Friday, March 28, 2008

Spinal Tap

Ben had another spinal tap yesterday and all went well. He was very nervous about the insertion of the needle but with the help of the magical numbing patch, his wonderful and amazing nurse who always takes such great care of him (after she found out he was so nervous she brought multiple types of needles so that he could choose the least scary one) and the skill of his doctor it was not so bad! He came through with flying colors as usual and was happy to have David there as well. This was David's first visit to the PICC center. He was not that impressed. Just spent most of the time in the corner on a chair playing his PSP ignoring everyone else in the room.

Shortly after we returned home we received a call about Ben's blood work and it is all good news. Polys, platelets and hemoglobin are all fantastic.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


[This was drafted yesterday -- uploaded today due to technical difficulties. Scott]

Dakota has been so fun to have around. The boys are having a great time with her. They were a little upset at first because she was very sleepy and timid and seemed a little afraid of them . . . but boy has she come out of her shell. She has very funny bursts of energy when she will run around the yard, pounce on leaves and chase her tail. She is incredibly cute! She still wakes up a bit during the middle of the night, but is getting a little better. I was a little annoyed with her last night when she kept whining to come out of her crate - I brought her out to the potty spot in the yard and all she wanted to do was roll around and play!

The good news is that she seems to be getting the hang of the housetraining issue. She whined at the door this afternoon and when I opened the screen she immediately ran out to her spot and peed. Way to go Dakota! I'm sure she will have many accidents, after all she is just a baby, but she is pretty smart and we think she will get it down in no time. The boys had fun this morning trying to get her to sit on command. We are looking forward to doing all kinds of fun things with her!

Ben continues to have a little bit of a cough but it is getting better everyday and he otherwise feels fantastic. We just need the cough to continue to clear up so all can proceed on schedule on Thursday morning.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Puppy Day!!!!

[This was drafted last Saturday -- it's being posted today due to technical difficulties! Scott]

Well, today was the big day! We drove out to pick up Dakota today! We were a little worried about how she should would react to the long car ride home (about 1 1/2 hours). We thought we would need lots of potty breaks and that she might be upset . . . but she was fine the whole way and in fact slept for much of the trip.

Dakota is absolutely beautiful and totally sweet. She has been very sleepy today and pretty shy with all the changes in her life. But even with that she has been great with the boys and very relaxed meeting all the cats of the household. Shaggy seems to think he now has a new playmate and Dakota doesn't seem bothered at all by the prospect. Zorro keeps checking him out and is curious but not upset. Geronimo finally noticed her late in the afternoon - seemed a little annoyed but otherwise didn't pay much attention to her.

Both boys have spent much of the afternoon with her sleeping or relaxing on their lap. Although there have been times when they have forgotten to restrain their excitement, I must say that they have been really good with her. Dakota loves her crate and at first she was too nervous to eat or drink anything but by about mid-afternoon she got her appetite back. She was even successful in making a potty in the correct potty spot outside (only one accident but considering her day and that it wasn't on me on the car ride home I think that is pretty good!)

Both boys have been amazing but Ben really has shown his maturity and love for animals with his treatment of her. This has been a terrific day!

Oh yeah, and on the issue of Ben's health, he still has the nagging cough that sounds terrible in the morning. But that being said he still hasn't had even a hint of a fever and feels fantastic so all good so far.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break

Ben still has a cough but no fever and is otherwise feeling fantastic. He was able to attend school the past two days. Ben was very happy not to miss more school because his class had earned enough stars to earn a pajama party on Wednesday and then they had a special lunch and celebration today to celebrate the last day of school before Spring Break. They will be home relaxing and having fun for the next two weeks.

The boys are very excited to be on Spring Break which means no rushing off in the morning, no homework and most importantly bringing home the new puppy!!! We are all so excited and are counting down the minutes until Saturday morning. The timing will hopefully be perfect. This will give the boys lots of bonding time with the puppy. We have had so much fun shopping and setting up the house for Dakota!

Ben just has his normal daily medications but he will be receiving another spinal tap a week from today. I was discussing the fact that I need to get help with David during that morning to someone else and he overheard me and he said, "will you please not discuss the spinal in front of me, I don't like them and I really don't want to be reminded that I need another one so soon." He knows it is coming and is not nervous, but doesn't want to talk about it. I am always just amazed that he is able to express himself so well...and he is only 7!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Uh oh

Ben has a bad cough, so he's going to stay home from school today. Let's all hope it doesn't get worse . . .

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New Comment Setting

We've been getting some spam comments including two links to virus sites, so I've turned on that annoying "word verification" thing to control the problem. Sorry, folks!

Puppy time!

Many of you know that we've been waiting a really long time to come off the waiting list for a new puppy from a breeder we put a deposit down with. Well, we came off the list, we picked out our puppy, and we get to pick her up a week from today!

Today we went to the pet store and bought a crate, food, collar, leash, toys, "beware of dog" signs (LOL), etc.

The puppy's name will be Dakota. She's a Native American Indian Dog, which is a somewhat controversial breed (not recognized by AKC but recognized by some less pedigreed organizations (/rimshot)). The breed supposedly is good for people with allergies.

Now, the photos. At the top, we have Dakota on top of one of her sisters (taken by us a couple of weeks ago). Next is Ben in front of Kya, Dakota's mother. And the bottom shows Jake, the father; Kya, the mother; and the whole litter of five (photos taken several weeks ago). Dakota is the one in the middle of the bottom row of photos. In the picture of the three girls, she's on the bottom right.

All else is going well. Ben had some green stuff he coughed up today, but we're thinking he just ate a leprechaun or something. ;)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Skating with Bailey

On Sunday, the boys got to skate with Bailey, the LA Kings mascot. It was great to see Ben having so much fun and so much energy. Before he was diagnosed, he was getting really tired at hockey practice and we didn't know why. It's great to see him healthy again! He says he can't wait to start playing hockey again.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Make-a-Wish Update

Ben finally picked his wish. They wanted a back-up, so he submitted two.

The first wish is to go on a camping trip with Survivorman. They told us that it is unlikely they'll be able to pull this off. Usually celebrity requests like this can only be fulfilled with a meet-and-greet. We told them he'd prefer the back-up wish if he can't actually go out and learn how to survive with Survivorman!

The back-up wish is an exotic fishing trip.

We'll see what they can do for him!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Last day of steroids for the month

Ben is finally feeling pretty good. It was a tough weekend emotionally as the steroids really took their toll on Ben this month. We are so happy that he gets the last dose of the month tonight. Of course, it didn't help that we found out that we may not be able to get the puppy we have been wanting to get and also the fact that one of our fish died - but everything just seems to be multiplied when he is on steroids. He has all kinds of emotions that he doesn't understand - and unfortunately it is usually sadness and anger that predominate during these few days. Thank goodness it is only for 5 days a month!!

He was able to go to school. I was worried that it would be too overwhelming for him but he always seems to do well there. I spoke with his teachers before school started to let them know what was going on and that I could be at the school in 5 minutes if he needed me. His teacher was the one who put the boys in the car at the end of the day and she said he had a great day!

Today is Family Night which means the boys do not have any homework. We had fun playing baseball in the back yard (and the boys beat me badly) and doing some fun science experiments. I am letting them play 20 minutes of Playstation and then they are going to help me make dinner. What a nice day!