Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wall-E


A week or so ago, I decided that Sunday would be Jack and Mommy morning. I had to take Jon's sister to the airport this morning, (Jack's favorite destination) so I figured that would segue into breakfast and the movies.

I had seen the giant posters around town (more specifically on the side of the building next to mine) for a while for this new Pixar movie Wall-E.

Here's the plot. There is a robot whose job it is to pick up trash on an abandoned earth....(sound of a record scratch) Wait, a trash-picking up ROBOT?

Did Disney just call my son and ask him if he could have his own movie, what would it be about?

Here's the way the conversation I'm sure went:

Disney Guru: Hi Jack, we'd like to make a movie designed specifically for you. What should it be about?

Jack: Uh, robots....and trash... Oh, and if there is another robot, why don't you just name it after my sister? OK?

There is more to the plot but really, did they have to say anything other than a trash-picking up ROBOT to appeal to every four-year old boy in America?

I was a little hesitant to take him only because he is usually not great in movies and we end up having to leave early because he misbehaves. Not so in this movie. He was so engaged start to finish.
In addition, I have to say, the movie lived up to every reviewer that I read. It was just terrific.

Of course, every Disney movie has to have a higher purpose these days. They can't just tell a story, you know? Anyway, in the "future" humans have vacated the earth because of too much trash. All humans live on a space ship floating in the universe. Unfortunately for our future great, great, great grandchildren, inactivity and having robots do everything for them has made them "boneless."

I thought about the absurdity of this piece of the plot after the movie. I thought, what agenda is Disney trying to shove down our throats? Ohh, better recycle or you're going to LOSE the earth! Make sure you exercise or you're going to get fat! They don't know anything, really.

When the movie ended, I took my "pleasantly plump" body over to the overflowing trash can to throw away our snacks in a cup. Next, off to the bathroom where I got up from the automatic toilet, had the soap dispenser give me soap, washed my hands with the sensored sink, used the auto-hand dryers and took the escalator down to the car.

Boneless, indeed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Confession Tuesday

Greetings friends!
*******
Happy Confession Tuesday straight from the laundromat, again! There is a rumor that my washing machine might get fixed tomorrow. I'll believe it when I see it! So, here I am on a Tuesday night, again, at the "washteria", according to the sign.
*******
You know, what's really strange is that I'm starting to see some of the same Tuesday night regulars. Kind of makes me feel a bit nice seeing my new washing friends. This place has become my own little washing machine-filled "Cheers". Makes me want to sing:

"Washing your clothes in the world today, takes everything you've got. Taking a break from your children, sure would help alot. Wouldn't you like to get away.... Sometimes you want to wash where everybody shows they care, and they don't judge your underwear..."
********
I can barely walk tonight. As I have mentioned, I'm on the diet plan. So, I joined this "Fit Camp" at the Y. I, of course, refer to it as "Fat Camp". It is a Boot Camp-like class. More like a kick you in the butt camp. She worked me HARD today! So, my shins and hamstrings are sooo tight! I know in the long run this will help me. I just hope I start to see results sooner rather than later!
*******
Yesterday, we had this speaker come to work. Now, let me just say, he was a really nice guy, BUT he was one of those touchy/feely types. I won't go into the details of our exercise but for me, it was just a bit too introspective.
********
Now, I'm all for emotion. I mean, you should have seen me sob my face off last night when my favorite bachelor had to say goodbye to his 3-year old boy on the Bachelorette. THAT'S real emotion!
*********
I was thinking about what else makes me emotional. Here's a quick list:

-When Eva kisses me
-When Jack says, "Mommy, do you know how much I love you?"
-My family
-When Jon writes me a note in a card longer than two words.
-The Color Purple--Like every five minutes in that movie!
-Saying goodbye to my friends who live far away---again!
-Whale Rider--OMG the Sob-Fest Hall of Fame
-Hearing my Dad sing the Ave Maria
-My grandfather's smile

What's on your list?
*********
Ooooh, clothes done!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cleveland Rocks!

