Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day or Labor Day...

I tried to go into labor last night. Really, I did. I went into labor with Sweet Boy at 1:30 am the day after Memorial Day…. So I tried for a repeat but failed.

Doc appt Friday was uneventful. Well, except he sprung a surprise “Let’s check your cervix” clause into the contract. He’s supposed to be so hands-off. Hah! Nothing says “holiday weekend” like a little cramping and spotting. Didn’t bother me too much but it makes Hot Stuff crazy and, of course, makes him deny me sexual favors….. which makes me grumpy.

The doc also said I’m measuring smaller than I did with Sweet Boy. I tried to get more info. Does that mean it is a girl? Does that mean s/he isn’t positioned correctly for the record-breaking speed birth I’m planning? Should I be eating more? Does this mean the baby needs more ice cream? Are you concerned? Should I be concerned? Is it because I started the pregnancy a solid 10 pounds heavier than I should be? You can hide a lot of baby in 10 pounds, can’t you? He gave me that mild look and said, “It doesn’t mean anything.” Rats.

I now officially go to two-week appointments. Next one is June 14th.

So then on Sunday one of my favorite ex-boyfriends called. He (and his wife) were in Yellowstone and would be through in the late afternoon…. Could they spend the night?

Um. Sure.

So we added two more chairs for the Major Birthday Bash ™ we had planned and continued with our lives.

Major Birthday Bash ™

Sweet Boy turns 2 on Thursday. Hot Stuff is having cataract surgery (again) the day before AND Thursday is also our anniversary AND my mom’s birthday AND my daycarista has this week off.

So we celebrated on Sunday night with spaghetti and chocolate cake. (With my amazing chocolate frosting.) I am not one of those people who believes in having a big party for a little person…. But I do love a party. We had the in-laws, Hot Stuff’s sister & family, my ex-college boyfriend & his wife (more on that later) and my sister. This weekend we will go to “the farm” and continue celebrating there. Much laughter, several small squealing children, no major calamities….. that pretty much sums it up. Sweet Boy ate his broccoli (even as his two cousins literally gagged on it) and did his best Shrek impersonation while eating his spaghetti… (Ah, weedrat….)

I actually LISTENED to Hot Stuff when he said we have TOO MANY TOYS in our house and got Sweet Boy a bike helmet, a spiderman toothbrush, new sippy cups, a few little art supplies and NO TOYS. Hot Stuff got him a giant bulldozer, a big backhoe & a little pickup and trailer (which Sweet Boy insisted on sleeping with). Do you see the issue here? Yes, my spouse is two-faced…. A nice ass, but two-faces.

One more update...

Email from the momma on Monday:

We were released from the hospital this morning -- Nadine's blood counts were great and she's eating and drinking on her own. We're delighted to be home.

We arrived to find a hospital bed in the middle of our great room -- PERFECT!

Thank you all so much for everything. The DVDs and TV/DVD player were a God-Send. She loves all the movies, and watched endless hours of them...

Love, (the momma)

Little Hero

Background: Nadine's mom & dad are these two totally lovely and lovable people. A lot of email has been flying around regarding the purchase of dvd's for Nadine. (The family got her a dvd/tv combo but they only own a total of FOUR dvd's.) The following is a reply to an email from a family friend who said, "I just got Princess Diaries 2 and Robots (for Levi)."

This is great.

I have no idea who is on this list and typically would not reply if I did not know the audience. I however was moved by the last entry in this email which simply stated:
"(for Levi)"

Let us not as a Christian family forget this beautiful bright eyed miracle named Levi whom is also a part of this family and the obstacles they have gone through and will continue to go through.

Levi is my hero and Cheri and Dan have done a wonderful job as his parents keeping him loved and comforted. Levi also needs to be remembered by us.

I say one more time so you all do not misunderstand me. LEVI is my hero!

Proudly signed by a father (of two little boys like Levi) who is proud of this strong little boy whom also has had to walk through a small bit of hell in all this.
(name removed)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Chemo. Round One.

Following is an email update from a family friend.

Hi all--
Nadine checked in on Tuesday, May 23 to start her first (of six, I think) rounds of chemo. Today is day 4 of the process and I'm sure you are anxious for an update. The procedure for Nadine's chemo is to start her on anti-nausea drug, followed by a "rescue" drug that is designed to protect her bladder and remaining kidney from the harsh effects of chemo. After those drugs are in her system they start her on her chemo which, depending on the day, is a mix of 2 or 3 drugs (all of which have really long names). She repeats this process for 5 days in a row and then waits for the chemo to kill the fast growing cancer cells. Unfortunately it kills off good things too so she'll lose her hair in 2-3 weeks. She will then need to regain strength and her white blood count before beginning the process all over again.

