Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Great Day

Today was one of those days that makes your heart swell.

Have you had one of those days? Where you smile inside and out? At just about anything?

Well that was today. We went to Holly Hill, where my Grandparents live. It was my Grandfather's "Boppy" birthday this past Tuesday and almost the entire family drove down, over and up today to help him do some yard work. Boppy used to have the most beautiful yard. It is still quite nice but he began losing his sight about 10 years ago and he hasn't been able to work in the yard like he's used to for a number of years. We gathered this morning with our shovels and rakes, edgers and mowers, trimmers and gloves and went to work. And man did we work hard. All day. And when he got home Lar and I walked him around the house and described all the things we'd done and where all the pine straw was piled and which shrubs we'd trimmed or left. It was a wonderful thing to be with my family and to be doing something that was so appreciated.

As I worked around in the yard that day, I had little memories that came back to me here and there and my heart just swelled with love for my family.

I remember swinging as high as I could on the old, now rusted swing set with Boppy pushing my lightly as I screamed "higher Boppy, higher!!".

I remembered getting paid a nickel for picking up pine cones during the fall months. A nickel! (And just so you know, Boppy can't see much but he can tell if there are any dadgum pine cones in the yard!).

I remembered Boppy always asking us if we "wanted to go behind the woodshed" when we were acting up. I never had to go back there and I was sure afraid of what was back there. Even today, as I was loading garden tools back into that old shed I had a twinge of fear for what was behind it. It sits open in the yard and looks back onto the neighbors Camilias and Azaleas but I still won't wander back there.

After we all got cleaned up we went out for the world's best Barbeque (Anthony Bourdain agrees so it must be true). Riding there I was sitting in the back and Griffin was flirting with his Momma like the sweet little Angel he is. He loves Eskimo Kisses these days and he was smiling and giggling and melting my heart with each slight curl of his lips and little brush of his nose. I sometimes can't believe how much I love him.

It's the most amazing thing to love someone that much. And I am so grateful for him every day.
So grateful for every day that he makes my heart swell and my mind fill the sweetness of love. I am grateful for family and giving a great gift to someone who is always appreciative no matter what you are giving.

Love you Boppy and love you family. All of you.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Cats Meow

Well seein' as how this blog began as a way for me to keep everyone posted on the cancer shmancer situation, I suppose I ought' ta tell you about my most recent scan. I am still having them every six months and they are still the bane of my existence. It seems that just about the time (approximately every 5 months and 3 weeks) I start relaxing and getting on with my new cancer-free life, LOW AND BEHOLD my electronic brain (cause I lost large chunks to chemo and even larger chunks to baby so nothin' sticks) dings to remind me it's time for another scan. And then I start to freak. Just a little, but freak I do.

This last scan was probably the worst in a while. I think waking up that morning and getting myself ready while my little man sat watching me, smiling and saying "cooo" and "guh guh" and giggling at Pharis made me scared. It made me scared for the what ifs. The what ifs, well, no need to go there today. It's no secret what the what ifs are. They are pretty simple. And right now life is simple and I like that much better than all those stinky, anxiety-producing what ifs.

I love waking up to a teeny, slobbery mouth attempting to eat my nose like some warm apple pie.

I love snuggling a sleeping baby in the rocking chair while he sighs without a care in the world.

I love watching a Daddy and His Boy giggle at one another with pure delight.

I DON'T love getting my blood drawn and my veins filled with 'dye' and my stomach filled with Barium Sulphate. Those things I do not love at all.

This particular morning I awoke, as I said above, with my panties in a real wad, if you will. I was not a happy girl and could hardly get myself showered, dressed and ready. I had not planned ahead. I had not asked anyone to go with me. I was scared shitless (sorry Mom). I thought I would be fine while getting the scan and Mom would meet me there for the results (thank Pete they don't make you wait ages and ages and tell you within a decent amount of time). But as I got into the car, I just couldn't do it. But I called Mom to formulate a plan of timing her arrival so she would miss the least amount of time from work - determined to be a big girl and 'handle it'. Well handle it I did not. I fell apart. I cried and sobbed and blubbered. And my Mom said "Shug, I am coming. Now. I will meet you there". And so then I cried some more. And arrived and my Momma was there. I was a lot less scared. A lot. She sat with me and waited on me and drank some coffee with me (when I was finally allowed to drink or eat!) and chatted while we waited for the new doc (Dr. M) to give us the news. Thank Pete for my Momma. No CLUE what I would do with out her. Momma - you are the bees knees. The cats pajamas. The BEST MOM IN THE WORLD.

All that said - the next thing was waiting for the new and buddy, that is torturous! But thankfully, as all of my post scans have been, it was clean. A little question that my OB is going to look at but other than that, we are all good. So now for 5 months and 3 weeks I can get back to being me. Cancer free me. Mom me. Wife me and all the me's there are. So I am gonna get on that. First step of this evening? Get my fanny in the bed. Thanks for listening.


Thursday, September 24, 2009


So I forgot how much I enjoy blogging. I realize I do that every time. I will blog and blog and come here and vent or scream or brag or whatever and then I will forget and abandon my poor blog for no good reason other than being lazy.

Well not tonight. I am waiting for the DVR to get a little ways into Grey's so I can avoid the commercials and find out who it is since it isn't George and I said to myself, "self, go blog real quick and complain about the numbskulls you dealt with today". So here I is. Gonna do some complaining for a hot minute until I can miss at least one commercial or so....