This weekend, for approximately 36 hours, I was in Cleveland, OH for the first time. My brother, Gordie, took orders to be a deacon in the Ukranian Catholic church (for the record, we are not at all Ukranian. Gordie just likes the church and I can understand why!)

Anyway, I was very excited to see my family (6 of 8 kids were in attendence) and honored to be there for my big brother but really, what is a trip to Cleveland without....?




It was awesome.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Things I Love About Summer

Here is a list in no particular order of things that I love about summer:



-Peonies are available everywhere (see photo)
-Blueberries
-Strawberries
-Watermelon
-Cherries
-The smell of sunscreen--particularly coconut-scented ones
-More daylight
-Grilling out at my sister-in-law's pool
-Ice cream socials
-White wine with ice cubes
-Sunflowers
-Sun tea
-Cold, cold iced tea with orange slices
-Lemonade
-Limeade
-The jolt of cold after a hot day when you cannonball into a pool
-Sleeping outside
-Sundresses and flip flops
-Big straw hats
-Relaxing on my friend's boat
-Eating outside
-Will Smith movies
-My wedding anniversary
-July 4th fireworks
-The opportunity to go to the beach (although not that often in Dallas!)
-Long walks after dinner
-Picnics at outdoor concerts or movies (yes, Laura, ON BLANKETS!)
-Tomato and cucumber salads just pulled from the garden with salt, pepper and a splash of vinegar (minus the tomatoes for me!)
-Grilled fresh corn
-Baseball in full swing (no pun intended)
-Sandboxes to make sandcastles
-Fresh basil
-Visits from family and friends
-Playing in spraygrounds and water fountains
-Walking barefoot in the grass

Happy Summer Solstice!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Call You Just Don't Want to Get

On Tuesday, we had a mean storm come through. Anyway, I was at work when my phone rang. It was Jack.

Here's the conversation:

Jack: "Mommy, you might want to be very careful when you go to park in the back yard when you get home."

Mom: "Why, honey?"

Jack: "Well, there is a BIG tree on the house in the back yard so I would suggest (he literally said, I would suggest) that you park in the front."

Mom: "I'm on my way home right now."

So, I get home and low and behold, there is a giant tree branch about 40 feet long in the back yard on the driveway. Fortunately, it landed in the only place that it could without really hitting something like a car or my child.

When Jon got home, we both broke out saws and cut the tree branch so that we could move it. Even after we cut it down, it took three adults to move the darned thing!

As for my parking, well, I took Jack's "suggestion" and parked in the front.

Confession Tuesday

On Thursday! Wow, this is a new record!
******
A little delayed this week in posting. Am completely exhausted. Have not slept more than four hours for various reasons for the past five nights. Last night, however, I went to bed at 8pm. Can't wait to do it again tonight! (Especially because of what happened below!)
******
Went to Jon's 25th high school reunion in western Mass. this weekend. It was terrific. I tell you, it is just gorgeous up there. Every time I head to New England, it just PAINS me that we don't live on the east coast somewhere.
*******
Saturday night, we had the reunion party (which was a total blast). I got to bed around 12a. We stayed in the dorms and had a room for the girls (Eva and me) and one for the boys (Jon and Jack). At around 2a, I hear a knock on my door, it is these two guys and a girlfriend of theirs who used to live in my room and wanted to see if their names were still inscribed in the ceiling tile from 15 years ago. Uh, no. An hour or so later, I have another knock on my door. It is Jon coming from the after party. He wants to sleep in my TWIN bunk bed. Uh no. Then, I get back to sleep. About an hour or so later, I get another knock at my door. It's Jack. HE wants to snuggle in my twin bunk bed. Well, who am I to deny him?
********
Sunday, we went to Boston to see my bestest pal, Jana (poetmom) and her family. We had SUCH a great time. Although, heatmeiser Jana would totally disagree with me, I thought the weather was spectacular. It was the high of around 60 and cloudy! For a Texan, that is like someone turned on the air conditioner outside in the middle of summer....ahhhhhhh.
*******
I miss Jana and her kids SOOO much! I wish that we lived closer! This way, we could plot to have our children marry each other. Well, maybe we'll still do that from so far away, anyway.
*******

*******
I had a very odd dream last night. I think that I have completely fallen in TV love with Jason from the Bachelorette. Last night, since I slept for 11 hours, I had the ability to really dream. So, what did I dream about? Well, I went on a "meet the family date" with Jason in Seattle. I mean, it was DETAILED! I met his parents and his son Ty. Let me just make it clear, this was a PG (well, PG-13) dream. What was so funny was I kept waking up at various points of the night completely unaware of where I actually was and completely not understanding who was in bed with me (sorry Jon). Every time I would wake up, I would fall right back into my little dream. It was a good night.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'll Take It!

