May 16, 2009

Relay for Life

So, for once, I'm not going to post something witty or dramatic. Nope, this time, I'm using my energies towards something positive, something good.

I've lost too many family members to cancer. Both of my grandmothers before I was even 12. I vividly remember the day that I found out my Grandma Nola had died. I was sitting in the office at school -- back then, one of the novelties of being in grade 6 was that you were considered mature enough to give the secretary a break during the lunch hour. I would answer the phone, page people and generally feel like a grown up. I reveled in it.

This day, I was sitting at the desk, swinging my legs and spinning the chair in half circles (because only children spun around in chairs). I saw my father come in through the main doors. "What's he doing here?" I thought to myself. He did one of those millisecond pauses when he saw me...the powerful stride that had always comforted me tensed ever so slightly and I knew. I just knew.

"Hey, sweetie," he said in an overly happy tone, "I didn't expect to see you here." He asked to speak with the principal. He went in and I could here the sounds of their discussions, but everything was a blur. There was a knot in my stomach and I didn't know what to do.

Dad came out of the office, "We need to go, hon." he said quietly, and I just nodded and got my stuff ready. Later, in the car, he started to tell me, but I just said "I know." I didn't cry, because I had to be strong. I'd seen my mother, aunts and grandfather in heart wrenching pain as they waited, knowing that there was nothing that they could do to either ease my grandmother's pain or make that black, evil Cancer go away.

I don't know how much time had passed but it seemed only months to me that my Grandma Stella passed. She'd fought, long and hard, but it seemed, to my young mind, that Cancer was a ferocious enemy that knew no defeat. Strangly, I can't remember much of the details of her passing, I just knew it was what it was, and that once again, I had to be strong.

Years went by, I grew up, got married and had chidlren. The joys of my life. My grandfather, long a widower, was now sitting with my daughter on his lap the way he used to do with me. Soon, I had a son, and not long after he was born I got the news...Grandpa's got colon cancer. He'd hidden the signs until the pain was too much for him to take anymore. I think he just wanted to see his wife again. I hoped and prayed that he'd have the chance to see his great-grandson (who had been born on the other side of the world). Unfortunately, he never got to.

Another few Cancer free years passed. Then, my dad got the flu. Horribile stomach pains that just wouldn't let up. The flu lasted from Septemeber right until December. Then he found out that it wasn't a flu bug after all. There was a tumor, greedily feeding off of his large intestine. Suddenly a whirl of surgeries, and scans and tests....and fear. All I had known of Cancer was death, and I was now facing it with my own father.

The tumor was removed, but there were still signs of Cancer in his lymph glands. Chemo was started. He lost some hair, he gained some weight, he lost the feeling in his hands. But, he didn't lose hope. He won the battle.

A year went by, and suddenly there were more worrying test results. This time, they showed a growth on the liver. More surgeries, more scars, more chemo. This time, the feelings in his hands and feet didn't come back. Though it put up quite a battle, the Cancer was defeated again.

I now live a life with a big question mark around me. Who's next? What kind of cancer will I get? Have I passed on some defective genes to my own children? Have I sentenced them to pain and suffering?

I want to find a cure. I think it's possible, and I can only hope and pray that it's something that is seen sooner, rather than later. WHich is why I decided to participate in The Relay for Life. I'm putting the link here, and I'd appreciate any donations, every bit helps.

The perfect gift


So, I've mentioned before about my OCD with housework.

It's really not because I'm's because I loathe housework. I hate it so much that I have to make myself a schedule for it. Mondays I do this, Tuesdays that...and so on. I even went and joined Flylady to help (and she does, if you stick to it!).

That's why the gift that I got from my daughter was so appropriate. They worked on them at school and she'd tell me about things that she'd done (sanding, painting) without giving away the surprise. Last year they made a flower out of wood; it was....uh...pretty.

So, this years gift I was expecting be as....fabulous. You know, that gift where you go "Oh wow, a it!" Meanwhile you're thinking: a *&#ing toaster??

Not this time however. She made me a little plaque-type's supposed to be me holding a bucket of cleaning supplies. But that's not the best part. What the bucket SAYS is the best part...."I hate housework"

I can't even begin to describe how perfect this gift is!! I love it, dear daughter!! Thank you so much!!!

May 14, 2009

Did I just say that???

