Friday, February 26, 2010

First time for Everything

The school the boys go to is unique in many ways. One of the qualities that I like the most is that it is a school of 340 students in grades K-8. There are multi age classrooms with the 'uppers' being the 6-8 graders. Our 'uppers' students took a class ski trip today to one of the ski hills in our corner of the frozen tundra. When the teachers were in the beginning stages of planning this, Benjamin's teacher asked me if I wanted to chaperone. Of course! Yes, please, sign me up!

After giving more thought to what I had been signed up for, I realized that I don't ski. It's fun. But I'm no good. So for a few weeks I'd been debating whether I should actually go. When the permission slips came home I jotted a quick note asking if they still wanted or needed me as a chaperone...indeed they did. So I resigned to going, but decided I would sit in the chalet for the day, and should a student come in needing something, I would be at their beck and call. Then, as the day got closer, I decided that since Benjamin would be staying after the class portion of the ski day for ski club that night... (are you following me with this?) Let me break it down:

Class ski trip 9:15-4:00
Ski Club 3:30-11:00

Those who were a part of the ski club were just going to stay at the resort and ski the entire day, the rest of the class would head back on the bus and end the day at 4.
I did not want to wait until the end of ski club, so I decided to drive up seperately, and when the ski club bus got there with the rest of those chaperones, I would head home. Ok. That was the plan.

The day began beautifully. Woke up to Benjamin singing in the shower at 6:30 this morning. Grabbed a latte with the hubby, drove to the ski resort, gave Benjamin his snowboard and sent him on his way, met up with some parents, helped kids get their rentals, and once everyone was off and skiing, I joined one of the teachers (who was also not skiing) in the chalet.

We spent a few hours listening to students come in giddy about the hills--many hadn't skied before--we ate some baklava (more on that another day) we talked about children, the gorgeous day, school, teaching...really it was quite a nice conversation. And then. 1:30ish.

Benjamin comes to me pale faced and with a look of shock. "Mom, I dislocated my shoulder."


I helped him take off his jacket and sweatshirt...and while I have absolutely no education in the medical field...I knew. It's broken.

We hunted down ski patrol, they found Benjamin in the chalet, and before he even did an exam, he said "The's broken" He did his paramedic thing, and my girlfriend rounded up our things, Benjamin's buddy retrieved his board, we filled out paperwork, loaded up the truck, and drove the 45 minutes back to town to visit the ER. A visit to the ER that confirmed indeed that Benjamin has a nondisplaced fracture. Some oxycodone, a sling, and instructions to medicate and take it easy for the next few weeks later, we came home to pamper the little man with his very first broken bone.

I must say, he was such a tough guy the whole time. I'm in awe of his behavior from beginning to end. And can I just point out the many ways God worked His magic for us today?

  1. I was asked to take this trip...I did not volunteer.
  2. I went, even after giving thought to my NOT being a skier, and that maybe someone else should go.
  3. I drove my truck instead of riding the bus.
  4. The weather was beautiful thus allowing me to drive w/o concern for road conditions.
  5. His bone fracture is in place, so no need for interventions or surgery.
  6. It is a single small fracture, not a head injury or several broken bones.
  7. It was the last ski club day, and not the first...and he is in no sports for the next 6 weeks (his recovery time)
  8. We have medical insurance.
  9. We have Mayo Clinic as our primary... definitely something we take for granted.
  10. While the waiting room was packed full, we had a relatively short visit (2 hours from start to finish) We were in and out before some (before us) even got in.
  11. I maintained composure the entire time. I did not shed a tear, I did not get weak, I did not embarass him in front of his friends by getting all mothery, and in my complete haze to get him to the ER, I did not forget anything at the chalet.

He's so good to us. He took care of Benjamin today, he helped me stay composed, and He guided us home. Not bad for a first broken bone.

Baklava....just wait!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Apple-iscious **updated**

Julia Child I am not. I don't obsess over perfecting recipes, nor do I measure things out and I have never studied how to make a perfect bouillabaisse. I've never been passionate about Paris -although, I must say after reading this book I wouldn't mind visiting. And traveling the way she lived...yea, that would be good.

