Monday, March 30, 2009

The Griswold's Family Vacation

The Pearson's have returned from their week in Puerto Rico! Whew, what a trip it was! I still can't believe some of the things that happened to Brian and me on this trip. The week seemed to fly by. Let's get started!

The trip did not start off on a good note. We left on Monday, March 23. Well, on Friday, March 20 I get a phone call from my mom (she has been in PR for over a week now) telling me that my grandma, Carmen, had to have an emergency surgery and was in the hospital. Now, remember a few entries ago I said the reason we were heading down to Puerto Rico was so that my grandma could meet Jaxon. Well, this was going to put a damper on things, but ever the optimist, I figured she would be fine by Tuesday. Unfortunately, things did not turn out that way. Instead of going into ALL of the details I will just let you know that she is still in ICU with a breathing tube in and quite sedated. So needless to say, she did not get to meet her latest great-grandson. :( I am super sad about that. We are all just praying that she gets better and maybe there will be a trip back to PR in the summer.

So now let's get into the events that only happen to the Pearson's!
Jaxon did really well on both flights out there, thanks to a little Benadryl! Our first leg was from ABQ to Houston. He slept for about an hour (no Bendaryl yet, just tired from being woken up at 4:30 am) Yup, that's right our travels began EARLY! We arrive in Houston at around 10:00am we only have a 45 minute layover. So I quickly change Jaxon from his jammies into his cute little outfit while Brian goes to find some snack for our 4 hour flight. We get on the plane with no problem, settle in, give Jaxon his Benadryl and off we go. He slept for about 2 1/2 hours of the trip... not too shabby! Well, we are now landing in San Juan when Brian all of a sudden lets out an expletive. Apparently he can't find his phone. Now, if you know Brian, you know that this is his life line and pretty much can't function without his phone. Me, always the voice of reason and calmness (since I am writing this I can praise myself all I want! :) ), say,
"Don't freak out. I'm sure it's in the bag."
"I don't thing it's in the bag. I think I left it at the gate in Houston."
"I'm sure you didn't. Let's wait till everyone is off the plane then we'll look."
We search and search and search. NOTHING!!! O crap, this isn't going to be good. This isn't a good start to our vacation. So, we go down to the baggage claim office, they call Houston. The gate agent found something, but the person on the phone doesn't know what. More expletives from my husband, as you can imagine. He was not a happy camper. SUPER! I am now going to have to put up with this for a week. Fast forward to a few hours later THEY FOUND HIS PHONE!!! Can you believe it?! someone turned it in! Rose in the Houston airport FedExed it to my grandparent's house in Puerto Rico and Brian had his phone by Wednesday morning! Yippee!

On Tuesday, Brian, Jax & I head over to my Abuela Chabe's house (Carmen, the one in the hospital). This is where my mom is staying along with her brother. We pull up to her house and directly across the street we see this:


Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, that would be an iguana trying its hardest to get into the elementary school across the street.

Later that night at my other grandmother's house we run across a Coqui! Now, coqui's are very special to Puerto Rico. They are small tree frogs that can only survive in Puerto Rico. As soon as the sun goes down they start singing their song, "coqui, coqui coqui" It may be annoying to the average person, but to use Puerto Ricans it is music to our ears! In all of my years I have NEVER seen a coqui. So here it is:

We found him sitting on an old hamper outside.

After we took the first picture he jumped to the wall. This is him upside down.

I took a video of them singing. It's actually just audio so turn down the music on my playlist and enjoy the coquis!

video

Wednesday was beach day! Brian, Jax, my mom & I headed up to San Juan (about 30 minutes away) to introduce Jaxon to the ocean. We had a nice time. It was a bit short because we were intruding on Jaxon's nap time, plus we had to go back to Caguas (where my family lives) to drop off Jax & my mom then head back to San Juan for our mini-vaca.




video

Once we dropped Jaxon and my mom off in Caguas, Brian and I headed up to San Juan again for our vacation! Yippee! The moment we exit the freeway and are about 5 minutes from the hotel Brian says another expletive. What now I wonder? Oh, he left his "going out" shirts at my grandma's! AHHH! Are you kidding me? Can this man forgot anything else? I was a bit annoyed with him at this point (did I mention he spent the entire 30 minute drive on the phone because of work? I wish his phone would have stayed lost a bit longer!) He wants to turn around and go back to get his shirts! No way! I say. I call my mom and ask her if by any chance anyone is going to be in the San Juan area the next day to bail us out. Luckily one of her brothers works about a mile away from our hotel! Can Brian be any luckier?

