I Got Nothin’

Since Marinka asked so nicely, I will not post her address here today. It’s really too bad, I’d planned one hell of a party at her house and was going to invite you all. If you’re bored and don’t have anywhere fun to go, blame her.

I’m also inconvenienced by this because it leaves me without a topic. I’m too medicated to have a enough original thoughts to build a stash in the drafts folder. I only have 1 in there.

It’s the one that has been begging to be written. It’ll be posted on the 5th anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. When my brain heads down the wrong road, I write. It’s the story that has been with me every February as I reach that yearly milestone.

I’ve never had an outlet to tell it before. It will be long. You’ve been warned. Still, that’s not helping me at all right now. It’s not February yet, I can’t post it.

It’s my quarterly scan today. I know I’ve already told you that but that’s why I have nothing interesting to say. I apologize.

Maybe something exciting will happen at my scan. Though I feel like I shouldn’t say that because I’ll jinx myself. I have a greater appreciation for boring and uneventful than most I think.

I’m just referring to something even moderately blog worthy, but not involving the words, “Yup, that pain in your side is definitely from growing liver mets.” I get the results next week – what kind of crappy Christmas present would that be?? Santa loves me more than that right?

Ah hell, I don’t know. I’ve officially reached peak scanxiety levels and it’s time to admit that creative brilliance isn’t going to happen. I’m scattered and unfocused.

I scan at 11:00 then I’m going to make more fudge. I’m sure I can find some people to take it off my hands.

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O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree

Saturday was our annual trek to the mountains for our Christmas tree. We’d go down the street to the store and buy one but then we couldn’t enjoy the togetherness right?

I feel like I should give you all a few sound bites from our day so you too can enjoy our holiday traditions. I don’t want you to feel left out. It’s because I like you. Really.

This year, at the recommendation of the helpful Forest Service lady, we decided to go someplace new. Our girls don’t like change. Well 2 out of the 3 don’t anyway.

On the way there, our car sounded like this:

“Why are we going this way? Don’t we usually go the other way?”

“Are you sure you know where we’re going? Are we lost?”

“Why are we going this way again?”

“Mooooommmmmm……did you hear what I asked you? I think we’re going the wrong way!”

“How long is this going to take, I’m pretty sure the other way was faster.”

Once we got there and they saw it was a beautiful area with lots of snow, things looked up. For awhile. Then it went like this:

“Mom there’s a crunchy ice layer on top of the snow. It’s hard to walk in.”

“There aren’t any trees.”

“Um, we’re in a huge forest on the side of the mountain, did you look around you?”

“I’m mean GOOD trees. Where are the good trees?”

“How about this (30 ft) tree? Will it fit?”

“No idiot, that’s too big. Mom, tell her it’s too big.”

“Mom, help!! My foot got stuck under the log and I lost my boot. The snow’s cold on my  foot!”

“Seriously? Where’s your sock??”

“You didn’t say I had to wear socks.”

“Honey, what about that tree you saw earlier? Down where D2 lost her boot.”

“You mean the one I suggested 4 hours ago? Remind me again why we didn’t just buy one?”

“Because this is fun. It’s tradition.”

“I’m bored, can we get a pizza?”

“Mom, she said the B-word!!! She gets double chores right?”

“I’m not bored, I’m hungry. I didn’t mean to say bored. I’m not bored. Are we done yet?”

“Moooommmmmmmm! I lost my boot again!”

So eventually we got the perfect-enough tree and headed home but we weren’t done quite yet. Half way home it went like this:

“Ewww….what’s that smell?”

“Oh man! Dad did you fart?”

“It’s not me, what IS that smell?”

“Somebody open a window!”

“Gross, I think it’s D3’s snow boot liners! They’re by the heater. Mom the heat’s making it worse, make her move them!!! I’m going to gag!”

“Don’t be ridiculous. It can’t be the liners. D3 let me see your boot. Holy crap!!! It IS the liner. Move them away from the heater NOW!”

“It’s not my fault. They were D2’s last year and she never wears socks.”

“I’m hot!”

“I’m cold.”

“I’m hot too! Are we getting pizza.”

“I still think the other place was closer.”

“Merry Christmas babe!

“Merry Christmas handsome! Take a right, I called for a pizza while you were tieing on the tree.”

I’m Not a Poet – and Yes, I Know it.

Sometimes my brain is a very weird place. This really is what’s rattling around in my head this morning. I blame the drugs.

