Still Here

Holy crap. I just realized a few minutes ago I haven't posted here for a week.

A WEEK. That is just insane. A few months back, I hardly missed a day. Sometimes I posted twice a day.

Don't get me wrong. I want to write. I probably should. But I'm exhausted. And when I sit down, the words get stuck. I don't know quite what to say.

I usually rely on funny. I'm not feeling so funny these days.

Most days, I'm up at the crack of dawn, caring for my son, then checking on my mother in law. Her mornings start with a horrible coughing fit, which usually subsides within about ten minutes. The radiation is definitely making it better.

The rest of the day is spent in a flurry of doctor appointments and errands. Cooking high calorie meals and coaxing my mother in law to eat. Charting medications. Sanitizing.

We are intimately acquainted with the cancer treatment facility where she is receiving treatment. I am incredibly impressed with everyone we have come into contact with. Today, I had to bring G along to the radiation appointment, and one of the techs emerged from his office with a foam bat and ball and had an impromptu baseball game in the hallway while my mother in law received her treatment. G was in heaven. Everybody got a belly laugh from his crazy antics. Nothing like a hyperactive child screeching with glee in a cancer treatment facility to lighten the mood!

We are about a week and a half in, and I'm finally catching my breath. We are finding a routine in all this craziness.

I hope to get here more. Hopefully write about something besides cancer. But maybe that's what I need to do right now. Maybe I need to forget funny for a while.



Happiness at the age of 20 months isn't complicated.

A bag of chips stolen from Daddy's lunch and a book...

Testing everything...

And sometimes breaking in...


An uber bubble bath...

or a game of hide and seek.

Don't you wish happiness were ALWAYS this easy? I hope, for him, maybe it will be.

For more happiness, head on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.



Since deciding my mother in law would stay with us for the duration of her cancer treatment (chemotherapy and radiation), I've gotten two reactions:

1) What a kind thing to do!


2) You are crazy. Do you know how this will affect your marriage?

And to be honest, I'm not entirely comfortable with either reaction.

As far as caring for a sick family member, I don't think that it is above and beyond. It is simply the right thing to do. We have room, I am not currently working, and IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

The end.

The second reaction? Well, it kind of scares me. Why? Because of course I've had the same thought. Things like money put stress on a marriage. A HEALTHY family member living with you puts stress on a marriage. Truly, caring for an unwell person in your home is a HUGE TEST. On anyone.

Treatment started Monday. It's super intense for about six weeks. So far, spirits have been high and we haven't seen any adverse effects.

But I'm realistic. I know they are coming. She is scared. We all are. Of what comes next. Of what doesn't.

A few weeks ago, I was discussing this with my stepmother-in-law. She went through a similar situation about five years ago.

This is what she said:

"Even in all the sadness, there are so many gifts to be had during these times."

Every single second my mother in law is here, I know more and more she is right. The gift of each story she tells us of her life. Watching her read to my son on the couch in his jammies with his hair still damp from his bath. Going through her treasured jewelry box and hearing the story of how each piece came to her. Seeing my husband so gentle and kind with his mother.

All these things, they are gifts. There is so much love. There is so much hope.

I just had to look.


80's Macro

I did one SUPER exciting thing this week. I went and saw Def Leppard. I'm sure I haven't mentioned that...or have I?

There were lots of little details that I just had to document.

Skinny jeans with zippers and Chucks.

A bazillion bracelets. Even the twisty gummy ones (that ripped the hair out of my arm).

And the lacy glove with the lighter. During Love Bites. Perfection.

It's all in the details, baby!

For more macro, skootch on over to I Should Be Folding Laundry.


A (Not So) Productive Morn

Today I had the distinct privilege of sitting through a three hour mandatory unemployment class.

What did I learn?

That every single skill I've developed over the last ten years falls into an over saturated job market.

Great. Legal assistant (which I will never do again, so help me God)? Declining. Real estate? Big surprise here - declining. Administrative, in general? Flooded.

Fabulous. Seriously, how depressing. I've been thinking of going back to school. But I mentioned I was thinking about a teaching degree - and guess what?

Yeah. Teachers are getting laid off all over the place.

That said, I feel very lucky that if we have to, we can make it on B's income. It will suck, and it will be a challenge, but it's not impossible.

You make do, right?