This month for BC, we read My Life in France by Julia Child. When Julie and Julia was in the theaters last fall several of us from BC went to see it, and that was when we decided we wanted to read this book. I don't think I would classify it as a must read, but I did enjoy reading about her life. Discovering how she became the phenomal chef/baker/cook that she was entertaining. Given the topic of the book, we either prepared a recipe from it, or tried to find something French to bring to our monthly meeting. I have been cheating the last couple months by either bringing drinks, or something less labor intensive easy. So I decided to step up this month. I had the whole day to come up with something yummy, and I think I did. **after returning from book club (which was delicious and perfect-again) I read an email from someone raving about the idea. "Ooh, Jodie, that is so cute, great idea, can I have the recipe?" In my haste to get the post out before I went to BC, I failed to cite the real source of my 'idea'. When I said I wanted to come up with something yummy, I didn't mean that I created it. --I can only wish! So, forgive me for leading ya'll to believe that I am that creative, because I actually found these here.

Julia agonized over her pie crusts...she wanted them perfect. Even when she found the perfect combination, she found it couldn't be translated into American cuisine because our flour doesn't have enough "body" and we need 1/3 more fat to make our crusts crumbly (didn't know that didja?) Ok, so I'm not trying to be her, nor will I hit the kitchen in a frenzy if these aren't perfect...but just look at them how couldn't they be?

Her other obsession was mayonaisse. Umm, that didn't really shout out "Yay book club!" to me, so I went with French Apple Pies, in individual jars, with French vanilla ice cream!

Can't wait to bake them and see how they turn out! (They were GREAT! I made 8, so there are 2 extra for the boys to try tomorrow...they're the real test. After a glass or 2 of champagne tonight, those ladies would like anything!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Does anyone hear this?

Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beeeeeepppppeeeeppppeeepp---ok, so it doesn't make that noise, but it may as well!

Dad has been moved from hem/onc to the Living Center (hospice) at the VA. His room is on the end of a long narrow hall, which unfortunately also 'seats' 2 people. Right now, he's sleeping solo, but you just never know if another patient will make an appearance. He looked great today! Really. His color looked good, he was coherent, he was moody--yea, he's back! I'm not fooling myself. He is on this floor for a reason. He is going to die. But, at least he is feeling better than he has in months. And that is saying something. His pain level was at 4 the entire day 4 and his 4 are two very different levels I am certain, but he seemed ok with it.

Being on the end of the hall has some great advantages--fewer people walking by, quiet, relatively private. So private in fact that they can't hear the BEEP when the machines go off. For instance, while I was there, air got into the tube for his anti/nausea med. He pushed the nurse button, to which the front desk responded with "Can I help you"--this in itself is frustrating for him. Every time he has been admitted into the hospital, and each time he gets moved to another floor, we need to tell the front desk people that he can not talk! Don't ask if you can help him, he can't tell you. I digress,
So he pushes the button, they ask if they can help him, to which he doesn't respond (because he can't) they turn off the button, and fail to come in person. 1 minute passes, 2, 3, 5, 7...nearly 8 minutes passed before the nurse came to adjust the tube.

beep beep beep beep beep BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEEEPPPP.

I wrapped up my day today with a very ineffective work out at the gym. It wasn't great. But it beat sitting at home, so I'll take it.

Tomorrow night BOOK CLUB!! So excited! Julia Child has nothing on us this month--even if she is the inspiration!

Thursday night BAKLAVA CLASS! Another auction item purchased by a friend of mine, and I have been invited as a guest to learn how to make Baklava. This is something I've never done before, so I am truly looking forward to it! Besides, the more activities that help me take my mind off the fact that dad is in hospice the better!

Praying. Clinging. Believing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just a Glimpse

Last night's dinner was scrumptious, and incredibly refreshing. I left the dinner with memories that will cause me to smile each time I think of them. There wasn't a moment last night that my dad's condition crossed my mind, and for that I am grateful.

Shortly after arriving and being ushered into a cozy family room, we were informed that "What happens at Jane's house, stays at Jane's house" We were then reminded through out the night...I think it was with each bottle of wine and new cocktail.
Because I am a stickler for following rules (stop laughing) I will keep my lips zipped, BUT! I will leave you with our menu and a couple quick snippets from the evening.

Here is the menu. Each course had a specialty drink to go along with it. They put such an effort into the dinner, and it really did not go unappreciated. Each staff member had their special touch in last night's meal, whether it was serving, clearing, entertaining, filling drinks, educating us on the menu, cooking, plating and presentation...indeed they have some mad skills!

This is Brian's dinner. He had the pork medalions, and I had the chicken entree. They both just melted in our mouths. So so good!