I finally got the call today that Eva's test results were NORMAL!

YIIIIIPPPPPEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

So, what does that mean?

Well, basically, she still has this 1cm mass in her. We don't know what that is. What they suspect, however, is that it is NOT the return of her neuroblastoma.

That, my friends, I'll take.

They are doing another ct on July 2 to determine whether or not the mass has grown, shrunk, or gone away. Then, we will get the results of the test on the 7th.

That will determine what our treatment, if any, will be. If it has grown, we might have to do surgery or chemo or whatever. There are many, many, ifs.

So, we are not out of the woods but we can certainly breathe for a bit.

Here's the other bit of great news. I have declared July 1st to be a new year. We have had such crap happen in the first half of the year, on July 1, we will begin year 2008.5. Only good things can happen in 2008.5. Thus, Eva's CT will be ok, as it is on the 2nd day of 2008.5.

Get your champagne and party hats out!

I just want to say a THANK YOU to so many of you who have held your breath with us over this week/whole ordeal. Honestly, today, I was so beat down with not knowing. We are so fortunate to have so many people who love and support us and carry us when we are just wandering about. Although, I am terrible at thank you notes, I cannot express enough how much all your concern helps get us through.

Here's a little shot of Eva so you can see for whom you are all praying!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Again, With the No News

Well, here I sit tonight at a laundromat also known delightfully known as a "washateria" outside on the sign.

In addition to the many wonderful things that have happened to us in the first half of the year, our washer seems to have clogged and flooded the garage over the weekend. So, on a Tuesday night, I'm here. I have to admit, I kind of like the laundromat. It smells clean and you always see such interesting people here.

It is also a nice break from the family so I can take a moment to write. I have a ton of work to do and will get to it in a moment. For now, I'm just sitting in my bolted down chair with my computer plugged into the back of a washer where I have unplugged another washer to use my computer.

Today has been a tough day. After obsessively looking at my phone all day long, I finally got the word at 3pm that I was not going to get the word until tomorrow.

This waiting. This waiting has been excruciating.

You know, it is not as if I am waiting to find out if Eva will be well. I'm having to wait for almost an entire week to find out where she will fall on the scale of bad. Will it be really, really bad, really bad, or just bad? I think by far that is the hardest part. At least when you have hope that all will be well, you can cling to it. I'm just clinging to the hope that it is just bad and not really, really bad.

I hate to be so sad in my post but this really is beating me down a bit. I'm just ready to get the news and move on with what the next steps are.

Hopefully, that news will come tomorrow.

Monday, June 09, 2008

No News Today

I heard from the doctor's office around 2p today that they were not going to have the results from Eva's UA until tomorrow or Wednesday! So, we don't know anything. Please continue to pray for her.

Ok, that said, here's a story for ya. This will serve as my official "confession" for the week because I don't believe that I can top it. Well, then again, it is me!

On Friday, my boss asked me to prepare an invocation for a meeting that I attended today. This is a meeting of basically the planning council for the conference we are hosting in Dallas next April. In attendance were others in my position to CEO's from Y's across the country.

Anyway, I thought this was a good way to keep my mind off Eva this weekend and I thought and thought about what to say this morning bright and early.

I found this poem that was basically a rip off of If You Give a Pig a Party called If You Give a Mom a Muffin. The story talks about how a mom just wants to have a coffee and muffin and of course gets distracted from the bigger picture by all the wonderful things her children do to her like dump out her purse, get a smelly diaper, etc etc. As I stood in front of everyone, I tied it into the conference and how we need to keep our eye on the big picture and what we learn at the conference helps to guide us when we lose our way blah blah blah.

