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The Butter To My Bread

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I watched Julie and Julia last night from the delicious comfort of my bed. I highly recommend everything be done in bed, quite frankly. It’s my womb and safe haven. Except eating. Husband frowns on this. I have amended the no eating rule to exclude ice cream. Ice cream is fine because there are no crumbs. Crumbs make husband turn into the Incredible Hulk. 

Seems lupus was annoyed to be sharing the stage with a cold last week so she is rearing her ugly head. Everything takes energy. Going to the store to get a few things requires I come home and nap for two hours. God forbid I do two things at once. My hands ache, at time painful to use. I’ve been gobbling ibuprofen, which only does so much. Whatever. I hurt. Blah blah blah. I’m dealing.

I digress…

The movie.

I wanted MORE Julia Child. Perhaps it was Meryl Streep’s portrayal of her but didn’t that woman just ooze enthusiasm and joy? So inspiring and delightful. Her husband ADORED her, which I loved as well. What a love story. Julia and her husband, Julia and food, Julia and life. She didn’t just embrace it, she French kissed it. (I have cards from here that say FRENCH KISS LIFE, now I want to frame one).

The problem I had with the film was the Julie part. I didn’t care about her. At all. I found her irritating and trite. I understand she “found herself” through her cooking project but I didn’t SEE that in the film. I saw a whiner who well, whined a lot, and neglected her husband and was unhappy. A lot.

At one point, Julie (played by Amy Adams) says to her friend “Am I a bitch?” The friend says “Yes”. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe that she was a bitch. A bitch is aggressive, goes after what she wants, takes control, etc. She was just kind of a whiny asshole. Maybe the real Julie Powell is a bitch (which is fine) but Amy Adams portrayal made her just seem sort of meek and pathetic.

I wanted to like her and root for her. I just couldn’t do it. I thought the juxtaposition of these two women was clunky.

Hm. Still processing…This of course brings up all sorts of things in my head about bloggers and how they come across versus reality. Do I come across as a whiny asshole? Perhaps. Am I really one? Perhaps. A post for another time…

I will say though that I immediately wanted to read everything and anything I could get my hands on about Julia Child. The movie should have just been about her. 

And I wanted to cook. And eat. And say to my most fabulous, handsome husband “You are the butter to my bread. The breath to my life.” ( a fabulous quote from Paul Child to Julia in the film.)

Speaking of my darling bearded better half, I got the idea from Dooce to buy this t-shirt for him for Christmas. Being a font/word lover, I thought it was SO creative and thought he would appreciate the nerdiness.

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Get it? El Vetica. Helvetica.

I love it and love the random Mexican wrestling mask with quotation marks for eyebrows.

Seeing as how PGP is clueless, I bring up the t-shirt casually in conversation thinking he’ll shriek (ok, he doesn’t shriek but perhaps chuckle) at the funny and creative shirt idea. So I tell him about it, not revealing that I had already purchased said shirt.

His reaction? (don’t worry…he doesn’t read my blog)

blink blink.

I smile and say “Isn’t that funny? Get it?”

blink blink. “Yeah, I get it.”

blink blink.

(turns back towards his computer)

Oh.

So when he opens it I’m going to be really dramatic and excited and shriek for him.

And then see if I can return it for a smaller size.

I wish you a lovely Sunday. I’m headed to Fancy Tiger this afternoon. Hadley is taking a craft class with her little pal. I heart her pal’s mom so we’re going to hang out while the girls get crafty. (anyone else have the Beasties just pop into their heads?)

Special holiday shout-out to the male J.H. Thanks for reading.

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Thursday Loves

First of all, I’m at a Panera, so that’s exciting. Solely because of my proximity to all of the bread products. Finn has karate next door so I’m making out with a bagel and drinking their iced green tea while he gets his ninja on.

Have you noticed that the green tea tastes nothing like green tea, but it so good?  It’s probably green tea with boatloads of sweetener and crack. Mmmmm.

ELKs party on Sat night ruled. I had a most Excellent time. The capital E was for emphasis. (KT&A were sorely missed tho.) Such an Excellent time that I was terribly hung over the next day, which then turned into a horrible cold/cough. Awesome. I am on the tail end of it and happy it is coming to an end. All week, I would get up to help get the kids off to school and then go back to bed until 12:30. Just. So. Tired. And achy. The cold/cough gave way to a mini Lupus flare. My sister made a good point when she said “At least you had a REALLY good time. That would have sucked if you had flared after something dumb.”

Indeed sage sister, indeed.

Thursday loves…

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  • I bought this rug today from FLOR for our foyer/hallway. I’ve been wanting to try this company for a while now. I love the concept. If it gets dirty or soiled, you just take that square off and run it under water or clean it. Genius.
  • the word “invaginate”. I know. Ew,right? The oncologist used it and I swear I didn’t hear anything she said after that for a good 10 minutes. I was wondering how I could subtly use it in a sentence. So bizarre and kooky.
  • The fact that my mom DOES NOT have to do chemo!!! HURRAH! Turns out the tumor wasn’t HER2-neu+ after all. Cancer is SUCH a roller coaster of emotions. It’s insane. SO many ups and downs and SO much info. I’m just so proud of her.
  • My implant surgery is coming up. (jan 6) I’m so looking forward to this boob bullshit to be over. I had my pre-op appointment today and all is well. I’m feeling good (aside from the heinous cold) and the expanders are just part of what I deal with now. It’ll be good to have them out. You’ll be happy to know the flashing and grabbing my own breasts has slowed down. Although I did drag S into the bathroom at ELKs to show her the goods. Only one person though. That’s pretty good, especially with me cocktailing. It could have gotten ugly.
  • Christmas music mix on my iPod. It’s on constantly at home. Love it. Especially Vince Guaraldi Trio. My fave. Finn’s too, which I love.
  • SmartWool socks. They are the ultimate, especially with my perpetually cold feet.
  • Listening to Pete Townshend’s  “Let My Love Open The Door” in the car with the window open on a gorgeous Colorado day.
  • Teaching my munchkins the importance of lotion. I gave Hadley a tube of Skin Food for her backpack. So cute.
  • Roundabouts – they are rare and fantastic. Most people freak out while driving in them but I love them. They make me happy.
  • my bed. always my bed.
  • The Sing Off. Are you watching this? I love it. I love NOTA and Beezlbubs. I kind of think it would be too easy if Beezlbubs won. Everyone knows they rule. I’ve known about them since i was in 8th grade. I love Ben Folds and Shawn WhatshisBoyztoMen but Nicole Sherzinger? Please. She’s the Paula Abdul. Does she or does she not sound like she took a Quaalude before the show? Paula Abdul syndrome for sure. And the things she says are worthless. I fast forward through her. Thank you DVR.

Hope your week was swell and that you’re not letting the holiday madness get to you.

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Keeping Up

Ok, I’m no puritan but have you seen the ridiculous ad for the latest season premiere of Keeping up with the Kardashians?

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WTF?

Why are they half naked?

Did they sell the Dash stores and start working at an escort agency claiming that they are safe, discreet and classy?

Do we need to see Kourtney all pregnant and sexed up?

What’s going on?

(If I were talking to you my voice would be getting higher and higher the more worked up I got.)

I get it. Sex sells. But this is laughably lame.

Except kudos for the photographer for making Khloe lay down. She looks less like a tranny.

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Thursday Loves – scrambled edition

 

Life is whizzing by as it tends to do this time of year with so many holiday things going on. I am hustling to be happy. However, I would like to speak to whomever is in charge of weather in Colorado. It’s too cold, mkay? WAY too freaking cold. It’s uncivilized and it’s making me cranky.

My mom remains the ultimate bad ass. A beautiful picture of strength and courage. My Aunt K and Uncle D are now in town helping, which makes me feel good. I like that she has someone at the house with her. She looks amazing but I can only imagine the emptiness she feels having her breasts gone. It’s emotional for me having weird, rock like, alien mounds on my chest. I can’t imagine my state if they were gone completely. She is brave.

