Thursday, October 26, 2006

Please Say a Prayer, Or Think Positive Thoughts

Today I talked with a potential babysitter. She is the college-aged daughter of a man from our church who also plays basketball with hubby. She seemed very nice. She even said to me that she will work around MY schedule. MY SCHEDULE! When is the last time a person ever said THAT to me???!!! (I think it is safe to say that hasn't happened since before I had kids). At any rate, she can also babysit on the weekend, at night, too. Remember, hubby and I have not been out by ourselves since our anniversary last summer. I told her that; I could not contain my excitement. She is coming by on Monday so we can talk in person, and so we can see if this will not only work for her, but for my kids. Please, please, if you are the praying type, please say one for us that this is a good fit for our family. I would be able to work out during the day, instead of after hubby gets home, which means more time for the two of us during the week. And the plus there would be that I would feel better due to regular workouts, and hey I may actually get in shape again! Also, hubby and I being alone together again, and not only in this house....Well, that is a VERY good thing. I am so excited I can barely contain myself. What a blessing this would truly be!!!

***I have to leave you with this. S. said to hubby, during dinner no less, after hubby said "Excuse me." "What, daddy? Did you fart?" (Remember that he is only 4 years old.) I had to turn around, so he wouldn't see me laugh. I tell you sometimes those kids of ours make it all worthwhile!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Isn't MY Time Valuable Too???

Today I had to bring Tater Tot for a follow-up due to his asthma problem. Being that we've been to the doctor so often the last few months, I knew that Wednesday was Dr. Con's day. Now I really like her, but she is ALWAYS running late. In May, we were the first appointment of the day, and when we checked in, the receptionist said she wasn't even there yet. She made the comment like this was commonplace. (I soon found out it is.) The boys and I had to wait in the waiting room for approximately 15 minutes before Dr. Con even walked in! So when I had to make an appointment for Wednesday morning, I knew that I would have to wait some.

I did come prepared. I had bags of fishy's, as S. calls them, a sippy cup for Tot, books. You get the idea. However, there is only so much you can do when the wait turns out to be far longer than it has before. Guys, we were there so long that the next doctor came in for the afternoon shift! My appt. was at 11:20. It was 12:45PM before the second doctor even came in to see us. The boys were getting antsy, and I must admit that I was too! There was a 2 week old baby that was there due to catching the illness the older brother had. I have no problem with the baby being seen first, as I realize the possible problems that could pop up with a baby that young. But come on! The first appointment was only at 10:00. If it were the afternoon, I could understand more how she could have gotten backed up like that, but my appt. was for only 1 hour and 20 minutes after the very first one.

I think having the nurse or receptionist tell me that it is going to be awhile would have been nice. That way I'm aware of the situation, and don't expect her to walk in at any moment, and when she doesn't, get frustrated. If that was done, I would have at least felt like they cared. The nurse did manage to tell me I would be seeing Dr.Con., but I ended up seeing the male Dr.C. when he came in. I knew it was getting late when I saw him walk in! Now I know there were a lot of sick kids, but having experienced delays every time I see Dr.C whether it is the first appt. of the day or not, it's hard for me to believe it was simply because there were that many sick kids.

My question is, do doctors think our time is not as valuable as theirs??? I would never think of being 1 hour and a half late to an appt., at least without calling first. And we all know what would happen if we were that late, our appt. would be cancelled and have to be rescheduled. Why? Because we were late, and the doctor's time is valuable. There are other people waiting. I know this, I understand this. I'm also not talking about a 20 minute wait either. I expect that. But come on, one hour and 30 minutes??? Maybe I should leave my kids there next time and go out for a cup of coffee. Maybe then we'd get in sooner, because who wants to sit with kids who have been waiting THAT long. I knew I didn't.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

If I'm This Hot Now, What Will Happen When I Hit Menopause?

I am always hot. Prior to babies and infertility drugs, I was ALWAYS cold. Hubby and I were constantly at odds over what temperature to set on our thermostat. I wanted it warmer, he wanted it colder. Never the two shall meet, or something like that. Then a phenomenon happened, I got pregnant. Ever since that fateful day, January 30 or 31st, 2002, I have been broiling! I must admit that being hot is better than being cold any day, especially since I live in the Midwest. Especially because I live in the Midwest THIS fall! Damn is it cold here lately!

