Monday, September 28, 2009

Three updates in a week, we haven't done that in a long time. But, we have some important information we want to share. Please feel free to share this with any friends also, the more the better!

This Saturday, October 3rd is the neighborhood yard sale and chinese auction at Cutchogue East Elementary School. We will be there with a table selling up a storm (hopefully). All monies collected will be donated to the "Auctions for Sarah" fund and Hannah's Cans for Cancer. We will have lots of goodies to sell, including some things that were donated for the ebay Auctions for Sarah. Hannah also plans on making some of her famous baked goods. We will also be holding a special raffle at our table. So...lots to see and choose from!

If you have any items you would like to donate to the cause, we would love to have your goodies too. Please email me at or call at 631-298-3580 so we can arrange a pick up by Friday.

If you have nothing to donate, but have some time on Saturday (and maybe you're feeling hungry for some goodies), please come out to the sale. We will be in the parking lot at the school from 9am-3pm selling and raffling. It's a very large organized sale, and should be lots of fun.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We arrived back home from Indiana tonight. We ended up leaving Thursday evening around 5pm. We drove until the middle of Ohio, stopped around 3am. The next morning we drove another 5 hours and arrived at my mom and dad's by 1pm. The trip was about 14 1/2 hours in all, the girls did very well. They fell asleep around 10pm, and slept until we stopped. There was a moment of thinking that we should just keep driving, but that passed pretty quickly and we were all in bed by 3am.

Although we all wished we were there for another, more happy reason, it was nice to be with so many relatives. The girls were happy to be with Sydney again, they were asking for her the whole way there. The services were very nice, so many friends and family showed up to say goodbye to grandma. My cousin Darrin spoke at the funeral so eloquently. I don't know how he did it, because he had everyone in tears. I'm sure grandma was looking down smiling though. Playing cards with grandpa and smiling.

We left to drive back home this morning at 5:30am NY time (4:30am Indiana time). The drive home took about 13 1/2 hours, and we were home by 7pm. The girls slept again for a good part of the time-including the big girl in the car too. Much easier leaving early in the morning than starting out late in the day.

There is no school tomorrow for Yom Kippur so we have a day to recuperate and get off our fast food high. I have some pictures to post, tomorrow. One other thing, tomorrow (Monday, September 28) Chili's Restaurant is donating 100%, YES 100%, of their proceeds to St. Jude's Research Hospital. It's a great opportunity to help fund research for pediatric cancer. So, if you get hungry tomorrow, stop by Chili's!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

On Tuesday, September 22nd, my grandma Stib passed away (my dad's mother). She lived a long and full life, she was 95 when she died. I am lucky that I have many great memories of my grandparents from when I was young, growing up right down the street from both sets of grandparents. So many friends of mine did not get to experience their grandparents when they were growing up.

Our family is traveling to Indiana today-in about an hour for the funeral services. We have decided to drive, since the flight times and prices were not so good for a last minute flight. My mom and dad have made the 13 hour trek several times, but we have never driven before. Cross your fingers that we make it with minimal traffic, minimal bathroom breaks and not too much head bobbing from drowsy drivers (that being Dave and I.) He is notorious for sleeping while driving. I haven't done that since I crashed my car once when falling asleep at 55mph. Ok, too much information!

Maybe Grandma heard my cries for mercy, and got me out of the half marathon...he he. Here is Grandma with Colby, Hannah and Sydney in 2006 (pre tumor for Hannah.)


Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy last day of summer everyone. We're still here, getting adjusted to our new school routine. On day 5 of school Hannah came home early with a stomach ache. She also called today and wanted to come home right after lunch, but I made a deal with her, and she stayed. She told the nurse that we were weaning her medicines, and she was having stomach aches. I had not told her about the weaning of the meds, because I didn't want her to know. The doctor mentioned it in front of her during her last appointment, so that's where she heard it. I told her the day that she came home that I was putting it back to her old dose-although I didn't. This will be a very slow taper down, since last time she really crashed when we lowered her dosage too quickly. Following that, we had to double both of her nausea meds, so she has been on pretty high doses since then. We just don't want a repeat of that, so we're moving very slowly this time.

Other than that, school has been going well for Hannah. She has been able to do the normal amount of homework so far, although she does need assistance from me to get started. She started her pre-teaching today, going in a half an hour early to get extra help. That worked so well last year, so we're doing it again this year.

Hannah also started swim team last week on Thursdays. It's now indoor at Safe-T-Swim. Hannah was reluctant to go in, but one of the instructors recognized her and came over to help her out. It's really a great exercise for Hannah, and she seemed to enjoy it, after the help from Katie. Hannah also starts chorus tomorrow before school, started piano last week, and went back to horseback riding after being off for 4 weeks. Things are back in full swing, religion starts also next week. Don't think we can fit much more in, and don't want to. Let's see how long we can keep with up comfortably.