We met with Mom’s oncologist on Tuesday and chemo is a reality. The doc’s calling it “gentler” chemo but isn’t that an oxymoron? The whole idea of it is daunting and a pain in the ass quite honestly. I find my anger returning and wishing that I could endure some of this BS for her. One drug is once a week for 12 weeks via IV. One drug is every three weeks for a YEAR via IV. And I think the other is a pill, I’m not sure. Ugh.

Help

I bought the book The Help last week intending to get around to reading it sometime. I started and finished it in 3 days. I loved it. It’s really a beautiful story and an impressive first novel. I relish that feeling when you’re so engrossed in a book that everything you do is in the way of your reading. Brushing my teeth I’m thinking “I can’t wait to go read!” Eating dinner I’m thinking “I can’t wait to go read!” It reminds me of the giddiness of new love.

I immediately started to re-read The Lovely Bones as I wanted to read it again before I see the movie. I do love this book. However, I did find myself much more emotional and uncomfortable reading the beginning. The last time I read the book was when it first came out in 2002. I was pregnant or perhaps Hadley was a baby. Last night, as I read, I couldn’t help but picture Hadley as Susie Salmon. It made me hurry through the uncomfortable passages, not wanting to linger too long on what happened to this little girl. I am anxious to see the movie though. I know Peter Jackson will do it justice.

 

I read these 10 Thoughts on Whole Living from the November issue of Body+Soul. I ripped it out because I liked it. Here they are:

1. Find a few minutes each day to completely unplug.

2. Giving to others is the most powerful thing we can do for ourselves.

3. See physical fitness as a practice, not a goal.

4. This fall, make it a point to heed your need for solitude.

5. The secret to beautiful skin starts with what you put inside your body.

6. Try doing even the most menial tasks mindfully and with grace.

7. The quality of your connections with other people will carry you further than you think.

8. Just because a no-frills home remedy is simple doesn’t mean it won’t work.

9. If you want to eat healthier, try giving yourself the benefit of better choices.

10. Home isn’t a place. It’s a state of mind.

 

Did you see this funniest Facebook snafus of all Time on Huff Post?  Some of them are so hysterical. The first one had me dying…A girl posts that she HATES HER JOB on her status and her boss replies. AWKWARD.

ELKs are having a holiday party this weekend and I told lady ELK I’m going to show up as a time traveler from 1987. My clothes suck. I had originally intended to make this party the prom of 2009 and go all out. However, reality has set in and I will not arrive to a swarm of gasps about how awesome I look. I will, however, borrow sister’s DVF wrap dress, which will do quite nicely.

Peter and I had a date over the weekend and saw the rock musical, Spring Awakening. I had been wanting to see this since it was running on Broadway and swept the Tonys. Also, since Lea Michele played Wendla on Broadway and she is now on the show “Glee”. (HEART)

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I loved so much about it but when it was over I was left feeling “meh”. It was anticlimactic for me. I can’t stop thinking about it or singing the songs, which were fantastic but I wouldn’t say I was moved. It irritates me that I can’t put my finger on why I wasn’t beyond thrilled. Maybe it felt trite? It shouldn’t since it is based on a play written in 1891 by Frank Wedekind. The content was CRAZY for those times. People thought he was a sexual deviant. I don’t know. I’m thinking out loud. If you’ve seen it or go to see it, tell me what you think. Next up is "In the Heights”, which I can’t wait to see.

Happy Thursday. Make it a good one.

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Grateful thoughts and more audio happiness

 

Ok, so first of all, my mom’s surgery yesterday went really well and she will come home today! I’ll take her home and be her nursemaid. This feeling of being able to help her is wonderful. I am so often the one needing help.

I introduced myself to anyone within 5 feet of her and kept saying “Ok ladies, take good care of my mom!” The anesthesiologist was a woman, which I loved, as was the surgeon and the two Physician’s assistants.

I am beyond proud of her! She’s total superwoman. I think and hope because she is not having reconstruction, her recovery will be much MUCH smoother than mine.

I can’t even explain the feeling I had when they wheeled her into the room after surgery. I paced and prepared myself for her to look bad. But they wheeled her in and she said ‘Hi!’ in her usual sweet way, pink cheeks and eyes bright and clear. I immediately hugged and kissed her. Relief flooded my body.

Thank you, universe. I need her here with me.

+++

Peter ran across music from Girl Talk and called me into his office to have a listen. We listened and delighted in it for a while. It’s fantastic and perfectly matched my celebratory mood.

Dumb name I know. There’s a reason. It’s one guy named Gregg Gillis who makes these truly masterful mash-ups, sampling everything and I mean, EVERYTHING under the sun. (Footloose came on at one point and I squealed.)

In a 2009 interview with FMLY, Gillis stated:

The name Girl Talk is a reference to many things, products, magazines, books. It’s a pop culture phrase. The whole point of choosing the name early on was basically to just stir things up a little within the small scene I was operating from. I came from a more experimental background and there were some very overly serious, borderline academic type electronic musicians. I wanted to pick a name that they would be embarrassed to play with. You know Girl Talk sounded exactly the opposite of a man playing a laptop, so that’s what I chose. (from his wikipedia page)

Go read about him. Fascinating guy. You know how I love me some brilliant nerd. It probably goes without saying that I heart him and will commence learning everything I can about him via the interwebs.

220px-Gregg_gillis girltalk

 

It’s so much fun to listen to and try to figure out what he’s sampling.

Peter just downloaded every album the kid has and loaded it on to my laptop. Brilliant. It would be perfect to work out to or run to if I did such things. I’ll have to settle for the white woman wiggle in the car.

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Transfixed

Loving this girl’s voice.

 

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Be Here Now

 

Feeling warm, cozy and happy.

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Husband and I had a date night last night and that does wonders to rejuvenate the soul, doesn’t it? We saw The Blind Side (sweet and uplifting) and went to dinner. I feel like an arsehole for saying this but as I took my first sip of a martini in the cool, dark restaurant, I heard a small child sqawking and fussing behind me.

I grimaced.

Ew.

While out and about I like to go places without children. In fact, I kind of like to pretend they don’t exist at all.

I’m just saying.

+++

I question my peaceful, content feeling because of my mom’s situation. Shouldn’t I be fraught with fear and anxiety for her?

I was overcome with it for a while but you can’t go on like that for long. It’s draining and negativity isn’t productive. Instead I am readying myself to be super nursemaid and loving supporter.

We have dealt with this demon before and we will defeat it again. Mom’s surgery is on December 1. My Aunt P is coming into town December 3rd and we are eternally grateful. She will be really helpful in that rough first week.

Peter and I hosted Thanksgiving here for the first time and it went well! Once I let go of the fact that I am NO Martha Stewart (or mom or Monica), the evening was really lovely. Plus, Peter cooked everything so that really only left me with the sweet potatoes to do. And everybody brought a dish so that helped immensely. Mom came (with various necessary Thanksgiving-y decorations) + my bro Andrew and his fam. The previously mentioned Monica is his wife, hostess and cook extraordinaire. She’s like a domestic MacGyver. Give her a hanger, some pasta and plant and she’ll make a lovely dinner for 6. It really should be documented. Fascinating.

The picture above is by Sandra Juto. Nice, eh? I have an ongoing love affair with the Swedes. Design, lifestyle, etc. Taking a coffee break is called a “fika”, or a “fikarast” and is usually accompanied by something sweet. Love it.

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I also love the wrist worms she’s wearing. She makes them. Her shop has great stuff.  I have been coveting the wrist worms for about a year but can’t justify buying them because it’s my fingers and hands that are perpetually cold (because of the Raynaud’s) not my damn wrists. But aren’t they cool?

I’ll leave you with my darling Finny who I have been wildly in love with this week. Yesterday morning while the rest of the house slept, he ate 1 waffle and 5 pieces of toast, naked, while sitting in a huge cardboard box. Occasionally he’d stick the plate out and holler “More toast please!” or call me over to the box to kiss him. ::::sigh::: Remember these times I tell myself.