This morning after I dropped S. off at preschool with his birthday snacks, I went inside our local White Hen Pantry to get a coke. Tot loves going in this store. I swear people were looking at me funny as I strolled in with my toddler son all bundled up, whereas I was dressed in a v-neck shirt with no coat to speak of. I'm not lazy, I'm just hot! It felt good getting out of the car and feeling the cold air. Has anyone else experienced this after having children???? I am beginning to worry, though. If this is how I feel in my early 30's, what the hell is menopause going to be like for me? I will tell you this much, I will not be retiring to Florida!

Monday, October 23, 2006

To Think We Went In Thinking All We Were Getting Was a Flu Shot!

I had one of those days that starts out just like every other day, but ends completely different. Not 'in a good way' different either. I took the kids to get their annual flu shots, and my only thought was how to get S. to not throw an 'I'm mad' tantrum afterward. As is often the case, that was not what I should have been worried about.

When the Doctor listened to the Tot's lungs prior to vaccination, I prayed the Tot wouldn't cough. He had a cold last week, but was pretty much over it I thought. I knew he was fine, and I wanted him to get the shot so he would be protected and then I wouldn't have to go back to the doctors AGAIN! With S.'s toenail issue, we have been to the doctor multiple times every month lately. Imagine my surprise when the doctor turns to me and says, "He's wheezing.", like haven't you noticed this lady??? I put the Tot down as the doctor started talking to me about what this meant. He had only begun talking when the Tot started fast-walking around the room. The doctor said to me,"Boy, does he have a lot of energy!" I said,"And I have TWO of them!" Diagnoses? Tot has asthma. Yep. No family history or anything that would make me suspect it. Apparently, it is the cold weather variety that gets aggravated when a virus and the cold hit it, or something like that. I had heard of this since I had a student with this condition. An ambulance had to be called at school because the kid had been playing football outside in the winter, and then found himself unable to breathe. Gave me a heart attack!

I stupidly went to Walgreen's thinking they had a nebulizer. Even though my doctor recommended the pharmacy in the building, I felt it would be better to go where I usually go since my insurance info. was on file there. I felt at the other pharmacy I would end up having to send the receipt in to be reimbursed, and I hate that. So Walgreens did not have one, even after calling three different Walgreens. Finally, the tech. was told they did not carry nebulizers anymore as they are considered 'medical supplies'. Great! So, yes, I ended up having to drive all the way back to my pediatrician's office comple and filling the prescriptions there too. And yes, I have to send the receipts in to be reimbursed. The pharmacist was wonderful though. He took me in his office and explained how to use the nebulizer. Unfortunately, S. was being a total pain! As I went to get him since he walked out of the office, he came back toward me, which knocked me into the corner of the pharmacist's shelving unit. The corner of it. Lovely.

Hubby came home a few hours early to help me give the Tot his treatment. It was good that he did as my boy is a fighter! We have to give him a treatment every 4 hours; even in the middle of the night. Welcome back to babyhood! We were told that we don't have to wake him up to give him a treatment. Yah, I'll let you know how that went!

A few hours later, I had to go to my yearly urologist appointment. (After my first laparoscopy, some damage was done to my bladder, so thanks infertility for that added bonus!) ANyway, I had been having a lot of problems this past summer. Just prior to visiting teachermom, I felt so bad that I feared I would have to cancel our trip there. Luckily, we were able to go. The point here is that my urologist thinks that I now have a disease called interstitial cystitis. We've suspected this for some time now so I had time to look up what it was and all, but now it appears this is what I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. So add another drug to the bunch that I already take! I tell you that I rival any elderly person in the amount of drugs I have to take!!! So I have my information booklet: Welcome to the world of interstitial cystitis. As if you thought you had enough medical conditions to deal with already. Today is your lucky day! You 'officially' have one more. And do you want to know the best part? I have to see the doctor again in 6 months because that is how long this medication may take to work. Well, 6 months is during hubby's busy time. Great.

Then I got to go back home and help give my baby another treatment. I had to see him cry and kick and scream, and look like we were trying to hurt him. Oh, there's my baby now. Looks like that Albuterol is making him hyper just like I said it would. We put him to bed almost 2 hours ago. It's going to be a long night. Oh, did I mention that I'm sick too????

