Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Well, It's Been a While

Not much going on here lately. Just a pandemic.

I was a bit shocked when I came here to write a post and saw that the last time I wrote anything was on Miles's 10th birthday. He's only 2 1/2 inches shorter than me at this point (probably less - it has been about a week since I last measured him), so it feels like it has been even longer.

Since that last post, we celebrated Halloween:

Thanksgiving in San Antonio with Nana and Papa:

And Christmas at home:

Before the pandemic hit, the kids were really enjoying school. Miles was doing great in 4th grade, and was a member of Run Club and the Choir. He also competed in UIL (Number Sense) and earned his Senior Green Belt (and Best Forms and Best Blocking) in Taekwondo.

Gisele was having a great year in 7th grade. She was the President of Student Council (the first time it had not been an 8th grader), a cheerleader, and was having a fantastic time in Production Theatre, playing Betty in The Crucible.

The pandemic hit right around Spring Break. Really, the kids just never went back to school afterward. We started online school on our own pretty quickly because they always do best with some sort of routine. The district came out with their own version of online school fairly soon after, and we switched over to that seamlessly. We set everything up in the dining room, with the kids each on a laptop while I worked on a puzzle.

A few days after this, the table was covered with papers/notebooks.
It was not this clean again for months. MONTHS.
They wore blue light glasses since they were on the laptops for hours each day.
When school ended at the beginning of June, Miles even agreed to finally let me give him a haircut at home after a few months of denying he needed one.

We've been very careful to stay socially-distanced whenever possible, and masked-up when we've needed to be out amongst everyone else.

MD Anderson has been great about masks/temperature-taking/sanitizer, etc., so I've felt perfectly safe going in for my appointments. We've been getting 99% of our groceries delivered from HEB, and Jamie wipes everything down with cleaner as he unloads the bags, and washes all the produce before putting it away. Miles returned to taekwondo after a few months of Zoom-only classes, and the studio has been wonderful. They spray the kids down as they enter, everyone wears masks, and they spray them again as they leave. The equipment is wiped down between sets, also, and they haven't been doing any sparring or partner work since opening back up.

Jamie has been able to work from home since the pandemic started, which has been absolutely wonderful. We set the desk and chair up in our bedroom, so he uses that as his office. He's back there all day, but comes out to eat lunch with us, refill his water, or grab a snack. And I can go chat with him when he has a minute to spare. He doesn't have to commute anymore, and I don't have to worry about him traveling across the city twice a day in traffic, which means I have less stress, also.

Overall, staying at home hasn't been too bad. I do miss going to the zoo whenever we want, taking laps around Target with a Starbucks in hand, and stopping into Blockhouse (my favorite local coffeehouse). And I miss having the option of dinner at Ninja, our yummy local sushi place, when we're tired of cooking every night. Our last night out as a family was actually right before news of "social distancing" hit, and was dinner at Ninja.

For now, we'll follow all of the CDC guidelines and continue to pray that this will pass sooner rather than later.

Stay safe and healthy!

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Miles At Age 10

To read about Miles at age 9, click here.

1. What is your favorite color? "Red, black, blue, and highlighter."

2. What is your favorite toy? "Hmm... let's think... um, Nerf guns."

3. What is your favorite fruit? "Mangos or kiwis."

4. What is your favorite tv show? "Um, let's see... probably Last Kids On Earth."

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? "Um, pbj and chips. Specifically, Ruffles."

6. What is your favorite outfit? "Um, probably my black and highlighter striped shorts with my Harry Potter glow in the dark shirt."

7. What is your favorite game? "Super Smash Bros Ultimate."

8. What is your favorite snack? "Let's see... chips."

9. What is your favorite animal? "Black panther, peregrine falcon, or cheetah."

10. What is your favorite song? "Old Town Road."

11. What is your favorite book? "I have to say Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Actually no, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."

12. Who is your best friend? "Jack, Dominic, Simeon, Lucas, Vihan, Brian, Nathan, Logan, Ethan, Nico, Gauge... that's it."

13. What is your favorite breakfast? "Pancakes, sausage, and bacon, and orange juice and cranberry juice mixed together."

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? "Play tag, or hide and seek, or sardines."

15. What is your favorite drink? "Dr. Pepper or Mountain Dew."

16. What is your favorite holiday? "Christmas or Halloween. Mainly Christmas."

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? "My body."

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for dessert? "My dad's caramel brownies with mudslide chocolate ice cream on top."

19. What is your favorite dinner? "Mussels and fries or hamburger mac."

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? "A video game tester or a food tester. And engineer. And an architect."

Buddy, it has been a privilege to watch you grow (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually) this year.  You are incredible, and I feel blessed every day that God chose me to be your mom!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

It's Already October!

It's already October!  Fall has started, and this weekend is supposed to actually start feeling like fall in Houston, which will be incredibly welcome.  And Miles is turning 10, and I get to see my bestie!  Good things coming this weekend!

Things have been very busy around here lately.  Gisèle has cheer and/or theatre every day after school, and Miles has taekwondo 3 days a week.  He has been asked to join the JV team/class, also, which will add a Saturday class starting about a week and a half from now.  With drop-off, pick-up, and activity chauffeuring, I spend a lot of my day in the car.  Joggers, tees, and flip-flops for the win!  (And coffee.  Lots of coffee.)

Jamie loves his position at Halliburton, and we're really enjoying our church and community group together.  We have good friends there and are trying to take the time to have a date night together whenever we can.

Health-wise, side effects have been tolerable lately.  My rheumatologist says I'm showing markers of RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and Lupus, but don't have enough markers of either to have a diagnosis.  I do show definite inflammation in my joints, though, which explains why I hobble every time I get up.   This is very normal post-chemo, and with Lupron, so it's nothing special!  I've also gained weight with the forced menopause, which is extremely frustrating.  I'm about 30 pounds overweight at this point, and it all seems to be settling in a tire around my waist.  It doesn't seem to matter how much/what I eat, or that I'm working out regularly and doing daily crunches.  Somehow, I need to figure out what to do about it.

In other health news, I was diagnosed yesterday with sleep apnea, so that'll be interesting to explore.  Jamie let me know that I've been making a weird sound in my sleep for a few months now - I sound like a woodpecker - so he recorded it and I played it for my dentist when I went in.  She did a 3D xray that showed that my airway is down to 0 - the worst she has ever seen - so put "bumpers" on my back teeth and sent me home with a sleep study device.  The x-rays are still being analyzed by doctors for a full diagnosis, but the sleep study doctor came back the next day with a diagnosis of sleep apnea.  After I have the results from the scans, we'll discuss next steps to take care of it.  (Possibly a DNA, which is a device to widen my lower jaw to make more room for my airway.)

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, here is an xray of the previous worst case my dentist had seen in her office, and then my airway.  Take note of how far up each airway goes, as well as the red (narrow/bad) areas.

The worst case she had seen before me

My airway

She wants to use my xrays in studies and share them with colleagues.  Just once, I'd like to be in such great shape that a doctor is amazed, instead of so broken that they are intrigued!

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