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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bittersweet Curriculum Night

Last night, Leo and I went to curriculum night at Tommy and Belle's school. I don't enjoy this night usually. I have a hard time listening to what the teacher is saying because the whole time I am remembering when I was in his/her shoes. I hated talking to the parents when I taught. One year while I was nervously speaking, I had a mom and dad making out in the back of the room. I'm sure that they thought they were being romantic but I had the hardest time getting through what I had to say. Another year, I had a parent raise her hand every other minute not allowing me to answer any of her questions before she asked. That same parent ended her questions session with "Little Johnny says you never allow time to go to the bathroom or for them to sharpen their pencils. Is that true?" I just stared at her for a moment and held back saying, "Well, Little Johnny told me about the time your husband got rip-roaring drunk and fell through your screen door and you screamed you were divorcing him." Instead, I added to my curriculum night talk, "I won't believe everything I hear about you if you don't believe everything you hear about me." It wasn't that I didn't like the parents. For the most part, I had great parents. It was standing up in front of a room full of adults. Even now, give me 100 kids and I can command the room but 20 adults and I am a bundle of nerves. I loved teaching. Loved being a teacher, loved the kids, loved lesson planning, loved that it consumed every part of my world. Everything was always about, "How can I make this concept fun?" When I studied to be a teacher, I thought of it as a job to do until I got married and had kids. When I started teaching, I was hooked. It became so much more. I had great teachers around me that became my lifelong friends. Going to work was never a struggle. I had adult relationships that kept me smiling and the kids...the kids were some of the biggest challenges but also the biggest rewards. I had one child ask me every day since announcing I was pregnant if I had my baby yet. Finally one of the other kids was tired of it (as was I) and said, "Can't you see that she is still really fat?"

One year I had a class that were big "tattletales" and it was driving me crazy. All day long I was refereeing fights. Finally I bought a monkey poster taped it to their general height on a wall and told them that if they had a problem, they could go "tell it to the monkey." I cannot tell you what a world of difference it made in the classroom and how amusing that time was for me. Watching kids talk to the monkey poster about why so and so won't lend him a pencil or that so and so kept looking at him was priceless. Obviously for bigger problems, I didn't make them talk to the monkey. After the novelty wore off and they realized that they were actually just talking to the wall, the tattling stopped.

Teaching wasn't just a job for me. It was a huge part of who I was and who I am today. Leaving it was a huge sacrifice that on the days when my kids are driving me crazy, I wonder why I left it to begin with. It's one of the hardest jobs to get back into but I do hope that someday I will be able to go back. I don't know, though. I talk to friends of mine that are still teaching and they tell me it is so different. I am not the same person I was back when I was teaching and I don't agree with a lot of what the schools are doing so maybe I wouldn't fit anymore. Maybe that chapter of my life is over. It really was a good one and I miss it. It's one of those jobs that you don't realize you were any good at it until you are not doing it anymore and I miss feeling good at something. I miss making a difference in a child's life that isn't allowed to say, "I hate you" while I'm doing it. I miss having kids that actually do what I tell them. I miss having someone say, "You are doing a great job."

These were the things that I was thinking about while Tommy's teacher was talking (Leo was with Belle's who, by the way, is awesome. He's a young guy whose wife just had a baby and he loves his job and Belle thinks he walks on water already). I know it is early in the year but I just loved everything she stood for. It is no secret how much I hate homework and she doesn't really believe in it. She wants them to practice spelling and read. Once in awhile she said she'll send home math. LOVE HER! She doesn't like reading logs and it was the 4th grade reading log that killed reading for Nico so I completely agree with her on that one. I know she gets a lot of flack for not giving more homework but having had a kid that had the "homework" teachers, it didn't prepare him for anything. For years we heard that they were just getting them ready for middle school but middle school has a study hall so he had less homework in middle school than in elementary school. It didn't get him better grades (most teachers didn't even grade it) or make him smarter. It didn't help me help him. It was just busy work that interfered with our family life and kept him from playing with friends. They have their whole life to be bogged down with homework, why does it have to start in elementary school?

I am cautiously optimistic that this year will be a good one since Leo said that Belle's teacher feels the same way (doesn't like reading logs either). During this honeymoon period, I am going to bask in the glow that I won't have to write any "frustrated school" posts. I am going to enjoy this moment until next Thursday when we have Nico's curriculum night and then see if I still have reason to be optimistic.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I know it is a subjective point of view but I have the hottest husband out there. He still makes my heart skip a beat and I love him more now than I did 22 years ago. That being said, I have fallen prey to many crushes over the years. I'm not quiet about them either. I know...hard to believe. If you're an avid reader (or even read yesterday's you know that one that has been for a few years is yes, Taylor Kitsch (aka, Tim Riggins). Others that have stood the test of time are Paul Walker, Channing Tatum and Josh Hartnett.

Growing up, my sisters and I and our friends would play "Teenagers" and "House". I had a different make-believe boyfriend for both. When we played "Teenagers", it was Matt Dillon. God, how I loved Matt Dillon and really still think he is cute but I no longer have posters of him on my wall. When we played "House", John Stamos was my husband. The rule in our house is that once you claimed someone, no one else could like them. We used to love watching the movie The Outsiders because all but one of our crushes were in that movie (Scott Baio being the one that wasn't). In high school it was Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles and then I liked Patrick Swayze (before he was even famous and was in the show The Renegades). Then after Legends of the Fall, it was Brad Pitt. It was Brad Pitt for awhile.
Through the years, it changed to Troy Aikman (I think all the way up until I started watching Friday Night Lights) which made watching football all day long on Sundays not as painful and David Beckham, which made watching soccer with Leo when he was on that kick bearable.

Leo is a good sport about the whole thing and has some crushes of his own. It doesn't bother either of us since they aren't crushes on "real" people. It's like the one episode of Friends when Ross and Rachel came up with a list (I think Ross even laminated his) of the 5 famous people they could be with. You know it is never going to happen so it is innocent fun.

So I challenge you to think of who would be on your list and I ask, who are/were your crushes? I'm not alone in having them or having had them, am I?

Monday, August 29, 2011

TV Shows I Hated to See End

Gia woke up at 3:00am this morning. I can't wait until she starts feeling better. I couldn't fall back to sleep after I got her to go back to sleep so I ended up watching television. I watched the finale (again!) of Sex and the City and it got me thinking. I really miss that show. I loved every bit of it, the friendships, each of the women, the men that they dated or loved, Carrie's career. All of it. I DVR the reruns on E! and never get tired of rewatching. That got me thinking of all the other shows I have loved and lost because they ended.

Starting when I was younger, I used to love Happy Days and Welcome Back Kotter. I was a sucker for Joanie and Chachi (though he was my sister's true love so I didn't have a thing for Scott Baio...just loved the love story) and what girl didn't love Vinnie Barbarino?

A show that I used to watch with my Nana and even now it's another show I watch all the reruns to is Golden Girls. I think the reason this show appealed to me was the friendship hook. I used to imagine my friends and me still friends when we are older. Now watching it makes me feel close to my Nana who passed away when I was 21 (way too young to lose someone you love that much).

Two shows that I know I was not alone in hating that they were ending was Seinfeld and Friends. I didn't like the way Seinfeld ended but loved the way Friends did. Again, two shows that have friendships at the core of their shows. My favorite character on Friends was Rachel so any episode that centered around her was a favorite (though Ross, Chandler and Joey made laugh as well). Elaine was my favorite character on Seinfeld ("Maybe the Dingo ate your baby.") so it is no surprise that I loved....

The New Adventures of the Old Christine: I started watching this show when it had already ended and some of the smaller channels picked up the reruns. This show makes me laugh out loud and I am sad that it isn't on anymore and that nothing on TV makes me laugh like that. I can relate to how overwhelmed she sometimes gets with life and how sometimes a little wine helps (though my drink of choice would be a margarita). Her brother makes me laugh out loud as well. Such a good show.

King of Queens: My whole family watches these reruns. I loved the way this one ended but hated that it ended at all. I think Kevin James is hilarious and would laugh watching him do anything. Doug and Carrie's relationship wasn't that far off from Leo and mine so I found a lot to laugh about. Once in awhile I'll tell Leo, "I basically married a skinny Dough Heffernan."

The Sopranos: Leo and I watched two shows together and this was one of them. Besides the fact that I am Italian and the show was a huge conversation piece at our Sunday dinners so if you didn't watch, you were lost in the conversation, I found Tony to be a bad guy that I rooted for. I loved Carmella's character and like most, hated how it ended.

Oz: This was the other show and I could have left it out because why in the world did I watch that show? It's the same with Law and Order SVU.  The topics are grisly, hard to hear and uncomfortable to watch and yet, I can't help but be glued to the TV and interested in the characters. I did have a crush on O'Reilly (the smart brother) and funny how he ended up on SVU which is how I got hooked on that show. Darn crushes. I hated that series ending, too. What is with HBO not tying up any storylines before
they end a show?

I watched ER when Carol left to be with Doug and in my opinion that was one of the best season endings but it wasn't the series ending. I stopped watching ER and Grey's Anatomy after we found out Nico had CF and after Rocco died. Too much medical stuff was happening in my real life. I didn't want to watch while I was trying to escape. Once in awhile I'll watch Grey's on Lifetime but then I'm reminded why I stopped.

I'd love to comment on Lost because I loved that show but can't until after Christmas when I get the last season on DVD. No idea what was going on in my life at the time that I couldn't watch the show on my DVR but somehow, I didn't.

