July 29, 2012


Obviously this post is about Max, not David.  After weeks of rocking on all fours only to fall flat on his face, Mr. Max took a few real crawls today!  As you can see from the very raw footage, Max is happiest in his birthday suit and motivated to get moving by his prized constellation glow turtle.  David and I are learning that while milestones such as today's crawling are exciting, each one [literally] moves Max further away from being a tiny, tiny peanut.  They also interrupt his (and our) sleep, since he thinks 2:00am is prime time to practice new-found skills.  I'm not sure which is worse.

Loving the kiddie pool.  He thinks it's a huge, wet jumperoo (7.28.12)

finger food (A.K.A. shirt food, face food, hair food, floor food) (7.29.12)

July 27, 2012

Another day, another doctor

Max, David, and I have been spending the last few days enjoying summer the way it was meant to be enjoyed by teachers on summer break- relaxing, grilling, going to the pool, taking walks, and catching up with friends.  Being able to schedule play dates without having to work around doctors appointments or worrying about bringing germs into the house is a new found luxury. 

Wouldn't it just figure that during our "dead weeks" (VHSL sports pun intended) we all wound up in the ER?  No one was the least bit injured, but Max and I were rear ended this afternoon.  Just to be on the safe side I took him to the hospital to get checked out.  He was sleeping when we were hit and didn't even wake up until I broke him out of the car seat (a la Kiefer Suterland 24-style) as if the vehicle was going to explode.  The air bags didn't even deploy; it really was very minor.  The doctor thought Max was adorable, of course, and could barley evaluate the nugget because he was trying to crawl off the exam table.  At least we would have been in the right place, had he been successful.  The worst part of the whole ordeal was just the fact that we were in a hospital.  Again. 
Farmers market (7.25.12)

standing in the kiddie pool (7.26.12)

comfy cozy (7.26.12)


July 24, 2012

Seven months

Max is seven months old today!  He squirms around and makes noises like crazy.  I can't help but wonder what on Earth this little nugget is trying to say!

David continues to gain strength and enthusiastically returned to work for basketball camp.  He has a bye from doctors appointments for the next two weeks until his pre-op testing on August 7 and surgery on August 8.  We want to stay away from hospitals and doctors' office for as long as possible.

Mezmorized by kids playing basketball (7.23.12)

Three course meal on a medium-boy plate (7.24.12)

July 22, 2012

Weekend fun

Max had such a busy weekend playing with friends that he literally fell asleep while he was eating.  Nothing beats a happy baby.  Except, as you can see, several happy babies!




July 19, 2012

Familiar faces

David had a couple of doctors appointments this afternoon, but we actually managed to have a pretty nice day.   First, we got to sleep in and escape rush hour traffic into the city.  Second, David didn't get poked like a pin cushion.  And third (my personal favorite), we got to see our old friends at Georgetown Hospital.  Believe it or not, David was looking forward to seeing his doctor, and I was excited to bring Max to visit David's nurses at the infusion center. 

David's scan confirmed he will need a nodule removed from his lung.  The surgery will be on August 8 and will probably only require one night in the hospital.  On August 9 we will have two things to celebrate: David being cancer-free and our fourth wedding anniversary.

BEST nurses ever!! (7.19.12)

New toy! Thank you, Craigslist. (7.19.12)

July 18, 2012


Our family took a trip to the barber this afternoon and someone got his first haircut.  Since chemo.  As you may have noticed from the photos, David's hair is making a come back.  Sure, he just got cleaned up around the neck, but it is a milestone on the road to recovery.  He is also able to re-introduce some fat and dead animals into his diet, so for the first time in weeks he enjoyed dinner.  Max's hair remained in tact, but he did visit his daddy's school for the first time.  Hopefully the photo below is the first of many, many, many times he will "play" on the gym floor.


Will I always be this happy at school? (7.18.12)

Half court shot! (7.18.12)

First time swinging with Sadie (7.18.12)

July 17, 2012

Home is where the Max is

Dark and early this morning, around 12:30am, our family came home.   You know you are back in the DC metro area when you are in standstill traffic on the beltway at midnight on a Monday.  Max slept comfortably the entire ride while David and I listened to the sound of his [extremely loud and fast-paced] breath.  A few hours of sleep in his own crib and a couple of bottles later, Max enjoyed spending the day being reunited with his toys and friends, as well as discovering the swings in our neighborbood.  As per doctor's orders, David continued to walk to get relief from abdominal pain.  He has doctors appointments on Thursday to discuss the next (and final!) steps for treatment. 

Max is now fast asleep, and for the first time in nearly a month, far enough away that I will actually need to use the baby monitor.  What a difference your own bed and familiar surroundings make- for everyone. 

