Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Natalee

At 9:10am on April 26th 2010, Natalee Ann entered the world.

And today she turned TWO!
It is just amazing how much she has changed from just her last birthday.
Today was spent spoiling my little girl. After dropping Haylee off at school we went to Dunkin Donuts for "baby donuts".
After that we went outside (since the weather was absolutely beautiful) and played with bubbles. When Josh got home from work we let her open 2 of her presents. She got a Thomas the Train set with a light up/talking Thomas and 2 other trains and she got a Jewel (from Rio) Angry Bird. Natalee LOVES Rio. It is her favorite movie and she watches it at least once a day.
The Jewel Angry Bird was the only Rio thing I could find at the store. I did just order her figurines off Ebay but I haven't gotten those yet. She will go nuts when she sees those.

We went to Serranos for dinner and Natalee proudly wore the Sombrero and ate her fried ice cream. And unlike Haylee, she didn't cry when we sang Happy Birthday.
I can't wait for her Minnie Mouse Party on Saturday!

Natalee I love you more than anything in the world. You are such a beautiful, funny, sweet little girl. Although you can definitely be a stinker, I wouldn't trade you for anything in the world. Happy 2nd Birthday Sweetie!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Ramblings

Haylee had her 1st soccer game last Saturday and they won 7 (or 8, lost track) - 0! Haylee kicked the ball the whole way down to the goal twice and made a goal once. We were so proud of her! It's like once she got out there and realized what you do she was totally into the game. I think we may have a soccer star in the family :)

Saturday night Kayanne watched Natalee (and Natalee said she had fun) and we took Haylee out to dinner at Someburro's and then to see Chimpanzee. It was a cute movie. Haylee loves all the Disney Nature Films but they don't keep her attention as well as "regular' movies such as The Lorax, Chipmunks etc. I about died when I saw a small popcorn was $5.75!!!! We usually go to Harkins and have the cup and tshirt so we pay $2 for 2 drinks AND a popcorn!!! I can buy 12 boxes of popcorn for $6 right now at Fry's. Never again. Sticking with Harkins.

Sunday was my much needed girls DAY out. My Mom and I left the house around 11am and didn't get home till after 7pm. It was a W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L day. We started at Starbucks, then went to Kohls, the 99 Store, Chili's for lunch and then Toys R Us to finish shopping for Natalee's birthday. After that we went to see the much anticipated movie, The Lucky One. LOVED it! Very similar to the book except the book obviously had more detail. Although I never thought of Zac Efron as good looking, he was smoking in this movie! The best part was the preview for the movie Magic Mike coming out with Channing Tatum as a stripper. Are you kidding me? I am so there opening night!!! I am so thankful Josh willingly kept the girls for me (and didn't complain once) so I could enjoy a day out. He's the best!

Natalee started a new project of taking down her wallpaper. That wallpaper has been up for over 5 years in the "nursery" but Natalee apparently doesn't like it anymore. So anyone who has a tip on removing wallpaper I'd love to hear it! We're gonna put chair rail up and turn her room into more of a toddler/big girl room. Our baby days are over around here.

Josh had to send in some information on the girls height, weight etc for insurance. I had to laugh because Haylee only weighs 5 lb. more than Natalee and she is 3 years older than her. She is so petite I guess you could say.

I am so not loving the record breaking temps we've had this week. 105 on Sunday and 103 on Monday. No thank you! Yesterday was actually beautiful around 6pm or so. Josh mowed the yard, our backyard was shaded by then and I sat outside playing ball with Jackson while the girls played and the turtle walked around eating grass. That's the life.....until I started getting bit by mosquitos. Party foul.

We have been taking walks every night with Jackson and he loves up. He still gets so excited everytime I pick up his leash. He is so wound up I have a hard time putting it on. No lack of energy on his part for sure.

Natalee is still having issues with her naps. Ever since last Monday she has been taking short naps and waking up screaming/crying. I have tried everything- making her room darker (it's like nighttime in there), giving her a bath, giving her tylenol thinking her teeth are bothering her etc. Nothing has worked. Poor baby girl.

Things are in full swing around here getting ready for a special little girls 2nd Birthday! It's been a busy week and it's only gonna get crazier!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Or not.....

This week has been rough. It started with Sunday when Josh woke up with Strep. He started feeling better around Tuesday when he passed his sickness to me. I am thankful I did not get strep but I've had a cold all week and it's no fun at all.

Natalee, who has always been my wonderful sleeper, has been in a nap funk all week. She cries when I put her down, sleeps 20-25 min., and wakes up screaming. I have no idea what is going on with her. I tell myself "this too shall pass" but I would have given anything to take a nap this week since I feel like crap. At night she is fine. Goes right to bed and sleeps soundly till about 8am or later. She has been sleeping in this week sometimes till 8:45am which is unusual. She is all off track. Hopefully she returns to "normal" soon. We have lots of partying to do next week since she is turning T-W-O!!!!