We are now in our room and it is not clean at all! There are long black hairs on the bed, stains on the carpet that Brian said was blood (he's a bit dramatic),etc. Could things go any more wrong for us? Seriously! We call the front desk, tell them our concerns and we are in a new, clean, bigger room within 5 minutes. Whew! Time for a mojito (or 2 or 3) and some relaxation!

Our time in San Juan was interesting. The 1st night we went to eat at a Puerto Rican restaurant and while we were eating a TV crew comes by to film the restaurant. Think Rachael Ray's $40 a Day. While we are eating the TV host asks if he can interview us. SURE!! We want to be famous. Unfortunately, the show airs in the Middle East! Bummer.

The next day we toured Old San Juan. We came across a local cigar shop so Brian had to stop by. He went in to shop while I stayed outside. The next thing I know, the owner is lighting a cigar for Brian and BP starts smoking away. Then, I hear the owner ask Brian if he can take his picture for the website. Too funny. the website is http://www.don-collins.com/. I just checked, but his picture isn't up yet.

BP smoking and shopping.
While walking around we came across a kindergarten class on a field trip! CRAZY! As a teacher I was stressed out! I can't even imagine taking my class to Old San Juan. the funny thing is, is that one of my earliest school memories is going on a field trip to Old San Juan in Kinder.

A parent is trying to get a class picture. If you are a primary teacher, you know how fun this can be! I was entertained and stressing at the same time. I am happy to know that kindergartners are the same everywhere and that I am not a bad teacher when my kids don't cooperate.


Here are some pictures from Old San Juan

On the way to Old San Juan

In front of a plaza

In front of the Chapel of Christ. I think I have watched one too many modeling reality shows!

The streets of Old San Juan

Later that night we go out to a little pub, and I mean little. While sitting there an American guy walks in with a parrot!

I think this guys needs a make over!

Don't ask me why we are giving a thumbs up! That guy was nuts!

By the way, the parrot's name was Ricky Martin! hee hee


After our mini-vacation we had some family time. Which was nice. Here are a few pics

We visited one of my uncles in Ponce,PR. He took us to a marina:

Jax had a great time looking at the pelicans, fish and feeling the wind in his hair.

Jaxon with his great grandparents. He had so much fun with my grandfather!

One of my cousin's little boy, Luis. He was so sweet to Jaxon, he tried giving Jax his pacifier.


That's it! That's our BIG trip to the Island of Enchantment. I am very happy that Jaxon was able to meet and spend time with my family. Everyone was in love with him (how could you not be :) ). I do love going back, it is truly a beautiful place, the people are so friendly and the food is amazing!



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Really?

Yesterday Jaxon went down for his afternoon nap and it was pretty late in the afternoon, 4:30 or so. I went to check on him at 5:45 and this is what I found...
How is this comfortable? Being the good mom that I am I left him like this! Awhile later Brian called and I was telling him about his Taco Man and he told me to go fix him right away. Whatever, cutting off circulation to his legs. Geez! I did fix him and he kept on sleeping for a bit longer whew!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Too Cute Not to Share

My favorite time of the day is the morning when I go get Jaxon for the day. He is always so happy and greets us with a huge smile. Lately, his new thing is to sit up in his crib and play with the Rainforest "mobile", it just cracks me up. He is so proud of himself. This morning I decided to video him. How can you not love this little boy to pieces?

video

PS We had his 10 month pictures done last week. Here is the link: https://www.smilesbywire.com/home.asp?AC=LTPP0696102940JCP

For some reason, his nose always looks yellow in the JC Penney pictures. Don't know why, I wash his face I promise! He looks like such a big boy in some of the pictures.

Thank You

I just wanted to thank everyone for their well wishes in this trying time. The outpouring of support has been tremendous! Brian and I truly appreciate all of the kind words and love we have received so far.
It is amazing to me to hear of how many people you know who have had thyroid cancer and are now leading healthy lives. It really helps me keep a positive outlook. I am looking forward to the end of these next few months and getting back to normal. Like my mother-in-law says, this is just a bump in the road.
Again, thank you so much, I love you all!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hmm... What to Title This One?

I must first start by saying this will, unfortunately, not be a blog about my cute little Jaxon. It will be a tad more serious. So if you aren't feeling in a serious mood then I suggest you come back at a later time.
It is quite difficult for me to write this and am not even sure if I should be blogging about it. I asked Brian and he said, "I'm not sure about the public-ness, but if you feel comfortable, then go for it." I asked Ami ( blogging fanatic!) and even she wasn't sure! So what to do? Blog about it. I figure you are all my friends, I love you all and want you to be in loop. I'm sure by now you are dying to know what is going on so let's start at the beginning.