The desserts were outstanding. I could barely eat another bite by the time they brought them to our table. But LOOK at them!! How could I not eat them all?! Thank goodness Cathy told me to wear something that allowed for expansion!
Thank you to the ever so talented staff, my dear friends - new and old - and especially to the hosts of the evening. I had no doubt that the evening would be amazing, but even my expectations were blown away. I can not WAIT til next year! Still hoping for the 'buy it now' option!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

On the Up and Up

It's no secret that Tuesday was one of the worst days I have experienced in many many just about forever. Seeing my dad in that condition is so taxing, and exhausting. I returned to the VA to find him feeling much better than the night before. Amazing what 14 hours and countless drugs can do to a person.

Today though, I'm taking a break from talking about him. Not that he isn't on my mind...because he is. He always is. Even when I'm talking about snow or science fair projects or school board meetings...he is always in the back of my mind. But today? I'm trying to remind myself that He is in control of all of this. Tuesday was a nightmare for me, but it wasn't for Him. He has His hands all over this, and I have to have faith. Trust. My strength comes from Him. Praises.

No, instead of talking about dad today, I'd like to bullet a few things that happened the last couple days.

  • Benjamin poured the drinks for Ash Wednesday's Lenten meal at church. I wasn't there, but I hear he did an awesome job. He stayed focused even when kids became a distraction, and he kept people hydrated and filled. Good Job Benjamin....however (yep, with 12 year olds it seems there is always a however) HOWever, when we got home and he was jittery, and vocal, and couldn't stop talking...I began a replay of the evening. He was squirrely during the service, he was antsy in the car, and he couldn't stop talking for nearly an hour. That was when B said "Benjamin, while you were 'bartending' at church, how much caffiene did you have?' To which Benjamin responded 'I don't know' AHHHH, this is a child who doesn't have access to caffiene. And THAT is why!
  • Lunch dates with girlfriends are a neccesity. I have pulled away from many of my friends and confidants lately, and this was one I considered postponing. I am glad I didn't. We had a blast, I laughed, nearly cried -from laughing- and really enjoyed myself. Awesome. Dear Cate, I look forward to the next one.
  • Even if Christian says he wants a haircut, he needs me to be the one in control. After placing a bet with him back in July to keep his hair long through his birthday, he earned the haircut. He even went longer than he needed to. Today was the day. After browsing a book at the Men's Barbershop, he found a style he liked. 3 inches later he left the shop with an ear to ear grin and total excitement. We returned home, I left for the gym and to retrieve Benjamin from his science fair judging, and when I got back, he was all tears. It didn't look the way it did at the shop, and he is crushed. Mommy mode kicked in and I smoothed him over. We'll see how tomorrow morning goes. Yikes!
  • After going to the gym the last 3 times w/o B, I am finding that I like it better when he comes with.
  • I'm REALLY looking forward to the big fancy auction Teacher's Dinner this Saturday. In the fall our school organizes an Auction fundraiser for our PPT budget. One of the items auctioned off is a dinner put on by the teachers. We bid on it with 4 other couples and won! This is not your ordinary dinner either folks...we spent nearly $800 on this dinner! And, we are getting that back in return! Our entrees sound amazing, the male teachers wear tuxedos...this is not your everyday dinner! I bought a new dress tonight, and I am so so looking forward to this evening. I will definitely have an update after the big event! Yay us!

That wraps up todays thoughts-in-bullets. Have a fantastic Friday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Room 3F 134

Hem/Onc Room 3F 134.

2 doors to the private room, the first is open, the second is closed and the lights are off. Tip toe in. He is wearing a navy knit stocking cap, he is under the covers, a 2nd blanket is wrapped around his hands which are laying on his chest, his skin matches the snow outside, tubes stretching from different places, monitors buzz quietly. We tip toe back out. Let him sleep. Hold tears back. Be strong.

Return a short time later, both doors open, a light is on, but not in the room. Enter slowly, he is still sleeping, but a nurse is coming in. She checks his vitals. He wakes, sees us and smiles. He makes efforts to sit up, I tell him to go back to sleep. He does. Nurse finishes up, 102.7. Could be an infection. Not good. She leaves.