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Happy 4th Birthday, My Son

It's hard to believe that four years ago, I gave birth to our first child. And what a chunk he was! That child weighed in at a hefty 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and measured 22 inches long! So much for my doctor's prediction that he would be in the 7 pound range! He was almost two pounds heavier than I was at birth, but he is built so much like me now at the tender age of four. He also looks just like me, particularly as a child. I love that, I must admit!
S. has made our lives infinitely more chaotic, but definitely better. Some days he has so much energy that I have a hard time keeping up with him! He is definitely all 'boy'. He loves to wrestle with either mommy or daddy. He wishes that the Tot was big enough to wrestle; he wants to play with him all the time. S. also loves to run, help out in any capacity he can and he LOVES his books. He often can be found reading in his bed during quiet time. S. loves to talk, and his vocabulary is excellent! Some days he exhausts my patience, but on others he can get me out of any funk I may be in. He loves to hug, and he loves to tell us he loves us. We always tell each other how we feel. Hubby and I think it's very important for the boys to know they are loved.

S. has begun preschool this year, and boy does he love it! He seems to be doing well. When I volunteered to go on last week's field trip, I had to go inside the school and wait while they had their 'circle time' morning activities. He was able to sit on the circle almost the entire 20 minutes. His teachers tell me he plays well with others, and is a good student. S. will point out letters wherever we go. Jusy last week, while at Ann Taylor Loft, he pointed out all of the letters in their window. I was talking to one of my mom's friends at the time and she said, "He must be a teacher's son." I'm being honest when I tell you that I never pushed anything academic. I let him direct what and when he was ready to learn something new. And boy when he was ready, he was ready!

Hubby and I cannot believe he is already four years old. It's true what people tell you. The days are long, but the years are short. I will never regret my decision to stay at home with him. I got to see so much. He was my buddy; he went everywhere with me, and that's how I wanted it! When I was having such a hard time with my mom's death, he helped me to smile. And laugh. And believe that there was something in this world that was good. That even though my best girlfriend was dead, there was someone else who needed me too. Who loved me for me. Some days just being with him helped to lift my spirit and get through another day. So my son, always know that I love you with all of my heart and soul. I love you even when you yell, "MOM!!!!....." like a teenager! As I always say to you, no matter what you do or what you say, I will always love you. Nothing could make me stop. You are one of the two best things that I have ever done in my life. Your father and I created you, but you made us a family.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Onto Something Lighter

This is just another reason why I LOVE Targ*t: this table! I have been trying to find a reasonably priced, okay cheap, table for our kitchen. I had been looking for almost 6 months when I set eyes upon this beauty while shopping. S. confirmed that it indeed was a good table for our kitchen which is a little on the small side. Prior to buying this table, we were using the pine table back from hubby's apartment. That table was ten years old! Time to move on I say. This one suits us much better!
BTW, a big thank you to teachermom who told me about Quick shine! Our hardwood floors looked so good that our cleaning lady asked me today who I had come in and refinish our floors! They look awesome! Yes, I am attached to my hardwood floors. I'd have hardwood all over my house if I could afford it!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Thank You Everyone, and an Update On Liv

I cannot tell you all how touched I feel by your outpouring of support. It really made me feel so much better to read all of your well-wishes and prayers! I am grateful to each one of you.

First off, Teresa had her bone scan on Wednesday and has an appointment to go over the results as well as the treatment plan on Monday with her oncologist. Please send prayers her way that there is something they can do. That there is some new treatment that will put her into a quick, yet long-lasting remission.

Secondly, we received the results of Liv's test. She is still cancer-free!!!!!!! Picture formerteacher doing a happy-dance! She also has young children, and it did my heart good to hear that she will be able to be with them for a long time. It was also great news for her parents. To have had two children that have had to battle this disease is too much for any parent to deal with. However, having two children battling recurrences of that cancer would have been absolutely cruel. Daunting... Are there really any words to describe that?

So there it is. Really bad news and really good news with only a day between. Man, what a week! I continue to pray for Teresa and her entire family as this will not be an easy time for them, and I ask that you do the same. Thank you so much again!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No Matter How Many Times This Happens, I'll Never Understand

Today I got a phone call that I'd rather not have gotten. Almost 5 years ago my SIL's youngest sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was going through treatment for the first time as my mom was going through treatment for the third time. Teresa was only 31 years old, and the mother of three. Her youngest was only 6 months old. Her little girl that she wanted so badly.