In January I went to see my mid-wife for my annual "womanly" exam. Karen, midwife, was out that day so they had me see a substitute midwife, Abigail. Nice girl, about my age pregnant with her 3rd baby. She starts off by feeling my neck and throat.

"Oh. Hmm. Have you ever noticed a little lump here?"

Not exactly what you want to hear when you are in a doctor's office.

"No not really. Do I have something there?"

"Yes, why don't you feel it."

So I feel. Sure enough a pretty good sized little lump.

"I'll be right back. I'm going to consult with the doctor and see what he says."

She leaves and I am left in the exam room wondering what the heck is wrong with me. She comes back and tells me I have to make an appointment with a general surgeon so that he can check it out. A surgeon?!?! Am I going to be cut open because I am not okay with that!

Fast forward to the end of January. I have an appointment with Dr. Coffman, the general surgeon recommended to me. Now, Dr. Coffman is fairly young and quite the looker!


Ok, not quite, but he is blond & blue-eyed.
He has 2 young sons and Jaxon REALLY likes him. I also like him. He has an excellent demeanor. He tells me that I need to have a ultrasound. Depending on what the ultrasound says I might need a Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy. (Don't like the sound of that!) Dr. Coffman says most of these nodules are benign, 99% of them and less than 1% are cancerous. So I feel pretty good about this appointment.

Now it is February and I am at Lovelace Westside Hospital. I feel a little nostalgic as I walk into this building because this is where I went for all of my pre-natal appointments. Funnily enough once I get there I am led to the same room where I found out that Jaxon was Jaxon and not Nadia or Emma. :)

It's a Boy!



For my thyroid ultrasound I was lying in this very room. Thankfully I am skinnier now!

After the ultrasound I see Dr. Coffman. I am just going to tell you that this was a waste of an appointment & a $20 copay! All he said was, "You are going to need a biopsy." Ok, so he may have said a few more things, but that was the gist. I was in his office for a total of 9 minutes! And that is from the moment I walked in to the moment I walked out. It took me longer to put Jaxon in the carseat! Needless to say I was irritated, especially since his office is WAAAY on the other side of town.

On Monday, March 9 I go in for my Fine Needle Aspiration. Let me tell you, there is nothing FINE about this! I lie on a bed with my shoulders on a pillow and my head tilted back. The doctor (not Dr. Handsome) pokes a needle in my throat and literally stabs me repeatedly! It was not pleasant. Picture someone punching you in your throat, that's how it felt. He had to poke at stab about 7-10 times. At the end he says, "Well, I'm not sure I got enough samples. The nodule is very hard and the needle kept slipping off. You may have to come back!" SERIOUSLY!?!?! I will tell you this, I will not be coming back! That hurt and I didn't get a cute baby to take home! All this gave me was a nice bruised neck that is still sore! It hurts to cough, yawn and swallow.

So now I just wait until March 19 when I get the results. WRONG! On Thursday March 12 Dr. Coffman himself calls. Uh Oh. That is never a good sign. While I was in Pilates I might add, so I had to not only suffer through pilates itself, but also think about the following conversation.

"Anabelle?"

"Yes, this is she."

"This is Dr. Coffman. Can you come to my office today?"

"Today? What time?"

"Around 2:00"

"Okay, I'll be there."

That's it. That is the extent of my conversation. I call Ami right away, she is my resident doctor expert. I tell her what happens and she yells at me! Well, not really, but she did reprimand me for not asking what was wrong and why I had to go in today. I believe she said, "Anabelle, I want you to pull up your cahones (sp), call that doctor back and demand he tell you what's wrong!" Which I replied with, "I have no cahones, I don't want to know what's wrong!"

Brian cancels his trip to Santa Fe so that he can go with me. We wait around all morning just wondering what on earth it could be. We do a little research on the Internet. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

It is now 2:00pm and we are sitting in Dr. Coffman's office with Jaxon. Dr Coffman walks in. Shakes our hands. Sits down, looks at Brian, looks at me and says,

"You have Thyroid Cancer. We have to remove your thyroid."

HUH?!?!?!

Tears immediately start flowing. I have cancer. This can't be happening. I'm only 30, I have a beautiful little boy to take care of, I can't be sick. I'm not sick. I feel fine. This just isn't fair!!!!Needless to say, the next half an hour was quite a blur, literally since I couldn't stop crying. Brian, God bless him, is being so strong and asking all kinds of questions. I can't think of one thing to say. Except, "I'm sorry" to the doctor because I'm crying!