And, the morning wasn't a total loss. I got to watch the young lady (using the term loosely here) sitting next to me fall asleep, drool and do the head bob through the entire three hours.

Man. That brought me back to 8 am chemistry class in college.


RIP Patrick Swayze

I fell in love with him as Johnny Castle. I can hardly stand watching this scene even today. Goosebumps.

Today is a sad day.

Aqua Net, Def Leppard & 30 Something Mamas - OH MY.

If I had to pinpoint when I fell in love with Def Leppard, I'd have to go way back. We had a neighbor boy who played drums (he was very cool, in high school, in the band - before I realized marching band wasn't THAT cool). He would practice to Van Halen (not Van Haggar), whom I also love, and Def Leppard. Of course, when I got into junior high and high school, it became clear that Def Leppard was NOT COOL. This was at the height of the grunge movement. So I proclaimed my love for Eddie Vedder, thought Kurt Cobain was a tortured artist, and wore lots of plaid and corduroy (wide wale, naturally). So, my Def Leppard obsession was closeted. I bet if you asked ANY of my friends from high school, they probably had no idea that I rocked out to Pour Some Sugar on Me while I was driving my little blue VW Rabbit. In college, I was going through a particularly bad breakup, and the Def Leppard flame was reignited. Love Bites. That song was set on repeat. Over. And over. Many tears were shed as Joe Elliot cried out: LOVE BITES. LOVE BLEEDS. IT'S BRINGIN' ME TO MY KNEES...

Seeing them in concert has been on my to do list for a long time. And finally, on Saturday night, my dream came true!
As any good hair band fan knows, any concert experience must begin with the gold standard:

We set off to the ampitheathre. It was 85 out and I was DYING in my super tight jeans (but I'm committed). All the windows were down and we were blasting Leppard out the windows. We got a few looks. One guy did take a photo of us with his cell. A lot of people refused to make eye contact with us. Maybe because we appeared crazy? Nah. Here are my three other partners in crime (from left): Stephanie, Tiffiny and Jenn. Yes, Jenn is wearing a bustier and a tutu. How cute is she? Best comment of the night (by a couple of HATERS): 'Rock of Love, much?' Some people have NO sense of humor! Once we were settled in on the lawn, it was group photo time! I don't smoke, but I totally brought a lighter. Here I am practicing. And the skinny jeans? The zippers = AWESOME! Poison opened the concert. They were pretty amazing. It would have been better if Bret Michaels were on the big screen. I wanted to check out his hairpiece. And then, Def Leppard. Oh. My. Physical. Lord. They were incredible. Everything about the show was kick ass. The energy, how great they sound live, THE ONE ARMED DRUMMER. Seriously. That guy is A-FREAKING-MAZING. Next year, we're going big time. As close to the stage as we can get. I'm saving my pennies starting NOW. I am the biggest dork ever, but luckily I have dorky friends too. Love you girls! LET'S GET ROCKED!


Adventures in Shopping

Today I went to Old Navy. I figured it was safe, because school is back in.

I had a mission. Skinny jeans. IKNOWSHUTUP. But there is a purpose behind them. I needed something to go with my super sweet Def Leppard t-shirt that I am wearing to THE DEF LEPPARD/POISON concert tomorrow. Woot!

So, I'm in the store, and it's busy. Which is no fun when you're pushing around one of the carts they have that you can strap your kid into.

Which my kid can now unstrap. Lovely.

Things were going downhill fast. G is the worst shopper in the world. It's like he has a concentrated version of the male shopping aversion gene. The whine starts the minute we enter any kind of retail establishment.

I located the jeans pretty easily and started quickly looking around at a few other things.

(By the way, you know you're old when you have to ask the salesgirl if something is a shirt or dress.)

At this point, G unstrapped himself, stood up in the cart and announced at the top of his lungs 'ALL DONE!'

I scurried back to the dressing room, tried on the jeans (ARE THEY SUPPOSED TO BE SO TIGHT?), fought with G over opening the dressing room door and finally decided they'd do and quickly dressed.

The line at the checkout, of course, was a mile long. G would not sit in the cart, so I was holding him and letting him empty the contents of my wallet. That soon was not entertaining enough, so he turned into a limp noodle and I set him down and attempted to hold his hand. Then came the jello legs.

Seriously, isn't 20 months a little young for this?

