High quality

Bianca is losing hair again.

Terence said this morning when he dropped Bianca off at school he noticed quite a bit of hair on her school shirt, and when he patted her head he had some hair stuck on his hand. I felt pretty disappointed this morning when Terence sent me a text to let me know. Not too long ago she also lost some hair and her hair ended up quite thin, you could actually see her scalp through her hair at the time, but lately it felt as if finally her hair was starting to grow a bit thicker so that finally she will be able to grow the ponytails she wants so much.

This afternoon after I got Bianca from school, we sat on the couch and at one point she lay with her head on my lap and when she sat up, I noticed some of her hair on my pants. I can't wait for the day we won't need Vincristine again. I'm confident that is the drug that is causing Bianca's hair loss. And it feels a bit disappointing because I know so many other children who are not as far along on their maintenance phase as Bianca, and their hair is so much longer and thicker.

But anyway, it is just part of our journey. And I guess it does bother us a bit more than it bothers Bianca so at least that is a comforting thought!

This afternoon Bianca asked me what "high quality" means and I told her it means something like "very good". She thought for a little bit and then said "Mommy, you are high quality". She then went on to ask me if one day she will be able to learn how to drive a car and I told her "yes, but it will take a very long time before you will start learning to drive" and she then said "you will have to make one of those signs with the "L" on it and put it in the window because I will be learning to drive".

Wiggly Good Time

On Sunday we had the chance to attend The Wiggles Show at the Vector Arena in Auckland thanks to the Child Cancer Foundation.

Bianca discovered The Wiggles a couple of years ago and she quite enjoys their shows, but has only ever seen them on DVD and to see them in real life - wow, that was pretty good. Bianca knew a number of their songs and she had the best time ever clapping and moving along to their songs.

Terence and I were both amazed how fit and flexible these guys are (and 3 of them must be in their mid- to late 40s).

The kids each had an ice cream as a special treat and Caitlyn especially enjoyed her ice cream (anybody for a kiss?).

At times Caitlyn was a bit interested, but did lose interest after a while and started acting up (being a typical 2 year old) and I guess sitting still and behaving well for an hour and a half must be quite tough for a 2 year old.

Afterwards Bianca told us that Dorothy the Dinosaur wasn't real "it was just somebody who painted their legs green" (I guess she noticed in the one act when the leg part of the costume lifted up a little bit and I guess it comes with the territory of being almost 6 years old...

Hot pools - just what we needed!

On Saturday we went to the Parakai Hot Pools. We got the chance to catch up with some of the Child Cancer Foundation people and other families and it was such a nice relaxing day for us - just what we needed. Bianca had the best time ever going down the water slides with Terence, Caitlyn loved walking around the shallow pool and kept wanting to walk to the deeper side insisting that she could "walk self" and then getting really cross with me for steering her back to the shallow side.

My favourite part was the hot indoor pool at 39 degrees (now that's my kind of pool!!!)

And finally when it was time to go home, both kids fell fast asleep in the car. We all had so much fun!!!

Aren't they just wonderful???

Not too long ago I wrote about two people at the company where I temped since beginning March who decided to shave off their hair for The Child Cancer Foundation. They didn't have to do it and it was really just something they felt totally passionate about. So John and Tania each raised around $1,000 and I think that is just amazing!!!

So here are some photos from Friday:


Never thought the Salesperson would have the last laugh

I wear glasses. I can't actually see without them. Or rather I can see, but without my glasses everything is a rather blurrish blob, so yeah - I pretty much rely on my glasses all the time. I didn't always wear glasses. It was only since around 1998 if I remember correctly. I remember my first eye appointment, I asked the optometrist if I could please get contact lenses and so he helped me fit them. Piece of cake I thought. Until I had to take them out that night, and I simply couldn't. No matter how hard I tried they just wouldn't budge. So in desperation I called Terence (who at the time was working his final week at his job 300km away from where I was) and in between his fits of laughter he tried to explain to me the process of removing contact lenses. I don't know how I managed, but somehow I did and refused to put them back in that week. Thankfully I wasn't driving and so it didn't matter too much.