Nadine has been rather sick and has not tolerated the chemo all that well. At first the anti-nausea drug made her 'floppy' and she couldn't control her body at all. They have increased her dose to a level that makes her very sleepy...the next step will be to find the right level that will keep her feeling well AND able to interact a bit more. Momma & Dad are taking turns with the night shift and hanging in there. Reality sets in a bit more everyday...today it was the news that there is a chance that Nadine may be in the hospital for weeks on end depending on her reaction to the chemo and side effects. Nadine will hopefully get out of the hospital on Sunday or Monday...I'll keep you posted.

BUT Nadine has, and will continue, to amaze us and today is no exception... I just got off the phone with Momma who reports that Nadine has tolerated chemo extremely well today, hasn't had her anti-nausea drug since around 10 a.m., drank some ginger ale and ate one dorito (all of which stayed DOWN!), and is in a feisty mood! She also had beautiful finger and toe nails, and darling PJs, an amazing daddy who is keeping her entertained with magic tricks and making balloon animals, and an amazing momma who is giving her loving but also making
her remember her manners!

Remember to keep those cards, phone calls, and prayers a coming...

c/o Miss Rodeo Montana 2006
PO Box 6951
Helena MT 59604

Thursday, May 25, 2006

How could I have missed this??

I was just nibbling on a little deer thuringer for lunch and I noticed the label. (Now, keep in mind, this is a neon pink label that I'VE NEVER NOTICED BEFORE.) It says:


Well, hello. The 12-year-old boy in me salutes the 12-year-old boy in you.....

So then I decided I MUST SHARE my favorite mascot. Meet Sammy. (And if you order now it will be there in time for Father's Day!!!)

*I'd like to add that Tizer Meats does an excellent job processing meat. We have all our elk & deer done there. They are quick & they treat the carcasses well (especially if you bring them in well-cleaned & cared for) and they don't mix the carcasses which is important to me.

I've got the blues....

.... well, not really (and now that I've got that old mac-n-cheese commercial stuck in your head....).... People, I need some blue advice.... as in blue paint. For Sweet Boy's room. Darn, I wish I had some pictures of his room so you could see what I'm working with.... Ok, here's my potterybarnkids inspiration.... the light blue, the dark blue, the animals in between..... except, of course, it won't be MONKEYS. No. Hot Stuff hates monkeys. It will be elk or cows or platipi (what IS the plural of platapus?) or dogs or something.

So what is your favorite blue paint? Give me names, numbers, brands..... inspire me.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Holy Shit.... Company is coming.....

So this morning I got an email from Susan saying, essentially, GAME ON PEOPLE. We are gonna take this Princess card thing and RUN with it.... oh, and by the way..... Blogging Baby is on-board too.


I need to clean house. You know that feeling when company is coming and you really want to impress them but you realize you won't get your house painted and new furniture before they arrive in, oh, 15 minutes?? That's how I feel. I need a funny post RIGHT NOW. Something clever. Something poignant (hell, I can't even spell that.... how can I be that?)

So, welcome to my humble home, feel free to poke around and open all the closets and cupboards.... have some iced tea or a margarita... I promise to post something funny about pregnancy, sex or things my son says in the next day or two if you'd like to check back... if not, well, the mailing address for Nadine is:

c/o Miss Rodeo Montana 2006
PO Box 6951
Helena, MT 59604

Oh, and Susan also made a very good point.... Nadine has a little brother, Levi, who needs some loving.... so be thinking of him too.

AND PS: Our daycarista DOES NOT have cancer. Her lump turned out to be benign.... she has to do mammograms every 3 months (just like slamming your tit in the refrigerator door!) but so far she is cancer-free!!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Well Wishes for Nadine

Ok people.

Here's your chance to DO SOMETHING.

Many of you have read Nadine's story here and here. To recap..... cancer sucks. But, due to the generous nature of Miss Rodeo Montana 2006 I now have a PO Box and a chance to make myself feel better by getting you involved in this little girl's life.

Please send cards (especially princess cards) to:

c/o Miss Rodeo Montana 2006
PO Box 6951
Helena MT 59604

Her first round of chemo & hospital stay is May 23-26.

I know there aren't a lot of people who read this blog but the more cards we can get to her the better I will feel..... so pass along the request and the address to anyone else who would like to participate.

