Thursday, February 25, 2010

Percussion Therapy

William loves his bed's percussion therapy setting. Don't think I won't snag this thing out of the hospital - it keeps him very happy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lousy pictures, but really great memories

January 5th
Nicholas' favorite toy has been this CD player with a working microphone. This day, he brought it over to William and wanted him to sing to his favorite CD, The Peanuts Christmas.

He sat there through the whole CD, and then some - and William was equally as content.

Nothing like giving your 7-month-old a pastry brush with frosting! I think considering we were making our only Christmas cookies in January and William was still experiencing nausea and gagging from chemo, anything goes!

Once William learned to flop himself from his belly to his back at 3-months old, he never rolled the opposite way. This day, he was really moving himself around and nearly went to his belly. Just maybe, maybe he's feeling a little better.

As it turned out, this was the only day of the week William and I were not at the hospital for an appointment and I wasn't scurrying to find someone to watch Nicholas. It was nice to have a day together that was a little reminiscent of "the old days."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Late Nite Walk in the Snow

January 4th
Being stuck in our "chemo-bubble" we often find ourselves searching for ways to help Nicholas burn off some extra steam in the evenings. Give him a flashlight, call it an adventure and sure enough, we had fun walking around the block at 9:30pm!

Another appointment

January 4th
William was really happy at this oncologist appointment to see Dr. Tavares and the gang.

Who ya' calling?

Goodbye Christmas

January 3rd
Needless to say, this year did not feel like Christmas and certainly not a time to celebrate. I'm always the last person to take down Christmas decorations, but this year, I was chomping at the bit to get the trees down. Unfortunately, I knew it was going to break Nicholas' heart - and possibly cause a big meltdown to our already emotionally-fragile buddy.
With 3 days of fore-warning, it was finally time. Little did I expect he was going to turn out to be such a good helper and organizer of ornaments.

This was all his own system. He put away every ornament...

and then threw himself on the floor in a tantrum, "but all my Christmas decorations are off my tree now!"

Look who stayed happy in his office and took in brother's every move!


Finally exploring stage 1 baby foods and some grapes in the basket!

Where there's a will, there's our WIlliam!

January 2, 2010
With multiple meds to get down throughout the day, we finally mastered a system. William has grown to love his syringes rolled in dry strawberry-flavored Jello (good thinking, Grammy!)

As ill as he feels often, we all treasure the good moments.

The Snowman

January 1, 2010
Grammy & Poppie joined us for a quiet New Year's Day. With just enough snow, Poppie and Nicholas made a giant (and most unique) snowman.
The picture speaks for itself.
Lets just say we received many comments on the snowman and we all lamented his melting.

Impromptu Playing

Even on those challenging mornings for William, he nearly always enjoys sitting across the table from Nicholas for breakfast. I've always said that if anyone is going to make William smile, its his big brother.
This morning, Nicholas told me "I have to go give William a little tickle so he laughs in his belly." The end effect was well worth the risk factor of Nicholas being on top of the table!

silly boys


Gotta love this one,
Nicholas is obsessed with sitting in the Bumbo...and he can still squeeze himself in it! I often find it in obscure places around the house (under the kitchen table, in his tent...) courtesy of yours truly. I think Nicholas was the one celebrating the most when William mastered independent sitting!

Geez brother, I think you're in my seat!

Here we go again, trying to get 2 kiddos smiling at the same time.

unthinkable, I know...

...but I couldn't love him more!

Mr. Flexible, sucking on his toes!

~ William ~

~ Nicholas ~

New Years Eve

To kick off our new year's celebration, we made Nicholas' favorite drink - homemade orange julius!

With drinks in hand, we hit Lights on the Lake.

Nicholas loved every minute of the lights. He was so busy bouncing from window to window, he did not even noticed all the enticing buttons on the console.

Daddy made f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s chicken riggies, while Mommy prepared the boys their favorite foods - chicken nuggets for Nicholas and oatmeal cereal for William.

Most importantly, we look forward to a 2010 filled with good health for all (including a clean bill of health for William) and many memorable good times for our family. 2009 came to a difficult end ~ we are ready for a new start!