I can't write this post without mentioning my all time favorite: Friday Night Lights. I am so sad that it isn't on anymore. I loved this show (I know) and I know they stayed on longer than they thought they would but I wish they would have developed the new characters. I wish the old ones would have come back. I loved Eric and Tammy's portrayal of marriage and it didn't hurt having to look at Taylor Kitsh once a week. I am fine with how it ended though I wish they would have tied up Lyla's least a mention to what she is doing besides just going to college.

I'm sure there are more that I didn't mention: Laverne and Shirley, Three's Company, Ally McBeal, Knot's Landing but that is only because I can't remember how they ended and there aren't any reruns of them on now.

Looking forward to my favorite coming back: Parenthood and the show Up All Night looks promising. I heard that there is a new football show coming on so I plan on checking that out.

I know...I watch too much TV but if that is one of my only vices, then so be it. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Perfect Weeked of Sorts

This weekend was a day crammed with activity which normally is not my favorite way to spend the weekend. It started on Friday night when I went to dinner with some longtime friends from high school (D.W., J.R., and J.B.). I hadn't seen them in over 20 years and thanks to Facebook am probably better friends with them now and it was so good to catch up. The best kind of friends are the ones that you can jump right into conversations with and laugh like you just saw each other yesterday. That's the way these friends were and though I have to apologize for talking their ears off (I just got the ability to speak back and it was hard to hold back), I had so much fun catching up. Actually, they all have kept in contact so I thank them for letting me into their world for a night. I am really hoping that 20 years doesn't go by without us getting together again. Getting together with them made me think of the people that come into our lives for a short time or any amount of time and leave a mark. I can remember something significant about each of them when we were growing up. It makes me wonder what mark I have left or am leaving?

Yesterday was filled with football games. Tommy played at 10:00 and Belle cheered for him. Belle had to cheer for her second squad at 11:30 and Nico played at 7:00 at Willowbrook High School. The best way I can describe yesterday is that there is something magical about watching your kids do what they love to do. It doesn't matter what it is, singing, cheering, a sport, acting in a play, speaking at church, running for student council, playing an instrument, drawing, painting, whatever...something happens when they are successful or are just loving doing it. You see them as their own little people enjoying what they are doing and it feels good. Those moments don't come as often as some of the disappointments do so when they do come, I grab onto them and teach my kids to grab onto them and enjoy them. They are no longer the three kids constantly fighting with each other. The boys use those talents on the fields they are on and when Belle is cheering, she just shines. She smiles like she was meant to be yelling at the stands instead of at her brothers. Gia was less than thrilled to be at the game and cried that she couldn't be by Belle (Thanks Sydney and Julie for taking her for me so I could see some of the game!) but even she and I had one of those perfect moments. We were on a blanket in the shade and she ended up cuddling with me looking at the clouds. My mom babysat for Gia so I could go to Nico's game which was a HUGE help so thanks, Mom. She made dinner, the boys ate after the game and fell fast asleep. I didn't have to drive anyone anywhere and didn't have to field any, "Can we have a sleepover?" questions. Leo missed his football draft because of what we had going on and I only started feeling better, was a good sport about me going to dinner on Friday and after a big day of football, I didn't care that he went to have a drink with some friends.  I spent some time writing in my book and it really was the perfect end to a perfect two days.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

7 Links

Finally have answers: Chest xray showed I have bronchitis. Funny that I asked that since Gia has it but since I just had surgery, everyone was afraid it was something more. Already feeling better with the new meds.

I've been tagged in the blog world by a friend to go over my blog and choose 7 posts that fit the categories given. It is sort of looking back and picking the best of.

Here goes:
Most Beautiful Post: This was a hard one. Some of the ones that I think are beautiful are tied with things not so beautiful. So I picked Sundays and Easter but could have added: How Leo and I Came To Be: Part 2 because I think love stories are beautiful.

Most Popular: The post that had the most comments which is the only way I can see if it was popular was: People Magazine Wants Me Back It was a post about hoarding. It also reminds me that Nico's magazine fundraiser is coming up and I am a huge sucker for it. This is a hard one for me to pick because how do you rate popularity? Comments or page views. If it was page views, I think it might have been the ISAT one: ISAT Annoyances People from Facebook shared this post with their friends on their walls so I had close to 500 page views for one day. By the way, you never have to ask me if you ever want to share. :)

Most Controversial: This is another hard one. Several could be construed as controversial. It depends on who is reading this. The one I had the hardest time deciding whether to put on here was Things That Shaped Me: Part 1 The post that I got several emails about asking me if Leo read the blog and how could I write the things I do was: I'm Going To Write a Comic Book. The answer is yes, he reads the blog and I was clearly having a bad week. Most times he just laughs because he knows it is true or will say, "That was a little harsh." I'll ask if he wants me to take it down and he says, "No." He really is that laid back. (Plus it got the raccoon taken care of and the mail pile looked at.)

Most Helpful: I think the infertility ones starting with: Things That Shaped Me: Infertility Part 1 were helpful since a lot of people emailed me or reached out to me telling me they suffered through it too. They were hard to put out there but it is what it is and if it made people feel less alone than it was worth it.

A Post Whose Success Surprised Me: Random Thoughts I got close to 300 hits on this one and I guess it just surprised me that 300 people read my random thoughts.

A Post That Didn’t Get the Attention I Think it Deserved: Mornings and Chaos This was an earlier post and I thought my analogy of Belle's hair was spot on. Sad that even now, the mornings are still like this post.

Post I am Most Proud of: The Gifts of CF This one was the hardest to write and challenged me to think differently. Happy Birthday, Nico because it made me cry and several people told me it made then cry too. If I can strike an emotion in someone while I am writing, then it is a successful post.

Now I have to tag other bloggers to do their 7 links (mine ended up being a lot more. 12 links, maybe.)

Here you go: Landamongthestars
                    Normally Insane
                    Declare Order
                    Southern Fried Family
                    Raising a Princess
                    Not So Serious Wellness
                    My Front Porch Swing

Feel free to chime in either on Tidbits page on FB or twitter or as a comment on here to let me know if you'd have picked different posts. This was hard...harder than I thought it would be.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm Glowing. Can You See Me?

I'm going to make this the last "medical post" for awhile. I am starting to feel like I'm a lot older than I am with all the talk of health woes. So let's just say that after this post, things are back to normal and since I woke up after a good night's sleep, I think that is a real possibility. Yesterday, I took Gia to the doctor and she was diagnosed with bronchitis and I was sent back to the hospital for a cat scan because the doctor thought I had a blood clot that was causing me all the trouble with being short of breath, coughing and low grade fever. It sounded excessive but he asked if I ever felt pain radiating to my back when I coughed and I do and said that it was a red flag that the antibiotic isn't working so I went. They gave me an IV of radioactive something (which is why I asked the glowing thing) and now I am not supposed to hold Gia for longer than 10-15 minutes for the next 24 hours. I do not have a blood clot (Thank You, God) but I also still don't have answers for why I still feel so yucky. I know I had surgery and it has only been a week but if it was just that I was dealing with, I'd be fine. My tongue hurts only when I talk a lot or yell or eat. It's the other stuff that is wearing me down. Fighting off the fever (went a whole day without one so I think I am done with that), coughing up a lung and not being able to walk the aisles of Target or to the bus stop without feeling dizzy. Maybe I got bronchitis when I was at the hospital and gave it to Gia? After two chest x-rays, you'd think someone would tell me that. Maybe feeling sick has nothing to do with my surgery at all and is just some big coincidence. I find it hard to believe but maybe. Maybe the anesthesiologist should have given me the breathing treatment I told him I needed the last two times and I wouldn't feel so crappy right now.

Today, I have my post op appointment. I plan on hugging my surgeon, asking a few questions and closing the door to this whole nightmare, looking forward for the day when it was just a blip in the chaos.

Thanks to I.C. for the delicious dinner. It came in handy with the doctor's appts and hospital visit. Thanks to V.P. for the soup again. I don't know where you are getting them but they are gooood. Thanks to J.W. for watching Gia and Belle so I could run over to CDH and Leo could go to practice since he is going to have to miss the one on curriculum night (not doing that alone). Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the offers of help. You guys have made this week a lot less nightmarish. A HUGE thanks goes out to S.N and R.N. and C.H. and M.H. for taking Tommy to practice and bringing him home. It helps me so much! Thank you, thank you, thank you! (S.L., if you are reading this, I know you'd take him for me in a heartbeat so thank you too!)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Update on Belle and a Judgemental Cleaning Lady

I think I forgot to do this. Her wrist isn't broken. This could have gone under the same post as the one a few days ago about doctors. Urgent care said it was broken at the wrist and around the thumb. My sister took her to the orthopedic surgeon (one that has seen Nico and whose wife helped me immensely when Rocco died and whose kids have played baseball on the same team as Nico) and he said it is not broken. It's a bad sprain and the thumb is badly bruised. If it still hurts her in two weeks, I have to take her back and they'll cast it. I thought for sure I could bet my house that she was going to say it still hurt in two weeks (especially because she told me, "I think it is still going to hurt in two weeks.") but yesterday after cheerleading practice, she said it was starting to feel better and today she asked if she could not wear the brace (my answer was that she had to wear it for the two weeks). So happy that her love of cheerleading trumps her love of complaining and hypochondria.

