Thursday, January 29, 2009


Good morning!

Well, I had planned this big post since I had not written much in a week or so. HOWEVER, I completely passed out last night at 9:30. Just sitting in a chair. Out like a light.

So, here's my morning post!

Went to the doctor yesterday. Our course of treatment says that we do an MRI every three months. He did not want to wait that long, given this tumor that is sitting there that we can't remove. So, we're doing one next week.

I'll be on pins and needles, of course, until then but I just have to hope that all will be well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration

As I'm sitting in my writing chair in my den, I just can't sum up what today means for me and our country. I have just turned off the Inauguration that I watched for the second time today.

Let me begin by saying that this post is not about politics. The fact is that I don't talk much about politics here or in person as I believe, just as I believe about religion, that it is a personal choice.

This afternoon, my colleagues and I gathered in a conference room to watch the Inauguration. We were together, all from different backgrounds, races, religions, political beliefs, socio-economic status, but unified in our captivation of what we were witnessing today. What a great day for our country!

Seeing the passion in the eyes of those fortunate enough to witness it in person, feeling so much pride in my country, I was overwhelmed with emotion.

I was watching all the hoopla leading up to the swearing in. All the references to Lincoln, all the shots of the Lincoln Memorial and for a moment, my mind wandered a bit. It went back in time to 1989.

I was 19 years old and getting ready to move to Georgia from Virginia away from the only home I had ever known. My father had accepted a new job in Savannah and off we were all going. Away from my friends and extended family. On to a new life.

As a bit of a send-off, my two best friends and I went to Washington, DC for the day as we had done many times before. These two folks had become my sister and brother in the years we had known each other. We were an inseparable trio having met at work as teens and then gone to college together. Our other friends often referred to us as The Triad. These two people knew all my secrets.

That trip, we went to DC to shop at Tysons Corner, walk around The Mall and see the Smithsonian's. That evening, because we were too poor to get a hotel room (and had spent all our money on shopping and eating!), we had planned to head back to Norfolk when it got dark.

We went for a walk that night to the Lincoln Memorial and sat down to chat. We talked about life and where we thought it would take us. We laughed about the memories we had together and cried knowing that life would not be the same after I moved away.

We talked about how fortunate we were as friends to be living in that time and how thankful we were for those like Lincoln who went before us. As it was, even as recent as 20 years earlier, the time we were born, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for us to have been friends. We are a white woman, a black woman and an asian man. My sister and brother.

Hours and hours passed. We talked until the sun came up and we knew we had to return home. It was time for me to pack for my big move. Time for me to move on to my new life.

For the rest of my life, I will never forget that special night. I hold it as one of the most precious nights of my life. We were young, naive and full of hope. We had so many dreams and so many things we were going to accomplish. We did not know much about what our future held but we knew that whatever happened, we would be together.

Now, 20 years later, my "sister" and "brother" are still two of my best friends. We've changed, moved several times, fought, made up, hoped (and still hope) that our kids marry each other, been there for each other through illness, sadness and happiness. We've even added a fourth to our Triad over the years. One thing remains the same, we're still counting our blessings for each other and thanking those tireless people who made it possible for us to be friends.

God Bless you, Mr. President. I wish you well on your journey.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ricardo Montalban

Here's something that might surprise you, if you don't know me personally.

I'm a Star Trek fan.

There, I said it.

I'm not the "convention/recite every episode" type but do admit that I get giddy at the thought of Star Trek. When we were in our 20's, Jana and I once went to the Air and Space museum in DC because they were having a Star Trek exhibit. One of my favorite pictures is the two of us getting "beamed" up. It was full-on geeky. It was awesome.

My all-time favorite Star Trek film is the Wrath of Khan. Khan was a bad dude. Ricardo Montalban played Khan with such perfection. I probably saw this movie eight times in the theatre. When I was in the hospital with leukemia, a friend brought me a tape of this movie. I watched it EVERY day for months. The nurses used to make fun of me because I just kept re-winding it over and over again. I mean, it's Khan! Khaaaaaaan! Khaaaaaaaaaaan!!!

Rest in peace, Ricardo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Confession Tuesday

Hi Everyone and Happy Tuesday!
NEWS ALERT! Talked to the surgeon yesterday. He visited with Dr. Goldman. From the results we received over Christmas, we believe that the tumor is a matured tumor or a benign tumor. If it never grows, it will not harm her in anyway and might go away on its own. The reason they would like to do surgery is to 1-remove the tumor and 2-biopsy it to be sure what it is made of.