At some point that year I got some glasses. And that set of glasses lasted me a good number of years when finally last year it was time for a new frame for my glasses. So off I went, got my eyes tested and then I chose a new frame. The Salesperson then told me about a special offer where you pay a bit more and then get two frames instead of just one. And I respectfully declined because after all the other frame lasted me a long long time and what would I do with another pair of glasses? "In case the one set breaks" the Salesperson told me. "No, I should be fine" and off I went feeling so proud of myself that I resisted the tactics of a salesperson to try and make extra money from me.

So last night as I was getting ready f0r bed, what happened?

That's right, my new frame broke. And the Salesperson's words echoed in my mind "in case the one set breaks". So who had the last laugh? It would be the Salesperson (that's if I was able to see clearly I guess...).

So this morning Terence attempted to fix my frame so I am able to at least wear my glasses until we can get to the optometrist to see if they can somehow help me with a new frame or possibly a set of contact lenses to see me through until they can fit my lenses into a new frame.

Urggh! You don't know how much you need something until it is broken!!!

So how did your weekend start?


Bianca's smile in the paper!!!

Remember when I recently wrote how Bianca had the chance to sign a car at Hyundai as part of the Child Cancer Foundation Annual Appeal? Well, today we saw that Bianca and some of the other kids made the newspaper! Please click here for the link to the article.

I just love the photo they took of Bianca and so we'll be keeping this newspaper article with all the others in Bianca's memory box.

This week is the Annual Appeal week. CCF desperately need all the funds they can get - they don't get any government funding and they don't share in the money raised with the other cancer societies. So please see if you are able to get involved. Not only are they looking for donations, but they are also looking for volunteers. You can read all about the Annual Appeal here.

It was great while it lasted...

I can't believe my month of temping is over in less than a week. Next week this time my life will go back to before. I did enjoy the time being back at work, but (and I never thought I would say this), I'm also looking forward being at home again. I've actually missed being there when Bianca gets out of school and spending some of the days with Caitlyn.

For now we'll still keep Caitlyn in daycare for 2 days a week because it is very important that she also has social interaction with other children. Caitlyn loves going to daycare and every afternoon I ask her how her day was and she will say "good" and then I will ask her who she played with and she will say "Tela" and "Cassie" and she will then tell me what she did and say "blocks", "outside", "play doh" and so on. So on Monday I will have my last day as a professional working mom for a while and go back to just being a mom who works at home (because let's face it house-work is also work).

After last week's steroid week I once again realised why going back to work on a full-time or even a permanent part-time basis won't be a very good idea. Steroids are just too unpredictable and I really need to be available and flexible just in case Bianca doesn't feel well enough and needs to come home early from school. So then it is better that Terence is able to work full time (as he doesn't get paid when he doesn't work).

But despite all the uncertainties that walk hand-in-hand with Bianca's treatment, it was a great chance to go to work for a bit again. It was a good opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a bit. And the people were all so nice. So down-to-earth-we-accept-you-for-who-you-are kind of people. So I had a great time. At times busy and a bit stressful, but quite enjoyable too. So I actually might miss it a bit (although I think Terence can't wait to go back to the office full-time again).

So far this week Bianca is doing great. No more major tummy aches, she is once again back to coping with school, loving her tennis (and has in fact asked her dad that she does tennis next term again and she asked if she could please get her own tennis racquet), and having 2 play dates this week! I'm glad we are back to normal. Or as normal as we can be.

And Bianca still loves getting all the emails - she is slowly but surely making her way through all the emails she needs to respond to.


Happiness is...

having a bath

until your mom decides to wash your hair...

And the way Caitlyn screamed, I thought for sure that the neighbours would come knocking on our door to see why we were torturing our child like this. Thankfully nobody came knocking and Caitlyn quickly smiled again. Of course only until the next time we have to wash hair (sigh!!!).

In our new house we have two bathrooms and an extra toilet. Both the bathrooms have a toilet as well as a shower. Bianca is quite happy showering, but Caitlyn not so much. Unfortunately we struggled to find a place that also had a bath and so we settled on this rental home. We decided that we would get a baby bath of some kind to use in the bathroom on the floor as a solution for our lack of a bath in this house. Unfortunately all the baby baths were way too small, and finally we managed to find this blue shell-shaped type of plastic pool / sand box for kids and thought it would be perfect. And it was, until I realised it won't actually fit in the bathroom. So now we bath Caitlyn in the kitchen. So far so good. It actually works quite well. And since Caitlyn is only 2, she really couldn't care less where she gets her bath.