So, it's been a stressful few days here. I have a toddler in dayhome who's been acting just like a toddler does. I keep putting off schoolwork (just like I am now as I write this) when I know I should just get it done. Housework, and laundry are being put off. It's just a week of procrastination, and the repercussions are causing very real issues with my body's stress reactions.

Last night, I went out with a girlfriend for a spa night. How completely, utterly amazing! (By the way, I do these parties, if any one's interested -- but how nice to be spoiled by getting one!). A lot of pent up stress was released, and I came home a much happier woman than when I had left.

Fast forward to this are up (and there was no fight for it to happen!), lunches were made, breakfast was eaten and homework was packed and ready to go. This, in itself is a small miracle. My day is going well. They all leave for school, and I'm left at home with an infant, two toddlers and a preschooler. Baby and one toddler crash for their morning naps...and the preschooler and other toddler are playing quietly. They are relishing in the newness of the book nook that I've created, flipping through books and lounging on pillows.

Suddenly all hell breaks loose. Apparently preschooler's head touched toddler's pillow. I'm sure that you, Dear Reader, felt the shudder as the earth came to a screeching halt. Toddler starts freaking "move, move, move!" all the while pushing (with hands and feet) on the head of preschooler. Unfortunately, she can't move her head because toddler has wound her little fingers into her hair. Preschooler tries to move and screams in pain, while toddler is still freaking out about the infraction onto her pillow territory.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking that my cup of coffee is suddenly less enjoyable. Not only do I have a disaster in progress, I have one in the making should this argument (and the sheer volume of it) wake the angels sleeping in blissful ignorance in the other room.

"Shhhh!!" I say as I rush over to extract tiny fingers from matted hair. Tears are wiped, war wounds are kissed better and egos are placated. Each child apologizes to the other and they hug and make up.

Then, they start playing tag.

Now...they'd had a taste of freedom last week when the weather was wonderful and they were able to let go of that endless energy children are equipped with. This week, however, has been a cold, rainy, windy, hailing, snowing, blowing kind of week. Not exactly something to bring out little people into without bringing on colds, ear infections and other nastiness.

I decided to let them play, but "we have to play a special game of tag," I say and their eyes fill with wonder and excitement, "we have to play silent tag"


Yes, Dear Reader, you may stop laughing now.

Needless to say, this new game lasted all of 2.5 milliseconds. They laughed and giggled and squealed. Again, I'm thinking of the blissful angles sleeping and the chaos that will come from waking the slumbering babes before they're ready for it. So, my solution -- and folks, I can hardly believe it, but this is what I said: "If you can't play quietly that you have to sit down and watch TV." And I sat them on the couch and turned on treehouse.

Only then, did the complete and total ridiculousness of the words that I'd uttered come to me. And the children themselves were thoroughly disgruntled. I could almost read their thoughts "I can't believe she's making us watch TV."

Which is so ironic! On a normal day I'm saying "We don't need to watch TV. We can have fun without TV." etc, etc, etc.

Oddly enough though, they watched for only about 20 minutes and then the TV was off (and stayed off) for the rest of the day, and no one asked for it!

May 6, 2009

Laundry overload

So, as has been well noted on here, I have a teenage son. As any normal teenager...he tends to get a bit dirty -- big deal, right??

I happen to have a bit of a laundry schedule. As some of my friends have noticed, I'm a bit anal about it. In fact, one friend in particular has labeled me as OCD in the laundry department. I, personally, have developed a system whereby I do a little bit of laundry every day rather than spending a full day or two doing 5 people's dirty clothing, bedding, towels and what-nots. This OCD laundry schedule ensures that everyone's clothing is washed every week. To break it down nice and simple, I have labeled certain days of the weeks as "colors" on Monday I was blue stuff, on Tuesday it's black, Wednesday is white, Thursdays are brown/yellow and Fridays are pink. Weekends are reserved for jeans and towels. I also stick bedding in there for each of the family members too....we each have our "day" that our bedding gets washed. Yes....I'm anal about it!!

Anyhow --- back to the point of the post. Wednesday = whites. Please tell me, how on God's green earth does ONE teenager wear 16 pairs of socks!?!

Seriously SIXTEEN!! And those were just the ones that I could match up into pairs!!! He also had 5 singles that were without a mate and 7 that I threw away because they had holes in them. All in all that becomes TWENTY TWO PAIRS of socks!!! That's more than 3 pairs of socks a day!
No word of a lie folks...I've got the pictures to prove it!

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