Bijou, who is staying with us over Thanksgiving break, was perplexed by the naked boy in the box.

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Happy Saturday to you. I hope it is cozy where you are.

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Anatomy of a Good Day

Hadley said “Mom, I think a secret admirer left you something on your bed.”

I looked.

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It said “to my beloved Emily from ?”

I smiled.

She said “Do you think it could be from Daddy?” covering her mouth and giggling. As if “Daddy” were some stranger who blew into town and was trying to woo me.

I love that she would use the phrase “to my dear beloved”. Nothing thrills me like fantastic-ness coming out of the mouths of my babes.

I took my friend B’s son Dylan to the Aquarium today with the blue eyed devils. It was a glorious Colorado day and I was up for the task. He’s a cool kid and I knew he would be no trouble. (cute side note: he lives across the street and is in 2nd grade with Hadley. She frequently tells me that he’s “handsome” and that she thinks she’s in love with him.)

They had a blast running to and fro, squealing about each and every thing they saw.

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I had fun too.

My favorite shots:

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Sigh….so so pretty.

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How creepy and fantastic is the little sting ray’s face? He was pressed up against the glass.

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We fed and pet the sting rays in another tank, which was really cool. Hadley would have gotten in the tank if I let her. She kept saying “I love them, Mama. I mean I really really love them.”

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There were these coconut trees you could climb too. H & D were like little monkeys.

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A 4-D Sponge Bob “experience” was at the aquarium so of course we did that too. It was one of those sit in the chair and get jiggled all around while you wear 3-D glasses type of things. The three of them LOVED it. I kept thinking I was going to get thrown out of the chair.

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This picture cracks me up. Look at Finn. No one gave him the memo.

After going through the Aquarium twice, filling up on garbage pizza, cheetos and fruit punch, I decided we needed cupcakes. Well, I decided.

Happy Cakes is the cutest. If you’re in Denver and haven’t been. GO. HURRY. SO delish.

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Walking from the car to Happy Cakes, we saw this next to the sidewalk.

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The kids dove down and started taking the change from Buddha’s lap. I told them they couldn’t take the money. It was an offering to Buddha. How random and lovely, right?

Plus, I was wearing this cozy, kooky cardigan, which made me happy.

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As did the darling parking attendant who, when I said I didn’t have any cash for parking, just waved me in and said “Pay me later!”

Who does that?

Later, I could have easily just driven out but I made a point to get cash inside to give to him on the way out. It’s all about karma people.

All in all, just a really good day. Late afternoon, the blue eyed devils got haircuts so no need to call social services after seeing the previous pictures. They look like they have a mother now.

We’re all set (sort of) for Thanksgiving tomorrow with my family here. Peter is doing most of the cooking. I’m the sous chef. But not a very good one as I get bored a lot and like to go do other things.

Wishing you and yours a cozy, relaxed day tomorrow filled with delish food and good people.

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Visual Goody

First saw this on Sweet and Bitter and absolutely fell in love with Miles Fisher. He’s one talented kid. This video is especially creative. A Talking Heads cover with a video homage to American Psycho. Brilliant.

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Say It Isn’t So

Birthdays 061I have been quiet lately. Quiet in life and quiet on the blog. There are so many things going on that anything I thought to blog about seemed trivial and ridiculous.

My mom has breast cancer.

Yup. You read that right.

This is a different cancer from the breast cancer she had in 1998, not a recurrence. But still a total son of a bitch. In 1998, she had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation.

This time she will have a double mastectomy shortly after Thanksgiving, without reconstruction. Chemo is a definite possibility because the tumor is HER 2+, which basically means it’s an angry little fucker and has a higher rate of recurrence.

My anger has been subsiding and slowly morphing into thinking about what needs to be done. The anger was all consuming in the beginning though. I sobbed I was so angry. Snotty, on my knees in my bathroom, sobbing. I swore like it was my job. Well, I do that anyway…so I swore like it was my second job. I wasn’t angry when I got my own diagnosis. But you mess with my Mom and I’m furious.

I think I’m more numb now.   Mom first, then Dad, then me and now Mom again.

Just typing that made me angry again.

I would do this all again so she wouldn’t have to endure any of it. In a heartbeat.

To be completely trite, it just seems unfair.

My sister and I have had countless talks over these last few weeks though and those talks have made me think about things differently. Life is really hard but if you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of wonderful magic sprinkled throughout. We have had LOTS of wonderful magic sprinkled throughout and this is just one more obstacle to overcome. Shitty things happen but it’s how you respond that matters.

We went to lunch after meeting with Dr. K, our handy family breast cancer surgeon.

My mom reminded me of the song “I Whistle a Happy Tune” from the King and I, which we saw with Yul Brenner when we were kids. She sang a little bit as we sat in our cozy booth. (see what I mean about wonderful, magical bits?)

I whistle a happy tune
And ev'ry single time
The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I'm not afraid.


Make believe you're brave
And the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are

You’re the best, Mom, and I’m behind you every step of the way, whistling.

 

* The pic is of Mom with Luca. He’s 6 months now and CRAWLING.

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Here




I'm here.
Just quiet.
Bjork's "It's Oh So Quiet" just popped into my head. Such a good song.

Feeling fine. Just tired. Peter is out of town for a week so I've been single mom to the blue eyed devils. No easy feat. I'm wiped out.

Scuse me while I veg with my Mad Men DVDs. Must turn off brain.

I know, I know it's Thursday but I'm feeling surly and Thursday Loves will have to wait. I even got pissy when I saw Robert Pattinson on the cover of Vanity Fair when I got the mail today. ENOUGH with that kid. To be honest, he looks dirty and developmentally delayed all the time. With cool hair and cool clothes. I just don't get it.

Now I'm getting all pissy again.
Redirect.

Have you seen Lady Gaga's Bad Romance video? I was entranced. She fascinates me. We're big Gaga fans around here.
Hope you have a wonderful Friday. We're celebrating with friends, pizza and sweet treats because Finn gets to take his sling off.




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Thursday Loves

 Finn-Xray-10002

Finn broke his collarbone today while sledding. My poor baby. He’s handling it like a champ. Ask me in a week though. I was snugged up in bed reading while Peter and a bunch of our neighbors took all of the kids sledding. (I don’t really “do” cold.) Finn crashed into Hadley and this happened. He came home with the tiniest little sling and has to wear it for 2 weeks. It’s his right arm, of course, and he’s not supposed to do anything active for a bit.

Um, have you met Finn? Look up the word “active” and there’s Finn. He’s a man on a mission. And lately with a marker mask. It’s a look.

Life in April 2009 007

We’ll see how this goes. His first concern was how was he going to play Atari. Peter, the pack rat, saved his Atari and is only missing one part to get the thing running. Finn is elated and cannot wait to play Pac Man and Frogger and Pitfall.

Hadley has been the most darling little nursemaid. I think she feels responsible because Finn ran into her on the sled.

I’m sucking at the Thursday Loves posts I had intended to be chock full of delicious goodies from the week. What can I say? It’s a work in progress.

Here are some though:

  • Practicing yoga again!! I have been scared and lazy. This morning I threw the kids outside, put on a fire and practiced for 30 minutes. Not much but I have been scared since surgery. I just needed to jump in and my body was grateful. Now to find the elusive perfect studio and get to classes regularly…
  • My husband. Every day I think “Wow. Aren’t you great?” I love that feeling. Must go on a solo date with him soon to soak him up.
  • The fact that my kids were actually really well behaved these two days stranded in the house during the snowstorm. They played and imagined together and had a blast. AND! And this is a big one for me…I did not rely on the TV. Plus, I baked and cleaned and puttered.
  • The show Modern Family on ABC. It makes me laugh.
  • The book I’m reading - “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri. So gorgeous…
  • Fantastic neighbors and that feeling of community
  • My tumblr. I’ve been neglecting it but I love it and need to tend it more lovingly.
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Radio Silent

I’m not dead. Just getting over the swine flu, which sucked hard core because along with the the flu, lupus awoke and thought “Oooo! A party!”