He begins to cough, and vomit. More vomit. Through his stoma. Painful. Now it is blood, he's choking. He writes Get someone. Fear sets in, I start to worry. I get the nurse, several come quickly. What feels like hours but was probably just a few minutes pass, and so does the vomiting. He is in pain. He reaches for his remote. Pushes the button. Morphine drips into his IV. We need to see the doctor. More tears held. Stay strong.

Sheets and blankets need to be changed, so does his shirt. Blood and vomit. He is exhuasted. His eyes are closed. People buzz around, adjust his bedding, change his shirt, doctors come in, ask questions, I try to answer, but I'm not too sure. Don't they know these answers? Why don't they know?

Minutes pass. Finally someone comes in with answers. Kind face, gentle voice, nice man. Good doctor. Zofran ordered. If that doesn't work, Ativan. We'll get him comfortable again he says. Even if he has to sleep through the worst. Don't worry. I believe him. Fear begins to subside. Page me if you need me or have any questions. Thank you. Dad puts thumbs up. Eyes closed. He likes him. So do I. He says this doctor is good. More anxiety fades. He reaches for the remote. Pushes the button. More morphine. I feel vague relief. Being strong.

Dad is still sitting forward, he is swaying, his bandage on his chest needs to be changed. Minutes pass. The nurse isn't here. Sit back dad, he waves to me to shush. I do. Lights are bright, he keeps his eyes closed.. B and I just watch him. Quietly. Watching. More minutes, 15 minutes, 30. He coughs a few times. No blood now. Pushes the button.

The nurse comes in to change his bandage and begins the Zofran. She removes the old one. His wound is open to the inside of his chest. Like someone took a drill the size of a golfball and drilled a hole into his chest. Stupid cancer. She has a kit to clean it. She uses saline. Then gauze and a swab. His body tenses, he clenches his fists, he winces, but does not open his eyes. She stops and rinses with saline again. More swabbing is next. More wincing, and tensing. I wipe away the tears that break through and refrain from shouting at her to STOP HURTING MY DAD! CAN'T YOU SEE YOU'RE HURTING HIM? Pushes the button. Can't she see? She finishes, with a gentle touch. And makes sure he is comfortable. He is now. He wants to sleep. I tell him I love him and that I will see him tomorrow. Strength fading.

B says goodbye, dad waves and smiles, weakly. But it's there.

We leave hem/onc. We get to waiting area and I collapse. Strength gone. I can't go any further. It hurts. It hurts so much and I just want it to stop. Please dear God, please, make his pain stop.

The kind doctor happens by. He stops and sits across from me. Kind face, soothing voice, gentle words. I tell him I don't know how he does this everyday. He says quite the opposite, he doesn't know how we do it. I wipe away tears. I ask questions, he has lots of answers. He wants dad pain free. He won't hold back meds now. Pain management is priority. Finally. I like him. I stop crying. I tell him I am grateful, he says he will help. He already has. We say our goodbyes.

I cry the whole way to the car. B drives us home, I snap at him for stopping at a green light. I cry even more. I'm thinking about going back tomorrow. Who will pick up the boys from school. What about the Lenten meal and service at church that we are supposed to serve. I think about sleeping forever. Ignoring the world. I am angry at the people in my world. Where are they? Why don't they care? Why don't they care "enough". I'm angry at myself. I'm angry for rejecting the ones who do. For pushing away the friends who want to be there. Guilt. More tears.

I think about what I read in his notebook today.

"I want this to end. I don't want to be in pain anymore. I can't breathe. Unless they find a way to help me breathe and take away pain I don't want to go on. I don't want to do this anymore. I'm in pain. I'm in pain. I'm in pain." Page after page. One conversation after another. Same things, different words.

Make it stop. Please. Make it stop.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Not Me Monday

I've had some moments this week that I am not really that proud of. And that is where Not Me Monday has come in! Do you have some moments from the past week that you would never admit only in the privacy of the World Wide Web? Then jump on the Not Me Monday train! MckMama created this as a way to admit all our imperfections w/o actually having to admit them! Head on over to her blog to check it out!

This past week I was not so focused on Benjamin who did not turned 12 on Saturday that I did not forget about Valentine's Day. Actually, I didn't forget about it, I just put it off preparing it for so long that I did not have to go out Sunday morning to get the boys - and my husband- their Vday cards and gifts.

Oh yea, and it wasn't me who did not get my husband a gift, only the boys. And it really (truly) isn't because he doesn't deserve one (because he does!) I just dropped the ball. (really, where did that phrase come from?)

