Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gender Reveal!

Is it a boy or girl? We'll have to wait and see -- Santa already put it under the tree!!! This little gift will seal the deal, with a Christmas morning gender reveal!!!


Check back after Christmas for the ultimate reveal! We are so excited and can't wait to find out if Easton is going to have a little brother or a little sister! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Easton's Wish List

Easton is a growing boy, with ever-changing interests. His current favorites are Mickey and Elmo, jumping on the couch or bed, pushing trucks all over the house, reading books and lining tupperware, plastic cups and bowls on his little play table. He's over the baby toys and ready for some big boy fun stuff, so we thought for Christmas this year, it's only appropriate to accommodate his interests.


1. Basketball hoop
2. Kiddie Trampoline - check
3. Tool Bench
4. Kitchen - check
5. Tunnels/Tent - check
6. iPod Touch (Bryan's wishlist for Easton so he can have his phone back!)
7. Mickey Mouse or Elmo play set with figurines he can play with
8. Play food
9. Baseball beanbag for his big boy room-in-the-making

Other ideas include books, puzzles, trucks, 2T summer clothes, and anything Michigan and/or Detroit Tigers!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ONE YEAR!

Today might not have any significance to many people, but it is a big day for us. Today is one year to the day of Easton's surgery!

It has been a roller coaster of a year, to say the least. With routine follow up scans and appointments with U-M Pediatric Radiology and Oncology, my nerves and emotions go in waves. In the days immediately following surgery, I remember feeling a sense of relief and thankful for all the great doctors, nurses, and all the support from family and friends. And I continue to feel that way today. 

On Friday, November 9th, Easton had his one year CT scans, with his follow-up appointment the following Tuesday. We went into that appointment nervous, but confident, as we have all his appointment.We didn't leave with that same feeling. We were informed that while the area where the tumor was removed from was clear with no evidence of local recurrence, there were a few, five to be exact, very small nodules on the posterior of Easton's right lung that were a concern. Their impressions stated the following:

"Interval development of several right upper and lower lobe soft tissue nodules as described above. These could represent infection in the proper clinical scenario, however, given patient these are viewed with suspicion for metastatic disease. These are too small to biopsy. Recommend short-term follow-up to evaluate for interval change."

Basically, the nodules on his lungs are a concern because the lungs are an area where a Wilms recurrence could occur. Not always does a recurrence occur in the place of the original tumor. If it comes back in the same place, it's called a local recurrence, a nearby place is a regional recurrence and another place is a distant recurrence. The lungs and the liver in particular are areas that are known to be common recurrence sites, so they watch these areas very closely. 

The doctors explained that they were scheduled to meet with the "Tumor Board" the next day and would review Easton's case with pediatric radiologists, oncologists and surgeons to get their input and determine a time frame for repeating the scans. As much as I would have loved to have the scans done immediately, they explained that they needed to give the nodules time to change, so would likely wait 4-6 weeks. 

I received a call from Easton's doctor immediately following the Tumor Board meeting with news that after closely reviewing his case, radiologists feel that these nodules are less likely cancer, and more likely an a-typical or resolving infection. They have requested a repeat scan of the right lung only (to reduce exposure to radiation) in 6 weeks. 

So, while this news was a bit of a relief, and I feel like I can breathe a little easier, we now just have to wait. We are scheduled to head back to U-M on December 14th for repeat scans. Worst case scenario, the nodules will be bigger, and if big enough, they will biopsy them and if results come back that it is in fact cancer, Easton will likely begin chemotherapy. Assuming, and hopeful, that the radiologists are right, the nodules will prove to be an infection and will be smaller, if not obsolete, and Easton will continue his routine follow-up appointments as scheduled. Prayers for the latter, please!!!!
Easton and Grandma being silly before his one year scans.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Wet Mess!

It's official - my least favorite month is November.  From here on out, I'd just like to skip it.  Last November did not end well for us, and well, this month is not off to a great start.