I have a love/hate relationship with my cleaning lady. If you are a regular reader of the blog, this is not big news. I love that she comes but I hate getting ready for her and the way she makes me feel. I realized recently that the best cleaning ladies are the ones that aren't judgemental. Mine is judgemental and with the way she is cleaning the house lately, has no room to judge. I even asked for this lady because she was nicer than the last one. The last one wasn't judgemental, just not very nice. I felt like she hated us. Looking back, I think that was just her personality. This one is very sweet to Gia but over the last few weeks, it has not been good. She told me she had a friend who was very poor that was having a baby and could use some of the things Gia has outgrown (carseat, swing, clothes). I was taken aback but I hate thinking of people needing things and not being able to afford them so I gave her some stuff. Most of it was given to me and I am not really at liberty to give it away but I did come up with some stuff. Two weeks later when she came back, I gave her two outfits that still had tags on it that were the wrong season for Gia and she replied, "You have SO much stuff. SO much clothes." I explained that I didn't buy all of it and that most was given to me and she said, "Oh." I got the feeling she didn't believe me. Since then, things have gotten thrown away that shouldn't have (parts of Gia's sippy cups) even though they were put away, I haven't been able to find cleaning supplies that I knew were more than half full (I know they are here, just no idea where she puts them), the floor has been sticky and the dusting has fallen by the wayside. All of this makes me mad at myself that I wasn't motivated or better at cleaning my own house. It would save money and grief. The reality is that I LOVE having a cleaning lady and think I need a new one. Anyone have one that they can recommend?

Mini-update from yesterday: Apologies were said all around. I was clearly not in a good frame of mind with not feeling well (I realized this when I got winded shopping at Target, accidentally made the wrong Hamburger Helper, got Tommy ready for a practice he didn't have and did it all while still trying to break a fever) and told the kids I was sorry. They said they were sorry for not helping me out more and that they'd try. Notes were at the kids places at the table with what they had to do before bed. Notes were there this morning with things that had to be done before school. Pill boxes were bought and used. No one missed the bus and no one left crying. Now I am waiting for the doctor to call to let me know when I can bring Gia in because she is not any better. I would call this a successful day so far.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chaos Supersized

I wanted to name this post "Welcome to Moron Central" but thought that was too harsh. Fitting but harsh and I am including myself in it (I want to clarify that I do not call my children morons. I wanted to call this post Moron Central because it is fitting for all of us today). I am going to blame this week long lapse of capabilities on the surgery and know that by next week, I will be back to running this house as smoothly as I can. This morning this house was completely chaos supersized. I woke up feeling great. I took a Tylenol PM last night and Gia miraculously slept all night so I got a full eight hours of sleep. I just knew when I woke up that sleeping that well meant I was going to feel well for the rest of the day. That lasted until 6:20 when Nico's alarm went off and he wouldn't get up. The morning fight began. It was the same old, same old only this time he missed the bus. Yes...the second day of school...he missed the bus. That led to a fight between Leo and me on who was going to take him. I said Leo had to because I had to get the other two out the door. I want to interject here and say that I now know why people have kids close in age. You would think trying to get a 13 year old out the door with an 18mo old wouldn't be that hard but when all she is doing is wanting to be held and played with, it really is.  I think the thought of dealing with Gia (did I mention that she is a little under the weather with teething and now a cough) and trying to get Tommy and Belle out the door was daunting so he wanted to bring Nico. However, he was moving as slow as Nico who was now in a panic at the prospect of being late (really hope that is a lesson learned) so we ended up fighting because I said to forget it and I would go. He ending up going but forgot his phone and on the table next to Nico's backpack was the enzyme bottle that Nico was supposed to take. This is where I enter "Moron Central". You might read this and think, "He is 13. He should be responsible for bringing his own enzymes." Absolutely! However, for some reason, the boys' new enzymes come in huge bottle that are not at all convenient to carry or even have in their backpacks or lockers so I told Nico that I would put them in a more convenient container. It's not that big of a deal and should have only taken 30 seconds but the new bottle has to have all the information about the new enzymes with Nico's name on it (not just written but from the pharmacy) so I had to peel one off of the huge bottle. I tried yesterday but quit after being frustrated with how long it was taking me and having Gia hang on me. I had every intention of going back to it but once I took the Tylenol PM, I was done for. I completely forgot about it this morning until after Leo took him and the bottle was still there. It's only day 2 and already I am tired of the fight to go to bed, the fight to go to sleep, the fight to wake up and the fight to get out of the house. As of tonight, my kids will have lists by their breakfast places of things that have to get done before school and those pill containers for each of the boys so I know who has taken what because I'm not sure how I kept track before now but I did and now I am struggling. Luckily they are once a day pills so if they forget in the morning, I can make sure they take them when they get home. Again, really hoping it is because I just had surgery.

I want everyone to know that I have perfected making lunches with one hand or at least when one arm is holding Gia. The twins left for the bus but not without the last minute, "Oh, I forgot...I want to bring this" or "So and so told me to bring my______." The fear of them missing the bus caused a lot of yelling (not good with my tongue still in stitches and pain meds not an option). While hurrying them along, I heard a lot of noise in the kitchen. I went in and saw Leo packing his lunch. He very rarely does that so I was shocked but he loved the dinner that one of my neighbors graciously made for us last night (thanks, E.S.) and wanted to bring what was left of it to work. He looked like a busy squirrel storing food for the winter with how much focus and time he was putting into it. The kids left. He agreed to take Nico's enzymes to school. He kissed me goodbye. He kissed Gia goodbye. He was almost to the mudroom to leave when I asked him, "Are you leaving?" He answered, "Yes." I replied, "Aren't you forgetting something?" He thought for a second and I turned my head over to the lunch he painstakingly made that was about to be forgotten that was sitting on the counter. all became crystal clear at that moment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If This is a Foreshadowing of the Year...

I am in big trouble.

Leo has really stepped up this week. He went grocery shopping for me after practice, he went to work late to help me get the twins to school (I had to go to the school to turn in medical forms and was afraid to drive) and isn't going to his fantasy football draft that is out of town (this is HUGE). I'm a little afraid that means I look as bad as I feel. In any case, it means a lot that he is helping me out.

I finally felt better yesterday. I had some of my mom's soup and took the Advil (which the surgeon still doesn't want me to have) and as long as I didn't fall asleep, I felt fine. Which was hard because I was so tired. Anyway I was hopeful that things were turning around but the witching hour (Gia' dinner, bath and bed) hit and I was barely keeping it together. I just wanted to put my head on my pillow but I knew if I did, the fever would come back and it did.

Anyway, I finally fell asleep at midnight and Gia woke up at 1:00am. I caved and gave her a bottle. She went back to sleep and woke up again at 2:00, stayed up until 4:00 and then I finally put her down and let her cry. My alarm went off at 6:00 and I SHUT IT OFF!!!! I woke up in a panic at 7:05 (Nico has to be up by 6:30 to get everything done that he needs to). He was supposed to set his alarm but he set it for pm. He, of course, moved at the pace of a slug. I was dizzy from not getting much sleep but had to follow him around hurrying him to go (If my dad is reading this, sorry...I know that drives you crazy but it was the first day). He poured himself a bowl of cereal, all of his meds were set out and all he had to do was the fast treatment. He had to go to the bathroom (this is typical and one of the reasons he has to get up early) which set him back and before I knew it, he was out the door. I looked and none of his meds were taken and he didn't take the enzymes to school. Ugghhhh!!!! (I really hope my dad isn't reading this.) Now instead of going out with friends, he gets to come home and fight with me about responsibility.

Then it was time to get the twins up. Again, moving at the pace of slugs. I was still not feeling well. I got Leo up to help me, straightened Belle's hair, got Gia up and dressed and okayed Tommy's outfit. Everyone ate and we were rushing to go to a friend's house for the kids to be able to walk to school together. There was a scuffle with Belle and me about her shoes. We decided last night that she would wear her new gym shoes but this morning she changed her mind. I didn't feel like fighting that battle so she put on a pair that she wanted. Once at our friend's, Tommy joined a football game and never stopped. Grass stains and sweat and all. I was taking Belle's pictures when I finally noticed her feet. YUCK! I remembered why we decided on gym shoes. Her nails were gross. I was so embarrassed and in no way could send her to school like that. I asked my friend for nail polish remover and to her embarrassment, took it off right there (only to reveal nails that haven't been cut since she was 5).

We all walked to school and it took a lot out of me. I could tell I was fighting off another fever and just wanted to go home. All the forms were turned in, teachers were met, kids were safe in their classes and we set out back to the car that was a back at our friend's house which was about 4 blocks (I'm bad with stuff like that. Maybe it was more, maybe it was less) and a storm was rolling in. I walked faster than I should have to beat the rain, but I did it. I beat it.

You know, when you hear the word cancer, all you can think of is "I want it out." Knowing it might not have been, and looking at this recovery, maybe I should have waited (like when Gia turns 3!). There was not that option though so this is what I ended up with...a chaotic morning that I hope is not a foreshadowing of things to come.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Doctors: To Trust or Not To Trust

I ended up back in the ER last night and it was a complete waste of time. After surgery, they give you a sheet to follow. I followed it. It said to call the surgeon if your temp goes over 101. I called him. He said it was normal. He said if it keeps going up, go to the ER to have them check to make sure nothing else was going on. Last night around 6:00, my temp went up to 102. I was miserable and scared that something else was going on. My chest felt heavy and my back hurt. My head hurt and my eyes felt like they were on fire. I took meds and the fever went down to 101.7. I called two friends, one to take me (K.T.) and one (K.J.) to relieve my parents who had been over for three days straight and really needed to go home and rest themselves.