It definitely was not me who begged him to tell me what he got me for Valentine's Day--on Saturday. I'm not a fan of surprises so when he returned from shopping, I did not ask him to just tell me what he got for me. And after hearing the gift, I was not speechless. It was not the most thoughtful, sincere and out of the blue gift, and I am not super excited to use it!(uh uh, don't go there, it isn't like that!)

And lastly, it is not me who still has some Christmas decorations lingering through out the house. I am far more efficient at removing my house of all signs of Christmas the week after it has passed. And I would never take down the tree just days after the holiday only to keep up the other decorations out of sheer laziness to get to the attic and take down the empty totes to store said decorations in. Nope. Not me!

Well, now that I have that out of my system, I have some totes to retrieve! Whadya say, wanna Not Me?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Full of Hot Air

Wow. Words really can't explain the experience we had this morning. Not that it was life changing, or was just really FUN!

I have an uncle who captains sail boats in Lake City, and we've yet to join him on a ride. We want to, we've been invited, we just haven't made it work.
I have an uncle who captains hot air balloons. We've -until now- never joined him. We wanted to, and we were invited, it just never worked. Until today.


Happy Birthday Benjamin! Today is also Benjamin's 12th birthday. While he plays downstairs with a friend, and Christian plays with the neighbors and the husband shops (I'm playing dumb as if I don't know "what" he is shopping for) and Benjamin's Sopapilla Cheesecake bakes away for his Mexican themed birthday dinner...I'm reliving this morning and counting my blessings. How awesome that I have a fantastic uncle who made an all call to people to come help ready the balloon for flight, and when the winds changed so they couldn't lift both balloons and fly away, he allowed us to ride up in the one we inflated instead. Awesome.

Take a journey through our morning won't you. Enjoy. (and because I still haven't found a photo site that I really like...I'll post them one by one...still looking for suggestions!)

First, the man who made it all happen! Craig. And that little bundle shivering in his arms is his gorgeous grandson T. We'll forgive him for calling Benjamin 'Ben' all day. Each time he even threw a wink my way--he knows better!

The frost on the trees today was absolutely stunning. We took several pictures, but this one captures the very spot that we went to inflate the balloons. I'm like Nostradamus like that!

Craig flies the ReMaxx balloon, and his buddy flies this one, and this was the one we inflated today. They really do have the best BBQ ice-cream (I've never had the BBQ, so I wouldn't know), so if you're ever in our corner of the frozen tundra...stop in!

The boys were put right to work! That is one big sled!
They lost momentum, the job got harder!

They have no idea what is going to happen...even with their wild imaginations, they still didn't know what we were in for--neither did I!

ALL of THAT fit into that bag on the sled?! Roughy 100 ft! WOW! Amazing!
She is explaining what they'll need to do next, and that is to hold the basket or it could be dragged away as the balloon fills up.

Who knew holding the basket would also offer the best seat in the house? A view into the balloon as it inflated.


Those people actually served a purpose--to hold the basket!

Sweet T and Papa Craig again.
One minute I'm looing at the boys, the next I know B is in the basket with Craig! We didn't know we'd get to fly! Because of the winds they had decided to stay grounded, but let us go about 30 feet up!

After B, I got a ride as well as all 3 of the boys (Benjamin had a friend along) What an excellent surprise!

Putting it away...we couldn't let it touch the snow. I had been holding it, but when my portion got put back into the bag I had to snap this. It was quite heavy! The balloon was surprisingly easier to pack than a sleeping bag. Really. Easy. I think one of the things the boys loved -in addition to flying in a hot air balloon - was that behind us there was the winterfest ice fishing contest going there was a rather large audience. Lots of onlookers who wanted in the basket. Great surprise Craig!

Wow! Tonight we are going downtown to all ice bar in the Peace Plaza downtown. I cannot wait! More pictures to come!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Exceptions to rules....

I don't usually enter contests. Especially contests that my friends put on. Mostly because I think "I can't possibly win, that would be bias of her" and "SO many people are going to try, there's no way I have a chance" But this contest? Too good to pass up!

Obviously I have no use for a diaper bag...and despite my last couple posts that may seem as though a bun is isn't, it won't be, no. Nor do I have use for a camera bag BUT I thought it would be perfect for my knitting! So, head on over and check it out, maybe you'll win. I guess that would mean I won't. Nevermind, carry on with what you were doing, and stay away from her contest! Thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Ok, if you aren't planning on starting or continuing to grow your family, do NOT drink the water in...well, come to think of it, I don't know where the preggo fountain is (wish I did sweet Kami...I'd bottle it up for you and hand deliver it) but I know I need to stay away from it. Recently, several people have announced their future bundles of joy, not to mention the outbreak of pregger mamas at the gym.