I assume most people know that the younger you are when diagnosed with this dreadful disease, the more aggressive it is. She had the finest doctors, and the best treatment, and it seemed like she had beat the cancer. She was so close to making that five-year mark. So close, but sadly she didn't make it. I must also tell you that the oldest sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago at the age of 37. The only positive thing about that is that Teresa and Liv can have their tests done on the same day, so that they are not alone. Well, Liv was the one who was having pain in her chest. Teresa was showing no symptoms. They both went to their tests yesterday feeling hopeful. Liv is still waiting for her results, but sadly Teresa learned that her cancer has spread to more lymph nodes and is in her sternum. Just like my mom's was during her first recurrence. My brother and I talked, he has been really shook up. He feels it is so much like my mom. And we know too much. I hate to say this, and I know some of you will try to tell me I'm wrong, but Teresa is going to die. She is 36 years old with a recurrence in her bones. She is having a bone scan today to see the extent of the disease, but the cat scan already told them bad news. My mom lived 2 1/2 years after her recurrence, and she was 48 years old. Being only 36 doesn't make her survival rate any better.

I really like Teresa. I've known her since before my brother and his wife got married. She is so funny and vibrant. And loyal. I remember talking with her at my mother's wake. I told her that my mom was hoping that she would do well. When I looked at her in her wig with her pale chemo.-induced skin, she was crying. Because my mom, another breast cancer patient who she was close to, was dead. I can't even imagine how she made it to my mom's wake. I really can't, but she did.

And now it's her turn, and I am so sad to say that. Guys, she has a 10 year-old son, an 8 year-old son, and a little girl who is only 5 years old. Plus, I can't even imagine how her husband is doing knowing that he will have to raise those kids on his own without his soulmate. Teresa's BIL went to pick up her little 5 year-old daughter, and he said it hit him when he saw the little girl come running out of building smiling. He knew, he knew that her life was never going to be the same from this day forward. How do you grow up without a mom? How? Why is this even happening? I don't understand this. I believe, really believe, that God has a reason for everything He does, but I just don't know this one. I just keep seeing that little girl running with a smile on her face, oblivious to what is happening to her her mother. Just running, just being a little kid without a care in the world. Her world is about to be turned upside down, and i can only hope that she gets more time with her mother than the few years we got with my mom after her recurrence. I hope she can remember her mother well. I pray that her memories are good and they sustain her through the pain that will come when she is missing her mom.

I feel strangely numb. I've cried, because I'm just so sad this is happening. Excuse me while i go downstairs and play with my son. It's at these times that I am reminded what family means. How important it is to hug them and tell them how you feel. Please do that today, and maybe then there will something positive that came out of something so awful. Damn it!

Monday, October 09, 2006

My Mother's Garden

Three years ago I planted rose bushes in memory of my mom. I needed something physical that I could go see whenever I wanted. Something pretty. She loved roses! She loved the color pink, she thought the color was so feminine, and yellow was the color of the very first rose my dad ever gave to her.
I love flowers, and wish I could have a vase full of them on my table all year long. However, living in the tundra that is Illinois, I know that will never happen! So, I'll make sure I enjoy them while they last.

Friday, October 06, 2006

What a Husband Shouldn't Say

Well, what MY husband sholdn't have said today. Ah, what a fine late afternoon it was. It only got better as I heard the phone ring BEFORE 4:30PM, and then I saw my husband's cell phone number. I thought to myself, 'Hubby is going to be home early! This is so awesome! The Tot has a cold, and I tried some new cold medicine which made him hyper so he didn't nap. And S. wouldn't nap. Geez, am I tired and I DO NOT want to play the Duck, Duck Goose board game again!!! BUT HUBBY IS GOING TO HOME EARLY! EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE FINE NOW!!!' Then I picked up the phone to learn that he was on his way to a bar to help congratulate his boss on some deal that finally went through. Yes, a BAR. ON A FRIDAY when I have been home with a sick baby, and a nap-less preschooler who is losing it. He said that he would only stay 10 minutes. Yah, right!

At 5:00 he calls to say he is leaving a bit late, but he's in the car. Only an hour until he gets home. I say I wish that I could go to a bar after work. Then I say, "it's 5:00, I thought you were leaving 15 minutes ago." Remember, sick kid and both kids are nap-less. Hang up phone. Decide that a little fresh air is in order. Tell kids we are going on a walk. They are happy. Get out new stroller from trunk and can't for the life of me get it open. Get the old, digusting, yet workable stroller out. Go on walk. Feeling bitter because if I want to go ANYWHERE, I have to get a sitter or make sure he's home. ANd half the time, I just bring the freakin' kids with.