Today I went to talk with the Mother and boyfriend of a young lady I work with. She's got some issues and lord-a-mercy so do they. I was just awe struck at this Mother and what she DID NOT want for her child. Like for example, a HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION. Or the ability to get a decent job and take care of herself. I felt like crying, screaming and choking this woman all at the same time! It was truly appalling. I continue to be amazed at the human beings I encounter in this crazy line of work I have decided to make my career. I rode all the way home from Aiken today wondering how in the world I will continue to do this year after year or even day after day.

And then I thought of a little girl I work with now who is already making great strides in her life just from my helping the people in her life understand her needs a little better. And another kid who figured out how to see himself as someone who CAN instead of someone who CAN'T and he helped his football team score a touchdown for the first time ever! Things like that make day to day craziness and parents-who-need-not-have-ever-been-parents a little more tolerable. I know that tomorrow I can get up and start all over because there are good things in the world and good people and good food and good books and good music and good all around us. I caught myself saying in the car today "there is just so much wrong in the world". I hope everyone can find something to help them shake that feeling when it settles in and say, "but there is also so much right and beautiful and wonderful and yummy and delicious and loverly and fabulous.

Maybe my next blog will be me making a list of some of those wonderfully fabulous things. We'll see about that. For now, I am going to find out who the he$& is NOT GEORGE!!!

Love and smooches,


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Holy Smokes!

It has been ages and ages since I last wrote a blog. What has been going on? Well I would imagine that you all have a good idea. Today Griffin is 7 months old and quite a wild man. He is sitting up and wanting very much to be crawling but can't quite figure it out yet. He is also trying to pull up on everything but hasn't got quite enough strength. He is giggling at everything though and there are times when the three of us sit around and laugh and laugh and laugh. There is nothing like it. Hearing those little giggles and watching him get so excited that he squeals with delight. I love it!
We went away this weekend for a short little getaway with the Choplin crew - PJ, Mary Coker and Elliot. A friend Laura joined us as well and fun was had by all. But there was one thing most amazing about this weekend. Perhaps amazing isn't the best word to use but I had such a wonderful time with my little one. I realized for possibly the hundredth time since he arrived, that he is my favorite person in the world. There were a few times this weekend when I just took him out for a walk so I could have him all to myself. He is so smiley these days and loves to hug his Momma. A few times he and I went to sit down stairs (where it was nice and cool as the upstairs was HOTT!!) and we just laughed and played and it was the best stuff ever. Being a Mom is more than I could have ever imagined. There are times when just looking at that little monkey makes my heart wrench and my eyes fill with tears. This weekend held a few of those moments and they were wonderful. Better than wonderful. They were spectacular. I can't wait to continue watching Griffin grow and change and learn and giggle some more. And those giggles... :)

Here are two pics from this weekend:

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Well its summer time and beach, here we come! We usually don't head to the beach until July when we head down with the family. I have been making that same trip for my entire life and the last 26 years to the same house. In the beginning my entire family was there, but we have grown so much we have to split the trip up with two weeks and only some of us go. One of these days (when someone wins the lottery or my brother becomes a rich doctor - which ever happens first) we (or he) will buy a house large enough for all 29 of us to come. That would be something, I tell ya. A house full of crazy's. Whew.

Anyway, this vacation is with Ju and Steven, our favorite people from down Charleston way. They have rented an amazing house in Clearwater Florida (a place I have never visited!!) and invited the three of us down. Now, I have watched my cousins, aunts, Mom and other peoples pack for beach trips with kids. I have noted they carried enough stuff to sustain them for what I thought was surely a month (it was a week or less) and sniggered. Well snigger I should not have. I have been packing for days and still don't have it all. Trying to make sure I will take everything little man needs is not an easy task. (Don't ask about our first trip out of town with him - the only thing I remembered to pack for myself was underwear. Had to get a new toothbrush when we got there!). The worst part is, the house has almost everything one could need for a baby excepting the baby himself. I'm talkin the swings, monitors, boppy's, bumbo's, excersaucers (I am not making up any of those things, btw - they are all necessary baby items, just ask Larry). Our car will still be filled to the brim with all make and model of baby entertainment.

So now that we have him all packed and ready to go (and hopefully will remember at least bathing suits and toothbrushes for ourselves) we will begin the 8 hour journey (if we are lucky) to get there. Mind you, Griffin's longest car trip has been to and from Seneca, SC which is about 5 hours total. He slept most of the way there (it was nap time) and all the way home (it was waaay past bedtime). The trip we are about to take will span across all of those except bed time. Man, I am sooooooo hoping he does not decide to scream bloody murder the entire way there. If he does, Ju and Steven may be babysitting when we arrive while we bury our heads in the sand. Ok, teasing about that last part. Sort of.

Anyway, I will be back sometime in the near future to update you all on how this road trip goes. We have toys, a DVD player with tons of Baby Einstein's and some They Might be Giants in the hopes that we can keep him occupied.  We. Shall. See.  Wish us luck!

Here's a lil pic of the cowboy himself.  Ain't he cute?

Monday, May 11, 2009

rainy day copy-cat

Well I'm off today and it's raining and Griff is sleeping so I am stealing Judi's quiz and doing it here.  I am bored and refusing to do the 4 loads of laundry that have piled up or unload the dishwasher and reload it or go clean the bathrooms.  So instead I am doing this quiz.  Yay for doing nothing!

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed? we're lazy so they stay open.

Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel? definitely! I love them?

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out? In. Must be in. And must be neatly in.