It goes without saying that having heard the "I'm pregnant" line many times in the last couple of weeks, I can't help but see bulging bellies everywhere I look. Just like back in high school when Bon decided she wanted a Mustang (yellow right Bon?) we started seeing Mustangs everywhere we looked. Big bellies is no exception.

Then today, one of my FB friends posted an absolutely adorable story about her 2 1/2 year old daughter that made me laugh out loud. And then, reflect. The boys are at an amazing age right now. They are loads of fun, they are insightful and funny, and I wish I could just bottle up this time so that I can drink it forever and ever. However, some of my most favoritest (yep, I think I'll use that word more often, it was fun in the last post--right?) ahem. Carrying on...memories of the boys are from when they were young. And after seeing the FB post, one in particular stood out. Let me take you back.

Many moons ago when my 1 day away from being 12 year old!! was only 26 months, and my sweet 10 year old was just a wee 2 months old, something happened that causes me to smile every time I think about it. I was a stay home mom, loving every moment, and not even thinking about a career. I had taken a position at Bath & Body Works in a position that only required me to work on Sunday evenings once a month. Seriously, it was so minimal, but it gave me a chance to get out of the house, it carried a great discount, and I was able to be around adults. I didn't even work during open hours, I simply came in to do display changes. I didn't even dress up, in fact I dressed down because it was real labor moving all the displays! ANYway-- my manager at B&BW referred me to the managers at Eddie Bauer as a great candidate to manage their store. After some thinking (and regretfully very little praying--I wasn't quite there yet at this age, many of my decisions at this point were not prayer led.) I thought being referred in this fashion when working wasn't even a glimmer in my eye, was a great sign that I should be back in the land-o-work. So I agreed to do some interviews. The first? Over the phone. Dun dun duuuunnnn. Yep, a little foreshadowing. Let me remind you 2yr + 2 months + phone interview = ??

The day of the phone interview came, and I knew that the phone would be ringing soon, so I propped up the baby in his vibrating know the one right? I put Toy Story in...seriously, what child doesn't love Buzz and Woody? I filled a tupperware dish with snackies for the 2 year old, and filled several sippie cups...hoping, and praying (except that I didn't really back then, but I've said that already) that this would keep him occupied while I began the interview

Before the call came in, I went into the bedroom and closed the door, because I don't know what it is with toddlers and moms on the phone, but it becomes a magnet for trouble, so I didn't want him to know I was on it. The call came, and I chatted awhile. Truthfully, I can't remember how long the interview was--20 min? 40 min? 50 min? No clue. But what does stand out very clearly is what I saw when I exited the bedroom.

My 2 month old was still happily cooing in his vibrating chair, only now, he was covered in makeup. Not just foundation, but eyeliner, lipstick, eyeshadow, with large amounts of desitin--for good measure. His whole head. Covered. Not to mention all the snackies and matchbox cars covering his body and chair that Benjamin was likely "sharing" with the baby. Where oh where did all of this come from? My 2 year old is not to be found. So I turned from where I was standing, and low and behold, he was standing IN the sink in the bathroom. IN it. A pedestal sink. IN it. 2!! How he got up there, I still don't know.

You'd think he too was covered in makeup wouldn't you? Well, he was certainly made up, minus the desitin, but what topped the cake was that he was coloring the mirror! After I got over the shock, and explained to him that we don't color the baby --or ourselves-- and reminded him that the baby doesn't eat goldfish or grapes or ANYthing that doesn't come from mommy, and baby is not old enough to appreciate your matchbox cars, and that he could really hurt himself if he bonked his little head...I asked him why he did what he did.

His response?

Mommies wear this when they go to work. He was 2. With a mama who doesn't have a job. How did he know?

So insightful...even then. Thank you Margo for sharing your story, it reminded me what it was like to have little ones again. I miss those days. But not enough to drink the water. Ever. Ever.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Make Believe

When I was younger one of my most favoritest -- yes it's a least in Casa MoJo it is -- things to do was to play dress up. We had some rainy day dresses that were indeed exactly what they were called. We could only play with them when it was raining. I think it was ingenious of my mom to designate them specifically to rainy days because let me tell you, there were days we would wish for rain!