Ode To Fudge

There once was a woman named Annie

Who spent too much time on her fanny

She made too much fudge

Then she ate too much fudge

Now her ass is the size of Miami

 

Scans

Oral contrast & IV contrast

I can’t decide which one is worse

Gaggy drinks & hot crotches

The latter more fun than the first.

 

To Do List

Order this, order that

Does D2 REALLY want a cat?

Fuck this, fuck that

I won’t buy gifts that pee or crap!

 

Ok, I’ll stop now since they’re getting progressively worse. My sincere apologies but if I don’t get them out of my head they’ll just keep coming. I reserve the right to add a part II.

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

 

 

Well That School is OFF the List!

So, D1 and I made it through the 1st high school open house last night. Barely. Our town has 3 high schools and it’s open enrollment so she can choose where she wants to go.

She’s pretty sure which one she wants to choose because of their amazing band program, but we thought we’d check out the one that’s closer to our house anyway. A lot of her friends are going there so she hadn’t ruled it out completely.

Now she has!

The first speaker of the night started off with the attendance, graduation requirements and how the number of credits required  was increasing. Not a problem. She’s a great student and hates to miss days or classes because she doesn’t like to get behind. Got that one covered.

The 2nd guy got up and started talking about attendance, friendship issues and “girl drama”. I’ve been there, I know how much high school girls can suck but I also know boys can be real jackasses too! They’re nothing but walking penis’ at that age, making obscene comments and gestures. But, NOOO, let’s spend 10 minutes talking about girl drama and how horrible they are to make them all feel really welcome in their new school. Just not feeling the love at this point.

The 3rd guy got up next (are there no women in this school??) and he’s the “resource officer”. He gives some testosterone filled “I’m a cop first” speech with his chest so puffed out a woman in the first row may have been chewing on his nipple.

Sure I might be biased because I know his daughter – she was in 1st/2nd grade with D2 and she’s a pain in the ass, but nah, even if his daughter was an angel, this guy sucked the big one too.

We left the auditorium with a big old black clouds hanging over us and the kids took off to do a scavenger hunt around the school.

About 20 minutes later my kiddo comes to find me. She didn’t look great. She said there were nuts in the spanish classroom – hazelnuts which are the ones she’s most allergic to – and in the chocolates in the gym and I think in another room. Maybe the home ec. room or somewhere. She’s very allergic to tree  nuts!!!!

Her throat was getting scratchy and she didn’t feel well.

Of course being the quality mother that I am, I hadn’t brought any Benadryl. We were just going to an open house, why would she need it? She’s never been quite that sensitive before but she said she may have touched something and gotten it on her hands then rubbed her eyes or something. I’m not sure what the whole story was.

We got the hell out of there, ignored the freezing rain on the windshield and broke speed records home. We got Benadryl in her and didn’t have to use an Epi pen so that was good. A few minutes later we looked at each other and said, “well that school’s out!”

Really, what the hell? What kind of school in this day and age fills their rooms full of nuts? It’s a good thing her friend wasn’t there because he’s much more sensitive than she is. I’m not a proponent of eliminating pb&j’s and that kind of stuff from schools but I am a fan of the common sense approach. Or at least the pull your head out your ass approach.

These people have no idea about the kids are touring their rooms last night.  As if the gloom and doom 3 musketeers weren’t bad enough. Let’s throw in a few allergens to really convince these kids to pick their school. Is it a survival of the fittest kind of place?

I had such a great conversation with a woman at the other high school yesterday. She was way beyond helpful and happy to make the whole process easier for us. She was so positive I wanted to have D1 skip the rest of 8th grade and jump right into her freshman year today.

And if I needed more reasons to go the route we were thinking, they gave them to me last night! Bastards!

The Evolution of Parenting

You know how you’re going along in life doing the parenting thing, your kids are tiny and easily controlled, then one day you set your little one down and they crawl away from you? It’s a little bit of a shock but even as they find a some independence, they always come back to you. You are MOM – they are always aware of where you are and seek you out. Their world expands just a little but you are still at the center.

Then they hit kindergarten and you have a little less input into their days. They come home mouthy because that’s how they heard their friend talk to her mom. But still, you can help in the classroom and get to know their friends and teachers. You’re still very involved. They want you to walk them to their lines in the morning. You get to kiss and hug them as you say good-bye  – even in front of their friends.

It changes a bit as they travel through elementary school but you are still involved. My 5th grader won’t call me to bring in forgotten homework because her teacher has a rule that if she does, she has to kiss and hug me in the classroom. She’d rather take the zero. It cracks me up even though she used to be my cuddly one. I’m half tempted to hide her homework so she has to call. She still smiles when she sees me in the hall though so I take that as a good sign.