Well, it was very well recieved. People laughed when they should and overall I had been feeling very confident in my little presentation.

That is, of course, until I sat down and realized that my fly was open the whole time.

Friday, June 06, 2008

ZUMBA!

Well, as I have written about before, I am on the diet plan. I have my high school 20-year reunion looming in the distance in October and I have a good bit of weight to lose before then. That said, I also just want to be healthy.

With all that has gone on and as we found out yesterday, still going on, with Eva, I need to put my energy into something that makes me feel good and feel strong enough to handle whatever crap seems to keep getting thrown at us!

To that end, I signed up for a boot camp at the Downtown Y. This was the first week we were doing it and unfortunately, I missed the first day for Eva's CT and the 2nd day for a prescheduled appt. So, that left me with no exercise this week.

I had been seeing these signs all around the Y for a class called ZUMBA! That's how you saw it. All caps and an exclaimation point. Now, what is your first indication that this class will kick your behind? Is it the caps? Is it the exclaimation point?

For those who have not done this before, it is basically a salsa/hip hop/african dance aerobic class. With an exclaimation point!

I have to say, I had a ball. But I did learn that I have absolutely no rhythm nor any ability to balance on one foot while shaking my shoulders and kicking my leg in the air.

There goes my Dancing with the Stars dream.

If you do see a class at your club/Y/rec center, I do highly recommend it. As a person definitely out of shape, I can tell you, you will really, really get a work out! AND one day, maybe I can use those moves at the dance club...OMG, I could barely write that without laughing!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Well, Hell.

Well, we have just returned from the doctor's office. The spot where the tumor was is just fine. However, they have found "something" else on her left side.

We don't know anything and won't know until Monday. They have done more tests. The results of those tests will determine the course of treatment.

Just an aside and as if we don't have enough on our plates, our brand new $3200 air conditioner is not working now and it is 90 degrees in our house right now. So, let's just say that somone is really testing us.

I'm not freaking out now, I can't spend any more time worrying about things that could be. It is what it is and we'll know more on Monday.

Please keep little Eva in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A couple of shots

Here are just a couple of shots of the kids from recent weeks.


Don't mess with The Blue Thunder!


Eva at the Arboretum last Sunday

Senior Moment

Today was a bit trying.

Eva's appointment today was set for 8:30am. We were told to be there at 8:15am to meet with the anesthesiologist. Eva was not allowed to eat or drink after midnight (called NPO in hospital-speak). For Eva, that meant 7pm when she went to bed.

I was pretty happy this morning when she slept until five minutes before we had to leave. So, off we go to the hospital today.

We arrive on time. No problem, they say, we're just waiting for the anesthesiologist. OK. One hour later. Still waiting. Someone finally comes out and says, bad news. The anesthesiologist has been held up so they have to call for another one. Well, I totally understand this. This happens a lot, I would imagine. BUT, here's the rub, as Jon would say, she can't get here for another hour! That means 10:30.

Within the first hour hanging out in the waiting area with a daughter who has not eaten or had anything to drink in 14 hours, I pretty much spent my wad of tricks to entertain her. You start to get desperate as the time ticks away and you start grabbing at anything to find to use as a game. Eva, here's a bouncy ball I keep in my purse! Hey! How about some lipstick! Let's re- stack the magazines! Again! Wow, look at this neat brochure on lung cancer! Pretty pictures!

We decided to take Eva up to the lobby area that is a wide open playground. Here's the trick. Keep Eva as far away from the gift shop as possible so that she does not see the bright shiny balloons staring at her waiting for her to come play with them!

While we were up there killing yet another hour, this very nice family came up to the play area. With them, they had their three daughters. Their 19-month old daughter (one week older than Eva) had just had an MRI and had been NPO for many hours. So, guess what she has. Goldfish, Teddy Grahams, suckers, apple juice...a smorgasbord of treats! Fortunately for us, the mom was so understanding and WITHOUT my asking, made all children but the 19-month old (who poor thing WAS starving!) put away their food immediately so that it would not taunt Eva. That camaraderie of parents of sick children is amazing.