After an eternity, there was an available checker. I'm holding onto my child with one hand, throwing things onto the counter with the other, and trying to answer all her questions.

I handed her my card, and she asks 'Do you want to open an Old Navy Card today?'

Bless her - how cute. She really thought I'd spend an extra 10 minutes at the check stand with my child reenacting scenes as Damien from the Omen.

'No thanks. I think I'd better get out of here before he gets REALLY mad.'

At that comment, she looked frightened, and bagged me up - stat.

So, mission accomplished, but I sure do miss the days of leisurely shopping and trying things on. These days, it's rare for me to actually go to a store, I normally shop online. For obvious reasons.

But, there is a silver lining to this tale of woe. When I got home, I tried on the jeans and ... wait for it...



Shooting the Random

This week's challenge over at I Should Be Folding Laundry is photographer's choice.

I chose to not find my camera for about five days. I found it this morning in the nether reaches of the diaper bag. But, nonetheless, I think I got a few choice shots...

The road where you DON'T want to live. I saw this driving home tonight, did an illegal u-turn and parked on the side of the side of the road for this shot. The things I do for art! (I also enjoy the fact that there is a school located on this road. NICE.) *

The child is behind bars for artistic purposes only. We were playing peek-a-boo with the dog (note teeth and whiskers in the periphery).

Beautifully depressing. Bye-bye, Summer!

For more photographer's choice, visit Beth over at I Should Be Folding Laundry.

* I actually have a friend who lives on Fail Road, and she and her family are definitely NOT failures. Just sayin'.


Ch-Ch-Check It!

I'm pretty excited - I have my first giveaway going on over at the Sisterhood.

You should check it out!

No, really. There are cookies involved!


Hooray for Healthcare!

I got some great news the other day.

As of next month, I will have health insurance.

You heard me. I've been uninsured for almost 7 harrowing months. I've been knocking on a lot of wood and trying to relegate my 'dangerous' activities to things that would be covered by homeowners or auto insurance.

So, when I found out I can go to the doctor again, or the ER if I need it, or can get a prescription filled without getting a second mortgage, well, I kind of cried a little. Not right away, but when I was driving to the grocery store and I realized I could get a flu shot.

Not that I've ever gotten a flu shot before...but it's nice to have options.

But as a relatively healthy person, it makes me so empathetic for those who can't afford health care. To feel nervous about getting sick all the time is not cool. At all.

So, here's to a bit of GOOD news! Finally. I was starting to feel a bit like Debbie Downer. Waahh, wahhhhhhh.



I need to preface the following photo with these facts:

1) This was taken down the street from my house. We do not live in the mountains. We do not even live in the country. We live in the 'burbs.

2) There is no chance we're going to get caught in any kind of flash flood - we're on a hill.

3) The one time I saw this vehicle actually driving, it was struggling to make it up said hill. And it was blasting some sweet gangsta rap (and I had it all pegged for some good ol' Toby Keith).


Textbook definition of compensating for lack in 'other' areas. Ya dig?

The end.


Here It Is.

I'm just going to write about this because it is driving me crazy. I have writer's block because I want to write about this SO BADLY but have been holding back.

So last Monday, a family member on my husband's side was diagnosed with lung cancer. We don't know what stage she is in at this point - still waiting on test results. We're hoping for the best. What else can we do?

But that's my problem. I have a terrible time NOT DOING ANYTHING. It makes me absolutely mental. My coping mechanism is to go into hyper drive.

And I can't.

We need her to be in a healthy, relaxing environment. And I can't make her leave the unhealthy place where she is living.

We need her to take time to take care of herself and not worry about everyone else. And I can't make her do that.

We need the insurance company to approve her PET scan so we can know exactly what we're dealing with. And I can't make them hurry.

We need the 'well meaning' people who are creating unnecessary drama to be still. And I can't tell them to shut the hell up (but I have been close).

We need the people in her life that take take take from her, that suck every last bit of energy out of her to stop being selfish and grow up. But how do you make someone be self-sufficient who has never had to be responsible a day in their life?

Is it possible?

I just ache for those who love her. I love her. I want to be strong and pick her up and make her safe.

I want to help her heal.

I want to make her happy and feel joy and live her life to the fullest.

I want the cancer to disappear.

I want our normal problems back. The ones I can fix.