A perfect excuse – or is it?

D1 said something last week that is sticking with me. Something that she blurted out with no hesitation – even in front of her friend.

I’ll get to what it was in a minute but a little history first. The elementary school the girls go/went to is a very crunchy granola peace love and understanding kind of place. Which is great! We love it there.  They have a wonderful “peace choir”, they do marvelous earth day programs and the are well-known among the other schools for the great music program.

That said, we’ve been there for 10 years. Ten years of programs, many of them the same. Over and over until the words come back to haunt you in the dead of night. When my patient wonderful loving husband says the music teacher is a loon and he’ll likely die if he hears another Indonesian Gamelan concert, you know it’s bad.

So let’s go back to last week. D3 knew there was an Earth Day program and opted not so sign up for it. She thought she was in the clear. The poor thing has been going to these things since she was 1. She didn’t want to do another, she didn’t sign up. End of story right? Wrong.

Turns out the head Peace Choir lady is also a 4th grade teacher so she decided that ALL of the 4th graders should participate by being in the background choir. D3 was pissed!!!! But, good parents that we are, we bought our earplugs and told her to suck it up and go.

We won’t even get into the part where she stood in the back row frowning and barely mouthed the words. This isn’t her story.

This is about D1. While on the drive back from Cultural Cooking club (I know), she asked what our plans were for that night. I reminded her about her sister’s program and the audible groans began. As well as the laughter from her friend in the back seat because she didn’t have to attend.

Then the excuses started.

I can’t go because:

I have too much homework.

I have to practice my piece for the state music festival.

I think I have a fever.

Someone should stay with the dogs.

While I shared her pain, I shot down them all and reminded her how many concerts/programs her sisters have had to attend for her. Then she hit me with this:

Mom, can’t we use your cancer as an excuse to get out of it?

Ok first, it surprised me that she’d just blurt out the C-word like that in front of her friend.

Second, my cancer is generally the motivator that pushes me to go to these things even when I don’t feel well. Six years ago I didn’t know how many of these events I’d live to see. Each one is precious and just because D3 is on the tail end of these things, and she’s as tired of them as we are, doesn’t make it any it any less important to see each one.

Lastly, is she really trying to benefit from my cancer? Is her silver lining that it gets us out of stuff? Honestly, I can see that.

It was a week ago but I keep going back to it. I keep hearing her voice in my head and I can’t help but wonder if I really have used the cancer excuse too many times. I know I haven’t for anything major but what of the small stuff? Have I skipped too many trips to the pool or downtown events that SG has taken then to while I rested? I didn’t think so until now.

The other thing that bothers me, that is out of my control, is that she’s so desensitized to my cancer that she just blurts things out about it at will. This is the girl who used to not want me to bring it up because it’s “awkward”. She’s acutely aware that it makes people uncomfortable yet she has no issue saying that in front of her friend.

Is guess maybe that’s a good thing? She doesn’t see it as a big deal anymore? I know it’s become routine for me. Just another fact of life. The way things are and will continue to be since my treatment will never end. At least not unless we run out of treatments, then the rest is irrelevant.

So tell me my friends. Is this a good thing? Has it become a non-issue? I explained to her that the cancer is what makes me go, not what prevents me from it. I even told her why – that I’ve never known how many I’ll get to see.

She gets that but she still hates the “We’re one small voice” song.

I’ll give her that one.


Balancing Children

No, I’m not referring to a new circus act for the school carnival. Nor am I setting up an audition tape to get my daughters on America’s Got Talent.

I’m talking about trying to balance time and energy among more than one kiddo. Right now my time seems to be very D1 heavy. If I’m not at one of her volleyball games, it seems I’m running down to pick her up from practice. It’s been great to spend more time with her and in a way I feel like I’m getting to know her all over again. Or maybe for the first time as this new, more mature version of the little girl I used to know.

In the next couple of weeks, D3 starts soccer so we’ll add her into the mix. She also leaves for school 30 minutes after her sisters every morning so I get to have one on one time with her each day as well. She’s bright, fun and energetic in the morning and I love that about her!

But what of D2? It seems most of my time with her this week has involved the words “Hurry up, you’re going to miss your bus!” or some variation of that which may or may not include the words, “Move your ass NOW because if you miss that bus you’re going to walk !” I’m expecting my inbox to overflow with requests for parenting advice any minute now. Parenting Magazine will be asking me to do a weekly guest column I’m sure.

She started middle school this week. A whole new chapter for her in a place where they estimate 80% of the students go through puberty while they’re there. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement for middle school teaching as a career path, I don’t know what is!