These were beautiful frilly dresses that were too big for us (probably bridesmaid dresses) that we would adorn and keep on all day long. Another box was jimmied out of the closet full of all the trimmings. My sister and I would spend all day pretending we were princesses, doing our hair and makeup and primping. We would trade dresses - and identities-- and prance around in high heels. We loved it. We believed.

Of course as we grew older, the dresses were pulled out of the closet less frequently, and eventually we just stopped playing with them. Certainly, I never gave up the dream of being a princess, and because of God's grace, I found my prince charming.

One thing about make believe is that I knew all along, that it was just pretend. I would tell myself all day long that I was a royal princess, and all day long I acted the part. But when the dress came off I knew that it was just make believe, shoved back into a box for another rainy day.

I've been playing make believe for awhile now. I've been in my princess dress for too long, and today, I took it off.

Today, I set the record straight. Today, I fought back the untruths, and today, for the first time in ages, I was proud for having not been a coward to tell the truth. Of course, I can't be the only one to take the dress off. More dresses, and make up and high heeled shoes need to be tucked back into their boxes for me to really believe that the future will be brighter. Sure, it's going to rain. As long as we remember that the costumes only last for so long. It's important to put them away.
When they are stashed away, it's important to know that we are indeed not royalty, and while it was fun to pretend, the real world is here complete with a shining sun. If we try to keep the dress on, we'll find all we have are rainy days.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Updates please!

Ok, so you're waiting on pins and needles wondering what on EARTH happened with dad's chemo last week right? Have I come out of my slump? Am I back with the world of living? Well, here is an update- of sorts.

Dad has still not received his first chemo treatment. Last week he did not reach a level of hydration to being the treatment. Then today when he went back, after hours and hours of hydration, his line infiltrated. Then after several hours and attempts at placing a new line, and successfully placing one, it infiltrated again. So home he came again and again he is un-chemofied. Sigh...very frustrated. Take 4 tomorrow. Wish us luck!

I have come out of my funk from last week. It helped to sleep in over the weekend, have some quality time with the hubby, got to the gym and had some awesome work outs...yea, I'm back. For now.

I don't know whether to pray for this to go more smoothly, or pray for his pain to end sooner than later, or just pray for the ability to have peace for all that is happening.

So I guess I'll just say some vague prayers. Won't you join me?

Not Me Monday

Yep, it's that time again! Time to come clean with all my imperfections of the last week. OK, maybe not all of them, but here is a taste!

It was Not Me who let myself get so overwhelmed with my dad's condition last week that I watched an entire disk of House Season 3 in 2 days. I would never spend that much time watching TV. Not ME!

It was undoubtedly Not Me who made a fantastic to do list for the weekend only to spend too many hours at the gym, and too many hours getting groceries, and too many hours hangin' with the hubby so that not one thing on said to do list got done. Not one. And not me!

It was absolutely Not me who has said from day one that I would NOT trim Yoshi's toe nails because I didn't want to hurt him. And since it was not me who said it, it was definitely not me who got tired of listening to the click click click on the hardwood floors so that I did not take the pet nail trimmer to trim his nails. I definitely did not bribe him with peanut butter so that he'd sit still, and the trim session did not end with me cutting one of his nails too short and producing a small amount of blood. No way not me!!

Ok, so now that I've done's your turn! Let me know if you stop by so I can check out your Not Me Monday too!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Walking a Tight Rope

I'm avoiding you.

Yep, you too.

I didn't want to be around anyone after my day today. Not GIFT, not coffee with girlfriends, and sorry babe, not even my husband.

I was with dad again today. He starts chemo tomorrow. He didn't know he was starting chemo tomorrow. He still doesn't know if he wants to do chemo tomorrow. Here are just a few things from his 'mouth' today.

"So instead of a sleeping pill, I can just drown?"
after clarification of his symptom he said
"Ok, fine, suffocate"

"How long before everything turns to mush?"
meaning the cancer that is eating away at his esophagus.

After receiving news that he would likely get pnemonia before his insides get eaten away, he covered his face for awhile. Sigh...

After a lengthy (and exhausting) afternoon discussing his medical questions, needs, and concerns, I asked him if there was anything he wanted to talk about that didn't have to do with his health.

His comeback?


