The Gang's All Here!

The Gang's All Here!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Weekend That Wasn't

We somehow managed to survive the rainy weekend. By rainy weekend, I mean it literally rained from Friday night until Monday morning. I was very close to losing the very few marbles I have left. On Saturday we ventured to the library. Steve had a few books he wanted to check out and I agreed to take the kids to the children's wing thinking we could find some books to bring home as well. He promised me he would be "10 or 15 minutes". I really, really should have known better, having been married to the man for over seven years, that "10 or 15 minutes" in Steve speak is more like 30 - 45 minutes. Anyway, the kids were absolutely enthralled with the vast selection of books and bright colors. For about 10 minutes. After that, I was starring in my own version of hell on earth. Obviously I have toddlers and I know that they struggle (and by struggle, I mean completely don't understand) with the concept of "quiet voices". After the 63rd time of telling Stella to keep her voice down in five minutes, I realized my error in taking both kids by myself. They were pacified only by ripping books off the shelves and tossing them on a table. My OCD self was nearly hysterical trying to reshelf the books correctly while keeping up with the hooligans. After a while (let's say 6 minutes), I cried uncle and guilty just stacked the books as neatly as I could. Then began the wild chase through the shelves to find Simon. He thought it was hilarious in case you were wondering. When I did catch him and pick him up, he screamed as loud as humanly possible. After the third attempt at picking him up/ banshee screaming, I was getting "the look" from the librarians. I was completely mortified so naturally, I stormed back upstairs to find my totally relaxed, innocent husband engrossed in his search. I didn't use my library voice when I announced that we had to leave RIGHT BLOODY NOW.

Our house looked like a bad made for TV movie by late Sunday afternoon. Crap (by crap I mean toys, both child and dog, along with shredded up pieces of Murphy's latest kill which is usually a paper product of some sort) was strewn everywhere. At 5pm, I decided enough was enough and made a command decision to park the kids in front of the TV for a bit. Try not to be jealous of my amazing parenting skills. I went to pull up a show for the kids to watch from the DVR. Of course the ENTIRE system chose to freeze at that exact moment. Why is it that any technology I attempt to use only freaks out when I desperately need it? So, I called in Steve to help me out (by the way, this had already happened earlier in the day as well). Darn it if he couldn't get the stupid thing to work either. He decided to stream a movie for the kids. We chose the new Muppet Movie which was all well and good until it froze 57 times in the first 15 minutes. By this time it was close to dinner time and the kids were restless and really, how many times can you watch the opening credits since the stupid thing refused to fast forward. We finally got it working and Steve ran out to the grocery. I dared pause the movie (45 minutes in) to feed the kids dinner. After dinner, I hit start on the remote. It worked. For 30 seconds and then crashed. I fiddled and fuddled until my eyes crossed and finally gave up. I attempted to turn the regular TV back on, but I got an error message. I gave up entirely and let the kids resume their complete destruction of my home. It was an amazing weekend...

I had my pre-op appointment yesterday. My next surgery is scheduled for December 5. Luckily, this is an outpatient surgery and I'll get to sleep in my own bed that night. I was told that this surgery will be a piece of cake compared to the last two. Good news! With my pre-op appointment came the hospital registration and testing. Normally I can zip thru the entire process in an hour. Not to worry, yesterday that little pipe dream came crashing down. 90 minutes later I was on the verge of running out because I was going to be late picking up the kids. After I was about to leave, they decided I didn't need testing because I had just been in the hospital 3 months ago. Breaking news, I tell them every time I'm there that I need a damn frequent flier card. I was so irritated that I spent 90 minutes watching CNN in the pre-op waiting room. Is anything every easy?!?!?!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. The kids and I are headed to Virginia to celebrate with the Riley side of the family. Steve will fly up later in the week. Say a little prayer for me as I spend 10 hours in the car by myself with my darling children listening to Jing Jang 457 times...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Cold Sweat

I had to break out my faux fur lined slippers. It was in the 20's here last night, so I felt like that was a reasonable time for them to make their annual debut. For anyone that knows me, you know that I really loathe wearing anything on my feet, especially socks - GAH! I feel like flip flops are a good compromise to going barefoot 9 months out of the year. That said, I do ADORE a fabulous pair of tall boots, but that's a discussion for another day. I think my point to this ramble, was that it's damn cold here right now. My faux lined slippers resemble moccasins and sometimes I forget that I have them on (and not shoes) and I leave the house with them on. Yup. I have definitely rolled up to Target in these bad boys and preschool on occasion. Nothing says classy like slippers and black yoga pants...

Since we're living in the tundra here in Georgia this week, that also means I've had to break out the winter coats. It's a joyful time for all...not. Which brings us to the conversation about kids, winter coats and car seats. Winter coats and car seats are going to be the UNDOING of my sanity. On Wednesday, it took us an extra five (5) minutes to get in the car and get buckled up. I thought my brain was going to blow out of my skull from frustration. Please keep in mind that we were already late (duh, this IS me we're talking about) so adding an extra 5 minutes to the chaos was my kryptonite. Not only do my children forget how to walk and function with their coats on, but asking them to climb into the car was a joke. I managed to wrestle Simon into his seat, not sure he was able to breathe, but that's neither here nor there. Stella was wearing her "Stay Puft" marshmallow jacket which basically doubles her width. Two attempts to buckle her into the seat and I knew it wasn't happening. "Take the jacket off!!", you cry! Yes well, that involves an extra 5 minutes convincing, bribing and pleading with the 3.75 year old to take off the damn jacket. So, I attempted to loosen the straps on the car seat which was an exercise in hilarity. Finally, I shoved all of my weight into pulling on the straps and managed to get them buckled. Stella definitely couldn't breathe (she didn't say a word on the way to school) and I was sweating. So we rolled up to school on 3 wheels and a prayer that no one suffocated on the way.