This morning she was exhausted from the 1st week of school and unable to make decisions even about lunch. I gave her two choices, a sandwich or pizza, and she said she didn’t care. I’m guessing that when she comes home this afternoon she’ll be complaining I made the wrong choice!  The child who curled up next to me in the hospital 5 years ago just to find a way to be near me, has stopped kissing me goodnight or saying goodbye on her way to school.

Do you suppose it could be the yelling at her to move her ass?

I feel like this is the kiddo who needs more time but doesn’t necessarily want it. I’m pretty sure some of this also hit when D1  started middle school so I know can ride this one out too. In the meantime, I’ll try to find ways to sneak in a few minutes or an hour alone with her here and there.

She likes to help me cook so maybe we can do that side by side or hang out down by the river. Playing in rocks and sand will never be something she outgrows whether she has a fishing pole in hand or not.

I am trying to find the balance between my girls but I worry that when D2 finally decides she wants to chat, I’ll be too busy with one of her sisters to notice. If only I could clone myself so that I’ll always be handy for whichever child needs me at a given moment.

I always hear about middle children getting lost between older and younger siblings. I’ve tried like hell to be aware of that and not let it happen but this week, I’m afraid I’m failing miserably.

Where Was I?

There was a time in my life when I was relatively smart. When I worked for a large corporation and communicated intelligently with overseas vendors. I could handle US Customs with efficiency.

And then I got pregnant and gave birth 68 times. (Really? It was only 3? Are you sure?)

Now I drive like a bat out of hell all the way across town to make it to D1’s volleyball game on time, only to get there and find out it’s a home game. A few blocks from our house. It would seem I lack the ability to even read the most basic game schedules.

The 2nd game was good.

I’d like to shrug it off and call it chemo brain but if I’m being honest with myself, I’ll have to admit it started long before the cancer.

It was little things at first. Leaving for work and forgetting my lunch. Locking my keys in the car at the store. Forgetting to pick up SG before Lamaze.

We called it “baby brain” when I was pregnant.

“New mommy” brain when D1 was a baby.

“Exhausted, prenatal AND postpartum” brain with the little 2.

Now I’m pretty sure I’m just stupid.

I take pill for everything else. If any of you know of a pill for this will you let me know?

Oh, and would somebody please remind me to pick up D2 from her playdate on the way to D3’s volleyball game after I go to D1’s 4:15 game? Oh wait, that might be tomorrow.

No, the playdate is definitely today but D3’s game is tomorrow. Tonight is the 4:15 game and a 7:00 band concert – all for D1.

I’m so screwed.

Doughnuts or Donuts – They’re Popular Either Way

I don’t know what the deal is with donuts in my search terms lately. One post on doughnut porn and suddenly I’m the go-to girl for all things round and yeasty and put to questionable uses.

There aren’t a lot of fun searches that lead here, although I did get “crochet man thong” not long ago. That has potential.

In the last week though, I’ve gotten these:

  • cardboard donut box  – Is this a high demand item?
  • video top ping donut –  I don’t even know what a top ping donut is, why would I have a video?
  • cock and ball doughnut – ok, I might have actually used that exact term but only in a purely descriptive way. This is like the 4th time I’ve gotten this search. Who knew?

And my personal favorite:

  • “Special” doughnut porn – What exactly do you think that means? Do we want to speculate? What kind of special things do you think they do and should we assume it involves the cock and ball doughnut? Are doughnut holes also a part of what makes it special?

Oh wait, I did get this one yesterday – I’m assuming it’s NOT doughnut porn related but I’ll let you be the judge:

  • Tail in ass pain – It linked to a post about my dog. They may have been disappointed.

I’m glad I didn’t write about clown porn or something!


Still Lost

I’ve realized after something like 86 posts, I may have run out of things to say. There is nothing more of interest in my head and I have no new stories. I’m having to rethink why I’m writing and who I’m writing for.

I started out thinking this was a good place for therapy, to just get shit out of my head and yes, it has been. I also thought it might be a bit of a humor blog. Other than maybe a couple of posts, it hasn’t been. As far as “types” of blogs, I’m not sure where I’d fall.

Am I a mom blog, a cancer blog, a mom with cancer blog?

Am I identified again by my disease because it’s frequently on my mind, even though I originally claimed that’s not who I wanted to be?

Or do I need to put it less in the background and truly embrace my illness and put a face on it? Is that my only unique perspective?

I also can’t help but wonder why I’m not nearly as funny in print as I am in my mind? So often I start to write something and find it’s really turning into a “you had to be there” kind of thing. When I re-read it, I realize many of you would probably be glad you weren’t. Like D1 questioning SG’s sexual prowess this weekend. It made me pee myself. When I write it, it’s just not Depends worthy.

