Friday, June 18, 2010

Baseball - Game 2

Thursday, June 17, 2010 - Braves vs. Mets

Tonight was a difficult night. It was a night that I had hoped would not come, but tried to prepare for. Ollie used to love baseball and during tonights game, through sobs, he told me he hated it. He hates it now because he just can't do what he used to do. He feels like he's losing the game for the team. He gets more frustrated now than ever before and he cries at the drop of a hat. Although I know that it's the brain tumor and not Oliver, it still is hard to watch him struggle. He seemed to be doing well for a while. He would run out to his position in the outfield with a noticeable limp, but he would try and hustle anyways. Up to bat was a bit difficult and frustrating for him if he struck out, but he handled it fairly well, he even ran around the bases and was batted in, although you could tell he was having a difficult time running as well as breathing. He got back into the dugout, still smiling after running home, and took a few puffs of his inhaler.

Next he was in the outfield and the ball finally made it to the out there. He ran to the ball and threw it to the infield which didn't even make it past the grass. He still kept it together and hustled back in after the inning was done. The next time he'd gotten on base, he was running to second, his helmet fell off which I know flustered him and he tripped over second base. He was out before he made it there, but I know that he felt like it was his fault. I didn't realize that he was sobbing all the way back to the dugout until he was halfway there. I just wanted to scoop him up in my arms and kiss it all away. His teammates didn't know why he was crying (I told them later) and at that time I didn't know either. He was just beside himself and said that he hated baseball. He said that he wished he didn't have cancer. Then, I quietly sobbed as I was sitting next to him in the dugout. Ed had come in as well and we were both telling him that it was okay and we were proud of him for getting out there and even trying. Doug, one of his coaches, came over and told him that he was doing great and that we lose as a team or we win as a team. He has so much spirit and love for the game, but now... it's just too much to handle for him. Too much for a little boy to deal with.

Most people don't know what he's dealing with, that his left side is weak and that he's throwing with his non-dominant hand and runs with a limp now. They can see the eye patch, but still don't know why he's wearing it. It's so hard seeing him struggle and not be able to do anything about it. His coaches are great and they want him to feel comfortable and have fun. They said that he could do whatever he wanted, even if it meant being an honorary coach. I think it may be hard for him to watch the game knowing that he can't play anymore. He just wants to quit and go fishing instead. Ed and I said that we were proud of him for trying. He may go to practice on Saturday and we'll see after that. I don't want to make him do anything that he doesn't feel like doing. I just don't know what else I can do for him except be there for him and comfort him. Some days are just so hard.

Braves Baseball - Game 1 (Braves vs. Astros) & Uncle Chad's Birthday!

June 15, 2010 - Oliver's first game of the season. I was so proud of him for going out there and pushing Ed and us to practice with him! Since his diagnosis and watching the symptoms come and go, it was wonderful to see him about to actually run the bases! He's a lefty usually and he was doing really well throwing the ball with his right hand. I am so amazed at him and his passion for the game and wanting to play.

Ollie sittin' in the dugout.

Warming up

Oliver up to bat and his friend, Tyler, is catching for the other team.

Ollie in the outfield.

"Good game... good game... good game..."

The pig pile!

Eden, Uncle Chad, Oliver

Grandpa, Oliver, Grandma

Uncle Chad, Oliver, Grandma

Mom, Ollie and Dad

June 15, 2010 - Chad's Birthday - After Oliver's game, we went to The Other Place for pizza to celebrate my brother's birthday. We then went to our house for some ice cream and cake!!

Love this snapshot of Edes!


Jaren and Ollie 'sword fighting'...

Chad and Ollie

Chad and Eden

Chad and Jaren

Chad and Finny. I LOVE Finny's sweet smile!

I don't think we can ever get a serious picture with these kids!!!

Last day of School (1st & 3rd)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eden did GREAT this year! She is such a smart girl and even got the Music Citizenship award for her class! A day never goes by that she doesn't sing!

Eden and her 1st grade teacher, Mrs. White.

Oliver's award assembly. He hadn't gone to school much of the second semester, but I made sure he got to be there on the last day! His principal announced that he was there and everyone clapped for him. Of course... I started crying... (he's the shorty in the yellow shorts)

Oliver and his award. Love that smile!

Ollie and his 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Galloway.

"There's a Monkey In My Chair is a program developed by the
Love, Chloe Foundation.
It is designed for pre-school and elementary aged children who are away from school because of a cancer and/or brain tumors.

Each child is provided with a "monkey kit" which includes a big stuffed monkey that takes their place in school when they are unable to be there. The kits include the monkey with a backpack, a book, and other items that can be utilized by the child and/or their classmates. All kits are sent out at no cost to the families or hospitals."