Hannah got a new hamster last weekend....this one is a teddy bear hamster she named Sunny. Sunny isn't very "out of the cage" friendly like Chester was, and that doesn't really make Hannah very happy. The hamster is pretty skittish out of the cage, so we're hoping that subsides after she gets a bit more used to us. The dogs haven't really figured out she's there, so far so good.

I guess I can finally announce our activities for this weekend. We have been planning this for several months, but now that it is a reality, I thought it was ok to "officially" announce it. The girls and I are participating in a half marathon/marathon on Saturday in East Hampton. I decided several months ago that I was going to run the half marathon (13 miles), and after a friend signed us up, it was a done deal. I noticed they had a race for kids also, and the girls agreed to sign up for a marathon. NO-not all on one day-here is how it works: they had to run/walk a total of 25.2 miles prior to next weekend's race. They logged their miles, and it has to be signed off on prior to the race. They have both reached their goal! On the day of the race, they have a one mile kids fun run, making their total a 26.2 miles-a full marathon. The only problem is that my race starts at 8am, and the kids begin at 8:15am. I wish I could see them do their run, but Dave will be there with them. Kind of ironic that the "real runner" of the family is the only one not running. I figure that I'll be going so slowly that I may actually get to see some of their race..ha ha. Wish us luck!

Please remember that September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month. One easy thing to consider doing this week to help raise awareness-please sign the petition HERE. It only takes a minute of your time!

Pictures next time, I'm off to bed!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Today was Back to School Day here on Long Island. Colby headed to her first day at the new school for 7th grade, junior high and Hannah is now officially a 5th grader! Colby is now riding the bus to school, but I still drive Hannah since she goes in early for pre-teaching and review each day. I didn't really know what to expect from Hannah, last year the first day-make that the first month-of school was pretty difficult for her. She spent a lot of time out in the hall, just put it that way, crying with anxiety.

This year, although she said multiple times that she didn't want to go to school, she jumped right out of the car and headed into the building all by herself. She had been in the school quite a bit over the summer for math tutoring, some of it done in her new 5th grade classroom, just to try and ease the transition for this year. We even went in yesterday to drop off some of her school supplies so that she wouldn't have too much to carry today.

Well, she headed right in, went upstairs, but didn't make it all the way to her classroom. She turned around, came back downstairs crying and stopped halfway down the hallway. The guidance counselor came out, talked to her, and they walked around the halls a bit. Then, another aide came by and Hannah agreed to go upstairs with her. She went into the classroom, and sat at her desk while the other students were talking as a group. I hear that she eventually joined them, and was fine for the rest of the day. She told me she just didn't want to go into the classroom and start school yet.

One of the major differences for Hannah this year is that no longer has a dedicated one-on-one aide to help her during the day. The school thought Hannah was self sufficient enough that they could place an aide in the classroom, but someone didn't need to be with Hannah full time. We were fortunate enough to get (after several meetings) Hannah's beloved aide from last year, as the classroom aide for this year, Mrs. W. So, she will still be in the room to help when Hannah needs extra assistance, she will go to Hannah's specials with her (gym, art, music) and will meet with Hannah in the mornings for the pre-teaching. She will no longer be there specifically and only for Hannah. I have mixed feelings about this, but agreed to try it and see how it goes. Hannah said to me after school that she didn't mind being by herself, she liked walking in the halls by herself (guess that didn't apply first thing this morning though.)

We are all adjusting to the changes in our schedules now. Colby is out for the bus by 6:45am-yikes! This actually makes it easier to get Hannah up and going in the morning since I'm wide awake by the time I have to get Hannah up. I wake her up a bit earlier than last year, so she isn't rushing and has plenty of time to wake up slowly and get going. She is NOT an early riser!

On the medical side-we had our clinic visit this week. Hannah is due for bloodwork, to check counts and be sure everything is stable and normal. They also set her next MRI-brain only-for October 12th. After that, assuming and hoping that all is well, she doesn't go back to clinic until December! She will have to visit the endocrinologist in October also, that is a primary area of concern right now. Her oncologist and I discussed his thoughts on growth hormone, and it's yet to be determined whether she will need it or not. If she stays on the growth curve she is currently on, she will end up around 5 feet tall, which is in normal range for women. This is acceptable, and would not cause her to have to take the shots. Yet to be seen, we'll see where we go from here.

Hannah has also decided that she wants to do something for Halloween for the clinic. She is browsing Oriental Trading non-stop and is ordering things for the kids at clinic to have for Halloween. I hope we can pull it all off between now and October 12th, should be possible!

Remember that September is
Please show your support for all the kids who are fighting.