Here is the low down on Thyroid Cancer:

It has a 95% cure rate.

If you have to "choose" a cancer to have, this is the one. Lucky me, I chose correctly.

There is no chemo or radiation. So no hair lose, vomiting, etc.

The treatment includes one radioactive iodine capsule. That's it.

The Thyroidectomy (removal of entire thyroid) will be in April, after Easter. There is a 2 week recovery period.

Sometime after the surgery I will go on a low iodine diet. That means no dairy products, no salt, no seafood, no chocolate, no eggs, no commerical bakery products, no beans. Limited amounts of meats, cereals, grains and rices. I can have fruits, vegetables, unsalted nuts, soda & the best one of all.... WINE!!!

I will be on this diet for 2-4 weeks.

Then I take the radioactive iodine capsule. For the week that follows I will have to be in isolation. This means I have to stay 6 feet away from everybody. Jaxon will be going to Tucson during this week. I have to use my own bathroom, flush 2-3 times each time I use the bathroom, rinse the sink well after I wash my hands, use disposable utensils, etc.

During this time they will also make me hypothyroid, which means I will be puffy, bloated, and fatigued. Yippee! The Endocrinologist did say I probably won't gain weight because of the strict diet I will be on

That is about it. I did meet with an Endocrinologist (sp) on Friday, Dr. Edwards. He was very nice and informative. He explained everything to me in "normal" people terms. Again, though, I wasn't paying too much attention because after he said "isolation" I was thinking about what to do with Jaxon. Brian, was the one to absorb everything and ask all questions.

As of right now, I feel positive about what is going to happen. I feel angry, sad, nervous, scared, etc. Who wouldn't? I don't want a pity party, I just want to go on like normal. I may want a pity party when I am recovering from surgery, during the diet, and the isolation. But right now I am good. If you don't feel like calling or writing me it's ok. I now that it can be awkward, and really, what do you say to someone who has cancer? I understand. I know that you are thinking and praying for me. That is what is most important (did I just sound conceited? Oh well)

Thank you for your support and hangin' on to this extremely long blog. If you are interested on learning more about thyroid cancer check out http://www.thyca.org/. This is the only website Dr. Edwards is allowing us to go on!







Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ready for Puerto Rico!

The Pearson's are headed to Puerto Rico! We are leaving on the 23rd and will be spending a week there. We are super excited to go and to finally have my family meet Jaxon. My mom's mom has been dying to meet him. Ever since I have been an adult she has said, "Ana, all I ever want is to see a child from you." So imagine how happy she was when I finally had a baby. She is unable to travel due to her age, so we decided we would go to her. I think we might be crazy to take a 10 month old on a 9 hour plane trip, but what are you going to do?
To prepare for our fun in the sun, I bought Jaxon a hat and a pair of sunglasses. I soon found out that may have been a waste of money. He isn't quite a fan having things on his head or face.

Ready for the beach.



How do I get this thing off?

Whew got the hat off. Now for the glasses


Leg Warmers are Back!

Well, I'm bringing them back... On Jaxon! Yes, I have a couple pair of baby leg warmers for Jaxon. Now, they aren't something that he wears out in public, just at home so that when he is practicing his crawling he doesn't get rug burn. Brian came home the other day when Jaxon was finishing dinner. I took him out of his high chair and we were headed straight to the bathtub. When Brian saw him he about fell over laughing at the sight of his son. He is just as bad as I am and immediately pulled out the camera. He says, "Bubba, I'm sorry to do this to you, but we have to have proof of the things your mom made you wear." I think they are cute. They sell them at Target so they have to be in style right?

Yipee! He Moves Forward!

Jaxon has FINALLY figured out how to crawl forward! Tuesday, Brian stayed home with a sick Jaxon. In the morning, Brian put Jaxon down in his room while he tried to pick out something for him to wear. When Brian looked up, Jaxon was by his shelf pulling down a caterpillar toy! Hooray for him! He still preferred to go backwards of course and the forward motion was very slow, but still.
Today, I put him on the floor while Brian and I were trying to get things together to head out the door. Well, sitting on the floor being ignored was not exactly what Jaxon had in mind and before we knew it he had crawled his way to Brian. I went ahead and recreated the moment for prosperity's sake! Even more than the crawling, I love the ending of the video... Jaxon is clearly proud of himself!
video