Some good news this week is that I won tickets to see Pride & Prejudice at the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center tonight. My Mom happily agreed to watch the girls so Josh and I could go. Thank you so much Mom!!

I received my sad book in the mail yesterday "The Dog Cancer Survival Guide". On the back it states "if your dog has cancer you need this book." And my favorite part "No matter what you've heard, there are always steps you can take to help your dog fight (and even beat) cancer." That is my hope!! It covers the full spectrum of dog cancer care from conventional treatments (surgery, chemo, radiation) to non-conventional (botanical nutraceuticals, supplements, nutrition, and mind-body treatment). It might sound crazy but if any of it works then it's so worth it. It can't hurt at this point. The only problem is finding time to read 500 pages and figuring out what I wanna try ASAP. With cancer I don't exactly have time to fart around. I hope to cover the majority of it this weekend so come Monday (3 weeks from when his tumor was removed) I can start with additional treatments. So far Jackson is thriving. He has enjoyed walks every night and playing ball outside almost every night. He takes his medicine 2 times a day like a good little boy and gets extra treats, bones to chew and gets to sleep with us. He's a happy camper. And he'll literally be a happy camper in just 2 weeks when we head up north to the mountains! Can't wait!!!

My sweet little Haylee has taken it upon herself to help potty train Natalee. The other day Natalee took her diaper off and so Haylee took her into the potty and Natalee actually went. Haylee was so excited. Well today Natalee took her diaper off again so Haylee took her in the bathroom, sat right next to her and read her books. No luck this time but Haylee was very patient and told her "you gotta look at your pee pee and say, pee pee please pee." I about died when I heard that one. I just love when Haylee is sweet to her sister.

Lately Haylee has been infatuated with Olivia. We DVR it and she watches it all day long. The best is when her and Natalee dress up like Olivia and Francine. Natalee happily lets Haylee dress her up and they run around as cute as can be. Cracks me up!

Charlotte loves avocados but is a rather messy eater!
One week from tomorrow is Natalee's birthday and I have so much left to do. I need to finish her slide show, get the rest of the food and a few other odds and ends. Next week is sure to be busy!

Tomorrow is Haylee's 1st soccer game and then we are taking her to see Chimpanzee. We have taken Haylee to every Disney Nature films and she seems to really likes them all. Grandma Kayanne is watching little Natalee so hopefully she behaves herself!

Sunday is my girls night out to see "The Lucky One". I read the book and have been waiting for this movie to come out. I am so excited to see it!

Busy weekend, busy week. Ready or not, here I come!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Ramblings

When it rains it pours. Josh had to go to Urgent Care yesterday. Diagnosis- Tonsillitis & Strep Throat. Josh rarely gets sick. When he's sick, he's sick.

Natalee's doctor was nice enough to call her in a prescription without taking her down there today for a rash on her bottom. She's had it off and on for 2 weeks and Desitin won't work (which always works for my girls' diaper rashes) so I knew something was up.

My throat is scratchy so I'm sure I am next in line to be sick. I have been taking Airborne so we'll see if that helps. I have almost lost my voice too.

Haylee has Sassyitis. She does fine when she is alone but as soon as Natalee is awake or around she has an attitude.

Josh and I had our April date night Saturday. We had dinner at Someburros and then went to see The Hunger Games. I knew nothing about this book/movie and the craziness surrounding it. I didn't have any interest in seeing it but there wasn't anything else out. I am glad I did though, it was so good. I have heard the book is better so now I wanna read the book. I really liked it though and the lead girl was wonderful. I think the filming itself could have been better but overall great movie.

Haylee's 1st soccer game was cancelled Saturday due to weather. She'll have another practice Thursday and then hopefully her game next Saturday. She is so adorable out in the field playing. She is not aggressive enough to steal the ball but she just runs around and does what her coach tells her. She says she likes it so that's all that matters.

Less than 2 weeks till Natalee turns 2. I am so not ready. I have a few things left to do for her party and I need to start on a couple projects. The thought of potty training makes me sick so I'm not sure when we'll start that. She has already went in the potty a few times so who knows, she might be easy to train. I guess time will tell. Potty training with Haylee at first really stressed me out but I think it's because I was pregnant with Natalee so I felt an urgency to get her trained. No urgency now except I'm sick of buying diapers. Definitely not pregnant and I don't plan to be anytime soon......or anytime period! :)

Jackson is loving life. Playing ball, eating icecream and sleeping on our bed. He is so spoiled and loves every minute of it. I do too. I cherish every day I have with him. I love when he comes and puts his head on my lap and looks at me with those big, brown eyes because he wants a treat. I love when I feed him an Otterpop and he eats it so nicely while wagging his tail. I love when he drops the ball at my feet when he wants to play ball. He is so sweet.