Have you ever stolen a street sign before? Not alone but with friends. Is there a statute of limitations on that?

Do you like to use post-it notes?  Sure, as long as they stay sticky.  

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them? Clip'em. Rarely remember to use'em.

Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees? Well I am deathly allergic to bees so guess either way I'm screwed. Maybe the bees would be less scary but more drawn out?

Do you have freckles? Only those kind you get from getting sun burned.

Do you always smile for pictures? Yes.

What is your biggest pet peeve? Gosh, I have so many!  Rudeness.

Do you ever count your steps when you walk? No.

Have you ever peed in the woods? Many times.

What about pooped in the woods? Yup.

Do you ever dance even if theres no music playing? Totally.

Do you chew your pens and pencils? I catch myself every now and then.

How many people have you slept with this week? Three (Mom and Griff count, right?)

What size is your bed? KING. LOVE my bed. (ditto Judi!)

What is your Song of the week? It's been "you are my sunshine" ever since Griffin was born.  I NEED A NEW SONG!

Is it okay for guys to wear pink? Sure.

Do you still watch cartoons? No, but I guess I will soon start!

Whats your least favorite movie? Any of those dumb movies.  Maybe it's Strange Wilderness? The worst of the worst!

Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some? Why would I share that?? (I am with you on this thought Judi)

What do you drink with dinner? Usually water.

What do you dip a chicken nugget in? Nothing. I like'em plain.

What is your favorite food? Mexican!

What movies could you watch over and over and still love? Steel Magnolias, Legally Blonde (all of them), Breakfast Club, The Jerk.

Last person you kissed/kissed you? Griffin

Were you ever a boy/girl scout? Nope.

Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine? Not any more.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper? A letter? Gosh, ages.

Can you change the oil on a car? Probably could figure it out.  I've helped before.

Ever gotten a speeding ticket? When I was 16.

Ran out of gas? no

Favorite kind of sandwich?  A panini with turkey, brie, avocado and tomatoes.

Best thing to eat for breakfast? Hmmm, tie between huevos rancheros and eggs in a basket.

What is your usual bedtime? Sleep time? 10ish?

Are you lazy? Less so since bambino arrived, but yes.

When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween? Dorothy from Wizard of Oz

What is your Chinese astrological sign? Horse?

How many languages can you speak? Two

Do you have any magazine subscriptions? Reader's Digest.

Which are better legos or lincoln logs? Legos! (definitely!)

Are you stubborn? Ridiculously so.

Who is better...Leno or Letterman? Letterman

Ever watch soap operas? Not in years.

Afraid of heights? Nope.

Sing in the car? Always.

Dance in the shower? When I am awake enough, yes.

Dance in the car? Sometimes.

Ever used a gun? Once with my Dad when I was 12ish.

Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer? I guess Easter, if Larry counts as a photographer.

Do you think musicals are cheesy? Usually, but I like them anyway.

Is Christmas stressful? No, it's the best.

Ever eat a pierogi? Yummm,  yes!

Favorite type of fruit pie? Apple is the only kind I like.

Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid? Professional Roller Skater, News Anchor (possibly just anyone on TV) and Teacher.

Do you believe in ghosts?  yep.

Ever have a Deja-vu feeling? Quite often.

Take a vitamin daily? Sometimes.

Wear slippers? Almost always.

Wear a bath robe? Usually only on two occasions: in the mountains and when G is screaming and I have to jump out of the shower with shampoo in my hair!

What do you wear to bed? T-shirt.

First concert? NKOTB baby.

Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart? Target all the way.

Nike or Adidas? New balance?

Cheetos Or Fritos? Cheetos! Both!

Peanuts or Sunflower seeds? Peanuts.

Ever hear of the group Tres Bien? NO?

Ever take dance lessons? When I was a little girl and I stunk! 

Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing? Umm, I'm married, so no?

Can you curl your tongue? Yep.

Ever won a spelling bee? I don't think so, I have always been a terrible speller.

Have you ever cried because you were so happy? Without a doubt.

Own any record albums? Quite a few.

Own a record player? I think it's around here somewhere.

Regularly burn incense? No.

Ever been in love? Right now!

Who would you like to see in concert? Gosh, where should I start; Coldplay, Patty Griffin Neil Diamond...

What was the last concert you saw? Bruce Spingsteen.

Hot tea or cold tea? Depends on my mood.

Sugar or snickerdoodles? Snickerdoodles.

Can you swim well? Not really.

Can you hold your breath without holding your nose? Just finally mastered it this summer!

Are you patient? Sadly I am incredibly IMpatient.

DJ or band, at a wedding? Definitely the band.

Ever won a contest? When I was in highschool I won FISH tickets in a drawing, does that count?

Ever have plastic surgery? No

Which are better black or green olives? Green.

Can you knit or crochet? Both.

Best room for a fireplace?l Cozy den.

Do you want to get married? Already am.

Who was your HS crush? Lar - we've been dating since then!

Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way? Larry would probably say sometimes.

Do you have kids? A baby boy.

What's your favorite color? Blue.

Do you miss anyone right now? Not at this moment.

Did you watch, Next Great American Band on FOX? Nope, don't do the reality shows.

