Thursday, May 31, 2012

Life's A Bitch

buy a shirt here
Or beach.  Whichever you prefer.

This morning, I'm kinda crabby.  Which I'd rather not be, seeing as how the weather is SO perfect right now, if you sit in the shade you can pretend it's California.  My plan is to write my crabbies out of my system. Thus, behold, today's top 10 pet peeves:

1. people who throw trash out the window of their cars (including but not limited to cigarette butts)
2.  NOSY PEOPLE (if you want to know intimate details of someone's life, go buy an US Weekly, or on second thought, READ THE BLOG!)
3.  this leads us to stupid people.  let's face it - everyone can't be a genius or even average.  otherwise there would be no average.
4.  ok, even if someone isn't stupid per se, but perhaps a blurter (speaks before thinks).  she's annoying too.
5.  the phrase, "so you have just the one?"  please, on behalf of all parents of only children everywhere, do not say this to any one of us.  no one kid is JUST anything.
6.  bugs in my house
7.  bug juice (and I'm not talkin camp fruit punch) on the bottom of my flip flop
8.  dog hair (especially those that cover every square inch of my floors, even after I've swept, swiffered and vacuumed)
9.  my reduced lung capacity
10. money, or rather, lack thereof

I think I feel better now.

Do you have any to add?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Talk The Talk

charlie d's version
"How does the baby get inside of the mommy?" he asks oh so innocently after a brief discussion of the origin of humans.

Wait a minute, let's rewind.

The full scene took place as follows...

Setting: car
Music: Elana Jagoda, Seven Days (listing the seven days of the week and what G-d created on each day)

Judah:  (after listening intently to the lyrics) Those are the days of the week, but those were really the first days of the year.

Me:  You mean the beginning of time?

Judah: Yeah.

Me:  Well, you know, that's what some people believe.  We don't really know for sure about how people and plants and animals came to be here, so different people have different ideas about how it all happened.

Judah:  Hmm.  (silence for a few moments)  Well, how does the baby get inside of the mommy?  Wait, I think I know how it happens.  Maybe there's a magician who waves a wand and does magic to get the baby in there without cracking the mommy's belly.  Then he waves it again to get the baby out without cracking it again! (sounding very satisfied with himself)

Mia:  Wow, that's very creative!  I like the way you think.  You asked a good question and I have a book at home (it's good to be prepared) that we can look at together that will explain it all.

Judah:  But I want to know now.

Dan/Mia: The book will show you pictures...

Judah:  Ok.

Fast forward a few hours later, I bust out my "Where do babies come from?" book, that I think was a hand-me-down from our neighbors, bless their hearts, that I had hidden for this very occasion.  We look at it together (it's not the one with funny drawings that I remember looking at as a kid).  It's one of those DK books that you often see in the sale section at barnes & noble.  First it talks about the bees spreading pollen, then ducks hatching from eggs, kittens gestating in a cat, and finally a baby growing inside a mommy.  The book is pretty basic, but does introduce some new terms (sperm, egg, womb, etc.).  He is very interested (adds his own commentary during the bees/plants section as he is an expert in pollination) and listens patiently throughout.

I close the book and tentatively pry, "so do you have any questions?"

"Yes," he answers, "If the sperm and the egg are separate, how do they get together?"

I try to cover my nervous laugh (wasn't I hoping he wouldn't ask that?) and quickly straighten my smile.  "Well, the mommy and the daddy love each other very much and the daddy gives the sperm to the mommy."

"But HOW?"

"Well, they love each other very much, and they get close together and the daddy puts the sperm inside the mommy."  The end (I am praying)  "Does that answer your question?" (please oh please)

He tilts his head thoughtfully.  "Yes." pause  "Can I watch a movie now?"

I sigh, (grateful) "Sure!"

I think it went okay.  I know we're not done with this topic for good, but I'm glad to have broken the ice.  It was important to answer his question without giving too much information.   Still, it was a bit more stressful than I thought it would be.  I didn't want to make a wrong move and scar him for life.  Fellow parents: Don't you feel like that every day?  Like you're just trying to avoid permanent scars?