Yummy Fingers!

December 30, 2009

Boys playing through it all...

December 29, 2009
William continues to be very needy, wanting to be constantly interacted with, held or comforted. So the day when he remained happy in his doorway jumper through breakfast preps, there was no way I was going to break-up the fun. Onto plan B - Nicholas was all for having a breakfast picnic in the playroom (yes, oatmeal and all!).

Later in the day, Nicholas and Mommy picked up an umbrella stroller to try an alternative for those times when William only wants to be carried and walked non-stop. He's always been a fan of stroller walks and seemed to like this option (at least for a while). Even better, he was happy being pushed by Big Brother...and the ultimate - Nicholas was happy to be the pusher!

Our new little system was going to nicely, until Nicholas insisted it was his turn for a ride. He squeezed his big doopa into the stroller and directed Mommy and Grammy as to where he wanted to go.

Update: Two days later, the stroller was hidden in the garage and only removed after 9pm when Nicholas was in bed...imagine that!

Baby's First Haircut

December 28, 2009
Knowing William's recent chemotherapy would cause him to loose his hair, we decided to cut it short to minimize the inevitable. We ended up having the whole family get a hair cut this week. Our dear friends and hairdresser, Debbie made a special house visit with her trusty scissors.

~ before ~

~ after ~

Day at the Park

December 27th
A gorgeous day to enjoy some fresh air at the park with Grammy & Poppie.

Santa's Miracle Elf

~ William Frederick ~
7 months old

Christmas Cheer - 2009 Relyea Style

We really tried to get a picture of the boys together...

"It's okay Baby William."

Maybe a kiss will help.

Cheese... just get this over!

Our Christmas Celebration

Going through this tragedy, there were a few glimmers of thankfulness, including the fact that Nicholas and William are so young, they will hopefully not remember most of this difficult experience. Another good thing, Christmas was going to be celebrated when we were able to all be home together, not when the calendar told us.
With our fingers crossed William would not start a bad reaction to his 3 consecutive days of chemo, we planned to celebrate on the 26th. The night before, Nicholas agreed to take down his prized Christmas list that he so proudly had hanging on the door to the garage to "see it when I'm playing..." He took one last inventory of his requested gifts...

...left the biggest carrot he could find for Santa, along with some cookies and two drink boxes (one for Santa and one for Nicholas the next morning).

Santa was fully accommodating to our family's needs - wahooo!

Nicholas squealed in excitement to see a kitchen set waiting for him, especially one with a washing machine! He quickly got on the phone to thank Santa, "What?...Oh, hello, Santa....I'm just playing in my kitchen now...okay?...bye!"

William was happy with his new penguin plate.

Someday it will have food on it, buddy!

It was especially nice to have Grammy and Poppie spend the previous night with us so they were there first thing in the morning for all the fun!

Still cookin' in his new kitchen, Nicholas insisted everyone don a bib with him for all the good eats he was whipping up.

We took a break for breakfast, when it suddenly occurred to Nicholas that his Christmas list was missing. After explaining time and time again that Santa takes it when he comes to bring toys, we luckily found it next to the front door...that silly Santa must have dropped it on his way out. Crisis averted ---phew!

During breakfast, Nicholas realized he had not gotten the robot with the yellow remote control he so very-much wanted from Santa. For those who had not heard the story of the robot, Nicholas had been drooling over this thing for weeks. With so many family members helping to watch him while William was hospitalized, he had plenty of people to tell how that was exactly what he wanted from Santa. Let's just say the last minute feeling of guilt and "I'd do anything to make my baby happy right now" overcame this worn-out Mama...and I begged Santa for it too!

After a quick comparison of the robot on his list to the one in the box, Nicholas was very excited to get these new gadgets out of the box. Batteries in and....

a huge meltdown!

"Could you turn it off...turn it off! Turn it off please Daddy!!!"

Once off, Nicholas said with great relief, "Oh boy, that's an outside toy! We need to put it in the garage...its an outside toy!"

Tissue paper was William's favorite gift this year.