Well, that was fun! Thanks for sharing Ju!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's been a long time (relatively speaking) since I have thought about my chemo treatments. Really thought about them, anyway. Watching Grey's Anatomy tonight sent me back there. Certainly there were so many aspects of it all that were incredibly difficcult and painful but one more so than the rest by far. Losing my hair. Watching the end of the show tonight when Izzy started to tug at her hair and cry I had this rush of emotion come over me. I began to cry and continued to cry. I was flooded by the memory of the day when Larry shaved my head. Not the fun day with all my friends when we did mohawks and buzzed it, but the sad emotional day when he took it all off. It was just the two of us and I cried for hours I think. It was the most difficult day of my entire life and it was just hair! Watching again tonight as Alex removed her scarf and told her she was beautiful was gut wrentching. Is it completely bizarre that TV can do this to us? I have no idea, but it did. It's made me think again about how wonderful my family and friends were during that time and it's made me remember how hard that all was. I sent out the warmest thoughts I could send to all the people who are facing the same thing right now.  I am now more than one year with my new hair and nearly two years in remission (this November!) and a Mom. How amazing is that!?


Sunday, May 3, 2009

back to work

Today marks the end of my first week back to work. I woke up bright and early on Monday (cause Griffin rarely sleeps past 7:30 anyway) and got myself showered, dressed and fed. I was on my way out the door, had kissed my baby and my hubby and was feeling pretty good about it all. I closed the front door with coffee and work bag (recently cleaned out and filled with the neccessities) and realized I had forgotten my sunglasses. Opened the door and there they were. Hubby holding screaming baby, both still in their jammies. I quickly got that overwhelming sensation of being about to hurl your breakfast all over the place. Ever had that feeling? Well it lasted nearly all day and that is never a pleasant thing! I kissed baby and hubby again and hurled (myself, not my breakfast) back out the front door as quick as I could before I was forced (by the universe) to call my boss and quit my job to never leave my baby again. Once I got into the car and reached my first appointment of that day, I was starting to feel a bit better. As I mentioned earlier, the nausea didn't lift until later that afternoon, but as the morning wore on I started to feel like I was getting my groove back. So I know I'm not Stella and I ain't lookin for a man, but it was feeling good to use my brain again! After staff meeting I even patted myself on the back since I was still able to hold a conversation in sign language (I was sure I had lost that entirely). After I finally talked to Larry at roughly 12:47 (notice that exact time - I will explain that in a moment) I was able to relax a little and actually get some paper work done. I then called Angie (babysitter and Mom of the Year, ok maybe century) I was really doing better. 

So to expound now on that time above: Larry was taking G to meet Angie for the exchange Monday am for the first time and I was insanely nervous about that. I thought that every possible thing would go wrong including G screaming his bloody head off the entire way to Angie's (not a short drive) and her calling to say "Thanks for the first and last day of babysitting - I don't need the extra cash this bad" to which I would then have to call my boss and quit my job. Noticing a trend here? Well, Angie didn't call to say that and Larry reported that the exchange went well. Larry's report only came after I CALLED HIM TO ASK! Why is that in all caps you ask? Well it's that way because I remember asking him like 264 times to call me after the exchange for a full and detailed report and he doesn't call!!! Here is our conversation (12:47).

me: "well??!!?"
him: "well, what?"
me: (getting frantic now) "how did it go?!?!?"
him: "how did what go?"
me: (crazy now) Jeeeeeez Larry, how did the exchange goooooo!?!?!"
him: "oh, that. It went fine. he was great. didnt cry at all."
me: (to myself - I COULD JUST CHOKE YOU NOW!) "oh thankgoodnessiwassoworriedandhavefeltlikethrowingupalldayandcouldnoteatlunchortalktoanyone!"
him: "oh sorry didnt realize you were that worried. It was all good darling".

Were he not so sweet and wonderful I would have crawled through the phone and choked him. Ok, so the technology also is still not ready for that one, but I would have sure tried.

Alright so that sums of the first day. The rest of the week went pretty well. G cries a lot on the way home from Angie's but not too bad. I am sure he will just have to get used to that daily drive. Angie told me he does pretty well on the way to her house and if he starts to get upset then they just sing to him! How sweet is that!? Man, family babysitters are sure the way to go. It makes going back to work a whooooole lot easier.

Well, I did realize one thing this week. I am a better Mommy when I work. I missed my baby desperately and when I saw him it nearly made me cry. But I need that time to use my brain, and interact, and breathe. I have waivered on whether or not that makes me a terrible Momma or selfish or any other list of awful things and I have concluded that it doesn't. It makes me human. It makes me smart for knowing what I need so that I can give my baby what he needs. Goes back to that advice Jess gave me a few weeks ago: sometimes what is best for baby is what is best for Mommy. This is another one of those situations, I believe. It probably also helps that I get to stay at home with him three mornings a week so it really only feels like I am working part time anyway.   That said, I am ready for the second week of work to begin.  I like working, I like my job and for that I am grateful.  So til next time (or when I have my next nervous breakdown and come here to vent my frustrations)...

as always, thanks for listening.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Looking back...