While in the ER, they took me for an x-ray before anyone even talked to me. Then I sat in the room for a half hour. A nurse came and told me to pee in a cup. I know...tmi...but it did not look normal. Finally the doctor came in and explained that sometimes when you go under general anesthesia, you can get a little atelectasis which is your lung not working to its full capacity. He said it could be that because the x-ray was clear for pneumonia. He said to fix that, I need to get up and be active. Kinda hard when you feel dizzy and mini fire bombs are going off behind your eyes. He gave me 600mg of Motrin (which my surgeon said not to take) and anit-nausea meds and left me again for about an hour. Leo came and a nurse walked in and said my urine tested positive for infection so they were going to give me new antibiotics. The fire behind the eyes came back and it felt like I was sitting on a block of ice I was so cold so I fell asleep with a cold towel on my head. The doctor went in and said, "Well, it doesn't look like you are doing so well. Your urine came back fine." Wait...the nurse said it didn't. He said he'd go check that and did I want an IV for fluids and pain meds. Let's see, I was already there for three hours. No one did anything but an x-ray and check my urine only to come back with two different answers. NOW, they wanted to do an IV??? I just wanted to go home. First I wanted him to check the results of the urine test. He said it was negative for infection but they were going to change my antibiotics anyway. I didn't even ask why. I just wanted to feel better. I left and proceeded to run a fever all night, took Advil and then sweated like I have never sweated before. I have no fever right now. My sister LeeAnna is on her way and my sister Gina is taking Belle for her cast. I can get through this week. I can. I can. I figure this, I have to start feeling better at some point. I think today is going to be that day.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

While rejoicing in the great news that I am going to be fine (one step forward), my recovery took a nosedive (one step back). I started running a fever and in general started feeling really sick. Leo called the doctor and he said it was normal after surgery. It sucked and continues to suck. I am missing the boys' games which I hate.

If you recall from the post Why I Need School to Start, Belle fell off her bike and hurt her hand/wrist. Well, after a week of complaining and me thinking she was making more out of it than it was, Leo finally took her to Urgent Care and's broken (2nd step back). So now, on top of trying to feel back to normal, school starting, and football practices, I have to find time to take her to an orthopedic doctor to get a cast on. I cannot tell you how irritated I am by the whole thing. I know that accidents happen and I know she didn't mean for it to happen but it was a stupid accident so now she is probably out for cheerleading and I just spent $125 on tumbling that she won't be able to do. She, of course, is handling it soooo well (dripping with sarcasm).

The dizzies have returned so I am going to sign off here. Tomorrow is another day and I am hoping that all I have to do is go to sleep and wake up feeling back to normal.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Last Surgery Update

The final pathology report came in and the doctor just called: BENIGN!!!!! I asked what the likelihood of it being a mistake that they said it was cancerous and he said they have to assume with what the original pathology report said, that it was cancerous but that he doesn't think it was. He said it is hard to say one way or the other and that this report came back as an ulcer that showed no sign of dysplasia or aplasia. Just when I was a about to breathe a sigh of relief, he said what all doctors who are afraid of being sued said, "Provided that we excised the correct area, which I am sure we did, we got it all." Given the amount that they took, I am confident that they couldn't have missed.

With this new news, I am thanking God and thanking all of the people that prayed. All prayers were answered! A week from now, this will be a distant memory. I will sit in the doctor's office and then close the door on this whole nightmare.

The biggest challenge with this is the same as with the biopsy. Staying ahead of the pain. It's a vicious cycle, you have to eat to take the meds but need the meds to eat. No one has to worry about me getting addicted to these meds. They make me so sick.  I am thinking by tomorrow, I can switch to Advil. I tried going without last night because I was alone and didn't want to be drugged up with the kids but I paid the price and won't do that again. Someone said, and I think it is so true, pain in the mouth hurts the whole head. Things with the tongue affect speech, chewing food and then swallowing food. It is still 100x's better than what I thought it was going to be and with the worry of the big "C" being no longer, I know the recovery will go that much faster.

Again, I need to thank my good friend Tamara (I'm sorry but after all the stuff you brought, I have to use your name) for dropping off more of my favorite soft foods. Thanks goes out to my sister Gina for coming to help me yesterday and my dad for relieving her. Thanks to Chrissy for making dinner and keeping my dad company. Then thank you to my mom and sister Nikki for coming last night to relieve my dad and Chrissy. Thanks for organizing, too! The kitchen looks great!

Today, both boys have practice and Belle is supposed to cheer. Her hand is getting worse from when she fell off her bike so Leo is going to have to bite the bullet and go get it x-rayed.  Here's hoping it is fine and that tomorrow I'll be able to see all three kids play or cheer. My mom is going to bring her delicious soup (I CAN'T WAIT!!) and watch Gia so I can go. Looking forward to getting back to normal (did I really just say that with what our normal is?).

Thank You, God for answered prayers!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Surgery Update: Updated at 8:45pm

Hello Everyone this is one of Ann Marie's sisters.  She is out of Surgery and in Recovery.  The Surgeon said everything went well.  She should be out of recovery soon and will post more details when she feels better.  Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers. 

This is me. I came home at 4:30. Of course it took longer than it was supposed to but I think it ended up being better because they could manage the pain better than I could have. I had the most wonderful nurses. They were compassionate and didn't make me feel like a big baby or stupid for the questions I was asking. I was very nervous about how I was going to eat or swallow the pills but they put my fears to rest by giving me liquid meds. I am pretty doped up right now and am having a hard time keeping my eyes open. The best news is that he said the margins were clean!! No cancer cells. He has to wait for the final pathology report but is still feeling confident that all will be good. I go back in a week.

I belong to a bible study (that I have yet to be able to get to) and they prayed with me last night. I was very nervous because I really feel there are more worthy people to be praying for but I need to thank them and praise God for answering our prayers. I feel like every single prayer that was said was answered in some form. I even accepted help when offered (thank you T.O. for dinner: it meant Leo could come straight home to relieve Rochelle (Thanks again for coming tonight!) Same with you, K.W.: it meant Leo didn't have to go to the store (Thank you!). A HUGE thanks to my dad and LeeAnna and Chrissy for coming today and watching the kids (K.T., thanks for keeping tabs on Nico and V.P., thanks for taking Belle). I know you were here a lot  longer than expected and it was a huge relief knowing you guys had it under control. I have to say that I know if my mom wasn't working

Leo has been an absolute rock during this. When I was nervous this morning, his presence, alone made me feel better. When I cried after seeing my tongue that it was deformed, he reassured me that it was not and then made a joke about kissing me that made me laugh. I worried about how I was going to deal with everything with the kids and if people weren't going to be here early and he said he is going to work late and didn't even hesitate. Little things like that mean so much to me because I don't have to worry on top of feeling crappy.

I have had a ton of offers for help, for taking my kids and for prayers and email with well wishes or just the words: thinking of you and I appreciate every single one of them. I am truly, truly blessed.

I apologize if this post is a little jumbled or all over the place. I am about to slip into a drug-induced slumber but wanted to get this out there.

Surgery Update

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Short Post: Surgery Update

I am going tomorrow at 8:30. Surgery is 10:00. I'm nervous. I know it will end up being fine but there is something about going somewhere where you know it is going to hurt. With the c-sections, I was getting a baby out of it. With the laparoscopy, I thought that would be the answer to the infertility issues. With the knee surgery, I thought it would be the end of pain. With the wisdom teeth, I didn't know any better. This...I know better. I look forward and am praying for the moment that I can type on here: IT WAS NEVER CANCER!!! Will they ever tell me that? I don't know but the minute they tell me that I can shut this door, that is what I am going to type. It was a jaw dropping, tear-inducing, panic-striking moment but after talking with the doctor, it is not the same thing as what some of my friends who ARE battling cancer or have battled cancer is. The hope and the prayer is that a week from tomorrow, I can close this chapter. I am nervous about tomorrow because surgery scares me.  I will pray for strength (and a lot of good pain meds) and know that pretty soon this will be over. If you could still send a prayer that everything goes smoothly, I'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Reasons for Why I Need School to Start Immediately

It goes without saying, though I have to say it or I'll feel guilty, I love my kids. There is a certain amount of joy in the freedom that comes with summer. Though the ideal is far from my reality. There used to be a time when summer meant lazy days or days spent by the pool. This summer, we have been to the pool maybe 5 times, not including our vacation. Here are the reasons I need school to start:

1. I am tired of shelling out money all day long. Though they find ways to earn it, I feel like this was the summer, I bled money.

2. I am tired of the kitchen being open all day long. I am shocked by the amount of food that five teenage boys can eat in a two hour period of time.

3. I am tired of my days starting at 7:00am with Gia and then just when she is getting ready to go down for a nap at 11:00, the other three get out of bed ready for their day to start.