So, there you have it, pretty sure I'm not up for moving anywhere north of Georgia anytime in the near future. I've become a sissy since I moved further south, but I'm okay with that. This weekend I'm on dead plant detail. Most of my flowers were still blooming until this week when the frost rolled in. I'm pretty excited about that... If anyone would like to volunteer to rake up the 4 million leaves in my yard, I'll be happy to pay you with alcohol :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Guilty Pleasure

I apologize in advance for this post, as I'm almost certain the sappy level will be borderline nauseating... However, my feelings are pretty intense and emotional at the moment, so I thought I'd share them will all of you.

Saturday is Simon's birthday - he's turning 2. How in the world is he already 2? Wasn't he just born a couple of months ago?!?!? I was chatting with a fellow mom today as we were walking in to school to pick up our kids. She asked me how I was feeling about Simon turning two. It was a perfectly worded question, because honestly, I've been feeling sad about this birthday for him. I remember being so excited for Stella when she turned 2, she was becoming such a big girl and learning so many new things. It's not that Simon isn't doing these same things, but I guess I'm having trouble saying good-bye to the baby years. He's my youngest and it's hard to think that before long he's not going to want to snuggle, and enjoy that "mammmma" time that we spend together each morning before her royal highness, (AKA Stella) makes her entrance. I'd also like to add that I cannot wait for Stella to turn 4, the 3's have certainly not been my favorite age.

Something I've been thinking an awful lot about this week is Simon's journey into the world to now. It's not at all like I would have wanted it to be, and yet, here we are. This is difficult for me to admit, but I also feel that it's worth sharing, in case anyone ever finds themselves in a similar situation. I consider both Stella and Simon the greatest accomplishments in my life. They will always be the two parts I did right, no matter how you add things up. I struggle with so much guilt when it comes to Simon. I was diagnosed with an extremely serious type of cancer when he was two months old. I've mentioned several times in the past that my doctors told me that having him probably saved my life.  As a result, I think of Simon as my guardian angel. Cheesy as that might sound, without him, I very likely may not be sitting here typing this today. That's a pretty big title for such a little guy.

So why do I feel guilty? Mostly because I feel like he was robbed of the mom I was "supposed" to be. Because of my cancer treatments, I wasn't giving 100% of myself, because I couldn't. No, I wasn't sick, but I sure didn't feel like a million bucks. The exhaustion alone was enough to send me precariously close to the edge of hopelessness. Obviously, I realize that the situation was beyond my control, but it still happened. I also realize that I'm being hard on myself, and very likely irrational, no surprise there. The fact remains, that I have these feelings of guilt because I wasn't half the mom to Simon that I was to Stella when she was that age. With Stella I was enthusiastic, well read in the months of what to expect for each stage that first year and made all of her baby food while working a full time job. For the first year of Simon's life, it was all I could do to get him to eat solids (at 8 months, he finally resigned himself to trying solids and ate a bagel...). I would walk around Target aimlessly just trying to keep myself in motion. Play time included me lying on the floor next to him, hoping that he knew how much I really, really wanted to be the mom I wanted to be, and I just couldn't. It really pisses me off how much of his first year was me just trying to survive.

Somehow, through all of the insanity of the past 22 months, Simon has turned into an absolutely amazing kid. His smile would melt a stick of butter in a second. Kids are resilient when it comes down to it. But, even though I know he won't remember the mom I wasn't his first year, I do. It's my guilt, justified or not, that propels me forward, striving to be the best mom I can every day now. That's a bitter pill to swallow, but I also acknowledge the motivation this guilt has spurned inside me. And for that, I'm thankful. A special thank you to Simon for bringing such joy, patience (more than I could ever known!), and love into my heart. I hope one day Simon will realize just how much I appreciate everything he has done for me. Love is a powerful thing :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Walk of Shame

Here we are, November already! Not that you'd know it in Georgia, it's a balmy 75 with blue skies and plenty of sunshine. Our leaves are finally at their peak, and it's gorgeous!! I've been doing a lot of hiking lately and have really enjoyed the beautiful fall we've had. There are so many great trails around here and the explorer (nerd) in me adores seeing new places.

The kids really enjoyed trick or treating last night. We've made it an annual tradition to spend our Halloween evening with good friends in their neighborhood. It's so much fun and their neighbors are great, most sit out on their porches or front stoops handing out candy. Stella and Simon went as Minnie and Mickey this year. They were so cute!!Both kids also had Halloween parties at school, so needless to say by the time we got home last night, they were exhausted. Steve (or me, not sure) spilled beer all over the stroller last night (trick or treating is much more fun with a little toter while walking) while attempting to navigate a curb... Poor choice to have the open container in the cup holder. I had to run some errands this morning, so naturally I just put Simon in stroller and we were off. As I walked into the store, I kept smelling beer. Then I was like, OMG, it smells like I've been boozing it up this morning! The stroller reeked of beer and here I am waltzing through Carter's... Ugh, talk about mother of the year! Anyway...

I had treatment yesterday. All is well in cancer land, my counts continue to look good so no scans needed at this time, yay!! I was hoping to get my flu shot yesterday, but after waiting an hour and a half for my herceptin, I didn't have an extra hour to wait for a shot. Good lord they were slammed with patients yesterday! Every single treatment chair was filled (I think there are 50?!?!) and I've never seen that happen before. Nothing says Happy Halloween like chemo!