Shore to Shore

Today Bianca and I participated in Shore to Shore where there were more than 6,000 participants. Before the time Bianca told me that we could run or walk and I told her that we would most definitely be walking. It was a 5km (probably around 3.1mile) walk for us and parts of it was on the beach - well two different beaches actually and wow, what a beautiful day to go walking. The day was absolutely perfect.

Bianca's school organised a bus for all the participants from Oteha Valley School. We caught up with Bianca's friend Saana and her mom and also Nikita and her sister, mom and dad. Nikita was actually with Bianca at daycare (and one of Bianca's friends) when we first came to Auckland way back when Bianca was around 18 months old. When we came back to Auckland after living in Wellington for around 3 years, and Bianca started school, I was quite surprised to find Nikita also goes to Oteha Valley School (although she is a bit older than Bianca).

And thankfully Bianca did not have any tummy aches at all today. She was initially quite happy and then I guess became a bit more grumpy. I think the walk was a bit tiring for her and so I had to carry Bianca probably for around 2km (probably around 1.24miles) or maybe even 3km (probably around 1.86miles) of the 5km walk. Now 5km don't sound too far, but it is quite a different story when you are as unfit as I am and trying to do this carrying a child who weighs around 23kg at the moment. But towards the end she lightened up again when she saw the finish line in the distance and was trying to beat me to it (and she won...).

Here are some more photos:

And then we came home and had hot dogs for lunch and it was time for a nap.

I had no idea how exhausted I really felt. I think it was a combination of working full time, doing a move and all the usual and unusual stresses that go along with it and of course doing the walk carrying Bianca for a good portion of the way. But either way, I'm actually looking forward for my month of temping to come to an end now on the 30th of March as things will certainly become a little bit less busy, and so it will almost be like taking a break. Not quite and certainly a holiday right about now would be good, but that is just not a possiblity at the moment. So getting back to normal will be a good alternative.


I really wish I could help

Tonight I caught up on Alma and David and I just feel so incredibly sad for them. Their journey is so tough and so challenging. One of the things that David has on his "to-do" list is to have a family holiday in Australia - I wish I was able to help them make this happen as Alma simply cannot afford to pay for such a holiday at this point in time.

Please keep them in your prayers and thoughts and you can read their updates here.

I think I much rather prefer the cravings!

Thank goodness our steroids are all done for this month. Thank goodness. I hate it when Bianca becomes miserable on the drug, cravings are tough too, but I'd far rather have weird cravings and requests for food every 5 minutes than trying to make Bianca feel better when she is in pain and discomfort. For most of this week Bianca suffered from tummy aches and so did not cope well with school at all. But thankfully we can now put this week behind us and by tomorrow hopefully Bianca will feel a bit better.


What a week!

We are so very happy that this week is finally over and done with. What did we learn this week? We learned that moving house, working full time (me at work, Terence trying to from home) and steroids don't go well together.

This whole week we worked pretty hard until late at night to get our packing all done.

On Tuesday night I wanted to leave normal time, but unfortunately had some last minute important work and so ended up working until around 7pm. So by the time I got home, it left us with very little time to get things done.

On Wednesday I wanted to leave work early so I could get final bits and pieces sorted, but unfortunately ended up having to work until 6pm. Bianca also suffered from tummy aches (thanks Steroids!) and so by 12 pm the school called, and Terence had to go and pick Bianca up. By 8pm Terence nearly suffered a break-down. We phoned to confirm final details with the guys who agreed a number of times in the past 3 weeks to help us with our move, and they told us that they actually forgot about our move and made other arrangements so were unable to help out the following day. So after we sat in stunned silence a bit, trying to figure out how the two of us would manage the move on our own along with my commitments at work, dropping and picking kids up from daycare and school, Terence then called one of the girls at his work in desperation - thankfully Christina's partner was able and willing to help with our move. What a relief!!! I don't know how we would have managed if it wasn't for them.