Now, on to the conversation with the surgeon. Bottom line is that this tumor is in a terrible location for surgery. It's right on the spine and in order to remove it, they will have to move around Eva's diaphragm, adrenal glands, and kidneys during surgery. That sounds like a terrible thing to happen to a 2-year old.

What's the plan? They want to leave it in there and watch it for another month. Pediatric tumors grow very quickly so we should know something very soon if it is going to grow. So, we're in holding pattern #47 for a bit.
Ok, let me just get this out of the way. I'M LEAVING FOR MEXICO IN TWO DAYS!!!!! WAHOO!!! It's my BFF, Shug's, 40th birthday and there are 6 of us heading down for some R&R. I'm working on my gin hand because my girlfriend has been talking trash for a couple of weeks and I need to take her DOWN! It's you and me, sista, on the thatched-roofed balcony over looking the ocean. You know the one!
I'm 100% certain that my co-workers are THRILLED that this trip will finally be over. I've done nothing but jump up and down and talk about it for weeks. As it is getting closer, I jump higher and talk more frequently.
I have canceled so many things for this trip to save money. I've had my eyes on the prize for six months.
Ok, enough about that. Can I get a WAHOO for the return of the Bachelor??? I loves me some Jason. If you're a fan and watch the show, check out some recaps. This one has been a favorite of mine for several years. Chris Harrison also blogs on and is hilarious!
Oh, those Golden Globes were great. I'm filing away my picks for the big Oscar tournament coming soon. Anyone have any early favorites to discuss?
Took Jack to an open house today for a public Montessori school. First of all, we LOVE our school and plan to keep Jack there but to save $8,000 per year, it was worth a look, especially when everyone keeps telling us what a great school it is! There were hundreds of parents there for the open house. I could not believe it. I heard from one parent that some folks camp out the night before to make sure that they are among the first to get their child's application in. That is certainly not for me!
Jack will NOT get into this school and not because I refuse to sleep in a sleeping bag in 30 degree weather. The very kind teacher leading the class told us some of the basic requirements for an upcoming KINDERGARTNER (a child aged 4, now). They include: being able to write your full name (first, middle and last), count to 100, reading, and "basic math" such as addition and subtraction of two digit numbers. She also said that some kids can write all their numbers from FOUR!


While I have always known that Jack was very advanced verbally, he's very behind in his writing skills. He can barely draw a straight line, much less write his full name. Alas, guess that's just not for us. Thank heavens because I would hate to feel guilty for not behaving like a crazy parent.
I seem to recall that I learned to read in kindergarten. I also learned to count to 10 in french. Beyond that, I think it was mostly play. I mean, it's kindergarten, for goodness sakes! Why do they have to name the continents by four? (for the record, Jack can.) Maybe it is just me.
That's it for the week.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Well, it turns out that someone far more creative than I wrote this tribute to Goodnight Moon called Goodnight Mom. Hmm, maybe I need to copyright my name! Anyway, enjoy!!

Goodnight Mom
(with apologies to Margaret Wise Brown)
By Sarah Jio, Parenting

In the messy green family room
There was a telemarketer ringing the telephone
And a crying toddler
because his brother just popped his red balloon

And a picture of--
The cow jumping over the moon (which someone colored on with permanent marker)

And there was a missing teddy bear,
and a girl with gum in her hair
And one to be scolded
And laundry to be folded

And a very hungry spouse
And something stinky in the house (that no one else seemed to smell)
And a comb and a brush
and a colicky baby who just won't shush
And a frazzled mommy screaming #*%#@

Goodnight messy room
Goodnight scribbled-on moon
Goodnight cow getting out while she can
Goodnight telemarketers and the popped balloon
Goodnight long-gone teddy bear
Goodnight cereal bar smeared all over the dining room chair
Goodnight spitup
And goodnight leaky sippy cup
Goodnight much-too-little house
and goodnight grumpy spouse
Goodnight comb and goodnight brush
And goodnight to a certain 4-year-old who just needs to hush--right now I mean it
Goodnight Elmo
Goodnight toys we'll pick up tomorrow, or the next day
Hello chardonnay and TiVo--
"me" time, finally

Friday, January 09, 2009

Waste of Time

Well, today's appointment was a complete waste of time. Turns out that despite my asking yesterday if the surgeon had the MRI and was all set to meet with us, he didn't and wasn't.