I booked a weekend at Kohls Ranch with our timeshare to take Jackson up to the mountains to run around. We love going camping but it's a lot of work so I thought we'd play up on the rim all day and then sleep at the resort at night. We are so excited to take Jackson up there and this will be his first slumber party at a resort!

I got tickets to take the girls to the Summer Movie Fun at Harkins this summer. This will be quite an adventure to see if Natalee will sit through the movie each week. For $14 total (Natalee is free) for 10 movies, you can't beat that.

We are starting to plan out our remaining vacations for the year and it makes me so excited. My Mom booked the hotel for our Mother/Daughter trip to Cali in September and Josh and I are taking the girls to Disneyland & California Adventure in October. Other than that we took our mini Vegas trip in February, Josh is going on a business trip in May and then we have our little family vacation with Jackson is just a couple weeks. That leaves June-August to hide inside since it's too hot to do anything! Actually, I hope to hit a few pools to practice what the girls learn at swimming lessons.

I am addicted to Pinterest and have been for quite some time. I actually made 2 of the recipes I found off there yesterday. I made the donuts from Pillsbury Grands and they were so good! I also made a super yummy grilled cheese sandwich that I saw on Pinterest that I altered. I used a slice of cheese, slices of avocado and some bacon too! delicious. I love Pinterest and I love it even more when I do the things I pin!

Happy Monday!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


My little Natalee is such a nut. Right now she is fascinated with 2 things. Chapstick and Dog Poop. Nice huh?

She is constantly wanting chapstick on except she doesn't get that it is just for her lips. She is constantly stealing mine and eating it. She also climbs on Josh's desk because she knows he keeps his up there and she eats his too.

Then there is dog poop. Every afternoon when we go outside the first thing she does is try to find where Jackson has pooped. Before I can get the scoop and clean it up she is stomping on it with her shoe saying "poopie, poopie." Seriously.....gross! Even when we went to Haylee's soccer game she found a pile and started kicking it saying "poopie, poopie."

I also think she loves the word poopie itself. When I tell her to say, "thank you Daddy or bye bye Haylee" she says "thank you poopie and bye bye poopie" and cracks up laughing.

Everytime she wants to do something she's not suppose to, she'll close the door to the room we're in or she'll go into a room and close the door behind her as if she is being sneaky. She does that when she's trying to climb over the gate or steal chapstick usually.

Do you see why I am dreading the terrible two's. She has been displaying terrible two behavior for months and I'm afraid it's only gonna get worse!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Our Decision

Some little boy got his stitches out today. He is soooooo happy!

Today starts the first day of Jackson's new "treatment". We have decided to put Jackson on Prednisone which "is the preferred treatment for high-grade tumors, with or without chemotherapy. Prednisone does not cure cancer. It may help your dog go into remission, decrease cancer symptoms and improve chemotherapy drug response".  We decided against chemotherapy mainly because we don't wanna put Jackson through that and basically because it won't really help in his situation the doctor said. Most dogs tolerate chemotherapy very well but just taking him down there weekly will stress him out, he hates going to the doctor. After 4 months of chemotherapy we'd be in the same boat as we are now, waiting and praying the tumors don't return and the cancer doesn't spread.

I've spent the past 2 days doing research and it has given me way more hope than our doctor has. Jackson may of had a grade 3 tumor removed (and with clear margins I might add) but he is stage 1 and the cancer has not spread to his spleen, lungs or lymph nodes which is common for dogs who have Mast Cell Tumors (MCT). We caught his early and I have hope for him. I am not giving up on him, he's my sweet little boy.

So we'll start with a daily Prednisone, Benadryl, Pepcid "cocktail" and go from there. The Benadryl will help with any itchiness common with MCT and Pepcid will help his tummy which may get upset due to any MCT also. I will continue to research diet changes and possible supplements etc. that may help. That and lots of prayers. I just pray he stays cancer free and his happy, healthy self for many, many months. I would LOVE to have him with us at Christmas and would be ECSTATIC to be able to spend his 11th Birthday with him.

This is all so very hard but I feel this is the right decision for Jackson. Even though we aren't doing any "extreme" treatments we are still doing something. I could not live with myself if I sat back and did nothing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Heating Up

With temperatures in the mid 90's earlier this week, it was time to break out the new pool.