If Amanda B can do it.....

See what can happen when you use your powers for good??

Thursday, May 18, 2006

When all else fails.... cook.

So Phase I of Operation Making-myself-feel-better-disguised-as-compassion will consist of several actual to-do projects and recipes.

Remember this cake? When I forgot to grease the pan? Well, it is an EXCELLENT take-to-things cake.... no pan to forget, no frosting to mess. It's also oinky* enough for comfort food. I stole the recipe from Carmen.

A side note about Carmen: She & I would never be friends..... not because we wouldn't get along well either.... We would both be too geeky to make the first move. You know the "hey, you wanna come play with me?" move that most people master sometime between the ages of 2-6? Neither one of us seems to have it.... it's one of the many reasons I love reading her blog.

So, about that cake....

one chocolate cake mix (I think I usually get the kind with Hershey's syrup in it)
one box instant chocolate pudding mix (I get a big box)
4 eggs
½ c warm water
1/2 cup oil
8 ounces sour cream

Mix until satiny smooth - this is the important part, about 5 minutes. Stir in one bag of chocolate chips (or those heavenly Hershey's kisses minis). Bake in a bundt pan for 45-60 minutes, or until it tests done. This cake is best served warm, with whipped cream or ice cream, and strawberries or other fruit. It also freezes well.

*oinky -as defined by my boss- is a requirement for foods taken to people in need.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

So and then #2....

I bet you thought, by the title, I was going to talk about poop. Well I'm not. Well, ok, since you asked.... just for a second. I've pooped 7 days in a row. Yes, indeed. A record. Stickers on the calendar. It all started last Wednesday when I went to see my wonderful doc..... he's a naturopath/chiropractor/accupunturist and he makes the world all right for me. I have no idea how he did it..... he pounded on my back a lot..... maybe it is psychosomatic (sp?) but who cares? I'll be scrubbing the toilet with glee this weekend because I MADE IT DIRTY.

But on to the real reason for this post.

My dear daycarista is ill. She found a lump just before Easter. Have you ever noticed how everyone knows what you are talking about when you say "found a lump" that way?? She says she was worried she was growing a third boob.

So.... the key words & phrases to take away from all this are..... cyst, lump, on mammogram since 2003, first doctor ignored, second doctor didn't, cyst looks clear, tissue around cyst is worrisome, family history, surgery today.

Sweet Boy is at home with daddy. They had big plans... hair cuts & a trip to the dump.

Then we just wait and see what the pathology report finds.....

If these things truly come in three's I'm willing to wait patiently.....

Except I'm not patient. I want to DO, DO, DO something. I might do a series of posts about this stuff. Compassion, power in a powerless situation, the kindness of strangers, really good recipes to make for the freezer.......

Monday, May 08, 2006

It's just a dream buddy, go back to sleep...

Sweet Boy woke up sobbing last night saying, "Mama, don't let Gunnar eat my pizza."

He gets that from me.... that love of pizza.

So, after getting him settled back down but before going back downstairs to watch the incredibly bad movie my husband picked out (Did you hear that? A stinker... from Hot Stuff... usually I pick the bad movies.....) I took a moment to dwell on the evening in all it's perfection.

Homestead's recipe for a perfect Sunday night:

The laundry is done. (Never mind the couch cushion slipcovers... that's a story for another post.)
The house is relatively clean and tidy.
The husband went to town to pick up pizza & a dvd.
Wilcoxson's fudgecicles for dessert.
The sister is entertaining with stories of her weekend.
The child is playing adorably.... racing around the living room pretending he is a puma or a dragon or a puma-dragon. (I have to find out where he is getting this "puma" thing.)
The mama is parked in the ugly comfy recliner with a big glass of water with lemon and a surprisingly good novel.

I'm just so content. We survived the hussle and bussle of graduation weekend (Good job Sister!!) and ate breakfast at IHOP to celebrate Mother's Day while my mom was here. We did a bit of "that" shopping.... toothpaste, laundry detergent, pet treats. I got stuff to dye the couch cushion covers (again). Hot Stuff did a bit of mowing. I pulled a few weeds. We played trucks in the dirt. I didn't worry too much about anything on my "to do" list. I read and talked to my sis while Sweet Boy napped. We ate Hershey's dark chocolate kisses and went for a little walk. I wish weekends like this could go on forever.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Go Suck An Egg.


I know I published a post about Nadine somewhere earlier in this blogging business.