I’m over the flu but lupus remains like that one girl at the party who wouldn’t leave until the very end. And even then she may find herself passed out on the couch the next morning, embarrassed because she drooled all over. Nothing that I’m not used to (achy hips, shoulders, knees…) but annoying. I was whining to Peter about feeling cruddy but had to tell myself to suck it up. I was given a reprieve while I was dealing with friggin cancer. I should just be grateful.

Also, I’ve been trying to ignore the headache that I’ve had for 2 weeks. Finally, today I couldn’t take it anymore and dragged ass back to the doctor. She put me on a burst of steroids (6 days worth) hoping to ease the inflammation of what she thinks is a sinus infection. Awesome.

I’m lying down now with earplugs in. Loud (although happy) children + debilitating headache = no bueno.

Forgive me and all of my hideous complaining. I’m so sick of myself I could puke.

The boobs are good. Weird and awkward but no pain and the scars are healing really well. The kids like to say “Jan 6th is when they’ll put in the soft boobs, right?”

Of course, lately ALL of the talk is about Halloween. How many days? How many hours? How many minutes? We carved pumpkins yesterday afternoon and watched “It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” while the snow came down. It made me excited to soon bust out A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, my all time fave Christmas album.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pieces of art in Denver.

red chair

Isn’t it fantastic? It sits right next to the Denver Public Library. I love to imagine that there is a enormous toddler wandering around Denver, who left a toy horse on his chair. I love the randomness of it and the scale.

And how great is the word “fecundity?” Peter used it the other day and I swear I swooned. Then I got out my moleskine to scribble the word down. So many great words…so little time.

I hope your week is shaping up to be a good one.

Shout out to a fellow professional patient. Keep on keeping on, lady. You’re damn funny.

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Truth Telling

011 For those of you who were worried I would permanently be shooting rainbows and happiness out of my ass, you can now rest easy.

It ain’t happening.

For a few months now, I have been in fight mode, which for me, involves humor and massive, obnoxious doses of positivity. And the theme from “Rocky” permanently running through my brain. And lots of adrenaline.

Well, I won the battle. The first part anyway. And now the soundtrack in my head has stopped and the adrenaline  is seeping out of my body to form a puddle on the floor leaving me tired. What now?

I hear the other voice in my head say “What do you mean? What now? You move on with your life.”

Oh.

I was having this conversation with myself in the shower this morning and I felt, really for the first time, sorry for myself. I don’t want these boobs. I wanted my old boobs that I could actually feel were a part of me.

Things tend to hit me later. I’ve always said that. Especially big things. When trouble arises, I put my head down and get down to business. Then, later I figure it all out emotionally.

Newsflash: I’m not made of Teflon. Or invincible. In fact, acting like a fool probably, we went roller skating on Sunday because the kids were DYING to go. I wanted to go. I felt good! I wanted to be there. With them. For them. I wanted to be present. They were so excited we were ALL skating. I wanted to couples skate and hold Peter’s hand.

And I did.

And it was really fun. So memorable.

I fell though. Hard. And now every time I breath, laugh or blow my nose my spine hurts. After roller skating I joked to Peter “I think I rearranged my innards when I fell!”

My mom said ‘What were you thinking!?!?’

That’s just it. I wasn’t thinking. I was “doing.” Something I hadn’t been able to do in a month.  I’ll be fine. And I didn’t pop anything. I fell on my ass, not my boobs. (who does that? besides that girl Shavon with the horrible extensions on the mtv challenge show that I am too old to be watching.)

To add insult to injury I am due to start my period any day now. (look away gentleman readers…it gets very Judy Blume, very quickly)

Last month, it started --- I kid you not---3 minutes before I went into surgery. I was mortified and irritated. They gave me HUGE mesh boy shorts with a pad the size of a limo. Horrifying.

With lupus, for some reason days, sometimes even a week before my period begins, I flare. Horribly. Exhausted, achy skin, fluish. All of it. In addition to the normal things women experience like bitchiness, bitchiness and oh yeah, bitchiness.

SO…here I am today with my roller skating injury, wanting to rip my uterus out and weird rock like mounds on my chest.

Awesome.

I’m pissy.

I just wanted to say that. I don’t want to present a false image of myself as this girl who can handle it all. I can’t. Especially today. And so, I will be good to myself and treat myself tenderly and with care.

That is all.

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Thursday Loves

First of all, no saline fill today which is FANTASTIC. HOLLA! My rack is ready to go. My skin just has to stretch for 3 more months and then on January 6th, they’ll take out these horrific expanders and replace them with saline implants. This episode in my life is almost over! I high fived my doctor. We’re cool like that.

After my appointment ended so early, I had some time to kill before picking up Finn at 12:45. I called ELK and she happened to be home playing hooky today! I decided to stop at Duffey’s and get some warm pastry goodies on this chilly and snowy/rainy day. Delish. I got out of the car and proceeded to fall ass over teakettle on the sidewalk in front of Duffey’s.

Nice.

A darling man, who worked there and I find out is named David, came out to help me up and dust the leaves off me. (OH! You poor thing! Is that cashmere??! He said worriedly about my sweater. I heart the gays.) A woman inside said ‘We saw your legs go up in the air! Are you ok?!?!?” (I wish I had a picture.)

Instead of being horrified and embarrassed, I was delighted by his act of gallantry. He also gave me a free coffee. Sweet. Apparently, today was a day meant for pain because I skinned my hands and knees falling. A fact I found funny. I was actually sort of excited to have skinned knees. When is the last time you had skinned knees?

It made me nostalgic. We used to get really excited in high school during lacrosse season if we had “war wounds”. A skinned knee in your lacrosse uniform was good for street cred.

Relaxing and catching up (after the required flashing) with ELK was so nice. I love to hog her to myself and it was a necessary download. Just being around her is energizing and her darling house full of warmth, creativity and style was the perfect pit stop. She is one of the much beloved “Old Sames” whom I have known for 21 years now. I love you girls so much.

mika

Other fantastic-ness from the week in no particular order:

  • My uncontainable happiness. It’s weird. And by weird, I mean good weird. I’m euphoric.  What is that? Perhaps it could be connected to this strange reprieve from lupus. My docs think that lupus is currently distracted by the huge bags of silicone currently renting space in my chest. So lupus doesn’t have time or energy to attack anything else. Although, I don’t think that’s all of it. Something has changed in me. I swear I’m lighter. Happier. Funnier. (maybe) I feel invincible.
  • Mika (pictured above) and his music make me feel like human frosting. Sweet, light and whipped. Perfection. I adore him. Our whole family does. I swear when that guy comes to Denver, we’re going to his show. The lot of us. I love everything about him as an artist and person. I dare you to stay in a bad mood after listening to his music.
  • A Jo Malone package arrived today. I received a gift certificate from ELK for my birthday and finally got around to using it. Oh my. There is nothing like fragrance. Especially when it. is. divine. I got the Cologne Collection set too so it’s really like I received MANY perfumes to mix or not depending on my mood.
  • Drive Thru liquor stores (specifically the one near our old house in Platt Park. genius.)
  • playing Skee ball and other video games with Finn on Tuesday afternoon, including Dance Dance Revolution, which I’m usually way too self conscious to play in public. Nope. No more of that business. I’ve had cancer + my boobs cut off and new ones put on. Dance Dance Revolution? BRING IT.
  • hearing Finn say “I’m crazy about that girl” When asked who he was talking about, he said ‘Hadley’.
  • Seeing my mom’s face at my front door upon her trip home from her 50th high school reunion (!!) The way my body instantly relaxes just seeing her face is indescribable. Let’s hear it for magical Moms!
  • clean glass on the back door (with a dog and kids, it’s rarely clean)
  • valet parking at the doctor’s office
  • silence
  • inspirational stories that remind me my life is really really great
  • hearing a Boston accent (reminds me of Dad, a Bostonian through and through)
  • Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano cookies, which Finn calls “Mint Filets”
  • The Furminator – This thing rules. Dog hair, BE GONE!
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Peep and other furry things

Hadley’s 2nd grade class has been closely observing chicken eggs for a bit now waiting for them to hatch. Each class has their own batch.