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sick Baby and All Alone

Yesterday was Friday, which meant a teaching day for me. Towards the end of the school day I check my cell phone and notice a few texts from Brian and a voicemail from Brian. I check the texts that say, "I got Jax, pay Vanessa on Tuesday." I was a bit confused because it was my day to pick up Jaxon, it was WAY early for Brian to pick him up since he should have been working and why would I pay the babysitter Tuesday we always pay on Friday. So I decide to check my voicemail. Apparently Vanessa (babysitter) called Brian to ask him to get Jaxon because his cough had gotten worse, he was crying inconsolably, hadn't slept or eaten all day and had a 100.4 fever. POOR BABY! Brian gets him home, he drinks 3 oz and goes to sleep. I think he just wanted his own bed. He was still sleeping when I got home 2 hours later. In the meantime, Brian had called the doctor and he basically said not to bring him in because there wasn't much that could be done, but told us things to do that we already knew. He did save us a $20 copay though!
At 4:30 pm I went into his room to check on him and he was covered (head to toe) in vomit looking so pathetic! I felt so sad. So anyway, I gave him a bath and Brian washed & changed EVERYTHING in his crib. Then Brian left! He was scheduled to go to San Francisco for a training today. I was on my own with a sick little boy. I have to say, I admire single moms! It is not so easy to take care of a pukey baby all by yourself.
We had another vomit incident later that night. It was time for bed so I lay him down and walk away. He starts crying and crying. I go back to his room and he just loses his cookies! It was the saddest sight I have seen. Puke is coming out of his nose and he is just crying. Poor little guy, he has no idea what just happened to him. Out of the crib he goes. I clean him up, change his jammie (thankfully it wasn't in his hair!), set him on the floor to begin the changing of sheets process.
The silver lining is that it was in his crib, on blankets and not on the carpet or couch. The not-so-silver lining was that I had to change his sheets again. For those of you who have ever changed crib sheets know that it is not an easy task, especially with a baby that is sitting on the floor crying his eyes out because all he wants to do is cuddle with his mama. Now everything is in the washing machine and back to bed Jaxon goes, or so I thought! He had other plans.
Again, cry, cry,cry. I figure he is sick, it's okay to break my bedtime rules. We sit in his rocking chair and he just cuddles up! I have said before Jaxon is not a cuddler, so this was a nice treat, even if he was sick. After about 5 minutes he fell asleep. I kept him on my lap for a bit longer, selfishly enjoying this rare cuddle moment, then back to bed he went. I was praying for no more puke as I placed him in his crib. I can happily say that he didn't throw up again last night!
He was up crying a few times through out the night, which is where the being alone was a bummer! No one to share the middle-of-the-night duties.
Jaxon did wake up happy and feeling MUCH better this morning! Yippee! No more vomiting or fever. Just congestion and a cough. I can deal with that.

How Far He's Come

It is amazing to me how much Jaxon has grown! I know that all kids grow like weeds and the time just flies by, but it never ceases to amaze me how teeny tiny Jaxon was when he was born! Today is his 10 month birthday and I just happen to remember to take his picture in the little chair in his room. Here he is now:

He's just like his mother... he sees a camera and poses!

He is super excited to be sitting in his chair!

You would never guess he was so sick last night by looking at this picture.

This is Jaxon in that same chair at 3 weeks old. Not even supposed to be born yet!

Whenever I look at these pictures I am so grateful that he was born healthy & strong, even though he was 6 weeks early and only 4 lbs! I will always be amazed.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Beautiful Baby Search

For the past few years Regis and Kelly have an annual Beautiful Baby Search. Every year I watch the show and say to myself, "Whenever I have a baby I am definitely going to enter him/her in the contest." Well, the time FINALLY arrived! I was so excited when I heard the contest was starting. I searched and searched my computer for a picture of Jaxon that would give him the best chance. I even sent my mom several pictures to choose from and we studied them for quite some time before making a final decision. My application was accepted and everyday I check Regis & Kelly's website to see if his picture has made it. Sadly, his picture has not made the website. :(

Next week, March 9, will be Live's Beautiful Baby Week. This means that they will be showing thousands of babies who entered the competition. I am hoping that they will at least flash Jaxon for a split second. I will be super excited to see him on Regis & Kelly! So, set your DVRs and keep your eyes open for Jax's picture. Frankly, I think he should win the whole thing because of course I think he is the most beautiful baby, but I'm a little biased!
Seriously, how cute is this face?! I think he is worthy of winning $125,00 for college.