Haylee swam around like a turtle and Natalee played in it for a little while before venturing off to other things, like the play wasp house. When Natalee went in their little playhouse she ran out crying saying "bee bee" so I looked inside of it and sure enough, there was a wasp nest in there. So scary. I am glad she didn't get stung.
Both girls are set to start swim lessons the middle of June and I'm excited to see how they do. Natalee is taking a private lesson for 10 minutes Monday-Thursday for 2 weeks and Haylee is in a 30 minute group lesson Monday-Thursday for 2 weeks. Same teacher, same place. I don't think Natalee will be scared but I have a feeling Haylee will be at first. I should have started her in lessons when she was younger. I'll report how it goes...

Not looking forward to the horrible heat this summer. But, I am looking forward to Jackson getting his cone off tomorrow morning and I know he is too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I was talking to my Mom on the phone the other day and Haylee comes in saying "look at Natalee's hair." I immediately ran downstairs and grabbed the camera because it was too funny not to document. Haylee loves doing Natalee's hair. She'll put ribbons, bows, flowers, you name it, all over her head. I wanna know how she gets her to hold steal long enough. Oh nevermind, she bribed her with chapstick, that's how.

I absolutely love it when Haylee is nice to her sister. It's a rare occasion so I cherish it when it happens. The other day Natalee wanted some of Haylee's pineapple so Haylee told her to sit next to her and she fed it to her. It was the cutest thing.
I love my little girls!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Haylee had her first soccer practice last Thursday and she was so adorable.

There were 7 kids total, 2 girls. The other girl didn't even come out onto the field till halfway through practice because she was afraid. Not Haylee, she was ready to go right away.
She practiced throwing it, kicking it around cones, keeping it away from coach, and then ran some laps and practiced other drills.
When the coach asked for suggestions of the team name Haylee said they should be called "the butterflies." I'm sure the boys would love that!

After practice Haylee asked the coach when she gets her trophy. I had to laugh when I heard her ask him, guess that's the only reason she wants to play soccer. She cracks me up!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I tried to put a smile on my face this weekend and enjoy all the Easter festivities but it was hard. I kept thinking, I wonder if Jackson will be here next Easter to do his egg hunt and get his basket. Then come the tears which seem to come often these days. I didn't know this whole "situation" would have such an effect on me but I have just been a mess these past 2 weeks.

We started our Easter festivities Saturday morning by dying eggs with the girls. Natalee did really good this year with Daddy's help. Little to no messes!!

Then we went to Bass Pro to see the Easter Bunny. Natalee was really excited to see him this year. When we'd say "do you wanna go see the Easter Bunny?" she'd scream "yaaaaaa!".
That afternoon we took some pictures at the park and then went to my Mom's for dinner.
The objective of the "photo shoot" was to capture a wonderful picture of our entire family (including Jackson) and I was happy with how it turned out!
The girls did an egg hunt at Grandma's and dyed eggs there too, naked baby style.
On Sunday the girls (and Jackson) woke up to find the Easter Bunny had come!
I took videos of Jackson doing an egg hunt and then the girls did their egg hunt too (for some reason the videos won't load). It was a little chaotic because Natalee was a whiny mess. We stayed home the rest of the day and took a 3 hour family nap and spent time with Jackson.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Grade III

We met with the Oncologist today about Jackson and what to do next. Let's just say things don't look good.

Basically it all comes down to his tumor being a Grade III. Had it been Grade I we wouldn't be discussing any further treatment. Surgery would have been enough. With Grade III there is no cure. These tumors are both very locally aggressive and highly metastatic (spread throughout the body). There is an option for us to do chemotherapy. The chemotherapy would consist of 2 drugs given once alternating every second week for 8 total treatments. Doing this can slow disease progression and may significantly increase Jackson's cancer free time, but still most dogs die within the first year. That is the part I can not digest. When the doctor said that I lost it. How can our happy, healthy boy be dead in just a year. So unfair.

Anyone who really knows me knows that Jackson's not just our dog. I've had him since I was 18. He was our "child" for 5 years before we had Haylee. He has always been treated like one of our girls and spoiled just the same. Every year we include a paragraph about him in our Christmas letter and before we had the girls our Christmas picture was him and us. I can not imagine life without him. I cry just typing this. I knew he wouldn't life forever but just knowing he will die of some horrible disease makes it 10 times worse. This just totally breaks my heart.

We have a week to decide what we're going to do. Money is not a factor in our decision. We want what's best for Jackson. I do know that I will spend every last second of his life making sure he knows how much he is loved. He has been the best dog ever and will never be replaced. I will take him on walks, play ball with him, taking him camping....all of his favorite things. I love my little boy and he'll always have a special place in my heart.

Back Up Helper

Since Jackson is still on the mend we've had to bring in back up to help with the Natalee clean up.

I hope Jackson is back soon because Charlotte just doesn't do a very good job. And she's slow.