Toys are more fun when you can sit up! (7.17.12)
Max was SO excited to see his friends! (7.17.12)

Exploring the house from a new angle (7.17.12)

July 15, 2012

Three weeks

It's hard to believe that we have been in New York for three weeks. Being away from our home, our friends, and our life in Reston has been difficult, but we are lucky for everything we have up here.  Patients come from all over the world to seek treatment from David's surgeon at Sloan-Kettering.  While David was in the hospital I met a man who traveled from Hong Kong; his insurance will not cover any of his treatment in the United States.  We are fortunate to have both family and friends in New York that made our temporary displacement comfortable, affordable, and as much as it could be, somewhat enjoyable.  Tonight David and I will bunk with Max one last time and tomorrow return home to open pounds of mail and put Max to sleep in his own, real crib.
company for David = presents for Max (7.14.12)

Eyeballing the cookie jar that Grandpa Russ gave his mom in 1958 (7.15.12)


July 13, 2012


Fridays are great, especially when you don't have a nerve-racking doctor appointment looming.  Three hours after we left the house yesterday morning (an hour and a half commute to the city, followed by an hour and a half in the waiting room) we met with David's surgeon. He said that David is healing well and that we can go home, which we will do on Monday.  Pathology reports indicate that the surgery successfully removed the cancer from his abdomen.  David will see his oncologist at Georgetown next week, have a chest CT, and schedule surgery to remove the nodule on his lung. We are excited to return home and get this last phase of treatment behind us. David is eager to prepare for his next session of basketball camp and Max can't wait to play with his toys and show all of his friends how well he sits up.

In other landmark news David got a new cell phone! [Insert, "It's about time", comments here].  If you know him, you know that he did not wake up one day and decide to buy a new phone.  He dropped his phone in the toilet.  He said I could write that.  He also said that if you text him to include your name since his contacts got "flushed" as well. 



July 11, 2012

Wacky Wednesday

Everyone knows that it's not a good idea to live in the past, but sometimes thinking too much about the future can be dangerous as well.  Tomorrow David will get his staples removed- a scary process that was understandably a source of anxiety today.  Turns out my counting the staples was not the best idea.  As if he wasn't nervous about it to begin with, the number (50) makes it more tangible.  It is twice as many staples as he had removed after his first surgery in February.  And unlike Max, who will have a gas mask when his stitches are removed after his surgery in August, David will endure the pain o-natural.  And endure he shall.  Each day he stands straighter, eats more, and has more energy to play with Mr. Max.  Today he finally saw how much Max enjoys the swings in person.  

Max and I love this book! (7.11.12)



July 10, 2012

July 9, 2012

Just a day at the park

David is feeling better each day. He will see the doctor and have his staples removed at the end of the week.  We ordered Chinese for dinner, and while David ate steamed broccoli and rice, I of course went straight for dessert.  I can't help but hope that my fortune cookie was meant for him: "You're at that critical point.  Make that last push."

A failed attempt to walk to the post office this afternoon landed Max and I in the perfect spot- a park with his new favorite apparatus, the bucket swing. The higher I pushed him the more he smiled and laughed. He also tried out the slide, but that activity will require some teamwork (i.e.: Max holding hands with an adult) for a while. The last couple of weeks have given me great appreciation for Max's willingness to try (and often times like) new things. From food to activities, Max is up for anything, which is great, for now.



July 8, 2012


After spending 10 days in the hospital David was happy to get out, but life without the 24-hour care of medical professionals has been an adjustment.  The highlights of being home include: not being woken up in the middle of the night to have vitals checked and constant access to Max!  On the flip side, the hospital provided two important things to ease David's pain: the "pain button" which released a jolt of pain medicine every ten minutes and walking laps around the floor.  Both of those things are a bit more difficult at home.  Not having the pain button has been bearable, but the ridiculous heat wave in New York has made walking around outside less than enjoyable.  While father and son are happy to be reunited full-time, it is hard on David not being able to hold him or roughhouse with him.  He can't drive or do any "heavy lifting" for a month, and Max clearly falls in the "heavy" category these days!

Even the staff at the hospital noticed that Max grew over the course of David's hospital stay.  He weighed 16.5 pounds at his six month check-up and I can only imagine how much he weighs now.  His appetite is insatiable; tonight he tried chicken soup and it was a hit!  I am excited that my little nugget is eating, and more importantly, enjoying big boy food.  As you can see, he is getting more mobile everyday.  Maybe he will drive his daddy and I back to Virginia.





July 6, 2012


This morning I was woken up at 6:30am, not by Max, but by David calling to say he was getting out of the hospital. After packing up as much baby paraphernalia that could possibly fit in 350 square foot apartment, Max and I were off to the hospital for the last time!

