In the month of December I noticed that Paco had these lumps that were almost the size of marbles in his throat. I knew this couldn't be good. Week after week went by and they weren't getting any smaller so, I told Cody that it was time to get them checked out at the Vet. I made an appointment in January and before I took him, I wanted to look online to see if maybe I could get a heads up of what the Vet might tell me. I typed in "Swollen Lymph Nodes in Canines" and was directed to a bunch of sites that told me things like "Lymphoma" and "Malignant Lymphocytes" I couldn't believe it! I didn't want to believe it! My worse fear was confirmed when I took Paco in and the Vet said the word.... "Cancer". I just stood there hugging and squeezing Paco tight trying to hold in the tears as the Vet continued to tell me that Paco had a Heart Murmur and had other masses in his chest and hind legs. I already knew that Paco had arthritis pretty bad in his hind legs and was partially deaf. I even knew he had a cataracts problem in his eyes. But Cancer? Heart Murmur? No. My poor little buddy. I didn't know what to do? I asked the Vet if he was uncomfortable or in any pain and he did tell me that his arthritis is probably hurting more than anything. He asked if I wanted to do tests and start treating the cancer (chemo) but economically speaking, he told me it would only keep him alive for another 8-12 months and would he would be sick the whole time. Other options were to just make him comfortable for what time he did have which was a measly 4-8 months. They gave me a Rx for him to take morning and night, Prednisone (steroid) and an antibiotic and sent us on our way. Considering what I just heard... Cancer... 4-8 months.... I was holding it together pretty well until, I called Cody. I could barely talk. Niagara Falls... and it fell!! As the next couple of days went by with Paco on his meds, it was extremely hard to see him so lethargic and breathing so heavy. Paco was always one to climb under the covers and snuggle up next to you. But now, he won't even lay next to me because he gets too hot. He'll go downstairs where it's cooler and sleep by himself. He has lost so much weight but has an appetite like a cow!! He will eat everything and anything in his path and he gets so thirsty all the time which is a side effect from the medication. It's been 2 months and he is doing pretty good for all he has and how old he his, which is 12 by the way. He is still my best friend in the whole world and I'm going to be SO lost when it's time for him to go to the "All You Can Eat Steak Buffet In The Sky". Here's to Paco. Love ya Buddy!!
Two nights before Collin had his class play at school he told me he thinks he needs to bring his own Santa suit. WHAT!? I don't have a child's Santa suit in my closet! Then... thinking about it for a minute I asked, "Were you even going to tell me about your class play? Are parents invited?" ---Oh, I forgot, was his only response. I told him to ask his teacher if we needed to scavenger around for a suit or if the school supplied one for him. Lucky for us, the school supplied it! This was Collin playing Santa for his class play. He did such an AWESOME job with his part!
One of our traditions is making Gingerbread Houses at my moms
Christmas Eve we played some fun games at my moms.
One of them was taking turns rolling dice and if you were to roll doubles,
you unwrap the gift until someone else rolls doubles. Sound easy?
Try unwrapping the gift while wearing oven mits! Not as easy as it looks!
Another family tradition is getting to open a present (pajamas) on Christmas Eve.
We ended up giving our gifts to the family on Christmas Eve so they would have
them to "SNUGGIE" up to in the morning!
WOW! Were we ever busy trying to get the whole "Christmas shopping" done in time for Christmas! I did a lot of online shopping this year and found out I REALLY liked it!! I do have to say, I missed the hustle and bustle of crowded malls, jack frost nipping at my nose and driving store to store in search of that perfect gift. This year I decided to make homemade gifts for everyone and I tell you what, it's going to be a couple years before I do that again! It was WELL worth the time and back burning hours spent making them after hearing all the nice and extremely thoughtful compliments from my family and friends.
The kids were spoiled, as usual, with all the gifts they received from family, friends and of course, Santa! I love watching the expression on their faces after opening each gift. And of course, every year on Christmas night we say to the kids, "I better not hear one word that you're bored!" And of course, a few months go by and it's, "What can I do? I'm bored!" I'm starting to believe my parents when they used to tell us kids that we are lucky because all they had to play with growing up were rocks! That they didn't have games like Atari and Cabage Patch dolls. I am always telling my kids that I would have NEVER been bored as a kid if I had a DSi or a wii or an ipod! Ripstick? Nah, I had plastic roller skates that would come to an abrupt halt if I hit a blade of grass on the sidewalk. Anyway.... back to Christmas.... It was perfect.
Christmas morning the kids woke up at 7am. My mom and Staci came to watch them open their presents.
Tucker and Paco REALLY enjoyed their Stockings!
We all went to Grandma Spencer's to give our gifts and she made
We had Thanksgiving at my moms this year and had, well... everything you could imagine there would be at a Thanksgiving dinner! It was ALL so delicious! Besides family getting together, my most favorite thing about Thanksgiving is the leftover turkey to make turkey sandwiches. That is yummy in my belly!
Gavin wanted in
No photos, please!
After our bellies were settled and buttons were loosened, we all gathered around to play The Beatles Rock Band. Everyone had so much fun playing, it was hard to stop.
You know me... I LOVE HALLOWEEN!! This year however, I did not dress up. Halloween seemed to sneak up on me without my permission. Collin had his Pinewood Derby race and he did win a few races! He was awarded for Best Paint Job (with the help of his dad) and Collin LOVED every minute carving, sanding, glueing and painting that car!
We made Halloween bats this year, the kids and I had a blast making them! Even Cody made one! It was really fun to see them come together
and it wasn't as messy as I thought
it would be.
We went to Partyland to pick out the kids' Halloween costumes. They were totally overwhelmed when they saw the wall of costumes. After much deliberation, we all finally came to an agreement. Collin picked out a Hippie and pulled it off pretty well! Addy went with her opposite personality and picked out an Angel costume! And OF COURSE we had to dress up the dogs!! That always goes without saying!
We stopped by Grandma
Spencer's house later that night and as soon as we left to go home, those costumes were on the floor before we even pulled out of the driveway!
Our little baby girl is not so little anymore. In fact she is the tallest in her class, including the boys! The night before her birthday Addy was so excited to wake up that next morning and be taller. She would stand on her tippy-toes and say. "See mom, this is how big I'll be in the morning!" Then with a panicked look on her face she asked, "What am I going to wear? My clothes aren't going to fit me tomorrow!" I have to admit, when I was her age, I thought that myself! Luckily, Staci shipped this really cute outfit for her to wear on her birthday and it fit just fine!
Addy loves her Great Grandma Spencer,
Grandma Black Hair, Grandma Brown Hair (thought I had a pic)
and Gpa & Gma Rowland
The Birthday Girl loved all of her gifts!
She absolutely loves it when we have company,
no matter when, who or how often she just
loves to be around people!
Everyone who knows Addy, knows she has the gift to gab!
Addy wanted The Littlest Pet Shop toys on her cake but I
My most favorite thing to do is laugh! It's simple. It's free. It's fun. I grew up with a very sarcastically funny dad who made me laugh all the time!! My siblings make me laugh every time we get together. We need laughter in our lives. Not only do we need to laugh but occasionally we need to laugh at ourselves as well.