Friday, May 25, 2012

Passage of Time

we survived birthday #5
On this day, the eve of May 26, two years to the day from when I was informed of the grapefruit-sized mass in my chest, I have the day off.  Not because I called in sick, not because I was fired, but just by chance, I have the day (or what's left of it) to reflect and also busy myself with the errands and tasks I've been unable to get to all week (month?) long.

no joke.
It's been a busy May.  Judah turned 5, which is just nuts.  We registered him and oriented him for kindergarten.  We celebrated him (again and again - the gifts just keep on coming), and then we celebrated me for Mother's Day at the blissful Ocean City beach.  We got a new car (finally), went to Pittsburgh to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday.  I chaperoned Judah on his last pre-school field trip.  Finally, we are back in town until further notice and I'm just trying to breathe at a regular pace.

best mother's day ever

My hair is looking more normal, especially when it's not 100% humidity and 80 degrees outside.  Living in a temperate climate makes life so exciting, right?  And so it's strange to look in the mirror and begin to see myself again.  After two years of uncertainty, of baldness, of weight loss and weight gain, of fear and shock and grief and anger, sadness and pain, the clouds are starting to pass.  It's a peculiar feeling, that you can un-inhabit your body and then rejoin yourself after a time.

green machine
I'm back on a sugar-free kick and feeling okay.  The wet and wild weather does nasty things for my ever inflamed lungs, but I do think that the lack of refined sugar in my diet helps a little bit.  And if I can shed a couple of pounds in the process, well, there are worse things.  It's my little slice of control in this wacky world, being able to dictate what goes into my body.

Two years ago I was blind to the future.  When I think about myself on 5/26/2010, sitting in my doctor's office, hearing words I couldn't comprehend, I had no idea.  I just had no clue what was coming.  And now I feel so sad and pitiful for that very unknowing girl.  Sad and scared.  10 minutes before, I was just looking for some allergy meds to stop the itching.  Literally in an instant, all of our lives were changed.  The before and after are so starkly different and yet, it's still me here.

 *SIDENOTE:  Like my therapist says, there are still two things you never ask a woman: Are you pregnant?  or Are you [still] trying to get pregnant?  Both are completely off limits, thank you very much, no matter how close you may think you are to the woman.  Hard to believe that some people cannot grasp the concept of some information being private (even for ME).  "How are you doing?" will suffice.

I hope you'll join me as I continue to make an effort to stay present in this next chapter (year 3).  Enjoy moments as they are happening without projecting and predicting the future.  Tell people you love them and have dance parties in the kitchen.

Thanks for sticking with me..
these are for you


Wednesday, May 2, 2012


oncology is so fun.
Word of the day: unremarkable.

It's written all over my scan report, which I happened to pick up at my oncology check-up this afternoon.  Quite frankly, it was stunning and hard to believe that this bajillion dollar scan didn't pick up something fishy, like it had on each preceding scan (January 2012, September 2011, July 2011, June 2011, March 2011, January 2011).  Icing on the cake is that my WBC count has finally hit the 4 mark!

After the appointment today, my mom and I went through the report with a fine toothed comb, looking for possible details that Dr. Henry left out of the conversation.  Unable to find anything to get worked up about, we replayed his response to my asking him what he thought about me taking a trip to Tibet this fall.  It fell somewhere between are you out of your cotton pickin mind, lady? and I didn't give you all of those life saving toxins just so you could pick up some infection (I'm pretty sure he used the word worms).  So I took that as a no.  While I was kinda hoping I might get clearance, I also feel a bit relieved (for once) that it's a decision that's out of my hands.  Too stressful.

While the routine at the check-up is so familiar (check in, co-pay, height/weight, meds review, blood draw, wait in exam room..), this was the first time the only anxiety I felt was over what number I would be forced to read on the scale.  The scan was on April 19, and it's taken me since then to fully exhale.

*side note:  the radiologists saw an elevated SUV under my jaw, as apparently I was exhibiting a bit of stress, clenching the muscles in my jaw during the scan. shocking.

But now there's inhaling and exhaling all over town.  Unremarkable is my new favorite word.  Who'd have thought I'd ever want to be boring?