When I walked in, he was his usual jovial self and said, "so, do you have the MRI for us to review?" I said, uh no. Your staff said you had it.

He had reviewed it back in December but did not have it now. He was pretty upset at his staff for dropping the ball. Ugh.

It was just a waste of my time at a time when I don't have any to waste.

He said that from what he could recall, it's a small piece in a pretty difficult area. Yes, already knew that. He made some quick suggestions of what to do based on what he could remember. No need to publish any of that.

So, bottom line is that he said he would call Dr. Goldman, get the MRI, review it this weekend and call us on Monday with a plan.

The only good news is that it is 80 degrees out and I got home at 4:30. So, Jon and the kids are outside playing football. I'm heading out to join them. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

And then there were 13...

Tonight, James Nathan became my 7th nephew. Add him to my 6 nieces and that totals 13! Is that excessive to have 13 nieces and nephews? How lucky I am!!!

James arrived this evening in North Carolina. I'm told he looks just like my brother, who by the way, looks just like my son. Big ears, big eyes. Just my type. So, I'm sure I'll take a pretty good shine to him.

I can't believe my Nathaniel is a father. Nip (as we call him) is the 6th child of the 8. He was born just 15 months later than his older brother. Nip was scrawny and as I told him looked like a Mickey Mouse lollipop, just a stick with ears. Big ears, big eyes. Just my type.

As he grew, I always felt that it was my job to protect him from the outside world. I was the one to make sure his shoes were tied and shirt tucked in before he left the house. If someone messed with him, I was the one there to make sure that they did not do it again. True story but I once threatened to beat up some kids who were making fun of him at the park. They were 6. I was 20. You didn't mess with my Nip.

Now, at 6ft 5in and 200 some odd lbs, it's my little Nip's turn to take care of a little one. It's his job to beat up the kids.

Don't you worry little James. Your Daddy will take great care of you. If not, your Aunt is right there on the next swing. Don't you worry, I can take them.

Welcome James with your big ears and big eyes! A big kiss from your Aunt.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Surgeon Update

We meet with the surgeon on Friday afternoon to discuss options for Eva's remaining tumor.

We'll decide then, if surgery is possible or if it is in a location that is just too risky.

More to come.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Confession Tuesday

Ok, here's my first confession in a LONG while. Let's have at it, shall we?
My house looks awful. It is currently in a state of disarray due to the fact that we moved the kids in together and reorganized the now guest/playroom. We still have lots of work to do but since I've been working on it non-stop since Friday afternoon, I just needed a mental break tonight. So, I cooked dinner, fed the kids, put them to bed and sat down to WATCH THE BACHELOR-- NEW THIS WEEK!!! GO JASON! GO JASON! GO, GO JASON!
Jon says of all the stuff I make him watch, which is PLENTY, mind you, The Bachelor is by far the worst. Maybe so, but when you have the right group of folks on that show, it can be like the world's best chocolate cake you get to eat for 10 weeks.
While staying with my sister over Christmas, I learned to love HGTV. Mostly, Designed to Sell. You always think your house looks ok and then you watch those HGTV shows and realize how your house looks like crap. The good news about that particular show is that they have some pretty simple, short projects that don't look that hard. They also make me want to organize, throw away, organize, replace, repaint, organize. Time to make Jon do some watching.
I'm going to Mexico in less than two weeks. My dear friend, Shug, is turning 40 and we are hitting the beach for four days of R & R. I just had to mention that because it is on my mind given the fact that it was sleeting outside today. I'm sure I'll mention it, again.
Speaking of things on my mind. I can't stop cracking myself up at the thought of my Ikea Depot. You'd walk into this bright blue building, have a handful of these parts and then ask the friendly Sweede, "Where can I find square plastic pegs?" "Oh, but of course, you may find zem near zee round plastic pegs on aisle 5 just past zee meatballs".

I don't know why my Sweede talks with a french accent but it's my fantasy, so deal with it.
Speaking of our trip to Ikea on Saturday night, it was the night that my dearest son, Jack decided to try out his first swear word. He was tired and cranky and turned to me in the store and said, "Mom, let's just go get the damn bed." I think I almost paralyzed myself by snapping my head so fast around to look at him. Now, for the record, if he had said a word that rhymes with spit, I would have known it came from me as that seems to be the only remnant of my former "sailor" ways. HOWEVER, "damn" is all Jon. I blame football (English and American), really. Jon mostly only swears when football is on.