So then moving day arrived and, in typical steroid style, Bianca felt pretty unwell and suffered from more tummy aches and once again Terence had to get her early from school. Lucky I managed to get off work early so was able to start with final house cleaning. When Terence left to get Caitlyn, he took the opportunity to get supper for all of us from the food court. As he waited in the queue, Caitlyn snapped his bank card in half and so Terence had to take an unexpected trip to the bank (thankfully it was late night shopping so the bank was still open).

I want to say a huge huge thank you to Christina and Carlin for all their help, for being there for us despite it being last minute. They even helped out with some of the final cleaning, which was not at all expected, but greatly appreciated.

Today (Friday) and we kept Bianca home from school. That was a good decision as she felt pretty miserable today and experienced constant tummy aches. Terence had to make a final trip to the old house to let the carpet cleaners in, and to do the very last little bits that we didn't manage to clean last night. He was also supposed to meet the owner to hand keys back and do final inspection, but the owner postponed until tomorrow.

And now we are all moved into our new house, the main pieces of furniture have been moved to where they need to go (and we very nearly did not get our fridge up the stairs) and the baby gates are up. Yes, we are still sleeping on mattresses on the floor and yes our garage contains pretty much all the things we own, and yes we are now starting to wonder what we packed in where. But for now all the unpacking can wait. Tomorrow at least we plan to just take it easy, especially since tomorrow is Bianca's last day of steroids for this month and so she'll probably feel a little miserable again tomorrow. We'll just keep it nice and quiet.

And now I'm off to bed to catch up on some much-needed sleep!


Do you believe in miracles?

Not too long ago I started following the blog of another little boy. This little boy was diagnosed with cancer the day before Christmas (his mom's birthday is also on Christmas day) and at first they thought it was neuroblastoma and then changed the diagnosis to rhabdomyosarcoma. At first he had a big tumour behind his liver, then they noticed one on his heart (which you can't operate on or radiate) and then also some tumors in his lungs. And so he started his treatment which is way more intense than Bianca has ever had and he continued surprising the doctors because when they predicted he would be too sick to do things, he simply continued living, doing things little boys do, playing, having fun. He had times when he wasn't feeling very well, but he often surprised the doctors. There was even one point where he wasn't in isolation because his counts were good and when they checked his counts, they noticed it dipped so low and without warning that according to the text books, he should have had an infection and should have been admitted to hospital, but nothing. He didn't get sick and wasn't admitted to hospital at the time.

Today they had their scans in preparation for his upcoming planned surgery (providing the tumour became small enough) and radiation and this is what his mom wrote in her latest update:

"What a mighty God we serve! How gracious, wonderful, caring and omnipotent is He! Woutertjie’s scans are clean. They can’t find any sign of any tumour. It is as if the cancer wasn’t there at all. I will go into all the details tomorrow. For now I need to get to bed."

So here is this little boy who had something like a 30% chance of survival, who was at something like a stage 4, whose cancer spread to his lungs and his heart and today not a single sign of cancer. I'm am so incredibly, incredibly happy for them that their scan showed such good results!

Signing a car

I have to apologise for all the entries tonight. I'm a bit behind in blogging with everything that we have going on at the moment. So please do scroll down and read the other entries!

Monday was our monthly hospital visit again and it was also our theatre day. So it was a long one. But all went well, Bianca's counts are good and her daily chemo dosages have been upped again. Of course that means we have steroids again this week, so I'm hopeful that this week will mostly be uneventful as far as the steroids go.

