Elf on the Shelf – Day 10

It’s been a crazy couple of days around here, and I have to say, I am very impressed with how well Miss Cadence is handling it because, let’s face it, when it comes to sudden changes in routine, 2-and-a-half-year-olds are not generally the best at adapting. In fact, something as simple as forgetting to bring a fruit snack when I pick her up from preschool has sent Cadence into a fit of hysterics that I was certain would require an exorcism to set right again.

Since Mom reported that both she and Dad had rested well Wednesday night after Dad’s surgery, and that he was really having a good day so far, I thought it might be okay to take Miss Cadence to visit her Papa. First, we had lunch with Mom in the hospital cafeteria, and then headed up to Dad’s room for a visit.

I talked to Cadence a little bit in the car when we arrived at the hospital, telling her that her Papa had just had surgery, and that he would have a lot of wires and tubes on him when she saw him. I also told her that Papa wouldn’t be able to talk to her yet, but that the doctors were going to make him all better soon. I asked if she understood and she said, “Yes, I go see Gramma and Papa”. So, we went.

I was surprised at how much better Dad looked. You could see the difference right away when you walked through the door. His color was better. He was sitting up straighter and seemed much more alert and responsive than the night before fresh out of surgery. Cadence did stop and give her Papa a long look when she walked in (though she may have been just as surprised to see him shirtless as she was to see all the wires and tubes), but then he waved, and she waved back with a hearty, “Hi Papa!” And he held out his hand for a high five and bump which she promptly delivered. That brought a big smile to Duane’s face, and Cadence and I spent the new few hours at the hospital, keeping her Grandma and Papa company.

I have to say, I was a little surprised at how good Cadence was, content to sit and chit chat and play without complaint. Even without a nap, she was on her very best behavior. I was so proud of my little girl, and made sure that Cosette got a full report on how well Cadence had behaved when we got home. After forwarding the good report along to Santa, Cosette made sure she showed Cadence how proud she was by leaving a little present for her to find and play with this morning…



And, of course, Cadence was thrilled with the little gift from her favorite elf! Thanks Cosette! 🙂





Elf on the Shelf – Day 8

For those of you who may not know, my father, Duane, was diagnosed with throat cancer three years ago. He underwent several radiation treatments, finishing his last treatment just two days before Miss Cadence was born. He and Mom arrived almost as soon as we were released from the hospital, to stay a week with us while I recovered from my C-section, because, well, that’s just what good Dads do, and anyone who knows Duane knows that he’s a great one.

Since then, 2010, he has been cancer free, but it has been a slow battle recovering from the treatments and healing. There was a small spot, an ulcer, that didn’t seem to want to heal, some risidual pain in his throat, and a bit of raspiness in his voice that lingered even after several voice therapy sessions. And yet, every check up came back clear, and we all hoped that he would continue to improve as he healed.

This past year, Duane has experienced quite a bit more pain in his throat as well as his ears. And, since August, has lost about 35 pounds. Just before Thanksgiving, he underwent a biopsy and CAT scan and we got the news that the cancer had returned.

As I sit here writing this, Dad is undergoing surgery to remove the cancer which has affected his voice box and one lymph node. His doctors are extremely optimistic, not only for a complete recovery (including the return of Dad’s voice after speech therapy), but also for a much improved quality of life for many years to come. Mom, Lindy, Richard and I are all at the hospital right now, watching Dad’s name on the Leaderboard (that’s not really what it’s called, but we all agreed it feels like we’re keeping an eye on the current score at The Master’s). It will be a long day of surgery, and at least a week of recovery in the hospital before Duane is released home to relax and heal.

For those of you who are the praying kind, please include us. For those of you who choose to send kind words and well wishes instead, I know Duane would love to hear them. Keep in mind that he won’t be allowed to speak for at least three days after the surgery, so now would be the time to repay him for all of the jokes and harassment he may have doled out to you over the years. (And I know there are a lot of you who should be jumping at that opportunity). I promise I will be checking in when I can and posting updates. It’s times like these that I am especially grateful for being able to reach so many people between this blog and my Facebook page, so please spread the word. And thank you all in advance for all of the support!!!

And wouldn’t you know that our sweet Cosette even wanted to let Duane know she was thinking about him when she returned from her nightly North Pole visit. This is where we found her this morning, having a drink in Duane’s honor.


All he asked is that Cosette leave him a little so he can have a celebratory drink when he “gets out of jail.”

Don’t worry, Duane, we’ll have one waiting for you. 🙂

Thank God For Rain!

Sweet Jesus, it’s finally raining! And for the first time in almost two weeks, I can actually breathe out of my nose. Both nostrils, big, deep, cleansing breaths. It’s a springtime miracle!

And guess what? It’s been over 27 hours since my last Zyrtec! Woohoo! Maybe the worst of these allergies is finally over. I sure hope so, because I was one violent sneezing fit away from taking a needle and thread and stitching my nostrils shut to keep the pollen out for good.

Luckily, I haven’t had to perform any impromptu home surgeries…yet. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

And now I’m off to get some sleep while I can actually breathe! Good night all!

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