One finally hatched! You would think she birthed this little guy herself she’s so excited and proud.

And of course, now she wants a chicken.

chick

Cute as hell, right? See? I want one now too. The class named him Stripe but Hadley renamed him “Bandit” in her head, which I like better too. Is that not the sweetest face?

Speaking of the sweetest faces, my dog faced boy has a cone on his head. The poor dear. Every time I look at him, I laugh uncontrollably and then say “Aw, I’m sorry sweetie.”  He has massive allergy issues. Which is just fancy talk for “you’re going to have to pay a lot of money at the vet every few months”. Oh, how I love my dog.

While getting dog food yesterday, I saw the most beautiful big cat with only one eye up for adoption. He was so handsome and HUGE. I had a moment with him and wanted him so bad. But then I remembered I don’t like really like cats. (Except Stan. Those of you who remember him, know he ruled. RIP Stan.)

Doing ok boob-wise. Not pain per se, more uncomfortable. At this point, I feel horrifically engorged. All of you mamas know the feeling. I keep thinking I need to pump or nurse a non-existent baby. Nope. Not the case.

Of course, just when I start to feel better…Thursday rolls around and its time for another fill. This week should be the last though. Or the second to the last. Whew.

My proclivity to flash people has been less, but that could be that I was just sick. We’ll see what the rest of the week brings…

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Swoon worthy

I love these Dolce and Gabana swimsuits from the most recent show in Milan. I love them so much I want to wear one around town or at least the house. Aren’t they beautiful? Specifically the one on the far right. And I want to make a big sandwich for the girl next to her in the black suit. She looks hungry and angry and scrawny.

retroD&G swimwear

This picture and more at fabsugar.com. The entire collection is lovely. 

Taking a page from Gala Darling, I am starting Things I Love Thursday. I am blatantly copying her. I love the idea, and her, by the way. She is endlessly interesting and positive.

A-hem. My list for today:

  • Obviously, the D&G swimsuits!
  • Kashi Go Lean high protein and high fiber cereal in yogurt or with milk
  • Getting out of the shower and then standing in front of the fireplace in my bedroom to warm up
  • My handsome husband expressing interest in things I know he doesn’t care about but doing so because he loves me. (like the above D&G swimwuits…)
  • reprieves from pain
  • Hearing a doctor say “You’re Cured!”
  • Hadley’s hands being painty and or markery pretty much all of the time because of her artistic endeavors
  • college boys yelling MILF!!! at my sister as she loaded her kids in the car
  • The amount of love and support shown to me during this crazy time. The effect it has had on me is indescribable. I have phenomenal people in my life and am so grateful every day.
  • seeing a pair of shoes dangling from a telephone line. Something about it is so nostalgic for me. It reminds me of a more innocent time when doing something like that was seen as rebellious. I like to take a picture every time I see some. I wonder whose shoes they are, how they picked which shoes they were going to throw up there and how they did it. It’s a nice little reverie and makes me smile.
  • Seeing Finn’s face light up when I pick him up from school
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Resting for the Cure (aka Lots of Doctor Appt Blathering)

happinessisachoice

I met with my rheumatologist yesterday. All is quiet on the lupus front. Good. Blood work and urine. The usual poking and prodding.

I’m sure she didn’t even want to see my boobs but I said “So, you want to see them?”

She said “Sure” and I flashed her.

It seems to be the thing I do lately. Show everyone. A friend came over with dinner yesterday afternoon and she was here for a while when Finn said “Mom…show her your breasts.”

The really funny part is I already had.

They just don’t feel like part of my body. I can’t feel anything so why would I care if someone saw them? Peter asked if I was going to post pictures of them on my blog and I debated it. He laughed out loud at the fact that I debated it.  I’m not doing it.

Seriously though, they don’t feel like they are mine.

You know what breaks my heart though? Today Finn asked if he could sit in my lap. I nodded, feeling brave and bracing myself for his wiggling, boyish ways. Plus, he hasn’t been in my lap since surgery, more than 2 weeks ago. He climbed into my lap carefully and sweetly.

I could not feel his body against my chest. At all.

The realization left me sort of panicked for a second.

I leaned in and nuzzled his neck and hair and ears to feel close to him. It was one of those quick, dark moments that sneaks up on me about all of this breast cancer business. It made me terribly sad.

So, I chose instead to change directions and focus on all of the positives. That’s all I can do.

 

While at the rheumatologist, she tried to persuade me to do Race for the Cure this weekend and go to the survivor’s tent. She kept saying “It’ll be really powerful and there is a free breakfast and you can share your story and you get a pink survivor t-shirt.”

Me being me I said “How do they know you’re really a survivor?” Already thinking that perhaps this is yet another opportunity for me to flash people.

She just stared at me looking really horrified. “Who would lie???”

In my head I’m thinking “People are assholes, lady. And I’m sure someone would lie to get a free breakfast and a free t-shirt.”

But that isn’t the point. The point is she was really reeeeallllly insistent on trying to get me to go.

I don’t want to go. I’m tired and not supposed to overexert myself.

And as far as the powerful sharing?

No thanks.

I do not define myself as a breast cancer survivor.

I don’t know that I ever will.

I don’t define myself as a blue eyed person or a mother or sister or wife or friend or person with lupus or person with allergies or person who hates cruises so why would I suddenly define myself by this? This is just another thing that has happened in my life. This is not me.

I am not, and I mean this with every sincere bone in my body, making fun of people who DO define themselves by their cancer. Many people need that and it makes them strong and I support that.

I’m just saying, I don’t have a need for that type of support. And it’s weird to have people assume that’s what I want or need. It’s like having a membership to a club that you didn’t want to join, forced upon you. People are SHOCKED that I’m not high tailing it to the survivor’s tent to tell my tale of woe.

Anyway….just something I have been ruminating about.  (super secret interesting fact: my mom feels similarly. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

If you do the walk and were thinking of putting my name on your back, by all means DO IT! I love the idea of walking in honor or memory of someone. It’s just all of the other stuff I’m not terribly interested in.

 

Peter and I met with my oncologist today, who is a woman also(WOO HOO for women doctors!! The only one who isn’t is my plastic surgeon. I’ll let him live. ) and she went over all of the information so patiently with me. I don’t know if I have shared that the original .7mm mass, which was discovered during a biopsy, was actually 3mm once they opened me up during surgery. This is still SO small but it’s bigger than they originally thought. The reason they didn’t detect the entire tumor is that young breast tissue is VERY dense and it is very difficult to detect cancer through it. All of the docs are very pleased they detected this so early. As am I, of course. My choice of a bi-lateral mastectomy was validated by Dr. K, which made me feel calm and in control.

At one point, she said “You are cured.”

I never thought I would every hear someone say those words to me. It was very cool. No chemo. No radiation. No Tamoxifen. Nada. She just wants to see me in 6 months and then do MRIs once a year to be completely proactive about returning breast cancer. There is a 3-5% chance of recurrence.

I meet with the plastic surgeon, Dr. B. tomorrow for another saline fill. Ugh. I’m so dreading it. In my head, I keep having these pretend fights with him. Blech. I feel like I look like Dolly Parton already and they want to put MORE in? Oy.

 

* artwork by Rachelle. I have this magnet on my refrigerator.

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Taking Care

My Dad has been so top of mind lately as I struggle through this murky journey. I said to a friend recently and also to my mom that I feel him with me. I hear his voice in my soul quietly whispering “You can do it. You’re doing great!” It keeps me going a lot of times. And I miss him. Tremendously.