Let's just say we had our own little Hurricane Sandy experience at home yesterday. What started as an overflowing toilet, has flipped my life, and house, upside down. I was getting ready for work yesterday morning when I heard what sounded like the toilet running. Please note: this was no more than 2, maybe 3 minutes after just going to the bathroom. I rushed into the master bathroom to fiddle the toilet handle, when I found myself standing an a good inch of water. The toilet was not running -- it was overflowing, and at a very rapid pace. Little did I know anything about the emergency valve on the side of the toilet, so I did what anyone would do -- I called daddy! I was a frantic mess, and after about a minute of twisting and turning an emergency 'pull' valve, I got the water to stop. At this point, I was now running late and was hoping to get to the polls to vote before heading to work. My ever-so-kind mother just told me to throw towels on the floor to absorb the mess and to go to work, that she'd come over and clean the mess and wash the towels. 

I grabbed Easton and headed downstairs, only to find a nice surprise of water leaking from my recessed ceiling lights. Frantically, again, I called my parents, who remained calm, told me to put pots under the lights and to head to work -- dad was on his way!

I am now running nearly thirty minutes late, yet I dropped Easton off at daycare, and headed to the polls. After standing in line for nearly thirty-five minutes, it was clear that I wasn't going to make it work for my 9:30 meeting, so I called to inform work and swung back by home, where my mom was doing laundry. We cleaned up the mess in the bathroom and I was getting ready to head into work, when we noticed the carpet in the living room was wet, squishy wet. One thing lead to the next, and after taking a closer look, it was determined that the water traveled not only quickly, but randomly, and vigorously. Carpet, walls, ceiling, tile, wood floors, basement....all wet! It's seriously amazing the amount of damage 5 minutes of overflowing water can do. I'm grateful I realized the problem before I left the house!

Next thing I knew, I was on the phone with my insurance company, making a claim and obtaining numbers for restoration companies. Within 3 hours, an estimator was at my door, and within the hour, another two men arrived to test for water and to take a gazillion pictures. At this point, it was evident that the water had traveled the path with least resistance and affected all three stories of our house from top down. Once it had been determined where the water was, in came another crew of guys to start the mitigation, a.k.a. dry-out, process. By 6pm, my living room was turned upside down, carpet was pulled back in every affected room, plastic was draped from ceiling to floor and 12-15 fans and dehumidifiers lined my driveway.

So here we are, 24 hours later. The Restoration Company has wasted no time and is hard at work to get the place dry. They estimate a good 5 days for the dry-out, however after 24 hours of dry-time, they are optimistic about the damage and feel we are making great progress. Next week we will meet with the adjuster and will be able to get a better idea of what exactly we are talking about in terms of damage, and what the next steps are in terms of reconstruction.
Living Room

Master Bath and Guest Bath

In the meantime, we're shackin' up back at Tom and Carol's -- just like the good ol' days. Except this time, we have a toddler in tow. It's a good thing they love company - and Cooper! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Say What???

Easton has some exciting news to share:

Baby Metzger #2 is due to arrive 4.26.13!! And while most people hope the baby is early, with Easton's birthday being April 6th, I'm hoping for as close to the due date as possible. Sharing toys is one thing, but I'd hate for them to have to share birthdays. I'm not quite sure Bryan Easton understands how this is about to change his life, but I have no doubt he'll be a great big brother. :) From what I hear, going from 1 to 2 can be quite a challenge, so I'm open to any suggestions on how to make a smooth transition. The countdown is on....


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One and a 1/2!

(25lbs, 32 3/4 inches tall)

Don't ask me how, but some how, some way, we have a one and a half year old! And a silly little one at that! The past several months have been busy. Easton is growing and learning like crazy. And we're having a lot of fun doing it!

I may be biased, but I seriously think we have a genius baby on our hands. ;) We are learning our body parts and he has mastered the basics -- nose, eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, head, hands, feet and toes. His newest developments are his knees, shoulders and yes, even his little boy parts. We practice counting everyday and he's nailed the numbers two and five, can repeat the idea of counting to ten, but hasn't quite gotten the sounds of all the numbers, oh, and he knows the letter "O". We're also working on animal sounds. Miss Dawn practices colors, shapes, letters and numbers at daycare, and we follow through at home in the tub and during diaper changes. :) Miss Dawn is also doing a great job with introducing the potty to Easton and he's been making big boy potty at least twice a week for the past six weeks. Props to Miss Dawn! And while I'm not proud of it, Easton has mastered the iphone at the young age of 18 months. I have a folder with all the apps for Easton and he manages to navigate into that folder and find what he wants. It amazes me to watch his little finger flip across the screen and hit play to watch Disney Junior while in the waiting room at the doctors office.