At 10:30, we head downstairs, again. The anesthesiologist arrives around 11. Hours without food and water? 16

We get called back and she says immediately, I'm SOOO sorry for the delay! I said, no problem, I totally understand, I just want to get this over with so poor Eva can eat! She says, Yes, for sure! Boy, I just had a "senior moment" today.

Senior Moment?

SENIOR MOMENT??

WTF? YOUR SENIOR MOMENT IS WHY MY POOR DAUGHTER IS STARVING NOW? Oh, and by the way, YOU are administering the anesthesia on her????!!!

I was SO angry but at this point, I just wanted it to be over so that we could get this poor child to some food.

I won't go into all the details of how horrible it is as a parent to restrain your child while they put a gas mask on her little face. You all can imagine that. I can say that MY restraining of Eva days are over. This is really a job that Jon needs to handle from now on. I just don't think I'm built for it.

Here's the bottom line. Eva came through like the champion she is. We will get the results on Thursday afternoon when we meet with the doctor.

Oh, and tonight, I had a Family Hospital Board meeting. I was sure to mention my "senior moment" today to the President of the hospital.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Confession Tuesday

On a Monday....
********
So happy to be back in my house again. I swear, I have discovered that if you replace a 25-year old air conditioner, it is amazing how cool your house can become! Hooray!
********
The fleas are all dead. Or as I like to say, "las pulgas son todas muertas"
********
Today, I had to take Eva to the doctor's office for some preliminary blood work for her CT tomorrow. This is the first one that she has had since the surgery. Of course, I am scared to death but I just have to have hope that all will go well.

Anyway, on to my confession. The fact is that somehow with the 27 people who called me at various times to schedule this, I ended up at the wrong doctor's office for her blood work. They did the blood work, which was AWFUL, so of course, I cried alongside of Eva. Afterwards, I ran into Eva's doctor in the hallway. I do love him but sometimes he can be a bit blunt. He told me that I was in the wrong place in his "I'm very disappointed in you, Kristi" voice that only my father can master. I, of course, burst into tears, much to my horror. Completely inappropriately. As a matter of fact, I was waiting on some information so I grabbed Eva and sat in the waiting area outside so that no one could see that I was crying. I mean, WHAT is that? I'm REALLY not an emotional person. Cried TWICE in the doctor's office for no real reason?
********
Got to work today, worked all day long and then around 3:30 or so, knew for a fact that I was going to vomit. I raced home so that I would not do it at the office.
*********
My immediate thought was, of course, inappropriate emotion + vomiting in the middle of the day = pregnant
********
Here's my thoughts on the way home to vomit. 1) I don't want to be pregnant right now. I've got enough to worry about. 2) Let's see, Friday, I had champagne during the Sex and the City movie and then several beers at Jack's end of school picnic, Saturday, had four beers at my office summer party, Sunday, spent the afternoon sipping margaritas at my sister-in-law's pool. Why is it that I always seem to find out that I am pregnant after a weekend bender? 3) I really don't want to be pregnant right now.
*********
I am not pregnant.
********
I took 2 Clearblue Easy tests just to be sure.
*********
I was really frustrated at the Walgreens today when I went to purchase said pregnancy tests. All the signs were in spanish. Not spanish on one side, english on the other, which I could totally understand given where I live but ALL spanish!?!!!?? What is that?
*********
They locked up all the pregnancy tests behind this glass case. I had to have a manager come open them up for me. I asked her why they did that and she said that that was one of the most popular things for people to steal. Huh? If that many people need them, make them free!

I felt a bit embarrassed asking for someone to come over to help me unlock the pregnancy test case. Like, I'm looking out for my parents to come bounding around the corner to see me looking at the tests. No, Mother, I'm not looking at those pregnancy tests. Oh, look here they are, the maxi pads I came into the store to find. Yep, just me, here in the Walgreens, looking for maxi pads.

I mean, I'm MARRIED WITH TWO KIDS, FOR GOODNESS SAKES!
********
Won't get the test results from Eva's CT until Thursday but will post tomorrow what I know.