Thank you Cache Valley!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Art Show!

The girls have really been enjoying the Hutch School and have been able to do some really great things.  I was able to attend their "Spring Luncheon and Pottery Show" and see some of the projects that they have been doing in school.
 This is Kaitlin's pottery piece.  She also got to be part of the presentation as she explained how she felt about her pottery making experience.  She did a great job!
All the kids got to go to the Seattle Art Museum, this is Hailey's painting, inspired by the art exhibits she saw there.  We were sitting with a woman at the luncheon who pulled up a painting on her phone done by Picasso that looks very similar to Hailey's - It is Picassoesque.  Way to go Lou!


Upgrade Our Room Please!

 On the SCCA floor there is a nurse whose husband draws each child a poster when they receive their transplant.  All the nurses sign it.  This is Aiden's and it is perfect.  He loves it!  It is on the door to his room.

 So getting a new room has a little bit of a story.  The first weekend we were in the hospital, Aiden was exposed to chicken pox.  Policy at the hospital says that any child exposed has to be in isolation and in a negative air flow room, so we got a new room.  We are not complaining at all as this room is so much bigger and nicer.  Hey if you gotta be in isolation, might as well do it in style.
"Go away sisters, I'm busy." I am not really sure what we would do with out the "lily pad" as Aiden calls the IPad.  It has been a life saver, not that the girls agree as they never get to touch it.  Aiden has almost mastered the spiderman game, and is getting really good at puzzles.  Occupational Therapy even gave us some apps that help him learn to write his letters and words.  Staying busy and learning - who needs preschool?

Pink Blossoms

 I looked out the window and what did I see...One of the great things about Seattle are all the blossoms and flowers that come out in the Spring.  These pink trees are all down the street in front of the RMH and they are so pretty. 

 They had more blossoms on them a week ago but the girls and I thought that it was fun that now all the petals that have fallen are almost like a carpet on the sidewalk!
And so fun to play in !
I really wonder if I could plant some of these trees and bushes when we get home!

Rockin' a New Do


Aiden's hair was starting to get itchy and fall out a little so we shaved it off and of course Daddy had to have his hair cut too! Neener! Neener!

Spring Break!

 We figured that Spring Break had to mean doing some fun things with the girls and while Gramma Rutu was here visiting.  So we went to the Seattle Aquarium.  I was a little worried that Gramma was going to try to take off with some of the fish when she started using baby talk and telling them to "come see dis gramma".  Guess maybe she needs some pet fish at home   :)
 This fish kept circling around and getting really close to the glass so he could check us out.  I kept having flashes of the fish talking about all the weird people on the other side of the glass.

This is the closest we got to seeing a shark!  What kind of aquarium doesn't have a shark?  :) 

 This octopus (I can't remember the name) was one of my favorite things.  It was so cool to watch it move through the tank.  It's tentacles would creep along the glass right at the edge of the water - like it was testing the boundaries. 

When it stopped, it changed colors from a orange-red to kind of white so that it would blend in with the rock.
 While on this outing to the aquarium we went to eat at Ivar's on the pier.  This particular Ivar's is the original - we had fish n' chips and clam chowder.  We even got to feed all the leftovers to the seagulls.   

 I wonder how many pictures with Ronald McDonald we are going to end up with?  We went to see Disney's "The Chimpanzee" which was really cute.  Hailey now wants a pet chimp - preferably a baby one.
 We also went to the Lake Washington and Carillon Point (named after the Carillon bells that chime to mark the hour).  It was beautiful and sunny so of course we had to get an ice cream cone from Ben and Jerry's.
 This is a cool statue at the park near the Lake in Kirkland.

 This is mom, the girls and Aunt Sue.  She lives in the Seattle area and has been friends with mom forever.  I stayed at her house often when I was young and it was so great to hang out with her for the day.  She is the one that showed us Carillon Point and knew about the park by the Lake. Good call!

While we spent quite a bit of our Spring Break at the hospital - we did get to do some fun things and we enjoyed having Gramma Rutu here with us.  Hailey couldn't wait to get back to school though!

GO! - Transplant Day(s)

Transplant day was April 19.  The donor cells didn't actually get to Seattle Children's Hospital until around 10pm on the 19th which means that the transfusion went over to the 20th making two transplant days!  (Again).  The doctors were really excited because the donation had a lot of cells and the more cells you have the more chance of successful engraftment.

Of course we had to have a little party and the nurses stretched the visiting hours so that the girls were able to be there.  We had Wendy's baked potatoes and presents of course.  Aiden got a floor puzzle.  He is loving puzzles and getting really great at solving them by himself (mostly).

Transplant went all night from about 11pm on the 19th until 6:30am on the 20th.  Needless to say it was a super long and fairly uncomfortable night for Aiden (and Brent).  They had to do vitals every 15 min.  They were watching him very closely due to the amount of fluid and cells they were transfusing.  His blood pressures were kinda off making him not feel really great and restless for most of the transplant but around 4 am he finally fell asleep.  Now we just wait for the cells to engraft.  It usually takes about 11-21 days to see any new cells.  All in all it went really well and Aiden is a superstar!  He is doing fabulously - all the docs are impressed.  Thank you so much to all of you for your love and support, we couldn't do this without you!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Get Set - A Week of Chemo!