4. I am ready for the mornings to start with showers, breakfast and treatments instead of TV, TV, "Can I call someone?"

5. I'm tired of hearing, "Whoops! I forgot to eat breakfast" or "Whoops! I forgot to eat lunch."

6. I can't wait for Gia's nap to mean the house will be silent for about 2 hours.

7. I am tired of saying, "Ssh! Gia is sleeping."

8. I can't wait for the kids' social lives to take a backseat to school, football and cheerleading.

9. It will be nice not to communicate with Nico by texts every hour asking him, "Where are you now? What are you doing?"

10. The house can close up by 9:00pm.

11. Children will all be in bed by 10:00.

12. No more fighting all day long.

13. Summer has sucked the brains right out of my kids. Quick example: The twins were begging to go outside. I told them after lunch they could. They wanted to ride bikes. They were out a half hour when Tommy and Belle went rushing into the bathroom. I was trying to put Gia down for a nap. I went to see what happened and Tommy got hurt riding his bike down a big hill. He kept saying, "I'm fine, Mom. I'm fine." He washed his knee, hand and arm, put a band-aid on the scrapes and off they went. Ten minutes later, Belle runs into the house holding her hand. I ask what is wrong and she says, "I'm sorry. I hurt myself really bad. I went down the hill Tommy did and fell. I'm sorry. You are going to be mad." She was very right. What part of their little brains thought it was a good idea to go down the hill that Tommy just fell down? Was she as calm as Tommy was when he fell? No she was not? Did the hysterics keep going all the way until we left for cheerleading? Yes, they did. This is why my children don't go outside. Bad things happen. They fall in window wells, hit the metal part of trampolines and then go down hills where kids have already fallen down. I need them to go back to school so I have proof that they are indeed smart.

14. I am SO tired of hearing these questions: "Can I have someone over?" "I'm bored." "Can we go to Dairy Queen?" "Can I go to Target with you ?" "Can we have a sleepover?"

15. The biggest reason I can't wait for school to start is: NO MORE SLEEPOVERS!!!!!!!

Honeymoon in Hawaii: Part 3: The Big Island

After a short flight with more passion fruit juice to drink than it took to fly, we went to the Big Island. I don't even remember much about it other than the pool did not have a bar. I do remember wanting to go home. I couldn't wait to be married to Leo. I know I already was and I LOVED hearing him call me his wife but I wanted to get home to our new house. I couldn't wait to live with him. It's funny because I actually remember being sick of Hawaii and sick of being away. I just wanted to get home to the day to day life of a married couple. Okay, I will interject here and say if present me could have written a letter to past me, I would have said, "WHAT????? Get back to the day to day life? Woman, enjoy your vacation in paradise because the day to day stuff is not that hot!" Anyway, one of the days that we were there, we did some hiking. While we were hiking we took some video of guess what?? Waterfalls and sunsets and the ocean. We did some shopping where Leo informed me that he wanted to buy his family (his mom, his aunt and maybe a friend or two) something. I said that was a great idea and that I wanted to buy stuff for my family. Leo explained how that was going to get expensive with how big my family was. I said, fine. We shouldn't buy for either families. He still wanted to buy for his. I said I still wanted to buy for mine. It was not fair to my family that his family was so small. Why should they be punished for being big? Third married fight (we ended up buying for everyone and that was the last time we did that).

The reason my honeymoon is one of my biggest regrets is that I didn't really enjoy Hawaii like I should have. I was happy, unbelievably happy but the happiness for Hawaii was overshadowed by the happiness of being married. We talked about how we would go back for our five year anniversary and how we'd have kids but we'd have no problem finding someone to watch them. So many dreams were talked about on that honeymoon. So much promise. The reality was that on our five year anniversary, I was pregnant with twins so flying to Hawaii was a no no. A month later we found out Nico had CF. Hawaii has now become a memory and a jug of change in our closet that we are all hoping once filled, will go toward getting back there. The second regret was when we sat down to relive all the fun we had on our honeymoon by watching the video, we found that the Maui video was lots of waterfalls and Leo taking video of the sunrise saying, "Check out that view." Then me taking video, not knowing Leo had just taken video, of the sunrise saying, "Look how pretty the view is." That happened five of the seven days we were in Maui. On the fifth day I said, "Here is the view. This is what I got instead of drinks by the pool." In Kauai, the video was of the sky. That's it. Trying to find the God-forsaken golf ball after he hit it. Kauai had a pretty sky but I was hoping for more to the video. The Big Island was filled with more waterfalls, sunsets and the ocean. Not a very exciting video. Even now, when I hear the song "Killing Me Softly", see a waterfall or a sunrise, I cringe a little but smile a little. That jug is half full so maybe before Nico graduates from high school, it will happen. If we ever get there, I swear, I will savor every moment of being in paradise. I know it is crazy but I want to go with the whole family. Crazy, right?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Honeymoon in Hawaii: Part 2 Kauai

This was my favorite part of the honeymoon. It was beautiful and relaxing. It had a very laid back atmosphere. It was also my favorite because we were staying at a place that had a bar by the pool. There were two things that happened in Kauai that stand out in my memory. The first was golfing. I don't golf but Leo does or at least he did. Rather than sit at the pool the whole day by myself (which is funny because I'd kill to do that now), I went with him and sat in the cart, in hopes of driving the cart. Leo talked me into it by saying the scenery was going to be beautiful and I could write in my book. He was right and I wish I would  have taken more advantage of the whole thing and written more about the scenery. We were paired up with another golfer named Herb. He looked a little like Mr. Spacely from the Jetsons. He was a very nice guy but if I remember correctly, he liked to talk (not something good when you are trying to golf or write) and didn't mind even talking to himself. While golfing, Leo kept wanting me to take the camera out and shoot video of him golfing. I'd take it out, point the video at him swing and then try and find the minuscule image of the golf ball in the air. Leo would then say, "Did you get it?" After the fifteenth time, and never once seeing the ball in the air, I told him I wasn't doing it anymore. Around that same time (and I did drive the cart a few times), we were going through an especially hilly area and driving the cart was getting harder (I let Leo do that part). Leo asked Herb if he was okay because his cart sputtered a little bit or he took a turn too sharply or something that made Leo say, "How's it going over there?" Herb replied, "Uh...I'm fine. I am pretty good at driving these carts. I golf a lot and one thing I am good at is driving these carts." We were behind him and Leo was still on the green and Herb was going ahead. Right at that moment, if you can imagine the cart going off the trail and falling off the side of the hill, then you can see what happened to Herb's cart. It was a little like boop, boop, boop, crash. It wasn't a big hill but once he went over, I couldn't see him anymore. Leo came running and being the humanitarian that he is, before going to help Herb, he stopped by our cart and said, "Please tell me you got that on video!" I didn't. Herb was fine but a lot of people had to come and rescue the cart.

The next memory I have of Kauai was the night there was a storm. We were in bed sleeping when all of a sudden we heard a huge crash. I freaked and told Leo to go see what it was. He, of course, would not move. I thought it was someone breaking in. You hear, all the time, about people breaking into hotel rooms. He said because we were on the third floor, it was no one breaking in. I was too afraid to go and look myself so stayed in bed scared. I tried a few more times to no avail. The next morning, I woke up covered in mosquito bites. We walked into the other room and the screen door that I didn't realize Leo left open to have the breeze come in blew off. He, on the other hand, did not have one single bite! Second married fight.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Great Day and Twitter

Honeymoon part 2 will be tomorrow.

Yesterday I had my sister's 40th birthday party. I'll tell you this, my sister really knows how to have a birthday! She has a pool so she had a poolside bar, manicure/pedicure station, massage station and facial station. It was just for the women and it was like a little slice of Heaven. I had Tommy's game before and couldn't contain my excitement at the prospect of a responsibility free (read: kid free) day. Tommy did great and I am so happy that I got to see him but when it was over, I practically skipped to the parking lot. Gia, being uncooperative at the game helped me not to feel bad either. I stopped at Target for a hot chocolate and to buy some new shoes and even shopping felt more free. I found a great deal: shoes that made me 5 inches taller that were $6! One thing every Cameron girl wants besides being the skinniest one is to be the tallest one.

I arrived giddy in anticipation for drinks poolside and a massage. Another thing I will say about my sister is that she is a very good judge of character and all of her friends were very easy to be with and a lot of fun. There was never any segregation between our family and her friends and it made for a lot more laughs. I got to know a bunch of wonderful women that I will look forward to spending time with again at some point. It is always so nice and so rare to get to hang out with my mom and my sisters without our kids around. They demand so much attention from all of us that it was nice having conversations that were uninterrupted. My sisters are 4 of the funniest people I know and I always know I will be busting a gut when I am with them. It started to rain so the party was  moved inside her house. It didn't put a damper on the mood at all. I got my massage and I swear, Leo and I are going to budget in a massage for me twice a month instead of once a year. It was unbelievably relaxing. A friend of mine who does massages once said, "Massage should be a necessity, not a luxury" and he was right! I got my first facial and was told my face glowed from it so maybe I'll have to work that into the budget, too. I ended up talking to one of my sister's friends who I now consider one of my friends and she had some really good ideas for getting my blog out to more people (more on that in a minute). I told her she could be my manager because I am not good at that stuff. Anyway, the second part of the party was at night at a bar in St. Charles. It was called The Office and we had the whole upstairs. So fun!

There is this thing that happens that is corny and sappy but I still look forward to it whenever Leo and I have to meet somewhere instead of go together. I was in the middle of  a great conversation with one of the guys that was there. A bunch of the husbands were trickling in and each time, there was the hope that it was Leo. Finally he walked in and yep...sappy and corny but I don't care, my heart skipped a beat. After 22 years, I still look for those little moments when your heart skips a beat or your stomach flips or has butterflies in it and I love when it happens. Let's face it, with four kids and the chaos that is ours, I'll take the moments where I can. Anyway, one of my friends that I don't get to see very often came with a very enjoyable friend of hers and it was wonderful just being together. Life gets crazy and phone calls are nice but there is nothing like being together, talking, laughing and hugging. I had a blast with her but then, I always do. I got to catch up with my cousins who again, I don't get to very often and that was fun. It is always fun to laugh until your stomach hurts.