I end up talking with a neighbor at the end of the block. SHe's in her fifties, and we just had a wonderful conversation. I even found out she had fertility problems; no, I did not tell her about mine. She just offered that up about why her kids are so close together. She also offered up about the resentment that built up in her after years of feeling taken for granted. She was a SAHM. SHe still has her husband and daughter asking what's for dinner, and depending on her for most things. What did she do? She decided to go from part-time work to full-time. Now, she says, they have to think for themselves because she's not there. Not a bad idea, eh? Definitely food for thought. I must have been talking to her for a long time, because out of the corner of my eye, I spot a silver mini-van pulling over. Hubby had worried I was cold, and went looking for me. (He knew we were taking a walk). WHatever the reason, he was being very nice. However, I am feeling taken for granted myself. I can't help but feel bitter here. And on the babysitter front, we thought we'd found one, I got excited, but it didn't happen. I'll elaborate next time.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The New Addition to Our Family

S. has wanted a sister for a very long time. I keep trying to explain to him that he is never going to have one, but you know the preschool set with their constant why questions. Is driving me nuts!
At any rate, my dad and his wife moved into their new home two weeks ago, and recently gave us a little present. Now remember I already have an 8 pound Shih-Tzu to take care of. Our very own diva! Anyway, he, the dog, was having a hard time acclimating himself to my dad's new house,

and was moping around. He is already 11 years old, and my dad feared he was going downhill. My dad brought him over on Friday since they were having their floors ripped up, and the dog came alive again. He seems to love my house with all of its loud craziness! The dog gave me this look, and I knew he was staying for good. It also helps that he was my mom's dog, and refused to leave her side when she was sick. I'm a sucker for loyalty, and a sucker for anyone who was so good to my mom. So, Casper stays....Why is he named Casper you ask? Mom brought him home on Halloween, and he was so friendly and all. My mom was NOT a dog lover, so this dog had to be special to make its way into my mom's heart!

S. was happy about Casper living with us, and even commented on how he knew Casper was a boy. (I think you can guess.) I told him, "It looks like you're never going to get your sister now, S." He replied, "That's okay mama." And with that the sister subject has not been brought up again. Although with the cost of grooming, feeding and maintaining two dogs, I probably should have had another kid!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mom, Tracy, Laura, Rosemary and Now Diane, You Are My Heroes

Yesterday, we completed yet another of the annual Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walks. These walks always make me feel like I have a piece of my mother right beside me. I feel her presence. I feel connected to thousands of people I do not know. It's weird how I can have a conversation with someone I have never met before, and probably will never see again. How we can get to the 'nitty gritty' of breast cancer and not bat an eye. Here it seems normal. I mean, doesn't everyone talk about the effects of chemotherapy or how awesome a wig so-and-so has? Yah, I didn't think so, but among these people it is. Sad, but true.

This year was so much different for me than last year. I felt like I was in a better place. On the way to the race, I shed a few tears. Remembering my mom and her awful battle with the disease always brings me to tears. However, my SIL and I talked about mundane things like home improvement projects while we were walking. Last year, I walked quietly talking it all in. I had just had the Tot a few months prior, and the sorrow about my mother never meeting him was with me. I was only beginning to gain a hold on the PPD demon that had struck my life. The pain I felt over losing my mother was still raw. I had never dealt with it before I got pregnant with the Tot. I foolishly assumed that his birth would take away the grief, the pain, that was losing my mother. She was gone only 2 weeks when I went back to the RE to talk about our 'game plan for baby #2'. And she was gone only 2 months when I started trying to have the Tot. I learned something that month. Clomid and grief, while raising a nine month old baby in the midst, well, they do not mix at all. So when you hear about facing your grief. Do it. Because it really is true that you can't go around your grief, you have to go through it. Oh, and if you try to take a nice little short-cut like I may end up in a worse place than where you started. There are no short-cuts.

This race I did not constantly see my mom in pain. I did not see the room she had her chemo. in, in my head. I did not see her in her final days. I still don't understand God's purpose for this, but I have accepted that it happened and there had to have been a reason for it. What I did see was my mother back in 2000 at the Race for the Cure. I saw her in her pink survivor's shirt and hat. I saw her in the 'Survivor's' picture. I saw the pride on her face, the energy in her step, the strength in her body. I like thinking of her that way. I like seeing all of the women, and men, who have fought this disease and won. I like to see those people affected by this dreadful disease full of determination and fight. It is at times like these that I see where true strength lies. True strength isn't only on the exterior. Oh, no. It is that hardened determination to fight a disease that can, and does, kill. To fight it until you have nothing left. So Mom, Tracy, Laura, Rosemary and sadly now my friend Diane, you are my heroes. Even though you feared cancer and its side effects, you went on and fought with all you had. You never gave up. And even though cancer took my mom's life, the way she fought showed me how to fight. You fight until you can fight no more, and hopefully you are able to kick cancer's ass.