Easton no longer walks, only runs - everywhere. He climbs everything - the couch, the bed, the chairs, the dog, etc. His latest obsession is climbing up and down the stairs, and not on his hands and knees, although I insist he holds my hand. This kid talks a mile a minute, mimicks everything you say and knows exactly what he wants. Thankfully he uses his manners, which is a must in this house. He says the cutest little 'peas' and 'tank ou' and uses them in the proper context. He's also become a fan of the word 'no', but thankfully he's still pretty sweet about using it. He definitely knows when he doesn't want something, but it's the sweetest little 'no' and I can't help but give him what he wants. I'm sure I'll feel different when he's being sassy about it. Until then, I'll enjoy it. His vocabulary multiplies by the day and he surprises me with the things he says, knowing exactly what he wants and using his words to get it.

Easton's biggest accomplishment over the past couple months has been people recognition. Not only does he know who everyone in our family is (including my grandparents!), but he points to them in a picture and says their name. The kid is obsessed with looking at pictures. My favorites are that he's carrying on the tradition of calling Bryan's dad "Papa Choo-Choo", which Landon started because you can hear the train from his house, and calling my sister Clare "Doll", which we have done since she was a baby. Melts.My.Heart.



Easton's current favorites include Mickey Mouse, Elmo, cookies, suckers, reading, dancing, stacking blocks, coloring and his Papa. It's one of those things when someone walks in the room, he immediately says "Papa?" Makes you feel really welcome. haha

We wrapped up the summer at the lake and welcomed fall at the cider mill. And let me tell you, Easton loved the slide. His newest finding is going down them backwards. The kid can't get enough of it.

I have to say, as much as I love summer, the warm weather and late nights, I welcome fall with open arms. Sweatshirts and puffy vests, crockpot dinners, honeycrisp apples and post-season baseball. And one perk to it getting dark at 7:30pm is that Easton is ready for bed! For some reason, he goes to bed earlier and easier, and still sleeps in til 7:30am. That makes this mommy happy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

60 Years of Memories!

So....it's been awhile. And I don't even have that good of an excuse as to why I have been neglecting the blog. But my mom has been bugging me to write something, so here I am. Little does she know, I had a post in the works (from nearly two months ago!) that is all about her. :)

Last month In July, my mom celebrated her 60th birthday!!! We, my sisters, my dad and I, wanted to do something special for her, but she was adamant about not wanting a party, so we knew we had to think of something else. My mom is an amazing person, one-of-a-kind to be exact. She is always doing for others, putting everyone else first and willing to drop whatever she is doing anytime someone needs her. This type of person deserve something special. Something to remind them of how much they mean to everyone else and how grateful everyone is to have her in their life.

The gift idea was a no-brainer. We came up with the idea of creating a birthday scrapbook, with a goal of contacting all of mom's friends and family to include special messages and photos in the scrapbook. We started by raiding mom's email to get all of her contacts and sent the following email to everyone requesting their participation.

The messages came POURING in!! I honestly raced home everyday to check the mail and read the messages people were sending. I couldn't believe the turnout! Letters, poems, stories, birthday wishes and photos - it was incredible the variety of messages people sent. And the amount of people who participated - her parents, in-laws, siblings, cousins from Scotland(!!!), best friends, golf buddies, college roommates, elementary school friends, old neighbors, fellow students and teachers. Clearly this lady means a lot to a lot of people!!!

As the big day was approaching, we found ourselves sneaking around behind her back, raiding her photos, scrapbook supplies and getting together to work on the book. You wouldn't believe how hard it was to do this -- our mom is so curious and asks a gazillion questions about everything. You would think two sisters could get together without getting drilled by our mother about what we're doing and why were were hanging out. I'll give her credit tho -- she knew something was up, and she hated not knowing!!! We kept teasing that we were planning for her "big bash". She was not impressed. haha

The big day arrived and "60 Years of Memories" (as we called it) was complete. We planned a family dinner at our house to celebrate and it turned out to be the best birthday party of all time. Easton was lucky enough to spend the day with "Ga" and when they walked into our house, she was welcomed by streamers, balloons, noise makers, party hats and a "SURPRISE!" from Cash, Briggs and Zain. Doesn't get any better than that!