Elementary is cake, then middle school comes along and you’re no longer welcome in the classroom. Forget any sort of long good-bye when you drop them off. I was told by the principal at the parent open house for 6th grade that close to 90% of the students go through puberty in those 3 years. School is a hormonal cesspool best avoided!

I’ve been through all that with my oldest and am happy to say we’ve survived it so far. But…..tonight we have the first HIGH SCHOOL open house. Holy Mother of God, I’m going to be the parent of a high school student!!

This is a  new phase for both of us and I think I’m more nervous than she is. I’m excited for me because I wasn’t sure I’d still be here for her at this point. I’m excited for her because I know she’s more than ready to brave this next step.

But, I also remember all too well what it’s like to be in high school. Those weren’t my favorite years. I sure hope it’s easier on this side of the equation but I suspect it won’t be! I hope it’s easier for her than it was for me. I think it will be.

She has a security in herself that I never had. She knows who she is better than I did. I’m proud of her, nervous for her, excited for her and more than a little scared shitless for me.

She’s still my baby dammit, even if she is almost as tall as I am.

Dude, That’s Just Not Right!

There seems to be a pattern in my life where I whine about things like sleepless nights then something happens to remind me how very lucky I am, and that there’s always somebody who struggles more than I do. We may not know it when we see them, but they’re out there.

I help in D3’s class at the end of the day on Fridays and last week while we were waiting for D2 to get out of school we decided to check out the “giving tree” by the office. It’s a tree like you see all over this time of year where you can choose gifts to buy for families in need.

Every year, we each pick a gift. I pick a mom and one for SG and the girls always pick kids about their age and we make an evening of shopping for them. I think it’s good that they see how fortunate we are and how good it feels to do something for somebody else. To make sure that other kids get their holiday wishes granted.

We usually spend some time and look through all of the requests to see what we want to buy. In the past it’s been toys, slippers, sleds, that kind of thing.  But this year, among the little slips asking for teddy bears and legos, were requests for toothpaste, shampoo and toilet paper. Basic purchases that we take for granted but that, in this economy, others might need to put off when it’s hard enough to afford food.

 There were 2 boys D2’s age that were looking at the same time we were and one of them saw the toothpaste and was just as saddened. He looked at his friend and said “Dude, that’s not right! People should have that kind of stuff”. D3 looked at me and said, “He’s right Mom, they should!” I couldn’t agree more!

The requests are completely anonymous but they are all from our school. They are our neighbors and our children’s classmates. People we see at school functions and have no idea what they’re going through. It was another wake up call that unless you are living in their house, walking in their shoes, you just don’t know what the person standing next to you may be facing.

My choice this year was a mom who asked for gel inserts for her shoes. I always make sure a mom gets something because we all know they are the first to give up gifts so their children can have something. I picked up some comfy fuzzy socks and some good foot lotions to go with them. Given my year of chemo feet, I can appreciate how important it is to be comfortable. 

I think we’ll also do a basket of basics like toothpaste and take it to the family resource center at school. I know that’s a place where people feel safe asking for help – they’re the ones who organize the tree. Maybe some who didn’t ask for the basics will feel ok about taking some if they’re available.

If you can afford it, please find a giving tree in your area. Or find a local food bank and donate anything you can no matter how small. Even a canned good or two add up if enough people contribute.

And if you need help, please ask. I know asking is hard, I personally suck at it but people are out there who want to do it. Let them.

Let The Baking Begin

Cookies for friends and family for the holiday...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that I bake when I’m nervous. If not, I do. This year it’s going to work out nicely though because my scan next week coincides with the holiday baking rush. The more nervous I am, the higher quantity of goodies.

Yesterday it was Irish Lace Cookies and this morning I have a huge pan of fudge cooling. My oldest has an All City Winds ensemble concert tonight and both her band directors will be there as well as D2’s band director so it seemed like a good night to get things started.

I have a feeling everybody we know will be getting plates of cookies, fudge, breads,etc. Maybe more than one because my side still hurts and my dog (who has a nose for cancer) has taken to following me from room to room and sitting by my chair. She’s going to drive me insane.

Since I won’t be getting my scan results until the 21st, I can only assume everyone around me can plan on gaining several pounds the next 3 weeks. Do you all want to go ahead and forward me your addresses?

If only the nervousness translated into getting out holiday cards. I suck at that.