Oliver and Adora

Ollie and Tyler

Eden with her buddies at recess...
Sayde and Eden

Haylie and Eden

Eden and McKenzie

I took the kids to Rudy's Tacos to celebrate their last day of school and the great job they did!

Eden, the school counselor Mrs. Hay and Ollie.

It was Mrs. Boller's final day teaching P.E. What a goofy bunch!

To reward good behavior (Responsible, Caring, Respectful) the teachers gave out orange feathers when they saw the students displaying them. For a certain amount of orange feathers earned, they were replaced with a black feather to add to the Edison Eagle's wings on the bulletin board right inside the front door. IF the eagle was full of wings by the end of the year, Mrs. Steggall, the principal, would do something crazy!!! She became a HUMAN SUNDAE!!!

Two students from each class were chosen by their teachers to go up and help 'top the sundae'! Eden was chosen and got to toss on some vanilla ice cream! It was the craziest thing! The kids, and teachers, had a ball!!! She was such a good sport to do this for the kids! They will be talking about it forever!

Eden and Haylie ready to launch the ice cream!

BEFORE... Shower cap, goggles, rain gear... or sundae gear, and duct tape!

AFTER... vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, strawberry topping, caramel, sprinkles, chocolate chips, marshmallows and whipped cream! Stuff was flying EVERYWHERE!!!

Oliver and Takoda during the assembly.

Des Moines Blaze Football - Assistant Coach of the Day

Saturday, June 5, 2010 - Des Moines Blaze vs. Capitol City Crush

A little background on how this fundraiser came about -- During Oliver's radiation, a friend of mine had gotten a meal plan for us since we were driving an hour and a half back and forth every day for six weeks. Nikki, a stranger to me, heard about Oliver and wanted to bring us a meal. She stopped by and shared with us that she had lost her son in 2007 to a brain tumor, medulloblastoma, which is in a different part of the brain. He sadly passed away two days after she had found out about the disease. We sat and talked and cried together. A while had passed and she had contacted me about a friend of hers wanting to do a football fundraiser for Ollie. He and his wife saw this as an opportunity to start raising awareness for pediatric cancer as well as SIDS awareness. What a WONDERFUL couple! They invited us as well as Nikki and some other teammates and friends to a spaghetti dinner in their home. They even had gotten each of my kids gifts and all of us Des Moines Blaze t-shirts to wear to the event. Their generosity and love truly showed in the way they treat others. We felt so welcome... like we were old friends! I'm so grateful for all of the support from perfect strangers, for support and love that was shown to Oliver during the game from all of the players! It was a WONDERFUL day and I will forever be a Des Moines Blaze fan!

Oliver -- I was going to make him a Blaze eye patch, but wow... it was a difficult one to try and create! One of the players made the towel to wear during the game and gave it to Oliver. I think this is one of my favorite pictures of him during the fundraiser!

Most of the following photos were taken by someone that takes photos for the team. I wish I could take credit for them... they are awesome! I'm so glad we have these photos because for some reason most of mine didn't get saved to my computer!

Ollie playing catch with Matt before the game.

Ollie - we didn't even think to have him wear regular shoes! It was hard to run in his crocs!

The entire team gathered for a photo with Ollie before the game! The game truck behind them was full of several flat screens and game systems! Ollie played some Madden football on the Wii before the game started!

The items for the silent auction. I had a photo of Amanda, Matt and Ollie after the game, but that was one of the photos that didn't get saved. Bummer. Amanda is wearing a white Ollie's All-Stars shirt and was about 7 months pregnant! Thanks for EVERYTHING you and Matt planned for us!

Oliver and Matt in the locker room before the game. Don't worry... Ed took this picture!

Oliver leading the team out onto the field!!

This was from my point of view as he led the team out. I think they had to tell him to stop running... "Run, Forrest, Run!"

Oliver warming up with the team. You can tell by the look on his face that he was just loving it!

I love these next pictures of the team in the last minutes before the game.

The coin toss.

And the game begins...

Oliver, Chad, Me, Mom and Bry on the sidelines.

One of the coaches carrying Ollie off the field on his shoulders during half-time.

Chad, Oliver, Bry and one of the coaches.

My mom took this one of Ollie, Chad and me up in the box. Ollie got to announce some plays and work the videocamera. Unfortunately all of my pictures and video of him announcing were deleted. UGH!

After the game.

Oliver and Matt walking off the field after the game.

Nikki, Jaydn's mom, and Oliver

I thought it was only fitting to have a picture of Nikki's cute little boy, Jaydn, who I'm sure was there in spirit!

Again... THANK YOU to EVERYONE who made this day possible for Oliver and our family!!! We truly appreciated it!