Tomorrow Larry and I will be celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary.  I cannot believe it has been 7 years already.  I remember when I met him. It was, I think, sometime in 1993.  He was sitting on top of one of those blue mail drop box things in 5 points with dredlocks (or a white boys early attempts at the same) and a green shirt.  He was swinging his feet and smiling.  I was with a friend who knew him so she stopped to say hello.  I remember him just looking at me and then saying "you look like a model".  It was a few years before we started dating but he certainly had me intrigued and feeling quite flattered.  When we finally did begin to date it was several years of on again off again.  I was a fickle young thing (not just with boys) and when he didn't behave how I envisioned I would dump him cold heartedly.  However, it never lasted very long as we always seemed to run into one another at random parties or shows and were drawn to each other.  We would end up sitting and talking for hours and inevitably we would begin dating again.  The road that led us to our marriage was long and adventure filled.  We both did some much needed growing up during those years.  I knew that.  Yet, yesterday when Larry was helping me get myself together after a day filled with tears over a baby who always seems to be in pain, he reminded me of something.  He reminded me of all we've been through the last two years and all the craziness we have survived. Together.  If I thought we'd done some growing up during our dating years, it was nothing compared to the last two.  If I thought we had made big strides in getting married and buying our first house, I was mistaken.  Yes those things were what grown-ups do and we did them successfully.  But they are nothing compared to battling cancer, fertility games and then baby.  I feel like the last two years of our marriage have both flown by and crawled at a snails pace all at the same time.  Is that even possible? Who knows, but that's how it feels.  I am so thrilled to be celebrating this anniversary with my sweet husband this year.  While we likely will not do much of anything different than our normal night at home (considering we have a bambino that still isn't happy with his eating situation) and we aren't getting one another some big elaborate gift, it will surely be the best anniversary yet.  We have more to celebrate this year than any other.  We have survived more than many couples do over the lifetime of their marriage and we did it mostly with smiles and hugs for one another.  I was thinking yesterday how lucky I am to have a husband and father for my little boy.  I am not sure how single moms do it when they have a little one.  His support and encouragement are often the only way I get through a day.  Here's to Larry and here's to us.  Happy Anniversary to us.  Seven years is nothing to shake a stick at, that's for sure.  Larry, you aren't itching are you?


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Everything is alright.

I know you will all be blown away at me posting twice (that's right, TWICE!) in one day, but folks, today has been one of those days. I was just sitting in the nursery enjoying the fading light that is dusk rocking my sweet baby and listening to the sounds of my home. I heard Larry cooking up some of the wonderful goodness he so graciously prepares for us on a regular basis. I heard my puppies walking around the house going from kitchen doorway to kitchen doorway hoping Larry would drop something and they could sneak in and grab a taste. I heard James Taylor singing a wonderful cover of Up on the Roof. I heard my sweet angel boy breathing the breathes of one who has felt icky and finally has fallen asleep and feels better. I heard my soul saying that all is right with the world. Today I have been able to make the toughest decision (see previous post) in my life and for once I know it was the right one. I feel better. I feel calmer. I feel right. And I also feel love. Sitting in that nursery that was built/decorated/designed by the hands of many wonderful, loving, amazingly supportive people in anticipation of the arrival of a miracle baby, I was overcome with the feelings of love. Again I am engulfed with the knowledge of how incredibly lucky I am. Love. All you need is love. The Beatles knew exactly what they were singing about.

thanks for listening again.

Decisions, decisions...

So if any of you have read my "about me" section you know that I am not so great with making decisions.  I tend to waiver, waffle, go back and forth, weigh the options, make a list and check it seventeen thousand times.  It really is a painful process to watch (and experience of course).  Painful because after all that I often doubt the decision I finally made.  Is it the right one? Am I sure it is best?  I tell you all of this because I have been in the process of making the most difficult decision yet.  I thought that deciding to harvest my eggs before chemo was tough.  I thought choosing whether or not to move to Utah when I was 21 was tough.  I could go on and on about all these things I was unsure of in my past but none compares to this.  So far, in my lengthy 6 weeks of parenthood, I have realized that every decision I will make pertaining to this beautiful little boy who recently entered my life will be painstaking and I will be riddled with self-doubt.  I am used to that feeling - the self-doubt deal- but now it is even worse!  I have known for years that I am the essence of a Libra (as a general rule I follow this stuff only when it suits me or has some interesting insight that I like) in that we are the scales.  We weigh everything.  We try to make the best decision for all involved and often forget about ourselves in that process.  That is what I am facing these days.  I feel incredibly selfish for thinking of myself.  Oh the libra guilt.  What a pain in the arse that is.

So what is this big decision you ask?  Nursing.  Breast-feeding.  Giving my baby all the best. "Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship..." (says the leading source of breast-feeding information-La Leche League).  E
verywhere a new mom turns there is stuff about how breast-feeding is the only and best way to feed one's baby.  Certainly there are support systems everywhere and support groups and lactation consultants and phone numbers and books and on and on and on and that is all fine and well and good, but.  But, then there are days when you are sitting at home alone feeding a baby and he is fussing and unhappy and crying with his super-cute-but-pouty-and-breaking-your-heart-bottom-lip sticking out and you just cry and cry and cry.  And you ask yourself over and over is this really the best?  Sure I guess there are more people I could call and more books I could read and meetings I could attend to see how to fix it and make feeding less traumatic for both of us but then, then I talk to Jess and she says the wisest thing she has ever told me (and Jess has told me some wise things in our 16 years of friendship).  What did she say, you ask? Well, she said "sometimes what is best for baby is what is best for Momma".  I thought about this for several days and it rings so true.  Is it really best for anyone involved (babies, husbands, co-workers, bosses, partners, friends) to continue doing something that seems painful and stressful for all involved?  Absolutely breast-feeding is great for baby and provides him the best protection against illness and allows for incredible bonding for Mom and Baby.  I won't argue that for a second, but how does one weigh that against sanity? Confidence against self-doubt? Lack of sleep against confusion and frustration?  Well friends I can tell you that I weighed it and I decided that Jess was right.  Sometimes what is best for baby is what is best for Momma.  And what is best for this Momma is to wean this baby.  Crying over nursing my baby is just not worth it.  He's had the 6 weeks that they (who, exactly?) say are so critical and it was a long road.  The bonding was incredible and I will miss that intimate and close time that nursing brings.  Being the sole provider of nutrition for a baby is both a daunting and amazingly humbling experience.  I will treasure for the rest of my life how incredible it is/was to be able to quiet your baby just by picking him up because he knows I have what he needs and wants.  Just the smell of me was/is calming and soothing and that is a feeling like no other.  Can I really give that up? Can I really think we can have that same relationship when there is a bottle involved? I am going to have to.  Griffin actually helped me make this exceedingly difficult decision last night after hours of tears and turmoil.  I was feeding him a bottle that I'd pumped (since I can't seem to fill him up only nursing him I was pumping so I could see how much he was actually getting) and he looked up at me with those big, bright, beautiful, blue eyes and smiled.  He smiled while milk was flowing from his mouth and then tightened his grip on my finger.  It was in that moment that I realized that breast, bottle, sippy cup or spoon, I will always he his Momma and how he gets his food will never change that.

