Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sgt. Mommy, reporting for duty

Sgt. Mommy, reporting for duty. I got in Saturday after working some fabulously fun classes at Romp n' Roll in the morning. The flights went smoothly and my Ground Angel was right there to pick me up as I came out of the terminal. I arrived at RMH and while Roger had noticed me, Charlotte didn't. She was sitting on one of the couches in her adorable pink sundress and new cowgirl hat. I sidled right up and sat down without saying anything. It still took her a minute to realize who was sitting next to her. When she did, she smiled at me and handed me the sugar cookie she had been eating, saying, "You can have this, Mommy!" SWEET! Soon after that, Merrilee arrived to babysit and Roger and I went out. We didn't do much of anything. We just went down to one of the shopping areas near the medical center, sat at a diner with some tea and drank and talked. Even though we get to talk on the phone almost every night while we're apart, I have found that this time together on our Saturday "layovers" has been a good way for us to decompress and process our emotions and events during the time apart. I have said it before but I will say it again: I feel so lucky that Roger and I have a very strong marriage because I don't think we would have gotten this far without each other (and our love for each other). It also helps that I think we have approached this crisis in our lives in relatively the same way. We're not always in the same place at the same time, but I think most of the time we can really see and understand where the other person is coming from. That helps a lot.After our chat, we went over to the Chocolate Bar again (that place is DIVINE). I had a chocolate covered graham cracker and Roger had a chocolate covered Nutter Butter. They also have chocolate covered twinkies, chocolate covered cereals (like cheerios and golden grahams) and chocolate covered fruit of all kinds. It's paradise!! We relieved our sitter (thanks again, Beasley family!) and put Charlotte to bed. That didn't really happen till after midnight. In fact, I think I was asleep before she was (just one more book, Daddy!!!) but we all slept in this morning. I made breakfast downstairs and then we headed out on our adventure. Today we decided to experiment with the metrorail. We walked to our closest station (about a mile from RMH) and then rode the line towards downtown. It's just one line (north and south) but it intersects with bus stops and other public transportation to create this pretty complex and efficient system. We were able to see many aspects of the downtown area on our ride to the end. Then we exited the train and went exploring. Thanks to the iphone (and a really cool app called Around Me) we found a park near Minute Maid Stadium (where the Astros play) called Discovery Green. According to Wikipedia, the park was built last year and has a water feature (fountains the kids can play in) a playground, a small pond with radio controlled sailboats, and a cafe. It was very hot so the fountains seemed nice but, of course, Charlotte couldn't get soaked because of her central line. She and daddy waded in just a little bit (enough to get their feet wet) and then we went to the cafe for lunch. The lunch was on the pricey side but very yummy. They had a Kobe Beef Hot Dog which, if you know anything about Kobe Beef is (as Roger says) kind of like making a Lobster Hot Dog. Seems kinda weird to put meat that good into a hot dog...but whatever...We were excited to see that the restaurant used compostable and biodegradable plastic containers to serve the food. Very environmentally conscious of them!I had a salad, Charlotte had a milkshake, and we shared some sweet potato fries. Then it was about time to head back to the metrorail. We exited around the zoo and took a different route back to RMH. Then Roger showered, packed, and we got ready to say our goodbyes. Overall, Charlotte is doing great. I really can't expect too much better. She is very pale and it is obvious that she will need the transfusion we have scheduled for tomorrow. But she is eating, pooping, and she is the most social around other kids and adults that I have seen her in weeks. We met a girl named Rachel on the playground today and she thought it was the funniest thing. She said, "Mommy, she has YOUR name!" She's the second "Rachel" we've met (besides me) since we've been at RMH so it kind of rocks her world.I don't remember if we've given this "shout-out" yet, but a HUGE thank you to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Morristown, TN. This is Roger's dad's home church (The "Bonitas" to those of you who follow this blog regularly) and they held a pancake breakfast in Charlotte's honor that has raised what should be almost $3000 once all funds have been matched by Thrivent, etc. Much thanks and many blessings!It is very nice to think that we are in the home stretch of radiation. I am optimistic that we will work out all our insurance troubles this week and that we can weather these next few weeks with minimal trouble. Then it will be home to hopefully a less stressful regimen. I know we won't be done with treatment, but I am very hopeful that the worst will be behind us. Let's start getting that Disney trip planned, eh?

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