Colleen and I were like little kids in a candy store. We were so excited to give her her gift, we made her open it away!

Her reaction was priceless. I actually caught the first 10 minutes of looking at the scrapbook on video, but I don't think she'd appreciate me posting it for the world to see. Just take my word for it -- she was "flabbergasted". With each turn of the page, I think she was more and more surprised at what the book was all about and to see everyone who participated. The photos tell a great story.....



"How did you do this??"



The scrapbook opened a can of emotions and I think we all enjoyed reading the messages as much as the birthday girl. We are so thankful to everyone who participated -- you played an important role in helping her celebrate 60 years. But I do think this is going to be a hard birthday to beat. I think her exact words were "best gift ever!!!"  And that equals SUCCESS!!!!

And no birthday is complete without cake and cute boys! :)

LOVE YOU MOM!!!! :)
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Up North Fun!!

So we've all been a little busy around here -- weddings, birthday parties, playdates, bike rides, trips to the lake, splash park, sleepovers at grandma's, vacation, and more -- and the best part is, we're staying healthy!!!

First things first -- Mid-August, Easton had his 9 month follow up appointment with Pediatric Radiologists and Oncologists at UofM, and an ultrasound, chest x-ray and 2 viles of blood later, we were thrilled to hear that Easton is staying healthy! That made our vacation the next day so much more enjoyable!

Easton has his first taste of Northern Michigan this month. We spent a week at a cabin at Boyne Mountain with my entire family. And by entire family, I mean the three of us, my sister Colleen and her three boys, my mom and dad, and Clare even joined us for the weekend! It was a lot of fun, and a great reminder that I never want 4 kids. :) 

The vacation was pretty go-with-the-flow. We spent a little time at the pool, some time at the lake and even hit up Avalanche Bay, the indoor waterpark, for some rainy day fun. This place was awesome. There were things for kids (and adults!) of all ages to do - a shallow children's pool for the little ones, a lazy river to take a float, two hot tubs, a raging waterfall and five fun-filled waterslides. Easton loved splashing in the water, dancing in the sprinklers and even the waterslides. Cash and Briggs weren't quite tall enough to ride on the super waterslides, so we took full advantage of having to ride with them over and over again. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed at how much fun I had!!!


The hardest part about vacationing with toddlers is working around mid-day naps, so we made sure to get up and moving first thing in the morning so we could have some fun before naptime. We ventured into Petoskey for a little shopping and lunch one day, and into Boyne City for the Farmer's Market the next. The Farmer's Market wasn't anything to call home about, but the kids sure had fun on the huge play structure.


On another day, we headed over to Charlevoix to visit with, get this, mine and Colleen's old daycare lady and babysitter from when we were like 5 years old!!!! My parents have managed to keep in touch with them over the years, and just happened to talk to them a few weeks prior to our vacation, and when they found out we were coming up, they invited us for dinner. So we packed up the cars, and to Charlevoix we went. It was so fun to reminisce with them and to hear stories from when we were young.


On our last night, we headed back into Boyne City for a special ice cream treat. Easton loved sampling all of ours and then burnt all his energy running around the park.


We (the adults) spent our evenings playing cards and games, and counting how many times Cash and Briggs came upstairs. Too bad we didn't count the first night -- I'm sure Briggs would have broken the world record. :)

We packed up and got on the road mid-morning on Sunday. I had arranged to stop in Midland for lunch with a college friend, and of course, I just had to hit up the outlets for a quick shopping trip, which Bryan was thrilled about. Easton was great on the 4 hour car ride -- I think this picture explains how much fun he had on vacation!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Letters

Happy Wear-Your-Pants-On-Your-Head Day!!