By the afternoon we were all comfortably settled into David's parents house on Long Island. We will stay here for one to two weeks. As a parting gift from the hospital, David came home with 50 staples down his chest and stomach. We will stay in New York until his follow-up appointment and much anticipated (and dreaded) staple removal.

Today is only the second day that David has been able to eat "real food" in quite some time. That being said, for the next two weeks he is on a minimal fat diet and is limited to five grams of fat per day. While this precludes meat, oils, and fats of any kind it does allow for unlimited sugar, a small, sweet silver lining.

Mr. Max not only enjoyed being reunited with his daddy outside of the hospital lobby, but he also had a fun afternoon of swimming, playing with new toys, and gleefully babbling in his beloved jumperoo.
Max excitedly gripping a "getting out of hospital" gift for daddy (7.6.12)
On my way home with daddy! (7.6.12)

July 5, 2012


Today David became officially IV-free! This was especially appreciated given yesterday's needle debacle. The oral pain meds have been effective so far and his release is imminent, however there is one small snag. David contacted a mild case of C-Diff, commonly contracted in hospitals. It is easily cleared up with a course of antibiotics, but may keep him in the hospital an extra night. He was moved to his own room (a plus) and I get to wear a snazzy yellow gown when I see him (a huge fashion plus). We are still hoping for his release tomorrow; the doctors will decide after they examine him during morning rounds.

Max started the day with a much needed cool breakfast treat. On the way to the hospital we passed The Soft Serve Fruit Company. Somehow they take a piece of fruit, just fruit, and turn it into a frozen yogurt-like snack; Max and I both loved it! We also loved not one, but TWO visits with David. Max has become quite the regular around the lobby. The ladies at reception, security guards, and various other hospital staff always ask where he is and when they will see him again.
The feeling is clearly mutual; Max beams at the ladies like they are all holding dozens of his coveted bottles.


Excited to visit with daddy (7.5.12)


July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

Independence for America, but not yet for David. For the past four hours he has had no pain medicine. His IV fell out, which was ok initially because he was planning on getting it removed to shower. When it was time to get it put back, however, the nurse stuck him twice to no avail. They are sending someone else to come try. I am extremely impressed by how well David is tolerating being off the meds. He may have a hard time with needles, but when it comes to pain he is a trooper.

On a positive note, David is starting on a clear liquid diet today. If all goes well with that he could be released on Friday. For now he continues his prescribed exercise regimen of waking laps around the floor and doing everything else the doctors say in order to get home and most importantly, get well.

Max had a 4th of July inspired photo shoot this morning. As you can see he is very patriotic (and hungry!).

July 3, 2012

One week mark

David is feeling better, thanks to a shower and some civilian clothing.  The digestive situation, however, is progressing on the slower side.  We are told by the doctors that this is not a bad thing, as individuals each recover at different rates.  There have been no complications, but of course David is sick of being in the hospital and would like to eat.  He hasn't had a meal in 8 days.  On the bright side, he has a few less tubes to worry about, hasn't had a roommate for two nights, and has a wall full of [pictures of] MAX!

Max, as you can see, sported new Sesame Street gear today.  Our family is a huge fan of the franchise.  He had a lot of fun, especially because his daddy read him is favorite book, Drummer Hoff.  He also tried hummus for the first time and loved it! 



Readers note: The following portion was written at David and Jordan's request.  David especially thought it would be funny for me to post, and I would do anything to put a smile on his face.
My brother-in-law, Jordan, and I went to dinner at 10:30pm last night at Guzan on 86th Street and 3rd Avenue.  After looking at the menu which was in front of us on the sushi bar when we sat down, we ordered the "Tri Colored Don: 4 pieces tuna, 4 pieces salmon, 4 pieces yellow tail".  When the food came there were only three pieces of each.  Jordan inquired and was told that it only came with 3 each.  We showed our waiter the menu which clearly stated 4 pieces of each (just checked the on-line menu which states 4 pieces, too).  The waiter said that we ordered from the take-out menu which comes with 4 pieces, but dine-in option only comes with 3 pieces each.  He didn't apologize, didn't offer 3 more pieces, and to be honest was pretty rude considering we were clearly in the right.

July 1, 2012

Halfway home

Hopefully that's true! David is on day 5 of his hospital stay and hopefully MORE than halfway to the point of being released. Still no water, but his doctor promised a small cup of ice chips today. He is definitely feeling better- especially since he visited this morning with Mr. Max!

Max is also feeling better and as you can see he hasn't let any medical drama stand in his way of having a good time. He thoroughly enjoyed his first time on a playground swing this afternoon and was enamored by all of the little girls at the park. He is such a flirt!