Here is Bianca in the play room waiting to get her treatment started:

As we waited we noticed a helicopter landing on the one roof:

This morning (Tuesday) I met Bianca's teacher for Bianca's 6 monthly review. They do this after the kids have been at school for a period of around 6 months. Sometimes it is hard to believe that Bianca's only been at school for around 6 months (okay, maybe it is a little more than 6 months). The feedback is great! Bianca is able to comfortably read at an age level of a 7.5 year old. Her teacher indicated that she would be able to manage at a reading level of a 9 year old (but of course it is important that kids grasp the concept of what they read and you don't want to push them too far too soon). Wow, that is mind-boggling. I don't remember much of my Year 1 year, except that I had to run around the field for talking too much, I remember one thing I made with clay and I remember making patterns as we practiced writing. But can't remember at which point in that year I was able to read, certainly I don't think I reached Bianca's reading levels as quickly as she did. Bianca's drawing ability is exactly where it should be and she is great with her maths too (a little bit ahead). I got to see some of Bianca's story writing and she even attempted to write the word "hippopotamusses". So all in all - great feedback. Of course this now means that Bianca will start getting spelling as part of her homework.

Next week is the launch of the CCF annual appeal week and so in preparation for this, Hyundai who is one of the sponsors of CCF, did a sort of a pre-launch event at the North Shore Wairau park branch today. This year one lucky winner will have a chance to win the Wheels of Courage car. At the Wairau park branch there was a car with some images of some of the beads that the children get to recognise their courage and some of the children have the opportunity to sign their name on some of the beads. And today Bianca had a chance too.

Please consider getting involved with the Annual Appeal for the Child Cancer Foundation. They are always looking for volunteers to help collect money and of course donations (whether big or small) and of course they will be selling bead bracelets again. Please consider helping the Child Cancer Foundation - they require a lot of money each year to do the work they need to do and they don't get any funding from the government or another cancer society.

A busy weekend and adventures in a tree

Wow, we have been so very busy, organising the move and with me being back at work (just for this month though and by the end of March my life will return to its familiar routines). I'm proud of us though as we have actually achieved quite a bit on the move so far and our one spare room is full of boxes, the bed frames that we have taken apart, and so on. So I do feel pretty proud of us (although I think that tomorrow night will be pretty hectic and I don't expect to get to bed early, I was hoping to leave early from work tomorrow, but after my day today I don't think that will be a possibility, but anyway, that's life I guess).

On Friday evening Terence, Bianca and Emerson (from Terence's work) went to watch the Cheetahs / Blues rugby match at the North Harbour stadium. We recently received free tickets because not too long ago we heard incredibly loud music coming from the stadium. Now to give you an idea - we live 2.6 km from the stadium and the music was so loud that it sounded as if the next door neighbour turned their stereo all the way up - which of course they didn't, it was coming from the stadium. Turned out that it wasn't the stadium, it was another company next to the stadium who had a private party and accidentally plugged their music into the oustide speakers. At the time I though it came from the stadium and so at 10pm that night I sat there and wrote them an email to tell them exactly what I thought of their loud music. By the Monday I received a response, an apology (even if it wasn't them) and a commitment to investigate the matter, which they did and I am happy to say it was all resolved in a positive way. But the stadium felt pretty bad about all this and so they offered us free tickets. So on Friday Terence, Bianca and Emerson got to go to the VIP lounge and they had a great time watching the game and even received a signed Blues Jersey afterwards - that is so cool! And yes, Terence supported the Blues!

On Saturday we had the car boot sale at Bianca's school. We managed to get rid of some stuff and thankfully Terence didn't go around buying stuff from the other car boots because it is hard enough getting rid of the junk in our house. Terence manned the car boot and Bianca wandered off enjoying the pony rides, the bouncy castle and playing with her friends. At one point Terence told Bianca to go to the cake stall and buy something small with her pocket money - she came back with a cake. A whole chocolate cake! And of course Terence forgot to take wet wipes with and probably didn't expect that Bianca would be buying a whole cake, so he had to use one of the items of clothes that we wanted to sell and use that as a cloth to wipe Bianca's hands (and no, Terence didn't put the dirty pants back on our "for sale" pile).

And in the meantime I was home with Caitlyn, because 2-year olds and car boot sales don't really mix very well (not from a parent's point of view anyway). And so I had to do a quick clean and tidy in the house as we were getting an agent bringing people around to view our house. I very nearly forgot and good thing I remembered because the house was in a bit of a state actually. A girl from Terence's work, Christina, came to help look after Caitlyn so I could carry on packing boxes and Caitlyn wanted nothing to do with Christina. She freaked out each time I got up to go somewhere, didn't even want to look in Christina's direction and so that plan didn't work very well.