Dear International Delight, Thank you for the creation of your iced coffee line. Not only are you supporting my iced coffee obsession, but you are saving me big bucks in the process. Good bye Biggby's ridiculously expensive, not all that delicious, drinks and hello affordable iced coffee-at-home! Dear Big Brother, While I thoroughly enjoy the hours of entertainment you provide to me each week, you are very demanding of my time. Not only is my house feeling neglected, but my husband is too! Not to mention, your 8pm shows are interfering with Easton's bedtime routine. Dear Comcast, Our love/hate relationship is become more and more of a hate relationship. I subscribe to services for my convenience and I expect them to work. While I appreciate your efforts to credit my account and provide me with free premium channels, I'd much rather the services I pay for work! Dear Vacation, I can't wait for you to get here! Next week please fly by. And lastly, Dear Nicole, Happy Birthday (tomorrow)!!! Enjoy your last year of being 20-something. 

Love, 
Courtney

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Potty!

So not exactly 'wordless' but I want to give you a little background information. Over the course of the past few days, Easton has started hiding behind the couch/chair/table to go potty. One second he's there and the next he's is nowhere to be found and I hear grunting in the corner. I mentioned this little phase to Dawn when I dropped him off this morning, not expecting to receive this picture just hours later. Low and behold, she caught Easton going off to hide. She said 'potty', he said "potty", so on the potty seat he went. I'll spare you the after shot, but trust me when I tell you it was success!!! Potty training is in full effect!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

FiFteen (and a half!) MoNths!

It appears the monthly updates ended with the monthly stickers, so in turn, I'll try and update with Easton's well-visits, for as long as those lasts. The past 3 months have been a whirlwind -- lot of fun and lots of growing.

Back in May, Easton had his routine follow up appointment (6 months post surgery) with UofM pediatric oncologists. He had an MRI, along with lots of blood work, and thankfully, everything looked awesome. Prior to the MRI, we opted to do some pre-meds to relax him and make the transition to the anesthesiologist easier, and Easton put on quite a little show for us. We go back in August for our next check-up, and our fingers remain crossed at all times for continued success!

We have spent a lot of time at the lake this summer. At first, Easton wasn't so sure about it. It took a little time to get him used to the lake, and now he can't get enough! He runs for the water, belly flops, swallows a mouthful of lake water and laughs uncontrollably, only to do it all over again. We've taken a few boat rides and he seems to enjoy it. Thankfully, only one paci has gone overboard!
Cash, Easton, Briggs, Cal and Zain

Easton and Ga

Easton had his 15 month check up earlier this month and he's growing right on track. 23lbs, 9oz and 31 3/4 inches tall. Doctor says tall and skinny. He must get that from me. ;) 

My little man is getting so big, so fast. He walks nowhere and runs everywhere. And he amazes us with the things he knows and the words he can say, even using them in the correct context!

ball
car
sit
doggie
dada
mama (not often, but he does say it!)
papa
ga (grandma)
nana
thank you
paci
bottle
uh oh
byebye
welcome
nuh nih (night night)
pease (please)
up
down
ah done (all done)
ove ou (love you)
cookie
kacker (cracker)
ack (snack)
sue (shoe)
diaper
poo-poo
kiki (monkey)
Row, row, row (your boat...)

His newest accomplishment is learning to put two words together 'byebye papa', or 'up ga, up'.  We are also having fun learning animal sounds. Easton is working on his doggie bark, and thinks cow and sheep sounds are so silly! We're also working on learning body parts and Easton has perfected the tongue! Nose and belly button aren't far behind. :)

Silly boy!

This little boy is seriously the best thing ever to happen to us. Just when we think he's at the most fun age, he's prove us wrong. Each day gets better and better!! Can't wait for tomorrow. :)

Love you to the moon and back!

~Mommy

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lucky in Love

Four years ago today, as I walked down the aisle to marry the love of my life, I didn't think it was possible to be any happier. Here we are today - 8 years together, a dog, 2 houses, 5 jobs, lots of laughs, a few tears and one silly little boy later, and I feel like the luckiest girl alive! Happy Anniversary to an amazing man. Thank you for all the memories, for loving me (even when I hit your truck!) -- and most of all, for letting me love you! I look forward to growing old with you. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails. ♥

Then:







And now:




"I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend." ~Jason Mraz