That's my dad for you. Most of the time I can handle it. But today? No, not today. I don't want to wonder what he wants done with his body when cancer finally takes him. It's hard to sit across from him and look into his completely defeated face while he confronts his inevitable and uncertain future. I don't want to lose my dad. I also know this isn't about me, and I just know that he sits around all day (he's a retired firefighter who spends his days -- all be it willingly, and joyfully-- alone) Alone with his thoughts. All day. And I thought that maybe I'd just open the door for him to talk about what was on his mind, and maybe about how he was feeling (non medically) Then he throws sarcastic remarks at me after a loooonnnggg day of medical dicusssions...nope. Exit fragile daughter.

Tight rope walking. W/o a safety.

I just hope I don't fall.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Do Over

If you had it to do over again would you?

Would I have let my mother give me the mullet 'do in 8th grade. Um no. I'd like to do that month over again.

Would I have kissed Charlie Bee in the woods while out on a "bike ride" Um yes. He wasn't a good kisser or anything, but a girl never forgets her first kiss, right?

Would I have signed up for girls basketball cheerleading with those awful girls and subject myself to being the butt of their jokes again? Yep. I'd do it again. It taught me to be stronger, and I learned what not to be like in high school, and I learned that girls like that are not role models.

Would I work in a pub that allows smoking by it's patrons again? Absolutely not. I'd do that over again for sure, and 'just say no' to the job offer!!! The smell of the smoke would linger on my clothing...and washing it didn't seem to help that much! That was my worst job. Blech! Do over!


I can't imagine life with out my kids. I can't imagine not knowing the people I do, and quite frankly with the exception of a few of you (or maybe just you Bon--shout out whoop whoop!!), I would never have met most of the people I know now, if not for my boys. And truthfully if I had not had them when I did (even at such a young age, I wouldn't be in the same circles, or have the same friendships, or have the same connections if not for the ages of the boys) So do that over again? No thank you.

Would I have liked to have a steady career before they were born? Uh no. Have a job that I potentially love, and not want to give up? Be in a position that I depend on the income for, so that I can't stay home with my children? Nope, not for me. I appreciate the moms who work and have kids, I respect those who do. And frankly, staying home isn't for everyone. One of the women I have grown to know recently put it perfectly...she is a teacher and she said "I wouldn't be a very good mom if I stayed home with them. I think I have more patience and I feel more laid back with my kids because I have a break from them-- and them from me." Well said Linnea, you're right. Not everyone is cut out, or has the desire to stay home with their children.

I am. I was. So I did. Thankfully, I had the opportunity, and I think my sons are who they are largely because of my staying home. Wouldn't trade it. Ever.

But now? They're in school. They aren't home. They're growing up. I'd like to find something that I enjoy doing while they're away. I'd like to have a position that allows for flexibility and yet stimulates me and allows me to grow professionally. Even if it is working in an office, or in a fact, I like the idea of having a position that I can just leave at the door. When I clock out, I'd like to completely clock out. Nothing I'd bring home with me and need to focus on when I'm with my family.

But take back the younger years just to have a position like that?

Nope. No thank you. No do overs.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Not Me Monday!

Welcome to another installment of Not Me Monday! This week, I won't be putting B on the spot...this time these are actually about me! Not Me! Monday was born out of MckMama's desire to admit some of her imperfections and reveal a few moments She'd rather forget. You may find it therapeutic to join in and do the same thing...I know I have!

I absolutely did NOT join the gym just so I could watch TV. We have gone 19 months w/o cable, and in that time I have never missed watching some of my guilty pleasure reality shows. I definitely do NOT go online and check out show times and use that to base what time I head to the gym. No, not me!

It was not me who brought 3 day old cookies to our GIFT sledding yesterday only because my family wasn't eating them fast enough. It definitely was not a new recipe that didn't pan out as well as I had hoped (not that they were bad. Because they definitely were not...bad)

And I definitely did not stock the boys up with some junk food while B and I were at our Auction party on Saturday, and when they didn't finish the junk food, I did not bring those leftovers to our GIFT gathering on Sunday just to get rid of them. Nope, not me! I'd never use our GIFT group as a way of ridding my home of food we shouldn't eat!

So, I'm wondering when B will be making an appearance on here. I've tried to get him to write once in awhile...he has so far refused. But what do you say bloggy friends? Would you like to hear what B has to say?! Chime in, maybe he'll step in one day? Whadya say?