Dad had a dog named Butch when he was little. He was a mutt but a smart one and could do all sorts of cool things.  One of those things was that he would carry my dad’s lunch to school every day in his mouth. The local paper caught wind of it and sure enough, there was a picture of my Dad walking to school (cute as hell) with Butch at his side, paper lunch bag in his mouth. It hangs framed in my parent’s house next to the picture of my mom in the paper at a young age cutting the ribbon to the opening of the new Fon Du Lac Avenue in Milwaukee, WI. I’m a child of celebrities you see. (sidenote: I am desperately wishing I had the photos scanned in so you could see.)

Anyway, this morning as I brushed my teeth, Hadley was holding a toy puppy rattling on about something or other. She suddenly said “Remember Papa’s dog, Butch?”

I nodded. Brushing.

She told the stories of Butch she had heard so many times from Papa as I concentrated on brushing with my busy busy Sonicare.

She asked “Did Butch have a doggy door?”

I shrugged.

She kept going wondering about how the dog got in and out of the  house and what he must have done while Papa was at school.

I continued brushing.

Then she said “I wish Papa was alive so he could tell me how Butch got in the house.”

My eyes instantly filled with tears but I was brushing so I couldn’t say anything.

I quickly spit and said “Me too” and smiled, trying to blink back the tears.

He would be so proud of me I think quite often. I’m doing it Dad. I’m tough. I’m fighting.

Since the saline fill on Thursday, life has been rough. Painful. Grueling. Lots of tears. Lots of encouragement from the ever present Peter.

Yesterday, my mom called while out running some errands and asked if she could stop by. I said I was lying in bed and I would love it.

She came over and crept in bed next to me. We lay on my big white bed side by side, facing each other as the fan slowly turned above us. Just picturing it makes me swell with so much emotion because I love her so much. We lay there for about 45 minutes, talking and occasionally stroking each other’s arms. I adore this woman. My mom, my friend. Her big blue eyes occasionally filled with tears as well as we talked and shared with each other the goings on in our lives.

I was in pain. Lots of it. And I felt defeated. And weak.

Just being with her soothed so many of my pains. Vicodin was a big helper in the situation as well but you get my meaning.

I woke up this morning and felt human. Again, if a normal person were experiencing what I’m feeling they would be alarmed, but for me, feeling this good is a gift and I am the happy recipient. An apprehensive recipient though because I never know how long I’ll have feeling decent.

So, in my mind I am crediting my parents for this pain breakthrough. My Dad guiding me and pulling some strings in heaven and my mom working her mom magic on earth. Whether that is truly the case or not is not important. That is how it will be stored away in the filing cabinet in my heart.

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Ding Dong the drains are out, the drains are out, the drains are out

Those disgusting drains are gone! I am a different person. Still a bit wobbly, still plenty sore but I am not tethered to these disgusting fluid pouches. Oh the freedom!! And! And I get to take a shower tomorrow!!! I have gone the sponge bath route and my sweet husband has lovingly washed my hair but it’s not the same. That shower is going to be the best shower I’ve ever taken.

So, they took the drains out and then added 100cc of saline to my expanders.  I can't feel the needle going in at all because my breasts are numb. It's just like a slow fullness in your breasts like filling up a water balloon. Weird.  It's uncomfortable afterwards though...they compare it to the way after you get your braces tightened. Mkay. I’ve had my braces tightened. I would like to say that would be half ass accurate.

They’ll fill them every week until I say “when”. Then we wait 3 months until they put in the saline implants. I think I’m pretty close to saying “when”. Perhaps a few more weeks. They like to over fill in order to ensure enough space.

I meet with my cancer surgeon tomorrow. Turns out they found more cancer in my left breast when they were operating. A 3mm tumor. WTF? I’ll get more information tomorrow but it just goes to show you a) science isn’t perfect and b) I made the right decision with the bi-lateral mastectomy. I do have to meet with my oncologist next week though to see what my long term plans are. There are two drugs they like women to take to stave off a return of breast cancer (tamoxifen and another one I can’t remember) but I can't take either one because I have blood clotting issues. We’ll see.

I’m looking forward to things getting back to normal. They felt that way a bit tonight as Peter and I chatted in the kitchen and the kids played. (For weeks, I have been upstairs in bed separated from the normal rhythms.)  Peter and I watched 2 or 3 plays that H&F put on. I love how there is no planning or rehearsing. They’re just wiggling around, yelling things and doing a bunch of random crap as we watch. But we clap at the end of course.

I went into Hadley’s room and we were winding down and about to read books, I told her I had a new band for her. Music is her passion, which delights us to no end. I put in Innocence Mission Glow,  and a smile crept across her face. She bobbed her head and pretended to know the words as we straightened all of the books on her bookshelf and I just felt lucky. Achy and cranky but inexplicably happy and lucky.

“You’re going to be ok now, Mom, aren’t you” she said with a smile.

“Yes I am” I said as I hugged her and smelled her hair.

My sweet rare bird.

A person I adore has sent me a card every single day.

Process that.

Every day.

The latest said “Keep Hustling to Keep Happy”. I love that. I hung it up. Gotta keep hustling.

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More than you ever wanted to know about my twin towers

I find myself thinking about people who go through trauma and don’t have a support system. It makes me sad. And feel extremely fortunate for those around me.

For those of who have left a comment, sent me something, said something, sent a card, cooked a meal, anything…I give you the most sincere thank you. You gladden my heart. Without your support my soul would have withered.

I am doing ok. This is no picnic. It’s scary and painful and incredibly emotional.  The pain is bizarre and it feels like a 300 lb man is sitting on my chest making it harder for me to breath. I do my breathing exercises every day, slowly gaining in my ability to take bigger breaths.

I am trying to be “normal” again and keep getting yelled at by Peter for “doing too much”. I am not supposed to be reaching, or lifting and don’t think I can drive for another week and a half or something.

I walked down to the bus stop today to meet Hadley and was met by the smiling faces of my neighborhood gals. (holla!) It felt good to be normal for a minute. To know that I won’t always feel this defective.

The drains are quite honestly the worst part. They will probably come out on Thursday. (fingers crossed) A 20” tube comes out of my body on each side and has a bulb on the bottom to collect the fluid. We used to have to “strip” (empty) the drain and  empty the bulb and then measure it, on both sides, 3 times a day. Oh, fun times. Now, we just have to do it once a day.

More than once I have stumbled to the bathroom in the middle of the night and forgotten about the drains as I stepped out of bed. I can’t even explain the pain of them falling to the floor, yanking at the sore entry point on my sides. (They tell you to pin them to your clothes but I can’t sleep in clothes so they just lay next to me.) I crumple to the floor and yelp out in pain and try to breath. Then gather up my damn drains and take myself to pee, cursing the whole way. It’s creepy the way they just come out of my body. You can feel them on the inside too. As much pain as this crap has caused, the medical/scientific aspect of it is so interesting.

My breasts actually don’t look too gruesome. For some reason I thought it would look like a wild animal attack or something. But there are just two little lumps with about a 5 inch scar across them. No nipple. They do not look or feel like mine. They just feel foreign and hard and lumpy. Doc says that will change and I’ll be more comfortable with the saline implants. (He will fill the expanders with saline weekly for about 3 months. Then we wait 3 months. THEN he puts in the saline implants.)

I do miss my old breasts. I mourn them occasionally but then try to quickly move on to my “new normal”. This pain won’t last forever.

I am taking so many medications that my darling PGP had to make an excel spreadsheet to track meds and time meds are given. I am also giving myself an injection of lovenox (blood thinner) every day to avoid blood clots.

Yeah, it’s a big old party around here. It’s like “Drugstore Cowboy” but different. Strangely, lupus has been on vacation during this time. Or at least very very quiet. I’m expecting that bitch to come waltzing back to the party shortly with a cocktail in one hand talking about “Did I miss anything??”

And for those who say “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.” I say after this I better be one bad ass motherfucker. I’m talking about being able lift cars and chop cement in half.