 So we are on the SCCA wing on the 3rd floor which is for hematology/onchology patients. We also included a video of out luxurious room. Please forgive the orientation of the video.

 Chemo went well.  Aiden had 5 days of chemo with 4 different kinds. Sunday of this week he got all of the chemos on one day including the mean one - but he did great! They premedicated with antinausea meds and tylenol to keep him comfortable.  He did great.  The docs were impressed because he kept eating all through the chemo.  They had planned IV nutrition after the third day!  Way to go Aiden.  He is a superstar!
 Of course our constant companion is Mr. Pump.  Since this photo we have added a few more pumps for all the different IV meds and nutrition. 
 Delicious hospital food.  They finally had to do IV nurtition after his transplant cause he stopped eating in quantity.  Now it is just a taste here and there.  He is still drinking quite a bit though.  He loves root beer, milk, slushies and coke.  :)
 The rule is  a tub everyday!  We really love this cause we get to skip the "getting used to water again" step after transplant.  We have discovered that Glad Press and Seal works great to keep water out and it sticks to skin (but not too much).  The very best part for Aiden is the heated blankets!
Daddy loves the hospital!  Aiden took this pic all by himself.  They keep busy playing games and taking pictures on the IPad and the smart phone. 

Get Ready - Putting the tubes back in!

 We got to the hospital about 11:45 am  - a little bit of hurry up and wait.  Luckily we have Spiderman game on the IPad that keeps us all entertained and off the fact that none of us have eaten since 8pm the night before (especially Aiden)
Usually placing the Central line is an out patient surgery but since Aiden will start chemo tomorrow they just admitted him after his lines were put in.  He did great and this time they put it up higher (making it shorter, we were informed).  The only issue is that he has a reaction to the chlorhexadine and betadine they cleaned him with and ended up with a red, itchy rash all over his torso. 

Grandma Rutu Arrives

 Since this is a very busy week with chemo, transplant, hospital and the girls out of school for spring break, Grandma Rutu decided to come help out.  She's great and we are so glad that she was willing to be here for all the craziness!
Luckily Gramma got here the day before Aiden was admitted into the hospital so we got to spend a little time together outside the hospital. She will be staying with the girls and I at the RMH while Brent stays up in the hospital room with Aiden.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter Week at RMH

Tuesday night we made chicken eggs which morphed into little families and turned out so cute.  See if you can guess who made which one(s).  Now we have some cute Easter decorations for  our room.
Wednesday night we made bunny Easter baskets filled with candy.  Hailey was more interested in the candy part than the decorating part and she ate most of the candy before we even got back to the room.
Thursday they had an Easter egg hunt in the basement where we opined oodles of candy (more sugar, yippee!)  Luckily they split up the 0-5 year-olds and 6 and up but all the kids made out like bandits.

Then up to the kitchen for cookies decorating...

And egg dying.  They actually have done way more Easter activities here at the RMH than I would have done at home - lucky ducks!

Today is actually Easter and there was a brunch this morning and there will be an Easter dinner tonight.  I think I am getting spoiled cause they serve dinner most every night and it only takes about and hour and a half to deep clean our "house" and get all the laundry done.  Don't know what I will do when we leave  :)  HAPPY EASTER everyone!

Happy 3rd Birthday Aiden - March 31st

We actually stretched out Aiden's birthday over 2 days.  We started on Fri, March 30th and went to Chuck E. Cheese.  Aiden loves Chuck E.  Every time we asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said he wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese.  How can you argue with that.  
We had pizza, played video games, Chuck E. brought Aiden a crown and an ice cream sandwich with a candle and sang happy birthday.  Then he got to spend all the tickets earned on prizes.  He loved it.

On his actual birthday we went to see Mirror Mirror as a family.  Then came home later and opened presents.  The amazing video presentation was filmed by Brent and sideways as a way to create a more artsy cinematographic experience.  As expected many of his presents were Super hero inspired.

Then of course there has to be cake (or cupcakes) chocolate on chocolate with homemade frosting.  So delicious!  And trick candles to allow multiple turns at blowing them out.  HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY!  He is getting so big.

New Hairdo's

 Because Aiden's hair will fall out during the chemo treatments we decided to have a little fun and get a mohawk (which he calls a buzz lightyear) haircut!  He looks so awesome -  just ask everyone he sees!
 Side view - we may get really crazy and put some wash out dye in it.  He fits right in here in Seattle.

 Then we just decided to be crazy and Brent had his hair cut in a mohawk too.  We contemplated having the whole family's hair cut in mohawks (for about 1 second).
Aren't they handsome!  They get lots of compliments (especially when they are together).  

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