A very important date

Today was another monthly hospital visit. I still can't believe how quick it is these days, no more sitting for hours on end waiting for IVIGs to finish running, it is pretty much in and out (okay we still wait 1 hour for bloods). All the results look great - platelets, haemoglobin, neutrophils, lymphocytes. It is very reassuring.

Next month it seems we'll do THE blood test to see what Bianca retained immunity for and whether she'll need to get some (or all ) of her baby immunisastions again. I hope it won't be all, but if we have to then we have to. Doctor even mentioned that if next month's test reveal Bianca did not retain immunity to chickenpox we could either expose her to it and get it over and done with or get the vaccine - I think we'll opt for the vaccine if we need to. And then we'll also get Caitlyn done. To get to this point where it won't matter if she got chicken pox - that is such a huge huge step.

And then (drum roll please) Bianca's port removal is scheduled for 18 March 2010 (it will be a looooong day with clinic in the morning and then theatre in the afternoon). We are hoping they won't bump us (seeing as it is an elective surgery and not a critical surgery), and hopefully all will go according to plan.

But wow, how very unreal this feels. How very unreal it feels to get to this point. But we are very very grateful to get to this point!


Just a bit of an update

I find nowadays that I struggle to write in this blog. I don't know why, perhaps because there aren't too many exciting things happening and it all feels sort of average / ordinary. I mean "going to work, coming home, tidying, cooking, putting kids to bed" aren't exactly newsworthy and simply don't make for exciting and entertaining subjects. But that's pretty much our lives at the moment.

This year is already going faster than I was hoping. It seems the days and weeks just go by so fast and here we are not too far from the end of January and soon on the 3rd of Feb Bianca will start Year 2. I can't believe how fast she's growing up. The very thought of her going to year 2 fills me with hope and excitement and amazement. To know that she is well enough to go to school, well enough after the end of her treatment, school isn't really something we'll ever take for granted because there was a time (when she turned 5) that her doctor wasn't sure if she would be well enough for school. And look at her now, she's already completed a year and a half at school. We'll forever be grateful that she's had the chance, that cancer didn't take that away from her. I look at her hair and it is growing so well now. Not long and we'll be able to make proper little ponytails. Her fringe is hanging right down to her eyes now, but I won't cut it we'll just let it all grow out. At the moment Bianca's eating is also pretty good. She's not quite as fussy as before. I mean she's still a little fussy, but she's more willing to eat faster, we have to "nag" less, she's more willing to eat what we eat. And that is pretty good.

Caitlyn can't wait for her birthday now in February when she'll turn 3. She's been talking about her party for weeks now and finally yesterday I managed to book a venue. It was quite a frustrating process because we didn't have a whole lot of choice of indoor venues and our house is simply way too small. An outdoor venue? Well if it rains or it gets too hot then that is really not very practical for a toddler party, so it has to be an indoor party.

Last year I wrote a little story about her leukemia and what happens with photos that Bianca got to read to her class when she showed her beads to them. (Read here). And finally I got round to finding out about getting it printed to look a bit more like a real booklet rather than A4 sheets that I stuck in a folder and it seems I will be able to get this done really quickly. This is pretty cool and I'm very excited. So I'll have one for Bianca to keep and then I'll probably make one to share with CCF and our favourite play specialist in the whole world (Kate from Wellington) in the hope that they could use it as a resource for other kids who are just diagnosed with leukemia. So now I need to get cracking and find all the photos I used, make sure it reads right, design a cover and then we should be ready. So cool!

And that people is pretty much our news in a nutshell at the moment!


Friendship Bracelet

Today Bianca came back from camp. It sounds like she had a great time (so much so she was crying tonight because she still wanted to be at camp). And Caitlyn was sooooo excited to see her big sister when we went to get Caitlyn from daycare. Bianca was wearing this cool bracelet. The kids and the companions made friendship bracelets for and with each other. And I guess that's what Camp Quality is all about - making friends. She'll have to take it off when school starts, but in the meantime, she's vowed to wear it all the time :-).


How to make a Super Hero

Tomorrow Bianca will be attending Camp Quality for a week. She is so very excited and can hardly wait. This time round their theme will be Super Heroes and the idea is that you make an outfit and then one evening in the week they will all be dressing up. I've been trying to convince Bianca to be a Super Hero Fairy, but she wasn't interested in that, she wanted to be Super Girl. So off I went to the shop in search of things to make a Super Girl outfit.