One thing that has been making me happier than I ever thought it would is that I rented both seasons of Pushing Daisies. Seen it? Isn’t that the most darling, visually appealing, interesting, quirky, uplifting show you’ve ever seen? It is intoxicating and has been making me happy. It also has been making me want to bake pies and dress like Chuck. And I was near tears when Kristin Chenoweth won the Emmy for best supporting actress. She deserved it!

pushing_daisies

Still on the daily search seeking out little things that make life brighter and make me smile. I’m proud to have Peter holding my hand every step of the way. He’s been making me laugh a lot lately.  Truthfully, I’ve never been more in love with him than I am right now.

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Joy and Pain

(There’s mostly ‘pain’ and only some ‘joy’ but I had that song in my head….remember that song? Joy and Pain. Sunshine and Rain…..)

I’m home.

Good news is there is no more cancer. No cancer in the lymph nodes. Yahoo!

After they injected the dye into my lymph nodes in the morning and I was to leave for the hospital, one of the nurses gave me this HUUUUUUGE pink, quilted teddy bear with pink ribbons tied around its neck and then an angel made out of a doily pinned to its stomach. It also had a big pink cancer ribbon pinned to it.

I think she expected me to cry and hug it or hug her.

I just said “oh!” as nicely as I could before I set it down. I know the nurse meant well but It made me feel like a child. I am not a child. Better yet, I am an adult with good taste.

I’m not kidding. The thing was the size of a 4 year old child. I tried to hide my disdain but when I went back to the waiting room to get Peter to leave, I gingerly set the bear down on a chair in the waiting room and left him there.

I’m pissy today. I’m done being the patient. Being helpless sucks.

Pain abounds and I’m not allowed to do anything. This,of course, makes me furious. I hate having to lean on people and depend on them. Hate it.

All of the lovely gifts make me feel so loved though, so thank you. Thank you for thinking of me. And thanks for being so creative!

All of the drugs make me sleepy so I must rest now. I just wanted to check in and tell you I was alive. It’s not nearly as gruesome as I thought it would be.

My husband continues to amaze me all the time. The fact that you cannot gross the guy out is very impressive.

The blue eyed devils are doing swell. I call them in to my room for kisses and hugs and they are very interested in all of my various tubes and bandages.

More soon.

XO

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Such is Life

Sorry no posts lately. I just needed time to live. Plus, I got sick for a few days and that sucked. Luckily, today I woke up feeling better and was SO relieved. I can’t imagine if I had to postpone this procedure.

Tomorrow is the day and I’m ready.

I literally am so humbled by and grateful for everyone pitching in and lending a hand. It’s unreal. And I am in awe. THANK YOU!

I am also rocking really kick ass hair in case anyone was wondering. I got the mani/pedi and hair done today and I really do feel I am ready for battle. My darling hairdresser had a bottle of wine and oversized malted milk balls ready this evening for our rendezvous. There was much celebrity gossiping, wine swilling and cancer jokes.

I also got a boatload of magazines to peruse. I’m sure there will be MUCH waiting tomorrow.  I’m going to have to remember my iPod too. Can’t let a moment go by without music pumping through my veins. It’s my strength elixir. (thanks KH for the delicious word) Oh, and I randomly bought bright red lipstick today too. What is that about? Also picked up a bottle of Kiehl’s grapefruit lotion. Deliciousness abounds.

Anyhoo.

I am ok. I am more than ok. I am strong and surrounded by love and light. I also see all of your little faces in my head cheering me on, which makes me smile.

And in a private note to my boobs, I would like to say thank you for the good times. Thanks for feeding both of my babies, being a pretty good size and all around serving your purpose.

I’m crying now.

Really?

Now?

I haven’t cried much at all, really and now, when I’m trying to put together a good bye note to my boobs, tears roll down my cheeks.

Such is life.

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Fancy Love

I laugh out loud every time I see this ad for Jessica Simpson’s new perfume, Fancy Love. I know it has been skewered by all of the funny people on the interwebs and for good cause.

spl121823_001-thumb-420x481

I just really really really wish I could have been in that meeting, wherever it was, when this idea was thrown out on the table. (Were there WORSE names? I’d love to see the castoffs….)

Were there audible sniggers? Did anyone roll their eyes? SOMETHING had to have happened when she tossed her hair to the side and said “I want it to smell pretty and I want to call it Fancy Love.”

Seriously, someone had to laugh out loud.

Doesn’t it sound like a phrase a repressed, slightly crazy young person would use for sex? (as in “oh making fancy love is for married people only.”)

I have spent way too much time thinking about this.

I’m laughing now even typing. It makes me want to blurt out “FANCY LOVE!” randomly.

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I Gotta Feeling

(Funny side note: I use Windows Live Writer to post to my blog. In the space where you put your Post title it says “Enter a Post title”…looking at it this morning I swear it said “Enter a positive title”…Freudian. In a good way. Positive pervades these days.)

Hola.

On Monday we met with the plastic surgeon to go over everything for surgery and sign a million papers. On one hand, it was good because I like paperwork, directions and to do lists. That makes me feel in control. And plus, I heart my doc.

On the other hand, it was a little bit frightening because legally, they have to go over everything that COULD go wrong. Oy. I tried not to focus on that so much. I chose instead to bond with Dr. B’s awesome physician assistant, who had amazing skin, great style and perfect curls. She was very cool and kept saying things like “You’re going to do great!”, which fueled my confidence.

Still on the positive positiveness train. I’m not Pollyanna. I do have moments of fear and darkness but they are fleeting and I push past them. (Remember the mantra? I am strong. I am surrounded by love and light.)  Fear is destructive and unproductive. Instead I focus on all of the great things.

Also, helping me is the fact that I’m referring to my mastectomy as “the dinner party” in my head. You know when you have a dinner party you do a ton of things to get yourself ready and your house ready? That’s how I feel. I’m cleaning, organizing, making lists, etc for the house. For myself, I had my eyebrows waxed, eyelashes tinted, am getting a haircut and color the night before surgery, am getting a mani/pedi. I’m getting my “armor” ready. I’m going to feel awful after surgery. I may as well try to have everything else in tip top shape.

Side note: I was getting my hair cut and colored when I went into labor with Finn. Being my second child, I said calmly “I think I’m going into labor but keep going, I’m fine.” My hairdresser at the time’s husband worked there and ignorantly said “You’re not going to gush water all over, are you!?!?!?” I calmly replied “No.” She finished my hair, I drove home, called Peter and he came home and we went to the hospital. The whole thing was so civilized and calm. There could have been soft music and passed hors d’oeurves. I told anyone and everyone at the hospital that my hair was looking good for childbirth. I’m sure I’ll do the same this time. As if they’ll say “Wow, she’s the most well groomed gal we’ve ever had in the OR!” Although, secretly you know I hope they do.

The doc had to take “before pictures” and so there I am topless with leggings on, standing against a bright blue background. The whole thing felt very “American Apparel” ad campaign a few years ago. I awkwardly mentioned that fact and the doc was silent. He said “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Oh, ok, then. Awesome. Never mind.

american_apparel

You know what I’m talking about, right? Google American Apparel ad and you’ll see what I mean.  Here is an example of some of them. The models heads are sometimes cut off and it’s just a topless girl in leggings or something.

Anyhoo. Just an image that has stayed in my head and made me laugh.

I went to get pre-op blood work done yesterday so that is checked off my little list. I’m set. Friday cannot come soon enough.

I’m listening to lots and lots of music. It makes me feel strong and happy. My latest love is the poptastic, cheesefest that is Cobra Starship’s Good GIrls Gone Bad (feat. Leighton Meester)  Lots of Mika lately and that song “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas is on constant rotation. The kids called it “guinea pig song” because it was in the movie G-Force.

Do something nice for someone today. It makes you feel good.

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Behind Every Great Woman

meandmylove

 

Do me a favor.

When you see my husband or talk to him, ask him how he is doing.

Tell him you think he is a great husband and father. I do.

Tell him I think he is good and kind and handsome and sweet and funny. I do.

Tell him that you’re proud of him. I am. 

Tell him that being as good as he is has to take so much effort. But he never shows the effort. He just is.

