out that some good things have happened too. And he’s right.

This week has been good for me. I’ve reflected on just how lucky we are that Wilson’s ultrasound was clear a few weeks ago, that we crossed into viability on Saturday (but we sure want Wilson to stay in there for a lot longer), that Matthew’s back to eating well, that my already affectionate boy is becoming even more affectionate, and that Matthew is finally back on schedule after a horrifying few days and nights dealing with DST (as I type this, he’s waking up early from his nap – HA!). It is also getting nice outside – like REALLY nice! I went out without a coat today and was perfectly comfortable. Spring is around the corner, if it isn’t here already, and this is GOOD!

We will be getting out of the house tomorrow for real – and hanging out OUTSIDE! We went on the best walks last spring and I’m hoping we can do that again this spring. I’m not sure that Matthew will tolerate the stroller like he did last year, but we’re going to try. I love being outside, and I can feel the opportunity knocking on my door. It’s killing me that the mornings aren’t warm enough to take our walks, given that Matthew naps 2.5 hours each day starting at 1:00, eating up much of the afternoon.

My pregnancy with Wilson (I don’t think we’ll be using that name – sigh) is going really well, and quickly. This baby is WAY more active than Matthew ever was. Matthew moved a lot – from side to side – but he never did flips and huge movements. I remember wondering when he would flip on me, causing that roller coaster feeling in my stomach that people talked about. It never happened.  I suppose with a short cord, you can’t do much in there but move from side to side. I think Wilson has plenty of cord because he’s flipping and moving around all the time. I now know what it feels like to have my bladder danced on for minutes on end.  Matthew carried high, with his head in my rib cage the whole time. Wilson seems just a bit lower, and gets around in there so I never know where I’m going to feel him next. He keeps me guessing. Dr. H says that he is going to be our wild man 😉

B keeps reminding me that Wilson is going to make his appearance in late June and that we have a lot of work to do before he gets here.  We need to move rooms around, which involves clearing out the baby store-room downstairs (where all the plastic baby stuff goes to wait for the next baby) to make room for another baby upstairs.  We are torn about what to do – move Matthew into the new room (which was my plan) or let him keep his room and put Wilson in the new room.  Matthew loves his room and we hate moving him out of there, but we also think he’ll want a big boy theme sooner than not and we have that all ready for him (camping and nature hikes).  We just don’t know what to do – and I’m dragging my feet clearing out the baby store-room.  It’s going to be a lot of work and I want to do it when I can devote a lot of time to it – not just an hour here and there.

I’m getting excited about Wilson coming to live with us!  It’s starting to feel more real and I do catch myself daydreaming about the day he’s born and introducing him to his big brother.  I wonder what he’ll look like and how big he’ll be, and if he’ll be calm like his brother or a wild man, like Dr. H is predicting!

Spring has a way of making me feel optimistic and hopeful, and I’m just so grateful for it!  I needed this.  I needed to get out of my stupid funk.  With the late snowstorms, cold temperatures, sad news, and gloomy skies, it was hard for me to NOT waste time on stupid things.  It’s time to be active again, and enjoy the outdoors!  We’ve spent far too long indoors this year (by this time last year, walks were a normal part of our days) and it’s time to get out!

I’m not sure that spring has quite sprung here just yet, but it’s spring-ing, and that’s all I can really ask for!

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The Monday Snapshot – Keeps Us Guessing in the Food Department

With Matthew, you never know what he’s going to eat. Some days, he loves grilled (never, EVER fried) chicken, some days, he refuses it. Most days though, I think he’d rather have anything OTHER THAN grilled chicken because that’s all he ever gets when we eat out (this, of course, does not include Pane.ra salad chicken, which he NEVER refuses). What’s so aggravating to me is that I always box up the refused ($6) chicken and bring it home, in hopes he’ll eat it later.  And sometimes he does, and most times, he does not. When he refuses it, it becomes chicken for my spinach salad which works out great… but even I get tired of grilled chicken ;)Today was one of those days when I wanted to GET.OUT.OF.THE.HOUSE for lunch, but we had so many leftovers in the fridge that it made no sense.  I mean, really, what is so good out that is worth letting food go bad?  NOTHING.   We had leftover pizza from my cousin’s visit Wednesday night (too old – needed to be tossed), leftovers from Matthew’s lunch on Friday (you guessed it – un-touched grilled chicken), AWESOME leftovers from Friday’s dinner out (NY strip of B’s, and veggie pizza of mine – yes – it had gluten), and veggie leftovers from last night’s dinner (mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli).

I figured that Matthew would want the steak. I figured right! He ate all of the broccoli before I even got to the table and was working on the steak before I gave him the mashed sweet potatoes.  We can’t give mashed cauliflower, sweet potatoes, or parsnips to him at the same time as the other food that we desperately want him to eat, or he’ll just focus on the mashed yummies.  HA!  After he finished his first helping of steak, I gave him more steak and also the mashed sweet potatoes – and he didn’t leave a single bite of the veggies for me to even try. I think he ate probably 4 ounces or so of steak – it was ALL gone.

"Finally something DIFFERENT!  Yumm!!"

“Finally something DIFFERENT! Yumm!!”

And then? He ate the rest of the chicken that I was munching on.  He asked for it, I let him try it, and then he signed for more.  I just don’t get it… but I’ll take it!  He can refuse his cod tonight – that’s just fine – because he has had plenty of meat for the day!  But I do have high hopes for the cod (B is a master when it comes to cooking fish!).

"We need to go to the store after this, because this does NOT count as fruit.  But I'm going to eat it as my dessert anyway!"

“We need to go to the store after this, because this does NOT count as fruit. But I’m going to eat it as my dessert anyway!”

This is my contribution to The Monday Snapshot over at PAIL Bloggers.  There are lots of cute posts today – check them out!