Let me preface this next part by saying I was talked into joining Twitter. Two of my friends thought it would be a great way to get my blog out there and that is what I want. I want it to reach more readers. I want it to lead to a paying writing job but until then, more readers would be nice. So, against all that I feel good about, I join. Immediately, I feel inept. I don't know what the Hell I am doing. I do the profile, I put up a picture, I "tweet" the blog. I start following people I know are on there. Then I see it...the followers. I had 1. Then I had 2. Then I got excited because someone was following me that I wasn't sure who they were. I had 3. Three is a sad number. Am I the only one that feels like Twitter sounds bad? That tweeting sounds icky? "Are you on Twitter?" "Are you tweeting?" "What did you tweet?" I mean, it just sounds...I don't I alone in this?

So I am at the party and I checked my email and squeal with delight that I have three more followers!!!! I don't even know them!! They saw my blog or profile and decided to follow me!!! I was so excited and thought it would work. While being excited, my friend (the one that is my sister's but I now consider mine too) asked if I had a website or page for my blog. I do not. We brainstormed some ideas and then started talking about having a Facebook page for the blog, I didn't get it because I already post it as my status but then she explained about the "like" button and it made so much sense. Why is it easier for other people to see ways for me to get more "out there" but I can't see it myself? Anyway, that is what I am going to do at some point today. If for nothing else, it will be a distraction for the surgery on Thursday.

Anyway, I got home last night and was so excited by my new followers that I logged on and guess what I found? My three followers (or at least two of them, the third has never tweeted, has no profile but has a ton of followers) were dirty, disgusting, x-rated posters. WHAT??!! Yuck! It was porn. Nice. I am a "mommy blog" and there are porn followers that were obviously spam or something that wasn't good. I blocked them and felt like I needed a shower. wonder I think Twitter sounds dirty. All I could think of was, "HA! I knew Twitter sounded dirty." I give it a week and if there aren't more "normal" followers, I'm done. And please tell me, what part of "queenofchaosmom" sounds like porn?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Honeymoon in Hawaii: Part 1 Maui

When I think of regrets I have in life, my honeymoon is definitely one of them. Since Leo is better at planning trips, I let him plan the whole thing. I like to be surprised so very naively, thought he'd know exactly what I wanted. We 6went to Hawaii. We were going for 16 days and hitting 3 islands. It sounded magical and adventurous and I couldn't wait. If you have read previous posts, you know that I couldn't wait to get married. I waited 6 long years to hear the words, "Will you marry me?" I didn't just want to get married. I wanted to BE married. I couldn't wait to start our life together.  It started out stressful because Leo was famous for either waiting until the last minute to book seats or being late checking in so our seats were not together for the 8 hour flight. I was a big baby about the whole thing. He thought it wouldn't be a big deal to ask someone to switch but the whole flight was filled with honeymooners. Luckily the guy sitting next to me was understanding and didn't really want to sit next to a weepy new bride so he switched. He ended up switching several times to accommodate other couples and ended up drinking for free the whole flight (apparently Leo isn't the only one that is late doing things).

We arrived in Maui first. It was as beautiful as expected. We were staying at a condo called Maui Sunset right off the beach. The view was gorgeous. When I vacation, and you'd think after 7 years, Leo would have known this, I like to stay at a place that has a restaurant on site and a bar at the pool with waitresses coming around with drinks. Big, frozen, alcoholic drinks. Our place had free pineapples. We were still on Chicago time so it was easy to wake up and watch the sunrise. I made sure I woke up a few times to video it with our new video camera. Everyone that went to Hawaii before us told us we had to do the "Road to Hana". I think they told us this so that they weren't the only ones that had wasted a day in Hawaii doing it. Somewhere along the lines, I either scratched my cornea with my big, freaking fake nails that I HAD to have (another thing other brides before me insisted know for pictures because every photographer takes one of both your hands with your new rings and you can't have stumpy nails) or caught pink eye from the airplane pillow. My eye hurt, was red and felt like something was in it. So my darling new husband thought it would be a good idea to drive in a convertible for 6 hours on winding roads that can't fit two cars at a time. Not only that but he stopped at every single tourist point for a picture. I'll tell you, when you see a waterfall for the first time, it is gorgeous and magical and capturing it on film is a good idea. After the 15th one, you just want to get to Hana and get back home by the pool. I am not kidding, we have about 15 pictures of waterfalls. The funniest part of the whole road trip was when, for the 15th time, we pulled over when the car in front of us pulled over and we got out and Leo grabbed my hand to follow the guy to the photo opportunity which I was sure was another waterfall. We are following him into this wooded area that didn't look like anything I wanted a picture of but Leo insisted there must have been something that this guy was going to look at. The guy turned around and said, "Dude, what are you doing? I'm going to take a leak." Leo still hasn't lived that one down. We got in out car and only stopped to eat and call my insurance to see if I was covered to go to an urgent care for my eye because the only thing worse than that ride to Hell would be going blind doing it. I kept telling Leo that the theme song for our honeymoon at that point was "Killing Me Softly" by the Fugees. We got to Hana and Leo insisted we drive the extra hour to the 7 pools. We did and guess what was there....more waterfalls. The next day we got medicine for my eye and decided to explore Maui. We went to the other side and there were gorgeous hotels. We went into one and it was a dream come true! My fantasy vacation with restaurants and shops and drinks by the pool! I looked at Leo and said, "Next time we come here, we HAVE to stay here! This is awesome!" He, not even giving it a second thought (which he should have) said, "That's funny because we had reservations here. I got rid of them and got our place." WHAT?! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?? First married fight.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A New Torture For Parents

I have an annual lunch date with my guy best friend that I have been friends with since 8th grade. We always go in August but with all the stuff happening (and I didn't tell him because of the same reason I wrote about before. How do you put that in an email? If it is my kids, I have no problem sending out an email asking for prayers but I just feel icky sending out an email about this.) it was coming down to the wire. Long story short, we ended up going yesterday with our kids. He has an adorable daughter that is the same age as the twins. Isabella was excited about meeting his daughter. I think she thought they'd be fast friends. Tommy...not so much. He wanted to stay with Nico but these days, Nico wanders from place to place and I didn't feel right about leaving him. He complained the whole time in the car and after several warnings of, "You better be good" and "Don't embarrass me", I told them that we'd go buy shoes after (I'm sure you have an idea of where this is going).

Gia morphs into a monster at restaurants. She is as cute as a button and I love her but once past the initial excitement of being at a restaurant, something evil takes over. We walked into Red Robin and immediately, she squealed with delight over the carnival rides used as statues. She sat and colored for 30 seconds. She ate a few snacks and then was done. DONE! We hadn't even been brought our drinks. She entertained us with eating a lemon and then Tommy took her to walk around which normally, I am totally against but it was empty. Tommy started right away with wanting money for the game room. Gia had no interest in the food, dumbed a bag of chips all over and screamed until Belle agreed to walk outside with her. As predicted, my friend's daughter behaved so well that I forgot she was even there. Isabella would have been a close second but she and Tommy could not stop fighting: "your fry is in my ranch sauce, stop putting my apples in your teriyaki sauce." I think my friend and I talked for a total of ten minutes. It was great to see him and I enjoyed those ten minutes but next time, I am getting a babysitter for my kids. In the car after it was over, Isabella said she was said she didn't get to talk more with my friend's daughter. She said she really liked her.

I had to pick up a new gym uniform for Nico that you can only get at one store which happened to be across from Red Robin and next to Famous Footwear. Here is where the new torture comes in: buying new shoes for school. I said parents because I did see one dad doing it but it was mostly moms that looked like they should serve wine at shoe stores. It was a flipping nightmare! Gia was running all over the place. Tommy was insisting that he was a size that there was no way he was and Belle crying because I wouldn't buy her $80 gym shoes. While showing Belle the shoes she was allowed to get, I heard several people say, "What is that smell?" I looked and every one of them said it after Gia walked by them. the one store that has nowhere to change her, my adorable little munchkin smelled like a garbage dump. After an hour of figuring out sizes and styles, dealing with the drama that is Belle and chasing Gia around, we finally bought shoes. Expensive shoes. After yesterday, Gia isn't going to be allowed in public until she is two.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Food, Exterminators and Eye Candy

I wish I ate like a normal person. A normal person has a few favorite things to eat and has them on occasion. In the meantime, they eat other "normal" meals (a protein, some fruit, some veggies, some starchy food). I get fixated on foods and have to have them (chocolate and strawberries) and they just happen to be foods that are hard to find or have just been discontinued (Clearly Canadian). A friend of mine brought me over these Edy's Shakes thingies. They are individual sized, 1/2 fat, 1/3 of the calories, just add milk to it and you get a shake and the Cookies and Cream one is my new obsession. Of course I went to the store where my friend bought them and they were sold out. I went today and they had 8 left and I bought all 8 of them. Stocked up before next Thursday. If you like Cookies and Cream ice cream, I highly recommend these.

My children are no longer allowed to watch Billy the Exterminator. I don't know if you have ever seen this show and I am not sure why we watched a marathon but it was the only show that we all could agree on. It is a show about Billy catching animals that have invaded homes. I knew, like I knew that after watching the episode on bed bugs, Belle was going to think she had them in her room. Just like when we watched Mystery Diagnosis and suddenly she had the ailment they found. Tommy couldn't fall asleep because he swore there were spiders in his room. What episode did Tommy see? That's right...the one with spiders. Sure enough, around 2 am, Belle made an appearance at the head of my bed. She couldn't sleep because she was sure there were bugs in her bed. (I checked and there are none.) In my bed, I had a head in my back for about 4 hours. Not fun.