The following came from an email from my yoga instructor (whom I have not seen in ages but hope to see very soon!) from her weekly reading.  At the end of each session during shavasana, which is that last asana, or pose that we do, there is always a reading to end our practice.  I received this email from Maxine who does not ordinarily email her readings but said she had a special request for this one.  How interesting that is applies so well to what I am blogging about here today.  Not directly related but it is about decisions none the less and I wanted to share it with you.  I truly believe that we decide how each day will go for us.  We can chose a good day or a bad day all by how we look at the what is in front of us.  I try to remind myself of that on those really crummy days.  So, friends, here are my parting words to you today.  From Maxine (maybe you can each come and join us for a class sometime soon, it truly is wonderful and I have missed it so!):

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a situation is escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized.  
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.  
If we treat people as they ought to be, 
we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

I wish you all luck in making any decisions you have to make.  Be it kind of pizza or life changing.

until next time,

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sleepy time

Ok I realize this is going to throw everyone for a loop that I have posted TWICE in one week, but I have had some time (I also took a long hot bath in my jacuzzi tub and painted both my toes and my fingernails!!) so I decided to post again.  Not so long ago I took some photos of my little bug sleeping cuz he just looks so dad-gum peaceful.  Then a few days later he was fighting sleep as hard as he could one mornin and his wonderful Dad scooped him up so I could grab some cereal and pump a little before he had to head to work.  He had a full belly and had hardly slept the night before so I figured he was sleepy but I wasn't able to make it happen.  Larry grabbed him up and they sat next to me on the couch.  The next thing I knew they were both snoozing peacefully awaiting the cutest picture on the face of the planet to be taken.  The entire time I was pregnant I just could not wait to snap a picture of a little teeny tiny baby sleeping on his Daddy's chest.  And here I had my first opportunity!  I intend to snap these whenever the chance arises but wanted to go ahead and share this one with you.  Don't you wish we could all still curl up on the chest of someone we know loves us more than anything in the world? Boy, I sure do.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

3am thoughts

So there I was sitting in the nursery feeding my incredibly, always, hungry baby boy and had some thoughts. First I thought about how amazing it is to be a Mom. I thought about how I have a different perspective on love now and I feel like I likely never really knew what it was before he came into my(our) life. Thinking of him sparks a feeling like I never knew existed and just seeing his little face is the most wonderful thing there is. It also makes me realize I have a new kind of love for my own Mom. Maybe it's because I have now experienced the same no-matter-what kind of love that she has for myself and Will. Or maybe its because I now know how much she worries and hurts for us. Either way I love my Momma more than I did before, if that is even possible. Weird? Who knows. But I was also thinking during this late night nursing extravaganza about all the other things I love and was inspired by Juju's lists that she writes. So I am here writing my own list. One comprising a few of the things I love:

1. Griffin's pitiful little cry when he is really sleepy. It hurts and elates all at that same time.
2. The crinkles around Larry's eyes when he smiles a really genuine smile.
3. Seeing my Momma.
4. Watching my brother with his nephew and his fiance. Both bring out this amazing peacefulness on his face.
5. The Beach. Any beach at any season during any weather. The smell and the wind make me feel calm, at peace and at home.
6. Chocolate.
7. Seeing my friends and laughing.
8. A really good, yummy, robust red wine.
9. Some cheesy, spicy mexican goodness wrapped in any sort of tortilla with a margarita on the side.
10. Getting a hair cut by someone whose chair you can sit in and say "make me beautiful" and always leave feeling that way.
11. Curling up on the couch with a blanket on a rainy day and watching a movie with Lar.
12. Watching my dogs lay in the grass basking in the sun. What a life!
13. Hearing Griffin's teeny, tiny whimper when he is just finished eating and drifting to sleep.