The other question nagging me is – Why I am I so freaking obsessed with my blog stats if I’m “writing for me”?  Why is it that every time I get a good day in the bar graph, it’s bordered by 2 really low days so that it looks like even my stats page is giving the finger?

I don’t know what I’m looking for or where I think this blog is going. Somehow I guess I thought it would work itself out.

I look at the amazing bloggers out there and wonder how you do it? How do you consistently come up with such perfectly written topics?

I used to think writing was something I was moderately good at. It is something I enjoy but I’m wondering if maybe it turns out the subject matter just isn’t as interesting as I’d hoped. Is it more than my overuse of the word just?

I guess I’ll continue to wing it until I get over this identity crisis. In the meantime, I suppose there will be growing pains.

Thanks to all of you who have stuck around so far. I will figure this out damnit!

Save Me From the Flowers in my Mailbox!

Stargazer Lillies Lillium orientale 'Stargazer...

Image via Wikipedia

In the middle of my post holiday snowed under hazardous weather outlook week, they’re arriving. The seed and garden catalogs in all their glory.

A virtual bouquet of promises. Springtime at my finger tips.

While in the middle of new snow, with a forecast for more and a warning of an arctic cold front on they way, I’m looking at lilies, fruit trees and hundreds of plants sure to die immediately in our pitiful excuse of a growing season.

They lure me in with promises of drought tolerance because despite the knee-deep snow in our backyard, we’ll be hot and dry and in the middle of fire season by July. I look at them and imagine huge splashes of color in the middle of a desert looking yard.

They trap me with the pictures of deer behind red NO circles. The words “deer resistant” suggest my flowers will be left to bloom but I know that simply means “appetizer before we move on to the stuff we really like” to our neighborhood herd. It means they’ll bring their babies to munch on new growth before bitter-tasting flowers arrive but I’ll fall for it anyway. I always do. 

I fall for it all it. I soak in the suggestion of warmth and sunshine.

I madly type in the coupon codes to grab them before someone in the correct hardiness zone clicks enter before me. I accidentally order bulbs that should have been planted in the fall and won’t arrive until September.

I’ll forget about them by then and will lack the energy to plant them when I should, but still I buy. I can’t help myself.

I may even order vegetable seeds at twice the price of the local nursery because right now all they have in stock are snow shovels. I need my seeds. I need to know there’s a plentiful garden in my future. Under all that snow there are raised beds waiting to be uncovered.

At some point SG will beg me to stop. To step away from the computer. To put down the catalog order forms. He’ll try to convince me we have months more of this. He’ll suggest we go make a snow fort, go sledding, anything to break the spell of promised new growth and flowers.

I’ll come back to reality and accept we don’t live in a place where I can make banana bread from the fruits of our very own tree.

Until the next catalogs arrive and I return to my imagined paradise.

PS- Time for at least a warmer looking header right? One of my favorite places.

I Think I Just Killed Santa

Oh boy – my medicated brain has just topped itself.

You see, my girls all had big Christmas gifts on their wish lists – as in Nintendo DS’s for the younger two and a Zune MP3 for my oldest. I’ve been telling them all along they were just too expensive.  I asked them if they’d rather have 1 bigger gift or several smaller ones. They all voted for the big gift but gave me small options as well in case I couldn’t find the big ones on sale or something.

I played up the expense and thought I was being so clever! I got the big ones but also needed smaller ones from Santa. So I found a couple more for each of them to go with their DS & game combos and Zune & music card combos.

Sounds good right? Except in my attempt to make D3 think that she wasn’t getting the bigger gift, I told her about the smaller ones I’d gotten D2 – you know, to throw her off track.

That’s right – I told her about the Santa gifts. I didn’t even realize it until I was wrapping and packing presents this morning. Have I also mentioned that D2 busted me at the school book fair buying them books?

Long story short (but still too long) – there are no secret gifts. You know how it goes – once D2 found out I told D3 about her gifts, she wanted to know D3’s and now they each  know what the other is getting. There’s nothing I can claim came from Santa’s workshop.

 Except the big ones!

Looks like I have to give credit for the pricier gifts to the big bearded guy and let them think their father and I are cheapo’s.

I wonder if they’ll notice that Santa got them the exact DS skins they looked at on the Decal Girl website?? Will they also wonder how their grandparents knew Santa was getting the DS’s and bought them each another game and case??

Oh boy! It’s a good thing my dad looks just like Santa. He may be the only one left for them! Although, D3 did tell me what she wants in her stocking so maybe that ship has already sailed anyway? I don’t know. I will never again schedule a scan right before Christmas!

Sometimes I amaze myself with just how far I can fit my head up my ass!

And now that I’ve burned that image in your mind’s eye – Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all of you!!

Thanks for reading!  I’m going to go see if I can find the wine Santa brought me.