Is it wrong that I want to get a sitter and take the boys to see the new Conan movie? I was told by a friend that it is. :) I can think of worse ways to spend two hours than looking at a hot guy running around shirtless. Speaking of hot guys, my boys came home all excited from seeing the new Planet of the Apes movie. They were dying to tell me something. Was it about the movie? Noooo. It was that they saw a preview for an upcoming movie starring....Taylor Kitsch (they said Tim Riggins which I think is funny). Tommy's exact words were, "Mom, you are going to be so excited. Tim Riggins is in a new movie. He's a warrior or something. It looked pretty good. Can I see it with you?" Of course because it would be weird for a 41 year old woman to go see it alone. Nico added, "Yeah, I think it was some love story but it still looked pretty good." So, like a true fan, I YouTubed it and came up with two trailers for two new movies that he is starring in and for your I'm adding the links: (and for the record, I don't care if either of them end up bad movies. Not a lot of guys can pull off being hot with long AND short hair and he does.):

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Small Rant

This is a small rant in light of other things going on but it was the last straw of annoyances in the last few weeks.

Isabella is a cheerleader. She loves it. Love, love, loves it. She can't get enough. The cheerleading season is from July until well, it depends. Last year it went until December. She loves her squad and has made many friends. Part of cheerleading is tumbing. Again, she loves this part. There are really only two choices of where to take her to learn the cheer tumbling or cheernastics. One is expensive and really a gymnastics facility with cheer tumbling classes and no one that she knows goes there. The other is strictly cheerleading, expensive and everyone she knows goes there. She is learning a lot and if she wants to continue to cheer, these are the things she needs to learn to do. From fall until spring, she takes a class that meets once a week. In the summer they offer a flex pass so you can drop off your daughter whenever you want. To get your money's worth, it adds up to going once or twice a week. In theory, this sounds great but this summer, it was anything but great for us. Last year I always took Belle there for one or two hours on Fridays. So, after our vacation and a bout of several illnesses in the house, I took her there on a Friday. I was met with the head of the place (he is a very nice guy who I think bit off more than he could chew and this is not a rant against him) who informed me that they were closed on Fridays this summer. I was extremely bummed and he replied, "Well, the numbers from last summer showed a low number of kids who came on Fridays so we decided not to open on Fridays this summer. I thought we were pretty clear about this and even sent home a flier." I couldn't help myself and said, I have 4 kids, three of which are involved in a million things and a toddler. I didn't even know a flier came home." I didn't add that the reason I took her on Fridays is BECAUSE the numbers were low. It was never crowded!! This is the last week to use flex pass hours and they are open from 1:00-7:00. My good friend brought a group of girls on Monday at 1:00 and was met with, "It's really crowded. Can you come back at 3:00?" She had half her neighborhood in her car and what is the point of a flex pass if you can't go when you want? I can't take her at 1:00 because that is when Gia is napping and Nico is rarely home in the afternoons (since he doesn't wake up until 11:00 most mornings) to watch her. Yesterday, the only time I could get her there was at 4 and I was going to have her stay until 6. I schlepped Belle and Gia over there, got Gia out of the car to find out how many hours Belle still has, only to find out they are closed from 4-5. It was totally my fault for not looking at the damn sheet that came home but since it is the last week we can use our hours, you'd think that they would open it from 4-5. I have a feeling that there is a lot of money to be made at this gym because like every other sport, you are told your kids HAVE to know how to do this, this and this. As parents, we panic and start looking for programs to help our kids improve in what they love to do. If she wants to be a cheerleader, she has to know how to do flips. I can't teach her that. I'm glad there is a facility around to help and Belle has really learned a lot. I just wish that they would go back to classes in the summer so that you don't have to worry about crowded gyms, gym closings or paying money for gym time not used. Again, I take full blame for not being on the ball and having other obstacles in the way of getting her there often. Just wish flex pass meant flexibile.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Still Floating on the Relief Cloud

Before the reality and fear seep in at having to have surgery, I am going to ride this relief cloud for a little longer. I slept like a baby last night for the first time since I found out I had to have a biopsy in the first place. I ate a half a pan of brownies and didn't feel one ounce of guilt. The unbelievable lightness of how I felt after that doctor's appointment is still with me. I don't know if I mentioned this in the other post, but I hugged the doctor. He laughed but I don't care. I was so happy that it sounded even less scary than what the oral surgeon said, I had to hug him (I already admitted to being a hugger). What I didn't mention was how I completely had a freak out moment right after I met him. He walked into the room and said, "So why are you here?" So apparently he didn't see the neon sign I felt like was on my forehead flashing, "CANCER! CANCER!" I said he should have seen the pathology report. He said he didn't but that didn't mean it wasn't there so why didn't I just explain it to him. I did and he looked at my tongue. He said, "Hmmmm....there is a white margin here. Did you notice that?" I panicked but remembered, "I just brushed my teeth and sucked on a piece of gum." He laughed and said that was probably it. Then he said words that struck fear, "It's odd that they said basal cell. I have never seen basal cell on the tongue. Let me check the pathology report." I almost lost it while barking at Leo that I knew it! I heard wrong and it was going to be worse than what I thought! What if it is basal and he has NEVER seen it! I was just about to lose it altogether when he came in and said, "It's not basal. It is *******(can't remember) carcinoma which is code for abnormal cells that could be cancer but they're not sure so they have to say cancer." I asked why they couldn't come up with a better name for it.

I got the call this morning. My surgery is next Thursday, August 18th. I am so relieved it won't interfere with Nico's registration.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Update on Appointment

All the praying worked! This doctor, who I loved, said almost the same thing as the oral surgeon. The only difference was that it is not basal cell. It is a carcinoma but he said they can't say for sure that it is cancer. I understood him (and so did Leo) that it was funky cells that could turn into something more serious (along the same lines as precancerous) so it has to come out. I have to have a more extensive surgery (that only means that I will be asleep, thank God) where they take a significant piece to make sure they get it all. He said it won't affect speech or eating after recovery which should be about a week. He said that he would be extremely surprised if it turned out to be cancer because I have no risk factors. He gave me a worst case scenario but said he is pretty confident that won't be the case (it involved another surgery but at Loyola). I find out tomorrow when the surgery will be and I NEVER thought I'd be this excited or this relieved to find out I have to have surgery but he said after that, I'D BE DONE!! Yes, it will suck because it will be the biopsy times two but it could have been so much worse so it is hard for me to even complain about it.

He also said, this had nothing to do with anything I ate! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the prayers. If you could just keep saying them until it is completely over, I would really appreciate it!

E.S. thanks for the chocolate pudding and strawberries. It tastes just like the real thing! V.P, thanks for the soup (it's my favorite kind) and T.J., thanks for saving me a trip!

Super Short Post

I'll do the regular post today after I get back from the doctor. Praying that he says the most that has to be done is another surgery to make sure it is out and then I can put this "brush with cancer" (looking forward to being able to say that) behind me. Hoping he says it wasn't anything I ate so I don't spend the rest of my life obsessing about what food to put in my mouth.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Random Thoughts

Since that is all I can put together these days. I want to thank the anonymous person that dropped off some things for me yesterday. I am guessing it is someone Greek because it was Greek Style Chicken Soup. I can only think of three people that are Greek that might have done it: VP, CC or JP, if it is any of you, thank you. If not, please let me know if you are the one so I can thank you.

I didn't realize that I hadn't gone out in public since I found out. I had to yesterday. I had to take Tommy to practice and stay for a parent meeting. I had told one of my friends who was there but there were three others on that team that I hadn't told or didn't know if they knew. I give people who can keep this stuff to themselves a lot of credit. The whole time the coach was talking and then when my friend that didn't know was talking, I kept feeling like I had a neon sign on my head. I needed to tell her because I might need help in the near future with getting Tommy to practices. It's a lot easier telling people on here than it is in an email or in person. I'm fine and there is a good chance that this will all be over and done with soon but you hear that word. The "C" word and it conjures up bad thoughts. So I can see it in people's faces. It's jarring to hear. I was telling her and I kept saying "I'm fine. I'm fine" but the more I said it, I could feel tears welling up and I knew I was going to lose it. Just then two other moms from the football team came up and introduced themselves. I hope that I composed myself to where I didn't look like I was about to cry. I don't want that to be their first impression of me. I excused myself and then bolted for my car. I didn't even hear my one friend who already knew calling my name. I knew I was going to lose it and wanted to be in my car when I did. She caught up to me and we both had a good cry. It just feels so surreal. It feels like I am talking about someone else.

As far as emailing, it is the same thing. It just feels unbelievable and a little full of myself. There are friends that I want to know. Friends that have helped me through some of the worst times in my life and I want to email them because they were such a source of strength but what do I say? "Hi, I haven't talked to you in over 6 months. I have cancer." (God that makes me want to vomit. Oh, wait...I forgot...I don't have it anymore. They cut it out.) Everyone has crap going on in their life...they don't need mine on top of it.

I tried getting out with friends yesterday and I completely appreciated it (love the lemon bars and if I could drink, the daiquiri in a pouch would have worked) but I was so completely distracted that I know I was a buzz kill. We talked a little bit about it and I started to cry (I am so tired of being the crier). I love my friends so much and it felt good talking about it. We started talking about all the stuff we normally talk about and I just could not focus. Along that line, writing my book (the romance one that I can't decide if it is young adult or adult) is something that normally brings me so much joy but I can't do it. I hate that I can't do it. I am stuck. I can't get to the place where I care that the main character is caught in a love triangle.

