Sunday, August 07, 2011

Downers Grove Lemonade Stand 2.0

Caroline Vazquez and Grace Marino, the Team Matthew all-stars who last summer held an unforgettable lemonade stand are doing it again.  Proceeds benefit the leukemia research foundation.  The stand runs Thurs, Fri, and Sat (Aug 11, 12, and 13th)  12pm - 5pm.  611 Davis St. Downers GroveIL 60515.  The links to two sites below have some extra dets.

Matthew was not able to attend last year's lemonade stand but he is certainly looking forward to going this year.

Monday, August 01, 2011

foot hurts (from kicking so much ass!!)

Not sure where to begin.  I had hoped to deliver a blog post well before now but I was awaiting a bipartisan resolution to issues regarding my personal debt ceiling.  Sure hope there are some folks out there still listening.  For those of you that are...I am happy to report that everything is going well on all fronts.  Despite the weather this summer, which has been complete garbage, I have to say that this has been the greatest summer ever.  Matthew is, as the title of this blog suggests, kicking ass.  All of his tests have revealed no sign of cancer.  He is also off of his Cyclosporine, which is the nastiest of all his medicines.   We have, in the true spirit of living every day to its fullest, been taking full advantage of each day.  Not even sure where to begin.  We had an awesome 4th of July at our friend's lake house, took a road trip down to st louis to see my sister and BIL, Matthew has started pre-school and potty-training, and Claire has learned how to ride a two wheeler.  Below are some pics that hopefully tell the story better than I can.

everything but the kitchen sink

Preschool.  lets do this.

It's like he knows that one day, it will be his.

potty training is going well after some initial confusion

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Matthew 3.0

Statistics: "Matthew, you have just over a 50% chance of seeing your third birthday."

Matthew:  "Statistics,  you have a 100% chance of being punched in the me!"

Matthew had a great birthday yesterday.  For kicks, I went back and looked at pics from his 2nd bday.

The dude is def looking and feeling better.  He continues to remind us to make the most of every single day. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

pro bowl caliber

This morning Claire and I participated in the NCO fun run.  Despite some chilly temps, we had a blast.  Claire has an interesting running style, characterized by short bursts of blazing speed followed by long 'recovery periods'. Jay Cutler, the quarterback of the Chicago Bears was there running the race with his cousin who lives in the area.  No, Kristin Cavallari was not there :(

After the race, we kicked it over to our neighborhood easter egg hunt.  


Monday, March 21, 2011

Claire Biscuit 6.0

The month long celebration that is Claire's birthday continued last weekend with her b-day party at The Kid's Kitchen in Naperville.  Claire and her friends had a blast and made some pretty good looking pizzas and cupcakes.  I took about 1,000 pictures which yielded about 8-10 decent ones.  That seems to be about my ratio.  The one below is my favorite.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Claire is 6

Claire turned 6 last week.  Had an awesome birthday bash.  Claire let Matthew blow out her candles which was priceless. 


Wednesday, March 02, 2011


On Thursday, March 3rd, we celebrate the 4th birthday of our daughter Meghan Rose (sometimes affectionately known as our 'Angel Meghan').  None of you ever met Meghan but I would like to tell you a little bit about her.  She was stillborn on March 3, 2007, only 2 weeks before her due date of March 17th.  She was beautiful.  I remember vividly, sitting with Nicole in the hospital bed at Elmhurst hospital, holding Meghan after she was born, talking to her about how much we already missed her and how she will forever be an important part of our family.  Our puzzle has a big piece missing.  I am not one to think that Meghan is all around us or looking down on us.  Maybe I am too calloused, obtuse, cynical, angry, stubborn, etc, etc.  A friend of mine recently wrote that she sees her late mom in the faces of her little boys.  I liked that.  I am reminded of Meghan often when I look at Meghan's brother and sister...and her mom.  Meghan, we miss you and love you, now more than ever. 

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

PICC pics

OH MY GOD!!!!  Those were the words Matthew chose to scream when he woke up from sedation and looked at his arm to find that his PICC line had been removed.  He then demanded the 'tubies', as we took to calling them, be put back in immediately.  We pretty much give in to anything the little guy wants, except for this.  The PICC line is out and is staying out.  Today was Matthew's last dose of intrathecal chemotherapy (chemotherapy delivered to his spinal fluid) and a good opportunity to pull it out seeing that there are no more scheduled sedations.  Tonight he took his first bath in a long time without his arm wrapped up like a leftover breakfast sausage.  Here are some pics of the picc.
Matthew showing off his fine physique before bath time (as you can clearly see my cells have already made a noticeable difference to his chiseled torso) 
The PICC line.  Also called, the PowerPICC because of something having to do with the maximum flow rate.   

Monday, February 14, 2011

Team Matthew soundtrack - side A

Album name: My One Shot
A Mohawk Nation Production

    Wednesday, February 09, 2011

    The American Cancer Society - 2011 Relay For Life of St Mary's University:

    My friend and neighbor Abby Brown is participating in the ACS Relay for Life event in March. Her team, named "Team Matthew" in honor of the bow wearing little dude, is comprised of students at St. Mary's University. Donate. Deduct. Destroy(cancer).

    The American Cancer Society - 2011 Relay For Life of St Mary's University:

    Monday, February 07, 2011

    daughters, daddys, and dudes with bows

    Saturday, Claire and I went to our first daddy/daughter dance.  We first went out to dinner with some friend before arriving to the dance fashionably late.  I explained to Claire that you don't want to be the first person to arrive at these things as it generally takes a little while for the funkiness to get cranked up.  We had an awesome time.  It was interesting to note that, just like in high school and jr high, dudes have no business on the dance floor. 

    Speaking of dudes.  matthew was caught wearing bows in his hair yesterday.  There is an urban legend that I also wore bows/barrettes as a young gent experimenting with various levels of accessories but no photographical proof exists.  I have informed the doctors that something must have gone terribly wrong with the bone marrow transplant, especially given the ultra-manly and testosterone-packed cells he was given.

    Thursday, February 03, 2011


    We had a blast with the snow yesterday after Chicago got slammed with just under 2 feet.  Watching the storm on Tuesday night was pretty awesome.  Below are a few of the pics we took.

    less kissing.  more shoveling.

    Claire in her fort. 


    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Ridin' the rails

    Its the end of January which means what little was left of our sanity and patience has run out and we are moments away from stepping in front of a moving bus if we don't get out of the house.  I think we would try to move somewhere warmer if our mortgage was not farther underwater than the titanic.  This morning we took a ride on the Metra train from Naperville to Downers Grove.  Yes, you can probably see Downers Grove from Naperville but who cares.  It gave us something to do and the kids ended up loving it.  After arriving in Downers Grove, we quickly made our way over to the Starbucks for our caffeinated treats.  Matthew has developed a taste for coffee which is fairly hilarious.  We have had to back him off from his favorite, the Americano (he took a few sips of my americano, which is straight expresso and water, and said "that is the most delicous ever!), to a more kid friendly decaf vanilla latte.