On Sunday we had to do our weekly grocery shopping and also went past the one shoe shop to buy new shoes for Bianca for school. Caitlyn loved looking at all the different shoes and this is what she had to say (click here).

Here is Caitlyn just before we left for the shops trying on Daddy's shoes:

On Sunday afternoon Terence had a great time with the Child Cancer Foundation and it was the Dad's day out event. They went to Tree Adventures by Woodhill Forest. Terence says this is an absolute must for anybody visiting New Zealand! There is a moutain bike course next to where they were, but on this day they spent their time doing the obstacle courses in the trees. There were different obstacle courses for different ages and abilities and Terence ended up trying course 5 - 7. Terence didn't mind the heights at all and thought it was so well run and best of all you don't even have to be fit to do this. Afterwards some of the dads went to a pub closeby and chatted a bit and it was a great opportunity to catch up with some other dads who walk similar journeys to us. A big thank you to CCF and all who were involved with organising the event!!!

Bianca is getting there

Thank you so much for all the emails to Bianca. She loves getting the messages, she reads them all by herself and yes, she even responds by herself. Please be patient, Bianca is slowly working her way through all the emails she's received so far, but being 5-and-a-half-and-a-bit (as she would say), she is able to do many things, but cannot type fast just yet. And of course we also want to make sure she doesn't spend too much time on the computer.

A play date

Recently Bianca had a play date with one of her best friends, Saana. They were together pretty much from the start - first in Year zero and now in Year 1. I remember right in the beginning I would ask Bianca who she played with at school and she would say "Saana". Of course over time Bianca became friends with a whole bunch of other children and it is so cool to see her so happy, settled at school and enjoying time with her friends. And in fact Bianca and Saana are working together in class on some of their work.

Saana's mom kindly gave us permission to put a photo of the girls playing and to share with you what they said. It is so cute and you will need sound.

And they had this to say (click here).


A new email address

Bianca now has her very own email address. She's been practicing sending a few emails from our email address and she just loves reading her own messages. So if you would like to send a special message just for Bianca, you can send this to Bianca.L.White@gmail.com - but no spam or chain messages please!


The long-term effects

I've heard some pretty sad stories of how chemo could possibly affect kids long-term. For one we won't know if Bianca could ever have kids until one day when we get to that point. And then of course there is the risk that the chemo could cause concentration or learning difficulties and of course these things are a worry, but since there is not much we can actually do about it until something like that is identified, we choose to shift it to the back of our minds and not think about it. Life is too short and there is no point in worrying about something that may or may not happen.

And right now, we have no reason to worry at all, let me tell you! I felt so incredibly proud today when Bianca's teacher sent the following through email: "She is reading above her chronological age... congratulations". She mentioned something about Bianca being on the turquoise level, but I don't know what that means and so on Tuesday when we have our meeting with Bianca's teacher we'll learn more about this. This meeting is to give us a progress report on how Bianca is doing and we are so excited to find out where she is at and how we can support her learning at home.

And today is exactly 6 months until we are completely done with treatment. 6 months until we take that very last tablet. I can't help remembering when we sat there at the beginning of June 2007 and all I could think was how badly I wanted to get through the first 6 months (our intensive bit) because then I would start looking back and I knew then that when we got to this point it would be hard to believe just how long we've been walking this road and how far we've come, but of course at the time it felt as if time stood still. As if each day just dragged its feet.

But here we are and I can't believe our last 6 months are ahead of us...


Why, Charlie Brown, why?

It was really just by accident that Terence recently found some info on an old Charlie Brown cartoon and he sort of indicated to me that I needed to look at it and see what it was all about. And as it often goes, you sort of shift these things to the back of your mind. And so when I sat on the weekend looking at some YouTube clips, I stumbled across it and so spent some time watching it. At times I felt sad with the characters, at times I smiled and lots of times I felt myself nodding my head.

It is all about a little girl who was diagnosed with leukemia, it explains in a very simplified way about the symptoms, about the treatment, about how it can affect close friends, siblings and how mean some people can be (most likely because they probably don't understand). It is really well done and I'll be showing this to Bianca when I get a chance (probably once we've put the move behind us) and see what she thinks of it, and I've now bookmarked it because it is such a cool way to give people a glimpse about a life with leukemia.