While I am sure I could drag this list on for ages, I have a little one who is done and ready for some sleep. So...more on all this mushy-gushy love stuff later. You can't wait, can you? :)


Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Well, I have had a few days now of just hanging out with the Griffster. He and I have been sleeping late (we have a few breaks in between these late morning rises) and just staring at each other. He is opening his eyes more each day and even though he really can't see me yet, I feel like he is looking at me. That, my dear friends, is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Seeing those big blue (?) eyes staring at me is indescribable. We've been staying in the bed and napping and eating (both of us since my appetite is insatiable these days!) and loving life. Tuesday I didn't even get out of my pajamas all day and it was wonderful. It was the first day since little man came home that we didn't have guests all day long. Now, I don't want that to sound like we weren't enjoying all of our guests, as we did immensely, but it was so nice to have nothing to do. I finally feel like I am nearly caught up on my rest and recovered from labor. I am getting a teeny bit of cabin fever though but I think that's because I know I can't drive and am stuck waiting for someone to take us some place. Really though I am not sure I am ready to take him anyplace! He still seems to small and fragile and its so damn cold outside! Mom and I are going out and about tomorrow though and I am really excited about that. We plan to go and get me fitted properly for a nursing bra (sorry fella's but here's where I tell the story and that's a big part of this story) and then to Target to get some gifts for Luna and Stella's party. It will be a big day for us tomorrow and I sure hope he doesn't get too tired. We may even stop and get some lunch out! In a restaurant! In public! I am not sure if I will remember how to behave in public!! Ok, so that's silly, but it feels like I have not been in public in forever. I hope I can remember how to put on make-up and fix my hair. Alright, enough of my silliness.

So more about Griff: Larry and I are getting used to his cries and being able to tell what they mean most times, even though we haven't figured out how to fix some of them. He has the cutest little faces that he makes and while he hates having his diaper changed, it is freezing after all, when we are all finished and he is dressed again he looks all around the room with those big eyes wide open and his lips are pursed together. My heart melts instantly and I can't stop looking at him. Yesterday I gave him a little bath (sponged him off really) and left him naked on the towel in the heated bathroom for a minute and he loved it! He hasn't had much time to be a naked baby as our house won't seem to stay as toasty as we'd like and I really think he enjoyed it. He and I sat in there (while I was sweating bullets on the poor kid from the heat mind you) and he was as happy as a clam. I think we will do that each day so he can enjoy some naked baby time. I enjoyed it too as he is the cutest little thing in the world. His little bum is adorable and he has the skinniest little legs and arms. And his feet are just like his Daddy's right down to his big toe. Again, I have gone goo-goo over this baby boy o'mine. Being a Mom is already the coolest thing I have ever done. And watching Larry be a Dad is even cooler. Hearing him talk to Griffin when he is feeding him or changing his diaper brings me near tears every time. He is already the world's best Dad. And I can't wait to continue telling you all about our family. Hope you keep reading!


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Well baby has arrived! And boy is it crazy. Labor and delivery went over without any great hitches - they say farily textbook. Whatever in the world that means. I had my water break - heard that doesnt happen for everyone - had time to shower and then made it to the hospital still having minimal contractions. They gave me pitocin to get things rolling and a mere 11 hours and 45 minutes after that water happening, little man was born. He came out squalling like a little banshee before they even started sucking all that fluid out of his lungs. He was the most beautiful color already and as soon as they cleaned him up (a little bit anyway) and Larry cut the chord (wish I hadn't been to exhausted and overwhelmed to witness that!) they put him on my chest and he instantly quieted. That was the first of many absolutely amazing experiences I have already had in the last 5 days. He is the most incredible thing and has already produced the most incredible worry I could ever imainge!!! The first night home, I slept with the lights on so I could peak into his craddle (which is so close to my bed you could nary fit a sheet of paper between us) and make sure that he hadn't rolled into the side and suffocated himself! By night three at home I have turned off the lights and actually slept on my other side some of the night! Please excuse all the exclamation points, but folks, this stuff is big time and silly little periods just aren't gonna cut it for this blog post.

Anyway, I came here to tell you that he arrived and is healthy, eating like a horse and has already stolen mine and his Daddies hearts and left us awestruck like we could never have imagined. I also wanted to send you the link to his webpage! Yep, you read that right, he has his OWN web site. His Uncle J made it for him and his Daddy already has it up and running. It's and I have a link on the left, with my other favs, so you can keep up with the little cutie pie yourself. Not sure how often I will get here to post in the next few weeks (or years for that matter, as I here those all belong to a little boy named Griffin now) but I will do my best. Come say hi and check out Griff's page when you can!

Til later,

Friday, February 13, 2009

The times they are a changin'

So today, I went with my brother while he picked up the engagement ring he plans to present tomorrow. I was thrilled to be able to be there and see it, but all the while I just could not help but think how wild it is. How crazy that in a few short days he will be on his way to being married and in just a few more days (let's hope) I will be a MOM!! I am still having trouble wrapping my brain around both of those life changing events. I still see him as being my little brother who is always coming into my room and asking to hang out. Always (by no fault of his own) making me completely insane. I've watched him get taller, more mature, more wonderful, supportive, and more amazing. But now, he will be getting married! That means he is officially not my little brother anymore. He will soon be moving away to finish school and become the surgeon we have all known he would become. He will have a wife and soon kids. It makes me proud, emotional and excited. Little brother gives ring to girl. Its surreal is what it is folks, that's fo sho.

And then there's me and L and a baby mere days away from making his appearance. That is more than surreal. It's just plain old crazy/scary/wild/insane/cuckoo. Thinking back to the year of Mona and all the trials and tribulations that came with it, I can hardly believe that our lives are about to completely change yet again.  And in a VERY different way.  I have nested, painted, acted like a crazy person, been grumpy, cried, eaten my weight in chocolate and finally think I may be ready.  As ready as two people can be for something that will alter our lives forever, that is.  The nursery has been painted twice, I have bought all the things I think I need (and probably don't) and the clothes are washed, folded and put into little tiny stacks of little tiny clothes.  We have hats, mounds of socks, teeny baby hats and mittens and the smallest diapers I have ever laid my eyes on.  Each day I wonder if it's THE day and if I have any idea what we are about to get ourselves into.  While I am sure that he is way easier to take care of where he is right now, I cannot wait to see what he looks like.  I can't wait to see those little feet that kick me in the ribs.  Those little knees I can see jutting out of my sides and that little heiney that sticks up in the air all the time.  I am so excited to meet him.