I've been meaning to work on the outfit the whole week, but as it usually goes - if it wasn't for the last minute, things simply won't get done and so that's what I had to do after work tonight - make a Super Hero costume (and pack Bianca's bag for camp), but I managed and I'm pretty pleased with the result. Bianca is pretty pleased too.

So here goes, how to make a Super Hero (Lea Style).

First you get all the ingredients together:

A red t-shirt and blue shorts that you found on sale.
Red soccer socks in size 9 - 13 (small size).
A wig from the $2 shop.
A bluish scarf-kind of thing from the $2 shop.
Some shiny blue foil crepe paper from the $2 shop.

Now start sewing (just with blanket stitch) the blue crepe paper onto the shorts. This way it makes it look like a skirt, is easy to put on and if it tears she won't be showing her underwear to the world.

Sew the scarf to the shirt as well as a shiny blue "S" for Super Girl.

Include a very excited 6 year old:

And voila - you have a Super Hero:

Super Heroes are strong:

And then practicing to sit with her shiny blue skirt:


Life, just life!

Well what can I say? I am shocked that we are already nearly in the middle of January, oh my word! Wasn't it just the other day we waited in the new year? This weekend Bianca leaves for Camp Quality, she is so looking forward to it. Of course I need to still put together her costume for camp - they'll have a themed evening and this year it will be "super heroes". I tried to convince Bianca that she could be a fairy super hero, but no, she insisted she wants to be Super Girl. So off I went in search of things to use to make this costume (we are supposed to make something, not buy a proper dress up). I got the combo slightly wrong (blue for the skirt (when most pictures show red), a red shirt (when most pictures show a blue shirt), but oh well, it's not the end of the world. So wish me luck!

I must say I'm really enjoying this Photo a Day blog thingy that I've started a week ago. It's been cool to focus on something different, on life, without much expectation. It is quite hard just coming up with one photo (we tend to get quite camera snappy happy, or something), but I guess a year from now will be cool to look back and say "wow, so on the 12th of January 2010, this is what we got up to"

Of course some of the other people put my photos to shame and they talk about F-stops and lens sizes and photoshop techniques (my photoshop knowledge goes as far as making rounded edges, putting a border and resizing an image, but more than that? Not so much). But that's not the point I guess. It is supposed to be fun and that's what I'm focused on.

I can't believe Caitlyn will be turning 3 next month. Wow, really? It feels like just the other day when she was still a baby and now she's all grown up already. She is so excited and can't wait for her birthday party. Pretty much every single day she talks about her birthday party. The other day she wanted a pink cat party, but today it is Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. We still need to find a venue (our place is just way too small), and then I need to think of a cake.

And that's us, in a nutshell, at the moment, pretty much!


Having fun

I have been having good fun with my photo-a-day challenge blog. It gives me a different focus, it is a simple concept really, but so cool.

I know Terence says I'm missing the point and it really should be photos of myself, but I'm not a fan of taking photos of myself. I much rather prefer to be the photographer snapping away behind the camera (not that I'm a very good photographer, but whatever). Some people simply just put a photo (no words necessary), but their photos are just so creative and beautiful and artistic, not like my photographic abilities. So I tend to put a bit of explanation of what it was about. Maybe as I go along I'll get much better at it. But in the meantime I'm just having some fun with it.

But do you know what I enjoy even more? Is to look at other photos - so come on, use your current blog or create a new one and get going and share the link so I can see your photo of the day!


A photo challenge

I have taken up the challenge to take 1 photo every day of the year. Not quite sure if I'll actually be able to stick to it or not, but what the heck! I'm going to try anyway. And now I'm challenging you too to take up the challenge. If you do, be sure to leave me a comment with the link :-).

So I'm trying a brand new site I've never used before, but seems pretty perfect for something like this (Click here for this site). And just because I'm me and because familiar feels comfortable and safe I've set up a blog for my photo challenge and then as I go along I'll see which one will work best. So for the photo challenge blog, click here.

Warning - my first photo is a boring and predictable choice, but hopefully as I go along I'll become more creative in my photo choices.

So here goes - TAG YOU'RE IT!!!