I always thought if something like this happened, I would do things differently. I'd be nicer to my kids, I'd contact people I haven't talked to in awhile, and I'd make more of an effort to publish a book. I know I am not dying. These are just thoughts I had whenever the "C" word came up. You know, when you hear someone has it and you instinctively think, What if it was me? The funny thing is I am not doing any of those things. All I want to do is sleep and wake up when it is over.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

An Old Obsession to Distract From the New One

My head is still spinning and I think I am still numb. I only cried once yesterday and it was with Leo, who has risen to the occasion and been my rock. Whoever said the waiting would be the worst part was right. The more you wait, the more your mind plays tricks on you. Did the doctor really say that? Is it as uncomplicated as he said? What if he is wrong and it is worse? What if the new doctor doesn't have the same plan that the oral surgeon had because I liked his plan: cut it out and you are done. Leo probably said the one thing that brought me enough comfort that allowed me to sleep last night. I cried that I hated the word and that I didn't want to have it. He said, "You don't  have it. They cut it out already. They are just doing the next surgery as a precaution (or something like that)." I like that and I am going to think of myself as not having it anymore. He then followed it up with, "Maybe it was all those strawberries you ate when you were on that kick." This upset me enough to google it and every article said strawberries fight against cancer. I felt better until I came across one that said that California approved a pesticide to use on strawberries that they knew caused cancer. This made me think, did I bring this on myself?

So in all of this, I kept thinking that the silver lining is that not being able to eat since Tuesday afternoon, I was going to for sure lose weight. I realize that I am a little obsessed and with everything going on, I can see it getting bad because it provides a distraction. So I stepped on the scale almost giddy and really wanting to feel some sort of happiness and...NOTHING!!!! Not even an ounce lost! I mean...what is that? Talk about adding insult to injury! I was told to throw my scale out the window but if I do that, I'll obsess about more serious things. For now, I'll just kick it when the number doesn't go down.

I want to thank all that emailed me or texted me and offered their support and help. T.O., thanks for ALL the food you brought. Every food that someone that can't chew can eat. The Edy's shake things are sooooo good (probably why the scale hasn't moved but it is low fat!) and the soup was a welcome change. J.D. thanks for the prayers and the smoothie. I need to mention a thanks to K.B. for bringing me chocolate not knowing what was going on and letting me pour out the story to you on my porch. Thanks to K.J., K.T. and J.B. for coming over right after I texted you and watching me cry hysterically on the phone with the doctors. Thanks to D.W. for letting me vent and making me laugh over the IM in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep. Most of all, thanks to my family: my mom and dad, four sisters(and their husbands) and BFF, R.C. for coming over with dinner, feeding my kids and telling me it was going to be okay. I know I am going to need your help and I know that you won't blink an eye to do it (though I still hate asking). R.C., thanks for going to Ruby Tuesday's and picking up food. Wish I could have eaten the tilapia but the mashed cauliflower was delicious! G, thanks for taking the twins overnight and all day yesterday. It was nice not having to deal with the "who can I calls".

Whether you emailed me, reached out through FB, texted me, called me, came over or offered a silent prayer, you are proof that I have a great family and great friends. THANK YOU!

Friday, August 5, 2011

So Predictable

My life is starting to play like a bad Lifetime movie. I am not going to be all dramatic about this or make it sound bigger than it is but I got the results back and it is cancer. Basal carcinoma that is localized. Apparently if you are going to have cancer, that is the one to have. I wish this comforted me but it doesn't. The surgeon said that they took it out when they did the biopsy but they have to go back and take the surroundings to make sure it didn't spread. If it didn't, once it is out, that is it. At least this is what I think he said. After he said the word cancer, the room started spinning. I know this could be much worse. I know I am going to be fine. I am not going to be dramatic or emotional about this. I just want it out. I called the ENT guy they referred me to and he is on vacation (of course he is). The earliest I can be seen is August 16th. I asked to see someone else and they said the earliest I can see him is August 18th. Are you freaking kidding me??? So you call me and tell me I have cancer but that the prognosis is good once they go in and check the surroundings but are making me wait 2 weeks to get it out?? Something sounds so very wrong about that. I am waiting until they call me after they send the pathology report to the doctor's physician's assistant. Maybe he'll say I have to go in sooner.

I know I am not going to die from this but I don't want to have more surgery and maybe in the face of other cancers that need a lot more, that is selfish. I hate having to depend on anyone and  it seems like I always have to. I am so unbelievably tired of being this person. I am tired of being the person on the other end of the phone crying about something else that has gone wrong. Tired of being the Debbie Downer. I will think positive, I will take something from this, blah, blah, blah...but for right now...for today, I am mad. I am in shock that this much crap can actually happen to one family. I will only take comfort in that it is me and not my kids or Leo (remember the nurse post?). I hate going to the doctor for check ups so the fact that my world for a little while (hopefully) is going to revolve around doctors appointments sucks. I know that if I hear one more doctor spout out a bunch of percentages, I will punch him (or at least want to). What are the percentages of winning the lottery or publishing a book? Why can't I be in those groups?

I told my kids. I didn't want them to hear it from someone else. Nico was very matter of fact and asked if when I have the next surgery, will they get it all out. I said yes and he went on his merry way. I told Tommy and Belle thinking they'd be the same way. Nope. As soon as I said the word cancer, Tommy started crying and asked if I was going to die like a friend of ours did (E.H. if you are reading this, J touched more people than you think. Even Tommy misses him.). I told him no, that is was different. Belle was fine until she saw Tommy cry and then she tried very hard to make herself cry which I know shouldn't be funny but it still made me laugh. I forget that Tommy has an old soul and feels things a little deeper. They were both fine after I explained it to them and once they found out that they were sleeping at my sister's, they forgot all about it.

I wondered if I should blog about this. It feels good to write it down and forces me to not be so dramatic about it because I don't want to be that person. I want people to hear about it from me so they get what is really going on and not the tragic version and this seemed like the easiest way to do it. I thought about keeping this a draft but then I wouldn't be able to write anything else. Seeing people out and about with all the petty stuff that goes on and how it would look like I cared about all of it would be a lie. For now, all I can think about is wanting it out and done and over with. I never was a good liar. Maybe writing about it will force me to find humor in it or at the very least not feel sorry for myself. Maybe I'll regret posting this because everyone that reads it will know but maybe it will make people that hear less afraid to talk to me because when we find out stuff like this, what is the first thing we think? What should I do? I am telling should act like you always do with me. If you want to email me, email me. If you want to text me, text me. If I haven't talked to you in awhile, and you feel like it, do. Nothing like something like this to rekindle a friendship. Just don't call me because I still can't talk. If you see me out in public and you want to hug me, hug me (I'm a big hugger). The worst thing that will happen is that I'll cry and so what? The whole world has seen me cry.

I named this "So Predictable" because if this is truly the story of my life, how predictable that there is a freaking chapter on cancer?? How predictable that they tell me I have no risk factors at all and that there is a very small chance and then I have it?? Should I mention the odds of marrying another carrier of CF?

On a serious note, yes, I am mad at God. Maybe I am a bad Christian because I question His hearing right now. Maybe I am bad because I question Him at all and this enough for me to say, "I'm done." I'm not going to say that though and even in light of this, my faith is still strong. I can't look at Gia or how well the boys are doing and not see His good work. His miracles. Maybe He is answering a prayer that I shouldn't have said. I can't count how many times I prayed, "Let it be me and not them." I believe that He will get us through this and it will all be okay. Maybe that is another reason I am posting this: I'm not sure I can pray for this on my own. I think I need your prayers as well.

Edited to add that they squeezed me in on Monday at 3:30. I am not going to analyze this and think it is scarier than I thought because they want me to be seen sooner and instead feel grateful that I am going sooner to get it taken care of. It is just for a consultation so I'll know more then.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 3 of No Talking

Every post for the next two weeks will not be about my mouth, I promise. Three days without being able to talk or eat makes for a really, really crabby person. Or at least a crabby me. I didn't realize how much I have to talk...not even want to but have to. I hurt myself trying to tell Gia to stay away from the plug (okay, I yelled) and each time I tried to eat, I had to stick my fingers in my mouth to get the food out. I never realized how much you use your tongue to swallow food. I know there are worse things but I hope this goes fast and I start feeling like normal soon. The constant state of weakness from not being able to eat is not fun either. I have images of me eating my first real food after this and me blowing up like Violet from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

For those of you that enjoy Vicodin for pain, tell me why it won't work for me? There is so much talk about not taking it for too long because you can get addicted and it either makes me feel awful or does nothing. The first pill I took did nothing. Well, it helped a little so I took another one when I was in a lot of pain before I went to bed. BIG MISTAKE! My mind raced all night. A good friend said that probably would have happened regardless of the meds because of the stress connected to the test which I think is true. I hoped that not having anything in my stomach wouldn't matter because the meds would knock me out but that was not the case so besides the nightmares that I had all night, I also had an upset stomach. Good times...

I couldn't even take anything during the day because I had to be "on" and sweet, little Gia...she just wouldn't nap so it was a long day. Luckily, my sister came, brought soup and then took the girls to my mom's. A million thank yous to both of them!

Just wanted the rest of you to know that if you ever wanted to say something to me without me being able to answer you back, now is the time.

On a separate note, I hate all tryouts, evaluations and everything that separates kids from their friends. Like I said before, even when it is good, it still isn't good. Nico and Tommy are both playing football on the teams they wanted and instead of celebrating, we are all a little sick about the whole thing. I know it isn't realistic or the way life is but I would like everyone to be on the same team and it always be a tie.