All that said, today I have been mulling over how life changes.  How one day we just realize we are adults( I hope that doesn't mean we have to act like it!!).  I have thought often during this pregnancy about how differently the world looks now. 
 I can't put my finger on what it is, how or why, but its different.  And I know that my brother is no little boy anymore either.  I am excited to watch him though and get to be a part of his life.  For that I am grateful. 


Friday, January 23, 2009


Larry and I were thrown a shower by his work staff yesterday.  I was thrilled from the get-go about their willingness and excitement to do something so nice for us, but when we arrived I was absolutely awe struck.  The office was decorated so beautifully with balloons and a special chair just for me.  There was yummy food covering a beautifully decorated table and then I saw the tables (yep that was plural!) of gifts!! I continue to be stunned in my life at how generous people can be.  Larry and I were shown an immense amount of compassion and generosity last year (wait, make that the year before last!! Whoa time flies) when I was diagnosed with Lymphoma and underwent all that craziness ('round here we call it The Mona Incident).  Almost daily we would open our mail box and there would be a card with a check and a well wish or prayer! That happened for weeks!  My emotions were undergoing an upheaval as it was but this just left me speechless on a nearly daily basis.  I have always tried to live my life (ok, so at least my adult life) as a person who does good things and believes that in doing those things my life will also be good.  I believe in Karma and also believe that Larry and I have are good people.  I still am not sure we are (or were) THAT good.  I have since tried to spread that compassion and generosity as best I can.  And now we are pregnant and again our friends rally around us and help us prepare for the arrival of our little boy.  I continue to feel as though my heart could not possibly be any more full than it is today.  It is such an incredible feeling to be surrounded by people who care so much and are so thoughtful.  Yesterday, after leaving Larry's office with our trunk loaded to the top, I thought the whole way home about how lucky we are.  Lucky to have friends.  Lucky to have family.  Lucky to have each other and lucky to be having this little man coming into our lives.  

Thanks all for being in my life and making it as wonderful as it could possibly be.  

~lucky m

Sunday, January 18, 2009

5 weeks to go!!

Well here I am, again two months since my last post and still a slacker.  I do have a few good excuses this time though.  I have been nesting my little (well, it's been growing along with the belly) fanny off!!  I always thought that was some stupid made-up non-sense that people said happened to pregnant women.  Well I am proof that some sort of bizarrness happened to me and made me clean every closet, drawer, shoe box and junk drawer in my house.  And I'm not done yet.  I have painted the nursery twice now (with the help of my fantastic Mother and Brother) and have rearranged hte furniture about twenty times.  Mom and Wilbur said they weren't coming to paint again if I didn;t like this color.  Bless them,  I was quite a brat.  But read my "about me" and you'll see I've always been indecisive and now I just added being pregnant on top of it!  Speaking of which Larry likes blaming everything on pregnancy.  When I am being a pain in his ass he knows its the pregnAancy (and I CERTAINLY will not be telling him otherwise) and when I need my second bowl of ice cream for the day, he knows its the pregnancy (and CERTAINLY not that I just really love ice cream).  He really is one of a kind and I can't wait until I get to see him with his little baby.  

Speaking of which, Jess (my bff for more than 15 years) just had her baby last Wednesday.  She was miserable at the end but still managed to keep a smile on her face and have positive things to say whenever I talked to her.  I sure do hope I can maintain that class in the next 5 weeks.  Maybe I will have to come back here and re-read for inspiration.  Anyway, seeing Jess with that olittle baby is amazing.  Her name is Siena Riley and she is beautiful.  I was vblown away at how much love I felt for her when I first saw her (she was only hours old!) and can not fathom how I will feel when I am holding my baby in a few short weeks.  And then to see Jess and Matt (he's the Dad) holding that little teeny baby is such an amazing thing.  It is wild to see
 people whom you've known since you were nearly a baby yourself now becoming parents.  I don't remember this nostaligia when any of my other friends have become parents, but who knows.  Perhaps its me nearly being in the same boat that is getting all those feelings a-stirring.  All I know is Jess is already an amazing Mother.

So as for this blog thingy, Judi has inspired me to write more often (we'll see) since she has her blog.  Here is a link to her blog and I strongly suggest you check it.  She is funny, smart and has great pictures unlike all my booooring typing here.  Maybe one day I will become inspired to add in some photos and such.  I plan to use this here blog when little Baby R arrives to keep everyone (well shit, Pete is about the only one who still reads it!  Thanks Pete and here is a SHOUT OUT to you!!) abreast of his arrival, cuteness and how fast he grows.  So keep an eye out peeps.

Ok, so in conclusion here is my usual whats been going on:  I finally graduated from
 USC School of Medicine with Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling (wow that looks way fancier with all those capitals) and am STILL in need of a job at a Masters level.  I am 5 weeks away from the most pain I have ever felt to experience the most love I can imagine and likely the greatest loss of sleep Larry and I are to get.  So we are slowly getting as ready as we can.  If I could just stop changing my mind, that is...

Til I remember to do this again,


oh and here is a pic starting at 15 weeks up to 30 weeks.  And I am WAYYYY bigger than that now!  Eeeeek...