Once again I have gone far too long without updating, and if I don’t do it now, it will take a post the size of a novel to catch up! My last post was in February, so let’s start with March!
March was another fun filled and BUSY month for Miss Izzy! She was invited to USF’s Dance Marathon again this year, which is an event put on by the students of the University of South Florida to raise money for All Children’s Hospital. Once again we got the opportunity to share Izzy’s story to help raise awareness and Izzy had a blast being the center of attention. She danced her little booty off!
She had a fantastic Easter complete with 3 egg hunts and lots of fun, and also got to enjoy a Tampa Bay Lightning game thanks to The Children’s Cancer Center and the Yerrid Foundation. We also celebrated my godson Nathan’s 1st birthday, and somehow fit in another trip to Disney.
Just in case you thought that was all the excitement we could fit into one month, it’s not! Izzy had the honor of being asked, along with 2 of her close friends in this fight, to be in the Calendar for a Cause for the Children’s Cancer Center. Izzy, Madyson, and Kyanna, were all photographed together and seperately at the beach for the calendar, and now I get to stare at her beautiful face for the entire month of August 2013! (It may be August for a really long time in our house. 😉 )
Another exciting highlight for the month was the Cattle Baron’s Ball. Dr Kelly, Izzy’s oncologist asked her to be her guest of honor, while she spoke at this event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Dr Kelly shared Izzy’s story, we had a wonderful time, and the event raised over 1 million dollars in one night!!!
Next it was time to go on Izzy’s Dream trip. Kim from The Children’s Dream Fund met us at Chic-fil-A for her dream presentation with a princess cake that said “Dreams come true” and a bag full of goodies to help her enjoy her trip. They sent the three of us to Give Kids the World for the most amazing week we could possibly dream up. To read more about Izzy’s dream trip click here:
The pace did not slow down even a bit a April. We kicked the month off by riding on the SS Nautilus float in the Chasco Parade with 1Voice and the Krewe of the Nautilus. Izzy had a blast throwing beads with many members of our cancer family.
The day after we got home my godmother, Aunt Priscilla (or Cinderella, as Izzy likes to call her) flew in from New York just in time to celebrate my baby shower the next day. Adam threw us a wonderful shower and my amazing friends came out to have some baby fun and celebrate the upcoming arrival of our newest addition. While my aunt was down she also treated Izzy to her first spa pedicure and in case we weren’t Disney’d out,.. yes, we took another trip to Disney. My aunt hadn’t been there in decades, and we still had tickets to use up, so off we went!
We kept the fun rolling going into May. The Children’s Cancer Center was able to invite 5 girls to a very special Princess Party at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Izzy was fortunate enough to be picked and had a fantastic time! Queen for a day came out to get the girls “princessed up”. Each girl received a dress, shoes, tiaras, and lots of other goodies. They had their hair and makeup done, Belle read them a story, and they all enjoyed a lunch fit for a princess. Izzy felt like a little movie star with all the cameras following her around as she got her royal treatment. Each girl was also given tickets for them and their family to see the Disney on Ice show a couple of days later. We got Izzy all dressed up again and headed back to the Forum for the show. She had a blast. We can’t thank the Children’s Cancer Center enough for her amazing princess day and the great time we had at Disney on Ice.
The day of the princess party didn’t stop there though. After Izzy was done getting pampered, it was time to start getting ready for the Calendar for a Cause release party later that evening. Not only did she have the honor of being in the calendar, but she also got to perform a dance number on stage with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders and some of the other kids from the CCC. In her usual Izzy style she seemed completely unfocused in practices the weeks before, but did great when the time came to perform for the crowd. My little girl certainly loves to dance, especially if she has an audience! We had a great evening and got to take home a copy of the calendar and a huge framed version of the photo they used in the calendar, which is now hanging proudly in our living room!
We ended May with the Hollywood Hullabaloo, another great event put on by the Children’s Cancer Center. We all met at the center to get our hair and make up done and then we were taken by limo over to the Wyndham Westshore to dance the night away with the other families from the CCC. We had such a great time hopping in the photo booths and cha cha sliding.
Before I knew it, it was June!! I had been looking forward to June for the past nine months! It meant it was almost time to meet our second daughter. I was very ready for her to come, but I kept telling her not until after my favorite time of the year! Dance recital time!! Izzy was of course very excited for recital too. Sell’s Broadway Dance Studio did another amazing job this year. I got to watch my little ballerina dance in the Mary Poppins ballet and then tap away to the Good Ship Lollipop. I’m so lucky that she has Chris, Shanna, and all the incredibly talented dancers at Sell’s to guide her, since she loves dancing so much.
As my due date approached, I had lots and lots of false labor (which I had none of with Izzy) so I was getting quite impatient. I was also having some issues with my blood pressure, so I was at the doctors or hospital just about every other day for a non stress test to make sure little Alexandra was doing alright in there. We had decided that if she didn’t come on her own by June 21st, we would go ahead with a scheduled c-section. Sure enough she decided it was too comfy to come out, and on June 21st at 4:04pm Alexandra Gina Dean finally made her arrival weighing 6 lbs 13.5 oz (just like Izzy) and measuring 18 inches long. Izzy was very excited to meet her little sister, and couldn’t wait to hold her. She’s been a great big sister so far and extremely helpful.
July started off with Izzy having a spinal tap with intra-thecal chemo, but as always she did wonderful and was excited to introduce everyone at All Children’s to her new sister. That night my mom came down from Alabama to come meet Alex and spend the week with us, and the next day we met up with some of our cancer family at the beach to celebrate the 4th of July. Unfortunately, our day was cut short. Izzy had been sitting in the same chair for over 20 minutes, while her friends ran around, so I knew something was up. When I asked if she was ok, she said she was really cold, Since the rest of us were dripping with sweat, I knew she had to be running a fever. Fortunately, Andrea had her super mom kit with her so we were able to check her temp, and put some Emla cream on her port. Everyone helped us get packed up and we headed to All Children’s. They almost admitted her because of how lethargic she was, but she perked up after some pizza, so it was a round of antibiotics and home to our own beds! Woo hoo!
The rest of July brought some much needed down time which consisted of lots of sleep deprived nights and beach days with some of our favorite families!
August did start out with some devastating news for us. A member of our cancer family who has already fought cancer 4 times, found out that she is going to have to fight for a 5th time. This is a brave young lady who no matter what she has been given is always smiling and full of hope. She is truly an inspiration, and I’d really appreciate if you could all send Melissa your prayers, thoughts, love, and hope. While she in no way deserves this, I know if anyone can beat this, it’s her. We love you Melissa and your whole family.