Nadine just turned seven and is in the first grade. She was diagnosed and treated for a Wilms tumor on her kidney (kidney removed, radiation, chemo) last year. (Was it only last year? Yes, when she was in kindy-grade.) She was given an "all clear" on her last few appointments..... until last week.

A small jellybean of a tumor was detected.

She had surgery yesterday. My sister & I went to visit her today to give her some princess posters and to give her little brother some Color Wonder. She looks good and she is in good spirits. She gets to go home tonight.

The tumor was bigger than a golf ball.

Most likely it is not a return of the Wilms tumor (98% chance of full recover from those little guys....) but a very aggressive, freakishly fast growing cancer that was, possibly, existing in small patches in conjunction with the Wilms tumor. Ana-something-or-other.

So she will be on chemo-radiation treatment 4 times stronger than last time.... basically the toughest stuff they've got. It goes in over the course of 4-5 days and she gets treated approximately once a month. She will most likely end up hospitalized, getting blood transfusions and isolated to prevent exposure to infection. She has a 50-50 chance.

If this doesn't work the only remaining alternative is stem cells. I, of course, offered our umbilical stem cells if they match. What's a few stem cells between friends? And I can donate blood for her. And if it comes to it... well, I'm already on the marrow donor registery if that makes any difference.

My office gathered together some cash and we will do what we can to support any fundraising efforts on her behalf. I'll be on the lookout for princess cards to mail to her and ways to give her mama & dad a break.

I try and try to think of things I can DO and I feel so helpless and vaguely selfish. I want to DO SOMETHING to make myself feel better. And, of course, there is more than a tiny bit of guilt (and, I won't lie, relief) this is happening to THEM and not US. I can only pretend to imagine what they are going through and they all appear so STRONG. I spent a few hours with them and all I want to do is curl up in a ball twined together with my sweet, sweet son and watch him sleep. They are living this day to day and moment to moment.

So, if you get a chance..... think about them.


Hi Friends! I just wanted to send you this picture, of me and my brother Levi having a great time two weeks ago -- we were branding at our Godparents' ranch.

I met my surgeon, Dr. Harper, yesterday. He's a nice man. He made me laugh. He made me feel ok about him cutting the jelly bean out of my side.

When he asked me if I had any questions for him, I told him I really liked the clear tape stitches better than the black sewn stitches because those kind hurt when they come out.... He doesn't use any stitches that need to come out!!! So I like him a lot.

Please pray for me on Thursday -- my operation will be at 1:00 pm. Dr. Harper said I'll only have to stay in the hospital one night! That's not so bad. If you want to come see me, it will have to be Thursday night or Friday before late afternoon, ok? I'd love to see you.

Thanks for thinking of me.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Proof the coffee I'm drinking is decaf....

I saw this bumper sticker today:


And I thought, "Huh, I wonder if he grows organic lentils too....."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Who says they can't be trained.....

I've been reading about the terrible 2's (not to mention tweens.... I'm trading him in....) and all the horrors I have to look forward too.... so, I figure I better get all the work out of Sweet Boy I can before he turns two and gets too cool for mama....

Things my 23-month-and-one-day old child can do....

1. Deliver diet pepsi to his daddy when he is working in the yard.
2. Fetch a hammer.
3. Feed the dog. (Dry food)
4. Stock diet pepsi from a 12-pack onto the bottom shelf of the fridge.
5. Get his jammies from the hook in the bathroom.
6. Put his clothes in the laundry hamper. (And his dad piles his on the washer..... hmmm....)
7. Throw a ball to entertain the dog.
8. Bring his plate to the sink from the dinner table.
9. Unload the silverware from the dishwasher. (He has trouble sorting it....)
10. Put toys in the toybox.... while singing the "clean up" song.
11. Push the button to start the coffee maker.
12. Pile bark in his little wheel barrow and move it from one place to another.
13. Feed m&m's to his mama.

Now if I could just teach him how to give a decent backrub and wave a palm frond.....

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Question of Calcium

How much do you pay at the grocery for a gallon of homogenized milk? (And do you think of Greenie every time you see "homo" on the lid?)

How about a dozen extra large AA eggs?

2 pounds of cheddar cheese?

Half gallon of orange juice?

A quart of half & half?

16 ounces of sour cream?

Cottage cheese?

A pound of butter?

Any other dairy-type things?

And how much would you be willing to pay for weekly delivery of these items?

No, I'm not suddenly working for a polling company..... I'm trying to justify home-delivery.