Tell him I appreciate it when I’m wandering around the house with a furrowed brow, riddled with anxiety, talking about “where’s Finn’s other sock?!?!??” and he’ll just stop me, look me in the eyes and say “Hey” and then hold me tight. Tighter than I even thought I needed to be hugged but soon realize it is exactly what I need.

While I need and appreciate your love and support when my twin towers come down on September 11, my darling PGP needs some of that love and support too. (How great is that twin towers reference?? I’m sorry. hello brills. AXM said it to me and I thought it was so clever and it made me smile. Don’t I have clever friends?) And I’m not making light of 9/11. Not in the least. I’m just saying it was clever reference. Don’t be getting all pissy. Remember I have cancer, MFs. (my friends) You have to be nice to people with cancer. There’s a rule about it somewhere.

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Finding the Funny

I have been on a serious quest to find the funny these last few days. Many people and things have come through. I’m laughing now just thinking back to some of these things. A lot of them are terribly offensive or wouldn’t be funny to a lot of you (inside jokes) so I’ll just keep those little nuggets to myself.

We’ll just say I’m laughing, which is unbelievably cathartic.  As the weight piles on, bring on the levity, people.

I have been in bed all day, feeling heinous with this worthless cold.  I am in bed with my laptop, tissues, and the phone. I have been fielding calls from doctors regarding pre-op appointments, blood tests and the like.

On the 11th, I have to go to the breast cancer center at 8am for 2 hours while they inject the dye to highlight my sentinel node, which the doctor will check for cancer during the Mastectomy. Dr. K said she doesn’t expect to find any.  The woman at the breast cancer center said to make sure to bring something to read or do for those 2 hours. Again, looking for the funny, I’m going to get the movie “I Love You, Man” to watch. After the dye “gets where its supposed to go” (actual technical phrasing used) we will then head to the hospital to check in. My operation is at 1pm. Word on the street is I’ll only be there for 1 day. This strikes me as so odd, but I have been told by many that I need to get out of the germspital hospital, as soon as possible.

So, that’s that. I’m trying to talk Peter into guest posting. Maybe I’ll hit up Meg too.

On a totally clich├ęd note, I have been trying to be really really present lately. It’s a constant quest for me but I think lately I have been hyper tuned in. It’s not a dramatic “I'm going to die so I have to do my version of the Last Lecture” or anything. This surgery just has me thinking about things differently.

At a pool party with family last weekend, I watched a wasp carefully slice turkey from an abandoned plate. I mean, really watched. It was fascinating. I do adore insects and creepy crawlies.

I listened to my brother recite funny bits from movies and enjoyed the look of pure delight on his face from something he finds funny as he held court at the table. I also envy his ability to remember things so well. My memory has long since left town and is now roller skating somewhere on Venice Beach.

It’s always good to be near/see my mom. What is it about our mothers? I see her (or really even hear her voice on the phone) and my muscles relax, knowing that she is so in tune with me I don’t have to be “on”. I don’t have to explain. I don’t have to make excuses. I can just be. I tell my children “mothers are magical” (usually when the ask me how I know something). They ask how I know mothers are magical and I say “because my mother is magical.”

I was happy I decided to get into the pool. I wasn’t going to because it was sunny and lupus hates the sun, blah blah blah. But I said screw it. It was late (5:30pm) and I was glad I did, as it felt so good and refreshing. I floated on my back and stared at the sky (in between my children jumping on me and yelling THROW ME, MAMA! YOU’RE NOT A VERY GOOD THROWER, MAMA! WHY AREN’T YOU A GOOD THROWER???)

My nieces and nephew were so funny and joyful and sweet. Mia (2) held me close, rubbed my back and told me she loved me. Luca (3 mos) laughed, REALLY laughed as I held him and I felt victorious and wanted time to stop. There is nothing like making a baby laugh to make you feel powerful. My niece Lyla (9) recently broke her hand and was the buzz of the evening as I could tell Hadley wanted to do the same, if only to be a little more like Lyla. Ottilia the Brave, at 2 years, avoids clothes, a fact I love about her. Owen (11), the idol of the group, wasn’t there because he went to a Rockies game. We of course missed the Dallas swimming beauties, Olivia and Grace.

Enough blathering. Must eat again and sleep.

Find the funny and then tell me about it. 
XOXO

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Nothing New

I’m sick. Stuffed up, can’t breath, in bed, wiped out, sick.

What started as sniffles has progressed quickly into a whole bunch of garbage.

I just keep thinking “really?” I have cancer and am going to get my boobs cut off because of it.

Really? This is the time I need to be sick? Isn’t there some guy in Scranton who could have used this cold more than me?

Blech.

I am doing ok, I guess. I’m scared. Mostly about recovery. How long it will take me. The expanders they will put in. The strange sensation of not having my own breasts anymore.

I also have a request. Not that I know anyone who would do this because anyone who knows me well enough wouldn’t but…Please refrain from sending me anything breast cancer related. By that, I mean any kind of pink ribbon stickers or “I beat Cancer” baseball hat, or a figurine that has a breast cancer ribbon on it, or a car magnet. Anything like that. #1 I hate things like that. #2 This is something horrible that I will get through, it does not define me. I will not be defined by this.

Anyway, one thing I’m looking forward to is that on September 1 my cell phone contract is up with AT&T! I will finally be released from the claws of the devil.

I can’t get cell coverage in MY OWN HOME or really anywhere in a 10 mile radius surrounded my home, which is awesome because I never need to use my phone in those areas. (WTF???) There have been times when important results needed to be relayed over that freaking phone and I had problems. There have been times when I have helplessly watched my phone ring in my house and haven’t been able to pick it up.  I really want to set my phone on fire in front of an AT&T store cursing their existence…but I won’t. I will dutifully recycle my old phone.

That is all.

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Style Pages – Finn Edition

I think back often to how great it was to spend a week alone with Finn while Peter was in Seattle and Hadley was in Asheville.

It was magical.

Those of you with more than one kid know that they are COMPLETELY different when the other one isn’t around.

We were connected at the hip that week and I will treasure those memories. He had my full attention and I had his. We played EVERYTHING and I had nothing but patience and time for this gentle creature, who up until this point, I had never met! (kidding…sort of)

I let him sleep with me every night, which was so sweet, as I know the bigger he gets it won’t be very long before he wants nothing to do with me.

There were a ton of “remember this” moments. His boundless energy is bundled into the most lovely package. He will always be my beautiful boy. Nobody loves you like your Mama, Finn!

(Peter took this pic a few months ago so it wasn’t from that week but you get the gist. and yes, I really sleep with an eye mask and earplugs. Finn normally has an eye mask on too!)

H&F summer 2009 011

We spent a lot of time wearing (and taking pictures of us wearing) his new Transformer voice changing helmet. (Grammy and Bompie, this is what he bought with his birthday money from you guys!) The way it makes your voice sound is hysterical. While doing other things around the house, I would look over and see him just sitting on the couch with the helmet on, softly singing a variety of songs to hear what they would sound like.

H&F summer 2009 044 H&F summer 2009 048 

H&F summer 2009 065 Birthdays 030

The converse are the shoe of choice around here. (The above is a self-portrait) They are a constant. As are these “driving gloves”. The name of them change every time he is doing something else.

“Mom! I need my snack eating gloves!!!”

“Mom, I can’t go to karate without my ninja gloves!!”

You get the idea.

Birthdays 025 

He’s also getting REALLY good at roller skating. We gave him these for his 5th birthday. I’m thinking a trip to Skate City is in order next week. I’m actually really psyched to go too.

Style-wise, he’s a boy so he doesn’t really care as long as it doesn’t have itchy tags. He wears what I give him to wear. I like solid or stripe. Perhaps a pattern, if it’s cool. I hate characters on clothes, sports teams or message T-shirts. (Have you seen the one that says “My Mom is a MILF!” – um, hey, inappropriate)  For the most part, he’s in his cons, shorts and a T. I’m actually relieved that I only have one kid (Hadley) at this point with a VERY distinct view on clothes. I can only handle one at a time.

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