Anyway, I thought he might have learned his lesson on Saturday but guess what? He did not. Tonight, over dinner, Jack said, "Mom, what the hell is this?" (Ok, for the record, that MIGHT have come from me.)

I won't write the punishment I provided to my darling boy so that I don't have any parents writing me mean notes but I have to say, I do believe Jack's mouth might be a bit cleaner from now on. Literally.
Ok, so I've mentioned that my kids are fond of naked. They have naked racing almost every night through the house. I've finally convinced them to at least put on underpants as they run through the house admiring their buttocks in mirrors. I mean, really, honestly. Anyway, Saturday, it was 78 degrees here and we had all the windows and doors open on the house. The kids had made mud pies outside and needed a bath. After the bath, Jack comes sprinting out of the bathroom, jumps on a bed and yells out the front window, "HELLO NEIGHBORS! IT'S PARTY TIME AND I'M NAKED!!!!!"
Ok, off to bed. Happy Tuesday!!!

Random Thoughts at 6 AM

Good morning. I'm up at 6 to go to work but thought I would take a moment to write a post. I have not written a post since before New Year's so this is sort of a random assortment of the things I've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. Sort of like an early confessional for the week, if you will.
Happy New Year! Today is January 5. I hope that you and your families have had a wonderful one. For me, this is about the 7th posting I have started in the past 10 days. I just can't seem to write about the New Year because I just can't seem to want to face all the things that happened in the past year. So, without recapping all the drama of the past 12 mos, let's just say, I was pretty happy to see 2009!
We had a great Christmas with the family this year. My sister was so awesome to host us for a full week. My parents were so great to keep the kids for most of the week. It was just so relaxing.
That said, there was a little drama for us getting to NC and home from NC but we made it safely. Some highlights of the travel include, a night at the airport, literally running through the airport, missing a flight, me crying publicly (you all KNOW how much I LOVE that!), awesome people helping us by moving so we could sit together, luggage on the other side of the state from where we landed, 18 hours and two airports on the return trip, five hour flight delay, and a screaming two year old. Good times.
Our New Year's Eve was the same as last years, spent at a dear friend's house. The kids were at their nanny's for the night and we had an adult overnight party that went WAY too late. The good news about that? No one was waking me up at 6am! WAHOO!
On New Year's Day, we went to a friend's open house. The kids had a fantastic time because they had spent the past 24 hours at the Nanny's house, which is like summer camp for them and then went to our friend's house to play for several hours, also like camp. They and we were EXHAUSTED from all the running and playing.
Jon and I went to Ikea on Saturday to get Jack a new bed. We've decided to move both kids in the same room. Our thought is that it might make them sleep better if someone was in the room and maybe we won't have as many midnight visitors. Here's to hoping that's true!
We were up until midnight on Saturday night assembling that stuff AND spent all day on Sunday rearranging. Why does Ikea have so many strange looking parts? I mean, who thinks of these little tiny things with such odd shapes? No runs to the Depot to fix your stuff, that's for sure! Nope, they need an Ikea Depot. Can you imagine what that would be like? The aisles would have headers like, Triangle-Shaped Thingy's, Tiny Wrenches, Pegs, and Plastic Screws. I wonder if I worked there if I could get a discount.
While we have been avoiding the hospital, Eva had been trying to get us to take here there. Today, she goes back to school for the first time since chemo started. She will go with a bruised head from where she ran into a wall, a purple finger from where she shut the car door on herself (for the record, we were going out and I had unlocked the car to put the kids in it. Eva just beat me to the car and managed to damage herself in seconds...ugh), a scabbed nose from where she flipped out of a swing not once but TWICE on New Year's Day, a black eye from where she did not listen and sit down but instead fell and hit her face on Jack's new bed, AND another purple finger from where she had a tape measure close on her hand. I'm not even mentioning the number of times I had to race across the yard of my friend's house on New Year's because Eva was trying to dive bomb down their slide head first. She has the perfect combination of fearlessness, hard-headedness, clumsiness and inability to learn from her mistakes that makes for quite a challenge, that's for sure. I just hope I don't get a friendly visit from CPS by the end of the day!
Ok, off to work! Have a good one!