Please do watch these clips (they are in 3 parts) - you will need sound for it:

Why Charlie Brown, why? (Part 1)
Why Charlie Brown, why? (Part 2)
Why Charlie Brown, why? (Part 3)

So let me know what you think...

A visit to the circus, bicycle rides and a visit to a magical fairy garden

Thankfully Caitlyn was just fine and by Saturday morning the swelling disappeared, I'm so glad - let me tell you!

This past weekend we visited a potential party venue and it looks really beautiful. Bianca is in her absolute element and she has already decided that that's where she wants to have her 6th party in June, and so we are keeping this venue in the back of our minds. It does look so magical and tranquil almost. So we'll see. One thing is for certain we most definitely won't have space in our new house and we can't have an outside venue (because it will be winter and with our luck raining on the day) and this venue will have space (nice indoor and nice outdoor), entertainment and of course all the mess will be theirs - perfect!!!

If we choose this venue, we won't take Caitlyn because it isn't really suitable for her, but we'll have another little party at home where she can be part of it all.

Terence also took the girls to ride their bike and they had the best time ever. Bianca is actually a bit too big for her bike and so we'll need to try and organise a bigger one maybe for Christmas (or perhaps her birthday?). She loves riding her bike and with us moving closer to school, there might just be a chance for her to cycle to school (with me tagging along of course as she won't be allowed to cycle all by herself just yet).

And then Bianca and Terence went to see a circus show and Bianca loved it so much. And when she came back she told me "when I grow up I want to be an acrobat". She was so fascinated by the clown who tried to steal her ice cream, and she was quite disappointed that there was no lion tamer. We warned her that there would be no animals and afterwards she said "this wasn't a real circus, a real circus has animals". But despite the lack of animals, she thoroughly enjoyed herself. Sorry for the blurry photo, but it does give you an idea of just what Bianca thought (and don't you think the dress is so beautiful? My mom made Bianca the most beautiful dress, hat (which Bianca wasn't wearing on the day) and a really cool handbag for Bianca's pocket money. Since getting the dress, Bianca decided it is her favourite!)

And on a final note in this post - this afternoon Terence went to donate plasma again. So if you ever want to do something great for brave kids like Bianca, please consider donating blood, plasma and / or platelets. To date Bianca has had more than 30 blood product transfusions and there are so many other people who need blood products to survive!


Just what we needed at the start of our weekend (NOT!)

Sorry for all the updates tonight - 3 in total (so scroll down and read the others too).


It is Friday late afternoon, the start of our weekend and Terence got a call from daycare.

So when Terence phoned I was right in the middle of a conversation with the one manager at my work and suddenly my phone went "Mommy, the phone is ringing!" So of course the manager wanted to know what that was and I had to explain it was my ringtone. (when I got my phone I thought it would be cool to get Bianca to say "Mommy the phone is ringing!" and saved it as my ringtone and as my alarm I have Bianca's voice saying "get up lazy bones!").

I asked Terence to call back in 5 minutes and he said "no I have to talk to you now" and it sounded so serious I just knew something was wrong. He then explained that Caitlyn was on the slide, she bumped her chin, bit her lip and it was bleeding like crazy and not really stopping and so he was going to take her to A&E. My poor little girl! And she absolutely hates doctors and freaks out at the mere sight of them.

So there Terence was, in the middle of cooking supper (which he had to switch off), an hour before an agent was due to arrive with potential new tenants (I'm so glad the house was still in a fairly neat condition) and on his way to take Caitlyn to an A&E near us, lucky by that time the bleeding had stopped. And thankfully it didn't take too long and by the time I got home (my friend Irene kindly dropped me off) they were back at home and Terence was about to give them supper. Caitlyn now has this swollen upper lip, but thankfully not stitches or anything.

Unfortunately with these adventures it meant that Bianca got her supper later than usual tonight and then still had to wait 2 hours after that before she could get her chemo which meant it turned out a late night for her. Thank goodness it is Friday and so if she sleeps later tomorrow it will be fine.